I love road trip stories like this. I've done the buy an old car long distance sight unseen and get on a plane and drive it back a couple of times, both with my wife before she was my wife. She married me anyway. Both times, we just went and almost literally just jumped in each car and started driving back to CA. Honestly, I'm not sure I did much more than check the oil before heading out and not too sure I even did that either time. Blind optimism does sometimes works out.
My wife is a planner, but that is about all of the planning I'm good for. Both times the Sparks/Reno area caught us with some short lived, fortunately minor car troubles. But both cars ended up being nice cars to own and started off with a memorable trip. I don't have either car any more. But I'm still married, 2 kids now, and still have the memories.
PS, I'd love to have a kick ass sweet looking Riviera like either of those cars. Both great scores. But, in my lame opinon that isn't worth a pile of ant poop, I think Norm got the better car.