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


1990 Nissan 240SX: Please Do Not Molest

1990 Nissan 240SX

We are fond of mentioning the hilarity of nostalgia here at TTS. Often our youthful objects of desire are considerably less needful to our middle-aged selves. Back in the day, one hundred of Honda’s carbureted horses somehow felt better than ninety-six of Volkswagen’s fuel-injected motivators. Today, neither feels very good. The truth is, it’s all relative, and if you dispassionately view the hardware of yore, it can look primitive and largely uninspiring.

I don’t think this is the case here. Continue reading


2011 BMW 328i Wagon M-Sport: The Unicorn

2011 BMW 328i Wagon M-Sport

Well-known is the fact your humble TTS staff are station wagon geeks. Having lived with and in them, the long roof versions of regular sedans have drilled deep into our frontal lobes. The combination of utility and potential sport in enticing, especially in a modern package. Last week’s Cutlass was a goofy homebrew that, while certainly entertaining, you probably wouldn’t want to drive every day in any place other than its native Florida. This week’s wagon… oh, dear Lord. Continue reading


Power, Poise and a Vanishing Breed: Five V8 Sedans on the Cheap

M119 W124

Every time I turn around these days it seems like another manufacturer is forfeiting good old burbling big-displacement torquetastic motoring for force-fed fours and sixes. It would appear that the V8’s days are numbered, particularly in cars that us regular Joes can lay our hands on without taking out a second third mortgage. Along with the V8s, regular rear-wheel drive seems to be fading into obscurity replaced with all-wheel. Now I appreciate traction as much as anyone, especially after all the snow that we’ve been graced with this winter, but sometimes you want your back wheels pushing, your front wheels steering, and never the two shall meet. It’s definitely old school, but I guess that I am, too.
Continue reading