The Booth Babe Chronicles: Road Trip Rules. Or Road Trips Rule

the booth babe chronicles road trip rules or road trips rule

Summer is nigh upon us, and that means two things: Your electric bill is ridiculous, and it’s time for a summer road trip.

We’re going to suspend our disbelief here. We’re going to pretend that there is no reason why any and all of us cannot take off for a week or two and explore this beautiful country of ours during the most gorgeous weather of the year. We’re going to pretend that we have little to no responsibilities and that we are free, fun-loving 25-year-olds with generous benefactors who fill our gas tanks, and us with a sense of adventure that never steers us wrong.

While we’re at it, let’s pretend I get to work both the Miami and Hawaii auto shows this year. Neither of which have anything to do with road trips, but a little dreaming can’t hurt…

And with that, let’s take off on our summer road trip!

First, the rules…

Road trip rule Always use a fake road trip name. Your escape from reality can not possibly begin until you truly separate yourself from reality, and that means you need to take on a different name. You should be called this name by all road trip partners, but never in the presence of anyone who could possibly check your ID. You might think you are far too old to have your ID checked, but many establishments now check literally everyone that orders a drink. This even applies to AARP members. The more ridiculous the better, so “Barky Von Schnauzer” is a perfect name for a jaunt through Nantucket.

Road trip rule Always drive a convertible. I don’t care what kind of amazing super car of the future any manufacturer has at the auto show – this car could have 800 HP, shine your shoes and come with that special kind of masseuse and it still wouldn’t get as much attention as an under $40K convertible. You simply must have a convertible to have a proper summer road trip. It cuts down on both luggage and passengers (two people in the front, one in the back, a spare pair of shorts, tee shirt and bathing suit in the trunk) and just looks cool.

Road trip rule Driver controls the music. Only and always. Passengers who attempt top wrest control of the stereo shall be left upon the side of the road to be picked upon by vultures/Hells Angels/long-distance truck drivers/you-on-the-return-leg.

Road trip rule At least one person must know basic car maintenance. Change a tire. Check and add or change oil. Spark plug business. Etc. No cell phones or 3G Googling allowed.

Road trip rule This is not some buddy movie where you’re going to get swept up in some grand adventure within 20 minutes, come up with quotably hilarious responses to drug dealers taking all your stuff and get out of all the felonies you and your three pals have committed in the 24 hours between raiding both the Bunny Ranch and Lance Burton’s bird house. You must be okay with the comfortable silence, the fact that nothing especially noteworthy will happen during this trip other than finding a new little piece of yourself and growing a bit closer to your road trip companions, for better or worse.

Cool with every rule? Good. For the next few weeks, I’m going to lead you on a few road trips you can take on a week or less in the US: the Northeast, the Southeast, the Midwest, the Southwest and the Northwest. We’re going to see true Americana, the kind I have been truly fortunate to experience while traveling throughout the US on the auto show circuit but probably would not have sought out on my own. We’ll see some cool stuff, I promise.

I wouldn’t trust that Jeep guy, though. He’d totally throw you under the bus for that one little joint when you and I both know he’s got copious amounts of weed hiding in the trunk inside his guitar.

The Booth Babe is an anonymous auto show model who dishes about what really goes on behind the scenes. Read her blog at And if you treat her nicely, read her each Sunday at

Join the conversation
2 of 36 comments
  • Shiney2 Shiney2 on Jul 19, 2010

    I'm always in favor of a convertible! though I'm not sure its a requirement. And why are people assuming BB would keep the top down all the time? We are talking convertibles not roadsters, and any relatively modern convertible will have A/C. On the hot dull stretches you put the top up - then when the moon is out you drop the top and cruise the cool of the night, preferably on a twisting coastal road with the stars above and the sound and smell of the ocean wafting over you. Any long time convertible owner knows the night time is the right time to drop the top. We use a variation of rule #3 - the driver has absolute veto power over whats playing, but whoever is riding shotgun is the designated DJ. That person is empowered to dig through the ipod or laptop or whatever to find the audio needed to tweek the atmosphere.

  • Carwashhair Carwashhair on Jul 21, 2010

    I'm sure to be not the first to make this observation. Booth Babe is not a babe. Booth Babe is, of course, masquerading as a woman. Sorry to burst all your balloons here. I am, in fact, a woman - with all the moveable parts. I am also a Reporter. This is not the 'voice' of a woman. This is a hoax. ... Booth babe is a man, writing for men. And he may have been fooling everyone here - but he's not fooling me.

  • Kurkosdr Someone should tell the Alfa Romeo people that they are a badge owned by a French company now.The main reason PSA bought FiatChrysler is that PSA has the technology to enter the luxury market but customers don't want a French luxury car for psychological/mindshare reasons. FiatChrysler has the opposite problem: they have lots of still-respected brands but not always the technology to make good cars. Not to say that if FCA has a good platform, it won't be used in a PSA car.In other words, if those Alfa Romeo buds think that they will remain a silo with their own bespoke platforms and exclusive sheet metal, they are in for a shock. This is just the start.
  • Arthur Dailey For the Hornet less expensive interior materials/finishings, decontent just a little, build it in North America and sell it for less and everyone should be happy with both the Dodge and the Alfa.
  • Bunkie I so wanted to love this car back in the day. At the time I owned a GT6+ and I was looking for something more modern. But, as they say, this car had *issues*. The first of which was the very high price premium for the V8. It was a several thousand dollar premium over the TR-7. The second was the absolutely awful fuel economy. That put me off the car and I bought a new RX-7 which, despite the thirsty rotary, still got better mileage and didn’t require premium fuel. I guess I wasn’t the only one who had this reaction because, two years later, I test-drove a leftover that had a $2,000 price cut. I don’t remember being impressed, the RX-7 had spoiled me with how easy it was to own. The TR-8 didn’t feel quick to me and it felt heavy. The first-gen RX was more in line with the idea of a light car that punched above its weight. I parted ways with both the GT6+ and the RX7 and, to this day, I miss them both.
  • Fred Where you going to build it? Even in Texas near Cat Springs they wanted to put up a country club for sport cars. People complained, mostly rich people who had weekend hobby farms. They said the noise would scare their cows. So they ended up in Dickinson, where they were more eager for development of any kind.
  • MaintenanceCosts I like the styling of this car inside and out, but not any of the powertrains. Give it the 4xe powertrain - or, better yet, a version of that powertrain with the 6-cylinder Hurricane - and I'd be very interested.