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After you finish visiting Charlston (and there is a LOT to see, there, too) you might try finding the Magnolia Plantation and Gardens up on the Ashley river - Worth the side trip.

Many ways to get to Savannah, both fast and slow.  The best slow (non-Interstate) way is to travel down SC 17 to Garden Corner and then SC 21 down to Beaufort, which is a very pretty, smaller version of Charleston with lots to see, like the planter's mansions to the East of Carteret St.  Take the horse-drawn carriage tour.  The Penn Center in Frogmore out on St. Helena Island is worth the trip but out of the way a bit.  

Take SC 170 out of the west side of Beaufort to SC 17 and into Savannah over the Hutchinson Island Bridge and find your way to the tourist center on MLK Blvd.  Take the Trolley Tour of Savannah (it's worth it).  You can get off and on at any of their stops.  Drive the Roadster around the parks (there is a park on every other block in the historic district.

Enjoy the trip!

Your welcome Stan.

The Presidential Chariot is resting comfortably on a bed of moss. Gravel is for peasants, or trailers.

Presedential chariot

That I 26 corridor between Spartanburg and I 95 is very busy. I should've warned you. Maybe you could take a backroad route coming back up from Savannah. It's about 6 hours, maybe 30 minutes more than the highway route, but would be a lot less stressful.

Maybe stop by Savannah for lunch to get as much Down South vibe as you can get. Coming up 276 to Brevard at the end, would be the last taste of twisties before parking your car on the trailer.

Have tools, will travel. This should be at the bottom of any description of our plastic fantastics.


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  • Presidential chariot

Woke up to rain. Hung out on the covered porch until the rain picked up and drove me inside. Read about Charleston and the Civil War on the bed until 1:00 while the rain slowed to a drizzle.

Met Lane for lunch in Mt. Pleasant. Left in a steady rain. Drove top up, windows fogging slightly across the bridge. Parked and went inside, only getting 2/3 wet. Ate lunch. Just as the card was being swiped, the sky opened up for a biblical-grade thunderstorm. Animals were lining up 2 by 2 headed for the dock to look for their ticket out.

Decided to scratch the carrier visit due to the fact that we only had a couple of hours and I couldn't even see the carrier from the parking lot due to the heavy rain. White knuckled back to the inn wiping the windshield every 10 seconds or so. Got to the room in time to watch the rain drop to a drizzle. Here I am on the covered porch watching traffic go by again.

I'm starting to understand Lane's dislike for Charleston weather.

Last edited by Stan Galat
@Stan Galat posted:

Thanks to all who had anything to do with this trip, but especially to Carlos for opening his hometown and the car-guy wonderland that is the Pisgah Forest. As everybody has alluded - this is a pretty serious driver's weekend, with some of the best roads east of the Mississippi (maybe anywhere). The roads are Speedster/Spyder sized, and while other cars are welcome, the thing is best experienced in a dialed in clown car operating at 8 or 9/10ths. I could drive The Rattler every day of the rest of my life and never get tired of it.

As this was the 3rd or 4th time we've done this, and as Jeanie has gamely come along for at least one ride every time (even though she doesn't like spirited driving), she requested ahead of time that we make an actual vacation of it and head down to Charleston and Savannah after the party broke up on Sunday AM. I booked the AirBnBs for little downtown inns.

We decided to leave the limo and trailer up in Brevard with Carlos (thanks @Carlos G!) and drive the speedster down to the coast since we'd be staying in the interiors of old cities not set up for 40+ ft of rig. We left Brevard in the speedster with the top up due to the predicted rain, but put it down by the time we got very far on I26E. Every interstate highway in America has it's own "feel" and I figured out pretty quickly that I26 is about 1-2 lanes too narrow and traffic is heavy and fast the all the way through NC and SC. We both pretty much hate driving with the top up, and the car likes cruising open much better. The added visibility was almost a requirement on this highway.

I woke up on Sunday with a toothache and an aching back, and by Spartanburg I was hurting pretty badly. Somewhere between Spartanburg and Columbia, my oil light came on and my tach started jumping around. I knew I had good oil pressure because I've got a gauge, but I immediately pulled off on the shoulder with extremely busy (and fast) traffic whizzing around me and shut off the car, mostly out of habit.

I assessed the situation and hoped to get a little further down the road to get a bit further off the road. I tried to restart the car, but was dead in the water. The engine cranked over for about 10 seconds before I gave up - I knew it wasn't going to restart and I didn't want to drain the battery. I sat in the car - tooth throbbing, back hurting,  and traffic buzzing my door. I asked the Lord to help me find the issue quickly.

I suspected a ground problem, since I knew I had oil pressure but the tach was bouncing and the oil light was on. I hobbled out of the car carefully and went to the back. I gingerly opened the decklid and looked straight at the coil mounted upside down on the shroud. I felt underneath the coil and came up with a broken ground wire in roughly 3 seconds. The coil had slipped down in the clamp and rested on the hex bar, where the wire had work-hardened and broken off cleanly at the ring terminal. I went to the front of the car, got out the tool bag and the parts bag labeled "wiring", found a new ring terminal, stripped the broken wire back, and crimped on a new terminal. I replaced the wire on the coil, went around and started the car before it completed 1/2 revolution on the crank.

I zip-tyed the coil so it wouldn't slip down again and put everything back together. We were back on the way in less than 5 minutes. We drove on the Spartanburg, where we ate lunch and got some toothache gel. Traffic started thinning out and we rolled into Charleston by 5:00 and got settled into the Inn. I slept like a baby that night and woke up yesterday morning with the toothache gone and my back feeling better. We had a great day exploring downtown.

The moral of the boring story? You don't need to be a mechanic to own one of these cars, but it's important to understand how they work and what might go wrong. Prayer helps. It's been a long time since a "real" car required this and a lot of guys just can't deal with the uncertainty of it, and deem this sort of thing "unreliability".

It's not. My car is dead-nuts reliable, as long as I think about what is happening and what it's trying to tell me. Carrying sensible spares and tools to make simple repairs is something all automobiles used to require and these cars still do (regardless of what kind of engine is behind the seats). Traveling like this gives the entire thing a feel of a little bit of adventure.

You either like that or you don't.

I do.

“Adventure is misery recounted at leisure.” Some 19th Century explorer a friend quoted to me after telling my tale of riding my Ducati Monster from Utah to NYC.

"I'm starting to understand Lane's dislike for Charleston weather."

Yup.  When it rains here it's often Biblical.  We set a new record for this date today at 2.97", and it's still raining.  Between hurricanes October is usually a dry month.


I'm a week late and more than a dollar short, but the SC is back on four wheels and driveable.  @chines1 and I exchanged a lot of lengthy emails this week and I now understand how the rear suspension is supposed to work - something I'm not sure I can say for my friends at the Porsche place.  I'm sure they did their best, but this was just a bit too alien for the tech to figure out.  I haven't driven it yet (the rain again) and may need to tweak some settings, but I'm pretty sure it's near where it needs to be.

"I'm starting to understand Lane's dislike for Charleston weather."

Yup.  When it rains here it's often Biblical.  We set a new record for this date today at 2.97", and it's still raining.  Between hurricanes October is usually a dry month.


I'm a week late and more than a dollar short, but the SC is back on four wheels and driveable.  @chines1 and I exchanged a lot of lengthy emails this week and I now understand how the rear suspension is supposed to work - something I'm not sure I can say for my friends at the Porsche place.  I'm sure they did their best, but this was just a bit too alien for the tech to figure out.  I haven't driven it yet (the rain again) and may need to tweak some settings, but I'm pretty sure it's near where it needs to be.

You might want to do a little sleuthing to see if there’s a vintage race car shop in your area. From what I understand, the GTS suspension SE uses is based on a Chevron B25 (29?) sports racer chassis. They might understand your suspension a lot better than car mechanics.

No.  I noticed it before the car went to them.  At that point it looked like a cut in the wide part/flange/whatever.  I also noticed the the control arm bushing tube (attachment point - whatever it's called) didn't appear to be completely parallel to the frame.  The shop's alignment just worsened the problem considerably.

I have to say that it's been interesting - and confidence inspiring - to get in there and work on it since Carey edjumacated me on the mysteries of this suspension.  The upper control arm has a helm joint to adjust camber, while the lower trailing link has a helm for adjusting toe/track.  The upper trailing link basically steadies the upper control arm and shouldn't be used in the adjustments, but its heims are adjusted to neutral once the others are set.  I have both sides symmetrical as far as I can measure.  Now I need to drive it to settle things and then see how close I am.

@Stan Galat

Don't know your schedule, but my old car club in Beaufort is having a BIG cruise night this Friday evening at the Grayco Hardware store, 136 Sea Island Parkway, Beaufort, SC from 4:30 to 7pm (That's on SC 21 out on Lady's Island).  They typically get 40+ cars there and a bunch of older members will remember me, like Jim Kampi, Peter McEwan and Mike Keyserling.  The Best Western hotel on Bay street is a handy place to stay unless you're elsewhere or have an airB&B.

Thanks Gordon, but I'm probably gonna' pass. If I committed to it, It would be pretty much guaranteed to rain the entire weekend. Who knows? If I participated, the earth might open up and swallow the entire get-together.

We just got into Savannah - we're staying in an AirBnB in the historic district a couple of blocks from Forsyth Park, a sweet suite in a converted mansion on Jones St. We had a similar 1850-ish place in Charleston, but I already like this place considerably better than anything I saw in Chuck-Town, South Cackalacky, which was almost a total bust for us.

The weather in the (un)Holy City was abysmal. I've always thought Lane was exaggerating with his disgust for the heat/humidity - but it's freaking October, and the windows on every building were impossible to see through, due to the condensation buildup on the panes. We took a $50 bus tour and couldn't see a thing because the windows were steamed up on the outside of the bus. The entire downtown smells like rotting wood and mildew and/or burning sulfur. Perhaps the early settlers stopped and set up shop there, not wanting to go further because they (rightly?) suspected they were at the last weigh-station before descending into the underworld. The only thing missing was a peat bog, but maybe I just missed it.

It rained non-stop for the 3 days we tried to learn to love it. Every time we planned an activity, the sky opened up to move from a steady shower to a biblical punishment spec thunderstorm. To add insult to injury, the smoke detector in our room was chirped steadily every morning we were there from 6:30 until about 10:00. A replacement battery did nothing, I think it acted out of spite against our being there. A good time was had by all.

We gave up and loaded damp luggage in a steady rain into a car that smelled like a wet dog and drove the 2 hrs from there to Savannah in a thunderstorm this afternoon. If the car had broken down on the road, I might have been tempted to set it ablaze, had I not been aware that a fire would be an impossibility in these conditions.

I loved my car last weekend up in the Smoky Mountains. Down here? I'm (again) giving @Lane Anderson credit for having stuck it out with a Speedster for so long in an environment so inhospitable to having one. I'm not sure I would have.

My car is sealed considerably better than a regular speedster (with the roll up windows and all), but is still quite porous in the usual places. The worst of speedster driving in the rain down here is the fog on the windshield, which can only be alleviated by rolling the windows down (which pretty much negates the advantage of having them). I've driven through heavy thunderstorms in my car in the past, but always running through them, darting though a gap and across a squall line sweeping the plains. I've never had to decide between spraying down the inside of the car with God's own pressure washer and trying to drive (blind) from inside the devil's sealed sauna for an entire week. I would almost rather drive my car in the snow, and that's saying something.

But now we're here. The car will (blessedly) be parked until Sunday morning, which should only cost about as much as just giving it away. Some of the restaurants most highly recommended to us by friends are located within a ball's throw of the front door - one of them less than 20 ft away, so walking around is just fine. It's been raining here for 3 days, just like in Charleston - but somehow I can see through all the windows, and the city doesn't smell like it died a week ago, so there's that.

The historic district in Savannah is almost impossibly pretty. Jeanie has already fallen in love with the place.

More updates as they develop...

Last edited by Stan Galat

@Stan Galat

If Jeannie likes it now, she would absolutely LOVE IT TO PIECES in late March/April when all of the flowering shrubs and gardens explode in blossoms.   Savannah is absolutely our favorite Southern city (with Charleston, in good weather, a close second) while Beaufort (more of a "Mini-Savannah) is our favorite small town.

When General Sherman had left Atlanta in a burnt ruins he headed straight to Savannah, getting there (IIRC) on December 22'nd and captured the city without firing a shot.  He presented the city to Abraham Lincoln as a Christmas present because he considered it "too pretty to burn".  (and now you understand his gift).  They tell about that on the Trolley Tour.  

Sherman (a West Point Grad) had been courting a Charleston woman before he joined the Union Army and they called off the engagement when the Civil war broke out.  I don't recall her name, but a month or so after capturing Savannah,  when Sherman's Union land forces took over Charleston (again, with little damage to the city) he presented the preservation of Charleston to his ex-fiancé as a birthday present (the old softy).

Who says Army Generals don't have feelings?

Marty's right.  In a few weeks it'll be beautiful and will stay that way until January, at which point it will be chilly, with the occasional surprisingly cold day.  By late February it'll start having nice days, which get better until May, at which point it starts getting warm.  June is when the warmth has set in for good.  The real humidity arrives late in the month and stays through most of October.

The weather has well and truly sucked this week, but even without the rain the humidity has been epic.  Working on the car the last few nights was no fun as I was dripping sweat within minutes.  An hour or so was about all I could do either night.  The reason to have A/C (which I didn't have) in a Speedster here is not to keep you cool, but to defog the windshield in the rain.

Rain-X for exterior car glass (windshield/head lights and mirrors) makes an interior product called Fog-X for inside of the windshield.  It works well in keeping condensation off inside of windshield.

We have had rain 2 hours per day (and repeated at night) here in NW FL for last 4 days.  Record accumulation and lots of local flooding on non-Interstate roads.  There has to be a way to get all this excess rain to the West!

Last edited by WOLFGANG

First test drive with the new suspension setup went well.  Under hard acceleration I can feel a little pull to one side, indicating that I don't have the track set perfectly.  Now I have to come up with an alignment measuring setup.

Four jack stands, string, and a tape measure will do nicely for measuring track and toe-in. Make the strings perfectly parallel at hub center.

A 2 foot carpenters square works really well on smooth concrete for checking camber. Simple trigonometry gives distance at the top of the square equaling camber values. 1/8" at the top of the tire(24" from the ground) equals about 1/3 degree of camber, so 3/8" is almost a degree. What's nice about the square and strings is the floor doesn't have to be dead level, just reasonably flat.

This stuff is detailed in "How to Make Your Car Handle" by Fred Puhn.

I use ART(Advanced Racing Technologies) laser toe plates and the SMART camber gauge, along with the scales which you've seen.

My toe plates are a 20 year old version, and were nowhere near as nice or expensive as what's available today. Fun fact, the ART toe plates are made in Staatsburg NY, about 40 minutes from my house.

Last edited by DannyP

Thanks Danny!  Four jack stands and a tape measure I have.  I'll get the string  tomorrow.  If I can get a small level with some sort of inclinometer, I can check camber.  It's pretty close.  I'll also look into the camber gauge if it's not too expensive.

YIKES!!  Ok, that's a bit more than I want to spend.  I'll see if one of my track buddies has one first.

Last edited by Lane Anderson

fwiw I measure camber with a small bubble level on the wheel (like this). I believe the bulgy bit on the bottom of every in-service tire would throw off the measurement if taken from there, making the negative camber look like a little more than it is.

For what we're doing, though, probably doesn't matter: make them the same side to side and rave on.

Last edited by edsnova
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