My friend and fellow Cadillac nut Jayson Coombes sent me this link to another Fleetwood Brougham on ebay earlier this week.
Of course, I had to immediately investigate. It appears to be a nice, if not showroom new, with some rust creeping in on the door bottoms, but pretty solid for a forty two year old East Coast car. Claimed one owner car, which I’ve always thought a little disingenuous, since the classic car dealer wasn’t the one who bought it new. But I digress. Continue Reading →
If you’re looking for a reason to lose faith in America, this past weekend’s “Justice For J6 Rally” would be a good place to start. The ostensible reason for the rally was to bring attention to the plight of numerous people who attended the January 6 “insurrection”, were allowed to enter the Capitol Building by police who moved the barriers out of the way and waved them in, and who were then hunted down and “captured” by a massive federal effort in the months after the fact. Dozens of them are still being held without bail, over half a year later. (You can see the status of individual cases here.) It is widely believed that the January 6 “insurrectionists” have been treated much more harshly than the “peaceful protestors” who burned and looted cities across the country in the summer of 2020.
This “rally” struck everyone with an IQ over room temperature as an Extremely Bad Idea. Donald Trump told his followers that it was a “setup”, a sentiment echoed by everyone from Andrew Torba to Vox Day. As a consequence, virtually no one showed up. The lack of attendance allowed some of the Uniparty’s bones to show through the skin — and the coverage of the event, both during and after, proved to be most illuminating.
Rent will not be “cancelled”. It will be paid by the federal government printing money like a khat-gobbling Zimbabwean warlord and giving it to those landlords willing to accept 80 cents on the dollar after extensive paperwork. We are doing this while jobs go unfilled everywhere. Like at Firestone, where after two hours no one could be found to crank a wrench for $60 labor cost per tire.
That’s the situation in Van Nuys, but who cares if you don’t live there? Ah, you might care because all of California is simply a TV show about what will be common/popular/mandatory in flyover country someday. Maybe. Meanwhile in sunny Traverse City, Michigan, there is this: A sign begging people to treat Burger King workers with decency.
We should be doing that anyway. One of my co-workers, a woman who grew up dirt-poor in China and is fourteen years younger than I am but who now exceeds my career luminosity by the sort of calculable-but-incomprehensible amount that separates the mass of our local Sun from that of VV Cephei, says that I am overpolite to waitresses, fast-food counterpeople, supermarket checkers. “They probably think you’re making fun of them or something, you’re so formal about it.” Had to explain to her that the ghost of my father could appear at any moment to keelhaul me for being a mumbling, floor-staring eleven-year-old, and that therefore it’s necessary to have the precise correctness of Robert Crawley, 7th Earl of Grantham, while patiently repeating for the ninth time, to someone who could not possibly care less about the quality of their work: Ah, it is possible I neglected to mention the fact that I wanted this cheeseburger plain, would you be willing to shoulder the burden of correcting this situation which I am certain is my fault, having made my previous eight requests on the subject in a manner that simply wasn’t a good “culture fit” for you, or was simply too quiet to penetrate the Future-und-Weeknd audio curtain laid in by the $299 iPods you wear at work?
Can’t help it. I’ve worked too many dishwater-dull, dishwasher-poor jobs myself to have any natural high-handedness when it comes to service-industry workers. In this, I am apparently rare. And the mechanism by which Burger King rage is engendered should teach us a bit about the way we live now.
Let’s face it: we live in an era where almost all of the internet “autojournalism” is done by people who have little to no understanding of how to design, build, sell, drive, or repair an automobile. Does it matter? Maybe not — but my three-Viper drive in this month’s issue of HDC, coupled with Don Sherman’s outstanding and detailed technical explainer, should serve as the most cogent case I can make for the idea that it does.
Let’s start this week with a brief clarification, for those of you who came in late. I never thought it needed saying, but given the content of an e-mail that just got sent to my employer, I suppose it does. The name of this site is Riverside Green, after the drab Columbus, Ohio neighborhood in which my brother and I spent some of our formative years. Most of you get to it via jackbaruth.com, but some of you use jackandbark.com as well. This site significantly predates my association with Hagerty, my marriage, and most of my freelance writing relationships. I launched it as a WordPress blog in March of 2013, almost exactly eight and a half year ago. Since then we have served 4.7 million articles to approximately 1500-2000 readers a day. We served ads for a while, but now we keep the (very dim) lights on thanks to a partnership with Shinola. Thank you for visiting and reading.
I don’t write everything you read here; about two-thirds of the posts are mine. The rest are done by guest and recurring contributors like my brother, Tom Klockau, Ronnie Schreiber, and others. It is fairly common for Tom, in particular, to publish the contributions of other automotive enthusiasts under his byline; when that happens, he identifies that person in the opening paragraph.
All of this has to be said because apparently it’s not obvious from a perusal of the site. For what it’s worth, I assure you that my brother, Tom, Ronnie, and other people who contribute here are absolutely real and not figments of my imagination, nor are they pseudonyms I use so I can write more often.
Good talk. Let’s continue on another topic.
My friend and fellow Cadillac fanatic Jayson Coombes urgently texted me a link to this triple orange (technically Andes Copper) 1974 Cadillac Fleetwood Talisman the other day, the Broughamiest Brougham that ever Broughamed. Though no Brougham nomenclature was found on this Fleetwood special edition, available only in 1974, 1975 and 1976.
This one is currently being auctioned off on Hemmings, and has met its reserve of $20,000 already. A really remarkably nice example, judging from the photos. Continue Reading →
Call it luck, call it work, call it an odious combination of Little League parenting, Great Santini behavior, and Machiavellian manipulation — but if you look at pages 65 and 66 of this month’s Bicycling magazine, you’ll find photos (and some words!) from my son, making his print debut for Hearst/Rodale at the precocious age of just-turned-twelve.
It, ah, took some doing.
It was very popular in midwit circles, for a while, to talk about “the end of history”. A remarkably stupid man wrote a remarkably stupid book about it. There was an even more stupid song on the topic. “Right here, right now… watching the world wake up from history.” Perhaps you’ve heard the song used to sell you Pepsi or Truvada or Dogecoin.
The idea behind “the end of history” was based on some remarkable naivete regarding human nature. It stated, more or less, that the arc of history bent inevitably toward liberal democracy, and that therefore all societies would move inexorably in that direction until they reached the blessed state of liberal democracy, at which point there would be no more broad change in that area, and therefore no more “history”. Like “climate science”, this was ex post facto theorizing based on the relative stability of the United States and the Western democracies between 1960 and 1990, coupled with the seemingly-inevitable-in-retrospect collapse of the Warsaw Pact.
Let’s consider 2021 to be a massive comeback for the idea of plain old history, and I’m talking George Foreman, or possibly Michael Jordan, levels of comeback here. It is happening on the periphery of the civilized world, where a puppet Afghani “democracy” simply vanished like fog in the face of a few thousand men with worn-out AK-74s and the will to use them. It is happening in the very center of today’s civilized world, as China uses technological methods to tighten the grasp of its Uniparty on internal dissent even as it prepares to do whatever it wants internationally.
As for America, the place where history was the first to end? Why, it’s simply… unraveling. This past week, I’ve had a front row seat from which to watch the process.
So this afternoon I found myself over at McLaughlin Motors, shooting the breeze with my salesman friend, Brian Cox. We were talking about everything from the chip shortage to preferred vodka brands, and he mentioned, have you driven the electric XC40 version? I had not. “Well hang on, I’ll bring one around.”
And thus did I drive my first electric vehicle. I am not enamored of electric vehicles. A meme making the rounds lately on social media is when you run out of juice on I-55, you won’t be able to borrow a can of electricity to get back to your destination. Nope. You’ll need a flatbed most likely, to take you to a dealer or recharge station (which might be easy on the West coast but is somewhat more problematic in the Midwest) and hope you didn’t damage anything running it flat.
When’s the last time you saw one of these? I had actually forgotten about these trucks until I saw this one several years back, off of Brady Street in uptown Davenport, IA. The Mistubishi Mighty Max (née L200) ended its U.S. run 25 years ago. Today, few are left here in the salty Midwest, so I had to stop and investigate.