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The O.C.

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Everything posted by The O.C.

  1. I just picked up my new company car.....a 2006 Liberty Sport 4X4 with a 6-speed MANUAL transmission.....surely a rare bird these days. MSRP - $26,400. Sport package, 4X4, 3.7L OHC V6, manual tranny, moonroof, 6-disc changer, Infinity speakers, skid plate package, alloy wheels, dark tint, 6-way power driver seat, etc. Black with Khaki cloth interior. I looked at everything (in my company's price range) from an Equinox, Escape, Tucson/Sportage twins, RAV4, CR-V, etc. I chose the Jeep because ultimately, I wanted something a bit more than a "cute ute" because I do occasionally do some light off-roading when we go to the desert, and I also want to be able to tow our seadoos (about 3K lbs.) AND, a plus for me was the availability of a manual transmission. I did have to special-order it, however, as I wanted a more-or-less "loaded" Liberty WITH the manual tranny and the ONLY manual ones I could find were base strippy "beer cans." Overall, I really like the vehicle. The clutch and shifter are VERY smooth on this Liberty....not truckish at all like the Wrangler I used to have. That was what ultimately sold me on actually ordering the 6-speed manual was how smooth it drove. i'm a fan of the 3.7L V6....as I had one in my '04 Liberty (with the 4-speed automatic.) However, it's not a revver....more of a torquer....and almost seems like a pushrod motor to me in this sense even though it IS an OHC design. The torque of this motor mates nicely with the manual transmission and makes L.A. rush-hour traffic navigating an easy chore...as you don't have to shift too much in traffic (you can lug it pretty well in higher gears as traffic slows down and speeds up.) The engine DOES seem a bit quieter in this application.....why do some engines seems to thrash or moan less when they are paired with a manual tranny...? However, when you really get on it, it does seem quite a bit peppier than the other Liberty I had. I'm sure the two extra gear ratios definitely help. This Liberty has even better ride quality than my old one (did they retune the suspension in the last few years?) and is damn near the equal of the car-based utes such as Equinox and Escape. You DON'T get the usual "head-toss" motion of many truck-based SUVs. It can't quite go around corners as well as they can....but it really is a nice-riding vehicle on the freeway and around town...and it's QUIET. Fuel economy is already better than my '04 automatic. I got 17.5mpg on my first tank (as the Jeep is hardly "broken in.") I only could average 11-13mpg with my other Liberty. I hope to see the mpg increase a bit to 18-19 as the truck gets a few thousand miles on it. I would consider that MORE than acceptable considering the V6 performance, towing, and off-road ability of the vehicle. The new seats ('05) are an improvement and I still like the attractive interior design and instrument cluster with nicely-grained hard plastics and soft door trim. The only downside is that there is not as much front seat room as in Equinox or Escape. It seems a bit tighter in there. Back seat room is okay. However, since it will usually just be me in the vehicle, it's a perfect size. Finally, I'm happy because IMHO I think it's an attractive 'ute and avoids the "soccer mom" appearance of many of the other car-based SUVs. Any other thoughts/comments/questions?
  2. The O.C.

    4.3L "Baby LT1" V8

    OK....so I'm flipping through some old C&D rags and in the 10-93 issue, highlighting the "1994 New Cars" there was an article in the Technical Highlights section talking about GM's new "baby" LT1 variant....a 4.3L version that would be the base Caprice Classic engine along with the optional 5.7L LT1.... Does anyone remember this engine? I don't even remember it existing.....and surprised we didn't see it in other applications (might it have fit tranversly in a GM-10 of the time??) Here's how the two engines compared: 4.3L, SFI V8 (5.7L SFI V8) 200 hp (260 hp) 245 lb/ft torque (335 lb/ft torque) Let me know if you know anything about it...!
  3. The O.C.

    He's baaaaacccckkkkkk......

    Hey guys I just wanted to post a thread on here and say a big "hi" to all my C&G friends! Sorry I have been away for so long but perhaps this is a good time to update everyone on what's been happening to me...... After basically going thru a ton of $h! (who hasn't these last few years), just trying to keep any sort of job after Flex Fund closed down (the auto finance company I was working for) I went to Las Vegas for about 8 months and worked at the Cadillac store there then came back to Southern California in December of 2009. I guess I should change my name to "The L.A." lol because I moved from Orange County up to L.A. to work at Audi of Santa Monica. Found me a cool little apartment in Brentwood off the 405 and Sunset. Been up here for about 2 years and actually love it! I didn't know how I would like living right in the city after spending so long in suburban O.C. but it has actually been very very cool. Back in May 2009, I finally landed and settled a great gig. I'm a sales manager at a BMW and MINI Cooper dealership in the Pasadena area. The GM is a long-time friend of mine. I spend most of my time down as a manager at MINI, but I also order all the BMWs so I get to keep my fingers in the BMW stew somewhat as well. It's a big store.....about 400-500 (BMW, MINI, used, CPO)units a month.....and MINI is the 11th-largest MINI Cooper dealership out of about 110 dealerships nationwide. So that's my excuse. You guys all know the retail dealership hours are pretty horrific, and they are even worse here at MINI because we only have two managers. I usually pull 3, sometimes 4 14-hour days each week. By the time I get home at 10-11pm, I don't have the energy to sit on the computer and chat and I never get to take weekends off. I'm going to try to be way more active on here.....try to login during weekdays when biz slows a bit. As far as my personal rides, I've had a couple really cool, low-mileage and cheap rides lately....when I first got here, I picked up a 1997 Benz E420, black-on-black, with only 50K actual miles (literally was a little old lady from Pasadena that had it lol) and what a great "old" Benz....I believe the last of the pre-Chryslers. What a smooth V8, super solid feel, and I got 23mpg commuting from home! Then this last winter's rains stole her from me in a crazy ass car crash....so I had to replace her. Found a 2001 (E46....one of my favorite 3-ers)BMW 325Ci Convertible.....red over black, 5-speed, sport, premium.....only 65,000 miles. The lady that owned it babied it so much from day one (garaged and covered all the time) the car is like new! If you didn't know your body styles of BMW, you would probably think the car was 2 years old versus 10. So the bimmer ragtop is my current ride....and loving the sweet-revving inline 6 and stickshift.....getting 26 mpg commuting in this so I figure that's pretty good! So at work, the hours are tough.....but I love the store and love working with MINI Cooper and BMW. So if any of you local SoCal guys are ever in the area, stop in to MINI and say "hi!" It's BMW and MINI of Monrovia off the 210 freeway about 8 miles east of downtown Pasadena! Great to be back guys.....keep in touch! tannersoc@aol.com......anyone email me if you wanna swap cell numbers! Cheers, Chris
  4. The O.C.

    He's baaaaacccckkkkkk......

    LOL, LOL......I didn't even realize that was today! How are you doing bud?
  5. The O.C.

    He's baaaaacccckkkkkk......

    LOL I agree.....in fact it's funny.....one of our sales guys just bought a 2002 325Ci convertible we took in on trade, also really well kept.....the other sales manager just bought an '01 330i sedan we took in on trade....and one of the other sales guys has an '04 330i Coupe ZHP.....so we have four E46s in our "family" here at MINI...!
  6. The O.C.

    He's baaaaacccckkkkkk......

    OMG.....sorry guys that friggin' picture of me came out so big ugh.....
  7. The O.C.

    Detroit 2010: Cadillac XTS Platinum Concept

    Ok....but the Haldex is still a viscous-coupling system compared to Quattro's torque-sensing differential....there is a difference in the technologies and what their intended purpose is. Ironically, the A3 is the only "Quattro" to use a viscous-coupling system. (And technically speaking, is not a "Quattro" system even though they brand it as such.) All other Audis (including the SUVs) use the torque sensing differential system.
  8. The O.C.

    Detroit 2010: Cadillac XTS Platinum Concept

    What everyone is also forgetting in this damn Audi-vs-AWD XTS debate is that not all all-wheel-drive systems are the same. Audi's is significantly (ok maybe too strong a word....) more advanced than the Haldex viscous coupling AWD system.....and it doesn't seem feasible that GM has expended the capital to develop a significantly new-and-improved AWD system over the Haldex.....so my assumption is the XTS AWD system will be the very same that GM has been using. Also, even though Audis are FWD-based.....they seem to get a "pass" in the marketplace and in public perception because almost 30 years ago, they developed "Quattro" and have a long line of rally and racing victories directly attributed to that Quattro system. It is perceived as, and been developed to, enhance the handling and driving experience of Audis....not just provide a bad-weather-traction benefit. Audi is widely recognized because of its Quattro system. In this regard.....the FWD-based Quattro system seems to be a natural to the Audi product......whereas the idea of an "AWD" XTS is a stop-gap to try to sway public perception away from a front-wheel-drive Cadillac flagship sedan.
  9. The O.C.

    Detroit 2010: Cadillac XTS Platinum Concept

    .....and the Haldex AWD system is not anywhere as advanced as, say, Audi's torque sensing differential combined with the electronic rear differential.....which can split torque front to rear, and also side to side at the rear wheels...
  10. Lord GM pisses me off sometimes. What was ever wrong with "Premium American Motorcars?" Does ANYTHING better describe what Buick can and should be?
  11. My problem with examples of rebadging like Terrain and Equinox is that, they are pretty much the same vehicles and pretty much totally overlap each other in price. Sure the styling is different. But other than that, what does Terrain offer to elevate it to another level? More features and luxuries? No. Different powertrains? No. More off-road capability even? No. In fact, I was stunned to see at the Los Angeles Auto Show a Terrain and Equinox with identical interiors....(yeah the dashes are slightly different, but the interior seats and trim were the same black w/light grey patterened inserts and red stitching....
  12. The O.C.

    Orange County Auto Show.....

    I put this in the Lounge cause I thought I'd get a quicker response......I'm just wondering if any of you Southern California guys are going to the O.C. auto show? It starts tomorrow and runs thru Sunday......10-15 to 10-18. Anaheim Convention Center. I'll be there tomorrow evening......Thursday..... I know it's not a big show like L.A., but it's still a decent show.....and for us CA guys, it's the first one of the season....and usually has some cool things going on (like a Fiesta ride-and-drive) even though it's a smaller show, it's right in the heart of SoCal.....
  13. The O.C.

    Bob Lutz Shares Details of the Chevrolet Volt

    Unfortunately, I think the GMT-900 Hybrids are a bust...... When I was in Las Vegas working for Caddy, my GM used to drive Escalades.....and since he and I shared a house, I would drive his Escalade fairly often.....and the Escalade averaged around 14mpg (mostly city driving, some highway.) Then, he started driving the Hybrid because he thought it was cool. When I started monitoring the mileage on that vehicle, it averaged around 15.5-16mpg at best in similar commuting conditions. For me, the extra 1.5-2mpg just didn't add up for me considering the loss in performance with the Hybrid.....not to mention the additional up-front cost of that model over a "normal" Escalade. You also can't get second-row captains chairs (which everyone buying Escalades really wanted.) I will say, however, the engineering of the Hybrid was exceptional.....it's a nice package. Just doesn't provide any meaningful improvement in fuel economy considering the cost and lesser performance IMHO.
  14. The O.C.

    Article on "America's Prettiest Towns"

    I LOVE Sedona and Santa Fe.........Monterey is awesome as well........and Savannah is wonderful as well.......
  15. The O.C.

    The SF Bay Bridge is CLOSED

    To me, I'd rather "live" in southern California, but "visit" San Francisco for fun....... The weather is just so much better down here.......and the people are way more laid-back in many respects.....people in SF seem so uptight.....and they have a real inferiority complex with L.A......hell, L.A. is the "New York" of the west coast......a world-wide powerhouse of a city with influence that reaches the world over many times.....for all it's beauty and culture, SF simply cannot compete in that arena...... San Francisco is beautiful and there is no denying the international appeal of the city in terms of dining, museums, and the like......all much more centrally located.......but then again in Los Angeles, you can get just as much culture, entertainment, and high-society......you just have to drive around for it more......lol As far as which is more beautiful.......I call it a "draw." There's nothing like driving into San Francisco over the Bay Bridge and coming into the city.......one of the most beautiful sights anywhere.....and the "Manhattan"-like feel of the city is awesome...... ......but then again, almost as beautiful is the (often-seen) picture of downtown L.A. with the snow-capped mountains in the background, and beautiful palm trees in the foreground......and the coastline along southern California could be said to be some of the most beautiful in the world......
  16. The O.C.

    So lone Misery

    Fo' shur..... Dallas is where we moved from OKC when I was little........went to high school in Bedford....!
  17. The O.C.

    Television Theme Songs

    Maude was just a bit too much before my time for me to watch it or get into it.....
  18. The O.C.


    But I don't get that vibe with just about any other car out there on the market......they all look much better proportioned.....
  19. The O.C.

    The SF Bay Bridge is CLOSED

    The awful thing about BART is it shuts down at midnight. What's the good of that, if you live in the burbs and wanna take BART into the city for an evening of libations and don't wanna drink-and-drive? If you are planning a late night out at the bars, you'll have no BART waiting for you at 2am.....I sadly ended up driving into the city every weekend when I went out....and had to temper my drinking with sensability.....ugh.....the fun I could've had.....
  20. The O.C.

    The SF Bay Bridge is CLOSED

    I lived in Danville for two years......and if I had an office job in the city, I would have loved to travel by BART into the city.....the Walnut Creek station was only like 5-10 minutes from my place..... Just think.....you can go out after work and play, drink, not have to worry about driving home (well you couldn't play too hard....still have to make the 5 min drive from WC to home....lol) but no traffic stress.....etc, etc.....
  21. The O.C.


    Why is it these days SO MANY new GM cars look too narrow? I see this even in the new LaCrosse!!! (Malibu is pretty bad too....)
  22. The O.C.

    Rant: The Half-Ass Double Stop.

    Ugh.....I love these threads because there is SO MUCH that I have to rant on about other drivers.....and urs above is another prime example...... Let's see.....a particular pet peeve of mine is slow driving......I mean unusually slow driving for the conditions......like peetering onto the freeway when traffic is flying at 80+ mph......or being in the right hand lane going like 55mph.....when I'm one lane to the left travelling at a sane and almost legal 70pmh.....and you decide to change lanes and get in front of me......while still going 55mph...... Or people that simply won't keep up with the flow of traffic.....even if traffic is not exceeding the speed limit.....
  23. The O.C.

    Television Theme Songs

    I know I should probably rotate my sig more.....but I just LOVE Dorothy with the massive cucumber.....(not that there's anything phallic about it....)
  24. The O.C.

    So lone Misery

    OH good....then you ARE already familiar with it......sorry I forgot, but past conversations are coming back to me.....
  25. The O.C.

    Television Theme Songs

    One of my favorites.......ok not really a song with words......but fun to listen to and watch all the same! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFD9dcqIC3Y...feature=related Isn't she just GORGEOUS?

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