I had a somewhat sad and yet somewhat touching dream. Our departure from our old neighborhood had become a formal event with all of our soon-to-be ex-neighbors gathering in a place like a large conference room or ballroom in a nice hotel.
I sat down with my closest friends from the neighborhood, one at a time, at a large table. The mood was not exactly festive, nor was it excessively melancholy. However, when speaking with one of my friends (I don’t remember which one) I simply became overwhelmed with emotion and broke down in tears.
My wonderful wife and I are very happy to be in the desert, but we loved living in our previous neighborhood. We were extremely fortunate in having so many great friends there. For the nth plus nth time, everything in life is a trade-off.
I have to admit to being a little “depleted” in terms of blog material today. I was going to write about how much I still miss FantomWorks on Motor Trend, but old episodes are still being aired. I guess I really mean I still miss waiting for new episodes. While I don’t think that’s a compelling topic for exploration, that won’t stop me from writing about it, at least a little.
One reason I liked (like) the show was the diversity of projects. It wasn’t simply about another Mustang or Camaro or Corvette, although those cars were shown. As an example, here is a list of the projects shown on Season 2 of FantomWorks:
- 1982 Kawasaki kz750 (Motorcycle)
- 1968 Chevrolet Camaro
- 1917 Willys-Overland
- 1941 Buick Special Coupe
- 1951 Chevrolet 3100
- 1957 Heinkel
- 1965 Chevrolet C10
- 1965 Shelby Cobra Replica
- 1965 Sunbeam Tiger
- 1970 Ford Mustang Mach 1
- 1977 Chevrolet Corvette
- 1979 Fiat 124 Spider
- 1983 Avanti
In other seasons, cars like a very rare 1939 Hudson 112 convertible coupe and 1963 Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk were featured. The show made no attempt to hide the fact that these projects took months and even years to complete, nor was the cost ignored. Many of the builds cost six figures and the price was often explicitly mentioned when the owner arrived to pick up the completed vehicle.
Anyway…while I enjoy shows like Bitchin’ Rides, I also like to see builds other than maxed-out Camaros and Corvettes. That’s a major reason why I liked (like) FantomWorks.
The “search” for the Grocery Car/Taxi/Corvette Companion has taken another turn. One of these is probably in the lead at present:
From The Post-Crescent of Appleton, Wisconsin (I assume that’s a newspaper), a picture of a 2017 Dodge Challenger.
Of course, the Dodge Challenger, while not a defunct make or model, has a long and storied history. The modern Challenger has a good-sized trunk (about 16 cubic feet) and, supposedly, can seat five so four should be able to sit comfortably. Both my wonderful wife and I very much like the looks of the car. In addition, buying a modern car means it has airbags, ABS, traction control, etc. and should be easily serviced.
FCA’s record in the JD Power Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS) gives me pause, but as Todd Deeken and Paul Schmucker remarked on an Everyday Driver podcast, the quality and reliability of all cars have improved dramatically in the last 10-20 years, so even cars that rank “poor” on a relative basis are improving on an absolute basis.
We don’t have to have an 8-cylinder engine in a Challenger; in fact, given the price disparity we are probably not going to buy a car so quipped. The 3.6 liter/220 cubic-inch V-6 produces 305 HP/268 LB-FT of torque and is rated at 30 MPG Highway. Examples of cars like this are offered between $21,000 and $25,000-ish, so they are a little more than we were going to spend, but still not even half of what each Corvette cost.
I think we will pull the trigger on our purchase, whatever car we choose, no later than our birthdays in late March.
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