Last week GM CEO Mary Barra spoke with Business Insider about GM’s projected autonomous technology, and how it could turn your car into a “second office,” so you won’t have to wait until you get to the office to start working. I understand this. An hour more each day to answer emails, do research, and have some digital face time with clients would be helpful, especially for a CEO like Barra. But I don’t want it. My commutes are a refuge for a primal, archaic part of my brain, a segment quickly rusting over with neglect. Nine hours alone in a car will have it in fighting spec again, and I need that desperately. Here’s what I mean.
Continue reading “A Road Trip Alone is my Christmas Gift to Myself”
Look, I’m not saying you can’t send me Lego kits, G.I. Joe playsets, and Nerf guns, but the things I wanted when I was 8 aren’t the only things I want anymore. And since I know none of you cheapskates are going to buy me a ’32 Ford or a BMW M1, here are some of the tools I’d like for Christmas, categorized by winter maintenance needs.
Continue reading “All the Tools I Want for Christmas”
This morning I watched that 2010 60 Minutes story featuring my favorite show in the world: Top Gear. As “Jessica” played and images of the Dunsfold studio, where the show was filmed, scrolled by, I found myself missing it desperately. But I’m not supposed to miss Top Gear. After years of waiting, The Grand Tour is here, and it’s supposed to assuage my sadness. The only problem is that it doesn’t, because it’s not as good.
Continue reading “The Grand Tour is Just Okay”
So this all started when I read Jalopnik’s recent review of the Trabant. That car, a little East German two-stroke literally made of pressed rags, has fascinated me for some time, and I’m only just starting to figure out why. The Trabant was a humble car, and the more I think about it, the more I realize that some of my favorite cars fall into this category. But can you even get a humble car anymore?
Continue reading “Are There Any Humble Cars Left?”
Ah, SEMA, annual gathering of America’s richest automotive psychotics. Each November they converge on Las Vegas, bringing with them some impressively customized cars, some clever and tasteful, others subtle as a jackhammer molded out of C4, but all crafted with the excuse of showing off the parts that made them. I have zero complaints about this, no matter how far over the top these projects have been tossed, but I know that not everyone shares this opinion. The looniest SEMA cars can be quite polarizing, and many tend to simply dismiss the more measured cars with the mad. So I’ve devised a rating system to help offer some context to the SEMA uninitiated.
Continue reading “How many crazy pills does it take to understand SEMA?”
There was only one answer, really. I had just bought a 2006 Honda Civic Si, bloated in design and bleached-bone white. When I remembered that our October Cars and Coffee event would host a Trunk or Treat and that the following day’s autocross would have a car costume competition, the new-to-me Civic had to become its cinematic analogue – the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. I hope I didn’t ruin the car.
Continue reading “How Not to Make a Car Costume for Halloween”
In our bottomless search for automotive embetterment, we’ve discovered an interesting debate. Well, interesting to us. Not to boring people who don’t like cars. It boils down to this: Are yellow fog lights better in poor weather? Here in America, we’re about to experience a whole season or two of poor weather (if this stupid summer ever decides to die), so we thought we’d take a closer look at this optical sorcery.
Continue reading “Are Yellow Fog Lights Really Better?”
If there is a phrase the back of my windshield has heard more than any other, it’s “Come on,” usually shouted. Like most gearheads, I get frustrated with others on the road. They’re content to simply commute, distractedly glancing at the road once in a while, while I want to drive. I want to brake a little later, accelerate a little faster, and generally glean some enjoyment out of transportation. Not being able to do this because I’m stuck behind someone afraid of the rain can be maddening. But will it be worse when that Prius merging onto the highway at 35 mph is actually driven by a robot? Will the madness force me to ride in a robot of my own?
Continue reading “We Will All Drive Autonomous Cars or Go Mad”
Continued from Part 1:
There are no curbs, no signs, nothing to hit but cones. And since the average autocrosser tops out at 50 or 60 before having to brake for the next corner, autocross is about the safest motorsport outside of Forza. This is why no one needs a roll cage or racing harness, just a 2010 Snell-rated helmet. If you don’t have a helmet, you can borrow one for free.
Continue reading “Autocross is Worth It, Part 2”
I was scheduled to autocross on Sunday, and at 4am on Saturday, I finally got the transmission back into place. My jack proved about an inch too short, and tired muscle had to do the rest. Sleep and money whirled clockwise into a vortex before disappearing into a lost weekend, but I knew at the first orange cone, a long right sweeper, that it had all been worth it. I’m sold. Autocross is always worth it.
Continue reading “Autocross is Worth It, Part 1”