Hooniverse Asks- What's the Best City in Which to be a Car Enthusiast?

Radiator Springs

Being a car nut means a lot of things. It’s not just sitting in a dark room reading Hooniverse, no matter how awesome an activity that may be, or even playing the latest version of  Forza on your X marks the box. No, being an aficionado of most or all things automotive means getting out and hitting a car show, or maybe a race, or maybe even prowling the junkyards for those hard to find treasures. As a car nut the world is your oyster.

The thing of it is, depending on where you happen to live that oyster may be bereft of pearls. Here in my neck of the woods, I am lucky to have within a 15 minute drive a very active and professional Pick-A-Part, a half-mile oval track, a weekly meeting of great cars and mediocre coffee, and annually a world-class concours event. Not only that, but there are literally millions of dollars worth of unfathomably amazing car collections near by, including Jay Leno’s.

What I don’t have is a near-by cottage builder, but that could come any day now. And that’s just my town, a suburb of LA which is undeniably one of the car capitals of the world. The question for today is whether the City of Angels is the best place for a car nut to live, and if not, what city is, and why is it?

Image source: Deviant Art

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97 responses to “Hooniverse Asks- What's the Best City in Which to be a Car Enthusiast?”

    1. longrooffan Avatar

      This olelongrooffan learned today that I cannot post a reply here in the Hooniverse from my office computer. I can, however, create and edit posts. Go figure. I typed this up this morning but just returned to my personal laptop and add it for your consideration.
      This olelongrooffan is gonna have to agree with OA5599. I absolutely loved living in Daytona Beach, Florida.
      While the circuit in Monte Carlo is certainly prestigious, the Circuit of America in Austin has its share of glamour and the Nurburing has a sense of history that is unparalleled, Daytona Beach offers a little bit of everything.
      The Daytona International Speedway hosts the historic 24 Hours of Daytona on its road course for sports car fans, the Daytona 500 for NASCAR fans, the Daytona 200 for motorcycle fans, and, not one, but two world famous automotive swap meets rivaled only by the offerings in Hershey, PA and Retromobile over in France. Further, there are car club track days nearly every weekend out there and the Chump Car series races there in May.
      Factor in that the historic Sebring Airport raceway (I drove past it last Thursday) is less than three hours away, the famed Gainesville drag strip is less than three hours in the other direction, and the Amelia Island Concours is a short drive up I-95. Don Garlits drag racing museum is 90 minutes away over in Ocala, Roger's Corvettes in Orlando is always a great show, and the gathering of old race cars down on the Beach the Tuesday before the Daytona 500 is always a pleasure.
      Additionally all of the things noted by Bryce going on over in the Tampa area are just a three hour trip across I-4.
      Adding all of the cool car shows held in conjunction with all of the events listed and three Pick-A-Parts within an hour's drive make Daytona Beach one of the, if not the, best areas, at least for car related events, in which I have lived.
      Not many professional employment opportunities to be had there though.

  1. Hopman Avatar

    Manchester, NH. I might be slightly crazy, but hear me out:
    First of all, there's a reason why NH has more motorcycles registered per capita than any other state. It's because there are so many bitchin' driving roads within a short distance. Heck, there's a couple of slight gems INSIDE Manch-vegas if you look hard enough.
    NH also has cheap insurance (or not rwquired if you licence is okay), and the DMV is a breeze to deal with.
    No to mention, you have also have a race track that hosts TWO LeMons races about 40 minutes away.

    1. Jeff Glucker Avatar
      Jeff Glucker

      Ha, I was just up in Goffstown admiring the roads.

      1. Hopman Avatar

        You most've been on NH-13 running along the river. I just the strech of 13 from Concord to Goffstown today with my box truck.

    2. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar

      I was hoping you'd show up!
      Pretty much the argument I was going to make… and don't forget, no emissions testing prior to '96, and if (like mine) your '96 or newer car is broken, failure to inspect is just a severalty-dollar fine. Really, the only downside is rust, although being able to drive sideways for a few months out of the year makes up for that.
      My favorite pair of roads, for what it's worth, run from the New Ipswich/Sharon line through Temple and into Wilton.
      Will I be seeing you at Hooptiefest in a couple of months?

      1. Hopman Avatar

        Maybe. I've been working weekends at Canobie lake. Email me your phone nukmber & we can get together for lunch. I still owe you a case of Mello Yello. The email is hopman4@comcast.net.

  2. Dean Bigglesworth Avatar
    Dean Bigglesworth

    Depends on what you're looking for I suppose..
    There's a pretty nice little track near the village of Nürburg in Germany, and that's probably where I'd want to move if I only wanted to drive on track.
    Scotland and Norway have some awesome and nearly empty roads to drive on. The car culture in Norway is pretty awesome too; I could imagine living in a city somewhere in the south-western parts.
    From a North European perspective, the car culture in Southern California seems mighty appealing though..

    1. nanoop Avatar

      As much as I like the Scandinavian car scene (very unsnobby within certain boundaries, gorgeous roads): there's no good car cities.

      1. Dean Bigglesworth Avatar
        Dean Bigglesworth

        Yeah I'm struggling to think of any car cities. Many roads around Scandinavia are certainly gorgeous, but the vast majority of fun roads are along the Norwegian coast and over the mountains.

    2. JAAM Avatar

      Aberdeen would probably be your best bet in Scotland. Lot's of money up there from North Sea gas and oil, and you'll never guess what that gets spent on!

      1. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar

        Oh, you said money.

    3. Sjalabais Avatar

      I would agree with you about Norway's roads. But thinking of car culture, I'd expect accessability and diversity. Norway is a country of grey and black station wagons that cost twice of what you pay for a car in the rest of Europe. In addition, Norway doesn't really have good car cities, and car people usually live in the countryside.
      So to answer this question I'd rather pick a well-connected German cities with the funds to do driving in Norway, the Alps, Carpathian Mountains etc.

      1. Dean Bigglesworth Avatar
        Dean Bigglesworth

        Your idea is pretty good. Only the monies are missing..
        I don't know that much about German car culture and if there are good "car cities" there, but admittedly it's geographically one of the best locations in Europe. Fancy a drive to Prague, Milan, Budapest, Paris, Marseille, Amsterdam or London? Just hop in your car an you'll be there in five to ten hours. Swiss Alps are under 6 hours from central Germany.
        Finland isn't that much farther away from central Europe than Norway, geographically speaking, but unfortunately that pesky Baltic Sea isolates us pretty well. Basically everything comes in by cargo ship, and unless you want to take a massive detour via Russia you have to get on a ferry to get to central europe.

        1. Sjalabais Avatar

          Agreed, ferries are fun killers. I remember I once went to Germany for christmas after a 12 hour work shift. Put myself behind the wheel of my '77 Volvo 242 and drove 19 hours straight through Sweden and Denmark into Germany. Admittedly, motorways are usually by far not as much fun to drive as backwater roads. With Norway's decrepit infrastructure, there is a lot of potential fun here.
          I also did some thinking about your suggestion while weeding in the garden just now, and Stavanger in the southwest might actually be the city to choose in my country. The oil wealth makes the typical Hooniverse car extraordinarily cheap, people can afford and have the time to import a wealth of old and exciting vehicles.
          Where does your username come from? When we were talking about your Norwegian roadtrip the other day I was sure you arrived here from England, not from Finland…

          1. Dean Bigglesworth Avatar
            Dean Bigglesworth

            I was also thinking about Stavanger if i was to move to Norway. Close to some amazing roads, and within a days drive from Germany. On my trip I didn't actually visit Stavanger though, stayed at a hotel in Sandnes just south of it, and then headed back east the next morning.
            Native Finn here.. By the way is it considered rude to start a conversation in Swedish over there, like native Estonians don't like Finnish tourists who assume they can get service in Finnish? I started with English on the first day, but after a moment the locals always started talking Norwegian to me so i just thought I might as well just talk Swedish.. I must have looked Swedish or something.
            This username is basically a combination of two fictional characters, Dean Moriarty and James Bigglesworth. I change usernames pretty regularly and usually have a different one for each site/forum/service, but this one has sort of stuck for some reason.

          2. Sjalabais Avatar

            Interesting! 🙂 Next time around you should give Stavanger a try, I guess (or try the uniquely fantastic Lofoten).
            I wouldn't consider speaking Swedish rude at all. People are used to that, Swedish people are Norway's decidedly biggest immigrant group.

          3. Dean Bigglesworth Avatar
            Dean Bigglesworth

            Just checking, apart from an unfamiliar word here or there it worked just fine and nobody looked at me angrily 🙂
            I originally planned driving to Bugøynes and then head south along the coast and mountains from there; visit Lofoten, Trollstigen, and Lysebotnveien on the way but that would have required much more time and money.
            Next time I'll reserve enough time to actually stay in one place for more than one night. I had a good car and the roads were superb(and in much better shape than here) so driving 7-9 hours a day for five days was fun, but exhausting. Didn't really have the time or energy to look at sights.

  3. desolit Avatar

    if you are a chevelle enthusiast, Orland Park, IL. When i moved there I was shocked at how many Chevelles and Cutlesses i saw. you would think its 1970 and that was where the assembly plant is.

  4. Vavon Avatar

    Cool cars driving at cool speeds on cool roads, Monte Carlo is the answer!
    <img src="http://www.lamastre.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/monte-carlo-historique-lamastre-1024×707.jpg&quot; width="660/">

    1. Sjalabais Avatar

      This one I can agree on! I have never before been more stunned by the sight of luxury cars than by going to Monaco. Went biking through the Alps and got to roll behind an AC Cobra to start with. Then Lambo's, Ferrari's, Bentley's and what not popped up everywhere. Not my kind of car (I'd prefer a Volvo 145 shell mounted on a Lambo, to say it that way), but pretty impressive indeed. So the next question would be: Do these people buy their vehicles because of their car culture, or to impress others? And if everybody owns a Ferrari, isn't it just another Golf/Megane/F150/Ambassador etc?

      1. Vavon Avatar

        I was only thinking of the rally-cars, i have no love either for those Lambo's, Ferrari's, Bentley's and what not!

  5. JayP2112 Avatar

    DFW has a pretty good car culture.
    Cheap gas compared to LA.
    Car shows almost every weekend and on several week days.
    Huge CarsCoffee event in Plano and another starting in FtWorth.
    Many new and used car dealers and independent specialty shops support local enthusiasts.
    2 roadcourses within 2 hours, 3 more within a half day's drive with track events almost every weekend.
    Several drag strips, even one at Texas Motor's pit lane.
    Strong SCCA/P-club/BMWClub/Etc support autox and rally.
    Several dirt tracks still operating.
    A new drive-in in Ft Worth.
    A few Pick-Pulls around.
    And every day in traffic, I see something cool.
    The bad…
    Traffic sucks.
    Road rage is pretty common.
    D-baggery is pretty common.
    Car prices are at a premium.
    State Inspections (Means I have to swap out slicks for real tires once a year)
    Auto theft is pretty high.
    Have to go 2 counties out to find decent roads to drive.

    1. jeepjeff Avatar

      I go to DFW to get away from rude drivers and naughty-bits showering antics. My in-laws live there, and driving around Dallas while visiting them is awesome. It ain't perfect, and I'll agree that it's been getting worse, but you've got a few rungs to go before you get to Urban California or (worse) Boston levels of badness. Drivers around your neck of the woods are pretty polite by my standards (maybe a wee bit rude by Texas' standards). And yes, you get pretty solid traffic jams on your highways, but that's every major city, any more.
      Auto theft is pretty high where I am. Gas prices. I'm in the Bay Area, SF is right at the top of the list for high gas prices (in this country, shut up, Europe). As for State Inspections, well, no safety inspections, but the smog check system is a thing to be feared. Los Angeles is as bad or worse on all of those, and it got the nod in the question write-up. I'd say your "The Bad" list is largely not disqualifying.

      1. JayP2112 Avatar

        I'm still a little raw from yesterday's commute- I spent 2.5 hrs in traffic which on a normal day takes just about 1:15. Construction has us all torn and the 2 major roads under construction I travel every day.
        But I just got invited to a meet-greet tech day to a shop in Ft Worth, then later the Yellow Rose Classic Ford show (indoors).
        Balances out.

        1. jeepjeff Avatar

          Brutal. Ok, your traffic is as bad as anyone's (well, maybe not LA, but it's hard to beat "parking lot pretending to be a city"). My experience may be that y'all handle it more gracefully, but having some damn Californian (the worst of the yankees) tell you that doesn't help when still get cutoff and nearly run into a couple times in a bad jam. (Maybe it's 3 times instead of 10, but that's not much of a subjective difference.)
          So, my apologies for being That Guy. 2.5 hours of traffic jam sucks anywhere.

          1. JayP2112 Avatar

            LoneStar is cheaper and has the puzzles.
            Shiner draft is preferred. Good God it is delicious.

    2. C³-Cool Cadillac Cat Avatar
      C³-Cool Cadillac Cat

      Ooooh! A C&C in Fort Worth?!
      Investigation is required.
      The brotrucks here irk the crap out of me.

      1. JayP2112 Avatar

        This Saturday at LaGrave Field.
        I might miss it for another function. It's a start up. Autobahn is the sponsor. https://www.facebook.com/CowtownCarsCoffee

        1. C³-Cool Cadillac Cat Avatar
          C³-Cool Cadillac Cat

          Thanks for that!
          Bummer, I work on Saturdays, starting at 4A, so I'll have to wait until a holiday, mostl likely.
          At least the location is good.

  6. IronBallsMcG Avatar

    Gotta go with greater LA.
    The depth and breadth of car culture there is amazing with people dedicated to every microcosm. Not only is there a wider pool of vehicles than probably anywhere else in the US, it's in a climate that helps keep them around.

  7. racer139 Avatar

    Not a single pick a part in this provence and most(99%) of salvage yards do not allow access for insurance reasons. Classic cars are spensive here as most are brought in from western Canada or the southern states and owners want Usually) than I am willing to spend. Car shows are spotty and usually mostly american muscle which is fine but Id lije to see more classic european cars. This place is definatly not in contention.

  8. Bryce Womeldurf Avatar

    In terms of the United States, I'll admit that I haven't travelled out West much, but my home state of Florida has more eye candy than most of the other states I've been to. My wife and I drove to Houston last year, and although I see a lot of good cars from there in magazines, I didn't really see much on the road while I was there. And our travels through Florida's panhandle, Georgia, Alabama, and Louisiana were pretty sparse as well. Maybe it just wasn't the right day.
    But on Tampa (Florida) streets, I've seen just about everything. Even some cars I'm not supposed to see here, like S15 Nissan Silivas, pre-R35 GT-R's and an Evo VII. You've got Miami about 5 hours away from me, so there's usually something exotic to drool over as well. That's not even getting into how Florida is a hot bed for tacky automotive trends (ie the Donk). Surprisingly, I haven't seen many stance cars here outside of shows, but maybe they aren't typically driven much.
    That said, the dream for me is to give southern California a try. I have always loved old JDM and that's pretty much the place to be to see that. Las Vegas is up there too. I was really impressed with how well people drove there.

  9. Senor Smee Avatar
    Senor Smee

    Calgary. If you live there, chances are you're rich enough to have a Ferrari. Great roads in Rockies are close by (Icefields Parkway). International Airport will take you to any race you want to see. Sparse enforcement on secondary roads for extra-legal speed driving. They are building a new race track.

    1. Number_Six Avatar

      Please allow me to disagree: I've been in Calgary for five years and am not rich enough to own so much as a used BMW M3. I do own a stupendously fast motorcycle that I got for next to nothing because of the throw-away-buy-a-bike-and-ride-it-twice culture here, but said motorcycle has to be taken to Montana in order to find anything close to a challenging, speed-friendly road. My RX-8 got its first proper twisty-road shakedown this weekend (after two years of ownership) and that was over four days in the mountains of British Columbia. I used to live in Vancouver, which was paradise in comparison because of the close proximity to the roads around Lilloet, Pemberton, Princeton, Merritt, Duffy Lake, etc…

      1. Sjalabais Avatar

        I spent three weeks vacationing in BC and going to Edmonton in 2007. The Icefields Parkway has the most beautiful road-sights I have ever seen, but it is not a particularly enthusiastic road, isn't it? Quite straight-forward. Compared to driving in a straight line in Alberta, though, it is exciting. The area around Vancouver is a dream, I could see myself living there for a while.

        1. Number_Six Avatar

          Agreed that there is no shortage of scenery in this region!

  10. Alec Avatar

    Atlanta isn't a bad choice, especially if you're a track junkie. Road Atlanta is 45 minutes away and arguably a top five track in the US. The new Atlanta Motorsport Park is around an hour away. Then you have Barber, Roebling Road, and Charlotte a few hours away. Cheap gas, a ton of SCCA, BMW CCA, and PCA events, and close proximity to the Dragon and other great roads in the area.

  11. krazykarguy Avatar

    It certainly isn't Vermont (which at 630k TOTAL residents is smaller than most metro areas) . All we have are winter-ravaged roads, and normal cars no older than 15 years (because the road salt dissolves them). 'Modified' cars are either riced-out to death and held together by iron oxide and duct tape, or never seen on public roads (because they're 'done right' and no sane enthusiast would drive them on the shitty roads).
    There are occasionally Ferraris and the like roaming around, but seeing one is about once a year. Maybe.
    Not a great place to be an auto enthusiast – I nearly had a coronary driving through Beverly Hills back in February. I saw more exotics in 15 minutes than I had in the prior 15 years in VT.

    1. Batshitbox Avatar

      After moving to San Francisco from Boston I spent about 6 months asking, "Is there a car show going on?" I couldn't believe the daily drivers around here.

      1. owl Avatar

        Agree that entirely. Just been in SF LA NYC and now on the Jersey Shore. Couldn't imagine seeing Peugeots 405 504 & 505, Citroen 2Cv DS and so many classic Americans as in SF.
        Did see a Veryon in Beverly Hills but I can see them at home in London

  12. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
    Peter Tanshanomi

    I bash KC for being the middle of automotive nowhere, but I spent last Saturday morning with 158 awesome hotrods, my boss has his own car museum, and there are cool guys like Alff here.
    So, there's that.

    1. I Think Not Avatar
      I Think Not

      Hear, hear!
      Since I quit my weekend job, I've gone to at least one car show per weekend, sometimes two. There's always a club that's hosting an event somewhere around the metro, and the reliable "Art of the Machine" series at the City Market (I've been 4 weeks in a row now, got photos taken there in publicly-shared G+ albums).

      1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
        Peter Tanshanomi

        Last Saturday morning was the church car show I help put on every year.
        [youtube kkAXqNEm-Jk http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkAXqNEm-Jk youtube]

  13. marmer01 Avatar

    Houston. Gas is relatively cheap, parking is relatively easy, it rarely snows or gets icy. Keels and Wheels and Concours of Texas, on the same weekend. Motorsports Ranch is close and the Texas Hill Country and Texas Motor Speedway are not far. No salt on the roads and while you don't see really oddball stuff every day, you see it often enough. One thing about Houston as opposed to northern cities is that Houston grew big _after_ the car was commonplace, so they actually consider parking when developing real estate. Something that the anti-car, pro-density, everyone-ride-the-train-or-walk crazies love to complain about.

    1. Bryce Womeldurf Avatar

      While I like variety of cars I see every day here in Tampa more, I will say that Houston is much easier to drive in. I love how wide and well paved the roads are there. And it's not as big of a tourism destination, so you don't have as many conflicting driving styles as you do here, or maybe it's just that there's more space to move around in. Definitely a great place to drive.

  14. Lysenko Avatar

    Definitely not Portland, Oregon. It's nowhere near as bad as some of you might think (most of the metro population is made up of normal-ish suburban types, and plenty of hipsters like pretty old things that burn gas), but still…. definitely not Portland, Oregon.

    1. JayP2112 Avatar

      Bless Portland.
      That's where I bought my gas guzzler on the cheap. I'd never seen so many Prius's and Subarus on the road.

    2. C³-Cool Cadillac Cat Avatar
      C³-Cool Cadillac Cat

      When I lived up there, I hated it.

    3. Sjalabais Avatar

      From another country and seen with the eyes of a Volvo-lover and pedal-biker, Portland looks rather nice.

  15. Devin Avatar

    Since the roads were designed with a ruler but the cops seem to be relatively calm, Saskatchewan is great if you're into old American iron that struggles in corners but explodes on straights. If that is not what you're into, then it's not very good at all.

    1. Kogashiwa Avatar

      Same goes for Manitoba.
      I'm debating relocating and considering Victoria. Anyone know how things are there?

      1. Number_Six Avatar

        Victoria is a nice, scenic, sleepy little city with an awesome microbrew culture and access to amazing island playgrounds. But it's not the best for a brisk drive if that's what you're looking for.

      2. Sjalabais Avatar

        How high up on the list for reasons to relocate is the driving culture? I've only been there once, but I remember logging roads.

    2. cruisintime Avatar

      Some of that early Detroit Iron could really haul ass. Just pin you to the seat under floorboard acceleration.

      1. Devin Avatar

        Yep, and this province is basically grid of drag strips. So long as you ease off around Wynyard – where the cops are famously disapproving of driving heroics – anything that's fun in a straight line can really stretch out its legs. The province was basically made for that Detroit iron.
        Not so much made for stuff designed to put a smile on your face in the corners.

        1. Vairship Avatar

          Pshaw, just take those 90 degree corners with at least 2 wheels in the air… 😉

  16. Jeff Glucker Avatar
    Jeff Glucker

    I'm going to throw in a pitch for my own neck of the woods.
    Huntington Beach has proven to be a rather amazing town to live in if you like automobiles.
    -If you're a VW fan, this is heaven. I probably have 10 buses within three blocks, and more beetles.
    -Muscle cars? Lots of them, in all shapes, sizes, and conditions – from Barrett-Jackson queens to patina'd perfection.
    -Sports car? I could probably go run to my favorite coffee shop and see a GT-R, 991 Porsche, Gallardo, Z06, caged Miata, or anything else that I shouldn't see at 8:30 on a Tuesday.
    -JDM? Yes… lots of it.
    Also, Classic Industries and Chip Foose are both less than 10 minutes from my house. A ton more guys as capable as Foose are in the area too, they just aren't on TV. Also, BBI is up the street from Foose, and Rhys Millen has a garage where he and Tanner store some of their race cars.
    The Marconi museum is 10 minutes away, and is mind blowingly good.
    I haven't even gotten to the roads yet.. sure it's possible to hit some traffic on the way to them, but the LA-area roads are some of the best on the planet. If you don't want to go to LA, you can always head south to Ortega… or simply cruise PCH if that's all you're looking to do.
    It may have some issues, but Huntington Beach is an amazing town as far as car culture goes.

  17. Maxichamp Avatar

    San Francisco Bay Area. Great weather year round for shows and driving. Lots of curvy scenic roads. A real diversity of tastes. The moderately rich car nut buys offbeat cars like Citroen DS convertibles (while moderately rich LA car guys just buy/lease a new AMG/Alpina with flashy rims). The hipster culture is less annoying here than elsewhere and they end up with cool 1960s German/Italian/Swedish cars.
    Plus, we've got Pebble Beach, the Blackhawk Museum, Canepa Motorsports, Laguna Seca, Tesla, Eddins Moto, Infineon, Seconds Saturdays, and the late Martin Swig/California Mille. And, no smog.
    Can you tell I'm a bit biased?

    1. mdharrell Avatar

      Oh, right, Pebble Beach is coming up next week….

    2. jeepjeff Avatar

      Yep. I surprised a Maserati at a traffic light this past weekend (we weren't racing, I was in my Jeep). I regularly see Fiats, diesel Mercedes, Aston Martins, the occasional old Jeep and plenty of Citroens. There's a LeMons race in our back yard (Sears Point), and a couple more within a short drive. Get up into the Oakland/Berkeley hills on a sunny day, and you'll see all manner of sports cars (mostly 911s of all vintages, but I've seen S2000 and Corvette clubs going for drives up there. I'm usually on my bicycle, so extra fun giving them a thumbs up).
      Definitely a good spot.

    3. Batshitbox Avatar

      I'm going to second your nomination, but I think I'll boil it right down to Murilee Martin's hometown, the Island That Rust Forgot, Alameda California. It's a bit spendy in the housing market, but that's Bay Area. Plus you could rent a storage or shop space in West Oakland. Plenty of parking, mild climate, access to Sears Point and junkyards.
      I'll qualify my vote by saying the only other place I've lived is Boston, which is a dead zone in comparison.

      1. jeepjeff Avatar

        In Boston's defense: the take rates on the Wrangler JK vs Wrangler JK Unlimited is reversed compared to the SF Bay (more 2 doors than 4 doors), and I've seen 3 Ferrari 458s parked in one block of Boylston at the same time as well as a Local Motors' Rally Fighter there. Also: home of Click and Clack. Old hoopties, not so much though.
        (I"m still on team SF: I see more exotics out here, and I'm more interested in the old hooptie side of things anyway.)

  18. BobWellington Avatar

    I can tell you what city isn't – Columbus, GA. That is unless you like ghetto cars with 24s on them and lifted trucks with too much chrome on them.

    1. MVEilenstein Avatar

      Yes, but what about lifted ghetto cars?

      1. FЯeeMan Avatar

        many if them were probably lifted before being turned into ghetto cars

      2. I Think Not Avatar
        I Think Not

        I'm pretty sure a lift is required to fit those 24" wheels, even with rubberband tires.

      3. BobWellington Avatar

        That goes without saying. ;P

    2. I Think Not Avatar
      I Think Not

      Ha! I moved to KC from Columbus in 2010, and I can concur — it's a pit for anything but donks and bro trucks.
      Even Macon is better. At least it has the Middle GA SCCA chapter that holds regular autocrosses.

      1. BobWellington Avatar

        Haha. This town has so little to do…yet it was ranked 4th best place to raise a family. They did film part of the new NFS movie here, and that was cool…but of course only temporary.
        Why'd you move to KC (if I may ask)?

        1. I Think Not Avatar
          I Think Not

          Because I was sick of working at TSYS, I had no skills that Aflac wanted, and I hate Atlanta.
          Got a job as a technical writer with Garmin, which I just left 6 weeks ago to start a new sysadmin career at a small insurance services company.
          Love it here. There has been no time I regret the move, even though I left behind my parents and my wife's parents in Columbus, so my kids don't get to see them as often.

          1. BobWellington Avatar

            I hear ya.

          2. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
            Peter Tanshanomi

            Popeye's at 103rd on State Line is the unofficial KC Hoonivist meeting spot. Let us know when you want to meet sometime and we'll introduce ourselves in person.

  19. MVEilenstein Avatar

    I have to admit that the variety of classic machines I see here in the Seattle area is incredible. I could probably spend half my day taking pictures of interesting cars. In which case I'd be unemployed, but happy.

    1. rennsport964 Avatar

      I'm going to second this. The Lemay museum and Griots is a short distance away. There is a larger concentration of rare and/or exotic autos on the Eastside. Also, monthly meetups at the XXX drive-in at Issaquah, and the annual Pacific Northwest Historics at Pacific Raceways over the 4th of July weekend.
      Additionally, there are a lot of active local car clubs, both marque-specific and non-marque-specific. We also seem to be a popular spot for new car launch press events (most recently, the Jaguar F-type).

      1. MVEilenstein Avatar

        Saw an F-type at the Kirkland classic car show a few weeks ago. Planning to post pictures this week.
        EDIT: Of course, I saw an E-type, too. I know which one I prefer!

    2. Batshitbox Avatar

      One time when I was unemployed I actually did spend half a day taking pictures of interesting cars. It was a very rewarding experience!

      1. MVEilenstein Avatar


  20. Tim Odell Avatar
    Tim Odell

    Having lived in the SF Bay Area, San Diego and Los Angeles, I gotta give the nod to LA, particularly if you include the Greater Los Angeles Area.
    Roads: http://goo.gl/maps/BGrY1
    Cars: http://losangeles.craigslist.org/search/cto?query
    Culture: Petersen Museum, Mullin Museum, Blackhawk Collection, http://www.nethercuttcollection.org/
    Why the edge over NorCal?
    1) Less rain, more warm sunny days for driving and wrenching. My wagon didn't have wipers until the last 3 months I owned it, and it wasn't really an issue.
    2) SoCal fastlanes = 75-85mph
    3) More abundant cheap cars. NorCal has a lot of quality off-beat classics, but not as many 2-3k bargain drivers
    4) Marginally cheaper gas and real estate.
    1) Still expensive. Gas, real estate, reg, insurance, etc. Particularly hard to get the kind of driveway and garage space that's everywhere in flyover country.
    2) Smog requirements make 1975-mid 90s cars hard to own. Though, if you're clever there are (mostly legal) ways to outsmart the system.
    3) Certain cars in certain areas are 100% likely to be instantly stolen. Chop shops and nearby Mexico mean you literally have to chain some cars down.

  21. Rich Avatar

    Chicago is undoubtedly the worst.
    1. Long, brutal winters, and the summer is too hot/humid to enjoy being outdoors.
    2. Traffic congestion is very bad.
    3. Constant road work from May-Oct
    4. Highest gas prices in the nation.
    5. Car theft is very high and the underfunded police depts. don't even bother to come to you when your car is stolen. (don't ask how I know this)

  22. SSurfer321 Avatar

    I'll vote for Detroit.
    – Woodward
    – Spy Photos
    – Milan Dragway
    – Gingerman Raceway
    – Exotics in the suburbs
    though it is missing the twisty roads

  23. Stu_Rock Avatar

    I'll throw a vote out there for SFBay, because of the cool car people such as jeepjeff, vwminispeedster, Scandinavian Flick, Sparky Pete (ZomBee Racer), Maxichamp, Mad_Science, and probably a bunch of others here whose screen names I don't know.

    1. vwminispeedster Avatar

      Brendan and his Aussie muscle cars! Charlie and his drop top Ghia!

      1. Maxichamp Avatar

        Just between you, me, and Hooniverse, somebody you know just bought a DeLorean! I don't think it will make it to this Seconds Saturdays though.

          1. Maxichamp Avatar

            Hooniverse comments need more gifs.

  24. Waywords Avatar

    I'll put i a plug for the Inland Empire region of SoCal. It has most of the advantages L.A. Proper has, plus:
    – lower real estate costs, so you can have more space to park your babies
    – in many areas (especially unincorporated County areas) zoning laws are pretty relaxed, which can be useful if you're working on a project car.
    – hot dry weather means no rust. On the other hand, the soft plastic bits on a car tend to bake into hard, brittle, discolored chunks of ugly, so that offsets the advantage somewhat
    – lots of strange and eccentric folks live out there, and the farther into the desert you go, the more eccentric they are. This has two advantages. First, Just being a car nut seems quite staid in comparison to the community's true wackadoodles and second, they hold the most interesting yard sales on the planet

    1. Maxichamp Avatar

      Also, Riverside's Maserati museum!

  25. vwminispeedster Avatar

    Being totally objective and unbiased: Oakland. Specifically this Saturday at 9am. https://www.facebook.com/groups/secondSSaturdays/

  26. mac350 Avatar

    What ever you do, don't come to Eureka Springs, AR (population a tad over 2k during the week). Great twisties, lots of trees, cars shows – Miatas in the Ozarks, Mustang Show followed by the Camaro Show, VW Weekend, National Model T Hillbilly Tour, Antique Automobile Festival, Corvette Weekend, Minis in the Ozarks, Alfa Romeos in the Ozarks, Classic Ferrari Tour, plus unofficial weekend gatherings of local car clubs throughout the year. Not to mention the thousands of motorcyclists who ride into town every weekend. The locals are laid back – sort of like South Austin of the Ozarks, the police are friendly and forgiving, good food, great entertainment. So, let's just keep this between us Hoons. We don't want to spoil it.
    <img src="http://nwavwa.com/img2.gif&quot; width="600">

    1. MVEilenstein Avatar

      On my way.

  27. Maymar Avatar

    I can tell you, it's also not Toronto.
    – High gas prices, even if they're not the highest in the country.
    – Terrible roads for a number of reasons (virtually everything is arrow straight, inflicted with frost heave, and underdeveloped, as freeway development was virtually stopped 40 years ago thanks to a bunch of NIMBYs)
    – Congestion, thanks to the mediocre roads and the half-assed transit, compounded by high numbers of people commuting around a number of communities covered by different transit operators, rendering it sort of useless
    – Rust. Never ending rust
    – Choosing between characterless, featureless suburbs with room for cars (because a car is mandatory), or within the city, where affordable home ownership likely means a house without parking or a garage, or condos and townhouses with meddling neighbours and HOAs.
    – Police who enforce virtually nothing other than speed limits (but do they ever enforce those).
    That said, we've got a drag strip within an hour in one direction, a renown race course an hour in the other, no shortage of exotics thanks to money in the city.

    1. Number_Six Avatar

      When I got my license back in the mid-eighties it was quite the opposite. The roads were fairly empty and everyone did 140kp/h + across the 401, day and night; the suburbs that are now endless cookie-cutter McDemimansions were full of little winding country roads and single-lane bridges; there were loads of exotic cars around because European immigrants could buy things like Lamborghini Urracos and Maserati Khamsins very cheaply; and enforcement was more of a rumour than anything…

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