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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“The Leftovers” And The Two Percent World

Warning: contains spoilers for the series finale of “The Leftovers”.

HBO’s “The Leftovers” is in the vanguard of what is currently called “peak TV”, although “peak” does not necessarily mean “good”. Perhaps the phrase simply reflects the fact that we have more TV than ever to watch, all of it available through on-demand streaming services to fill those still, small gaps between extended work hours, helicopter parenting, and mandatory attendance of religious services at the glass-walled Crystal Cathedrals of public exercise. As our modern lives become increasingly leached of any purpose whatsoever, we demand that television serve as a meaning multivitamin, a significance supplement, swallowed once a week so we have something to talk about over the pagan sacrament of overpriced restaurant food.

The standard-bearer for “peak TV” is probably “Game Of Thrones,” that increasingly moronic and banal combination of softcore porn and a Medieval Times restaurant, but there are better and more interesting choices farther down your Netflix list. My long-time readers know how fond I was of David Simon’s Treme, the flawed but heartfelt tribute to New Orleans and its music. It didn’t last very long, unfortunately.

The only things that “The Leftovers” has in common with “Treme” are low ratings and a deliberately truncated run, but I’ve been a fan of the show over the last three seasons and it’s the only television program that I’ve bothered to watch away from my elliptical machine. This past Sunday’s series finale has been lauded for the elegance of its plotting and execution, but what I admired about it was this: the finale was absolutely, unfailingly true to the show’s oft-disguised but never abandoned central concept of narcissistic injury.

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(Double) Weekly Roundup: The Green Heck Edition

It’s been a long time / I shouldn’t have left you

Scratch that, I’m happy to have left pretty much everybody in the United States behind for eight great days overseas in Europe. I drove a one-off green Lotus Evora Sport 410 at Spa, the Burgerkingring, and the Lotus test track near Hethel. (That’s the only one where I managed to get the nose of the car dirty, by the way.) As vacations go, I can’t think of anything I’d rather do… but the good news is that it was actually a working trip for me, because I was actually there to cover a new joint project between Ross Bentley and Ron Simons (of RSR Nurburg and 75 Experience fame) and to watch fifteen Americans experience the Nuburgring in hardware ranging from a Megane RS265 to a Maserati MC12 Corsa.

The funny thing is that Bark was doing something even more cool: driving the Acura NSX GT3 at Gingerman Raceway. We will see if he comes back with a report on that.

Let’s catch up on two weeks’ worth of missing contributions right quick.

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Ask Bark: Keep FiSTing, Ride The Pony, Or Let’s Do Both?

Sean writes:

Hey Mark,

As a current owner of a 2016 Fiesta ST, I absolutely love the car as I learned to drive stick on it! It is incredibly fun, a perfect daily and I get 30 mpg city driving in it. However, I always had a love for Mustangs. I have been eyeing the a ’17 Race Red GT Premium with the Performance Pack. I recently bought a townhouse in suburban Chicago with a two car garage. I figured I would keep the ST since it is paid off and use the GT as my weekend/fun 3 season car even though the Fiesta is paid off and I would have to finance the GT. I was debating trading in the ST, but I am afraid I would miss it too much and not to mention take the depreciation hit. I did love the GT after the test drive!

I can swing the payments on the GT to keep both cars, but here is the catch….I hate my job.

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The Drive Really Published This Piece Of Hot Garbage

Before we begin, I have a confession to make: I don’t read automotive blogs/websites. I mainly avoid reading them because:

A. Most of them are terrible.

2. I don’t have a ton of spare time.

D. I’d prefer not to have my own opinion of a car/topic colored by somebody else.

There are, of course, exceptions to this. If a friend or colleague I respect writes something about a topic which interests me, I’ll read it, regardless of the outlet in which it appears.

Which brings me to The Drive.

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LCOC Meet in Lake Geneva – A Broughamtastic Brunch

I have been a member of the Lincoln and Continental Owners Club since 2015. One of the perks of being a member, other than the excellent club magazine, is the local and regional events that are planned throughout the year. As a member of the Great Lakes Region, most of our chapter’s activities are around the Chicago and Milwaukee areas. For instance, in 2015 we went on a tour of the Pabst Mansion (yes, THAT Pabst) and last autumn we went on a boat tour of Lake Geneva. It’s nice to get out of town for a day and just relax and have fun. And so it was last month when I drove up to Lake Geneva yet again for a club meet, brunch, and driving tour.

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(Last) Weekly Roundup: 911 Is A Joke Edition

At first you’re like, “Holy shit, this guy was a doctor who helped out on September 11th!” Then you think about it some more and you’re like, “Emergency room doctor! That’s cool. I owe my life to those guys.” Then you see the sticker and you’re like, “Oh. He’s a doctor who owns a 911.” Sad trombone.

I hope last week’s contributions don’t disappoint you in the same fashion.

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2017 BMW X3 Rental Review, or, The Worst Possible Use Of Your Money, Ever

Through what I’ll just call a bizarre set of circumstances, I found myself needing to make a 520 mile drive through Maryland, West Virginia, and Kentucky over the weekend, and I found myself without a car to do it. No matter—I’m such a frequent renter of cars from National Car Rental that I have a seemingly limitless number of free rental days to use. Three clicks of my mobile app, and I was headed to Baltimore/Washington International airport to pick up a free one-way rental from the Emerald Aisle Executive area.

Let me back up a bit first, and perhaps that will help you understand how much I hated my time with the 2017 BMW X3.

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