Tick Tock

As I begin to write this about 115 hours remain in this ghastly year. As I wrote to photobyjohnbo in replying to a comment, if 2021 is not better than 2020, then we’re in big trouble.

Like virtually the entire world I am looking forward to a much better year, but hope lessons have been learned that will always be applied. I am also hoping for many more opportunities to take pictures like this:



Sadly, the damn virus is still wreaking havoc on automobile events. As reported here, the Retromobile and Greenwich Concours events have already been postponed for 2021. The former, a huge collector car showcase held each February in Paris, has been pushed back to June while the latter has been moved from May/June to late October.

As I have written here before, and I admit this is a selfish perspective, I am hoping that my wonderful wife and I will be fully vaccinated in time so we can attend both the Mecum and Barrett-Jackson auctions that will take place in the Phoenix area in mid to late March. That would mean we would have to receive our first doses in mid to late February, which is extremely unlikely as far as I can tell. One can always hope, however…


On this day in 1941 the first rationing of any item was announced in the US in response to the country’s entry into World War II. Rationing of tires and rubber goods started on January 5, 1942 and the program ran through December 31, 1945. Local Tire Rationing Boards issued certificates for tires or recapping upon application. Certificates for new tires were restricted to vehicles for public health and safety (medical, fire, police, garbage, and mail services), essential trucking (food, ice, fuel), and public transportation.

While some people resisted, most US citizens willingly complied. Compare the response then to what happened when public health and government officials began to restrict the operation of businesses and issued mask mandates in response to the damn virus. A large percentage of the American public refused to comply and/or actively protested.

In the context of a country or society, absolute freedom does not and cannot exist. In that context, absolute freedom is anarchy. No political or behavioral paradigm is always appropriate.

Ignorance is not bliss…


I think this car looks like nothing else on the road, not that it is seen very often:



This is an Alfa Romeo 4C. The car was, face it, a failure especially in the North American market. Alfa Romeo has ended production of the 4C.

This car is not practical by any means, but for the nth time, in a country where more married couples live without children than with, and with millions of single-person households, I am just disappointed beyond words that interesting cars have such a poor track record in the US.

The 4C is not just an interesting looking car, it will accelerate and handle. Because the car is so light (the coupe weighs about 2,300 pounds, the spider a little more), its 1.75 liter/106 cubic-inch turbocharged inline 4-cylinder engine–237 HP/258 LB-FT of torque–will propel the car from 0-60 MPH in 4.5 seconds.

Does anyone have any opinions about this car they’d like to share? We’d like to read them.


114 hours to go…







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6 thoughts on “Tick Tock

  1. “Absolute freedom is anarchy.” I’ll be quoting you on that!
    We are not expecting to get vaccinated prior to going back to North Dakota in April sometime at the earliest. As a non-resident of Arizona, it would surprise me if we got the opportunity given the model of state distribution.


  2. Not to disparage the enthusiasts of North America, but I wonder if the struggles of the 4C to make it big had to do with a lack of brand awareness. Alfa had been out of the market for a long time, and I believe some people equate it with Fiat and its old bad rep for quality. May have been enough to make potential buyers look at other similarly laid out cars. I don’t mean people who are really into cars, I mean more like those who ‘want a sporty 2 seater’ and then are just as likely to look at an entry level Miata, a Z4 and a ZR1 without knowing how different they are.


    1. I’ll also say that while I think there are still people who enjoy sports cars, it’s also true that the masses still gravitate to SUVs. I haven’t looked in some time but I know Porsche is making decent bank selling Cayennes, I think many more than boxsters and 911s.


      1. Owned a new Fiat 500 (not the Abarth). It was great fun to drive when the check engine light wasn’t on. Ultimately got rid of it for a boring Mazda with an automatic.

        The 4C was a beautiful car (as was the 8C, which I don’t think we got in the States). I’m afraid to touch anything Fiat/Chrysler now despite growing up in a Mopar household.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks for joining the conversation. The more, the merrier.

        I have seen an 8C at an auto “mall” in Pennsylvania and it was beautiful. I am interested in your reluctance to own an FCA product. You should read today’s post, but only after I actually write it. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

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