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The case of the short-lived Ferrari

Easy come, easy go?


How many times do we see this? A lot. Just 'cause ya got money doesn’t mean you can control a powerful car!

Unfortunately, way too many motorcycles, too! Guy buys a Harley and wrecks it in the parking lot. Kid buys a Hyabusa and splatters himself on the ride home.


You beat me to it. I read that yesterday and marveled at the stupidity of the former owner. Apparently it wasn’t as badly burned when he got out. Tanner Foust said after driving a CTS-V for the first time that new owners should be required to take a race car driving class before driving their new Caddie on public roads. I think the same can be said for any supercar. If the guy wanted to go fast, he should have made an appointment for a track day.

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There’s a similar oft-told Silicon Valley story. The founder and CEO of a very successful (at the time) computer company in the early 80’s bought a fancy sports car the very day his company went public. He sold some of his stock to pay for it. He drove away from the dealership and promptly crashed the car into a lake less than 2 miles from where he bought it. A one-car accident, no other cars involved. He was killed.

Considering you actually live in Silicon Valley . . .

What was the computer company?

I think it was called Eagle computer company. They made clones of the IBM PC, similar to what Dell & others do now.

In fairness, the car wasn’t short lived, it was a 430, they stopped making those in 2009, so the car was at least 9 years old. $270k seems a bit steep even if was a scud, you can get a newer, and better in every way 458 for less. But yeah, that’s a tough break.

I remember those days well, even if I don’t remember the names of all the companies who made PC clones

Many/most of them even looked identical to the IBM PC, but with a different name on the unit

I actually remember when Dell wasn’t the powerhouse it is today. They had to survive some interesting times to emerge as a leader

I also have fond memories of reading a certain magazine . . . actually, it was mostly advertisements . . . which pretty much showed all the players, and you could buy separate cases, floppy drives, hard drives, power supplies, mother boards, etc. and create your own computer. I actually did that once

It was a very popular magazine, and I’m sure some of the others will remember the name :smiley:

Yes, personal computers were a diy’er thing for a while there. Hobby electronics was also very popular. Radio Shack and the like supported that hobby. I think part of the reason folks are becoming more interested in hands-on diy’er mechanical stuff these days like robots, car repair, etc is b/c of the frustrations in trying to modify or even just fix modern days computers. The computer companies decided for some reason the way to approach computer design is to build them and ship them, bill the user, then let the users test them and email in the problems. This became so frustrating that diy’er types decided to search elsewhere for projects. Hence the demise of Radio Shack.

I believe Radio Shack collapsed simply because modern electronics are no longer repairable. Everything is based on thin film technology now, chips the size of your fingernail with endless arrays of what used to be transistors, capacitors, diodes, power transformers etc. all laid out on a printed wiring board… and hard wired together before that.

I remember building a TV from a Heathkit (we affectionately called them “griefkits”) bought at… you guessed it… Radio Shack. I remember fixing TVs by taking the vacuum tubes to Radio Shack and using their tube tester, then replacing the bad one(s). But modern TVs aren’t repairable. All that can be done is to throw them away and replace them.

Radio Shack tried to change their focus to RC toys, but they started way too late… and couldn’t compete with WalMart and Toys-R-Us. The two latter retailers had twenty times as wide a selection and could operate at far lower margins and procure with far greater negotiating power.

Radio hack outlived its usefulness. But I’ll always have fond memories of them.

Best friend worked at RadioShack in high school. We had rain flooding in creek next to shopping center and had 5’ of water in store. Yep, a mess. Salvage crew came in and took everything above waterline but left everything below. His manager said take anything that got wet. We had boxes of stuff in my dads garage for yrs that I sort of played with. Buddy got 19" color tv that he hosed out in my backyard and replaced a few components and he used tv for 10 yrs.

Brother’s big plasma TV went out. Internet told him to send a certain board to a certain re-builder. Two weeks and $150 later the set is fixed. I would agree that he represents <0.1% of the population in this regard.


That makes me think of those companies that repair automobile control modules, and then send them back to you

Sure beats buying a new one at the dealer . . . if even available . . . and then having to pay a flat fee to have it programmed

As far as I know, those repair companies repair YOUR module, thus negating the need to have a module programmed at the dealer. Assuming only the electronics were repaired . . . solder joint, resistor, or what have you . . . then the programming was unaltered, and it should be plug and play