Last Call: Getting Good Reception Edition

GM Tech Center
Inaugurated on May 16, 1956, the General Motors Technical Center in Warren Michigan was described by the company as the place where “Tomorrow Meets Today.” The building, which is the center of GM’s engineering efforts, is an eclectic Mid-Century design by noted modernist Eero Saarinen.
It’s home to more than 19,000 employees, and, as this 1956 promotional picture shows, features an entrance guarded by a receptionist whose desk looks like a giant bowl of soup. That modernist architecture stands in stark contrast to the ’55 Chevy and Rambler visible out in the parking lot, don’t you think?
Last Call indicates the end of Hooniverse’s broadcast day. It’s meant to be an open forum for anyone and anything. Thread jacking is not only accepted, it’s encouraged. 
Image: All That’s Interesting

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  1. Monkey10is Avatar

    The future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades.

  2. Batshitbox Avatar

    She had to learn Basic Saucer Physics to take that assignment.

    1. Tiberiuswise Avatar

      I prefer my flying saucers to have engineering hulls and warp nacelles.

  3. irishzombieman Avatar

    I want very badly to photoshop that desk into the pic below.
    But it’s late and I’m sleepy and’ve had one toooooo many bottles dark Irish witchdraft. Maybe tomorrow.

    View post on

  4. Batshitbox Avatar

    So, Gerardo’s post about auto loans got me thinking about what the real costs of owning a vehicle are. I can’t speak to the costs of a leased / new vehicle, but I did throw together a quick spreadsheet from the records I have for “Mighty” Steve The Unremarkable White Pickup.
    Caveats: I don’t drive that much, 30,000 miles in 52 months. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, and premium fuel has been estimated at $4/Gal for that time. I buy expensive synthetic oil, but only once a year. I can’t find my past insurance bills, but right now it’s $190 for 6 months.
    20 year old full sized American 1/2 ton longbed pickup truck with 5 liter V8, central fuel injection (TBI), purchased in November of 2010 (1991 model) with 57,000 miles on the clock. Owned for 52 months, now showing 87,000 mi.
    Purchase, tax, title and registration: $3,800
    Subsequent Registrations and SMOG: $755
    Parking Tickets: $233.
    Insurance: $1140
    Maintenance (incl 4 tires): $1,416
    Fuel (16 mpg @ $4/Gal): $7,500
    Grand Total (estimated): $14,844
    KBB Value: $1600-$1800 (for a 1992 in ‘good’ – ‘very good’ condition)
    So it’s averaged around $285 a month, all things considered. If I sold it for $1700 and walked (literally) away it would be down to $250 a month. I’m keeping it.
    BONUS: Carbon Footprint; 1875 gallons of gasoline, 4 tires, 8 gallons of pure synthetic oil, 5 quarts of Dex/Merc. No strip mining, no manufacturing, no nothin’. By keeping a reliable vehicle on the road, I’ve slightly increased the resale value of GMCs by reputation, which may increase demand for new ones, so poop.

    1. Sjalabais Avatar

      Very interesting! Honestly, I’d have assumed lower cost here. But…it’s about 0.49$/mile, which would be about 2.5 Norwegian kroners per kilometer, if I am not entirely mistaken. That’s good!
      As a statistician/Sociologist/Economist by training, I keep all records and have a pretty good grasp of my vehicle economics (all 7 I’ve had since 2003). I’ll use today’s exchange rate from NOK to USD, even though the maths behind it have imploded as one dollar doesn’t buy the usual ~6 NOK anymore, but rather 8 of them.
      All fuel cost are online, e.g. for my Honda Stream:
      According to that, I’ve driven 22803km at a cost of 23865NOK (2962USD), using 1668 litres of ROZ95 petrol (440 gallons) and thus spewing out 3886kg* of CO2.
      The total cost of the vehicle, including purchase, shop cost, parts, oil, gas, undercarriage preservation, light bulbs, cleaning equipment and toll roads is 116927NOK (14507USD). Substracting a sales value of 48000NOK I end up with 68927NOK (8543USD). Running cost thus is 3.02NOK/km, or 0.59USD/mile. Considering that Norwegian prices are 2-3 times American ones, I figure I can be happy with that.
      The Camry is even cheaper, as we bought it off my mother-in-law at about 1/3 of market value, and it hasn’t generated any cost except for gas and insurance, really. My cheapest earnest car math was with the best car I’ve ever had, my 1971 Volvo 145, which was down to 2.05NOK/km.
      *equals a bunch of stones with some spiders on them and a handful of non-yellow snow in American measurements

    2. salguod Avatar

      I’m pretty diligent about keeping records on my cars via aCar on my phone. Here are my stats:
      2005 Mazda3
      $35,869 over 9 years, 1 month and 156,331 miles.
      2010 Saturn Outlook (sold)
      $28,480 over 3 years, 4 months and 71,067 miles
      2007 Prius
      $17,154 over 1 year, 5 months and 37,239 miles
      What that doesn’t include is insurance and finance costs, which of course are not trivial. Insurance is less than $1000 per year per vehicle for full coverage, which adds 5-10 cents per mile. Finance costs are harder to determine.

  5. Krautwursten Avatar

    If you have bad taste, I’ve got some good news for you!

    1. Sjalabais Avatar

      Bad taste knows no borders.
      The last line says: “I only want serious buyers to contact me” – quite the challenge!

      1. Manic_King Avatar

        “7mgte engine from mk3 Supra (3liters 24v), 6 speed bmw gearbox. The vehicle can not be registered as of today.” Wow. What is it, a drift monster? Lexan windows and that weird drive train……

        1. Sjalabais Avatar

          Yes, he hints it might be used on racetracks. There is so much wrong between the lowered roof/car, widened body, welded four-to-two-door, I didn’t even notice the engine and trans choice. Looks to be done by “why not?”-standards.

    2. Manic_King Avatar

      What happened to Willy König, is he still alive? These are impressive eighties’ coke-head juppie cars. His tuned Ferraris (1000 hp Testarossa) are much more tasteful for some reason.

      1. Krautwursten Avatar

        Needless to say the W123 is not a Koenig, or at least not officially. Either it’s a knockoff, or someone has spent a lot of time in a shed fitting a W126 Koenig body kit to it.

        1. Manic_King Avatar

          Yeah, that’s what it is, a 123 with the hacked 126 body kit. Here’s 1 much better execution in that pointless category:

          1. Krautwursten Avatar

            Even though it’s blasphemy, I’m not entirely oppossed. My favorite swap is W126 coupe to sedan though.

  6. Top-dead-centre Avatar

    “Yes, I passed your message on to Mr. Zarniwoop but I’m afraid he’s too cool to see you right now — he’s on an intergalactic cruise.”
    “Yes, yes, he is in his office, but he’s on an intergalactic cruise.”