Transcript: Hannah Elliott



The transcript from this week’s MiB: Hannah Elliot, Supercar Reviewer is below.

You can stream/download the full conversation, including the podcast extras on Apple iTunesOvercastSpotifyGoogleBloomberg, and Stitcher. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here.




VOICE-OVER: This is Masters in Business with Barry Ritholtz on Bloomberg Radio.

BARRY RITHOLTZ, HOST, MASTERS IN BUSINESS: This week on the podcast, I want to try something a little different. You guys know I’m a bit of an auto buff.

And so, I brought in one of my favorite automotive writers right here at Bloomberg. Hannah Elliott has been covering cars and luxury goods for the better part of a decade and we just want out about all things automotive.

If you’re at all interested in, where do I start, Tesla electric cars, collectible cars, supercars, driving schools, racing, just the future of automotive industry, well, you’re going to find this to be absolutely fascinating.

Unfortunately, there is a lot of me in this. You’ll just have to get past that because once we start talking about cars, I can’t shut the hell up. But if you are at all interested in automobiles, you’re going to find this to be a lot of wonky fun.

So, with no further ado, my conversation with automotive journalist Hannah Elliott.

VOICE-OVER: This is Masters in Business with Barry Ritholtz on Bloomberg Radio.

RITHOLTZ: This is an extra special edition of Masters in Business. I don’t normally bring in guest who are also Bloomberg columnist. But today, I’ve brought in one of my favorite people to read, Hannah Elliott.


RITHOLTZ: I only would say welcome to Bloomberg now but you have your own desk and badge and you’re here half of the time, right?

ELLIOTT: I’m here. I’m here just across the way. Yes.

RITHOLTZ: So, you split your time between East Coast and West Coast, right?

ELLIOTT: Kind of.

RITHOLTZ: 60/40? 70/30?

ELLIOTT: My boyfriend lives in on the West Coast and cars are better on the West Coast let’s just say.

RITHOLTZ: Well, better roads.

ELLIOTT: Yes, especially during the winter.

RITHOLTZ: Yes, for sure.

ELLIOTT: So, I do find myself out West a lot and I’m originally from the West Coast. So, it is …

RITHOLTZ: Oregon, is that right?

ELLIOTT: Yes. Exactly.



RITHOLTZ: So, let’s talk — start with your background. I originally saw your byline when you were at Forbes doing luxury.


RITHOLTZ: What’s your background? How on earth did you find your way to car reviews?

ELLIOTT: Well, it’s a funny story.

RITHOLTZ: Do tell.

ELLIOTT: I have a journalism degree from Baylor University in Texas. Grade school, I went there to run on the track team actually.

RITHOLTZ: Really? What’s your run?

ELLIOTT: The 800 and cross-country.

RITHOLTZ: I ran the half marathon and the two-mile relay …

ELLIOTT: Hardest race on track.

RITHOLTZ: … and that is a brutal race.


RITHOLTZ: People don’t understand.


RITHOLTZ: It’s two-minute sprint.

ELLIOTT: Yes. Yes.

RITHOLTZ: Well, unless you’re good and then it’s a minute 30 sprint.

ELLIOTT: It really proves your worth and your courage …


ELLIOTT: … as an athlete because they always say, whoever is leading at the end of the first lap is not going to be leading at the end of the second lap.

RITHOLTZ: That’s right. It’s all about who get through.

ELLIOTT: Strategy.


ELLIOTT: I mean, I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about it.


ELLIOTT: But to get back to your question …

RITHOLTZ: By the way, that was a hundred pounds ago between you and I. You’re still lean and lanky.

ELLIOTT: Yes. You should see my dad.

RITHOLTZ: Yes? Runner?

ELLIOTT: Yes. He actually ran from Athletics West, Nike’s elite marathon training …

RITHOLTZ: Sure. Yes. Yes.

ELLIOTT: … team back in the ’70s and ’80s. Yes. He’s 6’4″ and weighs about what I do.

RITHOLTZ: You’re not that much shorter than that.


RITHOLTZ: How tall are you?

ELLIOTT: I’m actually 5’10-1/2″ but I’m …

RITHOLTZ: I don’t believe that for a second.

ELLIOTT: I know it does. No one does.

RITHOLTZ: I’m 5’10-1/2″ …

ELLIOTT: I have doctor’s note.

RITHOLTZ: .. and you’re towering — let me see those heels.

ELLIOTT: I have a doctor’s note that says I’m 5’10-1/2″. No one believes.

RITHOLTZ: You have to be at least six feet.

ELLIOTT: Well, in heels, of course, I’m probably 6’2″.

RITHOLTZ: No. Barefoot, you’re six feet.

ELLIOTT: I will prove it to you. I’ll take off my shoes later. We can back up against each other.

RITHOLTZ: We’ll try that later. I’ll get a photo.


RITHOLTZ: I don’t believe it for a second.

ELLIOTT: Yes. I know. It’s crazy. I have good posture.

RITHOLTZ: So, back to Baylor Journalism School.


RITHOLTZ: What led you towards Forbes?

ELLIOTT: So, I moved to New York. I’m writing basically for the same wire service that I interned in in Baylor writing about politics and religion. But it’s kind of like it’s good but I’m looking for the next thing.

I answered a Craigslist ad looking for an assistant editor at Forbes. I know nothing about cars.

RITHOLTZ: Craigslist, really?

ELLIOTT: Yes. Well, this was 15 years ago and …


ELLIOTT: … apparently, people still use Craigslist back then.

RITHOLTZ: I mean, people still use it now.


RITHOLTZ: I know a ton of people who sell cars on Craigslist.

ELLIOTT: Yes, of course.

RITHOLTZ: So, we’re talking about my cars later.

ELLIOTT: OK. I can’t wait.

RITHOLTZ: I got an old SL I have to get rid of and …

ELLIOTT: What color?

RITHOLTZ: Red with a tan interior, ’86.

ELLIOTT: I have an ’88.

RITHOLTZ: It’s 119,000 miles and it’s my third convertible. I don’t need three convertibles.

ELLIOTT: I want to talk about this.

RITHOLTZ: We will talk about this in a few minutes.


RITHOLTZ: I have some funny car stories and I bet you do, too.

ELLIOTT: Great. I can’t wait.

RITHOLTZ: So, Craigslist Forbes.

ELLIOTT: Yes. So, I answered an ad on Craigslist. I don’t know anything about anything. I’m such a baby. I don’t know a thing. But I go in and I just think, all right, Forbes is a good brand. If I get my foot in the door, I’ll figure something out once I get there.


ELLIOTT: It’s a great brand. So, I go in and I — the guy who hires me is a great person with — who sees potential in people and he basically said, look, I get hired, he hired me because I was cheap. I was just out of college and really, I had no bad habits as a journalist.


ELLIOTT: And he figured, I can teach this person how to write about cars.

RITHOLTZ: I can mold her.

ELLIOTT: Exactly. Just like any other beat (ph). He was used to dealing with a lot of car guys who can write about specs and machines and engines …

RITHOLTZ: You had no car background at all.

ELLIOTT: Zero. I mean …

RITHOLTZ: Any previous interest?

ELLIOTT: No. No. I mean, my dad is not a car guy. My brother is not a car guy.

RITHOLTZ: What was your first car?

ELLIOTT: Buick Skylark, 1969.

RITHOLTZ: I’m so sorry. Really?

ELLIOTT: I mean, olive with black interior bench seat. I was so embarrassed of that car.


ELLIOTT: I mean, I shared it with my sister. We bought it for $200. We each paid 100. She loved it and she is cool like that. She saw that it was cool, but I was mortified of that car at that time.

RITHOLTZ: You were right. She was wrong.

ELLIOTT: I mean …

RITHOLTZ: Although — so, you’re still too young. My generation, cars represented freedom.


RITHOLTZ: Like you lived in the suburbs, your parents would freak if you went into the city.


RITHOLTZ: There was no Internet. You were not connected to the rest of the world. The entire Bruce Springsteen over of I have to get out of this place. Cars represented freedom.

ELLIOTT: I love that.

RITHOLTZ: That is no longer …


RITHOLTZ: Like kids not only don’t they need cars today. Where are we going to go? Great. Let’s Uber there.

ELLIOTT: I know.

RITHOLTZ: It’s a whole different headspace.

ELLIOTT: I know.

RITHOLTZ: Plus they’re plugged into the entire universe.

ELLIOTT: I know.

RITHOLTZ: So, that sensation of being a white suburban punk, a prisoner in, for me, it was Plainview, Long Island but that was repeated by millions of people.


RITHOLTZ: Anyway, my Chrysler 300 that I paid of $100, my ’67 Chrysler 300 that I paid $100 from my uncle and could chirp the tires at any speed.


RITHOLTZ: It was a great first car …


RITHOLTZ: … until my mother borrowed it and totaled it.


RITHOLTZ: And that was …


RITHOLTZ: That was sad.


RITHOLTZ: So, they backed you. They could mold you.


RITHOLTZ: Do you want to mention this person’s name?

ELLIOTT: Sure. Matthew de Paula. He’s great.

RITHOLTZ: Still there?

ELLIOTT: No. He — as it turns out, actually, the next year, he was laid off because, of course, he cost a lot more money than I did and this was going into the 2008 when everything was just going really bad.

RITHOLTZ: So, you took over his slot.


RITHOLTZ: That’s unbelievable.

ELLIOTT: So, basically, nobody was — else was writing about cars and he’s like, hey, Hannah, get over there, do that. So, I did that and I kind of — it took four or five years before I finally embraced it. I always was thinking, this is just so I can have a job and I’ll do something else that I actually care about.


ELLIOTT: And then I started to like it. I don’t know. It was very unexpected, unplanned. I started to like it.


ELLIOTT: And here I am 15 years later.

RITHOLTZ: When you first were doing reviews for Forbes, was it the new Honda Accord …


RITHOLTZ: … or was it the supercars you mostly review now?

ELLIOTT: It was everything. When I first started, of course, Matthew got the good, quote-unquote, “the good cars, the exciting cars.”


ELLIOTT: He throw me, yes …

RITHOLTZ: Ford Explorer.


RITHOLTZ: Give it to Hannah.

ELLIOTT: Yes. Yes. Exactly, which was great because you have to do your time.


ELLIOTT: You how to put in the work, learn the basics. It’s not glamorous even though it look — it can look really glamorous, but a lot of it isn’t and that’s good. That’s as it should be.

I find it a very honorable trade. So, yes, of course, I would be in the Hondas and Toyotas and Fords and sometimes I would ride along with Matthew while he did review something more exciting and that slowly changed over time.



RITHOLTZ: That’s really interesting.


RITHOLTZ: Let’s talk a little bit about your process. First, I want to know how you pick a car to review, I want to know what the steps are like, what sort of research do you do. Is it blank canvas or do you do some background? Let’s start first things first, how do you pick which car you want to review?

ELLIOTT: This is a conversation I had with my editor a lot and we try to pick cars that are new on the market and exciting for consumers, and by that, I mean, we may not review an Audi just because it’s not as exciting as something else.


ELLIOTT: So, we try to keep in mind newness, excitement, and also vehicles that are pivotal for an automaker at that time, vehicles that mean something for that automaker either it’s …

RITHOLTZ: The Porsche Taycan.

ELLIOTT: … do or die. Yes. The first-ever electric from Porsche — although not really the first as we’ve found out. There’s some hybrids in their history.

But, yes, so new, exciting and a car that means something pivotal for the automaker really, the criteria.

RITHOLTZ: OK. So, now, it’s — some random car …


RITHOLTZ: … and I will come back to the Taycan later.

ELLIOTT: Great. Great.

RITHOLTZ: I want to talk about that. But it’s some car, how do you go about it? Do you approach it as a blank slate or do you do a lot of homework? And my fear is reading all the research …


RITHOLTZ: … might bias you a little bit.


RITHOLTZ: So, how do you go about that?

ELLIOTT: I don’t read any other …

RITHOLTZ: Nothing.



ELLIOTT: And often, I couldn’t if I wanted to because the cars that I get are not — literally not even on sale yet.

RITHOLTZ: But there’s lots of the automotive press. There’s lots of this car — let’s use the Porsche as an example. There was the Mission E …

ELLIOTT: Sure. Prototype.

RITHOLTZ: … concept car that …

ELLIOTT: Yes, which we heard about for years.

RITHOLTZ: Well, good couple of years.


RITHOLTZ: And then all the chatter that this was going into production and then …


RITHOLTZ: … the early photos that looked very much — very similar.


RITHOLTZ: I mean, the production cars are never. But this one is relatively close.

ELLIOTT: Yes. They did a very good job and it doesn’t hurt that. All the prototype cars and concept cars were white and then the debut car was white.


ELLIOTT: I mean, even that, that’s a simple thing but that is calculated.


ELLIOTT: They’re trying to carry out — carry it on.

RITHOLTZ: Their prototype was much curvier.


RITHOLTZ: It had a tighter beltline and …


RITHOLTZ: … broader hips and front wheel wells. So, you don’t read any of this stuff and come in blank.

ELLIOTT: No. No. I — you use a good word chatter. I don’t want chatter in my head.


ELLIOTT: I don’t trust it. It has to be something real inside me. I trust my own judgment. I don’t want to read other people’s take. And often, I couldn’t if I wanted to because a lot of these cars are — have not been driven and reviewed. They might have been covered like on debuts …

RITHOLTZ: Yes. Right.

ELLIOTT: .. but not actually driven. I’m a big believer that cars should fulfill what automakers promise and it’s surprising how rarely that happen sometimes. I think a car should fit it’s — what it’s intended to do. The statement of intent from the automaker should be fairly priced compared to others …


ELLIOTT: … in the segment. Now, maybe that’s expensive but maybe that’s a fair price compared to others in the segment.


ELLIOTT: It should be able to do what it’s intended to do, how well does it achieve that goal. So, I think by that criteria, you could have a great experience in a Mini Cooper that costs $20,000 or $30,000 and you could have a great experience in a Bentley Continental GT, one of my favorite cars from last year, that costs over $200,000. They both can be amazing cars for what their intended to do.

RITHOLTZ: But they’re very different things.

ELLIOTT: Completely.

RITHOLTZ: How do you distinguish between what the engineers and automotive designers promised and what the marketing people promised because there’s often quite a lot of daylight between the two?

ELLIOTT: Yes. I don’t like marketing at all. I mean, I think you have to do your best as a reviewer to cut straight through that. I don’t watch car as I don’t have a TV, I could if I wanted to.

I really try to keep all of that out. I often will read the press release after I review the car just to kind of check and make sure that I get my facts straight. The big thing for me is that I’m fair and accurate.


ELLIOTT: It doesn’t bother me if people disagree with my take as a critic. That’s fine. I love …

RITHOLTZ: It’s your opinion.

ELLIOTT: Of course. I love having conversations. I have for sure automakers have said that’s unfair, but I do try to be fair and accurate. So, to your point about marketing, I’ll read through their marketing materials mostly as a fact check after I write the review before it’s published.

RITHOLTZ: Got you.


RITHOLTZ: So, now, let’s — I’m assuming you or the editor or somebody reaches out to whoever, Aston Martin, Ferrari whatever. They arranged the car, all that’s administrative stuff. Now, it’s review day and let’s use the Bentley you just mentioned.


RITHOLTZ: One of my favorite cars. One of the most beautiful …

ELLIOTT: An amazing car.

RITHOLTZ: … looking things. They did such a spectacular job on the interior. But gold that aside, if I remember, that was Southern California, right? So, you fly out to California, you pick up the car at Bentley, tell us what that day is like.

ELLIOTT: The great thing about this job, and I admit this is a great perk, often, they deliver the cars to me. So, I don’t even have to go pick them up.

RITHOLTZ: Even nicer. Do they have a handler with you all day?

ELLIOTT: No. No. There’s a third-party company that — it’s a press fleet managers basically.


ELLIOTT: They manage the press fleets for a lot of automotive brands. So, they’ll send a guy with the car and then hand it over.

RITHOLTZ: And he leaves you alone.


RITHOLTZ: Like here’s the keys.


RITHOLTZ: Try not to mess it up.

ELLIOTT: Right. And with that Bentley, I actually — it worked out perfectly because I drove that from LA up to Carmel …


ELLIOTT: … in advance of the Pebble Beach auto show.

RITHOLTZ: Which was delightful.

ELLIOTT: Right. And so, I had it for multiple days. You really get a feel of what it’s like to live in these vehicles.

RITHOLTZ: So, you have that car, is it out yet or is this still …

ELLIOTT: It’s out.

RITHOLTZ: So, it’s not like …

ELLIOTT: By now, it’s out. At that point, the 2020 version has — was probably — they were taking — they’re always taking orders.


ELLIOTT: But deliveries had not started.

RITHOLTZ: The reason I asked is so you’re going to Pebble Beach.


RITHOLTZ: With a really hot car.

ELLIOTT: Yes, I know. It’s — but also, Pebble Beach is the …

RITHOLTZ: Insane. It’s insane.

ELLIOTT: Nothing will be shocking there. No car will be shocking there. I can just — I mean, you kind of blend in even in Bentleys …

RITHOLTZ: A brand new …

ELLIOTT: … Rolls Royces …

RITHOLTZ: … unreleased, right.


RITHOLTZ: So, you get the keys to the car.


RITHOLTZ: Tell us — take us to the process.

ELLIOTT: I try to just live in the car as I would if I own the car. So, take it to the store. How does it feel to get gas? How does it feel to link your Bluetooth? How does it feel to go on a hill climb up Angeles Crest Highway, Highway 2 in California? And I did take that car up those hills. It’s an elevation of 6,000 feet once you get to the top.


ELLIOTT: They’ve got a bunch of snow right now.

RITHOLTZ: And that’s supercharged if I remember.


RITHOLTZ: You in the V8, right?

ELLIOTT: Yes. An amazing car.

RITHOLTZ: Just loves that altitude, right?


RITHOLTZ: Just sucks in the oxygen …

ELLIOTT: And this is what Bentley is billing as a grand tour. So, they’re saying …

RITHOLTZ: So, close to a full sportscar, isn’t it?

ELLIOTT: Exactly. They’re saying it has all of the capacities of a car you can live in day in and day out and take for on a long trip over a week and drive over a week and you’re going to be equally comfortable in that but it still has the performance of a sports car and a true sports car. So, OK, alright, I’ll take that and do that and live in it.

RITHOLTZ: So, do you work with any sort of checklist and say, well, I want to do this and I like — what do you — what sort of paces do you put this through?

ELLIOTT: It’s more of a mental checklist by now. I used to have a list when I was just starting out doing — just because I wanted to make sure I didn’t forget anything that I would need for the review.

But now, of course, you look at efficiency, you look at acceleration, how is the breaking, how is the steering.

RITHOLTZ: Efficiency, really?


RITHOLTZ: Does anyone who buy that car care about that?



ELLIOTT: But other cars, they might.


ELLIOTT: For the Bentley, no.


ELLIOTT: But a V8 versus the W12, I mean, they do make a W12 version of that car.

RITHOLTZ: It’s so much heavier and the …

ELLIOTT: I know.

RITHOLTZ: …horsepower bump is incremental.

ELLIOTT: I know.

RITHOLTZ: I really — not that I’ve spent much time in it.

ELLIOTT: I know.

RITHOLTZ: But the supercharged V8 just seems to make so much more sense.

ELLIOTT: I will tell you where the efficiency comes in. I drove that car from LA to Carmel on one tank of gas …


ELLIOTT: … which is insane and half the people I tell don’t believe that. That car has ability …

RITHOLTZ: But it’s a giant gas …

ELLIOTT: It’s a giant car. But it — and it also cuts out …

RITHOLTZ: It’s a giant gas tank.

ELLIOTT: Yes. And it cuts out two cylinders when you’re cruising …


ELLIOTT: … to help improve efficiency. And that I think — we talk about the readers of Bloomberg, these people are more concerned with saving time rather than saving money.


ELLIOTT: So, when you talk about efficiency, if you put it in terms of time saved …

RITHOLTZ: It makes a difference.

ELLIOTT: … like you’ve — it does make a difference and that’s where the type of buyer that might buy that car actually does care about efficiency.

RITHOLTZ: Right. Putting a bank of cylinders into retirement temporarily, which I know even Corvettes and other cars have done in the past, …


RITHOLTZ: … is one thing that mostly on the highway not noticeable.

ELLIOTT: Completely imperceptible.

RITHOLTZ: And the other thing I’ve noticed, so, I always used to turn off the — a lot of cars, you’ll pull up to a red light …

ELLIOTT: Stop start.

RITHOLTZ: … and the whole car shut …

ELLIOTT: That is a pet peeve of mine.

RITHOLTZ: So, me, too, until one of the new trucks I have, which is the new BMW X4 …


RITHOLTZ: … it’s the first and it’s really more of a crossover than a truck. It looks like a giant car until you pull up next to a real truck and it’s like, this thing is tiny.


RITHOLTZ: Although the X6 seems to be immense.

ELLIOTT: I love the X6 and I know that’s a polarizing car but I think it’s cool.

RITHOLTZ: Can I tell you, if you only have one car and you need a truck but you want something sporty …

ELLIOTT: Yes, it’s cool.

RITHOLTZ: … that’s the way to go.

ELLIOTT: I think it’s very cool.

RITHOLTZ: And the old one, you had that fastback that you used up …

ELLIOTT: I know.

RITHOLTZ: … the new one is more like an extended wagon, it’s much more rational than the old one …

ELLIOTT: I know.

RITHOLTZ: … and I think it’s even better and they made the interior very, very handsome.


RITHOLTZ: But hold that aside.


RITHOLTZ: This is the first car I’ve ever been in where the start-stop is, I don’t want to say imperceptible, but it’s pretty good.

ELLIOTT: Subtle.

RITHOLTZ: The whole thing doesn’t shudder in that annoying …


RITHOLTZ: Where is that button that turn this damn thing off?

ELLIOTT: I tell you what, that’s really weird when you’re in a manual car.


ELLIOTT: There are some manuals that also had the stop start. Half the time I think that somehow, I killed it. It drives me crazy.

RITHOLTZ: My wife’s — my wife has an M235i convertible. So, everything but the truck is a stick and the SL. But there’s two really interesting features with the start-stop. If you put the clutch down and put into gear, the start-stop goes on or if you hit the sport button, the start-stop is …

ELLIOTT: It’s very unnerving. I mean, I just …



RITHOLTZ: It feels like an electric car.


RITHOLTZ: It’s like why is this so — but the — I don’t want to say older Mercedes but the five years old Mercedes and anything that year, the whole car just shutters and shakes and it’s just way too annoying to make up a mile per gallon.

ELLIOTT: I know. I agree. I agree.

RITHOLTZ: So, there’s that.


RITHOLTZ: But BMW seems to have figured that out in the same way that GM figured out how to retire two banks — it’s not two banks, it’s just one or two cylinders …

ELLIOTT: Two cylinders, yes.

RITHOLTZ: … and they do it in a way that it’s really not very noticeable …

ELLIOTT: Yes, I know. I agree.

RITHOLTZ: … which is really, really interesting. All right. So, you drive the car around for a couple of days.


RITHOLTZ: Are you taking notes or is it all …


RITHOLTZ: You did take?

ELLIOTT: I take notes.


ELLIOTT: I actually write emails to myself.


ELLIOTT: I literally typing emails even how do the seats feel.


ELLIOTT: How do the seats feel after eight hours of driving?


ELLIOTT: That’s a big deal.


ELLIOTT: That’s visibility, the three-quarter pillar behind my shoulder. How does the …

RITHOLTZ: And the Bentley, it’s terrible.

ELLIOTT: It’s bad.

RITHOLTZ: But the good news is nobody’s behind you.


RITHOLTZ: You’re way better.

ELLIOTT: Yes. You’re so far it.


ELLIOTT: I mean, how does the steering wheel feel? The most tactile simple things, how easy is the interface with the infotainment, how quick does it — how long does it take me to connect my Bluetooth?


ELLIOTT: I mean, how easy is the map and navigation system? All of those things add up to the value of a car.

RITHOLTZ: Total experience.




RITHOLTZ: And now, how significant is that relative to, hey, how does this thing drive, was it feel like when I bury the accelerator I a tad bit (ph).

ELLIOTT: That’s a great question. I think it’s 50/50.


ELLIOTT: I really do because it reminds me of that old quote, people don’t remember how you treated them, they remember how you made them feel, something like that.


ELLIOTT: I think maybe — I haven’t thought about this so this is coming out raw. But it could apply to cars that — when you walk away, unless you’re really a truly professional driver, you’re going to walk away with more of a general feeling about the car.


ELLIOTT: Half of that feeling will be a direct result from how it actually drove, but the other half is going to be from other things. I mean, seat comfort I think is a big deal that goes overlooked a lot.

RITHOLTZ: Yes, 100 percent.

ELLIOTT: Head room, shoulder room, especially for men, I actually think it’s …

RITHOLTZ: Especially with someone who’s 6’5″.

ELLIOTT: Exactly. Right. I know. Let’s keep up in the height. My brother is 6’8″ so we should talk about that.


ELLIOTT: But I think it’s an advantage that I’m tall because I do — maybe I’m able to relate to more men. It’s something to think about. All of those things impact how you feel about a car for sure even the engine note. I mean, let’s — performance cars, sound matters.

RITHOLTZ: I could not possibly agree more and the funny thing is, and we’ll talk more about my stupidity later, but both the — so my X4 is the MX4.0.


RITHOLTZ: And the previous car was the Macan S.

ELLIOTT: You went from Porsche to BMW? That’s an interesting move.

RITHOLTZ: Well, let’s have a digression briefly and talk about this.

ELLIOTT: OK. Yes. Tell me about this.

RITHOLTZ: So, first, I call this interface confusion and — you know what, we’ll come back to this …

ELLIOTT: OK. I want to discuss this.

RITHOLTZ: … because there’s a longer story about this.


RITHOLTZ: But the bottom line was my wife and I both like Macan and she …

ELLIOTT: It’s a bestseller.

RITHOLTZ: But I liked it and she — it was a lot of quirky things that went wrong with it and she basically says, no, thanks.


RITHOLTZ: And we had two other BMWs. So, standardizing on …

ELLIOTT: Yes. Keeping up to the family.

RITHOLTZ: … I don’t have to look where the buttons are and just …


RITHOLTZ: … driving because she screams. I have a terrible tendency to take my eyes off the road and mess around.


RITHOLTZ: And when you go from an SL to a Jeep to M to Porsche …

ELLIOTT: Lot of distractions.

RITHOLTZ: … it’s just — it takes too long to reorient yourself.


RITHOLTZ: The greatest little toy that this car has is the lane notification and it doesn’t make the horrible noise that Macan …

ELLIOTT: It just vibrates the steering wheel.

RITHOLTZ: Not only just it vibrates but — I think it vibrates on which side you’re off.

ELLIOTT: Do you like that?

RITHOLTZ: I love that.

ELLIOTT: Really?

RITHOLTZ: Because I — so, I don’t pay attention to the lines in in the road.

ELLIOTT: I can’t believe you’re just saying this, really.

ELLIOTT: I’m looking for the …


RITHOLTZ: No. I’m looking for show me where the entry to the turn is ..


RITHOLTZ: … and where I’m going to accelerate out.

ELLIOTT: All right. OK. OK.

RITHOLTZ: I don’t — and if lines happen to cross that, I don’t care. I’m looking for what’s the best line through the turn, …


RITHOLTZ: …. which occasionally scares the hell out of oncoming drivers or my wife. And so, when we got this, I always had it off with the Macan because it just makes this horrible noise.


RITHOLTZ: But in this, it’s a very subtle vibe — no, you could set it in the controls, soft, medium hard.


RITHOLTZ: I wanted hard.


RITHOLTZ: And I’m not sure if this is my wishful thinking but it feels like when you drift on the right side, the right-hand side vibrates …

ELLIOTT: I’m sure. Yes.

RITHOLTZ: … and on the left hand, the left hand, and let me tell you, it is really, really helpful. I don’t know if other people like it or don’t.

The same thing with the cruise control. We rented a Nissan Maxima when we’re in Florida the other day and it had the full …

ELLIOTT: Adaptive.

RITHOLTZ: Right. Listen, it’s not Tesla autopilot but we are stuck in one of the highways in bumper-to-bumper traffic and I just put that on. Now, if you stop for more than three seconds, it goes off …


RITHOLTZ: … which is really dumb because all of a sudden, it goes off and now you start lurching forward.


RITHOLTZ: It’s terrible. But these little (inaudible), if you’re aware of them and use them appropriately, it’s only going to make driving safer and better.

ELLIOTT: And I think this goes to a bigger point that there are two different — there — it’s a difference between commuting and driving, and a lot of the times that Americans spend in cars is actually commuting …


ELLIOTT: … sitting in traffic, not engaged driving. And to your point, I would rather just be driven if it’s a commute.

RITHOLTZ: And if you — all the studies will show that the more time you spend in a car commuting, the lower your overall levels of happiness and life satisfaction are.

ELLIOTT: I believe that.

RITHOLTZ: And it’s just think about — you’re in California, think about the people who are commuting in LA traffic.

ELLIOTT: Yes. That’s no way to live.


ELLIOTT: That’s a lot of podcasts.

RITHOLTZ: Let’s talk a little bit about the collectible market which over the past couple of years has gone crazy.


RITHOLTZ: And tell us what you see in that space.

ELLIOTT: It’s been so interesting. We’ve seen the rise and then kind of the plateau of Porsche especially the Porsche Turbos from the 1970s and astronomical …

RITHOLTZ: All the air-cooled engines.

ELLIOTT: Exactly. I mean, 10 years ago, less than 10 years ago, you could buy 1970s era Turbo for $20,000.


ELLIOTT: Now, they’re selling for over $200,000.

RITHOLTZ: It’s nonsense.

ELLIOTT: It’s kind of insane. I think that plateauing at least. The Scottsdale auctions are coming up this month. I’ll be going and I can’t wait to see how those do, but that’s been interesting.

We’ve seen the rise of what they’re calling like young timer cars, which are basically the cars from the ’80s and ’90s that anyone who grew up in the ’80s and ’90s might have had on a poster on their wall. Now, these cars are becoming collectible. It’s like old 30-year-cycle of …

RITHOLTZ: It’s the math.


RITHOLTZ: The cars that the 45 to 50-year-olds would now have disposable income …


RITHOLTZ: … like when they were in high school suddenly now. My question is, is that a diminishing group? What happens 20, 30 years from now when that generation is growing up not caring about Camaros or Corvettes or even Ferraris?

ELLIOTT: We’re already seeing it. I mean …


ELLIOTT: Well, the guys who you want the muscle cars, the Shelbys and the Corvettes, the older Corvettes and the GT — I mean, GT4 is kind of their own thing (ph). But these are not — these are really low and really stable across the board completely.

I mean, I think to your point about young timer cars, we can see what muscle cars are doing now and probably project that the same thing will happen. But that won’t happen in 20 years from now.


ELLIOTT: I don’t think — I don’t see them stopping anytime soon. I mean …

RITHOLTZ: So, at what point does the — there has never really been a big decrease in art collectors. That’s — from generation to generation, you have enough money eventually, I want a Rothko or Jackson Pollock or whatever. That seems to be — or Monet or whatever the previous hundred-year thing was. That is not showing any signs of waning. But it seems like this has got some demographic issues coming.

ELLIOTT: It will be very interesting. I will say I think Ferraris will always be a blue-chip buy.


ELLIOTT: Of course, Jaguar E types will always be blue-chip cars. The Aston Martins from the ’60s and ’70s will always be …


ELLIOTT: … held very dearly. These are the perennial stuff.

RITHOLTZ: That’s so rare. You’re talking about a few thousand vehicles …

ELLIOTT: They’re so rare. Yes.

RITHOLTZ: … across everything.

ELLIOTT: So, one thing that I’m watching which is very interesting is these Group B cars. Are you familiar with it? It’s like the Lancia Deltas and the Peugeots. They were rally cars from the ’80s …


ELLIOTT: … that were raced for like two years in a very hairball rally. The automakers made only 200 of them so they’re very rare. They have been adopted by these obsessive cult fans …


ELLIOTT: … who collect them and their paying six and seven figures for cars that are very ugly but are very desirable.

RITHOLTZ: So, let’s apply that same framework, the ’60s and ’70s Ford Broncos.


RITHOLTZ: They’ve gone crazy.


RITHOLTZ: Just off the chain and the car that I’m going to import myself from Bogotá, Columbia is a ’70s era Toyota FJ


RITHOLTZ: I really like those.


RITHOLTZ: I have three — people always — I have this grotesque orange crush to …


RITHOLTZ: … with the stick and people …

ELLIOTT: Awesome.

RITHOLTZ: … are always asking me — so, that was a salvage title, I paid less than 20 — 20 grand all in, a flood car, it’s in …

ELLIOTT: How much did you put into it?

RITHOLTZ: Twenty — so, the car and …

ELLIOTT: All in?

RITHOLTZ: It was 20 grand all in.

ELLIOTT: Amazing.

RITHOLTZ: I boarded a year old with, I want to say 15,000 miles and I now have 40,000 miles.

ELLIOTT: Amazing.

RITHOLTZ: The only thing I had to do is replace the hand break and that was probably my fault and the radio, the radio just got replaced, which is a pain in the neck because it’s a crappy radio and the factory it’s like 800 bucks. I found it somewhere for about 500 bucks.


RITHOLTZ: But the FJ, if I’m going to have an old wheel-drive thing that I use occasionally, I want it to be a little more fun and I really like that. Those have gone not quite full-blown crazy …


RITHOLTZ: … but you can find renovated versions of those going for 40 and $50,000.

ELLIOTT: Completely.

RITHOLTZ: And people dropped big V8s on those for no damn good reason.

ELLIOTT: Completely. And look at Land Rover bringing back the Defender, Ford bringing back the Broncho.

RITHOLTZ: I used to love that car.

ELLIOTT: And now, what’s — have you seen the new one, the new Defender?

RITHOLTZ: I haven’t seen it in person …

ELLIOTT: You got to look at it.

RITHOLTZ: … but I’ve seen pictures of it.

ELLIOTT: OK. It’s interesting.


ELLIOTT: It’s a very polarizing vehicle. But I think to your point, the automakers are seeing the obsession with these old historic models and they’re bringing back Ford — the Ford Bronco is coming.

RITHOLTZ: The new Ford rises.


RITHOLTZ: The new Broncho coming.


RITHOLTZ: I used to love the Defender ’90 until I drove it and realized what a piece of crap.

ELLIOTT: Never meet your heroes.

RITHOLTZ: Right. That interior is just so junkie. But those things are pretty bulletproof. They’re unstoppable.

And the FJ has the same the sort of true benching in the back where you could put four people without a seatbelt across …

ELLIOTT: I love it.

RITHOLTZ: … or also six people in the back. I mean, I always thought the Defender ’90s were really tough looking and …


RITHOLTZ: … the British version of …

ELLIOTT: Of course. I mean, the British are the ones who started it all really. I mean, the safari, anything safari or overlanding.

RITHOLTZ: Land Rover. Right.

ELLIOTT: I mean, going out on the hunt, this is so British.


ELLIOTT: So colonial.

RITHOLTZ: Totally. So, the other thing that’s interesting in the collectible world are these collector clubs where you could buy a piece of a car …


RITHOLTZ: … and they financially engineer shares.


RITHOLTZ: I’m skeptical of that. I’m curious as to your views.

ELLIOTT: Me, too. I don’t know how they make money, and I did the story — I did …

RITHOLTZ: I remember.

ELLIOTT: There’s one called rally road which is …

RITHOLTZ: Right, down here in Manhattan.

ELLIOTT: Down here in Soho, nice guys, young guys, I mean, I think the oldest person in their — on their team is under 40. I mean, they’re all young — relatively young guys. I don’t know how they’re making money.

The real estate alone to have their space on Lafayette Street in Soho must be ungodly. I don’t know how they’re making money.

RITHOLTZ: Well, it doesn’t work if you have 10 cars and a hundred investors.


RITHOLTZ: But at a thousand cars and a million investors, it scales up.


RITHOLTZ: But even then, that’s a lot of middlemen between an investor and a car.

ELLIOTT: I feel like their banking on the idea that people don’t — it’s not an ownership society any more, to your point about millennials not driving.


ELLIOTT: There’s certainly a feeling that people don’t care about ownership, they care about access. As long as I have something when I need it, it doesn’t matter if I actually own it.

RITHOLTZ: So, Zipcar or …

ELLIOTT: Exactly. Uber. So, there — the guys out there are hoping that also applies to collectible cars, which I don’t know. I mean, now, they’re doing it with Rolexes, too. I noticed rally road has some Rolexes listed.

RITHOLTZ: What, you get to share a Rolex?


RITHOLTZ: Come on.


RITHOLTZ: The other thing I noticed, I forgot the name of the company, but it’s sort of like Airbnb for cars. You can rent cars from other individuals …


RITHOLTZ: Yes, that’s it.


RITHOLTZ: And to me, before I buy a car, I want to go out and try it

ELLIOTT: Yes, of course.

RITHOLTZ: And half the cars I’m interested in and I can rent anywhere.

ELLIOTT: We should discuss Bring a Trailer. Are you ever on that? Because when you …


ELLIOTT: When you say you want to go out and drive a car before you buy it but would you buy something off Bring a Trailer undriven?

RITHOLTZ: So, I am on Bring a Trailer all the time and literally, I was — on the way here, I logged in to look at a 2016 6000-mile Bentley GT.


RITHOLTZ: But since Friday, I was high bid and starting to get nerve (ph). So, to me, a 2016, even — so, the new car comes out, the old car is dropping a value a little bit.


RITHOLTZ: But a two or three-year-old whatever it is, let’s call three or four-year-old with less than 10,000 miles, I’m thinking that’s $120,000, $140,000 car, I’m high bid at $75,000 since — whatever it was since Friday and I’m starting to get nervous because the last thing I need is this six car …


RITHOLTZ: … and this morning, I logged on and I’m like, OK, someone else has …


RITHOLTZ: So, I bid on a bunch of cars. I want one that didn’t meet the reserve and I reached out to the seller and he never got back to me. In fact, that was an FJ, I was willing to fly to Oregon to pick it up.

ELLIOTT: I like it. But you would buy those cars …


ELLIOTT: … and not having driven them or this one from Columbia you’re going to bring in.

RITHOLTZ: So, the one from Columbia, this is a long crazy story …


RITHOLTZ: … a buddy who imports Defenders from Spain, I was talking to him about the FJs …

ELLIOTT: I hear that’s good business.

RITHOLTZ: Yes, it is. And I was talking to him about the FJs and I showed him a bunch and I said, listen, I really dig this car but I can’t pull the trigger on a 40 something thousand dollar, ’70s year car that I know was — I don’t mind spending money but it can’t be instant depreciation.

ELLIOTT: Yes. Yes.

RITHOLTZ: So, he looked at a few of them and he said, all these are from South America and that’s where they’re renovated, and I’m like, well, let’s see if we can find one. He goes, I have a brother-in-law in Columbia. Well …

ELLIOTT: Perfect.

RITHOLTZ: So, we started looking at one. Fast forward to the ends, his red convertible ships out this week and that sort of sky blue, I don’t know if you know the color, with a white top roof.

ELLIOTT: Classic.

RITHOLTZ: That’s the one I have — I’m a fan of with the black interior.

ELLIOTT: Cool. Yes. Classic.

RITHOLTZ: So, if this comes in, he goes, let me be the — he goes, I’ve supported dozens of cars, I’ll be the testing mule, let me bring one in, and the price is like half of what you’re going to pay with shipping.


RITHOLTZ: So, you have to be willing to do something like that.

ELLIOTT: Yes. Yes.

RITHOLTZ: But we sent somebody to the factory in Columbia, he took a video and sent it to it.

ELLIOTT: Sure. Sounds great. Yes.

RITHOLTZ: And he’s — and Columbia is it what it was.


RITHOLTZ: It’s no longer — the days of cocaine cowboys and …

ELLIOTT: I heard it’s really lovely. Yes.

RITHOLTZ: Right. And they have all these cars that need to be — need to be (inaudible). So, funny story about Bring a Trailer …


RITHOLTZ: You sign up for a new website. I, for years, have been using my last name and some password and I just forget about it and I kind of sometimes forget. You’re not that 17-year-old that you were however many years ago.

So, if you click the star watch this car or you subscribe to a car or you’ve been on a car, those are three different things …


RITHOLTZ: … you have three different …


RITHOLTZ: So, sometimes, I don’t want to be notified every time one of these come up.


RITHOLTZ: Just let me know what’s going on with the comments and bidding on this and the best way to do that is to put a bid on the car.


RITHOLTZ: So, I bid $100,000 on — I want to say it was a Dino, a Ferrari Dino.


RITHOLTZ: And I know — listen, these go for 300, 400, 500.


RITHOLTZ: I know I’m not getting that car.

ELLIOTT: But you want to be appraised of …

RITHOLTZ: And I wanted — just keep me in the loop.


RITHOLTZ: In the office, we get emails from clients, why is Ritholtz bidding hundred thousand dollars on cars and it’s like, no, no, I’m not bidding $100,000 on a car …


RITHOLTZ: … I’m bidding $100,000 on a half million dollar car that there’s no way in God’s green earth I’m going to win and if I do, fantastic.

ELLIOTT: Yes. Great.

RITHOLTZ: Free money.


RITHOLTZ: But that’s not can happen.

ELLIOTT: You got eyes watching you.

RITHOLTZ: So, I had to go and change my name on.


RITHOLTZ: They were very nice. There’s no way to do it automatically. I had to reach out to them and say, here’s a situation.

ELLIOTT: I wish Bring a Trailer had an app. I’m shocked they don’t.

RITHOLTZ: I spoke to the Points Guy who does all, they’re coming out with an app. It’s astonishing they haven’t done that yet.

ELLIOTT: I know.

RITHOLTZ: But they’ve been growing so quickly and they’ve been …

ELLIOTT: I know.

RITHOLTZ: I mean, I’ve been trolling that site for, I don’t know, two years, is it two years, how long has that been around?

ELLIOTT: I think about two years.

RITHOLTZ: So, it’s — and I’ve kind of watched it. It’s not just a place to go sell a car.

ELLIOTT: It’s education.

RITHOLTZ: It’s a very– right. And it’s a really good community. People are really, really thoughtful in their comments. It’s sort of like what blogs were like 20 years ago.

But that — you wrote about how they are giving the auction houses a run for the money …

ELLIOTT: I know.

RITHOLTZ: … because you could sell a half million-dollar car there and not pay you …

ELLIOTT: And they do.

RITHOLTZ: … giant wiggle (ph) on that.

ELLIOTT: Completely and I know — you mentioned it, a lot of the cars that don’t sell when they don’t meet reserve are then sold …

RITHOLTZ: Privately.

ELLIOTT: … off of Bring a Trailer privately and those transactions would have been happening at auctions.


ELLIOTT: So, it’s completely changing the dynamic.

RITHOLTZ: The beauty of the Internet is middlemen who get to charge a big fat fee, and this is true whether it’s finance or art auctions or whatever it is, they’re under pressure because the technology in the share of information makes at least pricey middlemen less needed.

ELLIOTT: I know. I know. And let’s not forget, despite the champagne and chandeliers at a Gooding or a Sotheby’s or Bonham’s auction, these are used cars being sold by used car salesmen and I don’t mean that in a disparaging way, I just mean, let’s be real about what this really is no matter how much champagne or …


ELLIOTT: … the beautiful trappings.

RITHOLTZ: When a 250 Ferrari goes off and it’s $12 million and there’s nine of them left with matching numbers, that’s such a one-off unique entity and the audience for that are, all right, which of the 27 people …

ELLIOTT: Right, Right.

RITHOLTZ: … can afford this and are interest are going to step up.


RITHOLTZ: It’s not a real market. It’s not a real car.


RITHOLTZ: It’s something completely different at that point.

ELLIOTT: It’s a different thing completely.



RITHOLTZ: So, if you are going to buy a car to keep for the next 30 to 50 years, what car would that be?

ELLIOTT: Well, I was just given a car for my birthday which …



RITHOLTZ: That’s a dangerous present.

ELLIOTT: It’s a dangerous present but the crazy thing is, here’s a fun fact, I haven’t actually owned a car myself since I was in college …


ELLIOTT: … which was 15-ish years ago.


ELLIOTT: This car I got in November, a 1988 560 SL Mercedes black on black.

RITHOLTZ: Those are nice.

ELLIOTT: And I have admired them for a very long time and that car lives in LA.

RITHOLTZ: Right. So, the Mercedes that I have kind of been enamored for is the prior generation, the Pagoda Roof.

ELLIOTT: Gorgeous.

RITHOLTZ: The late ’60s, early ’70s.

ELLIOTT: Yes. Those are expensive.

RITHOLTZ: Either the 230 — depends on a bunch of things. 230, 280 with a stick, you could still find them for nice condition. So, one just went on Bring a Trailer, white on blue, white exterior, blue interior, but it was an automatic …


RITHOLTZ: … which doesn’t excite me.


RITHOLTZ: And I went for about 50.


RITHOLTZ: And I’ve seen spectacular versions.


RITHOLTZ: Black interior, white exterior for about 100 and that’s a lot of wood but …

ELLIOTT: Yes. It’s a great …

RITHOLTZ: … it’s just spectacular.

ELLIOTT: So beautiful. Yes.

RITHOLTZ: So, I got my SL, it was a birthday gift from my wife almost 20 years ago.

ELLIOTT: We’ve got good partners here.

RITHOLTZ: I paid $5,000 for it. It needed some work so we did a top-half engine rebuild, replaced some exhaust, did some transmission work. So, maybe over 20 years I’m into the car for, I don’t know, 15.


RITHOLTZ: I’ll never — and the interesting thing about the car is it came with the — so, it’s a convertible but it comes with a hard top …

ELLIOTT: Yes. Same.

RITHOLTZ: … that has the electric sunroof …


RITHOLTZ: … which was — I learned later was an aftermarket …

ELLIOTT: I was going to say that doesn’t sound stock to me.

RITHOLTZ: No. And I actually have two hard tops, I don’t know how that ended up getting accumulated. But once I got — all right. So, let me back up. There’s a lot of funny stories about this.

We all have car buddies, we all have people spend time with and this is supposed to be about you, not me, but I know you’re going to appreciate the story. So, a good car buddy suddenly passes away and we kicked the tires, a million cars.

I have a hilarious story I told at his funeral. He was an appraiser, had his leg in a cast and one day says to me, put on — what are you doing tonight, nothing, he goes, don’t wear anything metal, we got to go to Brooklyn and look at a car.

And long story short, I end up driving a Ferrari 275 down Ocean Parkway …

ELLIOTT: Amazing.

RITHOLTZ: … and he’s like, I got to test it, step on the gas.

ELLIOTT: Amazing.

RITHOLTZ: So, 90 miles an hour on a Tuesday night shaking, it was powerful (ph).

ELLIOTT: That probably felt a lot faster than 90 miles an hour in that car.

RITHOLTZ: Whatever — I was probably doing 50 but it felt like …

ELLIOTT: Yes. It felt — yes.

RITHOLTZ: But anyway, so, when he suddenly and unexpectedly passed away, it was one of those — it wasn’t even a midlife crisis, it was life is short, what are you waiting for.

And so, I go out online and I start — all I know is I want stick shift horsepower and convertible and I start hunting things down and long story short, I find in Indiana just off of lease a M6 convertible, right?


RITHOLTZ: Now, we talk about Bentley as sort of a near sports car. So, these are 560 horsepower but some people Dino them and they’re closer to six.


RITHOLTZ: And it’s just — it’s a giant monstrosity. I knew I want to say it’s like 135,000. It’s up for, again, a low 60s, a little haggling. I get a good price. I have someone come look at it and I get a 30-page report and I’m like call the guy up and I’m like, listen, I appreciate the report, bottom line it for me. Dude, if you don’t buy this car, I will. OK.

So, for the price of like a nice Ford Explorer …

ELLIOTT: Yes. That’s great.

RITHOLTZ: … I have this monstrosity in my garage. And now, my wife who drives a stick …


RITHOLTZ: … when we were dating, I told her to drive a stick …


RITHOLTZ: … I’m like, we have too much drink, you’re going to have to drive.

ELLIOTT: Yes. Yes.

RITHOLTZ: That was the …


RITHOLTZ: And she now is a better driver than I am.


RITHOLTZ: So, she said, listen, I enjoy driving your car but it’s that if you know the — this model is blue, not the M3 blue but it’s like a really rich almost purple blue …


RITHOLTZ: … with the oyster interior.

ELLIOTT: Gorgeous.

RITHOLTZ: It’s pure boy toy.


RITHOLTZ: She’s goes, it’s a little long, it’s a little loud, it’s — she goes, I want some …

ELLIOTT: She’s got taste.

RITHOLTZ: She does.


RITHOLTZ: I said, what do you like? She goes, I really like the 1 Series.


RITHOLTZ: And the convertible, they’re adorable. And I said, tell you what, they stopped making the 1 Series and they really updated it for the 2 Series. Let’s find a 2 Series.

So, long story short, I find a guy in Florida who’s back and forth between Florida and the Pacific Northwest. He’s got nine cars. He races a bunch. He got the M235i, now, it’s the M240i, as a convertible in Florida when he moved there from the northwest.

And I said, so, why do you want to sell this with 6,000 miles? He goes, it’s so damn hot here, I never get to take the top down. We’re in the truck all the time.

ELLIOTT: It’s ironic.

RITHOLTZ: All right. And this was done through — it wasn’t through Bring a Trailer. I found it through one of the — if you look at all the used car sites, they pretty much all have the same listings.

ELLIOTT: I know. It’s interesting.


ELLIOTT: Funny how that works.

RITHOLTZ: Everybody — and when I put my SL on Facebook marketplace for a month, there are people kind of scrape your VIN numbers and pretend to sell that as something else.

So, it wasn’t auto trader but it was something like that. It’s one of those sites and it worked out great. And the funny thing about Florida is they — in the winter, all the big tractor-trailers go down there full and they come back empty. So, it was — bring it back to New York …

ELLIOTT: Yes. Perfect.

RITHOLTZ: … in a covered vehicle for like 900 bucks. That’s just really — so, that’s the second car which explains why the SL has to go. The Porsche, we had all sorts of weird problems with.

ELLIOTT: That’s very odd.

RITHOLTZ: Occasionally, the — so, first thing we got the car, within a week, the stitching on the steering wheel …

ELLIOTT: You’re kidding me.

RITHOLTZ: It didn’t come loose but there was — the whole thing but there was this piece of like it looks like fishing wire that used to — like it came out enough that it was always hitting your hand. It was really annoying and I called them and I’m like, can I just clip this or am I going to damage it?


RITHOLTZ: No. No. Let us do it. I bring it to them. They swapped the whole steering wheel then w even clipped (ph) it.


RITHOLTZ: So, that was the first problem. The second problem was the liftgate sometimes decided not to work …


RITHOLTZ: … like which is a weird thing.

ELLIOTT: That’s just annoying.

RITHOLTZ: And then the third thing which was really an engineering error that — so, the nice thing about the car is you have the DVD, you have the satellite, you have the Bluetooth to your phone, you have the plug-in for the manual iPod, which no one even uses it anymore because the Bluetooth on the phone, and then there were these two slots for SD-RAM cards.

And so, rather than bringing the phone or the iPod and plug it into the computer and update it with whatever I’ve added, I would just throw 20 songs on this …


RITHOLTZ: … and plug them in and …


RITHOLTZ: … some of them can move to the hard drive on the car. And eventually, we — so, I couldn’t figure out why the Nav was crashing all the time. So, the first thing they did, they bring it in and they do an update.


RITHOLTZ: The second time they do it, they bring it in and they do a full wipe and software reinstall. The third time they bring it in and they pull it out and put a brand-new one in and it’s still happening. And then they eventually figure out it wasn’t the iPod but it was the SD cards. Whenever they designed that system seven years before, the SD-RAM cards were tiny and now, for $8 it’s 32 gigs and it would just overwhelm the memory buffer and crash the whole system, which is a really weird little thing …


RITHOLTZ: … for a company that’s now making a purely electric car.

ELLIOTT: Great point. I’m surprised to hear that because in the con it’s their best-selling vehicle, period.

RITHOLTZ: I love the way it drove …


RITHOLTZ: … except for the fact that in three years and let’s call it 32,000 miles, I went through two sets of tires and a pair of breaks.


RITHOLTZ: Set of breaks. But I threw that. I drove that car like it was 911. I toss that car.

ELLIOTT: As you well should.

RITHOLTZ: And that car never complained about anything. You take that on a highway and thrown into a turn at 87 miles an hour and it’s like, what else do you got. It totally was ready for anything.

I know people who have done the Porsche class, where is that, Alabama or …

ELLIOTT: The driving?


ELLIOTT: In Atlanta.

RITHOLTZ: In the trucks.

ELLIOTT: Headquarters probably.

RITHOLTZ: And they say, you just can’t imagine what this truck can do, and I’m like, but it’s got such a high — no, it doesn’t, it’s — so, I’d like to take the — I’ve done the Skip Barber at Lime Rock.


RITHOLTZ: I’ve done the one at Sebring. I would like to do the BMW course.

ELLIOTT: I bet it’s great.

RITHOLTZ: What of those have you played with?

ELLIOTT: From BMW or the …

RITHOLTZ: Any of them.

ELLIOTT: … or driving courses?

RITHOLTZ: Yes, any of them.

ELLIOTT: Well, driving courses, I’ve had the chance to do a lot of laps with Ferrari, Bentley, Lamborghini.

RITHOLTZ: Right. So, you have a professional driver sitting next to you.

ELLIOTT: Yes. It’s basically private coaching …


ELLIOTT: … which is amazing.

RITHOLTZ: Insane. Right.

ELLIOTT: Snow driving in 911s with Porsche with literally their guy sitting next to you saying — telling you when to turn, when to break.

RITHOLTZ: Faster. Right.

ELLIOTT: Gas, gas, gas. So, Porsche, BMW, Bentley, Aston Martin has got some great driving classes, too.


ELLIOTT: The company is not doing very well.

RITHOLTZ: Well, they’ve — I think they overestimated — they overestimated demand. They were late on the DBX, right?

ELLIOTT: I know. I know.

RITHOLTZ: And I have to tell you, the concept car, the DBX, I was ready to write a check, not that I could afford it.

ELLIOTT: Really? Really?

RITHOLTZ: I love the concept car. The concept car is what the Macan almost was.




RITHOLTZ: It’s essentially a car.


RITHOLTZ: That’s a little elevated, a little bigger, kind of a crossover and now, the DBX is kind of like a small SUV.

ELLIOTT: I know.

RITHOLTZ: It’s not that, hey, let’s take a DB5 and pump it full of drugs and steroids and turn it into a small monstrosity. It’s like all right it’s — listen, it’s beautiful, don’t get me wrong …

ELLIOTT: I know.

RITHOLTZ: … the interior, it just the exterior doesn’t excite me.

ELLIOTT: I’m the same and I think if you took the badges off, the Aston Martin SUV, the Jaguar F pace …

RITHOLTZ: Which is not a bad car.

ELLIOTT: Which is not a bad — it’s great for — especially for the money. The Ford Mustang SUV which …

RITHOLTZ: Yes, not bad.

ELLIOTT: That’s a whole other conversation.


ELLIOTT: If you took the badges off, they would look pretty interchangeable …


ELLIOTT: … which is really too bad. But they’re going toward the insatiable …


ELLIOTT: … market for …

RITHOLTZ: It’s all about trucks.

ELLIOTT: … midsized SUVs …


ELLIOTT: … which is — every year, I keep thinking, all right, this is the year we’re going to see a cooling …

RITHOLTZ: Kick truck.


RITHOLTZ: What do you think about the Bentley truck?

ELLIOTT: It’s gotten better over the years.

RITHOLTZ: Right. I mean, it’s giant.

ELLIOTT: It’s giant. It’s giving an option for the Bentley enthusiast to have the Bentley SUV.

RITHOLTZ: Right. Do they come with matching luggage and everything else?



ELLIOTT: Yes. It’s smart of Bentley to do because it means that their devoted customers don’t have to go out of brand to get an SUV. It just keeps them …


ELLIOTT: … at home.

RITHOLTZ: And that’s a big sell for them, right?

ELLIOTT: It is. Yes. It’s done great especially in Europe and China and it’s so expensive though.

RITHOLTZ: It’s insane.

ELLIOTT: It’s insane. It’s over $300,000.

RITHOLTZ: Yes. That doesn’t make any sense. I will — I have never admitted this publicly, I love — I’m not a Lambo guy …

ELLIOTT: The Urus.

RITHOLTZ: It is the most …

ELLIOTT: Incredible.

RITHOLTZ: That’s what the DBX should have done, those proportions.

ELLIOTT: I know. It’s incredible.

RITHOLTZ: Which is basically a punch-stop small sports car in an SUV.

ELLIOTT: They did the launch of that car on a track outside of Rome. It blew my mind. It was literally a track day for SUVs …


ELLIOTT: … but it was the Urus. It was insane. It blew my mind.

RITHOLTZ: Even that yellow. I hate yellow cars.

ELLIOTT: I know.

RITHOLTZ: It’s spectacular.

ELLIOTT: It looks good. It’s at least — say you hate it but at least it makes you feel something. It makes you feel loved and hate or disgust or …

RITHOLTZ: Anyone who says they hate that, cross them off my list.

ELLIOTT: And it drives incredible.

RITHOLTZ: I would imagine.

ELLIOTT: It’s the best driving SUV, period. Anything of — any SUV I’ve driven ever, it’s by far the best. Yes.

RITHOLTZ: And it looks good, it sounds good.

ELLIOTT: Yes. It’s so cool. How about it?

RITHOLTZ: And it’s expensive but it’s not insanely expensive.

ELLIOTT: It’s not insane. It’s not — it’s less expensive than the Bentley, less expensive than the Rolls-Royce. Obviously, those are different vehicles but they’re still big SUVs from big, big brands.

RITHOLTZ: Right. So, you mentioned the sounds.


RITHOLTZ: The one thing I will say about the Macan S, I have had people come up to me and say — like I park in the train station and they may not see what the car is because …

ELLIOTT: They hear it coming.

RITHOLTZ: And just — no, when you turn it on and the next morning someone said, what the hell are you driving?


RITHOLTZ: And I said, Macan S. It’s a little — smallest Porsche truck they make and he said, it sounds like it’s a giant.


RITHOLTZ: And the X4 is the same way.

ELLIOTT: Yes. I know.

RITHOLTZ: You start it up and it’s just — everybody’s head turns.

ELLIOTT: I know.

RITHOLTZ: I have a friend who bought a Plymouth Hellcat because he went to a Dodge dealer for something else and something started and he says the salesman — they weren’t there for a minivan but it was something like that.


RITHOLTZ: He goes, what the hell is that? He goes, that’s our Hellcat. He goes, go bring that over here. And his wife is like, dear Lord, no.


RITHOLTZ: He had a Cayman and he just sold it. She thinks now he’s — in his (inaudible).


RITHOLTZ: She’s chilling out. They bring it over. It’s purple. They got for stick shift. They go for a ride. He goes, I wasn’t even in the parking lot when the car was sold. It was done.

ELLIOTT: Yes. Yes.

RITHOLTZ: And it’s that sound, you first hear that sound …

ELLIOTT: Yes, so cool.

RITHOLTZ: … which is kind of interesting thing for the …

ELLIOTT: When you talk about electric.

RITHOLTZ: Yes. And I know the Taycan has — makes a noise.

ELLIOTT: It does make a noise. It’s like a whirring humming sound. It’s cool.

RITHOLTZ: It’s optional, right?

ELLIOTT: I do think it’s cool. Yes. And it’s fabricated.


ELLIOTT: But you can also hear road noise…


ELLIOTT: … which adds to the experience. I don’t necessarily think younger generations are going to care about a sound because they didn’t grow up with …

RITHOLTZ: But they grow up with video games and there’s always noise and …

ELLIOTT: Yes. It’s not …

RITHOLTZ: … even when you’re driving an electric vehicle in a videogame …


RITHOLTZ: … there’s some futuristic hum that comes with it.

ELLIOTT: Yes. Yes. So, anyone who says electric cars are silent, that’s not accurate. There is a sound. It’s just a different sound …


ELLIOTT: … than you’re used to and, I don’t know, I think about Formula E a lot. It’s like Formula One but with electric cars and the real — automakers are really getting behind it because it’s kind of a testing ground …


ELLIOTT: … for technologies just like Formula One is and a lot of old Formula One guy say, I can never get into it, it’s just not visceral enough for me …


ELLIOTT: … which I get. But I also think anyone under the age of 30 isn’t going to care about that as much because I didn’t grow up with it. So, that won’t be missed.

RITHOLTZ: The people I know who driven the Taycan Turbo have said it’s the most — you plant your right foot …

ELLIOTT: Yes. You’re off.

RITHOLTZ: … and they said it’s the most astonishing acceleration they’ve ever had.

ELLIOTT: Yes. Yes.

RITHOLTZ: Short of a $3 million supercar.

ELLIOTT: It’s like a spaceship.

RITHOLTZ: Right. It’s just — and the funny thing is we talk — I talk about the M cars, I don’t notice the supposed piped-in sounds that the Ms have and you can’t defeat that. But it’s so loud when you’re out of the car and with the top down …


RITHOLTZ: … I don’t know who or why they do that. Maybe a M5 is a different experience. I can’t say I’ve ever noticed it over the noise, over the engine, over the road noise, over the stereo. But that — talk about visceral sensation, 2.6 to 60, something like that.

ELLIOTT: For Taycan?


ELLIOTT: Yes. Yes.

RITHOLTZ: I mean, that is …

ELLIOTT: For the Turbo.

RITHOLTZ: That’s motorcycle fast.

ELLIOTT: I know.

RITHOLTZ: That is — I like to — the other day, I did this when it was warm out and my wife always rolls her eyes, we pull up next to a Tesla 100D …


RITHOLTZ: … and a woman is driving it and I looked at her and smile and just revenue the engine and she smirks and I know that she knows she’s going to blew my doors off.


RITHOLTZ: I don’t know if she knows that I know she’s going to blow my doors off.


RITHOLTZ: So, the light turns green. I love rolling my way through the gears. She’s three car links ahead of me by the time we get to the next light and we pull up and I give her a thumbs up and car windows come down, I’m in the convertible, and she goes, you don’t looked surprised, I go, I knew what that car can do, it’s the 100 .

ELLIOTT: Of course, it’s faster than a Lamborghini.

RITHOLTZ: it’s — my favorite videos on YouTube are the trucks, the Model X, beating Ferraris in a dragstrip.


RITHOLTZ: That’s just hilarious.

ELLIOTT: Now, what do you think of the Cybertruck?

RITHOLTZ: I don’t think that’s a real vehicle. I think that was a joke. That’s like somebody shop project.

ELLIOTT: They’ve got 200,000 plus orders according to Elon.

RITHOLTZ: Well, but that’s how they get free financing for future projects.

ELLIOTT: I heard a lot of people say that.

RITHOLTZ: Musk is brilliant although the day were recording this, there is a short seller whose website is called Reality Check that just put like a 60-page research speech, I don’t know, on Tesla. Let’s talk about Tesla.

ELLIOTT: OK. Let’s talk.

RITHOLTZ: You know what, we’re going to come back to Tesla. I still want to stick with collectibles.


RITHOLTZ: So, for — my whole life, I have been this close to buying cars and for whatever reason don’t and then they run away from their price. So, I’ll give you the four that I really so close and never did it.

I had a buddy that was importing Z8s from Europe when the dollar was crazy strong.


RITHOLTZ: 2001 BMW Z8, $65,000, didn’t pull the trigger on it in early 2000s. What are they now? Two? Two and change?


RITHOLTZ: Although they’ve kind of become garage queens. People don’t drive them around.

ELLIOTT: I know. That’s sad. Cars should be driven.

RITHOLTZ: I hate that. 145,000 for an “05 Ford GT, which was …

ELLIOTT: What? Wow.

RITHOLTZ: This is 10 years ago. So, the car is four years old with 10,000 miles on it.


RITHOLTZ: And that was before they spike.

ELLIOTT: Now, why didn’t you go for that?

RITHOLTZ: So, it’s funny, of the four cars I’m going to mention, three of them came along as we were about to buy a house and …

ELLIOTT: Timing.

RITHOLTZ: So, it was always horrible.


RITHOLTZ: My favorite of which — so, the first guy worked for in finance, I won’t mention his name because he’s going to kill me, but he’s a bajillionaire and one day, I get a phone call from him and he says, I need some room in my garage, do you want my 550, and I’m like, the blue Ferrari that you have, that’s a stick shift, isn’t it? He’s like, yes, I got to — I just need some space.

ELLIOTT: It’s a very first world problems.



RITHOLTZ: And I said, what do you want for it, and he goes, I don’t know. I go, when do you want me to pay you because I don’t — he goes, figure out what it’s worth, figure out when you’re going to pay me and come get this thing out of my garage.

OK. I come home from work and I said it to my wife, hey, we’re taking Marty’s (ph) Ferrari, he’s going to give it to us, and she’s like, you’re an idiot, we’re buying a car, go to — buying a house, go to your room. Like that’s the sort of conversation we had. I said, all right.


RITHOLTZ: I guess we’re not going to drive his Ferrari. But he — like when someone says — now, the funny thing is …

ELLIOTT: How long ago was that?

RITHOLTZ: This was just before they went crazy. So, it was about 100,000 retail …


RITHOLTZ: … at that point.


RITHOLTZ: A, it was a stick, B, it was that nice — I forgot what that blue purple color is called with the coach interior.

ELLIOTT: Sort of an aubergine.

RITHOLTZ: Yes. It was spectacular. And then they ran up to 300,000 and now they’re back down to a hundred. I don’t know why that went kind of crazy. Probably smart that we didn’t get it at that time.

ELLIOTT: Yes, I guess.

RITHOLTZ: Then other two cars, Ferrari Dino for 60,000, a ’66, ’67 something like that.

ELLIOTT: Did it run? Did it have an engine in it?

RITHOLTZ: It ran. It needed work but it ran.


RITHOLTZ: They’re 355 now.


RITHOLTZ: And I called Ferrari Dino when I know some people will mock me and call it a Fiat Dino. But come on, let’s be honest.


RITHOLTZ: It’s a Ferrari.

ELLIOTT: Absolutely …

RITHOLTZ: Not that there’s zero badging on it.

ELLIOTT: And arguably, the most beloved of the Ferrari.

RITHOLTZ: Most beautiful.

ELLIOTT: It’s very endearing. You’re not — someone else just said that recently and I was like maybe, I mean, maybe.


ELLIOTT: It is arguable for sure.

RITHOLTZ: I mean, the idea of a six — the proportions are just nice.

ELLIOTT: I know.

RITHOLTZ: The 308 was a pig.


RITHOLTZ: Come on. And the 328.

ELLIOTT: I think those are going to go up in value. I really do.

RITHOLTZ: I don’t.

ELLIOTT: Really?

RITHOLTZ: Terrible drivers. They’re slow. They’re just …


RITHOLTZ: I mean, and then Magnum PI is not the right panache that you want.

ELLIOTT: I think it might come around.

RITHOLTZ: All right.

ELLIOTT: What do you think about the Daytona?

RITHOLTZ: I’ve always loved that car.

ELLIOTT: It’s not my fast.

RITHOLTZ: Miami Vice.

ELLIOTT: I know. I mean, it might come around, Miami Vice, Magnum PI.

RITHOLTZ: The Daytona was much prettier. I had a friend who had 400i.

ELLIOTT: It’s classic. Yes.

RITHOLTZ: And that stick shift was like bicycle cable, like we were out on a rally with a bunch of — one of the greatest sounds I’ve ever experienced in my life, I used to live on 90 Lax which is Laxon 27th (ph) and I was member of some car club and they would do these outings and one day, someone said to me, you know Long Island, plan a route, what do you want us to do, take us out east.

So, I planned a route out to the Hamptons then back to place called Wall’s Wharf in Bayville and it was a whole day of driving. And one of the guys said, do you want to come, I’m like, I live in the city, I don’t have a car, well, we’ll pick you up.

So, 6 a.m. on a Sunday morning, I go downstairs. There’s a line of 14 cars, mostly Ferraris and M5 and a Lambo and I get into one of the cars and everybody has the whole route and 14 of these cars go screaming out the Midtown Tunnel …

ELLIOTT: Amazing.

RITHOLTZ: … on a Sunday morning.

ELLIOTT: Amazing.

RITHOLTZ: The greatest sound I ever …


RITHOLTZ: Like everybody had their windows …


RITHOLTZ: … down. It was …

ELLIOTT: Amazing.

RITHOLTZ: It was just banoodles.


RITHOLTZ: Anyway, the Dino was the third car, one of the early cars I missed, and then perhaps the most odd car, I’m looking at a ’59 190 SL.


RITHOLTZ: And for people who don’t know that car …

ELLIOTT: That’s a small engine.

RITHOLTZ: Right. So, exactly which is why I dint buy it.


RITHOLTZ: So, the 190 SL is more or less the same body as the 300 SL …

ELLIOTT: Sure. Sure.

RITHOLTZ: … which is the convertible version of the infamous Gullwing Mercedes …

ELLIOTT: Yes, the kid sister if you will.

RITHOLTZ: … which is perhaps the most beautiful car for me.

ELLIOTT: I did the Mille Miglia in that car.


ELLIOTT: It was — I did two rallies in the Gullwing.


ELLIOTT: The Silvretta Rally in Austria and then the Mille Miglia the next year.


ELLIOTT: Incredible and we thrashed that car day in and day out for 14 hours a day, did not skip a beat.


ELLIOTT: Did not skip a beat and we were hard on that thing. I mean, that is an emotional car.


ELLIOTT: Incredible.

RITHOLTZ: Absolutely.

ELLIOTT: Incredible.

RITHOLTZ: I’ve seen them in the wild numerous times.


RITHOLTZ: What’s interesting is if you go out to the wineries on the North Fork of Long Island, not during the weekends, not in the …


RITHOLTZ: … peak season. But you go out midweek or during like off-season and you’ll see various auto clubs out there and like it’s a car show in the parking lot.


RITHOLTZ: It’s just absolutely astounding. So, the SL, which was really rough …


RITHOLTZ: … was 25 grands.


RITHOLTZ: They probably go for about 10 times out today. They’re not the 300 clearly which go for a million plus but …

ELLIOTT: It’s a shame that car is so expensive, the Gullwing, because it is so …

RITHOLTZ: Take any of these cars on the list, the GT, Z8.


RITHOLTZ: The Dino or — I will leave the 190 SL out, people who own those, they don’t really drive them because they keep appreciating too much. Isn’t that the nature of the collectible market that was once a car that gave people joy is now an object to art that sits in a garage?

ELLIOTT: Yes. I was looking at the auction catalogs going into Scottsdale and they’ve got a Turbo — 911 Turbo that is 34 miles on it, 3-4.

RITHOLTZ: Brand new, never driven.

ELLIOTT: Basically never driven from the ’70s.

RITHOLTZ: Home from the dealer and that was it.

ELLIOTT: Yes. And that’s — to me, that’s sad, that’s too bad.

RITHOLTZ: That’s a waste.

ELLIOTT: That’s just a hunk of metal.


ELLIOTT: Cars are — they’re meant to be driven and if you don’t drive them, they’re going to disintegrate anyway really.

RITHOLTZ: Right. What do you think of the Singer Porsches?

ELLIOTT: Very well done.

RITHOLTZ: Right. Well, that’s a very diplomatic thing to say.

ELLIOTT: Here’s what I hear.


ELLIOTT: There are — Singer guys who are bored of the Singer Porsche.


ELLIOTT: And they’re searching for other ways to spend their millions, half millions of dollars.

RITHOLTZ: $600,000 on a 911, right.

ELLIOTT: So, they’re going…

RITHOLTZ: I saw the rally story.

ELLIOTT: Exactly. So, the guy who builds that rally car, TJ Russell, built cars for Singer for years, for nine years and he has said, look, I see the clients that go to Singer and I see where they are now and those guys are a little bit bored and annoyed, was showing up at their cars and — their local cars and coffee and there are two other Singers in the lot. The whole reason you get …

RITHOLTZ: Are they making that many? I thought it was pretty limited run.

ELLIOTT: They’ve up the production, which is …

RITHOLTZ: Translated as no longer as valuable as it once was.

ELLIOTT: Yes. They make that ultralight DLS Singer, too, that goes for over a million. It’s like a million eight …


ELLIOTT: … which is interesting.

RITHOLTZ: Is it a skinny aluminum body? Is that what they do?


RITHOLTZ: Are you going to put that on the track for a million dollars or — which is what that– the whole point of that is?

ELLIOTT: No. To your point, that car will not be driven. I can’t imagine that it will be driven. It will just sit in a garage in there which is too bad.

So, Singer, really well done. I think that the guys that were buying Singers, the real first adopters of that beautiful amazing thing …

RITHOLTZ: Did really well.

ELLIOTT: … they did really well, they’re already on to the next.


ELLIOTT: They’re already looking for other ways to spend their money.

RITHOLTZ: What else in the collectible space catches your eye?

ELLIOTT: The Ferraris from the ’90s.




ELLIOTT: Like the F40. Yes. Like they’re — I mean, yes.


ELLIOTT: I think — watch those. I would really watch those coming up. And I also think like the international scouts.

RITHOLTZ: The trucks.

ELLIOTT: Exactly.

RITHOLTZ: The Harvester.

ELLIOTT: Exactly

RITHOLTZ: That run of …

ELLIOTT: Yes. Back to our conversation about Broncos, throw those in the pods (ph) …

RITHOLTZ: My brother wants a Broncho and I’m like, really, where did this come from?

ELLIOTT: Yes. And also Land Rovers from the early ’90s, watch that space. I was just reading through all this Haggerty data.


ELLIOTT: I’m telling you …

RITHOLTZ: Which by the way is a great site. You register for free …

ELLIOTT: Yes. I’m a big fan.

RITHOLTZ: … and you have access for a ton of stuff,

ELLIOTT: And it’s so — and it’s just numbers. It’s completely straight, unfettered numbers. It’s really good. I was just looking at all their projections. I think, yes, Land Rovers from the early ’90s. Yes.

RITHOLTZ: That’s really intriguing. So, before we talk about the future of the automotive industry, you kind of ducked the question, pick any car you want, what would you buy to put away for the next 30 to 40 years?

ELLIOTT: That’s a great question.

RITHOLTZ: And P.S., part of the reason I ended up with the M6 was the fear stick shifts are going away. If I don’t buy one now …


RITHOLTZ: … you could get Jeeps and Porsches with them but an increasingly smaller number of Porsches and BMWs but they’re kind of …

ELLIOTT: I know.

RITHOLTZ: And any Honda or Toyota in Japan.

ELLIOTT: I know.

RITHOLTZ: But they’re going away here.

ELLIOTT: I know.

RITHOLTZ: So, what would you get for yourself if within a reasonable budget …

ELLIOTT: Well, that just changed the way half of my option.

RITHOLTZ: Well, I’m not — listen, no 275s but you can get an E-type.


RITHOLTZ: There’s a lot of beautiful cars you could get for under a quarter million dollars and …

ELLIOTT: Yes, of course.

RITHOLTZ: Or well under — a hundred thousand budget …

ELLIOTT: Of course.

RITHOLTZ: … that’s a huge. The other car I was bidding on on Bring a Trailer that I was afraid I was going to win was the 37812 Cord …

ELLIOTT: Really?

RITHOLTZ: …which is one of the most spectacular.


RITHOLTZ: Those auburn Cords.


RITHOLTZ: With the metal pipes coming on the side and the coffin nose and some of them had the fishtail, boat tail back. And for like a week, I’m like …

ELLIOTT: I know.

RITHOLTZ: … I’m going to win this car and then …


RITHOLTZ: … it ran up in price the last 20 minutes.

ELLIOTT: Another car that I really like — again, I don’t think this is going to be a great investment but I just like it.

RITHOLTZ: But it’s not — right. I’m not talking about …


RITHOLTZ: … your grandkids inheriting and I’m like you’re going to drive this and …


RITHOLTZ: … and the last thing you do before you go into the home is here, do something with this.

ELLIOTT: The Porsche 928.

RITHOLTZ: I just looked at one. So, funny you say that.

ELLIOTT: Sports car of the year, 1976, I think. European sports — European car of the year, 1976.

RITHOLTZ: But you — are we talking the like early ’90s with the S plus — S4 plus and the …


RITHOLTZ: And the long …

ELLIOTT: Well, you can do that, too. I mean, it had kind of a long run but I’m talking like …

RITHOLTZ: It had a huge run. It’s like 15-year run.

ELLIOTT: Yes. I’m talking late ’70s. But great car, which one did you look at? I think they’re fun.

RITHOLTZ: So, I want to say this — I want to say it’s the ’79 or an ’80, I don’t remember.

ELLIOTT: Yes. Yes.

RITHOLTZ: My brother was looking …

ELLIOTT: They look like spaceships.

RITHOLTZ: My brother was looking at a house and the guy had bought a car from him and he goes, I got to — the guy is 90. I got — still driving a stick shift and he goes — right. I mean, that’s how I want to go out.


RITHOLTZ: And he says, you want this car, I look them up, they’re like four grands.

ELLIOTT: That’s the thing. You can get them for nothing.


ELLIOTT: They don’t cost a lot to make drivable and runnable.

RITHOLTZ: Right. This is running. This is a clean running car.

ELLIOTT: Yes. I don’t know. I think they look really cool and spacey. They’re very like ’70s …

RITHOLTZ: If you remember Risky Business, that’s the car.

ELLIOTT: Completely. Completely. Exactly. Good reference. And they’re so comfortable. I’ve done a lot of desert drives in some that are just like you can drive for all day long and it’s just kind of amazing. You’re in like basically a bubble.


ELLIOTT: Your visibility is great.

RITHOLTZ: And the irony is when those cars first came out, the purist hated them.

ELLIOTT: Yes. Yes.


RITHOLTZ: What is this all about?

ELLIOTT: Completely. Completely. Total just disgusting.


ELLIOTT: And car world is so snooty sometimes.


ELLIOTT: I mean, when you talk about that 190 Mercedes, people get so uptight or like Porsche 914s, they always want to make sure that you’ve got to ride in ..


RITHOLTZ: … 912 was the Volkswagen.

ELLIOTT: Well, there you go. I mean, they — it’s so snooty. I mean, I just think buy what you like and drive what makes you happy.

RITHOLTZ: Right. I think that’s really good advice.


RITHOLTZ: All right. So, now, let’s talk about the future of the automobile industry. First, what is this deal with influencers? You wrote about that not too long ago. Are influencers really driving car sales? What did it sell, 16 million cars last year? How much of that is impacted by influencers?

ELLIOTT: I have yet to see numbers pointing to car sales. I have seen a lot of never — numbers being driven pointed to brand awareness which goes back to marketing.

RITHOLTZ: Yes. Because nobody knows what a Ferrari or Mercedes is, right? I mean …

ELLIOTT: Well, some people don’t. You’d be surprised.

RITHOLTZ: They’re not Ferraris …

ELLIOTT: I mean, or McLaren. People may not know which — what the new McLaren is, the new — if it’s the GT, is it the 720. Also great car I should have talked about that.

RITHOLTZ: So, I tweeted this weekend, I went to pick my family up for brunch. I go to my favorite little bagel store and I pulled in …

ELLIOTT: There in New York.

RITHOLTZ: I pulled in with a truck and I get out of the car and the truck next to me — and I hear this noise, I’m like, what is that, and the truck next to me backs up and there is a guy McLaren, not the GT, the …


RITHOLTZ: The big one.


RITHOLTZ: It’s running. There’s nobody in the car.


RITHOLTZ: It’s idling and it’s just (inaudible).


RITHOLTZ: That idle is insane and I’m like this is the most North Shore of Long Island thing ever. Picking up bagels, take the McLaren.

ELLIOTT: Yes. Sure.

RITHOLTZ: Right. Because it’s got the frunk.

ELLIOTT: Yes. That’s you do.

ELLIOTT: You have the frunk, you could throw a dozen bagel there.

ELLIOTT: That’s a nice word. Yes.

RITHOLTZ: It’s horrible. I hate that. But …

ELLIOTT: Influencers.

RITHOLTZ: So, back to influencers.

ELLIOTT: I don’t know. I’ve definitely seen them change the way automakers interact with media and press.

RITHOLTZ: OK. That’s fair.

ELLIOTT: I can tell you stories about being seated at different tables than I would have been sat at during press dinners and I’ve …

RITHOLTZ: There’s bunch of Instagram kiddies.

ELLIOTT: Usually, humbly I say, I’m seated next to the CEO at automotive dinners because I can talk to him and it’s part of the reporting.

RITHOLTZ: Also, your readers buy their cars.

ELLIOTT: Completely. Yes.

RITHOLTZ: Not an Instagram influencer whose readers are 15-year-old boys and they’re …


RITHOLTZ: … surfing the web.

ELLIOTT: And I humbly say that Bloomberg is a great company. There are proper standards of journalism. This doesn’t happen by accident. We have a very good brand and reputation and ethics policy, et cetera, et cetera.

There have been some press things where I’ve — I’m not say by the executive and instead there’s an influencer sitting there. And I didn’t really think anything of it but I noticed it and then a few weeks later, I was talking with another journalist of mine, someone from Motor Trend and he’s like, did you notice how all of the actual journalists were not sat next to the executives at that dinner, and I said, well, that was — I thought that was just me and I didn’t want to be a diva but, yes, I did notice.

It’s very subtle, the shift, and it’s only happened once or twice but we do notice it. The other thing I noticed is that influencers are now being given first looks at cars …


ELLIOTT: … where normally it would have been a journalist.

RITHOLTZ: So, I don’t know who’s an influencer and who’s a journalist.

ELLIOTT: That’s scary.

RITHOLTZ: Especially with the vloggers.


RITHOLTZ: But there are two people I follow. One of whom I honestly don’t even remember his name but the person whose videos I watch pretty regularly, let’s see if you could guess who that is.



ELLIOTT: I don’t know. That’s …

RITHOLTZ: Doug DeMuro.

ELLIOTT: Really? Yes.

RITHOLTZ: So, if there’s a car I’m interested in and he’s covered it, it’s a pretty thorough …

ELLIOTT: Yes. Completely.

RITHOLTZ: That’s the closest thing to test drive without taking a test drive.

ELLIOTT: Completely.

RITHOLTZ: And the insane thing are his videos get like two million views.

ELLIOTT: I know, it’s crazy.


ELLIOTT: It’s crazy. And you can’t argue with the numbers. Like these people definitely perform a much needed service. They’re great at what they do. They’re …

RITHOLTZ: No. They do Camrys and Accords.

ELLIOTT: No. No. Of course not.

RITHOLTZ: So, they’re doing Bentleys and, in fact, he just did the new Bentley.


RITHOLTZ: I read your review and then I went and watched and some of the quirks — he does the quirks and what have you and some of the funny little things that he picks up, I’m like, I would never have found that.

ELLIOTT: Yes. It’s good. The only …

RITHOLTZ: But it’s 30 minutes. You have to commit that 30 minutes.

ELLIOTT: Yes. The only difference that I talked about in that story that I just am so aware of is the fact that journalists do not accept …

RITHOLTZ: Payment.

ELLIOTT: … payments …


ELLIOTT: … or free gifts …


ELLIOTT: … from automakers. The minute you accept a payment, you’re therefore employed by them and that kind of implies that you’re not free to say anything negative.

RITHOLTZ: Right. You can’t criticize.

ELLIOTT: And that becomes marketing.

RITHOLTZ: And I noticed that Doug will occasionally be critical about stuff, which I like.

ELLIOTT: Yes. That’s good. I take that as a good sign. It’s scary when you can’t tell the difference between someone who’s literally paid by the automaker and someone who is paid by a third party like Bloomberg. So, it’s not beholden to anybody …

RITHOLTZ: Who’s the other guy you mentioned?



ELLIOTT: Tim — his name is Tim. He is a British influencer car guy. You should Google him.

RITHOLTZ: I’ve seen some …

ELLIOTT: He’s very popular. He’s got a lot of followers.

RITHOLTZ: I’ve seen some British reviewers but kind of randomly finding them doing …


RITHOLTZ: This is the old days of Top Gear when it was fun. People have now said, all right, let’s just take a car out and show you what it can do.


RITHOLTZ: The other guy, I’m drawing a blank on his name …

ELLIOTT: Chris Harris?

RITHOLTZ: No. The other guy that I — whose videos I occasionally watch will go out and buy salvage title Ferraris, Lambos, Bentleys.


RITHOLTZ: And he’s just a very articulate mechanic and he will put them back together and either keep them or sell them.


RITHOLTZ: But it’s — if you really want to get into the nitty-gritty of what goes into — and I bought a couple of salvage title cars. When I was looking for the stick shift M6, there were two for sale, the blue one in Indianapolis and then a salvage title red and coach one in Florida, and that car is just so chock full of electronics and everything else.


RITHOLTZ: I don’t want to mess with the salvage title. My Jeep, it’s two hamsters on a treadmill.


RITHOLTZ: It’s two hamsters on a treadmill.

ELLIOTT: It’s a lawnmower engine in there.

RITHOLTZ: Right. That’s right. So, the salvage title was more or less fine and I just replaced all the electronic …

ELLIOTT: That’s fun.

RITHOLTZ: All the electronic harnesses and the entire fuse box. So, it’s three different — it’s the engine electronics, it’s the fuse box and then it’s everything else, the lights, the breaks.

So, it really was not expensive to replace those pieces and eventually I had to replace the brake pads, we had some rust on them, and I’m pretty sure I broke the parking brake because sometimes I just …

ELLIOTT: I’m pretty sure, when it comes up in your hand.

RITHOLTZ: Right. I mean, that was my — but basically, watching someone buy — what was the last car he did? He bought a Rolls-Royce, not the Wraith but the car before that …


RITHOLTZ: … that I think he paid $80,000 for it, put about $20,000 worth of work …


RITHOLTZ: … and it’s 250,000.

ELLIOTT: Amazing.

RITHOLTZ: Used $250,000 car and it’s just — I’ve seen — so, I’m not a giant fan of the BMW i8 but it’s an interesting looking car.

ELLIOTT: Is that because of how it looks?

RITHOLTZ: I love how it looks.


RITHOLTZ: Needs a real engine.


RITHOLTZ: Right. So, if you’re going to make an electric hybrid and that should be an M car not an Audi (ph) car.

ELLIOTT: Do you give a credit for being really the first sports car hybrid?

RITHOLTZ: Yes. Yes. Absolutely.

ELLIOTT: Because BMW really did beat pretty much everybody.

RITHOLTZ: Everybody. Right. But that’s like a — it’s a three-cylinder, some silly little engine in it.

ELLIOTT: I know.

RITHOLTZ: And they didn’t have to go crazy. Just give me that M3 straight-six from the late ’90s …

ELLIOTT: Yes. Cool.

RITHOLTZ: … and we’re — everybody is happy.

ELLIOTT: Good idea. Yes.


ELLIOTT: Yes. I’ll sign on there.

RITHOLTZ: Right. That would be a fabulous car. And it is spectacular. I got to ask you — since we’re talking about future cars, what do you think of the new Corvette?

ELLIOTT: Looks awesome.


ELLIOTT: I haven’t driven it yet.

RITHOLTZ: It’s a little busy. There’s a lot of creases and curves and this and that.

ELLIOTT: I haven’t driven it. I hope to drive it at the end of the month.

RITHOLTZ: No stick.

ELLIOTT: Yes. That’s an interesting choice although …

RITHOLTZ: I mean, Lambo and Ferrari were that same way.

ELLIOTT: Yes. I get it. I get it. Looks cool. That’s — I’m waiting to see.


ELLIOTT: I hope to drive it by the end of the month.

RITHOLTZ: I imagine that it’s a Ferrari at half the price.


RITHOLTZ: That’s kind of how it specs out.

ELLIOTT: I was actually — I think it’s 80, it was — 80 was starting price on that?

RITHOLTZ: No, 59 for the base.

ELLIOTT: Was it 59? For base. OK.

RITHOLTZ: And you’re going to want to just add a couple of things to it.

ELLIOTT: Yes. Yes. That is incredible.

RITHOLTZ: I mean, you can take it up to a buck and a quarter but it’s not necessary.


RITHOLTZ: But you go 75, 80, that’s a lot of car.

ELLIOTT: That’s great. And that is an icon, and if you look back, I mean, OK, you got the 911, the Ford Mustang and the Corvette, those are like the longest running …


ELLIOTT: … sport cars in all time that have been running continuously since they started like 1960s.

RITHOLTZ: So, you mentioned the Tesla pickup which I don’t think look anything like that.


RITHOLTZ: I think that’s a joke.


RITHOLTZ: But let’s talk about the Model 3, that is supposedly hurting BMW and Mercedes.

ELLIOTT: I’m surprised to hear that and my …

RITHOLTZ: I mean, their numbers — it’s the bestselling luxury car in America.

ELLIOTT: I don’t consider a Model 3 a luxury car.

RITHOLTZ: Neither do I but that’s how a lot of people qualify it.

ELLIOTT: Yes. Yes. Yes. OK.

RITHOLTZ: What do you think — well, let’s talk about Tesla, what are your thoughts on Elon Musk and what Tesla has accomplished?

ELLIOTT: Groundbreaking and when I was at Forbes, I did a cover story on Elon and spent …

RITHOLTZ: I read that.

ELLIOTT: … six — yes, six months basically following …

1 In fact …


RITHOLTZ: In fact, that’s how I found you.

ELLIOTT: Really?

RITHOLTZ: It was that cover story.

ELLIOTT: Yes. That was a phenomenal thing and I couldn’t believe the amount of access I had. I mean, I was playing video games with him.

RITHOLTZ: That was early days.

ELLIOTT: That was early days before his team got wise to media.


ELLIOTT: I mean, I literally met his kid, was playing video games in his basement for a day in Bel Air …

RITHOLTZ: That’s awesome.

ELLIOTT: … and he was great.


ELLIOTT: We went everywhere. We drove around in a little Tesla Roadster that they had way back …

RITHOLTZ: The Lotus.

ELLIOTT: Exactly. Way back when. So, I like Elon as a person. I found him really likable and interesting and charismatic and funny. He’s obviously brilliant.

RITHOLTZ: No doubt.

ELLIOTT: I don’t think he’s a con man.

RITHOLTZ: A lot of people — there are a sub sect of traders and investors …

ELLIOTT: I know.

RITHOLTZ: … who would disagree with you.

ELLIOTT: I know. I know.

RITHOLTZ: And the SolarCity acquisition was a disaster.


RITHOLTZ: That was a mistake.

ELLIOTT: Yes. If we’re talking only about Tesla, I think we have to give full credit for changing the industry completely.

RITHOLTZ: I have described Tesla as having already won.


RITHOLTZ: Forget the stock. The world has changed because of Elon Musk and Tesla.

ELLIOTT: Absolutely. We would have …

RITHOLTZ: Full stop.

ELLIOTT: The Porsche Taycan would not exist if Tesla didn’t exist, period.


ELLIOTT: There’s no way that Porsche would have been “forced,” quote-unquote, I don’t think, to come out with an all-electric sports sedan unless they were — unless for the precedent that was set by Tesla.

RITHOLTZ: So, let’s talk about the Taycan as long as we’re talking about Tesla. Actually, back to Doug DeMuro, did review of the car and he talked about — first of all, he lost his mind of the acceleration. But people said, hey, this Turbo at 185 is an insane amount of money but then he said, he goes, take the nicest Tesla you can find, there is a world of difference and the finish and quality …

ELLIOTT: Yes. Completely.

RITHOLTZ: … you get in this car, you know you’re in a high-end luxury car. It drives great, it feels great. Everything works. He goes, Tesla was a very nice car …


RITHOLTZ: … but it’s not this caliber of quality.

ELLIOTT: It’s the difference between tech guys, first adopter, Silicon Valley guys …


ELLIOTT: … driving a car that they like and a car that true car people who are adults …


ELLIOTT: … who know what real luxury and German engineering for the past 70 plus years …


ELLIOTT: … have created.


ELLIOTT: It’s — there is a difference. The Porsche by far is much nicer inside. It just feels better.

RITHOLTZ: I love the idea of the auto updates over the air for the Tesla.


RITHOLTZ: The autopilot, what are they, they have 5 billion miles of autopilot, that’s amazing.

ELLIOTT: I know.

RITHOLTZ: And then the concept that at least as of today looks like Tesla’s first to market with this that like your phone on a pad …


RITHOLTZ: … that eventually there’s a pad in your garage and you pull in and you’re not even plugging in the car, it just charges automatically.

ELLIOTT: I know. I remember when I was doing that story with Forbes, Elon came to New York and we were driving around in a prototype of the Model S, it hadn’t even been debuted …

RITHOLTZ: Which is still handsome.

ELLIOTT: Which is still handsome and he was talking some crazy talk about how a car is really just a computer and the car is going to be …

RITHOLTZ: To some degree.

ELLIOTT: And at that time, I was like, I don’t even really — OK. But now, he — it is happening what he said…

RITHOLTZ: He foresaw.

ELLIOTT: … which is that cars are appliances in a way that a computer is an appliance …

RITHOLTZ: Automobiles have been the second largest consumer of semiconductors …


RITHOLTZ: … for like 15 or 20 years. I mean, cars have a role in computers for long time.


RITHOLTZ: The question is which comes first, the automobile or the computer. He said, Let’s make the computer first and put it on wheels.

ELLIOTT: Right. And the guy believes what he says. Now, other people may not believe him, but I — he is a true believer in what he says.


ELLIOTT: So, when he says he wants to colonize Mars, that is a genuine thing for him.

RITHOLTZ: That’s not going to work because …


RITHOLTZ: Because the reason Mars is a desolate wasteland, is there, liquid encore cooled and solidified and without a magnetic field around the planet, the solar wind just blows everything away. That’s a longer digression we can have.


RITHOLTZ: So, until you figure out a way to protect the planet from the ongoing radiation from space and gamma rays and the solar winds, it’s a waste of time.

ELLIOTT: Yes. My point is that he believes it. Whether or not we believe it, he …

RITHOLTZ: Maybe he’s right. I don’t know. I’m just spitballing here.

ELLIOTT: Yes. Yes. Completely.

And so, when he talks about like electric cars for everyone at a relatively affordable level, he believes …

RITHOLTZ: It’s happening.

ELLIOTT: … that he is here on this planet to do that.

RITHOLTZ: Well, but he’s — he’s done it.


RITHOLTZ: If it hasn’t happened yet, it’s in the process of happening.


RITHOLTZ: And like everything from ABS to airbags to crumple zones, it’s going to start in luxury cars and work their way down.

ELLIOTT: Right. Right.

RITHOLTZ: Speaking of electric luxury cars, what do you — I know you like the Polestar. What was you experience with that?

ELLIOTT: I love it.

RITHOLTZ: Very handsome.

ELLIOTT: Fantastic. Great-looking car.

RITHOLTZ: Very good looking.

ELLIOTT: Very good looking, very well put together.


ELLIOTT: It’s a Volvo car …

RITHOLTZ: Now, Chinese-owned.

ELLIOTT: … with Chinese money. So, that’s a great combination.


ELLIOTT: Made in Sweden. Beautiful. And no, let’s not forget …

RITHOLTZ: About a buck fifty (ph), something like that?

ELLIOTT: Yes. I think 145.

RITHOLTZ: All right. So, for $40,000, would you go with the Taycan or do you stick with the Polestar?

ELLIOTT: I do Polestar just to be different.


ELLIOTT: And that’s not a knock against the Porsche at all. At all.

RITHOLTZ: Which you love. You said it was the most important …

ELLIOTT: I love that car.

RITHOLTZ: … last year.

ELLIOTT: It’s — yes. Great car. That’s not a knock at all. I would just choose the Polestar to be contrarian.


ELLIOTT: But let’s not forget the Polestar is a hybrid. So, it does — it’s not …

RITHOLTZ: Still has gas.

ELLIOTT: … completely apples to apples.

RITHOLTZ: How long do you think we’re going to still have gasoline engines for?

ELLIOTT: That’s a great question. Years and years and years.

RITHOLTZ: Twenty years?


RITHOLTZ: Thirty years?

ELLIOTT: At least.

RITHOLTZ: Ten years? Yes?

ELLIOTT: I would say 30 years, at least.

RITHOLTZ: All right. So, let me rephrase that question. How far off in the future will have the cars in the road be …

ELLIOTT: That’s a good question.

RITHOLTZ: … either hybrid or electric.

ELLIOTT: If you listen to automaker executives, they say by 2025.

RITHOLTZ: Five years?


RITHOLTZ: It’s 2020 now.

ELLIOTT: Porsche has already said half of their — sorry, all of their vehicles by 2025 are going to offer a plug-in option.

RITHOLTZ: Really? So …

ELLIOTT: That can change.

RITHOLTZ: The X — the reason I won’t pull the trigger on the X6 is they won’t even give you a hybrid option. And that’s a giant car that gets three miles a gallon. Although to be fair, the M6 — the first time I saw an M6 on the road was in (inaudible), outside of this little brunch place.

And I’ll never forget. I asked the guy, I said, what is that? He goes, it’s an M6. I go, how do you like it? And I swear, this guy said this exact thing to my wife and I. This has got to be like 15 years ago.

He goes it goes very fast from gas station to gas station to your Bentley.

ELLIOTT: That’s perfect. Yes.

RITHOLTZ: And it’s absolutely true.


RITHOLTZ: And I love the programmable settings and if you put it on — I call it — I can’t say it on the air. The — you have two different programmable settings. Let — if you put it on the most aggressive sport plus on everything, you could literally watch the gasoline go down.

So, the other electric car I have to ask. Have you seen the Rivian in person?


RITHOLTZ: The truck.


RITHOLTZ: They look really interesting, don’t they?

ELLIOTT: They do. And the other one that’s very interesting to me is the Bollinger truck, too …

RITHOLTZ: I haven’t seen that one.

ELLIOTT: … which is also an all-electric truck. Electric trucks are very interesting because if you think about the fact that the best-selling vehicle in the United States for the past 35 years has been a truck …

RITHOLTZ: Ford F-150.

ELLIOTT: And everything is going electric, when are those two worlds going to collide?

RITHOLTZ: They already are. That is the world’s — although, we’re seeing an endless run of electric supercars coming out …

ELLIOTT: I know.

RITHOLTZ: … at $3 million apiece.

ELLIOTT: I know. The Pininfarina Battista …

RITHOLTZ: I love that.

ELLIOTT: Me, too.

RITHOLTZ: The Battista is beautiful.

ELLIOTT: If it — I mean …



RITHOLTZ: Leave it to them to make the most beautiful electric car …

ELLIOTT: I know. I know.

RITHOLTZ: … ever made.

ELLIOTT: And they’re unashamed saying we just want to make a beautiful car.

RITHOLTZ: Right. That’s what …

ELLIOTT: I love it. They’re Italian. Yes.

RITHOLTZ: We have been speaking with Hannah Elliott. She is the Bloomberg columnist for automotive and supercars. If you enjoy this conversation, be sure and come back for the podcast extras where we keep the tape rolling and continue discussing all things automotive.

We love your comments, feedback and suggestions. Write to us at Check out my weekly column on Bloomberg at Follow me on Twitter @Ritholtz.

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

Welcome to the podcast. Hannah, thank you so much for doing this. I’ve been …

ELLIOTT: Thanks for having me.

RITHOLTZ: I’ve been looking forward to this for a while because friends and family who aren’t crazy, hardcore car geeks can only listen to me babble about this stuff.

ELLIOTT: It’s a sickness, isn’t it?

RITHOLTZ: It’s a little bit of an obsession.


RITHOLTZ: And it’s like if you don’t get it, you don’t get it.

ELLIOTT: I know.

RITHOLTZ: And if you do, what sickness?


RITHOLTZ: You just get sucked right — my mom has said the first word I ever said was car. And then …

ELLIOTT: That’s very sweet.

RITHOLTZ: … I had people say to me, wait, you got a giant V8? I go, twin turbo V8.

ELLIOTT: That’s right.

RITHOLTZ: And they’re like aren’t you concerned about the environment? I’m like, I’m very concerned about the environment but I waited decades to be able to afford 600 horsepower. I will do carbon offsets elsewhere, but I am …


RITHOLTZ: And it’s not like this is my daily driver. I put 2,000 miles a year or maybe more, maybe 4,000. It’s a weekend car.

ELLIOTT: I love it. That’s great.


ELLIOTT: That car means something.

RITHOLTZ: You know, this …

ELLIOTT: It represents something.

RITHOLTZ: This weekend, it’s going to be 65 degrees and I will have this car out with — my line in the sand is 50 degrees. My wife’s is 60. But …

ELLIOTT: Top down?

RITHOLTZ: Top — hell, yeah.

ELLIOTT: Scarf? Are you a scarf person?

RITHOLTZ: I have a scarf with me but what I will do is dress appropriately.


RITHOLTZ: Like, I’m not Snoopy …


RITHOLTZ: … chasing the red baron with the …

ELLIOTT: OK. Got it. Yes.

RITHOLTZ: … I mean.

ELLIOTT: Yes. Good.

RITHOLTZ: But for my birthday, I have this beautiful — my wife got me this beautiful British racing gloves and I — the problem with those is that all the cars have heated steering wheels. So, you don’t — you don’t really need them as much as you used to. But the heated seats, the — so …

ELLIOTT: It’s doable.

RITHOLTZ: The one thing this car doesn’t have …

ELLIOTT: The air scarf.

RITHOLTZ: … is what the E Class Mercedes have …

ELLIOTT: I love that. It’s such a great invention.

RITHOLTZ: And it’s just like — because that’s where you’re really cold (ph).

ELLIOTT: I know. It makes a huge difference.

RITHOLTZ: I know. I’ve been in that car and I’m like, wow.

ELLIOTT: I know. It’s …

RITHOLTZ: It’s really, really good.

ELLIOTT: … kind of genius and …


ELLIOTT: .And I kind of …

RITHOLTZ: The thing that pops up over the top of the windshield …

ELLIOTT: The windscreen.

RITHOLTZ: I don’t know if that really does much.

ELLIOTT: I don’t know.

RITHOLTZ: And I’ll tell you what makes a huge difference in the six and the two. So, there’s this interior screen that you put across the backseat.


RITHOLTZ: And it pops off.


RITHOLTZ: Because that little back window that comes up is like five inches tall. And that’s good for 10 degrees. You could take the car out in the 50s as opposed in the 60s and there’s no …

ELLIOTT: Doable.

RITHOLTZ: … buffeting, there’s no noise. Really astonishing little bit of — and it’s not aftermarket.


RITHOLTZ: It comes — it comes with the car. So, speaking of crazy cars and how people respond to the sickness, you wrote a really interesting review of what I thought was one of the better movies last year, “Ford v. Ferrari.” It was — sometimes, you go to a movie and you’re disappointed, that movie was exactly what I expected.


RITHOLTZ: Fun, all about auto — this, that, good tension is that. But you pointed out that the movie was filled with these meek little secretary women starring about while all of the males, all of the white dudes were doing their thing. And as I thought you were dead right when I read it and I remember saying to myself, she’s going to get some pushback about this.


RITHOLTZ: What was the — what was the reaction to that?

ELLIOTT: It was surprising. I will — I would say I was actually — I wasn’t deliberately trying to be controversial or to poke the bear at all. I just thought, this is what I observed. And so, I will say it. And I …

RITHOLTZ: And that was that year. The ’60s were like that.

ELLIOTT: Sure. Well, I’ll say two things. Number one, I actually wrote two pieces on “Ford v. Ferrari.” One was an interview that I did with the car wrangler who directed all of the stunts …

RITHOLTZ: I remember that.

ELLIOTT: … and all of the cars and the amazing replicas he created.

RITHOLTZ: No CGI. That was all real.

ELLIOTT: Yes. Yes. It was real. They used a Canon (ph) to shoot like Ferrari shells out on Willow Springs race course and it was amazing. So, I love that. And I had a great conversation with him and that piece was awesome.

And then the second piece I wrote which was me, what I thought was just relaying what I observed through the movie which was …

RITHOLTZ: Which was visible to anybody who watched them (ph).


RITHOLTZ: Let me mansplain sexism (ph) to you.

ELLIOTT: The whole point of that second piece was this is interesting. I watched the movie and you noticed that the decisionmakers in the room are older men, the women are peripheral and there are no real people of color involved at all which was an accurate representation of the time.


ELLIOTT: And my point was let’s watch this movie and note how it used to be and note that if we want to move together forward in the car industry, in the future, we are all better if we have a variety of voices in the room making decisions.


ELLIOTT: And, by the way, Carroll Shelby was a jerk which is …

RITHOLTZ: That was his rep.

ELLIOTT: … very well documented in lawsuits, in — I actually called the Los Angeles reporter who worked for the “L.A. Times” who covered him for years, I mean, I — this was very well-documented, over 30 years.

So, that was kind of my points. Like, this is a representation of what the auto industry used to be. Let’s move forward and we will all be better and stronger to have different voices in the room, a mix of everybody. And Carroll Shelby was kind of a jerk which everyone knows to be true.


ELLIOTT: And the response was very strong.


ELLIOTT: Very toxic. I got a lot of people who came up to me in person and said, thank you for saying what I thought for a really long time. I really — thank you. A lot of people did say thank you.

But there was also — I would say 50-50 of very, very, very strong backlash of people who seem to think that I was attacking men or attacking Hollywood or attacking white people …


ELLIOTT: … which was not my intent at all.

RITHOLTZ: It’s sort of like Gamergate with response to the people criticizing the video game industry has nothing to do with the basic premise of their response.


RITHOLTZ: It’s just about how dare you?

ELLIOTT: Yes. And it made me sad that people felt attacked and felt that they should respond in a toxic way which only kind of proved what I was saying that we are all better if we leave behind this — the culture, that culture.

RITHOLTZ: It’s amazing, the people who are most likely to toss about the word snowflake are the biggest snowflakes there are. And I’ll just leave it at that.

I want to get to my favorite questions that I ask all of our guests in our final few minutes because I’ve kept you here for three hours.

ELLIOTT: It’s been awesome.

RITHOLTZ: I am having a lot of fun with this. So, I normally — I used to ask people what their first car was but you shared that. So, I’ve moved towards — I can’t even ask you this because you don’t have a TV.

So, let’s talk about …

ELLIOTT: I don’t have a TV.

RITHOLTZ: … podcast. What are you listening to?

ELLIOTT: I love — my favorite podcast is “Fresh Air with Terry Gross.” I listen …

RITHOLTZ: She’s a great interviewer.

ELLIOTT: She is — Terry Gross and Howard Stern are my favorite current interviews.

RITHOLTZ: Stern has also become …

ELLIOTT: He has …

RITHOLTZ: He’s grown into …

ELLIOTT: …phenomenal.

RITHOLTZ: … the seriously the best celebrity interviewer there is.

ELLIOTT: Yes. It’s — and I come from someone who loved watching David Letterman and I took …


ELLIOTT: … his style of interviewing as really brilliant and I feel like Stern has, in a way, inherited that. It’s been really interesting.

RITHOLTZ: There’s a hangover of danger that he may go off the rails.


RITHOLTZ: So, that’s always …

ELLIOTT: Which is good.

RITHOLTZ: … in the background and I think that creates a tension …

ELLIOTT: It’s a tension.

RITHOLTZ: … that wasn’t there.

ELLIOTT: it’s great. Yes.

RITHOLTZ: He’s gotten much better.


RITHOLTZ: But that’s still there.

ELLIOTT: And he’s …

RITHOLTZ: It make it really interesting.

ELLIOTT: He’s empathetic c and he’s so intelligent and …

RITHOLTZ: And he never was empathetic …

ELLIOTT: Yes. I know.

RITHOLTZ: … in the past. It’s — he has …

ELLIOTT: It’s Beth and the cats.

RITHOLTZ: I hate to say this …

ELLIOTT: And his therapy.

RITHOLTZ: He’s matured.

ELLIOTT: I know.

RITHOLTZ: So, tell us about your early mentors? Who helped guide your career?

ELLIOTT: Well, the first one, I have to say, is Mathew de Paula who was the editor who hired me as a young wayward reporter way back when at Forbes, he really saw a potential and someone who didn’t have a lot on her resume yet. So, really was the one who’s guided me through it.

And also, I would say second is Joann Muller who, at the time, was the Detroit Bureau Chief for Forbes. I’m covering the auto industry. She now works for Axios.


ELLIOTT: And she’s their transportation writer. And she really was so kind and patient and took me under her wing. So, those two were phenomenal.

RITHOLTZ: So, I’m not going to ask you that because I know we’re a little tight on time. So, let me just go to number five.

All right. Tell us about some of your favorite books. What are you reading these days while you’re travelling back and forth between New York and L.A.?

ELLIOTT: I love reading nonfiction. I love reading memoirs.

RITHOLTZ: Give us a few titles.

ELLIOTT: Keith Richards’ “Life.”

RITHOLTZ: I have that and I have yet …

ELLIOTT: Fantastic.

RITHOLTZ: … to read it.

ELLIOTT: It’s really good.

RITHOLTZ: And I’m a giant Stones fan.

ELLIOTT: Yes. It’s not a completely new book. But it’s really good. I love music. I love freethinkers and creative people. And he’s great and it really has his voice. My boyfriend’s British, so I like the British type of guy.


ELLIOTT: So, I love that. I did read “Catch and Kill,” Ronan Farrow’s book, about the Harvey Weinstein.

RITHOLTZ: I’ve held that at arm’s length because I know it’s going to just be …

ELLIOTT: It’s really good.

RITHOLTZ: Is it tough to read?

ELLIOTT: No. No. It’s motivation …

RITHOLTZ: What I mean by tough is, like, his behavior is egregious. And …


RITHOLTZ: The Times’ coverage, some of it is really, like, oh, my God. This is disgusting. It’s hard to …

ELLIOTT: It’s hard. But the thing is, the worst stuff has already been out in the news. So, when your read …

RITHOLTZ: I guess.

ELLIOTT: So, when you read the book, I actually put off reading the book because I thought, well, I’ve already all read this in the press, I don’t need to read the book. But the book adds some great context and background and adds a lot about his process. And I’m fascinated with that. I mean, he’s a — he’s a really brilliant, almost prodigy type of writer.

RITHOLTZ: Won Pulitzer already and …

ELLIOTT: I know and he’s so young.

RITHOLTZ: Right. He gets (ph) more in the future. No doubt.

ELLIOTT: Yes. So that was a great book. I also just finished reading “Why Social Media is Ruining Your Life” by Katherine Ormerod who’s a British journalist. She’s a friend of mine.

It’s a great book about how social media affects everything about your perception, your awareness of the world, your interaction with reality.

RITHOLTZ: Right. Social media is not reality.

ELLIOTT: No. But a lot — it still affects people as if it were reality. That’s kind of the crazy thing.

RITHOLTZ: It’s — although that people used to make the same arguments about new — television news.


RITHOLTZ: That it creates this really distorted viewpoint until people, like, Pankar (ph) and Roselyn (ph) came along, most people don’t realize how crime has been plummeting over 40 years. You watch local news, and it’s all stabbings and shootings and what have you.

I have a — so, that’s three books you gave me. I’m going to give you one book which you might like. Have you read “Super Pumped”? The book about Uber?


RITHOLTZ: So, it reminds me a little bit about Bad Blood, about theranos.


RITHOLTZ: Where you have this — although that’s not — there’s no fraud here, there’s a lot of criminality.


RITHOLTZ: And but it’s really fascinating how this idea turned into a world-changing thing …


RITHOLTZ: … despite that toxic bro mentality.

ELLIOTT: Interesting.

RITHOLTZ: And just …


RITHOLTZ: It’s really kind of intriguing and fascinating.


RITHOLTZ: So, tell us about a time you failed and what you learned from the experience?

ELLIOTT: That’s a good question. I will take it back to high school, when I was on my high school basketball team and you would think …

RITHOLTZ: Six-six.


RITHOLTZ: Able to dunk.

ELLIOTT: Six-eight by now.


ELLIOTT: You would think I’d be a good basketball player because of my height. But I really — I …

RITHOLTZ: (Inaudible) and …

ELLIOTT: I did not — I felt like I felt — the thing that I realized about the basketball team which I was on but sat on the bench which I kind of — I hated the whole thing. But I let my own inferiority and feelings of insecurity working in a downward spiral against me.


ELLIOTT: And I still can remember the feelings of how that felt, knowing that, like you weren’t — you weren’t — you didn’t feel like you deserved to be there. And then how that kind of worked against you and with your own feelings of self-worth. And that felt like — the whole thing felt like a failure.

And what I learned from that is don’t talk yourself into feeling like a failure. A lot of it was in my own head.


ELLIOTT: And I never want to go back to feeling like that where I just felt so insecure.

RITHOLTZ: So, when you’re not taking other people’s quarter-million-dollar supercars away for the weekend, what do you do for fun?

ELLIOTT: That’s a good question. This is a really weird answer but Manus, my boyfriend, and I like playing music together and we’ve started a fake band called Neon Jesus.

RITHOLTZ: Are you recording and putting it online?

ELLIOTT: We’re recording on our own phones. I mean, he …

RITHOLTZ: But not putting it online?

ELLIOTT: No. He plays guitar and I have a tambourine and sing and I write lyrics. And we have all these singles that we’ve done. It is just the gnarliest (ph) thing every. You cannot here us anywhere.

But the band is called …

RITHOLTZ: That’s hilarious.

ELLIOTT: … Neon Jesus. And we already have like a whole list of things that we’ve recorded for ourselves.

RITHOLTZ: That’s pretty hilarious.

So, what are you most optimistic about the auto industry today and what are you pessimistic about?

ELLIOTT: I’m optimistic about people. I mean, I’m a big believer in — as long as there is life, there is hope. And the human capacity for growth and creativity is unceasing and as long as we have young, bright, motivated, creative people who are allowed to use their talents, that is very exciting for me. And I think that — cars aren’t going anywhere. People say that they’re going to slowly die out, but I don’t think so. It’s just changing.

And we’ve seen …

RITHOLTZ: It will be a century before they’re gone.

ELLIOTT: Of course.

RITHOLTZ: If that.


RITHOLTZ: And our final question, what sort of advice would you give to a recent college grad if they were interested in a career of either automotive or journalism or automotive journalism?

ELLIOTT: It’s a great question. I’m asked that a lot. I would say for people who love cars, go get a journalism degree. A lot of people think because they know a lot about cars, they can be an auto writer and it doesn’t work that way. It works the other way.

It’s better to become a writer first and then hone your craft learning about it at subject. So, for people who want to be journalist, period, I would say don’t believe it when people tell you you should go to journalism school and get the masters, just start writing, just start writing because at the end of the day, all — anybody wants to see is your byline. Where have you written? Show me something you’ve written.

I did not get a master’s in journalism. I got an undergrad and then started working. And that, to me, worked very well.

RITHOLTZ: Great advice.

We have been speaking with Hannah Elliott. She is the automotive columnist for Bloomberg.

If you enjoy this conversation, look up an inch or down an inch on Apple iTunes and you could see any of the 300 previous such conversations. We love your comments, feedback and suggestions, right to us at

I would be remiss if I did not think the crack staff that helps put this together each week. Paris Wald is our producer. My audio engineer is Mark Siniscalchi. I’m Barry Ritholtz. You’ve been listening to Masters in Business on Bloomberg Radio.

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