Home » Dude, Where’s My Car And The Valet? COTD

Dude, Where’s My Car And The Valet? COTD

Isetta Valet
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If you’re one of those fancy-pants folks who go to a nice enough restaurant, chances are you’ve used a valet before. Actually, I’ve had to use valets at fairly normal establishments and hospitals, too. Look, the experience is equal parts great — you feel like a million bucks — and terrifying if you bring something special. I know I’ve wondered more than once if I’m going to get back a car with a roached clutch. Turns out, there are also hilarious ways for a valet parking job to go wrong.

This morning, we learned that Jason wants to join the Autopian club of BMW ownership and misery. However, he doesn’t want to own a modern BMW like the rest of us, but a true classic like the 600. After Jason showed us why the 600 is so marvelous, Collegiate Autodidact had a hilarious story to share:

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

Yeah, the utterly decadent opulence of the BMW 600, with its *multiple* doors, would’ve come in handy for the hapless parking valet who parked my ex-FIL’s childhood neighbor’s Isetta. The neighbor had a very early Isetta, without even a canvas sunroof, that she would drive from Oak Ridge, TN (a mecca for unconventional cars on account of the community of engineers & physicists who had moved there for obvious reasons) to New York City (!!) and one time in NYC she went to lunch at a restaurant that had valet parking; when she came back from lunch the parking service couldn’t find her keys or even the valet. After some searching in the parking garage they found the valet napping in the Isetta; it turned out he had driven into a parking space facing the wall, couldn’t open the door, couldn’t figure out how to reverse, & simply decided to take a nap. With some Isettas (and many so-called bubble cars and microcars) in order to reverse the driver would have to turn off the engine and turn the ignition key the other way to start the engine in the opposite direction so that first gear became reverse gear (shifting into the upper gears while reversing was obviously not recommended with these early three-wheeled Isettas.)

Speaking of BMWs, I have good news about my wife’s E39. I did some more diagnosis over the weekend and some “Italian tune-ups” and now the misfire is gone! It still burns too much oil, but the engine is now smooth as butter. I’ll have an update soon enough.

Anyway, what if you like the look of the BMW Z3 Coupe but believe Miata Is Always The Answer? Contributor Tyler Anderson thinks a Miata Clown Shoe is possible! Adrian Clarke has noticed other writers on his turf. Technically, I think this could be Bishop’s turf, too:

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What the fuck with all these people suddenly walking on my turf. I can see I’m going to have to get the valet to blow the dust off my duelling pistols. Or at least write Matt a strong email.

If that didn’t make you laugh, Mechjaz will:

Aha! Now the clown shoe is on the other foot!

Adrian finishes it off:

Matt: Adrian can you do a piece about turning a Miata into a clown shoe?
Me: No.
Matt: Can you tell me why? It’d be a great read.
Me: No.

Finally, Peter Nelson wrote about how the Prius is getting its own racing series. TOSSABL’s comment resonates with me:

I would watch it. Properly done, spec racing is about driver skill. It also generally means that the cars are relatively close to what I can buy, rather than a 6-figure chassis topped by a body that somewhat resembles what is found on the showroom floor

That’s my favorite kind of racing. I love when the cars in a race don’t just look like the cars you can buy in a showroom, but are actually based on a production car.

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Have a great evening, everyone!

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Collegiate Autodidact
Collegiate Autodidact
1 month ago

Dang, thank you, getting a COTD has made my day, all right! Gawrsh.
Yeah, when my ex-FIL immediately recognized an Isetta on the cover of a book about microcars that I had out on the coffee table he noted my surprise and explained by relating that account from his childhood. This was pre-internet and before the Isetta had achieved some fame as Steve Urkel’s car on the TV show Family Matters so the Isetta was still extremely obscure here in the U.S.
Yeah, all the more reason to be appreciative of what we have now with the internet and resources such as the Autopian, like with the way in that article about the decadently opulent BMW 600 JT provided those lovely and colorful brochure illustrations that are eminently worthy of computer wallpaper or even ink-cartridge-draining color printouts.

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
1 month ago

The thing about the Isetta is that you didn’t necessarily need to know where reverse was. You could just shout out of it until you assembled enough strangers to pick it up and turn you the right way again.

(Alternately, your car might move while it’s parked in a similar fashion, as my mom found out with hers several times.)

Collegiate Autodidact
Collegiate Autodidact
1 month ago
Reply to  Stef Schrader

Yeah, I was given to understand that this was in a distant part of the parking garage with little foot traffic; also, it’s possible that the valet just wanted to grab a little nap (after all, he’d just driven a perhaps unnervingly unorthodox car and then found himself in a vexing situation and decided to make the best of it, ha. Can’t say that I blame him too much; at least he didn’t roach the clutch.)
It does happen to the best of us, finding ourselves in confounding situations, like when David Yando, secretary and board member of the Lane Motor Museum, found himself briefly trapped inside a Citroën Dyane one night when he was alone at the museum, as related by JT over at the Old Site: https://jalopnik.com/can-you-solve-the-mystery-of-the-citroen-dyane-interior-1847616797

Shop-Teacher
Shop-Teacher
1 month ago

Yeah, that’s kinda what I was thinking. “Well, I’m stuck … might as well catch a nap!”

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
1 month ago

Oh gosh, getting stuck in cars is real. There were a few I got stuck in when my shoulder got borked—most memorably, the LaFerrari. The number of knocks on windows of stiff or under-boosted car doors that week was…not fun.

Last edited 1 month ago by Stef Schrader
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
1 month ago

Is that Seth MacFarlane in that 50’s Isetta up top?
I mean, he does own a replica Back to the Future DeLorean…
Coincidence? I think not.

Amberturnsignalsarebetter
Amberturnsignalsarebetter
1 month ago

Great Scott!

Jonathan Hendry
Jonathan Hendry
1 month ago

It looks like one of the Jonas brothers.

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