Friday, March 21, 2008

Automotive Interlude

Friday night at last! This week seemed very long indeed. Cannot wait to kick back, drink some beers and relax. Here's to another wild week!

Dick Bove Calls Market Ticker!
In a few posts, especially my last one, I hit analyst Dick Bove pretty hard for his calls on the markets. I was not the only one, and the guy must be getting pretty sick and tired of it because he actually contacted Karl Denninger who runs the excellent site Market Ticker! I strongly urge you to read the Ticker from tonight:

Lots of great back and forth. I still think Mr. Bove is both wrong and trying to push his own firms holdings, but you absolutely MUST have full and total respect for a man willing to take on his critics one on one without hiding. Mr. Bove, if you ever come across my posts, I admire your integrity and courage, and we can still agree to disagree mightily on the financial sector. It's not personal, it's business.

Automotive Interlude
With all the comments last night that related to things automotive, I thought I would depart from the usual stuff on an off day and discuss cars, engines, and things of that sort. If you are not interested, no need to read on.

I am going to share my own personal car experiences with the readers here. I love cars. I love driving. There is nothing like a powerful, balanced machine surrounding you. After driving a car for a while I can feel when a spark plug is getting carbon build up, the PVC valve needs to be replaced, when an ignition coil is not firing correctly, you name it.

My Cars
Here is my car owning experience to date.
  1. 1983 Renault Encore: No I did not buy the thing! My first car was a gift from my Dad. He got the thing from some guy he worked with for $100 in 1993. The thing had 210,000 miles on it and a blown head gasket. My Dad said if I could fix it and get it running he would register it. And so began my education in car engine rebuilding and upkeep. 3 months later, after many mistakes, the Renault lived! My first car! The thing had no power (rated at, get this, 95 horsepower!), the suspension was shot, the ignition timing of the engine was way off (could not fix as it had an internal chain drive which NOBODY made replacement parts for) but I loved that car all the same. Your first car always has a special place in your heart. I can still remember what the interior smelled like.
  2. 1979 Chevy Camaro: My first MAJOR adult age mistake was buying this car. This car was built by my cousin. It was a 1979 Camaro body but had a heavily modified 383 stroker motor (chevy 350, bored out and increase stroke of crankshaft=383 cubic inches) which pushed over 400 horses. I thought it would be a fun car to drive. It wasn't. If you do not properly upgrade a suspension you cannot hook up that much power. If you do not increase the braking power, all that muscle can be tough to slow down! When gas was just $1 a gallon, that thing still ate most of my meager income in college. Bad idea
  3. 1989 Hyuandai Excel: The second mistake of my adult life! Forced into a smaller compact car for budget reasons, I ignored all advice about Hyundai and bought a crappy used one cheap. You get what you pay for, and that thing basically fell apart. One day literally! I was leaving work, which was 35 miles form my home, and I turned on the motor. I heard an ungodly noise and saw something roll out from underneath the car. I got out to investigate, and it was the entire front assembly of the crankshaft including the pulley and main drive belt. The junkyard was the cars last stop. Good riddance.
  4. 1985 Chevy Cavalier: With a budget of $300 I got this car cheap in 1996. After a complete tuneup and a distributor replacement, the thing ran pretty well. After a while the radiator went bad. I replaced it, and then the water pump went dead. I traded it in and got $600 for it! I doubled my money!
  5. 1994 Mitsubishi Eclipse: My first Japanese car, and it was awesome. The car had great power for a 4 cylinder, and handled like a dream. I really loved that car.
  6. 2000 Pontiac Grand Prix: And not just a Grand Prix, a 2000 Grand Prix GTP Daytona 500 Pace Car. One of only 2000 made. The 3800 series V-6 had a nice 9 pound Eaton Supercharger to boot! The car was fun, but it had so many problems like rainwater leakage, poor brake wear, and very noisy dashboard (lots of rattles!). I WANTED that car so much, but having it was a sort of letdown.
  7. 2005 Infinity G35X: After test driving several cars, I tried driving a G35x. Unreal is all I can say. This car is the most powerful car I have had. Yes, more USEFUL power than the camaro. With an all wheel drive system, there is only total tire hookup, no grip issues. The car can take a corner at 80mph and with little body roll. The engine does not redline until 6800RPM, though you never need to wind it past 4000 for full power. The engine makes a nasty, angry growl as well which reminds me of old engine days gone by. I love this car. It is my favorite car. I cannot wait to trade it in for the even more powerful 2008 G35x this summer.

That's my car experience. I had not thought about it all together like that before. It was fun. Sorry to bore anyone out there.

Car Films

Cars in film can be good. Here is my car film best list;

  1. "Christine": The Stephen King Novel was better, but the film was pretty well done. What could be better than a vintage plymouth demonically possessed and that can fix itself? Cool!
  2. "Cobra" : The shaved and lowered old mercury drive by Stallone in the film is as cool a car as you will see. very nice.
  3. "Lone Wolf McQuade": Chuck Norris drives a Dodge ram bronco, and the scene where he blasts out of the ground is totally worth watching.

I am sure there are more, but I am out of time. Take care this weekend everyone.

Have a good night.


watchtower said...

Hi, my name is Watchtower, and I'm a caraholic.

1st car: 72 Mustang, 6 banger

2nd car: 72 Firebird 350 V8, apparently overbuilt, I found it to be indestructable (engine wise). My all time favorite car that I have owned.

3rd car: 73 Camaro 350 V8...destructible.

4th car: 74 Firebird painted the ugliest green you have ever seen.

5th car: 80 Z28

6th car: 83 Z28, one of the slowest cars I've ever owned, I believe my wife's 4 cylinder Honda Accord would have gave it a run for it's money.

Currently I drive a pickup truck, and the wife has her Accord.
I have been looking at the new 08 Mustang Bullitt, but will probably wait and see what the new Camaro will be like. (yeah I'm getting too old for this, but I just can't help it)

Cool Movies with Cool Cars

"Bullitt" - 68 Mustang...Steve McQueen, classic car chase.

"Mc Q" - 73 Trans Am...John Wayne

"Thunderbolt and Lightfoot" - 73 Trans Am...Clint Eastwood, Jeff Bridges

Cool Car Songs

"Don't Worry Baby" by The Beach Boys

"Racing in the Streets" by Bruce Springsteen

watchtower said...


You mentioned having a Renault (congrats on getting that thing running, they should put you on NASA's team for that), which reminded me of my friend that I grew up with. He had a Fiat X1/9. It was the only one around here that I knew of, kind of a rare sight here in corn country.

watchtower said...

I have been running across a few articles claiming that the major silver dealers are running out of silver...tangible silver.

Anonymous said...

I made my dealer visit. No 1/4 or 1/2 South African Gold in stock. And yes his silver was limited...Watchtower I tried to find a few of those articles your mentioning but non of the sites are loading. Can you tinyurl them here?

My dealer even mentioned another customer making a 1/4 million dollar purchase of gold when it was over 1K.


PS: Best quote I ever heard.

"When you need it and don't have it you sing a different tune."

watchtower said...


These two are from SilverSeek

This is a short audio on HoweStreet with guest David Morgan

You'll have to cut and paste, because I haven't taken the time to learn how to hyperlink.

Take care G!

watchtower said...

Here is something interesting that they have been b******g about over at KD's ticker forum site. They are upset because they released it during Good Friday.(when the markets were closed)

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc's and Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc's credit rating outlooks were cut on Friday by Standard & Poor's, which said volatile markets could result in lower profit and revenue. S&P revised its outlook to "negative" from "stable" on Goldman's "AA-minus" and Lehman's "A-plus" long-term credit ratings, suggesting a possible downgrade in one to two years.

Anonymous said...

THX Watchtower.


Anonymous said...

We finally all come back to where we come...Nissan is owned by Renault...

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