Monday, March 7, 2016

Mad Fan Mayhem

What is arguably the most famous road in America?  Yup, Route 66.  This was the classic road to the West before the big interstate push back in the '50s.  The two-lane wonder way started in Chicago, IL, and ran all the way through the Southwest until it dead ends on the Santa Monica Pier on the Pacific Ocean in California. Along the way, you can see anything from a novelty motel shaped like some outlandishly oversized item to the Grand Canyon.

The Mother Road
It's the kind of classic road that has always been advertised as being larger than life with crazy towns and roadside attractions and magnificent views of the beautiful countryside it wound through.  It's one of those bucket list items for car guys.  If you can drive it, that's cool, but if you can drive it with the right kind of car, that's like hitting the lottery.  I've always felt it would be best done in an old '50s or '60s full size to get the full effect of how it would've felt to drive it back I'm its golden era.
Here's a harder question: what is my favorite car-based movie series (emphasis on series here)?  Fast and Furious?  Older.  Cannonball Run?  Not quite.  Smokey and the Bandit?  Getting closer, but keep going back.  Gone in 60 Seconds?  Nope, go a little older.  Mad Max.  I liked Mad Max pretty well, but the Road Warrior really cemented its awesomeness deep in my head.

Yes, it wants to eat you, and yes, he'll let it.
I like cop movies, I like distopia movies, and I like car movies; but the Road Warrior takes all three of those and makes a gasoline and testosterone fueled cocktail out of those as we watch a man slowly lose everything he ever had and then battle he way through the wasteland and fight for survival.  If that wasn't enough, they built some of the most insane-looking custom rides to battle the elements and enhance the characters' personalities.  I mean seriously, it's worth watching just for the cool old cars and what they did to them!  My favorite is the old Ford wrecker that they cut the roof off of and replaced it with a speedboat windshield!

How cool is that thing?!  And look at how much utility it provides!
It has recently come to my attention that there is a group of people who get together every year and have a 4-day party in the dessert with their homemade Mad Max vehicles.  This event is called Wasteland Weekend, and it is held in Torrance, CA.  (Uninteresting side note: the only reason I know where that is, living in WI, is because of the original Gone in 60 Seconds where they drive through a press function with the mayor of Torrance).

I strongly recommend checking out  It's super cool, and I also recommend watching the highlight videos from past years' events.  Also, I want a limo like that.
I know, but do you know where Torrance is?  Just a few 'burbs south of Santa Monica.  And do you know where I live?  About 3 hours North of Chicago.  Are you thinking what I'm thinking?  Because in Charlie's mind, 3 hours + route 66 = one bitchin' road trip to Cali in a Mad Max car!  While it's not what I would necessarily want to drive down Route 66, I would still be getting to drive down Route 66.  I'm still counting that as a win!

Courtesy of Keri Kilgo
I was hoping to do a big Route 66 trip after I got back from Alaska, but I think plans are gonna have to change on that one too.  If I can find a way to swing going to this Wasteland Weekend, I'm gonna have to do it.  So many fantasies coming true all at once if this happens.  This would be way too cool!

Courtesy of Cormac Kehoe
Courtesy of Cormac Kehoe
To see more bitchin' pics from Cormac, click here!

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