A Story and a Studebaker

On this date in 1975 the Baltimore Colts defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 28-14. Why am I mentioning this? I had access to Colts season tickets in 1974 and 1975. My father bought them from one of his customers who, after 15 seasons of excellence from 1957-1971, had grown disgusted with the Colts after Bob The Red-Faced Owner purchased them in 1972 and the team had poor seasons in 1972 and 1973. Technically, though, the tickets were still his.

The Colts had another poor season in 1974 and began the 1975 season with a 1-4 record. That one win, by the way, was in the first week of the season against the Chicago Bears. Making his NFL debut for the Bears that day was someone you might have heard of: Walter Payton. How’d he do? He carried the ball eight times for zero yards.

Anyway…by this point in the season the Colts had jelled into a good team. They had won five consecutive games going into the Kansas City contest. As I always did, I attended the game with my friend Jeff. By this time, he was old enough to drive (I wasn’t) and he drove us to the game in exchange for a ticket, technically. His father, who owned and ran a deli, provided lunch as always. According to Pro Football Reference the game-time temperature was 49°. I forgot my coat…I do remember being very cold and I remember the excitement when the Colts’ fine running back Lydell Mitchell broke loose for a 70-yard touchdown run. He was a very good player, but was not the fastest back in the NFL.

The next morning as I woke for school I didn’t feel right. I was light-headed, had little appetite and even felt a little dizzy. Nevertheless, I attended school on that Monday. However, between the next-to-last and last class periods of the day I became violently ill including spiking a fever. I must have been some sight as I walked into 7th-period Spanish class because the teacher said to me that I looked awful and she offered me the chance to go home. I replied that since it was already the last period I would just wait until the end of the day. I didn’t attend school the rest of the week as I was quite sick.

I am no doctor—I don’t even play one on TV—but I have read in multiple places that if the human body has to work harder than usual to maintain normal body temperature (the curse of being a warm-blooded animal), then the immune system is compromised. I guess I didn’t necessarily catch whatever made me sick at the game, but I have no doubt that being outside without a coat for three-plus hours was the catalyst for my becoming ill.

Postscript: the Colts won their final nine games of the 1975 season to finish at 10-4 and claim their first of three consecutive AFC East titles. After those three seasons the team was never good again for the rest of their tenure in Baltimore. QB Bert Jones’ injuries and diminished effectiveness (he was NFL MVP in 1976 before the injuries) as well as the trading of star players who held out because Bob The Red-Faced Owner refused to pay them market salaries contributed to six consecutive losing seasons including a 2-22-1 record in 1981 and 1982 combined.

My father’s customer refused to sell him his season tickets after 1975 because the Colts were, once again, a good team. By the time the team faltered I was in college and attending the games would not have been convenient.

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The post title is not “A Story About A Studebaker”…As is my wont I have been thinking about the debate as to whether or not the 1950 Studebakers sold well because of the Bullet Nose design or in spite of the design. Those who think the latter claim that Studebaker sales reached their all-time high in 1950 because of the postwar sellers market. Well, here is a chart that I believe answers the question:

 

YEAR STUDEBAKER TOTAL US PROD STUDEBAKER PCT
1947 161,498 3,363,234 4.8%
1948 186,526 3,414,745 5.5%
1949 129,303 5,243,764 2.5%
1950 344,164 6,526,809 5.3%
1951 268,559 5,652,414 4.8%
1952 186,219 4,652,275 4.0%
1953 169,599 6,523,270 2.6%
1954 81,939 5,815,945 1.4%
1955 133,827 8,338,302 1.6%
1956 85,401 6,203,027 1.4%
1957 74,738 6,483,339 1.2%
1958 53,830 4,567,518 1.2%
1959 138,866 5,929,252 2.3%
1960 132,220 7,055,293 1.9%
1961 70,560 5,249,449 1.3%
1962 102,387 6,677,870 1.5%
1963 83,846 7,395,631 1.1%

 

As Studebaker’s market share more than doubled from 1949 to 1950 and remained at four percent or better through 1952 I would have to conclude that, as idiosyncratic as the design was, the Bullet Nose helped Studebaker sell more cars apart from any change in market conditions. One can also see that despite the “Lark respite” of 1959, once Studebaker share fell below two percent it almost certainly could have never recovered. The Studebaker production figures are for model year and are from Studebaker 1946-1966, The Classic Postwar Years by Richard Langworth compiled by Fred Fox, among others. The industry figures are from the Wikipedia article on annual US auto production. It really doesn’t matter if Studebaker’s market share was 5.3% or 5.5% in 1950, the point is that 1950 market share was much higher than for 1949 and that coincides with the introduction of the Bullet Nose.

 

See the source image

 

From Fine Art America is what I guess is a rendering of a 1950 Studebaker Champion Regal DeLuxe coupe. Frankly, I am not really a fan of this design, but I understand the significance of it.

 

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Happy Thanksgiving and a Happy Anniversary

I wish everyone (well, maybe not everyone) a Happy Thanksgiving. Tomorrow will also be a day for which I am especially thankful as it will be the 22nd anniversary of the day I met the wonderful woman who has been my wonderful wife for more than 20 years. V Squared, I LOVE YOU!!!

Here is a picture that brings a smile to my face and, hopefully, to yours:

 

 

Of course, this is a picture of my 2016 Corvette Z06. Today is eight months (!) that the car was delivered. I wish I had driven it more than the 2,200-ish miles it has accumulated under my right foot. Oh well, there’s always next spring…

I probably will not post again until Saturday. Please have a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving.

 

#HappyThanksgiving

#ILoveMyWonderfulWife

#somanycarsjustonelife

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C8 Update

Four days ago I wrote this: “I think that for the 70th anniversary of the Corvette in 2023 Chevrolet/GM will introduce a hypercar version of the Corvette. The car will have a twin-turbo V-8 engine, possibly with a flat-plane crankshaft, augmented by electric motors in the manner of the Ferrari LaFerrari or McLaren P1. This car will have 1,000+ HP and will probably be called the Zora in honor of Arkus-Duntov.” Well…it appears I was a bit off. This post from yesterday reports that the C8 Corvette ZR1 will be the twin-turbo V-8, flat-plane crank engine with electric motors, output will “only” be about 900 HP BUT the car might have all-wheel drive! Oh, it should be available sooner than 2023.

From the carbonhans.blog article a picture of Motor Trend’s “guess” as to the looks of a C8 upgrade from the base model:

 

 

As I have written I am not a fan of wings on cars and that rear diffuser is very obtrusive. Still, all of these rumors and speculation about very high-performance C8 Corvette variants is a sign that, at least for now, Chevrolet/GM are all in on the C8.

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The first time the Ravens won the Super Bowl I made so much noise that our neighbors thought I was abusing my wonderful wife. Oh, we lived in a single-family, detached house.

So, what did I think of last night’s Ravens’ 45-6 rout of the Rams? I didn’t watch. I was asleep by 8:45 and didn’t record the game.

I don’t wish the Ravens ill, but I am not particularly interested in sports, anymore. I do not want to live vicariously and be so invested in the outcome of events in which I do not participate. Someday, I might be able to buy a C8 ZR1 and drive it, but I will never work for a pro sports team again. Call it sour grapes if you wish, but to quote Shakespeare once more, “If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that.”

 

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#Don’tLiveVicariously

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Monday Monday

Monday Monday, can’t trust that day…of course those are a small part of the lyrics from the song by The Mamas and The Papas. As a retired person Monday doesn’t really have significance for me, but for my wonderful wife it is still her least favorite day of the week. Fortunately, except for when she is out of town on business (which is not more than about 8-10 weeks a year), she works from home.

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I had a weird dream last night/this morning. (Yes, once again, it’s OK to think “consider the source.”) I dreamt I looked out the window and everything, except the road and sidewalk, was painted red, and I mean a vibrant red. I don’t think I was home, but perhaps in a hotel out of town. I didn’t want to wake my wonderful wife so I just stared out the window. I have read that men don’t dream in color, but I do, obviously. I wish my friend Richard Segal were still alive because he was good at interpreting dreams, even mine. Of course, I wish he were still alive, period.

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For much of yesterday Most Valuable Packard and Most Valuable Studebaker were neck and neck for number of views, but the Packard post pulled away, which is not surprising because it was the more recent post. Internet “attention spans” are frighteningly short.

Thanks again to 56packardman for putting the link to both posts on the appropriate forums. Yesterday’s number of views was even higher than Saturday’s for the best two-day total since Bill James tweeted the main link to Disaffected Musings in early April. Thanks for reading, but please keep reading and please tell your friends about this blog.

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Does anyone reading this really want me to chime in on the impeachment hearings? All I’ll write is that I think it is highly unlikely that a Senate with a Republican majority will cast 67 votes to end the President’s tenure. As Ambrose Bierce wrote many years ago, “Politics is a strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles, public affairs conducted for private advantage.”

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Did any of you notice that neither Throwback Thursday nor Frugal Friday appeared last week? In an effort to shake up the blog I have decided that those features will no longer appear every week. Once again, I welcome suggestions and comments from any and all readers, as long as they are not profane or mean-spirited.

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This recent Hemmings article is about the first AMX/3 and the fact that it is, finally, about to undergo a restoration. As the sub-head for this Motor Trend article stated, “AMC’s supercar is a mesmerizing example of shoulda’, woulda’, coulda’–and nearly did.”

 

See the source image

 

From Keith Martin’s Sports Car Market a picture of the exceedingly rare AMC AMX/3. From the Motor Trend piece: “No doubt about it: The AMX/3 stands as the undisputed magnum opus of Dick Teague’s distinguished, near-40-year career in automotive design…the AMX/3 was an Italo-American hybrid. Giotto Bizzarrini sheparded the chassis development work and the construction of the first six prototypes in Turin. Having been involved in numerous Ferrari and Iso designs, not to mention cars he built and sold under his own name, Bizzarrini certainly qualified for the job.”

However, the AMX/3 was powered by AMC’s 390 cubic-inch V8 that generated 340 HP and a stout 430 LB-FT of torque. Of course, it was Teague and his team who drew the swoopy, voluptuous body. Once again, from Motor Trend:

 

“Numerous factors conspired to keep the AMX/3 from making it to AMC showrooms. A massive union strike brought the company to its financial knees and rendered several special projects–like a low-volume supercar–irrelevant. And further number crunching revealed AMC would have to charge at least $12,000 for the car–about 20 percent more than Ford was asking for the De Tomaso [Pantera].”

“Teague told Bob Stevens in an interview for Muscle Cars of the ’60s and ’70s, that ‘…the program was done on a shoestring, and we were on the verge of entering a new era. The musclecar period was ending, and industry priorities were starting to change.’ Safety bumpers, catalytic converters, fuel economy, emissions, gas-shortage hoaxes–you know the rest.”

 

For the nth plus nth time I will offer that fewer companies building cars means fewer sources for innovation in styling and in engineering, even in the face of strict government regulation. More competition is almost always better for consumers, a lesson lost on so many in government.

 

#MondayMonday

#AmbroseBierce

#AMX/3

#somanycarsjustonelife

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Most Valuable Packard

First, some thoughts on an unrelated topic. It is obvious to me that the College Football Playoff (CFP) should consist of eight teams, not just four. These eight teams should be the champions of the Power Five conferences and three at-large teams. In that way, the CFP committee would only have to choose three teams (instead of the current four) and seed the field.

If so desired, the current bowl games could be integrated into the seven playoff games. For example, only the four major bowl games (Rose, Sugar, Orange, and Fiesta) could host the national championship game. Maybe they would be the only bowls that could host the national semi-finals as well.

I also believe that WAY too many bowl games are staged. A 6-6 team should not be in a bowl. I think that, besides the obsessive search for revenue, bowls for 6-6 teams reflect a disturbing, yet growing, trend in America: rewarding mediocrity. I would limit the number of non-playoff bowls to eight. In that way, the best 24 teams are playing after the regular season ends, reflecting the top 25 polls conducted during the season.

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Second, many thanks once again to 56packardman for persevering through some technical issues with the Studebaker Drivers Club (SDC) website and posting the link to yesterday’s Disaffected Musings post. Thanks to the SDC readers (and those mentioned in the next paragraph) for voraciously clicking and reading, which led to the highest number of views in at least two months.

I also want to thank those clicking from Driven To Write after I posted the main link to this blog in a comment. To all of those who read this blog yesterday and/or are reading this today, please consider signing up to follow the blog or saving the link as a bookmark or telling your friends about the site or posting thoughtful comments OR all of the above.

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Once again, from 2019 Collector Car Price Guide by Krause Publications I scanned the values for all Packards to find the most valuable one. Once again, while I appreciate the effort needed to compile such a book (I don’t know where else one could look up the value for a 1906 Locomobile), I take the values with a grain of salt. However, this is the only source I know where all of these values are in one place.

One disclosure: one value seemed anomalous to me (the value for a 1933 Model 1006 Custom Twelve family sedan bodied by Dietrich), so I chose not to name it as the most valuable Packard. Instead, this magnificent car gets the nod:

 

See the source image

 

From the valuable source of car photos, en.wheelsage.org, a picture of a 1934 Packard Twelve Model 1108 coupe bodied by Dietrich. According to the 2019 Krause book one of these in concours-quality condition is worth…$4,180,000. I suspect that given the rarity of these cars (only five are known to exist) Krause used the result of an auction held by RM Sotheby’s in 2015 to establish the value. That car sold, all in, for…wait for it…$4,180,000.

56packardman, and others, can tell me if I am wrong to dismiss the 1933 Model 1006 Custom Twelve family sedan bodied by Dietrich. I can’t imagine that car looks as good as this one, though.

 

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Most Valuable Studebaker

First, a picture of Saturn for Saturday:

 

 

Second, while it is true that a 1931 Studebaker Special Indy car sold for more than $1.1 million, all in, at the Gooding auction in Pebble Beach this past August, that car is not what I have in mind for “Most Valuable Studebaker.” Using the 2019 Collector Car Price Guide by Krause Publications, I scanned all Studebaker values to see which car had the highest. Caveat: while I appreciate the effort needed to compile such a book (I don’t know where else one could look up the value for a 1909 Hupmobile), I take the values with a grain of salt. However, this is the only source I know where all of these values are in one place.

Without further ado:

 

See the source image

 

From en.wheelsage.org a picture of a 1934 Studebaker Dictator 2-Door Roadster. I must confess that the pictured car is supposed to be a Regal Special A model, which technically is not exactly the car with the highest value according to Krause Publications. However, I suspect this is as close as I will be able to find in a quick search of the Internet. The 1934 Studebaker Dictator (yes, quite the unfortunate name, especially for the time in history) 2-Door Roadster had the highest value I found in the book for any Studebaker, with a concours-quality example having a stated value of $80,000.

I can’t even begin to count how many different models Studebaker offered for 1934, especially when considering the “Year Ahead” series that debuted in July, 1934. I also would not be surprised if the rarer President series were actually more valuable today, although not according to the Krause book.

Studebaker produced 59,864 cars for model year 1934. Remember that the company was forced into receivership the year before and that Studebaker President Albert Erskine had committed suicide in 1933. The fact that Studebaker was manufacturing cars as a functioning company was quite a feat, particularly since the US (and the rest of the world) was hardly back to a pre-Depression economy. Anyway…about 77% of Studebakers for 1934 were from the Dictator series, about 17% were Commanders and the rest were Presidents. The car the Krause book has as the highest valued Studebaker sold for $790; the least expensive President sold for $1,170.

Initially, the Rockne series (yes, named after the legendary football coach Knute Rockne, who was affiliated with Studebaker) was going to be continued for model year 1934. In July, 1933, though, the decision was made to drop the Rockne line in favor of a revived Dictator series. The model year 1934 Studebakers were entirely new; once again, no small accomplishment given the context.

OK, you Studebaker fans, what do you think? I welcome your comments.

 

#MostValuableStudebaker

#1934StudebakerDictatorRoadster

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What Do You Remember?

Of course, it was on this day in 1963 that President John Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. Although I was quite young, not even old enough to attend kindergarten, I remember the day.

I was with my mother while she was watching television, one of her soap operas, when she started screaming. I looked at the TV and heard the news that the President had been shot. She calmed down after a few seconds, but when the news broke later that he died (I can’t remember the exact interval, but think it was a half-hour) she screamed again. Obviously, I can’t blame her.

I also remember watching Lee Harvey Oswald being shot on TV two days later. Although I think interest in the Kennedy assassination has waned a bit in the past few years, it spawned quite a cottage industry in books and movies about various assassination theories and conspiracies. So, what do I think? Well, read Mortal Error by Bonar Menninger, which is based on the work of Howard Donahue who was a Baltimore ballistics expert. I can’t really summarize the book in a couple of sentences, but in my opinion, while Oswald did fire shots at President Kennedy, the President died as a result of an accident when a Secret Service agent (whom I shall not name, but whose identity is “known”) grabbed a weapon upon hearing the first shot. The weapon accidentally fired and that bullet killed Kennedy. The subsequent cover-up of events was executed so the Secret Service, in a position to cover up the facts, would not be the subject of intense scrutiny and, possibly, be dismantled.

By the way, I first became aware of this theory in Bill James’ excellent book, Popular Crime, which was published in 2011. In my copy the Kennedy assassination is discussed on pages 253-265. As Bill writes, Menninger’s book is “stupefyingly dense…and for that reason has little power to persuade.”

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So, is it disrespectful to note that on this day in 1893 legendary automobile designer Harley Earl was born? Although Zora Arkus-Duntov is called “The Father Of The Corvette” it was Earl who really “invented” the Vette. His inspiration came from seeing a large number of foreign sports cars parked along the parade route at Watkins Glen, New York in 1951 before a race. When he returned to Detroit after the race, Earl began to talk to his designers about a sports car for General Motors. The project, code-named “Opel” or the EX-122, became the Corvette.

 

See the source image

 

From classiccars.com a picture of a 1953 Chevrolet Corvette in Polo White over Red, as were all 300 ’53 Vettes.

Harley Earl began working for GM in 1927 and eventually became the first Vice-President at a major automobile company whose background was in styling. GM was the first car company to have a department devoted to styling. At the beginning of the auto industry, the looks of a car were secondary to the engineering. Earl, with the blessing of GM President/CEO/Chairman of the Board Alfred Sloan, changed that dynamic.

Wandering a bit…I think that for the 70th anniversary of the Corvette in 2023 Chevrolet/GM will introduce a hypercar version of the Corvette. The car will have a twin-turbo V-8 engine, possibly with a flat-plane crankshaft, augmented by electric motors in the manner of the Ferrari LaFerrari or McLaren P1. This car will have 1,000+ HP and will probably be called the Zora in honor of Arkus-Duntov. It’s too bad that Chevrolet/GM can’t recognize Harley Earl in some way in conjunction with the Corvette, besides having his picture in the Skydome at the National Corvette Museum. Yes, Earl is in the Corvette “Hall of Fame,” but I think more should be done.

 

#WhatDoYouRemember?

#MortalError

#HarleyEarl

#1953ChevroletCorvette

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Is It Mud Or Quicksand?

For the second time in a month I was informed that my primary email address has been compromised including the exposure of the account password. Not that authorities could ever find the culprit(s), but how about cutting off the hands of people who do such things? You think I’m kidding?

Anyway, these incidents are just more straws in the basket on the camel’s back. I’m not sure if I’m in mud or quicksand.

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On this day in 1920 all-time baseball great Stan Musial was born in Donora, Pennsylvania.

On this day in 1969 all-time baseball great Ken Griffey, Jr. was born in Donora, Pennsylvania. (Happy 50th!)

OK, so it’s just a coincidence, but it’s still weird. In 1920, Donora had a population of about 14,000; in 1970 its population was about 9,000. It also makes me feel VERY old that Ken Griffey, Jr. has turned 50. I was working for the Orioles when Griffey debuted for the Mariners on Opening Day, 1989 as a teenager with just 17 games above Class A. Sometimes a much-heralded prospect lives up to the hype.

Griffey was the first player selected in baseball’s draft of amateur players in 1987. The second player selected was Mark Merchant. He was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates; Donora is just 20 miles from Pittsburgh. Merchant never played in the major leagues. I have no idea if the Mariners ever considered selecting Merchant with the first pick.

With the 958th pick in the 1987 draft (in the 39th round) the Mariners selected Todd Haney, who played in more than 100 games in the majors over five seasons. I don’t know if it’s still true, but the baseball amateur draft had/has a long history of being a crapshoot.

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More on beauty and its subjective nature…this article in Automobile Magazine purports to show the best-looking convertibles one can buy for the 2020 model year. Here is the list along with the prices of the cars, some pictures later:

 

Bentley Continental GT Convertible,  Price: $221,075

BMW M8 Convertible,  Price: $157,495

Chevrolet Corvette C8 Convertible,  Price: $67,495

Ferrari F8 Spider,  Price: $300,000 (est)

Ford Mustang GT Premium Convertible,  Price: $45,850

Jaguar F-Type SVR Convertible,  Price: $127,725

Lamborghini Huracán Evo Spyder,  Price: $287,400

Mazda Miata,  Price: $28,000

McLaren 720S Spider,  Price: $315,000

Mercedes-AMG GT R Roadster,  Price: $190,745

Porsche 718 Boxster S,  Price: $72,650

Rolls-Royce Dawn,  Price: $373,695

 

The average price of these cars is about $182,000; the median price is about $174,000. Almost all of these cars have gobs of horsepower and torque. The average HP/Torque output is 534 HP/471 LB-FT. As much as I love the Corvette, from CarBuzz a picture of the performance/dollar king of the group, the 2020 Ford Mustang GT Premium:

 

See the source image

 

The Mustang GT Premium engine is a 5-liter V-8 producing 460 HP/420 LB-FT of torque for about $46,000. The “worst” bang for the buck is not the Miata; it’s this car:

 

See the source image

 

From millermotorcars.com a picture of the 2020 Rolls-Royce Dawn. Of course, I doubt potential Rolls-Royce buyers care about the ratio of horsepower and torque per dollar. I’m sure very, very few car buyers, regardless of make, explicitly calculate horsepower and torque per dollar.

 

#MudOrQuicksand?

#StanMusial

#KenGriffeyJr

#BestLookingConvertibles

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Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Beholder

From this excellent post:

 

“It’s wonderful to be a Skeptic, but who isn’t? Unfortunately, far too many, who farm out and subcontract others to do their thinking for them. But fortunately, we still have the right to think whatever we want, whatever we like, whatever we wish, the most wonderful nonsense, the most brilliant ideas.”

 

Blind, unwavering adherence to any ideology is almost always a path to an incomplete life. Think for yourself! Do not fear the “wrath” of peers.

“The unexamined life is not worth living.”

– Socrates

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As C/2 informed me yesterday, the 2020 C8 Corvette has been named Motor Trend Car of the Year. While I am, obviously, a Corvette enthusiast I am skeptical about such an award being bestowed upon a car that is not yet available to the general public. This is the third award given to the Corvette and the first in more than 20 years. Here is the beginning of the Car of the Year article about the 2020 Corvette, penned by Jonny Lieberman:

 

“Sometimes, a car comes along that leaves the automotive landscape different than before. In today’s Silicon Valley parlance, we’d be tempted to term such a car a ‘disrupter.’ The last car to so radically shift the car world was the Tesla Model S, our 2013 Car of the Year.”

“This time around, our 2020 Motor Trend Car of the Year, the Chevrolet Corvette, fully scrambles the order of things. Simply put, never before has so much four-wheeled exoticism been attainable for so little money. Or I should say, so much good exoticism.”

“Chevrolet Performance did not phone in the first-ever production mid-engine Corvette. It dialed it, massaged it, honed it, crafted the new ‘Vette to the point of the nearly impossible. The eighth-generation car will bring people into dealerships who previously would never have come in. The mid-engine Corvette is a game changer, an inflection point, and a reminder that when Americans truly set our minds to a task, look out. For soon you’ll be standing on the moon—or driving the sports car equivalent thereof.”

 

One should know that Lieberman is not a blind advocate of American cars. He probably prefers German makes to American ones, all other things being equal. Of course, a picture is necessary:

 

See the source image

 

This picture is actually from Autoweek as Motor Trend doesn’t allow capture of its online photos.

Many so-called Corvette “purists” are incensed at the move to a mid-engine setup. “A Corvette HAS to be front-engine,” they say. Yes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but if your eyes (and minds) are closed you can’t assess beauty, even for yourself.

 

#BeASkeptic

#2020CorvetteMotorTrendCarOfTheYear

#somanycarsjustonelife

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250,000th Corvette and Other Things

On this day in 1969 a Corvette convertible in Riverside Gold rolled off the assembly line that was the 250,000th Corvette produced. It probably looked a lot like this:

 

See the source image

 

From topclassiccarsforsale.com a picture of a 1969 Corvette convertible and, hopefully, that color is Riverside Gold. Unlike many Corvette enthusiasts I am not able to tell what color a Vette is by sight, in part because I suffer from partial color blindness.

Even though the 250,000th Corvette was produced this late in calendar year 1969 it was a 1969 model. A strike interrupted 1969 production. After the dispute was settled, production of Corvettes, and only Corvettes, was allowed to run four “extra” months. Not surprisingly, 1969 Corvette production was much higher (38,762) than that of 1968 (28,566) and 1970 (17,316).

1969 was the last model year for the legendary L88 engine (an option costing a whopping $1,032.15 in 1969 given the base price of a coupe was $4,781); 116 were made that year, 216 in total from 1967-69. 1969 was also the only year for the super-rare ZL1 engine, which was an all-aluminum version of the L88. Two were made and the option price was…$4,718.35. Although officially rated at “only” 430 HP these engines had outputs of at least 100 HP more.

Given that the Corvette almost didn’t survive past 1955 reaching a quarter million in production was quite a feat. The car didn’t reach 10,000 units in a model year until 1960, its eighth year of existence. Of course, the front-engine Corvette is no longer being produced and the two-millionth Vette is, hopefully, just a few years away.

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One might be surprised that Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is not a believer in totally autonomous vehicles. In this article “The Woz” is quoted as saying, “I stepped way back [on] this idea of Level 5. I’ve really given up. I don’t even know if that will happen in my lifetime.”

“What we’ve done is we’ve misled the public into thinking this car is going to be like a human brain to be able to really figure out new things and say, ‘Here’s something I hadn’t seen before, but I know what’s going on here, and here’s how I should handle it.’ A human can do that.”

Wozniak believes that, at this point in time, such technology will be better used as a safety net for certain situations. Once again, too many people are seduced by the cult of the new, in my opinion.

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One reason I left Twitter is I grew tired of reading asinine comments like this, “Charity is anti-democratic. All decisions about allocating money should be made by our elected officials.” I have to admit my response was not my finest hour. Do you want to know what I wrote? OK, I replied, “You need an operation to have your head removed from your rectum. Coercion is anti-democratic.”

I suspect most of this blog’s readers are not socialists or communists and are, in general, in favor of markets and capitalism. What frightens me is that so many Americans seem completely willing to totally cede economic freedom to the government. Be careful what you wish for because you may get it. Making rich people poorer will not make poor people richer.

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From The Müscleheaded Blog comes this remark by Somerset Maugham, “To do two things at once is to do neither.” Multi-tasking is a myth as every scientific study has shown. Human brains are serial processors, not parallel processors.

During a job interview I was once asked how well I multi-tasked. I replied, “Multi-tasking is a 21st-century myth. People cannot truly multi-task.” I was actually offered the job and accepted, but left after nine miserable months.

 

#250000thCorvette

#MultiTaskingIsAMyth

#somanycarsjustonelife

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