Weekly Roundup: Ain’t Messin’ Around Edition

I said God damn. Tne Lincoln Continental is already about my favorite American car in a long time — and now they went and made a guitar amp out of it! Where do I sign up? Oh… looks like I can’t.

You might not have noticed, but Lincoln is working very hard to associate the new Continental with modern-traditional African-American musicians like Gary Clark Jr. and Jon Batiste. There’s a lot of Sixties-style photography and marketing going on. I think it’s brilliant. Let Cadillac reach out to the rappers; Lincoln is all about the cool. Gary Clark Jr. is a cool dude. And a bit of a player, too, even if the video doesn’t showcase his best work.

Speaking of players… let’s see what your favorite mediocre guitarist had up his sleeve this week, shall we?

At TTAC, I covered a friend’s S6 purchase and the future of unequal law enforcement.

For R&T, I considered the 500-pound CUV penalty and what to do with a racer who can’t drive stick.

Low-production week for me, but what can I say? I was recovering from having to ride my bike two days in a row. This weekend it’s just one day, so if I survive, I’ll catch up on Monday!

38 Replies to “Weekly Roundup: Ain’t Messin’ Around Edition”

  1. silentsod

    Good to see TTAC’s usual suspects all going nuts. They keep doing it, too, so they haven’t learned not to provide TTAC support via clicking on No Fixed Abode which would be an actually effective tactic.

    • silentsod

      Bonus points that they ignore the overall sweep of the article for something I didn’t particularly find politicized. Mayhap you should have referred to that segment of the populace as “undocumented migrants?”

    • Dirty Dingus McGee

      I gave up on reading/submitting comments at TTAC. There are far to many commenters that seem to only skim thru an article, focus on one kernel of info, and then go off on it. I never could see the point of reading something that you KNOW is going to chap your ass. And truthfully if it wasn’t for Jack, Ronnie and Murilee, I wouldn’t even bother going to TTAC at all. It wouldn’t surprise me to one day go there and find it dead, like Autoholics died about 3 years ago.

  2. Scotten

    Jack – been waiting for one your posts so I could ask this: any idea why doesn’t Mark’s name appear as the author any posts for at least the past month over on TTAC? I don’t remember any head honco there ever not posting his own stories.

    • silentsod

      Stevenson posted something last week(?) I think with the word fuck in the title which he later changed to damn which involved a Chevrolet’s interior trim fitment.

      Unless you meant Bark in which case he is no longer working with TTAC.

      • 1A

        How cringe-worthy was that F-word-changed-to-D-word debacle? Seems to be lacking in the common-sense department. Oh, Cana-duh!

        • silentsod

          I would preferred it if he had just left the title as he posted it. Two very public strikes against him as an editor with the gumption to stick to his guns.

    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      Mark S. views his role as more of an editing role than a writing role.

      I saw myself as a leader first, a writer second, and an editor a distant third. It’s for the web, you know? Get the material out and fix the small stuff later.


    The Continental has a better interior than the CT6, but both cars pale in comparison to the Hyundai G90.

    Lincoln should have gone bigger (at least till they hit CT6 proportions).

    And since they don’t have the balls to offer the optional BOSS V8 or offer a Twin Turbo V8, the car’s launch was quickly forgettable.

    • Mike M

      Caddy and Lincoln are both missing a huge opportunity to not make a balls out car with these cars. Ford should have used a RWD platform with the 5.0 motor and the CT6 needs a V8.

      I think the Hyundai is really sharp, but the 300 with the Hemi and the top trim interior has a unique experience that Lincoln and Caddy have not come near in a long time.

      I hope Ford can keep the paint on the panels after 3 years on this one. My wife’s 2012 expedition has bubbling paint and Ford told me to pound sand.

      I still like my Charger RT Road and Track better than the Continental but i guess i’m not the target demographic. Im just a mId age muscle car guy.

      I also think the hellcat with the 6 speed is the most ridiculous engine combo ever made. Burnouts at 50MPH is just nuts!

  4. Person With Computer

    Hey Jack, I’m a pretty decent rider of motorcycles but a shit driver. I’ve been doing both for 30 years and pranged one or two cars but never a bike. What gives?

      • Professional Commentist

        Totally makes sense on street but it’s on track for me as well. I think I could get a 250cc scooter around Laguna quicker than in a sportscar. Something about the connection with the controls. Guess I’m no John Surtees

        • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

          Well I’m the opposite. I KNOW I could get a Camry around Laguna faster than my ZX-14R.

  5. Gridlink

    Someday I’d like to learn how to drive a stick because it bugs the hell out of me that I cant. The one person I know with a stick never lets anyone else drive his car, so it would take some serious social engineering to get him to teach me. I do at least use the paddles in my GTI the majority of the time, but I feel like a lesser ‘car enthusiast’ because I cant drive a stick. That’s basically bullshit and self-condemnation, and eventually I will learn even it means paying for a instructor at a driving school to teach me.

      • Everybodyhatesscott

        Seconded. Once you figure out how to get the car rolling, it’s fairly easy. Practice first gear in a parking lot till you get it. If the car sounds like it’s screaming shift up, if it feels like it’s dragging, shift down.

  6. Rock36

    Might have been a low-production week for your writing, but quite an entertaining and interesting one all the same.

  7. yamahog

    Food for thought –

    A Chevy SS is a really interesting car and it might be the last manual V8, RWD domestic sedan ever. But for all the #savethemanual talk, we need a frank discussion with the O.E.Ms about making manuals worth saving. Frankly, I’d rather have a CVT than something with a clunky, bad shifter. Or maybe the only manuals I want are the cheerful ones you find in hondas that weigh less than 3000 lbs.

    In my experience, as the torque of the engine goes up, as the powerband gets fatter, and as the weight of the vehicle increases, the less difference a manual makes. You might be disappointed going from a relatively svelte Honda (let’s be honest, they have the best manual transmissions in the business) to a comparatively overwrought Chevy SS – especially when you consider the financial implications of the decision.

    And this is probably a dumb idea and you’ve probably already brushed it off, but have you considered teaching the driver to drive a manual vis a vis a motorcycle? Throw him on the TTR-90 (or is it a PW50?) to get a feel for ‘this is how a bike works’ and then bring the CB1100 to a parking lot and get him to used to stopping and starting (no shifting) and then add shifting to the mix.

    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      Neither the PW nor the TTR have a clutch! I mean, they have clutches, but they are centrifugal.

      You have to go all the way to the 125cc bikes to get a hand clutch now.

      • yamahog

        True that – I thought the TTR would just be used to familiarize The Victim with how a bike works in a more forgiving way than any street bike in a parking lot can be.

        I taught a ton of my friends how to ride a motorcycle on my Grom – about as small of a bike as you can find with a manual clutch and an honest to goodness gearbox. It was fun and eye opening. I thought ‘how messed up can someone get on a grom?’ and realized the answer is ‘very’. I had one friend go over the handlebars… without touching the gas or the brake. Best leave that person in his 1 mirror Saturn (go figure).

        It might be wishful thinking but I rode dirt bikes way before I learned to drive and the only trouble I had in a car was learning how to modulate a clutch with my leg and get it to be smooth. I imagine that a motorcycle would really quickly get someone to the point of being able to drive a car on a track. Bonus – motorcycles teach rev matching or make the lesson apparent.

    • TJ

      As an add on, We need affordable manual cars that aren’t a total stripper model in order to #savethemanuals. Essentially what I mean is, you can buy the absolute lowest spec from an automaker, and get a manual transmission, but that makes you ineligible for things like infotainment (which I hate anyway), power or heated seats, decent speakers, underhood lighting, and more importantly in many cases things like decent seats, power windows, etc. On the other end of the spectrum, you can buy a loaded up “sporty” version and get the stick, at a massive premium. No automaker wants to sell you a MT car with things most people take for granted like a power package, bluetooth, etc at a reasonable price.

      • silentsod

        Mazda does this and it’s why I bought a 3 GT with a manual for my wife instead of a Honda Civic hatch this go round.

  8. Tom KlockauTom Klockau

    I’m really impressed with the new Continental. I drove one and check them out in the showroom whenever I’m in for service. They look especially nice in navy and ruby red.

  9. TJ

    Jack, I generally find your writing highly enjoyable, but your article on law enforcement got one thing quite wrong: Uninsured motorist coverage is literally less than $15 add on to my New Mexico insurance policy. For example, for a 2016 Kia Rio (I hate that car,) it is the difference between $108 and $120 with full coverage. It’s even cheaper on the old jeep with liability only.

    Furthermore, anecdotally speaking as someone who drives in ABQ daily, the biggest issue isn’t illegal drivers per se, its incompetent drivers (admittedly there may be a correlation.) Most of the daily frustrations are over people who don’t know how to signal, how to merge, how to let someone merge, people sitting still at green lights, driving 10 under in all 3 lanes of the interstate for no apparent reason, and similar issues.

    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      Appreciate the heads-up; I was looking at my wife’s policies and some of her family policies.

      But consider this. In Ohio I pay $208 a month for full coverage on two Porsches and the Accord. If I just had the Accord, it would be $78 per month. I don’t have a great driving record so that has to be at least a partial indicator of the differing levels of risk involved.

  10. wlitten

    I have read endless articles by you and other writers about how pointless pretty much all crossovers and SUVs are and how they provide no additional benefit to their owners. And I honestly agree with all of it. They cost more, they generally use more gas, they are slower, visibility is terrible, they are never taken off road and 98% of the time it’s just you and maybe some groceries.
    But in a moment of temporary insanity I bought a used Subaru Outback over a year ago. Its really more of a lifted stationwagon than a crossover. I have no love for this vehicle, I am utterly indifferent to it. But that said, I actually get a lot of use out of it. I am pretty frequently using the damn thing as a work truck. Throw shovels , rakes and ladders in there. A bucket of tools, air compressor and a miter saw. Old doors from the haunted house i live in. I once had the back of it so loaded down with plywood sheets (they had been cut to fit in the outback) and concrete footings that the front tires were damn near off the ground. I’m probably not the typical Subaru driver, but I really do make the most of the vehicle.
    If only I could afford a GTI and an older Tacoma.

    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      Outbacks until recently were just wagons with lift kits. I was more of a 2.5GT type myself but I couldn’t criticize anybody who bought one.

  11. Charles


    Show your paddleshift champion these videos.

    First, from Tommy Lydon in a car of similar performance to yours.


    Second, from Ricky Rudd in a Winston Cup car on a road course.


    These will show the driver what he needs to do.

    However, it might be totally pointless in a light FWD car! It’s not as sensitive as a RWD one under brakes – no matter how sideways it gets a quick hit of the gas straightens it out. I don’t dance on the pedals, just concentrate on modulation of brake and gas, and bang the left pedal down and throw the lever whenever it’s necessary. In the same car I went faster than Tommy.

    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      Looks good. I imagine that our fellow will want to brake with his left foot unless he’s shifting at the same time — his left foot should be a lot better trained than his right.

  12. Kevin McCarthy

    Man… If Gary Clark Jr. isn’t the coolest guy around that most people don’t know about – I don’t know who is. Stumbled across his music a long time ago and it’s great to see him in such a stellar ad campaign.

    While I loved that it was fully open and unlocked to the public – it pained me to see the beautiful cream colored leather of the Continental at NAIAS 2017 stained blue by all of the show-goers in their fashionably dark jeans… Spectacular car though – just make mine in triple black please.

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