I’ve had a good year.
That’s a bit of an understatement really, as I’ve had a tremendous year in a multitude of areas of my life. As it relates specifically to the world of the automobile, however, I’ve had the chance to travel and drive some pretty cool bits of metal, fiberglass, and carbon fiber.
Here are my favorite five for 2015:
Driving the Aston Martin Rose at the Nürburgring
I didn’t get to drive it ON the ‘Ring, but I did drive this race car on the b-roads that surround the ‘Ring. This is the same car that James May tortured himself with. It’s the same car that Aston Martin whipped together years prior to compete in high level motorsports with its modern machines. It’s the car that helped the brand prove there actually is a bit of reliability to be found under the hood of these machines, believe it or not.
It’s also now the car that I got to blitz down German tarmac as racing fans stood a gasp on the side of the road. I have in car video that didn’t make it into the final clip, where I’m so happy that I’m singing to the camera… this was a very good trip, and that’s before you even dive into the actual racing action and the fact that I got to drive a parade lap in an Aston road car.
Attending the Isle of Man TT
I don’t ride bikes. I respect them, to be sure, and I’d happily put a Ducati Scrambler in my garage so I can do my best Chris Pratt-Jurassic World impression on a daily basis. Still, the Isle of Man is an event that transcends the idea of preferring four wheels to two. This is one of the greatest spectacles I’ve ever seen. The folks who compete here are truly escaped mental patients gunning for the ultimate in road racing glory. The fans are devoted, focused, and another major part of the appeal of the TT.
There’s a chance it won’t last forever, so make the trip and see it while you can. While I was there, I did get in a bit of driving of my own. I got to manhandle some Subaru products, and then I was shown how it’s properly done by a Manx man who goes by the name Higgins… you’ve probably heard of him:
While there we took in a bit of Bangers racing. It was amazing just how fun this was to watch. My new goal is to get back to the Isle and compete not in the motorcycle racing, but battle it out on this dirt track.
Buying my 1965 Ford F100
I’ve wanted an old car for …well, ever. I always assumed it would be a muscle car of some sort. My dream machine is still a ’68 Charger, but that is a long way down the road at this point. I did find something to put in my garage though, and it took the unexpected shape of an old-school-cool pickup truck.
My 1965 F100, which I’ve dubbed HoonTruck, is so much fun. It’s teaching me how to wrench on it (yes, currently, a few new bits are being worked on by others), and I’m learning a lot. I’ve replaced the radiator, adjusted the timing, swapped in a new steering wheel, wired up a new temp gauge, and hacked out a number of other smaller repairs.
I love this damn truck, and I can’t wait to drive it a bunch more in 2016.
Driving a 1970 Porsche 911
Friend of Hooniverse John Cary offered me the keys to his absolutely wonderful 1970 Porsche 911. I’d never understood the love and devotion afforded to these machines. Yes, I know the history and performance associated with him, but it never hit me like it does others. After spending a day pounding the canyon pavement, it all makes quite a bit more sense now… I may need to own one of these someday.
Driving a Lamborghini Huracan to meet my new daughter
Here’s the full story, which you should go read now.