Goodbye Gale Sayers/Automotive Assortment

It is not my intent to disrespect the memory of Gale Sayers with today’s post title…I offer my sympathies to the family of Gale Sayers and to the Chicago Bears. The electrifying Hall of Fame running back–The Kansas Comet–died yesterday at the age of 77.

Sayers’ NFL career was cut very short by injury; he played in only 68 games. The impression he made on those who saw him play will last forever. At age 34, he was the youngest person ever elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He is also a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.

Gale Sayers was one of three first-round picks of the Bears in the 1965 NFL Draft, which was actually held in November, 1964. One of the others also achieved quite a bit on the football field; his name is Dick Butkus.

In my book about the greatest NFL teams of all time, I illustrated the extent to which football is a team game by pointing out the Bears’ relative lack of success even with two of the greatest players of all time on the team. From the beginning of the 1965 season through Game 9 of the 1968 season when Sayers suffered a devastating knee injury, the Bears’ record was just 26-22-3 and only 17-17-3 excluding 1965.

On a muddy field at Wrigley Field in Chicago in December of 1965, Sayers had one of the most remarkable games in NFL history. He scored a record-tying 6 touchdowns despite only touching the ball 16 times. Before you think this was a game where he just ran a few TDs in from the 1-yard line, three of the six TDs were on plays of 50 yards or more. Sayers scored on an 80-yard pass reception, a 50-yard run and an 85-yard punt return. He ran for 113 yards on just 9 carries. In all, Sayers gained 336 yards on those 16 touches. Remember that 1965 was his rookie season. I am loathe to offer a link to a minion of the Evil Empire, but here is a short video about Sayers’ 6 TD game.

I was going to recite a bunch of statistics in order to illustrate Sayers’ ability. I decided against going too far in that direction so as not to “break a butterfly upon a wheel” to quote Pope. Sayers’ friendship with his ill-fated teammate Brian Piccolo is well-known and speaks to the kind of person Sayers was.

From a site called Sports Retriever, a picture of Gale Sayers:


See the source image


From Auto Express of the UK a picture of the recently announced Nissan Z Proto, which is assumed to be very close to what the next Z car will look like.


See the source image


In terms of appearance, the car is part homage to the original 240Z and part “modern” Z as expressed by the 350 and 370. Here is another photo, from Nissan by way of CarFax:


Nissan Z Proto / Photo Credit: Nissan


Even though the car is likely to be called the 400Z, its engine is not likely to be 4 liters in displacement. The 240Z had a 2.4 liter engine, the 260Z had a 2.6 liter engine, the 280Z had a 2.8 liter engine, etc.

The powerplant for the 400Z is probably going to be a 3-liter, twin-turbo V-6 that will produce about 400 HP. Manual transmission devotees will be happy to learn the new Z car will offer both an automatic and a manual gearbox. In fact, it is possible the car will be introduced as a manual only with the automatic to follow a few months after introduction. The car is supposed to arrive sometime in 2022.

Nissan can point out that unlike the new Toyota Supra, the new Z car will be all Japanese. I like the looks of this car better than the 350 and 370, but wish the new Z car looked more like the 240, which I consider to be one of the great automotive designs of all time.


As sort of a Throwback Thursday I will note that the 1965 model year, corresponding to Gale Sayers’ rookie season, had some of my favorite cars. Corvette enthusiasts like the ’65 as the first year for the availability of a big block engine, the snarling solid-lifter 396, as well as the first year for disc brakes.

As regular Disaffected Musings readers know, the 1965 Buick Riviera is one of my four or five favorite cars ever. Hey, let’s show one.


See the source image


From Russo and Steele a picture of a ’65 Riv. The house in which we hope to live in the desert in the very near future does not have a large enough lot to park a car on the other side of an RV gate, which it also does not have. It is highly unlikely that the Grocery Car/Taxi/Corvette Companion will be a car of this vintage. Oh well…








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Go West, Old Man

None of this is a done deal, nothing is done until it is, but we have a tentative agreement to sell our house in the mid-Atlantic as well as a tentative agreement to buy a house in Arizona. It is extremely likely that we are going west.

Make no mistake, though, I am an old man. Yesterday I had an invasive diagnostic procedure. Ten years ago after the same procedure, the doctor declared the results to be “pristine” and told me I didn’t have to repeat the process for ten years. After yesterday’s “fun” the results were poor enough so that I have now been told I have to go again in just three years. Mindful that, once again, nothing is done until it is, here are my thoughts on the situation:



One of my best friends, Bob, would argue with my characterization of my life. I readily confess to having had mainly good fortune for the first 50 years of my life, but I would argue that I have been paying that back with interest for the last 10 years.


Contrary to what one might hear in “the media,” virtually everyone in Arizona wears a mask in public. I was pleasantly surprised by that reality.

Our house-hunting trip can only be described as a roller coaster, but that’s what you get when you try to find a house to buy in just three days. After day one of the search I was sure we were going to make an offer on a house in this area:



Late in that day, however, my wonderful wife declared that she just couldn’t live in that town. I told her that I thought her perceptions were based on what that area was like when she lived in Arizona from the mid-1980s through the mid-1990s. Nevertheless, she remained insistent that we were not going to live there. I absolutely did not want to make her uncomfortable and to force her to live somewhere in which she really did not want.

After the second day of the search we were prepared to make an offer on another house in a different area, but just before making the offer we learned the house already had at least one offer. The real estate market out there is like nothing I have ever seen. Our realtor (many thanks, K Squared!) told us she had one recent listing that had 35 showings and 5 offers IN FOUR DAYS! The house went under contract on Day 5 for $15,000 over list price. In the previous 30 days, 35% of the homes sold in the general area had sold for more than list.

At her suggestion we re-considered a house we had seen on Day One, an absolutely beautiful home that was more money than we wanted to spend and, even at that price, would have required some compromises on our part. When we let our realtor know we would look at the house again on Day 3, she told us it already had an offer. We decided to see it again, anyway, but I decided we better have a backup and began to look through the homes we had seen on Day One. At this point, though, I was convinced we were going to leave Arizona without having purchased a house.

The “over the money” house was, indeed, stunning on second look. Before we decided to make an offer, though, we went to look at the backup I had identified. Our recollection was that the backup house was tired and in need of much updating, but on second look it turned out that both my wonderful wife and I had sort of confused that house with another we had seen in the same neighborhood. Hey, when you see a double-digit number of homes in just a couple of days it is difficult to keep them straight.

Given the almost $200,000 difference in price, and given the less expensive home actually meets our needs better, we made a full-price offer on the “backup” and it was accepted. When we can close on our houses here and in Arizona is dependent on when repairs requested by “our” buyer can be completed. I am, as always, not optimistic about when that will happen and think a non-zero probability exists that the repairs could be sufficiently delayed so as to threaten the sale. IF everything goes according to plan, then we will be Arizona residents by Halloween.


See the source image


Why am I showing a photo of a Porsche Cayman (from Car Gurus)? You can simply not imagine how many Porsches we saw while in Arizona. At times, we literally saw three or four of them driving in adjacent lanes and/or behind one another.

In general, we saw more interesting cars in three days in Arizona than we would see in a year here in the mid-Atlantic. Ferrari, Bentley, Lamborghini, Jaguar…I saw more BMW Z4s in three days than in the 29 months I owned one here.

The car culture is one of the reasons I want to move. One of the car gatherings in our (hopefully) new stomping grounds, held once a week in more normal times, is the oldest such event in the country.

Wish us luck and send us good thoughts. As I have written before, good luck and I have been strangers for a long time.







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A Hiatus

As I have some important personal business to conduct, both individually and with my wonderful wife, after today I will not post for 7-10 days. Wish me/us luck as I/we will need more than our share. Good luck and I have been estranged for a long time.

Please don’t forget this blog; I will return, barring an unforeseen disaster. Here are the three most-read posts so far this year, not including the About page:


Where Is Cristy Lee?

Another Weird Dream…

Monday Mishegas


What is the life span of the average blog? Two blogs I followed regularly have either been discontinued or are not likely to be continued. According to some research, the average blog is “dead” after just 100 days.

Today is day number 979 for Disaffected Musings. I guess I should feel good about that, but people can keep writing a blog even if no one is reading. I am grateful for the boost in readership since April, even though I know much/most of it is due to bad circumstances beyond my control.


This recent article from Classic Cars is titled, “Dreaming of doing a restoration? Read this to avoid a nightmare.” I think the sub-title is quite funny, “Seriously, do not pass Go and do not collect $200 until you’ve considered the time and the cost and the labor involved.”

Here are the two key paragraphs in the piece, IMO:


“However, car restoration is not for the faint hearted and it is never — I repeat — never inexpensive. There are no bargains on restorations, only bad restorations or good restorations. There is also no such thing as a driver-level restoration. There is only one way to restore a car and that is completely. Any car that is described as partially restored is likely to have had a brake job and a fresh coat of paint, and not a bare metal respray just a scuff and a new paint finish over the old one. That is not a restoration.”

“Yes, there are a number of shops that will say you can restore your car inexpensively and will give you a quote for say $25,000. Do not believe what they tell you. If you go this route one of two things will happen, either you will get a bad quality job or you will have the shop owner calling you every few weeks to tell you that again your car’s restoration requires more money. This is what people in the industry call the elevator ride.”


The author advises people who want a driver quality car, and not a concours level automobile, to simply find such a car and buy it without attempting any major work.

I have often written that I do not want to own a de facto museum exhibit in the form of an automobile that is too nice to drive. While I would upgrade an older car with modern systems (such as Electronic Fuel Injection) where possible, I would not attempt a full-blown “restoration.” Even the resto-mod C2 Corvette I thought about having built would have been my daily driver, not that I drive much. (I’ve driven my Z06 about 3,700 miles in 18 months.)

On the other hand, I absolutely do not believe in being penny-wise and pound-foolish when it comes to cars or anything else. Cars need maintenance and maintenance usually costs money. Any used car we buy after (if?) we move will immediately go into a shop for service.

Speaking of my Z06, here’s a recent photo that I am 99% sure has not been displayed here before.



See you on the flip side, I hope. I would still welcome another guest post from a regular reader.








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Monday Musings 55

A very random post today…

Throwback Thursday 36, a post from February about the 1920 Presidential Election, has now received views every day for more than two weeks. On some days the number of views has been quite significant and the post has accounted for about 8 percent of all blog views since August 31, although that percentage has declined a bit in the last few days. Even though I have edited that post to include a question about how people are finding it, no one has responded.


Yesterday was, of course, the first Sunday of the 2020 NFL season. I hardly watched at all even though DirecTV is giving us Sunday Ticket for free this year. It figures that we would receive the NFL package for free this year as it is highly unlikely we will be living here for much of the NFL season and we are not going to continue to subscribe to DirecTV after we move. Since the company was purchased by AT&T, their customer service and the service itself have gone downhill.


Before the virus I estimated the probability of the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue being re-elected at 60%-65%. I now think that probability is no more than half of my original estimate. Since my first blog, hosted by the Evil Empire (aka Google), has been deleted forever I cannot prove what I am about to write. However, I wrote that the 2016 election was a tossup despite the assessment of virtually all “pundits.” I was not surprised at the outcome.


In this article, the results of a poll about a potential COVID-19 vaccine were shown. Frighteningly, in my opinion, only one-third of Americans would get vaccinated as soon as a vaccine is approved and about one-quarter would NEVER get vaccinated. The others say they would wait although what they would wait for is not clear. (Not surprisingly, people aged 74 or older were the group with the highest percentage of willingness to be vaccinated right away.) If three-quarters of the population gets vaccinated and the vaccine is 60% effective, the virus would continue to circulate in the population although at reduced levels compared to the current situation.

The state in which we still live is among about a dozen with a recent increase in the number of reported cases. It is in the state’s southern most and most rural county in which the number of cases has been the highest per capita. However, a recent cluster of cases has been reported at the state’s fairly large university, which is not far from where we live. This CNBC article reports that at the University of Tennessee and the University of Wisconsin, secret fraternity parties seemed to be at fault for outbreaks at those two institutions. Is this equation correct? Young In America = Stupid In America  An ignorant, excessively hedonistic youth does not bode well for the future of this country. In a world where competition comes from everywhere, the fact that this is the United States no longer insulates the country from the manifestations of a generation that is, for the most part, not meaningfully educated.

“We’re churning out a generation of poorly educated people with no skill, no ambition, no guidance, and no realistic expectations of what it means to go to work.”

– Mike Rowe


This Hemmings article asks, “For similar money, is the Corvette for you a C3, C4, or C5?” At first I pasted in the image from the article. Then, the picture disappeared. The new WordPress block editor is most decidedly user-hostile so my attempt to replace those pictures may not succeed.


See the source image

See the source image

See the source image


The article states that C1 and C2 Corvettes are now “blue-chip collectibles” with high price tags and that C6 and C7 cars are “just” used cars riding down the depreciation curve. That’s why the focus was on C3, C4 and C5 Corvettes.

Some commenters expressed a preference for the “pre-computer” C3 saying the further we go out in time, the easier it would be to get that generation serviced or work on it yourself. I understand the sentiment, but given how many Corvettes have been built I suspect aftermarket parts will be available for a long time.

I have owned a C5, a 2002 model, and it was my “gateway” car to being a Corvette fanatic. I suspect it’s way ahead of the C3 and C4 in terms of drivability and reliability. In recent years, though, I have come to like the looks of the C4 better. A later C4, at least no older than 1992 and preferably one from 1995 or 1996, might be a nice way into the Corvette market.

Does anyone have an opinion on which Corvette they would buy given a choice of these generations? We would like to read your views.










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Maserati Sunday

Yesterday I mentioned that Maserati is bringing back the GranTurismo and has shown a new car, the MC20. From this article, a teaser of the new GranTurismo.



The most recent version of the two-door GranTurismo has been out of production since last year after a long run that began in 2007. Unfortunately, it’s doubtful the new version will have a V-8 although Maserati’s V-6 is a nice powerplant. Oh, the new GranTurismo will also be available in an all-electric version, supposedly as early as 2022. What do you think of an electric Maserati? From Top Speed, a picture of the now defunct GranTurismo:


See the source image


Regular readers know that the earliest versions of this car, say from 2007 to 2010, were under consideration to be purchased after (if?) we move to the desert. (Don’t get me started on the difficulties of selling a house and the ineptitude of some in the real estate business. I am not referring to our realtor.) I would still like to buy one, but mindful of the axiom “Happy Wife, Happy Life” I seriously doubt that will happen.

I have decided, however, that IF we buy a four-door car, it will have to be a Quattroporte. We will just have to buy one a little older than we previously considered. From Maserati’s website, a picture of a Quattroporte:


See the source image


“Older” versions, say from 2005 to 2007, can be purchased in the $15,000 range, give or take a couple of thousand. In all honesty, my original plan for another car had a “price tag” of about $15,000.

From this article in Forbes pictures of the new Maserati model, the MC20:


Maserati MC20

Maserati M60 cockpit

maserati mc20


I think the fact that the MC20 will be powered by a Maserati-built engine is great news. Maseratis have had Ferrari-built engines for more than 20 years. The MC20 will feature the Nettuno (Neptune, in Italian), a 3-liter, twin-turbo V-6 that produces…621 horsepower. The car should be able to accelerate from 0-60 MPH in 2.9 seconds with a top speed of 202 MPH.

The MC20 will be available in the US, but probably not for at least a year. How much? The base MSRP is supposed to be around $210,000, which is actually not a high price for a car of this idiom.

I have been a Maserati fan for a long time. That affinity began with “pictures” like this:



This rendering of a Maserati 5000 GTI is from The Golden Guide To Sports Cars, first published in 1966 and first purchased by me in 1968 or 1969 through a program sponsored by my elementary school. This copy of the book is one I bought far more recently, but remnants of my original version are still in my possession. This shirt that I have had for at least 15 years is also still in my possession.



The Ferrari/Maserati dealer in Plano, Texas, where we used to live, gave me that shirt. My wonderful wife and I visited that dealership quite often. We test-drove a Maserati spider (convertible) on one occasion and after that test drive is when I may have been given the shirt.

OK, you are probably suffering from Maserati overload. It is not possible for me to do so, however.









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Random Musings

Please check out some or all of the following posts by Colin Windell in Colin on Cars:

Changing Laws Will Be Meaningless

Ghost With A Body

Oldies Come Out To Play

Big Data Getting Bigger


I guess some cars are just deeply rooted in my brain, or what’s left of my brain. One of those is pictured below:



Yes, a picture of a Cadillac Allante. I am not so bad a photographer that I forgot to put more of the rear in the picture; I didn’t want to show the license plate.

My wonderful wife and I were in her beautiful 2018 Corvette convertible and just happened to see this car at a gas station. Here is another picture:



That’s the Pininfarina badge from just above the rocker panel. Pininfarina was Ferrari’s “coachbuilder” from the 1950s through 2017. I guess that provenance didn’t/doesn’t resonate with American car buyers. Pininfarina designed and built the Allante body.

As recounted in this blog before, the Allante was a bust. Cadillac/General Motors had hoped for annual production of 6,000-7,000 units per year. Whether or not that was a realistic goal, the Allante never came close to those expectations with total production of 21,430 cars in seven model years from 1987 to 1993. As quoted here, the late John Grettenberger, former Cadillac General Manager, offered reasons the Allante failed:


“We probably brought that car out a little quicker than we should have. The quality wasn’t at the level that Cadillac was historically known for. It was underpowered at the start…It wasn’t fast enough off the line and it didn’t have the top-end speed that we’d like. And it didn’t have an automatic top. Those that were designed by Pininfarina failed every durability test we put them through and it was too late in the program to bring that design responsibility back into Cadillac engineering. The car never did get an automatic top, which I think hurt it.”


From this article about the Allanté by Eric Peters:


“Then came 1993 and the major updates which might have saved the car – had they been effected back in 1987 or ’88. Chief among these was the installation of an all-new powerplant that was, at last, up to the car’s potential and promise. This was Cadillac’s excellent 4.6 liter/279 cubic inch DOHC Northstar V-8, rated at 295 hp. The addition of nearly 100 hp transformed the Allante into the exotic GT it might have been at the get-go. Zero to 60 times dropped by more than two full seconds to just over six seconds – while top speed climbed to nearly 150 mph.  A revised suspension with speed sensitive steering, auto-adjusting road sensing ride control and upgraded brakes rounded out what had, at the 11th hour, finally become an impressive package. So impressive, in fact, that a mechanically stock 1993 Allante was able to serve as Pace Car for the Indy 500 race that year – with only the addition of track-required safety equipment differentiating it from a standard model. There was also a new power-assisted optional hardtop [my note: this somewhat contradicts Grettenberger], one-piece side windows and a new Delco-Bose premium audio system with high-frequency speakers. Most of the hideous quality control problems had been fixed, too.”

“But though it wasn’t too little – it was definitely too late. GM had already decided to euthanize the Allante. Even though sales of the ’93 model were by far the best to date – 4,670 were sold, despite a base price that had by then climbed to $61,675 – there would be no more Allantes after this final hurrah.”


With the hardtop in place I think the Allante is simply one of the best-looking cars ever made. One never fails to stop me in my tracks; I made my wonderful wife turn around so I could see the one pictured here up close.

It’s not a practical car and it’s not a performance monster, but I would love to have one.


I was going to write about Maserati bringing back the GranTurismo and showing a new car, the MC20, but that can wait for another day.







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Frugal Friday And Far More Significant Things

I suspect all of you remember where you were and what you were doing on this day in 2001. To me, the terrorist attacks are yet another example of the horrific evil that has existed since the beginning of mankind. As a child of Holocaust survivors, my life has been shaped by the profound knowledge that human beings are capable of actions most vile.


In 2002 a poll of TV Guide readers named Diana Rigg the “sexiest TV star of all time.” I’m not going to argue.

Of course, the RADA-trained actress with deep Shakespearean roots would probably like to have been known for work other than playing Emma Peel for 51 episodes of The Avengers. In this interview in The Guardian from last year, Rigg was quoted as saying, “Becoming a sex symbol overnight [in The Avengers] shocked me. I didn’t know how to handle it and I kept all the unopened fan mail in the boot of my car because I didn’t know how to respond and thought it was rude to throw it away.” She won a Tony, an Emmy and a BAFTA during her career.

Sadly, Rigg died of cancer yesterday at the age of 82. From CBS News a picture of the awesome Diana Rigg:



Yes, another last generation Cadillac Eldorado for Frugal Friday. From a picture of a 2000 Eldo in Sterling; this is not the car currently available on AutoTrader. As I wrote here, I am going to use more generic photos in an effort to keep the picture links from breaking. The AutoTrader car is in Sterling over Pewter, has about 61,000 miles and an asking price of $3,991.


See the source image


The AutoTrader car does not have the rear spoiler; I don’t like the rear spoiler on this car, anyway. As we (hopefully) get closer to our move to the desert, my mind is once again focusing on the search for a Grocery Car/Taxi/Corvette Companion. Anyway…four grand for a car like this seems like a steal to me, regardless of any Kelley Blue Book® value. Even if it needs a thousand in work after purchase it’s still a bargain.

OK, another Frugal Friday car…


See the source image


From (Duh…) a picture of a 2001 Ford Mustang convertible in Performance Red. The AutoTrader car is also in that color, has about 64,000 miles and an asking price of $9,995. For 2001, the GT-spec engine was a 4.6 liter/281 cubic-inch V-8 that produced 260 HP/302 LB-FT of torque. The AutoTrader car has an automatic transmission.

David Banner (not his real name) suggested this feature and I am grateful. Frugal Friday has now appeared on Disaffected Musings for more than a year and a half. (Where did that time go?!)

Regular readers have commented that they like Frugal Friday so it will remain a regular part of this blog, although it won’t be shown every Friday. I mean, how many last-generation Cadillac Eldorados do you want to see? 🙂










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Throwback Thursday 42

Didn’t I just write a Throwback Thursday a couple of days ago?! Talk about time compression due to aging…


On this day in 1965 the following single was #1 on the US Billboard Top 40/Hot 100 chart (picture from eCRATER, an online record sale site):


See the source image


Of course, the song was written in conjunction with the movie of the same name, which was released the same year. The film premiered in New York, its US premiere, in late August about a month after its British premiere. Does anyone really care about the “plot” of the movie? Me, neither.

“Help!” was the Beatles’ 9th song to reach the top of the charts in the US. Their first Number One tune, “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” topped the charts in February-March of 1964. Those nine songs were Number One for a collective 25 weeks, or about 30 percent of the time between “I Want to Hold Your Hand” ascending to the top spot and the last week “Help!” was Number One. One group held the Number One position on the US charts for 30 percent of a period of more than a year and a half. Eventually, the Beatles would have 20 songs reach the top of the Billboard charts.

Lest you think I am a big Beatles fan, I am not. For my demographic, I am almost certainly in the bottom five or ten percent in Beatles’ fandom. However, I fully appreciate their impact on music. I also don’t dislike their music, but I don’t own any nor do I stream any. If a Beatles’ song is played while I/we are listening to the Sirius/XM Sixties Channel I/we don’t change the channel, though.

Are any Beatles fans reading this post?






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An 8-Car Garage

“Don’t count your chickens until they’re hatched.” My version of that axiom is not to count your chickens until they’re fried and on your plate.

Although we have not yet sold our house, at least not technically, I have been looking at desert properties for ages. Maybe I should be heeding my own axiom, but we don’t want to be totally unprepared for the day when our house is really sold and we need to find another one.

If you read the comments for yesterday’s post, and you should have, you would know that Dirty Dingus McGee, Philip Maynard and I exchanged our thoughts about the “ideal” situation for a car lover. Philip wrote an hysterical comment, “You all are pikers. I would NEED a Home Depot Warehouse store size garage including a shop to maintain/build the car collection.”

This picture comes from the listing for an available house in the desert. It is not in my desired area in terms of location and elevation, the house has a septic tank (the thought of living in a home that has a metal box in the backyard filled with human waste is anathema to me), and the asking price is really more than we should spend. So, why am I mentioning it? It has garage space for eight cars!



I think the building in the lower left of the photo is a detached, 60-foot long, 5-car garage and the property also has a 3-car attached garage. Oh, the house is much older than we would like to buy AND shows little evidence of upgrades that might “force” us to consider a house of that age. Also, the price would leave me/us no money to fill an 8-car garage. Still, it’s nice to dream.


On this day in 1954 production of the original Ford Thunderbird began. The car was developed rapidly in response to the introduction of the Corvette, going from “idea to prototype in about a year.” [Wikipedia]

It is well known that even though the Thunderbird was “inspired” by the Corvette, Ford marketed the car as a “personal vehicle.” In that idiom, the Muntz Jet was also inspiration. Today, personal luxury vehicles are SUVs, which is a very sad turn of events in my opinion.

The first-generation T-Bird was produced for model years 1955 through 1957. It is true that no comparison existed between the sales figures for the T-Bird and the Corvette in those three years. Ford produced 53,166 Thunderbirds in 1955-57 while Chevrolet produced 10,506 Corvettes. From Hemmings a picture of a ’55 T-Bird:


See the source image


Yes, the removable hardtop is correct in that it has no portholes. Those tops were not introduced en masse until 1956.

Of course, the two-seat T-Bird would go away for more than four decades with the introduction of the “Square Bird” Thunderbird in 1958. Most car enthusiasts know that sales skyrocketed, as Ford produced 196,191 Thunderbirds in the second generation from 1958 through 1960. However, while some current enthusiasts like all things Thunderbird, most prefer the original two-seater “Baby Birds.” Personally, just in terms of looks I much prefer the first generation and among those cars I prefer the ’55 model.

The Thunderbird model is no more, having last been produced in 2005, the final year of the “retro” 11th generation Thunderbirds. I think Ford should bring the name back as an electric sports or sports/luxury car, but little evidence exists that Ford knows what it’s doing at present. It is simply riding the wave of the long success of its F-150 pickup trucks and the Mustang. The company’s recent ouster of CEO Jim Hackett, who only had three years at the helm, is a sign the board knows something is amiss. Alan Mulally, who successfully led Ford through some difficult times including the “Great Recession,” was CEO for almost eight years. (Hackett actually succeeded Mark Fields, who succeeded Mulally.)

As always, I welcome thoughtful comments about Ford, the Thunderbird, or almost any topic under the sun. See, a desert reference.

Stay safe and be well.







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In Or Out? 12

First…my sympathies to Lou Brock’s family and to the St. Louis Cardinals. I tried to find a picture of Lou Brock’s 1974 APBA card. (That year he set a major league record, since broken, for the number of stolen bases in a season. Brock also used to hold the record for most stolen bases in a career and amassed more than 3,000 hits.) How many of you have heard of APBA or Strat-O-Matic? Here is a picture of an APBA card:

See the source image

This is the APBA representation of George Sisler’s 1922 season. He had a .420 batting average that season. Yes, .420. We have all learned that batting average is not the most important offensive statistic for a player, but that still sounds good to me. Yes, Sisler’s numbers were aided by playing in a home park very favorable for hitters. I believe his batting average at home that year was .473.

Anyway, back to Lou Brock…I remember that his was the first 1974 APBA card I looked at after receiving the set in the mail. Receiving the APBA cards, and later the Strat-O-Matic cards, was one of the highlights of the year for me. I even used to dream of the UPS truck driving down my street to deliver the Strat-O-Matic set.

In college I met another APBA fanatic, Art. One year we didn’t want to wait to receive the cards in the mail so we drove to the APBA headquarters to pick up the cards.

From Sports Illustrated a picture of Lou Brock:

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“And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”

– John Donne


I thought I would go back in time for the latest edition of In Or Out?

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From a picture of a 1934 Packard Twelve Convertible Victoria bodied by Dietrich. As I have written more than once before, ten years ago I had little or no interest in cars of this vintage. I am now very fond of many of these “prewar” cars.

The 1934 Packard Twelve was Model 1108 in the company nomenclature. Despite offering dozens of different model variants that year, total Packard production was just 8,000 units, of which only 960 were Model 1108. Of course, 1934 was in the middle of the Great Depression. In December of that year the unemployment rate was still almost 22 percent.

The Packard V-12 was an “old-fashioned” undersquare (bore < stroke) engine of 445 cubic inches in displacement and producing 160 HP. Despite looking in several sources I could not find a torque rating.

All right, folks…1934 Packard Twelve Convertible Victoria bodied by Dietrich. In Or Out?







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