The Ghost train left historic Ely, NV for Fallon. We continued on Rt 50, “The Loneliest Road in America,” for the entire distance. We covered almost 300 miles, mostly through the desert that included seven mountain passes.
Mountain roads through Nevada can be a bit tricky as noted by the sign passed by a Silver Ghost.
The day started out a cool 45 degrees that required coats, hats and gloves in the middle of the summer. By 9:00 am, the temperature had risen to around 80 degrees before climbing into the mid-90s. Tops went up and down on the Ghosts, some had the tops up in the morning to hold in some heat or to shed the sun in the afternoon. Many of the intrepid drivers continue to run the entire trip with the tops down. With top-down touring, you’re more likely to spot the mule deer, bobcat or other wildlife we saw on the day’s journey. The Botway family has traveled over 3,000 miles in their 1925 boat tail roadster with no top and no windows. Depending on the weather, their driving adventure has looked like an episode of “Survivor.”
David Robson in 1912 L to E tourer taking one of the mountain roads on the steep descent into Austin, NV in his light and powerful Silver Ghost.
Several of the mountains included steep descents with one ending in a small town where the speed limit dropped to 25 miles per hour. One of the participants (non U.S. citizen) drove his Ghost a bit faster into town and was pulled over by the local police. After explaining his trouble in converting his kilometer speedometer to miles per hour, he was waved on his way with a warning about being more careful. It appears there are advantages to driving a Ghost that go beyond the sheer joy of piloting the fine old cars.
1924 Silver Ghost (3AU) with Locke Roadster body parked on a salt flat that straddles Rt 50, “The Loneliest Road in America.”
We continued from Fallon to Virginia City, Reno and our final destination at Lake Tahoe. The drive to Virginia City was through the desert and culminated in a steep mountain ascent of 15 degrees. There were numerous warnings about taking the easier route into Virginia City but all the Silver Ghosts took the steep and scenic road.
Albert Eberhard’s (Portugal) 1926 Stratford parked in Virginia City, NV by the Mark Twain Museum.
We lunched at the National Motor Museum in Reno before taking a short detour to visit a private car collection. The Ghosts headed for Tahoe late in the afternoon when the thermometer read 105 degrees in Reno. The Ghosts handled the hot weather and long climb of almost 5,000’ to the summit in excellent fashion. By this point on the tour, the drivers were accustomed to steep mountain runs and knew which gear to select for the long climb. Our stay for the next day is the Cal-Neva resort that straddles the Nevada and California state lines.
Silver Ghost parked at the National Automotive Museum in Reno, NV
The headlights on this 1923 Silver Ghost are made to swivel on their base. This mechanism provides two advantages, including: improving the wind flow across the radiator to improve cooling efficiency and secondly to protect the headlight lenses from flying road debris.
Cliff Botway’s 1925 Boat tail roadster with son, Cooper and grandson Clinton. This Ghost has no top or side windows and the three occupants have driven over 3,500 miles on the coast-to-coast trip.
Continue to August 10-11, 2004
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