(Last) Weekly Roundup: Caution, Driving! Edition


My son gave this to me over the weekend — it was something that he wrote up shortly after we wrapped up PCOTY testing. I’d let him sit on my lap and steer the AMG C63-S around our little neighborhood. He was pretty good at it; I never had to correct his line. A few of the parents in the ‘hood were a little worked-up about it, but those are the same parents who get upset that my 7-year-old is riding an electric motorcycle around while their kids of the same age still have training wheels.

After the jump, we’ll have John Baruth’s first foray into road-test writing, as well as the usual roundup of what his father and uncle have been up to.


Here’s the text of it, along with the final few words that he wrote on the back. There are a few misspellings, which I’ve preserved since the last issue of Cycle World I read also preserved misspellings.

“Yesss” I whispered. I was getting to steer an over 100,1000$ dollar car. The car was dark blue with a red inside and a black top. It was very fast. A company had my dad show everybody the very now car. The car wasn’t even for sale so people would want to buy it. I felt embarrassed, scared and cool. I felt like I had a lot of pressure on me. But I decided so… I DID!!! We backed out of the driveway beep beep beep should we really do this?” I asked. “Sher!” my dad replied. So we got into the car BUMP we were in. Then beep! Then we turned around we drove to the first corner the trees stood still as statues and it was as quiet as a empty hallway… WE MADE IT!!!
“Yess” I meanwhile we spotted some of my friends “Hi” I softly yelled they were ery surprised. In about 2 minutes I saw home but I decided to go around again! Sooooo we did it over all again!!! Sooo we went around all the corners all the stuff but it was still very fun. Then it was time for the hardest part we had to back into the drivway. WE MADE IT!! and that was the first time that I got to steer a car.


Obviously there are some sharp criticisms to be made. I don’t know who the fuck he thinks he is, skipping the Oxford comma halfway through the first paragraph. And the detour into cliche-ish metaphor makes me wonder if he’s actually Zach Bowman’s kid, not mine. (He’d be better-looking, were that the case; Zach is very handsome.)

Overall, however, it’s better than about 75% of the submissions we get at TTAC, and it would easily win the Motor Press Guild annual writing award, mostly because you can A/B it with the press release for the C63 and find no similarities whatsoever.

Now let’s see what Dad and Uncle Bark managed to “softly yell” at the readers this week:

This piece on How Is The Dealer Screwing You was the big register-ringer for TTAC this week, and deservedly so. His Two Hundred Posts Later retrospective brought out the grouches and the fans in equal measure.

I enjoyed the sweet, sweet taste of incel tears when I wrote To M3 or Not To M3. Incidentally, if you’d like to add Edward’s Audi to your fleet, or just ask him for photos of my housekeeper, the Craigslist ad for the Audi is right here.

The Low Spark Of High Performance Compacts gave a lot of people a chance to gripe about the current state of affordable FWD hot hatches, and it featured one of the more hilarious autism-spectrum serial comment strings from valued customer “Pch101”.

At R&T, I considered the glacial acceleration of autonomous cars and told the story, already somewhat familiar to readers here, of how Mrs. Baruth crashed her MX-5 Cup car.

This was also the week for my print articles on the Ford Focus RS and trackday coaches to appear online.

Come back next week — we might not have anything from John, but Jack and Bark will still be shoveling away at the coalface, so to speak!

23 Replies to “(Last) Weekly Roundup: Caution, Driving! Edition”

  1. Avatarjz78817

    I ‘unno, I saw Bowman at a media event a few years ago, and the thought that popped into my head was “Beavis.”

  2. AvatarTomko

    I know a thing or two about art: That first page by John is a definite work of art.

    I suggest you store it archivally for posterity.

  3. AvatarTomko

    I just tried to log in at TTAC to make my personal contribution to the Pch101 lather-rinse-repeat but sadly the log in sends me into a gazillion redirects.

    As a super moderator at another AG site, I have no idea where they find their IT people: But I find them utterly useless.

  4. Avatar-Nate

    Pretty cool IMO .

    No one said anything when I set my 7 year old Son on my lap and he wobbled down Lincoln Av. in my old 1946 Chevy pickup truck…

    Some folks are really clueless ~ if they want to raise a helpless Child go ahead but stay far away from my Boy as he’s going places they’ll never imagine, just like John will .


      • Avatar-Nate

        “Drain plug went missing. We’ll be safety-wiring the next one in!”

        What, precisely, causes this ? .

        I just had one loosen on my old Mercedes and didn’t realize it until I was 1,500 away from home and it began to sing so I drained and refilled it, added magnets and used two feet on the wheel to pull that b*tch as tight as I could because Mercecdes doesn’t use any gasket there .


          • AvatarEric H

            Either someone overtightened it and cracked the case and it vibrated loose, or under tightened it and it vibrated loose.
            Next time a little medium strength loc-tite will keep it from happening again.

          • Avatar-Nate

            Eric ;
            How to ensure no oil in the threads before adding Loctite to the plug ? .
            Serious question here, Mercedes hard parts are NOT CHEAP ! =8-^ .

          • Avatarrpn453

            Just get it somewhat close to the torque spec in either direction and it won’t loosen.

            I have trouble imagining any threaded connection where I’d use loctite instead of a thread lubricant like grease, oil, or anti-seize.

          • Avatar-Nate

            “Just get it somewhat close to the torque spec in either direction and it won’t loosen.

            I have trouble imagining any threaded connection where I’d use loctite instead of a thread lubricant like grease, oil, or anti-seize.”.
            Just so and therein lay the rub :
            I’m not a small guy and I put both feet on the inside of the wheel and pulled for all I was worth on the Flex handle (NE: breaker bar) but gear oil dribbled out the filler plug anyway causing the ring gear to wear and begin to sing .
            The fill plug doesn’t use a gasket for some reason .
            I’ve never had one of these leak before nor since .
            I _Could_ slip my “cheater” on the Handle but the plug is in an alloy cover I’d rather not ruin by stripping out .

          • Avatarrpn453

            I’ve only experienced seized drain plugs on diffs. Never any that actually wanted to leave their home!

            Nate, does that plug seal at the bolt flange or the threads?

            I’m sure you know that the typical seal is a soft aluminum or copper washer for the former, and teflon tape for the latter. I suppose you’d have to get creative if neither works.

            Excessive torque is certainly not the answer. I’ve never given any drain plug more than a solid pull with a standard ratchet.

            Loctite threadlocker tends to pull aluminum threads out in a coil upon removal. I imagine there would be some sort of sealant that could work though. It wouldn’t surprise me if Loctite even makes such a thing. Them, or Permatex.

            Did it come loose or just leak with the plug tight? Could the leak be caused by damaged threads? Hard to imagine the threads are damaged if you can put a lot of torque to it without obvious stripping. But if they are, Heli-coils work great. They’re stronger and more durable than original aluminum threads.

            I’m not sure I can contribute much without seeing the situation up close.

            Sorry for the late response, if you even see this. I usually check my comments at some point but forgot about this one.

  5. AvatarDan S

    The triggering in the comment section of the M3 article is truly hilarious. It might be cheap amusement on my part, but pissing off SJW types is always a good laugh.

  6. AvatarShocktastic

    Double extra credit golf claps for working the Traffic-influenced title on an automotive website. Made me chuckle but also listen to it for the first time in years:

    The percentage you’re paying is too high priced
    While you’re living beyond all your means
    And the man in the suit has just bought a new car
    From the profit he’s made on your dreams
    But today you just read that the man was shot dead
    By a gun that didn’t make any noise
    But it wasn’t the bullet that laid him to rest was
    The low spark of high-heeled boys

  7. AvatarSimon Tanner

    Jack, found this quote some time ago. It’s always appropriate.

    “Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof.” (John Kenneth Galbraith)


  8. Avatar-Nate

    Thanx guys .

    I weeped around the still tight plug .

    Mercedes says no washer/tape, go figure .

    I tightened the beejeebers out of it and so far so good…



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