News & Opinion | November 8, 2017 9:00 am

7 Tips for an Epic American Road Trip From an Englishman Who Did It

For starters, never ask a New Yorker to drive stick

Under normal circumstances, Porsches and Jaguars don’t care to be seen together in public. The same can probably be said for co-founders of the Britain-based Bremont watch company, brothers Nick and Giles English.

But sometimes ya gotta bite the bullet, especially in the name of charity.

This past fall in response to Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, the two brothers took a 3,000-mile road trip to benefit the Friedkin Disaster Relief Fund.

With Nick behind the wheel of their late father’s 1970 Series II E-Type and Giles driving his own 1973 911T, the brothers departed from New York City and wound up in Frisco, Texas, making stops at Bremont retailers along the way and donating 5% proceeds from their sales. 

Now back in one piece, Nick was gracious enough to take the time share a little bit of what he learned during the 12-day trip. 

Bremont (4 images)

1. Have a plan, but don’t be afraid not to stick to it.
“There were some really wonderful surprises en route. That is the great thing about doing a road trip, you stumble into places that just would not have been on the radar otherwise. My favorite place would have to be the ‘Skyline’ route down through the Blue Ridge mountains between Washington and Winston Salem. The drive was stunning and we surrounded by these incredible vistas on both sides. Wildlife was also plentiful with bears and deer roaming freely around. A lot of the adventure comes down to the unexpected and sometimes you just need to take a route and go for it.”

2. That said, do your research.
“You need to pre-plan and give yourself enough time. We were always up against time and ended up having some very long, tiring days as a result. You also want to make sure you are taking the most scenic roads, which are of course off the beaten path and take a little more time, so researching these online beforehand is important.”

3. It’s OK to travel the U.S. before going abroad. 
“[I was surprised by] how much space this country, despite the 330 million people, has available. There is some stunning countryside in the U.S. and I can fully understand now why so many Americans choose to travel around this country first before heading abroad. The U.S. dwarfs Europe in size and you have to be prepared to take a few weeks out to cover any distance in Europe. You also need to make sure to come off the main highways where the countryside is the most stunning. It is such a beautiful country once off the beaten track.”

4. Do not drive in NYC. We repeat: Do not drive in NYC.
“New York was the worst by far — the traffic was heavy, the temperature was high and the mood of most drivers is fragile at best. New York taxi drivers are a law unto themselves. Nobody could quite understand the steering wheel on the ‘wrong’ side of our cars throughout the entire trip, or when it came to valet parking, the ‘stick shift’ or manual gear lever was a little too much to comprehend.”

Bremont (4 images)

5. Keep your eye on the sky.
“There was one leg through Tennessee close to Memphis when suddenly it was the darkest storm clouds and sky you can imagine. I was waiting for a tornado to touch down at any moment. Shortly after the heavens opened and there was zero visibility and the car cockpit was quickly flooded. I have never witnessed anything like it.”

6. Whatever you do, take care of your car.
“I may have had to spend a rather painful 200 miles with my brother in his old 911 as my car had problems with its clutch. The gloating from Giles was quite unbearable.If you are doing the trip in an old car make sure you have it looked over properly before you start. We did this and we still managed to spend quite a few hours underneath the bonnet. It’s always easy to find a reason not to do something, but if you do manage to make the effort, you’ll never regret it.”

7. Once you pop, you can’t stop
“It would be very rude not to do the incredible West Coast of the U.S. now! The plan is to finish the journey in the same cars in 2018. We are still in the planning stages but Denver to Salt Lake City, Vegas, LA and then San Francisco would be a stunning follow up adventure.”