> 
road trip

road trip

  Everyone deserves a vacation now and again, so take advantage of that four-wheeled machine you have parked in the driveway with a good old fashioned road trip. Be it long or short, road trips are one of the best ways to get to a number of destinations in one trip. Plus, it's much cheaper than buying a plane ticket nowadays, especially if you take to the road with an electric vehicle.

Posted on by Christian Moe +  

Mini owners, pack your bags, get your car serviced and then get your butt to San Francisco; the Mini Takes the States road rally is back! This biennial event is the largest official Mini road rally covering 18 states, 15 cities and more than 5,000 miles. The trip will begin on Saturday July 26 in San Francisco California and will end two full weeks later on Sunday August 10 in Boston.

Along the way, you will get the chance to see much of our great country as the journey winds West into Colorado, then cuts south into Texas. From there you head towards Memphis, Tennessee and up to Chicago finishing with a northern detour to Buffalo, NY and finally arriving Boston. There are several more stops scattered through the middle as well.

While the cost for the trip will be what you make of it, Mini has thankfully made the entry and registration fees decidedly affordable at $45 per person with kids under 12 and all pets being freebies. If you decide that a 14-day cross-country vacation is not quite your cup of tea, Mini happily invites you to join for any portion of the festivities you prefer.

Whether you own a Cooper Hardtop , Clubman , Countryman or any other member of the Mini brand, join in and have fun.

Click past the jump to read more about the Mini Takes The States Event.

We cover a lot of automotive-related material here at TopSpeed. From the latest and greatest vehicles with promises of fast quarter-mile times, insane 0-to-60 sprints , and the occasional gravel-shredding off-roader , it’s all about the newest and fastest.

But sometimes, you just have to slow down and enjoy the drive — to bask in every last mile of a pure driving experience in a pure sports car . That’s exactly what one man set out to do.

Scott Fisher and his beloved 1967 Datsun Fairlady Roadster are on a meandering mission to travel the United States in a clockwise fashion, while soaking in the experience on the timeless journey. No schedules needed.

Fisher started his epic journey last spring from his home in Las Vegas after selling his manufacturing business that he ran for 16 long years. It has since taken him over 30,000 miles through the American heartland, rolling over local highways and byways, while avoiding major routes and interstates “like the plague.” And it was all done in his beautiful ’67 Fairlady.

“I knew I needed to kinda’ get out, and unwind, and get my mojo back,” the 45-year-old man says. His journey has taken him north through the Pacific Northwest and over through the flyover states. Fisher’s goal was to stay up north during the summer months to avoid the extreme heat and sun exposure. “[It’s] allowed me to keep the top down, maybe 80 percent of the time.”

Click past the jump to keep reading about Scott’s amazing travels

The Italian Stampede sounds as if it is a horrific running of wild bulls that includes lots of carnage and body parts. Well, in reality, it is a wonderful collection of various Italian supercars “racing” from Los Angeles to Monterey, California. Why Monterey? Well, that just so happens to be where the Concorso Italiano is being held.

This year, there is a special entrant leading the pack and that is a 2006 Lamborghini Murcielago wrapped in matte pink from front to rear and top to bottom. So why in the world is this Lamborghini all in pink? Well, the Lamborghini Club America is holding a Gala on Saturday to help support breast cancer awareness and this car is to help draw attention to both the Gala and the seriousness of breast cancer awareness.

We spoke with Andrew Romanowski, the President of the Lamborghini Club America and owner of this wrapped Lambo, and he let us know that it was not only the Lamborghini Club America involved in this great benefit, but Al & Ed’s Autosound and Protective Film Solutions also had a large hand in making this car a possibility.

While we had him on the phone, Andrew let us in on a little more info about the car. It is a 2006 model with an aftermarket exhaust system. We didn’t get into power numbers, as he was at the Concorso Italiano and we didn’t want to keep him from the droves of folks asking about this fantastic car and cause, but we assume this system would add about 10 to 15 extra ponies to its already stout 6.2-liter V-12 engine that pumps out 580 horsepower at 7,500 rpm and 479 pound-feet of torque at 5,400 rpm.

Hats off to the folks at Lamborghini Club America, Al & Ed’s, and Protective Film Solutions for creating such an awesome car and supporting a great cause. You can see a video of the wrap being put on after the jump.

We have seen the competition between the 2013 Mustang GT500 and the Camaro ZL1 get exhausted in the last few weeks, so seeing yet another comparison doesn’t really interest us much. Then again, if that competition is happening live on a public track and it is between two competitors that have been jawing at each other via forum flame posts, well, we suddenly become extremely interested.

So the story begins with us taking a short trip from the TopSpeed offices down to the Miami Homestead racetrack for a day full of watching various cars tackle the track. We stumbled upon this situation of a stock 2013 GT500 with under 1,000 miles on its clock and 650 ponies under the hood, and a Camaro ZL1, which was modified by Torq and is touted as a true racecar, ready to go head-to-head to settle their online feud of which is better.

The Camaro ZL1 admittedly had supercharger overheating issues in the past, so Torq installed a high capacity water pump to help aid in the cooling. Apparently, Torq overestimated the capacity of the new pump before heading to Miami and the blazing hot South Florida sun resulted in the engine overheating. Yeah, Torq forgot an important fact, if you install a high-capacity water pump, you need to raise the amount of coolant stored in the cooling system.

Ironically, Torq is quoted as saying that pitting the GT500 against this modified ZL1 is “like bringing a knife to a gun fight” and we agree, because the GT500 is better known as a drag-style car and the ZL1 truly is a better road handler. Let’s see if Torq can rectify this issue and get us a good race to see.

06/03/12 Update from Torq: Okay, so it appears as if our article ruffled some feathers in regards to the guys involved in the race and they made it clear that there were a few misunderstandings in our article. We will further clarify what we were intending to demonstrate, as well as include some of the other details that Torq has kindly provided us.

First and foremost the statement that the ZL1 is more of a true racecar than the GT500 was not intended to be taken as a statement by Torq. This is the common consensus of the automotive industry, as the ZL1 is a best suited on a road track, whereas the GT500 is better on the drag strip, though both perform well on either track style. This has nothing to deal with any modifications performed on either car, but rather a statement of the fact around each stock model.

According to a Torq rep, the GT500 is not as stock as we thought it was. Turns out the GT500 is boasting a cold air intake and a performance ECU tune. Torq claims that this puts the GT500 up to 740 to 750 horsepower. And, yes, we rounded the GT500 down to 650 horsepower, when it is in fact 662 ponies. Also according to Torq, the ZL1 is at a drastic horsepower disadvantage, which we, of course, expect, given the factory performance differences.

It also turns out that Torq actually did attempt to compensate for the addition coolant flow by adding in an aftermarket heat exchanger that adds about two additional gallons to the cooling capacity and experimenting with several auxiliary coolant reservoirs, without success. Unfortunately, Torq did not specify why the ZL1 was running hot.

In closing, we are not taking side with either car. We were excited to see this type of real-life comparison take place and unfortunately, it did not. So hopefully you guys can get this heating issue worked out and back onto the track.

On an aside, you can catch the ZL1 in an upcoming issue of GM High Tech, so it is very clear that these guys are no amateurs.

Update #3 from RevanRacing

The GT500 did not have a full blown aftermarket cold air intake but a "factory" ford racing part that is known as a resonator eliminator and makes the supercharger whine louder. The car did have a tune estimated at around 60+ horsepower.

No doubt we will here more about the Torq ZL1 fight against RevanRacing GT500 in the near future because if there is something we have learned, it is that loosing is not an option for any of them.

The Gumball 3000 is back for its 13th rendition in 2012 and it guarantees to be just as wild and crazy as it has always been. The 2012 Gumball 3000, for those that do not know, is a roughly 3,000-mile rally that begins in New York, heads into Canada, and eventually ends up in Los Angeles, all while hitting five check points between New York and L.A.

At each checkpoint, the entire group gets together and throws one massive party with the key party coming at the very end in L.A. Though the Gumball 3000 is touted as a race, it is more of a leisurely drive that features a wide array of celebrities and all types of awesome cars, from the downright powerful and sexy to the economical and environmentally friendly.

This year’s Gumball 3000 is set to kickoff on Friday at noon and is in no way lacking celebrity appearances and tons of flashy rides.

Click past the jump to read more about the Gumball 3000, as well as the cars and celebrities making appearances.

One Lap America actually has roots dating back to the original Cannonball Sea-to-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash, known simply as Cannonball. Many of today’s enthusiasts think that Cannonball was simply a movie or plot, but this was actually a real-life cross-country race that included high speeds on U.S. highways.

The original Cannonball only lasted five runs until its organizer, Brock Yates, decided he had better quit this no-holds-barred race before the authorities decide to close it down. In 1984, the Cannonball returned, but was not about making it across the country as fast as possible, but about making it through a course that went throughout the lower 48 states and ended up with the amount of miles closest to Brock’s estimate.

In the modern era of the One Lap America, the race is now about following the rules of the road, as you drive throughout a predetermined course, and between these leisurely drives, you have track events. The scoring of this event is solely based on the track event results, but you and your co-driver(s) must also survive driving 24 hours on end, stopping only to enjoy a “gourmet” gas station hot dog or two along the way.

This 19-event, eight-day racing series just wrapped up on Saturday and we have your full list of winners in each class and we have also broken down a list of all of the oddest and most awesome cars to grace the 2012 running.

Click past the jump to read about the odd and awesome cars, as well as the winners from each class.

Posted on by Alexander +

We can’t do a series of road trip ideas without including a road - or series of roads - that has been named America’s Most Beautiful Drive and America’s Best Free Attraction. The Pacific Coast Highway is officially less than 130 miles long from Dana Point and Oxnard in Southern California, but many consider the "real" Pacific Coast Highway to be a series of roads running up the entire west coast of the United States. All in all, the entire length runs no less than 1800 miles, taking about two weeks if you include time to enjoy the sights of the trip.

If you don’t have the time or energy to take in the full length of the trip, there are various parts of the Pacific Coast Highway that can be utilized as shorter trips. Of course, you may want to avoid July and August because the traffic can be a killer.

Hit the jump to check out the many highlights of the Pacific Coast Highway, including the shorter routes and entertainment.

Anyone who lives and breathes the thrill of driving should find the time to head on over to Italy for a trip through the Stelvio Pass at one point in their lives. At 9,045 feet, it may not be the most dangerous road in the world, but it is the highest paved road in the Eastern Alps and may suit driving aficionados just fine for a holiday destination. Especially since this famed road features 60 hairpins turns, 48 just on the northern pass, and a wonderful view of beautiful landscapes. That information alone makes Stelvio Pass worthy of just about any bucket list.

The Stelvio Pass was originally built between 1820-1825 by the Austrian Empire. It connects the Valtellina with the upper Adige valley and Merano and covers a climb of 1871 meters (about 1.16 miles). Many tourists head over during open season (June-September) to marvel at the twist and turns, including the trio from Top Gear and the great Stirling Moss.

Continued after the jump.

Posted on by Alexander + 14

We’re trying to gather up some of the roads less traveled in America as part of our Road Trip series and in doing so, have pieced together this little seven hour road trip near Los Angeles, California. This long and twisty trip starts off at Placerita Canyon Road and takes the traveler through a series of roads that offer many activities to entertain along the way before ending at East Sierra Madre Avenue.

Right off the bat, road trip attendees can capture the scenery of the western San Gabriel Mountains off of Placerita Canyon Rd. About two miles from Placerita Canyon Road’s intersection with California State Route 14, travelers can head up to Disney’s Golden Oak Ranch to check out the location used by the film industry for many shows and movies such as Independence Day, The X-Files, CSI, My Name is Earl, Entourage, Boston Legal, Bones, Sons of Anarchy, and American Idol.

Hit the jump to check out what else can be found during this little California getaway.

Posted on by Alexander + 18

If anyone is in the Texas area and looking for a little time away from home, check out this 320 mile road trip from El Paso, TX to Big Bend. This trip guides drivers through where Texas, New Mexico, and Mexico meet and provides ample opportunities to take advantage of a bit of culture.

On this trip, vacationers will be able to ride through the arts community in Marfa, Texas on Route 67, where the famous Marfa Ghost Lights will be waiting for your viewing pleasure. These lights are known as a paranormal phenomenon, but some people with a little less flair for the dramatic believe they are just atmospheric reflections of auto headlights and campfires. Others even say they are just static electricity or the more eccentric, swamp gas. Whatever they are, they draw many visitors every year, so take a trip and decide for yourself.

Hit the jump for more information on the El Paso to Big Bend Road Trip.

Source: Bing

Back to top