Category Archives: Fleet Update

Fleet Update: Just Let It Go

2004 Matrix XRS

When I first started this missive, I was waiting for a call from a local independent repair shop to let me know Trinity, our 2004 Toyota Matrix XRS-6, could come home from her sleepover. She had a night away while waiting for gaskets and seals to stem the oil flow from her timing chain case. Said flow left a damp spot on the garage floor through which my four-year-old son could not possibly miss tromping on his way to climbing into my Mercedes.

“Wait a minute,” you’re thinking. “You actually paid regular humans to work on your car?” Continue reading


Fleet Update: A Quieter, Happier Blower Motor


We at TTS have a history of wrenching on our cars. My cohort has schlepped Fiat engines and can probably install European headlights on a Mercedes-Benz W123 in his sleep (assuming the kit was complete). In fact, he’s pretty handy around all manner of Benz products. I’ve built some silly cars in my day, whether it be race-ready BMWs or a Datsun out of Bondo. I still change my own oil, and actually enjoy the Zen-like state one can achieve during a four-wheel brake job.

Fun projects, all of them, in their own ways. But sometimes, you have to lay hands and wrenches on your ride to keep you from stomping a kitten. Continue reading

Fleet Update: 2012 Kia Optima Hybrid – 10 Months and Counting…..

Kia running Report - 1

So I have been driving a Kia Optima for approximately 10 months now, and despite my grumblings about it while extolling the virtues of AMG E55 ownership, it has been a remarkable companion, especially compared against my expectations. The Koreans are coming, and if you don’t believe it just try one for a while.

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Fleet Update: Perfection or Patina?

I have this awful habit of buying old cars in varying state of disrepair with delusions of making them perfect while at the same time hardly spending a dime in the process. Admittedly, my DIY skills are good enough for oil changes, maybe a valve cover gasket or shock absorbers, and detailing. Much beyond those and I rapidly fall out of my element. I do keep spreadsheets on my project cars, and I can say that I am ahead of the game when you look at the big picture, but only just.

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Fleet Roulette

(Yes, it’s been a long summer bereft of posts. Forgive me. Summer is short here in the North Woods, and I was out enjoying it!)

As some of you may know by now, the current fleet of old cars, specifically the 1972 Bavaria and the 1981 528i, is on the block. I could name a hundred different reasons for this upset, ranging from storage space to maintenance needs to the relative intelligence of having two cars you can drive six months out of the year, but don’t. At the end of the day, or the auction, I can boil it down to this: Continue reading

Fleet Update: Building Memories

I hate when life gets in the way of solid blogging, but that’s just the way it’s been lately. I’m actually somewhat amazed at how much has changed since my last post, automotively speaking, that is. Well, truth be told, there have really only been two changes: out with the Volvo, in with the Cosworth. I love a good Volvo wagon – and I have ever since my uncle had a pale blue 1974 145E wagon. It took four kids and a lot of abuse to kill that car – in fact, even all that didn’t kill it. If I recall correctly, it was still running on three of its four cylinders when it was hauled-off. Great cars. That said, we already have a wagon, and we really didn’t need another one. Besides that, the other side of my grandiose dreams of making it into some sort of killer daddy-wagon was that it would be a wallet-draining exercise in futility. And besides, it wasn’t a stick shift.

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