Surly Sunday

An administrative note…instead of my usual posting in the morning Mountain Time, as we will be attending the Barrett-Jackson auction every day through next Sunday, I will probably be posting in the evening. For those of you on Eastern Time the posts will arrive fairly late in the day, maybe even after midnight.

I’m just not in a good mood today. Although my wonderful wife and I had much fun yesterday (thanks, K Squared) the reality that dreams are elusive and that life is finite is weighing heavily on me. The continuing madness of the developed world is no boon to my psyche, either. Maybe I should stop reading Why Evolution Is True. Here are some links to pieces along with their titles:

 

FIRE [Foundation for Individual Rights in Education] finds Syracuse University creating prohibitions against “threatening mental health”–even with a single remark. From the piece: “the school has restrictions of expression that would be illegal at public universities (Syracuse is a private school).”

Diversity training doesn’t work, ditto with microaggression training, implicit bias training or any mandatory DEI [Diversity, Equity, Inclusion] training.

Bard College begins “decolonizing” its library as Pecksniffs comb the stacks searching for bad representations of “race/ethnicity, gender, religion and ability. This story has a personal connection as my (i)ncomparable niece graduated from there, although that was more than 25 years ago.

 

For the nth plus nth time, NO ONE has a monopoly on truth and wisdom and neither does ANY ideology. Applying the “standards” of the early 21st century to the words and actions of people who lived in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries is nothing but temporal and ideological arrogance of the worst order. If I had a college-age child and they had the combination of attributes that would, theoretically, make attending college a good fit, I don’t know if there’s any institution I would want them to attend.

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This Hagerty piece is a list of 10 cars that can now be imported to the US under the 25-year rule. Although I can’t say that any of the listed vehicles excite me (a Renault Kangoo van?, NFW), the article does make me think of a car that actually could have first been imported last year, the TVR Cerbera:

 

See the source image

 

While the car was only available with a manual transmission and was missing features like traction control (sounds like the British version of the Dodge Viper, doesn’t it?), something about the car–besides the styling–just grabs me.

From the Wikipedia article about the Cerbera:

 

“Prior to the Cerbera, TVR had purchased V8 engines from Rover and then tuned them for their own use. When Rover was purchased by BMW, Peter Wheeler [owner of TVR at the time] did not want to risk supply chain problems should the Germans decide to stop manufacturing the engine. In response, he engaged the services of race engineer Al Melling to design a V8 engine that TVR could manufacture in-house and even potentially offer for sale to other car-makers. In an interview for the television programme Top Gear, Wheeler explained ‘Basically, we designed the engine as a race engine. It was my idea at the time that if we wanted to expand, we ought to make something that we could sell to other people. We’ve ended up with a 75-degree V8 with a flat-plane crank. The bottom-half of the engine to the heads is exactly as you would see in current Formula One engines.'”

 

The original V-8 Cerbera engine, which was naturally aspirated, produced 360 HP/320 LB-FT of torque with a displacement of 4.2 liters/255 cubic inches. The 4.5 liter version (273 cubic inches) produced 420 HP/380 LB-FT in standard spec and 440 HP/402 LB-FT in “Red Rose” tune. As the car only weighs about 2,400 pounds, the power to weight ratio makes the Cerbera very fast, like 0-60 MPH in four seconds fast.

Only about 1,500 Cerberas were produced during its run from 1996 to 2006. Once again, I must rail at the lunacy of my not being legally allowed to own a car like this, one deemed safe enough to drive in the UK which is not exactly a third-world country, here in the US until it’s 25 years old. I won’t show another picture of the current Alpine A110, but that is a car I might want to buy and is a car many American car enthusiasts would at least want to test-drive. No, no, no say the bureaucrats. Shaking my head…

 

Once again, I am asking you to spread the word about this blog to any of your friends who might be interested in reading it. Thanks.

 

#SurlySunday

#25YearRuleForImportedCars

#TVRCerbera

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Stray Saturday

After 1,300+ posts it is difficult to think of post titles that haven’t been used before.

My wonderful wife and I decided to “stray” from the opening day of Barrett-Jackson today. Not to sound like a curmudgeon, but today is Family Day with kids 12 and under being admitted for free. Add in some rain and we decided to pass even though our favorite breakfast spot is almost within walking distance of Westworld, the venue for the auction.

We did head over to the site of “specialized” garage spaces about which I have written before. As we arrived later in the morning than usual and as it was raining, the turnout wasn’t great. While I would never again own a German car (my father watched his family murdered by Nazi troops, the one German car I did have was the least reliable vehicle I have ever owned), BMW does develop very sharp designs.

 

 

As you can see from the badge on the rear, this is a BMW Z8 Alpina model. These were only available in the 2003 model year and just 555 of them were built, 450 of which were sold in the US and Canada. These were only available with an automatic transmission and were slightly different from previous Z8s in terms of the engine and suspension.

These cost about $140,000 when new, about $210,000 in today’s dollars. On Hemmings only one 2003 Z8 is currently listed with a price; that asking price is $485,000. On AutoTrader, four of these are shown for sale nationwide with list prices between $199,999 and $349,995.

When I had my Z4 I would occasionally take the car to a local shop that specialized in German cars instead of to the “prestigious” BMW dealer in another state. Once when I arrived to pick up my car I mentioned to the proprietor how much I liked the Z8. He said I should be grateful that I didn’t own one. Take that for what it’s worth.

 

A tangent…the number of new blog followers, which used to be double digits per month, has trickled down to next to nothing. Please let your friends know about Disaffected Musings and share the URL with them. Thanks.

 

#StraySaturday

#BMWZ8

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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100 Tacos

After eating 16 Jack In The Box tacos during our first 21 days in Arizona I figured 100, 200, hell 1,000 tacos would not be far behind. By the way, 16 tacos every 21 days would equate to 278 a year. Oh, over a half billion Jack In The Box tacos are eaten every year in the US and the chain has locations in only 21 states.

I did not eat my 100th taco until yesterday. As a frame of reference, my wonderful wife and I have been living in Arizona for almost 15 months. (Where did that time go?!) Of course, I have been keeping track of the tacos. Can you say OCD math nerd?!

I guess the novelty wore off. I still really like those tacos. I don’t eat with anyone’s mouth, olfactory apparatus and brain except mine. Spare me the “Eww, how can you eat those? They aren’t real tacos.”

Whether I continue to keep a running taco count is anyone’s guess. By the way, one Jack In The Box taco has 190 calories, 11 grams of fat, 17 grams of carbohydrates including 3 grams of sugar and 6 grams of protein. Not a terribly nutritious food, but not the worst thing one could eat, either.

I never remember to take a picture of those tacos, so here’s one from the Internet.

 

See the source image

 

As a concession to age and my sensitive GI tract, I order the tacos without the sauce that is now too spicy for me to consume.

I have been a taco eater for a long time. From the time I was about 14 until I graduated from college at 21, I would often make tacos at home using an Old El Paso “kit.” In college, a local restaurant (El Sombrero, long gone) had an all you could eat taco night every Tuesday for $4.99. I regularly ate 10 or 12. Ah yes, the wonders of youth. (The unofficial record there was 26 by a University of Delaware football player. What a surprise…)

However, my taco fandom began with Jack In The Box, probably at about the age of 10. Telling this story again, a Jack In The Box location was right next to the library I frequented quite often. It was quite rare that I would go to the library to borrow/return books and not stop there.

The best tacos I have ever eaten were short rib tacos made by yours truly. I just don’t have the patience to cook anymore. With my wonderful wife now retired, maybe we will both start cooking more at home.

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While, technically, the big Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale begins tomorrow, vehicle sales will not start until Monday. Given the overwhelming success of the recently concluded Mecum auction in Kissimmee, Florida, I imagine expectations are quite high for the Barrett-Jackson event.

As I have written before, no Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawks or Cadillac Allantes are being offered. As for other Ultimate Garage members, two 1965 Buick Rivieras are on the docket. One seems stock while the other is customized. Here is a picture of the stock automobile:

 

1965 BUICK RIVIERA - Front 3/4 - 252751

 

We have no room at the inn and we’re about to spend a decent chunk of change on the second half of the outlay for our whole-home backup generator that will be installed the second week in February. Still, one can dream…

 

#100Tacos

#Barrett-JacksonScottsdale

#1965BuickRiviera

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Thursday Thoughts

David Banner (not his real name; glad you’re feeling better, Doc) sent me this link to an Esquire piece called, “Crypto Bros Spent $3 Million Thinking They Bought The Rights To Dune.” The subhead reads, “They Thought Wrong.”

OK, maybe I’m just an old fogy. Still, to me the whole Crypto/NFT space is the 21st century version of tulip bulb mania. Of course, if enough people continue to believe in the value of cryptocurrency, non-fungible tokens and the like, then their value will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Most, if not all, “stores of value” only have value because people believe they’re valuable. Apart from a few industrial applications, what can gold really do? While it’s true that sovereign fiat currency is “backed” by a government’s ability to tax and to borrow, if some severe economic/monetary crisis struck a given country you can be sure its currency could be rendered worthless.

One of my very smart friends who has been mentioned in the blog before and who has made oodles of money in the stock market also lost money “investing” in cryptocurrencies. (That reference is not about “David Banner.”) In the last year, Bitcoin has traded as low as $30,000 and as high as $67,500. How can something that volatile be used as a medium of exchange?

By contrast, in the last year the US Dollar Index (DXY) has traded between 89 and 97, give or take. That’s the trading range a currency, a medium of exchange, should have.

I don’t care how prevalent they become, but I will never invest in cryptocurrency, NFTs or anything else like them. My wonderful wife and I are doing quite well with our traditional investments.

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Given how much I write about Mecum Auctions some of you might think I work for them. Well, no matter how much I want to, I don’t.

Still, take a look at this:

 

 

That’s what appears on the main page of Mecum’s website. The company was rightfully proud of the fact that in 2021 it had two events that each grossed in excess of $100 million in sales, which was the first time that happened. As you can read in the picture, its first auction in 2022 (Kissimmee, Florida) exceeded $200 million and set a record for the highest amount ever at a single collector car auction.

Before 2021, Mecum auctions usually had a sell-through rate in the 60%-65% range. Remember that most of their lots are offered with a reserve. At Kissimmee, the sell-through rate was about 90%, continuing the trend started in 2021 when those rates were usually 80% or higher.

Of course, some view collector cars as a financial investment. Right now is a great time to own and to sell these “assets” if that’s your mindset. How long will the sellers market last? If I could ascertain the answers to questions like that, then our net worth would be orders of magnitude higher than it is and we would live in a giant house with a giant garage filled with a lot of cars.

As I have written many times, I believe cars are an investment in the enjoyment of life. I don’t want to own a de facto museum exhibit. Cars should be driven, even if it’s just 1,000-2,000 miles a year, which is how most collector cars are used.

As this topic has been discussed before I know that many of you feel the same way. Do any of you invest in collector cars for financial reasons? I don’t mean buying, fixing and flipping cars, but buying “investment grade” cars (however that’s defined) with the expectation of significant appreciation that will be realized sometime in the future.

 

#ThursdayThoughts

#MecumWorldRecord

#CollectorCarMarketBoom

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Cars A To Z: N

Well, I’ve put this off long enough…

Charles Nash‘s life was a real-life rags to riches story. Born to a poor farming family in Illinois during the Civil War, Nash’s hard work and business acumen led him to become President of General Motors and later founder of Nash Motors. His life story is worth reading, but I didn’t want to fill this post with a 500-1,000 word biography because it wouldn’t do him justice. The Wikipedia article about him is a decent place to start, but not to finish.

This anecdote is interesting, however. William Durant, founder of General Motors, first hired Nash in 1890 as an upholstery stuffer, long before GM existed. By 1900, Nash was Vice-President and General Manager of the Durant-Dort Carriage Company.

When Durant regained control of GM in 1916–Nash was named GM President in 1912 after Durant’s first ouster–he offered Nash a $1 million annual salary (worth about $25 million today) to stay with the company. Nash described the salary as “more than a man’s worth” and resigned on June 1, 1916.

Anyway…supposedly, Nash and two other former General Motors executives (James Storrow and someone whose name you’ll recognize, Walter Chrysler) tried to acquire managing interest in Packard, but its board of directors wasn’t interested enough. How about that for a What Might Have Been scenario.

Late in 1916 Nash acquired Jeffrey Motor Company. Charles Jeffrey, son of company founder Thomas (who died in 1910), had survived the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915 and decided he wanted to spend his life doing something different.

The following year Nash renamed the company after himself and it produced the first car with the Nash name, the Model 671, which was–I think–a badge-engineered Jeffrey, although that term didn’t exist then. The first real Nash was the 680 series introduced in 1918. From standard (yes, the s is lower case) catalog of Independents a picture of a 1918 Nash Model 681:

 

 

Not that this matters, but that’s the first photo shown in the blog that was taken with my new iPhone 13 Pro. Sorry for the extraneous wood.

Nash Motors pioneered unibody construction (1941), seat belts (1950), mass-produced compact cars (1950) and the modern automobile HVAC system (1954) that is still the basis for such systems in cars today. While even the post-war, pre-merger cars are not that interesting to me, I find the company story to be fascinating. Nash focused on building cars of quality that were affordable.

In 1932, during the depths of the Great Depression, Nash was the only car manufacturer–besides General Motors–to report a profit. Nash’s profit happened despite an 88 percent decline in sales compared to 1929. Nash’s profit margin was even better than GM’s despite selling barely five percent the number of cars. Before the Depression, Nash had cracked the top eight in US automobile sales in both 1928 and 1929 with more than 250,000 units sold in those two years combined.

In 1937 as Chairman of the Board, Charles Nash brought in George Mason from the Kelvinator Corporation to lead the new company, the Nash-Kelvinator Corporation. Apparently, merging the two companies was the only way Mason would consider running Nash. Mason was an excellent executive who stewarded Nash to the merger with Hudson that formed American Motors in 1954 and it is more than possible that Mason’s unexpected death in late 1954 may have doomed Packard and Studebaker as his dreams for a company consisting of all four makes died with him.

OK, I’ll show one “picture” of a post-war, pre-merger car and it’s not of a Nash-Healey that, technically, is a separate make:

 

See the source image

 

A rendering of a 1952 Nash Statesman Country Club hardtop coupe. Many of the design elements of 1952 and later Nashes were the work of the legendary Battista “Pinin” Farina.

George Romney, Mason’s successor, ended Nash (and Hudson) after the 1957 model year to focus all of AMC’s efforts on the Rambler. Without a lot of effort that frankly isn’t worth it, I could not find a figure for total Nash production from 1917 to 1957. I can tell you that from 1946 through 1954 Nash produced almost 1.2 million cars.

Nash is not well remembered today, but that doesn’t mean the company story isn’t interesting or that they didn’t make important contributions. Temporal arrogance has always existed in the human race, but I think it gets worse with each successive generation. Remember Charles Nash and his company.

 

See the source image

 

#CarsAToZ

#Nash

#CharlesNash

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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This Is My Blog

Today’s post title may seem like a tautology. Of course, I am the one solely responsible for the content here. However, I think readers would be surprised at the battles I wage in my brain about whether or not to write about x or y for fear of alienating those readers.

I know this is primarily a car blog, but it has never just been a car blog. I also do not suffer from delusions of grandeur and think my blog will change people’s minds or the social discourse.

The explanation having been made, I must write about the deplorable state of affairs where so-called “mainstream” news outlets like The New York Times and BBC News have become blatantly anti-Semitic; that is, have become outright hostile to Jews. The way many news “organizations” covered the recent hostage taking in a Texas synagogue, committed by a British citizen, is disgusting and frightening. These two pieces in Why Evolution Is True (Article One, Article Two) detail the shameful way the incident was reported.

What is also disgusting and frightening is the loud minority of self-hating Jews who think the ridiculous treatment and criticisms of Jews are warranted. SHAME ON THEM! They have become captive of the ludicrous narrative of the far left.

It’s time for Jews to become more proactive and less passive about their state of affairs. While the example of boycotts and divestiture of investments from Unilever due to allowing its subsidiary, Ben and Jerry’s, to act in a blatantly anti-Semitic way in Israel is encouraging, “regular” Jews and Jewish groups have to be actively prepared to defend themselves in ways previously not considered.

Long Live The Jews!

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This day in 2009 was the final day of an auction where General Motors sold approximately 200 cars from its Heritage Collection that had been housed at the appropriately named Heritage Center in Sterling, Michigan. Of course, not long after the auction General Motors filed for bankruptcy. Despite protestations to the contrary, I am convinced that GM sold off those 200 cars and accompanying documents as a way to raise cash. It is true, though, that the company did not liquidate its entire collection of historic vehicles and that collectors often “cull” the herd from time to time. Oh, I didn’t write that these were sold at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Arizona and that, of course, my wonderful wife and I plan on attending the 2022 auction that starts in just four days.

Most of the vehicles were pre-production, development, concept or prototype cars. Among the vehicles sold was this one that hammered for $475,000 ($522,500 all in):

 

See the source image

 

This is the 1996 Buick Blackhawk concept car. That hardtop is removable, by the way. Here is another view:

 

See the source image

 

Yes, the Buick Blackhawk badge on the front fender shows as a “mirror” image. As is my wont, I think the Blackhawk looks much better with the hardtop in place. Do you really care about the drivetrain?

Sadly, Buick no longer even manufactures cars, only SUVs. I will go to my grave (or my urn) believing a market for interesting cars will always exist, especially in a country of 330 million people where 30 percent of households are married couples living without children.

 

#ThisIsMyBlog

#FuckSelfHatingJews

#LongLiveTheJews

#GeneralMotorsHeritageAuction

#BuickBlackhawk

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Corvette Monday

First…there will be a reckoning, but I don’t mean that in a religious or spiritual sense. The world fabric is tearing quickly and will have to be re-sown from scratch.

Now to your regularly scheduled programming…

OK, so these pictures were taken yesterday. If I called the post Corvette Sunday, some readers might protest or, worse, get confused.

A local collection of Corvette owners organizes events and informs other Corvette owners of gatherings in the area. These people are not formally organized into a club with dues and meetings. Speaking of Corvette clubs, my wonderful wife and I attempted to join the club that “represents” our city, but were told they are not currently accepting new members.

Anyway…an informal gathering of only Corvettes took place yesterday in a nearby town, very nearby. One of the “leaders” of the informal group told us he thought that between 90 and 100 Corvettes showed up, quite a turnout. My photos cannot really convey the size of the meet, but here goes:

 

 

This beautiful 1967 convertible belongs to a neighbor who also owns a 1963 Split Window. He is a long-time member of the local Corvette club and, unprompted by us, offered to intervene on our behalf to get us in.

 

 

Had to show at least one shot with a mountain backdrop. Don’t know if you can tell from the photo, but every generation of Corvette was represented yesterday. C8s and C7s were the most numerous–not surprisingly–while C5s were the least represented. I think between five and ten C1s were there, including this nice 1954 model:

 

 

To be honest, I don’t love the styling of 1953-55 Corvettes as, to me, they seem dated. Still, I appreciate the significance of these cars. These cars are also not common as only about 4,600 Vettes were produced in the first three model years.

Speaking of C1 Corvettes:

 

 

This is a 1960 model, the last year for the “old-fashioned” rear deck. In a preview of what was to come, Chevrolet changed the rear treatment for the last two years of the C1, 1961 and 1962. It was in 1960 where Corvette production finally cracked the 10,000 mark. The 1963 model, the first year of the C2, was the first to reach the 20,000 mark in sales.

 

 

I really like the color on this 1996 Vette, which was the last year of the C4 generation. If you want to get into the Corvette “club” you could do a lot worse than to buy a C4 from 1992-96.

 

 

I hope never to take the car culture here for granted. Most weekends, it is possible to attend multiple gatherings in the same day. I will also note that, like car enthusiasts we have met in other parts of the country, automobile aficionados here are–almost without exception–polite and friendly.

 

#CorvetteMonday

#TheReckoningIsNear

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Sunday Support

I’m not exactly a fount of original material today, so I will “borrow” heavily from other sources.

 

The developed world madness continues unabated. This piece from Why Evolution Is True is about the student “government” at Emory University denying a request for a free speech society claiming it might cause “harm.” Uh, freedom of speech does not only apply to people who agree with you. That being said, freedom of speech does not mean freedom from consequences.

This piece from the same source is not directly about the madness of the developed world, but about views held by Richard Dawkins, a famous biologist, author and atheist.

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See the source image

 

This is a picture of the legendary Hirohata Mercury custom, built in 1953 by the famous Barris brothers. The car was offered for sale at the recently concluded Mecum auction in Kissimmee, the first time the car was sold since 1959.

The Hirohata Mercury may be the most famous custom car ever. It certainly is the father of all lead-sled Mercury builds and has influenced literally thousands of builds, Mercury lead-sled or not.

Indicative of the action at Kissimmee, the car hammered for $1.95 million, way above the pre-auction estimate of $1 million. At least 12 vehicles sold at a hammer price of $1 million or more. The auction set a record for Mecum Kissimmee sales, BEFORE the last day even started.

One example that really blew me away happened on Thursday the 13th. A very nice 1965 Buick Riviera GS was offered at a reserve of $60,000. The reserve may have been $55,000, I’m not 100% sure. Of course, the reserve is not known to bidders before the lot crosses the block.

Quality examples of this car have usually sold between $50,000 and $75,000. This car hammered for $150,000 or $165,000 all in!

A 1936 17-passenger White tour bus with a pre-auction estimate of $500,000 sold for $1.43 million all in. Maybe I should be glad that, as of now, no Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk is consigned for either the Barrett-Jackson auction next week or the Mecum auction in March, both of which we plan to attend.

This piece about the 2022 Mecum Kissimmee auction was written a week ago before the really high dollar cars were sold. Richard Reina offers a few examples of cars he feels were bargains. He does write “The collector car market is very strong right now; selling is favoring the sellers.”

Unsolicited, I have been offered a five-figure amount more than I paid for my car. That valuation has more evidence in a recent AutoTrader listing where a 2016 Corvette Z06 with very similar mileage to mine, but without the Z07 package, had a list price of $15,000 more than I paid.

At Mecum Kissimmee a 2019 Corvette ZR1 hammered at $270,000 ($297,000 all in). These cars were about $150,000 when new. John Kraman remarked during the auction that interest in the C8 Corvette has led to a revival in interest in all Corvettes. Of course, I have no interest in selling my car at any “reasonable” price. What would I do if someone offered me an “unreasonable” price, as in unreasonably high? As I have written before I am not a fan of hypotheticals with extremely low probabilities AND history is replete with examples of the folly of human beings trying to predict the future.

These articles from Hagerty (Article One, Article Two) are also about the collector car market and Hagerty’s Bull Market List. They show data that their Bull Market List, which is really a prediction about the future value of certain cars, has been quite accurate.

I do not believe in buying cars as a financial investment, but as an investment in the enjoyment of life. However, I do not have a monopoly on truth or wisdom, on good judgment or good taste. Just like some people seem to have a knack for buying art that will appreciate or for successfully investing in the equity and/or fixed income markets, some have a knack for buying cars that appreciate substantially in value. More power to them.

It seems right now that a rising tide is lifting all boats, if you will, as it is virtually all segments of the collector car market that are experiencing real price appreciation. How long will that last? I have no idea.

 

#SundaySupport

#HirohataMercury

#HotCollectorCarMarket

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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More Car Pics For A Saturday

The Mecum broadcasts from Kissimmee on Motor Trend have been good for readership numbers. Yesterday, Disaffected Musings had the highest number of views and visitors in the last 30 days.

People searching for Mecum, for Barrett-Jackson, and yes, for Cristy Lee have boosted readership. Of course, the boost will fade after today’s finale.

I am heartened by the fact that the powers that be at Motor Trend have not messed with the winning formula of the Mecum telecasts. The presentation remains conversational, humorous, but also respectful of the cars and the auction. I was also very glad to see Dana Mecum back in the house. Although he did not walk the block while I was watching, he seemed actively involved.

My wonderful wife and I plan to attend the Mecum auction in Glendale, Arizona in March. It will be nice to be able to attend these auctions without paying for airfare or hotels and to be able to go home to a comfortable and familiar place every night.

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While my wonderful wife has recovered well from major surgery in early December, she is still not quite 100%. She slept in today while I attended a local car event. Without further ado, some photos:

 

 

I thought the Ferrari shown above was particularly sharp.

 

 

Now, a couple of photos of my favorite car at the event:

 

 

Obviously, I am not an objective observer, but my Z06 is not out of place here or at any other similar gathering. Hope you enjoyed the photos.

 

#MoreCarPicsForASaturday

#MecumAutoAuctions

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Freeform Friday

I am having a difficult time deciding on an “N” car for Cars A To Z. First, not a lot of makes have begun with the letter N. Second, one that does marketed its cars under a different name for a long time.

 

From Kaiser Permanente data in southern California (Henry Kaiser founded the Kaiser Permanente health system as well as Kaiser-Fraser automobiles, he was a very successful shipbuilder) via the Twitter feed of CDC director Rochelle Walensky. I apologize if a code embedded in the tweet ruins the post spacing:

 

NEW: Study on severity of those infected with the omicron variant compared to the delta variant:

53% less risk of symptomatic hospitalization

74% less risk of ICU admission

91% less risk of death

0 Omicron patients required mechanical ventilation

 

Another doctor (Marty Makary) tweeted this:

 

Omicron is likely even less severe than this study suggests because:

-Study used an imperfect test that can pick up some delta cases

-Study did not distinguish hosp & deaths FROM Covid vs WITH Covid (they used a temporal association assumption)

 

Of course, the media with its obsession with negativity is breathlessly reporting the surge in cases. If you are vaccinated, you really have very little to fear from the new variant.

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From this post:

 

However, in the American political world, real debate has ended. Each side simply yells louder and louder often engaging in nothing but propaganda and lies. An uninformed population buys the agenda that suits its a priori view of the world, almost never engaging in a rational analysis of the situation. I think “social media” is not what its advocates claim, a way to unite the world, but is instead a great divider as it makes climbing into bubbles way too easy.

 

I recognize some may call me a hypocrite for criticizing social media while writing a blog and maintaining a presence on Twitter. “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.”

I have had Twitter accounts to drive traffic to the blog. For the most part, the platform has failed miserably. However, Twitter has made it possible for me to connect to other car aficionados and has enabled me to establish friendships with people like Dominic Chu and Scott Hoke. Tradeoffs…

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Although not officially consummated until May 1, on this day in 1954 Nash-Kelvinator Corporation agreed to merge with Hudson Motor Car Company to form American Motors Corporation (AMC). Apparently, at the time it was the largest corporate merger in US history.

According to most automotive histories, Nash-Kelvinator CEO George Mason had been pushing the US “Independent” automakers to merge for years. The merger that created AMC was supposed to be only the beginning as Mason wanted to unite Nash, Hudson, Packard and Studebaker into a company that could at least hold its own against the Big Three. Of course, Packard and Studebaker also “merged” in 1954, but Mason died later that year and his hope of merging all four companies died with him.

Hudson was my choice for the “H” car in Cars A To Z. In my opinion, its most interesting cars were near the end of its existence as an Independent manufacturer. I have long been smitten with the looks of this car:

 

See the source image

 

This is a 1954 Hudson Hornet Hollywood hardtop. (How’s that for alliteration?!) While the step-down styling was considered passé by this time, and the drivetrain was behind the times, I just find the car irresistible.

In 1949, Nash and Hudson produced a combined total of about 294,000 cars. Five years later, the year of the merger, that number had fallen to approximately 142,000. Nash was in better shape financially than Hudson, in large part due to its successful Kelvinator business, but Mason was right about the need for the Independents to merge. It’s too bad he didn’t live long enough to give the idea a fighting chance. What might have been…

Have a great weekend.

 

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