Wine and cars. Two entities that in my opinion get better with age. My story is about the little old car (1988 BMW 325ix) that still can around the cones. This means SCCA autocrossing. There is just somethign majical about taking a well designed twenty six year old vehicle and beating up on much newer models that have all the electronics in the world to help the driver. The gutteral grunting of the low revving NA motor, the nobs, dials and buttons of the interior, the nonpower seats, the manual transmission, the smells and sounds created by this old school teutonic masterpiece (M20 engine) give you a feeling that this old E30 is a machine with purpose. At times (when I was waiting for "ix" specific parts) I co-drove much newer cars from BMW, Ford, Subaru and Mercedes at events and fealt so out of touch with what the car was trying to do. I think that drive by wire systems are one of the major problems with new cars. I want to feel steering input, I want to control the car via the gas pedal, I want to put the car into a controled AWD drift around a turn if needed. That is why I love the older cars, they let the driver be the driver.
I understand that most people now do not have a clue what the third pedal is, what a dipstick is, how to check tire pressure or even read a papper map because their cars now do everything for them and allerts them of problems either by a flashing light, a beep, or by just shutting the car off on you in some cases. I feel as if we should teach people how to drive in much more rudimentary automobiles so they can learn about vehicles first then let then grow into their electronic babysitters (you never know when that DSC feature might fail on you and you have to control the car yoruself when in a spin or sliding).
I know this became more of a rant against newer cars, but as we advance them, we are actually reversing driver ability.