The Camaro was bought from a dealer in Burlington, NC. With the price tag of $2600 it couldn't be expected to run like a new car. The odometer read some 110,000 miles, the radio didn't work properly, and the air-conditioning was busted. Also, when the car drove over a pothole or bump in the road, the right rear wheel had a tendency to scrape against the bodywork. Thus we installed a device that jacked up the rear a bit; this however didn't cure the scraping entirely.The old tires were replaced and new Corvette Rally centers were mounted. Surely, that made it look better!

Before embarking on the trip, the Camaro was checked by a mechanic who okayed it; the air-conditioning was fixed. It turned out that it had been disconnected for some reason, which we later would discover. In fact the entire electrical system witnessed that this indeed was a 10 year old car: For instance if you turned on the radio, static was present even though the radio was perfectly tuned on a station. The static got even worse if the headlights or blinkers were switched on.

On May 16 1996, the first real day of the trip, the air-conditioning was used extensively as we got down South. This surely contributed to "the meltdown" (not breakdown) the following day. A small wire was replaced and the car was running once again - at least until we got to Las Vegas where a new fan motor had to be installed; the old one was shorted out by the new wiring installed back in Mississippi. From this point the air-conditioning wasn't used. In retrospect maybe these problems could have been avoided if the A/C hadn't been reconnected prior to the trip.

The Camaro was only used when travelling on the open highway and not as much in stop-and-go city driving, which had caused both meltdowns. Whenever we went sightseeing only the roomier Mustang was used.

We installed CB-radios in both cars so we could keep in contact. The radio in the Mustang could broadcast 3-5 miles while the other stopped at about 2 miles. Furthermore the Camaro carried a radar detector, a fuzz-buster! This came in handy several times; in fact nobody got a ticket although we did some serious speeding at times.

Apart from the two meltdown-experiences, the car did well on this 8000-mile trip: Chevrolet all day and every day!

1986 Camaro 305 CUI



Mark's Mustang
The faithful workhorse.

Fuel consumption - Camaro
Fuel consumption - Mustang