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home Diary    57,047     10/7/97    
Oakland Hilton - Time to take the family for their first drive. Needless to say, I'm a little nervous about the kids in the back - I mean, knowing that those little parts are expensive and that the little hands like to try new things. I know I don't want to try the freeway again at this time of day so I try to think of another route. I know that Oakland Hills has a little road called Skyline that goes the length of town and is bordered by park. A few curves and no or little traffic is what I need so I point the car towards the hills and head out. Kids do fit fine in the back and it's comfortable with us all in the car. The water temperature is near the 0 in 90 on the gauge which is a little warm but O.K. I never knew I'd hate traffic lights so much! We finally start winding up the hill and the neighborhood improves a great deal. We notice the front bonnet isn't latched all the way so I pull over to fix it. I'm still getting used to the clutch and the gearbox but it's not too jerky. We finally hit Skyline and start along it. It is a good road for this - the car is much happier along a curvy lane and the temp stabilizes a little. We start downhill and I get the first complaint on going too fast from my wife. I slow down and we re-enter suburbia. We come up on a freeway interchange but I figure that we're on the same road we came up on which wasn't too bad. I start heading into town and start hitting stop lights. The traffic starts getting worse. My new friend, the temperature gauge is showing its displeasure. I just hope we're not too far away. Now there's a lane closed to construction and traffic is merging. The temperature is still climbing and I have nowhere to go but get in line. There's a traffic light ahead of us and we're inching up a hill. Now the steam starts coming out. Some lady rolled her window down and yells, "Your car is smoking!" I waved and said, "thankyou." The three black guys in the å77 Chevy Caprice start rocking their car with the gas and the brakes. This is the traffic jam from hell! We finally make it through this light only to line up for the next. There's still no where to go. Then through the next and finally we have a neighborhood to pull off into. I pull to the curb and shut it off. Steam is still pushing out. A guy in coveralls comes over with his daughter. "What kind of car is that?" I tell him it's a Ferrari. He says, I told her it was a Ferrari and she asked - what's a Ferrari? Can you believe it?" He says if I need anything to let him know. We let it sit and it cools down. We get back in and head out. The temp starts out OK but climbs quickly. By now we're close but need one more pull over to cool down. We're on this long road with a bunch of trucks and buses. So we stand around and look at the car. I can see the hotel across the street but the only way over is through this oil change place. We start it up, get through the oil change place and head into the Hilton. It usually feels good to get back to a Hilton but this time it was especially good. I get it parked before it starts steaming here (we do have to maintain some sort of image).

 That evening we asked the hotel guys at the entrance where we could get some water and they said there was a hose around the back of the restaurant. They were very friendly and one said it was the first Ferrari he had seen. We headed around back and fill it with water and bleed the air out through the valve on the Radiator. Now the temperature stays fine. I call Jaan and he says it overheated his first day at mile 27 of ownership. As fate would have it his first drive had been on Skyline Drive as well.

We stop by his shop in the morning and check out the cooling system which seems fine. With the water tank topped off we head off on our trip back home.

 The trip went perfectly with no problems. The first time at McDonalds was amazing. It really drew a crowd. Just past Redding I get pulled over by the California Highway Patrol. It was just for expired tags but I had my trip permit with me so a wave and a smile and I'm on my way. Bought gas in Willows (56,807) where it took 11.33 gallons after traveling 183 miles and getting 16.14 miles per gallon. We arrive back in Medford and gas up at Gas 4 Less after 240 miles where it took 13.8 gallons getting 17.39 mpg.