Places I've been in this car

It's not really obvious, but I built this car (my 1963 Rambler Classic Cross Country) for mild off-road camping, meaning basically unimproved dirt roads, like the East Mojave (Calif. desert). It weighs 3150 pounds. With custom wound springs, the tallest wheels and tires I could find, it's got about 9" of ground clearance, about 8" under the axle center and under the LP tank. It sleeps two, has about 400 mile drop-dead range on a full tank. It's clearly just two-wheel drive, the motor is fairly small, and the weak spot is the little air-cooled Borg-Warner M35 automatic transmission [maybe not; it's gone 18 years so far on one rebuild]. The weird and old torque tube drive system is actually an advantage, since it's sealed clean and lubricated, and was built new in 1996. The engine has some 250,000 miles one it (rebuild in 1989), the whole car has 325,000 miles on it (March 2007). I've been driving it since 1989.

I never said I went fast down these dirt roads. In fact, I practically crawl, and when the going gets rough, I walk it first, and often simply back out. No rock climbing here!

But I've been to a lot of weird places in this car, and will hopefully go through a lot more. I'll probably never fully annotate these photos, and I'm not sure I could any more, most of them.

I've been on countless trips in this thing. Few are documented here, like our 1996 trip around the US, some 11,000 miles: San Francisco, Seattle, Sturgis, Dearborn MI, Cape Cod, Atlanta, Gulf Coast, New Orleans, Santa Fe, Los Angeles, San Francisco. Took some film photos, not yet scanned.

I haven't taken a lot of photos of the car itself, as you can see, mostly I took photos from the car. Eh, no regrets.

(Most of the pre-1997 photos were scanned from photographs; I bought a crappy Kodak digital camera in 1996, upgraded to a wonderful FujiFilm 2700 in 1998; replaced in 2006 with a Sony DSC-W7 when the Fuji literally fell apart (I took thousands of photos with it, took it everywhere). For most images, the filenames are the "captions". Peek at the name of the file for a hint as to the photo's content.)

This year (2007) is a big upgrade year. Transmission rebuild (last one in '89 or was it '90); new tires, radiator shocks and suspension. I'm making a small, lightweight trailer for Burning Man trips. It got air conditioning two years ago. I see no reason to not continue to run it as I always have.

This is only a small fraction of the photos; some are paper and need to be scanned, and some are just scattered on my computer. I will organize them; but some of this took me 10 years to do.

All images on this site are Copyright Tom Jennings.

  • Assorted old photos
  • September 2002, Santa Fe
  • April 2004, Tucson
  • July 2005, Independence CA