The last leg: Baltimore – Milwaukee

Now that I can upload pictures from my camera here are are a few I was unable to post before.  Here’s the meeting point with A-1 Escort, an out of the way semi / container parking lot, where I could have gotten mugged and I doubt anyone would have noticed.

Kelly's blue jeep, getting paperwork ready to hand me off to Naomi

I hadn’t driven more than a quarter mile when I hear the soft muffled sound of something falling off the car. I look in the rear view mirror and make a mental note of where I was to come back after I fuel up not far away.  I go another 1/8 of a mile and now something more significant falls off (what is this a Triumph?!), I glance back and I see the rear “1800” badge and roundel skipping on the road.  I’m in an underpass with no shoulder so I quickly drive a bit farther up and pull into one of the many abandoned, fenced lots.


My badge and roundel are somewhere on that road and the sidewalks are up about 8-10 feet. Traffic was light but it's all cranky semi drivers at twice the speed limit.

I run down the sidewalk up to where I see my NLA badge and pricey roundel laying on the road, just asking for a 10-ton semi to drive right over them.  I climb down the retaining wall and incredibly I’m able to retrieve the runaway parts prior to any semis flattening them.

They were largely unscathed

De-badged 1800...

The badge coming off was a result of many trunk lid slammings all trip long since the seals are still fresh and the latch needed adjustment.  I placed the badge back in place and it seems tight for now and later stop at an Autozone and buy a missing retaining clip.  This day was a real scorcher in DC/Baltimore; it was around 86 degrees and 90+% humidity.  When I try to start the car, repeated cranking attempts get me nowhere; this deja vu all over again!! (see “In Berlin: The Pick up (and the stall) ).

Stalled again

Once I get my head under the hood I see this is only a case of the carb flooding, so I just let it dry out for a while and it eventually starts.   It was never even close to being this warm in Europe.  During the course of this long trip to Milwaukee, the car and I soon understand each other better and it reveals to me that when it’s hot, I need to crank it for a couple of seconds, stop, then crank again and it starts immediately.  We’re good.

I then go back to retrieve the first lightweight, small mystery part that fell off.  It took me a while but I found it.  It turned out to be a short piece of paper-covered air intake tube that German cars of this period have.  It connects the thermostatic intake box and the air filter box.  That whole assembly needed attention in Europe so it wouldn’t fall off and I’ll have to permanently fix it when I get home.

I stay at my sister’s house in DC that night (thanks Susi and Ceci!) and set out for Dayton, OH, 486 miles away, at 9:00 am.

A few weeks ago I had contacted Mike Self, BMWCCA member and Roundel magazine columnist (“02 Cents Worth”) and seeing that I was driving near Dayton, decided to pay a visit the very night the local BMWCCA Buckeye chapter was having thir Spring Kickoff get together at Dave and Deb’s Castle’s home in Troy, OH, just north of Dayton.

Welcome to Ohio

What a great evening spent in the company of BMW enthusiast, and a phenomenal dinner spread, thanks Deb and Dave!  Dave has the sweet set up in his large pole barn with a two-pole lift and when he volunteerd to put the 1800 on it, I jumped at the opportunity.  I had not yet fully seen the underside of the car and I was very pleased with how clean and well finished it looked.  If you look closely at one of the pictures below you’ll see that I lost the “8” in the 1800 badge at some point between DC and Dayton.  It’s killing me…  The badge is “no longer available” so I’m trying to scrounge one anywhere I can find it.

Long neck differential

Dave checking out the loose fan belt

At some point during the drive, the car developed a gas leak and the fumes were pretty strong in the cabin, I just kept going relying on the 4-70 (4 windows, 70 mph) air conditioning to carry the fumes away.  Mike and Dave crafted a provisional gasket; thanks guys!

Dave and Mike Self fashioning a field-improvised fuel sender gasket so i can make it home with minimum brain damage

Over the course of the first leg of the trip to Dayton, the car more than kept up with traffic, as you can make out from the Garmin display below; an average of 64.1 mph for a 498 mile trip; not bad for a 44 year old car with 90 horses.

I stayed in a hotel in the Dayton area that night and headed home the next morning.  The second leg of the trip consisted of 392 miles.  A total of 888 miles, plus 600 in Europe, nearly 1,500 largely trouble free miles.  The engine feels strong and smooth and the car very tight and well sorted.

When I arrived home in Milwaukee the car had an alarming rattle/clunking sound coming from the engine compartment.  I’ll report on what happened and the fix on the next post.


2 responses to “The last leg: Baltimore – Milwaukee

  1. Nice blog, Luis! Funny that your stop over was in Dayton, as that was where my stop over was from New Jersey with the SM! Of course, I have good reason to stop there since my parents live in town.

    Your car looks awesome, and apparently can do over 85mph no problem…

  2. Crazy to have a stall again in USA. By the way funny about having to retrieve your parts in the road!

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