Grizz and Martin's Epic USA Chevy C10 Road trip - 2015

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Grizz
Posts: 1192
Joined: Mon 13 Aug 2012, 21:54
Location: Rochester, KENT.

Grizz and Martin's Epic USA Chevy C10 Road trip - 2015

Post by Grizz » Sun 01 Nov 2015, 02:43

I guess the first thing to do is to apologise for using the word Epic in the title. There are many more road trips and things in the world that are worthy of the title Epic. But compared to a trip to Tesco, Halfords, Walmart, O'Reilly's or Pick n Pay or Midas (shops are region/country specific to the 10 forums I contribute to) this trip in my small world was Epic.

The next thing to say is that I hope that if you take the time to read all of this, that you are enjoying the randomness of our trip and my writings. My mate Martin cannot be bothered with the sort of stuff I write, photograph or talk about, as he always says, I am the one taking photos while he does all the work. So feel free to unsubscribe or exit at this point. No offence taken.

I guess the story starts in 2014 in two ways.

My buddy Martin goes to America every year with Amanda his girlfriend to Frlorida.
He also owns a 1965 Chevy C10 Fleetside, which is ultimately to transport his motorbikes.
I own what is left of my Red 1966 Chevy C10 Fleetside which is under restoration too.
We met through the truck hobby and happen to live 15 miles apart which is kinda just too far but just close enough to help each other at times.
In 2014 Martin started to badger me to go on a small road trip to the USA (possibly Florida) but Imrefused outright as I could order the parts I wanted from various suppliers and get them landed, albeit with added shipping, handling and import duties and taxes....... Get the idea yet??
It is just not easy or cheap to restore in the UK where we both reside.

Then in December, working as a contractor for Pfizer Corp, I won an award...... Travel vouchers and a bit of cash. NICE I HEAR YOU SAY.....
Well, it would have been, if they were fair. I was a top performer out of 58 people for the year. But being a contractor, my award was worth about 1/3 of the headcount persons, and I still would only be a contractor.

I offered the £1500.00 of cash and vouchers to my wife Nicola, because that's the sort of guy Imam, she than suggested I go on a road trip with Martin.
Tentatively I agreed, as I had never actually wanted to travel the USA. And I certainly did not want to go to Disney or similar resorts, just not my thing.

I had a strong friendship,circle on both the Garage Journal .com as well as the 67-72 ChevyTrucks .com forum and had for years been face timing and sending parcels and presents to friends in the USA and trading number plates etc.

So I suggested we rather look at other parts of the country than California and the usual suspects, and go experience "Real America"

At this point we knew Clem's shindig in Fayetteville was happening on the 17th October, partly to celebrate his wife's birthday. So it became a natural anchor for the trip, depending on where we landed.

Image[/QUOTE]

Quoting Ta2Don below.

Here's a pic from Clem's the first year I was able to attend…(2 years ago)

L to R Clem, Chad64Chevy, me, Sigshooter (Robert) ;)
ImageDSC_0140 by Donald Olivo, on Flickr


This trip escalated very fast till we went on the 17th January to book our tickets on my birthday, for a holiday trip of a lifetime that would culminate in Martin having a burger in Gas Monkey Garage or Hooters...... Just something very American.

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This year the citation looked like this in the end, due to a few Brits joining the party.


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Last year on his trip,Martin and Don met in Florida.


ImageUntitled by Donald Olivo, on Flickr[/QUOTE]


I changed jobs in June, with the condition of taking a weeks unpaid leave so that I could enjoy the full time period.

Soon the 10 months flew by and we got to this point..... Selecting seats and taking off.


Booked our seats when online booking opened.

Until we booked, the seats we wanted, twin row, right at the rear, meaning more space and less people crawling over you, were for sale as a pre-booking option at £43.00 per booking.

So by waiting till it opened, I guess we each now have another £43.00 or $65.48 to spend on spares.

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Now we can probably say.......

Image[/QUOTE]


But even on the night before we flew, I was painting rust converter on the chassis.

Typically, I could not leave well alone.

I left out the prop shaft and diff, will do them when I get back and get more Vactan.

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[QUOTE=Ta2Don;7341212]Here are some Pics that Rian sent me earlier today…

So it Begins!!! :uhmk:

ImageUntitled by Donald Olivo, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Donald Olivo, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Donald Olivo, on Flickr

Celebrating the sendoff and Martin's upcoming Birthday...:mm::ennyd::hot::two::ele::alky:

ImageUntitled by Donald Olivo, on Flickr[/QUOTE]



Pre-emptive road map of the completed trip. Dallas Fort Worth Airport to Dallas Fort Worth Airport. 14-29 October 2015.

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So that is it for tonight, it is quarter to eleven and I need some sleep.


Will update further as I get time if you,want to see more.

Gunter
Posts: 1406
Joined: Fri 01 Feb 2008, 20:03
Location: Cape Town

Re: Grizz and Martin's Epic USA Chevy C10 Road trip - 2015

Post by Gunter » Sun 01 Nov 2015, 03:08

awesome!! - please keep us updated!
RACECAR spelt backwards spells RACECAR.....

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Ranger1
Posts: 334
Joined: Fri 04 Feb 2011, 22:04
Location: Cape Town

Re: Grizz and Martin's Epic USA Chevy C10 Road trip - 2015

Post by Ranger1 » Sun 01 Nov 2015, 08:12

Hey Grizz

Glad you enjoyed the trip. I don't always have much to say, so I don't say it. But I always enjoy your weekly accounts and I'm looking forward to hearing about the trip.

Mark

Grizz
Posts: 1192
Joined: Mon 13 Aug 2012, 21:54
Location: Rochester, KENT.

Re: Grizz and Martin's Epic USA Chevy C10 Road trip - 2015

Post by Grizz » Sun 01 Nov 2015, 14:02

Gunter, Mark, Thank you for the replies.

I will update as I can.

One later today.

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IndianaJones
Posts: 4864
Joined: Sun 23 Aug 2009, 17:39
Location: Citrusdal, RSA

Re: Grizz and Martin's Epic USA Chevy C10 Road trip - 2015

Post by IndianaJones » Sun 01 Nov 2015, 17:43

Very much looking forward to the rest of your report Grizz.
Hope I will be as blessed, to undertake such a trip one day.

Grizz
Posts: 1192
Joined: Mon 13 Aug 2012, 21:54
Location: Rochester, KENT.

Re: Grizz and Martin's Epic USA Chevy C10 Road trip - 2015

Post by Grizz » Sun 01 Nov 2015, 19:04

I will be doing these updates in photobatches of 10 photos maximum as Volkszone only allows 10 photos to be posted at a time.


For the trip we decided it was best I pick up Martin in my company car as I live another 30 minutes further from the airport than he does.

I was awake at 03.30 and headed to his place by 04.25 to pick him up.

This was done as the M25 motorway is totally unpredictable, and with car parking, transfer to the airport and then check in, security etc, we neede to be neurotically early for our 11.50 departure.

All this was achieved, including a massively overpriced breakfast at Terminal 5 where British Airways depart from.

11 hrs after departing London Heathrow we landed in at DFW Airport.

After checking in with our ESTA status verified, finger prints taken etc, I ended up in a loooooong wait to get my Passport checked, no rubber gloves, thankfully, but Martin who had walked straight through to baggage reclaim, had to wait about 45 minutes for me to get there, then there was a second Customs agent station to get through, we chose the wrong Q and ended up waiting for all sorts of disabled grannies in wheelchairs, off international flights to be given priority over us......

Eventually we made it out of the airport onto a bus that would take us to the Alamo car rental depot for a fast check in.

We had opted for a medium sized car at £614.00 for the period, unlimited mileage and a full tank of fuel to startups off.
The agent gave us the options of a Jeep, Ford or a Chevy Captiva.
Obviously, going to a Chevy gathering at Clem's we could not arrive in a Ford and the Jeep just seemed small for the spares we had bought and planned to collect along the way.

So we were off eventually.

SatNav set for Searcy, Arkansas which is where Ta2Don lives, we knew we wanted a few hours away from the city limits of Dallas before finding a hotel.
At this point we had been awake from the equivalent of 9.30pm USA time the day before, no sleep on the plane at all.

So we hit the i30 motorway and drove as far as Sulphur Springs and checked into a Best Western Hotel. $100.00 down, breakfast included.
We crashed by about 11.00pm US time and we're both awake by 04.00 or thereabouts.
Breakfast at 06.00 then to a local Walmart for a mobile phone SIM card that we ended up returning as we could not get it going.

We eventually hit the road from Sulphur springs around 11.00am back onto i30 with mouths agape at just how many old cars were on the side of the road, some for sale, some not.

Of course as tourists, and truck guys we loved all the cars, trucks and stuff flying by, many old cars, trucks etc that the U.S. Takes for granted made the trip already worthwhile, 250 miles in.

Headed into Texarcana we settled into an easy pace on the speed limit.

Then we passed a Body and Hotrod shop, seeing these cars outside, and took the next off ramp and drove back on ourselves along the service road with SatNav protesting loudly........


THIS WAS OUR ROAD TRIP GETTING REAL.

Image

We went inside, shop empty, then through the service doors leading to the rear...... Nobody.

Zombies?

So I shouted a couple of Hallooooo's and got a reply from out the back door, saw a small lady in work clothes come toward us, turns out she does all the body work, prep and finishing on the cars. Enquiring about the lack of staff, she replied "Lunch time"
Can we take a look around? Take some photos? "No problem" she replied, telling us about the cars in the shop and what they built. Generous people these Texans.

So the first photo I took..... (Because I do take loads of photos) was this one of Martin next to a lead sled that was being built. Look at the firewall, and front end with the electrical actuators to get an idea of where they are headed. Much work to be done still, but it will be good with electric flip front, air ride, solenoid openers on all doors, trunk lid etc.

Image

Other cars included 60's Fastback and Convertibles Ford Mustangs, as well as this gorgeous beauty.

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We were told Scott, the painter and John the mechanic would be back in a while.

Next we heard the unmistakable rumble of large bore straight through pipes and Scott pulled up.

Niiiiiiiiice...!!

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I just Loved the headlights.

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Of course we had gone out to the side of the building to take a closer look and met Scott, a super nice guy, again, totally humble and unassuming.

Told us the car had belonged to his dad, who had removed the 4x4 running gear, he then later fitted Air ride to it all.
Next up will be a Big Block.

We then got joined by John with his bag of lunch in his hand, got chatting about mods and the lights on Scott's truck and at one point he looked over to Scott and said "Do we have some more of them there lights?" Which Scott confirmed.

He then asked If we would be interested in a set, Martin and I looked at each other, asked him how much, as we already knew they were 24volt LED, ex military application lights, that would cost around $1000.00 a set fitted when the Hummer was built for service in Afganistan and other places. John replied "How about three?" We looked at each other and Martin asked "How much?" To which John replied "Free, for nothing, you can have a pair for your truck in England"
So the question was of course..... Is the Pope Catholic? Just clarify, when these military vehicles meet their end of service and get sold to civilians and get converted to civilian spec.

Anyway, I ended up with another pair too for my truck. WINNER !!!

I have to say, that when the first set of lights were offered, I popped out to the car to grab a pair of T-shirts and a UK flag for their shop, as I had bought about 15 Large, X-Large and XX-Large shirts through the year and between Martin and I we also had about 5 brand new pink hoodies to give out at various places as well as a load of Union Jacks and Cross of St George flags for people's garages. It's just how my head works. These were litterally just as a thank you for their time, not the lights.

The guys were chuffed to bits anyway.

Martin and I fighting to get the lights off John. We would spend another 3-4 hours with him and his family on the way back. His daughter is seriously big Dr Who fan as well and had stolen her dads" I love London" shirt when he got home.

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Lastly, before we left, I had a little go in Scott's sons NASCAR car. I will build a Tot-Rod one day.

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My lights tightly clenched under my armpits we packed them in the car then said our good byes

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We spent about 2 hrs on this stop, then got back in the Captiva and headed out for Searcy, Arkansas..

To see Don, at his Tattoo shop.

More with the next write up of the rest of the day.

If you are still along for the read and ride.

Grizz
Posts: 1192
Joined: Mon 13 Aug 2012, 21:54
Location: Rochester, KENT.

Re: Grizz and Martin's Epic USA Chevy C10 Road trip - 2015

Post by Grizz » Sun 01 Nov 2015, 20:58

After leaving Texarcana we drove on and into Arkansas, always weary of Police and any unexpected surprises on the road.

This was not our back yard of London and the UK.

So RESPECT was paramountm for the people and environment.

We made it to Dons Tattoo Studio at late afternoon as we had stopped and started along the road to look at stuff, fill the car and buy all sorts of bad (irresistible) foods and snacks. America has some seriously good foodstuffs.

When we got into the shop there was a pile of spares both Martin and I had ordered to be delivered to Dons shop since January. This was only a small part of our eventual stash. Included was a complete Harley Davidson V-Rod rear end and light for Martin, an alloy sump, air cleaner and alloy valve covers for his engine.
My haul included an A pillar mounted spotlight for my truck from Jonathan Hall in SC and a handle for it from Herb in Winfield, Kansas. Thanks again to all involved in the success of our purchases, gifts and deliveries made over the last 9 months.

I was almost embarrassed as we greeted Don and Klown one of his artists (a super nice guy, who always smiles and is friendly and inviting) and then proceeded to riffle through some of the bits waiting for us.

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I did get to meet Little Boy in Klown's work space.

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Martin resisted our attempts at getting him to get a little nipple ring fitted by Don.

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While we were there, recently retired Preacher Vince joined us for a while to chat. Photos courtesy of Don.
Another great guy to meet on our trip, thanks for making the effort Vince, much appreciated and good to meet another Garage Journal member in person.

Image

After we settled down and unwound from the tension of driving all day, Don, Martin and myself went out to dinner at Murdocks Catfish Restaurant.

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Catfish, Hush Puppies, Fried Ochra, BBQ Beans and a bottomless glass of Dr Pepper.

Just PERFECT !!


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After this we went to Dons home and met his wife Saless and of course JoJo who is an awesome little dog, I suspect he is the most therapeutic member of the family, he certainly settled me down.

We went to bed late into the night again,max there was so much to be chattered about, things to be shown, gifts exchanged etc.

And JoJo and I connected fully once he got me trained in just how to throw his ball around the house.

Grizz
Posts: 1192
Joined: Mon 13 Aug 2012, 21:54
Location: Rochester, KENT.

Re: Grizz and Martin's Epic USA Chevy C10 Road trip - 2015

Post by Grizz » Mon 02 Nov 2015, 01:44

Friday morning we were all up early.

Coffee, tea and taking JoJo for a walk on Don's piece of land, what a pleasure.

I have always loved Ride on Mowers, and especially older ones, those with real,world patina work even better.

So finding Dons dads old mower out back far into the bush meant I had to try it on for size.

Image

Later Don made us breakfast, then we went to town to get a mobile phone "burner" card sorted that would give us a months unlimited everything, internationally including 5gb of data.

Then to O'Reilly's for HT leads, plugs and a variety of other service parts.

After this we went back to Dons home with Vince in tow to prepare his truck for the trip up to Clem's place on Friday night.

We changed tyres and some other jobs, checked out Dons workshop and other treasures including the Patina Stepper he is building, real man stuff.

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I also masked up some of the tailgate for some silly painting. For once not taking the photos.

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Later in the day we went back into Searcy for a Mexican dinner and and then back home to pack up, Saless, Dons wife had cut him loose to,spend some time,with Martin and I as well as attending the do in Fayetteville........ Thank you Mrs Boss.

We left after 6pm and the trip not the Ozark Mountains was pretty much uneventful.

Getting to Clem's place some time after 10.00 pm we were greeted by some members who had come from as far as Washington state and Keizer, Oregon.
So it was great to meet Bomp (Greg) and Michael McMurphy in person, of course Clem being the awesome host he is, I had not even settled next to the fire when I had a beer in my,hand.
We continued around the fire till much later before we headed uptown to Clem and Kim's house and their four cats. Perfect for me.

Next morning we all got up real early for a full American breakfast and then headed out deep into the Ozark Mountains in a variety of cars and trucks.

This was to be a Jnkyard trip of a lifetime.

TALK ABOUT JUNK DRUNK........


I will leave just a few random pics as it is bed time now......... Off to London early in the morning, as I have to get back to work.

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McMurphy after rescuing a Pontiac hood ornament from a Ford.

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I will post up some more random pics tomorrow.

Thank you for the replies so far, they keep me motivated.

Bearhawke
Posts: 2698
Joined: Thu 25 Dec 2008, 20:38
Location: Bullhead City, Arizona USA

Re: Grizz and Martin's Epic USA Chevy C10 Road trip - 2015

Post by Bearhawke » Mon 02 Nov 2015, 03:11

That's just beyond cool there, Grizz! :mrgreen:
Bearhawke in Az, USA

1998 Plymouth Grand Voyager minivan.

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Scar
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Location: Randburg, JHB

Re: Grizz and Martin's Epic USA Chevy C10 Road trip - 2015

Post by Scar » Mon 02 Nov 2015, 10:56

Sounds just awesome. Thanks for sharing!
Scar

58 Chevy Biscayne
69 Barracuda 383
Audi S4 supercharged V6 (daily driver)

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