Nov 17, 2013

Shopping online

Guys like these are why you go to dealerships.

I've recovered this blog after an accidental deletion.  Amazing how you can have google search for cached files from over a year ago, then use them to restore an old blog.  I love this internet shit.
You thought it was annoying selling your car online didn’t you? Well, now you’ve got some cash and you’re going to shop online. Good, you’re about to get a taste of your own medicine. Don’t look for advice here. I’m not advising as much as complaining for my own amusement. If you learn something, it’s not my fault.

Shopping at a used car dealers makes me want to barf.  But not every private seller is a pleasure either.   If you are patient and wise, then purchase from someone  in your car club. It will be worth the wait.  Sadly, I've never been able to wait very long for anything, ever.  So I'm stuck with all the irritations described below.

The less effort it takes for someone to post online the more annoying a purchase experience can be. When it's really easy to post you’re going to get all sorts of lame sellers. Heck, you can post an add on Craigslist from your phone! For free! In the Wendy's bathroom! So brace yourself for some real ass-hats. The more excited you get finding a car online, the more odd the situation will be.  Heck, half of them won't even really be for sale. The "Craigslister" is just getting a "temperature check" on a car’s value. A cruel practice indeed, but more common than I can bare to tell you.  Take a Xanax and read on.

Regardless of the source, you’ll run into some of these Guys:

Price Dreamer Guy
This guy is asking for some insane price for his own amusement. He’s not really motivated to sell. He’s just motivated to make obscene money if he gets lucky.  He thinks free web posting is like Lotto.  He pics a number that is crazy and lists it, “what the heck it’s only the internet”. The next legitimate seller comes along and sees what Price Dreamer Guy is asking, so he asks for an obscene price too. Two dreamers do not make a market price. Actual sales do that. I know, it’s crazy.

2004 AWD Tiptronic shouldn't be priced like a 6 speed '98 Carrera 2S. 
Not every Carrera is an  investment car.     RMS, IMS and ugly headlights. Translation: watercooled, unreliable and still ugly.
did I mention ugly yet?

No Photo Guy
You think you’re onto a barn find here don’t you. Well a car with hockey sticks stacked on top of it isn’t always a barn find now is it? Dream on.

When I find a car with no photo I think maybe I’ve found something special. I’ve got a opportunity to buy before people with less imagination get involved. Usually I’m dead wrong and it’s just another BS listing from someone not willing to make any effort. Or better yet, my hasty inquiry gets him thinking others will soon follow in droves. I wait for days on a response. Perhaps the reply will come about 12 hours after I buy something else. Those are fun.

Seriously you have to have a photo. What the heck are you thinking? You can’t find a camera? Bull! If you aren’t ready to wash your can and take a decent photos just burn it for the insurance money and don’t tease me.

No photo, SanFran California Newspaper ad.   Condition, unbelievable!  
This car was sourced by my wife in one day after I'd been looking for 4 weeks.
The seller then held it for us until we flew down to drive it home  
This is the only car I've ever made money selling.  Ever. 

Bad photo guy
You’re not as bad as No Photo Guy. Or maybe you are. Bad Photo Guy took a crappy picture with his phone through his kitchen window. Did I mention it was raining when he took the photo? It was. Usually a picture with any level of effort will look good.  Real effort will look amazing.  I personally often think Bad Photo Guy is a car guy too stupid to take a good photo. I’m usually wrong.

Couldn't tell you if this is a good car or not.  Photo's too poor. 
I would suggest buying from a guy w/a cleaner garage if I were you.
Hopefully I’ve convinced everyone to take a snapshot or two by now. Now let’s criticize that picture you just took with your camera. You haven’t paid any consignment fees, you haven’t paid a photographer either, you’re probably posting a free add too. You can afford to take 10 minutes and read about how to take a decent picture. If you can’t read, okay, then look at some pictures from an add that doesn’t stink like yours.

This poor picture captures this Porsche quite accurately.  Disappointment was in abundance, as were the exaggerations.

If you pride yourself on your car, you’ll already want to take a good photo. Go to find the article and learn. It is specific to Cobras, but the premises are sound for any car. People buy cars sight unseen from that website and pay as much as $100,000. The author has something figured out.

No Contact Info Guy
This guy can’t be bothered with people contacting him. He lists few or difficult contact methods to weed out only the most motivated buyers.  How annoying: people actually  interested in your car.

Disconnected Phone Guy
This guy changed his name to No Proof Reading Guy.

File Photo Guy.
File Photo Guy pasted an image he found on the web into his add. We want to see your car. We all know what a Viper looks like dumb ass.

1977 Tran Am.  Low miles.  Only driven to Texarkana and back a few times.

Annoyed Guy
"Why do these people keep bothering me with questions?"  Because you posted an add stupid.  That's what we do when you are selling something we want, we contact you!   That's how the process works, you post a crappy add with little to no information, we call with many questions, you fake like we're not bothering you and tolerate the stupid questions because......  get ready for this:   You're trying to sell your car!

Shity description guy
 A listing lacking basic question info is suspect to me.  Info, like owner history, why it's being sold, recent repairs,  etc etc are a given aren't they?   If you spend 5 minutes posting an add, then i'm going to spend 5 seconds considering buying it.   Shity description guy, is often compounded by several other shortcomings.

Suspicious Guy
Can't you tell the difference between a Nigerian scam email and a car guy from Seattle?  Take a chance and reply.  If you think I'm going to rob or murder you via email, it might be safer to just keep your car.
I sent a picture of  my cash to get this island dwelling hermit to finally take me seriously.  
That convinced him to meet me via ferryboat at Friday Harbor to see the bike.  
When I got there, he'd forgotten to bring all the paperwork that made the bike so compelling in the first place.  
I took a chance and bought it anyway.  A great bike. 

Old Photo Guy
Old Photo Guy is only slightly better than File Photo Guy. “This is what it looked like when I bought it. Now its red, has turbo-twist wheels and 50,000 more miles.”  Perhaps you should meet No Photo Guy.

Firm Guy, or Infirm Guy
This whole thing annoys me.  If you're firm say firm, if you don't say firm expect me to attempt to negotiate..  If you are offended, tell me.  If you want to continue negotiation suggest something.  We aren't face to face so communicate.  Don't be an ass.

Slow Reply Guy
Come on, do you really think I believe you only check your email/voicemail every 48 hours? Even astronauts have access to email. Whatever game you’re playing, I’d like to not to.

30K original miles.  Seller on Bainbridge Island took 48hrs for each response
 to my emails and kept rescheduling my appointment.  He kept saying he was
 out of town or whatever.   He forgot to remove the salutation
 from his emails that said "sent via IPhone."  I hope his next car spins a rod
 bearing.   (similar, but not actual car in photo)

Invariably everyone I call claims to be away on a trip when selling a car, why is that? “So sorry, I’m not available to respond to the add I placed 3 hours ago, please leave a message and I’ll get back to you after I return from California where they have no phones or internet”

No Reply Guy
I’ll get back to you on him.

I've sometimes been Price Dreamer Guy and frequently Annoyed Guy too.
Joy Ride Guy.  That's who I want to be.

Oct 24, 2013

Coffee outside of Boulder

Cars and Coffee just outside of Boulder Colorado.

Not the typical 400 cars I was told about, but pretty darn good for a quite freezing Colorado October morning.  A bit more modest than the Redmond Town Center I'm used to in Seattle.   But in Colorado's defense, sometimes so many super-cars just makes them all seem too common.  Why is it supercar owners never have dirt under their fingernails anyway?

This isnt a blog, but simply some iPhone pics to prove i am still alive.   I will return  in all my smart ass glory.  

Lots of paint harming silt on the roads after the Colorado floods,
So a once over with the good old Griots toys before morning was in order.
I'm no car waxing primadonna, but i'm no savage either..

 Like in the real world, if you're ugly and aren't rich
you must pair with the same.  Same is true for cars.
I learned to drive in an F150 just like that one.

Cant make your lease payments?  Many a fast car got paid for w/advertising.
So why does it sit poorly with me?
Mating Loti.  Green!  Good :)

I forget what these cars are called, but it was written on the drivers hat's.
Come to think of it, it was written on their shirts, socks and belt buckles too.

Some older Porsche owners are afraid of the dark.
I've got a new $50 Surefire flashlight that's brighter

Honda's answer to the Boxster.  I'd ordinarily edit these out.
But out of respect for new friends, they'll stay here for 48hrs.

I prefer the funkier Z3 Coupes,  but I'd take a Z4 if it was given to me I guess.
She may be old, but her ass is holding up great.  
The mountains loom larger than in WA, because they are closer and the air is thin.
Too bad the coffee is thin and clear too.  Switching to local beer instead

I know, domestic sports cars a fat and heavy.  But read those 3 numbers!
  427!!  Big blocks are F*#King cool  

What are these again?   Oh yeah, they are the other Porsches.
Other than 911's that is.  Cheap shot I know, get used to it.
If you aren't a Corvette fan then you are mistaking,  drive one at the track and you'll get it.
What they lack in interior panache they make up for in ass kicking,track day performance.
I don't own one, but borrow one frequently, from my mother.  Oh, and yes,
 my mom CAN kick your moms ass.

  Cars seem to congregate by model, like Cheerios in a bowl of milk.  I think they feel their own kind are less likely to give them a door ding or something.  Some brave loaners did attend without holding anyone else's hands.  Like Chuck Norris they were bad ass and arrived alone..

nope, it's not a Fiero kit car. 

Like when Porsche f-ed up their headlights in 1999
This too shall pass.  I hope anyway.

Hey, don't laugh.  Or I'll get Sally Field to bitch-slap you.
You could do worse that drive bird-dog for the Snowman

I love these, and I'll tell no jokes till I own or steal one

The only other 993 today.  They make Aerokit cars park further away.

Under the hood of this Carrera was so sexy.... For a minute I thought we were at Mardi Gras.
"Okay, now give me my beads"

I'm posting this XK120 to see if my dad really reads this blog

carbon mirrors are the only giveaway of the GT40 tribute. from this distance anyway.  

So as a newcomer to CO, It's safe to say: I have found the sports cars here at Cars and Coffee.   Like the name implies, people drive cars, and some drink the coffee.   For me, it's going to be called Cars and Bring A Thermos.  My Seattle coffee standards are hard to meet here along the front range of Colorado.  But I'll keep trying to find a place that knows what a Grande is, and report back

Sep 6, 2013

Reliving 993FEST 2013

Taken place months ago, I'm just now reliving 993FEST 2013. 
 Hosted by Columbia Valley Luxury Cars, and much appreciated too.

photo from Rennlister: 996

You remember that old Porsche 993 Twin Turbo add right?  Well, its true, you can!  And we did.

This was only the second annual 993FEST, but we definitely had a good number of 993's show up.  I didn't count cars, take notes, nor did I take any photos this year.  Once the beer started flowing at our destination it got hard to rally everyone for a group car-photo too.  No problem, group photos are a pain in the ass anyway.   I concentrated on having a good time, and left the photos to others.  I'd then steal them for this blog later.  hehe

Now it's true a few folks could not make it for various  reasons:

"Autocross scheduling conflicts"  Okay, but you better win.
Too far to drive from Florida. Lame, take a Ritalin put on a diaper and get in your car.
"I'm very sick"  Oh, please, two other guys were cured at last year's 993FEST
"My car's broken."  I know 2 or 3 replacement 993's currently for sale, don't you have credit?.
"It's the big piano recital for my daughter."  ever heard of Facetime?
"It's my wife's birthday"  what better gift?

photo from Rennlister: H.H. Chinn

Luckily those lame excuses excluded, every damn 993 in the USA was there I figure.  Yep, I'm pretty sure that's accurate.  If you didn't come and do actually own a 993, my apologies, I simply forgot your car existed.  Send me an email and I'll add your excuse to the list above.  (that's  joke, don't email me,  I'm well aware there were about 10 or 11 other 993's in the USA that didn't make it)

Seriously folks, it is a shame we are so far to the west that you couldn't get here, but perhaps next year it will be even bigger and better and we'll see you then.

photo from Rennlister: 996

Although several groups departed from several locations, I departed from the famous (and last standing) XXX Rootbeer Stand in Issaquah WA just outside of Seattle.  As Nathan our host and leader began to speak I felt the "red mist" come over me.  It took all my strength not to scream some profane salute to the fun that awaited.   Very few people voted to run in the "fast" group so we all went in the sub 200mph group instead.  Although we pride ourselves for not bringing our wiener dogs along as passengers, we did drive with some restraint.  After all, it's a event on public roads, and driving over 200mph is just rude to the locals anyhow.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
photo selflessly taken by Rennlister: Johnny_law.  Thanks!

We skipped the hard core malevolence and left that to the Subarus and Honda clubs, thank you.   It was spirited, but mature.  To clarify, most everyone had track education and employed some of it. If you want details look elsewhere,I write for wise cracks and inaccuracy only.  But lets just say, please don't call 911 when you see us.  We are good people, and they'll never get here in time anyway.

Definitely some big plans to kill bugs here.
Pic by 996 again..  Damn he takes a lot of photos

There is a certain neurotoxicity that affects me while on such drives.  I basically obsess over upgrades during every minute I'm on the straights, lunch, or restroom.  Damn, budget issues are why I stopped going to the track!  I'd blow a $1000 on goodies and maintenance every track day.  I was hoping these group rides would be a cheaper venue.   But now my mind starts to wander.   "how much did those hard back seats cost ?"  $7000?   Oh shit.

Courtesy Rennlister: Curve Lover  

Don't ask me what mountain that is.  What do I look like, a geographer?  They are just inserted randomly by god throughout the Pacific Northwest to make my car driving more interesting.  If you enjoy them too, you owe me a quarter.

photo from Rennlister:996
You sick of him yet?
What I like most about organized ride is that somebody else figures it all out.  Then I can relive it via my GPS if I'd like to do it again.  Perhaps in my Ford Explorer.

photo from Rennlister: Knight
photo from Rennlister:Producer John

Both free, 993FEST Sticker, and Beer.  Yum  Beer.
Didn't get a sticker,  you don't know the right people..  hehe

No ride would be complete without a significant dose of car envy.  I found myself admiring that GT2 replica, but the turbo cars have been whispering to me more and more.  Perhaps if I keep driving my '98 Explorer for another year and resist buying a cool daily driver, I can save up to trade up.

photo from Rennlister:Zmayne

3 custom interpretations.  Not everyone is so timid they can't build his car to suit himself.  I use originality only as an excuse to keep myself within budget.  Hell, I'm even known to drink Starbuck Breakfast blend in the afternoon.  

Pic by Jager  aka Curvelover

If funds allowed, I'd build all three of these babies. One's a color-change wrap (Riviera Blue), one's a custom (they didn't produce a 993 Speedster) and the last is a replica/tribute of the GT2. I'll take a Riviera Blue 993 Speedster with the GT2 Motor please.

Home sweet home at our destination  Columbia Valley Luxury Cars.   
Nathan had BBQ waiting for us,  local micro brewed beer and a band.   

3 months old, Cam followed in the Explorer with mom.
Pic by me,  ACRABTREE0536    
Every photo here was courtesy of the attendees, harvested (with permission from the posters, or I warned them at least) from the Rennlist forum.   Credit errors are happily corrected just post a comment to me .  If you aren't on Rennlist, then you probably drive a Camry.  

Till next year, 

photo from Rennlister: Cactus by SPDR (see SPDR's mirror)
Taken real friggin early, on the way to the launch site from Canada.  ROTtec Ruf wheels look great in motion!
This guy, is pretty okay.
RLister pic: by Producer John 
Thanks again to Nathan and Columbia Valley Luxury Cars.

Apparently Nathan knows some heavy duty cool folks.  You should recognize this as the once, fastest car in the goddamn world. The SSC Ultimate Aero.  Thanks for the pic goes to Rennlister: Groupe75

Aug 25, 2013

Exploring the Colorado Foothills

Okay, so I've dropped of the face of the earth for a while.  No shit, a newborn "complicates" things at little. But no, I'm not selling my sportscar for a mini-van just yet.  Oh, and shame on those of you who have. 
That blue part, is the sky Seattlites.
Some things have changed since my last blog. I quit a great job in Seattle.  I moved to Colorado and took a very interesting job at Boulder Community Hospital.  So you damn betcha, I've been out of pocket for a while.

We prepare to depart, excited for different reasons I suspect.  My reason's better. 
So after a very rough pregnancy that lasted about 25 months I think, a newborn Cameron "Camshaft" Crabtree, a home sale and big move; then there was the unpacking, painting, hanging photos, hanging paintings, installing shelves and curtain rods we were ready for a break.  So by yesterday, both Catherine had a plan for a night out and some time on the open road.  It was time to uncover the Carrera!  So, off we went to enjoy these dry Colorado  mountain roads just outside of our driveway.

The first leg of the trip, Nelson Rd toward Boulder, was uninteresting from an automotive perspective, but I scraped by. The bright sun, open country, mountain views, bison and alien communication devices kept us stimulated enough.
hello?  anyone out there?   
The lengths people will go to get every Football game on TV is ridiculous.

Once Nelson Rd ended, the foothills stepped up to deliver some satisfaction.  This is also an alternate route to my work in Boulder, so you bet I'll be taking this road again.   The roads, were basic Colorado foothill fare I'm told,  meaning they were awesome.   

Left Hand Canyon Road, Jack!!  Just one little photographic taste for you.  If I spent the whole drive photographing it for you then how would I enjoy myself?  Go photograph your own roads you lazy bastards.

insert some funny caption about glass houses yourself, this is a car blog.

The wife of course found a great destination in Boulder too, not just a good road or two.  That's why I married her.  What does your wife do?

Our destination was as cool as the roads, the mountainside restaurant called the Flagstaff House was nestled in the hillside overlooking Boulder. This pic above was taken at a scenic overlook just before parking to eat, She's pretty hot, and so's the Mrs.

Once seated at the Flagstaff House we enjoyed a meal that won't soon be forgotten. 
Did I mention how hot she is?

Car guys, here's a hint: You know your restaurant is good when you get 3 spoons for desert. Luckily, I had my iPhone to look up how to use them.  It's also a good indicator that you'll be spending a little more than at Sonic when the bill comes.

No this isn't an suprise autocross event, it's valet parking for cool cars.  Thats me.
The Carrera got proper respect from the Valet, even if it was the same age as him

Choosing your wine from an iPad-menu means no pressure to pronounce those French names. Just hit the buy-it-now button and you're done.  And no I didn't order Coors beer, Leon, even though it's from Colorado.   

Special thanks to Logitech Alert wireless security.  
Without it, Catherine would never have relaxed.

You can't see it, but I'm using an invisible jump-rope here.

Soon I'll go on my first Rocky Mountain Region PCA ride. To the Broadmore hotel in Colorado Springs.  That should be interesting.