Weekly Roundup: Life With Navegante Edition

I should have known something was wrong the minute the dealer said they’d fixed it immediately.

Over the past month, my 2018 MKT Ecoboost (Reserve Elite Ecoboost, to give it all the credit) has been exhibiting some hard-start and freeway-stuttering behavior, so the Tuesday before last I dropped it off at the dealer. Five hours later they called and said it was fixed. “Fuel pump control module,” they assured me. So I went to get it. Ran fine when I picked it up, and the second time I drove it, as well. The third time, it just flat died on the freeway and I got to push this 4,800-pound wagon out of the right lane onto the shoulder, in about thirty-five-degree weather. Clearly this was not fixed. Likely not the fuel pump control module either. I’m thinking it’s the fuel pump. A quick check of the internet showed that dealers pull this shuffle on the F-150 Ecoboost owners all the time; the module is an easy replacement but the pump itself is not.

Since the MKT is still under warranty, and since it’s a Reserve, I’m entitled to a service loaner. The cashier assured me that they had plenty of loaners available and that if I showed up between ten and noon the next day there would be one washed up and ready to go. Of course that wasn’t true. It took them quite some time to find a set of keys, and then it took me ten minutes of walking the lot to find the vehicle in question. It was filthy inside and out. Reeked of someone’s extremely intense cologne. I remember this being the case with pretty much every car when I was a kid. The American middle class got out of the habit back in the Nineties, the same way people stopped wearing male jewelry, but since then we’ve been busy importing millions of six-figure earners who really like their ouds and their bergamots and whatnot. Touching the steering wheel caused my hand to stink at a distance.

That was the bad news. The good news: It was a $91,045 Navigator, with under three thousand miles on it.

Three years ago I drove a Navigator Black Label around SoCal, comparing it to the Lexus LS500 and Benz S63 in an odd-duck test of “what luxury means now”. It was astounding to me just how much better the big Lincoln was than the two sedans on offer, although the S63 was much closer to the mark than the remarkably disappointing LS500. The Reserve Plus model I have now costs ten grand less than the Black Label but has all the same basic equipment. The difference is in the interior, which is merely first-rate rather than world-class. I suspect T.C. Mits, The Celebrated Man In The Street, actually likes it better; the Black Label stuff is so recherche and beautiful as to be unpleasant for normies, the same way Turnbull&Asser’s best fabrics strike the average corporate VP as being “weird”.

Were I Navigator shopping, I’d shoot for the moon with a fully-loaded long-wheelbase Black Label. It could replace my MKT and the Silverado, which is fair because it would cost nearly as much as both of them combined. The problem happens when you need to put jugs of race fuel or dirty wheels in the back, or when you come off the downhill runs at Snowshoe caked with a five-millimeter layer of frozen mud. At that point, you would deeply regret having this interior:

Or even this one, which is what I’d likely get:

The answer is obviously to use seat covers, but in my experience a seat cover is rarely removed once you install it, meaning you are just keeping the seats nice for the next owner.

Last weekend my son and I took Navegante, the Narcos-ish name I’ve given to this thing, on a 400-plus mile round-trip to an indoor airsoft arena in Norwalk, Ohio and Ray’s Bike Park in Cleveland. As is troublingly often the case nowadays, he and I had exactly the same opinion: Just as nice as the Genesis G90, except for the noise. It’s that 63-decibel hush that makes the G90 so relaxing to steer. The Navigator has better seats, slightly better audio, and more intuitive controls — but it’s also a barn door being shoved through the air at eighty miles per hour. There’s a limit to how well you can insulate that noise from the cabin, particularly if you don’t have double-pane glass.

Another gripe: The new-for-2021 Escalade has soft-close doors, but the Navigator does not. Imagine closing a door with full force. Why, at that point you might as well wear Kenneth Cole shoes, because you’re obviously in a state of financial embarrassment.

In all other respects, this is simply a perfected version of the 1976 Fleetwood Talisman. It’s taken GM and Ford more than twenty years to get their full-sized trucks truly up to standard — but they are here now. It’s a little easier to drive around town than a ’76 Cadillac, since it has better sightlines and a full complement of cameras. This week has seen a mini-snowstorm descend on the Midwest. Navegante doesn’t care. Remote start fires up seats and a steering wheel that auto-adjust to keep you toasty from the moment you get in. I started running errands in a T-shirt, because I knew I wouldn’t be cold for more than the time it took to walk from the Lincoln’s front door to my destination.

The kinship with an F-150 is a little embarrassing, yes, but the same thing was true in 1976. More so, really. There’s no commonality between this interior and anything you can get at the Ford shop. It’s not that there’s never been an American car with an interior like this; it’s that there’s hardly been any car with an interior like this. A Ghost is nicer, of course, but a 2002 Seraph isn’t. If you got out of the Navigator and sat in an S450 with the same pricetag, you’d feel cheated.

It’s just so deeply tragic that the American automakers re-understood luxury just in time to have the Uniparty pull the rug out from under them. And the 15.4-mpg combined economy means that $10/gallon gasoline would quickly have an genuine financial impact on anyone earning under half a million bucks a year. Still. You’re witnessing another peak of automotive history here. When my sane-and-sensible MKT comes back, I will truly miss this vehicle, from its crass light-up Lincoln star to its anonymous tail lamps, and all the wonderfulness in between. If you have the means, as the man once said, I highly recommend it.

* * *

With more than 320 comments at the time of writing this, my column on automotive gatekeeping has functioned as an extremely coarse test of self-awareness for a lot of readers. See how you do!

65 Replies to “Weekly Roundup: Life With Navegante Edition”

  1. Avatararbuckle

    That was a good editorial on Hagerty. Unfortunately, a lot of commenters seemed to put their attention on disagreeing with your individual examples rather than focus on your overall point.

    Reply
    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      Sadly, it’s not just the quality of writing that has gone down; it’s the quality of reading that has gone down.

      It doesn’t help that 95% of what people read nowadays is designed to pander precisely to their preconceptions. It’s like lifting weights made of styrofoam.

      Reply
      • Avatartrollson

        Good point. I feel like most people “skim” instead of read these days.

        And general snobbishness applies to lots of things. Seeing a Walmart bike out on the trails for example.

        Reply
  2. AvatarJohn C.

    On the chutes and ladders article. I agree with you that the hobby is going away when current over 40s age out. However I don’t think trying to prostrate yourself to just uninterested youngers is the answer. As you said there were a lot more that were passionate about cars when they were young. Now in their mature years, they are often alone, lonely, and under utilized in the modern world. It would seem that this is the greener pasture on which the hobby can expand. This is the tact I have taken in my advocacy for the postage stamp collecting hobby.

    Reply
  3. Avatarkamember

    This very morning I drove a 2017 Continental Black Label, and seeing some of the leather made me think I must be a normie, and want to check out a Reserve for more durability. Granted, I’m younger than the target demographic, but all the reviews touting Lincoln’s progress make me consider this for gobbling highway miles. Smooth drive and poise, insulated enough that if felt sluggish – until I looked at the speed. Perhaps it was above-average abuse and below-average care on the brown accents of the ‘thoroughbred’ theme (leather upholstery debate, anybody…) or perhaps the Navigator is even better-executed. Either way, I’ll give another try to a newer ‘chalet’ model. That would spare me from being basic and upgrading the daily from a 3 Series to a 5er.

    For the future of car culture: new Lambos parked next to 90s JDM, Mustangs and vintage wheels from around the world. This vision of brotherly harmony is a cars-n-coffee.

    Reply
    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      As I noted last week, the “nicer” the leather, the more readily it will display signs of wear.

      My guess is that the Conti in question hadn’t ever had any interior care done, largely because the original owners didn’t see the need.

      Reply
  4. AvatarJohn C.

    On the Navigator, you say understandably that the Navigator can’t match the quiet of the best cars due to aerodynamics. Do you think that critique extends to CUVs from the luxury brands. I think it does as they also have the trouble of the long interior floor. The last big cars are compromised by who builds them and the inappropriate tires required by their high speed capability, but we will lose something when they go away.

    Reply
    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      Something like a Lexus RX300 probably only has 70% of a Navigator’s front cross-section, but it’s still probably 50% more than that of an equivalent sedan.

      Reply
  5. Avatarstingray65

    “People do what they want to do, and what they say they want isn’t important.” That statement describes the entire Democrat agenda. They claim to want the Green New Deal, but they will scream if electricity and oil prices go up, and it becomes painful to heat and cool their 3500 sq ft. McMansions and jet off to their next anti-Big Oil or anti-Nuke protest gig. They claim they want higher taxes on the “rich”, but will tell their accountant and tax lawyers to use every excuse in the book (and some that aren’t) to avoid paying those taxes themselves. They claim they want to help the poor with a “living” minimum wage and then vote to open the borders to illegals who will happily work as their maid, nanny, or gardener for much less. They claim to love diversity and hate walls, but live in segregated gated communities and send their kids to private schools. The Left is full of virtue signalers who say the the politically correct things but rarely if ever life up those standards themselves, which is seen in their generally pitiful charitable giving of both time and money, huge carbon/resource footprints, and genuine intolerance for differing opinions or inconvenient facts.

    One inconvenient fact is that vehicles like the Navigator and F-150 it is based on (and the GM and RAM equivalents) are the only reason Ford, GM, and whatever Chrysler is now called are still in business. Raising the price of oil and mandating electrics won’t make a bit of difference to the climate in a world where India and China are building hundreds of new coal plants, but it sure will put a damper on the vehicle sales that earn 90% of the US automaker global profits, and I guarantee the electric F-150 won’t be nearly as popular or profitable as the gasoline/diesel versions, and probably not nearly as green either (see link).

    https://www.wired.co.uk/article/lithium-batteries-environment-impact?fbclid=IwAR2xqU3xKobB0E8SrU99RyB8JPYFaHUYttjGq-Ww0I8sYUut08BcWdRH5N8

    Reply
    • AvatarNoID

      To be fair there isn’t yet a RAM equivalent of the Navigator or Escalade. We’ll have to wait a few more months to see how the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer stack up. I’m not too excited about their styling, but I am eagerly anticipating what they’re done as far as interior materials, ergonomics, and features.

      Reply
      • AvatarDanio

        The thing that will confuse some people is that the low and high end models are separated with the “Grand” connotation rather than separation with brands like at GM and Ford. The Grand is fantastic.

        Reply
  6. Avatardejal

    Uniparty and 10 buck gas. 2nd paragraph is written by a non right leaning media outlet. My guess is the non right-leaning outfit is on board and P.Oed that this was found out. “Tall Deval” Baker is just paying lip service because of push back.

    Gov. Charlie Baker called out an official in his environment secretariat on Friday, describing comments that Undersecretary for Climate Change David Ismay made last month about pushing consumers to reduce carbon emissions as something that “no one who works in our administration should ever say.”

    The right-leaning Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance published a video clip Thursday of Ismay addressing the Vermont Climate Council at a Jan. 25 virtual meeting.

    “Sixty percent of our emissions come from residential heating and passenger vehicles,” Ismay said, according to the video. “Let me say that again: 60 percent of our emissions that need to be reduced come from you, the person (inaudible) the street, the senior on fixed income. There is no bad guy left, at least in Massachusetts, to point the finger at, turn the screws on, and break their will so they stop emitting. That’s you, we have to break your will.”

    Reply
  7. Tom KlockauTom Klockau

    Geez. I take my 21 year old, 178,000 mile Cartier in to Strieter for service and I always get a spic and span loaner, usually an MKS or MKZ.

    I certainly don’t expect it, but definitely appreciate it.

    Reply
  8. AvatarLynnG

    Well Jack, your story lead concerned your MKT Reserve and somehow it got lost in the discussion of the Navagator that was a daily loner that got driven how many miles???? and a discussion of a Talisman that broke down in Tennessee. Did this story go off the rails or what….. So what happened to the MKT???? 🙂 🙂 Did they locate the fuel pump? 🙂 Your readers would like to know how the story ends…..

    Reply
      • AvatarLynnG

        Glad to know that moving the Lincoln operation out of the Ford store and into a glass and chrome facility while focusing on the customer experience that the dealership still has your MKT…. but on the upside you have their Navagator…

        Reply
      • AvatarCJinSD

        I get it that I’ll never do the equivalent of buying two Phaetons, but it has been decades since I would have considered spending more money on a car from a brand that sold me something that turned into a pumpkin in less than three years.

        I’m also missing out on the appeal of the various Navigator interiors. The fabrics might be fabulous, but the massive seat-folding mechanisms and utilitarian safety belt receptacles scream rented minivan to this deplorable.

        Reply
        • Avatardejal

          Deplorables don’t have the capability to see the nuances that our betters do. They’ll ask you “Can you afford it?” Yeah, but.. “You CAN’T!!!. You are a peon.”

          Reply
          • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

            Not that *everything* has to be political nowadays, but the Navigator and Escalade are kinda-sorta popular with the “deplorables”. What that group likes a lot more is the Yukon Denalis, the High Country Suburbans, and the King Ranch Fords, which cost damn near as much but have “regular folks” badges.

            The loaded-up Suburban at $82k or whatever doesn’t seem like a great value to me when the equivalent Escalade is $106k and has a LOT more to offer.

          • AvatarCJinSD

            It’s got to be eight years ago now, but Denalis made an impression one of the times I had a super bowl party attended by lots of thirty-something California agriculture money. Guys who have planes and still can’t afford California’s politicians. Every time I went outside to tend the smoker, I was struck again by how many beige Yukon Denalis were in the driveway. It looked like the world’s squarest car club event, or like a Mary Kay top-earners club meeting in a monochromatic world. In previous years, the driveway would have been full of German cars. Usually only the 997s needed to be jump-started after the parties.

            When the hideously Escalade-esque 2015 Yukon Denali arrived, all of those guys either went back to German luxury cars or started driving premium pickup trucks. I’m surprised there is still a market for Yukon Denalis at all, considering how fast they vanished from my world.

          • AvatarJohn C.

            CJ is such the traveler between worlds. Mostly he is in the world of the kind of Japanese econobox that makes trollson happy. Then he is off with big money guys who apparently exactly shared CJ’s aversion to chrome such that they returned to their Green Acres life in German luxury sedans. Very perceptive

          • AvatarCJinSD

            As long as I don’t fall into your world. Farmers have quiet wealth, because the big ones make serious money while being dependent on public largesse. The federal government has been enriching some farmers and destroying others for over a hundred years now. If you’re one of the enriched ones, taking your car-buying cues from rap videos is frowned upon by your peer group. Really frowned upon. You might be part of a mansion one-upmanship contest in your farm community, provided you situate your home somewhere that only guests will ever see it. You might have a personal staff that includes a full-time pilot. What you won’t do is attract attention to yourself in public.

            I think the big Audi fad of the early 2010s was probably as much because my friends were relatively young. When I was young, my peer group mostly had BMWs. They were almost all 3-series cars, and I don’t know of any that were leased. They were amazing cars to drive when brand new, but often they didn’t hold up as well as the clunkers we had in college. Then the E46s were relatively numb to drive, and when those started falling apart everyone drifted away from BMW ownership. Some started families and got appropriate transport, some bought higher quality cars, and some embraced pickup truck life.

            The California ag people did not buy BMWs. My friend and the owner of the company I work for told me that BMWs and Mercedes were not acceptable when we were shopping for company cars. Too showy. I ended up driving white Audis for almost four years, which were apparently considered bland enough. I still do logistical work for the company, but from Virginia Beach. It’s easy to be up with the farmers with the benefit of three time zones. I believe the fanciest vehicle in the fleet now is some sort of pickup truck.

          • AvatarJohn C.

            I don’t recommend anyone falling into my world either. One thing about all those BOF GM SUVs around here is that they are usually driven by wives whose husbands drive the four door pickups. Some of the slightly poorer wives drive 4Runners, which seems weird given how butch they try to look. Most upscale people on the coast here have boats.

            On the 10 year ago Audis, I was smitten with the looks of the A5 and A7, but they made you buy the Quattro, adding weight, cost, and complexity while wasting gas and providing no benefit in deep south weather. I was on the road a lot back then so I would have been getting the lowered powered version that didn’t need it to put the power down. There was talk of a FWD TDI A7, but I think it was a no show in the USA.

        • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

          One failure to proceed in 49,000 miles isn’t enough to put me off a vehicle. The MKT has been very good to us.

          Regarding the seats, those seatbelt buckles light up. The non-light-up ones are simpler-looking. The front seats are massive because they adjust thirty ways. The second row is massive because it powers out of the way for access to the third row. Nobody else does it any better; go look in a Rolls-Royce Cullinan.

          That being said, these $100k half-ton trucks are certainly an acquired taste, and I’d nod my head at any number of criticisms like this.

          Reply
          • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

            Depends on the car, maybe. The various upmarket Toyotas all seem to have issues well before 100k. The full-sized Land Cruisers and Lexus GXes run forever but can eat $5k worth of random parts without any warning.

            In any event I don’t compare my Lincoln to the GX460 or RX350 I wouldn’t want to drive; I compare it to the Audi Q7 I’d be driving if I still leased a pair of German cars every 2-3 years, and those cars are pieces of shit.

  9. Avatarhank chinaski

    Drakkar Noir and gold chains. Big hair, fishnets and miniskirts. Three dollar domestic beers. Buck a slice.

    sigh

    I’m still going to point and laugh at tons of negative camber and zero suspension travel, but it’s about as dumb as the opposite offset shitty chrome wheels everyone was sporting back in the late nineties.

    Reply
  10. AvatarRonnie Schreiber

    Is bergamot recherche?

    Pro tip for word addicts: double click to highlight the word, then right click to search on Google for the definition.

    Reply
  11. AvatarRyan Patrick

    The Hagerty article was spot on. I still get the occasional guy trying to pull some level of gatekeeping bullshit. Eventually, some of these clubs are going to let fresh blood in. The last time I enquired about how to become an NCRS judge, I was told basically that I wasn’t “ready” I didn’t put in the sweat equity in doing such a restoration myself. The gentlemen in question apparently must’ve missed the fact that most of these are “checkbook” restorations entirely handled by a shop…

    Then again, I’m also the guy selling a $10,000 Neon and spent the better part of an evening insulting anyone who questioned my asking price. In some respects, I’m guilty of pulling up the ladder myself.

    Reply
    • Avatarsiv

      What’s a $10k neon? An SRT-4 some guy bought just before he went off to die in the sandbox leaving it in his granny’s garage w/ 5k on the clock and all the stage III mods still sealed in the Mopar Performance boxes?

      Reply
      • AvatarRyan Patrick

        Unfortunately, no. What you’re describing is a $20k Neon. If you know of an SRT like this, please let me know.

        Mine is an ex-Celebrity Challenge 95 ACR with 7673 miles, most of the MPP catalog, and documentation (SCCA logbook, purchase receipts, etc.) going back over 20 years.

        Reply
          • AvatarRyan Patrick

            I’d say that you came out ahead. I’m the idiot who bought too nice of a race car and decided he didn’t want to risk crashing it.

  12. AvatarJohn C.

    Jack, I don’t know if you follow Mickey Kaus, the political journalist. I have for years. He made mention of you yesterday in relation to a long ago article you wrote for TTAC on journalist wobbling for credibility in relation to the Chrysler 200 from 2011. He even linked to your old article.

    Reply
  13. AvatarCivicsiwasslow

    The interesting thing about autos is the jump in horsepower. Born in the 80s the cars we lusted after were the civic si and the integra gsr (the type r was way out of reach). I remember doing max speed runs … of 112? Maybe? I think the great and terrible thing is how much better and more accessible cars are now. You can get any number of used 300 horsepower cars for less than 15 or 10k. The risk gets higher too (although I do wonder how much is offset by stability control etc and if it really just balances out).

    Loved the article. Such a thoughtful way to illustrate how we can inadvertently kill our own passions.

    Reply
    • AvatarJMcG

      You are correct about the horsepower- I can’t believe you can get 400+ Drama free, warranted, smooth idling horsepower for pretty reasonable money these days. My old RD 400 could outaccelerate pretty much any IROC or Mustang from the 80’s. No more.
      To the point of the article, the place I get coffee in the morning is near the local Vo-Tech. There’s often a group of young fellas in there with OBS Ford Diesels. I’ve always looked at them with with a gimlet eye, but I’m going to make a point of asking about them next time I see them.

      Reply
      • AvatarPanzer

        Yeah, don’t knock the Ford diesels, I drive a ‘14 mk3 Focus wagon with a 2.0l turbo diesel and dual clutch – Ford calls ‘em a ‘Powershift’ gearbox – They’re basically a Europe only model, but we got ‘em here in New Zealand too, because we Kiwis love proper wagons..
        Anyway, I outdrag most onto the freeway onramps and on the passing lanes too.

        Reply
    • AvatarCJinSD

      I’m not too broken up that cars were slow when I was a teenager. The San Diego news used to cover street racing accidents about a dozen years ago. The biggest piece remaining from some of the wrecked cars could have been carried by one man. Typically they were tuner garbage like Mustangs or E46s that were never meant to have 500 horsepower, but the end result was still debris fields that caused the coroners to tie up traffic for a day while they sorted things out. It was during a period when I had a job in Sorrento Valley, and I drove past a salvage yard that had a fresh row of wrecked exotics every Monday morning. I never remember reading or hearing a single news story about how all those Gallardos, R8s, 458s, Porsches, Corvettes, and AMG Mercedes became origami.

      When I was a kid, we raced econoboxes. They were slow. Many of them had speedometers that only went to 85 mph, so there is no point even bragging about how fast we went. We’d ‘borrow’ them while our parents slept or watched TV. When I watch people doing ‘roll ons’ or drag racing, I pretty much laugh. Flooring a pedal doesn’t interest me. We raced on roads with massive elevation changes and decreasing radius curves. We raced on 155SR13 tires purchased at Sears. We raced with brakes that caught fire if you used them; in cars that needed to resemble what they were when we rolled them out of our parents’ driveways. +

      My parents still live in the same house they did when I was a fourteen year old car-borrower. The speed limits on Charlottesville’s Nordschleife are much lower now. I’d like to think I had an influence on the signs that say it is a special speed limit enforcement area with higher fines. I do remember my Plymouth Horizon apex speeds, and it would take a pretty good drive to match them in anything street legal. They’d probably have to turn off their stability controls.

      Reply
  14. AvatarDisinterested-Observer

    “It’s absolute drivel. This article appears to be self-reflective and not indicative of the classic car community at all. Everyone can stop reading after this line, because it applies to 99% of the people reading the article:
    “There’s a chance that what I’m about to write doesn’t apply to you.” ”

    There is a reddit sub called r/leopardsatemyface that is going to feature a quote from this guy in 5-10 years.

    Reply
  15. Avatarbluebarchetta

    I read Avoidable Contact #92 last Friday and slow-clapped out loud at my desk. If automotive enthusiasm is to survive – hell, if personal mobility is to survive – there should be only one division: people who want internal combustion engines to remain legal vs. people who want to outlaw them. Harleys vs. metrics, air-cooled Porsches vs. water-cooled, Camaro vs. Mustang, IndyCar vs. NASCAR, et cetera, ad nauseum, all need to go away. If you are an automotive enthusiast, another automotive enthusiast is your friend. Period. And a big-government eco-communist is your enemy.

    Can’t wait to read the “Hurr durr my Tesla/Taycan/Toucan Sam is awesome cuz it goes 0-60 in 2.9 seconds.” Even though it can’t do two fast laps in succession at VIR and would require 4 or 5 recharges to get from Columbus, OH to West Palm Beach.

    Reply
  16. Avatargtem

    To the Avoidable contact piece, hell not only is it the older guys who had their fun and now need everyone to be “super-cereal” about the climate, but take a look at the landscape over at Jalopnik, on any given day there are multiple articles about the inevitable takeover of EVs and how that’s a good thing, or some Brooklynite write writing about his junky bicycle, etc. I’d like to think that Jalopnik is more of a small little festering sore of losers in car circles, but boy is it surprising to see this type of thinking coming from within(?), or perhaps, from imposters who somehow got a gig at what was nominally a fun car enthusiast website back in the day.

    Some bright spots: youtube is full of awesome content with younger-ish guys fixing up old unloved cars and rippin’ on em (current favorite: Vice Grip Garage), or old hands that are excited to teach anyone and everyone their tricks of the trade (Uncle Tony’s Garage). These types of channels have been absolutely exploding, they overshadow traditional network shows by a mile in content and popularity. There’s obviously still a TON of enthusiasm out there.

    I’ve got my 21 month old checking tire pressures, learning how to use a wrench, and he’s always crawling all over my cars in the garage including the crusty Neon track car and the classy old Buick with its bench seat, metal buckles, and real “HONK” sounding horn. Gonna start going to the Speedrome this summer with him and just some fun weekend drives out for ice cream in the Buick.

    Reply
    • Avatardejal

      VGG, the word butchering is a bit forced. It comes across as cynical for view hits. Richie Rebuilds is good but I think his buddy samcrac is a tool in a class by himself.

      Guy I like is Eric at South Main Auto. Just normal car repairs. Man is a savant when it comes to diagnosis.

      Reply
      • Avatargtem

        Yeah VGG’s content just clicks with me so much and I do enjoy the humor even in spite of the overdone Upper-midwest accent. When he “turns it off” the channel is even better to watch though. I just love the sketchy-roadtrip idea, inspired enough to take my own $400 Buick on a long trip this spring.

        SMA is excellent, he’s a friend of my brother’s (Ivan at Pine Hollow Auto Diagnostics). Eric does a lot of “regular” wrenching too which is nice to kick back and watch with a Saturday morning coffee. I learned “proper” brake jobs from Eric O. If you really want the guru of diagnostics, check out Keith at New Level Auto. That guy is the ultimate mobile-diag beast (no longer making videos since changing jobs).

        Reply
        • AvatarGregori Temnykh

          I’ll add: can’t stand Richie, him and some of those other rebuild guys are the worst of the click-bait content around.

          Reply
          • Avatardejal

            I did enjoy the Buick. Not sure I’d do 600 miles in the winter though.

            Richie is up front about it. The sperm bank donor lead ins he was doing to make extra money as a side hustle were hilarious. He’s quick witted and that counts a lot for me. Half his shtick is POing Tesla owners off. He’s trying to stick a LS from a Camaro into a Tesla S.

            Sarah -n- Tuned
            Built like a Brick Sh…… Uses skin to draw you in, but she does know her stuff. Not a goto for super serious stuff but entertaining. I believe she’s a ex-Air Force mechanic. Also, does car reviews.

            If I lived in the “Greater” Avoca area, Eric would be getting my business. Sad the amount of newish cars that the dealers that people who bought the newish cars from, can’t fix. Got to respect a guy who built his wife a first class kitchen in the office of the garage. What’s the guy’s name that used to watch him work on his scooter chair? Vinny? Miss Vinny since COVID.

            If you want to see someone who’s talented but isn’t going to make it to retirement “Bad Chad”. Small timer in Canada making custom hot rods. Talented. Weird guy, nice guy, cute wife. Guy does welding half the time with no gloves (When I can feel the heat from the metal, it’s time to stop), no helmet. Sands fiberglass with no respirator. If he and the wife are about the same age, his work habits are killing him. He’s building his wife a homemade Bugatti Atlantic with Jag straight 6.

          • Avatargtem

            Yup. It’s been awesome watching him build that business and his skills up from the sidelines, I am truly in awe. As you may know from the channel, he’s had people drive from many hours away to get their cars diagnosed/repaired. I get a kick out of shadowing him when I’m out there to visit, though I try to keep my camera exposure to an absolute minimum (not my thing).

  17. AvatarOne Leg at a Time

    Another swipe at Funko-Pop – what the heck, man?! Can’t I enjoy my cheap plastic “collectibles” without suffering the slings and arrows of an annoyed polymath?

    Aside from that oddly personal attack, I really enjoyed the article.(both articles, in fact.)

    Reply
    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      I forgot you collect them — the typical Funko Pop collector is probably a 31 year old single male who CONSOOMS a lot of media.

      The equivalent to Funkos for me is probably fountain pens.

      Reply
      • AvatarOne Leg at a Time

        To be fair – I collect the smiles that they bring, the POP figures themselves are incidental.

        It’s funny – we have not discussed them as “collectables” per se. I don’t think that anyone expects that they will actually increase in value.

        Except for an eye-opening experience in a Mont Blanc ‘store’ at O’Hare, I am not really familiar with fountain pens. Do they have the same sort of history and back story as watches (or cars?); or is it more of a semi-quixotic search for the perfect writing utensil?

        Reply
  18. Avatargtem

    On Lincoln interiors: hands down some of the handsomest in the game right now, I love that they make (a few) in blue and maroon, but the general layout, use of buttons, the wood grain, speaker grills, all good stuff and a real homage to the older Lincolns of the 60s/70s. If only the Continental had a true “boulevard ride” suspension tune with 70 series sidewall tires.

    Reply
    • Avatargtem

      Let me add: if Lincoln got the balls to make a GREEN interior (and please pretty please expand these wonderful color palates to lesser “mortal” trims), boy would I do my damndest to buy one. As it is, a lightly used lower trim (NA 3.7) Continental with black leather+walnut guts is on my short list along with a Chrysler 300 to try and convince my wife into, and away from the Teslas and Bimmers that have her attention. While I’m at it, Same thought on the Chrysler: expand that ultra-lux Indigo+Linen interior trim from the RWD 300C Platinum to the more common V6 AWD rigs.

      Reply
  19. Avatarsgeffe

    VGG is a favorite of mine, as are Junkyard Digs and the others in that orbit. I also follow John Ross Lumbert, Tyler Hoover and the rest of the “Wichita Car Mafia.”

    Reply
    • Avatargtem

      I love the content of Hoovie and Car Wizard, but man I just can’t stand more than about 15 seconds of Hoovie himself lol (DeMuro doubly so). Car Wizard is a great mechanic and has some neat cars on the channel, but it’s just a bit slow/repetitive as well as catering to a bit less wrenching-savvy audience (which is great as far as educating people goes). Good for those guys though as far as the youtube revenue stream that they’ve built up. Total cash cow while it lasts.

      Reply
      • Avatarsgeffe

        Hoovie is an acquired taste, admittedly, but the thing that seems to be common amongst all of these is that they do work for it! JR probably puts in 15+-hour days, which I find inspiring, in that there’s actually still people who do value hard work out there in the Millennial age bracket.

        DeMuro, OTOH, isn’t worth much at all! I watched one of his videos, and that’s 15 minutes of my life I still want back!

        Reply

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