In the words of Plato, “You can tell a lot about a person from the car they drive.” The Greek philosopher never said that? I guess he didn’t read our special section ‘Hit The Road’ in the July/August issue. The stories kindled our inner adventurer, and left us to ponder our next vehicle-based trip. With our easy-to-use car-to-destination converter, we match your type of car with your ideal vacation. Drive safely.
Clearly you have racing in your blood. Unfortunately, public roads are flooded with speed limits, errant dogs, and Sunday drivers. Germany, the birthplace of BMW and Porsche, is calling you. The Nürburgring Race Track in Nürburg will let you open up cylinders you never knew existed. Nicknamed the “Green Hell” by legendary race driver Jackie Stewart, it offers courses for all levels of adrenaline junkies.
Next Step: Skip the Sport Drive Training and book the Formula 1 race car. For $450 you can take your first step to becoming an honorary member of the Andretti family.
You’re a family man (or you let nostalgia get the better of you). Cars like these are a marriage of luxury and practicality. And as with all great unions, compromise is key. At Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, kids can drive around the Junior Grand Prix while adults rediscover their inner child on the world’s fastest roller coaster, Formula Rossa, or take a romantic drive through a miniature Italy.
Next Step: Book a flight to the United Arab Emirates. Tickets for Ferrari World start at $60 and $45 for children under 5 feet tall.
Size matters to you. Smart Cars are the Pomeranians to your full-grown German shepherd. It’s go big or go home. Enroll in Monster Truck Driving School in England and drive the beast of a truck called ‘Grizzly’ over old clunkers with its full size 7.5-liter engine. No, you can’t take it home with you.
Next Step: Check out monstertrucks.co.uk and choose from packages like Monster Car Crush and Monster Truck Thrill. From $229.
With paint jobs from flames to flamingos, these cars were made to show off. Head out to the Bonneville Speedway in the salt flats of Utah. You’ll be amongst like-minded people who want to set land speed records on the favorable terrain and talk hot rods in the desert sun. Still a completely amateur track, it only gets competitive when cars go over 600 mph.
Next Step: Head out for either Speed Week in mid-August, or World of Speed in mid-September.
Two wheels are great. No need to parallel park and unlimited free air conditioning. If you want to put your bike (and sanity) through the ultimate fitness test, sign up for the Dakar Rally. Originally, it ran from Paris to Senegal through the Sahara Desert. It’s now a 15-day trial of the body, mind, and soul from Lima to Santiago via the harsh terrain of Argentina. GPS not included.
Next Step: Read Jonathan Miles’s article in Men’s Journal about his race experience. If you still think you have what it takes visit www.dakar.com. Registration is now open for 2013.
Cars were made to be driven, but they can also retire in style. The Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Boston houses one of America’s oldest stockpile of cars (shown at top). The permanent collection includes a 1901 Winton Bullet nicknamed Buckeye, the first production race car offered to the public, and a 1908 Bailey Electric Phaeton Victoria, which cost an average of $2,300 and 1 cent per mile to drive.
Next Step: Check out the website for new exhibits and events. Adults $10, children $5, kids under 6 free.
Don’t let your battery hold you back. Israel is ready to give eco-friendly drivers an innovative way to cover greater distances. The company Better Place recently opened four battery-swap stations in the country. In five minutes, your Renault electric car can trade a drained battery for a fresh, 100-mile-range one. Smaller charging stations complete a network that, before the end of the year, will support a 300-mile drive from the northern tip to the southern end of the country.
Next Step: Visit the company website to read about their upcoming plans for countries like Denmark and Australia.
Image at top property of Larz Anderson Museum.