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About Nathan of Brainfertilizer Fame

There are thousands of Nathans in the blogosphere, but there's only one Nathan of Brainfertilizer Fame. There's no actual fame associated with the Brainfertilizer brand, but he does have a unique brand of Car Lust--he’s never been canyon carving, never owned a sports car, and is an admitted tightwad. All of which means he loses all sense and composure every time he hears the words "poor-man’s BMW." Nathan’s addiction to Car Lust was inspired by the idea of fun-to-drive, economical family sports sedans; too bad the cars he's owned haven't yet inspired him. Still, hope springs eternal, just like the coolant leaks on the old cars reverently described on this site.

Posts by Nathan of Brainfertilizer Fame

David's Greatest Hit: The 1992 Mercury Marquis

DD Grand MarquisNathan of Brainfertilizer Fame:  I never met David. We didn't spend extra time talking via emails, and I never once heard his voice.  We never shared a special friendship above all others.  But we shared something: a silly love for cars that didn't always deserve the passion.

John Donne said, "Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee."

Do not ask for whom the car horn honks; it honks for thee.

I hope that my alteration of the quote isn't taken as a lack of respect.  It is my first reaction to try to lighten serious moods, to make it easier to carry the burden.

At times, as I've participated in various online communities, I've wondered what would happen if I died.  How would anyone know?  How would I be remembered?  Would I be missed?  Would my absence even be noticed?

David, you are remembered.  You are missed.  This man, whom I have never met...his friendship, the bond created through a common love, touched me in ways I never realized until he was gone.

Continue reading "David's Greatest Hit: The 1992 Mercury Marquis" »

$100,000 Challenge, Take 2: Nathan of Brainfertilizer Fame's Max Cars Edition

After reading Chris Hafner's post, I realized that if I hadn't gone so Mazda-heavy, I could have gotten some great 20- and 30-year-old cars in my garage.

I wanted to try again, with a fresh slate.  I hope you'll indulge me, and I hope you even find it entertaining.

But I've got to change the rules, slightly.  I'll still have limitations, because limitations help channel and inspire creativity.

First change: no "car currently on sale" requirement.  All cars need to be 20 to 30 years old.  Maybe 15, at most.  The point is to get cars that are old enough to be great value, but not so old as to be "classic".  The point is to catch cars near the bottom part of the trough, where the value has declined as much as possible, but not to the point where the value starts to rebound from rarity/coolness.

Second change: I have to have exactly 20 cars.  No more, no less.  The point is to see how close I can get to the $100k total without going over, for exactly 20 cars.

Third change: All car prices will be according to the NADA "clean retail" price, but here's the twist: if you can manage to find a 20-year-old car in "clean retail" condition, it won't really be ready to go.  The coolant system will be having problems, or it will consume oil as lustily as Vikings drank mead, or the paint will be starting to flake off, or a few minor rust points, or the alignment will be horribly off, or...you get the picture.  A 20-year-old car that wasn't lovingly restored to new condition is going to have some issues.  So right off the bat, I will budget $2000 per car to get it up to speed.  That might go to a tune-up, or a paint job, or a replacement door + paint, or an alignment, or a new radiator, etc.  That might be an underestimation, but we are starting with a "clean retail" example, so I think an average of $2000 will work.

That leaves me with $60,000 to get 20 cars.  So I'm looking for cars I can get for averaging just about $3000 each.

That's the rules I have.  Let's see what I come up with.

Continue reading "$100,000 Challenge, Take 2: Nathan of Brainfertilizer Fame's Max Cars Edition" »

$100,000 Fantasy Garage Challenge: Nathan of Brainfertilizer Fame

Let's start off with the cars my family needs:

2014 Mazda6:

Mazda_6_2013_MIASThis very nearly was a 2010 Mazda6.  I love my current daily driver car.  It has plenty of power, plenty of room for 4 adults on long trips, handles amazingly well, looks nice, and is generally very satisfying to drive in almost any circumstance.  However, the rules state you have to have one brand new car, and after thinking long and hard, I decided my daily driver would be the best choice to select a brand new vehicle.  The main reason for the upgrade is that the brand new Mazda6 looks nice, has plenty of interior room, has plenty of power, and handles just as well as my 2010...but with the SkyActiv technology, its gas mileage improves by nearly 30%.  To have a non-hybrid family sports sedan that gets 38 mpg highway is very exciting to me, because I am not a fan of the massive batteries necessary for hybrids: the environmental impact of creating, storing, and disposing of the battery pack really bothers me, and I don't like the idea of having to spend several thousand dollars to replace the batteries to keep the car in less than 10 years.

So this will be my daily driver.

Continue reading "$100,000 Fantasy Garage Challenge: Nathan of Brainfertilizer Fame" »

Honda "Prius"? Not At All

Let's take a break from the Land Barge Love Fest to look at something a little smaller, a little lighter, a little more packed with hazardous materials in the form of batteries:

Mickey Kaus says the new Honda Insight looks like a Prius.

I beg to differ.  Take a look at the pictures (From the Honda Website): Exterior04

Continue reading "Honda "Prius"? Not At All" »

Angry Cars--Current Generation Chevrolet Trucks/SUVs

2008chevroletcolorado20165805e Car: Current generation Chevrolet Trucks and SUVs

Condition: Downright peeved

Possible Motivation: Bean-counting cost reductions sap all the joy of engineering and any happiness from being the best-selling car-maker in the world. Nobody's buying trucks because gas prices are high, but when gas prices drop the economy disintegrates!

Defining Overblown High-Testosterone Action Movie Quote:
Chevy SUV: "I like you. That's why I'm going to kill you last."
(from Commando, 1985 )

--Nathan of Brainfertilizer Fame

World's Fastest Production Car

Faster than a Bugatti Veyron, despite costing less than half the price..

It has a turbocharged 6.3-liter aluminum V8 that develops 1183 hp at 7000 rpm, on 91-octane fuel.

Street-legal.

What is it?

Continue reading "World's Fastest Production Car" »

The Car Lust Lifestyle

Today I'd like to introduce you to someone who gets it.  Someone who has an irrational passion for a vehicle, and isn't afraid to show it.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you: James F. Jones.

Continue reading "The Car Lust Lifestyle" »

Year 2K

Okay, I admit it: I like Japanese cars. How much, you ask? A lot. [Reg: "Right. You're in."]

Now that we've got that out of the way, let's look at the year that, for me, may be the finest year for Car Lust: the first year of the new millennium. For me, the year 2000 is the automotive equivalent of an All-You-Can-Eat Steak and Seafood Buffet; it's like being the only male staying overnight in the hotel booked by the Miss Universe Pageant contestants; it's like trying to pick the greatest all-time NFL game, or having to choose the best Porter/Stout out of all the various micro-brewery products. I can't choose just one great car from 2000 to lust after, so here is a list--which, as you shall see, is mostly Japanese, with a touch of German.

The year 2000 straddles the years I like best for almost all the cars listed, and it also includes the first model year of one favorite generation and the last model year of another favorite generation. The year 2000 is the only year that captures them all.

In no particular order, here is a list of cars I would have been ecstatic to own new, and would be pleased as punch to find a used one in good condition today:

Continue reading "Year 2K" »

1996 Eagle Vision TSi

Vision1 Back when I was in high school, I remember noticing just how badly space was wasted in cars. Small cars could seat five passengers, and a large car could likewise seat five; the big differences in exterior size dwarfed the small differences in interior space. A few years later, I read about Chrysler's push towards "cab forward" design, pushing the cabin forward in the chassis for better space utilization. Other car manufacturers had toyed with the idea, but apparently Chrysler was planning to dive right in and redo their whole car line based on the concept.

I was excited, because it made sense--better stability and handling, sleeker lines, and best of all, maximum room for people and minimum space dedicated for the machine. I foresaw the Colt becoming a sleek little speedster-ish coupe. I imagined beautiful cars revitalizing the whole Mopar line. I was mostly a Ford fan at the time, but I liked the idea of the underdog Chrysler brands putting out some decent products for a change.

Continue reading "1996 Eagle Vision TSi" »

Pictured above: This is a forlorn Chevy Vega photographed by reader Gary Sinar. (Share yours)

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