Text and photography by Bryce Womeldurf
It’s been a little over a year since my first press trip out to California, a trip that I still think about every day. Recently I’ve been going through some of the extra photos taken out there that weren’t part of my reviews on Hooniverse. Taking a look back today for Throwback Thursday, I’d like to share some of the sights and fond memories of that trip here after the jump.
First of all, I would like to thank Jeff Glucker and Hooniverse.com again for sending me on the Chrysler press drive out in southern California. I had such a great time out there that on returning, although not financially ready as of yet, I was certainly mentally ready to switch coasts. Still working on grad school for now; after that, we’ll see.
But getting back to the beginning of the story, the first place I was taken to upon landing at LAX was In-N-Out, which according to the nice folks who were transporting me, is a popular destination for first-time visitors to California. It was nice and all, definitely fresher ingredients than a typical burger place, but I wanted to get to seeing the cars. We left just in time to catch a beautiful sunset on the Pacific Coast Highway.
We passed Malibu on our left and between the elevation changes (a rare thing compared to Florida) and the classic cars, it was like driving through a postcard.
I found myself photographing what would probably normally be considered mundane street scenes to the locals, but to me were very different than what you’d see back in Florida. It was like I was in full on tourist mode.
It’s true what they say about how nothing rusts in California. There were so many classics being rented, sold, and driven, everywhere we went. In just one day of driving around Mulholland and PCH, I saw…
– 57 Thunderbird
– late 70s F series in perfect condition
– Porsche 914
– so many Porsche 911
– Blue/white 2 tone International Scout with no rust, perfect paint
– Defender 90
– Audi R8
– Alfa spyder with a surfboard hanging out of the trunk
– Audi Allroad used as a surf wagon (saw that one multiple times)
-less noteworthy, but a surprisingly large number of Prius
This truly is car spotting heaven.
Driving by this old gas station, it looked important but I wasn’t sure why. I was mostly intrigued by the old gas pumps at the time. Months later, I found out that this is the Rock Store, a place where many celebrities have traveled to on motorcycle. I was kicking myself for not stoping inside.
On another day, we were up in the Santa Monica Mountains and while testing out the new Jeep Cherokee, ran across some bikers making runs up and down Mulholland Highway. I’d never seen someone go so fast on the street before, to where they would put their knee down. It was exhilarating. In fact, this might sound like the opposite of exhilaration, but a common feeling for me every day that I was in California, was the feeling that I was going to be sick. We’d drive something new every day on about a 90 minute drive, and I’d have to pull over about half way through that, to both switch seats with another journalist and to breathe deeply because of the car sickness from so many more altitude changes than I was used to.
Despite that, I still loved the driving. It was so much fun running through all of those blind curves. I looked forward to that every day that I was there and it changed the way I see roads. Flat Florida roads somehow seem boring now by comparison. Every day now, I still think back about those twisting canyon roads. I can’t wait to get back, and next time I’m bringing the Miata!