Learning about the odd hood ornament on my Packard Hawk

| October 18, 2018

For years I’ve known the odd hood ornament on my dad’s Packard Hawk (above) was not accurate or something that was original to the car, but had no idea where it came from?  Last week after an online chat and a little digging with a car-loving friend of mine, we did a little digging and […]

What a good looking car – 1982 Mercedes Benz 300D Turbodiesel

| October 13, 2018

A friend from a Facebook group posted a 1982 Mercedes Benz advertisement with a W123 beauty – I thought it looked pretty close to my ‘82 MB 300D Turbodiesel. Nice! When the W123 went out of production in 1986 it had surpassed the Stroke Eight as the bestselling Mercedes-Benz with more than 2.5 million cars […]

IF Elio Motors builds my car, what about trim levels?

| October 4, 2018

Yes … I’m still waiting on my Elio. I can’t say that I’m confident they will ever roll off the factory assembly line, but since my deposit is likely already gone one way or the other, I’ll try to remain positive. This week’s Momentum, the Elio Motors newsletter for customers, discussed their philosophy on “trim […]

Porsche is ditching diesel for good

| September 24, 2018

Porsche announced Sunday that it would focus on hybrid and electric technology and will no longer make diesel-powered vehicles. The announcement comes five months after a senior manager at Porsche in Germany was arrested in connection with an investigation into diesel emissions rigging by Porsche’s parent company, Volkswagen. Just 12% of Porsche’s global sales came […]

Volkswagen will be keeping one customer and making new ones

| September 23, 2018

According to my very pleased Volkswagen driving daughter, she’ll likely stay committed to the VW brand IF they continue to appreciate her as a customer. She was one of the first owners of the new 2018 Tiguan last year and has been very pleased with the first year vehicle. The performance, including regular 30+ mpg […]

Twitter is still my social network of choice for interacting

| September 15, 2018

A shocking number of Twitter impression for a simple Volkswagen Beetle update I posted yesterday – well over 100,000. I do use Twitter regularly to share and comment a variety of topics, but rarely have tweets generated more than 10,000 looks or a handful of retweets and likes (on the other hand, my blog’s Google […]

Obit: Actor, director and "Bandit" Burt Reynolds dead at 82

| September 7, 2018

Of course my reference by including "The Bandit" in a tribute post to the passing of Burt Reynolds has a lot to do with how I remember him; he died after a heart attack on Thursday 9/6/2018 at age 82. The highpoint for me in remembering him was the making of the Smokey and the […]

Chasing vacuum leaks in the Mercedes Benz 300D Turbodiesel

| August 22, 2018

It is probably something one should get use to with an older Mercedes Benz, but it can be frustrating and tiring to say the least — that is fixing vacuum leaks. The 1982 MB 300D Turbodiesel is a great car and has a limited number of electrical components compared to newer vehicles. That in turn […]

What did you call the 3rd rearward facing seat in a station wagon?

| August 16, 2018

I believed we called it the "way-back" … in both our Chevy Caprice Classic wagon and our Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser. The Olds looked very similar to the wagon in the photo! (from a collection of photos that Generation Z might not understand)

A couple of old Mercedes Benz diesel vehicles for the garage?

| August 15, 2018

As much as I enjoy working on, owning and driving my inexpensive W123  diesel 300D project car (swapped junk for it in May of 2013), I’d love to have a Mercedes Benz diesel of the same 1970s-80s era with a little more collectability? I spotted a couple cool MBs this week, although I am not […]

Brilliant yet simple idea for reaching loads on your car roof

| August 7, 2018

I just love good ideas. Here is one that I grabbed off of an ad on my iPhone that uses the car door pillar “loop” to hold a machined aluminum hook attached to a step. The simple step is used to reach items strapped to a roof rack or car top carrier. It would be […]

It would be nice if ElioMotors communicated like Magfast

| August 2, 2018

I have, and do, support a few crowd funded projects — I’ve placied preorders taking on risk and see it as taking a small scale venture capital risk (without much reward). A couple bigger investments have been Elio and MagFast. The latter posts weekly, and relatively personal updates via YouTube video, on how the process […]

With all the political animus, I debated this sticker on my cars

| August 2, 2018

Perhaps it is a sign of the times, but with all the political hate and violence over someone expressing their first amendment point of view, I had to second guess myself in wanting to add my NRA renewal stickers to my cars. In the end, I added them to the old Mercedes and BMW X5 […]

Oil leak panic for the Mercedes Benz 300D Turbodiesel

| July 29, 2018

Whew … I was worried on Friday while driving the old 1982 Mercedes Benz for a reasonably close business call as I noticed oil leaking everywhere. My first concern was for an engine seal or gasket since there was so much oil dripping under the car. As a babied the car home, I feared the […]

Filled up Jerry Cans and my BMW X5 35d with diesel (25 gal max)

| June 24, 2018

Since I drive a diesel BMW X5 35d as well as an old 1982 Mercedes 300D Turbodiesel, and use diesel fuel in our Kubota and John Deere lawn tractors (not to mention sailboat) … seeing pump prices 20 to 40 cents higher at the pump is starting to cut into my theory of saving money […]

Lars Larson interviews Paul Elio about stagnation at Elio Motors

| May 19, 2018

Although the new auto company Elio Motors has struggled financially to move their production forward, Paul Elio still claims the Shreveport, Louisiana plant is 1-1/2 years from production. Those of use who have deposits and reservations and blog about it in are still hopeful, although low fuel prices, advancements in EVs and American’s love of […]

The BMW X5 35d diesel is set for another 15K

| May 16, 2018

The BMW X5 35d hit 170,000 miles and that meant it was overdue for an oil change. The last change was also the high end imported Ravenol, but required an extra quart about 4000 miles ago. I suppose that is par for the course now that this diesel is 8 years old? Nevertheless, I do […]

Hemmings Tombstone talk: What caused Packard to fold?

| April 21, 2018

It is probably the 1958 Packard Hawk photo on this particular Hemmings Daily post that caught my eye, but the article (and follow-up comments) are interesting too. I’ve archived the PDF of this post just in case it disappears. Photograph by Thomas A. DeMauro No single factor ever sinks an automaker. The struggle between profits […]

New amateur radio plates for the MB 300D Turbodiesel

| April 12, 2018

Since I needed to replace the “metal” plates on the old 1982 Mercedes Benz 300D Turbodiesel this year, I’ve opted for the amateur radio registration. It did require submitting my General Class K4RDC call license, and $20 (??) extra, but figure it was a nice way to support both ham radio and my love for […]

Two things to look for when buying an old Mercedes Benz diesel

| April 4, 2018

Having owned Mercedes Benzes for years now (first was our 87 MB 560 SEL –  reminder that I need a photo) and using several resources for buying and maintaining, some of the best advice for for the, W123 which I’m particularly fond of, (my current 1982 Mercedes Benz 300D Turbodiesel) comes from Kent Bergsma, of […]

BMW teased me with new X5 loaner while in for airbag recall

| February 8, 2018

One realizes just how old in the tooth their cars technology is when taking a car in for service and driving something new. This past week, BMW customer service pulled a few strings to get both airbags into my local dealer in order to do a one stop service of my 2010 BMW X5 35d. […]

How big or little is the Elio going to be?

| February 5, 2018

Although there are quite a few reservation holders starting to doubt whether we’ll ever see production (last update was 2019 deliveries), the marketing team continues to tease (update) on this small commuter car. The original low price has been inched up, but it still will be a bargain if Elio Motors can afford to put […]

If you own a Mercedes Benz 300D, you know this sound! #humor

| February 2, 2018

Only an old Mercedes Benz diesel driver can fully appreciate this … very funny.

Airbag recall: Inefficiencies at either BMW or their supplier?

| January 23, 2018

One wonders as to the legal responsibility of auto companies when "making a best effort" to correct the airbag issues in their customers’ cars? Are manufacturers held liable when using parts from their suppliers?  Here’s a comparison: I took our 2006 Honda Pilot in a couple years ago after they notified me about the Takata […]

Would you tow an 18-wheeler with a Tesla?

| January 9, 2018

For Sale: 1958 Packard Hawk Convertible-auction ends 12/15/17

| December 12, 2017

This 1958 Packard Hawk is a one-off convertible created by Stanley Pridachuk, the chief engineer at Studebaker/Packard in the 1950s. Pridachuk believed that a convertible version of the Hawk would help revive the failing Packard brand and pressured the board to build one, though he was ultimately unsuccessful. Some time after his retirement in 1963, […]

Volkswagen wants incentives for diesel cars removed in Germany

| December 11, 2017

After years of leading the "clean diesel" push and getting their hand slapped for cheating on emissions testing, Volkswagen looks to be giving up on fossil fuel or at least diesel cars. In fact according the New York Times, VW wants the German government to phase out subsidies they lobbied for for years that favored […]

The Family Truckster before the Griswolds

| December 6, 2017

Now if I were to be true to myself, I’d be driving a station wagon like this Buick Special Estate Wagon, Model 49 mentioned in Hemmigs. As posted previously, my first car was almost a 1958 Buick Special, but after my stint with wagons in the 1980s (Volvo DL245, Chevrolet Caprice Wagon and Oldsmobile Custom […]

Another great Jay Leno’s Garage video – a 1974 Porsche 914-6 GT

| November 29, 2017

One of the best YouTube channels for car lovers is Jay Leno’s Garage. He always has something interesting and the older I get the more I appreciate his highlighting cars I remembered and envied. The 1974 Porsche 914 (or previous up to 1972 version 914-6 GT) was my ideal teenage car as it was still […]

Might take a tour of the Elio Motors facility, someday … maybe?

| October 27, 2017

Received an email from Elio Motors (yes they are still alive) with an opportunity that I’m hoping to take advantage of when (IF) I ever get to pick up my "all in" order. I do enjoy reading the updates and hope production begins next year as planned. The big concern for most of us is that […]

As my weekly travel decreases, data connectivity is finally good

| October 17, 2017

My mobile life is FINALLY working the way it should, just as my road life is slowing down. I’ve been monkeying around with the "mobile office" for A LOT of years starting with a 1999 AWD Chrysler Town & Country back in the late 1990s before mounting my Palm Treo in my great little Volkswagen […]

Thoughts on Rolling Coal

| October 10, 2017

Although I’m the last person to criticize folks for tweaking their diesel engines for performance and efficiency, I cringe when I see modifications that purposely over fuel and pump a bunch of black smoke when it is unnecessary (not under load). There has to be a commonsense balance between neutering diesel engines with excessively costly […]

Foto Friday – What car lover doesn’t appreciate this photo?

| September 22, 2017

There is something about this classic muscle car photo that spoke to me. Maybe it the tone or just the classic American steel? At any rate, I’ll use it as the first “Foto Friday” post and see who else see this as art? Probably the only thing better would have been to include a GM […]

New Avin Android based Nav PLUS display for BMW X5 35d

| September 19, 2017

A successful install after receiving the Andrew Rodriguez “group buy” iDrive Android Avin replacement for my BMW X5 35d on Saturday. It was a bit intimidating seeing the bundles of wires and 4″x4″ instruction sheet. But after disassembling the dash, most of the plug n play was very smooth. If there would have been a […]

Once upon a time I drove a couple 1980s Chevrolet Celebrities

| September 17, 2017

One of these days I’m planning to archive a post that summarizes all the cars I’ve owned. One that I had forgotten was a favorite "company supplied car" when I worked in purchasing and sales at Knight-Ridder/Portage Newspaper Supply out of Akron, Ohio in the early to mid-1980s. The first car was a white Chevrolet […]

Relocated the magnetic phone holder in my BMW X5 35d

| September 15, 2017

In anticipation in receiving new iDrive display and components from a "group buy" on the BMW diesel group I belong to, I made a new CD/DVD slot bracket for the previously installed Nato Smart Mount. The previous location was fine for the older small iPhone 5s, but after updating to the much larger iPhone 7 […]

Family weekend, a new Volkswagen and the prodigal son returns

| August 29, 2017

Finally … I’m getting around to posting a few photos from our 4 day weekend here in Cincinnati with Annalyn (Katelyn and Drew too)! We had a near perfect weekend weather-wise, unlike those in east Texas getting drenched and flooded by Hurricane Harvey. Part of our “swimming weekend” was getting Annalyn use to the pool […]

The Ford $F stock trade is working again

| August 19, 2017

Although the news of late on the political front has been challenging (Trump Admin, Barcelona, Charlottesville, North Korea) the savvy investor/trader can use these moments to put the "risk capital" part of their portfolio to good use. Most who trade have plenty of horror stories where their trades have gone terribly wrong, but usually the […]

Archive: How 11 million VW TDI diesels cheated emission tests

| August 18, 2017

Archiving the New York Times article that offers an explanation for those who are still wondering what Volkswagen DieselGate was all about. The software sensed when the car was being tested and then activated equipment that reduced emissions, United States officials said. But the software turned the equipment down during regular driving, increasing emissions far […]

Racing in Daytona Beach – my dad’s photo from 1950

| August 16, 2017

Another photo (above) from my an envelope containing a few of my dad’s trips before meeting my mom … interesting to think about the history of stock car racing in Daytona Beach Florida. Back in the early 1950s the beach and A-1-A were used at the straightaways and a grandstand at the corner. What I […]

Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.