SoCal C5 Family Member
Drives: 1996 Z28 SS & 2010 RS
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Santee, CA
Camaro5 Fest IV – A long and potentially costly journey…
(Apologies in advance for the novel that follows)
Today I got home from my trip to Camaro5 Fest IV and the visit to my dad's in Mayo, Florida.
As you can see in the pictures below, the car is again a mess – but much worse off than last year!
On the second day of my drive to the Fest, I encountered a new and unexpected Oklahoma state attraction on northbound highway 54 apparently known as the “Oklahoma Tar and Gravel Pits”.
Last year, this highway was being repaved, but sufficiently manned by traffic control groups to slowly guide northbound and southbound traffic in intervals. I encountered traffic stops 4 times last year.
This year, I only encountered 1 traffic delay – about 3 miles up the road from where the traffic control group should have been. I hit tar and gravel going about 70mph (posted speed limit) and showered a Inferno Orange Corvette right behind me.
My car suffered severe tar and gravel damage to the lower body paint, under body, suspension and wheels. The rocks hit so hard that they even went through the clear protective covers at the leading edge of rear quarter and rocker panel areas and on the front lower portion of the rocker panels.
There was so much tar built up on the tires that it was literally throwing the rocks ahead of me only to again hit my car on the front bumper, hood and roof. There was no one in front of me during the 3 mile gravel shower, nor was there even a shoulder to pull over on.
About 50 miles further up the road in Kansas, I finally was able to find a spray car wash to see if I could remove the stuck rocks in my brakes, which were squealing quite loudly.
When I got out of my car, I could not even see the inner surfaces of my wheels as they were totally covered with gravel, glued on with tar!
Also discovered was that I lost a lot of paint on the lower portions of my car. Because I was going to enter the car show, I touched up every paint chip I had on the car before I set forth on the trip. Well, no amount of touch-up paint can fix this damage.
I then used the power sprayer to dislodge what gravel and tar clumps I could from the car - with minimal success. I then decided to continue on my journey – spitting gravel off of the car and back onto my paint for at least the next 100 miles. I also still had a rock stuck in the rear brakes and was still squealing for about 200 more miles until it eventually fell out or disintegrated. I now have a nice groove on the left rear rotor, and most likely a nice rut in the inner surface of that rotor.
About 50 miles later, I hit torrential thunder storms in throughout Kansas and Missouri, which were frightening to drive in but did get rid of a lot of the gravel that was stuck to the inside of my wheels.
On the 3rd day (Tuesday), I arrived at the host hotel in Indianapolis. I then received a text messages from Hank (hrpiii) asking if I would join him and his wife for dinner, which I gladly accepted. Thanks Hank and Missy (sp?)!!! (I owe both you dinner at the next Fest in Texas).
On Wednesday, I filed a claim with my insurance company. They told me that they will cover the damages but it will be classified as collision damage, not comprehensive. I strongly disagreed with this decision. I was also told not to touch the car as they would send out an appraiser to estimate the damages. I was not even allowed to wipe the car down. So, I was watching the early arrivals point at my car with disgust from the window of my hotel room.
On Thursday, I decided to go ahead and wipe down my car anyway. About mid-way through, my insurance adjuster called to get more details about my situation. The first thing I said was why on earth the damages were going to be applied to my collision deductible and not to comprehensive? The adjuster actually overheard the discussion I had the day before and assured me that I will be covered through comprehensive. I then told her that I drove 2100 miles to participate in a car show and felt it was unfair for me to not be able to at least wipe the car down. She agreed to let me wipe the car down but not to remove the tar as it needed to be visible to the appraiser. I had already made an appointment to have the detail guy at the hotel remove the tar, but found that the tar was also in areas that the detailer could not get to without taking the car apart. So, I cancelled the detail appointment.
The insurance adjuster said that they would look at my car after I return home.
As usual, the fest was great!! (even though I couldn't participate in the car show).
Even with the damage sustained to my car, the drive was still worth it.
To me, it was about the journey and meeting the great people that attended. This was my second time driving across the country (same exact trip as last year).
Seeing Becky & Maureen from Rodgers Chevrolet, Al Oppenheiser and Scott Settlemire again was well worth the trip. To the others I forgot to mention; sorry, I have forgotten more names than the ones I remembered. (If I met you at the fest, please reply to this post so I can get your names & Camaro5 id's)
It was also nice to see Guillermo (Tribone) and to meet the other moderators and at least half of the Camaro Disciples.
Last, but not least, it was nice to chat with Randy (PQ) and Bonnie again, and to meet and chat with Robert Taylor. In short, I feel as though I met new friends!
Many thanks to the Moderators, the GM Group and to the sponsors for putting this event together!!
After the fest, I then went down to visit my dad.
Last year I was immediately welcomed to Florida by his dog Sam, who within minutes lifted his leg and anointed my passenger side fog light – but not this year!
While at my dad’s, we visited St. Augustine for a day, and then just mostly hung out at the house.
Five days later, I began my trip home.
The Camaro carnage continued on the first day out with a rock hit (repairable) on the front windshield in Louisiana, and a road gator (truck tire tread) hit on the front bumper in Texas. The distance driven on the first day totaled 1100.8 miles!! (from Mayo, Florida to Junction, Texas in under 17 hours)
Total miles driven: 5295.1
Total hours spent driving: 72 hours, 17 minutes.
For the entire trip, I averaged 25.18 mpg. The highest being a fill-up between Albuquerque NM and Liberal KS, where I obtained 28.01 mpg (calculated)!
The first 3 pictures are of the car when I returned home to Santee, CA.
The remaining pictures are of the damages incurred during the trip. By the way, even though the car is dirty, the white spots you see in the pictures are where paint no longer exists on the car.
I'll continue to maintain and update this thread until all the damage is repaired.
Vance Chula -
1996 Camaro Z28 SS #1688
2014 Camaro ZL1 Coupe #1956