How to Understand the Car Enthusiast

When I have a car conversation I think I tend to confuse people.  Everyone talks about supporting everything, but they have expectations and once those expectations aren’t met they turn on those they cheered to support.  For me, I love it all.  Sure, there are cars I wouldn’t own, but it’s not because I don’t like them it’s because they either don’t meet my needs or my garage can only hold so many cars.  I like to focus on the concept of why something was built, where it came from and what it had to offer.  I want to experience them all.

Drive what you’re passionate about.  You’ll spend 37,935 hours of your life, on average, driving.  That’s over 4 years of your life  behind the wheel of a vehicle and some will log even more.  The only thing you’ll do more is eat and sleep and we know how important those things are.  Yet every day someone is saying, “any car will do” or “if the price is right.”

You need to want to drive your car, even if you’re not a car person.  If you dread turning the key you are ruining a certain part of your life, like eating food you don’t like, it has an effect.  Whether the car was free or cost 2 million if it isn’t fun then you’re doing yourself an injustice and it will show.

You have to realize that a car isn’t a car, it’s the extension of the person driving it.  Like a psychological experiment you can read a driver by what they drive.  Is it utility or performance?  It is clean or dirty?  Try it out sometime, even on yourself, it works.  We spend our whole lives trying to understand people from our perspective being told we should live in their shoes, well climb into their car and feel what it’s like to be them for 10 minutes.  Ask them what’s important to them and you’ll know a person by their vehicle, even the stuff they don’t know about themselves.  You’ll be quick to realize a better way to pick your friends and why you do.

For that reason, for me at least, all cars are created equal.  They start of hunks of metal, as an ideology or concept, with a purpose and that purpose will identify with a buyer.  A person that sees that concept and attaches to it and becomes one with that vehicle, truly defining who they are by their mode of transportation.  No other thing on the planet can compare.  This can even help us understand the world and give us hope.  Cheap cars usually fail unless they have character like the VW bug.  Cars of performance and flash like the Lamborghini Countach are exonerated as our desire for the apex of results and we want to live because make stickers that say life is too short to drive boring cars.  Simplified like this, as people, we aren’t as bad as we think.

For this reason when I hear someone say they hate something and want it removed I’m quick to ask where the data is that supports having it made illegal.  We have to understand that driving is a privilege and many an unfair law has been made to regulate it.  If we are to embrace freedom then it is indeed the vehicle that we will first embrace that concept.  I’ll keep this section short because it should go without saying, make good choices to minimize your risk to others.

So the next time you think about going out to a car show, try out something new.  See a new group of people and try to appreciate what they do and see why they do it.  If you leave your mind open you’ll find that we, as car people, aren’t so dissimilar.  We all started as dreamers waiting on a hunk of metal to complete our vision.  We were all considered rabble-rousers or some variation of miscreant as we enjoyed that passion.  We can talk about how bad our lowered car is, but there was a time when our grandfather’s lifted ’57 Chevy was considered gaudy by the world.

If I could ask our community one thing it would be to take off the identity hat for 2 seconds when you’re talking to others.  Don’t try to press your world into theirs.  Don’t try to get people to drive your make, your model, your manufacturer and consider for a second that their car, whether it’s faster or slower, may be something that you would like to drive for a second or two.  If you’re not opened minded about that, trust me, I understand and honestly, it’s your loss.

As for me, I’m going to keep enjoying everything from Yugos to Koenigseggs.  I’ve seen the bar set all time lows and crest to breathless, oxygen deprived, heights.  I’m going to enjoy the people, whether they race, drift, drag or just like to camber it out and drag it on the ground a la those absolutely gorgeous low-riders <insert drool here>… and I hope you do the same.


Should the New Toyota Supra be called a Supra?

Geneva is about to unveil a car bearing the name of a car you undoubtedly have heard about.  For this reason you’re going to have expectations, so let’s peer into a little history of the Supra and see if Toyota really wants to resurrect it from the dead.


Just using the iconic name inspires visions of power and performance.  The Toyota Supra MK4, offered from 1993 to 2002, was iconic for its appearance in the Fast and the Furious after it stomped on a Ferrari 355 rival for the truly repeated line, “more than you can afford pal… Ferrari.”  From the Castrol Tom’s Supra, used in Super GT, and other famously reported 1,000 horsepower Supras its fame pushed its price tag North of $40,000 for an unmolested version.  But, was all this hype up to snuff?

If you’ve dealt with anything in car land you’ll notice that numbers are more skewed than a sailor adjusted for fish size, and the Supra was no exception.  It came stock with 320 horsepower in the turbo variant for the stateside version and although there were a ton of upgrades that made it produce impressive digits, most only put down 600 horsepower on the dyno.  The one the Fast and the Furious was modeled after made only 544 horespower at 6,800 rpms.  Albeit that does make its numbers above that Ferrari 355 on paper, you’ll have to remember it weighs in a fatty 200 pounds heavier, not counting the body kit.  As for cheaper, sure when the movie came out not many people could even spell the word Supra, but once the movie came out, adding in cost of upgrades, and how unreliable that power was, well let’s just say the total price tag is debatable at best.  Even the Castrol Tom variant didn’t even use the notable 2JZ-GTE engine replacing it with a 450 horsepower 3S-GTE 4 cylinder to cut weight and it enjoyed a successful racing career after it did that.  So I think we can come to terms with the idea that what we thought we knew about the Supra wasn’t exactly accurate.

So now fast-forward to 2018 and realize that none of the information I’ve just said has sunk in.  You hear the word Supra and what’s the first thing you think?  A thousand horsepower tuner car that can crush Ferraris for half the price after we put $10,000 in it and overnight parts… from Japan.  But can it?

So how will it match up to our expectations?  With Ferraris cresting the $200k mark I think we’re safe it’s cheaper, but with a rumored $50,000 price tag the question is, is it more than we can afford as well?  With a 335 horsepower output unfortunately we know it won’t be smoking ’em anytime soon.  Even the aged 355 Ferrari came with 375 horsepower.   You also won’t be banging away at gears a la Fast and Furious either since it only comes in automatic trim.  It also comes with a good deal of tech under the hood and without the power potential of a ceramic engine under the hood it won’t be making 600 horsepower anytime soon or without a great deal of investment.  Not to mention the sizing of this new car will resemble a Z Type BMW which is in stark contrast to the large body of the original.  We brings us to the next point.

Did we mention it’s also a BMW?  Sure enough, the new Supra is actually a Z type BMW.  In fact, the Z Type will have a 380 horsepower option not available in the Supra.  Now since we bring up BMW the questions of reliability and tuning come up and now there’s a whole new can of worms that we have to deal with.  A cheap tuner car, this is not.

This leads us back to the original question, should Toyota revive the name Supra?  Let’s be honest, without the expectation of the title Supra, go back over and review the numbers, you’ll realize this is a pretty sweet ride.  It’s got great power, sleek looks, BMW performance backing it, and although it isn’t going to outrun Ferraris anytime soon I’ll venture it’s no pawn on the chess board.  Looking at it without the title Supra this is going to be a fun car!!!

There-in lies the problem we’re addressing.  Without the title there’s no expectation.  We have to be frank and say the Supra bar is just way to high.  Unlike the Skyline that made its name off of technology and track performance versus outright power, the Supra only lived to be a tuner powerhouse.  The expectation bar is so much higher and in fact, like a legendary pro wrestler it’s a fantasy height that nothing that followed it could truly attain.  It’s the same reason we never got another RX-7, because there is only one RX-7.  That being said, there was nothing wrong with making an RX-8.  You just can’t live up to the height.

So I hope that when you see the unveiling of the new Supra that you forget the Supra name exists.  Look at the vehicle as something completely new and hopefully it won’t fall into the expectation pool that killed the 7th Generation Celicas that eventually mothballed the name in sad obscurity.  Hopefully the title can survive this aberration and live on and if not we will continue to discuss this topic for another 20 years.

Thanks for reading and if you have any input put it in the comments below!

3 Easy Steps to Test Driving a Vehicle

It might surprise you to know that every day, customers walk away from their perfect vehicle, missing out on options they needed because they were focused on the cost and didn’t pay attention to the drive. The reality is that both you and the dealer want to find that one vehicle that’s right for you yet we’re quick not to listen to the professionals and tools that are absolutely free.

So where is the struggle? It lies in bad buying techniques that have been propagated for a hundred years, although we think they may save us money, may also cost us the optimum vehicle we want and inevitably create a sense of buyer’s remorse because we’re not sure we did the right thing because we’re not even sure of our techniques.

The baseline to any purchase is the test drive. Never skip it. You wouldn’t ask your doctor to operate without an x-ray; don’t go into any purchase blind. Even if you’ve driven a vehicle like it in the past or have driven your friend’s version of it, do not skip the test drive!

Get familiar with the car so you know what you’re getting. Don’t aim for the lowest price; aim for the right price for the right vehicle; the one you’ll be happy with because it’s the car you want and, therefore, valuable and satisfying to own.  If you only consider cost in your factoring you’re already setting yourself up for disappointment.

Here are three steps to take to get the most out of your test drive so that you can gather the best information that will lead you to making the right decision.

Step 1. Gather Information Ahead of Time
Good information is going to set the stage for your vehicle selection, and also help to remove any fear or apprehension you have prior to your visit.

Before going to the dealership, take a quick “test drive” on your current vehicle. When you’re done driving, make a list of the things you’ll need, the things you like, and things you want your next vehicle to have that this one doesn’t. Try not to take anything for granted; don’t assume the next vehicle has that option.

A lot of things have probably changed since you last purchased a vehicle, so you’ll need to be prepared for these changes. Manufacturers understand your need to know these changes so they make websites that go over the details.  When you go to their websites look for their “vehicle builder”.  Here you have an opportunity to see your finished vehicle first hand.  Use the list you created earlier as a reference and build a vehicle the way you want it. Take note of new technology in the options as these may be something you’ll want to consider on your test drive. You will be able to see the MSRP of the vehicle and can compare it to your current vehicle’s original MSRP. Remember that payments are simple mathematics so if you like your last finance payment then build a car with similar price.  You can print this out and bring it with you.

It can be disheartening if the vehicle that you test drive is not equipped with what you were planning for, so start out by giving your vehicle build to your sales person first.  This will help them find you the closest match. Don’t let it disturb you if they don’t have your exact vehicle either, but don’t select something with less options.  Always move up in your selection.  The importance is to see the options you want first and if they don’t work you’ll be in a better place to rule them out.  Now if the dealership wants you in a vehicle on the lot they’ll have to match the price you have or get you what you want for that price.  This sets you up for success from the get-go.

Step 2 Get Comfortable & Take Your Time
Your first impression will be to jump in the vehicle and rush the drive. Whether this is due to anxiety, fear or excitement now is a great time to take a deep breath and slow down. Absorb your new surroundings. Some things will be different while others will be familiar.  Use this moment to feel the ambiance of your new surroundings.

This is your opportunity to slow down and make this vehicle yours.  The vehicle you’re about to drive has had someone sitting in it before you. Whether that be the last person to test drive or the delivery person who drove it off the truck, it is likely that their physique is nothing like yours. Take the time to adjust the seats, the mirrors, the climate control, turn to your regular radio station and find your way around while you let the vehicle warm up to its maximum operating conditions.  You don’t want to be driving down the road and not realizing where the turn signals or emergency brake is either.

Try your hand with the new technology. Program your favorite radio station into the presets and play with the navigation system or even pair your phone with the Bluetooth (but don’t forget to unpair it when you’re done). Make sure the functionality works well for you.  Remember the sale person assisting you is trained to know the vehicle while you’ll be experiencing it for the first time, so absorb every ounce of information you can retain and don’t be afraid to ask questions; lots and lots of questions. You don’t have to pass the test on how it works, but you should know how comfortable it works with you so when you are familiar you will enjoy it more. Think of this as the light version of your daily commute.

Now when you’re done the real question is, does this vehicle work for you.  If it doesn’t then don’t feel bad.  If you move to the next step and this isn’t the vehicle you’re just wasting everyone’s time, but nobody cried foul when you tried it, didn’t like it and moved on.  So before you move to step 3 you should be saying, “this is the car I want to own.”

Step 3.) Save the Money for the Desk
You may be tempted to start thinking about cost and asking prices right during the drive or even worse, before you even get behind the wheel.  Resist the urge with all your might.  The test drive is a compressed moment to absorb the vehicle and see if it works for you.  It will require a good amount of focus to do that. If you’re thinking about how much the navigation will cost, you may ignore it and defeat the whole purpose of the test drive.  Just because the vehicle has lamb’s wool carpets doesn’t mean you’re going to have them in the vehicle you drive away with, but it shouldn’t stop you from considering them in your wish list if you find that enjoyed them.  Make sure you ask if there are any additional options that you should consider and don’t add them to your list unless you’ve experienced them.

If you performed step 1 correctly, then you’re already in a vehicle that will be close to a price you’ve already considered, so stop worrying and enjoy the ride. At the end of the test drive when you are sitting down crunching the numbers back at the showroom you can start crossing things off that don’t fit into your budget and since you’re probably in a car with a couple of more options you can simply say, “to earn my business today you’ll need to get me this built vehicle or find a way to make your vehicle in inventory meet my price.”  It doesn’t get anymore black and white as that and your sales person, his manager, and his boss will all understand it.

At the end of the test drive you’ll be going back to talk numbers. The great thing about this three-step process is that you won’t be worrying if you picked the right vehicle or not. You’ll already know what you want and what you don’t want, and the rest is just math. Does this mean you’ll drive away the first time out? I certainly hope not!  Give it some time and try out a few vehicles.  It’s okay to get out of your comfort zone here.  Get your bearings and a sense of what you do and don’t like.  The goal is to be happy with your vehicle and to avoid buyer’s remorse.


Why I’m Not Excited About the New Toyota Supra

I’m very bad when it comes to cars.  I get excited over the smallest thing.  Whether it be new technology, new engine, just a new car in general I want to know what it is, how it runs, all of it.  That is until I heard there was a new Supra.  When I heard the word I had not only a level of apprehension, but a truck-load of expectation and when doing the research I wasn’t happy with what I found.

Before I get into this I think it’s important to remember the old Supra.  A car made popular by the Fast and the Furious films it was known for its 2JZ-GTE engine.  It is indeed the engine that made this vehicle legendary, but the 2JZ was not flawless, it was very heavy because of its ceramic construction.  Many tuners took this engine and made upwards of 1,000 horsepower, but that really is where its legend lies.  The reality is, the Supra in stock format was a lumbering, under-power, overweight mess.  It was canceled due to low sales figures and after driving it there’s no shock why.  Yet, when the Fast and the Furious came out it was suddenly a niche market masterpiece that sold for upwards of $40,000 used because people saw power and spent a lot of money getting it.  It was indeed the engine that was both the success and failure of the vehicle.  Even its race car counterpart in Super GT would remove the whale 2JZ in the engine bay and replace it with a lightweight 3S-GTE 4 cylinder to compete and it did very well.  So the blessing and the curse of the Supra is its engine.  Otherwise, it’s just a regular 300 horsepower car that was featured in a film outrunning a Ferrari that with the cost of the mods probably clocked in more than the Ferrari.

So with the new Supra you have to ask, what’s the lineage?  Brands like Mazda and Nissan may have made replacement vehicles for legendary models there is a clear lineage, such as the RX-8 and GT-R.  These weren’t just replacement cars they have a clear and concise attachment to their former models.  Toyota on the other hand has a history of being detached from this thinking with examples like the last Celica and AE86 which bear little resemblance to their past.  Here we are again with a car that literally just carries a name when in reality is simply adopted to the branding.  Toyota is smart though and they know that people have been fawning for a  Supra so why not give them what they want?  The problem will be with what the expectations will come with that.

This new Supra is really a BMW Z4.  Once you hear that statement it’s easy to see the lines in the modelling.  In fact it’s so uncanny that it’s hard to unsee it once you know.  Add in a little cartoon-esque Toyota feel to the nose and viola.  Once you dig deeper you realize that the new Supra has literally nothing to do with a Supra at all, and is only a rebadged Z4.  So why aren’t they hyping a new Z4?  Easy, the Z4 never had a $5 billion movie to its name.  The Z4 never garnered the hype that the Supra did.  The Z4 never had a 1,000 horsepower engine under the bonnet and you have to be truthful to yourself, neither will this one.  This ruined expectation will not be what buyers want.

We have to come to terms with what the real hype is about and what it really means.  Everyone is now thinking, pick up a new sporty looking Supra and throw in some tunes, make 1,000 horsepower and get back where we left off and that just isn’t going to happen.  For starters the new model will come in North of $50,000, which is Z4 money with only 335 horsepower on its best day, but the standard 4 cylinder equipment will only make 248 horsepower, well below the dream of the 1,000 horsepower Supra for similar money.  The most damning concept is that the Supra will not even have a manual transmission, so those dreams of banging gears a la Fast and Furious are only in your dreams and you’re in for a rude awakening.  In fact, the new car will not even have the power of its BMW counterpart at 380.  This is where buyers start scratching their heads.

So the real question I have is, what did this car do to deserve the Supra title?  The answer is a resounding nothing.  That’s the problem we have here.  Call it by any other name and we may be excited, but this car, like a no name fighter earning a shot in the ring with Ali, is completely unearned.  In fact, if you called it a Z4 the world would release a humble “cool” and move on with their lives.  It’s definitely no Chuck Wepner either.  Unlike Chuck there will be no movie attached to this vehicle to rescue it from the disdain and betrayal that will add to the remorse buyers will inevitably feel.

Here’s where we need to help the car world out.  Nothing will bring back the greats.  There will always be articles about the Skyline, the RX-7, the Supra and even the Eclipse.  There is a full and beautiful history that is attached to these models and there’s no need to try and water down their titles with something new.  Allow them to sustain something on the used market and we could see a new breed of collector that will keep them alive forever and they are indeed well-deserved, even the original Supra.

That also means there’s nothing wrong with a new car trying to be the next big thing, the next exciting vehicle, but have it start its own lineage and it may take off and be an awesome car with all new expectations.  This car has that potential to be something new and exciting and unfortunately that is going to be ripped away from it because it’s trying to be something it’s not and the history books are not going to be kind.  Just ask the Toyota Celica how that went.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed this.  Leave a comment if you agree and what you feel this new Supra will be.

Until next time!  #godspeed

5 Must Watch Throwback Car Videos

The turn of the century was an amazing time for cars.  With The Fast and the Furious hitting theaters a new craze was taking over and it was car mania on a whole new level.  Video games like Midnight Club were introducing a whole new generation of open world drivers in something other than race cars and exotics.  It seemed every car had some secret unlocked potential and videos were no exception.

This spawned a whole new generation of car videos to come out and follow suit in the new excitement and unfortunately many of them have been lost to time.  It always makes me worry when I ask someone wholly into vehicles who responds they have never heard of these classic and ground breaking videos and short films.

So without further delay here are some must watch car videos from the not-so-far-back past that will get your adrenaline pumping for a throw back Thursday of automotive mayhem!

5.) Getaway in Stockholm
What happens when a couple of guys who knew about a loophole in the law that they would be unable to be arrested if they weren’t caught in the act.  So they take two powerful cars and race them through the city streets literally taunting the cops of Stockholm Sweden.  Getaway in Stockholm did it multiple times.  The first video was a Porsche taunting the cops, but part two was legendary, taking a souped up Supra against a Cosworth Escort literally driving the wrong way through tunnels to outrun each other.  It’s actually astounding to watch.
Check it out here:

4.) The Hire
You’ve probably heard about the Hire but you don’t realize it.  The Hire was the predecessor and inspiration to the Transporter movies.  The Hire, created in 2001, put Clive Owen behind the wheel of various BMWs on unusual and unique transport missions.  The first was called the Ambush and it took off among car enthusiasts.  The series ended up with 8 videos over 2 seasons, with some awesome cameos, and even made a comeback in 2016 making it 9 videos total, not to mention the success of its offshoot the Transporter series of films and shows.
Here’s the latest 2016 episode the Escape:

3.) High Octane
A mix between crazy fast racing and slap stick comedy skits High Octane delivered on all fronts.  They made various videos disks, but were most widely known for a race between a Ferrari 355 and a Viper that ended in the Viper sliding off the side of a mountain in Los Angeles.  Everyone was okay which made the skit even more entertaining to watch.  Unfortunately it appears that all that is left of this great group is their YouTube page with some full length videos, but if you get a chance, check them out, heres’ a link:

2.) The Last Race
Right after the Fast and the Furious film a 22 minute short known as the Last Race came out.  It’s the story of a guy street racing his Integra against a visiting rival in a Mustang all while dealing with woman troubles.  For 22 minutes it crams a lot in and it’s just a guilty pleasure to watch and it’s a staple of a time when everything was new again in the car world and indy films could be fun and cool.  The real question is, have you seen it?

1.) Mischief 3000
After the success of the first Mischief video it was followed up with an amazing part two in 2002 known as Mischief 3000.  Although the first one, filled with high speed and police dodging was good, Mischief 3000 put them on the map.  It covered the Gumball race across the US.  It’s main driver Dado and copilot filmmaker Dustin took a nasty race worthy M3 on the event and drove it literally like they stole it.
Here’s the Trailer:

These are, by far, not the only videos out there that can bring back some serious nostalgia all while feeling relatively fresh when even the Fast and the Furious films don’t even feel like car movies anymore.  If you’re into documentaries the Best Motoring series, the JGTC/Super GT and Pirelli World Championships and the Drift King documentary are all great places to get that adrenalin pumping.

What’s your favorite video?  Leave it in the comments below!

5 Things Car Guys Shouldn’t Share on Social Media

Social Media is such an awesome resource and provides us with great power.  We constantly share pictures of our cars and our builds.  We can share the products and shops that are awesome for us and help us get the job done!  Once we’re done we share the drives and the shows and who we are!  It’s awesome.

Alas with great power comes great responsibility.  We don’t realize sometimes how much damage we can do with Social Media, to both ourselves and others.  Even being a paparazzi can be harmful to events and ruin the experience causing people to continually become more secretive and have less people involved.

So we’re making this little trainer to help you make great decisions when you share something on social media and avoid the pitfalls.

1.) Videos of Breaking the Law
It’s my primary rule and I’ve stuck to it from the beginning.  People speeding down the highway and endangering others may be fun for your friends but to the 99% of the other people on the planet it makes you, and everyone you associate with, look really bad.  Sure, it may have been the one time you decided to lay some speed down on the highway and you probably don’t even support it, but to the millions of viewers that see it and pass it along now identify it with you, the car world, and everyone in the media.  Not to mention that even if the license plate is covered you’ve now shared evidence that could get someone in a large amount of trouble even if they weren’t involved.

You may think we’re being a stickler, but the reality is that you won’t lose much media with this.  The trick is only “illegal” media.  Burnouts at a car show may be frowned upon, but they aren’t illegal.  People ripping their bumpers off from being low, not illegal.  Even if the video says “street race” if the cars are just parked around they really aren’t doing anything illegal, it’s not illegal.

2.) Sharing Pictures That Tell Thieves Where to Go
You may not know this but the internet is filled with criminals.  You may go window shopping at the mall?  Some criminals just turn on their computer and search some hashtags and, voila, they see the part or car they want right their in living color.  If you take a picture of the car at its home base they know exactly where to go.

Sure you may think you didn’t give away any information in the pic, but the truth is unfortunately a little deeper.  Have you ever posted a picture on social media and noticed that the program had a pretty good idea where that picture was taken?  Every wondered how it knew?  It’s because that information is in the data of the picture and anyone savvy enough can look it up.  If  your picture can link it up they can simply drop it into their navigation and go directly to it.  Then they just wait for the owner to Check-In somewhere else and now they even know when to strike!  You’ve inadvertently assisted a criminal.

How do you avoid this?  Simply take abstract pictures or remove any tagging functionality.  A random picture in a parking lot doesn’t tell anyone where that car will be 5 minutes from now and a criminal won’t spend the time it takes to look it up when there is low hanging fruit elsewhere.

3.) Media Crashing Events
You would be amazed at how many times people show up to an event they have no reason to attend to get a shot they need for their social media account.  Over the years I’ve called them paparazzi because their goal isn’t to be a part of the event but to get their picture at any cost.  The weirdest part is that they could probably just ask and they would get in and once they’ve asked and they should respect the event.  For instance, if it’s a cruise don’t drive recklessly trying to grab an image, breaking the law, or potentially cause accidents.

If you’re media and you’re attending an event, welcome or not, you should be a wallflower when you’re in action.  If people are saying, “when did you get that shot” you’re streamlining your existence with the show in a way that doesn’t rock the boat or ruin anyone else’s experience.  Make sure that those who are filmed are okay with being filmed and they always look good when they are and even more importantly don’t get arrested and be negatively associated with the event you’re covering.  Go by some minimal respect and you’ll find yourself being invited to these events more and more.

4.) Hatred and Trolling
I know it may seem like low hanging fruit to bully the Reliant Robin Owner’s group page, but what you’re doing isn’t productive and it’s definitely not professional.  In fact, it makes you look like scum.  Let’s be honest, we all want to enjoy what we enjoy in peace.  We understand that not everyone enjoys what we enjoy, but since we have something to enjoy we certainly don’t have time to visit what you enjoy and bash it endlessly.  We also don’t do it because we don’t want it done to us.

What we do appreciate is constructive criticism or trying to understand the plight of owning what we own.  Let’s be honest, even exotics catch on fire, so every car has some sort of plague that makes its ownership interesting and eventful.  Sharing these experiences can help us grow together making a stronger community and in that same vein sabotaging it can split a community apart.  So sure, you don’t have to be a fan of cambered cars, but identify your thinking as not being aligned with you, not a hatred you feel you need to punish others for.  Really, what did these guys ever do to you?

5.) Your Own Personal Negative Review 
Let’s say you recently went to a shop and you are not happy with the service that was performed.  Maybe your car was damaged and upon return you decided before bringing it up to the location you decide that you’re going to lambaste the location for its unprofessional behavior while threatening to sue.  Now at first you may ask, how is this bad.  Effectively the person is justified and aren’t there review websites out there for just this reason?  Well there’s a couple of reasons this is a bad idea.

The first ideology is that everyone should have an opportunity to fix their mistakes.  Before you publicly berate someone you should go to them and calmly describe your problem.  If they are not receptive to you plight you can raise the stakes to anger which hardly ever gets results or you can choose to take them to court.

Secondly you set yourself for a defamation case.  If you start pointing fingers and you’re actually the one in the wrong (which I mean how many times does that happen on the internet am I right?) the location you’re complaining about can sue you for libel or slander, depending on how you defamed the business.  They can sue you over lost wages, a bad public image, etc. because once it’s on the internet the world believes it must be true, right?  If you shared private conversation or released privileged information things could get even worse for you.  For instance, sharing an audio recording where there was an expectation of privacy could be a felony wire-tapping charge.

It’s important to understand that we’re not saying you can’t complain either.  No one is going to judge you harshly for complaining that the shipping company is too slow getting your new car part there or that they sent you the wrong part.  We’ve all been through it and we feel your pain.  That is something we enjoy sharing on the social media and it’s all just fun and games.  It’s quite different to say that a business is incompetent because someone ran a red light and hit your car during a test drive to deduce a problem you signed off for them to check.  We understand you’re upset but let’s deal with those feelings responsibly.

I’m also not saying that in some cases you wouldn’t be justified, but you have to ask is it worth destroying someone’s future over?  The reality in a majority of the cases I’ve read is a resounding absolutely not.

The term Caveat Emptor is latin for let the buyer beware.  It’s a legal term to describe your responsibility to research a person prior to dealing with them.  If you didn’t do your due diligence the problem is not the person you’re complaining about.  The fault lies completely with you.  That may seem harsh but it’s legally how it will be defined.  So before you start going keyboard commando it’s important to stop and think.

And that’s our list!  Did you agree or are there things we missed!  Leave a comment and let us know.

5 Reasons Why People Own Cars Longer

Back in 2012 KBB reported that the average time that people owned their vehicles was 71.4 months.  In 2015 it was reported that the average ownership had increased to 138 months.  In 3 years we’ve seen a 67 month increase!  So in effect every 2 years we’re owning our vehicles 5 and half years more.

That could be confusing to understand.  How could that number increase so much?  In essence it means to me that not only have people who already owned their cars for 5 years not traded their vehicles in, but they’re collecting more owners in the pool.  Now you’re asking, how exactly does that happen?  Well, here’s 5 good reasons why.

5.) Not Interested in Technology
I know it may seem really cool to have all this neat technology, such as touchscreens and other toys, but to some people this is just more stuff to break and cause problems.  Honestly, some people just want to get from point A to point B with as little trouble as possible.  The main problem they see whenever looking at a replacement vehicle (because they’re not about to upgrade) is that the new vehicle is covered in tech they can’t option out.  They can’t say no and to them that added cost makes 0 sense so they give up and stick with something that is tried and true.

4.) Difficulty to Repair
When I began in the business of vehicles you could get a new engine replacement for $400 and it took 24 hours to perform the work.  Today a new model vehicle can cost $5,000 or more and take a car out of service for a month.  To some the cost doesn’t make sense.  They don’t understand, or understand all to well, that a vehicle has more things plugged into the engine to make it more efficient and meet ever increasing government regulations.  They may also come from a time when they could perform their own oil change and when asked to purchase a vehicle that would force them to work only with the dealership and they aren’t willing to be committed to the increased cost if they don’t see the value in it.  We also can’t argue that the craftsmanship of vehicles has decreased over the years and with shoddy plastic parts that fall apart in under 100,000 miles, why jump ship when the car you have either doesn’t have those problems or has already had all that work performed.

3.) The Hassle
Honestly, who likes buying a car?  If you are okaying with working with a dealership you’re either certifiably insane or a registered masochist.  There have been books written on the subject it’s so bad.  So why should I drive an hour to get beat up by a dealership, low balled on my trade, and just generally disrespected when I can just stick with what I have?  Oh yea, I don’t!  Which is why I’ve owned my car for over 6 years.

2.) Dedication to the Dealership
Manufacturers realize that aftermarket mom and pop shops have been cutting in on their repair action.  Dealerships have had a hard time keeping people coming back past a warranty because of many factors.  This reasons can include cost, that even with all the bravado dealerships can hire amateur technicians to provide a lower wage and higher payouts so their skill level is even more fallible than their 30+ year private mechanic, and the parts are overpriced in comparison.  So the only way around it for the manufacturer is to make parts impossible to fix outside of the dealership.  This goes directly back to the difficulty of repair as well.  Add in new CPO programs that force you to only work with a dealership to get a good warranty and you have the concept that if you buy a new car you might as well buy a ring for the dealership and a key to move in, with all the negatives that includes.  Some people just aren’t ready for the commitment.

1.) Cost
Let’s be honest, cars aren’t getting cheaper.  From purchase to repair the general cost of a new car on a regular buying cycle can be 30 to 40 percent more in operating costs over your last vehicle.  The old adage is, why get in on the new when my current is paid off?  Even if that means potential exorbitant repair costs, it’s easier to risk it than go with a guaranteed kick in the pants, wallet side.

It shouldn’t be a shock that not only will we see this trend increase, you can expect the trend to continue as long as manufacturers keep on their current path of not giving the people what they want.  The true motivation is to offer a product that is so much more appealing than what you’re currently driving.  So much so that you’d be willing to part with your money and a car you love to have it.  This is by no means the be all end all of input either.  These are just some ideas to consider and there may even be better ideas that capture the reason for why people won’t pick up something new, but the reality is it until there’s something better there’s no drive to change.



5 Cars That Invented Revolutionary Titles

In 1672 Ferdinand Verbiest developed what would later be known as something unique.  It was a toy for a Chinese Emperor.  It was powered by steam and although it couldn’t carry a person the design marked the start of something big.  It was called the Automobile.

Today the automobile is everywhere.  It permeates our lives both in play, work, science, and even politics.  The vehicle we drive can even define who we are and identify with our friendships.  Quite frankly it may be the most important thing we purchase in our lives.

For that reason we’ve given titles to our cars, like luxury, commuter, sedan, coupe, convertible, and the like.  All convey something about those vehicles, but some vehicles are truly special and have created a title that quite frankly revolutionized how we see automobiles.  They define something that permeates how we see our driving experience.  Here are 5 awesome examples:

1.) Benz Patent-Motorwagen – The First Touring Car
The Benz Patent-Motorwagen has quite the history and it is widely regarded as the first automobile (that is, being powered by an internal combustion engine), but in reality there were many other vehicles that could take that title prior.  The Patent-Motorwagen is no slouch on first in the industry on many things, but there is one thing that the Benz started that really identifies it as being still relevant today.  The Touring Car.

I know it may seem hard to believe, but prior to the Benz Patent-Motorwagen the automobile, many powered by steam, were widely disregarded because they were only good for short range trips and required a great deal of upkeep.  That is until Bertha Benz took the Number 3 vehicle out for a long range trip without her husband Karl’s knowledge.  During the trip Bertha had to invent the brake lining to make it back, but after a it was done she had traveled 121 miles.  This solidified the idea that the automobile could make the distance.

To this day touring vehicles are designed with drive in mind.  The title may have now taken back seat to other titles, but the reality is that the many vehicles still adhere to the concept of driving long distances while providing a comfortable ride while some brands pride themselves on being touring vehicles first and foremost.  These vehicles travel distances that would make even the ingenuitive Bertha blush.  There is no doubt that the legacy that the Patent-Motorwagen brought to us was that the journey is just as important as the destination.

2.) Oldsmobile Rocket 88 – The First Muscle Car
It may seem hard to consider that the the Rocket 88, a vehicle with an unassuming top speed of 97 mph and a 0-60 in 13 seconds, being anything special, but this unassuming car was lightweight and small size combined with a new V8 overhead cam engine producing 135 horsepower started something that still gets hearts pumping and sells cars to this day; the muscle car.

The secret of its success was demand for a more powerful vehicle.  So Oldsmobile took their 76 model and put the engine made for their bigger 98 vehicle in it.  This combined a powerful engine with a smaller vehicle and the results were immediate.  Back then vehicles used straight 8 engines so the new V8 engine was also a turning point.  This unique combination in the automotive world started gaining attention immediately.  The final nail in the coffin was when the car made its NASCAR appearance and suddenly became the car to beat.  These cars would win over 50% of the races it attended in its first 4 years of competition.  It would later get a namesake song the Rocket 88, which is even considered the first rock and roll album (bonus fact).

The 88 lasted almost as long as Oldsmobile as it was retired in 1999, but the legacy it left in its wake is still reverberating with auto enthusiasts to this day.

3.) Packard 180 – First Fully Loaded Vehicle
Today when you purchase a vehicle you expect it to be fully loaded with basic convenient items.  You expect things like air conditioning, automatic windows, and a radio, but it probably won’t shock you that there was a time when these weren’t the norm.  In fact, there was a time when these things didn’t even exist!

The Packard 180 changed all that in the 1940’s.  It’s proper name was the Custom Super Eight One-Eighty and in addition to leather and carpeting it also had a woolen headliner.  The vehicle, although catered as a limo, had a sedan feel that allowed for a single driver.  It was the first car with power windows and was the first time air conditioning was an option on a stock automobile.  It also had the usual radio and even a somewhat automatic transmission option.  Even without a remote car start or door locks we’re pretty sure that’s pretty good for an option list.

Although the Packard didn’t drive future cars to have fully loaded options I’m sure it doesn’t mind being the first to be cutting edge and being part of the cutting edge of adding options like cruise control, navigation, computer controls, and systems like OnStar and on to self-driving, these options can now be the decision by which buyers determine if they will buy or not.

4.) Lamborghini Miura – The First Supercar
In 1966 a group of designers stayed after work and up late producing something that would take the automotive world to a new, unimaginable, level.  When the Miura was introduced it defied definition.  A transversely mounted V12 motor stored mid-ship behind the driver that produced a head-turning neck-snapping 345 horsepower and only seated 2 people, a driver and a white knuckled passenger sans a barf bag.  Automotive writers scampered to find a term for this new monstrosity.  They would finally settle on a name that would stick; the supercar.

The Miura could be considered the variation of opening Pandora’s Box.  The lust for performance and speed over comfort and convenience continues to this day.  As the Lamborghini Countach coated walls and haunted dreams other brands like Porsche and Ferrari got on board raising the bar until at one point even the title supercar wasn’t enough and the hypercar was born.  This would harbor elite alumni of low produced brands like Koenigsegg, Pagani, and Bugatti with prices cresting two million dollars and creating a new buzz leaving questions of, does this ever stop.  The answer is, if there is we don’t know when that will be.  All of it we can thank the Miura for.

5.) Tesla Roadster – First Electric Car
I know what you’re going to say, Tesla wasn’t the first electric car.  In fact the first electric cars started in the early 1900’s, but those electrics never really caught on.  Tesla was the first brand to show the world that a fully electric car could work and they did it with a very unassuming roadster.

What set them apart was the same thing that defined the Benz Patent-Motorwagen; transport distance.  Tesla had to show consumers that they could transport them to work and back home for the nightly charge and still have some charge to get them to a restaurant and back without still using the same old internal gas-driven combustion engine like hybrids.  This has led to Tesla offering a sedan and even more.  It’s made the world realize that the electric car can work and created something the electric car sorely needed; demand.

Every day we see new charging stations and new and bigger brands getting on board making an electric, or should we say environmentally friendly, options.  In fact many brands have decided to go completely carbonless in the upcoming years.  This drive will go into creating options like hydrogen vehicles as well.

So What’s Next?
We’re still looking for the next car to revolutionize the drive.  We’re still waiting for a viable self-driving option that everyone can get on board with and we’re sure the options won’t end there.  There will always be something new and enlightening that our commute will generate.

What do you think will be next?  Leave your comments below!


5 Supercars You Really CAN Daily Drive

You may have heard people arguing about how certain supercars can be daily driven.  Sure, if you have the cash I guess you could daily drive anything, but with high maintenance vehicles or high performance vehicles that aren’t really made for rain, snow, or cold weather some really can’t cut the mustard.  For instance no one would even consider driving a Pagani or Koenigsegg to work and back every day.

That being said there are cars that can be considered supercars, vehicles with high horsepower or exotic design, that really can be used daily to commute.  In fact, many people use the brands we’re listing here for daily commuter work already and they probably won’t shock you.

So whether you have a small garage or you just want to multi-task on your vehicle purchase, here’s 5 supercars that you really can daily drive.

5. ) Maserati Gran Turismo
Maserati has done a great job of making a name for itself in the italian automaker arena.  With close to 500 horsepower and speeds cresting 200 mph while seating 4 the Maserati knows a thing about daily power.  Although it may seem odd to pick up the kids from soccer practice in your Maserati it’s not completely unheard of and many choose to use their Maserati to get them to and from home plate.  Unfortunately maintenance costs still keep this at the fifth position on our list.

4.) Chevrolet Corvette

Peering out onto the parking lot where you work now I doubt you’d be too shocked to see a Corvette neatly parked in the back corner.  Sure, it’s not the economical choice but it will get the job done.  With upwards of 600 horsepower it will get you there quick.  The Corvette won’t be as draining on the bank account as some of the others on our list either.  It doesn’t make it higher on the list because it’s not really set-up for anything to inclement in the weather department and sometimes has problems translating all that power to the ground when presented with adversity.

3.) Porsche 911

Nothing says weekend warrior like a daily driven Porsche, but a true purist will know the difference between someone dabbling and a true connoisseur.  There are plenty of Porsche fanatics out there that just can’t settle for anything but their tried and true for everything and they’ll drive in any condition.  Many of them have seen high mileage and with a little love can take on the daily commute.  The drawbacks are it isn’t for the meek of heart, the seating can be tough, and the handling can be quirky.  You may want to keep the grocery order to a minimum as well, but if you’re looking for something that is as comfortable on the street that is as comfortable on the track there are many who say make no exception.

2.) Nissan GT-R

Was there any doubt the GT-R would make the list?  All wheel drive, fast, maneuverable, the 600 horsepower godzilla takes all the stereotypes and throws them out the window.  Sure it screams track use and weekend battle but there is no doubt the GT-R could be just as efficient running errands and getting you back and forth to work while taking on anything the weather can throw at it.  You know the GT-R can do it.  Just admit it.

1.) Bentley Continental

The Bentley Continental and it’s big brother the Flying Spur are the multi-taskers of the supercar universe.  While most 600 horsepower cars try to cram you into a sardine can of an interior the Bentley lets you bask in the spacious interior.  Packed with all wheel drive and snow tire options there’s no reason it can’t still be just as capable in the worst of weather conditions.  All this from a car with triple digit top speed and check out that trunk space!  Sure, like any supercar it has quirks and the maintenance may not be the cheapest, but it’s clear these were made to be driven and that just means why not daily… and many do.

Do you agree with our list?  Have some other cars that you think will make the grade?  Let us know in the comments below!

5 Defunct Car Brands You May Have Forgotten

The automotive business is a tough business.  Troubles of big brands like Ford, GM, and Chrysler are legendary.  Many of us wonder what would’ve happened if the Delorean, made famous in Back to the Future, was still in production.  Even more have tried to deduce a world where the cutting edge ideas that Tucker would’ve brought to the table had his very, very short automotive career, made famous by the movie of the same name, not been cut short.  We’re sure that no one will ever forget the epic battles of Pontiac when we hear reference to movies like Smokey and the Bandit either.  Yet alas they didn’t make the grade.

These are all famous products that have been immortalized in film and history, but how many have been forgotten to time?  How many famous brands have disappeared into obscurity, forgotten, and we are either too young or just not informed enough to know?

Here we’re going to talk about some and surmise what they would’ve brought to the table if they were still around today.


Auburn Automobile Company and Cord
Founded in 1909 through acquiring and merger of two other car companies the Auburn Automobile Company would be known for designing luxury cars.  When the brand failed to meet expectations the new owners came to a man by the name of E.L. Cord to run the company and he created the Cord Company as a holding company creating the Cord automobile in the process.

The Cord was a legendary vehicle.  It was notable as being front wheel drive and having hidden headlamps.  It was also underpowered and pricey, but its styling defied the negatives and it sold along with the Auburn designs that were produced in partnership with another vehicle on our list, the Duesenburg.

Even though Auburn and Cord defied the odds, Cord’s stock manipulation and the depression finally caught up and mounting reliability problem spelled demise and in 1937 the company folded.

It would be tough to see where the Cord would be today.  Television loved the vehicle and it made its appearance in James Bond books and as Batman’s car in the comics.  This just accentuates the brashness of the design.  Some would surmise the design would be similar to the Mazda RX 7’s with sloping aerodynamic lines and cutting edge looks.  Even the rotary engine fit right in with the kind of thinking Cord was known for.  Even if they weren’t reliable you could guarantee that they would be fun.



This brand was part of the Chrysler brand created in 1928.  It was made to compete against the larger luxury vehicles by being a low cost option, similar to mid-size cars of today and its initial sales broke records.

First failure for DeSoto came from a redesigned look that, although it worked for larger vehicles, failed miserably for the smaller DeSoto and it would be continue to be plagued by marketing and design problems while finding moments of renewed success for the rest of its tenure until it finally couldn’t keep up with the mistakes and in 1958 when the economy took a hit the DeSoto took a hit with it.  Losing over half its sales in a single year Chrysler decided to cut its loses and did away with the brand.

If DeSoto was around today it would be sort of small luxury vehicle.  It would be priced to sell but have good amenities.  During it’s time it fit right in with Dodge so there’s no doubt they would share similar platforms if not be a brand with Dodge, but chances are if it had made it this far it would’ve had little life expectancy past the bail outs and down-sizing Chrysler went through.


Duesenberg Motor Company
Duesenberg began its life in 1913 producing engines and race cars in Minnesota.  They would build on that race car heritage while developing luxury vehicles.

Many assign the word “doozy” to the manufacturer and although there are those that argue the etymology there is no denying it earned the title.  A coach built vehicle that was know for being gaudy big, crazy expensive, and insanely powerful.  In a time (1930s) when most cars couldn’t reach 100 mph Doozys were getting to zero to 60 in 8 seconds and passed 100.  It’s hard to really capture the true magnificence of the vehicle, but to put it in perspective many Duesenbergs sell today for over a million and even those that eclipse the $10 million mark.

Duesenberg’s leadership was never business savy and although they finally found footing as they moved toward the ’30s they were doomed from the start.  It would also be their laudyness that would be their demise when the depression destroyed the demand for luxury vehicles Duesenberg was unable to recover and in 1937 they closed up shop.

If Duesenbergs were around today they would be somewhere between Maybach and Bugatti.  It’s doubtful they would’ve embraced the compact cars of the ’60s, instead following in the likes of brands like Lamborghini with touring cars so notably they would share bedroom wall poster space.  There is little doubt that they would’ve already created the fastest production vehicle and would’ve held the title with a death grip with scary fast luxury cars.  The only car that has a good comparison to what we could’ve expected from every model would’ve been the Maybach Exelero, except the Doozy would’ve been worth more and have more power.  Absorb that for a moment.


Studebaker and Packard
Studebaker started making wagons for farmers and the military back in 1852.  They entered the automobile business in 1902 producing electric vehicles and in 1904 added gas powered vehicles.  They would go on to produce quality reliable cars for 50 years out of their headquarters in South Bend Indiana.

Unfortunately by the 1950s the World War and an automotive war against GM and Ford, among other things, had taken its toll on the brand.  In an attempt to recoup it purchased Packard, another luxury brand, in 1954, but the move was too little too late and as new and ever burdening problems mounted they eventually toppled the behemoth.  Many of its dealers went on to sell Mercedes-Benz products.

What would we see today if Studebaker was still in production?  These brands were known for reliability and luxury and they would’ve redefined, if not totally rocked, how we look at the concept of high end luxury today.  To put it in context, the Studebaker and Packard would be the American counterpart of Rolls-Royce and Bentley respectively only better.

In fact, we don’t have to imagine too much as Packard tried to revive the brand in 1999 with the the Packard Twelve.  Equipped with a 573 horsepower V12 8 liter mated to a 4 speed all wheel drive system, the prototype sold for a measly $150,000 it’s no doubt that had the brand continued we would be seeing quite a different landscape.


Lola Cars
Lola may not jump to mind as a street vehicle, but if you’re associated with racing Lola is legendary.  Lola started in 1958 form a merger between a rowing company and a carbon fiber company.  One of their famous cars was the Ford GT40.  Lola actually made many cars for other manufacturers which is why you may not even know they existed.  It would go on to be one of the oldest and largest race car designers in the world.

Lola is best known for its Formula and LeMans cars, but you would be hard pressed to know all their vehicles because they often wear the badges of the companies they were built for such as Nissan, Ford and Mazda.  Even though their vehicles never made it to city streets the Lola made quite the impression on the track with cars such as the T70.

Unfortunately Lola was unsuccessful in returning to F1 and without financial support mixed with other factors they declared bankruptcy in 2012 ending a long run of successful track time.

If Lola was still around they would still be producing amazing race cars for cutting edge competition while flying well under the radar for most enthusiasts.


Unfortunately we’ve lost a lot of other brands that have fallen under hard times or simply couldn’t net the support they needed to continue into the current day.  Chances are we’ll lose more down the road, but I hope we remember some of these legendary brands and take a moment to imagine what the world would be like if they were still around.