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Former Building Floor on Former U.S. Routes 60, 70 and 99

Posted by Michael Newlon
Michael Newlon
Travel with me and my 1969 Porsche, and the new Lincoln Town Car project, as I t
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on Monday, 08 July 2013
in 1969 Porsche 912

Old red concrete floor of an unknown building faces uncertain fate near exit 139.


Michael "Mike" Newlon Retired in 2005 after a dual career in private sector corporate management and as a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army Reserve.

When he is not exploring current or former U.S. highways, like CA 99, in his Porsche 912 or Lincoln Town Car, Mike enjoys reading 20th Century history and popular action novels.

If you have questions about Michael "Mike" Newlon call him today: 760-360-3968 or visit his website  www.highwaytripbooks.com

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1988 Porsche 944 Turbo S at Lakewood Country Club Concours

Posted by Michael Newlon
Michael Newlon
Travel with me and my 1969 Porsche, and the new Lincoln Town Car project, as I t
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on Wednesday, 03 July 2013
in 1969 Porsche 912

Engine compartment and full view of a very rate Porsche 944

Michael "Mike" Newlon Retired in 2005 after a dual career in private sector corporate management and as a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army Reserve.

When he is not exploring current or former U.S. highways, like CA 99, in his Porsche 912 or Lincoln Town Car, Mike enjoys reading 20th Century history and popular action novels.

If you have questions about Michael "Mike" Newlon call him today: 760-360-3968 or visit his website http://www.highwaytripbooks.com/"

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Porsche 550 Spyder Replica

Posted by Michael Newlon
Michael Newlon
Travel with me and my 1969 Porsche, and the new Lincoln Town Car project, as I t
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on Monday, 01 July 2013
in 1969 Porsche 912

Owner Dan Stern describes his automotive pride and joy.

Michael "Mike" Newlon Retired in 2005 after a dual career in private sector corporate management and as a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army Reserve.

When he is not exploring current or former U.S. highways, like CA 99, in his Porsche 912 or Lincoln Town Car, Mike enjoys reading 20th Century history and popular action novels.

If you have questions about Michael "Mike" Newlon call him today: 760-360-3968 or visit his website http://www.highwaytripbooks.com/"

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Show Area Overview Later In The Morning

Posted by Michael Newlon
Michael Newlon
Travel with me and my 1969 Porsche, and the new Lincoln Town Car project, as I t
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on Wednesday, 26 June 2013
in 1969 Porsche 912

Area overview of the May 19, 2013 PCA GPX Region Concours 'd Elegance

Michael "Mike" Newlon Retired in 2005 after a dual career in private sector corporate management and as a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army Reserve.

When he is not exploring current or former U.S. highways, like CA 99, in his Porsche 912 or Lincoln Town Car, Mike enjoys reading 20th Century history and popular action novels.

If you have questions about Michael "Mike" Newlon call him today: 760-360-3968 or visit his website http://www.highwaytripbooks.com/"

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New Porsche Cayman S On Display

Posted by Michael Newlon
Michael Newlon
Travel with me and my 1969 Porsche, and the new Lincoln Town Car project, as I t
User is currently offline
on Monday, 24 June 2013
in 1969 Porsche 912



New Porsche Cayman S, with $85,175 MSRP window sticker on display.

Michael "Mike" Newlon Retired in 2005 after a dual career in private sector corporate management and as a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army Reserve.

When he is not exploring current or former U.S. highways, like CA 99, in his Porsche 912 or Lincoln Town Car, Mike enjoys reading 20th Century history and popular action novels.

If you have questions about Michael "Mike" Newlon call him today: 760-360-3968 or visit his website http://www.highwaytripbooks.com/"

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1964 Porsche 356 SC Coupe at PCA-GPX 2013 Concours 'd Elegance

Posted by Michael Newlon
Michael Newlon
Travel with me and my 1969 Porsche, and the new Lincoln Town Car project, as I t
User is currently offline
on Wednesday, 19 June 2013
in 1969 Porsche 912

Owner Ceal Howard describes his classic 1964 356 SC Coupe'

Michael "Mike" Newlon Retired in 2005 after a dual career in private sector corporate management and as a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army Reserve.

When he is not exploring current or former U.S. highways, like CA 99, in his Porsche 912 or Lincoln Town Car, Mike enjoys reading 20th Century history and popular action novels.

If you have questions about Michael "Mike" Newlon call him today: 760-360-3968 or visit his website http://www.highwaytripbooks.com/"

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1964 Porsche 356 SC Coupe at PCA-GPX 2013 Concours 'd Elegance

Posted by Michael Newlon
Michael Newlon
Travel with me and my 1969 Porsche, and the new Lincoln Town Car project, as I t
User is currently offline
on Wednesday, 19 June 2013
in 1969 Porsche 912

Owner Ceal Howard describes his classic 1964 356 SC Coupe'

Michael "Mike" Newlon Retired in 2005 after a dual career in private sector corporate management and as a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army Reserve.

When he is not exploring current or former U.S. highways, like CA 99, in his Porsche 912 or Lincoln Town Car, Mike enjoys reading 20th Century history and popular action novels.

If you have questions about Michael "Mike" Newlon call him today: 760-360-3968 or visit his website http://www.highwaytripbooks.com/"

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1967 912 Coupe Like No Other - Custom DOHC, Twin Plug Engine

Posted by Michael Newlon
Michael Newlon
Travel with me and my 1969 Porsche, and the new Lincoln Town Car project, as I t
User is currently offline
on Wednesday, 12 June 2013
in 1969 Porsche 912

1967 912 Coupe Like No Other - Custom DOHC, Twin Plug Engine

Owner describes his unique 1967 912 with custom-built DOHC, twin plug power.

Michael "Mike" Newlon Retired in 2005 after a dual career in private sector corporate management and as a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army Reserve.

When he is not exploring current or former U.S. highways, like CA 99, in his Porsche 912 or Lincoln Town Car, Mike enjoys reading 20th Century history and popular action novels.

If you have questions about Michael "Mike" Newlon call him today: 760-360-3968 or visit his website http://www.highwaytripbooks.com/"

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Porsche Race Car Chassis Details

Posted by Michael Newlon
Michael Newlon
Travel with me and my 1969 Porsche, and the new Lincoln Town Car project, as I t
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on Monday, 10 June 2013
in 1969 Porsche 912

Exposed front end of Porsche race car with chassis details exposed.

Michael "Mike" Newlon Retired in 2005 after a dual career in private sector corporate management and as a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army Reserve.

When he is not exploring current or former U.S. highways, like CA 99, in his Porsche 912 or Lincoln Town Car, Mike enjoys reading 20th Century history and popular action novels.

If you have questions about Michael "Mike" Newlon call him today: 760-360-3968 or visit his website http://www.highwaytripbooks.com/"

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Classic 1963 Porsche 356 Coupe

Posted by Michael Newlon
Michael Newlon
Travel with me and my 1969 Porsche, and the new Lincoln Town Car project, as I t
User is currently offline
on Wednesday, 05 June 2013
in 1969 Porsche 912

Beautiful 1963 Porsche 356 Coupe - Fifty Years After Production Beauty.

Michael "Mike" Newlon Retired in 2005 after a dual career in private sector corporate management and as a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army Reserve.

When he is not exploring current or former U.S. highways, like CA 99, in his Porsche 912 or Lincoln Town Car, Mike enjoys reading 20th Century history and popular action novels.

If you have questions about Michael "Mike" Newlon call him today: 760-360-3968 or visit his website http://www.highwaytripbooks.com/"

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May 19, 2013 PCA-GPX Region Concours 'd Elegance Overview

Posted by Michael Newlon
Michael Newlon
Travel with me and my 1969 Porsche, and the new Lincoln Town Car project, as I t
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on Monday, 03 June 2013
in 1969 Porsche 912

Concours 'd Elegance view from the center of the main display area.

Michael "Mike" Newlon Retired in 2005 after a dual career in private sector corporate management and as a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army Reserve.

When he is not exploring current or former U.S. highways, like CA 99, in his Porsche 912 or Lincoln Town Car, Mike enjoys reading 20th Century history and popular action novels.

If you have questions about Michael "Mike" Newlon call him today: 760-360-3968 or visit his website http://www.highwaytripbooks.com/"

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1966 912 Window Sticker, $5,140 MSRP New!

Posted by Michael Newlon
Michael Newlon
Travel with me and my 1969 Porsche, and the new Lincoln Town Car project, as I t
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on Wednesday, 29 May 2013
in 1969 Porsche 912

A Look Back To The Days When a Dollar Was Worth a Dollar.

Michael "Mike" Newlon Retired in 2005 after a dual career in private sector corporate management and as a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army Reserve.

When he is not exploring current or former U.S. highways, like CA 99, in his Porsche 912 or Lincoln Town Car, Mike enjoys reading 20th Century history and popular action novels.

If you have questions about Michael "Mike" Newlon call him today: 760-360-3968 or visit his website http://www.highwaytripbooks.com/"

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1969 911E Golden Green Sportomatic - A Very Rare and Special Porsche

Posted by Michael Newlon
Michael Newlon
Travel with me and my 1969 Porsche, and the new Lincoln Town Car project, as I t
User is currently offline
on Monday, 27 May 2013
in 1969 Porsche 912

Rare car, rare color, rare transmission - a truly unique combination.

Michael "Mike" Newlon Retired in 2005 after a dual career in private sector corporate management and as a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army Reserve.

When he is not exploring current or former U.S. highways, like CA 99, in his Porsche 912 or Lincoln Town Car, Mike enjoys reading 20th Century history and popular action novels.

If you have questions about Michael "Mike" Newlon call him today: 760-360-3968 or visit his website  http://www.highwaytripbooks.com/"

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Mike Newlon's 1969 Porsche 912

Posted by Michael Newlon
Michael Newlon
Travel with me and my 1969 Porsche, and the new Lincoln Town Car project, as I t
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 23 May 2013
in 1969 Porsche 912

Mike's car and book promotions display area at Porsche Concours 'd Elegance

Michael "Mike" Newlon Retired in 2005 after a dual career in private sector corporate management and as a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army Reserve.

When he is not exploring current or former U.S. highways, like CA 99, in his Porsche 912 or Lincoln Town Car, Mike enjoys reading 20th Century history and popular action novels.

If you have questions about Michael "Mike" Newlon call him today: 760-360-3968 or visit his website http://www.highwaytripbooks.com/"

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May 19, 2013 Porsche Club of America Regional Concours 'd Elegance.

Posted by Michael Newlon
Michael Newlon
Travel with me and my 1969 Porsche, and the new Lincoln Town Car project, as I t
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on Wednesday, 22 May 2013
in 1969 Porsche 912

Intro to PCA Grand Prix Region Concours 'd Elegance, May 19, 2013

Michael "Mike" Newlon Retired in 2005 after a dual career in private sector corporate management and as a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army Reserve.

When he is not exploring current or former U.S. highways, like CA 99, in his Porsche 912 or Lincoln Town Car, Mike enjoys reading 20th Century history and popular action novels.

If you have questions about Michael "Mike" Newlon call him today: 760-360-3968 or visit his website http://www.highwaytripbooks.com/"

 

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U.S. Route 101 in Central California

Posted by Michael Newlon
Michael Newlon
Travel with me and my 1969 Porsche, and the new Lincoln Town Car project, as I t
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on Thursday, 04 April 2013
in 1969 Porsche 912

U.S. Route 101 was designated in 1926 as one of the original U.S. Federal Highway system’s principal highways. It is a north-south (odd-numbered) highway that once connected the U.S./Canada border at Blaine, Washington with the U.S./Mexico border at San Ysidro, California (south of San Diego).

In the 1970s, vastly increased traffic volume between San Diego and Los Angeles conspired with just-completed Interstate 5 to cause the highway’s southern terminus to be moved north to the 4 Level Interchange in downtown Los Angeles. But the former U.S. highway south of Los Angeles remains an important and heavily used route today. But I get ahead of myself.

For the purposes of this piece, “Central California” is defined as that segment of this historic highway, southbound between the Golden Gate Bridge (San Francisco) and San Luis Obispo.

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Above: The Golden Gate Bridge, completed in May, 1937, remains a beautiful triumph of highway engineering. Before the bridge was built, U.S. Route 101 service across the bay entrance was by ferry or, for the faint of heart, U.S. 101A (“Alternate”) around San Francisco Bay southbound through Richmond, Berkeley, Oakland (where it crossed U.S. Routes 40 and 50 near another ferry terminal serving those two east-west U.S. highways near today’s Jack London Square) Pleasanton, Hayward and San Jose.

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Above: U.S. Route 101 is alive and well in downtown San Francisco. This is the intersection of Van Ness and Lombard Streets. The famous Lombard Street “zigzag” segment is just over the hill at the left background of this photo. Note someone else’s Porsche in the intersection. Small world.

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Above: While much of U.S. Route 101 has been upgraded to Freeway status, much of its 1950s four-lane divided highway configuration remains in service today. Others parts still in service are two lane highway segments looking much as they appeared as far back as 1926. Note the parallel railroad track in the background, behind the tree. We did this trip in my 1969 Porsche 912.

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Above: Skip and Larry Vanderford’s automotive shop in Gilroy, California has a nice touch of central California in front. These flowers add a nice touch to Gilroy’s business district and give Vanderford’s Automotive some nice “curb appeal”.

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Above: Gilroy is considered the Garlic Capitol of the World, for good reason. Look on the jar of fresh garlic in your ‘fridge and it probably came from Gilroy. It’s an old (by California standards) town, too, as evidenced by this stately 1905 downtown building still in full service.

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Above: Further south, San Miguel was put on the map by its namesake Catholic Mission founded in 1797. Today’s Mission Street, directly in front of the Mission’s main gate was, not surprisingly, an early alignment of U.S. Route 101 that originated as “El Camino Real” (the King’s Highway) in 1700’s Spanish California. Note the shiny railroad tracks just past the highway; U.S. highways and parallel railroad tracks a common sight are across the U.S.

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Above: Clearly, the automobile has been very important to Californians from long before the 1926 U.S. Federal Highway System was created. This very early gas station now serves mostly local traffic as an outdoor café’/coffee shop because today’s U.S. Route 101 divided highway is about a quarter mile to the west. The old roadway just couldn’t keep up with California’s traffic.

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Above: Still further south, almost to San Luis Obispo (named for yet another early Spanish Mission) we enjoy old, older and oldest in a single photo.

Old is the in-service U.S. 101 divided highway alignment getting a new coat of asphalt on the left.

Older is the former 2 lane alignment of U.S. Route 101 on the right, clearly obsolete but still in service as a local service road.

Oldest is not the bell marker itself, but what it represents – the original route of El Camino Real laid out in the 1700s by Spanish explorers. That dusty (or muddy) thread of a trail connected the California missions and held Spanish California together. It also formed the basis of U.S. Route 101 in Central California and still serves today’s highway travelers more than 200 years later.

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U.S. Route 101 in Oregon

Posted by Michael Newlon
Michael Newlon
Travel with me and my 1969 Porsche, and the new Lincoln Town Car project, as I t
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on Tuesday, 19 March 2013
in 1969 Porsche 912

Entering Oregon on U.S. Route 101 (US 101) the Astoria-Megler Bridge over the Columbia River is inspiring. Though still only two lanes wide, the Bridge is over 4 miles long and the longest bridge of its type in North America.

From 1926 to when the Astoria-Megler Bridge opened as a toll bridge in 1966, vehicle river crossing service over the Columbia River was by ferry, and then only when weather conditions allowed safe crossings.

That was also the case for U.S. Route 395 crossing the Columbia River further east at Umatilla. Until the Sturgis Bridge was finished in 1955, vehicle river crossings at Umatilla were also by ferry in good weather.

Above: Welcome to Oregon, southbound on US 101 and the Astoria-Megler Bridge. Please pardon the wiper marks on the windshield. It had been raining earlier that day.

Astoria also marks the western terminus of U.S. Route 30 at US 101 near the south end of the Astoria-Megler Bridge. Presently, (2012) U.S. Route 30 is the third longest U.S. highway at 3,073 miles, with an eastern terminus in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Oregon is filled with highway history, as we’ll see below.

Above: Oregon has many excellent historic markers along US 101. This is one of them. It tells an interesting 1806 story about the Lewis & Clark Expedition and early Oregon history.

While US 101 is a major U.S. highway in Oregon, we were pleased that traffic on the highway was unexpectedly light. We concluded that this was because Interstate 5 is just a short distance to the east.

Interstate 5 is fully capable of carrying long-distance traffic (especially heavy trucks) much more efficiently than a two lane U.S. highway that also serves as “Main Street” in the cities and smaller coastal communities through which it passes.

Above: This is my favorite photo of the Porsche 912 and Oregon coast

The central Oregon coast is spectacular, with the photo above as a representative sample. In addition, the Oregon beaches seem to be just one state park after another for the vast majority of US 101 in Oregon.

In the summer, local and tourist vacationers use US 101 to get themselves and their camping gear from place to place along the wonderful Oregon coast. We were impressed.

Above: Tillamook is a County and a town through which US 101 passes near the Oregon coast south of Astoria.

The Tillamook County Creamery Association is a large and successfully farmer-owned dairy cooperative. Tillamook dairy products are top quality and their dairy processing facility, right there on US 101, is state of the art. Their tours are excellent – we did one while we were in town and enjoyed it very much.

Above: Looking to the south, this sign marks the western terminus of U.S. Route 20, at US 101 in Newport, Oregon.

From this intersection of U.S. Routes 101 and 20 in Newport, Oregon, one can drive east 3,365 miles to Kenmore Square in Boston, Massachusetts. Interestingly, U.S. Route 20 is in 2 sections because a U.S. highway cannot pass through a National Park, in this case Yellowstone in Wyoming.

Above: Oregon’s bridges are spectacular with the three shown in this piece as mere samples. This is southbound on the North Bend – Coos Bay Bridge over a large ocean inlet that forms Coos Bay.

Bernadette and I were so impressed with what we saw in Oregon that we made arrangements to come back next year to Brookings, Oregon for an entire month of relaxing vacation time far from our summertime Palm Desert heat.

In a short Blog entry like this, it’s impossible to do more than offer tantalizing tidbits of facts and personal impressions about whatever the subject might be.

I can accept that because, as they say, one photo is worth a thousand words. I hope my photos have sparked something in you that is starting to say, “Hey, why don’t we spend some time visiting the coastal areas of the Pacific Northwest this summer?” I think you’ll be glad you did.

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U.S. Route 101 in Washington State

Posted by Michael Newlon
Michael Newlon
Travel with me and my 1969 Porsche, and the new Lincoln Town Car project, as I t
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on Tuesday, 12 March 2013
in 1969 Porsche 912

U.S. Route 101 (US 101) is the westernmost of the 1926 U.S. Federal highways and generally regarded as one of the most scenic highways in the United States.

Until the great California U.S. Highway Mass Extinction in 1964 US 101 connected the U.S.-Mexico border at San Ysidro, California to the U.S.-Canada border at Blaine, Washington. The 2012 southern terminus is in downtown Los Angeles.

Most of U.S. 101 looks very much like it did in the 1920s and 1930s; a two lane highway on or near the Washington, Oregon and California coastlines. Some of the highway is a four lane Expressway alignment popular in the 1940s and 1950s. Other parts, mostly near major cities have been upgraded to modern Freeway status.

Here we’ll take a look at US 101 in Washington, southbound from the highway’s northern terminus at the State Capitol in Olympia.

Here’s one of those little quirks that can make our U.S. highway system so interesting; southbound US 101 actually goes north on a 300 mile loop around the Olympic Peninsula. Part of that loop is the northernmost point of the highway near Port Angeles, Washington. And a beautiful drive it is!

Olympia to Aberdeen by the most direct route is 49 miles. But I wanted to stay on US 101, 282 miles all the way around to Aberdeen!

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Above: The first sign I could find in Olympia saying that to go to Los Angeles on US 101, about 1,200 miles to the south, one must first drive north.

If you have a map of Washington State, this confusing routing can be seen and should be easier to understand.

Still driving north on our southbound trip, Discovery Bay was a nice stop with an informative historic marker. Such educational luxuries are seldom found beside our Interstate highways.

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Above: Discovery Bay has quite a story that you can read from inside the car (if it’s raining) at a scenic viewpoint. Great way to learn history!

Continuing north from Discovery Bay, the highway soon turns to the west toward Port Angeles and the northernmost point of this trip. Still on our way south to Los Angeles, we are now traveling on U.S. 101 West.

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Above: We are near the northern tip of the Olympic Peninsula where the lush, almost always wet scenery is very different from my home in Palm Desert, California.

Before too long, the highway makes yet another big curve to the left as we are now driving, finally, southbound on U.S. 101 South.

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Above: U.S. 101 South in extreme western Washington. Wet roads call for good windshield wipers and proper defensive driving. Always.

Further south, Raymond, Washington greeted us with sunshine and wet streets. It didn’t take long to find the historic Raymond Theater, fully restored to past glory by an involved community. The Theater was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1991 and is a justifiable source of civic pride.

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Above: The historically significant Raymond Theater is worth a stop to see how things were done in the “good ole’ days”. It is a jewel.

The drive south from Raymond was equally relaxing and scenic. This part of US 101 is a constantly changing diorama of spectacular scenery.

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Above: Washington’s broad, flat beaches are a recreation delight for locals and tourists alike. But they have a Dark Side – these offshore and beach conditions are perfect for tsunamis.

Unseen offshore is the Cascadia Subduction Zone, where the earth’s crust is still very unsettled. Since offshore earthquakes and flat beaches can be a deadly combination, Washingtonians have reminders for locals and tourists alike.

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Above: When I saw signs like this along the coast I was reminded of the horrifying videos of tsunamis at work in Japan after the 2011 “seismic event”.

Nearing the end of our time in Washington, we came upon the massive Megler-Astoria Bridge over the Columbia River separating Washington and Oregon. The 21,474 foot (4.06 miles) bridge is a monster. We stopped for photos.

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Above: Extreme southwest Washington with the Columbia River and the Astoria-Megler Bridge (and Oregon) in the background. This was a great way to end our drive in the Porsche 912 on US 101 through Washington.

 

Shortly after wife Bernadette took this photo we were driving across the bridge to Oregon and the next leg of our journey.

We’ll post it here soon. Come back and check it out!

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Porsche 912 at Car Show 01

Posted by Michael Newlon
Michael Newlon
Travel with me and my 1969 Porsche, and the new Lincoln Town Car project, as I t
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on Wednesday, 06 March 2013
in 1969 Porsche 912

Porsche 912 Is Also There I http://highwaytripbooks.com

Michael "Mike" Newlon Retired in 2005 after a dual career in private sector corporate management and as a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army Reserve.

When he is not exploring current or former U.S. highways, like CA 99, in his Porsche 912 or Lincoln Town Car, Mike enjoys reading 20th Century history and popular action novels.

If you have questions about Michael "Mike" Newlon call him today: 760-360-3968 or visit his website  www.highwaytripbooks.com

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What's So Special…? #11 - Transmissions

Posted by Michael Newlon
Michael Newlon
Travel with me and my 1969 Porsche, and the new Lincoln Town Car project, as I t
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on Wednesday, 27 February 2013
in 1969 Porsche 912

In the 1969 model year, Porsche offered three passenger car transmissions.

The relatively wide gear ratios built into the 4 speed, 901/06 transmission was not intended for racing or autocross, especially in the relatively tame 4 cylinder 912.

This transmission, though, is especially well suited for low stress everyday driving and long distance highway cruising.

The 901/06 was the standard transmission on all 1969 912 Porsche models and what I have in my 912.

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Above: The conventional, and stock, gear selector lever in my 1969 912.

A word about Porsche 4 speed transmissions is in order. Porsche liked 4 speed transmissions that would do the job.

Some people have forgotten, or may not have known in the first place, that the legendary Porsche factory 917s that won outright at Le Mans in 1970 and 1971 did so with an air cooled 12 cylinder engine and a 4 speed transmission.

Did only 4 forward speeds limit the 917’s top speed? No. One of the 1970-71 917 race cars was reportedly clocked at Le Mans, in competition, at an astounding 246 miles per hour! I like to think my 1969 912 and the 917s of 1970 and 1971 are distant, albeit very distant, cousins. But I digress.

The 911/01 was Porsche’s close-ratio 5-speed manual transmission for most 1969 model year passenger cars. This transmission was optional on the 912.

A common misconception over the years has been that the top gear in the 911/01 5-speed transmission was, compared to the 901/06 4-speed, an “overdrive” gear for economy cruising or for higher top speeds.

Not true. The standard 1st and top (4th or 5th) gear ratios in the 1969 4-speed and 5-speed factory passenger car transmissions were identical.

Clearly, the “performance” transmission is the 911/01 5-speed with three “close ratio” intermediate gears between 1st and 5th. This setup is especially effective on the more powerful 911 models which are also capable of higher top speeds because they are simply more powerful than the smaller, milder and carburetor-equipped 912.

If just the mighty 911’s having more power than the 912 weren’t enough, the 911E and 911S engines were fully capable of higher (7,500 versus 6,000) sustained engine revolutions per minute (rpm) than the 912. Having more power, and at least another 1,500 rpm of it, is a compelling combination!

But the 901-05 transmission has, for some, a dark side. The 5-speed transmission’s shift pattern has 1st gear down and to the left, closest to the driver’s right leg in a left-hand-drive chassis.

Because of this gear selection position, more than one overenthusiastic driver has missed a high performance shift from 1st to 2nd and ended up in 4th gear.

This unfortunate eye-hand coordination, or concentration, problem was often detrimental to the transmission, clutch, engine or driver’s ego, and occasionally all four.

A third “Sportomatic” automatic transmission was an option for 1969 911S and E models. It was, and remains, a rugged and durable transmission. It was proven early in the winning Porsche 911 at the 84 hour Nuremburg endurance trials in 1968. The “Sportomatic” transmission was not available on 1969 911T or 912 models.

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Above: A “shop shot” of the 912’s 4 speed transmission, gunk and all. But note the axle boots are in excellent condition, since the originals were replaced in the 2005-06 rehabilitation project.

Finally, since all Porsches are race cars, a wide variety of gear sets for the manual transmissions were (and are) available for either transmission available on the 1969 912.

Even decades after the car was built, a serious 1969 Porsche owner, with equally serious financial resources, can have a transmission gear set and final drive ratio (via a selected spline gear ratio) package designed, assembled and installed to match any driving need.

The shortened (believe it or not) gear chart below shows the very large number of transmission gears available in 2012 for even the very early 901-911 models.

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Above: This abbreviated gear chart is in the public domain and shows the extremely wide selection of transmission gear ratios available on post 1964 Porsche models. And this is only part of the list!

But this happy 912 owner needs nothing so exotic. I’m perfectly satisfied with my 912’s original (it hasn’t even been rebuilt!) 901/06 4-speed transmission for exploring America’s current and former U.S. highways.

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