Posts By: Jack Baruth

By on April 26, 2016

A few months ago, my esteemed colleague Ronnie Schreiber found himself in possession of a McLaren 675LT for the week. Not having a tremendous amount of personal experience with supercars, and not in a position to kill $10,000 worth of consumables in a single day at Thunderhill, Ronnie decided not to write a conventional review […]

By on April 22, 2016

cmax

Thirty-three months ago, I announced the addition of a long-term C-Max to our “fleet” with much Sturn und Drang about how I’d be keeping you comprehensively updated on the ownership experience and whatnot.

Well, I’m sure none of you noticed, but I never wrote about the thing again. Why? Well, there wasn’t anything about which to write! My baby-momma got a steady 42 miles per gallon, never had a single mechanical issue, loved the car to death, and became a total Jonestown convert to the C-Max way of life.

It’s now time to replace that C-Max. I suggested an Accord Hybrid. My son suggested a used AMG SLS Black Series. Her new husband suggested keeping the C-Max and getting a faster motorcycle for him instead — possibly a Hayabusa, who knows. All of these were good ideas. But she decided she wanted another C-Max, so we started running the numbers … and as they say on Buzzfeed, you won’t believe what happened next!

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By on April 19, 2016

chieftain

For a guy who never goes on press trips, I’ve sure been in a lot of airports lately.

Last weekend, I was in Southern California, following up on a few weekdays spent in the Miami area. This weekend, I was in Las Vegas to hang out with my brother, do some electric karting, and one other thing that slips my mind right now but I’m sure I’ll remember later.

From Friday night to Sunday evening, I traveled by a diverse variety of conveyances, including but not restricted to: an Indian Chieftain, a Prius, a Prius V, two Altimas, a Jetta, and a white Lincoln Town Car. I met a former political prisoner who has witnessed three suicides, accidentally taunted the police, hit a wooden box on the freeway, and learned about predatorial fish.

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By on April 14, 2016

apple_car_mt

Motor Trend,” TTAC alum and occasional minor-event organizer Brock Yates once declared, “is for people who move their lips when they read.” Were Yates still with us, he’d likely be somewhat less than surprised at the breakneck pace with which MT is attempting to transform itself into a YouTube video first and a magazine-for-morons second. It’s a sound business model; why limit your content to the even vaguely literate when you can break the shackles of the written word entirely and deliver extended advertorials to the lowest possible common denominator?

Of course, it would be both crass and impolite for us to imply that Motor Trend thinks its consumers are complete idiots who will eagerly place their lips on the corporate cloaca of “TEN: The Enthusiast Network” and eagerly lap up whatever poorly digested material is splattered into their open mouths.

It would also be unnecessary, because — as of last night — Motor Trend has made that point for us.

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By on April 12, 2016

Uber ride, Image: Jason Tester Guerrilla Futures/Flickr

If you weren’t at Desert Generator, you missed out. By the time I pulled my rented Indian Roadmaster up to Pappy and Harriet’s out in Pioneertown, a couple hundred vans had already shown up — so many that a significant percentage of the Pioneertown parking ended up being used as an overflow area. The vanners came from as far away as Calgary to show off their meticulously restored and upgraded rides. There were murals, carpeted interiors, lava lamps, and outrageous candy-color paint schemes as far as the eye could see.

There were also a remarkable number of very fine-looking women, contrary to some predictions on the part of the B&B. Don’t believe me? You can see for yourself. Bonus points to anybody who can find me in there, as well. It was a good time, made even better for me by my decision to duck out of some of the louder parts of the concert to grab a filet at the Ruth’s Chris in Palm Desert.

Since this is The Truth About Cars, I won’t bore you with a panegyric to the mighty force of motorcycling nature known as the Indian Roadmaster. Instead, I’ll talk about the three Uber trips I took this weekend. Together, they paint an interesting picture of the “gig economy” and the future of mobility.

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By on April 8, 2016

softail

Didn’t we all have a good laugh earlier this week about the confrontation between a low-talent Florida motorcyclist and a low-IQ Fusion driver? Shouldn’t it be a lesson to all of us to never ride a motorcycle in Florida, even though we now know how it started and how it’s gonna end? What kind of idiot would deliberately go rent a motorcycle and ride it around Florida immediately after watching that video?

Well, friends and readers, I am precisely that kind of idiot.

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By on April 7, 2016

“I love it,” the man once said, “when a plan comes together.” And this was the mother of all ad hoc, free-range, domino-effect plans. Avant-garde pianist Hiromi Uehara, along with six-string bass monster Anthony Jackson and noted over-drummer Simon Phillips, had a 7:30 p.m. gig one evening in Fort Lauderdale. Southwest had a nonstop from […]

By on April 5, 2016

1995 Explorer Limited

It’s just the title of a recent Charlie Hunter album, but it says a lot about life in post-2008 America: Not Getting Behind Is The New Getting Ahead.

Here’s one example: According to Business Insider, the average middle-class family can no longer afford the average new car. Is that true? And if it is true, how and why did that happen, and what can be done to fix this sad state of affairs?

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By on April 4, 2016

fusion

Last week, I asked the B&B if this Civic-ramming incident was malicious or merely idiotic. No such question could possibly be raised about what you’re about to see. This video has it all: the stereotypical “Florida Man” (or possibly “Georgia Man”) in full assault mode, some of the most hellaciously dangerous motorcycling you’ll ever see, and plenty of Michael-Bay-movie-in-real-life swerving into oncoming traffic.

The best part, however, is how a fellow behind the wheel of a motorcycle that is literally faster than a Ferrari 599 Fiorano can’t quite escape the murderous attentions of … a previous-generation Ford Fusion.

Somebody sign that guy up for NASCAR!

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By on April 4, 2016

rolling

If our comments and emails are any indication, TTAC readers are by and large very sane and sensible men who make sound choices based on reliable data.

You’re family men with minivans and bachelors who have CUVs just in case they meet the right girl on eHarmony. You’re introverts who don’t like bright colors. You’re engineers and programmers who can spot a logical flaw from ten thousand feet up.

Oh yeah, and there’s also one enormous black dude who drives an SRT-8 Jeep around Queens and can remotely kill you with his brain.

No matter which one of the above stereotypes fits you, you need to put it all aside and get out to Joshua Tree National Park this weekend to join me for a party that, in all likelihood, neither of us will be able to remember.

(Read More…)

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