Photos from a weekend trip to college and back with the z3
Last week, fellow use TheCuttingBoard and I drove up to Daytona with the hopes of getting some work done for our formula student team. That didn’t exactly happen, seeing as the team instead invited us to an local oval race and our routes included mainly backroads to and from Daytona.
Our first stop was a park around a canal lock built onto the levee that holds back Lake Okeechobee, the largest lake in Florida. Water was swamp brown, and yes, it’s full of gators. Instead of following the highway (I-95) up the east coast into Daytona, we decided to cut through the center of the state because:
- We live on the west most side of the east coast
- Florida highway traffic is like a death race of who can average 90mph the longest, and cruising at 70-75mph means you’ll get eaten up by semi trucks in the right lane all day
- Because of how the z3 is geared, I’ll be sitting between 3500 and 4000rpm for three hours on a 20 year old 100k+mile engine :)
- Back way is more fun
So no long 6 lane highway stretches. Instead, we took US-designated 4 and 2 lane “highways” up though the Everglades (us27), go around the eastern bank of Okeechobee (92/US-441), cut across the city of Okeechobee and take us441 till we hit us192, right on 192, left on deer park road (where it’s just you, a road, and no one else around for miles bar the cows), then we turned onto 520 till we hit Taylor creek road, then go left on east colonial drive.
At e-colonial drive, we have the option of going through the out skirts of Orlando out west (which we did to pick up a part for the z3, only to find out it didn’t fit), or go east and either take US-1 up the coast or cave in and do the last 40min on I-95.
Our next stop was at Yee-Haw Junction. We restocked on garbage food and filled up on gas, before heading down the road to stop and eat our garbage at an interesting ruined building…
The Desert Inn was the oldest functions motel in the state of Florida. It functioned as a rest stop and trading post for cowboys herding cattle in central Florida in the 1800’s. The building’s been a lot to things throughout the years: trading post, restaurant, hotel, brothel, gas station, and museum. However, in 2019, a semi-truck lost control and jackknifed, crashing into the building, destroying a good third of the structure, and with that bringing an end to the Desert Inn.
After some more driving and the disappointment in Orlando, we made it
After eating, cruise up the coast, and a mixed experience on the highway, we headed west towards Deland to meet with a friend of TheCuttingBoard’s who’s family owns in interesting car dealer. There I got to try out a 3.0L z3, and holy crap it goes better than my 2.8L lol. But aside from that, the interior was in great condition, and the rear suspension was p l a n t e d. Unlike mine, which is kinda mushy. And the shifter was amazing. Guess I know where my money’s going now… damn it…
Heading back to our dorm, we prepared for a stock car race. What we didn’t expect was a several hour long, 7 class event with some great races and battles. I lack photos of the event since I only have video, so some imagination is required.
Day 3: The Drive Back Down
Taking US1 down, we stopped by an interesting fiero
Before heading further south, and fondling ourselves on Merritt island. Now, Merritt Island is known for two things. 1 is its nature preserve. The other, is a little known place called Cape Canaveral Space Force Station and Kennedy Space Center. So the US’s main launch site. And turning off the main road, we wandered onto a very un-z3 road along side the beach
After about 6 miles of limestone and sand, we where spit out near a beach
After getting battered by wind and rain for a bit, we booked it back out to central Florida for our final stop…
Swampy, the world’s largest gator.
And with that, we retraced our steps back down to our little corner of west Broward.
The trip’s main goal of doing fsae work over winter break wasn’t accomplished. Like at all. But it was a great time regardless. Lots of little adventures, a great car to properly discover, and a nice group to do it with. Shame Daytona kinda sucks tho.
I found this post like 90% completed in drafts so I figured I’d post it. Shame the CT community doesn’t exist anymore.