The Analog Antidote

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Today, they dropped off another EeeeeeVeeeee… so I took this for a drive, instead!

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  1. i can’t begin to describe the thrill of my 1st motor rebuild that I did for my 1971 Monte Carlo. It was a 350/300 that, prior to my rebuild, literally could not pass a school bus. Using a $150 rebuild kit from JC Whitney, I built it back to it’s original 300+ HP, and you could barely keep it on the road. I may have had a whole $1,000 invested, including the purchase of the car itself.
    The satisfaction of having accomplished something like that is virtually impossible nowadays without spending tens of thousands of dollars.

    • It’s can can-do attitude and self-reliance that feminism and liberal nitwit ideas have all but eradicated from this land.

  2. All this classic car talk makes me want to get something myself. I have to resist the urge to restomod the thing, though. Except for maybe an overdrive transmission and some basic suspension enhancements..

    • On both of my classics I completely rebuilt the suspension and steering, but I replaced all the parts with stock parts. The temptation was there to upgrade to more modern tech, but a big part of the experience of owning a classic is the feel of it on the road. It’s a raw, visceral experience. There’s more “driving” involved, more danger. To me, it would be like buying a motorcycle and adding another tire on the back for stability.

      It was a surprise how well the cars handled after rebuilding. Like night and day. These cars handled pretty darn good when new.

      Either way…. do it!

  3. Sigh. I need to get that right rear tire and inner tube replaced on my ’67 MGB. It’s FINALLY getting to MG driving weather here in Mildew City, after a brutal summer. I envy your fire-breathing Poncho, Eric.

  4. Put Sammy Hagar’s “I can’t drive 55” on and let ‘er rip! As soon as the state truck blocking traffic gets out of the way.

  5. Now that the “Picard” Season Three DVD set is out, I highly recommend that you take the time to watch.

    Without giving too much away, among other themes that you touch on here, the writers gave Picard and his crew a Barchetta of their own.

  6. Eric, you have 2 switches to the right of the cig lighter. My 79 only has 1 switch there and it’s the rear defroster. What is the second switch?

      • Hot diggy damn! Nice!

        I have no pics of my ‘70 Bird, it was gold exterior with a tan/oyster two tone color interior, but did not have the machine turned dash panel. It was a California smog spec car though, The Commanders ‘71 Nova with the 307 would smoke my 350 Bird stop light to stop light, she was laughing at me when we got home.

        FYI you youngin’s out there, cars actually were available with a wide selection of color optioned interiors in the “before times”. Also note, these cars had comfortable seats that fit American sized adults without your legs spilling over the side bolsters. The bolsters were there to keep you comfortably centered in the actual seating surface.

        • Thanks, Sparkey!

          And – amen. The youth have no idea what they’ve never had. The range of possible configurations my ’76 Pontiac offered was astounding – by modern standards. By the way, the engine-turned dash facing – while standard for the ’70-81 Trans-Am – was also available with the Formula Firebird, if I recollect correctly. You could also get the TA’s standard Formula three-spoke steering wheel – as an option.

  7. The Pontiac HVAC sliders, oh how I miss thee! In a short learning curve you would then never have to look down to adjust any of it. All the way to the right to get the windshield defogged the fan switch to the top. The usual Seattle area morons back in the day “you don’t need a/c in a car here, it’s only hot a couple days a summer!” Not knowing the moisture sucking wonderment of a GM R12 a/c system for quickly clearing the front and then helping the side windows too. It’s always damp in the Pacific NW, so many commutes with my Firebird then the Grand Prix – windows totally clear watching the others furiously pawing at the glass with a towel!

    • Yup!

      All 1970-1981 Trans-Ams came standard with an “engine turned” dash facing; it emulated the similar look of art deco-era (high end) instrument facings.

      • That’s pretty righteous, man. Much better than, well, pretty much anything I’ve seen for the past couple decades, with all the cheap, plastic garbage that eventually cracks to pieces.

        It looks more like the cockpit of some retro fighter plane: a much more affirming ambience.

        • Yep, styling mattered on the inside back then. Sit down, look around, “wow I really like this” was the goal. Also, real life people not computer modeling determined the layout. Switches easy to reach, gear shift set just right, steering wheel comfortable. The ‘71 Nova we had was the first time experiencing the “new” GM soft touch knobs. Instead of grabbing hard plastic the knobs had a semi soft texture finish. Column shift knob, radio volume and tune, the turn signal stalk end.

          • Hey Sparkey,

            I had no idea the ’70s/early ’80s Trans Ams had such a cool dash.

            Eric has put out several articles explaining how the gap has closed between “luxury” cars and “economy” cars (no such thing anymore).

            I’ve said it here before (among others) that the luxury brands could have something special again by discarding the ubiquitous in-dash touch-screen and having actual knobs, dials and switches. They could include this sort of brushed-metal, wood, etc. instead of molded plastic and set themselves apart, easily. Of course, my GF has told me that I have some kind of “switch fetish”, and she’s right, so keep that in mind. But, toggle switches, paddle switches, buttons, knife switches… Put them on the dash, console, doors steering column, everywhere, along with analog meters of all types. 🙂 Make it something James Bond could be proud of.


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