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Am I alone in this opinion?

Isdera Commendatore

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I don't like modern cars, especialy not modern sports/supercars. I have many reasons.

#1 They are ugly. Automotive fashon changes every 10 or so years. In the 60's, fins were in, and in the 80's, designers seemed obsessed with rectangular cars. 2000 onwards is the worst of all though, with america's obesitiy epidemic mirrored on its cars. Not only do modern cars look fat and heavy, they are fat and heavy, with many sedans weighing more than 3500lbs. Unlike the huge cars of the sixties and early seventies, however, these do not carry their weight well at all.

#2 They are overpowered. Back in the nineties, cars went fast because they were well engineered. The early 90's Isdera Commendatore 112i can do 212mph on 400 horsepower, but the modern Corvette Z06 needs 105 more horsepower to do less then 200. Everyone always brags about how much power their car has, despite the fact that their car is still overweight, and not much fun to drive, not to mention expensive. A Lotus Elise has half the power of a modern Dodge Charger, but I know which one I'd rather drive.

#3 They are too artificial. Driving aids and computers change the way a car handles until you have much less actual control over your machine, Computers belong in the office, not under the bonnet!!! If I want to drive a car badly, I should darn well have the right, I payed for it! Besides an experienced driver can control a car much better than any computer. Its like having an automatic transmission, except its attatched to your steering column! Speaking of automatic transmissions:

#4 Paddle shifters. Flappy paddle gear shifters (The great Jeremy Clarkson invented that term) take too much of the fun out of shifting. Sure paddleshifters are faster and more precise, but an m1 rifle is also faster and more precise then a trebuchet! Which one is more fun to use? I'll grant you that in a very powerful car they are the best option, but keep them out of my Miata!

The entire automotive world is crazy. Porsche not only makes an SUV, but its more competent then the one made by Land Rover, which itself is ironicly a luxury vehicle! The Lamborghini Gallardo's headlights seem to have been stolen strait off of the Nissan 300zx! The Volkswagen New Beetle is fast, expensive, unreliable, and front engined! Can the car world get anymore crazy!

That's my rant for the day.

Does anyone agree with me?

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I think it's all depends on what generation you are from. I grew up when no one ever heard of Lamborghini or Maserati and an exotic car was some new fangled import called a Datsun. In my mind, nothing modern competes for shear presence with a Lamborghini Miura or a Detomaso Mangusta. In the late 60's and early 70's cars had character. In the last few years it seems that more and more cars are starting to look the same. It's sad when even us car enthusiasts find it difficult to get excited about a new Ferrari or something equally as "exotic". To the new generation, anything that doesn't look like an Enzo is just antiquated and should be relegated to a museum. Being seen driving a new Ferrari just indicates that you have some money and a desire to be noticed, being seen driving a Miura or a Bora (or even a 512BB) shows that you have a geniune passion and appreciation for the machinery as well as having money. One takes your heart and brains, the other just takes your wallet.

I agree with many of Isdera's points.

The car industry is like a runaway train. Once someone starts something, it's hard to stop the snowball effect. A carmaker can build a car packed with computers, mindless power, and debatable styling, and another maker will introduce a car with even more. Not because it's better, but just because they are in competiton and change sells. What are they going to do, build them like they used to? If only they could!

But as long as good old cars can be preserved, and driven, it's not so bad. When a new car that is a true drivers car, built with passion and style comes through the cracks, it becomes that much more special.

Fortunately, paddle shifters on a Miata are only optional.

Glad I'm not by myself.

Cars seem to have lost their soul, they all look the same, sound the same, and brag about the same. They are all like lifeless computers. I'll take my Volkswagon Beetle, with all it's squeaks, pops, whistles, and bangs, not to mention unholy slowness, over a new Nissan 350z any day. Sure the Nissan is faster, but its missing something that the Beetle has; a soul. I saw 2 Veyrons at the Pebble Beach Concours last weekend, and even though they aren't as ugly as the pictures suggest, neither could match the sheer sha-zam of one of the Panteras that I also saw. I think our hope rests with the independent and tiny car makers that always seem to bless the industry, Companys like: Koingsegg, Saleen, Fisker, Vector (if it ever amounts to anything), Isdera, TVR, Morgan, Noble, or any of the current kit-car makers. I think Ferrari, Lamborghini, and the other bigwigs have gone "80s Maserati" on us.

At least the Miata is still with us, I'm happy that paddles are only optional.


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