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Tesla Model X Road Trip
with a 1956 Chevrolet Del Ray

August 7 - 10, 2019

Click on each photo below for a larger image.

Tesla Model X road trip with 1956 Chevrolet.

Placentia, California to Reno, Nevada
for "Hot August Nights" classic car show.
August 7 - 10, 2018

Tesla X Owner: Steven Grande, Steve @
1956 Chevrolet Owner: Carl Morrison, Carl @

Driver/Photographer/Reporter: Carl Morrison, Comments welcomed.
Last year's trip is at

On this 2019 trip from Placentia, California to Reno, Nevada (approximately 1,000 miles round trip) for the 6,000+ classic car Hot August Nights show, we took my 1956 Chevrolet with the Tesla Model X. Since this is a classic car show, I registered the Chevy so that we could drive it in the Sparks and Reno Cruises with the For Sale signs in the windows. In the Chevy trunk, I needed to fold my TravelScoot assistance vehicle, still leaving ample room for luggage.

A photo of the Navigation/GPS screen in the Tesla showing our charging stops.

Above you will see that we entered our destination as our Hotel in Sparks, Nevada into the Tesla X GPS and it gave us the Superchargers where we should stop for charging, how much of the 238 charge capacity we would have left at that point, the time we would get there (this was not the actual time we left the next day), and how many minutes we should charge. Keep in mind, the number of minutes to charge will be higher than stated if you use Ludicrous Mode to pass other cars, or you drive over the speed limit. We actually started a little past 5 a.m. the next morning.

A screen shot of my iPhone Tesla App during driving.

While away from the car during charging, we used the Tesla app to see how many miles the Supercharger had completed, so we knew when to return to the car for more travel. Additionally, the app tells the interior temperature so that, from the app, you can change the interior temperature for when you return to the car.

Tesla's Cruise Control is very intelligent. When you set the speed, it follows that speed until it encounters a vehicle in front of you that is going slower and it slows to the number of car lengths you have programmed it to stay behind the next vehicle. The photo above shows the '56 Chevy which we followed so that we would not have to keep looking in the rear view mirror for him, and he could see us always behind him.

Tesla's AutoPilot will say when it is available when it detects two painted lines on the highway. To change lanes on a 4 or higher lane road, simply turn on the left turn signal and it will pass if the car ahead of you is traveling slower than the speed you have set in Cruise Control. Autopilot insists that you put a bit of pressure on the steering wheel so that it knows that you are paying attention. I did not do this correctly and it said something like you cannot use autopilot the rest of this trip. I was able to use Autopilot after the next Supercharger stop.

This photo of the dash and the stopped truck in front of us shows: The 45 speed limit (that it learns from the signs along the road), the speed of 50 that I have set on the Autopilot, The 0 current speed (because the truck in front is stopped). Right of the speed is a blue steering wheel indicating that I have Autopilot on. If it were off, it would be gray. On the left is a local map showing our car on the map as a red triangle. We were stopped because of the red light on Hwy. 58. Bottom left is the number of miles we have left on this charge and the outside temperature. Because I have it on cruise control, when the truck moves, we will dutifully follow. Autopilot is excellent for stop and go traffic.

The large computer screen on the right of the dash can be set in various combinations. We ran it with the map on top, the rear camera (currently showing our 1956 Chevy which was following us), and the radio station we were listening to. All changeable on the touch screen. When you stop, you can open any or all of the doors from the screen. When you exit the car, it will turn itself off and lock the doors as you walk away with the key fob.

Our first Supercharger stop was Inyokern, California. The GPS had directed us off Hwy. 395 to this station. I asked Paul to pull the Chevy in beside the Tesla X since there were no other Teslas in the chargers.

Before we pulled the Chevy out, we made a humorous photo, "Fred trying to fill the Chevy at the Tesla Charging Station."

First Hwy. 395 sign that had our final destination.

Approaching Lone Pine where the Superchargers are behind the Movie Museum on the south side of town.

Lone Pine is a cutoff to go to Death Valley.
The distance, 104 miles, is probably the temperature there.

Last year, we talked with the Museum owner and he said he felt this was the Supercharger with the best view in the country.

Lone Pine Supercharging stations.

We noticed some extra wires running from the electrical hardware, past the charging stations, to this unit. We asked the girl at the desk in the museum about them and she called them "stronger" charging stations. I asked how 3 cars were supposed to get aligned to use them and she said, "I have no idea." Neither did we, but expect to use them next year to see if they charge faster than the current Superchargers.

Typical Hwy. 395 scenery north of Line Pine

The Tesla app is very useful. One instance is when you are away from your car. If it is charging, you can determine if it is charged enough for your to continue on your trip, or change the climate in your Tesla before you return to your car. This screen shot of the Tesla app was during our trip showing our location on Hwy. 395 in Independence, California, the speed and the miles of energy we had left.

The Mammoth Supercharger had many Teslas in their pull-in two-charger arrangement. We would have liked to have been in a line with no other car, but that was not possible. It has been said that if a Tesla is charging next to you, your charging time will be longer. Since we had to walk a block north to have lunch at the Subway, the charging time was not an issue.

The Gardnerville Supercharger is listed with a Gardnerville street address, but it is actually 20 miles south of Gardnerville at Topaz Lake, at the California/Nevada border.

Gas prices on this 2019 date, just for reference while the Tesla is fueling for free.

At Reno, we stopped at the Grand Sierra Resort to pick up our car registration and found their home chargers not in use.

Our final destination, The Nugget in Sparks, also has four back-to-back dedicated Tesla Charging Stations conveniently located across from the walkway to the 2 residential towers and casino of their hotel. (With all the extra striping, we still found other vehicles parked in these spots.) Even though these are home chargers, they still notified us that we should not fully charge the car each night because it may decrease the battery life. Of course, the charging at Superchargers and hotels is free since charging is included with the Models S and X.

The Nugget's 4 back-to-back charging stations on the second floor of the parking garage.

The Atlantis Supercharger was full during the nearby auction.

Scenery along Hwy. 395 on our way back in California.

Signs along Hwy. 395 usually announce which highways are closed with snow, but in August warn of deer migration.

Easy to spot Hot August Nights attendees on their way home.

Eastern Sierra Scenery

Back at the Inyoken Superchargers, we found one last station, perhaps because it was a Saturday.

Seeing two Model 3s at Inyokern, I saw the stock wheels and covers on the left and those covers removed and the resulting spoke wheels on the right.

The Model 3 charging connection is a bit different than the S or X.

The Inyokern Supercharger "Customer Lounge". The businesses where Tesla has installed Superchargers have agreed to provide restroom access during their business hours. This seems to be the minimum the market is willing to provide. Fred found an outside bench in the shade--no inside seating and one ancient toilet.

After charging in Inyokern, we were not sure we could make it home on the remaining charge. We knew where there was a Supercharger at Rancho Cucamonga along our I-15 route and stopped there for a final charge. If you want to know where there are alternative charging stations to the ones suggested by the route, close the route and those alternatives will be listed, as above. Another fact you might want to keep track of at different Superchargers is the miles per hour of electricity you are loading. 137 mi/hr above.

Different Events at Hot August Nights

Downtown Reno has a Show-and-Shine on Thursdays. Our '56 Chevy heading for a parking place.

The Chevy parked in front of the Circus Circus Casino

Directly across Virginia Avenue from Circus Circus is a Burning Man endowment recipient art park.

The Chevy under the original Reno sign.

Trying to get "Lucky on the Truckee" River bridge with my For Sale signs.

Participant hat and the Chevy at the Peppermill's show-and-Shine.

Pontiac at the Grand Sierra Resort's Show-and-Shine

Pontiac Hood ornament on the same car

Biggest automotive fins were '57 Chevy (red) and '59 Cadillac (black).

The Auction at the Convention Center previews their cars in a large room. Impala hood ornament.

The auction block

Hood ornament on the same Chevrolet.

Oldsmobile brightwork

Greyhound brightwork on a V8 Ford

This VW bug reminded me of the one we drove to California in 1968.

Downtown Reno Virginia Avenue Cruise

Our Chevy in the cruise

All make and manor of cars and trucks can be seen in this cruise.

The Reno Cruise runs into the night.

Click on each photo above for a larger image.

LINKS | '56 Chevy For Sale | Last year's trip to Hot August Nights
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CLICK HERE for a Slideshow of more photos.

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