Auto columnist for The Herald-Palladium

I’m going to admit something today, but I probably don’t need to, because readers already know that I’m as “old school” as they come. Often on these pages I admit I’m a devoted Luddite and I resist many of the new fandangle “so-called improvements” being added to our cars to make them better. I must say I really like my high technology Buick Verano. It is an ideal vehicle for people like me who want a smaller-sized, near-luxury automobile that has all the previously mentioned fandangle safety features available and not cost a great deal. I’m still in mourning that GM and Buick were forced to discontinue the well-built and nicely designed sedan because of diminishing sales.

For the most part driving my Buick is a pleasant experience. I look forward to taking trips, long or short. I find the comfort of the bucket seats and the quiet provided by the well-insulated car to be ideal. That said, I do find that there are times when I wish my nice modern car had some old-fashion features that we all once enjoyed in cars. I don’t know about you, but on a day when it’s not really hot outside, and air conditioning isn’t needed, I’d love to be able to reach with my left hand and open the triangle shaped wing vent on the side window. Remember them? I’m sure smokers do. They were even nice to have on cooler days when the heater was on. Letting in a little fresh air made the car’s cabin more comfortable. For both aerodynamic and aesthetic reasons the side vent window went the way of the Dodo bird back in the 1960s, never to be seen again. Maybe if we all make a fuss, they can make a comeback.

Dar Davis founded the Lake Bluff Concours and chaired the event for many years. He has been writing this column since 1999. He can be reached at