By Kathy Borlik South Bend Tribune on 27 August 2017
It was a once in a lifetime trip. It was so great, in fact, Dave and Gerri Wuergler will probably do it again. Sometimes you miss a few things along the way, you know.
The Granger couple took a month and drove Route 66 in a 1966 Ford Fairlane.
Dave said it wasn’t on a bucket list or anything of the kind. It all fell into place and it was the right time to do it. “It wasn’t a race for us. We wanted to take our time and have a good time. No driving at night. Stop when we wanted to.”
And they did. They got their kicks on Route 66. (Forgive us, Mr. Cole.) They started at Chicago’s Lou Mitchell Restaurant on West Jackson Boulevard right to the pier at Santa Monica, Calif.
Dave loves his classic cars. “Back in the day, I had a Ford Galaxy, a 1966. Then I met Gerri and got married.” He continued that the cars for next few years were for transportation only. No great loves, no classic lines. Frankly, he says, “They were garbage.”
A couple of years ago, Dave was looking for a dream car and he found the Fairlane online in California. A niece looked it over and gave her blessing. It was shipped to Indiana.
Early this spring, Dave said there was nothing on TV so he took to the internet. That’s when he found the Fun Run in Kingman, Ariz. The week of classic cars sounded like the ticket. Gerri said all right but why not make it a bigger trip. Do the whole thing. Yeah, why not?
They left April 27 and returned at the end of May. “It was an amazing trip. All kinds of people from all over the world — Germany, Australia, France. They consider this the way to see the real America.”
They stayed on the original route about 85 percent of the time. Occasionally, it didn’t make sense because the route took them straight through the desert. That’s when they took the interstate.
They made a stop at the Amarillo Big Texas Steakhouse, which offers the 72-ounce steak challenge. The goal was to be there for Dave’s birthday on May 2. He had no comment on whether he finished the steak and the rest of the fixings.
Making it to Santa Monica was satisfying, Dave said. “But there was a touch of sadness because the adventure was over.” They came back on a more northerly route. The total trip was 6,000 plus miles.
All in all, the car handled wonderfully. No issues. “I had everything checked over and we were going on faith. I did increase my towing coverage.”