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PostPosted: November 14, 2019, 3:23 pm 
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Mid-Engined Maniac

Joined: April 23, 2006, 8:26 pm
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Lonnie-S wrote:
Call me stoopid but it looks like fun to me based on that Car & Driver video.

It would give me another reason to visit Virginia City again. Last time it was my senior year in high school when a car load of us got lost looking for the Moonlight Ranch. It worked out OK though. The only limit on drinking in Nevada back then was when you ran out of money. We had a great time! Schooner's high, y'all

I know a cranky old guy who's entire life has been spent flying. He said that he used to fly clients up to a house of ill repute right near there. Wonder if that was the name of the place :wink:

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PostPosted: November 16, 2019, 11:09 am 
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@KB58
It very likely is, Kurt. It was very well known (and popular) at that time.

Cheers,

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Damn! That front slip angle is way too large and the Ackerman is just a muddle.

Build Log: viewtopic.php?f=35&t=5886


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PostPosted: March 22, 2022, 10:32 am 
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Mid-Engined Maniac

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No updates for over two years, where does the time go. Midlana continues to run well, and while the car hasn't changed since completion, I have! Short story: I plan to sell Midlana.

Long story:
Over the last few years, my interests have slowly been drifting, with other projects and ideas competing for garage space currently taken up by Midlana. My interests have always been diverse, including cars, astronomy, photography, gardening, koi fish, clock design and building, and even beer making (that was a while ago).

Regarding Midlana—or any hardcore sports car for that matter—I find that I'm becoming less interested. Around Southern California, cars rule and people drive everywhere. With most people back in the office after Covid, traffic sucks more than ever, and in a raw elemental sports car, sitting in stop and go traffic is "death by 1000 cuts". It doesn't do you in immediately, but over time, enjoyment slowly erodes away, and at some point, I realized that I wasn't enjoying myself. My brother argues "just go early" for weekend drives. Yes, that works, but often, car events are scheduled mid-day. I find myself making excuses not to drive the car. I find myself going through the following thought process when planning to run out to a local store for something: "I could take the cover off Midlana, start it up, check it over, get belted in, and go"; "will what I need to buy fit in the car?"; "or take the truck and be back by the time Midlana is warmed up." Lately, the latter has been winning out. It's not a fault of Midlana, it hasn't changed, but I have.

Another moment happened at the Virginia City Hillclimb. Midlana did very well, but when the next event came up, I had zero interest in going... why? Instead of looking forward to an awesome experience again, I found myself making excuses: getting the time off, the hassle of renting a trailer, towing the car 500 miles, the $600 entry fee, the expense of food, gas, and a room, worrying about potential repairs, and, lastly, something that surprised me, mortality. You know that dream of having a really fast and agile car, one that's as fast as a sport bike? What's left out is the potential consequence of driving very fast on twisty roads. That never used to bother me, but now it bounces around in my head. People have died doing the above hillclimb, and while it didn't bother me then, it does now.

Another life event that had an impact on me was my father passing away, and mom is currently at the point where she's no longer sure who we (kids) are, it's a reminder that we have only so long here, physically and mentally, and that if we want to do things, it's better to do them now while we can.

Another event, one that's been building for years, is that our sad old house was in dire need of a remodel. That kept getting pushed off due to me spending 100% of my time designing and building Kimini and Midlana. Then recently, my employer offered early retirement... and the time was right, so I took it. That freed up the ability to do the remodel, entirely on my own to save money, learn new things, and keep me busy. As I type this, it's well underway, with new floor tile gradually spreading throughout the house, one bath redone, and the kitchen is nearing completion. Point being, my time is being spent elsewhere while Midlana languishes, battery charged and always ready to go. I think it's time to pass it on to a new (and very likely younger) owner who'll use it as intended.

I debated about this for awhile, wondering whether that people might think, "well what's the point of buying his book and building a Midlana if his interests have shifted?" I can't do anything about what other people think; all I can do is lay out the reasons for my own thoughts, and people can conclude whatever they want, and I'll continue supporting the Midlana website/forum.

So, sometime this year, Midlana will be up for sale, most likely on Bring A Trailer (though it's 100% street legal and runs fine, but whatever.) Oh and lastly, the draw to sports cars isn't entirely gone from my system. The plan is to sell Midlana and my wife's car, and buy a fun car used for shopping and trips. Something more suitable for... sigh, older people. You know, something with heating, cooling, windows, and an automatic transmission, something that I don't mind being stuck in traffic in. And no, this one won't be electric - yet. It needs to be something that I look forward to driving. We'll see :)

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Kimini book: Designing mid-engine cars using FWD drivetrains, http://www.kimini.com/book_info/


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PostPosted: March 22, 2022, 12:32 pm 
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KB58 wrote:
... Another life event that had an impact on me was my father passing away, and mom is currently at the point where she's no longer sure who we (kids) are, it's a reminder that we have only so long here, physically and mentally, and that if we want to do things, it's better to do them now while we can.


Well spoken, and only those that have travelled that path can begin to grasp what it's truly like.

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viewtopic.php?f=35&t=20787


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PostPosted: March 22, 2022, 1:02 pm 
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Mixed emotions. I'm glad to see you back posting. I am sad to hear about your life interests changing. But that is inevitable. You have had a lot of events recently that have taken you attention away from Midlana. That can easily affect your interests, both away from your old ones and towards your new ones. I hope you find solutions to simplify your situation and satisfy your current goals. I wish you good vibes. :cheers:

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Visit my ongoing MGB Rustoration log: over HERE

Or my Wankel powered Locost log : over HERE

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PostPosted: March 22, 2022, 2:04 pm 
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Maybe something more simple ?

But thanks for your build's !

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PostPosted: March 22, 2022, 11:01 pm 
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KB58 wrote:
. . . Oh and lastly, the draw to sports cars isn't entirely gone from my system. The plan is to sell Midlana and my wife's car, and buy a fun car used for shopping and trips. Something more suitable for... sigh, older people. You know, something with heating, cooling, windows, and an automatic transmission, something that I don't mind being stuck in traffic in. . . .


I'll be very interested to see what you come up with, Kurt. There's a lot of interesting stuff out there, but costs are pretty high these days even for used vehicles.

Cheers,

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Damn! That front slip angle is way too large and the Ackerman is just a muddle.

Build Log: viewtopic.php?f=35&t=5886


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PostPosted: March 23, 2022, 12:00 am 
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Unless my reasoning changes, I don't see it being an electric car. As a commuter, an EV makes perfect sense, but now that I'm retired, the amount I drive is far less, to the point that an EV isn't worth it. The price of gas doesn't matter much either. I'm waiting to see how long a tank lasts in my truck, but it's probably months.

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PostPosted: March 23, 2022, 9:35 am 
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I've never been convinced an EV costs less or that you're saving the world but… some of them sure look like a blast. Congratulations on the retirement!

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PostPosted: March 23, 2022, 11:05 am 
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Thanks. The remodel is my new job, working on it 8 hours a day, everyday.

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Kimini book: Designing mid-engine cars using FWD drivetrains, http://www.kimini.com/book_info/


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PostPosted: May 13, 2022, 10:26 am 
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Mid-Engined Maniac

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Photos and description have been sent to BaT (https://bringatrailer.com/), but it can take several weeks for them to assign a "specialist" to create a listing to their satisfaction. I'll be sure to post here when it goes live.

In other news, the remodel continues, with the guest bath and kitchen done. Floor tile continues to spread through the house, heading toward the master bath.


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Kimini book: Designing mid-engine cars using FWD drivetrains, http://www.kimini.com/book_info/


Last edited by KB58 on May 13, 2022, 11:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: May 13, 2022, 11:41 pm 
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Good luck with the sale, Kurt. It's difficult to guess what kind of money this one-off type of car will fetch.

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PostPosted: May 13, 2022, 11:54 pm 
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Mid-Engined Maniac

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Agree. I have no idea what it's worth either, and will set a reserve price. I'm not brave or arrogant enough to do a no-reserve offering.

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Midlana book: Build this mid-engine Locost!, http://www.midlana.com/
Kimini book: Designing mid-engine cars using FWD drivetrains, http://www.kimini.com/book_info/


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PostPosted: May 14, 2022, 7:53 am 
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Good luck with the sale! I get the daily emails from BaT. Will watch to see your listing.

I well relate to your "lifestyle" changes. With my Locost build for the last 3 years, close to completion of my 67 Mustang restorod, and my stalled (due to no time left over) Shelby Cobra replica, I keep looking around and saying, "what was the plan here? Oh, right, something to keep me busy in my retirement."

Now that both my wife and I are in our 70's, we also question the rawness of driving some of these cars in and around the cities.

I know I will sell the Mustang. I would like to at least drive the Cobra for a bit after completion. Not sure about the Locost. It was always the intent to get it done, drive it a bit here in Mass, then sell it when it was time for her to retire and we move back to WI.

My wife did ask recently if we could, as you stated, "could we have a more comfortable sporty car to just get in and drive around?"

The Locost would make a bit more sense back in the more rural area that our house is in in WI. But I do have a concern as to what the market will be there once it is done.

Whatever your choices are here, they will be the right ones for you.

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PostPosted: May 14, 2022, 10:55 am 
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Mid-Engined Maniac

Joined: April 23, 2006, 8:26 pm
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As for what replaced Midlana, I'll cut and paste some posts from my forum. Get a drink and have a seat, I tend to go on and on, but you'll see what we ended up with:

Quote:
The plan is to sell Midlana and my wife's car, add in a bit more, and buy something fun that we can both drive. The current list of possibilities include the Audi TT RS, BMW M2, Jaguar F-Type, and Porsche Cayman. Doing a lot of research when not working on the remodel. Kitchen is almost done, and it's all downhill after that, hah. I know better than to think that house work is ever done.


Quote:
Another car I’m circling back on to investigate more is the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio. With good looks and a 500 hp twin turbo V6 designed by Ferrari, it’s pretty special as well. Owners say they’re awesome but if I’m concerned about the Jaguar’s reliability, I should be terrified of the Alfa’s :)

The problem with Alfa in general is that as a corporate entity, it seems to be barely hanging on here in the US (having left once before). I keep hearing stories about how poor the dealers are, the lack of dealers, and how supply chain issues seem to have hit them especially hard. Ultimately, the concern around here, and it feels funny to say this in SoCal where everyone drives, is that their lack of dealerships. If the one 20 miles from me up and closes, the next closes ones are all >60 miles away. I realize that if bought used, and serviced by "Tony" in his independent shop, the existence of dealerships shouldn't really matter. But if Alfa up and leaves the US again, that can't be good when owning one of their products full of high-tech. This isn't the 1960s where anyone can fix cars. So, that does seem to point back toward the Jag as a choice, giving that they seem to have a more stable corporate presence, never mind being a "mega" or "mental" car


Quote:
One last thing about the Alfa "Quad." It only just hit me that most of the diehard supporters are in the UK or Europe. It makes sense because Alfa has a much more robust presence there. More dealers and repair shops makes ownership far less stressful in the event of something going wrong. One sort of sad/funny thought is that the Alfa is a bit like Midlana in that it's got insane performance, but you never really know whether you'll get to where you're going. The difference between the Alfa and Midlana is that I can get parts and fix Midlana myself.

At the moment, the Jaguar F-Type is winning out, though Jaguar (also) doesn't have a huge US presence. The concern is "what if we're in the middle of nowhere and it breaks?" Of course that's an issue with anything non-domestic or Japanese (as far as dealerships and repair shops go). Many reviewers note that for the same money, a Porsche is more of a drivers car. I would believe that, except that around here, Porsches are so common that they're essentially invisible. Logically, I shouldn't care what other people drive, but for some reason, I just can't get excited about a Porsche (having never driven one).


Quote:
Yesterday we went to test drive Jaguars. They aren't exactly plentiful around here, and had to drive a bit to find the first one, a V6 F-Type "400 Sport." This was the first Jaguar I ever drove, and the expectation was that I would be unimpressed with the power, then test drive the AWD V8 version and love it—the second part never happened. I was so impressed with the V6 model that any desire to drive the V8 went away (never mind that the V8 model was located 60 miles further out and in ~100 deg heat).

I've been trying to come to terms with what I "need" and what the car would be used for. It'll never see the track, as I can't imagine driving anything worth more than maybe $20K in that environment. It would be used for shopping and occasional day trip, and about the only antics it would see would be at a stop light or on twisty mountain roads, and probably not so much with that. My dear wife tolerates my car interest, and while she'll ride along, I don't think that she's really enjoying herself, never mind the risk of getting car sick.


Quote:
Got a chance to drive a neighbor's BMW M2 Competition. I now see why reviewers say the suspension is a little stiff for the street because, well, it is. Great for the track but not so much for everyday errands; it's actually feels stiffer than Midlana. Anyway, the M2's engine is very impressive. Cars got a big performance increase since direct fuel injection came along (just in time to wave good bye to gas engines, but I digress). I can't imagine the M2 with another 150hp, available via a tune. When the owner was driving, I got a glimpse of what my dear wife experiences when I'm driving. I never knew exactly when he was going to accelerate or brake, and my stomach was asking what was going on. When I was driving, the sense of the car's mass was certainly there, but the car made the best of it. My take away was that if I was to buy an M2, I'd seriously consider the non-Competition, the "normal M2", as a number of reviewers have pointed out that it's a lot less expensive, has a better ride, sounds better, but does have somewhat less power.

Back to car weight for a moment, it's just just how it is these days, with most "sports cars" now weighing between 3,200 and 4,000 lbs (think Tesla for the big number). Between sticky tires and the higher power, cars handle and accelerate better than the lighter older cars did, but at greater expense. Short of spending hundreds of thousands on something made from composite (or building your own sports car :) ), this weight range is the new normal. FWIW, I was watching a YT video of Jay Leno's Garage when they drove the new-at-the-time Jaguar F-Type. Jay asked what it weighed, and the Jaguar guy said, "... it's made of aluminum and is really light, , around 3,600 lbs). Yeah okay, twice Midlana's weight, got it.

Speaking of F-Types, I'm going to check out a 2015 R model. It's the only year that the RWD-only V8 model was brought into the US, so it's around 150 lbs lighter than the AWD versions of later years. Of course, while lighter weight is a good thing, 150 lbs out of ~3600 isn't much. Feeding 550 hp through only the rear tires could be "entertaining", and AWD is handy for slapping down feisty cars at the stop light grand prix. Part of me is still thinking about the V6 version as a compromise, but I can't judge until I experience the R.


Quote:
So that above car deal fell through on two points: one, I was informed that "I" don't want a burnt-orange colored car... I didn't know that until then; two, after the test drive, I smelled coolant, and the owner explained that I was wrong, that it was Meguiar's detail spray. Um... no. No smell of coolant inside the car, but smelled it immediately when the hood was raised. "No, definitely not coolant." Okay...

Test drove another one today, 2015 F-Type R with 40K miles. More miles than I'd like, but on the other hand, the price was reasonable, and it's a local dealership. The decision now is whether to push forward and have it checked out by a local Jaguar dealership.

Separately, I found out that I could buy a brand new 2022 BMW M240i, with all the options, with an extended warranty, all for less than what these used Jags are going for with no warranty. That said, this is very much an emotional decision, one not really based upon facts and figures. Also, on the way home from driving the Jag, we stopped at a BMW dealer just to see what the 240i looked like in person. The stories are true, dealers are in a world of hurt right now. On the entire lot were very few new cars, and zero 240is. I asked when they expected them in, and they just smiled, saying that one is coming in about three months, but is already sold. After that are another 4-5, and those are already sold as well. The supply chain stories are alive and well.


Quote:
Went back to conclude our dealings - one way or the other - with the the 2015 Jaguar we looked at. It's a trade-in at a local Aston Martin dealer and I was sure distracted by the cars there, rolling works of art. It was pretty clear that the designer, Ian Callum, worked at both Aston Martin and Jaguar, as some of the Aston Martins look like close relatives to the F-type. A couple people in fact suggested that I have an Aston Martin V8 Vantage on my shopping list, but they are out of reach financially.

Anyway, the "good news" we were promised was actually useful - the complete service history of the car. Normally a manufacturer's dealership is prohibited from supplying it to a new owner. Why that is baffles me; I don't want or need or care about the previous owner's name or where he lives, I just want to know about the car. Apparently the courts felt otherwise. Anyway, through some back room connections - and having removed the customer's personal information - they got me a copy, which is helpful to have.

While we were there, some ordinary looking guy was finishing up the paperwork to drive off in a used Mercedes AMG G-63, $229K. A different world. It must have had a long list of options because similar used used ones go for far less. Anyway, the sales guy mentioned that those cars are the number one choice for the Russian mafia - good to know...

So about what you're wondering... yes, we're now the caretakers of a 2015 Jaguar F-Type R in "Lunar Gray."

Driving home was stressful for a couple reasons. Between 3-5pm every workday the freeways are full of slow driving, grumpy, tired people heading home. I endured that at my last company for 26+ years, 50 miles everyday, and have had enough. Right after leaving the dealership, I immediately found myself behind a big dump truck... lorry to you Brits. This one was made to carry gravel and I could easily imagine getting cracked glass, but fortunately the truck was empty. Soon after, I saw a woman's face in great detail in my rear view mirror. That's because she was tailing me with about four feet of separation. Watched her for a bit to confirm she thought that was fine, and moved away.

Recently, my sister bought a used Jaguar (come to think of it, she totally enabled my purchase, brat). She said that it sold new for $80K, and even though she paid $13K, she forever thought of it and treated it as an $80K car, driving and parking accordingly - I'll be doing doing the same. My wife even mentioned that we now own a car, that when new, cost the same as our home, when new. Apples and oranges, but, yeah.

As soon as we came home, I immediately unsubscribed from all my automated searches - the last thing I need to see right now is a more awesome deal. It's like getting married... you need to unsubscribe from Tender and move on

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Midlana book: Build this mid-engine Locost!, http://www.midlana.com/
Kimini book: Designing mid-engine cars using FWD drivetrains, http://www.kimini.com/book_info/


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