‘Lil Stinker Won… But Government is Winning

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‘Lil Stinker – my restored ’75 Kawasaki S1 “triple” – won an award at the big Ruritan car (and bike and tractor) show held yesterday. That’s the good news – for me. The bad news – for the old car (and bike) hobby is something I’ve noticed at other vintage vehicle shows – the vintage people who own the vehicles – and the mostly vintage people who come to see them.

I did an informal demographic survey – speaking to as many of the vehicle owners as I could. Most of them were older than I am – and I am in my mid ’40s. Several were 60-plus. Some older than that. Not one was appreciably younger than me.  There was one guy with a nice early ’70s Chevy Monte Carlo. He and I talked about our high school days – back in the early ’80s. Another guy with a nice ’93 Mustang GT – almost 20 years old, already! – was parked next to my ’76 Trans-Am (which I also brought to the show). He looked 50-ish. The guys with the ’50s stuff – a Ford Fairlane, two very nice ’57 Bel Airs (one a convertible), a Studebaker Lark – all of them graybeards. Or hairs.

Same with the bikes. There were maybe a dozen or so – which is a good turnout for a mostly car show.  There was Frank – with his red BMW. Frank is old enough to be my father. A ’40s Harley with a sidecar was parked nearby. Its owner was also ’40s  vintage. Etc.

There were a few young kids – but not one teenager, there on his own.

A lot has changed since I was a teenager.

In my mind, I dial the clock back to about 1983. I went to a lot of vintage car shows and cruise nights. So did most of my friends. In fact, we all went together. Friday and Saturday nights were “car nights.” We’d hang out at McDonalds – along with a large crowd of other teenagers – or at the local shopping mall parking lot – and check out the cars. No, scratch that. We’d check out each other’s cars.  Because we – the teenagers of the ’80s – owned (and worked on) old cars. Muscle cars, ratty cars – all kinds of cars. The type was incidental. What mattered was that we were into cars. Unlike now, back then, the majority of the car owners – and spectators – at cruise nights and car shows were young. Very little in the way of Just For Men was in evidence.

Same with the mags – you know, glossy monthlies like Hot Rod and Car Craft. It is very interesting – very revelatory – to thumb through the old issues and compared them with the current issues. I have a stack of Hot Rod magazines from my high school days. The pictures all show young guys – and the occasional young girl – under the hood or standing by the side of their pride and joy. The current magazines show these same people – now in their 40s, like me. I cannot recall a single photo spread detailing a resto or build-up in a recent issue of either Hot Rod or Car Craft or any other such publication that shows a picture of a guy (or girl) in his early 20s. Or even 30s.

Granted, this is all anecdotally based theorizing. But it’s based on a lot of anecdotes. I’ve been active in the car hobby since I was sixteen or so. I’ve been a professional car scribbler for more than twenty years. I’ve been to – and go to – many car shows. And based on what I’ve seen lately – meaning, over the course of the past ten years or so – the vintage car (and bike) hobby is becoming, well, vintage. Check Ralphs Ad and Fry’s Ad.

The young, by and large, do not seem to be following in the footsteps of their fathers and grandfathers.

Here’s another personal anecdote in re the above:

I know a guy, about fifteen years older than me, who – also like me – is really into vintage cars. He owns a ’70 Pontiac Firebird Formula 400 – a Ram Air III car, one of 13 made with the three-speed manual and literally no other options at all. It was built for drag racing. My friend also has a super rare Hurst-modified Grand Prix SSJ (did I mention he’s a Pontiac freak?), white with gold accents, including the 14-inch Hurst mags that came with the package.  Plus a nice driver ’79 Trans-Am (403/automatic). He has three sons – one in his mid ’20s the other just about to head off to college, the other in junior high. None of these boys has a vintage car – or works on cars – or (apparently) cares about cars at all, beyond their usefulness as appliances.

This seems to be the common meme among the coming-up crowd.

So, the question presents itself – why?

I lay the blame for the dying off of the old car hobby squarely at the feet of Uncle Sam. The government is killing the old car hobby. Here’s how – and why:

* Fed Funny Money –

Inflation has made everything more expensive, because every dollar is worth less than the year before (maybe soon to be entirely worthless). It’s much harder to accumulate the savings necessary to purchase a “toy” car than it was when I was a young guy.

* The Smog Police –

Over the past 20 years, most states have adopted (because they were heavily pressured by Washington) some form of what’s called Inspection & Maintenance (I/M) rigmarole which requires that all cars built after a certain year (either fixed, or “rolling”) pass an annual or semi-annual smog check. This isn’t too much of an issue for the really old stuff – cars built before the late ’70s – because the standards are lower and the cars themselves much easier to tweak/fix to get them through the test. But for newer, computer-controlled stuff – early-mid 1980s and newer, which would probably otherwise be the cars popular with today’s teens and young twentysomethings – getting by Smog Check can be much, much tougher. And much, much more expensive – which for teens and twentysomethings can become an insuperable obstacle.

The cars themselves are also much more expensive – both to buy and to keep up – to a great extent because of all the emissions (and “safety”) gear. Kids today can’t afford to buy the pre-government muscle cars of the ’60s and ’70s.  But the newer, government-mandated cars of the ’80s and ’90s have computers, fuel injection, dozens of sensors, complex wiring – which makes them much less affordable to fix up.

An example: I recently rebuilt the three carburetors in the S1. Even after sitting for 20-plus years, all it took was some solvent, a toothbrush and elbow grease to clean up the castings to as-new condition. Got a rebuild kit (floats, pilot and main jets, gaskets, needle and seat) for about $70. That’s it.  Contrast that with the cost of replacing an EFI unit – or even just a few critical sensors – each of which can cost more than I spent rebuilding the entire fuel delivery system (which consists of just the carbs) on the S1.

Exhaust: Back in the day a set of headers cost about $75 (even today, they’re not much more than that for a pre-smog car) and the rest was just pipes (cheap) and mufflers (affordable).
Today, you’ve got at least two converters in a V-8 application – and unless you use the low-flow POS generic ones, you are looking at $200-plus for each of them. Plus O2 sensors. So, easily $500-plus for just the converters and O2 sensors (and that’s a lowball figure).
Who can afford this? I sure couldn’t at 20!

* Mandatory insurance – 

Back in the early ’80s, you didn’t have to buy insurance. If you owned your old fix-it-up special outright (as most of us did) you could tell the insurance mafia to bugger off. Not anymore. Today, insurance is mandatory – which has made insurance even more expensive. For teens and twentysomethings especially. They get Group Guilted into paying exorbitant rates – even if a given individual teen/twentysomething’s driving record is spotless. It doesn’t matter. What does matter is that the insurance mafia can charge exorbitant rates based on Group Guilt – backed by government force. Fail to pay up – and you risk severe sanctions. Even though you’ve never caused anyone any harm. The bottom line is that insurance costs on performance cars especially are unaffordable for teens and twentysomethings. So, they don’t buy the kinds of cars that teens and twentysomethings did when I was in that demographic.

In the final analysis, all the red tape – the hassle and the expense – is a turnoff. So, the kids find other things to do – like online gaming or whatever else they can still do relatively free of government interposition and obnoxious cost.

So, the older crowd continues to carry the torch. We’ll do it for as long as we can. But how much longer can that be?

Throw it in the Woods? 


  1. Sometimes we have to boil things down to the very basics for a person like Clover so that they can develope their own philosophy.

    First, I think even Clover would have to agree with the basic thing that children are taught in a civilized society “Don’t hit”!

    Can Clover agree with this very basic principal that even as adults one should not hit or assault another except in defense?

  2. Clover, isn’t a dollar simply an IOU for labor done? I could wash your car in exchange for you mowing my lawn, but maybe my lawn doesn’t need mowing now, so, you write me an IOU (hand me a dollar) which I can exchange with another member of our economy to paint my porch rail. The dollar is easier to use than accounting for the exchange of labor in an accounting book. Let’s say that dollar is a check and as we each exchange it we simply endorse it and pass it on. Eventually a member of our economy decides he would rather have the labor than the paper and returns it to the original issuer only to find out that the issuer never did any labor, he’s just been printing IOUs and the paper represents nothing. So now you demand that he follow through and produce the labor to which he replies “Get bent! I’m the government and I don’t have to do jack!”. So, you had to labor for government and didn’t get paid. If you have to think about civilization starting over with ten people on a deserted island. Use that as a microcosm to think things through. Educate yourself. One day you’ll look back and thank us.

    • Clik, I was about to say something along similar lines. There’s nothing wrong with debt-based money as long as the debt refers to something real, i.e. actual labour done by an actual person. I believe debt-based money is historically even better precedented, especially in the sort of power-diffuse contexts most of us are after, than precious-metals-based money.

      The problem today is not that money is debt-based, nor even so much that its value is set by decree (fiat) but that it arises from fractional-reserve lending, i.e. its value is represented many times over, through it having come into existence by banks’ licence to lend the same value to several people at once.

      • That harkens back to the “tally system” used in England in the Middle Ages; it worked very well.

        I’m a huge precious-metals fan for money; but I say let anything be used as money, abolish all “legal tender” laws, and let the dust settle where it may.

        At the end, you’d have a very healthy hybrid system of pure hard money, some (intermittent) fiat, probably a fair bit of “community money” like tallies, and even some fractional-reserve banks…

        …which would suffer panics and runs from time to time, accompanied by the amusing spectacle of tarred and feathered bankers being run out of town by the (now better-educated) townsfolk who’d banked with them.

        Ah, to see Corzine in hot tar and feathers! And Dimon!

        Hell why stop there, Bernanke and Geithner would look perfectly smashing thus adorned!

    • No…Clover is happy with his slavery.
      The stupid little psycho-brats always feel more noble and worthy when the government owns them. That’s why they worship government…to worship government is the same as worshiping mommy and daddy.

      • “No…Clover is happy with his slavery.”

        It’s worse than that; Clover apparently believes himself to be free. He really does. He thinks we’re off our rockers. But then, your second point comes into play:

        “The stupid little psycho-brats always feel more noble and worthy when the government owns them. That’s why they worship government…to worship government is the same as worshiping mommy and daddy.”

        Exactly so.

        • “none are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.”
          von Goethe

          Not everyone is capable of learning i guess.

          • Clover is a defective – and an archetype. He is what we’re up against. A living, breathing Ellsworth Monkton Tooey. Except not quite as bright.

    • click, this will probably get deleted…

      Editor’s note: How right you are! I have been kind enough to send your stuff over to the “clover patch” though!

      Clover Patch

        • “Eric you do not have to do me any favors.”

          You can bet on it, Clover!

          But I will treat you fairly. I’ll allow your posts through – provided you quit hiding your true identity and tell us what you do/what your background is. You’ve so far refused to do this – unlike all the regulars here you criticize and attack. We put our cards on the table. We don’t just pull comments out of our colons. We present them as people with knowledge of the subject matter – unlike you.

          You posture as someone who knows about cars. Well, what is your basis for making such a claim? The contents of your posts reveals startling ignorance (such as your statement that weight has little impact on fuel efficiency).

          You posture as someone who knows about… all sorts of things. Everything! Well, ok… give us your credentials.

          But you won’t. Because you know the truth. Which is that you’re just some guy with a heavy control freak streak who can’t stand it when other people indicate a desire to do other than you do. A guy full of infantile hate and resentments and fear and entitlement-mindedness.

          I let your posts get through once in awhile for purely scientific reasons – intellectual vivisection, if you like.

  3. Willy P., so you say inflation is bad. Who do you blame? Do you blame your neighbor for getting a raise in pay? That causes inflation. Tell me what country out there has never had inflation? You say our money is worth less. If it was not worth less I would be making a huge amount of money because I am making about 5 times the amount I was making on my first real full time job.Clover

    Countries that have had negative inflation have been in a poor economic condition. I guess you would rather have that?

    • Clover, your ignorance is astounding.

      Inflation is not “your neighbor getting a raise.” It is an increase in the supply of fiat currency, thereby diminishing the value of the fiat currency already in circulation.

      You’d like me to tell you “what country out there has never had inflation”?

      It was called the United States. When the currency was tied to precious metals, inflation was nil. You might go check what the value of a gold $20 piece was when it was issued vs. what it’s worth today.

    • Clover, when you get done checking the value of a U.S. $20 gold piece (here, let me help you: http://www.coinflation.com/gold_coin_values.html), you might want to go check the value of Zimbabwe dollars. Hint when their “neighbors” in Zimbabwe “got a raise” there were trillionaires walking around in rags. You can buy 160 trillion Zim dollars right now for %5.80 which is probably more value than they possessed while in circulation. What is your profession Clover? ‘Fess up.

    • Dear clover,

      Inflation is counterfeiting.

      It’s not called counterfeiting however when a gang of people who call themselves “The Government” does it. Then they call it something else. Monetary Policy. Quantitative Easing.

      But here’s the giveaway. When anybody else engages in “Monetary Policy” or “Quantitative Easing” the US Secret Service kidnaps them and locks them in cages.

      In other words, “The Government” knows that counterfeiting is wrong. But it only objects when others do it.

    • Inflation isn’t just bad, it is immoral and evil, it is how people with monopolistic powers destroy the wealth of people by devaluing the currency already in existence. A gold-standard used to help fight against this because it limited how much new currency could be created.
      My neighbor getting a raise is not inflation, it would be a pay-raise.
      The Federal Reserve, Treasury and Congress would be who is to blame.
      You might be making 5-times what you were making in dollars but if you measured you salary trajectory in grams of gold or gallons of oil, or troy ounces of silver or even the average purchase price of a house at each time your salary increased you would see you are not doing as well as you think you are. Assuming you didn’t start off at minimum wage.
      Inflation is an increase in the supply of money, not an increse in the price of goods. The natural tendency of prices is for them to fall as they become mass produced adn the processes used to make them are streamlined (which is what I do as a process engineer).
      When Pres Jackson stopped the equivalent of the Federal Reserve in his day the nation actually had no debt while at the same time not having a federal income tax.
      What teh Federal Reserve and US Treasury do is the equivalent of taking a $100 bill, putting it on the copy machine and “creating” a second $100 bill, and saying it is the same, thus doubling their wealth. That in itself is evil but they also force others to value this paper as they do.

      I have been reading your comments and rebuttals and I am somone who can tend to have a cynical view of humanity and even I don’t think you are this stupid. Any questions I posed in this post were essentially rhetorical. I am always open to a debate or discussion because that is the best way to understand others adn yourself but you are not looking for a discussion. You are simply trolling around, picking fights to see who and what you can stir up or you are simply put “a lost cause”. From this point forward I will simply ignore you. Enjoy your coerced and perceived wealth.

      • This is not Clover – it’s Eric.

        I’ve deleted Clover’s post because Clover needs training.

        Clover will state its real name as well as its profession – minimum preconditions before any of its posts are permitted to see the light of day.

        Otherwise, as the saying goes:

        It rubs the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again.

        • This is Eric again, stepping in for Clover – who will be kept in his gimp box for awhile since he refuses to give either his name or what he does for a living. But in the meanwhile, here is a delicious morsel of the Real Deal for your delectation:

          That is fine Eric. I had enough of making you money here anyway. You are a true idiot. The facts get to be too much for you. By the way what do you do for a living? Saying that cars are bad and later say they are OK. Saying how a car that gets 12 mpg is cheaper to run than one that gets 40 mpg with almost zero maintenance. You need to stop reading your propaganda that you read and seek out the facts for once.

      • Willy P.,

        I also think that inflation steals from those that save. It forces people to put their money at risk in an attempted to grow its nominal value to retain its buying power into the future.

        A nice visual on inflation from Chris Martenson’s website.

        A short story on the money myth that highlights the problems with a debt-based money system.

        If one has time, I would recommend watching the crash course on Chris Martenson’s website. I think it does well concisely explaining his position.

          • Seems you have a pretty good fan club on youtube, eh!

            I think this fella’s comment sums up your existence pretty well:

            “You are brainwashed idiot”

            Wait, this one too!

            “You are such an arrogant douchebag”

            Goes on and on…

            “I hope the comments have helped you grasp things more accurately ”

            “Poor guy. He tries so hard to speak.”

            “Dollars are for spending on things.” Good job buddy. :)”

            “why do u look like a giant egg”

            Personally, I thought the video was excellent! Only thing missing is the climax at the end with you blowing your own head off. Needless to say, I was disappointed!

          • Clover, without even bothering to address the imbecilities purveyed by this eggheaded entity, we have no way of knowing that’s it’s you.

            Is it you? If it is you, who are you? What do you do – what is your background? Have you got any standing at all to comment about… anything?

            Why are you such a coward?

            Why won’t you reveal your identity? Are you afraid your mom will catch on and revoke your computer privileges again?

          • Eric here again…

            Clover: You can’t read, can you? Until you give your name and background, you’re not getting in.

            It rubs the lotion on it skin….

          • and here is a clip from the cartoon duck tales that explains effects of fiat money (money created out of nothing) and inflation.

          • Clover
            Yes Eric I figured as much. You hold me to a standard of no others. You want my name and address so one of your friends can take care of me. I give you facts but that is not good enough for you. Things like your huge inflation and the figures you give yourself is 1.7%. It is impossible for you to live by the facts. You prefer to be a fictional writer. It is easier to get your point across and influences and enrage others if you make things up.

            • No, Clover – all we want is for you to use your real name and tell us what you do for a living. I do that; Dom does that; Brent and Bevin do that… most of our regulars do.

              We do so in order to buttress what we say with our professional and personal backgrounds. I’m a professional writer and car test driver; I’ve got 20-plus years of experience driving every type of vehicle imaginable, two wheels and four – all over the country and all over the world. I have taken numerous high-performance/road-racing courses and driven and ridden on many race tracks. I rebuild engines; I restore cars and bikes. I’ve written a couple of books – and thousands of articles, including articles I’ve done for major publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Detroit News, Detroit Free Press, Investors Business Daily, LA Times, Chicago Tribune, American Spectator … among others.

              All of that gives me some basis for credibly commenting on cars and driving issues. Brent and the others have education/experience relevant to what they post about. And so on. None of us hide behind fake names. You do.

              So, we ask: Who are you? What gives you any standing to comment about… well, anything? You appear to be just some guy spouting his opinions – most of them stilted, emotional, straw man-dependent opinions.

              PS: You have nothing to fear from us, Clover – other than the embarrassment that necessarily follows from our deconstruction of your slow-witted, poorly parsed missives. Bear in mind that we, unlike you, are not violent people. We don’t want anything from you – other than for you to leave us alone.

              You’re the violent one. You’re the one who constantly argues in favor of hurting people – of threatening them with guns and cages…

              It’s very interesting the way you project your innately violent self onto others. You might reflect on that a little sometime.

        • U are right mithrandir, it forces themoney into those institutions. Thats one if the despicable things about401k’s, govt encourages u to contribute to it with tax incentives so the dimons and corzines of the world have money to play with at the casino tables.
          I have been meaning to watch cm’s crash course, i have probably listened to him be interviewed by puplave half a dizen times.
          Currency isnt money, smart people would deal in money, which is not justa medium of exchange but a store of value.
          How can one measure height or velocity if the unit u measured with perpetually changed?
          If a gold standard is dumb and fiat money is valuable in of itself, allow competition in currency and see which one lasts without coercion or a govt mandate?

  4. Dear, methylamine. I live in Presque Isle Mi. It’s not like you find this deal every day but you can find them.

    • Ah. OK I’ve recovered.
      I’m not sure I can tolerate the weather; but with 40 acres of forest around you, I’m sure you find plenty of firewood!

      It sounds idyllic.

      My wife is still trying to talk me into bugging out to the country rather than bugging out OF the country…if I could find a cash deal like that in East Texas I might even listen.

      Still; the Clovers will find us eventually.

      It’s like a zombie movie, except they’re more mobile. They don’t want to eat your brains. They want to eat your soul.

      • The fucking clovers would take over except there is nothing here for them. Plus they get treated like shit every step they take.

  5. Brad mentioned the mechanic thing and it reminded me of something I’ve been wanting to ask here. Spending time on this site has gotten me into doing more of my own vehicle maintenance (thanks a million to all!) and I’ve found that I really enjoy it.

    I’ve been looking for a career change since my job has been all but killed by the Internet, and wanted to get into something that is universal and I can do anywhere, since every few years my wife’s job threatens to transfer her somewhere else in the US. This seems like it would be a good solution.

    My local community college offers four quarter Minor Tech and six quarter Master Tech certificate programs. My question is: is it better to take these courses with no work experience, or to start out at a shop sweeping the floor and work your way up beforehand? It’s one thing to get a piece of paper that says you know something, it’s another completely to have demonstrable experience.

    • I have two friends who are professional mechanics – one with ASE “master” certification.

      On the one hand, it definitely helps to have the “piece of paper” – especially in the Big City, where prospective employers probably don’t know you personally, or your reputation.

      On the other, out in the country, much stock is placed in a man’s reputation – even if he doesn’t have the piece of paper. There are self-taught wrenches in my neck who can fix anything – and fix it right. They’re not parts pickers.

      So, it’s both.

      If you’ve got enough knowledge/skill to start wrenching now, and someone will give you a slot, go for it – and acquire your “piece of paper” as you work. Real-world experience can be just as valuable, if not more so, than formal training.

      PS: I have thought about getting into a sideline fixing older bikes. This is a potentially solid niche. A lot of the dealers won’t touch older bikes – or don’t know how to touch them. So, someone who knows how to fiddle with the old stuff probably will have enough work to make it worth doing. You may not get rich, but you’ll likely never starve, either.

      Ditto older cars – especially “drivers” with carburetors. Not the trailer queens and show cars. I’m talking about the old Caprice the guy up the road uses to get to work every day. How many “technicians” these days know their way around a Rochester? It’s a dying art – and people who have these older cars often have trouble finding people willing – and able – to work on them.

      Just food for thought…

      • A fully excellent idea, Eric.

        My dad “suggested” I learn how to fix appliances a couple of summers in high school. I had a decent side business installing sprinkler systems, too–even though he was/is loaded, he forced me to sweat through my summers and I’m very grateful.

        I’m going to get both my kids to pick up some kind of useful trade; perhaps not fully certified, but at least competent in electrical work, plumbing, A/C repair, or auto mechanics.

        We better prepare for our soon-to-be third-world status, and the people who disabuse themselves of the entitled college-educated life-on-train-tracks delusion of life will be far ahead of the game.

        Mentally accepting the coming hard times will be 80% of the battle in surviving them.

        Remember the phases–Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance. Most people are still in Denial, about 30% in Anger…and about 1% in Acceptance.

        We’re ready to start planning for the aftermath.

        • Amen!

          I’m glad I have a pretty comprehensive set of tools – almost everything one might need to do almost any job. Tools, like precious metals, hold their value – in bad times especially. Knowing how to use them may be even more valuable.

          I’m trying to learn plumbing – my father-in-law is knowledgeable and he’s teaching me. The more real skills one has, the more survival skills one has.

          PS: I’m getting the dual-fuel conversion kit for the generator. It will let me run the unit on gasoline or propane. I keep a fair quantity of gas on hand, but of course, gas does not store well and its future availability could be an issue. But propane stores indefinitely. If you have a supply stocked up, you’re good to go for a long time….

      • Eric-

        Thanks for the input and advice. That is a great idea with the older bikes and cars. A friend of mine does this with ’80s Volvos; they’re a hot commodity around here. I don’t really want a full time 9-5 gig because I like being able to stay home with my boy and avoid the daycare thing, and want to have the option open to homeschool if my wife and I decide to go that route. Just a steady side gig to bring some dollars in would be perfect, something I could do anywhere if my wife’s company wants her to transfer again.

        • You bet – !

          And: If you haven’t got issues with zoning Nazis and HOAs, you could begin by doing small jobs at your place. Have people drop off their car or bike – and come get it when it’s done. I was thinking about that the other day as I did a small job on a friend’s wife’s car. It’s easy for me – and it’s convenient for them. Also, one could probably do these kinds of jobs for a lot less than a stealership or big shop simply because you’ve got much lower overhead, no employees – etc. The main thing is to be very careful about all the bs regulations and so on that govern “businesses.” My buddy who owns a repair shop has to deal with OSHA, EPA and the local town Nazis, too. Plus the state cops (because he does inspections). Keep a low profile; word of mouth kind of deal. Your reputation as honest and competent can take you a long way in a small community!

    • Sorry it didn’t link the good deals that I picked out it showed the super high priced houses that never sell.

      • Well to put it in perspective, only the first two are priced higher than what my wife and I paid for our house a few years ago, and we’re on less than 1/4 acre (which is HUGE for this area) and less than a mile from the drug and prostitution track where the Green River Killer picked up many of his victims. The character of the neighborhood hasn’t changed much since then.

        Those would be seven-figure spreads in western WA, even in the rural areas here. And a lot of the best hunting land is being locked up because guns scare all the transplants from California and the Northeast. My folks went to a Mariners game last week and they said half the fans were wearing Red Sox gear. They flee their totalitarian nightmares and then roll up their sleeves and build the exact same thing here.

        But I digress. Tempting, Brad. Very tempting. The unemployment rate is the thing that worries me the most.

        • The unemployment rate should worry you. That is the reason it’s so cheap to live here. On the other hand you can mostly live off the land and there is next to no crime, in the North, for now.

        • How are the Schools in this real estate paradise? Shit, I could sell my CARS and buy a modest home with enough acreage to have a self-sufficent garden. Would just have to put in a 1000-gallon diesel tank so I could have enough heating oil on hand when the snow drifts are eight feet and higher. Retire with a hot thirty-y.o. struggling “actress” from SoCal like Nadja Borlin to keep me company.


          With MLB.tv and pirating the satellite signal, I could still keep up on my Giants. But taking in a Great Lakes Loons or W. Michigan Whitecaps would capture the essence of the “real” America.

  6. St Ignace Carshow Parade 2012. (Yesterday)

    Just like the show it’s open to all cars and classes.

    This is just a pick of the town.

    over head

    • Cool Brad! Now I know who’s buying all the new Camaros. Never see them around here; looks like in the beginning every other car was a new Camaro.

      Love that ’57 Nomad at the beginning. My stepdad had a ’57 BelAir hardtop coupe when I was growing up. Same color scheme. Brought back memories.

      There was a big car show here in Seattle yesterday that I was planning to go to but it rained off and on all day and I didn’t want to have my boy out in it. Thanks for the opportunity to live vicariously. Have a 20 month old car nut on my hands. He was sitting on my lap yelling CAAAAAAR through the whole thing. Now he’s watching Six Hours of the Glen on Speed. Only time I can get him to sit still.

      • Thanks and I’m glad you liked it. That’s actually just a small part of the parade. It’s also a full week of events and most of the people camp instead of paying for hotel rooms which are very expensive, (tourist prices). Attendance was down this year a little, but I think it was mostly because of the heat.

        St Ignace and Mackinaw city are two tourist trap cities. St Ignace is on the North of the Mackinaw bridge and Mackinaw city is on the South. It’s a five mile long suspension bridge that spans the Straights of Mackinaw which separates the Upper Peninsula from the South, Lake Michigan on the West and Lake Huron on the East. I live a mile and a half from Lake Huron and I have property in both the Upper and Lower Peninsula.

        On a more libertarian note the people of the UP have voted and narrowly missed succeeding from the Union a few times. They also support selling the bridge. There is always a bit of rivalry between the Uppers and the fudgies, flatlanders or trolls. People in Lower Mi. are called fudgies because they come up to buy fudge and go to Mackinaw island, trolls because they live “under” the bridge. Flatlanders are a bit different though. Flatlanders are anyone in Lower Michigan that lives in the far Southern part of the state. It’s flat, as in no hills or mountains, plus a lot of them are city folks and well they act like it. Snoby, Pushy, Rude creatures that seem to think that everyone should kiss their ass because they spend a few bucks a year in paradise. Not that they are all bad, just a lot of them. They wouldn’t be half bad if they didn’t feel the need to put everything down. It’s not like I created mosquitoes, humidity or didn’t pave every road in sight.

        This is a funny clip from Escanaba in Da Moonlight. It was filmed about 10 miles from my hunting camp. One of the cool things about the UP is that land is cheap and there are practically no codes or permits needed to build a camp. If there are any they just get ignored.

        • Brad-

          Ok I have to make it a point to see the rest of this movie. That’s friggin hilarious!

          My wife was a Flatlander for four years. She went to Hillsdale. She talks a lot about wanting to move back there, says the people are much better than here. If they’re snobbish compared to Yoopers, well people here in Seattle must be really shitty haha.

          I don’t know if 100 miles between me and Detroit is enough though…

          I told her the only way it’s gonna happen is to move to the UP. I don’t know if I could handle the winter though. We’re spoiled here; temperatures below 30 or above 80 are uncommon.

          But it does sound like my kind of place.

          • A hundred miles is not enough for me. I grew up in Mi and Ca. Split family. It’s hard to beat the weather in Central Ca. (Salinas) The snow does take a bit of getting used to but it’s not what it used to be, it’s much milder now. My wife had never even seen snow, well except for looking at the mountains.

            Ps. I paid 24,600 bucks for a very nice house in the country on five acres. Then picked up a forty that connects. Two car garage already set up to work on cars. Greenhouse, outbuildings, orchard, etc. This is Northern lower Mi. on the East side of the state. It’s hard to find a job though. Nursing, sales things like that are ok. If you are good mechanic that will be fine as well. We don’t even have an express way in our county and only one stoplight.

            • Hey Brad,

              Was that a typo? $24,600 for a nice house and five acres? Or 246,000? I’m assuming the latter… which would still be a good deal (about what we paid for a similar set up). But if you got five acres and a nice house for $24,600 – well, you’re the man!

          • Was that a typo? $24,600 for a nice house and five acres? Or 246,000?

            Yeah lol I was looking at jobs on Craigslist and getting ready to tell the wife to start packing…

          • Eric, it was 24,600 dollars. It was a HUD repo. I actually knew the owners. They got a divorce and neither of them wanted it. So they both bailed on the mortgage. He is a local mechanic. They had it paid down to around $70,000. The only thing I really had to fix was the plumbing. Frozen pipes. I should have just put in all new PVC but I didn’t think the copper pipes were burst in as many places as they were. I bought the 40 acres for close to the same. It’s half hardwoods and half ceder swamp. I make a some cash each year cutting ceder for a friend of mine who makes Christmas wreaths. Of course I hunt it all the time.

            Best part of all I paid cash!

            There are a few around that are close to the same price they just need a lot more work.

            • You rock!

              I knew you could buy a (crack)house in Detroit for the price of a used Corolla… but a house… on five acres… for the cost of Prius… damn!

              We have about 16 acres and a pretty nice house with a small, partially finished “guest house” on the property, plus a tractor shed with electricity, etc. – the works cost about about $320k. We were able to buy it outright by selling our old (much smaller) place in Northern Virginia at the near-peak of the real estate bubble. That place had more than doubled in price (not value, but hey) and we took the money and ran. I’d like to buy another 10-15 acres from the people behind us – 25-30 acres total seems like about right to me. But I have to build up the reserves again – and quit blowing all my spare change on old bikes!

          • Sorry Brad, I would have replied earlier except I frikkin’ fainted on my keyboard when I read you paid $24,600 for five acres and…………… ………..
            Damn did it again.

            Where is this please?

  7. Eric I will take any 3% loan I can get. One of my investment accounts value went up 17 grand today. I do have a 3% home equity line on my house I live in and make 10s of thousands of dollars a year out of investments from the money. If you are a person that believes in no loans then good for you but I can make an easy 10 to 15 percent or more on that 3% loan without much risk. I would be stupid for not having a loan.

    • Clover, not everyone wants to be a shyster – playing “investment roulette” – and taking on debt in order to “make money.” Imagine if you can a society in which people earn wealth – as opposed to manipulating finance – and then save their wealth, to build financial security – without being punished for doing so (via inflation).

      • Eric, that’s what ruined the country economically. People stopped making stuff because it was easier to make money by playing financial games. So we don’t make things much anymore. It’s all about gaming the system, and hence becomes a very sick culture. A political culture.

      • Yes Eric, I am not afraid of debt. Debt like anything else is a tool that if used correctly it can save you a lot of money or make you more. Debt is like buying a 9/16 inch wrench. It costs you money up front but if you use it correctly it can save you hundreds of dollars. You never invested in any tools?


        • As always, Clover, you completely miss the point.

          Absent inflation, taking on debt to “keep up” becomes a disincentive. The incentive is to save. With inflation, the incentive is to take on debt rather than save. The cost of everything is driven artificially upward – and everyone is forced to live running in place on the proverbial gerbil wheel, doing their best to “keep up” … the net result being a poorer (in terms of real wealth) society in which people are prematurely worn out by needless stress and pointless make-work.

      • There is almost no major business that has never borrowed money to improve itself and to grow to make more money. Without people like that we would never be able to employ hundreds of millions of people. The truck or motorcycle that you own would never have been built without borrowed capital.


        • Clover,

          I agree that debt can used wisely to improve a business.

          If debt is used to acquire tangible products/items which will provide more value/productivity than the cost of the debt, it can be worthwhile.

          If I use debt to live beyond my means it will not be to my long term benefit.

          Living beyond one’s means is similar to a super nova. For a brief amount of time a star in the throes of a super nova can be hundreds of times brighter before it fades into the night.

          Similarly one can live beyond one’s means until the bills are due. Then one’s lifestyle will be crashing around as a massive star’s gravity eventually will crush in on itself.

          Trading in stocks has a certain amount of risk. Generally the better the return the higher the risk. Most businesses (IMO) do not trade stocks although they may offer stocks in their respective company to raise needed funds.

        • That has been true for only about the last 100 years, Clover.

          By the late 1800’s, many companies in America were almost entirely self-financing. This is one reason JP Morgan and his cohorts were so eager to introduce central banking; their business was suffering.

          They engineered several crashes, most notably the 1907 bank runs, to set the stage for the Federal Reserve.

          One side effect of fiat money, couple with fractional-reserve banking, is unrealistically low interest rates….which drives the ubiquitous borrowing we see today.

          In a real money system, interest rates climb to a natural rate of roughly 10% and borrowing becomes much less attractive.

        • Us mundanes Clover are not major businesses. We are little people. As little people the deal is different.

          A person with a business idea should avoid taking loans if possible. People have lost successful businesses to the banks this way. Also lost significant hunks of them because of the deals required to get that money to start.

          In the 1930s people often lost their homes and farms not because they weren’t making payments, but because the banks called the loans demanding the balance immediately.

          Loans to expand small businesses often don’t go much better. When you’re small the bank will simply demand very bank favorable terms and stomp you at the slightest problem. When you’re AIG the banks get the government to bail you out.

          • As usual Brent you do not have a clue what you are talking about. Name me one business besides the local hot dog stand that has made it without borrowing? IBM? GE? Apple? Facebook? I would guess if you work at a larger company that they also borrowed money. It is impossible for a farmer to get a start without borrowing except if they inherited a lot of money, land and equipment. 90 percent of homes would never have been bought or sold if it was not for a loan.
            The banking system you talk about in the 30s was fixed by the government. There are almost no loans as you say that are called in early because there are contracts. The banking system of Europe will have to be fixed by the governments exactly like ours was so there are no run on the banks.

            If the bank does not give you good terms as a small company then you do not take the loan. Some small companies go broke but others go on to employ 10s of thousands of people. I guess you would rather they stay small and you will have to stick with hand made cars that cost you a hundred grand or more for something a lot worse than we have today.

          • Clover you need to do research before calling names, else you show yourself to be the idiot:
            1) GE was started by edison with his own money.
            2) Apple was started with Jobs and Woz’s own money in a residential garage. (back when your government didn’t stomp people for doing that) They later got some private capital.
            3) IBM, I don’t know the origins but considering when it was started, loans were highly unlikely.
            4) Facebook was sued by the guy who provided the start up money. I don’t know how it turned out but the contract indicated a significant percentage of ownership for doing so.

            As I wrote before Clover, larger companies are different. If you take a loan you stand to lose your company. It still happens today. A supplier I dealt with lost his prior company that way. A successful company that still exists.

            Clover, the banks run the government. Nothing should be clearer after the last few years. Do you think contracts mean anything? Look at what government has done to contract law in the last 5 years. Contracts mean nothing now. Only power does. And if you think a bank can’t find a way to take something it wants from you when you have a loan on it, you are deluding yourself. Of course most homes the banks don’t want, they want the payment. But a successful business, those they will take.

            Ever wonder how people could afford such well built homes in the past? Brick and lumber and plaster and not today’s cheapened materials? Without easy credit prices did not inflate. The fractional reserve banking system and easy credit is why it now takes a loan to buy house.

            Once you look at the system as a whole and go through the math it is designed by and for the banks. Not for me, and likely not for you. It makes us all poorer in the long term.

          • No Clover, it’s YOU who hasn’t a clue.

            Again, you take the status quo–the only thing you know, or will ever know–because you refuse to exercise thought. The status quo today, in America, is to borrow money–because (at least for businesses in some circumstances) it makes sense to take advantage of artificially low rates.

            But you’re wrong other places and other times.

            For example, in most of South America, people actually gasp–save up and pay cash for their homes. Needless to say, they’re a lot cheaper. Why? Because absent the inflating effect of cheap money, they revert to their TRUE cash value–just as things used to be here.

            Another thing you’re wrong on–Apple has no debt, and (at least when I worked there 2000-2005) Microsoft had no debt either.

            Why would they, when they’re swinging a billion a month in free cash?

            You assume that absent loans (the system you know today..and the only system you’re willing to believe in because you’re too fucking stupid to imagine anything else)…anyway, absent loans, no car company could start.

            What do you think the stock market is for? Those aren’t loans; they’re equities. They SELL part of the company to the public to raise cash, promising to share profits with the new owners–the stockholders–or make them rich with an increased stock price.

            That’s my last lesson to you. I’ve taught hundreds of classes in my life, from SAT and MCAT prep, to pharmacology, to object-oriented programming.

            I’ve never had a student as dense as you; and I won’t have you ruining my fun teaching. It’s damned dull watching perfectly good pearls bouncing off a swine’s head.

            • It’s possible Clover’s that dense. But I think it’s more likely, based on his track record, that he’s just a troll. Either a person who has nothing better to do than spend hours being deliberately disruptive – or a person who is paid to do so.

              Then again, I better rethink that. I’ve met – I know – people just like him. People who literally cannot follow a logical presentation of facts to a conclusion. Who instead go off on tangents, repeat nonsensical platitudes – and emote. They are not able to think as we understand the process. Their minds are not processors and integrators; they are trash heaps of random data – much of it corrupted and/or incomplete. Attempting to reason with them is as pointless as trying to reason with a goldfish. Like the goldfish, Clover merely responds to stimuli in a predictable way. Which would be ok, if he and his kind were just out there sleepwalking their way through their lives… as opposed to sleepwalking through our lives.

        • Clover, do we want hundreds of millions of people to be employed? I submit not. We certainly want hundreds of millions of people to have livelihoods, but that is not the same as employment.

          Or is it a bit too chaotic for you if we don’t all have managers to answer to?

          • Eric it amazes me that people talk on and on like you do and say anything? You have all the answers but do not give us any details because you skipped the facts part of your ideas. You say that you drive safely most of the time so that means we need to let all the jerks and guys with road rage alone along with drunks and reckless drivers.

            I am smart enough to know that there are hundreds of people out there that if you did not give them some kind of controls to follow they would drive like a recent video I have seen where road rage rules and the guy with the bigger weapon wins. We have seen that many times. If there was some kind of police control then things would not get so out of control that weapons are a common thing on the highway along with threats by using your vehicle. For the life of me I can not figure out why anyone would back and support those changes. It is already starting to happen with the downsizing of our police forces because of the economy. If you want to see videos of what I am talking about there are hundreds on the internet. You even have an example of a guy that comes on here that has shown many of his examples of road rage and aggressive driving of himself. Do you agree with everything he does?

          • Clover, did you listen to coast to coast am last night? They had a very good segment on “road rage”. It was very good because the guest confirmed my theories with data analysis. I enjoy being right.

            Anyway, Clover…. police protection is an illusion. They don’t give a shit and won’t be around. You can call them after the fact and unless someone is bleeding they won’t bother.

            Most people obey rules of the road that make sense solely because it benefits them and others. Those who don’t follow the rules aren’t going to be held in place by fear. They don’t fear getting themselves killed why would they fear cops?

            The fact of the matter is you want to dominate other people with violence, you just won’t do it yourself personally except in a passive aggressive way.

          • OK Brent, you say that police are not the answer for people with road rage. What do you think the best way to get people with road rage off the road like you?

            Police are the answer but we as a country can not afford the costs of more police. You say that police do not matter. Maybe not on your roads in Chicago where it is dangerous to pull someone over but I have seen thousands of miles of roadway were it does matter. The only thing that would work on busy interstates around major cites are cameras. That is the type of thing they have in Germany and it works there. There is not any speeding or tailgating there around major cities. From what I have heard there is no one going over the speed limit around major cites where there are limits.

            The only hope that we have for you is an aggressive person with road rage takes care of you some time when you are on your bike. It is not the person that follows the laws and drives safely that you need to worry about it is the aggressive road rage person like you.

          • You know what they want Clover – a bit of biffo like in a John Wayne movie where the men fight it out then become friends. Or both pull out their guns and the winner goes on his way . . .

          • Fantastic!

            A Clover and Gil combination with a reach-around finale!

            @Nedd Ludd: I agree, it’s sounding more and more like a sophisticated Eliza-class program.

            I’m especially impressed that it (the clover not the Gil) springs right back to type; it wishes harm to BrentP.

          • Clover, why must you manufacture an insult in nearly every post? Plus you wish violent harm to come to me. You are truly a despicable person. I think it’s because you are a troll and cannot formulate a real argument. You want a meet up sometime Clover and try to take me out with your own bare hands? Of course not. You’re a passive aggressive pussy of troll. You like making other people angry and hide behind the shield of the internet or the law or your vehicle or any combination there of.

            I note you didn’t address what I wrote.

            Cops matter even less in the wide open spaces. The nearest cop could easily be hundreds of miles away.

            The reason things work in Germany is because people don’t drive like passive aggressive trolls. There is very little enforcement in Germany. I’ve never driven anywhere with fewer cops per unit traffic volume.

            Your sort of driving behavior is not tolerated in Germany, and therefore it does not exist. Cops aren’t needed. Oh and the fastest I’ll admit driving on the internet was while trying to keep up with a cop on the autobahn. Because when it comes to driving it is a freer society, this isn’t considered wrong. It was also legal. In the USA, even if there was an unrestricted piece of limited access highway the cop would get pissed off about it.

          • Another of Clover’s spittle-spewing missives:

            “BrentP the only reason I would wish you harm is because you would not bat an eyelash in threatening someone I care about on the highway or for that matter the other millions of people out there. Anyone who gets joy in endangering others and threatening others I believe are better to not be on this earth. The same thing I would have thought about Hitler.”

            Notice the urge to commit violence? And the lack of balls to do so personally? To even reveal its true name?

          • Clover, it is your kind that puts me at risk. My driving record shows that I pose no risk to others. But others certainly pose a risk to me!

            You are the ones who see joy in endangering, threatening, and harming others. You are the ones who go out on the road to play games of dominance and submission. You are the ones with this animal bullshit that is expressed through passive-aggressive and just plain aggressive behavior.

            Stop projecting your characteristics on me. I simply don’t put up with your kind’s bullshit quietly, meekly, and submissively the way you’d like.

            Really, what is pulling out in front of 45mph traffic going 20mph or less about other than a ‘fuck you’ to the other drivers? A show of passive-aggressive domination. That’s what you and other lazy ass clovers are about. Making everyone else do the work.

            So I make it a little uncomfortable for your kind to pull this bullshit. Just stop doing it if you don’t like how I deal with it. Because when you pull this crap you are making me deal with it. I get to choose how to not crash into you. If you don’t like how I choose to do it, don’t put me into the position of avoiding you in the first place.

            I don’t make people avoid me. It’s courteous. I also don’t have to count on idiots taking action and making good decisions. Yet your kind demands others take action. You get off on it. Stop doing it and you won’t have to complain about the guy who didn’t avoid you the way you wanted to be avoided.

            Keep your domination games in your bedroom where they belong.

          • Eric to troll:

            You lose, Clover. No more posting for you. Not until you ‘fess up and tell us your real name and tell us something (specific) about your background.

    • Wow and that 15% is without any risk whatsoever! Fantastic!

      Oh except…there IS risk, the greater the return, the greater the risk. Unless, of course, you’re a bank and you can “carry trade” and depend on the government to bail you out when it doesn’t quite work out.

      But back to your 15%; you surely must acknowledge there’s some risk–and if it comes to pass, you’ll be in the hole for that loan and paying 3%.

      If we had honest money, as we had during the 1800’s, we saw steady deflation of 1 to 2 percent. This is a function of the gold supply increasing slightly more slowly than the rate of human productivity increases; hence, each ounce becomes more valuable in purchasing power over time.

      Interest rates were historically about 10%–because without central bank price manipulation, that’s about what most businesses yielded…hence, they’d be fools to lend capital at less than what they themselves could make from it.

      I’m summarizing tremendously to get the gist across.

      But we’ve all forgotten what an incredible matrix we live in, thanks to fiat debt-money and central bank depredations.

      Don’t forget, your investments in a Dow index are worth roughly 40% less than they were in 2000 in terms of purchasing power–so that 15% ain’t as great as all that.

      When a central bank fixes interest rates, it’s effectively fixing prices; and fixing them in a way that introduces market distortions that are extremely difficult to analyze…leading to overinvestment and malinvestment such as the dot-com and housing bubbles.

      I second Eric’s notion of earning wealth; in fact I’d say it’s creating wealth that’s most important. In a distorted fiat-money economy, creating wealth is less profitable than manipulating finances…and so it’s underfunded.

      When the bubbles all finally pop, what’s left? You’ve decimated your manufacturing, you have no mineral extraction, and you’re left with a bunch of snot-nosed MBA’s with PhD quants behind them anxiously tapping away at Excel spreadsheets.

      • Clover, if somehow you’ve managed a HELOC where you’ve got a 3% ‘fixed’, AND in light of falling property values you still have equity in your primary residence, then bully for you. Somehow methinks in light of current market conditions you’re full of shit, but if you’re being truthful, then congrats, you’ve beaten the bankers at their own game. Don’t blast your trumpet TOO loudly, though, or they’ll find a way to stop it. The first unwritten rule of finance is “Thou shalt NOT beat the banks”.
        I would NEVER play that game with my HOME, though. With income properties (whether residential or commercial, same principle), you can play that game of banking the equity.
        However, as has been pointed out, the REALLY successful outfits pay cash and don’t play that game. Why? Well, they focus their efforts on what they do best. Apple makes Apple O/S computers, Pads, phones, and related devices. MicroSoft produces Windows and Office-Suite software (I have one of their phones, an HTC, but it’s floundering in the USA). Even my own faith which I pay at least nominal homage too (when I’m not drinking, swearing, and carousing), the LDS Church, has every meetinghouse and Temple paid for before they even break ground. Their real estate arm, Property Reserve, is as effective a property management company as any in this world, but the Church doesn’t go into hock. The idea is that debt is to be avoided, especially if it’s used for excess or conspicuous consumption. Hopefully the financial bubble of the past five years will have broken Americans of their terrible habit of living beyond their means, and SAVING. It will take a few generations to turn it around, but public policy should reward savings and prudent investment and likewise discourage debt and the ‘get-rich-quick’ schemes.

      • Dear Methylamine,

        “If we had honest money, as we had during the 1800′s, we saw steady deflation of 1 to 2 percent. This is a function of the gold supply increasing slightly more slowly than the rate of human productivity increases; hence, each ounce becomes more valuable in purchasing power over time.”


        It never ceases to amaze me how the Keynesians have been able to persuade the Sheeple that deflation is this terrible boogeyman. As if the world will end if deflation kicks in.

        Deflation is the best thing that can happen to an economy.

  8. I went to one of the more popular cruise nights here last week held at a diner. There were many teenagers there in groups but of course 95% of them didn’t have a car that was a part of the show. To the extent that a few did, they were virtually all 90s imports. Not exactly classic. Of course, what else could most afford?

  9. Congrats on the win, Eric. It must feel good, given that you’ve just rebuilt that baby.

    You’re absolutely right that there’s a war on old steel, and it’s purpose is to(hopefully) get you to buy a new car: good for the economy, expensive to insure, subject to many more safety/inspection protocols, blah, blah, blah…

    I don’t like it and I’ve beaten the .gov push through the years in large measure. How? I buy a used motorcycle – lately I only go back 3 – 6 years or so, though I used to buy older in my twenties. I get great gas mileage, I buy only liability($70 a year)insurance.

    I don’t see how you could save the old steel… Road accidents will claim a certain number every year, and the insurance company will pay claim and destroy the car, they will not rebuild while some owners will take payoffs(Cash for Clunkers), paid for by us I might add which chaps my hide…

    One ray of light are dune buggies/rail buggies. They’re lightweight because they’re barebones – no AC, no air bags, etc… I see them on the city roads here in the Southwest, and they’re street legal if you put lights and a muffler on them. If I ever buy another car, that’s what I’m going for.

    • Thanks, Alex!

      On bikes: We are now at the same point we were with cars circa early 1980s. New bikes are becoming ever-more-complex. I think they all have EFI and computers now. Cats, too. Many have ABS and some have stability control and even air bags. This trend is going to continue – and accelerate. New bikes are going to get ever more expensive – and ever more difficult and expensive to maintain and repair. Probably, they will – just like modern cars – become throw-ways. They’ll be reliable and powerful for say 8-10 years. But then, when the computer craps out or you need a new ABS pump and you’re facing $2,000 in repairs to a bike that’s only worth $2,500…. forget it. Toss it.

  10. Have these greenies ever calculated how much “pollution” they create by making vehicles that supposedly pollute less? I mean, how many people have to burn energy just getting to a manufacturing facility to produce catalytic converters and smog pumps. Then the major waste comes in when all the electronics makes the car disposable and a perfectly undented, rust free body is towed to the crusher; simply because it’s worth less than a new electronicly controlled transmission.

    Have you ever wondered what happens to all the oil we don’t drill? It’s slowly turning into coal which is slowly turning into shale. To do that it has to decompose. Decomposition is chemical burning without a flame. So, all that oil we dont drill is giving off “greenhouse gases” any frikin way!

    Greenies piss me off! Ignorant asses!

    • The easy answer is – No. They don’t care. It’s about having their boot on everyone’s neck that they care about. “You vill comply vith our demands, and you vill LIKE it.”

      It’s all about control of the sheeple, and control freaks stifle innovation. The longer intake runners on my engine atomized fuel more efficiently than the mass-produced factory part. The Smog Nazis just don’t care. Screw what comes out of the tail pipe. If it’s not in our book, it’s not “authorized.”

      The Smog minions don’t care about smog – just about compliance and having the authority to enforce arbitrary and capricious regulations.

      Why would some youngster living in a place like that develop an interest when it’s tough enough to jump through all the hoops the gubmint puts in front of you?

      Stifles creativity, fun, and innovation.

      The Clovers all feel much safer as a result though.

      • Well said, Ned. I really wish I could disagree with you, but reality dictates that I can’t do that. Your comments are just so right.

      • Ned,

        You bring up an excellent point about the mindlessness of “smog” laws in states such as CA (and elsewhere). It’s similar here in Virginia – though not (yet) quite as extreme. As in your case, if one were to fit a ZZ crate engine topped with a TBI and blowing through high flow cats to something like a ’72 Nova that originally had a two-barrel 350, the car would fail the visual portion of I/M, even if its exhaust stream proved to be much cleaner than the stock engine’s – and far below the standard for a ’72.

        If the “green” police really cared about “the environment,” modifications to a car would be relevant only if the car’s exhaust emissions were higher. Period.

    • Clik, I believe you’re exactly right about the smog laws. The great irony is that the environmental movement has been spun 180° since the hippy era. Read the “green” writings from that era and it’s all about down-scaling and autonomy and “doing your own thing”. That is to say, libertarian stuff. And the thinking about cars favoured simplicity, durability, owner-fixability, all the properties we miss today. I have an essay, c. 1965, by an early environmental activist praising the qualities of a ’49 Ford he used to have.

      How did it get the way it is now? Cui bono? The early arguments were all pointed at getting rid of most of the traffic but leaving cars themselves pretty much alone. Who’d have had a problem with that?

  11. The “Smog Police” are responsible for more smog as an unintended consequence of some of their ridiculous regulations.

    I lived in Southern CA for almost 10 years. When I moved there I had a pickup – a 71 F-250 4X4 – with a more modern engine with several mods. When I went to get it smogged, it passed the test with flying colors. Except that it wouldn’t pass the “visual inspection” due to the modifications.

    I had to remove the modern carb and intake, remove the headers, and replace all with factory parts.

    I then had it smogged, and it passed, but ran far dirtier. That was ok with the Smog Police, though.

    When I learned how the smog laws worked in the People Republic of Kalifornia, I pretty much gave up any thought of modifying any auto. I’m sure the same issue affects a number of possible motorheads.

  12. Eric, you talked around it, but never summed it up in a clear and concise package. The simple fact is that kids aren’t into cars like we were because cars are just too complex. Sure that’s largely the fault of our nanny government, but the bottom line is still complexity. Like your old Kaw, cars and motorcycles were fairly simple machines back then. Anybody with even a modicum of mechanical ability and a semi-decent set of hand tools could rebuild the car or motorcycle of their choice. But add electronic ignition, EFI, ABS, drive-by-wire, traction control, stability control, OBD-II and a whole host of other modern miracles and an enthusiast simply can’t work on them. Not without tens of thousands of dollars worth of diagnostic equipment. I’m ashamed to admit this, but I can’t even change the brake fluid on my motorcycle where everything is out in the open and in easy reach. It requires hooking the thing to a computer to open all the valves in the ABS to even flush the old fluid. It’s pretty much killed the home mechanic. In fact, mechanics in general are a vanishing breed. They’re being replaced by parts changers who plug in the analyzer to tell them what to replace and then “replace as assembly”.

    What that means is that the kids of today aren’t buying cheap cars and working on keeping them on the road. They never experience the joy putting a basket case together and actually seeing it run. And that in turn means that they never get into car thing like we did. Without building it or working on it themselves, they never build that man and machine bond that I’m sure you know well. To them, cars are appliances.

    • Hi Wild,

      I agree – your example of the ABS brakes is a case in point. Not only is it harder to service (and more expensive, because one must have additional specialized tools) the system itself amounts to a ticking financial time bomb that, along with other systems, eventually renders the car economically not worth fixing. When the ABS pump goes, for example, that can be a $600-$800 repair. But if the car itself is an old beater and only worth maybe $2,000 or so – who’s gonna put $800 into it for an ABS pump? And you have to put the pump in, if you want to pass “safety” inspection – because if the ABS light is on (indicating a fault) or won’t come on (because you took the blub/fuse out to try to hide the problem) you fail. All factory “safety” systems must be functional in order to pass.

      I probably will never buy a new bike, incidentally – because I am not interested in a bike with a computer controlled FI system or cats….

      • Does anyone know if they sell greatly simplified versions of these cars in South America, Africa, or India?

        Perhaps in the poorer markets, you can pick up a car with fewer gee-gaws…

    • Or, if not ban sody-pop outright, at least tax the bejeezus out of it…all because the knuckleheads in our respective state legislatures and the members of (Con)gress think they know how to run our lives better than we ourselves. In the end, it’s to serve two purposes (1) control…most liberals and big-Gubmint types are pathetic control freaks, and (2) any excuse to fleece the public for taxes, or use fees. Shit, Obama talked out of both sides regarding his health care scam. First, oh no, they’re non-participating penalties, not TAXES, or so it was sold to a gullible public. Then, to argue the constitutionality of this fraud, well looky-heah, it’s a TAX, so therefore it’s constitutional. Sort of like the guy that murdered his parents and appealed to the court for mercy on the grounds that he’d become an orphan.

      • This appears to be the new Game: A given thing won’t be made illegal, it will just be taxed (i.e., you’ll be taxed if you don’t have it, or taxed if you do have it).

        This way, they can posture as not attacking freedom – after all, you can still do (or not do) X or Y. You just have to pay to do (or not do, or have) X or Y.

        The filthy SOB and Uber Clover Cass Sunstein called it the “nudge,” I believe.

        • For illegal they have had the pot tax stamp route for a long time. (government requires a tax stamp for something but never sells the stamps)

          What they may be doing via this obamacare ruling is making freedom something only the wealthy can have. That is everything will cost money. Enough money that middle class people can’t generally afford it, but it amounts to something less than pocket change for the wealthy.

          We will have to buy our freedom, buy our way out of slavery, just like in the olden days.

          • One of my friends is a stamp collector, he has a few of the the Mary Jane stamps and a few of the stamps for the Thompson machine gun. They did the same with it. You could buy one with a tax stamp, but they didn’t issue the stamp to more than a handful of people.

            As for buying our way out of slavery, they will not even allow that. I have asked over and over if I can simply pay a one shot payment and then be left alone. What would it cost a million bucks? Ten million? Nope it doesn’t matter they will never set you free.

            • One of the (Republican) county supervisors lives down the road from us. I know the dude a little. I have considered approaching him and making the following suggestion/offer:

              I’m willing to pay the county a large, lump sum amount – once – in return for our land being exempted in perpetuity from property taxes. There’s quite a “revenue shortfall” in our county right now, so there might be incentive to take the deal. Of course,if enough people did likewise, the county would lose its firm grip around our ball sacs. Which is why I’ve yet to bother bringing it up with him.

          • My hope is that this – the ObamaCare ruling – will turn out to be our era’s version of Dred Scott. Or better yet, the Stamp Act.

            It might just be the spark that sets the powder alight.

          • Eric-

            Dred Scott v. Sanford led to the War Between the States.

            The Stamp Act culminated in a cabal of power-hungry madmen much closer to home seizing control.

            Be careful what you wish for.

        • Barack: Well, obviously I think that they represented her position properly which is that she supported in the past NAFTA, which has been pretty hard on Ohio, and we’ve had an ongoing discussion about healthcare. Both of us want to provide healthcare to all Americans. There’s a slight difference, and her plan is a good one. But, she mandates that everybody buy healthcare. She’d have the government force that every individual buy insurance and I don’t have such a mandate because I don’t think the problem is that people don’t want health insurance, it’s that they can’t afford it. I focus more on lowering costs. This is a modest difference. But, it’s one that she’s (Hillary) tried to elevate, arguing that because I don’t force people to buy healthcare that I’m not insuring everybody. If things were that easy, I could mandate everybody to buy a house, and that would solve the problem of homelessness. It doesn’t. But this is a philosophical disagreement that we have and it’s one that we’re going to continue to talk about. Overall though, as you said (Ellen), this has been a relatively clean campaign. I have enormous respect for Senator Clinton and I’m looking forward to working with her to make sure that Democrats win in November.

          In other words fuck doing what is right I will support anyone as long as they are for big government and in my party.

          • Hey Brad,

            I know you know this, but:

            There are people (me among them) who don’t want insurance at all. Who prefer to pay as they go, out of pocket. This is a reasonable position to take if you’re basically a healthy person, eat reasonably, keep fit and are prudent about risks. It is not unlikely that such a person may go their entire life without needing more than the occasional antibiotic or some such. A great deal of the ailments plaguing people today are lifestyle ailments – in particular, obesity. Avoid getting fat – and avoid being sedentary – and such things as diabetes and high blood pressure are very avoidable. Eat decently, exercise and avoid smoking and your cancer risk plummets. Etc. I’d much rather live a healthy, responsible life – and be responsible for my own health – than be forced to buy insurance and be assured of losing probably $100k-plus for a “service” I may never need.

  13. Eric, Thanks for this site. It is refreshing to see there are so many gearheads like myself that are trying to keep up an age old tradition of showing the factory that they could have done better!
    Also, Michael, Hal and Shep, ( I had a great mechanic named Shep working for me at one time) ya’ll are light years ahead of where most of us were in our early 20s. Then, I was interested in fumes, gas fumes and perfumes, not the way a one world economy is wrecking the future. My world economy was if I could afford the new mods to my cars. Thank you for a refreshing glimpse into the youth of the world. I hope alot more of you think the same way and help to correct the mistakes of the past.

  14. To 3rd Gen,

    I frequent a Saturday night cruise-in at Marley Station Mall in Glenburnie, MD. They often have over 500 cars on a Saturday night. It’s sponsored by the Lost-in-the-Fifties Car Club and they only charge a buck to get in. Nothing to walk in. The cost just covers the portable johns. To drive in you must have historic or hot rod tags. So, it’s not dead and you don’t have to pay Good Guy big bucks to enjoy the hobby. If it were up to me I’d put the cut-off date at 1974 as that was the last of the catalytic converter free days. Some might say 1969 because of the funny bumper laws.

    • Hey Clik, thanks for the info. I’m only about 30 minutes from Marley Station. I’ll have to bring my sons up on night. Is it held most every Saturday?

    • Cut off dates are arbitrary. Ok, so ’75 and up cars have cats. But earlier cars have PCVs, EGR, AIR injection…. should a ’68 Corvette 427 with AIR injection be excluded? Only allow cars with open element air cleaners and road draft tubes?

      Is pressure lube too “modern”? How about “juice” brakes?

      I’m just trying to make a point…

      My stand on this is that old car shows should have only one qualifier – that the car is old. So, anything that’s at least 25 years old, on a rolling basis, irrespective of when it was built.

      And car shows should be open to any car at all. Why exclude anyone? It makes no sense to me.

      • The car show I mentioned earlier which has a 1977 or so cut off… had the car in this video there earlier this month.

        Nothing original about it mechanically. Modern drive line under an old shell and interior… they got no problem with that. The owner didn’t even build it. He just bought it.

        Saw a rusted and beaten and dirty 1930s something with a early 1990s GM V8 in it… No problem with that. Various other 70s and earlier cars with just mild modernization allowed in as I’ve seen going to it a few times. So on and so on.

        Then I see the special dispensations…. cars made after the cut off that are somehow magically allowed.

        The rules are just to keep people they don’t want out. It’s becoming a closed culture. Which is ultimately going to cause it to die out. Maybe I’ll be able to pick up some great cars at much lower prices in the future.

      • I agree with almost everything that has been written on this section, I finished rebuilding an mr2 i bought 2 years ago (took a year to rebuild motor and mod the suspension) and was told to take a hike when i passed and stopped by a impromptu car show because it wasn’t 25 years old, (miss by 15months) and it reminded me of my youth.

        I remember getting into cars, my dad had (and still does have) a supercharged MR2 and i spent tens of thousands of miles in that, I ended up buying a used turbo MR2 when I was 16, other than girls that was the most important thing to me.

        I remember going to our “car shows” in the mid-late 90’s which were in a mini-mall parking lot in front of a pizza place. At first it was real small, then american muscle cars showed up, talked shit and I still remember going up against a guy in a 4.6 mustang and nobody could agree who won.
        My car was modified myself with a shoestring budget but I knew my shit and the older guys (some 10 yrs older) could see that and the manufacturer of the car was no longer a stigma and wasn’t referred to as a “ricer”
        We ended up having a group of people that met that include Regal T-types, a mach one, 5.0 rebuilt as a saleen, a few camaro’s, plus a turbo’d civic hatch, a 4 door integra with all 4 doors switched to suicide doors and a sweet custom s-10 pickup.

        The key was that we all brought something we were proud of and we realized we weren’t each other’s enemy.
        The whole domestic vs import, 4’s vs 8’s etc was getting old even in the mid-late 90’s where i grew up. Even though it took me a while to realize it in other aspects of my life, it was clear with cars. It didn’t matter what you did with your car, if you were proud of it, it shined thru. Instead of excluding groups and fighting amongst other car guys, realize the real enemy, those douche-bags trying to create a “red barchetta” world.

        I think one of the reasons car culture is dying to a degree is from the street racing and almost all cars being “fast”. It gives the hired thugs public support to come down with an iron fist and make things like lowering your car “too much” a crime. And with almost all cars being fast it makes it almost too easy to go fast.

        Personally, my only beef is with people who just pay someone else to do everything except actually driving the car but those are easily deciphered in a few mins of conversation and then the ridicule and shame gets them from showing up again, no need for formal criteria.

        just my $.02

        • I *love* those old supercharged MR2’s. Fantastic little car; like driving a go-cart.

          A little scary though; I drove a friend’s once, and damn near spun it coming around a cloverleaf exit…my reflexes were attuned at the time to a front-wheel-drive car and the mid-engined balance really took me by surprise!

          Are good examples still available? Bet that car is a hoot to work on.

          I would even settle for the 2.0 version–the 2-liter turbo. But the supercharged one had the lighter early body style; much more desirable.

          • Meth, Ebay currently has 23 MR2’s listed with a price range of $200-$19,500. I didn’t browse through the listings for details so not sure of the quality or the versions.

          • mr2’s have been with me for a while. I first drove my dad’s ’89sc when I was 13 and when I was 16 I bought a ’91 turbo and loved it (until I blew the motor in college and had to sell it)
            If I had it my way I would have one of each generation, the spyder is actually 10% lighter than the ones from teh 80’s.

            They are cars that definitely not for everyone, b/c they are midengine they handle differently and brake differently; the front end doesn’t dive like a normal car under heavy braking. One thing that always get people is braking or even taking ur foot off the throttle mid-turn, it makes the car spin out. It seems counterintuitive at first but if you feel it lose traction in the rear you need to keep ur foot in it, the car sure taught me precise throttle inputs. The car definitely made me a better driver.

            I bought a ’89sc, 2 years ago and rebuilt it, suspension is completely upgraded (koni, trd, prothane. etc…) and mild engine upgrades including an NST crank pulley that turns the sc faster. i am running 13.5 psi instead of the stock 6. the car rips pretty well, I can’t wait to take it to the event at Shannonville (near Kingston ON) in about a month.

            They can be a pain to work on, esp the SC, but every car has its quirks and its fun factor usually outweighs the headaches.
            One of the best combinations is what is referred to as the Mark 1.5, it is the mark/generation 1 car from teh 80’s with a mark 2 (90’s turbo) engine in it. those motors fit really well and can easily get 300-400 hp which is sooooo much fun in a 2300-2400 lb car.
            It can be tough to find good examples, I bought mine from teh original owner who lived in Florida for 95% of the 120k miles he put on it and the motor still needed a lot of TLC, new SC and all the original susp bushing were total crap.

          • @Rob:
            Yikes! Guess I could have looked 🙂 Thanks; there’s my next project.

            Rotsa?? See that’s racist. You are commanded hereby to appear at FEMA Region 10 Re-Education Happy-Happy Pharmaceutical Camp #17…right now or else.

          • Meth,

            “Rotsa” is only racist to Space-age dogs like Astro on the Jetsons.

            No problem looking for MR2’s for you. I was on EBay Motors anywhere looking for a 3rd generation Trans Am. My 14 year-old has been helping me restore my ’78 TA and is having a blast. He wants to get a mid 80’s TA that is a project car and work on it over the next few years. The kid cuts a lot of grass and has more money than I do.

      • The cutoff should be no greater than fifteen years, period. For most makes (VW Beetles and Mercedes diesel cars excepted), 98% or more are junked and have become soup cans. My ’95 Mustang is every bit the muscle car, at least within the bounds of safety and emissions-considered design mandates at the time of manufacture. I credit Ford that they made a decently-performing package that captured the essence of the original ‘horsie’.
        Believe it or not, I have a penchant for the ’74-78 Mustang II cars. Too bad that Cali(porn)ia doesn’t waive the smog requirements (since the newest would be 34 years old, I hardly think that air quality is affected by the few diehards still left, so why bother with requiring smog at all?). Even strangled with the emissions requirements, there’s still things you can do with ’em so at least they’ll get out of their own way, and for not too much dinero. Yes, I know, that makes me a candidate for the rubber room.

          • Dear Eric,

            If you ask me, the only redeeming quality of the Mustang II was that Farrah Fawcett and Cheryl Ladd drove a ’76 model in “Charlie’s Angels.”

            My $0.02 worth.

            • Well, here’s my take:

              Yes, they were underpowered and slow as delivered. But – as has been mentioned by others – they had the essentials: V-8, RWD – and could be very easily awakened. Keep in mind that they were much lighter than the ’73 and older Mustangs. Like the ’74 GTO – which also gets heckled a lot.

              Put in an even mildly worked 302 and a Mustang II could fly.

              They also handled pretty well, believe it or not.

              And perhaps best of all: They are very affordable relative to the ’73 and older “classic” Mustangs, so much more accessible to the average hobbyist, especially the younger ones.

          • valid points…but…Its A Mustang II…like you said it can be made to fly, but to me its still FUGLY. But to each his own

          • Bevin, the Mustang ii front suspension is still the goto design for rods and customs. It’s also the design for anyone who needs a wider engine compartment on a more modern car.

  15. Google or Youtube: Rat Rod, Rockabilly Hot Rod, Psychobilly Hot Rod, or Kustom Kulture and you’ll see young folks doing old cars their way (no tuner electronic import junk). A refreshing event that isn’t too far from you is sponsored by the Karb Kings in Fredericksburg, VA. I think they have an event coming up in October.

  16. Where I live (well, exist) in Northern California, one of THE most onerous and hostile areas anywhere to car enthusiasts thanks to the whack-job liberals and their whack-job laws, the type that are firmly entrenched and imposiible to get rid of with the exception of a grassy knoll event, we have another phenominon. The Gray Beard-short sighted year-agenda mafia at car events. Words like ‘pre-72 only’ take my breath away.

    In other words, get by all the bullshit you outlined, drive your car to the event and then be turned away by some yokel with a baeball cap at the gate because yout car isn’t a certain age.

    I am so fed up with these idiots I have recently been selectively pruning my herd down to one collector vehicle and attend no more organized shows like the ‘Goodguys’ farces. $ to enter, $ to park $10 for a hot dog, etc.

    The car hobby is dead. The kids want i-Scam toys and plenty of internet porn. Serial masturbation is the key and forget about bondo and primer.

    Makes sense in the America of today.

    • That chaps my ass, too.

      Why not have classes – instead of restrictions? I can appreciate anyone’s ride if that ride represents something cool, or the owner’s skill/ingenuity/hard work, etc.

      I also don’t dig the “pay to show” crap, either. I will only pony up if the show is a charity event – for a charity I know isn’t a scam and which I approve of.

      Still, I much prefer an unorganized “cruise night.” Open to anyone, show what you brought…. just walk around, check stuff out, meet people and have fun.

      • Thankfully in my town there are still ‘just show up” and show us what you got nights. Every Monday night in the large parking lot of a local sports bar, people show up and show there cars, have a good time, cruise around a bit, go into the pub and have a few. And there are no troubles with the Fuzz or non-state thugs…..so far…
        And one Saturday a month they have a more organized car show…free by the way.

    • Communist California sucks ass. I grew up in East Salinas and spent my summers in Michigan. Don’t get me wrong there are some very cool things about California, great people, great climate and even some very cool rust free cars. But the cops were simply messed up big time. Housing prices are completely nuts even with the drop in price. Talk about clover mentality! Don’t you dare put up a yard sale sign. Don’t park anywhere for too long. Hell on South Main in Salinas where the cruise was huge, it’s now against the law. I got arrested for pissing in my back yard, that was completely fenced in, some nosey no good must have been peeping. Then they looked in my car and added a ticket for open container (I put my cooler in on the front seat), no registration or insurance or smog. I was putting in a new gas tank on a 65 mustang straight six. For the love of dog why would I have to register, insure and smog a car before I put it on the road? NO I never did pay their stinking fine and yes I still own the car.

      • Cali(porn)ia municipalities look for every flimsy excuse to fleece the public as financial collapse looms. When I was a young-un, cops were GOOD guys. Now they’re little better than the street thugs they’re supposedly serving and protecting us from. Did you non-op the ’65 ‘Stang? That should have ended the discussion right then and there! Unfortunately, you have to pay “El Estado de Cali(porn)ia” a fee for the privilege of keeping a junker on your property. As for the cooler (which presumably had an opened bottle containing an alcoholic beverage) on the front seat, sure, technically it meets the criteria of “open container”, though (lawyers interject here) I thought that CVC was not enforceable off Cali(porn)ia streets and highways. “Geez, yerhonner, I don’t think the Legislature intended the open container law to protect the public from a guy guzzling down a few cold ones in his driveway while working on his hot rod.”
        Owning a muscle car is all but impossible for the average teenaged boy. For one thing, though there have been a few decent performance cars since smog laws reared their ugly head, most are beyond the means of a 16-y.o. bagging groceries part time at Safeway. Second, we olde “pharts” are buying up the old iron (I buy and sell used Mopar parts on EBay myself, it puts a few bucks in my pocket and its fun) and outbidding the kids in a desperate attempt to recapture our youth.
        To paraphrase a fave quote of Robert DuVall (from “Apocalypse Now”)..”I love the smell of 100-octane gasoline fumes from a pair of Carter AFBs atop an 426 Hemi (the “Elephant”)…smells like VICTORY!

        • Right on! The worst part about the tickets I got is that there is no statute of limitations on civil infractions, so those fines are still on the books.

          I got popped for over and ounce in Garberville. I actually had a QP on me, but that was all they wrote me up for. The Statute on that has long since been up. My dumb ass buddy who was driving my car told them to go ahead and search. Worst part was I lost four ounces of Humboldt County’s finest. Plus I had to call my wife to Western Union me money to get my car out of impound. She was not impressed. We were driving up to look for silly cibes across the bridge in Eureka by the Georgia Pacific plant.

          • Ala the late John Belushi and “they took the bar! They took the fucking bar!”
            They confiscated your weed? Four oz from the land next to Heaven? And in Garberville? Well, at least you could just wander off into the redwoods and recoup your losses…taking a man’s smoke…that’s majorly fucked up.
            What’s this country coming to when an old guy can’t just go home and get wasted?

        • The last redoubt for the young hot rodder is bikes.

          There are still plenty of used machines – affordable used machines – out there. I bought my S1 parts bike for $50. Granted, I spent a good bit of money bringing it back to show quality – but it could have been made mechanically sound/ready to ride for $1,500 or so. Well within a teenager’s budget, even today.Hell, you can pick up an already ridable/running bike for about that much – or even less. And: No computer, no EFI – no emissions shit to sweat.

  17. Dear Eric and insightful posters,

    As one of those “old guys” whose youth was blessed with early flathead Fords and small block Chevys, I feel compelled to expand the cultural dimension to this article.

    To be sure, nanny government has squelched and smothered the American yeoman culture as only the state can, but the culture is conceived and nurtured at home.

    As a boy, I rarely heard the words “call a repairman”, “take it to the shop”, or “throw it out and buy a new one”. I grew up in the Tool Culture, the Fixit Culture, the Build it Culture; nearly 60, I still cherish my first Stanley screwdriver, a Christmas gift at age five.

    Be it a washing machine, am/sw (no fm) radio, Briggs lawnmower engine, or ohv Chevy 235, it was first fixed at home. Not so much a matter of economics…..but of pride and independence. For to NOT work on your own things was somehow un-American, un-manly, and squandering the God-given wire from head to hands.

    One changed his own oil, maintained his own rifle, plumbed his own joints, built his own crystal set…..all with his own tools.

    Sadly, I know too many youngsters who know not which is the business end of a soldering iron, how to operate an engine lathe, or even replace a frayed cord on a toaster…. And don’t dare ask them to hand you an adjustable open-end wrench!

    I firmly believe it begins at home; learning the use of tools and learning a healthy contempt for government. So shut off the TV, remove the nintendo, put away the cell phone and take ’em to the garage.

    • Hi Tom,

      “For to NOT work on your own things was somehow un-American, un-manly, and squandering the God-given wire from head to hands.”

      Well-said – and agreed!

      • Dear Tom, Eric,

        Totally agree as well.

        But I gotta tell ya, scenes from “Home Improvement,” especially the “Tool Time” spots, popped into my head, with Tim Allen nearly electrocuting himself, and I couldn’t suppress a momentary chuckle.


    • Now a days it would be child abuse/neglect/etc to give a five year old a screw driver.

      I think I put together my first (kid’s) transistor radio kit when I was around 6 years old. Do they even make that stuff any more?

    • “Ending is better than mending”. Huxley, 1931 from Brave New World.

      He was 100% spot on. We have created a disposable society up to and including our elderly. Use it abuse it and toss it in the dump. Most people today wouldn’t be caught dead in a pair of jeans with a patch on them. How lame is that? For myself I haven’t bought any “new” clothes other than socks in a decade. I buy everything from second hand stores. I get my boots at the Army surplus store.

      Just a bit of trivia, Alaska has a great way of dealing with this. At their local dumps they have pavilions set up. Anything you think someone would still use goes under the pavilion. Clothes, computers, tv’s, 2X4’s, bikes, kids toys, car parts, you name it. It’s all free just load it up and take it home. The last time I was up there I must have sent two grand worth of stuff home and I paid for it by playing two gigs at the Marlin (bar). Which by the way has it’s own pavilion out back for pot smokers.

        • Righteous! I’m wearing cammo (bdu) pants right now that have seen better days and are going to be shorts soon. Just cut them off at the knees so you still have your cargo pockets. Mine have the added benefit of grease and grime and lot’s of odd colors of paint. These are my painter pants, I restore Victorian houses with a buddy of mine (he is a teacher so he has his summers off) so I am always covered in paint or stain. Bay View Restorations is our name. Not that I work a lot anymore. As I’m sure you can guess I’m mostly retired. Jack of all trades and master of none.



          • If you scroll down towards the bottom you will see the pink colored house with all the wicker furniture. They paid us just under 60 grand to strip and paint that house. It had 14 layers of paint on it and they wanted it taken down to the wood. They gave me a bunch of their old wicker furniture, they also let me clean out their fridge and freezer. I ended up with around ten cases of beer, a really nice old swing, some chairs and about 50 pounds of steaks. They were great people to work for. Their cleaning girl was a hotty and would flash her boobs at us all the time. They paid her full tuition to Michigan State for simply keeping the place clean and stocked up for the summer. You would be amazed at what rich people will throw out.

        • Haven’t learned to sew yet, Eric?

          I sew crudely, but good enough for car interior work so long as the stitching is hidden.

        • What comes to mind, believe it or not, is an early episode of the “Brady Bunch”. Now keep in mind that Mike Brady is well off enough to afford a nice suburban home (Look like Pacific Palisades) in SoCal, with a live-in maid, and he gets a hot widow (well, she’s presumed to be a widow, I never saw anything about the girls spending the weekend with their loser alcoholic Dad and why the bum is behind on child support) with three adorable girls. Carol is going through Marcia’s clothes to look for suitable hand-me-downs for Jan (and presumably, Jan will hand her stuff down to Cindy). None of this gotta have new and designer shit, or the little bitch is calling CPS. Sure, Mike’s doing really well, but that doesn’t mean that they waste money. I compare this to my stepson’s insignificant other. Has five brats by him, and four from her prior marriage, all on welfare and/or Social Security, and neither of them has drawn a paycheck. Yet she boasts how she buys Nike shoes and FuBu clothes for her kids. I am so glad that I’m divorcing the stepson’s mother, for if nothing else to distance myself from that goddammed disgrace.


          • Yes, I remember!

            The Bradys had a nice – but modest – home. Remember: The kids all bunked together, three to a room. (Eventually, the oldest boy moved up to the attic – remmeber that episode?) Mike drove new cars, but not Cadillacs. The kids all had part-time jobs.

            This was middle America in the ’60s and ’70s. I lived it.

            I grew up in the Northern Virginia area – an affluent area even then. But the houses were reasonable in size – not the grotesque McMansions that dominate up there now. People drove middle-of-the-road cars. “Normal” clothes. Of course there was a degree of status consciousness, but the rabid consumerism we see all around us today simply did not exist back then.

  18. There ARE still custom auto and bike scenes amongst young people – just not WHITE young people.

    Right now donks, low-riders, custom Japanese motorcycles, and custom bicycles are being built by the thousands by Blacks and Hispanics. “Rheems” may not be your thing, but I suspect there is very little music 20 somethings listen to that you like either.

    Some of these machines have hundreds if not thousands of hours of hand work in them. They are their owners’ pride and joy. They cruise, and have shows. Ever seen a car hopping show? Check out youtube. It may not be YOUR thing – but you will see a lot of young people who are VERY into their cars.

    You might want to put your dislike for rheems on hold temporarily and visit one of these events. I have. Show a little appreciation for someone’s car or bike and they will open up and talk about it passionately just like you and the other OWG (Old White Guys) do at the shows you attend.

    • If it’s more than just reee-uhms, I can dig it. But this business of just slapping a set of “twennies” on a POS ’78 Caprice just doesn’t do much for me.

  19. “I cannot recall a single photo spread detailing a resto or build-up in a recent issue of either Hot Rod or Car Craft or any other such publication that shows a picture of a guy (or girl) in his early 20s. Or even 30s.”

    Speaking as a 20 year old fanatic (my particular passion is the 240Z) the reason why I’m not restoring anything is due to the expense, very hard to rebuild something when the central bank created business cycle has shut out nearly all economic opportunities to me and my peers.

    • Hi Mike,

      I agree – the money’s the main factor. My Generation (Generation X) was able to buy – and feed – and keep up – V-8 performance cars with no great strain on our resources. That is gone. Today even four cylinder and V-6 performance cars are expensive to buy – and much more so to feed and keep.

      I mentioned in another post that when I bought my Trans-Am in the early ’90s, I could fill up its 21 gallon tank for about $25. Today, it costs about $50 to fill up the tank of my four-cylinder compact pick-up truck!

      And guess what accounts for the difference? Not the rising cost of gas. The decreasing value of our dollars…

      • Eric,

        Spot on with the talk of declining value in our currencies.

        Here in Australia a small diesel 4×4 ‘ute’ like a Navara (aka Frontier) will be $100 to fill up and that’s despite relative AUD strength vs USD in the last couple years, add to that that most of my peers can’t find regular work due to the Aussie government setting prohibitive minimum wage laws and it’s easy to understand why there is no serious car culture amongst my generation. I think it’s the same story here as it is in the USA.

        I gotta say I love the site, I’m a regular visitor via LRC and first time commentor, cars and liberty are a perfect mix to me :).

        • Thanks, Mike – we’re very happy to have you, too. Also Hal. Two young guys with more going on upstairs than a room full of 50-year-old Clovers!

      • I would say that the demise of American Hot Rod culture is akin to the so-called “Fall” of the Roman Empire (since the Byzantines continued until 1453 A.D, and there was that entity that Voltaire described as neither “Holy, nor Roman, nor an Empire”, it’s debatable as to when ‘Rome’ actually fell, if indeed it ‘feel’ at all). There are numerous factors, but it’s difficult to say that any one of them has been the overriding factor. I can see several things, some of which is due to the all-beneficent “Gubmint”:
        1) Starting in 1971, that all-knowing dictator of automotive efficiency, the EPA, deemed that vehicles had to run on “low-lead” and then “unleaded” gasoline. This alone worked against performance for the so-called emissions.
        2) Dictating that automakers had to meet ever-stringent CAFE standards also had a obvious effect to eliminate high-performance cars.
        3) There is no longer the “sock-hop, soda-pop, basketball and auto shop” culture, predominantly white male, extant in American high schools. Most black and Latino young males have little interest in hot rodding cars. Most of what they do, if anything, involves garish paint and interior schemes, “lowriding”, putting on “twenties”, etc…e.g., all for show and no go. Most white boys are into video games and role-playing fantasies. Also, getting one’s hands dirty seems to be ever more frowned-upon. It’s gotten to the point that in the midst of a most severe recession that American companies have trouble hiring qualified machinists and similar technicians.
        4) There are too many boys being raised without their fathers or a similar male role model. Most that do have them aren’t being taught to twist wrenches, build a workbench, add on a room, or other practical things such as was done with me by my Dad and I did in turn to my boys. The key was that boys assisted their fathers, if not on the farm or at their trade, in doing things around the homestead. I gave my nephew who recently graduated high school a set of tools as a graduation present and caught a huge amount of grief from his dad. The Dad is a decent guy, but he acted as if I wanted to make an auto mechanic out of his son. Fercryin out loud, he’s 18 and a man, he needs to start out with a basic tool set regardless of whether he ever looks under a car hood! The utter arrogance that all too many Americans have towards skilled labor, especially from those that have their high-faulting college degress that are utterly unmarketable, is galling. Sheesh, I have two Masters degrees (Mechanical Engineering and Chemical Engineering) mysef, but I’ll be damned to be relegated to having to call “the guy” for every little thing!

        • Doug,

          Agreed –

          I cannot comprehend this business of looking down on skilled labor or any kind – hell, of honest labor, period. It’s despicable – and a measure of the country’s moral degeneracy. Many people value shysterism – getting one over on someone, coming up with a scam, a way to make a quick buck – over doing real things and fixing real things and providing real value in exchange for one’s pay.

          • Watch “Boiler Room” (2000). Epitomises the entire current American brand of hucksterism.
            However, I get inspiration from Ben Affleck’s cameo “speeches” – especially the “ABC” speech.

            Hollywood Hype notwithstanding, Mr Affleck and his writers were dead on: BE RELENTLESS!

        • When I have a car issue that takes some problem solving and some learning beyond the usual people tell me to ‘just take the car in’. No. That’s giving up. The only time I’ll listen to that is in winter when I don’t want to freeze my fingers off with something that involves dropping a transmission and then only sometimes.

          Looking down on skilled labor. Machinists and such like me although I am by mannerisms not very ‘blue-collar’. How do I accomplish this? I listen to them. That’s all I listen to them. And when they say something will make their life easier, I try to make it that way or tell them why I cannot.

          That’s all. Simple respect that they have to do the actual work of cutting the metal or molding the plastic.

        • I mainly agree, Doug, but here’s a slightly heretical theory: I merely raise the possibility …

          c. 1962, Detroit is feeling threatened by imported products. Its recent attempts at direct competition were of limited success, mainly due to a failure to get its head around “serious” small cars. But having grown to its then position of greatness through State-corporate collusion it knows that if it plays its cards right it can get the US Government to come to its rescue. If it really knows its stuff it can get the US Government effectively to outlaw the foreign competition. And Detroit is well versed in playing the US Government like a stringed instrument.

          The way to manipulate your typical government is through provocation. Every terrorist knows this. All the talk of “making a country ungovernable” is mere rhetoric (though, as we shall see, rhetoric plays a key role in the process): the aim is to make the country overgovernable by provoking the government into heavy-handed reactions, thereby pissing people off enough to consider violent revolt. In this case, a different result was sought; hence the rhetoric was different, i.e. the caring-sharing sort we still see today.

          Thus we had GM tackling Detroit’s problem with a 485hp big-block Corvette in one hand and a catalytic converter ready in the other.

          I don’t think any of us want the musclecars of the golden era to have been deliberate acts of provocation, but it is just possible that that is exactly what they were.

          Another point, though, Doug: I understand that Woodward Avenue during the abovementioned golden age had a small but undeniable black-demographic component. There were black guys in that culture, at least there.

          • Good point! Also think about the riots that incrementally changed Detroit. It was the perfect excuse for big government to come to the rescue. They spent big bucks by rescuing the whites by expanding the roads to make the suburbs work. They handed out welfare so blacks could live in the city if they could find work or not. It’s possibly the largest failure of government on record in this country.

            • Brad,

              You make an important point about welfare – that it vastly increased what we call the black underclass today. Proportionately more so than the white underclass and also making it more concentrated – and so, visible. Prior to the “Great Society” there was certainly poverty. But the depravity and animalism that exists today was almost unknown – even in the poorest households. Which were then largely still intact housholds.

              Dependency turns people into maggots – maggots who hate those who made them dependent and who resent those who aren’t.

    • Reading this part again has made me think of something else. American car magazines are largely about trailer queened detailed cars. Absolutely perfect in every way. Practically impossible for someone’s daily driver, especially winter driven daily drivers here in the salt.

      There are or at used to be younger folk in the UK car magazines and to a lesser degree those that cover rat-rods and the like. In other words places where rust and non-perfect paint is acceptable.

      • Brent, that is a damn good point. Lots/Most of us can’t afford to restore cars to that state of perfection and then keep it under lock and key and not use the thing. If you can and you want to then fine. But lets highlight people restoring cars and using them as daily drivers. My boys and I are in the middle of restoring a car that is my daily driver. It won’t be anywhere near perfect but it will look nice and it drives well. And I’m not afraid to drive it cause it has a $25k paint job on it.

        • One thing I noticed at the car show last weekend was the number of “rat rod” bikes. Got me to thinking… bikes are still (relatively) cheap and (relatively) simple… so, accessible to younger people on a tighter budget.

          The last refuge, maybe!

  20. Im 19, working full time as a composites specialist straight out of high school. I planned using my 11.50 an hour to build up my ’77 chevrolet nova into a track/street car and also to modernize my ’89 S10 (best damn wheelbarrow I ever bought).

    Unfortunately my careless driving and the Seattle rain has gotten me into two fender benders in the past year. No serious damage was caused in either one, nor was anyone hurt. In the real world the repairs for each crash would have been probably no more than $500-$750 for materials and labor. That I could have payed out of pocket and been done with it. But in the mandated (forced) world of insurance, each accident cost more than 5 grand a piece (both the insurance companies and collision shops love it). I am now stuck with a $500 monthly payment.

    I can lower that down to the $200s but I still have to factor in the monthly costs for gas, food, car repairs, my engineering projects, and of course all of my state certified slave-tags. That leaves very little money left for project cars, or even just living day to day.

    If we werent being totally raped by the weimar/zimbabwe style inflation I would be starting my own hot-rodding R&D company right now. I would be trying to create local jobs while also working to developing new technology for DIY hot-rodders like me. But instead I have to “pay my fair share” so Mr Bernanke and Lord Rothschild will have the grace to let me live another day.

    • Hi Hal,

      First, let me say how enjoyable it is to receive thoughtful, well-written posts from people your age. For those reading this, contrast Hal’s post with Clover’s.

      On the rest, especially insurance and Zimbabwe-style inflation – amen.

      $500 a month for insurance? Unless you caused someone else a major loss as a result of egregious driving, this is mind-blowingly extortionate. Six grand a year! Two years of that and you’d have had enough to buy a pretty nice V-8 performance car. Maybe not a show car, maybe not a Z28, Chevelle SS or Mustang 289 Hi-Po… but well within the range of some neat stuff. Instead, down the maw of the insurance mafia. Even $200 a month is outrageous.

      I bubble with bile when I contemplate mandatory insurance…. there is no difference between Progressive or Geico or any of the others and Tony Soprano. Oh, wait. There is a difference. With Tony, you can always just leave his neighborhood and so escape his predations. Or, you can call the cops on him.

      The insurance companies, on the other hand, can call the cops on you….

    • Hal–my normally dour outlook on America’s prospects are brightened by reading your well-written post.

      I don’t know many 19-year-olds who know about Weimar hyperinflation, much less Zimbabwe!

      Balm for the soul.

      Sorry for your predicament; at one point in the early 90’s I was paying three grand a year for “county pool” insurance, having accrued the sinful total of three tickets in two years.

      You’re doing exactly the right thing by learning a trade and earning a living now, rather than saddling yourself with unpayable student loan debt. Yet you write so well, and have obviously educated yourself, that you’re one of the few who actually would benefit from higher education…

      Have you looked at Gary North’s excellent site? He’s written dozens of polemics railing against the other bubble–college education. He’s described some excellent alternatives, like a four-year degree for the price of about $15,000.

      Mr. Rothschild doesn’t LIKE educated young men. 🙂

    • On the insurance. Shop around. Then shop around some more.

      When I first got insurance on my own I had to deal with the fact that Allstate had paid out on insurance fraud without telling me. In fact this is how learned they gave a truck driver whom I saw hurdle a double guard rail at the courthouse ten grand for an ‘injured’ knee. (blow out while braking taking my mother to work, came to a stop, semi hit my car) One insurance company even held it against me that someone rear-ended a car my mother was driving while she was stopped at a red signal. It was insane. One company after another with high quotes or outright refusal treating me like a criminal.

      Eventually state farm, whom I wasn’t too happy with because of a 16 year old who hit my ’73 had state farm and I just barely got the car fixed mostly with their payout, but at least I got them not to total it. ended up saying they didn’t concern themselves with Allstate’s payout and gave me a decent quote. Which was a ~$100 a month for a then new mustang and said ’73 mav. Of course now what I pay for six months wouldn’t even cover two then even if we consider the dollar constant value.

  21. I was reading some comments about Gabe Suarez and someone called him a reaver over his position “saying that it’s perfectly okay for SWAT teams to regard other Americans an “the enemy” to be beaten at all cost” and the solution to avoiding Swat Love is to move to a more upscale neighborhood:


    The definition of a reaver kind of reminded me of clovers for some reason:

    “… “Reave” is from Old/Middle English and means to forcibly rob, which is what “law enforcement” spends most of its time and energy doing. So, by definition, they are reavers.” … From – blog.kentforliberty.com

    We’re surrounded by clovers and reavers, can’t you feel their tentacles?
    Or are they the same as the tentacles of the ruling class?

    Also, Shep keeps saying things such as, “we as a society will grow from that, and it will be my generation and the next’s responsibility to put it all back together.”

    There’s No putting Humpty Dumpty back together again.

    It’s Not that we as a society will grow from that, rather, it’s, we as Individuals.
    I think that’s key.

    I can hardly see I’m so tired, hope that was worthwhile.

    • Dear Clark,

      You wrote:

      ‘Also, Shep keeps saying things such as, “we as a society will grow from that, and it will be my generation and the next’s responsibility to put it all back together.” There’s No putting Humpty Dumpty back together again.’

      I’m going to assume that when Shep said “it” he meant civil society, which is a natural social phenomenon, and not the Leviathan State, which is an unnatural political construct.

      In any event, that’s what we ought to mean.

      But I agree, we do have to be careful about our terminology.

  22. This is another great write-up by you Eric. I agree that gov’t is killing cars as a hobby. I also blame the economy as well, but gov’t is responsible for the problems there too. If young men were making more in respect to what is available I have no doubt there would be more of them restoring/modifying, etc.

    I went to motorcycles because of finances, and I still enjoy myself(though my bikes are all old)-but I’d love to have a late 60’s/early 70’s muscle car…every year it looks more and more out of reach. I can only guess how demoralizing it is for a young man with the same interests but less income & opportunity.

    I stopped going to new motorcycle shows a few years back because they were out of reach for me and I couldn’t bear to torture myself. I’m sure there’s lots of youngsters doing the same for cars & bikes….

  23. To my mind, it’s sort of like when we transitioned from the time when if you wanted to see a lion or a tiger or an elephant, you had to go on safari and risk your neck to do it. It wasn’t that expensive to do, but it was riskier. Now, to see a lion, tiger, elephant, etc. all you do is go to a government-approved zoo where they are kept in government-approved cages that are the requisite government-approved distance from the government-approved walking paths and viewing platforms and being fed government-approved diets, all safe and cozy and utterly isolated. Just like modern cars. If you want your own lion, tiger, or bear, you have to pay the government the requisite fees, get the requisite licenses and cage, and be prepared to spend a lot of money for all of that.

    Sometimes I like to go visit the zoo and see all sorts of animals from all over the world within a few hundred yards without breaking a sweat. Sometimes I want to go on safari. Unfortunately, safari isn’t government approved unless you have lots of money. Otherwise, you have to stick with the family dog or cat or fish.

    Then you start to realize that it’s not just the animals who are in cages.

    (P.S. Motorcycle slang reference intended.)

  24. Another good one, Eric. It looks like we’re the Washington Generals and the Government is the Harlem Globetrotters. They are definitely winning by a hugely lopsided margin.

    I made the mistake today of watching a bit of this show called “Wild Justice” on the National Geographic Channel. Seems they’ve forcibly clothed the last holdout Nude Pygmy and are now creating outdoor bureaucratic offices, even in the most desolate places.

    I guess this is all that’s left for them put on the air to keep themselves busy while they march the 38 million people into the emerging work districts of the the New Millenium Cold Holocaust.

    This is what I heard on “Wild Justice”:

    Outmanned and outgunned, the California Game Wardens patrol countless of miles of land, coastline, rivers and streams throughout the state of California. They’re on duty around the clock upon every Californian square inch to ensure Wild Justice is inflicted good and hard to the California residents and animal inhabitants.

    In the nation’s most populous state, people must coexist with wildlife, every instance of which is critically endangered without massive government subsidy. Protecting what remains is a primary mission. But more than just crimes against nature, these law officers will also take on illegal drugs, dangerous fugitives and urban gangsters on a beat that stretches from every residential backyard to the remotest reaches of rugged back country. The real-life tyrannical hegemony of the California Game Wardens is now brought to light as Nat Geo cameras ride along in the new series Wild Justice, yet another National Geographic show hellbent on turning the estate of inventor Alexander Graham Bell into a misanthropic propaganda slush fund for the relentless pursuit of the human freedom extermination agenda.

    Whether working alone or with a canine companion, the California Game Wardens must be resourceful and self-sufficient as they patrol rural areas on foot, horseback, plane, boat or pickup truck, where backup can be miles away. Protecting endangered animals means detaining literally everyone in order to stop criminals before they strike in a deadly game that can play out anywhere from San Francisco’s Chinatown to the deserts, mountains and coastlands that make up one of the most diverse terrains in the nation.


  25. Hey guys. I’m new here, but have been reading for a while and as a young guy, I think I should step in and give my perspective.

    I’m 25 years old. I love cars. Old cars in particular. To me a 49 Mercury chop top is still a badass, no matter how pig ass heavy it might be. You old guys truly do not know how good you had it. Cheap projects, easy to source parts, wrecked classics at the junkyard galore for motors… but those days are gone. I’m from the wasteland, what’s left after the muscle cars went on their rampage and scared everyone half to death.

    The old, easy to work on, and fun cars are all now, to quote an article I read once, “antiseptic nostalgia rods.” Old Mustangs are now museum pieces. Chargers sit on trailers waiting for someone to save them from the monotony of being towed from one car show (full of old guys) to the next. Buick GS’s sit alone and cold in their garages, just itching for that chance to scare the owner half to death and kill tires with 510 ft lbs of torque.. It depresses me horribly. Old guys… I’m pleading with you. DRIVE THEM. You already rebuilt her once, what’s wrong with driving the balls off of it and doing it again?

    But back to why I’m here. I know first hand what the government has done to me. I see how society has changed, because I’ve lived it. High school for me wasn’t going to cruise nights and tinkering on a car, it was being chastised about the insane amount of ‘homework’ I wasn’t doing because I knew the material and didn’t need it. It was stressing out over going to a tech school and high school at the same time. My generation had to grow up way too damn fast, and I think THIS is why you see 25 year olds living with parents still. A part of them KNOWS they’ve been cheated out of their youth, indeed out of part of human experience. So they’re trying desperately to capture at least some of what should have happened in high school when they finally got a chance to be free, after all the insanity of high school.

    We had more homework, more tests to take, more responsibility starting at a very, very young age. We were taught not to care that our civil liberties are taken away, were taught that going through a metal detector every day and having your bag searched without reason was normal, and was there to ‘keep us safe.’ We were taught that giving a hug to your best friend was unacceptable behavior because it was a ‘Public Display of Affection.’

    On top of all that, the government in it’s infinite capacity to screw things up, made cars far too expensive to enjoy for youth like me. No longer could we buy a car for 100 bucks, spend 500 on repairs and have a working vehicle, one we could be proud of because WE put humpty dumpty back together again. I’m lucky to live in a state without inspections, as that makes being a car guy a bit cheaper, but it’s still ludicrously expensive.

    Now we have to deal with tiny displacement cars, because gas is so pricey as to make gold look like it might be cheaper if only it burned. I see this in my friends. I have ONE friend who has V8 powered vehicles. One a GMC truck, the other a third gen Camaro he’s building. The rest drive six cylinders or four bangers. Because in my generation, having more than four cylinders is enough to have bragging rights. Having a V8 means you’re either a rich kid, or perpetually broke.

    My own project is a 1983 Buick Regal Limited four door sedan.. and when the funds get where I need them, I’m hunting down some idiot’s Grand National that he wrapped around a tree, and stuffing that driveline into my sedan. I’m going to spend a lot more than the car is worth to do it, but that is what makes me a gearhead. I don’t do it because it’s economical. I don’t do it because it’s politically correct. I do it because I love my car, and I want something unique.

    Now, to most of you guys, that’s an exciting proposition! A four door Buick? With a GN driveline? Great idea, right? Keep my Buick all Buick while making all the rice burners wonder what the hell just happened at the stop light.. however to most of my friends, they look at this tired old beater and they don’t see potential like I do. They see a money pit. No longer are your buddies the people who look at your insane idea and say “That sounds awesome.” They look at your baby, your pride and joy, and tell you “You should sell it and get something economical.”

    And that’s the case in point, really. My generation don’t see old, beaten up cars as potential fun, they see them as money pits. They calculate everything in their lives based around a precious bank account, afraid that they won’t be able to spend as much as they need in their pursuit of happiness. This is because of how early we had to grow up. 25 year olds don’t act 25 anymore, they act 50.

    Despite all this, there are little groups of my generation who carry the torch. We drive a tiny honda during the day and tinker on the wasteland of project muscle that’s still left in the evening, hoping to one day have just one tenth of what the older generation had..

    Sorry to ramble, and I know this post is a bit disjointed, but it’s very hard to get everything out succinctly. I’ll end here by saying how refreshing it is to have a website that truly gets to the heart of being a gearhead, and to point out why we’re frustrated. Eric, major kudos to you.


    • Shep,

      Thanks for your thoughtful – and well-written! – post!

      I think you summed it up nicely. I’m glad I’m not 25 now. When I was 25 – back in the early ’90s – V-8 muscle cars were still affordable because:

      A. There were huge numbers of decent “driver” used ones for sale – many of them, like the Mustang 5.0 (not the GT) being fairly cheap when new, so quite affordable used. Plus, cars like the ’80s-era Monte SS were at that point just used older cars – not desirable collectibles. Ditto even cars like my ’76 TA, which I bought in ’92 for $5,000. That bought me a one-owner, 53,000 original mile strong “number 2” car…

      B. Gas was cheap – about $1.20 a gallon. I was able to fill up the 21 gallon tank of my TA for about $25. Today, it costs about $75.

      C. Decent jobs were available. If you had a college degree, it was not hard to find a salaried job in your field. I got a full-time job with benefits as a newspaper editor/columnist! These jobs barely exist anymore.

      So, when I was your age, I could afford the car – afford to feed it – and afford to keep it. For the most part, that’s all gone for guys your age. It sucks, my friend. I feel for you. But, I am also heartened by your clear-headed attitude – and spot-on analysis.

      I hope there are more like you!

      • I’m sure there are more like me, and honestly, don’t feel too bad for me. Yeah I’ll never look back on my teen years and say “Gee I miss that 454 nova”.. But I did have some car experiences which formed the gearhead I now am.

        When I was about 3 years old my much older sister had a 1980 Z28 with t-tops. Tubbed, air shocks, 350 that was tuned by her Chevelle racing friends. That thing pulled a 12 second quarter mile, which is not at all bad for what it was. It even had those old knock off hubs and fake centerline mag wheels. A true classic.

        Growing up, my dad had a 1979 GMC Caballero Diablo, which still sits in the driveway. Numbers matching 305, 4 in the floor. Bucket seats. The list goes on. She’s long in the tooth and badly needs a restoration, but rest assured, that’s on the to do list.

        I do remember a simpler time, albeit very vaguely. Early 90s. I used to ride in the truck bed, before doing so was an instant ticket and possible ‘child abuse.’ We kids loved riding in the truck bed, especially on a cool day. That was freedom, a freedom that not many in my generation remember.

        Hell I remember riding in a car with no seat belt. Man that took some getting used to when it was made a mandatory, ticketable offense! I used to beg my mother not to make me wear it, because our old van’s seatbelts had what to me felt like razor blade edges.. but times change.

        The good news, is that this leviathan, nanny state, with it’s paper money and debt through the roof cannot last. It will fall. We will see freedom again, because all it takes is for the system to fall apart for people to see how messed up it was. It will be a shock, it will be painful. However, we as a society will grow from that, and it will be my generation and the next’s responsibility to put it all back together.

        Luckily for my generation, we have the internet. What took the previous generation decades to realize only takes us a quick google search and some social networking to figure out. People are waking up, more and more every day. We just have to hope it’s enough, and I for one do think it’s enough. Knowledge is power, and the internet is the greatest tool a free society could ever have, because it allows instant sharing of information.

        We will make it through this, painful as it may be, and our country will one day see freedom from sea to shining sea again. Maybe I’m a hopeless romantic, maybe I’m a dreamer.. but dreamers built this country, and the young dreamers of today will be the salvation when the SHTF.


        • Nice post, Shep! I agree with you 100% on a coming failure. Even though we have the Internet, there are still a lot of wrong-headed people out there, though. I just pray that we, the liberty-loving people, will prevail — rather than people who will claim that laissez faire and capitalism are what failed. You can be sure that they will push for yet another centrally-planned economy — if their lack of self-reliance and preparedness don’t kill them, first.

        • Shep kudos to you, sir!

          Your generation comprise Ron Paul’s strongest demographic, and it gives me tremendous hope.

          I have a couple of programmer friends in your age group, and they’re awake already too.

          Get yourself and your friends listening to/watching Alex Jones. Get them fired up to take this country back, because it’s been hijacked by a mafia of globalist banksters and their bought-and-paid-for politicians.

          • I’d go easy on the Alex Jones. One moment he’s dead-on (~80% of the time), and the next he’s talking about weather control.

            The banker conspiracy is real, though. Check out the John Birch Society (www.jbs.org) on this. The New American is an excellent news site JBS runs.

            Also, for good libertarian background, try podcasts by Lew Rockwell, Reason.tv, the Cato Daily Podcast, and the Mises Daily. There are many good sources of information. The truth is out there!

          • I’m kinda with Mark here. Alex comes across as very negative most of the time, as well as angry. We SHOULD be angry, I agree, but when waking someone up, a soft touch is what’s required. You can’t shake them awake because then it all comes crashing down and defense mechanisms pop up, and they go running to mommy (government) again.

            I tend to use Lew Rockwell and this site as my ‘go to’ sites when I wake up in the morning, because they both show restraint. They don’t scream at me and tell me “OH GOD WE’RE ALL F*CKED”.. they explain when, why, and how the system is messed up, which makes it much easier to figure out how to fix it.

            However, with that in mind, I was a big Alex Jones fan back in the day. I used to be a very angry individual, and his rage and anger at the system worked for me. I also grew up on UFO conspiracies and the like, so I love me a good conspiracy theory, I tell you what! I’ve been so far down the rabbit hole as to listen to David Icke. Now I don’t agree with everything all of these people say, but they all had an important role in waking me up.

            Jones taught me to really look at the government, at it’s little focus groups and what they’re talking about. Icke made me question the nature of reality, and how the system keeps us in check. In a manner of speaking, he hits the nail on the head. Image association, bombarding us with specific types of media. Not so sure on the reptilian stuff though, but hey! Bush got elected twice! I find reptilians easier to believe than him getting elected twice.

            Then I found stuff like LewRockwell.com and this site, which presented a more rational, calm approach, which is more easy to get people to listen to than ‘reptilians’ or “Global Banking ‘spiracy!”

            The most important part of waking up though, is one simple word. “Why?” .. that question alone is what drives me as a person. Why am I here, why is the world the way it is, why can’t I afford a bad ass 69 Buick GS? That one word is a salvation in and of itself. If you’re like me, where it’s practically genetically encoded into you to ask “Why?” then you will wake up much faster than someone who doesn’t question everything.

            The other kind of person just takes what is presented and comes from a ‘reputable’ source and accepts it. They assimilate information as opposed to processing it through their critical thinking centers.

            Even very intelligent people fall prey to that, because much like they depend on government to educate them in their youth, they then take ‘official sources’ as though they were the absolute truth. THAT is what makes it hard to wake people up. “Official sources” are usually, in one way or another, tied into government, and as such are corrupted by that influence. So the main thing to do is wake up their internal, critical thinking process, and make them question everything, because that’s what it takes to truly see behind the veil and see what has become of us as a people.

            Shep (man that guy should really learn to type shorter posts!)

            • “Shep (man that guy should really learn to type shorter posts!)”

              No, Shep – your posts are excellent! Length is not the issue; quality is.

              I agree on the “why?” issue. Also, and related: It is important to get people thinking conceptually. In terms of abstract principles applied to particulars. Government schools systematically stifle this faculty – for good reason. Because once a person begins to think, they begin to lose their illusions. This, the system must avoid at all costs.

          • Weather modification is very real. Congress passed laws regarding it to be assured what the government does is “legal”. What and how much is being done is largely conjecture but its existence is not.

            Alex Jones goes a bit far to the negative with some of his interpretations of things. However, checking out what he says will give one a very a different view of the institutions that shape what we live under and with.

            However, I agree that Alex Jones isn’t someone to ‘wake up’ most people and neither is ‘coast to coast am’. People need to be critical thinkers before indulging in either.

          • I agree with you on the weather modification thing. You don’t make a law about something if it isn’t a real thing.

            I do still browse infowars from time to time to catch up on stuff, and follow up with my own critical thinking and research.

            Also, I love C2C AM. A lot of good food for thought to be found there.


          • @Shep and Mark:

            Funny I went the opposite route; I’ve been “libertarian” since I was 23. Strayed a bit by trying to be pragmatic and actually voted Republican a few times…

            …then I re-read Hayek, von Mises, Rothbard; all the goodies.

            Started reading LewRockwell almost daily, branching out to The Daily Bell and a dozen other sites like Will Grigg’s.

            It was when I started trying to understand the root causes of what motivated the really crazy-evils of the world that Jones got my attention.

            For example: why did the Soviets continue in their madness? I mean look at those guys; driving around in Zil limousines that were crap compared to a middle-class American’s car. Shopping in their elite grocery stores that were about as good as a high-end Randall’s on the street corner. What did they see in it?

            Someone else–I think BrentP–has mused on the same topic. When the Elites win, what do they expect will happen? When we’re reduced to absolute serfdom, do they imagine they’ll still be zipping around in Gallardos sipping champagne? Because if we depopulate 80-90% and leave everyone else in neo-feudalism, there won’t BE enough technology to support those things. We’ll be lucky to be pre-industrial.

            And that’s where Jones shines; by putting the documents of the Elite together and outlining a gameplan, it helped me understand why they do what they do.

            But you guys are right–Jones is not the best introduction, he sounds crazy to a first-timer.

            Get people wise to the scam that government is; THEN hit them with the heavies.

          • Dear Ned Ludd,

            The guys at C4SS are good. Hardcore, but scholarly.

            Alex Jones has his ecological niche, and his heart is in the right place. But he’s not everybody’s cup of tea.

    • Well stated and good luck with your car, it sounds like fun. I’m not so sure about the growing up fast part though. By the time I was 25 I was married with two kids, I had been to combat twice and owned my second house.

      Houses are another thing that went crazy and yes it was the government that fucked that up too. Easy credit, hell credit for everyone no matter what. (student loans are another scam) The best thing to happen to your generation was the housing crash but they still are doing everything they can to prop it up. Screw that! Affordable housing shouldn’t mean section eight, subsidization for apartments or 30 year Fanny and Freddy loans.

      I don’t generally give advice, but if I were you I would try and find a foreclosed house that you can pay cash for. You obviously have skills so there is NOTHING on a house that you can’t fix.

      • Oh believe me I’m GLAD about the housing crash. Houses are dirt cheap (comparatively) from what they were. It’s not entirely out of the scope for someone my age to save up and get a house now.

        In response to the whole growing up thing. I didn’t mean to imply that any generation had it significantly easier, or denigrate your generation. I guess I was more criticizing the obscene school environments of today, more than being forced to grow up faster. Some generations had to worry about being pulled into a war they didn’t want to fight, for instance.

        Civil liberty violations, extreme amounts of homework. I can remember falling asleep on a mountain of books on numerous nights. Six plus hours of homework every night kind of thing. That’s just the start of it.

        If you were a loner, you were automatically pulled in for ‘counseling,’ because that wasn’t what they deemed normal. I myself went through that, as I used to be quite shy up until high school. Being deemed ADHD, I was also put on mind altering substances for a large percentage of my childhood.

        We were treated like guinea pigs. Filled with drugs. The smart kids were forced to follow the crowd. That’s more an indictment on public education as a whole. The one size fits all approach doesn’t work. It also cannot work, because every human being is unique, and their needs in education are as well.

        I gotta say I appreciate the compliment in saying I could probably handle a house repair. I do what I can. Always learning something new. My parents were baby boomers and have a real ‘do it yourself’ attitude, so that definitely rubbed off on me.

        There’s a lot to be angry about with the state of our country. From insane taxes to the banks running amok, to endless wars of aggression that do not make us any safer, and only serve to further drive our country into debt.

        Then you have a phony two party system that serves the interests of the few at the top at the expense of EVERYONE else. It’s like being asked what you want to drink and only being offered Coke or Pepsi. What if you want water? Or tea? Or an OJ? Nope, too bad. It’s Coke or Pepsi.

        Also, treating corporations as though they are people, allowing effectively unlimited campaign donations.. Sometimes you just have to take a step back and breathe, otherwise you’ll become too angry to focus on the root causes of the problems.

        I firmly believe there are three root causes to these problems. 1) Money backed by absolutely nothing, or to be more accurate, backed by debt. 2) Apathy. People are generally, especially today, too tired when they get home to protest or speak up, thanks in part to how hard they have to work to make ends meet. It’s enough trouble to keep the bills paid without having to write a letter to someone, who will most likely never read it, or fail to address in any real capacity your grievances. Combine that with the reality TV debacle, and any lack of real creativity in the media we see day to day, and it produces a sterile, servile populace that exists only to do as little as possible because of how out of whack the whole system is. Finally, root cause 3) the intervention in almost every aspect of your life by government. Because somebody has to get paid to do all this regulating and controlling, there’s a significant tax burden, taking away from TRULY essential services, and instead pushing them into ‘services’ which serve to benefit only those in power, by helping them look good and get re-elected.

        Again, sorry to ramble. I type too much, I swear. I hope I covered everything, and thanks for the reply!


        • Right on and well said again.

          The doping of an entire generation is a horror. When we were kids “hyperactive” kids were not doped up. I would definitely have been considered ADHD or something today.

          Just a quick story. One of my friends is a Psychologist, (I also have a masters) He was pressured to drug one of the kids by the teachers. (like they should be making medical decisions) He “agreed” with them and told them how right they were. With the permission of the parents and the kid he placed the kid on a placebo. So no placebo effect for anyone but the teachers. That year he got an award for being the most improved student.

          My oldest son is Autistic (non verbal no eye contact) and they wanted to dope him up too. (He is 21 now) There are no drugs that help Autism, yet teachers thought it would make it easier to handle him.

          For my masters thesis I wrote a guide for parents that included their rights under IDEA and how to form a contract during the IEP.

          Parents need to stand up and just say no!

          • I saw this from the doctor’s perspective, Brad, and it’s a horror show.

            I simply cannot believe sometimes that teachers and doctors will do this to kids; the parents, I can forgive, because they’re so sadly misled by such a powerful propaganda machine.

            But the doctors? Let that proverbial millstone be hung around their necks.

            And the drugs they’re feeding these poor helpless kids…it enrages me! Antipsychotics (neuroleptics) with horrendous and often permanent side effects like tardive dyskinesia…being fed to 4-year-olds.

            It’s hard to countenance.

        • I agree 10001% with (1)–

          The root cause of the entire system of tyranny is fiat debt-money.

          It’s what allows governments to spend endlessly. It’s what enslaves us to the globalist banksters.

          And it’s the second-oldest scam in history next to organized religion. The goldsmiths, money changers, and now bankers figured out 5,000 years ago that you can steal an entire country with counterfeit money, and not one person in a million is smart enough to figure out the con.

          “I’ll lend you $1 billion dollars…at a mere 2% interest!”

          90% of which was made from thin air; and the 2% interest hasn’t been printed yet, so the full amount is impossible to pay off…unless you borrow more.

          When they can’t pay, you confiscate the country–witness Greece.

          I’m assuming from your astute observations you’ve read “The Creature From Jekyll Island”–if not, GO THEE and get it! It’ll knock your socks off.

          • Dear methylamine,

            Found a YouTube video of Griffin talking about “The Creature From Jekyll Island.”

            Excellent. Filled in some gaps in my knowledge about the Fed Fraud.

            Thanks for the referral.

    • Dear Shep,

      A deeply moving, heartfelt commentary on the changed world we live in.

      The fact that a 25 year old could pen such an eloquent missive, without groan-inducing spelling and grammatical errors, truly inspires hope for the future.

      Clearly despite the best efforts of the statist educrats, independent-minded thinkers such as you have slipped through the cracks and are carrying the torch for individual freedom.

  26. Hi Eric,

    Some kids have moved to areas that are still relatively free of interference from the g-man.


    It is amazing what some of these folks do with a moped.

    Mopeds are kind of in a grey legal area in many places. Many states don’t even require plates and/or insurance.

    • I’ve considered reverse trikes like the T-Rex, the Blackjack Zero, or the Grinnal Scorpion III. Think of these as small cars that happen to have three instead of four wheels. The benefit is that they are light, fast, and aren’t regulated as cars. In most states they are considered motorcycles. Check them out at http://reversetrike.com .

  27. OK I’m a big dork but I still like the Mav’s At least I didn’t say Gremlins!

    Thanks for the chuckle guys, but seriously I would pick up a Mav if I could find one in good shape.

    As for the Omni I recently picked one up for a hundred bucks. It had a fuel line leak and that was it. Solid little car, great mpg decent little car. I tuned it up of course. I sold it to a college kid for $400 bucks at my garage sale. I also dumped an 81 CM400A the same day. Again a decent little bike, great Mpg’s. Go ahead and dog me out for owning an automatic, I deserve it.

      • Right on! There are fun cars and work cars. My two work cars are automatics. They are cheap to pick up and drive. One on the road and one in reserve.

    • Nothing dorky about Mavericks! I helped a friend build one up. It was a factory V-8 car (pretty rare) but not a Grabber. 302 2 barrel. We installed an Edelbrock Performer and a Carter AFB. Plus headers and duals and a performance tune. Plus a shift kit for the three-speed automatic. It barked hard on the 1-2 upshift, WOT!

      Great cars… and real sleepers, too.

    • Dear Brad,

      Actually you’re hardly alone.

      I made the mistake of buying a VW Dasher.

      There, I said it.

      I look back and wonder, “What was I thinking?”

      At least I was consistent. I got in lemon yellow. An omen of what was to come.

      VW was never the same after it went FWD.

      • My 2001 VW, a TDI, has 236,000 miles on it and gets 45 mpg. It’s got lots of torque and will burn rubber in 1st and 2nd gear. You are right, it was never the same. I think it actually improved, though. There’s a lot of modification potential in that little 1.9 liter turbo diesel. I wonder what a freer-flowing intake would do for it–diesels respond better to this than gassers.

        • Dear Mark,

          This was in the mid 70s, when they first made the transition to FWD.

          I should have known better than to buy first generation technology.

          I’m sure VW QC is better now. But I was burned so badly I said never again.

      • A diesel Passat? Did you have electrical problems with it?

        I still can’t understand how diesel fuel has gone up so much. How can it be that something that is less refined goes for more than our current crappy gas?

        • Brad,

          No diesel Passat, here. Bevin was bemoaning FWD VWs, and I was giving an example of my Jetta TDI — which is pretty good and happens to be a diesel.

          On the price of diesel:
          (1) The EPA screwed it up by enforcing the ultra-low sulfur requirements. I think this has caused additional processes that drove up the price. They also enforce that the refineries use *their* processes, rather than just checking the product that emerges from the refinery.

          (2) Everybody gasps about how expensive diesel is–like it would outweigh the fuel economy benefits. For the past five years it has averaged around 15% higher (though I saw it lower than gasoline last week). If I have a vehicle that gets 50% better fuel economy than the equivalent gasser, I’m still ahead on $/mile.

        • My Dasher/Passat was gas.

          My problems were mainly with the carburetor.

          No matter what anyone did to it, it would not idle properly. Drove me crazy.

          • Don’t ya hate it when that happens? I had one of the first new Rangers. Not the old full sized one. I never could get that thing to idle correctly and if it rained to hard or snowed to much it would not start. It stranded me a couple of times. I swear I changed everything you can think of. I even took it back to the dealer. Nothing I could do to ever get that damn thing to run correctly.

          • Dear Brad Smith,

            You said it. Drove me nuts.

            That’s why I really began to envy friends who had bought mid 70s econoboxes such as entry level Toyotas and Datsuns.

            They could simply turn the key and go. No need to cross their fingers every time wondering if they would be able to get from point A to point B.

            What Eric said in another post about the Miata MX-5 is true. Mechanical reliability in a car is virtue that cannot be underestimated.

            It’s like air. You take it for granted when you have it. But when you’re not sure where you next breath is coming from, it’s a whole ‘nother ball game.

  28. Hey Eric, having just gotten back into cars, I can confirm some of your observations. I’m 47. Not many people younger than me seem to be into classic/muscle cars. Thankfully my sons have caught the bug and have been helping me restore the inside of the TA…we have a few more inside parts being delivered this week. I have 7 sons and all of them think the car is cool. The 10, 12 and 14 year-olds are the ones that have been helping me the most on it. The older ones (19 and 21) aren’t as into, I blame some of that on me.
    The 14 year-old and myself are keeping an eye out for a 3rd generation TA project car to fix up together.
    My son-in-law who is 24 is into cars, but newer ones. He drives a BMW 3 series. And he likes the drift type of cars like in the Fast and Furious movies. But he does appreciate the older muscle cars too.
    I think a lot of it is that for people younger than use, cars sucked (for the most part0 when they were teens. Between high gas prices, government regulations and just crappy looking cars, lots of teens in the late 80’s until recently didn’t have any cool cars to look at. When you parents are driving Accord’s and Camry’s its hard to get worked up about cars.
    My parents owned a 60’s mustang convertible, chevy impala and a 73′ Caprice classic convertible with a 454. they were a bit more fun to drive then the Dodge Omni that we later owned.
    Plus the kids in seem more interested in driving fake cars in video games than going outside and getting greasy helping their old-man work on one. Thankfully we have skipped the video game route for our kids. So they all love being outdoors….oh and they can all read damn well to and love it.

    • Hey, don’t diss the Dodge Omni. I know it was a dork of a car but what a little trooper! Way better than the later ones like the Shadow.

      • We had the “024” hatchback version of the Omni. While it wasn’t a total POS, it did have issues. New trans at about 50k miles for example. No power to speak of. Could be that we just had a lemon.
        Plus going from my childhood cars: Conv Mustang, Impala, Conv Caprice, Duster, 72′ Skylark….the Omni wasn’t exactly a step up.

      • Dear Brad, Rob,

        I can’t help it. I have to say something.

        Mavericks? Omnis?

        Two words: beer goggles.

        Nostalgia for the 65-67 Pontiac GTOs, or the 68-70 Plymouth Road Runners is one thing.

        But Mavericks and Omnis?

        Come one guys. We’re not that desperate.

        • no no, i was dissing the Omni. I was fond of our other cars: mustang, impala, duster etc….
          Let’s pick on Brad and his Omni-Love 😉

          • Hey what about the Shelby special, the Omni GLH (Goes Like Hell)?

            THAT was a drool-worthy car for me back in high school in the mid-80’s.

            The summer of my senior year, Dad and I built up a Corolla with a bunch of parts from TRD…”off-road only”, tee-hee-hee fuck you State of Texas!

            Barely streetable cams. Twin side-draft Mikuni 44mm carbs. Beautiful chrome headers that would breath the left bank of a 7 liter Z06 engine. Forged pistons, ‘peened and balanced rods; had the whole engine block blueprinted and balanced, and sent the heads off to be flow-benched with proper 5-angle job. Dual-coil valve springs with titanium retainers.

            Bored out the 1.8 to 2 liters.

            Did everything ourselves except the machine shop work. Final assembly took three days because we were veeeery careful to get everything right; we didn’t want our 8000 rpm motor going Kerblooey at the first stoplight grand prix!

            Did the suspension while the block and heads were out for work.

            Man that car was a blast; it was so light, my skinny teenage girlfriend made an appreciable difference. A couple of times I made her get out so I would have more of an edge–once against some rich spoiled kid with a 944 Turbo, another time against a Mustang 5.0 that sounded like he’d done some work. I’m not sure my winning compensated for her having to wait at the curb. I tried to convince her it was because I cared about her safety–yeah, Cloverish of me I admit.

            That little boxy silver commuter-car Corolla with its live axle would come screaming out of the hole like a banshee lit on fire, sideways in first until I hit second and straightened out. The tell-tale tach hit 8200 before the cut-out. It would smoke a stock 5.0 every time, destroyed the 944 Turbo, and defended itself honorably against those slow mid-80’s Corvettes.

            I hope I can do the same with my son one day. I’ll tell you what–I drove that car very, very carefully because I’d put almost every nut and bolt in it and I didn’t want to see it hurt.

        • LOL, OK the Omni was a dork mobile no doubt, but come on the Maverick was cool. Kinda like the Datsun 240z cool.

  29. Dear Eric, I few days ago I noticed when you stated that you didn’t feel like you truly owned a car until you had rebuilt it. I have to agree. This is something that the younger generation is missing out on. In fact I see so many people today regardless of age that have a car that owns them! They can’t work on it so maintenance is sky high, insurance is sky high, car payments plus insurance all add up to the point where they never actually do own their car or truck. They might just as well lease one for all the good it does them.

    I’m still looking for a winter project. I might have to take a road trip and go picking. My brother in law found a 1939 Lincoln Zephyr in a junk yard and hauled it back, but that is more like a five year project.

        • The vans are apparently much harder to find (and cost more when you do find one) than the regular Beetle. I think – based on what I’ve seen advertised recently – that you can still find nice “driver” Beetles (solid bodies, good mechanicals) for $5,000 or less.

          • My wife wants a beetle again. We have had a few of them. She wants me to paint our next beetle bright pink, but I’m putting my foot down. (maybe) She says it will match her Hello Kitty AK47.

            I have to pick up something for my youngest son too as he is getting his license soon. (his money so he gets to pick) My Brother in Law’s car hauler is set up for three so I might also try and find an old school Toyota pickup. You can keep a yoda on the road forever as long as it doesn’t rust out.

            One of the tricks we use up here to keep the salt at bay is a mixture of fuel gas and spent oil. Just power wash everything in sight and then spray the mixture on everywhere. Repeat as necessary. It’s cheaper than undercoating and it works.

            • A Hello Kitty AK – love it!

              And on the “rust preventative” – yup! This is what preserves old two-strokes, too. My S1 was entombed in oily residue when I got it. But once cleaned off, the metal was almost entirely free of rust.

    • yup!

      The pre-government stuff was much more approachable, technically as well as economically. It didn’t take much in the way of skills, or tools (and thus, money) to do a basic tune-up, for instance. You changed the plugs, cleaned/adjusted the carb, adjusted the ignition timing. A reasonably bright kid could tackle this with a $20 socket set and a $20 Chilton’s manual.

      Today, one often needs specialized tools and diagnostic equipment to perform even the simplest adjustments/repairs. My buddy is an ASE Master Tech. He owns a repair shop. He recently told me about the cost to tune-up a late-model Ford F-150 with the OHC V-8. The sum would floor you. The special plugs this engine uses cost in the neighborhood of $50 a piece. And they have a nasty tendency to break/take the threads out with them – even when you are using the correct tools and know what you’re doing. That’s just the plugs. Then price the multiple O2 sensors (and other sensors) plus eight injectors plus eight coils-on-plug…

      Now, to be fair, the new F-truck (or new car, whatever it might be) will probably not need fiddling of any kind for many years. But eventually, it will. God help you then. Meanwhile, there’s nothing to do with it other than change the oil and air filter. Gets boring after you do that once or twice. What’s next?

      Then, when “what’s next” does happen – the cost is so high (and the technical skill so great) that most people – especially young kids with limited tools and limited bankrolls – shrug their shoulders and say “forget about it”…..

  30. Eric, if you want to see kids you are looking in the wrong places.

    Before the cops cracked down on it there used to be a “wild kingdom” type thing in a mall parking lot a couple towns away. The girls would be along the walkway/sidewalk in front of the mostly closed stores and the guys would drive by in all sorts of automobiles… many of them atrocities of loud stereos and ‘rice’.

    Every now and then someone would drive what was clearly his dad’s car through. Teenagers cannot afford restored GTOs and the like on their own.

    The type of car stuff the ‘kids’ have been into the last 15 years or so is simply targeted by cops and clovers. Laws about driving past the same point twice in three hours, and so on. Crack downs on ‘street racing’ where ‘street racing’ is now whatever the cop says it is when he says it. Even on some occasions raids on parking lots where teens would gather with their cars. (which of course nabbed people who were just eating at a business nearby and such)

    You’re not going to find them where you are going, because what you are interested in is stuff that mostly an older crowd is interested in and only an older crowd can afford. Have you seen the prices that shells of these cars go for now? I saw a ’69 Mach 1, no interior, no engine, no trans, no glass, no nothing and they wanted thousands for it. It’s nuts. Old men with piles of cash and not much sense priced everyone out of the market. Sure, a kid could still buy a nice 6cylinder falcon or maverick… but how many are going to excited about that? Yeah they could do a restomod on it but that’s not quite as easy as it was back in the day when starting with a car that didn’t need a 6 to 8 swap.

    Anyways… lately in two mustang forums I’ve been answering questions of kids who have purchased ’96-’98 Mustangs. Having put gobs of miles on mine and having it since new, usually their problem is something I know the answer to.

    Oh in recent thread I had to answer someone’s post regarding the 85mph speedometer. Obviously someone too young to remember the Joan Claybrook era and its lasting effects.

    • I’m noticing on various forums that the younger set who are into the older stuff is considering models that we who are older would think less than ideal. One does on occasion see a young person putting a lot of effort into something like a 1951 Chevy four-door with multiple carbs on the original six.

      • Yep. I adopted the family 200cid Maverick when I was ~14. When it was destroyed I replaced it with the ’73 I still own. There are a fair number of 20somethings and teens with mavericks. Not going to find many Mavericks in the typical car show crowd where 50 plus year olds show off their purchased fully restored muscle cars.

        Of course all these kids with Mavs and other ‘discarded’ models are mostly in the south and west of the country where the salt didn’t eat them so they survived. In road salt country these cars were used until they were consumed/dissolved.

        • Mavs are just plain cool. My mom had a red one that we called the tomato, V8 leather bucket seats, four on the floor. My dad had a straight six, light green colored one that we called lettuce. The Tomato ended up in a front end collision and we could never get the radiator to work right after that. The lettuce just wore out. They traded them in for a 74 and a 72 Impala. Big ass boats with V8’s. Speedometers that went to 120 and you could peg them. My dad sold me the 74 in 1981 for a hundred bucks, I was 12 years old. It was maroon and rust four doors and plush. Best back seat ever.

          They call it drifting now but when I first got that car I could punch it on a dirt road and go sideways a good long ways.

          • The red one had to be a 3spd unless you lived in Mexico or Brazil at the time.

            Ford in US kept the maverick from getting anything that might make it challenge mustang’s market. No Mustang in Mexico or Brazil so….

    • I think you’re right on the cost issue – and certainly, on the issue of harassment buy cops.

      But the bottom line is – or seems to be – they’re just not nearly as many who are “into” cars (of whatever type) as was the case in prior years.

      I’m excluding the boom-boom stereos. The car itself is incidental in those cases – just a means of conveying the boom-boom stereo. Anything will do.

      Yes, there are ricers and drifters – but it seems to be a small subculture. Again, I don’t deny that my perceptions may be off. I’m just not seeing much going on, that’s all.

      • At the spot I mentioned it’s funny now. Other than just a handful of people talking there’s nothing going on now. Just cops standing around. As people are hanging out at the starbucks. That’s why I assume the cops put a stop to it all.

        But it’s not just the cops and the clovers. The old men don’t seem to want the kids around either. I’ve never really gone to many of these car show things, but the big one around by me doesn’t even permit anything newer than 1977. Well unless it’s the guy with the Buick GN. For some reason he gets special dispensation.

        Then there was the rich people’s show I went to a couple years ago. It was really set up to be exclusive participation wise.

        The teenagers can’t afford and don’t know how to do organized events for themselves. So they do unorganized ones which bring down the wrath of cops and clovers. They don’t have the resources to go to the organized ones. Out west I think some production companies cater to the ‘rice’ crowd, but around here they don’t seem to.

        I was thinking of taking my ’97 to some so I started looking for ones where it is A) allowed (or at least considered acceptable) and B) don’t charge fees. Now keep in mind this is a car that an interested teenager could afford now. And other than a mustang specific group there’s really not many places to take it as far as I can find. Maybe I have to put more effort into it. I don’t know. Production companies are doing quite a few of these things around here and the last thing I want to do is prove my car’s worth to some production company flunky playing gatekeeper. There’s always limited space it seems.

        I admit a lot of this is perception and I’m not a particularly social person so maybe my impression is wrong, but what I see seems to be rather exclusive in some way or another. You’re either in the group or not and I believe the teenagers have their own groups and to find out about them and where to go is going to require digging into their online forums and such. Of the cars they can afford these days.

        This whole thing reminds me of a craigslist classic:

        Perhaps fiction… but.. still funny.

        • That is a funny read. I can understand it from both POVs. I grew up in Okinawa and all we had were import (not import there though) cars. We called cars that looked fast, but don’t move “zooty.” Many were actually fast as shit though.

  31. I think another thing that has changed is that newer cars are a fricking pain in the ass to work on: too much electronics, too small an engine compartment, too many plastic pieces. It used to be when I was a teenager (early 80’s) that my boyfriends picked up their cars from junkyards and farmers’ barns for a song because they didn’t run. However, the older cars could be brought back to life with a little bit of money, a lot of elbow grease and some extra hours in metal shop, not so any more. Now if you buy a 20 year old “dead” car, it’s nearly impossible to resurrect without more money and equipment than a teenager has access to.

    • Agree 100 percent.

      Not only were the cars of that era simple, they were pretty cheap, too.

      Compare a cast iron (or aluminum) intake, carb to a modern multi-point EFI system. Two major components (one of them just a piece of metal/alloy that is almost indestructible, the other a simple casting that be re-built for less than $100 even today and re-used almost indefinitely) vs. eight (on a V-8) injectors, three or four major sensors, a bundle of wiring, a computer to run it, a plastic/composite intake that won’t last forever and which is easy to break… etc.

      I’ve stated this before, but once again:

      Modern cars are superb appliances that will run (usually) great and without needing much from you for about 15 years and 150,000 miles or so. But once they get to about 15 years old and pass 150k, they begin to reach the end of their economically viable lives because it soon becomes cost prohibitive to keep them going.

      With the older stuff, you’ll need to do more in the way of minor maintenance – but the drivetrains can be kept going almost forever, very affordably.

    • Hi Galaxy! Nice to see another female on this forum. You’re right. Today’s cars are a major pain in the ass to work on. Don’t forget how the newer cars are put together like Russian Matryoshka dolls. I hear that a lot from my husband who still works in the field.

      As for young kids being gearheads – it does seem to be fading. I think it’s due to many different things. Yes, today’s kids are more into games than gears. Yes, the government has made it very expensive to own/drive a car due to insurance mandates and that’s usually more $ than kids today can afford, especially in this economy. But just like yester-years, does the government really think today’s kids are any more law-abiding today than they were back-then?

      Also, I think there’s a stigma with being a gearhead, greasemonkey or whatever you want to call it. Your hands are always greasy and dirty (and that shit doesn’t wash off), you usually wear a jumpsuit-type uniform that’s stained and greasy – how sexy is that when you’re meeting for a lunch date? The Metro-Sexual lifestyle has helped castrate our men. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with a man working in an office or dressing up for work. And there’s nothing wrong with working for a living – OR a hobby.

      College has been pushed as the career-guaranteed option – which has turned out to be B.S. You don’t have to have a college degree to be a mechanic unless you want to be on the engineering side of things (and wear that suit or labcoat :-)).

      My husband says they can’t find techs where he works, let alone good ones. Don’t know if it’s the pay, the hours, perhaps the stigma. And there’s not that many tech schools around. Also, the cars are becoming like computers – proprietary.

      One bit of good news – There is this one young kid that works with my husband. He’s still green, but smart and ambitious. He uses his smartphone when diagnosing cars! My husband says “How cool it that!” The kid can pull up information on his cell phone (from the internet) and find things that the shop computer doesn’t have. He even has some kind of device he can hook up to his smartphone and it does some kind of diagnostic on the car he’s working on. Wow!

      So don’t lose hope, guys! There are still young kids out there that are into cars and it appears the new up-and-coming techies are mixing technology with good old fashion automotive know-how. How cool is that?

  32. Oh what, poor l’il Libertarian boy has to think of others?

    1. No inflation doens’t make things more expensive it just gives the appearance of higher prices. You have to have money idle for around 20 years before your savings signficiantly dwindle.

    2. Aw what, you go dumping your noxious fumes on to unwilling others? “I’m a Libertarian or not depending on the day”, apparently.

    3. The only valid rebuttal would be if you have no intention of using said vehicles on public roads yet are still obliged to pay for it as though it were. Otherwise, you’re probably have your assets hidden or technically in someone else’s name so you won’t have much to pay up with should you crash into someone else.

    • 1. Since it’s OK that I rob from your savings to finance my profligate ways, just as long as I agree to keep the percentage at a minimum amount that you won’t notice for 20 years, I’ll gladly stand by for your account and routing number.

      2. What?

      3. Your brain is hidden in your ass-ets.

    • Gil, about the noxious fumes. Their noxiousness is largely a factor of traffic density, as all the emissions that the catalytic converter was (ostensibly) about are extremely unstable, and break down to benign compounds all by themselves given half a chance. I say ostensibly, because that device was really about platinum-series precious metal interests and changing the automotive market to absorb even more production volume. It is hard to explain exactly how catalytic converters, or more accurately laws that enforce their use, have resulted in a significant increase in traffic density, but historical empirical data seem to support the notion.

      The upshot is that enforcing use of catalytic converters (along with other things) results in a situation where catalytic converters aren’t enough.

      It is for reasons of ecology that I have never owned a catalyst-equipped vehicle, and never shall.

    • Clover, currently, by the government’s own admission, inflation is appx. 2-4 percent a year. Of course, it is much higher than that in reality, but let’s just leave that aside for the moment.

      What it means, Clover, is that your money is worth at least 2-4 percent less each year; or put another way, you’d have to earn 2-4 percent more each year to maintain “even.” Most people are not receiving a 2-4 percent raise every year, so – drumroll – their money buys them less.

      Now, chart the course of inflation over time vs. the increase in pay most people have seen over that same period. You will discover, oh Clover, that the rate of inflation far outpaces the rate of pay increase.

      Keep in mind also, oh Clover, that inflation hits the people “down the line” much harder. That is, the elites know when (and how much) the currency will be inflated – and act accordingly. The average person just sees prices suddenly go up… he pays more for the same items.

      Poor ol’ Clover…

      • If you are so smart Eric show us how you came up with 2 to 4 percent inflation. I do not see it. I also earn far batter than 4 percent on my money. I also had a 3 percent raise plus incentives. I know you will delete this because I guess you can not take the truth ever. It is easy, you just delete it and say whatever you like.

        • Clover, if you’re earning 4% you are risking your money. Nobody is paying 4% without serious downside risk. Yes, that includes government bonds.

          Furthermore most people aren’t getting raises right now. At least not in the productive sector. Now that you are saying you get 3% it just about seals the deal that you ‘work’ for government.

          • I am not taking risk in my investments. The way I look at it I would be taking a 10s of thousands of dollars in loss each year not investing. Some people are able to use their brain to make money and not hand it over to someone and get 1% or less. I am basically working to pay for the tax money to pay for investment gains. I spend my time making a lot of money investing while Eric tunes up his carbs from his 1970s junkers.

            • Wouldn’t it be nice, Clover, if people could invest in their savings – secure in the knowledge that the money they put into the bank won’t be worth less with each passing year – as opposed to being effectively forced to play what Brent accurately calls the Wall Street Casino in a desperate attempt to maintain the value of their money?

              I know, I know… another intelligent thought that can’t penetrate the Clover Consciousness.

          • Another non-answer from Clover.

            Yes, your government’s inflation does drive people to put their wealth in the wall street casino. However the idea you are not risking is absurd. Unless of course you’ve got an inside track.

            The insiders always have the upper hand. If it were a game of intelligence that would be one thing, however it is not. It’s a rigged game. It’s manipulated on every level.

            Because I am not an insider I don’t know when the crashes are coming. I have to guess. I’ve guessed well. Others… they lost not only all their gains but their principle. So they whine and we get more manipulation.

            But you don’t want the markets to be free and fair now do you Clover? You like them just the way they are… Rigged.

          • Theoretically we can all feed, house, clothe, and variously equip ourselves by making agreements and collaborating freely with people who are economically pretty much like ourselves. Why does any of that have to go though a casino? Why do the financial gymnastics of stockbrokers have to influence how much x my y will buy tomorrow?

          • Eric I tried to answer your statement about low interests rates. If people were getting high interest on their savings accounts you would not see 3% to 4% car loans and house loans. It goes both ways. It is a borrowers market right now. Many large companies are selling bonds at 4 percent or less. There is good and bad about low interest rates. I seem to remember when house loans were over 15%. I am sure millions of people would not want to see that either or do you prefer that?

            • So, Clover, you “save money” by going into debt? By signing up for a loan at 3-4 percent interest? Very interesting maff! Let’s see now. Rather than save my $30,000 – put in the bank and expect it to at least maintain its purchasing power… I’ll go out and borrow $30,000 at 3-4 percent interest instead! Now I only have to deal with a $400 a month payment instead of worrying about inflation.

              Typical Cloverite “reasoning.”

          • Clover, your rigged system with little exception is always a borrowers market.

            Yes, interest rates should be market driven and since very few people saved, interest rates should be very high. But since nobody saved this wonderful democracy decided to steal from those that saved.

          • Eric, why would you give your money to a bank so that they can make money off of it? Why not make the money yourself? I would never give my money to a bank for 1% interest. There are companies out there that pay 3 to 4 percent dividends or more. Why give it to a bank unless it is only for a few months? I have made more money in dividends the past couple of years than you could make in a lifetime at 1 percent.

            Anyone that puts money in a bank is not looking to make money. Putting it in a bank is only to preserve capital usually when someone is well into retirement or a safe place for the kids college fund or the car you will buy in a year or two.

            • Clover, I only bother replying for purposes of general edification – to dissect your idiocies for the benefit of others (new people, especially). You yourself are beyond the reach of reason.


              The issue is not “putting money in the bank” – per se. The issue – which I’ve addressed repeatedly – and which you’ve ignored just as repeatedly – is this business of money losing its value via inflation. Which has the effect of discouraging saving in favor of shyster-peddler speculation via the stock market and “finance.” What you do, that is.

              If we had money that was not fiat money – that is, money with no intrinsic value subject to rapid depreciation of its face value (thus, impoverishing whomever holds onto his money as opposed to immediately spending it or “investing” it – and hoping the risk pays off) people would not be forced to live profligately, on credit, assuming debt – playing Wall Street roulette – in a desperate bum’s rush to keep up, to try to hold onto the value of their assets.

              Being debt-free, owning one’s land/home, having savings on hand – that is economic freedom, Clover. That is economic security.

              But then, you wouldn’t know much about that.

          • Clover is full of shit. He’s not doing what he says he is. He’s probably talking about his government pension. Nobody that is a serious investor says things like “I’m not taking risk in my investments” because there is no such thing as a risk-free investment.

            I’ll bet he’s one of those idiots that tells others not to pay off their mortgages because they’ll miss out on the tax credit.

          • Clover, what about the regular people that did as you advised and loaned their money to GM?

            Now in a normal bankruptcy some of them would have been at the head of the line to be paid. It was the nature of their contracts. The US federal government told them to go pound sand.

            Why invest capital when contracts don’t mean anything anymore?

        • Clover, oh Clover…

          The 2-4 percent figure is the government’s figure. Their fact. Not my opinion. You really ought to at least try to comprehend the difference.

          • The government would never say the inflation is 2-4 percent? They calculate the numbers given various inputs. It is impossible to have a 2 percent range. That is why I do not know what you are talking about.

            • “It is impossible to have a 2 percent range.”

              Really, Clover? The CPI – and BLS, your precious government – say otherwise:


              PS: I want to reiterate for the benefit of everyone – especially people new to these boards – what a sad little chickenshit you are. Everyone else here who’s a regular has given their name, told what they do for work … we don’t hide behind names like “Clover”… like you do. We back up what we say, not just with facts – a concept foreign to you – but also by referencing our own professional backgrounds, which adds credibility to what we say.

              So, how about it Clover? Who are you? And what do you do that gives you any credibility to spew about subjects ranging from driving to economics?

          • “That is why I do not know what you are talking about.”

            Naw dood…

            You don’t know because you are a troll and enjoy acting like a fool.

          • Eric,
            I have not heard what jobs dozens of posters have on here. Your chart shows 1.7% inflation for 2012. 2-4 percent?

            I have credibility because I do not make up facts like others that have posted here. My strength is common sense and logic. I do not go on and on like others here and give no solutions to anything.

            You all want no government involvement but what civilization over the past few thousand years has survived with no form of government? I am waiting for that one!

            I am smart enough to know that we have a lot of stupid and aggressive and unlawful dangerous people out there and without government control we all end up carrying guns and some would use them if you looked at them differently than they want you to, or drive 2 mph too slow!

            Tell us what qualifications that you have for making up facts?

            • Clover, Brent’s repeatedly mentioned what he does; what his educational and professional background is. So also Meth. And Dom. They’ve used their actual names, too. So do I. So do most of the regulars here. None of us are hiding.

              You’re the only regular who hides his name – who won’t tell us what he does for a living.

              Which speaks volumes.

              Here’s what we do know about you:

              * You can’t spell – and (worse) don’t know how to use a spell checker.
              * You haven’t mastered elementary school-level grammar and usage.
              * You like aggressive violence – but are a coward, personally.

              I’m toying with the idea of locking you out completely. I’m coming to the conclusion that there’s no further point to allowing you to post your repetitive, infantile, illogical, emotional bleatings.

              It’s time to take off the mask, Clover. Who are you? What do you do?

              Be warned. If you don’t ‘fess up, your days of trolling here may just be over.

        • Gil/clover that’s great that you got a 3% increase, but you really didn’t, you only stayed even per govt numbers while inching closer to the next tax bracket.
          if you want to see how high inflation would be if the govt calculated like they did 30-35 yrs ago check out shadowstats.com, last time I checked there it is actually running in teh 10% range.
          and lets just say it is only 2% annual rate of inflation, then the money loses 17% in 10 years, 32% in 20 years and 45% in 30 years. Money is supposed to be a medium of exchange and a store of value. Inflation makes FRN’s a poor example of “money”

          inflation is theft, if you were playing the game of monopoly and one person couldn’t run out of money because they could continue to print more up while everyone else had limits. they would be considered a cheater, rightfully so.
          Not only does printing new money devalue what is already out there, but when the people who are doing the printing spend it first, it hasn’t been devalued yet, as it goes down the line, it hurts people more.
          RP said something along hte lines of “it is not a coincidence that the century of central banking has coincided with a century of war.”
          If people had to actually fund the adventures govt undertakes creating prisons around the world and at home, the tax rate would be so high, a lot of clovers would even be against it.

  33. I’m 28 and I still enjoy upgrading vehicles, and wish I had the money to upgrade mine and start going to car shows again. I don’t own no old car or bike, because I can only afford 1 vehicle right now and its more practical to own a new one instead of an old 60’s and 70’s model car for everyday use. When I was in my late teen’s (18-20) I did have a minivan that I had customized and took to shows. If I had the money I would love to buy and fix up a vintage vehicle and take it to shows. So yes some young people are in to it, just not as much.

  34. I went to high school in the 1970’s. I had a 1970 Chevelle SS with a 396 (402), my best friend had a 1969 GTO, another friend had a 1967 mustang. We would spend all day Saturday working on our cars and racing them Saturday night.

    I would say 3 things killed the teenage love affair with the car.

    1.) Fuel injection. I can’t tell you how many hours we spent adjusting the carb, borrowing our friend 650 double pumper Holley and running that to see if it ran better then my 700 with vacum secondaries. Fuel injection is light years better then a carburated engine, but not as fun.

    2.) Electronic ignition. I can remember saving up for 6 months so I could buy a dual point distributor. No dwell to set?? Electronic igintion is light years better but not as fun.

    3.) Federal Emission Standards. Sorry, but what good is installing a set of Hooker headers and running duel exhaust only to have them run through 2 catalitic converters. Defeats the whole purpose.

    • Dear Owen,

      I remember setting the ignition timing on my dad’s old VW beetle with nothing more than a test light.

      No timing gun was needed.

      Uncanny how simple everything was back then.

      • Heck, you don’t even need a light!

        You can do it by gradually moving the plate that the points ride on, clockwise or counterclockwise, while watching the timing marks. Typically, the timing’s right when the points just begin to open as the marks coincide. It’s not perfectly accurate – but it’ll get you very close!

    • Kids today reflash their car’s programming.

      Sometimes they use code they got from ‘some guy’ who is likely another kid on the internet.

      Sometimes they break the car.

      Then they whine on the forums.

      Tampering with emission control devices has hardly stopped.

      Kids today wouldn’t know what to do with a Carb or points. that’s all software now, and that’s why they get ‘tunes’.

    • Hi Owen,

      Same here!

      Carbs are also much less expensive. I’ve rebuilt dozens and dozens of them over the years – most recently, the three carbs in the S1. Even after sitting for 20-plus years, all it took was some solvent, a toothbrush and elbow grease to clean up the castings to as-new condition. Got a rebuild kit (floats, pilot and main jets, gaskets, needle and seat) for about $70. That’s it. And, as you say, fun!

      Exhaust: Back in the day a set of headers cost about $75 (even today, they’re not much more than that for a pre-smog car) and the rest was just pipes (cheap) and mufflers (affordable).

      Today, you’ve got at least two converters in a V-8 application – and unless you use the low-flow POS generic ones, you are looking at $200-plus for each of them. Plus O2 sensors. So, easily $500-plus for just the converters and O2 sensors (and that’s a lowball figure).

      Who can afford this? I sure couldn’t at 20!

      • Another thing we used to do. You saved your money for the good stuff, new carb, intake, headers etc.

        If something like the starter or water pump went bad that was a trip to the junk yard. You NEVER waisted your good money on something that didn’t make your car go faster!!

    • Being in my 40s, I agree on the lack of youngsters willing to work on cars. I disagree with the technology theory several have mentioned, though. Cars can still be modified and maintained.

      The real issue is that the Fed’s paper money makes loans easy for everybody to get. Everybody who is willing to sign the dotted line and become a debt slave can easily buy a car. If somebody can buy a brand-new shiny car, why should they get their hands dirty?

      Also, everybody seems to buy into the statist concept that you aren’t *qualified* to work on your car, or that you might violate your warranty. Modern port fuel injection is easy to maintain and isn’t an excuse–adjusting a carb took more knowledge and skill.

      Heck with that! I’m still getting my hands dirty because (1) the efficient SUV I want doesn’t exist, (2) I refuse to be a debt slave, (3) I think the results will be cool, and (4) I don’t think I really OWN a vehicle until I MODIFY it!

      • I’ve bought two new cars in my life. 15 years apart. I factory ordered both of them. Both felt like mine immediately. The older one has collected a lot of mods over the years. The newer one has collected a few minor ones that have nothing to do with how it drives.

  35. Another problem with keeping cars is where are they going to park? With today’s planned communities and HOA Nazis outlawing any sort of unacceptable hobby like fixing cars in your driveway or ham radio antennas, there’s not too many places where a kid can have his first car. The neighborhood I grew up used to have a few vacant lots were my friends could park their cars without anyone saying any thing, or they could park in the driveway. Now all those lots have houses on them, and the older houses with large driveways are still occupied by our parents. I can only imagine what would happen if my buddy’s oil slick of a Chevelle were parked on the street in a modern deed restricted neighborhood. I’m sure somebody’s nose would get out of joint and make life hell for the parents.

    Besides, kids have been brainwashed into thinking cars are evil. They’re taking much longer to get their licenses and since their parents both work, there’s no pressure to get out of the house to engage the opposite sex (and with 50% of them obese I doubt the back seat would be all that useful anyway).

    • Too many white boys are playing video games and surfing online porn….they leave the chasing of young white girls to young black and mexican boys…with predictable sad results. Same goes for why you don’t see a pickup game of baseball or football anymore, or a bunch of lads congregate around a noisy hot rod.
      But hell yes, “Gubmint” interference has raised the cost of car ownership for us all. It’s gotten to the point where I keep just one “hangar queen” (my ’95 Mustang with the 5.0 litre HO), and I’ve got a ’95 Mercedes diesel which is my beater. Other than that, I’m selling off my 2011 Fusion (leased) and my 2007 Pacifica. Not just due to an impeding divorce,I could keep my ‘iron’, but what would I do with them all anyway? For awhile, I’ll make do with the diesel. For late model transport, better to find a LEASE, and at times you can find a lease under screaming good terms to take over. There’s several advantages: (1) commit far less cash in a down payment, if anything, (2) you’re just ‘dating’, not ‘marrying’, (3) payments for a three-year lease are typically about the same as a five or six-year note (4) you don’t worry about “extended warranties’ or any other such rot, since typically you’re working within the manufacturer’s warranty (5) if you can use the vehicle legitimately for business purposes, you can deduct all or part of the lease as a business expense straight up (no depreciation schedules as with a purchase, even financed), (6) Often you can buy a far better vehicle under a lease than a purchase.
      The era of buying a car either brand new, or, no more than three years old, and driving it until the wheels fall off, is past. Much of what’s been necessary for them to meet mileage and performance standards, while good for operating economy while new, makes them infeasible to repair as they age. Plus, car makers are ever more “orphaning” their older stuff, and it’s easier to do (just quit making a sensor or computer and soon the supply of replacement and used parts dries up), and too often it’s impractical for the aftermarket to devise a substitute. I recall having a ’68 Rambler American (had the vacuum wipers!), and it needed a new carb as the throttle shaft was trashed. Down to Kragen’s, and forty-five bucks later, had a Holley 1920 one-throater to replace the tired Carter YF. Bolted on, and just had to reroute the fuel line a bit. The swap took about a half hour! Try doing THAT with even a simple TBI unit nowadays, assuming you can find it. While some ‘modernizations’ can be worked with (I’ve had two 90’s vintage Mopars with the OHV V6 and the direct-ignition system which is actually easy to understand and troubleshoot), most seem to be designed to render the car with planned obsolescence right from the factory. And let’s not even begin to discuss WHY car makers have been putting shrouds on engines in the past decade! What is the purpose, of decoration, or is it to frustrate the shade tree mechanic?
      That’s why I say, getting an old VW Beetle, a Dodge Dart, a Chevy El Camino, or any American-made pickup 1960-1980. Easy to work on, still can readily get parts, and perfectly functional transportation. Plus, you, and your young lads if they can be so inclined to join you, will learn a lot from twisting a few wrenches.

  36. I was just with a cute friend of mine at work and her 15 year old son. He’s getting his license after his driver’s ed is completed.

    He is into cars, but he’s into the newer cars. I kind of expect that. I wasn’t into 40 year old cars in the late 1970’s.

    Kids who are into this type of thing are liking hopped up rice. I don’t blame them. I like that type of thing too. Older cars, while beautiful for their simplicity and their styling handle like stuck pigs and generally eat a lot of gas.

    Most kids don’t remember a 1975 Firebird anymore then I remembered a 1940 Chevy.

    It is true that Cloverism and government insurance madates have made things a lot more expensive and potentially perilous for kids, but some of them do enjoy today’s cars almost as much as we did ours.

    • Swamprat, it sounds to me that you want a few million kids out there driving without insurance? That is the same group that causes the greatest amount of accidents. That is why there is mandatory insurance. How much money do you think a teenager or guy in his early 20s has? If they cause an accident and do not have insurance the guy that they caused a loss to will be responsible for their own loss because they would not get anything from the kid. Do you really like that? I don’t.

  37. I had never heard of the SSJ, and looked it up. What a car! And, what a ‘spokesman,’ Ms. Linda Vaughn.

    It is different for kids today. The rat race — high grades, sports, ‘volunteer’ work — for acceptance into a top college gobbles up all free time. This continues through summer, with ‘strength and agility’ training for sports and two week stints at colleges to ‘build’ the resume.

    The good news is that there seems to be less potential for ‘uh ohs’ — compared to the good old days of the ’70s and ’80s — with girls, drinking, and car wrecks.

    • And these kids are growing up winning “trophies” for participation and playing on rubber mats do they don’t skin their knees – doesn’t inspire much confidence in the future.

  38. Sad to say but it’s the same around here. Although what I do see is a lot of kids working on off road vehicles. Three wheelers four wheelers, dirt bikes etc. A lot of them do maintenance on their cars. I just don’t think they have the money or interest in restoration. A lot has changed for sure. As a kid it was a point of pride to work on your car and it was also a social gathering. Many kegs of beer were drank sitting in a garage while tinkering away on a project. The big reward was cruise night. Showing off your pride and joy. It also didn’t matter what you worked on so much as that you had done the work. A well done Nova was still something to be proud of. You didn’t look down on someone that started off with a $100 car, you looked at what it became.

    I agree that the State has priced most kids out of the market for this kind of fun. But it’s not just the cost it’s also the harassment that comes with owning and driving them. For kids they might just as well paint a bulls eye on themselves.

  39. Eric-

    It’s not that my generation and younger isn’t into cars, it’s that the cars have changed. You’re just not going to the right car shows.

    Just like in your day, most young guys can only afford to have one car to tinker with, and they can’t afford 10 miles a gallon. So they drive Hondas or Audis now.People my age are all about the imports powered by sewing machines with coffee can mufflers on them. They think it’s cool to drive them sideways with smoke pouring out of the wheel wells.

    Or they are into putting enormous wagon wheels on late 70s – early 80s GM cars and standing on top of them while they coast around parking lots.

    Neither of these things are for me. I was born in the wrong era. I’d love an 80s Monte Carlo SS but I wouldn’t thug it out. I’m still looking for the right 64-65 Cutlass to give a 425 cubic inch heart transplant. There are still a few of us out there. My sister’s boyfriend has a sweet ’68 Camaro that he put together himself. He’s 25.

    • I’m a little to old to hang out with drifters but I can see how that is very cool in it’s own way. It’s good to think that they get into it. I live out in the boonies now but when I still lived in the Mexican part of the city I loved seeing young people who built low riders. I know it seems goofy to take a perfectly good Impala and paint it the most garish colors and make it hop or spend more on a stereo and lights than on the engine. But you know what? It’s all good. They are showing pride of ownership and that is really what it’s all about.

      • Oh man I was into the lowriders when I was in high school! It made a resurgence in the mid-late 90s and it seemed like everyone I knew wanted a Monte Carlo on 13 inch wire wheels. The only thing that killed me about the Impalas was how they were hacked up. There’s no bringing back a car from hydraulics.

    • You guys do not get it. Blame the government. Blame the government. Do we blame the government for things we now have that take up the kids free time like video games, cell phones, computers and the dependence on central air? You can make up things all you want about our government hurting things that changed the kids but technology changed the kids.

      I have recently been going to a lot of 13 year old baseball games. They are a fraction as good as they were when I was a kid. Why? We spent hours a day playing outside and practicing baseball among many other things. That is all we had to do. Kids do not have time for that anymore. Blame the government for poor baseball? Get real and use your brain.

          • Clover, what do you think those in government do?

            The Illinois toll road authority bought themselves a helicopter among other items of corruption and lavish spending.

          • You know what the difference is, Clover?

            We don’t want to harm you. Or control you (other than defensively, in the event you assault us). We want to leave you alone, to live your life as you see fit. We want nothing from you – other than respect for our right to be left in peace, so long as we are peaceful.

            Conversely, you lust to control us. To deprive us of our liberty, our property – in the name of some “greater good,” as you define it. You refuse to leave us alone – even when we are harming no one.

            You’re the one who lives by violence. Who can’t abide live – and let live.

            That makes you a thug, Clover.

            How does it feel?

          • Clover
            OK Eric, you just want to be left alone. There is only one problem with that, you drive the same roads as 100s of million other people. If you are your kind crashes into one of us millions of other people we want assurance you are going to pay for your debts. We want you to drive safely so you do not kill one of our kids or other family members. You have shown no sign of following any of this. I have seen your kind of road rage driving that you endorse and it is not pretty.

          • Clover
            Yes Eric, I and millions of others believe in violence. I and millions of others would have to hold ourselves back with a great effort if you would injure or kill someone we love. For a few, it would be to the point that you would be safer in jail. You do not care though. It is your right to endanger and as we have seen in the videos threaten others not for breaking laws that all believe in but for things like driving 2 mph too slow. Which of those two cases is the true violent person?

            • Ah, but Clover, here is the thing: I have not yet caused you any harm or loss. Your entire argument is based on “what ifs” and “mights.”

              Well, you might cause me some harm in countless conceivable ways. Would you like to be forced to pay money to insure against might and what if?

              Despite what you think, I am a demonstrably safe driver – as evidence by the fact that I haven’t caused an accident in decades of driving. I have probably much more natural skill than you – and without question more training. I drive all sorts of cars (and bikes) day in and out, year in and year out. I manage to avoid damaging them somehow. Either I am exceptionally lucky – or I am a good driver.

              Based on the fact of my accident-free track record and the fact of my skill/training, I judge it a reasonable risk to skip insurance – if I could so do. Especially for the numerous vehicles I have that are rarely driven/ridden and when they are, it’s just locally.

              You are all about arbitrary coercion – forcing people to do what you think they ought to, based on your selective and subjective criteria. On your feelings.

          • Clover
            OK Eric, how long do we depend on your pure luck to overcome aggressive dangerous type of driving? I have seen many videos of poor aggressive driving lately and yes it is pure luck if the driver in the video is not either injuring or killing someone or at minimum causing a lot of damage. I believe we need to stop someone that drives like that before they kill someone when their luck runs out or should I say the luck of the person they kill.

            I have also seen videos online where countries have anything goes driving and I do not want to see that here. Countries like India have few laws that the people follow when they are not on major roadways where there is enforcement. They turn where they want to turn, they drive off the road if cars are in front of them, they do whatever. It is not a pretty sight. They say the only reason there are not millions of more deaths there by the way they drive is that the population is so high that the cars can not get up to enough speed for the most part to kill someone.

            • Well, Clover, let me ask you a question: How many accidents have you had in the past 25 years? If the answer is none (same as me) then I could just as easily turn your “logic” against you. That is, maybe you’re just lucky… but an accident waiting to happen. Why not? By what objective measure can you claim to be a “safer” driver than I? Chew this closely, Clover. Facts, not opinions, not assertions. Show me, please, how you are a “safer” driver than I.

              PS: I’ll assume we drive about the same miles annually. But probably, I drive more than you because I drive for a living and often drive multiple cars each week. Oh, also, I’m also not factoring in the fact that I routinely drive different vehicles – including some that are very challenging to drive, or would be for someone such as you without seat team in, for instance, extremely high-powered exotics.

              The bottom line, Cloveroni, is that I am not causing you or anyone else any harm by the way I drive. Ipso facto, therefore, you have no legitimate reason to interfere with me – and I have every right to expect you to leave me alone.

          • eric, you show me your statistics that speeders, people that pass in no passing zones, tailgaters, aggressive drivers, people that run red lights, drunk drivers and the rest of your so called OK ways of driving causes less accidents and deaths then I will do whatever you want me to do.

            • Clover, when you show you are capable of a discussion not based on emotionalism, straw man arguments and non sequiturs, I will happily oblige!

              An example: You package deal harmless (as such) actions like “speeding” (that is, exceeding an arbitrary number that may and very often bears no relationship whatsoever to “safe driving” – the classic example being the old 55 MPH NMSL) with running red lights – in a pitiful, puerile attempt to delegitimize the actions of the person who ignores meaningless speed limits (which would be virtually all of us, by the way) by conflating that with objectively reckless actions such as running red lights.

              That’s the sort of thing you pull routinely. I allow you to post here merely to show others the buffoonery we’re up against.

          • Dear clover,

            Let’s face it, the real problem is that you don’t want solutions that are not coerced, period.

            In your mind:

            freedom = problems
            coercion = solutions

            That is your point of departure, and surprise, surprise, that is your point of arrival.

            Classic confirmation bias.

            If you were genuinely seeking solutions that didn’t require coercion, you would have found them. You weren’t, so you didn’t.

            A quick Google search would have yielded any number of articles explaining how free market road systems would work, including this one,


            penned by none other than Eric Peters.

            So spare us the phony indignation about not being spoonfed “concrete solutions.”

          • Clover
            Bevin, you are just too easy. So you believe in building private roads? So every 10 miles we pay another toll?

            When the road is built the government is needed to take the land from land owners to build the private road? What does that say?Clover

            If the government is not there to regulate prices, the price can change at the drop of a hat and you pay the price asked no matter if it is fair or not or have to drive way out of your way! Monopoly of private companies can charge whatever they want to without government regulation. How much change are you really talking about. How about road quality without any regulation. What will you be riding on?

            Your easy and simple solutions to getting rid of government does not look like it at all to me.

            Give us some better examples of what we can do without reading a lot of things that really does not change what we already have except for possibly making it worse.

          • @clover:

            Christ, you’re such an idiot I almost feel bad making fun of you.

            It’s like kicking a cripple.

            Or laughing at a Down’s kid.

            Except, those two did nothing to deserve their fate. YOU, on the other hand, are voluntarily an idiot because you’ve neglected your brain so long, it’s atrophied to the point that it’s useless.

            Instead of doing some difficult intellectual lifting, you resort to some pre-recorded little anecdotes…some you picked up from TV, others from your indoctrination in publik skewl, others from your equally mindless family and friends.

            The resulting drivel you trot out proudly, like a toddler displaying his first toileted turd. “Look Mommy I poopied in the toilet!”

            Well Hooray for You!

            It’s even worse. You see the status quo, things as they are now. You won’t exert the least bit of mental effort to think of how they might be improved, or different, in any way.

            And then you justify your laziness with a half-assed defense.

            You deserve serfdom. You deserve the soft-killing that’s coming your way; yes, the fluoride you drink, the vaccines you slavishly take when your Masters tell you to. The GM food you slobber down your flapping maw, while you watch the carefully-tuned flicker rate on your high-def propaganda machine (commonly called a TV).

            Here’s a hint: your Masters despise you even more than we do. We don’t want you dead; we just want you to leave us alone. Your Masters on the other hand have prepared all the delights above for you; and they’re planning a whole lot more! With your willing assistance they’ve made you the despicable half-human you are.

          • Clover, regarding your latest verbal flatulence:

            “…If the government is not there to regulate prices, the price can change at the drop of a hat and you pay the price asked no matter if it is fair or not or have to drive way out of your way!”

            As Methylamine would say: well what the fuck do you think we live under NOW?

            In the Seattle area tolling is all the rage. HOV lanes are tolled, one bridge across Lake Washington is tolled, the other isn’t yet only because it’s I-90 and the state has to ask the federal government for permission. The new Highway 99 tunnel will be tolled when it opens.

            Not one of these is more than five years old. They change with the time of day and traffic volumes. If you use the SR 167 HOT lanes you can pay anywhere from 50 cents to 9 dollars depending on these variables. If you don’t like this, your options are to sit in traffic in the standard lanes, or drive way out of your way.

            If you don’t have the state’s electronic “Good To Go” stalker pass in your car, your licence plate is photographed and you get a bill in the mail. You pay more if you don’t have the pass.

            The nation’s highest gasoline tax, which used to be enough to fund these projects, of course didn’t go down.

            So, one could say that government regulation of the roads has resulted in prices that change at the drop of a hat, and you pay the price no matter if it’s fair (whatever the hell that is) or not. or have to drive way out of your way.

            Regarding “fair,” this is an argument children use. To me, fair is a place you go to eat cotton candy and ride the ferris wheel. If you want life to be fair, go back to preschool.

          • OK That One Guy so you say that I am a better person to own the road than the government? OK, sell it to me and I will double the toll and travel the world on my new 200 foot yacht. Tell us how that improves anything except I will have more fun?

            • Clover, you’re constantly revealing your true self via inadvertent language:

              “sell it to me and I will double the toll and travel the world on my new 200 foot yacht..”

              Always, the violence, the exploitation of others. You are literally incapable of thinking in terms of fair-play and live – and let live. Everything, to you, is about jockeying for advantage, about controlling people – lest they control you. You project your hateful nature onto others – and thus, your solution is always hateful: Force. Threatening people with violence and cages.

              The thing is, Clover, people like myself – and the others here – aren’t looking to pull one over on you. We don’t want your money; we aren’t interested in controlling you or telling you how to live your life. We want you to be free to live – and enjoy – your life as you see fit. All we ask is that you extend the same elemental consideration toward us in return.

              In the event we inadvertently cause you some harm, we’d make it right. And we would expect you to expect us to make it right. We – or at least I – have no problem with laws that sanction people who cause someone a harm. People ought to be responsible for any harm they cause. No issue there.

              What we resent, Clover, is your cloying insistence that we be controlled, regulated – threatened with lethal violence – when we have caused you no harm at all. On the basis of what others have done – or because of some theoretical, generalized, hypothetical “what if? or “might be.” Hold me responsible for what I do – not what others have done. Not for what some people might do.

              But of course, this is a distinction a being such as yourself cannot grasp.

              Because you’re a mean-minded little control freak – a bully, who hasn’t even got the balls of a regular bully – who does his bullying himself. You hide behind the skirts of your “uncle” – and get him – and his agents – to do your nasty business for you. You’re not even man enough (or woman enough) to reveal your identity – unlike virtually everyone here.

              What a wretch you are. I pity you.

          • Clover says:

            wn the road than the government? OK, sell it to me and I will double the toll and travel the world on my new 200 foot yacht. Tell us how that improves anything except I will have more fun?

            Sure, you could do that; and see traffic plummet on your road.

            Because a static view of actually dynamic economic systems is the bane of the clover mind.

            People adjust their behavior to optimize their outcomes; your expensive tolls will drive people to other solutions.

            The same applies for idiotic taxes like the “luxury tax” on yachts a few years ago. Congress levied a huge tax on luxury yachts; as a result, people stopped buying them, yacht manufacturers went out of business, and it ended up LOSING money for the Great Leaders.

            Just so, your high tolls would lead to a negative revenue correction; i.e. you’d price yourself out of the market. No Yacht For You!

            If you didn’t adjust your behavior–and lower the tolls–you’d be forced to sell your toll road…to an operator who’d maximize his revenue by keeping tolls reasonable.

            The State, on the other hand, can keep jacking the tolls–because if revenue goes down, it’ll just subsidize itself with more taxes elsewhere.

            Private enterprise–without government “help”, monopoly, or regulation–always provides better results.

            Note I qualify it with “without help/monopoly/regulation”–because today’s “public private partnerships” are NOT private enterprise, they are classical Fascism–privatizing the profits, socializing the losses.

          • @methylamine,

            Regarding increased tolls.

            In DE, MD, NJ, NY, and PA: Tolls & toll roads have increased to the point where I have looked into alternatives routes to avoid paying the toll. In most cases, I have been able to find an alternative that is within 15 minutes of the toll route and under 10 miles extra distance.

            I have become a shun-piker. I avoid tolls & toll roads when practical.

            The money I do not pay in tolls becomes money I can use for fuel.

            I know that it is not always practical to avoid tolls, but if the cost becomes too high, people/businesses will change their future choices.

            ex: If I have a choice between 2 equal jobs, I will choose the one with lower transportation costs.

          • Eric I just can not believe the things that you say. You just want to be left alone and if you cause us harm you will make it right? What world do you live in? If you kill or injure someone we love there is nothing you could do to make it right! You say the young do not need car insurance? How is someone like that without any assets and possibly without a job or minimum wage going to make things right if they cause me a hundred thousand in damages or for that matter even a simple 5 thousand dollar fender bender?

            In a perfect world all of your ideals are perfect for our world but in an ideal world we would not have things like accidents.

            You and others go on and on but do not think what would happen in the real world with all of your ideals coming true.

            In the ideal world there would be people like me that do not steal and pay what they owe but in the real world that is not the case.

            Do some actual thinking of what would happen if things changed like you want. You will find that it will not work at all.

            • Of course you can’t Clover – because you’re a control freak. And, a thug-by-proxy.

              In your world, anything that upsets you, anything you don’t like, anything you think other people should do, anything you imagine could (somehow, maybe) cause “someone” harm – even though no actual harm has been done – is reason enough to threaten people (entire groups) with violence. You can’t abide the idea of leaving others alone – others who have never done a thing to you or anyone else. Of living by the objective standard (as opposed to your feelings) that until someone – a specific someone – actually causes an injury to a specif other person or his property – that person has every right to be left the hell alone!

              So long as in your mean little mind you imagine that someone might do something, that’s sufficient reason to control – to threaten – everyone.

              Of course, you won’t threaten them with violence yourself – because you’re a pussy and someone would push in your face. (Note carefully, Clover: Defensive action against your offensive action. We won’t bother you – unless you bother us first. That is, unless you assault us first. We would never assault you first. You have things reversed. You assault others – and then expect them to accept it!)

              So, like the pussy you are, you run to Uncle – and get Uncle to do your bullying for you.

              I yearn for the day when people like me can deal with people like you on a level playing field. Mano y mano. Or rather, man vs. Clover….

          • Eric, I just can not believe people like you that have all the answers and we hear none of them. Leave us alone you say. Believe it or not at least 10% of people will do dumb and dangerous things or illegal things if you let them alone. Will you accept that? Recently Brent has shown us a video where to guys stopped their vehicles and both got out with weapons for minor aggressive driving where one was taking advantage of the other and costing the one guy an extra couple of seconds by cutting him off. Do you think we need to let more of these people alone so that we can have even more increased road rage in the USA?

            I do not believe it is a good thing to let people alone because when they start carrying weapons and using them just because you felt the government should leave them alone to be able to drive more aggressively and cause increased road rage.

      • Dear clover,

        I’ll keep it simple.

        People solve problems. But guess what? People can only solve problems when they are FREE to solve problems.

        When a crime syndicate waltzes in and threatens to kidnap or murder people if they don’t obey the crime syndicate’s whims, then they are no longer free to solve problems. The problems remain unsolved. The problems pile up. The problems multiply.

        Oh, did I mention that the members of the crime syndicate have given their organization a name? They call it “The Government.” Catchy.

        You want to solve problems? Leave people FREE to solve problems. It’s not rocket science.

        • Clover
          Belvin the rocket science is trying to understand what you just said. I am free. What the heck are you talking about? I believe in a certain amount of government. I believe in such things like traffic cops to get people to drive in a controlled and safe manner. I have seen videos of drivers in places where anything goes. I do not want that, do you? Do you believe the guy with road rage should be able to do anything he wants to do because he is free?


          I believe that there is a need for government in almost all things. Yes I believe there should be a lot less control by government than other people but I also believe in a lot more control than others believe in. Things the government needs to do is certain city services and other things where if it was not controlled by the government then it would be left open by a monopoly like many of the stories from the past of a person controlling the entire town. Without some kind of government it would be impossible to live in the USA or any country for that matter unless the people are spread out by miles. Tell us how much government control that you believe in.

          • Dear clover,

            Clearly you still don’t get it.

            There are two ways to solve problems.

            One is by to leave people free to work out solutions. This way actually solves problems.

            The other is for YOU to come up with your “solution,” then attempt to ram it down other people’s’ throats by force, i.e., through “The Government.” This way doesn’t actually solve problems. Even when it looks like it solved one problem, it creates far more hidden problems that must be solved down the line.

            This is the reason government laws and regulations lead to “complexity.” Ironically this government mandated artifical “complexity” becomes a pretext to demand even more coercive laws and regulations.

            Eventually the proliferation of laws and regulations lead to what we have now, an authoritarian police state and the loss of political liberty.

            The real root of the problem is the initial assumption. The false assumption that to solve problems requires brute force coercion.

            Bottom line? Solutions can always be found to any problem. But they cannot be found if people are no longer FREE to find solutions. They cannot be found if people are PREVENTED from finding solutions by prior restraint.

            You have been devoting your time and energy in a futile attempt to prove that “solutions” must be imposed on others by force.

            You could have devoted your time and energy to finding solutions that do NOT require government coercion. But you didn’t. The question is, why not?

            The root of the problem is your point of departure. You had a prior commitment to coerced “solutions.” Your prejudice prevented you from even looking for a solution that doesn’t require coercion.

            With enough people who think that way, a society eventually loses whatever freedom it once had, bit by tiny bit. At which point in time people scratch their heads and wonder, how the hell did we get here? We used to be the land of the free, and the home of the brave. What happened?

            Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Where there’s a will to find a solution that doesn’t involve coercion, then there’s a way to find a solution that doesn’t involve coercion.

            Try it sometime.

          • Bevin, was it nice to say a thousand words and say nothing? What is your solution? Do we let rapists run free? Do we let robber run wild? Do we let reckless and road rage drivers rule the road? Where are your solutions to the hundreds of things that bad people do?

            What is your solution to city water and city sewer and city and state roadways?

            You give me some good solutions to these and the hundreds of other things that government does and I may start to listen. You keep talking about your worthless statements like freedom freedom freedom without telling me what needs to be done and it is not worth spending a second of time on your statements.

          • Clover, government’s greatest trick is that it protects you from bad people. It doesn’t. It has no duty to do so. It’s courts have so ruled. The police have no duty to protect you. None. Zero. They do have however complete license to do anything to protect themselves and their institution. That should tell you something.

          • Sometimes I wonder if at the gate to the next level (after death) if complete and uber fucking stupidity is taken into account. I’d imagine it would be.

          • I reminded clover that he has a brain, and should use it and what freedom he has left to find solutions to problems that do not call for brute force coercion.

            He was unhappy with my suggestion.

            Instead he blew his top. He said,

            “You keep talking about your worthless statements like freedom freedom freedom without telling me what needs to be done… ”

            Let me see if I have this right.

            Defending freedom is worthless. In order not to be worthless, one must tell clover what to do.

            Okay. I got it.

            Freedom is worthless, and clover wants to be told what to do.

            You heard it, straight from clover’s own mouth.

            And people wonder how we lost our freedom.

            • It – Clover – either has a subnormal IQ or a damaged brain. I say that not to insult, but rather to explain. It clearly cannot reason. It emotes. It cannot grasp a principle and apply that to a particular. It is apparently not capable of grasping that if one accepts “x” then by definition one has conceded “y.” And so on.

              There is no hope of engaging it in an intellectual discussion. And this is what we are up against. Creatures such as Clover. Defective beings who cannot be reasoned with and who are driven by their emotions, their subjective and arbitrary opinions – and their lust to coerce and control.

          • Clover has got the mind of a child…I almost feel embarrased for it but I know it is a *terrorist* every election cycle.

          • Clover – as Bevin and many others here have explained time and again, viable and economical solutions to problems are arrived at by innovative and imaginative individuals. But the individual must be afforded the freedom to do so. The bureaucratic government/corporate system encourages mediocrity and stifles independent thinking and innovation which leads to lower quality of life for all those affected by it. People like you seem to want a day-care society where everything is regulated, ordered and regimented for you. A system like that would seem to be a helluva lot easier and less risky than thinking for yourself I’ll grant you. But the logical conclusion to this way of thinking (your hollow ruminations about not wanting quite as much gun-vernment as some others of your subspecies notwithstanding) is the former Soviet Union; a system no better than a perpetual state of lockdown in a nationwide prison. As Eric has pointed out before “we’re almost there” but you can’t see it because you don’t want to.

            You say you are free; that’s only a relative perception based on a shifting baseline in this country. The people caught up in the day to day drudgery of Soviet life or with their throats under the jack boot of National Socialism thought they were free too. When compared to life in the gulag or the concentration camps they were free relatively speaking; but poverty, closed borders, constant police surveillance, fiat money and wage and price controls are merely degrees of slavery and imprisonment in their own right. Based on your long chain of statist control-freak posts you apparently want this: A police state where one keeps one’s head down, one’s mouth shut; one does the job that is assigned to them as a cog in the machine no matter how banal and nonproductive.

            I think this about sums up “The World According to Clover”: One must buy what the corporate controlled stores offer with worthless fiat currency provided and heavily taxed by the state. One dies when the nationalized healthcare bureaucrats decide they’ve outlived their usefulness. One drives the speed limit (or “5 over” which is another “degree” of “violation”) and one just “follows the rules” to maintain their “freedom.” No free thought, just total conformity to the mass mind (and the occasional guilty pleasure, but don’t get caught). It’s not a world those of us that gather here like living in. If you really want a regimented, regulated, disarmed and monitored world, don’t try to reinvent the wheel, just move to North Korea.

        • Dear clover,

          In case you’re wondering, I know perfectly well you wanted specifics. Believe me, I get it.

          You want me to “give you a fish.”

          I’m telling you HOW to catch your own fish.

          As you told somebody else early, “You have a brain. Use it!”

          • OK, I get it. Talk about freedom and it solves all problems? You all talk about freedom and lack of individual problem solving and go on and on about absolutely nothing. I have gone all year without any kind of sense that I was not free! I solve problems on a daily basis. I guess that is why I got a raise this year. I actually solve problems and do not talk on and on and say nothing and do nothing.

            What I am asking from just one of you is to tell us what we do when we get rid of all government? How do you plan on us all living together without any type of government? Government to me is a group voted for by us all to coordinate how we can all live together. Without any type of coordination what do we do? Sure you can have a meeting to go over everything as a group but that is also a form of government. The only problem with that is you would be spending all your time at meetings and would not have time to live your life. If you do get together to work out your problems, how are you going to make sure everyone follows what you decided?

            Do we start driving like they do in India? I just heard a story about what they are looking for in cars. The primary thing they look for in cars is easily replaceable external car parts do to the fact that you have about a 100% chance of getting your door knocked in or fender crashed. If you like to live without any type of controls you can get used to the same type of thing.

          • An interesting variation on the “driving in India” argument (I’ve never even been to India BTW, much less driven there, but I have been to Paris. Same difference I think).

            When I began racing cars I had this idea that you just brought your car to the track, jumped in and drove as fast as you could without killing yourself (or not. some people killed themselves). Then I found out you need a license to race cars…

          • BTW, that last comment of mine was in reference to Clover’s comment about “driving in India”, which gave me a good chuckle.

            I have to admit that I share many of the same concerns. If government is abolished, it will form again (like the Shadow in the East). How will we prevent totalitarian government from rising again? Is this to be an endless cycle of growth and destruction, or is there really a different way to do things?

          • Scott explain to us when we had totalitarian government? Not in my lifetime. Not in any history books that I have ever seen. The only places I have heard of totalitarian government is places like Cuba and somewhat I would guess China. It is impossible for us to have a totalitarian government because in many branches of government there is split powers and if things start to get out of control we just vote them out. I can think of no better form of government for what you are looking for. I also am smart enough to know that with 100s of millions of people it is impossible to live without some form of government.

          • The totalitarians never see it as such. That’s why you don’t see it Clover. You don’t see it because you don’t have it imposed on you. You’ve never tried to do anything productive on your own, never thought of it, never wanted to do something yourself.

            That’s why you don’t see it. Ask a small farmer in Michigan who’s lost his pigs to the government. Ask the people being forced off their land in the California desert. Ask the people who aren’t being allowed to rebuild after losing their homes to wild fires.

            You won’t see it because you’re just another programed drone going through life. You’ve never tried to be different and if you’ve never tried being different you have never experienced the boot of this totalitarian system.

            The kinds of people who are what the state demands everyone conform to, the kind of people who demand the conformity never see the totalitarian nature of it because they are the totalitarians.

      • Do you really think “technology” is this self-powered historical thing whose development has nothing to do with State acts like enforcing intellectual property?

        Right now we have cancerous technological development. That is to say, our technological power (I mean yours and mine, as discrete individuals) isn’t accumulating, because every innovation introduced from on high is structured to kill that which has gone before. We are left with less nett technological power, not more, not better; but different enough to keep us all perpetual novices.

        Our system HAS TO do this, as it is predicated on power-bases that depend on exclusive technological ability, which cannot but manifest in volumes of production far beyond hypothetical native demand in even a not-too-un-ideal scenario. Engineered need, war, and intellectual property are how the system deals with that: but only as long as it can pile extensions of credit on extensions of credit – and it is fast reaching the limits of that.

          • Thanks Methylamine

            The handle is more of a sympathetic nod to the historical Luddites than an absolute endorsement of their position or the position nowadays popularly associated with them. It seemed to fit the specific convergence of my political position, which is somewhere between Proudhonian Mutualist anarchism and Chesterbelloc Distributism, and my interest in technology.

        • Dear Ned, if you enjoy pissing off clovers go on a liberal website and state that all IP laws should be struck down. The other night on Huff&puff they had an article on the “Black Keys” Apparently they are suing Pizza hut for using part of their song. Supposedly I should now be burning in hell for even suggesting that they are not out a thing because Pizza hut dared to use a clip of music that was already released to the public.

          The ironic point is that they all agree they should be able to download the song for free. It’s only evil when corporations do it.