Simanaitis Says

On cars, old, new and future; science & technology; vintage airplanes, computer flight simulation of them; Sherlockiana; our English language; travel; and other stuff


I HAVE BEGUN DECLUTTERING the garage. No mean feat, this, what with 33+ years of R&T memorabilia and even more years of other stuff, plus 150 boxes of books accumulated back when a retirement secondhand bookshop was envisioned. 

The bookshop idea got scrapped when a nice lady owning a bookshop advised it’s a fine way of screwing up retirement. Instead, I started SimanaitisSays and let the books and other stuff remain in the garage.

Now, though, I’m uncovering things that ask, “Why ever did I save this?” Here are tidbits about not just having tossed them out. By the way, if I mention something you simply cannot live without, please let me know. Likely we can strike a deal beneficial to you—and to my garage.

John Player Specials. As Blake Z. Rong wrote at the Hagerty website, August 22, 2018, “Everything John Player Touches Turns to Black Gold.”

John Player was innovative in the 1870s in popularizing pre-rolled cigarettes. And nearly a century later, it and Lotus introduced another innovation: In 1968, the team swapped Formula One’s traditional national livery (British Racing Green, Italian Red, French Blue, etc.) in favor of sponsorship colors, namely those of John Player’s up-market Gold Leaf cigarettes. 

In 1972, John Player’s parent company Imperial Tobacco went one step further: It came up with a brand specifically promoting Lotus: John Player Special cigarettes. 

1984 Lotus Type 95T. Image from the Hagerty website.

This sponsorship proved beneficial indeed to John Player, what with countries banning tobacco advertising in print and on the telly. Lotus continued to carry John Player Special livery until 1986. Then the team switched to Camels and a fat lot of good it did them. 

My John Player Special Memorabilia. I’ve forgotten whether I bought this canister with 50 Filters or empty; I stopped smoking in 1984. The lighter and helmet with its compass were part of the deal; neither function at the moment. 

Seoul Olympics 1988. This commemoratory key fob has never held a key and is still in its original packaging. I have no idea why I bought it, but suspect kimchi, bulgogi, and OB Golden Lager were involved.

Morgan 75th. This one has a clear provenance. It was part of the marque’s 1984 celebration in England. It’s not for sale because I wouldn’t want to be a fence for possibly stolen goods. (It fell off a tree after the celebratory rally was concluded.) 

R&T 1981. This poster was part of an exhibit R&T set somewhere or other. At Long Beach, back when it was a real Grand Prix? Indianapolis at its 2000 Inaugural Grand Prix? 

R&T Poster, 1981. Reproduction of editorial and art, 23 1/2 x 36 in

I kept this one because it combines two of my favorite subjects, Innes Ireland and Bugatti automobiles. 

Semaine des Armes de Combat, 1912. This poster was being discarded during office renovations. I love its blue; and isn’t the dog precious?

Gde Semaine des Armes de Combat, 1912. Poster, 15 x 20 in. 

Programs Galore. I’ve been blessed attending scads of automotive events, and typically return with commemorative programs. Most of them in one of the garage’s boxes date from the 1990s and then jump to a few from 2006 and 2007. At this time I do not know where the rest of them are.

That’s part of the fun of decluttering. You never know what shows up next. ds 

© Dennis Simanaitis,, 2022

9 comments on “WHY EVER DID I SAVE THIS?

  1. Tom Austin
    January 14, 2022

    Well, you could donate the Morgan 75th sign to a Morgan Owners’ Club to auction off to generate proceeds for the operation of the club (I’m a member of the 3 4 Morgan Owner’s Group here in New England) or donate it back to the factory, in Malvern Link if they’re interested or to one of the few brave (and talented) souls selling and servicing Morgans here in the States or …

  2. Mike B
    January 14, 2022

    I resemble these remarks. Recently had to box up the house and store in the garage and a (well-stuffed) 10×10 storage unit. Now that the work requiring it is ending, stuff will trickle back, and I hope to make some of it trickle in a different direction than back into the house. Am discovering, though, that the only means of “disposal” are, usually, eBay or the trash can. The former is a pain, the latter a waste…

    • sabresoftware
      January 15, 2022

      Sometimes holding a garage sale can help get rid of some stuff. The townhouse condo complex where I live doesn’t seem to be inclined to hold community garage sales, but the neighbourhood community league does hold an annual event at the community centre, but unfortunately that has been nixed for the last two years, so my future garage sale cupboard in the garage is getting full.

  3. Nate
    January 14, 2022

    ?Any old Mercedes shop manuals ? . I need one that covers the 722.117 version… All of us Boomers have crap that needs to go, I hate to toss anything out but need to reduce and simplify . -NateLIVE in the world as it is, WORK to make the world as it should be

  4. Valter Prieto Jr
    January 14, 2022

    I have a lot of magazines and books, but I donated many of them, sold to a used bookstore or simply recycled in an appropriated bin at my local supermarket (this was back in Brazil, 5 years ago).
    Since I started my cleaning process, I scanned many subject matters of many magazines before discard them. It makes me calmer and calmer as my piles got smaller, it is really a great psychological job for me.
    Now I subscribe only 2 magazines living here in US, Hemmings Classic Cars and Car and Driver, and frequently I scan some thing and recycle the paper.
    But books are more complicated…

  5. Paul M Everett
    January 14, 2022

    It would be fun to see a bit of what is in that unopened used bookstore. It would also be dangerous, as at least a couple delightful items on my shelves are from seeing them in Simanaitis Says.

    • simanaitissays
      January 14, 2022

      Paul, I’ve opened a couple of them and found some keepers. Damn….

  6. sabresoftware
    January 14, 2022

    I have a number of old car magazines including R&T, C&D, AutoWeek and even a few AutoCars, plus a few others.

    At some point I look at the large collection that basically I rarely, if ever, actually look at, and decide that I should cull the collection because I am running out of bookshelf space to store them. So I grab a box and take a look at the magazines, but end up reading them to make sure that I’m not throwing out something that I might still want, or reading an article that got missed the first time. Needless to say the progress on culling is very slow, and I still have most of them.

    On the “why did I ever” front, over the years I collected a number of computer related devices, usually at MacWorld in San Francisco which I attended for about 10 years in a row. Many of these were things that I thought might be useful in my Mac/Web consulting side business, usually based on a problem that I had encountered with a previous client, thinking “this might be useful”, but never actually got around to using. Many were based on now obsolete technologies like SCSI and Serial, and so when I attempt to cull years later there is no market. I also have a large collection of various cables, handy for oddball device connection issues, but even these can fail to solve the problem because the connection at one end is male instead of female, or the right connection type but wrong pinout.

    This reminds me of a cartoon on the Dull Men’s Club website, “Estate Planning by a dull man“

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