Thursday, February 26, 2004

Those who know me even casually are aware of my obsession with automotive safety. This was fostered in my early years with Saab, as I became keenly aware of many customers who came into our store saying that they had had an accident, and that their Saab had saved their life. My personal commitment to driving a safe car came after I had children. I could no longer justify driving a small, lightweight, zippy (fun to drive) car. I got my first Saab instead.

My interest in automotive safety was rekindled when I was introduced to Stevens Advanced Driver Training ( . Not only did attending their classes raise my skill level, but it made me painfully aware of how dangerous our roadways are. I am now a Stevens devotee and for those who don’t know, I try to organize two classes per year for my customers at Stevens, and I would encourage every driver to seek their training. I had long thought I was a really good driver, that I understood the physics of an automobile and of driving. Boy, was I wrong.

Now I am on the verge of having my eldest son join the ranks of licensed drivers. I am scared senseless. We all see the stories, daily, of traffic fatalities in this state. All too often they involve inexperienced drivers. Many times they are doing stupid things—drinking, speeding, racing. How do we keep our kids safe? Good training—my son will attend Stevens Advanced Driver Training when he completes the state mandated “driver’s ed.” Good equipment—put your kids in the safest car you can, and teach them how to use all that safety technology to keep out of accidents. Good parenting--when all else fails, have the testicular fortitude to take the keys and license away.

I love to drive (good thing since I commute 90 miles a day). I drive....enthusiastically. But I also drive safely. These are not mutually exclusive, especially in a Saab!

Friday, February 13, 2004

I think it is unfortunate that following the Super Bowl, that the Janet-Justin flap overwhelmed all the great things that transpired that night, like a really entertaining football game! After the game itself, the commercials were fodder for post game discussion, and the consensus was that this was not a banner year for Super Bowl advertising. I will put in a plug for the Chevrolet “soap” commercial: it was cute. But as a “car guy,” I was completely transfixed by the Ford GT40 ads that ran sometime prior to the game. If you missed these, and if you enjoy things automotive, please do yourself a favor and visit
and play both commercials. It won’t be quite the same as seeing the ads on a big screen, with the surround sound turned way up (the sound may be the best part of the ads), but if you’ve ever found fast cars sexy, these ads will be a turn-on.

Too bad that Saab will never have a hand at a Super Bowl commercial. Then again, maybe that’s a good thing. But if they did, maybe they could remake their 1988 “Saab Ballet.” If you haven’t seen this before, take a look. This is a scream!