Estrangement

Not sure what is compelling me to write this today…

I am estranged from a number of people who used to be “regulars” in my life including a sibling, one of the best men at my wedding and someone I’ve known since freshman year of high school who used to be a regular reader and commenter on this blog. Does that say more about me, them, both or neither?

Of course drifting away from people is part of growing older. We get married, we have children, we move for new jobs, etc. However, I firmly believe that once people hit their mid-to-late 20s, real change is almost impossible. The only modifier to that is I think many people, if left to their own devices and without hard work, become bad parodies of themselves as they age. Anyway, I believe you have to accept people for who they are or leave them alone. One of the few rules by which I live is to avoid people who erode my quality of life.

Maybe I’m just depressed today because my wonderful wife has left for another business trip…

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How to segue to cars…

If you’ve been reading the comments you know that I have been receiving advice on my restomod build. What most of you don’t know is that I have also been receiving such advice via email. I am very appreciative that others seem to have so much interest in the project.

Let me clear up one thing, though: if I am to exercise any prudence at all regarding a VERY expensive purchase, then I have to wait 10+ months to begin the project in earnest. Why 10+ months? I have to wait until I reach the age when I can take my retirement money without paying a 10% penalty. I’m not pissing away many thousands of dollars because I won’t wait a few months to buy something I don’t really need. As I have written before, I may have been physically raised in America, but culturally I did not grow up here.

OK, all of you reading should be familiar with this picture:

Why am I showing this? Well, my choice of exterior color for the restomod is a blend of the two cars on the ends of the shelf. I envision a teal/gray hybrid, perhaps teal/charcoal.

Let’s face it: the first thing one notices about a car is its looks. While, of course, we all have different tastes in terms of what looks good in a car, the exterior color(s) makes a big impression. I am disappointed in the muted palette of colors that seems to be predominant in today’s cars. Still, I don’t think I want a three-tone Corvette of orange, pink and green, either.

If I get my wish, the hood will have the “Stinger” from the 1967 Corvette equipped with a big block and I envision the stinger painted in Rally Red as a homage to the C2 Corvette. I also would like a Rally Red stripe somewhere high on the body line, but when one actually looks at the C2 Corvette, not a lot of space exists to add such a stripe.

https://www.graphic-express.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/940x587/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/q/h/qh-140-st_1.jpg

From graphic-express.com a picture of a couple of stinger hoods.

If you dream about building a car, what color scheme do you envision?

 

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

 

Remember that Facebook and Google are evil. Please don’t let them take control of your life.

 

Remembering

I want to acknowledge my gratitude to all of those who have served in the US armed forces. Of course today is Veteran’s Day in the US. I believe it’s still called Armistice Day or Remembrance Day in parts of Europe. On this day in 1918, 100 years ago exactly, the Great War—later known as World War I, of course—ended.

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If he had lived today would have been Kevin Towers’ 57th birthday. I worked with Kevin as a member of the San Diego Padres’ Baseball Operations staff. As I wrote in one of my first posts on Disaffected Musings the day after he died in late January of this year, although I was “foisted” upon him at first he always treated me as a friend and with respect. In that earlier post I showed this picture:

That picture was taken in the visitors clubhouse in Los Angeles after the Padres clinched the 1996 NL Western Division title. Kevin is the one kneeling in front and I am one of the other three people. So long ago and yet still fresh in memory.

When baseball’s “golden boy” was named to his first General Manager’s position he gave an interview to that city’s famous newspaper. In that interview he named Kevin as one of the two people who had most influenced the way he thought about baseball. The other person was yours truly.

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Many thanks to regular readers Charley Walters and Steve Dallas for sending emails to me with words of praise for this blog. As the late, great Saul Bellow once wrote, “We have a word for everything except for what we really think and feel.” Despite the inadequacy of words (kind of an odd thing for a blogger to write, I guess) I want to express my gratitude for their emails and for all regular readers of this blog. Disaffected Musings is very important to me and I am very proud of this blog. Even with the recent surge in readers I still wish many more people were reading.

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Days like today make many of us of “middle age” wax nostalgic about the past. I have written about and posted pictures of this car before, but one more time won’t hurt.

See the source image

From classiccars.com a picture of a 1956 Buick Century with a great view of the front of the car. The first car I ever drove was a 1956 Buick Century that my father purchased in 1961, I believe. About 21,000 of this model were produced in 1956. The weight was about 4,200 pounds. The car seemed heavier; so much so, in fact, that our nickname for the car was “The Tank.” The MSRP of the car when new was about $3,300.

The Century was powered by Buick’s Fireball V-8 of 322 cubic inch displacement that produced 255 HP/341 LB-FT of torque. The transmission was Buick’s famous (or infamous depending on your perspective) Dynaflow automatic. It was called the Dyna-Slush by detractors, but was praised for its smoothness by its supporters.

As I have written before, from time to time I scratch my itch to look for a ’56 Century for sale online. I look through the ads, of which there are usually not many, and have to take a deep breath before the urge to buy one passes. One day, though, the breath might no longer work.

 

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

 

First Car Crush

Although at times I have cared less, even much less, about cars than I do now automobiles were my first passion. As I have written previously, before I discovered sports or music or girls I made notes about cars in one of those composition notebooks with the random black and white pattern on the cover. You know, like this:

See the source image

From dkclassroomoutlet.com a picture of a composition notebook. The one I had did not have any labels or writing on the front. I really wish I still had that notebook.

The first car that really drew my attention was this one:

https://disaffectedmusings.files.wordpress.com/2018/11/bcc8e-1964-plymouth-barracuda-fastback-01.jpg?w=1100

From oldparkedcars.com a picture of a first generation Plymouth Barracuda. Here’s another picture that shows more of the enormous rear fastback window:

 

See the source image

(From dark-cars.over-blog.com)

 

I really had a thing for fastbacks, the more outrageous the better. I went crazy (yeah I know, how could anyone tell?) when the first Dodge Charger was introduced for the 1966 model year with its extreme fastback design.

The Barracuda was introduced on April 1, 1964, which was about two weeks before the Ford Mustang. The concept was similar: the Mustang was built on the Falcon chassis but with a more modern body design and the Barracuda was built on the Valiant chassis with a more modern body design. Some car “experts” argue that the Barracuda was really the first pony car. (Who leaves a country packed with ponies to come to a non-pony country? Sorry, couldn’t resist the Seinfeld reference.)

No doubt exists, however, that the Mustang was far more popular. Both were introduced in April, 1964 as “1964 1/2” model year cars with a shortened production run given the annual changeover around September. Barracuda sales were a little over 23,000 for the ’64 1/2 models while Mustang sales were almost 127,000 for the same time period.

The fastback rear window for the first Barracuda was over 14 square feet and was the largest ever installed on a production car at that time. That window was very distinctive and is almost certainly the defining part of the car’s exterior design.

I believe that the base engine for the Barracuda was the inline Valiant six-cylinder of 170 cubic-inch displacement, rated at 101 HP/155 LB-FT of torque. A larger (225 cubic inches) 145 HP/215 LB-FT six was also available as was a 273 cubic-inch V-8 that I think could be equipped with either a two-barrel or four-barrel carburetor.

As a reaction to the popularity of the Mustang Plymouth tried to enhance the performance image of the Barracuda for the full 1965 model year cars. The Formula S sub-model was offered with stripes to make them look more racy as well as the option for a V-8 now rated at 235 HP/280 LB-FT. (I think the more powerful V-8 was also offered in the Commando series.)

Barracuda sales totaled about 65,000 for the 1965 model year, but Mustang sales were over 559,000! The Mustang had a de facto monopoly on this market segment until General Motors introduced the Chevrolet Camaro and Pontiac Firebird for the 1967 model year.

Anyway…I was smitten with the first Barracuda and used to tell my father, who was a mechanic and in charge of a gas/service station, that I wanted one for my first car. He was not a fan of Mopar (or Ford), but didn’t say too much in opposition. I mean, this was maybe ten years before I could get a drivers license.

I don’t know when these cars fell out of favor for me. I now much prefer the second generation Barracuda, particularly the hardtop “notchback” coupe. Oh well, the first generation Barracuda will always be my first car crush and for that it’s worth remembering.

 

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

Not that anyone besides me really cares, but I have posted 39 days in a row. The odds are I will not post on Saturday or Sunday. If anyone wants to write a guest post I’ll be happy to use it and, obviously, give credit.

 

Remember that Facebook and Google are evil. Please don’t let them take control of your life.

 

Throwback Thursday, James Bond Edition

Once again I want to express my gratitude to all of those who visited Disaffected Musings yesterday and generated yet another daily record for views and visitors. I especially want to thank all of the readers from Hemmings, Car and Driver and Corvette Forum. Unless the new record is a completely incongruous one I probably won’t mention this again.

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I hear the theme music for the James Bond movies in my head. Hmm…

https://i0.wp.com/img.pistonheads.com.s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/LargeSize/aston-martin/db5/aston-martin-db5-S2483309-1.jpg

From pistonheads.com a picture of the iconic Aston Martin DB5. Of course the “DB” in Aston Martin cars are the initials of David Brown who owned and ran Aston Martin from 1947 to 1977. Brown, who was managing his grandfather’s successful gear and machine tool business, saw an ad in a newspaper that a “High Class Motor Business” was for sale. Having a long-time interest in cars Brown investigated and discovered that the company was Aston Martin. After a few months of negotiations the sale was completed in early 1947.

I believe Brown remained active in the company until the British government nationalized the warship building division in 1977. He was so disgusted that he moved to Monte Carlo and lived there for the rest of his life. He sold his shares in the David Brown Corporation in 1990. Wealth has always been mobile and is even more so in the 21st century. When governments become hostile to wealthy people, those people will “vote” with their feet. Resentment and envy of people who are wealthier than you is not a sound basis for public policy.

Of course the DB5 is probably the most famous car from the James Bond movies. The first movie in which it appeared was Goldfinger, which was released in 1964. I was surprised to learn that only about 1,000 DB5s were produced and that the production run was short, only about two years (1963-1965). It should not come as a surprise that the body was designed by an Italian coachbuilder, Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera.

The DB5 was powered by a double overhead cam inline six-cylinder engine of 4-liter displacement (244 cubic inches) that was rated at 282 HP/280 LB-FT. The standard transmission was a ZF 5-speed manual, but the DB5 was also available with a 3-speed automatic by Borg-Warner.

My wonderful wife’s father is a big fan of the James Bond movies. Absolutely no disrespect intended, but I have never been a fan of the terms father-in-law or mother-in-law so I don’t use them.

One reason I posted about the DB5 today was this recent article on CNBC. In it the CEO of Aston Martin, Andy Palmer, stated his beliefs that auto engineers, and not politicians, should be allowed to fix the auto pollution problem and that the traditional gasoline engine will be around for a long time. Of course he also mentioned that Aston Martin was developing electric/hybrid drive systems and would be introducing two models driven by such systems within the next three years.

How much will the electric/hybrid Aston Martins resemble this modern DB?

From Aston Martin’s website a picture of a DB11. My wonderful wife’s Ultimate Garage (I haven’t forgotten about that concept) would definitely contain at least one Aston Martin.

The company suffered a great deal as a result of the major economic slowdown that began in 2008. In that year total company sales exceeded 5,000 cars and didn’t reach that level again until 2017. Much talk among those with an interest in the automobile industry centers around whether or not Aston Martin can remain independent and survive. European sales have not recovered to pre-crisis levels as Aston Martin sold about 4,000 cars in Europe in 2007 and even with a healthy rebound in 2017 that figure was just 2,500.

I think it would be a shame if Aston Martin were to disappear. The company, bolstered by the rebound of 2017 I suppose, became publicly traded just last month (October, 2018). According to this BBC article about the IPO Aston Martin “has gone bust seven times in 105 years.” That history casts a long shadow over the future of the company, unfortunately.

 

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

 

Wednesday Respite

Hurrah! The incessant airing of mean-spirited “political ads” that are almost without exception nothing but character assassinations will now cease! For the hundredth time, no one has a monopoly on truth and wisdom and neither does any ideology.

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Have you ever heard of Galloping Gertie? On this day in 1940 the Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapsed during high winds. The footage (this is supposed to be in the public domain) is still quite fascinating to me. The bridge had only opened in July of 1940. At its opening it was the third longest longest suspension bridge in the world.

The oscillations during windy conditions were apparent even during construction. All efforts to mitigate the unwanted motion were, obviously, unsuccessful. All endeavors of people have the potential to be flawed, and most of them are, because all people are flawed.

From the Wikipedia article: “The bridge’s collapse had a lasting effect on science and engineering. In many physics textbooks, the event is presented as an example of elementary forced resonance; the bridge collapsed because normal speed winds produced aeroelastic flutter that matched the bridge’s natural frequency. The collapse boosted research into bridge aerodynamics-aeroelastics, which has influenced the designs of all later long-span bridges.”

Image-Tacoma Narrows Bridge1.gif

From the Wikipedia article a picture of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.

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If money were no object I don’t really think I would have a 1,000+ HP engine built for my C2 restomod. However, I might use this drivetrain:

https://dealeraccelerate-all.s3.amazonaws.com/fastlane/images/1/6/6/1/1661/52252_901632b60d5bx120ogrs11.jpg

From fastlanecars.com a picture of a 2015 Corvette Z06. This car is powered by a 6.2 liter (376 cubic inches in Bill Stephens-ese) supercharged V-8 that produces a peak of 650 HP and 650 LB-FT of torque. The engine designation for this beast is the LT4.

The person with whom I’ve been talking about doing my build hasn’t specifically said that the LT4 is available. He has mentioned the LS9 engine that was used in the ZR1 version of the C6 Corvette. The LS9 is also supercharged and also produces in excess of 600 HP and 600 LB-FT of torque. Still, with unlimited funds (that is the scenario I’m writing about here) I think an LT4 would be possible. The LT4 is listed as an available crate engine on Chevrolet’s website.

I don’t know if I could live with supercharger “whine” every time I drove the car. A supercharger also adds to the complexity of the car. I am a big believer in KISS (not the rock band).

This drivetrain is much more expensive than the one I am likely to use if I build the car from scratch, but I am writing about not having any budgetary constraints. Not only is the LT4 engine more expensive than an LS3 or LS7, but an 8L90E (eight-speed) automatic transmission is more expensive than any four-speed automatic. Still, imagine a reliable and drivable car weighing barely 3,000 pounds with 650 HP/650 LB-FT. Sounds like fun to me.

Have any of you built a car or had one built for you? If so, what was the car? What was your experience? I think about this build every day. I hope the reality can at least come close to the idea. Steve Dallas, feel free to chime in.

 

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

 

If you’re here after clicking on a link in the Corvette Forum, welcome. Please bookmark the blog URL (https://disaffectedmusings.com) and return often. Thanks.

Almost six percent of the views this month are from Canada. That number is WAY up from before. I would love to hear from Canadian readers. Thanks.

I want to sincerely thank all of the Hemmings readers who have visited Disaffected Musings. (I am also grateful to Hemmings for posting my comments that include links to this blog.) Almost 10 percent of views have been referred from Hemmings. Please keep reading. 🙂

 

 

Tuesday Two-Fer

Once again, thanks to all of those who read Disaffected Musings yesterday generating another daily record for views and visitors. Do you think I should keep reporting these or only in the case of a really exceptional number?

I am REALLY obsessed with my restomod C2 Corvette build. Last night I had a dream that my father, who has been dead for 25+ years, negotiated an unbelievably low price for the project, a mere fraction of what I have been told such a build will likely cost. When I told my wonderful wife (in the dream) she said, “OK, I’ll build one, too!”

 

Another sign has joined the group as a DeSoto/Plymouth service sign is now on the wall.

I have discussed my obsession with DeSoto, but have not discussed Plymouth very much. Both makes were introduced in the summer of 1928 by Chrysler Corporation as 1929 model year cars. Obviously, both cars survived the Great Depression.

 

Many car enthusiasts are familiar with this Plymouth model:

https://i2.wp.com/st.hotrod.com/uploads/sites/21/2015/04/1968-plymouth-road-runner-hemi-front-driver-side.jpg

From hotrod.com a picture of a 1968 Plymouth Road Runner. 1968 was the first year the model was offered. It was supposed to fill a niche for a muscle car that wasn’t too expensive. The lowest base price for a 1968 Road Runner, which was for the non-hardtop two-door coupe, was about $2,900. The base engine for the Road Runner was the Mopar 383 cubic-inch V-8 with a four-barrel carburetor rated at 335 HP/425 LB-FT of torque. Of course, the car featured cartoon emblems of the Road Runner as well as the “Beep Beep” horns.

 

This car, which was actually introduced in 1967, was also from Plymouth and was known as the Gentleman’s Muscle Car:

https://i0.wp.com/moparblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/1967-Plymouth-GTX-side.jpg

From moparblog.com a picture of a 1967 Plymouth GTX. I believe this is the only year the GTX had this look as for 1968 the entire Plymouth Belvedere line was restyled. The base engine for the GTX was the 440 cubic-inch V-8 with a four-barrel carburetor rated at 375 HP/480 LB-FT of torque. So that the comparison is apples to apples, the lowest base price for a 1968 GTX was about $3,300 or about $400 more than a Road Runner.

Both cars were victims of the demise of muscle cars due to emissions/safety standards as well as insurance companies not wanting to write policies for 17-year olds driving high-performance cars that, let’s face it, were really only high-performance in a straight line. The last year of the GTX was 1971 while, technically, a car called the Road Runner was offered until 1980 although in emasculated form after 1971. (A mild tangent: more on Mopar is this article about a rare car.)

In yet another example of the folly of human beings trying to predict the future, high-performance cars weren’t gone forever after 1971 as almost everyone predicted at the time. I think that each member of Detroit’s Big Three currently offers a car with at least 700 HP and these cars are comfortable, handle and brake well and are reliable. While most seem to think the days of the internal combustion engine are numbered, who really knows what the future holds?

 

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

 

More For Monday

OK, as you can guess whatever interest I have in elections lies in the data. From this August article on thoughtco.com comes this chart:

 

Midterm Election Results

This chart shows the number of seats in the House of Representatives and U.S. Senate that the president’s party won or lost during midterm elections dating back to Franklin D. Roosevelt.

 Year  President  Party   House   Senate  Total 
1934 Franklin D. Roosevelt D +9 +9 +18
1938 Franklin D. Roosevelt D -71 -6 -77
1942 Franklin D. Roosevelt D -55 -9 -64
1946 Harry S. Truman D -45 -12 -57
1950 Harry S. Truman D -29 -6 -35
1954 Dwight D. Eisenhower R -18 -1 -19
1958 Dwight D. Eisenhower R -48 -13 -61
1962 John F. Kennedy D -4 +3 -1
1966 Lyndon B. Johnson D -47 -4 -51
1970 Richard Nixon R -12 +2 -10
1974 Gerald R. Ford R -48 -5 -63
1978 Jimmy Carter D -15 -3 -18
1982 Ronald Reagan R -26 +1 -25
1986 Ronald Reagan R -5 -8 -13
1990 George Bush R -8 -1 -9
1994 William J. Clinton D -52 -8 -60
1998 William J. Clinton D +5 0 +5
2002 George W. Bush R +8 +2 +10
2006 George W. Bush R -30 -6 -36
2010 Barack Obama D -63 -6 -69
2014 Barack Obama D -13 -9 -21

 

The lesson? Regardless of party, whichever one won the Presidency will almost certainly lose Congressional seats in the midterm election. I don’t watch CNN or MSNBC or Fox News or network news so I don’t know if this FACT has been reported; I doubt it, but it sure seems relevant to me. Do I have a prediction? I don’t know enough to make one, but the history sure seems clear. (Update: regular reader Philip Maynard has commented that the “news” networks are “reporting” this general trend in midterms. However, I suspect that regardless of ideological slant the reporting comes with an agenda and is not “just the facts.”)

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Thanks to 56packardman for posting links to this blog on other car sites when relevant. I will return the favor and post a link to a piece that I found quite interesting, the subject of which was Studebaker and not Packard.

From the article comes this picture:

I don’t know the year, but it looks like a 1964-66 Studebaker Cruiser four-door sedan. As regular readers know my interests are almost exclusively in two-door vehicles, but this car’s history overcomes that for me. More from this post by 56packardman:

“As we have covered previously, Studebaker found itself on the ropes yet again after the 1959 Lark briefly saved the company. Studebaker had been in decline since the badly botched introduction of its 1953 line. In 1961 the Studebaker board brought in Sherwood Egbert to end auto production. Instead, he mounted a Churchillian effort to revive the company’s car business. While the effort didn’t save the company, it did result in some of the most memorable cars Studebaker ever built: the Gran Turismo Hawk and the Avanti. Egbert brought Brooks Stevens on board to re-make the cars and Raymond Loewy was tasked with the project that yielded the Avanti. Stevens worked miracles with almost no money on the passenger car bodies. Over three model years, he grafted enough new sheet metal onto the cars that the 1964s looked like they were an all-new design. Steven’s re-working of the Hawk produced one of the finest designs of the ’60s with the bonus to Studebaker of the ’62 Gran Turismo Hawk costing the company $28 a car less to produce than the ’61 model. Bean counters today would be pleased with the $28 per car savings, but in 1960’s dollars, this was a very significant cost reduction. Despite the lower cost, the car looked new and fresh – and the design has aged well. Stevens’ Gran Turismo Hawk, like the Robert Bourke-designed Starliner hardtop coupe it is based on, is still a very handsome automobile.”

 

“Necessity is the mother of invention” is a famous saying. Studebaker made some remarkable cars in the early 1960s, but was doomed anyway. If you build a better mousetrap the world will not necessarily beat a path to your door.

 

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

 

For Philip Maynard:

https://s3.amazonaws.com/wp-images.bankspower.com/performance-upgrades/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/27122045/DSCF0012-1400x600.jpg

From bankspower.com a picture of the “Hanky Panky” by Bruce Geisler.

 

 

Many Thanks, Again

For WordPress, the platform that hosts Disaffected Musings, a week runs from Monday through Sunday. For the week ending yesterday Disaffected Musings reached a new weekly high in views and visitors surpassing the record set just the week before.

Once again, I am most grateful. Please keep reading, please post thoughtful comments if/when the mood strikes you and please share the blog URL (https://disaffectedmusings.com) with others. Sorry to keep asking for “the sale.” I hope my asking is not anywhere near as obnoxious as the ridiculously excessive number of times Velocity airs the one and only commercial for a show called Texas Metal. Here is the tweet I sent to Velocity:

@Velocity Enough of the ridiculously excessive airings for the commercial for Texas Metal. Even if I liked clown cars and trucks I would be sick of the commercial. I know others share the sentiment.

In what I can only imagine is censorship to please a sponsoring company this tweet has disappeared from the list of those I have sent.

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From motor-junkie.com is an article that interested me about 14 cars whose horsepower ratings were understated by the manufacturer. Why would a company deliberately undersell a car’s horsepower? I think the most significant reason is to “fool” insurance companies. By understating output the owner/driver of a car might not have to pay as high a premium.

The most famous instance of horsepower understatement, in my opinion, is the L88 option on the Corvette of the late 1960s. This option, which was installed on only 216 cars total from 1967-1969, was rated at 430 HP, which was not even the highest rated motor. The 427 cubic-inch L71 was rated at 435 HP. However, the L88 option cost more than twice as much as the L71: a whopping $947.90 in the first year it was offered (1967) while the L71 cost $437.10. Remember that the base price of a 1967 Corvette was about $4,300 so a $900+ option was very expensive.

A car equipped with the L88 engine had to be sold with no heater and with no radio. So, what was the real output of the L88? Estimates vary from 535 to 575. Since Chevrolet didn’t tell the truth and since the engine is so rare an accurate assessment is not easy to find.

To be honest, one of the reasons I want my restomod to be in the 550-ish HP range is so that it matches the real output of the L88.

https://i1.wp.com/www.corvetteblogger.com/images/content/101011_3.jpg

From corvetteblogger.com a picture of a 1969 L88 Corvette. Not sure if you can tell from this photo, but the L88 had a unique hood.

At a recent Mecum auction a 1967 L88, of which only 20 were made, had a high bid of $1.7 million but didn’t sell because the reserve was not met. Just think, the 1967 cost of an L88 was a little over $5,000. Even adjusting for inflation these cars have really appreciated in value. According to smartasset.com $5,300 in 1967 is equal to about $40,000 today.

Some of the other cars and engines from the motorjunkie article that interest me include the 426 Hemi (rated at 425 HP but probably 500 in reality) and the Buick GNX (rated at 276 HP but probably 330-340).

 

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

 

 

 

Sunday Studebaker Seconds

First…I guess Tua Tagovailoa is human, after all. (Um, that’s sarcasm in case you didn’t know.) The Alabama QB threw his first interception of the season in yesterday’s game at arch-rival LSU. However, he threw for 295 yards and two TDs and scored on a 44-yard run. (His TD/INT ratio for the season is only 27/1. Yes, sarcasm again.) Alabama dominated #3-ranked LSU 29-0. The Crimson Tide out-rushed the Tigers 281 yards to 12 although in college football quarterback sacks are deducted from rushing totals unlike the NFL.

Alabama coach Nick Saban may be the best in college football history. Alabama has won five of the last nine college championships and now teams really have to earn a title as a real playoff exists (finally!). Like most successful people, I believe, Saban has proven to be adaptable. From an ESPN article:

“Sure, Saban might love stifling, bloody-your-nose defense the way most of us love our grandmother’s cooking, but he’s anything but close-minded. He knows as well as anybody what he has in Tagovailoa, not to mention the best collection of playmakers across the board that Saban says he has ever had at Alabama…At his core, Saban is who he has always been, and this Alabama football team is what everybody thought it was heading into the most anticipated showdown of the season. But Saban has also adapted and won in a fashion even he probably wouldn’t have believed 10 years ago.

‘Hell, you’ve just got to coach what you’ve got,’ Saban said. ‘And even though I thought we were going to have a different kind of team, we also lost five guys in the two deep on defense, our best outside linebacker and pass-rusher [Terrell Lewis], our best corner [Trevon Diggs] and three other really good players who would have been backup players.

‘I looked it up in 2011, we gave up 8.1 points per game for the season and were [No. 1 nationally] in points allowed. If you give up 15 points a game now, you’re in the top five to top 10. I mean, twice as many. Philosophically, a lot of people have changed, not just us. If you look at some of the analytics now, whether you should go for it on fourth down and all the different situational stuff that happens, it’s all geared toward offense.'”

I’ll tie this into my thesis that people who blindly follow an ideology are going to be wrong most of the time. The more complicated the venue, the more that blindness is a detriment.

I also want to give a shout-out to Nebraska who gave Ohio State all that they could handle at Columbus before losing 36-31. That outcome was unthinkable just a few weeks ago. If the Huskers could just recruit 5 or 7 or 10 blue-chip defensive players…

By the way, I didn’t watch any football yesterday and will not today or tomorrow. I am giving myself a football-free weekend. With the Internet I can consume as much football news as I want without actually watching.

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Part of me, albeit a small part, doesn’t want to buy/build a restomod C2 Corvette. That small part of me would rather restomod one of these:

https://bringatrailer.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/1962-Studebaker-Hawk-GT.jpg

From Bring a Trailer a picture of a Studebaker Gran Turismo (GT) Hawk. This is not the first photo of this car I have shown on Disaffected Musings.

OK, why would I even think of using this for a restomod? First, I have a bad combination of traits: OCD and ADD, although both are not cranked up to a level anywhere approaching 10. For part of me it is difficult to stay focused on one thing, but for another part of me all I can do is obsess. Trust me, you don’t want to be inside my head. Second, I think the GT Hawk looks amazing.

Third, only about 14,000 GT Hawks were made while the number of C2 Corvettes approaches 120,000 so I would have something more rare and exclusive. Fourth, buying a GT Hawk for a donor car, even a nice one, will cost less than buying a C2 Corvette.

Something about the car’s history also appeals to me. Here is a look at the last Studebaker Hawk:

See the source image

From motorlandamerica.com a picture of a 1961 Studebaker Hawk. Brooks Stevens was given the task of redesigning this car for the 1962 model year on a limited budget. What did he do? The only new stamping was the roof; he removed the fins and added a chrome rocker panel molding. Not much else changed on the car and yet the transformation was amazing.

In the end I am 99% sure that my next car will be a custom restomod C2 Corvette. Note that I wrote 99%…

 

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

 

Saturday Summation

The mid-term elections? The only political axiom to which I subscribe is that no matter where one stands on the political spectrum, much of the truth is usually somewhere else. I think both parties have lost the plot and are only concerned with elections and not with governance.

I think too many Americans have succumbed to what I call the bulls**t binary political paradigm, that you have to be an adherent of one major party or the other. Too many Americans don’t understand that many ways exist to define the role and scope of government and its relationship with the population.

For me, the right to vote means the right not to vote. I don’t think anyone should brag about voting for the lesser of two evils. If I don’t vote it is not a vote for the person you oppose, it is a vote for no one.

My 2¢.

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On this day in 1900, the first modern, major automobile show began in New York City. This article from the American Oil and Gas Historical Society provides excellent information on the show. From that article comes this photo:

first auto show

More from the article:

“An innovative assortment of electric, steam, and ‘internal explosion’ engines powered these horseless carriages. New manufactures like Olds Motor Works of Lansing, Michigan, built models of each kind to compete in the developing market.

The manufacturers presented 160 different vehicles at the first national automobile show. Future leaders of the the nation’s greatest transportation industry gave driving and maneuverability demonstrations on a 20-foot-wide track that surrounded the exhibits. A wooden 200-foot ramp tested hill-climbing power.

About 48,000 show visitors paid 50¢ each to see the latest automotive technology. The most popular models proved to be electric, steam and gasoline…in that order. New Yorkers welcomed electric models as a way to reduce the estimated 450,000 tons of horse manure, 21 million gallons of urine, and 15,000 horse carcasses removed from the city’s streets each year.”

Everything old is new again. At the beginning of the 20th century it was not clear how popular the automobile would be nor was it clear which power source would “win” the battle. Electric cars were quite popular as were steam-powered cars. The only constant in the world is change. I have read that none of the automobile manufacturers that participated in the 1900 show are still in business and yet the automobile industry continues to thrive even with occasional bumps in the road.

According to one of my favorite books, History of the American Auto by the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide®, for 1899-1900 the most popular car in America was made by Columbia with Locomobile in second. Columbia was the brand name used by the Pope Manufacturing Company that was far more famous for its bicycles, most of which also used the Columbia brand name.

From classicarweekly.net a photo of an 1899 Columbia automobile:

https://i0.wp.com/www.classiccarweekly.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/1899-Columbia-Highwheeler.jpg

Except in appreciation for their role in establishing the automobile I don’t have interest in these ancient cars. I would never own one no matter what my net worth. The oldest cars that interest me, and this has changed in the past five years or so, are cars from the 1930s.

Do you have interest in “brass era” cars? What are the oldest cars that interest you?