Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Spelling for Gearheads on the Internet

Until recent times, it didn't matter if you could spell carburetor, provided you could tune one. I'm sorry, Cletus, but those days are over.

I'm not such a pedantic tool as to correct someone's spelling online, but that doesn't mean it doesn't bother me. Beyond simple annoyance (your/you're), it gets to be a problem when trying to buy stuff online.

While I may know that what you've listed as an "axel" sits under the springs and between the wheels, Craigslist has yet to implement Google's "Did you mean _____?" feature. The means I'm not going to find your "axel", because I'm searching for an axle.

That said, here's a list of commonly misspelled car related words:
  • axle
  • bearing (not "baring")
  • brakes (not "breaks")
  • Camaro
  • carburetor
  • clutch
  • convertible
  • differential
  • Galaxie is the Ford product, galaxy is a bunch of stars
  • hydraulic
  • manifold
  • manual
  • torque
  • transmission
  • viscous (not vicious)
  • wrench

That's enough for now. I'm hoping to link back to this post, and or edit the (unfortunately) growing list as time goes on.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Just Buy The Classic

Today's cars are boring. More accurately: "Today's cars are boring" is a quote I hear all too often amongst auto enthusiasts.

The Car of The 21st Century is indeed over-optimized for the purist. What once was handled though screwdrivers and fancy footwork is now contained in the sorcery of silicon. Automotive excellence depends on the kids whose parents provided them with sensible transportation in high school allowing them to focus on their studies, rather than spend Sunday night keeping the moped/Pinto/Chevette running. Opening the hood is like disrobing an alien. The parts are there...but there's no making sense of it.

"It's such a shame," they comment "that you can't get a stripped-down sports car/econobox without all that extra crap. I bet it you could get a Camaro under $20k and 3000lbs if they offered a stripper model". There's usually a debate about active Vs passive safety and a "when I was a kid we crawled all over the bench seat..." thrown in for good measure.

BMW should've made the MINI smaller, all sports cars should come with the option for no options, and what's with all the airbags?

Well, I tell you what: Shut the Hell Up and just buy the classic.

For half the price of most new cars, you can get a beautiful daily-driver grade vehicle from the era you so selectively remember as great. Let me get you started with eBay motors. The cars pictured were harvested from the completed listings section and represent actual prices that these cars sold for.

A funny thing happens if you suggest this. A stream of excuses pours forth, everything from blaming the wife to problems with snow to driveway space/maintenance issues. Never mind that for the difference in price between the classic and a new CamCord/Fusibu, you could afford a second car/bike and pay mechanic's bills for a number of years. Provided we're not talking about a Crosly, anything from the 60s onward still has a usable parts base.

Locating it will detract from your blog commenting time, though.