I had found the car that I wanted. The deal was made, a deposit paid. The seller was willing to wait until the end of the month before I collected the car and paid the balance.

The car was in Oakland, and at the end of April I was going to be up there for work.

This Ford was exactly what I had hoped to find. 1950 Custom Club Coupe 2 door. Good stance, whitewalls, killer paint and pinstriping by a famous stripper named Rod Powell. The Coupe is still powered by the 239 Flathead V8 and has a 3 speed on the column with overdrive.

I spent about a month planning the trip and the stops on the way. One big stop was planned for Sunday morning at the Petersen Automotive Museum. The map: http://goo.gl/maps/agquG

My good friend Johnny was meeting me in Oakland on Friday night.. the flight was delayed. At about 10 pm I picked up Johnny from the airport in my rental car and we went looking for dinner. Alameda, CA is hip little spot in Oakland - kinda like North Park - good food, cottages, bars and people out at all hours looking for a good time. After the first bar, we were hungry, so we headed down Park (see, just like North Park) St. We stopped in this cool resale shop called Rocket Reuse (@RocketReuse on twitter). We looked around at the books and CDs for a bit, then asked around about a good eatery. Hands down, everyone recommended Scolaris Deli. Pizza and sandwiches... plus they will bring the food you order to the bar next door, Lucky 13. Great bar, good music. Guinness on tap.

The Scolaris pulled pork was so damned good! Perfect pork - the edges of the meat crispy on a nice soft roll. I don't know if they made the BBQ sauce in house, but it was tangy with a spicy kick. Go there!

The next morning we headed out to meet the owner of the '50 and have breakfast with a bunch of members of a hot rod forum called The Jalopy Journal. Emil's in Livermore (the food was just okay).

We pulled up and I got my first "live" look at the Ford. Beautiful. Exactly what I was hoping for.... except that there were a bunch of guys crowded around it repairing a gasoline leak. Simple repair, 1.5 inches of hose was cut and the end was re-attached. Disaster averted.

After dropping the rental car back at the Oakland airport, we started rolling south.

Highway 101 has got to be the most scenic stretch of road in the world. Rolling hills, pastured livestock, the warm, dry smell that says "California". We passed through San Jose and Salinas through vineyards and stands of conifer.

Stop number one was in Paso Robles. Lunch time. A few months back I was making another crossing from Monterrey to Las Vegas, I stopped at Thomas Hill Organics and had an amazing duck dinner.. They continued to impress on this trip. John had a pulled pork sandwich and I had a burger. After lunch we found a bar to relax in and hide from the heat.

Back on the road - we drove into the hazy California afternoon. The car was running nicely, maybe a bit shaky over 70 mph, and it warmed up a bit on the big hills, but overall, real nice.

On a stop for gas in Buellton, we came across a lot full of old Fords and Mercurys. All for sale - all overpriced.

That night we pulled into the hotel in Van Nuys. The Holiday Inn was across the street from the Galpin Car Museum. After steaming up the glass for a bit staring at the Ed Roth 60s showrods, the long row of early Mustangs and a bunch of other cool cars, we started walking to find dinner.

After walking past some very disappointing places - we found Khun Dang. Thai and curry. I had the Indian Curry - good heat, lots of flavor. For dessert they made this heavenly coconut sweet rice with mango ice cream. Another lucky find.

We crashed out late on Saturday... tomorrow - The Petersen Automotive Museum.

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