April 13, 2019

A quick drive across Europe ? Those days may be over

It's over. The era of European grand touring--the pursuit and enjoyment of elite speed across the face of the continent in powerful cars, the classic driving vacation--is finito. I've tried: From Wales to Croatia, from southern Italy to northern Scotland, and definitely not central France.

I'm worried about my car-loving friends, though. Europe's nearly airtight enforcement of speed limits threatens whole empires of make-believe: brands like Aston Martin and Mercedes-AMG; aftermarket tuners and tire makers; and all the businesses that swim like remoras next to big, expensive cars (detailing, insurance, auction houses, road- rallies). Their businesses all hang on a myth, the promise of Europe as a driving playground, which it hasn't been, really, since the 1960s.

'Europe's near-airtight enforcement of speed limits threatens whole empires of automotive make-believe.' -- Dan Neil.

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