Factory Five Customer Rick S. Embarks on a “Tour de USA”


Factory Five customer Rick Soloway has started on his “Tour de USA,” a cross-country road trip he is taking over the next three months in his Mk4 Roadster. Rick kicked off his trip by driving from Baltimore up to Factory Five in Wareham, MA for our annual Open House event. We met up with Rick, and he gave us a quick overview of his plans.

“As others have noted, the FFR Open House was great, held under perfect skies,” wrote Rick after the show. “Amazing artistry shown by many builders.”


After the Open House, Rick headed over to New York where he drove through Albany and Syracuse hitting a few drizzles along the way. While driving along the Cobbs Hill Reservoir in Rochester, NY, Rick bumped into a fellow car enthusiast driving this ’59 Corvette. The owner explained that it had the front end of a C1 and the rear of a Stingray.


Rick also met up with some of his hometown friends from school during a local cruise-night at the Log Cabin restaurant in Macedon, NY. On June 20th, Rick made the 450 mile drive to London, Ohio for the annual LCS event. “If you like Cobras, you’ve got to experience the London show,” wrote Rick. “The 4 or 5 hotels in the Hilliard area were festooned with roadsters and coupes.”


At the time Rick wrote us, he was 9 days into his “Tour de USA” and has driven about 1,500 miles. He plans to keep us posted weekly and we’ll continue to share his adventure with the Factory Five community. You can read Rick’s full trip update by clicking here. You can also follow along on the Factory Five Forum. Update #2: Days 9-15 Rick sent us an e-mail over the weekend with a quick update on his continued travels across the United States along with some photos. Rick has toured the Henry Ford Museum with some friends, traveled to Lake Huron, Tahquamenon High Falls, and the Sleeping Bear Dunes at Lake Michigan.


While at Seagull Point, Rick had a little run-in with the local authorities, but no worries – they were a fellow car enthusiast and wanted to check out Rick’s Factory Five Roadster.


Roadside view point, Michigan M22 North of Arcadia, Lake Michigan


Rick’s been camping out and has been trying to park under trees as there’s been the threat of rain from time to time. Click here to read Rick’s full update for days 9-15.

Updaste #3 – Days 16-25 Rick keeps on heading across the US in his Factory Five Roadster with pit stops at the Kalamazoo Air Zoo, a restores ‘3o’s garage, a stop by a Route 66 marker, a visit to the Serenity Waterfall, the GoodGuys Show in Des Moines, Iowa, the National Motorcycle Museum in Anamosa, IA, and took advantage of a fantastic photo opportunity at a semi-abandoned gas station in Wisconsin.  Here’s a few photos from the past couple weeks of Rick’s tour across the US.


Rick stopped by the Kalamazoo Air Zoo.


Rick with his friends Chris and Sten and their Roadsters.


At a restored garage with Thomas Payne.


Taking a break by a statue of Tom and Huck in Hannibal, MO.


A view of the Mississippi River in Hannibal, MO.


Rick visited the National Motorcycle Museum in Arnamosa, IA.


In this photo, Rick approaches the crossing of the Mississippi River from Iowa into Wisconsin.


With author and colunist Peter Egan in Wisconsin.


Rick stopped by a semi-abandoned gas station in Wisconsin to take this photo.

You can read Rick’s Days 16-19 update here.

You can rear Days 20-25 update here. 

Update #4 – Days 26-38

Rick’s cross country trip continues as he checks out local concerts in Madison, WI, spent a day at the Wisconsin Dells, then went over to Green bay and Lambeau Field. After that, Rick headed over to the Whitefish Dunes State Park followed by Elkhart Lake to attend the annual Road America vintage race event.


Rick with some friends while enjoying the Can-AM, Corvette 60th Anniversary, and other races.

Rick’s plan is to head to Hatton, ND then over to Sturgis after passing through New Salem. After that, Rick is off to Mt. Rushmore, the Crazy Horse memorial, Devil’s Tower, Yellowstone Park, Glacier National Park, and wind up on an island off the coast of Seattle. That’ll be about 2,600 miles in on stint of the trip.


At Lambeau field, or as Rick called it, “Wisconsinites’ Mecca.”

Thanks for keep us updated on your exciting trip, Rick! Click here to read his full update.


At a biker memorial for deceased motorcycle riders.


The sun sets in Egg Harbor at the Alpine Hotel.


Checking out the new Can-AM clone series.

Update #6 – Days 39-44

During this leg of Rick’s cross country trip, Rick left Madison WI and stumbled upon “The Bicycling Capital of America” – Sparta, WI. Following that, it was off to Minnesota where he stopped the see the Charles Lindbergh State Park. Then things began to get a little flat as he entered North Dakota where Rick visited places such as “The National Buffalo Museum” in Jamestown.

Rick soon entered into South Dakota where he visited the Ellsworth AFB Air and Space Museum outside of Rapid City, then it was off to Mt. Rushmore. Rick wrapped this leg of the trip up with a visit to Devil’s Tower in northeastern Wyoming, above the Belle Fourche River and staying in Casper, WY.

Rick has accrued about 7,000 miles on his trip so far and he’s not even half way done! You can read Rick’s summary of this part of his trip here.

Trip Summary # 6

At the Vietnam Memorial west of Madison, WI.


Rick met up with Factory Five customer and Forum member Mike (Mhcobra) who owns this yellow Mk3.


Rick at The National Buffalo Museum in Jamestown. He took this photo under the world’s biggest model of a buffalo.


At the Ellsworth AFB Air and Space Museum.


Rick stopped by Mount Rushmore to see the Presidents.


Factory Five Forum member Chuck Sloggett and his 347 powered Roadster.


Rick takes a second to stop for a cool photo op.

Update #7 – Days 45-51

Rick started this portion of his trip driving out of Casper, WY then heading over to the Grand Teton/Yellowstone Park complex. After that, he heading towards Glacier National Park and went for a drive along a nice twisty road in Lewis and Clark National Forest.

Also during this left of his trip, Rick visited the Paul Allen Museum of Flight in Everett, WA and the Evergreen Air & Space Museum in McMinnvile, OR. Click here to read Rick’s full recap on this part of his trip.


Rick’s Roadster parked by Jackson Lake.


Not every day that you see something like this in the middle of the street.


A shot at Glacier National park.


At the entrance of Whidbey Island Naval Base.

Update #8 – Days 52-59

Rick’s “Tour De USA” continues with a cruise in Portland, OR with forum member Don H. and friends for a drive up to Mount Hood. From there, Rick traveled to the Evergree Museum, the Cascades, and the stunning Crater Lake. He also drove down to Yosemite, climbing the Tioga Pass.

Rick plans to head to Santa Cruz next. Click here to read his latest trip update.


Rick with one of his friends next to his Roadster.


Rick took the time to visit the Lemay Car Museum.


Rick photographed his Roadster at Yosemite.


Update #9 – Days 60-68

In Rick’s latest update from his big cross country trip, he talks about driving through California visiting the Canepa Museum, attending the Mecum car auctions, visiting with friends, and meeting some famous car people including Pete Brock and Jay Leno. Rick closed out this stretch of his tour driving around Kanan Canyon Road and Pacific Coast Highway past Malibu and Santa Monica.  He’s spending the next several days visiting some friends and checking out the Peterson Automobile Museum before heading south.  Click here to read Rick’s latest update.

Rick’s Roadster parked at Yosemite Valley.

Here’s a cool view of the Canepa Museum garage.

Rick with Bruce Canepa.

The Gurney F1 Eagle was on display at the Gooding Auction

A cool line-up of Roadsters at the Autobahn car show.

Rick got a chance to speak with Pete Brock, designer of the Daytona Coupe.

Rick and Jennifer at the Pebble Beach Concourse.

Rick talked with Peter Klut of Legendary Motor Cars.

Rick takes a minute to grab a photo of him with Jay Leno.

Visiting with fellow forum member Rick (CRZN 427) and his Mk1 Roadster.

Rick’s view from the curb of Vista Del Mar looking towards Playa del Rey.

Update #9 – Days 69-77

Rick e-mailed us the other day with his latest trip update where he continues to meet up with old friends in California and travel through famous locations like the San Fernando Valley and Newport Beach. He’s visited a few more museums such as the Chino Airport Museom and The George Patton Museum.

Rick then drove a bit through Arizona and made the 550 mile commute from Phoenix into Santa Fe which included a visit to the Red Rocks nature center and the Unser Museum in Albuquerque.

Rick has now put about 13,000 miles on his Roadster and another 1,000 in a Camry on his trip so far. He’s heading to Colorado Spripngs and Pikes Peak next. After that, there’s a few more places he plans to visit and then head home after this 3 month adventure across the United States. Click here to read Rick’s latest trip update.

Rick cruises over to Manhattan Beach.

Rick having dinner on Redondo Pier with his friend Ron and “Team Devo”.

Rick takes a last look at the Pacific Ocean during this trip.

Rick with Steve Hinton at the Chino Airport Museum.

Rick also visited the George Patton Museum.

Here’s a photo from inside the George Patton Museum.

A photo of a Convair B-36 at Pima Air Museum

Rick visited the site of a meteor crater in Arizona.

“Standing on a corner, in Winslow, Arizona…”

An Indy Cat at the Unser Museum.

Update #11 – Days 77-82

In Rick’s final leg of his “Tour de USA, he kicked things off with a drive from Sante FE to Colorado Springs.  From there, he drove over to Pike’s Peak where enjoyed the beautiful views.  After leaving Pike’s Peak, Rick went straight down route 70 over to Lawrence, KS to a lake house where he met up with some family.  Rick made a few more stops before heading home in Illinois and St. Louis.  Rick wrapped up his trip with a mountain run through West Virginia and Western Maryland.

Here’s a few stats from Rick’s trip:

– Trip Mileage: 14,900 in the Roadster
– Fuel cost: you can figure it out using an average of 21 mpg and $3.75 per gallon (Rick doesn’t want to know)
– The FFR builders Rick met during the trip were all very nice
– America is a friendly place – Rick had literally a thousand conversations with strangers, which typically started by either “what kind of car is that?” or “is that a real one?”
– What an absolutely awesome, fun trip; exceeding Rick’s expectations in all areas!

Click here to read Rick’s final trip summary.

Rick’s friends Bob and Michelle C in Colorado Springs.

Rick drove his Roadster up Pike’s Peak.

Cool view of from the top of Pike’s Peak.

Future FFR customer Rick B in St. Louis points to what he plans to build someday soon.

Rick met up with Factory Five Forum member Magnus outside of Hagerstown before heading home after his 82 day road trip.

Thanks for keeping us posted on this incredible trip across the United States, Rick!