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Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen Wagon(wagen)

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You want a vehicle that can do 99% of everything that you think you need it to do? I have the perfect vehicle for you. It’s called a “wagon”, and it utilizes plenty of cargo room mixed with great driving dynamics and solid styling.

Oh you don’t like that idea? YOU’RE WRONG!

Say hello to the Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen, and say hello to a vehicle that will handle nearly all of your daily needs. It has loads of cargo space, returns tremendous fuel economy with the TDI motor, and is available rather nicely equipped for right around $30,000.

Stop buying crossovers. Start buying wagons… this one is a good one to start with.

[Disclaimer: Volkswagen tossed us the keys to this Golf Sportwagen and included a tank of the oil burning fuel. We barely dipped into it, despite putting a fair amount of miles on the car. Even with my fat foot, it has massive range per tank.]

Rally Ride-Along: Mark Higgins takes on Druidale
and we hang on for the ride

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The Druidale Rally unfolds over a handful of stages on the Isle of Man. It’s the TT that gets (and rightfully deserves) all of the attention, but there IS a route that four-wheel enthusiasts can take. It’s demanding, tight, twisting, beautiful, and in the middle of nowhere… on an island in the middle of the Irish Sea.

This is where we’ve been given the chance to ride shotgun in a full-on brand-new Subaru rally car. The man behind the wheel is Mark Higgins. The fatter man in the shotgun seat is… me. Thankfully I don’t have to give any directions.

Higgins has it all under control…

Driver on Driver: Episode 3 – Pat Goodin

Host Sam Nalven sits down with driver Pat Goodin. He learns about Rumspringa, Doin’ it for Dale, and how many “sodas” you can have during an interview.

If you missed it, here’s Episode 1 with guest Chris Forsberg. and Episode 2 with Fredric Aasbø.

Rallying with Subaru on the Isle of Man

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On a down day of racing at the Isle of Man, we trekked to the island nations interior. There we found a former air base that replaced its former glory with the sound of glorious engine noise. Subaru had brought along two very different examples of the fun that lies in store in its lineup.

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Audi RS5 Cabriolet – Feel the wind in your hair… and in your wallet

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The Audi RS5 is a sort of lone wolf in a strange land. Four-passenger, two-door convertibles are a rare breed, and they get far more rare when you throw in terms like “all-wheel-drive”, “aggressive”, “V8”, and performance. That’s what we’re dealing with here, and it’s hard to compare the RS5 Cabriolet to other vehicles on the market.

Under the hood we have a rather delightful 4.2-liter V8 that produces 450 horsepower and just under 320 pound-feet of torque. There’s plenty of power on tap, and it’s metered out to all four wheels by way of the seven-speed S-tronic gearbox. My issues with the car begin here.

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Retired LA School Worker Needs Good Home
We mean LA School Work Truck

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Everyone needs a good truck. So to help you on your journey, I’ve gone ahead and found one that you should buy. This is a 1969 Dodge pickup that’s finished in a delightful light shade of blue, and it’s being offered at a price below $4,000. Under the hood sits a 383 that is connected to a three-speed automatic. That 383 currently breathes through a two-barrel carb, but a little tinkering will have it breathing a lot better. Still, this is no muscle machine but rather the perfect cruise-around-town pickup.

Apparently it served for many years as a maintenance vehicle for the LA School District. Now it’s retired and needs to find a good home. Pony up the short money being asked (or negotiate an even better deal) and you’ll be riding in style. Even better is the fact that you typically see Chevy C10s and the occasional Ford F100, but you rarely see the old Dodge trucks roaming around.

Stand out in a good way… here’s the ad.

[Source: Craigslist]

Podcast: Episode 108 – Over-Tired At The ‘Ring

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It’s a short episode this week, but it’s an on-the-road episode.

This was recorded while I was at the Nürburgring a few weeks back. I sat down in my hotel and spoke into the recorder for 20 minutes. No, this time it’s not going to be like the Scotland podcast. While I swears I’ll try to recreate that “magic” someday, today is not that day.

Instead, here’s a bit of insight into what went down on the first half of this trip.


Hooniverse – On The Road: Over-Tired At The ‘Ring

Please go to iTunes and rate and review this podcast. It helps keep Old Man Podcastenstein off my back.

Driving the Aston Martin English Rose
A trek to Germany for insight into the automaker’s motorsports history

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In 2006, Aston Martin decided it was time to take on the Nürburgring. This meant tackling the 24 Hour Endurance race, and the goal was to do it in a car that was very nearly one of its road-going street cars.

Rose was born from this idea.

That’s her name, and she’s a V8 Vantage that started life as a development vehicle. This meant many hours and miles logged indoors on rolling roads.

She was reborn, however, as a real race car and she was heading to one of the most demanding circuits on the planet. After the clock turned over for all of its 24 hours, Rose was still alive and kicking. The Aston Martin team managed to go from an idea to a 4th place in-class finish in just 6 months.

…and now nine years later, I find myself on B-roads next to the same track upon which she battled. In reality, she’s much less a lady and much more an ass-kicker of a Vantage.

 

Driver on Driver: Episode 2 – Fredric Aasbø

Host Sam Nalven sits down with Fredric Aasbø to get inside the mind of The Norwegian Hammer. Once inside, we learn why the Scion tC is the perfect drift car for beginners and that Norway is prepping to invade the States.

If you missed it, here’s Episode 1 with guest Chris Forsberg.

1970 Porsche 911: Understanding the Love Affair

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I didn’t completely understand the unadulterated love plied upon the Porsche 911. I know that it’s a supposed to be a pure driving machine. I know that it’s a precise instrument for a skilled enthusiast. I know that I still didn’t fully “get it”.

Now it’s time for me to understand, and I’m not getting my Porsche 911 education by way of the latest and greatest that Stuttgart has to offer. Instead, we’re taking the harder route with a 1970 Porsche 911.

This harder route takes us to the always wonderful Angeles Crest Highway, and to a place where Porsche discovery can happen.

It turns out the harder route is actually the quickest way to make me understand why everyone loves the Porsche 911.

[Many thanks to John the owner for supplying us with the car, and also for snagging the oh-so-sweet drone shots.]

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