Solstice Drive

For the past few years I have made at least one drive early in the morning around the time of the summer solstice. Today was my “annual” solstice drive. Ostensibly, I went to mail something for my wonderful wife, but…

I don’t really know why I am compelled to do this. I do seem to enjoy driving a nice car, and my 2016 Z06 more than qualifies, during times of sparse traffic. When I turned north on State Route 7 and gave the car some throttle, I experienced a feeling of joy bordering on euphoria that is all too rare for me.

However, this drive was also a collection of missed opportunities. I had many chances to take beautiful photos, mainly of the sunrise through the morning mist, but couldn’t–or wouldn’t–stop the car so I could snap a picture. As light as the traffic was I probably could have stopped right in the middle of the road, but just didn’t do it.

At a light to turn south on State Route 41 I did see a nice first-generation Monte Carlo turning north. The car had the unmistakable roar of a big-block V-8. As many of you know, I am a fan of the Monte Carlo and think it was almost always a well-styled car. Again, though, I didn’t take a picture although I almost certainly could have. Woulda, coulda, shoulda…

After we move to the desert I suspect this “tradition” will continue. Maybe I can get my wonderful wife to join me then, but she likes her sleep. Oh, from Hemmings a picture of a 1970 Monte Carlo, supposedly an SS:


See the source image


The 2006-07 Monte Carlo SS is still a contender to be the Corvette Companion/Grocery Car after we move, but is not widely available in car classifieds. We are being proactive in our efforts to move, but like everyone else we are at the mercy of exogenous events, at least to some degree.

Keep Driving!







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14 thoughts on “Solstice Drive

  1. My driving preference is early morning also. However my motorcycle riding preference is early evening. Not sure why, perhaps just habit these days.

    It’s hard to tell whether the pictured Monte is an SS. The only outward visual clue is an SS454 emblem on the front fender. See the attached article, also from Hemmings, for a picture where you can see the emblem. I first became aware of these around 1977, as an uncle of mine owned one for a brief period. He sold it a few months after he bought it, due to problems with the rear air suspension. At the time it was just another “gas guzzling” used car and not worth near what it is now.


    1. As always, very good to “hear” from you. Actually, to “read” from you would be more accurate, literally.

      My father liked to ride his motorcycles whenever he could. Since he worked long hours he couldn’t be picky about when he would ride.


      1. I will willingly go for a ride at any time. I first started my evening ride as a way to clear the daily clutter out of my head, No phone, no email, no anybody needing/wanting something from me. Just a couple hours of back road solitude.


  2. My preference for drives or motorcycle rides was always the early morning before the rest of the world wakes up to spoil the quiet. This preference derives from my high school job of delivering the morning newspaper which required me to arise at 4:00 am to pickup, fold and deliver the newspaper from my motor scooter.

    The Monte Carlo was Chevrolet’s effort to pickup on the sales of the Pontiac Gran Prix which was a larger car with the trademark long hood/short rear deck theme. My late father-in-law owned one of these beasts with the big 389 cubic inch V-8’s. His was a 1969 edition in white with a black vinyl top and black leather interior. I actually drove it on a couple of occasions. An interesting task to say the least.


    1. A little “bait and switch” never hurts, right? 🙂 Of course, I did mention the Pontiac. Actually, I had no intention of misleading anyone.

      I wish we had the money to own a large house with at least a 4-car garage. We would almost certainly own a Solstice or a Sky or an Allanté or an XLR.


      1. Maybe if we get REALLY lucky we might find a house in the desert we can afford with a 4-car garage. We have seen one or two among our many searches, but they are sold quickly.


  3. If you buy a house with a big enough lot and the right zoning, you could build a stand alone garage for all of the “extra” toys.


    1. Thanks, Philip, but a lot of more than one acre almost always means a well and septic tank and those are absolute non-starters for us. We do think a lot of more than a half, but less than a full, acre might provide the opportunity to build a 21 x 21 two-car garage, provided, as you mention, the right zoning and HoA covenants. I hate those covenants, and I have willingly violated them at times, but an “unauthorized” garage would be too much, I think.


  4. I was searching for Monte Carlo and found your post, very nice.
    I am the original owner of a 71 Monte Carlo and still love it today as much as I did in 1971.
    Now I will go read more of your posts.


    1. Thanks for reading and for commenting. Hope we will hear from you often.

      Do you have any thoughts on the last generation Monte Carlo, specifically the 2006-07 SS?


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