Eight days, 16 hours, 48 minutes at an average speed of 66.7 mph - that is what it took for Dave Schaub to drive his 1932 Ford Roadster through all 49 of the Continental United States and arrive at Hyder, Alaska on September 17. The charity drive benefiting the Ronald McDonald House at Stanford, the children and their families, covered 9,856 miles and so far has raised $76,000 dollars with another $20,000 in donation pledges still to come. "The drive was the hook to get people involved. I started out asking for just a penny per mile but many people stepped up and put a lot more in the hat," Schaub said.
Schaub left Needles, California on September 9 and crossed the plains states to hit the deep South, then to the Florida panhandle, up along the Eastern seaboard and through New England, then headed back west picking off the Northern and Midwestern states before heading north toward Alaska via Washington State. A typical day on the trip included 5-6 hours sleep in a hotel after an average of 1,100 road miles. Each morning Schaub would depart just after midnight and drive throughout the early morning, making the most of the wide-open freeways and cooler temperatures then trudge on until early evening. He stopped in each state to get a receipt with a time date on it from a filling station or restaurant to authenticate his journey. During the trip, he traveled on 21 different Interstates (plus five in Canada), burned 548 gallons of gas (at an average of $2.80 per gallon) and averaged 66.2 mph.
To get ready for the 9,800-plus mile ride, Schaub, a former Army drill instructor, trained by walking, losing weight, stretching and doing "test drives," some of which were out to the Eastern seaboard and back. "I've never heard of anyone driving a street rod that far," said Brian Brennan, editorial director at STREET RODDER magazine. "It's physically amazing. To undergo that kind of effort for kids who can use a bright spot in their lives is inspiring and should make all hot rod enthusiast feel good for one of their own."
Throughout the trip people were able to track him on his website using the link to a satellite device know as a "SPOT" tracker which sent position updates to the website every ten minutes. Through his blog, which was updated daily by friends and family, Schaub shared details of the trip, photos, his physical state and any highlights he encountered. "You would not believe how many people I had following along with me," he said. "Entire companies would gather around someone's computer to get the latest positions throughout the trip. I received so many emails and texts encouraging me along the way. My granddaughter's class even followed along online. It kept me going."
With the 49 in 9 journey under his belt, Schaub is not going to sit back and relax. "There's a lot more left to do," he said. "I'm taking the car on a public relations campaign this fall to talk about the trip and share my adventure with as many people as possible. In October I will have the car at the National Street Rod Association's Golden State Nationals in Sacramento, then I'm heading out on the Posey Driven Dirty Tour which ends at the SEMA in Las Vegas in early November, then I'm off to the Goodguys' 20th Autumn Get-Together November 14 & 15 in Pleasanton. My aim is to share the journey with as many people as possible to raise even more money for the children and their families."
To donate, see photos from Schaub's journey, and to keep up with his post trip activities, visit http://www.49in9.com