Fading Brakelight Obscurity II - Championship Edition


Is this the same as the move to crumpling bodies to absorb impact and increase safety? i.e., the ‘plastic bumper’ complaint you hear?


not quite


Exactly, and in some regards, parts are built to last up to a certain amount of time, to start failing accordingly, leaving you with an almost guaranteed stream of income if one should decide to stick with a car for longer than he should was expected to, because advancements in technology!

Which leaves you either

  • with people that can afford switching models every four to five years, jumping ship before the bills start to rack up in shorter intervals.
  • with a lot of cars on the road which are usually not taken care of anymore after a certain period of time, i.e you start to see cars disappear “suddenly”.
  • carparks full of models that are on sale again as “officially approved” refurbished 2nd hand versions, and for prices that now are almost affordable for normal working class people - with the really expensive things waiting in the wings to hit them financially (e.g. replacing the timing belt, turbo that needs to be changed,…) - and it’s that last point that stings, tbh.

But then, owning a car is bonkers anyway, so… idk, if you are happy to pay the bills, keep on driving the wheels off the thing, I suppose!

(one thing that is relatively uncommon these days is rust:
Benz had some issues with rust in early 2000s models, followed by electronic gremlins, so i guess they managed to find a new source of income to offset the cost of proper coating? :thinking: j/k, they had their share of cost cutting that hurt them and bounced back. You can see that kind of cost cutting turning up every few years before they realize it hurts them in the long run if their products are advertisements for shoddy quality, a domain that is reserved for italian and french cars, and they are keen to keep that distinctive trait to themselves!*)

*: disclaimer:
As an owner and admirer of french cars, i am ze officially allowed to say so, pardon! :sunglasses:


yeah, it seems like a lot of these changes are only defensible as part of a move away of private car ownership entirely, but (much like the reports of GM plant closures this week) while that might make sense longer term, in the meantime it’s a) effectively regressive taxation and b) a move away from midcentury relationships to repair and maintenance of machinery that have had an intrinsic value to many people and whose absence feels alternately ridiculous and alienating. So that’s a bummer.


Sometimes a car is just a car.


it will be interesting to see how the industry figures out what to do about taxation, insurance and repairing costs, since these will pretty likely not be offset by a single person any longer, if you have a fleet of autonomous robo-taxis roaming the streets.

A monthly fee for using the services will probably be used to cover those expenses, but nevertheless, this will have ripple-effects that are currently hard to graps (repairshops, personnel, insurance agents, infrastructure-providers, lack of road-tax, taxes on fuel, insurance, repair-work etc.etc.) …

in the mean time, while we are watching how this turns out, everyone should catch up on watching éX-Driver, a 2002ish series by Monsieur Fujishima of Berrdandy/AMG-fame. Here’s a crappy ytube dubbed upload for your viewing pleasure:


well, after Mazda did prove they were better at doing british lightweight no-frills sportscars, they nail the Alfa look better than Alfa did for… quite a while, tbh. And there’s a lot of praise this car gets, huh.


Shame about the rear suspension, but easily the best looking hatch now. Hope the X engine gets into the Miata (your turn, Toyobaru) and these are ~$15k shortly.


Kinda care more about that possible/impossible Wankel Engine Range Extender RX-7 that has been rumored about every now and then tbh!

but on topic, idk, didn’t they praise the smaller engined MX-5 because it wasn’t too weighed down? I would expect that the block of this new engine is heavier due to having to sustain higher pressure in each chamber/cylinder, as diesels usually do/did. That might have changed with direct injection engines in the mean time, but i wouldn’t have realized this, tbh!



One can only hope that these beauties will survive in that condition…

re: surviving.
How did i manage to go so long without plugging PrjCars2?
Me neither, so here we go, i finally gave the GT-One a.k.a. TS020 a run for its money and went for a test drive around :monaco:/Azure Coast, since that has been a Gran Turismo 3 mission of some sorts(?) that was very strict about hitting walls, so you absolutely had to be on your game, or there was no time for ye’.

Managed to get a somewhat clean lap in, but that was rubbish, so to relax after emptying almost two tanks, i went for a nice drive along Shoreline Drive… welcome to Long Beach then!

God, do i love how this game can make cars look.


I want to take a minute to talk about my favorite racing game Tokyo Extreme Racing Drift 2 for PS2 by Studio Genki

I love it, its broken, its weird, its mysterious and it has a ton of heart. (heart in a racing sim?!?)

Better sliding physics than granturismo pre 5.
Gran turismo 4 level wheel feedback.
All racing take places on twisty, skinny mountain roads.
Descent tuning options including the ability to get extra steering angle.
Drifting is aprox 1/3rd of the game play instead of an afterthought.
Your opponents have bios and personalities that are reflected in their driving style and car choices.
Prentend internet forums
Runs in 16:9 progressive mode
G27 wheel support
“spirit point” system enforces good driving habits.

Its not visually impressive but it has a period style one can appreciate.
Tiny sound track (just turn off BGM and bump eurobeat)
Uneven difficulty, night drift races are kinda nuts.
Mysterious advancement path.
Brake setup very non-intuitive.
Trial/error engine part selection can be nuisance, though you can try out combinations in record mode and write them down.
E-brake is a button, so (unless you can remap to the shift lever via emaulation like I did) I hope you are good at pushing it in the heat of the moment or tuning around it.
Random gavel (construction) sections appear at night and have a grip level like ICE. I have AWD/FWD cars just for these races.
Update: My 400hp FC RX7 (License plate ColRnch) is now so stable with an uneven tire setup that Ican use it on gravel.

This could be considered a con:
Often the road is barely as wide as your car is long leading to very dicey drifting situations. I hated this at first but its trained me to be a much better driver.

The game is divided into day challenges and night time, Initial D style street racing.
All racing is done on long mountain courses with challenges and night races taking places on various sections of the course in the up or down hill. Win enough and you got to level 2, 3 etc and more courses get unlocked and tougher AI in faster cars start to show up.

The Day challenges appear semi randomly with some sticking around longer. They have restrictions like car type, car weight, engine displacement, engine type. These are used to earn the majority of your money though sponsorships you earn separately. Everything you do earns or loses you cred which is represented by your fan count, nickname and how many night races you get challenged to.

Sponsors will allow you to put their sticker on your cars based on challenges they offer. Each sponsor you are repping will pay out for every day race you win. This is how you earn the majority of your money for new cars, parts and tires.

Night races are done by showing up to the parking area for the hill and racing whoever else shows up. beating teams and tough opponents gets you rep that gets you more challenges and fans. Sometimes challengers will contact you via the forums or email you directly, some of them will run into you at the parts store or where ever else.

The game has taught me a lot that has transferred to other racing games. Particularly in the area of slide recovery. After going back to old granturismo saves I am beating all my old practice records just from being able to come in hotter with more confidence.


for the yuropeans, there have been two titles that were localized, which were called ‘kaido racer 1/2’, both on the PS2.

on the X360, there also was a wangan-themed genki racer, which i did play only for a bit - but still, i could quickly grasp that it was a different kind of racing, requiring different skills since there were no Legendary Mountain-roads, but rather stretches of highway, and traffic to deal with at much higher speeds than you were used to after playing the kaido games…

and come to think of it, genki also produced a PS2-bound mixed wangan/road course racer (called Battle GP something iirc) where they at least had tsukuba available… language-barrier prevented that i got further into it, but it did play better than the other PS2-era games.

ah, good times that were…


Nice! yeah I believe Kaido racer is the same as the Tokyo Extreme Racer series.

I need to do a decent write-up/video for Wangan Midnight on PS3. Its a “racing game” with mechanics totally alien to normal racers.

The entire game is based around not melting you over-tuned engine while you draft and dodge traffic. The traffic is non random and car behavior is the same for every type/color of car so you can read the traffic as you race towards it. The closer you are to cars going 150mph slower than you the faster you can accelerate. As you get faster the point in the highway where you meet different traffic patterns changes resulting in a level design you can manipulate by slowing down and speeding up strategically.

So you have to simultaneously: read the engine health gauge and keep it near the red without going over, figure out where the opponent is, read what the traffic is doing, think about long term traffic strategy all while the engine screams and the road lights are shooting by you.
Its got some really fun STUFF going on I’ve never seen anywhere else and maintains a constant level of HIGH adrenaline.


and it has a Yuzo Koshiro soundtrack, iirc, which is the best for going fast on the Autobahn. I am way too sensible or careful to make use of the fewer and fewer unrestricted stretches of highway we do have here, so basically i’d have to go back to my hometown at night with barely anybody being around, weather has to be good (i. e. temperatures > 10 degree with excellent sight) that it is safe to go fast, and i rarely do that these days, since it is also kind of a chore … however, if you have exactly that, an empty highway for miles in front of you, perfect weather, tank full of fuel, a car that can go faster than 200kph… yeah, then your soundtrack has to be wangan midnight maximum tune OSTs, and it is worth doing at least once for the experience.

And then you are so quickly back to enjoying your french barge with comfy suspension, trundling along at 100kph speedlimit, and just enjoying a nice, leisurely relaxing drive along without having to hurry or try to peek ahead for a mile whether there’s sth or someone that could do sth stupid, and you honestly enjoy going slow enough to having time to react… that’s the point where you realize yes, I am getting older and wiser, I guess…


Got Initial D for PS3 and hoobuddy is it rough. Id like to shout out out “word lens” / Google translate for allowing me to nav the menus until I got the lay of the land.

This game doesn’t have physics it has “cornering mechanics”. You go into a corner as fast as you want and rip the wheel. The front end always tracks and the back just kinda goes where it wants. The faster you are going the deeper you drift with basically no limit and little if any counter steer. Just hit each corner hard enough and smooth enough while keeping the revs in the red and you will prolly win for the first hour or so. I’m now to a place where I need to figure out greater techniques or get way smoother but I am on the fence about how good I WANT to get given that these are totally non transferable skills and the races aren’t that compelling.

The game is worth investigating but not much beyond that.


2019 and i haven’t mentioned how nice FH4 looks?


… not any longer.
DS3, in brilliant Loeb-Elsace (iirc?) paint-job.
So. Effin. Nice!



another entry into the SB approved car list?