Look, I know Detroit is THE Motor City, but truth be told, no other U.S. City other than Los Angeles was purposely built around the automobile. For a long time, LA had a regulation that there could be no building could be taller than City Hall. That was intended to push growth outward rather than upward, and prevened the city from becalming yet another place of ‘Concrete Canyons’ like New York and Chicago.
Of course the urban and suburban sprawl that created – and which now defines – Los Angeles resulted in the auto-centric metropolis we know (and some of us love) today. Traffic is some of the worst in the world, and finding a place to put your car once you finally get to your destination is a hassle. The city is trying to do something about the latter, testing a new parking information sign that in one fell swoop replaces a tower of other signs. This is perhaps the best parking sign ever created, and the only downside I can see is that it now makes me want to get an AERA Z PERMIT, even though I’m sure the Z stands for Zombie.
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: Curbed LA
Last Call: LA Does Parking Signs Right Edition
Los Angeles: 1982-4…
Fast Times At Ridgemont High is released
First city to have a split area code
Mazda Miata is designed
Evidently, nobody walks.
is the left image real? or did some photoshop go down? quite messy if real.
in unrelated news, the permanent project that is a 1946 DeSoto (same as a plymouth), had quite a day today. here it’s going to its new shop, which hopefully can resolve the issues with the sprak (looks like 3 out of 6 spark plugs are not playing along).
anyone knows a good place (online) to buy door mirrors for it?
When does a car go from “respectful family appliance” to “suspect beater”? Doing a spring cleanup on my wife’s Camry, I see that there is a lot of detailing work to do. I’m uninspired:
Also, we had all fluids, plugs and filters changed. The Toyota shop told me that the antifreeze is “longlife”-antifreeze. His explanation of why they didn’t change it, suggests it should be called “eternal life”-antifreeze…is that really possible? Also, we need to flush the auto trans. Seems like an expensive job to do…
BASF, biggest chem. co. there is, says of their products which are approved by mayor car makers: “The coolants used in passenger vehicles need to be changed every three to four years, depending on the type of product. This is important, because the additives contained in the coolant gradually break down.”
Nope. The other quarter is similar, but not quite as bad, and 3 of the 4 doors are pretty bad around where the skin meets the frame. The 4th door is in good shape, ironically, because Mazda replaced it under the 5 year rust through warranty.
I love the car, but there’s just too much rust to deal with. I’m going to keep driving it and probably pass it down to my youngest next year.
A friend has a Mazdaspeed Miata that he’s having a cosmetic restoration done on and he’s dealing with similar issues.
That first photo of what I presume is a front door. Did your door strap fail?
I’m trying to decide what to do with my ’99 Saab 9-3 SE. After my daughter had it at college for 5 years it returned to me in less than stellar shape. Several dents and dings that weren’t there when it left including one near the left rear door hinge that pushed in the metal while leaving the trim on top of it completely intact!? (She said she didn’t even know it was there). The spousal unit backed the car into a vertical pipe in a parking garage and cracked the spoiler. The clearcoat was beginning to fade before college and was completely gone above the beltline after college. It’s a black car and I’m not sure whether to have it resprayed or try having it Plasti-Dipped. I’ll consult with my body shop first.
It has an irritating minor trunk leak that I can’t seem to pin down beyond somewhere in the drain channel on the right side of the hatch. This is problematic because the spare tire wheel is now covered in surface rust.
The radiator has a leak that only happens in the winter requiring a top-off of coolant in the overflow tank every couple of weeks.
The then 2-year-old compressor pulley seized causing the serpentine belt to turn into spaghetti and wrap itself around the driveshaft so tightly that my daughter could barely steer the car. Fortunately, she knew exactly what to do and was able to quickly get the car into a parking lot and shut off the car, thus saving the engine. The compressor is now bypassed so there’s no AC and summer temps are approaching. That’s a $900-1400 job alone, probably close to what the car is worth.
The rear windows don’t work despite having good used regulators installed so I have an electrical gremlin to track down. Also on the electrical side the power antenna may or may not work properly which is most likely a grounding issue. One of my daughter’s friends decided to crank the stereo and managed to blow the rear deck speakers and either the front door subwoofers or the separate amp that powers them. The trunk-mounted CD cartridge needs rebuilding as well and I haven’t been able to figure out how to clean the single CD laser in the dash.
The interior is actually in very good shape for a 16-year-old car. The dash is uncracked, the carpets are in excellent shape as are the door cards. The seat controls and heaters all work fine. Rear seat leather is perfect and the front seats only have some minor cracking that is typical for its age. That can easily be fixed with a good cleaning and re-dye. The jalousie (tambour-style cover for the auto shifter) is broken but I have a new one ready to be installed. The only problem with that is it requires the Sport mode button to be desoldered in order to do it right, I have a workaround that involves making a very discrete cut in the jalousie to wrap it around the shifter post without any desoldering so I may go that route. The headliner has some staining (probably from the sunroof being left in the vent position during a rainstorm) and is beginning to separate at the sunvisors.
The car only has 170,000 miles on it and is currently only being driven 5000 miles per year with my current commute. It will need 2 new tires in about 1000 miles and one of the wheels has some noticeable hop but all of them are free of curb rash. I do have a spare wheel that needs some repair so I’ll probably have that fixed and swap it out for the one that hops when I get the new tires.
I have a love/hate relationship with the car. It’s a Saab so parts availability will eventually become an issue. I haven’t had a car payment in almost 10 years and I’m not anxious to have another one but if I bought another car I would want one more modern than the Saab and our ’91 Volvo 240 wagon. My short list now is a 2006-10 Volvo V70, a 2010-2012 BMW 5-series Touring, or a 2010-2012 BMW 5-series GT. Any of those will require a car loan. I can get a loan at less than 2% interest from my credit union so the money is practically free. I would just have to figure out how much monthly payment we could afford.
When the Saab is working well it’s a wonderful car. It does tend to have some minor (or major) thing pop up every 6-12 months so that’s aggravating but, hey, it’s 16 years old. It’s due for regular maintenance in about 800 miles so I’m going to have my mechanic evaluate it for me (essentially have him do a PPI) and see if I really want to put more money into it, keep it at beater status, or get another vehicle.
Wow, there’s a lot of possible work hours in there…I really have a hard time in spots like this, deciding whether to invest or let go. My last 240 wagon, a ’93, had a lot of delayed maintenance, and I sold it about a year after it got a new clutch (a 1000$ investment in Norway if you don’t do it yourself). I also rust-treated and garage-painted most of it that year. Not a solid investment.
BaT has recently featured a couple of Toyota Century’s, and the website they refer to is a mind-boggling read. I guess we all know that older cars are essentially worthless in Japan, but prices come as a shock anyway: Volvo S60 example. Lots of trade reviewers located in African countries here…and cool, weird cars like Mitsubishi Debonairs and lots of Toyota Crowns everywhere.
As to the door ding: It’s the front fender that is rusting. The car was in two major accidents and has been repaired for about 25000$ insurance money twice…I assume this panel wasn’t fixed the last time around, with the bend being almost invisible at first. Usually, I’d just grind that down, put some anti-corrosion primer on it and a paint coating of roughly the same colour. Just that…I thought I was done driving multicoloured cars. Also, on my Honda, the clear coat is coming off on the roof and some of the doors, too. Japanese paint quality isn’t really the industry’s proudest.
Reading Iaccoca again…
The Mustang’s success put Iaccoca on the track to the Ford presidency. Ford and Lee were chums. But before Lee could step up, Bunkie Knudsen let it be known he was leaving GM and Ford wanted to snag him. The idea was Knudsen would bring over his GM knowledge. The reality was Ford did GM a favor in taking him away from GM.
The book didn’t get into how Lee resented that move and how he hated Knudsen. But Knudsen wasn’t there long at all but long enough to bloat the Mustang away from the original idea. When it came time to update the Mustang Ford moved from the Maverick platform to the Pinto. The pendulum swung too far.
In conclusion- we can blame GM for the Mustang II.
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