Thought Provoking Thursday

It should be obvious that I hope my blog is thought provoking almost every day. A quasi-plea: while I do not and will not have a Fack Fucebook account, I would not object if those of you who do would post the main link to the blog ( or links to specific posts on the “platform.” As I have recounted, my mother used to recite a Polish saying, which when translated into English was, “If you need the thief, you take him down from the gallows.” I am just asking; if you feel this “request” is hypocritical, then feel free to ignore and/or let me know you feel that way.


I was going to call today’s post “Fish Or Cut Bait.” I would have then written that I really wanted to call the post “Shit Or Get Off The Pot,” but that I did not want to use “profanity” in a post title.

Without getting into specifics or naming names, I know people who engage in Analysis To Paralysis. EVERYTHING has diminishing marginal utility, though, often to the point of having zero or even negative marginal benefit.

One can never really have all of the facts. One criticism of the classical economic model is that agents (people, firms, etc.) can never really optimize behavior because they can’t know everything. Famous economist Herbert Simon introduced the idea of “Satisficing.” He applied it to the behavior of firms, but it also–obviously–applies to individual behavior. After all, businesses are just collections of individuals.

Classical economic theory assumes that firms attempt to maximize profits, but the ideas associated with satisficing question this assumption. A satisficing firm is not attempting to maximize anything, but it is trying to achieve an acceptable level of a single objective or an acceptable mix of other objectives, of which profit is only one. It represents a solution to the problem of not being able to establish an optimal decision regarding business decision-making since an “optimal” decision cannot be determined.

As I have written, I firmly believe that time is more valuable than money, especially when one reaches my age. My time is finite, but I can almost always figure out a way to acquire more money. For example, not that I anticipate this scenario will occur (and certainly hope that it doesn’t), but I could decide to collect my Social Security retirement benefits if I found myself in a financial bind. I am 62, the minimum age for collecting those payments.

All this being said, I am not advocating acting impulsively and without thought as one’s primary decision-making paradigm. All I am saying is that EVERYTHING has limits, including analysis and thought. At some point you have to Fish Or Cut Bait, Shit Or Get Off The Pot.


“Fish Or Cut Bait” would also have applied to getting the Hall of Very Good Cars series started. I am 99% sure that I will publish that series concurrently with Threes And Sevens, which has only five posts remaining, anyway.

I am not saying this car will be included in the Hall of Very Good Cars, but I have been fascinated by it ever since seeing the episode of Wheeler Dealers where the car was featured.


See the source image


No, your eyes are not deceiving you. Yes, this car–a Rover P5B–has four doors. Interestingly though (OK, maybe it’s only interesting to me), the car is called a Coupé. I believe the original distinction between a coupe and a sedan had to do with interior volume and not the number of doors.

The stock engine for this car was a small displacement, 3.5 liter/215 cubic-inch, aluminum V-8. Maybe I should have written aluminium. This was the Buick engine used in the “Senior Compact” line for Buick, Oldsmobile and Pontiac from 1961 through 1963. Rover acquired the tooling to the engine in 1965 (General Motors discontinued production after the 1963 model year) and used it in at least one of their vehicles until 2006. Rover also sold the engine to companies like Morgan, TVR and Triumph.

Something about the lines of the P5B is just mesmerizing to me. The example in the Wheeler Dealers episode also had a similar paint scheme to the one shown, a light color roof over a darker body.

Anyway, as the list of Hall of Very Good Cars continues to grow, at some point I will also have to Fish Or Cut Bait, Shit Or Get Off The Pot. As always, I welcome thoughtful comments.







If you like this blog please tell your friends and share the blog URL ( Thanks.




7 thoughts on “Thought Provoking Thursday

  1. The 215 was a decent engine. In the late 70’s I wedged (literally) one into a Datsun 1200 fastback. I found the engine in a rusted out Buick and bought the whole car. A friend had a 1200 that he had hot rodded a bit, Weber carb, aftermarket exhaust, etc, and I liked the “shape” of the car. He decided to move on to something else, so I bought that off him. One thing led to another and I decided to see if I could fit that Buick engine into the Datsun. It turned into a major project as I had to “dent” the front shock towers for valve cover clearance, cut the firewall and transmission tunnel for transmission clearance, all new mounts for engine, transmission (modified Oldsmobile 4 speed) and rear gear (narrowed Buick). When I put it on the road it was quite “exciting.” The 1200 weighed around 1900 pounds with this transplant and had a bit over 200 HP, in place of the original 70HP. The biggest problem was the unit construction “twisting” under enthusiastic acceleration, as the engineers never designed it for 3 times more horsepower. The car looked good, sounded good, but was a bear to control. I ended up selling it in my divorce a couple years after I started building it and have no idea if it’s still around. Doubtful as the cars were noted to rust out, or more likely it got wrecked.


    1. Thanks for sharing yet another interesting story in your amazing automotive history, DDM. Your point about the Datsun twisting under hard acceleration is a good example of how an entire car really has to be upgraded, not just the engine or even the engine, brakes and suspension. Don’t know how you would have modified a unibody car, though.


      1. ” Don’t know how you would have modified a unibody car, though.”

        There are 2-3 ways that I know of, none of them cheap or easy. For road racing welding in a full roll cage with bracing going from front to rear. For big motor drag racing, a full chassis with the body then mounted to the new chassis AND incorporating a cage. Or sub frame connectors and the cage. Again, none cheap and none easy.

        Speed costs, how fast can you afford.


  2. Dear DDM,
    That sounds like an interesting project. Another small car, larger engine shoe-horned into the engine compartment meant for an inline engine. My son-in-law once shoe-horned a turbine engine into a TR-7 as a design engineering project for the University of Arizona design project class. He was the industry advisor for the student design team. That class for seniors has become a definitive design team project class for the seniors. It forces you into learning how to put together a project and work as a team. Real world engineering at its best/worst (?).

    For the uninitiated, the Buick 215 aluminum block V-8 was a very popular engine for the hot rod fraternity. They put that engine into everything, literally. There were even some who, including Mickey Thompson, installed them into Indy 500 cars back in the 1960s when stock block engines were allowed larger displacements. Thompson’s Harvey Aluminum Special was a game changer at the time. Again, history raising its ugly (?) head. Learn history or suffer the consequences.

    Now back to monitoring the swimming pool conversion back from being a pond. No further explanation is forthcoming…….ever.


    1. Thanks, Philip. Glad to read these comments.

      Of course, and in my opinion, some semblance of balance has to be maintained in virtually any build for the street as opposed to a car being built solely for the track. I know many people who prefer small-block C2 Corvettes because they steer and brake much better than big-block versions and the small-block cars are hardly slow.


    2. @Phillip Maynard,

      It was as much frustrating as interesting at the time. I was barely in my 20’s and had neither the skill or knowledge that I have now. I had some experience with semi unitized bodied cars, as my first car was a 62 Chevy Nova with a 396 in it. That was a bit easier to do, considering that had a front sub frame, like what was used on the Camaro in 67.

      If I were to build that Datsun these days, there are MANY things that would be done differently. That’s one of the reasons I have no problem with helping some of the younger generation by letting them use my shop. Pass on some of the “tricks” I have learned, some (many?) learned the hard way.

      That TR-7 project sounds REALLY interesting. Three engine types I have never played with are turbine, jet and rotary. Not that they aren’t interesting to me, just that I happen to like conventional ICE and to an extent compression ignition engines more. Sound has something to do with that I guess, any of the 3 mentioned have a high pitched “whine” and I prefer the “thump” of a diesel or ICE engine.

      And I won’t ask about your pool, as long as you don’t ask about the “science projects” I occasionally find in my fridge. 🙂


Comments are closed.