OCA Nationals Trip By Grant Warner


The Monday morning of July 17th was sunny and warm in Barstow at the Mc Donald’s restaurant meeting location where our caravan gathered for a 9:00am jump off for our first leg of the journey to Albuquerque New Mexico.

Our initial caravan group consisted of our truck & trailer with the race car, new member Jerry Wade and his wife Joyce trailering their freshly restored 68 Cutlass, Don and Gina with their 71 W-30, the Parsons driving their brand X SUV, Jeff Stanish and his son with their mid-80’s Delta 88, and Joe Tannerbauer with his trusty Prius. There was another group of So Cal and Nor Cal folks that had left earlier in the day including Larry Ewing, Milton Yee, Keith Berg, Art Whitney and a couple of others in an attempt to beat the heat across the desert.

The first leg of our drive included two gas/restroom stops and the only vehicle problem encountered was Don’s W-30 which blew an a/c pressure line making a bit of a mess in the engine compartment and rendering the a/c unusable for the remainder of the trip (bad timing in the desert). When we stopped in Winslow to evaluate this problem and get fuel, we met up with some members of the Arizona chapter including Jim Shultz trailering his beautiful unrestored 58 Olds as well as Art Whitney in his 50’ 88 and Jim Lentini and his grandson Dominic with his 52 Olds who had left earlier in the day. One of the Nor Cal members had a tire blow out right in Winslow and was already being assisted by other club members to get back on the road so once we fueled up, we headed out on our way to Flagstaff.

The Twin Arrows Casino/Hotel on the far side of Flagstaff was our first evening stop and was a very nice facility with great rooms, friendly service, good food, and of course, gambling! There had to be some restraint here not to spend all our gas money..lol..

The following morning, we re-grouped in the hotel parking lot and headed out on our way to Albuquerque, again with two scheduled gas/ food stops. This leg of the trip we encountered some rain but not severe enough to stop so we marched on. Apparently, some of the earlier caravan groups actually had to stop on the side of the road to let the storm pass due to the severity.
We arrived in Albuquerque around 5:30pm on Tuesday without any breakdowns or problems and all found their way to their rooms and parking spaces.

Checking in with the show staff was done on Wednesday morning and then it was time to socialize, catch up with old friends, and do some site seeing in town and the surrounding areas for the next two days. The Unser Museum was a well-attended tour with Al Unser showing up and signing autographs and posing for photos on Wednesday and yes, he still owns the 1970 442 convertible pace