Features

Sports Fans

p pic

Sports “fans” – most of whom are white – disgust me. The world is literally falling apart and all that matters to these dough heads is… the gaaaaaaaaaaame. Did “we” win last night? “We” are really looking good this season! Almost all the men I know, sports is their main topic of conversation. Which of course…

The Old Trans-Am vs. The New Camaro

right quarter

I’ve owned my ’76 Trans-Am for more than 20 years. It used to be an incandescent gas hog relative to the new cars. It’s not anymore. I have driven several during the past year that use about the same – or more – gas than the old Pontiac does. My car averages about 16 MPG…

Your Car Isn’t

EDR 3

You paid for it – possibly making payments on it for years. It’s your car now . . . right? Maybe. But the data it contains effectively belongs to someone else. Don’t believe me? Then take a look at your owner’s manual – if you own (well, think you own) a new car. On page…

Tipping Point?

Agenda 21 pic

The work-to-reward ratio has been in steady decline for decades, but may have shifted decisively and perhaps irreversibly since the bottom fell out in 2008. It’s bad enough (but still tolerable) when they take 35 percent of your income, but the remainder is sufficient to provide for the necessities plus some extras. When you can still comfortably indulge…

Muscle Cars Were Slow . . . Part II

burnout

I wrote a column a couple years ago (see here) that mentioned an unspeakable truth: Relative to now – classic muscle cars were slow. Back in the day, when the typical passenger car took 10 seconds (or more) to get to 60 MPH, a car that could get there in seven was faster-than-light. Today, it’s Camry Speed.…

Saw The Weirdest Thing …

handicapped rider pic

Sunday evening, the wife and I went for a walk along the Blue Ridge Parkway. As we were leaving, a guy on a newish Harley rolled into the overlook parking lot. And dropped his bike. I got out to help him get it back up. That done, I got back in the car and we began…

Don’t Be That Guy. . .

rolling roadblock

You know – Clover. It’s actually pretty easy. The Don’t Do’s: * Don’t pull out in front of people – and then fail to accelerate quickly enough such that the driver you pulled out in front of is forced to brake hard or swerve to avoid rear-ending you. If your car’s not quick enough do…

Inside Track Interview

Mic

Automotive writer Eric Peters joins Franzi in the first half hour. The Southern Arizona News-Examiner is one of the many publications that carries his columns and new car reviews. http://insidetrackaz.com Podcast: Play in new window | Download

Gorillas, Humans . . . and the NAP

ape pic 1

Sometimes I entertain the thought that those who have awakened to the NAP are the leading cohort of what might be called a fifth turning – or more profoundly, perhaps they are an evolutionary great leap forward, analogous to the transition from Homo Erectus to Homo Sapiens. The conscious – and reasoned – rejection of…

The Beetle as Speedster

speedster 1

VW has changed New Beetle back to just “Beetle” again. I think both names are the wrong names for this car. A much better name would be Speedster. Perhaps New Speedster. Just not Beetle – “new” or otherwise. This is no slam of the current car. Just an etymological clarification. It occurred to me as I…