Georges1991
Georges1991 Reader
8/11/20 11:05 p.m.

Well seeing as just about everything Oldsmobile has been canceled this year, I decided to make my own trip.

Left Wednesday morning with my usual sidekicks, a 12 year out of date map, a full 8 track caddy, a pack of smokes and sunglasses. Headed out of Chicago via the Dan Ryan Expy, and headed into Indiana and points east. I didn't really have much of a goal other than seeing the old Admin building, and the R.E.O. museum, and finding somewhere good to eat (and drink!) Then heading onward to Detroit.

At my first rest stop in New Buffalo Mich.


I alternated between interstate, and backroads. Not really a fan of the big slabs, but boy can a guy cover some mileage quick on them.

Humming along I had found a good AM Motown/Oldies station to keep me comapny as I wound my way through some beautiful SW Michigan countryside. 80 degrees and passing clouds, couldn't ask for anything better. Traffic started to pick up, although not appreciably to this Chicago guy, as I neared the outskirts of Lansing. I saw my first sign of the General as I got into town on Lansing Road. I had a rough idea of where the plant(s) are and were so I just followed the road to its intersection with Main St and made a right. A little jog here and there and there I was.



Hard to romanticize cracking concrete and half full lots of Cadillacs, but there was something special about being "here", in an Oldsmobile that I'm nearly certain hasn't returned to this region since September of 1974. If you squinted and hit your head against the A pillar hard enough,, you could almost pretend thats where we were..

Unfortunately time rolls on. we were here. August 2020, and this is what the Oldsmobile Administration Building looks like on a fine afternoon. Totally deserted, and a hideous chain link fence, but still a sight.




No security to speak of, and just a handful of passing cars, meant I took my time, had a smoke break and looked around. A few passers by waved but most seemed to not notice me which was just fine. Time to eat! Found a place calledLeRoys, near the plant. Good food and cold beer, can't complain about either, worth a stop. After filling up myself, it was time to fill the car, hit a station on the south side of town, and even with AC blasting, idling, and spirited runs to flirts with triple digits, I was averaging a nice 13.2 MPG. On to Detroit then.



Came into town on the Lodge Freeway and hopped off to see the Motown building. Very cool stop, and I recommend it to anyone, friendly staff too. Then U-Turned on Grand Blvd and headed to the old (Pre 2001) GM Headquarters.




Not an easy building to photograph by any means, and the State Troopers hovering around make sure you dont sit too long! What now? Well why not swing down Woodward and see downtown? Stopped for a drink at a place near the Fox Theater, which is beautiful and was highly impressed with Detroits rebuilding. New construction and rehabilitation everywhere, and great police presence. Felt safe in every corner of the city i went to. Drove down to the Renaissance Center and the plaza areas there, and enjoyed some public art and a nice stretch.


Then went to Belle Isle Park, and wow what a gorgeous place that is. Great views and lots to explore.




Then my next stop was the old Michigan Central Station. Glad to see the ongoing rehabilitation of the magnificent structure. Along with the seemingly non stop new construction heading out of the downtown area, really nice to see.


And in front of Michigan Central



Then after eventually finding an open ramp to the Chrysler Freeway it was time to leave and head south, why? For no reason other than saying I was in Ohio today too. After exiting I-75 I continued on US 24 South to the Ohio line.




Decided my Toledo experience should consist of Ice Cream and that's exactly what I did. Pa Jollys on Sylvania Ave, goot joint!



I then worked my way to US 20 west and set on to Chicago. Dark at this time, but 20 is fairly quiet and much more interesting than the Turnpike. I crossed into Indiana near Angola


After a quick truck stop windshield cleaning and a cold pop, I headed for the Toll Road. This area is one I'm quite familiar with so I didnt feel too bad about being on the interstate at this point. Plus it was getting late! About 1 AM I got my toll ticket, set the cruise at a nice 75 MPH and headed west to home.



Well not before one more stop to stretch the legs and the lungs, still looking pretty clean at 635 miles on the day!



After that, and paying my dues to the Toll Road system, I was greeted by the proverbial hockey stick to the teeth and made my offerings to the almighty Skyway Toll gate, which is astoundingly overpriced, but equally as convenient.



Then a short drive to the NW side where i keep my Oldsmobile, because my garage is full (thanks ma!) And that was all she, or he, wrote! 703 miles, averaging 13.3 over the trip. Innumerable bugs killed, one pack of Marlboros smoked, and a great time was had.



Hope you enjoyed the travel log, or at least the pictures, and if you didn't why the hell did you read it all anyway?

Thanks for coming along,

George

pilotbraden
pilotbraden UltraDork
8/12/20 3:03 a.m.

Dude, this is inspiring.  I am going to Chicago  and Milwaukee  within the fortnight  to have a couple of beers  with  old friends driving my 78 f150 

Cheers

slantsix
slantsix Reader
8/13/20 2:18 p.m.

Always love a good trip that involves Detroit and the surrounding areas.

 

 

Greg

GhiaMonster
GhiaMonster Reader
8/13/20 2:56 p.m.

Great trip to follow along with.  Cool to see all the work going on in Detroit for sure. 

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