Saturday, July 13, 2024
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My Favorite Team Sport

By John Hall for Blue Mountain Town & Country Gazette
Driving is my favorite team sport. Seriously. I love it. Two decades ago when something in my life went a little off track I asked myself what “sparked” me. The answer was dirt simple: cars. I went out and got myself a brand new 2004 (the first edition) VW R32 – an AWD, 240 hp, 6-speed manual, Brembro-braked, Recaro-seated beauty – in black.
Only 5,000 R32s had been imported that year and they weren’t widely known, so weren’t selling the way they should have been. When I went looking I found a dealership with two, one in red and one in black. The rest is history. When I traded it in at 101,000 miles the guy processing the transaction asked when I had last changed the brakes. I told him I never had – well-timed downshifting was much more fun.
So with that said welcome to our automobile issue, and also, Happy Independence Day!
On the automotive side, I thought it would be fun to “look ahead” and also “look back” to see what’s coming and what we might have missed from the great automotive past.
Looking ahead I found some eye-catching wheels coming our way. You’re going to love “Future Cars: Coming Soon!” Looking back was even more fun because there is a lot of territory to cover. I’m not going to spill the specifics, but be sure and read “Looking Back: The First Minivan?” for an in-depth look at an incredible vehicle from the 1930s.
We will also look at why consumer demand for electric vehicles is softening and what the challenges are when owning one. EVs are still selling of course and selling well, but sales growth is not as strong as expected. See “The Challenges of Electric Vehicles” for the report.
Now, have you ever heard of “track days”? That’s where you take your own car to the track and do some laps. In a spin on our new “Short Getaway:…” series, we bring you “Fast Getaway: Driving a Track Day.” We look at cost, what you’ll need (a car in good working order with good tread), and how your day is likely to unfold. We also point you to all the places you can find scheduled track days, which by the way, can be for cars or in some cases motorcycles.
Then to close out we have a story a little out of left field on napping – something you don’t want to be doing behind the wheel. I would argue, you don’t even want to do it if you can put your car in self-driving mode. Personally, I’ll never buy a self-driving car. What’s the point? It’s not basketball if the actual ball throws itself into the hoop. It’s not hockey if the puck shoots itself into the goal. What’s the point?
So that’s our line-up for this issue. Hope you enjoy. And please join us next time when our focus turns to pets. These two issues are back-to-back favorites of mine. Hope you’ll join us next time.

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