Latest Automotive Obsession

 

“Out of sight except at night.” That was a slogan for the 1942 DeSoto and its Airfoil Lights. I believe this year/make was only the second car ever offered with hidden headlights with the 1936-37 Cord 810/812 being the first. Buying one of these would cost a lot less than buying a real Cord.

 

See the source image

 

Fluid Drive was a semi-automatic transmission in which the clutch was used from a stop to engage the car into gear and then, once the clutch was released, the transmission would shift around through the gears as needed and as directed by accelerator position, speed, etc. Of course, General Motors had already introduced a fully automatic transmission by this time, the Hydra-Matic.

I just love the face of this car. The hidden headlights were only used for 1942 model year cars, a year in which production ended early because of the US entry into World War II. DeSoto built 24,771 automobiles in model year 1942. After the war, the hidden headlights were no longer used on DeSoto cars, or anyone else’s for that matter.

A really big lottery win would probably mean I would buy one of these and have it resto-modded. One of the great things about living here is that there are a lot of shops that could do the work.

Have a great weekend…

 

#LatestAutomotiveObsession

#1942DeSoto

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Not So Thorough Thursday

My thoughts are with my good friend Bob and his father…

 

One would think a good night’s sleep would foster creativity, but I don’t have much for today despite one of the best nights of sleep I have had in quite some time. This Hemmings article is about the last vehicles with carburetors. Apparently, the 1991 Jeep SJ Grand Wagoneer, built in Toledo, was the last US-built vehicle with a carburetor.

The article ends, “For now, though, and especially in light of the coming prohibitions against sales of new internal-combustion-powered cars around the globe, it’s at least worth exploring the topic just to illustrate that nothing lasts forever, no matter how used to it we have become.” It is true that nothing lasts forever, which is kind of a double-edged sword, but I’ll stop there.

I have learned to never say never, but at the moment I don’t see myself purchasing an electric vehicle. Of course, I can’t really predict the future that well, just like the rest of the human race.

Thirty years ago I was working for my hometown baseball team and hoped to be with them for a long time. Three years later I was no longer working for them and the year after that I moved to California, where I met my wonderful wife. I could not have foreseen any of that.

I’ll spare you the rant against inflexibility and blind adherence to ideology. I just know that none of us can really predict the future with great accuracy and that successful people are almost always adaptable people.

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This Corvette Blogger “article” shows a video of a C7 Corvette Z06–that’s what I own–drag-racing a C8 Corvette. David Banner (not his real name) brought this to my attention. As the article states, the naturally-aspirated C8 was at a disadvantage because this race was held in Morrison, Colorado at an altitude of 5,800 feet.

Not surprisingly, the race was no contest. The Z06 ran the quarter-mile in 11.18 seconds reaching 124.87 MPH. The C8 ran a 12.62 quarter-mile at 110.84 MPH.

In the 1960s at the height of the original muscle-car era, a car that could run the quarter-mile in the low 14s was considered very fast. After the end of the muscle-car era in the early 1970s, NO ONE could have predicted cars that off the showroom floor could run 11- or 12- second quarters. At lower altitude I know a stock C7 Z06 can run the quarter in the high 10s.

THIS is the golden age of automobiles. Enjoy it while it lasts because nothing lasts forever.

 

 

#NotSoThoroughThursday

#OneCanNeverKnowAnything

#NothingLastsForever

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Wednesday Wishes

When I went off to bed at 9:30 PM yesterday I told my wonderful wife that I didn’t know if I could sleep because I was so hungry. When I woke up at 1:45 AM to go to the bathroom I was unable to go back to sleep because I was so hungry. Of course, I cannot go back to sleep after eating because of my GERD, which creates awful reflux if I try to sleep on a full stomach. I wish I did not have this condition.

David Banner (not his real name) sent me the listing to this house that, according to the copy, has “garage room for 100 cars.” If my wonderful wife and I had been the only winner of the Mega Millions drawing yesterday (nobody won the big prize), we would have netted about $55 million after taxes. The asking price for this house that has been on the market almost seven months is $6.3 million. OF COURSE, I wish we had won the lottery so we would be able to afford this house and buy 10-20 cars to partially fill the garage space. Here is a picture from the listing:

 

House view featured at 11350 E Arabian Park Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85259

 

Looks like one of each of the 1953 General Motors Motorama cars to me. How about this for garage space?

 

Road view featured at 11350 E Arabian Park Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85259

 

Or this?

 

Property featured at 11350 E Arabian Park Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85259

 

Once again from the movie Diner, “If you don’t have dreams, you have nightmares.” No, I do not expect to win the lottery and wind up with some eight- or nine-figure sum of money. However, as I tell my wonderful wife all the time, “Wouldn’t that be something?”

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I wish so many people were not so ignorant. Look at these graphs comparing the six states with the highest vaccination rates and their current rate of virus hospitalizations to the rates for the six states with the lowest vaccination rates.

 

 

The vaccines work, no matter what the ignoramuses think. Yes, we’re not supposed to insult or browbeat them because that won’t make them want to get vaccinated. Welcome to the Coddling States of America, the place where schools can’t fail kids for giving the wrong answers. People are needlessly being hospitalized and dying because they stubbornly refused to get vaccinated.

The “Delta Wave” could, of course, turn out to be a cloud with a silver lining. Here is something that Brian Sullivan of CNBC tweeted yesterday: “Louisiana pharma distributor contact tells me that vaccine orders have doubled in last two days and nearly tripled from last week. Expect big jump in vaccination rate over next few days…”

If somewhere down the road CDC guidance is that someone like me should get a booster shot, I will gladly do it. As regular readers know, I am hardly a political liberal, but this issue is not political.

 

Still can’t stop thinking about the house with the 100-car garage…

 

#WednesdayWishes

#100CarGarage

#IgnoranceIsNotBliss

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Tuesday Turbocharger

First…about 12 hours ago I wasn’t sure I would be in a position to post today. On a scale of 1 to 10, my headache was a 10, encompassing my head and my neck. Ibuprofen, acetaminophen, cold, heat…nothing seemed to work.

I think these really bad headaches are part of a bad feedback loop, where physiological and psychological stressors feed each other. Eventually though (~3 hours), the headache went away and I was able to sleep. This morning I feel fine.

I doubt many of you are interested in my medical issues, but they are a large part of my life and this is my blog.

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In my opinion, the definitive article on turbocharging (and supercharging) is this one from Ate Up With Motor. Very briefly, a turbocharger is an air compressor that “feeds” the intake system and is powered by exhaust gases. Compression forces the air-fuel mixture into the cylinders at a pressure above atmospheric, giving them more mixture to burn and creating more power.

Although the turbocharger was a Swiss/German invention whose first application was in aircraft engines, the first application in passenger cars was in the Chevrolet Corvair and Oldsmobile F-85 Jetfire in the early 1960s. As recently as 2010, only 5% of new vehicles sold in the US were turbocharged. By 2017, though, that proportion had grown to 28%.

As I have written before (apparently, my “favorite” phrase to write in this blog), while I would never try to impose my beliefs on everyone else, I think in all vehicles sold with internal combustion engines those engines should be turbocharged. Such engines can have smaller displacement, meaning better fuel economy, without sacrificing power. Turbocharged engines are also more thermally efficient than naturally aspirated motors and produce lower emissions, in part, of course, because they burn less fuel.

A 1963 Oldsmobile F-85 Jetfire was offered at the Mecum auction in Indianapolis in 2017. Here is a picture of that car:

 

See the source image

 

Unfortunately for the Corvair and F-85, turbocharging technology was not advanced enough at the time for these cars to be practical. Instead of an intercooler that cooled the compressed charge (compressing a gas increases its heat, a hot charge is not good for engine performance), to inhibit premature detonation the Jetfire used a simple water-methanol mixture they dubbed Turbo-Rocket Fluid.

Oldsmobile offered a turbocharged engine (in its 215 cubic-inch aluminum V-8, no less) only in 1962 and 1963 while Chevrolet offered the option in the Corvair (for its flat-six mounted in the rear) from 1962 through 1966, inclusive. Jetfire sales actually increased 55% in 1963 compared to 1962 (in part because of its introduction late in the 1962 model year), but total sales for the two years were still fewer than 10,000. Total Oldsmobile sales for those two years were about 900,000 vehicles.

I am not an engineering geek, but the combination of turbocharging in a small-displacement V-8 really interests me. Of course, in 10-20 years internal combustion engines will be on the way out. What, if anything, will companies do to differentiate the drivetrains of various models?

 

#TuesdayTurbocharger

#BADHeadache

#OldsmobileF85Jetfire

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Monday Musings 76

Hindsight is at least 20-20…I guess I should have posted yesterday as Disaffected Musings had the second highest number of views on a day without a post in its 3 1/2 year history. Oh well…

 

Without any elaboration I pass along this article from Hagerty about how to get even the worst smells out of a vehicle. OK, one interesting tidbit: the Hyundai Palisade has/had a known issue about an awful smell in vehicles with black or brown interiors with the Nappa “leather.”

The interior of my wonderful wife’s 2018 Corvette convertible in 3LT trim doesn’t smell all that great to me and I think it’s the leather. Of course, with the top down the smell is not noticeable. Some people still prefer vinyl or cloth interiors and I completely understand.

 

 

We need to take some photographs of our Corvettes in our new environment. I’m not sure why we haven’t, yet. Yesterday marked 37 weeks that we have lived in our Arizona house.

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The WordPress editor is working without a hitch today so here comes the media:

 

 

 

It is said that no two Nissan GT-R engines are exactly alike because they are all hand built. Hopefully, you can see the small plaque on the engine with the “signature” of the person who built this particular motor.

 

 

I think the C2 Corvette knock-off wheels are one of the absolute best-looking in automobile history. The side pipes don’t hurt the look of this car, either.

OK, this pair of photos is a “Before and After.” The second shot was taken at the tail end of a lightning flash. I don’t know how photographers get such vivid images of lightning. I guess that’s why they’re professionals and I’m not.

 

 

 

OK, I’m probably close to overdoing it, if I haven’t done so already.

 

#MondayMusings

#LeatherSmell

#NissanGT-R

#DesertLightning

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Here Comes The Generator

For much of our time in our “forested” home in the mid-Atlantic I wanted a whole-home generator installed. We lost power multiple times a year, sometimes for more than 24 hours.

When we realized we were moving to Arizona, buying such an item became beyond imprudent. However, I wanted to buy one for whatever home we bought in Arizona.

When I mentioned this desire to people, EVERYONE said, “Oh, you don’t need one here. The power seldom goes out and it never goes out for more than a few minutes.” I should never doubt myself.

Yesterday, in the middle of a monsoon thunderstorm, we lost power for five hours. My wonderful wife has, reluctantly, agreed to the installation of a generator because before we moved here I made her promise that as soon as we had a lengthy power outage we would install a generator.

Of course, the rain (I estimate between 1.5 and 2 inches of rain fell yesterday at our house) was much needed. As uncomfortable as I was yesterday while the power was out–the feeling of losing control is overwhelming for me in those situations–that should never happen again. The company that installs generators is sending a rep on Monday.

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It remains apparent that, just below the surface, I have a layer of unresolved anger and frustration. While my plight for the last decade of not being able to establish a fulfilling post-baseball career is fuel for that fire, the conflagration is decades old.

I cannot exactly pinpoint where this issue began. The fact that my parents divorced in my early teen years is almost certainly a factor. Growing up as the child of Holocaust survivors and understanding what happened to my father is probably a cause.

Another cause is that I was the victim of several physical assaults in junior high and high school, assaults where I never fought back. To tell the truth, these assaults were racially motivated.

In college, a swastika was drawn next to my name on a dorm roster two different semesters. The first time it happened, I almost punched the person who told me, “Oh, it’s not a big deal. It’s just a prank.” Maybe I should have punched him…

Anyway…this unresolved anger will sometimes manifest itself by my lashing out when someone I don’t know well disappoints me. (On rare occasions, it will manifest itself with someone I do know well.) Almost without exception the level of my response is inappropriate for the slight I have suffered. As Bill James has written, the straw that breaks the camel’s back doesn’t have to be as heavy as the other straws.

Something like this recently happened and, in a desire to finally put out the fire, I thought writing about it here might be a good first blast of the fire hose. I welcome thoughts from any of you in a similar situation.

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How many of you have attended a Concours d’Elegance? My wonderful wife and I attended the one in Hershey in 2019, an event that, sadly, has apparently been permanently discontinued. We enjoyed ourselves immensely.

This Hemmings article is about the Audrain Concours event that began in 2019, was not held last year for obvious reasons, but will be held this year. Without rhyme or reason, here are some photos from the 2019 Hershey event, not including any of the dozens I took at the Cars & Coffee the day before the Concours–maybe some other time:

 

 

I was really in my Packard “phase” as the proportion of Packard photos exceeded even the ample number of cars of that make in the event.

 

#HereComesTheGenerator

#UnresolvedAnger

#Concoursd’Elegance

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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One Hand Giveth, The Other Taketh

From the pictures below you can see that my new wheels have finally been mounted, more than seven weeks after they were ordered and paid for.

 

 

For reference, here is a picture with the old wheels:

 

 

Yes, I am very happy with the look of the new wheels. Of course, apparently I am not entitled to have everything run smoothly. I was supposed to take the Z06 into the “speed shop” early next week for parts and tuning that would boost horsepower and torque. Some of those parts (get it?) were to be ceramic-coated racing headers.

I received a call Wednesday that my appointment will have to be rescheduled. Why? The company that the speed shop uses for ceramic coating is way behind in doing its work. What’s worse is that the ceramic coating company is soon to be out of business as its owner is retiring and the headers for my car may have to be coated by another company, which will delay the process further.

I’ll ask no one in particular: WTF?

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All that being said, I really like this remark by Henry James:

“Excellence does not require perfection.”

Of course, Voltaire’s “Perfect is the enemy of good” is also applicable. Still, life seems to be very far from perfect and, for the most part, far from excellence.

The speed shop manager apologized to me for the delay and we began a very politically incorrect discussion about what is happening with American companies. Political correctness is fascism.

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According to 365 Days of Motoring (for the nth time not a secure site AND for the nth time, why?), on this day in 1901 American automobile pioneer Ransom Eli Olds was issued a design patent for his “Vehicle Body”, now commonly called the Curved-Dash Oldsmobile. The story that this car wound up being produced because its prototype was the only one saved in a fire is…well, not exactly the truth. While Olds would later say that all company plans and patterns had been destroyed in the fire, and that only one model had been saved by a brave worker–his curved-dash runabout, actually, the runabout and several other prototypes emerged safely from a fireproof vault.

Also, about 300 orders for the Curved-Dash runabout had already been received before the fire. In 1901, only one American company even produced as many as 1,000 cars for the entire year so 300 orders was a large number in the context of the time.

Anyway…the Curved-Dash Oldsmobile is credited as being the first mass-produced automobile, meaning that it was built on an assembly line using interchangeable parts, as opposed to be hand-built with parts made to fit. Henry Ford is often credited with inventing the assembly line for automobiles. He actually began the practice of using a moving assembly line. From the Haynes Motor Museum, a picture of an Oldsmobile Model R, the Curved-Dash Oldsmobile:

 

See the source image

 

This car moved Oldsmobile to the top of the US production chart for 1903 from 1905, inclusive. For example, in 1904 Oldsmobile produced more cars (5,508) than the next two makes combined.

Sadly, Oldsmobile has been defunct for almost two decades. It remains, and will always remain, the only US company that produced cars in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. It built about 35 million cars. This article is titled, “Is Ransom E. Olds The Most Famous Man You Never Heard Of?” He might not be the most, but his legacy is mostly forgotten today.

Have a great weekend…

 

#OneHandGivethTheOtherTaketh

#NewWheelsForMyZ06

#PoliticalCorrectnessIsFascism

#OldsCurvedDashRunabout

#RansomOlds

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Wednesday Whirlwind

Sow the wind and reap the whirlwind. I hope Ben & Jerry’s is destroyed by a whirlwind!

 

Speaking of religion, and somewhat ironically, this article is called, “Christianity and religion in general are dying in America…” The piece reports on a study released by a religious organization called the Barna group and an excerpt from the piece is, “If the Barna group raises red flags about the decline of religion in America, you can bet they’re not making it up.”

The first data point shown was the most significant, in my opinion: “First, we have a rise of what both pieces call the “don’ts” in America, a term roughly equivalent to the “nones.” These are, according to Barna, ‘people who say they don’t know, don’t care, or don’t believe that God exists.’ This proportion rose from 10% of all Americans in 1991 to 34% this year.”

I don’t want to speak for religious people, since I am not one, but I suspect some would blame much of the world’s evil on the dramatic increase in lack of “belief.” To me, evil and chaos have existed since the beginning of time, but now we have a 24/7 news cycle, thousands of news “sources” and, worst of all, “social media.” Sex sells, but so does evil.

By the way, my attachment to the Jewish people is one of shared history and culture, not religious practice. When one grows up as the child of Jewish Holocaust survivors, I think that’s a natural outcome.

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I found this ten-year old article from Psychology Today titled, “Popular Culture: Reality TV Is NOT Reality.” Despite its age, the piece is still very relevant, obviously. Here is the key paragraph, IMO:

 

“Reality TV promotes the worst values and qualities in people–and disguises them all as entertainment. Reality TV has made the Seven Deadly Sins–pride, avarice, envy, wrath, lust, gluttony, and sloth-attributes to be admired. Throw in selfishness, deceit, spite, and vengeance–all qualities seen routinely on reality TV–and you have the personification of the worst kind of person on Earth. Reality TV makes heroic decidedly unheroic values, characters, and behavior.”

 

I have often written that so-called Reality TV is nothing of the sort, anyway. Almost without exception, the TV camera in these “shows” is not an unobtrusive observer of real life, of something that would exist with or without the camera. Most of these shows were created for TV. The participants are acutely aware they are being filmed, are encouraged by the producers to act as outrageously as possible and then the footage is edited to maximize the “tension.”

What the genre should be called is Cheap TV. The production company doesn’t have to hire expensive talent and writers, so even if the shows don’t get great ratings, they can still make money. It is show business. Of course, I believe the term Cheap TV can also be used as in this definition, Cheap: Inexpensive because of inferior quality.

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This Hagerty article is titled, “2021 is shaping up to be the best year, ever, for collector car auctions.” The piece shows a chart, which I was unable to share here, that displays the annual totals for auction sales in North America since 2014 with the 2021 projection–based on results so far this year–exceeding the 2018 “peak” by about 20 percent.

Interestingly, but not surprisingly, it is the increase in online auctions that is powering much of the overall increase. Online auctions were not really a factor as recently as five years ago, but based on the chart, and my admittedly unscientific method of measuring it, online auctions will account for almost half of all auction sales this year. Again, it’s the auction business. Online auctions have so much less overhead than traditional ones. Of course, people have grown very comfortable buying anything and everything over the Internet.

Here is the picture at the beginning of the Hagerty piece:

 

 

Dependent on family circumstances, my wonderful wife and I have plans to attend the Mecum auction next month. I have bid on cars using both online and in-person auctions, although the online bids were not too serious. We very much enjoy attending, but it’s not an inexpensive endeavor. Having many auctions here in Arizona will enable us to attend more of them, obviously. It will be nice not having to pay for airfare and lodging.

As always, I welcome your thoughts on today’s post or other topics of interest to you.

 

#WednesdayWhirlwind

#DeclineOfReligion

#RealityTVIsALie

#BoomInCollectorCarAuctions

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Tuesday Trifles

No, today’s post title is not meant to diminish of the significance of this day in 1969 in any way. Of course, that was the day that Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin became the first humans to walk on the moon.

In September of 2002 Aldrin gained more “notoriety” by punching a conspiracy theorist/lunatic who told him the moon landings were fake, staged in a Hollywood studio. I can’t say I blame Aldrin one bit.

From Wikimedia a picture of the crew of Apollo 11:

 

See the source image

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Speaking of space, today Jeff Bezos rode “into space” in a vessel designed and built by his company, Blue Origin. Both his flight and the recent flight of Richard Branson were sub-orbital, but still represent a huge turning point, in my opinion.

It is sickening to me how many cretins on social media think that what Bezos and Branson are doing is nothing more than billionaires flaunting their wealth. In my opinion, the fact that very few people actually know anyone very wealthy creates an antagonism similar to how the fact that few people actually know any Jews creates an antagonism towards them.

I have known very wealthy people and, without exception, they are/were very hard-working. In the same way that most non-athletes cannot comprehend the level of competitiveness among professional athletes, most people who are not wealthy cannot comprehend the work ethic that the majority of wealthy people have. Sorry, but that’s true, as inconvenient as it may be to politicians who deal in the politics of envy and to lazy POS who want to stay home, smoke weed and play video games. My wish for both of those groups is the same: Luzzim Brenna Vee Da Keen!

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Yesterday, Chevrolet officially announced that the Z06 version of the current Corvette generation, the C8, will be revealed this fall as a 2023 model year car. The consensus had been that the car would be revealed this month as a 2022 model year car, but given the UAW strike last year, the damn virus and the worldwide computer chip shortage, plans had to be adjusted.

As much as I am loathe to use any part of the Evil Empire (AKA Google), here is a link to a short video about the C8 Z06. The most heard “rumor” about the engine is that it will be a 5.5 liter (about 335 cubic inches), flat-plane crank, naturally aspirated V-8 and will be the most powerful non forced-induction V-8 in automotive production history. The best guess right now is that the engine will produce about 650 HP and 600 LB-FT of torque. It should be capable of revving to about 9,000 RPM. In keeping with the spirit of this part of today’s post, a picture of a (non Z06) C8 Corvette:

 

 

What will the C8 Z06 cost? I’m guessing, and it’s little more than a guess, that it will start at under $100,000, but depending on options could sticker at $120,000-$140,000. In the world of very high performance automobiles, that’s a bargain. Consider that the well-worn, but well-made Nissan GT-R, a car that hasn’t really changed since its introduction in 2009, starts at about $115,000 and costs more than $200,000 for the NISMO and NISMO Special Edition.

Long live the Corvette!

 

#TuesdayTrifles

#Apollo11

#WorkEthic

#C8Z06

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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A Giant Waste Of Time

No, I am not talking about this blog or even my life, although I feel that way some times. Last week, I made an online appointment for this morning with “my” Chevrolet dealer to have the new wheels installed and to get the last oil change before the powertrain warranty expires. It turns out making the appointment online was exactly NOT the way to go.

Because, obviously, all four wheels would not fit in my Z06 my wonderful wife had to accompany me with the two rear wheels in the Cadillac. After I arrived at the dealer, a service advisor met me and asked if I had made the appointment online. When I answered that I had, he said the dealer could not install aftermarket wheels because of the liability, but that they would do the oil change. (“The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.” – Shakespeare from Henry VI.) I just left and will never return to that dealership.

Uh, you mean no one reads the text of non-standard service appointments made online? My wife had a dentist appointment this morning and we rushed to get to the dealer before my appointment time so she could could get to her appointment on time. Oh, we don’t live within a 5- or 10-minute drive from the dealership.

I just want to scream, but I will probably just hurt my throat. I do NOT want to hear, “Anything worth having is worth waiting for.”

 

See the source image

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Before I blow a gasket, here are some pictures:

 

 

#AGiantWasteOfTime

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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