If I’ve learned anything from three years of writing about planes, trains, and automobiles, is that readers love stories of sorrow, triumph, and catastrophic failures. Readers seem to love very bad purchases, stories about fixing those very bad purchases, and watching those bad purchases break again. I suppose it’s also a bonus when the writer is the somehow really photogenic Stephen Walter Gossin.
I say this because this morning, our Notorious SWG was our guest host for Shitbox Showdown. In today’s episode, the British invaded with a 1969 Rolls-Royce Shadow for $2,500 or a 1984 Jaguar XJ6 for $2,000. Turns out, a lot of you cared more about seeing more Gossin working on British junk than the piles presented in today’s Showdown!
Apparently, Gossin’s wanted to write about a Jaguar XK8 for over three years now, but the story of that car still hasn’t graced the pages of our site yet.
Turns out, SWG has a bit of a fan club, starting with Michael Fortenbery:
For the record, I would love to read SWG writing about his XK8 (or really anything, for that matter!)
Michael Fortenbery got support from MaximillianMeen, Nycbjr, Geoff Dankert, and OrigamiSensei! Since we’re talking about this, I want to highlight a couple of more heartwarming comments. From Jack Trade on SWG’s GMC Envoy rescue:
Wonderful work as always. Your negotiation strategy is spot on. As someone who’s negotiated other stuff, I can confirm getting your counterpart to establish a baseline for their happiness and then offering to double it immediately can be really hard to pass up.
What makes me happiest though is the positive life lesson you helped impart. No, not that useful things should be fixed, not junked (we already knew that), but that production and consumption are connected. That guy will always remember that first job and that first car, and for the rest of his life (hell, every time he fills up now to get to work), he’ll associate having good stuff with working.
Aristotle says in effect that we are what we habitually do, and getting in this kinda habit at a young age bodes well for his future. Gossin’s motors apparently promotes more than mechanical well-being!
Tap-n-Die And Some WD-40, who commented on SWG’s junkyard adventures:
Great series SWG. Looking forward to more!
Somehow this article brought up an old memory. On a trip to the junkyard with my brother, we stumbled across a 90s Pontiac Bonneville. We had a similar Bonnie as our family car growing up, and it became each of our first cars when we learned to drive (mine first; his second, after I bought a Geo Prizm to learn how to drive stick).
Even though it wasn’t the same car, we still sat quietly in the junked Bonneville and had A Moment where we opened and shut the doors, clicked some of the buttons, moved the wiper stalk, etc. All those childhood and teen memories came right back.
Junkyards are hallowed ground.
This just reinforces the fact that the Autopian community is one of the greatest you’ll find. We really do read all of your comments. I can’t speak for my other colleagues, but SWG and I both thank you for your awesome and kind words. Sometimes, a good comment can turn a garbage day into a better one. Thank you so very much. Have a great evening!