Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Favorite Tow Vehicles

Clair Reuter's Bandini/Devin trailered by Earl Carlson's Bosley Mk I at Wilmot, Wisconsin racetrack in 1959. The Bosley was on of the most beautiful American specials of the 1950s, built by Richard Bosley. Carlson is in the white shirt, back to camera, and Bud DuVall is seated on the ground.

OK, this is the most exotic tow car I've ever seen. The Bosley is an absolute one off and Earl Carlson is it's second owner. I guess you could say that it has enough power with its early Hemi engine.

I have always been amazed at some people's choice of a tow vehicle. One of my favorites was a gent racing an older Formula Ford who towed it with a mid 30's Rolls Royce hearse. Actually, it was very practical as well as classy. After all, the hearse had a lovely mahogany load floor with built in rollers and tie downs. Tools, spares, and cooler rolled into place beautifully.

More like the Bosley, was Hardy Prentice from California who won the national championship with a TR3 after owning the car for 25 years. Actually, the TR3 was his only car for many years. Prentice flat towed the TR3 to all the races, including the tow across the country from California to Atlanta, with a Jag E Type tow vehicle. Tools and some spares went inside the Jag. The spare engine and other spares went in the race car. Race tires were mounted on the tow bar. I don't know how many years he did this, but I can remember 6 or 8 times I've seen this get up. Wish I taken a picture.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Towing Stories

I don't know if you ever noticed, but if you get a large group of racers or other car guys together for long enough, the stories will turn to trailer towing. I don't know if towing is always an adventure or if its just easier to stretch a yarn when your talking trailers.

In this case, Bob is towing his two little sports car home as I write this. Bob's adventure started on the tow out to Georgia. He called me eastbound around El Paso to ask me to look up the wind velocity at El Paso. Apparently, the truck was a handful and he was trying to decide if there was something wrong with the truck of if the wind was really blowing hard enough to give him trouble. According to the internet, gusts were to 45 mph and they were a crosswind. Lucky Bob got to fight the wind with an empty truck and trailer all the way to Georgia.

I ran across the lower photo which reminded me of a small towing adventure for Dave Dobry. Back in the day, a bunch of us would go down to Road Atlanta for the Runoffs and this particular year, Dave decided to tow a little tent camper down for the week. He pulled it with his baby blue Volar. It had a slant 6 and a 3 on the tree, if I remember correctly. By the way, it was called the Volar instead of the Volare' because Dave said that it didn't deserve the accent.

Naturally, it rained for the last few days and the Georgia clay turned to grease. Trying to get up some momentum, Dave headed straight for the paved road. Unfortunately for Dave, he couldn't see the ditch between him and the road, so with a slippery thud, the frame was sitting on the opposite side and the front wheels were waving in the air.

At the point this picture was taken, we had disconnected the trailer and Dave was plotting his next move.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Math of Car Styling

As I've been thinking about these curvaceous Italian cars of the 50's, I was reminded of several conversations I've had on the subject with automotive designers. I'm no designer myself and won't claim any expertise on the subject, but I have had the opportunity to work closely with several automotive designers, one who is both very talented and a friend and several others of strong opinions and varying skill levels.

Now there are lots of things that go into good car design. The basic concept, the vision of the driving experience, the packaging and the way that interacts with the overall design are examples. In a way, the surface of the car can be the result of many other choices, yet is often the most important thing in the way we react emotionally to a car.

These designers all had different ways they approached the surface of a car, but in the many conversations with them, I reduced it all to a way that an engineer can understand. What is pleasing to our eye is most often curved like most things in nature. In particular, one designer talked about 'lines on a car that show acceleration'. What I understood that he meant by that are curves that are always changing curvature and, in fact, the curvature increases or decreases smoothly along the shape. Mathematically, that means curves like a parabola. In nature, that means shapes like a raindrop.

So, look at the Giaur or the OSCA or any of your favorite cars and you can see parabolas and surfaces of rotated parabolas everywhere. The photo above is the Bosley and it shows accelerated lines everywhere. The way that the designer combines them in long lines the run the length of the car and shorter lines that react to a wheel or a radiator opening, the way that he combines them into a smooth surface, that is the art of car design.

Saturday, December 27, 2008


And while I'm playing around with small 50's Italian sports cars, this is an OSCA whose picture I found on VeloceToday.com, a very enthusiastic site for vintage Italian cars. OSCA was the product of the Maserati brothers and represented their smaller engine racing cars. Most of these had a nice little 1350 cc DOHC 4 cylinder. These cars came slightly before the Porsche 550 Spyder and, although they had a smaller engine, were often competitive with the German car. As pretty as the 550 is, I would also have to say that the OSCA was prettier, IMHO.

Now there are 550 replicas today. Its too bad there aren't replicas of this car, or alternatively (in honor of Mr. Bastow who loves coupes) of the OSCA Berlinetta bodied by Vignale. Another very pretty car.

Friday, December 26, 2008


This post is in honor of Bob Wilson who is currently driving across the country to retrieve his toy cars, an Alfa Spider and a Beck Spyder. Although from the perspective of music, Bob is stuck in the Sixties, from an automotive point of view most things Italian and many things from the Fifties are preferred. So here is the Giaur. I took this picture at the Laguna Seca Historics.

It must have been fun to be an Italian male with some money in the post war years. Bernardo Taraschi was a racer who also built several names and styles of car of his own conception. Some of his early Urania car were powered by BMW R75 motorcycle engines. The Giaur pictured here was typically powered by Giannini 750 cc engines. These cars frequently used Topolino based suspension components, although sometime bespoke suspensions were created.

I just love the small size of these cars. Nothing like a few modern men standing around to give it scale. Of course, the main attraction for me is the very unique styling, but they were also quite successful in racing and are still prized for vintage racing. I can also imagine this being the inspiration for a variation of a Locost or other special car project.

So here is a holiday toast to the Giaur and "Diddi" Taraschi who built his dream.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Past

I freely admit that I don't do a very good job of taking people pictures. As a result, I often don't have good pictures of friends and family. Somehow, I managed to take a few pictures of my own family back in the Christmas of 1976. From left to right, my mother Ruth, my sister Pat, her husband Dave, and my father Art. Hard to believe that its been 32 years.

This is probably the nicest picture of my mother that I have. The interesting thing is that I'm about the same age now as my parents are in this photo. Time flies.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

More Old Wood

I've been trying to get over a cold, so I haven't been able to move forward with my plywood project. In the meantime, I've been trying to go through my old photos, a project that started in August. I am amazed at the number of photos I've taken over the years.

In this case, I found a couple of shots of one of my favorite places, the Mission at San Xavier de Bac just south of Tuscon. Truely a beautiful place with a lot of spirit. The old wood in question is the door which is original and over 200 years old.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Looking out Windows

Sorry, no picture this time.

One of my earliest memories was being a little kid, probably 3 years old, being sick and having trouble sleeping. My mother tried to comfort me by picking me up and walking around the house in the dark. We would go from window to window, looking out into the dark neighborhood from the darker house. Ever since then, I have enjoyed wandering around my own home and looking out windows in the night and half light of early morning or late evening.

So this morning, we are having a blizzard. Snow has been falling at something like 3 inches per hour and, although you can't see much when the air is full of snow, I've been looking the windows anyway. While looking at the neighbor's house, through the spruce trees, I saw something I've never seen before, a flash of lightning through the snow. Now that's a snow storm.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Old Houses, Old Wood

These days, old houses are making much more sense to me. I'm not sure that the cost of houses in this housing bubble was inflated by speculation or by the cost of building them. I just bought a single sheet of 3/4" plywood and it cost $39! How many sheets of plywood and other materials go into the cost of building a new house? Anyway, this guy above has a sweet little old house, but it looks like even he got caught by the cost of new materials. Truth be told, he had to pay my price, plus the cost of shipping it to his little island. I guess far from the madding crowd is great, just not necessarily cheap to maintain.

The first two shots are from Providence Island, Quebec. Providence Island, a little community of about 10 houses remains pretty and remote. These days it is a summer getaway for the people of Tete a la Baleine (Head of the Whale), a small mainland community of a couple hundred people in far eastern Quebec. Tete a la Baleine is only accessable by boat (one a week) or small plane and is roughly 250 miles from the nearest road. I always find it fascinating that people is who live in small remote places like Tete a la Baleine feel the need for a summer getaway.

Historically, Providence Island was a summer fishing station closer to the ocean fishing grounds. I guess when its 1900 and you fish from a small dory that you row to the fish, then being 6 miles closer to the fish was a big advantage. But nobody wanted to stay on Providence Island during the winter since the island's highest point is only about 20 feet above high tide and winter storms could make it uncomfortable.

Speaking of a fixer upper, you might be able to get this one for a good price. Woody Point, Newfoundland is a great spot, but unfortunately, the locals are under pressure from rich outsiders looking to buy weekend homes.

Welcome to Entende Cordial. So here is the history. Back in 1900, the owner of several fish packing plants came to the northwest coast of Newfoundland and started a lobster packing plant and small town to support it. This was the finest house in the town, built by the factory owner himself for his family. His grand daughter still lives on the property. Just not in the house.

So keep those old houses going. After all, the wood they were made from was much cheaper than wood today.

Monday, December 8, 2008

The New Chrysler

Go ahead, click on the image. I think its even better up close.

In case you hadn't figured it out, Chrysler is the chicken with the helmet in this story. I've had this picture on my filing cabinet for years, but today it hit me, this is what Chrysler has done in the past, this is what we have to do again, figure out a way to do things differently so we don't get pounded into breasts and drumsticks.

So there you go Mr. Congressman, we're going to put on our helmet, stand up on our toes, and look Mabel right in the eye. That's our plan. That, plus a few billion dollars, and we'll be driving the country back to prosperity.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Silver City Coffee Shop Story

Some of you may recognize this picture from my earlier, Silver City, NM post. Now it turns out that this is a main corner in Silver City. I liked it for the people sitting out on the sidewalk and for the Moto Guzzi motorcycle in the picture. Now it turns out that Bob has a story about this corner and those chairs, but so far, I haven't convinced him to tell it on his blog, Heatrave. Its his story, so I can't tell it. Besides, having been there, I'm sure he can embelish the story much better than I. So what do you say Bob?

Reasons for a Happy Dance

There are lots of reasons to feel down these days. But every now and then, I find myself doing the happy dance for no good reason. Sometimes its the respect of a colleague or a good conversation with a good friend over lunch. This time, I came up with a solution to problem on the bike that looks like nothing, but had me dancing around the living room with the stereo turned up loud.

In the process of changing over to an electronic speed sensor, I had the problem of keeping the wire from flopping around when the suspension travels. I came up with this idea that puts wire in a hose and makes it look like the brake hose on the other side. Better yet, I had all of the materials on hand, so it cost nothing and only took was a little time. Hence the happy dance.

So I'm going to use this experience as a reminder to show respect my coworkers, spend time with friends and family, and take pleasure in the little successes in life.

Here is wishing you many happy dances for no reason at all.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Video Blogging

This is an experiment for me. Just an attempt to see how to imbed a video in a blog. So far, its easy.

This video was sent to me by my friend Corena. She finds all kinds of funny things. Naturally, I've already sent this on to the bicycle madman, John. For the rest of you, this looks like a great idea until you realize that if you stop, you sink, and keeping going takes a lot of energy.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Just Looking at the Pictures

Back more than a few years, I was just starting a relationship with a very special lady. She had a power over me that I couldn't fight. Just the touch of her hand on my arm would cause me to melt. One weekend day, we planned a picnic up in the mountains of Big Bear. The electricity between us was dynamic as we laughed and brushed against each other on the way up the mountains. Driving my little Justy up some rocky Jeep roads, we soon found ourselves far away from other people.

Deciding on private place for a picnic, we spread our blanket, spread our meal, and kissed. One thing led to another and...

Oh my! This is getting so hot, her picture is burning up.

Its come to my attention that some of my loyal readers aren't actually reading the words, but just looking at the pictures. Not everything I write in this blog is that interesting, but sometimes you might miss something just looking at pictures.

Now the lady and the way she affected me is real. The date with the Justy up in the mountains really happened, just not the way I described it. After all, I'd be less than a gentleman if I spoke of private times between a lady and myself. All that touchy stuff was made up and the lady in question is settled down and married to someone else. As for the photo, its a really nice picture of her that unfortunately suffered from foxing and was stuck to the back of another picture.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Project Wisdom

Sometimes, profound nuggets come at unexpected times.

I don't know about you, but I have a whole collection of unfinished projects. Some of them have been in use for years, but there is always some little thing that I had planned to finish it that remains undone.

For the last few weeks, I've been repairing the damage on the motorcycle fairing which involves a lot of fiberglass, bondo, priming, and sanding. I got tired of filling, sanding, and priming, over and over again until I got to the point where it wasn't perfect, but it was good enough because I was tired of working on prep. It was time to shoot the color.

Then along comes John Chamberlin with the nugget of wisdom. To paraphrase John, 'Although you never really finish a project, some times a project is done because you are out of time, some times because you are out of spit.' With the fairing project, I was out of spit.

I got thinking about this in a larger context and it makes an interesting way to think about other things too. For example, how about my job at Chrysler. Do I have more work to do, am I out of time, or am I out of spit? For me the answer is I've got more work to do and I'll let Chrysler tell me when I'm out of time, but I'm not out of spit. How about relationships, a career, a hobby, etc.?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Colorful Places in Winter

I started this blog with the bright colors of a house in St. Pierre, an island colony of France off the coast of Newfoundland. I can't help but noticing that people use all these bright paint colors in northern places, places where winter is long and dark. I guess I can understand it, but I'm always amazed when I find these colorful communities as I travel in the north.

The top picture is a shot of Tobermory, Scotland on the Isle of Mull. That's a pretty strong fashion statement for Scotland. Wasn't the word "dour" invented for those of us with a Scottish heritage?

These other shots are of St. Pierre & Miquelon. I just love this blue house.

What's your color palette? Oh, orange, red, with lime green trim and some bright blue accents.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Simple Life in Silver City, NM

OK, the last few posts have been a little extreme, not particularly practical. Now Silver City, New Mexico seems a lot more of a real possibility. I say seems because I've never been there, but with the magic of the internet and clipping a few chosen pics, we can all get the start of an idea.

Somehow, I seem to be connected to Silver City without having gone there. More than 10 years ago, I had a friend who moved from So. Cal. to Silver City and then disappeared. More recently, my friend Bob met a friend in Phoenix, Kristen, who is originally from Silver City and had recently returned to live there. Bob has visited a few times and given me the low down on what a nice town Silver City would be to live in.

With about 10,000 people, it is a college town, a mining town, and a retirement town. Bob says that everyone is friendly and the pace is relaxed.

As for weather, Silver City is pretty far south, say about parallel with Tucson, but at almost 6,000 feet elevation its cool and dry like Prescott. As for the surrounding country side, they are just south of the mountains that are more than 8000 feet elevation and covered in pine. Further south, the valley becomes typical Arizona/N.M. desert, so there is a lot of variety.

Housing is quaint with lots of these old Victorian homes in the downtown district. It looks like you can live on the cheap with a poor little house for under $100k, but nice Victorian houses like this would be more like $150 to $250.

Now the only challenge would be the idea that the next big town is 100 miles away.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Simple Life in the Chatham Islands

OK, this one is a bit of a stretch. I personally don't like the tropics or too much hot weather. So I was playing around in the satellite view of Google maps and found the Chatham Islands. They are at about 35 degrees south latitude which means a temperate climate and are a part of New Zealand. In fact, they are more than 800 kilometers east of Christchurch. To say that they are off the beaten path would be an understatement.

The population is only about 700 people with most on Chatham Island itself and about 50 people on Pitt Island. The population is a mix of Moriori, Maori, and Missionary and is the traditional home of the Moriori people.

Looks spectacular, but I'm guessing its just as wet as Scotland. A little warmer though. Apparently, as the only land for miles, there is usually a layer of clouds above the island as the land disturbs the trade winds and causes clouds in the interaction.

Fishing is like the North Atlantic with cod and lobster. Pastoral farming is also common on the islands with plenty of grass for sheep or cows. At the very least, it is an out of the way place to visit on a vacation.

As for retiring there, it may qualify as too quiet. Even I think that 50 or 700 people would be pretty limiting. I'm also guessing that it would be pretty hard to publish this blog, since I doubt they have much in the way of high speed internet access.

Friday, October 31, 2008

The Simple Life in Panama

OK, I have some research to do on this one. I've now had two independent recommendations to Panama as a quiet and inexpensive place to retire. This picture was clipped from a Panama City condo ad on the web. According to Frank Kurk, there are lots of expat beach bums living comfortably on the Pacific coast. Comfortable condos are apparently as cheap as $150k. Now living on the equator is not my ideal situation, but its an interesting answer to the "simple life" question.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Simple Life in West Virginia

This lovely shot was clipped from the destination360 website because I didn't have any pictures of West Virginia. While not all parts of West Virginia look this nice, I wanted to pick W. Va. for the simple life because it was one option in the original search with Zora.

A few years back, before I had my digital camera, I took a motorcycle trip down to visit Bob Wilson when he was working in Charlottesville, Va. I wandered the back roads both trips and found it a very quiet place to live. Oh yeah, and the roads are nice too.

The trick for W. Va. would be finding the right place. You see the east is too close to Washinton and gets expensive, but is naturally the nicest part. The west is former or current coal country and is cheaper, but also poorer in view and in spirit. I'm guessing that , depending on your finances, you could find the right combination of cost and countryside.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Simple Life #2

OK, I admit I stole this picture from the web. It represents a place and a story from my friend, Zora. As I am not a tropical paradise kind of person, this simple place is not for me, but I think Zora would have stayed there a long time if she could have.

Zora was enjoying traveling the world and had spent a month or two at an ashram in India, when she had to leave India for a while before she could renew her visa. Given the options of flying home or flying somewhere new, she decided to wander around Thailand. After a bit of looking about, she ended up on an island and settled into a hut, not unlike this one. Looking out of her hut, she looked through a few large palm trees, over the nice beach, and into the ocean. I can't remember how many weeks she stayed, but if I recall correctly, the accommodations cost $4 per night.

It was actually stories like this that started the ongoing discussion of where can a person of limited means live a simple life in a beautiful place. For Zora, Thailand would have been an option other than the Thai government doesn't let foreigners own property. From there we set up rules for the "Simple Life". You should be able to own property, it should be affordable, and if English is spoken, that's not a bad thing.

So give me your ideas. What's that place that you have visited that made you want to just sit down and stay.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Simple Life

OK. The economy is lousy. The big bosses at my company are thinking about selling us, breaking us up, or just plain closing. The whole industry is in the middle of a free fall off of a cliff and that's only part of the whole economy in a mess. In reality, everybody I know could be out of a job tomorrow.

Now, I'm not too worried for myself. I've been a good saver and will survive, but I can't help thinking about what's next. In order to make it more fun and not so much worry, I've decided to start playing with ideas of where I could move and retire to a "simple life". Sometimes, I won't be able to tell if its someplace where I could live cheaply, but anyplace that is quiet and simple, where one could live without the trappings of modern life qualifies. Of course, cheap is more true to the concept.

I also invite suggestions and pictures of interesting places from others. I haven't figured out how to have comments post pictures, but feel free to email me a small picture and words for a "simple place". I'll try to post it in your name. Please limit pictures to roughly 600 x 800 and jpeg format.

So for now, here is my first suggestion. On the west coast of Scotland, down miles and miles of one lane roads, I found this lovely little cottage with a view out to the Inner Hebrides. The cottage is near Loch Mudle on the way to Kilchoan. The little dirt road that passes in front of the cottage goes to the little village of Ockle, but if you can't find that, look for the penninsula north and east of the Isle of Mull. The islands in the distance are the Isle of Eigg in the foreground and Isle of Rum touching the clouds in the background.

A magical place, Scotland.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

His and Hers Campaign Signs

This time of year, I really enjoy walking outside. The weather is cool enough, the bugs are gone, and the fall colors are fine. This Sunday morning I needed to workout at the health club, so rather than walk on a boring treadmill, I decided to park in Chelsea and walk around the village. I drove into town before dawn (which isn't that early with Daylight Savings hanging on) and went for a walk around the quiet streets and nice Victorian houses. Being that it is only a few weeks before the election, there were also lots of political signs to see.

First of all, I had to wonder where did all these people get their signs and what did it cost them? I realized that the fact that I hadn't a clue where to find a political sign if I wanted one was probably a sign of indifference. Also, I get enough political email as it is. I can't imagine giving some one my name, address, telephone and being hounded by some political party.

I started noticing that, at least in Chelsea, there are a larger number of Obama signs than McCain signs. The Obama signs can be seen on a whole range of houses from fancy to modest. Interestingly, the McCain signs seem to be primarily on the more modest houses. I'm not sure what that means.

Finally, I came to a modest house that had both McCain and Obama sign, right next to each other, in the front yard. I don't know anything about the people that live there, but I'm calling them "His and Hers" campaign signs. I wonder what the conversation around the dinner table is like in that house.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

My Favorite Season

Today, its raining, but I thought I would share a few shots from a sunnier day. Right now, its peak color and it makes me remember how lucky I am to live in such a pretty place and be allowed to be out in the country as part of my job.

The hickory and spruce are in my front yard and it feels like they are enjoying the weather as much as I am. A blue sky doesn't hurt anything.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Projects Keep me Sane

Its been a while since I last posted. There have been a lot of negative things going on and I just didn't feel like it. A lot of negative energy at work which culminated in layoffs for two guys in my group. Guys that I have worked closely with for years and that is more painful than I expected. Of course, not as painful as for them. That combined with my motorcycle falling off the hoist and sustaining some significant damage as part of a week or two when nothing went right.

After a rough stretch, I usually find that working on a project, that is, making something with my own hands, is what starts me feeling better. So while this is nothing exciting on its own, my little machine shop project is part of repairing the bike. And myself.

The part that broke was a molded plastic latch that held my trunk on the back of the motorcycle. It had this slightly complicated shape, with angles on the front and back, and a place for the male part of the latch to grab onto. The whole thing is about 1 1/2" tall and wide and will mount on a modification of the aluminum luggage rack. Overall, it was fun figuring out how to make it on the mill.

Here is wishing you projects that keep you centered.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Role Model

My father, Art Brown, has always been a role model for me. At 87 he plays golf, sometimes twice a week, works out at the health club where he chats with pretty young women, explores on the internet, and is someone I can call with an electronic question and have him figure it out over the telephone. He is also my good friend.

About a week ago, I met Bob and Dale, who is one of Bob's old neighbors from his Ann Arbor days. Dale is about 70 and doing fine, but slowing down just a little. Talking to Bob later, I was reminded of this trip where my 76 year old father and I went off-roading through Colorado.

We met in Vegas and drove up to Telluride, one of our favorite places. I just wish I had bought some property there the first time we visited, since I couldn't afford to live there now. On our first visit, the town was sleepy all year and the main street through the town was dirt.

From there we went north to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison and up to Marble where we found our first real off-road trail.

This trail follows the Crystal River up to the ghost town of Crystal City and its iconic mill, shown below. While there, we talked to a family whose great-grandfather had owned mines here in the silver rush. He loved it so much that he and his family have been coming back to visit every summer for 4 generations.

Rocky Mountain high country is full of color in summer.

Part of our off-road adventure was to cross over Taylor Pass, where Papa met some attractive young women having a day out of the city. My father has always been a babe magnet. It looks like that gene skipped a generation.

Finally, we looped back around to Telluride by a southern route. This shot is of the upper Rio Grande valley. Up near the headwaters, we crossed over a high pass and down into the Animas River valley and the town of Silverton.

A few days ago, Papa said he had enjoyed these travels and staying active in retirement. Paraphrasing, 'My 70's were good. You slow down a little, though, when you hit 80.' For me, that's a good measuring stick for the future and I'll do my best to live up to it.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Successor to Gidget?

Last week, I got together with Larry and Pricilla Poese and Bob Wilson for dinner. Along the way, the conversation turned to my having sold Gidjet and Larry asked what 60's rear drive car I was going to buy to replace Gidjet. I replied that, for now, the motorcycle is filling that role since its fun to ride and is actually good for my neck. Larry asked what about the winter, implying that 4 wheels is better than two in snow and ice. OK. In truth, I didn't drive Gidjet in winter for a long time, so the question doesn't completely apply, but its an interesting question anyway. So I decided to throw out a few ideas and look for other ideas from the comment section. The conditions are that it needs to be reasonably priced, fun to drive (even raucous), fit me, and give me a good driving position for my junky neck.

The first candidate, I saw parked on the road in Scotland while I was waiting for the ferry to Orkney Island. Not easy to find in the States, but a nice, rally prepared 1st gen Escort.

The next one was a lot of fun to drive, gave me good neck support, but also caused the neck problem on our last outing. Its great to be able to power drift on dry pavement with only 100 HP, but perhaps Lola is a little impractical on the street.

Still, its the only car I ever got a trophy for driving.