Dec 26, 2011

Soul searching

still editing,  but published as a work in progress for now:



"To find one's perfect sports car, one must first perfectly define one's self"  The Dalai Lama..
or was it Joe Isuzu?



Heading to Pennsylvania I enjoyed 1st class,  a rare treat. Trying to get used to free drinks took some work, but I was up to the task.  So I commenced getting drunk. 35 thousand feet above my real word, allowed me time to reflect upon life. As my drinks kept coming, the small issues began to fade; money, real state, work, the dog, family. The elevation offered refreshing freedom I hadn't enjoyed in while.  Freedom: to focus on the real important issues. Like when to have my turbo twist wheels straightened. Or even heavier issues, like whether to paint them black. It's nice to find the time for what really matters. 










After quiet reflecton upon my wheel issues I went deeper.  I fire up airplane mode on the iPhone 4S (it's not AWD, but I did read Steve Jobs had a 928 once). I began to jot down some serious existential shit. 


I'm a dreamer. That's stupid to even mention. You aren't a car guy if you aren't a dreamer. Two words for you: Barn finds. Enough said, moving on.

Barn find found at  http://aussieexotics.com.  I guess someone hid it away so nobody would see those stripes.

I'm a romantic. I dream of owning and driving cars that are impossible. Car's like a well bought (ie. cheap) Ferrari Dino GT4 or a Lamborghini Jalpa.   Repairs are financially impossible for such cars.  Certainly not cheap, and even if they were, parts are hard to find for such value exotics.   I still dream away because practical issues are irrelevent to true romantic. Perhaps I could just skip the repairs and maintenance and get a 328 GTS to decorate the living room? There's got to be a way. The vodka is helping.

An old Maserati Merak, could be found for say, $25K if condition was irrelevant..
  I figure, drive till it breaks and then have AAA tow it to the living room for display.
   Now, I'm just $25K short. 

I'm on a limited budget.  Operating in relative car guy poverty isn't easy. "Poor" might be an over statement;  it's complicated. I've got things that take priority over cars, like food and shelter.   For the record, I do resent them, but the wife doesn't like sleeping in the car as much as I do.. That said, no amount of discretionary cash would make me a sports car waster.  Waste, as in using a special machine on tasks beneath it. It's just bullshit how Porsche commercials show show a lady driving a GT2RS to get firewood, or a Boxster Speedster to pick up new plants at the garden store.  I'd never misuse a real Porsche for such tasks no matter how much disposable cash I had. Clearly that's a job for an Icon, Ford Raptor or Land Rover, if you can get it started.



I'd mention the Cayennes but there's really nothing funny to say about them.
Although my father would suggest a Unimog, I'm going to vote for a Mercedes G-Wagon.
No reason you can't be classy when  picking up 2x4s at Home Depot (short ones anyway).

I'm conservative, I guess. I don't "overdrive" my sports car by commuting, or fetching pizza.  It's not because I don't love driving it, or any sports car (duh?).  I've got just one sports car, and like that prized, last slice of pizza, I want to savor it. Using a a sports car for mundane tasks is disrespectful.. My Carrera  has lasted, till my purchase, in pristine condition because it was spared mundane use. Next thing  you know you'll be that pretentious guy using a car cover at the office parking garage. You aren't appreciating it, and now you're coworkers think you're an ass. Till my garage has two to three sports cars in it, I'll continue to save mine for more significant trips.  Trips to Starbucks are, of course, exempt.


I could think of better ways to spend $50 than on a Z but you get my point.
Photo unwittingly donated from. http://backfires.caranddriver.com/davis313



I'm into stock machines. I know, you think that makes me conservative, but you're wrong. I love the idea of modifying cars and making them better or faster, I just don't like what it costs related to what you get.  Modifications rarely pay any dividends. My last custom car cost me over $100K and sold for less than $40K.  I know about spending.  As a guy who now affords "one car at a time" I prefer to be mindful of resale value from day one.  Mods are just too risky.  A stock car has a documented list of parts to do any job.  If you are an athlete, rock star or Lotto winner, why the hell are you reading this blog?  Go hang out with away Leno or something.


This 1971 LT1 "Survivor" Corvette is about as original as they get right down to the tires
The catch is OEM parts can get pricier than aftermarket after a car gets too cool or old.
I'm a perfectionist. I'm not sure if having a perfect car would cure my perfectionism or not. It could just be that I love improving things.  I buy u$ed and invariably find some shortcomings in my cars, fix them, or worse, become depressed if I can't. My fantasies often trend toward overseeing a full restoration of an older simpler machine like a '65 fastback Mustang, a early Corvette or a 60's era Porsche.  The cost of such a restoration makes me wonder if a that new car idea might satisfy instead.  Some day I'll buy a new car, with no flaws and I can see if that helps.  Both are way too much money in my opinion anyway and you do get cup holders and a warranty with the latter.  More vodka?  Yes please.

Lets just say today, if I  bought a new, perfect car.  I'd consider a ZR1.
You think they have zero down, no payments for 90 days and 2% financing?
So clearly, my new found enlightment has been helpful. Nope,  I've really still have no idea.    The vodka must be wearing off.










Dec 21, 2011

Carbon is a slipery slope


I'm not a big fan of carbon fiber as interior trim. It is only used for looks, not weight savings in these settings and nobody knows when to stop.  Once they buy a shift knob, it seems reasonable to get the e-brake handle in carbon too.  Next comes the door handles, then the mirrors, kick panels, doorlocks etc.  It gets downright rediculous.   So I'm just going to say no to carbon goodies.  Except for that dash pictured above.  Now that's sexy.  

The car the dash is attached to is for sale at Sloan Cars for just under $100K and has about 12K miles on the odometer.  It's a 1996 Porsche 993 Turbo and that carbon dash was a factory option in '96.   Check it out:  http://sloancars.com/1566/1996-993-twin-turbo-guards-redcashmere-14100/
I know, these older turbos are not fast like today's supercars are fast.  I also know that you can get just about anything in carbon these days, and plenty of supercars are dripping with the stuff, but i'm going to make a judgement  here:

That is the coolest use of carbon interior around and a 1996 993tt is plenty fast enough.





Kinda like the turned stainless steel dash in the Bandit's T/A   (have I gone too far?)