Cars, Culture, and Etc.

Archive for 2008|Yearly archive page

My new website…

In Comment on September 22, 2008 at 1:56 pm

All, please change your bookmarks to:! But don’t worry; all of the posts formerly found here, (and the comments) have been moved over, and this site will be no longer maintained. So take a look. Cheers, Michael


Comment: The need to lead; on dinner with Bob Lutz and other things

In Analysis, Comment on September 17, 2008 at 11:19 am

AS I TOLD “MAXIMUM” ROBERT A. “BOB” LUTZ BETWEEN SIPS OF A BLACK COFFEE AFTER THE OTHERS LEFT, I grew up in a non-domestic family. Save for the two Ford Aerowindystar minivans my mom needed to haul us kids around in. I watched Formula One intently from the age of naught — Alain Prost, then Michael Schumacher were my favourites — while laughing at the American, Michael Andretti.

I could list for you, at age five, all manner of European sports cars. At 10, I was on to things like the Isdera, Alpine, Ruf Porsches, and a few odd Japanese cars — like that “V6 supercar,” the Honda/Acura NSX. I attended the Detroit Auto Show every single year with my father, and while I can guarantee I was blown away by the Ford Indigo, GT90, and Dodge Copperhead, I would make a complete circuit of the show and purposely cut through the domestic wares to get to the next–closest Euro or Japanese show stand. Read the rest of this entry »

Photo: Light fun with the RX-8 R3

In Photography on September 16, 2008 at 10:45 am
Just some fun with a placard, flashlight — and one click of the shutter. Promise.

Just some fun with a placard, flashlight — and one click of the shutter. Promise.

Photos: Toyota FJ Cruiser

In Photography on August 29, 2008 at 7:45 am
The Toyota FJ Cruiser Trail Teams edition

The Toyota FJ Cruiser Trail Teams edition

Toyota FJ Cruiser Trail Teams edition

Toyota FJ Cruiser Trail Teams edition

Comment: Beware of ‘Journalists’

In Comment on August 22, 2008 at 1:10 pm

This was scrawled into my dayplanner a month or so ago, and had forgotten about it until now. Enjoy.

I’m in business class, behind one of the top auto writers in the country. He’s got a brochure and booklet for the 2009 Mazda 6 on his tray table, beside his laptop, typing his story.

It’s an appalling article, even calling the engine — in a car he hasn’t driven — as “one of the smoothest and quietest in the segment.” Come on.

Oh, and do you think, “active adaptive shift control” are his words, or the marketers?

Photo: The Junior Lux Brigade

In Photography on August 21, 2008 at 7:21 am
Mercedes C230, BMW 323i, Lexus IS250 AWD

Mercedes C230, BMW 323i, Lexus IS250 AWD

Comparing vehicles is always a lot of fun, and these three were just similar enough to make it interesting. This was for a comparo that will appear in World of Wheels Magazine next month.

Comment: On drives

In Comment on August 13, 2008 at 6:55 am

Lights and lanes, ticking by. Thoughts and dreams walking by. Body at ease, mind at the ready. Driving…

So much of life in the West is devoted to the pursuit of wealth and status, with personal happiness seemingly related to both but really a different idea altogether. I say idea because although 10,000 can pack a comedy theatre and enjoy a few laughs, true happiness is personal and exclusive to that person.

For me, it’s driving without a destination. Despite the backlash I get for saying that I both enjoy driving and that I do it for fun, one person driving one modern car affects the environment far less than you’d think. What I’m on about here is keeping clean your mental health.

What does it for me is the motion. The fact I have control over an object that can move me far faster through the world than I am capable is an absolute rush. It never gets old. Thinking ahead becomes a necessity, and adding traffic to the road mean that I have to start flowing in relation to those around me.

When movement permeates my thoughts, my heart slows. My fingers and toes rest. It’s like standing in the shower with warm water running over my face. At. Ease.

I’m saying to you to find what puts you at ease. What takes you away from life. What allows you to disconnect without losing yourself in the process. Whether it’s exercise, reading, art…do what makes you happy and keep doing what makes you happy on a regular basis. Find yourself through happiness, true happiness.

Video: Le Mans Classic

In Video on August 4, 2008 at 8:36 pm

Photo: Jeep Liberty

In Photography on July 31, 2008 at 8:00 pm
Just a little bit of sand, eh?

Just a little bit of sand, eh?

A Jeep engineer having some fun in a wash during an off-road excursion. Location? Moab, Utah. This photo was used for a World of Wheels magazine cover in August, 2007.

*Update, July 31: Uploaded the original to Flickr, so felt I should update this post, too.

Comment: A Twitter a day…

In Comment on July 31, 2008 at 6:47 pm
The main screen of the Twitter microblogging service.

The main screen of the Twitter microblogging service.

…keeps what away? For me, Twitter is an essential tool for talking to people with like interests and careers. It’s a microblogging platform designed for speed of use, ease of use, and fun. Sometimes it goes down (IE FAILWHALE) but for the most part, I find it pretty stable.

I did want to share with everyone a conversation started by one of my posts, on the joy of a new Ikea catalogue:

“Is it wrong that I touch myself to the Ikea catalogue?”


@michaelbanovsky as long as you aren’t in the store at the time, they frown on that.”


“@michaelbanovsky do you keep an allen wrench handy with the catalogue?”


“@zaphodd @rojopelo You both have no idea how effective their fogged glass cabinets are for such business matters. Ha.”


“@michaelbanovsky Easily the funniest thing I have read today”


That’s why I love Twitter. Up-to-the-minute feedback. And a fair ol’ bit of fun, too.