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.
Any regular schmuck can own a Camry.
A Camry is proven reliable and economical to own. There’s nothing particularly exciting about a Camry, but you can be sure it’ll always be there when you need it.
Owning a Camry tells the world you appreciate the status quo and would rather opt for comfort and knowing exactly what to expect than take a chance on innovation.
Maybe there’s a part of you that wants to live a slightly more exciting life, but you still crave the peace of knowing exactly what to expect in a vehicle.
You, my friend, need a car that changed the game when new, but today is a solid used choice.
Read on to find out which are worth considering as your next car.
I’m lucky I survived into adulthood.
I was like a baby sea turtle as a teenager. On their long journey from the nest to the ocean, seagulls snatch many little turtles up before they ever get a chance to thrive in the water. Baby sea turtles aren’t familiar with their surroundings and don’t know to be afraid. All they see is a flat beach and water on the horizon, and they try to get there as fast as they can.
Same with teenagers. Unleashed on the world with the ability to freely travel wherever they choose, they often forget, or don’t realize, that danger resides around every corner. I was reckless and aggressive as a teen driver, a truth I’m not proud of, but something that’s made me a better driver today.
With experience and technology, I hope we can greatly reduce the number of teen deaths on our roads. The problem is that safety costs a lot of money.
In my humble opinion, self-driving cars would kill the auto culture in our country. Why would we want to cede control of our cars to a computer and give up the thrill of manually shifting gears and accelerating from stoplights?
Sure, there would be fewer human-caused accidents, but how many more computer-caused accidents would happen?
I don’t want to live in a world where my car decides which route to take or how quickly I arrive. I want the thrill of getting lost if I make a mistake and the pleasure of finding my own way to a new destination.
I adamantly oppose self-driving cars.
A self-parking car, though, is an entirely different subject.
“Do you want to go on an adventure?”
My wife asked that question yesterday, which was another 100-degree scorcher. Our air conditioning hadn’t been working since the severe heat set in, and we’ve been spending our days on the water instead of at home, enjoying our paddleboards and cooling off in various lakes around the region.
Our adventure yesterday involved strapping the boards to the racks on our 2013 Subaru Legacy and trying to find the back way to a secluded lake in the woods.
Armed with our GPS, our car and a passionate desire to find water, we hit the road. It was supposed to be a quick journey with a rewarding payoff. Instead we promptly got lost and had the adventure of our lives.
Just because it’s available doesn’t mean it’s controllable.
Back in the 1960s and 1970s, the three big automakers in the United States were engaged in an epic power struggle. Building the car with the most horsepower and the best ability to smoke tires was all part of the car culture back then.
It was a time of cheap gas and power that was fun, but manageable. Heck, even a car like the ’68 Barracuda produced 300 horsepower tops.
Today, the automakers are at it again, only this time their arsenal has gone nuclear.
Happy July 11th! Today is a very special day for car-lovers: the relatively newly dubbed National Collector Car Appreciation Day is a (real and official) holiday celebrated to raise awareness of automotive restoration and collection and its role in American society. A resolution was passed (one of the few truly bipartisan efforts) by the U.S. Senate in 2010 in order to to recognize the important roles played by automobiles in music, literature, cinema and other cultural and artistic aspects of the American identity. Organized by the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), the event has been held on the second Friday in July since 2010. This makes today the fifth annual Collector Car Appreciation Day, and its popularity (and knowledge of its existence) is growing. And we couldn’t be happier about that.
I officially love Mazda.
She rocked my world, and I thought she was a one-time thing. But now I think I’ve transitioned into love.
How did this happen?
Maybe I’m just a sucker for rumors and the promise of future greatness. Maybe it’s talk of turbocharging the Wankel. Whatever the source of my newfound love affair, I dare you to read more and not fall in love, too.
When you think of off-roading, do you think of massive Jeeps, dirty Land Rovers and ’72 Fords?
I sure do.
My mind conjures images of massive boulders and mud-caked fenders. The vehicles I imagine conquering these obstacles are either old and beaten up or gigantic and customized to the gills.
Off-roaders are formidable and strong. They aren’t Subarus.
Remember the parties Audi decided to throw for the 20-something crowd in an attempt to market the new A3?
To refresh your memory, the shindigs were by invitation and thrown by Audi dealers for hip young folks, the A3’s target buyer.
At the time, we said,
Not much more is known just yet, but the idea is to corral well-off potential buyers, woo them with food, drink and music, then hope the experience translates to new-car purchases.
It’ll probably work, since everyone loves a good party.
Well, it worked.