Day one in the Back to the Bricks Lincoln Highway trip

Lincoln Highway road trip map

April 23, 2011 5:05:52 PM PDT
(06/20/10) -- So far, the trip along the Lincoln Highway to promote the Back to the Bricks car show and cruise in Flint has been, what some might call, 'eventful.'ABC12's Karen Gatlin is with the group of 25 cars that left Flint Saturday to travel to New York.

The group is stopping in small towns along the way to promote the Back to Bricks event in August.

And even though it's only been one day, it has been adventurous.

The trip started 'on the bricks' in downtown Flint, which is the same place tens of thousands of cars and hundred of thousands of people will gather the third week in August for what's become an incredibly popular event.

1990 Buick Reatta Owner Jim Baliko is excited for this year's road trip. "Looking forward to the trip. My wife and I have never done this before."

Passing under the arches, the group started on their way, headed to Ohio, then Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York.

Carol McDonough, 1963 Chevy Corvette owner, says the group stuck together well on the highway. "Our first stop and I guess we're all together."

Couple Dave and Mary Wood was the last car to pull into the rest stop. Dave says his wife, Mary, told him the wrong directions. "I listened to my wife. She told me to go that way," said Dave.

His wife knows he'll be taking his own advice for the rest of the trip. "He's not going to listen to me anymore, is he?"

The group is not without a good sense of humor.

After two-and-half-hours and the first rest stop, the first problems came. Two cars already needed jumps. Jim Edmonds discovered the hard way, the new fan belt on his 1965 GTO wasn't turning. At least he had a 1963 Corvette to keep him company.

McDonough said there were even more complications. "We came out of the restroom .... Our car was dead .... This guy was going to give us a jump, and his is dead."

Instead of a jump start, they got a push start, and both cars were ready for the road again.

The cars making the Back to the Bricks road trip are as varied as the cars everyone will see on the bricks in August in Flint.

One unique car that showed up was a 2007 Street Indy. Car owner Jerry Sims enjoys his car. "It's like being strapped to a rocket. It's a lot of fun."

Sunday, freeways got the group across the country with efficiency, but the roads less traveled, like original stretches of the Lincoln Highway and Route 66, are becoming popular again.

In Ontario, Ohio, they checked out the Warrior Drive-In. The waitress there says they're "the one with the car on the roof."

When asked what the restaurant's specialty was, she answered, "Pizza. Big pizza."

For the group, ice cream was the main attraction, along with some baby birds under the edge of the drive-in roof.

While those from the group were taking pictures of the restaurant, the waitress was getting pictures of all the cars to post on the drive-in's Facebook page.

The welcome mat was out at the first hotel, and the tired group was ready to call it a day, until the next problem cropped up.

Jerry Sims, the owner of a 2007 Red Eagle Roadster, explained the issue with Gatlin. "The problem, Karen, is that we have a broken frame. We need a welder. Do you have any welding qualifications?"

Gatlin got lucky because the break was discovered in the hotel parking lot.

The trip will take the group of cars 630 miles along the Lincoln Highway, which runs more than 3,000 miles coast to coast.

More adventures from Gatlin are still to come on ABC12 News at 5 all this week.

She'll also check in on ABC12 News This Morning, as the group travels toward New York.