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David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
12/8/10 7:28 p.m.

The next issue has some content about road trips. A little over a year ago I drove the 911 from Chicago to Florida, and it was a great trip. In fact, I'd love to do another big road trip in that car. What's your favorite companion for gobbling up the miles?

Leo  Basile
Leo Basile Reader
12/8/10 9:55 p.m.

My time spent in the Army was mostly with MGBs. While I was stationed at Ft. Bragg in the 90s, I routinely drive home to Pittsburgh Pa, about an 11 hour trip. I always loved washing my hair and seeing all the black stuff come out.

But the one real road trip of sorts was a ferry trip from L.A. to Cleveland OH. in a Robinson R-44, a small 4 place helicopter(off topic, but the effect is the same). Got to see a lot of America. Tragiclly I accepted the ship Sept. 10 2001.

Its easy to forget how beautiful the country is.

Leo

foxtrapper
foxtrapper SuperDork
12/9/10 6:44 a.m.

After thinking about this question, I find myself confused by my answers.

The #1 vehicle I think would be my Toyota truck. A 4x4. The answer is part because it's a 4x4. So if I chose to take detours down interesting cow paths and parklands and such, I can do it. It's also perfectly comfortable, cruises at highway speeds easily, carries everything and anyone I could ever want or need. And isn't horrible on gas mileage. Dead nuts reliable to boot. This should not be my #1 road trip vehicle!

2, well, the Miata. I wish it was something like the Spitfire. But the Miata is also dead nuts reliable, and has air conditioning. The Spitfire is lacking on both. The Miata is certainly not as comfortable as the truck, you don't sit as high so you don't see as much, and you can't carry diddly in that fake trunk. But, top down, traveling state highways, boy is it fun.

BrettM
BrettM Reader
12/9/10 7:46 a.m.

My favorite road trip car has to be the 1999 Fiat Multipla we used last year on our Route 66 trip. Sure, it is ugly in a mother can only love kind of way but everyone enjoyed seeing us come and go. It managed 27-28 mpg in stop and go and got 500 miles to a tank of gas. We had plenty of room for stuff and two sunroofs to enjoy the fresh air. The funky styling of the Multipla kept things interesting and the fact that we could be stranded if we broke down kept things interesting. The handling on the back roads surprised everyone and even loaded with three guys and luggage, we still managed to fling it around some curves Italian style. Check it out... www.66inafiat.com

sprite_driver28
sprite_driver28 None
12/9/10 8:30 a.m.

A few years ago I took my 06 MINI "S" and my 12 year old daughter from New Mexico to Alaska (and back) for the summer. At that point the MINI's were pretty scarce especially on the Al-Can highway. The car had no issues and even got decent mileage. What a great way to spend a summer!

Ian F
Ian F Dork
12/9/10 8:58 a.m.

Our '73 Volvo 1800ES. If the weather is cooperative (no a/c - yet), that car just gobbles up highway miles like nothing else we own. Granted, when we do our Fall trip up to the Glen for the Vintage festival, we stick more to back roads because we're not really in a hurry and they're more interesting.

racerdave600
racerdave600 HalfDork
12/9/10 10:09 a.m.

Of all the cars I've owned, my favorite road car was my old MR2 Turbo. It was like driving a recliner. It got close to 30mpg on the interstate, was very comfortable, fast, and had OK luggage space for 2 people.

Series6
Series6 Reader
12/9/10 10:12 a.m.

My first major road trip was in a Rover 2000TC. Went from Los Angeles to Brunswick Maine. LA to St. Louis was great but we had major mechanical issues from then on but I'll never forget the trip.

I guess my favorites since were my 86.5 Nissan truck/ with my Aussie Sheppard and my S10/S15 Chevy/GMC trucks with my Queensland mix. I guess any trip, in almost any vehicle, is made better with your best friend.

oldtin
oldtin Dork
12/9/10 10:24 a.m.

The company and the trip can be more important than the car - had a great 5,000 mile western U.S. trip in a rental chevy - Rushmore, Yellowstone, Arches, Zion, rafted the Colorado and a helicopter ride out.

Crossed Kansas in an x1/9 - broke a trans mount and the front strut mount cracked during the trip - glad farmers have welders.

Arkansas to Chicago in a 73 ford bronco. Flew home on that one.

Kansas to Estes Park, CO and back in a 54 Sunbeam Alpine

Dallas to Chicago in an 85 911 - followed by Chicago to Estero, FL - back to Chicago - then back to Estero - that car just eats the miles up - a great grand tourer - just a little uneventful compared to my usual stuff.

KaptKaos
KaptKaos Reader
12/9/10 10:32 a.m.

I've not taken many long road trips. Something I hope to rectify in the future.

However, I did take a "long-ish" trip from NJ to South Carolina and back in my 91 CRX Si. This was years ago. The car got awesome mileage, stowed all of our gear, had A/C and was plenty comfy. Of course, it was just the girlfriend (now misses) and me.

Sownman
Sownman Reader
12/9/10 10:45 a.m.

Favorite road trips were on a Honda Goldwing MC. Better than that would be one of the BMW off road bikes. Last road trip was in an F150 and it was quite nice. I've used S2000 before but there is no classic car I would use Not reliable enough or comfortable enough.

Gary
Gary Reader
12/9/10 11:54 a.m.

My most memorable road trips weren’t with cars of my choice:

Various trips and thousands of miles in California including: The PCH from Monterey to Cambria after the '99 Historics and Pebble Beach, then inland to the 5 Freeway and on down to LA, the Angeles Crest Highway, the Ortega Highway from Orange County to Palm Desert: all done in various nondescript rental cars.

Heathrow Airport to Brands Hatch (for a vintage race weekend) then west to and through the Cotswolds, to Birmingham and then back to Heathrow; several hundred miles in 5 days: some kind of Renault rental car with man-u-matic box

Wetzlar, Germany to the Nurburgring (including 3 laps of the Nordschleife), then on to a spectacular road that runs along the Rhine River through Koblenz and Rudesheim then back to Wetzlar: VW Turbo-Golf that belonged to the company I work for (tiny engine but great torque)

On all of those trips the adventure and the scenery far outweighed the car I was driving.

Then there are the New England mountain tours in my Miata. Each of these trips was several hundred miles through Vermont (summer 2009) and New Hampshire (summer 2010) including drives to the summits of Mt. Equinox and Mt. Washington. The Miata was a great car for those trips and I plan to do a Cadillac Mountain tour in Maine with it during the summer of 2011.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim Dork
12/9/10 10:54 p.m.

I do like road trips on motorbikes - one of the reasons I've got a slightly modified[1] classic BMW R100RS in the garage - and I don't think you can get the same sensory experience with a car.

That said, I fondly remember a couple of trips to the South of France, one in my 911, the other one in one of my Miatas.

For long distance comfort the 911 is hard to beat IMHO, but if I end up buying another one I'd get a coupe this time as I find the Targa a little too noisy for my liking.

[1] It's got a fairly rare Krauser 4V conversion on it, which turns the somewhat mundane aircooled boxer into something rare more interesting with a lot more mid range.

DneprDave
DneprDave Reader
12/10/10 12:44 p.m.

I love driving my Jaguar XJ12 C on road trips, it's smooth riding, yet sporty handling.

Dave

Tahoe
Tahoe New Reader
12/10/10 3:02 p.m.

Well, not my favorite road trip car, but my favorite road trip was back in '93. I took an epic trip in my Lotus Elan from Long Beach, CA through Yellowstone, Glacier, accross the plains to Wisconsin, and back again. By myself, no mechanical issues, 2 speeding tickets, and maybe the best 4 weeks of my life. Now that I have my second Elan I don't have a clue how I did that trip in that car, but my recollections were that it wasn't all that bad. No radio, top off most of the time, lots of stops to stretch, etc. I think it was about 5000 miles all together. I had taken amny pics during that trip and I've tried to find them, but they must still be in a box or were lost when I moved.

terp83
terp83 New Reader
12/10/10 5:01 p.m.

My favorite road trip car would have to be my son's 1997 Ford Mustang GT convertible. I was fortunate to make three road trips in the GT between our home in southeast Ohio and the Phoenix, Arizona area, literally "2,000 miles and one left turn" apart. The first of these was in 2004, when my wife and I made a 2-day banzai run westbound to take the car out to my son, then a freshman at Arizona State University, leaving home at 6:00 a.m. on Friday morning and arriving in Scottsdale late Saturday just before midnight. The other two road trips were eastbound ones in 2005 and 2006, at the end of each school year in which we took 3 days (much more sensible) each year. The trips were almost entirely on the interstates, but more than half the trip (between St. Louis and Flagstaff) pretty much paralleled Historic Route 66. The 2005 trip east included a stint on 89-A with a stop in Sedona for the Pink Jeep Tour.

The son has since graduated ASU, and he still owns the the GT. Both are still in the Phoenix area.

impster
impster Reader
12/11/10 6:08 a.m.

I've taken numerous lengthy road trips in vehicles ranging from a series 1 Sunbeam Alpine to a Rambler Classic to a Ford Fiesta to our current TR8. But the best two road tripping cars I've had were a Jaguar XJS and a BMW 2002 (w/ 5 spd conversion). Until a few years ago, I would have answered this question with the greatest praise being for the Jag; however, after taking a 5 day trip in our 2002 a couple of years ago, my vote now lies with the BMW. With a 5 speed, that car was a joy to cruise in going in a straight line. But upon hitting the twisty sections, it became pure bliss. Years later, my wife and I still speak fondly of the trip we took through the Canadian northeast in that fantastic little car.

Rupert
Rupert New Reader
12/12/10 11:36 a.m.

In reply to Leo Basile:

Leo,

I got to take several ferry hops from the Boeing factory near Philadelphia to either San Diego or Santa Ana California in new CH-46s during the 60's.

We tried to vary our route on almost every trip until we got to Texas. From there, our only option was to go from NAS Dallas to Midland & wait till the headwinds died off. Then on to El Paso since we didn't have enough range with a head wind, heat, and altitude too. Then off through Arizona and following the rail line along the Mexican border from Yuma.

One time we came through Louisville Ky. and received permission to land two birds in the large school yard of my old high school. We let them know we were coming of course. That was cool, we had the mayor and a bunch of others show up. We let them tour the birds, etc.

The US is a fabulous place to view from the air, except when you're in West Texas with the sun in your eyes, you're limited by a heat and altitude air frame speed of 110, & you are trying to stay awake! That's not too fun.

Rupert
Rupert New Reader
12/12/10 11:39 a.m.

In reply to Gary:

Be sure to take the carriage ride in the Acadia Forest while you're near Bar Harbor. They go places you can't go by car.

Raze
Raze Dork
12/17/10 8:45 a.m.

I miss my 98 Cadillac Eldorado Touring Coupe, I used to bang out 1000+ miles in a day from CT to GA several times a year, would get to my destination with plenty of energy to spare.

On the flip side, I can't stand 100+ mile trips in my Ranger, I love the utility of that truck but it blows goats once you get beyond 'around town'...

MarkHiatt
MarkHiatt New Reader
12/17/10 10:01 a.m.

The best long-distance trip I ever made was in my brand new Honda CRX Si, in 1988. Lincoln, Nebraska to Lansdowne resort in Leesburg, Virginia. Interstate 80 into Illinois, then to Dayton, Ohio and Hillsboro, Ohio and then Route 50 and 40 to Frederick, Maryland. Lots and lots of twisties through the mountains, and about the time I was getting kind of tired of the workout, it was over as the road spits you out into the Maryland plains near Frederick. I had the roof back and the radio up, a little heat on the feet, and the trees were filled with yesterday's light snowfall. It was beautiful, with a mildly challenging road and a wonderfully capable car.

rconlon
rconlon HalfDork
12/17/10 10:55 a.m.

My favorite road trip is always the most recent one. My brother and I have taken three to the Texas gulf coast in my Spider and two to upper New York state in his Spider. We always make a lot of stops and do interesting stuff in conjunction with the sibling visit. There are plans for next year in both the midwest and to Newfoundland. I drove to Colorado to drive in the rockies and went to Fiat Freakout in Detroit with some club members. These trips were more to get there than enjoy the interstate driving. Unless it is over 400 miles one-way, I don't consider it a road trip since that is how far our club travels to meet.

Cheers Ron

TR8owner
TR8owner New Reader
12/17/10 12:45 p.m.

My TR8 is the most practical classic that I've owned because its almost like driving a modern car. The longest road trip I ever took was in the mid 1980's in my 1960 Porsche 356B. It wasn't uncomfortable and the old 356 sure got a lot of attention. At the time I also owned a new Dodge Shelby Turbo GLH, which would have been far more practical than the 356 for a long trip, but there was something special driving half way across the country in that old Porsche.

TR8owner
TR8owner New Reader
12/17/10 12:51 p.m.

I almost forgot, I drove around the U.K. in an Austin Mini-Cooper S with the rare 1071cc engine and once rode passanger in a 1967 Rolls Royce from Bournemouth to Swansea. That was back in the late 1970's when I was still young and single and lived in the U.K. for a couple of years. The mini was hotted up with engine mods and loud exhaust. The Rolls was like riding on a cloud in comparison to the mini.

wspohn
wspohn Reader
12/25/10 11:30 a.m.

I've done long road trips in a lot of different cars.

First, a coupe is better than a roadster. Drive a roadster and you are all beat and wind blown after a day's driving. Drive a coupe and it is much more civilized (I much prefer my MGA coupe to a roadster for this sort of work).

Second, a relaxed long legged car is better than a buzzy high geared car. The best classic I own for this would be a Jensen Interceptor. I've driven 1100 miles, Tahoe to Vancouver BC nonstop and was still able to hear and walk normally at the end, something I wouldn't be able to do with one of the smaller classics. The old Lamborghini would no doubt provide just as relaxed a drive, but I have more confidence that I'd be able to fix anything that went wrong using roadside items and carried tools in the Chrysler engined car.

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