Monday Musings

First, for the cryptographers out there:

jjcvg pbpmih

Second, I would appreciate your telling me what three posts have been your favorites over the past 3-6 months. If I want to have an audience then I have to write to that audience, at least a little bit.


Thanks to this article for inspiration, here is something you don’t see too often:


See the source image


From a picture of a Gordon-Keeble. As I have written many, many times when I hear the word “hybrid” I don’t automatically think of the modern use of the word, a car with a gasoline engine that charges an electric motor(s) that actually drives the vehicle. The Gordon-Keeble is an “original” hybrid meaning a car with at least an American engine, but body/chassis from another country usually European.

This car, not surprisingly, was first built by John Gordon and Jim Keeble. The first one made (in 1959) was actually supposed to be sort of a one-off built for a pilot in the US Air Force. It used a Corvette engine and a Peerless chassis, not from the long-defunct American company with that name, but from a British company from the 1950s with the same name.

Actual production didn’t start, however, until 1964. By this time the Corvette engine was now of 327 cubic-inch displacement (not the 283 used in the 1959 “prototype”). By the way, the body was designed by the legendary Giorgetto Giugiaro of Bertone in Italy.

As is the case with many limited-production cars, Gordon-Keeble ran into all sorts of difficulties and the company ended up in liquidation. What was left of the company was sold to two men who attempted to continue production as Keeble Cars Ltd., but when the dust had settled production ended in 1966. One car was assembled the following year from what was lying around in the factory so that the final production total would be exactly 100.

Back in 2015 a bill was introduced in the US House of Representatives to allow small companies to manufacture replicas of cars that were originally built at least 25 years ago. As first written the bill would allow companies to make up to 500 such cars a year although I think that number has been pared to 325 by the relevant committee. SEMA President Chris Kersting made this comment at the time of the bill’s introduction, “The bill…will allow U.S. companies to produce turn-key replicas of older vehicles that are virtually impossible to build under today’s restrictive one-size-fits-all regulatory framework. This program will create skilled-labor jobs in the auto industry and help meet consumer demand for these classics of the past.”

Going off on a tangent…regulation is often incredibly inefficient because of its one-size-fits-all nature. The costs of complying with regulation are not the same across all industries or even among different companies in the same industry. Since resources are finite, efficiency always matters.

Anyway…I don’t think the bill has had a full House vote, yet. What a surprise…not. What the anti-gearheads fail to understand (maybe they don’t want to understand) is that people almost never use collector cars as everyday drivers. In my opinion, the desire of these people to control what other people do stems from smugness, self-righteousness and arrogance.

Do any of you have any interest in these original hybrids? If so, which ones?







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6 thoughts on “Monday Musings

  1. … I neglected to answer your question about my favorite post(s) on your blog. I really enjoyed the Studebaker Starlight Commander you showed from your AACA museum visit (“Loewy Coupe Concerto in Four Movements” – Great title, BTW!) … and, of course, anything you’ve posted about Packard.


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