390 Comments
Aug 17, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

The car scene to be seen or seen in is this coming weekend on Woodward, I forget the title, but I imagine a lot of everything to be there.

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Aug 17, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

It is actually the Woodward Dream cruise.

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Aug 17, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

Woodward Traffic Jam. When I used to regularly attend we'd go late, wait for the cops to clear the streets at 10, then they'd all leave. That's when all the fun began.

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Aug 17, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

I will have to go over there.

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Aug 17, 2023Liked by Sherman McCoy, Jack Baruth

I’m only interested in Car Week if the Industry plants Oliver Anthony out there.

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"QANON!!!!!!! QANON!!!!!"

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author

“Oliver Anthony” - his stage name, natch - sounds like the name of a lacrosse player or an investment banker; perhaps both.

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Aug 17, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

You would know that Rich Men North of Richmond crowd…

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author

I know a fellow Appalachian American from Eastern Kentucky who works for The Heritage Foundation who is also tired of the Industry Plant.

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founding

He just posted his bio: You don’t think he’s being forthright?

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author

I’m being facetious; I don’t really care one way or another about Oliver Anthony or his music.

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founding
Aug 17, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

First: John Updike= no bueno for me. I finished Couples a few days ago. Disappointed, I started in on Rabbit, Run. It might be me, it might be Updike; but ne’er shall our paths cross again. There’s just not time enough left to spend on things I don’t enjoy.

Second: I spent three hours today riding motorcycles with my son. It’s his first bike, and though I’m as worried as one might expect, today was pure joy.

Third: I do think transaction prices are coming down. I’m buying my middle daughter a car as a reward for getting a full academic scholarship. We looked at Corollas, a couple of Subarus, and the Maverick. Of the three, only the Corolla had ADM, to the tune of 2k. The salesman immediately said that that could come off for me.

Subarus are plentiful, the Maverick will need to be ordered and will take some months to arrive. The dealers are as pissed as anyone that Ford won’t build them.

Things are turning.

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author

Updike books are like Rush albums: if you're about it, you're about it.

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I don’t know Updike (yet), but I 100% agree on Rush

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Aug 17, 2023·edited Aug 17, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

I can't enjoy Updike either. For what the data point is worth.

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Aug 17, 2023·edited Aug 17, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

Updike was assigned reading for a 200 level history class I took. I didn’t like the prof or the TA (who was only interested in T&A during office hours). Rightly or wrongly, it’s colored my opinion of the Rabbit books.

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Sounds like my high school English classes.

I hated my 9th grade teacher and got a D. Loved my 12th grade teacher and got an A.

To this day I hate poetry and 19th Century American literature because teachers are masters of assigning uninteresting books and making you compose your own haikus.

Doesn't matter if it's right or wrong. That's life.

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It is a damn shame

that you had to write haikus

for 9th grade english

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My great complaint about English / Lit / writing classes in general is that the given grades are almost 100% subjective to the whims of the instructor.

In a high school creative writing class I wrote a story about putting my truck in a ditch after curfew then getting it home and washing it in the dark so my parents never found out. High School Teacher hated it and gave me a D. Fast forward to college where I had spent all night in the computer lab and forgot that a rough draft of something was due in my creative writing class. With 20 minutes to get to class I grabbed the old essay out of a file, tore off the cover page where the grade was written, and ran to class. College Professor loved it, gave me an A, and said it was the best thing she had ever read by a student.

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God, how I wish I could've used some of my modern work in high school creative writing classes.

A detailed treatise on "The Nine Inherently Hilarious Things" would've no doubt inspired at least one parent-teacher conference, and maybe a psychological evaluation.

I can see it now.

"We think your son is a danger to himself and others."

"He's not a danger to HIMSELF. And if you got that part wrong, what else are you mistaken about? We're done here."

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Loved my English teacher who I had in Jr High and he moved on up to HS. Mr. Flynn. It wasn't English writing, it was discussing English writing and poetry. You didn't have to agree with him. But, if you could make a coherent response to "What do you think this means?" you would probably never get less than a B. He wanted you to think. A rare thing, even 50 years ago. I would go out of my way to take his classes. There was no right answer. This guy told a joke that today would get you fired. "What do you do when you have to wipe and you only have 1 sheet of toilet paper?" No one knew. He brings out 1 sheet. Folds it, folds it again. At the corner where the folds intersect in the middle, he tears off a piece the size of a dime. He says "This piece is important. Don't lose it". He then sticks his index finger through the hole in the now unfolded sheet. He says wipe and then when you are done, use this torn off piece to clean under your fingernail.

I sometimes oil paint. I like it. I think I suck at it. Bob Ross is a god to me. Some people like my landscapes. In JR High I had an art teacher. If she liked you, you got great grades. Didn't matter if the art was good or bad. If she didn't, you were ignored. When I took it up about 12-13 years ago after 40 years of that teacher, I learned more on my own than that teacher every taught. She's probably dead of old age and I hope she rotted in hell. The fact that no encouragement was given out, still rubs me wrong at age 66. Fuck her. She was a useless waste of space.

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Public school is a part-time prison for economically-useless youth who in earlier times would've been guild apprentices.

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For his 8th birthday I bought my son a beat-to-shit rusty YZ50 mini-bike out of the PennySaver. We "restored" it, I dug my IT465 out of mothballs and we rode and raced dirt bikes in the desert up until he left for college. As he graduated to bigger and faster bikes his sister got his last ones. By the time he left he could ride his YZ125 well enough to leave me on an Open-class bike for dead. And I fancy I can ride a dirt bike.

Best times ever.

At one point my Dad said " Wish I had done something like that with you."

Me too, Dad.

My daughter discovered boys - and they discovered her - as a freshman in High School. Turned into a D+ student with better things to do.

I bought a Miata from a friend that could become hers if she got her grades to C or better.

She graduated with Honors.

Pretty little blonde girl in a red Miata. Whew.

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founding

THAT’s how to live a life!

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"You can have any car you want, as long as you build it yourself. I'll help."

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That's awesome, and exactly what I want to get into with my son. When he was 3 and struggling a bit with potty training I dragged a rough and ready DS80 home to give him rides on the tank around the backyard as a reward/motivation for progress. Wife freaked out, I can tell when I push it too far. Now a few weeks ago I brought some weird French moped home that I snagged for $300. I was giving him rides up and down the block and somehow my wife was less upset by this (the moped's 49cc engine was very well muffled and it looked less "scary" maybe). We've been getting heavy into bicycling and he's recently graduated up to a 14" Strider with a pedal kit that he can balance and pedal for up to 100-150ft at a time tho starting and stopping still needs work. I've been telling him if he figures a pedal bike out that I'll buy him a dirtbike (likely a fixxer upper PW50).

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I got a certain amount of " You let your children ride MOTORCYCLES??!? - they could be KILLED!!"

Well....yeah but hovering over them and smothering them in bubble wrap is toxic. Let them have enough room to learn to make good decisions. Fall down, go boom on a mini-bike and it hurts but the consequences of not being aware are a lot more serious when you get a drivers license.

Part of the deal was that he had to work on his own bike. I "helped" a lot at first but he got to be a real "wrench". If your bike quits 50 miles out from the van, the fun is pretty much over.

And the time spent with your kids in the van towing the bikes, cooking hotdogs around the fire at night, camping out under the stars - priceless.

How lucky am I?!

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I've never read any Updike. However, a well-regarded novel titled "Couples" set off red-alert klaxons in my head and after reading the Wikipedia synopsis, I realized was right to be wary.

If that book's typical of the man's work, I'll go to my grave happily ignorant of his output.

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Aug 17, 2023·edited Aug 17, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

Just got back from taking a ride on Woodward myself. First I took the little red Boxster so I could get a driving video before it goes on BAT. I'm doing everything the auction specialist tells me to do.

Then I took the new Boxster on Woodward so I could flex my fake burbles and pops. I was behind a dude in a black 991 Turbo S (;the S in tasteful yellow) talking to a dude in a blue Vette. They took off slowly which is the thing to do since every LEI in Oakland County is on Woodward. You can drive 100mph on Telegraph this week.

Cars are dumb expensive, that's why you need to do well in school or get lucky with your genes. I don't care about interest rates very much but used to like to get the VW Credit year end 0.9 percent loans when we had a houseful of GTIs. Now it looks like cash is the way to go.

On one hand the situation sucks, on the other, cars are so much better that it's no problem or shame buying used. Hell, I bought the latest Porsche used, albeit with 500 miles and a 5 year CPO warranty. Still, I think I saved about $13,000 over ordering new.

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Aug 17, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

Yep, I did a spur of the moment Woodward cruise tonight also, nice temperatures out there. I don't have anything to impress the jaded crowd and just like to check out the scene once every few years. Friday and Saturday are too crazy there for me, besides I am heading back North in the morning.

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Aug 17, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

I kinda group the car things into ‘black tie’ - Pebble crowd, and ‘zany tie’ - Sadwood. Both seem equally cosplay. That being said, I’ve never been to either but am genuinely curious if it’s worth it to see the cars if you can get past the people. I’m annoyed enough at the grocery store let alone being surrounded by people being purposely obnoxious. Still it seems the only way to put eyes on some things you don’t see at all the usual cookie cutter, stick on chrome, homemade show board and creepy stuffed animal cruise nights.

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Aug 17, 2023·edited Aug 17, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

Woodward is no tie: 90% T-shirt 10% polo, 100% keeping it real. It's more like big block party in the city that brought you big blocks and small blocks and everything in between.

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Woodward is a riot. Will be making my pilgrimage up tomorrow. It’d be neat to see the concourse stuff though from an art and appreciation standpoint.

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Aug 17, 2023·edited Aug 17, 2023

Maybe Pebble is straw hat, Blue Blazer and kakis.

My dream is Musk F.U. money, buy some 1 of 1 iconic cars, rent some property nearby and torch them.

Edit, I forgot to add, musical guest Oliver Anthony. Big problem though, having Musk F.U. money means the Rich Men North of Richmond are probably on my payroll.

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Why on earth would you want to destroy fine, nearly priceless automobiles?

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Because they have turned into Cosplay props of the rich.

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Why would you deprive someone of being able to see a Duesenberg or Hispano-Suiza? So what if some rich dude wants to play pretend, other people can still enjoy seeing old iron out on display in person.

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I didn’t even like when the fake Ferrari was trashed in Ferris Bueller and don’t get me started on guitar smashers

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founding

I’ve found myself arguing both sides of the debate over the continued flying of historical aircraft. Should people be able to fly irreplaceable aircraft like Mustangs or B-17s?

My view has been that property rights are determinative. As long as one isn’t endangering anyone else, one has the absolute right to use his property as desired.

( I do think that ejection seats in civilian-operated ex-military aircraft should be completely banned. The spectacle of that douchebag ejecting from the Mig-23 at an air show last weekend was disgusting. He’s lucky he didn’t kill dozens of people.)

Therefore, if someone were to buy an original Ferrari GTO and take an angle grinder to it at Pebble Beach, it might provide a useful lesson in the transience of material things to a bunch of people who badly need such a lesson. Plus it would be comedy gold.

Many of those folks are of the type that destroy whole communities by offshoring production.

Why should people be denied the opportunity to see an operating textile factory in North Carolina or a shoe factory in Maine. Either would be much more valuable than a 90 year old Duesenberg.

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I'm in favour of flying those old warbirds. I was part of a restoration team for a Lancaster bomber so I have some first hand experience with their construction. I might be wrong here, but even if you did manage to crumple one, it can still be rebuilt. Wildly expensive and time consuming, but it could be done.

I still don't see the point of wrecking cars. If one can purchase a 30 million dollar automobile, then blowing it up probably won't faze them all that much, considering how much money and how many other cars they likely have. Not saying they wouldn't hate it, but it's not like you ruined their only mode of transportation. Ruin their investment, sure, but that's not going to put them in the poor house.

A destroyed 250 GTO wont bring back jobs, either.

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If there is any justice in this life, once we get the next Civil War out of the way, we'll set up a special Marshal unit charged with hunting down those who offshored America's economy and returning them for trial & sentencing.

The punishment won't be prison or death, but life as a common Nobody.

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Let's say I built cars for a living. I mean proper monsters, scary things that demanded skill, but rewarded it.

I can tell you that I would want each of my vehicles to live a warrior's life - used hard and dying young.

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Careful, the rich would call it art. Maybe you can convince them to do it too, then nobody can have exotic cars. Real communism!

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why is that your business? jeepers! the more the merrier as long as i'm not buying!

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I’m with ‘ya. Couldn’t bring myself to wreck anything that has survived long past its time

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Look up WhistlinDiesel on Youtube, he's already fulfilling your dream and has made what appears to be a mint doing it.

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Aug 17, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

I think Monterey/Pebble Beach is a bit like the Kentucky Derby - dressing sharp and acting right is part of the cosplay, which makes it all pleasant. I used to attend classic car shows with my father and grandfather who brought his Packards/Lincolns/Mercurys when he was still alive. I was a child then but I recall boomers talking loudly about rated horsepower numbers and who was faster than what.

Naturally, their muscle cars were spotless and never driven in anger.

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goodwood revival is FANTASTIC! everybody-cosplay!!!

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No road race series at all this last weekend, I think, with WSBK on break, MotoGP and MotoAmerica SBK this weekend.

What's everyone think of a used shaft drive Shadow as first bike for wife? She finds them fine to look at and they're cheap/low power but enough for freeway around here (75+).

Silent, you say, she's five weeks out from childbirth. Yes, and last time we were getting to this point she was surprise pregnant again! Might as well get the bike for practice?

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author

The 750ACE doesnt break and is completely unloved by the market. Best $2500 bike out there.

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Aug 17, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

Totally agree, bulletproof, not bad looking, has some aftermarket.

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If she is in this frame of mind five weeks out then you did well for yourself!

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She was disappointed that plans were scrapped/I am apt to let my mind run/I want her to have fun she's wanted to do this for years.

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We’ll be supportive and get her back into shape to ride. She still can.

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Seems like Monterey went into the pooper when the manufacturers and their marketers got involved. Road tripped down from Seattle in 92 & 94 when I was just out of college. It was a fun weekend both times. Road tripped down in 2011 with my son and it was a poserville boomerfest with way too many people. Haven’t been back since and probably will never go again.

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Aug 17, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

As "money [continues to] ruin sport," the only good events will be unofficial and unsponsored.

As unsponsored events get rarer, expect Cars and Coffee to be Sponsored by Hagerty

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Aug 17, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

That was something that creeped me out when I heard of Hagerty's Vision for Making the Car Community Sustainable, even though I was pro-Hagerty at the time and slightly before their IPO. I don't think that Wall Street is the way to have authentic community.

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author

During my time with the firm they walked the "save driving" thing back pretty hard in favor of pushing us to promote EVs.

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Aug 17, 2023·edited Aug 17, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

Is there any outlet left in the industry that hasn't become an absolutely shameless EV whore?

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author

Andrew English in his writing for The Telegraph and The Intercooler comes to mind.

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Aug 17, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

The Ford CEO reportedly got a "reality check" while supposedly trekking cross country in a Lightning.

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Saw that and read it.

I am unaware if Jim Farley will be racing this year at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, as he has in the past, but I think he does an utter disservice to FoMoCo shareholders by devoting mental bandwidth to such vanity pursuits - to say nothing of spending his time traveling cross county via Lightning - in light of the stock’s recent performance; and be in no doubt, it is vanity, as evidenced by all the breathless coverage about him “racing” at the event in the past. Same goes for Carlos Tavares.

While he may be present on the august Peninsula this, um, August, I don’t believe that Benedetto Vigna will be publicly promoting himself so vigorously. Benny is probably too busy running Ferrari, a company that is worth ~25% MORE than Ford despite the fact that Ferrari delivered ~13,000 cars last year and the Blue Oval delivered north of 4,000,000.

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Really will Google but do you have a link? That is worth the read!

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I can’t even read motorcycle media anymore it’s so full of EV nonsense

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Matt Farrah, for what it’s worth, is pretty vocal about EVs really only making sense for certain people in certain places at certain times.

Which is fair! If you live in a city AND have the ability to charge at home, an EV makes a lot of sense.

If you aren’t one of those people, you’re gonna have a bad time.

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He’s also fine with the fact that there won’t be many/any ICE sports cars to buy anymore for the common man, rightly assuming that he’ll always be able to get a GT program Porsche or old exotic. If the average dude can’t buy a gas Mustang or BRZ or Miata or Civic Si or whatever, well, fuck ‘em.

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Aug 17, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

Who is behind this push to promote EVs in so-called "enthusiast" publications? Even Grassroots Motorsports is EV meatriding these days.

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author

It's a combination of things. The manufacturers are desperate to gin up some enthusiast for their government-mandated showroom paperweights. The average young autowriter is hard Left and doesn't much like traditional cars, so this gives them a chance to stunt on the normies. And even the more ethical or enthusiastic writers out there don't want to get a reputation for being anti-EV, because that means they'll shortly be out of work.

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That's truly sad. If someone had told me in 2003 that in twenty years, I would not subscribe to any print car magazines, I'd have laughed at them. But here I am.

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Why is the average young autowriter hard left? Making 40-50k a year to write about things you hate? They'd be better off working at McDonalds. For the free shit? The free shit ain't that good! I get "taking the ticket" it's hard to turn down real money but I'm not selling my soul for 50k and a week at a five start resort in the Poconos.

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Aug 17, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

I imagine for lefties can be same as young men nearly killing themselves trying out for spec ops for an $8 uniform insignia, maybe a colored beret, and a fre hundred dollars extra a month in danger pay

And lifetime “bragging rights”

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author

They're almost universally lazy pieces of shit who couldnt get a job writing about social justice for a normal outlet

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author

The perks are nice.

What would you have to pay for the following (which dozens if not hundreds of automotive content creators will be enjoying this week)?:

-Free first class travel to Los Angeles (if needed)

-Press car from premium / sporting OEM (could be a G Wagen, could be a McLaren; it will invariably be expensive, however) for 5 days or so

-Group drive from LA to Monterey Peninsula, with lavish food pit stops along the way

-Lodging on Monterey Peninsula; bare minimum $1,000 / night, if not multiples of that;

-Implicit opportunity to invite a companion who would be impressed by your cool job perks

-Free invitation to virtually every party, secure in the knowledge that there will be other people like you there that you can talk to (while making fun of the rich people in attendance); this includes the Quail and the Historics and the Concours itself

-A travel agent handles all of this for you, and you never have to open your wallet; moreover if anything happens - flat tire, speeding ticket, etc. - it will not be your fault, and the OEM will do everything they can to fix it

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I would say it's because the average young person leans left to various degrees.

Most people are conflict-avoidant, and the mainstream media does a good job making conservatives feel isolated and out-of-touch. So young people, lacking perspective and experience, go along to get along.

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they're pretty far left in all things...surprising to me but there's so much i don't know

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Aug 18, 2023·edited Aug 18, 2023

"Meatriding". I like it. It's got a nice ring to it. It's to be expected of GRM after them crying poor mouth and then slapping themselves on the backs telling the readers they donated to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

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Jack, your thoughts please. Somebody opined that the US hasn’t been this weak & dysfunctional as a nation since helicopters were taking off from roofs in Saigon. Cars in the late 70’s were atrocious crap cans. Cars now are mostly reliable and safe but stoopid expensive & trending towards non-ownership (e.g, Tesla’s pay-extra-for-features & captive repair strategies). There’s a world of things for grumpy Boomers to complain about. Are new--and near future--cars one of them?

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Aug 17, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

Not to mention easily pissed-off middle-aged men!

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Aug 17, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

From inside the industry, as someone whos studied it from beginning to current, there are many very close parallels. Cept this time we don't have an Iaccoca or Lutz.

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author

We were BETTER OFF in 1975.

The country wasn't engaged in a 24/7 purity spiral of race-baiting. Housing was affordable most places in the country. You could get a job in manufacturing, or you could go to college for $2k a semester and know you'd get a job as a result. We were short 100 million people who don't agree with core American ideals.

I'd drive a Pinto and race a Formula Vee if the country could revert to 1975.

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Is a Formula Vee really that bad?

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author

Not bad, just slow, especially on 1975 tires.

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Aug 18, 2023·edited Aug 18, 2023

I watched a National Championship. It's all momentum and you kind of have to be perfect all lap every lap. Also, the commentators said that it's a small group of guys who have been doing it forever.

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Aug 17, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

Now there's a What If column for you: JB writing code in 1975 and explaining it to management.

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Aug 18, 2023·edited Aug 18, 2023

Critical Program Reading (1975) - 16mm Film

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hdJQkn8rtA

"It's a shame that our language can't read our indentation."

Now we have Python.

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California was a desirable place to live, there was freedom of speech and you could get a second-gen Charger for two grand.

Hell, even HIPPIES waved American flags back then.

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Aug 17, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

That's a big part of "muh malaise era" that many people seem to miss. Yeah new cars dropped compression ratios gained smog pumps etc, but used "golden era" muscle was thick on the ground for relatively low prices. Or if you didn't want something sporty, you had your pick of pre-emissions stuff like a stone ax reliable slant six dart or any other flavor of normal 60s V8 sedan etc. Just had to keep the rust at bay.

Same thing now. Time to hunker down with a (whatever floats your boat), and take care of it. Maybe scoop up some sort of beater Camry to keep the miles off your nice car.

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Aug 17, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

Good observation. Cars have been fairly reliable for four decades so there are a lot of different old cars to hunker down with - just have to get past the rust in some regions.

I think electric cars should be settled in another 10 to 20 years. Either the manufacturers will innovate to solve for range or recharge issues or people will adopt them for use around town while keeping a gas powered vehicle around for those times they need to head out of state.

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Hopefully we will be allowed by our betters to still own an ICE vehicle or afford to put e-fuel in it.

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I imagine it will work the way trucks work today. People will pool their resources and mom and dad or your brother in law will keep a gas powered car around that people share when they need it.

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It's not like the gas got much worse, so the performance minded fellow could swap heads, cams, and pistons in their 302 mustang and get late 60s (or better!) performance.

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Very true. The new-car buying "normies" may have been screwed but to someone used to working on their own stuff, I think they made it through this notorious era just fine. The problem this time of course is that the cars are so radically more complex than they were, and there are certain political factions attacking the very notion of ICE.

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Ignoring the John Kerry-esque climate wackos--or is Greta the one really in charge?--it’s the complexity that’s the killer. Dozens of daisy-chained computers that require a special tool to read. Proprietary electronic parts that, if you can find them, will cost more than it’s worth to fix the car. Makes a 20-year-old Camry or Accord seem like the ultimate transportation tool. Thomas may be correct; an old truck will last, literally, as long as you’re willing to put up with it.

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Aug 17, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

Agree 100%. Pintos aren't that bad to drive, and you could see cars like this at Mid-Ohio:

https://rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/mo13/monterey/lots/r167-1976-chevrolet-corvette-widebody-imsa-spirit-of-le-mans/293845

And your average 1975 Democrat was a blue-collar pro-American patriot - he just didn't trust Big Business or The Man. Jimmy Carter is a straight, white, male, church-going Navy veteran. They nominated him for President in 1976. He couldn't get nominated to the Atlanta City Council by today's Democratic Party. I'm a crazy right-wing ideologue today, but I probably would have voted for Carter over Gerald Ford in 1976.

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I voted for him in 76. I was nineteen and couldn’t stomach the stench from Nixon/Agnew. I did vote for Reagan in 80 though. I’d graduated from undergrad in 79 and the economy was shit.

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Aug 18, 2023·edited Aug 18, 2023

https://bentley.umich.edu/legacy-support/tuitionfiles/1975_fees.pdf

Upperclassmen paid $480/semester in state, $1484/semester out of state.

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For the first time in my life, i have a “car payment” at 7%. I should probably just write the 40k check i owe at this point but I’m milking it over 6-7 months for cash flow reasons. I don’t know how people do this every 3-5 years. My car payment is literally more than my mortgage not counting property taxes.

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Aug 17, 2023·edited Aug 17, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

I'm about a month away from signing a 7% mortgage, and am also looking at buying another vehicle this fall. I'm on the fence about just cutting a check for the car, or dumping the money on the mortgage, as it's basically a wash. Probably going with the former, so at least it'll be one less line of credit and an opportunity to piss off the dealer F&I guy.

And the money's coming out of CDs that I was so excited to be earning 5% on when I bought them.

Two years ago, I could have financed either for half as much. But, hey, "Bidenomics is working."

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Aug 17, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

So glad I re-fied when I did. My rate was already pretty good so I was on the fence about it but I figured why not shorten up the term and get the better rate.

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Im stuck in a 1350 sq ft house at 2.5%. I could theoretically afford more but house prices are as stupid as car prices.

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Not stuck, you are ensconced!

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I promised my wife a five year plan. Im a simple man. The space is fine, the lack of two bathrooms with three daughters will be an issue

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My neighbor in DuPage County had your sized house, also with 1 bathroom and 3 daughters. He said it was like living in a submarine. He and I eventually both sold our small houses for the land value and both houses were knocked down to build mansions with $30k per year Illinois property taxes.

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I raised three kids in a home with one full bathroom. Despite what they would like to tell you now, they didn’t actually die.

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Aug 17, 2023·edited Aug 17, 2023

If the term is long, you're golden. I'm currently st 2.9% but only for another 2 years. We could never get long term low rate mortgages where I live.

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20+ years left. I’ll probably end up renting it out at some point. I dont want to be a landlord but i also dont want some other rich asshole tearing down a perfectly good house.

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I made the mistake of going all in on paying off my low fixed rate mortgage started doing double and triple payments in 2019. Finished paying it off in 2021 right as rates started going up. Thought was I could pay off all the house debt and _then_ buy the dream car. In the meantime the pandemic hit, the dream car went up in price by $20k, and I paid off a mortgage that was at a much lower rate than my savings account now pays. Got things backwards.

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I mentioned this elsewhere but before I re-fied I asked my super high-end accountant buddy if I should just pay it off and he said "why the f would you pay it off?!?"

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Am i your accountant?

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This is driving me crazy. Since I started working in my 20s I've been single-mindedly focused on achieving a debt-free status as soon as possible in life. We have a very reasonable fixed rate mortgage on our "forever" home that we bought in the summer of 2020 and my wife and I are sitting on a bunch of cash trying to figure out what to do. Even though it's not "smart" part of me still wants to pay the house off.

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I always advise people to invest in precious metals like copper and lead.

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founding

I’m in the pay it off camp. The monthly interest you are now paying becomes cash flow. Save it or invest it and you will be fine. I’m doing that now, building my cash to payoff the mortgage mostly so I owe no one anything and then, God willing, continue saving the interest I am not paying.

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How good is your interest rate? I re-fied from a 15 year back to a 30 year at 2.5%. My payment dropped 1k or something. I auto-invest the 1k into a Vanguard index fund every month. in 30 years, I should end up 100-150k ahead. I did the math at some point and actually left a comment here with more details on exactly how it works out. I'd leave 5-10k on the table over 30 years for "Peace of mind of paying it off early" but leaving a quarter million on the table seems foolish. When I was at 3.5%, I was paying down early. In todays market, my rate would have to be 4.5% minimum before I'd consider paying off early.

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At the least the mortgage interest might be able to be used against taxes.

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"A Bataan Death March of profoundly uncool rich people trying to be Steve McQueen while fending off a zombie horde of camp-followers who want to separate them from their money." I didn't think that sentence could be topped until I read, "The only way to pull it off is to be Rodney Dangerfield in “Caddyshack” or Elon Musk carrying a kitchen sink into Twitter."

Anyway, no F1 but there WAS an IndyCar race last weekend. My thoughts:

https://bimmerfan739.substack.com/p/whats-wrong-with-autoweek

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Aug 17, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

"I hear this place is restricted, Wang, So don't tell 'em you're Jewish, okay?"

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Referring to the Judge’s nephew: “Bright boy, bright boy!” (Aside to the audience: “Now I know why tigers eat their young, ya know?!”) 😂😂

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"What's a widget?"

Another classic movie.

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Aug 17, 2023·edited Aug 17, 2023

From your link.

"Apart from local NASCAR events, CART Indy car debuted nationally-televised racing at NHIS and my buddies and I were there opening day in 1992. When NASCAR Cup arrived in 1993 I was flabbergasted at how slow and plodding the taxicabs seemed trackside compared to the CART rocketships! "

I was there for whatever event the Saturday NASCAR guys were called then, when the place first opened up under BB. I believe that may have been the 1st event. Earnhardt was there. The biggest cluster fuck in my life and never went back.

My dad and I parked in the North 40 behind the track. Race ends. Everyone goes to their cars. No one is moving. The Sponge Bob "A few hours later" meme is now playing. It's dark. The teams have left. Still not moving. They turn the track lights off. It's now midnight. Still not moving. No authorities, no portapottys, no lights, no nothing. I live in Western Mass. We finally make it to the road. They send us north. WTF??

There's no cell phones back then. My mom probably thought we were dead. About 4 AM in some fast food parking lot there's a pay phone. The line to use it was about 30 people deep. After waiting an hour, I call mom, "WHERE ARE YOU???" Mom, I have no idea where we are. I have no idea where we are going. Right now, I'm going to take any road with paint down the middle that a W in the route sign. The conversations of the people using the phone before me wasn't much different.

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That's horrible!

We found a back way the first year we attended the Cup race. A friend suffered a nose bleed and was taken to the hospital by ambulance over back roads and was returned to the track the same way in time for the start of the race. He remembered the route and we used it in future years. A property owner rented parking spaces a short walk down the hill to the track.

We never had traffic problems from that time on, coming or going!

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And the ambulance ride and emergency room didn't cost Tim a penny. Always witty, he remarked, "And Hillary wants to mess with my healthcare!" That should date the incident!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clinton_health_care_plan_of_1993

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Every time I watch "The Empire Strikes Back" and they show the Star Destroyer fleet, complete with the Imperial March, I can't help myself.

"Hey look, it's Hillary's Health Care Task Force."

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@Jack please check your spam folder; you should have 2 messages from me today.

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Aug 17, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

Will prices fall? I hope so! My wife’s Ram Tradesman Crew Short with a VERY short list of options, stickered at $52k!

THANK GOD I’m on the company car gravy train. I pay a shade over 1% for the lease.

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I saw a Raptor with a $50k "market adjustment" at the dealer while perusing a local dealer. I took a picture of that one. The non Raptor/Bronco inventory seemed reasonable if not pre-covid.

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I have to imagine that was a Raptor R? I've seen like two, ever, and one had a $50k ADM. The other was already sold.

Most regular Raptors can be found around sticker price.

Actually, most Broncos can now too. The exceptions are gonna be Braptors (tend to trade for around $10k over at this point or thereabouts) and the soon-to-be-back Everglades trim.

Almost all "normal" inventory can be ound around sticker these days, and if you look for a car no one gives a shit about (all non-Wrangler Jeeps, any Alfa Romeo, Rams, many Chevys and Buicks), you can usually get them below sticker again.

The problem here is that "sticker" is SO MUCH MORE than it used to be after OEMs decided that they wanted some of that sweet cash dealer's were raking in with ADMs. Take a Bronco, for example. 2021 "Base" trim stickered for like $31k. For 2024, you'll be paying something like $41k for the absolute cheapest one orderable. My own 2023 Bronco was $43,850. Closest you can get to it in the 2024 order books will be over $50k. It's absolutely batshit. Further, they dropped a lot of options to simplify the production lines because they are unequivocally bad a making cars. You cannot even get the very nice cloth any longer, being stuck instead with sticky-legged vinyl or the slightly nicer vinyl that Ford wants us to believe is leather.

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Just checked the pic and you are correct, it was an R, whatever that is. I don't know from Raptors. $112k is what an R is I guess, and a $50k adjustment on top.

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Raptor R is a Raptor but with, essentially, the bannas supercharged V8 from a GT500. Super gnarly trucks that exist for genuienly no other reason than Ford will make a shit load of money off of each one, AND to keep up with the Joneses (in this case, Ram TRX).

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To say I’ve been disappointed in Ford lately is an understatement. When the Braptor was announced at 70k, I winced but it still felt marginally obtainable.

After attending the auto show in March, I saw one there and looked at the price online again now at 78k.

I looked a few weeks ago and was delighted to see the price at 86k.

Ford can go fellate themselves.

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Aug 17, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

THIS! That’s fifty grand for a plain vanilla truck--at the low end of range. Prices that high and 60, 72--and beyond(!)--month financing are just cra-cra. Is there even a mean to revert to anymore?

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Summer of 2020 I was thinking hard about a new Ram Tradesman crew cab Hemi 4WD, they were selling for $28-29k in some parts of the upper midwest, though when I inquired about them I was told by several different dealers that the incentives were tied to the buyers registered address(?) so I couldn't just drive out from Indiana and score a cheap Ram in MN. But even locally you could find them in the mid 30k range all day long.

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To be fair we optioned it up a bit. We got running boards, LSD, bed utility group (bed lighting, securement rails, deployable bed step, spray-in bedliner), tri-fold tonneau cover, trailer brake controller, and cloth seats. It's creeping up on a no-option Big Horn, but still missing some key content like CarPlay/Android Auto, remote start, etc.

It's still a nuts sticker price.

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founding

The LSD is included in the Haight-Ashbury package.

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This sounds like a drug reference, but I'm young and clean so it's gone over my head.

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founding

It was a typo I’m sure, but you said in your post that you added LSD to the option list in your wife’s truck. There’s a reason I’m writing here and not for a network comedy.

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Limited Slip Differential, not Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.

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founding

Sorry, thought you meant LED lights. Mea culpa!

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The spec I fell in love with was the Off-road package on a basic Hemi Tradesman that got the LSD and 3.92 gears and some skid plates. Just a nice basic functional truck that drives like a million bucks (IMO). THe Hemi+8spd is just a fantastically smooth and satisfying powertrain especially with those shorter gears. I had also test driven a 2.7EB F150 and while in terms of pure numbers (acceleration, mpg, etc) it might be great but just left me totally cold as far as the drive went. Sounds like a vacuum cleaner.

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Aug 17, 2023·edited Aug 17, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

I've decided that the only time I'll be able to make it to Monterrey will be when I retire in 8-10 years (hopefully). I'm hopeful there's something left for me to see at that point.

And since I'm likely the only desert racing/off-road kinda guy on this channel, I will say that I'm happy and proud that two of my buddies are displaying their cool vintage off-road racers there this year - a vintage Mickey Thompson race buggy and an ex-Roger Mears Jeep Honcho.

I did get a chance to go to Woodward (briefly) 4 years ago and was a little underwhelmed. I probably needed to stay longer and visit more areas though.

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Aug 17, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

I watch Matt's Offroad Recovery on YouTube with my kids like it was cable TV. Does that count?

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Aug 17, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

Ha! Sounds good to me! They give a good slice of life in the southwest to folks that aren't in this area and might not know/understand our terrain.

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They should have made better use of Lizzy while she was there.

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I grew up in the dirt down in so cal thinking Robby Gordon was a hero. Second car was a 92 Toyota prerunner. You’re not alone ;)

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My son & I raced Dist. 37, California City, the GP in Adelanto, etc. Ran some Best In The Desert races with Casey, Crewed for my cousins buggy in Johnson Valley events.

Love the Desert.

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Fantastic!

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I hope used car prices continue to fall. I still need to replace that ford flex. The subaru forester I 'got back' is making some funny noises (the guy who put the engine back in screwed up something) and I really don't have the time to get in there and figure out what it is. So sooner or later it'll go tits up and I won't have a car that can tow the trailer to pick stuff up or go to the dumps.

I definitely do NOT want to take out a loan to buy a car right now.

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You want a high mileage but (very) well sorted 06 Suburban 4WD?

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That might be more than I need, to be honest. How does it do on gas mileage?

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Mpg=lol

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I live in Texas. It's a minimum half hour to get anywhere. And that's at 75-80 mph.

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I just got back from a 1400 mile road trip down to the Outer Banks and back and averaged 18.4 mpg with liberal AC use and some local and beach driving, but that's with keeping speeds closer to the 70mph speed limit on the highway. Run it around 75 and it drops down to 16-17ish. The way I look at it, yeah its a good 5mpg off of the newer AFM trucks, but on the flip side no one's had to replace a cam or lifters in this thing's 311k miles on the original engine and I don't have a big dumb plastic lower airdam dragging on everything.

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Send me the details (engine size, etc), a pic, where it's at and what you're thinking of selling it for and I'll think about it. Down here the speed limits are 75 - 80. But 16 ain't all that bad. Regular gas?

vanstry at the old gmail will reach me.

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err, delete 'old' was a slip of the tongue (writing a character right now, so I pick up things while in the heat of dialogue).

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Sent you an email

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Aug 17, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

We got 2.9% from Honda motor credit for five years on the wife’s new Passport. We paid full sticker, but no extra markup. They also gave us 14 grand for our 100k mile CRV.

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I couldve got the telluride at 5.5%. I should’ve taken it. Wasn’t expecting to buy another car a few months later.

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I should've added, we only had to wait about two weeks for the one we wanted to arrive from Alabama. Lots of Pilots, Odyssey's and CRVs in stock, only one or two Accords.

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author

I'd be interested to know what the build mix is at Marysville now. At some point they'll need to rebuild it from scratch for truck width vehicles like the Pilot.

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I wonder if the “Accords” are actually selling.

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I see more and more of the new ones every day around here. Few of them are Hybrids, mostly LX and EX trims.

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founding

Now that you mention it, the once ubiquitous Accord seems to have fallen from favor in SE Pennsylvania. I’ll keep an eye out, but I’ve noticed a lack of them in these parts.

Lots of CRVs and Civics. Pilots are fairly common, even the mighty Odyssey looks to have fallen victim to the mighty Suburban.

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Aug 19, 2023·edited Aug 19, 2023

The Odyssey is the unofficial minivan of my Northwestern Ohio town! And there are new Accords around, but I seem to remember them being thicker on the ground a couple months after the 10th-Generation came out in 2017, despite the weather turning cold and snowy.

I’ve also noted that the 2.0T models were pretty well represented around the Toledo area. I wonder how many of those owners will look elsewhere next time. I wouldn’t mind a hybrid powertrain if it gave the equivalent shove that the predecessor car did, which this one doesn’t! I was clutching my pearls so hard that they should have been diamonds about losing the V6, but every review was positive enough that when I was ready to trade, I took a 2018 Touring 2.0T for a few hours, including a simulated work commute into downtown Toledo, and placed a dealer order for my current 2019 in my Gravatar when I arrived back to the dealer in Bowling Green. This next time I’ll probably go for the Passport once it migrates to the new Pilot underpinnings.

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I don't notice many in MA anymore. Mostly CRVs, some Pilots.

I wouldn't mind trying a 9th gen v6 6-speed coupe, but they are impossible to find. CarGurus can only scrape up 10 nationwide, and it's a mix of overpriced, questionable mods, or both.

I would guess it's because the civic is now big enough to make an accord unnecessary for most, but I don't notice many civics either. It's too bad.

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