All interaction has been co-opted on new cars: boosted steering, brakes, windows, locks, doors, automatic transmissions, lane departure, ABS, traction control, rear view cameras. Hearing someone claim that having a manual in a modern car lets them feel like they're more in control makes me shake my head a little. Yes, it's true up to a point. The rest has been taken out of the driver's hands. Not dismissing them so much as thinking it's a shame they don't know what they've lost and what they've missed. And a little sad that sort of engagement is nearly extinct. I have a 63 Valiant: 3 speed on the column, no power assist anywhere. It takes deliberate action and engagement to drive it and for that I love it. Like driving a truck in comparison to newer cars. Probably even full sized '60s fare. The more I see and read of new cars, the more I like what I have: 57, 34 and 15 years old the three of them. Something happens to the newest one, I'll go backward when I look to replace it. What drives me ? The smells, sounds, the comfortable old shoe feel of older cars. Even a well used newer one. A little character from miles and years. The cars everyone loved to then and loves to now hate on. Yes, some quirky personal preferences, but the same enthusiasm. Especially for the inhabitants of the Isle Of Misfit Cars. Motor on Y'all. Let's Terraplane !
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Michael Lamm. I used to look forward to his "Used Cars" columns in Motor Trend when I was 12 years old. I learned to keep a record book in my car to record gas and repairs from my first car to my current three. It was a treat to meet him at AeroBooks/AutoBooks in Burbank where he was signing his book about the 1955 Chevrolet. He is definitely an unsung hero of automotive writing.
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