If You Have A Spare $9k-200k, Check Out The Indulge Gift Guide

 

My first work for INDULGE magazine is now online—rejoice (updated with a weblink)This magazine is a genuinely beautiful piece of work, with high quality photography and writing about South Florida lifestyle. It will mostly make you feel poor. But you should read it anyway, specifically my suggestions for gifts for the car collector in your life. It will come as no surprise to the RG faithful that I’ve recommended an NSX, an Evora, and a Mustang, as well as a Yamaha saxophone, Weiss watch, and EXR Series Racing school experience. What can I say…I’m consistent.

Next issue will have some super fun stuff about a very fast, very expensive supercar, as well as the world’s prettiest electric car in the Keys. Check it out.

 

Weekly Roundup: The Undefeated Season Edition

Looking back, Spike the Accord was too good, too soon. After lapping the field in my first few NASA Honda Challenge races this year, I never again faced any proper competition. I set the lap record at Mid-Ohio and came close-ish at NCM. Seven starts, seven wins. And that’s how I became the 2018 Great Lakes Region Honda Challenge Champion.

I have different plans for next year, plans that will probably see me in the middle of a pack instead of running away from one. Until then, check out last week’s articles, and enjoy this weekend’s highly dramatic race starts…

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(Last) Weekly Roundup: Not That Close, Definitely No Cigar Edition

We expected to win big this past weekend. We had an all-star driver lineup, we had a perfectly-sorted car prepped with no expense spared, we had a first-rate crew. In a series where one of the competitors showed up with a total of four people to drive and fix the car, we brought seventeen pairs of hands. Plus at least five ad-hoc fans and helpers who showed up at the last minute.

In the end, we finished 41st of 59 cars on Day 1 (8th of 9 in class) and 30th of 51 cars on Day 2 (6th of 9 in class) despite leading the race for over an hour on Sunday. We replaced the transmission — twice. We had to sent someone to get a radiator 105 miles away in weather so bad that semi-trucks were being blown over onto their sides. We had five contact incidents, destroying both doors, one fender, and the nose. Needless to say, there were no trophies involved and the unexpected expenses flowed like water.

It could have been worse. One of our competitors showed up in a brand-new MX-5 Cup car, only to total it on LAP TWO of Saturday’s race. At least seven cars were crashed beyond reasonable repair. A Ferrari 458 Challenge won the first day and went home with damage on all four corners the second day. Then there was the team that built an engine out of two bad ones and managed to complete just one lap — which happened to be the last lap of Sunday’s race.

It was a weekend notable for poverty of results but richness of experience. A few of the best stories will appear in R&T later this week. For now, though, let’s see what got done last week.

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Weekly Roundup: Do It For The Kids Edition

This bike came back to me after a long time away; now I’m offering it to the readers. It’s a 2003 Mosh Expert AL, intended for BMX racing, sized for riders between 10 and 14 years old who are somewhere in the 4’8″ to 5’2″ range. There’s a little flexibility on both sides, depending on how hardcore you want to be; my son rode it with no trouble when he was 48″ tall but it was (and still is) too big for him to race successfully.

$175 picked up in Powell, Ohio or delivered somewhere in Central Ohio. $225 shipped in the 48 states. It will be thoroughly cleaned and will have a new set of grips. I bought this back in 2003 so one of my neighbors could try racing and skatepark riding. His parents returned it to me when they moved out of the neighborhood. It’s a great bike for a “tween” who is thinking about trying BMX as an activity and would be absolutely appropriate for Novice and Intermediate riders. Younger kids could use it as a neighborhood/kick-around bike until they’re old enough to race it.

If you’re interested, comment in the thread and I’ll reach out. Also — if you are personally acquainted with a child whose parents can’t afford a bike, but for whom a bike like this would make a real difference, let me know and we’ll discuss changing the price to what well-respected Countach owner and air-cooled 911 molester Matt Farah calls “FREE-NINETY-NINE.” Now, off to the Roundup!

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Weekly Roundup: Antibiotic Resistance To #TheResistance Edition

And… that’s that. Brett Kavanaugh will join the Supreme Court. The balance is now 5-4 on a variety of issues, but not all — BK is a traditional globalist, not Donald Trump in a black robe. The oldest and most doddering justices on the court are hardcore liberals; Ruth “What Are The Amendements Again?” Bader Ginsburg is 85. She’s not on the right side of the American political divide to have a mysterious Scalia/Vince-Foster-style death, but every year after 85 becomes more of a statistical miracle. It could be 6-3 before 2020.

How did this happen? How did Brett Kavanaugh survive the onslaught? How did fifty Senators resist the pressure to vote against him? Why do so many people think this will result in a “red wave” in the midterms, rather than the oft-predicted “Blue Wave” that was going to sweep the Nazis out of power? Why didn’t the people who were making the decision listen to Hollywood, Wall Street, George Soros, and the rest of the Swamp?

The answer is simple: Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed for the same reason that so many people die of pneumonia nowadays.

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Weekly Roundup: McJob Edition

I’ve been thinking lately about Geoffrey Owens, the fellow in the pictures above. Owens was on “The Cosby Show” and has worked steadily in small television roles ever since. Somebody recognized him at Trader Joe’s recently and took his picture, which led to a bit of public shaming: LOL LOOK AT THIS FAMOUS ACTOR WHO WORKS A MCJOB NOW! WHAT A JOKE LOL!

When I saw the photo, I was reminded of an interview given a while ago by the rapper Big Daddy Kane, in which he said something along the lines of “If this rap thing doesn’t work out, I can’t ever get a job at McDonald’s because people will call me out all day while I’m tryin’ to serve the fries.” It also made me think about all the mysterious requirements we impose on everybody from rappers to actors to, yes, autowriters: You have to have an origin story that makes sense. You have to stay in character. You can’t display any of the frailties we take for granted in ourselves.

Luckily for Mr. Owens, it worked out. He gave a very gracious public interview in which he stated the obvious: there is dignity in work, even if you are a Yale grad with a famous face. The incident helped raise his profile and get him new roles. As a consequence of being “discovered” working at Trader Joe’s, he might eventually be in a position where he doesn’t need to work, which is remarkably ironic when you think about it.

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Weekly Roundup: Harrison Bergeron, In Software! Edition

When I was a child, I read Harrison Bergeron and took it for what it was meant to be: a fable, an allegory, a warning. Never, not for a solitary moment, did I think that it was an instruction manual.

“Coraline Ada Ehmke”, a scripting-language “programmer” who spends most of xir time trying to promote “social justice” instead of, say, learning to program in an actual programming langugage, is in the news lately for basically hounding Linus Torvalds out of Linux. This is the equivalent of running Steve Harris out of Iron Maiden, or getting everybody but Ringo to quit the Beatles.

But wait, there’s more. “Coraline” has also come up with an absolutely fabulous idea, one that would have shocked Kurt Vonnegut at his most cynical and disaffected: the end of meritocracy.

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Weekly Roundup: Hit The Road, Jack! Edition

Now it can be told: Three times over the past year, Robert Farago and I attempted to buy Thetruthaboutcars.com, also known as TTAC, from its current owners. We had backers, we had writers. We had a man (me) and we had a plan (Robert’s) and if we didn’t have a canal well we at least had Van Halen’s “Panama” on vinyl. Each time we approached VerticalScope/Torstar, they gave us either a California No or a forthright no. Six months ago, things looked encouraging for a brief moment, but negotiations stalled when it was time to talk real numbers.

Their refusal to sell, however, is not why I’ve left TTAC as of 31 August 2018, and it’s not why my final effort for the site was published today.

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(Last) Weekly Roundup: I Came, I Saw, I Conquered Some Of It, Anyway

As some of you know, and others deduced ahead of time, I made my debut in the Pirelli World Challenge this past Friday, driving the same Accord Coupe that I’ve been racing in NASA Great Lakes since May. It would be an understatement to say that we brought a knife to a gun fight; not only did I have the slowest and heaviest car in the race, I was one of just two FWD cars in a 21-car field.

We started 20th of 21 on the same tires we’d used for both practice and qualifying. On the first lap I made up five positions to win the Optima Batteries Best Start award. After five laps, I was running 14th and coming up on the 13th and 12th place Bimmers. That was when the CV joint in my right axle lost all its grease and started wobbling apart. Ten laps later my clutch checked out. I could no longer accelerate in fifth gear because the drag of the axle was so bad. I managed to hold on to 14th, winning the VP Fuels Hard Charger Award for gaining the most positions during the race. You can see the final classification on the PWC timing site.

Unfortunately for us, there was no new axle to be had within 500 miles on a Saturday night, so we elected to watch Sunday’s race rather than try repacking the wobbly axle. I didn’t want to risk our car and the cars of the 7 drivers that would have started behind me. That sucked. It sucks to be poor, at least in this context; I showed up pulling Spike the Accord on an open trailer. Some of the other teams had Prevosts, toterhomes, and spare cars. We were the only team that couldn’t afford a new set of tires for every session. I still haven’t paid for my fuel drum…

Doesn’t matter. I told my friends and my team that I could take them to The Show and demonstrate that we have what it takes to run with the big boys. I believed in them and I believed in myself. It takes a special kind of narcissistic jerkoff to sit on his couch in Ohio and say, “Hey, if I had an old Accord I bet I could whip some ass on television.” I am that jerkoff. If you look at the season points for Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car, you will see me and my team on there. Not dead last.

Click the jump for some more photos and a quick rundown of last week’s work.

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