Gunners Garage

FUNKY OLD PLACES AND HOW TO FIND THEM

Yesterday we were coming back from the Antique Motorcycle Club of America Fall National Meet in Davenport, Iowa, when we happened upon a very strange sight in the small town of Darlington, Wis. There, just off Main St., was a store dating back to the ’50s or ’60s surrounded by four old Fords and a Ford truck. One end of the building had an open shark’s mouth projecting from it. On the other end was a finned 1950s speedboat on top of a concrete column. There were several old gas pumps around and a 1940s Buick grille. Unfortunately, the store had just closed.

Don’t you love finding such places? Well, here’s how to find them. In the motorcycle hobby, there is a company called Mad Maps that plans “back roads” routes for motorcycle riders. Their maps take you off the Interstate and direct you to places like “Radiator Springs” (the town in the Cars cartoon movie that the Interstate by-passed).

As far as I know, there is no one in the old car hobby who has copied Mad Maps lead and planned back roads tours for antique cars. However, there is absolutely no reason that the maps made for motorcycle riders couldn’t be used by old car drivers and tour planners. To learn more, visit www.madmaps.com or contact Sian Goad or Jer Stewart at Mad Maps, PO Box 210154, San Francisco, CA 94121. (415) 283-4204.

By the way, MAD doesn’t mean that mapmaking makes Sian and Jer angry. It actually stands for Motor Adventure Destinations. So, if you’re looking for adventure (who isn’t?) get in touch with them.

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