May 24, 2004


It was fun, during Pauline Hansonís brief media-driven popularity, to attend meetings of her supporters and listen to them rail against globalisation and cheap imports and the destruction of local industry. And then watch them all drive home in inexpensive, reliable, imported Hyundais.

Recent troubles suffered by the uncompetitive Australian branch of Mitsubishi have revived some neo-Hansonite sentiment. Hereís Chris Sheil:

It was only last week that I stood with a friend looking across the docks at Port Adelaide, taking in what seemed like hundreds and hundreds of cars, waiting to be shipped out. 'Gees', I said, "imagine the blow to this place if Mitsubishi shuts down". We shuddered at the thought ... What would happen if everything produced in Adelaide was subject to a management stuff-up, or became cheaper to produce somewhere else in the world? We'd just shut the whole joint down I guess.

Poor shuddering Chris, all worried about the Australian car industry! Naturally, I assumed my pro-local pal owned an Australian-made vehicle. But asked about this -- you can find our conversation at the above link -- Chris became strangely evasive:

That's for me to know and you to explain what it possibly has to do with the issue. Whatever I drive has nothing to do with the "creative destruction" of capitalism, as Schumpeter termed it, somewhat politely imo.

The point is right or wrong (or debatable on the merits, if you must). Whatever any individual may drive has no standing in this context.

If you're into that kind of thing, why not blog a post over at Spleenville which asks everyone what they drive.

Good idea! I drive an imported Mazda MX-5. Chris Sheil drives a Weak Argument. Or a Schumpeter, whatever the hell that is.

Posted by Tim Blair at May 24, 2004 06:53 AM

I drive a Subaru Legacy..imported second hand from Japan to NZ where I live and therefore illegal in Australia

Posted by: Mike A. at May 24, 2004 at 07:02 AM

Do us Yanks count? :-)

I drive a 1999 Ford F150 pickup. I bought it second hand in 2002.....after selling my Nissan pick up (bought new in 1986) to a parts supplier after many years of faithfull service. He wanted the frame and body.

Posted by: The Real JeffS at May 24, 2004 at 07:10 AM

I only buy American cars (Ford) and I force Mr. Cracker to do the same (Saturn).

For your next series, my favorite color is green.

Posted by: Donnah at May 24, 2004 at 07:11 AM

I drive a Subaru Legacy..imported second hand from Japan to NZ

God, I love Japanese imports. Because of them I get to drive a BMW motorsport with a full service history.

Posted by: RainDog at May 24, 2004 at 07:11 AM

Hyundai elantra, like Pauline's friends...but I'm a RWDB.

Posted by: debbie at May 24, 2004 at 07:15 AM

Mine is an Aussie built Mitsubishi Magna. Bought cheaply as an ex-lease vehicle.

Posted by: 2dogs at May 24, 2004 at 07:30 AM

It is true that an argument should be debated on its merits, and that Chris could be correct even if he is a hypocrite. But the answer to the evaded question would indicate whether he really believes his own arguments.

I have no car ;)

Posted by: Jan Haugland at May 24, 2004 at 07:32 AM

I have no car ;)

What!? That's absurd! How on earth do you get to your mailbox?

Posted by: RainDog at May 24, 2004 at 07:35 AM

Dodge Grand Caravan and Honda Accord (assembled in Ohio). But I'll buy what fits my needs and aesthetic judgment, price parameters, and expectations for reliability -- wherever it may happen to be built.

Actually Tim, you've been in my Accord before.

Posted by: charles austin at May 24, 2004 at 07:43 AM

I drive a very old, very crappy Ford. Pity me.

Posted by: Quentin George at May 24, 2004 at 08:33 AM

Cars are negative debt, Quentin, so you're doing alright. Buy a nice house instead.

Posted by: Donnah at May 24, 2004 at 08:41 AM

2004 Honda Accord EX, 2.4L inline 4. blue w/ grey leather. Satellite radio. 30Mpg (US miles, US gallons).

1989 Ford E-150 cargo van. Red. Dented. 4.9L inline 6. Bolted in the seats myself. Rubber mats in the cargo area. 12Mpg.

I live in one of those parts of America where nobody locks their cars... but I lock the Honda anyway.

Posted by: Jeff at May 24, 2004 at 08:53 AM

Four wheels is for sissies. Last bike was a Honda CX500, bought used off'n a fellow Amurkin. Next bike, I'm thinking a Buell or a Urals Patrol (parts from Russia, finished in USA).

Posted by: Richard McEnroe at May 24, 2004 at 09:10 AM

OLD holden here.

Posted by: Gibbo at May 24, 2004 at 09:14 AM

Ford Fairmont

Posted by: Gary at May 24, 2004 at 09:19 AM

I drive a Holden Astra (for to and from work) and a Holden EL Futura (with the family). I didn't actually intend to buy Australian cars - both were ex-govies bought at auction and they were about what I wanted for a price I could afford.

I drive cars until they die so I expect to retire my current cars when they are either 25 years old or they get declared unroadworthy - whichever comes first.

It doesn't take much reading of Chris' work to see that he is an absolutely raging hyprocrite - but I suppose that is standard LWDB territory.

Posted by: Russell at May 24, 2004 at 09:28 AM

I drive a 2003 Hyundai Accent GL four-door. Very cheap, very reliable so far, and in its features it's pretty much equivalent to the Honda Civic DX hatchback I drove for ten years previous. Hyundai used to have a really bad reputation because of the pitiful Excel, but they've changed their ways and now rank better than just about any American or European automaker in the customer-satisfaction section of the J.D. Power surveys. It also has good gas mileage, which in this day and age is nothing to sneeze at.

Posted by: Joe at May 24, 2004 at 09:36 AM

Didn't the Russian proletariat drive Mercedes?

Posted by: Gary at May 24, 2004 at 09:37 AM

Pfft. Your cars are all gay.

1923 Ford T roadster pickup; FoMoCo steel, 327 Chevy, .202 heads, 400TH w/ B&M hydrostick, Edelbrock X-2 6x2 intake, Holley 94s, 9" Ford w/ Detroit locker, Speedway suicide axle, straight pipes, no top, no fenders, no seatbelts, no front brakes.

BTW - Schumpeter? Isn't that the old East German econobox?

Posted by: iowahawk at May 24, 2004 at 09:39 AM

Kawasaki KLR 650. Have not had a chance to do too much offroading here yet. Soon though.

Posted by: Rob at May 24, 2004 at 09:43 AM

EL Falcon wagon.

This is possibly the most uncharismatic car known to modern science. I drive in confidence, knowing that no one will ever call me a poseur.

But I'm not without a sense of style. I did fit a dash mat to it.

Posted by: Al Bundy at May 24, 2004 at 09:44 AM

From the U.S.: This year I'm driving a Subaru imported from Japan made from Japanese and Korean parts. Last year I was driving a Chevy imported from Canada made from Japanese, Korean, and Chinese parts - although my tires were made in the U.S.

Posted by: Keith at May 24, 2004 at 09:52 AM

I'm an American RWDB who drives an old but low-milage Olds 88.

Posted by: Warmongering Lunatic at May 24, 2004 at 09:53 AM

1976 Ford f-250 crew cab.....well that's what I used to drive, it's in the driveway till the price-per-gallon goes down.

Posted by: Mike H. at May 24, 2004 at 10:01 AM

I'm about to get my hands on a 1st generation Honda Legend (1988 model). Sure, it may be 16 years old, but the price and technical condition is right. Another deciding factor is that a 19-year old getting anything of the same quality albeit newer means insurance is a bitch.

Posted by: Marty at May 24, 2004 at 10:12 AM

Geo Metro - it stinks of globalization. One of the less touted features is if a friend wants to borrow it, I can fold it up and send it via mail without leaving the house.

Posted by: Papertiger at May 24, 2004 at 10:38 AM

I drive a 2002 Subaru Forester and ride a 2002 Harley Davidson Softail. I'll admit the Forester isn't as sexy, but it gets great mileage and AWD is standard on every Subaru.

Posted by: SPY at May 24, 2004 at 10:45 AM

Mitsubishi Eclipse, made by American auto workers in Normal, Illinois.

I'm not sure whether that makes me an Evil Globalist Taking Food From The Mouths of American Workers By Buying Foreign Goods, or a Conservative Isolationist America-Firster.

Posted by: jaed at May 24, 2004 at 10:50 AM


from my understanding of Economics, Sheil is wrong. From memory, Schumpeter's analysis centered on the defence of monopolies. He claimed that a monopoly would better allocate resources and a monopoly that could innovate would therefore increase economic growth.

Bored? From this, Sheils is wrong. having a number of heavily subsidised car producers is a misallocation of resources. This is compounded by the fact that there is little innovation in having a number of producers in a such a small market as ours.To do so is a waste of resources and lowers potential economic growth.

He has I feel contradicted himself. Cheap overseas cars would increase peoples spending power and therefore economic growth, going against the point of Schumpters' analysis.

Posted by: nic at May 24, 2004 at 10:56 AM

1974 Datsun 260 Z. Bought wrecked, hadn`t run in 10 years, spent a year restoring it myself, got hit again 2 weeks after I finished, fixed it again. Does recycling (through restoring) an older car make me green, or do the old-car exhaust fumes kill the green stuff around me?

Posted by: Scott at May 24, 2004 at 11:01 AM

Beat this: a '57 Chev, two-tone brown and cream, with 200,000 miles on the speedo, bought from a farmer in Condobolin, NSW. A whole generation was probably conceived on the back seat.

Isnt a Schumpeter like an Edsel?

Posted by: 'Freddyboy at May 24, 2004 at 11:15 AM

Say what you will about the Axis of Weasels, but the shifty bastards make some wicked cars. (The Germans, not the French, obviously.) Got a 2003 MB C32 AMG, 349 hp, 330 lb-ft of torque, 1 hp for every 10 pounds of car, 0-60 in 4.9 seconds. Only comes with an auto trans, but the Speedshift, once you get used to it, is really a feature, not a bug. Especially during off the line takeoffs, when the computer can shift a lot smoother and faster than I can. It can match a standard Corvette off the line even though it's carrying 2 more doors. Got no problem with globalization, no problem at all. Globalization brings me the gas I need to run it, since it uses more gas than a typical rural Chinese village of 5,000.

Iowahawk, I would be willing to trade keys for a weekend. Uh, maybe just a Tuesday. Supervised.

Posted by: Matt in Denver at May 24, 2004 at 11:16 AM

2002 Audi A3.

Posted by: Toryhere at May 24, 2004 at 11:39 AM

Volvo 244 and the money I save goes into the mortgage. After a slight bingle - complete front indicator assembly, $25. After 500,000 clicks, replacement engine $800 (installed) - hello, another 500,000ks. Third party insurance, $105. Theft insurance irrelevant.

Posted by: ilibcc at May 24, 2004 at 11:55 AM

1993 Plymouth Colt. Which is really a Mitsubishi Mirage. So, did I buy American, or no? Beats me.

That's what I love about the Left - the world is rapidly turning into the One Big Happy Village that they've always wanted, and now they're bitching about the evils of globalization. Which just goes to prove that the only thing they really believe in is negation.

BTW, my next car will hopefully be a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution - 271 turbocharged horsepower of 350Z-killer.

Posted by: Dave S. at May 24, 2004 at 11:56 AM

8 year old Ford Ltd and later this week my 15 year old Audi 200T comes back after nearly 4 years in oblivion.

Posted by: Fool to Himself & Burden to Others at May 24, 2004 at 12:06 PM

I drive an Ohio-built 2001 Honda Accord (V6, 2.8l), the Mrs. drives a 1991 Benz 190E/2.6, and when I feel the need or the weather demands it, I bust out the 1967 Olds Cutlass Supreme Convertible with the small-block 330 cid Jetfire.

Posted by: Andrew at May 24, 2004 at 12:11 PM

I drive a pretty blue one. I used to own a red one, but it didn't really match my skin tone.

Blue is calming.

Posted by: Harry Hutton at May 24, 2004 at 12:43 PM

"I believe it was Schumpeter who claimed to be not only the best economist, but also the best horseman and the best lover in his native Austria. I don't ride horses, and have few illusions on other scores." Paul Krugman.

If you want to read Schumpeter getting denounced, go to The Unofficial Paul Krugman Archive and type in The Hangover Theory.

Posted by: Harry Hutton at May 24, 2004 at 12:45 PM

No cars for me. Cars are for weenies! I take the bus. The bus is for real men (and women). OF course I often have trouble getting the bus driver to hand over the keys, but that's why God invented tasers.


Posted by: Andrea Harris at May 24, 2004 at 12:45 PM

I drive a BMW. At least untill I wake up.

Posted by: Greg at May 24, 2004 at 01:05 PM

The Missus drives a Plymouth Voyager minivan (soccer mom ride) and my Suburu Forrester is for the AWD on our snowy upstate NY winters.

We had a Volvo 240 wagon (bought used) for 10 years but it was rear wheel drive! Fishtailed all over the road.

You'd think the Swedes would know something about driving on snow.
They're so good at ice hockey, meatballs, and hot pornography!

Posted by: JDB at May 24, 2004 at 01:12 PM

The beloved drives a nifty Laser. I ride a Mongoose mountain bike.

Posted by: slatts at May 24, 2004 at 01:14 PM

Who knows, JDB? Maybe the Swedes drive them backwards when it snows. The kids in the rear-facing dicky seat can shout directions.

Posted by: ilibcc at May 24, 2004 at 01:23 PM

2001 Camero convertible. It's a midlife crisis thing. If I could only find the 20yr old girlfriend I'd be set. :D

Posted by: Fuloydo at May 24, 2004 at 01:25 PM

I drive a 2000 Chevrolet S10 in a color GM calls "Pewter." I get harassed over the name of the color, but it looks great can go for months with a wash.

Next year, though, I'm gonna get a Subaru WRX. Only for the AWD, though - New England winters can be hard to drive through.

It's no a Lancer Evolution, but it's no slouch.

Posted by: Christian at May 24, 2004 at 01:30 PM

Cherry-red V13 Ferrari Road Dart ... I mean, Mazda 626.

Posted by: Tony.T at May 24, 2004 at 01:35 PM

Blue is calming.

Was it you behind this little project to breed a 'blue rose', Harry? Is that why you want 500 kilos of white mice, because of your twisted experiments in Genetic Modification, hoping to come up with a calm and relaxing colour combination?

What? this post was about cars? Oh - well, then - I walk.

Posted by: TimT at May 24, 2004 at 01:36 PM

Matt in Denver: I'll pass on the key swap. Homey don't do Krautwagens.

BTW - for comparison, mine dynos @ 340 hp, and weighs in less than 1800 lbs. dry.

Posted by: iowahawk at May 24, 2004 at 01:48 PM

My 83' canary yellow Laser (S pack!! oooh), which was my first car, has been so neglegted that I have recently been drinving around my moms Volkswagon Polo. The car is tiny and it is made for tiny people. It feels like you are driving Dune Buggy. The peadals ar eso close together that, depending on which ones I'm wearing, I hane to take my shoes off so I wont hit more than one pedal at a time. Serious. Right now I'm looking for a Falcon. You guys in America wiht the Ford F series turn me green with envy.

Posted by: Troy at May 24, 2004 at 01:55 PM

Should I be admintting this?
Oh well, here goes...
I drive a 1999 Citroen xsara.

Posted by: RhikoR at May 24, 2004 at 01:58 PM

Between home and the train station in a VY Berlina, thence the finest of Cityrails always on-time, efficient, clean, climate-controlled inter-city trains into Sydney.

Posted by: tc at May 24, 2004 at 02:15 PM

tc, if you drove a VY to a train station in melbourne, you wouldn't have a VY by the time you returned

Posted by: ilibcc at May 24, 2004 at 02:17 PM

Drive? I have a chauffeur...
er, I mean 1998 Toyota Corolla sedan - Aus Made! (But don't ask about the body finish/fit quality!!)

Posted by: kae at May 24, 2004 at 02:49 PM

As for debating an argument only on its own merits, I'm reminded of Socrates' defense of Alcibiades, to wit:

No Athenian ever drank to excess.
Alcibiades was an Athenian.
Thus, Alcibiades never drank to excess.

Consdered only upon its own merits, the argument is a perfect tautology; given the first two premises, the conclusion is inescapable. Only when outside facts are brought in, namely that Athenians were notorious carousers, did the entire argument break down. (It's worth noting that the defense was laughed right out of court, and some credit such errors in judgement as the main reason Socrates' own students eventually turned on him.)

Posted by: Tatterdemalian at May 24, 2004 at 02:59 PM

Great post tim. I trust of course that you (and nic) realise you are completely off the point. But what the heck, you've never been a man to let a little relevance get in the way of your fun.

Posted by: cs at May 24, 2004 at 03:11 PM

Iowahawk, I'll admit that the luxuries on my car, like front brakes and seat belts, bring the weight up to 3,500 pounds. But sometimes you have to spoil yourself.

Besides, chicks dig the krautwagen when I take it to the figure 8 school bus races. Straight pipes spook the classy ones.

Posted by: Matt in Denver at May 24, 2004 at 03:24 PM


I only asked for 300 kilos of white mice. 500 kilos would be ridiculous.

Posted by: Harry Hutton at May 24, 2004 at 03:50 PM

The point is, Chris, that you want to have it both ways: to act all righteous and concerned over a collapsing local car maker, and at the same time drive an imported car.

Posted by: tim at May 24, 2004 at 03:54 PM

2003 Mazda 6. REALLY wanted the RX-8, but couldn't afford it. The 6 does just fine in Houston traffic, and is pretty sporty.

Posted by: Steve in Houston at May 24, 2004 at 04:09 PM

Great post tim. I trust of course that you (and nic) realise you are completely off the point. But what the heck, you've never been a man to let a little relevance get in the way of your fun.

Come on Chris, off the point? You dropped the Schumpeter quote in a fit of "one-upmanship".
Your argument was at odds with Schumpeter's arguments in favour of Monopoly power.

I was going to say take it like a man, but I wont. Try Veblen next time.

Posted by: nic at May 24, 2004 at 05:04 PM

Tc surely you jest about Sydney's Cityrail? I can get there faster in my '57 Chev and with a lot more style. The best pick-up car I ever drove.

Posted by: 'Freddyboy at May 24, 2004 at 05:09 PM

People who espouse a cause and don't help support that cause are generally viewed as hypocrites. The 'do as I say, not as I do' crowd. If Chris S.'s concern for the Australian Car Industry isn't just mere words, he'd drive ONLY an Australian made car. Since he refused to answer your question, one assumes he must drive an import. Thus, he's contributing to the demise of the Australian Car Industry and has demonstrated, via his wallet, how much he really cares.

I don't understand people who claim to care about something, yet never 'put their money where their mouths are'. Like the protesters who demonstrate against the evils of globalization and eat at
McDonald's on the way home from the protest!!

Cars in my household:

1. '89 Mercury Topaz (blue)
Got used. Runs great. Body is still good.
Great deal on this car.

2. '01 Toyota Camry (white)
Bought at the end of '01. A dealer demo car
Got it at a used car price, even though it
had less than 100 miles on it.

We like to get cars and keep them until they rust out beneath us, or their repair becomes prohibitive. Most of our other cars have lasted us about 20 years. We plan on doing the same with these.

We also never buy new. Always used. Can't bear to spend the money on a new car. They depreciate so fast.

Posted by: Chris Josephson at May 24, 2004 at 05:58 PM

My fleet of Australian metal (and one import).
1. Daily driver - 2003 BA Falcon Ute. Red, of course!
2. Back-up - 98 Toyota Starlet Hatch
3. 93 Falcon Longreach - in various states of repair, which is to say the steering wheel is in good nick.
4. 89 NA Ford Fairlane, commonly known as "The Land Yacht". Enjoying a brief hiatus in my backyard. Brief=2 years...

Posted by: CB at May 24, 2004 at 06:27 PM

So long as you guys are happy and like to imagine that you know what you're talking about, why should I ruin your party by insisting that tim has run away with a point that has nothing to do with my post? Freedom includes the freedom to be wrong. Actually, I reckon tim should get this completely confused about one of my posts every day, as it gives me a few laughs and boosts my hits. Enjoy you crazy hooters! Enjoy! Vroommm, vroom ...

Posted by: cs at May 24, 2004 at 06:50 PM

G'day Chris,

The point is that you are hypocritical, pseudo-pretentious twat. It is not off the point - we are having fun laughing at the fact that you are so far up your own bum that you vanished.

Posted by: Russell at May 24, 2004 at 07:18 PM

"Thank you for the hits, nyah nyah" is the final argument of weenies. Tim's point, clear to anyone with minimal reading skills, is that if you drive an imported car while kvetching about the closing of domestic manufacturers, then you are a hypocrite. If that makes you uncomfortable, it's not Tim's fault.

(88 Jeep Wrangler, by the way)

Posted by: Jeepster at May 24, 2004 at 07:21 PM

I own two Toyotas -- a 2000 Tundra pickup and 2004 Sienna minivan -- both of which were assembled in Princeton, Indiana mostly using Japanese and American parts. Both are totally dependable, beautifully crafted and essentially boring.

The wife has a 2001 BMW 325xi wagon we ordered with the sport package and practically no other options; it's just about the only 3-Series in town without a sunroof. We need the all-wheel drive because of the ludicrously large amount of snow we get here in Santa Barbara, California.

The best thing about these three vehicles is that they're all paid for.

Also in the garage at the moment is a 2005 Toyota Corolla XRS I'm testing. It's surprisingly good with a 170-horsepower version of the VVTL-i 2.0-liter engine and six-speed transmission from the Celica GTS aboard. It also has great seats, a lot of room, neat thick weave upholstery and a damn fine stereo. The chassis could be sharper, but it's built like a Toyota.

The best thing about that car is that it didn't cost me anything. But I have to give it back on Tuesday.

I wish I had never sold my '69 Fiat 124 Sport Coupe, my '62 Chevy Nova, my '71 Camaro RS/SS, my '96 Honda Civic EX coupe, my '85 Honda CRX Si, my '55 GMC pickup and my '85 Corolla GT-S (AE86). I loved them all. And I really crave to own a '79 Yamaha RD400F Daytona Special -- though really just to look at it.

I don't miss my '74 Chevy Vega at all.

All this should make my position on the Abu Ghraib scandal readily apparent so I therefore refuse to make any further comments on the subject.

Posted by: John Pearley Huffman at May 24, 2004 at 07:51 PM

Toyota Corolla. The MPG I get on her makes me smile.

Posted by: ErikZ at May 24, 2004 at 08:07 PM

I don't see why Chris S. thinks extra visitors to his blog are necessarily a good thing. In this case, it just means that people who had never heard of him before now think he's a twit. Or am I missing something about the whole blogging thing?

(Triumph Sprint RS - and apologies to all those Australian motorcycle manufacturers I've put out of business)

Posted by: squawkbox at May 24, 2004 at 09:34 PM

Right now, it's a '98 Ford Escort. Best car I ever owned was an '85 Honda CRX two-seater.

Posted by: Mike at May 24, 2004 at 09:43 PM

'Vroommm, vroom ... '

Chris, get to the fucking point. Yes, your hits are up. Big deal. The argument has moved on. You made your point and everyone gets it.

Posted by: ilibcc at May 24, 2004 at 10:11 PM

Matt in Denver: There's a proper tool for every purpose. If the object is cherchez la femme, I just pull out the 1966 Buick Riviera. 465 ft lbs of torque, and all the dee-luxe highlife panache to set even the WASPiest gal's nether regions a-tingle. And they know I'm not leasing it.

Besides - why do you want to attract the kind of woman who would be attracted by a four door car?

Posted by: iowahawk at May 24, 2004 at 11:49 PM

I drive a '94 Ford Exploder and a '96 Mitsubishi Mirage here in the US. But I'm not the one whittering on about the awfulness of awful imports.

BTW, guess which one is not due for $1000 of maintenance (having just had nearly that much) and gets nearly 33.59MPG?

Posted by: Brian Jones at May 25, 2004 at 12:11 AM

Jesus Christ Chris, can't you see whatís going on here? everyone knows that if a RWDB says that black is black, you will tenaciously argue that black is actually white, and while that would normally this would be an admirable quality but you always take it to the point of making yourself look like a total twat! I've seen you get rolled by people who can barely string two words together coherently, simply because you insist on continuing to argue even in the face of undeniable facts.
Chris you are being baited, and as usual you are falling for it hook line and sinker.

I'm beginning to think that Chris is becoming a source of light relief for RWDB's when things in the real world become to depressing.

Posted by: Jonathon at May 25, 2004 at 12:16 AM

2002 VW Jetta 1.8T with Injen Cold Air Intake; still awaiting my upsolute chip.

regarding the argument at hand, all countries will be hypocrites regarding trade. look @ the US, we're notorious for espousing free trade, but then throwing tariffs and subsidies at anything that stands to be 'outsourced' from our shores. i hate politicians.

Posted by: poormedicalstudent at May 25, 2004 at 12:20 AM

IOWAHAWK! Shame on you for putting a chevy engine in a perfectly good Ford. Bang your head on the floor until you are forgiven. Also, please tell me your rod has mooneye gauges and a skull shifter.

'61 Ford Falcon Futura
'71 Ford LTD Country Squire
'57 International Harvester A-120 Metro
'98 Triumph Thunderbird Sport

I am currently in the market for any back seat equipped convertible, cabriolet, phaeton, etc.

Posted by: Doc at May 25, 2004 at 12:27 AM


My '93 Mirage has needed nothing but normal wear-and-tear maintenance in 11 years. Reliable as an anvil.

Chris - how you cannot see that you are the very problem that you are complaining about is beyond belief. You do know how the free market works, yes? You do know that by buying an import you contribute revenue to the import company while denying that revenue to the domestic manufacturer, right? Here's a similar situation - in any parking lot in this area, you can find gas-guzzling SUVs with "pro-environment" bumper stickers. Do you see the contradiction?

Or is it sufficiently righteous to just say the right thing and blame everyone else?

Posted by: Dave S. at May 25, 2004 at 12:29 AM

Chris Sheil continues to expose himself for the hypocritical twit he is. Period. Full Stop.

But, to stay on message, I have no car. I have an excuse though, I live in Europe. :P

Posted by: PW at May 25, 2004 at 12:57 AM

Iowahawk, excellent points, all. :D I still want to trade keys for a short while. You should try a car with all the modern conveniences sometime, you might enjoy it more than you think. I think a virtual tour of your vast collection on your site is in order. Seriously, are you the ghost of Bill Harrah?

Posted by: Matt in Denver at May 25, 2004 at 01:25 AM

Well, in less than a week I'll have a new Chrysler 300C. That's an import (Canada). I didn't want an American-made car like a Honda or Toyota or Mercedes.

Posted by: Gary and the Samoyeds at May 25, 2004 at 01:45 AM

Since Chris S. keeps saying his point has been misunderstood, I thought I'd chime in by stating that is IS possible, from his viewpoint, that his point was ignored.

When I read his posting, at his website, I thought his point could be that he cared about Australia's economy and was concerned for the future because of global competition. His point could also have been just a theoretical exercise with no concern at all for the real world.

Careful reading of his site shows he is very concerned about economics and economic theory. (He has authored at least three books on the subject.) So, his point could have been just to theorize a bit more on the "creative destruction" of capitalism. How the plant closing in Australia fits into this theory is maybe what he was trying to get at (among other things).

It's hard to know sometimes, with people who are into talking about theories, when they want to deal with reality or when they want to just talk on about theories. I have found there are people who love to talk on about theories, advocate certain theories, yet dislike it when a real world issue involving THEIR BEHAVIOR is brought up.

So, it IS possible for Chris S. to NOT see the connection between purchase of a car and the theories he is talking about. It's the real world intruding upon the theoretical. (Like those who drive SUVs with bumper stickers concerned about fossil fuel consumption.)

Of course, Chris S. could clear things up and state in a sentence or two what the point was we all seem to have missed. I thought I'd take a stab at trying to decipher what he believed his point was. Different from what most people (here) saw as the point.

Posted by: Chris Josephson at May 25, 2004 at 01:51 AM

My real intention, Jonathan, wasnít to bait Chris. It was to see if he could be provoked to a greater level of incomprehensible denial than seen here:

This is not "the 'evidence ...'" as Bolt has written, but is explicitly limited to that specific evidence that was presented in that specific court in relation to that specific case, evidence that "does not" in any event, the court explicitly finds "deny the existence of the stolen generation". Thus, while a comprehensive examination of this issue may have to go to the actual evidence that was presented and its evaluation, on the surface, the change of verballing, or "albrechting", appears to stand.

He got close. This, in his comments thread, is probably the best:

For my part, I just see the persistence of this paradigm in this context regardless of what I have really said as evidence of how ossified the debate is, trapped as everyone seems to be within a simplistic 'free trade versus protection' dualism. In the interests of clarity and simplicity, from now on, I would ask that anyone who wants to tell me I'm wrong first set out a direct quote to which they refer.

The question that led to this? I asked him what car he drives. Imagine if Iíd asked something difficult.

Posted by: tim at May 25, 2004 at 02:01 AM


IOWAHAWK! Shame on you for putting a chevy engine in a perfectly good Ford

I am making amends. I just picked up a '31 A roadster project - on unboxed Deuce rails - w/ the proper 59AB flathead, '39 Ford toploader, unsplit bones, and torque tube / banjo driveline.

Also, please tell me your rod has mooneye gauges and a skull shifter

Mooneyes gauges, check. Also a vintage '60s spun aluminum Moon gas tank. Shiftknob is currently a basic black ball, but a friend is casting a translucent ball w/ an imbedded tequila worm. By the way, it is actually a '23 phaeton (T-Touring) with the back seat section lopped off.

Matt in Denver:

Truth is, I'd rather be Bruce Meyer or George Poteet than Bill Harrah. I'll eventually toss some pics of the cars up, including one with a certain Aussie journalist behind the wheel.

Posted by: iowahawk at May 25, 2004 at 02:29 AM

I drive a 2002 Ford Ranger pickup. It's not sexy, but it's just right for hauling my creations to festivals and art shows, so I can get my hands on some of that capitalist money. What was the question again?

Posted by: Rebecca at May 25, 2004 at 02:37 AM

re: "I asked him what car he drives. Imagine if Iíd asked something difficult."

It boggles the mind.

Posted by: The Real JeffS at May 25, 2004 at 03:27 AM

As Americans, we drive:

2002 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
2001 Mitsubishi Montero (Pajero to you Aussies)
1991 BMW 318is

All bought used. And yes, there are only 2 drivers in the family! In our defense, the Montero may be leaving us soon in favor of the fuel-efficient BMW (once it is roadworthy, that is).

The Chev was probably built in Mexico, and the Mitsubishi in America (but who knows, and who cares, really).

Posted by: amosjo at May 25, 2004 at 03:35 AM

I am thricely despised by all the "right" people for my vehicular purchase decisions.

'93 Mitsubishi Eclipse (wife drives it). FOREIGN CAR! Needs replacing actually.

'97 Ford Expedition. Just drove it to Chicago and back (over 1200 miles round trip) and it was superb while gulping gas at a rate just over 15 MPG. GAS HOG! Filled to the brim with wifely purchases from our stay there in the Windy City.

'02 Corvette convertible. Red. Shiny. Fun. Somewhat impracticle. Fast. Gets good mileage actually (30 MPG on the highway...)

Posted by: Brent at May 25, 2004 at 08:48 AM

A 2003 Mini Cooper - so much fun!

Posted by: Joe at May 25, 2004 at 09:58 AM

Matt in Denver, you are right,a'50s or'60s car has real chick-pulling appeal and a big back (bench)seat.

Posted by: 'Freddyboy at May 25, 2004 at 11:29 AM

In the garage at the moment are
04 Saab 9-3 Vector (silver)mine
97 WRX (blue) mine - weekend car. muchly modded
68 Citroen DS (black)- being restored
03 Holden Astra Convert - Silver. Partners
and a
04 Fairmont (white)- I have no idea why this is here. It was parked here by a friend 2 weekends ago and has yet to leave

Posted by: ANdy at May 25, 2004 at 07:41 PM

2000 Ford Focus ZX3. Built in Hermosillo by workers making darn good wages by Mexican standards.

Posted by: Damian P. at May 26, 2004 at 12:52 AM

'76 Mercedes 300D (Just like Matt's C320AMG, it weighs 3500 pounds. Unfortunately, it not only gets only 22MPG, but it also only has 77HP. 0-60 in 18 doesn't impress anyone, for sure.)

And a '94 Toyota pickup. Which, strangely, gets about the same mileage as the krautmobile.

I like sturdy, long-lasting vehicles. (But if the 300D ever dies, I'm replacing it with a newer one with a turbocharger. More power, same mileage. Ah, the glories of improved engine design.)

Posted by: Sigivald at May 26, 2004 at 09:43 AM

'94 Saab 900S I inherited from my mum.

And a '93 Holden Commodore (Australian) I bought in the Trading Post from a Lebanese-Australian supermarket manager in 1998, after my previous Commodore was totalled by a truck running into the back of it.

The Commodore has the space, but it's too big for my wife Katie to drive comfortably with little Rosie in the back, so we mainly use the Saab. (Katie's own car is a Toyota Starlet, which she loves, but it's not baby/toddler friendly.)

The Saab is fun, but doesn't have as much space as the Holden for toddler paraphenalia (portable cot etc) if we go away for the weekend.

Posted by: David Morgan at May 26, 2004 at 10:07 AM

04 Fairmont (white)- I have no idea why this is here. It was parked here by a friend 2 weekends ago and has yet to leave

Now there's a great type of excuse that John Kerry could have made about "his family's" SUV...

Although he'd probably have to replace "friend" with something less personal...otherwise nobody would believe it. "Campaign Manager" maybe.

Posted by: PW at May 26, 2004 at 12:42 PM

Re Chris Josephson, I did nothing but note the dreadful impact on Adelaide that would ensue if both the car factories closed, having recently visited Port Adelaide ... which prompted me to wonder about the extent to which 'place' matters any more. I also noted that, strictly, at the extreme, place doesn't matter within the prevailing economic orthodoxy, and nor would it seem to matter in the case of management stuff-ups in far away lands (which was the case here ... if management hadn't stuffed up, the present levels of assistance would have been sufficient to keep the place running, for good or ill, depending on how you see this policy). Could, I wondered, this ultimately potentially result in the closure of an entire capital? That's all. Nothing more. No policy prescriptions. Just an expressed sense of sadness, and fatalism. What this has to do with whatever car I drive is in tim's mind.

Posted by: cs at May 26, 2004 at 03:59 PM

So buy a Magna already and save Adelaide, Chris. GMH - and Ford - managements have stuffed up plenty over the years and people still buy Holdens and Falcons. And it's not as if Magnas are bad cars.
(By the way, the seat fabrics are made a suburb away here in Melbourne and the seat belts and other components are also made here. Should Mitsubishi shut - as it appears it should since it is getting huge subsidies - the pain will be spread.)

Posted by: ilibcc at May 26, 2004 at 06:42 PM

I should "buy a Magna already and save Adelaide"? Can't wait to see that expressed mathematically. Pull it off, and the Nobel's yours.

Posted by: cs at May 27, 2004 at 12:53 AM

I should add that things have been going wrong with the Commodore fairly continuously for the past 2 years - crank angle sensor (what's that?), fuel pump, engine oil leak that neither the local Holden dealer (Muirs at Ashfield) nor a nearby garage could stop (my brother-in-law eventually worked it out), speedometer not working, power steering oil leak etc...

Posted by: David Morgan at May 27, 2004 at 06:31 PM

I drive a Trabant, but hope to upgrade soon to a Yugo.

Posted by: US Polack at May 29, 2004 at 02:39 PM