Weekly Roundup: I’n Goin’ To Jackson Edition


Like the man said, I love it when a plan comes together. But I’ve also come to expect — no, make that rely on — some parts of a plan not coming together. That was on my mind when I assembled a ten-day trip that would see me doing the following: covering just under two thousand miles on a motorcycle from Portland to Denver via Jackson Hole and the Sturgis Rally, driving eight hundred miles through coastal and inland SoCal in a Miata, and supporting brother Bark as he runs the new SCCA Targa event in the just-as-new 2017 Acura NSX. I figured that at least one of those plans would fall through, giving me time to catch my breath and get some rest.

Silly me. And I apologize for the lack of content on this site; every moment I haven’t been driving or riding, I’ve been catching up on work.

It’s been a true experience of a lifetime. The bike trip I expected to be epic, but the Miata thing I’m doing right now is actually proving to be less than boring as well. And I’m super stoked to see my brother’s name on the side of a car that I haven’t even touched yet, much less driven.

While I head north to Coalinga, CA for the second day in a row, you can check out this week’s grist for the mill.


Brother Bark offered some Xterra-terrestrial advice and encouraged potential new writers.

For R&T, I suggested the establishment of a “willful anachronism” legal category for new cars and explained how to maximize your back-road pace.

At TTAC, I critiqued Scott Adams as a truck buyer and bemoaned unimaginative styling choices.

Next week I’ll have a bit of a break so I’ll be writing a few things for this blog that have been on my mind lately; housing prices, social contracts, blue-collar pursuits. In the meantime, enjoy your weekend and take care!

24 Replies to “Weekly Roundup: I’n Goin’ To Jackson Edition”

  1. Scott S

    Jack, you’re spot on about truck buyers. I relish the prospect of “ordering” a new truck. Most fun car buying experience ever! BTW, I wish you had been able to provide some info on Power Wagon fuel mileage in more “normal” towing conditions as well as unladen. That information is nonexistent in the auto press.

    Coalinga, CA? Smell’s like oil and has big shooting range. I didn’t know there was any reason to take a car.

    • DirtRoads

      It’s gotta be better than that Ford F-250 with the Triton V-10 I had. About 5mpg no matter what you were doing with it.

      Used to have a 1950-ish Power Wagon on the ranch, back in the day. Wish I had that thing now.

  2. Disinterested-Observer

    As Meatloaf said, you took the words right out of my mouth. I have been looking at MR2s and NA/NB Miatas because I am just unwilling to commit to motorcycle ownership. I like leaning over, so no matter the configuration three wheelers have no appeal. And every time I read about some 50 yo dude with a helmet who died from injuries resulting from his bars getting clipped I get further away from riding. If there was an opt out for low volume or manufacturer built kit cars I would be all over it.

    • Economist

      I’m in the same boat, but I decided to go for the motorcycle anyway. Now, it’s just a matter of getting the money together. Soon a shiny new Honda will be gracing my garage.

      • Economist

        I still regret trading in my BRG/tan ’97 Miata. You probably won’t regret it if you do get a NA Miata.

        • DirtRoads

          I once traded a CB650 for a Yugo. Not sure who got the better deal, but since I lived in Seattle at least I could drive in the rain without having to dress for it.

          That CB650 wouldn’t even push a small fairing above 65mpg. Thumbs down on that Honda.

          • Disinterested-Observer

            I had a CB400-4 with a big-ass CHiPs style fairing. I think it was 20 years old and that was 20 years ago. I thought it could do 65+. I was living in the rockies at the time and IIRC I got it up over 90 a couple times.

    • yamahog

      I don’t know what your budget is – but the most motorcycle-like car I’ve ever driven was the AP1 S2000 FWIW.

      • Disinterested-Observer

        Tempting, but for what S2000s go for in the mid-atlantic I would probably just spring for a ‘vette. If I am honest with myself and the strangers on the Internet I will most likely wait 20 years for my kids to be grown and then just get a bike. Hopefully by then they will be established so the life insurance payout will just be icing.

  3. Hank Chinaksi

    Great story. The old farts at mnet would temporarily ban you for a ‘kill story’.
    Shame it was an auto. Rental?

  4. Will

    I’m so sorry, what did you do to get sent there? Did you tour the other hell holes of the west side of the central valley? Mendota, Taft, Kern, Kettleman City?

  5. galactagog


    looking forward to the tales

    hahaha…this was great:

    “I don’t ever want to see that thing again. And,” I added hastily, thinking back to that evening in my driveway, “whatever you find in that carβ€”it isn’t mine.”

  6. -Nate

    The neat thing about far off places in California are the _incredible_ serpentine back roads that were originally Farm to market roads in the 1920’s and 1930’s ~ they’re out there and I love ’em , just DON’T crash or break down because there’s often no cell ‘phone service and often all day before another vehicle goes by…


  7. DirtRoads

    That was a ’65 or ’66 Type 1 in the picture by the way. In ’67 they had a one-year-only bumper and in ’68 they started with that one-piece. And a ’64, IIRC, had a different hood.

    Then again, all those mid-60s parts are interchangeable, damn near, so who knows?

    • bbkkrr

      Good call … I’m going with ’65 as most ’66s had an impressive “1300” badge to denote that engine change, while the ’65s languished with the inferior 1200. But these things do vary, as noted, and while I am no expert, I do have a ’65 in the same color as the pic, and it is nice to see another one being exercised out west.

      As to the larger issue, I’d love to see a “willful anachronism” class of vehicles created, for popping out “new old” Beetles, ’57 Chevys, Rambler Cross Countrys, whatever. It would create interest and cause the real ones to appreciate, and give options to all. If they could duplicate the weird smell of old cars, that would be great too.

      But making a new version of the car reliable might wreck part of the mysticism. At what point would it stop being a duplicate and start being something different? What if the engine didn’t clatter in the same way? Picking and choosing what to modify and what to leave unchanged would be a good exercise. Maybe the classic engine sound could be pumped thru the sound system … but old beetles didn’t all have radios … hmm, so the sound system would have to be hidden away somewhere out of sight … but this is all crazy, no manufacturer would “enhance” engine sounds artificially, would they? Hah.

      Don’t the “real” Harley purists want the ones from 50-60 years ago, just like the bug purists want everything up to ’67? And older is better, but for rideability / driveability, don’t people find the year that fits their needs best?

      I am amazed at the Harley marketing which has created the following they have, but this is a topic of its own. The Harley craze is one “bug” I haven’t caught.

  8. DirtRoads

    The Lexus grille is the fugliest, stupidest, non-design grille I’ve ever seen on any car, ever. It has more gape than a 67 year old … no I better not say that.

  9. DirtRoads

    I keep reading older posts and the comments are always closed when I have a clever thought, which is rare enough.

    Why close them? Too much bandwidth? Unless you’re seriously OCD you really don’t have to read them all.

    • Jack Baruth Post author

      I did it because I don’t have the time to really properly moderate this site. Cutting down the number of posts where there’s commentary helps me with that.

      It also forestalls arguments if they go too long πŸ™‚

      • DirtRoads

        Moderate schmoderate! We’re all reasonably adult, thinking people. We don’t need no nanny! πŸ™‚

        OK well I’m somewhat of a newcomer to the site (and related sites), having found some articles on R&T and thought hey, there’s someone worth reading. Then I would want to comment but it’s been too long. Meh — I get it. I just wanted to whine about it.

        I was originally looking for that old May, 1983 Peter Egan picture captioned, “‘Good tires,” Bob mused, casually lighting a cigarette, ‘but certainly not great tires.'” With the Ferrari slid off into the trees.I remember seeing that in the magazine as a kid (OK I was 25) and just had to find it again. I found it and as a bonus, found this little corner of the internet.

        Thanks for the response.

        • Jack Baruth Post author

          Just to be clear — I never moderate comments from actual people.

          It’s the spam bots that kill me. They will put up 20 comments a day on old stuff if I leave it open.


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