Hagerty.com

What is your road-trip car of choice?


#1

The type of vehicle you take on a road trip can have a great impact on the type of trip and how enjoyable it is (or isn’t). An original classic is great for a cruise, but an extended drive on the interstate could turn that trip into a real nail biter. In the same way, a modern performance car can turn a trip on a back-road highway into an exercise in self-control to stay under the speed limit and out of trouble.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2018/05/07/the-best-road-trip-car

#2

Mine is my 1965 Mini 1071 S. Mr. Mini has taken us to the Grand Canyon, photos in front of the classic GC lodge, to Bryce Canyon (yes, with photos in front of the original lodge entrance) to Tee Pee land and everywhere in between. We have toured England, France, Italy, Wales, Scotland, and the Ireland from one end to the other. Mr. Mini is a great meet and greet people magnet and pure joy to drive. Owning the car since 1979, it was a family car in the 80’s, show car in the 90’s and a driver since. By far the best was family car duty, sometimes packing in our 2 kids, my sister,her husband, 2 kids and the dog and driving around Bass Lake looking like Ringling and bros. Mr. Mini has seen a lot of duty and contributed to our many friends all over the world.


#3

My Road Trip car of choice is whatever I have available. I have taken road trips of over 1,000 miles in a 1966 Corvair convertible, 1970 BMW 2002, several Volvo wagons of seventies and eighties vintage, a 1988 Plymouth Voyager, a 1998 Ford Explorer and more. These were mostly family trips and taken because it was less expensive than flying. Since the kids have grown and gone though, my 1,000 mile plus road trips are just for fun and taken on mostly 2 lane roads with my old Lotus cars. I have taken 7 in my 1968 Seven S3, 3 in my 1965 Elan S2 and I am weeks away from a 5,000 mile trip in my 1972 Elan Plus 2.

I have even written two books about some of these adventures called logically enough, Road Trip! and Highways Byways and Racetracks both of which are available on Amazon dot com.

Regardless of your vehicle of choice, get out on the open road and for God’s sake, avoid the interstates or you will miss the best of America.


#4

I have several cars including a '64 Fury conv.,'40 Ford conv., '33 Chevy Master, all of which I have driven on road trips of over 1000 mi. in comfort. I have to say my favorite though is my '62 Vette restomod with late model suspension, LS1 and T56 trans. Last year we drove it from San Antonio to Charlottesville VA, then the entire length of the Blue Ridge Parkway and Nachez Trace before heading home. Top down fun, great handling in the mountains and 27 MPG to boot. I just love driving my hot rods on the back roads of America.


#5

My first choice: an ‘06 VW Phaeton 4-seater just because it would be such a smooth, comfortable ride. #2 would be an ‘89 Turbo Trans Am because I’ve never been able to really open it up around town. #3 would be a ‘95 NSX-T because well, its an NSX.


#6

I put over 175,000 hiway miles on a 1957 Ford Thunderbird over a period of 35+ years from 1982 to 2015. The longest trip was 11,000 miles in three weeks. Most trips were 2500 to 5000 miles. Weak vacuum wipers, leaks, over heating, electrical problems and all. It wasn’t the most comfortable sleeping on the bench seat and EVERYTHING that could go wrong did. But, boy was it fun. So many adventures. I can’t say it was my choice for a road trip car. It chose me.


#7

My choice was (& is) a 1968 Corvette T-Top 427 4-speed owned since new (50 yrs) with 103,000 mi. Pwr steer & brakes but no ac. Been on the Salt Flats and across the Utah desert in Aug heat. Traveled Grand Canyon, Tijuana, Fl Keys, NY city. Pulled 150 hp outboard & 400 hp jet boats. 2 x-wives & sooo many girlfriends- I’m lucky the car can’t talk.


#8

My car of choice has been our 39 Chevy 4 door Master Deluxe. We took one trip of 6000 miles out old 66 and then up the Pacific Coast highway to Seattle. A lot of little side trips off the route but always back on 66. Surprised a few very small parts are a rock road. Just a wonderful trip. We try to take one trip every year.


#9

I dunno about you guys but my hagertys policy has some pretty strict mileage limitations. Seems kind of strange they are promoting long distance road trips in these vehicles.


#10

@kdk - That sounds like an awesome adventure in a 1939 Chevy! Is it a fairly stock ride or have improvements been made to make it a more over the road friendly car?


#11

@lotusross - You bring up the Corvair so I will make a quick mention that the air-cooled Chevy is my favorite road trip car by a large margin.

I have logged tens of thousands of miles behind the wheel of a Corvair including 2000 in the last week.


#12

My longest road trip was from the S.F. Bay Area to Birmingham, AL and back for the 2009 45th Mustang Anniversary celebration. We were on the road in mid April with our 1969 Mustang convertible for a total of 21 days. My wife actually said she was more comfortable in the old Mustang than in my '69 Corvette or my 2000 Camaro Z28 that we owned at the time. If we had gotten into the humid season in Dixie, I’m sure we would have both wanted a car with A/C, but it didn’t become a problem on our trip. Drove to Birmingham on Highway 40 with parts of Rte. 66. Came home on Highway 80. Great experience. I have to admit, though, that I have a 2009 C6 Corvette now that I would love to take on an extended road trip. So many creature comforts.


#13

My favorite road trip car is my 2000 Lincoln Continental. It is very plush and comfortable. I can cruise at 70-75 mph and still get 25 mpg. It’s DOHC engine has plenty of power when needed.


#14

@mrzx9r I suggest you give the Hagerty folks a call and ask them whether you can take a long trip under your policy. I did and was told that one extended trip per year is within the spirit of the usage contemplated for classic insurance coverage. It is the daily grind in commuter traffic that is so risky in a classic not the long trip on secondary roads. I told them my plans for my 5,000 mile trip including the way-points and they said “Have fun!”

@Kyle I too loved my Corvairs and the best of all was my 1966 Fitch Sprint in Europe for 20 months thanks to my Uncle Sam’s free shipping both ways. But then he shipped me further, to SE Asia and the Sprint got sold while I was over there by my dad. Sigh.


#15

BMW 840Ci. Best cruising car ever made.


#16

I bought mine in Atlanta and drove it back through the tail end of Hurricane Ike to Az. Perfect for a road trip. 65 Corsa cont.


#17

Our ‘54 Ford Crestline fordor with the original 239Y has been the perfect car for long distance travel, it’s big, it’s roomy, has a big trunk, rides like a limo’, handles beautiful and get great mileage, over 20 and full size, it’s hard to beat. We live in central Minnesota, been to Kentucky, New York, Connecticut, been to Montana and to Texas, our last trip was to Pennsylvania for a family wedding.
I want a big car with plenty or room.

Warren, in MN


#18

2011 Cadillac CTS4 . We drove 7000 miles from Virginia to Chicago to the beginning of Route 66 and on to the Grand Canyon, and then back. My dream road trip since I started driving in 1962. Finally did it and doing it in that car was both comfortable and capable of being driven on some of the older and curvier parts of the route ie. dead mans curve.


#19

Any square body Suburban with big block 454 !!


#20

@gkiron1 - I had the chance to drive a friends big block 'Burban down the east coast this spring and it was a great driver! Cruise and A/C still functioning and enough luggage space to support the handful of sports cars I was chasing!