The Ultimate Road Trip - Page 2 - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #21 of 192 (permalink) Old 01-31-2011, 04:54 PM
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If you decide to drive through the Ozarks in Arkansas/Missouri, let me know - I'd come up from Austin, Texas to drive that! I normally run it in the summer when driving to Ohio:
https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f135...ml#post1481309

Beautiful scenery, lots of twists, and you spend twice as much time gassing up because everyone asks about the car. Just need to watch out for the logging trucks.

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post #22 of 192 (permalink) Old 03-18-2011, 03:15 AM
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When are you coming down? might i suggest coming down in October if you can so you can do LOG in Vegas

Studies show 100% of people die. Might as well have some fun.

"Comfort is for kids. I would want to make my passengers weep in fear" - Agent One
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post #23 of 192 (permalink) Old 03-18-2011, 07:49 AM
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What a great trip! Can I suggest taking part of the circle tour route around the Great Lakes? Depending on how you get to the Great Lakes region you could take a southern route through Wisconsin or, for more wild, right through the Upper Peninsula, taking roads east to Port Huron, Michigan, and crossing back into Canada at Sarnia.

I'd be glad if you put me in your trip book, and it would be fun to join up for a bit if you're anywhere in the area. As another poster above said, the Auto Europe guys in metro Detroit are great, there are a number of Lotus guys around here. But you don't really want to detour as far south as Detroit, the drives are better when you hug the lake shore further north.

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post #24 of 192 (permalink) Old 03-18-2011, 09:04 AM
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The leg from Vegas to Colorado springs might possibly be the best, most picturesque part of your journey if you plan it right. If you are still looking for ideas I'd be happy to give suggestions and if the timing is right I might be able to join in with you for that part.
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post #25 of 192 (permalink) Old 03-18-2011, 09:27 AM
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On your trip through Colorado I would recommend driving mount Evans instead of pikes peak. It's paved the whole way to the top plus it's the highest paved road in north america. It's an absolutely beautiful drive and it's open 24 hours during the summer. Just some food for thought. Pikes peak is cool but it might suck in an Elise. I drove up if for the rally and it sucked getting through the dirt sections.
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post #26 of 192 (permalink) Old 05-29-2011, 10:49 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry for the silence guys - Been a bit busy with Lotus 2011 (our biennial National Lotus Meet over Easter) and since then preparing the car further.
Apart from the suspension (all new bushes, balljoints and steering rod ends, rebuilt and resprung Nitron shocks) I then took the front clam off (first time in 12 years !!) and fitted the new alloy capped radiator (which had been sitting on the bench for several years waiting for the original plastic cap unit to leak, which it won't ever get the chance to do now !!) and new fan and new silicone rad hoses. Also fitted a nice set of airhorns so the RV's and trucks on the Dalton Hiway can hear me even if they can't see me !! They are that loud I nearly had a heart attack first time I used them as I had forgotten I had fitted them !! Mended all the lower front clam damage suffered over the years, and took all the headlights out and cleaned up and de rusted the mounting brackets etc, and also fitted a new windscreen as my original was peppered with gravel rash and getting hard to see out of when driving into sun. (Once again, new windscreen had been under my bed for a few years, waiting for the broken windscreen that never happened !!) Also did some fettling to the springs in the wiper blade to pull the blade onto the screen slightly harder, improving the "wipe". While in the front, cleaned up all the heating unit, and ancilliaries, and ended up fitting a new heater fan as the fan speed resistors had become so brittle one actually broke while I was handling it. Also fitted a new battery while I was in there, and changed all the screws and bolts to stainless. If nothing else, I now feel totally confident that if I have to replace ANYTHING on the front end, I can now do it relatively easily on the road with the few key tools I will be carrying. I am certainly not scared of anything breaking and me not being able to fix it now.
Currently the rear clam is off, and the engine being refurbed - Engine is one thing I don't trust myself with, but happy to do it if I HAVE to !! And am I glad we took the engine out and took the head off. Found exhaust gasket shot and leaking (luckily found before it caused any head or valve damage), and a tiniest coolant leak when the head gasket would have let go in due course. Cylinders all good. Head lightly skimmed to ensure it was flat, and fitted a new MLS gasket plus the new bottom engine oil rail, without which has now been found to be the cause of MLS gaskets failing (like mine was about to !) so that should take care of that. New through bolts of course. Took off the water pump and found the bearings were shot and it had a tiny leak, so that was replaced. Also fitted a remote thermostat (PRRT) which on the Rover K series is designed to reduce the thermal shock of water temp changes caused by the original thermostat location, and also fitted a second bracket which minimises movement of the clutch master cylinder which has been known to cause metal fatigue failure on the original mounting. And of course new cam and alterrnator belts as a matter of course. Also fitted a new clutch and throw out bearing - Interestingly after 11 years and 50,000 miles, including a LOT of standing starts as my hobby is Hill Climbs and Autokhanas (Solo to you, I think ?) as well as numerous trackdays, the clutch was still OK (although needed replacing soon) but the throw out bearing was totally shot, and could have gone at any time !!
All work now completed, and engine run up no problems, and in the next day or so I will be putting the rear clam back on.
And have decided to run Yokohama Advan Neova AD08 tyres - Good wear rating (190, vs about 60 for a road legal sticky tyre, or about 400 for a "normal" road tyre. So far am very impressed with them, and they have relatively deep treads, so hoping a new set will last for the whole US trip.
So the car is virtually ready !! Now fiddling inside. Having a box made that will fit down in the front of the passenger footwell that will replace the original footrest, but will be taller, enclosed, and have a lockable front/ As this will be bolted in, it will be a safe spot for passports, and other important papers ! Also having the boot box (that will fit on my boot rack) designed at the moment, and have full Australian sheepskin seat covers made up for a little more warmth and comfort. Have also found some tremendous click-on brackets in Europe that fit on an S1 dash and to which you can mount iPods / phones etc They solve an old problem regarding storage space for a phone, especially since mine must be in line of sight as I am as deaf as a post, especially when the roof is off and my music is playing loudly ! And my new stereo and speakers are unbelievable - Could never hear it before, now everyone else on the freeway is also listening to my music !! (Heavy Moody Blues fan !!)

Now looking to ship the car in January 2012, with me to meet it in LA in late Feb 2012. I then have until late May to get to Seattle, so it will all depend on your next winter - If it is anything like your US winter just gone, I may be sitting in a lot of bars waiting for snow to melt !!

In 3 weeks I am off on a holiday / business trip to Seattle (will be checking on camping equipment etc !) and then on to Europe and West Africa for a couple of months, before getting back to Aus in September, and making the final preparations for the trip. I am SO ready to hit the road - This time next year I should be well up into the Yukon by now, and pushing into Alaska - weather permitting !!
Will update this as more details become available.
Giles
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post #27 of 192 (permalink) Old 05-29-2011, 11:00 PM
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Giles

I have done numerous trips around the US (5-7000mile trips) and love them. 2012 I am planning on driving up to Alaska as well! Been planning for about 3 years.

Would love to tag along with you part of the way, if we can work the schedule. Keep me posted, since your car is coming to LA, and I am in LA myself.

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post #28 of 192 (permalink) Old 05-31-2011, 03:27 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by lotuscupcar View Post
Giles

I have done numerous trips around the US (5-7000mile trips) and love them. 2012 I am planning on driving up to Alaska as well! Been planning for about 3 years.

Would love to tag along with you part of the way, if we can work the schedule. Keep me posted, since your car is coming to LA, and I am in LA myself.
Interested - pm or email me and we can organise it that way.
Giles
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post #29 of 192 (permalink) Old 06-05-2011, 05:29 PM Thread Starter
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On your trip through Colorado I would recommend driving mount Evans instead of pikes peak. It's paved the whole way to the top plus it's the highest paved road in north america. It's an absolutely beautiful drive and it's open 24 hours during the summer. Just some food for thought. Pikes peak is cool but it might suck in an Elise. I drove up if for the rally and it sucked getting through the dirt sections.
Have just checked out this road, and it looks great. More importantly, after Colorado Springs I had not finalised on any route to Denver because it looked like just Freeway on 25, which might be a bit boring ! So now I can cut across and come up from the south to do Mt Evans - Perfect, thanks !!
One draw back is I see the road only opened on May 27th this year !!!!!! I really hope your next winter is not as bad as this one because I need to be in Alaska by early June, which might be hard if I have to wait in Colorado till the end of May !! Fingers crossed !!

BTW, the plan to do both Laguna Seca and Pike's Peak is fixed in stone. I am sure, as several people have said, "there are better tracks / roads", but that is missing the point. That is like saying the Nurburgring is too dangerous and I recommend you should actually go to the Sachsen Ring!! I have watched Laguna Seca racing on tv for 50 years, and as a Hill Climb freak, have wanted to drive Pike's Peak ever since the Audi Quattro's etc made it world famous (rather than just US famous), and they are both on my bucket list. All I want to do is drive the corkscrew and drive Pikes Peak, so I can add them to my list of Nurburgring, Spa, Bathurst and other great tracks I have driven on in THIS specific car. I do not want to "race" on them - My car is now back in road spec and on road tyres anyway so it would not be much fun trying !!
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post #30 of 192 (permalink) Old 06-05-2011, 05:45 PM
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Your going to have a great trip! I wish I could do something like this. Pikes peak is awesome. But just know that the road is much like mt Evans and opens late in the spring. Mt Evans still isn't fully open an it will take another few weeks before the top 5 miles are open. If you want more awesome drives and you decide to come to boulder I would love to be your tour guide.
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post #31 of 192 (permalink) Old 06-05-2011, 07:22 PM
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For the Laguna dates, keep an eye on:
Track and Paddock Activities Calendar
Track Days Schedule 2010

They typically book the first six months of the year in late Nov. or in Dec. and donít have many ďopenĒ track dates, for example only 4 this April. Also keep in mind they have a very strict sound limit of 92dbA.

Hope the timing works out that I can join you for that and for the NorCA part of your journey.
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post #32 of 192 (permalink) Old 06-19-2011, 09:07 PM
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Giles and Lotuscupcar,

I may still be in Alaska in the summer of 2012. I'd be happy to show you around some of the interior if I'm still here. Things are a bit up in the air as I'm retiring from the Alaska Air Guard at the end of this year, but if my house doesn't sell I'll probably still be here.

Not too many great roads for the Lotus, since the back roads are all gravel, but there are some beautiful sights to be seen on the highways.

Long summer days, and beautiful country
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post #33 of 192 (permalink) Old 10-08-2011, 04:54 PM Thread Starter
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Everything continuing to plan so far. Passenger footrest / storage box is now completed and in place while the boot box (trunk box to you guys !) for the rear is currently being made. As this will limit rear vision am considering a rear view camera to give me at least some rearward vision. Have got some beautiful fitted Aussie sheepskin seat covers fitted that make the car so comfortable and suitable for long distance. Also fitted Roo Shoos, which are small wind operated units we use in Australia to keep kangaroos and other wildlife off the road when you are coming - Hopefully they work equally well for moose and deer and bears etc !!
Have also got perspex covers over headlights, spotlights and indicators, while have also decided to use windscreen tear offs (instead of a polycarbonate sheet) as a method of protecting the windscreen as much as possible on the dirt sections. Have just sourced these and they look perfect
Lotus Elise / Exige Racing Optics WindshieldStack2 Tear-Off - Pro-Tint, Inc
Now it is just down to mud flaps and other minor things I am experimenting with that will hopefully make the trip a bit easier both on myself and the car. I will be booking the shipping soon, and still intend to ship the car ex Aus in Jan 2012, and myself arrive in LA in Feb to pick up the car, buy the camping gear etc from REI, and get going. Final timing and route are all going to depend on what your US winter is like - It is looking like you might be expecting another cold one from what I read ?
Anyway, everything coming together well, and now am getting bored and frustrated waiting for January !!! I am ready to go now !!!
Giles
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post #34 of 192 (permalink) Old 10-08-2011, 05:54 PM Thread Starter
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My sister lives in Anacortes WA. I was there in June and went over to Uclulet on Vancouver Island, and really enjoyed it. So changing the first part of my route from Anacortes north, and instead of driving up through Williams Lake, now intend to catch the ferry across to Victoria VI, then drive up through the island to Port Hardy. Then catch the ferry up to Prince Rupert, then head north up the Cassiar Highway. Just think it might be more scenic, plus gives me the opportunity to see a bit of the inside passage.
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post #35 of 192 (permalink) Old 11-05-2011, 05:57 PM Thread Starter
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OK, car is being shipped out of Australia on 4th January, and will arrive LA on 25th Feb. So I am booking my flight on 22nd Feb so I can get all my stuff together so by the time the car arrives I can get out of town and on the open road as quickly as possible. Looks like a possible opening for getting on to Laguna Seca exists on 7th / 8th March. Waiting on confirmation currently.
Now it is starting to get exciting !!

One thing I am having trouble with is a bit non Lotus, but I am a passionate Moody Blues fan, and they often play US concerts, especially in Red Rock Canyon in Colorado, in about April. But I can find nothing about a 2012 tour on the internet !! If anyone hears of any Moody Blues concerts coming up anywhere in the US during next spring / summer, please let me know. Last time I saw them was in LSU Assembly Centre in Baton Rouge in about 1974, but I am going to see them here in Brisbane on 20th November - 2 weeks from now !!!
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post #36 of 192 (permalink) Old 11-05-2011, 09:21 PM
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Sounds like you're going to have a great time regardless, BUT if you are in the states you have to go to Deals Gap dealsgap.com, Deals Gap, NC information. The Dragon, US129, Great Smoky Mountains. The Dragon at Deals Gap.
Having lived in Atlanta for 7 years I was able to frequent this little piece of heaven every other week. 318 turns in 11 miles!!! Absolutely perfect road for your Elsie:-) I'm sure anyone here that has driven "the dragon" will agree it should be towards the top of your list. Enjoy your trip and check off one more thing from that bucket list.
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post #37 of 192 (permalink) Old 11-05-2011, 09:27 PM
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post #38 of 192 (permalink) Old 11-07-2011, 02:37 AM Thread Starter
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Yup, Looked at the Tail of the Dragon road before. Looks great. Trouble is I am not planning on going anywhere near that part of your country !!!! If I was, I would drive it like a shot !! Furthest East is going to be Colorado Springs !! So need to save this one for next time !!
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post #39 of 192 (permalink) Old 11-07-2011, 02:48 PM
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My sister lives in Anacortes WA. I was there in June and went over to Uclulet on Vancouver Island, and really enjoyed it. So changing the first part of my route from Anacortes north, and instead of driving up through Williams Lake, now intend to catch the ferry across to Victoria VI, then drive up through the island to Port Hardy. Then catch the ferry up to Prince Rupert, then head north up the Cassiar Highway. Just think it might be more scenic, plus gives me the opportunity to see a bit of the inside passage.
That area used to be a sleepy fishing village. A gather that Anacortes now caters to high end boaters. Anywhere up there is nice. Enjoy.
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post #40 of 192 (permalink) Old 11-08-2011, 03:39 PM Thread Starter
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My pax side footrest / locker had a problem - The front was too shiny, and as soon as the sun came out, at just the wrong angle, I was blinded by the reflection !! (This was a problem because Elise S1 owners rarely drive with a roof on because car was designed not to have one in the first place !!)
Anyway, was going to paint it or similar, but job got deferred until a couple of days ago when I was at the powder coaters (who are preparing my boot box to go on the luggage rack (more on that when it is finished)) and told them my problem. He said that if they dipped the shiny checker plate in acid for 10 minutes it would have a matt finish and solve problem. 10 minutes later, all fixed. And for free too !! (Rare in today's world !)
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