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Why Mod a Car?

June 11, 2006

From Wiktionary

Noun
mod (plural mods)

  1. An unconventionally modern style of fashionable dress originating in England in the 1960s, characterized by ankle-length black trenchcoats and sunglasses.
  2. A person who dresses in such a style.
  3. (slang) A modification to an object, typically for the purpose of individualizing and/or enhancing the performance of the object.

Verb
to mod

  1. (slang) To modify an object from its original condition, typically for the purposes of individualizing and/or enhancing the performance of the object.

Obviously, that slang meaning is what we’re after here. The definition is not a bad one, either.

Some people mod stuff, some people don’t. A few people mod cars, other people can’t imagine why.

Well, why not?

Why do you have the car you drive?
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Gas Pains

June 11, 2006

Here’s a fun one.

CNN’s Money lists a sampling of gas prices around the world. Locally (Dallas) we’ve been hovering around $2.80 +/- a quarter for a few months. Meantime, you could spend north of $6 a gallon in Europe, or just 12 cents a gallon in Caracas.

What’s more interesting is Money’s commentary:

‘”The price of oil is pretty much the same around the world,” said Dr. Frederic Murphy of Temple University’s Fox School of Business. “The difference between gasoline prices is determined by a country’s taxes or inefficient national petroleum monopoly.”

Murphy points out that previous oil crunches were precipitated by a devalued U.S. dollar, which oil trades in, and from embargoes. But neither of those events occurred before this one. “This crisis is pure market forces,” said Murphy.’

In other words, take away how much you pay in taxes for a gallon of gas, and the rest is all driven by speculation and profit-taking in the oil futures market.

Gives you a nice warm feeling, doesn’t it?

Weber Grills – Great Customer Service

June 7, 2006

Enough car talk for the moment… I had a great customer service experience today, and it deserves a post.

I’ve long been a fan of Weber grills. These things are built like battleships. I’ve had a lot of name-brand grills over the years, but never anything that cooked as evenly or held-up to heavy duty use as well as a Weber.

I’ve got a 6 year old Weber Genesis Silver B propane grill, and a 5 year old Weber Smoky Mountain smoker. The grill gets heavy use for a lot of the year, and the smoker does also in nice weather.

Up to this year, they’ve both held up amazingly well. I had to replace the thermometer in the grill last year, and this year I broke down and bought a replacement set of stainless steel flavorizer bars and a new porcelain-coated set of cast iron grills. Not that I had to, but because I figured they’d be easier to keep clean.

I did have to replace the electronic ignition this year also, but between it and the thermometer, we’re talking maybe $20 of required replacement parts in a heavily used grill over 6 years — and it worked without them, it’s just more convenient with them.

The smoker hasn’t needed anything but fresh charcoal and the occasional cleaning.

Until recently…

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The Chrysler 300C – Gearhead Phase pt. IV

June 7, 2006

I have to admit that I loved the looks of the 300C at first sight. The huge doors and small windows brought back memories of classic chopped street rods, and the stance said “aggressive” all over it.

Up close, the car was even more appealing. The damn thing was HUGE. You really do not realize just how big this car is until you get close to it.

They put the room to good use, too. I not only have trouble being too tall for little roadsters, I even have problems in sedans. When I decided I wanted the Lincoln LS a few years back, I had to do a fair amount of shopping around for a V8 model that didn’t have the sunroof — since I typically end up in the headliner of cars with sunroofs.

Not in this thing.
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The Too Tall Roadster Blues – Gearhead Phase pt. III

June 7, 2006

Shopping for a little toy ‘vert is a little more challenging than it sounds.

I’m 6’ 3″, which rules a lot of them out to begin with.

I can’t sit in a Mazda MX-5 or a Honda S-2000 with the top up; my head sticks into the top about 2″.

The roof on a Nissan 350Z is high enough, but even with the seat all the way back, I couldn’t pull my left leg back to use the clutch without hitting the massive door speaker pod.

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Tired of kicking my horse (or why Mustangs suck) – Gearhead Phase pt. II

June 7, 2006

So, there I was with a 10 year old Mustang ‘vert as a daily driver…

At that point, I remembered the hard way all of the things I’ve hated about Mustangs over the years (and I’ve owned a few) — if they’re not brand new (I’ve never had a new one – maybe they’re better), they break on a pretty regular basis (or they do the way I drive them), they have a rear suspension that was pretty much state of the art for Roman Empire ox carts, and thus they handle like crap, and ride slightly worse.
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Gearhead Phase

June 7, 2006

Like many geeks, I have interests that wax and wane over time… Lately, I’ve not been spending a lot of geek-energy on the various gadgetry and other things that I’ve tended to write about here, so I’ve not been posting much.

Of course, it dawns on me that if I’m not posting anything, the site isn’t really about anything anyway. So it’s my site and I might as well write about what’s interesting me at the moment.

Lately, I’ve been largely in my gearhead phase…
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