Friday Fright

Another disturbing dream…I was attending a gathering that seemed to be part business and part leisure. This event required staying on the grounds at least one night.

As I got ready for bed I suddenly became aware of the presence of a large wolf in my room. I climbed onto the highest table in the room in order to fend off any potential attack. The wolf was able to leave the room and return through a door on the other side from where I had entered. The wolf would jump to try to bite/attack, but each time I was just able to avoid it. At some point in the dream I began to scream for real and my wonderful wife woke me up. Unfortunately, even though I was able to return to sleep, I still have the memory of this dream.

All I can write is WTF?!

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I haven’t forgotten about In Or Out? I have two submissions from readers that I will use in the near future with the proviso that if the first car fails to receive at least five votes, then the feature will be discontinued. This blog will be better if it’s more interactive and given the surge in views/visitors since the beginning of April, the audience is there for more interaction.

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The famous AACA (Antique Automobile Club of America) Hershey, Pennsylvania swap meet has been cancelled for this year. Under the three-tier guidelines set forth by Pennsylvania’s Governor, gatherings of more than 25 people are currently prohibited in Dauphin County, which includes Hershey and which is now in the yellow tier. Even the green tier, the most lenient and open level of the reopening system, would allow gatherings of no more than 250 people. The Hershey swap meet regularly attracts an estimated 200,000 people to the region every year throughout the Fall Meet week.

Ironically for me, the size of the meet has been a large obstacle to my attending it. When it returns (hopefully) next year, I will no longer be within driving distance.

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On this day in 1946 the Kaiser-Frazer Corporation began producing cars at the famous Willow Run assembly plant that had been built by Ford for the mass production of heavy aircraft, particularly the B-24 Liberator (the “B” in B-24 means the plane was a bomber). Formed from the leftovers of the Graham-Paige automobile company, Kaiser-Frazer made inroads in the automobile market at first achieving a 4%+ market share for model years 1947 and 1948. The new Frazer was awarded the Fashion Academy of New York Gold Medal for design achievement.

Unwilling and/or unable to keep with innovations like a V-8 engine, convertibles—although the rare Frazer Manhattan of 1949-51 was the last four-door convertible made in the US until the new Lincoln Continental of 1961, the company didn’t really focus on ragtops—hardtop coupes with no visible B pillar or station wagons, the company’s market share faded to 2% in 1949 and despite a dramatic restyle for model year 1951 and the discontinuation of the Frazer make after 1951 to concentrate on Kaiser, the company stopped making cars in the US after 1955 after losses approaching $100 million.

As I have written here before, although I don’t know if was company co-founder Henry Kaiser or his son Edgar who made the remark, one of them said, “Slap a Buick nameplate on it and it would sell like hotcakes.” From Hagerty Insurance a picture of a 1947 Frazer Manhattan:

 

See the source image

 

From my picture of part of our garage wall (one of the pictures that appears on the header of this blog) note the reproduction Kaiser-Frazer service sign.

 

 

I would love to see another company besides Tesla try to compete with The Big Three, but that’s a pipedream.

 

#FridayFright

#NoHersheySwapMeet

#Kaiser-Frazer

#somanycarsjustonelife

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Thursday Thoughts

From William Wordsworth via The Muscleheaded Blog:

 

“The human mind is capable of excitement without the application of gross and violent stimulants, and he must have a very faint perception of its beauty and dignity who does not know this.”

 

Sadly, about 7.5% of all Americans aged 18 and older, or almost 19 million people, have a substance abuse problem. Even more sad is that almost a million Americans under the age of 18 have a substance abuse problem. Maybe I shouldn’t reveal this about a person with whom I no longer associate, but the sibling from whom I have been estranged for years has substance abuse issues. These exacerbate this person’s innate anti-social, even sociopathic, tendencies.

Legalizing marijuana is not going to decrease the number of people with problems. Contrary to the delusions of drug “advocates” most people do not use marijuana, cocaine, etc. because they are illegal. The best available evidence indicates that after the passage of the 18th Amendment, the “Prohibition” Amendment, consumption of alcohol initially decreased by two-thirds. Even though alcohol consumption then increased until the Amendment was repealed, it was still about a third below pre-Prohibition levels at the time of repeal. Most people don’t want to risk legal punishment, period.

According to a study cited here, the total annual economic cost of substance abuse in the US, including alcohol, is $1.45 TRILLION. We ALL suffer from the effects of substance abuse. As a point of reference, that estimated loss is more than the annual GDP of Australia, which is hardly a poor nation.

By the way, many of those 19 million adults have children. A large number of the “kids who go hungry” are hungry because their parents are abusing drugs, including alcohol.

Thanks to Chris, author of The Muscleheaded Blog, for bringing Wordsworth’s remark to our attention.

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Reader David Banner (not his real name) texted me this URL of a review of the C8 Corvette from someone who is most decidedly NOT a fan of General Motors. (I apologize for linking to YouTube, part of the Evil Empire.) SavageScotty could not have been more effusive in his praise for the car. He was particularly impressed by the car’s handling and ride and by the automatic transmission.

David Banner also texted his opinion that if the C8 Corvette had a Ferrari or Lamborghini badge it would be sold out at three times the Corvette MSRP. I have long thought that the Corvette is the best performance car in the world, dollar for dollar, and has been for a long time. Many American cars are and have been meh, but tarring the Corvette with the narrow-minded self-hating American brush is inappropriate, like virtually all manifestations of blind adherence to any ideology.

When I first started working in baseball, most of my supervisors thought I “put” bad numbers on players I inherently disliked for some reason. They didn’t understand that my “opinion” of a player’s ability was based on the best and most objective assessment of his performance that I could muster. I am not calling the Corvette a great car because I own one, I own Corvettes because the evidence that they are great cars, and great bargains for what they do, is overwhelming. Yes, another C8 photo to follow:

 

See the source image

 

From Automobile Magazine

 

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#ScourgeOfSubstanceAbuse

#C8Corvette

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The Big Hurt And Bags

At the risk of alienating most of my regular readers whom, I suspect, read for the cars…

As some baseball fans may know, on this day in 1968 Frank Thomas and Jeff Bagwell were born. Both are enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Both were first basemen although Thomas, aka The Big Hurt, spent much time as a designated hitter. Not surprisingly given their birthday, they were both selected in the 1989 baseball draft; Thomas was the 7th overall pick by the Chicago White Sox. Many baseball fans know that Bagwell, a native of New England, was drafted in the 4th round by the Boston Red Sox, but was traded to the Houston Astros before he ever played in the major leagues in what turned out to be one of the most lopsided trades in baseball history.

I don’t have any Bagwell stories, but I have some Frank Thomas anecdotes. Thomas, now a spokesperson for an alleged testosterone booster among other endeavors, played collegiately at Auburn University. Major league teams’ amateur scouting was (is?) arranged in “layers.” The area scouts, given that name because they are assigned to a geographical area, send reports to their teams on players in their coverage zone. Teams have scouting supervisors or cross-checkers, these are almost always more experienced scouts, who look at players recommended by area scouts. Then, the team will have a scouting director and, perhaps, other senior scouts to look at the top prospects.

The area scout who covered Auburn for the team I worked for in 1989 did not think Thomas was a good prospect. Players were rated on their individual skills, or “tools,” and given an overall rating as well. These grades were given on a 20-to-80 scale with 50 being major league average. For a player to be cross-checked the area scout had to give him an overall grade of at least 50.

Our area scout gave Thomas an overall grade of 48. However, our scouting director knew Thomas would be a first-round pick so he sent a cross-checker to evaluate him. The cross-checker gave Thomas an overall grade of 62, I think, which was a grade for a first-round prospect.

“My” team had the first overall pick in the draft and selected a much-heralded pitcher named Ben McDonald. McDonald had received overall grades in the 70s, which was almost unheard-of. Regardless, he never lived up to the hype. He had a major league career of some length, but played fewer than ten seasons, had under 100 wins and never made an All-Star team or won any awards.

Besides being derailed by injuries, which is quite common for pitchers, I believe he was mishandled by my team including being rushed to the major leagues. To be honest, he was also not the sharpest tool in the shed. Many successful starting pitchers are intelligent; think Bob Gibson, Tom Seaver, Jim Palmer, Sandy Koufax.

Getting back to Frank Thomas…both he and McDonald played regularly in the big leagues during the second half of the 1990 season. After the season, I wrote a memo to my superiors suggesting the team look into trading McDonald for Thomas. I was the subject of much derision.

Even after Thomas had become a big star in the majors, the area scout who had not rated him highly was skeptical of his having continued success. I wonder if he still thought so after Thomas was elected to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.

Thomas’ and Bagwell’s teams faced each other in the 2005 World Series with the White Sox defeating the Astros. Neither player was a factor; Thomas didn’t play at all in the postseason due to injury and Bagwell was limited to being a pinch-hitter/designated hitter due to the chronic shoulder injury that would end his career.

Thomas was an outspoken critic of those players who had used steroids and was the only active player who agreed to be interviewed for the Mitchell Report in 2007. Bagwell’s career was tainted by his admission that he used androstenedione, which at the time was not banned by the FDA or by Major League Baseball. That admission could help to explain why he was not selected to the Hall of Fame until his seventh year of eligibility despite his tremendous performance.

I will not bore the majority of you by reciting statistic after statistic about both players’ careers, even though statistical analysis of baseball players performance was what I did for a living for 20+ years and even though I am a pioneer of sports analytics and a “father” of Moneyball. Thomas was a two-time AL Most Valuable Player and Bagwell also won the MVP award, considered the most prestigious one for season performance.

Oh…I was working for the Oakland A’s as a consultant when they signed Thomas as a free agent in January, 2006. I was in their suite at the Baseball Winter Meetings in December, 2005 when someone knocked at the door. I was the closest to the door so I got up and opened it. It was Frank Thomas. He was a LARGE man basically filling the entire doorway. I welcomed him in and then excused myself and left.

Happy Birthday to The Big Hurt and to Bags!

 

See the source image

See the source image

 

The top photo of Frank Thomas is from Associated Press and the picture of Jeff Bagwell is from the Houston Chronicle.

 

#FrankThomas

#JeffBagwell

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Start The Plants Day

Today is supposed to be the day that General Motors plants resume operation. This is meaningful to me because that means production of the C8 Corvette is supposed to restart.

Criswell Chevrolet of Gaithersburg, Maryland is one of the largest Chevrolet/Corvette dealers in the country. One of their salesmen, Mike Furman, does a feature for Corvette Blogger called Corvette Delivery Dispatch. Here is part of what he wrote in the latest Dispatch:

 

“…I am sure the World events have impacted each and every one of you. The question I keep on getting…’Are a lot of people canceling?’ It’s actually the exact opposite…I am writing 3-4 deals per day every day. I have a tremendous allocation and a big following along with a pretty darn good reputation…”

 

Of course, he is a salesman–and a successful one–so it’s his job to minimize negatives and to maximize positives. Still, I think interest in the new Corvette is genuinely strong. It’s just too bad that its production has been severely affected by the UAW strike and the coronavirus.

Mike Furman spoke at a banquet during the Corvette Caravan last August. He was extremely personable and patient answering dozens of questions about the new car, which had been officially revealed the previous month. Of course, a photo of a C8:

 

See the source image

 

This picture is from the Detroit Free Press. Supposedly, when production resumes GM/Chevrolet will be building model year 2020 Corvettes, but it is not clear if everyone who ordered a 2020 model will be receiving one and not a 2021, instead. ***OK, just received an update. GM has notified Chevrolet dealers that model year 2020 Corvettes will be manufactured through October. The start of regular 2021 model year production will begin on November 2nd, assuming no other setbacks.*** My question: If 2,700 2020 Corvettes were made before the shutdown, can they produce the other 37,000-ish cars by the end of October?

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According to 365 Days of Motoring (incredibly, the site is not secure so I will not link to it), on this day in 1868 the three oldest Studebaker brothers–Clem, Peter and John M.–formed the Studebaker Brothers Manufacturing Company. The company would continue to make vehicles for not quite another 100 years, with Studebaker ceasing to manufacture automobiles in March, 1966.

I have written a lot about Studebaker on this blog and shown a lot of pictures of Studebaker vehicles. My wonderful wife and I have even joined The Studebakers Drivers Club. I have to admit, though, that my interest in their cars has waned in recent months as has my interest in defunct American makes, in general.

Part of the reason for the diminution of my interest has to be my search for a Corvette companion/grocery car in which the search has morphed from looking for a nostalgic car to looking for a modern car. Inherent in that change is the reality that I am not super-wealthy nor do I possess much experience in working on cars. In addition, something John Kraman told me while my wonderful wife and I were in Arizona for the March Mecum auction has stuck with me. He said that it would take multiple iterations of repairs to get an older car to the point where it would be reliable. If my wonderful wife and I are going grocery shopping or are going to take some friends somewhere, we can’t worry about the car.

That being said, I will always have fondness for Studebaker and other defunct American makes. Which Studebaker is my favorite? Based on the length of time I have admired the car and its initial effect on me, it has to be this one:

 

See the source image

 

From the Classic Auto Mall a picture of a 1964 Avanti. For you Studebaker enthusiasts, which one is your favorite? 56PackardMan is no longer in the blog world, but his favorite–the 1953 Commander Starliner–is his favorite car, period.

 

#ResumptionOfC8Production

#Studebaker

#StudebakerAvanti

#somanycarsjustonelife

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Memorial Day 2020

I wish I had something of consequence or of profundity to write to observe this day, a Memorial Day unlike any other in memory. Just take note of the fact that about 1.5 million American soldiers have died while in service. Also remember that the men and women who serve today do so voluntarily.

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While my wonderful wife and I cannot begin a home search in the desert in earnest (I thought you were looking in Arizona, where’s earnest? 🙂 ) until we sell our current home, we do look at listings and have unofficially retained the services of a realtor. Our latest setback has pushed the listing of our current home out into some unknown time.

My desired area consists of the southern part of one zip code and the northern part of an adjacent zip code. I am trying to find a home with some elevation in order to reduce the heat in the summer, even if by just 2°-4°. My wonderful wife is not as concerned with elevation and just wants to find a nice home with a pool. We both want at least a 3-car garage.

Currently, on any given search the set of homes that meet all of our criteria is very small and those searches are not as geographically specific as I would want. The realtor says that few homes are being offered for sale at present and the good ones usually go very quickly. Here is a picture from Realtor.com of the front of one of the few houses that meets our criteria:

 

 

Of course I had to use a photo with one of those amazing Arizona sunsets. Technically, this house is not in the zone I have identified as desirable, but beggars can’t be choosers.

I really wish I could just snap my fingers and have this entire process done. Alas, the real world doesn’t work like that.

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Now, this was a real Corvette fan…on this day in 1994 the ashes of 71-year old George Swanson were buried in the driver’s seat of his white 1984 Corvette, according to his wishes. Swanson had served in the US Army during World War II and later was a successful beer distributor. The burial took place weeks after his death because the cemetery where he had purchased enough plots for the car to fit had balked stating concerns about vandalism and offending others. Ultimately, Swanson’s wishes were carried out. His widow, Caroline, remarked, “George always said he lived a fabulous life, and he went out in a fabulous style. You have a lot of people saying they want to take it with them. He took it with him.”

From amosauto a picture of a white 1984 Corvette. This is not just another example from the first model year of the C4 Corvette, it was the 750,000th Corvette produced when it rolled off the assembly line at Bowling Green, Kentucky in October, 1983.

 

See the source image

 

Carpe Diem!

 

#MemorialDay2020

#DesertHouseSearch

#RealCorvetteFan

#GeorgeSwanson

#1984ChevroletCorvette

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The Gift That Keeps On Giving

For Disaffected Musings (this blog), this post–Where Is Cristy Lee?–is the gift that keeps on giving. I wrote that post in January after she did not appear on the Motor Trend telecast of the Barrett-Jackson auction from Scottsdale. The post had more views in March than in January and after the new season of All Girls Garage premiered without Cristy Lee (she is no longer on the show), the number of views skyrocketed. The post had almost five times as many views in April as in January, nearly four times as many as in March.

I was going to show a chart of the percentage of total blog views that were of that post by month, but decided I didn’t want to bore you. However, 7.7% of all views in the “record-setting” month of April were of that post. Almost five percent of all views for the year are for that single post. Not counting the About page, it is easily the most viewed post in the history of this blog and may even catch the About page.

As I wrote in this post (also a very popular one), I think that Cristy Lee’s departure from All Girls Garage as well as the departure of Lou Santiago and Jared Zimmerman from Car Fix could very well be a matter of the company that produces both shows, Brenton Productions, needing to reduce costs. It is show business, after all. All Girls Garage costs less to produce with two hosts than with three. As for Car Fix, the two new hosts are probably being paid less than Santiago and Zimmerman would have been paid. Of course, Lee already has another gig as she is now a host of Garage Squad, which is shot closer to her home.

It could be that since both Brenton shows have been on for nine seasons, ratings have declined. That means Motor Trend receives less money per minute of ads, which means they want to pay a smaller fee per episode. Brenton Productions, which also wants to make a profit, needs to cut costs to make up for the smaller per episode fee.

By the way, as for the Barrett-Jackson broadcasts, Cristy Lee probably knew that the January broadcast from Scottsdale was the last one Motor Trend was going to do, at least for the foreseeable future. Whenever the live auctions return, they will be broadcast on the A&E networks like History and fyi. If she bailed on Scottsdale what was Motor Trend going to do, ban her from working on the auction broadcasts?

While I don’t want this blog to be a one-trick pony, if some people searching for Cristy Lee end up as regular readers of the blog, then that’s OK to me.

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This video is very funny, in my opinion. Please make sure you un-mute it before starting. Many thanks to my wonderful wife for sharing it with me.

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From Edith Wharton via The Muscleheaded Blog:

 

“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.”

 

Please think for yourself. “Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it.” – André Gide

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Numbers nerd/OCD “person” that I am I decided to go through yesterday’s listings on Bring A Trailer and see how many of them I would actually want to buy AND to drive. 332 auctions were active when I conducted my survey and not all of them were for cars. Some were for parts like tires.

First, most BaT cars have a manual transmission. I have not driven a stick for 40+ years and am not re-acquainting myself at this age. Second, A LOT of the cars are from Porsche and Volkswagen, German makes that I consider to be Hitlermobiles. If you think I am being unreasonable, even if my parents weren’t Holocaust survivors, which they were, I don’t think a statute of limitations exists for genocide, mass murder and unspeakable evil.

So, what was the number? Would you believe (I hear Don Adams in my head for some reason) just 18 of 332, or 5.4%. Of course, that percentage would be slightly higher when accounting for the non-car auctions.

This is one car that even surprised me with my interest:

 

1951 Ford Custom Convertible

 

This is a 1951 Ford convertible that is really a restomod. It is powered by a GM fuel-injected 350 cubic-inch V-8 and has a four-speed GM automatic transmission. It has front disc brakes and other modern systems although the car is not in 100% working condition.

As everyone knows, many old Fords have been fitted with a GM drivetrain. The reasons don’t matter, but people who are in denial are actually hysterical. Many of the comments for this listing are a debate about the drivetrain. Whether or not one agrees with the practice, no one with a functioning brain can actually deny that many old Fords have a GM drivetrain.

As of this writing the high bid is $10,000. This is not a Frugal Friday post, but that doesn’t seem like a lot of money to me for an interesting car like this. Oh, feel free to conduct the same survey for yourself and feel free not to.  🙂

 

#Cristy Lee

#HilariousVideo

#1951FordCustomConvertible

#somanycarsjustonelife

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Go West, Young Man

The line attributed to Horace Greeley seems appropriate today as it was on this day 25 years ago that I left the mid-Atlantic (where I was born and raised) and moved to California. I moved to work for the San Diego Padres. Although the team won two NL Western Division titles and a National League Championship in the three full seasons I was Director of Baseball Operations, the experience was a disappointment professionally. To be honest, one of the reasons I accepted the Padres’ offer is I thought the team would be relocated to Washington, DC and, therefore, I would return to the mid-Atlantic, anyway.

I was the de facto #3 person in the Baseball Operations hierarchy, with hopes to advance in the world of baseball and was older than the two people ahead of me. I was in a hurry to advance, probably in too much of a hurry even given my age. My real boss was the team President/CEO as he was the one who hired me. Although at times he would say that at some point in the future he would consider me for the top spot, General Manager, he was really just saying what he thought he needed to say in order for me to stay, which I guess I should consider as a compliment. I began to feel trapped and continued to have aspirations for advancement, if not with the Padres then with another team.

As I have written before (wish I could find the post) I resigned from the Padres during the 1999 season in the hopes of moving up “the food chain” in major league baseball. Although I was in the running for an Assistant GM position with another team, I didn’t get it and never again worked as a full-time employee of a team. I did resurrect my baseball career as a consultant and had a lucrative practice for a long time until baseball decided I was obsolete. (Perception is reality even if it isn’t.)

While my move to California did not eventuate as I had hoped in terms of my career, the move had one incredible benefit: I met the wonderful woman who has been my wife for almost 21 years. I don’t really believe in destiny. While it’s true we don’t have total control over our lives, to think one’s life journey is all preordained just seems like 360 degrees of wrong to me.

I had another job offer at the same time the Padres offered me the job. The “other” position would have enabled me to stay in the mid-Atlantic and would have let me add a non-baseball position to my resume. If I had accepted that job, and I was very close to doing so, I never would have met my wonderful wife. To those of you who think my decision was already made, I say b*llsh*t! Of course, I am very glad how everything turned out in my personal life. V Squared, I LOVE YOU!!!

Somewhat ironically, history is about to repeat itself as my wonderful wife and I have set the wheels in motion to move to the desert. While current events demonstrate that we are subject to exogenous forces, in the end it is highly likely we will move in the near future and that I will, once again, leave the mid-Atlantic and go west. Of course, this time I am not a young man.

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OK, you knew I would eventually get to this point. I am going to show pictures of the three cars that are currently under consideration to be our Corvette companion/grocery car after we move. I am very interested to read your opinions and if you want to rank them or tell me your favorite, I would be very happy to read your thoughts.

 

See the source image

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

 

The Jaguar XJS photo is from Barrett-Jackson, the Monte Carlo SS photo is from Car Gurus and the picture of the Maserati GranTurismo was taken by yours truly at the Mecum auction in Glendale, Arizona in March. Using any criteria you wish feel free to offer your choice and your thoughts.

Although we still have a lot of moving parts, we are already preparing to move (see what I did there). Not too long after the move, we will almost certainly buy another car.

Stay safe and be well.

 

#GoWestYoungMan

#CorvetteCompanion/GroceryCar

#somanycarsjustonelife

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Frugal Friday 12

Last night my wonderful wife and I watched the first two episodes of Ant Anstead’s new show, Ant Anstead Master Mechanic. Before yesterday the show was only available on the Motor Trend app–or MotorTrend’s website, I presume–but to watch the content there one must pay. We already pay triple digits a month for satellite TV so we’re not paying extra to watch a channel we can already watch. Anyway…the shows were excellent, fast-paced without being frenetic, informative without being boring. Besides, for me learning is entertainment. Short attention span that I have (I’m one of the lucky 15% of those with OCD who also have ADD), the fact that each episode is a half-hour is ideal.

What’s the premise of the show? You’ll have to watch it yourself…

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This CNBC article is titled, “The coronavirus pandemic has upended auto sales and buying a car will never be the same.” The key points are presented upfront in these bullets:

 

Key Points
  • The coronavirus crisis has upended auto retail, and many don’t think it will ever be the same again.
  • Dealers and automakers are investing millions in new digital sales tools as consumers demand more online and personalized services.
  • It’s a more flexible purchasing process that doesn’t have to be conducted during traditional business hours.

 

As almost everyone reading this knows, I purchased my car–a 2016 Corvette Z06–the “21st century” way, online without a test drive and having it delivered to my house. Just as the coronavirus will probably lead to a permanent shift in the workplace paradigm, it will probably lead to a permanent change in how we buy cars. Get ready to groan, everyone: “The only constant in the world is change.”

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Speaking of a C7 Z06, I decided that for this week’s Frugal Friday I would look for the least expensive example available. However, I did not include any cars with more than 50,000 miles or cars sold on a salvage title. From AutoTrader comes this car:

 

Used 2016 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Coupe Memphis, TN 38016 - 550972041 - 1

 

This is a 2016 Z06, same year as mine. The ad trumpets the “fact” that the car, offered at $53,895, is priced at $5,400 below NADA retail. The car has almost 40,000 miles on the clock and has the same trim level, 2LZ, as mine. Granted that I bought my car about 14 months ago (!), but my car only had 4,400 miles at purchase. It is a tad disconcerting that only 2 of the 18 photos show the car, the same photo is shown twice, and the other 16 tout the dealership.

I don’t know if this car has the Z07 performance package like mine, a $7,995 option when new, but I assume it doesn’t or it would have been mentioned. Thirty-seven percent (37%) of 2016 Z06s were ordered with the Z07 option.

So, what do you think? I think these cars are the performance car bargain of all time, cheap at twice the price when new and an absolute steal used. Yes, they’re not for everyone or even for everyone who can afford them. Remember, though, that the number of American households consisting of a married couple with no children is higher than the number of married households with children.

 

#FrugalFriday

#AntAnsteadMasterMechanic

#EndOfCarBuyingAsWeKnewIt

#C7Z06Corvette

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Throwback Thursday 39

Reader Michael T is not a fan of Cristy Lee. He sent me a note through the Contact page in which he wrote the following regarding her contributions to the Barrett-Jackson telecasts, “Basically she only recited the obvious with no depth or great knowledge of the classic car hobby. Really just a self-promoter using the pretty face to weave her way through job after job and make appearances based on a really shallow resume. It will run out soon.”

Everyone is entitled to his/her view. I think Cristy Lee is/was a great addition to the telecasts. She has much experience working on vehicles and covering motorsports. Besides, no one should ever forget that TV is a visual medium. Is she an expert on automotive history? That’s why Steve Magnante and Mike Joy are (were) there.

As I have written here before, although I like (liked?) watching the Barrett-Jackson telecasts I enjoy watching the Mecum broadcasts more and that’s not just because I’m friends with Scott Hoke and John Kraman. The Mecum crew respect the cars and the auctions, but they don’t take any of it so seriously that they forget to have some fun. Frankly, the Barrett-Jackson telecasts are, at times, stiff. The Mecum telecasts feature conversations among the crew whereas the B-J broadcasts often consist of Person A saying X and then Person B saying Y with no real interaction.

Anyway, just wanted to make sure I’m not accused of being a shill for Cristy Lee. By the way, since the comments for any post close after 36 days, if you want to add to the conversation after that you can write to me here, like Michael T did.

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How many of you remember this cartoon?

 

See the source image

 

From a Wiki site devoted to the Cartoon Network a fuzzy photo of an image from “The Herculoids.” When I was a kid I LOVED this cartoon. Although I haven’t seen an episode in decades, I have to admit that I still get chills of joy and awe just looking at the picture and thinking about the show.

The show was broadcast on CBS from September, 1967 to September, 1969. In the life of someone whose age is in single digits, two years is a long time. From Wikipedia, “In the show, the space barbarian family Zandor, Tara and son Dorno fight alongside their giant pet Herculoids — dragon Zok, rhinoceros Tundro, rock ape Igoo and the shape-shifting Gloop and Gleep — to keep their planet safe from invading robots, mad scientists and mutants.”

Do I remember specific episodes and plots? No, I just remember the effect the show had on me. Once again, sometimes I long for my childhood, which was a time when almost anything seemed possible.

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I also long for something else that will never happen, the ability to buy and to store cars at will. I look at car listings on Hemmings, Classic Cars, AutoTrader and Bring a Trailer virtually every day. I have never needed a rationale like finding a Corvette companion/grocery car for our life in the desert. Sometimes I think that such a reason is just an excuse to keep ogling at cars, cars like this:

 

2013 Ferrari 458 Spider

 

From Bring a Trailer a picture of a 2013 Ferrari 458 spider currently available. With one day left in the auction the high bid is $70,000. I believe the MSRP on these cars when new was around a quarter-million dollars, or $250,000 for those of you who are word-problem challenged.

I mean, c’mon…a Ferrari convertible that’s less than ten years old, I don’t even care that it’s Black on Black. (Black is very hard to keep clean and is absolutely unforgiving for even the slightest body imperfections.) No, we will not buy a car like this unless we win the lottery. For the nth plus nth time from the movie Diner, if you don’t have dreams you have nightmares.

 

#ThrowbackThursday

#CristyLee

#TheHerculoids

#Ferrari458Spider

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Wednesday Waggle

In football, a waggle–or bootleg–is a play where the quarterback (QB) will roll outside the pocket away from the original direction of the play. It is designed to be misdirection that slows down the defense’s flow to the football. The play can be run with a lineman pulling in front of the QB or the QB can boot “naked” with no protection. Perhaps you’ve heard the term “naked bootleg.”

I’ve always wanted to use the post title “Wednesday Waggle” so now I have.

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Follow-up to yesterday’s post…I am surprised that the video of the tree rat (the term Dirty Dingus McGee used to describe squirrels in one of his comments) being flung into a tree did not have more plays. The number of plays was only about a third of the total number of views for the main page and yesterday’s post combined.

I have been told I need more audio-visual content in order to help increase the number of viewers. Of course, if no one knows such content is here then how can they view it?

 

I guess I am not the only one who despises those Limu Emu and Doug commercials. From this article here are some comments:

 

 

In the interest of full disclosure I “cleaned” up some of the spelling and grammar. Note the dates on these comments are from a year ago or more. Unfortunately, the company that had these “ads” made must be seeing good results or the ad campaign would have been discontinued. Just as unfortunately we use this company’s services as our insurance company does not directly write homeowners insurance, but partners with other companies. Hey, we save a lot of money on our automobile insurance. I am often just as guilty as the majority of American consumers who care only about the price and not so much about the quality of the product.

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The Classic Cars Journal Pick Of The Day for May 15th was a 1962 Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk, although they call the car a Hawk GT. Here is a picture from Classic Cars:

 

Hawk GT

 

The article title is, “Pick of the Day: ’62 Hawk GT could be ideal entry to collector car hobby.” As almost everyone reading this knows, I was obsessed with this car for a long time. I have to admit that my obsession has waned, though.

Thinking through the search for a Corvette companion/grocery car that we will likely purchase after the move to the desert has led me to the conclusion that while owning a car like this is romantic, for lack of a better word, such ownership is not practical when you’re my age and someone without a lot of wrenching experience. (How about that for a run-on sentence?! Actually, I think it is punctuated correctly. It’s just a long sentence. I make a concerted effort to write the “right” words and to use proper grammar and punctuation. I make many changes while writing a post. I often edit a piece from yesterday or last week just to make the post sound a little better. Yes, that’s OCD, but it’s also dedication to doing this right.)

What do you think? If you were in a position to buy a car that can only partly be justified by need, what would matter most to you?

 

#WednesdayWaggle

#1962StudebakerGranTurismoHawk

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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