(Last) Weekly Roundup: My Way Or The… Okay, Just My Way Then Edition

I suppose it’s true that all Ohioans eventually become snowbirds. How else to explain the fact that I was at Road Atlanta last weekend and Sebring this weekend? Naturally, temperatures back in Powell have hovered around sixty-five degrees for the whole time I’ve been gone. They’re scheduled to drop back down into the cellar right around the time my plane has to land.

This was a brilliant weekend with a spectacular pair of cars from McLaren. Can’t wait to tell you all about it. In the meantime, here are a few things I wrote earlier:


At R&T, I discussed the dangers of supercar rentals and reviewed a very stout, very pleasant Chevrolet truck. My print piece on the Lincoln Continental also appeared on the web for the first time.

At TTAC, I continued the truck theme, made a lousy pun, and turned my attention to some dealer advertising that seems to contradict the official marketing line at Audi.

This week we will have some original content on Riverside Green — the cupboard has been bare because I’ve been traveling. We’ll get that fixed, pronto!

24 Replies to “(Last) Weekly Roundup: My Way Or The… Okay, Just My Way Then Edition”

  1. Edp

    Jack,

    Any chance of you ever doing a car stereo comparison write up? Say, the Continental Revel system vs the Lexus Mark Levinson vs Acura Krell?

  2. Disinterested-Observer

    re: the supercar experience. Stefan Erikssen or his imaginary friend Dieter was supposedly doing ~160 on the PCH when he tore his The Bank of Scotland’s Enzo in half.

    PS Looking up the details of that story I found a link to an R&T article from last year saying that like Steve Austin, the factory rebuilt the car to better than new. It ended up selling for $1.76m at Sotheby’s, where it was presented in the catalog with this stunning understatement “The car then made its way to the United States in 2006, where it was unfortunately damaged in a road accident.”

  3. Nick D

    Have you ever been to Barber Motorsports Park?

    I wore the DTTS shirt while doing a 4 hour stint to a 2nd place overall 2 weeks ago for Lemons. Unknowingly met Mental as well when our team welded up his oil pan.

    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      I have not! It’s one of just a handful of American road courses I haven’t visited. Porsche runs most of the events there and I’m not welcome.

      Props on the podium!

  4. Yamahog

    Love the Continental piece – sounds like an excellent car that’s worthy of the ‘American luxury’ title. Thank goodness someone pushed back against the ‘sport luxury’ amalgamation – I hope it’s very successful and vindicates the view that isolation, hassle free, pleasant / decadent interiors are relevant.

    Last week we talked about GM’s reluctance to put a small block in Caddys (including the XLR because high rollers like overhead cams apparently – nonwithstanding that most people I know who drive 80k+ cars don’t know the difference between a camshaft and a crankshaft and people in the know prefer GM’s small blocks to the northstar, anyways…) and there’s a non-trivial amount of people who demand that luxury cars have V8s and RWD. You should see the jabronies on my LS430 forum – people who have ‘buy here pay here’, 5 digit loans on 14 year old cars – deride the new LS for having a twin turbo v6. I wonder how much we’re leaving on the table by catering to our perceptions of others’ opinions. But the more things change, the more they stay the same.

    In many ways, BOF trucks and SUVs are the modern ‘status’ luxury cars and they wear the crown nicely – they’re everything any old school V8 RWD luxury car was. A modern high spec Silverado / F150 is about as quiet and fuel efficient as an old Lexus LS and frankly I’d expect all of them to go 200k miles with a minimum of fuss and they all signal ‘wealth’ without too much of the .01% baggage.

    With any luck, this will free up the manufacturers to make the cars they want to make – sedans without too many concessions to those who’d be better served by CUVs and luxury cars that make trade-offs in the direction of ‘morphine drip’ rather than ‘insufflated meth’.

    But if not, eventually those high spec trucks will sit on the BHPH lots and then everyone will be happy enough.

  5. Ronnie Schreiber

    Reading the piece about supercar track experiences, I’m reminded of the situation that Formula One (and other racing series) had found itself by the mid to late 1960s. Tires, brakes, engines, and suspensions had improved dramatically from when most tracks were designed, without similar improvements in driver safety. Take a look at Jim Clark’s Indy winning Lotus, with a chassis design driven by a man obsessed with reducing weight (albeit a genius about making light things stiff), think about where the fuel tanks are, and tell me that you’d drive it at speed in competition.

    Speeds in general were way up. Add in midengine layouts with their higher cornering speeds (and propensity to spin), and you had a recipe for a lot of bloodshed.

    • Harry

      I look at vintage Formula Vee ect. cars and think they look awesome and fun and love the concept of pure mechanical grip. My understanding is that they are still fairly popular to run. Then I think they can’t possibly be as safe as a newer design would be, even given the reduced cornering speeds compared to downforce cars.

  6. Sseigmund

    The piece on the new Continental was very refreshing. I hope they can build on the idea a real luxury car and not get caught up in the “sport” mindset. I don’t give a flying f__k now well a Continental, or a Land Rover for that matter, goes around the Nurburgring. They just end up riding rough for the 99% of real world driving their owner’s actually use them for.

    On the pickup truck vs large SUV conundrum: It’s easier for me because where I grew up the cute girl was my neighbor. I learned to drive in a regular cab, 8′ bed, two wheel drive, Chevy C30 with a three-on-the-tree manual shift. As country as you can get. My first car was a 1967 Mustang which cost me 800 bucks. Post college and marriage, it’s mostly been pickup trucks for this “country boy”.

    In the past few years I’ve driven enough large rental SUVs to become something of an expert on these Titanosaurs. You obviously have a solid understanding of the feature set of both modern Titanosaurs and pickup trucks, but I would like to add some other things for consideration. If the Titanosaur is actually used for hauling a lot of stuff AND people (meaning the 6′ cargo space is loaded to the roof), there needs to be some kind of sturdy metal partition (think police cruiser) to shield passengers from stuff-turned-missile during a panic braking event. This is NOT an imaginary problem! There is a lot of ‘stuff’ that just isn’t suitable for the deluxe interiors of the a modern Titanosaur as you duly noted about fuel cans. These Titanosaurs can’t be had with only two rows of seats and a plain metal cargo space as was once common and made these vehicles very appealing to utility companies and survey crews. The load floor of a modern Titanosaur is just too f__king high for anyone’s long term spinal health. I’m already suffering from mild spinal stenosis, so this is something I am very sensitive about. Not that modern pickup trucks are any better in this department. You practically need ramps or a forklift to get anything in and out of a modern pickup. When you factor in towing, this is where things become more clearly differentiated, and pickups have a clear advantage. At anything close to max load capacity, the Titanosaurs become a handful to drive, and adding a trailer only exacerbates the problem. I also find it appalling that the base price of a Titanosaur is ~$50K! With a pickup truck, you can still order something that serves you needs without paying for a bunch of expensive extras. All I really need in a truck is power windows, power mirrors, AC, cruise control, and a towing package which includes an integrated trailer brake controller. Oh yea, and a crew cab!

    Now if you could only get a short wheelbase 2500 High Roof Sprinter Crew Van in AWD with the LT1????

    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      “The load floor of a modern Titanosaur is just too f__king high for anyone’s long term spinal health.”

      This wasn’t something that I’d thought about, although you’re obviously right; lifting my son’s PW50 into the back of my wife’s Tahoe is a genuine exercise.

      • DirtRoads

        They have these things called “tracks” that you can put on the ground behind the Tahoe and the other end ON the back of the Tahoe. Then you just roll it up the tracks and you’re done.

        Think about it…

        • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

          I’m just lazy that’s all.

          Last week I put a TTR90 into the back of a Silverado by myself. It was miserable (they’re heavier than you think) but it was quicker than laying out a ramp.

  7. Bill Malcolm

    Just wanted to say your Feb 21 review on TTAC of the MB AMG C63S was the best review of it bar none. Superb. Now I no longer pine after one, considering that the engine is basically two 2.0t modules on a common crankcase and flavorless.

    I left TTAC some time ago, and won’t comment there period. I see the same commenters time after time with nothing new to add, the site rudderless with no philosophy, not even any editorials in the true sense. It’s a chat site for the terminally boring, with occasional relief from someone with a brain, and I personally have no use whatsoever for trucks. The news articles are written by people trying to be funny and hip and failing pathetically at it – they have no memory, so write new rubbish following old, and could be writing about cornflakes. In fact, the site is busy trying to stuff itself into a toilet, but is so disorganized it forgot to leave room to extricate a free hand to flush itself away.

    So, praise where it’s due on the review today. Good one.

    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      Thank you — and I’m sorry that TTAC doesn’t meet your needs, or your standards, any more. I think Mark is a very ethical and very honest person but his vision for the site is definitely different from what mine was.

  8. rwb

    Jack, this is the opposite of an emergency, but for some reason all of my comments here go to moderation.

    Did I say something to offend WordPress? Is it because I’m posting from the belly of a whale?

    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      I have hyper aggressive filtering on right now to keep the (coordinated) against on the site somewhat at bay. I don’t know why you and Nate and a few others are being singled out.

  9. viper32cm

    I was at Walt Disney World Thursday when I read the supercar rental article. It reminded me that Disney had a track on property until sometime within the past 12-18 months and that the track offered a similar type of instructed supercar rental through the Richard Petty Driving Experience. A few months before the track shut down, an instructor lost his life when a student-driven Gallardo impacted a guardrail at triple-digit speeds.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3040264/Disney-driving-instructor-killed-24-year-old-birthday-boy-Lamborghini-tried-grab-wheel-drove-wrong-way-round-track.html

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