The PistonHeads American Dream Tour 2012

What will you see on this tour? Let’s start with an extensive list - Las Vegas, Hollywood, Death Valley, Route 66, The Golden Gate Bridge, Napa Valley, The Hoover Dam, Yosemite, Mojave, Beverley Hills, Malibu Beach, the Grand Canyon, Laguna Seca and the Calico Ghost Town. That enough for you?

All of these are must-see places when travelling to the West Coast of America, but this is far more than just a sightseeing tour. There's the Pacific Coast Highway, with mountains on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other. There's Mulholland Highway, Angeles Crest, and the Eldorado and Joshua Tree National Park roads - all as good as anything you’ll find in Europe. We've also got a few surprises up our sleeves – as you will have come to expect from us.

The 2012 trips take us through three states: California, Arizona and Nevada. Every day brings something new. One day you have the Pacific Ocean, the next you’re in a desert. In fact, on day 6 we go from the over-the-top Las Vegas to the stunning (and hot) Death Valley, before ending up in a ski resort with temperature and altitude changes to match.

We include the hire of the cars in the price of this tour and even give you a choice from the  following:

  • Corvette Convertible
  • Dodge Challenger RT
  • Chevy Camaro SS
  • Ford Mustang GT Premium

All excess mileage and insurance is prepaid by us, so the only vehicle expenses will be fuel (really cheap) and tolls (very rare).

This is a trip you simply cannot miss, but it is limited to 15 cars, so if you don’t book up early then you will regret it until 2013...

Day 1 - San Francisco Airport to Monterey Bay - 109 miles
Arrive at San Francisco International Airport (SFO). You will be met at the hire car desk by your tour managers and allocated a car (to be shared between two people). Then it's a short drive over the mountains to Santa Cruz and then out to the beautiful Monterey Bay.

Day 2 - Monterey Bay to Santa Barbara - 255 miles
We begin the day with the first of our ‘up our sleeve’ treats: a visit to the famous Laguna Seca raceway to soak up the atmosphere. Driving south along the famous Pacific Coast Highway to Santa Barbara (southbound is by far the best direction for the PCH) there's plenty of time to pause and take in the sights, or we can just enjoy driving with each other in true Petrolhead Nirvana style. We’ll break off PCH to to check our sleeve again (we’ll keep this one a secret for now). Back on track, there are long sweeping bends and other more technical sections - and always a stunning ocean view. We end the day just outside Los Angeles at Santa Barbara, where we stay at a stunning beachfront hotel.

Day 3 - Santa Barbara to Barstow - 256 miles
The Santa Barbara, Malibu, Beverley Hills, Hollywood, Angeles National Park leg of the trip: the locations speak for themselves. We'll be enjoying the California air and revelling in the surrounding beauty. We may not be film stars but we'll be causing a stir as we meet with some of our local friends from the Ferrari, Lamborghini and Porsche owners clubs in LA on our way, driving along Mulholland Drive, passing Rodeo Drive and the Hollywood Walk of Fame, where we’ll have lunch at the Hard Rock Café. We then move on to view the famous Hollywood sign and, the highlight of the day, a 7,000-foot ascent on the Angeles Crest Highway.

Day 4 - Barstow to Las Vegas - 276 miles
From Barstow we head to the Calico ghost town to sample some real cowboy history, and then on to the 1.6 million acre Mojave National Preserve, which is the third largest National Park in the USA and home of the largest Joshua tree forest in the world. After a fun drive on Route 66 and the undulating back roads through the park, we head to the architectural wonder that is the Hoover Dam and then another highlight of the tour: our arrival in Las Vegas!

Day 5 - Rest Day or (optional) Las Vegas to Grand Canyon Skywalk - 250 miles
Las Vegas – a rest day – and where better to spend it? Our hotel will take your breath away. You can wander around the casinos, take in a show, or just soak up the Las Vegas atmosphere. Or you could join us for a drive to another wonder of the architectural world that is the Grand Canyon skywalk. Completed in 2007, this unique structure allows you to walk 70ft out on a glass walkway suspended 4,000ft above the canyon floor. There is also an optional helicopter trip to the Grand Canyon (register interest when you pay deposit, approx $450 USD per person). If you've never been to the Grand Canyon, these options are well worth considering.

Day 6 - Las Vegas to Mammoth Lakes (via Death Valley) - 302 miles
Leaving Las Vegas, we head to Death Valley National Park which will be relatively uncrowded at this time of year. The park includes the best sleeve trick of all - Artist's Drive, a scenic loop drive through multi-hued volcanic and sedimentary hills. The 9-mile paved road is one-way with smooth tarmac, undulations and tight hairpins, and is like a mini Nurburgring. This is just one of the amazing areas of the park. We then have lunch and refuel at Furnace Creek on our way out to Mammoth Lakes, a beautiful ski resort, for our night’s stop.

Day 7 - Mammoth Lakes to Napa Valley - 300 miles
We trail along the Yosemite National Park, past Mono Lake, then head through the Eldorado National Forest in the Sierra Nevada mountain range with some amazing driving roads to enjoy. Finally, we emerge in the world-famous Napa Valley for a final night of revelry.

Day 8 - Napa to San Francisco Airport - 65 miles
Heading back towards the airport we cross the Golden Gate Bridge, a fitting ending to an amazing week and one that will change your mind about American roads and cars. Arriving at the airport we hand the cars back ready for our flight home.

What’s included:
Hire of one of our car choices with full insurance cover and extra mileage prepaid (however, subject to age restrictions, drivers must be over 25)

Bed and breakfast accommodation every night (7 nights)

Two tour managers in lead and chase cars

Loan of our Tom Tom sat-nav units with pre-loaded files

Loan of our licensed walkie talkies

Drivers packs with maps, route notes and useful information

What’s not included:
Return flights to San Francisco

Dinner, drinks, fuel, tolls and personal expenses

Optional helicopter flight to Grand Canyon

Gambling money for the Las Vegas Casinos!

What does it cost?
The price is £1599 per person - based on two people sharing a car and a twin or double room.

A £50 discount applies if you book before Christmas 2011, making the price £1549 per person.

The booking deposit is £500 per person.

If you would like to book your place or find out more, please call the Petrolhead Nirvana team on 0845 838 7363.

Comments (43) Join the discussion on the forum

  • chunkymonkey71 14 Dec 2011

    I'd LOVE to do this!

    It sucks being poor.


  • Oddball RS 14 Dec 2011

    chunkymonkey71 said:
    I'd LOVE to do this!

    It sucks being poor.


    Sounds great.

  • DaveL485 14 Dec 2011

    Selling kidney on eBay.


  • cjgreaves41 14 Dec 2011

    Dam Still only 24 in September 2012! frown

  • cjgreaves41 14 Dec 2011

    ooooo that and im skint

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