Søren Kierkegaard, the Danish philosopher, famously averred that “life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”As we move forward towards a new year and decade, it’s a good philosophy to look back on all the cars, trucks, and bikes we judged on Nice Price or Crack Pipe in 2019.
Now, it should be noted that there is no record of Kierkegaard (born: 1813, died: 1855) ever driving, or even for that matter owning any sort of car. It was unlikely that it was our daily contest to which he was referring with his bon-mot regarding life. Still, I’m running with it!
This is the third year we’ve recapped Nice Price or Crack Pipe, and it will also be the third year that I note that none of this would happen if it weren’t for all of you fabulous people. From the great comments each day to the tips you send me for contenders, you Jalops uniformly rock. Thank you for being so awesome.
For those unfamiliar—and I’m not judging you—here’s how Nice Price or Crack Pipe works: each weekday morning I give you an ad for a vehicle that’s presently available for sale, I give you the deets on the model and perhaps the ad, and then I turn you loose to vote on the price using your amazing consumer and gear-head knowledge.
Over the course of the year, that results in a lot of cars to consider, vote buttons to push, comments to proffer, and a ton of other data to evaluate. We’re going to dig into all that right now.
Round 1: The Big Numbers
To say we looked at a lot of ads would be an understatement, and if you’re in any way familiar with my writing style, you know I’m not big on understatements. We did, in fact look at, and vote on, an amazing 247 ads. Those ads generated a phenomenal 2,249,137 votes and those were supported by 54,741 comments across those posts. Obviously, I never have to remind any of you to show your work!
You all keep coming back for your daily dose of NPoCP too. At the end of the year, we had 9,577,600 pageviews across all the Nice Price or Crack Pipe posts from January 1 to December 20.
And yes, I do realize that I am omitting this past week’s entries. That’s just my laziness showing through, as I had to take time to compile and then deliver all the info below. Needless to say, the small clutch of candidates missing wouldn’t have skewed the numbers terribly.
Added together, the total dollars for this year’s contests came in at $3,783,166. For reference, that’s a small climb from last year’s total. You know, inflation and all.
But let’s not stop there. We’ve got plenty more to get through.
Round 2: The Nations
The chart above denotes manufacturer home and not necessarily nation of build for our various candidates. That means that while there were a butt-load of cars from Germany (57), Japan (69) and the good ‘ol USA (77), those cars and trucks could have been built in far-flung places like Mexico, Slovakia, or wherever other distant market that car companies ship off old machine tooling to.
This year we saw the inclusion of Korea and Norway (the Think Electric), and not much representation from France. That may change in the future as Fiat and PSA merge both their companies and their product lines.
Round 3: The Decades
There’s something innately satisfying about a bell curve and we have a pretty solid example this year, leaning appreciably to the more modern era. The ‘90s provided the bulk of our candidates, with the Aughts just behind. The ‘80s still out-pulled our current decade and seeing as we’re heading into a new one, I’ll probably be able to reuse that sentence next year.
Round 4: The Prices
As I noted, this year we looked at $3,783,166 worth of cars, trucks, and bikes. If you had the money to buy them all you’d… well, need a pretty-damn big garage. Alternatively, you could spend around that amount on a one-car garage for a single Koenigsegg Jesko. Which way would you go?
This year, the spread between lowest and highest asking price for our candidates was greater than in any year past—or at least the two that I’ve so far kept tabs on.
The cheapest candidate we looked at was a 1987 Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce that needed a lot of work but only demanded $500 to roll up your sleeves. Amazingly, only 65 percent of you felt that was a good idea. Sorry, Alfa.
The most expensive set of wheels we considered was a 1983 De Tomaso Pantera GTS that once called Carroll Shelby its father. That provenance was enough for the seller to ask a staggering $249,900 for the car. I think it’s presently still on the market which makes sense since it was voted down by 73 percent of you. Interestingly, those two extremes—high and low—were both Italian.
Our average for the year was $15,316, or about what we’re each getting in that Equifax data breach payout.
Round 5: The Votes
You know, we wouldn’t bother having this shindig if it weren’t for all of you playing along at home. The daily vote is what makes this all worth doing, and this year we had tons of votes. We don’t employ any sort of electoral college, so it was all on you as well.
You all voted over two and a quarter million times over the course of the year, and I imagine your mousing finger must be shit-balls tired after all that. That number is also about 23 percent of the total post traffic, which is pretty good for voter turnout.
Out of all those, we saw 117 Nice Price wins and 130 Crack Pipe losses. The average vote on those wins was 66.86 percent while the fallen came in at 69.12 percent. I don’t know what that means other than we got real close to 66.6 on one of those sides. Try again, satan!
Our biggest winner of all, coming in with an amazing 95 percent consensus was a $2,900 1975 Triumph Spitfire we looked at in September. Man, I’d still like to have that one.
The narrowest victory was earned by the 1988 BMW 325i convertible that squeaked by with just 50.2 percent of you giving its $2,999 price tag the thumbs up.
The biggest loser? Why that’s another Bimmer, although one obviously living in the witless protection program as it wore bodywork that tried to emulate a Shelby Cobra.
That Z3 1.9 wasn’t fooling anybody, and at $28,000, fully 94.46 percent of you weren’t having its price tag either.
The 2001 Toyota Sequoia we looked at back in April saw the closest loss, with a narrow 50.9 percent denouement in the negative. Perhaps it’s true that it’s better to have NPOCP’d and lost than to have never NPOCP’d at all.
The biggest vote-getters, both winners and losers were, as you might expect, also popular posts in other ways. We’ll more about that see shortly.
The most win-worthy votes went to the 2013 Tesla Model S we considered back in June. It earned 31,781 votes in total for its $29,900 price, with 62.3 percent of those going for the win.
As far as big votes coming up in a loss, the heinously huge 2006 Ford F650 Super Duty we considered back in March filled the bill. That truck’s $50,000 asking earned 23,433 votes, of which an equally enormous 75.41 percent went Crack Pipe.
Round 6: The Streaks
As we have seen, the year was filled with winners and losers in almost equal proportion. That’s not to say, however, that there weren’t times when things seemed to be going one way or the other in alarming sequence. Eventually, things always turn around, but that does give us what I like to call “the streaks.”
Here are the longest runs of both winners and losers.
Wins: We had a run of six wins in a row back in May. I guess Springtime truly does make everyone’s hearts grow fonder.
Here they are:
- 1995 Mercedes Benz E320— $2,800/64.65% win
- 1957 Porsche Speedster Replica — $16,800/58.82% win
- 1978 Volkswagen Dasher — $3,800/72.54% win
- 1993 Chevy S10 V8 — $8,500/64.72% win
- 1993 Chevy Corvette — $14,750/53.53% win
- 2000 Toyota Celica — $5,300/76.19% win
That streak was broken by a 1997 Subaru Legacy GT wagon that at $8,997 fell in an 81.34% loss.
The longest losing streak—extant the ‘61 Phillies—came in July, when summer’s heat had obviously begun to take its toll. Remarkably, this seven entry streak also leads off with a Benz.
Here we go:
- 1991 Mercedes Benz 300GD — $22,500/77.23% loss
- 2005 Ferrari F430 — $97,500/50.94% loss
- 2007 Dodge Magnum — $4,800/56.67% loss
- 2015 Mitsubishi Evo — $25,000/79.29% loss
- 1985 Kawasaki GPz900 — $4500/81.34% loss
- 1944 Dodge WC-52 — $3,500/58.68% loss
- 2006 Hummer H3 — $6,400/51.51% loss
Luckily for us, after that we looked at a 1988 Toyota Corolla FX16 which, at just $2,500 engendered a narrow 51.36 percent save. Man, is there anything an old Corolla can’t do?
Round 7: The Most Popular Car of 2019
We had a good year together and most all of our candidates seemed to raise either your interest or your hackles. We can only have one big winner, however. Basically, I don’t like ties.
That wasn’t an issue this year since one candidate stood out far above the rest. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it was a Tesla. Yeah, we’ll have to give Elon this one too. No, I’m not happy about that either.
Regardless, June’s 2013 Tesla Model S hit all the major milestones for the year. It was, at over 401,000 hits, the most heavily visited NPoCP post of the year. As we saw earlier, it also earned the greatest number of votes, with 19,736 of its 31,781 total going towards its win. At 519 comments, it was the most talked-about post of the year as well. That’s a lot of winning.
You know what, I’d say we all were winners this year. I mean, except for the poor guy that bought that pristine $15,000 Volvo V70R we featured in October. That car apparently broke down on him on the way home from the purchase. Oh man, sorry about that, dude.
For the rest of us however, we seemed to have dodged a lot of bullets. And I hope that the daily NPoCP feature helps you all continue to do so in the future. We’ll be back in 2020 to make sure that keeps happening.