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Around Lake Michigan in a Caprice

In the past 10 years, I've put 45,000 miles on my 1985 Chevrolet Caprice coupe, yet its longest journey has been from Iola, Wis., to the Twin Cities, a total of about 250 miles (500 miles round trip). Last weekend, I did more than 500 miles, and just in one direction, as I drove the car to the Concours d’Elegance of America at Meadow Brook.

After working on the Aug. 19 issue last Friday, I headed out with the Caprice toward Mackinac Bridge, but only got as far as Manistique in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. After crashing for the night, I made it over the bridge the next morning, around 9 a.m., where this photo was taken, and then down to the Auburn Hills and Rochester area of Michigan for the concours.

Despite all the miles, all the bugs, all the intermittent rain showers and all the poor roads, the Caprice was treated like a king when it received its first valet treatment when I arrived and departed the concours gala event at the GM Heritage Collection where there were such treasures as the Y-Job, the 1953 LeSabre, a 1953 Olds Fiesta, the last 2007 Monte Carlo, Cadillac V-16 dual-cowl phaeton and even a wonderful 1955 Cadillac Coupe deVille, probably the nicest I have seen.

For the return trip, I took the Caprice on the southern route around Lake Michigan and went through the Chicago Skyway. All told, it was a nice ride and the Caprice averaged 22-28.5 miles per gallon of fuel on the tanks I measured, depending on the route and the presence or absence of ethanol in the premium fuel I used.

Would I do it again? Sure, but I'd wait to have an alignment done before I left!

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