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American Dream: rolling diary of Kiwis in the big country (part two)

26 October 2017


Ever wanted to jump in a plane and head to America, taking in all the sights and sounds, and — more importantly — all of the car events on offer? The hard part with trips like this is all the planning involved, but with people like Craig ‘Fingrz’ Mullan and Karl Boniface around, those worries are all taken care of. The pair, with support from Castrol, organised one hell of a USA tour, and jumping into a plane in early October along with two van-loads of fellow Kiwis who were keen to piggyback off their expertise. They are currently living the life cruising through America, and we’ll aim to update this post every day, as the tour diary comes through from tour participant Andrew Johnston. We’ve got part one of the tour diary right here, if you missed it. 

And, don’t forget — you could be a part of this tour this time next year. Simply register your interested by emailing

Day seven
Whoa, everything we love in one place, at the Bakersfield Hot Rod Reunion! A swap meet with car parts and antiques, hot rods on display, rails, doorslammers, altereds, funny cars, and nitro in the air — a big day creating big memories.

Day eight
For the second day of the Bakersfield Hot Rod Reunion, it was back to the swap meet. And not just that, but some amazing racing and a ‘cacklefest’ with over 20 cars push-started and parked in front of the crowd.

The Kiwis were privileged to be hosted by Ron Hope and the family, and invited to their dinner in the Fuel Altered pits. Karl made a presentation on behalf of the group, awarding one of the drivers with an award in form of a Māori warrior carving as a token of their gratitude.

Day nine
Up and early to get on the road and head east towards Arizona, they were very fortunate to be granted access to Gene Winfield’s private workshop, experiencing the vibe of how a car artist works on several projects — mostly wickedly cool lead sleds — at once.

Of course, there was also his eclectic museum and car collection including vehicles and memorabilia from Blade Runner, Star Trek, Terminator, The Man from U.N.C.L.E, and more. A large yard of unique and interesting parts and projects, no doubt with interesting film or show cred, could have easily kept everyone occupied for a couple of days. 
Cruising through the barren Mojave, Kraemer Junction was the next port of call to visit yet another eclectic private collection — this time with rare fuel bowsers and WW2 tanks, vehicles, and memorabilia including a small Nazi collection.
Back on the road for a few miles to another authentic road tripping diner, the leisurely lunch at Peggy Sue’s preceded the drive down the I40 to Needles for the night. Finishing the day with takeaways around the pool, tired and happy best describes the end to the ninth day on tour.