Register now to get rid of these ads!

Customs Best route to drive a Merc flathead wagon from LA to Vegas?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by mechmitch, Apr 10, 2019.

  1. I'm looking for any opinions on the best route to dive an old flathead Merc from the LA/Santa Monica area to VLV22 in Vegas in a couple of weeks. It's the original motor with an Offy intake, headers, and a Holley 450. The overdrive works (usually) so it's great on short hops but sustained high speeds and traffic will probably do it in.
    Any advice from people who have done it, or have smoked a flattie trying?
    Any [​IMG]
     
    Ron Funkhouser likes this.
  2. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 49,545

    squirrel
    Member

    the last time I drove a flathead V8 from Vegas to LA, it was over the Angeles mountains...so don't ask me for a sensible way to do it! :)

    Stick to state highways, not the interstate, and take your time. You should be fine.

    but also look at traffic at different times of day. Google maps has a neat feature where you can specify what time you plan to leave, and it will show usual traffic conditions at that time.
     
    mechmitch likes this.
  3. 51504bat
    Joined: May 22, 2010
    Posts: 2,937

    51504bat
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Foothill Blvd to San berdoo then up the old highway up Cajon pass. You'll have to get on the freeway for a bit and then take the old route 66 to barstow. From there either back on the freeway to vegas or continue on 66 adjacent to I-40 till you get to US 95 then north thru Searchlight into Vegas. A long way and some of this is only by old fart memory but its doable if you're up to it. Another option is valley Blvd. or Arrow hwy east towards Berdoo then several different surface st options to banning then the freeway to hwy 62 through 29 palms till you get to US 95 then north. AAA might have a better suggestion or more details. Good luck.
     
  4. toml24
    Joined: Sep 23, 2009
    Posts: 1,620

    toml24
    Member

    Time wise, if you did take freeways, say starting about 9:00 am on a weekday, it would be about 2-hours Santa Monica to Barstow with no gridlock, then about 2-hours 40 minutes from Barstow to Harrah's Las Vegas. 4-hours 40 minutes minimum time. A non-freeway route would add hours to your trip. If you have a cell phone be sure to check road conditions via CalTrans or any of the local Los Angeles TV websites before you leave. I wish you all the best and would like to see a trip report. Good luck!
     
    jnaki and Lil32 like this.

  5. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 6,093

    jnaki





    upload_2019-4-11_5-2-27.png
    Hello,

    Having driven to Las Vegas several times over the years from all angles in California and Nevada, this seems like the least amount of wear and tear on your old woody. One year, we came back from Las Vegas to the Los Angeles area in Manhattan Beach. So, the route was simple, less traffic than going through San Bernardino and metropolitan LA, and it was a pleasant drive. It is always a different look behind those tall mountains. Plus, it is virtually traffic free and fun. (make sure you have access to phones for emergencies)

    We, So Cal folks have been on the freeways at all times of the day. Around 9am seems to be the best for traffic, pending any construction or necessary alternate routes. One late November, on the way to Santa Barbara, we had to cross the LA Metropolitan area. The freeways were relatively low traffic at 9 am. The Santa Monica Freeway (even across downtown LA) was smooth and flowing. We got to Santa Monica in record time for us and it was a no sweaty hand grips on the steering wheel. Then the coastline was a pleasure drive to Santa Barbara.


    But, there is another way to get across So Cal to Las Vegas. We have taken it both ways during vacation drives and it gives anyone a different look at what is behind that huge mountain range that we constantly see on clear days, behind the metropolitan LA area.

    Just click on this link and it will give you the map and directions.


    https://www.google.com/maps/dir/San...6d5b379a3!2m2!1d-115.1398296!2d36.1699412!3e0

    Jnaki

    There is some freeway driving, but most of the time going 55 in the slow lane is like driving 55 on a surface street. If you are dead set on surface streets, there are a million ways to get that done. But, if time is not on your side, surface streets put miles and hours on your trip.

    Plus, from Santa Monica to San Bernardino is not driving along the coast line of Orange County, San Diego, or Los Angeles beaches. Going 75-80 on the freeways seems fast, but the flow of traffic seems to be creeping up in speed every year. Straight driving without any stops is the smoothest and fastest, but constant speed on surface traffic is more fun. But, not driving on surface streets in LA and its surrounding areas. Take the scenic drive on the other side of the mountain range.


    There will be naysayers on this trip, but less traffic, dry desert climates, a different look to So Cal, and it becomes a great road trip. There is an old adage, the best way to see the metropolitan area of San Bernardino to Los Angeles is when the jets are coming in for the final approach to LAX and one can see the whole area out of the small windows. But, for your trip, the key is not to be in a hurry, make plenty of rest stops and of course, take photos.

     
    Ron Funkhouser likes this.
  6. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 7,884

    blowby
    Member
    from Nicasio Ca

    Took 15 from Barstow to Vegas in January on a weekday morning, and many times before. It's laden with 18 wheelers carrying goods to Vegas. They do about 70mph, cars 80+. There are some slower moving trucks carrying all manner of big cargo. Might be able to follow one. And put a giant magnet on the front bumper. ;)
     
    kadillackid and town sedan like this.
  7. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 6,093

    jnaki








    Hello,
    Since both routes do take in the busy Highway 15 to and from Las Vegas at one point, there are other alternate ways to get to and from both places. We also took the Highway 40 and Highway 95 near the Colorado River as an alternate route one summer. It was a hot drive, but less traffic and some scenery that we had not seen before. So, that is a plus. Time was on our side as we were leisurely driving back to the So Cal coast.

    There is no doubt that getting behind a semi or an giant RV on Highway 15 is not pleasant. So, that Southerly route is much more scenic and less traveled. If we did have to be in Las Vegas for some reason, we definitely would by pass the Highway 15 connection and take the Southerly route through Temecula, Indio, Joshua Tree, drive along the river to Parker Dam and finally connect to the 95 going into Las Vegas from the South. That would be very scenic and virtually empty.
    upload_2019-4-11_12-10-54.png
    Jnaki

    Like all travel itineraries, the choice and time, is yours to plan. Everyone has their own favorite routes as well as alternates. But, since there is not much to see in the Metropolitan LA area, plus the traffic on surface streets, the old saying sometimes gets muddled: "Go South young man...there are treasures to be found."

    Also, as other HAMB travel questions have been asked and suggestions given by many people over the years, we readers/travelers never get to see a finished itinerary or photos of the routes selected through those eyes. (similar to Jeff Thisted's cool road trips...@jeffthisted ) So, what ever you choose, be the first... show us your route and photos. Thanks and have a safe trip.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2019
  8. toml24
    Joined: Sep 23, 2009
    Posts: 1,620

    toml24
    Member

    I too drove drove Manhattan Beach to Las Vegas a few years ago for the CES electronics show in January. My route was the 405 north to the 105 East to the 605 north to the 210 East and finally the 15 north. I was really lucky on a Monday morning starting at 9:00 am. Traffic was very reasonable crossing the entire Los Angeles basin. Including a 10 minute restroom stop in Barstow at the Carl's Jr, the whole trip was less than 5 hours. On the trip back to Manhattan Beach I stop at In-N-Out in Barstow and get an extra large vanilla shake to sip on the trip. It also helps to have a MP3 player filled with oldies but goodies music to pass the time.
     
  9. Wound up taking 10 from Venice to San B and then 15 on up to Vegas. The '62 Bus chase vehicle gave up the first time just a few miles past Victorville and the last time coasting onto the Baker on ramp. AAA brought it the rest of the way in and we got it running again the next day. The '53 Merc flattie did just great, trailing a fine mist of oil and crankcase gasses the entire 315 miles or so.
    Overall a great trip and, since we were the only woodie represented there, it was well worth it.[​IMG] IMG_5917.jpg
     

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!

Archive

Copyright © 1995-2021 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.