Day 6 - May 14

On the Road Again

Vote for Doug Zaitz!We awoke at Doug's and were just rubbing our eyes when we got a call from Diane Sommers at their Veloce Motors shop saying that Dan already had our GTV up on the lift, saw the oil we were talking about, but didn't think that it looked like a pinion seal failure, and quizzed us more about the symptoms.  So we obliged, and then headed into Portland to meet them.  We arrived 45 minutes later, and Dan said, "Well, it's all fixed and you're ready to go."

Tech corner: Turns out that the problem was a blown brake master cylinder!  And the smoking oil that was on the muffler actually came from WITHIN the engine!  When the seal in the master cylinder went, it allowed brake fluid to be sucked into the engine intake via the brake booster, almost emptying the reservoir.  The unburned brake fluid oozed out the center muffler's drain and seams, right next to the differential, causing us to believe that the oil was thrown ONTO the muffler, rather than coming from within.  The clue we'd given Dan was the long downhill run just before the problem appeared—the closed throttle caused all the vacuum that sucked the oil out of the master cylinder.  The phenomenon would have caused some interesting braking problems not far down the road.   This woulda been a good one for Click and Clack.

So that resolved, we all looked the car over while she was on the lift, noted a couple of small issues that can be dealt with later, changed the oil, and pronounced her healthy and ready to cross America at around 9:30.  At 11:30 or so (you AROO guys know what we're talking about), we gave our thanks and said our goodbyes and were on the road.

Thanks once more, guys and gals!!!

We drove east (finally!) out of Portland, taking the VERY scenic Route 14 all the way up the north side of the Columbia River gorge, easily one of the most beautiful drives anywhere.  Unfortunately, it was dark when we came IN to Portland with Doug on Saturday and raining when we went OUT of Portland today, but it was still a stunning ride.

We hemmed and hawed about our planned route, thinking we might hit more Interstates to make up for our lost three days, but ... nahhhhhhh—back roads it is!  We're heading northeast up toward US Route 2, anticipating to travel across the top of the country.  Tonite we're in Spokane.   Adios!

This is where we went today
Today's Map

Veloce Motors
Here's the portal to Dan and Diane Sommers's Veloce Motors in downtown Portland. It's just one door wide, but holds around 20 cars and tons of heart.

Work, talk, work.
Dan has a lifetime of stories, all of them pretty damned interesting.  The red blob to his left is the nose of Keith Martin's Duetto vintage race car, currently for sale.

Columbia River Gorge
Not much to say.  Despite the dreariness of the weather today, this is a stunningly beautiful 100-mile-long area of our country.  (An Alfa GTV in the frame doesn't hurt.)

Beer(s) of the Day

Columbia Kölsch
Ice Harbor Brewing Company

Stumbled across this beer while stopping for a little lunch in Pasco, Washington.  It's brewed right in Pasco.  Had none for lunch (of course) but a few bottles helped us get this installment done.  Enjoyed it very much—an accurate and flavorful Kölsch-style beer.

Culture Feature

Did we take another wrong turn?  No, turns out that this Stonehenge is an accurate true-scale reproduction (in concrete) of the original in England, constructed to commemorate our World War I veterans. (We don't quite get the connection either.)

Alfa Spotting!


Day 1


(Except for a bunch while still in San Francisco)

Day 2


(No Alfas, but one Fiat X-1/9 parked, but standing on its own wheels)


Day 3


(No Alfas, no Fiats, but one Corvair that looked like it might have run)


Day 4


The Milano parked in Doug Zaitz's driveway when we pulled in.


Day 5


That's 20 or so on the Wine Tour, plus the three in Doug's loft.


Day 6


(All of them in the Veloce Motors garage.)






May 2001


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