Archive for Driver’s Seat

Should I not have done that?

Usually you hear this right after “Was I wrong?” And the most likely answer is “Of course you were, you microcephalic dullard.” An example:

So I went to a car dealership and applied for an auto loan. My employer doesn’t provide paystubs so I faked them. I looked it up online and found out what I did was illegal so I called the dealership and immediately requested to cancel the loan request and told them I was no longer interested. I know this can cause some very bad issues and I was hoping someone might be able to tell me who I should contact to get ahead of this incase it gets flagged or anything like that. Thank you!!!

The first alarm goes off with “My employer doesn’t provide paystubs.” Even if they pay him in cash, they need to be able to furnish those stubs. And why would they pay him in cash? He’s either an independent contractor, in which case he’d get a regular invoice and, at the end of the tax year, some sort of 1099, or he and the boss are conspiring to avoid taxation, in which case they have other problems.

Alarm two: “…so I faked them.” Okay, he’s not getting a 1099.

Alarm three: “I looked it up online and found out what I did was illegal.” I’m guessing he found this out at He certainly has no moral sense of his own. And if he gets a car and has a fender-bender, he probably won’t call his insurance company, because “they might raise my rates.” Maybe he’ll circumvent this by not buying insurance at all.

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This is how we get self-driving cars

A TTAC commenter named “conumdrum” writes to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:


We, the undersigned car manufacturers and advanced technology companies want you to know that many prominent and extremely wealthy citizens and pension funds and venture capitalists, who insist on early return of capital, have invested billions of dollars with us on our earlier projections of deploying autonomous driving vehicles by 2020.

We must therefore insist that you allow us to test our autonomous driving prototypes on the public highways in these United States free of all restriction, petty or otherwise, so that we may deploy half-assed technology untrammeled by regulations of any sort. That way we can more rapidly make and sell sort-of-safe autonomous vehicles to the general public and receive the return on capital our investors demand, as soon as possible.

If not, publicly elected lawmakers will be pressured by some incredibly important and self-centered private interests to abolish the NHTSA and its recalcitrant and irritating staff, who are currently insisting on safety rules for prototype autonomous vehicles. We know better than these regulators how desirable it is that return on capital not be delayed by a nanosecond longer than necessary. Anything preventing immediate return on investment must be overlooked as detrimental to the private good.

We insist you understand the ramifications and abolish your petty restrictions at once and leave our experts to experiment freely on the public immediately.

Or else.


Every car industry and advanced tech manufacturer and AI researcher that matters who need to return investment to keep investors satisfied.

In fact, I suspect this is how we get a lot of things we’d probably be better off without.

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Bypass operation

This guy is clutching at straws: If the State of Florida suspended my drivers license 10 years ago for not paying court costs, is there any State in the US that will issue me a license? Would it matter if nothing in my record is remotely driving related?

The guy has a record, which we probably don’t need to go into. But geez, how much could those court costs be? And this answer would seem inarguable:

The rule is: suspended in one, suspended in all. “Do or did you have a drivers license in another state?” is a pretty standard question on the application form.

Rather a lot of Quorans come up with questions that boil down to “What if I lie?” Shows you where their priorities are.

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The word that matters most in “Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price” is suggested: a price can be slapped on the window at the factory, but there’s no means of enforcement, and should a dealer figure that such-and-such a new model is going to sell like donuts at Dunkin’, there’s nothing to stop him from adding an additional sticker proclaiming Additional Dealer Markup.

The new Chevrolet Corvette C8 is just such a unicornmobile, but the buyers are thinking ahead:

A coalition of ‘Vette lovers assembled on the Corvette Forum to establish a list of storefronts that are actually willing to sell the C8 Stingray at MSRP. Originating at the start of August, the thread has been routinely updated by posters eager to notify other readers about the status of locations for the whole month. Some dealers have even used the forum to notify shoppers that they will be selling the 2020 Corvette sans markups and would be happy to have more business.

That said, this isn’t quite a cure-all:

The list also includes dealerships that are not selling the C8 at MSRP as a warning. Posters were citing markups anywhere from $5,000 to over $30,000.

Advantage: some, but clearly not all, Corvette buyers.

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Move away from this guy, fast

I just don’t like the way this is turning out: Why are top fuel dragsters louder than my mustang gt with straight pipes?

It’s like the son of a bitch is disappointed by insufficient noise level from his Ford.

All we can hope for at this point is that he fails a state inspection and has to go back to a proper exhaust system — or that a neighbor shoots him.

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From the Cheap Bastard files

This chap signs his name as “Greedy,” and I can’t say I’m surprised: What should I do with some brakes left on old pads after [I] replaced new one?

This is his rationale:

It kinda make me mad to throw away something that still have life left on it.

Earlier this week, I heard noise from driver side brakes. I went to pepper boys to get new brakes on. They put on new brakes on both side not just one side. After I looked at brake pad they throw away, my driver side have 10 percent left, the passenger side have 20 percent left.

So it make me mad for throwing away brakes that have 20 percent left.

So question is there way to fix? So won’t throw away the left of life you got? Like tell store put in new brakes only on one side then do other side couple of months later?

Well, if it gets down to 0 percent, you die. Is that a fair trade-off, so you don’t lose ten bucks worth of pad material?

I have my own idea what he can do with those pads, and yes, it does involve friction, kinda sorta.

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The whine of my screaming machine

Jan and Dean recorded “Dead Man’s Curve” about 55 years ago. The scene is London rather than Los Angeles, but the boyracers haven’t changed:

As supercars flood the streets of Kensington, Chelsea and Belgravia, the people who live in London’s most affluent corners are battling infuriating levels of noise and the ever-present threat of a deadly accident.

Driven by young, rich and largely Middle-Eastern men, the high-performance vehicles can be heard tearing around late into the night.

And last week, an Audi Q7 4×4 caused £1 million of damage when it wiped out a £200,000 McLaren, £40,000 Porsche, £200,000 Bentley along with eight other cars when the driver ploughed into the vehicles in a shocking crash caught on CCTV.

It left the well-heeled occupants of Moore Street and the surrounding areas fearing that muscle cars will one day kill one of their neighbours after the Audi’s driver was taken to hospital with a serious head injury.

“Well, the last thing I remember, Doc, I started to swerve.”

Kim du Toit solves this problem with two words: “Speed bumps.” With a speed limit of 30 mph, and all the ground clearance of an ant carrying a potato chip — well, this works better than you might think.

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Screw the facts, pay me

Get a load of this: How to get the settlement I deserve from my insurance?

As it turns out, he doesn’t deserve squat:

Long story short I was followed home punched in the face by the passenger and then the driver reversed into the hood of my car and drove off. I got their plate and was able to report it. However I have the worst insurance company and with my luck the third party has the same one. They are now trying to tell me because I was out of the car I’m not entitled to the injury compensation even though my hand was on the car door. And I also now have ptsd and anxiety from it. how do I get them to give me a proper settlement without bias.

The mere fact that he was out of the car in the first place indicates that he was a long, long way from blameless. If I were charged with covering this fool, I’d make damn sure I didn’t offer him a renewal.

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So much for your project car

If you’re a shadetree mechanic, there are places where you have no access to the tree:

We’ve seen strict vehicle regulations set forth by Homeowners Associations fairly regularly, but a discussion currently taking place at Grassroots Motorsports has brought to light a block of anti-vehicle-repair code from the County of Sacramento, California. In a nutshell, the ordinance prohibits car and homeowners from performing complex repairs on their vehicles, in your own garages.

An excerpt from the zoning code reveals that residents of the county are permitted to perform “minor automotive repair” at their respective domiciles, so as long as they are working on a car which is registered to someone who lives there. However, the code also states that the repair must be minor (which is defined as “brake part replacement, minor tune-up, change of oil and filter, repair of flat tire, lubrication and other similar operations”) and cannot be performed outdoors if the repair would leave the vehicle inoperable for more than 24 hours.

This is not, apparently, an HOA-styled neighborhood-aesthetics issue:

The code enforcement website, however, explains that the law is in place for environmental and financial reasons:

“The chemicals involved in major automobile repair can pollute our neighborhoods and endanger the health and wellbeing of our residents,” reads the explanation. “Furthermore, this kind of activity increases vehicle traffic and the visual impact can negatively impact property values.”

For a minute there, I was half-expecting a Prop 65 invocation, because DOT 4 brake fluid causes cancer or something.

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Flapping in the breeze

Over the last six weeks, we’d had something like one-sixth of an inch of rain, so pulling out of the garage Friday morning into an actual, real live thunderstorm was sort of unexpected. Then came the real fun: about half the rubber insert on the passenger-side wiper blade had detached itself and was slapping on the glass at wildly variable intervals.

On the upside, at least it wasn’t the driver’s side. And it’s been ages since Nissan has been able to supply OEM blades, this car being twenty years old after all, so I ordered replacements from Amazon because of course I did. The fun thing here, apart from the fact that I can no longer reach across the glass the way I used to, is the size differential: passenger’s side blade is 17 inches, driver’s side is 26. The set should arrive Monday, following three days of overly-intense-even-for-August heat.

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No longer current

When I let it be known that I’d taken delivery of a refurbished iPhone, a friend of mine asked, reasonably enough, what shape the battery was in. As it happened, an iOS update provided a tool for finding out exactly that. Under “Battery health,” declared the phone, we find 88 percent of maximum capacity. The automotive equivalent, perhaps, is to be found in the Nissan Leaf with 10, maybe 11, out of 12 available bars.

But batteries don’t retain their vigor forever:

When people come in to buy a used Leaf, they aren’t asking about the interior, or the electric motor, said Dave Marvin, dealer principal of three Nissan dealerships in Texas and Southern California.

“Their No. 1 concern is the health of the battery,” Marvin said. “Having an affordable, well-thought-out battery replacement program would be a great benefit because it helps address that concern.”

Spending $8,000 on a new battery pack and related components for a first-gen Leaf does not make financial sense, Marvin said.

Taking the longer view:

Among the biggest concerns is resale value. With no refurb solution, owners will essentially be forced to throw a car onto the secondhand market needing thousands in repairs. Sure, they could foot the bill themselves, but why bother replacing the most expensive component in your vehicle just to sell it? Likewise, why would the average used-car buyer choose to spend the cash when they’re already in search of a bargain? Wouldn’t it make more sense to go the internal combustion route or simply splurge on a new EV with superior range?

Yep. You can already see this manifesting on the used market. Almost no one is buying a used electric; as a result, they’ve become dirt cheap — though the tax incentives affixed to new BEVs and lower fuel costs also contribute. The situation is less pronounced with hybrids, but they’re also likely to depreciate a bit faster than their un-electrified counterparts.

“Early adopters,” said the man who spent over $100 on a pocket calculator in the 1970s, “always get screwed.” (I have reference to, um, me.)

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Pedals to the metal

You were never intending to race on the way to work, but, well, things happen:

For much of last summer I found myself heading to work at the same time as a fellow in a Tesla Model S P100D. He’d make an effort to get next to my Kawasaki at the stoplight before the freeway. At the green light he would simply disappear while I struggled to keep the big green Kwacker’s nose near the ground. Around the time I grabbed third gear he would be rolling back into my field of vision; by the time I hit fourth he’d be shrinking in the mirrors. At which point we would both hit the brakes, because the velocities involved had gone from “irresponsible” to “Cuisinart on impact.”

Of course, this was yet another manifestation of the Laws of Physics, informed by the fact that an electric motor’s torque peak is at 0 rpm: acceleration at that level is mostly a function of how much initial traction you can obtain from the tires. But that speed doesn’t build, in ludicrousness or anything else, and eventually, yes, you get to shrink in someone’s mirrors.

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Also a car in the photo

Zundapp Janus with precious cargo

The young lady battening down the rear hatch is Melody Ward; Sherli Hill (no relation) is in the driver’s seat. Joe Sherlock fills us in on the automotive details:

The [Zündapp] Janus never caught on in America or anywhere else. Only 114 inches long, riding on a 72 inch wheelbase, the little 937-pound car was powered by a mid-mounted 2-stroke one-cylinder, 14 horsepower engine running through a four-speed tranny. The Zündapp microcar had a top speed of only 50 mph — if you were brave.

Production began in June 1957 at the Nürnberg, Germany plant, but after selling less than 7,000 little vehicles in a year, Zündapp abandoned the Janus project, sold the factory to Bosch and concentrated its efforts on its more successful Zündapp motorcycle line.

Why was this car called “Janus”? Here’s why.

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Ignition and indignation

The rise of computerized vehicle immobilizers has made keeping watch on one’s keys even more imperative than it used to be:

Noticed last night at bedtime it was missing (I was absolutely sure I knew where it was, in the usual place, which means I was distracted when I put it away yesterday), searched for a couple of hours without results. Slept, woke, and searched for six hours more. That got me to noon and I gave up, called the dealer, called a tow service (because it’s 2019 and your car has be told the new keys are friendly keys), and spent the afternoon getting my key replaced and another added, at a price that seems disproportionately high —

But it’s 2019 and my car’s computer only trusts the dealer’s officially authorized computer.

I remember when a car key ran four bucks. Now it’s more like four hundred.

The last time I bought a battery for Gwendolyn, the shop left the car parked fairly close to the street, so I could make a speedy exit. I picked up the remote, mashed the button, and — nothing. After the fourth try, I gave up, unlocked the door with the actual key, and drove home. Some time in that nine-tenths of a mile, the computer, having seen the key for itself, concluded that I must be the correct driver, and reset the remote, which worked just fine thereafter.

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Not a Wildcat in the bunch

Buick would like you to know that they have more than just one or two vehicles on offer:

Then again, I can think of no time in recent history when I could see two Buicks in proximity to one another.

(Via The Truth About Cars.)

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Your mileage may vary

Some people are unable to comprehend a simple disclaimer:

The suit, filed on Monday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan by Seattle law firm Hagens Berman, asks $1.2 billion in damages for customers it claims are overspending on fuel.

The legal action piggybacks on the Justice Department’s criminal investigation of Ford’s testing procedures for the 2019 Ford Ranger in April. However, the civil suit also ropes in the F-Series — claiming that customers could spend upwards of two grand in gas they never budgeted for.

“We did the math and based this lawsuit on our own independent research. Ford’s fuel economy promises are all smoke and mirrors,” Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman, told the Detroit Free Press. “Ford’s lies about the F-150 are masking the truth: Consumers are paying far more for these trucks than meets the eye. Over the lifetime of the vehicle, we believe F-150 owners are paying more than $2,000 more for fuel.”

“Fuel-economy promises?” On what planet? Because it sure as hell isn’t this one.

Like just about every other class-action suit since the founding of Rome, this is a naked cash grab wrapped in consumer concerns, and even if Ford has to fork over a billion dollars, members of the “class” aren’t going to get anywhere near $2,000.

This guy is trying to tell it like it is:

I can say, in general, if you cannot hit the EPA mileage, it is YOUR fault. If you think you can drive a turbo engined product the same as you do a non-aspirated vehicle, you are an idiot. As someone who has a long history of beating the EPA mileage out of every product I have driven (and I’m no hypermiler), I can say that if you exceed the speed limit, you are a clown — you are costing yourself dearly. If you make lots of short trips and don’t batch them together, you are an idiot. And if you race to stoplights and take off like the start of a NASCAR race, you are an idiot. And if you don’t bother to check your tire pressure, you are an idiot. Those things will impact your mileage significantly enough for you to miss mileage sticker claims.

“But they promised!” Three-year-olds everywhere are rehearsing for their day in court.

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Wrong on both counts

Colin Chapman, founder of Lotus Cars: “Simplify, then add lightness.” But he died in 1982, and I suspect he’s reached the redline right about now:

Lotus has finally revealed its new halo vehicle, the Evija, claiming it will become “the world’s most powerful production car.” However, due to the Evija’s extremely limited availability and 1.7 million-pound ($2.1 million) price, there’s a lot undercutting that claim. It also leads Lotus away from its role as a scrappy underdog, delivering stripped-down featherweights designed to embarrass similarly priced sporting vehicles with more luxurious amenities.

And to keep that price down, Lotus has been buying V6 engines from Toyota. Few complained, since Loti usually weighed several hundred pounds less than your garden-variety Camry. Well, forget that:

The Chino-British brand is promising output a skosh below 2,000 horsepower and a targeted curb weight of 3,704 pounds. That’s portly for a Lotus but a 70 kilowatt-hour battery pack (co-developed with Williams Advanced Engineering) is bound to add some undesirable heft. Oh, did we not mention it’s electric? It is.

“Chino-British”? Well, okay, if you say so.

More important is the top speed, which is said to be over 200 mph, and zero-to-60 time. Lotus said to expect 100kph (62 mph) to arrive in “under three seconds.” While that sounds good, we’re wondering how many times you can do it before seeking out a charger. With ludicrous power figures routed through four motors, the all-wheel drive Evija is likely to deplete its battery extremely quickly under enthusiastic driving conditions. Fortunately the brand said it can be fully recharged in about 18 minutes if you can find a 350-kW charging point.

I’m figuring the 130 buyers of this sled will have the bucks to pony up for their very own charging points. Still, charging points are like Star Trek transporters: one is neat, but at some point you need a second one.

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They’re all Oldsmobiles now

Conventional wisdom insists that your millennials and younger just aren’t interested in cars anymore, a statement laughed at by any parent of a kid one day short of getting his learner’s permit. Jack Baruth blames the cars, and the people who grudgingly make them:

[V]irtually every “affordable” car on the market today, from the Honda HR-V to the Ford EcoSport, feels like it was made for grandparents who are down on their luck. Surely no young man out there feels his heart beating faster at the sight of a Toyota C-HR, and no young woman dreams of driving A1A or Highway 1 in a Hyundai Tucson. It’s the Buick Encore’s world now. We’re all just living in it.

No doubt a few of my auto-industry insider friends have made it to this point in the column and are now sputtering, “B-b-b-b-but we are busting our tails to provide electric vehicles, and ride sharing, and mobility-solution sidewalk-trash scooters!”

To which I respond, “What does that have to do with making cars for young people? Who told you that young people don’t want cars? A focus group made up of Manhattan-based media people? A bunch of Chicago apartment denizens?”

The oh-so-predictable response to that is, “Young people can’t afford cars anyway!”

To which I say, “No, young people can’t afford $24,000 HR-V EX-L AWD automatic-transmission transportation pods with all the charm of pre-chewed gum. Why don’t you try making a car a young person would actually want to buy?”

They dare not, of course; to protect the “brand,” they’ll let the actual product go to hell, and the customers, by Gawd, can go with it:

“Well, we can’t risk a billion-dollar program on a product that young people might not want when it actually debuts.”

This would be laughable if it wasn’t pathetic. The same companies that think nothing of wasting nine-figure sums on electric boondoggles and bizarre social engineering projects all of a sudden have a case of the shorts when it comes to actually making a car? Why do you hate your buyers so much? Why will you spend money on scooters, glorified golf carts, ride shares, rental cars, historic buildings, political party funding — anything and everything BUT building the next Mustang or Celica or S-10?

I don’t know exactly when it became hip for car companies, razor companies, video game companies, and nearly every other kind of American industry to express obvious contempt for their own customers through their marketing, their PR, and their product choices, but I can tell you this: the first player to get off that particular brain-dead Ferris wheel will reap huge benefits.

“Get woke, go broke,” says the Instant Man. But no one’s going to read that book until it’s flung open to Chapter 11.

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Torqued on

This is perhaps too familiar a situation for some of us:

I didn’t realize I’d got the car in low gear (I can’t always feel that and I didn’t look) but when I tried to accelerate to 65 it complained badly and the tachometer spiked up and I momentarily panicked — was my car going bad? Was I going to be stranded in the heat? Luckily the road was largely empty so I hit the brakes and was able to upshift quickly and then things were OK but yeah.

Automatics are unforgiving at times, but so are manuals. About 1984 I was darting down I-40 west of downtown in a borrowed Saab. Now about the only thing I knew about Saabs was that the ignition switch is between the seats. Obviously I passed that test, but gawd, was that engine loud for a modest 55 mph.

Wrong-O, Buffalo Bob. I’d confused the tach and the speedo, and I was darting at 5500 rpm, somewhere on the wrong side of 80 mph. I got myself straightened out about a mile and a quarter from the nearest radar.

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Possibly triple or fourple

Dumbass doubles down: Defrauded in car loan, now I have to pay?

Long story short, my car was repo, and because I allegedly tampered with GPS, dealer wouldn’t reinstate loan, told me to pay of whole thing, which I couldn’t. Car went to auction, and sale went towards the bill, which I wasn’t going to pay because I don’t have the car anymore. Dealer sued, and judge or somebody gave them a judgement, and that I have to set up a payment plan or they garnish my wages? I don’t have the car any more! I thought that by them taking the car we were even, I didn’t even get my downpayment back! Also they say I owe way more than what the car sold at auction for, because even though the car was running, they ran the car as not running just because they had no key. They blame me for not giving them the key. They sent a notice asking for the key, but they took my car and gave me nothing, so I said I ain’t giving them nothing either, so I didn’t give them the key. They could of gotten a key and sold it as running, and sold it for more. This is fraud and misrepresentation. How do I sue?

The jerk did literally everything wrong, and he’s going to sue? It is to laugh.

There have been nimrods of late asking what happens to their debt if they skip the country. Most of them, I assume, can’t actually afford to go. I kinda hope this guy tries, though.

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Mostly uncovered

If this guy pleads poverty, they should shoot him:

An uninsured Lamborghini has been seized by police after the owner used it to pick up his other car — also confiscated for not being insured.

Greater Manchester Traffic Police tweeted the Lamborghini Aventador — worth more than £290,000 new — seized at Eccles police station was now “on its way to join his other car.”

It tweeted if you turn up to reclaim your car check “that the car you turn up in is covered on your policy first.”

It added the driver had been reported.

(Via Fark.)

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If you can find a better car guy

On second thought, never mind, you can’t:

Lee Iacocca didn’t design the K-car, but that’s OK; he didn’t design the Mustang either. He merely willed them both into existence, forced the appropriate decisions on executive teams with Michigan myopia and a profound disinterest in anything going on beyond their country clubs and wood-paneled executive suites. You’ll read a lot about the man today, both here and elsewhere, but what I want to emphasize for just a moment is the singularity, and the excellence, of Iacocca’s vision.

He was a “product guy,” like Bob Lutz and many others, but unlike many of those fellows he internalized the product desires of working fathers as easily as he understood what Frank Sinatra might want in an Imperial coupe. No other automotive executive can claim to have created two major segments of the American market; Lido did it with the Mustang and he did it again with the minivan. He also understood the importance of execution; from the very beginning, the K-car had higher quality than any of its Chrysler predecessors or, in the opinion of this writer at least, the FWD competition from General Motors and Ford.

The General’s X-cars — Chevy Citation and its kin — were pretty terrible, and it didn’t take all that long for the public to find out. At the time, I thought it might have been a hex: what were they thinking, borrowing the “Citation” nameplate from the top-of-the-line 1958 Edsel?

He had complete command of his relationships with both government and labor. He got the best terms possible for his bailout, then he turned around and worked with the UAW to keep the lights on. Then he paid the money back and kept his promises to the union. Look at today’s automotive CEOs. They kowtow to a coterie of international investors and slash American jobs like so much winter chaff even as they spend billions on creating suicide factories for poverty-wage, powerless minions in unregulated hellholes around the globe — all the while awarding themselves Floyd Mayweather-levels of deferred compensation, stock options, and seats on complementary boards. Mary Barra is earning $22 million a year to oversee GM’s slow slide into irrelevance; Lee Iacocca took a dollar’s worth of compensation to save the jobs of his countrymen and put Chrysler on a path to glory that would, unfortunately, end when it was all but given away to the Germans by his feckless and ignorant successors.

And the successors to those successors are busy killing off American-made cars, because the take is better on the trucks. (Ford and GM dumped their minivans long ago; only Chrysler bothers with the segment it invented.) Short-term thinking at its worst.

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Schemer exposed

Or maybe “dumbass” is enough of a description:

I was caught following dmv examiner on road test. He got off car, taking down my license plate … cant use this same car on my drive test?

This, um, individual should never be allowed behind the wheel under any conditions: whatever the situation, he thinks he can spin his way out of it. I see enough of those corksoaking iceholes five days a week.

In the meantime, I’m betting that come test time, the examiner picks a wholly different route, just to spite the little shit.

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Doesn’t sound Krafty to me

I think I drove under this very underpass about 15 years ago:

But this is the present. Forget the pasta.

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Spoiler alert

This guy apparently has been looking over his shoulder: Do the police care about undeclared cosmetic car mods?

Say you have car insurance but add a spoiler to the car, a different body kit etc, and dont inform the insurance is there any way the police would be bothered or interested in trying to find that out? or do they only pull cars over with illegal mods.

In general, the police aren’t responsible for notifying your insurance company that you’ve added some stuff to your car: that’s your job. And I can’t imagine any circumstances under which a cop will spot a spoiler that wasn’t there yesterday. So this doesn’t look like a reason for concern.

Then I saw this down among the answers:

..your heading for one of those 57 seaters already have 8 points on your licence ..and you want to buy an RS model ?? you will be like a magnet to the cops ..they will know who you are and your licence details ..its all on their computer their car ..probably 50%of car accidents are not your driving that causes accidents ….however only 5% of drivers are 17-24 ..yet cause 20% of fatal crashes …your next problem ..your too young for a bus pass!!

So noted, though I don’t pretend to know all the context.

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The kids would all sing, he would take the wrong key

And keys, at least automotive keys, are awfully pricey these days:

You know, when I traded my old pickup truck for an SUV last year, we ended up with an older Lexus with a then-luxe interior — including a cassette deck. It came with two keys; when we got into the car, I gave the key with the fob (lock/unlock/panic buttons) to my beautiful wife, put the key without the buttons on my keyring, put the key in the ignition, turned, and…


I could not start the vehicle, and after a few tries, I started to get angry. I thought about the lemon law, storming in and demanding my old truck back and whatnot, but she was really sold on the vehicle. The salesman came out with obviously artificial regret, but this particular vehicle only came with one key that could start the car — one with the integrated chip — and one that could unlock the doors, maybe. We could order another key with an integrated chip for a couple hundred dollars.

Gwendolyn, my stately Infiniti, came with three keys and two fobs. The two that look alike are actually alike; either will open the doors or the deck lid, or start the car. The one of those things that’s not like the other will only open the doors. It comes mounted on a card which suggests that you carry it separately and use it for unlocking when you’ve locked your “real” keys in the car. This is the sort of thing that seems appropriate for an automaker that leaves a note in the glovebox apologizing for the 0.7 miles on the odometer, but they had to drive it to the dock.

(Title swiped from the Who.)

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Too stupid to live, let alone drive

More evidence that the species is getting dumber: Can I get my car back if it was said to be abandoned and someone else now has ownership of it? If not what do I do about the finance company?

No clues in evidence anywhere:

I bought a car 3 months ago but never went back to pick it up until a few days ago but was told that it was considered abandoned and they filed the proper paperwork to take ownership and sold the car. They also claimed they made a repair on something for which I was supposed to pay for upon pick up. I never agreed to it because I had already ordered aftermarket headlights for the vehicle anyway that I was going to install myself. The bank that financed the car has still been taking payments out my account and the next scheduled payment in a few days is still going to be coming out. I’m in Texas. Should I stop further payments until I can get the car back and not have my credit affected? I called the finance company and they were less than helpful.

“Aftermarket headlights” is enough to dock him ten IQ points all by itself, but we still don’t know why it took him almost 90 days to pick up a damn car; it’s possible to travel around the whole world in 80. Given his record of poor judgment, I’m guessing he was in jail.

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Driving while brown

Apparently one does not do this in Florida:

Florida man arrested for no good reason

(From Bad Newspaper via Miss Cellania.)

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Twitchin’ Camaro

Haven’t you ever seen a deathbed before?

A report surfaced today from Muscle Cars and Trucks, suggesting that the Camaro will not live on to see a seventh generation. Having been sold continuously for the last 10 years, the iconic pony car is not planned to transition to the new A2XX platform. Current product plans forecast production to 2023, but nothing further.

The current sixth-generation Camaro is built on the Alpha platform that was utilized by the outgoing ATC and CTS. The new CT4 and CT5 models are built on an updated version of that platform, dubbed A2XX. While all 3 models will be built alongside each other at the Lansing Grand River Assembly Plant, the Camaro is not slated to receive a redesign to transition onto the newer chassis.

Development of a seventh-generation Camaro was under way but is reported to have been suspended indefinitely. Unless there is a revival of the program, the nameplate would fade away after 2023.

The General has tried to kill off the Camaro once before, in 2002. It was back seven years later, perhaps because GM suspected one of the reasons it wound up in the financial toilet was too many nameplates and not enough names worth keeping.

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Lack of stodge

These days, you recommend Toyota to someone, and you get this back: “BORRR-ing.” Then again, that’s been their stock in trade in North America for years: the ultimate automotive appliance.

Dial over to Japan, circa 1982, and you see the very antithesis of that premise:

A few of those actually sneaked into the States, bearing Tercel badges.

(Via Murilee Martin.)

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