Episode 38 – 18 Cars Between Us
Welcome back to the auto podcast that can’t seem to find a good reason for you all to re-share!
Guilt-trips aside, we love the fact that you’re here with us, week after week. We also love bringing you automotive news, project updates, and hearing from folks like you.
Speaking of hearing from you, we’d like to congratulate longtime listener Don S for winning our recent book giveaway. Don snagged a copy of A Trucker’s Tale: Wit, Wisdom, and True Stories from 60 Years on the Road by Ed Miller for sharing a post about Throwin’ Wrenches Podcast on Facebook. Mad props, Don. Mad props.
If anyone is interested in a great collection of stories about life as a long-haul truck driver in the era before GPS, electronic logging and creature comforts like air conditioning, grab a copy of Ed’s book on Amazon. It’s also available as an audiobook if that’s more your speed. Either way, it’s a great read and we hope you enjoy it.
Thanks to Apollo Publishers for the generous giveaway offer!
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Jameson Elder of Neosho, Missouri tells us he listens to our podcast nearly every night at work and he loves the Moment of Musk. He also says to keep up the great work. Thanks so much for listening, Jameson! We’re glad you’re enjoying the show!
We also heard from a listener, Ryan, who ranked his Race, Daily, Kill choices from Episode 36, which included a Fiero, an RX-7 and a Honda CRX. More in our latest episode.
Eric recaps his latest trip to Nashville with his beloved Treehugger, a 2010 Toyota 4Runner with 200k well-traveled miles. What does the future hold for this soon-t0-be-retired trail rig? You’ll be happy to know there’s a Treehugger 2.0 in the works!
Also, ERIC BOUGHT ANOTHER CAR. That brings the total number in his fleet to 9. We’ll also give you a few guesses as to what kind of car it is. Here’s a hint: It’s a 1990 Toyota Supra with the awesome targa roof.
Daryl recalls his latest hunt for rusty parts for his 1958 Plymouth project. “Operation Iowa” was successful, and he didn’t get murdered. He also tried out a new buffer and brought some life back into the finish of his wife’s 2007 Toyota Solara convertible without burning a hole into the finish… so that’s what we call a “success story”.
Race. Daily. Kill.
|Model:||Type II (Bus)||Chevy Van G10 (1/2 ton)||Sportsman 100 (1/2 ton)|
|Engine / HP:||2.0 liter air-cooled 4-cylinder (70 hp)||250 cid inline 6-cylinder (155 hp)||318 cid V-8 (147 hp)|
|Price :||$6,185 MSRP||$5,468 MSRP||$5,813 MSRP|
Race the Dodge. Daily the Chevy. Kill the VW.
Race the Dodge. Daily the Chevy and Kill the VW.
For once, they agree!
Ford Commits $1.5 Billion to Build EVs in Canada
Ford Motor Co. has reached a tentative labor deal with its 5,400 unionized employees in Canada, in a settlement that also secures a nearly $1.5 billion investment in two plants and a commitment to build electric cars in suburban Toronto. The decision from the Dearborn, Mich.-based automaker represents a shot of confidence for Canada’s auto sector. Factories in the country produce roughly two million vehicles annually, but that is down 25% from 2000 as car makers invested in lower-cost regions such as Mexico and the U.S. Sunbelt.
Source: The Wall Street Journal
VW to Offer Unlimited Charging for 3 years on New EVs.
Volkswagen AG will provide owners of its ID.4 compact electric sport utility vehicle with three years of unlimited charging in the United States at no additional cost to the vehicle’s price, the German automaker said on Monday. Volkswagen said customers, who lease or purchase the electric SUV that was launched last month, can access the company’s unit Electrify America’s U.S. network of more than 470 charging stations and over 2,000 fast chargers.
GM: We’re Okay Not Being the Biggest
Nearly a decade ago, Toyota Motor Corp. dethroned General Motors Co. as the world’s largest car company, leaving some GM executives wringing their hands. Mary Barra wasn’t among them. When she took the CEO job in early 2014, she inherited a company that for decades was so large and unwieldy executives sometimes didn’t know whether parts of the business were making or losing money. On a visit to GM’s unprofitable operations in Thailand that year, she signaled a readiness to curb the company’s fixation on size. She criticized her Asian executive team’s five year-plan to introduce several new models, according to people who attended.
Source: The Wall Street Journal
Hyundai Wants to Restart Facility Upgrades; Dealers Wary
Hyundai and Genesis are resuming their dealership upgrade programs after halting them six months ago when the coronavirus pandemic disrupted the U.S. auto market. And some dealers are pushing back. Retailers say economic conditions remain uncertain in the U.S. and car buyers are increasingly moving online, especially under the shadow of the pandemic, making major investments in physical stores less appealing. But executives at Hyundai Motor America say they feel the company’s retail sales have rebounded from the coronavirus crisis thanks to aggressive factory promotions and hard work by dealers. And now is the time to move forward.
Source: Automotive News
EV Upgrades May be Final Straw for Some Cadillac Dealers
The dawning electric-vehicle era is likely to mark the end of the road for some low-volume, rural Cadillac dealerships. The luxury brand is requiring U.S. dealers who want to keep their franchises after 2022 to spend at least $200,000 installing chargers, buying special tooling and training employees to handle a lineup that’s planned to be fully electric within a decade. Cadillac officials and top dealers believe that’s a worthwhile investment to give customers a first-class experience, but they acknowledge it could be too much for retailers that don’t have enough volume to recoup those costs in a reasonable period of time.
Source: Automotive News
Kansas City Auto Show Bans Tesla
Since Tesla sells directly to customers, it was excluded from the Kansas City Auto Show, reported CleanTechnica.
The Automobile Dealers Association of Greater Kansas City puts on the auto show. According to the report, a sales and service agreement with an automaker is criteria to join the association. Tesla’s business model lacks franchised dealerships.
However, local Tesla owners and enthusiasts set up outside the auto show. The Tesla Owners Club gave test rides of their cars.
Source: Clean Technica
Michigan auto dealers are trying to block startup electric carmakers including Rivian Automotive Inc. and Lucid Motors Inc. from following in Tesla Inc.’s footsteps by selling vehicles directly to consumers and servicing them in the state. A bill introduced in the Michigan legislature last week would block any manufacturer other than Tesla from selling cars to customers without a dealer as an intermediary and from owning and operating service and repair facilities. It could come up for a vote as soon as Tuesday, according to a Rivian official.
Eric discovers a story about the recent shake-up at EV manufacturer Nikola Motors and some stock squabbles, and decided to do a little investigative journalism. We also call this “stalking”. In true #RabbitHole fashion, he dives into allegations of nepotism, short-selling, and a lot of other fun stuff. After a $2 billion infusion from General Motors, will this startup ever really materialize, or is this all just a big waste?
Who wants to place bets that Nikola won’t be around in a few years?
GrInDiNg the GeArS
This week, Eric sets his laser beams on SuperCar Blondie, the Gucci ballcap and silver leather pant-wearing YouTube sensation that has an audience of zillions, yet somehow manages to get under Eric’s skin. He lays out the reasons why she needs to dial it back a notch.
He also talks about one of the most disgusting cars he’s had to service in recent years. Seriously, when will people stop being so gross?
Meanwhile, Daryl gets all torqued off over how city folks are driving on two-lane country highways on their way to pick apples. It seems a lot of folks don’t know how to properly pass on these roads anymore and could make a deadly mistake. Are Honeycrisps and fresh apple cider really worth dying for?
Cars of the WEAK
Eric: Segway Dirt E-Bike X160 – $2,999.00 $3,499.00
Eric goes for another e-bike, only this time it’s built by Segway and features a 76 mile range, 40 mph top speed, and would be a perfect off-road toy.
Enjoy unforgettable off-road adventures with the Segway Dirt eBike X160. Riding this high-performance electric dirt bike is pure joy. Weighing only 105.8 lbs the bike is super lightweight and easy to maneuver, whether you are an experienced rider or a complete beginner. However, the best part about this dirt bike is its electric motor which provides an absolutely crazy acceleration of 184.3 FT-LBS! In only 4 seconds this beast will sprint from 0 to 31 mph making even experienced riders smile.
Daryl: 1982 Checker A11 (Marathon) taxi – $15,750
Source: Checker Motor Cars
This final model-year Checker was originally ordered as a cab by Black & White Taxi in Little Rock, Arkansas but was never put into service. The owners drove it as their personal transportation. Featuring an underpowered, wheezy, carbureted GM 3.8 V6 and slushbox automatic, this iconic sedan would get respectable mileage and is easy to maintain with a stockpile of NOS parts thanks to Checker’s long run as America’s taxicab from 1961 to 1982. I’ve always loved these and someday will own one. It’s nice to see this one survived without being abused in daily service on the streets. Prices for these goofy things are getting steep for a good-running original.
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