The Supper Club: Dwindling, But Not Gone-Yet!

(NOTE: This article was originally published as a guest editorial in the Iowa City Press-Citizen, by my uncle, David Klockau. I thought RG’s regular readers might enjoy it! -TK)

The classic Midwestern supper club, once a regular sighting on the old pre-Interstate highways in the heartland, are getting harder to find in this day and age. However, I disagree that the supper club as we know it has “ended.” They are still out there, and still worth seeking out.

Dave’s freeloading nephew (that’s me!) provided transportation to the Ced-Rel on our last visit.

In fact, friends of mine organized an informal supper club club. While I live in Iowa City, our group makes regular trips to the Ced-Rel Supper Club on Highway 30 just a short drive west of Cedar Rapids and the Lighthouse on the opposite side of Cedar Rapids in Marion. Both restaurants are always busy. The Ced-Rel serves a fantastic hot and cold multi-level relish tray, and in addition to excellent steaks, they have bacon-wrapped, cheese stuffed jumbo shrimp in a tempura style-batter. And Lighthouse has an outstanding prime rib cut.

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A Delayed Response To A Relevant Question

 

As y’all may have noticed, we don’t follow any sort of posting schedule here at the Green. Yes, it’s true that we should be posting everything at 11:00 Eastern time on Mondays and Tuesdays for maximum traffic, but since the total lifetime revenue generated by this site is slightly less than one cent, it really doesn’t matter. The result of this is that I often don’t read all the comments on each post, because they sometimes trickle in days later due to the fact that we might go a day or two without a new post from time to time.

That being said, there is a comment that I want to address, and I want to ensure that it doesn’t get buried in the comments section on a post from two weeks ago. The comment, from Duong Nguyen on the “Green Heck” Weekly Roundup, goes a little something like this:

This Lotus and Acura drives are really stepping a wee bit close to the journasar buffet line for my taste… I mean Bark is mentioning Acura PR flacks in his instagram posts and Jack gets a free ride in a one off Lotus painted in his favorite car color? I just don’t see how these things don’t influence what gets written.

I’ll still keep reading, just wanted to point this out. I know there’s not really an ideal way around it.

Excellent comment/point/statement. And as one of the more vocal critics of the “journosaur buffet line” culture, myself, I think it requires an answer.

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(Last) Weekly Roundup: The Bumble In London

“Why, Sir, you find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.” — Samuel Johnson, to James Boswell, 20 September 1777

Late last week, I found myself standing in the spot where Samuel Johnson finished his Dictionary Of The English Language. This was my second visit to London in just three weeks, but the first time I was booked very tight with work. For this trip, I resolved to enjoy the city, which I did indeed. Besides the visits to Dr. Johnson’s home and to various pubs at which the great man was reputed to have dined, I went through a veritable Franky Four Fingers montage of visits to tailors and watch shops. The things I commissioned will be trickling in over the course of the next twelve months, so I will have to learn patience.

For the impatient among whose numbers I still count myself, however, let’s cut directly to last week’s publications, shall we?

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Imagine Yourself In A Mercury: 1979 Cougar Sedan

A four door Cougar? Oh yes! Once upon a time, in the ’70s, nameplate recognition actually meant something. And cars had actual names! Starting in 1974, the Cougar coupe finally broke it off with the Mustang body and chassis-wise, becoming a super-luxe Montego while the Mustang became a sequel and shrunk.

The reconfigured 1974 Cougar dropped all sport pretensions, and became a mini-Mark IV of sorts, with that ’70s domestic “boulevard ride” and lots and lots of options. Despite the loss of the convertible, sales of the ’74-’76 Cougar were extremely healthy.

So healthy, in fact, that when the time came for a redesign in 1977, the L-M powers-that-be decided that even more would be even better. Oh sure, the top-of-the-line XR-7 coupe was still in evidence, and even sharper with bladed fenders, quad rectangular headlamps and even more options! But there were several new additions that the folks who’d been driving Cougars since 1967 may have been surprised to see.

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The RS Adrenaline Academy Lives Up To The Focus RS Hype Machine

I had submitted this one to an outlet a while ago, but it never ran. Sad face. So here it is for Riverside Green readers—enjoy!

 

If you’re a fan of performance cars, it’s nearly impossible for you to argue with much of what Ford Performance has been up to in the last few years. The Boss 302 changed our perceptions of what was possible to accomplish on track with a pony car, and then the Shelby GT350 ripped open that envelope with a serrated blade. The Focus and Fiesta ST brothers packed more fun per dollar into a car than we’ve seen since the original GTI. And at the other end of the spectrum, let’s not forget the Ford GT and its return to motorsports dominance.

However, the one we were all waiting for, the one our European brothers have been taunting us with for generations, was the Focus RS. Complete with 350 horsepower, all-wheel drive, blindingly beautiful Nitrous Blue paint, and, yes, the publicity stunt that is “Drift Mode,” the RS arrived on our shores in 2016 with more pomp and circumstance than even Edward Elgar could have imagined. Despite my personal skepticism of all the promotion, it took me exactly four autocross runs with a press car to decide to add one to my personal fleet of Blue Ovals back in October. I happily paid MSRP at Glenn Ford in Nicholasville, Kentucky and drove off with my own blue hype machine.

But perhaps even more impressive than Ford’s commitment to building these machines is it’s commitment to teaching people how to drive them.

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1980 Chevrolet Caprice Classic: It’s The NEW Chevrolet!

Note: Today’s post is another one written by my friend Carmine a few years back. But he still has this car! -TK

This was a time when these cars were referred to by its maker as “The Chevrolet”, not Impalas or Caprices.  For decades, the full size Chevrolet had been the standard bearer of the Chevy lineup, the meat and potatoes American family car. But the writing was on the wall, when in 1980 the hot new Citation sold over 800,000 units, (a staggering 811,540 to be exact, over an admittedly long model year but still quite a feat).  As they say…things would never be the same again. For the Chevrolet, for GM, and for the way that people looked at full size cars.

The timing of the launch of the Citation couldn’t have been better. Introduced as an early 1980 model right after the 1979 oil embargo, the Citation and its X-Car brethren represented the wave of the future: front wheel drive, space and fuel efficient with transverse mounted 4 and 6 cylinder engines. With the Citation and its most modern layout and packaging, cars like the Caprice and its competitors were done for. What was new and revolutionary just three years before in 1977 was now the dinosaur staring at the comet of the 1980’s raining down on it.

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Wonder Woman Is Being Graded On A Curve, But I Don’t Mind So Much

As an occasional, reluctant reviewer of new cars, I can appreciate how perspective can be in somewhat short supply when it comes to the latest and greatest of, well, just about anything. The modern media news cycle demands, nay, requires all of us to be prisoners of the moment. Whatever we’ve just experienced is the best ever or the worst ever. I mean, in the year 2017, there are no shortage of people who want to compare LeBron James to Michael Jordan, which is a comparison so foolish it requires its own article to discuss. (But, just for giggles, you want to compare a guy who’s about to be 3-5 in the NBA finals against the GOAT? Mmmkay.)

This social condition alone would mean it’s not even slightly surprising that the recently released film, Wonder Woman, starring the indomitable Gal Gadot (most recently of the cinematic masterpiece, Fast and Furious 6) has received nothing short of a virtual standing ovation from every film critic with a laptop and an audience. But there’s something else at work here, a topic so completely toxic and verboten that one can’t even mention it without being shunned, and it’s this: it has become social and professional suicide to apply any element of criticism to a product/idea created by a woman or minority. Thus, Wonder Woman, a movie that not only stars a female character who is, to the frothing delight of critics everywhere, not a MOTHER or a WIFE or even a DAUGHTER but, in fact, a weapon created by a god (it was a male god, but we’ll allow this slight against femininity for now) but is directed by a woman, as well, is completely impervious to any sort of perceived criticism.

Well, I took the fam to see it yesterday, and I’m afraid that I have bad news for y’all: it’s just okay. Let the arrow slinging commence.

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Weekly Roundup: Things Went Better Than Expected Edition

Truthfully, I could have put myself anywhere between the edge of John’s new kicker ramp and the sidewalk — he cleared the nine-foot gap and landed on the concrete with no trouble. But he was worried about hurting me. Back in the Riverside Green days I’d line a bunch of kids up and bunnyhop all of them. Sometimes I miscalculated and landed on somebody. You cannot make an omelet without breaking a few eggs.

Speaking of — here’s the omelet for this week.

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1997 Lincoln Town Car Signature Series – What A Luxury Car Should Be!

Note: This post was originally published at the old site and was written by a friend of mine, Anthony Gucciardo. He shares my compulsion of owning multiple Lincoln Town Cars. -TK

It’s 1997 and I am 16 years old. My family was planning a trip from Latham, NY (which is north of Albany) to the New York City/Long Island area for Thanksgiving with relatives. I grew up middle class and my parents tell me my first word ever spoken was “car.” My parents both had decent vehicles in the mid 1990’s but both were aging so I came up with the idea to rent a car for the upcoming trip. My Dad had a 86 Cutlass Supreme with the V8 4 barrel. I loved the sound of the 4 barrel accelerating but something better was soon waiting.

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Years ago when I was about 12 my parents rented a 1992 baby blue Cadillac Sedan DeVille from Alamo where my sister worked. We had a ton of fun driving to New York in that car so I figured we should try and rent again. Little did I know that this Thanksgiving trip would be the start of what would become a long admiration and near obsession with an American Luxury car that has lasted over 20 years and continues until this day.

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Ladies And Gentlemen, The Modern Marie Antoinette

“Madame, the peasants have no bread!”

“Then let them eat cake.” It’s the classic story of aristocratic malice and one-percenter disconnection from the real world, attributed most famously to Marie-Antoinette. There’s just one problem — it’s probably not true. Marie-Antoinette was profligate in an era of general poverty but she appears in retrospect to have possessed genuine concern about “her” people.

No such ameliorating statement can be made about Michele Peluso, the modern aristocrat who decided on a whim to demolish the lives of several thousand families. As you will see, “let them eat cake” pales next to Ms. Peluso’s aristocratic detachment.

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