Sunday, October 30, 2011

Scoop! 1080: Any 'Port in a (Winter) Storm

Lean Burn Technologies , Cooking Lake, Ab: HQ was in a state of shock earlier this week, when LBT proprietor Agent 1080 returned from a Winter Cruiser-related mission at the wheel of nothing less than a 1974 Chrysler Newport Custom hardtop coupe, dashing in Daffodil Yellow and sporting the desirable black vinyl top together with matching interior. To see 1080 step so far out of his comfort zone was a real shocker for all the CWMC staff; scarcely anyone suspected that the head of LBT was going to seek out a C-body Chrysler product for winter duty. 
CSB 3 1/2 holds a six-er of sleds
  "I wanted something completely different" said an elated 1080 at a brief debriefing session held earlier today at CWMC HQ, where Agents 8771 and 0666 were putting the finishing touches to the latest Cold Storage Bunker #3 1/2. Agent 1080, whose C-body carography includes 1966, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 75, 76, 77,and 1978 models, was unable to resist the sightly different grille texture and steering wheel emblem of the elusive 1974 model. All productivity (such as it is) was suspended again as the President was brought up to date as to the minutiae of this missing-link in 1080s C-chain.
On any given Friday: C-body Central at CWMC
   Regular recipients of this newsletter might have been wondering what constitutes a typical transaction when you purchase a half-sack of these unsellable mastodons every season; HQ has obtained this partial transcription using state of the art (1981) Soviet miniaturized microphone technology, smuggled out of Romania during the L.A. Olympic Games in the charcoal canister of a demonstrator Dacia 1410 at great personal expense to the President, who was anxious to field-test this new wire-tapping capability. An excerpt follows:

(static, phone ringing)

Seller: Hello?

1080: Hello, I'm the only person that is going to call about the '74 Newport. I'll give you six hundred for it.

Seller: Um, I was asking $2500. Its really nice, my grandfath... (static, sound of cats fighting - approx 14 seconds) ...and I just don't have room for it.

1080: Five. (Static- possible sounds of laughter in background)

Seller: What? You haven't even (static: background TV noise, 11 seconds; Agent 4261 confirms it is the theme from Remington Steele) ...for the price of the tires!

1080: Take it or leave it. 

(Static: cats. Pierce Brosnan. Cursing)

1080: I'm on my way.

Its a '74, of course!
All Agents are encouraged to take 1080's Used Chrysler Purchasing Techniques and Tactics refresher course at LBT, held alternate Fridays (after Ballast Resistor Bingo) between 2 and 4:30 AM. Admission is free, but bring your own smokes.
   The President, unable to be reached directly due to an income tax issue which requires that he be in a G&T-induced-coma at least three days a week, was quoted by a reliable source as having issued Full Presidential Approval, pending the re-installation of the Newport's original, ugly pie-plate hubcaps.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

CWMC Agents Fall for Cool Swedish Models

Edmonton, Ab / Vancouver, BC: Sporting fighter-plane heritage and parts-pricing to match, Saab automobiles have traditionally appealed to cerebral, thoughtful professionals with six-figure tax-returns, Hans Wegner coffee tables, and no inclination whatsoever to take car-buying advice from Consumer Reports magazine, with its dizzying, tediously compiled pages of red and black dots coldly compelling the masses into Camrys and Accords for the last thirty years. Bravo, then, to those brave pilots, plastic surgeons, art directors and debutantes who forked out substantial funding for the exclusive privilege of parking one of these Trollhatten honeys in the garage when they were new; depreciation be damned.
9088: West Coast Agent at Large
  Fast forward a quarter century, several bankruptcies, GM-ification, more subsequent bankruptcies, bailouts, and final, merciful extinction, and these same Saabs are a bit difficult to unload onto a public cowed into a steady, revolving-credit-scheme series of soulless safety-porridge-tins, warm-blanket warranties, and self-parking stupidity. When the phone finally rings, and a cardigan-clad calculator-jockey appears on your front step, you can be sure of a couple of things:

  1) Unless you live in a city with a population greater than seven million, this is the only person that is going to make you an offer on your 1980-something Saab, and,
  2) This unlikely character is almost certainly a card-carrying Cold War Motors Agent.

  Agents 0311 (engineer and Volvo-owner) and 9088 (ditto) were both recently seduced by the intangible allure of the other Swedish car, and both were able to procure pretty tidy examples of some classic, pre-GM Saabs at tiny fractions of their original prices. 
  Agent 9088 has just been issued Full Presidential Approval for his 1985 900, sporting a nice set of 8-spoke Ronals and some obligatory minor electrical mayhem, usually curable with a carefully placed Fonzie-esque smack to the afflicted instrument or gauge. 9088 reports that "All systems are go (except where otherwise indicated)" and is looking forward to an almost certainly trouble-free winter of stylish commuting amongst the aforementioned Camrys-and-cupholders crowd
Roxette tapes still in the glove box.
   Agent 0311, no stranger to the pages of this newsletter, has taken the plunge right into the deep end of the chancy commuter pool, and sprung for the 1987 9000 Turbo variant, Saab's (and 0311's) first real luxury model. With enough lights, dials, and buttons inside (many of them still working) to amuse even the most jaded 747 pilot, the 9000 is so far outside 0311's car ownership experience (read: late 70's Jap rustbuckets and an encyclopedic set of haggard 240s) that he still walks past it enviously in the office parking lot before realizing it is in fact his car. 0311, not known for rash decision-making, actually sought and received Full Presidential Pre-approval before making the only offer on this sweetheart, 1 owner unit.
0311: "Where's the choke?"
  From inside the leather-and-walnut confines of his first not-a-complete-fuckpail car, 0311 marvels at the sheer decency of the experience; nary a scabbed-in-with-zap-straps repair in sight, and a total lack of drywall screws or PL2000 Sure-Bond construction adhesive holding on various trim panels, speaker grilles, or un-labeled Radio-Shack toggle switches.
  When asked to comment on the wisdom of purchasing quarter-century-old obsolete turbo cars from an extinct company, the President, in a fairly optimistic state of mind after a refreshing set of identical double G&Ts, was happy to point out that "Many parts interchange with the Lancia Thema, Fiat Croma, or Alfa Romeo 164, so what the fuck could possibly be the problem?"
  All agents are encouraged to check their basements and spare bedrooms for all those extra Fiat, Lancia, and Alfa Romeo-interchangeable Saab parts they have just lying around and put them aside for Agents 0311 and 9088. Not that they will need them.

Almost definitely not.