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Leo  Basile
Leo Basile Reader
7/18/10 7:42 a.m.

I have been lucky enough to have driven a handful of cars on that list...The last being the Citroën just last weekend.

When I see an article with a title like that, Im always intrested in the parameters, or logic. But it comes down to emotion.

The Spitfire was the first "real" sports car I had driven (at 16), and a 72 MGB the first I had owed(at 17). Both times I felt simply wonderful...So Im always upset when I dont see them listed!

Conversely, I have driven an E-Type(at 40) and didnt feel any emotional tug what so ever. Like a supermodel with no personality! LOL

So the list...Many of the folks I meet at events seem to want to drive the Morgan. Now I have turned it into a "You can drive mine, If I can drive yours" thing. So Im slowly building MY list! Next weekend at the PVGP Im going to get to drive an unmolested Lotus 7 in exchange for a spin in the Morgan!

Andy, I agree with you, and would like to add that not all "must drives" are sports cars.

I submit that the Army 2 1/2 ton truck aka the Deuce and a half, is as much fun to drive as any sports car!


ddavidv SuperDork
7/18/10 11:32 a.m.

I always thought the concept of the "ride swap" was a good one. Classic cars aren't like newer ones where you can just go to a car lot and try one out. It's hard to justify buying a model across the country if you've never driven one. My Mini awaits most anyone wanting to swap a turn in something similarly interesting.

alfadriver Dork
7/19/10 8:14 a.m.
Tommy Suddard wrote: And here you've hit the hardest part of making a magazine–making it appeal to everybody. We try to put a wide range of stuff in the magazine (obviously leaning towards normal people), because if we only wrote about MGB's and Spitfires, Jay Leno (and many others like him) probably wouldn't read the magazine anymore, and we wouldn't be in business.

Tommy- The problem is the "must" part- that whole aspect of the article could have been changed to another focus- like the one intended to focus on significant cars that are rare and very important to our hobby.

But when you put the "must" part in- as in "must drive" or "must race"- what kind of a looser am I when I can't even sit in one, let alone driver or race? So I'm quickly on the outside.

It's an attidude more than anything else- like how AW is "lifestyle" and likes to feature watches for whatever reason- ones that cost up to $300,000. None of the watches remotely are on my radar, so where does that put me in regards to what AW is trying to promote? Or are they just on the whole "better than the neighbors" thing, which I have grown quite tired of.

CM is a automotive lifstyle magazine- that's it's core. But I want to read articles that are relvant to me- not ones that make me feel like a looser, since I can't "must" something.

That's why I really questioned this thread- how can I judge what should or should not be on the list? Since the focus on both articles were cars that were incredibly rare and expensive- how can I say that you should drive a 750/101 Giulietta Spider or Sprint? I can't even compare racing a real Trans Am GTA with a 917, even when the GTA is that rare.

Andy Reid
Andy Reid Auction Editor
7/19/10 11:00 a.m.

How about changing drive to experience? It might change things a bit.

If you can't drive one of the car why not ask someone to ride in one of the higher dollar cars.

People amazingly like to give rides in their higher dollar cars.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
7/19/10 5:05 p.m.

I think some people missed the point of the article, or maybe we didn't make it strong enough. These aren't 35 cars that you must own. Rather, it's 35 amazing cars that are at least worth sampling.

"We don't care if you beg, borrow or steal your way behind the wheel, as each one is all worth the effort to take even for a brief spin."

Are we saying you're a loser if you don't own a car on this list? Hardly. These are 35 cars that everyone should at some point get to sample. That's all. And if we had the space, would have discussed 35 more.

alfadriver Dork
7/20/10 7:13 a.m.

David It's not that my car isn't on the list, but there's no way in he!! that I'll be able to sample those cars. Unless I win the lottery.

I doubt I'll even be able to sit in most of them.

I personally know people with 8C and 6C Alfas, and I'm pretty sure I'll not be able to drive them in my lifetime. And the headline was "Cars you MUST DRIVE". So the extension was- if I do not have the means to sample- what does tha make me? Am I still a target reader? I'm sure I'm not one for AW- the most recent issue has made that perfectly clear (I'm paitently waiting for the sub to run out)

That, and based on the list, it's hard to judge what cars we should even be discussing? And I've not even looked at the afterthought of a list to "make it up"- just the main list of cars.

Here's a follow-up- how many of the staff at CM/GRM have driven a 8C or 6C Alfa Romeo?


Andy Reid
Andy Reid Auction Editor
7/20/10 8:26 a.m.

I have driven a 6c and an 8c. Also driven a slew of W.O Bentley cars and every other car on the list except the Mercer and the racecars and I have ridden in the Mercer as well.

I know I am on the far edge with this but I have never owned a 6c or an 8c I was just at a vintage racing event and expressed interest, enthusiasm and knowledge about the car and the owner asked if I wanted to try it out.

One of the neatest parts of this hobby is that this kind of stuff happens. When I had my Daytona I let everyone who knew about the car and was excited about it try it out. In fact I have done this with every car I have ever owned and will continue to do so with the new DB7 and whatever else I end up getting next.

I honestly feel that kind of an attitude is very important to the hobby. If people don't know what driving a 6c or for that matter a MGB or 911 is like why would they ever want one. We should be recruiting new enthusiasts all the time.

TR8owner New Reader
12/13/10 3:33 p.m.

Any British or Euro car that had an American V8 is always on my list. Its great to have serious power without an expensive exotic engine. I've only ever had personal experience with two - Sunbeam Tiger and Triumph TR8, but there are certainly many others I lust over.

wspohn Reader
12/14/10 10:47 a.m.

I've driven 8 of the 15 on your additional list (didn't pick up the magazine, so can't comment on the ones in that article).

I know you have to fill those blank pages, but this sort of thing always seems so superficial. Of the 8 I've driven, half of them I'd never want to drive again - many flawed vehicles or cars that just don't inspire much interest.

I enjoy your in depth articles much more than these magpie sorts of 'look at the pretty pictures and read a paragraph' accumulations, but that's just me, and I'm told that I am a notorious curmudgeon, so......

wspohn Reader
12/14/10 10:56 a.m.
TR8owner wrote: Any British or Euro car that had an American V8 is always on my list. Its great to have serious power without an expensive exotic engine. I've only ever had personal experience with two - Sunbeam Tiger and Triumph TR8, but there are certainly many others I lust over.

Hard to let that one pass, sorry. Great power? ~135 BHP and 164 BHP?

Your goals are clearly modest. When I think of American V8 power, I am thinking about ACs and Jensens!

I agree that having decent output without an expensive and complex engine is a GOOD thing. I was slotted next to an Aston DBS V8 once, and we were comparing our cars (I was driving a Jensen CV8). Turns out that I paid 1/5 what he had to rebuild my engine and I had about 40 BHP more. To be fair, I also had a 6.3 to his 5.3.

TR8owner New Reader
12/14/10 2:15 p.m.

In reply to wspohn:

My TR8 has about 225 bhp. Its been modified for the street with Holley, headers cam, pistons, etc but not gone crazy. My old Tiger may not be powerful by today's super car standards, but I owned it immediately after a Porsche 356B with the normal engine, so it seemed huge at the time.

Series6 Reader
12/14/10 6:41 p.m.

This string still annoys me.

Andy and David-OF COURSE you've been able to drive the Bentleys and Alfa's and everything else listed. You are respected writers and work for a well known magazine, and/or you've been involved in the hobby/sport/obsession long enough to have the connections within that community where these cars live. In your position in the hobby/sport/obsession owners are more then willing to throw you their keys and let you take it around the block/track. Good for you.

For the rest of us more common types, magazines, shows and the occasional museum will be the closest we get to some of these automobiles.

Next time (ok-this part is tongue in cheek) you might consider using the title "35 Cars you might think strongly about trying to bum a ride/drive in if you ever luck out and run into a guy who has one and is willing to let you (a complete stranger) indulge your curiosity just for grins"....Put that across the cover... That will sell you some mags on the news stand...

PS. When are you planning to finish the series on the restoration of the Tiger? Knowing that it's already on the road, and at the rate you are publishing it, by the time you finish the series, it may well be time to restore it again.

And yes, I'm always grumpy around this time of year. Merry/Happy etc. everyone.

racerdave600 HalfDork
12/15/10 8:22 a.m.

I've got no problem with it. Maybe just change the name to 35 really cool cars!

A little info here...all my friends know I'm into Alfas, and a buddy's wife once sent me a picture with her driving one. She just said it was a cool old Italian car that the owner let her try. She was at a vintage race in Watkins Glen I believe, and the car was Phil Hill's old 8C 2.9. All she did was walk up and start talking to him. If you approach people and are nice, you never know.

7pilot Reader
12/19/10 6:49 a.m.

Well it seems to me that the marketing department simply wanted a "hook" to attract more buyers. Judging by the overall negative reaction to the hook, I'm sure the marketing department have gained some valuable insight into the demographics and psychology of the typical CMS reader/subscriber. I understand that the mag would like to expand its exposure to a mostly much younger market. Unfortunately, there are very few old youngsters like Mr Tom Studdard out there.

So you're going to have use softer hooks so you don't scare off/Tee off the limited number of old fish in your attempts to hook, imo, a few minnows. The Minnows like gadgets. Some like cars, but only modern numb machines infested with electronics.


TR8owner New Reader
12/19/10 1:53 p.m.

In reply to racerdave600:

"If you approach people and are nice, you never know"

Like these guys. I started talking to them about thinking of getting into vintage racing and they asked if I wanted to sit in their car. Really nice guys.

racerdave600 HalfDork
12/20/10 7:56 a.m.

When I was much younger and really into Alfas, I stopped to talk to a guy about his TZ1 at a historic race. After about 10 minutes he let me crawl around it and sit in it. I was only about 20 or 21 at the time and still remember it. It made a big impression. It was a beautiful car by the way!

Andy Reid
Andy Reid Auction Editor
12/20/10 12:48 p.m.

A couple of things to chime in and respond. If you are going to name people involved with the magazine, make a point of spelling their names correctly. Tim's last name is spelled Suddard. There is no T in it.

Next the story was not a marketing exercise for the title. If people would have the wherewithal to ask to drive/ride in many of these cars I would have to guess that they would get the opportunity to do so.

As I said before, I am willing to let anyone who can demonstrate that they know the proper way to drive a car of the model in question, to drive any of the cars I own and have owned. I put countless people behind the wheel of My Daytona, my Bentley and various other higher dollar cars I have owned. People do this whether you believe it or not.

Quite a few of the opportunities I have had to drive important cars came before I wrote for the magazine. In fact many of them were cars I owned before they became terribly valuable.

The point I guess I have to make is if you don't ask, you don't get. Make sure you try before deciding driving some of these cars is impossible. Be a nice person and know what you are talking about and I think you will be amazed at the opportunities that are available.

If you are not comfortable asking someone about the opportunity to drive a specific car, that is your issue to deal with; don't say you did not have the chance when you never tried.

At the end of the day it was a catch title. We are not trying to alienate the readers more than we are attempting to educate and entertain you.

On a side note I love when readers think that the cars mentioned in the article were designed to bring younger readers into the magazine. The most valuable cars on the list are of little or no interest to most of the younger readers i come into contact with.

Finally you guys really need to go back over the list of cars and remember that most of the cars listed there are affordable to most of you with just a few exceptions.

oldtin Dork
12/20/10 2:30 p.m.

No doubt the the intentions were good in showcasing some cool cars - but the title was definitely a turn-off of David E. Davis, Jr. proportions.

Andy Reid
Andy Reid Auction Editor
12/20/10 2:38 p.m.

I know we understand that feeling, and the goal was not to alienate readers just that the cars were really amazing on the list.

Rhodyspit75 New Reader
12/20/10 3:45 p.m.

In reply to Andy Reid: "People do this weather you believe it or not" If you are going to pick on spelling I believe the proper word is whether not weather. BTW I enjoyed the article.

Tom1200 New Reader
12/20/10 11:55 p.m.

OK I've posted maybe 4-5 times here but I'll chime in : First I thought the article was a bit of fun nothing more and like many guys I've driven probably half of them. How?? Well like a lot of SCCA club racers I instruct at various track days, organized events and man booths etc. I seem to have become a proponent of the notion that Japanese cars are collectable or at least classics, so I'm not going to be the traditional classic car guy. I can tell you, having had folks with seven figure plus incomes as students at track days they are exactly like you or I, they're nuts about cars..............once had someone with a Ferrari Super America ask for a ride in my Datsun 1200 (we are both Ferrari F1 fans). He returned the favor and let me drive his car. I was manning a booth at a IRL race and chatting with this nice old gent who happened to own 1938 Indy Car (after everyone went home we chugged it around the parking lot before loading it). Probably 20 years ago one of the car auctions used to have local SCCA folks drive the cars in and out of the auction. Somtimes you'd get lucky and have to drive the car up 3 stories of the parking garage, not much of a drive but you could get a taste of the cars. The bottom line is if you're involved with local clubs it's surprising what you get to drive or get to go for a ride in. The other surprising fact is what you end up liking. The Group B spec Quatro I drove was an absolute beast, the Porsche 550 was sublime, Super Vee and D-Sports racers are a rush BUT the two most fun cars I've driven are Spec Miata and the Fiat X19. One of the cars I liked the least, the original Porsche 911 Turbo. I've also discovered when it comes to Ferraris I like the 4 seat Ferraris best. Car nuts do love to share their cars with other car nuts, simple as that. Guys like Jay Leno were car nuts when they were broke. When you have a genuine passion for cars, again people love to share that, whether they own a 3 million dollar Ferrari or a 3000 dollar Fiat.


Andy Reid
Andy Reid Auction Editor
12/21/10 7:24 a.m.

Thanks Rhodyspit I had missed that. The poor guy has his name mangled so much and it is in the front of every Grassroots and Classic Motorsports magazine and seemed extreme to spell it incorrectly on the message boards for his own magazine.

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