Tuesday, June 13, 2017

HRPT 2017-June 13: Day 4- Davenport, IA to Champaign, IL (201.3 miles)

Today's route basically followed highway 150 from Iowa to Champaign.  It didn't take but 5 minutes on the road before we may have broken our first traffic law of the day.  Tara misread the map and sort of missed keeping us on the on ramp.  We made a U-turn and then a "gray area" left turn  to cut back onto the ramp. 

After that, it was smooth sailing.  There were some highway legs, but mainly it was more farmland.  We cruised through Galesburg, a small town with a roundabout in the town square that caused a bit of a snarl, but not too bad.  They had their local police out controlling traffic.  Most of the trip was spent with Ken razzing Lori over the radios. The drive itself was pretty uneventful and we avoided most of the worst traffic.  We also passed through Morton, Illinois which is home to the Nestle plant where they can Libby's Pumpkin.
Not quite amber waves of grain

Tara had time to get out of the car for this picture

Power Tour is like time travel when gas stations used to look like this
mmmm, pumpkin

Along the way, we passed our friends Rick and Lisa from Tampa in their 1973 Dart Sport on the side of the road.  They were loading it onto a rollback tow truck.  As we passed by, I realized that the tow truck was an antique.  Turns out, the guy was long hauling the truck and just happened by at the right time.  They loaded the Dart up and he hauled them all the way to the venue.
Saved some gas at least
We arrived at State Farm Center at the University of Illinois around 2 pm.  I found Tara another great spot right across the street from the midway.  There was a shade tree nearby, but she didn't need it.  Shortly after she got parked, a 1970 'Cuda parked next to her and he set up a pop up tent (properly staked of course).   Jacob and I got clocked in, bought our daily shirts and collected the day's magnets, plus Hot Rod pint glasses that the Champaign tourism board was giving out and headed back to the cars.  By then, a spot near Tara opened up and Jacob brought his car over.
This lot filled up and then some

State Farm Center
This was her third attempt at wiping the rain off

The guy with the tent

We were also parked near the GM Motor Medics.  The Medics are a team of GM engineers who travel with the Tour every year.  They bring every tool imaginable and will fix cars for free if you bring them the parts.  They focus on issues that keep cars from being driveable.  It is grueling work on brutally hot pavement, but they are great folks.  They helped Tara and I back in Madison in 2015 when our brake shoe disintegrated.  We found out from Rick and Lisa that they will even push your car to their "shop tent" if it doesn't run.  The Medics spent a good part of the afternoon diagnosing Rick's car.  They pulled the plugs and they were fouled.  Rick's friend Lee took his El Camino to the local parts store and bought 8 new plugs.  While Lee was gone, the medics did a compression check, insulated the fuel line and verified that everything else seemed in order.  Once the car was running away, Rick and Lisa parked with us for a while before heading out.


We had a short rain shower which brought the temperature down enough for Jacob and I to walk around and look at a bunch of the cars before heading back to the hotel to shower and change for dinner.  Lori made a reservation at the Ribeye for Kym's belated birthday celebration.  The Ribeye slogan is "the steakhouse with one great steak."  They only serve ribeyes.  It was a bit dated inside, but the food was good.  Tara wasn't super hungry and wanted to order off the kid's menu (under 12 only).  Lucky for her, Bryson (10 years old) prefers to order of the real menu.  So, Bryson and Tara worked out that he would order the kid's steak, Tara would order a bigger ribeye and they would switch when the waitress wasn't looking.  They conspired about the cook temperature, so that the waitress wouldn't catch the ruse.  Except they forgot to discuss sides.  Tara smoothly sought Bryson's "recommendation" about which side sounded best to him.

The hotel blocked off several parking spaces and put out a hose for a makeshift car wash.  Some of our group took advantage of the benefit.  Tara, Jacob and I went across the street to our hotel's overflow lot was located.  There are only 30 spaces at the hotel (we got one).  Everyone else was in the convention lot across the street.  There were probably 80 or more show cars in just this one lot and it was definitely a party.  There was a rain front at the edge of town and it brought a perfect coolness to the breeze.  It was a perfect night to hang out and trade Power Tour tales.  We met some guys in a 70 Super Bee that had just finished changing out their broken rear end gear in the parking lot.  They found a replacement on a local Craigslist/parts website.   A bunch of guys set up a burnout box at the entrance to the parking lot and got more than a few takers.   One guy in a turbo diesel pickup did the burnout equivalent of a mic drop and smoked out the entire parking lot.  I have a great video, but can't get it to upload at the moment.

The Aftermath

Here are a bunch more pictures from today:

COPO Camaro on Tour and not even street legal

He badged it a ZL1/28

Here's why- Supercharged LSA motor from a ZL1 Camaro
No gas stops necessary

I think this is some kind of death buggy

Custom hot rod '57 Nomad

Sooo clean

Blown Gremlin!!!

69 Z/28

Dart GTS

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