Finalists

Loyal Readers will recall that I reported a shattered dream (in that my #1 Dream Car, the Maserati Quattroporte was decisively debunked by a guy from Maserati), and that later, I confessed to being unable to decide on a post-1970 car in this fantasy exercise.

Slowly but surely, my foggy brain and confused thoughts are starting to crystallize towards a car made after 1970 that I would love to drive for the rest of my life, and about three are starting to break away from the pack.

To nobody’s surprise, none of them are modern (21st-century) models — most modern cars are as ugly and overweight as Lena Dunham — and I flip the bird at all the “safety” and “economy” features that Gummint has mandated, all of which make driving as much fun as steering a sofa down the driveway, or less.  So my “modern” (post-1970) dream car is going to come from an earlier era, and only just ahead of the 1970 rule.

Anyway, here are the finalists, in no specific order of wanting:

 1) 1976 BMW 3.0 CSL (3-liter straight-6, 4-speed manual)

I love absolutely everything about this Beemer:  looks, performance, comfort, handling, the lot.  Unbelievably, this was a loaner (!!!) from a repair shop that was fixing my own BMW (see below), and I had it for three happy days…

 

 

2) 1986 Alfa Romeo GTV6 2.5 (2.5-liter V6)

I drove one of these once, on a long-ish trip, and the owner nearly didn’t get it back. What a beauty.

 

3) 1984 BMW 318i (with 5-speed manual) (This was the E20 generation which replaced the earlier 1800/2002 line.)

Alone among the cars featured today, I’ve actually owned  one of these — okay, it was a company car, shortly before I left South Africa — and I bitterly regretted having to exchange it for a 520 (POS) when I was promoted.  If I could have kept it, I’d still be driving it today.  It was no racer;  that little 1800cc four-banger wouldn’t stand a chance against the other cars listed, but I loved driving it.

 

4) 1985 Jaguar XJ6 Series 3 (4.2-liter straight-6)

If I wanted to eschew any kind of quickness and nimbleness in favor of pure, luxurious comfort, this model Jag would get my vote, every single day of the week.  And two  12-gallon fuel tanks.  But if I wanted something equally comfortable, but far more reliable:

 

5) 1976 Mercedes 350 SE (W116, 3.5-liter V8)

Zur

My Dad had one of these, we went on countless road trips in it, and I still think it’s one of the classiest-looking Merc sedans made since 1970.

Those are the finalists, so far.  I should also point out that as I posted each of these, I wanted it badly, until I posted the next one.  Looking back up the list, I would take any one of them, any day of the week, without looking back.

Friday Night Movie

Loyal Readers may remember that a couple-three months ago I talked about fine shotguns, and my takeaway was that even if the Lottery Gods were to smile upon my choice of numbers, I’d be unlikely to buy a matched pair of Purdeys.

So what makes one of Purdey’s bespoke guns so exclusive, and yes, so expensive?

This evening, gather about ye a quart or so of your favorite beverage (Scotch, gin, coffee etc.) and spend the following hour and a half walking through the Purdey process — all of it — to see everything that goes into making one of these:

All that said:  even with all the money in the world (so to speak), I don’t know if I’d ever buy myself a Purdey (let alone a matched pair) — but I would seriously  consider buying one, or a pair, for the Son&Heir under those circumstances.  (He’s a better shot than I am, and  he’d have longer to enjoy shooting it than I would.  Plus, it’s a good investment.)

And one final warning:  do not go and browse around Steve Barnett’s website;  it is a Very Bad Place, and will cause you to think Unworthy Thoughts.

Don’t Do It

You know how you watch an unfurling catastrophe, shouting “Noooo!” in helpless frustration?  I speak here of events such as watching your best friend getting involved with a Train Smash Woman, or a lady friend taking up with a rancid Bad Boy, or another friend announcing with pride that he’s just put down a deposit on a Ferrari or cabin cruiser.

You know it’s all going to end horribly, with pain, tears and destruction in various forms, but you’re helpless to prevent it happening.

That’s how I feel about this development:

A crown green bowls club which has never allowed women to join as full members in its 100-year history is set to vote on whether to admit them.
Ilkley Bowling Club has about 1,700 full members, all of whom are eligible to vote in the ballot at the West Yorkshire spa town’s King’s Hall on March 3.
Women can only enter the bar of the club – which was founded in the early 1920s – as guests of members, and are banned completely during the week.
The main bar area – where a pint of beer costs less than £2 – is an entirely male preserve on weekdays and women are permitted to drink as ‘associates’ after 5pm from Friday to Sunday and on bank holidays.

Their mistake was in allowing female members in the first place, and allowing women onto the premises at all.

It’s not helped by the fact that lawn bowls is a game at which women are generally on a par with men in ability (see description here).  But a bowling club is not just about the game, is it?  Without the womyns, Ilkley B.C. would most probably be a happy place, where men can drink to excess, swear like troopers and in general act like the hooligan which lies not far beneath the surface of all of us.

If they open up membership to include the other sex, that will all change.  I know that if I were a member, I’d resign if they did — as I would in any men-only club of which I was a member.

Image by © Ron Koeberer/Aurora Photos/Corbis

And for those with short memories, it’s not the first time I’ve ranted about this topic.

Tiny

I’ve probably said this before, but I love the fact that sports cars of an earlier era were so much smaller than today’s fat-assed, safety-obsessed behemoths.  To whit, the 1995 Fiat Barchetta:

…the 1962 Alfa Romeo Giulietta:

And even by Fiat standards, the little 1950s-era 600 was a weeny:

And here are a few more, all on the same theme:

I blame it all on Mercedes, starting in that same decade:

Still, sometimes you do  need a larger car, for the family:

Or for other reasons:

I miss the old days… [sigh]

Losing Yer Gun

I note this development in Virginia with interest:

Virginia lawmakers on Monday rejected another gun control bill that was proposed by Democrat Gov. Ralph Northam. The Senate Judiciary Committee rejected Northam’s bill that would make it a felony to “recklessly leave a loaded, unsecured firearm” in a way that endangers a minor.
“This bill will keep children safe from loaded, unsecured firearms. Like Gov. Northam’s other commonsense gun safety measures, it is something that everyone — including responsible gun owners — should support,” said Northam’s spokesman, Alena Yarmosky.

Of course, having that law in place would mean that assholes like this guy would get thrown in jail, yes?

Man found gun left by David Cameron’s bodyguard and the former PM’s passport in plane toilet

Of course, the “asshole” I’m referring to is not the guy who found the gun, but the so-called “bodyguard” who left the thing in the toilet.  (And by the way, for “making a fuss”, the finder  was almost tossed off the plane when it should have been the gormless bodyguard tossed out at 25,000 feet, as any fule kno.)

Makes me wonder, though:  the flight was going from NYFC to London.  I’m wondering what I would have done if I’d been on the flight and found a random Glock and Tony “Oily Heap of Shit” Blair’s passport in the bog when I went in.

Well, the second one’s easy:  I’d have flushed Blair’s passport down the toilet, just for spite.  The next dilemma is not so easy:  would I have just kept the gun hidden in my backpack until the flight landed, then handed it in?  With the passport gone, they’d never have found out who had the gun, or even if the Glock had been left in the bathroom.  OR (fun thought) I could have unloaded and cleared the Glock, then flushed the gun and the mag as well as  the passport?  Cat, meet pigeons.

Discuss in Comments.

Oh, and bravo to the VA Senate.  Keep it up.