A Route 66 road trip in a Porsche 911
How one 911 fan got to know his new car in memorable fashion
Blue Porsche 911 991 on a rickety wooden bridge
Porsche 911. Route 66. Two of the most famous numbers in motoring. When Robert Layne bought his first 911, he couldn’t think of a better way to get to know it than drive the original route of this legendary road
Get your motor runnin’…The highway has played such an important part in the growth of America, but there isn’t another road quite as iconic as Route 66. The song written about it has been covered by some of music’s greatest artists – Nat King Cole, Chuck Berry and The Rolling Stones to name just three. My wife and I always dreamed of driving it one day – and we were determined that when this adventure eventually happened, we’d do it in style. So when I ordered my 911 Carrera in 2011, we began the planning process to drive this most historic of roads the following year. A Route 66 road trip in a Porsche 911? It would be the stuff of dreams.Our 991 was among the first batch of seventh generation Carreras to be sold in the US. In fact, it was the first one sold in Orlando, arriving early February 2012. The summer of that year we headed off to Chicago – where the original Route 66 began. In reality, the road no longer exists in that original form, superseded by improved sections of road. But plenty of it is still drivable. We documented the trip by taking plenty of photos, and with a time-lapse camera hooked up.
Rear of blue Porsche 911 991 on Route 66
US Route 66 was established in 1926, but was officially removed from the US highway system in 1985
We separated each day of our adventure into eight-hour blocks, with the aim to cover 200-300 miles (320-480km) – the length of the original Route 66 is around 2,500 miles (3,940km). Every day’s stopover was booked ahead of time to avoid any hassle and to give us a definite target to aim for. Along the way we encountered so many iconic sights on our Route 66 road trip in a Porsche 911. We drove the Sidewalk Highway in Miami, Oklahoma (there’s more than one Miami in the USA!) and stopped for a meal in Midland, Texas, in the middle of the Permian Basin oilfields.We crossed countless one-car bridges and took the brand new 911 onto the gravel roads which were parts of the route had been originally (you’ve got to be careful not to cover your car’s hood in stone chips here). We even made a side trip to see the Grand Canyon. The numbers, at the end of our journey, were impressive. The whole round-trip from Orlando to Chicago to Los Angeles (where the old Route 66 ends) and back to Orlando again took exactly 21 days and we covered 6,418 miles.
Blue Porsche 911 991 at vintage US gas station
Life’s a gas: Richard’s 911 Carrera takes a breather in north Texas
California love: the end of our Route 66 road trip in a Porsche 911The 911 didn’t miss a beat. The only damage was a sum total of two rear tyres replaced. One we had to replace at downtown Los Angeles Porsche, right at the end of the Route 66 stretch of our journey, after a screw decided it wanted to join us on the final leg of our epic adventure. The other rear tyre also acquired a screw somewhere near Tucson, resulting in a leak. Instead of backtracking to Phoenix, we headed onto Porsche of San Antonio, having to reinflate the tyre every couple of hours before fully inflating in Stockton, Texas after we stopped for the night. The memories that our Route 66 road trip in a Porsche 911 generated were priceless.
They say you get your kicks on Route 66. We certainly did that. And they keep on coming
Robert Layne | Porsche 911 fan
It’s a wonderful sports car but also a workhorse. It’s visited 20 states and just recently passed 100,000 miles (160,000km). I have taken it to 140mph plus (225km/h) on track days and have used it as often as possible for mundane things. And it always runs perfectly. They say you get your kicks on Route 66. We certainly did that. And they keep on coming. Our 911 Carrera has created some unforgettable stories. We’re looking forward to making plenty more.
Blue Porsche 911 Carrera on a race track
As well as epic cross-country trips across the US, Richard also takes his 911 on plenty of track days
Continue reading
New Porsche 911 Targa 4 GTS (992.2) on twisty road
13 things you need to know about the new Porsche 911 (992.2) Discover how the new 911 – the 992.2 – draws on unparalleled Porsche sportscar innovation and technology to raise the standards of performance, design and personalisation to even greater heights Read more
Porsche Taycan Turbo GT Purple Sky Metallic static on racetrack
Everything you need to know about the new Porsche Taycan Turbo GT With astonishing performance, incredible dynamics and head-turning looks, the record-breaking Taycan Turbo GT is the fastest all-electric production car that Porsche has ever built Read more
Three Taycan cars with owners in a variety of landscapes
8 things you need to know about living with a Porsche Taycan From a smooth driving experience to easy charging to performance, three Taycan owners explain what they love most about their cars Read more