Suspension Truth # 3.5: The Danger of Paying Top Dollar for Big Name Shocks

Apologies for the delay in getting the next article to ‘press,’ a few matters including a misbehaving back were needing my attention! Too much sitting, not enough exercise!

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Pre-Production Review: 2013 Scion FR-S

Scion has had a sordid past. Originally, Scion was Toyota’s solution to a lack of 18-25 year old shoppers. Over the past 9 years however Scion has lost their way and lost their youth. Their median buyer just turned 42. The tC coupe, which started out as a car for college kids, now has a median buyer of around 30. Scion claims the FR-S is a halo car – to me, that means the FR-S will be bought by older drivers (who can actually afford it), attracting younger buyers to their showrooms. Despite being out of the target demographic, Scion flew me to Vegas to sample the FR-S’s sexy lines to find out.

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When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Turn ProSolo

Spring is here, which means it’s time to get ready for another season of motorsports. The people at SoloMatters put this video together to capture some of the best moments from last weekend’s DC ProSolo. Long-time TTAC readers know I am not a world-class autocrosser, but that doesn’t mean I don’t occasionally take a swing at it. You should, too. Unless your daily driver has nine inches of ground clearance or more, chances are it’s completely Solo-legal. Get out there!

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Autocross: Is It Really Entry-Level Motorsport?

Are those people wasting their time, or do they provide the necessary base for the racing pyramid? This question was asked by a reader in my recent piece about racing an ARCA Tempo, and I think it’s worth discussing for a moment despite the fact that autocross-related articles have consumed enough electrons on the ‘Net to cause jealousy among the folks who operate the Large Hadron Collider.

I will start off by freely admitting that autocross is an area where I do not particularly excel as a driver. In the right car, on the right track, I’m nearly as fast as anyone in the business and I have the track records and wins to prove it. In my single season of National-level SCCA autocross, however, I finished slightly above midpack in three Tour events and almost exactly midpack in the Solo Nationals PAX Index. My modest gift as a driver is a willingness to accept a little bit of danger, which means I frequently find a little more velocity in high-speed corners around racetracks. In autocross, that’s a useless skill. My weakness as a driver is temper, which makes me a solid passer but absolutely abysmal third-run autocrosser.

Since I’m the closest thing TTAC (or nearly anybody else in the autoblogging world) has to a National-level cone-chaser, however, I’ll talk a bit about what autocross is and what it is not.

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  • Ravenuer 15 Overpriced Vehicles? I'd say they all are.
  • Ravenuer Bought a new 96 GXE. Paid $25002 for it. Hands down the best, most reliable car I ever owned! Put 300k on it with only minor repairs. Miss it.
  • Bfisch81 My friend's mom bought a fully loaded 96 and I remember really liking it. I still thought my granddad's 89 was cooler and sportier but the 96 felt more luxury which wasn't a bad thing in and of itself.
  • Art Vandelay Battery issues aside, I didn’t hate it. I’d have just been paying for range I didn’t need.
  • THX1136 Saying that because 'marked up' vehicles are selling means they are not over priced assumes the folks paying over MSRP know that they are paying more than the manufacturer price set for the vehicle and are happy to do so. I'm guessing in some instances it may be the buyer is ignorant of the situation - or buys with a 'I gotta have it now, I can't wait' attitude. As others have mentioned if one does the work to find a fair price, they don't have to pay an inflated price. Laziness enters into the equation too. But I would agree, generally, that if folks are paying an unreasonably high price they must be okay with that. If demand drops significantly, prices would moderate. Big if.