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November 05, 2014

"I Love Cars--The Greatest Invention of Mankind"

Ben Stein energetically praises cars.

Julius Caesar never had anything this good. Not even close. The emperors of China had hundreds of concubines, which sounds good when you’re young — but he never had anything like the luxury of a car. The car is what makes a man or a woman divine.

And for pennies. You can get a perfectly great car, air conditioning, power steering, great stereo, back view camera, for a few bucks a day. This is incredible.

October 17, 2014

"Watch This Drag Racer Flip Four Times Then Walk Away From The Crash"

A seatbelt apparently helped.

October 13, 2014

"21 Scams Used By Devious Car Dealers — And How To Avoid Them"

In my experience buying a new car is definitely not fun. It's better than listening to a life insurance salesman pitching whole life insurance, but that's not saying much.

Some fine examples of the ugliness are in this piece. In my most recent experience, a few weeks ago, I encountered these three:

1. A car listed as "new" on the dealer's website had 4200 miles on it, but the sales manager informed me that it could be sold as new because "it has never been titled".

2. Seconds away from closing the sale at a price listed on the dealer website and agreed to by the salesman, the sales manager told me I'd have to pay $1500 more than that price. That price, as indicated by teeny, tiny print on a second page of the website--with no asterisk on the first page--included "all applicable discounts" such as $1000 off for owning one of the manufacturer's cars and $500 off for being a veteran. 

3. Almost all the dealers near me selling the make I was interested in had added several hundred dollars of "dealer options" which were heavily marked up and included such fabulous opportunities as a "rear bumper decal" for $75. This is to say nothing about the $500 "dealer prep" charge which every dealer added in. 

That said, the experience seems to be slowly improving. I found quite helpful. The Black Book assessment of my trade-in at, among other places, was also helpful. I didn't use AAA's car buying service this time, but I had one excellent experience with them a few years back. 

Maybe in another ten or twenty years it'll be no more unpleasant than buying a refrigerator.

October 12, 2014

"10 Ways the Car Is Becoming More Than a Vehicle"

From Popular Mechanics. I've noticed that they are getting better at a rapid clip. One reason why:

In the past two decades, automakers have cut their seven-to-ten year product development lifecycles in half.

September 02, 2014

"The Future Could Work, if We Let It"

Nice piece by Farhad Manjoo about technological change in general but focusing on cars in particular

August 13, 2014

"12 Insightful Quotes About Cars From Jay Leno"

You can't argue with this one:

When you work with your hands, you learn to appreciate how easy it is to earn money talking.

August 12, 2014

"Why Unhappy Retirees Are Driving BMWs"

"On the other hand, the happiest retirees in comparably luxurious cars are driving Lexuses . . ."

August 02, 2014

"2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class"


It was the early 1980s when German automakers began introducing their aspirational four-wheeled ladders, and there are still three sedan Leitens to choose from depending on what you want your ladder to say: there's the C, ES, the 357 and the A4A6A8. The point of any ladder, though, has always been to climb – the only reason you stepped on the bottom rung was because you intended to get to the top, or at least as close as you could muster.

That might change with this car, the 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class. It might be so good that there's no need to climb any higher.

April 19, 2014

Three on survival

"5 Survival Myths That Will Kill You".

"6 Little-Known Driving Tips That Could Save Your Life".

"Here's How Long Someone Could Survive At Sea".

March 28, 2014

"The Ten Most Obnoxious Luxury Car Ads You'll Ever See"

Some silly ads well and truly nailed.

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