Does anyone really want an M3 anymore? I know I sure don’t.
Does anyone really want an M3 anymore? I know I sure don’t.
Most cars on the road today can’t even get near 150mph, but back in 1933 this supercharged Afla Romeo 8C 2900B could go faster. Originally a racing car, it took third place in the Mille Miglia before it was re-bodied into the beautiful GT car you see here.
As a road car based on a racing car, this is the pre-war precursor to what we now know as the hypercar. The Alfa Romeo 8C was among the fastest racecars of the era, and here was one you could drive to the shops. It was literally a Formula One car for the road.
I’m in love with the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio, and I desperately hope it’s able to roast the competition. Let’s see what Motor Trend has to say about it!
2016 has been many things great, and many things horrible for many people, but it sure as hell hasn’t been dull. I am no exception. A lot has happened to me this year, both relating to cars and this blog, as well as in my life in general.
Relating to Mind Over Motor, I’ve gotten to drive some fabulous cars this year, everything from the Alfa Romeo 4C, to the BMW i8, to some others I haven’t shared yet. The car shows we went to this year were superb as well, and I was able to capture some truly stunning machines on camera. In terms of car events, 2016 has been nothing short of incredible.
Somehow, though, I have found myself struggling with this blog a little this year. It’s not from lack of content, but more from me wanting to take it in a new direction. My life has changed a lot since starting this blog back in college, and it needs to grow as I grow in life. So I’m looking for that next step to take with Mind Over Motor, and I’ll be honest, I haven’t figured it out quite yet. But bear with me because I do still love doing this, and stopping isn’t on the menu.
Life has been changing a lot for me this year. On the positive, I’ve moved in with my girlfriend, Gab, and things are going great. It’s been a big change, and there was some anxiety in the process, but it’s definitely been a positive thing for both of us. We’re building a life together, and its very exciting!
Also of major note, I landed a new job last spring. It’s in the automotive field, for a company that I’ve admired for a long time, and it puts my car knowledge to good use every single day. I finally feel like my days are filled with a purposeful career, rather than just a whatever job.
Both of these major life changes have been great for me in so many ways, but naturally, they’ve also meant I have less time to really focus on Mind Over Motor… at least with the approach I have been using since the beginning. That’s why I feel it’s time to implement some adaptive changes in 2017.
In my own car situation, I bought two Miatas this year. The first was Al’s 1993 Miata, which I sold after a enjoying it for a few months. The second was Ace, my 2014 Miata Club Edition. I also experienced my first accident this year. 4 days after buying Ace, some lady decided to turn left when she shouldn’t have, and we were both very lucky to have been okay. Ace wasn’t totaled, and after about a month of repairs, I had him back in my driveway. This summer and fall, I took many wonderful trips in Ace, enjoying every bit of sunshine I could. The peak was our trip up to Lime Rock during Labor Day weekend, top down the entire way up and back. Much fun has been had, and there’s a lot more to come.
As for my daily driver, I’ve still got my 2012 Volkswagen CC, which continues to swoon me while getting 30 MPG cruising at high speed. It’s one hell of a daily commuter, but it’s also up for an expensive 80,000 mile DSG service, so I’m not looking forward to that.
Now for an update on my beloved 2004 Subaru WRX STI. It’s firmly a third car at this point, and with 130,000 fun miles on it, you can imagine how it may need some work. Right now it needs an alternator, the steering rack needs to be replaced, and there’s a couple of leaks I need to check out. I’m also not sure about at least one of the wheel bearings. It’s a blast to drive, but it’s being driven less and less. I still adore the car, but a lot of me is considering selling it sometime this year. I’ve promised myself I won’t make that decision until I’ve taken it for another fun drive, though. It’s easy to want to get rid of a car you haven’t driven in a few months, but I know for my own closure that I’d have to feel the same way after that drive for selling it to really feel right. I have a plan if I decide to keep it, but I do admit it’d surely make things easier to let it go. So we’ll see…
Lastly, on a personal level, 2016 saw the passing of both of my grandmothers, just a few weeks apart from one another. I’ve been very fortunate not to have lost anyone that close to me in the first 26 years of my life (other than my dog, Peaches, RIP baby girl), but the 27th saw the odds begin to add up. It’s okay, I’m generally someone who’s at peace with the impermanence of life, but it’s mostly hard seeing those around me have such a difficult time. In the end of the day though, it’s natural, and nothing lasts forever. That’s why we all must make it a point to take the time to enjoy life in the here and now, even when we are so focused on the future. In my accident, if I had been hit a little further back, right in my driver side door, I very well could have been killed. I realize, looking back, that I wouldn’t have even known what had happened. I would’ve been at the pearly gates, confused.
I think, more than anything, 2016 has given me a lot of new perspectives on life. Overall, it’s been a pretty positive year for me. It’s been a rough road in many ways, but I feel like I’m going in a great direction. I’m ready for what 2017 has to offer.
And would you look at that! I made it through the whole 2016 recap without even mentioning the circus we called an election…
This is the Alfa Romeo Stelvio SUV, more specifically the Stelvio Quadrifoglio, a.k.a the fast one you really want. That’s right, Alfa is getting into the SUV/Crossover market, which is the most obvious and expected move for them. I must say, though, the Stelvio looks pretty damn good.
The Stelvio Quadrifoglio definitely seems like a serious contender with its 505hp 2.9L twin turbo V6, shared with its Guilia sedan sibling. The difference in the Stelvio is that you get all wheel drive to help put all that horsepower to the ground. I see it likely being the most fun one can have in a crossover, but with the usual Italian car frustrations.
Look, I trust Alfa Romeo to deliver an emotionally riveting driving experience in any vehicle they make. They could make a pogo stick, and I’m sure it’d get me all hot and bothered. I’m also someone who genuinely enjoys the current crop of fast SUVs, so I see no reason why the Stelvio won’t be phenomenal from a driving perspective.
The question here for me will be more the in the Utility end. Obviously it’s going to be practical in terms of space, but can the Italians really pull the functional details together enough to satisfy the daily user? SUVs are daily drivers, and everything needs to work, and stay working, day in, and day out. Fiat-Chrysler hasn’t had the best track record for that lately, and Italian cars haven’t had a great track record for that in… um… ever.
A few technical flaws in a weekend sports car come off as endearing because driving a car like that is solely for enjoyment. However, with a daily commuter, every flaw is going to annoy the owner, and that frustration will add up over time. I really hope Alfa Romeo has put in the work to make the Stelvio as reliable as can be. It doesn’t need to rival Lexus, but it does need to be on par with Audi, Jaguar and BMW.
The Stelvio’s first impressions are great as far as I’m concerned, though I don’t see any reason why it won’t be the same old Italian car story, only this time as a crossover.
We attended the Scarsdale Concours d’Elegance yesterday, and the turnout was great considering the iffy weather. This is a highlight reel, focusing on the details of the whole show. Look for individual galleries of many of these cars in the future. As you might imagine, the orange Porsche 918 Spyder above was the center of attention. Also, that American Flag Stingray is the car from the movie Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me.
Turnout to the show was a little light this year, but the cars present were all of staggering quality. It figures that the people who really want to be at the show would also have the best stuff.
Enjoy the gallery!
The Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cars we’ve been blessed with this century thus far. I mean, just look at it. The quintessential essence of the Italian Sports car, this 8C was deep red with a body of sleek curvaceous sexiness.
Many people tend to think right to Ferrari, but remember, Alfa Romeo is the real “Original Gangsta” of Italian sports cars. Enzo Ferrari raced Alfas himself, and his race team, Scuderia Ferrari, saw legendary success with Alfas before they were able to build their own cars after the War. Alfa Romeo was where so much of what we hold dear about Italian cars now all started, and the 8C Competizione marked the return of greatness to the brand. Greatness Alfa continues to push for today with the 4C and the Giulia Quadrifoglio.
Feast your eyes!
It’s 1946, and in the wake of the catastrophic Second World War, France had spitefully banned cars from former Axis countries from the Salon de l’Automobile. However, Battista “Pinin” Farina, founder of Pininfarna, had worked too hard preparing his 1942 chassis for the 1946 show to miss it. He went to Paris in this Alfa, and he parked it right in front of the show for all to see. I’d imagine it drew more than a little attention.
Seventy years later, Mr. Farina’s bespoke Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 dropped my jaw at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. It’s the detail work that really sets it apart. I mean, just look at that interior, or the chrome portholes on the side, or that steering wheel, my God!
This Alfa is awesome, a spectacular car with a great story. Enjoy the gallery.
In this unlikely, but actually relevant, comparison, we see German logic go up against raw Italian emotion. I’ve driven the Alfa 4C, and it still has my heart. That’s all I’ll say…