In Or Out?

I almost certainly will not be posting tomorrow. After 32 consecutive days of writing, I think I can take a break.

Once again, a car for you to consider whether it would be In Or Out of some vaguely defined personal automotive Top 100. I do not expect you to actually create a Top 100 or tell us where a car would rank exactly. Without further ado:

 

See the source image

 

From Hagerty Insurance Agency a picture of a first-generation (1967-1970) Mercury Cougar. In the interest of full disclosure, I will offer my opinion that this is one of the underrated cars in US automotive history. I think these look better than the Ford Mustang on which they’re based, came with good performance options and, of course, would make a great basis for a restomod. The Cougar was named 1967 Motor Trend Car of the Year, the first Lincoln-Mercury vehicle to receive the honor.

Despite not really being a pony car or a personal luxury car, the Cougar was popular after its introduction. More than 150,000 were sold in the debut year of 1967. About 437,000 were sold in the first four model years.

OK, people, first-generation Mercury Cougar…In Or Out? Once again, if this car doesn’t receive at least five votes then the feature will be discontinued.

 

#InOrOut?

#FirstGenerationMercuryCougar

#somanycarsjustonelife

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Thanks Again

At the “risk” of jinxing this blog or ruining my karma…

 

When the blog reached a new monthly high in views in April of 2019, blog views for May of 2019 declined by almost 40% compared to the month before. So, what happened in May, 2020 after a new monthly high in views was set in April, 2020? You can probably guess by the post title that a better outcome occurred than in May of 2019.

May, 2020 set new all-time records for monthly views, visitors and comments. Views for May were 30 percent higher than for the previous record month of April, 2020. The last week in May coincided with a WordPress week of Monday through Sunday and that week set a record for weekly views, blowing past a level I never thought I’d see on this blog.

Many thanks to the readers for propelling Disaffected Musings to new levels. Thanks to those who commented, like photobyjohnbo, C/2 and Dirty Dingus McGee, for commenting enough to break the old monthly comment “record” by 55 percent.

Once again, though, I will continue to “ask for the sale.” Please feel free to tell your friends about the blog and to pass along the URL (https://disaffectedmusings.com), please feel free to click on any (or all) of the related posts at the bottom of each post, please feel free to “Like” any post and to submit thoughtful comments, and please feel free to click on any ad in which you have genuine interest.

Obviously, the fact that far more people are home for a far greater proportion of their week is playing a role in the increase in blog traffic. I don’t think the old normal will ever happen again, but I have no idea how much of an adjustment back toward the previous status quo will occur and how long that will take. That uncertainty is similar to why I don’t use options as an investing strategy. The main reason why 80% of people who trade options lose money (a dirty little secret of the investing world) is that in order to really do well in an options investment one must be correct on the direction of movement of the price of a stock, the magnitude of that move and the timing of that move. Very few outsiders can get all three of those correct consistently.

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That bumper sticker sums up my attitude about automobiles, obviously. Just as obviously, many–if not most–people have a different view. That’s OK, too.

Is the “need” for a non-boring car an attempt to establish uniqueness? In some way, most of us have a need to show we’re different from everyone else. As long as that need doesn’t become behavior by rote, then I think that’s OK. Being a knee-jerk contrarian, though, is no more profound or insightful than being a knee-jerk conformist, in my opinion. Besides, many people are knee-jerk contrarians so being one doesn’t make a person unique. By the way, the word “unique” doesn’t need nor should it be used with a modifying word. “Really unique” and “Super unique” are redundant. The first three letters of unique, “uni,” mean “one” as in the only one that possesses that quality. I know people use modifiers with “unique” and that usage has become “accepted.” That acceptance doesn’t mean strict correctness, though. The fact that people use “it’s” instead of “its” as a possessive pronoun is also widespread and also incorrect. I guess I am an old fogy grammarian.

From Bring A Trailer a picture of a car that, to me, is definitely NOT boring, a 1968 Maserati Ghibli 4.7 Coupe:

 

1968 Maserati Ghibli 4.7 Coupe

 

I think these cars are beautiful and are quite the performer. With about five hours left in the auction as I write this, the high bid is $114,500. If you have the means and the interest to acquire this car, then more power to you. It is not for me to tell other people how they can or should spend their money.

Thanks Again!

 

#ThanksAgain!

#LifeIsWayTooShortForBoringCars

#1968MaseratiGhibli

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Yabba Dabba Doo!

Don’t ask me why I am writing about The Flintstones today; I don’t know. I do know that I absolutely loved the cartoon when I was very young. My marvelous mom used to tell me that I was transfixed by the show (although she didn’t use the word “transfixed”), that I wouldn’t eat or do anything else except watch it when it was on.

I hope I don’t have to explain The Flintstones and its clever use of anachronisms, which was the heart of the show. The Flintstones, which first ran on ABC from September, 1960 to April, 1966, was the first animated show in prime-time on US television. As it relates to cars, a vehicle with holes in the floor is now often referred to as a Flintstones mobile as their vehicles were usually powered by the people who drove them using their feet to propel the car through an open floor.

From a WordPress blog a picture of the “cast” of the Flintstones:

 

See the source image

 

Any other Flintstones fans out there?

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The OnStar subscription in my Corvette expires in about six weeks. If I ever had any doubt about renewing, this story quashed that doubt. A C7 Z06 that was stolen from a parking garage in California was recovered due to OnStar’s theft alert feature. In addition, since the woman who owned the car had the Performance Data Recorder in Valet Mode, which secretly records video on an SD card in the glovebox, when the car’s electronics are fixed it is possible the theft and the thief will be on video.

As “happy” of an ending as this may be, it is a reminder to me of the fact that many people are evil and will do whatever they think they can get away with. That is a reason I don’t like to park my Z06 out of my sight. Here’s a picture of my car that I don’t think I’ve shown before:

 

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Are most of you tired of reading about the search for a Corvette companion/grocery car after we move to the desert? Sorry, but my obsession with that search cannot be helped. It is OCD, after all.

This may come as a surprise to those of you who have any interest, but it looks as if a 2007-2010 Maserati GranTurismo coupe is out of the running. My wonderful wife and I decided that both the acquisition cost and maintenance cost of the car will be too high for a third car.

Initially, I never wanted to spend more than about $20,000 to buy this vehicle. Even the least expensive of these Maseratis are listed at $27,000-$28,000. Obviously, service would not be inexpensive, either.

In a nationwide search for 8-cylinder convertibles and coupes built between 2000 and 2009, with fewer than 45,000 miles and listing for between $6,000 (a floor to exclude wrecked cars and cars sold on a salvage title) and $18,000, A LOT of these cars showed up. They are not a contender for purchase as they only have two seats, but I was amazed at how many were listed:

 

Used 2002 Ford Thunderbird Deluxe Bridgewater, NJ 08807 - 535526335 - 7

 

From AutoTrader a picture of a 2002 Ford Thunderbird. Of the 203 cars that were returned as fitting the criteria of the nationwide search, 71 of them were last-generation Ford Thunderbirds. By the way, one or two older Maserati coupes circa 2004 were listed.

I know John Kraman‘s wife is quite the fan of these cars; how about anyone else?

 

#YabbaDabbaDoo!

#TheFlintstones

#OnStar

#CorvetteCompanion/GroceryCar

#LastGenerationFordThunderbird

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Small Car Saturday

First…except for the two-day surge in views that occurred in April, 2019 when Bill James tweeted the main link to this blog, yesterday had the highest number of views and visitors for a single day. Thanks, please keep reading and please tell your friends. Speaking of friends, Bill, you are always welcome to tweet the main link to this blog or to any post. 🙂

 

Not sure why this topic came to me, it certainly didn’t appear in a dream, but I have always had a thing for small, “cute” cars. If I continue this as a feature, the parade of such vehicles will not be in any order and some of those cars have already appeared in this blog. From Bring A Trailer, a picture of a 1974 Saab Sonett III:

 

See the source image

 

The Sonett I (One, not I/”eye”) was basically a prototype built between 1955 and 1957 with a grand total of six cars produced. In 1966, Saab introduced the Sonett II and then the next year began fitting these cars with a V-4 engine built by Ford.

V-4 engines have been used in motorcycles, but have rarely been used in cars. The most notable exception was Lancia’s use of a V-4 engine in various iterations from 1922 to 1976. I think these very small engines, while being less practical in terms of casting and head design, have advantages in deployment. Their small blocks can be deployed in either a front mid-engine design, leaving the possibility of the desirable long hood, short deck design or they could be deployed behind the driver or even over the rear wheels.

Saab used these engines to replace the two-stroke motors it had been using. Two-stroke motors need to have oil mixed with the fuel and don’t offer much low-end torque.

The Sonett III was introduced in 1970. The car sat on a tiny 85-inch wheelbase. For reference, the shortest wheelbase for any Corvette, which is not a big car, was 96 inches for the C4 (1984-1996). The Sonett III was just 150 inches, 12 1/2 feet, in length. The sleek body was aerodynamically efficient with a drag coefficient of just .31. About 8,400 of the Sonett III were produced through 1974. The 1.7 liter/104 cubic-inch V-4 produced 75 HP/93 LB-FT of torque. Of course, these cars only weighed 1,800 pounds.

I think these cars look fantastic. Without modern safety systems I don’t know how safe I would feel driving one, though.

What do you think of the Sonett III? What are some of your favorite small cars, if any?

 

#SmallCarSaturday

#SaabSonettIII

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Friday Fright

Another disturbing dream…I was attending a gathering that seemed to be part business and part leisure. This event required staying on the grounds at least one night.

As I got ready for bed I suddenly became aware of the presence of a large wolf in my room. I climbed onto the highest table in the room in order to fend off any potential attack. The wolf was able to leave the room and return through a door on the other side from where I had entered. The wolf would jump to try to bite/attack, but each time I was just able to avoid it. At some point in the dream I began to scream for real and my wonderful wife woke me up. Unfortunately, even though I was able to return to sleep, I still have the memory of this dream.

All I can write is WTF?!

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I haven’t forgotten about In Or Out? I have two submissions from readers that I will use in the near future with the proviso that if the first car fails to receive at least five votes, then the feature will be discontinued. This blog will be better if it’s more interactive and given the surge in views/visitors since the beginning of April, the audience is there for more interaction.

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The famous AACA (Antique Automobile Club of America) Hershey, Pennsylvania swap meet has been cancelled for this year. Under the three-tier guidelines set forth by Pennsylvania’s Governor, gatherings of more than 25 people are currently prohibited in Dauphin County, which includes Hershey and which is now in the yellow tier. Even the green tier, the most lenient and open level of the reopening system, would allow gatherings of no more than 250 people. The Hershey swap meet regularly attracts an estimated 200,000 people to the region every year throughout the Fall Meet week.

Ironically for me, the size of the meet has been a large obstacle to my attending it. When it returns (hopefully) next year, I will no longer be within driving distance.

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On this day in 1946 the Kaiser-Frazer Corporation began producing cars at the famous Willow Run assembly plant that had been built by Ford for the mass production of heavy aircraft, particularly the B-24 Liberator (the “B” in B-24 means the plane was a bomber). Formed from the leftovers of the Graham-Paige automobile company, Kaiser-Frazer made inroads in the automobile market at first achieving a 4%+ market share for model years 1947 and 1948. The new Frazer was awarded the Fashion Academy of New York Gold Medal for design achievement.

Unwilling and/or unable to keep with innovations like a V-8 engine, convertibles—although the rare Frazer Manhattan of 1949-51 was the last four-door convertible made in the US until the new Lincoln Continental of 1961, the company didn’t really focus on ragtops—hardtop coupes with no visible B pillar or station wagons, the company’s market share faded to 2% in 1949 and despite a dramatic restyle for model year 1951 and the discontinuation of the Frazer make after 1951 to concentrate on Kaiser, the company stopped making cars in the US after 1955 after losses approaching $100 million.

As I have written here before, although I don’t know if it was company co-founder Henry Kaiser or his son Edgar who made the remark, one of them said, “Slap a Buick nameplate on it and it would sell like hotcakes.” From Hagerty Insurance a picture of a 1947 Frazer Manhattan:

 

See the source image

 

From my picture of part of our garage wall (one of the pictures that appears on the header of this blog) note the reproduction Kaiser-Frazer service sign.

 

 

I would love to see another company besides Tesla try to compete with The Big Three, but that’s a pipedream.

 

#FridayFright

#NoHersheySwapMeet

#Kaiser-Frazer

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Thursday Thoughts

From William Wordsworth via The Muscleheaded Blog:

 

“The human mind is capable of excitement without the application of gross and violent stimulants, and he must have a very faint perception of its beauty and dignity who does not know this.”

 

Sadly, about 7.5% of all Americans aged 18 and older, or almost 19 million people, have a substance abuse problem. Even more sad is that almost a million Americans under the age of 18 have a substance abuse problem. Maybe I shouldn’t reveal this about a person with whom I no longer associate, but the sibling from whom I have been estranged for years has substance abuse issues. These exacerbate this person’s innate anti-social, even sociopathic, tendencies.

Legalizing marijuana is not going to decrease the number of people with problems. Contrary to the delusions of drug “advocates” most people do not use marijuana, cocaine, etc. because they are illegal. The best available evidence indicates that after the passage of the 18th Amendment, the “Prohibition” Amendment, consumption of alcohol initially decreased by two-thirds. Even though alcohol consumption then increased until the Amendment was repealed, it was still about a third below pre-Prohibition levels at the time of repeal. Most people don’t want to risk legal punishment, period.

According to a study cited here, the total annual economic cost of substance abuse in the US, including alcohol, is $1.45 TRILLION. We ALL suffer from the effects of substance abuse. As a point of reference, that estimated loss is more than the annual GDP of Australia, which is hardly a poor nation.

By the way, many of those 19 million adults have children. A large number of the “kids who go hungry” are hungry because their parents are abusing drugs, including alcohol.

Thanks to Chris, author of The Muscleheaded Blog, for bringing Wordsworth’s remark to our attention.

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Reader David Banner (not his real name) texted me this URL of a review of the C8 Corvette from someone who is most decidedly NOT a fan of General Motors. (I apologize for linking to YouTube, part of the Evil Empire.) SavageScotty could not have been more effusive in his praise for the car. He was particularly impressed by the car’s handling and ride and by the automatic transmission.

David Banner also texted his opinion that if the C8 Corvette had a Ferrari or Lamborghini badge it would be sold out at three times the Corvette MSRP. I have long thought that the Corvette is the best performance car in the world, dollar for dollar, and has been for a long time. Many American cars are and have been meh, but tarring the Corvette with the narrow-minded self-hating American brush is inappropriate, like virtually all manifestations of blind adherence to any ideology.

When I first started working in baseball, most of my supervisors thought I “put” bad numbers on players I inherently disliked for some reason. They didn’t understand that my “opinion” of a player’s ability was based on the best and most objective assessment of his performance that I could muster. I am not calling the Corvette a great car because I own one, I own Corvettes because the evidence that they are great cars, and great bargains for what they do, is overwhelming. Yes, another C8 photo to follow:

 

See the source image

 

From Automobile Magazine

 

#ThursdayThoughts

#ScourgeOfSubstanceAbuse

#C8Corvette

#somanycarsjustonelife

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The Big Hurt And Bags

At the risk of alienating most of my regular readers whom, I suspect, read for the cars…

As some baseball fans may know, on this day in 1968 Frank Thomas and Jeff Bagwell were born. Both are enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Both were first basemen although Thomas, aka The Big Hurt, spent much time as a designated hitter. Not surprisingly given their birthday, they were both selected in the 1989 baseball draft; Thomas was the 7th overall pick by the Chicago White Sox. Many baseball fans know that Bagwell, a native of New England, was drafted in the 4th round by the Boston Red Sox, but was traded to the Houston Astros before he ever played in the major leagues in what turned out to be one of the most lopsided trades in baseball history.

I don’t have any Bagwell stories, but I have some Frank Thomas anecdotes. Thomas, now a spokesperson for an alleged testosterone booster among other endeavors, played collegiately at Auburn University. Major league teams’ amateur scouting was (is?) arranged in “layers.” The area scouts, given that name because they are assigned to a geographical area, send reports to their teams on players in their coverage zone. Teams have scouting supervisors or cross-checkers, these are almost always more experienced scouts, who look at players recommended by area scouts. Then, the team will have a scouting director and, perhaps, other senior scouts to look at the top prospects.

The area scout who covered Auburn for the team I worked for in 1989 did not think Thomas was a good prospect. Players were rated on their individual skills, or “tools,” and given an overall rating as well. These grades were given on a 20-to-80 scale with 50 being major league average. For a player to be cross-checked the area scout had to give him an overall grade of at least 50.

Our area scout gave Thomas an overall grade of 48. However, our scouting director knew Thomas would be a first-round pick so he sent a cross-checker to evaluate him. The cross-checker gave Thomas an overall grade of 62, I think, which was a grade for a first-round prospect.

“My” team had the first overall pick in the draft and selected a much-heralded pitcher named Ben McDonald. McDonald had received overall grades in the 70s, which was almost unheard-of. Regardless, he never lived up to the hype. He had a major league career of some length, but played fewer than ten seasons, had under 100 wins and never made an All-Star team or won any awards.

Besides being derailed by injuries, which is quite common for pitchers, I believe he was mishandled by my team including being rushed to the major leagues. To be honest, he was also not the sharpest tool in the shed. Many successful starting pitchers are intelligent; think Bob Gibson, Tom Seaver, Jim Palmer, Sandy Koufax.

Getting back to Frank Thomas…both he and McDonald played regularly in the big leagues during the second half of the 1990 season. After the season, I wrote a memo to my superiors suggesting the team look into trading McDonald for Thomas. I was the subject of much derision.

Even after Thomas had become a big star in the majors, the area scout who had not rated him highly was skeptical of his having continued success. I wonder if he still thought so after Thomas was elected to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.

Thomas’ and Bagwell’s teams faced each other in the 2005 World Series with the White Sox defeating the Astros. Neither player was a factor; Thomas didn’t play at all in the postseason due to injury and Bagwell was limited to being a pinch-hitter/designated hitter due to the chronic shoulder injury that would end his career.

Thomas was an outspoken critic of those players who had used steroids and was the only active player who agreed to be interviewed for the Mitchell Report in 2007. Bagwell’s career was tainted by his admission that he used androstenedione, which at the time was not banned by the FDA or by Major League Baseball. That admission could help to explain why he was not selected to the Hall of Fame until his seventh year of eligibility despite his tremendous performance.

I will not bore the majority of you by reciting statistic after statistic about both players’ careers, even though statistical analysis of baseball players performance was what I did for a living for 20+ years and even though I am a pioneer of sports analytics and a “father” of Moneyball. Thomas was a two-time AL Most Valuable Player and Bagwell also won the MVP award, considered the most prestigious one for season performance.

Oh…I was working for the Oakland A’s as a consultant when they signed Thomas as a free agent in January, 2006. I was in their suite at the Baseball Winter Meetings in December, 2005 when someone knocked at the door. I was the closest to the door so I got up and opened it. It was Frank Thomas. He was a LARGE man basically filling the entire doorway. I welcomed him in and then excused myself and left.

Happy Birthday to The Big Hurt and to Bags!

 

See the source image

See the source image

 

The top photo of Frank Thomas is from Associated Press and the picture of Jeff Bagwell is from the Houston Chronicle.

 

#FrankThomas

#JeffBagwell

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Start The Plants Day

Today is supposed to be the day that General Motors plants resume operation. This is meaningful to me because that means production of the C8 Corvette is supposed to restart.

Criswell Chevrolet of Gaithersburg, Maryland is one of the largest Chevrolet/Corvette dealers in the country. One of their salesmen, Mike Furman, does a feature for Corvette Blogger called Corvette Delivery Dispatch. Here is part of what he wrote in the latest Dispatch:

 

“…I am sure the World events have impacted each and every one of you. The question I keep on getting…’Are a lot of people canceling?’ It’s actually the exact opposite…I am writing 3-4 deals per day every day. I have a tremendous allocation and a big following along with a pretty darn good reputation…”

 

Of course, he is a salesman–and a successful one–so it’s his job to minimize negatives and to maximize positives. Still, I think interest in the new Corvette is genuinely strong. It’s just too bad that its production has been severely affected by the UAW strike and the coronavirus.

Mike Furman spoke at a banquet during the Corvette Caravan last August. He was extremely personable and patient answering dozens of questions about the new car, which had been officially revealed the previous month. Of course, a photo of a C8:

 

See the source image

 

This picture is from the Detroit Free Press. Supposedly, when production resumes GM/Chevrolet will be building model year 2020 Corvettes, but it is not clear if everyone who ordered a 2020 model will be receiving one and not a 2021, instead. ***OK, just received an update. GM has notified Chevrolet dealers that model year 2020 Corvettes will be manufactured through October. The start of regular 2021 model year production will begin on November 2nd, assuming no other setbacks.*** My question: If 2,700 2020 Corvettes were made before the shutdown, can they produce the other 37,000-ish cars by the end of October?

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According to 365 Days of Motoring (incredibly, the site is not secure so I will not link to it), on this day in 1868 the three oldest Studebaker brothers–Clem, Peter and John M.–formed the Studebaker Brothers Manufacturing Company. The company would continue to make vehicles for not quite another 100 years, with Studebaker ceasing to manufacture automobiles in March, 1966.

I have written a lot about Studebaker on this blog and shown a lot of pictures of Studebaker vehicles. My wonderful wife and I have even joined The Studebakers Drivers Club. I have to admit, though, that my interest in their cars has waned in recent months as has my interest in defunct American makes, in general.

Part of the reason for the diminution of my interest has to be my search for a Corvette companion/grocery car in which the search has morphed from looking for a nostalgic car to looking for a modern car. Inherent in that change is the reality that I am not super-wealthy nor do I possess much experience in working on cars. In addition, something John Kraman told me while my wonderful wife and I were in Arizona for the March Mecum auction has stuck with me. He said that it would take multiple iterations of repairs to get an older car to the point where it would be reliable. If my wonderful wife and I are going grocery shopping or are going to take some friends somewhere, we can’t worry about the car.

That being said, I will always have fondness for Studebaker and other defunct American makes. Which Studebaker is my favorite? Based on the length of time I have admired the car and its initial effect on me, it has to be this one:

 

See the source image

 

From the Classic Auto Mall a picture of a 1964 Avanti. For you Studebaker enthusiasts, which one is your favorite? 56PackardMan is no longer in the blog world, but his favorite–the 1953 Commander Starliner–is his favorite car, period.

 

#ResumptionOfC8Production

#Studebaker

#StudebakerAvanti

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Memorial Day 2020

I wish I had something of consequence or of profundity to write to observe this day, a Memorial Day unlike any other in memory. Just take note of the fact that about 1.5 million American soldiers have died while in service. Also remember that the men and women who serve today do so voluntarily.

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While my wonderful wife and I cannot begin a home search in the desert in earnest (I thought you were looking in Arizona, where’s earnest? 🙂 ) until we sell our current home, we do look at listings and have unofficially retained the services of a realtor. Our latest setback has pushed the listing of our current home out into some unknown time.

My desired area consists of the southern part of one zip code and the northern part of an adjacent zip code. I am trying to find a home with some elevation in order to reduce the heat in the summer, even if by just 2°-4°. My wonderful wife is not as concerned with elevation and just wants to find a nice home with a pool. We both want at least a 3-car garage.

Currently, on any given search the set of homes that meet all of our criteria is very small and those searches are not as geographically specific as I would want. The realtor says that few homes are being offered for sale at present and the good ones usually go very quickly. Here is a picture from Realtor.com of the front of one of the few houses that meets our criteria:

 

 

Of course I had to use a photo with one of those amazing Arizona sunsets. Technically, this house is not in the zone I have identified as desirable, but beggars can’t be choosers.

I really wish I could just snap my fingers and have this entire process done. Alas, the real world doesn’t work like that.

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Now, this was a real Corvette fan…on this day in 1994 the ashes of 71-year old George Swanson were buried in the driver’s seat of his white 1984 Corvette, according to his wishes. Swanson had served in the US Army during World War II and later was a successful beer distributor. The burial took place weeks after his death because the cemetery where he had purchased enough plots for the car to fit had balked stating concerns about vandalism and offending others. Ultimately, Swanson’s wishes were carried out. His widow, Caroline, remarked, “George always said he lived a fabulous life, and he went out in a fabulous style. You have a lot of people saying they want to take it with them. He took it with him.”

From amosauto a picture of a white 1984 Corvette. This is not just another example from the first model year of the C4 Corvette, it was the 750,000th Corvette produced when it rolled off the assembly line at Bowling Green, Kentucky in October, 1983.

 

See the source image

 

Carpe Diem!

 

#MemorialDay2020

#DesertHouseSearch

#RealCorvetteFan

#GeorgeSwanson

#1984ChevroletCorvette

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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The Gift That Keeps On Giving

For Disaffected Musings (this blog), this post–Where Is Cristy Lee?–is the gift that keeps on giving. I wrote that post in January after she did not appear on the Motor Trend telecast of the Barrett-Jackson auction from Scottsdale. The post had more views in March than in January and after the new season of All Girls Garage premiered without Cristy Lee (she is no longer on the show), the number of views skyrocketed. The post had almost five times as many views in April as in January, nearly four times as many as in March.

I was going to show a chart of the percentage of total blog views that were of that post by month, but decided I didn’t want to bore you. However, 7.7% of all views in the “record-setting” month of April were of that post. Almost five percent of all views for the year are for that single post. Not counting the About page, it is easily the most viewed post in the history of this blog and may even catch the About page.

As I wrote in this post (also a very popular one), I think that Cristy Lee’s departure from All Girls Garage as well as the departure of Lou Santiago and Jared Zimmerman from Car Fix could very well be a matter of the company that produces both shows, Brenton Productions, needing to reduce costs. It is show business, after all. All Girls Garage costs less to produce with two hosts than with three. As for Car Fix, the two new hosts are probably being paid less than Santiago and Zimmerman would have been paid. Of course, Lee already has another gig as she is now a host of Garage Squad, which is shot closer to her home.

It could be that since both Brenton shows have been on for nine seasons, ratings have declined. That means Motor Trend receives less money per minute of ads, which means they want to pay a smaller fee per episode. Brenton Productions, which also wants to make a profit, needs to cut costs to make up for the smaller per episode fee.

By the way, as for the Barrett-Jackson broadcasts, Cristy Lee probably knew that the January broadcast from Scottsdale was the last one Motor Trend was going to do, at least for the foreseeable future. Whenever the live auctions return, they will be broadcast on the A&E networks like History and fyi. If she bailed on Scottsdale what was Motor Trend going to do, ban her from working on the auction broadcasts?

While I don’t want this blog to be a one-trick pony, if some people searching for Cristy Lee end up as regular readers of the blog, then that’s OK to me.

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This video is very funny, in my opinion. Please make sure you un-mute it before starting. Many thanks to my wonderful wife for sharing it with me.

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From Edith Wharton via The Muscleheaded Blog:

 

“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.”

 

Please think for yourself. “Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it.” – André Gide

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Numbers nerd/OCD “person” that I am I decided to go through yesterday’s listings on Bring A Trailer and see how many of them I would actually want to buy AND to drive. 332 auctions were active when I conducted my survey and not all of them were for cars. Some were for parts like tires.

First, most BaT cars have a manual transmission. I have not driven a stick for 40+ years and am not re-acquainting myself at this age. Second, A LOT of the cars are from Porsche and Volkswagen, German makes that I consider to be Hitlermobiles. If you think I am being unreasonable, even if my parents weren’t Holocaust survivors, which they were, I don’t think a statute of limitations exists for genocide, mass murder and unspeakable evil.

So, what was the number? Would you believe (I hear Don Adams in my head for some reason) just 18 of 332, or 5.4%. Of course, that percentage would be slightly higher when accounting for the non-car auctions.

This is one car that even surprised me with my interest:

 

1951 Ford Custom Convertible

 

This is a 1951 Ford convertible that is really a restomod. It is powered by a GM fuel-injected 350 cubic-inch V-8 and has a four-speed GM automatic transmission. It has front disc brakes and other modern systems although the car is not in 100% working condition.

As everyone knows, many old Fords have been fitted with a GM drivetrain. The reasons don’t matter, but people who are in denial are actually hysterical. Many of the comments for this listing are a debate about the drivetrain. Whether or not one agrees with the practice, no one with a functioning brain can actually deny that many old Fords have a GM drivetrain.

As of this writing the high bid is $10,000. This is not a Frugal Friday post, but that doesn’t seem like a lot of money to me for an interesting car like this. Oh, feel free to conduct the same survey for yourself and feel free not to.  🙂

 

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