Thursday, May 27, 2010

Mercury's Dropping

The latest rumors on the auto industry front is from Jalopnik, and it says there are rumors that Ford is considering terminating the Mercury brand. This would make sense, as the brand is targeted toward women, a gap which Fords new prego-and-estrogen heavy advertising and media blitz fills nicely. With no market segment, no distinct styling and no excitement, the graveyard would seem like an appropriate place for the brand that fills space in dealers that could be room for more profitable Lincolns.

But on the flip side, this could be wrong, who knows, maybe the Grand Marquis is a sleeping giant for sales that solidifies the brand for consumers while on the underpinnings of the super profitable Crown Vic platform.  it would be like making money without even trying.

What will you miss? Will it be the Sable? the Tracer? the Villager, which was touted to hanlde not like a minivan? I think most people will agree that the two things we will miss the most from Mercury will be the 2003 Marauder, and Jill Wagner.

photo courtesy of

via Jalopnik

Top 10 List for Metro NY Commuters

I am so freakin’ excited because summer is almost here. I actually hate the heat, and could care less about the beach, but summer means that all little rug rats are out of school and traffic decreases significantly. However, there is one more hurdle to pass, and that is today. The Memorial Day Holiday.

This Thursday is by far one of the most unpredictable traffic days of the year. We just don’t know if everyone is going to be taking Friday off to get a jump on their weekend plans. We don’t know how much extra construction there will be, because crews earn time and a half for working on the holiday. We don’t know how many non-commuters will get into accidents and cause major delays for the rest of us. But I can tell you the tolls will likely be hellish.

Nevertheless, I thought of something the other day. Everyone likes top 10 lists, so I put together a list of the top ways you know you are a hardcore commuter for the NY Metro Area.

  1. You can straddle a pothole at 60 mph without breaking a sweat

  2. You follow the person with their convertible top down on the CBX, and squeal with delight on the inside when they get the mystery water substance dumped on them that falls from the underpasses

  3. 1010Wins and NewsRadio88 are your first two presets

  4. Most other places in the world would consider our safe following distance to be tailgating

  5. Don’t worry about that NYPD cop, I’m only doing 65 MPH in a 50 zone

  6. You know that the word “express” usually means slower. For example, “express” lanes for NJ turnpike, Long Island “Express”way, etc

  7. You have a deep appreciation for Jewish holidays, no matter what your faith is

  8. You have a favorite toll lane

  9. You know the Clearview is where it’s at

  10. And finally, you get really annoyed on Fridays when all the slow, non commuters invade your way home.

Broken down:

99 Corolla, 96 BMW 3 series, 2000 Maxima, 96 Grand Marquis, 94 Grand Marquis

Friday, May 21, 2010

Little tiny cars don't belong on the road

In mans quest for improved MPG and cheap transportation, we find ourselves sharing the road with ever smaller automobiles. We usually discover these automobiles accidently during a close call while engaging in a lane change manuever, because they are nigh invisible on the road.

According to Autoblog and the IIHS, some of these cars, most notably of the golf-cart-on-steroids variety are a huge safety hazard even at low speeds. The IIHS did some crash testing against these cars and mini trucks, and discovered catastrophic consequences, which would most likely lead to fatalities in T-bone or sideswipe type collisions. But this makes perfect sense, given the weight differences and small visibility footprint of these cars.

Right now, this doesn't include SMART cars or Mini Coopers, but I can tell you I wouldn't drive one for the benefits of gas savings. They are just too small and you aren't seen. It's like riding a motorcycle without all the benefits. A good example is a friend of mine who drives a mini cooper. One day a pickup truck backed into him and kept going, because the pickup driver never even saw the car.

So one day, when we all are driving these little mini cars on our rides to work, and the LIE looks like downtown New Delhi, then I'll consider buying one.

Broken down: 92 Corolla, 94ish Sable, 90's Grand Marquis, 95 Explorer

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Todays post is more anecdotal - Today some guy in a Prius tried to race me out of the gates on the CBX. I had already beat him by about 4 car lengths before i even realized he was trying to race me. Thats all.

Broken down - 98 Nissan Altima, 93 Nissan Sentra, 93 Ford Explorer, ~2001 Mazda 6, 92 Camry, 94 Taurus