By on December 7, 2013

BABE Rally 027

This is the final installment of Mental’s adventures in the BABE Rally in 2011. By now their van has been traded for beer. They are looking for a ride to New Orleans and still have to find a way home.

Just outside of Talladega Alabama, the wheels I borrowed from my shop mate have become props for the evening parking lot games. My wife and I manage to secure rides, but in separate cars. That’s probably safer for me anyhow.

She will ride with “The Scots.” They are exactly what you think; two Scottish friends and a sister that have spent their last two vacations coming to America just for this event.

I hitch with “The Ginger Kids.” They are also exactly what you think, a young, fair-skinned, scarlet-headed trio. The BABE rally prior, the driver’s car had broken down in front of the house of a young girl. The ensuring conversation resulted in a yearlong romance and this year she accompanied him and his friend for the rally. You can’t make this stuff up.

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By on December 1, 2013
Seems like an odd place to bed down for the night.

Seems like an odd place to bed down for the night.

This is part 3 of a 4-part misadventure Mental embarked on in a $400 minivan sans AC. After being awake for 41 hours the Lumina MPV had let them down and was being attended to by a team of misguided and certainly intoxicated mechanics…

As promised, the van was running the next AM, but still required some new parts.  The nearest parts store a few minutes down the road, next to the aforementioned Alabama Museum. Dekalb Auto Parts, it is a true independent family owned auto parts store. Sticking out of the side of the building is the back half of a Datsun station wagon. They were well stocked, knowledgeable and found the parade of festive colored crapcans rather interesting. If you are ever in Ft Payne Alabama, give them your business.

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By on November 28, 2013
Just to keep the door's operational status updated.

Just to keep the door’s operational status updated.

Welcome to part II of Mental’s BABE Rally misadventures. Read on about his tempting of fate, the security of his marriage and his own personal safety by dragging his wife across the US in a $400 minivan without AC. Spoiler alert, his wife didn’t kill him but he did have to sleep on the couch for a while. When we last left our intrepid traveler, he was in a hotel parking lot at 7 AM on his way to the “Tail of the Dragon.”

It’s 7 AM, we have had a shower and I have downed my 5th styrofoam cup of coffee. Our Luminia MPV is covered in sidewalk chalk and rally stickers. As we made ready for departure, the Miata needed some attention, so we were already late.

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By on November 27, 2013

BABE ralley 2011 031

This is the first of a 4 part series about Mental tempting both fate and the security of his marriage by driving across hallway across the US, down through the south and (not quite) back to Oklahoma in a $400 Chevy Lumina minivan. Spoiler alert: his wife didn’t kill him but he did have to sleep on the couch for a while…

Jay Lamm, Chief Perpetrator of the 24 Hours of LeMons wrote that “racing isn’t just for rich idiots, it’s for all idiots.” Chumpcar has a similar philosophy. That covers racing, but what about tours de elegance?  There is an abundance of marque specific or classic car tours available across the US for more well-to-do enthusiasts; they offer a great deal of fraternal experiences, scenic views and luxury accommodations. Unfortunately, the fees start in the used Corolla range and can exceed the price of a new Chevy Cruz.

To paraphrase Mr. Lamm, what about the rest of us idiots?  Up until 2012, there was the option of the BABE Rally.

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By on November 26, 2013
Ah. Muffy's perfect SUV

Ah. Muffy’s perfect SUV

Toyota is one of the largest manufacturers of cars in the world. It’s not a surprise, especially if you have travelled out of the US. They are everywhere. I have only owned three Toyotas; a coma-inducing silver Camry DX, and two MKII Supras.

Despite my lack of ownership, I have spent a sizeable portion of my career abusing Toyotas. Maybe it is latent Nissan loyalty surfacing as abuse, Dad was a Datsun salesman before I was born and continued in one form or another until I graduated from High School. To Toyota’s credit, they have taken it all without complaint.

A notable case was an innocent preppy green and gold Land Cruiser. An aircraft electrical malfunction resulted in an unscheduled stop in Boise Idaho and gave us a week to kill. A ladies NCAA tourney had snatched up all the econoboxes, so the unsuspecting agency offered up the keys to a new 2003 Toyota Land Cruiser. I grabbed them, signed the contract and was out of there faster than a Taylor Swift romance.

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By on November 24, 2013
lifted from www.advrider.com and their 250 Ninja picture forum

lifted from www.advrider.com and their 250 Ninja picture thread

The old saying goes; to be older and wiser, you must first be young and stupid. This is the story of my life. I’m older, but still waiting to be wiser.

While everyone has a story of the dumbest thing they have done, I have a book. Hopefully the point of this and other tales I share here, will not only be to entertain, but on a certain level, make you feel better about stupid things you have done.

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  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Faisal Ali Khan, India