Transcript: Hannah Elliot

 

 

 

The transcript from this week’s, MiB: Hannah Elliott on Hypercars & EVs, is below.

You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, Bloomberg, and Acast. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here.

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ANNOUNCER: This is Masters in Business with Barry Ritholtz on Bloomberg Radio.

BARRY RITHOLTZ, HOST, MASTERS IN BUSINESS: This week on the podcast I have an extra special guest. If you want to listen to me wonk out about automobiles, Hannah Elliott is my favorite automobile reviewer. The last time I had her on I had people writing me and saying, “You know, you were like a little puppy dog piddling over yourself. You couldn’t get out of your own way. You were so excited to talk about cars with somebody.”

This time, I think I’ll let Hannah speak a little more than I did last time. I try to keep my excitement in check, especially on the broadcast portion. But we did go back and forth on some stuff. If you were all interested in the automobile industry, EVs, motorcycles, collectible cars, Ferraris, Formula One, well, strap yourself in and get ready. This is two hours of automobile wonkery.

With no further ado, my conversation with Bloomberg’s Hannah Elliott.

Hannah Elliott, welcome back.

HANNAH ELLIOTT, STAFF WRITER, BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK: Thank you. It’s great to be here.

RITHOLTZ: I’m — I always enjoy talking to you because I’m — I’m kind of a car guy. And before we get into automobiles, let’s just start a little bit with your — a background of your career.

You’re a staff writer at Forbes Luxury. What led you to being a writer? And what led you to luxury?

ELLIOTT: It’s a really funny story. I always start out by saying, of course, at Bloomberg, I get to write about cars. I get to write about the fun thing. Most people here write about how to make money, I get to write about how to spend money.

RITHOLTZ: How to spend it, right.

ELLIOTT: This was not by design, this was not my plan. I did love words and books, and I did study journalism in college. I went to Baylor University. Thinking of Brittney Griner right now, she also went to Baylor, so shout-out Brittney.

But I went to Baylor, I got a journalism degree and moved to New York. I had interned writing about politics and religion actually, but saw on Craigslist an ad to assist the automotive editor at Forbes. And I knew nothing about cars. I come from a sports family. I’m not a car — I still say I’m not actually a car person, this is my job. It’s a beat.

RITHOLTZ: Did you play sports in college?

ELLIOTT: Yeah, I ran track.

RITHOLTZ: OK.

ELLIOTT: Yeah, I was a runner.

RITHOLTZ: I was going to guess volleyball …

ELLIOTT: Yes.

RITHOLTZ: … because you’re 6’1”.

ELLIOTT: A lot of people say basketball, but I …

RITHOLTZ: No, you’re short for basketball, but you’re the right height for beach volleyball.

ELLIOTT: Yeah, well, I got some cousins who are very good at volleyball.

RITHOLTZ: Yeah.

ELLIOTT: They played at SMU. But yeah, I was runner. My dad ran for Nike in the 80’s.

RITHOLTZ: Oh, really?

ELLIOTT: A lot of marathon distance, so I come from a big running family. My brother played basketball actually in Europe professionally, so a big sports family. No car …

RITHOLTZ: Really?

ELLIOTT: … anything. I mean, my — no, I mean, I did how to drive a — a stick shift because my dad taught me in his old board when I was 16 mostly because I bugged him just to do it, but I had an uncle with like an Acura Legend, which was probably the nicest car I was ever exposed to …

RITHOLTZ: Wow.

ELLIOTT: … and just shared an old Buick Skylark with my sister in high school that I was very embarrassed by. So not …

RITHOLTZ: Understandably.

ELLIOTT: … yeah. Although my sister actually — I think she kind of liked it, but not interested in cars at all.

But back to this Craigslist ad, I figured, well, Forbes is a good brand.

RITHOLTZ: Sure.

ELLIOTT: It’s is not recognizable. I know I want to do journalism. There’s my foot in the door. I’ll figure it out once I get in. And fast forward, you know, this was in like 2007-2008. A lot of people got laid off in the industry. My editor who I’ve been working with for a year and a half or so got laid off. He was expensive, I wasn’t. I was …

RITHOLTZ: You’re cheap.

ELLIOTT: … being paid …

RITHOLTZ: Right.

ELLIOTT: … next to nothing, so it was like, well, who can write about cars and, you know, pick this up because we just fired the guy who’s covering them, which doesn’t make sense.

RITHOLTZ: Right.

ELLIOTT: And so, yeah, Elliott, you go. And Matthew de Paula, I will always be so grateful to him. He was the editor at Forbes at the time who hired me and really for a year and a half took me around everywhere and just taught me the beat. That’s how I approached it. This is a beat. I’m going to approach this just like anything else. There are no wrong questions. It’s just like this is the way that I would cover anything.

And I always kind of thought, “Well, I’ll eventually go into other things,” and I did certainly do luxury and watch coverage at Forbes and celebrity coverage. You know, I got to talk to everyone from Jennifer Lopez to a cover story on Elon Musk back in the day before anyone really knew about him, which is …

RITHOLTZ: Right, right.

ELLIOTT: … crazy to think about now.

You know, Forbes was great, and it just kind of was like cars were the thing that I did because no one else at Forbes was doing them. And then I just never stopped. And, you know …

RITHOLTZ: What — what was the first car you reviewed at Forbes?

ELLIOTT: That’s a great question. The first car I remember being allowed to drive as a Forbes staffer was probably an Aventador, a Lamborghini Aventador.

RITHOLTZ: Oh, really? So you’re not fooling around?

ELLIOTT: Which I was terrified, but …

RITHOLTZ: Like (inaudible).

ELLIOTT: … yeah, yeah, that I was terrified.

RITHOLTZ: Here’s a $0.5 million car. Have some fun.

ELLIOTT: Yes. I remember Matthew was in the passenger seat, so I wasn’t completely so low, but …

RITHOLTZ: Matthew?

ELLIOTT: Matthew de Paula who was the editor who hired …

RITHOLTZ: Right.

ELLIOTT: … me there. He was still around. And I mean, I was terrified. But also, I was young and dumb enough not to know any better.

RITHOLTZ: Right.

ELLIOTT: And I think that actually really served me. I didn’t know what I was supposed to do or not do. I just approached it like a journalist …

RITHOLTZ: Right.

ELLIOTT: … which I was, you know — I — and I still am really proud to be a journalist. I — I think it’s the best job. And cars are way more fascinating now even then. I mean, that was, you know, 12, 15 years ago.

And even now like the car industry is the most exciting industry, I think …

RITHOLTZ: It’s crazy now, it really is.

ELLIOTT: … to be (inaudible), yeah.

RITHOLTZ: So I was telling a friend that I was going to speak with you again and talk about cars. And their response was, you know, I love pizza, but if I have to make pizza for a living I would hate pizza. Is that the same? Is there still a thrill here or …

ELLIOTT: That’s a …

RITHOLTZ: … you like, you know, no longer can smell the roses?

ELLIOTT: That’s a really good question. I think it actually works to my benefit that I never was a car person anyway. I’m not a car person, and I always say, here’s the difference. Every …

RITHOLTZ: Yeah, because I think you’d become a car person whether or not you wanted to do.

ELLIOTT: Well, I can certainly speak the language if I need to, and I feel very comfortable on those circles. But here’s the difference. I don’t go to car things that I’m not basically paid to be there. And everyone else at the car event, I mean, whether it’s a Formula E race or, you know, a Concorde, I’m paid to be there.

Yes, it’s enjoyable. Yes, it’s glamorous and fun, and I really do enjoy it, but I don’t go to car things on my own personal time. I play with my dog, you know, or go buy a flower, something else because, yeah, I just think like your — your pizza friend, that’s — it would be too much and it would …

RITHOLTZ: Right. I mean, if you’re doing it …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … for a living at a certain point it’s like …

ELLIOTT: Oh, yeah, I mean …

RITHOLTZ: … just change. Even if you love what you’re doing, hey, I love the markets and finance …

ELLIOTT: Yes.

RITHOLTZ: … and — but on the weekends, I want to go out in a boat or sit on the beach or just something …

ELLIOTT: Yes.

RITHOLTZ: … say it loud.

ELLIOTT: And I — I really say, look, if your car is the most interesting thing about you, you’re probably a little bit boring. I like to be …

RITHOLTZ: Interesting.

ELLIOTT: … around people who have a lot of dimensions, and …

RITHOLTZ: OK.

ELLIOTT: … a cool car is one of them and that’s awesome.

RITHOLTZ: Right.

ELLIOTT: But to me, that should not be the most interesting thing about you. I love car people. I love talking about cars, but like come on, you got to have some depth …

RITHOLTZ: Right.

ELLIOTT: … too. So, yeah, that might be a little — not trying to put anyone down, but to me, it’s like if I’m going to spend social time with you, you got to be able to talk about more than car.

RITHOLTZ: Right. And that’s why you send your angry emails to helliott@bloomberg.net.

ELLIOTT: Yes.

RITHOLTZ: So what sort of automotive trends are catching your eye these days? What do you like? What don’t you like?

ELLIOTT: Well, I think E.V. — like electric mobility for lack of a better word …

RITHOLTZ: Huge, absolutely huge.

ELLIOTT: … is — is despite the fact that we’re still, you know, hovering around five percent penetration of EVs in the U.S.

RITHOLTZ: So is it five percent of new sales that’s all it is?

ELLIOTT: Of — of all cars on the road.

RITHOLTZ: Oh, well …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … the cars last 15, 20 years these days.

ELLIOTT: Correct.

RITHOLTZ: So it’s going to be …

ELLIOTT: So — but this is a very …

RITHOLTZ: … it’s going to take a long time.

ELLIOTT: Yeah, so it’s — it’s like one thing to talk about the hype of EVs. Certainly, at every car show and every car launch and every debut, it’s all electric vehicles. But in real terms in the real world, I think we can expect to see SUV’s that continue to get more and more expensive. I mean …

RITHOLTZ: But what about the Aston Martin SUV, the Bentley …

ELLIOTT: Completely.

RITHOLTZ: … and the Rolls.

ELLIOTT: And the Rolls and, you know, Porsche’s got a couple SUVs that are going to get close to 200,000 if you get every — but I — I — and I don’t think — you know, I remember when the first SUVs were really starting to get over $100,000, it was like, “Wow …

RITHOLTZ: Right.

ELLIOTT: … this is really crazy.” This is a utility vehicle, but it’s being price like electric car, but now it’s just on top of that. I mean, Lamborghini, Ferrari’s coming out with theirs, it’s just going to continue. And there seems to be no limit.

And let’s not forget SUVs have the biggest margins. They’re basically …

RITHOLTZ: Right.

ELLIOTT: … doubling the production volumes for a lot of these smaller automakers like Lamborghini, Ferrari. So they’re going to double production volume and then the profits are just massive.

RITHOLTZ: Look back when Porsche was independent. The clients saved the company.

ELLIOTT: Completely. And also, it’s so interesting because back — you know, the people who are very into these sports brands like Porsche, Ferrari, Lamborghini, there’s so much philosophical angst about, well, but we’re really a sportscar company; we’re r really a — you know, a — a supercar company. What is our consumer going to think when we go into an SUV? No one cares.

RITHOLTZ: Right, right.

ELLIOTT: No one cares. I mean, there was all this like polite, oh, what — what will we do? No one will accept our DNA as a true sportscar company anymore. Nobody cares.

RITHOLTZ: Half the people I know who own 911s have …

ELLIOTT: Of course.

RITHOLTZ: … either a Macan or a — a — a Cayenne …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … in the garage because they stay with the brand. And the only problem with those SUVs — so I have a Macan S — you just go through tires and brakes like they’re — because they’re — it’s a big, heavy truck, but you can throw it around like it’s …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … a sportscar. And eventually, it’s like, oh, I got eight, 12,000 miles. I got …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … new rubbers and …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … I need to replace a — I need to replace the — the brake pads, but it drives like a sportscar.

ELLIOTT: And those have done nothing to diminish the allure of a 911. It’s not …

RITHOLTZ: Other than funding them …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … letting them — letting them spend money.

ELLIOTT: Yeah. I mean, it’s not like, oh, if we make an SUV now people won’t take our sportscar seriously. It just …

RITHOLTZ: It’s the opposite.

ELLIOTT: … it elevates everything.

RITHOLTZ: Right, 100 percent.

ELLIOTT: Yeah, and I think that will really continue. I mean, if you look even at — even if you look at the 992, the new 911 compared to, you know, call it a turbo from the 70’s …

RITHOLTZ: Double the size.

ELLIOTT: … this is a — double the size.

RITHOLTZ: Right.

ELLIOTT: So …

RITHOLTZ: In fact, somebody did — what is it — the Porsche — not the Boxster, the hard top, the — the Cayman. A — a new Cayman today is the size of a 70’s 911.

ELLIOTT: Yeah, yeah.

RITHOLTZ: It’s just shocking. All right. So that’s what trends you like. What bugs you? What — what’s the trend that you find, oh, I wish this would stop, this is terrible?

ELLIOTT: Well, honestly the flipside of the coin is the whole idea that when you are creating electric vehicles, they tend to be appliances.

RITHOLTZ: Yeah.

ELLIOTT: I find that so boring and unfortunate. I don’t know what that means for the future, but I — my number one thing is car should be fun. Even if you — if it’s a commuter car, it should still be fun.

And I do think there is a place for autonomous driving, you know, for — for commuting, sure.

RITHOLTZ: Especially if you can set your cruise control so that it starts and stops …

ELLIOTT: Yes.

RITHOLTZ: … it’s like an L.A., you’re on the 405.

ELLIOTT: Yes.

RITHOLTZ: Who wants to be stressed about …

ELLIOTT: That’s not driving, that’s just commuting.

RITHOLTZ: Right, right.

ELLIOTT: It’s a completely different thing. So I do think there is a place for it. But it is kind of sad to see how consumers who have been marketed to to believe that they are going to be virtuous by purchasing an E.V. and they’re going to symbol their, you know, virtuous status by driving electric vehicle that they’re somehow doing good for the environment. This is a little bit of a separate point.

But to me, the best thing you could do for an environment is to not buy a new car. Use a car that already exists. Use an old car.

RITHOLTZ: Interesting.

ELLIOTT: And this goes hand in hand with the appliance thing. You know, I just drove the Cadillac Lyriq.

RITHOLTZ: Which you didn’t exactly love.

ELLIOTT: I didn’t necessarily love it because for many reasons. But to this particular point, it’s just kind of like an appliance.

RITHOLTZ: Right.

ELLIOTT: It — it looks interesting. The looks are there. But driving, it could have been from any brand. And I’m not sure. Cadillac used to really mean something. I’m not sure that’s going to have the same pull as the Cadillacs of yesterday.

RITHOLTZ: Right, especially without the fins.

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

RITHOLTZ: This PS (ph) what really bugs me that I have to share, and I’ve been in a bunch of EVs. There is just no reason to bury the …

ELLIOTT: Oh.

RITHOLTZ: … the heating and air-conditioning controls …

ELLIOTT: Yes, layers …

RITHOLTZ: … at wee (ph) levels.

ELLIOTT: … (inaudible).

RITHOLTZ: And I know — I know you can’t expect a Volkswagen to be a Bugatti …

ELLIOTT: Yes.

RITHOLTZ: … even though they have the same ownership. But I just was watching review of the Chiron, and they brilliantly integrated just three buttons across all of your …

ELLIOTT: Yes.

RITHOLTZ: … heating, cooling fan, heated and cooled seats, just three little buttons.

ELLIOTT: Yes.

RITHOLTZ: You can push it in, you could pull it out or you could just turn the knob. And, you know, we have to pull that stuff.

I know a lot of companies like to keep them at the bottom of the screen.

ELLIOTT: Yes.

RITHOLTZ: It’s still a pain in the neck.

ELLIOTT: Yeah. And I’ve — I have mixed feelings about this. For instance, the new Mercedes cars like the S-Class and the EQ have this very big …

RITHOLTZ: Giant.

ELLIOTT: … giant screen that’s curved, and it goes across the entire dashboard. And it’s actually was very beautiful. And it is pretty well-designed. So I’m not — I actually did find it was intuitive, and I purposely don’t ask for help when I first get into a car. I want to be able to …

RITHOLTZ: You want to see, right.

ELLIOTT: … see if I can figure it out. I don’t want them to show me because that to me is a little bit more of a controlled environment to see if it’s intuitive.

So I don’t have a problem with that necessarily, but in general, I do like some tangible knobs and buttons.

RITHOLTZ: Hard buttons, yeah.

ELLIOTT: Yes. And if you are having to scroll through multiple layers of software to turn on a seat heater, that’s distracting …

RITHOLTZ: Right.

ELLIOTT: … and annoying.

RITHOLTZ: While you drive.

ELLIOTT: Yeah, I just — yes.

RITHOLTZ: Right. But meanwhile, the flipside of that is all the new Ferrari steering wheels.

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: It’s like you don’t need anything else.

ELLIOTT: (Inaudible).

RITHOLTZ: Everything is at your thumbs.

ELLIOTT: Did you get in the Roma, the Ferrari Roma?

RITHOLTZ: I did. I don’t love the interior.

ELLIOTT: What?

RITHOLTZ: I find the exterior of that car just silky, sexy …

ELLIOTT: Yes.

RITHOLTZ: … gorgeous.

ELLIOTT: Yes.

RITHOLTZ: And the interior is a little disappointing.

ELLIOTT: From the (inaudible) or the technology?

RITHOLTZ: Just a little bit of both. I mean …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … it’s — you know, not everything is a 488 or …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … you know, I — I’ve kind of been looking at the F12 lately …

ELLIOTT: Ooh.

RITHOLTZ: … because the 812s have gone postal. And pre-pandemic, the F12 was just starting to come down in price. And for any three of my cars like …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … well, you know, I could save a little maintenance and insurance if I swap …

ELLIOTT: Sure.

RITHOLTZ: … these three for that …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … one.

ELLIOTT: Quality over quantity.

RITHOLTZ: And it was — it was — there was definitely — I love paying half of MSRP for a three-year-old car that still has most of its useful life ahead of it. And then it just, you know, they’re up 40, 50 percent …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … from where I was like, oh, you’re $10,000 away …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … from where I could think about this. So — so — so that’s a beautiful interior with hard …

ELLIOTT: Yes.

RITHOLTZ: … buttons …

ELLIOTT: Yes.

RITHOLTZ: … and a screen …

ELLIOTT: Yes.

RITHOLTZ: … and a separate little screen if you …

ELLIOTT: Yes.

RITHOLTZ: … buy the upgrade for the passenger.

ELLIOTT: But you didn’t love it, you didn’t love it?

RITHOLTZ: The Roma.

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: So — so the 812 and the F12 are both just — I like that …

ELLIOTT: Yes.

RITHOLTZ: … environment. The Roma was just kind — it was a little too minimalist and …

ELLIOTT: Oh, interesting.

RITHOLTZ: … I kind of really like the dials, the buttons, the tack like — I want to feel — when I get into a Ferrari, I want to feel like I’m in a …

ELLIOTT: Cockpit.

RITHOLTZ: … right, a fighter plane.

ELLIOTT: Yes.

RITHOLTZ: What else looks really new and interesting to you? What cars or SUVs are you excited about even if they’re not out until ’23 or ’24? Not the Lyriq (inaudible) …

ELLIOTT: OK.

RITHOLTZ: … but what else?

ELLIOTT: This is going to surprise you. I really did like the Hummer E.V.

RITHOLTZ: Everybody I know who’s driven it says it’s spectacular.

ELLIOTT: It’s (inaudible) — it’s — this is a — this is a vehicle …

RITHOLTZ: Immense but spectacular.

ELLIOTT: … yes, at 9,000 plus pounds.

RITHOLTZ: Wow.

ELLIOTT: And you’re going to be on the same level as a school bus basically height-wise. Again, if you love the Hummer, you’re going to love it. If you hate the Hummer, you’re going to hate it.

RITHOLTZ: Right.

ELLIOTT: But what I love about it is it’s not trying to be anything it isn’t. This is a very obnoxious vehicle, you know.

RITHOLTZ: Right.

ELLIOTT: But it doesn’t — it’s not trying to hide it. It has a point of view …

RITHOLTZ: But it’s electric.

ELLIOTT: … it’s going to pop you in the nose.

RITHOLTZ: Right.

ELLIOTT: But it’s electric, and it’s really fast. I drove that …

RITHOLTZ: Insane 9,000 pounds, really fast.

ELLIOTT: Yes, with launch mode, which also is ridiculous. There’s no …

RITHOLTZ: Really?

ELLIOTT: … there’s no reason a Hummer E.V. needs to have a launch mode. And I’m telling you, it pushes you back (inaudible).

RITHOLTZ: Right.

ELLIOTT: It’s crazy. And it was a …

RITHOLTZ: Well, you’ve seen the YouTube videos of the people on the Tesla Plaid …

ELLIOTT: Sure, yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … just like having their minds blown probably.

ELLIOTT: Yeah, well, imagine that and like something the size of a school bus basically.

RITHOLTZ: Wow.

ELLIOTT: It’s crazy, but I loved it. They did a good job with it. I think, you know, good luck trying to get one. And I saw they were — those …

RITHOLTZ: 200 plus.

ELLIOTT: … on Bring a Trailer already.

RITHOLTZ: Right.

ELLIOTT: Did you see the one that sold on Bring a Trailer for — I think it was around $200,000.

RITHOLTZ: Yeah, yeah.

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: There’s been several that have been going for 200 plus.

ELLIOTT: Yeah, yeah. So I mean, it’s crazy, but I really did like it surprisingly. I thought they did a great job of incorporating the look of the old Hummer. I mean …

RITHOLTZ: Yes.

ELLIOTT: The minute you look at it, you know, it’s a Hummer …

RITHOLTZ: It’s clearly a Hummer.

ELLIOTT: … but it does look updated, too. I thought they did a better job, then maybe I don’t know a Defender. You know how they brought the new Defender in? Yeah, I was …

RITHOLTZ: Yeah, but the new — so the new Defender has been slagged by a lot of people.

ELLIOTT: Yeah, yeah.

RITHOLTZ: The folks I know who won’t it all love it.

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: I mean, the only beef anyone has is Range Rover so …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … reliability is not their forte.

ELLIOTT: Yeah, I was just going to say that it might be in the — in the shop every now and then.

RITHOLTZ: And — and, by the way, it’s really interesting given the lack of availability of — of new cars and used cars go on any used car site and look for like a 2021 Range Rover Sport HSE, which is an expensive car. There are tons of them available.

ELLIOTT: Yes.

RITHOLTZ: And it’s mostly because the reliability downgrades their appeal as a used car. But …

ELLIOTT: Yes.

RITHOLTZ: … I was interested in — you mentioned the Defender, so I know someone in the U.K. who has the Defender as a hybrid …

ELLIOTT: Right, OK.

RITHOLTZ: … and says he gets 40, 50 miles a gallon …

ELLIOTT: Amazing.

RITHOLTZ: … because I think it was 45 miles local. So all your local …

ELLIOTT: That’s great.

RITHOLTZ: … driving is E.V., but if you want …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … to go from London to take the Chunnel to Paris, you can tank up and you could make that trip.

ELLIOTT: Yeah. I love that, and I — and I think, you know, I am — I am neither for nor against EVs. I — I do feel genuinely neutral about them. I — I think, OK, they’re probably going to happen, great. But it is true that like now that I’m living in Los Angeles, I can’t drive to Vegas in an E.V. without …

RITHOLTZ: Right.

ELLIOTT: … stopping for a considerable …

RITHOLTZ: Perhaps hour, yeah.

ELLIOTT: … amount of time — I mean, more than that — to — to …

RITHOLTZ: Oh, really?

ELLIOTT: … try to get a recharge. Yeah, I mean, realistically, you can’t drive up to San Francisco in an E.V. The hybrid solves that problem.

RITHOLTZ: Right, that’s right.

ELLIOTT: Yeah. And you still have decent efficiencies, so yeah.

RITHOLTZ: And the same thing with the — the Range Rover, that HSE Sport, the new version which looks …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … lovely is also available in a hybrid in the U.K. I don’t think it’s here, but what’s the giant Range Rover? Is the Land Rover?

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: That is here with a hybrid, so you do get …

ELLIOTT: So there you go.

RITHOLTZ: … arguably the best of both worlds.

You’re not a fan of the Defender, the new Defender’s look?

ELLIOTT: I think — I think they could have done a little better, like the rear box, you know, how on the rear, the rear (inaudible) …

RITHOLTZ: Yeah, yeah, so does …

ELLIOTT: … there’s a box there.

RITHOLTZ: … yeah, (inaudible) and out, yeah.

ELLIOTT: It’s a step. Now, that blocks a lot of vision when you’re driving it.

RITHOLTZ: I have an X4 so I know all …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … about that blind spot back there.

ELLIOTT: I — I don’t think it’s bad, I just think they could have done a little bit better, I don’t know. To me, it just really — I think Bronco, you know, they brought the Bronco back?

RITHOLTZ: Spectacular.

ELLIOTT: It looks amazing.

RITHOLTZ: What a great job.

ELLIOTT: Just — just had the Raptor, oh, my God, wow.

RITHOLTZ: Have you driven the F150 Lightning yet?

ELLIOTT: No, I haven’t.

RITHOLTZ: I had it for a week.

ELLIOTT: OK, thoughts?

RITHOLTZ: Amazing, just a — first of all, if you’re not a pickup guy or girl, right, it’s immense and it’s, you know, almost to the engine exactly …

ELLIOTT: OK.

RITHOLTZ: … what the internal combustion version is.

ELLIOTT: OK.

RITHOLTZ: So it’s immense. By the way, the — the Bronco — I had the Bronco for a week also, and so I have a old Jeep Rubicon. And the interesting thing about the shape of the Jeep is it’s a great glass greenhouse. You can see everything.

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: And the way the fenders are set off of the hood, you could see your corners. You really …

ELLIOTT: Oh, yeah.

RITHOLTZ: The Bronco is a giant rectangle, and you can’t see anything. I mean, your greenhouse is clean.

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: You could see out the back, and they have great cameras. But you’re completely …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … blind what’s in front of the truck for like 10 feet. It’s a …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … other than that, it was a blast. We took it on the beach. We went off-roading.

ELLIOTT: Are you converted?

RITHOLTZ: What, into?

ELLIOTT: To — from Jeep to — to a Bronco?

RITHOLTZ: No, because …

ELLIOTT: No, feasibility.

RITHOLTZ: … the Jeep, I have a 2013 Rubicon, and it just goes anywhere. And I’m not like a crazy Jeep guy …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … but my house is set-up on a hill, and four-wheel drive cars in the rain have a hard time getting up there.

ELLIOTT: OK, yeah.

RITHOLTZ: So the snow is impossible.

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: And the Jeep just — it just laughs at everything, so yeah, for the snow …

ELLIOTT: Some of that.

RITHOLTZ: … four-degree angle …

ELLIOTT: Yeah, that’s great.

RITHOLTZ: … no — no issues.

If I was looking to replace that, I would consider the Bronco. Two of my neighbors have one. They both love it.

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: One has the convertible and the other one has a — a four-door. And, you know, every — I had it for a week. I thought it was a blast. It — it seems unstoppable. The — the F150 was just a wholly different experience.

ELLIOTT: Let me ask you about that. You said it was amazing — amazing for a Ford F150 truck or amazing for an E.V.?

RITHOLTZ: So I’ve never had a — any SUV.

ELLIOTT: OK.

RITHOLTZ: And I’ve driven EVs, but not — I mean, pickup, I’ve never had a pickup. And I’ve driven EVs, but I haven’t really had them for a week or so. So the first thing I learned is — and I wrote a long review on it. I — I plugged it in and it lights up, and the next morning it come out, and there’s no change. Oh, it lights up orange, I have to …

ELLIOTT: Oh.

RITHOLTZ: … oh, really put this in, so now it’s lighting up blue.

And then on a 120 without a special charger, you’re adding like two miles …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … an — an hour.

ELLIOTT: A tricke.

RITHOLTZ: Yeah, it’s a trickle. And then what was interesting, we went to the beach and they’re all these …

ELLIOTT: The fast chargers.

RITHOLTZ: Yeah, well, there’s semi fast chargers, and so we’re on the — at the beach for two hours, and I — it cost me $6.49 to add 48 miles. So kind of like $3 a gallon.

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: It seems pretty cheap. It’s — like — like the Hummer, it’s stupid fast for its …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … size and weight.

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: It’s just stupid. And it’s a full pickup bed, so I dragged out to the beach house. I dragged — yeah, ever see the Roman arch for Hamax (ph). I had one taken apart. It’s like 16 feet.

ELLIOTT: OK.

RITHOLTZ: I threw that in the back. I threw …

ELLIOTT: No.

RITHOLTZ: … a six-foot table I had taken apart. I threw a big four-burner Weber. I just loaded up with stuff and I’m like …

ELLIOTT: That’s great.

RITHOLTZ: … I got a ton more room back here.

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: So I — I — anybody who’s using stuff, I — I appreciate having a pickup. But to me, it’s like the SUVs — so I have an X4, the X — similar to the X6 or the GLE …

ELLIOTT: Sure.

RITHOLTZ: … that rounded back, and friends tell me …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … oh, look how much space you’re giving up. I’m like …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … twice a year I fill the back of the truck …

ELLIOTT: Sure.

RITHOLTZ: … all the way up.

ELLIOTT: Sure.

RITHOLTZ: The other 360 days …

ELLIOTT: It’s fine.

RITHOLTZ: … I look at an ugly rectangle.

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: I’d rather have something that’s a little sexier, and if I …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … really need to — I’ll either make two trips or take two cars or rent a truck if that’s what I really need.

ELLIOTT: It’s not (inaudible), yeah.

RITHOLTZ: But — but some people are just — can’t wrap their head …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … arounds.

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: Does the look of a car matter to you relative to its utility? And if it’s not your only car — hey, listen, if I had one car then OK, maybe …

ELLIOTT: Right, yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … (inaudible). I got too many cars. So to me, it’s not …

ELLIOTT: You got a space issue.

RITHOLTZ: We were discussing building a garage.

ELLIOTT: See, this is how you’re …

RITHOLTZ: So it’s the …

ELLIOTT: … you’re crossing over into danger territory.

RITHOLTZ: So, a friend said to me one tattoo is either too few or too many.

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: It’s like there’s …

ELLIOTT: That’s a very good point.

RITHOLTZ: And — and so I’m at a point …

ELLIOTT: Yes.

RITHOLTZ: … where six cars are either too few — actually, five. I totaled my wife’s Panamera.

ELLIOTT: Oh, are you OK?

RITHOLTZ: Everybody’s fine.

ELLIOTT: OK.

RITHOLTZ: It was — this was — this was December — January, February, something like that, five miles an hour.

ELLIOTT: No.

RITHOLTZ: I slowed down to make a left, and the person …

ELLIOTT: Oh, no.

RITHOLTZ: … behind me thought I was pulling over …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … crossed the double yellow. And you look in your rear view mirror in a truck …

ELLIOTT: Oh, God.

RITHOLTZ: … there’s no one behind me, so I make a left …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … (inaudible) does. And a Panamera 4S got — it was six months old.

ELLIOTT: Oh.

RITHOLTZ: And the funny thing was I got 24 grand more than I paid for the car …

ELLIOTT: Perfect.

RITHOLTZ: … because the market prices had gone up so insane. So other than chipping my tooth and being sore for a week …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … it happened in — right in front of my dentist building.

ELLIOTT: Oh.

RITHOLTZ: So when I called and said, “Hey, I chipped a tooth in a car accident …

ELLIOTT: Oh, no.

RITHOLTZ: … can I come in tomorrow?”

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: She’s like that was in you in front of our building was it?

ELLIOTT: Oh.

RITHOLTZ: I’m like, yeah, that was.

ELLIOTT: She saw it.

RITHOLTZ: They — they heard it.

ELLIOTT: Oh, my gosh.

RITHOLTZ: They heard kaboom.

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: And the crazy thing is the woman who’s driving the — the Lexus truck that hit us, she went to the hospital. She was fine.

ELLIOTT: Oh, no.

RITHOLTZ: It turned out she’s fine.

ELLIOTT: OK.

RITHOLTZ: She was just nervous and whatever.

ELLIOTT: Yeah, yeah.

RITHOLTZ: But — but was — she’s scared and shaken up.

ELLIOTT: It’s scary.

RITHOLTZ: But my wife and I were like black and blue (inaudible).

ELLIOTT: Oh, no.

RITHOLTZ: We just …

ELLIOTT: It’s scary.

RITHOLTZ: Car accidents are no fun.

ELLIOTT: Yeah, scary.

RITHOLTZ: But, you know, the Panamera did what it supposed to.

ELLIOTT: Yeah, good.

RITHOLTZ: All the airbags came down.

ELLIOTT: Good, good.

RITHOLTZ: The only weird thing is, as it’s happening, I’m like trying to cover the skin, I can’t — your brain can’t figure out what’s going on because nothing’s …

ELLIOTT: Wow.

RITHOLTZ: … operating. You can’t see …

ELLIOTT: Yeah, yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … like you’re blinded.

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: The steering wheel doesn’t respond. So when we stopped moving, I went to open the driver door, and I — I couldn’t open the door, and like something’s wrong with the door. And I turned to my wife, I’m like, “Are you OK there’s something wrong with our door?” And people came running over to the car.

ELLIOTT: Oh.

RITHOLTZ: They opened our door and took her out. And so I had to climb over the seat …

ELLIOTT: Oh.

RITHOLTZ: … to get out. And I was genuinely shocked to see a car …

ELLIOTT: Oh.

RITHOLTZ: … t-boned.

ELLIOTT: That’s scary.

RITHOLTZ: Yeah, it’s just — and — and I’m like a religious signaler. And so normally, I would absolutely swear on a stack of bibles that I signaled, but the fact that the person want to pass us makes me wonder. Hey, was this the one time I made a left without saying, oh, how much of it is my fault?

I don’t think it was because …

ELLIOTT: It’s not your fault, Barry.

RITHOLTZ: Well, normally …

ELLIOTT: I’m telling you …

RITHOLTZ: … when you’re making a left, the assumption is it’s your fault …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … right? I mean …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … but they crossed the double yellow line so …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … I don’t …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … look, New York is a no fault state so …

ELLIOTT: It’s great.

RITHOLTZ: … it doesn’t matter. But anyway, how do we get on the (inaudible)?

ELLIOTT: We were talking about trucks …

RITHOLTZ: Oh, that’s right so …

ELLIOTT: … and space just to keep your cars. You got six cars, but now you’re having five.

RITHOLTZ: Well, now I get five, from down to five …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … I’m down to five.

ELLIOTT: Are they all inside?

RITHOLTZ: Three inside.

ELLIOTT: OK.

RITHOLTZ: The Jeep and the X4 outside.

ELLIOTT: So you were potentially looking at another …

RITHOLTZ: Oh, I am. We are at six.

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: I got the FJ also.

ELLIOTT: OK.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

… sky blue with a white roof and a black interior.

ELLIOTT: I think you sent me a picture of that.

RITHOLTZ: I started rebuilding one in Colombia pre-pandemic, then we went into lockdown. And they said, “Listen, we can’t hold onto the car. We — we have to …

ELLIOTT: OK.

RITHOLTZ: … we’re — we’re stuck.” I’m like, “Go ahead, sell it …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … and I will find another one when this is over.” So long story short, 2021, rebuild a new one, imported to the U.S. in January. It sits in customs for two months because they’re so backed up in Port of Miami. Finally get it up here in like February-March, waiting for the last of the documentation to come in, which just came in like a week ago.

ELLIOTT: Cool.

RITHOLTZ: I had to get a certified translation of the purchase agreement because you can’t send them something showing 100 million pesos in — in Spanish. They don’t want to hear that at DMV.

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: And so the car gets registered this week. So that’s …

ELLIOTT: Oh, that’s exciting.

RITHOLTZ: … number six.

ELLIOTT: Cool.

RITHOLTZ: So seven is …

ELLIOTT: OK.

RITHOLTZ: … too many. So the trucks are outside, the cars are inside.

ELLIOTT: All right, all right.

RITHOLTZ: But at a certain point, it’s, you know — you got to make a decision. Am I going to build a garage for all these things? And it’s worth keeping six cars (inaudible).

ELLIOTT: Yes, this is a part-time job just maintain …

RITHOLTZ: Yeah.

ELLIOTT: … making sure the registrations are current, and making sure the batteries are all alive …

RITHOLTZ: Insurance, right.

ELLIOTT: … and the insurance, and oh, you got to (inaudible) them.

RITHOLTZ: I put a triple charger on that, so that is …

ELLIOTT: OK. Wait, what Corvette do you have?

RITHOLTZ: ’67 Coupe, spectacular.

ELLIOTT: I didn’t know that.

RITHOLTZ: Yeah, all this show up on the website.

ELLIOTT: I’ve been looking for a — I want to see three, white. They didn’t make very many of them.

RITHOLTZ: So the — the C3 is the Corvette of my youth.

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: Like when I was in high school …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … it was a little 10 years before that …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … but, you know …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … they were used cars.

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: And guys would buy a, you know, 10-year-old Vette, and it’s like I came very close to getting a ‘69 in yellow over black.

ELLIOTT: Ooh.

RITHOLTZ: And the prices hadn’t gone up. And I started seeing the C2s. I’m like, “These are just the most amazing (inaudible) cars.”

ELLIOTT: I know. They’re so cool.

RITHOLTZ: They’re just so gorgeous.

ELLIOTT: They’re — they’re — I — you know, I just saw one. I follow this thing called Hobby Car Corvettes, and I just saw one.

RITHOLTZ: Oh, really?

ELLIOTT: They’ve got a white one in my birth year …

RITHOLTZ: Right.

ELLIOTT: … for sale in Pennsylvania. And I — I really thought, yes …

RITHOLTZ: White over white or …

ELLIOTT: White over red.

RITHOLTZ: OK.

ELLIOTT: A C3. It is an automatic (inaudible) …

RITHOLTZ: That’s my wife’s old II Series.

ELLIOTT: Oh, that is so cool.

RITHOLTZ: I don’t get the automatic.

ELLIOTT: I know, I know. California traffic though, I don’t want to sit in (inaudible).

RITHOLTZ: So here’s — here’s the one thing you have to know about the old Vette.

ELLIOTT: OK.

RITHOLTZ: They’re tractors, like …

ELLIOTT: Well, we know that.

RITHOLTZ: I mean …

ELLIOTT: Same with every old Lamborghinis.

RITHOLTZ: … the clutch is heavy. The steering is heavy. The brakes …

ELLIOTT: Yes, this is why I want an automatic.

RITHOLTZ: I have drum brakes on (inaudible) …

ELLIOTT: Oh, gosh.

RITHOLTZ: … my ‘67, which, by the way, is supposed to be the pinnacle of the CII (inaudible).

ELLIOTT: How often do you drive it?

RITHOLTZ: I try and rotate all the cars out on the road once a week.

ELLIOTT: OK, OK.

RITHOLTZ: Although, you know, on a day like today when it’s …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … raining cats and dogs …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … it’s not …

ELLIOTT: No.

RITHOLTZ: … it’s not coming out of the garage.

ELLIOTT: Yeah. But it is — to your point, it is a bit of a chore to maintain car — maintaining cars.

RITHOLTZ: It’s worked. Six is too few or too many.

ELLIOTT: It’s a relationship, yeah.

RITHOLTZ: You — you need 20 and a …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … a guy.

ELLIOTT: A guy.

RITHOLTZ: Right, or like four — you know, we have — we each have a daily driver.

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: So when I was younger, we each had a daily driver, and there’ll be a convertible in the garage.

ELLIOTT: Oh, cool.

RITHOLTZ: So we had an old SL for a long time, and then we had a Z4. So there was always a fun car that we could take out on weekends. And you know what? A third car, hey, you start it once a month. Who cares?

ELLIOTT: Yeah, not a big deal.

RITHOLTZ: Six cars, it’s just — it starts to be work.

ELLIOTT: It’s like cats, but for car guys.

RITHOLTZ: Yeah.

ELLIOTT: You keep acquiring. You know like the crazy cat lady?

RITHOLTZ: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

ELLIOTT: She just keeps taking them in.

RITHOLTZ: Right, that’s what starts to happen.

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: And once you go beyond a couple of cars just for what you need, it’s — well, what is the difference between having four extra cars and six extra cars?

ELLIOTT: Not a lot.

RITHOLTZ: It’s …

ELLIOTT: Volume (inaudible).

RITHOLTZ: … it’s excessive, right.

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: Either way is excessive.

ELLIOTT: For sure, but also …

RITHOLTZ: My — my partner thinks I’m insane. My — my partner is at work …

ELLIOTT: Yes.

RITHOLTZ: … look at me and like, “How many cars are you going to buy?” And I’m like, “I don’t know.” I …

ELLIOTT: Well, what about during the — this market? Isn’t it — wouldn’t be a bit smarter to put some cash into a car rather than — I mean, I have my own theories about that and I’ve been talking to a lot of people about it.

RITHOLTZ: Yeah.

ELLIOTT: But, you know, what I hear is …

RITHOLTZ: At these elevated prices? Because I …

ELLIOTT: I’m talking — I’m talking collecting old cars — old cars.

RITHOLTZ: So, OK, how old is old?

ELLIOTT: You know, it’s something — something 20 years or older.

RITHOLTZ: OK.

ELLIOTT: The — the vintage …

RITHOLTZ: Well, the Vette is 50 years old and the …

ELLIOTT: Sure.

RITHOLTZ: … the — whatchamacall the …

ELLIOTT: And that’s probably appreciated quite a bit.

RITHOLTZ: It has — since I got that last summer …

ELLIOTT: Yes.

RITHOLTZ: … in the beginning of the pandemic, I kind of accidentally bought an R8 on Bring the Trailer.

ELLIOTT: OK.

RITHOLTZ: So my — I’m sitting outside, reading a book, and my wife says, “John from Salt Lake City on the phone.” And, you know, I have bids out on …

ELLIOTT: Sure.

RITHOLTZ: … Cars & Bids …

ELLIOTT: Sure.

RITHOLTZ: … and Bring a Trailer like 30, 40 percent away …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … from the market constantly. And, you know, my credit card company thinks I’m crazy because, you know, they put the Holt (ph) …

ELLIOTT: Because — holding, yeah, yeah, yeah.

RITHOLTZ: And — and I pick it. Hi, can I help you? Congratulations on the car. I’m like, what? Which car? And he said the R8. I’m like, “I won want that? Really? That’s fantastic.”

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: I go, “Wait a second. Are you sure? I was way off the market.” And as I say that …

ELLIOTT: Uh-oh.

RITHOLTZ: … I’m like, “Oh, this (inaudible) to take. You just …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … stepped in it.

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: And he said, “Well, tell you the truth,” he goes, “Did you have any idea what the reserve is?” I’m like, “No, how would I know that?” He said, “Because two days ago I spoke to Bring a Trailer and they took me into loan and reserve.

ELLIOTT: Oh.

RITHOLTZ: He goes, “You just barely beat the reserve.”

ELLIOTT: Oh, wow.

RITHOLTZ: And I’m like, “Why did you lower the price?” He’s like, “Well, I have a new Ferrari coming.”

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: I had to make a room in the garage.

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: OK.

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: So I’m like, “Listen, I’ve always been a fan of that car. I love the gated shifter.

ELLIOTT: Cool, sure.

RITHOLTZ: And I think the V10 is kind of cheating. As much fun as it is, the V8 and that is — is a monster. So he — so everything was — he was a little miffed at me because this was April of 2020. It took me like six weeks to arrange insurance, register …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … and shipping because nobody was doing anything.

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: So he — I actually got an email from Bring a Trailer, which is like, “Hey, what’s going on?” I’m like …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … “Dude, nobody is shipping cars.”

ELLIOTT: He was in Texas?

RITHOLTZ: He was in Utah.

ELLIOTT: Oh, Utah. Oh, yeah.

RITHOLTZ: And I was like, “Nobody is shipping cars.”

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: “I can’t get my insurance company on the phone.”

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: What am I going to do?

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: Trust me, I …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … I will wire the money in advance.

ELLIOTT: Yes.

RITHOLTZ: I just need to straighten all this stuff out.

ELLIOTT: And logistics.

RITHOLTZ: Right.

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: If — if you need the cash, I’ll send the money today.

ELLIOTT: Sure.

RITHOLTZ: I just …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: So — so it was — it was interesting because when the car arrived I had all my paperwork, I had my insurance, I had my inspection, but DMV was closed. You can’t register the car. So I would take auction …

ELLIOTT: Oh, don’t let that stop you.

RITHOLTZ: … I would take the auction pay. I have a whole file …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … and I would go out each morning at 7 a.m., and there’s nobody on the road. There’s no joggers. There’s no bicyclists. There’s no other cars and there are no police. So my local sideroads became a …

ELLIOTT: That’s …

RITHOLTZ: … little auto bond for me.

ELLIOTT: … oh, that’s great.

RITHOLTZ: And that lasted about two months, three months.

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: And then, you know, I’m not an idiot. I — when people — they’re bicyclists or pedestrians or — fun time is over.

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: It’s 7 a.m. in the beginning of the pandemic.

ELLIOTT: There was a little sweet spot in there.

RITHOLTZ: There was a huge sweet spot.

ELLIOTT: You really get out the road. I remember we drove once from Santa Monica and Los Angeles to downtown in about 12 minutes, and we were not even speeding that much, it was just open road.

RITHOLTZ: There’s nobody …

ELLIOTT: Usually that drive takes an hour at least.

RITHOLTZ: Right.

ELLIOTT: Yeah, it’s great.

RITHOLTZ: So — so I had my like stack of papers …

ELLIOTT: Yeah …

RITHOLTZ: … because I was …

ELLIOTT: … just in case.

RITHOLTZ: … I was fully …

ELLIOTT: Yes.

RITHOLTZ: … anticipating a conversation with the local constables …

ELLIOTT: Yeah, yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … saying …

ELLIOTT: Are you a booster (inaudible) local that …

RITHOLTZ: Years ago I used to do that.

ELLIOTT: OK, yeah.

RITHOLTZ: I kind of stopped because it’s a little — it’s just a little …

ELLIOTT: Oh.

RITHOLTZ: … dirty feeling …

ELLIOTT: OK.

RITHOLTZ: … sometimes.

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: And I — I would rather churn my way out of a ticket that — you saw it. The — the badges, the courtesies, (inaudible) …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … they don’t work the way they used to.

ELLIOTT: Oh, really?

RITHOLTZ: Yeah.

ELLIOTT: I’ve never had one, but I always just thought that was kind of a nice thing.

RITHOLTZ: I had one …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … from someone I worked with. Long story, I did some work for the family of someone who passed away, and I got a shield as a thank you.

ELLIOTT: OK.

RITHOLTZ: And in New York City, the shield worked great.

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: But once it’s stopped working and Nassau — I remember coming home from somewhere and getting pulled over, and the cop was like apologetic.

ELLIOTT: Oh.

RITHOLTZ: And he’s like, “Listen, we — we just can’t (inaudible).”

ELLIOTT: You can’t?

RITHOLTZ: Hey, man, you got a — so I learned as a kid …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … just painfully honest with cops.

ELLIOTT: Yes.

RITHOLTZ: When cops pull me over …

ELLIOTT: Yes, yes.

RITHOLTZ: … it’s like the scene …

ELLIOTT: Yes.

RITHOLTZ: … from Liar Liar. That’s how I am. And usually, they …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … basically — you know, they appreciate not blowing smoke up their …

ELLIOTT: Yes.

RITHOLTZ: … behind because they’re lied to all day long …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … every day so …

ELLIOTT: It must be refreshing.

RITHOLTZ: … so right. So …

ELLIOTT: Honesty.

RITHOLTZ: … you know, tell — tell the officer when he says how fast were you going, I said, “Well, Officer, as I drove …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … by, I saw you and I looked down, and I looked …

ELLIOTT: You just look down.

RITHOLTZ: … at the speedometer.

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: And he goes, “And what did it say?” It said pull over because this office is going to have a few words with you.

ELLIOTT: That’s correct.

RITHOLTZ: And they laughed and …

ELLIOTT: Yeah, that’s great.

RITHOLTZ: … they thought you’re — you’re being honest with them.

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: You don’t have to say, you know, “I was 25 over.” You could say, “I thought you would want to have a little conversation.”

ELLIOTT: I’m going to note that down for my future reference.

RITHOLTZ: Right, thought you would like to have a chat …

ELLIOTT: Yes, yes.

RITHOLTZ: … and don’t want to make you drive too far. That’s …

ELLIOTT: Yeah, that’s not — it’s really courtesy.

RITHOLTZ: So let’s talk about some of your favorite columns of recent days starting with I mentioned EVs and Harleys. Let’s combine that.

ELLIOTT: Oh, yeah.

RITHOLTZ: Harley …

ELLIOTT: LiveWire.

RITHOLTZ: Yeah, tell us about that.

ELLIOTT: Yeah. Cool bike …

RITHOLTZ: No clutch, right?

ELLIOTT: No clutch. You don’t — no gears, no oil to replace …

RITHOLTZ: Wow.

ELLIOTT: … none of that. No rumble, no growl. It does have a …

RITHOLTZ: What do they do for a sound to …

ELLIOTT: It does have a sound, you know? It’s like a whirring sound.

RITHOLTZ: Right.

ELLIOTT: It’s — if you’re a Harley guy who’s going to need the — the loud pipes …

RITHOLTZ: Right.

ELLIOTT: … you’re going to object probably to this vehicle.

RITHOLTZ: So as a kid …

ELLIOTT: Yes.

RITHOLTZ: … running dirt bikes, the expression I always loved was loud pipes saves lives.

ELLIOTT: Sure, sure.

RITHOLTZ: So what do you do about that?

ELLIOTT: To which I say if you’re relying on your loud pipes to keep you safe …

RITHOLTZ: Yeah.

ELLIOTT: … your — that’s (inaudible).

RITHOLTZ: You’re in trouble, right.

ELLIOTT: Yeah. You got to be heads up. And — and honestly, you can do everything right and you can still get in a lot of trouble …

RITHOLTZ: Right, right.

ELLIOTT: … on a motorcycle. So I think, yes, loud pipes are — can be nice, but that should not be your safety plan.

RITHOLTZ: The — the problem is when people see you coming …

ELLIOTT: Yes.

RITHOLTZ: … they see a little blip instead of a big car. Your brain …

ELLIOTT: Yes.

RITHOLTZ: … assumes you’re further away.

ELLIOTT: Yes.

RITHOLTZ: So the pipes kind of compensate for that.

ELLIOTT: Potentially. And I would say on this — the LiveWire one, there is a noise associated with the vehicle.

RITHOLTZ: You can hear it coming.

ELLIOTT: Yeah, it’s not a loud pipe, but you could hear it.

RITHOLTZ: Right.

ELLIOTT: And actually, I am a big supporter. I think it makes sense for Harley to …

RITHOLTZ: Sure.

ELLIOTT: … start having electric bikes. I love electric motorcycles. Actually, the act of riding a motorcycle, I think, is actually made more pure on an electric bike just because …

RITHOLTZ: Just you get that quiet …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … (inaudible), right.

ELLIOTT: It’s not disturbed by — and I admit, I am not a hardcore biker. I am not someone who has to ride a bike every day. I enjoy it.

RITHOLTZ: Right.

ELLIOTT: But hey, I love the idea that you don’t have to have, you know, ears and nerves that are afraid because you’ve been on the bike all day, and it’s very loud …

RITHOLTZ: Well, yeah.

ELLIOTT: … and it’s been vibrating, and you got the smell of the oil and just dirt. You don’t have any of that, which I love. I — and in the LiveWire one, I think, is a great example.

Zero does a great job.

RITHOLTZ: Yeah, yeah.

ELLIOTT: Zero is a California-based motorcycle maker, and they have been around for years now. And they …

RITHOLTZ: There’s one parked in front of my office just about every day.

ELLIOTT: I love them, I love them. They — I think they look very cool. They’re powerful. They’re nimble. They don’t have any of the cultural baggage — baggage that Harley might have.

RITHOLTZ: Right.

ELLIOTT: And — and they’re well-made. They’re awesome. You can recharge those in 45 minutes to basically full …

RITHOLTZ: Right.

ELLIOTT: … which is a lot better charging proposition in a car.

So I’m a big fan. I really liked it. I did like the — the LiveWire one. They’re coming out with an S2 edition, which has like a very cool livery (ph) on it and looks more like an off-road bike that I think would be cool. So I’m looking forward to that, too.

Actually, that company is no longer owned wholly by Harley Davidson. They’ve taken on other investors, and this is in a new …

RITHOLTZ: Interesting.

ELLIOTT: … company that Harley spun off to share technology with and stuff. So exciting.

RITHOLTZ: Top luxury convertibles from European supercars to U.S. …

ELLIOTT: Oh.

RITHOLTZ: … classics. There were some dream cars in that list.

ELLIOTT: Well, I can’t remember exactly what I put on that list, but the first one that came to my mind is the — the 992 convertible.

RITHOLTZ: Right.

ELLIOTT: I mean, that you can’t go …

RITHOLTZ: A friend of mine has one …

ELLIOTT: Oh.

RITHOLTZ: … I’ve driven and it’s spectacular.

ELLIOTT: Oh, if you can get the turbos, get the turbos. It’s worth …

RITHOLTZ: He did because he wanted a stick shift.

ELLIOTT: … it’s — OK. See …

RITHOLTZ: And I think they stopped them in 2014.

ELLIOTT: Why (inaudible) do that?

RITHOLTZ: I don’t understand.

ELLIOTT: I don’t get it.

RITHOLTZ: Because they want the turbo to be the fastest. And …

ELLIOTT: Yes.

RITHOLTZ: … intellectually, I understand …

ELLIOTT: Yes.

RITHOLTZ: … the — the — the — the dual clutch is faster than a stick.

ELLIOTT: Of course.

RITHOLTZ: But you want to shift your own sometimes.

ELLIOTT: And every guy I talked to, that’s the one thing they say. It’s just really — it doesn’t make — it makes theoretical sense maybe, but not logical sense to your buyer.

RITHOLTZ: If you want to sell them, right, exactly.

ELLIOTT: Yeah, yeah.

RITHOLTZ: I came very close to buying a 2014 911 Turbo, the 996.2. And …

ELLIOTT: How many miles did it have on it?

RITHOLTZ: Ten, 11.

ELLIOTT: Oh, not very many.

RITHOLTZ: And just gorgeous.

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: White over — with a black interior with red everything (inaudible).

ELLIOTT: Cool.

RITHOLTZ: Even the Turbo (inaudible).

ELLIOTT: I love a white 911.

RITHOLTZ: Yeah. It’s just …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … spectacular.

ELLIOTT: And why didn’t you buy it?

RITHOLTZ: Because I couldn’t rationalize the price, because I — because the same price is a new Carrera.

ELLIOTT: It’s probably even more now.

RITHOLTZ: No, I think we’re — we peaked and sort of slipped a little bit in price. And the price it was offered at, while we were looking at it, like literally it’s like watching your …

ELLIOTT: Yeah, you watched the ticker.

RITHOLTZ: Yeah, it just kept …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … going up and up. It’s like watching the guest roll over.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

RITHOLTZ: The only problem with that convertible is the Coupe is so spectacular.

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: Just gorgeous.

ELLIOTT: But don’t hold it against the convertible.

RITHOLTZ: OK, fair.

ELLIOTT: I mean, the — the Coupe, for sure, I think one year — the year that it first came out, it might have been 2018 — 2017.

RITHOLTZ: The new version.

ELLIOTT: The new version.

RITHOLTZ: Yeah.

ELLIOTT: That was my favorite car of the year. It’s so …

RITHOLTZ: Really?

ELLIOTT: … it’s just perfect. It …

RITHOLTZ: Those quilted seats …

ELLIOTT: I know.

RITHOLTZ: … they’re just — it’s — so the one — so we all have regrets, I have a question for you …

ELLIOTT: Sure, OK.

RITHOLTZ: … about regrets.

ELLIOTT: OK.

RITHOLTZ: I came this close on Bring a Trailer. I ended up getting the R8 instead to getting a white on white GTC Coupe …

ELLIOTT: Speed.

RITHOLTZ: … not convertible …

ELLIOTT: OK, OK.

RITHOLTZ: … but it was the 8 (inaudible) not the …

ELLIOTT: OK.

RITHOLTZ: … which is fine for me.

ELLIOTT: OK.

RITHOLTZ: And — and I just didn’t pull the trigger or — you know, before — in your — another column of yours is how to buy cars at online auctions.

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: And I — one of the rules you put down is one of my rules. You figure out in advance with the prices, and you don’t go over that price.

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: And the car sold for two grand over — as far as I want to go.

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: And that’s one — the one of them that got away. The white on white is just insane.

ELLIOTT: But at the time you could not have known that you were so close. I mean, right? That’s what you thought it was going to keep going up.

RITHOLTZ: So my wife’s Panamera, I — so every now and then you get a bunch of people that’s been kind of, you know, just fooling around with the auctions. You could tell when someone isn’t a serious buyer. And — and so you want to just have a knockout punch …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … that sort of …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … scares (inaudible).

ELLIOTT: Don’t — don’t do the nickel and dime thing.

RITHOLTZ: Right. And so …

ELLIOTT: Nickel (inaudible), yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … and, you know, maybe I — you pay $1,000 more …

ELLIOTT: Yeah, yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … but you just scare everybody away.

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: And I was shocked we got that car because the MSRP — and you could go to a Monroney Labels to pull up the original MSRP sticker with all the options and what it literally cost except Ferraris don’t work with that, but it works with most other — other brands.

And the lunatic who bought — not a Panamera Turbo or a GTS, a 4S, which is like middle …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … of the line paid 160 something for the car.

ELLIOTT: Wow.

RITHOLTZ: They literally must have just gone check, check, check, check every option.

ELLIOTT: All process, yeah.

RITHOLTZ: And so you got to pay well less than half of that.

ELLIOTT: Yeah, yeah.

RITHOLTZ: That’s a great deal for a used car. And — and then, you know, the insurance company will pay you. Now you have to — you pay more for market price or a stated value with your insurer, but hold that aside.

Give me one other convertible that you really — because there’s nothing to dislike about the Bentley except, you know, maintenance is expensive and there — they become more reliable for sure.

ELLIOTT: No, the 765 LT — I mean, if you want to talk high, high, high-end supercars …

RITHOLTZ: Right.

ELLIOTT: … I liked it in part because it was, quote-unquote, “more drivable than some of the contemporaries just in terms of clearance …

RITHOLTZ: That’s a thought of McLarens, right?

ELLIOTT: … yeah, visibility. I mean, these things, to me, honestly — and — and I say this knowing we are very spoiled people …

RITHOLTZ: Yes.

ELLIOTT: … they’re not relaxing and enjoyable to drive in city conditions often …

RITHOLTZ: Well, especially the special sport edition …

ELLIOTT: It’s — it’s stressful.

RITHOLTZ: … the — they’re too frenetic, right.

ELLIOTT: Yes, yes. And, you know, you always see the guys who like put them on a trailer two — five blocks away from there. They want — I’ve literally seen this at clubs in New York City …

RITHOLTZ: That’s too much.

ELLIOTT: … some guy unloading, and then he pulls it around in front of the club.

RITHOLTZ: Was that because they don’t want to put the mileage on it or …

ELLIOTT: I think it’s everything. You know …

RITHOLTZ: Right.

ELLIOTT: … cobblestones, they don’t want to put …

RITHOLTZ: Yeah.

ELLIOTT: … mileage on. It’s — who wants to do that?

RITHOLTZ: I love my M6 because it’s got the — the settings for regular and — and then you can upgrade the — the steering, the suspension and the engine.

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: So you could go drive like human. Hey, let’s have some fun, OK, full blown hole again.

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: And that’s a convertible with a stick shift, and I can never give that up because the eight is now also dual clutch, no more stick. And I just think that’s such a delightful car. But it’s not a hypercar. The McLaren is a hyper car. What’s the …

ELLIOTT: Yes.

RITHOLTZ: … what’s the interior like? Is it …

ELLIOTT: It’s great. I mean, it’s very …

RITHOLTZ: Cockpit like?

ELLIOTT: I would say it’s back to our conversation about screens versus buttons.

RITHOLTZ: Yeah.

ELLIOTT: It’s a nice medium, I would say.

RITHOLTZ: OK, it’s a good news.

ELLIOTT: Yeah, you know, there’s enough space to put like a cup of coffee. You know, some of these cars don’t even have …

RITHOLTZ: Right.

ELLIOTT: … a cup holder. So the — it’s …

RITHOLTZ: Yeah, there’s — there’s no cup holders in half the Ferraris.

ELLIOTT: Yeah, there are some nods to practicality that I think let’s be realistic.

RITHOLTZ: Right.

ELLIOTT: Just because you’re driving a super car doesn’t mean you’re not going to have a coffee.

RITHOLTZ: So with my car club, when we go out, a bunch of us will go out, we will stop for coffee, throw the cups away, and then everybody gets in and drives, and off you go.

ELLIOTT: OK, that’s very proper.

RITHOLTZ: Right, because …

ELLIOTT: Now, I hope you still listen to the radio in your supercar and not just the sound of the engine.

RITHOLTZ: So — so some of the guys in the group — well, all of my cars are, you know, modest compared to …

ELLIOTT: OK.

RITHOLTZ: … so my Audi or BMW, although the funny thing is the car that attracts more attention everybody loves is the Vette, the ‘67 Vette.

ELLIOTT: I’m — I’m obsessed.

RITHOLTZ: Guys lose their monies over …

ELLIOTT: Yeah, I’m obsessed.

RITHOLTZ: … and — and it’s like that light Nashville (ph) blue with the white interior like all white interior.

ELLIOTT: So cool, so cool.

RITHOLTZ: It’s as gorgeous as — as any car …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … ever made.

ELLIOTT: There aren’t many in L.A.

RITHOLTZ: That said, a buddy has a Ferrari F430 without the stick. He got the F1 in a — in a Spider, and there is no radio in that. I mean, there is one, I don’t know if it’s ever been on.

ELLIOTT: Maybe not.

RITHOLTZ: The top-down …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … the V8 is right over your shoulder.

ELLIOTT: Oh, that’s like …

RITHOLTZ: It’s — it’s astonishing, right.

ELLIOTT: … that’s nice.

RITHOLTZ: That’s his second Ferrari because the F50 — the 550 was his first love, and then he decided life is short, I’m going to get a convertible also.

ELLIOTT: I think a lot of people are feeling that, you know, you only live once in this day and age.

RITHOLTZ: Post-pandemic, and you don’t know …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … when your number comes up.

ELLIOTT: Correct.

RITHOLTZ: Sometimes you roll, and if you can …

ELLIOTT: Yes.

RITHOLTZ: … afford it …

ELLIOTT: I think we’re all feeling that.

RITHOLTZ: Right. So there’s a difference between me running around and spending 50 grand on a stupid little car and other people drop in multi six figures. And, you know, the thing I love about the BMW is my oil change is 40 bucks.

ELLIOTT: That’s right.

RITHOLTZ: And you bring the Ferrari in and it’s $2,000 …

ELLIOTT: Oh, yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … by the time you’re done with. Oh, I had to replace some belts and a filter. I gave you a discount. It’s $2,200.

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: That’s a different experience and lifestyle.

ELLIOTT: And I — and let’s just say if you’re going to be very concerned about that type of maintenance on your car or minor — you know, fixing minor things like things or chips or whatever, you probably can’t afford the car because you got to be able to afford the car and what it’s going to cost …

RITHOLTZ: Comfortably, be able to sleep at night.

ELLIOTT: Yeah, comfortable, so that you’re not just being a jerk about it about who sits in or who parks (inaudible) …

RITHOLTZ: No, you got to drive, you got to enjoy.

ELLIOTT: … that’s no way to (inaudible), yeah.

RITHOLTZ: You can’t worry about the mileage.

ELLIOTT: No, no.

RITHOLTZ: Right? In fact …

ELLIOTT: And if you can’t cross that amount of resources to spend on it, I don’t — I don’t think you can afford it really.

RITHOLTZ: His Ferraris have what — are what have kept me away because every — like the other day, they were both in the shop and he’s like, “You want to go for a ride?” I said — he’s like, “I got no cars.” What do you mean?

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: Where is 911?

ELLIOTT: Yeah. I mean, the struggle is real.

RITHOLTZ: Right, right.

ELLIOTT: And these are — these are very (inaudible) …

RITHOLTZ: Back and forth from the burbs …

ELLIOTT: Yeah, oh, wow.

RITHOLTZ: … into New York City every day in the 911 …

ELLIOTT: Poor guy.

RITHOLTZ: … convertible with a stick. So — so, yeah, right, it’s a lot …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … the struggle is real.

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: Absolutely. So a couple of other pieces I — I got to ask about, Mercedes trimming entry-level cars to focus on high-ends.

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: I have a vivid recollection of one Mercedes was why are you going down market …

ELLIOTT: Yes.

RITHOLTZ: … you’re going for volume, you’re a high-end.

ELLIOTT: Yes.

RITHOLTZ: No, we have to do this in order to expand our reach and blah blah blah.

ELLIOTT: Yes.

RITHOLTZ: What happened?

ELLIOTT: They realized they don’t have to anymore. I think they got tired of competing with BMW …

RITHOLTZ: Right.

ELLIOTT: … to — for — to being one of the big …

RITHOLTZ: Or Audi or …

ELLIOTT: … biggest luxury …

RITHOLTZ: Right.

ELLIOTT: … automaker. And they started making these super high-end, you know, series with the AMG GT, with their G-Wagons just as we spoke about are …

RITHOLTZ: Right.

ELLIOTT: … their over $200,000 versions. They are doing more with the Maybach brand, which the (inaudible) on that …

RITHOLTZ: Which was kind of on hiatus for a while.

ELLIOTT: It’s on — it’s — it’s very touching. You go some years they make car, some years they don’t. And I’ve asked them about it, and they just said, “Well, you know, some years we make …

RITHOLTZ: Whenever.

ELLIOTT: Yeah, some — sometimes we do, sometimes we don’t.

RITHOLTZ: When the sheik wants 10, we make 10.

ELLIOTT: Right. But the years that they do make the Maybach, it’s so profitable for them. And I just think …

RITHOLTZ: Right.

ELLIOTT: … they’re — they were already slicing the pie so thinly. I couldn’t — you know, my job is to think about this. I couldn’t even look at a car and tell you what C series it — C-class …

RITHOLTZ: Right.

ELLIOTT: … it was or, you know, the A-class or is it an E — you know, it’s — it was becoming a very thinly sliced pie. And I think the same was happening to margins.

But then, you know, you start to realize, this trend, there seems to be no lack of people wanting to spend money on cars — a lot of money. And when you start to personalize it and offer all of these special editions and way to make it your own, especially in the higher models, the profits are so lucrative there you don’t have to make the lower ones.

RITHOLTZ: Right. Look at BMW …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … there’s no longer a one …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … but there’s a two, a three, a four …

ELLIOTT: I know.

RITHOLTZ: … a five. They stopped the six, the seven and eight.

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: And then on the trucks is an X1, X2, X3 …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … X4, X5, X6, X7.

ELLIOTT: And now add in the Is, the electric version.

RITHOLTZ: Right.

ELLIOTT: You know, the IX, the I3, the I8, of course, which let’s put a pin on that. We need a new car — a halo car from BMW.

RITHOLTZ: The I8 was almost …

ELLIOTT: It was amazing.

RITHOLTZ: … a fabulous car …

ELLIOTT: Yes.

RITHOLTZ: They put that dumb three-cylinder engine in there. If they were to put the M3 twin turbo six …

ELLIOTT: Yes.

RITHOLTZ: … the three — that would’ve been a monster.

ELLIOTT: To me, that was a lost opportunity.

RITHOLTZ: Oh, my God.

ELLIOTT: I know.

RITHOLTZ: That would’ve been a hybrid car …

ELLIOTT: I love that car.

RITHOLTZ: … for the ages.

ELLIOTT: I love that car. And they’d beat everyone.

RITHOLTZ: They’re dirt cheap.

ELLIOTT: They beat everyone when that came out.

RITHOLTZ: Yeah.

ELLIOTT: That was a …

RITHOLTZ: Too hybrid.

ELLIOTT: … that was a — yeah.

RITHOLTZ: Yeah.

ELLIOTT: And now it’s like, well, what if you really follow that with in terms of something that’s exciting. They’ve got EVs, but nothing that’s really exciting.

RITHOLTZ: That I8 with a real engine would have been …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … the first hybrid supercar out there.

ELLIOTT: I know.

RITHOLTZ: So — so let’s talk about …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … hybrid supercars. You did a column …

ELLIOTT: OK.

RITHOLTZ: … on Rimac and what they’re doing …

ELLIOTT: Oh, yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … for Porsche Bugatti, whoever else?

ELLIOTT: So interesting. Porsche Bugatti, BMW …

RITHOLTZ: All the B.W. brands, gotcha.

ELLIOTT: … yeah, B.W.

This brand, I mean, Mate Rimac is a young man.

RITHOLTZ: Yeah.

ELLIOTT: When I spoke with him last year at Pebble Beach, he was around 30. I don’t (inaudible).

RITHOLTZ: Really? That’s insane.

ELLIOTT: He is a young man.

RITHOLTZ: I thought he was much older.

ELLIOTT: And he has it together. He’s got — the amount of money that he’s got Porsche giving him …

RITHOLTZ: Right.

ELLIOTT: … to make components and other things that they won’t talk about is fascinating. I think this is really — it’s already …

RITHOLTZ: But his Rimacs are gorgeous also.

ELLIOTT: Gorgeous.

RITHOLTZ: Gorgeous.

ELLIOTT: And I’m already working on — they tell me they’re going to have a production car that I can get into in the States …

RITHOLTZ: When?

ELLIOTT: … maybe next month.

RITHOLTZ: No kidding?

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: And when is it going to be for sale? We don’t have idea.

ELLIOTT: I don’t know, I don’t know.

RITHOLTZ: You know, that’s the weird thing is like why are you telling me about 2024 cars now.

ELLIOTT: This is why, as a reviewer, this is a problem I had with the Cadillac Lyriq.

RITHOLTZ: Right.

ELLIOTT: They have us in the car, but then they tell us, well, it’s a — it’s a pre-production.

RITHOLTZ: And it’s not a production version, right.

ELLIOTT: Well, then it’s like — that means that anything I say that’s wrong, you guys can just say, well, it was …

RITHOLTZ: Right.

ELLIOTT: … a pre-production. Meanwhile, they’ve sent a few out, but they won’t say how many.

RITHOLTZ: Right.

ELLIOTT: And then the next batch is going to be around in 2023-2024. So it’s — it’s still — you’re in the future.

RITHOLTZ: Right, might as well give me a clay.

ELLIOTT: Yeah, don’t — don’t …

RITHOLTZ: … sculpture.

ELLIOTT: Yeah, get us excited a year from now. This is very anticlimactic.

RITHOLTZ: Yeah, yeah, to say — to say the very least.

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: Let’s talk about my favorite column of yours, Want to Take Up Track Driving?

ELLIOTT: Yes.

RITHOLTZ: Don’t make these (inaudible) mistakes.

ELLIOTT: Yes.

RITHOLTZ: So how often do you want to track where you’re really letting loose?

ELLIOTT: I would say five times a year.

RITHOLTZ: OK.

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: I try and get up twice a year.

ELLIOTT: OK, that’s great. The — for me, it’s like if Bugatti’s got something, McLaren, Lamborghini, and Ferrari, they’re all great about having people on the track. Actually, Maserati just had a track date (ph).

RITHOLTZ: That new 2 — 2 — whatever it is, 220C, whatever (inaudible).

ELLIOTT: The MC …

RITHOLTZ: MC …

ELLIOTT: … 20.

RITHOLTZ: Yeah.

ELLIOTT: MC …

RITHOLTZ: I think you’re right.

ELLIOTT: MC20.

RITHOLTZ: That’s a very handsome car.

ELLIOTT: Maserati MC20, very good looking car. We had it on the track at Willow Springs, which is like the local track in L.A. It’s old track historic, so a track that …

RITHOLTZ: Are you burning through — through — through tires and breaks like …

ELLIOTT: No.

RITHOLTZ: Not at all.

ELLIOTT: The — I mean, the thing with — with journalist track days is that it’s a very controlled environment, which is not to say that people don’t go off the track.

RITHOLTZ: Yeah.

ELLIOTT: People go off the track, but bad habits on the track for — well, I’ll talk about for me …

RITHOLTZ: Go ahead.

ELLIOTT: … and I make no pretense to being a professional car racer, I am not.

RITHOLTZ: Don’t try this at home.

ELLIOTT: I’m a journalist. Pay attention. That’s the number one …

RITHOLTZ: Come on.

ELLIOTT: … this is the number one thing.

RITHOLTZ: I don’t believe that.

ELLIOTT: I lose focus so quickly. I get bored after about two laps, I really do …

RITHOLTZ: No way.

ELLIOTT: … which causes you to be very sleepy on other things, you know, it just — it causes you to flub breaking and, you know, turn into early.

RITHOLTZ: So …

ELLIOTT: All the other things, to me, come from a lack of attention and focus.

RITHOLTZ: All right. So we were just up the Lime Rock among …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … with a bunch of guys. And, you know, you’re in a full (inaudible).

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: You — you have a …

ELLIOTT: The balaclava on.

RITHOLTZ: Right.

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: And then you put the hood on …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … the — the helmet on. And you have to kind of back your way into the sea and …

ELLIOTT: Can you even turn your head?

RITHOLTZ: You — you can …

ELLIOTT: Yeah, OK.

RITHOLTZ: … although you can see why …

ELLIOTT: Yes.

RITHOLTZ: … the F1 drivers have to work out because …

ELLIOTT: Yes.

RITHOLTZ: … your neck is sore the next day.

ELLIOTT: Oh, yeah.

RITHOLTZ: And — and they sent you in so tightly. Now, I don’t get panic attacks. I’m not claustrophobic. I have no fear of heights. That sort of stuff doesn’t bother me. They cinched me in so tight I felt like I couldn’t breathe.

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: And for a moment I’m like, “This is a horrible mistake. You’re going to pass out from lack of oxygen” …

ELLIOTT: Yeah, yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … until you leave the pit lane …

ELLIOTT: Yes.

RITHOLTZ: … and then you were just so hyper focused …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … that you just completely forget …

ELLIOTT: Yes.

RITHOLTZ: … your body. Yeah, I forgot how uncomfortable I was, the rest of the world fell away. It was just …

ELLIOTT: That’s nice.

RITHOLTZ: … me, the …

ELLIOTT: Then …

RITHOLTZ: … the wheel, the gas, the break …

ELLIOTT: Yes, breathing, remember to breathe.

RITHOLTZ: You don’t even think about it …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … just the autonomous system takes over.

ELLIOTT: I will say …

RITHOLTZ: I don’t know how you …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … actually …

ELLIOTT: I lose — I lose (inaudible).

RITHOLTZ: … this was in a ROUSH Mustang, which is what, 700 horsepower?

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: What do you do in — in like a full-blown mid-engine monster?

ELLIOTT: It’s like — it’s like Ferdinand out in the pasture. I’m just looking …

RITHOLTZ: Right.

ELLIOTT: … at daisies.

I will say — I will say, I think everybody will improve their on-street driving by having a track day …

RITHOLTZ: For sure.

ELLIOTT: … for sure because it — first of all, the proper placement of your arms, and your knees, and your legs, I think most people get completely wrong the moment they get into a car.

RITHOLTZ: First time at Skip Barber, you’re doing these — these different skill trainings and these different semi courses …

ELLIOTT: Yes.

RITHOLTZ: … before you on the track, and the instructors constantly 10 and two both hands, 10 and two, both hands on the wheel because I always drive …

ELLIOTT: I’m surprised.

RITHOLTZ: … with an elbow and …

ELLIOTT: Oh, gosh.

RITHOLTZ: … and a stick. So he’s like …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … you drop your hand off the wheel to shift gears. Keep your hands up, both hands, both hands.

ELLIOTT: Well, you know, nine and three, nine and three …

RITHOLTZ: Well, whatever it was.

ELLIOTT: … is really what you want to have with a 90-degree angle.

RITHOLTZ: Ninety-degree angle, but they want your thumbs over …

ELLIOTT: Lightly, lightly, lightly.

RITHOLTZ: … so …

ELLIOTT: Light touch.

RITHOLTZ: So the skid pad — so we got to use the new supers on the skid pad. And, you know, I’m pretty good at recovering from a skid, but it’s a little frenetic. And — and this instructor said, “Dude, just relax.”

ELLIOTT: Yes, breathe.

RITHOLTZ: Just (inaudible) flow.

ELLIOTT: Breathe.

RITHOLTZ: And suddenly …

ELLIOTT: Yes.

RITHOLTZ: … it’s just …

ELLIOTT: Light.

RITHOLTZ: … easy input, right.

ELLIOTT: Smooth is fast, smooth is fast.

RITHOLTZ: Smooth is fast. Slow is fast, smooth is fast.

ELLIOTT: Correct. And the other thing that I think really — it does really teach you is to keep your eyes up and look ahead.

RITHOLTZ: Look where you want to go.

ELLIOTT: If you’re looking at — if you’re looking at the corner, it’s already too late.

RITHOLTZ: That’s what — right.

ELLIOTT: You got to be looking at the next one …

RITHOLTZ: That’s right.

ELLIOTT: … already. And I think that really helps you when you’re on the street driving. Just anticipate where other people are …

RITHOLTZ: Right.

ELLIOTT: … what they’re doing. Stay alert, stay focused far ahead, not just down the hood of your car …

RITHOLTZ: Right, that’s right.

ELLIOTT: … but be thinking like two or three turns ahead, and everything else will flow from that.

RITHOLTZ: Especially when you’re driving 60 miles an hour …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … you can’t look 30 feet ahead because …

ELLIOTT: … it’s already — you’re already too late.

RITHOLTZ: … slam on the brakes …

ELLIOTT: You’re too late.

RITHOLTZ: … it’s going to take you 100 feet …

ELLIOTT: Yeah, you’re already too late.

RITHOLTZ: … to stop. You have to look way past that.

ELLIOTT: Yeah, yeah.

RITHOLTZ: It’s really interesting. What are the rookie mistakes do you want to tell people about?

ELLIOTT: The other thing that I — I do find myself, I’ll just speak for myself because, you know, why not. Don’t focus on the other people, focus on your own line on the track. That’s the number one thing. You know, if you — if you get so — for me, if I get so wrapped in to trying to keep up with so and so who’s in front of me or so and so who I think is coming — breathing down my back, I’m going to get all tense and all anxious and whatever, and I’m not going to have the best line going into a turn, coming out of a turn.

RITHOLTZ: You’re doing lead follow, in other words.

ELLIOTT: Sure, yeah. But, you know, sometimes you’re in two groups.

RITHOLTZ: Right.

ELLIOTT: One group might overtake another group.

RITHOLTZ: Right, that’s always fun.

ELLIOTT: And then, you know, of course. Then there’s always someone who’s going to be sort of behind the pack and sometimes you end up lapping them. So it can be a little bit like …

RITHOLTZ: We had a guy tap out …

ELLIOTT: Yeah. Oh, really?

RITHOLTZ: … with our group, with a different group …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … he was like I — just this is stressful for me.

ELLIOTT: Yeah. You — you just …

RITHOLTZ: Here’s the crazy thing. You’re following — so the — the fun thing about the instructors, you’re in these hopped up 700 horsepower Ford Mustang Roush editions …

ELLIOTT: Cool.

RITHOLTZ: … or the last time we were there, it was RS4s, 911s, and M3s, and they’re driving street cars. They’re driving out some of those Camrys, and it’s all you can do to keep up with them …

ELLIOTT: Yeah, yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … because they …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … are so good …

ELLIOTT: It’s another level completely.

RITHOLTZ: … but — but here’s the thing that I kind of figured out about halfway through the track day was, wait a second, I’m in a high performance track vehicle …

ELLIOTT: Vehicle.

RITHOLTZ: … tune vehicle.

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: If the Camry can make it through at this speed, I’m pretty sure this car can.

ELLIOTT: Oh, yeah.

RITHOLTZ: And once you get that in your head, it’s like people say, “Well, you’re flying around the track.”

ELLIOTT: Wow.

RITHOLTZ: I was just doing what he was doing.

ELLIOTT: Yeah, yeah.

RITHOLTZ: The assumption is if he made it through the turn, I’m going to — I’m just following his track precisely.

ELLIOTT: You really see the driver makes all the difference.

RITHOLTZ: Huge.

ELLIOTT: I’ve seen some of the pros. They’ll take a minivan out just for fun and lead the journalists around in minivans.

RITHOLTZ: Hilarious.

ELLIOTT: I mean, it’s hilarious. And there — we’re still doing all we can just to keep up because it really does, you know, a good driver in a bad car is probably always going to be better and faster than a bad driver and a good car.

RITHOLTZ: So you get to go on tracks five times a year.

ELLIOTT: Yeah, yeah.

RITHOLTZ: Their cars.

ELLIOTT: Yeah, their cars, yeah.

RITHOLTZ: How often you do anything where you’re not reviewing the car where you’re just reviewing the track, like I’m trying to remember did — did you do the — was it the Lamborghini Driving School or the Mercedes?

ELLIOTT: I did a Ferrari Driving School.

RITHOLTZ: Ferrari Driving School.

ELLIOTT: Which — great memory, which I would just plug, you know, every major automaker …

RITHOLTZ: Ten grand, well worth it, right?

ELLIOTT: Completely well worth it. Anyone can Google Ferrari Driving School, BMW Driving School, Aston Martin Driving School, any of these …

RITHOLTZ: Right.

ELLIOTT: … they all have driving schools. They are so fun. The instructors are like your best coach, your favorite coach.

RITHOLTZ: Right.

ELLIOTT: They’re there to help you succeed.

RITHOLTZ: Right.

ELLIOTT: There — it’s fun. You can do it.

RITHOLTZ: It’s insanely fun.

ELLIOTT: You can do it with family members, you know, friends, coworkers. I highly recommend it. And that was, to your point, less about the car and more to just about improving as a driver. So worth it.

RITHOLTZ: Like — like you really can’t — the average driver is not going to be running a Ferrari at the limits of its performance.

ELLIOTT: No. And it goes back to the point that it makes — when you do get back on the road, it makes that driving so much more pleasant because you’re aware of what a car can really do …

RITHOLTZ: Right.

ELLIOTT: So that you’re not intimidated just to drive on the highway, I mean, because you’ve seen — even if you aren’t driving it yourself, you see the instructors do things with cars that are …

RITHOLTZ: Right.

ELLIOTT: … unbelievable.

RITHOLTZ: Right.

ELLIOTT: And you realize we — in normal everyday driving, we don’t get near the limits …

RITHOLTZ: Not in the class.

ELLIOTT: … of what the cars can do.

RITHOLTZ: And — and I recall being on the highway a couple of years ago, and there was an incident that the only reason I managed not to plow into this accident in front of me was because of the training that they had the …

ELLIOTT: Amazing.

RITHOLTZ: So — so …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … you know, there’s only so much traction on — on a tire, you can either put it on breaking or put it on turning …

ELLIOTT: Yes.

RITHOLTZ: … but you can’t do both.

ELLIOTT: No.

RITHOLTZ: And that’s how people get into trouble.

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: And I remember saying I’m — I’m just going to stay with the break as long as I can …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … loosen up and turn away …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … but I had to bleed off that speed.

ELLIOTT: That force.

RITHOLTZ: And …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … you know, if it was in Skip Barber I would’ve been …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … the third or fourth car in that pileup.

ELLIOTT: Well, that’s a great …

RITHOLTZ: Yeah.

ELLIOTT: … advertisement.

RITHOLTZ: 100 percent, 100 percent.

ELLIOTT: Yeah. You kind of realize, OK, it’s weight management a lot of the time when you’re — especially if you’re like a vintage-style car …

RITHOLTZ: Well, it’s — it’s — it’s where …

ELLIOTT: … it’s managing weight.

RITHOLTZ: … it’s whether the car is sitting on the — on the back tires …

ELLIOTT: Sure.

RITHOLTZ: … was sitting on the front tires.

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: And that transition is also where a lot of people get into trouble.

ELLIOTT: Of course.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

RITHOLTZ: … about that. And you’re kind of bicoastal. You’re in …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … New York and L.A. Tell us about L.A. and …

ELLIOTT: OK.

RITHOLTZ: … what do you — what’s New York like these days.

ELLIOTT: I would say, first of all, that I love New York more than anything. I identify as a New Yorker. I have — I have lived here for 17 years. I’m originally from Oregon, but really came …

RITHOLTZ: Do you still have an apartment here?

ELLIOTT: No.

RITHOLTZ: So …

ELLIOTT: But I do have a driver’s license, that’s a New York driver’s license.

RITHOLTZ: OK.

ELLIOTT: I’m a New York booster through and through, but I will say California has two things that New York doesn’t have.

RITHOLTZ: Weather.

ELLIOTT: Actually, I like the — I like the seasons. I like the weather in — in New York. I prefer it because California is just boring.

RITHOLTZ: Not winter?

ELLIOTT: No, I love winter. That’s my second favorite season in New York behind fall.

RITHOLTZ: Yeah.

ELLIOTT: Anyway, California has better Mexican food. The New York City …

RITHOLTZ: OK.

ELLIOTT: … and it has better car culture, I have to say.

RITHOLTZ: Yeah.

ELLIOTT: The — the …

RITHOLTZ: Hey, that’s where it started, right?

ELLIOTT: … the driving roads — right. The driving roads in — in and around Los Angeles specially are world-class.

RITHOLTZ: Yeah.

ELLIOTT: And I have been everywhere. The roads there are phenomenal especially during COVID when driving was like the only thing we could really do. It really was wonderful to drive on the canyon roads outside Malibu, to drive up Angeles Crest of Highway 2, to drive out to the desert, Joshua Tree. I mean, there’s so many options, Pacific Coast Highway, of course. So that has been really lovely.

That said, I’m really happy to be back in New York at the moment. New York does seem different since I’ve left and since COVID. I’m sure you’ve recognized that.

RITHOLTZ: So the residential parts of New York are just jamming. You go into Midtown …

ELLIOTT: But with a different crowd.

RITHOLTZ: … it’s a little — it’s — it’s funny. The Bloomberg building, which is now hybrid for now …

ELLIOTT: Yes.

RITHOLTZ: … a nice sunny day, this building is probably 80, 85 percent …

ELLIOTT: Yeah, yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … of what — what in full strength. But if you have your choice, that’s pouring rain, why am I going to come in today?

ELLIOTT: Completely.

RITHOLTZ: … unless I have a podcast.

Prewar car market, why is it thriving?

ELLIOTT: Oh. For every reason we’ve just described because we’re all sitting at home, looking at Bring a Trailer with a lot of time on our hands, we might have some extra money that we haven’t spent on travel or …

RITHOLTZ: Right.

ELLIOTT: … you know, we pulled out of the stock market because it’s a bit scary, and we are just putting it into our project cars.

Also, I think to your point, there’s a sensibility of like, hey, I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future. I’m going to enjoy this now.

RITHOLTZ: Right. So …

ELLIOTT: And things are meant to be enjoyed, cars especially. I mean, it’s — it’s just a shame when you see some of these cars and they’re not really driven and enjoyed. You might as well.

RITHOLTZ: That’s always — so the — I stopped even commenting on Cars & Bids or — or Bring a Trailer about this, but every time I see a favorite car come up with like 100 miles …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … it’s like, oh …

ELLIOTT: I think there are some Carrera GTs that had …

RITHOLTZ: Yeah.

ELLIOTT: … very low mileage.

RITHOLTZ: It was clearly …

ELLIOTT: Yes.

RITHOLTZ: … (inaudible) in investment.

ELLIOTT: Yes.

RITHOLTZ: And, you know, it’s like come on, it’s sort of when — when the speculators come into your favorite space …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … the neighborhood gentrifies, you have to move and all the fun …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … goes out of it.

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: And there’s like a — a — a handful of us (inaudible) about and everybody else …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … shouts and down, but — but that’s always like why …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … buy the car.

So — so part of the appeal of something like — so I didn’t get the 427, I got the …

ELLIOTT: OK.

RITHOLTZ: … 327 Vette because the — or the ‘63 for that matter with …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … the accidental split rear window, which is worth 100 grand more than my car because, at that price, listen, anything you pay less than $100,000 for, you could driving and you’ll get most of your money back …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … if it’s a collectible.

ELLIOTT: Sure.

RITHOLTZ: But $200,00, $300,000, $400,000, suddenly, every mile you start driving has a dollar figure associated with it.

ELLIOTT: Maybe. I don’t — I don’t think for all of those cars. I think for some maybe, really special cars that maybe have a — a particular history or racing history. But, you know, I think part of the thing too is there a lot more events that you can use your collectible car for, I mean, rallies, meet-ups, concourse …

RITHOLTZ: Cars and coffee?

ELLIOTT: … meetings, completely. There is a lot more of that stuff, and everyone just wants to do it. And you’re going to want to show up in something, cool.

RITHOLTZ: Right.

ELLIOTT: So I think that’s driving a lot of it, too. And I also think it’s considered cool to drive your car now.

RITHOLTZ: Hey, man, that’s how I roll.

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: To me, it’s — it’s the thought of saying, well, I just spent all this money and time and effort to keep this car running and well-maintained. You know, to say I’m just going to leave this, it’s not good for the car to just …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … sit.

ELLIOTT: No, no, it’s not good.

RITHOLTZ: The — the only issue I have with that is it’s hard to find leaded gas for that.

Last column question, Jennifer Connelly’s 911 in Top Gun.

ELLIOTT: Oh, yeah. Cool, right?

RITHOLTZ: So it’s funny because when we saw the movie recently, and when he pulls up in front of our house on the motorcycle, I leaned over to my wife. I’m like, “Nice 911. I bet that’s hers …

ELLIOTT: Nice.

RITHOLTZ: … because why would they leave it there.”

ELLIOTT: Right.

RITHOLTZ: I had no idea that that was a collector’s car that they …

ELLIOTT: Yeah, in …

RITHOLTZ: … had loaned it to the — loaned two of them to the shoot.

ELLIOTT: … in California, too. And they found him through a couple of guys sort of an (inaudible) world. They — now, I spoke with the director of that movie. He claims it was a loan, that the guy just loaned them. He didn’t even charge them, you know, a rental.

RITHOLTZ: Really?

ELLIOTT: Yeah. Just because he’s a car guy, he’s part of this R group …

RITHOLTZ: Meanwhile …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … your car is the 911 …

ELLIOTT: Right, I know.

RITHOLTZ: … in Maverick Top Gun.

ELLIOTT: Cool, right? I know.

RITHOLTZ: What do I have to pay for that performance shoot?

ELLIOTT: I know. And he — he has some other cool cars. I did a little research. So he’s just a car guy.

RITHOLTZ: He’s got 10 911s, 10 Porsches you say.

ELLIOTT: Something like that.

RITHOLTZ: Yeah.

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: And — and …

ELLIOTT: So …

RITHOLTZ: … what was it, Kelly Mcginnis …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … had a — a Speedster in the first film?

ELLIOTT: She had a 356, yeah. That actually wasn’t a real one. If I remember …

RITHOLTZ: It was a replica, right.

ELLIOTT: It was a replica made by a Canadian company, but it still looked cool.

RITHOLTZ: Who can tell the difference?

ELLIOTT: Yeah, who can tell, yeah.

RITHOLTZ: Right. I mean, that — that original frame …

ELLIOTT: It’s good they obtained it, yeah.

RITHOLTZ: Yeah. No, it makes perfect sense.

ELLIOTT: It makes perfect sense.

RITHOLTZ: You know, and it …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … actually — the whole thing about the F18s versus the …

ELLIOTT: I know.

RITHOLTZ: … fifth generation, you couldn’t stick with the 356, it wouldn’t have worked.

ELLIOTT: No, you got to make it fresh.

RITHOLTZ: Let’s talk a little bit about F1. Obviously, the Netflix show enormously …

ELLIOTT: Drive to Survive.

RITHOLTZ: Yeah, enormously popular, I’m — I’m halfway through the fourth season.

ELLIOTT: Oh, yeah.

RITHOLTZ: I mean, I know there are spoilers but, you know …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … it’s still on a …

ELLIOTT: Who’s your driver?

RITHOLTZ: Daniel Ricciardo on McLaren, like he’s such an interesting character. I’m kind of rooting for him. And then …

ELLIOTT: (Inaudible).

RITHOLTZ: … Carlos Sainz, he moved over to Ferrari.

ELLIOTT: Yes.

RITHOLTZ: Like here’s a kid who just grew up worshipping Ferrari. The fact that he’s driving for them, you could just see like the Glee every time he puts on that red driver suit, that — that’s just really interesting.

The challenging thing is wrapping your hand around the competition between the drivers on the same team because …

ELLIOTT: I know.

RITHOLTZ: … it is supposed to be a team, right?

ELLIOTT: Yeah. You know, it’s been very interesting, especially this year, to see Lewis Hamilton as he fights his way back to the top and how the whole team, you know, goes around him to make that happen.

RITHOLTZ: I mean, he passed Michael Schumacher …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … in like just about every record he set.

ELLIOTT: Yeah. And to — to your point, it’s been great to see how George Russell has really taken his role as the supporter so we can get Lewis forward. They seem to have a really good working relationship, I think, in — in past years with other teams. It’s been a lot more competitive with the drivers on the Mercedes team.

RITHOLTZ: Right.

ELLIOTT: But George Russell seems to be such a team player. He’s so young and enthusiastic. And he’s so good, too, that he really pushes Lewis forward. He’s been an awesome (inaudible).

RITHOLTZ: And — and, you know, when you’re that age, you could say, hey, my time will come eventually.

ELLIOTT: Of course, of course.

RITHOLTZ: The — the guy who runs the Mercedes, Toto — what’s his name?

ELLIOTT: Toto Wolff.

RITHOLTZ: Such a fascinating character …

ELLIOTT: Yes, I know.

RITHOLTZ: … on the Netflix show, as is the guy who runs the Red Bull team and the guy who runs McLaren. It’s really (inaudible) for that matter.

ELLIOTT: It’s a cast of character — it’s a cast of characters, which is really — I’m really glad Liberty Media has taken a aggressive stance to promoting Formula One in the U.S. I mean, it’s actually taken years and years to get proper broadcasting, proper promotion, proper marketing.

RITHOLTZ: And tracks.

ELLIOTT: And tracks.

RITHOLTZ: So you have Miami, you have …

ELLIOTT: Sure.

RITHOLTZ: … Las Vegas, where — Texas?

ELLIOTT: I can’t wait for — yes. I can’t wait for Vegas.

RITHOLTZ: Where — where else are they going to open Grand Prix tracks?

ELLIOTT: Well, we don’t know. Those three for sure, Vegas is going to happen for the first time in this current era next year at some point in the fall. I think they still have yet to release the date.

Miami just happened. I saw the final numbers. They’re claiming 240,000 tickets …

RITHOLTZ: That’s a lot.

ELLIOTT: … which is insane.

RITHOLTZ: It’s like Super Bowl plus.

ELLIOTT: Yes.

RITHOLTZ: Two Super Bowls.

ELLIOTT: And it’s so interesting because most of my friends are not in the car world, but they were asking me about the Miami race. They — for whatever reason …

RITHOLTZ: And this is all from Netflix?

ELLIOTT: Yes.

RITHOLTZ: And — what …

ELLIOTT: They do.

RITHOLTZ: … let’s talk a little bit about Audi and Porsche joining …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … Formula One. What — why …

ELLIOTT: So …

RITHOLTZ: … after all these years, you would’ve thought Porsche would have been right in that the whole time.

ELLIOTT: Well, Porsche has, in the past, had supply parts to Formula One in the past. It’s been in and out and, of course, has focused on other racing series, including Formula E. You know, they got a team …

RITHOLTZ: Right.

ELLIOTT: … a racing team with Tag Heuer in Formula E right now.

But I think what has caused part of this is Formula One has announced that they’re going to be changing some of the rules for the engines in the next few years, which will allow new and hybrid — more hybrid technology to be involved in the cars. And I think brands like Porsche and Audi are seeing …

RITHOLTZ: They want to be there.

ELLIOTT: They want to be there. It’s growing and it will really truly help them develop their electric technologies for future consumer cars.

RITHOLTZ: Since we’re talking about Porsche and Audi, let’s talk about their e-offerings. The — the Taycan, especially the turbo …

ELLIOTT: Superb.

RITHOLTZ: … spectacular car.

ELLIOTT: Love it.

RITHOLTZ: The GT e-tron …

ELLIOTT: Yes.

RITHOLTZ: … other than the fact it was a horrible olive drab color …

ELLIOTT: Oh, no.

RITHOLTZ: … and these are really lovely cars …

ELLIOTT: Yes.

RITHOLTZ: … but they’re very pricey. When do these things sort of become a middle-class purchase? And I know when I’m talking about Porsche …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … like the Macan starts at …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … 50 grand, and the Cayman starts at …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … around the same price. So they are middle — upper middle-class cars …

ELLIOTT: Right, right.

RITHOLTZ: … but when do the EVs come down?

ELLIOTT: Well, I think we might have to look outside the luxury automakers for EVs that are — are priced in a very affordable way. Hyundai has the EVs that people are obsessed about.

RITHOLTZ: All the Koreans, so Kia — Ioniq is which brand?

ELLIOTT: Yes.

RITHOLTZ: Is that …

ELLIOTT: That’s Hyundai, yeah.

RITHOLTZ: So those cars are reasonably …

ELLIOTT: Fabulous.

RITHOLTZ: … priced.

ELLIOTT: Yes.

RITHOLTZ: Fully featured, it’s not like they’re missing a whole lot.

ELLIOTT: But to answer your point about Porsche and Audi, I don’t think we’re going to see affordable EVs from those guys for a long time. Why? I mean, they …

RITHOLTZ: But they can sell with that price?

ELLIOTT: … they can sell them at the high prices, so why would they …

RITHOLTZ: Yeah.

ELLIOTT: … need to go down at all?

RITHOLTZ: I would really consider a Tesla Plaid, the Tesla S …

ELLIOTT: OK.

RITHOLTZ: … except I have a lot of friends with Teslas.

ELLIOTT: They’re very ubiquitous.

RITHOLTZ: Well, that’s number one.

ELLIOTT: Yes.

RITHOLTZ: It’s an old design.

ELLIOTT: Yes.

RITHOLTZ: But my real beef is the fit and finish of the interior.

ELLIOTT: Still — it’s still …

RITHOLTZ: Still.

ELLIOTT: … a problem. And even back in the day, when you would just gently or a matter of factly point out, these cars are not well-made.

RITHOLTZ: Right.

ELLIOTT: You — it was like you had just attacked …

RITHOLTZ: Right.

ELLIOTT: … you know, personally attacked Elon Musk and we were threatening his identity and all. It’s like, no, but when you look at …

RITHOLTZ: I got in — I got into a Taycan Turbo the other day, it’s a just a spectacular interior.

ELLIOTT: Yes, because it’s done by a proper German automaker that has been doing this for 70 plus years.

RITHOLTZ: Even the — even the Ford 150 Langley …

ELLIOTT: Sure.

RITHOLTZ: … was a really well-made interior.

ELLIOTT: Same with the Hummer.

RITHOLTZ: Right.

ELLIOTT: So I — I do think just because the long — the longstanding older automakers have not done electric vehicles until now doesn’t mean they can’t, it just means they haven’t had to or they haven’t wanted to. But now that they are starting to make them, we’re finally getting actual luxury quality fit and finish manufacturing, you know, body panels fitting together properly, software that actually works. We are not getting this from Lucid, Rivian, Tesla, which are startups.

RITHOLTZ: The — the one thing I could say about Tesla, I think this technology and their software is still way ahead of …

ELLIOTT: Sure.

RITHOLTZ: … everybody else’s and the over-the-air updates way ahead of everybody else. I don’t know when we’re going to have like a phone that you just put down. Eventually, I want to drive into the garage and have the charger …

ELLIOTT: Yes.

RITHOLTZ: … be on the floor and I have to do …

ELLIOTT: Yes.

RITHOLTZ: … I don’t have to …

ELLIOTT: In one hour.

RITHOLTZ: Right, just — just …

ELLIOTT: Yes.

RITHOLTZ: … but — but that’s coming eventually.

ELLIOTT: Sure.

RITHOLTZ: I think that’s the peel of the hybrid now. We’re still in a transition from ice to E.V.

ELLIOTT: Of course. Yeah, I mean, there’s a lot of hype around EVs, but again, if you look at the reality of it, you cannot drive an electric vehicle. It ranges, you know, about 300. That’s kind of the going rate.

RITHOLTZ: Right.

ELLIOTT: But that’s really under perfect conditions. If you don’t do …

RITHOLTZ: Right, if it’s cold, if you’re driving fast …

ELLIOTT: … you — I mean, really in real-world terms you’re going to get like over 100 miles maybe. That’s not really a road trip this fast.

RITHOLTZ: Right, that’s right.

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: All right. So I only have you for a couple more minutes. Let’s jump to our speed round, starting with best used car for under $50,000. What — what would you tell people to get?

ELLIOTT: Oh, can I say a collectible vintage car?

RITHOLTZ: You could say whatever you want.

ELLIOTT: I — I want a Corvette …

RITHOLTZ: Used or collectible?

ELLIOTT: … I want to a C3 Corvette.

RITHOLTZ: You could find them for under 50 grand.

ELLIOTT: Oh, easily, you can find it for — you can find a driver quality for 20 to 30 …

RITHOLTZ: And either the T-tops or the convertible.

ELLIOTT: Yes. And I think — I keep reading these Haggerty reports and, you know, Sotheby’s reports, values are going up of the muscle cars in general, and I think they look so cool. I think they’re about to hit their stride.

RITHOLTZ: All right. Best collectible under 100 grand?

ELLIOTT: If you can get a like a 996 on a higher mileage, so you’re going to pay …

RITHOLTZ: Less.

ELLIOTT: … less, I still think values for those are going up. They have …

RITHOLTZ: Really?

ELLIOTT: … yes, they have been going up, but I don’t see any reason why those are not going to stop gaining value.

RITHOLTZ: Really? Wow, I — I — I’m going to regret passing on that like 911.

ELLIOTT: Honestly, I think so, and I don’t think mileage matters, I really don’t. If it — if the car has been maintained, if it’s had …

RITHOLTZ: Yeah.

ELLIOTT: … at least in California …

RITHOLTZ: No rust.

ELLIOTT: Exactly. California car, call it one or two owners, properly maintained with a — a good ledger of records, hey, if it’s got a lot of miles, but it’s been taken cared for — cared of.

RITHOLTZ: What car would you own if money was no object?

ELLIOTT: Mercedes 300 SL gullwing.

RITHOLTZ: That’s mine also. That’s a good pick …

ELLIOTT: Yeah, thanks.

RITHOLTZ: … because it’s a …

ELLIOTT: I did not plan that. That’s what came from my heart.

RITHOLTZ: It — it’s …

ELLIOTT: But it’s — yeah.

RITHOLTZ: The — the — I don’t know if you saw the Paul Newman version, the sort of light blue with the plaid seats.

ELLIOTT: Oh, oh, yeah.

RITHOLTZ: Spectacular.

ELLIOTT: Did you see the — the SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe that sold for 140?

RITHOLTZ: You wrote a column on …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … how to insure that.

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: I mean, that’s a …

ELLIOTT: I was there when they announced the sale.

RITHOLTZ: It’s a made-up number, I don’t really believe — I — you know …

ELLIOTT: Well, it was a private auction …

RITHOLTZ: Right, right.

ELLIOTT: … orchestrated very closely …

RITHOLTZ: Yeah.

ELLIOTT: … but exciting nonetheless. But that line of car is gorgeous.

RITHOLTZ: Insane, just insane. So forget money, no objects, just rationally, what’s your next irresponsible auto purchase?

ELLIOTT: Well, I know I keep saying this, but I really do want a C3 Corvette. I’m going to keep hammering on that.

RITHOLTZ: All right.

ELLIOTT: I — now, I — I will never replace the ‘75 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow that I have.

RITHOLTZ: Yeah, what’s the deal with that …

ELLIOTT: Yeah, I love that car.

RITHOLTZ: … that land yacht. Oh, my God.

ELLIOTT: Oh, it’s — oh, it’s so glorious. You can get those for pretty inexpensive. The key is to have a mechanic who can work on.

RITHOLTZ: OK.

ELLIOTT: And I do have that.

RITHOLTZ: You get parts?

ELLIOTT: For sure, they’re everywhere, yeah.

RITHOLTZ: And — and do kids pull up next to you and talk about great Papa or do …

ELLIOTT: Yeah, they do.

RITHOLTZ: You get that joke?

ELLIOTT: Yeah, I — I’ve had people send me (inaudible).

RITHOLTZ: Get out.

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: That’s hilarious.

ELLIOTT: Little packets, the little packets they sent me aback.

RITHOLTZ: Oh, that’s so funny.

ELLIOTT: And the one great thing about that car in L.A., you know, it’s all just a real big ego contest with cars in L.A. going out in Beverly Hills. You know, (inaudible) …

RITHOLTZ: You roll up in that car, you’re keeping your own with anybody right …

ELLIOTT: … you’re going to be perfect right out front. Exactly. They’re going to park you …

RITHOLTZ: … next to the Ferrari, next to the McLaren.

ELLIOTT: … front and center, and that car is not an expensive car.

RITHOLTZ: No.

ELLIOTT: It makes you feel like a million bucks though.

RITHOLTZ: Right.

ELLIOTT: When all those other guys have every other thing, it’s great.

RITHOLTZ: Last two questions, what’s the fastest car you’ve ever been in?

ELLIOTT: Oh, well, Bugatti, of course.

RITHOLTZ: The Chiron?

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: Right. And now here’s the trick question …

ELLIOTT: OK.

RITHOLTZ: … not the fastest car you’ve ever been in, but what’s the fastest you’ve ever driven?

ELLIOTT: Well, I would say I was on the track in Spain with Ferrari earlier this year, and I don’t know, we probably were 160 or so on the backstretch.

RITHOLTZ: That’s — that’s, you know, autobahn speed.

ELLIOTT: Yeah, right.

RITHOLTZ: Right? But your …

ELLIOTT: Yeah, 160 miles per hour not kilometers.

RITHOLTZ: But — but I hope you’re — you’re paying attention and not going to distract (inaudible).

ELLIOTT: No, I was — in that moment, I was paying attention.

RITHOLTZ: I — I think it — I think that that would tend to focus your attention.

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: All right. So let’s jump to our favorite questions that we ask all of our guests, starting with tell us what you’re streaming these days, what kept you entertained during the pandemic.

ELLIOTT: OK, the most recent within the last few weeks, Mayor of Kingstown with Jeremy Renner. Have you watched this at all? It’s …

RITHOLTZ: No, it looks — it looks like disturbing.

ELLIOTT: … it’s very violent …

RITHOLTZ: Yeah.

ELLIOTT: … but it’s very good. I mean, he’s incredible. The guy from Brotherhoods in it, the — the main brother who played the cop. I don’t want to spoil anything with that. But I binge that, completely love it, Mayor of Kingstown, a little bit violent.

And then the other thing that I just started since being here in New York, that was a recommendation from Ian (ph) who colors my hair is Hacks.

RITHOLTZ: Loved it. Oh, my God …

ELLIOTT: Really, yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … it’s so great.

ELLIOTT: It’s so — and I had seen that …

RITHOLTZ: So good.

ELLIOTT: … and passed it a million times, and he was like, “No, you really need to give it a look.” And I’ve watched like five episodes just back-to-back-to-back.

RITHOLTZ: Oh, it’s — it’s just great.

ELLIOTT: It’s hilarious.

RITHOLTZ: Can I — my problem with binging something like that is there’s only three seasons.

ELLIOTT: I know.

RITHOLTZ: It’s a short season. You kind of want to make it …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … make it last a little bit.

ELLIOTT: They go really fast, don’t they? They go really fast.

RITHOLTZ: Yeah. No, they really do.

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: I — I’ve been trying to watch less really violent stuff …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … that’s why — I mean, although I’ve been — we’ve been watching Outlander and some of the …

ELLIOTT: OK.

RITHOLTZ: … scenes are just …

ELLIOTT: Yeah.

RITHOLTZ: … you know, torturing mentality.

ELLIOTT: I will admit to covering my eyes at some point, so I just …

RITHOLTZ: Know and see if I’m going to watch it, I’m going to watch it.

ELLIOTT: … don’t want things on my head. No, no, I — I have no problem like literally fast-forwarding or covering my eyes, so yeah.

RITHOLTZ: Tell us about your mentors, who helped shape your career.

ELLIOTT: That’s a great question. I have to say I’ve already spoken about Matthew de Paula who was the editor who hired me at Forbes and who just saw this like very young trained journalists who knew nothing about cars and really helped me shape a — a perspective on it. And then Joann Muller who was the Detroit Bureau Chief at Forbes when I was there. She’s now at Axios writing about transportation.

She is just a beacon of hope and light in optimism, a true professional journalist. Love her. So yeah, Joanne Muller has great content. She’s running for Axios now.

RITHOLTZ: Interesting. Tell us about some of your favorite books and what you’re reading right now.

ELLIOTT: I just finished Bell Hooks’ “New Visions” of — “All About Love,” which is not a new book, it’s new to me. It sounds a little, you know, gushy, but it’s a really beautiful book about how our culture lacks love in the culture. And it just felt — reading it, it felt like really just a balm because we all have had quite a chaotic …

RITHOLTZ: Five years, yeah.

ELLIOTT: … sort of aggressive five years, and it has seen that people are really becoming polarized and tribal and, you know — and so reading that, it really was a beautiful commentary on the importance of love — in addition to romantically love — brotherly love, love for others, love for self, forgiving parents for not loving you perfectly. It was really a great book.

And then the other one that I — I’m still going through is called “The Artist’s Way,” which is by Julia Cameron. It’s an old one.

RITHOLTZ: My wife is a big fan of that book.

ELLIOTT: Yes. It’s so — it’s the type of book that you just want to re-read every like 10 years or so because it really does sort of free you up from whatever thing you’re locked into. It’s great for people who were creative as children, and every child is creative.

The point of the book is every child is creative somewhere along the way that gets pushed out from a lot of us. And it’s just about being free as a creative in any tiny little way.

RITHOLTZ: Really interesting. What sort of advice would you give to a college grad who was interested in a career in either journalism or automotives or whatever?

ELLIOTT: Do what you’re excited about. I would say two things. Don’t take a job that’s very depressing to you. Even if you think you should, don’t do it. Just don’t do it.

And the second one is take a job where you can see where it gets you somewhere else and to a point you want to be — even if the job …

RITHOLTZ: See the path.

ELLIOTT: Yeah, even if the job isn’t perfect for you in that moment, take it. If it gets you to a point where you might want to be, which is how it worked out for me at Forbes. I — I knew — I don’t really necessarily want to write about cars, but it gets me in somewhere that I want to be. So have an open mind — a mind open enough to be able to maybe do that and to pivot if you need to.

And then also, you know, it’s so cliche, but like don’t do something that isn’t exciting because if you’re not excited about it, how can you expect your readers, your clients, your — that your colleague to — to be excited about it if you aren’t.

RITHOLTZ: Really interesting. And our final question, what do you know about the world of writing automobiles, luxury, travel today that you wish you knew 20 years or so ago when you were really a young cub reporter?

ELLIOTT: That’s a good question. I think what I wish I knew about the world in general is that you can kind of do whatever you want. There are no rules. There’s — there’s no set thing that says you can’t talk to this person, you can’t ask that person that thing, you can’t try to find out more about this just because you don’t have that background.

The options …

RITHOLTZ: Just do it.

ELLIOTT: … just do it. Just be — be bold, be bolder than you think you’re allowed to be.

I think, you know, when — at least for me when I was younger, it’s all about trying to do the right thing and please people. And that’s a nice impulse, but also, you can be a little bit more bold than you think you can.

RITHOLTZ: Really good advice. We have been speaking with Hannah Elliott. She is the reporter covering automobiles for Bloomberg.

If you enjoy this conversation, well, be sure and check out any of the 400 prior ones we’ve done. You can find those at iTunes, Spotify, wherever you get your favorite podcast.

We love your comments, feedback, and suggestions. Write to us at mibpodcast@bloomberg.net. Sign up for my daily reading list at ritholtz.com. Check out my Twitter feed @ritholtz.

I would be remiss if I did not thank the crack staff that helps put these conversations together. My audio engineer is Jack Halsted. My project manager is Atika Valbrun. Sean Russo is our Head of Research. Paris Wald is my Producer.

I’m Barry Ritholtz. You’ve been listening to Masters in Business on Bloomberg Radio.

 

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