Day 1: Florida to Vegas, Meeting Flynn, Visiting Brock Racing Enterprises | Cross-Country Morgan Retrieval

Photography by Tim Suddard

Part 1 of the Cross-Country Morgan Retrieval.

Sight unseen, we bought a 1952 Morgan on the other side of the country. Now the fun part: Tim and Margie Suddard get to retrieve it.

The alarm went off at 4:45 a.m. Day 1 was to start early. The plan was to catch a 6:40 a.m. flight from Orlando to Las Vegas. We would arrive well before lunch. Compared to the trip home, this was going to be easy.

The plane arrived on time, and to our delight, the guy with the Suburban–the one that would serve as our tow rig for the ride home–showed up with his Golden Retriever puppy, Flynn. He asked that we come to the departure side of the airport, not the arrival side, which sounded easy in theory, but airports are not set up to work backwards. 

We finally found our way and got out into the sun. And by sun, we were treated to a balmy 108-degree, Las Vegas summer morning. They all say it’s a dry heat, but that’s B.S. It was hot. And coming from a Florida summer, it is hard for us to be impressed. But we were.

Our first impression of our ride for the next couple of weeks was quite favorable. Other than a dirty windshield and an interior full of dog hair, the 2001 Suburban looked quite presentable. Sure, it some road rash and seats that look a 90-year old’s face but, overall, it ran perfectly. Even the air blew cool. With temperatures now over 110 degrees, we were quite thankful for that.

We wound out way to BRE and Aerovault and would be met by long-time friends Peter and Gayle Brock. Margie had never been there, and we got the nickel tour, saw their collection of BRE cars and Daytona Coupes, and then headed to lunch.

From there we took a quick tour of their home–Margie had never seen their beautiful home, although I had been there several times. For me, the highlight was walking down a hallway and seeing original sketches of the Corvette Stingray, framed and hung on the wall. Among his many accomplishments, Peter was the one who designed this iconic machine.

[How the Chevrolet C2 Corvette almost never happened]

We lingered probably longer than we should have. Perhaps it was the Brocks’ hospitality or, even more likely, the fear of what lay ahead. After finding a 2-5/16-inch trailer hitch ball at a parts store, we were ready to head out onto the road. 

Heading towards Death Valley, driving a 20-year-old truck and towing a 20-foot trailer into the hottest place in North America, at the peak of the hot season as a heat wave was taking place, was not the most comforting feeling we have ever experienced.

Still, the show must go on, and loaded with some extra water and a wide-eyed innocence that nothing bad could possibly happen, we headed west.

And oddly enough, nothing bad did happen. The truck’s temperature gauge stayed glued to 190 degrees. The broken-in Suburban drove like a new one, and while the trailer was still empty, within minutes we saw that the Aerovault was like no other trailer.

Aerovault’s claim that wind does not affect their trailer is totally valid. Even with the 5.3-liter LS, we could barely notice the trailer behind us. We still need to install a brake controller, though.

By 7:00 p.m., we rolled into the Ranch at Death Valley and went to the bar and ordered a much-earned beer and some ribs. Day one had been a long and nerve-wracking day, but it had been a total success too.

 

Read the whole story:

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Comments
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Kurt Lammon
Kurt Lammon New Reader
6/30/21 1:17 p.m.

I had no idea that Peter Brock actually built the Aerovault himself! I thought he designed it. Fascinating character... I'd love to meet him someday. Maybe I'll buy a trailer and pick it up as you did.

Tim Suddard
Tim Suddard Publisher
7/1/21 9:40 a.m.

His wife Gayle runs the company, but yes, he is actively involved. And I am so lucky to call him a friend and talk to him regularly.

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