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Old 26th December 2009, 11:51   #1
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Default INT: The Joy Of Driving Slow

Good contrasting articles at Jalopniks.
The Slow Driving reflects my thoughts as well . Whats your take on it?


The Joy Of Driving Slow

Today's sports cars make 100 MPH feel like you're standing still. Boring. It's much more fun to edge towards the century mark in a car that makes you feel like you're about to die.

I've driven an Audi R8 prototype through Manhattan traffic and can therefore confirm the following automotive maxim: "It's more fun to drive a slow car fast than a fast car slow." If you don't believe me, watch a NASCAR race where average speeds bump up against 200 MPH, and then go watch a random European touring-car race. Lower speeds plus slower cars equals more action. Period.

As much thrill as a fast car imparts on the track, driving one on the street is usually an exercise in asceticism. You make yourself slow down, avoiding speed for fear of getting a ticket or causing an accident. You become a magnet for cops and would-be racers. It's no fun.

At the other end of the spectrum is my Volvo 240. Pushing the limits in a dog-slow station wagon, I warrant no close looks from the police and no taunting revs from stoplight racers. And even when I'm not moving with pedal-to-the-floor bravado, driving a slow car slowly is also enjoyable. I got a license to drive, not commute, and most people's experience with hasty driving is limited to being late to the office. Not fun. Not joyful. Not for me.

As a teenager, cruising my hometown in a big Mercedes-Benz 300D with the sunroof open and wind in my hair, I felt more a part of my car and the world around me than I have in most of the sports cars I drive today. For reference, the Benz was powered by a five-cylinder diesel that would've been more at home in a tractor. By comparison, the current Chevrolet Camaro is faster, but it also leaves me feeling detached from my surroundings. The windows are tiny. The sounds of nature are muffled. It's claustrophobic. It's like driving around in a port-a-john.

Fittingly, slow is also the best way to see the world. Crossing a country on a purposefully extended road trip is how we learn about others, and how we learn about ourselves. John Steinbeck once traveled this great land in a six-cylinder GMC truck with a camper on it. It was a vehicle with what he called "ready goodness," and he gladly admitted to ignoring it, the better to focus on the America around him. The result of his trip was the book Travels With Charley, one of the best things ever written about gazing into America's soul. Alex Roy traversed the country in much less time than Steinbeck, but his book doesn't teach you much about what the latter called our "monstrous land."

Do I enjoy driving fast, and will I continue to love speed? Yes. But I also don't care that my car isn't the fastest around the 'Ring or even the fastest around my block. There's a joy to driving slowly, and it's a joy best experienced in a slow car. As the poet once said, "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."

Send an email to Matt Hardigree, the author of this post, at matt@jalopnik.com.

The Joy Of Driving Fast



Today's sports cars make 100 MPH feel like you're standing still. That means you can drive faster than ever. Giving into that urge is only natural. Here's why.

I live to drive fast. Don't believe me? I passed up a real career — one with respectability, a fat paycheck, and health insurance — to write about cars. But that writing is just an excuse to drive the fastest cars in the world on good roads and great racetracks and have someone else pay for it. Do I miss the nice house, the savings account, and the closet full of suits? I do when I'm counting backwards from one hundred while a surgeon draws purple lines on my skin, or when I'm sitting by the side of the road contemplating jail time by the glow of flashing red lights. But those things are shoved aside by adrenaline when I turn off a congested highway and see a "curves ahead" sign.

Driving fast is dangerous, illegal, and irresponsible. Society dictates that you shouldn't do it, but car manufacturers sell faster and more powerful cars every year. Twenty years ago, the fastest car in the world, the Ferrari F40, made 471 HP. Now you can buy a four-door Cadillac with almost 100 HP more. People want fast cars because driving fast is dangerous, illegal and irresponsible. In a society beset by mindless conformity, the fear of risk, and the pressing need to uncover President Obama's birth certificate, cars deliver an easy way to experience danger and control.

The danger inherent in fast driving is different from the risk you run as you tool back and forth to work and Wal-Mart. It's not "a car might run a light and hit me today," or "this bridge could give way and drop me into a river." It's "if I screw up, I'm going to die." One is passive, the other is active. The difference between the two is the difference between existing and living.

In a nutshell, that's the key. That need to exert control over your own fate is primal in nature, the lingering artifact of monkey heritage in the upright ape's mind. Man's ancestors didn't walk out of the woods because we could run faster or bite stronger than our relatives — we're unique because we use tools. What is a car if not the ultimate tool? What is driving fast if not using that tool to the fullest extent of its intended purpose?

When Karl Benz insisted that a horse wasn't fast enough and invented a way to do better, he was solving his problem by creating a tool. Michael Schumacher isn't returning to Formula One because his wiener-schnitzel fund is running low; he's going back because existence without challenge bores him. When I post this piece, I'm going to walk out of my house, climb into an Audi S5, and speed, all because it's my nature to do so. I'm sorry, officer — I just can't help myself.

Send an email to Wes Siler, the author of this post, at wes@jalopnik.com.
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Old 28th December 2009, 21:18   #2
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What a thread ! Impressed.
Both the articles share one thing in common and that is DRIVING is FUN. The means of enjoyment are different. Like dinner. I absolutely hate candle light dinner. Others love it, but common thing is eating is fun.

I prefer to drive fast, irrespective of machine I have. Also condition and age of car do play a role. I will enjoy M800 at 80 rather than earlier 100-110, but will love that much.

Once again, Excellent thread! Rating it 5 star.
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Old 29th December 2009, 01:44   #3
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Didnt read the entire article but..........

In India, it is always better to drive smooth and slow - Good for your head, and good for your car.

Hard acceleration, braking, acceleration and then braking again and again isnt going to make your car live a long life. More stress in your head. Will burn more petrol too.
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