Volk Wheels

 

From back issue No. 25

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Text: Wooley & Gregg Bucell // Photos: Jared Whitehead

Humans are such silly little creatures.  And I say ‘creatures’ because that’s what we are.  Critters… animals… just keeping ourselves busy while we’re here… without much of a clue as to why.  Like a critter… we build a home for ourselves to shade us from the elements.  We get all our little things organized just how we want them.  And when we’ve finally got it all finished, and we’ve achieved our goal… we’re not content.  We don’t even know how to sit back and enjoy it. We just want more.  We look at our neighbor’s tree.  And we want THAT tree.  So we leave it all behind, to only to build ourselves, a newer, different hut… but with a better view on a different side of the forest.  We’re like little squirrels, just running around collecting nuts & storing them… not even knowing really what for.  Just ‘in case’.  And just because it keeps us busy while we’re here.

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And it’s all the same story with what we drive.  Nothing is ever enough.  In the late 80s through the 90’s… it seemed like the Japanese car makers had figured it out.  See – the gas crunch of the mid 70s had forced us to change the way we built cars.  American car manufacturers fumbled around failingly… couldn’t get a grasp on it… and had a really hard time being able to make a fun car, that was economical to drive.  We were great at making rad cars when gas was 30-cents per gallon, but that was the muscle car days.  In this new environment, we just couldn’t fit the pieces together. This, however, was the environment of the Japanese.  This is what they understood.  This is where they excelled.  They built nimble/quick handling cars, that were easy/fun to tune… and efficient to operate.  And by the mid-late 80’s… they had it figured out.  The cars at that time, coming out of Japan were fun, simple, efficient… and they were good.

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And they kept that momentum, and built on it throughout the 90s.  (SR, 2JZ, 4G63, B16, B18)  They had the winning combos.  But by the early 2000’s that ‘critter’ characteristic started setting in.  And it wasn’t just the fault of the Japanese auto-makers… but with society in general.  We couldn’t leave a good thing alone.  Cars, as well as other aspects of life, started getting heavier and heavier… more ugly, and more complicated.  We needed our cars to seat us, our dog, and 7 other people – just in case.  We needed our cars to tell us where to go, so we stuffed them with GPS and navigation.  We needed…

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Purchase Back Issue 25 here to read the rest of this story