I know this post is long overdue but once we arrived in San Francisco things just got out of hand with the dog arriving and the general process of re-settling into a country, not to mention starting a new job.
The car itself has settled very neatly into it’s daily grind as my commuter nail. I do 90 miles a day and it has been mostly without incident. I say mostly as it has already had it’s first AAA visit when the battery threw a cell and needed replacement outside the 7-11 in Mountain View. It turned out the car still had it’s original battery complete with German gerfestungelluft, fishtrousers and pferdesterke labels on the side. And… the sunroof has stuck and makes horrible plastic stretching and cracking noises if you dare to press the button in any direction. This combined with a thirst for oil that wouldn’t scare the average Alfa Romeo owner does not betray the significant mileage this vehicle has covered.
Niggles aside it still feels like a solid, honest and dependable car that I own the pink slip for. I also got a stage closer to obtaining California registration as it passed the smog test today with flying colours, next step is remove the drug dealer window tint and trek down to the DMV. I just hope it doesn’t bankrupt me in the near future with repair bills. If this blog disappears from the internet and you see a 330xi for sale on the San Francisco Bay Area craigslist, assume this is not a car you should be buying.
As for the road trip. Crossing the country at high speed is something everyone should do once, just not twice. It was two days before I stopped feeling the sensation of being in a moving car! In the end we took 76 hours including two overnight stops from start to finish. We beat the dog by just over an hour. The car gave and continues to give a pretty consistent 23mpg no matter what speed we went.
I learned that Jerry is a fine road trip companion and an excellent driver, that the back seat of a 3 series BMW is just fine to sleep on if you are 5’8″ tall but if you are 6′ something it is a torture chamber. I also learned that the drivers in Dallas are the worst I’ve seen in North America and having a Valentine One merely alerts you to the fact you are about to be pinched for speeding rather than helps you avoid it. Although, I think without it we would have had more than 2 “caught by the fuzz” posts.
Next time I cross the country I’d like to take a little more time and see some of the crazy things littered across America. Prada Marfa was a particular highlight as was Rix Pit BBQ in Fort Stockton. We mostly managed to avoid eating in chain restaurants and the long days behind the wheel meant we could eat quite a lot and not get fat!
I’m already planning on adding a mid-90s Merc E320 Cabrio to my collection for the summer. My research tells me they are a lot cheaper in Florida than they are in California.