Favourite Roads For Our Favourite Cars

A few days ago Stone Eater posted an article titled simply cars, in which he discussed his favourite cars. Somebody suggested in an unusually friendly and good humoured comment thread that it was a pity the comments do not show photos because many of us piled in to talk about our love affairs with cars in general or specific cars we have owned, cars we would like to have owned or cars we have loathed.

I read most of the comments and cannot recall anyone having done anything as carazy as a guy I blogged on a few years ago (I forget where, probably California,) who married his car.
FFS how did he make love to his bride? Stuck it up her exhaust pipe maybe?


We don't have to go to such extremes to be able love cars, but when I think of how much every male, and a lot of females I know, love to drive their cars, I think a lot of they hype being generated about autonomous cars being the future is destined to fall on deaf ears. I suspect there is an agenda behind the promotion of autonomous cars, but this post is about avoiding the polarising effect of political debate and having fun. 


Somebody else in that thread made another suggestion, the creation of open threads (with access by invitation and a few ground rules to discourage fractiousness,) for us to talk about favourite things. Food, places, leisure activities, bands etc. Threads in which we celebrate diversity of opinion instead of attacking each other for our differences.

I would suggest, as there are so many car lovers here, a feature on our favourite roads might be good. In my opinion one of the most spectacular roads to drive is the Sa Calobra Pass in western Mallorca, a wonderfully winding road through a range of not very high but extremely steep sided mountains to a small fishing village. This is not my picture, I haven't yet flown over, but one I borrowed from the official website. cont/

Part of the Sa Calobra pass, Mallorca


Readers who hold the view that cyclists are masochists would have their prejudices conformed on a drive over this road. It is a popular training route for road racers and triathletes all year round so bear in mind as you drive over, that spandex clad bell end you are thinking of sending over the edge into the pits of doom because he's slowed you down for the last five kilometers could be the next Olympic champion if you let him live.


One amusing feature of the route is a fissure in a rock promentory through which the road runs. It is known to the Island's English speaking community as "The Vagina." I can't load video here as far as I know, or you could hear my daughter (who is as whacky as I am,) shouting as she drive us through:
"I'm born again, I've been through The Vagina."

I don't have a still but this screen capture from the video shows how the hole in the rock acquired its name.



Sa Carobra is one of my favourite roads. But no doubt you have your own favourites, so lets's hear about them.



The Burghal Hidage Added Aug 29, 2018 - 3:58pm
Going auto erotic on us, eh Ian :)
The Burghal Hidage Added Aug 29, 2018 - 3:59pm
Oh christ on a bike! Messano will be in here with the pixellator!
The Burghal Hidage Added Aug 29, 2018 - 4:00pm
I hear back in the days of the Moors they had to put a burka on that thing
Ian Thorpe Added Aug 29, 2018 - 4:10pm
Burghal, nothing wrong with a bit of auto eroticism but I'd favour the air intake. Who knows what nastiness lurks up the exhaust.
The Burghal Hidage Added Aug 29, 2018 - 4:12pm
Indeed :)
Stone-Eater Added Aug 29, 2018 - 4:13pm
Cool ;)
I have two to offer: NYC through Canada to Vancouver. Endless...empty.. wide...almost meditation.
Sydney to Cairns. Beaches....wind...and from dry to the tropics. And the Barrier Reef on the way.
Or Trivandrum to Delhi. Ok that's 2000 miles...but by train LOL. Unforgettable.
Jeff Michka Added Aug 29, 2018 - 4:22pm
Cal 1 is a good drive.  The coast is wonderful north of the Bay Area,  Less than impressed with Cal 1 south of the Bay.
Ian Thorpe Added Aug 29, 2018 - 4:28pm
The Moors operate double standards. There's a site on Cap d'Alcudia, La Ermita de la Victoria which was a medieval religious community with a statue of an (unveiled) European Lady. When the Moors raided they could have but a burqa on her and told her she was a naughty girl but instead they kidnapped her and took her to Morocco.
When they found out she was made of stone they must have been more frustrated that the martyrs when they learn 72 virgins is a mistranslation and they get their 72 raisins.
Apparently she was still a virgin when the Majorcans stole her back a few decades later.
Ian Thorpe Added Aug 29, 2018 - 4:34pm
Stone, you're working on a different scale, Mallocra is only 35 miles end to end.

NYC to Vancouver sounds great, you'd get everything on the way, the lakes, Niagra, the plains, The Rockies.

I'd love to do the Indian train ride, (though that's a different thread perhaps,) train journeys in India are legendary.
Ian Thorpe Added Aug 29, 2018 - 4:40pm
Jeff, I've heard northern California is like a different country from anywhere south of San Francisco. I guess the heavily populated area has been spoiled by development like Spain's costas, the French Riviera and The Algarve in Portugal. Natural beauty buried for profit.
In Britain we have thousands of miles of unspoiled coast. Msybe there's something to be said for our lousy climate after all.
Jeff Michka Added Aug 29, 2018 - 4:55pm
Old joke about North and Southern California:  Q: How many Californians does it take to start a war?" A: "Two.  A Southern Californian to hold a rifle, a Northern Californian to tell him how to pull the trigger."   Cornwall looked interesting.  Not sure if we'll have much UK time, but since shipping auto from Liverpool, may swing S for a day or two. 
Mustafa Kemal Added Aug 29, 2018 - 5:32pm
Nice Ian, what a fun article to read  and put yourself on that Mallorca road.  I look forward to  the others input.
Near my home in Northern New Mexico, USA, below the Sangre de Christo (blood of Christ) mountains, runs the High Road to Taos  and it is a beauty. You travel through the old spanish and Indian towns of Nambe over to Chimayo and then climb along a hobbit trail
past Cordoba well below up to Truchas (trout) at 8000ft.
 From then you climb over hill and dale through the mountain valley towns of Ojo Sarco, Trampas,  Penasco to name a few. One will usually ask how anybody can make a living out here but it is beautiful and the woodpiles are often quite large.  The road is windy with many sharp turns and long draws where you can let her unwind if you like. But dont leave the road, it can be a long way down. See HR1 HR2 HR3 for photos.
It is a pleasure to drive an 88  porsche  911 convertible along this road, but it is just as much fun to take along a few friends on a cruise to have lunch in Taos in something more roomy and slower. If it a 60s auto  in running condition you will have no shortage of takers and it will attract many admiring glances, but you might want to keep an eye on it if you stop and have lunch somewhere. 
Neil Lock Added Aug 29, 2018 - 6:07pm
Mmmm... not sure I have a favo(u)rite road as such. But here are a few fun, and not so fun, experiences I've had on roads.
Coming to the top of the Col di Nava in north-west Italy in early March, and feeling (and seeing) the abrupt change between winter on one side of the pass and spring on the other.
The South Island of New Zealand, and in particular the road past Frans Josef and Fox Glaciers and over the Haast Pass - beautiful, but stony, and a broken windscreen was the result.
The scariest road in the UK, for me, is the A4069 south to north over the western end of the Brecon Beacons. And in the USA, the Million Dollar Highway between Ouray and Silverton, Colorado (though I was on a bicycle that trip, and I walked up the really dangerous bit!)
Jeff Michka Added Aug 29, 2018 - 8:42pm
Driving isn't as fun as it use to be.  Hopefully, driving in Europe will help revive it.  Of course, the "right" car will help.  It was always partly the car. the other half, the drive.
Logical Man Added Aug 29, 2018 - 10:08pm
20 miles from Sheffield to Glossop - the Snake Pass.
On a fast motorcycle back in the 70s was close to Nirvana.
No straight bits, no flat bits.
Flying Junior Added Aug 29, 2018 - 10:11pm
For my money, CA-1 between Monterey and Big Sur is spectacular.  The coast has thousands of small towers of oceanic sandstone protruding above the surface of the water.  The water is a clear turquoise color.  Down here in La Jolla, all of the old sandstone formations have long since fallen into the sea.  Where there is land to the west of the highway, it is populated with windswept cypresses and pine trees.  It defies the imagination to wonder how it was ever built or maintained.  Along certain stretches it winds along a sheer cliff towering what appears to be hundreds of feet above the ocean below.  When I first drove it in the late 1990s it seemed to be under perpetual repair.  Every few miles there were crews and equipment working on the western edge of the highway while traffic was routed through a single lane.  Heavy equipment and workmen seemed to defy gravity as they buttressed the crumbling cliffs of granite.  Wonderful reinforced concrete supports seem to melt right into the rocky face of the mountain.
I'm sure this last time that it was closed south of Big Sur for repairs it must have been for over a year.  It probably should just be closed forever and another road blasted through the hills to provide access to Big Sur.  But I believe it is a labor of love.  One time I was bound and determined to make it to Big Sur even though fire had closed the stretch of highway to San Francisco.  We were told that the only way to get there would be to go south to San Simeon.  A two or three hundred mile detour!  I found an old dirt mountain road past an abandoned Army fort just barely legible on my map.  As I drove along gently, one of the waitresses who worked at Nepenthe barrelled past me in a F-150 kicking up a storm of dust.
Ian Thorpe Added Aug 30, 2018 - 1:48pm
Mustafa, thanks for that, I'm trying to drop hints to Autumn that open threads in which approved members can add their contribution on a theme.
It'd easily done via an html form and each contribution could have pictures and its own comment space.
Ian Thorpe Added Aug 30, 2018 - 1:51pm
Jeff, there are jokes like that all over Europe, English / Irish, French / Belgiams, Germans /Poles, Swedes / Norwegians and so on.
They're all considered politically incorrect now, but we still tell them - just more quietly.
Ian Thorpe Added Aug 30, 2018 - 2:32pm
Neil, I know the A4069 from the middle of nowhere to Llandovery, it has some tough bits but I think Hardknott Pass in Cumbria is a tougher drive. That 1:3 slope really tests vehicles.
My daughter has talked about Col di Nava, she's based in trois vallees, Eastern France but get around all the ski resorts.
Ian Thorpe Added Aug 30, 2018 - 2:35pm
Logical Man, I go over the Snake regularly to visit my sis. Was never a biker but it was fun when I used to take the TR6 or MGB over. Those were my favourite 'weekend' cars.
Ian Thorpe Added Aug 30, 2018 - 2:38pm
FJ, it would be a pity if a road like that is closed, it sounds as if it should be a world heritage site.
Mustafa Kemal Added Aug 30, 2018 - 4:26pm
Ian, CA-1 is truly magnificent. FJ is spot on.
Flying Junior Added Aug 30, 2018 - 5:07pm
I played pool with a couple of blokes in Llandovery.  A few days later in Aberdovey a native speaker taught me how to pronounce the word.  When we were walking around town the next morning, one of the mates shouted out, "America!"
Stone-Eater Added Aug 31, 2018 - 3:55am
Driving isn't as fun as it use to be.  Hopefully, driving in Europe will help revive it.
Depends where you go. The further south, the more chaotic LOL
Stone-Eater Added Aug 31, 2018 - 3:58am
I remember when I tasted Worchester BBQ sauce, nice stuff. I pronounced it "Worchester" literally, and my friend told me: Shame on you ! That's pronounced "Wooster" !
Stone-Eater Added Aug 31, 2018 - 4:01am
BTW: A scenic drive in Switzerland would be from Lucerne to the capital Berne using off-roads. Or try one of the Alps passes - for example driving from Zurich, the German part, over the Gotthard pass down to the Italian part of Switzerland and then on to Italy.
Flying Junior Added Aug 31, 2018 - 4:34am
The double "L" in the Welsh language is a difficult consonant at best.  But we all make this sound as children.  Start by closing your bite and making a "Shh" sibilance, but not through the front teeth.  Grit your teeth and smile as you gleek it out through both sides of your mouth with unvoiced "K" and "L" consonants.  Now let your cheeks vibrate with the fricative, being careful not to voice the consonant with your vocal cords.
"Llandovery."  "Llanfair."
Maybe the best way to describe it would be a silent "L" with saliva.
Ian Thorpe Added Aug 31, 2018 - 1:28pm
FJ is over complicating things, just make a noise like you are coughing up phlegm from your throat - that will be close enough :-)
The same sound works for the 'ch' of the Scottish Loch
Ian Thorpe Added Aug 31, 2018 - 1:33pm
As for Cholmondley, don't even go there - but if you do it's pronounced Chumly.
Belvoir in Leicester(Lester)shire is pronounced Beever, so if you want directions to the shop named Belvoir Liquors just ask for the bottle shop.
Ian Thorpe Added Aug 31, 2018 - 1:37pm
Stone, driving in India is an unforgettable experience. Rules of the road are optional because Hindus are fatalists so they believe if its their day to die, driving carefully is not going to save them but if it's not their day to die, waheeeeey!
Stone-Eater Added Aug 31, 2018 - 2:01pm
Same as Africa. No way I'd ever drive there. If I by mistake run over a kid I'm dead as a white guy. Or at least very broke afterwards...