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    Thread: The ultimate trip to europe. Your thoughts?

    1. Member Cushy's Avatar
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      09-13-2012 02:52 AM #1
      I was sitting around watching rick steeves europe the other night out of sheer boredom, and had a bit of an idea, which after thinking about, I'm going to try and attempt within the next ten years, just so I have a general goal in life I suppose. Get out, see the world, document it, meet some cool people, become cultured etc etc etc. Bear with me on this one.

      I have my mk1, which I want to convert to a street legal track car. I want it to be finished to a standable degree (carpets and a bit of sound deadner and such) but with a cage and harnesses and all the race car amenities. Think GT3RS, just in Mk1 format. Then I want to drive it across the country to new york, ship it to europe, and spend a few months driving around hotel hopping and camping to see some of europes greatest places. My girlfriend and I are both huge motorsports nuts, so the ring for a few laps (perhaps the day after the 24h), lemans, walking the banking at monza, visiting sennas memorial at imola, 24 hours of spa, and maybe the random british touring car race or formula 1 race would be intertwined in there, in addition to such things like stelvio, the riviera, the milau bridge, the louve and tate modern, eiffel tower, british parliment, berlin wall, driving through the alps, around the isle of man, and so on would be pinpointed. Typical touristy stuff mixed with serious motorsports and gear head spots as well.

      At this point is where Id like other peoples input. First, what are some spots I should put on the to do list? If you could go anywhere to see anything in europe, where would it be? Second, with it being a race trim car, albeit a stripped mk1, what level\style of vw motor do you think would suffice to be fast enough for the track but still get us across and around europe reliably? So far the requirements are that the car as a whole be simple and naturally aspirated. What else would you suggest?

      Overall cost on just the trip alone im guessing would be solidly in the 30k mark, however that entirely depends on how much camping vs hotel stays and such is planned for, how much shipping a car costs, what kind of fuel mileage is acheived, food costs etc.

      for the TL;DR crowd;
      1. Planning epic trip to Europe. What should I go see?
      2. What engine should power the Mk1 I intend to drive around Europe to get great power, good mileage, and good enough reliability to get me there and back largely problem free?
      Quote Originally Posted by SVT2888 View Post
      The car scene, much like the music scene, has a lot of genre's and even genre's within genre's. But, like those who call themselves real music fans, if you're a real automotive enthusiast you can find something in every genre that you like.
      Quote Originally Posted by vento86 View Post
      Rip the ebrake. Neutral. Get bitches
      Function is the form.

    2. 09-18-2012 07:02 PM #2
      I just came back from Italy, went to see the Formula 1 Italian GP at Monza. I would definitely hit up the Belgian GP (Spa Francorchamps) and Italian GP (Monza) as these are back to back weekends. They do come up after the long summer F1 break so plan your travel accordingly.

      Looking at the various schedules for this year, it seems that the 24 Hours Le Mans race happened right around when F1 headed to Canada for a week.

      Don't know if it will be the same for next year, but F1s European GP season starts from mid May with Spain and Monaco, (a pause in between to the Canadian GP and in 2013 the GP of America in New Jersey back to back with it) and then they head back to Europe in late June, ending with Belgium and Italy in the first 2 weeks of September. The 2013 24 hr Le Mans is scheduled for the weekend of June 22-23.

    3. Member TwoLitreVW's Avatar
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      09-18-2012 10:51 PM #3
      Quote Originally Posted by gizmopop View Post
      I just came back from Italy, went to see the Formula 1 Italian GP at Monza. I would definitely hit up the Belgian GP (Spa Francorchamps) and Italian GP (Monza) as these are back to back weekends. They do come up after the long summer F1 break so plan your travel accordingly.
      YOU!

      i expect to see a thread about this.

      with pictures.

      and video.

      immediately.



      carry on.
      shut your mouth. sh sh shut your mouth.

    4. 09-19-2012 01:52 PM #4
      Quote Originally Posted by Cushy View Post
      I was sitting around watching rick steeves europe the other night out of sheer boredom, and had a bit of an idea, which after thinking about, I'm going to try and attempt within the next ten years, just so I have a general goal in life I suppose. Get out, see the world, document it, meet some cool people, become cultured etc etc etc. Bear with me on this one.

      I have my mk1, which I want to convert to a street legal track car. I want it to be finished to a standable degree (carpets and a bit of sound deadner and such) but with a cage and harnesses and all the race car amenities. Think GT3RS, just in Mk1 format. Then I want to drive it across the country to new york, ship it to europe, and spend a few months driving around hotel hopping and camping to see some of europes greatest places. My girlfriend and I are both huge motorsports nuts, so the ring for a few laps (perhaps the day after the 24h), lemans, walking the banking at monza, visiting sennas memorial at imola, 24 hours of spa, and maybe the random british touring car race or formula 1 race would be intertwined in there, in addition to such things like stelvio, the riviera, the milau bridge, the louve and tate modern, eiffel tower, british parliment, berlin wall, driving through the alps, around the isle of man, and so on would be pinpointed. Typical touristy stuff mixed with serious motorsports and gear head spots as well.

      At this point is where Id like other peoples input. First, what are some spots I should put on the to do list? If you could go anywhere to see anything in europe, where would it be? Second, with it being a race trim car, albeit a stripped mk1, what level\style of vw motor do you think would suffice to be fast enough for the track but still get us across and around europe reliably? So far the requirements are that the car as a whole be simple and naturally aspirated. What else would you suggest?

      Overall cost on just the trip alone im guessing would be solidly in the 30k mark, however that entirely depends on how much camping vs hotel stays and such is planned for, how much shipping a car costs, what kind of fuel mileage is acheived, food costs etc.

      for the TL;DR crowd;
      1. Planning epic trip to Europe. What should I go see?
      2. What engine should power the Mk1 I intend to drive around Europe to get great power, good mileage, and good enough reliability to get me there and back largely problem free?
      1. i have no ideas about the legalities of bringing a car over to drive. supposedly military dudes drive their car offbase with US-tags and the authorities generally leave them alone, so maybe its not that bad

      2. it obviously depends what kind of traveler you are -- clubbing/partying ; old world culture ; foodie ; big city vs nature ; etc

      3. personally, i would plan my trips around Festivals... of which Spain has the best in the world -- http://www.spanish-fiestas.com/festivals/

      spain is a must see. i love mountains so the alps are a must see. love or hate, paris is a must-see. i hate england (esp having lived there). and i suggest seeing central and eastern europe as well ..budapest, kiev, st petersburg, etc...

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      09-20-2012 08:08 AM #5
      What are you going to do in NY for the three to four weeks it's going to take to container, ship, clear and unpack your car in Europe?

    6. 09-26-2012 09:44 AM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by rockhog View Post
      1. i have no ideas about the legalities of bringing a car over to drive. supposedly military dudes drive their car offbase with US-tags and the authorities generally leave them alone, so maybe its not that bad
      Legally it's no different than you driving to Canada or Mexico. The only difference is that there is an ocean in the way.

    7. Senior Member NoDubJustYet's Avatar
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      09-26-2012 12:01 PM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by rockhog View Post
      1. i have no ideas about the legalities of bringing a car over to drive. supposedly military dudes drive their car offbase with US-tags and the authorities generally leave them alone, so maybe its not that bad

      You bringing a US-spec car to Europe has nothing to do with the cars that US servicemembers (or other similar personnel) bring to the continent... They also don't have "US-tags."

      As a tourist you would be required to essentially post bond on the vehicle, assuring that it will be exported from the EU in a certain amount of time. You'd want to go through a registered importer to take care of all of this. You also need to show proof of insurance. Depending on where you are bringing the car in, you might have other hurdles too.


      OP- you're better off renting a car...

    8. Member GeoffD's Avatar
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      09-27-2012 01:58 PM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by NoDubJustYet View Post
      OP- you're better off renting a car...
      This.

      The only practical way to drive your own car in Europe is new car European delivery. That limits you to the German luxury brands (Audi, BMW, MB, Porsche) and Volvo. They deal with registration, insurance, and shipping.

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      09-28-2012 09:36 AM #9
      Not only is renting a car the better option (new car = more reliable), it may be cheaper based on you wanting to ship your car both ways (if you even could bring it over?)
      I just rented a 2012 Renault Megane diesel wagon for 16 days in Germany - total costs minus gas was less ~ $600. Ave shipping costs of a car from the east cost to Germany are $2500/RT. That's 2 full months of a brand new rental.

    10. Senior Member NoDubJustYet's Avatar
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      09-28-2012 09:42 AM #10
      OP, are you seriously budgeting $30,000 for this trip? And you want to bring over a stripped out MkI Golf?

      Really?

      You could bankroll a really nice rental to go from place to place and then you can rent a race-prepped car at the various tracks... and save money in the long run!

    11. Member GeoffD's Avatar
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      09-28-2012 02:14 PM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by NoDubJustYet View Post
      OP, are you seriously budgeting $30,000 for this trip? And you want to bring over a stripped out MkI Golf?

      Really?

      You could bankroll a really nice rental to go from place to place and then you can rent a race-prepped car at the various tracks... and save money in the long run!
      My guess is that the OP is far too young to be able to rent a car. Nobody wants to rent to anyone under age 25.

    12. Senior Member NoDubJustYet's Avatar
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      09-28-2012 04:09 PM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by GeoffD View Post
      My guess is that the OP is far too young to be able to rent a car. Nobody wants to rent to anyone under age 25.
      While true, it's not always a dealbreaker.

      I was in Leipzig for school in 2002 - we rented a car from Europcar one weekend and I was the oldest at 21. We didn't have any problems.

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      10-08-2012 09:53 PM #13
      You can lease a car from any of the French manufacturers for not much and probably get anything you want by special order. I'd see if a renaultsport clio could be had.

    14. Member Cushy's Avatar
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      10-31-2012 03:29 PM #14
      Well I admit, im 23 so yeah its a bit of golden-age or wishful thinking to just go "oh ill go travel the world in a car I built myself". I realize that its a massive undertaking, not only in building the car, but planning the trip, and financing it as well, but it just would seem like more of an adventure to do it in a Mk1 rather then get something new. Especially if its a car I put together myself, I think I would enjoy it. I see lots of people that put cars together, and then either sell them, or part them. To me Id rather build a car to drive it, so what a better way to do it then go drive on the best roads\countries in the world (opinion of course)? And I have decent connections with some motorsports personnel, so reliability, although an issue with any car on a trip of this scale, should be minimized with how well the car is put together, via those connections. Attention to detail is everything, and the simpler and more overbuilt the car is, the easier it should be to deal with taking a pounding wherever.


      As for the 3-4 weeks it takes to ship, I did a little bit of research to find a few places that ship for 1500 one way. So I figure Id spend some time doing some cool stuff in New York, and then finish that up and fly over to London and see all the in-city sights there as well. I guess this is where Id try to branch out. The big things Im going for are motorsports or motoring related, as I'm a bit of a sucker for historical motorsport (the old banking on monza, the masta kink, Jim Clarks memorial down the old hockenheim straight and trying to find parts of the Sudschleife are higher up on the to do list) but at the same time it would be a shame to miss out on the general sight seeing stuff and food. I cant go to Paris and not see the Eifel tower, and cant go to Belfast without eating fish and chips. Im not much of a clubber, and Im a bit more of a city guy, but have seen too many pictures of the country to not be enticed to want to see it. Its all pretty amazing to me. Im especially curious about eastern europe, as I dont know a ton about any of those countries with the exception its filled with mafia, gypsies, theives and other types of people


      As for the car being legal, I was planning on trying to get an MOT or TUV for it, so it would at least have european credentials, but I havent looked into it much as Im not at that point yet. I have seen some very well prepared Mk1's in the UK and Germany that are also street legal (The reeves Mk1, Saugergroup Mk1 and the like), so I dont imagine it would be too much of an issue, and that would also let me get through France and Switzerland in a modified car, as I hear they look down on this. I know that might require a permanent residence, but I can sort that out via some contacts I have over there. The bigger issue would be insurance I would think. Hagerty doesnt do European coverage I wouldnt think, and ADAC might work, but Im sure theres definitly some more details I need to look into. If anybody can shed some light on that, that would be fantastic.


      And the budget, is ever growing with the number of things I add to the "go see" list. Im not too concerned with it as I think the cost of such an experience is worth it regardless of price. Im probably only going to get one shot at seeing alot of these places, so might as well just nut up and go do it. If it comes down to saving money, you can always camp instead of doing the hotel thing, and having a cooler filled with cheap-and-easy food could help save some money too Id like to set myself up to where I have a decent number of financial assets so while Im on the trip, theres income coming in to help support it, but thats a different topic entirely. Im at a point where I have any number of possibilities in front of me, so its entirely based on my effort and input to get what I want out of it.
      Last edited by Cushy; 10-31-2012 at 03:41 PM.
      Quote Originally Posted by SVT2888 View Post
      The car scene, much like the music scene, has a lot of genre's and even genre's within genre's. But, like those who call themselves real music fans, if you're a real automotive enthusiast you can find something in every genre that you like.
      Quote Originally Posted by vento86 View Post
      Rip the ebrake. Neutral. Get bitches
      Function is the form.

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      10-31-2012 11:34 PM #15
      MOT and TUV aren't needed for a legally registered US vehicle. 2500$ plus insurance vs. 1500$ insurance included for 6-8 weeks of a short term lease or rental of something different and new. Your car will be special to you and parking can be an adventure. If you're loaded, sounds like you have your plan. Otherwise there are cheaper ways to drive around Europe.

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      11-04-2012 05:01 PM #16
      I love cars and driving them; we have three of them and bikes too; I have two of them. The first time we went to Europe, we thought that we had to have a car so we rented one. It went pretty good but I did not enjoy driving as the total effort including driving, staying safe, navigation etc. was distracting my attention from seeing much of interest while underway. After about two days we got rid of the car and bought train passes and had a great time for the remainder of that trip.

      For our other trips we got Eurail passes and had great times bumming around Europe with minimal planning. We got out of bed in the morning and could then decide over breakfast where to go that day. The train stations are in the centers of the cities where you usually want to be. For side trips there is bus service or a taxi. Cars need expensive gasoline, parking, insurance, can crash, may need service, can be stolen or broken into etc. On the train you can meet people as you wish who might share your compartment and you can go almost anywhere that is worth going to. By the way, we found it good to stay in one place for at least two or three days before moving on.

      You can still rent a car when appropriate.

    17. Senior Member NoDubJustYet's Avatar
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      11-04-2012 05:20 PM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by garageless View Post
      MOT and TUV aren't needed for a legally registered US vehicle. 2500$ plus insurance vs. 1500$ insurance included for 6-8 weeks of a short term lease or rental of something different and new. Your car will be special to you and parking can be an adventure. If you're loaded, sounds like you have your plan. Otherwise there are cheaper ways to drive around Europe.

      I don't think I mentioned this yet... But odds are he'll also need to post some sort of bond on the vehicle to assure that he doesn't sell it in the EU.

    18. Senior Member NoDubJustYet's Avatar
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      11-13-2012 07:23 AM #18
      You might contact this guy: http://jackpanzica.blogspot.com/


      Looks like he's been driving a vintage 'Vette all over Europe for the last few months.

    19. 11-16-2012 05:38 AM #19
      It's a big challenge but a great adventure for you. I wish you well!


      host for travellers

    20. 11-16-2012 11:23 AM #20
      Rent a car when you get there or better yet take trains/budget airlines. Your plan is financially insane...not to mention all of the hassle and time involved in importing a car when you could be touring around.

      I went to Europe and Egypt for 3 months a few years back. I think I spent 5k total and wanted for almost nothing while I was traveling.

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