Category: Bark’s Bites

By on July 8, 2014

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My first contribution to TTAC was the purchase story of my 2013 Ford Boss 302 Mustang. To be honest, it could have easily ended up being a Corvette Grand Sport or something else entirely; I wasn’t a “Mustang collector” in the traditional sense. You know: when the Boss was announced by Ford, shouts were heard far and wide across the internet about the collectors who would end up purchasing the cars and that they would “stay in the garages forever” or something like that. Those guys. The ones who still have 2,000-mile Mystichrome Terminators or green ’93 Cobras with plastic on the seats.

I had a different plan. Mine was going to be a daily driver, and not only that, it was going to be a daily driver for a guy who had been averaging about 25K miles a year on his outgoing vehicle. Not only that, but it was going to be daily driven in Lexington, KY, where, despite being considered “the South” by much of the country, there are about 15-20 days of serious snowfall a year. Not only THAT, I also have two young children in car seats who were going to have to be taken to school, soccer, ballet, etc. And, of course, I bought it for sporting purposes, too, hoping to participate in the occasional autocross or track day. Seems like pure folly, no?
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By on June 28, 2014

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Meet Angela. TTAC, Angela. Angela, TTAC.
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By on May 8, 2014

lemonsbros

It’s 7:30 PM on Wednesday Night in an undisclosed city. A local career center classroom is the meeting place. The rows of ancient wooden desks have been cast to the outskirts of the room, and a circle of dusty chairs has been arranged in the center.

One by one, a seemingly random assortment of characters enters through the creaky door and silently chooses a seat, until only one seat remains. The last seat is finally taken, by a man in his mid-thirties, adorned by a mop of curly hair and a Lacoste polo shirt. The room, once abuzz with conversation, goes suddenly silent as he begins to speak.

“Welcome,” he says, “to our Fear of Racing support group.” A murmur of acknowledgement comes from the seated assembly around him.
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By on April 26, 2014

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For those of you who haven’t had the good fortune to attend the New York International Auto Show, it’s a must-do. Every manufacturer pulls out all the stops. The displays are mind-numbingly expensive, featuring massive LED screens, arena-quality sound systems, and concept cars that cost millions to develop.

As I walked around the Javits Center, admiring the vast and varied vehicles preening before an obsequiously adoring press, I noticed that much of the adoration and admiration was directed toward a car that featured a big cosmetic change but not much of a mechanical one—the Dodge Charger. Granted, the automotive press tends to get a little more of a tingle up its collective leg than consumers do about rear-wheel drive sedans, but the buzz surrounding the Charger was palpable. Furthermore, the reaction in the comments section of this and every other automotive blog seemed to suggest that, at the very least, automotive enthusiasts were right there with them. Whether people liked or disliked the redesign was almost irrelevant—they were TALKING about the car.
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By on April 13, 2014

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It’s just another day in the grand city of Lexington, Kentucky, a rose of a town in the middle of a commonwealth full of honest, hardworking, middle-class Americans. Lexington has a higher-than-average household income combined with a lower-than-average cost of living, making it a great place to be able to afford a nice car. It’s also home to over three hundred horse farms, which means one is just as likely to see an S Class rolling down Broadway as a King Ranch F-150 with a horse trailer attached to it. You won’t see many true exotics, but they love their Kentucky-built Corvettes, and some of the cleanest examples anywhere can be found here.

But on this day, there’s one car that draws more attention than any of them.
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By on December 10, 2013

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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.
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By on December 5, 2013

mattsmustang

(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.
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By on December 2, 2013

barkflex

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.
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By on November 25, 2013

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The Chevrolet SS arrived at Chevrolet dealerships all over America last week. Did you notice?
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By on November 13, 2013

mark944

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 whose Porsche ownership experience predates even theirs. That’s right, it’s your dear friend, Bark M.

The year was 1999. The scene? The lush campus of The Ohio State University in the serene Midwestern metropolis of Columbus, Ohio. I had just turned in my 1996 Infiniti G20 at the end of a thirty-six month lease, and, much to the chagrin of my father (who had been paying for it), it had been a very painful experience. Three years in the streets, parking lots, and loading zones of the world’s largest college campus had not been kind to my rebadged Primera. There were several dings in each panel, and my band’s touring schedule throughout the Midwest meant that I was about fifteen thousand miles over my 36,000 mile limit. Yikes.
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