Driving is not the only way. There are a few bus tours as well as some camping or budget lodging tours. Here is a thread where I posted info about those budget tours: tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g28926-i29-k5673413 (Just read the thread, but don't reply to it. That thread belongs to someone else.)
The California state forum page has info about driving Hwy 1 between SF & L.A. Look in the top questions in the upper right of that page.
Thank you very much for the links... very helpful indeed! :)
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