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Showing content with the highest reputation since 12/19/2018 in Posts

  1. 8 points
    Cheers and Gears has a policy of no political talk on the boards, but it's impossible to do the traditional review of the year's significant events without mentioning some of the actions of the federal government that so permeate the news and our lives. Those who get their delicate sensibilities easily offended are urged to skip this post and go elsewhere, such as link. That said, here are some of the things that happened in our country: The deadliest high school shooting in U.S. history occurred in Parkland, Florida in February. Teenagers became vocal activists, in stark contrast to timid politicians, and reignited the gun control debate. “America’s Dad” Bill Cosby was sentenced to 3 to 10 years for sexual assault in September. That same month the confirmation hearings for Judge and beer-lover Brett Kavanaugh furthered the national discourse on sexual assault. The mid-term elections in November resulted in 40 House seats turning from red to blue and ending one-party rule that had no checks and balances to the executive branch of government. The occupant of the White House is incapable of speaking the truth but instead speaks what he wants to be the truth. The actions of the self-proclaimed stable genius seem to be designed only to further his political base or to punish his perceived enemies. Advice is not taken from experts in the field but instead by morning talk show hosts and radio personalities. The lack of response to the October brutal killing of U.S. resident and Washington Post writer Jamal Khashoggi ordered by the Saudi crown prince known as MBS showed that moral authority has been abdicated and replaced by the bottom line and dictator envy. Immigrant children of families fleeing hostile regimes were separated from their parents and placed in chain-link cages in detention centers. The ongoing Robert Mueller investigation into Russia hung over the entire administration and netted more than 30 indictments or guilty pleas. At the end of the year, one third of the federal government was shut down over funding the southern border wall. The Camp Fire in California leveled the town of Paradise in November and killed more than 80 people. It was the worst U.S. wildfire in the last 100 years. California’s Governor Brown proclaimed that massive fires were the new abnormal as wildfires ravaged all parts of the state after years of drought. Brick and mortar retail continued to take a beating. Toys R Us, under the crushing debt of a leveraged buyout, shut down in June.. Sears declared bankruptcy in October and was on the verge of liquidation by year end. Prominent passings included Arizona Senator John McCain, 41st President George H.W. and former First Lady Barbara Bush, actor Burt Reynolds, physicist Stephen Hawking, singer Aretha Franklin, actress and director Penny Marshall, Microsoft’s Paul Allen, evangelist Billy Graham, writer Tom Wolfe, and playwright Neil Simon. In the automotive world, Ford announced in April that it was killing off traditional cars other than the Mustang and a Focus Active model that was later canceled because of tariffs. The range of electric vehicles continued to increase from having denser cells in batteries and more cost-effective battery production, but no breakthrough battery technology, such as solid-state batteries, has yet been introduced. Jaguar introduced the relatively inefficient I-Pace, EV, and many more luxury EVs from the likes of Audi, Porsche, and Mercedes-Benz will be coming to market soon. The Faraday Future EV, which was expected to cost close to $300,000 and be built at a former Pirelli tire factory in Central California, appeared to be dead after a major backer in China who had pledged $2 billion pulled back. However, at the end of the year it was back alive after a settlement was made with that investor. The march towards fully autonomous vehicles continues, with Tesla claiming that the technology is ready for Teslas less than two years old. Waymo introduced driverless ride-hailing in Arizona with modified Chrysler Pacifica Hybrids. In March Waymo had announced purchasing 20,000 Jaguar I-Paces by 2022 for driverless ride-hailing. In November, the Chevy Volt was killed with the federal tax credit becoming halved with GM meeting the milestone of selling 200,000 EVs. The Volt was a groundbreaking vehicle that did not meet sales projections, and the current generation was cramped and not what SUV-buying masses wanted. Unfortunately the rumored crossover successor does not appear it will become a reality. The large Chevrolet Impala, Buick Lacrosse, and Cadillac XTS and CT6 were also killed. The not quite a flagship CT6 was competent and attractive but never caught on with consumers. The groundbreaking Super Cruise will live on in other vehicles though. With these vehicles being canceled, GM is closing five factories in Ohio, Maryland, Michigan, and Canada. In December, Carlos Ghosn, the CEO of Renault and Nissan who saved Nissan, was jailed for financial misconduct on allegations that he was enriching himself through accounting fraud. His family feels that there was scheme to remove Ghosn because of his desire to merge Renault and Nissan, a move that is unpopular with some in Japan. On a personal note, I still have not been spending much time on the boards because life has kept me busy in other directions. My personal transport mode of choice remains my human-powered road bike, and my household still has two fully electric vehicles, though one will soon be departing at end of lease. That car will be sorely missed even though it is considered a compliance car to meet California’s EV mandate. It was one of the best vehicles I have ever owned, and I plan to have a write-up here in a couple of months. And finally, here are some of the automotive highs and lows of the past year in the 17th Annual Edition of Cheers and Jeers: Cheers to Elon Musk, despite his erratic behavior, including smoking pot during a radio interview, insinuating that a rescuer of the flooded Thai caves was a child molester, and claiming that he had the means to take Tesla private, and thus raising the stock price but resulting in a $20 million fine, for Best Save by being able to deliver Tesla Model 3 vehicles as promised and keeping the company solvent. What helped was putting together an assembly line in a tent in the parking lot. Elon Musk also started building a network of tunnels in Los Angeles by his tunneling company known as The Boring Company as a way to avoid surface congestion. Cheers to Ford for Best Revival by bringing back the Ranger after an absence of 8 years. Full-size pickups have gotten too big and expensive, and mid-size trucks hit the sweet spot for many buyers. The Ranger will come only with a turbo 4 when it goes on sale early in the year, which may limit its appeal. It will soon be followed by a reborn Bronco. Cheers to GMC for the Best Innovation, the MultiPro tailgate on the new Sierra. The ingenious bed extender and built-in step is elegant in its operation. Jeers to GM for Worst Eco Move by having worse fuel economy in several variations of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra despite a weight loss of up to 450 pounds in the brand new trucks. Even the first 4-cylinder in a full-size pickup, quite the bold move, has lower MPG than its predecessor V-6.. Cheers to Lincoln for Best Resoluteness by remaining relevant building on the success of the Navigator with the new Aviator, rechristened Nautilus, and suicide-doored version of the slow-selling Continental. Once thought to be relegated to second-tier luxury car status, there is no sign of slowing down. With the Ford Division purging of almost all cars, it is unknown what will happen to the Lincoln MKZ and Continental sedans, but it would not be surprising to see them go. Jeers to Worst Styling Sin for any vehicle with a so-called floating roof with a partially blackened rear pillar. Some of the worst offenders are the 2020 Kia Soul and the GMC Terrain, which has a tiny window between the C and D pillars to prioritize style over functional visibility. Almost as bad are all the oversized front grilles filled with solid black plastic, which demonstrate a lack of styling imagination. The most distinctive parts of vehicles are now often the lighting. Cheers to Hyundai and Kia for making the Best Affordable EVs with more than 250 miles of range. The Hyundai Kona, Kia Niro EV, and Kia Soul EV will sell for around $30,000 after the $7,500 federal tax credit. Jeers to Nissan for the long-range Leaf E-Plus being a No Show at the Los Angeles Auto Show as had been planned. It has been speculated that the vehicle was pulled because of the Carlos Ghosn situation, but Nissan is letting itself be overshadowed by other EVs, and the lack of liquid-cooling for the current Leaf remains a concern for the longevity of the batteries. Hope everyone has a safe and Happy New Year!
  2. 8 points
  3. 7 points
    A few pics to start...blue is really growing on me....usually a bigger fan of the darker blues.....
  4. 6 points
    Too bad we won't get the new generation Focus here, it's pretty good looking in hatchback form.
  5. 5 points
  6. 5 points
  7. 5 points
    In order to get adaptive cruise control, you have to pony up $3,575 for the ENHANCED CONVENIENCE AND DRIVER CONFIDENCE II PACKAGE. Also means a minumum of RS or Premier trims before that package becomes available. Adaptive Cruise is standard on Edge and Passport and RAV4 and Highlander and Pilot.
  8. 5 points
    The 'Corinthian' era was a joke. And you harp on it because it was a joke. RE the first gen Toronado- I can't believe you believe this. Merceds in the same period couldn't even compete with Oldsmobile, nevermind Cadillac- they were still building stodgy tombstone-grilled sedans with outdated fins grafted on and no performance. The best they could offer stylistically was the archaic SL; 0-60 in 10 secs and and external gas filler neck sprouting from the rear panel like a sawed off sapling stump. They were still reverse-engineering A/C & high performance from General Motors cars then. Toronado was an engineering, performance and design powerhouse, a permanent historical icon (and I'm not even an Olds guy/ never owned one). My God, man :
  9. 5 points
    Its one thing to humanize a dog. At least its living and breathing. Its another to humanize an object. If you really want personality in your transportation medium, horses are the way to go. Im not trying to be funny, just pointing out that an inanimate object have no personalities... Trust me, I know what you mean though about "personality". Different engine's have different horsepower and torque curves and different sounds they make... However, it is also wrong to think that all electric motors in different types of cars will be "tuned" the same. In fact, Tesla Model S and Model 3 cars, and Im talking about personal experience here, both have different settings on how the cars accelerate and use up battery power according to what setting the driver has chosen... Coincidentally, ICE cars have that too... But, such as like ICE cars, small "personality" differences between the model itself that the driver chooses. Do not mistake though, that a Prius drives differently than a Bolt that drives differently than a Tesla Model S that drives differently than a Model 3. Coincidentally, ICE cars have that too... So...the sound is missing on an electric motorized vehicle? A Corvette in Tour mode, AND with all the NOISE pollution hardware that was made into law sometime ago for cars not to make noise because public nuisance, and the LT5 755 horsepower V8 could hardly be heard outside the car AND even inside the cabin. And THAT is on a super fast sports car. When we are talking about current FWD Chevrolet Impalas or 4 door modern Dodge Chargers with our without the V8s, or Honda Accords or Cadillacs or especially Lexus and Buick cars, there is virtually no engine sounds being heard anywhere, unless we open up the hood of the car while the engine is turning. So much so that BMWs, the Mustang and others pipe the engine noises through the car radio speakers. And in some cases, like the aforementioned BMWs, FAKE engine noises... But, I aint here to convert you...just here to keep you informed.
  10. 5 points
    Save the CT6, even if the flagship is nowadays the Escalade. The FWD sedans can safely die. We need the CT6 badly.
  11. 5 points
    Yeah everything in time. Seats and upholstery was redone but the dash... I was always afraid of doing a repaint but if I take my time this Spring and mask everything off properly I should be good to go
  12. 5 points
    Ahh- wasn't enough in the pic for me to recognize it. Guess I would've also assumed the interior was super sano like the exterior. I sent my B-59 radio out, had it converted to electronic AM/FM/aux jack- looks 100% stock on the outside. I also cut in holes in the package shelf for 6x9s (my car only had a 4x9 dash speaker), still have to do the doors for 6.5"ers.
  13. 5 points
    Big, brash, fuselage-bodied '69 Fury VIP hardtop coupe, with the uber-cool 'recall' magnesium rims. 1,059 built, 215-in overall length, all steel & cast iron, 3670 lbs.
  14. 5 points
    '60 Bonneville. SO fabulous! - - - - -
  15. 5 points
    I priced a piece of red oak a few weeks ago locally- got hired to make a free-standing 'bar countertop'. Not live edge but dimensionally rough cut; 6/4 x 11"-8' : $90. Place has stupendously beautiful raw material, plus makes select pieces of furniture. The exotic slabs, depending on species and visual interest, can be over $900 ea. One of their tables:
  16. 5 points
    10 PRINT "LIVE EDGE"; 20 GOTO 10 RUN
  17. 4 points
    What was that line: Never mistake malice for incompetence. . . . or something like that. Unfortunately, that applies everywhere, not just in Corporate America. Oldshurst has a point about other countries favoring the home team in terms of buying goods and services, whereas a lot of Americans (since the 70s) essentially said: it's all about ME and not about WE.
  18. 4 points
    The effects they used for the intro were amazing
  19. 4 points
    Bout time rates went up and the senseless cycle of financialization ended. When rates go up people save rather than spend. Why does that need such a negative media spot light? Saving is good! Pay off debt! Damn media is unhinged...
  20. 4 points
  21. 4 points
    Seattle was massively & extensively regraded in the early 20th Century- the old street used to be up where the building was. Engineers moved on the order of 50 million cubic yards of material and razed a lot of buildings for a number of reason (filling the tidepools at the water edge, enxtending available land, aiding water lines coming into the city, lessening grades, etc. Pretty amazing operation.
  22. 4 points
    Tesla is catching up to MB quickly.
  23. 4 points
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  25. 4 points
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