Be forewarned: This post contains some Porsche content.
Those with a strong appreciation for the automobile often romanticize the idealized Road Trip, the Grand Tour. With rose-tinted glasses we esteem those transcontinental slogs made in cars suitable for the occasion, the Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Aston Martins, and so on that are exemplars of the (often) 12-cylinder, Gran Turismo genre. Indeed, it’s difficult to read a review of such a car and escape reference to the hypothetical playboys who only interrupt sumptous repose to flog their aristocratic motors on epic drives of endurance.
In 2013, however, a road trip encompassing thousands of miles is quite a luxury, given the pressing hustle and bustle of the modern world. It’s much quicker and easier to fly, after all. In fact, it seems like the only people electing indulgent road trips these days are well-coined automotive journalists, like my friend Doug DeMuro.
That said, some people buck the trend. An Englishman named Richard Morris goes by the alias “Jackal” in Porsche circles. His website has likely bankrupted several 993 and 996.1 GT3 owners with its exhaustive DIY instructions, which allow other owners to maintain their cars as stringently as aircraft. Morris is part of a motley crew of 911 owners who take annual pilgrimages across the Chunnel to exercise their cars. Once they’ve returned to Blighty, Jackal compiles and edits the media memorializing the trip, illustrating the skills that allow him to pay for his motors. His summary of the 2012 journey proved to be a minor hit:
If this is a lazy weekend for you, take a few moments to live vicariously through Jackal & Co., who’ve managed to have a pretty Grand Tour, despite having about half the cylinders needed to legitimize such a trip.
Driving a Porsche 911, especially an older or hardcore variant, for nearly 400 miles a day multiplied across 10 days must have been tiring (on both man and machine).
Nevertheless, I doubt any members of this party required an alarm clock to tackle each new day.
Instead, I’d wager that the not-so-diluted tincture of octane, the sounds of the engines gradually ticking cool, and the residual adrenaline coursing through the participants’ veins took care of things. That, and the knowledge that the road ahead would be as good as what passed.
Of course you don’t have to have a Porsche or 10 days of vacation time to have your own Grand Tour. You just have to go.
Please share your own videos, pictures, and stories of memorable, long-distance drives in the comments!
David Walton grew up in the North Georgia mountains before moving to Virginia to study Economics, Classics, and Natural Light at Washington and Lee University. Post-graduation, he returned to his home state to work in the financial services industry in Atlanta. A lifelong automotive enthusiast, particular interests include (old) Porsches and sports car racing.