Tuesday Bites

I guess when all of this subsides I will have to finally break down, go to the dentist and get fitted for a biteguard to wear at night. I regularly bite my lips, my tongue and my cheeks while I sleep. At present, I am dealing with a horrendous sore on the inside of my lip caused by multiple bites of the same area. I also think the stress of current events is impairing my body’s ability to heal.

A much happier interpretation of bites:

 

See the source image

 

56packardman mentioned these in a reply to a comment I left on one of his posts. The picture is from burpy.com. I don’t recall ever having eaten these before, but you can be sure I will soon.

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Where do you go for a “mental escape?” I am not asking so I can reveal my preferences; I am asking so I might learn something.

My routine has not really changed much in this time of social distancing. I have had to give up one of my few escapes, dining in restaurants. However, I definitely know something is much different and I am not one of those people who is obsessively consuming news. Any suggestions you can offer would be much appreciated.

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One way I can tell the world/my world is different is that the joy I receive from thinking about cars has diminished. I doubt this is a permanent change, but it has decreased the “return” on an escape.

Maybe I’m just in a holding pattern waiting for the move to the desert. In an arc on Seinfeld Kramer wants to move to LA to get into show business. At one point George asks him if he is really going to California. Kramer’s response, “In my mind, I’m already gone.” Yes, that’s a funny line, but that also describes my state. I am a person who, when a course of action seems appropriate, just wants to take that action ASAP.

I think life is about doing things, not waiting to do things. None of us is guaranteed tomorrow.

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On this day in 2004 the Empire State Building was lit in Ferrari red to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Ferrari’s presence in the United States (also in conjunction with New York Auto Show activities), which is traditionally Ferrari’s largest market in terms of sales. From 365 Days Of Motoring (not a secure website):

 

 

From Wikipedia a picture of Ferrari’s best-selling car ever, although now discontinued. For 70% of the people who bought this car it was their first Ferrari.

 

See the source image

 

This is, of course, a Ferrari California. This car is part of my wonderful wife’s Ultimate Garage and was part of my Ultimate Garage “1.0” that I showed on my first blog (not this one).

A Ferrari California is NOT a candidate to be a Corvette companion in the desert. It’s too expensive to acquire AND to maintain and is a “fail” as a grocery car. Still, let me see what Hemmings has:

 

 

Among the 590 Ferrari listings were 30 Californias. The one shown above is the least expensive, listing for $94,950. It is a 2011 model with about 8,000 miles. According to the ad the original MSRP was about $212,000.

As I have written before, the allure of winning a huge lottery jackpot largely resides in the cars we could buy—and in a house in which we could have those cars. I do not expect to win the lottery, but it sure is fun to dream. Ah, an escape…

 

#TuesdayBites

#MentalEscape

#FerrariCalifornia

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Another Weird Dream…

The memory of this dream is fading even as I write…

I dreamt I was at a baseball confab like the annual Winter Meetings. Somehow, I knew I didn’t belong there and didn’t interact with anyone. The venue was a luxurious complex (the Baseball Winter Meetings are never held at Motel 6) with a huge and airy lobby. Outside, opulence seemed to be the idiom. I saw long limousines—all in a weird, almost electric light green (once again, so much for men not being able to dream in color)—and other luxury vehicles.

As the meetings came to an end I went to look for my suitcase/travel bags. I found a large bin with many bags and simply grabbed what I hoped were all of my bags and just my bags.

Next thing I knew I was in Baltimore (where I was born and raised), still schlepping my bags and trying to find a way to my mother’s house. (My mother died in 2004, but was alive in this dream, apparently.) At first, I thought I would have to walk and as dusk was approaching this was not a pleasant scenario. This part of the dream is consistent with MANY dreams I had when I was younger that saw me attempting to walk home, often through dangerous neighborhoods, as dusk fell. In this dream, though, I stumbled onto a taxi and after I entered the cab I woke up.

Oh, the coronavirus was part of this dream. Out of habit I extended my hand to shake hands with the cab driver. Reflexively, he reciprocated, but then frowned as we both seemed to understand that this was not the time to shake hands.

What can I say except that it is hell to live inside my brain.

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How many of you have watched Car Fix on Velocity/Motor Trend? This show airs right before episodes of All Girls Garage on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

For the first eight seasons Car Fix was hosted by Lou Santiago and Jared Zimmerman. The latter also had a credit as a “Technical Producer” for his show and All Girls Garage. Season Nine premiered this past Saturday, with two new hosts (Bryan Fuller and Jeremy Bumpus), and except for Fuller saying “Welcome to the new Car Fix” in the intro, one wouldn’t know anything had changed if this were their first time watching the show. I took a few minutes and searched the Internet for any news about the change, but found nothing.

I am curious as to whether or not Cristy Lee’s departure from All Girls Garage is related to the departure of Santiago and Zimmerman. Maybe Brenton Productions, the company that produces both shows, needed to cut costs. From blogarama a picture of Santiago (R) and Zimmerman (L):

 

See the source image

 

I enjoyed the show with the original hosts; the Season Nine premiere seemed flat, but I could just have been disoriented by the sudden, unannounced change.

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George: “…For I am Costanza, Lord of the Idiots.”

Woman Watching Race: “You’re all winners!”

George: “Suddenly, a new contender has emerged.”

 

Using that to segue to the search for a Corvette companion…a new car has emerged as a strong contender. (It is up to you to decide if I am like George Costanza.) It is a defunct model although not from a defunct make. It is a 21st-century car, which means it will be much more practical to own. This model has a long and distinguished history and would easily fit the bill as a grocery car. From Car Gurus a picture of a 2007 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS:

 

Picture of 2007 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS FWD, exterior, gallery_worthy

 

We wouldn’t have to have a 2007 as a 2006 SS would do. Why an ’06 or ’07 SS? Because for just those two years in the last generation the SS was powered by a good old Chevy small-block V-8. More specifically, the 2006-07 Monte Carlo SS had a fuel-injected, 5.3 liter/325 cubic-inch (have to keep Bill Stephens happy) V-8 that produced 303 HP/323 LB-FT of torque. It also has 15 cubic feet of trunk space and two rear seats.

I have written about and showed this car before. I like the looks of almost every generation of Monte Carlo and this last generation is no exception. My wonderful wife really likes this car as well. Of course, 2007 was the last model year for the Monte Carlo and it seems highly unlikely it will ever return. Total Monte Carlo production for 2006-07 was just 43,456 units with only 14,829 of those being SS models. (Yes, as the child of Holocaust survivors I get a slight twinge hearing/reading the letters “SS.” Chevrolet is not a German car.)

We will not have an easy time finding a nice example, but we are not in a hurry. Those that are offered for sale usually have a listing price under $20,000.

I would very much like to read your thoughts about this car. Thanks.

 

#MoreWeirdDreams

#CarFixShakeup

#2007ChevroletMonteCarloSS

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Random Is As Random Does

Cristy Lee must have been a popular search topic yesterday as this blog had a relatively high number of views from people looking for information about her. This post was their first stop, but I put a link to this post in the first one and that drew views as well. From showbizpost.com a picture of Cristy Lee:

 

See the source image

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I don’t like cars that are bagged and slammed with giant wheels, which I call clown cars. To me, that “look” has no balance and shows no finesse, nuance or even thought. Oh, try driving a car with air suspension hard in a corner. Can you say body roll?!

Yes, different strokes for different folks. I am not going to retell the Waylon Jennings story, but no one’s view on what makes a car look good is universal. I don’t have to like bagged, slammed cars with giant wheels no matter how many other people like them.

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From Coco Chanel via The Muscleheaded Blog:

 

“Don’t spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door.”

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Here are some posts from photobyjohnbo that have some great pictures of Arizona, IMO:

 

Cellpic Sunday-5 April 2020

But I Digress…

Cellpic Sunday-16 February 2020

 

I fervently hope that my wonderful wife and I will be living in Arizona by this time next year. I would be okay if that sentence were amended to read this time next month.

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Automobile-Catalog is a great source of information. When I show the torque rating for the engine of an older car, the odds are the value came from Automobile-Catalog.

That site also shows interior dimensions including trunk capacity. My wonderful wife has shown some interest in the search for a “cool” grocery getter that we would acquire after we move to the desert. Given my wife’s interest I guess it would be more accurate to describe this “new” car as a Corvette companion and not a Z06 companion, per se. I am absolutely fine with that.

What do you think of this car?

 

 

From this Hemmings ad and, obviously, GarageKeptMotors is a picture of a 1969 AMC Javelin in Bittersweet Orange with a two-tone White and Red interior. OK, a photo of the interior:

 

 

The car has what I assume is the original 290 cubic-inch V-8 with, unfortunately for performance, just a 2-barrel carburetor with the “Shift-Command” three-speed automatic with floor shift. An odd thing about the carburetion in the ad is that in standard catalog of® American Cars, 1946-1975 by John Gunnell the “Base” V-8 for 1969 AMC cars is shown as having a four-barrel carb. However, that engine is shown as having 225 HP, BUT there are numerous references to the 200 HP Javelin V-8. From what I can gather, the higher HP engine in that displacement was only available with a manual transmission. Oh…according to Automobile-Catalog the 1969 Javelin has a trunk capacity of 10.2 cubic feet. Is that a big enough trunk for groceries given the car does have two rear seats?

The Javelin was part of my wonderful wife’s Ultimate Garage, was among the list of the cars that just missed the cut for my Ultimate Garage 2.0, and is a product of a defunct American car company. That checks a lot of boxes. Oh, the asking price is “just” $19,900 although I think the car is worth closer to $10,000-$11,000 especially given it’s not the high-performance V-8. What do you think?

 

#Random

#CristyLee

#IDon’tLikeClownCars

#Automobile-Catalog

#1969AMCJavelin

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Saturday In The (Virtual) Park

First…Cristy Lee is recovering from an appendectomy AND she is no longer on the cast of All Girls Garage. In a long “social media” message she noted her hectic work and travel schedule for 2019 and stated she needs to take better care of herself in the future.

Ostensibly she is supposed to continue on Garage Squad whenever that program resumes production—it is in a coronavirus hiatus—but somehow I get the feeling she won’t. When we attended her live interview during the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale in January of 2019 she mentioned that she had been involved in fixing houses before her days on Velocity/Motor Trend and that “something was in the works” for a possible return. Cristy Lee on HGTV and/or DIY? Those networks are under the Discovery “umbrella.”

When the announcement was made in May, 2019 that Cristy Lee would be joining Garage Squad I sent her a tweet (I still had an active Twitter account) that I hoped the news didn’t mean she was leaving All Girls Garage. I guess it did…from her Twitter page, I assume, a picture of Cristy Lee:

 

See the source image

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The town in which we live—we don’t actually live in the incorporated part but have a town zip code—has a population of a little more than 30,000 but seems to have enough parks for a place with 100,000. These parks look nice, but were seldom used even before the coronavirus. I guess their mere presence is a positive, but I have often thought at least a small percentage of these parks could be used for more productive activities.

I am also still a little mad that the town tore down a very old mill tower and used some of the bricks in a new park at the site. From an Evil Empire blog a picture of the tower:

 

See the source image

 

Of course, the town council claimed the tower was too expensive to maintain and that its “memory” would be preserved in the new park named for the mill. I miss seeing the tower, what can I say?

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This Carbonhans Blog article compares the C8 Corvette to the Lamborghini Huracan Evo. The subhead reads, “With six figures separating their prices, are these mid-engine sports cars even comparable? Yes.” Here is an interesting passage:

 

“Surprisingly, the Corvette streaks to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds (as tested by our friends at MotorTrend), matching the estimated figure for the Huracan Evo. The European boasts a higher top speed of 202 mph, whereas the Corvette tops out at 184 to 194 mph, depending on equipment. Since there are basically no places in America for owners to probe those speeds, the Lambo’s lead here is negligible. What counts is that the C8 can hang with the Lamborghini in straight-line speed—with less power (but greater torque) and without all-wheel drive. Oh, and for less than a third of the price.”

 

I think if you’re interested you should read the article yourself. Once again, the Corvette is simply unmatched in bang for the buck among performance cars anywhere in the world. OK, a picture from the Carbonhans piece:

 

2020 Chevy Corvette vs Lambo Huracan EVO 1

 

With all that is going on the C8 has been lost in the maelstrom. Of course, that pales in significance to other manifestations, but just sitting stuck in your house under a stay at home order and moping is probably not good for anyone. This, too, shall pass although it will pass like a giant kidney stone, wreaking much havoc and with the potential to cause long-lasting damage. As I have had (at least) six kidney stones I have some knowledge on the subject.

 

Please feel free to post thoughtful comments. I always welcome them, but they are particularly welcome now.

 

#CristyLee

#WhatIsProgress?

#C8Corvette

#GiantKidneyStone

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Frugal Friday 10

First…I almost always think that the “truth” lies between extreme positions. However, I must acknowledge that another axiom I hold dear, no thought/behavioral paradigm is always appropriate, is why I must use the qualifier “almost.”

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In the state in which we live car dealerships are only open for service. In my almost daily scan of available cars I have noticed that more dealers are offering walk-around videos of the cars and home delivery. Could this lead to a permanent change in the automotive marketplace? Does this mean a company like Carvana is well-positioned to become a dominant force?

I have to admit that I am not dealing with this coronavirus situation well and, as such, am kind of lost in terms of generating content for Disaffected Musings. Having a stand-by like Frugal Friday is only helpful to a point.

I don’t know if they’re still doing this feature, but Hemmings has run a $5,000 Challenge, looking at cars that are listed for no more than $5,000 and then asking readers to comment and/or to pick a favorite. I will use the Hemmings idea, but modify it so that the cars are listed for between $9,000 and $11,000. Oh, all of these cars are also from 1961 to 1965.

How about this car?

 

 

From this Hemmings ad a picture of a 1961 Metropolitan listed at $9,900. I know many car enthusiasts would call this a Nash Metropolitan, but I am a stickler and the Nash make ended with the 1957 model year. In 1961 the car was an American Motors product.

OK, I admit it; I think these cars are adorable. The Metropolitan was the first car designed by a US car company for sale primarily in North America that was built elsewhere, in this case in Britain. This example has just 43,083 miles and looks good in the photos.

How about this one?

 

 

From Hemmings a picture of a 1963 Buick Skylark with what is believed to be just 47,000 miles. Of course, that qualifier gets the seller off the hook. The asking price is $10,000.

This car has the original 215 cubic-inch aluminum V-8 engine that, when new, produced 200 HP and 240 LB-FT of torque. These cars were not heavy at about 2,800 pounds. Buick produced 32,109 of these for 1963.

Buick, Oldsmobile and Pontiac all used the novel aluminum engine in the early 1960s, but ceased after the 1963 model year. The engine was then licensed (or sold, can’t find the answer definitively) to Rover of Great Britain who used the basic architecture into the 1990s.

OK, one more:

 

 

Also from Hemmings (and from Country Classic Cars) is a 1965 Ford Galaxie 2-door hardtop. This ad copy is sparse: “…new tires and wheels and paint on good body, good orig int, bucket seats, console v8, 4 speed, runs and drives good.” The asking price is $10,950. The odometer reads 89,376 miles. Ford used four different V-8 engines for model year 1965 so without looking at the VIN and/or having a Ford guy interpret the engine bay photos, I can’t tell you what motor is in this car.

My ever-present quest, no matter how active, for a Z06 companion that can serve as a stylish grocery car is probably why I focused on cars of this vintage. So, do any of these appeal to you? I would very much like to read your thoughts. Thanks.

 

#FrugalFriday

#1961Metropolitan

#1963BuickSkylark

#1965FordGalaxie

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Throwback Thursday, GoodBye Impala Edition

See the source image

 

From Steve McKelvie’s blog a picture of a 1958 Chevrolet Impala, the first model year for the car. As you may have heard, Impala production has ceased for what is the third and almost certainly final time.

Most car buyers are not active on car blogs. I have not read anywhere that people are happy or are resigned to the sea change in the “automobile” market, where the dominant forms sold are SUVs and pickup trucks. Instead, I read things like this, “So after 62 years [not technically correct, but the point is valid] the celebrated Impala badge will no longer grace the highway; this is another sad [emphasis mine] example of the change in the mode of transport away from the traditional sedan.”

The Chevrolet Impala was one of the most successful models in automotive history. Except for the Model T, which was sold when the car market was much different, the Impala is the only US model (could be world model for all I know) that sold more than one million units in a single model year, which happened in 1965 with sales of nearly 1,047,000. In its [yes, it’s “its” not “it’s.”] first ten years in existence more than six and a half million Impalas were sold. In years six through ten almost 4.2 million Impalas were sold.

I have a sentimental attachment to the Impala, no doubt. My aunt and uncle owned a 1964 model that they let me sit in for hours and pretend to drive. My father’s 1961 Impala got me back and forth between home and college during my first semester while my 1967 GTO was being repaired after a major accident.

Yes, I write here all the time that the only constant in the world is change. That doesn’t mean we have to be happy with all change.

GoodBye, Chevrolet Impala…

 

#GoodByeImpala

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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I Wish…

all of these current events were just a bad, cruel April Fools joke. Alas, that is not the case.

 

About this time of year in 1988 I had outpatient surgery to remove tumors from my abdomen. Like the dozen or so other tumors I have had removed, these would turn out to be benign. (Knocking on my head to simulate knocking on wood…)

After the lidocaine wore off I experienced great pain in my abdomen. (Eventually, the incision would become infected and require draining and antibiotics.) I tried three aspirin, but they had no effect. My surgeon and I had known each other since I was very young as we used to be neighbors. I called him and said, “I am in horrible pain. What do I do?” He said, “Schmuck, get some ibuprofen, Advil, and take three.”

I did as he said and waited. Magically, 35 minutes after taking the ibuprofen the pain was completely gone. That was both a revelation and a curse.

I have chronic pain, most of which is due to arthritis in many joints. Although they are not as bad as when I was younger, I also still get headaches, sometimes from allergies, but also from arthritis in my neck. Last night I had a new pain in an unusual place. Thinking it was just dry skin I applied lotion, but that had no effect. Finally, I went to the old standby, ibuprofen, and sure enough the pain was gone in 30-35 minutes. (Many hours later the pain has also not returned.)

Like all powerful medicines ibuprofen has negative side effects, one of the worst being potential kidney damage. In addition, excessive use of NSAIDs like ibuprofen increases the risk of adverse cardiovascular effects. (NSAID = Non Steroid Anti Inflammatory Drug) So I am stuck between a rock and a hard place. What I have had to do is to actively monitor my ibuprofen usage. Those days in which I do not take it are marked on the big calendar in the kitchen. I try to avoid taking ibuprofen on successive days and that is one reason I note my usage. I have found that I usually take it 3-4 days a week and, therefore, don’t take it 3-4 days a week.

NOTHING in life is all good or all bad. EVERYTHING is a trade-off.

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Moving to a more pleasant topic…

On this day in 1904 Clarence W. Spicer began manufacturing his invention, the Spicer joint, a type of universal joint. Over a century later, his company, the Dana Corporation, headquartered in Toledo, Ohio, has worldwide automotive parts sales approaching $10 billion per year. Of course, the company filed for bankruptcy in 2006 but has since recovered, obviously.

Many “motorheads” are familiar with Dana rear ends. While the majority of these have been installed in trucks, Mopar muscle cars of the late 60s and early 70s also had Dana rear axles. Muscle cars like this:

 

See the source image

 

From Barrett-Jackson a picture of a 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T. I know very little about Mopars so I don’t know if the R/T was usually fitted with a Dana rear end. I do know that John Kraman and Bill Stephens, of the Mecum broadcasts on NBCSN, seem to be very impressed by Dana rear axles.

 

Please feel free to submit thoughtful comments, to click on any (or all) of the related posts listed at the end of each post, to sign up to follow the blog, to tell your friends, to click on any ad in which you have genuine interest OR all of the above. Thanks.

 

#BadAprilFoolsJoke

#LifeIsATradeOff

#DanaRearAxles

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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The Background Hunt

Some programs/apps are running “in the background.” Their procedures are usually not visible, but the programs/apps are running, nevertheless.

With current events being what they are, my hunt for a Z06 companion is not as active, or overt, as it has been. Nevertheless, I am still thinking about a potential addition to our garage when we have more space. This useful article by Mike Musto of Hemmings is about shopping for a car online. This passage struck a chord:

 

“I myself am compulsive about looking at cars online. Every night, beginning around 8:30 p.m., I sit on the couch, laptop at the ready, and proceed to hit the auctions and classifieds. Mind you, I don’t need another vehicle (seven seems enough at the moment), but that want, it just never goes away. Cars, trucks, and motorcycles are all on my permanent watch list and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t always on the lookout for my next purchase.”

 

As I have written on more than one occasion I REALLY understand how people wind up owning multiple vehicles. In addition, shopping for a car online is simply the new normal. While I don’t look every day, I look most days even if it’s just for 5-10 minutes.

I bought my Z06 online without ever actually laying eyes on it. (Contrary to one of Musto’s rules, by the way.) The dealer, Mercedes-Benz of Oklahoma City, sent me dozens of pictures and a reasonable facsimile of the build sheet/window sticker. Other than the tires, racing slicks that had been abused, and a minor problem with the driver door weather strip, which I fixed, the car arrived in good condition.

Of course the old saw that the only difference between men and boys is the price of their toys is rattling around in (what’s left of) my brain. Still, I don’t have to look any farther than my wonderful wife to see one of the many examples of women searching the Internet for something to buy.

I rely primarily on Hemmings and Classic Cars to look for the “elderly” companion for my Z06. One car that piqued my interest, sort of, but which appears not to be available anymore, was a 1964 Buick Riviera with a more modern drivetrain. I don’t care about a stock drivetrain, but the ad contained only one photo, which should be a major red flag. The Hemmings article lists all of the photos a potential buyer should see, whether or not they’re included with the original ad. Here is the list:

 

Photos:
Exterior:
– 360 degrees: Front, three-quarter front, full side, three-quarter rear, rear, roof
– Under hood: Left, right, and center angles
– Undercarriage from all angles (this will help to spot any leaks, exhaust problems, or hidden rust)
– Door jams, rocker panels, and door bottoms
– Close-ups of the shock towers and suspension points
– Wheels and tires (with date codes)
– Grille, all light fixtures and lenses, and trim closeups
Interior:
– Front and rear seating surfaces (any rips, tears, or discoloration)
– Headliner (any sagging)
– Dashboard (any cracks)
– Door cards and kick panels
– Carpet (any discoloration or worn spots)
– Rear package tray (cracks or discoloration)
– Trunk interior, as well as the spare tire compartment
– Glass (look for scratches)

Both my wonderful wife and I are big fans of the Jaguar XJS convertible, but finding one without 90,000+ miles isn’t easy. I don’t want to add a car similar in idiom to our Corvettes. In other words, we don’t need another high-performance sports car. Besides, we will need a grocery car so the car has to have a trunk and at least four seats. Another convertible would be nice, though, for cruising in the desert. Maybe something like this:

 

 

From this Hemmings ad a picture of a 1965 Buick Wildcat convertible that, supposedly, has just 52,000-ish miles. I like the Buick Rallye wheels or Sport wheels or whatever they’re called. I like the asking price, $12,995. Ah yes, the hashtag reminder: #somanycarsjustonelife.

If any of you would like to share your recent experiences in buying a car (or cars) or have any advice I would very much like to read your words of wisdom.

 

#TheBackgroundHunt

#1965BuickWildcatConvertible

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Monday Musings 43

It’s amazing how much more often you have to run the dishwasher when you’re cooking and eating all of your meals at home…

 

On this day 50 years ago the great Secretariat was born at the Meadow in Doswell, Virginia. You see, not all great racehorses come from Kentucky. Technically, all thoroughbreds have the same birthday, January 1, but that’s just a contrivance to classify horses.

In case you don’t know, [everyone] or even if you do, Secretariat won the Triple Crown—the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, the Belmont Stakes—in 1973. He is recognized as the holder of the fastest time in each of those races although his Preakness time is the subject of controversy. His time in the Belmont Stakes remains the American record for 1 1/2 miles on dirt. Andrew Beyer developed a metric, now called the Beyer number and which is included for every horse in the Daily Racing Form, that combines the “raw” time of a horse in a race with the track variant, a number that represents the inherent fastness and slowness of the track on a given day. I’ll let Beyer take it from here: “[For the Belmont Stakes] I came up with a figure of 139, which is by far the best of any horse I’ve seen…Secretariat was in a different dimension than any other horse we’ve seen in modern times.”

He was also the first horse to be named American Horse of the Year as a two-year old. The Triple Crown is for three-year olds only, meaning that Secretariat was Horse of the Year the only two years he raced. (As part of his syndication sale it was stipulated that he would not race after his three-year old season.) I am not an expert on horse racing history, but to me he was easily the greatest thoroughbred racer of all time.

From Horse Racing Nation a picture of Secretariat during the 1973 Preakness:

 

Secretariat 615 X 400

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Speaking of thoroughbreds of a sort…on this day in 2000 the 1999 Chevrolet Corvette was named “Best Engineered Car of the 1990’s and Best Engineered Car of the 20th Century” by The Society of Automotive Engineers, SAE International. According to SAE, “The 1999 Corvette was selected as the ‘Best Engineered Car of the 20th Century’ for having the highest marks for successfully introducing a new engineering system, longevity in the marketplace and achieving better performance than its contemporaries by virtue of the excellence of its engineering.”

Um, that’s quite an honor. I believe that a percentage of Corvette fans do see the car as a “diamond in the pigsty,” the only bright light in a field of dark sameness. However, I don’t think an honor like that is something that a company can merely stumble upon like the proverbial blind squirrel that stumbles onto an acorn. To me, that’s why the many failings of General Motors are so frustrating. Historically, the company has been capable of greatness. Currently, the C8 Corvette is an example that GM can still produce greatness. Why it does not do so on a regular basis could be, and has been, the subject of a book and is too big a topic for a 500-word blog post. From Bring A Trailer a picture of a 1999 Corvette, in Red, of course:

 

See the source image

 

My first Corvette was of the same generation, a C5, although I didn’t like red cars when I bought it in 2004:

 

 

That’s my 2002 Corvette in Electron Blue Metallic. I would like to read the thoughts of the Corvette owners out there about their cars and how they see the Vette’s role in the automobile universe.

 

#Secretariat

#ChevroletCorvette

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Birthday Day

Happy Birthday to my wonderful wife! Happy Birthday to my sweet sister!

As my birthday was two days ago and it was a “milestone” birthday, and given the other family birthdays, today was supposed to be the day for a birthday bash with a few friends and family. My longtime friends Dr. Zal, Dr. Hoss and Cutch were all supposed to attend, all of whom also have March birthdays. Alas, the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. The exigencies of life intrude as they often do.

For someone with depression and OCD, this coronavirus situation is especially difficult. As someone who has almost always resisted doing what other people tell him he should do, I am chafing to the point of mental rash.

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On this day in 1941 construction began on the Ford Motor Company’s Willow Run manufacturing plant. Make no mistake, the plant was built to help with the Allies’ World War II efforts by building aircraft, even though the beginning of construction was roughly eight months before Pearl Harbor.

Henry Ford, friend of the Nazis and so-called pacifist, was a reluctant conscript. Ford built the plant and then sold it to the government, leasing it back for the remainder of the war. When the war ended, Ford declined to purchase the plant and new carmaker Kaiser-Frazer took ownership. Ironically, General Motors purchased the plant in 1953 and operated it as Willow Run Transmission until 2010.

By the end of 1942, Willow Run had only produced 56 B-24 Liberator bombers and the plant had been saddled with the nickname “Willit Run?” However, by the middle of 1944 the plant was completing a plane every 63 minutes! In total, more than 18,000 B-24s were built. The B-24 was surpassed in capability by more modern bombers such as the B-29 Superfortress and was quickly phased out of service by the US.

I am citing this day as the beginning of construction based on two sources. The Wikipedia article about Willow Run names April 18, 1941 as the day ground was broken on construction. From that article a picture of a B-24:

 

Maxwell B-24.jpg

 

Here is a picture of Hemmings’ Find Of The Day from February 18, 2017, a 1947 Kaiser Special:

 

See the source image

 

#BirthdayDay

#WillowRun

#B-24Liberator

#Kaiser-Frazer

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

If you like this blog please tell your friends and share the blog URL (https://disaffectedmusings.com). Thanks.