It’s been a dream of mine for quite a few years now. Fly to the US, buy a classic America car, and road trip it. Then ship it back home and use it for occasional Sunday coffee runs.

Well, they say dreams come true. In July this year, my wife and I are heading to the US for a month to buy said classic car, and road trip it.

Here’s our current route, which may change as times goes on:

USA-drive-life

After deciding we were going to do this a year or so ago, I then thought: why not write a book on how to do this, so other people may get tempted to do the same? Sure, American cars aren’t to everyone’s taste, but go along to any All American Car Day and try and count how many cars are there. It’s still a popular country of origin for many car enthusiasts.

You may be wondering what qualifies me, a motoring journalist, to write a book on how to get a car in the States and then ship it home? Mainly because we’ve done it before. Well, not really a classic car, but in 2007 we flew to the US, bought a Dodge Ram and 35-foot 5th wheel RV, spent 3 months trekking across the US, then shipped them both home – and then lived in the RV for four years. Will I be including how to buy and ship back an RV in my book? You bet!

Our trip in July hasn’t quite gone to the extent of shipping it straight home, as we’ll be driving across the south of the US, ending up in Atlanta, Georgia. Why Atlanta? That’s where they do The Walking Dead tours, so why not?

There we will store the car for 12 months, then go back next year and take it across Route 66 from Chicago, then to LA and ship it home. I feel a V2.0 of the book coming on…

Before and during our trip, I intend to blog almost daily, comparing things like US drivers (I already know they are better than ours, by far) and just general motoring observations.

I will need help from you, Drive Life followers. I have some things that are undecided, and need your input. Firstly, and most importantly, what car to buy? I don’t want a Mustang, as they seem to be everywhere. Not that I don’t like them, but I’m after something a little different. I’m open to suggestions at this stage, as we have 12 weeks before we leave so that’s plenty of time for you guys (and girls) to give me suggestions. I’m not quite an open book, but I am definitely open to suggestions.

My main criteria are parts availability, must be a V8 (duh), have air con, and not super-long like a ’59 Caddy. My budget is not huge – say around US$10k – so bear that in mind. Sure, I’ve love to be behind the wheel of an ‘Olds 442, but man haven’t those shot up in price lately. I’m leaning towards cars in the ‘60s and early ‘70s. In saying that, I’ve also been looking at Pontiac Firebirds from ’77-81 (Smokey and The Bandit, anyone?). My wife is keen on a ’67 Chev Impala, because Supernatural. That’s her thought process right there (I guess I can’t talk with the Firebird option). 

I’d still love a Corvette, but we’ve decided it has to be a 4 seater.

Please, add a comment, and suggest away

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How on earth to start this? I've been car/bike/truck crazy since I was a teen. Like John, I had the obligatory Countach poster on the wall. I guess I'm more officially into classic and muscle cars than anything else - I currently have a '65 Sunbeam Tiger that left the factory the same day as I left the hospital as a newborn with my mother. How could I not buy that car? In 2016 my wife and I drove across the USA in a brand-new Dodge Challenger, and then shipped it home. You can read more on www.usa2nz.co.nz. We did this again in 2019 in a 1990 Chev Corvette - you can read about that trip on DriveLife. I'm also an Observer for the Institute of Advanced Motorists - trying to do my bit to make our roads safer.

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