Wednesday, April 29, 2009


If you love cars, this has been a tough week. The General (GM) is getting rid of Hummer, Saturn and Pontiac. Saturn should never have been created. We got rid of Oldsmobile for Saturn??? You're kidding me. As far as Hummer goes, cool rig but it was built at the wrong time or should have been built as a limited edition through GMC. That brings me to Pontiac.....

Let's see we are going to get rid of Pontiac and keep Buick??? The only time I want to see portholes on my ride is if I'm on a cruise ship!!! Pontiac was trying with the G8, Solstice, and the G6. Granted they botched the GTO. I think that was more a corporate mistake than a Pontiac mistake. I remember growing up to names like GTO, Grand Prix and Firebird. These are cars that inspired young men and a car division that was all about excitement. Somewhere along the way they went corporate and that's what has cost us another nameplate. Lesson learned. Don't try to be something you are not. Pontiac was never about family cars like the four door Grand Prix or the four door Grand Am. It was about Widetrack and muscle. When it lost that niche, the bean counters could make the case to get rid of the excitement and fun.

So while I am mired in the loss of Pontiac, I get an email from my buddy Oz. He ran across a torch red Camaro RS at a local dealership. For those of you that don't know Oz, he and I are in the same 12 step program for car lovers. Our ideal home is a single wide with a 5 car garage and an indoor wash bay. Heck just put a bed, tv, microwave and bathroom in the garage and we're good. The single wide is only there to entertain the wife's friends. More mischief has been created by Oz and me after the car show than we will confess to without immunity from prosecution. That being said, here are Oz's pics. They will surely put a smile on any car lovers face. You may have to click on the photos to read the editorial comments.

Here's to hoping that Fiat, I mean Chrysler, doesn't go bankrupt and get rid of the Challenger in the process.



Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The New Camaro

I remember a time when it was a big deal to go to the car dealership in the fall to see all the new cars. It was one of those traditions, along with football, the start of school, and raking leaves that confirmed that fall was here. Now that car manufacturers are introducing cars throughout the year that tradition has gone the way of station wagons with rear facing seats. (Yeah, I know they were death traps but as a kid we didn't know better).

Today, I was blessed with the excitement of seeing a new car. This was a sentiment I had not felt in at least a decade. It all started when I was leaving my office to run a quick errand. My buddy John came out of his office and yelled, "Rod, Sunset Chev has the new Camaro." My response, "Dude, you're crazy it's not supposed to come out until the fall!!!" John: "I know but I saw not one but TWO this morning. An RS and SS." Needless to say, John and I found a way to get out of our daily responsibilities and make to Sunset Chev in Sumner,WA.

I am happy to report the new RS/SS and RS Camaro's are in. One in blue and one in silver. Here are the pics:

The SS (or as the salesman described it RS-SS package), with the big V8!

The RS:

If you're interested. Call Paige at Sunset Chev. (253)503-9472. Tell him Rod sent you.



Monday, June 9, 2008

57 in Satsop

It was early May and I was making the drive over to Ocean Shores, Washington. While driving down the highway, I saw a sign on the road for Satsop, Washington. Not a whole lot in that part of the valley, except tons of fields and two remnants from the Whoops disaster. For those that have not seen it they are two nuclear power plant towers that were never completed. Satsop is also the home of the Satsop bulb farm. So I turned off the road to pick up some tulips for my wife. After buying an assortment of tulips and daffodils, I walked to my car and there it was. A beautiful sea green/turquoise 57 Chevy. The driver and passenger dressed in their Sunday best. As soon as he parked the car, I was over talking to the owner. It turns out that he was the first and seventh owner for the car. Here are the pics. Hope you enjoy.


Friday, November 23, 2007

The Only Way to Golf

Last summer the Radmeister and I attended our annual golf tournament. Did we play golf...heck no!! Instead we rode the Gator around the course. The Gator is a tore up gas powered, utility cart with a dump truck bed. We put the Gator through the paces. Coming down the hill on the the 18th fairway, Rad and I hit saw a big bump. Three options presented themselves. Steer around it, brake or put the hammer down. We chose the hammer. The truth is I chose the hammer, while Rad was busy scribbling his Last Will and Testament. This was one of those this could be fun or a disaster moments. As the Gator caught air and it appeared we were going to come down nose first, all I could think about was if we could only have a cart that had more power and seats that were more forgiving. As we landed front tires first, the Gator kept going but I knew next year we needed a car with more power. So here's my Christmas wish for only $14K.

That's right a 'sclade golf cart with a top speed of 20 mph!! With this we can play golf the way it was met to be played....with pure insanity. If you've got an extra 14 large burning a hole in your pocket let us know.

Monday, November 12, 2007

2007 Seattle International Auto Show

Every year, the boyz get together to go to the auto show. It's a great excuse to take a Friday off from work. The car show is not just an event to us, it's an experience. Our wives love it because they don't have to hear us tell them about all the new features of each car and what we would do if we were the car manufacturer. Watch out GM, Toyota, Ford, Nissan ....!!!

Let's face it, we don't go because it's a car show. We go to the car show because it's a passion of ours. Even though the Seattle Show doesn't get all the latest and greatest because LA's show is about two week after the Seattle Show, it doesn't matter. Where else can men in their 40's and 50's be boys, gets lots of freebies and just decompress? That's right the car show. So here are my pics by category:

What were they thinking?

This years winner: Ford Sync

Maybe you should have used the money you spent on this prototype to invest in better sound systems in your cars.

It Doesn't Have a Pulse

Winner: Ford Flex

Ok...maybe that's too harsh, but let's face it this is not one of those designs that is going to make you run down to the Ford dealer to put down a deposit. It's kind of like new Ford Taurus meets Chevy HHR/PT Cruiser.

If I was 18 I would buy one:

Winner: Scion

Not only does Scion have the best freebies overall (this year beanies and wristbands, last year beanies, ipod holders and key chains) but they came up with a car that can be anything and you can get Toyota quality at reasonable price.

Stealth Award

Winner: Lincoln MKX

Everyone that saw this car at the show loved it. Lincoln's got the retro-60's look on this car. No one except us car junkies knew it even existed. I don't get it, Ford designs the Five Hundred promotes it and it bombs, but we don't here about this awesome Lincoln or see it on any dealership in this black on black paint scheme. Come on have a winner here let the public know about it!!!

This one's for you Kylie!!!

Winner: M-Benz SLK

Ok, Kylie we know your got your license. It's about time that dad steps up to the plate and buys this car for you. Tell him I said he's a cheapskate if he doesn't. You could be warped for life and end up on Oprah if he does get this car for you.

I'd get it if Momma wouldn't hire a divorce lawyer because we would have to live in it.

Winner: Three way tie. Audi, Lambo and Rolls drophead

Yeah, I know you Aston, Ferrari, Maserati and Porsche lovers will have a bone to pick with this.

Oh Yeah!!!......Best in Show

Winner: Chevy Camaro

Large and In Charge. If the real thing looks 85% as good as this bad boy, sign me up for the drop top. Chevy: Please keep the 24's and the gas cap.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Infiniti G35


It was Friday afternoon in March. What made this Friday special was that it was March in the Pacific Northwest and the sun was out. The real thing, not the liquid version. Oz and the Rodman had two choices. Work or go test drive new cars. It was a tough decision, but we made the sacrifice for our families and friends. If we didn't go out and test drive a car, what would those we love do? Read car magazines? This was a sacrifice we were honor bound to make.

How we got to the Infiniti dealership is a mystery. Suffice it to say, we arrived in style in Oz's 2000 bright red Chevy stepside. Nothing says you are rolling like a Chevy pickup. We expected to see sales people all over the lot trying to persuade the hesitant customer that this was the car they needed. Nada. No customers but us. Several years ago, the absence of customers would have been expected at an Infiniti dealership. That was when Infiniti's looked like they were designed by a bunch of techno geeks. Yeah, they had the latest technology but the cars looked like Mr. Potato Head on LSD. Today, Infiniti has some nice looking cars.

As soon as we got out of the truck, we were descended upon by the only sales person that really wanted to sell a car. This could be bad. He could expect Oz or I to actually BUY a car. Before all the car sales people out there start getting twisted because some guy lost his up, let me remind you this dealership had fewer people in it than Winter Olympics in Death Valley. In addition, Oz was really looking for a car. After all his wife said the magic words, "What do you think about trading my Bimmer in?" That was all that had to be said. It was off to the races.

We decided to drive the new G35. New for this year, Infiniti has redesigned the body and interior. The new body style looks like it is more of an evolutionary redesign. It's not. First, a look at the interior. Everything made sense. The interior looked like one would expect an Infiniti interior to look. Contemporary, yet elegant. Perhaps the most interesting feature is that a G35 without a navigation system looks just like one with nav. That's good new for us poor boys who don't have the money to buy a nav system or don't care for nav systems. At least people getting in the car, won't think, "Geez, he bought an Infiniti and couldn't step up to the nav model." It's still not as cush as a Lexus, but it certainly is not as Spartan as a BMW 3 series. It has the best attributes of both brands.

While we were checking the car out with thoughts of what this baby can do, the sales person was doing the usual. Telling us how great the G35 was and how if we were lucky they might be sell the car for sticker. Nice try. We might fall for that one if there weren't a Bajillion G's on the lot or if they had more customers than sales people.

Finally, the moment of truth: the offer to take a test drive. Oh Yeah! That is what we were here for. We got into the G. It was nice. The car had a nice purr when the start button was pushed.
As we drove off the lot, Oz and I were thinking that it was probably going to be one of those lame test drives where you don't really get to know the characteristics of this car with 306 horses just begging to run free. After we did the usual side street routes, the salesman took us to a divided highway that is not well traveled. Once on the highway, he told Oz to pull off on the shoulder. After all the traffic cleared, the sales person commanded Oz to stomp on it. As is usual with newer cars, the traction control was going to make sure we were not going to lay $50 worth of rubber on the road. In spite of this, you knew this "hoss" was made to run fast and hard. As we approached 80+ mph in a 55 mph zone, Oz eased off the gas. From the back, the sales person said, "Oh, you shoulda taken it up to at least a 100!" Great idea, but we were in the heart of the Puget Sound and Tom the Traffic Cop would probably not appreciate that the G only gets serious when driven at speeds that have three digits. Next we found a road with some turns. Oz gave it a kick in the rear and the G came to life. It was nimble in the corners and appeared to thrive on being pushed to the limit. Whoa!!!! A minivan traveling at less than the speed limit driven by someone that did not appreciate the thrill of pushing his rig. Time to turn around and head back to the dealership. On the way back, our salesperson suddenly told Oz to take it up to 80 mph and then shouted, "Slam on the brakes like you wife just stepped in front of the car." It was at that moment that I learned Oz loves his wife! Nose down and confident, the G came to an immediate stop. Fortunately, I had a lite lunch or I would have lost it.

Back at the dealership, we said good-bye to our salesperson who did not want to accept "we'll think about it" or even the word "no." Yeah it was great time. What about the G? It's a nice ride and if I owned a Bimmer dealership I would be concerned. This is one awesome car that puts the thrill back into driving.