Friday, June 8, 2012

Hot Rod Power Tour - Day 1

 Day 1: "The 150 mph exit"

 Saturday morning's weather cleared up with temperatures in the low 60's, partly cloudy skies and no wind.

 The first Power Tour stop (Day 1) was in Milford, MI at the General Motors Milford Proving Grounds (4,000+ acres with 132 miles of private vehicle testing roads) Ground

 Gene and I both got an autograph from Don Garlits (real nice guy). We walked around about an hour collecting catalogs and posters from the different vendors.

 We had trouble finding the exit to the proving grounds. The parking staff told to go to 2 different locations to exit the facility. As we were stopped trying to look for exit signs, we saw four 2012 Camaros exiting the facility. Gene pointed at them and said to me "follow those guys!" So I did. Well, we drove behind them for a while, passing a perplexed security guard at a portable barricade to an unmarked road. All the Camaros stopped and a young guy in a Chevy shirt jumped out of the last Camaro and ran back to me, on my driver's side. He said... "We're going to be doing some durability runs on the high speed test track at 150 mph. Are you lost?" I told him I was just following them to exit the facility. He was real nice and gave me directions on how to get back to the main road. I'm not sure the Mustang could have kept up with those Camaros!

 We visited the Henry Ford museum again in Dearborn, MI.
 They have a new exhibit called "Driving America" with a real interesting history of automobiles in the U.S.. Cars of all makes are represented in the massive that seemed to take up the space of a football field. I highly recommend spending half a day exploring this museum.

 Our last stop for the day was a car museum in Ypsilanti, MI (boyhood home of Preston Tucker, GM plant for the HydroMatic automatic transmission and the last Hudson automobile dealer in the U.S.)

 We talked for a long while with Jack Miller, the curator at the museum. We saw a fiberglass replica of the Hudson automobile used in the movie "Tucker". The museum had Kaiser Frazers, Hudsons, a Henry J (a car with no trunk lid), a Kaiser Traveler (with a tailgate that folded down and a drawer that pulled out!) and a lot of Corvairs. I recommend stopping to explore this quaint car museum.

 The 1,400 mile road trip officially starts Sunday. All the "long haulers" (those driving to all 7 cities in 7 days) will head out to Muskegon, MI (west coast on Lake Michigan) for Day 2 of the Power Tour.
-Mark R

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