Noise, Vibration & Harshness
Celebrating old mandom in two very different Daimlers.
FEBRUARY’S ISSUE was a thing of beauty. New hot Porsches, Audi racers, great writing, an extremely cool “Mercedes” racer, a new brand (Polestar) that may or may not become a long-term player, auction results, and plenty else to interest car people. Nothing other than “No Boring Cars,” in a gorgeous new wrapper. It was the perfect read during our recent cold blast. I truly hope the overwhelmingly car-filled February issue is not a one-off. Please continue.
AND THEN SOME
Huzzah! From “green” to ultra-highperformance, March/April was a great issue! Nods to the present, the past, and the future of automobiles! No sailing. No watches. And a hilarious letter from Keith Dolan from Brooklyn, New York, bashing Jamie Kitman! Regarding the latter, I’m curious about a few things. Where/how does Mr. Dolan receive “free” TV and newspapers?
And describing Kitman’s writing as anti-conservative screed? That’s reading a lot more into what’s written. I don’t always agree with JK, either, but isn’t opinion a right of the press and a cornerstone of our democracy? Plus, how does he know about Kitman’s body piercings? I thought that was more of a “need to know” type of thing. Thanks, Automobile!
LET’S GO CRAZY
In his adulatory February article, “HOLY $#!^,” Mac Morrison refers to the new Porsche 911 GT2 RS’ “madness” on public roads. The blue car used in the photos to illustrate his enthusiasm carries the license plate “S GO 5150.” I have a suspicion Morrison knows about California police agencies’ use of “51-50” as a code for mental problems. California Welfare and Institutions Code 5150 allows involuntary detention for aberrant behavior. This is not the first license I’ve seen with California law references. I hope people who get the opportunity to operate one of these remarkable cars don’t feel driven to express that madness.
FRANK M. SHEFFIELD
San Diego, California
LOOK, HE DOESN’T HAVE PIERCINGS!
I always enjoy Jamie Kitman’s column. Any guy who works as hard as he does trying to convince this magazine’s readership about the virtues of owning and driving obscure, non-classic, 50-year-old cars has my attention. Sometimes I even agree with him, like his opinion that modern station wagons offer a driving and ownership experience that crossovers can’t match. I am, therefore, sorry to learn of his inability to afford a new Volvo V90 wagon. Perhaps if he hadn’t wasted so much time as a “latte-drinking, sushieating, Volvo-driving, New York Timesreading, body-piercing, Hollywoodloving left-wing freak show,” things would’ve worked out better for him. Good luck, comrade.
NEW OLD RACE CAR
I enjoyed Robert Cumberford’s review of the Infiniti Prototype 9 (January). The car is an interesting mix of the new and the old. The new is the modern streamlining and its immaculate condition, ready for a MOMA exhibition. The old is the open-wheel design and 6-inch windscreen, which after a couple of minutes driving in the rain will still have the raccoon-eyed driver soaked and trying to wipe off mudcovered goggles. As an observation of the universality of car design, put your palm over the center of the side view of the P9, imagine the cockpit reversed, and you have a prototype long-nosed, short-tailed modern supercar.
YOU COULD AFFORD THAT, TOO
Greetings, Automobile. Your January article on the ever-gorgeous new Rolls-Royce Phantom is compelling. But you know what? If I could afford it, I would not buy it because of the crummy EPA mileage data (12/19 mpg city/hwy).
ON A MISSION
We plan to take the all-electric vehicle plunge in 12-24 months when we replace our internal combustion engine vehicle. The Porsche Mission E (February) has definitely piqued my interest. We were considering a base model Tesla Model S, but those plans are now on hold until the Mission E arrives. If Porsche truly plans to sell an AWD base model Mission E for around $75,000, it better get ready to ramp up production. Such a car is going to sell like ice cream on a sweltering hot summer day.
Newport Beach, California
ALWAYS TAKE YOUR SHOT
Just read Mike Floyd’s February column about a young man from Cal Tech. “Wow,” I thought, “a smart kid with some wisdom.” Then I
remembered a day at Cal, many years ago, among a lot of eggheads during one less than stellar quarter for me, academically. My undergrad adviser grabbed me and asked, “Holmes, how’d you manage to get into Berkeley?” I’d recently spent a weekend at Laguna
Seca, watching Jim Hall’s white Chaparral passing a lot of drivers who had no chance at the podium.
So I replied, “It’s like racing cars or motorcycles. There are the frontrunners, and then there are the backmarkers rounding out the field. I’m one of the latter.” Moral of the story? Maybe none. But sometimes just completing the course feels great.
South Hill, Washington
NO FLAT TRACKING
I just read “America’s Nürburgring” (March/April). I have been waiting for this—but please tell me Spring Mountain Motor Resort is going to expand up into the mountains with its new track. Otherwise, without elevation changes, it will never be the Nürburgring. I travel to the ’Ring every other year for track days, and I will not even go to flat tracks any more. I just turned down a free track day because the circuit offered to me is flat. Yes, I hardly believe I did that. People should also try out the Porsche Driving Experience near Los Angeles.
It is a great example of how to create elevation changes on flat ground: Dig a hole, put the roadway into the hole, then head up the pile of dirt you just made. BLAIR PRINGLE
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
PINING FOR THE PAST
“The slightest touch of a refreshing breeze.” That is how I felt about these few words in your report about the Koenigsegg Agera RS’ (above) record speed runs (March/April): “to be unburdened by racing’s regulatory bodies.” Indeed, in this era of sports car racing’s “balance of performance” garbage, it’s nice to know this concept still has at least a tenuous existence in the finer minds. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to see Bugatti Veyrons and Koenigseggs and Ferrari LaFerraris and various AMGs and maybe a Glickenhaus at the 24 Hours of Le Mans instead of the pointless philosophical direction taken by modern race cars at the behest of the race’s organizers? We can dream—the automotively politically incorrect of us, at least. And for the more traditional, let’s have some Mazda Miatas and Subaru BRZs out there, too.
Having owned two Volvo XC70 wagons and now an XC60, I really enjoyed your article about the Volvo Wagon Armada (January). But if you guys really want a wagon with a third row of seats, you will have to get one from the company that invented the station wagon in 1894, Peugeot. The Peugeot 505 turbo SW8 from the 1980s had a forward-facing third seat that held three people, giving the wagon a total capacity of eight and hence the “8” designation in its name. I owned a 1984 Peugeot 505 wagon, so I like Peugeot wagons, too.
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