It’s been the month for visits from Sharka’s distant relatives. This time, a 99 NB belonging to a fellow named Jessie came to town. And they came the long way. Albuquerque was on about mile 6800 of their journey.
By the time they got to Albuquerque, Jessie and his Dad had nearly completed this incredible loop of the country. Roughly 7000 miles, though I’d guestimate more like 8000 by the time they’re home. That’s… amazing to me. I’m incredibly jealous of this trip. But I’m also incredibly fortunate to have been able to participate in a very small way.
Before I go into photos and get lost typing out my small part of this epic journey, I wanted to make sure to link to Jessie’s thread on ClubRoadster. There’s hundreds of photos. Maybe over 1000 by the time they get home. It is well worth a look. Check it out.
Jessie got these 949Racing 6UL wheels (15×8, I believe) just days before leaving on the trip. He wrapped them in Yokohama’s excellent s.drive tire. Out of the four that started the journey, I believe three are currently undamaged. One needed some repair after a boulder in Glacier National Park took out a chunk.
FM’s Vmaxx suspension is keeping the chassis under control for the drive. I didn’t actually ride in it, but I could see how composed the car was over bumps and dips up the road to Sandia Crest. I was impressed.
Inside, the 99 features a tan interior, tube frame style race seats, AWD gauges, and the gorgeous black KG Works instrument panel. But more on that in a bit.
Race seats. Yes. 7000+ miles in race seats. That, my friends, is hardcore. On both sides. Both Jessie and his Pops have sat in fixed back race seats for the whole trip. I had to sample them, and I must say that I was impressed. They felt just like the old MOMO Start seats of the early 2000s. Very very comfortable. Like a nicely-supportive hammock for your butt. I autocrossed a car with those seats for a couple seasons. Loved it.
Still. Cross country in them is pretty hardcore. I tip my hat to them both.
This was my first time seeing the NB KG Works cluster in person. I was extremely impressed. After just a few moments I decided I must have one for Bucky. It’s just an incredibly nice piece. Every bit as classy as the NA cluster in Sharka.
Before leaving on our trip up the mountain, I stuck some vent rings in the NB. Sharka and I wanted to give them a small memento of Albuquerque, and vent rings seemed like the ticket. Jessie chose the gloss black ones. And, if I say so myself, they really go well with the interior. Classy like that instrument cluster. You can see them in the interior photo above.
No huge bag of spares is in the trunk for this 99 engine. A half quart of oil is all that they’re carrying. It’s all they need. They’ve not had any problems. I believe they stopped in a California shop for an oil change and a quick inspection to make sure things were fine, but that’s it. And things were indeed fine.
I met the father and son in the middle of the week after work. I couldn’t really take them far out of town to any awesome distant roads, but I could at least take them up the Sandias. From my garage, it’s a 100 mile round trip. And it’s a hell of a lot of fun. Perfect for an evening cruise.
I’ve already written about this road (recently too), so I’ll be rather be rather brief. If you wanna find out more about the Sandia Crest Road, check out my drive report.
Our drive up was wonderful. We reached the top about an hour before sunset. Not much traffic at all. No crazy hot temperatures. No sudden rain storms. Just a nice drive along the twisting path.
I can’t really put into words all the feelings I have about this. I feel incredibly blessed to have been a small part of a chapter in Jessie’s incredible adventure. As I said above, I’m also quite jealous. Jessie’s relationship with his dad is really something special. I’m very close to my pops. I’m proud to say that I always have been. We work out every week and see each other quite often. But we’ve never done a road trip like this. It is something I’ve always wanted to do.
It wouldn’t have to be 7000 miles. Just a road trip in Sharka with my dad. A couple of cameras in the trunk and some Elise seats to coddle our ageing posteriors. Drive till we find a hotel and then drive some more the next day. Sounds pretty damn good to me at this moment.
Yeah, I’m gonna have to get on that. I think a trip to Grand Junction might be in order… soon.
We drove down the mountain and parted ways after a small break at a gas station. As I drove the freeway home, I was smiled upon by the great sunset gods with this scene. My camera was on the seat next to me. I turned it on and snapped a frame. This is what I got. The perfect end to a day.
Again, a million thanks for letting me tag along for a small portion of your trip, Jessie. I wish you and your dad many more happy miles.