Monday, April 4

Driving, in a perfect world!

Everyone loves cars, i have loved them for as long as i can remember. I used to have two posters in my room as a child. A Lamborghini Countach and a SR71 Blackbird, well that one is plane hehehe. You know, nowadays car manufacturers are too caught up in making "more horsepower" which is nice but i'm more into well balanced cars. How about better handling, breaking? Maybe i just read too many car magazines, ya its like a religion. I adore cars. I like to read car technology, things like, ceramic disc clutch or carbon ceramic breaks, Variable Valve timing, chain driven timing belts, two stage air manifolds, ABS, dry sump lubrication, Sequential manual gearbox and dual disc clutch technology. Lets talk about some of my favorites...

I remember watching Tom Select in "Magnum PI" driving a Ferrari, 1983 308 GTSi. One of Ferrari's most successful cars. Correct me if i'm wrong but the "S" indicates "Spider" a removevable hard top. The car is a mid engined 3.0 liter V8 making a modest 235 HP. This car remains one of my favorites. A few years after than was Don Johnsons white Ferrari Testarossa in Miami vice starting in the 3rd Season. The original car from the 1st season was a replica Ferrari Daytona 365. Geez i didn't know that until recently. The car was getting so much attention that Ferrari of North America offered a bonafide Ferrari, their flagship the V12 Testarossa. Afterall the Daytona was discontinued in 1978. I have been reading about Ferraris eversince. Whenever i see a Ferrari on the road i always give it a moment to admire, they're just superb cars.

Recently i attended the Grand-am race at the Californai Speedway in Fontana. The Ferrari competition 360 Modenas races in this series but i attended only the supporting ST and GS Class on Saturday. However there was a Ferrari Disc/Drum Brake class race in the morning and they still had some on display in the afternoon. Below is the most sought after, most coveted production Ferrari ever built, the 1962 GTO, Ferraris first super car. The most beautiful car design in my opinion. But it isn't my favorite Ferrari,nope, i like the 365 GTB, 308 GTS and the new high revving 430.

My favorite Porsche is the GT3 and the new 2005/06 Boxster S. The Boxter S has been redesigned with a more powerful 3.2 liter making 280BHP. The GT3 is their track star 3.6 liters making 390 BHP and dialed in for the race tracks. Powered by a water-cooled Flat six normally aspirated motor. Uses the dry sump lubrication technology and titanium connedting rods and replaceable gear ratios for competition use usually only found in race cars. Very kewl huh? Plus this one only comes in 6 speed manual, no tiptronic or paddle shifters.

American cars, i've always like the Mustang. I like the 66 convertible, it has to be red of course and the 68 Fastback, of course the big block. The 67/68 Shelby GT500 are great cars, remember Eleanor in "Gone in 60 seconds"?. Well that car was extremely modified and even with Nitrous. I like the 70 Plymouth Baracuda and the 70 Dodge Roadrunner.
The American V8 has an unmistakeable sound.

I like the BMW (E46) M3, and yes its a Sedan but i also like the 330i. I like it's neo-classical looks. I've actually got to drive an M3 just several months ago. A friend that attends my Poker Tournament let me drive his 2003 Black M3 with the SMG (sequential manual gearbox). I didn't push the car but i enjoyed it immensely. I like the 3 spoke steering wheel, the exhaust note and specially the responsive throttle and quick shifting SMG gear box, just sweet!

How about Japanes sports Cars? I dont think Japanese sports cars has ever or will ever be able to compete or rein supreme over their German or Italian counterparts. The Acura NSX for instance is a nice car but at over 90K, who would pay that for a Honda? To say it's unfairly overpriced is an understatement. Maybe i dont know what i'm talking about but the NSX is a rarity to see on the roads and at 25K more than the base Porsche 911, is it a better car? I dont think so. You can compare it to what Volkswagen tried to do with the W12 Phaeton Sedan. A 12 cylinder Sedan over 80K, are ya kidding me?

Some of my favorite japanese sports/coupes are the Acura RSX/Integra, Honda Civic si and of course the Almighty Honda S2000 convertible. A couple of years ago Mitsubishi finally introduced their impressive Rally car, the Lancer Evolution 8 after Subaru's success launching their WRX Rally car in North America. The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution dubbed "Evo" is the best car to ever come out of Mitsubishi. After a lack luster line up of cars the last several years the Evo single handedly saved Mitsubishi's image, unfortunately image alone doesn't do it, Mitsubishi is still in the Brink of going Belly up (for lack of a better term)

So all this car talk, what car would i like to have? Hmmm thats easy i want a Honda Pilot. Because i will probably drive too fast in a Porsche or BMW and kill myself or someone else for that matter. The pilot will keep me at a safe speed, besides going fast on an SUV is just too scary. But the ideal scenario would be an Honda Civic or Integra for my daily driver, an SUV for my snowboarding/grocery trips and a Porsche 911 Carrera S (997) or GT3 for a Sunday drive.

In a perfect world!


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