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I had the good fortune of being born in the Los Angeles area, a region where cars are inextricably intertwined with everyday life, so it's probably inevitable that I would wind up with a lifelong love of automobiles. I can't pinpoint exactly when it all started for me though. Maybe it was the childhood trips to Riverside International Raceway, or the more local journeys to Gardena's now-defunct Ascot Park speedway. Maybe the terrible air quality just warped my brain. But whatever it was, from a young age, I had a fairly clear idea that I wanted to do something with cars as an adult.
Once I learned to read, I discovered car magazines, and I thought, "Heck, I could do that!" Since so many of the magazine editors I admired had engineering backgrounds—and since my dad is also an engineer—I thought I would take that route. But it turned out that I was born with an underdeveloped math gland, and for a short while, I thought my dreams of writing for an automotive publication were dashed. However, I still had the ability to form sentences, which lead to paragraphs, and eventually entire stories about a variety of things. I eventually faked my way through college by pretending to care about non-car matters, and immediately squandered my newly won journalism degree by writing about 500-horsepower Honda Civic drag racers for the now-defunct Sport Compact Car magazine.
Of course, there were other things going on in my life. I fell in love and got married; traveled a bunch; changed jobs a few times; learned that Sizzler was not, in fact, a good steakhouse; and had many other experiences that can be grouped in the category of "life." The most important of these was fatherhood. When I became a dad, my perspective on everything changed, including what was important in cars. Sure, I still love the raw horsepower of a Corvette, the sexy styling of a Ferrari, and I cherish any and all wheeltime on a racetrack that I can get. But the truth of the matter is that Corvettes and Ferraris will always be fast and fun, and simply telling a bunch of enthusiasts, "Hey, this Corvette is a lot of fast fun," isn't very challenging.
The meat of the market—the sedans, crossovers, and minivans that make up the vast majority of vehicle purchases in the U.S.—is where the real action is for me now. I love how manufacturers can come up with wildly different solutions to the same problem. What makes a Toyota Camry better than a Honda Accord, or an Accord better than a Hyundai Sonata, or a Sonata better than that Camry? Ask me.
April 15, 2013
Mopar gives the Compass a little direction
Hyundai rounds out its Elantra lineup with a much anticipated two door
Coming this summer, a little
Our first glimpse of the next-generation Acura MDX luxury crossover.
The Stingray returns.
Lexus adds an unexpected adjective to its bestselling crossover: Bold
A mouth-burning taste of things to come.
The Nissan Hi-Cross Concept gives us a glimpse at the future of Nissan's crossovers.
Honda attempts a second chance for a first impression.
Don't let the looks fool you; this Cayman is as new as it gets.