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'[OT] Warm Beer indeed! (was What is a nF?)'
2005\03\14@102931 by Howard Winter

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On Fri, 11 Mar 2005 13:30:27 -0800, James Newtons Massmind wrote:

> > Apparently, warm beer causes a phobia for decimal points, so
> > instead of
> > writing .001uF, the Brits like to write 1nF.

I don't think it's a phobia for decimal points so much as a phobia for multiple zeros.  Employers here certainly seem to have that when deciding employees' salaries...

I have to say that I didn't realise that others *didn't* use nF - as far back as I can remember it's been used here.  The only change in units that I can remember is when Hz replaced c/sec.  It took me some time to find out the conversion factor (pre-Internet of course) :-)

As for "Warm Beer" - as a card-carrying member of CAMRA (the Campaign for Real Ale, probably the most successful consumer pressure-group) I have to correct the allusion.  The correct temperature to serve English Ale is that of the cellar in which it is stored - which if it's built properly tends to remain at about +10C (50F) year-round without any interference.  The reason it's not chilled is so that you can taste it - I realise that most American beers don't actually have a taste (nor do most "Eurofizz" pressurised beers available over here) so cooling them to sub-zero doesn't make them any worse, but frostbite isn't something that I look forward to when I go for a drink!  
And why is it you can't go for "a quiet drink" in the USA?  Every bar seems to have multiple noise-sources that make it hard to have a conversation.  The worst one I found was a small bar in California, in which they had: televisions showing five different channels, one set of televisions showing an online quiz, a jukebox, and a Karaoke stage, all going at once!  I can understand that some people want to feel like they're part of a huge raucous crowd, but what about those who don't?  There doesn't seem to be a single place that's designed to allow a quiet, relaxing chat while drinking with a friend or two.  Even the ones that call themselves an "English Pub" have the TVs and such (like the one near you, James - I can't remember its name but I think it's on the south side of San Marcos Blvd. on the way from Fry's to the coast - now I think about it, it may be called The Churchill...).

Oh, and for *the best* tasting beer, go to Burton-upon-Trent in the Midlands of England (Burton = Anglo-Saxon "Beer Town") and find a Marston's pub.  Have a pint of "Pedigree" from a handpump, or better yet by gravity straight from the barrel (if it's a Marston's pub and they haven't got a pump with Pedigree on it, that's how they serve it).  You can get Pedigree in bottles, but it really isn't the same, and the difference between handpump and gravity-served is remarkable.

> The phobia of decimal points is caused by all the cases where the point was
> missed by someone reading the schematic or assembling the PCB. I personally
> like the way the letter can be used in place of the decimal. E.g. 4.7K
> written as 4K7. That is REALLY easy to read on a PCB silkscreen so you don't
> have users trying to find a 47 ohm resistor.
>
> Warm beer is caused by using Lucas refrigeration. Or that is what my Dad
> told me after trying to get the A/C working in his '68 E-Type.
Air conditioning in an E-Type???  I am flabbergasted!  Why not just open the roof?  Actually, while an E-Type looks pretty, I don't like them.  They are fine in a straight line, but once you start doing any serious cornering their handling tends towards that of an upright piano.  Give me a Lotus of that era any day - an Elan Plus2 for example.  The carbs need tweaking weekly, but I know how to do that so no problem!  While I was still at school I worked weekends in a garage that specialised in performance cars, and my then-boss gave me a lift in a Plus2 once - going round a roundabout at 70mph felt like you were sitting in an armchair at home - amazing roadholding!

As for Lucas, it's sadly their electrics that most cars here used to have.  I've had to replace enough of their stuff on cars I've owned to build a complete electrical system from scratch!  And I've seen a Triumph Stag that had to be completely rewired after a cable or two caught fire... mind you, my current car has had problems too, and I think the electrics are Bosch - the switch for the heated mirrors just stopped working and a new unit was about £50.  Luckily they'd implemented it using a small microswitch of a standard size, so I took it apart and replaced that myself and it's been fine since.  Now there's just the intermittent interior light and the door-that-won't-unlock to fix...

> P.S. I inherited a 1956 XK-140 Coupe that I would like to sell to a true Jag
> collector. It is basically this car:
> http://www.highwayone.com/Classifieds/Jaguar/BlackXK140.html but with a
> black interior and yellow paint. And I expect to get something closer to
> $20,000 rather than $80,000.

Again very pretty, but not really my style (and I haven't got the money anyway!).  Good luck finding a suitable new owner.

> Please change the subject line if you reply regarding Lucas, Beer, or
> Jaguars.

I assume this is an inclusive-or, so I've done so!

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England

2005\03\14@130315 by John Ferrell

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Idle comments...
I learned it as Mickey-Mikes, but now that I have been informed, I will refrain from the old usage...
Warm beer: when I had a sailboat, two hours in the shade was cool enough...
SIDE QUESTION: Is there any alcohol in Bud Lite?
Noisy TV's: There is now a remote device marketed that runs the gamut of remotes to turn off TV's that have become annoying.
I got over my fascination with Jags with a 1954 sedan while I was a college student in 1959... until then I was certain all things British were superior!

John Ferrell
http://DixieNC.US

{Original Message removed}

2005\03\14@135732 by Howard Winter

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John,

On Mon, 14 Mar 2005 13:03:57 -0500, John Ferrell wrote:

> Idle comments...
>...<
> SIDE QUESTION: Is there any alcohol in Bud Lite?

I've heard it said that some American beers have so little alcohol that they could have been sold legally
during the Prohibition - but I don't know which ones.

> Noisy TV's: There is now a remote device marketed that runs the gamut of
> remotes to turn off TV's that have become annoying.

Now that would be handy!  I'll look out for one next time I'm Stateside...

> I got over my fascination with Jags with a 1954 sedan while I was a college
> student in 1959... until then I was certain all things British were
> superior!

Oh, same age as me!  (The car, not your good self...)  1954, that must have been the Mk.VII I think (split
screen?)?  That certainly wasn't a good example.  Jaguar have had a very patchy history, with some models
being excellent (the S-type, for example) and others being complete dogs (the 420G, say).  I'd love to own an
S-type, but it seems that most of them ended their days flying over cliffs at the end of car-chases in 1970s
television drama programmes...  :-)

The thing that the USA is certainly better at than us: mass production.  A hand-built British car can hold its
own against anything the World can throw at it, but most things off a production line here, frankly, make me
ashamed.  Not that we actually make any significant number of cars any more - most of it has gone abroad,
following takeovers of virtually all of our car mass-market manufacturers.  And what *have* BMW done to the
Mini???

</rant>

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2005\03\15@000335 by William Chops Westfield

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On Mar 14, 2005, at 10:03 AM, John Ferrell wrote:

> SIDE QUESTION: Is there any alcohol in Bud Lite?
>
Presumably, it depends.  There are states in the US where beer with
less than 3.2% alcohol is "beer" and anything stronger is "liquor."
All the major brands make "3.2 beer" to sell into this market, but
presumably slightly stronger beer to sell elsewhere (?)
I have no idea what gets exported, or served from 'tap' in the
average bar/pub/whatever...

It is probably a dangerous assumption to assume that any particular
beer is as weak as the last one you had, unless they have exactly
the same source...

BillW

2005\03\15@040506 by Alan B. Pearce

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>And what *have* BMW done to the Mini???

Quite frankly, I think they have made a nice job of it. kept the looks so
the family heritage is obvious, while modernising the styling and making it
so it meets the modern safety standards.

Sure there are bound to be some compromises that people do not like, but
heck, how is that different to the things we deal with?

Alan (who lives about 12 miles from the Mini factory)

2005\03\15@070916 by Russell McMahon

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> Sure there are bound to be some compromises that people do not like,
> but
> heck, how is that different to the things we deal with?

To me it APPEARS to be a totally different car whose appearance hints
at its remote ancestor without any great promise that there is any
real similarity.

Test - if you breathed on it long enough and hard enough could it
become, at a sensible price,  the world's pre-eminent rally car for
almost a decade? (or for even almost a year). And to boot a favoured
clubman that allows all and sundry to have  genuinely competitive good
handling vehicle at a price they can afford?



       RM

2005\03\15@081203 by Alan B. Pearce

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>Test - if you breathed on it long enough and hard enough
>could it become, at a sensible price,  the world's pre-eminent
>rally car for almost a decade? (or for even almost a year).
>And to boot a favoured clubman that allows all and sundry
>to have  genuinely competitive good handling vehicle at
>a price they can afford?

I was watching some TV of local club rallying here in the UK recently, and
someone was using a new Mini. However when it comes to WRC stuff, well there
just isn't any room for a 4 wheel drive. Maybe an up and coming youngster
will put one in amongst the 1600cc 2 wheel drive class, but I suspect it
will need a bit of development to get that far yet.

2005\03\15@081349 by John Ferrell

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Back in my Sports car period (mid 60's) I had a friend with a Mini who
regarded it as an inverted status symbol.

The 1978 Ford Fiesta I had was a Mini in disguise. Wonderful handling, cheap
and that ends the good things I could say about it.

John Ferrell
http://DixieNC.US

{Original Message removed}

2005\03\15@083507 by John Ferrell

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Yes, the Mark VII Sedan. It had a low oil pressure problem. In fact, once it
warmed up, the gauge stay on the peg. I think the top end of the gauge was
about 120 pounds! After replacing all Main & Rod bearings (no small feat in
view of no whitworth tools) it was still low! That was when I discovered the
overhead camshaft bearings were simply steel cam to aluminum head. No shells
to replace. I tried stretching the oil pump spring, no joy. I then placed
several small washers under the spring and it would come off the bottom end
when warm. Unfortunately, at that setting the cold oil pressure was hard
against to 120 pound peg. And that was just one problem!

And then there was the first oil change experience.... My 2 gallon drain
bucket was woefully inadequate to contain the 13 quart deluge of hot oil...

Don't get me started on SU carburetors!

John Ferrell
http://DixieNC.US

{Original Message removed}

2005\03\15@084956 by Russell McMahon

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> I was watching some TV of local club rallying here in the UK
> recently, and
> someone was using a new Mini. However when it comes to WRC stuff,
> well there
> just isn't any room for a 4 wheel drive. Maybe an up and coming
> youngster
> will put one in amongst the 1600cc 2 wheel drive class, but I
> suspect it
> will need a bit of development to get that far yet.

But a tiny original Mini was a match for the best. It finally got
eaten up by progress, and the modern 4 wheel drives are a level up
again, but it seems unlikely that the new mini will ever come close.



       RM

2005\03\15@085705 by Howard Winter

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John,

On Tue, 15 Mar 2005 08:14:48 -0500, John Ferrell wrote:

> The 1978 Ford Fiesta I had was a Mini in disguise. Wonderful handling, cheap
> and that ends the good things I could say about it.

A friend had the "high performance" version of the Fiesta (XR2i?) and apart from the things you mention (and
it wasn't very cheap) it had reasonable power.  But *dreadful* range - I think he said he could get 180 miles
on a full tank, but 200 was pushing it (maybe literally! :-)  It was a Right Pain during the early 80's petrol
shortages.

I get fed up with a range of only 360 on my current car!  The book says it has a 63 litre tank, but I've never
got more than 58l in it, even with the needle bending itself round the "E" stop.

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2005\03\15@090304 by Howard Winter

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John,

On Tue, 15 Mar 2005 08:36:10 -0500, John Ferrell wrote:

> Yes, the Mark VII Sedan. It had a low oil pressure problem.

I think that was standard on those - I believe the Mk.IX was much better.

>...<

> Don't get me started on SU carburetors!

Yes, starting was particularly difficult on SUs :-) especially the early ones (we are talking 50 years ago!).

The sidedraft Webers (40 DCOE) used on things like Lotuses in the 60's and 70's were a right pain to work on,
but if you managed to get all the settings correct they were magnificent.  And they make an excellent burble
from the intakes!  Ah, those were the days, rallying Twin-Cam Escorts...  :-)

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2005\03\15@091652 by Alan B. Pearce

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>Don't get me started on SU carburetors!

They are fine. Not a problem to tune - if you know how. I had an Austin 1300
GT which had dual ones, and if you use the proper method of tuning then they
are easy to do.

2005\03\15@095915 by Herbert Graf

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On Tue, 2005-03-15 at 09:05 +0000, Alan B. Pearce wrote:
> >And what *have* BMW done to the Mini???
>
> Quite frankly, I think they have made a nice job of it. kept the looks so
> the family heritage is obvious, while modernising the styling and making it
> so it meets the modern safety standards.
>
> Sure there are bound to be some compromises that people do not like, but
> heck, how is that different to the things we deal with?

I have only one complaint about the Mini: it is INSANELY overpriced. For
the same price as a Mini I can get some VERY decent and FAR better cars
from almost every other car manufacturer.

But, then, I'm not in the demographic: the Mini is targeted at a very
specific demographic who HAS money to spend and doesn't mind the
complete ripoff in pricing, brilliant move on BMW's part...


-----------------------------
Herbert's PIC Stuff:
http://repatch.dyndns.org:8383/pic_stuff/

2005\03\15@100027 by Herbert Graf

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On Tue, 2005-03-15 at 13:12 +0000, Alan B. Pearce wrote:
> I was watching some TV of local club rallying here in the UK recently, and
> someone was using a new Mini. However when it comes to WRC stuff, well there
> just isn't any room for a 4 wheel drive. Maybe an up and coming youngster
> will put one in amongst the 1600cc 2 wheel drive class, but I suspect it
> will need a bit of development to get that far yet.

At the Rally of Tall Pines a couple years ago there were TWO Mini's, a
new one, and an old one, guess which car got cheers, and which one
didn't...


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Herbert's PIC Stuff:
http://repatch.dyndns.org:8383/pic_stuff/

2005\03\15@104512 by James Newtons Massmind

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>
> Don't get me started on SU carburetors!
>

Indeed. The SU is one of the finest examples of clean engineering around. I
loved them when I lived in the mountains in Oregon. Most others ran lean
when at sea level and rich at altitude (or was it the other way...) but my
Mark II was always perfect.  Until I wrecked it...

...Ah to be 18 and fresh out of a James Bond film driving a Jag down a
twisty country road at night. Being named James probably didn't help. <SAD
GRIN>
http://images.google.com/images?q=mark+ii+jaguar

Anyway, Dad and I never had a lick of trouble from a Jag engine. Unlike
everyone else, I know.

---
James.



2005\03\15@135847 by Mike Hord

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> I have only one complaint about the Mini: it is INSANELY overpriced. For
> the same price as a Mini I can get some VERY decent and FAR better cars
> from almost every other car manufacturer.

Really?  My wife and I have been considering a Mini (just cursorily), and
cars.com suggests it at around US$17k.  The implication is that one can
likely be had for somewhat less than that if one were to shop harder
than that.

That price compares favorably to, for example, the $17k price tag on a loaded
Dodge Neon (as of 5 years ago; I doubt it's gone down any).

Doesn't compare well to the ridiculous cheapness of some of the new
Korean imports, though, or the true "bottom rung" cars from American
manufacturers (which used to be things like the Metro, but now may be
largely unfilled).

Mike H.

2005\03\15@142816 by Herbert Graf

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On Tue, 2005-03-15 at 12:58 -0600, Mike Hord wrote:
> Really?  My wife and I have been considering a Mini (just cursorily), and
> cars.com suggests it at around US$17k.  The implication is that one can
> likely be had for somewhat less than that if one were to shop harder
> than that.
>
> That price compares favorably to, for example, the $17k price tag on a loaded
> Dodge Neon (as of 5 years ago; I doubt it's gone down any).
>
> Doesn't compare well to the ridiculous cheapness of some of the new
> Korean imports, though, or the true "bottom rung" cars from American
> manufacturers (which used to be things like the Metro, but now may be
> largely unfilled).

Well I can't speak about your market, but where I'm from here's the
breakdown:

BASE Mini: $23,500 CDN

For that price you could instead get:
Base GM Chev Malibu: $22,375 CND
Base Pontiac G6: $24,700 CND
Base Honda Accord Sedan: $24,300 CND
Base Toyota Camry Sedan: $24,990 CND

Note that all these prices are MSRP, for most you'll be able to knock
down things, except of course the Mini which is VERY difficult to get
for anything other then MSRP, hence even though almost every other car
I've listed has a slightly higher price, you can consider prices to be
about the same.

I've only collected a spattering, but as you can see, every other model
I've listed is a FAR better car, bigger, more powerful, more useful then
the Mini, yet they are the same price.

Personally I'd classify the Mini as being in the same class as a Honda
Civic, Acura EL or Toyota Corolla, yet those cars are THOUSANDS of
dollars cheaper, even with some options, then a BASE Mini (and Mini
prices can QUICKLY go insane, the Mini Cooper S Convertible is
$36,500!).

Now, I CAN see why people LIKE the Mini, and if it cost what I think it
should cost (about $15,000) then I'd respect it. Of course, the Mini is
selling, so I guess that right there should shut me up... For the record
I feel the same way about the Volkswagon Beetle...

Of course, this is all personal opinion. TTYL  

-----------------------------
Herbert's PIC Stuff:
http://repatch.dyndns.org:8383/pic_stuff/

2005\03\15@144133 by Mike Hord

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> BASE Mini: $23,500 CDN
>
> For that price you could instead get:
> Base GM Chev Malibu: $22,375 CND
> Base Pontiac G6: $24,700 CND
> Base Honda Accord Sedan: $24,300 CND
> Base Toyota Camry Sedan: $24,990 CND
>
> Note that all these prices are MSRP, for most you'll be able to knock
> down things, except of course the Mini which is VERY difficult to get
> for anything other then MSRP, hence even though almost every other car
> I've listed has a slightly higher price, you can consider prices to be
> about the same.

I will have to consider that.

My knee-jerk assessment of the Mini puts it above the Chevy and Pontiac
on that list, though, but I might not consider it equal to the Camry and
Accord.  Requires more investigation on my part, especially WRT possible
options and the "true" cost of a car (nicely equipped, and what the dealer
will actually get).

Thanks!

Mike H.

2005\03\15@161839 by Jinx

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> Now, I CAN see why people LIKE the Mini, and if it cost what I
> think it should cost (about $15,000) then I'd respect it. Of course,
> the Mini is selling, so I guess that right there should shut me up... For
> the record I feel the same way about the Volkswagon Beetle...
>
> Of course, this is all personal opinion. TTYL

You can't ignore the emotional aspect HG. Anything will get you from
A to B, but one doesn't always want to be seen in just "anything", and
you'll pay that little bit extra for a vehicle you feel at home in. You
could
buy a Nissan Cube for $15,000 ....... but would you ?

http://www.batfa.com/new_car_nissan_cube.htm

2005\03\15@173102 by Herbert Graf

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On Wed, 2005-03-16 at 10:17 +1300, Jinx wrote:
> > Now, I CAN see why people LIKE the Mini, and if it cost what I
> > think it should cost (about $15,000) then I'd respect it. Of course,
> > the Mini is selling, so I guess that right there should shut me up... For
> > the record I feel the same way about the Volkswagon Beetle...
> >
> > Of course, this is all personal opinion. TTYL
>
> You can't ignore the emotional aspect HG. Anything will get you from
> A to B, but one doesn't always want to be seen in just "anything", and
> you'll pay that little bit extra for a vehicle you feel at home in.

But that's my point, it's NOT a little bit extra, it's $10k on what
should be a $15k car! Now to others that might be a valid amount of
money to get the "look" they want, to me it's just not something I can
get my brain to compute.

> You
> could
> buy a Nissan Cube for $15,000 ....... but would you ?
>
> http://www.batfa.com/new_car_nissan_cube.htm

Nope, but there are some reasons to that which you might not consider:

1. I don't ever see myself buying a new car, depreciation is so insane
that buying a 2 or 3 year old car is the only choice I would consider.
2. I'd never buy a Nissan (just like I'd never buy a Ford or Chrysler).
3. In the area I live the vast majority of cars on the road are "big".
As such driving a "small" car puts one's self into a certain amount of
danger, and while it may make sense to drive a small car, it's just not
"safe" in my opinion to do so (especially with some of the drivers I've
seen in my area)

Now, with that all said, you may have it in your mind that I drive a
"flashy" car, let me assure you I don't.

The car I drive is a 1988 Oldsmobile Delta 88.

It doesn't exist outside of North America, but at the time it was new
you could consider it in the same class as an upper level Buick (in fact
the 1988 Buick LeSabre, Park Avenue, Oldsmobile Delta 88 and Ninety
Eight were identical, only differences were grills and trim levels,
makes finding spare parts in the junk yard extremely easy. It also
shares some parts with Cadillac. I love GM, when they get something
right they stick to it for a very long time).

It's big and heavy, meaning it can hold itself up against the brutes on
the roads.

While it's got a "huge" (by your standards) 3.8L V6 petrol engine it's
geared in such a way that at 100km/h it's turning at 1600rpm, meaning
it's gas mileage is actually quite decent (13L/100km in the city, <
8L/100km on the highway). It also means that while driving it I almost
never go over 2000rpm (yes, I've never seen that car rev beyond 2700rpm,
and that only happened because of a panic situation where I had to floor
it).

On top of that it's of such an era that's it's got all the goodies (i.e.
power seats/windows/locks/mirrors/trunk, cruise, AC (still working),
multi-port fuel injection, distributorless ignition, fully independent
front and rear suspension) and yet is still simple enough that I can do
almost all work on it myself.

I'm at 380,000km (original engine and tranny) and as long as she stays
reliable I see no reason to get rid of her.

Maybe I'm just not capable of looking at things in the way others do...

TTYL


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Herbert's PIC Stuff:
http://repatch.dyndns.org:8383/pic_stuff/

2005\03\15@183227 by steve

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> But that's my point, it's NOT a little bit extra, it's $10k on what
> should be a $15k car! Now to others that might be a valid amount of
> money to get the "look" they want, to me it's just not something I can
> get my brain to compute.

I recall years ago, seeing a journalist ask a Harley owner, "What's so
special about the Harley Davidson ?".  The response was, "If you have
to ask, you wouldn't understand the answer".

Some people have that circuit wired and some don't.

Look at what some people will pay for fashion. I'm sure Von Dutch is
spinning in his grave.  

Steve.


2005\03\15@190529 by Jinx

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> But that's my point, it's NOT a little bit extra, it's $10k on what
> should be a $15k car! Now to others that might be a valid amount of
> money to get the "look" they want, to me it's just not something I can
> get my brain to compute

Granted, paying another 66% isn't something I'd contemplate either.
And I wouldn't put a $10,000 sound system in a $5,00 car either. It's
like Steve said - people get the vapours when it comes to "fashion" or
style. Is a Van Gogh really worth $100,000,000 to anyone but a
Japanese bank ?

> 1. I don't ever see myself buying a new car, depreciation is so insane

You're right there. There's a point at which a car's value levels off until
it's ready to scrap. I think I've got this right - in the UK, due to
recycling
laws, you pay a scrap dealer UKP100 to take the car off you. The car
may still be (or potentially) road-worthy though. So you offer the owner
anything to take it off their hands and they're making on the deal and
you've got yourself a real cheap vehicle

> 2. I'd never buy a Nissan (just like I'd never buy a Ford or Chrysler)

Nissan are largely owned by Renault now, don't know if that will be
a factor in the future

> 3. In the area I live the vast majority of cars on the road are "big".
> As such driving a "small" car puts one's self into a certain amount of
> danger, and while it may make sense to drive a small car, it's just not
> "safe" in my opinion to do so (especially with some of the drivers I've
> seen in my area)

Doesn't have to be big either. A friend of mine in his old Vauxhall got
rear-ended by a Honda at only a few MPH. Barely knocked the dust
off the Vauxhall's bumper but stuffed the front of the Honda good and
proper

Personally I really worry about the number of huge 4WD on city roads

2005\03\15@235538 by William Chops Westfield

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On Mar 15, 2005, at 2:30 PM, Herbert Graf wrote:

> But that's my point, it's NOT a little bit extra, it's $10k on what
> should be a $15k car!

I've NEVER been able to figure out what's in the average $40k car
that is worth $20k more than the average $20k car, so it doesn't
surprise me that the same phenomena occurs at lower levels as well.
Someone mentioned it's from BMW?  Isn't that enough?

BillW

2005\03\16@000125 by William Chops Westfield

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On Mar 15, 2005, at 4:05 PM, Jinx wrote:

> in the UK, due to recycling
> laws, you pay a scrap dealer UKP100 to take the car off you. The car
> may still be (or potentially) road-worthy though. So you offer the
> owner
> anything to take it off their hands and they're making on the deal and
> you've got yourself a real cheap vehicle
>
In the US, "trade in" value for a car is about half of "blue book"
(average suggested resale price for a similar car in similar condition),
so if you find someone friendly you can get a car pretty cheap.  My
wife's first car was $600, and lasted a couple years; a good deal by
nearly any standard.

I've never been able to stomach buying a used car, though.  Too much
chance and reputation for getting ripped off.  If you by a new car and
it's a lemon, at least you can rant and rave about the dealer and/or
manufactured, rather than your own inability to spot a lemon.

BillW

2005\03\16@003242 by Jinx

face picon face
> I've never been able to stomach buying a used car, though.  Too
> much chance and reputation for getting ripped off.  If you by a new
> car and it's a lemon, at least you can rant and rave about the dealer
> and/or manufactured, rather than your own inability to spot a lemon

Second-hand can be risky, but it can be a calculated risk. The often-
mentioned BBC programme Top Gear has a users survery every year,
which is direct feedback from car owners about what has or hasn't
gone wrong with their cars and their experiences with dealers/mechanics.
With a little homework and diligence (eg AA inspection, financial status
query) you can avoid obvious pitfalls

http://www.bbc.co.uk/topgear/survey/

http://www.motorweb.co.nz/public/

2005\03\16@042506 by Alan B. Pearce

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>You're right there. There's a point at which a car's value
>levels off until it's ready to scrap. I think I've got this
>right - in the UK, due to recycling laws, you pay a scrap
>dealer UKP100 to take the car off you.

Actually with the rising price of scrap steel, now that China will take "all
it can eat", if you can get the car to the scrap merchant he will take it
for free. I recently (nearly a year ago now) had to scrap an old Escort as
it failed its MOT, and the only fee I paid was for the dealer to come and
get it as it was no longer legal to drive.

2005\03\16@050022 by Michael Rigby-Jones

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>-----Original Message-----
>From: Howard [spam_OUTpiclist-bouncesTakeThisOuTspammit.edu]
>Sent: 14 March 2005 18:57
>To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
>Subject: Re: [OT] Warm Beer indeed! (was What is a nF?)
>
>
>The thing that the USA is certainly better at than us: mass
>production.  A hand-built British car can hold its
>own against anything the World can throw at it,

There speaks a man who has never owned a TVR!

As for the MINI, whilst it's a nice enough looking car, and has
excellent road manners, they (BMW) appear to have taken sir Alec
Issigonis's principles of maximising space and then ignored them.
Considering how much bigger the MINI is than the classic mini, there is
no more rear leg room (i.e. virtualy zero if the driver/front passenger
are tall) and the boost space is equally pathetic.  The european
competition (VW Polo, Seat Ibiza, Ford Fiesta etc.)  win hands down in
these areas, and of course are far cheaper.

Regards

Mike

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2005\03\16@050851 by Jinx

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> Actually with the rising price of scrap steel, now that China
> will take "all it can eat", if you can get the car to the scrap
> merchant he will take it for free

I saw a BBC doco the other night (The Elephant And The
Dragon) about how India and China are industrialising and
capitalising. The resources that China is soaking up have
other market traders worrying, both because of dropping
availability and rising cost of what's left. A scrap dealer in
the program commented about the severe downturn in his
own business (the Chinese outbid him or get to it first
presumably)

2005\03\16@115400 by Richard

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face

>>
>>The thing that the USA is certainly better at than us: mass
>>production.  A hand-built British car can hold its
>>own against anything the World can throw at it,
>
> There speaks a man who has never owned a TVR!

I assume you have ?
I've owned one for the past 10 years and i still think its a fantastic car,
It's been reasonably reliable and a lot of fun.

I think it's still true to say that there are very few cars that are faster
for similar money.

Richard
{Quote hidden}

2005\03\16@122841 by Michael Rigby-Jones

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>-----Original Message-----
>From: .....piclist-bouncesKILLspamspam@spam@mit.edu [piclist-bouncesspamKILLspammit.edu]
>Sent: 16 March 2005 16:54
>To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
>Subject: Re: [OT] Warm Beer indeed! (was What is a nF?)
>
>
>
>>>
>>>The thing that the USA is certainly better at than us: mass
>>>production.  A hand-built British car can hold its own against
>>>anything the World can throw at it,
>>
>> There speaks a man who has never owned a TVR!
>
>I assume you have ?

I would never own one, because I've worked on a few (not the latest
stuff, but Chimaera, Griffith and the older Wedges).  They are quick,
they look great and they certainly sound amazing, but I challenge you to
find a worse put together car for the money.  The build quality is
enough to make a Korean manufacturer blush with shame.  Then there's the
AJP V8 and straight 6 engines that, whilst undoubtedly very powefull,
have some serious longevity issues.  Just don't get me started on the
dealers...

Hopefully Nikolai Smolenski's input can sort out the awfull (and mostly
deserved) reliability repuatation that TVR have established.

Regards

Mike

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2005\03\19@054654 by Howard Winter

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flavicon
picon face
Michael,

On Wed, 16 Mar 2005 09:59:52 -0000, Michael Rigby-Jones wrote:
> >-----Original Message-----
> >From: Howard [.....piclist-bouncesKILLspamspam.....mit.edu]
> >
> >The thing that the USA is certainly better at than us: mass
> >production.  A hand-built British car can hold its
> >own against anything the World can throw at it,
>
> There speaks a man who has never owned a TVR!

Indeed, in fact I've never owned a sports car, but I have cleaned them!  (My first-ever Saturday job was
washing sports cars at a dealer near Barnet.  He sacked me the next week because he'd taken on someone
permanent.  To save the three shillings an hour for the rest of the day he fired me at lunchtime!  My opinion
of him rhymes with Light Misted Car Stood)  Because TVRs are fibreglass they are a darned sight easier to
clean than the MGs (Bs and Midgets) that were the main item there.

My all-time dream machine was the Marcos (the 3-litre, not the Mini-Marcos).  I've coveted those since I was a
teenager.  Maybe it's time I had a mid-life crisis, and bought one?  :-)

> As for the MINI, whilst it's a nice enough looking car, and has
> excellent road manners, they (BMW) appear to have taken sir Alec
> Issigonis's principles of maximising space and then ignored them.

Indeed, not to mention the value-for-money that the originals represented.  I've always had a soft spot for
Minis - I passed my driving test in one, and my mother had a Riley Elf (slightly bigger boot, better dash,
Riley grille).  But the new one just doesn't do it for me.

> Considering how much bigger the MINI is than the classic mini, there is
> no more rear leg room (i.e. virtualy zero if the driver/front passenger
> are tall) and the boost space is equally pathetic.  The european
> competition (VW Polo, Seat Ibiza, Ford Fiesta etc.)  win hands down in
> these areas, and of course are far cheaper.

I'm not a small-car person (smallest I've owned was a Dolomite Sprint) but if I had lots of money it would be
handy to have a small car for town driving (and parking!) but the new Mini just isn't that small.

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


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