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  # 1799042 13-Jun-2017 08:15
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frankv:

 

Wheelbarrow01:

 

We just finished our trip to the States - it was fantastic. We ended up with a 2017 Mustang with less than 1000 miles on the clock. We didn't get a V8 unfortunately, however we did get the 2.3 litre turbo model (available for sale in NZ) which was arguably just as much fun, albeit without the V8 noise. We enjoyed a road trip of almost 2,500 miles across the west coast, taking in LA, San Fran, Tahoe, Vegas, the Grand Canyon, then back to LA, with many stops in lesser known small towns along the way. My favourite would have to have been Williams, Arizona - the last town to be bypassed by the I40 in the 1980's, with the old Route 66 still running down the main street. An amazing little town - a real slice of old time Americana with the nicest people.

 

 

Hope you went to Sacramento, Yosemite, Death Valley while you were there. We did :) And can echo the niceness of the American people.

 

Really wanted a Mustang convertible for our trip, but were put off by the lack of boot space. So we ended up with a Hyundai Elantra. Good and practical, but not the same :(

 

 

 

 

Yes we did go to Sacrimento, Yosemite and Death Valley! Unfortunately we drove down the east side of Yosemite (from Tahoe through to Bishop) and access to the park from that side was still closed due to snow etc, so we didn't get to go into Yosemite unfortunately, but the lady at the Lee Vining information centre gave us some alternative sightseeing options which were almost as stunning.

 

The trunk space in the Mustang really wasn't as bad as I was expecting. We got two decent sized suitcases in there with minimal effort, and there was room left over for a couple of duffel bags.




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  # 1799045 13-Jun-2017 08:23
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sonyxperiageek:

 

OP How long did it take for you to adapt to the "wrong" side of the road to drive on? :-)

 

 

It was baptism by fire - I was on the LA freeway heading for Studio City within minutes of picking the car up, so I had to get into the swing of things pretty quickly. It was very much a case of learning where to position the car within the lane, with a tendency to be too far left in the lane lol. But after a couple of days it was all pretty natural. They love their 4-way stop signs over there, so that took a bit to figure out, although it seems right of way is purely based on who gets to the intersection first.

 

Angle parking cracked me up too - If I was turning left into an angle park I got the positioning perfect, but every time I had to turn right into an angle park I seemed to muck it up royally and the left side of the car was always over the line. No amount of practice seemed to help lol


 
 
 
 




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  # 1799049 13-Jun-2017 08:31
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MikeAqua:

 

We hired a car in the US via CarTrawler.  It gave us very low cost insurance including excess waiver.  Well worth a look for anyone heading over.

 

 

The Mustang through www.sixt.com cost me US$740 for 15 days, including all insurances and waivers etc, which I didn't think was too bad at all. Some other companies wanted double that for the same car, and some of those charged for the insurance separately on top. So I am pretty sure I got a bargain.

 

I wasn't too upset about not getting the V8 Mustang because when we were in Vegas, I raced about a million dollars worth of super cars at Las Vegas Speedway through www.exoticsracing.com - I cannot rate that experience highly enough. It's expensive, but you only turn 40 once right?


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  # 1799053 13-Jun-2017 08:46
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I hired a car from sixt in Europe and found them great to deal with.

 

What did you drive in Las Vegas? I'm keen to go to the speedway next time I'm there.

 

 




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  # 1799116 13-Jun-2017 09:36
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sbiddle:

 

I hired a car from sixt in Europe and found them great to deal with.

 

What did you drive in Las Vegas? I'm keen to go to the speedway next time I'm there.

 

 

 

 

Aston Martin Vantage

 

Mercedes GTS AMG

 

Lamborghini Huracan

 

Ferrari 458 Italia

 

The instructors were brilliant - they really push to get the best out of you on the track, and I saw my lap times improve steadily as I got more confident and familiar with the track. The Lamborghini was a little terrifying - very skittish and unbalanced and therefore easy to overcook on the corners, however driving that prepared me for the Ferrari which was then so much easier to drive in comparison. The Lambo is technically a faster car, but because the Ferrari is more refined and settled, I was able to do my fastest lap time in the Ferrari - and it definitely sounded the best! The 458 Italia was also the favourite of all the instructors I spoke to, which is why I chose to save it for last.

 

My advice is that if you want to drive 4 cars, only book 3. That is what I did, and then on the day they offered me a 4th car at half price for 5 laps which I could race first, to build some familiarity with the track before racing the cars that I wanted. It was the right way to go, as is doing more laps than the minimum. 5 laps is barely just enough to get comfortable in each car. I did 7 laps each car and I wanted more.

 

It's $80 for the onboard video (including telemetry) for all the cars you drive (no matter how many) and is well worth it.

 

The track used by Exotics Racing looks simple on paper, but some of the corners are off camber so you definitely need to gain skills to drive smoothly and improve speed into and out of the corners - it was more of a challenge than it looks which I really enjoyed. It's a short track so on the main straight you can only expect to get up to around 120 MPH.

 

My only (minor) gripe is that even though you are spending a fairly large chunk of cash upfront to drive these cars, you are still expected to tip the instructors on top - something I did not expect. I tipped $20 to each instructor which was possibly a bit stingey in relation to my total spend, but I was certainly not going to fork out an additional 15% of the US$1200 I paid for the experience. These guys are all current or ex professional drivers (one was an ex V8 Supercars driver), so I am sure they are well paid and they clearly love what they do, so I consider their tip a bonus. I don't think for one minute they rely on tips for their day to day survival in the same way that waitresses etc do.

 

 


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