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Episode 61 – Gabe Gets a Motorcycle

The Autopodcast that knows the waiting is the hardest part. (At least that’s what Tom Petty used to say. )

On this episode of Throwin’ Wrenches…

Gabe Casey’s 1955 BMW R50 is a work of art. It also happens to be a fully functional motorcycle. Look for it out and about this season across central Illinois.
  • Nissan pushes back the release date for their next-generation Z-car.
  • Want Android Auto in your Ford? You’ll have to wait longer.
  • The C8 Corvette gets electrified next year. Does that require a special pair of New Balance shoes?

As always, we thank you all for listening.  To join in on the fun of the show, just email us at info@throwinwrenches.com or post a review on iTunes to be heard around the world!

Special Guest: Gabe Casey

If you don’t know our most frequent guest (yes, he’s now officially earned that title), you may see him motoring through your town in one of his unique trucks, automobiles, or motorcycles. Some have the steering wheel on the right, some on the left. Some have wooden wheels, others have alloys. You may even see him on his newly-acquired 1955 BMW R50 motorcycle, which is probably the coolest thing on wheels to come out of Bavaria since the pretzel. 

Gabe was gracious enough to let us record in his studio and show his vintage bike and his 1983 VW Rabbit Cabrio, which will be a summer cruiser with plenty of Mk1 GTi parts and aftermarket suspension goodies already installed on it. It was quite the score, and it may even make an appearance on an autocross course because one can’t help but toss a first-generation Rabbit into some corners.

Gettin’ Frunky with Rivian

Gabe also explains why he’s bullish on Illinois’ own EV manufacturer, Rivian. We talk about the company’s current offering, and why he believes they’re primed for something really big in the coming years. He also likes how much fun the R1T is to drive on a daily basis.

Sponsors

Fort’s Toyota of Pekin

Gabe Casey on YouTube

National News

Carvana Revamps $3.3 Billion Junk Bond in Effort to Lure Buyers

Source: Bloomberg

Photo Credit: Elephanthunter / Wikimedia Commons CC by 4.0

Used-car retailer Carvana Co. is restructuring a multibillion-dollar junk-bond offering as it struggles to attract investors despite double-digit yields.

The company dropped a $1 billion preferred-equity chunk and increased the debt portion by the same amount to a total of $3.275 billion, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. It also added a bankruptcy make-whole provision, a type of safeguard that pays creditors a fee should the company refinance while in chapter 11.

The move is already fueling angst among the firm’s existing creditors, with Carvana’s Carvana’s shares have plunged more than 70% this year amid a deepening cash burn, fueled in part by surging used-vehicle prices and capital spending.

The company, famous for allowing consumers to pick up used cars in giant vending-machine style towers, also changed how early the eight-year bonds can be paid back, another concession to investors.

Ford delays switch to Android Automotive until 2023

Source: Arstechnica

Last February, Ford announced that it was partnering with Google for its infotainment operating system. The automaker had used Blackberry QNX as the underlying OS for Sync 4, but like many other manufacturers, it has found Android Automotive to be a compelling alternative. Unfortunately for Ford, that migration is not going very smoothly. Ford CEO Jim Farley told The Verge that the company is months behind schedule.

“We’re making a lot of progress. I’m very impressed with the team that Google has put in place. They’ve been very accommodating—you can imagine that we don’t want a generic solution for the instrument panel for Mustang. We want, like, line lock to do a burnout. But it is slightly delayed, so that’ll be later in the fall,” Farley told the Verge.

Google’s OS—distinct from Android Auto, which simply casts the phone’s screen and audio to the car’s infotainment system—is quickly finding favor among manufacturers, which can now offer their customers the convenience of Google Maps and the highly capable Google Voice Assistant, as well as the potential for a robust third-party app market.

The first Android Automotive car on sale was the electric Polestar 2, and since then, the OS has also been showing up in new models from General Motors and Stellantis.

2023 Nissan Z U.S. Release Date Delayed until Summer

Source: Car and Driver

Photo Credit: Nissan

Originally scheduled to go on sale in the U.S. this spring, the Z’s launch has been pushed back due to “unforeseen supply chain issues.”

  • The 2023 Nissan Z’s arrival date in the United States has been delayed from the spring to the summer of 2022.
  • Nissan cited “unforeseen supply chain issues” as the reason for the setback.
  • The Z will be powered by a 400-hp twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6, and it should start around $40,000.

After the Nissan 370Z’s eleven-year production run, the arrival of its successor—now simply called Z—has been hotly anticipated. Unveiled last fall with a 400-hp twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6, the Z was originally scheduled to go on sale in the U.S. this spring. But after a press release stated that the Z was delayed for the Japanese market, Nissan has confirmed to Car and Driver that the Z’s American release date has also been pushed back to summer 2022.

Honda Promises Two Sporty EVs, Including an NSX Successor

Source: Car and Driver

In 2017 Honda revealed a slinky Sports EV concept with retro styling and compact proportions. But since then, the Japanese automaker’s promises for the future have revolved around electric crossovers, such as the 2024 Prologue that will employ General Motors’ Ultium batteries. Now Honda has confirmed that its electric expansion will include two sports cars, which it teased in a recent announcement regarding EV plans.

Why GM is Electrifying the C8 Corvette

Source: Yahoo Sports

The buzz of electricity—figuratively and literally—has swept through the world’s sports-car makers, and the C8 Corvette is about to feel the jolt. The C8 will soon join the many brands turning to electrons to power their hot cars. GM President Mark Reuss has just gone public with what we’ve known for some time: that a hybrid C8 Corvette will be here next year. What no one knew until Reuss revealed it in the same conversation with CNBC reporter Phil LeBeau it is that GM will build an all-electric ‘Vette EV.

LOCAL NEWS

Photo Credit: Rivian

Rivian R1T truck named ‘The Coolest Thing Made in Illinois’

Source: WAND-TV

Rivian’s all-electric R1T truck has been named the winner of the third annual “Makers Madness” contest. 

It was chosen by voters from an initial field of 400 entries as “The Coolest Thing Made in Illinois.”

Hosted by the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association and sponsored by Comcast Business, Makers Madness is a bracket-style tournament that celebrates the manufacturing sector in Illinois. 

More than 200,000 votes were cast during the competition.

Manufactured in Normal, the R1T is the first all-electric truck in production, featuring four motors, with one powering each wheel. It also boasts eight driving modes and up to 400 miles of range. The R1T combines off-road capabilities with the driving style of a sports car, with acceleration from 0-60 mph in as quick as three seconds and a towing capacity of up to 11,000 pounds.

Moment of Musk

Tesla (TSLA) still owns 75% of the US’s electric car market so far this year

Source: Eletrek

New registration data show that Tesla is still dominating the US electric car market, and it’s not even close. Something is going to have to break for EV adoption to accelerate in the country.

For years now, Tesla has been dominating the electric auto market in its home country. It is expected that Tesla’s hold on the market will erode as more EV options hit and help grow the US market, but for now, the US EV market is still extremely dependent on Tesla.

For the entire year of 2020, 

Now new data has come out for 2021 as part of a new report based on registration data from Experian, and Tesla is a bit down, as expected. But, the company still holds a strong majority of EV market shares in the United States.

According to the report, Tesla still holds 69.95% EV market share in the United States with Nissan coming in at a distant second place with 8.51%:

Tesla is leading EV sales in every state except in Alaska, where the automaker has yet to open a service center, but it recently launched its first Supercharger in the state.

As you can see, all other automakers have a lot of catching up to do.

Fortunately, several of them have new EVs launching in the United States this year, and we expect to see several companies, especially Ford and VW, grow their EV market shares in 2022.

CARS OF THE WEAK

Daryl : 1983 LEYLAND OLYMPIAN – $39,000 (Buy it now)

Source: eBay

From the listing: The big red bus company Los Angeles is selling one of our double-decker buses. This is a low-height double-decker bus at 13′ 8″ in height. This bus would make a great 2-level home with a kitchen and dining area downstairs and a nice big bedroom upstairs.
Stop paying rent! Just park it on a piece of land and live in it! No rent, no property taxes, no landlord. There are plenty of double-decker bus conversions on YouTube.

This bus cannot be registered in California as a commercial vehicle.


Eric: 1976 MGB Convertible – $14,500

Source: Craigslist

From the listing: Classic 1976 mgb red convertible ; peppy 1800cc ( 62 horsepower ) 4 speed transmission, 40,801 original miles, front / rear rubber bumpers, dual su carburetors, black leather interior, with sport bucket seats, am fm radio, full tonneau, boot cover, jack and tool kit. *** [ 2021 restoration includes : ( new ) bmc flame red paint, maxtour gt radial tires, chrome wire wheels, convertible top, hood bonnet liner, carpet re-placement set, battery / battery charger. Complete successful evaluation of electrical and mechanical functions. Garage kept and covered with heavy duty california cover. Original owners manual / drivers handbook, and automotive repair manual. Every thing works as it should. The little red classic is in ( must see ) excellent showroom condition … For additional information.


Gabe: 2006 Lamborghini Gallardo – $135,000 (Current Bid)

Source: Bring a Trailer

From the listing: This 2006 Lamborghini Gallardo is finished in Blue Caelum Metallic over a two-tone Blue Scylla and Avorio Lilium interior, and power is provided by a mid-mounted 5.0-liter V10 paired with a gated six-speed manual transaxle and all-wheel drive. Equipment includes a front-axle lift system, a transparent engine cover, power-adjustable heated seats, a six-disc CD changer, automatic climate control, and power accessories. The car has spent time in Washington, Vermont, and Illinois, where it was acquired by the selling dealership in 2022. This Gallardo shows 3,600 miles and is offered with manufacturer’s literature, brand brochures, a clean Carfax report, and a clean Illinois title.


Thanks for listening to Episode 61. We’ll be back soon with some autocross talk, summer plans, and the latest automotive news. Meanwhile, follow us on Facebook or hit us up at info@throwinwrenches.com and we’ll talk soon.

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