Air Cooled Seats?

Are air-cooled/vented seats a gimmick? I live in the American South where the summer humidity creates a miniature Amazon Rain-forest in cars with dark interiors; especially those with leather. I have had friends purchase vehicles with air-vented seats, but I have never actually experienced this feature before first-hand. Of course, I have used and felt the warmth from seat warmers, and they actually work wonders on a chilly day. But what about seat coolers? Does it really help, or do car manufacturers need to seek out new seat materials in order to make driving more pleasurable for hot summers and warmer climates? Either way, sweating bullets after 30 seconds in a car isn’t fun and even those in the Rain-Forest would probably appreciate some relief. Let me know your thoughts!

 

Drive Spiritedly.

 

– JRB

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Support Your Local Auto-Show

Mustangs. Camaros. Model-Ts. Jaguar XK120s. Every vintage Corvette known to man. Local auto-shows will soon be taking place with spring in the air in small towns across the United States. If you ever happen to stroll into such a town in late March, April, May, and June, chances are you will hear about, read about, or see a local auto-show taking place. While some car snobs may raise their nose at such events and shun them like the plague, these shows can be bursting with automotive surprises and gems. Being from a small, rural town myself, I always enjoyed the auto-show we held in town. People displayed typical Americana from the muscle car era. And while I am not exactly a muscle car enthusiast, the camaraderie and friendly smiles were always present. Most of these folks take great pride and enjoyment in their automobile, and you always hear an interesting story behind not just the car but also about the owner. While overalls and boots may be the attire of choice at these events and be a turn-off to some, the love of the automobile present at these local auto-shows is undeniable. I encourage anyone who is truly an automobile enthusiast to support their local auto-show by attending or participating in the event. Drive Spiritedly.

 

-JRB

The Tire

Will the tire ever be replaced? I have found myself asking that question more often lately. At first, I thought I was being ridiculous: “Of course it won’t be! You don’t honestly believe in Jetson-like transportation, do you?!” While nothing would be as awesome as flying cars and what not, I decided to run with the idea of what would replace the tire. Recently, I saw a small, demonstrative video of the future tire: it was as sphere. It contained magnetic materials that allowed the car to levitate upon the tire itself thus making for a smooth, efficient ride. It was quite bizarre but interesting nonetheless! While this may be an impractical solution, I don’t see replacing the tire as a waste of time and thought process.

Tires and the friction made by tires upon the surface of the road wield great influence over fuel emissions, speed, safety, and road infrastructure. Replacing the tire could mean a great increase in fuel efficiency and safety whilst traveling. It would also drastically change motorsports and the way car enthusiasts enjoy driving their vehicle. However, one of the biggest changes would be the type of roads and travel infrastructure as pavement could become obsolete. By changing the tire, the entire automobile would change, the way we enjoy them could change, and the actual world and environment in which we drive them would change. Replacing the tire would mean reworking the car and, in some sense, the world. What do you think? Let me know!

 

Drive Spiritedly.

 

-JRB

Save the Environment: Buy a used car?

So, you are an environmental warrior? Great. The environment does need some help, especially today. Perhaps you aren’t, and that is your business. However, for those who do care about the environment, yet love cars, maybe purchasing a used or classic vehicle is an easy way to help out as well as help out your wallet. Why? Because you will not be purchasing something that is, at present, creating a massive carbon foot-print to manufacture and create. The used and/or classic car has already made its mark on the environment in some way, and there is no taking that back. Sure, the older cars may not have the fancy bells and whistles. And it may get around 17 miles to the gallon. But, you will not be contributing to any more environmental impact at the present from manufacturing which is where a lot of the issues come from. This is just an idea, and in no way has it been proven. But, it is something to think about. So go ahead, buy that awesome 1990s Porsche or Ford Bronco. You will not only be rolling in style and driving a car that puts a giant grin on your face, but you may be helping out the environment today to enjoy it tomorrow.

What do you think? Leave a comment!

 

Drive Spiritedly.

 

-JRB

Patina: A good thing?

Is patina a good thing? Or does that answer depend on what type of car has the patina? Use and signs of wear can actually look good on some cars, in my opinion. However, some cars don’t wear patina too well. Example A: Pagani Zonda. While hearing one tear down a road at full blast is amazing, just looking at one in a showroom also becomes a special event.

What about a car that looks good with wear? Example B: Bugatti Type-35. This is also an extremely expensive car, but it looks good with some wear on its fringes. So, what separates the two? This leads to an interesting thought: is one more of a piece of art and the other a tool? And: can a car be art? Undoubtedly, if you are reading this blog, you more than likely think that cars can be considered art. But can something that can be art still be art after the beating of years on twisty roads and use? I think so; however, the Type-35 does have the honor of being a racing vehicle while the Zonda remains something for consumption. Both, however, remain coveted. Perhaps the design and purpose of the car becomes, then, a determinant on whether or not it a) is art and b) if it looks good with patina.

What do you think? I would like to know! Commence the commenting!

 

Drive Spiritedly.

 

-JRB

The Natchez Trace Parkway – Best Driving Road in the States?

The Natchez Trace Parkway, stretching from the outskirts of Nashville, TN to Natchez, MS, has to be one of the best, if not the best, driving road in the United States. It is well paved, provides excellent curves, and gorgeous scenery of the South’s countryside. While there are several cyclists on the road typically given the time of year as well as an underwhelming speed limit, it remains one of the best driving roads I have ever driven. And while being able to go a little bit faster wouldn’t hurt, driving near the speed limit provides you with the opportunity to savor the experience and soak up the road in all its wonder. It is a wonderful place to drive spiritedly, and we cannot ask for more from a road. What do you think is the best driving road in the United States? Please comment!

Drive Spiritedly.

 

-JRB

Car Technology – What do you want to see?

Technology in the automobile has been amazing the past few years. From Apple and Android creating easy-to-use, familiar interfaces that integrate from your mobile device to steering-in-lane controls that guide your car within the lines on a road, the automobile is getting smarter to keep up with consumer technology and to keep us safer. Some cars even have mobile device wireless charging decks built into the vehicle’s center console! While nothing sounds better than charging your phone while also streaming music via Bluetooth to your speakers while also streaming your favorite navigation app on a long tip, where else do we need to go in regard to car technology? Is car tech just a mirror of consumer technology as in the case of smartphones and their various applications?

Some may say that autonomously driving vehicle is the next step in car technology, and that may be true. However, with consistent tragic wrecks taking place with self-driving technology, is this really the future? And what about engine technology? We don’t know what the future has in store, but I think we can all agree that maintaining the excitement of the automobile needs to remain a key factor in whatever technology emerges.

What are your thoughts? Please comment!

 

Drive Spiritedly.

-JRB