US Road Trip Travelog: 7th April 2005

As well as being the main man behind the Riviera Owners Association, Sean Cahill also looks after the servicing side of things at Carriage Motors in Beatrice. When I called in yesterday he said to bring the car round in the morning and they'd have a look at it. That's an unexpected bonus, as I'm a bit reluctant to do any more miles that end as yesterday did. Once the car is wheeled in Sean lends me a copy of Chris Wolfe's Riviera book to read whilst they have a look. With a coffee machine in easy reach this is a great way to spend the morning.

First, though, I have to have my allocated fifteen minutes of fame. There's a reporter from The Beatrice Daily Sun waiting for me, and he wants an interview. I have no idea why - I'm sure it's not that interesting a story - but there you go. After the interview and a few photos I'm left to get on with a great read whilst the car gets a thorough look over.

Riviera at Carriage Motors
The Riviera gets some expert attention at Carriage Motors.

Once the car is done Sean and Ryan - who runs the sales side of things - take me to lunch. After that we head out to the workshop unit they rent to see Sean's collection of rare Rivieras and Ryan's own car. It's great to see some late 60's and early 70's Rivieras up close for the first time and Ryan's mid-60's Lincoln Continental convertible has a great party trick where the trunk hinges from the 'wrong' end as the power hood disappears into the bodywork. That car must be a plumbing and electrical nightmare but it is beautiful.

More treats in store when we have a look around a collection of 60's and 70's muscle cars owned by a friend of theirs in a nearby unit. These are great 'as found' cars, in the main, and must be worth a small fortune given the way prices seem to be going at the moment. I much prefer seeing them this way rather than the over-restored show ponies that inhabit most car museums.

Once back at Carriage Motors Sean refuses to let me pay for anything - the work on the car, a very smart Riviera shirt and even a replacement for my lost hubcap. They wouldn't let me pay for lunch either. That's overly generous and I'm very grateful but when you combine Riviera people with Nebraska friendliness I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. Thanks folks.

Once back on the road - with the car now running as it should again - my route is along Highways 136, 4, 75 and 36 down through Kansas and into Missouri. I was planning to do a few more miles today but, to be honest, don't feel much like driving. That's the first time I've felt like this since I set off. I think the last few days may be taking their toll and decide to stop in St. Joseph for the night. We're close to 'home' (Illinois) now, and there's no real reason to rush.

US Road Trip Travelog: 8th April 2005 >