Rally Update: We Have Arrived In Portland!

Josh and I have arrived in Portland! The journey from Boise, Idaho to Portland, Oregon takes about 6 and a half hours. That’s not too bad, but the triple digit heat made the trip unforgettable. We wished we had spent a little less time on the suspension and a little more on the AC system. The car only gave us one surprise, but we were able to fix it and completed the journey.

While climbing a hill right outside Boise, we lost power and were forced to pull over to the side of the road. After turning on our hazards, we took a look under the hood. Nothing was out of place so we checked for spark and fuel. Bingo, no fuel! Josh thought to check the fuses and sure enough! Turns out the cigarette lighter and the fuel pump are on the same fuse. Our phone charger had fried it. After replacing that, the engine came back to life and we were on our way!

Portland’s motto is Keep Portland Weird…Well, they are doing a fine job, but the state of Oregon as a whole is doing pretty good too! After pulling into a gas station in the middle of nowhere, we were greeted by a long line at the pump. See, in Oregon you can’t pump your own gas. I know it creates jobs and all, but when you are used to being able to jump out and do it yourself, it’s really frustrating to have to wait for someone else to put the nozzle in the filler.

Anyway, when we got just outside Portland we stopped off at iPd to pickup a speedo gear and say “hi”. Then we dropped into downtown and headed to the start to get registered. There were a ton of nice cars already there and our humble station wagon seemed a little out of place. After parking, we were warmly greeted by friends we had made a years ago when we ran the rally.

So, those feelings of inferiority quickly faded away. We were among real car guys and gals and most of them appreciate everything with four wheels that is remotely interesting. Some noticed our subtle upgrades and and a few even poked fun. We know that the doubters will be surprised when we climb that mountain tomorrow!

This guy has the right idea. I had better get on craigslist and see if we can find one of these swamp coolers quick. We are headed up Mount Hood and it is going to be hot! This is going to be a test to see what our old cars and all of us are made of. Many cars are going to overheat and I’m sure a few drivers and navigators are going to lose their cool. It’s going to be a lot of fun, so stay tuned as we tackle the Northwest Classic Rally!

Read all the stories about our rally wagon:

Fast Finds


  1. Mountainwoodie

    How many years has Reid Trummel sent me the notice and how many years have I said I would go.and haven’t! Life keeps getting in the way. Good for you guys..go nuts or dont go at all!

    • Jesse Mortensen Staff

      Don’t put it off any longer! Life is short and events like this create some seriously good memories. It’s a confidence builder when you succeed and provides good laughs later when you don’t.

      • Mountainwoodie

        Next year! Of course now that I sold my P car I better get busy finding something that’ll run! I noticed the Fiat 124 in the video………….brought back more memories. Good luck and thanks for the encouragement!

  2. CrazyGeorge CrazyGeorge

    I believe it’s called a SWAMP cooler. An Evaporative air cooler….. Way before my time but they work mint ! Heavy as heck but cheap A/C !

    • Jesse Mortensen Staff

      Yep, the heat must have gotten to me!

  3. Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

    Go get ’em, guys! It’s always fun to take a somewhat unassuming classic vehicle and top cars that cost 10x as much :-)

  4. Todd Fitch Staff

    Rock on! Have fun and show ’em what you got.

  5. Big Mike

    To help beat the Heat going on it in the North West right now, I will tell you a trick my Dad would use to help when we were headed to the South West to visit Family in New Mexico, instead of running the AC he would put a bucket in the front floor board (Mom always had to set her legs around it) in the bucket he would put block ice, and roll down the windows about 2″ and turn on the blower motor with outside vent. Granted it would not freeze you out like some modern day AC units but it would take off the edge off some of the severe heat. Dad always called it Hill Billy AC. Growing up I can remember visiting my Great Grandparents down in Kennett Missouri, and during the hottest part of the day they would be sitting on the back porch with a fan setting blowing across a big old washtub with block ice in it. Try it will work.

  6. Big Mike

    this works also

    • Ed P

      Portable and eco friendly. Cool!!!!

  7. Howard A Member

    While you’re up that way, swing up to Kent, Wa. for the NHRA Pacific Northwest Nationals this weekend. I guarantee, your ears will be ringing into next week. Awesome show.
    That’s kind of funny, Volvo, at that time, had no intention of powering a phone charger AND the fuel pump at the same time,,,sheesh. I had a Volvo sedan like that, a ’78, great car. Have fun. Too bad living where I live, I have to go to either coast to see a show like this. Apparently, it seems, people around here are happy with their booze and chainsaw’s.

    • Ed P

      Booze, chainsaws, and guns. What could go wrong?

      • Jeffro

        Hey, watch this!

    • Mountainwoodie

      Not to be a wise guy but…………..life’s short! :)

  8. Sam

    The rally sounds like great fun.

    You can’t pump your own gas in New Jersey either….keeps the low level mafioso employed.

  9. Todd Fitch Staff

    I should add that my wife’s V8 Volvo is cheering you on.

    • Jesse Mortensen Staff

      Is the V8 Volvo a swap or something newer?

      • Todd Fitch Staff

        I’ve autocrossed with a local guy who has a Volvo wagon with a Ford 302, license plate “V8 BRICK,” but ours is a less interesting ’05 XC90 with the transverse Yamaha V8, which is awesome until you have to, say, replace the valve cover gaskets. We’ve never had anything but coupes and sedans before, and the XC90 is a great all-around vehicle, especially considering we paid about 10% of the original MSRP.


    I want to “LOOSE” my cool to. How do we do that?

    • Jesse Mortensen Staff

      Again, I blame it on the heat. All fixed. Thanks!

  11. Jay E.

    Why don’t you complain about not paying any sales tax while you are in Oregon as well? I love not needing to pump my own gas, the attendants are friendly and it STILL costs up to .60 cents a gallon less than across the CA border where I wait just as long there to get a space at the pump. You are getting something for nothing, enjoy just sitting for a minute. Jeez…

    • Jesse Mortensen Staff

      Ok, the taxes are high too. 😊

      • Jay E.

        Jesse, you are good. Funny stuff.

    • Mountainwoodie

      Really! 89 Octane in SD is 2.75 at it’s cheapest! I love coastal Oregon. Like Cali before the hordes descended!

      • Bbuz

        I have 500e, never have to wait for the pump jockey. (Shhhh…Oregon is a terrible place to live, pass it on)

      • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

        I’m curious, Bbuz — have had a 500 Sport and currently daily drive a 500 Abarth. How does the 500e work as a daily? We don’t get them here in NC.

  12. Marie

    Good luck guys!!! All your hard work is paying off with getting to be there and participating in the rally! Now go show them the only wagon in the rally is capable of winning! In honor of today being the start of the rally, it brings back happy memories for me of this gem of a car, mustang! http://barnfinds.com/mustang-update-nw-classic-rally-or-bust/ Still a favorite of mine!

    • Jesse Mortensen Staff

      Thanks honey!

  13. Ricky Rover

    I may have to enter this thing next year! Looks like a blast! by then I should have over 300K on my old 240 wagon……..

  14. David J David J

    Very cool! More picts and video, please!

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