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Episode 46 – Gabe Casey Version 3.0

Welcome to the auto podcast that is not afraid to play some games! Speaking of games, this week we’re basking in the glow of LED computer fans at Arena Esports in beautiful downtown Morton, Illinois. This is a premier gaming experience from Forza to… whatever else folks play these days. They’ve got PC gaming stations, X-box, PlayStation and any other console you need to be competitive. Be sure to check this place out if you’re local, otherwise they’re great on the ‘gram at @309Arena

Do these PC’s ever sleep?


Fort’s Toyota of Pekin Casey Law Office Arena Esports

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We have chucked a couple hundred dollars into the fading Stock and Field store in Pekin as they close out…  I found a small LED assembly in the car parts for 80% off.  It came with 2 LED strips and a plunger switch.  Also had a battery box for watch batteries.  I think I am going to hardwire it into something.  Ideas?

Road trip this weekend.  I mean why not?  Went to the surprisingly hip little downstate town of Effingham… Or Effington as we kept calling because of the Ben Folds song.  

Dinner at the Firefly Grill, Drinks at the Village Liquors, More drinks at Effing Brew (out of tshirts BTW) Took the movable feast to Decatur (didnt stop at the 2 story outhouse inbetween)  Tap Root brewing.  Then headed to Clinton.  2 Doors down brewing.  

We had a DD!!!

Fixed the sideXside with new plugs and a battery.  I think the centrifugal clutch is smoked..  But might get a new belt first.  

New tractor today?  YanMar   I blame Jacob 


It’s tool time at the Scott ranch. I finally got some decent spark plug crimpers so I can fab up new plug wires for the ‘55 Plymouth. It still has the original wires on it (no joke) and while it runs okay, I think it’s time to upgrade to correct lacquered cloth reproductions. I have to snake them through a wire loom and terminate them correctly. While I’m at it, I’ll toss in a new cap, rotor, points, condenser and vacuum advance setup that I’ve had for like 3 years but never tossed on because I didn’t want to buy the damn crimpers. Turns out nobody has them, so I couldn’t borrow them. 

Moral of the story: Even if you’ll only use it once, buy the damn special tool you need to do the job FIRST. Then loan it out for beer money. 


Return of the HJ61. Starter reinstalled for the 4/5th time, help from an electrical engineer at Autonomous Stuff (Very cool place) reminds us all to chase horses not zebras. I was correct that it was an issue with power delivery and electric in nature but completely overlooked routine tightening of new installed hardware to the maximum. The style of battery terminal connector was also an issue so $7.00 later she lives. Now on to seeing if it can become offroad worthy or to remain a mostly pavement queen drawing comments from drunkards on the street like “ARE YOU FROM LONDON!?” Covid drive-through only = blowing the minds of teenagers working at Taco Bell when you use the drivethrough backwards in your RHD vehicle.

John deere service on an older x324 I picked up last fall. Why don’t more cars have 4 wheel steering?

Tempted to jump into a new project, which Daryl has turned into an opportunity to try to unload “Super Tahoe”.

Race. Daily. Kill.

This week’s lineup features the “also-rans” of the GT hatch era. With stiff competition from Toyota and Nissan, these three elegant cars just couldn’t compete from a sales standpoint. Does that make them less desirable? Let’s find out!

The Contenders


Isuzu Impulse Turbo


Renault Fuego Turbo


Alfa Romeo GTV6

2.0 liter turbo 4 cyl – 140 hp

5-speed manual

1.6 liter turbo 4 cyl – 108 hp

5-speed manual

2.5 liter V6 – 158hp/157 lb-ft tq

5-speed manual

0-60 mph: 8.2 sec

Top Speed: 128 mph

¼ mile: 17.6 sec

0-60 mph: 9.7

Top Speed: 124 mph

¼ mile: 16.8

0-60 mph: 8.3 sec

Top Speed: 139 mph

¼ mile: 16.2 sec

Curb weight: 2,646 lbs Curb weight: 2,315 lbs Curb weight: 2,668 lbs
Original MSRP: $13,738 Original MSRP: $11,645 Original MSRP: $11,750

The Verdicts

Eric: Race the Alfa, Daily the Impulse and Kill the Fuego with fuego.

Daryl: Race the Fuego, Daily the Impulse, Kill the Alfa. It’s an Alfa… c’mon. It’s either broken or about to break. That Isuzu would be a fun yet substantial daily and the Fuego is super light and has the most potential. Turn up the boost and see what shakes loose. 

Gabe: Are these cars different? 🙂 Race the Impulse. Best specs, mean looking front end to strike fear into the hearts of your opponents. Daily the Alfa. The interior makes this the pick. It has gorgeous leather seats with netting styled headrests that are very unique and cool. Also being a non-turbo, it is best suited to use 87 octane to save on the premium cost.  Kill the Renault. Have you seen the front end? That’s a face only a mother could love. I wouldn’t want to make anyone else look at that.


International News

Told you so last week…

Buyers Are Snapping Up New Cars, Even If They’re the Wrong Color

Emboldened by signs the Covid-19 crisis may be waning and fearful of potential vehicle shortages, consumers snapped up new autos at pre-pandemic rates in the first quarter as the U.S. car market’s recovery likely gained momentum. U.S. auto sales surged by more than 8% in the first three months of the year, according to analysts’ estimates. The projected gain was powered by higher demand in anticipation of a return to offices and everyday travel as vaccination rates exceeded one-quarter of the population. Greater confidence in the economy spurred purchases as did fear of lower supplies of cars due to chip shortages.

Source: Bloomberg 

Stellantis halts production at Italy plant due to low demand, chip shortage

MILAN — Carmaker Stellantis will halt production at its plant in Melfi, southern Italy, April 2-12 because of low demand triggered by the COVID-19 crisis, the UILM union said on Monday.

Production at the plant, where the world’s fourth largest automaker makes Jeep Renegade and Compass models and the Fiat 500X compact SUV, has been repeatedly disrupted due to weak demand and semiconductor supply shortages.The local automaker’s union said last week the firm was considering permanently closing one of its two production lines at the Melfi plant to address excess capacity in Italy.

European car registrations fell 23% year on year in the first two months of this year, according to industry data, as protracted coronavirus lockdowns and consequent uncertainty keep impacting spending decisions among families and businesses.

Source: AutoBlog

VW “accidentally” leaks new name for its U.S. operations: Voltswagen

Volkswagen accidentally posted a press release on its website a month early on Monday announcing a new name for its U.S. operations, Voltswagen of America, emphasizing the German automaker’s electric vehicle efforts. A spokesman for the company declined to comment on the release, which was dated April 29 and has since been taken down. A person familiar with the company’s plans confirmed the authenticity of the release to CNBC. They asked to remain anonymous because the plans were not meant to be public yet.

Source: CNBC

National News

EV makers oppose delay to automotive emissions penalty increase

Electric vehicle manufacturers are pushing back against a decision to delay penalty increases for automakers who fail to meet fuel efficiency standards.

A lobbying group representing legacy automakers — many of whom are now making substantial investments in zero-emissions vehicles — said the increase would have a significant economic impact during a time when the industry is facing mass disruption from the COVID pandemic. But new EV entrants say the penalty mechanism is a powerful performance incentive to decrease tailpipe emissions and encourage investment in lower- or zero-emissions technology.

The decision, issued in January by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), postpones imposing a penalty increase from the beginning of model year 2019 to model year 2022. Tesla is petitioning the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to review the ruling, saying that the delay “inflicts ongoing, irreparable injury” on the company and creates an “uneven playing field” by reducing the consequences of nonadherence.

The Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) penalty has been increased just once — from $5 to $5.50 for every 0.1 mile per gallon that doesn’t meet the standard — since its instatement in 1975. Congress acted to rectify the effects of inflation on the penalty by raising it to $14 in 2015, but NHTSA and the courts have ping-ponged about the increase ever since. A decision from the Second Circuit last August seemed to settle the issue in favor of instating the higher penalty starting with model year 2019, but automakers last October successfully petitioned that the increase be delayed.

Source: Twitter via @Breadfrom

The first 2022 Hummer EV pickup sells for $2.5 million

The first 2022 GMC Hummer EV pickup has yet to be built, but it is already sold for a whopping $2.5 million. The buyer — a woman whose name is not public, according to a General Motors spokeswoman —will receive the vehicle with VIN 001 when it rolls off the assembly line at Factory ZERO in Detroit and Hamtramck this fall. Hummer VIN 001 was sold Saturday evening at the 2021 Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Arizona, with the proceeds going to the Tunnel to Towers Foundation, a nonprofit that honors firefighter Stephen Siller, who died on Sept. 11, 2001.

Source: Detroit Free Press

Volvo Leaves U.S. Dealers Confused on Plans

The Swedish automaker this month announced plans to become an all-electric brand globally by 2030. To sell those vehicles, Volvo wants to use an online-only, factory-set price sales model — borrowing aspects of a strategy pioneered by Tesla that has become a template for a wave of electric upstarts. But dealer associations in two states — Virginia and California — have sent letters to Volvo warning it that the strategy might violate the automaker’s dealer agreements or state laws meant to prevent automakers from competing with their franchises. The Texas dealer association is now seeking clarification from Volvo on the plan.

Source: Automotive News

Ford’s turbine-powered concept truck of tomorrow reappears after 40 disappearance

Ford, much like GM and other automakers in the 1960s, messed around with turbine power as a proposed replacement to the tried-and-true piston engine. As a concept truck, “Big Red” used a Ford-engineered turbine engine and did publicity tours leading up to the 1964 World’s Fair. After that, the truck languished around Detroit before moving to North Carolina. It fell off the map sometime in the late 70’s only to be recently rediscovered by the folks at The Drive. 

After pestering Holman-Moody racing and a few Ford employees, the anonymous owner stepped forward but won’t let anyone see new photos of it… or know anything about himself. So that’s cool. Just like the original Bullitt Mustang and Phil Spector’s Sheby Daytona coupe, there’s something about old famous Fords that seem to draw out these mystery men. Why not show off these public treasures to the millions of adoring fans? Whatever. 

Source: TheDrive

Local News

Illinois dealers sue Rivian, Lucid Motors and state over direct sales

Illinois car dealers sued electric truck maker Rivian in another salvo against upstart vehicle manufacturers’ direct-to-consumer sales model. 

Two trade groups that are plaintiffs in the lawsuit filed yesterday in Cook County Circuit Court say they acted after the Illinois Secretary of State’s office “turned a blind eye” to their complaints over several years. 

Amazon-backed Rivian, which plans production at a plant near Normal, Ill., had no immediate comment. The Irvine, Calif.-based company has promised that deliveries of its first pickup will begin in June.

Source: Automotive News

Moment of Musk

Elon Musk tapped to join board of Endeavor Group, owner of UFC and Miss Universe contest

Elon Musk is about to increase his already hefty workload.

Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX and founder of The Boring Company and Neuralink, has been nominated to join the board at Endeavor Group Holdings, according to a filing by the company on Wednesday.

Endeavor began as a talent agency started by one of Hollywood’s most recognizable agents, Ari Emanuel. Through a series of mergers and acquisitions, the company has become a media and entertainment conglomerate that owns and manages live events including UFC, the Miami Open, New York Fashion Week, Frieze art fairs and the Miss Universe international beauty pageant.



When people threaten to scrap old cars if they don’t get the price they want. Give me a break. PRICE IS FIRM. GOES TO SCRAP MONDAY. Who does this? Vintage cars and trucks are always in demand, even if it’s for parts. They aren’t making them anymore… so why not get something for it. Also, scrap values suck now, homies. The days of you getting $1000 for a lump of crap are over. Take the $400 offer and let someone get rid of your failed project.


How people never learn how to park properly. Street and parking lot nonsens that will never end. No training required, just common sense stuff people are incapable of or refuse to do. Amazing.

Cars of the Weak



1977 GMC “Palm Beach Edition” 26-foot motorhome


Source: GMCRVForSale.com

Ever since seeing the movie Stripes and the scene where a GMC Motorhome becomes the EM-50 Urban Assault Vehicle, I’ve wanted one of these whales. Made of fiberglass and featuring front-wheel-drive, this oddball RV was an interesting study in mass production of RV’s by the big three. While Chrysler and Ford generally sold frames to folks like Winnebago and Fleetwood, GM wanted to see if they could capture the market with their own design. Essentially this is an Oldsmobile Toronado with a bus body. Worked well, got good mileage, and sold well. This green on green on GREEN edition is super 70s and I absolutely love them. 403 V8 and a TurboHydramatic 3 speed trans propels this one. And with only 84,000 miles it’s ready for a few more trips to Disneyland before the end of the internal combustion engine. I’m in, even if the price is a bit steep. 


1989 Amertex fire truck


Source: Facebook Marketplace

1989 Amertex pumper 4X4. Featuring a 92 series Detroit Diesel with automatic transmission. Plenty of storage, 2 deck guns out the front controlled from in the cab, rear hose reel, foam capable. 4300 miles 375 engine hours. 

Imagine modifying the back of this into a camper, or glamper. A repaint in something menacing like Black or gunmetal. It would be a go-anywhere, hope you never have to work on the engine, dream. If only it was a manual and was closer, as I seriously considered buying it. It sold before this podcast in less than a day after the listing went live. Next time I might jump on an opportunity like this. 

Thanks for listening!

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