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#804583 - 03/20/02 11:35 PM Pianos and cars
Steve Miller Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 3288
Loc: Yorba Linda, CA
I pulled this quote concerning cars from a post on the piano side of the board:

 Quote:


It's all in the perception, not the reality.

Auto press bias? Umm, agreement is NOT a sign of independence. But, even granting there's no underhanded blatant numbers-cooking, there's still a presumption that colors the results and CR is the worst of the bunch at this. It works like this: Any product by any American manufacturer is presumed bad until proven good. Any product by a Japanese manufacturer is presumed good until proven bad. Given the extremely small sample sizes used for testing (usually a sample of one), it's usually impossible to know whether any reported differences in their test results are due to real differences or are within normal statistical variation for that type of test.
[/b]

I have been dying for a forum to discuss this sort of thing, and the coffee room seems to be just the place.

I propose that as far as cars are concerned, the superiority of the Japanese product is ALL about reality, at least if one is discussing Toyota, Honda or Lexus.

I also believe the slam on CR to be unwarranred. It is my experience that the cars they show as requiring fewer repairs (Toyotas, Hondas and Lexus - what is the plural of Lexus?) really do have require fewer repairs. The ones that have a lot of black marks (take my Windstar - please!) really do fall apart, many of them in less than 100K miles. It's a disgrace.

The American car manufacturers need to stop worrying about sizzle and start concerning themselves with steak. The stuff falls apart folks, and I refuse to believe that the Japanese engineers are so much smarter than ours that this is the best we can do.
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#804584 - 03/21/02 12:13 AM Re: Pianos and cars
Larry Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 9217
Loc: Deep in Cherokee Country
I drive a Lincoln Town Car. I have driven nothing else since 1976. I buy them because I can put 300K on them and never do anything besides replace the tires, shocks and change the oil. And I can sprawl out like I'm in a Barcolounger. The one I have now has 140K on it, and I get 26 MPG on the highway, 21 in town, and so far all I've had to do other than change the oil in it is replace the tires twice, the shocks once. Everything still works, it's tight as a jug, uses no oil, and will run like a scalded rabbit.

(I keep a Kia in the trunk for emergencies though.......... \:D )

(just kidding about the Kia)
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#804585 - 03/21/02 01:11 AM Re: Pianos and cars
Derick Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/03/02
Posts: 3290
Loc: New York
Yes!!! Two of my favorite topics, cars and pianos.

I agree with you that Consumer Reports does a very good job when rating all products, including cars. Especially since they just gave my car the highest rating of any car they've ever tested! Now how often does it happen that someone/thing share my same opinion? Not very.

The sad thing is there are SO many black marks when you look at reliability for American cars and so many red marks for all other cars. Why is that?

It could be due to the fact that Americans are overworked with their whopping average of 13 vacation days a year compared to 36 for Germany and 28 for Japan.

Or, it could be due to another of my favorite topics, corporate greed. Cost cutting at every turn. The exec's don't rake in million dollar bonuses in a year when they layoff 10,000 people in Germany or Japan.

Could part of the black marks be due to the fact that American workers are not loyal to their employers and could give a damn less about what they produce? Hmmmm, perhaps. Can't imagine why. Layoffs don't happen in Germany and Japan as they do in the US. Nor are pensions and benefits cut (they have those ridiculous liberal worker protection laws). Nor do the executives benefit by stealing from and laying off their employees.

Then there's the product itself. If the door handle is made out of plastic instead of metal, they save $2/car; plastic it is. So what if it snaps off in a year or two; just as long as, on average, they snap off after the warranty has expired. The list is endless.

Think I've got my head up my butt? Then tell me why the reliability on American cars is so poor?

It's also interesting to note that many people diss Steinway a publicly traded company. "Not worth their high price" is a recurring theme. Yet Charles Walter, a family owned company, is praised as offering a high-quality piano at a reasonable price. Oh, and I almost forgot about Baldwin and Ms. Hendricks. Too bad she lost that well deserved 1.3 million dollar severance courtesy of the Board of Directors.

See any patterns?

Derick

[ March 21, 2002: Message edited by: Derick ]
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#804586 - 03/21/02 02:13 AM Re: Pianos and cars
Larry Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 9217
Loc: Deep in Cherokee Country
Last time I checked, Town Cars were built in America. And I've never owned one that had cheap parts, or that fell apart. I did have a Toyota pickup once that was built like a soup can though. After it left me stranded on the interstate for the third time I got rid of it and bought a Dodge. Still have it.
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#804587 - 03/21/02 02:20 AM Re: Pianos and cars
Steve Miller Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 3288
Loc: Yorba Linda, CA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Derick:
Yes!!! Two of my favorite topics, cars and pianos.

Think I've got my head up my butt? Then tell me why the reliability on American cars is so poor?

[/b]


What I see failing on American cars does not seem to have much to do with the way they are assembled. There are makes that are assembled poorly (wanna name names?) but their problems appear early on - mostly in warranty. Assembly problems get fixed once and stay fixed.

No, I don't see assembly as the big problem. American cars seem instread to be designed with reliability as a very minor concern, if it is a concern at all. Designed in obsolescence. A practice that should have become obsolescent itself by now, but old habits die hard in Detroit.

There are some models of American car that hold up fairly well, Larry's Lincoln being one of them. Part of what mkes Larry's cars last so long must be the way he drives them -any Lincoln that turns out 26 MPG is not getting pushed very hard. None of them though, will make the 300+K miles that you can get out of nearly any Honda or Toyota.

The Japanese manufacturers have figured this out, and the price of their product is increasing steadily. 'tis a sad day indeed when a guy can no longer afford a Camry and has to settle instead for an Electra 225.
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#804588 - 03/21/02 09:46 AM Re: Pianos and cars
Nina Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/13/01
Posts: 6467
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Here's what I've noticed, although I'm by no means an expert on cars.

It seems that, when the Japanese cars were first coming into the US, they served a small niche of being affordable, decidedly non-luxury cars that held up well. (Remember the first Honda civics that were about the size of a large tuna fish can?). There was no alternative in the US market, since we were still building big plush cars.

Next comes the gas shortage/crisis of the mid to late 1970s and suddenly there's a market for people to buy cars based on their fuel economy. Again, few or no US manufacturers are available to satisfy that demand, so people buy German (VW, NOT BMW!) and Japanese cars. In the meantime, Japanese manufacturing is starting to seriously tool up with ultra-modern manufacturing techniques, TQM, etc. The result is a pretty good, reliable car. AND they are starting to turn a nifty profit so they can begin to create bigger, more luxurious cars. (Exactly HOW they are able to make a profit I'll leave up to Derick!).

In the 1980s and 1990s the US manufacturers wake up and start to build small, economy cars. Initially the results are pretty dismal (remember the exploding Pintos, etc.?) but I'd have to say that the best of the economy and "regular" models from US car manufacturers now rival the best anywhere in the world. Yes, there are a few clunkers out there but I truly believe they will be gone in a few years. The announcement that GM (or was it Ford, I said I was no expert) will stop producing Lincoln, a large number of Oldsmobiles (perhaps all?), etc. attests to this fact.

But it's absolutely the case that many of the cars made in the US from the mid-1970s through to about 1990 were horribly made, poorly engineered and unreliable. Remember the bailout of Chrysler? And it's quite true that there are excellent US-made cars now. Trouble is, there's a whole generation that is in their prime buying years now who grew up when US cars weren't so good, and now they have emotional reactions to buying US cars. (Because, let's face it, buying a car is an emotional experience!)

Anyway, that's my 2c worth. Just don't get me started on SUVs...

Nina

[ March 21, 2002: Message edited by: Nina ]

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#804589 - 03/21/02 10:49 AM Re: Pianos and cars
Larry Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 9217
Loc: Deep in Cherokee Country
They aren't going to stop building Lincolns. I think you're thinking about GM's announcement that they were going to (and already have I think) stop building Buicks. Lincoln is by Ford.

Although, I may have to buy something else next time. It seems that Henry Ford's grandson has taken the helm, and he has begun using the Ford Foundation to finance marxist groups. See the link I posted in the "Watch these" thread on page three. I won't buy a Japanese car, because I just don't like the feel of them. Too sterile, no soul - just like their pianos..... ;\)

I like having a lot of room, plush seating, smooth ride, no outside noise, and plenty of power. So I'm open to suggestions for a replacement....


(oh... and it must have the automatic headlights that senses light levels and turn themselves on and off as needed....)
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#804590 - 03/21/02 11:01 AM Re: Pianos and cars
piqué Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/15/01
Posts: 5483
you know, some of us actually NEED an SUV. we have lots of snow and mud and gravel where we live. and if you counted up the pennies you save on gasoline for a year because you drive a compact car instead of an SUV, i betcha it wouldn't pay for a single day in the hospital.

i've always subscribed to that little bit of philosophy, but this was brought home to me in an unfortunate way, when one of my colleagues was in a head-on collision in colorado last fall. he was on assignment for us, and thankfully he'd rented a jeep cherokee instead of the usual subcompact to save the company money. he's walking around today with just the emotional scars from seeing a man bleed to death (the father of the drunk driver who unexpectedly crossed the median at 70 mph) instead of being dead.

my husband has a 95 jeep cherokee with 140,000 miles on it, which he bought new. it has only needed oil and tire changes in all that time. everything works just fine. and neither of us would dream of getting on the highway in my car, an '83 toyota 4x4 sw with also 140,000 miles on it. that little car will probably go forever, but it isn't going to do me much good in a head-on collision.

i am thinking of getting a used subaru forester for my next car. what do people think about their safety and reliability?

also, i've never bought a new car in my life, and the CR used car buying guide has been my bible. it is always right!! if it says the exhaust system tends to fail, that is exactly what will go wrong.
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#804591 - 03/21/02 11:17 AM Re: Pianos and cars
Nina Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/13/01
Posts: 6467
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Hi, Pique:

I agree that some folks need SUVs. But NOT the urban warriors that are tooling around downtown in their Eddie Bauer style Ford Expeditions getting 6 mpg and whining about our over-reliance on foreign oil. (RANT RANT RANT )

Actually my hubby needs 4WD (he's a field geologist) and we've owned a variety of SUVs for his work. (Actually, in the 'olden' days we just called them "the truck" ;\) ).

And I think it's really a tough call when you are driving your kids to school in your "sensible" Camry, Accord or whatever and you see a humungous SUV barreling down on you going 65 mph. I'm not sure what the right call is on this-- from a safety issue. There appears to be little question that collisions involving SUVs and "regular" passenger cars will favor the SUV to the extreme.

However, I am amazed at the massive increase in the size of the SUVs. I was at the car wash the other day and watched the guys clean some Ford Giganto (it was a Ford, don't mean to be picking on only them). There were 3 guys and they had to get LADDERS to reach the top of the hood, not the roof! These cars don't even fit into the standard size garage. It's gross, IMHO and in all senses of the word.

Then when the car is done a woman climbs in (using the built-in stepladder thingy on the running board). She was dressed impeccably, made up, long fingernails, etc. Perhaps I'm guilty of stereotyping, but she did NOT look like someone who was the "outdoors" type.

OK, I guess I'm guilty of still ranting. Sorry, I'll go back to "Piano Forum" and preserve my blood pressure rating! \:D \:D

Nina

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#804592 - 03/21/02 11:22 AM Re: Pianos and cars
Nina Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/13/01
Posts: 6467
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
 Quote:
Originally posted by Larry:
They aren't going to stop building Lincolns. I think you're thinking about GM's announcement that they were going to (and already have I think) stop building Buicks. Lincoln is by Ford.

[/b]


Larry--
You're right, when I read your words I realized it was Buick.

When you decide to trade in your Lincoln, you might want to check out Cadillac. Not ridiculously expensive (although I'm sure a few models are). A friend of mine has a Catera (sp?) that I drove once and thought it was quite nice-- for an American car.

;\)

Nina

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#804593 - 03/21/02 11:33 AM Re: Pianos and cars
Derick Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/03/02
Posts: 3290
Loc: New York
Built in obsolesence is a big problem with US cars. One morning I went to start my previous car, a Ford, and the mechanism that opens that door snapped. I then went to the passenger side. It also snapped! I wound up crawling in thru the hatch. This was year #4 of ownership. There were MANY other problems. In year #5, the repair bill to fix everything that was wrong was, sit down for this, $3800.

As far as reliability issues go, Consumer Reports has a section called "The Worst Used Cars". Here's the breakdown:

GM - 13
Ford - 3
Chrysler - 8
Mercedes - 1
Volkswagen - 1
Volvo -1

This list is for cars between model years 1993-2000 whose overall average reliability has been much worse than average.

Every American manufacturer made it onto the list. This list pretty clearly states that American manufacturers are STILL building cars with reliability problems. Not one Japanese car made the list. Which is pretty amazing considering that they cost just about the same as their American counterparts inspite of the heavy tariffs.
Can't imagine why that is.

As an aside, GM will completely stop making Oldmobiles in 2004. Buicks will live on. Ford will cease production of the Lincoln Continental this year, there is no replacement.

FWIW, here's a link to check out the head-restraint safety ratings of various cars.
Unfortunately, that's the only test that's been performed on the Lincoln Town Car. Nevertheless, for the same price, much less depreciation, same gas mileage, better acceleration and braking, and MUCH better safety, I'd rather be in my car than in a Lincoln Town Car.

Derick

[ March 21, 2002: Message edited by: Derick ]
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#804594 - 03/21/02 11:41 AM Re: Pianos and cars
Derick Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/03/02
Posts: 3290
Loc: New York
Larry - suggestion for you, BMW 5-series. The headlights come on a dusk, lots of soul, very quiet.

pique - Suburu Forester is reliable and safe. Here's a link to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. You might want to rethink getting in the highway in that Jeep however. This is one of those rare situations where bigger is not necessarily better.

IIHS

Derick

[ March 21, 2002: Message edited by: Derick ]
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Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats.

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#804595 - 03/21/02 11:55 AM Re: Pianos and cars
Matt G. Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/22/01
Posts: 3789
Loc: Plainfield, IL
 Quote:
Originally posted by Nina:
A friend of mine has a Catera (sp?) that I drove once and thought it was quite nice-- for an American car.[/b]


Umm.... Nina, ummm.... sorry to burst the bubble, but, if I'm not mistaken, the Catera is built in Germany. By Opel, I think.
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#804596 - 03/21/02 12:31 PM Re: Pianos and cars
Steve Miller Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 3288
Loc: Yorba Linda, CA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Nina:


I agree that some folks need SUVs. But NOT the urban warriors that are tooling around downtown in their Eddie Bauer style Ford Expeditions getting 6 mpg and whining about our over-reliance on foreign oil. (RANT RANT RANT )
[/b]



The odd thing about the recent increase in SUV sales is that it was triggered by a law pushed hard by the very folks who hate SUV's.

It's the luxury tax, pushed hard by folks who want to see everyone drive little electric cars. Cars that cost over a certain amount are subject to it, trucks are not. All of a sudden people who used to drive Cadillacs switched to trucks and found they liked having all that room.

Drop the luxury tax and the biggest SUV's will disappear.
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#804597 - 03/21/02 12:43 PM Re: Pianos and cars
Steve Miller Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 3288
Loc: Yorba Linda, CA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Larry:

I like having a lot of room, plush seating, smooth ride, no outside noise, and plenty of power. So I'm open to suggestions for a replacement....


(oh... and it must have the automatic headlights that senses light levels and turn themselves on and off as needed....)[/b]


Ford is still going to make the Town Car for a while, it's the Continental that is going away. The new Town Car is not like yours though Larry - it is basically a Ford Crown Victoria with softer springs and more trim.

If you can't hang with Ford any more, the Cadillac Envoy was made for a guy like you. It's big inside, powerful, roomy and has all of the gadgets you could ever want. It's basically a Chevy pickup with a back seat and gadgets, but they have softened it up to cater to consumers who still like a big, cushy rear wheel drive American car.

Reliability is an issue, but if you can get 200K trouble free miles out of a Lincoln, the Caddie should be about the same. Mileage is terrible.
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#804598 - 03/21/02 12:52 PM Re: Pianos and cars
Steve Miller Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 3288
Loc: Yorba Linda, CA
 Quote:
Originally posted by pique:

i am thinking of getting a used subaru forester for my next car. what do people think about their safety and reliability?

[/b]


Subarus rate high for reliability, although not quite as high as Toyotas or Hondas. The Forester has an interesting engine in it. The dune buggy guys here in So Cal have started putting Subaru motors in their dune buggies - hopped up to a whopping 425 horsepower! They find that the engines are overbuilt enough that they will survive this sort of increase in power without coming apart. That says something for the way the motors are engineered.
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#804599 - 03/21/02 01:04 PM Re: Pianos and cars
Derick Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/03/02
Posts: 3290
Loc: New York
Catera's are built in the US. They wree based on the Opel Vectra platform. Take a look at a new one. You either love it or hate it.

Luxury tax is history as of 2002.

Derick
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#804600 - 03/21/02 02:53 PM Re: Pianos and cars
piqué Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/15/01
Posts: 5483
shoot, i was really hoping this topic was going to be more about comparing pianos to cars. you know:

toyota = yamaha

that sort of thing.

schimmel = volkswagon

bechstein = bmw

fazioli = ??

anyone?

and what does it say about you if you have a new german piano but a 20-year-old japanese car?

i think it says you care more about music than you do about cars!

and what does it say about you if you sell bechsteins but drive a lincoln?

?

btw, larry, i have never really understood the appeal of those big, cushy american road hogs like the lincoln. to me, they feel unmanageable on the road, like being in a big boat. i like being able to feel the road, and for the steering to be tightly responsive. if i drove a lincoln i'm afraid it would put me to sleep! but i think it would be nice to be a passenger in one, provided the driver was a safe driver.
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piqué

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#804601 - 03/21/02 03:42 PM Re: Pianos and cars
Eldon Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 597
Loc: Illinois
Pique,
I just had to answer you on this one. My story is this. I've had 3 Bugs, 3 Rabbits, 1 Jetta and a Buick....plus several large pickups. About 4 years ago I was at a student's house for dinner. The "dad" and I were grillin' on the deck. He handed me their local paper to read. Anyway I always check out the autos for sale section. I found this ad for a Cadillac in mint condition. Since I was already in this town, I called the guy (must have been those margaritas) \:D The guy that had the car told me that it only had 23K on it; and that if I came to see it, he was sure I would buy it. So, I stopped and met this old couple that also were musicians...with a MH in their livingroom. So to make a long story short, we talked lots of music and played for each other. Then, this wonderful gentleman told me that they would like me to buy their car, and offered me a lower price on their own. \:\) I
said I would only buy it if they promised to call me and sell me their next one, which they were getting the following week. So, I took lots of ribbing from my friends about having a "Caddie". I even had a Mexican Bug! Having said all of that, once you have a BIG car you get spoiled rotten quickly. The room and power do it to ya! Now I've got 2 Cadillacs and 1-ton Chevrolet dually. The last 2 times I went to Arizona, I rented a Lincon TC. At a gas station, a guy asked me how I like the Lincoln. I said, well it's NOT a Cadillac. ;\) And now, the Devilles are lots smaller...all headroom is GONE! \:\( Bye...
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#804602 - 03/21/02 03:56 PM Re: Pianos and cars
Jolly Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/20/01
Posts: 14036
Loc: Louisiana
Oldsmobile is the GM division that is going bye-bye, not Buick.

Now we'll see if you guys know your GM stuff. What is GM's newest division. Hint - it makes Larry's Lincoln look like a wimpmobile. \:D

Now for Buick trivia - 1) Which Buick is named after a famous airplane? and 2)Back when car radios had push buttons, how could a young lad rearrange a Buick's radio buttons to get a kiss from a young lady?

And if you are really a car nut, name which year Buick built it's last Roadster and it's first OHV straight 8.
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#804603 - 03/21/02 03:58 PM Re: Pianos and cars
piqué Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/15/01
Posts: 5483
hm, eldon,
well, i think owning a caddie is consistent with owning a steinway c or an m&h.

but i have had big cushy rides. there was my olds vista cruiser, my ford gran torino station wagon, and an olds cutlass. in my younger days, when it came to buying the next junker, i took whatever i could get for around $400.

one of my favorite $400 cars was a '71 chevelle with the slant six engine. it was really fast, great for driving in city traffic, and for parking on city streets. and i've also had a couple of dodge vans, the old kind, the tradesman and the sportsman. hard to drive (gave me biceps) but really fun to own, very practical, great for road trips and hogging the road.

the really great thing about those cars (none of which i owned longer than a couple of years at the very most), was that when i sold them, i usually got back just what i paid for them. no depreciation!

but having grown up with volvos (i did own an old one of those once, too), i learned to appreciate that "road feel" you get with a european car.

to me, that's a sign of great engineering. just my opinion.
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now in paperback:


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#804604 - 03/21/02 04:20 PM Re: Pianos and cars
Matt G. Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/22/01
Posts: 3789
Loc: Plainfield, IL
 Quote:
Originally posted by Jolly:
Now we'll see if you guys know your GM stuff. What is GM's newest division. Hint - it makes Larry's Lincoln look like a wimpmobile. \:D
[/b]


Wouldn't that be Hummer?
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#804605 - 03/21/02 04:27 PM Re: Pianos and cars
Jolly Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/20/01
Posts: 14036
Loc: Louisiana
Give the man a see-gar! \:D
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#804606 - 03/21/02 04:33 PM Re: Pianos and cars
Matt G. Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/22/01
Posts: 3789
Loc: Plainfield, IL
 Quote:
Originally posted by Jolly:
Give the man a see-gar! \:D[/b]


I used to know the answer to the B U I C K buttons question, but time has erased the memory! \:\(
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#804607 - 03/21/02 04:49 PM Re: Pianos and cars
Derick Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/03/02
Posts: 3290
Loc: New York
Gee guys apparently I was right when I said you don't read my posts. Several posts earlier I said:

 Quote:
As an aside, GM will completely stop making Oldmobiles in 2004. Buicks will live on. Ford will cease production of the Lincoln Continental this year, there is no replacement.[/b]



About the law/tax mentioned above that led to an increase in SUV sales... well there is no law that did that.

The gas guzzler tax is placed on automobiles (SUV's, minivans, trucks, etc... are exempt) that fail to meet some minimum number of miles per gallon of combined city/highway driving. The more they miss the mark, the higher the tax. Very few cars are ever assessed a gas-guzzler tax.

The Sierra Club and other similar organizations want the gas guzzler tax imposed on all 'vehicles' the auto-makers produce. Many domestic auto-makers are voluntarily trying to increase the efficiency of their SUV's, etc... primarily out of fear that CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) rules will be altered to include SUV's in the mix.

Derick

[ March 21, 2002: Message edited by: Derick ]
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#804608 - 03/21/02 09:15 PM Re: Pianos and cars
Steve Miller Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 3288
Loc: Yorba Linda, CA
 Quote:
Originally posted by pique:
shoot, i was really hoping this topic was going to be more about comparing pianos to cars. you know:

toyota = yamaha

that sort of thing.

schimmel = volkswagon

bechstein = bmw

fazioli = ??
[/b]

We tried that for a while, but the comparison just doesn't work. There are similarities in style I suppose (Asian sound, American sound, Euro sound) but the fact is that with pianos at least, the Americans and the Euros can make pianos that last as long as anyone else, and sound darned good doing it.

This should be good news for you Fazioli owners. If the pianos were built like Fiats (or their hopped up brethren - Ferraris), you would have to be hauling the wee beasties back and forth to the shop so often that you would forget how to play.

 Quote:
and what does it say about you if you have a new german piano but a 20-year-old japanese car?
[/b]

I'd say you subscribe to the adage that if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

\:\)

[ March 21, 2002: Message edited by: Steve Miller ]
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#804609 - 03/21/02 09:53 PM Re: Pianos and cars
Jolly Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/20/01
Posts: 14036
Loc: Louisiana
To answer the Buick button question - rearrange the buttons to spell CIKUB. When the lassie asked what that meant, one would reply "Can I Kiss U, Baby?". Hey! When you're ugly, you try harder! :p


As to cars I've owned - I guess my favorite was my first car and my second. The first, in 1975, was a 1947 Buick Super, original, immaculate, straight 8, three on the tree, wool seats, just a great car.

My second was also a Buick(c'mon Dad has been with Buick since 1953), just a wee bit different from the first. A 1973 GS Stage II. 455 cubic inches of high compression V8 monster. Dual exhaust, keystone mags and an 8 track tape deck. Didn't matter if I was ugly, with that car I could still get a date on Saturday night! I put 200k on that sucker(along with 7, count 'em 7, waterpumps), and cried when I had to sell it. Just had to pay college bills, couldn't get around it. I miss that car everyday, although now I probably don't have the guts to drive it.

Since then it's been a Wildcat, a Riviera, 3 LeSabres, a Century and a Park Avenue. And also some non-Buicks - a S10, a F150, a Rabbit.

So mostly, I also like the big Detroit ride. Fast, comfortable, and when you get out of one after driving 17 hours straight, you can still walk!

I wonder what that says about my personality? Detroit iron and Chinese piano? \:D \:D
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#804610 - 03/21/02 10:39 PM Re: Pianos and cars
Steve Miller Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 3288
Loc: Yorba Linda, CA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Jolly:
I wonder what that says about my personality? Detroit iron and Chinese piano? \:D \:D[/b]


I'd say you are the kind of guy who knows what he likes and doesn't mind doing a little work on things to get 'em/keep 'em the way you want 'em.

\:\)
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#804611 - 03/22/02 02:52 AM Re: Pianos and cars
Ruth Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 32
Loc: Germany
I like my car because it only needs an average of 5 litres of diesel per 100km (can even get it down to 4 litres on highways).
It always makes me wonder why people drive big SUVs or BMW's that swallow huge amounts of gas. Anyway on German highways you can only drive with 200km/h at 3 o'clock in the morning, at most other times it's much too crowded no need to have cabrio sports cars, although they get really fancy here.

Derick, who gets 36 days of vacation in Germany? I must have the wrong job

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#804612 - 03/22/02 03:08 AM Re: Pianos and cars
Derick Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/03/02
Posts: 3290
Loc: New York
Hi Ruth,

I have an article that states the average number of vacation days for various countries. So it's only an average. I'm not sure if they were counting holidays in there or not.

If you worked for my company in the US, you'd start out with 10 vacation days. But in Germany, my company starts everyone out with 20 vacation days.

My BMW gets better gas mileage than my previous Ford. 18 mpg city, 29 mpg highway.

Derick

[ March 22, 2002: Message edited by: Derick ]
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#804613 - 03/22/02 04:20 AM Re: Pianos and cars
Anonymous
Unregistered


 Quote:
Originally posted by Derick:

If you worked for my company in the US, you'd start out with 10 vacation days. But in Germany, my company starts everyone out with 20 vacation days.
[/b]


Derick, that can't be right. The minimun in German is 24 vacation days ;\)

I have 30 vacation days (not counting holidays in) like most people over here.

Ah, yes and I own a Citroen...

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#804614 - 03/23/02 03:02 AM Re: Pianos and cars
nancyww Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/02
Posts: 585
Loc: central oregon
 Quote:
Originally posted by Ruth:

It always makes me wonder why people drive big SUVs or BMW's that swallow huge amounts of gas. [/b]


Do you have many big SUVs on the roads in Europe? Around here it makes sense with the bad weather, bad roads, and bad drivers in sports cars trying to negotiate winding mountain passes in snowstorms.

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#804615 - 03/26/02 02:55 AM Re: Pianos and cars
Nina Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/13/01
Posts: 6467
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
OK, I'm in a snipey mood, having just read a few flame wars...

One would get the impression from these posts that all us westerners live in horrible areas with terrible roads, unspeakable weather and lack of pavement. While some of this may be true for a few of us, by no means is it anywhere near the norm. I'm pretty sure the population in the west is far more concentrated in a few large cities than scattered around as it is in the midwest and east.

So, instead of spending $35K on an SUV that gets less than 10 mpg, why don't we just stay home when the weather is bad and the road is impassable? Or rent a 4WD for a few days?

I will wager that a HUGE percentage of 4WD/SUV owners: 1) don't need 4WD; 2) can't remember how to get into 4WD without reading their owner's manual; 3) have put their car into 4WD once, in a vacant lot, on the way home from the car dealers after just purchasing it.


See you
Nina

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#804616 - 03/26/02 10:44 AM Re: Pianos and cars
Derick Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/03/02
Posts: 3290
Loc: New York
I've been out west, Montana in fact (hi pique!). My mother-in-law lives in Hamilton, Montana. She NEEDS an SUV. The road she lives off of is fine. In fact, the speed limit is 75 mph and it is *relatively* safe to travel at that speed. However, she lives high on a hill with a winding, very bumpy, dirt driveway. Her views are incredible though.

However, *most* people do not need SUV's. I frequently see single people driving Lincoln Navigators so clean you could eat off the engine block. The Cadillac Escalade is the 'in' vehicle among major sport stars as well as some Hollywood stars. These people, as well as the "commoners", do not need an SUV. They are simply fashion statements.

Don't be fooled into thinking you are safer in an SUV than you are in a car, you are not. You may have a better chance if you hit another car, but most fatal accidents are single vehicle accidents. In such an accident, you are at much more risk for serious injury in an SUV than a car. Rollover rates in SUV's are significantly higher than in automobiles and account for more deaths in an SUV than any other type of accident.

One more thing, I drove a Jeep Grand Cherokee for about a month last year thru both rain and a snowstorm. While it seemed the Jeep would climb a snow covered mountain, it was totally unmanagable when attempting to stop it or go around a corner.
I wound up leaving the Jeep behind and taking my car because I could control it (once I got it moving!)

Derick
_________________________
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#804617 - 03/26/02 10:56 AM Re: Pianos and cars
piqué Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/15/01
Posts: 5483
derick, i live just an hour up the road from your mother-in-law!

gee, any chance we can persuade piano worlders to take a vacation in mt this year and have a piano party?

our solution is we have the ageing toyota 4x4 station wagon for nice weather, short runs, and pavement, and the jeep cherokee for more demanding conditions. but even just to get around town here you must have 4x4. we've had winters where i put the toyota into 4x4 in november and don't switch it back until some time in april. you need it just to get out of the garage. and when you are off pavement you have to have a high clearance vehicle or risk high-centering.
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#804618 - 03/26/02 12:05 PM Re: Pianos and cars
Derick Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/03/02
Posts: 3290
Loc: New York
Pique,

Really, you live that close to my mom-in-law! Kewl. Next time we get out there I'll have to look you up. It would be great to have a PianoWorld get together in Montana.

Montana is so beautiful. My mom-in-law's house has a perfect view of snow-capped mountains and hummingbirds feed off the wild flowers (I really love those creatures). And at the bottom of the "hill" from where she lives, there is a babbling brook. So peaceful and quiet... At times, I felt like I was 12 years old again (you know 10 years ago, haha).

But, as nice as it was to visit, I don't think I could live there. Costco was 45 minutes away!

Derick
_________________________
Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats.

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#804619 - 03/26/02 01:52 PM Re: Pianos and cars
T2 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/18/01
Posts: 341
 Quote:
Originally posted by Nina:
One would get the impression from these posts that all us westerners live in horrible areas with terrible roads, unspeakable weather and lack of pavement. [/b]


I played a joke on some friends while in Cambridge, U.K. about 10 years ago. I told them I was in Portland the day that Mt. St. Helens blew up, which was true, and that thousands of square miles of land was flattened by a pyroclastic cloud, which was also true. Then I started pulling their legs. I told them that THOUSANDS of people died in the initial explosion and that THOUSANDS more died from the mud slides. (You have to gesture in a grandiose manner to get the full effect.) Not realizing that the population density of the central washington national forests is very low, the brits bought it hook, line and sinker. I was so amused I kept elaborating. By the third day this leg pulling exercise had grown to include the collapse of two Seattle bridges (the earthquake that followed you know), the loss of the entire city of Olympia due to mud slides, the confinement of all people indoors due to volcanic dust and an Indian uprising. I think it was the Indians attacking the "Iron horse" that finally sunk me.

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#804620 - 03/26/02 02:07 PM Re: Pianos and cars
piqué Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/15/01
Posts: 5483
derick, i you think costco is only 45 minutes from your mom, you must not have yet heard that we DO have a speed limit in montana. ;\)

t2, we'll have to make you an honorary westerner, for carrying on the tradition of tall tales.
_________________________
piqué

now in paperback:


Grand Obsession: A Piano Odyssey

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#804621 - 03/26/02 02:50 PM Re: Pianos and cars
T2 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/18/01
Posts: 341
Hmmm...'honorary' aint needed. I've been here all my life.

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#804622 - 03/26/02 03:28 PM Re: Pianos and cars
Derick Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/03/02
Posts: 3290
Loc: New York
Pique,

If you call 75 mph a speed limit! I call it heaven.

Derick
_________________________
Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats.

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#804623 - 03/26/02 03:32 PM Re: Pianos and cars
Eldon Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 597
Loc: Illinois
BTW,
Wasn't it a while back that there was not a speed limit in Montana? I really wanted to visit Montana, then. \:D
_________________________
Sincerely,
Eldon

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#804624 - 03/26/02 05:48 PM Re: Pianos and cars
nancyww Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/02
Posts: 585
Loc: central oregon
 Quote:
Originally posted by Nina:
OK, I'm in a snipey mood, having just read a few flame wars...

One would get the impression from these posts that all us westerners live in horrible areas with terrible roads, unspeakable weather and lack of pavement. While some of this may be true for a few of us, by no means is it anywhere near the norm. I'm pretty sure the population in the west is far more concentrated in a few large cities than scattered around as it is in the midwest and east.
Nina [/b]


Nina, you are right, alot of people have SUV's that do not need them to get around their community. When I said that we need SUV's around here, I meant AROUND HERE... central Oregon. We wouldn't make it out of our driveway some days without 4WD.

We just got back from a 5 hour trip which included following a dozen vehicles behind a passenger car going 5 mph over the pass in a snowstorm. I guess they didn't believe the sign that said "chains or traction tires required". Made me kind of snipey, too.

By the way, Nina, last time I was in Phoenix it was 100 degrees outside. Sounds pretty good to me right now.

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#804625 - 03/26/02 06:29 PM Re: Pianos and cars
Chris W1 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/26/01
Posts: 915
Loc: Boston
Derrick, I wasn't sure, but thought you were right about that. I remember hearing the Lincoln is no longer to be made. Perhaps that's changed.

We have a Buick 3.8 and a Carrera 3.2. I work on them both, right down to the piston rings on the Porsche. Both have a combined mileage of almost 400k. As far as problems go, I'd rate both very highly. I think people lose out using CU as an exclusive guide. What they fail to realize in that the ultimate pursuit of the most reliable car is increasingly lost in the reality that all manufacturers have improved so much in the past 25-30 years. These days you are better off going with what you like, IMO.

That a car has only got a good 80-100k miles of life is the biggest myth of all.

Chris W
PCA member since '93
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#804626 - 03/26/02 09:59 PM Re: Pianos and cars
piqué Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/15/01
Posts: 5483
derick,
i think that that section of highway 93 has a 65 mph speed limit. i just drove to stevi and back last week, and i'm pretty sure that is what was posted.

eldon,
montana had a law that said you have to drive at a "reasonable and prudent" speed in the eyes of the ticketing officer to avoid our $5 (daylight only) speeding ticket. but drive unreasonably and imprudently, especially at night, and you could be socked with a whopper of a fine.

the law was changed a year or two ago to a max. of 75 on the interstate and 65 on other highways. much too fast, imho. especially when you consider the high percentage of drunk drivers and black ice in this state.
_________________________
piqué

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#804627 - 03/26/02 10:30 PM Re: Pianos and cars
Derick Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/03/02
Posts: 3290
Loc: New York
Chris,

I enjoy working on cars too. I'd love to get a Porsche, a Carrera is at the top of my list. The new one is to die for.

I agree that car manufacturers have come a long way in the past 25 years in many areas including reliability. Unfortunately, however, the American car companies seem to lag behind; at least as far as the statistics in CR indicate. While not perfect, CR does offer a relative guide of reliability.

Nevertheless, ALL automobile manufacturers have a very, long, way to go to match the progress of the computer industry in the past 25 years. I forget the exact figures, but what I'm about to say is not far off... If cars had advanced as much as computers have in the past 15 years, they would get 2000 mpg, would need their oil changed every 500,000 miles and suffer one breakdown in 1,000,000 miles!

Derick
_________________________
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#804628 - 03/26/02 10:37 PM Re: Pianos and cars
Derick Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/03/02
Posts: 3290
Loc: New York
Pique,

You are probably right about Highway 93 - the last time I was out in Montana was 2 years ago. But Scalkaho Highway (in case you happen to know it) had a speed limit of 75. That I am sure of since I took a picture of it.

Derick
_________________________
Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats.

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#804629 - 03/27/02 01:43 AM Re: Pianos and cars
piqué Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/15/01
Posts: 5483
derick,
yikes!
i sincerely hope you have the skalkaho highway confused with some other road. skalkaho highway is a series of hairpin turns through deep forest that goes over a pass that is closed in the winter. over much of that road you are lucky if you can travel 25 mph, let alone 75! maybe over on the phillipsburg side, where it is paved and straight, the speed limit is 75... but not over in the bitterroot where your mil is.

i wonder what road you must be thinking of?

be careful over there in granite county (phillipsburg side of the sapphires). i got arrested for speeding on a dirt road there once, and escaped the leg irons in their historic jail by the hair of my lawyer's chin. jailing speeders is a cottage industry over there, and the town's primary source of revenue.
_________________________
piqué

now in paperback:


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#804630 - 03/27/02 02:01 AM Re: Pianos and cars
Derick Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/03/02
Posts: 3290
Loc: New York
Pique,

The speed limit was (at least 2 years ago) 75 mph on the paved side (which was ridiculous IMHO). I know the hairpin turns you are talking about on Skalkaco highway and yes, 25 mph is about as fast as I would take them as well.

There were a few places in Wyoming where the only living thing I'd run across was an insect and wouldn't see a car for hours. Visibility was good for miles. I did take advantage of that situation and imagined I was back in S. Germany on the autobahn. (SWMBO was not with me). Of course, if I knew then what I know now, I probably wouldn't have even gone 75 - I was in a rented Explorer with Wilderness AT tires.

Derick
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