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Tall and Awkward
Tall and Awkward Reader
11/26/19 1:18 a.m.

In my specific scenario, I've got a self employed gig that's got me burned out on a project that's close to wrapping up. The playful idea of a "explore America (and maybe moreeeee....)" road trip with maybe a big V8 pulling me smoothly along.

 

I'm considering off-road stuff because of the opportunities they provide especially out in the SW, but honestly for my first go-round of the states, I feel like I want something comfortable and grunty. Fun enough in the curves when I find them, but no need to be a track weapon. Doesn't need to be a camper, I won't be sleeping out of it.

 

My thoughts learn towards C6 Vette, but I hate to be cliche.

 

Also, I figure I'll probably own whatever it is for a couple years at least; even so, I'd like to not lose too much in total cost of ownership (including resale).

 

Also thinking about the V8 Vantage because of its relative rarity, good looks, depreciating slowly if at all, maintenance is expensive but expected. I dunno - maybe road trip abuse would drop its value quite a bit compared to a Corvette.

 

Thoughts?

Wally
Wally MegaDork
11/26/19 1:38 a.m.

I like the Aston more but I'd be concerned about getting it repaired if something went wrong in the middle of nowhere. In most of the country Chevy dealers are much easier to find. 

mr2s2000elise
mr2s2000elise Dork
11/26/19 2:15 a.m.

Used RCF or LX570 

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
11/26/19 4:55 a.m.

2nd generation CTS-V sedan. Not terrible freeway mileage, dealer support everywhere, the optional Recaros are great once you figure out the 30 million possible adjustments, quiet and comfortable at great speed. 

Dave M
Dave M HalfDork
11/26/19 5:07 a.m.

Jeep Cherokee XJ. Should cost you 1/10th of your budget. Get one with a stick, take it to Moab and have fun! Utah is incredible.

STM317
STM317 UltraDork
11/26/19 5:15 a.m.

I think I'd want some ride height to deal with soft roading, potentially handle rough roads and crumbling infrastructure, or inclement weather better.

So I'd be looking at things like Grand Cherokee SRTs, Cayennes or maybe whatever AMG SUVs are out there.

NickD
NickD PowerDork
11/26/19 5:39 a.m.

I'm not an offroady dude, so onroad is fine by me. You can find Hellcat Challengers used for under $40k, right? If not, I'll settle for an SRT 392.

bmw88rider
bmw88rider UltraDork
11/26/19 6:12 a.m.

I'd lean towards something off road capable personally. You get to my neck of the woods and there is just so much to see that is not on pavement. Also, When are you looking to do this? If it's in the next 2-3 months, the extra ground clearance is always a good thing for when there is that lovely white stuff is flying. 

 

With that said, I would look at a nice 4matic S550 or for a bit less, an E400 if I was touring the nation. Aston would be cool but I dare you to find an aston trained if you break down in the majority of the SW. The corvette would just get old. Too much crap roads and garbage infrastructure out there. 

captdownshift
captdownshift UltimaDork
11/26/19 6:19 a.m.

Comfortable seats and seating position with be more important than a V8, heck gearing will be as well. And though you say a camper isn't needed, the ability to sleep/camp out of the vehicle would be a major plus at times. A convertible would be a nice bonus to see the country, though they diminish the storage capacity.

I present 6 vastly different options.

1) Honda Element with an E Camper conversion

2) Mazda 626 GT (F2T) 5 door

3) Volvo 240

4) RF

5) tdi with a hatch (you choose golf or wagon)

6) Murano Crosscabriolet

 

Just missing the cut, Honda Fit, Toyota Yaris and grey market Japanese kei van. All due to hearing and buzziness at highway speeds. 

 

Remember, years from now, the more improper of a vehicle that you select will make the stories of your travels infinitely better. Select a vehicle that makes people think, that crazy sumofa... and has them wanting to offer you a drink to share tales from your travels.  I highly recommend the Murano Crosscabriolet in part due to this. 

dculberson
dculberson MegaDork
11/26/19 6:41 a.m.


something big, American, and convertible. Cadillac Eldorado is my suggestion. 

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
11/26/19 6:52 a.m.

Parameters: "I want a big powerful V8 for on road cruising, $40k"

Answers: Cherokee! Element! You don't know what you want! Go to Moab! Sleep in your car!

frenchyd
frenchyd PowerDork
11/26/19 6:54 a.m.

In reply to Tall and Awkward :

I've lived out of a Corvette on the road but, and this is a big But!  You have to fit comfortably in the seat. I did and enjoyed the experience  but I know a lot of people who think the Corvette seat was designed as a torture device.  
Do be careful where you park, I asked for a local watering hole in Billings Montana and they smashed my widow just to rummage around in the car.  Jealousy, some people really can't stand someone having something nice.  

With regard an Aston Martin, that's exactly what it was designed to do( well except do it in Europe)  I think you'll find that the Aston Martin can be as reliable as the Corvette.  A lot of the "troubles" are caused by owners worried about stuff because they really can't afford the car.  Although I would buy the AAA membership,  the one with the unlimited towing. On the off chance something did go wrong.  We have a Aston Martin dealership here in Minnesota so they aren't that rare( although very noteworthy when they are seen). 
The person who said to do the trip in a memorable car is right.  Plus I suspect you will attract a better class of person with an Aston Martin than some cheap common car.  

You talked about going off road. Neither of those will without real risk to their undercarriage.  4x4 trucks might be interesting.  I use those on really long trips because they are very comfortable.  My preference e is a short box regular cab.  Both Chevy and Ford have really comfortable bench seats. Not fancy but you won't need to get out of the truck after a couple of hours.  I would definitely choose those over the bucket seats.  Or you can buy a SUV if you might want to take a break and a nap in it.  
I like to travel from Minnesota to San Diego and prefer doing it without stopping ( except food and fuel )  so that's 24-27 hours on the road.  Pickups I can do it in, but The Corvette- No!

 
Whatever you do, drive California 1 from San Diego to Seattle.  It's awesome. Don't go through The Big Sur region on the weekend. Traffic will really annoy you. Yosemite too is a must drive through. Start on the Nevada side  I usually combine it with Redwood  National  but take a break between them. 

 

 

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
11/26/19 6:58 a.m.

I've thought about doing a similar trip a few times.  My choices are less V8 and more eccentric.  Either my GT6 or my 1800ES, with modifications for long distances.

In reality, just about anything will work.  Less about the vehicle and more about the journey. 

Adrian_Thompson
Adrian_Thompson MegaDork
11/26/19 7:08 a.m.

Econoline conversion van (Quigly as a bonus!)  pulling the answer.  Go anywhere, and sleep in it.  Drop the Miata off the back for the fun roads, autocross and track days as you travel around the country.  

Dave M
Dave M HalfDork
11/26/19 7:10 a.m.
mazdeuce - Seth said:

Parameters: "I want a big powerful V8 for on road cruising, $40k"

Answers: Cherokee! Element! You don't know what you want! Go to Moab! Sleep in your car!

Oh sorry, I thought this was the Grassroots Motorsports board, not the Expensive Vacation Cruising board. My bad.

Steve_Jones
Steve_Jones Reader
11/26/19 7:13 a.m.

Lexus LS sedan. The perfect car to burn up miles. 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
11/26/19 7:20 a.m.

For me, personally?  You mention fun offroad AND on road, and with your budget you can get some pretty exciting stuff that will do both at speed.

Tacoma

 

Dakota

 

Silverado

 

And that's just the stuff that caught my eye on a quick browse of the Race-Dezert classifieds- if you want to go pretty much wherever in the SW, in a vehicle that you can pretty much only acquire here or in Mexico, a prerunner would be my choice.  Choppy pavement, gravel, sand, whatever, you won't have to slow down for anything but fuel.

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
11/26/19 7:22 a.m.

My ultimate trek vehicle is a 91 3/4T burb with a dmax/4L80 from a van and 50 gallon fuel tank. 

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
11/26/19 7:24 a.m.
Adrian_Thompson said:

Econoline conversion van (Quigly as a bonus!)  pulling the answer.  Go anywhere, and sleep in it.  Drop the Miata off the back for the fun roads, autocross and track days as you travel around the country.  

That is pretty much my plan for the E-350 project, with the van set up for hauling my mtn bikes inside.  

Adrian_Thompson
Adrian_Thompson MegaDork
11/26/19 7:26 a.m.
bobzilla said:

My ultimate trek vehicle is a 91 3/4T burb with a dmax/4L80 from a van and 50 gallon fuel tank. 

One mans heaven is another's hell.  I can't imagine a worse vehicle to have to drive for 99% of the driving I've ever done or will do!!!

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
11/26/19 7:31 a.m.
Dave M said:
mazdeuce - Seth said:

Parameters: "I want a big powerful V8 for on road cruising, $40k"

Answers: Cherokee! Element! You don't know what you want! Go to Moab! Sleep in your car!

Oh sorry, I thought this was the Grassroots Motorsports board, not the Expensive Vacation Cruising board. My bad.

The guy literally said he wanted to do Expensive Vacation Cruising! cheeky

Should have used more smiley faces in my previous post. Not anger, all giggles. I love you guys and the wonderful absurdity of suggestions. I've done 6 weeks to Alaska and back in a 1G Neon. 1-2 weeks trips in anything from a borrowed minivan to my truck to the Fit that I sent my daughter off to college in. As long as the car doesn't break and it doesn't hurt you to drive, it doesn't matter at all in the grand scheme of things. 

Apexcarver
Apexcarver UltimaDork
11/26/19 7:34 a.m.

If you want to be able to relax a bit more on long highway transits, you have a surprising option.

 

https://www.autotrader.com/car-news/you-can-already-get-cadillac-ct6-super-cruise-under-50000-281474979917479

Through work I have played with all of the commercially available advanced driver systems, I like GM's the best, its actually hands free and uses an IR camera to make sure you are watching the road and also has the best notification and task handoff.

 

That said: I get that the car is otherwise kind of uninspired. 

I know it would be going a bit older, but you could find the nicest example of a cadillac XLR for a bit more luxury than the corvette might offer.  Also, its a convertible hard top, so option with more isolation than a soft top vette. 

 

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt PowerDork
11/26/19 7:35 a.m.

I found a C4 Corvette to be a great highway car myself - if you find the C6 comfortable, I'd say "it's a cliche because it works." But dculberson's idea of a restored Cadillac was exactly what I thought of when I saw the thread title. This just seems like it would make a six month road trip even more epic. Not that six months of wandering all over a continent in a Corvette wouldn't be...

A Porsche 911 also seems like a great choice in the same vein as the Corvette.

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
11/26/19 7:35 a.m.
Adrian_Thompson said:
bobzilla said:

My ultimate trek vehicle is a 91 3/4T burb with a dmax/4L80 from a van and 50 gallon fuel tank. 

One mans heaven is another's hell.  I can't imagine a worse vehicle to have to drive for 99% of the driving I've ever done or will do!!!

Set up right with the right seats etc they can be comfy. Besides, I want to drive this thing EVERYWHERE.... including part of the Rubicon. And camp there in the back of it on the mattress that is now the rear floor.  Roof rack holding the spare and tools, winch and bull bar. barn doors for added awesomeness. 

In all honesty, a new set of tires on the wifes truck and it would be (and is) a fantastic cruiser at alll speeds (up to the 96mph speed limiter).

Purely road travel, I'd likely go with the latest of the Genesis Sedan's with the 5.0L Tau and 8-spd auto. In white. 

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
11/26/19 7:36 a.m.
dculberson said:


something big, American, and convertible. Cadillac Eldorado is my suggestion. 

Best answer so far, although I would maybe go with a hardtop.  Six months on the road requires a trunk with lots of cargo space, so the rest of the vehicle may as well have some style.

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