Friday, January 25, 2013

Update on the man card

Turn in your man card, Enzo | Messenger Puppet.

It is raining.  WGAF?  Wipers? Headlights? They're there to be used. Give it a car wash/detail before it goes back on the trailer

Turn in your man card, Enzo

Rich Guy 1:  Hey other  rich guys! Let's drive our exotic peacocks to Payson for some Spaghetti-Os!
Other Rich Guys:  Yay!  Let's shall!

But then, terror struck.  In a move worthy of the Arizona Cardinals...
My dad, watching the weather channel:  Hmm, 2% chance of rain in the barren wastelands Arizona.
Rich Guy 1:  Rain?... Abort!  Abort!

Per the newsletter
Yes... that's right.  It rains about 10 days per year, and it looks like we have 3 of them coming up in the next 4 days.  So, we are going to postpone the drive and lunch, and reschedule for 2/9/13.

then to Facebook:

Scuderia Southwest 18 hours ago

Saturday looks like it might rain! :(

  • Dave **** likes this.

  • Raoul Duke go anyway. That's why cars have wipers and headlights.

    17 hours ago · Like · 1

  • Scuderia Southwest Melting cars!

    16 hours ago via mobile · Like

  • Raoul Duke what a world, what a world...

    15 hours ago · Like

  • Scuderia Southwest ...and regrettably, our chariots melt in the rain. Heck, none of mine even have windshield wipers.

    8 hours ago · Like

fors some, the news was welcome...
Other rich dude: Thank epileptic Jesus we called it off.  Popping my headlights AND using my wipers?  I would need a Viagra AND a Cialis to do that. Or Prozac and Thorazine, on the rocks.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Sunday, January 13, 2013

8 Barrels full of Monkeys

The Barrett Jackson themed weekly car show at the Pavillions had a larger than usual contingent of wagons -that is to say, more than the usual zero. This time: a 1970 Plymouth Fury wagon. This is near and dear to my heart because:

  • It's a Fury.  QED
To be truthful there's more:

1970 Plymouth Fury wagon
One Adam 12

The "Wayback" Machine:

1984 Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser wayback
Not pictured: the ashtray above the lockable storage.
The Barrett Jackson themed weekly car show at the Pavillions had a larger than usual contingent of wagons -that is to say, more than the usual zero. This time:  1986 (+/-) Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser.  This is near and dear to my heart because:  
  • How do I know the year - there is a third brakelight, which came on line for 1986.
  • We owned a '78. Yay for red vinyl seats!.
  • I had a '79 Pontiac Catalina. Same car as Dad's, other than the tail lights and fiberglass front end, better adventures.
  • Shenanigans in the "wayback."
1984 Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser
No longer does the fake wood follow the wheel arches.

Wagon Train: 1973 Ford Country Squire

The Barrett Jackson themed weekly car show at the Pavillions had a larger than usual contingent of wagons -that is to say, more than the usual zero. This time:  1973 Ford Country Squire.  This is near and dear to my heart because:
  • I owned a '71.
  • I nearly bought a '70.
  • My good scoutmasters, Tex and papa Don, both had ones -'71 or '72s.  For sure, I preferred sleeping on folded down seats to leaky tents on soggy ground.
1973 Ford Country Squire

This is how it's done

1984 chevrolet Corvette

Dear Cars and Coffee people,
It's not a bad thing to pop your lights.
Us and Carparazzi everywhere

Friday, January 11, 2013

Ford and Friends

2013 Ford Focus Electric

2013 Ford Focus Electric

Not Your Father's Escort.

 The story of the car is over at Messenger Puppet.
2013 Ford C-Max Energi

2013 Ford C-Max Energi

#FordCES 2013: Country Club Living

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="672"]2013 Ford Focus Electric Grace and Vanessa loved it[/caption]

This is the 2013 Ford Focus Electric.  I like it a lot.  I thought about getting a Fiesta.  Focus is roomier.  It's a million times better than the previous generation. The ST is mad sexy. The electric?  I think I have to pass.  It's all about sticker shock.  Forty grand base price?  Ouch.  That's a 23K uptick in base price, notwithstanding all that glorious technology. A $300/mo. lease?  I could swing that, but I learned my lesson, leasing a minivan last decade. It's not for me.  YMMV. It's certainly a better car for a better price than the EV1 ever was.

That was before I went to the configurator to build and price one. With incentives and (one presumes) a tax credit, the price drops around $31.6K.  The C-max (to the left) I like so much came in at close to $35K.  The 2013 Ford Fusion hybrid to the right, built my way, comes in at around $31.6K, too. A Focus ST would be a hair under 30.

So, what have we learned so far?  Collect all your data, get to the summary page of the configurator, and then talk to a dealer you trust. (Sorry, Tex.)

However, as nice as this car is, and as competitively priced as it is, after incentives, comes the real question: utility. It has a range of 76 miles +/-.  Using my highly advanced mathematical skills, that means 38 miles, out and back.  I can go to the end of the county and back. Not to Flag; not even to Tucson.  Vegas and San Diego are out of the question.

I have friends that are shopping hybrids.  The wife preferred the C-MAX to a similar Prius.  Then she drove a Fusion Hybrid and preferred that to them both, as well as to a Camry hybrid. She's coming down from an Acura MDX.  In advising them, I said pick a car that does 85% of what you need.  I.e., don't buy a van because of one trip to Detroit.  Don't buy a Ferrari because of one date night you hope to have. This standard still doesn't make a Focus Electric work for the wife, because she drives more during a day, and can't spare the 3 hour charge time, as nice as it is to wean from petrol.  This would work better for the husband.

It would even work for me, but as a parent of a teenager, I get to preach one thing and act in a completely inconsistent way.  So, I am more likely to get another Mustang that is mostly a daily driver, than to indulge my inner petro-conscience and drive a strictly electric car, no matter how nice.
Dear Ford:

Please build a C-Max Energi SVO with 475 bhp (or electric equivalent), AWD. 18" Cragars and a panoramic sunroof.  And seats and a cargo hold that resist every negative aspect of my dogs' existence.


All of us in the melting igloo that is Phoenix, this weekend.

Penske Wynn Epilogue

In our last episode, the good folks at Penske Wynn Maserati charged ordinary mortals to stroll among the cars offered for sale. However, they also said, "no photos," claiming it was a policy at the Wynn.  Ever a fan of the scientific method, we tested this claim. Anecdotal evidence belies the claim.
Best AMC Eagle EVER!!!

If you could see tomorrow

the way it looks to us today, you'd say incredible...

Ford Motor Company jingle, ca. 1980 (hyping the 1981 Escort "world car")

Or, You've Come a Long Way, Baby. Or, Why yes, they're real.

[caption id="attachment_23475" align="alignnone" width="640"]Bertter than a Toyota Prius What to drive when Ford flies you to Las Vegas for the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show[/caption]

This is the 2013 Ford C-Max Energi "MAV (multi-activity vehicle)."  This is the plug in hybrid version - there is a "conventional" hybrid as well.  The engines are the same; battery output is not.  Not to piddle on a couple billion dollars of R&D, engineering and marketing (words like  MAV and "Energi" don't coin themselves, you know), but basically, the car comes in Prius (regular) and Volt flavors. Except better.  Here's why:
Another feature of the C-MAX Energi is called EV mode. This is a button that lets you switch the vehicle between EV Now, Auto EV and EV Later. So you can choose which mode to drive in – electric only, gasoline only, or a combination of gas and electric.

[caption id="attachment_23478" align="alignnone" width="640"]Kevin from Ford Kevin from Ford spent 20 minutes translating the story of hybrids into the language of 10 mpg Continental drivers. And explaining power tailgates.[/caption]

I put a couple miles on this fish, in and around the LV Convention Center.

  • plug in, rather than cordless.  At least you don't have to rewire your house.  You can just plug it in overnight, just like a smartphone.  But, you're never stranded.  Unlike a Volt, it's designed to use the engine like an engine when you want or it needs to.

  • "is it on?" Hit the start button and nothing mechanical happens.

  • When Car and Driver tested the electric Rolls, they heard "an occasional hint of dynamo hum, but for the most part, the drivetrain dialogue was overwhelmed by the hiss of tires on pavement and the whoosh of air flowing past the side windows."  Ditto.

  • At city speeds, the tire hum over the hard concrete of Vegas was a noticeable sound, if only because it had no audio competition. The engine never fired up.

  • We were not allowed to test its maximum dynamic capabilities in a high school parking lot. it was solid over bumps and softer riding than a Scion xB on 16s.

  • Roomy.  The cowl is low, so the front is airy.  The back seat was comfortable and roomy for our camera guy, a big man with a massive video camera.

  • Yes, I called it a fish.  That metal middle grill and the big headlights seal it.

  • Yes, I would buy one.

In four words:  Better Than Any Prius. (Or, "Best Escort Wagon Ever.")

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Best Garbage Scow Ever

We were wrong. We thought this guy was a Snottsdale Scottsdale poseur with a used Bentley and a purse dog.
rolls-royce phantom coupe
It turns out he's a big dog.  Black on black Phantom Coupé. The only one like it (supposedly) in the country.  So, what do we have now, in the corrected
ParasiteParadise Valley version.
  • Cell phone glued to ear?  nope. In PV, we have people to take our calls, and hands-free in the car.

  • Oblivious to everything outside of personal space?  Check.  These proles were too close to where he wanted to park. Give them a token interaction and maybe they'll save you from a door ding.

  • Foofy purse dog? Must have left that with the trophy wife.  Or else, "not in my car, miss silicone."

  • Rarer than rare Roller, because even if it's used, it costs four normal houses?  Check.  We would have accepted a 40 year old Lambo, or a bespoke EWB Phantom.

  • Safe colors? Check.  Don’t be controversial. Be proud of the "rarity" of a black car.

  • Safe colors?  Check. But your outfit is a daring color scheme compared to the safety of black.

  • "Always bet on Black" - Wesley Snipes

  • "McMansion"?  Probably the guest house in back qualifies.

  • Malthusian contempt for the masses by using the mall for his garbage. (say it like it's French gar-BAAGZH)
The plastic trash bags though? What the fuck, dude? Shouldn't they be made from the finest cow hides?  I understand lifting your own bags.  If you won't let a yippy purse dog in the Roller, you're sure as fuck not letting Jesus the piss boy ride shotgun.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Well, i guess I am not going inside after all...

Facebook to the rescue again.
  • Josh ****** Why is it that you charge to get in your dealership and still won't let anyone take pics ...??? When I purchase a Ferrari it will not be in Vegas which would be cool ... It will be at a dealer that had more respect for me when I was window shopping 
  • Penske Wynn Maserati Josh, we apologize for the any inconvenience that our policies may cause. Since our dealership is a part of the Wynn hotel we are expected to follow the rules and regulations that have been put in place. We are happy to show you any of our makes/models but in order for us to keep in good standing and continue to have our dealership in a great location we must adhere to the rules. Thank you, Penske Wynn Maserati
I went there with my camera in 2009 - they had a Ferrari FXX. Yeah baby!
Ferrari FXX Penske Wynn Ferrari Maserati

I didn't go inside, because"WHAT?!?!? $10 to walk inside a car dealer? WTF?"

I went back each of the three subsequent trips to Vegas for SEMA.  I had heard things about spicy Italian tarts on the lower floor (no windows), but what was upstairs (Maser coupes, 430s, 458s) was lame and pedestrian for my $10.  I could see that stuff trolling the Strip for free.  I didn't notice any "no photos" sign in '09, but that might have been due to the immediate shock of a cover charge with no SEMA-type models showing off the cars.

Nowhere on their websites, dealer or resort, do they state these "rules" or "policies."  (as of today, as far as I could find.)

Personally, I think it's just continued dickishness of Ferrari dealers, projected onto the resort as a symbiotic fake scapegoat.