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S&H Torino Drives the USA Coast to Coast!
Well, not all at once - but we still think this is pretty cool.
Page 2 of 3
Driving Down the California Coast

June 5, 2007 - Day 6

Today was vastly different than the last several days. We woke up north of San Francisco and drove just a couple of miles to the Golden Gate Bridge, which was just barely emerging from the morning fog. We drove across it (singing the theme song from "Monk") and right through downtown San Francisco on Hwy. 101, all the way down to San Mateo to meet S&H Torino Owners Darren M. and Eric S. for the first time. Then we drove a little farther south on 101 (with the morning commuters) through silicon valley to Campbell (near San Jose) to meet another friend from back home, Ruby S., for lunch at Jack in the Box. It was great to see all three of you!

Then, just for fun, we drove back up to San Francisco on Highway 282 (or something like that) to get back to where we left Hwy. 1 that morning. We reached the ocean again by 2:00 and were back on the coastal tour. Today's stretch of Hwy. 1, however, is mostly straight (often 55 mph freeway conditions) from San Francisco all the way to Monterey - not so many twists and turns as there are up north.

You might notice in the pictures that we're always squinting and always have our hands in our pockets. That's because it's cloudy and cold but the sun is poking through the clouds just enough to make you squint and give you sunburn (if you're a redhead like us). We did have quite a bit of sunshine today, though - the first sunshine and blue skies we've had since we got to California!

So we were on the road 14 hours again today, but much of that was not actually spent in the car. In addition to visiting friends, we sent quite a bit of time walking, and sometimes just sitting, on beaches. We've driven 3,088 miles from home! The car is running great, we're having fun, and the scenery is changing but still awesome!


John and Penny in front of
Golden Gate Bridge, 7 am

 


Darren M. & John in San Mateo
(John's car in back, Darren's in front)


John and Eric S., in San Mateo
sometime around 10:30

 


Ruby and Penny in Campbell
at Jack in the Box for lunch


Harbor seal in the surf,
James Fitzgerald Marine Reserve

 


Pigeon Point Lighthouse


On Hwy. 1 somewhere in California

 


Natural Bridges State Beach

 

June 6, 2007 - Day 7

We intentionally got off to a slow start today. When we were still in the hotel room at 10 a.m. (we've been leaving at 6 a.m. or 7 a.m. all other days). I made backup DVDs of our pictures and Penny rearranged the stuff in the car and suitcases. While I waited for DVDs to burn, I posted these few miscellaneous pictures Penny has taken so far (she took a lot of the others we've already shared, too).


Grand Tetons south of Yellowstone.

 


Some beach somewhere


Me by Pigeon Point Lighthouse

 


One of many flowers she's shot

 

We spent most of the day today in Monterey at the Aquarium and shopping on Cannery Row and Fisherman's Wharf. I had the best cheeseburger on earth (the British Sterling Burger) at Captain Bullwhacker's. Yes, I know earlier I said Mendo Burger was the best cheeseburger I ever had - it's really too close to call, you'll have to try them yourself! Monterey is great, and I'd like to live there someday. We left there around 4:00 and proceeded to what I think is the most beautiful stretch or Hwy. 1 - from Monterey south to Morro Bay.

We didn't want to drive in the dark and miss anything, but we were in the middle of nowhere when the sun set, and we happened to come across
Lucia Lodge. The last time we were here in 2003, we saw the lodge's restaurant on the cliffs overlooking the ocean and stopped for lunch. This time we arrived just after 8 and the restaurant was closed, but we chose to stay here in one of their cabins! It's fantastic. It's one cozy room with a vaulted ceiling, pillowtop bed, and incredible views (see below).


Cannery row, Monterey

 


Taken at Bird Rock, 17 Mile Drive


Rocky Creek Bridge, built in 1932

 


Bixby Bridge, built in 1932


Our room at Lucia Lodge

 


The view I'm looking at as I type this.

 

June 7, 2007 - Day 8

Today we completed the most scenic part of Highway 1, from Monterey to Morro Bay. We stopped at our favorite hiking area at Salmon Creek and hiked quite a while. One of us even swam in the creek under the waterfall, but since we didn't have legal swimwear along, I won't name the guilty party or post pictures. The water was cold! We also stopped and saw hundreds of elephant seals basking in the sun, and saw several sea otters playing in a bay, including a mom carrying a baby on her tummy as she leisurely swam back and forth. We had supper dockside at the Flying Dutchman.


Willow Creek Bridge, Los Padres

 


Lounging at Piedras Blancas Vista Point


Elephant Seal

 

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Momma and Baby Sea Otter


Salmon Creek Waterfall

 


Morro Rock, Morro Bay

 

June 8, 2007 - Day 9

We started off Friday morning, June 8, beginning of Day 9, in Santa Barbara. Sadly, the most scenic part of the California trip is probably over, but an exciting new part has begun. We are now officially in Southern California, at even at 8:00 in the morning we could tell the difference - it's very warm and sunny outside. Until now, we've had lots of sun, but also lots of cool wind.

I wrote this in the evening, sitting in "Movie" Mike's house in Acton, north of San Fernando, enjoying the cool weather and the wonderful company. We arrived just in time for lunch (Del Taco - another restaurant we DON'T have in Wisconsin) today and gave ourselves a private tour of Premiere Studio Rentals while Mike took care of business for a while. Then we washed about a quarter inch of dirt and dust off the car and headed off to the house for supper and lounging - the first lounging we've done (for more than a few minutes) in about 9 days!

This is all very strange. In 1997, we surfed the web for the first time and found out about the Limited Production S&H Torinos. In 1998, we bought our first one and started this web site with about 6 other cars on it. In November of 2002, I got an email from
David Siegel who was the Production Manager for the upcoming Starsky & Hutch Movie and said he could use my help finding some Torinos for the movie. In April of 2003, we flew out here to California and watched a few scenes of the movie being filmed, and now 4 years later we've driven out here in our own S&H Torino. It's hard to believe. The general excitement about the movie has died down now, but those of us who own S&H Torinos are still just as excited about them. Most of us, after all, have liked this car for about 30 years because of the TV Show!


With Movie Hero Torino #1 in 2003

 


Same place - with OUR Torino in 2007


Dirty, Filthy S&H Torino
with about 3,500 miles of dust on it
(that's a clean finger swipe mark).

 

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Workin' at the car wash,
woh woh woh, woh!
Talkin' about the car wash, yeah!

June 9, 2007 - Day 10

Today was an historic day, to be sure. The first ever West Coast S&H Torino Owners Reunion was a tremendous success, I got to meet an old friend for the first time (it's a long story), and Penny and I actually sat around relaxing for several hours - the most relaxing we've done in 10 days (vacations are so much work, it's no wonder we only take them once every few years).

There were 7 S&H Torinos at the car show today, including one of each "generation" of S&H Torino: one TV show car, one original limited production factory car, one 2004 movie car, and several replicas of each. One of them (Lou C.'s) was chosen as one of the participants' Top 30 cars (out of over 125 vehicles at the show). Way to represent, Lou! Unfortunately, there was no "longest distance driven to the show" award - I think at 3,500 miles I might have had a chance to win it!

One of the many highlights of the day for me was finally meeting
Austin Smithard after corresponding via email for at least 8 years! Austin owned one of the first cars to be featured on this site (now owned by Mike B. in Ireland), and unfortunately he was out of town the last time we were in California. We had a brief visit (but we agreed to get together again tomorrow) because Austin had to get back to work and Penny and I had to get to Lou and Lynda C.'s house for some fantastic food and fellowship.

We had great fun at the house, especially when the S&H
TV Show DVDs started playing and we found out who the real S&H geeks were! :-) We decided that, like "Trekkies" and "Trekkers," there are two kinds of S&H fans we named "Starskies" and "Hutchers." Just like the Trekkies and Trekkers, we couldn't decide which group was which, but one is definitely more nerdy than the other. If you have to ask me to explain that, you aren't a member of either group, so nevermind. :-)

It was quite a day. I can hardly believe it happened. Another fantastic group of S&H Owners was formed today, and we were glad to be there. We doubt we'll ever bring the Torino again, but we look forward to coming back for one of their future reunions.

 

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Kevin L., "Movie" Mike W., John A.,
Sam R., Cathy and Don S.,
Penny and John Q. (us),
Lou C.

 


Austin "Chief Brody" Smithard
and John "Quint" Quirk.
Together at last!

 

Sunday, June 10, and Monday, June 11, 2007 - Days 11 and 12

Sunday
was bittersweet, I guess you could say. We had fun, but had to say good-bye to a lot of wonderful people. We left "Movie" Mike, Diane, and Danielle Walsh's house in the morning (thank you again for your tremendous hospitality) after a great (big) breakfast at Crazy Otto's Diner in Acton (hey Mike, all we could eat the rest of the day was half a cookie each in the afternoon).

We made our way down to Hollywood, saw the famous sign, and then cruised Hollywood Boulevard. I think we had more photos taken of us than we took of other things! Then we spent the afternoon relaxing with
Austin Smithard and his family and friends (Kaela, Kristy, Brett, Jamie, Alonzo, and everyone else - thank you all for letting us crash the party and spend some quality time with "Chief"). "Farewell and adieu ..."

After an invigorating twisting, turning drive down Topanga Canyon Boulevard to the ocean, we learned that the rest of Hwy. 1 from LA to its southernmost point is nothing more than city driving from one stop light to another. BUT we've done it now - we've driven all of California Highway 1 (a.k.a. the
Pacific Coast Highway) from Leggett in the north to Capistrano in the south. What am I supposed to do now?

But before that drive was over (I digress, sorry) we spent Sunday night on board the
H.M.S. Queen Mary in Long Beach. This historic ship has been converted to a floating hotel and it was a great place to stay (thanks for the idea, Chief). As you can see in the photos below, Penny couldn't get the front (bow) and back (stern) right so I had to throw her out the little round window in the side.

On
Monday, we drove to San Diego. We passed (Marine Corps) Camp Pendleton and, from the highway, we saw some Marines taking off in helicopters and others riding in humvees. We didn't stop there, because we learned in 2003 that no visitors are allowed during wartime, but we DID stop at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot when we arrived in San Diego. This is where young kids like my dad (in 1960) are molded into Marines. They have a nice museum that's open to the public, and last time we visited we toured the whole place and even saw some of the old-style Quonset huts like my dad stayed in when he was there.

We moved on to the harbor area and spent some time shopping at
Seaport Village near the USS Midway aircraft carrier, which is now a museum (but we didn't have time to go aboard).

We drove over the big bridge (playing the "
Simon & Simon" theme song) to the island of Coronado (it's only an island if you look at it from the water) and found a Starbucks with Internet access so we could go online and find a beachside hotel. We looked for Will Gallagher while we were there, but he was nowhere to be found. I have since learned he was in New York.

While in
Ocean Beach (San Diego), we walked on the beach, had enchiladas for supper at some sidewalk restaurant on Newport Ave., watched the sunset, got up the next morning and collected seashells, etc. Now (beginning of Day 13) the sun is finally coming out and we've got to get on the road.

Good-bye, Highway 1! Good-bye, Ocean! Good-bye, friends! Good-bye, California!

(This day's "diary" was laced with inside jokes that most of you probably didn't understand at all - they were written for specific people who we knew were reading the daily updates during our trip. Sorry!)


Grauman's Chinese Theater

 


The Hollywood Sign


Her Majesty

 


The Queen Mary


Penny's head out a porthole

 


MCRD Command Museum


Basset at the dog beach

 


Sunset from Ocean Beach Hotel

 

See Page 3 - California to Home
(including the Grand Canyon, Meteor Crater, and Historic Route 66)

 

Or, if you missed it and came straight to this page,
See Page 1 - Wisconsin to California
(including Devil's Tower, Yellowstone, and Giant Redwoods)

 

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