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SVT2888 11-02-2012 05:04 PM

Are you a Purist?

This past weekend I went on a drive with some friends. Three of the four of us had partied the night before and had hardly slept, but come one, it’s a drive! Sleep chosen over getting to enjoy some of the best and most scenic roads California has to offer? NEVER!

My friend Joe, the one with the best car and the one who didn’t party, did all the driving. We rode along in his recently purchased 2011 BMW 335d. He’s so in love with his diesel’s fuel mileage that he has put 3k miles on it in the month that he has owned the car. In fact, just three hours after he drove out of the dealership I joined him on a canyon run.

The canyon fun on this run started in the affluent town of Montecito. You know you’re in an affluent neighborhood when you start seeing Sotherby’s Real Estate signs on lawns, and you can’t even see the houses from the road because the fences are so high. Soon enough, however, the fancy houses stopped and we hit the rural areas of Santa Barbara, which is where the roads got really good.

Super tight twisties with lanes that narrower than the car, that to us is perfection. As we ascended higher into the hills surrounding Santa Barbara the road surface got poorer, but the views got better and better. We could see all of Santa Barbara below us with the ocean providing a beautiful back drop. Eventually we made it to Solvang for brunch (at 5pm) using canyon roads almost exclusively. Never once did anyone feel car sick, though it was probably due to the fact that we hadn’t eaten. Heck, we were having so much fun we had forgotten all about food.

How could you think about food when the roads you are traveling go from butter smooth through affluent neighborhoods, to rough in the hills, then you hit the valleys were they turn into dirt, eventually going into the woods. We did water crossings, encountered pot holes that could swallow a smart car and went over dozens of cow catchers. We never encountered a cop, and mostly just saw a few pick-up trucks driven by farmers who were probably thinking “These yuppies must be lost!”

At the end of the day we did 470 miles of nothing but canyon roads. The round trip took a total of about 10 hours, though we did kill a lot of time stopping for pictures and walking around Solvang looking for a place to eat. In the end we had a fun adventure, which made us closer friends and we got to see parts of California where few venture. All this while riding in what might just be one of the best daily drivers out there.The 335d allows you to get great fuel mileage without having to sacrifice in the fun department. If I had the money I would be all over one.

Towards the end of the drive, Joe brought up a good point; If you told a regular person, “Yeah I spent my Sunday driving around for fun through the canyons.” They’d probably think you were mad. They’d probably ask you “Why would you spend your whole day just driving around? You didn’t even have to!” But a regular person always sees driving as a chore; the Purist see it as a way to de-stress. We see it as a way to discover new places and get to know our car more. If we bring friends along, it’s a way to become closer with them and share in the adventure. We don’t always have to go on drives though; sometimes we are just happy sitting around talking cars, working on cars, or washing our cars. We’ll go to a car show and right after go home and instead of resting we start uploading and sharing our pics. Or we’ll go somewhere and sit down to discuss cars. We think about cars all day every day. Outsiders think we are weird, but when we are around other Purists we are seen as regular people.

I’d like to ask you guys, what do you see as the definition of an automotive “Purist” and would you consider yourself one?

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salesman 11-02-2012 08:41 PM

I do all that plus my career revolves around cars. I grew up in an enthusiast household and my dad still road races his C6 corvette (plus we are building a dedicated LSx based C4 race car right now for competition in NASA and SCCA) I am pretty much completely immersed

cwsqbm 11-03-2012 04:23 AM

I consider myself an automotive enthusiast, not a purist. A purist is one that would never modify a vehicle (unless the mod involves factory parts) because they came best from the factory. And a purist would never ever stick parts from Brand A into a vehicle from Brand B. Examples of this are everywhere in the muscle car ranks - stick a Chevy engine in a old Pontiac muscle car (easy, since they are essentially identical) and purists will call you all sorts of nasty names. Some extreme purists would even object to an LS motor in a C4 Vette because that motor didn't come out until the C5. I was once yelled at by a guy at a stoplight because I had 15" Rally wheels on my '68 Camaro instead of 14" Rally wheels as it came from the factory.

gpburdell 11-06-2012 11:40 AM

I don't think "purist" is the right word, as cwsqbm suggests, "enthusiast" better captures what you're saying.

The trouble with the word "purist" is who defines "purity"? Does an automotive purist eschew all electronic assistance, wanting nothing but mechanicals between he and the road? Will a purist tolerate fuel injection or is a carburetor the only acceptable solution since it is purely mechanical? What about power assisted steering or brakes, or a fly-by-wire throttle in lieu of a cable?

Enthusiast is definitely the word you want. The enthusiast is appreciative of new automotive technologies that aid in the driving experience. A purist is more exclusionary, looking to get to the bare bones IMHO.

zachiepie 11-06-2012 01:07 PM

Whatever the word, I'm one of those too. I used to take my 328 through the dusty roads in Southern Utah all the time. Mt Caramel highway...mmmmmm....

Great pics man.

r33p04s 11-06-2012 02:03 PM

At least you have friends that will load up n go for a fun run just friends need a destination to get in...I need enthusiast friends :(

Josh429er 11-09-2012 10:40 AM

I never thought of myself as a purist, but i hate automatic, and all I wanted was no ps and no power brakes. I love how my buddies 2002 feels It's so raw. I do wish to sup up my car, but would never mix brands like up above.

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