Sunday Supplement

I cannot comprehend how anyone can support the “Palestinians” after reading the truth about them. Oh, actually I can; it’s called hateful, ignorant anti-Semitism.

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The fountain in Fountain Hills, Arizona, driven by three 600 horsepower turbine pumps, sprays water at a rate of 7,000 gallons per minute through an 18-inch nozzle. With all three pumps under ideal conditions, the fountain reaches 560 feet in height, though in normal operation only two of the pumps are used, with a fountain height of about 300 feet. When built it was the world’s tallest fountain, a record it held for over a decade.

Although we only saw it run for about three minutes, we were finally successful in seeing it in operation. We had driven to Fountain Hills a couple of times previously and arrived during its scheduled time of operation, but it was not in service. By the way, almost no one else was watching the fountain when we were there yesterday.

We came very close to buying a home in Fountain Hills. I think it’s very likely the house we did buy has appreciated more rapidly than the one we didn’t. Of course, unless we’re going to downsize and move to a place where the real estate market isn’t as hot, then the increase in our house’s value, and our equity, is not really relevant.

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The WordPress editor is, once again, acting up today. Among other things, that makes it difficult to format text and to add media–like pictures–the longer the post gets. I have quite a few photos I would like to share, but will have to save many of them for a day when the editor is more cooperative.

 

 

My wonderful wife and I attended the Pavilions auto show yesterday and, once again, it was sparsely attended. Perhaps it was the light, intermittent rain or the fact that many of the “snowbirds” have left the area. Maybe it’s because the word isn’t out that the show has resumed.

Anyway…this is a restomod 1954 Hudson Metropolitan. The car was basically hand-built by its owner. It has a supercharged small-block Chevy engine and a 700 R4 automatic transmission.

 

 

This is a 1967 AMC Ambassador. Of course, I always enjoy seeing cars from defunct American makes.

 

 

Did I mention that the house we almost bought in Fountain Hills had a 360° view of mountains? We have a nice view now, but it’s not 360°. Oh well…

 

#SundaySupplement

#FuckAnti-Semites

#FountainHillsArizona

#RestomodMetropolitan

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Fast Friday Fricassee

No, I am not going to share a recipe for chicken fricassee, which by the way was apparently a favorite dish of Abraham Lincoln. I am going to share some links to articles, but not go into depth about them.

 

This piece is titled “Facebook and its advertisers are panicking as the majority of iPhone users opt out of tracking.” Here’s more:

 

“With iOS 14.5 released to the public earlier this year, iPhone and iPad users now have the ability to easily opt out of cross-site and cross-app tracking and targeting. New data from analytics firm Branch indicates that just 25% of users are opting in to tracking, which is causing panic in the advertising industry.”

 

Well done, Apple!

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This link is to an op-ed about China titled, “American corporations must stop selling out to China’s brutal regime.” Bill Drexel and Paul Wolfowitz write, “The Chinese government’s ability to decisively influence even minuscule advertising decisions across America should be cause for great concern in a world in which U.S. movies, schools and publishers bow to Chinese fiscal pressure.”

The Chinese government is the opposite of altruistic and China’s “system” should not be a model for any country where freedom is valued.

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This piece has the title, “Legal Aid Society demonizes progressive public defender who criticized racial tribalism.” More: “Why? Because she’s [Maud Maron] in the process of being canceled for writing a letter to the New York Post denouncing the racial tribalism promoted by Critical Race Theory and its everyday interpretations and tenets.”

Critical Race Theory is itself grossly racist. Cancel Culture is the antithesis of freedom of speech. Once again, the author of the linked blog is an American liberal, not a conservative.

******************

Shifting to cars…this Hagerty article is titled, “The most valuable Corvettes from C1 to C6.” Not surprisingly, the most valuable Corvette from the first six generations was one of these (picture from Mecum):

 

1967 Corvette Coupe L88 front three-quarter

 

According to Hagerty a 1967 L88 in excellent condition has an average value of $2.5 million. Of course, only 20 of them were produced. This generation’s most valuable car had the lowest value among the six:

 

2003 Chevrolet Corvette 50th Anniversary front three-quarter

 

This is a 2003 Corvette Pace Car Convertible, with a value of $33,000 in excellent condition. Of course, this is a C5. I personally do not care for cars with writing on them and over the top ornamentation.

 

Hope you have enjoyed today’s post. I may engage in this type of writing on a semi-regular basis if the response is good.

Enjoy your weekend.

 

#FastFridayFricassee

#FackFucebook

#ValuableCorvettes

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Happy 99!

On this day in 1922 my marvelous mom was born. For those of you who don’t know me, you will now have an idea what I look like.

 

 

I wasn’t going to show this photo until next July 15th, but who knows what will be happening then.

I used to call her Mamaleh, Yiddish for “Little Mother.” Some pronounce it Mamalah.

She used to call me Tataleh, Yiddish for “Little Father.” She often said I reminded her of her father, my grandfather. Americans take relationships with their grandparents for granted, but I never knew any of mine. They all died during World War II.

In fact, my existence is a very low probability event. My mother and her parents fled their Polish village (shtetl) mere days before the Nazis burned it to the ground. My mother said her father’s intelligence saved their lives as he knew what was happening and what would happen if they had stayed.

Of course, my father watched his family murdered by Nazi troops. You don’t want to know how he survived. Like I wrote, it’s basically a fluke that I am even here.

This is the 18th birthday that my mother has missed. Sad and most sobering is the reality that she will miss every birthday for the rest of time. Not to put too fine a point on it, but that will be everyone’s fate, eventually.

I am sometimes guilty of wallowing in self-pity as my life lacks the level of engagement I enjoyed for many years. We are all products of expectations and the status quo. In comparison to what my parents experienced, many of the “problems” faced by Americans are not problems, at all. I guess that applies to me, too.

******************

In 1922, American car production rose sharply from less than 1.5 million in 1921 to almost 2.3 million. A brief, but severe recession affected most of the world from 1920 through mid-1921. I won’t bore you with economic data.

Of course, the Ford Model T was the most popular car in the US in 1922 with more than 1.1 million units sold. Obviously, that means the Model T accounted for about half of all cars sold in America.

What was the number two make? It was Dodge, which edged out Chevrolet. At this point, Dodge was not part of Chrysler Corporation. At this point, Walter Chrysler had just acquired a controlling interest in the Maxwell Motor Company and the business that still bears his name was still a few years in the future.

According to the great work, standard catalog of® of American Cars, 1805-1942, Dodge had two series of cars in 1922 and no separate production breakout exists by model. The best laid plans of mice and men…I had intended to show a photograph of the best-selling Dodge model for 1922. So, from Old Cars Weekly a picture of a 1922 Dodge roadster:

 

See the source image

 

For 1922 Dodge automobiles were powered by an L-head inline 4-cylinder engine displacing 212 cubic inches and producing…wait for it…24 horsepower. Bumpers, both front and rear, were optional. The cars had two-wheel mechanical brakes. The Series 1 roadster was priced at $935, the Series 2 at $850. In 1921 Dodge priced its roadster at $1,235 and the reduction in price for 1922 was caused by the severe recession, which was quite deflationary. The Series 1 price for 1922 “converts” to about $15,000 in 2021 dollars.

 

#Happy99

#MyMarvelousMom

#1922Dodge

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Sacks Away!

If you are not a fan of the National Football League (NFL), then I suggest you skip this part of today’s post.

The NFL has only “officially” counted individual quarterback sacks since 1982. A sack is when the quarterback is tackled behind the line of scrimmage. Actually, I think if he’s tackled at the line of scrimmage in an obvious passing attempt that also counts.

John Turney and Nick Webster of the Professional Football Researchers Association (PFRA)–yes, such an organization exists–have been compiling individual sack figures as far back as 1960, based upon review of official play-by-plays, watching game film, photographs and coaches’ stats. Pro Football Reference has recently added this information to their database.

Here is the new, albeit “unofficial” leaderboard in career sacks:

 

Rank Player Sk Years Tm
1 Bruce Smith+ 200.0 1985-2003 2TM
2 Reggie White+ 198.0 1985-2000 3TM
3 Deacon Jones+ 173.5 1961-1974 3TM
4 Kevin Greene+ 160.0 1985-1999 4TM
5 Julius Peppers 159.5 2002-2018 3TM
6 Jack Youngblood+ 151.5 1971-1984 ram
7 Chris Doleman+ 150.5 1985-1999 3TM
8 Alan Page+ 148.5 1967-1981 2TM
9 Lawrence Taylor+ 142.0 1981-1993 nyg
10 Michael Strahan+ 141.5 1993-2007 nyg
11 Jason Taylor+ 139.5 1997-2011 3TM
12 Terrell Suggs 139.0 2003-2019 3TM
13 DeMarcus Ware 138.5 2005-2016 2TM
14 Richard Dent+ 137.5 1983-1997 4TM
John Randle+ 137.5 1990-2003 2TM
16 Jared Allen 136.0 2004-2015 4TM
Rickey Jackson+ 136.0 1981-1995 2TM
18 John Abraham 133.5 2000-2014 3TM
Carl Eller+ 133.5 1964-1979 2TM
20 Leslie O’Neal 132.5 1986-1999 3TM
21 Al Baker 131.0 1978-1990 4TM
22 Coy Bacon 130.5 1968-1981 4TM
Jim Marshall 130.5 1960-1979 2TM
24 Claude Humphrey+ 130.0 1968-1981 2TM
25 Derrick Thomas+ 126.5 1989-1999 kan

 

It is no surprise that the late, great Deacon Jones has vaulted to #3 all-time. While he never amassed the 27 sacks in a season for which he has unofficially been given credit by some sources, he did have three seasons with 20+ sacks and led the NFL five times in the six years between 1964 and 1969. Remember that Jones only played 14 games a season unlike the 16-game season the NFL played from 1978 to 2020. (Of course, the NFL will play a 17-game season beginning in 2021, no doubt on its way to the eventual expansion to 18 games. More games for TV mean more TV dollars.) From the four-letter TV sports network, a picture of Deacon Jones.

 

See the source image

 

It is good to see Hall of Famer Jack Youngblood get recognition. He played in Super Bowl 14 with a fractured left fibula. The accomplishments of Alan Page, the only pure defensive player to ever be named MVP, are also embellished by the addition of this data.

Here is the new and “unofficial” single-season leaderboard:

 

Rank Player Sk Year Tm
1 Al Baker (21) 23.0 1978 DET
2 Michael Strahan+ (29) 22.5 2001 NYG
3 Jared Allen (29) 22.0 2011 MIN
Mark Gastineau (27) 22.0 1984 NYJ
Justin Houston (25) 22.0 2014 KAN
Deacon Jones+ (25) 22.0 1964 RAM
Deacon Jones+ (29) 22.0 1968 RAM
8 Coy Bacon (34) 21.5 1976 CIN
Deacon Jones+ (28) 21.5 1967 RAM
10 Chris Doleman+ (27) 21.0 1989 MIN
Reggie White+ (25) 21.0 1987 PHI
12 Aaron Donald (27) 20.5 2018 LAR
Jim Katcavage (28) 20.5 1963 NYG
Joe Klecko (27) 20.5 1981 NYJ
Lawrence Taylor+ (27) 20.5 1986 NYG
J.J. Watt (23) 20.5 2012 HOU
J.J. Watt (25) 20.5 2014 HOU
18 Mark Gastineau (24) 20.0 1981 NYJ
Harvey Martin (26) 20.0 1977 DAL
Derrick Thomas+ (23) 20.0 1990 KAN
DeMarcus Ware (26) 20.0 2008 DAL

 

Michael Strahan’s official “record” is somewhat controversial in that it appeared Brett Favre took himself to the ground with Strahan as the nearest defender in the last game of the 2001 season to give the latter the “record.” Of course, this data lists Al “Bubba” Baker as the all-time single-season sack leader with 23 in his rookie season of 1978.

I may write more about this in the next couple of days.

******************

Statistics tell us that “bad” people must buy lottery tickets and, by extension, “bad” people must sometimes win millions in the lottery. I think whatever reporting has existed on lottery winners is how they are targeted by criminals or go bankrupt not long after their win.

I think these people probably see a lottery win as positive reinforcement for their behavior, which only makes it worse. I grant you that is an opinion unsubstantiated by research.

Do any of you have any thoughts on this topic?

******************

Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of Brown University’s School of Public Health, recently remarked, “Let me tell you where we are: the data is very clear, if you’ve gotten your two shots of Moderna or Pfizer or single shot of J&J, you have a very high level of protection against all variants, including delta. I have not seen any evidence, so far, that anybody needs a third shot.”

Conversely, Dr. Kavita Patel, former director of policy for the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement, recently said, “With the threat of the delta variant and potentially other looming variants in the future, it seems like it’s an inevitability that we’re going to need a booster shot.” To be clear, she didn’t say that anyone needs a booster right now.

I think it’s great when qualified people, like physicians, speak about public issues. In my opinion, the somewhat conflicting remarks are simply a manifestation that we are dealing with a pathogen never before seen in widespread numbers among humans.

However, this type of “contradiction” adds to the hesitancy of people on the fence about getting vaccinated, IMO. Obviously, people like Jha and Patel–far more qualified than politicians or entertainers to speak on this topic–are entitled to express their opinions. It does show, though, that science is not always black and white. Sometimes, it’s shadow and shade.

Sorry, no cars today.

 

#SacksAway

#BadLotteryWinners

#Vaccination

#disaffectedmusings

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Monday Musings 75

Happy Birthday to my (i)ncomparable niece!

 

I could have easily titled today’s post “Pictures For A Monday.” I have a lot of photos I would like to share, but I must admit I worry a bit about showing so many pictures of the desert and of automobiles.

I know a blog needs a “hook,” some theme that has a strong appeal to a segment of readers. Still, I have never wanted this blog to be all desert or all automobiles all the time. In that vein:

 

 

This sign sits outside of Andreoli Italian Grocer in Scottsdale. While imported Italian food items are sold there, it is also a sit-down restaurant.

When I lived in Baltimore I ate many, many meals in the Little Italy area. My favorite restaurant there was Germano’s Trattoria and my favorite dish was something called Penne Strascicate. I had never seen that dish offered anywhere else, until I looked online at the Andreoli menu.

Andreoli was featured on an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives on The Food Network. My wonderful wife and I watched the episode before we moved to Arizona, but after we had decided we would move here.

As the damn virus has subsided, and we have been vaccinated, we have resumed dining out. A little more than two weeks ago we finally made it to Andreoli. Of course, I ordered Penne Strascicate as did my wonderful wife.

We were not disappointed. I won’t say the Andreoli version of the dish was better than Germano’s, but it was as good. On a scale of 1 to 10, it was an 11. Since it was still the June Of Me, we ordered chocolate mousse for dessert. That was also an 11.

We have been back to Andreoli one more time. Of course, I ordered the Strascicate, but my wife ordered the Gnocchi and said it was fabulous.

Back to the sign…the servers wear T-shirts that have a picture of Andreoli’s owner, Giovanni Scorzo, on the back wielding a large knife and the words, “Mangia e Stai Zitto!” In English that means, “Eat and Shut Up!”

During the damn virus, enjoying a nice meal in a restaurant was one of the few things we actually missed. I used to joke that we were the original practitioners of social distancing. We don’t go “clubbing” or attend large parties. Anyway, it was great to really enjoy a fabulous meal in a restaurant once again.

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Here are some photos:

 

 

According to the owner of that DB11, the exterior color is called Kermit Green and there are only three DB11s in the world in that color. To me, it’s a beautiful car in any color. I mean, I did just include it in my Ultimate Garage 3.0. By the way, the two Ultimate Garage posts are, so far, the two most read of the month and are just one apart in number of views.

 

#MondayMusings

#Andreoli

#DesertViews

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Summer Storm

Yesterday, the 2021 monsoon season made its strongest local statement to date. We received a brief (15-20 minutes), but intense rain squall, complete with tropical storm force wind gusts. Our next-door neighbor to the east lost a big pool float as it launched out of their pool, over the five-foot high fence that separates the lot from the wash, and at least 50 feet to the west through the wash.

I am too much of a chicken to stand outside during such an event, but it grew quite dark. Mountains to our east and east-northeast simply disappeared in the rain. The mountain close to us, which has been shown many times in this blog and is only about a mile or so away, also completely disappeared at one point. Here are two photos from not long before the rain began here.

 

 

Sorry for the light artifacts in the photos. The lack of rain here has turned me into a rain watcher. I am almost always studying the forecast looking for decent rain chances and hoping for rain.

Oh, more to the fallibility of all people…at 1 PM on Friday the National Weather Service forecast a 100% chance of rain between 5 and 7 PM. It didn’t rain at all. Yesterday’s forecast did not include a rain probability of higher than 20% until, basically, the rain was right on top of us. Sorry, I don’t believe human beings are capable of accurate weather/climate forecasts that are decades into the future. Thinking that is possible is the ultimate in hubris, in my opinion.

Science is a most noble endeavor, but all human endeavors are flawed because all human beings are flawed. I am not a climate change “denier” but, like with almost all beliefs that reach a status of zealousness among believers, I have some skepticism, particularly in terms of magnitude and progression.

When I tried to break into major league baseball the overwhelming consensus in the industry was that statistics/analytics could never replace subjective human judgment. In the present day, it seems as though the whole world, not just baseball, is about “big data” and analytics. Many fans and media members complain that baseball is now too data-driven. For the nth plus nth time, history is replete with examples of the folly of human beings trying to predict the future.

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Regular and welcomed long-time reader and commenter Dirty Dingus McGee has submitted what he calls his “Starter Garage.” For your viewing pleasure:

Here are a few that I have lust in my heart for, in no particular order:
1969 Chevelle SS396 Lemans Blue
https://www.motorious.com/content/images/size/w600/2021/02/Screen-Shot-2021-02-03-at-2.32.43-PM.png
While very close to the 1968 version, I like the grille and tail lights better on the 69. I would also specify that the 396 be the L78/L89 (aluminum heads) 375 horsepower version with a M-22 four speed.
1971 Dodge Charger Super Bee Hemi
https://www.car-revs-daily.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/1971-Dodge-Hemi-Super-Bee-Lot-R212-1.jpg
While the 68-70 second generation gets all the love, and I have in the past owned a 69, I really like the 71 version. It just looks “right” to my eye. Hemi, 4 speed, and 4.10 gears please.
1970 Datsun 240Z
https://0.cdn.autotraderspecialty.com/1970-Datsun-240Z-import-classics--Car-101414674-4db279307f93fbfbea36b75ee9cb0fe3.jpg?r=pad&w=735&h=551&c=%23f5f5f5
A case where looks wise, the first was the best. Clean design, relatively simple car and affordable.
BMW 507
https://www.automobilemag.com/uploads/sites/11/2020/07/1956-1959-BMW-507-14.jpg?fit=around%7C770:481.25
At the current prices it certainly won’t be making a stop in my garage, but a beautifully executed design.
1966 Ford Galaxie 500 7 Litre
https://img.hmn.com/fit-in/900x506/filters:upscale()/stories/2018/08/122446.jpg
Only offered for 2 years but a potent offering, especially when optioned with the R code dual quad 427 in place of the standard 428 Thunderbird engine. Again, pleasing proportions to my eye, especially for a full size coupe.
Volvo P1800
https://assets.volvocars.com/mt/~/media/shared-assets/images/galleries/inside/our-company/heritage/heritage-models/19_volvo_p1800_1800_large.jpg?w=768
Probably not for everyone, but innovative (for a staid company like Volvo) and a timeless design.
1934 Chrysler Airflow
https://revsinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Chrysler-Airflow-profile.jpg
A design that was too far ahead of its time, but I could see me in a double breasted suit tooling around town in one.
1964 Studebaker Avanti R3
https://images.classic.com/vehicles/f6574436517b55782a9c5eea1b2fc69fd6955e9e.jpg?auto=format&fit=crop&ar=16:9&w=1920&q=65
What is there that hasn’t been said? You either love or hate the look. Make mine a 4-speed please (five of nine built came with a 4-speed).
1969 Barracuda Formula S 340
https://www.americancarcollector.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/5c856eb25b3e1fc73f244a7686864411.jpg
While the 1970-74 E body’s get most of the love, my preference is the 67-69 version. Smaller, lighter and with the 340 it punched well above its weight.
That’s the starter version of my garage. I could easily add a couple dozen more.

Many thanks to DDM for submitting this list. (Sorry for the irregular formatting, but a code/codes embedded in the email changed the spacing.) It is interesting that he included an R3 Studebaker Avanti. At the upcoming Mecum auction in Monterey, California a 1963 “R3” Avanti is on the docket. However, it is not one of the nine R3s that came from the factory. It was “upgraded” from R1 spec.

Mecum doesn’t allow online photos of lots from current or recent auctions to be captured, at least not in any way that I have been able to figure out. From their 2017 Monterey auction, a picture of a 1963 Studebaker Avanti:

 

See the source image

 

In my first Ultimate Garage, posted in 2017 on my blog hosted by the Evil Empire (AKA Google/Blogger), I included the Avanti and was so much of a fan at that time that I showed both an original Studebaker Avanti and an Avanti II. I still really like the car, but it has, obviously, fallen out of “Ultimate” status.

 

#SummerStorm

#FallibilityOfHumans

#DirtyDingusMcGee’sStarterGarage

#StudebakerAvantiR3

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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The Plague Of Anti-Semitism

I know this post title will stop a lot of people from reading. So be it…

 

Sadly, scarily it appears to be “Open Season” on Jews. Here are just two of countless events.

Google’s former Head of “Diversity” (I will not dignify his existence by mentioning his name) tweeted that “Jews love to start wars.” He is still employed by the Evil Empire although he was removed from his role as Head of “Diversity.”

April Powers, former “Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer” for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Editors, was fired from her job for criticizing anti-Semitism. I am not making that up. Oh, she is not just a Jewish woman, but a Black Jewish woman. You see, Powers didn’t also criticize Islamophobia and she defended her stance on Facebook.

I am using all of my willpower not to launch into a profanity-laced tirade. However, this is not some academic exercise. Jewish lives are literally at stake. From this article:

 

“This holds for all beleaguered minorities except one. And you know which one that is: the Jews. Although they’re the most frequent victims of hate crimes in the U.S. on a per capita basis, Jews though a tiny minority, are not considered minorities and are not considered oppressed—despite the data I just gave and the increasing tendency of the American Left to tilt towards anti-Israel sentiments and, indeed, anti-Semitic movements like BDS. Lest you fault me for going off on anti-Semitism again, be aware that this is one of the biggest hypocrisies of the Western Left, right up there with the Left’s failure to defend the rights of gays and women that are regularly abrogated in Arab countries. After all, Arabs are considered people of color and Jews are honorary white people.”

 

The author of this piece is not an American conservative, but an American liberal. While, of course, the neo-Nazi faction of the American right hates Jews because, well, they’re neo-Nazis, the American left’s rapidly increasing hatred of Jews is just as real, just as wrong and misguided and just as dangerous.

I could show the Nobel Prize data again–you know, Jews are two-tenths of one percent of the world’s population, but have been awarded 26% of the Nobel Prizes in Physics–but narrow-minded racists don’t care about facts. What I can write is that Israel’s existence has never been as important as it is now.

 

#ThePlagueOfAnti-Semitism

#IStandWithIsrael!

#disaffectedmusings

 

 

 

Thanks, Mark

First, once again thanks to everyone who read both Ultimate Garage 3.0 posts. Wednesday and Thursday had the best two-day total for views/visitors in quite some time.

Second, thanks to Mark who writes autobookblog, which every car fan should read. His most recent post about The Genuine Corvette Black Book was the push I needed to finally order a new copy. (Mark, unlike me, has a real job so he doesn’t post every day.)

 

 

Now I can update my Corvette data spreadsheet all the way through the first year of the C8. I can also discover that C7 production peaked in 2016, the year of my car, with 40,689 units including 13,275 Z06 models.

The book underneath the Black Book and the book shown below are the two most valuable books I have. I don’t mean in monetary value, but in how much I value them.

 

 

While The American Auto (shown in the top photo) has been updated in the past five years or so, the bottom book has not been updated for almost 15 years. Sadly, I suspect it will never be updated again.

Of course, 20 years ago I would have considered these two books to be my most valuable.

 

 

The 1983 Abstract was the book that planted the seed–hell, it planted a whole tree–that I could make a living in baseball statistics. The Historical Abstract might still be the book with which I have spent the most time.

Some people in my life still cannot comprehend the extent to which I have disengaged from baseball. While I think that peoples’ basic nature doesn’t change too much, if at all, after about the age of 25, I do think that a person’s priorities and interests can change.

I really do not follow baseball at all, anymore. The only thing I care about the sport/industry is that my pension is deposited in the correct account once a month. If one were to show me the boxscores for a typical day in the majors, I would probably only be able to recognize 5%-10% of the players. What’s more, I don’t care.

In general, I have less interest in sports than at any time since I “discovered” them at age 8 or 9. It’s what the people close to me do that matters now, not what some strangers do just because they’re wearing a certain uniform.

Have a great weekend.

 

#ThanksMark

#InterestsCanChange

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Ultimate Garage 3.0, Part Two

First, thanks to those who read the blog yesterday. I guess when I “stay in my lane” more people read. I will still leave my lane in the remaining months of this blog, but perhaps a little less often.

Second, for Mark the answer is that the Cadillac XLR will not be a part of my Ultimate Garage 3.0. I decided it was not prudent to ignore information. The XLR was excluded from 2.0 because of its poor reliability record, especially for its first two model years. I have/had a friend named George who owned two XLRs from these model years and both had to be repurchased by Cadillac under the state’s lemon law. His experience was not unique.

Maybe some of the cars in 3.0 would not be good to live with on a daily basis, either, but I don’t know that right now. This thinking is also why the Saturn Sky Red Line is not in 3.0. My wonderful wife and I test drove a Sky and were just put off by the cheapness of the interior.

Remembering my own experience with a car I seldom, if ever, write about was the clincher. I “bought” a new 2011 Infiniti G37x coupe. (I’ll explain the quotation marks for the word *bought* later.) On paper, schematically, it seemed to have everything I wanted. It wasn’t a great-looking car, but I thought its looks were a 6 on a 1-to-10 scale. It had 330 HP and a 0-to-60 time of under 6 seconds. It had all-wheel drive, which I thought was necessary for living in the mid-Atlantic. It had an internal hard drive for storing media files and a nice navigation system.

However, the longer I owned the car, the less I liked it. The main reason was the AWFUL CVT transmission. I like crisp shifts, not droning and whining. We lived in an area with some hills and sometimes when I went downhill the transmission went nuts and the engine would rev to over 4,500 RPM. Every time that happened I thought the car would explode. How annoying that transmission would prove to be was hard to ascertain in a 15-minute test drive.

The all-wheel drive proved to be unnecessary as I basically retired about a year after my acquisition of the car. The AWD system was very useful just one day in the three years I had the car, a day when we received an un-forecast 6 inches of snow.

I had actually leased the car, but with just one payment. Hence the quotation marks around the word *bought.* I didn’t have to make any payments for the life of the lease and, therefore, didn’t have to pay interest on the lease payments. That probably saved me almost $1,000 during the time I owned the car.

I grew to dislike the car so much that I actually turned it in three months early. I had a 39-month lease, but turned the car in almost exactly three years after I acquired it. The point of this story is (yeah, get to your point) that I learned very relevant characteristics about the G37x and could only have learned them by actually “buying” the car. Those characteristics will never disappear and, therefore, are very relevant in an assessment of that car.

On to Part Two of Ultimate Garage 3.0…

 

THE CRÈME DE LA CRÈME

 

Iso Grifo Small Block

I excluded this car from my first edition of my Ultimate Garage because I thought it was too close in appearance to the C2 Corvette coupe. Also, the Iso Grifo usually had a C2 Corvette drivetrain. For 2.0 and 3.0 I decided the hell with that. I loved this car from afar for years and when I finally got to see one in person I was not disappointed.

 

 

The fact that it has a C2 Corvette drivetrain is actually an asset as far as I am concerned. Oh, I specified the small block version because the big block necessitated a roof-like structure on the hood that really took away from the car’s looks, IMO.

 

Lexus LC Coupe

This car has been a part of all three Ultimate Garages I have published. I like the convertible almost as much, almost.

 

See the source image

 

The LC is not a slug with its 5-liter V-8 producing 471 HP/398 LB-FT of torque and was very impressive when I test drove one back in January of 2018. The car is not rare in this part of Arizona and never fails to grab my attention. Good thing my wonderful wife usually drives when we’re going somewhere together.

 

1965 Buick Riviera GS

As every regular reader knows, I think the first-generation Riviera (1963-65) is one of the great automotive designs in history. In fact, sometimes I’m not sure that it’s not the best-looking car ever made. Ned Nickles drew the car under the auspices of GM’s design chief, Bill Mitchell. Without further ado:

 

See the source image

 

In GS spec, the 7-liter/425 cubic-inch V-8 produced 360 HP/465 LB-FT of torque. If I ever acquire one–highly unlikely–I would leave it alone, more or less, if it had a numbers-matching drivetrain as fewer than 4,000 of the GS were produced. If it already had a new engine or transmission, then all bets would be off, but I would not modify that body one bit.

 

C7 Corvette Z06

Dollar for dollar, this is possibly the greatest performance car in history. The current generation Ford GT is part of Ultimate Garage 3.0 and it’s a great car, but it doesn’t really outperform the C7 Z06 and it starts at a half-million dollars. New, this car stickered for about $100,000 depending on options. Of course, I paid far less for mine which was less than three years old and with 4,400 miles. Speaking of my car:

 

 

The C7 Corvette Z06 had 650 HP/650 LB-FT of torque right out of the box. The car would accelerate from 0-60 in less than three seconds, do the standing quarter-mile in less than 11 seconds and pull 1.2g on a skidpad. As I have learned, the LT4 engine is easily tuned to increase power. Joe Cordes of Cordes Performance, the company that will be working on my car later this month, told me he has easily gotten these engines to 1,300 HP. Mine will probably have 750-775 HP when it’s done. Almost seems minuscule by comparison…

 

DeTomaso Longchamp

This car and the last one in Ultimate Garage 3.0 are both shown here. I guess these are my two favorite cars, but sometimes I am not sure. Anyway, the DeTomaso Longchamp:

 

See the source image

See the source image

 

Like the Pantera, the Longchamp had a Ford engine, the 351 cubic-inch Cleveland V-8. Almost all of the cars were equipped with the Ford C6 automatic transmission although a few had a five-speed ZF manual. For the first year of Longchamp production, 1972, the engine was still rated at a decent output of 326 HP/344 LB-FT of torque.

The Longchamp was produced for a long time, 1972 to 1989 (some think production actually ceased in 1986), although only a little over 400 were produced in total. I will never own one, but I can still admire these from afar. That leads to the last car…

 

1967 Corvette Convertible Restomod

In all honesty, I would be happy with any C2 Corvette Convertible Restomod as long as I had the auxiliary hardtop and the car was done to my specifications. Still, as long as I’m writing about my “Ultimate Garage…”

 

See the source image

 

Imagine the bottom car with a set of C7 ZR1 wheels and that’s close to perfect for me. Of course, a restomod is not bound by numbers-matching drivetrains or anything else. Basically it’s “how much for how much.”

I would insist on at least 500 HP/500 LB-FT of torque, a six- or eight-speed automatic transmission, modern suspension and brakes, Bluetooth, front and rear cameras, etc. It’s likely that a really good restomod would probably cost at least a quarter-million dollars, whether I bought it or had it built. Again, that’s the major reason why I decided to buy a C7 Z06.

Well, I hope you have enjoyed my Ultimate Garage 3.0. These two posts are the longest in the history of the blog (about 2,600 words in total) and are certainly the last such endeavor I will ever publish. By this time next year, this blog will no longer be active unless WordPress gives the Classic Editor an unexpected, 11th-hour reprieve.

Once again, please feel free to submit your Ultimate Garage. It’s a free-form exercise, but please don’t submit one with 50 cars. If I could end up with 14, you should be able to keep yours to a similar number.

 

#UltimateGarage3.0

#CrèmeDeLaCrème

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Ultimate Garage 3.0: Basically A Beauty Contest

Ed Welburn, former General Motors’ Vice-President of Global Design, remarked that if two cars had equal technology then the better looking car wins. For me, I think the better looking car almost always wins regardless of technology. I’m just a sucker for a pretty face…

I really don’t like cars such as Pagani, Koenigsegg, not to mention the Shitlermobile in disguise, Bugatti. I don’t care that the Koenigsegg transmission has seven clutches or that the Bugatti can reach 270 MPH. They look like pods to me, almost formless.

That being said, the Buick Reatta is not part of Ultimate Garage 3.0 precisely because it is so far from being a performance car. I guess what I am trying to say is that performance matters, too, but not at the expense of appearance.

Not in any order, here is Part One (Of Two) of my Ultimate Garage 3.0.

 

THE NEWBIES

This car could be considered a half-newbie as its coupe brother was listed in Ultimate Garage 2.0.

Jaguar F-Type Convertible

 

 

The proportions, the rear haunches of this car are just perfect, in my opinion. I might have like to seen what a hardtop convertible would look like, but that might have ruined the rear deck.

In R-spec, this car is an all-wheel drive convertible powered by a 5-liter V-8 producing 550 HP/502 LB-FT of torque that enables the car to accelerate from 0-60 MPH in 3.5 seconds, which is too quick for most drivers, trust me.

Jaguar has/have (don’t know if any Brits are reading) never made an ugly car.

 

Ferrari 330 GTC

I have really fallen for this car in the last year or so. This might have been the car that did it…

 

 

This picture was taken at the Mecum auction in Glendale, Arizona in March of 2020. Because of the damn virus that was the last auction we attended, but we have tentative plans to attend the Mecum auction at Monterey in the People’s Republic Of Calizuela next month.

 

 

Those lines are just awesome to me. The 330 GTC was powered by a 4-liter/242 cubic-inch V-12 producing gross power output of 335 HP/270 LB-FT of torque. (Net figures are 300 HP/240 LB-FT.)

This is a small car with just a 95-inch wheelbase and overall length of 176 inches. According to Hagerty, an average example of one of these has a value of about $500,000. The price of this and one other newbie will make Ultimate Garage 3.0 far more costly than 2.0. That newbie is:

 

Second Generation Ford GT

Some would argue that the current Ford GT is really the third generation. Doesn’t matter, the car included here is the Ford GT currently available new that began production in 2016.

 

See the source image

 

Despite the mid-engine design, the proportions of the car are not pod-like to me. Performance? The car is powered by a 3.5 liter/213 cubic-inch, twin-turbo V-6 that originally produced 647 HP/550 LB-FT of torque. In model year 2020, the output was boosted to 660 HP although torque was not increased. This Ford GT will accelerate from 0-60 MPH in 3 seconds, do the standing quarter-mile in 10.8 seconds and pull 1.1 G on a skidpad. Of course, my 2016 Corvette Z06 can do all of that and even a little better and didn’t cost a half-million dollars. Still…I love the new Ford GT and it’s in Ultimate Garage 3.0.

 

1968 Dodge Charger

This will be one of the few cars for which the model year is specified. While I really like all of the second generation Chargers (1968-70), my strong preference is for the ’68 because of the clean grille.

 

 

Of course, the one to get would be one with the legendary 426 Hemi. I have been a fan of this generation Charger for a long time.

 

Aston Martin DB11

This car and the 1968 Charger were originally going to be included in Ultimate Garage 2.0 (first unveiled in May of 2019), but were “kicked out” at the last minute. A month or two later I knew I had made a mistake with both cars.

 

See the source image

See the source image

 

At the heart of the current DB11 is, sorry Aston-Martin purists, a 4-liter twin-turbo V-8 producing 528 HP/513 LB-FT of torque. No more V-12 engines and, I suspect, ICE-powered cars will also disappear sooner rather than later. That bottom DB11 in Orange is an 11 in looks on a scale of 1 to 10.

 

The last three newbies, and there are more newbies than returning cars, are highly idiosyncratic favorites of mine. The thought of one of them is actually getting me a little teary-eyed.

 

Honda S2000

I mean, how could I leave this car out this time? Every time I see one I drool. My wonderful wife and I have a running gag about the S2000. Every time I see one I say, “I love those cars.” My wife responds, “Really? I had no idea.”

 

See the source image

 

The S2000 has an aura to me. No, it’s not a 500 HP beast, but its combination of looks and performance is hard to beat, IMO.

Honda began production of this car in 1999 as sort of a 50th birthday present to itself. The car has a 2-liter (hence the 2000 in the model name)/122 cubic-inch 4-cylinder, naturally-aspirated engine that produced 240 HP, but only 160 LB-FT of torque. The engine had the famous VTEC technology that enabled it to rev to 9,000 RPM. For the day, two HP per cubic inch in a naturally aspirated engine was quite the feat; it still is, actually.

It is a small car with a 95-inch wheelbase and 162-inch length. Its curb weight is well under 3,000 pounds. Manual transmission be damned, I want one of these cars.

 

1993 Cadillac Allante

While I would want a ’93 model because it was the only year the 295 HP Northstar V-8 was available (slipping head bolts and all), I would try to find an auxiliary hardtop because that’s when these cars look their best.

See the source image

See the source image

 

Yes, these cars were an abject failure with only about 21,000 sold during their seven-year production run. I just see a beautiful car, with a body designed and built by Pininfarina–the company that designed and built bodies for Ferrari from 1951 to 2018. Oh, the top photo is of a 1987 model. Technically, availability of the auxiliary hardtop ended in 1992, but “rogue” hardtops for ’93s are available like for the ’93 in the bottom photo.

The heart wants what it wants, which leads to the last of the “Newbies.”

 

Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk

For years, I used to think that a certain song was my favorite of all-time, until I realized that it wasn’t the song I played the most often. This was my personal manifestation of stated vs. revealed preferences.

The Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk has to be in Ultimate Garage 3.0. I mean, C’mon, I bought a 1:18 model of the car:

 

 

Here is another photo I have shown in this blog:

 

 

This is the car that made me a little teary-eyed when I realized it would be included in Ultimate Garage 3.0. It was listed as one of the cars that “just missed the cut” in 1.0 and 2.0. I can declare, “I love this car!”

I still have hope that, one day, I will own one of these. The obsession with buying one is another reason I knew the Gran Turismo Hawk had to be included.

Hope you enjoyed this first installment of Ultimate Garage 3.0. I also still hope some of you will submit your own.

 

#UltimateGarage3.0

#ABeautyContest

#TheNewbies

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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