GPz11 Reader
5/26/19 11:14 a.m.

So I was going thru the Hagerty magazine and saw an ad for the Freedom Road Rally. Also noticed it is going on during the week of our 15th wedding anniversary, Hey Honey, check this out. We can take the the XR since it's in May so the temperature shouldn't be bad at all (No AC). We were way wrong on the temps!! Geez, it was hot down there.

Started in Lexington, KY, went for a week and then back to Lexington. Different hotel every night and alot of attractions during the day. They also have a rescue truck and trailer incase there is an issue.

GPz11 Reader
5/26/19 11:20 a.m.

Freedom Road Rally day 0

Got loaded up and headed out about 7am and had a pretty uneventful drive down. Had to tighten the straps on the trailer a few times but no big deal. Got a pic of a real nice Corvair pick up when we stopped for lunch.

Had a detour around Indy since 65 was closed south because of an accident so we headed towards Cincinnati and then south to Lexington.

Made it to the starting hotel about 3pm local time and got the car unloaded. Put the truck and trailer tucked in tight for the week. We then got the car washed since it got schmutz on it and got the rally stickers applied.


Found out someone’s car died while headed down here, and they are local to the Missus and I. We’ve got an empty trailer and they’re only about an hour away. They seem to think they snapped the crank on their 64 Plymouth Fury. They all ready had things set up to get picked up and hauled back home but we tried. The trailer that we are borrowing belongs to a Mopar fanatic so I figured it was our duty to try to rescue them.


Attended the newbies meeting and then off the a fine dinner at Subway.


After that, we got to attend the normal meeting where they go over everything else about the event. Then went to move everything out of the truck and into the car. At that point I found out why no one else parked under the trees since my freshly washed car is now covered in bird doodoo. So move car and get out the spray wax to clean it up. Once that was all done, go to MickyD’s for some ice cream and call it a night. 

Tomorrow, we go see a horse place, some artist type place and a music museum.

GPz11 Reader
5/26/19 11:24 a.m.

Freedom Road Rally day 1

Mileage 100 miles

Temps low 80’s

Headed out to the Kentucky Horse Park which was only about 5 miles from the hotel so not a long start to the trip.


Holy crap, if you’re into horses, this is the place for you. Evidently they can have multiple horse competitions going on at once so we watched a jumping competition under their giant arena. I compared it to doing an autocross, they did a “track walk” first and had to memorize the course. Not sure if they are the same layout every time or not. I’d rather drive a car fast than sit on top of those horses jumping things. Did a trolly ride around the place which was cool.

During the scenic drive to the next stop, we had to check on the replica Thomas Flyer that was entered but he was all good. Someone was already getting the parts he needed.


We then stopped at the Kentucky Artesian Center, basically a arts and crafts type of handmade stuff for sale. So you could get a quilt, soap, welded bits of metal sculptures and such. They also had a restaurant but we didn’t hang out for too long. After that we went into downtown Berea but all the stores my Honey wanted to stop at were closed on Sundays.


The last place of the day was the Kentucky Music Hall of fame and museum. There was a lady doing a live concert and she pulled up a gentleman from another tour group that was also there. So they did a quick duet once they found him a guitar and tuned it.  We also walked around the museum saw the history of music for the area and how it started from the immigrants that came over from Europe.


We have been following the Kentucky Scenic Byway pretty much all day which IF your wife didn’t have motion sickness would be a total blast. However, I didn’t want my Honey ralphing on the side of the road so I kept a sedate pace.


We’ve stopped for the evening in London, KY and tomorrow, we head to Tennessee.

GPz11 Reader
5/26/19 11:28 a.m.

Freedom Road Rally day 2

Mileage 140 miles

Temps low 80’s

So today was kinda a long transit day, we started out in London and headed out to the original Sander’s Cafe (KFC) but they weren’t open yet and we had miles to burn.

While heading down the mountain, we had a lot of coasting along and I noticed the fuel pressure was only sitting about 20 psi or so instead on the normal 36 ish. The wideband was reading normal so not quite sure what’s up with that but the car is running just fine.


We arrived at the Coal Creek Miners museum in Rocky Top, TN and learned about about the coal wars and terrible accidents that happened in the mines around the area.  After checking out the museum, we walked behind it to have some awesome food at the Coal Creek Smokehouse BBQ. It’s a bit rustic place but the food makes up it!


After lunch, was the Norris Dam visitor’s center which they told us all about the TVA and building the damn.

From there we stopped at the WG Lenoir museum. Didn’t hang out too long since it was another couple hours till we got to the nights hotel. The fuel pressure was still playing up but the car is still just cruising along just fine.

Started about 9 this morning and rolled into the hotel about 6ish. The rally for the most parts sticks to side road and such, in the past two days we hit the expressway for a grand total of 2 miles.

Tomorrow is Bristol Motor Speedway which we’ve been told we will be on track.

GPz11 Reader
5/26/19 11:38 a.m.

Freedom Road Rally day 3

Mileage 121 miles

Temps in the mid to high 80’s


So this morning was a relatively short drive over the Bristol Motor Speedway where we will be allowed to do some laps behind a pace car.

You really don’t notice how steep the banking is until you drive onto the track. We had a quick drivers meeting and then went out to the track. The Missus went out with me on the first session so the pace was pretty sedate but we still caught up to the back of the group. Granted, there was a beautiful 40’s GMC 4x4 rolling on some giant tires so they were just cruising around.

We pulled into hot pit and the Missus got out to spectate and I got back into line. This time was supposed to be the fast group but that was subjective. I was behind a ‘69 Mustang that I ended passing since everyone kept dropping low in the corners and applying their brakes. I stayed up high and went around them. Wasn’t sure I was allowed to pass so I chilled out a bit after that once I caught up to the next car. Turns out it was ok to pass as long as I stayed high and the other went low. Oh well, it was cool to be going around the track in the first place.


After leaving the track, we drove for awhile till we stopped for lunch at the David Crocker Birthplace State Park. It was a little off the main route but it was a nice place.


From there is was short drive over to City Garage Car Museum which was kinda cool. The coolest car for me was the 1915 Van Blerck Speedster.

From the City Garage, we headed to Bush’s Visitor Center but because we spent so much time at the track, we basically just saw their movie and got with a picture with Duke.

Don't mind the wife's finger there, I think it runs in her family. Her Mom would do it also.

Then it was the drive into Pigeon Forge, TN. Wow, this town has a lot going on. Makes the Wisconsin Dells seem tame.


We did get to see a presentation by Jeff Mahl,  the great grandson of the winner of the 1908 New York to Paris car race. He told the reenactment as his great grandfather George Schuster Sr and was quite entertaining.

Got to hang out with Dolly a little bit and had no idea she was so tall.

GPz11 Reader
5/26/19 11:50 a.m.

Freedom Road Rally day 4

Mileage 85 miles

Temps high 80’s / low 90’s


This morning, we headed over to the Titanic Museum which was pretty interesting. When you get there, they give you a boarding pass with the name of a real passenger. At the end of the tour, you figure out if you survived or not. My wife survived and I did not.

From there, we went to the Floyd Garret Car Museum. Evidently Floyd’s health is failing so they don’t expect the museum to be around much longer. They did have the '69 Daytona that was a mangled wreck and was rebuilt on Chop, Cut, Rebuild.


We looked for a place for lunch after the car museum and found the Sevierville City Park which had a nice little creek running thru it.

After lunch, we went over to the outlet mall to find some long sleeve shirts with sunblock built into them. The temps down here are hotter then we expected and since the ol' car doesn’t have any AC, it gets pretty dang hot in there. My arm got a nice sunburn from hanging it out the window.


From there, we skipped the Rally’s route and just jumped on the highway to head up to Knoxville. Today is our 15th wedding anniversary so we went out for a nice dinner after cooling off in the hotel room.

GPz11 Reader
5/26/19 11:55 a.m.

Freedom Road Rally day 5

Mileage 145 miles

Came out in the morning from the hotel and saw this beauty sitting there.

Today was another hot day, in the upper 80’s / low 90’s so I was glad to have those long sleeve shirts to keep the sunburn in check.


Headed out from Knoxville to the American Museum of Science and Energy which was a very interesting place. Lots of information about the role of the Oak Ridge area for the development of the atomic bomb.


From there, we headed to the Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary. Now that is not a happy place, nor did I expect it to be. The stories that a previous guard from there told, were quite graphic and not family friendly. 

Tonight is also the Victory dinner that was held at the London, Ky Community Center. There was some very good catered food and some excellent pecan pie.


Also today, the fuel issues really started to get bad, more than once, would glance down and see under 10 psi on the gauge. We could also tell things weren’t right by the way the car was running but it was still going. If things did go totally wrong, the rally does have a trailer that follows the route.

GPz11 Reader
5/26/19 12:08 p.m.

Freedom Road Rally day 6

Mileage 140 miles

Temps once again in the high 80 / low 90’s.


Well, the car did start but was unnerving to see the fuel pressure gauge not moving past 10 again but it did start and move. After awhile it did climb to the low 20’s.

From London, we headed over to Danville for the Great American Dollhouse Museum. Evidently this lady started collecting dollhouse in something like 2005 and had to open the museum in 2006 since she ran out of room at home. She has it set up like a small city so you walk down the streets. Not my type of thing but I will say the attention to detail was incredible.


The wife was looking forward to the next attraction, Buffalo Trace Distillery. It was too hot for us to do a tour but we did get some real good lunch there and a tasting. I’m not a whisky guy but the wife was in heaven. They did have a bourbon cream that they mixed with root beer that was really good.


From the distillery, we headed to the Aviation Museum of Kentucky. I gotta admit, by this stage, I was hot and tired but we did walk around for a bit and I got to play with one of their simulators.

After that, we shot straight to the hotel to cool off. Along the way, there was a huge back up for people trying to get on the highway and a lot of the other folks got caught up in it. Unfortunately some of them overheated and had to pull over to cool off.


Well, we made it to the end with a slightly wounded car but we made it. Some of the other folks didn’t make it to the end or their car was on the trailer.


So final thoughts are that even with the added stress of the car acting up and high temps, we had a great time and look forward to our next rally with them.

Powar UltraDork
5/28/19 8:40 a.m.

This looks like a very cool event that I had no idea was so close to home. Thanks for sharing!


Also... That Merkur is hot. 

Robbie UltimaDork
5/28/19 8:52 p.m.

Awesome! Had no idea about this either, but sounds like fun!

Also, congrats on 15 years and taking your track car to dinner on the date!

GPz11 Reader
5/29/19 9:29 a.m.

Thanks, I snagged a good one who puts up with my hobbies! Granted, when she wants something for the garden, it's always, Of course you can get that!

Fuel filter already swapped out but no change so waiting on new pump to arrive along with some stiffer rear springs

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