What makes you tick?

If you can name it, then there is almost always someone out there who has developed a passion, or higher appreciation for such a thing. The level of passion can vary from a means of leisure, up to a way of life and full devotion. Sometimes it is easy for one to explain their passion to others to understand, and sometimes it can be a bit more difficult.

For me and many others like me, it has always been a challenge to fully explain what exactly it is that draws me towards my passion for cars. There isn’t exactly one particular reason to pinpoint why, but rather a collection of reasons. The first main hurdle faced when trying to explain to a non car person your passion for cars, is getting them to forget what their definition of what a car is. For a non-car person, what they want in a car is completely different than a car enthusiast.

You see, when someone has a special interest for something, almost all practicality goes down the drain. A non-car enthusiast will generally seek an economical car that gets great gas mileage, is dependable, is relatively inexpensive to maintain, and will be the most comfortable for them. For a car enthusiast, these factors play a much smaller role in the cars they choose to own. Things such as performance, aesthetics, collectability, and personal preferences are more important to them. Understanding this is the biggest hurdle to overcome in understanding car culture.

I happened to find a small article that covers some great reasons that can be easily relatable to even those who don’t consider themselves to have a passion for cars [Article]. One reason covered in the article that all should be able to relate to is the sense of freedom that is given by having a car. As a kid just getting your license, its exciting to be able to now drive yourself places without the dependency on others. This sense of freedom sticks with us all.

Another great reason the article discusses is Personality. The article describes it as your car being a “direct extension” of how you view yourself as a person. This couldn’t be more true for car enthusiasts. Many car lovers see their car as a representation of themselves and invest large amounts of money into their cars to get them to be most appealing to themselves. This is why car meets (events held where car enthusiasts gather to display their cars) are a popular activity amongst car enthusiasts. It gives them the opportunity to share with like minded people everything they have done to their car and why.

In the end, we all have our guilty pleasures and areas that we probably shouldn’t spend as much as we choose to in. It’s just what we choose to spend abnormal amounts of time and money in that separates us. Hopefully this post can help to better explain the reasons behind car enthusiasts and their decisions.

Do you think someone is a fool for spending lets say $3-$5,000 to upgrade their car?

Downloading “Your car keys”

For those who have purchased or rode in a car released in the past few years, you may have noticed an iconic routine missing when starting up the car. The familiar fumbling in your pockets, clinking of metal, and the twist of your hand to wake up your automobile’s engine. It may all soon be a thing of the past.

With the rapid growth of technology in the past couple of decades, it has found its way into almost every industry. For the automotive industry it has mostly meant fancy displays, comfortable seat adjustments, gps navigation, more controls, and electric motors. However, technology is now even threatening your car keys. The majority of car brands have introduced keys known as keyfobs that involve a push start instead of twisting a key, but even now those pose extinction.

If you’re keeping up to date in the auto tech news, recent news articles covering this topic can be found on msn.com (link) and foxnews.com (link). Both of the articles use information gathered from an interview of Ian Robertson who works for BMW, a prominent brand looking to remove physical car keys.

Instead of a key to get into your car, car brands such as BMW and Tesla are replacing them with an app that is downloaded onto your smartphone. The Tesla model 3 which is now in production will take advantage of this app and also includes a credit card like object to unlock your car in the case that you don’t have your phone. This card, and app are the only way to gain access of your model 3, no physical key is provided.

Tesla card to unlock:

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Reading of these new technologies brings to the front of my mind questions on how practical this concept will be, and if this will even take off and have the whole industry on board.

This may be because this is still such a new concept to consider, but I am yet to be convinced that turning over to digital is the way to go for accessing and starting your car.  To me it seems like yet another way for humans to become dependent on their phones. Also, it gives me a headache to think of the security issues that could occur in the event that your phone is hacked and along with it access to your car. The card to unlock Tesla model 3 is a neat idea for backup however it doesn’t provide much of an improvement from the already existing wireless key fobs that let you access your car as long as its in range (in your pocket). The only benefit I can foresee is the flat design taking up less space in your pocket. However unlike the wireless key fob, you have to take the Tesla card out of your pocket, and it just seems like an easier thing to lose.

What do you think, are digital keys superior to physical in your opinion? What are some benefits and drawbacks that you think digital keys would bring to the auto industry?

Photo source:

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What is Rally?

What is Rally Racing?

I have chosen this topic to discuss in my first blog post as it is my favorite in the world of auto performance. Rally racing (Rally, Rallying, Stage Rally, ProRally) traces back to as far as 1911 in the Monte Carlo Rally events. Rallying may seem foreign to many In the U.S. because its birth and much of its history takes place overseas in countries found in Europe or near. However, rally racing is growing in popularity in the U.S., particularly in New England due to its suitable terrain for the extreme motorsport.

Rally races take place in various conditions such as gravel, icy/snowy roads, pavement, and muddy/wet surfaces daytime and night time as well. Difficult terrains combined with speeds that can reach over 100mph make for a very interesting and skillful sport that requires some of the best drivers in the world. For each rally event, drivers race different sections called stages, and are timed. There is no head to head racing, instead the driver with the fastest time wins the Rally Event.

For every Rally driver, there is their co-driver counterpart, who is equally as important towards successfully completing races. Because each rally stage is unique, and no gps systems are allowed, a co-driver is needed to deliver to the driver what is coming up ahead. The co-driver does so by reading off his “pace-notes”. Pace-notes will tell the driver whether the next turn is a left or right, how sharp it is so that he knows which gear and speed to keep the car in, and other various things to look out for. At the speeds rally cars travel, a driver must have exceptional multitasking skills in order to take in all of this information while responding to the way his car travels the course.

The cars used in rally racing are some of the most diverse performance wise. Not only do the cars need to have quick acceleration but they must also have amazing handling along with durability to withstand the immense amount of abuse they are put through. Also, because drivers are required to drive on public roads to get between the different stages in events, their cars must be street legal.

Some Sample Cars: (top to bottom) Subaru Impreza WRX STI, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo, Ford Focus RS

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Evo

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Sources Used:
http://rallynotes.com/what-is-rally/
http://rally-america.com/what_is_rally
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Hello World

Hello to all who are reading this post. The topic of this blog is about seeing a purpose of cars beyond the average individual who considers them only as a means of transportation from point a to b. A common label for people who have a passion for cars is a Car Enthusiast. The cars that this blog will mainly focus on are sports cars, super sport, tuner, rally, and luxury. I have chosen this topic because for as long as I can remember, I have always been drawn to the intricate details of performance cars, and the effort that goes into building cars to perform at their peak.