Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!
Jon asks: Don’t know if you ever visit the Car & Driver web site, but if you do, you’ll note something very telling. They post a lot of reviews and comparos of cars from from the 70s, 80s, 90s and aughts. A period of time when cars were interesting. Nay, captivating. Stories about cars we would be thrilled to own today. I wonder if they understand the message they are sending.
My reply: As a car journalist myself, this hits very close to home. I often struggle to write new car reviews because so many new cars are so alike – and so without character. There is increasingly little that differentiates one from the other; part of this being due to the fact that things like high-powered engines are now both common – and docile – and amenities such as climate control, a full complement of power accessories are givens. All modern cars “ride” and “handle” approximately the same unless you are dealing with the small handful of extreme specialty cars and driving hard enough for the differences to come into play – which is practically difficult because of the speeds needed to challenge the car’s limits and because very few drivers have skills high enough to test them without driving the car at extreme speeds.
The historic car was a crude, often cranky thing relative to what is expected – given – today. But the historic car had emotional appeal, in the manner of a very attractive but erratic/bitchy girl does. Today’s cars are like hausfraus – very reliable and steady and as exciting as bedding the hausfrau.
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Got a question about cars, Libertarian politics – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!
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