Tag: Florida

By on January 26, 2016

20160124_175208 (Custom)

Who has two thumbs and loves the ’79 Eldorado? This guy. I’ve spent more time writing about it than I’ve spent writing about Ferraris, Lamborghinis, and Maseratis … combined. What made the ’79 Eldorado great? Everything. It was styled with a crispness and strength of purpose never again seen on a Cadillac. It had a solid drivetrain as standard, although the optional engines and the later HT4100 tended to misbehave. The packaging was superb inside and out: trim yet spacious, small enough to be hassle-free in a parking lot but big enough to be recognizably Cadillac.

Most importantly, it was the last great coupe from a company that had a reputation for building brilliant luxury two-doors. (The CTS-V Coupe had pace but possessed neither space nor grace.) As a statement of personal wealth, taste, and maturity, no automobile truly satisfies like a full-sized luxury coo-pay. The man behind the wheel of an S-Class sedan or Cadillac XTS always risks being mistaken for a chauffeur, while the driver of a luxury SUV always risks being correctly identified as an imbecile. No, in order to convey the correct image to everyone from valets to unattached society ladies, it’s critical to drive a coupe.

Which leads me to this BMW 640i Convertible, rented by me this past weekend for the purpose of escaping Winter Catastrophe Jonas and relaxing in central Florida … but why am I talking about Eldorados in a review of what is intended to be a German sports coupe? And am I likely to quote Marcus Aurelius after the jump, seemingly to no purpose? You probably know the answer to both of these questions, dear reader.

(Read More…)

By on January 25, 2016

06 - 1972 Gazelle Kit Car in Colorado junkyard - photo by Murilee Martin

Trying to track down the history of all the varieties of fiberglass-bodied kit cars intended to look something like the Mercedes-Benz SSK will drive you crazy in a hurry because so many companies building these cars popped up in the 1970s and 1980s. You could build an “SSK” based on hardware from a Chevy Chevette, a Ford Pinto, or a VW Type 1 Beetle. Many did. Because Classic Motor Carriages and Fiberfab and Tiffany Motor Cars all called their versions “Gazelle” (trying to parse the relationships between those companies is like deciphering the wiring in a Porsche 928), this has become the generic term for these cars.

Anyway, here is an early variety of Gazelle, built on a 1972 Volkswagen Beetle pan, that I found in a Denver yard a few weeks ago. (Read More…)

By on January 22, 2016

Judge Judy

A Florida Lemon Law board ruled this week that Volkswagen would have to pay an 86-year-old man $15,000 for his illegally polluting diesel, WPTV reported.

The man’s Volkswagen — which VW lawyers unsuccessfully argued wasn’t a lemon because it still ran and drove — could prompt others to file similar lemon law claims against the automaker, but may fall short of sparking a grassroots buy-back campaign in other states.

“A Florida Court order isn’t binding on any other state but can be ‘persuasive authority,’” Colorado Lemon Law attorney Rick Wynkoop said. Florida’s Lemon Law process is pretty unique because it requires an arbiter’s ruling first, but can be appealed in court.

“An arbiter’s order has next-to-zero weight. I’m not joking when I tell you that arbiters are not required to follow the law,” Wynkoop added. (Read More…)

By on October 15, 2015

Periscope_Girl

Don’t look now, but “Periscope” is officially a thing.

The social-media platform allows people to broadcast live from their phones whenever they like, thus bringing the average 23-year-old American woman just that much closer to her dream of becoming a fourth-rate reality television “star” at the expense of all other potential accomplishments.

I can see Periscope being of some use in the upcoming “American Spring” populist uprising, except for the fact that Twitter and Facebook and the like have long since decided to lick the boots of our corporate Ingsoc in whatever fashion is most deferentially pleasing to Mr. Obama, Mrs. Merkel, and Xi Jinping. So when the balloon goes up and you see me and Zack de la Rocha rolling a Viper ACR loaded with grenade launchers down the street, the Twitter “fail whale” will be all you can get, because anything else would be uncivilized.

The automotive world has used Periscope for a few new-vehicle reveals and a series of vignettes in which my friend Adam uses Turtle Wax™ to get some shine on his Isuzu Impulse. But it wasn’t until Whitney Beall of Lakeland … you guessed it … Florida, started Periscoping her drunk-driving adventure that the true potential of this newest navel-gazing “app” was well and truly revealed.

(Read More…)

By on August 20, 2015

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A Florida pastor is helping homeless, unemployed and ex-convicts make money by washing cars at a gas station parking lot, WTSP in Tampa is reporting.

The woman who started the car wash, Dr. Mentha Thomas, says she started the business to help locals get back on their feet.

“To me, that hits your heart. That’s a sad place to be unless somebody helps you,” she told the news station.

(Read More…)

By on October 21, 2014

Takata Airbag Cutaway

If you happen to own certain BMW, General Motors, Honda, Toyota, Mazda and Nissan vehicles, and reside in a humid climate, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is urging you to take it in for repairs linked to the Takata airbags installed.

(Read More…)

By on October 10, 2014

Waldo Florida is Hot For Teacher

The city council of Waldo, Fla. — population 1,000 — sternly told its police department to take a seat in the shame bus, disbanding the force after its chief and interim chief both resigned amid an investigation into the town’s reputation as a speed trap.

(Read More…)

By on April 30, 2014

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Network World is reporting that a Florida man who installed a cellular telephone jammer in the back seat of his Toyota Highlander is facing $48,000 in fines levied by the Federal Communications Commission. The FCC alleges that one Jason R Humphreys of Seffner, FL regularly used the device during his daily commute and that he originally installed it more than two years ago. When questioned about his reasoning, Mr. Humphreys told officials that he installed the jammer in order to prevent people in the cars around him from using their cell phones while driving – something that is, by the way, totally legal in the state of Florida with or without a hands-free device.

(Read More…)

By on October 12, 2013

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If you’ve ever had the misfortune of flying across the country on Southwest, you know that Fate typically puts you next to a three-hundred pound man, a crying child, or a crying three-hundred-pound man. But last month I had the luck to share the long trip with a young woman who told me a very interesting story of cycling five hundred miles across central Florida. “It might be the liquor talking,” I said, “but you should write this up for me. I run a famous car website. And you’re very pretty.” So here you go, TTAC readers: a cycling perspective on what is perhaps the least bike-friendly state. Enjoy! — JB

Pushing off, with a slightly, only slightly, bad taste in my mouth. The last words I’d heard prior to starting this adventure ringing in my head: “That’s a terrible idea, it’s absolutely not safe for cyclists, what if I drop you off on the trail head?”

Naaah — I can do this — it’s MY home state, I know these roads better than anyone. Besides I live in New York City now. I can do anything! Not to mention, I took my first joy ride in a standard 88’ Honda Prelude with my best friend Yent at 13 years old, cruised (at least that’s what we called it in the early 90’s) these roads, back roads and interstates in all kinds of vehicles. I own this! I am that American Girl riding down 441, except this time I’m on a bicycle, making my way to all of my favorite places. I left my father’s Apopka house and proceeded in search for freedom, a place to ride with the rest of North Central Florida, experience the wind in my face, and reach a destination.
(Read More…)

By on August 22, 2012

A Florida cop was fired and arrested after brutalizing a woman in front of his own dash cam. A routine review of dash cam video revealed that he brutally slammed a woman into her car. (Read More…)

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