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, Frank “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://vcca.org/forum/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.