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Last Call- Deluxe No More Edition

Robert Emslie November 7, 2013 Last Call 29 Comments


Once an example of its owner’s middle class wealth, this old Chevy is now an example of faded dreams and past glories remembered. It’s still hauntingly beautiful however, even in death.

Last Call indicates the end of Hooniverse’s broadcast day. It’s meant to be an open forum for anyone and anything. Thread jacking is not only accepted, it’s encouraged. 

Image source: pictureapromise via Flickr

  • dukeisduke

    Chevy? Isn't that a '51 Ford (a Shoebox)?

  • Anyone else have an experience with PartsGeek.com to share? My own customer experience to follow, once I've cooled down.

    • MVEilenstein

      No. Do tell.

      • dukeisduke

        Yes, I'd like to hear, too.

        • It comes down to a minor inconvenience, both in time and money. I'd never used them until last week, as Rock Auto, bricks-and-mortar retailers and Pick N' Pull serve most of my constant demands for parts for my hungry fleet of older cars.

          I ordered a grill and grill trim piece for the kids' '98 Cabrio. What arrived was a grill for a Jetta, despite the fact that the website featured a photo of the correct item (Jettas of that vintage have squarer headlights) and a trim piece that had obviously been mangled even before it was packed. The shipping box itself was undamaged.

          I was bummed because I promised my daughter that her car would be back on the road this weekend. Disappointment turned to anger when I learned that PartsGeek will likely refund for the parts but that I have to pay both the outbound and return shipping. These will cost more than I paid for the parts, despite the fact that I did nothing wrong in this transaction. I should have looked into this ahead of time, but I've ordered tons of auto parts online from others and never had a problem.

          Further, the only way you can communicate with their customer service is via e-mail. Now considering issuing a charge back on my credit card but not sure how much effort I want to put into this for a few lousy bucks. Upshot is, PG has demonstrated to me the value of the other vendors I use.

          In the meantime, I've got a brand new MkIII Jetta grill for anyone who needs one.

          • dukeisduke

            Thanks for the info. I'll put them on my "do not use" list.

          • FЯeeMan

            Glad you at least go a response from them. I got a bad 1/2 shaft for my Passat from them, and go no response at all.

            Definitely on the 'do not use' list.

  • $kaycog

    I think that I shall never see
    A poem as lovely as this Ford in a tree.

  • jeepjeff

    So, I've had two tire buying experiences in my life. Once was to a Les Schwab for whatever they had that was cheapest for my college beater. Second time was for my wife's Civic after she curbed one of the front tires during a storm. I went to the dealer and had them put on stock tires.

    But now, now I have real money and a performance vehicle where I really care about the tires. Whoever gets my business is going to love me, as I have a bit of a hang-up about being the only person to turn wrenches on my Wrangler. (I'm not going to want an alignment, and I'll know if they're balanced correctly right away.)

    Where do you guys buy tires? Also, because this matters, I've settled on Cooper Discoverer A/T3s. As best I can tell, tirerack.com doesn't stock them. Do you get your tires mounted and balanced where you buy them? Particularly Bay Area Hoons, any favorite shops for mounting, balancing and/or purchasing?

    (Some tech details: the toe-in is the only front suspension setting on my Jeep, due to the solid axle, and the tolerances on it are amenable to a tape-measure alignment. I intend to do that myself. The wheels are also lug centric and, particularly, with larger tires, more sensitive to balance. I know for 33"+ tires the JeepForum guys recommend getting a road force balance done.)

    • OA5599

      If you find a tire store that's part of a national chain, and they tell you they can do lug-centric balancing, there is a 99% chance that the machine is missing parts or the only guy who knows how to run it got called up for active duty yesterday. They won't ever admit it, but the truth will emerge well into your second hour at the shop.

      • jeepjeff

        That's reassuring.

        • I used the A/T3's predecessor, the ATR, on my last van, and I liked them a lot. The ATR was surprisingly refined on the pavement, but I should disclose that I didn't have many opportunities to use them off-pavement. One thing that really sold me on them was that they had a nylon overwrap ply, which significantly reduces the likelihood of a blowout. It's present in all H-rated tires and better, but it's much less common in Q-/R-/S-/T-rated tires.

          For tire shops, you can look at Hunter's website ( http://www.gsp9700.com/search/findgsp9700.cfm ) to find a shop that has a GSP9700 road force balancer. And of course Cooper has a dealer locator. Punching in Oakland, the shops that appear on both lists are:

          AVN Motorsports, 2303 Clement Ave, Alameda, http://www.avnmotorsports.com/
          Gomes Tire Service, 1350 50th Ave, Oakland
          Big O, 1200 Park St, Alameda

          Those two independent shops seem highly rated on the review sites.

          • jeepjeff

            Oh man, Gomes Tire is in a totally sketchy area of East Oakland. (As there is something wrong with me, that might be the extra point in their favor over AVN…)

            Anyway, I asked on JF last night, and it sounds like I don't need to get a road force balance job (that's for 35" tires, and recalcitrant 33" tires). So, I should be able to go anywhere for tires. I'd started looking at Cooper's dealer locator, but thought I'd ask if you guys had particular favorite spots.

            I'm definitely getting an "avoid national chains" as a common thread of advice. (Which agrees with my personal prejudices. 🙂

    • Found a local tire shop that's honest, does quality work and has knowledgeable techs. I don't care what kind of prices are available online, I've bought all my tires from them for the past decade, because I care if they to stay in business a lot more than I care if TireRack.com stays in business.

      BTW, have you considered the Michelin LTX AT2? Just put the second set on the F150. Tread's not quite as aggressive as the Discoverer A/T3, but smooth riding, great traction, quiet on the highway, and the first set wore very evenly…not prone to premature cupping the way the OEM Goodyear Wranglers were.

      • jeepjeff

        I've got Michelin LT4s on there. They're the Sears Special version of the LTX (non A/T). They've done really well in the snow and have excellent road manners. I'm a fan of Michelin, but they don't make the LTX AT2 in anything that fits my Jeep as-is. I'm running stock LT30x9.5R15 tires, and the closest Michelin has to that size is the LT31x10.5R15, which will barely fit under my fenders, but will cause rubbing problems at full lock or under articulation (which is super bad, because I need to be able to run chains on my rig, and Chrysler already thinks that's a bad idea as far as potential fender damage goes).

        If they made LT30s, the LTX AT2 would probably be my first choice. The Coopers have been getting excellent reviews.

        Alright, Tim, go ahead and say it again. My life would be easier if I had 2" of lift on my rig.

  • Sjalabais

    The invisible bike helmet:

    Spoiler alert: A Saab is going to get hurt.

    • Spoiler Alert: Someone is going to get decapitated. (Not in the film, only if they're wearing that thing.)

  • MVEilenstein

    I think I have an anger problem.

    I almost rear-ended a car last night who came to a dead stop on the same road I always drive, to let someone turn in front of him out of a church parking lot. I had to swerve onto the shoulder to avoid him. 20 seconds later, he did it again! When I honked at him to express my displeasure, he returned the favor by stopping in the road.

    I might have given him a California hello.

    It's easy to say I shouldn't be following so closely, or that I'm still at fault if I hit him, but when it's dark and raining, you don't make sudden moves (like stopping in the road) with cars behind and around you.

    • Sjalabais

      I'm with you on this one. If you watch the typical Russian DVR, a crash consists usually of one or both of these elements:

      1. Idiotic, unconventional and unpredictable behaviour.
      2. Too high speed.

      It appears condition #1 is fulfilled. Now that we have two small children sucking energy out of us, even my sweet and mild wife has started to honk at people who do the above thing. Nobody gets any advantage out of stupid stops like that.