On a recent visit with some friends that I haven’t seen in years, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the younger of their two kids, now eight years old, is really into cars. His parents aren’t, so he’s been going to the library and borrowing the latest car magazines, studying the cars he sees on the street, and correcting his dad (“Our neighbor has a Land Cruiser, not a 4Runner!”). He reminds me of myself at that age. Naturally he loves supercars and big trucks, but I this is how I know he’s a connoisseur: his favorite is a Subaru WRX.
I immediately gave him a stack of Hot Wheels, but it made me somewhat sad. “Is this a real car?” he asked of the Honda CRX. “I’ve never seen one before,” he said of the FD Mazda RX-7. “So many coupes!” he noted as he opened Nissans, Porsches, and Camaros. He’s grown up in a world of Teslas and crossovers. I want to introduce him to the classics.
How do you encourage a kid who’s just discovering cars?
The best comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What’s the last year that had cars which interested you?“.
This question elicited some very thoughtful responses. Rainmeister wrote an excellent reply contesting the premise that could’ve been an article in itself. Many of you also gave reasons why the future actually has lots of promise in store. Art and dankan cheekily offered 2023 as their answers. speedie provided a long list of current cars that are indeed interesting. Tom Westmacott explained how teaching cars how to drive like humans can be a fascinating endeavor, while Elias found lots to be excited for in the diversity of powertrains. In this vein, エーイダン provided the best one-line retort.
Others argued for specific years. Land Ark marked 2018 as the start of internet connectivity and subscription services. Robin (and his daughter) stopped the clock at 2007 with his Honda Fit. Taylor C. pinned the date as around 2006 and gave an impressive list of future classics from that era. kyushanerd went further back, to 1997 with the EK9 Civic Type R as last of the greats.
The winner this week was Steve, who made an excellent case for why throttle-by-wire was the turning point, but also why the future is not as bleak as it seems:
From a driving perspective, when cars went from throttle cable to a delayed electronic throttle which also took the fun out of driving in other areas as well. No left foot braking for front and AWD cars as it cut the throttle for you when you needed it to be full on. Also upon downshifting, the power was not drastically reduced to allow full engine braking, and with DSG for example, just kind of let you freewheel like an old SAAB.
From a design perspective, when cars were jacked up and lipsticked into Cute Utes. Those all look the same and are just appliances. And why do they all squint at me from the rear end? Cute Utes also came with jacked up pricing, which didn’t help the finances for just appliance transportation.
Now, to counter, I too agree the future with less costly, smaller electric vehicles will drive me to purchase one someday, although not for performance, but for economy, so that I can get around town and hopefully longer distances. This will allow me to spend more money on my Miata, my two 323GTX’s (one winter, one summer garage queen) and perhaps a Mitsubishi EVO in the future. More money for gas, fun parts, and not only that, but to get away from the monotony of the daily ride in congested urban areas in the electrified appliance, with spirited drives in the country or down some rally roads up north – defeating the hum drum with a big ass smile.
Omedetou, your comment has earned you a set of decals from the JNC Shop!