I have never understood why so many people in the US are so interested in Britain’s “Royal Family.” A “royal wedding” occurred while Dick Vermeil was head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. He was asked by a reporter if he was going to watch the “royal wedding.” He answered, “the royal what?” Great answer…for me, all the news about that family belongs on WGAF TV. I think you can figure out what WGAF stands for.


From Fred Allen via The Muscleheaded Blog:

“A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling to do the unnecessary.”



Below are two charts that, in my opinion, no one in the US should apologize for:


Rank Country Tot Wealth ($B, 2019) Global Share Population Pop Share Share/Per Cap Wealth/Pop
#1 United States $105,990 29.4% 332,639,102 4.4% 0.884 6.63
#2 China $63,827 17.7% 1,394,015,977 18.6% 0.127 0.95
#3 Japan $24,992 6.9% 125,507,472 1.7% 0.550 4.13
#4 Germany $14,660 4.1% 80,159,662 1.1% 0.511 3.84
#5 United Kingdom $14,341 4.0% 65,761,117 0.9% 0.608 4.56
#6 France $13,729 3.8% 67,848,156 0.9% 0.560 4.20
#7 India $12,614 3.5% 1,326,093,247 17.7% 0.026 0.20
#8 Italy $11,358 3.1% 62,402,459 0.8% 0.497 3.73
#9 Canada $8,573 2.4% 37,694,085 0.5% 0.637 4.78
#10 Spain $7,772 2.2% 50,015,792 0.7% 0.440 3.30
#11 South Korea $7,302 2.0% 51,835,110 0.7% 0.386 2.90
#12 Australia $7,202 2.0% 25,466,459 0.3% 0.785 5.89
#13 Taiwan $4,062 1.1% 23,603,049 0.3% 0.466 3.50
#14 Switzerland $3,877 1.1% 8,403,994 0.1% 1.309 9.82
#15 Netherlands $3,719 1.0% 17,280,397 0.2% 0.579 4.34
  All Other Countries $56,585 15.7%        
  Global Total $360,603 100.0%        


This chart is from this post, except I added the population and wealth share per capita, for which I must admit I had to multiply the number so that it wouldn’t have a lot of zeroes after the decimal. Yes, I could have divided the actual wealth figure by population, but I thought my way is more novel. Yes, I could have added a column for share of world population and divided the wealth share by the population share. The rankings of the per capita metric would not have changed. OK, here is that chart:


Country Tot Wealth ($B, 2019) Global Share Pop Share Wealth/Pop
United States $105,990 29.4% 4.4% 6.63
China $63,827 17.7% 18.6% 0.95
Japan $24,992 6.9% 1.7% 4.13
Germany $14,660 4.1% 1.1% 3.84
United Kingdom $14,341 4.0% 0.9% 4.56
France $13,729 3.8% 0.9% 4.20
India $12,614 3.5% 17.7% 0.20
Italy $11,358 3.1% 0.8% 3.73
Canada $8,573 2.4% 0.5% 4.78
Spain $7,772 2.2% 0.7% 3.30
South Korea $7,302 2.0% 0.7% 2.90
Australia $7,202 2.0% 0.3% 5.89
Taiwan $4,062 1.1% 0.3% 3.50
Switzerland $3,877 1.1% 0.1% 9.82
Netherlands $3,719 1.0% 0.2% 4.34


The US share of world wealth is almost 7 times its share of world population. Among these countries, only China and India have a smaller wealth share than population share, but that’s probably to be expected for the two most populous nations on earth. Yes, more than a third of the world’s population lives in just those two countries.

Only Switzerland, with a population 1/40 of the US, has a higher share of wealth per capita than the US. These charts also show how poor India really is. Almost all of these countries are democracies and whose economies are, for the most part, capitalistic.

Share the wealth? How about EARN the wealth.


From this post comes the news that the C8 Corvette will reduce torque output for the first 500 miles. The C7 Corvette displayed a yellow band around the tachometer for the first 500 miles warning not to rev the engine above 3,500 RPM. For C7s equipped with dry-sump oiling systems, it was highly recommended that the oil be changed at 500 miles. Regardless, the yellow warning band disappears at 500 miles. From the same post, more from Tadge Juechter, Corvette Chief Engineer:


“Any machinery that has moving parts, whether they have point contact, a rotational interface or slide against each other will “bed-in” over time. What that means is, no matter the manufacturing process, two interfacing parts will find their own equilibrium. You can think of it as mutually refining each other’s surface texture until they reach a steady state. This steady state condition generally minimizes noise, vibration and wear. Although manufacturing has improved to a point where break in effects are minimized, they are still at play despite claims to the contrary. And the truth is, there may be additional minor benefits to a longer break in period. If it was my car, I would try to be patient for 1,000 miles.”

“Starting with the 7th generation Corvette we established a variable red line on the tach to give drivers a visual indication on when it would be advisable to take it easy on the car. We used it for the first 500 miles of driving and when the engine was coming up to operating temperature after break in was complete. Our reconfigurable display enabled us to do that. We didn’t actually limit torque, horse power or RPM, it was just a visual indication. Despite the tach and owner’s instructions, some customers use the full capability of the car immediately. We have too many videos of people doing burn-outs off the dealer lot or showing up to a track (both road course and drag strip) with near zero miles. Taking any green and cold engine to max torque and speed can cause undesirable wear patterns that could affect engine operation over the long term. Running full torque through the trans under the same conditions can score gears, especially those in the differential after the engine torque has been multiplied. We have had examples of customers not observing the break in guidelines and then returning the car to the dealer with complaints of gear noise or differential whine. [emphasis mine]”

“For the 8th generation Corvette, we have taken it a step farther. With more weight on the rear, the car has more traction and we take advantage of that with more aggressive gearing. That translates into more torque multiplication and more loads in the driveline. We decided for the first 500 miles to limit maximum torque in first and second gears. The torque reduction is roughly 25 to 30% depending on which transaxle (standard or Z51) and which gear…”


It’s too bad that some people behave in an ignorant manner and use their vehicles contrary to instructions. I am not being facetious. In his book about Corvettes, Steve Magnante wrote that GM/Chevrolet considered turbocharging the car as early as the C4, but were worried that people would ignore the instruction to use premium gas and tuning the turbo(s) to account for that, the performance gain per dollar wasn’t worth it. A few bad apples can spoil the party for everyone…

Of course, I now “must” show a picture of a C8 Corvette. As production will not begin until next month I have not seen one anywhere except at Bowling Green.



Once again I will offer my thought that I will not be surprised if my wonderful wife trades her current C7 convertible for a C8 convertible in 3-4 years.







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OK, the charts do not display on mobile devices. I hope this works.


Country Global WealthShare Global PopulationShare Wealth/Pop
United States 29.4% 4.4% 6.63
China 17.7% 18.6% 0.95
Japan 6.9% 1.7% 4.13
Germany 4.1% 1.1% 3.84
United Kingdom 4.0% 0.9% 4.56
France 3.8% 0.9% 4.20
India 3.5% 17.7% 0.20
Italy 3.1% 0.8% 3.73
Canada 2.4% 0.5% 4.78
Spain 2.2% 0.7% 3.30
South Korea 2.0% 0.7% 2.90
Australia 2.0% 0.3% 5.89
Taiwan 1.1% 0.3% 3.50
Switzerland 1.1% 0.1% 9.82
Netherlands 1.0% 0.2% 4.34

My apologies to Dirty Dingus McGee. In my attempt to edit the first two charts to make them more legible on mobile devices, his thoughtful comment (and my reply) was lost.

Cars, Cars and More Cars

If you are among the few Disaffected Musings readers who comes for something other than cars, maybe you shouldn’t read today.


From this post by Classic Cars comes the first results for the Scottsdale auctions in 2020. According to Classic Cars, the gross sales amount for all of the auctions in Scottsdale, and there were eight of them this year (and you wonder why my wonderful wife and I want to move there…), was almost exactly the same as for 2019. Compared to the “disaster” of Monterey Car Week in August, 2019 when auction sales were off by a third compared to 2018, this result was welcome. However, 17 percent more cars were sold in 2020 than in 2019, so—obviously—the average per car was still significantly less than last year.

For whatever reason(s), the collector car market is softening. Potentially this could mean an entry point for collectors, experienced and novice alike, to get into the market.


As usual a lot of these were offered for sale at Barrett-Jackson. German or not, these are fine cars:


2004 MERCEDES-BENZ SL500 ROADSTER - Side Profile - 236083


This is a 2004 Mercedes-Benz SL500 offered for sale on Wednesday the 15th, one of 22 SL500s offered at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale this year. This car sold for $17,600 all in meaning it hammered for $16,000. The copy stated that the car had only 32,751 miles.

Before I bought my BMW Z4 in May, 2016, one of the cars I test-drove was an SL500. The car was in obvious need of new brakes and I didn’t care for the extreme pushiness of the salesman. Of course, I didn’t keep the Z4 very long as I sold it in October, 2018. Maybe the child of Holocaust survivors shouldn’t own a German car. The Z4 was the least reliable car I’ve ever owned.


Also from Wednesday the 15th, this basically brand new car (25 miles) was offered for sale:


2019 FORD MUSTANG BULLITT - Rear 3/4 - 236593


This is a 2019 Bullitt Edition Ford Mustang. This car has a 5.0 liter, 480 HP Coyote motor mated to a 6-speed manual transmission. The car sold, all in, for $49,500. You FoMoCo guys out there, how does that compare to the price of a brand new 2020 Bullitt Mustang?


Also on Wednesday, this car was offered, supposedly not long after a frame-off restoration:


1972 TRIUMPH TR6 ROADSTER - Front 3/4 - 237433


This is a 1972 Triumph TR6. My wonderful wife’s father used to own one of these although I’m not sure how he could drive it because he is well over six feet tall. The car must have made quite an impression as it sold, all in, for $55,000.


Of course, one big US car auction took place in January somewhere other than Scottsdale, Arizona. The Mecum auction in Kissimmee, Florida offered more than 3,500 vehicles for sale as well as some guitars. Although this is a picture of a 1964 Chrysler Imperial convertible offered for sale by Mecum, it’s NOT the one offered at Kissimmee this month (on Wednesday the 8th, to be exact). I am loathe to write this again, but Mecum does not allow online photos of its current and recent lots to be captured.


See the source image


The one offered at Kissimmee this January was beige over beige and sold, all in, for $28,600.

The majority of Mecum lots are offered with reserve so many of them do not sell, either on the block or at “The Bid Goes On” desk. From Midwest Car Exchange, a picture of a car very similar to one offered at Kissimmee and that did not sell:


See the source image


This is a 1987 Buick Grand National, but not the rare, top of the line GNX. At Mecum, a car like this was bid to $40,000 but did not sell. I REALLY like these cars and they are a sleeper contender to be the companion to my Z06. However, I would not spend anywhere near $40,000 for a car like this. I have seen these cars advertised in places like Hemmings listed between $17,000 and $25,000. Even the top half of that range is more than I want to spend, but to get one of these for $17,000-$18,500 could work.

As you can probably guess, I could go on and on (and on and on) about the January auctions and the cars offered, but I’ll stop here.







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At The Beginning

On this day in 1860 Belgian/Luxembourg engineer Jean Joseph Étienne Lenoir was issued a French patent for the first successful internal combustion engine. The engine burned a mixture of coal gas and air. While it was not an Otto four-stroke engine like the one used in the vast majority of automobiles and was primarily used in stationary applications like printing presses and water pumps, Lenoir did put the engine in a few automobiles between 1860 and 1863. From Wikipedia a drawing of Lenoir’s Hippomobile:



Also from Wikipedia more on the four-stroke engine:


“Nikolaus August Otto was a traveling salesman for a grocery concern. In his travels, he encountered the internal combustion engine built in Paris by Belgian expatriate Jean Joseph Étienne Lenoir. In 1860, Lenoir successfully created a double-acting engine that ran on illuminating gas at 4% efficiency. The 18 litre Lenoir Engine produced only 2 horsepower. The Lenoir engine ran on illuminating gas made from coal, which had been developed in Paris by Philip Lebon.”

“In testing a replica of the Lenoir engine in 1861, Otto became aware of the effects of compression on the fuel charge. In 1862, Otto attempted to produce an engine to improve on the poor efficiency and reliability of the Lenoir engine. He tried to create an engine that would compress the fuel mixture prior to ignition, but failed as that engine would run no more than a few minutes prior to its destruction. Many other engineers were trying to solve the problem, with no success.”

“In 1864, Otto and Eugen Langen founded the first internal combustion engine production company, NA Otto and Cie (NA Otto and Company). Otto and Cie succeeded in creating a successful atmospheric engine that same year…In 1872, Gottlieb Daimler was technical director and Wilhelm Maybach was the head of engine design. Daimler was a gunsmith who had worked on the Lenoir engine. By 1876, Otto and Langen succeeded in creating the first internal combustion engine that compressed the fuel mixture prior to combustion for far higher efficiency than any engine created to this time.”

“Daimler and Maybach left their employ at Otto and Cie and developed the first high-speed Otto engine in 1883. In 1885, they produced the first automobile to be equipped with an Otto engine. The Daimler Reitwagen used a hot-tube ignition system and the fuel known as Ligroin to become the world’s first vehicle powered by [a four-stroke] internal combustion engine. It used a four-stroke engine based on Otto’s design. The following year, Karl Benz produced a four-stroke engined automobile that is regarded as the first car.”


Notice some of the names of the people involved: Benz, Daimler, Maybach. I have posited that the internal combustion engine is a long way from the grave. With close to 1.2 billion cars and light trucks that are powered by gasoline or diesel and used/owned by citizens of the world, and with millions more produced every year, an all-electric or all-hydrogen or all-whatever fleet of cars is a long way off. By the way, that is not a political statement, but a statement based on empirical evidence. Those who ignore facts do so at their own peril.





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Thorough Thursday

A WordPress approved comment: if you see an ad for a good or service in which you have genuine interest, please feel free to click/tap on the ad. Thanks.


Recently, I have been mentioning my Ultimate Garage 2.0, which was posted last May/June. Here are all of the relevant links:


The Cars That Missed The Cut, Part One

The Cars That Missed The Cut, Part Two

Car #1

Car #2

Car #3

Car #4

Car #5

Car #6

Car #7

Car #8

Car #9

Car #10

Car #11


Yes, I am aware of the saying “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” Nevertheless, please feel free to click on as many of these links as you want.


From this post comes this picture of a beautiful 1954 Kaiser Special:




Anything with Richard Langworth involved is worth reading.


Although the annual January Scottsdale auctions are over for 2020, here is a post on how to buy a car at an auction. Interestingly, the author’s name is Andy Reid. Here is his first and most important tip:


“First and foremost, I would not ever recommend buying at auction if you have never attended a classic car auction before. There is a lot to know and it is very easy for a first-time auction attendee to get excited and bid more for a car than it is worth.”


My wonderful wife and I attended multiple Barrett-Jackson and Mecum auctions before I ever bid on a car. I think that is very sound advice. I knew how much I wanted to bid and I didn’t forget about the buyers premium. Remember this car?



This 2014 Corvette “Custom” was offered at the 2019 Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, which we attended. I knew what my max bid would be and I didn’t deviate. My maximum bid was $65,000 ($71,500 all in) and the car hammered for $70,000 ($77,000 all in). The same scenario occurred the next day on a 2015 Z06 convertible. In the end, it worked out for the best as I found my 2016 Z06 a couple of months later and paid much less.

I’m virtually certain my wonderful wife and I will attend automobile auctions in the future. The experience of having attended many times before is quite valuable.

I would like to read about your car auction experiences.








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Dreams and Nightmares

I have written this line from Diner—if you don’t have dreams you have nightmares—many times, probably more often than regular readers have wanted. I have written less often that I have nightmares, anyway, so I might as well at least have good (day)dreams.

Last night I dreamt I was in a car with friends as we were on our way to an important event. The actual nature of that event is lost to dreamland. I distinctly remember saying to my friend who was driving that we needed to use a specific exit to get to the event. The road began a steep descent into an impressive valley that was the home of a small city. All of a sudden, we are no longer in the car but are scrambling on the roof of a large building. We begin moving frantically in our efforts to reach the event. As we approach a corner of the building I see that the ledge we need to traverse is exceedingly narrow and that we are many feet in the air. I decide it’s way too risky and I turn back…and realize that no way exists to get down from the roof and that my friends have gone on without me. Fortunately, that’s when I woke up.

I can’t tell you how many “dreams” I’ve had similar to that one. For years I had a recurring dream that I was driving and then, in a flash, I was sitting on the road as my car has just disappeared. Could the fact that my parents were Holocaust survivors be playing a role in these “dreams?”

My intense interest in automobiles is an important escape from my nightmares. Daydreaming about having my Z06 souped-up or buying an older companion to it is a necessary, happy contrast to the dark world of my inner mind.


One wonderful dream to be realized would be the end of all cancer. This recent article is titled, “Immune discovery ‘may treat all cancer’” A team in Cardiff, Wales discovered a T-cell and its receptor that could find and kill a wide range of cancerous cells in the lab including lung, skin, blood, colon, breast, bone, prostate, ovarian, kidney and cervical cancer cells. In addition, it left healthy cells untouched. However, how this particular cell and receptor work is still not understood. From the article:


“This particular T-cell receptor interacts with a molecule called MR1, which is on the surface of every cell in the human body.”

“It is thought [emphasis mine] MR1 is flagging the distorted metabolism going on inside a cancerous cell to the immune system.”

“‘We are the first to describe a T-cell that finds MR1 in cancer cells – that hasn’t been done before, this is the first of its kind,’ research fellow Garry Dolton told the BBC.”


As an Ashkenazi Jew, my genome predisposes me to many ailments including pancreatic cancer, which is basically a death sentence. Leukemia used to be a death sentence, but many types are now eminently treatable.

One of my annual donations is to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, I can only hope that science wins and pancreatic cancer loses before my seemingly inevitable bout occurs.


A much less important dream involves my search for a companion car to my 2016 Corvette Z06. As I have freed myself from the “obligation” to buy something built before I was born and/or built by a defunct American make, the automotive world is my oyster, so to speak. Actually, I can’t stand oysters, but you get my point.

This car, a frequent flyer on Disaffected Musings, appears to me over and over again:


See the source image


From a picture of a 1993 Cadillac Allante. The 1993 model is the only year with the 295 HP/290 LB-FT of torque NorthStar V-8. This, theoretically, makes it the most fun to drive of the Allantes. However, the NorthStar engine was prone to issues such as the cracking of head bolts and the optional hardtop was not available in 1993.

In general, this car might flunk out because it would probably fail as a grocery car. When we move to the desert before the end of next year (hopefully, much sooner than that), we will jettison our wonderful little Kia Sportage as we will no longer need AWD capability. However, neither of our Corvettes is really suited for grocery shopping on a regular basis. Ah, the clash of dreams vs. reality…

Still, I think these cars are gorgeous and I wouldn’t mind having a convertible to drive in the desert. Also, Allantes are affordable. A 1991 model sold, all in, at the recent Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale for $7,150. They almost always sell at auction for less than $10,000. Don’t forget, too, that it is easier to get these serviced than a 1963 Gran Turismo Hawk or even a 1963 Riviera.

Once again, and I cannot swear it’s for the last time, if you don’t have dreams you have nightmares.







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Tuesday Time Travel

As long as I can remember I have been fascinated with the concept of time travel. One of my favorite episodes of the original The Twilight Zone is “A Hundred Yards Over The Rim.” Cliff Robertson plays Christian Horn, the leader of a wagon train that has been heading west from Ohio for 11 months and finds itself almost out of food and water in the New Mexico desert in 1847. Horn’s son is desperately ill. Determined not to turn back, Horn sets off alone in a desperate search for water and sustenance, which he tells himself he’ll find over the rim of a nearby hill.

Horn crosses the sandy rim and suddenly finds himself in 1961 New Mexico, not that he knows that at first. He is perplexed to see power lines, a hard black road, and a large truck coming at him, horn blaring. As the loud, fast-moving “monster with a face” zooms past the unnerved Horn, he stumbles, accidentally firing his rifle and grazing his arm. He winds up at a diner where he encounters three people, learns that it is 1961 and that his son becomes (became?) a prominent California physician who pioneers new treatments for childhood illnesses. Horn is convinced that it was his destiny to find modernity so his son can be saved and they can continue to California. Armed with a bottle of penicillin he scampers back to the rim chased by the people he met and a policeman. He returns to the wagon train knowing he has seen a glimpse of the future and knowing that his family will arrive safely in California. From his perspective he has been gone for hours, but from the perspective of the others in the wagon train he has been gone for minutes.

From a still from the episode:


John Crawford, Evans Evans, and Cliff Robertson in The Twilight Zone (1959)


My brain has had numerous ideas for screenplays based on time travel. My extremely literal side, though, has always short-circuited any execution of these ideas. Let’s say, for example, that someone wanted to capitalize on modern amounts of wealth by going back in time when things were cheaper. Let’s say that they have the ability to travel through time. This person could have grandiose ideas on how to change the world or simply to become even more powerful. My brain then says: OK, but how does one use modern wealth in, say, 1870? Credit cards didn’t exist, modern currency is different and, besides, displays the issue/series date. Would they have to convert their modern wealth to gold and schlepp all of that gold back to the past? Do you see why it’s hell to live inside my brain?!

I don’t actually have the desire to travel too far in time. My fascination with the topic is more academic than anything else. For example, I think it would be deadly and frightening to travel 500 years into the future without the benefit of the knowledge that would exist then. By the same token, I think the vast majority of people in the developed world in the 21st century would be ill-equipped to live 500 years in the past.

I have written before about my interest in time travel and, not surprisingly, it was in the context of automobiles. If you don’t want to read the entire post linked here, I’ll show the “relevant” passage:



My OCD-addled and ADD-addled brain does a lot of daydreaming. One common theme is time travel. I would love to be able to take a modern ZL1 Camaro, or any other contemporary high-performance car, back 50 or 60 years and run it against a high performance car of that day. The GPS wouldn’t work and neither would my smartphone, but the car would be a revelation to people of 50 or 60 years ago. Not just in raw speed and power, but in handling, efficiency and reliability the modern car is just light years ahead of its ancestors.



My 2016 Corvette Z06, shown below, is simply in another league compared to a 1966 Corvette in terms of engineering. However, aesthetics can transcend time. I still think the C2 Corvette is the best-looking American car ever.



See the source image


From Bring a Trailer a picture of a 1966 Corvette.

What do you dream about? To quote the movie Diner for the nth time, “If you don’t have dreams you have nightmares.”







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Monday Mishegas

Well, at least I can root for a team in the Super Bowl. A San Francisco-Tennessee game would have been difficult for me to watch.

In the late 1980s, about five years after the Colts left Baltimore, I adopted the Chiefs as my AFC team, due primarily to the presence of Neil Smith and Derrick Thomas. I even bought a Chiefs tie that I wore regularly until I stopped wearing ties in 1992. (I didn’t even wear a tie at my wedding in 1999.) When the Ravens came into existence the Chiefs dropped to a distant #2 in my AFC hierarchy.

I was a fan of the 49ers when they were led by Joe Montana. However, after the President of the 49ers, Carmen Policy, made a statement in the 1990s that Baltimore football fans should forget about getting a team and should support the Redskins I ceased being a 49ers fan.

In addition, the 49ers interviewed me for a position as a consultant sometime around 2005, but it was obvious during the interview they had no intention of hiring me, but were just doing a favor for the person who had recommended that they interview me. Once again, I am no 49ers fan.

Go Chiefs!


Mishegas: Yiddish word for craziness or foolishness. The way my mother used the word I also assumed it was craziness with a touch of chaos. I can’t even begin to spell the Yiddish word for chaos with the Roman alphabet.



From Barrett-Jackson a picture of the car that represented the first 2020 Corvette with a VIN ending 001. Let me quickly add that it is not my intention to violate copyrights or any other property law. Barrett-Jackson auctioned the car for charity and raised $3,000,000 for the Detroit Childrens Fund when the car hammered for that price.

C/2 commented that the Bullitt Mustang hammered for a bigger price ($3.4 million). That is true, but I would argue it’s not an apples-to-apples comparison. The Bullitt Mustang is a car of infinite provenance, the most famous American car ever. The first 2020 Corvette doesn’t even exist, yet. If Steve McQueen had driven a C2 Corvette in the movie and it had a similar ownership story, I think it would have hammered for a similar amount as the Mustang. I’m not picking on C/2, just making a point.



Also from the Barrett-Jackson docket in Scottsdale a picture of a 1955 Packard Caribbean convertible. One car doesn’t make a market, but this car selling for $39,600 all in seems “light” in comparison to the “market” value. Hagerty has been writing for at least a year that the value of these cars is declining. I’m sure 56PackardMan knows this, but I’ll write that the colors are White Jade, Fire Opal and Onyx. A 1956 Caribbean convertible was included in my Ultimate Garage 2.0. Please feel free to look at those cars whether it’s again or for the first time.

My wonderful wife and I commented more than once during the telecasts that a year ago we were at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale. The year has moved quickly. I suspect we will be living in the desert before the end of next year, the sooner the better.








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Not Enough and Too Many

If I am to be honest I am not enjoying the Barrett-Jackson broadcasts from Scottsdale as much as I usually do. One reason is not enough Cristy Lee, as in none at all. As mentioned here she is absent from this auction without any real explanation.

In addition there are simply too many restomods (yes, I wrote that), too many pickup trucks and too many Mustangs/Shelbys for my taste. Yes, I can be accused of too many Corvettes and too many Studebakers, but it takes 3 to 7 minutes to read one of my posts. The Barrett-Jackson telecasts will cover 36 hours over 6 days.

Granting that over 1,900 lots are being offered, 115-120 Mustangs/Shelbys (that’s what I counted) are too many. As much as I love Corvettes I am not crazy about Mecum having some auctions where 10 percent of the lots are Corvettes.

I know that auction companies are at the mercy of consignors and buyers. I still think the companies should strive to offer more variety.


I think we are seeing more cars like this at auctions and we’ll see even more:


1986 TOYOTA SUPRA - Front 3/4 - 237075


From Barrett-Jackson a 1986 Toyota Supra that cost $5,500, all in, on Monday the 13th, which was the first day of the auction. Some “experts” recommend staying away from bargain cars at auctions like this because the odds are high the cars are fraught with issues. To quote Einstein, “Not everything that counts can be counted and not everything that can be counted counts.” Even if you have to put some money in this car, for example, after purchase it’s still much less expensive than the average new vehicle. In my opinion, it’s also better looking and more interesting than the endless parade of SUVs, pickup trucks and mono-styled cars being offered today.


So as not to be strictly a negative person I can write that the Barrett-Jackson website and mobile app are much improved. Searching is easier and both experiences are much quicker.

An update to the Rivieras…three have been sold in Scottsdale with two hammering at $22,000 and one at $25,000. I think these prices are slightly higher than one has to pay for a ’63-’65 Riv.


Here is an interesting car, IMO, from Tuesday the 14th:



This is a 1957 Lincoln Premiere which sold for $12,650 all in. According to the copy this car was part of a museum collection and was on display for more than 20 years.

If one thinks of Lincoln at all for these years it’s the magnificent Continental Mark II, which technically was not a Lincoln, that garners the attention. Still, this Premiere is quite stylish, IMO.


I would very much like to read your thoughts on the current Barrett-Jackson auction if you are watching. Also, don’t forget to “like” this or any other post by clicking/tapping on the Like button. Thanks.








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I’m probably not posting tomorrow as I assume almost everyone’s attention will be focused on the conference championship games.


Frugal Friday and Super Bowl V

First, and WordPress gave me the OK to write this, if you see an ad for a good or service in which you have genuine interest, please feel free to click/tap on the ad. Thanks.

Second, on this day in 1971 the Baltimore Colts defeated Satan’s Minions…uh, the Dallas Cowboys…in Super Bowl V, which is “Five” for those of you unfamiliar with Roman Numerals. I nervously watched the game by myself in the small living room of our Baltimore row house.

The Colts trailed for much of the game, in which both teams combined for 11 turnovers including 7 by the Colts. About midway through the fourth quarter, with the Colts trailing 13-6, Baltimore safety Rick Volk intercepted a Craig Morton pass and returned it 30 yards to the Dallas 3-yard line. Two plays later, Tom Nowatzke scored the touchdown and, unlike the Colts’ first TD, rookie kicker Jim O’Brien converted the extra point to tie the game.

With about a minute left a holding penalty against Dallas left them with a long second down. Morton was rushed by Colts’ defensive end Roy Hilton and threw high to intended receiver Dan Reeves (yes, the same Dan Reeves who was an NFL head coach for 23 seasons). Mike Curtis intercepted at the Dallas 41 and returned it 13 yards. The Colts ran the clock down to 9 seconds and O’Brien kicked a 32-yard field goal to give Baltimore a 16-13 lead.

In the recaps of the game it is never mentioned that the field goal was not the last play of the game and that after the kickoff Dallas had time for one more play. I had remembered that was the case, but began to be unsure given it was never mentioned. Upon discovering the play-by-play I found that what I remembered was correct, that Dallas received the kickoff and that Morton was intercepted, once again, this time by Jerry Logan to end the game.

When O’Brien lined up for what turned out to be the game-winning field goal, at first I turned away from the TV too nervous to watch. Then, just in time, I faced the TV and saw the kick. After the game ended, I screamed louder than I had ever screamed before and ran outside screaming, without wearing any shoes, into the cold Baltimore day. Our awful next-door neighbor stuck her head out of the front door and threatened to call the police if I didn’t quiet down.

The next day as was our custom, Dr. Zal and I met in front of the department store with whom I shared a last name (it was not our store) to walk to school. We did not speak during the walk, but sang the Baltimore Colts’ fight song the entire way.

The Colts’ win was doubly sweet as the Baltimore Orioles had won the World Series in October, 1970, meaning that for the 1970 season Baltimore had the champions in the two most important sports in the US. I’m not sure if baseball is #2, anymore, and in light of the Astros’ cheating scandal and other issues, major league baseball is in trouble. Still, that was a great time to be a young Baltimore sports fan.


I guess have Buick and the Buick Riviera on the brain. For today’s first Frugal Friday car I present this car from this Classic Cars ad, a 1999 Buick Riviera:

1999 Buick Riviera (CC-1300289) for sale in Cadillac, Michigan

1999 was the last model year for the Riviera. I have always liked the looks of this last generation. The car’s engine appeals to me as well as it was a supercharged V-6 (driving the front wheels) of 231 cubic-inch displacement producing 240 HP/280 LB-FT of torque. This was the same engine in the famous Buick Regal of the 1980s and a tweaked version of the same motor was used in the legendary 1987 Buick GNX although the motor was turbocharged in the GNX and in the Regal line.

The mileage is not listed in the ad, but reading the copy strongly implies the car has at least 120,000 miles. The asking price is $8,495. Only 2,154 Rivieras were built in 1999 at an MSRP of $33,820.


If I don’t show a car other than a Buick I might get stuck on them. 🙂

From this Hemmings ad a picture of a 1989 Ford Thunderbird SC, or Super Coupe:



Like the ’99 Riviera I think these cars look good and have an interesting engine. In the case of the T-Bird this car is powered by a supercharged 232 cubic-inch V-6 (note the similarity to the ’99 Riviera engine) that produced 210 HP/315 LB-FT of torque. The ’89 T-Bird was available with either a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic; this car has the manual. It has about 64,000 miles and the seller is asking $14,000. Ford produced 12,962 Super Coupes in model year 1989 with an MSRP of $19,823, significantly higher than the MSRP for the base model of $14,612. Almost 114,000 Thunderbirds were produced in total for 1989.

Have a great weekend…







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Throwback Thursday

Remember this?


See the source image


From ebay a picture of what I think is a vintage Etch A Sketch. These were introduced in 1960 by the Ohio Art Company.

In case you’re unfamiliar with this toy, or even if you’re not, twisting the knobs moves a stylus that displaces aluminum powder on the back of the screen, leaving a solid line. The left control moves the stylus horizontally and the right one moves it vertically. Moving both knobs simultaneously gives the stylus more range of motion. In the hands and mind of someone with artistic talent amazing images could be produced. For the first ten years of production the screen was actually made of glass, but after numerous protests by safety groups the screen was changed to plastic.

I think a version of the Etch A Sketch is still being manufactured. In 1998, it was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in Rochester, New York. In 2003, the Toy Industry Association named Etch A Sketch to its Century of Toys List, a roll call commemorating the 100 most memorable and most creative toys of the 20th century.

Did I ever have one? Yes, but I am severely lacking in artistic talent and quickly grew tired of my Etch A Sketch.


By 1960 about 80% of American households owned at least one automobile; that number was barely 60% in 1940. Remember that World War II halted automobile production for more than three years during that period.

The Plymouth Valiant, which began production for model year 1960, was the first American car to be equipped with an alternator instead of a generator. Alternators charge the battery AND power the electrical system of a car when the engine is running. From (a blog that appears to be inactive) a picture of a 1960 Valiant:


See the source image


From the Wikipedia article about automotive alternators:


“Alternators have several advantages over direct-current generators (dynamos). They are lighter, cheaper, more rugged, and can provide useful charge at idle speed. [emphasis mine] They use slip rings having greatly extended brush life over a commutator. The brushes in an alternator carry only DC excitation current, a small fraction of the current carried by the brushes of a DC generator, which carry the generator’s entire output. A set of rectifiers (diode bridge) is required to convert AC to DC. To provide direct current with low ripple, a polyphase winding is used and the pole-pieces of the rotor are shaped (claw-pole). Automotive alternators are usually belt-driven at 5-10 times crankshaft speed, much faster than a generator. The alternator runs at various RPM (which varies the frequency) since it is driven by the engine. This is not a problem because the alternating current is rectified to direct current.”

“Alternator regulators are also simpler than those for generators. Generator regulators require a cutout relay to isolate the output coils (the armature) from the battery at low speed; that isolation is provided by the alternator rectifier diodes. Also, most generator regulators include a current limiter; alternators are inherently current-limited.”


By the mid-1960s all American cars were equipped with alternators. From (.com?) a picture of an automobile alternator:



One reason I favor a 1960s car over one from the ’50s as my Z06 companion is the alternator. I know, of course, that I could have a car’s electrical system upgraded, but that’s just one more expense.







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