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I was at Dollar Burger Night with friends when Sean came back inside and informed me that there were some really sweet cars parked next to Kyle’s also-sweet Jeep Comanche. When I left the bar to go home, I swung around the back of the lot to take a look. There was a clean lowered VW Caddy sitting right next to the older relative of my Volvo, a Volvo 145 in nice driver shape. Makes me wish I was tootling about town with my Volvo right about now…

I’m writing in support of the proposed changes to steering wheels and seats for Street Touring.

I believe these changes, however painful they may be in the short term, are better for the class that bills itself as the home for daily driven modified cars. And as seats are becoming more and more integrated into cars in terms of occupant safety and vehicle features, thinking ahead 10 years into the future, replacing seats will likely be an unviable option.

I’m sure that there will be plenty of letters pleading for seats along the lines of “if you don’t want to have race seats, you don’t have to install them in your car.” And they’d be right. However, in terms of class intent, it would be in our benefit to reel in seat allowances and align with the class mission, which considers safety and emissions (even if that aspect is still a bit imperfect) compliance that Street Prepared and Street Mod don’t worry about at all.

Hell, perhaps drawing the line at airbag seats and airbag wheels might create some separation and some breathing room between Street Touring and Street Prepared.

This is brave action that should be lauded, in my opinion. I think that Street Prepared, once relevant for cars primarily built in the 80s and 90s, lost relevance as new cars came about, and new expectations for what are reasonable modifications for such cars should be. ST as of right now is perfect for cars built in the 2000s and 2010s, but probably wouldn’t be relevant as-is for cars built in the 2020s and beyond. Back when airbags were few in number in a car and the car was designed around that fact, perhaps people were comfortable replacing an air bag seat or an air bag steering wheel. Now, with steering wheels now serving as even denser vehicle control interfaces than ever before and seats becoming an ever more integrated part of a vehicle’s safety system, we should do what we can to reign in the temptations to ensure that ST of the future isn’t held back by the ST paradigms of the present.

To put it bluntly, I appreciate that we’re taking proactive action to ensure that ST changes with the times and doesn’t suffer a slow decline along the lines of SP.

As written, I think the proposed changes are fine. Count this as another vote for the proposal as written, even if it means that I have to take the race bucket out of my STR Miata.

Thanks,
John Li

Still waiting for word back on the Fiesta ST, but I’m already fantasizing about replacing that car with something else. The Honda dealership here in Southfield has this really pretty Civic Si in blue, and I kinda really want one. After hanging out on Woodward, I swung by to take a look at the car in person. Hmm…

I’ve got a new land yacht to sail around town. For someone used to driving only lowered sports and sporty cars, driving this F-150 around town feels like I’m flying around in a blimp.

Spent nearly four hours wandering around Cobo Hall and shot four rolls of 120 film. Of all the cars I looked at at Autorama, this one is my favorite. I talked to the guy who built it; he took a year off of work and spent eight months of that year working full time on this build. Sure, you’ll cook to death underneath that canopy whenever you drive the thing, but damn, if this car doesn’t look cool as fuck.

So, there’s a reason why I drove the Morgan yesterday, and it’s not just because it was a beautiful day to driving around top down in the depths of winter. There was a local Craigslist ad listing a 1971 BMW 2002 for sale with as asking price of $12,500, a low enough price for a roundie that I was seriously tempted to grab some cash out of my savings account and go buy the thing just to check “own a roundie BMW” off my automotive check list.

Doing so would require replacing a car in the fleet. The only car in the fleet I can replace right now is the Morgan. So I drove the Morgan in the cold, through rush hour traffic, one hour to Rochester Hills to check out the car, and then drove it back. Nothing like a drive in the car to be replaced to make you really consider if you’re willing to sway it for a different car… (more…)