Hi RTA fellows,
I am planning a short 2-week road trip for this August in the Northeast. I would appreciate any comments on the feasibility.
Background: I'm flying in from Hungary in Central Europe, but having lived in the States before I feel completely at home. I've also done a Greyhound tour of the East a few years ago, so we can assume I'll make it - hence I've devised some tricky bits just to make things more interesting :)
1. HOW: for a road trip naturally I need a car. Renting is the last resort - though anything else is pretty difficult without a U.S. address and drivers license.
My goal would be to buy a car for the trip that at the end I can bring back home with me (well, more like arrange to have it brought home of course...). Being somewhat of a car nut I'm looking for some 60s muscle - right now I've got the 1965-67 Ford Galaxie in my sights: a less appreciated car of its age, hence you can find decent examples around 10k dollars. Note: my main concerns regarding the car are reliability and style. I don't care about fuel economy, new-age gimmicks like satnav and such - this trip is going to cost me anyway, and afterwards the car will be a cruiser.
However buying a car as a foreigner seems bordering on impossible. My idea would be that an American friend of mine could buy the car and arrange for full coverage insurance so I can drive it too. Is this doable? Am I allowed to drive someone else's car in the U.S.? Is my E.U. drivers license valid in the U.S.?
I plan to make arrangements with Hungarian import sepcialists to ship the car back to Europe - so at the end of the road trip I just drop the car off and it travels it's own course home in the care of professionals.
2. WHERE & WHEN:
Aug 11: fly in to NYC
Aug 12-14: in NYC, pick up car during this time from friend
Aug 15: to Atlantic City for the evening = 130 mi
Aug 16: thru Philly, Baltimore to Washington D.C. = 200 mi
Aug 17: in D.C.
Aug 18-20: take Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Parkway south, at farthest till Roanoke, then head North to Slippery Rock PA (just N of Pittsburgh, fixed date) = 500-700 mi for 3 days depending on how it plays out
Aug 21: thru Buffalo, Niagara to Toronto = 270 mi
Aug 22: to Ottawa or Montreal = 420 mi
Aug 23: to Waitsfield VT (fixed date) = 130 mi
Aug 24: in Waitsfield VT
Aug 25: head back to NYC = 330 mi
Aug 26: fly home
Total is around 3000 miles with buffer times and shortcut options along the way.
As you can see, I plan to go thru Canada because I have the time between the two fixed date stops and I've never been there. Question is: am I looking at unnecessary trouble trying to drive a U.S. citizen's car thru Canada and back?
Any and all comments are welcome - including tips on what to see along this route. Plan is to take the back roads mostly and use Interstates only to catch up time or cut through less interesting areas.