Not THAT 700 Club

I hope the “real” 700 Club initiates legal action because I used the term. It would be consistent with narrow-minded self-righteousness to go after me and my little blog that, as of now, has not put a single penny in my pocket. Have I ever mentioned that I loathe blind adherence to any ideology? <end sarcasm> In any event, my blog and I could use the publicity.

What I am talking about is my 2016 Corvette Z06 now has 700+ HP and 700+ LB/FT of torque after having had intake and exhaust modifications. I want to thank Josh at HPA for taking care of me and my car. I wish I could say I had the same pleasant experience dealing with the creator and publisher of Action! PC Football.

So, how much did I pay for the work? Well, let me say that at the midpoint of the range in expected horsepower gain I paid about $28 for each added HP. For torque that number is about $24 for each added LB-FT. I think the effort is well worth that expense. The car does sound a little meaner and louder as well, not that it was a shrinking violet before.

Of course, it’s been less than 24 hours since the work has been completed and I don’t want to declare victory lest I damage my karma, not that I really believe in such a thing. I do believe that I am not blessed with good luck on a day-to-day basis as I described here. I guess being the child of Holocaust survivors makes it impossible to expect the best.

 

 

Obviously, that’s a picture of my car which now belongs to the 700 Club. I hope my car doesn’t actually belong to THAT 700 Club at any point in the future.

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

Does anyone reading have any thoughts to offer on the new Toyota Supra? From Classic Cars a picture:

 

 

I saw one in person at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Arizona in January of 2019. To me, the car has a multiple-personality look in that it looks good from some angles and not so good from others. From the same article a picture that is less than flattering, in my opinion.

 

 

Of course, this generation Supra is basically a BMW. This car and the new BMW Z4 share the same architecture and are built on the same assembly line in Graz, Austria. The engine, designed and built by BMW, is a turbocharged inline-six of 3 liters in displacement (182 cubic inches) that produces 335 HP/365 LB-FT of torque, allegedly. The only available transmission is an 8-speed, dual-clutch ZF automatic. I wrote “allegedly” about the engine output because many stories have appeared on the Internet claiming that Toyota is really understating the power of this car.

At between $50,000 and $55,000–depending on options, of course–the Supra is a relatively inexpensive way to get in a performance car. From the Classic Cars article referenced above, here is a brief passage about driving the car in Sport mode:

 

“…Once under way again in Sport, I immediately noticed a change in the exhaust tone. The throttle and steering responses were sharper, and the suspension stiffened. It was as if the car had gotten a shot of adrenaline, a gulp of Red Bull or a double espresso. It became a hunting dog on scent. Buckle up, Buttercup, now we’re going for a drive!”

“Suddenly, the Supra felt lighter, more eager, and except for the engine out front instead of mid-ship, the dynamics reminded me of the Cayman S.”

“Particularly impressive was the way that, in Sport mode, the 8-speed gearbox handled the descent off Mount Charleston, knowing how to hold gears, shifting as you would with a manual, so you could actually drive rather than ride brakes down the hill and around the curves.”

 

One of these is not in my future, but Toyota deserves praise for selling a non-boring performance car. Once again, I welcome thoughtful comments about the Supra or about almost any topic. Thanks.

 

#NotTHAT700Club

#2016ChevroletCorvetteZ06

#2020ToyotaSupra

#somanycarsjustonelife

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Monday Musings 46

I was going to title this post “The Johnny Astro Syndrome.” Dr. Zal and my wonderful wife will understand the reference, but I will have to explain it to the rest of you.

When I was very young I once bought a toy called Johnny Astro. I did not grow up with money so I could not buy toys whenever I wanted. My next-door neighbor, son of the awful neighbor I wrote about here and no prize himself, bought the same toy the same day from the same store. His Johnny Astro worked, mine didn’t.

In my teens I began to refer to all of the “crap gone wrong” in my life as the Johnny Astro Syndrome. Maybe I am just hyper-sensitive to the things that go wrong in life, but it seemed to me as though I could almost never have an experience where everything went smoothly from A to Z. It seemed to me as if other people did enjoy those experiences.

An example: I bought Grover Washington Jr.’s album “Mister Magic.” However, when I opened the package it was actually an album by a group called the Dowlings. No one I knew had ever had that happen to them.

Another example: when we moved into a brand new house in Texas I had DirecTV installed as I had been a subscriber for about four years. I had to have NFL Sunday Ticket. For the first two weeks everything was fine, but then the receiver in the media room would just re-boot itself at random times. Calls to customer service proved futile as the representatives did not believe me when I said I was not re-booting the receiver. Finally after a few weeks, after raising my voice and demanding a supervisor, a tech was sent and fixed the problem, which he said was caused by an improper install. These are just two of what I would swear are hundreds of examples of crap gone wrong.

OK, so why am I writing about this today? I mentioned that I purchased Action! PC Football and was going to open the envelope containing the flash drive with the game. What I haven’t told you is that I paid more money for a flash drive version because the last two years I purchased the game via download it took multiple installs to get the game to work.

Guess what? The flash drive was blank. When I placed it in a USB port my computer displayed a message asking me if I wanted to format the disk, a sign that it was blank. In any event, if I had formatted the flash drive any data on it would have been erased.

I am also writing about this today because this is supposed to be the day I take my 2016 Corvette Z06 to a “speed shop.” This shop is going to perform some intake and exhaust modifications designed to squeeze some more horsepower and torque out of the engine without voiding the powertrain warranty. Can you understand why my primary feeling right now is one of anxiety and not of excitement?

Keeping my fingers crossed, metaphorically and not literally, that my car will be alright.

 

 

#MondayMusings

#JohnnyAstroSyndrome

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Everything But The Kitchen Sink

I was originally going to call this post Core Memory Dump, but I didn’t think that would resonate. First, another picture with proof of the unusually cold weather for this time of year.

 

 

We are much closer to the beginning of meteorological summer (June 1) than spring (March 1). This area is actually under a freeze warning although I don’t think we are going to reach 32° or below.

🎶 Arizona, take off your rainbow shades. 🎶

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

From Coco Chanel via The Muscleheaded Blog:

 

“The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.”

 

I don’t think being a blind adherent to any ideology is a wise course of action. Think for yourself.

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

I don’t know if it’s because I’m going to open the envelope today that has the flash drive with the 2020 version of Action! PC Football, but I am thinking about football today. Oddball that I am–and I don’t consider that to be an insult–I want to write about a great, but forgotten player of the distant past, at least distant in terms of pro football.

How many of you have ever heard of Orban “Spec” Sanders? In 2019, the NFL MVP was Ravens’ quarterback Lamar Jackson. He averaged about 208 passing yards per game AND about 80 rushing yards per game.

Only one other player in pro football history ever averaged 75+ passing yards AND 75+ rushing yards per game in a season. You can probably figure the answer is Orban “Spec” Sanders.

He was the 6th overall pick in the NFL Draft in 1942 and was selected by the Washington Redskins. However, he wouldn’t play in the NFL until 1950 and that’s not the season he did the 75/75.

Something called World War II interfered with Sanders’ ability to play for the Redskins. Hall-of-Famer Ray Flaherty was the Redskins’ coach in 1942 and he also served in the military during World War II. When he returned it was not as Redskins’ coach, but as coach for the New York Yankees football team in the All-America Football Conference (AAFC) in 1946. (I’m sure it was easy for Flaherty to not go back and work for the *ssh*le Redskins owner, George Preston Marshall.) He convinced Sanders to play for the Yankees.

By this time, Sanders was already 27 years old. Primarily playing tailback in the single-wing formation, as opposed to quarterback in the “modern” T, Sanders led the AAFC in rushing in 1946. He also averaged a remarkable 15 yards per punt return with a return TD and an excellent 30 yards per kick return with a return TD. He was just warming up…

In 1947 he had one of the most amazing seasons in pro football history. He set a pro football record with 1,432 yards rushing (in 14 games, not the current 16-game schedule), averaged 6.2 yards per carry and scored 18 rushing touchdowns, also a record. The yardage record would stand until Jim Brown broke it in 1958 (in only 12 games) and the rushing TD record stood until Jim Taylor broke it in 1962.

On October 24, 1947 Sanders rushed for a record 250 yards on just 24 carries AND only played the first three quarters. That record wasn’t broken until OJ Simpson (who? a murderer, that’s who) in 1976.

Oh, in 1947 Sanders threw for 1,442 yards (the only 100/100 season in pro football history) and compiled a 70.2 passer rating in 171 attempts compared to a league average of 64.5. He averaged over 27 yards per return on six punt returns and 27 yards per return on kickoffs with a touchdown. He intercepted three passes on defense. Did I mention he was also the punter?! Sanders led his team to a combined 21-5-2 record in 1946-47 with two division titles and two losses to the Cleveland Browns in the AAFC Championship game.

Sanders had an injury-plagued, but successful 1948 season. Due to knee injuries he retired after that season. After the 1949 season the AAFC and NFL merged. By this time the coach of the New York Yankees football team was Red Strader and he wanted Sanders to come back and play. (Strader had coached Sanders for most of the 1948 season.) At age 31 Sanders said he would, but on the condition that he would only play defense. He led the league with 13 interceptions in the 12-game schedule. Of course, he was the punter and averaged almost 16 yards per return on 6 punt returns. At that point Sanders retired for keeps.

Bill James has written about something called “signature significance.” By that he means a player doing something so outstanding in a small sample that we can only conclude he was a player with real talent. Spec Sanders will never be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He only played four seasons professionally and three of those were in a league the NFL barely acknowledges. However, the fact that the perennial AAFC champions, the Cleveland Browns, played in the NFL championship game in each of the first six seasons after the merger and that so many AAFC players played well in the NFL means the AAFC was certainly a high-quality pro league.

Spec Sanders MUST have been a hell of a player. No objective analysis can reach any other conclusion.

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

 

A car like this 1962 Oldsmobile Starfire used to be in the running for Corvette companion/grocery car after we move to the desert. I guess some very small probability exists that a car like this could still be the choice. No points for guessing I took this picture at the Mecum auction in Glendale, Arizona in March. The car had quite a presence in person, but sold for just $12,100 all in. If we had already been living in Arizona, who knows? We might have purchased this car.

 

#TooCold!

#SpecSanders

#1962OldsmobileStarfire

#somanycarsjustonelife

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What To Say Saturday

The flash drive with my copy of the Action! PC Football 2020 NFL game arrived in the mail yesterday. Like every other piece of mail since the coronavirus situation exploded, the envelope was disinfected and will stay “quarantined” for at least two days before I open it. Yes, there are no documented cases of transmission via mail. Uh, tell that to my OCD brain.

Unfortunately for me, behaviors adopted ostensibly for the crisis will almost certainly continue for the rest of my life. I think millions of people, tens of millions, will develop a type of PTSD that could affect them for a long time, if not the rest of their lives.

I do not pretend to know what is the right path for governments and their citizens to adopt in terms of “normalization.” Some countries, like Sweden, didn’t really lockdown. The government issued voluntary guidelines for behavior while emphasizing keeping a distance from vulnerable segments of the population, like the elderly. The Swedish government’s goal was to reach herd immunity.

In South Korea, the country was also not ever placed under a mandatory stay-at-home order. However, the South Korean government instituted widespread testing and contact tracing. If someone in your neighborhood tested positive, the entire neighborhood received texts naming the person(s) and their address(es). I don’t think most US citizens would tolerate that type of government “intrusion” even if it saves lives. My understanding (blogger engages in frantic Internet search to find articles with data, but comes up empty) is that South Korea has had very low rates of infection and death without the total disruption to the economy that other countries, like the US, have experienced.

Even people with MDs and Ph.Ds in epidemiology don’t KNOW what the “optimal” path for policy is. Their guesses are better informed than most of the rest of us, but they don’t KNOW. However, doing nothing and pretending the situation doesn’t exist is almost certainly not the best course of action.

As I may have written before, my routine has been affected far less than most people. I don’t “work” and I don’t have a large group of people with whom I socialize on a regular basis. Basically, my wonderful wife and I can’t dine out, can’t attend car shows or visit antique stores. Still, perception is reality even if it isn’t. I perceive that my life has been radically altered and some of my behavior reinforces that perception.

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

Executing a hard turn…how about this as a Corvette companion/grocery car?

 

Used 2008 Maserati GranTurismo Coupe Kenner, LA 70065 - 550668987 - 4

 

From this AutoTrader ad a picture of a 2008 Maserati GranTurismo. This BEAUTIFUL car is in Grigio Touring Metallic over Grigio Medio. That’s basically Gray over Gray.

This example has 16,600 miles and the seller, a dealer in Louisiana, is asking $25,880. According to the ad, the Kelley Blue Book® value range is $26,431 to $30,558. It is rare to see a dealer ask less than the low end of this range.

The Maserati GranTurismo qualifies as a grocery car because it has four seats and a trunk. The fact that it has 405 HP/339 LB-FT of torque and is a beautiful car are just bonuses, really. It’s a good thing I’m not Pinocchio because my nose would be growing…

My wonderful wife would prefer a convertible and I would prefer an S spec car, but those cost more money. For a little more than 40 percent of what we paid for each of our Corvettes, we could have a stylish, high-performance Italian car with a Ferrari engine. Neither of us has ever owned an Italian car.

Any thoughts on this car? This is not the Maserati 3200GT that was voted out, 3-2, but is obviously similar. I just want this coronavirus situation to go away so we can proceed with our lives and move to the desert.

 

#OCD

#PTSD

#2008MaseratiGranTurismo

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Frugal Friday 11

I guess not too many people are interested in John Unitas, anymore. Too bad…

 

I really wanted to call this post “Frugal Friday, Aughts Small Displacement Version.” That’s not exactly a title that appeals to the eyes or rolls off the tongue, though. Still, that’s my idea today. I will show a couple of small displacement vehicles built from 2000 to 2010. (OK, so I stretched the aughts a year.) Also, the cars have to have forced induction, supercharging or turbocharging. I mean, I couldn’t care less about some naturally aspirated 4-banger.

Well, whadda ya know?! A whole bunch of cars like this showed up…

 

Used 2007 Pontiac Solstice GXP Convertible PETOSKEY, MI 49770 - 550297641 - 4

 

From this AutoTrader ad a picture of a 2007 Pontiac Solstice GXP convertible. This car in Mysterious Black over Ebony has about 31,000 miles and is listed for $13,000. The transmission is an automatic and, of course, given the GXP designation the car is powered by the turbocharged 2-liter/122 cubic-inch inline-4 cylinder engine that, from the factory, produced 260 HP/260 LB-FT of torque. This might still be the highest specific output (power per unit of displacement) of any engine in General Motors history.

Everyone who reads this blog knows I am a big fan of the Solstice/Sky. Everyone knows I think GM made a major mistake in not giving an upgraded version of this car to Buick as a halo car after the demise of Pontiac and Saturn.

I am not a big fan of the car pictured below, but most cars have a price at which they are appealing.

 

Used 2006 MINI Cooper S Convertible BURBANK, CA 91505 - 545079804 - 1

 

From this AutoTrader ad, a picture of a 2006 MINI Cooper S convertible. The car in Pepper White over Black has about 41,000 miles and the “no-haggle” price is listed at $6,990. One thing I like about the AutoTrader ads is that for most cars the Kelley Blue Book® value is shown at the bottom. For this car the value range is shown as $5,426 to $6,889. Most cars are listed for prices far above the top of the range. At least this car is close, but no-haggle doesn’t always mean good deal.

This MINI, built by BMW, is powered by a 1.6 liter/98 cubic-inch supercharged inline 4-cylinder engine that generated 168 HP/162 LB-FT of torque. For a car with a curb weight of under 2,900 pounds, that’s not a bad power-to-weight ratio. Remember that these are front-wheel drive cars.

One could buy both of these cars at list price and pay just half of the average transaction price for a new vehicle purchased in the US, at least before the coronavirus. Imagine his and hers convertibles for 20 grand total.

I know Dirty Dingus McGee has had an active career as a car buyer with many of those purchases made online. To all readers, I would like to read about your experiences in buying a car, good or bad, online or in-person.

 

#FrugalFriday

#2007PontiacSolsticeGXP

#2006MINICooperS

#somanycarsjustonelife

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Throwback Thursday, John Unitas Edition

First, and with no disrespect intended to the memory of the great John Unitas…I had a dream this morning that was a combination of two of my anxiety-themed dreams. The first theme was that I was in a class in college that I had to complete in order to graduate. The professor seemed quite young and the class involved hands-on lab work and not just listening to lectures, reading and taking exams.

I struggled to keep up with the work and at one point went to the professor and told him I didn’t think I could complete the class requirements. He just told me to hang in there and reminded me that I needed the class to graduate. I left the class to acquire supplies for the lab work. I chatted with a female student who was not in that class and, once again, she seemed quite young to me. She asked me what I was doing and I said I was getting supplies for my last class in college. She congratulated me.

After leaving the school store it dawned on me that I already have two college degrees and–this was the important point to me–they are already framed and sitting in my house. I wouldn’t have these degrees if I still needed to finish this class, right? I decided to just leave the campus. It was then that the second “anxiety theme” kicked in. I could not find my way out of this building except by re-tracing my steps to exactly where I had entered. I entered another building and the same thing happened, except this time I simply could not find my way out no matter what.

It is hell to live inside my head.

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

On this date in 1933 the great John Unitas was born. When I was young he was one of my “Holy Trinity” of sports idols along with Frank Robinson and Babe Ruth.

Unfortunately for me, I never had the opportunity to see him play before he suffered the serious elbow injury that cost him most of the 1968 season. He was never the same after the injury.

Since I am the author of this book and it is no longer in print I am going to show you the article about Unitas in my book about the greatest NFL teams of all time. Actually, I think I showed this on this day last year. Oh well…

 

 

I tried to find a non-copyrighted image of Unitas in his legendary high-top football cleats to show here, but could not. Here is a picture of a gift from Dr. Zal.

 

 

Happy Birthday, Johnny U!

 

#MoreBadDreams

#JohnUnitas

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Weaving Through Wednesday

If any of you are/were fans of the show Mythbusters, then I recommend reading Crash Test Girl by Kari Byron. It is a no holds barred look at her life loosely arranged, in my opinion, around the scientific method.

One of the lessons she tries to teach is that credentials are overrated. (A woman after my own heart.) Here is a relevant passage from the book:

 

“As it turns out, you don’t need to wear a lab coat to be a science geek. You don’t need a Ph.D. to be fiercely curious.”

 

Supposedly, Albert Einstein once remarked, “I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.” Of course, he did have a Ph.D. and he was intelligent beyond the comprehension of all but a few. Still, and as I have noted here before, the modern submarine was invented by a school teacher. The fax machine was invented by a priest–before the telephone. America’s obsession with “credentials,” and sometimes those credentials have nothing to do with college degree, is not allowing the cream to rise to the top as is the intent, it is creating a country where merit doesn’t matter. Merit and credentials are NOT perfectly correlated.

Something else from Byron’s book struck a chord with me and it is something I have mentioned before. Here is what she wrote:

 

“If you have anyone in your life now that drains the energy out of you with negativity, complaining, whining, backstabbing, get rid of them. Life is short.”

 

I have written that we should avoid people who lower our quality of life. I must confess that I whine some in this blog. Guilty as charged, but the overall theme of this effort is not one of whining.

I have put this belief into practice. I have been estranged from a sibling for years because this person is the definition of negative, the definition of selfish. I have had no communication with one of the best men at my wedding for more than a decade because our conversations had become nothing but verbal abuse from him. The longer I was in professional sports, the more resentful and jealous he became. While that may be understandable to some degree, that is not the definition of a friend.

Anyway…I am about 85% through the book and have enjoyed it very much. I think Kari Byron is a brave person, far braver than I.

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

Sorry, more Disaffected Musings data. So far, 2020 has seen an increase in the percentage of views from outside the US. That sounds good to me, the more the merrier. In 2019, 7.6% of views were from outside the US; that figure for this year is 12.6%.

Even with the increase in views from “abroad” only three countries besides the US account for even one percent of total views: Canada (5.8%), Israel (1.3%) and India (1.1%).

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

From this Carbonhans Blog post comes the news that the state of Kentucky is going to end restrictions for automobile manufacturing and dealerships on May 11th, next Monday. If the plant in Tonawanda, New York where Corvette engines are manufactured can reopen, and since that part of the state has been far less affected by the coronavirus than New York City itself (very high population density can be a very bad thing), reopening is a possibility. All of that could mean the resumption of Corvette production before the end of this month. Oh, the Corvette assembly factory is in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Yes, another picture (from Motor 1) of a C8 Corvette:

 

See the source image

 

I’m still waiting to see my first C8 in the wild.

Stay safe and be well. Hopefully, we are seeing the first glimmers of light at the end of the tunnel and, hopefully, the light is not from an oncoming train.

 

#KariByron

#ResumptionOfC8Production?

#somanycarsjustonelife

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In Or Out?

Without further ado:

 

See the source image

See the source image

 

The top pic is from favcars.com, the bottom is from fwallpapers.com. These are two pictures of the 1957-58 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham. This was a hand-built, top of the line luxury car. It was derived from the Orleans and Park Avenue show cars of 1953-54.

This car was groundbreaking in many respects. From the Wikipedia article about the Cadillac Eldorado, here is a description of the innovations:

 

“The car featured a roof trimmed in brushed stainless and self leveling air suspension…It also had the first automatic two-position “memory” power seats, a dual four-barrel V-8, low-profile tires with thin white-walls, automatic trunk opener, cruise control, high-pressure cooling system, polarized sun visors, electric antenna, automatic-release parking brake, electric door locks and a dual heating system. Other unique features included an automatic starter with restart function, Autronic Eye, drum-type electric clock, power windows, forged aluminum wheels and air conditioning…Buyers of Broughams had a choice of 44 full-leather interior and trim combinations and could select such items as Mouton, Karakul or lambskin carpeting.”

 

The Eldorado Brougham also had many luxury touches like a leather cigarette holder (remember this was the late 1950s) and a vanity kit. The air suspension was a bust as the technology of the day just wasn’t up to the demands of the design. The price was a staggering–for the time–$13,074; a Series 62 Eldorado Biarritz convertible was $7,286. Do you really care about the drivetrain? OK…for both years the Eldorado Brougham used Cadillac’s 365 cubic-inch V-8 with a four-speed Hydra-Matic automatic transmission. Engine output was 325 HP/400 LB-FT of torque for 1957, 335 HP/400 LB-FT for 1958.

I don’t think I ever saw one in person until the 2016 Barrett-Jackson auction at Mohegan Sun in Connecticut. It’s not too surprising that I didn’t see one before then as only 704 were made during the two model years it was produced.

OK, for the 1957-58 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham, In Or Out?

 

#InOrOut?

#1957-58CadillacEldoradoBrougham

#somanycarsjustonelife

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Monday Musings 45

From Carbonhans Blog an article about how GM and Ford have laid out plans to restart their US factories. Steps to protect workers will be a major part of these plans.

 

“Both companies detailed how they would thoroughly clean facilities and allot extra time between work shifts to do so. The automakers said they will also screen employees with questionnaires before they leave for work and temperature checks as they enter a plant or other facilities.”

“Employees who have recently been exposed to someone with the coronavirus or exhibit a high temperature or other Covid-19-related symptoms will be sent to local clinics for testing before they are allowed to return to work.”

“While in factories, employees will work at least six feet apart from one another whenever possible, the companies said. Employee workstations will be separated by clear plastic panels. Workers will also wear surgical-style face masks and clear plastic face shields whenever they’re required to work close to one another.”

 

One question I have is what proportion of these practices will remain in place even after the crisis ends? It actually might be a good idea if most, even all, of the procedures become standard.

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

Some humor for this Monday courtesy of this post from Archon’s Den:

 

OMG, I’m rich! Silver in the hair, gold in the teeth, crystals in the kidneys, sugar in the blood, lead in the butt, iron in the arteries, and an inexhaustible supply of natural gas.

I can’t remember how to write 1, 1000, 51, 6, and 500 in Roman numerals.
I’M LIVID

A man went into the library, and asked for a book on Probability.
The librarian replied, “Possibly it’s on that shelf over there.”

I went on a job interview the other day.
The interviewer said, “It says on your resume that you are a man of mystery.”
I replied, “That’s correct.”
He asked, “Would you care to elaborate?”
I said, “No.”

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

Many of you are probably tired of reading about the search for a Corvette companion/grocery car after the move to the desert. Well, given the timetable for the move may have been sped up a bit, the search has become a little more real and a little less theoretical.

From Bring A Trailer a picture of the car that has at least moved into a tie with the 2006-07 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS as the leading contender:

 

See the source image

 

This is a 1995 Jaguar XJS convertible. Other than the somewhat unsightly “roof remnant” with the top down, the car has a great look.

My wonderful wife likes these cars and she doesn’t care which engine; the inline-6 or V-12 are both fine for her. Part of me wants the V-12, but most of me would be fine with the six.

The XJS (or XJ-S) is one of the least respected successful cars in history. Over 115,000 were sold in its 20-plus year production run. However, because it followed the legendary E-Type this was the car that could not win. (Yes, I have written that before. Doesn’t mean it’s any less true.)

These cars are not expensive to acquire. The one shown above was sold for $13,000 ($13,650 all in on Bring A Trailer) in March, 2018. Maintenance? Well, we have some experience as my wonderful wife owned a 2001 Jaguar XK-8 convertible. Once the warranty expired the car seemed to want to fall apart. Our experience, by the way, might “argue” in favor of the less complicated six-cylinder engine.

We are a little wiser, hopefully, and a little more secure financially, hopefully. We could put an amount equal to 50% of the purchase price in an account to cover maintenance that, hopefully, would last more than a few months.

In general, the search has moved to more modern cars. We want a car for which disc brakes and fuel injection were standard, a car that had at least two airbags. I have dreams, but I live in the real world.

 

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#MondayMusings

#CorvetteCompanion

#JaguarXJS

#IHaveDreamsButILiveInTheRealWorld

#somanycarsjustonelife

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Sunday Stats

Not Sunday spats…

 

In addition to the most views of Disaffected Musings in a month, April, 2020 had the highest number of “unique” visitors. The latter figure is just as important to me as the number of views.

The number of views for April of 2020 was about 20 percent higher than the previous high mark, which occurred in April of 2019. (The number of unique visitors was 10 percent higher.) The number of views for the first four months of 2020 was 27 percent higher than for the same period last year.

The number of views that were referred from search engines was higher in the first four months of 2020 than for ALL of 2019. Many/most of these were from people trying to find out why Cristy Lee is no longer on All Girls Garage and/or why Lou Santiago and Jared Zimmerman are no longer on Car Fix.

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  Games w/10+ Att Rating Std Dev Coef of Variation
Unitas 188 79.5 32.2 0.41
Namath 132 67.2 31.5 0.47

 

No, I am not trying to re-write history. The Jets upset the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III, which was the first Super Bowl I watched. The outcome of that game will never change.

My impression of Joe Namath, though, is while he was an enormously talented thrower, physically, his performances were erratic. The great thing about football is that with the number of games played each year it is easy to look at career game-by-game logs. The wonderful site Pro Football Reference has these for just about every player in history.

The chart above is self-explanatory to me, but maybe not to everyone else. Johnny Unitas had 188 games in his career in which he had at least 10 pass attempts. I decided to exclude games with fewer than 10 attempts to stabilize the data, particularly standard deviation. In those games, his passer rating was 79.5. That doesn’t sound good today where the league average is over 90, but remember that in the NFL passer rating system, which is based on data from 1960 to 1972, the theoretical average rating is “only” 66.7. Unitas played from 1956 to 1973. For the first ten seasons of his career, Unitas’ passer rating was 83.8 compared to a league average of 68.5. A picture of Unitas’ “data page” in my book about the greatest NFL teams of all time:

 

 

The standard deviation of Unitas’ game ratings was 32.2. Standard deviation is a measure that is used to quantify the amount of variation or dispersion of a set of data values. Coefficient of variation is simply standard deviation divided by mean. If one quarterback had an average rating of 80.0 with a standard deviation of 35.0 and another had a mean of 90.0 with the same standard deviation, then the latter had less dispersion around the mean.

Namath had less consistent performances (higher coefficient of variation) than Unitas, but not by as much as I would have guessed. Given his higher overall rating it is no surprise that Unitas had a higher percentage of games with a 100.0+ rating than Namath, 24% to 20%.

OK…that’s enough of that. While my interest in sports is less than it’s been in many years, this kind of statistical exercise for pro football still interests me. Unfortunately, it’s not advanced enough for teams to have interest and it’s not about the fraud of fantasy football, which means most football “fans” would have no interest, either. By the way, at a team level passer rating has a higher correlation to winning than any other single traditional passing statistic, MUCH higher than completion percentage, for example.

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One more chart:

 

  HP Torque HP/$ Torque/$
2016 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 650 650 0.0064 0.0064
2016 Ferrari 488 661 560 0.0027 0.0023
2016 Jaguar F-Type SVR 550 502 0.0046 0.0042
2016 Lamborghini Huracan 610 412 0.0025 0.0017

 

Torque is measured in LB-FT. HP/$ is horsepower per dollar at MSRP. I think you can figure out what Torque/$ is.

I am 99.9% sure that no buyer would ever make a chart like this to compare cars, but I am not 99.9% of the population. The Corvette is unmatched in bang for the buck and I did not cherry-pick the competition, but did exclude German cars with awful lineage like Bugatti, which is nothing more than a Volkswagen in a fancy dress, and Porsche.

A 2016 Z06 has more than twice the HP per dollar and almost three times the torque compared to a Ferrari 488. Yes, many wealthy people like to signal their prosperity and as long as their wealth was legally acquired I am in no position to tell them how to spend their money. Still, facts are facts…

 

See the source image

See the source image

See the source image

 

Obviously, the top photo is of my car and I took it. The Ferrari 488 picture is from autodius.com, the Jaguar pic is from GTSpirit, and the Lambo photo is from autotribute.com.

 

#SundayStats

#JohnnyUnitas

#BangForThe Buck

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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