Google HPDE and you'll get the low-down on high performance driver education. This is not the requisite course you took for a learner's permit. These are driving schools held on celebrated tracks around the country. It is not racing. Strict rules govern when and where passing is permitted. There are classroom sessions and ride-along instruction.


These events generally attract high powered, high priced cars that could be one miscalculated turn away from kissing a guard rail. I prefer the budget minded Toyota MR2 that last sold here in 2005. It's mid-engine, rear wheel drive and just over 2000 pounds. With major upgrades to the suspension, brakes and engine it rides like a go-kart on rails.


My antidote to an overdose of speed (above). This van pumps out a whopping 40hp and struggles to keep a steady 60 on the freeway... but it gets about 100 smiles per gallon.


While some may accuse me of trying to re-live my youth, I never really gave it up... having previously owned 5 VW's. This 1960 Westafalia Camper spent 12 years behind a garage in Arkansas.  After dismantling and cataloging almost every part, the shell was rolled off to the body shop. After 3 years of refinishing, repairing and rebuilding, it's now the transport of choice for DQ runs. We bring our own restaurant booth.

Above: On display for German Car Day at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline, MA.


Right: Before the restoration in 1995


When it's cold. wet and rainy, driving is a low priority. We stay indoors for the challenges of pinball. These are the vintage mechanical beasts that provide lessons in both physical dynamics and electrical engineering. There's no reboot switch. When things go haywire, you are looking for the problem wire.

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