Open Road

  • Top 5 most fun cars to drive under $35,000

    Andrew Comrie-Picard at Open Road7 mths ago

    You can’t beat fun for a good time. And you can’t beat a really fun car for less than $35,000. No matter how fun your Ferrari 458 Italia is, no matter how great your Lamborghini Aventador makes you feel, anyone who is larking about with a $27,000 grin-mobile can look at you and say: “I bought this with what it costs you to service your brakes.”

    At least that’s what I’d say.

    So with that in mind, here’s our list of top five fun cars under $35,000. (Why $35,000? It just seemed like a sensible number that had at least five cars that make me smile).

    Fiat 500 Abarth: When Fiat left America in 1983, no-one thought they would come back with a charming, well-engineered, and (so far) reliable car like the 500. And certainly no-one guessed that they’d offer a wheel-smoking Abarth performance version. This is why small cars are fun. And, oh yeah, there’s that girl in the ad.

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  • Driving lessons from the CHP Academy

    Andrew Comrie-Picard at Open Road7 mths ago

    A friend of mine has a simple philosophy about age: as long as you're still nervous around cops, you're still young enough. Once you start thinking you're on the same side - well, it's a short step from there to the grave.

    Except I keep meeting cops I like. Take Andrew Steen, chief instructor at the Emergency Vehicle Operation Course at the California Highway Patrol Academy. Here's a guy who loves cars, loves to talk about them, and can drift a police cruiser around the track as well as any hooligan in a slammed 1989 Nissan 240SX no brake lights or front license plate.

    I had the chance to be Andrew's passenger/victim on my visit to the CHP Academy, in the video above. And I had several revelations:

    1. Most cops love cars; that's one of the reasons they got into a career that involves driving around all the time.

    2. Some cops are absolutely outstanding drivers, and all want to be outstanding.

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