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Episode 84 – Christmas, Compressors & Cupholder French Fries

Welcome to the auto podcast that is wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. 

On this episode of Throwin’ Wrenches…

  • It’s tradition
  • It’s Christmas
  • We have some extra holiday cheer in the form of a list!


Fort’s Toyota of Pekin

Learn more about Toyota Care Plus and Toyota Service Care packages are on sale for the holiday season.

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Eric recaps his recent trip to Rome, Italy. It’s way more exciting that Rome, Illinois. It’s also his ancestral home, and he talks about visiting relatives, eating mountains of carbonara, and taking pictures of every unique Toyota he could find that the U.S. never sees.

@planetstahl Rome…. To my favorote travel song. #roma #rome #famiglia ♬ Wonderful, Glorious – EELS

Meanwhile, Daryl is cleaning out the shelves of the Scott Auto Museum and selling stuff on eBay. Perhaps he’ll make enough money to finish getting the ’55 Cadillac running by summer.


Fear of Cheap Chinese EVs Spurs Automaker Dash for Affordable Cars

Source: Reuters

The rise of inexpensive Chinese electric vehicles has upped the pressure on legacy automakers who have turned to suppliers, from battery materials makers to chipmakers, to squeeze out costs and develop affordable EVs quicker than previously planned. Fears of slowing demand because EVs are expensive has increased urgency to reduce costs.

Detroit touts first wireless-charging public road for electric vehicles in US

Source: Detroit Free Press

The Motor City can add a new claim to fame, as home to the country’s first wireless-charging public roadway for electric vehicles.

On Wednesday, members of the news media got a chance to see it in action.

A blue electric Ford E-Transit commercial van was able to charge as it moved over a quarter-mile stretch of newly paved 14th Street, a short distance from the towering Michigan Central Station, thanks to rubber-coated copper coils buried underneath the road surface.

Why Electric Cars Could Soon Get Cheaper

Source: Sunday Times

Electric cars in the UK should finally become more affordable next year because new government rules will levy a fine of £15,000 per car if too few are sold.

Under the zero emission vehicle (ZEV) mandate, which comes into force on January 1, manufacturers will have to ensure that 22 per cent of cars they sell every year are fully electric. The target will rise each year, hitting 80 per cent in 2030.

If too few electric cars are sold, the manufacturer will either have to pay a £15,000 fine for each petrol, diesel or hybrid model sold above that threshold, or buy “credits” from rivals such as Tesla, which has an all-electric range.

Car manufacturers such as Toyota and Ford will be under intense pressure to sell more electric cars, which account for only 16.3 per cent of the market according to the trade body, the SMMT.

They are therefore expected to cut prices, making electric cars a little more affordable. Many people are put off by the price of an electric car, with only nine new models available for under £30,000, compared with 90 petrol or diesel models on sale for less than that price.

NTSB Says Car Commercials Encourage Wreckless Driving.

Source: NBC News

Automakers often display a warning in commercials when showing a car executing incredible stunts: “Professional driver on a closed course. Please do not attempt.”

But with deaths from car crashes rising every year, experts are asking if that kind of boilerplate language, which more or less fades into the background as a vehicle burns rubber on the screen, goes far enough.

Last month, the National Transportation Safety Board called for a study of car advertisements, saying the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) should try to determine if there is a link between commercials that show unsafe driver behavior and real-world speeding or reckless driving.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which is part of the Department of Transportation and is distinct from the independent NTSB, says that deaths in car crashes increased 27% from 2012 to 2021, the most recent year for which it has reported data.

“It’s becoming increasingly accepted that contributing factors to the increase in road deaths over the last decade or so is largely due to bad driver behavior, or risk-taking behavior,” said Zuby.

Illinois Right to Charge Law Requires New Homes and Apartments to Support EV Charging

Source: Cnet

Under Illinois’ Electric Vehicle Charging Act, new properties must be EV-capable starting in 2024. In addition, landlords and HOAs can’t unduly restrict residents from installing EV chargers.

Starting next year, new homes in Illinois will be required to support electric vehicle charging stations under a new state law signed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker on June 9.
Passed by the legislature in May, the Electric Vehicle Charging Act requires any house or multiunit building completed after Jan. 1, 2024, to have “at least one EV-capable parking space for each residential unit that has dedicated parking.” (The law also applies to existing multifamily residential buildings that are being renovated.)

Originally, the measure required every spot to be fully EV-ready with a charger in place. That was eventually walked back to require them only to be EV-capable, with conduits that would allow a charger to be installed at a future date.

Moment of Musk: Multi-Media version


We share a very special encore of The Night Before Christmas with Elon by Jen Fulwiler

Worst Christmas Car Gifts

Here’s the holiday yule log everyone’s been waiting for: Our list of the 3 words Christmas ‘car” gifts we each received.


  1. Radar Detector…  Classic situation of a friend who ran a radio shack and supported the decision.  300 bucks later plus the addition of a 12 v splitter that looked like a cow milker…  Angela murdered me in 1997.
  2. Portable vacuum – they all suck and not in the ways you want.  Most of them get you a few uses before they won’t charge, you lose parts or they are lost in the truck.  Just throw out your garbage when getting gas and use the free vacuums on a cheap 6 buck wash every couple of months!!!
  3. The JSCARLIFE Universal Fry Holder for Cupholder – You can enjoy food in the car anytime and anywhere. It is also an excellent organizer of juice boxes, children’s crayons, etc. It is convenient and fast, and you don’t have to worry about food spilling.


  1. The Stanley Digital Air Compressor- It sucked. Broke the first week. Fixed the solder joints at the motor and it lasted 6 months before the battery peetered out. I smashed it to pieces.
  2. Those Seat Belt Cutter / Glass Hammer/ Escape Tools- I’ve gotten about 5 of them over the years. Never know where they end up, but they’re never in the car. Also, does anyone know someone who’s used one in a crash? EVER?
  3. The Dash Duster Wand Thingy – Swiffer or a Microfiber does just fine.

Cars of the Weak

Eric: 1985 Ferrari Mondial Cabriolet – $67,000

Source: Hemmings.com

From the listing:

  • Clean title in hand.
  • Clean Carfax report, no accidents or damages.
  • 51,0620 original miles.
  • Finished in classic Ferrari red with a beige interior and black convertible top.

The Ferrari Mondial was built in Maranello, Italy, and designed by Pininfarina. The QV Cabriolet model was produced between 1983 and 1985 with a small production run of 629 units worldwide. Powered by a 3.0-liter V8 engine rated at 240HP with 4 valves per cylinder. The 4-seat mid-engine Ferrari is equipped with a gated 5-speed manual transmission, air conditioning, power brakes, power steering, power windows, solid wheels, and a soft top with a boot.

Daryl: 1925 Ford Model TT Truck – $7000

Source: Facebook Marketplace\

From the listing:

  • Body is in great condition.
  • Runs great but the transmission will need new bands
  • Currently need to make space and I do not have time for it.
  • Clear clean title in my name
  • Located in Farmington, IL

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays

Thank you for spending some time with us in 2023, and we appreciate your friendship.

Take care and have a very happy & joyous holiday season!

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