only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades and nuclear explosions. Or so the saying goes…

Yesterday, while driving back from a “farewell lunch” with some friends/neighbors, we were almost in a serious accident. We had the green, but a car coming from the other direction insisted on turning left into our path. My wonderful wife sped up and swerved to get out of the way and narrowly missed the vehicle and its clueless driver, of which there are far too many on the roads.

I haven’t been feeling well, anyway, for days and the stress of the “almost” accident left me utterly drained. Research cited in the Harvard Business Review in 1994 showed that 60% to 90% of doctor visits were stress-related. I can’t imagine those percentages have diminished, certainly not this year.

A bad outcome for me is that even though I know running is a great stress reliever, when I feel drained due to stress I sometimes skip my run for the day. I have been suffering from extreme fatigue and dizziness for almost a week. I am attributing that to the accumulated stress of selling a house, buying a house, having to make extensive and costly repairs to complete the sale and the unknown of a significant move. I keep hoping that “This, too, shall pass.”


This gives me a few seconds of happiness…


Another concept car that should have been produced, in my opinion:



From this article a picture of the 2005 Chrysler Firepower concept car. From the article: “With the Firepower concept, Chrysler designers set out to transform the thuggish Dodge Viper into a sleek and elegant luxury GT. Chrysler’s 2005 Firepower concept immediately brings to mind that time-honored auto writers’ cliche: the iron fist in a velvet glove…the Firepower combined the brutish Dodge Viper chassis with refined Euro-GT bodywork, a silky V8 coupled to an automatic transmission, and a luxurious, leather-lined cabin.”

Viper enthusiasts are quite stubborn in their affection for the car, but I think that its “thuggish” nature–people have described the car as driving as if it were built in a barn–including lack of ABS and traction control for much of its history and it only being offered with a manual transmission, ignoring the 95%+ of American car buyers who buy an automatic, is the reason that no more than 35,000 Vipers were built during its production run from 1991 to 2017, with a two-year hiatus from 2010 to 2012. (c.f. Chevrolet built almost 33,000 Corvettes in 2017 alone, of which more than 6,000 were the awesome Z06.) It is the automobile business, after all, and even though a car like the Viper can be a “loss-leader” or a halo car, at some point a company has to see, or at least perceive, monetary rewards for its efforts.

The Firepower combined with the Viper might have led to both cars still being sold today. I don’t know how close Chrysler came to putting the Firepower into production. It is sad, but probably true, that cars like the Firepower or the Viper will be phased out and we will be stuck with electric automatons. Not for me…






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14 thoughts on “Almost…

  1. The tree rat launch warms the cockles of my heart. I have had an ongoing war with those furry thieves for the last 20 years. Here is another video you might like;


  2. Somewhat surprising the Firepower didn’t make it to production. It could have easily been marketed as a Corvette competitor, much more refined than Viper. And the cost would likely have been minimal if they used Conner Avenue to produce both.
    Perhaps that was the reason it didn’t happen, as Vipers were hand assembled at Conner Avenue. Maybe there wasn’t the space, and moving to another facility may have been prohibitive.
    It got awfully difficult to make a profitable venture of these kinds of specialty vehicles. You can absorb the costs building Z06s and GT500s when you’re building ‘volume versions’ on the same line. But Allantes and Vipers, at some point ‘bespoke, special automobiles’ become ‘we can’t afford this anymore’. I think the fact Chrysler wasn’t able to sell Viper and the Conner Avenue plant mean everyone kinda realized it.


    1. Good points, sir. I didn’t make the point as well as I could have, but sharing some architecture would have allowed the Firepower and the Viper to be produced at “reasonable” cost.


  3. The reason the Firepower concept did not become a production car was the result of “bean counters” having a significant input into the decision. Please refer to yesterday’s comments.

    Vermin come in all shapes and sizes. I enjoyed the vermin launching videos. I have a video of an automatic ball launcher a guy made for his dachshund so the dog could play ball by himself. Not as much fun as watching vermin becoming airborne but fun to watch the dog enjoy himself.


    1. Thanks, Philip.

      Companies have to watch costs so they can earn a profit and stay in business. It is true, however, that many “business” types know the cost of much, but the value of little. A successful company will usually have people of passion and vision making the final call.


    1. Thanks for writing and for the good wishes. Hope you are managing as well as possible during these stressful times in your country.

      Do you think the “peace treaty” with the UAE will lead to more such pacts with formerly hostile nations?


      1. I am managing (even went to the park today!). But as for the UAE… well, only yesterday a pre-agreement was (finally) signed with Bahrain. Sudan should be a few steps behind, with not all of them in agreement about it. Hopefully there will be more 🙂
        It never crossed my mind that these days were even possible, and here they are…


      2. Thanks for offering your thoughts.

        No one can accurately predict the future with any consistency. I still have many relatives in Israel. My parents and sister lived there from the time they were released from a “Displaced Persons” camp in the late 1940s until they came to the US in the late 1950s. I hope for peace, but fear I will not live to see it.

        Liked by 1 person

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