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Discussion Starter #1
We are thinking of shipping our GTV from the UK for a trip across the states from West to East coast or vice versa, we have family in Brooklyn and San Francisco.


How many GTV owners have done this? Is it a good idea? Do you know if it is possible to insure a foreign registered car in the US? Or should we just rent a nice air conditioned Honda?...
 

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Tom,

The issue of insuring non-US residents just came up on a motorhome forum. Here's the comment:

"I have used Thum insurance many times in the past...They specialize in insuring "odd" situations. IE: ...insuring non US residents...etc. The name of the rep we used was Melissa Thum. Her father owns the company. I am sure they can provide everything you need.
Thum Insurance "


I hope this helps...

We are thinking of shipping our GTV from the UK for a trip across the states from West to East coast or vice versa, we have family in Brooklyn and San Francisco.


How many GTV owners have done this? Is it a good idea? Do you know if it is possible to insure a foreign registered car in the US? Or should we just rent a nice air conditioned Honda?...
 

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That's quite a Drive for a European. The distance, a bit under 2,700 miles depending on what route you choose, is about the same as London thru Moscow to the Ural Mountains, or London thru Istanbul to Baghdad, Iraq. If you don't stop in between, it's 4+ days of 10 to 12 hour driving; gas stops every 300 to 400 miles with a lot of not much in between. If you stop in between, there are a lot of interesting places - my dad took 4 months with his trailer doing that. Or it's 6 1/2 hours by jet. NY to SF or NY to LA are the cheapest flights for the distance at least; even including car rental at SF, the gas to drive will cost you more.....

Then you need to ship your car back from SF, or drive back to NY.

:D

Robert
 

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We are thinking of shipping our GTV from the UK for a trip across the states from West to East coast or vice versa, we have family in Brooklyn and San Francisco.
This is a great idea Tom. I can recommend Wallenius Wilhelmsen as shippers. They're a good company with competitive prices. Several of us have used them to import from Y'Urp and had good luck with them. They're a very professional company and take good care of old cars.

Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics - worldwide ocean transport, inland services, supply chain solutions, terminal services

As for the trip: go for it! The only caveat I'd add is to avoid doing the crossing in high summer. The heat crossing the desert is brutal. If you pass through Austin let us know and we'll arrange a gearhead dinner---TexMex food and good ***** Modello beer!
 

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I say go for it as well! What a great way to see the country!

You could use the Registry of Alfa Mechanics and the AlfaBB Members Map to plan your trip. That way you're not too far from help if a problem arises.

Pick your time of year and its corresponding route accordingly. In summer, it can get very hot down south for someone without A/C.

Good luck!
 

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IT's definitely a wonderful country, with lots of amazing an unique places to visit. It's just really big - England to the Black Sea is New York to The Mississippi River. Then there's the Western 60% of America!! I've spent a month on a grand loop (LA to Florida to New England to Montana and Oregon then back home to LA) and missed lots I wanted to see.

I hope you have enough time to see some of the really unique parts! Weather is generally warmer - after all Madrid Spain and the entire Med is NORTH of New York City; South Texas is mid-Africa!

Enjoy! Try to have extra weeks available!

Robert
 

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From SF to NY (or vice-versa) I'd highly recommend the I-90 over the I-80 even though it will add an extra day. More scenic and more "Alfa friendly" roads (either way there will be long straight stretches of "nothing" but less so on the I-90) . Make sure you detour through the Badlands. Also, once in Seattle area (assuming an NY to SF trip, otherwise reverse this info), take the I-5 south to the 199 to the 101 South through the Northern CA redwoods (Avenue of the Giants) on down to SF. If you simply stay on the I-5 from Seattle to SF you will miss the BEST of the West. Enjoy and don't hesitate to call if you decide to come down CA on the 101. Cheers!

p.s. - You may want to consider the 101 down the Oregon Coast as well. Just a bit more time but oh so worth it!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for all the advice and encouragement.

The main sticking point at the moment is insurance, I've tried a couple of people, including Thum, and so far no luck.

We were budgeting 1 month to 6 weeks and about 4-5000 miles. My other concern is running out of fuel, i've heard that gas station can be pretty far apart!
 

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I got round this problem by buying a holiday/event car in CA, storing it there when I was back in the UK. When you consider the costs of transport (there and back) and the insurance problems you may well find it cheaper to buy the best you can find and then selling it at the end of your trip. I am insured by Chubb as a Brit for a US car very inexpensively.
A great idea, but consider this. To do the coast to coast drive in one holiday is a LOT of driving, a month would be 1000 miles a week! Why not split the journey, leave the car and then return later or next year to continue.
East Coast, South and then West Coast...three year's holidays sorted!
 

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Sounds like a fantastic trip, but have no illusions about what kind of distances you're talking about. If you come through South Dakota there's lots of stuff to see along the way. Badlands. Hiking in the Black Hills. Mt Rushmore. On into Wyoming there's Devil's Tower, then up to the Montana border for the Little Bighorn Battlefield, then over the Beartooth Pass (one of the most beautiful drives in the US), then into the NE corner of Yellowstone National Park for a few days, then down to the Grand Tetons at Jackson Hole, then onto Salt Lake City and the Great Salt Lake, then the desolate drive across the high plains to California.

If you come via I-90 through Rapid City, South Dakota be sure to let me know ahead of time. We'd love to meet you.

Fuel isn't a problem along the interstate motorways. Out in the west if you go off into the boonies, you might want to be more careful. You'll probably want to stop every half tank or so anyway for a stretch.
 

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I'm envious. Distance driving is not a problem so long as you know what to expect and do some simple prep. Nope, I've never driven across the US but plenty of long distances here in Oz in 105 Alfa's including 2500 mile round trips in a week.

Longest trip in the US was around 1000 miles round trip from Orlando over to Pensacolo and back through Georgia in 3 days. I'd love to drive coast to coast over there.
 

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This must be frustrating. Surely, you are not the first person to do such a trip with a foreign registered car. Is there a UK insurer that might provide coverage in the U.S?. How about AAA here or the RAC where you are?



Thanks for all the advice and encouragement.

The main sticking point at the moment is insurance, I've tried a couple of people, including Thum, and so far no luck.

We were budgeting 1 month to 6 weeks and about 4-5000 miles. My other concern is running out of fuel, i've heard that gas station can be pretty far apart!
 

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Tom: Contact the US Embassy in London. I'm sure they'll have information about how to obtain car insurance for your trip. We see cars and bikes on European plates all the time here so it must be possible. Also, you might contact a British consulate here in the States (LA perhaps?) and see if they can help.
 

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I really envy you the grand tour of your GTV.
But these older Alfas are not particularly confortable for long-distance driving, you become quite simply flat assed. I have taken Germany lengthways, Austrian frontier to the Baltic Sea, a few times in my Spider with 1 and 2 stop overs, I don't do it again.
Erik
 

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Running out of gas is NOT a problem. On the interstates there are gas stations at least every 40 miles. Any city or town always has a few too. I've done the coast-to-coast several times. In college it was 34 hours 20 minutes from San Francisco to New York City (two drivers) - which is horrid, but I had to get there with the car; missed everything in between!

There are three major routes on the interstates (like the autoban) north, middle, south, plus lots of variations. Choose the destinations you want to visit, then follow the interstates that connect the dots. It's easy to average 60+ mph including gas stops on the interstate, so you can knock off 4-500 miles in a morning, and have afternoons in a whole new place.

As a westerner, I'd recommend at least some of the places that you can see nowhere else in the world: Jackson Hole, WY just to see the Teatons (part of the rockies) - makes the Alps look like foothills. Badlands, MT Mt. Rushmore and Glacier Park, tho these are the hardest to get to (you'll see why when you try to plan the routes). Yellowstone Park (geysers) goes well with these.

In Utah you must visit Zion and nearby Bryce Canyon National Park will take your breath away. Of course the Grand Canyon in NM. Ride the old silver mine railroad from Durango to Silverton in southern Colorado; it goes well with these stops. In California, stay at Furnace Creek Inn in Death Valley, some 200 feet below sea level if its early spring (it can get to 120 degrees in the summer). See Yosemite and stay at the Ahwanee Lodge, and visit the giant Sequoias nearby. If (?!) you visit San Francisco, take an afternoon at Muir Woods just to the north to see why "giant redwoods" and "cathedral" is a natural pair of words. If you've got a year or so to make reservations, stay one night - Friday or Saturday only - at East Brothers Lighthouse (do a google) in Richmond. VIsit the colony in Carmel, and see the Monterey Bay Aquarium, then drive south on the world's most beautiful road - Highway 1, or the Pacific Coast Highway - thru Big Sur to Cambria, where you can visit the Hearst Museum.

There's lots more too! I told you you could rush and still spend a month!

I'd strongly recommend no more than 300 or so miles for any leg. There's plenty of destinations, and that leaves time to visit without getting "road fever". Stay the night or a few days!

Robert
 

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I really envy you the grand tour of your GTV.
But these older Alfas are not particularly confortable for long-distance driving, you become quite simply flat assed. I have taken Germany lengthways, Austrian frontier to the Baltic Sea, a few times in my Spider with 1 and 2 stop overs, I don't do it again.
Erik
There's an "Iron Butt" association here whose members pride themselves on riding their bikes over long distances. Some like to circumnavigate the entire outline of the US. Quite a trip on a motorcycle (hence the name).

Iron Butt Tips - I Ride My Own


The early GTV seats are terrible for long distances while the series 2 70's seats are quite a bit better. A set of Recaros is a definite a**et, however. :)

Robert is right, Tom. This is a big place with lots to see. So, plan enough time for plenty of side trips.
The only part of the trip that's boring for us is crossing the desert between Califa and Texas so we do it non-stop by changing off drivers. But you miss a lot when you do that.
 

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I really envy you the grand tour of your GTV.
But these older Alfas are not particularly confortable for long-distance driving, you become quite simply flat assed. I have taken Germany lengthways, Austrian frontier to the Baltic Sea, a few times in my Spider with 1 and 2 stop overs, I don't do it again.
Erik
??? Yet you did it "...a few times..." !!!

After graduations - quite a few years ago - I drove from SF to NY - some 2,800 miles - with a friend in just over 34 hours. Total clock time, not just road time. Co-driver had just two legs for about 6 hours while I napped. In a then-new 67 Duetto! First stop (other than gas) was a 2-hour layover for dinner and a nap in Wyoming after 1,100 miles.

:D
Robert
 
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