Friday, December 19, 2008


These things happen to everyone from time to time. I suppose it was my turn.

I topped off the oil in Amanda's car the other day, and... well, have a look.

Yup. I forgot to put the oil cap back on. There's oil all over the place.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


I've created this blog to keep track of my various car-scapades, inspired by my recent purchase of a 1991 Mazda Miata. As a still-owner of a vegetable oil-powered 1980 Mercedes-Benz 240D, I've run into so many bizarre problems and eccentricities with that car that I've thought many times about putting them to (digital) paper. 

I never quite got around to it, partly because the amount of time I dedicated to the Benz limited how much I could spend writing about it. But a recent column on the Pansy Patrol, a car enthusiast blog I read regularly, pushed me over the edge into autoblogland. See the link in the Shared Items on the right. It's where I got the name for this blog.

The things Clint talks about in that column mimic the fight I've been having in my own head about selling the Mercedes. I love it, I hate it, I love it again, I hate it some more. I strive to be rational about the decisions I make involving my cars, but in the end, it's not about what makes the most sense. It's about my love for the car.

I work with a guy, Jim, who buys cars for less than $1000.  Jim fixes what needs attention to make them road-worthy, but that's it. Comfort, amenities, driving pleasure, status, track prowess, power, safety, style -- none of these are things he considers when buying a car. 

Jim is as logical as they get. He doesn't pay depreciation. He doesn't pay a premium for comfort, style, or status. He doesn't care what he drives in any way, other than it gets him where he needs to go for the least amount of money. When the car gets too costly to repair, he'll just "throw it out." He doesn't have any passion about cars at all. 

This blog, then, is not about a hard-core utilitarian approach to cars. Nor is it about mindless fawning over poster cars (a la Countach, Veyron) or an endless, hopeless obsession to on-the-deathbed projects. It's about having fun, getting dirty, and feeling good about a job half-assed with duct tape and JB Weld holding up longer than the original failed part.

I will primarily focus on the three cars that I own or care for, sprinkled with commentary on the automotive industry and other cars that I work on. My cars are (in order of age):
1980 Mercedes-Benz 240D/SVO (for sale -- yes, really)
1991 Mazda Miata (commuter/track)
1998 Ford Escort ZX2 (former commuter, now Amanda's)