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Comments (6)

  • Xander Cesari

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    I've driven and worked on a handful of Bugattis; I have the great fortune to have a collector in the family. The author's discovery is spot on; you can't even come close to knowing these cars until you see and experience one turning a wheel in anger. They're so unlike the comparatively modern '50s and '60s cars that most people call antiques. The gear whine, the credit card tire contact patch, the flat, thin steering wheel, the cable actuated brakes are all unfamiliar at best, alien at worst. In a prewar car, you do the motoring, not the car. You bounce through corners like a skipping stone, never fully driving the road because driving the car takes so much awareness. With an unsyncronized, straight cut gearbox each shift is an exercise in precision that requires all 3 of your feet and 4 of your hands. And woe betide the driver who forgets details like the spark advance lever, or manual oil and fuel pumps (on particularly early examples).

    Driving a muscle car could be compared to playing a power riff on a guitar. Driving a European sports car could be analogous to playing a sonata on the piano. But driving a prewar car is conducting an orchestra.

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  • Christopher Gay

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    Love it. What a wonderful description. Thanks for sharing.

    from San Diego, CA, USA
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  • Tsvetan Tsekov

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    The design of the rims looks so modern... :)

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  • Christopher Gay

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    My favorite article to date.

    Afshin, I can tell this was, without a doubt, a real game-changer for you. Most excellent.

    What an amazing opportunity; and these machines look like a pleasure to work on. Makes me want to head out to the shop!

    from San Diego, CA, USA
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  • Afshin Behnia

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    Glad you liked it, Chris. It truly was an awakening experience! Like I said in the article, just raw and pure.

    Head out to the shop, already!

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  • Gary Rand

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    Afshin, Truly wonderful. it is true there is something very visceral about pre war racing cars. Congratulations on another great experience shared brilliantly with us, the not quite so fortunate...

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