Wednesday Wobble

Thanks to 56packardman for putting a link to yesterday’s post on the Studebaker forum. Thanks to readers of that forum for making the post the most read for the month of August; I just wish those same readers were actually reading this expression of gratitude.


Did you know that the Earth’s spin about its axis is not completely smooth? The Earth’s axis drifts slowly around the poles. These wobbles don’t affect our daily life, but they must be taken into account to get accurate results from GPS, Earth-observing satellites and observatories on the ground.

I think our lives also wobble. I have an inherent distrust of people who always seem to be in the same place.




Yesterday I asked if anyone knew whether or not additives that allegedly can mitigate the negative effect of ethanol in gasoline really work. Except for a general reply from 56packardman, I didn’t receive any answers. The damage done by ethanol content in gasoline is not a myth. This article explains in great detail why ethanol can damage your car, especially older ones. From the article:


“All gasoline is susceptible to changes due to weather and moisture content, but ethanol exacerbates this problem. A higher concentration of alcohol in a gas tank (any gas tank — at the production facilities, the tankers traveling on the highway, the storage tanks at a gas station, your car’s reservoir and even the red plastic can sitting on the floor in your garage) means that the alcohol can grab and hold more water than straight gasoline. If the water concentration gets high enough, the alcohol and water will drop out of suspension, turning the fuel into a globby mess that your car’s engine can’t use. And it can happen at any stage of the transport, storage and usage process — even getting worse as it goes along. In short, ethanol increases the chances that your car will be damaged trying to process and burn contaminated gasoline.”


So why is ethanol added to our gas? Again, from the howstuffworks article:


“Do you want to know the truth? We have more corn than we know what to do with — and corn is cheap. It’s taken the place of cane sugar in most of our prepared and packaged foods. Not only that, but it’s increasingly sneaking into our gasoline, too, in the form of ethanol.”

“Conventional wisdom tells us that an inexpensive, domestically produced substitute for fuel would be a good thing; unfortunately, it’s not that simple. With few exceptions, ethanol is not an acceptable fuel on its own merits.”


Subsidy programs are surprisingly easy to get approved by governments because the benefits are concentrated and the costs are diffuse. Make no mistake, though: the costs are real.


This Motor Trend article is about a subject in which most Corvette fans have much interest: will more powerful C8 Corvette models be introduced in the future? The answer seems to be YES! From Ed Piatek, Corvette Chief Engineer:


“Corvette’s got a history of different levels of performance so stay tuned…We can certainly use horsepower more efficiently now with this configuration than we did with the previous generation. So that’s an exciting proposition…

“If you look at the current generation car with 460 hp and the 0-60 time, you can add 300 horsepower to that number and the 0-60 time barely moves,” Piatek said. “This car, we already start with a really low 0-60 time but with 20 percent more of the mass on the rear axle and a wider wheel-tire package in the rear, the opportunities to do really, really, high-performance cars is there.”


I don’t agree that moving from a 0-60 time of 3.8 seconds (the base C7) to one of 2.8 seconds (the ZR1 time) is barely moving, but whatever. Z06, ZR1 and “Zora” variants of the C8 have all been rumored for a long time.









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11 thoughts on “Wednesday Wobble

  1. We read.
    Isn’t it interesting how, in our “democracy”, one man’s or one group’s interest can have detrimental and decades long impact. Saving Deere and Caterpillar and the farmers mean that the rest of us suffer. And yet ethanol policies have not saved the family farmer-bankruptcies are nearing record highs, and Deere and Caterpillar face existential challenges.
    Oh well, we will always need corn with our crabs and for movie night popcorn.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m glad our friends at the Studebaker Drivers Club stopped in. 🙂 They are an active group and I appreciate their visits to my own blog as well. • A way needs to be found to get the Ethanol lobby’s hand out of the wallets of our Congresscritters. As always, follow the money. Sen. Grassley, call your office … • It’s going to be interesting to watch how The General allows the C-8 Vette to develop. I hope GM has the sense to let the Corvette team build on what appears to be a solid foundation with the new C-8.


    1. Thanks, sir. I think ALL lobbyists should be banned, but that will never happen.

      The C8 has enormous potential; we’ll just have to see how/if it is developed.


  3. Why not build a batsh*t crazy Corvette? Bugatti apparently built a $21 million dollar car; I think the market could welcome a $200K Vette with the right “accoutrements”!


    1. Who’s to say Chevrolet/GM won’t? The rumored Zora variant is supposed to be like the McLaren P1 and Ferrari LaFerrari with a hybrid drivetrain. Word is this car will have 1,000+ HP.


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