Ronin of the Spirit

Because reality is beautiful.

Long weekend

So I had a long weekend this week. I painted flames on my lawn mower. I made a kitchen table, which is now awaiting a sealant of some kind. I started a plan to save for a house (or a word tour, whichever fits better into my goals at the time.) I studied my CDCs. The ones about my job are actually pretty fun, since I am a big geek. The ones about doing the paperwork for my job are not as fun. The AF specifies how I must study them down to the color of high lighter I have to use to mark a certain text. Its, shall we say, dry.

I started looking to saving up for a car, and you know what? Cars really suck. No one has made a pretty car since about ’67. No ones made a unique car since about ’87. Since ’96 or so cars are nearly interchangeable. Today I looked at all the subcompacts available. I’m not sure what the heck the companies are thinking. Star Trek meets surgery crash cart. The cars are all at least a foot taller than they need to be with acres of glass to let in the sun (due to reasons I’m not going to explain all car A/C s draw about 5 hp, regardless of the size of the car. So in a car with 55 hp like the venerable Geo Metro (may it rest in peace for ever) the A/C draws 11% of the total HP. In a full size truck with 300 HP it pulls 1.7%, hardly even discernible) So the more glass the more cooling load, and the bigger the engine has to be, unless you don’t mind shutting the A/C off to get away from a stop lot.

Glass is heavy too, usually the weights in a car are steel, glass, then aluminum (aluminum bodied cars not counting here.) Which again adds to the weight the engine has to tug around. Oh and the base models don’t come with A/C. But they do have 6 air bags. I can’t tell you how reassuring that is. They all look the same, all have engines within 5% of the same power, weigh within 5% of the same weight, and get within 2% of the same gas mileage, which is pretty bad for a subcompact (all 30-38MPG). Oh and all cost between 10K and 14K (Yes, the A/C, radio, and hub caps really add 4000 clams! Ouch.)

So, I can’t really get that excited about ’em. I think the Ford Focus is probably the prettiest of the lot. (Thats not saying much.) But see, I will never own another indifferently assembled, un-prototyped, poorly designed, knuckle shredding, gas guzzling, money eating, and above all, Ford labeled vehicle ever ever again. That leaves me driving used.

And (hopefully?) by the time I finish dragging my Ford POS around long enough to save up for a real car, the awkward rewarmed vehicles I just ranted about will be affordable. So I started looking at 50’s Plymouths. I can get a flat head 6, 3 on the tree, running car in semi restored state for around 3K. So if I have to drive a used car that only gets 15 in town and 29MPG on the highway and has no air, I might as well look cool doing it. Its all part of my continuing strategy to save money in ways normal people don’t and enjoy doing it. Oh and by the way, a new Aveo will devalue by 25 to 50% as I drive off the lot. A 54 Plymouth appreciates every year. This of course is just a stopgap till I can design my own car from the ground up.
‘Night y’all.


April 8, 2007 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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