It’s Substack Time. Autobots Assemble! (Decepticons, too!)

Some of you already found it, of course: my Substack is called Avoidable Contact Forever. The formal launch is tomorrow, with new daily content beginning on Sunday.

Some time this evening, depending on my bulk mail provider’s competence, many of you will be getting a discount offer in your email. The offer is permanent and you can share it with friends if you like. It does not apply to the “Trackday Club”, which is roughly the equivalent of that one gold-plated wrench from Harbor Freight and entitles the subscriber to one coached trackday per year at a place that works for both of us. (Bring your own car, unless you want to drive a Neon without power steering and with 48psi rear tire pressure.)

If you do not get your offer by this time tomorrow, look in the “Promotions” or, maybe, “Spam” folder of your email. If it’s not there, comment below and I will send it to you personally by the end of the night Friday.

I’d like to thank the madmen who figured it out ahead of time and signed up immediately. That’s more than I deserve and I won’t forget.

Click the jump for a detailed explanation of what you’ll get with your subscription.

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1980 Pontiac Phoenix LJ Coupe: X Marks The Spot

So today I got out of the office, made a service appointment with Strieter Lincoln, drove through a near-monsoon through most of the Quad Cities, had a late lunch and settled down in front of the computer. To discover this amazing Broughamed-out refugee from GM’s pre hump-everything-electric phase. A Phoenix! Continue Reading →

1967 Imperial Crown Coupe: For Pete’s Sake, Don’t Call It A Chrysler!

I attend a lot of car shows, and cruise nights, and national marque meets-as proven by my recent post on the 2022 CLC Grand National meet in Lombard, IL. This is nothing new. Way back in early autumn of 2012, I took several dozen photos at a car show held at Dahl Ford of Davenport-said dealer run by my buddy and fellow Brougham aficionado KV Dahl. So let’s look at one of my favorite marques: Imperial. And that’s an Imperial, buster! Dagnabit, consarn it and gods cuss it! It is not, I repeat, NOT, a Chrysler. To understand why it bugs Imperial connoisseurs when someone calls one of these majestic luxury cars a Chrysler, imagine how weird it would sound for someone to call your Eldo a “GM Cadillac” or your Mark III a “Ford Lincoln.” Mmm-kay? Good. So let’s move on to the star attraction: This ’67 Crown Coupe.

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1984 Chevrolet Caprice Estate: Wally World or Bust!

If you’ll recall my recent post on the baby blue 1973 New Yorker Brougham, it was sold by my friend Anthony Rose, of the greater Cleveland area. Well this morning, just before I clocked in to the office, he posted this survivor of ’80s suburbia: a very above-average condition Caprice woody wagon. I immediately tagged my friend in Boston, Matt Smith. “Issa Caprese.” Oh, sorry. Private joke.

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Guest Post: That’s Our House Now

Today’s guest post is a bit of fiction-loosely-based-on-real-events from RG reader John Curry. It may not be appropriate for all ages — jb

“Motherf…” Joe muttered when the fan blade hit his head as he stumbled to his bedroom in the attic he and his dad rented from their boss. “The one thing from home I didn’t miss when I was in that GD sandbox.” He sat down on his bed and chugged a Nalgene of water so he wouldn’t be hungover in the morning. Joe’s dad had joked with him before he left the house earlier that night. “Don’t be trying to puss out of work tomorrow morning because your head hurts. I’ve seen you leave at the ass crack of dawn Saturday morning to try and fix some chick’s car playing Captain Save-A-Hoe.” Joe could work harder hungover than most men could work sober. That hard work led him from side jobs and summer work to help with bills when he was a teenager — to Afghanistan after he graduated and didn’t really have a better plan.

When he got his DD214, he still didn’t really have a plan. Going back to work fixing tractors for his dad’s boss, a man he always knew as “Mr. Owen”, seemed like the most reasonable thing. Joe’s uncle had researched their family history; they’d been farming around here since white people had found the land, but a family weakness for the bottle had taken them from owning land to working on other people’s land generations before Joe was swimming in his dad’s nutsack. “A man ain’t ever worth a damn unless he’s got a piece of land to call his own,” Dad always used to say, in between labored breaths. Decades of cowboy killers and 7018 fumes had made his lungs work about as well as the liquor made his liver work.

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Sales—Is It For You?

Not that long ago, when my dear brother was announcing my ascension into the rarefied air of corporate executives, somebody commented that he or she would appreciate some perspective on the sales profession. Our commenter said, “I just don’t know if I’d do a good job at sales or like sales.”

I have been in sales in one form or another since I was 13 years old. In a tale that I’m pretty sure has been told here or somewhere else, Jack and I ran a mail order BMX shop out of our mother’s home for much, much longer than anybody had a right to—especially when those two someones are 19 and 13, respectively. It’s one of those things that made a lot of sense at the time, but seems downright impossible now that it actually happened.

Our mom would answer our home phone with the name of our shop when I was in school, write down whatever somebody requested, and then she would send a page to my Motorola Gold Flex with the details of the order. I would come home and then call the various distributor networks and place the order. Somehow, none of our customers thought this was weird. And we actually even made a little money!

Unfortunately, we had made an arrangement with a local bike shop to share some of the financial burden, and the owner was an unscrupulous Brooklynite who had somehow made it to Hilliard, Ohio. I don’t remember exactly all of what happened, but the long and the short of it was that our partnership was discontinued, and thus, so was our mail order shop.

That small taste of money and the thrill of the hunt led me to working at a musical instrument store after school in high school, and then another one when I was in college. I’ve been in some form of a sales role ever since, whether it was in front line sales, sales management, sales coaching and training, sales leadership, leading a national sales force, and now, as the VP of Sales for the largest privately held media company in the world.

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