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  1. #1
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    Simplify and Add Lightness (Rant)

    I was cruising along in my Camaro on my way to work like I have done oh so many times in oh so many Camaros. It occurred to me that I like this one the least even though it is the best of the three that I have owned by every objective standard of measurement.

    It has the nicest ride, the roomiest/nicest/quietest interior, the biggest trunk, the most comfortable, the most power, the best handling (possibly, the best steering for sure), the best of everything. Based on the looks and reactions of the world around me, it is the best looking.

    Yet, on my drive today I found that something was missing. My first camaro was a 92 z28 5-speed g-92 car (IROC body style but not an IROC as they stopped making IROC Camaros in 89 or 90 I think). It was raw, it handled very well and was a blast to drive, although with around 240hp, it wasn't fast...but it felt fast because the speed came with so much drama.

    My second Camaro was a 2002 z-28 6-speed t-tops and it was my favorite. It was easy to see out of, the interior was fine for my tastes, the ride was sporty but not unbearable for long distances, it was fast and although i know that my new one would slalom and run a skidpad better, i feel like I could drive it faster. I had such an amazing connection with that car that I could drive it in an almost surgical fashion, a well executed drift or powerslide was a flick of the throttle away, and it was a blast to drive. Of course the T-tops leaked in the car wash, the cd player didn't work (i refused to replace it because a factory one was a fortune and i think aftermarket stereos are tacky), the AC didn't work, and the T-tops were useless if you drove over 55 because of wind buffeting. But I loved that car, it was an extension of me when I drove it and I loved it.

    In the 2002, you floor it, shift away, your heart was racing, the rear was sliding around all over the place and you felt like the car was two seconds away from putting you into a tree for even thinking about challenging the mighty LS1. Then you look down and realize you are only going 70 but it feels like you are going 200. In the 2011 you floor it, shift away and think to yourself "that's it?" Then you look down and realize you are going 120 but it feels like its about 60.

    Don't get me wrong, my new Camaro is great, its our go to car for long road trips (we never went more than 3 hours in the old cars), it is fast. The problem is that it is a very "solid" car. It doesn't rattle like the old ones. The traction control prevents me from random acts of sillyness unless i turn it off (but if it turn it off, its not random). Sure it has a nice interior, everything works, the sunroof doesn't make my ears pop, it has bluetooth, a HUD and all the bells and whistles but some days, I would trade all of that for the drama and pure, unadulterated fun of the old cars. My wife likes the new one and never wanted to ride in the old ones, it fits a car seat, two golf bags and a stroller. I'm sure if a professional driver drove all three around a track, my new one would destroy the other two. In sum, the new car lacks the drama of the old cars and some days (like today) I wish I could go back to a simpler, lighter, objectively worse car. If only they had simplified and added lightness...

    Of course, if I went back to the old cars, I'd probably write a rant like this from the other side $#@!ing about losing races, my wife wanting to take her car everywhere, not being able to drive ever cause I can't take the baby, wishing for all the amenities, smoothness, quietness and space.

    Rant over.

  2. #2
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    I was reading an article in Road and Track that I thought hit home for me with my daily identity crisis: "its not an attack the road sports car...but an elegant and civilized GT car with surprisingly good sporting capabilities"

    Some days, that's just right. Other days, I wish it was more of an attach the road sports car.

  3. #3
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by fieldysnuts8 Click here to enlarge
    In the 2002, you floor it, shift away, your heart was racing, the rear was sliding around all over the place and you felt like the car was two seconds away from putting you into a tree for even thinking about challenging the mighty LS1. Then you look down and realize you are only going 70 but it feels like you are going 200. In the 2011 you floor it, shift away and think to yourself "that's it?" Then you look down and realize you are going 120 but it feels like its about 60.
    I feel this same way man just about my E46 M3 versus E92. The limits on the E92 are so much damn higher that to get the blood pumping you have to get to insane speeds on public roads. It is so composed, perfected, it is missing something. It's a better car in every measurable way and accelerates way better but the E46 M3 felt more fun at lower speeds.

    The only way to get the feeling of the older cars back is to still have the older cars. I'm going to pick something up at some point. Maybe an E30 M3 just for the sheer pleasure of driving.

    Very good post/rant and I certainly can identify with.

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    Great post - err - rant. I also hear you loud and clear on this. It's really hard to explain to someone that a less powerful, worse handling car is "better" than the other. I feel the same way as sticky in regard to the e46 vs e90 M3. The latest M3 is much faster in every way (maybe not in extremely tight complexes) - but to have fun with it in the same way I did with my e46, I have to be prepared to go directly to jail without passing go or collecting 200 dollars. I have been seriously considering picking up an older m3... I can always explain away my reasoning to non-enthusiasts by saying it's greener or something. Here, however - people get it. Click here to enlarge

  5. #5
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by inlineS54B32 Click here to enlarge
    Great post - err - rant. I also hear you loud and clear on this. It's really hard to explain to someone that a less powerful, worse handling car is "better" than the other. I feel the same way as sticky in regard to the e46 vs e90 M3. The latest M3 is much faster in every way (maybe not in extremely tight complexes) - but to have fun with it in the same way I did with my e46, I have to be prepared to go directly to jail without passing go or collecting 200 dollars. I have been seriously considering picking up an older m3... I can always explain away my reasoning to non-enthusiasts by saying it's greener or something. Here, however - people get it. Click here to enlarge
    See the only thing ever stopping me from getting an older M3 would be what other people think. It took me getting older to realize who cares if people think you are balling out of control or not.

    I blame the Orange County atmosphere. You either have the newest and best or you are poor.

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