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Episode 27 – Lawyers, LED’s and Bunnies (Autoshow 2020)

Welcome to 2020 and thanks for tuning in for our first show of the year! We will admit to being a little rusty after nearly a month off, but hang in there with us! Are we the auto podcast with 20/20 vision? (Aren’t you already sick of that?) Probably not, but we will keep working on the catchphrase!

We hope you had an amazing holiday season. Did you get that thing you wanted for your car? The racing thing? Did it get you a 100 more horsepower?

If not, maybe we will fill that void in your automotive soul with Episode 27.


We have our first sponsor and our show’s legal consultant, Gabe Casey with us to make sure we aren’t sued for any scandalous statements on this episode. Gabe talks about what’s new since he was last on the program, what’s currently in his stable, and some driving impressions now that he’s had some seat time in his GR Supra Launch Edition.

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In this edition of the Throwin’ Wrenches apology segment, Eric is working on his vocabulary words.

Today’s word is Protagonist.



    1. the leading character or one of the major characters in a drama, movie, novel, or other fictional text.
      • the main figure or one of the most prominent figures in a real situation.
        “in this colonial struggle, the main protagonists were Great Britain and France”
      • an advocate or champion of a particular cause or idea.
        “a strenuous protagonist of the new agricultural policy”

If you’ll recall our Christmas Movie Spectacular, Eric used this word incorrectly. In the words of Inigo Montoya, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

While Eric has what we call a teachable moment, Daryl refuses to back down from his poor movie choices involving Jessica Tandy in that same episode. He also corrects his confusion over the movies Rush, Rush and Driven. Here’s a hint: Only two of these are car flicks.


Even in the winter, there’s always something going on in the garage.


I spent some time installing new speakers in my son’s 4-Runner. It was a good Father/Son moment since we broke out the tools and soldering irons.

I also got a new truck fridge for Christmas.

Oh, and a rabbit did some serious damage to Red Mist, our 1990 Celica race car. That’s right… a rabbit!

For those who missed the original Facebook post, here it is below:


Tundra Pickup

I bought a pickup truck! A 2017 Toyota Tundra SR5 Double Cab with the TRD Off-Road package, to be exact. Don’t worry, I christened it with some Toby Keith and WeatherTech floor mats. The plan is to keep this beautiful beast clean and mostly stock but still use it as a truck… not a toy.  I absolutely love having a truck again (last truck was sold in 2002 and our ‘76 C20 has been in storage for 3 years.) The folks at Fort’s Toyota took good care of me, and my wife and I are very happy.


GR Supra LEDid you know that when you purchase a Launch Edition Supra you get to do cool stuff with NASA? Not the NASA, but the  National Auto Sport Association. We’ll discuss some of the opportunities for Supra owners and perhaps we’ll dabble in some track time in 2020.

The 2019 Peoria Metro Car Dealers Auto Show Review

Auto Show ShenanigansWe saw the new C8 Corvette, we walked around a bit, and recapped some of the offerings of all the manufacturers at the Central Illinois Auto Show. Will the Peoria audience embrace the earlier event date (formerly April), or is it too close to the holidays to draw people in?

We also give the Chevrolet reps the business for not letting people sit in the new #NotMyVette. With a $92,000 sticker price, we understand the car is worth some coin. But seriously, how can you sell a brand when you have everything behind a metal fence? Youngsters will remember that time at the auto show when they sat behind the wheel of something cool, and ideally, they’ll be in a showroom in 10-20 years putting some money down on the next-generation Corvette, Equinox, or whatever else they’ll sell in 2040. Give them a chance to taste the best they have to offer. It’s not made of glass. They aren’t going to break it.


#TWISM, or This Week in Social Media

Image result for george sukhanov

George gets stuck in the mud.  Long story that was solved by social media?

Source: Jalopnik

George Sukhanov is an intrepid Canadian engineer who got himself stuck in the middle of absolutely nowhere on a surface that will soon be totally impassable. The lakebed is dry in the summer and fall, usually, but as winter comes it starts to become an actual lake.

Why is someone rolling solo like this?  I loved his message when it was all over. Very self-deprecating!


Where in the World is Carlos Goshn

Where in the world is Carlos Goshn?

Check out this Bloomberg article that reads like a pulp fiction novel. Carlos Goshn, the former Nissan-Renault CEO avoided going to prison (so far) by being smuggled out of Tokyo and made it to his native Beirut.

Ghosn had been under house arrest in Tokyo for months before showing up in Beirut. According to the Wall Street Journal, Ghosn hid in a large black box that was loaded onto a plane then flown to Lebanon

For months, a team of more than a dozen security operatives, led by a U.S. Army Special Forces veteran, had been designing a plan to get him to Lebanon, the country where Ghosn has the most extensive connections. The secrecy was intense: Some of the participants, according to a person familiar with the operation, didn’t know the identity of the person they were going to extract, even after they’d accepted the job.

We riff on this for a bit, and recap our thoughts from previous episodes on the topic. We also query our resident legal expert Gabe Casey on the Japanese legal system.

Hint: Don’t commit a crime in Japan. Ever. 

Mazda Engineer speaks out of turn?

Source: Engadget

Excerpt: Wonder why Mazda’s MX-30 only has a modest 35.5kWh battery when its competition frequently has more? According to the brand’s European research director Christian Schultze, it’s to help the planet. He told Automotive News that the small pack is “responsibly” sized to have an overall CO2 emission footprint (including manufacturing and energy consumption) comparable to a diesel Mazda 3 hatchback, even after you replace the battery 100,000 miles into ownership. Long-range batteries would be worse for the environment, Schultze claimed, pointing to Mazda’s calculations for long-term CO2 output.

The company determined that a 95kWh battery (close to what you’d see in Tesla’s higher-end Model S and X) would require more emissions from the very start due to both the larger pack and extended use while driving. That situation would only get worse if you replace the battery around the same interval, according to Mazda.

This article later goes on to claim Schultze’s figures are based on 2016 European electrical figures, and that isn’t accurate since many cities run on zero-emission power. But that’s not entirely true, either. This is proof, once again, that there is no such thing as clean energy.





World’s Coolest Dad Helps 3D Print a Lambo With His Son. Lambo Lends a Hand.

Source: CBS 46

Image result for 3d printed lambo

When future Father-of-the-Year, Sterling Backus decided to make a full-scale replica of a Lamborghini Aventador with his 12-year-old son Xander as part of a STEM learning project, the powers that be at Lambo responded in the best way possible: They loaned the family a real Aventador! Think about how cool it would be to have a real supercar at your disposal for ‘research purposes’ while you build your own replica. This is so much cooler than the Lego cars we built as kids.

Xander is no doubt, the coolest kid on the block. He has his own Lamborghini. His dad is probably dropping him off at school in one, at least for a while. Would Ferrari’s leadership do something similar? Somehow the phrase ‘cease and dissist’ comes to mind.


Farmers Drive Up The Price of 40+ Year-Old Ag Equipment

Source: The Drive & shared from our FB Page

It seems that more Midwestern farmers are following the automotive community in seeking out gently-used, simpler, and much cheaper tractors from the 1970s and ’80s. The complex tech, ‘permitted use, not ownership’ laws, and high cost has them rebuilding their faithful machines to extend their service life for another few decades. This makes sense to us, and helps keep money in the farmer’s pockets… but for how long? This reminded us of the period of time in the early 2000’s when some police departments in the U.S. decided to refurbish their Caprices instead of downsizing to the FWD Impalas because they were a far superior police cruiser. Call them holdouts, call them dinosaurs, but the fact is not ALL change is for the better. Just try to use a gas can made after 2009 and you’ll see what we mean.

Moment of  Musk:  Tesla Stock Price Hits 420, Dude

On a recent CCN podcast, Elon Musk walked back his robotaxi claim.

  • Instead of a million robotaxis, Tesla is now claiming it will have a million robotaxi-capable cars on the road by the end of 2020.
  • Musk used the robotaxi lie to raise $2.3 billion last year, and walking back on those claims qualifies as securities fraud.

In May 2019, Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) raised $2.3 billion on the promise that Tesla will have a million robotaxis on the road by 2020. It’s been less than a year, and it seems like Musk is already walking back on the promise. In a recent podcast, the Tesla CEO softened the claims by saying that Tesla will have a million “robotaxi-capable” cars on the road by the end of 2020.

Robotaxi-capable means the cars sold will have the technology to run Tesla’s Robotaxi software. But it won’t be driverless cars operating as taxis and making their owners money (which is what Musk promised).

Just before Tesla raised the $2.3 billion, the company paid its bondholders $920 million and was running low on cash. The subtle walk back on the robotaxi promise qualifies as blatant securities fraud.

The Next Web

Full Self Driving is an upcoming Tesla feature that currently exists in an unfinished form. According to Musk, the feature will eventually make it possible for a Tesla vehicle to drive itself from an owner’s driveway in the suburbs, onto the highway at high speeds, into the city where there’s traffic, weather, pedestrians, and who-knows-what-else, and into your office parking lot.

Musk also claimed that by the end of 2020 Tesla would have fully-autonomous robotaxis operating unrestricted on city streets – which, if true, a couple of AI experts are going to literally eat them.

Business Insider

When word got out last year that disgraced multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein had been known to fraternize with Silicon Valley moguls, Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk was quick to release a statement minimizing their relationship: He had attended a dinner organized by LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman where Epstein was present, he said, and “was at his house in Manhattan for about 30 minutes in the middle of the afternoon” at the urging of his then-wife, Talulah Riley, who wanted to meet him “for a novel she was writing.” He was “obviously a creep,” Musk told Vanity Fair.

But the social connection between Epstein and Musk may be more complicated than that, Business Insider has learned. Jeffrey Epstein was in regular contact with Elon’s brother Kimbal Musk, the tech millionaire turned restaurateur who serves on the boards of his older brother’s companies Tesla and SpaceX, according to two people familiar with their relationship.

It’s unclear how Epstein and Kimbal Musk met initially, but they saw each other occasionally because Kimbal was dating a woman in Epstein’s entourage at the time, the people said. The woman had previously dated Epstein and lived in an apartment building that Epstein’s brother owned, which Epstein had used to house people close to him, including models from Eastern Europe.

Riff Zone


LED headlights: Why are they the hot new mod? A lot of forums I’m on have blown up in the last year over LED headlight kits and swaps. Look, LED’s are great since they should last a long time, especially in automotive situations where vibration & temperatures are harsh. But I’m also seeing a lot of “blue light specials” going down the road and bad aftermarket housings that aren’t properly designed for the LED bulbs, or aimed correctly. Do it the right way and spend the money on something DOT approved and safe. Retinas are nice to have.


Can we get a class action lawsuit on GM for their use of reverse lights for every time a door is open on the car?  How many hours am I going to waste for the rest of my life while waiting for a parking spot?

Edit: CNET explains GM’s reasoning for this “safety feature.”

Since, this has been rattled on before…Eric then goes on to describe a hairy moment when a customer left his nose hair trimmer in the cupholder of his car while it was in for service at Forts.

Cars of the WEAK!

Eric: FIAT X1/9

This Bertone-styled mid-engined coupe popped while I was searching. With only 52,000 miles, a spirited 1200cc 4-cylinder with a manual trans, and super-scarce factor… is this car really worth $7k? What the heck is going on out there? Old car values are going through the roof and I am not sure when it ends! Just like the stock market.

Daryl: 1924 Chrysler Six Coupe

This coupe is a first model year for Chrysler featuring a nice green and black two-tone paint combo, which is refreshing to see in contrast to the all-black Model T’s! This rumble seat six-cylinder coupe would be an easy restoration as long as the parts are all there. Plus, this baby is almost 100 years old. It’s time to get into 20’s cars. Then 30’s. #CollectThemAll

Gabe: 1988 Toyota Land Cruiser HJ61 VX

Gabe Casey’s pick this time around is this beautiful, rare and super rad RHD Land Cruiser. Imported from Japan with low miles and unique options, this is not your average Land Cruiser. Featuring a 12HT turbo diesel inline-six and backed by an H55f 5 speed, this rig would get you anywhere you’d like to go. The factory PTO winch would help get you out of any jams along the way. With documented authenticity and a rockin’ 80’s interior and stripe package, this silver JDM ‘Yota also happens to be for sale. For more information, text or call Gabe at (309) 397-8763.

Quick New Year’s Resolution Check

Eric already admits to failing on painting the race car in 2019, but he did manage to paint his son’s 4-Runner. That counts, right?

Post Show

Can we talk about the two scrapyard guys from Queens that run the Neutral Drop channel on YouTube? These clowns, who go by the nicknames Stuntman and Cameraman, film themselves beating on old cars share the evidence on social media. From actual neutral drops, to feeding dirt and leaves into a running engine’s throttle body, to running over garbage in the street… they are the Uncle Rob of junk cars. Sure, their crazy car stunts are hilarious but it’s only a matter of time before the EPA pulls a John Taffer and tells them to SHUT IT DOWN. Check them out if you need to rage out.

Thanks for listening, and we’ll see you next time!

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