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"Idle" Chatter


{Wheels.12.2946}: Joe Gordon {darmund} Thu, 13 Sep 2018 14:30:51 CDT (3 lines)

VW is stopping production of ie; "killing" the "new" Beetle, 15 years
after the last Mark i version of the Beetle stopped production in


{Wheels.12.2947}: Jil {rabbit} Thu, 13 Sep 2018 16:11:53 CDT (1 line)

I like the Beetle, but you can only take a retro design so far.


{Wheels.12.2948}: Joe Gordon {darmund} Tue, 18 Sep 2018 14:40:43 CDT (29 lines)

This is mildly terrifying.

Let's say you have a Kia K900 which costs $46,000.

A Kia that costs $46,000?!

Okay, okay, calm down, it's Kia's luxury car that shares a lot
with the Kia Stinger and Genesis G80. And like luxury cars these
days it comes stuffed to the gills with all sorts of whoops and
doodads and thingees and hoohas and sensors and air fresheners
that cover up the smell of your farts, you get the idea. Now all
that is well and good, but there is an unexpected downside.*

Anyway, let's say you are out toodling around and there is some
unpleasantness the result of which is what the insurance company
terms a "minor left corner front hit."

Okay, that's not THAT bad, you think to yourself, and then you get
to the dealer/repair shop and get the bill and WHAT THE FUCK?!!
$34,000!!!! I could nearly buy another Kia K900. Are you fucking
kidding me?!

Sadly no.

The reason for this atrocity of a repair bill is all those
aforementioned doodads and hoohas and thingees and sensors. Ain't
technology grand?

*Should it really be unexpected though? I think not.


{Wheels.12.2949}: Jil {rabbit} Tue, 18 Sep 2018 16:46:52 CDT (1 line)

Sadly, it's only going to get worse as more geegaws get put into vehicles.


{Wheels.12.2950}: Joe Gordon {darmund} Wed, 19 Sep 2018 12:52:04 CDT (8 lines)

Jil, I've been away for a few years, because, oh hell, it's not
important, but upon coming back I've looked at the Last Post dates on
many of the threads are a while ago. Is newcafe for lack of better
word, dying?

For instance it seems like the only person posting in the Music
Listening forum is glen marks/wotan and that's only to post links to
other articles and websites.


{Wheels.12.2951}: Jil {rabbit} Wed, 19 Sep 2018 14:23:02 CDT (3 lines)

I wouldn't say it's dying, just that it's reached a level and seems to
stay there. A few of the forums are fairly lively; others are blowing
in the wind.


{Wheels.12.2952}: Ford F150 {fvehafric} Wed, 19 Sep 2018 22:18:29 CDT (5 lines)

What's happening is that there are a lot of social places on the
internet that don't require much investment of time and energy to
participate in. With the cafe, you actually have to attempt a real
conversation to get anything out of it. Plus, there's no outreach and
it's not a corner of the internet you just happen upon.


{Wheels.12.2953}: Joe Gordon {darmund} Thu, 20 Sep 2018 17:55:28 CDT (2 lines)

Yeah, this is kind of hidden away, and everyone's on their phones all
the damn time now so that's another distraction.


{Wheels.12.2954}: Joe Gordon {darmund} Tue, 02 Oct 2018 16:36:48 CDT (44 lines)

So I was thinking about cars and customization and then I thought
about things like Mercedes and how you used to have to go outside
the company to AMG if you wanted to insane up your care, same
thing with BMW and Alpina and you STILL need to go outside Porsche
to Ruf, and of course this lead me to Ferrari who got paid over
$5,000,000 by Eric Clapton to create a special one off Ferrari
exclusively for him, to the point of supposedly destroying all
notes/blueprints to the car after it was delivered, which is
pretty dumb 'cause hey! accidents  happen.

This lead me to Rolls Royce website, specifically their Bespoke
program, but then my eye was caught by a vid in that section
labeled Coach, wherein apparently you, the average multi-
millionaire who I'm pretty sure has ZERO experience designing
ANYTHING, let alone luxury automobiles can apparently sit down
with the design/engineering team from Rolls Royce and design your
OWN UNIQUE Rolls Royce.

Which on one hand is pretty awesome.

But on the other, no design experience. Remember that Simpson's
episode when Homer designed a car and drove his long lost brother
into bankruptcy? I SURE DO!!! That was back when the Simpsons
didn't SUCK RANCID DONG, before Comic Book Guy had ever uttered,
"Worst. Episode. Ever.

Anyway, of course Roll Royce would expect a customer who wants
this Coach thing to have class and refinement and class and regal
bearing and class and knows which fork to use during a 12 course
meal. Oh, yes, you also will literally need and shipping box full
of cash to pay for this car.

Which is good but then there are billionaires like Donald Trump
out there who have ZERO of those qualities.

Which led me to wonder exactly what if any limits, this
Coach/bespoke program at Rolls Royce has. What if a customer
wanted to have the seats covered in elephant skin or gorilla fur
and trim in ivory from elephant tusks? What if they wanted a nude
Playboy Playmate or Penthouse Pet painted on the hood?

Jil being the auto journalist, do you have an info on whether
Rolls Royce would say yea or nay to those ideas in the above


{Wheels.12.2955}: Jil {rabbit} Wed, 03 Oct 2018 06:28:20 CDT (2 lines)

Rolls has indeed turned down some rather odd requests, although it
won't specify exactly what they were.


{Wheels.12.2956}: Joe Gordon {darmund} Fri, 30 Nov 2018 20:00:01 CST (13 lines)

On another forum someone started a thread about the new 911 and
was whining about the particular version they wanted not being
available with a manual transmission, because if it ain't a manual
your ain't drivin' you're...I don't know, I've just never
understood this whole 'rowing through the gears,' vs 'a slushbox'
idiocy, especially since now with the Porsche's and Ferrari's and
Lambos etc, they've all spent a kajillion dollars on researching
and improving automatic transmissions to the point where the
shifts are as close to instantaneous, no person can do any better.
But you lose that clunk, clunk with a manual I suppose.

Anyway, reading the thread brought to mind an odd and interesting
question: which is safer, a manual or automatic transmission?


{Wheels.12.2957}: Jil {rabbit} Sat, 01 Dec 2018 08:09:36 CST (9 lines)

I don't see how safety is part of it. A manual transmission might be
unsafe if someone doesn't know how to drive it and stalls in traffic,
but other than that, I can't see how one is safer than the other.

I have numerous colleagues who are constantly chanting "save the
manuals." I say to them, "If you want automakers to keep manual
transmissions, you know what you have to do? Buy cars that have them."
I find most of the people moaning about the disappearance of manual
transmissions don't actually buy new cars.


{Wheels.12.2958}: Joe Gordon {darmund} Thu, 14 Feb 2019 18:01:49 CST (7 lines)

So today I learned that Mercedes makes an actual pickup truck,
because OF COURSE THEY DO. I mean, Lamborghini, Aston Martin and
Bentley are making SUV's so of course Mercedes would make a pickup

Except.... it doesn't appear to be available for sale in the US,
which strikes me as A) Interesting and 2) Dumb.


{Wheels.12.2959}: Jil {rabbit} Fri, 15 Feb 2019 07:24:44 CST (17 lines)

Mercedes doesn't actually build the truck. It's a version of the
Nissan Navara pickup that's sold overseas (which is the newer version
of the Nissan Frontier that we get here).

The Benz is called the X-Class.

It won't come to North America; there's no market for it here. I don't
know how well it's going to sell in Europe, but you must remember that
Mercedes-Benz is perceived differently over there. It is a luxury car
manufacturer, but it's also a truck company. We only get the Mercedes
Sprinter and Metris vans over here, but in Europe, your garbage truck,
your city or highway bus, or your delivery truck is likely to be a
Benz. So a pickup (and it's a midsize, not full-size) might sell well
over there.

I've seen it in person at an auto show, but haven't driven one. I have
driven the Navara and it's a pretty good truck.


{Wheels.12.2960}: Joe Gordon {darmund} Sat, 16 Feb 2019 11:39:22 CST (13 lines)

"There's no market for it here in North America."

I know I paraphrased.


Pickup trucks are the top selling vehicles in the US and have been
for decades, and I don't see that price is really an issue as
pickups are getting up there in price, depending on how you
configure them. Plus I never saw Europe as being all that friendly
to pickups.

But after You Know Who won, who the hell knows.


{Wheels.12.2961}: Jil {rabbit} Sat, 16 Feb 2019 12:22:13 CST (15 lines)

Pickups are the top sellers, but it's a pretty tight market. Toyota
has a firm following, but for the most part, it's all about domestics.
I think there would be a bias against a Mercedes pickup. Benz buyers
aren't going to get into a truck, and truck buyers aren't going to get
into a Benz.

The Lincoln Blackwood came out before pickups were as popular as they
are, but I don't think it would sell even today. There comes a point
where buyers just don't go that high. And it isn't price -- I've
driven $95,000 Fords and Rams -- but rather perception. A truck still
has to be able to work, and a Lincoln or Mercedes isn't perceived that

Europe does have a lot of pickups, as does Asia, but they're all
compact or midsize.


{Wheels.12.2962}: Joe Gordon {darmund} Sun, 20 Sep 2020 17:48:58 CDT (18 lines)

This kind of came up on another message board, someone claimed
that the uber luxury marques like Rolls Royce/Bentley/Ferrari etc
give discounts on their cars to their rich customers.

This seems....WRONG.

I know that when Volkswagon made the Phaeton, they couldn't sell
ANY of them and dropped the price by something like $20,000 to
finally get rid of them, but Rolls Royce etc are another thing

With the bespoke programs of RR/Ferrari you can literally create
your own utterly unique one of a kind 1 of 1 car, Eric Clapton
worked with Ferrari on this and it cost over $5,000,000.

But if you walk into a Rolls Royce dealership are they really
gonna haggle over the price of the leather on the seats with you
or give you a discount if you choose the carbon fiber option?


{Wheels.12.2963}: Jil {rabbit} Sun, 20 Sep 2020 18:32:59 CDT (4 lines)

I don't think too many people buy Rolls-Royces out of the showroom.
They're all ordered with whatever the buyer wants.

I'm skeptical of the claim.


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