Adam Carolla has had a tremendous career. Bouncing job to job in his 20’s cleaning carpet and working at construction sites, he eventually found success in Hollywood creating and starring The Man Show with fellow comedian Jimmy Kimmel. Adam is also the author of four New York Times best-sellers.
These days, Adam is better known as the host of The Adam Carolla Show, the Guinness World Records holder for the most downloaded podcast. His podcast is recorded in a warehouse which doubles as garage/car museum to house his fleet of collector’s classics. Earlier this year, the avid car collector bought Paul Newman’s $4.4Mn Porsche race car. Good headline, Aceman. Good headline.
Adam Carolla and Nate Adams’ latest motoring documentary, The 24 Hour War, looks back at the Ford versus Ferrari rivalry at Le Mans. It is one of the most famous battles in racing history and the two carmakers could not have been more different. Muscle versus heritage. America versus Europe. The only thing Ford and Ferrari had in common was the ego on both sides.
So what does Adam think of racing today? What would he do to fix racing here in the US? We gave him a series of rapid fire questions and let’s hear what the Aceman thinks.
NEW YORK MINUTE: Sports like NBA and UFC experienced tremendous success in the US. But Americans don’t like to watch automobile racing. How would you fix that?
ADAM CAROLLA: One, I think we have to get the next generation off NASCAR and into stock car racing, rallycross, cars sliding off asphalt and dirt roads.
Two, we also need a mandate like the CAFE standard where by 2025 the average fleet needs to achieve a certain mileage per gallon. President Trump needs to mandate all carmakers must have 20% of their fleet in stick shift.
The problem nowadays is distracted driving. Everyone gets into their big cars that automatically sets climate control to 71 degrees. There is a false sense of security. Once people get into their cars, they check their emails. They text. They tweet. People are not engaged when they drive now. The movement should be called “5-speed matters.”
Cars are too safe now and it screws people. In my book “President Me,” I said the every 20th airbag coming out of Detroit needs to have either a Prussian helmet or moose semen come out in an accident. This is how people will be engaged in their driving.
NYM: Hypothetical go-kart race - your son Sonny against your daughter Natalia. Who will win?
AC: Natalia will win. She will drive Sonny into the safety barrier so that he is trapped inside his car. Natalia will drive another lap while the fuel tank of Sonny’s car is leaking. When Natalia finally reaches the same spot, she will flick a cigarette at Sonny’s car and then drive off laughing maniacally. Sonny will die in a ball of flames.
NYM: Car engines used to sit in the front of the car. Then Ferrari decided to put it in the middle for better weight distribution and handling. Can you think of any car engineering innovation?
AC: Every time I look at the front of cars like the Audi A8, I think, “God, what a beautiful car.” Then I see the bad plastic in the front where the intake vent is. Someone will eventually tell me they can’t put aluminum there because it’s a safety concern. The pedestrian will be screwed if they get hit by a GTS, 599, 612, etc.
I’d say it’s an honor to be hit by a car like that. The car is painted in red, made to look as cool as humanly possible, loud as hell. If you’re crossing the street in your earbuds and gets hit by a car like that, it’s on you.
NYM: In The 24 Hour War, Le Mans driver Dan Gurney talked about a new braking technique he invented for the Ford GT40. Do you have a special move when you race?
AC: Dan Gurney is getting older and is not in his best health. It was good that we could capture his story. But to answer your question, when I race I’m usually struggling to land the 18th runner-up. It’s not something you would put on a bumper sticker. I don’t have sayings like, “2nd place is the 1st place loser.”
NYM: What kind of new racing tradition would you like to see on the podium?
AC: There’s one I would like to REPROPOSE: Making out with the trophy girl. Nowadays it’s just a whole bunch of guys standing on stage shaking hands. But when you look back at pictures of tough race car drivers back in the day, the dude is always kissing the neck of some pageant queen. That’s what I would like to bring back.
VIDEO: CHASSY MEDIA
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