Yeah, it was a total last minute decision to take the Lincoln on this trip. So last minute, that I was already 8 miles down the interstate in the loaded up Jeep before I turned around.
Why? It was supposed to rain the ENTIRE weekend (ended up only raining the whole way down and today up from my parents, 1/2 the way from Clearwater/Tampa)
I was pondering the idea the night before if I should put the real soft top and full doors on the Jeep, as right now the safari top and soft doors are on it. Nah, I figured it'd be fine... in fact, I'll one up it, right before the trip I decided it would be cool to drop the windjammer (the "rear window" part that goes behind the front seats) and remove the upper portion of the doors, but leave the lowers. My thoughts? The safari top will cover up any place for rain to come in thru the back, and I'll be going fast enough that the rain won't come in thru the upper doors.
As soon as I got on the interstate, it started raining, a few miles more and it was pouring. Now I was ready to pull off to a gas station and button the Jeep back up, but with it planning on raining the whole time, I didn't want to deal with noisy soft doors and safari top the whole trip (reason for taking the Jeep was to drive topless/doorless most the time)
So I turned around, got home, threw all my stuff in the Lincoln, then got totally soaked as I put the windjammer and upper doors back on. Went inside and changed, then got on my happy, dry, quiet Town Car way.
I actually was glad to take the car on this trip, it's been almost a year since I last took it on an extended highway trip (also to Clearwater). I was reminded of how excellent of a highway car it is. Normally I am aware of where I am and what exit I am at, but on several occasions I just totally forgot where I was... Going down, I didn't even know if I reached Florida yet... then I pass the sign for exit 427... ah... been in Florida for 40 miles already.
I took Friday and Tuesday (today) off. I was supposed to leave early Friday, but didn't leave until the afternoon. Stright shot right to Clearwater where I stayed for 2 nights and had an excellent time, met up with some local friends who were also in Tampa for the weekend. Sunday met up with Ian, then went to my parents place near Gainesville, FL. I came back home today.
Total distance was 1006 miles. On trips I use Trip B for total distance and trip A for miles on fuel tank. 1 tank will get me from my house to the hotel in Clearwater - nice. I reset my average speed before I left, the average as of just pulling in the driveway was 47mph. Dividing the total miles by average speed I get 21.4, which is the number of hours the engine was running, and for the most part, I spent in the car over the last 5 days.
Ian said driving the Town Car felt very similar to his Escalade. I can only agree on that. The Escalade really feels like a tall Town Car, in just about everything. Kinda threw me off a bit as I wasn't used to sitting that high in a luxury vehicle and took the speed humps at MacDill AFB a little too fast (sorry!) Overall, I was really impressed with the Escalade, as well as the 6.0 It is a fine vehicle. It actually opened me up to accepting SUV's as a daily driver/luxury vehicle whereas in the past, I only liked SUV's for off-road applications. I asked about the gas mileage, Ian said hes getting 14/15 around town. My initial thought was "man that is rough" then I realized my Jeep only gets 15-17 under the same driving. I'm sure highway mileage is around the same 17-20... which means that fueling an Escalade is the same as a Wrangler. Both run on regular.
As for some pictures.... here is what no uppers and no windjammer does. It's called "wind jammer" for a reason, just like on a convertible car, you get back drafts and there are wind screens, the windjammer does the same thing, but creates a back window as well, to kinda enclose the cab (when used with bikini/safari top and duster cover)
Wipers become ineffective when the water is on the INSIDE of the windsheild.....and the rearview mirror.
Open-air driving enjoyment! Running the wipers posed another problem - it dumped the water off at the edge of the windsheild, which made it that much easier to blow back around and into the cab/dashboard/me etc...
Yey for the Jeep's water-resistant interrior. Once I got back home, put the uppers and windjammer back on then transfered everything to the Lincoln, I left the Jeep like that - everything but the drivers seat was wet. It's all dry now tho, I'll go over the dash with Aerospace303 and clean the glass/mirrors to remove the water spots.
Ah.... that's a bit dryer. Before I left I checked the logbook, yup, the ~1,000mi. trip won't be a problem on this oil change. Stopped at the gas station filled up and went on my way. Had I known I was taking the car prior, I would have done a couple things to it, mostly clean it up a bit.
When I am in Tampa bay area, I listen to my favorite radio station there - 933FLZ (dance/top40) But... for the way down and back I prefer XM (which is usually on BPM) Problem was, it is installed in the BMW.... not a big deal, I found my spare magnetic antenna, and pulled out the receiver and power cord and it was temp installed in the Lincoln.
halfway down the rain cleared up..... trying to boost my avg mph a bit...
Even with the heavy rain for part of it, I made the 366 mile trip in only 5.5hrs. A full hour shorter then it used to take. There used to be road construction thru most of the portion of I75 in GA, now alot of it is done. I was in the hotel room by 8:30pm.
Those cup holders are quite useful, able to hold many different shapes/sizes of cups/cans.
Overall it was an excellent trip. If I had to take the Jeep, knowing it would rain on the trip down and back I would atleast have put the full soft top on and (maybe) full doors. Had the BMW been driveable, I would have taken that, but I really enjoyed taking the Town Car again. That is, afterall the very reason why I first bought this car. Because I was making this very same ~1,000mi middle GA - Clearwater, FL trip....every other weekend (10k miles on the car in 5 months, and it was not the daily driver).