Last week my blog stressed the need for all of us on tours to drive responsibly.

Thoughtless drivers can not only leave a lasting poor impression of sports cars with the communities they pass through, but they can also end up creating accidents with potentially fatal consequences.

Here are a few of the responses I received:

I wish this article could have a broader reach than just the SCM crowd here. Every automotive club, event organizer, sponsor and participant should read it and heed it. I haven’t participated in an event since before the pandemic but look forward to getting out there again. I for one would love to participate in an “automotive Chautauqua,” as opposed to a “let’s go to someone else’s town and raise hell” extravaganza.

My favorite quote of this article, “If car owners wish to explore their car’s performance envelope, they belong on a race track, not on a public road.” This applies everywhere, always. I have done more than my share of spirited driving on public roads and sometimes as part of an organized group. I know my car’s and my own limits through autocross and track time and public highways or streets are not the place for such experimentation. To do so is simply irresponsible. Individuals who get injured by negligent or irresponsible drivers must ensure that their rights are protected and they may also hire a personal injury attorney to help them file a claim. If your injury rendered you disabled for a while, you may speak with a social security disability lawyer to determine if you are eligible for disability benefits.

I could go on and on…

Thank you, Keith. — John Gillespie

John, I believe there is a growing differentiation between the types of experiences long-distance tours offer. On the one side there is the “go like hell” group. On the other is the immersive cultural experience, where an appreciation of the vintage machines and conversations with other collectors take precedent. It’s your choice to make. — KM

While there may be some comfort in pre-1975 vehicles being slower, they’re also infinitely less safe than modern cars, meaning smaller wrecks have bigger consequences.

It’s simple. If you want to be allowed back to the state/county/city/event, behave yourself. If you want to be invited back, don’t just behave, be nice! — Jim Kermode

It’s easy to get caught up when a few others start to drive irresponsibly. In retrospect I realize I did when I was driving a Ferrari Testarossa in Monterey and made a foolish pass on a public road on a tour that led to Laguna Seca. Your fun can’t endanger the safety of others. — Don Bell

Don, I have had the same experience. I was enjoying a McLaren 720S at triple the posted speed limits when I simply pulled over and stopped. I vowed I would never go that fast on a public highway again. I was putting myself, my passenger and innocent people in other cars into profound danger. Since then, I have confined my hyper-speeds to the racetrack. — KM

Excellent article, Keith. It should be distributed to and signed by every participant of a classic (or less classic) “rally.” Unfortunately, some irresponsible drivers are a real threat to our hobby. — Leo Van Hoorick

Leo, we can’t control the actions of others. All we can do is raise the awareness of the consequences of our actions on the lives of others and hope that we learn and modify. — KM

I could not agree more. The arrogant and insensitive actions of the two who offed themselves here or the even worse incident in the Gumball 3000 “rally” some years ago are the enemy of responsible car enthusiasts everywhere. Their irresponsibility and lack of consideration will only lead to legal, insurance, legislative, and public perception complications that are detrimental to the rest of us. — Mark Johnston

Mark, getting to drive a vintage car on a blue highway should be regarded as a privilege, not a right. Let’s treat these times like the special events they are so that we can continue to enjoy them. — KM

Thank you everyone for your thoughtful comments.

 

2 Comments

  1. rand wintermute

    Keith,
    We are ALL Ambassador’s from whence rally we choose to participate ! Ego driven drivers have a way to make themselves known to the rally promoters , and most promoters exercise caution in accepting or denying entry by these drivers . See you at Pebble Beach in August . Rand Wintermute

  2. Well, well, well, I can tell you from experience that we all kind of share the same concerns, like driving sideways on a one way street (actual song: Merrell Fankhauser & HMS Bounty – Drivin’ Sideways on a One-Way Street) which is a no no. I can also tell you that from my recent excursion with a group of car freaks out of Flori-Duh, the majority of the participants behaved themselves. However a few of us did not, and yours truly was part of that bunch. I remember years ago at a HRS drivers meeting when Joe Pendergast emphatically stated the this is a Gentlemen’s Sport, history has already been determined. No door handle to door handle and swapping paint stuff. I distinctly remember the back of the room scuttlebutt…”Yeah, right, you’re telling us X-Racers to take it easy”??? Not Happening! Natural instincts took over and the race was on. Years later, that hasn’t changed. Well likewise when driving on the street. Those of us who are experienced club racers have the same tendencies. So on the tour, even though when we were cruising deep in the 3 digit range on some twisty roads and my butt began to pucker, my instincts took over, and, still I went for it. Competitive spirit you know, can’t be out done. We were a mix of old and newer beaters and my old 1985 911 hung in there with the best of them. Now late in the afternoon while I was driving by myself on the way back from the Dragon I had a couple of stray dogs cross my path, no big deal. Then a couple of good ‘ol boys in a mule with a gun rack shot out in front of me. I cooled my heels, for the moment. Then a few miles down the road I was just about to get on it again when a herd of deer suddenly jumped out in front of me. Well, I was on the binders real quick and a little swerve to the right, then to the left and and thankfully I was able to kept the 911and myself in tact. Then, and only then did give myself a quick reality check. I found my myself sightseeing and diddybopping back to the lodge. The next day I road with the slowest guy in the group. The last day I putzed all the way home. We’ve all been there, done that…….moral of the story, I was lucky, real lucky….not worth it…..drive safe!