| | |

Episode 47 – Amigos, Anchovies and Autonomous Accidents

Welcome back to the automotive podcast that enjoys a nice bottle of chianti when we aren’t wrenching on a project or searching the internet for the latest automotive news. In fact, several former guests of Throwin’ Wrenches Podcast could be found in Eric’s kitchen in recent weeks, devouring most of an ibérico ham from Costco and drinking fine wine on a warm spring evening. It was a bacchanalian delight that will probably be repeated in the near future.

We hope everyone is also happy and healthy this Spring, and is busy making plans for summer adventures with friends and family. More on some of our adventures in this week’s episode.


Fort’s Toyota of Pekin Casey Law Office Arena Esports

Episode Highlights


Eric’s 1990 Toyota Supra has a clean bill of health after being sidelined by a faulty thermostat last fall. He’s feeling confident enough that he invested in some paintless dent removal and is bringing the finish back to its former glory. It’s only a matter of time before the car hits the Illinois highways (and backroads) for another season. 

He is also searching for anyone in the midwest who is participating in the 24 Hours of LEMONS racing events. He’s considering getting involved and would like to help out a pit crew. We think he’s secretly looking to build his Scion TC into LeMons racer, but that’s just a guess.

Oh, and he wants a plastic welder.

Meanwhile, Daryl has set May 1st as “The Day of Reckoning” for the ‘47 Chevy Fleetline. After this month’s Cars & Coffee, “Oscar” is coming out of cold storage for some brake work. The master cylinder went out, and the goal is to have him up and running for the Morton Car Fest on Saturday, May 8th.

Daryl also bought and received a much nicer rear seat for the Project Plymouth. This one has more metal and isn’t destroyed by mouse whiz. The seats are now complete, so I can sandblast & paint them, then hand things off to an upholsterer to work on. 

Wheel Daily Kill

The Contenders

1996 Isuzu Amigo 1996 Suzuki Sidekick 1996 RAV4 2DR
2.6L 119-HP I4  (standard)

3.2L 174-HP V6 (optional)

1.6L 95-HP I4 (standard)

1.8L 120-hp I4 (optional)

2.0L 119-HP I4
5-Speed Manual / 4WD 5-Speed Manual / 4WD 5-Speed Manual / AWD
Labeled the MU platform by Isuzu, which stood for “Mysterious Utility”. This is 100% true. Released in the U.S. in 1992 after the success (and failure) of their Samurai 4×4. The first-generation RAV4, known as the XA10 series.

1997 Automobile Magazine Car of the year!

Utilized the same platform as their pickup, and Rodeo SUV. Later shared by Honda.


Still being manufactured by IKCO in Iran under license from Suzuki.


The RAV4 started at $14,948 for a two-door, 2WD version with a five-speed manual transmission, and top out at $18,098 for a four-door, 4WD version with an automatic.

The Verdicts

Eric and Daryl were unanimous in their picks this time. Is that a first?

Wheel: The Isuzu Amigo. Why? Because of the chunky fenders, the big V6, and because their commercials from the 1990s were great parodies of the 70’s Slinky commercials and Ren & Stimpy’s “Log” commercials from our childhood.

Daily: The Toyota RAV4. This is an obvious choice for a couple of Toyota owners due to Toyota’s dependability.

Kill: The Suzuki Sidekick. Riding in these things is like being a gallon of paint in a hardware store paint shaker. Even when they lengthened them and gave them a 4 door version, that platform was awful. Sorry. 

What would you Wheel, Daily, Kill out of these three 90’s soft top 4×4’s? Let us know your picks on Facebook or info@throwinwrenches.com and we’ll share it on the next podcast.

International News

Stellantis Supplier Seeks Court Order to Compel Chip Supply for Jeep Plant

Source: NADA

Credit: Rockford Register Star

A federal judge in Michigan will hear arguments on Friday on whether to issue an emergency order forcing NXP Semiconductors to provide chips to a supplier of automaker Stellantis. The global automotive chip crunch started late last year, when automakers and their suppliers failed to understand they needed to put in orders months ahead of time as the consumer electronics industry surged and took up chipmaking capacity.

Toyota Says It Will Introduce 15 BEVs, Expand Electric Lineup by 2025

Source: NADA

Toyota Motor Corp said on Monday it will introduce 15 battery electric vehicle (BEV) models globally by 2025, expanding the automaker’s electric vehicle lineup to achieve carbon neutrality before 2050. The company will increase its number of electric models to around 70 from currently offered 55, it said in a statement. The new BEV model Toyota bZ series, which was unveiled at the 2021 Shanghai Auto Show on Monday, is aimed for China, the United States and Europe, the carmaker said.

National News:

Still No Auto Show, So Detroit Tries Car Crawl

Source: NADA

It’s been more than 800 days since the Motor City has had an auto show, and the next one is still about 500 days away. To fill the void until September 2022, the Detroit Auto Dealers Association is helping to bring a new car-focused event to the city this summer. The Motor City Car Crawl aims to bring some economic activity back to Detroit while also raising money for the children’s charities that would have benefited from the charity preview of the North American International Auto Show had it been held in 2020 and 2021.

Twin Cities Auto Show: An Experiment on Experiential

Source: NADA

Minnesota Automobile Dealers Association President Scott Lambert says the outdoor show, which is set to take place next month at the state fairgrounds, will feature a variety of interactive elements for attendees.

National News

Garage-Built Toyota 4Runner with Nissan EV Drivetrain is First-of-its Kind to Run at “King of Hammers”

Source: CNet

Last week marked the first time an electric vehicle ran in the King of the Hammers off-road event in Johnson Valley, California. Racer Kyle Seggelin and his team finished the Every Man Challenge in truck No. 2277, a Toyota 4Runner with the powertrain from a Nissan Leaf EV.

The 4Runner/Leaf rig was built by Seggelin and his team. It started the race with two 20-kilowatt-hour batteries, enough to get it to the first pit stop some 17.5 miles away. There, the team swapped out those batteries for the 62-kWh pack found in the Leaf Plus — a process that took a mere seven minutes.

The key to quickly swapping batteries? Custom-built sliders. The team divided the battery packs into sections, each weighing roughly 200 pounds. They fit securely into the sliders and connected to the electric motor with a large, high-voltage connection, and one or two smaller Molex connectors, depending on the pack size. All the team had to do was disconnect, slide the packs out and then reverse the process. Easy peasy.

While Seggelin and his co-driver, his sister Dahlia Seggelin, were out on the next 55 miles with the larger 62-kWh battery, the team charged the original, smaller batteries with a 12,000-watt generator.

“No One Was Driving” in Tesla Crash That Killed Two In Texas: Police  The Drive

Source: KPRC2 Huston

Two men died in a fiery Tesla crash this weekend in Texas, one where police claim one occupant was sitting in the passenger seat and another was in the back. The collision happened in the Carlton Woods subdivision in the affluent Houston-area suburb of The Woodlands, and many observers believe misuse of the car’s Autopilot semi-autonomous driver aid system may be to blame. 

“No one was driving,” Harris County Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman told KPRC2 Houston. Herman said the investigation showed that there were only two occupants in the car, and neither was found in the driver’s seat. It’s unknown how fast the 2019 Tesla Model S was driving when it crashed into a tree, but deputies claim it was traveling “at a high speed when it failed to negotiate a cul-de-sac turn.”

Texas Will Serve Tesla With Search Warrants

Source: ADAPT Automotive

Texas investigators will serve Tesla with search warrants related to the crash near Houston that killed two occupants. No one was in the driver’s seat of the car, first responders said.

Reuters reports that if Tesla was able to examine data from the crash vehicle, the company hasn’t shared it with investigators. Elon Musk had tweeted that his data showed no autopilot features were online during the crash.

 This is the 28th Tesla crash to be investigated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Elon Musk, Tesla executives dispute reports that deadly crash in The Woodlands was related to autopilot

Source: KHOU

Tesla says they believe someone was in the driver’s seat during the deadly crash that happened in The Woodlands earlier this week.

TW – We say “stay tuned as this drama unfolds”.

2021: The Summer of Gas Shortages

Source: CNN

Millions of people stuck at home for more than a year are expected to hit the road for much-needed post-pandemic vacations this summer. Good luck finding gas.

Not that there’s a looming shortage of crude oil or gasoline. Rather, it’s the tanker truck drivers needed to deliver the gas to stations who are in short supply.

According to the National Tank Truck Carriers, the industry’s trade group, somewhere between 20% to 25% of tank trucks in the fleet are parked heading into this summer due to a paucity of qualified drivers. At this point in 2019, only 10% of trucks were sitting idle for that reason.

“We’ve been dealing with a driver shortage for a while, but the pandemic took that issue and metastasized it,” said Ryan Streblow, the executive vice president of the NTTC. “It certainly has grown exponentially.”

Domino’s® and Nuro Launch Autonomous Pizza Delivery with On-Road Robot

Source: Domino’s 

Domino’s (NYSE: DPZ), the largest pizza company in the world based on global retail sales, and Nuro, the leading self-driving delivery company, are launching autonomous pizza delivery in Houston. Beginning this week, select customers who place a prepaid order on Dominos.com on certain days and times from Domino’s in Woodland Heights, located at 3209 Houston Ave., can choose to have their pizza delivered by Nuro’s R2 robot. Nuro’s R2 is the first completely autonomous, occupantless on-road delivery vehicle with regulatory approval by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

This collaboration between Domino’s and Nuro will introduce an entirely new delivery experience to pizza lovers. Here’s how it works: select customers who place a prepaid website order from the participating Domino’s store can opt to have their order delivered by R2. Customers who are selected will receive text alerts, which will update them on R2’s location and provide them with a unique PIN to retrieve their order. Customers may also track the vehicle via GPS on their order confirmation page. Once R2 arrives, customers will be prompted to enter their PIN on the bot’s touchscreen. R2’s doors will then gently open upward, revealing the customer’s hot Domino’s order.

Lyft to Offer Vehicle Maintenance, Repair

Source: ADAPT Automotive

Lyft will launch an app-based service for drivers to get service from the company’s own network of mobile techs and shops.

SLive reports that the service, Lyft Auto Care, started as a network for Lyft drivers but is now available to all drivers.

A mobile technician could be ordered for maintenance items like oil changes, tire rotations, and brake checks. A visit to a Lyft “Driver Center” would be needed for collision repair and mechanical repairs.

According to the story, pricing is shown up front when the customer orders service.


Moment of Musk:

Elon Musk is hosting SNL on May 8th and the cast hates him. 

Source: CNN.com

In a surprise move over the weekend, Saturday Night Live announced that business mogul Elon Musk would be hosting the NBC variety show on May 8. Some “SNL” cast members didn’t seem too excited about it.

In an Instagram story, cast member Bowen Yang wrote “what the f— does this even mean?” as a caption to Musk’s tweet from over the weekend which read, “Let’s find out just how live Saturday Night Live really is.”

Andrew Dismuke, another cast member, also took to Instagram to apparently address the choice. He wrote “Only CEO I want to do a sketch with is Cher-E Oteri” over a photo of former “SNL” castmember Cheri Oteri.

NBC did not immediately respond to CNN Business’ request for comment.

TW Note: It appears that SNL Cast Member and Squeaky Wheel Bowen Yang’s Twitter account has mysteriously gone bye-bye following his criticism. #Censorship? 

Cars of the Weak

Eric:  1994 Toyota Previa – $3,000 

Source: Facebook Marketplace

Sure, it’s rough and has a few dents… but those limousine seats that swivel and the mega sky roof make up for it. Did I mention this is one of the later supercharged versions of the legendary Toyota minivan? These things were ahead of their time when they debuted in the early 1990s, and owners rarely sell them since they’re super dependable and still function better than the models that followed them. Who else would love to add one of these to their car collection? 

Daryl:  1983 GMC Caballero Amarillo Diesel – $12,000

Source: Jalopnik / Craigslist

This unicorn checks all of the boxes. One of the last of the breed, this ‘83 GMC version of the El Camino was rare to begin with. A fraction of these were built, especially in the later years. Then, top it off with an upscale trim & decor package such as the Amarillo… and stuff an optional Olds 350 Diesel V-8 under the hood. This low-mileage example was for sale in Wichita, Kansas and had to be Grandpa-spec. It even came with a matching blue tonneau cover. 

Loaded, rare and nobody cares. But I care, dammit. I care. 

The song you will never forget at this episode..

Thanks for listening!

Shoot us an email if you like what you hear at info@throwinwrenches.com.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply