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Leaving Glacier National Park

The Sweet Nectar of Summer

Bench Racing

by Ryan King

U.S. Military Name Tapes Link

All Hallows Eve is nearly upon us and unless you live in an awesome part of the country that remains perpetually warm, fall is officially here.

That, of course, means that summer is gone, leaving cars to hibernate until warmer, dryer weather returns to make our lives better.

Summer almost didn't happen for me this year, and truth be told, when it did, it was technically already fall, but, I managed to nab a couple of very summer-like days and savor them behind the wheel of my trusty Cobalt.

I know, I know, it doesn't sound like there's much to enjoy driving around in a front-wheel drive four-banger — and I certainly would have preferred a full-fledged Muscle Car — but the Cobalt genuinely provides a very Muscle Car-esque driving experience.

If you don't know, my daily driver is the low-volume SS/SC model, delivered from the factory replete with both a track-focused suspension and braking system, as well as an Eaton M62 roots-style blower — engineered to feed a V6 — that's nearly the size of the engine it's sitting right on top of, pushing down 12-psi of boost into all four cylinders.

Normally people get a front-wheel drive car for drivability in inclement weather, but the Cobalt SS/SC has so much torque everywhere that it'll just eat the tires alive in the dry, whether I'm accelerating in a straight line or coming off a corner under power. Although not as torquey as a large V8, tipping the throttle in any gear at almost any RPM at any legal speed means instant thrust and ridiculously effortless passing power on any grade of hill.

Basically, she's a perfect companion for a road trip.

And road trip we did.

The colors on the flora were riotous, the traffic almost non-existent once we left civilized hell behind, and, of course, the weather absolutely gorgeous.

Although there is no mistaking the Cobalt for anything but a car designed and engineered for performance when I'm behind the wheel — including the much higher level of maintenance that goes along with such a beast — it is the best daily driver I've ever owned.

My road tripping experience this year reminds me that there is an inextricable link between carefree summer days and hot cars, much like the connection between a beloved car and its doting owner.

Somehow, the combination of those three elements makes for Nirvana, and as autumn descends upon us and I go into my own hibernation until next summer, my scant experience this year has made me that much more cognizant of just how sweet a nectar it is.


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