Vintage Chevrolet Club Forums
A nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation, restoration and enjoyment of all Chevrolets and GMCs.

Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Rating: 5
Page 7 of 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Re: Coast to Coast in a 31 [Re: Chipper] #297022
12/26/13 02:12 PM
12/26/13 02:12 PM
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 5
Netherlands
D
DutchChevy31 Offline
Grease Monkey
DutchChevy31  Offline
Grease Monkey
D
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 5
Netherlands
Merry Christmas to all.

Thank you Blaine for sharing this trip with us. Also here in the Netherlands it was great fun following you on this trip. I am still surprised how your 6 v lights can shine so bright?

Can't wait to read the rest of the story

Re: Coast to Coast in a 31 [Re: DutchChevy31] #298387
01/11/14 03:41 AM
01/11/14 03:41 AM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 5,746
Issaquah, WA
Bill Barker Offline
Previous ChatMaster
Bill Barker  Offline
Previous ChatMaster
ChatMaster - 5,000
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 5,746
Issaquah, WA
And... The End.

Here is a photo of Blaine driving his '31 to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. The final end of the trip from Boston. Shining sea to sea.



Bill Barker
Previous VCCA CHAT Administrator
(VCCA Member: 9802)
Re: Coast to Coast in a 31 [Re: Bill Barker] #298390
01/11/14 03:54 AM
01/11/14 03:54 AM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 5,746
Issaquah, WA
Bill Barker Offline
Previous ChatMaster
Bill Barker  Offline
Previous ChatMaster
ChatMaster - 5,000
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 5,746
Issaquah, WA
Coast To Coast In A 31
Cross Country Trip Comes Through Charleston

By P. D. Gramlich

Dave Dudley’s song “Six days on the Road” and I’m gonna make it home tonight was a major hit in 1963. Fifty years later Blaine Dehmlow pushed that a little further, 13 days and more than 3400 miles on a cross country trip. One line of Dudley’s song “Well my rigs a little old,” Dehmlow topped that too, crossing the country in a 1931 Chevy Special Sedan.

Dehmlow left Boston on his solo trip headed for his home near San Francisco, but didn’t take the shortest route. Much like the song, leaving Pittsburgh and heading south, Dehmlow left Boston and headed south until it got warmer, then turned west and headed for home.

Along the route he received calls with offers of help from complete strangers. One of those calls came from Ed Vann, a sales representative with Hug Chevrolet in Charleston. After visiting with Ed on the phone, Dehmlow, who was in Brinkley at the time, altered his route slightly from a planned trip down Highway 64 to Highway 22, coming through Charleston with a stop at Hug Chevrolet. The local Chevrolet dealership was actually in business when the 1931 Chevy Sedan first hit the roads. The Chevrolet dealership began in Charleston in 1926 and has been in the Hug family since the 1930’s.

While in Charleston, Dehmlow visited with and went to lunch with fellow Chevrolet collectors, Buddy Hug, Ed Vann, Jack Schwartz and Bob Strattan, who had came from Tulsa to meet with Dehmlow. It was an “epic” lunch Dehmlow said.

We were honored that Mr. Dehmlow stopped by our dealership and certainly enjoyed the visit immensely, Buddy Hug, “a serious restorer/collector” as Dehmlow put it, said. Visiting with Blaine was very interesting, Ed Vann, also a collector, said. He was having a “once in a lifetime trip,” and it was a pleasure to meet up with him, Ed said.

“Blaine is a great fellow to meet and is truly enjoying his
adventure. He has one solid and reliable Chevy that is performing like a champ. He's doing what we all desire to do - seeing the USA in his Chevrolet, Bob Strattan, said.

Before leaving Boston, Dehmlow said he read every post on the Vintage Chevrolet Club of America's (VCCA) web site for about three weeks in preparation for his trip. What a great resource and collection of knowledge, he said. During the trip he exchanged information with other Chevrolet collectors, meeting a lot of fellow enthusiasts along the way.

Vintage Chevrolet Club of America is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and restoration of all years of Chevrolets. For more information see http://www.vcca.org/

The 1931 4 door, 2 owner car, had 48,000 miles on it when Dehmlow ought it in Boston while he was working there. The engine was refurbished but not completely rebuilt about 20 years ago. Dehmlow installed a new top, it did not have one, redone the interior, installed a new clutch, a new aluminum radiator, water pump, hoses, all new brake linings, new tires, tubes, serviced the wheel bearings, rebuilt the steering box and put in all new wiring, among other things to get ready for his trip.

On the trip there were minor repairs such as repairing a valve cover gasket, changing the oil, and installing the rear view mirror and sometimes a few obstacles such as just waiting for some of snow to melt. A broken axle in Lexington, Kentucky slowed him down, but he found one from a VCCA member in Ohio. He took a trip to Ohio in a rental car to retrieve the axle, which he installed the next day under the cover in a parking garage.

Once the trip started he was a bit more nervous than he thought he would be. “When I was 20 I did things like this all the time with little or no prep, no mechanical experience, and no money - and it was glorious and horrific, and I loved it. Now I have a bit more resource and experience, especially with the power of this forum behind me, but I have grown a little squeamish about laying in the slush at night under the car in big city. I am not that worried about having problems in the middle of nowhere, that has less variables in it for me.”

As a kid I remember watching a TV movie that later became the Waltons TV series about trying to get home for Christmas, he said. “Even then I wanted an old truck like the ones they were driving through those dark snowy nights.” “Now I was on my own holiday homecoming quest, missing my two girls and wife intensely already, but feeling equally drawn to being alone on the road in the old Independence.”

Offers of assistance and encouragement came in from other VCCA members, which he appreciated. I would recommend a VCCA membership to all the readers of these forums, he said. During the trip he used the forum to ask questions and get tips on various problems, as well as advice about traffic problems. “It was great to hear from so many people while traveling – it’s the most unique thing to have complete strangers call me up and talk like we have been friends forever,” he said.

During a stop at the Kentucky Arts and Craft center he wondered around looking for something to bring his two girls at home, which lead to a pretty good bout of homesickness. He had been away working since August, and while having a great time on the road, he was eager to be with the family as well.
I had some great experiences on the trip, Dehmlow said. “Meeting other club members, talking cars, and seeing workshops has been incredible.”

The 8 to 12 hours of driving alone each day was fun, necessary, insightful, and sometimes emotional, Dehmlow said. When I think of "road trip", I am not drawn to it for just the roadside snacks, or even the mechanical charm of an old Chevrolet. It’s also a time to be reflective, sometimes deeply lost in deep thoughts for as long as I want to be with no one changing the subject.”

To read more about his trip see,
http://vccachat.org/ubbthreads.php/topics/295414/5.

Some statistics about the trip.
Total miles – 3418.
13 days - 1 of those down for axle repair.
27 bottles of diet coke consumed, one bottle of Peach Soda at Pops.
Average moving speed - 37.1 mph.
Highest recorded speed - 54 mph, 68 mph on the tow truck.
Ate 9 hot dogs, and one corn dog.
116 video clips taken.
$687 in fuel consumed.
3 major winter storm days 5 days rain or overcast, 5 days clear and sunny.
7 complete strangers called me just to talk while I was driving.
14 quarts of oil consumed.
ZERO flat tires.
1 roadside toilet emergency.
2 times I got lost - Albuquerque and Phoenix.
4 sunsets made me think deep thoughts.
1 axle replaced.
68,000 Wyndam reward points redeemed for free hotels.

--end

Re: Coast to Coast in a 31 [Re: Bill Barker] #298391
01/11/14 04:11 AM
01/11/14 04:11 AM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 5,746
Issaquah, WA
Bill Barker Offline
Previous ChatMaster
Bill Barker  Offline
Previous ChatMaster
ChatMaster - 5,000
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 5,746
Issaquah, WA
Brentwood car enthusiast makes cross-country homecoming trip in his 1931 Chevrolet
By Paula King Contra Costa Times

Contra Costa Times (California)
POSTED: 12/24/2013 01:00:06 PM PST


Blaine Dehmlow, of Brentwood, sits with his 1931 Chevy special sedan in Brentwood, Calif.

BRENTWOOD -- Despite many detours along the way, what kept car enthusiast Blaine Dehmlow traveling steadily on his East Coast-to-West Coast solo road trip in a stock 1931 Chevrolet was the promise of being reunited with his wife and 13- and 17-year-old daughters for Christmas this week.

"I'm on my own holiday homecoming quest, missing my two girls and wife intensely already, but feeling equally drawn to being alone on the road in the old Independence," Dehmlow posted online during his trip that began on Dec. 7 and ended on Sunday at his home in Brentwood.

Dehmlow bought the Depression-era car in Boston three months ago for $4,500 and spent the fall putting it together and preparing it for the solo driving trip to the Bay Area. He even drove through the recent winter storm in Boston with basic tools, some spares, a credit card, a phone and hotel reward points for lodging.

"In 1931, you would drive through that storm and get home for Christmas," Dehmlow said of his appreciation for that era. "'I'll Be Home for Christmas' was my motto for the trip."

The car was originally owned by a doctor in Boston, then sold to his neighbor and used as a daily vehicle until it was stored for many years, according to Dehmlow. Its engine was refurbished 20 years ago, and it has a new top, clutch, aluminum radiator, tires and wiring. The steering box was rebuilt.

Dehmlow, 49, noted that 1 million of these cars were produced in 1931.

"America was amazing in terms of manufacturing at that time. I am enamored with that era," he said. "Working with your hands was valued at that time."

Dehmlow combined his classic hobby with modern times by frequently communicating with members of the Vintage Chevrolet Club of America via an online forum. Fellow club members whom he had never met offered him free meals, technical advice and even parts.

When the Chevrolet had a broken axle in Kentucky, Dehmlow obtained the part from a club member in Ohio by using a rental car.

"This was a mix of the old and new. It is their chance to participate," he said. "There has always been a brotherhood or kinship among fellow car enthusiasts."

On his route, he headed south from Boston and then started west near North Carolina, traveling between 37 and 49 mph at top speeds. His slow rate of speed drew both positive and negative attention from fellow motorists, and his next mission is to travel north to south in a classic car.

One of Dehmlow's most loyal followers on the club forum was Seattle resident Bill Barker, who is the club's webmaster.

"The club has struggled with realizing that times are changing," Barker said of Internet and social media participation. "Blaine is the target membership that we want to achieve."

Dehmlow said the start of his journey was exciting but the slush and cold weather made it equally nerve-racking. He finally reached better travel conditions near Oklahoma, and his confidence grew.

Among the highlights of the road trip were traveling along Route 66 and meeting with fellow car collectors, he added.

Although Dehmlow's 1931 Chevrolet was never a show car, fellow enthusiasts tried to persuade him to restore the classic, which he estimates would cost between $30,000 and $40,000.

"I'm hoping for a new age of drivers in classic collectors," he said. "At the end of (the journey), (driving) felt very natural. Now, it feels like my family car."

--
Original Published Article HERE

Re: Coast to Coast in a 31 [Re: Bill Barker] #298412
01/11/14 03:39 PM
01/11/14 03:39 PM
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 24,994
West Allis,Wi.
Chev Nut Online content

Chev Nut  Online Content


ChatMaster - 20,000
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 24,994
West Allis,Wi.
This adventure will make a great story for the G&D. Ccould be broken down into several episodes for continued interest. carbana


Chevgene
Re: Coast to Coast in a 31 [Re: Chev Nut] #330322
01/05/15 02:42 AM
01/05/15 02:42 AM
Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 282
Radford,Va
48heavychevy Offline
Backyard Mechanic
48heavychevy  Offline
Backyard Mechanic
Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 282
Radford,Va
Blaine just read through your Story of you and your 31, I must say that you are a Brave man for driving a stock 31 chevy across the USA especially in these times, with all the crazy Drivers and higher speed limits. Back then it would have been more natural.. My hats off to ya. especially going solo. You did what a lot of us are too afraid to just get in our ole chevy's and just hit the road.... To me that would be a drive of a life time, Looks like you met a lot of good people along the way I'm sure they would have lent a helping hand I would've . I currently have a 48 Fleetline with original running gear, my Dream car has always been a 32 4 dr with dual side mounts. Maybe one of these years.... Sometimes I wonder if my ole Fleetline may have traveled RT 66 in it's life, I found part of an old Newspaper under the rear seat crammed in the springs is was yellowed and when I flattened it out it was property's in California and they were cheap so it had to be old.. Wished I saved it, It was lost during our move.... Any who glad you made a safe trip...

Re: Coast to Coast in a 31 [Re: 48heavychevy] #338942
04/03/15 12:27 AM
04/03/15 12:27 AM
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 3,343
Hendersonville, N.C.
bobg1951chevy Offline

ChatMaster - 3,000
bobg1951chevy  Offline

ChatMaster - 3,000
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 3,343
Hendersonville, N.C.
I just read this thread, regarding Blaine and his cross country trip.

Amazing, simply amazing.

Blaine, you have done what so many of us have only dreamed to do.

Thanks for sharing, only sorry that I just found the thread.


1951 Chevy Styleline Deluxe 2 door sedan. Purchased in 2000.
1951 Chevy Styleline Deluxe Sport Coupe. Purchased in 2014.
1969 Chevy Corvair 500 Coupe. Purchased in 2017.

Re: Coast to Coast in a 31 [Re: bobg1951chevy] #338944
04/03/15 12:39 AM
04/03/15 12:39 AM
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 3,299
Ontario,Canada
brewster Offline

ChatMaster - 3,000
brewster  Offline

ChatMaster - 3,000
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 3,299
Ontario,Canada
Blaine hasn't been on Chat for almost a year now… sure would be nice to get an update on the 1931...


Those accustomed to the finest...find it in Chevrolet.

1951 2dr Deluxe Sedan
1950 Deluxe Convertible
2011 Equinox
2008 GMC SLT 4X4
Re: Coast to Coast in a 31 [Re: brewster] #338950
04/03/15 01:05 AM
04/03/15 01:05 AM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 5,746
Issaquah, WA
Bill Barker Offline
Previous ChatMaster
Bill Barker  Offline
Previous ChatMaster
ChatMaster - 5,000
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 5,746
Issaquah, WA
Bob, I'm curious. How long did it take for you to read the entire thread?
drool

For anyone else... there are some GREAT threads over the past 13 years that are still here on Chat. Humm... gives me an idea. Maybe somebody would like to try to build a list of them.... ha!
pigshaha
pigs


Bill Barker
Previous VCCA CHAT Administrator
(VCCA Member: 9802)
Re: Coast to Coast in a 31 [Re: Bill Barker] #339101
04/04/15 05:14 AM
04/04/15 05:14 AM
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 3,343
Hendersonville, N.C.
bobg1951chevy Offline

ChatMaster - 3,000
bobg1951chevy  Offline

ChatMaster - 3,000
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 3,343
Hendersonville, N.C.
Originally Posted By: Bill Barker
Bob, I'm curious. How long did it take for you to read the entire thread?
drool

For anyone else... there are some GREAT threads over the past 13 years that are still here on Chat. Humm... gives me an idea. Maybe somebody would like to try to build a list of them.... ha!
pigshaha
pigs


Geez, Bill, I don't know.

I read the 7 pages of the thread, viewed videos, looked at the map work by you, but did not do it in one sitting.

Still an amazing adventure, in my way of thinking.

A great story of adventure and perseverance.


1951 Chevy Styleline Deluxe 2 door sedan. Purchased in 2000.
1951 Chevy Styleline Deluxe Sport Coupe. Purchased in 2014.
1969 Chevy Corvair 500 Coupe. Purchased in 2017.

Re: Coast to Coast in a 31 [Re: bobg1951chevy] #339102
04/04/15 05:20 AM
04/04/15 05:20 AM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 5,746
Issaquah, WA
Bill Barker Offline
Previous ChatMaster
Bill Barker  Offline
Previous ChatMaster
ChatMaster - 5,000
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 5,746
Issaquah, WA
Thanks.. Was just trying to get a feel for a "first timer". I've read it probably 5 or 6 times. And I probably read it v-e-r-y slow, because I don't want it to end too soon. Ha!

Thanks.


Re: Coast to Coast in a 31 [Re: Bill Barker] #339182
04/04/15 07:22 PM
04/04/15 07:22 PM
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 3,343
Hendersonville, N.C.
bobg1951chevy Offline

ChatMaster - 3,000
bobg1951chevy  Offline

ChatMaster - 3,000
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 3,343
Hendersonville, N.C.
Originally Posted By: Bill Barker
Thanks.. Was just trying to get a feel for a "first timer". I've read it probably 5 or 6 times. And I probably read it v-e-r-y slow, because I don't want it to end too soon. Ha!

Thanks.



The idea of the cross country trip, the implementation of that same trip, the words of Blaine, along with his videos, his mechanical expertise, the ongoing updates by B.B., the support of the VCCA members, as the trip progressed. All just A-1.

Keep in mind, that '31 could only hold so many passengers, when designed, but there was a gang of folks, along for the ride with Blaine, all the way from the east coast, to the west coast.

A true "happening".


1951 Chevy Styleline Deluxe 2 door sedan. Purchased in 2000.
1951 Chevy Styleline Deluxe Sport Coupe. Purchased in 2014.
1969 Chevy Corvair 500 Coupe. Purchased in 2017.

Re: Coast to Coast in a 31 [Re: bobg1951chevy] #362399
02/14/16 07:36 PM
02/14/16 07:36 PM
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 24
CA
C
CrossCountry31 Offline OP

Grease Monkey
CrossCountry31  Offline OP

Grease Monkey
C
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 24
CA
Cross Country 31 - Epilogue.

Just over two years ago I remember getting close to home after 17 days on the road, and a little over 3 months since I had been home last. I called my wife and let her know I was about 45 minutes away as the sun set on the Altamont Pass - my last hill before coasting the Independence sedan the last miles on my cross county trip. She asked me if I could stop and pick up some milk and toilet paper. bigl

In the times since the trip, the feelings I have about traveling in old cars have only deepened. Much to my surprise, people who hear about the trip or view the thread with the great map and support from Bill Barker and the many members on the forum, are often quite interested in asking questions.

The most common is about the age of the car. I always answer that the car never knows how old it is, it has no expectation of slowing down or stopping at any time. All it ever asked for was to be properly sorted and cared for. And once it is in running form, what it is best for it, is to be driven.

The second most common question has been about traveling alone. People wonder if I liked it or ever got lonely. I answer that I loved every minute of it, fixing and surprises included, and that I was never alone. At first, there was almost a nightly chat with Bill about posting to the forum, advice about mechanical things, and route suggestions. Second, there was the amazing welcomes and interactions with club members along the way. Quite often, people I never knew would call in while I was driving and introduce themselves, and invite me to stop by and offer work space or a couch. People are universally impressed and charmed with the story of having lunch at Hug Chevrolet, doing interviews with local newspapers, and meeting at the Pop Shop on Route 66 with the great guys from Oklahoma. They marvel when they hear about the collection Jay has in Albuquerque and how generously he shares it with so many others.

The third most common question is about the car - I don't have it anymore. The Spring of 2013 turned out to be desert for me as a consultant, and as time ticked away, the need to sell the the 31 became a reality. Reluctantly, I bought a ticket to the Good Guys car show put the Independence in the car corral for $9500. There were a couple of guys who kept coming back and both set up times to drive it the next day. I was a little sick to my stomach.

Just as I was getting ready to leave, a guy stopped by to talk who told me he had a 31 Independence as well, but it was in baskets. He told me that his Dad had gotten it because his dad (the grandfather) had restored one when his father was a boy. We talked about price and he said he would be right back with his wife. They came back in about 5 minutes together with their two boys, who promptly set about climbing in it and over it extensively. His wife got in, he got in and they had an extended talk. I wandered off a distance until they got out and came over. His wife stood by me while he looked underneath. She told me what they had been talking about.

The mans dad (her father inlaw) had been battling cancer and they thought he would not make it through the summer. They wanted to take the father, sons and grandkids on a trip in the 31 they had, but there was not enough time to get theirs running. He made me an offer - I took it.

The next day I drove the car for the last time to the meeting place we had arranged. I was not sick to my stomach, in fact I was profoundly happy. The Independence.had served me well and made me feel so lucky to be alive during our trip, and now it was off to fulfill a much more important mission for the new owner.

It could not have ended better. I took the money and used a bit of it to ready and sell one of my Jaguars, and just as I did, I landed a great long term contract and am still working on that today.

I am also working on putting together a little documentary of the trip titled "The Drive for Independence" I hope to encourage all of us to trust ourselves and our cars to venture out and rediscover self reliance, and the brotherhood of like minded souls who collect and drive the handiwork of the craftsman who have gone before us.

Here are pics of the car the day on the day I got it and the day it passed from me to it's next adventure.

I hope to be back in touch on the forum soon and hope to come to the meet in August to say thanks in person to all those who kindly took interest and contributed so much to my journey.

Sincerely - thanks for everything,
Blaine Dehmlow









Re: Coast to Coast in a 31 [Re: CrossCountry31] #362407
02/14/16 11:34 PM
02/14/16 11:34 PM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,196
USA
3
37Blue Offline

ChatMaster - 1,000
37Blue  Offline

ChatMaster - 1,000
3
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,196
USA
Blaine
Thanks for the update. Great new adventure for the car too.
Every time I drive by Pops I remember our meet and greet and have wondered if you still had the car. It looks like the Independence got a paint job after the trip?
Lee

Page 7 of 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Moderated by  Bill Barker, brewster 

Your Status
Please login to post or reply.* * *
Send My Password
Helpful Links
Forum Registration
New User Forum
How To Get Member Access
Reset Your Password
Kill Your Cookies

VCCA Home
Join the VCCA
Who's Online Now
7 registered members (Chev Nut, 31chevyjg, Tiny, fyrsi, Oldiron, SteveEC, mike_lynch), 13 guests, and 22 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Today's Birthdays
No Birthdays
Member Photos
My 31' Chevy Show
What is missing?
31' headlight reflectors re-silvered at home
1936 Roadster - S. Africa
Chevy on the Levee
'37 Seat
Newest Members
fyrsi, Emanuel, rstanley1930, 29chevrdstr, twicetold
15087 Registered Users
Forum Statistics
Forums62
Topics49,699
Posts360,256
Members15,087
Most Online304
Jun 18th, 2016
 

Notice: Any comments posted herein do not necessarily reflect the official position of the VCCA.

Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.1.1