Past cars and the rotary engine
The 2007 BMW Alpina on one of the episodes was Bodden's own car, before he got rid of the supercharged 7 Series. "It's not very common. I am not a sedan guy. Every few years I'll see a sedan, like these high-performance sedans and I'll buy it. A month later I'm like, 'This is my dad's car. I don't like this thing,'" he laughs. "I've done that three times. I still may try the M5. I don't learn."
Bodden has owned or leased up to 30 cars, but prefers to buy because he often doesn't keep a car for the duration of a lease. He bought a new 1996 Mustang GT and had it for a year, trading it for a Honda Civic coupe, "because all the kids were hot-rodding those and I wanted to see what that was about."
Mazda RX-7s (a 1979 and a 1982) have also been part of his collection. "I used to work on them all the time because my buddy had a 280Z and we would do a little illegal street racing."
Bodden can't say enough about the wonders of the rotary engine and praises the third gen-RX-7, while panning the Mazda RX-8, which he thinks is too big. "I love it, love it," Bodden says, about the rotary engine. "The mistake on the RX-8 are those silly suicide doors and back seat. It's ridiculous. It should be a two-seater sports car. They finally got it right around '92-'93 when they had the twin turbo. I still want one of those one day. It's hard to find a clean one because a lot of kids who street race, buy them and butcher them."
Americans still prefer musclecars and they don't get the rotary. "They're not torquey," Bodden says. "So you have to rev it, but the engine's a screamer. That's the fun of driving it. There's nothing like a V-8 when you get into an American car. Vipers do one thing and they do it really well -- when you step on the gas, it slams you in the feet and that is what Americans are used to. We're not used to high-revving, shifting a lot. That's why people love Corvettes."
When it comes to revving, Bodden says Porsches have differences, too. "The water-cooled Porsches are different, but if you drove an air-cooled Porsche, that's a car that you would rev. It's just a different type of driving. People who like sports-car driving don't mind revving an engine verses musclecar driving, where you just have all the low end."
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"Cadillac is making some great cars that can compete with BMW or Mercedes, really nice high-performance luxury sedans," he says. But he suggests GM should streamline, that some badges can be folded into others. "Like Buick -- you're building a car, with all due respect, for a customer base that's dying off. Nobody's buying Buicks. Take one or two out of the Buick line, make them Cadillacs and do away with Buick and save all that money. There is no need anymore to have Chevrolet and Pontiac. Stop wasting money by building the same cars. Why have Chevy trucks and GMC trucks, the GMC Yukon is the Chevy Tahoe. I would love to see American carmakers get with the program."
Bodden suggests this is the "golden age" for car enthusiasts, who can walk in and buy a 400-500-hp car. Better start collecting now, before CAFE standards change. "A lot of people talk about '60s musclecars, but now we have cars that are faster than the '60s cars -- more comfortable, more reliable," he sums up. "I think it's going to fall off -- because as economy and green efficiency becomes more important, we're going to lose the horsepower and speed."