Driving, riding, roads and of course cars themselves have all been immortalized by writers, composers and musicians around the world. Auto Tune is our way to spotlight a unique transportation song to celebrate these “ridden” gems along with the artists or composers who crafted them. Some you may know, many we’re sure you don’t.
I love Burt Bacharach. Part of perhaps the greatest songwriting team of the 20th century (and yes, I’m not overlooking Lennon & McCartney), his greatest hits are almost a soundtrack of the ‘60s and ‘70s with a few from the ‘80s tossed in for good measure. The majority of his songs were accompanied by the brilliant lyrics of Hal David, however, there were a few instrumentals that Burt composed on his own and “Pacific Coast Highway” was one of the early ones. From his 1969 album “Make It Easy On Yourself,” this love letter to the PCH captures the essence of a ride from Santa Monica to Malibu. In fact, Burt told the LA Times that his inspiration for the composition was the drive he experienced in his late ‘60s Yellow Corvette Convertible up and down the PCH. Just listen to the light, mellow and melodic vibe of the song and you’ll be transported to the parking lot of Duke’s Restaurant in Malibu as you pull out onto CA 1, make a left and head up the coast to do a little grocery shopping at the Malibu Country Market. Ahhh, I’ll grab a coffee and meet you on the patio.
Seat Time is a chance for us to share our impressions of vehicles being tested in the Autoline Garage and at media previews from around the globe.
Reviewer: John McElroy Manufacturer: Ford Motor Company Make: Ford Model: Transit 250 HR Type: Full size cargo van Competitors: Daimler Sprinter, Ram Promaster, Chevrolet Express, GMC Savana, Nissan NV400 Price: Base: $30,560. As tested: $46,930 Made in: Kansas City, Missouri Drivetrain: 3.2 liter I-5 diesel; 6-speed automatic EPA Ratings: NA; observed: 20 mpg
Final Impression: Who would have ever thought that driving a Namu-sized van could be so much fun? All you enthusiasts out there owe it to yourselves to test drive the Transit at some point, because this van will definitely surprise and delight you.
The driving dynamics are better than you’ll find in many passenger cars. The on-center steering feel is precise, the effort is direct and you’ll sense the feedback through your hands. The brake pedal effort is directly proportional to the deceleration you’ll get out of it and is easily modulated. And while the acceleration of the I-5 diesel will not exactly snap your neck, it will more than easily keep up with traffic.
Go ahead, push it hard through one of those long, circular off-ramps. Hustle it through your favorite set of esses. Pick any apex and clip it every time. I found myself shaking my head in amazement and almost giggling. How can a vehicle with a 148-inch wheelbase, a 10-foot tall roof and over 400 cubic feet of interior room handle so well?
UP FOR DISCUSSION:
- What’s all this talk from FCA’s Sergio Marchionne about a merger?
- Russia is in a sales tailspin. Will anyone notice outside the luxury brands?
- Up close with Jeep‘s new Moab concepts
SPECIAL GUEST: Scott Smith, Program Manager, Ford Edge
All that and much more with John McElroy, Autoline.tv; Gary Vasilash, Automotive Design & Production; Aaron Bragman, Cars.com.
Thanks to our sponsor who makes Autoline After Hours possible: Bridgestone
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In the old days, when you searched for a used car you were at the mercy of your car dealer; sometimes they were quality vehicles while others were worn out lemons. However nowadays with the success of CPOs, or Certified Pre-Owned, the consumer has a lot more going for him or her than the mercy of some manager. Joining John McElroy to discuss the growth of the CPO business is Jared Rowe from AutoTrader.com, Todd Fites from Ford Motor Company and dealer Sam Slaughter from the Sellers Auto Group.