007 and Aston Martin – an Ongoing Connection

bond SkyFallJames Bond can drive anything he desires. The British secret agent has an impeccable organization behind him, dedicated to keeping his style, efficiency and elegance in order and a car he is driving is a big part of it. It was expected that he would be driving a British car and his relationship with Aston Martin seems to have built itself on its own.

It was Ian Fleming’s seventh novel called Goldfinger where James Bond first sat into a classic Aston Martin. The car in question was the DB3, which was understandable having in mind that the novel came out in 1959. However, by the time the movie Goldfinger was out in 1964, the DB5 was already out and going strong, so the producers decided to go with the more modern legend and this was a winning move.

Sean Connery, one of the most appreciated and, many would say, the best Bond actor, was smooth, handsome, but also capable and deadly, so combining him with the DB5 was an easy choice to make. The DB5 has since proved the most present Bond car, appearing in several movies, including some recent ones.

aston martin db5 goldfingerThe DB5 was there again in Thunderball a year later, boasting several other deadly optional features, understandably unavailable in production cars, such as a water cannon and a jetpack. However, few additions have reached the fame of the launching passenger’s seat from the previous movie.

The next installment in the Bond series saw a change in actor, George Lazenby having his only feat, but Aston Martin was there to stay, albeit in the form of the DBS in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service in 1969.

After this movie Roger Moore became 007 and he did not drive an Aston Martin in any of his films, but the famed manufacturer returned in 1987 with Living Daylights where Timothy Dalton enjoys the roars of the V8 Vantage, again packed with additions like wheel spikes and even a rocket launcher.

Still, the most notable Bond car was the DB5, so it is no surprise that it returned as a classic in 1995, more than 30 years after its first appearance. The movie in question was GoldenEye with Pierce Brosnan as James Bond and the movie opens with a race of the DB5 with the Ferrari F355. The return of the DB5 was a successful move, so it reappeared in 1997’s Tomorrow Never Dies in several scenes.

aston-martin-v12-vanquish001Brosnan stayed faithful to Aston Martin, driving a V12 Vanquish in Die Another Day in 2002, which was an understandable jump to modernity in the new millennium thrilled with hi-tech features like a disappearing cloaking device.

Modern Aston Martin DBS V12 was also present in Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace, but the former also featured the untouchable classic DB5, which Bond won in a poker game.

After two side appearances in modern films, the DB5 again took the leading car role in 2012’s Skyfall, 48 years after its remarkable debut, showing true value of the elegant classic.

In Spectre, Bond drives an Aston Martin again. The stunningly modern DB10 helps 007 here, but as retro hype reappears, we could easily expect the DB5 again. And, no, Bond producers, it did not bore us.

Porsche – A Glorious Racing History

Porsche Factory 1.0Porsche production cars have always been somewhere in the middle of a track beast and a street car. Perhaps this is most evident when we look at the GT2 and GT3 models which despite being street cars, are usually stripped of luxury and tuned for performance, rather than practicality or comfort. Simply put, these are track cars for the road. Similarly, Porsche cars are famous for being unbelievably reliable. Given that an incredible 70% of all Porsches ever made are still on the roads, it is not surprising that vast majority of racing victories came in long distance racing. This kind of success led Porsche from a small company creating engines for race cars to the world’s most prolific manufacturer of race cars in the 21st century so far.

Beginnings

The beginnings of the Porsche racing story could be found in the lower class races, where the cars had less power than some of their competitors, but snatched victories due to their aforementioned reliability, aerodynamics, lightweight body and incredible handling characteristics. The best example of these early victories were the Targa Florio wins in 1956, 1959, 1960, 1964, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970 and 1973. The mid 1950s also saw the making of dedicated Porsche racing cars, as opposed to tuning the Porsche 356 for racing purposes. With engines growing progressively in power and displacement, quickly followed by other mechanical and technological advancements, Porsche cars rose steadily from being runners up, to winning almost every race entered.

 

circuit de la sarthe24 Hours of Le Mans

The Circuit de la Sarthe is the venue for the oldest endurance race in the world, focusing on the combination of ultimate reliability and sporty characteristics, rather than sheer speed. Since the cars were compete at the highest of speeds, for a very long time and on unmaintained public roads, the 24 Hours of Le Mans puts the cars and constructors to the ultimate test of reliability. Due to the sheer strain placed on the competing cars, the 24 Hours of Le Mans is one of those endurance races that pushes the entire industry forward.

Porsche has been incredibly successful in this race, winning the highest number of times with various cars and in various eras, including several very surprising victories, such as the ones in 1996 and 1997. The first victory came in 1970 and it was followed by another one the next year. In fact, most of the wins were consecutive comprising of two, three or the record-breaking seven wins from 1981 to 1987. The total number of wins amounts to 17, which is significantly more than Audi, the runner up with 13 wins. Porsche’s last victory was in 2015.

 

1980_Porsche_Interscope_Indy_formula_one_f_1_1600x1200Formula One

The first entry into Formula One came with the Porsche 718 RSK in 1961. The car was reasonably successful in Formula Two in the late 1950s, but by the time they reached higher class Formula One, they were outdated and not very competitive.

In 1962 they started using Porsche 804 with a new boxer eight-cylinder engine which snatched the only victory for Porsche in a championship race at the 1962 French Grand Prix. However, at the end of the year Porsche had to retire from F1, due to the financial strain of competing combined with the purchase of the Reutter factory at the same time.

When turbos came into play, Porsche returned to F1, but only to supply an engine for the McLaren team. This happened in 1983 and Porsche had to drop their usual flat engines for being too wide, instead using a V6 turbocharged engine. Despite never being the most powerful, these cars won two constructor championships in 1984 and 1985, as well as three driver championships in the same two years as well as in 1986, with a total of 25 wins from 1984 to 1987.

Porsche returned as an engine supplier in 1991, but with terrible results. Since the Footwork Arrows cars were powered by a very heavy, underpowered, oil-thirsty double V6 engine, they failed to score any points that year.

Other competitions

Aside from a large number of amateur races in which Porsche cars snatched a swathe of victories, Porsche also had a lot of success in some of the most notable championships and races in the world. Porsche’s tally of winnings include a total of 20 World Sportscar Championships, 3 IMSA Supercar-Series and 15 IMSA Supercar-Race, 20 European Hill Climbing Championships, 18 12 Hours of Sebring, just as many Daytona 24 Hours, 11 Targa Florio, 4 Rallye Monte Carlo and two Paris-Dakar Rally titles.

 

Ferdinand Porsche – Car Pioneer of the 20th Century

Ferdinand PorscheFerdinand Porsche, as his surname might suggest, was the founder of the Porsche car company. Not only did he establish the brand of some of the most recognizable and revered sports cars in history, but he was named the Car Engineer of the Century. He had it all and more.

Aside from creating Porsche, the famed engineer was the first to create a racing car with RWD and mid-engine setup, which is still to this day one of the best layouts for high performance cars, due to the handling and traction advantages of its amazing weight distribution. Furthermore, Ferdinand Porsche created the Lohner-Porsche, which was the first petrol-electric hybrid in the world. This vehicle had a big influence on the modern Lunar Roving Vehicle, created for the Apollo program by NASA.

He was also the designer behind the Mercedes-Benz SSK, one of the most famous supercars from the late 1920s and early 1930s and fastest car of the era. Finally, Ferdinand Porsche was the genius behind the arguably most successful production car in history – the VW Beetle.

Life and Work

Ferdinand Porsche was born in 1875 in what was then Maffersdorf, Austro-Hungarian Empire and what is now Vratislavice nad Nisou, Czech Republic. His younger years were reserved for classes at the Imperial Technical School in Liberec and helping his father with mechanical work in his shop. At the age of 18 he started working in the Bela Egger Electrical Company, where he developed his first electric hub motor.

At the age of 23 he joined Jakob Lohner & Company, the company well regarded for producing vehicles for Emperor Franz Jozeph I and other royal families from England, Sweden and Romania. This is where he created his first electric vehicle called the Egger-Lohner, which despite a significant problem of the batteries’ weight, was surprisingly efficient for its time. This is why his next creation, the Lohner-Porsche made use of a Daimler’s internal combustion petrol engine serving the generator which powered the electric motors, using just a small battery pack. This highly advanced system significantly reduced weight. The setup gave the vehicle top speeds of 35 miles an hour, enough to break numerous speed records in Austria and win the Exelberg Rally in 1901, with Ferdinand Porsche himself behind the wheel. This kind of success led to Porsche being named Austria’s most outstanding automotive engineer in 1905 when he was only 30 years old.

In 1906 he started working in Austro-Daimler, where he designed the Prince Henry boasting 85 hp, enough to win the first three places in the Prince Henry Trial in 1910. In the following years Porsche continued to advance professionally, even receiving honorary doctorates from the Vienna University of Technology and Stuttgart Technical University, the latter during his tenure at Daimler from 1923. All of his movements from one company to another were owed to professional differences – this is how dedicated and focused Porsche was, being completely uninterested in anything other than the opportunity to develop his designs the way he wanted. He left Daimler in 1929 because they did not want to develop a lightweight car and he moved to Steyr Automobile – a job he lost due to the Great Depression.

Founding the Porsche Company

The business started as a consulting firm for engines and vehicles and employed some of the greatest mechanical minds of the era, including designer Erwin Komenda. He designed many of the famous models, including the Porsche 356, and remained chief engineer of Porsche until his death in 1966. Komenda left his job at Daimler-Benz, a company at the top of its game, to join Ferdinand Porsche on his new project with a highly uncertain future – such was Porsche’s influence and reputation.

The Beetle

After several commissioned works and race cars such as the P-Wagen, a mere 750 kg formula car, a whole new programme came from none other than Adolf Hitler, who pledged to make it possible for every German to own a car or a tractor. This meant that the vehicles needed to be capable and reasonably priced, leading to the creation of the VW Beetle.

Porsche was contracted by Hitler to create the people’s car, which, after several years of development, brought the first production Beetle in 1938. This brought several changes in Porsche’s life. After designing the Beetle, he became something of a celebrity and Hitler needed to make him a part of Germany’s excellence, so the Czech-born Porsche was urged to apply for German citizenship and give up his native one. The same goes for his membership in the National Socialist German Workers’ Party, even though Porsche was completely apolitical and dedicated to his work only.

War and aftermath

Porsche worked on the design of several tanks and an extremely successful anti-tank vehicle nicknamed “Ferdinand”. However, war conditions proved an obstacle for advanced and complicated engineering and maintenance. After the war, Ferdinand Porsche was arrested by the French and put into prison, his son Ferry kept the company running. As Ferdinand was released from prison, the company started building the Porsche 356, the first ever Porsche car. The first 49 of them were made in Gmund, before the company moved back to Stuttgart in 1949. They had big problems with funding, due to the American embargo, but the incredible success of the 356 and royalties for the Beetle Type I put Porsche in an excellent financial situation.

Ferdinand Porsche did not live to see the success of his company’s most successful model however. He died in 1951, 12 years before the classic Porsche 911 appeared. But the 356 was a true predecessor to the legend, featuring several design and engineering solutions that are present to this day, including the recognizable styling and RR layout.

Despite the fact that Ferdinand Porsche’s fame arises from the company bearing his name, his biggest achievements happened long before Porsche became the revered company it has. Creating Volkswagen, the first petrol-electric hybrid, some of the most amazing and advanced race cars ever and the first RWD, mid-engine car, Ferdinand Porsche did more than enough to secure his place in automotive history that not even his WW2 dealings could smear. In 1999, at the turn of the century, he was named the Car Engineer of the Century, coming out in front of the likes of Bela Barenyi, Karl Benz, Goettlieb Daimler, Rudolf Diesel, Henry Ford I, Rudolf Uhlenhaut and Felix Wankel.

Porsche v Peugeot: Why The Porsche 901 Became The 911

1967 Porsche 911s Targa GreenNaming a legend is not easy, and creating one is even more difficult. By the early 1960s the Porsche 356 had attained huge success with more than 70,000 units sold, so it would seem creating a legend seemed easy for the German company. The car however, was getting outdated, so it was time for a whole new one, resembling the general 356 philosophy, but introducing a number of innovations and styling and technical modernizations. The car was the classic Porsche 911.

The number-naming trend in classic Porsches for sale at the time came from project design numbers and by the time the future 911 was ready to appear, it was well into 800s. This is why the future legend was presented as the Porsche 901 at the 1963 Frankfurt Motor Show. Production started the following year and the 901 had already been sold when it appeared at the Paris Auto Salon in October 1964. This is where French manufacturer Peugeot, who had exclusive rights to the three-digit-with-a-zero-in-the-middle naming in France, became aware of what Porsche was doing. After complaints from Peugeot, Porsche chose to rename the model, changing the problematic 0 to 1, not only in France, but for the rest of the world as well, and the legendary name was born. However, the first 82 Porsche 901s were made by that name and they retained it.

All other Porsche road cars with a zero in the middle were affected as well, so the 904 became the Carrera GTS – another name that survived to this day – and the 906 became the Carrera 6. Racing-only cars kept their names, due to the fact that Peugeot used the zero only for their road cars.

Thus Peugeot became responsible for indirectly naming one of the most famous sports cars in history – the Porsche 911 – and also one of its variants – the Carrera GTS.

The Top 5 Rarest Classic Cars of All Time

We all have a special place in our hearts for classic cars, don’t we? Their designs possess a timeless beauty that never ceases to captivate us. Of course, some classic cars inspire even more awe than most, thanks to their rarity. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of the rarest and most desirable classic cars available. So fasten your seatbelt and prepare for a drive through automotive history!

1954-Oldsmobile-F-88-Roadster

The first car on our list was manufactured by General Motors during the Golden Age of Rock ‘n’ Roll. What’s more, its sleek outline and open-top design make it look (appropriately) like the kind of car that would belong to a rock star. However, it’s not just a good-looking vehicle. With its V8 Rocket engines, the F-88 has an impressive 250hp, which makes it a joy to drive. Sadly, only four F-88s were ever built; if you want to get your hands on one, you’ll have to pay around $3.5 million (around £2.2 million).

1936 Mercedes Benz 540K Special Roadster

The Mercedes Benz 540K was a rare and luxurious model in its own right. However, the manufacturer went one step further and developed the Special Roadster variant. The 540K Special Roadster is slightly more common than the Oldsmobile F-88: Mercedes Benz made a total of twenty-six Special Roadsters. Boasting a distinctive, art deco aesthetic and Mercedes’ usual high standard of craftsmanship, a special 540K will set you back over $11 million (around £7 million).

1955 Ferrari 375 MM Berlinetta

Only ten of these gorgeous automobiles ever rolled off the production line. They combine Ferrari’s sensual aesthetic sensibilities with the power of 350hp V-12 engines. If you want one, you’ll need to have a spare $3.6 million dollars (approximately £2.3 million) in your pocket.

1960 Jaguar E2A

No list of rare cars would be complete without a mention of Jaguar’s one-of-a-kind race car. While it bears similarities to both Jaguar’s D-Type and their E-Type, only a single bona fide E2A was ever produced. It was (and is) an irrefutably beautiful machine. It combines Jaguar’s signature refined, flowing lines with a powerful, somewhat rocket-like outline. What’s more, its fuel-injection system means that it’s as fast as it looks! It’s currently valued at just under $5 million (around £3.2 million).

1938 Phantom Corsair

The final spot on our list belongs to the rarest and most valuable car in history. Like Jaguar’s E2A, only one Phantom Corsair exists. Unlike the E2A, however, the Corsair bears no resemblance to any other vehicle: it really is completely unique. Its ‘retro-futuristic’ aesthetic makes it look more like a car in a sci-fi film than something that was produced in 1938. It features electronic doors, an altimeter and a full drinks cabinet at its rear. It’s uncertain of how much it would fetch if it was ever put up for auction. However, it is virtually guaranteed to sell for a higher price than any other vehicle on this list.

Our affection classic cars seems to be as timeless and enduring as the vehicles themselves. With cars like the ones on this list available, though, that’s hardly surprising.

Top Classic Cars From Around The Globe

Every nation has its icon; a classic car that embodies the spirit of the nation. They’re beyond famous, they’re known throughout the world and they are champions.

Here are some of the most iconic classic cars from around the world:

America: 1966 Shelby Mustang GT350

1966 Shelby Mustang GT350The inspiration for the iconic Elenor in Gone in 60 Seconds, the 1966 Shelby Mustang GT350 was simply the pony car to end all pony cars. Caroll Shelby’s legendary touches gave this small-block V8 440bhp of muscle to play with. 1373 cars were produced in 1966 and they are highly coveted today.

 

 

United Kingdom: 1962 Jaguar E-Type 4.2-litre coupe

1963 Jaguar E-type 3.8 Liter Roadster Opalescent Silver Blue1The Jaguar E Type for sale is often considered the most desirable classic car in the world, bar none. While everybody thinks of the roadster that starred so brashly in the Austin Powers films, and it’s still the car that will get the most admiring glances from the man in the street, those in the know go for the 4.2-litre fixed head coupe.

 

Germany: 1973 Porsche 911 RS Lightweight

1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7 Sport (901); top car design rating and specificationsThere are few faster appreciating things in this world right now than a 1973 Porsche 911 RS. The RennSport models with the elusive racebred designs and the lightweights were truly limited. The 2.7-litre engine was tuned, the bodywork is fibreglass and the door handles are simply leather straps attached to the mechanism. Just a few years ago they were changing hands for £250,000. Now they are closing in on £1 million.

Sweden: 1960 Volvo P6

1960 Volvo P6Volvo might be known for safe, staid cars these days, but in 1960 it decided to let it all hang out with a radical coupe. It wasn’t that well received at the time and Volvo continually uprate the 115bhp engine. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, though, and the world remembers the P1800, The Saint’s favoured transport, which has become an iconic classic car.

Japan : 1970 Datsun 240Z

1970 Datsun 240ZWe could easily make a case for the early Nissan Skyline here, but the Datsun 240Z is the one that has grabbed the collector’s market. Sold as the Nissan 230 in Japan, it was rebadged and sold to the world as the Datsun. The Series 1 built in 1970-71 is the most desirable, and its wedge shape that was reminiscent of British sportscars of the time was a revelation for a Japanese marque. With 151bhp from its 2.4-litre engine it could more than hold its own and it’s still fun to this day.

France: 1955 Citroen DS

1955 Citroen DSAgain you could argue for the 2CV here, but that is a figure of fun. The Citroen DS is considered one of the most technically forward thinking cars of its time, thanks to the self-levelling hydropneumatic suspension system that made it one of the softest and most comfortable cars of the era. It was also the first mass market car with disc brakes and received acclaim throughout the world for its radical design too.

Italy : 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO

1962 Ferrari 250 GTOOften considered the greatest classic Ferrari for sale of all time, one sold at auction in 2013 for $52 million. The Grand Touring car was designed as a racer and just 39 were produced between 1962 and 1964. An iconic car, it is also considered one of the most beautiful of all time. It may just be the overall winner here, and Italy can be rightly proud of its particular classic champion.

Top Classic Cars for Under $50,000

Do you often yearn for the sumptuous design and stately driving experience offered by classic cars? If so, there’s probably just one thing stopping you from buying one: the price. Sadly, classic cars can be a little too expensive for the average buyer. But don’t panic! We’ve compiled a list of majestic vintage vehicles that won’t break the bank. In fact, all the cars mentioned in this article can be purchased for less than $50,000.

1966 shelbyThe 1966 Shelby Cobra

This deliciously sporty, open-topped roadster is guaranteed to delight any motoring enthusiast. Its sleek, flowing curves embody the design philosophy of classic roadsters and make it one of the best-looking cars that money can buy. Meanwhile, its respectable speed and rear-wheel horsepower (around 400wrhp) make it a pleasure to drive. However, the best thing about this machine is that it can be yours for approximately $40,000 from the right seller. You’d be surprised how many of these vehicles are available, so the asking price is generally reasonable. Shop around and you might even find a better bargain!

1971 Jaguar XKE Coupe (1)The 1971 Jaguar E-Type

The name Jaguar is synonymous with quality. In fact, Enzo Ferrari famously described their 1961 E-Type as “the most beautiful car ever made”. There’s just one problem. The 1961 Jaguar E Type for sale generally costs over $100,000, which is a tad expensive. Luckily, the 1971 E-Type is identical in almost every respect and will cost considerably less. Some sellers will part with the 1971 E-Type for around $40,500. Like all Jaguar vehicles, it projects an unmistakable air of poise and power. The only difference is that it won’t cost you the Earth!

4. 1959 Triumph TR3AThe 1958 Triumph TR3 A

No list of classic cars would be complete without a Triumph! Triumphs are sturdy and reliable vehicles with a bold, forthright aesthetic. The TR3 A is no exception. What makes it stand out is that it was designed as a sports car. As such, its shape is somewhat sleeker and more dynamic than other Triumphs. With a top speed of around 105mph and horsepower of 100bph, the T3A may not be as lithe as modern vehicles, but it nonetheless offers a satisfying driving experience. The best part is that it can easily be found for less than $39,000.

1963-Corvette-StingrayThe 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

The Corvette Stingray is fast, manoeuvrable and sports a unique, angular aesthetic. There’s simply no other car like it. With horsepower of approximately 300bph and the ability to go from 0 to 60mph in just 6.1 seconds, the Stingray is also a joy to drive. More to the point, it’s a joy to drive that can be obtained for approximately $39,600 on the open market, provided you don’t mind shopping around.

1960 Austin Mini Cooper

1960 Austin Mini Cooper

The 1960 Austin Mini

It’s easy to fall in love with the Mini. It’s a classic British car with a timeless, quirky design. It even featured in The Italian Job. What else needs to be said? Only that you can easily buy one for the less than $15,500!

 

 

Price can be a major obstacle to owning a classic car, but it doesn’t have to be. With automobiles like these available for such low prices, your dream of buying a vintage vehicle is within reach!

California Road Trip Ideas for Classic Car Enthusiasts

Taking a road trip is as much about experiencing the journey as arriving at the final destination. If you’re lucky enough to be behind the wheel of a classic car in California, you can expect the trip of a lifetime. In fact, many people even argue that California was designed with road trippers in mind!

With stunning scenery, brimming with Pacific coastal views, mountains, deserts and national parks, California’s great open roads are just begging to be explored. Drive your car in any direction, and fabulous vistas will never be far away. Here are some of the top routes for driving in California that will leave your car purring for more.

Highway 1, the Big Sur

highway 1 - The big Sur

The Pacific Coast Highway is one of the world’s top-ranking driving routes for scenery, and the 85-mile stretch that makes up the Big Sur is arguably the star attraction of this iconic route. It may not offer you the quickest option to drive between Los Angeles and San Francisco, but it provides world-class scenery all the way. To appreciate the splendours of the Big Sur, this route deserves to be driven at leisure.

Complete with ample twists and turns and rugged coastal views, the Big Sur drive starts at San Luis Obispo in the south and winds its way northwards to Monterey. There are plenty of places to pull your car over and admire the wild Pacific views, catching the sound of seals basking in the breaking waves below. Other must-stop places include Bixby Bridge, Point Sur Lighthouse and McWay Falls. Make sure to fill up on fuel before you hit Highway 1, as gas stations are few and far between.

Route 66

route-66

If you’ve ever fancied experiencing one of the world’s most iconic highways, Route 66, you’re in the right place when driving in California. The Californian stretch of this famous highway runs from the Arizona border in the east, to Los Angeles’s Santa Monica in the west, where the route finishes at the pier. You’ll pass through the Mojave Desert and a place called Needles, the hottest town in the USA. The route also winds its way up mountainous terrain, including the Cajon Pass, which is the highest peak on Route 66. Take a break at the Route 66 Mother Road Museum in Barstow to become acquainted with the history of this famous route. Once you hit Los Angeles, Santa Monica is a thoroughly pleasant place to stay put for a few days.

Tioga Pass

tioga pass

If your idea of driving in California involves plenty of mountainous views, the Tioga Pass will be a dream come true. Running through the Sierra Nevada mountains in north California, the Tioga Pass marks the eastern point of entry for the stunning Yosemite National Park. As the highest highway pass in the whole of California, make sure your motor is in tip-top condition before tackling this route, and don’t come in winter as the road is usually closed due to heavy snowfall. The scenery is nothing short of stunning – you can expect vistas that span mountains, forests, meadows and lakes. Even if you don’t make it to Yosemite National Park, traversing the Tioga Pass is an experience in itself.

Redwood Highway

redwood highway

Growing as tall as 370 feet, the coastal redwoods are the tallest trees in the world. There’s only one way to catch a glimpse of these mammoth trees, and that’s by driving in California. The Redwood Highway is part of Route 101, stretching north of San Francisco through the renowned Avenue of the Giants in southern Humboldt County, and then to the Redwood National and State Parks that end near the Oregon border. There are many sections of this highway that you can take to see these lofty trees, but the 31-mile Avenue of the Giants is arguably the most famous route, boasting the largest section of virgin coastal redwoods. If you decide to ride the Redwood Highway route, be sure to take your car through the amazing drive-through tree near Myers Flat.

If you’re pressed for time but still want to experience the giant redwoods, those staying near San Francisco can take a route just half an hour from the city. This trip takes in the Golden Gate National Recreation area, where you can stop and admire the scenery of the beautiful Muir Woods. For those looking to experience longer trails, the Redwood National and State Parks offer even more options to enjoy the great outdoors amongst these unique and wonderful trees.

The Best American Classic Car Clubs

Classic Car Clubs

The USA has a long, rich and prosperous connection with the motorcar. Perhaps it is the sheer expanse of the country and the lure of adventure and exploration on the road that keeps Americans in love with their cars. Classic cars offer a nostalgic appeal for many, which more modern motors fail to provide. Cruising in a motorcar from a bygone era is almost like travelling back in time. It is escapism at its most wild and free.

Some would even argue that the art of design has been lost in recent times, and that cars no longer possess the character that they once did. Everything is designed with a purpose, very little is simply there for the sake of it anymore.

It is due to this love the American people have for their classic cars that many classic car clubs have arisen. There must be tens of thousands spread across the country, but some of the largest and quirkiest shall be touched upon here.

The Classic Car Club of America

The Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) is one of the oldest classic motoring clubs in the country. Since its inception in 1952, the club has grown significantly, adding members of all ages to its ranks. The main focus of the club is on what they call the Grand Classic Era, which encompasses motorcars manufactured from 1919 to 1948. There is a list of cars that are accepted into the CCCA, which you can see here. Generally speaking, all cars from 1919 to 1948 are considered. Since 1987, the club has had a museum at the Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, Michigan, where hundreds of models can be ogled and appreciated. The club runs many events each year, both locally and nationally, including meetings and tours.

The official CCCA website can be found here at Classic Car Club

Antique Automobile Club of America

The Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) is another large classic car club. Founded in the early 1930s in Philadelphia, the AACA sprung out of a derby organized to showcase some of the world’s first ever motorcars. The club originally consisted of 14 founding members, but began to grow fast, and in 1937, the club’s first magazine was published. The Second World War did little for club gatherings, but by the end of the war, membership had grown to 540.

Like the CCCA, the AACA has its own museum. The AACA also offers a handful of scholarships each year to members and their relatives, to aid with higher education, especially for courses related to the motor trade.

More information can be found on their website aaca.org

Classic Car Club Manhattan

More modern classic car clubs are springing up all of the time. Many of these clubs have quirky, more up-to-date views on what constitutes a classic motorcar. None are more modern and sophisticated than the Classic Car Club Manhattan. A big difference with this club is that they also provide cars for members to drive. The cars are maintained, cleaned and insured by the club and members can simply take the keys and zoom off onto the open road… for a price. The club also organizes many very regular events, including outings, parties and mechanics workshops.

To find out more about the Classic Car Club Manhattan, head to their website Classic Car Club Manhattan.

Get surfing the web and find a classic car club, either small or large, near you.