Noise, Vi­bra­tion & Harsh­ness

Automobile - - Contents - By Jamie Kit­man

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.


Lenox, Mas­sachusetts


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!


Chicago, Illi­nois


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.


San Diego, Cal­i­for­nia


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.


Ran­ge­ley, Maine


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.


Carls­bad, Cal­i­for­nia


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).


Naples, Florida


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


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


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


“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.


Tulsa, Ok­la­homa


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.


Stock­bridge, Mas­sachusetts

Write: Au­to­mo­bile mag­a­zine, 831 S. Dou­glas St., El Se­gundo, Cal­i­for­nia, 90245 Email: let­ters@au­to­mo­ Let­ters may be edited for clar­ity and length. Cus­tomer ser­vice: au­to­mo­bile@email­cus­tom­erser­; 800-289-2886

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