Posts By: Jack Baruth

By on September 28, 2014


When the Traqmate system came out a decade or so ago, it revolutionized the way that low-and-mid-budget racers measured and improved their performance as drivers. All of a sudden it was possible to understand why you were faster or slower in a given situation. It’s now become such a standard that major sanctions like the Canadian Touring Car Championship use it to measure and adjust competitiveness across different chassis and engine combinations.

Last year, TTAC partnered with the people at Autosport Labs to test their Race/Capture system in our infamous race that wasn’t. Although somehow our RaceCapture system never returned from Texas, with all hands professing puzzlement about its ultimate disposition, I was able to use the RaceCapture prior to that race, in a coaching session with Chris Dyson and the Autosport Labs people. Using the system’s live-tracking features, I was able to immediately take ten seconds off my lap time in a single coaching session.

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By on September 27, 2014


You know Facebook’s passe when the cops are using it to talk to citizens. In this case, it’s the Ocean City (MD) Police Department, warning visitors to the H2O International event of their “zero tolerance policy” for traffic violations, vehicle modifications, and compliance with Maryland motor vehicle regulations.

Even if the motor vehicle in question is registered somewhere else.

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By on September 25, 2014

My friend Jon put this video up on YouTube a few months ago, showing me driving a certain magazine’s long-term C7 at Shenandoah from the perspective of his C5 Z06. (A video from my perspective is after the jump.) It’s readily apparent from the way it scoots away into the distance just how fast and how pleasant to drive the newest Corvette is. That alone has been enough for me to recommend it over any of Porsche’s current offerings, the same way I recommended the C6 Z06 over any of the Porsches available at *that* time. Recently, however, I’ve been taken to task for wearing rose-colored glasses when it comes to the reliability of the fantastic thermoplastic near-supercar, and I’m afraid my critics have a valid point.

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By on September 17, 2014

Ah, it’s the sad truth that the only way I’ll ever be on the cover of anything is if I’m wearing a helmet. So it is here, as I drag a loaner-helmet-wearing passenger around the Motown Mile. So. What do you want to know about the Mustang?

By on September 17, 2014


Let’s get this straight: when it comes to what the used-car manager at the Ford dealership where I used to work called “pointy-nose cars”, I’m a Viper guy. No street car has ever captured my heart the way the Viper did once they let the thing have six hundred horsepower, a little bit of aero help, and a VVT-extended rev range. So when I found out the lineup for Road&Track‘s PCOTY 2014, my eyes went directly to the line on the sheet that said “Viper TA”. I stole extra time in the Viper, both on track and out in the Hocking Hills. I probably drove it twice as much as anybody else did, and if they’d let me drive it more, I’d have driven it more.

Not that anybody I know cared a single bit about that. To a man (and woman), they had one question: “What’s that 458 Speciale like?”

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By on September 16, 2014

Printing the body of the Local Motors Strati at the rate of up to forty carbon-infused pounds per hour, the BAAM 3-D printer might be the next step in democratizing access to electric cars — or cars of any kind, really.

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By on September 14, 2014

(Clip contains NSFW language)

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the famous “mile of cars” quote from Used Cars — but no matter. This weekend, nearly a full mile of cars went racing. The goal? A Guinness World Record.

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By on September 14, 2014


In a former life, your humble author had a bit of money and liked to buy some expensive cars. Most particularly, I chose the ownership of two Phaetons over one Flying Spur about eight years ago. This bit of contrarian behavior happened after I had a long discussion with my local Bentley dealer. As a consequence, I’m still on the mailing list. Since Bentley is in the business of selling $80,000 Volkswagens for $180,000, they have the kind of profit margin that lets “mailing list” refer to a bunch of people getting Patrick Bateman-quality creamy bond paper mail instead of anonymous HTML spam. So what do we have here? Are you interested? I kind of was, so I opened it.

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By on September 13, 2014

Seven months after taking delivery of my 2014 Accord V6 6MT coupe in “Modern Steel”, we’ve finally hit the 12,000-mile mark. This might seem like a lot of mileage but it’s actually quite a bit less than it could be; I’ve put more than twelve thousand miles on rental cars in the same time period. […]

By on September 7, 2014


You’re never as well-known as you think you are. When I helped the nice people at Road&Track select the C7 Corvette as their 2013 Performance Car Of The Year award, I had the amusing experience of being told that I was “on GM’s payroll” and a “shill for GM” by hundreds of people who were disappointed by our choice. In a perfect world, I could put all those people on a Staten Island ferry, put all the TTAC readers who claim I’m unfairly persecuting GM on another Staten Island ferry, and give each group a trigger that would blow the other boat up. Original idea, huh?

Anyway, it’s time for 2014’s PCOTY which means that I’ll be spending the next four days living my childhood dream of driving brilliant cars for free and possibly getting the magazine to pick up my Ketel One tab at dinner. Click the jump to get the list of all fifteen contenders, along with my early thoughts on each.

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  • Contributing Writers

  • Jack Baruth, United States
  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Vojta Dobes, Czech Republic
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Cameron Aubernon, United States
  • J Emerson, United States