Well we have finished the longest rally we have ever attempted the Pan American Friendship Rally.
We have driven 10,333 miles through 27 states of America, in our XK120 FHC
We have been as high as 14,114 feet at Pikes Peak and as low as 200 feet below sea level in Death Valley. It's been as hot as 114 (average outside temperature ) and cold enough to snow.
Over the whole trip we have had about 2 hours light rain,
one morning of thick fog, the rest of the time we have had clear blue skies. We have also been chased up the east coast by a hurricane.
Half the rally have been stopped for speeding, most getting off with a nice little chat others having to cough up. The record for the event was 3 stops for 1 crew.
Some of us didn't get stopped at all; )
We stayed at 36 different hotels of varying standards, some like the Venetian in Las Vegas (everything was completely over the top) to bed and breakfast in the middle of beautiful countryside in Vermont. I am well known for being a tiny bit fussy over hotel rooms, but we only had to change rooms 3 times, which for me is very good.
The classic cars have covered circa 200,000 miles between them. The oldest (our XK120) being 63 years old and the youngest a 1972 Bristol. All but 1 classic made it to the end. One of the Jaguar XK140s had a major clutch problem on the penultimate day. Such a shame.
The petrol in the USA has ethanol added to it, this is meant to clean the internal workings of the engine. But for our old engines it's a disaster. It can eat its way through our rubber hoses and it affects the tuning of the car. One of the challenges of the rally was to find ethanol free petrol. Really very challenging and in the end we just had to put up with poorly running engines.
The rally was non competitive but because of the distance and varying climate it is still one of the toughest we have attempted.
The rally is called a friendship rally and the friendship was apparent throughout the 7 weeks. Whoever had a problem there was always lots of willing helpers on hand. Some even knew what they were doing :)
Some of the lasting memories of the USA will be how friendly the people were, how clean the whole country was and how generous the meal portions were.
It is a huge country and each state is different, the people of each state fiercely protective of their part of America. There are American flags flying everywhere you go. We don't seem to have the same patriotism in the UK. The states are all different but there is only 1 USA and everyone seems to get behind that flag. Just don't talk to anyone about the election. On our drive the Trump banners outnumbered the Clinton ones by about 30 to 1. But that does not seem to reflect the overall view. We will see.
We have really enjoyed our American adventure. We would go back and see most of it again but not in one big hit, you need to savour each separate part.Highlight of the rally was when Charlie started every morning and we set off into the great unknown.
All of the rally was awesome :) USA we will be back if you'll have us.
Thanks for following us,
David Julie and Charlie Jaguar.
Below are some of our photos, some taken by us, and some by complete strangers who sent them into us. Thanks.
|This was taken by a motorist stuck in a traffic jam with us.|
|Charlie warming up by the fire in White Fish|
|Crossing the Continental Divide|
|XK120 FHC and XK140 drop head|
|One of America's most iconic landscapes. Monument Valley|
|Just shows how small an XK120 is compared to an American truck.|
|Perhaps the only XK120 FHC SE to climb the amazing Pikes Peak|
|Charlie on the way down from Pikes Peak. Hard to look at the road with views like that.|
|The sign says 318 curves in 11 miles. It doesn't say how much fun we had in the XK120|
|XK150 DHC and XK120 FHC kissing on the Blue Ridge Highway.|
|Armed guard at Oxford (USA)|
|Outside one of USA oldest houses, and we were very lucky it was our hotel for two nights.|
|Everything in one photo. The amazing Fall colours, USA flag and Charlie Jaguar.|
|Now you can see why its called Blue Ridge Passway along the Blue Ridge Mountains|