In this holiday season, we have much to be thankful for. As automotive types, it always feels like the walls are closing in on us. With automated gearboxes, rising fuel economy regulations, and more intrusive safety tech, it seems like were losing the battle for ‘awesome.’ The small amount of unbridled vehicular excellence left in the automotive world is something to be cherished. Here are the things for which BoldRide is thankful. (Without these items, we’d probably be out of a job)
Local Motors Rally Fighter
When Local Motors opened their doors, they did not set out to create this thing. The small firm runs on the crowd-source business model, creating a huge community to help design a vehicle. Well that community spoke, and the fruits of their labor was this awesome off-road coupe. It has a full adjustable suspension and is capable of the same high speeds on trails as the Ford F-150 Raptor. When the original BMW-sourced diesel six-cylinder engine was not enough, they went back to the community and asked for something better, resulting in the 350 cubic inch GM small block that now sits underhood. You can always be thankful for that.
After the popularity of the original Shelby Cobra, many pretenders have arose through the years. The problem is, that they are all a Cobra only in appearance, and lack any semblance of a decent suspension, steering, or any modicum of driving characteristics. David Smith knew this, and set about creating a better Cobra. The Factory Five portfolio of project cars has been computer designed for optimal handling characteristics. This is a replica build that you can actually drive, yet still is more thrilling than any new car on the road today. For making a Cobra that won’t kill you, Factory Five, we are thankful.
A Merciful Death
Suzuki has been largely forgotten for the last decade or so. With so many great startups in the auto industry, the small Japanese automaker is just the Debbie Downer at the party, whining about how her relationships don’t work out. There is no need to put the company that brought us the awesome Samurai through any undue pain. So for executing a merciful death to Suzuki, and pulling it out of the American auto industry, we are thankful.
Car Guys Doing Their Damn Thing
It’s funny to think about, but just three years ago, the industry was in the dumps, but boy did it come back. The best example is Chrysler. The perfect case study that suits and pencil pushers don’t know how to operate a car company, holding firm Cerebrus essentially ran Chrysler into bankruptcy. At death’s door, Fiat’s Sergio Marchionne stepped in. Sergio is a product guy, and understands that great cars, not watching the bottom line, is the key to a brand’s success. Look to Elon Musk at Tesla, and Ralph Gilles at Fiat’s SRT branch. These men are car guys, and with their leadership, the auto industry is reaching never-before-seen heights.
Things in the auto industry have really bounced back, but even when they were down, a select few still kept their hopes up. They were the die-hards, and no matter how bad things got, they had hope that our passion for cars would drive a rebuilding of the way we make cars. Now an electric car (Tesla Model S) is faster to 60 mph than an M5, and is the Motor Trend Car of the Year. Our collective love for cars would not let the American auto industry die out. For those that turn their heads every time they hear a V8 with open pipes, and those that care enough to check in every day to see what part of the auto industry we are covering today- we are thankful. Thanks every body, and keep on reading!