BMWs and More!

Note: Another submission by regular RG reader, Patrick King. -TK

My second car after a ’69 Dodge Dart GTS 340 was a new 1971 BMW 2002 that left the dealership with many hot rod modifications (although the 45 DCOEs didn’t go on until a 3,000 mile break-in period was complete).

My ’71 autocrossing in ’75.

I daily drove, autocrossed and tracked that car for six years until it was pretty much beaten into submission by my driving style and the Boston winters. Continue Reading →

This Week’s Klockau Lust Object: 1976 Mercedes-Benz 280S

I spotted this just this morning over my second cup of coffee, for sale in the greater Grand Rapids metropolitan area.

Some may guess I only like rolling stock with cursive emblems, opera lamps and velour, but I drove Volvos for almost twenty years. Dad had Porsches since before I was born, still has a 356B and a ’67 1800S, and since my parents indulged my love of cars, I had all sorts of Pocket Cars, Matchboxes and Corgi Toys. Continue Reading →

Weekly Roundup: Thank You For Five Million Edition

When I was a contractor for VerticalScope, home of TTAC and many other collapsing websites, one of the senior executives admitted to me that “When it comes to site traffic, we pretty much make the numbers up, and so does everybody else.” The situation hasn’t gotten any better since 2013. Once upon a time, there was a genuine source of truth: the Apache logs on Linux and UNIX webservers. Today, the lizard people use astoundingly stupid and broken tools like SimilarWeb, Adobe Analytics, and Google Analytics to figure out how many people are looking at the advertisements. All of these metrics-collection services can be manipulated, and none of them can say for certain that fifty people using restrictive security settings behind a major corporate firewall are not, in fact, one person. Nor are they sophisticated enough to know that the “three unique users” they just reported to the Lizard-In-Chief are actually one person browsing the site via work laptop, tablet, and phone.

Jetpack, the freemium logging service offered to WordPress users, isn’t any dumber than the Adobe software, and I think it’s more conservative in estimating actual user volumes, which is probably a good thing. It thinks that Riverside Green has a steady audience of about 35,000 readers, and that we have served just over five million pages in the past nine years. I’ve done some sanity checking against my Apache logs and this doesn’t appear to be far from the truth. So… yay!

As I usually do at the million-visit marks, I will answer some general questions after the jump. Since this is a Roundup and not Housekeeping, there will also be a link to stories at the bottom. If you don’t have time to continue, please accept my thanks for being a reader. Most “creative types” like to pretend that they don’t need readers or listeners, that they would be happy just committing their pearls of wisdom to the custody of futurity, secure in the knowledge that they will eventually get a Nick Drake’s worth of critical recognition and respect. Of course, Nick Drake probably killed himself because he couldn’t sell more than five thousand copies of an album, but nobody likes to think about that. I’ll be more forthright. I cherish my readers. If you really hate me, the best way to hurt me is to stop reading. Please don’t do that.

Alright, let’s continue with Q&A.

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Housekeeping: Sites Down, Trucks Up

Many thanks to all the people who messaged me about my site being down today. It’s as simple as this. I’ve been using the Franklin Planner since 1994, but a few months ago I decided to try something else. Why not change with the times? Well, I’ll give you one reason: because you don’t remember to renew your domains.

To make matters worse, my registrar account was linked to one of the expired domains… so I couldn’t reset my password and log in from the road. Big oof, as the kids say.

Anyway, we are back up now and I’ll be more careful in the future, I suppose. Thanks for your patience. Oh — and there’s a reason I was out of pocket all day and not able to easily go home to fix the problem. You can see the reason in the photo above.

Continue Reading →

1964 Sunbeam Rapier Series IV: You Saucy Minx!

The Rootes Group was one of the earliest practitioners of badge engineering. Long before the K-Cars, ’82 GM A-body quartet or first generation Neons came into being–going back to the mid-1930s, in fact–Rootes was keeping busy with variations on a theme, a practice that by the 1950s had become a long-established Rootes tradition. Take today’s featured Sixties classic from Blightly: the 1955-67 Sunbeam Rapier. This car, the most sporting of the “Audax” series of cars built by Rootes, shared just about everything (except minor trim and interior fillips and, in some cases, engines) with the bread-and-butter Hillman Minx and medium-priced Singer Gazelle. Continue Reading →

2016 Cadillac CT6 Platinum: Fleetwood Fini?

It’s officially spring, and this past Monday I was out just cruising around. I had gotten a picture frame for a 1966 Lincoln Continental ad I’d acquired awhile back at an antique store. But the previous night, while putting it together, I pressed the back a little too hard and broke it. Dagnabit! So it was off to the store the next day to get another one. Oh well, at least it was cheap. Continue Reading →

Weekly Roundup: I Never Wanted To Get This High Edition

How real is Julia Nilon’s reaction to acapella singer Tim Foust, particularly the thirty or so seconds following the spot at which I’ve set the video to start? I’m thinking it’s not entirely real. YouTube “reaction videos” are a massively popular genre, and Tim Foust reaction videos are a reasonably popular sub-genre. In particular, there are quite a few YouTube videos where women appear to experience some sort of physical ecstasy as a result of hearing Foust hit some very low notes. Still, I suspect there’s at least a kernel of truth in Nilon’s response, because it seems both human and genuine.

One of my readers posted a link earlier this week that led me down a Substack rabbit hole ending in a rant about women and Tim Foust. I wish I could find it; alas, my browser crashed on Adobe Analytics and killed any memory it had of that link. If you recognize what I’m talking about, put it in the comments and I’ll edit, because I hate referring to other writers without proper attribution.

(Aside: I’ve been told that Matt “Fatty” Yglesias is making $770,000 a year on Substack from 9,800 subscribers. I’d be happy with a small fraction of that. Maybe I should go on Substack.)

Anyway, the Substacker in question was trying to make the point that women have always lusted, and will continue to lust, for “real men” who display certain “real man” tendencies, such as an exceptionally low voice. Which got me thinking, because a low voice is something that I don’t have.

Scratch that.

It’s something I got rid of.

Kinda.

Continue Reading →