Category: Bark’s Bites

By on October 20, 2014

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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.

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By on September 22, 2014

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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!

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By on September 15, 2014

Pontiac Solstice GXP Coupe
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.

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By on August 29, 2014

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“I have a couple older Subaru wagons (96-97) for sale in Morehead. Message me if you are interested.”

Interested? Was I ever! Read More >

By on July 8, 2014

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My first contribution to TTAC was the purchase story of my 2013 Ford Boss 302 Mustang. To be honest, it could have easily ended up being a Corvette Grand Sport or something else entirely; I wasn’t a “Mustang collector” in the traditional sense. You know: when the Boss was announced by Ford, shouts were heard far and wide across the internet about the collectors who would end up purchasing the cars and that they would “stay in the garages forever” or something like that. Those guys. The ones who still have 2,000-mile Mystichrome Terminators or green ’93 Cobras with plastic on the seats.

I had a different plan. Mine was going to be a daily driver, and not only that, it was going to be a daily driver for a guy who had been averaging about 25K miles a year on his outgoing vehicle. Not only that, but it was going to be daily driven in Lexington, KY, where, despite being considered “the South” by much of the country, there are about 15-20 days of serious snowfall a year. Not only THAT, I also have two young children in car seats who were going to have to be taken to school, soccer, ballet, etc. And, of course, I bought it for sporting purposes, too, hoping to participate in the occasional autocross or track day. Seems like pure folly, no?
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By on June 28, 2014

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Meet Angela. TTAC, Angela. Angela, TTAC.
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By on May 8, 2014

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It’s 7:30 PM on Wednesday Night in an undisclosed city. A local career center classroom is the meeting place. The rows of ancient wooden desks have been cast to the outskirts of the room, and a circle of dusty chairs has been arranged in the center.

One by one, a seemingly random assortment of characters enters through the creaky door and silently chooses a seat, until only one seat remains. The last seat is finally taken, by a man in his mid-thirties, adorned by a mop of curly hair and a Lacoste polo shirt. The room, once abuzz with conversation, goes suddenly silent as he begins to speak.

“Welcome,” he says, “to our Fear of Racing support group.” A murmur of acknowledgement comes from the seated assembly around him.
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By on April 26, 2014

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For those of you who haven’t had the good fortune to attend the New York International Auto Show, it’s a must-do. Every manufacturer pulls out all the stops. The displays are mind-numbingly expensive, featuring massive LED screens, arena-quality sound systems, and concept cars that cost millions to develop.

As I walked around the Javits Center, admiring the vast and varied vehicles preening before an obsequiously adoring press, I noticed that much of the adoration and admiration was directed toward a car that featured a big cosmetic change but not much of a mechanical one—the Dodge Charger. Granted, the automotive press tends to get a little more of a tingle up its collective leg than consumers do about rear-wheel drive sedans, but the buzz surrounding the Charger was palpable. Furthermore, the reaction in the comments section of this and every other automotive blog seemed to suggest that, at the very least, automotive enthusiasts were right there with them. Whether people liked or disliked the redesign was almost irrelevant—they were TALKING about the car.
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By on April 13, 2014

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It’s just another day in the grand city of Lexington, Kentucky, a rose of a town in the middle of a commonwealth full of honest, hardworking, middle-class Americans. Lexington has a higher-than-average household income combined with a lower-than-average cost of living, making it a great place to be able to afford a nice car. It’s also home to over three hundred horse farms, which means one is just as likely to see an S Class rolling down Broadway as a King Ranch F-150 with a horse trailer attached to it. You won’t see many true exotics, but they love their Kentucky-built Corvettes, and some of the cleanest examples anywhere can be found here.

But on this day, there’s one car that draws more attention than any of them.
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By on December 10, 2013

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Short of the YouTube commenter base, there is no greater pit of stupidity and vulgarity than in the ESPN.com comment sections. The overall tone of the comments is so vile that, several months ago, ESPN made the decision to force people to use their Facebook login to make comments. So, naturally, people created fake Facebook profiles with names like “Ohessu Thucks” and went right back to insulting each other in the most juvenile and repugnant ways possible.

Sports tend to make otherwise normal and rational people behave in bizarre fashion. After all, “fan” is nothing but a contraction of the word “fanatic.” That guy who paints his face and screams profanities in the stadium on Sunday might be a respected lawyer on Monday. I logged into Facebook on Saturday night after the Big Ten Championship Game to see friends of mine writhing in virtual pain, their lives immeasurably damaged by the failure of 21-year-old men they don’t know to score more points on a football field than other 21-year-old men they don’t know. The amount of personal self-worth that some people put into their favorite sports teams, whether professional or collegiate, is incredibly powerful, and in many cases, difficult to understand.
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