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What Was Your Automotive News for 2017?

Greg Kachadurian December 29, 2017 The News! 43 Comments

Well guys, it’s that time of year again. The clock strikes midnight upon a new year in just a few days, so we might as well reflect on what 2017 gave us. Because the automotive news is practically non existent this week, I’m reserving this time slot for you to reminisce on the events – good or bad – that defined your automotive-related news for the year. It was certainly an eventful year for a lot of us inside the rejects club Hooniverse staff and amongst our most loyal readers, so now is the time to relive it. Whether you took on a new project or three, went to a bucket list event, bought something new, or just spent the year breaking everything, we wanna hear about it.

Thanks for staying with us this year. May your traffic lights be green and your revs high in 2018. Cheers!

[Image © 2017 Hooniverse/Greg Kachadurian]

  • Greg Kachadurian

    I managed to do a lot this year like another Rolex 24, Gridlife South, Radwood, burnouts with a 650-hp F-150, and playing with a GTI for the first time. But the highlight has gotta be that road trip I took with my own F-150. Seeing the country with my old man and bringing home my favorite truck was such an awesome experience. I just rolled over 50,000 miles on it the other day, 13,000 more than what it had when I picked it up in June. No regrets (just a lot of gas).

  • Fred

    First year with cable in 20 some years. Watched F1 in english, before I watched it on the local spanish channel. Yo no hablo espanol. Got to see some sport car races and all those mostly idiotic velocity shows.

    Next I bought snow tires, chains, shovel and setup a winter survival kit for the first time. Now if it would only snow.

    Had a nice drive from Houston to my new home in Sonora CA. Saw the Grand Canyon for the first time and generally had a nice drive thru the southwest. I need to do some more road trips.

  • This year I have not driven two of the cars that I own. It’s time let one of them go. 🙁

    • If you keep acquiring more cars it’ll become easier to overlook the fact that some haven’t been driven in a while.

    • Sjalabais

      So the nornal behaviour for our generation would be to put up a list and let the internet vote on what goes away, right? Time to daily the Lada.

  • I_Borgward

    After a year of work, my Volvo 240 turbo wagon project is nearly ready to hit the streets! I’ve got a few more repairs to do to the interior, then I can take it in for a nice new set of Continentals and an alignment.

    On another note: My various Craftsman tools have served me reasonably well, but it seems that Sears is circling the drain, and I’m thinking that I need to explore some other brands. I can’t justify the expense of Snap-On tools, but I need something better than Harbor Freight or hardware store specials, as damaging fasteners with poorly-made crap makes me very cranky indeed. What are some good mid-grade to pro-grade tool lines that I should know about?

    • Tylerd5079

      I’ve worked with a few Stanley sets, and have been satisfied with them. They can be had fairly cheaply as well, as the multiple piece sets usually go on pretty good sales.

      You don’t necessarily have to give up on Craftsman, however. The brand was sold to Stanley Black and Decker last March, so it will likely live on after Sears.

    • 0A5599

      Stanley Black & Decker bought the Craftsman line a few months ago. The loss of Sears won’t bring the end to the brand. You’ll still be able to get replacements from places like Ace Hardware.

      A bigger concern is that a lot of Craftsman tools are no longer USA-made, and the quality has dropped. At the same time, Harbor Freight has made great strides to improve their quality. This doesn’t apply to every tool they sell, but their lifetime warranty hand tools compete favorably with more expensive counterparts sold by Craftsman, and HF toolboxes are on par with industry leaders (probably built in the same factories, too).

    • wunno sev

      not really pro-grade, but this year I bought a Kobalt set that I’m happy with, and I’m confident Lowe’s will be around longer than Sears. Husky at HD also has decent tools with a good warranty.

      • wunno sev

        also, my mom got me a Crescent mechanic’s tool set from Costco when I was 13 and I’ve been using it ever since. beautiful tools. that was more than half my life ago, I’m now realizing.

    • Rover 1

      The only person ever to have truthfully written that line.

      • I suppose some people might see that set of activities as a punishment instead of as a reward, but that’s only because they’re smarter and/or saner than I am.

        • Rover 1

          I’ll leave it up to others to comment on whether that is setting a high bar or not.

  • needthatcar

    Addiction.

    Bought:
    1980 Plymouth Arrow truck from Colville WA
    1970 240Z from Albuquerque NM
    1973 240Z From Billings MT
    2016 F150
    1987 FX16 From Boise ID
    1992 Miata From Elko, NV
    1987 MR2 Lemons car From Winnemucca NV

    Sold:
    FX32 twin-engined Lemons car
    2002 Ford F350 box truck Lemons tow rig
    2008 Volvo C30
    1992 Geo Prizm GSi
    1992 Miata
    1973 240Z (B.a.T. went to ATL)
    1989 MR2 (B.a.T. Went to Houston)

    Also, 3 lemons races, 1 Lucky Dog race, two head gaskets, 1 failed engine swap at Thunderhill, 1 timing belt on a PT Cruiser (worst thing ever), and a thousand other little projects.

    Road trips to Northern Washington state, Boise, Albuquerque, Billings, Northern California then up the coast to The Ridge, Laguna Seca, High Plains Raceway, Thunderhill, Twin Falls x2, Las Vegas (for Viva Las Vegas car show), Winnemucca, Elko (different trip).

    • You sold 2 cars through Bring A Trailer? How was the experience? I’m thinking of using them when it’s time to let my RSX Type S go in a year or two.

      • needthatcar

        The experience was great. They won’t let you have a reserve on a car under $6k or so. They want their money when it sells. It’s cheap too, and there seem to be some buyers with a lot of money. My MR2 sold for about a 20% loss, but my 240Z sold for a 110% profit, so I was pretty pleased, all in all. They’d love your RSX.

        • Nice, I’ll definitely consider them when it’s time. I briefly considered it for my 318ti, but other than the service history back to new, it really didn’t seem like BAT material.

    • Zentropy

      Dang! You’re either single or have a very reasonable spouse. I caught ten shades of hell from my wife for dropping $800 on a BMW.

      • needthatcar

        She is great. She even went on the road trips to being most of them back. I’m in SLC, and we went out and back to Colville WA, Albuquerque, Winnemucca, and Billings tracking down cars. Got my eye on one in Phoenix now.

        • Zentropy

          Wow. I married for many good reasons, but a mutual affection for cars wasn’t one of them, unfortunately. She’s a keeper.

  • ptschett

    Going into the year I had 4 vehicles:
    1996 Ford Thunderbird LX (4.6L V8)
    1999 Kawasaki KLR650
    2005 Dodge Dakota (4.7L V8)
    2015 Dodge Challenger R/T (5.7L V8)

    Currently I have 3:
    1996 Ford Thunderbird LX (4.6L V8)
    2015 Dodge Challenger R/T (5.7L V8)
    2017 DodgeRam 1500 (5.7L V8)

    I was planning to get rid of the KLR at some point. I didn’t expect to be parting with the Dakota till a few years hence, but I’m glad I still had full comprehensive/collision coverage when it spun into the ditch 51 weeks ago and found the base of a light tower with the left front wheel…

  • Sjalabais

    2017 has for me been the year that marked “owning a car the longest”. I now own my Honda Stream for four years, and the Camry likewise. The normal situation would have been to get bored after 2-3 years. I am bored, but apart from constant brake issues, I can’t justify to bin or sell it yet; another new scenario for a bottom scraper like me.

    One funny result is that, for the first time ever, I bought two winter tires instead of four. We use studded tires and with lots of driving on tarmac, the studs get flattened quickly. Since two of the four year old tires had good profile and more studs left, I put them on the back. Ever since, I have been driving with a sliding backend and a firm front end on our icy mountain roads. Despite the old tires looking good, the difference on ice is like night and day. Nothing similar happens on tarmac or snow though.

    • Smaglik

      I’ll have had my X3 5 years this January. I haven’t gotten close to owning a car that long since I was in college, and owned an accord for 9 years. I was in college a long time. Brown, manual transmission, awd, wagon. Hooniverse dream car.

      Speaking of tires, I got them rotated on the x3 two days ago. Drove the car to Winslow yesterday, and the whole thing feels like a Magic Fingers bed at highway speed. I’ve heard the stories of the x drive system being uber sensitive to tires of differing diameters, and though I bought these as a set, they seem to have worn unevenly. Going to the tire store shortly. Here’s hoping for an inexpensive morning!

      • Sjalabais

        Pretty impressive that you managed to maintain a car through college. I financed myself through university and let my orange ’77 Volvo 242 go when I realize I was skimping on fruit for gas money.

        How did that tire thing turn out? Amazing what tires can do. As I usually buy my cars cheap, new tires are always on the menue. Sometimes, it is almost magic how new tires can make a car feel much more composed, modern and connected to the road. Bought a Nissan Primera once and while haggling, budgetted for a new clutch and a couple of bits and wheels around the wheels. Turned out that all the car needed was proper tires…and that clutch.

        • Smaglik

          Owning a car is pretty much necessity in this country. I bowl competitively, have since my early 20s, and to get around to events you need to own a car. Even without that, you can’t do much without wheels, unless you’re in a few select cities in the US.

          The tire thing did not turn out great. One of the tires has uneven wear, moderately scalloped. I’m told that can happen from worn shocks, which is totally plausible, since I replaced the shocks earlier this year (one started pissing out oil), and they had 150k on them upon replacement. They balanced the hell out of the bad tire, and rotated them back to the place they were, and the vibration got a little better, but it’s still there, and there’s no way I can take it on a massive road trip, or even just to Phoenix. The tires are just a smidge away from getting partial mileage warranty consideration (26k miles on 50k mi tires, and down to about 5/32 all the way around). My guy at discount tire told me that they’d take care of me if the vibration persisted, which likely means a new set of tires at a substantial discount. I have yet to communicate to him that the vibration is still there. Regardless, the xDrive system is a finnicky bitch, and I really don’t want to drive it in this condition, so I’ll likely have to come to terms with this one in the next week or two. 🙁

          • Sjalabais

            Meh, not good news. Last time I bought tires for the Honda, one of those tiny 5g counterweights fell off. That’s about the only time I experienced such a vibration, flummoxed by how big the effect was. Nothing to drive with, for sure.

            Funny about competitive sports. I play badminton, and at university, I would sometimes bike 50km to get to a tournament. Called it “warm up”. Beyond that, we just rented cars.

            • Smaglik

              Badminton requires the players to be in reasonable shape. You take the top 50 college bowlers in this country and likely less than 10 could bike 50km, and they’d only do it if there were beer at the end.

    • Rover 1

      Just watch it under hard braking. You might find yourself going sideways or backwards very suddenly.

    • Zentropy

      Longest I’ve owned a car is 28 years (still have it). Next is 24 years, but I still own that one too. For my DDs, I typically drive them for 10 years, because my wife and I alternate new purchases but only want one car payment.

      • Sjalabais

        Nice. How many cars in total? Our garage is build for a Beetle, so new cars hardly fit. That and a lot of winter road salt mean that cars detoriate really fast around here. Never had a car payment either though…only cash cars.

  • Five vehicular transactions this year, more than I’ve ever had.

    Entered the year with 5 cars:

    1960 Thunderbird Convertible
    1996 BMW 318ti
    1998 Ford Escort
    2005 Mazda3 hatch
    2007 Toyota Prius Touring

    Exiting with 6:

    1960 Thunderbird Convertible
    2002 Acura RSX Type S
    2003 Mazda Protege LX
    2005 Mazda3 hatch
    2007 Toyota Prius Touring
    2015 Honda Accord Hybrid

    It’s the first time in 6 years that all of my dailies have been made in this century. Also a return to Honda ownership after 7 years.

  • Victor

    I have two Ford E-150 vans . One is a conversion and the other a delivery . They are a 1997 and a 1998.
    One for summer and the other for winter. My news is that neither of them cost me a dime above fuel and oil changes.

  • Smaglik

    This year I started off somewhat afraid to drive the M5, as it had appreciated in value based on market trends, and typically used car values put it at about 60% of what I could sell it for. After trudging through many conversations with insurance companies over several months, I finally found a stated value policy that would somewhat let me do what I wanted to do with the car (pleasure driving, to and from work no more than 2 days a week, 6k miles per year total).

    Being the impulsive person that I am, and presuming this would pose an issue for perceived problems that truly do not exist, I bought an M3 out of Chicago, and drove it back home to Arizona. My reasoning? The market is softer on these, and I can truly drive it anywhere. Well, that’s true I guess. But I already had a second car I could do that with.

    So, to end the year, I am now managing my own fleet. They’re not terribly needy, but they all have their own little quirks. 2018 should be interesting… https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5d06042bfd3e8e1892e7882ccad5c75370aafb6aba0c9c13de81de5ff5d45a16.jpg

    • Zentropy

      Interesting take. I’ve never bought a vehicle for investment, only for driving. The value of my cars is assessed behind the wheel.

      • Smaglik

        I didn’t buy it for investment, and honestly don’t see it as that. When I bought it, it had 39k miles on it, and I paid just a bit more than an insurance number. In my two years of ownership, KBB value has dropped 20%, and market has risen 20%, even with 52k miles on it as it sits. I’m keeping it because I know that I will never be able to own a car like that again after I pass it along, because they don’t make them like that anymore, and in 10 years, the good specimens will be astronomical.

        If the entire thing is a break even deal, I’ll be ecstatic. If it isn’t, I’m completely ok with that.

        • Zentropy

          Not being critical, though I always sound like it in text. Cars are a great investment if you’re smart about it, but I’ve never had the patience for research nor the funds for the purchase. I buy the cars I like as cheaply as possible, do as much of the mechanical work myself, and drive them like I stole them. If someone dropped an M5 in my lap, I’m not sure what I’d do. Can’t say I’d blame you for considering the market.

      • wunno sev

        if there was ever a time to buy a particular car as an investment, it’s now with E39 M5s. legendary car, most beloved of the M5s (E60 is its only competition with millennial enthusiasts), not that expensive to buy. keep up with the maintenance and you’ll be rewarded in a few years.

  • callmebigpapa

    About a month ago I was given this Merc 190D. It drives really well for having a quarter of a million miles, but has vacuum leak going to the trans, among other things.

    I’m having a blast working on it, or at least I will once it warms up again.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b570b2f7718991de7a61694aacb182636c32ddf966eba0133aabb95ff7dc67cc.jpg

  • wunno sev

    busy year for me! i did the engine work my V70 had needed since i bought it four years ago, but it didn’t resolve my problems, so i’ll probably have to do more.

    i sold the ’83 240D i bought kind of on impulse late the year before after getting over the novelty of that car pretty quickly. it was remarkably reliable, but the NVH-to-power ratio was just untenable, and it was never intended to be a long-termer. but it did keep me amused while i did the work on the Volvo, and i think that helped motivate me to get work done on that car.

    i picked up a one-owner ’95 E320 coupe as a project a few months later, intended for a similar lifespan as the W123, but it’s really charmed me quite thoroughly. the opposite of the 240D, this car is smooth, quiet, modern, and can keep up with traffic. (more importantly, pillarless windows.) as much as i like to think i’m into the old tanks, it turns out this finicky thing gets me way more excited than the old tractor ever did, and the extra upkeep is worth it to me. i’ve resolved not to keep the lovely C124 long-term, but should i for some reason drive the Volvo into a tree or off a cliff between now and whenever i decide to sell the coupe, the coupe is staying.

    my Fiesta ST has continued to be a fine “real car” while i dick around with the others. i replaced the threadbare no-seasons with some Pilot Super Sports, helping me squeeze a few extra tenths out of it. but i only hit up a few track days this year, when i’d been hoping to step it up a bit.

  • marmer

    Let the Audi A4 Avant go after seventeen years and 272,000 miles. One of the smartest and saddest things I have ever done. There were tears.

  • I have a Ford E-150 van and it’s best!!

  • SlowJoeCrow

    “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” On the bad side our beloved Mazda5 was totaled when a twit in a crew cab pickup ran a stop sign and 6 weeks later our Saturn SL2 blew its transaxle. Since this left us with no car we leased a Mazda CX-5 which was our first new car since 1993 and also had more amenities than any car I’ve ever owned. It has proven a worthy vehicle, although its inherent inefficiencies as a crossover keep it from being loved as much as its predecessor. Also this summer I helped my son buy his first car, which has proven to be an adventure, although he has begun celebrating his Slavic heritage by driving around his college blasting hardbass from his old Buick.