Journal: What's The Farthest You've Driven In A Classic Car?

What’s The Farthest You’ve Driven In A Classic Car?

By Michael Banovsky
July 15, 2016

Lately, it seems classic car owners have been about going the distance. We recently featured William Medcalf’s Bentley, who talks of traveling thousands of miles non-stop for 66 hours—literally crossing a desert—in nearly a century-old car. There’s the family crossing the world in their classic, and our friends are about to take a Mini Cooper to Mongolia.

Given the time, ability, and vehicle, long-term or merely long-distance travel in a classic is a bucket list item according to the people who’ve done it. Even experiencing the Mille Miglia or participating in a multi-day rally is to be applauded—cars were made to be driven, right?

If you’re looking for someone to give you permission to drive your beloved over a long distance, you have mine. And if you’re planning on crossing the Gobi Desert or similar, we’ll be honored to cheer you on.

What’s the farthest you’ve driven in a classic car?

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Rob Williams
Rob Williams(@rob_williams)
7 months ago

I bought a 1988 e30IX based on pics and an inspection. I then drove it home from Reno, NV to Orono, MN with only a bit of oil needed. 1700 miles through some of the emptiest land the US has without a radio. Treasured memories for sure.

Jeff Sloane
Jeff Sloane(@jeffsloane77)
2 years ago

In 1993 I drove a 1970 Datsun 510 ex race car 586 miles from Houston, Tx to Lubbock, Tx where I was studying to become a Mechanical Engineer. The car was great with a balanced and blue printed L20B engine and Mikuni 44 side draft carbs. It had “racing style” bucket seats and in lieu of a cruse control, I’d cut wood sticks at different lengths to put between the side bolster and gas pedal. Sliding the stick up and down the bolster would give my knee a break as the narrow seat required an awkward bend in the leg to reach the gas. I drove it back to Houston later that year and got a speeding ticket for 86 in a 70. The officer asked me if I knew how fast I was going. Upon explaining that the car’s speedo was not accurate because race car. I said, probably 75 or 76. I was so proud when he said 86 because the car was just causing along with little effort. What a ride, wish I had one to drive right now.

3 years ago

Last August 2018, I drove a 1984 Pininfarina Spider from Dallas to Santa Cruz, then participated in the Lemons Rally and drove to the border of Canada and back to Seaside, Ca. Then I headed east and three days later arrived in Knoxville, Tennessee. I drove 90% with the top down over a total of about 7200 miles in a little less than three weeks! 7200 miles, 32+ tanks of fuel and about 2 quarts of oil. Auto Ricambi sponsored the drive and we are happy to report the Spider performed amazingly.

The thing that makes this crazy is that when we got this car, it had been sitting in a field in Texas since 1994! We spent about 5 days working on it to prep it for this journey. The Spider is still going strong.

Jason Najm
Jason Najm(@jason_najm)
3 years ago

York, PA to Clarence, NY. About 300 miles in a ‘59 Edsel.

Michael May
Michael May(@mmay56)
3 years ago

Albany, N.Y. to Los Angeles, CA in a 1973 Triumph Spitfire. Also same trip on 1976 Honda cb750

Brian Lawrenz
Brian Lawrenz
4 years ago

So far I’ve only done a hundred or so miles in a weekend in my 1960 Willys Jeep FC-150. Mostly around the Birmingham, AL area. It tops out at 50 mph so a cross country tour doesn’t seem to be in the cards. Still a ton of fun around town.

Nick Taylor
Nick Taylor
4 years ago

New Jersey to LA in my 1960 Corvette.

Brian W
Brian W
4 years ago

My dad and I drove from New Hampshire to Riverside California in a 1963 Sunbeam Alpine-in December, then drove back from California to the upper peninsula of Michigan a few years later. It was a while ago, but a great trip, with no problems. We have recently located the car, now living in Portland Ore, and are trying to buy the thing back!

Damian Nunimaker
Damian Nunimaker(@rc000e)
5 years ago

Luckily, my longest journey in a classic car was in an article right here on Petrolicious’ website! Seattle to Atlanta (via San Diego and the Pacific Coastline) in an 86 E28 535i.

R. Campbell
R. Campbell(@r-campbell)
5 years ago

I drove my 1977 Fiat 124 Spider from Michigan to New Orleans — then over to Florida, up to Maine, then back to Michigan. (Oh…it was in 1979.)

Darel Matthews
Darel Matthews(@darel)
5 years ago

Wow…and I was proud of my TR6 for completing the ABRR last year, a whopping 853 miles. You guys are killing me. Wish I had the time for multiple-thousand-mile road trips. There’s a limit to how much a guy and a gal can abandon their children and employers before the law and reality sets in. Seriously, are you all just independently wealthy or what?

Allen Bachelder
Allen Bachelder(@bachldrs)
5 years ago

‘ Drove my first MG ZB Magnette (1958 model) from New Castle Virginia to Portland Oregon and then up to Olympia Washington in 2003. Pretty close to 8000 miles by the time we got back home.

In 2007, we drove our ’73 MGB/GT first from Harbor Beach Michigan to Rohnert Park California, then to Whistler British Columbia and return. Ran a steady 80 mph for over 1000 miles through Idaho, Montana and South Dakota on our return. The same summer we drove from Michigan to our old home in Virginia, then up to Massachusetts, then up to Ontario and return. Total for that summer of 2007 was over 11,000 miles. 2011, we drove the same B/GT to Reno, Olympia and return. Again, 80 mph across Idaho, Montana and South Dakota. This coming summer, we’re planning on running our ’57 Magnette to California and up to Washington and return. Classics uncomfortable? NO!! We do just a bit of modifying on our Magnette to deal with that: A/C, modern seats with head-rests, MGB engine (30 hp increase), five-speed O/D transmission, a higher ratio rear end, and disc brakes in front. This car cruises all day at 75-80 mph without a whimper.

Funny – on that first trip in our earlier Magnette, we followed the Old Oregon Trail much of the way, and stopped to enjoy many of the commemorative museums, monuments, etc. On a really good day, those 19th century travelers would be lucky to make 8-12 miles. Their children were sick and dying; they starved, and their wagons broke down constantly. Compared to that, we felt humbled in the luxury of our 45 year-old MG! Everything is relative…

Scott Stowell
Scott Stowell(@stowellbmw)
5 years ago

This past August, my wife and I drove our ’83 BMW 635CSi from Albany NY to Monterey CA and back, traveling a total of 7,600 miles through 21 states. Joining us were a 1975 2002 and a 1973 3.0CS coupe. No breakdowns, traveled through all types of weather and terrain including mountains and deserts, and booked enough memories for a lifetime! The car handled everything like a champ.

Jordan Craig
Jordan Craig(@jordancraigphotography)
5 years ago

We did 3000k in Canada and the eastern US in my 1970 Alfa gtv 1750. Glorious ride.

Jure A.
Jure A.(@jurea)
5 years ago

I’ve done a lot of long trips with my old Citroens all over Europe (and still do).
The longest two:

– Citroen Dyane – from Slovenia to Nordkapp (Norway) and back – 12,299 km (7,687 miles).

– Citroen GS – from Slovenia to Nordkapp and back – 11,336 km (7,085 miles).

No problems on any of the trips.

Johannes Oppitz
Johannes Oppitz(@johannes999)
5 years ago

Two years ago I drove about 3000kms around New Zealand in a ’83 Mitsubishi L200

Johannes Oppitz
Johannes Oppitz(@johannes999)
5 years ago

If that counts as a classic.

5 years ago

From Chicago to Mountain View via Coeur d’Alene in a TR-3, the last 600 miles with three people aboard. Still had great fun. Over 2,500 miles without any problems. We all got wet when it rained and froze in the cold and sweltered when hot, but all involved are actually looking for a car to do it again. Ideas?

Andrzej Czeczko
Andrzej Czeczko(@czeczun)
5 years ago

I own a classic Polish car called Polski Fiat 125p, not very known outside of Poland. Mine is from 1990, but the car was built basicly the same from 1968. In 2010 I took it (or maybe it took me) to Istanbul, in Turkey, Greece, whole Balkans, and other countries. It was about 7000 km in two weeks.
In 2013 I drove to Nordkapp in Norway, the farthest north you can go in Europe on wheels. It was more than 9000 km in 18 days.
This year, in september, we’re taking our 125p with a small Polish caravan Niewiadow 126n to Hungary (about 1000 km in one direction). That’s, by far, the farthest I’ve driven my classic car.
Try reading about Zlombol – This is a Polish charity rally for cars from behind the iron courtin. All the money collected during each edition goes to Children from an orphanage.

Robert Schneider
Robert Schneider(@1982twofortyfive)
5 years ago

Years ago did 1k during summertime in the 68 MGB with no top/only tonneau, a bag of weed, a cooler full of cold beer & large helping of youthful dumb exuberance. In shorts & t-shirt.

J Keith Walters
J Keith Walters(@wstudios)
5 years ago

Did 6300+ to RRV and back from NC in my ’72 911 last year, stopped by the Grand Canyon, saw 8000+ elevation (MFI injection engine), lost a starter (couple of days of roll-starts) and had a tire blow out (how often does that happen any more?) – looking forward to doing it again.

Oh, did I mention I did a trackday at ButtonWillow in the ’72 while I was out there?

5 years ago

The first time was in a 1970 Plymouth gtx, I drove it from las cruces, NM to Los Angeles and back. The second time was in the same car from Las Cruces to San Francisco, Ca. Then I drove my 1965 Rambler American from the Bay Area to Las Cruces, NM, then from Pittsburgh, PA across the states to San Francisco. My dog went every time.

Jack Gabus
Jack Gabus(@silkhope)
5 years ago

789 mi from LA to Albuquerque in Dads 69 911S. I’m guessing our average speed was 110 MPH, no tickets and no one got hurt.

Robert Schneider
Robert Schneider(@1982twofortyfive)
5 years ago
Reply to  Jack Gabus

Score !

Benjamin Shahrabani
Benjamin Shahrabani(@ben-shahrabani)
5 years ago

A friend and I did about 2,000 miles straight-through (Cannonball style) in a 1967 911…but like Danny Glover said in Lethal Weapon II (I think), “we’re getting too old for this shit.”

Jack Olsen
Jack Olsen(@jack-olsen)
5 years ago

The first time I ever sat in a Porsche 911, I put it in gear and drove 2,100 miles. It was a 1973, and was reasonably comfortable, but — since I was accustomed to modern cars — had a surprising amount of wind noise.

J Keith Walters
J Keith Walters(@wstudios)
5 years ago
Reply to  Jack Olsen

I’ve got you on this one, Olsen! Muahahaha

Ellias Karwashan
Ellias Karwashan(@ekarwashan)
5 years ago

I took a 66 Continental from MA to SC last summer. Top down the whole way. Epic highway drive in a one of the great highway cruisers. Looking forward to doing it again.

Max Beach
Max Beach(@max10014190)
5 years ago

After college my then girlfriend (now wife of 15 years) and I road tripped from Detroit across the northern plains to Montana through Yellowstone down to Vegas and eventually to Los Angeles in a 1971 leMans Sport Converible. After a week in SoCal we took Route 66 back to Michigan. Making our way as often as possible along the old road and stopping at as many of the mother road sites.

The trip was filled with lots interesting side detours and roadside maintenance but it sparked our desire to move and settle out west.

Sam Lazarakos
Sam Lazarakos(@samlaz7)
5 years ago

Before we sold it I drove my mother’s 1991 Nissan Figaro up to our cottage in northern Ontario, such a fun little car and a truly amazing trip in a classic.

Josh Karsten
Josh Karsten(@joshkarsten)
5 years ago

We bought a 1977 Mazda REPU on Bring a Trailer for work and drove it 3309 miles from Seattle to Minneapolis via Thunder Hill raceway.

Reed Starkey
Reed Starkey(@starkman289)
5 years ago

3,060 Miles from the Bay Area up to Canada and then back down to the bay all the way down the coast! I did all this a month ago in a 1967 Ford Mustang that I refurbished in my garage with my father. One of the most incredible trips ever!

Rusty Shackleford
Rusty Shackleford(@rusty-shackleford)
5 years ago

2,635 miles from San Diego to Ft. Lauderdale in 1971 in a 1958 Porsche Speedster.