I, Billionaire

Welcome our good friend, Freddy “Tavarish” Hernandez, whose YouTube channel all about old, cool cars and how to waste time and money on them is quickly approaching 150k subscribers. He’s also been a stablemate of mine at Jalopnik in the past. He’s here to share his thoughts on other subjects with us.—Bark


If an intrepid group of aliens were to visit Earth and evaluate the state of the country in all measurable metrics, then listen to how people actually perceive these metrics through the lens of media, they’d be right in turning their flying saucers right the hell around and hitting that old intergalactic dusty trail in search of more reasonable beings.

Now, unless you’re a soap opera character that just came out of a three-season coma, you have no excuse in knowing that news publications over the past decade have all but ditched the practice of presenting facts with authority and accountability, in favor of presenting a bias-confirming narrative with some half-truths sprinkled throughout long, laughably wrong partisan rants.

Whichever side of the political spectrum you’re on, you’ve likely seen spun stories about nothingburger events shared thousands of times over by the friends and relatives that are mad enough to click, but not mad enough to actually research past a headline with sharp teeth.

This is one such story, and while it’s clearly meant to provoke those with differing viewpoints, it comes across as ill-informed, and just the slightest bit sad. I’m referring to Hamilton Nolan’s “Time To Make Life Hard For The Rich,” posted on Splinter News, also known as “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Gawker.

Let’s go through this stinky onion layer by layer and try not to cry.

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Guest Review: 2018 Camaro 1SS

Let’s have a warm welcome for Michael Briskie, who is contributing a guest review of a rental Camaro. Feel free to offer him tips and opinions regarding the review. If you have a car you’d like to review here, please drop me a note in the comments or elsewhere. Thanks! — jb

As the National Car Rental shuttle pulls up to the Emerald Aisle, I’m already looking out the window scouting my options. Nissan Versa, nope. Camry, nope. Dodge Durango R/T… hmmm. Now we are getting somewhere. I jockey for position getting off the bus and beeline for the blacked out Dodge. Feeling pleased that I scored a mammoth V8 truck-wagon for my three day trip to St. Louis, I climb aboard and prepare to navigate the beast out of the rental lot. But then, something gives me pause. Just across from the aisle, the next wave of cars was being readied to replace ours. And what to my wondering eyes did appear, but a flame red Camaro soon to be cleared! Hesitant to lose my Durango, I ventured over and caught a glimpse of 20” wheels. Yes indeed… an SS. Must be my lucky day.

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Guest Post: The Cultures Of Others

It is getting close to the end of the year and the dramas and variety shows that normally dominate the Japanese airwaves have ceded their time to television specials. Last week it was the Japan-wide standup comedy competition known as the K1 Grand Prix. Tonight it is the “FNS Music Festival” and, at the moment, some of our “favorite” J-Pop idols are wearing ridiculous costumes and singing rather poor renditions of the themes to various anime cartoons. Once, I’d have called the whole thing bizarre but today it seems so “normal.”

It has taken me years of hard work to achieve this feat of cultural fluency and I’ve found the process of achieving it quite similar to the process of learning the Japanese language itself. I know what you are thinking but, while language and culture are closely tied to one another, my experience has been that the study of one does not naturally lead to an understanding of the other. Words, they say, will only get a person so far.

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Do You Even Lift, Bro?

Perhaps not surprisingly, most of the reaction to my Honda Civic Type R long-term kickoff last week was not about the car, but about my garage lift in the crummy pic I took.

If you’re like me, you probably have too many toys and not enough storage for them. This is a good and bad problem to have. When I decided to buy a third car that couldn’t stay outside, I had to make some decisions. Do I pay for offsite storage year round for one of the cars, or take advantage of the 11’ ceilings in my two-car garage and get a storage lift?

Starting out, I had little to no concept on what brands to consider, how much I should expect to spend on installation and delivery, and what type would best suit my needs. I probably spent the better part of three months doing research, getting quotes, and setting appointments. And when it was all said and done, there were still a few things I wish I had known going into it—so why not share my experience with you so you can avoid all of my issues?

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1990 Chevrolet Caprice Classic Brougham LS – The Brougham Buffet Must End Sometime

It was inevitable. The Brougham era was, while not gone yet, well on its way. 1990 was the last year you could get the 1977-style “New Chevrolet.” The aero-style 1991 Chevrolet Caprice was waiting in the wings. But before that happened, perhaps the Broughamiest Caprice of them all was still available. The Chevrolet Caprice Classic Brougham LS-a car almost as long as its name.

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Long-Term Review: 2017 Honda Civic Type R

Please welcome guest contributor Rebecca Turrell, a bonafide car/bike girl, holder of a Creative Writing degree, and close friend. She’ll be giving us periodic updates on her Honda Civic Type R.—Bark


“Is that a real Type R?!”

“How fast have you gotten that thing up to?”

“How much over sticker did you pay?”

“Why do you have Brembos on a Civic?”

These are just a few of the questions I’ve been asked regularly in the short month that I’ve owned a 2017 Civic Type R. So what is it like to own one of these things?

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Retro Road Test – 1992 Cadillac Sedan de Ville

I’ve always had a thing for the 1989-1993 Cadillac Sedan de Ville and Coupe de Ville. They just seemed to be the right car for Cadillac at the time, and although right-sized compared to the yachts of fifteen years prior, still had plenty of luxury and traditional Cadillac cues.

1985 Continental Givenchy. Similar to my grandmother’s Rose Quartz 1987 Continental.

It probably all started when my Grandma Ruby had a mishap with her 1987 Lincoln Continental. Someone hit her car in a parking lot, and though no one was hurt, she had a partially crunched turn signal, cornering lamp and bumper. Fortunately the other party had good insurance, and a Garnet Red 1990 Sedan de Ville was provided to her in the interim, courtesy of Hertz.

1990 Sedan de Ville

I was already into Cadillacs and Lincolns-the Continentals my grandparents had over the years was certainly a contributing factor-but this Sedan de Ville was a revelation! So shiny and new. I was impressed. Garnet, with silver lower cladding, and a dove gray leather interior. Although I was about ten years old at the time, I was all over this car. I was more impressed riding in it and crawling all over it than if it had been a new Corvette or 911. I was a Brougham aficionado from an early age.

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Guest Post: What A Pound Of Cure Really Costs

(This one’s from TTAC veteran contributor Thomas Kreutzer… welcome back, Tom! — JB )

Last week, Pamela Anderson was accused in the media of “victim blaming” when, in response to a question about sexual predation in Hollywood, she told NBC reporter Megyn Kelly “It was common knowledge that certain producers or certain people in Hollywood are people to avoid, privately. You know what you’re getting into if you’re going into a hotel room alone.” Later, in answer to mounting criticism, she doubled down on her statements saying: “I’m trying to tell women as a survivor of childhood abuse myself – It is important to be proactive as an adult who knows better – in defending themselves. Don’t get in cars with strangers — #rideresponsibly — Don’t go to Hotel rooms alone for an audition.”

Her message, essentially that people should look out for themselves, is similar to advice I used to give to new motorcyclists when I moderated the New Riders’ Forum on Sportbikes.net some years ago. “When another vehicle wants your place on the road, get out of the way.” That’s what I would write, but then, as now, some people didn’t want to hear it. Their motorcycles, they argued, were licensed vehicles and were entitled to their place on the road. Other drivers who encroached upon their space were violating their rights and, they assured me, they would not yield in the face of such provocation.

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1976 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme – Colonnades Of My Past

As a kid growing up in the 1980s, the “Colonnade” 1973-77 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme was a constant factor. In my Midwestern city, they were, even by 1988-89, as common then as beige beigemist Toyota Camry LEs are now. But the one I remember the best was owned by my Aunt Candy.

Uncle Don was a mechanic. A damn good one. Back in the 1970s he worked at Bob Neal Lincoln-Mercury in Rock Island, where my grandparents bought their Lincoln Continentals and Thunderbirds. Whenever they brought a car in for service, they always requested Don, and only Don, to work on their cars. The other guys in the service department groused about this, but as Don was the best mechanic they had, they had little recourse.

In fact, Don was constantly getting job offers from other dealerships in the Quad Cities. My aunt once told me that at a Christmas party in the late ’70s, Erv Peters, a local Ford dealer whom Don was working for at that time, asked Candy how to keep Don on? Simple, she said, just pay him more money! So he did.

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1963 Cadillac Convertible – Luxury Jet

Finding this fine Bill Mitchell-era Cadillac was all due to a battery failure. Not to get too deep into it, but I wear a cochlear implant, as I lost my “factory” hearing back in 1996. It uses rechargeable batteries, and when it goes out, I can’t hear. Really. You could fire a shotgun behind me, and I wouldn’t hear it. I’d probably feel the vibrations in the ground, but I’d perceive exactly zero sounds. So you can thank my forgetting a spare battery for this topless luxocruiser.

I was at my parents’ one weekend, and we decided to go see Lincoln (sorry, no Continentals in this flick; good, nonetheless). About ten minutes after we got to the theater, my battery went flat. I normally carry a spare at all times, but for some reason, I didn’t grab it when I left my place that day. Murphy’s Law, had to have happened after we got there, and not on the way! So, I borrowed my parents’ car, left them at the theater to get tickets and seats, and dashed back home for a fresh battery. But as I was returning to the theater, sitting at a red light, I spotted a 1963 Cadillac at a distance, parked at K-Mart. Movie or no movie, I had to stop.

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