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Hagerty Employee

Never Stop Driving #1: Used VWs and Autonomous Cars

Welcome, Drivers. This newsletter is for people who love to drive and who share Hagerty's mission to preserve driving and car culture for future generations. Think of it as your all-in-one, weekly source of everything you need to know about the world of cars-from inspirational stories to collector-car sales to industry gossip-as curated by a lifetime car geek.
169 REPLIES 169

Because regulators never stop. After a problem is solved, they continue to make life worse for millions of people, or they just plain victimize innocent people. A government could clear up 99% of a problem (fantasy scenario, I know), but the regulators will still try to clear up the last 1%, no matter the cost. People of that ilk are nothing more than Utopians.
The Greek root for the word utopia: “no place”

Pit Crew

I agree completely. I recently took a business trip where I had a rental car for 3 days. I had to drive about 2 hours between cities and around town to my hotels and meals. The newer Camry rental had a variety a driver assist features. At the end of my trip I realized I had been fighting the car for control. It was tiring the amount of concentration required to complete maneuvers, especially in traffic. There was a car on the side of the road with a person alongside so I moved to the line. There was a car next to me and traffic all around. The car steered back and moved me back to the middle. At one point while running late I was rushing and passing in any open lane. I was not cutting people off and my speed differential was 5-10 mph, yet the car would apply brakes rather than let me get close enough to switch lanes cleanly. I felt as if the car was trying to kill me at times. I met my wife at the end of the trip and showed these traits to her. She agreed with me that the fight for control was more dangerous than the lack of assistance. I think full autonomous or none at all will be easier to live with than the partial “assist” I experienced
New Driver

I love that everyone seems to want to get the next generation of young people involved in learning about cars. I would like to say that we shouldn’t forget about everyone else. I’m mid thirties and my best friend taught me to drive a stick shift and also offered me a garage spot for a project car. I’ve never done anything with cars in my life and now I’m missing driving my stick shift while the engine is at the shop and I’m getting thrown in the deep end of learning about cars. Don’t forget about us older friends who might not have had the chance to learn about or enjoy cars when we were younger.
Hagerty Employee

That is a great reminder. Thank you!

This is most excellent!

We lived in A2 for 30 years. My wife taught Larry’s kids.

Out in CO now. The land of rust-free cars.

I have two very analog cars. Just sold two others, so the fleet is now streamlined, and She Who Must Be Obeyed is happy.

Don’t tell her that I’m scheming about getting one more.

I also have a Tesla, so I can see both sides of the story. Different vehicles in the fleet, for different missions.

We like to call it Fleet Rationalization. With Mission-Specific vehicles.

That’s why you can always move to N+1 cars.
Hagerty Employee

Hmm, I feel like I recognize those phrases, but can't name the writer. Who are you???
New Driver

I’m in.
I have a new car that I enjoy driving it to experience all of the new technologies and power on offer to modern man (and woman).
But I proudly maintain my 1966 Corvette (that could be an NCRS top flight car) as a driver and drive it long and hard often to experience and enjoy the purity of the drive. Love it!!
Advanced Driver

Guess this is why I won't own a car made after 2014 aka nanny cars. Have heard too many stories of friends with cars that wouldn't start, stopped, wouldn't restart when the light turned green, and suddenly applied the brakes.
Also for cars from the last decade I have a pad of 1/4" velcro dots. My '11 daily driver has over 70 buttons, knobs, switches, and sliders before the driver. There are three critical to me. The dots are applied to these and when I feel one I know what is around it.
That said I like the cars (have two) that recognize my touch on the door handle and start with a pushbutton. Key never leaves pocket.
So, on the whole I appreciate cars of this century, particularly a DOHC-6 with VVT and a 7 grand redline (remember the movie with the cobra coupe that had a Florida license plate on the front ?). Just please not one that takes control away from me.
New Driver

Good to see you are still active regarding our car culture. I am definitely old school and have no interest in losing my interaction with our automobiles and turning them over to technology (which in many cases is simply technology for the sake of technology). I guess that is why I still have a fleet of Studebakers dating back to WWII military pieces and including Avantis.
As for $20,000 GTI's -Whodathunk it?
I once had a 1972 Hurst Olds Indy Pace Car Convertible and sold it for the highest prlce for an Oldsmobile ever to sell in Canada. Now they fetch north of $150,000.
Keep up the great work and I look forward to your weekly rant.
Cheers, BillyBuzzard
Pit Crew

Instead of autonomous let's improve public transportation. Autonomous cars do nothing to decrease the number of vehicles on the road. In my opinion crowded roads are the biggest detriment to an enjoyable driving experience. I am a lifelong car guy (I'm 73) but there's nothing more frustrating than crawling through traffic, looking for a place to park (or paying as much as a dinner to park), just to go see a show or take my wife to dinner. Efficient, easy to access public transportation would mean we could make the 50 mile trip to San Francisco easily and with much less cost.
New Driver

I really enjoyed the article, and I really enjoy driving, cutting my teeth on a baby poop gold '78 Trans Am with a four speed I never should have sold, either. However, I also moonlit at Tesla for five years while continuing my primary career as a high school teacher. The company has created life-changing economic benefits for my family.
I think there's room for both- hear me out.
I think we need to address the environmental concerns our cars pose, and increase their safety simultaneously, so I'm very proud of having advanced that.
Driving will still be a passion of mine, but I think it will go by the way of air travel, where recreational pilots become rarer, while most transportation is handled by others. Autonomous, environmentally-friendly vehicles for commuting and parks like Lime Rock and VIR for old-school pleasure driving.
I'd welcome this. I still enjoy my '05 Subie manual wagon (save the manuals!), but commuting I-95 has become tolerable due to the standard autonomy my Model Y provides, nevermind FSD. So, I wholeheartedly claim both can move forward, perhaps in separate spheres.
New Driver

Difficult to find someone to work on my 1968 Autostick VW.
Pit Crew

hagerty seems to like the idea of autonomous cars when we all have one we wont need insurance anymore what do they think of that???
New Driver

A vast majority of vehicles are as viscerally/intellectually stimulating to drive as a pet rock. Coupled with poor driver education, which fails to train new drivers like their lives depended on it (which it does) and mix in distractions like texting and doing anything else but paying attention to driving a “soul sucking appliance” and you end up with this kind of “autonomous driving” nonsense/solution.

Those Lane warning/correction, adaptive cruse (slinky problem when you have a couple of them in a row) and automatic/emergency braking systems aren’t improving driver skills they are degrading them.

Fixing these problems with the application of what I consider to be inappropriate “advanced technology” is like putting a Band-Aid on a sucking chest wound and changing the shirt.

I say “No” to all of it.

You want to save lives? Half of the MVA fatalities here in Colorado are unrestrained drivers.. That was almost 500 people who needlessly died in 2018 in Colorado because they couldn’t be bothered to put on a seatbelt. Think about that for a moment, almost 500 people could have been saved by simply buckling up in Colorado alone.

Let’s start with that “low hanging fruit” instead of stuffing a HAL9000 computer in a car.

I can hear HAL’s dulcet voice after it wrecks from a “glitch”: “The HAL9000 series is the most reliable computer ever made.”
Advanced Driver

well there are a lot of things about "Old" cars I love (have 3 & newest one is 2007) - Life marches on--Things change-- & they change for good reason-(S)- I think Driving cars will become like riding horses--Just a Hobby-- But not in My lifetime-- Autonomous cars Will make things Safer & electric cars will help fight climate change-- Arguments against Autonomous & electric cars are much like folks arguing against "Horseless Carriages" in the Early 1900s-- or even Electricity in homes back then-- Change can be scary--
New Driver

Ah, driving...I grew up in rural Wisconsin on a small farm with Uncles with larger spreads to help out on.
I have been driving something since I was 5 years old, I am 68 years old, and learned driving from a tractor seat or the old Dodge pickup truck.
That taught me tons so when I got to have my license I was miles ahead of my peers!
So far the tally of vehicles I have owned is over 50 and will, most likely, grow until I can no longer drive safely.
Autonomous vehicles were the future way back then and we are still trying to figure out how to make them work.
I have been a car guy my whole life and was taught how to repair things by my Dad and Uncles and I still do much of my own car repairs as I can but it is getting harder as cars and the controls get more complicated and less accessible to the back yard wrench turner.
Daily drivers consist of a 98 Grand Cherokee and a 2017 Honda Fit , with a 6 speed stick, and an 86 Prelude 2.0 Si 5 speed as my toy car and track day runner.
My long term project is a 72 240 Z that will be done this summer.
Driving, in any form, is always fun cuz the general driving public offers so much to work around whilst they are so enamored with all the tech gadgetry and not paying attention to driving!
Regular visits to a couple of the tracks here in Wisconsin help keep my driving sharp and give me good insight into what are my weak points as I age.
Electric cars do offer an option but are still not practical for many drivers due to a short driving distance but that will change as the battery industry continues to improve this aspect of battery power.
Driving has, in my life, been considered a privilege and great responsibility and I enjoy it immensely!
Pit Crew

You nailed it Larry.

Without the ability to drive, how can there be any “car enthusiasts,” in the traditional sense? It would be like trying to form the “GE Toaster Oven Owners Club.” Who cares, it’s an appliance! Cars are appliance-like enough now, for cripes-sake. Reminds me of how they wanted to make the original Mercury spacecraft remote controlled, with the astronauts being nothing more than fancy lab rats. Who wants to be Elon Musk’s lab rat?

I’ll keep driving my own self for as long as I can. I’m old enough now so I’ll probably be dead or institutionalized before they get this autonomous thing really going…at least I hope so.
Intermediate Driver

How about a hair raising ride as a passenger in an autonomous vehicle on the Schuylkill expressway entering Philadelphia at morning rush hour; or through West Virginia I-79 during a snowstorm; or I-75 through Atlanta with ten lanes of traffic with speeds of 80-100 mph? Look ma…no hands.

New Driver

My daily driver is a Tesla Model 3 with FSD (Full Self Driving). It's silent, fast, handles great, requires almost no maintenance and is cheap to operate. The self driving is about 50% there but is constantly getting better via over the air updates. I also own a 1980 Triumph TR8. It's loud, seems fast, handles OK, requires a lot of maintnenance and gets poor gas mileage. But I enjoy tinkering with it and like top down driving. However, if forced to let one go it would be the Triumph. Electric is the future and it can't be stopped.