KIA TO BE A CLASSIC?

As I mull over a plethora of potential paths, Iím considering a Kia of all things

Dean, via email

I ENJOY a classic car show, but as much as I enjoy the whole car culture experience, I sometimes wonder how many of the owners of performance machinery actually drive their gleaming prized possessions the way they were originally intended to be driven.

With many being viewed as investments these days, itís not hard to understand why most are now little more than garage queens.

Even more than a car show, I enjoy driving enthusiastically in places where itís safe and legal to do so. The car I currently use for this purpose, an Australian V8 sedan, provides me with a lot of relatively inexpensive fun.

However, after some years of spirited use, itís getting a little worn and a decision looms: do I refresh and modify the old battle axe, get another V8 or go Japanese or European?

The enthusiast in me is looking for a reardriver that can take a regular grin-inducing belting. So as I mull over a plethora of potential paths, my thoughts about possibly staying with a bigger car now include an automatic Kia of all things. Good on you Kia for even managing to get my attention.

Itís easy to want to like what appears to be a plucky upstart, especially if it promises to be entertaining as well as good looking.

Kia also needs to ensure the GT is easily accessible to tuners. Even more than that, I also hope Kia is putting as much thought into ensuring the post-purchase experience is as enjoyable as possible.

For example, Kia could team with local performance driver training providers to give owners the ability to develop their skills in a safe, legal and fun atmosphere. The BMW Driving Experience, which has something for every skill level of driver, would be a good program for Kia to model.

I never imagined Iíd be writing about Kia, but only time will tell if the current buzz around the Stinger GT translates into the kind of enduring passion that results in the GT ending up being some kind static display at a classic car show. In the meantime, Iíll keep mulling over my next purchase.

On the face of it, Dean, it seems silly to think that a Kia will end up as a prized possession at a car show, but people are now restoring the likes of the Datsun 120Y so it seems that all bets are off!

As I mull over a plethora of potential paths, Iím considering a Kia of all things