Monday morning in Midland it was rise and shine with the daily morning driver's meeting conducted by Trail Boss Rick Love. It was a short drive to the Commemorative Air Force Museum located next to the Midland airport. On display at the museum are vintage combat airplanes, artifacts and memorabilia that tell the story of America's aviation history during wartime. The displays are amazing and give visitors an in depth look at the period in our history and situations that lead up to World War II and other wars that our country was involved in over the years . One of the most popular exhibits at the CAF Museum is the section of original nose art from World War II combat airplanes. This artwork was saved from the scrapheap after the war and the folks at the museum are carefully restoring the work to its original glory. While photos are not permitted in this section, there is a great book about nose art in the museum gift shop. After our tour we sat as a group in one of the hangers and enjoyed a great fajita lunch. It was then time to head to Amarillo.
We arrived in Amarillo by 5 p.m. and headed to the Soncy Road Body Shop. Our hosts for the evening were Bill and Mark Warrick. The food, some of which was provided by the local Albertson's Supermarkets was ready when we arrived and the local hot rod contingent was out in full force to greet us. The skies threatened rain but after just a few sprinkles all was fine. Over the past 45 years Bill Warrick and more recently his son Mark have turned out some fantastic projects and their paint and body work is incredible. Their tastes run from restorations to full blown customs with street machines, street rods and motorcycles included in the mix. The collection of automobilia and nostalgia items on display at the shop was staggering. The Road Tourians drooled at the neon signs, gas pumps and globes, pedal cars, derby races and everything in between. The lot outside contained some classic vintage tin and there were enough projects to last a lifetime. Bill and Mark were also kind enough to give a helping hand to some of our group that had encountered some mechanical problems along the way. It was a wonderful evening at Soncy Road Body Shop and our hats off to Bill and Mark Warrick for the fantastic evening.
Tuesday morning we stopped at a field that has become legend in our hobby. Just west of Amarillo six Cadillacs are buried nose first in the ground and have become a mecca for car buff around the world. There are no signs and no explaination at the Cadillac Ranch. It is left up to the visitor to decide who, what and why. It was a fun stop and veteran Road Tourians Ann and Chuck Shepler thought ahead and made up a stencil of the Road Tour logo. They painted it on and it was the perfect place for the Vintage Air group to sign in. After our brief visit at the Cadillac Ranch we headed toward our evening destination of Durango, Colorado. The 475 mile drive took us from the flat plains of west Texas to the mountains of Colorado and it was a spectacular afternoon trip.
On Wednesday we enjoyed one of the most anticipated days of the entire week. We boarded the narrow gauge railroad and made the three hour trip up the mountain to the old mining town of Silverton. Words cannot describe the scenery has we were pulled along behind a coal fired steam locomotive. After lunch and some shopping in Silverton it was another three hour ride back down to Durango. Definitely put the Durango to Silverton Train Ride on your must do list.
Wednesday evening we were guests of honor at a local park car show. Tom Nadzak and members of both the Olde Tymes Car Club and the Durango Old Car Club really rolled out the red carpet for the evening complete with burgers on the grill for everyone. Thanks for all your hospitality folks.
The Vintage Air Tour continues and we are getting close to our destination of the NSRA Rocky Mountain Nationals. Check back here and see how we make out as we cross the Continental Divide and roll into Pueblo on Thursday.