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Tag Archives: cars

Wayback Wednesday… Incrementalism Revisited

I am a gearhead.  And the last vehicle that I really built up was a Jeep Wrangler.  A friend of mine and I coined a term (at least WE think we coined it).


English: A Jeep Wrangler TJ with a 2 inch susp...

English: A Jeep Wrangler TJ with a 2 inch suspension lift, 1 inch body lift, 12,000 pound winch and 33 inch tires offroading in the snow in Alaska. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For us, we were talking about building Jeeps.  And the steps… and the changes along the way.  On MY Jeep journey, I went from 29″ tires and a stock suspension to a 2″ lift and a 31″ mud tires.  Then there was a 3″ lift.  Then we tweaked it to 4″ and put on some 33″ tires.  Then we got wild and built a new suspension that was 6″ over stock… slapped on some 34″ tires… then 35″ tires (there was room, why not?).

There were other things aside from the height… in fact, every part of that Jeep went through multiple incarnations before it finally went away (the only time there are done is when they are gone).

The point about incrementalism is that the steps just follow each other… whether we mean them to or not.  When I started, I didn’t intend to end up with a big Jeep on 35s.  Furthermore… had that been my intention, I should have just done that the first time.  I spent a LOT of money on the intermediate steps.

But it just kept creeping along… out of control.

I see it with home buyers, too…

Of course, it is a little different.  But what happens is that they go from having a $175k budget to liking a house priced at $200k… they might be able to negotiate it down and it isn’t that much more, right?  Then we are looking at homes that are $210k… then $225k… $250k.  Now we are looking at a house that is very unlikely to get negotiated back to their range, and the payments would be significantly higher.

Some buyers might be able to swing it… others, not so much.  But the point is that the change is gradual.  Kind of like the boiling frog story.

Be careful with incrementalism.  It can bite.  Here is my original post about incrementalism, from June 7th, 2008.

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Cha cha cha Changes…

Turn the beat around…  Changes.

No, I’m not stopping this blog, but it will re-gain its real estate and garage focus.  For the last 4 years, I have been churning this blog out almost every day.  But around a third of my posts have been about cars.  (I really like cars…).

But this is supposed to be a real estate blog.  I have a lot of ideas to make it a better real estate blog.  But the cars I going to get parked in a new garage.

That will be the place where I write about cars.  This will be the place where I write about real estate, the real estate market and garages.

I have some great garage posts and posts about things that sellers can do to give their homes better curb appeal.  I also will be bringing in occasional guest writers to talk about specific things like mortgages, home inspection or other disciplines related to buying or selling real estate.

At the same time, while I get the new site launched and rolling, this one will drop down to 3-4 updates each week, rather than the 5-6 updates a week of the last few months.

I hope you remain a reader, and I also hope you join me over at Cool Car of the Day.

76 Groovy Cars on eBay… Part 7, Austin Healey

Car in Fleurey, Burgundy

Image via Wikipedia

One thing to note… most Austin Healey owners and enthusiasts just refer to them as Healeys (likely to differentiate them from Austins, profiled last week…).  And they make it even simpler… the 3000 Series cars as Big Healeys and the Sprites are ‘Bug Eyes” or “Frog Eyes”.  Americans seem to prefer Bug Eye, while the British lean towards Frog Eye…

Bug Eyes are everywhere, so to be cooler, the 3000 Series cars hold the edge.  My favorites are the Mark III cars… the last of the Big Healey Sixes.  With their 2912cc engines, they made a respectable 150 hp.

And I love them with the two toned blue over white.  Toss in the wood-faced dash and some low-backed bucket seats… skip the top completely in favor of a tonneau cover, and I would be a happy driver.

Not only was the performance respectable, but they were very attractive cars in their day.  In fact, in the mid-1980s, they were right behind the Cobra as the most replicated cars (Kit Cars).

Here is a beautiful example on eBay.  Driving one of these is sure to set you apart from the crowd… Even when they were new, they were quite uncommon.  They were also pretty pricey compared to their contemporaries.  Now, not so much.

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Sneak Peek…

Shhh.  Don’t tell anyone.  OK, you can tell if you want.

This is the project I’ve been working on the last couple of weeks.  It should be launching next week.

It is called…

I have been writing on this blog for 4 years… and about half of all of the posts I do are car posts.  I figured it was time to split that off and have a blog dedicated to just the car talk.  In addition, there will be a news feed, Twitter feed, FaceBook page and YouTube channel.

Some of the series that I did here, like 101 Cars and 53 Cool Concepts, will find their way over to the new site.  There will also be plenty of new stuff.

I hope you join me there.

76 Groovy Cars on eBay… Part 6, Austin

1963 Austin Mini Cooper S. 1275 cc bored to 13...

Image via Wikipedia

And we aren’t talking about Texas.

Austin was a fairly obscure little car builder in Great Britain, until one very little thing happened… you might even call it a Mini Revolution.  It was a revolution, and it was the Mini… you know, the one that was brought back by BMW when they bought the name.  The original name was the Austin Mini… then the Austin Mini Cooper.

After Austin, the name was owned by Rover Group.

But, back to our Austin for the week…

It is a classic Austin Mini.  It is even Right Hand Drive… and from New Zealand.  It has a fuel injected 1.3L engine and a manual gearbox.  Minis of this vintage weigh almost nothing, handle like the tires are made from Velcro and stop quickly enough to pop out your eyeballs, especially compared to their contemporaries.  They were even able to compete quite successfully with larger and more powerful cars in both road and rally racing.

It would be fun to pick up one like this, build it out as a late 1960s Rally car, and enjoy the exceptional fuel mileage… and performance.

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