The world is an odd place nowadays. Governments in disarray, the value of the dollar slipping, not being able to travel without a groping. There are so many things that seem wrong. Chief of things wrong in my world are my thoughts on what seems to be direction of the automobile.
I read tonight that Best Motoring International has been put to an end. This is on the heels of the news that HKS USA is closing shop. This is very sad, but honestly hardly expected given the shape of the tuning scene. So many of the people who were modifying their cars can really no longer afford to do so. Thus, there are tuners closing shop and that means less cars for BMI throw around a circuit. Many manufacturers have been equipping performance goodies from the factory in recent years. I wonder how much longer it can go on though because the mind of the buying public seems like its starting to shift away from it. Ever since the beginning of the car, people have been trying to improve it and make it faster and faster. Enthusiasts are what make cars interesting and fun. To lose enthusiasts is to lose the battle to keep cars interesting I think.
Yesterday I saw a Chevrolet Volt on the road for the first time. Its not a bad looking car necessarily. It looks kind of like a toad bred with an older Acura TSX. Not horrible though really. Thing is, how fun could it really be? The novelty of how quiet the car is would probably wear off on me after about a week. The “gas mileage” would probably never wear off. (one has to wonder how the gas can stay in a tank that long and still run an engine if you hardly ever need the tiny engine to engage). Anyhow, where I’m going is that it would be boring. Ok then, how about a Tesla? That would be a lot more fun but my vision of a sports car includes a screaming engine and gear selector on the floor. The Nissan Leaf? Forget it. The problem is that oil can and will eventually run out. The peak of oil production is expected to happen within this century and obviously it only goes down from there. All the environ-mentalists, scientists, and activists running around like madmen trying to find something to replace the car and convince governments that it must be done now. Truthfully, the sooner the technology is available, the better. However, I don’t want to be commuting to work like people do in Minority Report any time soon. Let me drive the way I want to please, for a long time. Let the party go on.
Sometimes I think about how much gas will be thirty years from now and what cars may look like. Recent years I don’t like what I comes to mind. Boring looking things built for a purpose like commuting or carrying corn seed. I wish people would stop buying a Prius and buy more Corvettes. You’d be surprised how efficient a Vette’ can actually be if you don’t drive it hard all the time and actually use the overdrive gears. Maybe then the future of the real car would be greater in my mind. Actually I think I’ve hit on something. Fuel economy problem solved. Everyone should go out and buy a plastic car with a V8 and a 6-speed manual transmission. We can then get the tuning companies to provide us with better intake and exhaust systems for these cars to make them even more efficient (people who complain about noise can be told to shut up because its for the environment and conservation of fuel). Who needs these scientists!?