Road trip with foreign visitors - Chevy Impala SS Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-14-2012, 12:08 AM Thread Starter
MWP
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Road trip with foreign visitors

No tech question here--just a nice road trip memory.

I've put 37,000 miles on my '95 FWB in 2.5 years. The last big trip was this summer. Part business meetings, part fun. Drove from South Carolina to Chicago, then Detroit and back and forth around Michigan. I had two friends with me from Sweden and Turkey. They chuckled when they first saw my white boat, but after 3000 miles in 2 weeks they really understood the appeal. Both of them drove it a lot, but neither one wanted to drive it in city traffic or park it in garages. On the highway they loved it (the on-ramps were fun, too, haha). Me, I loved having a chance to chill in the back seat. It was like being a little kid again in my parents' 67 LeSabre.

They were surprised that at a steady 75 mph we got 22-23 miles a gallon with three people, a trunk full of luggage, and AC. At least when I was driving. They had heavy feet. I would wake up and we'd be rolling along at 90. In their countries gas costs about $11 a gallon, so it was good to be in America, the land of cheap gas.

At first they laughed at me for having a couple of road atlases in the trunk, but the GPS wasn't very useful when some on-ramps were closed in the middle of Detroit. A minute of old-fashioned map-reading and problem solved. Maps and Fleetwoods may be old-school, but they work like they are supposed to.

This car is at its best on the Interstate with hundreds of miles to go. Acres of room, the view over the hood, and the cushy FE1 soft ride suspension made a great new experience for my friends. The car looks brand new and I have rebuilt the steering, suspension, cooling, and ignition. Didn't have a single problem.

Did some cool car things--went to the Henry Ford Museum, visited a big car cruise in Detroit. We spent the 4th of July in the small lakefront town of Port Austin, Michigan. Parade with fire trucks, Model Ts, and this year's Bean Queen on a float, and sitting on the grass watching fireworks on the harbor breakwater, a real Main Street USA kind of day.

The Fleetwood was the perfect relaxed cruiser for this trip. It wouldn't have been the same in a smaller car, an SUV, or a minivan. I'm really glad I got to show them the traditional big-car American summer roadtrip experience.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-14-2012, 01:15 AM
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You gave them some fine memories to take home that's for sure. You can get econocompacts the world over. But come to America for that genuine full-bore full-length "more than 3-litre" experience, along with stretches of road to match eh.

I had a couple of Chinese come visit for a week who (whom) I had worked with a year earlier in Shanghai. I had my Impala SS only 2 years then, and they absolutely beamed getting to mash the gas at stops and on the interstate with it.

You made me remember the old T-shirt, "Room To Zoom"

\'96SS SOB: SSRI, Herter Tune, Tri-Y II, , 3000 Edge, F/HO bars, METCO extendeds with CV MMC, Bilsteins, currently Vredestein Ultrac Sessanta (315/35 rear). Finally, wait for it... LT-4 knock module!
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-14-2012, 09:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MWP View Post
At first they laughed at me for having a couple of road atlases in the trunk, but the GPS wasn't very useful when some on-ramps were closed in the middle of Detroit. A minute of old-fashioned map-reading and problem solved. Maps and Fleetwoods may be old-school, but they work like they are supposed to.

This car is at its best on the Interstate with hundreds of miles to go. Acres of room, the view over the hood, and the cushy FE1 soft ride suspension made a great new experience for my friends.
Amen, brother. Nothing cruises down the interstate like a Fleetwood. I miss mine when on a roadtrip. I've never driven another car as comfortable and quiet on the highway. FWIW, I still don't have a GPS and use maps, atlases and Google Maps to get me places. You always need a map, for a sanity check against the GPS, if nothing else.

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-28-2012, 07:24 PM
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Great story and it's wonderful you spread the appeal of the GM vehicle abroad. But $11 a gallon!


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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-30-2012, 09:01 PM
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Love that story! Heck, it's getting to the point that even people who live in North America think cars as big as B-bodies are some kind of visitors from another universe. How sad, our society used to thrive on these things. Anyway, kudos to people like you for keeping the memory alive and spreading the love .


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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-12-2012, 11:38 AM Thread Starter
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Glad you liked it! I still miss my '69 Fleetwood 75. Now THAT was a big car.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbo301 View Post
Love that story! Heck, it's getting to the point that even people who live in North America think cars as big as B-bodies are some kind of visitors from another universe. How sad, our society used to thrive on these things. Anyway, kudos to people like you for keeping the memory alive and spreading the love .
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