LOLCAT: 2001 Jaguar XJR

2001 Jaguar XJR

Earlier this year, my compadre here at TTS gathered five V8-powered sedans that appeal to the enthusiast mind and whose entry fee shouldn’t immediately decimate your bank account (that comes later). While he nailed the 1998-2003 Jaguar XJ8 – a very pretty and not-horrible sedan pasted together with Ford-backed British stiff-upper-lipped diligence – he missed that car’s hotrod-in-a-tuxedo sister, the supercharged XJR of the same era. Continue reading


Rental Car Review: 2003 Mazda Protege5

Shelby GT350H Collection

“What’s the fastest car in the world? A rental car, of course!”

That old chestnut, the object example of truth lovingly wrapped in a cliché. We all know people who have purchased cars previously the property of a rental or loaner fleets. And not ironically, either; this wasn’t some vane nod toward empathy – like adopting an abused baby harp seal because you feel bad – or merely thumbing their nose at the Goddess of Nice Used Cars. They saw no problem in purchasing an automobile that had likely never known an easy day in its life.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a Camaro SS or a Dodge Avenger, an Audi A6 or a Kia Rio, a Nissan Quest or a Lincoln MK-whatever. Nobody has ever been nice to a rental car. Continue reading


Mitsubishi Starion ESI-R and Chrysler Conquest TSI: Oh, Yeah! Those!

Starquest

Having a mind much akin to a steel colander, I tend to forget about certain cars. My interest doesn’t wane, really. But with all the other automotive detritus wandering through my gray spongy bits, sometimes cars fall off my mental radar screen.

With that, I submit the Mitsubishi Starion ESI-R and Chrysler Conquest TSI twins. Continue reading


Totally That Stupid: Dad Needs A New Car

Q45

My Dad emailed me yesterday. It seems his 1995 Infiniti Q45a is back at the dealer getting steering rack boots and a water pump. Recently, it got a battery, and had some wiring under the back seat repaired. The wiring had gotten wet because, likely, the sunroof drain tubes are plugged up. The sunroof doesn’t open, so we can’t clean out the drains.

This is how cars rapidly unravel. Continue reading


1995 Alfa Romeo 164 Quadrifoglio: Too Nice To Daily

Alfa Romeo 164 Quadrifoglio

We have covered the Alfa Romeo 164 before here on Totally That Stupid. That doesn’t mean we’ll shy away from a nice example, especially after a nationwide search, and especially while still in the middle of winter when the pickings are slim at best. No, we’ll continue to cover our favorite early-1990s front-wheel-drive Alfa Romeo sedan as long as clean, well-sorted examples appear on our monitors. Continue reading


Commentary: Death Of A Manual

Row Your Own

There’s been a lot of chatter for a long time about the impending demise of the row-your-own manual transmission. I’m not talking about those automated manuals – with or without an actual clutch or two – with acronyms lifted from the annals of phone company documentation such as DCT, DSG, PDK, etc. No, I speak of the real, three-pedal mechanical gear changers with a friendly stick emerging from either the floor or – if you’re old – the steering column. Continue reading