Unsponsored Content: Bicycle For Sale

Putting this up just in case it would do a reader some good. I bought this Schwinn Super Sport SL back in 2001. Original MSRP was $1,949. More details on the bike, which was pretty ambitious for Schwinn, here.

After 8,000 miles or so, several new tires and chains, and a true-up on the wheels, I retired it in favor of my Lynskey R270. The Flight Deck computer works and it’s in very good shape. Given how hard it is to get a decent bicycle at the moment I thought I’d make this available. $300 plus actual cost of shipping via BikeFlights to any RG reader.

Two more photos after the jump:

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Made in Detroit: Shinola Detrola Watches

Since we started our partnership with Shinola here at RG, several of you have purchased watches, jewelry, and leather goods through our link. We appreciate both your continued support of us here as well as your commitment to purchasing goods that are made in Detroit by American workers.

Some of you have indicated that you’d like to buy a watch, but that the prices are a little higher than you’d like. Fear not, friends—I decided to buy one of Shinola’s lower cost watches, the Detrola No. 2, to see if the lower price point compromised the style or quality that I’ve come to expect from Shinola.

For more info about Shinola’s entry level watches, click the jump.

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Made In The USA: Snap-On FJ175

Our twenty-first-century New Morality is mostly banal and unimaginative but it does have a couple of nifty adaptations to it, the most interesting of which I’ll call One Click Away From Default State. The “Default State” is whatever the New Morality wishes you to be, and the you is very personal.

Here’s an example. Your humble author has probably hired and supported more minority and female writers than any other single editor in the business. However, the keepers of the New Morality would very much like to brand me with “sexist and racist” so therefore any single thing they can find to support that branding will be taken as being absolute and immediate. Let’s say that there was a video of me rapping the “N-word” in front of a hundred people. I assure you that said video would be made omnipresent on Car Twitter or whatever. It doesn’t matter what else I’ve done. That would be the “one click” to doom me.

On the other hand, Sam Biddle has long been on the side of “the good guys” so when he does exactly that, the video gets DMCA’d and disappeared from the public eye. In point of fact, Sam Biddle (and, whisper it, Hunter Biden) can do as much as he likes in the way of racist or offensive behavior. As soon as he says “the right thing”, whatever that needs to be, he will one-click back to his assigned state of Good Guy.

If you want another example, think about how readily society accepts someone’s declaration of alternate sexuality; that “one click” is all you need to get instant membership status in whatever subculture you like. However, if you want to leave that subculture, however… well, I don’t even know how you would do it. Nobody would take you seriously. Let’s say that I declared myself to be a furry next week. Then a week afterwards, I posted that I was “sick of this furry stuff lol” and that I was going back to, ah, relationships without fursuits. What percentage of you would consider me to be permanently a furry?

So, what does all of this have to do with a $935 floor jack?

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Weekly Roundup: Why The Maverick Is Cheap, And Why That’s A Good Idea Edition

I can’t lie; I’m excited about the new Ford Maverick, largely because I could save $1500 by spending $26,000. Let me explain. When I bought my Lincoln MKT, I didn’t really understand how heavily my son would end up focusing on riding dual-suspension mountain bikes, which don’t fit well on the traditional (and made-in-USA) Hollywood four-bike race I got for said Lincoln. So in the past year we’ve left the MKT at home and used my Silverado to haul the bikes.

This is using an A-10 to kill a housefly; all we really need is a vehicle that has enough open space in a bed to carry four MTBs with their front wheels over the tailgate, plus enough indoors space for (what will eventually be) two six-foot-plus riders and their gear. That’s what the Maverick is. It will get twice the fuel mileage of the Silverado. It won’t need nine quarts of synthetic oil for every change (thank you, GM L86!) or require massive 20″ tires. It will need a little bit of ground clearance to get up some trails.

The alternative would be to buy one of the heavy-duty USA-made DH bike racks for the MKT, probably Alta’s $1200 six-bike carrier, and that’s probably what I’ll do, at least for 2022. But I like the idea of adding a Maverick to the fleet. And why not? The price is right.

The reasons the price is right might surprise you; this isn’t information you’ll get anywhere else, at least right now.

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(Last) Weekly Roundup: The Last Act Of The Locusts Edition

Brood X is buzzing in my backyard. Their thousandfold screeching can be heard over everything short of a cranked guitar amp, they pitter-patter my office window like horizontal, substantial rain. Already their bodies litter my driveway, their mysteriously separated wings on the hood and roof of cars that haven’t moved in weeks. I confront them alive outdoors, the size of my thumb and yellow-eyed.

Thankfully, cicadas are not locusts, despite what some people think. There are no more locusts swarming in America. They were bad for commerce, while cicadas are little more than a hassle. Some people are actually excited about these fat flying bugs, you know. How To Snack On Brood X! Lot of discussion in the media about the pleasures of eating a cicada, their nutty, chicken-like taste. The notion that “they want us to eat bugs”, like the notion that COVID-19 escaped from a lab or the agitation regarding secret pedophile islands, is one of those right-wing tropes that perpetually embarrass our society by being more or less true. Could you eat locusts, if they returned? I’m sure you could. I’m sure I wouldn’t.

Ah, but who needs the Biblical insects when we have the modern equivalent of the locust swarm, namely the aging investor class?

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1985 Mercury Topaz: Red Relic

I don’t know if it was due to Jack’s post on the 5-speed V6 Tempo, but today I ran across this. Last time I saw one of these early “Tempazes” was probably 1994 or so, though I do see the final-gen Tempo sedans around even today.

But these early ones? Nope. So I was drawn to this one on Marketplace, especially in that spiffy red on red color combo. Remember when car interiors were color-keyed to the exterior paint? That’s pretty much extinct now too. Continue Reading →

(Double) Weekly Roundup: End Of The Road Edition

It took Hunter S. Thompson seventeen years to work up the guts to kill himself, then it took him four days more. In his famous “Football Season Is Over” suicide note, he wrote “67. That is 17 years past 50. 17 more than I needed or wanted.” He thought about it for about ninety-six hours, then he put the gun to his head. Readers, as I approach my fiftieth birthday I am starting to understand the appeal of that. You can feel the machine winding down inside you. Two weeks ago, at the inaugural event of an Ohio-wide pumptrack championship, my recently-turned-twelve-years-old son beat me in raw time, 58.17 seconds to 60.20 seconds. The hilarious part is that he came off the track absolutely furious with his performance, which nabbed him second place in the 11-13 category, while I finished my run thinking I’d perhaps ridden over my head just a bit. (For the record, I was the oldest rider at the race, and not the slowest, or even all that close to being the slowest.)

Faced with a future in which each day is a slightly lesser child of the day before, I can’t say I’m like 100% opposed to calling time on my own season, although I think I’d want to do it via a re-creation of the Snake River jump or something like that instead of just nipping off and shooting myself like the cow in a Douglas Adams book. Alas, I have a child to raise and a couple of novels to write. The former still requires a few years and the latter can’t start until I leave my current job. Nor can I expect a deus ex machina to pull my card for me; yeah, I’m a little overweight but I’m in remarkable health and I still exercise about 300-400 “intense” minutes a week with no trouble, according to my little Garmin fitness nanny.

This is what I don’t have: a plan to fill these years to come, or much motivation in one direction or another. Until I saw the above car at the Bonhams auction on Amelia Island this past week, and realized what I want to do.

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Searching for Brougham in 2021 Part II: 2017 Lincoln Continental Reserve

As previously related, about a month ago I drove a 2018 Cadillac CTS. The short, short version for those who haven’t read it: it had the 2.0T instead of the 3.6 six cylinder, so no sale.

But last Saturday, Peter Clarke left me a voicemail to tell me they’d just gotten in a green 2017 Continental with 35,000 miles. That day, and for several days after, the weather sucked. But Wednesday, it finally started getting nicer, so I headed over to check it out.

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I Regret To Inform You That The Drive Is At It Again

Earlier this month, there was an “amazing article” at The Drive about the current semiconductor shortage, written by some “tech-writer” chump who’s never set foot inside a dealership. I know it was amazing because all of the usual suspect idiots on Twitter told me so. It’s a wonderful example of the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect, except in this case I absolutely remember that everything else written at The Drive is also complete and utter garbage, not just this particular piece of writing that falls within my expertise.

Outside of the technical content that anybody with an internet connection could verify, all of the conclusions that this author drew are completely false, some of them harmfully so. I really don’t want to do this, as my heart rate doesn’t need the additional stress, but I feel an obligation to you to point out how incredibly stupid everything in this article was.

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This Week’s Klockau Lust Object: ’78 Seville Elegante

I’ve always loved the original K-body 1976-79 Seville. It always reminded me of an American version of the Judge Smails-era Rolls Silver Shadow. Clean lines, tasteful application of chrome, vast interior and exterior color availability. I can go on, but I’ve waxed extensively on these cars before.

But yesterday I spied this Elegante on the electronic bay and was smitten. The 1978-79 Seville Elegante was even Broughamier than the standard Seville, despite it already being the priciest Cadillac, except for the Cadillac limousines. It was only available in two color combinations. The black over silver is nice and much more commonly seen, but my favorite is this car’s combo.

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