Driving Old Route 66 In a 1972 MGB

Friends driving Rt 66 in an MGB GT

Article By SVBCC Member Bob Lasater [see photo gallery with captions at the end of the article]

I suppose most of us in the old British car community have occasionally had the urge to just “hit the road.” And what could be more iconic than old Route 66? For many years, I’ve read about this most famous of American highways and thought it would be a great adventure to take one of my old British cars on a journey down the road.

Living in Virginia, it requires a trip of nearly a nine hundred miles to even get to the old road, thus requiring a bit of planning and time and something not to be done on a whim. Finally, last year, I decided to actually do it and began planning for spring of 2012.

My wife does not enjoy long road trips so I planned to do it with buddy that I have known since college. I have several British cars and my first thought was to drive my ‘64 Jaguar E-Type coupe, but my friends head literally rubbed the inside of the roof, so that was a no go. I have a Jensen Interceptor, which I love, but the fuel costs would have been astronomical. I drive a ‘72 MGB GT as my basic local every-day driver, so that was going to be it. It’s in nice condition, has been reliable, looks good but is clearly not a concours car. It has redone seats which proved comfortable beyond my wildest expectations and a Nissian 5-speed gearbox made for incredibly relaxed cruising. In preparation, I did a comprehensive servicing, replaced any hoses that looked even slightly suspect, replaced the fan belt on general principal, changed it’s fluids, gave it a fresh tune-up and got it as mechanically as up-to-snuff as I could. I collected spare parts and packed: fuel pump (more on that later), water pump, alternator, starter, distributor cap and wires, coil, rotor, fan belt, water hoses, head gasket, valve cover gasket, manifold gasket, plugs, 2 sets of points (has electronic ignition but if that packs up you’ll need points), oil and brake fluid and, of course, tools. The GT is amazingly roomy for being such a small car, and everything on my list was packed in out of the way places so nothing intruded into the rear luggage space.

The plan was to drive a section of the old road between St. Louis and Albuquerque New Mexico. From there, head north into Colorado, pick up old route 50 and take that back to Virginia. We allotted about 2 weeks, plus or minus, and made no reservations; as it seemed best to let things happen at their own pace.

Old Route 66 has been replaced by several interstates, so one is never too far from the superslab. Except in Oklahoma, Route 66 doesn’t officially exist anymore; what was at one time Route 66 has now been replaced by other road designations, so it’s imperative to have good guidebooks. We had two plus a book listing anything of interest to see. I also had a list of motels, restaurants and bars on the route plus just basic maps. Old 66 was never a single road like our interstates so it had lots of twists and turns. Plus, stretches of the old road simply don’t exist anymore or are closed to traffic and there have been various alignments over the years, so a good guidebook is critical. Even with two guidebooks, there were spots that were confusing and a few where we made wrong turns but all-in-all, we followed the books and did ok. Most of the road is marked with “Historic Route 66” signs but you can’t rely on them as they often get stolen and lots of places simply don’t have them. We planned to drive about 160 – 200 miles a day once we picked up the old road, although one could easily travel at a much slower pace and still have plenty to see. We carried an iPad with cellular internet connection which came in handy, particularly a few times when we got lost.

We put up a daily blog, where we posted photos and a summary of each day’s travel. It’s still up and can be found at: http//72MGon66.wordpress.com [ed. note: no longer available].

Day 1 – Sat, April 21 – Slate Mills, VA to Beckley WV, 224 mi. – We had planned on leaving early Sunday morning, but with a big storm predicted and seeing no good reason to wait, I headed out from rural Slate Mills to Staunton VA to pick up my buddy, John, and we hit he road Saturday afternoon. Drove to Beckley West Virginia on the interstate in light rain and got a motel.

Day 2 – Sun, April 22 – Beckley WV to Fenton MO., 581 mi. – The storm passed during the night and the morning was cloudy and cool, packed up and headed toward St. Louis on the interstate. About 580 miles of boring interstate driving and we booked into a Motel 6 just west of St. Louis not far from our rendezvous with old 66.

Day 3 – Mon, April 23 – Fenton MO. to Springfield MO., 199 mi. – The morning dawned clear, but cool. A short distance down I 44, old 66 intersects with the interstate so that was our official start. Stopped and took a photo, opened up the guidebooks and started on the two-lane and promptly encountered our first malfunction! The car cuts off at a stop sign and there is absolutely no power whatsoever. My first thought was a battery cable had somehow become loose – opened up the battery compartment and all was tight. From under the hood, checked the starter solenoid where the main power supply attaches and everything seemed tight. Tapped on the starter connections and power! Started up, got down the road maybe a mile but the power was cutting on and off so pulled over to the side of the road and this time looked under the car and there it was – the big brown wire taking power from the hot connection was dangling loose! Crimped the push-on connection a little tighter and re-attached. Problem solved and we were on our way. If all breakdowns are that simple, we’ll be in good shape.

There are a lot of odd museums and curious roadside attractions on the old road. Stopped at the Jesse James museum but it didn’t open until June! Looked in the windows, took some photos of their great sign and on back on our way. A little further on stopped at the world’s largest rocking chair, not exactly sure why it’s there, but presumably for the adjacent souvenir shop. Stopped for breakfast at Dianne’s Diner in St. James MO and was served, without question, the largest breakfast I have ever seen. Ate half and was full, saved the other half for lunch.

Lots of great old steel truss bridges on nearly deserted roads. Stopped for photo op at the Munger Moss Motel; there are a few vintage motels that have survived and are prospering by catering to roadies. They are well-known and are written up in all the Route 66 books – the Munger Moss is one such motel. It was too early to stop for the night, but after photos and perusing their souvenir shop we headed on toward Springfield and drove by some great old gas stations and other relics of the highway, mostly long ago abandoned.

Booked into the Rest Haven Court in Springfield – another well-known landmark motel; inexpensive, neat, clean and we were treated to an incredible neon sign at night.

Day 4 – Tues, April 24 – Springfield MO to Tulsa OK., 181 mi. – Beautiful morning, still slightly cool, which is great. The landscape is changing – much flatter and one can see for long distances. Stopped for gas at a very authentic 1950’s era gas station. A bit further down the road, stopped at Gary’s Sinclair Station – it’s not a real gas station anymore, but rather a Route 66 institution, souvenir stand, museum and general “must see.” Run by Gary Turner and his wife Lelia. Gary relishes in greeting visitors, relating stories about the old road, showing some of his restored and unrestored vehicles and seems to genuinely enjoy meeting people driving the road. While there I discovered I had stupidly left the MG’s gas cap lying on top of the gas pump when I filled up earlier! Stuffed a shop rag into the filler neck, secured it with a rubber band and we were on our way.

Not too far down the road saw the “66 Drive-In Theatre,” had to stop for a photo op at this well known Route 66 landmark. While taking photos and a guy comes out of an adjacent building, turns out he is the owner of the drive-in and when not operating the theatre in the evenings he works on his race cars, not a bad life! He’s into MOPAR drag racing cars – my Jensen Interceptor has a big MOPAR engine so we hit it off right away. I vintage race an MGB GT, not exactly drag racing but we must have spent 45 minutes talking race cars and looking at his projects. Neat guy.

Stopped in Carthage MO and toured the civil war battle museum – I didn’t even realize there had been a civil war battle in Carthage! Amazing what one learns.

So far the road has been extremely sparsely traveled, encountered very few other cars, crossed some more wonderful 1930’s vintage steel truss bridges and passed by some great relics of the road as we headed into Kansas. Pulled into Galena Kansas and spotted “4 Women on the Route,” a well-known Route 66 diner, souvenir shop and general gathering place. Unfortunately, they weren’t open but got a photo. While pulling into their parking lot I managed to dislodge an exhaust pipe on a big dip! Noticed a lawn mower repair shop across the street with a guy sitting out front drinking a Coke – asked him if I could pull my car into his lot to re-attach my muffler and he said no problem. He gets his big floor jack for me and it was pretty simple to push the exhaust pipe back on and tighten up the clamp. His lawn mower repair shop seemed to be the only functioning business remaining in Galena as everything else appeared to be boarded up or closed and something told me the lawn mower repair business wasn’t exactly booming!. Maybe one other vehicle drove down Main Street while we were there.

There are only about 13 miles of old 66 in Kansas but interesting nonetheless. The visitor center in Baxter Springs is an old restored gas station with souvenirs, books, mini-museum and several walls where people from literally all over the world have signed their names. Talked for a while with one of the women at the visitor center and she told us about her grandfather who owned a store in Baxter Springs that was robbed by Bonnie and Clyde back in the ‘30’s – sort of makes history come to life. Added our names to the wall and then back onto the two-lane.

In Miami Oklahoma we toured the Coleman Theater – a grand theater that has been in continuous operation since 1929. It has recently been renovated and what a treat! Currently owned by a non-profit organization and the volunteer staff are happy to take you on a tour of the theater. What a beautiful and spectacular old theater.

Not too far down the road, in Afton Oklahoma we stopped at a restored DX station that houses a collection of vintage Packard automobiles. Wonderful, beautifully restored Packards from the ‘20’s thru the ‘60’s. It seems that the owner and his wife were traveling old route 66 and spotted a derelict DX gas station and thought it would be a great home for their collection of Packards, they bought it, restored it so here it is.

Stopped at the Blue Whale, real 1950’s kitsch. It’s a giant whale built as part of a recreation area at a small lake. It’s a real Route 66 icon, featured in all the photo books and the type of thing they just don’t create anymore.

Pulled into Tulsa and booked into at the Desert Hills Motel, another genuine vintage motel with incredible neon sign. Rooms were inexpensive, clean and right on the route. What a great day.

Day 5, April 25, Tulsa OK – El Reno OK, 132 miles
Up early and stopped at “Talley’s Cafe,” a route 66 landmark and had their breakfast special, another enormous breakfast (and lunch). Getting out of Tulsa wasn’t bad and we headed west.

Not more than 30 miles down the road we encountered a detour – seems that the road was completely closed ahead for some reason so we had to head south and then west on another road. Unfortunately, in addition to the distances being vast out here, so are the detours, the detour was about 75 miles! And completely caused us to miss Chandler OK which has a large and well-known Route 66 museum.

Next major stop was Oklahoma City and the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum – got thoroughly lost in Oklahoma City trying to find the museum but once we did it was absolutely worth it. A wonderful museum! Huge and extremely well done, a true first rate museum. It’s one of those museums you could literally spend an entire day in.

As long as we were in a big city, I thought I might make an attempt at finding a replacement gas cap. I had thoughtfully taken a copy of the MGB club member booklet which also lists recommended British car shops across the country. The listing for Oklahoma City was “Glass Auto Works,” called and spoke to Mike Glass and he said sure come on by he could probably find me something.

Mike has a great shop, had several MGB’s, several TD’s and miscellaneous other British cars in the shop. He found me a gas cap, put a proper exhaust clamp on the exhaust pipe that had come loose the previous day and wouldn’t even let me pay him! If you are ever in Oklahoma City and need service, check him out. I called my reliable parts supplier and had them ship Mike a new gas cap.

We had spent most of the day at the museum so it was beginning to get into the late afternoon. Spent a bit of time in El Reno Oklahoma looking for a vintage motel, found one but it was absurdly expensive so settled into a Days Inn and did laundry.

Day 6, April 26, El Reno Oklahoma – Groom TX, 188 miles
Day started off great with a lot of miles on old two-lane. In Clinton OK we stopped at the Route 66 museum. This is probably the best museum devoted to Route 66. It has just undergone a comprehensive make-over and they were putting the finishing touches on it when we went through. Great displays tracing the history and culture with artifacts, video and the obligatory Corvette in the lobby.

On down the road we stopped at yet another Route 66 museum – not as big as the one in Clinton but interesting nonetheless.

This particular stretch of 66 crosses a number of streams and rivers with more great old steel truss bridges – the kind you rarely see anymore. Stopped in Erick OK to look at a place with wonderful old signs and to peer into the window of a real curiosity – a hardware store that closed in the ‘60’s but still has it’s merchandise on the shelves.

Headed on into Texas and stopped in Shamrock at an old Conoco station that has been renovated and is now a visitor center. The structure is a true Art Deco masterpiece and certainly makes one realize how gas stations have evolved from wonderful individualized structures into the monotonous mini-mart /gasoline dispensers of today.

A good afternoon of cruising down the old the two-lane, hardly any other cars, interesting things to see and beautiful weather – what could be better? Decided to look for a motel in Groom Texas. There were the usual chain motels close to the interstate interchange but the only vintage motel in Groom was the Chalet Inn. Not sure how they came up with the name Chalet for this place, it was marginal but clean and as they say – once you’re asleep, they all look the same. The high point was a heavy rain shower followed by an incredible rainbow viewed from our motel room across miles of flat plain.

Had dinner at the Grille Restaurant, possibly the only restaurant in Groom Texas but incredibly friendly, inexpensive and good – my kind of place.

Day 7, Apr 27, Groom TX – Tucumcari NM, 153 mi.
Back to the Grille Restaurant for breakfast – one of those places where everyone was local and seemed to know each other, had a nice conversation with some of the locals and then back on the two-lane.

By 9 am. we were in Amarillo, as luck would have it, route 66 goes through a part of Amarillo filled with antique shops. So, of course, we had to stop at “66 Antiques.” Lots of neat stuff, ended up buying a nice piece of old Indian jewelry for my wife – never go home empty handed! While there, asked for directions to Cadillac Ranch just west of Amarillo and the owner of the shop drew me a map – seemed simple.

Unfortunately, the hand drawn map showed a left turn when it was actually a right turn so we drove around for a good 15 minutes in the wrong direction before we stopped and asked and got going in the right direction. Sure enough, Cadillac Ranch is quite a site, a conceptual artwork created in the ‘80’s consisting of a number of vintage Cadillacs buried front first with their tail-fins high up in the air. Graffiti is encouraged so it is consistently changing – a rewarding stop.

On down the road pulled into the “Mid-Point Cafe,” for lunch. This is a real Route 66 landmark and, as the name implies, is considered the geographic mid-point of Route 66. Had their hamburger special for lunch – I don’t eat a lot of hamburgers, but I made an exception and what a treat! If everyone made hamburgers like this, I would eat way too many!

From this point, one must use the interstate as Route 66 literally doesn’t exist except for a few remote stretches. A short distance down the interstate one can exit and explore a short, isolated stretch of old 66 that goes into the town of Glenrio, which is now a true ghost town. Consisting of a couple of abandoned gas stations, a diner and what was, at one time, a rather large motel all on a completely deserted stretch of road. We stopped, took some photos and walked around a bit and stood in the middle of a straight-as-an-arrow section of old route 66 that no longer carries traffic and is rapidly returning to nature. A place like this really lets your mind wander and imagination what it must have been like 40 or 50 years ago.

A bit further down the interstate we stopped at Russels Truck Stop / Service Center / Souvenir Shop and Car Museum, something for everyone! Nice car museum with a number of beautifully restored ‘50’s vintage American cars.

Finally, old Route 66 picks up again and crosses into New Mexico and on into Tucumcari. Judging from the number of boarded up motels this was once a thriving highway stopover. At least one of the motels was in operation relatively recently considering a sign that said “free wifi internet.” One of the real high lights of the trip was the “Blue Swallow Motel” in Tucumcari. It’s featured in all of the books about Route 66 and is a wonderful classic vintage motel. The motel has been undergoing a complete restoration and is now owned by a delightful couple, Karen and Kevin, who are continuing the restoration. The motel has been in nearly continuous operation since 1939 and is a true roadside gem. We were traveling pretty early in the season and had been having no problem finding rooms, but fortunately, while waiting for lunch, we called and made a reservation – good thing as we got the last room! This is one of the most popular motels on the entire route. We were early enough to walk around Tucumcari for a while, visited an antique/junk shop, bought an old Indian pot (never return home empty handed), had a nice long chat with a biker who ran a motorcycle shop and drove to the town’s car wash and gave the car a good washing. The MG was really filthy by this point and I could tell it felt better after getting a bath. Dinner at a local eatery and time to relax with a beer and enjoy the wonderful vintage neon of the Blue Swallow.

Day 8, Apr 28, Tucumcari NM – Albuquerque NM, 176 mi.
Beautiful, clear morning, said good-by to Tucumcari and the Blue Swallow Motel. Heading west from Tucumcari Route 66 is pretty much the interstate service road and basically crosses back and forth from one side of I 40 to the other. There is another stretch where the old road no longer exists so one must travel the interstate for a couple of exits.

Eventually, back onto the old road we encountered a prominent sign warning motorists to “watch for livestock on the roadway,” they are not kidding! Within minutes we encountered 2 cows and a calf lazily walking across the road. I love cows – we have cattle on my farm so I’ve gained a real affection for them, they are really neat animals.

On down the road stopped at another Route 66 car museum – decided to forgo the $5 admission and just looked at the displays in the large lobby and John bought some more stuff at the gift shop – the car is now starting to get pretty full.

Outside of Albuquerque, stopped at an interesting glider museum, this sport is apparently real popular out here. It was here I discovered my camera was malfunctioning and failing to focus – quite distressing considering the camera was somewhat expensive and not very old. Fooled with it for a while and determined it was a lost cause. John has the camera on his phone so that will have to do for the rest of the trip. Just glad it didn’t pack up earlier in the trip.

Pulled into Albuquerque just a bit after noon and booked into the Monterey Motel – another real vintage gem. Incredibly huge room and impeccably clean, plus a short walk to Old Town Albuquerque – a large area of shops, art galleries and antique stores. We spent the rest of the day wandering around the galleries and shops (never return home empty handed) – the car is now going to be seriously full.

Albuquerque marked the end of our journey on old Route 66. What an incredible experience it had been, lots to see and we met some wonderful people. It truly takes one back to a much simpler time before the superslab interstates, a time of mom and pop motels, eateries and when “service stations” were just that and traveling was a completely different experience.

Day 9, Apr 29, Albuquerque NM – Santa Fe NM, 63 mi.
Said good-by to old Route 66 and left Albuquerque around 7 to head into Colorado to pick up old Route 50 for the trip back to Virginia. Today we encountered our first real auto break-down of the trip. Just north of Albuquerque, the car looses power so we pull off on an exit ramp and stop. With the ignition on I fail to hear the reassuring click, click, click of the fuel pump. Further investigation confirms a bad fuel pump so I dig out the spare. The first complication arises when I try to jack up the car using the factory jack, this was the first time I had ever used this jack, although I’ve used them on other MG’s. As I wound up the jack, all it did was detach the jack socket from the car! Not good! Nevertheless, went ahead and changed the fuel pump with the spare – not a pleasant task performed by the side of the road without even jacking up the car. Numerous curse words later the fuel pump was replaced, car fired up, the pump checked for leaks so we were on our way – so we thought. Literally within seconds the car stalls and once again, no reassuring click, click, click! Could this be possible? Checked the electrical connections to confirm and it was without question the pump! – I had been carrying this spare pump since I bought the car – probably 5 years or so, it was not a new pump but was functioning when I packed it away. In any event, this was not good situation. I actually had a another spare in the form of a old Facet pump I had thrown in at the last minute, but it required different plumbing which I didn’t have with me. Time to make use of AAA.

Within about 45 minutes, the AAA flat bed truck arrived driven by a nice and sympathetic guy. I told him if he could take me anywhere near an auto parts store I could get the necessary items and was sure I could get us going. He said he would have to drop us at a “AAA authorized” repair shop and there was one near several auto parts stores. Fortunately it was Sunday, so the repair shop would be closed but the auto parts stores open. Sure enough, near where he deposited us was a Wal-Mart, where we bought a scissors jack and a NAPA store where I bought a new Facet fuel pump, fuel line and clamps. Within about an hour we were on the road again with the new Facet pump merrily clicking away!

I was now sweaty, grubby, it was mid-afternoon and in the low 90’s, so we decided to call it a day. We drove into Santa Fe, booked into a Motel 6, took a shower and drove into downtown Santa Fe. Most things were closed on a Sunday but it was a delightful town nonetheless.

Day 10, Apr 30, Santa Fe NM – Dodge City KS, 511 mi.
Headed up the interstate to pick up a two-lane that connects to old Route 50. Stunning scenery, off in the distance were the snow capped Rockies and miles and miles of grazing land. The two-lane was interesting, not crowded but just did not have the magic of old 66. Connected to old Route 50 in La Junta Colorado.

Unlike old Route 66, Route 50 has never been replaced by an interstate so is still heavily traveled; primarily by big semi’s! It’s still mainly two-lane, so it is tedious driving when you get behind a line of 18 wheelers. Needless to day, the occasional addition of a passing lane was a welcome sight. Found out the MG would top a hundred getting by as many semi’s as possible on these occasional passing lanes!

Despite the tedious driving, still managed to travel 511 miles today. Pulled into Dodge City Kansas as it was getting into the late afternoon and thought it would be an interesting place to spend the night. Booked into the Wyatt Earp Motor lodge and set off to explore Dodge City. There is virtually nothing remaining of the old western town, the oldest part of town seems to date from the ‘20’s.

One of the more exciting events of the trip occurred in Dodge City. Coming out of the motel to drive into town we heard a siren but didn’t think much of it. Drove into town, parked and the siren was still sounding but did notice the sky was very strange and dark, it then occurred to me, was this a tornado warning? Hey, we are a couple of guys from the east – what do we know?. Asked some people standing outside an office building, and sure enough it was! Neat!

Walked up a hill to a big parking lot where we actually had a pretty good view. The sky was very dark off in one direction. A number of people were milling about and we began talking to a fellow that had a weather app on his iPhone and he showed us the rotating graphic on the screen! It was moving away from our direction, so there was no danger but what a incredible thing to witness. He explained that this was a rain shrouded tornado, so the spinning funnel is not visible, only a very dark cloud reaching all the way to the ground! What a sight! After a while, it moved on, the siren stopped and everyone just went on with their business – another normal day in Dodge City Kansas I suppose.

John wanted a steak for dinner considering we were in Dodge City. I’m not a big steak eater, but every now and then one is ok. So off we went to be best recommended steak restaurant in Dodge City.

Day 11, May 1, Dodge City KS – Jefferson City MO, 467 mi.
Up and on the road bright and early, the two-lane Route 50 is still heavily traveled by big semi’s, so we definitely made use of the occasional passing lanes.

The land is as flat as a pool table and one can see for vast distances and the road incredibly straight. A number of huge wind farms out here. They appear to be integrated into farm land so all around the wind turbines are crops, what a great use of land. The expanse of the land is incredible – It truly makes one appreciate what it must have been like to have traversed this part of the country on horseback or wagon or even Model T. What a daunting task that must have been.

We were going to be passing by Kansas City, so I thought I might take the opportunity to see if we could get the oil changed. Referred to the MG Club directory list of British Car shops and called Foreign Car Enterprise in Kansas City – they said no problem, bring her in. Kansas City is big! There was road construction going into Kansas City so we encountered the first stop and go traffic on the entire trip, but all things considered, I’ve seen worse just getting into Washington D.C. during a normal rush hour.

Found the shop in a somewhat strange part of town but Craig and his crew at Foreign Car Enterprise were delightful people. They had the oil and filter changed in short order while someone showed us around their shop. Several nice restorations going on and just finishing up a beautiful TR-4A. Made our way back out of Kansas City and on down the road.

Met up with an old friend of John’s in Sadelia MO for an early dinner and then headed on to Jefferson City and booked into a new Super 8, what a nice motel! A world of difference from the old Super 8 variety.

Day 12, May 2, Jefferson City MO – Huntington WV 584 mi.
Jefferson City to St. Louis was our last stretch of two-lane. We had decided to take the interstate from St. Louis on home. Route 50 would have been nicer if there weren’t so many semi’s but it was now getting tedious. Picked up I 44, crossed the Mississippi River and we were now back “east of the Mississippi.” The land and scenery began feeling much more like home.

The rest of the day was boring interstate driving with the traffic becoming heavier. Made it to Huntington West Virginia, booked into another Super 8 that actually had an indoor swimming pool so I was, at last, able to use the swimming trunks I had been carrying the entire trip.

Day 13, May 2, Huntington WV – Home, 348 mi.
This was the return home day. We were both ready to get home, particularly now that it was interstate driving. We were in Staunton before noon, and I was home on the farm by 2:00.

What a trip, 4,200 miles. Some incredible sights and experiences. Old Route 66 was everything I had imagined. There are an amazing number of things to see and experience and made for some wonderful memories. It truly does make one reflect on how times have changed.

A few thoughts on a trip like this in a 40 year old MG: my car has a 5-speed gearbox so cruising at 70 – 80 was effortless. The seats have been re-done and I was absolutely astonished at how comfortable they were – not once did I get a cramp or ache and I’m nearly 6’ 1”. Spare parts are essential, even for just piece of mind. My attitude is that if a component would fail and leave you dead in the water and a spare can be easily carried, one should take a spare – I also learned the hard way, to make sure of the condition of the spares! Other than that, the MG was great – just cruised along with just a couple of minor hiccups. The high altitudes out west play havoc with carburetor mixture and I suppose I could have readjusted the carbs for the altitude but I didn’t bother. I was a bit surprised that we did not see another single classic car on old Route 66. We did see a Healey 3000 driving down Main Street in Tucumcari but Kevin at the motel told us he was a local. My MGB is not air-conditioned so we wanted to do this trip before the peak of summer and it’s a good thing! The temperatures were mostly perfect, in the 70’s and 80’s although it did creep into the low 90’s in New Mexico – and this was the end of April!. I couldn’t imagine doing this trip in July or August, the heat must be just unbelievable – even in an air-conditioned car, you would never want to stop, get out, walk around and explore – which is one of the delights of a trip like this. One final note on preparation – make sure your AAA towing is paid up and the MGB club directory is in the glovebox.

What a kick!