'California's Dream Drive' celebrates reopening of Highway 1

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Dozens of classic cars and modern day motor vehicles are gearing up to convoy from Monterey County to San Luis Obispo County Thursday to celebrate the re-opening of California's Highway 1.

A quarter-mile of Highway 1 at a spot called Mud Creek on the Big Sur coastline was buried in May 2017 when more than 1 million tons of rock and earth slipped down a slope saturated by winter storms.

Caltrans built a new stretch of road on top of the massive landslide at a cost of $54 million. 

To mark the reopening of the iconic roadway, a car representing each of the 84 years the highway has been open for travel will make the coastal journey as part of California's Dream Drive, said Brad Littlefield with WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.

The drive will kick off from the raceway with a ceremonial pace car-led lap and will wrap up later Thursday in Morro Bay with a sunset dinner and car rally in the shadow of the iconic Morro Rock.

Classics, such as a 1934 Convertible Coupe 840A, a 1934 Ford Phaeton, and a 1934 Pierce Arrow Silver 840A Coupe, will convoy along with modern-day models, such as a 2018 Genesis G80S Sport and a 2018 Karma electric vehicle. 

The cars that will be out Thursday come almost exclusively come from California, though journalists from the United States and 13 other countries will be traveling with the drivers for news stories. Notable is Australian V8 Supercars pro racing star Craig Lowndes who will be driving a 1970 Corvette Stingray.

Tim Sullivan, a Danville resident, president of the Northern California Corvette Association, and an amateur race car driver, will be making the trip in his white 1967 Camaro convertible. 

Michael Burger of Pacific Grove will be motoring down the highway in his blue 1973 BMW that he restored himself. Burger said he’s excited to show off his award-winning car, meet like-minded car enthusiasts and take some great photographs. 

“The thing about car people is it’s a great way to make friends. There are people from all different walks of life,’’ said Burger. “It’s going to be exciting to be part of the convoy of the grand opening.”