Welcome to Patch's Garage
An introduction to Patch's Garage, a new weekly column dedicated to the world's most interesting machine.
I’m a car guy. I’ve been a car guy ever since my dad told me about the car he had when he was a kid—a then-not-so-cool 1957 Chevrolet Two-Ten. Well, maybe’s it’s still not so cool.
And I’m a car nerd. I’ve probably read every issue of “Road & Track” dating back to September 1992. In fact, I remember picking it off of the shelf at a pharmacy in Jenkintown and asking my mom to buy it for me. On the cover? A black Jaguar XJ220—a then-technologically advanced, overhyped, supercar out of the financial realm of any normal person. Sure it had 540-plus horsepower and broke the 200-mph mark, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen one … and it really doesn’t bother me, as its lines didn’t age well.
On the other hand, a less prominent article in the magazine featured a beautiful Guards Red Porsche 911 RS America. The car was a stripped down 911, simple and plenty fast (though only passably fast by today’s standards). With a price tag of $53,900, in “1992 dollars.” Expensive, but not crazy expensive. The looks and the concept of that car really resonated with me; it made me really want to follow the auto industry. (And you might say the lines on a 911 are aging well.)
Getting out of the “Wayback Machine” … It’s a great time to be a car enthusiast. Entry-level and midsize cars are quick, capable and good looking (just compare a Hyundai Elantra or a Ford Focus to any of the junky economy car being churned out in the 80s), and luxury car marques are producing sedans that are exotic car-fast. Heck, my 9-year-old sedan is only 0.3 seconds slower to 60 than the 911 RSA, which did it in 5.3 seconds. And consider this, the latest Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG and the BMW M5 both pack more horsepower, 577 and 560, respectively, than Jaguar’s early ’90s supercar—and the Benz is even a tick quicker to 60, according to “Motor Trend.” Both are much cheaper than the old Jag too.
The horsepower wars are certainly going strong. Vanilla Camrys and Accords are available with more than 250 horsepower and base Mustangs and Camaros are putting out more than 300 horsepower. And for those worried about $5 gas, hybrids, diesels and plug-in electrics are becoming less “niche,” more mainstream, and perhaps more importantly, less ugly.
In any event, I have been, and will continue to be subscribed to the world of cars. So if you’re like me, stop by each week for some car-centric talk. We’ll be talking about auto trends, car accessories and we’ll be driving quite a few cars too.
And if you’ve got a car worth talking about or photographing, or know of an upcoming car show in the area (the Northeast Rod and Custom Car Show is coming up later this month in Oaks), shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.