With a simple fix of a pully the car was ready to go. Feeling bad for Bruce I told him not to worry, I would drive the car to Calgary instead of flying for a July business trip. So I got the temporary insurance and planned for a classic road trip for the 10 hour drive from Vancouver to Calgary over the Rocky Mountain route…an adventure ! I turned up with the car at home running perfectly with it’s headers and loud exhaust. My wife saw the car and said “I thought you sold the car”? I assured her it was sold and it was on it’s way to Calgary. Like most things automotive she just shook her head and knew she would not get all the details. The next morning I knew she was on a teleconference starting at 5 AM PST, I told her I was going to Calgary, which in simple terms was certainly the truth. At about 5:01 AM I started my journey and drove the first hour down the freeway with the car running like a dream. Stopping for gas and a coffee I began the first mountain pass on the Coqihalla Highway which is a spectacular drive through the Coastal Mountains of British Columbia. The car was running well and although the July temperature in the mountains dropped to 4 C, I refused to put up the top…I was going all the way. About 3 hours into the trip while going up a long uphill section there was a massive backfire? Increasingly the car started to sputter and backfire…I was getting nervous. Following the summit I started the downhill section and the car was still sputtering. Nearing the town of Merritt it finally stopped and I coasted for about 5 kilometers before pulling over just outside of Merritt. After a non productive change of the fuel filter I realized I was not going to be making the trip today.
I called the only tow truck in town who came and ‘rescued’ me. Tom’s Towing for the fee of $5/day would store the car till I came back to retrieve it ! Now I had to get to Calgary and was recommended I take the Greyhound. After purchase of my $99 ticket I was enroute for the longest ‘milkrun’ trip which included 15 stop overs which this 7 hour drive was converted into an 11 hour trip. Somewhere along the way my wife called, still suspicious about the morning departure and she asked where I was…having arrived in Banff I told her I was ‘near Calgary’, which again was pretty close to the truth ! After arriving in Calgary without the Beetle…I told Bruce about the day. I suspect Bruce was as honest with his wife as I was with mine