“Wanderings”
By Driving Me Crazy Duo JOHN and LAURIE WILES

Hezi Aris Automotive, Health, People, Port Chester, NY, Technology, Travel 1 Comment

Driving Me Crazy Columnists Laurie and John Wiles.

Driving Me Crazy Columnists Laurie and John Wiles.

We’ll talk about the Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack next week. We meant to review it this week but Johnny and I need more road time. The Dodge Challenger has been an integral piece of America’s automotive culture since 1958 as an original “muscle car” of Baby Boomers and Generation X. Rev up its 6.4-Liter V8 SRT Hemi MDS engine! Sounds like a herd of elephants stampeding!

The MSRP is $41,185 and we’re driving a “TorRed”, testosterone-infused Challenger, like something out of a Marvel comic book. What’s more, there’s a secret button labeled “Super Track Pak.” You press it, we’re told, and the car lifts up off the ground and takes off at the speed of light, breaking the sound barrier, like the Back to the Future car. Johnny had a heart procedure yesterday—he has to rest, which is why he’s not bantering with me now, as usual. But I promised him if he came up trumps, we would drive out to the country so he could push the button. Praise God, he’s got the heart of an ox—and now I’ve got to keep my promise. You’ll know when he gets behind the wheel and presses that secret button—because when he puts the pedal to the metal, you’ll hear the engine roar, and my screams, no matter how far away we may be.
# # #
Johnny’s car is a Ford Edge and he loves it. However, so much technology has happened over the past five or six years that he’s decided to trade it in. We went over to Crossroads Ford in Southern Pines, where he bought his Edge, to check out the 2017 model and Johnny’s right—it’s redesign and newest feature are miles ahead. So, as much as he loves his Edge and has pampered it over the years, it’s time to move on.

We walked through the lot and came across one of my favorite cars of all time, the Ford Flex. I test-drove the Flex when it first came out in 2009 and what people are always amazed to hear is that the body design was inspired by a 1950s canister vacuum cleaner. Back then, I drove it down to New York City, a distance of 700 miles round trip, so I really got a feel for the car. People had never seen a car like that before and I can’t tell you how many honked their horns and gave me a “thumbs up” as they passed me by, grinning in approval. When I parked the car at one of the Manhattan garages, all the parking attendants flocked around it—they couldn’t get enough of its unique design and roomy interior. That’s my vote. Johnny still loves the Edge but he’s on the fence between it and the Lincoln MKX luxury crossover. I’m not sure where we’ll come out and we’re actually exploring leasing for the first time. We’ll keep you posted.
# # #
You probably read that a longtime Volkswagen executive was arrested recently for conspiring to violate the Clean Air Act when he was head of regulatory compliance for VW in the United States in 2014-2015. We enthusiastically reviewed the VW Passat last month. Tragic that the German auto manufacturing giant caused such a breach of faith with consumers, but it’s difficult to fathom how just one person can be singled out. Sounds like something out of a John LeCarre novel.
# # #
I drove over to T.J. Maxx the day after Christmas. Not surprisingly, there was hardly a parking space to be had. I squeezed the 2017 Nissan Sentra Nismo into a tight space, did my shopping, and upon my return, found a sticky note on my windshield that said, “Learn to park, a—hole.” I was horrified—I had parked as best I could—but what bothered me most was how quickly the Christmas spirit had been forgotten. How sad that unhappy person must have been to go out of his way just to be cruel.

There’s a passage in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol which most precious to me. Ebenezer Scrooge’s nephew, Fred, stops at his uncle’s counting house on Christmas Eve, to wish him merry. But Scrooge immortally decries Christmas with “Bah! Humbug!” His nephew responds—

“There are many things from which I might have derived good, by which I have not profited, I dare say. Christmas among the rest. But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round — apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that — as a good time: a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time: the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. And therefore, uncle, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good; and I say, God bless it!”

I hope the person who left me that note reads this column. I would like him or her to understand the true meaning of Christmas. Christmas is not one day a year. Christmas is every day, throughout the year—if you let it. If we all can strive to be kind, forgiving and charitable to one another rather than unkind, unforgiving, and uncharitable; if only we could open our shut-up hearts freely every day and at every opportunity—well, think of all the good it that would come of it. Tiny Tim said it best: “God Bless Us, Every One.”
# # #

 

Driving Me Crazy Columnists Laurie and John Wiles.

Driving Me Crazy Columnists Laurie and John Wiles.

John and Laurie are a married couple in their “sensational sixties” who talk about today’s hottest, newest cars—and still manage to go to bed without getting angry at one another at night.

John and Laurie Wiles have a combined driving history of ninety-five years. Laurie is one of only thirty-six journalists who are members of the prestigious New England Automotive Press Association (Tom and Ray Magliozzi, hosts of National Public Radio’s “Car Talk” among them.) Since 1998, Laurie has test-driven and reviewed over eight-hundred new model cars, trucks, and SUVs. John, a lifelong car enthusiast, has owned more than forty vehicles (so far.)

John and Laurie recently got the idea of combining their experience on a weekly car review. Laurie explains. “One day, a gorgeous blue Porsche Cayman pulled in the drive. Johnny slides behind the wheel, cocks an eyebrow, and says, ‘The name’s Bond. James Bond,’ like he’s Sean Connery or something. The next week, a Chevy Camaro rolls in. Johnny gets one glimpse of that muscle car and shouts out, ‘Can you say N-A-S-C-A-R?’ Once I realized he wasn’t speaking in tongues, I realized his voice, together with mine, might be fun. After all, ‘sixty is the new forty.’”

John adds, “Men and women have very different opinions about cars and I think it’s good for people to get an understanding of what a couple think about a car, and what they like and don’t like. Of course, that doesn’t mean they have to agree on everything—you know, like the way it is in a marriage.”

Laurie, whose professional name is Laurie Bogart Morrow, is the author of a dozen books, including The Hardscrabble Chronicles (Penguin Putnam) and The Giant Book of Dog Names (Simon and Schuster. John is a retired program manager in the National Defense contracting industry and a teacher in the public school system. They live happily in Pinehurst, NC.

”<br> By Driving Me Crazy Duo JOHN and LAURIE WILES

We’ll talk about the Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack next week. We meant to review it this week but Johnny and I need more road time. The Dodge Challenger has been an integral piece of America’s automotive culture since 1958 as an original “muscle car” of Baby Boomers and Generation X. Rev up its 6.4-Liter V8 SRT Hemi MDS engine! Sounds like a herd of elephants stampeding!

The MSRP is $41,185 and we’re driving a “TorRed”, testosterone-infused Challenger, like something out of a Marvel comic book. What’s more, there’s a secret button labeled “Super Track Pak.” You press it, we’re told, and the car lifts up off the ground and takes off at the speed of light, breaking the sound barrier, like the Back to the Future car. Johnny had a heart procedure yesterday—he has to rest, which is why he’s not bantering with me now, as usual. But I promised him if he came up trumps, we would drive out to the country so he could push the button. Praise God, he’s got the heart of an ox—and now I’ve got to keep my promise. You’ll know when he gets behind the wheel and presses that secret button—because when he puts the pedal to the metal, you’ll hear the engine roar, and my screams, no matter how far away we may be.
# # #
Johnny’s car is a Ford Edge and he loves it. However, so much technology has happened over the past five or six years that he’s decided to trade it in. We went over to Crossroads Ford in Southern Pines, where he bought his Edge, to check out the 2017 model and Johnny’s right—it’s redesign and newest feature are miles ahead. So, as much as he loves his Edge and has pampered it over the years, it’s time to move on.

We walked through the lot and came across one of my favorite cars of all time, the Ford Flex. I test-drove the Flex when it first came out in 2009 and what people are always amazed to hear is that the body design was inspired by a 1950s canister vacuum cleaner. Back then, I drove it down to New York City, a distance of 700 miles round trip, so I really got a feel for the car. People had never seen a car like that before and I can’t tell you how many honked their horns and gave me a “thumbs up” as they passed me by, grinning in approval. When I parked the car at one of the Manhattan garages, all the parking attendants flocked around it—they couldn’t get enough of its unique design and roomy interior. That’s my vote. Johnny still loves the Edge but he’s on the fence between it and the Lincoln MKX luxury crossover. I’m not sure where we’ll come out and we’re actually exploring leasing for the first time. We’ll keep you posted.
# # #
You probably read that a longtime Volkswagen executive was arrested recently for conspiring to violate the Clean Air Act when he was head of regulatory compliance for VW in the United States in 2014-2015. We enthusiastically reviewed the VW Passat last month. Tragic that the German auto manufacturing giant caused such a breach of faith with consumers, but it’s difficult to fathom how just one person can be singled out. Sounds like something out of a John LeCarre novel.
# # #
I drove over to T.J. Maxx the day after Christmas. Not surprisingly, there was hardly a parking space to be had. I squeezed the 2017 Nissan Sentra Nismo into a tight space, did my shopping, and upon my return, found a sticky note on my windshield that said, “Learn to park, a—hole.” I was horrified—I had parked as best I could—but what bothered me most was how quickly the Christmas spirit had been forgotten. How sad that unhappy person must have been to go out of his way just to be cruel.

There’s a passage in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol which most precious to me. Ebenezer Scrooge’s nephew, Fred, stops at his uncle’s counting house on Christmas Eve, to wish him merry. But Scrooge immortally decries Christmas with “Bah! Humbug!” His nephew responds—

“There are many things from which I might have derived good, by which I have not profited, I dare say. Christmas among the rest. But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round — apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that — as a good time: a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time: the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. And therefore, uncle, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good; and I say, God bless it!”

I hope the person who left me that note reads this column. I would like him or her to understand the true meaning of Christmas. Christmas is not one day a year. Christmas is every day, throughout the year—if you let it. If we all can strive to be kind, forgiving and charitable to one another rather than unkind, unforgiving, and uncharitable; if only we could open our shut-up hearts freely every day and at every opportunity—well, think of all the good it that would come of it. Tiny Tim said it best: “God Bless Us, Every One.”
# # #

John and Laurie are a married couple in their “sensational sixties” who talk about today’s hottest, newest cars—and still manage to go to bed without getting angry at one another at night.

John and Laurie Wiles have a combined driving history of ninety-five years. Laurie is one of only thirty-six journalists who are members of the prestigious New England Automotive Press Association (Tom and Ray Magliozzi, hosts of National Public Radio’s “Car Talk” among them.) Since 1998, Laurie has test-driven and reviewed over eight-hundred new model cars, trucks, and SUVs. John, a lifelong car enthusiast, has owned more than forty vehicles (so far.)

John and Laurie recently got the idea of combining their experience on a weekly car review. Laurie explains. “One day, a gorgeous blue Porsche Cayman pulled in the drive. Johnny slides behind the wheel, cocks an eyebrow, and says, ‘The name’s Bond. James Bond,’ like he’s Sean Connery or something. The next week, a Chevy Camaro rolls in. Johnny gets one glimpse of that muscle car and shouts out, ‘Can you say N-A-S-C-A-R?’ Once I realized he wasn’t speaking in tongues, I realized his voice, together with mine, might be fun. After all, ‘sixty is the new forty.’”

John adds, “Men and women have very different opinions about cars and I think it’s good for people to get an understanding of what a couple think about a car, and what they like and don’t like. Of course, that doesn’t mean they have to agree on everything—you know, like the way it is in a marriage.”

Laurie, whose professional name is Laurie Bogart Morrow, is the author of a dozen books, including The Hardscrabble Chronicles (Penguin Putnam) and The Giant Book of Dog Names (Simon and Schuster. John is a retired program manager in the National Defense contracting industry and a teacher in the public school system. They live happily in Pinehurst, NC.

Tell Your Friends....Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someoneShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
Hezi Aris“Wanderings”
By Driving Me Crazy Duo JOHN and LAURIE WILES

Comments 1

  1. O j

    Laurie, I hope you are still working on a biography of Corey Ford. I have always wondered what surgery he underwent and if it was related to his demise.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *