QOTD: Managing Race Relations?

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
qotd managing race relations

Easy, now — this isn’t what you think. Contrary to the beliefs of the Millennial journo-fronted social media swarm coalescing over this headline, the question we’re answering today has nothing to do with people, and everything to do with another diverse element of society: cars.

We’re spoiled for choice when it comes to vehicles hailing from different countries, each built with different purposes and different customers in mind. And any two of these vehicles could face off against each other on the track.

Is it wrong to assume there’s a very unlikely race you’ve always wanted to see?

It’s not just Johnnie Walker and pesto fueling this QOTD. Earlier today, your very online author noticed a vintage automobile being trucked into a certain dealership, one inhabited by a former managing editor. That car was a Hyundai Pony — a five-door hatch that launched Hyundai’s big push for the North American economy car market. My aunt owned one back in the day. Who knows how that relationship ended…

When thinking up a race partner for that ’80s relic, my mind naturally turned to an econobox option you Yanks couldn’t get… and probably didn’t want: the Lada Samara, which happened to be the last model sold by the surprisingly long-lived Lada Canada. That shoestring operation closed up shop in 1998.

Put together, the Pony and Samara’s horsepower figure tops the three-figure mark, so naturally I pictured them battling it out on a tough circuit — while struggling to reach 60 mph. Fun viewing with a can of Coors in your hand, but my interest lies elsewhere. Exotic supercars, you ask? Hell, no. Too well-suited to the task at hand.

Glitzy grand tourers hailing from the most refined factories of the Old World? Nah, though I’d show up for the race. No, like a teen with unrestricted internet access, I’m interested in seeing Americans going at it.

Specifically, old ones. Relics. Vehicles not particularly adept at corner carving.

I’ve always wanted to watch a race between stock, full-size family sedans of the 1970s and 80s. Ideally, a whole fleet of ’em, each one immolating its rear rubber, heeling alarmingly from starboard to port as the driver frantically spins that overboosted wheel to and fro. In this category, my choices are many. Dodge Monaco. Ford LTD. Mercury Marquis. AMC Ambassador. Chevy Caprice. Buick LeSabre. Olds Delta 88. And so on and so forth — I’d fight my way to the front of the crowd (assuming it drew one) to see any two landau-ized family haulers battling it out under such challenging conditions.

Your ideal race might be an entirely different beast. What two entries would you most like to see go head to head?

[Images: © 2019 Chris Tonn/TTAC, Murilee Martin/TTAC]

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3 of 25 comments
  • RHD RHD on May 18, 2019

    Motorhome racing. Yeah, it's been done on TG. But it would be fun to see it live, in person. Especially if the winner is the last one still running. LTDs and Delta 88s? Nah, we could do better than that!

  • Tankinbeans Tankinbeans on May 18, 2019

    How about a "tractor" pull with a Ram Heavy Duty, Silverado HD, and F-?50 Super Duty who all claim to have these massive towing capacities. Throw in an actual semi for fun.

    • Jack4x Jack4x on May 18, 2019

      This is already a featured attraction at county fairs across the Midwest every summer. The "run what ya brung" division usually attracts a couple hotshots with stock late model diesel pickups eager to get embarrassed by the built 12V pulling trucks.

  • MrIcky Out of the possible Jeep recalls to bring up on this site, I'm surprised it's this one and not round 2 of the clutch recall.
  • Dukeisduke I saw a well-preserved Mark VII LSC on the road not too long ago, and I had to do a double-take. They still have a presence. Back when these were new, a cousin of mine owned an LSC with the BMW turbo diesel.
  • Dukeisduke I imagine that stud was added during the design process for something, and someone further along the process forgot to delete it after it became unnecessary.
  • Analoggrotto Knew about it all along but only now did the risk analysis tilt against leaving it there.
  • Mike Beranek Funny story about the '80 T-bird. My old man's Dart Sport had given up the ghost so he was car-shopping. He & I dropped my mom at a store and then went to the Ford dealer, where we test-drove the new T-Bird (with digital dash!)So we pull up to the store to pick mom up. She walks out and dad says "We just bought it.". Mom stares at the Mulroney- almost 13 grand- and just about fell over.Dad had not in fact bought the T-Bird, instead he got a Cordoba for only 9 grand.