I saw on Instagram that Prestone was looking for 90 cars to help ‘em celebrate their 90th anniversary.
They wanted to do a rally from Phoenix, AZ to Los Angeles, CA.
If you read my previous installment: “The 55’s Daily Carry” you’ll remember The 55 is pretty well prepared for life out on the open road.
If you haven’t read it, do me a favor, hit the link and give it a look.
I fueled it up, left LA and didn’t stop again until I got to exit 45 on I-10 in Arizona.
That left a little over 100 miles to go until I got to Phoenix.
But, get this – the gas pump stopped itself after 16 gallons.
I tried to squeeze in a little more but it was full.
Apparently after all the fiddling I’d done with my new Holley Sniper EFI software, I was finally getting descent mileage!
After doing the math I came up with almost 17mpg.
For The 55 that’s fantastic!!.
Back on the road, I thought I was making good time until I remembered Arizona doesn’t partake in Daylight Savings Time.
That’s alright, I was only an hour late for dinner with my old Team Chevy teammates.
The next morning, we were scheduled to meet Kyle from Prestone at West World Scottsdale.
I drive up to find blinding yellow, 69 Camaro sitting there all alone in a parking lot.
It looked like it had just been pulled out of an enclosed trailer, but there was no trailer to be found.
When I asked the owner of the car if he ever drove it, he told me he’d just driven it here from North Carolina.
The yellow Camaro looked pristine, and it was.
It’s The Goodguy’s logo Camaro – ya know, the yellow Camaro that they use on their logos and stuff.
It is beautiful.
And it’s a driver.
It was done by RideTech over two years ago, and it’s got over 28,000 miles on it now.
It’s got a Lingenfelter massaged LSA under the hood, hooked up to a T-56 6-speed and riding on Forgeline wheels.
As I’m checking out the Camaro three squarebody trucks roll up – they’re part of the “Squarebody Syndicate.”
73 and up Chevy trucks that are bagged with a little patina on the outside, but underneath they’re show quality and build to be abused.
Kyle tells us that Bam, the Prestone big-rig driver, is flying in soon and he’ll be following us out in the big-rig so we’ve gotta get a move on.
Kyle instructs us to top-off our gas tanks so we can head out on the open road.
Ten minutes into the rally we’re cruising along the 10 when I see a big white puff of smoke two cars ahead of me.
It looks like one of the Square Body Syndicate trucks has locked up his brakes.
We all pull over to the side of the freeway and pop the hood to see what’s up.
It turns out the power-steering pump seal went out so it shot power-steering fluid all over the header and that caused the white smoke.
Thank goodness it happened just before the exit to their shop.
So, while they got to work I took an impromptu, self-guided tour of their shop: Hubcaps.
They’ve got some super cool stuff hanging around like a twin-turbo T-Bird, to an LSA infested Nomad to another LSA’d 49 Hudson.
As they got to work on the power-steering pump seal, Kyle gotta call from Bam saying that he’d just passed us on the freeway.
We’ve gotta get going.
The Square Body Syndicate guys said they’d get it all fixed up and meet us back out on the road.
As Kyle rallied up the troops to leave, The 55’s starting problem reared its ugly head.
And to add insult to injury, I had just installed a brand new Summit Racing mini-starter last week so this wouldn’t happen.
After 30 minutes The 55 roared to life and I texted Kyle I was back on the road again.
Now I think I need a remote starter solenoid to solve the hot-start problem…
What else do you think it could be?
An hour later I gotta text from Kyle telling me to meet ‘em at good old exit 45 to regroup.
That’s when the real fun began.
Bam led the way for a while in the Prestone big-rig so we could get some GoPro rolling shots.
After we’d got the shots, Ed in the Goodguys Camaro put the hammer down.
Ed & I had been talking earlier and it turns out he’s good friends with the guy who owns my Holy Grail Camaro: “Hellfire.”
Ed does a lot of these rallies with a lot of bad-ass Camaros, so he’s a seasoned rally driver.
I am not.
But I’m a good follower and when it comes to driving, I’m a fairly quick learner.
For the rest of the way into LA , Kyle in his C-10 & me in The 55 followed Ed in that bad-ass 69 Camaro.
And I’m proud to say The 55 kept up the whole time.
Ed texted this shot to me the next day telling me he couldn’t shake me.
You can just make out The 55 in the rear window.
The next morning we got up early and kicked off the Prestone LA Rally at Randy’s Donuts.
We even had some more hot rods show up and join the rally.
From there we went over to see our friends at The Enthusiast Network – TEN.
Ya know, the guys who do Hot Rod Magazine, Car Craft and Motor Trend magazines?
They had the Prestone AMX Javelin “Defiant” that the Ring Brother’s had built and just debuted at SEMA a few weeks ago.
The Javelin was at TEN for some photo shoots and now we were picking it up so it could go on a part of the rally with us.
This thing is a full-on one-off custom car.
It’s gotta custom carbon fiber front end, custom wheels, custom brakes and a big-nasty HEMI under the hood with a Whipple super-charger putting out over 1000hp.
As full-on one-off custom cars go this one had a full-on one-off custom ignition switch.
And they didn’t know where to find it.
Turns out it was hiding there in plain sight all along.
It looks like an ejection button – it’s a round little red knob in the middle of the center console.
Once they figured out how to open the trunk to connect the battery they lit the switch and fired it up.
I’d seen it a SEMA and I’d seen plenty of videos of it on the internet but I’d never seen it alive in person.
It literally roared to life.
We left TEN driving with the Ring Brothers Javelin with Bam at the wheel.
The Javelin had to go straight to The Petersen to get ready for the party that night.
The rest of us made a little detour and had lunch in Venice Beach.
As we’re gearing up to roll outta Venice one of the trucks wouldn’t start.
Does anyone have jumper-cables?
Turns out it was a bad battery connector.
We got him situated and we were our way over to The Petersen.
Ya gotta love The Petersen.
I mean, just check out the parking lot.
And you know if Larry Chen is there taking pictures, there’s gotta be some quality machinery.
If you’re in LA and you like cars you’ve gotta go to The Petersen.
After a beautiful sunset I was involved in my first police escort.
We got a police escort from The Petersen Automotive Museum all the way down to the Los Angeles Convention Center in the middle of rush-hour traffic.
It was a pretty cool thing to see all of these hot rods rolling together breaking the law legally.
Running thru red light after red light with the blessing of the LAPD.
Life is good.
Usually traffic in downtown LA can be unforgiving.
We were quite a sight to behold.
After we parked the cars in a secured lot for the night we had dinner and went to bed.
We had to be up bright and early to move the cars under the tent for the Media Reception to kick off the LA Auto Show.
It’s amazing how quiet and empty the streets of downtown LA can be at four in the morning.
We broke that silence with a whole lotta horsepower.
I drove The 55 over in the first wave of cars that included Elvis’s Pantera that’s on loan from The Petersen.
As the story goes, Elvis bought the Pantera for his girlfriend Linda Thompson.
The two had just had a fight and Elvis was hoping to leave in a with a massive burnout but the Panera wouldn’t start.
So Elvis pulled out his .38 and shot it.
Kyle told me there were a few more cars in the garage that still needed to go over so I followed him one in case he needed some help.
Kyle didn’t need any help but Bam needed some supervision in the Ring Brother’s Javelin so I hopped in the passenger seat and we went for a little ride.
After he got it parked he was kind enough to let me sit in the drivers seat.
After breakfast and feeding the media we all drove into the LA Convention Center for the LA Auto Show.
We’re parked downstairs in The Garage Powered by Prestone.
After I got The 55 parked I went upstairs to see some old friends.
And meet some new ones.
And the ZR1 Convertible
The ZR1 is back!
Stop by the LA Auto Show and check it out.
And stop in and check out The 55 while you’re at it.
Take a picture and tag it on social media. #idrivea55 #The55
You’ve got until December 10th then it’s gone ’till next year.