Road & Track October 2019

Road & Track includes technical features on automotive subjects, wide-ranging feature stories, spectacular automotive art and standard-setting new-car photography, humor, fiction, travel stories, book reviews and the most comprehensive racing coverage offered by a monthly magazine.Bonus: iPad Interactive

United States

in this issue

4 min
life in technicolor when reality is better than you imagined.

SURFING HAS FASCINATED me for years. I have a subscription to The Surfer’s Journal, and I’ve seen Bruce Brown’s surf epic, The Endless Summer, and its 1994 sequel countless times. My dog is named after Robert “Wingnut” Weaver, a longboarder featured in that sequel. (His name is Wingnut because who names a dog Robert?) I say “stoked” and “rad” far too often. Especially because I can’t surf. Hell, I’ve barely even tried. It’s not a great trait, but I’ve long been the kind of guy who wants to do things but rarely pulls the trigger. It’s probably rooted in the places my mind went while growing up. When you’re an only child, no siblings to fight or play with, your imagination lets you go places you otherwise can’t. You can be…

2 min
all bottled up

We filled five slim, insulated bottles with 48-degree water and measured the temperature difference after four hours on a summer day. We repeated the process with 205-degree water on a chilly morning. 5. Hydro Flask Wide Mouth 18 oz Cold: +9.0 degrees. Hot: -50.5 degrees. A performance disappointment, but the Hydro Flask is popular for a reason. It’s available in a multitude of colors and with a variety of accessories, including straws and a coffee lid. $30 4. Pelican 18 oz Cold: +7.0 degrees. Hot: -43.0 degrees. Inexpensive, easy to clean, and with thin rubberized friction surfaces that help it stay put, the Pelican is a standout. And it’s built by a company that makes bomb-proof cases, so you know it will last. $23 3. CamelBak Chute Mag 20 oz Cold: +7.0 degrees. Hot: -56.0 degrees. Strong on features,…

7 min
when cars aren’t enough

THANKS TO A successful automotive career, throughout my life I’ve had access to many of the most extreme high-performance cars. I raced occasionally and held SCCA and various European competition licenses. I owned and rode a good number of track-ready motorcycles, all capable of sub-three-second 0–60 times with top speeds nearing 200 mph. It was never enough. Why wasn’t I satisfied? I blame my 11 years as a Marine fighter-attack pilot. And my subconscious: From the time of my last Skyhawk flight in the Marine Corps, my nighttime dreams regularly took me to the ready room, donning flight gear, conferring with my fellow jocks, and climbing the ladder to the cockpit. I’d light the engine, taxi, and feel the rush of acceleration as I climbed into a brilliant evening sky. God,…

4 min
sweet release breaking down how we brake it down.

IN AN ERA where courage and simply staying alive often seemed deciding factors in a win, three-time world champion Jackie Stewart claimed he won more grands prix than anyone else in his day because of how he let off the brake pedal. As I started my own driving career, I wondered what he meant by that. Stewart, who came up in racing in the 1960s, was all about finesse, so releasing the pedal smoothly had to be part of it, right? Call me a slow learner, but it was years before I fully understood what he was saying. In 1993, I stood against the fence on the outside of Turn 3 at Laguna Seca, watching an IndyCar practice that I should have been in. (With no budget, we had to save…

4 min
rise and fall the surreality of the high-risk crash.

IT WAS A WARM DAY in East Tennessee, bugs aloft and humidity you could smell, when I rolled an Ariel Nomad down a mountain. That quiet place where no one ever expects to be, hanging inverted from a seatbelt. You crawl into daylight, blinking, and verify that your body remains intact. Luckily, mine was. Luck. So much meaning in four letters. More than two decades of driving and club racing, thousands of cars tested and hundreds of thousands of miles, and my crash ledger is remarkably thin. The only common stream seems to be those moments after, where you sit there gobsmacked: what just happened? And so there was that, in my head. Plus a lot more. I wasn’t wearing a helmet, though I probably should have been, given the car. An Ariel Nomad…

4 min
the customer is always king but you aren’t the customer.

PEOPLE SAY THAT this is a great time to be a car enthusiast. I disagree. Cars are more capable than ever, but speed limits haven’t kept pace with those improvements. Capability without the ability to use it is a recipe for frustration, not happiness. No Ferrari 488 Pista for me. I’d much rather be in a hot hatch, but those are an endangered species. Sporty coupes used to be cheap fun, but those are nearly extinct. Sport compact cars? Gone. Even the sport sedan is in talks with the grim reaper. (Fewer than one in four vehicles sold in the U.S. last year had four doors and a trunk—a number that continues to shrink.) Enthusiast options are evaporating. You have the pick of the litter if you lust after a five-passenger crossover…