Sept 2002 - Maserati Club Okanagan Run
Drove up to Osoyoos, Penticton and Kelowna with two other Maseratis from the local Maserati Club. It was a gorgeous three day run up to the local wine country. We drove on a lot of back roads, saw a lot of beautiful country, and enjoyed the local food and wine, all under sunny and warm autumn skies. As an aside, I believe that most of the tress across the lake from Westbank in the photo below were destroyed by fire during August 2003.
August 2002 - Vancouver to San Diego and Back via Concoorso Italiano in Monterey
My adventures in 4800 kms (~3000 miles) in 12 days over the 4100' Siskiyou pass, across the searing 105 degree heat of central California, and through the traffic jams of suburban Seattle. All in my Maserati 228!
Aug 12. Monday. Took a deep breath and departed Vancouver at 7 AM. Had taken the car to the shop on the Friday before for final tweaking, then gone up to Whistler on the weekend for a shakedown run. Nothing broke or fell off on the Whistler run which was about 150 miles, so I figured I was good to go! Took the cell phone just in case, but knew that GSM coverage was weak outside of urban centres. Also took the tool kit and a supply of miscellaneous spare parts, but with my limited mechanical skills I knew I would be in trouble if any kind of breakdown or problem occurred. Crossed through the border into the US without any hassles and we were on our way. Made it down to Monterey in 2 1/2 days of easy driving, the car performed flawlessly. I was taking it gentle on the way down, making sure not to do things like accelerating heavily up mountain passes.
Arrived in Monterey on Wednesday, a day earlier than I needed to be there, but I had allowed an extra day in the travels just in case of trouble! I hung around Monterey for the whole weekend, then took off for San Diego on the Monday.
Aug 19. Monday.
Drove from Monterey to San Diego with an overnight stop in Pismo Beach. Had the only real mechanical problem of the trip just north of LA. The nipple of the bottom of the radiator overflow tank broke off, draining radiator fluid out. In an almost unbelievable stroke of luck, it occurred on the driveway of a fellow 228 owner! He very generously allowed me to take the tank from his car, and I was on my way to San Diego to visit friends.
Aug 23. Friday
Headed back to Vancouver. Drove 11 hours on Friday, 17 hours on Saturday. Highlight was a 3 hour traffic jam in Cetralia Washington due to a multicar fatal accident on the highway. Also hit bad traffic in LA, Stockton, and Seattle.
The car performed very well and I was extremely happy with it. Overheating was never a problem, the engine temperature was 80 degrees most of the time, in stop and go traffic and going up hills it would creep up to 90, and coasting down hills it would drop down to 70. I drove mostly at 120 - 140 kph and measured my highway gas mileage at approximately 18 mpg (US), 21 mpg (Imperial), 7.6 km/l. I did not measure city mileage. Oil pressure was rock solid the whole way. I didn't lose any oil, and the electrical system never flinched or showed any quirks. Some other minor problems I had were that the A/C which worked well in Vancouver didn't seem to be getting the job done as the temperatures got high in Oregon and California. Lucky it was cool when we arrived in Monterey. Also the K&N filters which I was using as vents for the heads were weeping a bit of oil onto the heads. The brakes also became soft, but reflecting back I recall that they had already started out a bit soft when I left Vancouver. The differential developed a bit of a leak. Lastly, I felt the car needed more power at higher RPMs. It goes like a kick in the pants when the turbos first spool up, but struggles at the top of the RPM range. As far as handling goes, the lowering of the car combined with the new/bigger sway bars has really helped. It feels much tighter and solid in the turns now.