The death of a legend

The motoring community shed a tear this July when a legend died. The last mighty BMW M3 coupe was taken off the assembly line and sent to the dealer to be bought by a lucky man who is about to embark on a journey with a new incredibly talented friend. What began in 1986 has ended in 2013 and I think it would be right to take some time to look back on the wonderful life of the M3 coupe.

Now obviously, the M3 sedan is not dead, this is all part of BMW’s organization stint. For some reason they want to split coupes and sedans into 4 and 6, and 3 and 5 series. So yes there will be a new kid in town we will call the four series which will be written about in the future, but now it is time to reflect.

We were blessed with the coming of the M3 coupe in the mid 80s with the E30. This was truly a great. I am a very big e30

Genesis.

Genesis. The E30 M3. (BBC)

 

fan because of my experience with them. They truly are great. You got a nice 5 speed connected to a 2.5L four cylinder which would pump up 250 horses. I love the look of E30s. BMW is known for having rather generic looking cars but this one is beautiful in its simplicity. It was a great start to a great car.

Then came the E36. I haven’t always loved these mostly because they bring up the 90s, the dark ages of the American car. The e36 range of 3 series may have been the worst looking of the history of the 3 series. They tried to go with the angular, slick style of the times and it is something for which I really have a distaste. Appearance is beside the fact, though, as the e36 M3 was a great car to drive. The engineering had improved every mechanical aspect from the e30 and made the car faster and more exciting. The best part? You don’t have to look at the exterior when your driving!

The E46 was faster still. It was becoming accustomed to the high-tech automotive world we live in today. It needed to add advanced speaker systems, navigation equipment, etc. The M3 version is excellent and I can tell you this from experience. I have driven this specific model and I believe it to be the best car I have driven yet, though I am 16.

The last of a great generation leaves the line. (BBC)

The last of a great generation leaves the line. (BBC)

Then modern era hath come the e90/92/93. The fourth generation, the last hurrah of the M3 coupe. Without the stupid limiter that the germans put on these things you can top 200 with  the v8 under the hood. This is probably the best of the series to drive because of the immense power. BMWs get smoother and less angular and right angled over time and so this smooth sleek version looked great as the final coupe came off the line this summer. And it was orange. To me that is like the Colonel being buried in his white suit, like Lincoln being buried in his top hat. This is how we will always see this great coupe. In bright colors forever tailgating us on the highway, and we love it for that. So goodbye M3 coupe, you will be missed.

Rest in peace.

Falling forward

My personal favorite time of the year is among us; the leaves change, I can procrastinate by watching three football games on Sunday, nice cool weather. The weather though does take some getting used to. Over the summer I was accustomed to hoping in my topless Jeep turning the key and going on my way. Fall being among us, I now have to go with an entire routine. First off the car must be started (obviously). It is a matter of when to start the car in the fall/winter months. Do I go out and start it and allow it to warm up as I eat breakfast? Or do I throw caution to the wind and shiver all the way to school until the heat actually becomes hot? The latter does save me a trip all the way outside and back, and on account of my attitude during the morning I would much rather stay in my nice, warm house. That being said, my freshly showed hair has been known to freeze on the particularly cold days. Still not worth going all the way outside. 

Then there is a matter of washing my vehicle. I love washing my car by hand but when it gets cold it takes much more commitment than  during the summer. You see, if being very cold wasn’t enough you add water to the equation, and it is not as attractive of an activity as it is in the 90 degree heat. Despite this, I can’t simply drive around in a yucky car, this world is too much based on appearance. I can’t go to the car wash because the chemicals they use will melt my soft top windows. I guess I have to just man up, brave the storm, and get the bird stuff of my car. 

Wish me luck.

Plagiarism

My hiatus away from this blog has been very tough. In the middle of the night I would wake up with a cold sweat thinking, I should have written about diesel. The only thing that got me back to sleep is remembering that the school year was coming soon. I then lost more sleep when I received my schedule: no Journalism. One my favorite classes of all time was being taken away from me by AP Biology. Since that day it has been my mission to stay involved and revving this blog back up (pun intended) is one way I plan to do that.

We left off at me raving about America all patriotic and what not, and we return with my mood being a little different. I won’t delve into the world of government because as of right now, in my mind they are in a sort of time out. Now, single handedly, it is up to me to restore the global dominance of America. I will do this by making fun of some Japanese cars.

The Japanese auto industry has always been one filled with well built cars that will live longer than your children. They aren’t necessarily exciting, but you get from point a to point b. This summer though three of these companies decided that they would come out with an exciting new sports coupe. And here they are:

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You’re not seeing triple (carbuzz.com). Toyata (orange), Scion (red) Subaru (blue)

 

 

 

 

 

No, they aren’t the same car, but at the same time; yes, they are the same car.

Toyota and Subaru decided to team up and make a car. Toyota would handle the aesthetic features while Subaru dealt with all the moving parts. The result: Scion FR-S, Subaru BRZ, and Toyota GT 86. The only reason Scion is even included is because they are owned by Toyota.

These manufacturers decided that it would be a good idea to release these three cars all at the same time, for the same price, with the same specs and features. It doesn’t make sense.

At least when we ‘muricans release the same exact car from different manufacturers they are different prices (e.g. Chevy Suburban 45,000, GMC Denali 59,000, Cadillac Escalade 63,000). The three Japanese cars are all within 1000 bucks of each other (Scion FR-S 26g, Subaru BRZ 25.5g, Toyota GT 86 25g). The question is then how do you chose? The Subaru’s grill is an upside down version of the others, does that make it better? The Toyota is the cheapest, do you save a grand and go on a massive shopping spree? The fact of the matter is, all three of these cars are awesome. They are good to look at, good to drive, all of which is backed by Japanese reliability.

You want my advice? Line all three of them up, put a blind fold on, spin around and point directly forward. That’s the one I recommend.

It’s good to be back.

We are back, baby!

America, land of the free home of the brave. The 21st century has thrown us a few curveballs and in my mind (after a little bit of time) we have put ourselves on the correct path.

The automotive industry is no exception. Since “the big three” (Chrysler, Ford, GM, and all their factions) went to Washington and asked for money (despite Ford not getting any) there has been nothing but progress towards America, once again, creating great cars. I would also argue that the economic crisis caused cuts that were beneficial to the automotive community. In other words, I’m glad GM had to cut Pontiac, Mercury, and Saturn. It is indeed terrible that the workers of those companies lost their jobs, but those companies had lost what car manufacturing was all about.

Doesn't it just look like a whole lot of fun?

Doesn’t it just look like a whole lot of fun (Focus ST)?

You shouldn’t just build a car to fill a line, you should want to improve the automobile, you should be inspired to create the next great piece of technology that could change the world. These companies took shortcuts and as a result created cheap, plastic, poorly built cars.

5 years after the bailout we find ourselves living in a glorious land of  American cars. Fiestas and Focuses are looking great. I particularly enjoy the ST versions but that is just the teenager in me. Mustangs are looking great, I even think that the Fusion somewhat resemble a Rapide or some other big Aston.

And I don’t only like fords, as for one of the companies that actually received government money, GM has stepped it up too. I think Chevy is doing well; look at the new impala.  When I was younger and I heard the name Imapala I thought of just any general car. It was simply four wheels, some plastic, an engine, and some bits that tied everything together and there it was. What has Chevy done with your money tax payers? They have brought the Impala back to its roots, a big luxury sedan. And the cherry on the cake of Chevy’s line? The newest Corvette. The new

*shiver* Doesn't it look so good? (2013 Corvette Stingray)

*shiver* Doesn’t it look so good (2013 Corvette Stingray)?

Stingray is not on sale yet, but when it hits the markets I predict it will be the best car to come out of the States since the Gt-40, Fords street-legal remake of its legendary racing car from the 60s. The one thing about GM I will say is I don’t really understand why GMC exists, it’s essentially Chevrolet. The same exact thing, I don’t really get it.

Chrysler and its divisions are doing a good job too. I think that in this decade Jeep has really stepped it up. Grand Cherokees are much nice than they have been in the past, the best SUV that comes out of America if you ask me. Dodge came out with the Dart, a remake of the original Dart, a car from the 70s. I’d even go as far as to call some of the 300 and 200 Chryslers cool too. They have tried so hard to make them cool using celebrities that the kids like. For example Eminem, a popular rapper from Detroit (where the company is based), has appeared in many commercials for Chrysler.

These cars are the kind of products that make you proud to be an American. You look at the Corvette or the Mustang and you think: Hey, we really can create something great if we actually work together and focus on using the great minds and ideas the people of this country possess to create something that can truly compete on a global scale. All we have to do is try.

Brace Yourselves, The Pollen Is Coming

qm

Since the school blocked reddit I make my own memes to entertain myself. Here is my dilemma in meme form.

Since the school blocked reddit I make my own memes to entertain myself. Here is my dilemma in meme form.

With the coming of spring a lot of things are returning from hibernation. Warm weather, bright colored clothing, bears, and, unfortunately, pollen. Pollen is how plants reproduce. It contains the “male parts” of the reproduction process and is eventually transfered to the “female parts” of the plant. Oh, and one more thing about pollen: I am very allergic to it.

This causes a problem for me. You see, as the days get warmer, the first thing that comes into my head is: TOP DOWN WEATHER!!! I promplty take the top down, throw on the Ray Bans, and proceed cruise around like a cool kid. Then, the clock strikes 11, my bed time. I go to sleep leaving my topless car parked underneath two beautifully blossoming trees. I awake at 7; I shower, brush my teeth, clothe myself, eat breakfast, grab my stuff and then go to my car to drive to school.

Upon arriving to my car, I discover that the beautiful trees have betrayed me. I find numerous buds and a nice dusting from my good ol’ friend pollen. My eyes proceed to explode in fiery redness. My nose then begins to swell  and become congested as I begin to sneeze uncontrollably.

Once I recover from this fit of reactions I can proceed, though my eyes continue to bother me. This is a true problem. There are few greater things than cruising with the top down. I take zyrtec and all that good stuff, it simply doesn’t work. The way I see it have a few options.

1. Go to an allergenist and get real medicine (too much work).

2. Drive with the top up (yeah right).

3. Continue to be stubborn and take the pain like a man.

I think in this instance I need to swallow my pride and hand the victory to mother nature on this one. Number 3 it is. Curse you plant gametes nature!!!

My BFF, Jeep

In my journalism class, we were told that we should write about a person that we have really connected with in the field our blogs cover. I thought long and hard about a person I have connected with and realized it wasn’t really a person, more a thing. It’s my car of course!

I have really connected with my car since the acquisition of my license. It really is important to build a relationship with your vehicle. I feel more comfortable, more at home in my Jeep with each passing day. It not only makes driving easier and safer, but a more fun experience. I have learned the limits and capabilities of the good ol’ gal and I can control her within those boundaries.

I know I have to  turn the music up when I’m going fast because of the soft top noise.  I know I shouldn’t really get anywhere close to four on the tachometer  unless I’m being a silly fool when accelerating. I know I have the greatest turning circle of any car ever and can turn around sharper and in tighter spaces. I know my reverse gear doesn’t like doing what it was made to do so I have to hold it in gear when backing up. I can tell when I’m on the verge of stalling and how to correct. I know a lot of things about this car, and after only 3ish months after driving it full time.

Light bar on, lights mounted, top down. Good day.

Light bar on, lights mounted, top down. Good day.

I have gotten to spend a lot of quality time with the Jeep lately. Mercifully, the cold weather seems to be leaving us and I got to do some work on the car. I FINALLY was able to put the light bar on the car which was quite the experience. With the help of local handyman Andy “Big D” Serraino I was able to drill into the Jeep’s bumper mount and connect light bar. Then with the help of Cooper “doesn’t really have a nickname that could be put in quotes” Hayes I was able to put on the lights that he so generously sold to my cause.

I also got to drive with the top down! I finally understand the reason the soft top exists. Its very easy to take off and is incredible to drive around in when taken off.

All this quality time has brought me much closer to the gal. It’s strengthened my love, something all car owners should have towards their vehicles. And it’s only going to get better, this is truly what driving and car culture are all about: love for your vehicular companion.

Cars, we need to talk about your future

This week a somewhat frightening thought popped into my head. We live in a world with some pretty established classics. We have 60s Stangs, 70s Corvettes, basically any M from the 8os. From E-Type Jags to old SLs to GTOs there are many to chose from.

There are two very, very important questions that need to be asked. First of all, what is going to happen to these classics. Even the first cars, model As and such are still around. Will they ever be extinct? Will there be a day when they are gone? Granted, the greats will live on in some museum, but car people don’t like museums. We like to drive and experience the cars, not just look at them (though we do like to look at them, just not only look at them).

I really don’t want to think of the day when the Mustang dies, or when there are no more Alfa’s broken down on the side of the road. Yes, classic cars aren’t practical, and sometimes, when compared to modern cars, inferior, but they are part of a culture and a history that needs to be kept alive. I don’t want to be on my rocking chair one day explaining what M meant for BMWs back when they existed,  I want to show him how to drive mine.

The second important question: What will the future classics be? In 2050, what car will I see a youngster driving to which I give a nod of respect? Will all these complex electronics stand the test of time? It’s a very scary thought. When you have a car like the 458 which, without electronics, probably wouldn’t move, you have to wonder what will happen with time.

Maybe someday I will make a list, I don’t know, I’m still too scared. And who knows, maybe Orwell and Rand and these other guys are right and someday I will be driving my Carmobile and all culture will be lost. Or maybe we will live in a mad max-esque post-apocalyptic wasteland where we drive jacked-up BA-Mobiles.

I’m scared.