2009 Mini Cooper John Cooper Works Clubman – 0001

Driving a car and driving a Mini Cooper are two completely different experiences.  Muscle memory indicating where controls are and how they behave should pretty much be thrown out the window.

There are so many good things about the car that little problems with the controls are not really an issue.  So far, this car starting with 37,000 miles – drives like a new car.

TPKoC’s Car JCW Clubman

The Pirate King of Cars... Car ;)

The Pirate King of Cars… Car 😉

This is TPKoC’s first ‘real’ car.  Mini Cooper “John Cooper Works” Clubman.  This car has acheived a ‘nod’ from a Porsche driver on the highways of New Jersey.

Will be giving updates on how the car lasts, performs, detailed pics at locations and video explanations on how things work in this very different car.




Intersections are Death

Statistically, by far most fatalities in vehicles are caused by intersections.  You know where they are – certainly if you live in Northern NJ.  One area is in Clark, NJ just off the Garden State Parkway – Exit 135.

Not only are roads with large frequencies of intersections dangerous, but they are also highly stressful environments for drivers often making many decisions in a short period of time.  It should also be mentioned that these areas are very dangerous to pedestrians.

But with Google maps you can see these areas and zoom in.  You can look at it and envision a much safer, lower stress, orderly and even beautiful area.

In fact, even a single individual can utilize the resources at hand, a spreadsheet, Microsoft ICE, Blender 3D, Google Maps – to make such a vision take life – in terms of facts, images and description – that there should be no question that we should redesign how we design the areas where we live.  The areas design where we live determines how we live.  There isn’t any question that how we live – we all want that to be better.

Over the next two weeks I’ll use these tools to come up with a design that people would want to live – and businesses would want to make a reality and show it here.

The Predatory Practices of the Auto Business

Someone thought it was Christmas.  A mentally disabled woman went to a car dealership to get maintenance done.  They then ripped her off for $25,000 over the selling price of a new car they finagled her in to buying.

Have you ever been ripped off at a car dealership?  I have.  I have also known people new to the country buying their first car to lose thousands of dollars.

The fact of the matter is that a lot of dealerships out there wish we were mentally disabled and that they could take advantage of us.

But since we aren’t all mentally disabled the manufacturers and the dealerships collude to create overly confusing sales process – ensuring that few except the very savvy get away without being ripped off on something.

There are some very smart people out on this Earth.  Some of them own car dealerships.  How long until they create schemes that only other very smart people can figure out that – they have been had?

The problem this poses for the car industry – is that people get exhausted of this kind of thing.  They decide that rather than go get a new car and get ripped off maybe they’ll buy some junky used car for cash and run it until it doesn’t run anymore.

Cars should be sold online just like anything else.  If it is your first time you should have a friend help you.  If you don’t have friends or family familiar with cars a consulting company should be able to help you learn what you need to know for a modest fee.

Nobody likes being ripped off.  Even one price dealerships like the one’s for Scion have recently been ripping people off.  They get a nice car like the Scion GT86/FR-S and they can’t help themselves but find a loophole to charge people more for the car than it is worth.

The FR-S was a high-demand car and so what many dealerships did to up the price was add aftermarket items to the models (which is allowed by their dealership agreement) and charged more than they cost for these add-ons to the cars (also allowed).  But they then violated the spirit of their agreements with their parent company and overcharged by thousands of dollars for a few hundred dollars worth of add-ons to the cars.

TPKoC (The Pirate King of Cars) really likes the Scion FR-S.  But after hearing about this kind of behavior it has really soured us here at TPKoC.  Way to ruin a good thing.

Mazda6 Skyactive-D Delayed

This might not be a big deal for Mazda as described in this article; however, it is a big deal to TPKoC (The Pirate King of Cars)!

We here at TPKoC have been eagerly waiting for this car that brings small car fuel economy in to a mid-size car.  It is a mechanically far simply package than any of the hybrid cars.  Hybrid cars by their nature at a minimum have two power sources and typically (as in the Toyota Prius) have two drive trains.  More parts, more things to go wrong over the time of ownership.

In a time when people own their cars for more than 11 years on average – that is a big deal.