About five years ago, I made a career decision that I wish I had made much earlier: I decided to get into the Learning and Development field. Unfortunately for about twenty or so people, I had spent the previous fifteen years managing sales people, and I fired a lot of them. As a result, I […]
Posts By: BarkM
Back in 2006, when I started autocrossing my Mazda RX-8 on stock shocks and Dunlop all-seasons, I took great pride in telling all of my friends that I was “going racing” each weekend. They would look at me in awe, and say, “You race cars?”
The writer has an obligation to put the reader in his shoes, to vividly describe his reality in a way that is descriptive enough to allow the reader to vicariously share his experiences. It is likely, dear reader, that I shall fail you today in my attempt to share my experience from this past weekend, but let me attempt by starting with this:
Watkins Glen is perilously wondrous.
I have a fond spot in my heart for the Pontiac G8. I was once the proud owner of a White Hot G8 GT. I bought it new in March of 2009 and somewhat regrettably traded it in June of 2012, putting nearly eighty thousand loving miles on it along the way—you can see a picture of mine from the day I brought it home at the top of this page. Sure, I endured the occasional broken crankshaft, and yes, the interior would have been better suited to a $15K Cobalt or G3 rather than a halo car, but what a machine! It combined 361 horsepower derived from a massive 6.0 liter V8 engine with all the interior and trunk space anyone could ever need. Of course, there was also the much-less-desirable-but-still-decent V6 variant, well as the unicornish GXP, which was avaiable with a 6MT and shared the Camaro SS’ 6.2 liter LS3, generating a diff-crunching 412 horsepower.
Unfortunately, the untimely demise of Pontiac led to a very small production run for the G8—fewer than forty thousand of them were made in total. Therefore, on the rare occasion that I see one on the road (I actually saw my old car on the road recently), I can’t help but smile.
Lately, however, when I see one, I’m more likely to cringe than smile.
All across America, every Sunday (and Monday…and Thursday, I guess), men and women glue their eyes to television screens to watch the National Football League’s
latest public relations gaffe teams and players duel on the gridiron. However, the popularity of these games often has nothing to do with the teams playing or the cities/states they represent.
It’s all about Fantasy Football, man! That’s right, people who’ve never played or coached a single down of competitive football in their lives can live vicariously through the players that they picked for their weekly lineups. In fact, people often are faced with the dilemma of rooting against their favorite teams so that they can get fantasy points.
So what if we could take the game that is responsible for the highest rated show on television and make it all about what we care about—cars? Of COURSE we can!
In 2006, GM had a winner on its hands. In fact, they’d had the idea of a winner since at least 2002, when the Solstice concept car was shown at the NAIAS in both convertible and coupe form. The concept, however, was based on the Delta platform, later seen in the infamous Ion, Cobalt, and G5. In order for the car to actually come to production as a rear-wheel driver roadster, a new platform would be required.
Enter the Kappa.
The minute that the Challenger and Charger Hellcats were announced, we all knew they were coming, right? All of the “NOBODY NEEDS THAT MUCH POWER” people that invade any and all automotive websites on the intarwebz. They couldn’t wait to ridicule anybody who indicated that 707 horsepower in a warrantied, street-legal car just might be a kinda awesome thing.
Interested? Was I ever! (Read More…)
The word “bad,” in and of itself, is so subjective, isn’t it? Certainly one could make the case that there’s “bad” and “good” in all of us, but I think that the modern world chooses to look at it this way: to be “bad” is really just to be selfish. Even though the media would have you believe that the whole world is comprised of childless atheists who live in three-story walk ups in northeastern metropolises, in reality, most of America is filled with deity-believing, family-supporting, hard working men and women. These are “good” people. They take care of each other. They act in the interest of the common welfare. I’m glad they exist.
I’m just not one of them.