Those who have been following these articles about the impending road trip for my wife and I across the south of the USA will understand (hopefully!) how torn I am in choosing a car.

Keep in mind while we’ll be leaving the car we buy in the US in storage over there for 12 months, we aim to ship it back next year. This means that my car decision has to be based on multiple factors, like spare parts availability.

My heart is saying buy a late 60s-early 70s Buick or Ford Torino or just something a little bit different that I can easily get parts for. But now my heart and head are saying get a newer (post-2010) Chev Camaro or Dodge Challenger – better reliability and great parts supply, if needed.

Dodge Challenger RT Heritage World Debut NAIAS 2009
Or this?

Then this week a spanner in the classic-car-works; my insurer for driving in the US has a Roadside Assistance package for any breakdowns/problems, but it only applies if your car is newer than 40 years. That makes it 1975 at the oldest, and that’s not old enough for a classic for me.

So, suddenly the tables are leaning towards a 2010 or newer Challenger or Camaro.

Or this?
Or this?

Both have good and bad points, otherwise this would be a lot easier.

The Camaro looks amazing! But the rear is pretty cramped and I’ve heard the opening for the boot is like a mailbox slot – very small.

The Challenger looks good, has more interior room and a bigger boot and seems to be made for long distance travel. But it doesn’t handle as well as the Camaro. Once we have the car back in New Zealand, this may come into play. It’s not like we have interstate-like roads here, where the Challenger would be better.

Or Challenger?
Or Challenger?

Also, and it’s a small point but an important one – our garage is barely 5m long. The Challenger would s-q-u-e-e-z-e in, but only just, and I couldn’t get around it with the roller door shut. The Camaro at 4.8m will fit in nicely – still tight, but better than the Challenger.

But then, we are going to be doing 8,000ks over July in the USA, so the comfort/space of the Challenger would be great – and likely we’ll be doing the same distance again next year.

Or Camaro?
Or Camaro?

There is only one word to say: HELP!

Advice and suggestions greatly appreciated.

In case you forgot, I am writing a book about this trip and how to do it yourself – how to get your money there, how to buy a car, how to insure it, how to ship it home and how to get it on the road in New Zealand. The all-round How To book! Check it out here:

USA Road Trip articles to date:

1: The Planning begins

2: In search of a title

3: Time to narrow choices down

4: Plan B Evolves…

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Fred Alvrez
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 We did this again in 2019 in a 1990 Chev Corvette - you can read about that trip on DriveLife. I'm a driving instructor and an Observer for the Institute of Advanced Motorists - trying to do my bit to make our roads safer.


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