If you love cars and all things driving (and why else would you be here?), you probably want to know all about the best things that you can do to treat yourself, or at least somebody you know. Loving cars is more than reading up on miles per gallon, the distance between A and B (and C), or trying to work out just how low bumpers manage to get over speed bumps without damage.
And sure, most of us can’t do anything too exciting right now, what with the pandemic and all. But this doesn’t mean you can’t start to plan where you want to go and what you want to do once it all blows over. From museums to days at the track, to getting under the bonnet and learning how everything works, here are some ways for you to take your adoration of cars and driving to the next level.
Visit All the Museums
There are hundreds, maybe thousands of car museums all over the world, and no matter where you are, you’re never too far from one for a day out. The Petersen Museum in Los Angeles boasts a range of unique vehicles, including lowriders, hot rods, and even one-off models. If you’re partial to European cars, the Lane Motor Museum of Nashville features an array of obscure and fascinating vehicles that you have likely never heard of.
Across the pond, you can also check out the London Motor Museum, and while you’re there, see if you can become a proper Londoner and own each street like you’re playing Monopoly. No matter if your passions lie in classic muscle cars or you prefer to see the evolution of the most famous brands, there is a museum there for you.
Go As Fast As You Can
We all dream about going as fast as we can, usually with the wind in our hair, racing across an empty highway and with the surrounding scenery looking like something out of an 80s movie. However, we all know how restrictive most roads or motorways can be. Even though our cars can hit high speeds of over 150mph, rarely, we will ever get to experience such acceleration.
However, the unrestricted section of the Autobahn, in Germany, will give you the chance to go as fast as you can. Hitting the maximum speed in your car is something that we should all experience at some point in our lives, and you could easily get bitten by the speed bug. This might cause you to ask how does one obtain German citizenship?
Feel Power At the Wheel
If you know anything about cars (and we assume you do), you’ll understand the sheer power that comes from a mighty V12 engine. The noise is equal parts deafening and immersive, and the response when you press your foot down closer to the floor is something you will never forget. You’ve gotten a taste of a V12 on video games or the arcade, but you’ll soon see how these pale in comparison.
As for deciding which car you choose, the Lamborghini is a fantastic choice that blends both elegance and power beautifully. If you can’t get yourself behind the wheel, the BMW M760i will also provide an incredible experience.
On the other side of the power and style spectrum, driving, owning, or just being close to a classic car in the vein of a Mini or VW Beetle will transport you way back to before the days of built-in air conditioning, seat warmers, and GPS directions.
While they may seem simple, especially when compared to modern machines, there is a reason that these cars have persevered throughout the ages. Their unique style is something unlikely ever to be replicated, and many people who own the original models have spent years updating them to ensure they can still run as good as they did on their first day. This allows you to experience the transformation of technology and see how even a classic model is suitable for 21st-century driving.
Fix Up an Old Banger
For many car enthusiasts, the experience of learning basic (and even more complicated) mechanics and fixing up an old banger to make it road-ready is something that they remember for the rest of their lives. Many see it as a rite of passage, and typically, comes from working with your parents as a kid.
However, not everyone gets this luxury, but that’s okay, as it’s never too late to learn what goes on under the hood. From simple fixes like changing the brake pads or switching out spark plugs, to more involved and advanced mechanic demands, fixing up an old banger, getting it back on the road, and taking a drive is a wholly worthwhile experience not to be missed.
Take a Road Trip
Ah, the road trip. It is something that everybody wants to do at some point in their lives, but too few people actually manage to get out on the road and enjoy the freedom that a road trip brings. Buying a VW van and converting the back into somewhere to eat, sleep, and relax is the first step, and then you can decide where in the world you want to go.
Driving across the US is a popular idea, especially once you hit the midwest, where you can drive for miles without seeing anybody. There are plenty of other places, too. Vietnam’s roads are famous for their winding nature as much as the surrounding scenery, while a road trip through Europe gives you a front-row seat to a variety of cultures in the space of 48 hours.
Ditch the Roads Altogether
While the feeling of winding down country roads or highways is exciting, it can get a little samey eventually. This is why it’s worth testing your skills off the road. Climbing into an all-terrain vehicle and splishing, splashing, revving, and surmounting tricky surfaces, from sand to mud to wet rocks, is a great day out, and it will make you realize that you’re maybe not as much of a driver as you thought you were.
Spend Your Day at the Track
For fans of Formula 1, a day at the track is a day out that you will never forget. Whether Monte Carlo, Marina Bay, or Silverstone, you can see the very best drivers around demonstrate their perfect craft, expert precision, and concentration that puts even the most focused athletes to shame.
But why settle for just sitting in the crowd? Getting down into the pit will show you how everything is done, but you’ll usually need to know someone who knows someone who knows someone to make this possible. Furthermore, you can even test your skills yourself driving around the world’s most famous tracks. Is it expensive? Yes. Is it worth it? Absolutely.
Get a Weekend Ride
So you may have your company car, the car you park proudly in the driveway. The vehicle that gets you to and from the office every day. It’s usually a smart, sleek, modern vehicle. It has all the gadgets and gizmos that make it a perfectly serviceable car for your day-to-day use. But despite all of these accessories and it’s sleek style, it doesn’t scream fun.
Buying a cheap used car, however, is the answer to this. It doesn’t need all the cool modern gadgets or even electric windows. All you need it to be is something that can take you on day trips to the beach, the cottage, and fit your family inside. Aside from more smiles-per-miles, you’re also not stressed about damaging the car, and anything that happens will be closer to a hilarious caper than something that could easily ruin your weekend.
See How It All Happens
Sure, you love cars, but do you even know how they are made? Maybe some of you do, but the vast majority may not even understand the deep and intricate processes that go into crafting and creating a car all from a sheet of metal. Visiting a car factory can open your eyes to just how involved this process is. Like anything, it will give you a brand new appreciation for the feat of engineering you climb into every day.
While most factories rely on automated machines to make cars, smaller companies, such as the Morgan Motor Company, still rely on the human touch in parts. For many enthusiasts, the opportunity to visit both international and local factories provides a spectacular contrast. It helps you realize that whatever you thought you knew about cars pales compared to what goes on.
Push Yourself Into the Next Gear
Nobody who has a passion for cars will be satisfied until they get the chance to do at least one or two of these awesome activities and days out. You may have done some before, but there might also be things that you never thought were possible. So, even if you can’t get yourself there right now, it’s definitely something for you to put in the calendar, just in case.