Beating the Heat with Cool Cars

July 18th, 2014

2015 Chevrolet Corvette

Yesterday, we were lucky enough get an invite to the New England Motor Press Association‘s annual Ragtop Ramble. The day started out at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline, Massachusetts, where we met up with representatives from several automakers, automotive journalists and, of course, the cars we’d be driving up to the Colony Hotel in Kennebunkport, Maine.

2014 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

We arrived at the museum a bit early, before many of the day’s rides arrived. As we enjoyed the waves of convertibles, hot hatches and other impressive performance cars roll in, we took some time to explore the museum. If you’ve never been to the Larz Anderson Auto Museum, be sure to stop by the next time you’re in the Boston area. The museum hosts America’s oldest car collection, boasting everything from vintage Packards to a Fisker Karma. It’s a truly impressive collection, one that shouldn’t be missed on a visit to the Hub.

2014 Honda Civic Si

After all the cars had arrived (and we had stuffed ourselves with breakfast burritos from the Baja Taco Truck Subaru brought along), it was time to pick a car. Our partner for the first leg of the journey was Kim Carpenter from General Motors, who nabbed us a sweet ride in the form of the Honda Civic Si. After we were all squared away in the Civic, we set out for Maine. While it was not quite as fast or loud as the Jaguar F-Type in front of us, the Civic performed admirably. Quick throttle response, good acceleration and tight steering all made it fun to drive. Add to that the camera built into the right-side mirror that takes over the navigation screen when you use the turn signal, and we were all impressed with what Honda had come up with.

2015 Subaru WRX STi

Just after crossing the New Hampshire border, we pulled over for snacks (thanks to the Snack Jeep that followed us all the way up) and to swap rides with other ramblers. This time we came out with a 2015 Subaru WRX STi and before long we were were on our way, putting the WRX STi to the test on the turf it was built for: the backroads of New England. While the WRX STi was a lot of fun on the highway, it was off the main road where the beast’s 305 ponies really shined. On Maine’s twisty backroads, the Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive felt like a magnet, keeping all four tires firmly planted on the pavement. We’re not going to lie—conveniently “getting lost” and missing the hotel may have crossed our minds once or twice.

2014 Audi S5

Once we did arrive at the hotel, we were treated to stunning views and a delicious lobster lunch. After some great conversation with other car fans, we met up with Jim MacPherson, an automotive journalist who writes reviews for AAA, among other things, and Joe Guy Collier, who works in media relations for Hyundai. Jim and Joe were our partners for the ride back to Brookline, and before long we were on our way in a shiny 2014 Audi S5 convertible. The S5 was an exceedingly comfortable car, even with four relatively big guys packed in. After sitting in Boston traffic for almost 3 hours, none of us were complaining about the lack of legroom found in many convertible’s back seats (however, that could also be due to the S5’s 355 hp putting huge grins on our faces whenever traffic did clear).

We arrived back at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum tired, sunburned and pumped for next year’s event. As always, NEMPA did a wonderful job putting the whole thing together, and the automakers that came out brought a very impressive collection of cars, which you’ll see in the pictures below.

What convertible would you choose for a top-down drive on a beautiful summer day?

-zwaller

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2014 Ferrari F12 Berlinetta

2014 Ford Mustang

2015 Kia K900

2015 Jaguar F-Type

2014 NEMPA Ragtop Ramble

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