|My Dream Car||Carless Future?|
|Inline Skating||My Car Gripes|
|J e e p s|
I drive a 94 Jeep Cherokee Sport (2 door, Selec-Trac 4 wheel drive, Off-road suspension package). Jeeps are just downright amazing vehicles. I've gone offroading in it and was stunned at what it was capable of accomplishing. You get a feeling of invulnerability in it that a little 4-door sedan just doesn't offer.
Below I've listed some good Jeep links, including some for the new 1997 Jeep Wrangler (TJ). The new Wrangler took everything that was good about the old design and made it even better. Like seven more inches of wheel travel, better handling, new dash including real air-conditioning and dual airbags, wider rear seat, etc, etc. Yahooo!
Jeep is also redoing the Cherokee for next year. I haven't seen any pictures yet, but it supposedly gets more aerodynamic, as well as a new dash with dual airbags. I'll try and put some pictures or links here as I get them.Cherokee America, Jeep Unpaved, Jeep Journal, Jeep Jamborees, jp Magazine, 1997 Jeep Wrangler, 1997 Wrangler Unpaved
D r e a m C a r
As much as I love my Jeep, I'm salivating over a different car altogether. Unfortunately it's not even available in the United States yet. It's small and unimposing. In fact it probably wouldn't even get a second glance. It's got 4-wheel drive but doesn't look like it. It's a turbo, but it's only a 2.0 liter engine. And it's faster than a Nissan 300ZX. Confused? Let me introduce you to the Subaru Impreza WRX:
Car and Driver had an article about it back in 1995. Since then, they ran another one that said Subaru was thinking about making the WRX for the US market and the specs they quoted for the US model were even better than before! It's currently very popular outside the US as a road rally car. I think it would be a blast here because it's capable of off-road travel plus beats most sports cars on the road! So I'm saving up now for one...Here are a couple more links that you can check out:
The Subaru Impreza WRX Shrine, Another Subaru Impreza WRX page, and the Subaru Forester 4x4 SUV due out next year
|When I've not driving 4 wheels, I'm scooting around on 8! I play street hockey (well, parking lot hockey is more like it) as well as some freestyling on my Rollerblades. Inlines are pretty popular in the Dallas area because of the usually sunny weather. The best overall site for inlines that I know of is Skating The Infobahn|
Nifty Car Sites
|Just some handy sites for the car shopper or dreamer:|
Edmunds Pricing Guides, Car & Driver, Microsoft CarPoint, Popular Mechanics, Current Dealer/Customer Incentives
A Carless Future?
Car are a integral part of our daily lives. Unfortunately, cars have a lot of negative side effects: pollution, traffic, noise, need for large storage space, etc. Additionally cars can be a large waste of material. A car may be involved in a wreck and be considered undrivable thereafter. But 80 percent of the car (interior, air conditioning, etc) may still be fine. However, that dead car becomes a two-ton piece of landfill anyway.
Looking back, cars were designed when roads were simple technology and a complicated car was needed to ensure comfortable and safe travel on them. With the population density of today's cities, plus advances in technologies, we need to rethink the design: We should now consider improving and automating the "roads" and simpifying the vehicle. This idea is called PRT: Personal Rapid Transit
A lot of benefits come from automating the system: No more traffic jams, no collisions, and no drunk driving. The vehicle can even become an autopiloted courier for you: Send it to go pick up the kids from school, then swing by the laundromat and pick up your dry-cleaning, then it can go by the pizzaria and deliver 2 hot pizzas to you, all while you sit in the comfort of home!
Since you no longer are responsible for driving the vehicle, you can use that time for other things. Maybe your car will have an overstuffed recliner in it so that you can read on the way to and from work. Perhaps a Nintendo and TV set. Or maybe some workout equipment. Maybe even a hottub! The interior of the vehicle can be completely customized to be whatever habitat you'd like. Only some basic size and weight restrictions would apply.
This is a large concept to swallow at once, especially for an American population that is so proud of its automobiles. But I bet that if you spend some time thinking about it, you'll begin to see that not that much is sacrificed, but so much is gained. I am certainly not the best expert on this sort of system, so let me direct you to some sites that discuss these possibilities:
Gordon Peterson's PRT page, Innovative Transportation Technologies, and the Transportation Research Board.
My Car Gripes
Ultimately this will be another soapbox page specifically targetted at cars and driving. But it will take me a while to get all that pieced together...So check back here in a couple of weeks.
Copyright © 1997 Brian Bloom. All Rights Reserved