Two hundred thousand dollars. That is a substantial amount of money no matter what part of the world you are from. The kind of money that could buy you a house, pay off your debts, or send you to the some of the best colleges available. The kind of money people hope to have left over after winning the lottery. What would you do? Invest most of it and use a little for play or would you spend it all in on big go? Buy the most expensive car you could? A whole fleet of hoopties? Maybe a nice house and some land with a big shop to house your decent fleet of mid range vehicles that would fulfill all your racing, daily, towing, and fun needs? Me, I would spend it all on one glorious vacation. One epic grand tour in one epic vehicle. A vehicle that would not only suit myself, but also not suit such an adventure, because where is the fun in making something easy?
The vehicle in question would have to be fun, fast, recently reliable, and stand out a bit where ever we show up. Then you have to think about everything you may need to pack for such an adventure. So the trunk can’t be tiny, but it doesn’t have to be huge either. And where to take such a vehicle? It would have to be a trip worthy of the grand tour name and the vehicle you are driving.
Why not hit every corner of the North American Continent? Only the continental areas. Maybe slip a little here and there, but go to the most West, North, Fast, and South bar you could drive to on the continent. What an epic adventure that would be. You could also hit those same pint for the United States on the same route and make it quite the grand tour. Now to find a vehicle to match such a trip. Loud enough to turn heads, but subtle enough to cruise through sleepy towns. Exciting enough to create a whirlwind, but understated enough to not get pestered at every fuel station. In my mind there is only one vehicle that would match such a trip, the Jaguar F-Type Coupe SVR in Ultra Blue.
The perfect vehicle with a 5.0 liter supercharged V8 producing 575 horsepower and 526 lb-ft of torque sent to all four wheels though a manually selectable single clutch automatic. With only 14.4 cubic feet of storage space, there is not much room inside, but other storage options could be figured out. The rest of the vehicle hits the marks perfectly for flamboyantness mixed with GT comfort and reliability. So far these cars have proven to be fairly reliable and with a decent dealer network throughout out North and Central America I don’t foresee anything that would be a major issue.
Now didn’t you say something about hitting all “corners” of America? Yes, and that is where things get really crazy and why one third of the budget is just for traveling. The trip in whole would transverse 2 continents, cross 16 countries, use around 2500 gallons of premium fuel, and cover roughly 40,700 miles.
The trip would begin after the break in period in San Luis Obispo and head for the western most spot in the US Cape Alava and then to the westernmost place you can drive to, Homer, Alaska and the Salty Dog Saloon. Then off to Yellow Knife in the Northwest Territories to visit NWT Brewing Co. The world’s most northern brewery. After that to Lodge Bay and Happy-Valley-Goose Bay in Newfoundland and Labrador. That will take us to the Eastern Most spot in North America and Maxwell’s and Bentley’s the furthest east bar I could find. Head south from there to West Quoddy Head the Eastern most point in the US (been there before) and on to East Cape and Southernmost House Hotel which should be the southernmost bar in North America. After that it is off to Mexico.
Once into Mexico it will be a nice mix of historical sites and as many beer and tequilas we can drink. I am a bit of a history buff (getting my degree in history) so all of the Mayan and Incan ruins will be cool to see ad we pass through Central America. (Apparently you have to ship the vehicle by boat)
One of the biggest issues will be passing through from Panama to Columbia which I can only assume is either not mapped my Google, only dirt roads, or some secret drug tunnels you have to pass through.
After we reach South America the trip may vary trying to see as many countries as we can without getting in trouble etc. And down to Ushuaia which will be nice because I am not British (got to keep up that cover story). If time and money permits a trip to Antarctica and the World’s southernmost bar at the Ukrainian Research station Vernadsky called Faraday Bar. Fun fact, the station was originally a British outpost, but was sold to Ukraine for £1 due to the cost removing the station would have been. They make their own Vodka there from a nearby glacier. While it comes out brown, it is supposed to be some of the smoothest and best tasting vodka in the world. It costs $3 a glass or the bra you are wearing. Yes that is actual currency there.
Then it is back up to the good old US of A seeing new and exciting place on the way back up.
The whole trip we would try and see all the Cars & Coffees, Opponauts, and other car related shenanigans that would could. I surmise the trip will take at least 3 months, but probably make it last 6 depending on staying places for more than one night and not straight driving the estimated 31 days’ worth of driving.
Now you must be wondering how I budgeted out $200,000.Well we will start with the obvious the Jag
2018 Jaguar F-Type SVR = $140,000
Fuel (US average=$3/gallon @2540 gallons) = $7,620
Services ( Dealer pricing: oil change $300 @ 5k miles, 30k $650) plus $100 extra = $3,150
Just in Case (vehicle service) = $5,000
Hospitality (camping + hotels) = $10,000
Food & Drink = $7,000
Planned Spending (stuff) = $3,000
12 Months Insurance = $7,000
Set Up (supplies, new camera gear) = $10,000
All of this would result in $194,000 so I figure a buffer of $200,000 at the very least would work. This is something I would very much like to accomplish. The hardest acquisition would be the Jaguar, since it is the biggest expense. Now I could and should do like my new friends are doing driving their TVR and Dodge Challenger down to Ushuaia. Their Pub2Pub drive has sponsors and they are raising money for Mind. A charity which supports people with mental health problems. Problems like depression, which are far more common than most people realize, and almost certainly affects someone you know. The sponsors could be decent to get and setting up a web page for it all wouldn’t be too difficult, but then we are back to the car. A purchase that would break most peoples’ bank. Even if by some miracle Jaguar was to give us a press car, I know after a journey like this I would want to keep it. All the bumper stickers, scrapes, miles, and memories would be too painful to have to hand the keys back over.
But just imagine, you and your best friend as a copilot traversing the whole of the Americas in a car designed to hit 200 miles per hour and bought by people who will store them in their garage for the monthly Cars & Coffee. A car most people wouldn’t even take shopping ladened down with all the supplies and gear you would need for such an adventure. I lust after doing this trip. I think about it and it is all I want to do. The experience alone would be worth it, but so would making the statement to go out and drive your damn cars. If only they made the SVR with a manual ;)
Repost: Evening Crew