Hello (again), world

This is PRNDLoser, version 2.0 (I think).  Maybe it’s technically version 1.2.  I guess that depends on your perspective.

I thought I’d write a little about why I’m here–maybe speculate about why Matt has so graciously asked me to write here with him.

Matt and I agree about cars in a lot of important ways.  We think they should be more exciting to use than blenders.  And more challenging to use than blenders.  And better-looking than blenders.  You know what?  Just keep cars as different from blenders as possible.

We also agree that a manual transmission is an excellent thing.  I don’t share Matt’s full-throated support of a stick in every case, though–I really believe that there are a lot of applications where an automatic is the correct transmission.  There are many types of cars (and trucks) where the driver has a lot to worry about besides shifting, and a lot of these can be really enjoyable, and really well-suited to their respective purposes.  Luxury cars need automatics.  Family cars, too, are better for the tractability of an automatic.   They’re also great in vehicles which are meant for serious hauling: utility vehicles, (arguably) pickup trucks, and the like.  So I think having a (P-R-N-D-L) transmission doesn’t necessarily make someone a (P-R-N-D-Loser).

There are some gray areas around GTIs with dual-clutch flappy-paddles, and the death of the manual in thoroughbred sports cars (like Lamborghini and Ferrari), and we’re going to talk about that.  We’re going to talk about it earnestly, and we’re going to talk about it without sounding too pompous about the fact that we prefer three pedals.  We’ll get to that as this blog grows a little bit.  My point, for now, is that my perspective on the manual transmission is a little less die-hard than Matt’s, which I think is a good thing.  We can bring different perspectives to the table on that matter.

Oh, and Matt thinks that Porsche’s 7-speed manual is heresy, and to that I say, “Pish-posh, they’re Porsche.”  Porsche could make a car out of twigs and hammers, and I’d still drool over it.

I can’t vouch for Matt, but I like to think that we both believe that driving gives you a lot of control.  Feeling like you’re at the reins (if just barely) of hundreds of raucous, exploding horsepowers–that’s excitement.  That’s control.  That’s the sort of thing you can get addicted to in a hurry.  I think that sums up the message I want to convey to readers, new and old: this is a place for anyone who loves driving.

Matt and I have very different driving backgrounds.  I drive an ’11 Mazdaspeed3, which is mostly stock.  Matt is (as you can probably tell from his recent entries) the master of a Celica and an S2000.  Mine is a hatchback with an axe-murderer under the hood; his are a stellar GT and probably the best droptop driver’s car ever made (respectively).  It’s a decent contrast, that.

We don’t disagree on many key points, but we play different favorites–and I think that’s key.  Matt has a very strong relationship with Japanese manufacturers that I absolutely understand, but I think my next car is going to be German.  I’ve had my heart broken by Japanese makes one too many times.  I also have a fondness for the Corvette that borders on the obsessive, and I have an incredible yearning for classics–classic American cars, that is. I’m still hunting down my dream Chevy Corvair, a 1965 with a turbo and a 4-on-the-floor.

Mostly, I think I’m here because I love driving and I love writing.  I’m also going to merry old England next year for graduate school, so I will of course be reporting on whatever tasty EU-only cars that I can get my hands on.

For now, though, I think there’s only one thing to say:

It’s great to be back.

Scott

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