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When my dad was a kid, cars were more comfortable, the economy was bulling along, and gas was cheaper than milk. With the help of Ike’s new interstate system, the Greatest Generation shoveled their families into their big sedans and wagons and forged the great American road trip. America was experienced through the skylights of an Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser.
These days, cars are cramped and dark, the economy has taken a turn for the down, and gas is so expensive people actually buy Priuses. Flying can actually be cheaper, and though train travel is getting rare, it’s just as fast, much more comfortable, and can also be cheaper. But getting in your own car and striking out into the tarmac-belted distance is still the best way to see America. I got a reminder this weekend as my friend Dan and I loaded up the wagon and shot off to Breckenridge, Colorado. Continue reading
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I didn’t buy an Alfa Romeo. I didn’t buy an MG. I bought a Subaru. Alfas have soul for days, MGs can handle like skis, but despite their merits, they’ve never been called bulletproof. I bought my WRX because it was. I wanted something fast and fun that wouldn’t turn me inside out with maintenance and repair. For the most part, it hasn’t. Yes, it faces the woes of any 12-year-old car with 150k on the clock. The plastics are fading, a few of the 226 horses may have escaped the stables, and the front seats have been replaced. But if I’d have known I’d eventually dump $1900 into a new rear differential, I might not have bought it. Continue reading
It’s said in the realm of project cars that you can make anything work if you have enough money. Australian IT guru Paul Halstead has that money, and he’s willing to stick two V8s together in a brand new supercar to prove that yes, just about anything is possible. Continue reading
Joe LoCicero is probably the most famous man to be driving a Honda Accord. You may have heard of him, because he’s driven his 1990 Accord for over one million miles, and Honda made a commercial about him and threw him a parade and gave him a car and stuff. Well…I want a parade and a car and stuff. In fact, I used to own a 1990 Accord, and I ruined it with rushed and improper maintenance. Here’s an idea I had last night, while reading a book about something completely different, that might have scored me a parade: Continue reading
By now you’re well-versed in my…“eccentric” taste in weird forms of racing that don’t “exist outside of my imagination.” A minor setback, at worst. And while Endurance Drifting, Flying GP, and Perpendicularcross will probably never exist, today I came up with a “brilliant” idea that could just work.
Okay, no. It probably won’t work, either, but let’s just all sit back a moment, adjust the 3D glasses we’re wearing over our normal glasses, and allow ourselves to dream about the greatness of the Ultimate Versatility Tour. Continue reading
“That one day these American colonies shall be free and independent of all British rule, and that our safe and happy progeny shall construct for themselves and others potent and distinguished carriages, powered by the natural sciences, and that they shall be awesome, and that they shall burn rubber, and shred, and perform many donuts, and imagine themselves to impress women.”
– Original Draft, U.S. Declaration of Independence
No one really knows what went on during the original drafting of the Declaration of Independence. When the First Continental Congress spent two days editing the proposed draft, Thomas Jefferson was reportedly furious. I’m guessing it’s because they chopped out his bit about muscle cars. I mean, Jefferson was a brilliant guy. He must have foreseen the advent of the American car, right? Continue reading
I should have known what I was getting into by the lack of an e at the end of Concours. This denotes the French pronunciation, (say: kahn-core), which can be roughly translated as “a show full of cars too beautiful to imagine and nearly impossible to afford.” But I didn’t. I’ve been to countless car shows, sure, but this was a concours, an event generally prefixed by words like Pebble Beach and suffixed by others like d’Elegance. I spent Sunday afternoon awash in a delirium of heat and beauty, and I saw things I never thought I would. Not bad for Kansas City. Continue reading
Harry Campbell, who owns this 1964 Shelby 289 Cobra, assured me that it has been raced and restored. I was a little surprised at this when I saw it at the Art of the Car Concours this weekend, because it was so perfect. It didn’t carry those telltale stamps of a project car. But it’s proof that if you know what you’re doing, and you have the facilities, you can perfect your craft. What of those, however, who don’t have the facilities? Continue reading
Glen Shepard said, “I think the race car is a denominator that brings people together.” This was certainly my experience earlier this month at the Greenwood Revival. I’ve already covered the course and the cars, but to leave it at that would be to rob Greenwood of its true mortar. That Saturday, just as in many Saturdays in the ’60s, it was the culture that held the Greenwood Roadway together. Continue reading
Though any import forum or Facebook page will moan endlessly about America’s 25-year limit on certain cars that were never sold here, two tours of Woodward have shown me that we actually have a pretty diverse car culture. Yes, we love our American muscle bruisers with an anthemic patriotism, but we’re not afraid to give them a little competition. Still, the more you learn, the less you know, and for all my education, I stumbled last weekend across another gaping chasm in my experience: vintage sports cars. Continue reading
I first learned of Greenwood Roadway back in March. An abandoned road course in the middle of nowhere, Iowa, it bears some resemblance to the Deep Forest track from the Gran Turismo franchise, and Jalopnik ran the story. I’m no gamer, but I was immediately interested, as Greenwood was just three hours away and I’m always looking for nice, quiet place to hoon. I thought I might sneak up there some weekend and romp around the track. Saturday I got my chance, but I didn’t have to do any sneaking. Continue reading
Because this is America, because we’re free to exercise our right to exercise, and because in 1938, the Salvation Army saw fit to honor the women who served doughnuts to soldiers during WWI, today is National Doughnut Day. If you have a problem with this, I can direct you to the nearest coastline or border.
Now, to celebrate, I could show you footage of all the best kinds of bacon-maple/jelly filled/long john doughnuts in the world, but you’re probably stuck at your desk, and I’d like to retain your friendship, so I’ll show you my top ten donuts instead. Yes, drop out the “ugh” and you have donuts, one of the coolest ways to destroy a pair of rear tires. Black, smokey, and stinking of burning rubber, donuts are the culinary opposite of doughnuts, but they’re the same shape, and they’re just as awesome. Continue reading
We’ve been on a small car kick here for a little while, between drooling over the Caterham Seven and hypothesizing crazy ‘70s cars. But we couldn’t resist spouting about Ford’s newest “concept.” Continue reading
You may have never heard of the Caterham Seven, the featherweight British roadster with insane handling and performance. Here in the States, though it’s perfectly road legal when sold as a kit car, seeing one is still a rare occurrence. It’s very likely, too, that Sevens have driven by you many times, but you’ve missed them while blinking, because they’re just bloody fast. Here’s why you want one. Continue reading
Look, we all knew what we wanted out of this relationship. It wasn’t Inception or Argo or Home Alone 3. It wasn’t going to change your life. It was just good, silly fun. All fair ground for a predictably unlikely script in the true spirit of summer Hollywood blockbusters.
So instead of writing a traditional Leonard Maltin review and letting you all sound off in the comments with everything you hated/couldn’t believe/found glaringly inconsistent about Fast and Furious 6, I’m going to reverse it, getting all that bile out now, so you can use the comments to talk about how awesome it was that they had to use cars without computers (marry me, scriptwriters). Yes, there will be spoilers. Piton gun. Continue reading