Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Great Darby Road Trip - Day 1

Mike Darby, well-known British car restorer and SABCC'er is on the road his newly-restored 1959 MGA roadster with daughter Stella, undertaking the dream trip of a lifetime. The Darby duo will be traveling from their Alabama Gulf Coast home to Southern California, then up the Pacific Coast to Oregon and then back to the Heart of Dixie. 

Stella has kindly agreed to send along a daily report of their progress as well as observations of the people and places that make up our nation.

Tuesday 21st May saw the first leg of our journey with both Co-pilot Darby and Connoisseur Darby on board.  Mike got the jump on Stella's sun-tan by doing the first leg alone from Fairhope to Tuscaloosa on Monday.  Today we left Tuscaloosa, where we visited family with a newborn baby, and arrived in Little Rock, where old friends welcomed us with a longed-for hot meal
 As they say in the UK, "Every day's a school day."  So here's a synopsis of our day:
Things we learned about the MGA:
1.  Side curtain sliding windows can blow out at speeds above 65mph.  Then they can get run over and smash on the road before you can go back and pick them up. 

2.  With or without side windows, it leaks in the rain.  (Technically we probably already knew that!)
3.  It attracts other MGAs - our relatives' neighbour stopped by in his white '62, just to give it a chance to socialise.
4.  Hard braking in a frog-strangler can produce exciting sideways moments - especially exciting in traffic!

Things we learned about people:
1.  Kind ones are everywhere - as we stopped to take photos, two people checked to make sure we were okay.  Then later on, as we searched for the broken jigsaw pieces of the side

curtain window, a local person stopped, chatted, and gave us directions to nearby Deaton Glass Shop...then he drove all the way there in front of us to make sure we found it.  We got a new piece of plexi cut - plus a spare - in under half an hour and $20.  Lucky, grateful us!
2.  Newborn babies like to be held close to your chest so they can hear your heartbeat, which is soothing for them. 
3.  Some gas st
ation admirers are more impressed by a woman able to drive a stick shift than by the car itself.

4.  Nancy Darby is an excellent route planner.

Tomorrow we'll be heading for Tulsa, watching the sky with eagle eyes.


  1. Looking forward to following the journey of Mike and Stella. Safe travels.

    Becky Kramer

  2. This is GREAT!! I'm really looking forward to following your trip. Good luck!!!

  3. Mike phoned home -- so relieved they arrived safely, if a wee bit wet. Now it's time to break out the SPF 50, or suffer the consequences - sunburnt is a LOT worse than damp.

  4. "Anonymous" of above comment is Nancy, who doesn't know how to establish her identity for the purposes of blogging - to be frank, I barely know what blogging is. I do, however, know what blegging is, which I doubt many other readers have ever heard of. ;-)

  5. as if a girl driving with a gear stick is more impressive than that car! hilarious! loving the blog (now i finally caught on) and missing you stella! charlotte x

  6. Mom you crack me up! Cheers Charlotte :) Missing you too xx


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