Sometimes Wikipedia cracks me up.
The Toyota Previa… “failed to steal any significant share from the Chrysler minivans due to its high price, odd Asian styling, poor fuel economy, terrible horn, and weak engines.”
Note to Toyota engineers. Work on that horn! The old ones apparently weren’t horny enough.
A Reuters article on Hyundai’s recent quality problems raises an interesting question. Has the company grown too fast following an unprecedented image makeover?
Press fleet vehicles are full of little surprises.
A rap CD with a certain word used 200 times in a three minute song.
Then there are the unusual litany of condoms, leftover roaches (the smokable variety), and paternity results that no doubt tell you more about your peers than you ever thought possible.
Finally, there was a trade-in that topped them all. I called it the Thelma and Louise car.
Once I get to ranting on the subject, I’ll fulminate that the true modern era of the automobile didn’t start until about 1990, when carburetors and points ignitions finally disappeared from new cars sold in the United States. Before and after that point, however, a lot of progress— and backsliding— has taken place in the automotive industry. Which brings up the question: what ten-year period, starting with Karl Benz’s Patent Motorwagen in 1886, saw the most improvement, innovation, whatever you want to call it, in the automotive world? (Read More…)
Passover is upon us, and starting tonight, the Zionist Occupation forces of TTAC’s editorial roster (as well as our 44th President, and Road Tester Emeritus Michael Karesh) will refrain from eating bread as we recall the Exodus from Egypt, and the last time The Tribe ever did any manual labor.
Another day at the office. Like most drones on a Friday afternoon, you’re wasting your time playing on the Internet. Thanks to a mid-level job that requires more presence than productivity.
The smell of slightly burnt coffee and the din of florescent lights is already starting to kill your weekend mojo. This is the time when you usually take a bit of the vodka that’s hidden under the lock and key of a nearby file cabinet, and mix it into whatever drinkable substance strikes your fancy at the soda machine.
You open the drawer and…. huh? Who put some Colt 45 malt liquor in there? Ice cold. Wow.
You pause for a second. Pop it open, and before you know it.
Late night conversation with Kreindler, “Hey Steve! Do you know what one of our top articles of all-time is?”
“The one where Bertel put a sex toy on the front of the page?”
“Hah! No, the one about changing your oil.”
“Really?! Well if Yahoo (recent!) and Jalopnik (recent!) want to feature my work, I guess I should throw my old stomping grounds a bone.”
Miata. E30. Panther. Is it time to add another nameplate to the Used Car Hall of Fame? Because the 2012+ Chevrolet Impala looks like a sure-fire winner to me.
Back in my college days, it seemed like every single Chrysler commercial featured a car that would morph from the old model into the new model.
Minivan morph. Neon morph. Intrepid morph. The technological transitions were quite well done, and I always enjoyed a commercial that reminded me of the movie “Terminator 2.”
But then I had a few ideas of my own…
Flashes and pulses.
I was staring at an archaic diagnostic system on a 1992 Volvo 940 wagon. It was located underneath the hood, inside a plastic cover, with six little holes for each one of the six digits, along with a cheap plastic wand.
What came out was morse code. Three little reds, stop. One little red, stop. Two little reds, stop. Code 312. Time to visit the brickboard, where the code could be translated to about fifteen different potential issues.
21 model years later, and we’re still not quite there yet.
For every Junkyard Find of, say, a Malaise Era bomb that fired several torpedoes into the already leaky hull of a once-great car company, there will be at least one reader who writes a comment that goes something like “I bought one of these cars new, and it went 300,000 trouble-free miles on logging roads in Trinity County. This car’s bad image was undeserved, folks!” Just as it’s possible to have fun with a rented Corolla (just kidding, there is no way to have fun of any sort in a rented Corolla), it’s possible for a first-gen Excel or Sterling 827 to survive like a Slant-Six Valiant sedan. (Read More…)
In recent years, there was no way any car customizer in the world was going to come close to the absurd lengths that practitioners of Bōsōzoku Style in Japan went to when modifying their vehicles. Six exhaust pipes sticking ten feet straight up out of a slammed Corona with an octo-wing? Not enough! That’s a shame for patriotic Americans, because we once ruled the world when it came to brain-scrambling, utterly senseless customized vehicles. But wait! The love of 84s and old-timey lowrider-style kandy paint in Houston has led to a renaissance, and the SLAB (Slow, Loud, And Bangin’) may be knocking the Bōsōzoku Style machines off their pedestal. (Read More…)
Bring A Trailer rarely disappoints, but today is an exceptionally fruitful day. Not one, but three delightfully kitschy relics of the Reagan era are on sale, offering something for a broad spectrum of tastes, whether you like new wave, metal or the burgeoning urban genre known as “hip-hop”.
Your personal information is valuable.
When I liquidated vehicles for Capital One, we typically examined over 14,000 variables before lending out our money to a customer.
Any customer. A credit card. An automobile. A commercial loan. It didn’t matter. We needed to get to know the economics of you first.
All of the low rates and big profits were dependent on buying your personal information, and then crafting decision models and metrics to determine your personal risk.
Our success in auto finance generated low rates for our customers and low delinquencies for our investors. But they both could have been far lower.
Public schools have the unique misfortune of being the target for every harebrained idea related to learning.
Why? Because everyone is an expert! We all have great ideas! In quiet surrender, many public schools are left with ideas that result in excessive paper pushing and basic rote memorization.
Don’t get me wrong folks. Higher order thinking skills are also valued in most public schools (outside Texas). So long as they are also far, far away from the neighboring political bonfires.
So with that in mind, why not offer one more good idea from us gearheads?