So there I was, preparing my Mustang for an SCCA autocross one fine Sunday morning at San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium, when it arrived. Looking quite regal with its gold paint and interior, crown emblems and distinctive chopped roof, the 1980 Volvo Coupé by Bertone attracts attention like a magnet. The un-Volvo-like roof is what does it. I hadn’t seen one of these cars in many years so, as I usually do when I spot a rare automobile, I went over to check it out. That led to a picture-taking session and a desire to learn more about this car.
Each year car clubs participate in Car Shows at the Fair, competitive events which feature their particular brand, model or type of automobile. This particular day the cars belonged to members of the Mustang Club of San Diego.
Sunday was to be the next event in our Sports Car Club of America, San Diego Region’s autocross series where drivers compete against each other, one-at-a-time against the clock, on relatively low speed, temporary road courses marked by traffic cones. Typically we get four timed runs. Only our best run counts.
I never like driving while trying to find my way using paper maps, but that’s how it used to be. Even when I had a navigator, I often found myself asking them to repeat directions that they’d given to me only moments before. Then along came a wonderful new invention: automotive GPS.
Prius is the Latin word for ‘coming before,’ which explains the name To Go Before for “the first and only official national gathering of Prius owners.” Over the course of three days, at California Citrus State Historic Park in Riverside and at Lake Arrowhead, we attended informative Toyota hybrid tech sessions, saw and experienced aftermarket vendors’ products, and took test drives in Prius family vehicles and the all-electric RAV4.
My main goal for the first day of this year’s fair was to shoot photos of the demolition derby but, as expected, I ended up doing much more. At the end of the day I left tired but happy.
We’ve been hearing about them for years: affordable fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) with reasonable driving range and performance comparable to vehicles with internal combustion engines, but with significantly lower exhaust emissions and little to no need for fossil fuel.
Toyota has a long and rich history in the United States. It began in 1957 with the establishment of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A.. Calty Design Research was established in 1973, followed in 1977 by the Toyota Technical Center. That laid the groundwork for manufacturing to begin here in 1986. By 1997, five million vehicles had been produced in North America, which led to ten million by 2002 and fifteen million by 2006. You know how you seem to see the Prius everywhere? It’s no wonder. There were one million of those sold globally by 2008.
There are two main features of AutoMatters: the words and the original photography. Photographs add significantly to what can be communicated in a limited number of words.
Okay, I admit it. I am a huge fan of the Disney movies, TV shows, merchandise and theme parks. One of my favorite places to visit is Cars Land at Disney California Adventure Park, next to Disneyland Park in Anaheim (I have a well-used Premium Annual Passport). If you haven’t been there, you absolutely must go. Highlights are the recreations of Route 66 and Cadillac Ranch (from Amarillo, TX), and especially Radiator Springs Racers.