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Art & Inspiration Anybody Drive on Dirt/Gravel Roadways?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Flat Six Fix, Mar 26, 2021.

  1. Flat Six Fix
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 1,269

    Flat Six Fix

    Hi all, many roadways in our traditional Hotrod era were gravelly or dirt.
    Now the improved roads might been oiled and graded a lot to keep in good form.
    Would been very common in rural areas, well into what the 60s. Of course lots of county and state US highways and Interstate roads were paved but many feeder roads were not.
    I live rural 3 miles from the paved highway my road is dust controlled gravel. Its a fairly busy road and is just shy of traffic volume to warrant ashphalting.
    So driving Hotrods, vintage stuff gets very dusty and roughed up, stone chips etc.
    I have not cleaned prepped or painted my current jalopy underneath like I did others Ice had. They just get beat up.
    1 neighbor gas a 49 year old off topic Ford pickup he bought new in his young years.
    Its absolutely mint with beautiful new paint.
    He drives it very sparingly on this road and moves along very slowly on top of it.
    Anybody else in the same boat?
    Let's hear about it...
    Stogy likes this.
  2. 210superair
    Joined: Jun 23, 2020
    Posts: 743

    from Michigan

    I stay off of dirt and gravel roads if I can, yeah. I don't want to be paranoid about it, but it's got nice paint, and I don't want to paint it again anytime soon, so every scratch bums me out. If there's somewhere I can't get to that I want to go, I will, but I prefer not to. If the car was more of a patina look, I wouldn't care...
    Stogy and Joe Travers like this.
  3. williebill
    Joined: Mar 1, 2004
    Posts: 2,751


    Nothing important to add, except I'll tell a little story. Back in the good old days (70s) I was able to find a fair bit of 49-51 Merc NOS sheetmetal. Then, it wasn't impossible to find coupe lower rear quarters, front fenders, doors, etc. I always found more RH sides than LH sides.
    Bought some NOS stuff from an old bodyman once, and his stuff was the same, more RH stuff than LH stuff. He told me that when these cars were new, and many drove on roads like you described, the left side was exposed to crap, splash, and chips, etc., the right side wasn't. This was from meeting cars on the road going the other way. So the left side of the car went to shit before the right side did, so there was less leftover left hand sheetmetal in later years. He told me it was always that way with cars driven on dirt or gravel.
    Stogy, Boneyard51, loudbang and 3 others like this.
  4. das858
    Joined: Jul 28, 2010
    Posts: 728


    I live on a mile and a half of gravel , drive slow till I get to pavement , but still get a lot of rock chips .

  5. I live 3/4 of a mile off pavement, on a private and supposedly gravel road but the morons the HOA past me hires to grade the road usually converts it into more of a dirt road. At least the county quit 'repaving' the roads leading to here with oil/gravel about 10-12 years ago, so having always-chipped windshields is in the past. I replaced one one time and didn't even make it home before it was chipped. They had to get pretty bad before I'd replace one.

    I got stopped by a WSP one time and the rookie who came to my window remarked how bad my windshield was (it had over 40 cracks/chips in it, I'd counted... The only clear area was where the driver sat/looked). I said 'I live in Yelm' and he started to say something more when the training officer with him said 'He's from Yelm, the windshield is OK'.... LOL

    My cars do look driven....
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2021
    Driver50x, Oldb, Stogy and 4 others like this.
  6. hotrodharry2
    Joined: Nov 19, 2008
    Posts: 689

    from Michigan

    I live on a unimproved road as they call it. It's only 1/2 mile but they try to control the dust. (twice a year they treat it & they also grade it at that time) They seem to forget there are 4 commercial companies ranging from Whole sale lumber company, woodworking shop (custom furniture), a store for growing plants inside, and a commercial Hopps farm. The road isn't kept up and is tough enough on our family cars let alone our toys. So I drive slow no matter what I drive. I have friends that won't drive their Hotrods on dirt, so I don't see them often. I just put up with it, too old to care. lol
    Stogy likes this.
  7. Matt55folife
    Joined: Nov 28, 2020
    Posts: 126


    Yes i to live on a dirt road. I wouldnt have it any other way though. Plus my shop has a gravel floor! We stay true to the ol school around here! I usally drive my 55 like i have a lil sence but when i get in that ol pickup u better watch out! Look like a pissed off teenager comin down the road with a big cloud of dust chasin me! My kids love to “go fish tailing” as they call it. It wont be long and ill be teaching my oldest how to drive on this road and im sure there will be a doughnut learning lesson involved somwere in there! Sometimes its tough on my whitewalls but thats y im good at scrubbin them! I love my ol dirt road. Sure is quite at night!

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    scotty t, Driver50x, Stogy and 4 others like this.
  8. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 5,375

    from red oak

    Don`t live on a gravel road, but yes I do drive on them when needed. Didn`t want to drive 15 miles out of my way to only drive on pavement. Bridge was out. Sometimes when taking back roads, they turn to gravel. My car has 60 thousand miles on it since it was painted last. So it does have a scrape or two and rock chips as well. I often wonder when people say they drive their old cars. Ya, limited distances and only on paved roads. Other wise it`s on a trailer. I drove it this winter with 5 inches of snow on the ground, it was easier for my wife to get in and out of after having surgery. You do what you gotta do.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2021
    vtx1800, Stogy, Matt55folife and 3 others like this.
  9. Joe Travers
    Joined: Mar 21, 2021
    Posts: 253

    Joe Travers
    from Louisiana
    1. H.A.M.B. Chapel

    Learned to drive on old gravel roads in the National Forest in early '70s skating around curves and dodging cattle :) Now I IDLE down a gravel driveway. ;)

  10. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 48,668


    moved to the country in 1993, a mile of dirt road. Then around 2000 they chip sealed the road, so only 1/4 mile of dirt driveway. Been doing that for a long time...but now, we just moved, and we're on a paved road. It's wonderful.
    wicarnut, Lil32, Stogy and 5 others like this.
  11. 210superair
    Joined: Jun 23, 2020
    Posts: 743

    from Michigan

    I used to live with a friend at his farm in my 20s, dirt road in bfe, cars almost never went down it. There was a big gradual curve, and I used to come into it on my Yamaha banshee, drop to 5th gear and gun it, and slide like a sprint all thru that thing faster than hell. Damn that was fun.... Lol

    So I feel ya. Tearing up some deserted dirt roads is a damn good time...
  12. dartracer
    Joined: Apr 18, 2009
    Posts: 251


    I drive 5 miles to the pavement, I take it real easy on my way out and in. 4213F73B-B1F8-45E5-8E6F-BA577E8AFE6E.jpeg
    Driver50x, Stogy, moparboy440 and 4 others like this.
  13. TCATTC
    Joined: Oct 12, 2019
    Posts: 263


    I live 3mi. up a dirt road. It varies from a good road in places, sand beds in other places and red Georgia clay mud when it rains. I drive all my cars and motorcycles on it and don't give it a thought unless it's raining or has been. Don't like that mud under my cars. lol
  14. five-oh
    Joined: Jan 10, 2008
    Posts: 411

    from Arkansas
    1. HAMB Old Farts' Club

    About a half mile of dirt here. Been driving on dirt roads all of my life, and wouldn't know what it is like to not have to drive on them. This is one reason all of my cars will forever be driver quality, no show.
    Only time it has ever bothered me is when I enjoyed my off topic Corvette. I HATED driving it on any dirt- the design of it seemed to make the back side of it collect dust by the truckload.
    Flat Six Fix likes this.
  15. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 7,624

    anthony myrick

    Push the right pedal forward and enjoy the gravel.
    Tman, Tim, Matt55folife and 1 other person like this.
  16. 51504bat
    Joined: May 22, 2010
    Posts: 2,752


    In the early '80's I worked in the claims office for the local office of the CA Department of Transportation. Chip seal projects were a big part of the highway maintenance program at the time. Chip seals are effective in maintaining asphalt highways BUT the process involves spreading "chips" on an oil base. Until the "chips" are securely embedded they have a tendency to go airborne and reek havoc on passing vehicles. Broken windshields, headlights, and damaged paint jobs were common. If you come anywhere near a chip seal in progress my advice is to turn around immediately. You can drive through the work are at the posted lower speed limit only to have some Adam Henry pass you at full speed showering your car with "chips".
    210superair and Flat Six Fix like this.
  17. Ziggster
    Joined: Aug 27, 2018
    Posts: 887


    We have about 2 kms of gravel including about 150 metres of driveway. It used to be a bit more but like others they sealed a 1/2 km section a while back. One section though gets real nasty, especially this time of the year with the snowmelt. This section is actually lower than the fields on both sides, so it fills with water, and gets the biggest potholes. Two years ago they poured gravel over another 1.5 km section of old paved road. We fully expected them to repave it; but they didn’t and it was left like that for another year and thankfully was repaved last year. It was like heaven after driving on that old patched and repatched section for 20 yrs. Our daily driver’s take a real beating, and I remember years a mechanic in town asking me where we lived. He said he had never seen anything like it. Mud and gravel piled up on the rear suspension crossmember. I was just at our local garage yesterday and we were talking about the same thing, and he mentioned someone down our road who keeps bringing their vehicle to them because of violent shaking of the steering wheel. He told me that for whatever reason, this particular vehicle (Toyota Highlander) has hub-cabs that are fixed to the rim, and as such, mud and dirt builds up on the rim really quickly. They keep telling the owners that they need to pressure wash the accumulated sand/dirt off the inside of the rim, but they don’t listen. In fact I had jus5 done that to all three of our daily driver over the last couple of weeks due to wheel vibration as well.
    Flat Six Fix likes this.
  18. Marty Strode
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 5,773

    Marty Strode

    You guys are making me feel better about my 120 yards of gravel, to the pavement.
    Flat Six Fix likes this.
  19. TrailerTrashToo
    Joined: Jun 20, 2018
    Posts: 945


    About 1/4 mile of unimproved, rocky, potholed road. This is the price of a low-cost-of-living situation. Last year, I filled in some of the worst potholes. At 76 years old, I've run out of energy for that kind of work (and used the last of the good fill dirt).

    I am thankful for the rocky land, much better than "Mud Season" in New England. I tend to drive it fast, after 35 years, I know where the big potholes and big rock are. Fast enough to set off the traction control light on the wife's Subaru.
    Flat Six Fix likes this.
  20. I live in pavement but drive many miles on gravel, doesn’t bother me

    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
    Matt55folife and Flat Six Fix like this.
  21. Belair235
    Joined: Aug 1, 2019
    Posts: 72


    After 32 years of town living, I’m back out on the farm where I grew up, we’re building a new house and new shop down the road a piece from my childhood home. I’ll gladly drive my 50 Olds and Mustang on the same old gravel road where I learned how to drive. Rock chips in the paint are badges of honor to me, it shows you drive your cars and enjoy them. A little dust and a little chipped paint is a good trade for peace and quiet.

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  22. wicarnut
    Joined: Oct 29, 2009
    Posts: 6,750


    I live in northern Wisconsin, the roads are always dirty from shoulder gravel, broken up roadway and my cars pay a price as I drive them. Road rash is a common problem. In my travels compared to other states our Wi. roads are fair to good. Apparently none of the states have any money for road maintenance anymore. I have a long gravel driveway also, So............ super nice high dollar show paint was/is never in my plans. I do appreciate a fresh car, mine start out like that but after 4/5 years it shows, I repainted my Mercury front end last year. Wisconsin tars/ pea gravels state/county highways and you have to stay off them, tar and gravel, what a mess PIA. They did that on the county highway I lived on when I had my roadster,( very expensive paint on that one) didn't/couldn't drive it for 2 1/2 months.
    Tickety Boo and Flat Six Fix like this.
  23. Frankie47
    Joined: Dec 20, 2008
    Posts: 1,868

    from omaha ne.

    3 miles from pavement to the farm and as one guy said I try to baby it but then some farmer will come tearing ass with his truck slinging gravel every which way as he goes blast it.
    On a side note did any one else’s Dad spray the the bottom of their car or truck with waste oil and then go for a Sunday drive on a long stretch of gravel road? That is how my Pops used to undercoat his rides
    Flat Six Fix likes this.
  24. 210superair
    Joined: Jun 23, 2020
    Posts: 743

    from Michigan

    Some of the dirt roads around me it's not even the dirt or rocks that scare me, but the huge pot holes and washboard ribbed roads. Until they grade them each spring, they can get really brutal.
    Flat Six Fix likes this.
  25. Flat Six Fix
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 1,269

    Flat Six Fix

    Yup Frankie same funding shit up here too. Some people don't care about other drivers in the least.
    My road, because its a Fire and School bus route is wide and maintained not bad.
    Yes its frickin dusty, but when its all wet its a real sloppy mess.
    My DD is Krown rust controlled and yes the undercarriage is dust coated.
    Frankie47, Stogy and 210superair like this.
  26. winduptoy
    Joined: Feb 19, 2013
    Posts: 2,378


    Yep, when I leave or come back home and sometimes in between
    j3harleys, Stogy, 210superair and 2 others like this.
  27. 4tford
    Joined: Aug 27, 2005
    Posts: 1,748


    Yeah, I'm living on a dirt road for the last 31 years. All my cars get driven on it or why bother having them. A friend of mine also lives on a dirt road but trailers his cars to a parking lot then cruises that way.
    Stogy and Flat Six Fix like this.
  28. Years ago I took a family vacation to a fish camp owned by a friend of mine. It was in a State Forest in northern Wisconsin, Kettel Moraine area. I owned an OT Volare wagon, slant 6, and four-on-the-floor. I had to drive many miles of damp sand and gravel roads and by the end of the week, I could barely work the floor shift anymore.
    I took the wagon to a coin-operated car wash and laying on my back I pressure washed the shifter, plus I pulled the interior rubber boot to access the shifter from the top. I had some leftover 90wt that I dribbled in the plates-n-pivots, and it was back to shifting like a Swiss watch as long as I owned it. :p
    Frankie47, Stogy and Flat Six Fix like this.
  29. AccurateMike
    Joined: Sep 14, 2020
    Posts: 135


    Every chance I get. I had a 46mi commute, each way, through Cecil & Chester counties. I made a point to do a dirt road every day on the way home. These roads were what it was all about when my parents started driving. My Mom, and her friends, split a $5 '27 Essex . Said they bought it from a farmer. Would have been '39-40 ish. She had great stories about exploring dirt roads in her day. I bet it had a stone chip or two. Now, they are getting harder to find. Bastards keep paving them. Mike
    Stogy and Flat Six Fix like this.
  30. MeanGene427
    Joined: Dec 15, 2010
    Posts: 1,720

    from Napa

    This is my old mount, at the new EB I-80 Scales in Cordelia. Bumps, ruts n potholes? Naaah... Doing haul roads for big scrapers, while trying to not get run over is always fun 1167530_411770738932328_1462090311_o.jpg

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