Fleet Update: Turning Japanese

IMG_4205

Anyone who has spent any time perusing TTS can tell that we are generally partial to German cars – or at least European, as I do like the occasional Italian.. That said, we are also geeks for engineering and technology. I recall all too well when my father – Mister PhD in mechanical engineering – went from being a tried-and-true Mercedes guy (The Best or Nothing) to a Lexus guy. Price played a small part, as we were shopping a W126 300SE against an LS400 because the V8 Mercedes were substantially more expensive, but it was really about the quality of the machine. The Japanese took a great formula and made it their own, and the industry never looked the same again. I can still hear him saying “there is really no comparison.” At the time I was heartbroken, but as I’ve gotten older (and wiser?) I understand it – and him – a little better.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Rental Review: 2017 Toyota 4Runner SR5

On average, I don’t have the greatest luck with rental cars. Part of this could be I don’t travel as much as my TTS colleague, and so I don’t accumulate enough examples to dilute the sample set, swinging it my way. No, as of Thanksgiving, my hit rate on crapwagons is running at least even with the gems. Continue reading


Rental Review: 2015 BMW X1 xDrive28i

I’ve been driving my somewhat-newly-acquired 1995 BMW M3 for six or so months now. In that time, I’ve found attributes to love and issues to loathe, touching on just about every emotion in between. Safe to say, there is a difference between a 1995 Mercedes-Benz designed by old Germans with slide rulers and a BMW engineered by high school dropouts using a Windows 3.1 machine.

But this isn’t that article. Continue reading


Fleet Update: A Different Kind of Porsche

dsc_5146

A different kind of Porsche, indeed – and it’s sitting on the right-hand side of my garage as I write this. This is arguably the first production four-door Porsche – built long before the Panamera was a glint in its designer’s eye – except that it’s a Mercedes-Benz jointly developed by Porsche and Mercedes and assembled by both companies, with a lot of cross-town transportation going on. Of course, if you are a regular TTS reader or a three-pointed star enthusiast, you’ve likely read all about these cars and their unique place in the history of both manufacturers over the years. I’ve been a fan of them since they first came out, and even owned a remarkably good one with over 260,000 miles some several years ago. Ever since then, however, I’ve wanted to get another, better example of the model if and when the starts would align and I could both justify rationalize the cost AND find the right car. Now the rationale is simple: E500E’s are headed up in value.

Continue reading


TTS, Apparently: The New Kid In The Garage

bmw_e36_m3_shadow

Regular readers of TTS will understand – while we prognosticate at great length on vehicles we are stupid enough to purchase – rarely do we actually purchase any or all of the vehicles featured on these pages. Although, come to think of it, I have been asked where I’ve been hiding my Audi 90 20V and Lincoln Town Car. Regardless, my cohort is more apt to swap fleet members than I am. I’m more of a long-term relationship kind of guy when it comes to the mechanical children who inhabit my garage.

But this time I actually pulled the trigger. And while I’m still waiting to see through which door the 1995 E320 exits, the new kid (as yet unnamed) has landed, and is resting comfortably next to Rudi, our 1985 BMW 323i Baur TC2. Continue reading


The Next Car: And This Time I Mean It

Shultz

Previous posts here on TTS had me talking about replacing my 1995 Mercedes-Benz E320, loudly rusting away before our very eyes. Off the table are the blue-sky kinds of cars we daydream about, replaced with actual daily conveyances to be flogged throughout the harsh four season we have here in the North Woods.

Candidates were casually considered, reviewed, and summarily dismissed. Mental masturbation at its finest. I had originally planned on running the Mercedes until at least the late autumn in order to stockpile additional funds for something truly interesting. But several issues have reared their ugly heads in rapid-fire succession – issues there is no way in Hell I’m remedying – and dear Shultz needs to go. Now. Continue reading