*By the time the clock strikes midnight this Tuesday, *we’re sure a number of you will have already committed to losing weight, ditching the lame job, and finding the Playmate of your dreams to stand by your side. While we applaud each of these resolutions, we’d like to remind you that your driving life may need a reboot as well. In that vein, may we present you with Playboy.com’s top car resolutions for 2014.
Driving stick was a rite of passage for young Americans back in the day. But today, learning to drive manual is something a lost art. Yet despite what the movies tell us, driving stick shift isn’t rocket science. Manual gearboxes have been making a comeback over the past couple years, with several manufacturers reintroducing them to entry-level and mid-price point vehicles. Recent models we’ve driven and recommend include the 2014 Dodge Dart GT as well as the 2014 Mazda6. Both cars are extremely capable in automatic, but a lot more fun with the gear knob.
You would prefer to shower than be given a rough and unforgiving spin in the washing machine, and your car, too, deserves a gentle wash. Nothing will preserve your car’s paint coat and shine better than a hand wash and wax (we like Turtle Wax) to get rid of the dirt and road salt that piles up especially during winter. If you can afford to get it detailed, great. But remember, handing your car over to someone else is almost giving it permission to cheat on you.
For some of you, 2014 could be the year of a new job or promotion. Should this translate into a modest salary increase and should you find yourself ready to move up to the next car level, we would strongly recommend taking a look at the latest crop of muscle cars making their way out of Detroit. Not withstanding the eminent release of new models at the North American International Auto Show next month (look for our coverage mid-month); the performance crowd of the sexy, newly-unveiled 2015 Ford Mustang, 2014 Camaro Z/28, and reintroduction of the 2014 Chevy SS make for a wicked selection of born and bred American muscle car just dying to be taken on the road.
We knew the day would come where Lamborghini would retire the stoic Gallardo in favor of something newer and faster. Just over a week ago, the Huracán LP 610-4 entered our lives and made us rethink the term Italian super car. While we love the recently sold-out LaFerrari, the Lamborghini has, for us, always been the ultimate dream car. Rather then spend for that one-off exclusive model, we would recommend joining the ranks of the soon-to-be-established Huracán owners club. Driving alone can be fun for a short time. But as the Gallardo and so many more bread-and-butter supercar models have taught us—family pack gatherings are so much better.
Buying the right car, keeping it clean, and knowing how to drive it well are obviously important resolutions. But never forget the basics. If you’re handling a premium car, don’t use regular fuel. If the engine light comes on, get it checked out. As Playmate Pilar Lastra once told me when discussing her book Treat Me Like You Treat Your Car—a car is only as good as the driver behind the wheel.