“It was an Elan. A delightful little thing famously made of Kleenex and unicorn farts.” ~ Sam Smith
DAY ELEVEN – What a day! I met up with Ted Taylor at a gas station near Warrenton, VA with an ailing car but glad to have another car with me on the way for peace of mind. Ted had the route and was leading so for the first time in weeks, I was just able to drive along enjoying the road and the scenery without worrying where the turns were. The fear of missing turns has become a stressor for me because even on the smaller roads there is frequently little time to discern between the route I am looking for and the one that sounds similar but goes the wrong way. So it was that Ted led us to lunch trough Leesburg and into Maryland.
As we drove through the Leesburg area I noted a sign that said “Journey through hallowed ground” and I thought of all the history in the area we were passing through. From the revolutionary times to the battles nearby in the civil war, there was a lot of blood shed on this ground. I did find it ironic that the hallowed ground contained a brand new housing development. Apparently, hallowed only goes so far.
When we crossed the Potomac at Point of Rocks Maryland, we started one of the most wonderful bits of road during the whole day. I might rate Maryland roads as some of the best of the trip so far. At one point we were on a two lane road dipping and swaying alongside I-270 heading to Baltimore and I was confident that we had the better deal. It was almost as if they were heading to Baltiless rather than Baltimore. It would have been even better if my car were completely intact. It seems that a shock absorber in the right rear corner virtually exploded rendering the car helpless in the turns and over bumps. The softness manifested in a porpoising oscillation, especially around left corners or over bumps, and, while stopping hard. This was serious and there was no way I could proceed all the way to Maine and home with this problem. Thus, it was a blessing that I was headed with escort to RD Enterprises the premier Lotus parts supplier in the eastern United States. I had planned to stop there anyway at the invitation of Ray and Linda Psulkowski whom I have gotten to know through numerous Lotus meets and from parts purchase over the years. In the meantime, Ted guided me to our lunch stop at a wonderful BBQ place where we met up with Glen Schostak, Don Butler and his son Brandon.
Hi, I’m Ross and I’m a tripoholic. I love driving especially in my old cars and then writing about the adventure that always follows. I’m old enough to know better but that doesn’t stop me. If you like stories of the road, every word true no matter how far fetched it may seem, then grab a beer or a cup of coffee and join me!
Subscribe to My Blog
Get new content delivered directly to your inbox.
After a delightful lunch, and a thorough review of the problem with the Elan, we adjourned to Don Butler’s shop where he and Brandon did a diagnostic inspection and strongly recommended we not go any further than Ray’s place, get the parts and fix the car.
So that is exactly what we did. With Ted leading and Glen behind I was the wounded Elan sandwich being taken care of by my wingmen who were quite diligent. We rolled on but I felt awfully small near the trucks. At one point Glen strongly recommended that I slow down saying the car looked scary going around a sharp left turn. He put it this way “Do you know how dangerous it is without the locating function of the intact shock absorber?” I did not and once he spelled it out I was no longer blissfully ignorant of the danger so I stressed all the way to RD.
I will post a lengthy description of the repairs tomorrow, but in the meantime, Linda, Ray, Ted, Glen and Dave and Charlene Hutchison all went to a wonderful dinner while the Elan waited in the shop.
Impressions from the twelfth day:
• It turned cold and windy today. At one point the temperature sign on a bank I passed read 44 degrees. At least it wasn’t raining. The front had passed as we headed north from Virginia and it was dry when we got to lunch.
• The roads in Maryland were a surprise. I had only experienced the eastern shore in prior trips and found this part of the state to be completely different and lovely.
• I was lucky to have my escort and even more to have Don Butler who is one of the most experienced Lotus Elan mechanics around diagnose my car problem and give me a way to solve it.
• There will not be a “Bet on the Breakdown” winner. So, all you folks who guessed can send those donations now. The kids need our support more than I need your cynical bets, right? Thanks for playing!