GIVE TIL IT HURTS!

A future so bright

We have to be dragged into it against our will, kicking and screaming.

Road Trips in Our Long-Term EVs Have Been…Interesting

Broken chargers, full charging stations, single-digit temperatures, and optimistic range estimates have tested our patience.

While winter has seen many travelers stranded at airport check-in counters this year, MotorTrend editors have been braving the open road in our expanding fleet of long-term electric cars, trucks, and SUVs. During road-trips, MT’s Slack channels often become a de facto logbook of our exploits, capturing the headaches and small victories of long-distance EV driving in real time. Here’s a lightly edited look at how our drivers have fared in the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning, the 2022 Rivian R1T, the 2022 Volkswagen ID4, the 2022 Lucid Air Grand Touring Performance, and the 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 5 when holiday travel peaked, the weather and temperatures turned nasty, or they simply headed to far-flung destinations.

If you thought that was tons o’ fun, just wait till our antiquated and way-overtaxed power grid crumbles into pieces-parts under the weight of all these state-mandated struggle buggies. The only practical answer? This.

Chris Reed: I’m going to still drive the same vehicle I am now in 2040. I won’t be alone.

Assuming you’ll be allowed to, that is.

People routinely go down memory lane when they see decades-old vehicles — lovingly and ingeniously kept up for years despite replacement parts no longer being readily available — still on the streets long after they typically would have been consigned to scrap heaps. While wealthy collectors of older vehicles focus on classic sports or muscle cars, those with economic motives often prefer those they grew up with, such as the Volkswagen Beetles first sold in 1949. It was the best-selling car in the world in 1968 — popular in the U.S. in large part because of its countercultural associations, popular elsewhere more for its durability, affordability and excellent (for its time) gas mileage. In 1972, the Beetle passed the original Ford Model T to become the most manufactured vehicle in history.

Now there is an increasingly strong chance that this phenomenon — of aging vehicles still being a common sight long after they were first sold — will just keep growing in the United States, and that it could be strongest of all in California.

So I guess they’ve finally gotten it done, then: we are all Cubans now.

More on those electric Harleys

Thanks to Himself for hipping me to this vintage Eric Peters post, from 2018.

The Electric Suicide of Harley-Davidson

Imagine a Harley that doesn’t vibrate. No bark through the straight pipes when you push the starter button. No nothing through the pipes – which aren’t there anymore.

There is no starter button.

Just an On/Off switch.

No shifter, either. Because no gears.

All that remains is the “Harley” name on the tank – which isn’t one because it will never be used to store any gas. Might as well paint it on the side of your toaster.

Welcome to the 2019 LiveWire – Harley’s first electric motorcycle. The first of a whole line of them – intended to be ready by 2025.

They’re betting the future of the company on it.

If you have any Harley stock, better unload it.

Quickly.

Because an electric Harley is as silly as juice-bar speakeasy. It runs counter to the point.

People buy motorcycles – and especially Harley motorcycles – because they make that sound.

And also because of the smells – of gas and oil – which attend those sounds. Without which you’ve got what amounts to alcohol-free beer.

Or a girlfriend who won’t sleep with you.

Heh. Indeed. Oh, you’ll for sure be getting yourself a good fucking alright, but you won’t enjoy a single minute of it.

This is not going to end well. For the intangible reasons already articulated – a BLT without the bacon – and for other more tangible reasons.

Harleys – more than any other make of bike – appeal to the cruiser. The long-haul rider. The open road.

But electric bikes – like electric cars – are stunted by abbreviated operational range. A 2019 V-twin Sport Glide carries 5 gallons of easily and quickly replaced gas and gets 47 MPG. It thus can travel almost 240 miles – and when the tank runs low, this Harley can be back on the road in minutes.

That is freedom.

With the LiveWire, you are tied to an electric umbilical cord.

The opposite of freedom.

Yes, t’is, with cars and bikes both. Which is precisely why TPTB insists so vehemently on cramming their blasted EVs down our collective throat.

Over at Eric’s place, there are a cpl-three Harley-hating sourpuss types in the comments who scornfully profess their complete lack of concern for whether H-D carries on as an independent motorcycle manufacturer or not, and who the hell would want one of the outdated POS dinosaurs anydamned way? They’re missing the point at issue, which is, was, and shall eternally remain freedom. This ain’t about motorcycles and/or who makes ‘em. Ultimately, it’s about taking your freedom away from you, nothing more nor less. Y’know, just like with everything else.

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Gawd help us

A black day for bikers will be dawning soon.

Harley-Davidson Will Soon Be All-Electric, CEO Says

As the celebration of its 120th anniversary kicks off, Harley-Davidson knows it needs to evolve in order to survive.

The storied American motorcycle maker may have spun off the battery-powered Livewire as its own separate brand, but that doesn’t mean the brand isn’t fully committed to electrification. In fact, its CEO, Jochen Zeitz, says that company will eventually only make electric bikes.

Jochen Zeitz, huh? Now THERE’S a real all-American name for ya. Kinda like all those native-born Englishters with monikers like Habib Abdullah and Rajnej Prajneesh, I suppose.

“At some point in time, Harley Davidson will be all-electric,” the executive recently told Dezeen. “But that’s a long-term transition that needs to happen. It’s not something you do overnight.”

Needs to happen? Um, no it doesn’t. It really, really doesn’t.

Zeitz’s pronouncement seems guaranteed to make a not-insignificant portion of the manufacturer’s customer base cringe. For many enthusiasts, the thing that really sets a Harley apart from other motorcycles—American-made or otherwise—is a thunderously loud internal combustion engine. But the company knows that no matter how important those large-displacement mills might be change is on the horizon.

Correction: a thunderously loud V-TWIN internal combustion etc. Preferably, with the jugs canted at a comely 45 degrees, not 90 like the Jap crappers and other foreign-copycat “cruiser” style bikes run. Anything else is just another rice burner. The angle of the dangle is what produces that sweet, lumpy “potato-potato-potato” idle sound, which cynical, old-school Harley mechanics like moi have for years maintained sounds much more like “to-the-dump-to-the-dump-to-the-dump-to-the-dump.” That sound is so distinctive, so beloved, that H-D actually tried to claim it as their exclusive legal property.

A major component of Harley’s lasting appeal is the sound of the engine—a kind of potato-potato-potato rhythmic mantra of America engineering. Making a V-twin is fairly easy, but Harley chose the easiest way to do it in having the two connecting rods share a single pin on the crankshaft. This means the 45-degree offset of the cylinders is also a 45-degree offset in ignition. That short gap between power strokes means there is a “bang-bang-pause” sound that rhythmically comes out of the exhaust. The wasted-spark ignition also affects the sound, since it is throwing spark into the front cylinder that is not on its power stroke just because the rear cylinder is. The signature sound really is that simple.

When I say signature sound, it is worth noting the difference between “signature” and “trademarked”. Harley Davidson tried, unsuccessfully, to trademark its exhaust note in 1994. Vibration is just as important as noise, and anyone that has ridden a Harley either loves or hates these rumblings. That shake is a byproduct of the two-connecting-rods-one-crankpin arrangement. This design makes is near impossible to counterbalence the engine to smooth things out, so instead of trying, Harley leans into it.

Hey, you don’t mess with success, Bub.

As for the wasted-spark thing, that can easily be rectified by installing a single-fire ignition rather than the OEM dual-fire arrangement, like my personal preference, the Crane HI-4. It’s the real-deal hot setup, not only because it’s single-fire but also because it allows you to retard the rear cylinder’s spark slightly, the better to cope with the fact that, being an air-cooled engine, that back one tends to run somewhat hotter than the front jug does. My old boss always recommended the dual-fire Dyna modules to our customers, owing simply to the fact that the Crane asking price was twice as high. For my money, though, the Crane was well worth it; three of my four hot-rod Sportys had ‘em, and they all ran like raped apes.

Hey, you gets what you pays for, right?

As for Harley’s all-electric ambitions, Ed quips:

Will the big electric choppers at least have a Jetsons-style bleebling sound as they zoom past?

Well, the aftermarket will probably come up with some sort of onboard sound system for that, but no matter. If it’s electric, then it ain’t a Harley, dammit.

Clueless update! Houston, we have a problem.

But after all, what does Harley-Davidson really have to offer aside from a bad boy image connected to loud exhaust pipes and the buy-American preferences of some motorcycle gangs clubs? I am not a biker nor an expert on motorcycles,

Why the hell are you still talking, then?

but I spent a lot of time as a consultant to two of the world’s biggest auto manufacturers and talked to a lot of engineers about manufacturing tolerances and other arcana of internal combustion engines, and I know that Harleys are not exactly pushing the frontier of excellence. In fact, one American executive with whom I worked was an enthusiast and drove a BMW machine, while others praised the engine technology of Japanese manufacturers.

Uh huh. So perhaps you could explain to me why it might be that every single one of the Big Four Jap maufacturers offers at least one transparently-obvious Harley clone in their model lineup, usually several of the ghastly things?

For many years now, Harleys have primarily appealed to older bikers—ironbutt types who think nothing of getting up early on a Saturday morning and taking a 250-300 mile jaunt, one way, in a pack, just to go to some diner out in the boonies and have breakfast. These guys don’t give a fat rat’s ass about canyon-carving, flying down a twisty mountain road as fast as they possibly can, urban lane-spliitting through monstrous traffic, or LeMans style road-racing.

No, what they like is a nice, laid-back putt way out on some gently-winding country two-lane, on a plush, easy-riding, low-slung sled they’ve made uniquely their own via extensive customization. For them—s’cuse me, for us–it’s all about being In The Wind, getting their knees in the breeze, enjoying that special frisson of total freedom that comes along with that, and nothing else. And yes, the tradition, cachet, and mystique of an American-made V Twin is the only thing that does it for ‘em.

Yes, some of us are indeed horsepower junkies too, which extra ponies can easily be had from a Harley engine with relatively little effort or expense, most of which bolt-on tweaking can be done in your own garage or backyard shed without specialized tools and/or machinery.

Especially my beloved Sportsters. Love them lean, mean little beasties, and I always will.

The old HD bumper-sticker adage still holds perfectly true: If I have to explain, you wouldn’t understand.

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2

Doing in diesel

As fossil fuels go, it just might be the most “problematic” of them all.

The $5.25 Per Gallon Canary in the Coal Mine

There may not be a shortage of diesel fuel yet but there is something else that amounts to the same:

Unaffordable diesel.

A gallon currently sells for about $5.25 per gallon on average.

Interestingly, this is about $2 more per gallon than the current cost of a gallon of regular unleaded. The Biden Thing has succeeded in temporarily tamping down the cost of the latter by draining the Strategic Petroleum Reserve – but diesel prices have not come down appreciably from their spring/summer high of about $5.70 per gallon.

Diesel cost less than half as much two years ago – just before the Biden Thing was selected president.

If you have a diesel-powered car (such as the excoriated-anathematized VW Jettas, Golfs and Beetles equipped with the TDI engines you can’t buy anymore) with a 15 gallon tank, you’re currently paying about $80 to fill ‘er up.

That’s not very affordable.

But not many people are driving diesel-powered cars – chiefly because the car companies haven’t been selling them for about seven years now, ever since the federal government sicced itself on VW for selling them. In italics to emphasize the true nature of VW’s “crime,” which was not “cheating” on government “emissions” certification tests anymore than Matt Strickland’s restaurant, Gourmeltz, was Hut! Hut! Hutted! the other day for supposedly selling alcoholic beverages without an ABC permit.

Alternatives always present problems for those who do not want others to have alternatives.

And now, they don’t.

Diesel-powered vehicles are problem vehicles – from the point-of-view of those pushing the electrification of vehicles. Not only because they go farther than gas-powered vehicles and  much farther than electric vehicles – but particularly because it is possible to keep them going independently of a centrally controlled distribution apparatus.

Gas-powered vehicles require gasoline to keep on going. If there’s none at the pump, it is hard to refine your own. Gas does not store very well for very long, either.

Actually, it used to, but not since FederalGovCo foisted the ethanol-based shite on us all, which worthless crap will reliably convert itself into so much sugary glop in about, oh, an hour and a half or thereabouts.

So even if you thought ahead and stored 50 gallons in a drum for just-in-case, its shelf-life is limited.

Electricity is hard to generate independently in the quantity needed by electric cars. Even on 120v grid power, it takes a day or more to instill a charge in a 400-800 volt electric car battery. If the grid goes down, it will take much longer – unless you have a seriously mighty solar array on your roof or on your backyard.

Diesel, on the other hand, stores almost indefinitely. And many diesel engines can burn bio-diesel, which is “diesel” not made from petroleum. It is made from vegetable oil, animal fats and restaurant grease. In other words, almost anyone can make it.

Themselves.

This presents a dangerous alternative to those pushing “electrification,” which is really more about centralization.

Annnnnd BINGO. In other words, for our Deep State lords and masters, this is really about exactly what it’s always about: Power, and Control.

Update! Ernie drops a most interesting and informative comment.

Eric, you have a bit of a technical error. Natural fuels are refined using fractional distillation, the light stuff comes off first, then some gasoline, then kerosene, then progressively heavier grades of fuel oil, down to bunker fuel and asphalt/tar. In a barrel of crude oil there is inherently a lot more diesel fuel of various types than gasoline. Diesel fuel is inherently far more abundant and used to be far cheaper than gasoline- thus its use in heavy haulers like rigs, trains, and ships.

Also, old school mechanically injected diesels are inherently cleaner than gasoline engines until the 90’s closed loop engine management. As usual, pinheads saw occasional puffs of soot and assumed they had to be dirty, leading to a lot of prejudice against Rudolph Diesel’s “black mistress.”

Man, I’m so old I can remember back in the Olden Thymes of the late 70s/early 80s, when diesel was in fact so much cheaper than regular gasoline that people all over the country were dumping their old rides for diesel cars because of the savings they could realize from making the switch. My, how times have changed.

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Preview of coming attractions

Not that they’re at all attractive, natch.

Now that the Left has secured its power, expect the Left to exercise it.

This will manifest in numerous ways but perhaps the most directly felt will be at the pump, shortly – where we can expect the cost of gas and diesel to increase, suddenly – to the point of unaffordability for many. Especially people who do not live in or near cities.

The point of this being to nudge them out of the country, long a percolating desire of the Left.

Superficially, it will be done as a way to nudge people into EeeeeeeeVeeeeees – which are said by the Left to be “zero emissions” vehicles that rely on “renewable” and “clean” energy. Claims that are as false as they are disingenuous (it not being a question of ignorance about those those claims being false). But never mind that, for the moment.

At this moment, it is necessary to at least triple the current cost of gas and diesel – in order to make driving gas and diesel-powered vehicles – including hybrids – financially impossible for most people. In order to make an EeeeeeeeVeeeee seem – per Pete Buttigieg – the “affordable” alternative to them.

Never mind the cost of the EeeeeeeeeVeeeeee itself, as opposed to the cost of gas or diesel fuel.

The point being to make the EeeeeeeeeeeVeeeeee look – just plausibly enough – to the not-too-numerate – as being a way to “save money” vs. spending it on gas and diesel made very costly, indeed. That will be the sell. The hook will be that – even if you can afford to spend what it takes to buy an EeeeeeeVeeeee – you will have difficulty using it.

Unless you live in or near a city.

Do you think it’s possible the people nudging us into EeeeeeeVeeeeees might just do that? In order to nudge people who don’t live in or near a city to move out of the country? If you don’t suppose it, you probably haven’t read about it. Urban planners – as they style themselves – who are all of the Left – have for the past 50 years-plus been planning to use their power to curtail what they sneer at as “sprawl.” By which these Leftists mean you not living in or near the city – and so under their control – but rather as far away from it as it is economically and practically feasible for you to get away from it.

The car – not the EeeeeeeVeeee – made that possible.

People who didn’t want to live anywhere near the crowds, the costs and the general diminishment of life that attends city life for all who are not rich enough to afford a handsome townhouse (or swanky condo) in the best part of the city but who had jobs in or near the city were able – via the car – to live very far away from all of that because it was feasible as a practical matter and affordable as a financial matter. They could avoid city life. Could live a much larger life than was economically possible in or near the city, where they could not afford the handsome townhouse or the swanky condo – nor the expensive private schools for their kids, either (so as to keep their kids away from the pathologies that afflict in-city government schools).

The upshot is, they want the country, the nice houses, the wide-open spaces, for themselves and their kind. Not…not…not YOU PEOPLE, ick!

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EV follies

It would take a heart of stone not to laugh, and laugh, and laugh, and laugh.

Wyoming Electric Vehicle Road Trip Nightmare: Man Spends 15 Hours to Travel 178 Miles Across State

A Colorado man learned the lesson of just how bad electric vehicles are for long-distance travel when he discovered that it took him 15 hellish hours to drive from Cheyenne to Casper, Wyoming.

At around 180 miles, this is a trip that only takes about three hours in a gas-powered vehicle. But because he was in an EV, the trip took five times more time to make the distance.

The 15-hour slog was his first attempt at using his EV for the trip to Wyoming. He has made the trip since, too. But he has only been able to shave four hours off that time, even with the experience.

The huge problem is, of course, a lack of charging stations. And since EVs only travel a few hundred miles between charges, that meant he was stuck trying to find places to charge — which were usually way out of his way — and then sit idly for hours as his vehicle charges up.

Certainly, electric cars themselves are not always a problem, especially for local driving. Instead, the problem comes with the Biden administration’s attempts to force Americans to switch to electric vehicles rather than allowing them to determine for themselves what kind of vehicle best fits their needs.

Another problem is the fact that our entire electric grid is not set up to charge millions of electric cars. Already this year California told EV users not to charge their cars during its repeated summer blackouts.

The hilarity rolls on from there, until we slam headlong into a grievous category error.

If individual consumers want to buy a far more expensive electric vehicle only to drive locally, that is their choice, of course. But the government’s idea that we all should be in an EV is simply not a logical goal.

Huston’s closing statement is based on a flawed premise: that FederalGovCo’s true aim here is to facilitate clean, Green transportation to save Mother Gaia and halt the deadly scourge of Climate Change (formerly Global Warming, formerly Global Cooling, formerly The Weather™). Not so, I’m afraid, not at all; the true aim here is to inhibit freedom of movement for the Great Unwashed masses to the greatest extent possible, that’s all. Once you’ve got that bit down, the rest is all too logical.

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The Great Undoing

Sido calls a spade a spade.

One of the marvels of White civilization that we take for granted is how easily one can travel enormous distances in a relatively short amount of time. I am not talking about air travel, that is a whole different beast also resulting from White ingenuity, but rather travel by car.

For example, if I wanted to hop in the car and go see Big Country Expat in Florida I could get there is just over 16 hours, travelling a little over 1,100 miles. Let’s call it 17.5 hours to account for stopping for gas. That means that every hour I would go 62 miles. Back in the pioneer days, going 15 miles via covered wagon in a day was a solid day so I can basically cover the equivalent of four days of wagon travel every hour. For contrast, for me to walk to nearby Toledo, Ohio would take over a day on non-stop walking while I can drive it in about an hour and a half. Riding a bike, something I haven’t done since the 1980s, would take around 7 hours.

Automobiles, cheap gas, the intricate highway system and our travel infrastructure which includes gas stations every few miles on most highways make travelling across our nation a breeze. With a credit card and a reliable vehicle you can go anywhere in the continental U.S. of A in just a few days, even from Bangor, Maine to San Diego in just 48 hours of driving. Add in a built in GPS included with most phones and if you give me an address, I can hop in the car and land right at that doorstep with no preparation.

No one really thinks about it. It just is, just as we rarely think about having unlimited potable water coming from the tap or unlimited electricity (except in California) when we flip a switch. Getting to that point where amazing conveniences are something we don’t even notice took centuries of innovation and hard work.

Undoing all of that innovation and hard work is taking a lot less time.

Well, naturally; after all, it’s easier, especially for a muttonheaded shitlib wrecker who really can’t comprehend doing anything else. Arthur goes on from there to dispense with the EV scam, in the process linking to the incomparable John Wilder’s thoroughgoing, leave-no-rare-earth-stone-unturned evisceration of same. As always, it’s tough to excerpt Wilder’s stuff without leaving out something important, but here’s a taste.

Electric cars are, in most ways, absolutely inferior to cars powered by Oil, Our Slippery Friend™. Why? The technology is relatively new, the first electric car (really a locomotive, but who’s counting) having been invented only in 1842 in Edinburgh by engineer Robert Davidson. It traveled at the breakneck speed of 4 miles per hour, which is roughly 4 miles per hour faster than Davidson could move after a fifth of something that John Walker® (yes that one) might have been selling back then.

So, it’s not fair to judge electric cars, since they have been only developing for 180 or so years. It’s still an infant technology. Oh, wait.

But California has decided to ban the sale of new gasoline cars by 2035. Hurray, California!  You’re geniuses beyond imagination! You’ll single-handedly solve global warming.

Or…will that pesky math get in the way?

Let’s see – in order to get California girls to the beach, it takes 13.8-15 billion gallons of gasoline. We’re skipping diesel for now, and just dealing with gasoline. I’ll use 15 billion gallons because in the immortal words of the captain of the Hindenburg, “Close enough.”

Let’s do the math.

15 billion gallons of sweet, sweet gasoline is 500 TW-h (that’s terawatt hours, which is the metric equivalent 5,000 bushels per fortnight). California produces in electricity, in total…drumroll please, 277 TW-h. So, California produces slightly more than half the electricity needed by its stunning new fleet of cars.

To keep just the same level of energy production available for homes (because, presumably, all new citizens between now and then will live in tents) that California will need to triple the amount of power it produces. If you count in increased uses for the iAndroid™ Eleventy-X® and GameBoxStation 2000©, the grid will have to multiply by four or five times. And, remember, we skipped diesel engines, so it’s nearly certain that my estimate is low.

It all reminds one of Heinlein’s classic quote from The Notebooks Of Lazarus Long.

Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now & then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

This is known as “bad luck.”

Indeed. So with shitlibs firmly in charge, we can count on an extended run of nothing but the very worst sort of “bad luck” for the foreseeable future, until enough of us get enough of a bellyful of this shit to remove the icy, dead hand of Leftism from around our necks.

You’ll want to read all of both Arthur’s and Wilder’s excellent posts, folks.

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Unbuilding a better America

Just when you thought the stench of liberal hypocrisy couldn’t be any more obnoxious and repellent, they raise the bar again.

Yeah, fuck you
Classic muscle cars for me, but not for thee

Peters is not amused by this obnoxious flaunting of elitist privilege and power.

A much better America existed in 1967, the year Chevrolet built Biden’s Corvette. That year, Chevy built cars to meet the demands of the market, the people who put up their own money to buy what was built – and were free not to. As opposed to this year – when the entire car industry has been Sovietized and builds what government apparatchiks tell them to. And people are cattled-prodded into buying them – and made to subsidize them, even if they don’t buy them.

It was possible, in that better time, to fit delicate but beatiful bumperettes to the Corvette. To put form ahead of function. Because it looked good – and that was all that mattered. If you didn’t like it, you were free to not buy it. To buy a “safer” – uglier – car, such as a Volvo, for instance.

A few years alter, the government would “mandate” that every new car be fitted with battering ram bumpers that Ugly Betty’d all of them.

Biden got to choose – a choice he and his insist we not be permitted to make for ourselves.

Joe clearly loves driving around in his carbureted, V8-powered, emissions-uncontrolled car, irrespective of its “carbon footprint.” He just doesn’t want you to do that. It is an elaboration of Leona Helmsley’s dictum that “only the little people” pay taxes.

Biden’s Corvette has low-back bucket seats without visibility-obscuring headrests, also mandated for “safety.” Joe can also rest his withered arm on the top of the door, because – in that better America – Chevy was not obliged to build up a structural steel bathtub around the occupants, as car-makers are these days.

Cars were not one-size-fits-all nack in ’67, as they mostly are today. Because it was not necessary, in those days, to build each car exactly alike insofar as how it tested on government…tests. Adding (or deleting) AC adds (or subtracts) load and that can affect mileage and emissions, two things that weren’t issues in 1967.

It is because of people like Biden that cars such as Biden’s are no longer available. Haven’t been available – for decades. 1973 was the last year one could buy a new car without apparatchik-mandated “5 MPH” bumpers. It wasn’t too much loger before the same apparatchiks mandated that all new cars be fitted with “passive” safety systems which at first meant those hateful automatic seat belts that wrapped around you as soon as you sat down and shortly thereafter meant air bags in every new car. It is because of air bags that new cars no longer offer the intricate/distinctive steering wheel designs that were – once – the centerpiece of cars such as Biden’s Corvette.

The Joker-leering Thing behind the wheel is unconcerned, for he has his and that is all that matters to Things such as this.

EeeeeeeVeeeeees for us. All the same, per the Things. Who drive what we’re told we mustn’t and soon won’t be allowed to.

Just one of many things they assume the right to enjoy themselves, while denying it to the rest of us. According to commenter Roscoe, the roots of Pedo Joe’s privilege go deeper still as far as his Corvette is concerned.

Biden didn’t buy the car at the end of a deliberative process where he carefully considered the pros and cons vs. other models like a lot of people who weighed a similar purchase at the time. He received the vehicle as a gift from his wealthy Chevy dealer father.

…The stories vary about why Scranton Joe’s *wealthy Chevy dealer* (lets not forget that) father gave him the ‘vette. Some days, the story is that the car was a wedding gift.

Man, I am in the wrong business for sure. All these years I spent wrenching, singing, writing, and trucking when I should have been a corrupt ProPol, or at least a used-car dealer.

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3

Loving the stick

Peters laments the slow passing of the manual tranny at the behest of the Überstadt.

You might think manual transmissions are unwanted, given that few new cars – including a number of high-performance cars, such as the new Corvette – even offer them.

Isn’t that a reflection of the market?

It’s more a reflection of the government – which has, in its usual oily way, imposed a de facto ban on manual transmission by imposing regulations that are harder to comply with if a given car hasn’t got an automatic (and increasingly, a CVT automatic) transmission. Readers of this column already know why that is, but for those not yet hip:

Manuals – being controlled by the driver – cannot be programmed to shift through the gears in a way best matched to passing the tests that grade compliance with government regulations, especially those having to do with mandatory MPG minimums. This is why – if you’ve driven a new or new-ish car with an automatic – you may have noticed the transmission tries to upshift to the next-highest gear sooner than you probably would have if you were controlling the shifts via a manual gearbox. It is why the latest/newest automatics have eight, nine and even ten speeds. The last several of these being “stepped” overdrive gears that are there to cut engine revs as much (and as soon) as possible, so as to eke out an extra 2-3 MPGs on the government’s “fuel efficiency” tests.

On paper.

Out in the real world, those gains are often lost – because out in the real world, upshifting too soon and too deep (into overdrive) results in sluggish acceleration and drivers will compensate for that by pushing down harder on the accelerator pedal, forcing a downshift. This of course results in more fuel being used.

But hey, the car advertises higher gas mileage!

And – of course – the car company has made the government happy.

But manuals still make more people than you might expect happy. The problem is finding a new car that still offers one.

Doesn’t much matter, I suppose. We’ll all soon be burning to death in the auto-igniting EVs we’ve been forced into, if Big Mommy goobermint has its way with us. Which, y’know, it will. Not that I’m exactly all in on the old stick-shifts, mind, now that I’m minus one (1) clutching leg and all. For me, it’s become a binary solution set: auto-trans, or stay the hell at home.

6

Where schadenboners come from

I love this more than mere words could ever express.

TUCKER COUNTY, W.Va. (WBOY) – On Friday, an electric vehicle broke down along Corridor H in Tucker County on its way to a weekend getaway in Davis. Luckily, a group of local coal miners were happy to help.

Tucker County’s Senator Randy Smith documented the moment on Facebook. The car broke down right in front of the Mettiki Coal access road on US 48, which is several miles from Davis. “Someone called one of our foreman and told him a car was broke down in the middle of our haul road,” said Smith’s post.

Because the vehicle was plastic underneath, there was no way to tow it, so a group of miners decided to push it. “So here are 5 coal miners pushing a battery car to the coal mine to charge up.” You could even see mounds of coal in the background while the vehicle was charging.

Far as I’m concerned, the only thing wrong with this otherwise heartwarming story is the totally unsatisfactory ending. In a perfect world, the stupid EV hunk o’ junk would’ve caught on fire while it was being charged and burned to a crispity crunch.

2

Dream come true

I wanted one of these so bad when I was a teenager I could taste it.

I wanted a blue one back in the day, but I could’ve forced myself to accept a black one if someone twisted my arm hard enough. This next is the part that will kill ya.

LOT S132.1 HARRISBURG 2022 JULY 27-30
1977 PONTIAC TRANS AM SE

HIGHLIGHTS
Odometer reads 14 miles

Which would certainly help to explain the totally pristine, museum-quality condition of this sweet little creampuff, no?

2
2

What’s in a name?

Everything, as it turns out.

It is easy to forget the new XYZ 2.0T – or whatever the alpha-numeric designation of the last transportation appliance you owned was. Who remembers the model number of their last microwave? Who even knows the model number of the microwave in their kitchen, right now?

After all, it’s just an appliance.

And so have cars become.

Not all, not yet. There are still a few – that are new – that have names. Not coincidentally, they are the only ones with personality – and thus deserving of the individuation that comes with naming a thing as opposed to categorizing it.

Mustang, for instance. Say that name and everyone knows what you mean – irrespective of the particular model. The same goes – well, went – for Beetle. Say that name and practically everyone has a story, a memory.

It is hard to remember where you parked your XYZ 2.0T – especially if it is painted appliance white. There are so many just like it. Probably why, at least in part, the push-button key fob was invented. Not so much to unlock your appliance but to help you find it, among all the others.

Naming cars was once a big deal, even though less attention was not infrequently paid to the naming than should have been. Even as regards some of the great names, in terms of the automotive Hall of Fame.

Nova, for instance.

That was the name of Chevy’s new (at the time) compact (mid-sized, by the standards of our time) economy car, which made its debut in 1962 and became as common a sight on American roads back in the ’70s and ’80s as XYZ 2.0Ts are on our roads, today. The problem arose when the Nova was exported to Spanish-speaking countries such as Mexico, because Nova sounds a lot like no va, which means (roughly) it doesn’t go.

Which, at least among the Novas I had any experience with, was perfectly accurate.

Then there was Banshee – a Pontiac that never made its debut, because GM higher-ups weren’t about to let Pontiac offer a two-seater with gull-wing doors that looked a lot like a Corvette take away any Corvette sales. So the Banshee was shelved, which avoided what would have been a big problem if anyone decided to look up the meaning of that name. It means harbinger of death in old Irish idiom.

Some names were just numbers. Z28, for instance. It had emotional mojo as much as Trans-Am, another name almost everyone remembers even though no Trans-Ams have been made in the last 20 years. Both worked because each was individual. Chevy never intended to use “Z28” as a car name. Rather, it was – originally – the ordering code that people in the high-performance know used to spec out a Camaro with an ensemble of road-racing equipment, which was what the original Z28 (in 1967) was all about. As word got out – and lots of orders were being placed – Z28 became a name rather than a number.

Trans-Am was a name that became a car.

One almost inevitably gets attached to things that have names, because by naming them they subtly become something more than just things. This is probably why people who raise animals for food generally don’t name them. It is easier to eat a thing than it is to eat Bessie.

Ahh, but therein lies a chicken-or-egg kind of question: do we get attached to them because they have names, or do we give them names because we’re attached to them?

3

Big, big savings!

Goobermint, just doing what goobermints do.

The headline probably has you thinking about the high cost of the EV – so high that whatever you “save” by not buying gas ends up costing you a great deal. But that is only one of the ways EVs don’t save you money.

Another one is tires.

EV tires wear out faster because EVs are much heavier than other cars – because EVs are weighed down by 1,000-plus pounds of batteries. For example, a Tesla Model 3 – which is a compact-sized car about the same size as a Honda Civic – weighs close to 3,900 pounds (two tons) empty. The Civic weighs just shy of 2,900 pounds – a difference of…1,000 pounds.

That weight weighs down on the tires, which must absorb the load – which increases when the car goes around a curve or runs over a pothole. There is also the increased friction that comes from stopping that load, once set in motion. EV touters like to tout the fact – which is one – that EV brakes last longer because the EV uses regenerative braking to partially slow the car, rather than brake pads. Basically, the electric motors that propel the car are used to slow it – and convert inertia back to electricity, to help top off the batteries.

But the tires are still scrubbing against the asphalt.

But – wait! – if I buy an electric car, I will save money on oil and filter changes! Certainly. In the manner of “saving” on utility bills via the purchase of a $500,000 house with triple-pane Andersen casement windows in place of a $250,000 house with double-pane standard-type windows.

Then there is the biggest maintenance cost of all – the battery pack. Which will cost you more, because it’s so huge – in order to move the EV at highway speeds for any significant distance. This, in turn, results in it being so heavy – which increases the amount of power needed to move it plus the car it’s installed in, reducing efficiency.

You do get the power – and the acceleration – but it costs you. Especially if you use either as doing so discharges the battery, rapidly – which means needing to recharge it more regularly. The “faster” you do that, the greater the load/stress imposed upon the battery, costing you battery life. And when the time comes to replace the battery, that’ll cost you more than it costs to replace a non-electric car’s transmission or engine – and maybe both, together.

Plus the oil and filter changes.

Buy an EV if it floats your boat. But don’t kid yourself that doing so is “saving” anything – including the Earth.

If it floats your boat, you say? Better watch that loose talk there, buddy; that’s exactly the kind of subtle advocacy for individual self-determination that will surely get you Gulagged in the land of the “free” and the home of the “brave” nowadays.

6

Tender mercies

Greatest. Auto. Review. EVAR.

‘Suffice to say the A110 absolutely crushes expectations, and your berry hanger’
The absolutely brilliant Alpine A110 is anything but sterile to drive
You’ll have heard how the Alpine A110’s combination of lightness and rightness has earned the admiration of evo’s tillermen. And that’s all well and good, but what’s it like if you’ve just had a vasectomy? To find out, I went to a central London clinic and invited a large, medically qualified man to have a good rummage amongst my underparts, then realised with dismay that I had booked to borrow a low-slung French sports coupe almost immediately afterwards.

The first thing to cross your mind upon seeing the A110 is just how little it is and also how much your balls hurt. You can immediately sense that this is a car from which all excess has been banished, and this impression is reinforced by opening the featherweight aluminium door, which is so lacking in mass that it puts no strain whatsoever on your mangled knacker sack, unlike its low-slung driving position, which is absolute agony.

Once in, you can take a moment to admire the bespoke seats with their one-piece backs and upsettingly unpillowy cushions. You might be interested to learn that these chairs weigh just 13.1kg each, despite fine detailing including quilted leather and a grippy central section that expertly rides your jeans up into the tenderest parts of your plum pouch.

The rest of the interior is, perhaps, a little less successful, featuring a smattering of Renault parts bin components, including remote audio controls seemingly taken from the Renault 19, and the flat keyless entry card from the Laguna, though wrapped in a smart leather case that makes it both more attractive to look at and better equipped to shift awkwardly across your pocket and nudge stoutly into your tenderised clacker hammock.

Okay, that there is some truly inspired stuff. Hats off to Richard Porter for his dedication to his craft, taking one for the team and putting his boy beans in harm’s way to bring us this truly stellar article. Well done, young feller, well done.

“Clacker hammock.” I swear, I just can’t stop laughing at that one.

1

The Green Deceit

Screwing the energy-policy pooch—and most Americans, too—on purpose, so as to pimp expensive, unreliable Green “solutions”—a ruinous shell game built entirely on a foundation of brazen lies.

Joe Biden Is Doing Everything Possible To Avoid Unleashing American Energy Production
Americans are coping with the highest gas prices ever recorded, compounded by inflation, with the national average reaching $4.33 per gallon earlier this month, according to an AAA tracker. On Thursday, a Federal Reserve analysis recorded inflation at a four-decade high, which followed a survey from Salary Finance out Wednesday reporting 1 in 5 Americans are running out of cash between paychecks.

After 14 months actively suppressing oil and gas production in the name of climate change, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine hampered the Oval Office’s diplomatic menu as the United States enthusiastically forfeited its energy independence. In the run-up to its full-scale invasion, Russia supplied more than 10 percent of the world’s crude but is now throttled by western sanctions against the primary source of revenue for the Kremlin’s war machine. Following the United States’s stint as an energy-independent net exporter of oil under President Donald Trump in 2018, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecast the United States will revert to its role as a net importer this year under Biden.

Repeated use of U.S. reserves without a plan to permanently increase U.S. oil and gas production was described by Montana Republican Sen. Steve Daines as a “band-aid on [a] bullet wound.” It showcases an administration dedicated to pulling every lever possible to avoid allowing American producers to ramp up production to meet the nation’s energy needs. According to the EIA, Americans consumed an average of nearly 20 million barrels of oil a day, putting the White House release of 1 million barrels per day into perspective.

Instead of opening American energy projects the administration has shut down such as drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and permits for the Keystone XL Pipeline, Biden has continued to harass the oil and gas industry, and suppress production in the process. Just this week, Bloomberg reported the Biden administration is planning to delay oil leases in the Gulf of Mexico for a third consecutive year, signaling to the industry that the White House has no plans to endorse long-term production to reclaim energy independence.

No, of course not. Why, that would be just AWFUL, a horrible mis-ordering of government priorities. Everyone knows that you just don’t go around promising to “reclaim(ing) energy independence” until the job of bringing a once-mighty nation to its knees, destroying its economy, and breaking its people to your will via impoverishing them and denying their freedom of movement has been completed. Then and only then, once their desperation and misery has reduced them to abject pleas for government to step in and “help,” can you resume your forked-tongue eructations promising “energy independence” for one and all again.

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