Saturday, December 27, 2003

A very personal Automotive History ;-)

1982 Honda Prelude - It was my senior year in college when I first spotted the gen-I Honda Prelude. I was smitten. Sports-car? I don't know, but I loved the lines, the sun/moon-roof (this, when the only way to get such a roof in a GM car was to use a blowtorch), the five-speed. When my '77 Nova was finally paid off (thanks, Dad!), I went to Joy Stillpass at the old Stillpass Honda and bought a stripped, burgundy Prelude.

1985 Saab 900 Turbo - My Dad introduced me to Saabs: they were certainly very rare in the Midwest. He had a beautiful company car: blue 900S four door. When I was close to paying off the Prelude, I decided to switch. I bought a black 900 Turbo 16-Valve (woo-hoo, 16 valves!) with the factory whale-tail spoiler. I also had a company car, so I could leave my baby in the garage for long stretches. At the time, these cars were so uncommon that I pulled into a McDonald's drivethrough once, only tohave the guy at the window ask me, "is that a masserrattee?".

1991 Mazda Miata - With a young child, my wife sent me to get a sedan in October of '91. I came back with a Miata. An Indian Summer test drive left me captivated with ragtop driving. Rear-wheel drive, manual transmission, with no limited-slip - in snowy Boston - truly teaches you how to drive. My first attempted fast-lane pass in the snow resulted in me doing 360's on Route 128. Over the years, I spun the Miata out three times. Each time, the car touched nothing. Yes, I was lucky - not good.

1994 Cadillac Eldorado - My brother-in-law Marc introduced me to the comfort of Cadillacs, taking me to Thomson-McConnnell. After about a six-hour negotiating session - after which both Marc and the salesman ("G") were near tears, I drove away in the Eldo. The seats were the most comfortable I'd ever felt. The 275 horsepower Northstar engine was a delight: torquey, responsive and turbine-like. The downsides? Handling (non-existent) and the 'sploded fuel-pump that left me stranded partway to Indianapolis. After a few years of spotty reliability, I'd had enough.

1999 Volvo S70 T5 - My Dad had a T5 five-speed, which I thought was very cool ("it looks like a Nazi staff car"). I'd never thought of springing for one until Tommy (again, from Stillpass) called with a deal I couldn't refuse. They would take the Eldo in trade (strangely enough, no other dealership seemed to want to take Cadillacs!) and cut me an end-of-the-month deal on a T5 that had been on the lot awhile. Powerful and luxurious, without any ostentatiousness, the T5 did have some downsides: it was plagued with a variety of electrical problems including starting, burned out bulbs and the dreaded "check-engine light".

2003 Infiniti G35 Coupe - What can you say about the G35C that hasn't been said by the automotive press? I compare it to a Porsche 911 Coupe for a fraction of the cost. 280 HP, tremendous handling and grip, back seats that are actually usable - at least by my kids - and the most 'looks' per mile I've ever experienced while driving. A black coupe with 18" rims is simply a moving piece of art. I'm going to be an Infiniti driver from this point forward. At least until a fuel pump 'splodes.

G35C on Ice

In California, a G35 Coupe gets iced.


All you need to know about male/female relationships is easily explained with the Ladder Theory. Excerpt:

"A common question men ask of women is "Tell me what you want in a man?", which is ... an invitation to be lied to. Because she'll almost invariably answer with some combination of: sense of humor, intelligence, sensitivity, emotional stability. As far as I can tell this is mostly rubbish. But in an effort to be fair I have included this, since there seem to be a few rare cases of this. Just none that I have ever seen. Another thing to watch out for is the code words women use. Here is a translation guide for dealing with women.

Says: I want a man who is motivated and has goals.
Means: I want a rich man

Says: I want a man who knows how to treat a woman.
Means: I want a rich man

Says: He's from a really good family.
Means: He's from a really rich family.

I'm sure you get the point..."

Ladder Theory

I love this game!

The wit and wisdom of Rasheed Wallace, who earns approximately $17 million per year as a forward for the NBA's Portland Trailblazers: "'I ain't no dumb-ass [racial epithet deleted] out here. I'm not like a whole bunch of these young boys out here who get caught up and captivated into the league... No. I see behind the lines. I see behind the false screens. I know what this business is all about. I know the commissioner of this league makes more than three-quarters of the players in this league.

There's a whole lot of crunching numbers that, quote-unquote, me as an athlete and me as an NBA player should know. In my opinion, they just want to draft [racial epithet deleted] who are dumb and dumber -- straight out of high school. That's why they're drafting all these high school cats, because they come into the league and they don't know no better. They don't know no better, and they don't know the real business, and they don't see behind the charade."

Raw 'Sheed

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