Good Magazine has an interesting article about how we’d think differently about fuel consumption if we referenced gallons-per-mile instead of miles-per-gallon. How much gas do you use to go a mile? 10 miles? 100 miles? It’s fractional on the level of a tank of gas, but when you scale the numbers up it becomes easier to comprehend. Professor Richard Larrick bases fuel consumption against 10,000 miles.
The key thing about 10,000 miles is that is the distance that many people drive in a year. In fact, they often drive more. It really gives you a sense of, Okay, a year’s worth of driving is going to use 400 gallons, or 700 gallons.
The math makes the change of reference interesting:
This helps us understand that pulling cars out of the teens [in terms
of miles per gallon] is so much more valuable than pushing an efficient
car even higher. That only becomes clear when you start thinking about
gallons per mile. That tiny increase from 10 mpg to 11 mpg saves
essentially the same one gallon of gas every 100 miles as does
increasing 33 mpg to 50 mpg.
I created these little paper models using templates from a site out of Sweden. I’ve searched for diecast metal 240s but Corgi and other European manufacturers stopped producing them a long time ago, and I don’t know if Matchbox ever did. These paper models are the next best thing, although they don’t roll, they’re 1:87 scale, and they blow away in a gust of wind.
Hokenstrom.com is self-described as
The official homepage for one of the oldest riding clubs with disabled riders in Sweden. And the only one with an own homepage!
There’s a huge range of models, from 100s, 200s, 300s, 700s and 850s, with variations of each by year, and different colors within each download. There are also alternative vehicles, like hearses, police cars and the odd El Camino-esque yellow 850 pictured above. If you’ve got tiny fingers they can be a fun little craft. My thick digits produced dented quarter panels, gaped seams and cars with only 3 tires touching the ground.
Other People's Bricks
See the inline-six turbocharged engine pictured above. It’s from a Toyota Supra. See the engine bay it’s shoe-horned into? It’s a red Volvo 245. I’ve heard of Detroit motors being dropped into Bricks, but never Japanese. WTP (What’s the Point?). More photos at Jalopnik.
My new brakes are working great. So this is NOT me dropping into the local mini-mart for a pack of Big League Chew. Maybe it’s your boyfriend.
“I Love Traffic” is a sweet little time waster that lets you play god by controlling traffic lights at an increasingly complex set of of intersections. It’s like a combination of Frogger and Tetris, with streets in multi-lane and multi-directional patterns, cars and trucks of differing sizes driving at different speeds, and a rapidly accumulating stack of traffic that will jam if you’re not quick enough. The best feature, though, is that no matter how many accidents you cause (like the one I did pictured above) you can always try again with the same roads; you’re not dumped at the simple starter levels.
From Armor Games via How We Drive.
Travels & Tribulations
I got yet another parking ticket in Hoboken. I parked in front of the house and thought I’d hear the street cleaner drive by in time to move. Unfortunately, the ticket writer pumped out the violation quicker than I could leap down 2 flights of stairs and run across the street. It didn’t even matter if I moved the car. For $45 they can drive the Zamboni around my Brick.
Pic from the latest Simpsons, where Lisa is overwhelmed by the disasters our future has in store for us. I’ve always felt that we could never run out of parking; someone is always leaving a spot, right?
The Brick now has new brakes. I ordered rotors and pads from FCP Groton and was pleasantly surprised to find the vented ATE discs I purchased for the front were upgraded to ATE Premium slotted. I’m still breaking the pads in, but from the brief ride back home I can tell I’ve got a safer car. I’ll be posting video of the install soon.
My buddy has a set of 17″ rims for his Saab that we fitted on the Brick after doing the brakes. They look awesome, but they rub in the rear. The offset is wrong and I’d need to get wheel spacers. I was excited about the rims but now that I see that spacers will set me back $300 I’ll have to reconsider.
Is this even a debatable question? Jalopnik asks, and then answers its own question of what’s the best, cheap car to ride across the country this summer:
Though we’ll always answer Volvo 240 wagon when it comes to reliability, a working wagon with A/C is getting somewhat harder to find.
This makes me feel a little better about all the money I dumped into my AC last year. My brick is now a rare find.
But ultimately Jalopnik decides the brick just doesn’t make the grade and instead choose the Subaru Forester. Be sure to add your answers.
I brought the Brick in for an oil change last week and got the inevitable list of problems that always happens when the car gets put on a lift at a garage. I knew I needed new wheel bearings and tires, but didn’t count on needing new brakes.
I changed the pads about 20k miles ago with some nice PBR Deluxe Organic pads. At the time I decided against changing the rotors. Now I need to go in and change the pads again because the rotors are worn out and need to be replaced.
The garage quoted $695 for pads, rotors and front wheel bearings. This included $180 for labor. I’m looking at parts costing about $250. Since I’ve done the pads before I know what to expect. Hopefully it’ll be easier this time because I cleaned the rust off. I’ll be sure to document.