Traveling Route 66 to call attention to brain injury issues - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Traveling Route 66 to call attention to brain injury issues

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FLUSHING (WJRT) -

(05/13/13) - They've been talking about doing it for 40 years. Two men, one from Mid-Michigan, the other from California, have set out to follow Route 66 in a special car.

There were some last minute hugs before brothers-in-law Steve Schlott of Flushing and Mark Palmer of Santa Barbara, California hopped into Schlott's 1963 Chevrolet Corvair and headed out on the open road.

"We just decided this year we would do it," Schlott said.

"Actually my very first car was a Corvair. This bring back a lot of memories," Palmer said.

Their adventures might remind older viewers of the CBS-TV show Route 66, where two young men traveled the country in a Corvette.

While the trip is for fun, there's also a serious aspect to it. They're trying to raise money for the Brain Injury Association of America. Palmer suffered a brain injury 50 years ago in Detroit.

"Brain injury has become somewhat of a crusade for me to help other people have hope," Palmer said.

They chose to travel Route 66 because during the Depression, the highway opened up new opportunities for those down on their luck.

"Route 66 was a road to hope for many Americans, just as there's hope for those with brain injuries," Palmer said.

Schlott and Palmer think it will take about seven days to follow the highway from Chicago to California. The Corvair doesn't have a lot of creature comforts.

The car does not have a radio. Actually, it's got a tinted windshield and automatic transmission. Not a lot of room in the trunk," Schlott said.

The 1963 Corvair, with the engine in the rear, was pronounced road worthy.

"I had it looked over by a Corvair-specific mechanic who says it's fit," Schlott said.

The Road to Hope lettering in the back window should get people talking.

"We hope to start up conversations. We hope to raise some money for the Brain Injury Association of America," Palmer said.

"The car may get some attention and we'll have some discussions from that," Schlott said.

For more information on the Road to Hope program, click here.

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