29 June 2022

And so, it has come to pass.

It was a real emotional roller coaster during the last hour; I genuinely had no idea what it would do and it was nuts watching it climbing in the last 30 minutes. There’s still the paperwork and payment stuff to get through, and am hoping that it goes smoothly. The winner is just up the road in Orange County (south of Los Angeles), where I hope that he’ll respect it and enjoy its performance.

As the price kept climbing, I saw tears in my wife’s eyes, and I asked her why. She said that she was just so happy that people really did appreciate the car for what it is, instead of it potentially selling for a disappointingly low price. I know you’re wondering: It sold for $55,555!

The winning bidder posted that he wants to drive it to Laguna Seca in a couple weeks. I don’t know if he’s serious; I thought about doing the same and ruled it out because it was important for me to be at Laguna and didn’t want to risk being late. I don’t know of any reason why Midlana wouldn’t make it, but it’s a very ambitious plan, driving a car that’s a complete unknown over such a long distance (~300 miles both directions). It means that he has a couple choices:

A. Go up I-5 in the central valley, where it’s endless miles of dead-straight freeway with nothing to look at, and be >100F. An option is to cut over to Highway 101 at Paso Robles, but it’ll still be hot, traffic will be worse, and there are many stop lights.

B. Go up 1, the Coast Highway, which looks wonderful in movies and commercials, because you don’t see the endless stream of RVs during the summer months. I can see becoming very frustrated with that, as did I when stuck trailing “losers” in slow moving cars.

And hope you don’t run into rain.

Regardless, this is nearly the end of this odyssey, but I plan to stay in contact with the new owner to see how it’s going for him, and will let you guys know.

22 June 2022

First draft of the BaT description was received, reviewed, changes made, reviewed again, and approved this morning. Now it enters the BaT queue to go live sometime within the next few day (I assume). I’ll post again when it does, and off we go!

16 May 2022

Still waiting on BaT to move forward with listing Midlana.

Mikael, a Midlana builder in Sweden, said he appreciated seeing the photos that are being submitted to BaT (the link was posted in the Builder’s Forum). It hit me that I’ve completely dropped the ball on having a gallery here, which should have been added years ago, sigh. Here’s the direct link to the pics: Midlana photo gallery

Before the photographer took the above pics, I took photos of the engine bay, removing the ducting and intercooler to not waste the photographer’s time while I messed with taking the parts off. The engine pics are to show bidders what they’re getting. There’s also a few pics of the front bay. I have to figure out where to post them, because if placed here in the usual way, they’re fairly low resolution.

9 May 2022

Bring a Trailer accepted Midlana for listing and requested additional information. This is just the start, as we haven’t yet started the back-and-forth process of creating and reviewing the description.

28 April 2022

Started cleaning up Midlana inside and out in preparation of selling it on the auction site BringaTrailer.com. It was a strange feeling, realizing I was likely cleaning Midlana for the last time. Mixed and conflicted feelings, for sure.

After cleaning the engine compartment, I took photos of it with the cover on, then minus the cover, then minus the ducting and intercooler, so potential buyers know what’s inside. This also saves my buddy’s time this weekend when he helps by taking photos of the rest of the car. I’ll send in the photos and description, and it’ll  “probably” go live sometime next week. That’s in quotes because BringaTrailer has a slightly unusual business model wherein they have staffers reformat owner’s descriptions. I’m guessing that they got tired of poor and incomplete descriptions causing cars not to sell – and them missing out on the commission. To be honest, I have no idea what it’ll go for, though it doesn’t matter what I think, it’s only worth what someone will pay for it. I’ll still set a reserve in case there’s little interest and someone bids $10 – that would sting. Whoever the buyer is, it’s going to have to be a pretty special individual, someone willing and unafraid to fully understand and be capable of working on all aspects of the car, and who is also be looking for something very, very fast, and is capable of safely controlling it. That reminds me, I need to also create a disclaimer form detaching me legally from the car, because once it leaves my garage, I have no idea what’s been done to it. Anyway, I’ll let you guys know when it goes live.

11 April 2022

As announced, a “fun” car will be replacing Midlana after it’s sold. A lot of thinking and digging has gone on since my last post, (much of which has already been explained in my forum). For everyone else, the list of contenders is/was:

  • Audi RS3
  • Audi TT RS
  • Porsche Cayman GTS
  • Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio
  • BMW M2 Competition
  • Jaguar F-Type S or R

The list of limitations:

  • It’ll never see the track. I can’t imagine risking balling up something expensive.
  • There has to be at least some dealerships within a reasonable distance
  • I don’t want a physically large car. I want something that can be walked around in the garage, which cuts down on a lot of possibilities (i.e. no Corvettes or Vipers, thank you).
  • It has to have an automatic transmission, though one with “flappy paddles” would be nice. I’m tired of shifting, and an automatic means the wife can drive it as well.
  • It needs to be capable of handling shopping, day trips, or maybe even several-day trips.
  • I want something fun, something I look forward to driving, something special.

The list started getting shorter pretty fast.

Audi RS3: Left me kind of “meh.”

Audi TT RS: I liked its size, looks, and power, but at its price point, there are more interesting cars out there.

Porsche Cayman GTS: Arguably the best car in the technical sense, one that would very likely turn the fastest lap time. Thing is, I grew up in an area where they were everywhere, and they just don’t do it for me. Since it won’t be tracked, interest dropped off. Not much of a reason but that’s it.

Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio: If I lived in the UK or Europe, I’d own this. In the US, however, Alfa’s unstable dealership structure, dealerships few and far between, reported poor quality of work, and supply chain issues, made what would have been my first choice drop off the list. A shame.

BMW M2 Competition: Ticks most of the boxes, and it’s currently the only other contender besides the one I’m focusing on at the moment…

Jaguar F-Type S or R: Yup. In my mind (right now at least), it’s the best balance of being beautiful to look at, sounds great, is somewhat affordable, drives great, and did I mention its looks? My hang up right now is choosing between the S (V6 RWD) and the R (V8 AWD). I slam between “all I need for the street is the V6”, and “the V6 RWD is a ‘light’ 3500 lbs, 300 lbs lighter than the R”, and “Who cares, it’s a cruiser for the street, and the 550 hp will certainly cure that extra 300 lbs.” The sound of both the V6 and V8 is very nice, and was apparently designed to make it part of the car’s “presentation.”

We shall see, and yes, I know, first-world problems.

22 March 2022 Big Announcement

Big Midlana continues to run well, and while the car hasn’t changed since completion, I have!

Short story: I plan to sell Midlana.

Long story:
Over the last few years, my interests have slowly been drifting, with other projects and ideas competing for garage space currently taken up by Midlana. My interests have always been diverse, including cars, astronomy, photography, gardening, koi fish, clock design and building, and even beer making (that was a while ago).

Regarding Midlana—or any hardcore sports car for that matter—I find that I’m becoming less interested. Around Southern California, cars rule and people drive everywhere. With most people back in the office after Covid, traffic sucks more than ever, and in a raw elemental sports car, sitting in stop and go traffic is “death by 1000 cuts”. It doesn’t do you in immediately, but over time, enjoyment slowly erodes away, and at some point, I realized that I wasn’t enjoying myself. My brother argues “just go early” for weekend drives. Yes, that works, but often, car events are scheduled mid-day. I find myself making excuses not to drive the car. I find myself going through the following thought process when planning to run out to a local store for something: “I could take the cover off Midlana, start it up, check it over, get belted in, and go”; “will what I need to buy fit in the car?”; “or take the truck and be back by the time Midlana is warmed up.” Another reason is that if I drive it, and it breaks, I have to fix it, and I don’t want to spend time on it right now. Anyway, it’s not a fault of Midlana, it hasn’t changed – I have.

Another moment happened at the Virginia City hill climb. Midlana did very well, but when the next event came up, I had zero interest in going… why? Instead of looking forward to an awesome experience again, I found myself making excuses: getting the time off, the hassle of renting a trailer, towing the car 500 miles, the $600 entry fee, the expense of food, gas, and a room, worrying about potential repairs, and, lastly, something that surprised me, mortality. You know that dream of having a really fast and agile car, one that’s as fast as a sport bike? What’s left out is the potential consequence of driving very fast on twisty roads. That never used to bother me, but now it bounces around in my head. People have died doing the above hill climb, and while it didn’t bother me then, but it does now.

Another life event that had an impact on me was my father passing away, and mom is currently at the point where she’s no longer sure who we (kids) are, it’s a reminder that we have only so long here, physically and mentally, and that if we want to do things, it’s better to do them now while we can.

Another event, one that’s been building for years, is that our sad old house was in dire need of a remodel. That kept getting pushed off due to me spending 100% of my time designing and building Kimini and Midlana. Then recently, my employer offered early retirement… and the time was right, so I took it. That freed up the ability to do the remodel, entirely on my own to save money, learn new things, and keep me busy. As I type this, it’s well underway, with new floor tile gradually spreading throughout the house, one bath redone, and the kitchen is nearing completion. Point being, my time is being spent elsewhere while Midlana languishes, battery charged and always ready to go. I think it’s time to pass it on to a new (and very likely younger) owner who’ll use it as intended.

I debated about this for awhile, wondering whether that people might think, “well what’s the point of buying his book and building a Midlana if his interests have shifted?” I can’t do anything about what other people think; all I can do is lay out the reasons for my own thoughts, and people can conclude whatever they want, and I’ll continue supporting the Midlana website/forum.

So, sometime this year, Midlana will likely go up for sale, most likely on Bring A Trailer (though it’s 100% street legal and runs fine, but whatever.) Oh and lastly, the draw to sports cars isn’t entirely gone from my system. The plan is to sell Midlana and my wife’s car, buying a fun car for shopping, day trips, and maybe longer road trips. Something more suitable for… sigh, older people. You know, something with heating, cooling, windows, and an automatic transmission, something that I don’t mind being stuck in traffic in. And no, it won’t be electric (for a commuter, yes, for low miles in retirement it doesn’t make as much sense). What it needs to be is to be something that I look forward to driving. We’ll see.