Everyone who has had an email account at anytime within the last 47 years has seen the photo of the Volkswagen Jetta in a Lowe’s parking lot with 24.65 metric tons of construction lumber piled on the roof. Well, tonight I figured out how that whole situation went terribly wrong. (They put the wood on top of the car instead of putting it inside, and they used a 4th Generation Jetta instead of the MK5.)
Tonight I picked up 150 board feet of 8/4 hard maple and of the four vehicles that my wife and I own (I work in the auto industry… I have to do my part to support my own team)… I decided we would take our diesel Jetta to get it.
Sure I have a trailer…but there was slushy snow and freezing rain… who wants to pull a trailer in that. Yes, we could have taken a Jeep Grand Cherokee with Full Time 4WD and anti-lock brakes, but who wants to get 14 miles per gallon on a 60 mile round trip.
Yes, we have a Jeep Wrangler with a full roll cage, air-locking differentials with 4.56 gears, winches, and skid plates… but we weren’t getting this lumber from the top of School Bus (somewhere there is an old school off-roader reading this who has been to Tellico and knows what that means).
Obviously, our Mercedes Convertible only has two seats, so it isn’t really a good vehicle for hauling lumber…unless (in a voice like Thurston Howell the 3rd) unless it is beautiful burl wood trim on the Benz’s instrument panel (Besides the roadster’s put up for winter.)
So, naturally, the 40+ mpg Diesel Jetta was the vehicle of choice.
QUICK ASIDE: If you are in the market for winter tires… I cannot say enough good things about the Bridgestone Blizzak WS60’s. Honest to God… they turn snow and ice into sandpaper. Bridgestone is messin’ with the laws of Physics with these things. They are Crazy Good.
So here are a couple quick pictures of 150 board feet of Hard Maple loaded into our Jetta. You can see that Gail just tucked into the seat behind the driver and we drove home through the crappy weather contemplating what kind of carnage would occur if we got T-boned by another lumber-laden vehicle. (I started my engineering career doing occupant restraints. I know there is no way to secure lumber against a 30g collision inside a vehicle, but hey… sometimes you gotta put your life on the line if you want to build a great work bench.) Yes, Mr. Schwarz, you talked me into it. I am going to cancel my bench order with Lie-Nielsen and build one myself.... but I'm going to put a tool tray on it just to spite you. HAH!!!!!!!!!!!!! Put that in your pipe and smoke it, but don't do it near the bench... all the shavings in the tool tray will go up like Richard Pryor, Joan of Arc, Michael Jackson's hair, or Ricky Nelson's plane. (Feel free to pick your own simile depending upon your personal tolerance for inappropriate humor.)
So here are the pics. By the way, in case you are wondering about the background in one of those pictures… ”Why yes. That is a life size cardboard cut-out of Mario Cipollini during the time he was the Italian Champion and had Peter Frampton hair.”