Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Automotive Industry's Double-Edged Sword

(Image courtesy of Motor Trend)

The Automotive Industry's Double-Edged Sword
The good and the bad of higher limits, continuous advancements, and the nonstop power war

Exactly nobody was surprised when photos of the first wrecked Challenger Hellcat went viral, and it surprised even fewer that it was damn-near minutes after deliveries began. Out from all corners of the internet came cries of “it's too much power for the street and the average driver!” and along with it the car with the best name in recent history has forced us to wonder: how much is too much, where does it end, and is this the right path for cars to continue? This isn't just about the ultra-high horsepower monsters but rather the industry as a whole as it develops and advances at the sprinting pace it's maintaining. Making extreme power widely available and on the cheap, the Hellcat is just one example of this; it's a vehicle that single-handedly raises concern as to the general automotive trend and the subsequent good and bad that can and will come from the nonstop push for more power, speed, and flair. 
 And yet this is about more than just the Hellcat; seemingly every manufacturer is taking a turn in the headlines with an audience-capturing “wow factor,” be it any of the statistics or lap times or price figures that were once unthinkable; it's a time when every aspect of the car world is tapping into depths we have yet to prove positive or negative in the long run. But where will we find ourselves as the crossroads of “it's enough already” and “there's no such thing as too much” finally come together? Read on and let's explore this automotive conundrum. Oh, and to contrast the above-mentioned crash pictures almost poetically, a video of Ralph Gilles' first-through-third burnout from the same car's press event caused much drool and a widespread checking of bank accounts. Not that I'm guilty of either.

Jump with me and let's explore...

Sunday, September 20, 2015

That time Sir Stirling Moss signed two fans' cars "just because" [& I was there] - Historics @ Lime Rock Park 2015

Nestled deep in the hills of Connecticut lies a fantastic track, one worthy of much more attention and praise than it regularly garners. With a car-guy father and family friends who own/operate a race team that calls Lime Rock their “home track,” I’ve been going to the Road Racing Center of the East my entire life, but it was just this year that I became a volunteer at the place that holds many of my oldest car-related memories.
The Historics Festival is the park’s biggest weekend of the year, with events ranging from a Concours-style car show to full-on vintage racing. It’s a spectacle to say the least, and one that I’d call “mandatory” to witness at least once if you live in the region.
Continue after the jump for pictures and stories from a great weekend.