Month: February 2017

Used Car Review – 2009 Chevrolet Impala

9th generation chevy impala
Image By IFCAR, via Wikimedia, Public Domain,

You know, there is just something inherently right about a small block V8 in a big American sedan. It conjures up images suits with skinny ties, smoking unfiltered cigarettes, and dying before you’re 50. The world is still black and white, and you like Ike. So driving one of these that was built in the post expensive gas, politically correct, polar bear friendly 2000s is kind of out of place — much like a member of PETA at a pig roast. However, the 2009 Chevrolet Impala SS is a small block sporting sedan built in these strange times, and it’s not terrible.

The Chevrolet Impala really is one of the best American nameplates out there. Its old, storied, they have sold an absolute sh*t ton of these cars. Introduced in 1958, the Impala is currently in its 10th generation. This is incredible considering it is an American car and the generations go on longer than the tenure of most Italian dictators. Statistically speaking, if you talk to someone born in America after the 20’s, they have owned one of these. In 1965 they sold over 1 million of them. To but that in perspective, it’s hard to sell a million of one brand in 2017, let alone one million of one make. They’re still selling the piss out of it, averaging well over 100,000 Impalas every year, like clockwork.

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Happy Valentine’s Day from Surfwrench

Cars We Love

Valentine’s Day: another bulls**t Hallmark holiday designed to sell cards, flowers, and chocolate (we’re not complaining about the chocolate). Often times used as an excuse for people to feel bad about their relationship status, it has morphed into a holiday where people love everything — from their pets, to their family members, to the people who make their coffee. However, we know that sometimes love transcends the very thought of life itself. Sometimes people genuinely love their cars.

This makes sense though. In many cases, people own their cars for years. They experience a variety of emotions with their cars: They are sad when their car isn’t working. They are happy when their favorite song comes on the radio. They are mad when someone in a Lexus is sitting in the left lane doing 3 over the speed limit. Because of this variety of emotion, often times it results in a deep emotional bond. There is both monetary and time invested with our cars. How often in nostalgic conversation have you heard someone say, “oh I loved that car” with just an ounce of pain knowing the bond is no more.

With that being said, here are some of the cars that our staff love:

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Used Car Review – 2015 Dodge Ram 2500 Heavy Duty

It’s not a car…it’s a bulldozer

Dodge Ram 2500 Front ViewUsually when I get an email that I’m reviewing a vehicle with 6 cylinders, two turbo’s, and all wheel drive it’s something sleek, fast, and German. Needless to say when I found out that I was driving something Italian, my mind instantly went to the brilliance of some of the recent Alfa Romeo’s and to questions about the possibility of an AWD Maserati Biturbo. So when I saw the hulking, battleship grey Ram 2500 — I was pretty sure it was the wrong car. Mainly because it’s not a car, it’s basically a bulldozer!

Right away, the thing that hits you is the magnitude of the Ram. It’s tall, wide, long, and built like a brick sh*thouse. Looking at some of the stats on the thing, this is matched by the weight, torque, and unrelenting capability of the thing. The tires were huge and grippy. The springs looked like the ones on NORAD to protect it from taking a direct missile strike. It weighs just shy of 8000 pounds, and it feels like it.

However, when you get inside (with a crane if you’re under about 5’8’’) you find an interior that really quite nice. Every truck I’ve ever owned was a single cab beater “Les Miller Special” meaning it was about as well equipped as a Quaker’s wet bar. So when there was a lot of nice features, such as heated seats, heated steering wheel, navigation, ample leg room in the back, cubby holds for your drinks, dry storage for things, and enough glovebox room for an AR-15 completely disassembled — I was a bit surprised. Honestly, I don’t drive a lot of trucks, but this one was as well equipped as a BMW. I know as they have grown in cost, the equipment has been tarted up to match, and it was nice to see that the Ram follows this trend.

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Crowdsourcing and the Future of Auto Repair

“The best way to predict your future is to create it” – Abraham Lincoln

Honest Abe knew a lot about life, but he didn’t know anything about cars. They wouldn’t be invented until 30 years after he had a rough night in Ford’s Theater. Luckily for you, there is a little company bringing some “honest” into an industry that has spent far too long in the shadows.

How are we going to do this might you ask? One word: crowdsourcing — one of the most ubiquitous terms in the recent business lexicon.

What is crowdsourcing?

Crowdsourcing Week defines it is as: “the practice of engaging a ‘crowd’ or group for a common goal — often innovation, problem solving, or efficiency. It is powered by new technologies, social media and web 2.0.”

In the past several years, we have seen how the practice of crowdsourcing has been able to raise huge sums of money, transform entire industries and diversify supply chains. At its heart, crowdsourcing is upending the complicated processes previously completed by only a handful of people selected to represent huge bases of customers. It’s taking what used to be done in smoke filled rooms and giving ideas and concepts room to breathe.

We’re taking a look at the automotive industry, one of the pillars of the modern industrial economy, and explore how all attempts to affect it through “New Economy” efforts have failed — until now.

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