Freelance Friday

I didn’t know Lance was incarcerated. Sorry…


At 1 PM yesterday the National Weather Service forecast that rain was a virtual certainty for our area between 3 and 4 PM. Of course, it didn’t rain then. We did receive a little rain around 6 PM.

The skies opened up overnight, though. As I write this at about 5:15 AM local time, the sky looks quite menacing with vivid lightning flashing to the northwest, but also awe-inspiring. I wish I could show you, but the outdoor light level is just not enough for a good picture or video. I don’t have a rain gauge and slept through much of the deluge, but I would be surprised if we didn’t receive at least a half inch of rain.

As I wrote last year during monsoon season, I have become a rain watcher here in the desert. The rain we received yesterday/today is the first meaningful rainfall in our immediate area in weeks. I don’t know anyone here who complains when it rains.


My Z06 is back in the shop again. I am cautiously optimistic that the third time will, indeed, be the charm. No, it is not at the dealership that had it for almost eight weeks.

The exhaust will be returned to stock so the ECM can, once again, read all four O2 sensors. That will stop the Check Engine light from being on all the time, should return the car to normal performance without hesitation under “heavy” throttle and will stop the notifications from OnStar that the car is having trouble with its emissions system.

When all is said and done, the cost to undo the tuning I had done last summer will far exceed the cost of the tuning itself. Between the replacement of brake pads and rotors and the “un-tuning” I will be out of pocket about $25,000. I’m not poor, but I’m not happy about that development. Unless we win the lottery, I will never again have a modern, computer-controlled car tuned “past” stock.


For the last 20 years the Professional Football Researchers Association (PFRA, analogous to the Society for American Baseball Research or SABR) has inducted players into a Hall of Very Good. From their website, “the Hall of Very Good seeks to honor outstanding players and coaches who are not in the Hall of Fame.”

Seeing a 1958 Chevrolet Impala on an episode of FantomWorks yesterday started me thinking about a similar concept for cars. I suppose these cars would be similar to those I listed as “Just Having Missed The Cut” for my first two Ultimate Garages. (I did not include such automobiles for Ultimate Garage 3.0, Parts One and Two.)

Obviously, such an endeavor is subjective. Other than horsepower and torque minimums, my Ultimate Garage cars have been based largely on styling. Hall of Very Good cars would be selected the same way. Yes, exercises like this stem from the primary manifestation of my OCD, an intense desire to make order out of chaos. Let me show a picture of the car that inspired this madness.



This is a 1958 Chevrolet Impala that was offered at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Arizona in January of this year. I think the color is great and I really like the look of these cars WITHOUT a continental kit. As most car aficionados know, 1958 was the first year for the Impala–one of the most successful models in US automotive history–and the only year for this body style.

How successful was the Impala? It is the only car model in US history, except for the Model T, to reach one million in sales in a single model year (1964 and 1965). OCD taking over…manually entering much of this data:


Impala Production

1958-1967    6.653 million

1958-2020   15.954 million (excludes Caprice Impala SS models 1994-96, no Impalas were produced 1986-93 and 1997-99)

More Impalas were produced than Model Ts. About twice as many Impalas were sold in its first ten years compared to the first ten years of the Ford Mustang.


Back from tangent…what do you think about a Hall of Very Good Cars series of posts? The good thing about such an idea is that it doesn’t have to have at least x number of cars or no more than y.

I was originally going to include some links from Why Evolution Is True in today’s post. Today’s entry is long enough already. I would also like to know who (besides friend and former neighbor MB) clicks on those links.








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8 thoughts on “Freelance Friday

  1. The Hall of Very Good Cars should be an interesting series. When does it start?

    I briefly watched a portion of Fantom Works yesterday when they were deciding about which new automatic transmission they would install in place of the Powerglide in the 1958 Impala. Which one did they choose?

    Why, pray tell, does your Z06 need four O2 sensors since most V8s only need two, one for each bank of the V-8?

    I do not own a lance nor do I need one. I would choose an X-acto knife which uses replaceable blades and they are never free.

    Yes, I do look at the links you post, and if I find something interesting I will read.


    1. Thanks, Philip. FantomWorks installed the more robust 4L85E transmission instead of the 4L60E.

      I don’t know why my car has four O2 sensors, but it does. EVERYTHING has a cost.


  2. “I don’t know why my car has four O2 sensors”

    I would bet it’s for emissions control mainly, and performance second. I think I mentioned that my gasser has an O2 sensor on each header tube. In my case it strictly for performance. Having played with computer control on race cars for 30 years now, it can be a blessing and a curse. Tuning is easier and quicker, but when it goes wrong, Lord have mercy.

    I would be interested in your Very Good Cars selections. I know I sure do have list of them, some I have had and some I would like to have.

    Take your time getting started with the list, tomorrow is fine. 🙂


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