Getting behind the wheel and just driving gives a great sense of freedom. New sights and experiences to be remembered for a long time.
I’ve been a car nut since I was a young boy. Not sure why, as I came from a boating family. Perhaps it’s the independent spirit in me. Combine that with a love of travel and road trips are the obvious thing to keep me happy.
In May 2009 I sold up everything and hit the road. That was a trip from Melbourne to southeast Queensland. The car was a 1995 BMW 318is coupe. Not a powerhouse, however, a comfortable car. Later on that car was sold when I went overseas for a number of months. I had to pay to store my 1996 Porsche 993 Carrera 4S, so the BMW had to go for good.
Back in Australia I then did the same trip in the 993. Much more fun, albeit with a lot less room for luggage. No room for the BMX that trip. Fast forward to 2011 when the Porsche dealer in Melbourne made an offer to buy my car as they needed one for the 50th anniversary of Porsche in Australia. By this time I was travelling full time and the car was basically in storage more time than not. I had the option to buy it back 12 months later. That coincided with my move to the US so I didn’t take it back. In hindsight it might have been a good investment as it seems to have enjoyed about 75% appreciation in value…
That brings me to the 2010 Porsche 997 GT3. Based in South Florida and buying a car in Houston, Texas meant a 1200 mile mini road trip. Driving through the rain with tyres not recommended for wet weather was a bit un-nerving. I still have that car and have done a few trips here and there including down to the Florida Keys, up through the Carolinas, Tennessee and a bit of Kentucky. Plus a few others around Florida.
Daily driving a GT3 can be a bit difficult at times so I looked for something a bit easier. Enter the 2006 BMW M3 in July 2015. This was an E46 model with the ZCP competition package. Again, it involved a 1000 mile road trip from just west of Washington DC to South Florida. Also managed a few smaller road trips around Florida and one extended one through Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. With more time expected away from South Florida than there, I sold this after 2.5 years in January 2018.
Next up is the 1996 Porsche 993 Carrera. Which is the car I originally started this site to document. This was bought in January 2016 as a project car first and a road trip car second. Buying it in Hawaii meant a big road trip back to South Florida. This road trip ticked of an item on my list. Driving from one side of the US to the other. The first stage of the project is done with a complete overhaul of the suspension. It is now sitting at a well respected Porsche shop for some engine refreshing and other bits.
Back in Australia for a few months in early 2018 and decided I’d like to see a bit more of my own country. This time I want to do the familiar Melbourne to Queensland trip, just with a difference. I plan to stick closer to the coast and instead of doing it in two days, I plan to take a few weeks. Maybe more. The car choice was pretty open and I just wanted something interesting, manual transmission, rear wheel drive/all wheel drive or possibly four wheel drive. Lots of options, just not quite ticking all the boxes. In the end I went for a 2004 Volkswagen Golf R32.
I’d been a passenger in a 2004 R32 back when I bought my GT3 as the seller had one as his daily driver. With only 200 imported into Australia and some lost over the years, it meant not a lot of them for sale. In the end I found one in Sydney. Like all the cars I have bought in the US, it meant a decent road trip just to get home. Around 900 kilometres.
The first half of that trip is over and the car is stored on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. Time to head back to Florida and sort out the work on the 993 and whatever else happens. What ended up happening is a road trip through six states in the GT3. Many of these cars have now turned into garage queens when they should be driven. Perhaps more so the GT3 RS models and guess I am lucky my car hasn’t appreciated in value to the extent that I don’t want to put more miles on it because of the negative effect on the value.