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"My Take" is a regular feature of "Wind Tunnel," Dave Despain's weekly motorsports phone-in show, seen only on Speed Channel. "Wind Tunnel" airs live at 11pm eastern every Friday night.

I'm asked a lot if I think this or that form of racing (and I've heard everything from rally to motocross) will ever be as popular in America as it is in Europe. My answer is always "No" because there's a big difference between America and Europe.

It's the difference between the Autobahn and the Montana Interstate speed limit, which marked the death of common sense in U.S. transportation.

Europe is different...it's the difference between scooters filtering to the front at stoplights then going on their way when the light changes, and road rage maniacs shooting each other in stop-and-go logjams.

...the difference between Italian stuff and most of what we get from Detroit and Japan. The word you're looking for is "passion."

It's the difference between people who can't grasp the "Keep Moving" sign beside the right turn lane, and people who don't need that sign in the first place.

...the difference between parking your bike next to four old men who walk over and comment on the make and model, then drop the name of the '50s GP star who made the brand famous, and pulling into the same spot here and noticing the old men edge away a couple steps (except for the one who yells, "Wow, is that a Harley?").

It's the difference between automotive performance that only exists in TV commercials, and the same thing found every day, in real life - and appreciated, not looked down on...the difference between seeing one comin' fast in the mirror and moving right, and not having looked in the mirror since your last make-up job.

In Europe, the majority of people "get" this car and motorcycle thing. The American masses don't. Responsibility lies with a dumbed down, National Nanny, lowest common denominator Transportation Bureaucracy that issues a driver's license to anyone who can fog a mirror, then mandates a bags-and-belts cocoon to protect them when they run into each other, which is inevitable because they have no idea what they're doing out there.

Bottom line...a culture that can't grasp "slower traffic keep right" is not fertile ground for the growth of sophisticated forms of motor racing. If you live here and you "get" it, savor your place among the enlightened few, but don't expect the guys around the water cooler to share your appreciation of the German Touring Car series.
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[ 05-26-2003, 12:51 AM: Message edited by: Penguini66 ]
 

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I LOVED THAT!!!
I also liked when he came around to blaming alot of it on Henry Ford, who "Mass-Produced Vehicles, making it so that the Masses could afford to drive". I'm not directly quoting, but his point was that Americans make "driving" an issue of affording a car, and that's it. If you can afford a car, you're allowed on the road. (Generally)
We are a "Sprawled" society, and cars are no more or less important than a hairdryer or TV.
They are "Needed" to get ANYWHERE, but not respected any more than that.
If Henry hadn't mass-produced them, someone would've eventually, but he did a great job outlining the connection between "Mass-Production" ans "Mass Population/Idiots" being on the roads.


[ 05-26-2003, 01:11 AM: Message edited by: MichaelXi ]
 

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indeed that analogy was awesome
. i know what he's talking about people in th chicagoland area are some of the worst types of drivers that don't notice that they are clogging a two lane freeway by going the same speed as the car next to them .arggghhh!!!
 

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Having been fortunate enough to have driven in Europe and on the Autobahn I would have to agree with what Dave Despain has said.

American's do not fully appreciate the automobile in the sense that Europeans do or at least American's have not embraced the automobile with the same passion or understatnding.

Present company excluded, it is the rare non-automotive enthusiast who can appreciate that a car can be more than basic transportation and few have respect or understanding of automotive lineages and heritages beyond being able to recognize high dollar makes. A Kia with APC stickers is not as capable as BMW and if said Kia sees a BMW closing on it in its rear view mirror, it should make an effort to get the **** out of the way.

As for me, regardless of what vehicular law may dictate, I always pass on the right as I have grown too tired of those left lanners that refuse to yield the right of way to faster traffic. It has become so commonplace that I have all but given up on American ever "getting it".

This fundamental difference between Europeans and Americans is that Europeans realize that not all cars and not all drivers are created equal. In America you have the right to drive and apparently the right to impede traffic if you so choose.

BLUEBYUTOO
 

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Originally posted by silvasvtfocus:
I thought it "smacked" of bigotry.
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">WHAT???

Where does "Race" come into this????
 
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