Thursday, May 31, 2012

We're going on some road trips in this week's Thursday Drive-By

What the heck, let’s look at five more automotive-related links in this week’s Thursday Drive-By. We’ve got a taste of Hollywood, a dash of nostalgia, and much more in the latest installment.

There’s a fantastic story about a great American road trip in the 1940s and ‘50s, a current road trip that passed through Kansas City last weekend, and a car museum that hasn’t been part of anyone’s road trip for quite some time. Plus, there’s a little feature on the greatest road trip movie ever made.

Check out the links below, and broaden your online automotive education.

Jalponik reports on an abandoned car museum that was reportedly closed up several years ago and left at the mercy of thieves and the elements. The museum is located in the Oregon ghost town of Shaniko, and in spite of the owners’ efforts to fend off trespassers, such as putting up fences, people have still managed to get inside and pilfer ornaments and trim from the vehicles. It really is a sad story if you think about it. Someone cared enough to put this collection together, then thought it was important enough to share with people in a museum. Now it is just left in ruins. See the full story and a few more pictures here.

The Palm Springs Automobilist brings us kind of a neat little slice of life story about a guy named Charles W. Cushman. In 1938, Cushman set out across America, taking color photos along the way. The article features some of his cars, including a ’38 Ford, a ’40 Lincoln Zephyr, a ’58 Ford, and a ’68 Ford, all purchased new. The article also provides a link to his photo archives, which are packed full of great vintage shots of everything Cushman saw during his extensive journeys. You can see the whole thing by going here.

The Gumball 3000 is sort of a car “race” across the country in which rich people drive mostly high-end cars to various checkpoints. The $40,000 entry fee includes high-end hotel stays, including their stop at the Intercontinental Hotel on the Plaza in Kansas City. Internationally beloved A-listers such as David “The Hoff” Hasselhoff and Xzibit are among the participants. Kathy Quinn reports for Fox 4 news. She talks to some race organizers and celebrities in her video report. It’s just like watching TV! Check out the video by clicking the link.

If you live in Kansas City and are the least bit interested in cars, you probably know Tom Strongman’s work. For years he has been writing auto reviews and classic car profiles for the Kansas City Star. He also has a fancy looking blog on which some of his work is featured. In this one, he talks about a Resto-Modded ’54 Corvette that John Muller put together. Normally I’m not a huge fan of modern components on an old Corvette, especially one as rare as a ’54, but this one really was done nice. Some of the appeal may be Stongman’s photos, which add an extra bit of flair to the blue street machine. Check it out at this link.

A story about Smokey and the Bandit. You have my attention. Moviefone recently published this article entitled “Smokey and the Bandit: 25 things you didn’t know about the Burt Reynolds movie.” I’ll be honest, I’m such a Smokey and the Bandit freakazoid that I’ve actually heard pretty much all of these before, but that doesn’t mean I’m complaining. Any time someone wants to draw a little attention to the greatest movie in the history of the world, I’m all for it. In this story, you will learn that the movie earned $127 million at the North American box office, making it the second highest grossing movie of 1977, following Star Wars. See more facts like that by clicking this link.


  1. Doggonit...I had things to do this weekend, but NOW I'm gonna be sittin here looking through all those photos from the Palm Springs Automobilist's link...

  2. and i'm going to have to spend some time rethinking what the greatest movies in the history of the world are.

  3. Well, at least you don't have to think too hard. The greatest movie is Smokey and the Bandit. It says so right in the article.

  4. after pondering on this, i decided i had to give it to the remake of Starsky & Hutch. :-)

  5. tsk tsk we've already had this discussion once...or twice. As much fun as Smokey and the Bandit may be, American Graffiti is yards ahead. Period. Dont make me have to tell you again... ;)

  6. Don't make me activate the comment moderation feature on here ...

  7. Oh yeah... not that I would ever be guilty of wanting to start any [virtual] discord, but... I read in those factoids that they swapped the Pontiac engine out for a Chevrolet... Reckon it would have been better to have said that they swapped it out due to it being 1977 , as opposed to due to brand? I mean I understand/realise/agree that the Chevy lump is a better unit and easier to make ponies with, but the Poncho motor isnt bad per se. And even though I own a GTO, I'm not that 'up' on Pontiacs after about 72 - did the T/A even HAVE a Pontiac engine in 77? I cant remember when they dropped the true 400 Pontiac and started using 403 Olds, do you? [and there aint nothing wrong with Oldsmobiles either - its just that the 403 was a late model smogger not designed to perform; they can be really awakened] The article would leave the reader with the impression that Pontiacs couldnt be made to perform. Whilst it may be true that no production Pontiac would seriously challenge the similar offering from Chevrolet or Chrysler after about 1964 or so, they certainly werent no slouch back in the day, and did darn well for 1977...