Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Unfortunate brands

... as seen in the Craigslist "Cars for Sale" section:

Alpha Romero
Carmen Ghia
Karma Ghia
Coupe Devil

Manuel Transmission

Head Casket

Labels: ,

Friday, November 13, 2009

More midlife behavior

So, I got an email from my friend Marc the other day. We've known each other since grad school, and in 2000 he bought my 1992 Honda Prelude with 69K miles -- The very first new car that I bought out of college, with a 48-month loan from the credit union.

Turns out he had just bought a new car -- a very sensible Acura TL -- and because his lovely wife Yuriko doesn't drive a stick-shift, can't really keep it around. Would I like to buy it back?

How many miles has she got now? 175K.

Has the service been kept up? Yes. With a big stack of receipts. Here's a spreadsheet summary. And I still have all the papers you gave me with the car.

What kind of shape is it in? Body is meh, with some rust and fading clearcoat in the paint. Mechanically it's sharp, the electrics work, and it's still a fun drive.

How much do you want for it? About half what you paid for your cheapest car to date.

... I'll take it! (And agree that if I turned around and resold the car, we'd split the profit. Or something.)

I brought the car home yesterday, generally tickled with the very familiar driving experience. The sunroof panel is rusted like I never thought a modern Japanese car can rust, and the body's got plenty of dings and dents (I'm looking at you, Helen "SUV Magnet" Kilber), but just the experience of going through old documents -- the original loan agreements, Clifford car alarm receipts from Whole Earth Access -- was worth the price of admission. The car also happens to be the ride for my first date with Lucy, although I'd rather not revisit the fact that it got keyed while parked outside the restaurant.

If baby boomers paying big dollars for their college rides is any indication, this just may turn out to be cheap insurance. At the least, it's interesting as a stock 1990s Honda that escaped the ricer treatment.

And would you just look at this dashboard? You can just *taste* the Japanese Bubble Economy!

Sunroof panels for 4th generation Preludes were apparently made from Soviet-grade steel:


Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Confessions of an overcompensating Gen Xer

Big thanks to Tamerlane's Thoughts (darned fine source for your daily recommended allowance of cars and geopolitics) for letting me explain my interests. I hope their readers receive it with more nods than shakes.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

For sale: 2007 Mazdaspeed 3

Sometimes I've been known to actually *sell* cars. Especially if they're not mine. (And thus, not affecting the car count.)

It's a 2007 Mazdaspeed 3: An extraordinarily fun bundle of joy, and it's also a darned practical 5-door hatch. Definitely on my short list for The Only Car You'll Ever Need. If I had more space, I'd definitely be doing some splainin' to Lucy right about now.

Previously owned by these internet titans. Such provenance! Definitely a better deal than Sergey's old Prius that turned up on eBay.

Asking $16.5K. Craigslist ad here. Mention this post for special discounts and lease financing terms. :-)

For Sale: 2007 Mazdaspeed 3


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Super Isabella, meet Giulia Super

I wish the DMV would offer registration discounts for interesting cars.


Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Life, Liberty, and...

On this glorious and beautiful Election Day, I enjoyed certain unalienable rights by adding this:

Yeah, OK, this ain't pursuing happiness, I'm pursuing crazy.


Friday, October 03, 2008

D-Motor vs Top Gear

Please BBC don't take this video down...

D-Motor vs Top Gear

Labels: ,

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Is that a flux capacitor you're holding?

Them DeLorean people sure do have interesting tastes. (Nothing NSFW in this eBay auction, really. Just a bit nutty on many levels.)

Labels: ,

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

E28 M5 meets peak oil

Not too shabby on longer trips!


Saturday, August 16, 2008

Hello from Laguna Seca

(from, where I apparently spend way too much time lurking.)

Labels: ,

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Concorso Italiano? Here?

The new venue is a serious downgrade from the previous golf course.


Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Fine gift for mom: Free admission!

... at 24 Hours of LeMons this weekend, Altamont Speedway. Who wants to come watch?


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

C'est Magnifique!

Dear Product Planner at Matchbox Division of Mattel, Inc: I salute you.

(It's a 1968 Citroen DS)


Friday, April 11, 2008

Pickin'-N-Pullin' in Newark

Smells like... victory!


Friday, April 04, 2008

Impromptu Vintage Rally!

The E-Type is intercepted by one of Zuffenhausen's finest, sounding brilliant in the Bay Bridge tunnel.


Friday, February 22, 2008

Taxpayer Rides, DUB Edition

I'm not sayin' that a broad-daylight carjacking in a decent neighborhood is any less shocking, or more justified.

But I do, um, understand it a bit better now. Check out dem wheels!

Labels: ,

Sunday, February 17, 2008

East Bay Embarassment on I-880

You've got to be f-ing kidding me.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

M5 going V1

Note to self: No fast cars for the kids. Maybe a Mercury Topaz instead.

Labels: ,

Saturday, January 12, 2008


Next time your folks visit SF, take them on this nicely mapped grand tour. Bonus points for hooning their Hyundai rental.

Labels: ,

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Sunday! Sunday! Sundaaay!!

Lucy and I headed on up to Sears Point (or Infineon. Monster. AT&T. Whatever.) Raceway for a darned fine morning at the Audi Driving Experience event. Tremendous amounts of fun all for free, and we were back in time to pick up the kid at school, wearing big grins.

The race instructors had us hustling the big A8 around like Ronin...

... and took us out for couple of laps behind the wheels of a new S5. Woo-hoo!

Lucy started to film my track laps, but stopped when she got nauseous. Clearly, the Audi Driving Experience is not so good as a passenger.

Labels: , ,

Thursday, October 25, 2007

We Don't Need Another Hero

Great highlights from the latest 24 Hours of LeMons. Very Mad Max.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Tesla Girls, Tesla Girls

The fine folks at Tesla Motors let me take a stab at a product review. I didn't say "badass" once!

In defense of Josh's honor, the Outback *was* making a very illegal pass going into a sketchy corner!

Labels: ,

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Representing Oakland

The 73.5 Porsche is going to be mixing it up with the Lamorinda crowd at the Orinda Car Show on September 8. Should be fun!

(Photos added)


Sunday, August 19, 2007

Is This Heaven?

It's Laguna Seca.

It's been said that around 60 of these Toyota 2000GTs reached the U.S. This sure looks like all of the surviving cars were here today!

Labels: ,

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Car Geeking in Monterey

Next year, we're replacing the Maclaren with a McLaren.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Elvis has left the building

The car has been sold, and this was the scene about an hour ago:
These moments are always a little bittersweet, but
the girl
*completely* overshot that and went DEFCON 1 when I told her the car was going away.

And here I quote: "I want the Porsche forever and ever!!! (Banshee wail) (Kicks legs)"


Labels: ,

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Kissinger for the Nobel Peace Prize!

Woo-hoo! Period-correct wheels!




Monday, June 18, 2007

Ita-sha meets Forza

The goofy ita-sha movement comes to Forza Motorsport 2 using an *insane* number of layers. The graphics worksmanship on these virtual cars, apparently being sold via player-player auctions, is just amazing.

Note to self: Buy Xbox 360 *and* a Wii.

Labels: ,

Sunday, June 17, 2007

$50 Paint Job

This is the best $50 I've ever seen spent on a car. Ever. Hella badass.

I just might have to try this on the 'vair...


Sunday, May 20, 2007

For Sale: Ultimate Family Car

(Edited 5/31: Here's the Craigslist ad)

For once, I'm selling a car instead of buying one. Contact me if interested.

For sale: 2002 Porsche Carrera 4 Convertible in Seal Gray. 2+2 seating, 4 wheel drive. Strap a child seat in the back, like we have it set up, and the whole family can rocket down to Music Together at 177 mph. In the rain. With the top down.

46K miles, no mechanical problems whatsoever (factory warranty to 45K miles), with all service records through the 2 previous owners. Extended warranty through 75K miles. 6-speed manual. Goodies include nav, parking sensor, 18" "turbo twist" wheels and remote convertible top operation -- this last feature will convince your kids that you bought a Transformer.

Air bags everywhere, EPA rated 24 MPG highway. Have the matching hardtop in storage.

KBB Private Party pricing pegs it at $52K in "good" condition. Yours for thousands below that!

Labels: ,

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

I am everyday people

Throughout the vacation we noticed ourselves as categorically the worst-dressed families in the residence. Most people in central Tokyo just don't loaf around in fleece, jeans, and sneakers.

On my friend Chris' advice I looked in the garage one day, and the sight there had me snapping some poorly focused cameraphone pictures. Hey, an SLR:

Great. Now our cars are fuddy-daddy too.

(Here's an supplemental link for all you non-car people.)

As a bonus, this exotic car dealership Bingo Sports was down the street from us; during our stay there they turned over a lot of wacky cars!

Labels: ,

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Good Old Days on the Nordschleife

I have a few cars from the early 70s. Remind me to take it easy on those curvy parts.

My favorite family scene at 3:21.

Labels: ,

Friday, October 06, 2006

The Perfect Car

As a new parent I'd maintained that the ideal automobile would be an all-wheel-drive, turbocharged, convertible minivan. Top Gear once tackled the last two attributes.

(16 hilarious minutes)


Monday, October 02, 2006

Cheap Italian

Oh those seemingly tempting Craigslist listings...


Tuesday, September 26, 2006

More cars?

Phew. I thought we were going to find a pink Caddy in our garage.

3-year-old buys convertible on eBay


Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Viva La France!

August morning in Paris. Be sure to hit the "Go" button at the 4-sec mark, and don't miss the ending.

Labels: ,