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Join Date: Jun 2009
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Cars With Soul!

What cars have you driven that gave you the feeling of “one-ness” that Supersignman wrote about in answer to a newcomer seeking advice on buying his first air-cooled?

Supersignman wrote:

“...I raced stock cars on a regional level for about 15 years but sold out after the economy crashed in 2009. Most race car drivers will tell you one of the most exhilarating things about racing is the feeling of being "one with the car". When you have a race car you're really comfortable with and you're in that "zone" you feel as if you can do anything with the car. My 911 gives me that same feeling in a street car and I didn't think that was possible…

The air cooled 911's give an incredible amount of feedback to the driver while being perfectly suited as a daily driver and I don't know if there is another car on the planet that could make that claim. The light manual steering makes you feel like your hands are touching the pavement and the mechanical symphony coming from the flat six is almost sensory overload.

There's a reason they cost as much as they do and people are so passionate about them. These are cars for people who enjoy the journey more than the destination. ”

I contemplated this for about a week and concluded that very few automobiles have given me this “sense of oneness.” There are plenty of cars I’ve liked. There are many cars that I’ve liked ‘a whole lot!’ But if I’m really objective, only a few have had that (very subjective) “I just want to keep driving this car forever” feeling. Very few had that feeling of being a “soul-mate.”

In addition to romantic superlatives, I’d describe these as cars that I was ‘wearing’ rather than ‘driving’ – like a good pair of boots or perfectly tuned skis.

My 911 SC certainly feels this way. The other cars on my short list are: 1973 BMW 2002, BMW 325i, 1987 BMW 535i, Alpha Romeo GT Coupe, 300 Mercedes diesel, Audi 5000 quattro.

I’d be very interested to learn if other’s have felt a similar sense of “one-ness” with one or more automobiles. And what specific cars were they?
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"A man must consider what a rich realm he abdicates when he becomes a conformist." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson ~ (thanks to Pat Keefe)
Old 09-13-2019, 06:13 AM
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My old '88 911 targa had it in spades.

I haven't driven one, but I think many Lotuses would probably have it as well.

My boxster and miatas probably had it, but not to the level of the old 911.
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Steve
'08 Boxster RS60 Spyder #0099/1960
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Old 09-13-2019, 06:22 AM
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1989 928 GT.

lusted for one for a long time. found one in early 1992. Just passed it on to one who will appreciate it as much as I did.
Old 09-13-2019, 06:27 AM
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Personally a truly manual car, with no electronic nannies has that feeling. ABS and traction and stability control can make crappy drives hotshoes. But it is the car, not the driver. To "get it right" in a air cooled G body 911 with none of the modern gizmos, is the fun part of any lap. Zero doubt any modern car with double or triple the HP and all the modern nannies will make any driver really fast, but they are just along for the ride and not really driving.
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Glen
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Old 09-13-2019, 06:30 AM
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Dude, it's right there in the name...

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Old 09-13-2019, 07:02 AM
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You have to include motorcycles. I don't have many experiences of 'soul' with a bike, but they are really personal. I think a car with some low key soul is a nice tight VW bug. I've had a few.

To have soul in car is to have less. Less electronics as a start. Less power assist, in fact no power assist. Roll up windows and all that jazz. And it has to smell in a good way. No smell, no soul.

It has to have a lowly growl or rumble. Electric cars have no soul. But it can't have the potential to be frightening unless in foolish hands.
Old 09-13-2019, 07:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeke View Post
You have to include motorcycles. I don't have many experiences of 'soul' with a bike, but they are really personal. I think a car with some low key soul is a nice tight VW bug. I've had a few.

To have soul in car is to have less. Less electronics as a start. Less power assist, in fact no power assist. Roll up windows and all that jazz. And it has to smell in a good way. No smell, no soul.

It has to have a lowly growl or rumble. Electric cars have no soul. But it can't have the potential to be frightening unless in foolish hands.
From that point of view, my first car ever had soul. It was a '65 Chevy Impala 2dr with 350 and 4spd. It wasn't a super high performer, but yeah, it had soul.
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'08 Boxster RS60 Spyder #0099/1960
- never named a car before, but this is Charlotte.
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Old 09-13-2019, 07:29 AM
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My SC
My 280z had a tad
My 1971 Datsun 510. It didn't from the factory but Koni shocks, a tune, minilites, headers and a raspy exhaust added a bucketful of soul.
My big sisters Fiat 850 Spider oozed soul. Even with my 6'4" frame coiled up inside.
Old 09-13-2019, 07:34 AM
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My list:

My 1973 Opel GT: Weber carb, modified exhaust and better shocks...unfiltered driving experience.
My 1997 Toyota Landcruiser: I still own it. It feels like it is greater than the sum of its parts...
My 1976 911 for all the reasons noted above...
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Old 09-13-2019, 07:52 AM
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Most of my cars have had it, or I would not have purchased them. All the air cooled cars have been like that, Bug, 914, 911, the current DD Miata does, even my FWD Integra did
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Old 09-13-2019, 08:01 AM
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In addition to my 911, I'd include my old Austin Healeys and TR3. The top down experience of the old sports cars is hard to beat.
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Old 09-13-2019, 08:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evans, Marv View Post
In addition to my 911, I'd include my old Austin Healeys and TR3. The top down experience of the old sports cars is hard to beat.
My TR2, E-Type and my 356SC are the three most soulful cars out of the literally 100 I have owned. Just like Zeke said, smell, noise, vibrations and connectivity are the ingredients.
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Old 09-13-2019, 08:43 AM
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The Cobra replica is the most communicative car I have ever owned.
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Old 09-13-2019, 08:44 AM
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It seems that cars with soul should have similar or consistent characteristics.

I think they should make a person smile when they light off and sit at idle, maybe it's their sound and/or perhaps the entire car shakes a bit when just sitting there for starters.
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Old 09-13-2019, 09:27 AM
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My 2000 Honda S2000 hands down, mic drop.....
My e30 M3 a close second.
My 911 is more of a piece of art to me than a true connection. Its very quirky, like all the air cooled.....
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Old 09-13-2019, 09:31 AM
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Three cars have fit me like a glove and had tons of soul. First was a '71 240Z with Webers and headers. The most fun, tossable car I have ever owned, full stop.

Second was a 69E for similar reasons, it just exuded nimblocity (nimbleness at speed) and really spoke to me. Bought it in CA while out on business and drove back to Boston in 54 hours flat. Only car I've ever regretted selling.

Third is an 84 M491 that I'm currently dialing in. Just put in fixed-back Momo, a mystery geared '75 915 that shifts like a Honda, George's headers with custom Ben McFarland muffler (really megaphones masquerading as a muffler) and serious weight loss have transformed the car into quick little rocket on rails, and I haven't even done the suspension yet. This car will be perfect next spring. So much fun.
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Old 09-13-2019, 09:42 AM
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BMW 2002. Even more than the 911 in my book. Slower, but full of play...
Old 09-13-2019, 01:21 PM
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My Lotus Elise ticks that box and every time I drive it, I have a smile on my face.
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Old 09-13-2019, 02:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pavulon View Post
It seems that cars with soul should have similar or consistent characteristics.

I think they should make a person smile when they light off and sit at idle, maybe it's their sound and/or perhaps the entire car shakes a bit when just sitting there for starters.
This
Old 09-13-2019, 02:24 PM
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my Porsche 964 after a couple of days driving it up and down mountains in the Alps

my Gen 2 Toyota 4Runner 3.0TD with Old Man Emu suspension upgrade, nearly 100,000 miles of getting to know each other, most miles I've done in one car

my Peugeot 205GTi 1.6, fun and very nimble, perfect for English B roads, still regret selling it, really want another one

my wives Fiat 500 0.9ltr Twin Air, only 85BHP but every single CC and BHP = fun, makes me want to buy a Abarth 595 with 160BHP
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Old 09-13-2019, 02:25 PM
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