In a struggle to be happy and free

Drystone Wall

Category: transportation Page 3 of 23

Sweet ride!

I’m not a big fan of convertibles because of the climate in which I live. A car that I could only drive for six months seems like a waste. That said, I’d make an exception for this one:

Say hello to the 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4*S N.A.R.T. Spider.

Ferrari made only ten, so you’ll be a member of an exclusive group. The problem is it’s not easy to become a member of this exclusive group. The 275 pictured here sold at auction on Saturday for 27.5 million US dollars, making it not only the most expensive Ferrari, but also the most expensive road car ever sold.

Eddie Smith, Sr. paid $14,000 for the car and took delivery in 1968. According to the LA Times, it was no garage queen.

Smith enjoyed using the car for its intended purpose: driving it. He was known throughout the small town of Lexington, N.C., for giving kids a ride in the car so they should share the experience.

Six years after his death, his family decided to sell the car at auction.

Smith Jr. said the family decided to sell the car because it’s been “kept in a prison” without being driven as much as their father would have liked. In keeping with Smith Sr.‘s emphasis on philanthropy, the money from Saturday’s sale will go to various local charities in Lexington, as well as the family foundation

What a nice story. Also, I’ve heard the buyer is a Canadian, so keep your eyes open!

Ferrari or not, it doesn’t look like a beast from the outside, but it is.

This limited run of 275 N.A.R.T. Spiders boast a 3.2‑liter V‑12 with six Weber carburetors, making 300 horsepower. The engine is paired with a five-speed manual transmission and four-wheel independent suspension. The car also has taller gear ratios than other 275s, to accommodate the longer straightaways of U.S. tracks.

Not only is it beautiful, but it has the goods, too.

As much as I like the 275, if anyone is stuck wondering what to get me for Christmas, I’d still prefer a 250 GTO.

Photos courtesy of RM Auctions.

Another government ‘crackdown’

Let’s take the issue of tailgating, for which you can now receive an on-the-spot fine of £100, making it as serious now, in the eyes of the courts, as burglary, light murder, and smashing an old lady in the face with a bat. “Good,” shrieked green-ink Britain. “I hate being tailgated and I shall definitely vote Conservative, now that offenders are to receive the same punishment as rapists.”

Jeremy Clarkson
“Clarkson on: middle-lane hogging”

False hope from Chevrolet

I’m here watching Formula 1 racing for the first time in about a decade and it’s lovely! But that’s not what this is about.

During the race, I was surprised to note a Chevrolet ad regarding the 2014 Cruze diesel. Being who I am, I immediately looked it up. This is the first domestic diesel car since the 1970s and those were such disasters that they’re not worth taking about. Could we perhaps hope they’ll do it right this time? Despite my skepticism, reading that the engine itself is designed and assembled in Europe is a positive sign because the Europeans certainly know a thing or two about diesel automobile engines!

Then it all fell apart. The only transmission offered is a 6‑speed automatic. Thanks, but I’m not interested. It also doesn’t help that Chevrolet offers no fuel economy numbers.

Given that the Cruze diesel is $26,545 ($24,945 MSRP + $1,600 freight), I’d take the Jetta Comfortline TDI for $25,585 ($24,190.00 MSRP + $1,395.00 freight) to get the 6‑speed manual I want, and save $1,000 as a bonus.

Farmer’s Market

I went to the Niagara Falls farmer’s market yesterday morning. Mom wanted to have a look around, perhaps get something, but mostly chat up the vendors to get a feel for when the various fruits and vegetables would be ready this season. I know that she likes to get there early so all the offerings won’t be picked over leaving only the stuff you wouldn’t want anyway. Despite never having been there, I couldn’t see it being very large so I asked, “How long will we be there? Maybe a half hour?” She told me that there was no way we’d be there that long. Perhaps a half hour including the drive there and back. Fair enough. I set my alarm for 8:00 am so after my shower, we were on our way before 8:30.

On the south-east block of the Main and Ferry Street intersection, the area behind the businesses on the busy streets is used for public parking six days a week. On the seventh, most of the parking is given over to the farmers to sell their goods. It’s early in the season, and we went early, so there were as many vendors as customers … and the area that remained available for parking was largely empty. Even so, the line where the side-street and the market met was strung with pylons crowned with no parking signs. People are lazy, and given the opportunity, many would make the side-street all but impassable to avoid a half-minute walk.

Indeed, the laziest among the lazy will still park as close as they can to avoid walking, despite the no parking signs. And while we were there, one gentleman did exactly this. Even my mother took notice, though not for his ignoring the signs, but rather for what he was driving. His car looked a lot like this:

It’s a Ferrari Testarossa. The car is worth less than half its $220,000 showroom price but they are no means inexpensive. A quick check on the web shows most examples selling for $75,000 to $100,000. Even more notable than the price is the look of the automobile. It’s an exotic, through and through. Not the type of car you expect to see at a farmer’s market. Still it makes a bit of sense because I’m sure the driver combined the market-run with a bit of a weekend drive.

It was nice to see the car, reminding me of when I first grew interested in cars. The Testarossa first hit the streets in 1984.

As we left, I saw the driver returning to his car with his purchases in two plastic shopping bags. I thought to myself that to pick up some fresh food, one certainly doesn’t need a 4.9 litre, 12 cylinder engine mounted behind the passenger compartment … but it has never been about need.

Photo by Michael Price, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Scene of the crime

I’m disappointed that I have no burnt-out wreck photos for you. Frankly, I don’t wish for anyone’s car to burn until it’s barely recognizable…but since it happened without my involvement, wish or otherwise, I wanted a photo!

On my way to the convenience store, I walked through the garage and easily found where the fire had occurred that I wrote about in my previous entry. The car wasn’t there, however. I knew I had the right place because police tape was warning passers-by to stay away, and the air was thick with the smell of gasoline. Oh yea, and the ceiling was jet black with soot. This was the view, shooting down the row of parking spaces:

Those two vertical black things hanging from the ceiling? Piping from the sprinkler system. Looks like it couldn’t keep up.

So there you go. Move along, nothing to see here…

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