October 26, 2004

CHANGE IS BAD - UNLESS IT'S CHANGING GEARS

Clutch activist Dave Addis asks:

Is the clutch pedal dead? Or the sole province of those who inhabit the opposite societal poles of poverty and wealth?

I dunno. As I said, we own vehicles that have one and vehicles that donít. But to steal from a line on those bumper stickers that I read while stalled in Tidewater traffic, "I'll give up my clutch when they pry my cold, dead toes from around it."

Those who would restrict us to automatic gearboxes face a brutal reckoning.

UPDATE. Matt from Denver -- Iíve ridden in his rapid Merc, and he knows what heís talking about -- defends the shiftless:

I've seen footage of a nighttime drag race between an E55 AMG and a Mustang Cobra modified to generate 452hp. The E55 wasted the Mustang, and the reason was shifting. The camera was at the end of the qtr mile, and while every Mustang shift sent the headlights bobbling (losing time), you could barely see the MB shift points. It was like a plane taking off.

I'm afraid to say it's the future. Eat your soylent green, clutch monkeys.

Posted by Tim Blair at October 26, 2004 04:55 AM
Comments

The car chases in "Ronin" just wouldn't be the same without the clutch.

Posted by: Joe Geoghegan at October 26, 2004 at 05:08 AM

I drove a standard shift for years because it's more fun. But then it occurred to me that automatic is just more convenient if one is going to drink coffee, put on lipstick, read a map, skim the newspaper, talk on the cellphone, fumble with CDs, and gesture while conversing when behind the wheel.

Posted by: woman driver at October 26, 2004 at 05:19 AM

the clutchless vehicle I own is my 1 ton, 6.8L V10 van used for towing my race car...any vehicle I drive on a regular basis must have a clutch.

However, if someone wants to give me a paddleshifter Ferrari, I might keep it.

Posted by: jimf at October 26, 2004 at 05:24 AM

I got a manual transmission car in 1995 (it was the cheapest car on the lot; my father looked at me and said, "You WILL learn to drive a clutch.")

I love it. I have mastered the art of phoning and drinking coffee while shifting (though I try to restrain myself for safety reasons).

I hope never to buy an automatic-transmission car - though I must admit that when I broke my elbow last year, driving really sucked for awhile. That's the single best argument for automatic that I can think of (that and a sprained ankle).

Posted by: Dr Alice at October 26, 2004 at 06:01 AM

learned to drive in a vehicle which had a clutch but no brakes. .... gosh, the excitement of finally being old enough to reach the accelerator & clutch myself, & not having to sit on mum's lap & steer while she used the pedals for me... the joy of kangaroo jumping myself to stalling for the first time... gosh, all the excitement of learing to drive, I missed learning to walk or ride a horse, as they happpened when I was too young for a conscious memory (although I will remember all my life one helluva buster from a horse when I was 3)

I can say that one does not feel fully grown up until one is tall enough to depress the clutch while simultaneously see over the dash to steer!

Long live the clutch!

Posted by: Steve at the pub at October 26, 2004 at 06:43 AM

Let's see, with a clutch you have: better performance, much better control, better fuel economy, lower operating expense, required alertness to the driving process, way more fun, yay!
With a two-pedal car, your benefits are easier driving in gridlock, less performance and control, use more fuel (can't you feel the globe heating up??), more frequent costly repairs... but every excuse to be clueless behind the wheel and to make driving a drudgery. Boo, hiss!
Evil nazi torque converters... and don't get me started on paddle shifters, those spawn of Satan

Posted by: Seppo at October 26, 2004 at 07:18 AM

Waaah. Complain all you want, old-fashioned people. (This especially means you, Seppo, you Greenpeace-coddler!)

I, for one, don't need the alleged "control" involved (or the higher RPMs I see every time I'm in someone's manual car, or the comparatively jerky shifting). Nor do I want the added crap to do with limbs best left idle.

I'm surprised you're not arguing for a manually-controlled timing advance or throttle richness control. After all, that's more control and more attention required, right? RIGHT?

Fascists!

(That said I support your fight for access to primitive, unsophisticated, simplistic manual gearboxes. Because I believe in Freedom.)

Posted by: Sigivald at October 26, 2004 at 07:26 AM

I learned on a three-in-the-column American Motors car, a 1964 American 330. Sigh. I miss that car.

But, however, time marches on, and my back is too screwed up to use a manual any more.

Elizabeth
Imperial Keeper

Posted by: Elizabeth at October 26, 2004 at 07:39 AM

Synchromesh is also bad.

Posted by: chuck at October 26, 2004 at 07:39 AM

I never thought I'd buy a car with an automatic, but I've gotta say I like the Tiptronic transmission on my Passat. It's a 5-speed automatic, and if you slide the shifer to the right, you can shift manually (not quite as crisply as a real manual, but close). You have great control, but when you want to be lazy, the Tiptronic is happy to oblige.

Ironically, the Tiptronic was designed for Porsches, but any automatic on a Porsche is unthinkable.

Posted by: Butch at October 26, 2004 at 07:46 AM

"Is this a shifter car? I cannot drive a shifter car, alright, so we got a little situation here. I can't drive these kinda cars! What the fuck is goin' on! You think that's funny? Would you like to know, smartass? Would you like to know why I can't drive this kinda car? I'll tell you why, I'm used to *luxury* cars. Have you ever heard of a luxury car? You know what luxury means? Ever heard of Cadillac, Cadillac Eldorado? That's what I drive. I drive cars that *shift* themselves."

That said, the first car I ever bought had a manual transmission, and I've no intention of ever getting an automatic.

I bought it the first day of Christmas break my junior year in college, and learned to drive it on the 1000 mile trip home the next day.

Posted by: SPY at October 26, 2004 at 07:49 AM

I agree, I love driving vehicles with clutches. Auto trannys just make driving boring, and when I have a choice, I will buy vehicles with stick shifts in them.

Posted by: Crusader at October 26, 2004 at 07:53 AM

Also, the chase in Bullitt just would lack something with auto trannys......

Posted by: Crusader at October 26, 2004 at 07:55 AM

What I find frustrating is that with cars like the Honda Accord, you can have a six cylinder, or you can have a real gearbox, but not both. They'll give you the power, but not the transmission that really lets it move the drive train.

Posted by: Rand Simberg at October 26, 2004 at 07:57 AM

Should have mentioned that quote was from the movie "Buffalo '66", not from the link in the original post.

Posted by: SPY at October 26, 2004 at 07:57 AM

Now yer talking. I got a 1948 1 Ton Dodge Power Wagon. Totally non-sychronized spur gear transmission - can you say double-clutch each and every gear. Top speed 45MPH with the engine pegged and moaning as if it's death were imminent.

Oh, my other car is a BMW with six speed manual transmission. It isn't half the fun as the Dodge and gets far less attention as well.

Posted by: Joe Bagadonuts at October 26, 2004 at 07:57 AM

SPY,

Vincent Gallo's politics are OK, but he gets too distracted while driving to handle a clutch... I hear

Posted by: movie critic at October 26, 2004 at 08:32 AM

"put on lipstick, read a map, skim the newspaper"

Never thought about putting on lipstick before,mmmmm. As for reading a map or skimming the newspaper, if I did that I'd be sure to hit a wallaby or cow. The buggers are everywhere!

Both my wife and I drive gearshifts. Love going into town with her V8 SS Commodore. Sit there at the lights next to some young buck. Start revving it with its thump thump sound. Get a similar response from him in his little tin box that sounds more like a demented lawn mower than a real car. When the lights turn green he plants the foot screeching his tyres and I just move off at a casual pace. You should see the young bucks piss off around the next corner all embarrassed as everyones looking at them.

Posted by: Lofty at October 26, 2004 at 08:39 AM

Bah. You newfangled "automobile" people. Admit it, you just can't handle a real drivin' vehicle!

Posted by: Andrea Harris at October 26, 2004 at 08:45 AM

All tests for drivers' licenses (non-Americans can change the spelling on that, or even the entire term) ought to be conducted on cars with manual transmissions. The entertainment value alone would make it worth it. It would also have the benefit of restricting licenses to those with at least a modicum of coordination, dexterity, etc.

Posted by: Silicon Valley Jim at October 26, 2004 at 08:48 AM

Snob Valley Jim: it's spelled the same here. Also: some people are unable to drive manual shifts due to arthritis or some other disabling disease, but can manage quite well in an automatic. I suppose they should all stay confined in their homes so macho gear-shifters can play Speed Racer on the interstate.

Why does this argument resemble the distasteful Mac-vs.-Windows nonsense?

Posted by: Andrea Harris at October 26, 2004 at 09:07 AM

I've driven stick shifts almost all my life, mostly because I'm a cheap bastard and it saves about $800 US on the cost of a new car. I bought my first auto trans this year and my company car is also an auto. My lease is up on my manual Cabrio in 2 months, so I will be all-auto for the first time in 20 years in one month. At least then I won't have to deal with one of my greatest irrational fears--breaking my left ankle and not being able to drive.

Posted by: JohnO at October 26, 2004 at 09:14 AM

I've owned both manual and automatic.....but I prefer manual. That's how I learned to drive, and I've done well with manuals under many conditions (including blizzards). Currently, I own a Ford F150 5 speed manual, pretty good response, good mileage.

That being said, I suppose when I'm older, I'll switch to automatic with lotsa horsepowe, just so I can romp on the gas at the light, and piss off everyone around me. ;-)

Posted by: The Real JeffS at October 26, 2004 at 09:51 AM

When I am old, I am going to buy a huge Cadillac Eldorado (fully automatic of course) and drive it in the left lane at exactly 34 miles per hour no matter where I am, with my right-turn signal left in perpetual blink mode. That's how you piss people off.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at October 26, 2004 at 10:00 AM

Got my clutch training on a Jeep. No-not the Chrysler kind. UP hills and DOWN hills-lots of fun. Wouldn't recommend for first-timers though. Very quick clutch.

Posted by: YoJimbo at October 26, 2004 at 10:14 AM

Clutch, schmutch. What's more gay -- a five speed Daewoo, or a 426 HemiCuda with a 727 Torqueflite and a 3-grand B&M stall converter?

That said: if you can't drive a stick, you shouldn't be allowed to vote.

Posted by: iowahawk at October 26, 2004 at 10:25 AM

Andrea,
My Queensland issue plastic spells it "licence" (it is a noun, after all), but having spent three weeks with a mate in West Virginia a year ago I've become (gotten ? ) used to their weird ways with words.

And to enjoy the best of both worlds you can now go just a little better than Butch's Passat with Tiptronic....try a diesel , yes, diesel, Audi with six speed Direct Shift Gearbox. Try it first...guaranteed to wipe the condescending smirk off your face..and you more than likely won't ever go back to petrol (sorry, gasoline) or manual shift.

Posted by: Galen Kirke at October 26, 2004 at 10:33 AM

LOL, Andrea! That would do it.

Posted by: The Real JeffS at October 26, 2004 at 11:13 AM

Well, Galen, I'd love to try that vehicle. I do take donations. Buy me one and I'll give you a shipping address.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at October 26, 2004 at 11:22 AM

What about sequentials, you luddites? Hippies really have to pedal like shit to escape when you're flicking up through the gears with a couple of buttons on your steering wheel.
Then again, if you've got one of these, who needs gears?

Posted by: Habib at October 26, 2004 at 12:23 PM

All right, I'll wade into the Clutch Jihad meatgrinder.

I have an automatic with manual override features, similar to the BMW SMG transmission. There's no clutch, but you can change gears at will, subject to reasonable limits that generally enhance performance. For example, it will not let me exceed redline. When I kick down, I can determine the gear, or I can let the computer select it--and I've found that it does a fine job. The computer is a great fallback in a pinch, when you want to focus a little more on aspects other than shifting. Off the line, you turn off traction control, put it in first, smoke' em a little bit and let the computer shift up at redline--seamlessly. I can beat an '04 Corvette to 60 UNLESS the guy can shift his manual perfectly, which, I've found, *very* few people can do.

I've seen footage of a nighttime drag race between an E55 AMG and a Mustang Cobra modified to generate 452hp. The E55 wasted the Mustang, and the reason was shifting. The camera was at the end of the qtr mile, and while every Mustang shift sent the headlights bobbling (losing time), you could barely see the MB shift points. It was like a plane taking off.

I'm afraid to say it's the future. Eat your soylent green, clutch monkeys.

Posted by: Matt in Denver at October 26, 2004 at 12:39 PM

BTW- it's a lot harder to drink and smoke while driving with a manual tranny- with a slushbox, you can steer with your knees while you're rummaging around in the cooler trying to find more beer.

Posted by: Habib at October 26, 2004 at 12:44 PM

I learnt to drive in a 1989 Mitsubishi Pajero manual with a buggered clutch (I actually took the driving test with the dead clutch, and the examiner couldn't really tell - I was "just a bit sloppy"). I think that alone qualifies me to drive pretty much anything on stick.

Speaking of which, I have an automatic at the moment and I am 95% likely to get a manual for my next car.

Posted by: Marty at October 26, 2004 at 12:56 PM

My high-school ride was a short-box, 2wd chevy pick-up with a 4-speed manual, and a rebuilt 350. Three hundred bucks in 1986. Drove it for four years, and sold it for 500.

Since the starter rarely worked, and I was broke, I took to parking it on hills, of all grades, for about a year and a half, till I finally found what was just a bad ground to the starter. It 'pop-started' just beutifuly in 2nd gear.

Also the gear-box was so touchy, I never had to worry about it bieng stolen, they'd have gone about ten feet before giving up.

I miss it dearly...sniff, sniff.

Posted by: Thomas at October 26, 2004 at 01:00 PM

Habib

BTW- it's a lot harder to drink and smoke while driving with a manual tranny

I think the dexterity I developed doing just that, carried me through more than one field sobriety test.

Posted by: Thomas at October 26, 2004 at 01:08 PM

Also, the chase in Bullitt just would lack something with auto trannys...

But the trannies would have better fashion sense.

"Four auto-trannies hanging on the wall,
Four auto-trannies hanging on the wall,
And if one auto-tranny should accidently fall..."

Posted by: cheshirecat at October 26, 2004 at 01:10 PM

Andrea ó Threatening to turn to the right pisses people off on the Internet, too, I've found...*g*

And I remember when Honda introduced the first automatic transmission 400cc Hawk. What a freakin' chick bike.

But why do all you car drivers insist on shifting with your hand? That's just weird...

Posted by: richard mcenroe at October 26, 2004 at 01:33 PM

Sorry Andrea, being a self funded retiree regretfully I'm not in a position to make a donation. But a no charge, obligation free test drive would be OK, and I'd be most interested to see your reaction to this latest combination of diesel and transmission technologies

Posted by: Galen Kirke at October 26, 2004 at 01:34 PM

Well, considering I think of a car as a bottomless hole in the street you pour money into, I don't know that I would be any more impressed by one over another. But if you must know, I have my heart set on a mid-nineties to no-later-than-2001 Jeep Cherokee.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at October 26, 2004 at 02:08 PM

I also rue the disappearance of wind up windows. The best vehicle I ever had was a 69 Bronco - 3 on the tree, no power brakes, manual steering, roll up windows and a 302 c.i. v8.

Posted by: DeepSouth at October 26, 2004 at 02:12 PM

I'm 38 and I've never driven a stick. Don't know how. And for that, I hold my manhood cheap.

Posted by: Dave S. at October 26, 2004 at 02:29 PM

I learned to drive on a "crash" gearbox. And you had to start it by manually cranking it over in all weathers. Synchromesh? Electric starters? Bah - wimps!

Also manually-operated wipers - with a little handle-thingy at the bottom of the screen which you reached forward and moved backwards and forwards - but only if you really had to.

Posted by: graboy at October 26, 2004 at 02:43 PM

Fence sitter. I own a auto V8 Discovery and know it's better in the sand/beach than manual models and comparable in the bush. I also own 1966 Series IIa Landrover that definitely has a clutch. Pre-warm up and exercises to strengthen the left leg required before driving. When I learned to drive the Army made me, as a part of a 6 week course, drive around the base for days without using the clutch..all on revs and, after a lot of grinding, experience.

I still enjoy driving both

Posted by: Kev at October 26, 2004 at 02:53 PM

I remember standing on "The Track" at Daytona with the parents one mid-sixties summer when my Dad had a short assignment there. After that, the bronze Volvo disappeared, and in its place was a '65 Mustang, 4-on-the-floor with a racing clutch.

I learned to drive on that car- or so I contend...they say I lay too much rubber on our street, and that is when the Datsun Station Wagon entered our lives. Still, it had a stick.

Now for the first time in almost 30 years of driving, there is no standard transmission in my life to make me feel like I am One With The Road--I miss it terribly.

Posted by: American Mother at October 26, 2004 at 03:01 PM

This Wet Dream on Wheels has a clutch. Need I say more?

Posted by: Spiny Norman at October 26, 2004 at 04:29 PM

The best of both worlds is the dual clutch transmission as fitted to the newest Audi TT's. Evidently, most high performance cars will have these in a few years. Also, there are reports of an ingenious transmission under development in the UK of similar characteristics. One day, stickshifts will only be seen in F1 - as a means of slowing down the cars!

Posted by: Sean at October 26, 2004 at 07:18 PM

No light on the dashboard told you when to shift. -- David Addis

These days manuals have lights on the dashboard to tell you when to shift? Really? Since when?

Posted by: Janice at October 26, 2004 at 08:42 PM

In one of my previous jobs I drove a RFW 20-tonne 20 tonne tipper, with an Allison automatic transmission & a GM V6 diesel engine, you shoulda heard the noise it made! & so much less effort to drive than a truck with a manual transmission!

Posted by: Steve at the pub at October 26, 2004 at 09:34 PM

Sean,
"The best of both worlds is the dual clutch transmission as fitted to the newest Audi TT's. Evidently, most high performance cars will have these in a few years."
Exactly so. This is the transmission to which I referred in the reply to Andrea... the new six speed Direct Shift Gearbox.It has just been released in Australia in the A3 TDI and the TT comes next year I believe. I've had an A3 diesel for six weeks and have clocked up just over 6000 Km. Best part is fuel consumption figures. A return trip to Brisbane last week about 2500 Km returned 48 mpg at highway speeds (in Queensland admittedly only up to 110 /120 kph) and with diesel at $A 1.07 a litre that eases the pain a bit. Torque between 1750 and 2800 rpm being about 320 Nm, combined with the 6 speed box giving continuous power application equals great driving fun and often startled faces on other drivers when the lights turn green.
BMW's "Ultimate driving machine" mantra has, at least for now , been usurped by Audi and competition will surely be fierce in years to come. The TT will be even better as it will have quattro as well. Just wish I was 40 years younger.........

Posted by: Galen Kirke at October 26, 2004 at 09:53 PM

first car i drove was tree hugging sister's 67 (?) ford fairlane...i trace all my psychological problems to that day.

and also to riding with her while she drove her 74 amc javelin at speeds approaching warp factor 8...

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at October 26, 2004 at 10:53 PM

I didnt' know you could get an AMC anything to go above 30 miles per hour.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at October 26, 2004 at 11:13 PM

Bloody loogsury. Back when I had my Datsun 120Y with the broken bonnet latch you had to shift gears with your left hand and hold the bonnet down with a piece of wire threaded through the rust hole under the dash with your right hand while finessing the choke with your left foot when it wasn't on the clutch and steering with your teeth. All the while you'd be listening to a blizzard of static on the AM-only radio with your head pressed against the low roof, and sweating because the heater was on maximum to help the engine cool down on account of the rusted radiator. You youngsters don't know what you're missing! They sure don't make cars like that anymore.

Posted by: Clem Snide at October 26, 2004 at 11:29 PM

Formula One cars all have automatic clutches. 'Nuff said.

No, not quite 'nuff. Clutches are fun, indeed. But get over the myth that they're fast. They're slower and less safe than clutchless manuals.

Posted by: Just Some Guy at October 26, 2004 at 11:30 PM

I didnt' know you could get an AMC anything to go above 30 miles per hour.

Actually, Andrea, it was a rocket ship, not only speed-wise (I'd tweaked the little devil a bit: headers, chrome side pipes, Cragar SuperSports and 60's all around, HiJacker airshocks, etc.) but it also went airborne quite nicely after launching from precipitous hillocks in our country roads. Spaceflight requires speed to launch, n'est pas?

i trace all my psychological problems to that day...

What Bingster the Wild Man isn't telling you is that he predated the X Sports phenomena by 25 years. The Fairlane rides used to be on our 'back' driveway (a bulldozed swath through New Jersey wilderness), with Bingley laying on the trunk, his little fingers wedged into the rear windshield track. Then I would try to get him to slide off into the underbrush as I swerved around corners. We let Crusader play when he finally learned to walk.

Posted by: tree hugging sister at October 26, 2004 at 11:57 PM

crusader learned to bounce before he could walk!

ah, those were the days...

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at October 27, 2004 at 12:03 AM

Actually, Andrea, it was a rocket ship, not only speed-wise (I'd tweaked the little devil a bit: headers, chrome side pipes, Cragar SuperSports and 60's all around, HiJacker airshocks, etc.)

you forgot to mention the cb which allowed you to receive comments from truckers that would make ken summers blush...

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at October 27, 2004 at 12:04 AM

Makes you wonder where all the sibling bonding experiences have gone. It's sad times we live in now...

Posted by: tree hugging sister at October 27, 2004 at 12:06 AM

Bloody loogsury. Back when I had my Datsun 120Y with the broken bonnet latch you had to shift gears with your left hand and hold the bonnet down with a piece of wire threaded through the rust hole under the dash with your right hand while finessing the choke with your left foot when it wasn't on the clutch and steering with your teeth. All the while you'd be listening to a blizzard of static on the AM-only radio with your head pressed against the low roof, and sweating because the heater was on maximum to help the engine cool down on account of the rusted radiator. You youngsters don't know what you're missing! They sure don't make cars like that anymore.

That's great stuff.

Posted by: Josh Martin at October 27, 2004 at 12:13 AM

crusader learned to bounce before he could walk!

damage Good thing permanent no done! was


suCrader

Posted by: Crusader at October 27, 2004 at 12:19 AM

My '55 Cameo had an LT-1 and a column shift. The reason it got such good mileage was because of all the time spent on the roadside getting the linkage untangled. Do not speed shift the "tree"

If you're really lazy, go for the ford-o-matic or merc-o-matic 2 speed.

Posted by: Doc at October 27, 2004 at 12:37 AM

My favorite car was an 84 Firebird I had, with an LG-4 that had polished/ported heads, off road chip in the onboard computer, Hurst shifter on the T-5, and a Hayes Racing clutch. Man that car screamed! All that, and still got 20 mpg. Would beat most things on the street, except for that 64 Max Wedge Dodge I challenged on Independance Blvd. one night....took me 3 lights to get close enough to read his plate. Oh well......

Posted by: Crusader at October 27, 2004 at 12:57 AM

Andrea Harris ó "I didnt' know you could get an AMC anything to go above 30 miles per hour."

Depends. How tall is the building?

Posted by: richard mcenroe at October 27, 2004 at 01:15 AM

Mr. Mustang needs to learn how to powershift. Or put some traction bars in the back.

Posted by: WOHBuckeye at October 27, 2004 at 02:29 AM

Buckeye, if that's a valid e-mail address I'll send you the video (it's a large file). That car and driver seemed quite competent.

BTW, I'll concede one major thing about SpeedShift, it's not helpful on snow.

Posted by: Matt in Denver at October 27, 2004 at 02:56 AM

For the record, the crazed greenie "Seppo" is not me. Also FTR, my first car was a three on the tree '66 Falcon.

Posted by: Some Seppo at October 27, 2004 at 03:19 AM

ah, andrea, if only you'd been around, we could have gone to the drive-in in our pacer wagon (with faux-wood sidepanels, of course).

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at October 27, 2004 at 03:19 AM

with faux-wood sidepanels, of course

No expense spared at our house, I can tell ya!

Posted by: tree hugging sister at October 27, 2004 at 03:27 AM

I was around when Pacers were around. I wanted one. (It was impossible to have any taste in the 70s.) In fact, I drove my dad's '74 AMC station wagon in the early 80s. The one with no brakes. To stop at a stop light I'd have to start pumping the brakes from a block away and yank on the emergency brake. It was mustard yellow. God, I hated that car.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at October 27, 2004 at 03:29 AM

PS: mind you, that was in Miami not long after the Mariel boatlift. Our car was one of the better-looking ones in our neighborhood. (That neighborhood, Allapattah, was recently featured in an episode of CSI: Miami as a great place to get into a shooting match with carjackers. Some traditions never die.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at October 27, 2004 at 03:31 AM

It was impossible to have any taste in the 70s.

truer words were never spoken. that's why i'm buying lileks' new book.

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at October 27, 2004 at 04:03 AM

oh, and our pacer was like the poor man's jag: hunting green with a tan interior, and always in the shop.

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at October 27, 2004 at 04:04 AM

oh, and our pacer was like the poor man's jag: hunting green with a tan interior, and always in the shop.

And all that greenhouse made it oh-so much fun in the summer...

And what of the Bark Arks? Mark I had those tasty 70s color cues...

Posted by: Crusader at October 27, 2004 at 04:50 AM

Some Seppo, sheesh... the globe heating comment was humour. Good to save fuel in any case.
Now, a 1970 International Harvester Scout with a three-speed, and a clutch pedal only a real he-man could budge - that was a truck, not like these wimpy SUV's nowadays.
And a sweet, sweet VW GTI that begged for clutchless shifting - best of both worlds!

Posted by: Seppo at October 27, 2004 at 07:26 AM