Guest Post: The 35-Year Payoff

Please welcome George Jetson with a story of deferred value… published almost a year after it was turned in! I always get around to things eventually! — jb

I don’t recall becoming out of touch with today’s culture (or what passes as such). It just happened. You can tell I’m out of touch by that parenthetical thought — because I am out of touch, I am compelled to comment on being out of touch and the implied terrible state of today, rather than be immersed in it and accept it. But even though I am myself a lost cause, it doesn’t mean I can’t benefit from the world as it is today.

My secret weapon in maintaining contact with reality is cohabitating teenagers, also known as children. They ARE in touch. One of them is what’s known as a “hypebeast”, and knows terms like “colorway”, ”OGs”, “size run”, etc. He’s been at this for two years, ever since we took a walk along Fairfax Ave in Los Angeles and visited Golf Wang and Supreme. I became familiar with “reselling.”

I have invested capital into his business ventures, and he has turned some tidy profits, AND most importantly, some of these profits have even made their way back to my accounts. All in all, this has been an educational and fun experience for us all, while simultaneously I shake my head at the culture that values clothing in these ways.

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1935 Chevrolet Master Deluxe: It’s A Sign!

NOTE: Another one from Lee Wilcox. -TK

Just west of Huntsville Texas, there is an old coupe still providing a service of sorts. It is unlikely that anything on it will break the way it’s being used and it has been painted in defense against the few straggling Tin Worms that have managed to survive in the area. These days it spends its days as a bar sign, but it’s also a sign of times gone by. Once upon a time, this was a 1935 Chevrolet.

This car is a little further beyond just being a non-runner, more an artifact than a motor vehicle. But it has been “restored” in some fashion. Need replacement parts for a 1935 Chevy? No problem, let’s just head down to Home Depot or Lowe’s! There is no glass with the exception of the headlights and a single taillight; all the other “windows” are gray-painted plywood. On the passenger side, the entire door is painted plywood. The driver’s door has a vent window that helped to identify it, but our faux passenger door does not.

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1980s Maserati Biturbo Spyder: Slammed in the Weeds

(NOTE: Another post by my friend in Texas, Lee Wilcox. -TK)

Can’t really say I ever knew much about this little Maserati.  Had heard that they really looked sweet when they were slammed, and in the weeds.  Being of the generation now normally referred to as Geezers I wear my ignorance of what this means with some pride.  Today, however, while driving in a rural area, I spotted one of these that was doing just that.  My innocence is lost.  Hit the break to lose yours.

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Guest Post: Seiko SNZF “Sea Urchin” Owner’s Impressions

Please welcome occasional commenter and new contributor “Mozzie”, whose username (and real name) suggest that he originally hails from an area now described with a -stan in its name. I’ve been sitting on a great piece of his about human vocal dynamics — no doubt figuring that I was too much of an ignoramus to edit that one, he has now sent me a simple watch review. Enjoy! — jb

The last time I owned a mechanical wristwatch was in the mid 1990s. As a young boy I didn’t know the limits of Soviet-era watchmaking capabilities and therefore lost the piece to moisture. Since then any watch I wore has been quartz-based, be it a Casio, Timex, or an analog fashion watch. In March of this year, having suffered through (he didn’t originally write “suffered through”, that’s an edit — jb) hours of the Watch & Listen podcast, I ordered the Seiko SNZF to complement my to-date favorite everyday watch, a Timex Expedition chronograph.

There are several reasons I chose this particular timepiece. One of my college jobs was in retail luxury goods, so I had hands-on experience with Swiss brands using ETA and in-house movements. As a result, being able to see the movement was high on my priority list. There are few options in this price range with a display back. I also wanted something I could wash with soap and water regularly, unlike my Timex with the leather strap. The Seiko “Sea Urchin” was the only option in my price range with solid end links. Lastly, the 42mm case size was just right for my dainty wrist.

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Quick Look: 1991 Mercury Grand Marquis Colony Park: Pre-Crossover Artifact Espied

Another one from my pal in Texas, Lee Wilcox! -TK

By 1992, Ford and Mercury had gone Aero; the last year for bricks, including the squared-off Colony Park wagon, was 1991. These wagons came with 302 V8s and were underpinned by evergreen Panther platform. When this car was new, wagons were losing out to minivans for many reasons. Fuel economy was high on that list, but utility was not. But these are workers, despite being favored at the time by country club ladies and doctor’s wives.

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Guest Post: Life of Riley

Note: Today’s post is by my friend April Chadwick, whose personal fleet includes a Lincoln Continental Mark IV, an Excalibur Phaeton and a Lexus SC400, among others. Please give her a warm welcome. -TK

Picture it: it’s 1951 and you have Cadillac money to spend on a new car, so what do you buy? Perhaps the Standard of the World is too flashy, maybe a Packard, or how about a sedate Imperial?

If your answer is newfangled malarkey, head on over to the home of Motoring Majesty and put down four or five grand on a car that still is made with wood and leather. Did I mention that the body has a wood frame and the roof is padded leather stretched over wire mesh? As the Riley brochure assures you, as old as the industry, as modern as the hour.

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Geely GE Concept: Phantom of the Off-Brand

NOTE: Another one from Tony LaHood! -TK

Chutzpah is a Yiddish word that’s worked its way into the American vernacular. Simply put, it describes the gall it takes to do something unbelievably, jaw-droppingly arrogant and nervy. (The classic example involves a man who kills his parents and then asks the court for mercy because he is an orphan.)

Which brings us to the Geely GE concept. Looks familiar, doesn’t it? As they say, if you’re going to steal, then steal from the best. It is at once sad and infinitely amusing that the Chinese auto industry is notorious for, well, appropriating existing designs from other manufacturers, and to hell with international copyrights.

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The Wild and Crazy Times of the Chrysler Ghia Plainsman

Note: Today’s post is by a friend of mine in Sweden, who goes by the nom de plume of Billie Biscayne. She’s always loved Fifties cars and wanted to submit a post right here on RG. Please welcome her. -TK

Have you seen Barrett-Jackson on tv and made a mental note of putting that on your bucket list? Barrett-Jackson puts on an amazing show, but there is more to Scottsdale Auction week if you are prepared to venture off the beaten track and visit some of the other auctions going on! If you are lucky, you will see some fantastic cars, meet some amazing people and hear some astonishing car stories, just like this one about the infamous Plainsman Concept Car where a chance encounter with the current owner, Mr. Pete Vicari, at Worldwide Auctioneers provided the material for this article!

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John Z: An Appreciation

I read John Z. DeLorean’s autobiography about thirty years ago; I was alternately fascinated and horrified. One of our readers, “Reno”, wrote this up as part of a healthcare degree he’s been taking. If you’ve never heard of the fellow beyond his stainless-steel coupe, this is a good place to start!

A healthcare leadership paper about Al Sloan and Charles Kettering would be an interesting intersection of the US automotive industry and cancer care. Alfred Sloan donated $4,000,000 to what was then known as the New York Cancer Hospital, and Charles Kettering agreed to oversee the organization of the cancer research program. At that time Alfred Sloan was the chairman of General Motors and Charles Kettering was Vice President of research at General Motors. These men came from wealthy families and made their fortunes running General Motors and forming Delco (Dayton Engineering Laboratories Co.). Charles Kettering is credited for inventing the electric starting motor at Delco. General Motors acquired Delco through its acquisition of United Motors Corporation in 1918. This is an interesting story, these men were able to position themselves for success through their various family connections and alumni networks. An intriguing story would be the story of a leader that was on the fast track to the top. This leader is the son of immigrants with an unstable home life growing up, making it to the senior executive team of one of the world’s largest corporations and then stepping down to peruse his own interests due to his refusal to comply with the strict hierarchy of a ridged corporate culture. A leader that would fit that description would be John Z. DeLorean.

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