I read this in 5th grade, and still have it.
3 guys (Wally, Link and Injun) who jut graduated Alhambra high school in LA, and have an endurance run contest against some classmates with a '54 Ford hot rod, with a Packard that they pull out of a chicken barn in Lancaster.
The rally is from their high school parking lot, through San Francisco, to Portland. A lot of problems for the 3 guys with the Packard, just to get it running, keep it moving, and make the journey with weather, roads, and old car problems. They only get 150 dollars to make the trip, and when money runs out, they have to get jobs along the way, like golf caddying, to make some cash for tires, repairs, gas, and food.
A person who reads alot will whip through this in one or two sittings, because it's riveting and keeps you fixed on what's next.
get your copy http://www.amazon.com/Magnificent-Jalopy-john-tomerlin/dp/B001QLDZDG
Disk jockey, sportscaster, race car driver, pilot—John Tomerlin writes from a wide range of experience. While living in the south of France, he wrote Challenge the Wind, a novel of grand prix racing, one of nine he has published, four of which—The Fledgling, Prisoner of the Iroquois, The Nothing Special, and The Magnificent Jalopy—are for younger readers.
He has rafted the Colorado River from Lake Powell, and camped and hiked in Havasu Canyon, the site of his newest novel, The Valley of No Return.
John Tomerlin has published over a hundred short stories and articles in such magazines as Road & Track, Car and Driver, Playboy, Woman’s Day, and The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. Mr. Tomerlin resides in Southern California where he is at work restoring an early model Porsche like the one he drove to a class championship in the 1994 Porsche Club of America regional time trials.