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Posts By: BarkM
“Saturday morning, Studly!” Jimmy slurped aggressively from his third cup of coffee. Over his shoulder, past the tall plate glass of the recently remodeled dealership, the sun was just starting to rise. He punched me playfully on the shoulder. “Another chance to make yourself rich and famous.”
Jimmy was one of the more tenured salespeople on my lot. His ever-growing paunch, concealed by the poly blend polo we all had to wear, sagged grotesquely over his belt, severely testing the strength of the waistband of his worn cotton khakis. He had been athletic at some point (or at least the pictures on the wall of his cubicle suggested he had), but now his six-foot three inch frame showed the wear of three years of seventy hour workweeks. Undoubtedly, Jimmy had consumed enough coffee and food from the roach coach to kill normal men.
I had not.
One day, about a month ago, a vehicle that I had never really given much thought to entered my consciousness quite forcefully. My phone rang, and on the other end was a family member informing me that my sister-in-law had been involved in a serious auto accident. She had been traveling through an intersection when […]
It happened slowly, and yet, quickly. I had been driving along the same route to the airport that I had driven every Monday morning for the last three years—part of the happy responsibility of traveling for a living. My CFO title had given me the luxury of living anywhere I wanted within reasonable distance of an international airport with daily non-stops to Paris, London, and Berlin, and as such I had picked Atlanta. Decent weather, good nightlife for a single, well-to-do man, and for a lifelong car guy like me, the culture there was phenomenal. Sometimes, I would just sit on the balcony of my condo in Buckhead and watch the spontaneous high line car show that happened every weekend on the streets of the trendy neighborhood. And, when I was inclined so to do, I would call down to the valet staff and have them bring around the trump card—my Lexus LFA.
“I don’t think that I have to tell you that speeding is f**king stupid, do I?” The old man had never been one to mince words, and certainly not when he spoke to me.
“No, sir.” From my front passenger seat in his meticulously clean Mercedes E klasse, I could see the needle of his speedometer ticking past seventy. The speed limit on this particularly serpentine road near the river was fifty. It didn’t come as any surprise at all to me that the old man was failing to heed his own advice on a subject. He was often a walking contradiction. He spoke of the importance of honesty, yet he lied every night to us regarding his whereabouts. He spoke of discipline, yet couldn’t discipline himself enough to avoid the temptation of women other than my mother.
Short of the YouTube commenter base, there is no greater pit of stupidity and vulgarity than in the ESPN.com comment sections. The overall tone of the comments is so vile that, several months ago, ESPN made the decision to force people to use their Facebook login to make comments. So, naturally, people created fake Facebook profiles with names like “Ohessu Thucks” and went right back to insulting each other in the most juvenile and repugnant ways possible.
Sports tend to make otherwise normal and rational people behave in bizarre fashion. After all, “fan” is nothing but a contraction of the word “fanatic.” That guy who paints his face and screams profanities in the stadium on Sunday might be a respected lawyer on Monday. I logged into Facebook on Saturday night after the Big Ten Championship Game to see friends of mine writhing in virtual pain, their lives immeasurably damaged by the failure of 21-year-old men they don’t know to score more points on a football field than other 21-year-old men they don’t know. The amount of personal self-worth that some people put into their favorite sports teams, whether professional or collegiate, is incredibly powerful, and in many cases, difficult to understand.
(The Mustang in that photo isn’t just here for irony — it’s for sale! Down to $799 OBO… it’s a GT and the seller is a well-known decent guy in Ohio. Contact us for details — JB)
Embargoes be damned. There’s not a soul on the planet who cared about the 2015 Mustang who couldn’t have told you everything you wanted to know about it before today. Independent Rear Suspension. Fastback. EcoBoost 2.3 liter four-cylinder option. No room for the beloved (or maligned, by ZL1 fans) 5.8 supercharged Shelby motor. The first Mustang to become global under Mulally’s pet project, One Ford. Either god-awful ugly or beautiful, depending on the eye of the beholder. It’s hard to remember a pony car that generated this much buzz.
Everybody on the internet knows that buying new cars is just plain stupid. New cars, after all, are just “depreciating hunks of metal.” New cars depreciate an average of 20% immediately, and then go down another 15% each year after that, according to sources such as KBB and Edmunds. According to every message board I’ve ever read, buying a new car will probably cause you to lose your house, get divorced, and be sent to the Chateau d’If for thirteen years.
But how true is that? And if it is true, does it matter? Let’s find out.
The Chevrolet SS arrived at Chevrolet dealerships all over America last week. Did you notice?
This week, we lined the seventy-eight prisoners up in the old football stadium. More for practical reasons than anything else; there were a lot of relatives involved and we needed to make sure they saw what happened before they, in turn, were sent to the camps. I think it was the first time that it had been used since the sport was banned by my predecessor a few decades back. The drifters that live there now were a nice touch. Added a sense of desperation to the whole event.
There is much discussion on this site about Porsche ownership and the joys and perils therein. David Walton has opined about his very positive 993 purchase and experience. The EIC, owner ofa few Porsches himself, has lamented the recent decline of Porsche, both from a product and merchandising perspective. However, there is one TTAC contributor […]
According to my most recent e-mail from my rental car company of choice, I have rented exactly thirty-one cars this year. Thirty-one flavors of cars, everything from Altima to Yukon (Sorry, I haven’t rented any Lincoln Zephyrs this year). Up until this week, I hadn’t rented one of the more popular choices on any lot, and doubly so on the lots of South Florida: the V6 Mustang convertible.
This is a continuation of Attack Of The Killer Mustangs, Part One.
So when we last saw our hero, er, me, I was finishing up my lead/follow session and heading back to the garage. I was incredibly eager to get back out on track, but next up was another classroom session. Turned out that this was really more Q&A than anything else-we had already covered most of the basics of track driving and the instructors wisely decided not to fill our novice heads with anything else at that point.
Meet Chris. Chris is a good friend of mine and a disgustingly handsome and successful young man. He’s 28 years old, has a mid six-figure job, lives in a swanky suburb of Boston, and dates a model who also happens to race motorcycles. Oh, and he also owns a 2013 Shelby GT500. Feel free to start hating him… now. Unfortunately, Chris is impossible to hate. He’s a genuinely good dude who comes from a long line of car guys. His family owned a Ford dealership for decades, and as a result, he’s a self-proclaimed Ford fan.
So when he received a promotion at work that caused him to start driving a lot more than he had previously, Chris did something sensible. He parked the GT500 in his garage and bought a Fusion on D-plan.
But it wasn’t just any Fusion.
As some of you may remember, a little over a year ago, I took delivery of what I believe to be the best dollar-for-dollar value in performance-oriented vehicles today–a 2013 Boss 302 Mustang. Over that time, I have put a little over fourteen thousand miles on it, driving it nearly every day. Never has a day gone by that I’ve regretted buying it. Never has a day passed that I’ve wished it to be replaced by something else. I don’t even mind writing the check for the princely sum that Ford Motor Credit requires I pay them every month for the privilege of parking it in my garage. It has been a pure joy to own, but more importantly, it’s been a pure joy to drive.
Ford, in their infinite wisdom, decided early on in the creative stages of the rebirth of this ponycar legend that a day at Miller Motorsports Park would be included with the purchase of a Boss. The intent was, as I understand it, to allow Boss owners to be given the opportunity the see what their cars were truly capable of doing. And lo, the Boss Track Attack was created.
This picks up where Part One leaves off — JB
So, where were we? Oh, yes — driving in Europe. As previously mentioned, I hadn’t been to Europe in quite some time, and had never driven there. The first thing I learned is that there didn’t appear to be a very good way to get anywhere. Unless you were going from one huge city to another, the route invariably included some one-lane, barely paved roads and some bridges that virtually no car sold in America would fit on (more on this later).There wasn’t any good way to bypass the towns along the route-you simply had to drive through them and get stuck in whatever traffic you encountered.
There also appeared to be no such thing as a “grid” in these small to medium sized European cities. The roads twisted and wound in a way that made absolutely no sense to me. When we arrived in Hamme for soundcheck, we had to stop three times and ask people walking on the street for directions to the gig. We had entered the part of Belgium where Dutch was more prominent than French, which was somewhat of a problem because none of us spoke Dutch. Luckily, after several left turns that would have made one travel in a circle in America, we arrived at the town square.