This picture is full of throwbacks. Although the instruments have been acquired in the last five years they really speak to a time long ago when I had musical aspirations. The Flying A gasoline sign is a throwback to when my father ran a Flying A station in the early 1960s. The painting of the car that is obviously a C2 Corvette (with a 1967 big block stinger hood), even though the word Corvette doesn’t appear anywhere, is just as obviously a throwback to that car and to that era.
Happy Birthday to my friend, Mel Kiper! He has appeared on ESPN’s NFL draft coverage since 1984. As I have written before, the first round of the NFL Draft has better TV ratings than most MLB and NBA playoff games. From ftw.usatoday.com a picture of Mel:
I believe that if these ten Senators were replaced by people with more moderate views, then the Federal government would function more smoothly almost regardless of what is going on in the House:
I shouldn’t have to write this, but these are the five most conservative and five most liberal members of the US Senate based on Govtrack.us. Note that four of the five most liberal Senators are running for President. BOTH parties have moved away from the traditional majority in American politics, the center. Whether they are in tune with what is happening in the American populace or just pandering for campaign contributions, I can’t say.
From corvetteforum.com a picture of GM President Mark Reuss and, of course, the new C8 Corvette. I had read in multiple places that, eventually, the C8 would offer a manual transmission. However, just like the reports were wrong that the C7 and C8 would be produced simultaneously for awhile, so were the reports about a manual transmission. When Corvette lead engineer Tadge Juechter was recently asked if there is any chance the manual will come back, he replied simply: “No.”
Here is more of what Juechter said, courtesy of this article:
“Juechter said a manual-equipped Corvette wouldn’t sell well enough to make it worth a supplier’s effort to develop. ‘We couldn’t find anybody honestly who’d be willing to do it.’ Just like the dual-clutch automatic transmission that will be in the car, a manual for the C8 would have had to be a bespoke production. ‘It’s low volume, very expensive,’ Juechter said. ‘The reason is it’s a low-volume industry. That industry is dying — building manual transmissions.‘“ [emphasis mine]
“Even for the Corvette, the take rate for manual transmissions has dropped to 15 percent. ‘Every year it goes down, down, down, down,’ Juechter added. Porsche experimented with dropping the manual from its track-focused 911 GT3 but found that upset buyers, who have since bought the manual in that car in large volumes. In fact, according to Porsche North America chief executive Klaus Zellmer, two-thirds of GT3 buyers opt for the manual. Juechter said the same wouldn’t hold for the Corvette. ‘It’s 15 percent on cars like the Z06, which historically have been only a manual. And as soon as we offer the automatic, everybody buys the automatic,’ Juechter said.“
“The future doesn’t look bright for the manual in the ‘Vette or the industry, Juechter said. ‘It’s a dying business. The people who make a living building manual transmissions, they see that it’s not a bright future for them,’ he explained.“
Juechter also said (in another interview, I believe), “DCT [Dual-Clutch Transmission] shifts faster and better than any human can.”
People can lament change, but change always happens; it’s the only constant in the world. Besides, tradition aside and as Juechter said, no human being can shift as quickly or as optimally as a modern automatic. That’s not just a technicality as those transmissions help cars get better gas mileage in EPA testing. Why do you think Ford and Lexus offer a 10-speed automatic? It’s primarily for EPA testing.
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