Thursday morning it rained relentlessly. The downpour was almost tropical in its strength.
Niels started the day early. Before resuming the trip, he wanted to try to get the
Camaro's suspension problem fixed. The right rear wheel had a nasty tendency to scrape
against the chassis whenever the car hit a pothole. Mounting air shocks should solve the
problem, he was told. However, he couldn't find anybody who could install them on a
moment's notice so the project was abandoned all together. The whole West Coast thing
seemed like a farce at this point in time. We had two cars, none of which was in 100%
working order and we were growing restless. The day before Marco had been in contact with
Lexington and was informed that a used gearbox was being installed. The car could be
picked up before noon.
A day had already been lost so we decided to go ahead once again. Dave and Niels arrived
first at the Chevron station and waited for Manuel and Marco to show up. They did after
about 30 minutes and Marco went in and paid the bill, which set him back some $700: not a
good bargain considering a used transmission was installed.
As we drove onto I-85 our spirits lifted. It was nice being back on the open road. Like
our moods the weather had cleared up considerably. Before long we had passed Charlotte and
crossed the state line into South Carolina only stopping when we needed to refuel. Soon we
entered Georgia and we hit Atlanta during early rush hour. Some places traffic came to a
complete standstill and one had to keep cool in order to stay in the right lane. One wrong
turn and the two cars could be out of contact because of the CBs' limited range. Dave
reminisced about the time when he had had a breakdown with his Ford Escort in the fast
lane of an Atlanta artery. We didn't need something like that happening to us but in the
light of our recent motor problems it didn't seem highly unlikely.
We made it through Atlanta without breakdowns and continued into the little appreciated
State of Alabama, which is characterized by its straight-as-an-arrow highways.
At sunset we entered Mississippi and pressed onwards to Tupelo. The evening was quite
humid and we ran our A/Cs continuously while we looked for a motel. After a short search
we came across a cheap motel in the outskirts of Tupelo. In fact the place was so cheap we
decided to book two rooms, a luxury we couldn't afford all of the time.
Earlier that evening we had passed an auto part store. We returned to look for something
to stiffen the rear suspension of the Camaro. The clerk recommended a small metal gizmo,
which was purchased and later installed in utter darkness in the parking lot of the motel.
At the same time the Corvette Rally centers were taken off and placed in the trunk for
See more photos from May 16.
Go to the next page in the Diary (May 17).