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Top 11: McTaggart’s To-Do Automotive List

Top 11: McTaggart’s To-Do Automotive List


Y’know, for a guy who is seriously in-depth with automotive culture, it is amazing how little I’ve actually done. That’s not to say I haven’t done anything, mind you, but that there is a lot that I haven’t. Thinking about it, I’m sure there’s a lot that most of you readers would like to do as well. So, here goes a Top 11 list of what I want to accomplish at some point in time. Hey, there has to be a goal made before a goal achieved, right?

11. Compete in a rally race. Let’s go straight into the batshit-crazy world of rally racing. Dirt, asphalt, mud, dust, snow…whatever, grab the car and let’s get going already! Over the hill and through the woods with the throttle open wi-i-i-de, the houses fly past while I’m hauling ass with someone screaming by my siiide…

10. Complete a full restoration. As a kid, I loved model kit cars. Starting from a pile of parts and going until I had a fully completed AMT Hemi ‘Cuda built was the ultimate form of satisfaction. So, theoretically at least, that should translate over in scale to a full-size car. It requires time, patience, and a level of detail to do right. It’s like meditation, but with ratchets.

9. Austrailan Burnout Contest. Part rock concert, part redneck, and a load of fun, I’ve been dying to at least see one, if not participate in one, ever since I first saw a video of a psychotic Monaro going so hard that both tires blew and flames poured from the pipes afterwards. Add in the fans who are fully into the action and I can’t think of a better high.

8. The 10,000 mile roadtrip. One of the biggest and best things I’ve done with my life was to take thirty days of leave from the military, stuff a couple of bags into a Chevy and just go. I’ve done three long-distance trips (over 5,000 miles) in the last ten years, and there is a lot that I’d like to see. Maybe next time I can use a truck and just camp in the bed wherever I end up.


U.S. Highway 93, 2012.

7. Bonneville. But, you’ve been to Bonneville! You’re right, I went in 2009. And from the moment I arrived at the gas station at the exit to the Salt Flats until the moment I left Wendover, I was there for one day and fourteen hours. When it’s Speedweek and you’ve only seen the first day of tech, you haven’t seen anything. As far as running on the salt, I’d love to, of course, but that might be a ways out.

6. The Ohio Mile in Wilmington – This one has been calling my name lately. It’s the perfect blend between drag racing and LSR racing for me. Hopefully soon I can give this one a shot.

5. Pikes Peak. I’ll admit that I will forever be pissed off that I can’t run the mountain on dirt. But even so, there is a mystique to making that wind sprint up to the top of the hill that is calling my name. Pikes Peak is a world-renowned benchmark of automotive testing, and I can’t think of many better places to ingrain a driver’s standard than running the Peak.

4. The entire Pacific Coast Highway length. I’ve done a section of Highway 1, from San Francisco to about Crescent City, California. The views, spectacular. The drive, technical and rewarding. I’d want a perfect car to drive it, preferably a droptop or a convertible hardtop, manual trans, good gearing. I’d take my time on it, too. From San Ysidro all the way north to the Olympic Penninsula of Washington State and around to Olympia, the views are astonishing and the roads, terrific. 


California Highway 1, 2009.

3. Alaskan Highway. British Columbia, Yukon and Alaska…while I have no intention of ever seeing these places in the winter, the summer season of the North is very attractive. I would love to take a couple weeks and tour the entire 1,387 mile length back-and-forth, just because. Maybe even venture around Alaska before returning.


Mukilteo, Washington, 2012.

2. Race a street course. Here’s what I mean by this: if there is an event that is setup like Targa Tasmania, that involves an actual town that lets actual race cars do their thing with little to no interruption in the fun, I want to be a part of it. Better still, I’d like to design a course in the United States like one and run it. I’ll admit that I’d have to find a rural area with little population, but some of the country roads make the best race courses.

1. Make a life out of this. Many try, but few succeed, and fewer do a good job of it. Automobiles are not culture; instead they assist in the creation and maintenance of a stronger culture. Travel brings people together in a way that the Internet will never be able to duplicate. Actually seeing the sites will never be replaced by a video. And nothing will reproduce the adrenaline factor of racing, or the satisfaction of finishing a job that you have done. Nothing. In the end, I want to be the guy sitting on the hood of his car watching the sunset, soaking it all in…not the guy who only wishes he was there as he clicks to the next YouTube video.

Did I miss anything? Let me know below!


Near Walsenberg, Colorado, 2013.

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5 thoughts on “Top 11: McTaggart’s To-Do Automotive List

  1. Tom Slater

    My list, no particular order.
    1.) Run in the Baja 1000. If the $$ never comes, go hang out at the starting line
    2.) Build something quick, launch it down the 1/4. I’m thinking 80s F-body or more likely my dad’s ’72 Vette when it’s mine.
    3.) Bonneville (just two more weeks!)
    4.) Register / drive my ’57 (maybe another $1000)
    5.) KOH

  2. loren

    Do those long drives in some type hot rod or interesting car you built yourself…having something you screwed up or missed or that just failed put you on the side of the road a thousand miles from home, and re-do it right there with tools you brought so it works right, then hit the highway again. It’s like a self-sufficiency thing, a few steps up from hoofin’ it w/ a back pack and makes it a whole different experience. Automobiles -are- culture (but yeah, lease-return Chryslers not so much).


    I’ve done the AlCan and the PCH….one of the most memorable experiences of my life.

  4. Lee

    Do they still have the “drive a NASCAR stocker” program at some of the bigger tracks? I went for a 3 lap ride at Pocono. THAT was cool! 180 MPH and the driver never lifted his foot on the turns. I watched the tach and it never changed.

    They also had a 6 hour learn to drive program. 4 hours of classroom then 30 laps on the track following a pace car. You drive your own NASCAR stocker. Top speed about 165 MPH. I think it was $300.

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