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  1. Default Cleveland to California in a 79 Plymouth Duster Volare

    Hey everyone, I just joined the forum today and it's great to be here. Anyway, a couple friends (two) and I are graduating from high school later this year and we're in the process of planning the road trip of the century. One friend owns a 1979 Duster and the current plan is to take it all the way from Cleveland to California and back. We have about two weeks for the trip and we're basically open to any suggestions. The only thing we have cemented in place at this stage is a drive on 190 through Death Valley. Yes, we are aware that it's a 30 year old car but what better way is there to spend a few weeks before going off into the world? We're all pretty excited already (only 8 months to go!) and we'd appreciate any suggestions on either what route to take (mostly avoiding interstates of course) and things to do/tips. Oh, and since we're crazy and broke, we want to keep the cost as low as possible. Camping is always an option!!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default a flashback

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Growing up my mom had a 78 Volare so I remember that car fairly well. Hopefully yours is better equipt than the one I grew up riding around in - cause let me tell you a black car with red vinyl seats, and no A/C was just not that comfortable - no matter how loud the 8-track player was turned up!

    I also remember that was not by any means the most reliable car - not shocking considering the same could be said about pretty much every American car of that era. I'd have a large budget available for repairs, as a breakdown is something that should be expected. The good thing is that a car of that era should be pretty easy to fix, the bad part is that it maybe a little difficult to find parts quickly. If you do suffer a breakdown, it could easily cause you to be delayed for a couple days, so go in expecting that as a possibility, and enjoy it as part of the experience.

    Speaking of time, 2 weeks is not a lot of time for this trip. If you are taking the backroads, it will pretty easily take you a week to make it to the coast and a week back. It would be a good 4-5 days even if you were on the interstate. You should have time to have fun, knowing that most of your trip will be spent on the road, but if you do hit a big delay like a mechanical breakdown then you might have to rethink your final destination.

  3. Default

    Yea, we're looking to add a few more days onto the end of the trip, but right now its a little over two weeks. The car does have the infamous red vinyl, but it also has A/C so we'll be alright. When i asked him about reliability, the owner of the Duster told me, "No matter how many parts have fallen off the car, it has never left me stranded on the side of the road," which I thought was pretty funny. I know it sounds like our whole group is really young and naiive and inexperienced and the fact is, we are. But we're also three guys with a great sense of humor and are willing to adapt while on the road. Anyway, it should be a good time no matter what. Is there anything that you would say we should definitely see/ do on the trip?

  4. Default More details!

    I was just taking with the the guys an it looks like we've got a tentative half-of-a-route worked out. Half of may not even be doable, but that's why you guys are here right?
    -Somehow we'll attempt to take as much of whats left of 66 to California (we still need to get our guidebook and maps for that)
    - On the way back we want to take highway 40(not the interstate) all the way from Utah to Cincinnati and then 71N back to Cleveland

    Is there anything weird about taking 40 all the way back?
    What would be some good places along the way if we were to do this? (we're all nature people)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    I have to ask - will all of you be at least 18? If not, there are legal issues you will have to deal with.

    If you are even THINKING about going through Death Valley, you need to completely go through the cooling system and degrease the engine before you go - and probably live without A/C. Death Valley is a better late fall, winter, and early spring destination. RV rental companies don't even permit their RV's in Death Valley in the summer months.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default 66

    Check out these route 66 links ! The last link is a pretty cool site, but among them all you should find all you need to know !

  7. Default

    I forgot to mention that yes, we will all be 18 by the time the trip comes around. And wow, thanks for those links, those are all great. Our 66 guidebook is in the mail now so we should make some good progress in the next couple of weeks.

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