7 Cars for 7 Road Trips
Love them or hate them, road trips are a popular holiday choice. Here are seven trips that we can all agree are worth the effort.
The road trip is one of the most divisive holidays there is. Some people love them and look back fondly on memories of days spent in the back seat of their parents’ cars, staring out at the world rushing past. Other people can’t stand them and wish they could forget the days spent in the back seat of their parents’ cars, staring out at the world rushing past. Personally, I’d almost always prefer to fly to my holiday destination, but for these seven journeys in these seven cars, I think any gear head would make the exception.
1) California Highway 1 / 1965 Ford Mustang Convertible
I actually drove a small portion of this road trip earlier in the year in a 1965 Mustang convertible – I even wrote an article about the day on here previously – and since then I’ve wanted to do it in its entirety. For those unaware, California SR-1 (aka Pacific Coast Highway, PCH, Highway 1) is a 650-mile highway that leads from Dana Point in Orange County all the way up the coastline to Northern California. It’s an iconic stretch of tarmac that can only be truly appreciated with the top down and some classics on the radio. The road does get twisty in places, but for the most part it’s the sort of road where you can just sit back, relax and enjoy the view. As for the Mustang, PCH is one of the iconic American road-trips and the Mustang is the iconic American car. Need I say more?
2) Brighton to John o’ Groats / Bentley Continental GT
In both convertible and coupe forms, and regardless of whether its powered by the W12 or V8, the new Continental is simply an exquisite car. It can handle corners like it never could before without compromising the comfort and interior quality one expects from a Bentley. It’s the perfect car, then, for a journey from the south to the north of the UK. Whether you’re blasting up the motorways or enjoying the backroads of the Scottish Highlands, the Bentley will take it all in stride. Add in countless side trips and routes to take along the way and you’ve got the makings of a truly excellent holiday.
3) Monaco to Maranello / Ferrari Portofino
I really doubt I need to convince anyone reading this list that driving the latest and greatest open top Ferrari from Casino Square to the factory in Maranello would be an incredible trip. Personally, I would take the long way around and stay along the Mediterranean Coast all the way down to Pisa before turning inland to Florence and then backtracking north back to the factory in Maranello. Perfect views, amazing car, delicious food? Um, yes please. The only thing that could possibly improve that drive would be Sophia Loren in the passenger seat.
4) Route 66 / Cadillac CT6-V
Now it would be easy to fall into the trap of just grabbing whichever modern muscle monster catches your fancy for this iconic strip of tarmac from Santa Monica to Chicago. However, the sad truth is that there are a number of sections of this iconic road that aren’t quite as well-kept as one might hope. Route 66 back in its heyday was traversed mainly by big American barges, and nothing better captures that essence with just a hint of driving pleasure than the CT6-V.
5) Munich to Amsterdam / Mercedes SLR McLaren
The SLR is a modern piece of both Mercedes and McLaren history. The now legendary car born of the collaboration of two motorsport legends is still lusted after by anyone who sees one, despite being over a decade and a half old. The SLR is also described as being an incredible high-speed touring car, which makes it the perfect choice for a blast up the autobahns from Munich to the border with the Netherlands and up into Amsterdam. The route I’ve chosen is a German enthusiast’s utter dream as well, as there are stops in Munich, Stuttgart, and Frankfurt, the homes of Audi, BMW, Mercedes, and Porsche, as well as a detour around Cologne to stop off at the Nurburgring.
6) Milan to Geneva / Lamborghini Miura
This route might not make sense at first, but hear me out – starting in Milan means driving one of the most beautiful cars in the world, through one of the most beautiful cities in the world, while being surrounded by some of the most beautiful people in the world. That, and it gives the driver an excuse to spend more time with the Miura on the way to Turin for the real purpose of this road trip. Turin happens to be the setting of one of the greatest caper movies of all time, which just so happens to feature a Lamborghini Miura in its opening scene. And would you look at that – the route I’ve planned just so happens to run through the same Alpine pass that that scene was shot on – funny little coincidence there, isn’t it? If you are lucky enough to drive this one, just be wary of bulldozers parked in tunnels.
7) The Cannonball / Rolls-Royce Wraith
For those who are unaware, the Cannonball is the ultimate act of the highway scofflaw – a 2800 mile (4500 km) blast from the Red Ball Garage on 31st Street in New York City to the Portofino Hotel in Los Angeles. Drivers have been attempting record runs for over a century now, with the recognized first run by Erwin Baker in 1915 in a Stutz Bearcat averaging 50 mph (80 kph) across the North American continent. Since 2019 there have been four claims to the record, all with average speeds of more than double that figure. Obviously record attempts are less than legal and not without risk to the drivers and others on the road so I can’t say I encourage readers to attempt the record, but a non-stop run in the right car would be one hell of a trip. Personally, my car choice would be a Rolls-Royce Wraith – a huge comfortable coupe that simply defies anything that would dare to attempt to compromise the quality of the ride and is powered by a more than sufficient V12.
**Poll photo from WikiMedia Commons by Zakmkldz**