Posts By: Steven Lang

By on June 13, 2014
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I am pacing back and forth in a 200 square foot wooden building that I had exchanged for a 1996 Volvo 850 sedan back in 2008.

“What the hell am I going to write about? I know nothing about racing! Zip!”

“Well Steve, maybe we can arrange for a few interviews.”

“Would they be racers?”

“Aaahhh, no.”

“Owners? Hookers? How about the guy who fires the gun?”

“What gun?”

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By on June 12, 2014
Source: Gallagher.com

Source: Gallagher.com

Troyochatter submits this request for your perusal.

Hey there, I have a dilemma that you might be able to help with.

Got a sec?

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By on June 10, 2014

redflagdeals

I have a 10 year old Mazda Protege which I have loved ever since new.

There is just one small problem.

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By on June 9, 2014

limoclosetvphone

A 33 foot stretch limo that was formerly owned by a famous run down strip club in Miami.

Two small TV’s that dated back to the beginning of the Clinton era.

Cheap burgundy upholstery that I probably would never want to study with a forensic light.

104,000 miles, and a corded phone right next to the champagne glasses in the mini-bar. Oh, and it was a Cadillac. Not just any Cadillac. But the last of the old-school rear wheel drive Cadillac Fleetwoods with rear-wheel drive and the 350 V8.

Everyone screws up at some point when it comes to cars. But when I screw up… it’s something truly special.

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By on May 30, 2014

metro1

There it stood, right next to the Michael Jordan Wheaties display.

A brand-new 1992 yellow Geo Metro convertible.

Price Chopper, a local New York supermarket chain (think Pathmark or Albertson’s on crack) was opening up a brand new location in Saratoga Springs.

The Metro would be the perfect vehicle for upstate New York’s salty roads and wickedly cold weather for one irrefutable reason. It was free… after tax, tag and title.  The only thing I had to do was figure out how to win it.

So I got busy. 150 entries a day for 3 full months. 13,000 in all. The day came for the drawing, and I won!

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By on May 30, 2014

catch

Hi Steve,

I’m a 17 year old in grade 12 who purchased his first car about six months ago, a ’96 Crown Vic for $1300. As much as I love the size, comfort, space and V8 soundtrack it offers, gas here in Ontario costs nearly $1.40 CAD per litre (about $4.90 USD per gallon). Taking into account it won’t get much better than 14 MPG in the city (yes I’ve tried all I can to improve it) I have decided I need to get something more fuel efficient. Right now my budget is about $2500 plus whatever I can get for my Vic. I’m fairly mechanically inclined and try to repair as much as I can myself to save money, so I want a car that’s easy to work on.

Basically my checklist goes like this:

- Fuel efficient (four cylinder)
- Cheap to buy
- Easy to repair
- Cheap parts
- Reliable
- Domestic over imports (a Ford ideally)
- Lots of trunk space

Needless to say my Vic meets all but the first requirement. This list has led me to a bunch of mid-late 90′s Ford Escort wagons, not my number one choice but what do you think? Overall what do you think would be best car for me?

Thanks,

Steve Says:

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By on May 29, 2014

BMW_ATSK_2_28TopLeft

Some cars out there are as rough as a wore out mop.

It always pains me to see them because there are so many folks in this world who are all too happy to own a car. Even one that may seem to be worth more dead than alive by the present idiot driving it.

My father was a food importer for 60 years. I got to see a lot of this world and, to be frank, our society is a bit spoiled by the inherent affluence within it.

What some destroy, others would cherish.

However, there is one screw-up that always ticks me off to no end in the car business because it’s based on false information. The one where the manufacturer plays a game with the future reliability of their vehicle in exchange for a potential accolade known as low ownership costs.

The lifetime fluid. To me it’s a false promise that has cost too many people, too much money, to no fault of their own. Let’s start with that simple word, lifetime, and weigh in the full effect of that word.

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By on May 28, 2014

balancing act

Capitalism has no loyalties.

Everybody is replaceable.

Products. Employees. Employers. Services. Alliances. Joint Ventures. Financiers. Even the executives of multinational firms along with their board of directors are only as good as whatever quarterly numbers can be cooked up by their ‘independent’ auditing firm.

Capitalism is the ultimate “Let’s go!”, “Do it!” and “Screw you!” of economic systems. You name the angle or need in capitalism, and chances are that there is a market substitute that can immediately fill the gap. Even government regulations can be routinely challenged by trade organizations, international courts, and the all too common political handshake.

All this reality happens… on paper.

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By on May 26, 2014

bigboxstore

Car dealerships.

Auto parts stores.

Repair shops.

Tire centers.

How many of these places will be needed 10 years from now?

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By on May 26, 2014

2001-honda-insight-rear

One dollar of depreciation in four years.

Fifty-five miles per gallon.

Forty-eight thousand miles.

I may have very well owned the cheapest car in America a few years ago. Back in 2009, I bought a 2001 Honda Insight with 145,000 miles for all of $4001 at an auction. After four years and with 193,000 miles, I sold it last year for exactly $4000.

That’s all well and good, but let’s face it folks. I’m in the car business. Plus, a first generation Honda Insight is pretty much a cheat when it comes to cheap cars. It was designed with stingy bastards like me in mind who use the edge of the technological envelope instead of individual ingenuity and improvisation.

That Insight was a cheap car… but definitely not a beater. Why? Too much money and too few stories about personal travels and other unique mayhem. To me, a beater is a concept that has far more to do with the owners than the actual car.

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