- Written by webmin
A faithful Hemmings Classic Car reader named David Pool has written to the Hemmings editorial staff with an unusual question, one in turn we’re posting for the Hemmings Nation’s feedback. Read on:
For so many car owners today, the daily reality of the driving experience is horrible road surfaces, whether that be due to extremes in the local climates or road maintenance budget cuts, or both. For most of my youth, I read over and over again in mags like R&T how the French had a genius for building cars with very supple yet controlled suspensions.
Indeed, I once owned a Renault Alliance (I believe it was the Renault 9 over there) because I was living at the time in Boston (see above re: lousy streets) and, later, in 1992 when my wife and I lived in France while working on the Euro Disney project, we were provided with a Renault 19. Both experiences confirmed for me that the “legend” was true.
Sadly, French cars are no longer imported into the U.S., but the lousy roads are still with us. Indeed, there are more and more of them.
So, I’m just curious to know your thoughts on which manufacturers (through which models) seem to have picked up the baton that the French had (may still have) and run with it, providing Americans with the best suspensions for the urban and suburban battlefield. I don’t think any trucks would count here because, while they would certainly be up to the pounding, they still ride….like trucks.
Not to belabor the point, but my message isn’t calling for a return to “boulevard mush.” I haven’t been looking for a ”pillowy-soft luxury car ride.” The reputation that the French earned was one of compliance with control.
If, because of the magazines, your orientation is to pre-1989 cars, I understand…so just tell me what you think the last great compliant-ride car was. But if you happen to have a take on today’s cars, that’d be great, too.
Regards (and thanks!),
My response to Dave was that Jaguar cars, in my personal experience (ranging from rides/drives in the 1950s XK 150 through the 1960s E- and S-Types to recent XJ8 and XKR models), have offered what I feel is an amazing blend of supple, well-damped rides and agile, wallow-free handling.
What about you readers? What are your thoughts on which cars, new or old, provide American drivers with the best combination of ride and handling?