Tag Archives: Japanese Cars

A Fall Drive in the STI

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I don’t have much to say, mostly just the photos I shot. But the STI was finally running well again, so I took it out for a Fall drive on Sunday. It was like spending time with an old friend after a long time apart.

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Ferrari F12 next to a Prius in Greenwich, CT

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Like Yin and Yang in perfect harmony, the fast and ostentatious Ferrari F12 sat side by side with the slow and humble Toyota Prius. Two very different lifestyles met to attend the same festival of Automobillia, the Greenwich Concours.

It’s a lovely place.

-Nick

Highlights from the 2018 CF Charities Supercar Show

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Wait I thought this said “Supercar Show?” Yea well, that did happen too, but we got a bit sucked into the autocross part of the event in our own cars. The weather was VERY borderline, but the rain never quite hit until the afternoon. That kept a lot of people away from the show, and thus, there wasn’t much of a line for autocross runs. So we happily enjoyed run after run. I love looking at cars, especially rare and exotic cars, but it still doesn’t compare to the thrill of actual high-performance driving.

We made the most of the autocross, and then checked out the rest of the show when it was time for the crew to have lunch. We were a little on the late side, but even still the turnout looked pretty thin in the show itself. I think the threat of rain scared a lot of people away.

Even still, I got to see two things I’d never seen before. One was a V12-swapped Toyota FJ40 Rat Rod, and the other was all three modern Bugattis lined up together. Chiron, Veyron and EB 110 together in the most exotic sort of harmony. It was incredible, and they’ll have their own galleries coming soon.

Enjoy this brief preview of the show.

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Miata Meditation

Miata Meditation

I’ve owned my Miata Club Edition for two years now, and I’m still absolutely in love with it. That said, I have often thought back to why I didn’t get one of the faster, maybe more impressive cars I was considering at the time (Corvette, M3, Cayman, etc). I remember it was a feeling, a sense of calm rather than excitement or lust. It resonated so clearly with the personal journey I had been on that it seemed just right.

Moderation. Not abstinence, nor indulgence. That was one of the main philosophies of the Buddha, at least as I’ve come to understand. Many may find it odd that I apply Buddhist philosophy to my own pursuit of material pleasures, but for a car enthusiast it is a way of life. I’m not over here trying to be a monk, giving up all material things. I’m a real man with my share of hypocritical beliefs and practices, and I actually quite enjoy being afflicted with desire. Sure, it brings with it pain and anxiety, but it also makes life interesting. Like sitting on the tip of a pin, you feel very alive despite the side effects.

The key is to also be mindful, so you don’t take things too far and find yourself consumed to the very core with material interests. You have to keep these things in context with the experience you’re looking to have in life. I never want to be one of those people who can’t be happy no matter how far they go or how high they climb. What’s the point of all that if you’re going to die miserable anyway? Learning to embrace “what is” is just as important as focusing on “what could be.” Both are important to me, so I try and share my focus between each.

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Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400 AWD Review: Don’t call it a sports car

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Context is everything. We all make our judgments off of our own experiences prior to the present in an effort to navigate most-effectively through the world. I had been looking forward to getting behind the wheel of an Infiniti Q60 Red Sport for a while. Infiniti’s range-topping new coupe with more zest than its predecessor, largely thanks to its twin-turbocharged engine making a hefty 400hp. Yes, surely the Q60 Red Sport would be as good as I remember the Q50 Red Sport being, but in a more stylish package. There was a problem this time around, though, a problem I hadn’t had before I drove the Q50 Red Sport. Right before I drove this Q60 I drove an Alfa Romeo, and that set the context bar pretty damn high.

Had I not experienced the Alfa in such close proximity, I’d probably be writing something very similar to what I wrote about the Q50. Something along the lines of “Well done, Infiniti, you’ve upped the bar!” But my experience in the Alfa gave this drive so much more contrast. It highlighted all of the major areas where the Q60 is severely lacking as an enthusiast car.

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Why I don’t think the Japanese “Get” the American Performance Market At All

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Various media outlets have been reporting headlines along the lines of “Subaru Adds More Power to the STI!!!” But in reality, it’s just 5hp which changes absolutely nothing. It does, however, raise a larger issue I’ve had with Japanese automakers seeming to lack a basic understanding of the American market’s constant need for improvements.

Honestly, I say Subaru can go screw themselves until they make some real and meaningful improvements to the STI. They’re over a decade late on a real power bump for this car. My 04 STI was a Porsche 911 killer when it came out, and now an STI will lose to a V6 Camry on a highway pull. Even though the STI hasn’t changed much at all, somehow it’s nowhere near the same caliber of car it once was.

I don’t think the Japanese really understand the idea of growth in the performance market because they’ve made the exact same mistake with many other models over the years. They always seem to make a great product to start, but then they leave it the same for 10-15 years and finally kill it because it’s not selling and they wonder why…

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The Adorable Honda Beat at the Lane Motor Museum

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What if someone told you they were gonna pick you up in a bright red mid-engine convertible sports car with Italian styling by Pininfarina and an engine that screams past 8,000 rpm. You would expect it to be something very impressive, a V8 Ferrari 458? a V10 Lamborghini Huracan? a V12 Pagani Zonda?

… and then this pulls up, the minuscule 3 cylinder Honda Beat!

I don’t know about you, but I’d be just as excited. I would insist on driving, though, because that’s where the fun is at. A car this light with a revvy engine and total connection with the road, I promise it’s just as much fun to drive in the real world as any Ferrari.

The Honda Beat is one of the Kei sports cars of the early 1990s. It went up against the Autozam AZ1 and the Suzuki Cappuccino. I love this genre of sports cars!

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