British Tradition and the High Tech Hot Rod

The British sports car has been the primary competition device for the average man since the 1950’s. When you went to any car event from a club rally to a national road racing championship, most of the participants and spectators were in British machinery.

I recently ran my MGB in an SCCA Regional Solo 2 event Out of 28 cars running in my class, C street prepared, mine was the only car made in England. Where did all the British sports cars go?

Here was a well attended sports car event where the true sports cars were outnumbered by…are you ready for this?…Japanese high tech sedans!! That’s right, the class was filled with Mazdas, Toyotas, Datsuns, and Mitsubishis. I was driving the only roadster in a class filled with family sedans. I had to put the top down and do battle with a bunch of Recaroed, graphically equalized, rotaried high tech hot rods.

How do these high tech hot rodders go autocrossing? First they have to maximize their driving environment. They program their high tech seats, adjust the balance of their quadrasonic speakers and set the climate control for optimal driver comfort in a competition situation. The car communicates vital information to the driver with digital readouts. These readouts tell them when to stop autocrossing and go to the dealer for minor adjustments. After all, you can’t test microprocessers under the old shade tree.

If that isn’t bad enough, these high tech hot rods have the nerve to talk back to their drivers: “Please turn out the lights”; “The door is ajar”; “Please take a later apex on turn 9”; “The driver is incompetent”. Such is
the cry of the high tech hot rod. If you ever thought your car was trying to outsmart you by ‘Lucasing out’ or ‘SU-ing up’, how would you feel when your car actually started telling you what to do?

Twenty-seven drivers at this autocross and nameless others are giving up the small inconveniences of the British sports cars for the major aggravations of the high tech hot rod. And those major aggravations
are enough to justify my maintaining and autocrossing the old MG into the next century. It may soon be one of the few cars around that doesn’t talk back!

A $25.00 Gift Certificate is on the
way to Steve Hensley of Stockton, California
for keeping us up-to-date
on the state of affairs in sportscar
competition circles.


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