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  1. #1

    Default Aussie Coast to Coast 67 Shelby Mustang

    I have just bought a 1967 Shelby which is being restored in PA - plan is to pick it up in May 2013 and drive it to LA for shipping back to Australia with a few Australian mates

    As far as possible we want to avoid Interstates and stick to the beautiful winding backroads. I am looking for help from Americans who love the open road and the sights and sounds of an iconic 1960's muscle car....

    Many of the guide books have "part of the answer" - the Blue Ridge Parkway seems a good place to start and San Fran/LA seems a good place to finish - where are we going to find the best driving roads in between? Do we head back into the mountains via Colorado or do we pick up Route 66 around Missouri and run through New Mexico and Arizona?

    We are all retired, have about 4/5 weeks to place another "tick in the Bucket List"! Any help and suggestions of books or websites appreciated

    Have criss crossed Australia many times so if you need help there, I can reciprocate!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts

    Default Welcome!

    Welcome to the RoadTrip America Forum!

    A few thoughts on this are:

    Not all back roads are necessarily beautiful. Likewise, some Interstates can be truly breathtaking.

    My starting point with any trip is to sit down with a good paper map and look at the alternatives to get from any particular point A to some point B.

    With 4 or 5 weeks to your trip, you don't necessarily have to choose one or the other between taking (the remains of now decommissioned) Route 66 or heading up into the Rockies.

    What are you hoping to find out there? Do you want to stop by some key National Parks? Are you looking to spend a few days in some American cities? Do small towns interest you? Where in Pennsylvania will you be starting from?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Just an aside - you are going to have to get the engine modified/rebuilt to run properly and survive on today's petrol. The engine in that car was built for 100 octane leaded gas with no ethanol. There aren't any additives that can compensate for all 3 issues - no lead, low octane, and ethanol dilution.

  4. #4


    Good advice - thank you. Like that route through Utah! Small towns of interest, some of the National Parks, no rush to see big cities. Starting in Hanover Pennsylvania

  5. #5


    Yes we are aware of that and the engine is in the process of being rebuilt to handle unleaded - ethanol a bit more of an issue and one I would rather avoid! Octane does not seem to be an issue - runs very clean as is and we can enhance if required

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Its actually pretty tough to avoid ethanol in US gas. Nearly all of it contains 10% ethanol these days.

    Your best bet to avoid it is to use Premium, which more likely to be ethanol free (but there is still plenty of Premium that contains it). You should see signs on pretty much every gas pump letting you know about the ethanol content within.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Scenic roads, small towns and ethanol.

    With ten months to go, why not get a good wall sized map of the US, and look at all the options available. In your time frame you could probably cover most of the country. Another great assett is to get a road atlas. You can get a Rand McNally and have it mailed to you. Together these will show you many of the points of interest, historical places, NPs and Monuments, as well as State Parks, Forests, etc., and of course, most of the urban centres and highways. You can then use the tools on the green bar above to check out the details and see what interests you most.

    I would have to agree with Tim, I-70 through Utah is absolutely spectacular, and well worth alloting time to. So is I-94 in eastern MT and into western ND. On the other hand, every road is what you make it. A driver who has already decided that a certain route is going to be tedious or not worth it, will not be able to see those interesting snippets which one stumbles upon without notice. With well over 100K miles in North America, I find it hard to name a handful of roads which I wish I had rather not been on.

    As for small towns, see if you can plan some of the Great River Road into your trip. That is where I have found some of the most delightful small towns I have seen. But then, if you spend a lot of time on the two and four lane highways, take the time to stop in some of the many towns through which these pass.

    One thing you should do when you leave is to take your RACV membership with you. This will give you access to free tourist information at the AAA, as well as free maps, accommodation guides, etc. Go to the nearest AAA office when you land, and pick up detailed maps of all States and larger urban centres through which you may be travelling. They will be a great aid to your day to day navigation and planning.

    (PA must be a great State to purchase a vehicle. It is where I found the vehicle I am driving at present.)

    Enjoy the planning.

    Its actually pretty tough to avoid ethanol in US gas. Nearly all of it contains 10% ethanol these days.
    It is becoming more and more common to see ethanol in petrol these days, in Melbourne. Though nowhere near as common as in North America. In Melbourne it is also often the cheaper option.


  8. #8

    Default Nice Interstates


    NICE RIDE you've acquired! Sounds like a great trip back to the Left Coast, too!

    Allow me to echo my colleagues in praise of much of the western US Interstate system as to scenic value. I'd hasten to add I-70 from Denver, CO to the Utah line, with the Denver-Vail segment being a grand display of alpine topography, flora, and fauna. You may well wish to add a trip through Rocky Mountain National Park to the route list even though it parallels I-70 more or less.

    I dearly enjoy I-90 from Billings, MT to the ID line, I-15 from Butte, MT into east-central ID, and I-15 from about Logan, UT past Provo, skirting the base of the Wasatch Range (but with plenty of urban/suburban congestion in the SLC area to contend with).

    Among the long list of nice designated US highways is US 93 from Glacier NP all the way into and across Nevada, taking the traveler from a spectacular alpine setting across high plateau to high desert to sweltering low desert.

    As veteran US RoadTripper Lifey suggests, starting out with a big wall map is a great way to get started.

    Enjoy the Pony car, and enjoy planning and taking your US RoadTrip!


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    To compensate for ethanol, you can have slightly richer jets installed in the carburetor. However, it's going to be a bit rough on rubber parts in the fuel system. You WILL be limited to the highest octane gas you can find in any US station unless you are having lower compression heads/pistons installed, and/or you make some major changes to the ignition timing. Hardened valve seats generally will compensate for the lack of lead.

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