I’ll Make The Case Again

I was going to title this post “Great Minds Think Alike.” Yesterday, I was originally going to write about how, despite the damn virus, Bentley sales actually showed a slight increase in 2020 compared to 2019. I was also going to tie this news to my case about the potential success for an American-made ultra-luxury car.

Nobody knew about my idea for yesterday’s post until David Banner (not his real name) texted me with the Bentley news AND that it was more evidence that an American-made luxury car could succeed. I replied that I came very close to writing a post about that topic. Great Minds Think Alike…

Not only did Bentley sales increase in 2020 compared to the year before, but their sales hit an all-time high for a company that is 100+ years old. Yes, they are owned by the Shitlermobile company, Volkswagen. The point is that ultra-luxury makes exist in a different world and that it is foolish that no American car company (are you listening, Cadillac?) makes a car in that market segment. What is Bentley’s biggest market? The United States…

 

Cadillac has a long history of producing breathtaking concept cars, especially over the last 20 years

 

This is a picture of Cadillac’s Escala concept car. For a time, the company committed to putting this car into production, but I guess those plans have been shelved. As I have written here before, Cadillac has developed a number of amazing concept cars. My favorite is actually this one, the Elmiraj:

 

Cadillac has a long history of producing breathtaking concept cars, especially over the last 20 years

 

Sorry, but I remain convinced that a well-executed American-made ultra-luxury car would have a great chance of success. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

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From this piece in Corvette Blogger comes the news that Chevrolet/General Motors delivered almost 9,000 new Corvettes in the fourth quarter of 2020. The company now reports quarterly and not monthly numbers. Here is a chart from the same article:

 

Archived Corvette Delivery Statistics
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec Total
2020 — 3,820 — — 2,459 — — 6,355 — — 8,992 — 21,626
2019 — 3,943 — — 5,788 — — 4,766 — — 3,491 — 17,988
2018 1,005 1,351 2,101 — 5,758 — — 4,639 — — 3,910 — 18,791
2017 1,263 2,081 2,460 2,756 2,535 2,612 1,930 1,748 1,506 1,345 2,565 2,278 25,079
2016 1,501 2,116 2,753 3,142 2,673 2,483 2,159 3,063 2,829 2,626 1,941 2,709 29,995
2015 2,127 2,605 3,785 3,469 3,514 2,807 2,794 2,725 2,572 2,526 1,952 2,453 33,329
2014 2,261 2,438 3,480 3,514 3,328 2,723 3,060 2,679 2,467 2,959 2,378 3,552 34,839
2013 908 980 1,053 974 905 853 671 655 831 3,929 2,527 3,005 17,291
2012 629 927 1,376 1,396 1,219 1,475 987 1,210 1,351 1,167 1,104 1,291  14,132
2011 721 955 1,163 1,454 1,304 1,299 1,291 936 1,147 946 910 1,038 13,164
2010 854 624 955 1,089 1,428 1,405 1,199 1,135 1,109 1,011 836 979 12,624
2009 842 1,027 1,183 1,407 1,643 1,396 966 746 1,585 1,154 952 1,033 13,934
2008 2,015 2,071 2,692 3,190 2,904 2,082 1,870 4,242 2,318 1,170 1,093 1,324 26,971
2007 2,234 2,784 3,158 3,227 3,300 2,377 2,377 2,877 2,837 2,484 2,438 2,914 33,685
2006 2,579 3,058 3,655 3,516 3,317 2,938 2,794 2,990 3,056 2,761 2,773 3,081 36,518

 

By my quick calculation, it looks like the fourth quarter of 2020 was the best for Corvette deliveries since the second quarter of 2015. From Trending Motors a picture of what I hope is a 2021 Corvette:

 

See the source image

 

It seems as though the C8 is a success. Let’s see how sales progress through what is, hopefully, an uninterrupted model year in 2021.

 

#I’llMakeTheCaseAgain

#GreatMindsThinkAlike

#AmericanSuper-LuxuryCar

#CadillacEscala

#CadillacElmiraj

#C8Corvette

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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What Can I Say?

“We have a word for everything except for what we really think and feel.”

– Saul Bellow

 

My words are inconsequential, but I just had to comment on today’s events in Washington, DC. Tonald Drump is a disgrace to this country and to its highest office. He acts like a petulant child who wants to break the toys that have been taken away.

As regular readers know, I am no fan of the policy and ideology of the Democratic Party. I think the Antifa protests are very dangerous and are just as disrespectful of this country’s processes and institutions as the protests/riots of today. HOWEVER, Antifa is not incited by the President Of The United States.

I am angry, dismayed, heartbroken and, right now, thinking that the dissolution of which I keep writing may indeed occur in my lifetime. Politics in this country have become nothing except about the demonization of those with whom you disagree. That is a manifestation of the “Me Me” culture, stoked by both sides in an effort to gain power.

Today’s events show the danger of blindly following any ideology, of being a part of any cult of personality. I sincerely fear that events like today’s will become more frequent.

 

#WhatCanISay?

#IWeepForTheFuture

#disaffectedmusings

 

 

Respect Real Knowledge

I want to thank former practicing physician David Banner (not his real name) for reaching out to me today with concerns about what is happening in Arizona regarding the damn virus and with some advice.

Five or ten minutes on the Internet does NOT equal four years of medical school. While I rail against the hyper-credentialism that has taken over America, I respect real knowledge. (“Credentials” don’t always mean real knowledge.) The medical knowledge of 99.9% of lay people is basically zero.

I also cannot believe the crap that many people espouse. “Bill Gates has made sure that every vaccine dose has a microchip so he can track you.” Once again, America has become the land of the free, the home of the ignorant. If the vaccines weren’t as effective as they seem to be, then we would never be done with this damn virus given all of the people who, apparently, will never be vaccinated.

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Nigeria is the sixth most populous country in the world with an estimated 214,000,000 inhabitants. Kenya ranks 27th with a population of about 54,000,000. (c.f. Canada’s population is about 38,000,000.) Why am I mentioning these two African countries? Apparently, this blog–Disaffected Musings–has a few people in each country who are reading it on a regular basis. Welcome, I hope you keep reading AND I hope you tell your friends. Thanks. From Wikipedia, maps showing the location of the two countries, Nigeria (top) and Kenya (bottom):

 

Nigeria (orthographic projection).svg

Kenya (orthographic projection).svg

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This Hemmings article may be of interest to very few, even among automobile enthusiasts, but given my obsession with defunct American makes I enjoyed reading it. The post explores Kaiser-Frazer’s efforts to develop a V-8 engine, which were ultimately unsuccessful, and whether or not American Motors “poached” their V-8 design to develop its own.

It is probably true in many industries, but it is definitely true in the automotive world, that good ideas don’t usually stay with their inventors for long. How does that saying go? “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”

The Hemmings piece also points out the dissonance (my word) between the modern exterior design of later Kaiser cars and the outdated engine used to power them. From Wikimedia, a picture of a 1953 Kaiser Dragon:

 

See the source image

 

That body shape was the work of legendary automobile designer Howard “Dutch” Darrin. Of course, some of you are familiar with this car, the Kaiser-Darrin:

 

 

Picture “courtesy” of a WordPress blog, not mine. Some of you know that when Kaiser stopped producing cars in the US in 1955, Darrin bought about 100 of the Kaiser-Darrin leftovers, installed Cadillac V-8 engines in most of them and then sold them at his Los Angeles showroom. To me, one of these already equipped with a Cadillac or other non-Kaiser engine would be a great restomod candidate.

 

 

I haven’t had a chance to hang these signs in our new garage, but some or most of them will be displayed, somehow.

 

#RespectRealKnowledge

#NigeriaAndKenya

#Kaiser-Frazer

#KaiserDragon

#DutchDarrin

#Kaiser-Darrin

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Short-Term Pain…

For Long-Term Gain. Specifically, I am referring to the current disruption in our lives as we are having the original tile replaced with porcelain tile that is much lighter in color, larger and more “modern.” Here is a current photo from our kitchen:

 

 

Of course, swapping Short-Term Pain for Long-Term Gain has many applications beyond home remodeling. That trade-off, however, seems to be one that fewer and fewer people are willing to make. We seem to live in a country (I suspect this is true of the entire developed world, but I don’t live elsewhere) where too many people think they are entitled to whatever they want just because they want it, they want it yesterday and they want someone else to pay for it. That attitude is a recipe for disaster. Yes, it is.

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Along the lines of what I have just written is this CNBC article. Whole Foods CEO John Mackey (an eerie name for this native of Baltimore who watched Hall Of Fame tight end John Mackey play) told Freakonomics radio host Stephen Dubner, “I mean, honestly, we talk about health care. The best solution is not to need health care. The best solution is to change the way people eat, the way they live, the lifestyle, and diet.”

 

 

Here is a story told by former practicing physician David Banner (not his real name):

 

“I had a patient who had a major heart attack and was in the ICU getting clot busting meds. When I got there, he had oxygen on and was eating a fried fish sandwich that he bullied his wife into bringing him, and berated the nurses who tried to get him to stop. He died on his couch nine months later.”

 

If the US has a lower life expectancy than other developed countries that has very little to do with delivery of health care and much more to do with, for example, the fact that US citizens walk far less than people in the rest of the developed world. This country has developed a dangerous streak of lazy and ignorant. Yes, it has.

I don’t know who Dani Shugart is, but this is what she wrote in this piece:

 

“Everybody who’s in shape fights for it in some way. It’s not given to us. We all have personal disadvantages and challenges to overcome. So unless you’re among the very few genetically gifted and environmentally blessed, you can’t get lean without a struggle. You can’t build muscle without a struggle. And you certainly won’t maintain either without struggling in some way.”

 

Short-Term Pain for Long-Term Gain (Obviously, this applies to the “pain” of wearing masks and curtailing social activities until the vaccines have been widely distributed; I’m being more than a little facetious. Wearing a mask is a very small sacrifice, if any.)…The truth is often painful, but as Huxley wrote, “Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.”

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Here is a picture I took on New Years Day:

 

 

I know that’s a C4 Corvette convertible, although I don’t know the year, and I think those are C5 wheels, but I just like the looks of this car. As I have written (many times) before, it is only in the past few years that I have developed an affinity for C4 Corvettes. Before that, I thought they were plain-looking and under powered, at least until 1992. (I’m not counting the ZR-1 variant.)

Without question C4 Corvettes are an inexpensive gateway to Corvette ownership. It is still possible to find such cars with fewer than 75,000 miles listed at under $10,000.

I know C/2 has a Corvette, but how about the rest of you? Do any of you currently own one or have ever owned one?

 

#Short-TermPainForLong-TermGain

#C4Corvette

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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First Monday Musings Of 2021

Thanks to everyone who read Disaffected Musings yesterday, which saw the most views in the history of this blog for a day without a post. Actually, a year ago I would have been happy with yesterday’s number of views for a day with a post, but things change.

Human beings almost never judge events by objective reality, but against expectations and the status quo. If the Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers each have an 8-8 record next year, for the Bengals it would be a successful season while for the Steelers it would be a failure even though it’s the same record.

Speaking of sports and football…It’s a badge of American manhood to think you know a lot about sports, but it’s often not a merit badge. On a related thought, fantasy football is well-named because it bears little or no resemblance to the real thing. Actually, the same thing is true about all fantasy sports.

When I was Director of Baseball Operations for a major league team, one of my “responsibilities” was to hobnob with wealthy season-ticket holders. I can’t count how many of them said something like, “I could run a major league team. I finished second in my fantasy league last year.”

I would bite my tongue hard and then ask them a question or two about running a team or evaluating players. I am still waiting for my first correct answer.

Long way ’round…in this post I showed a table of NFL quarterbacks ranked by something called TOTSC. This metric uses the two individual stats that matter most in passing performance: yards per attempt and interceptions. With the regular season over, I thought I would show the final rankings and make some comments including the fact that the guy at the top of the charts is not going to win the MVP award:

 

    RANK TOTSC
Deshaun Watson HOU   1 3.28
Aaron Rodgers GB   2 2.82
Patrick Mahomes KC   3 2.57
Ryan Tannehill TEN   4 1.78
Derek Carr LV   5 1.36
Josh Allen BUF   6 1.36
Drew Brees NO   7 1.12
Matthew Stafford DET   8 0.87
Kirk Cousins MIN   9 0.68
Baker Mayfield CLE   10 0.68
Philip Rivers IND   11 0.60
Tom Brady TB   12 0.57
Justin Herbert LAC   13 0.57
Matt Ryan ATL   14 0.50
Joe Burrow CIN   15 0.34
Gardner Minshew JAX   16 0.27
Teddy Bridgewater CAR   17 0.17
Russell Wilson SEA   18 -0.02
Kyler Murray ARI   19 -0.35
Lamar Jackson BAL   20 -0.40
Jared Goff LAR   21 -0.58
Ryan Fitzpatrick MIA   22 -0.60
Ben Roethlisberger PIT   23 -0.78
Tua Tagavailoa MIA   24 -0.90
Can Newton NE   25 -1.02
Daniel Jones NYG   26 -1.21
Mitchell Trubisky CHI   27 -1.40
Andy Dalton DAL   28 -1.53
Nick Mullens SF   29 -2.07
Nick Foles CHI   30 -2.55
Drew Lock DEN   31 -2.80
Alex Smith WSH   32 -2.96
Dwayne Haskins WSH   33 -2.99
Sam Darnold NYJ   34 -3.03
Carson Wentz PHI   35 -3.72

 

Coming into this season, I had always thought that DeShaun Watson was a tad overrated, that he was a good quarterback who was thought by most to be great. One season does not a career make, but in light of everything that happened to that franchise, including the trade of their best receiver, I think his performance was great in 2020.

Along the lines of one season does not…, but still giving a player his due, I never thought Josh Allen could play at this level. Despite his obvious physical skills, he was a mediocre player in a non-Power Five conference in college. College is not more difficult than the NFL. Give Allen credit for his tremendous work ethic and give the Bills’ coaching staff tremendous credit for ironing out his flaws. I will also give Tom Brady his due as he played much better than I thought he would at age 43.

It is interesting to note that the two quarterbacks at the bottom were both drafted among the top three players overall in their respective draft years and that their futures with their current teams are less than clear. It’s also interesting to note that the two best running quarterbacks in the league, and two of the best of all-time, ranked a middling 19th and 20th with one team in the post season and one team out. Oh, the disclaimer: TOTSC does not pretend to measure leadership, the ability to audible to a better play, running capability or anything else except passing productivity. This metric is not adjusted for strength of schedule, although it could be. The quality of talent surrounding the quarterback and his system fit are not measured, either.

The biggest drawback to TOTSC, in my opinion, is that a player’s rating will almost certainly change even if he isn’t playing, say because of an injury. That could be partly mitigated by using more than one season as the basis for comparison. The current NFL system is flawed because it is no longer possible to really compare passing performance across different seasons, which was one of the reasons the system was developed.

The theoretical average in the NFL system is 66.7. The current system is based on data from 1960 to 1972. For 2020, the average passer rating for all qualified quarterbacks was 95.3. A quarterback with a 95.3 rating in 1970 was an effective passer, not an average one.

Anyway…enough of this scribbling. Because this type of analysis has nothing to do with fantasy football, few football fans would be interested in reading it. It would also not be considered advanced enough for football teams to have interest. I still think, though, that similar analyses and writing WOULD be of value to companies like Barrett-Jackson or Mecum. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Speaking of cars…

On this day in 1930, and not being the best of timing, Cadillac first introduced its V-16 engine/car to the public at the New York Auto Show. The car was offered in two generations through 1940 despite that it’s likely Cadillac lost money on every car. In its first model years, depending on the exact variant, the car could have had a price as high as $9,700. One could have purchased a 1930 Chevrolet, Cadillac’s GM stablemate, for $495.

 

 

From the 2019 Elegance at Hershey is a picture I took of a 1930 Cadillac Series 452, meaning a V-16 powered car. It made an in-person impression far beyond what is conveyed in this photo.

 

#MondayMusings

#SayNoToFantasyFootball

#CadillacV-16

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Slapdash Saturday

Who says Arizona has no bodies of water?!

 

 

This is a picture of Lake Pleasant (appropriately named, I think) where my wonderful wife, her parents and I spent part of New Years Day. I mean, c’mon, a lake surrounded by mountains on a cloudless, dry New Years Day with high temperatures in the low 60s. How can it get any better?

The dew point is about 20° here right now; in parts of south Florida the dew point is still in the 60s! No thanks, I’ll stay here. Yes, it will be very hot in the summer, but I don’t think a dry 105°-110° is any worse than a humid 90°.

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This piece from Classic Cars is one in a series of looks at 2020. This article chronicles the rapid growth of online automobile auctions in response to the damn virus. I enjoyed this sentence: “But in the middle of March, everything came to a stop faster than an F1 car heading into a hairpin turn.” I’m not even a big fan of auto racing.

I think the rapid move to online auctions speaks to the advantage of an economy where the private sector makes most of the decisions in terms of allocating resources. Can you imagine government being able to pivot so quickly? I maintain that’s not possible.

 

“Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy; its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.”

– Winston Churchill

 

I know Dirty Dingus McGee has bought cars via an online auction; has anyone else? I have made some half-hearted bids on Bring a Trailer, but knew that little to no chance existed that I would wind up owning the cars. BaT listings show scores of photos and the seller is almost always available to answer questions.

I think online auctions will be the dominant form in the future as the low overhead and low commissions will be a competitive advantage. Even if you have not done so already, would any of you consider buying a car in an online auction?

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Some more blog stats…

The number of views that were referred by search engines in 2020 was seven times higher than the number for 2019 and 85 times higher than the number for 2018. I have no idea how “sticky” that referral pipeline is. Of course, I wish that the total number of views for 2020 had been seven times higher than 2019 or 85 times higher than 2018.

From my perspective, I think it’s unfortunate that 86 percent of those referrals from search engines in 2020 were from the Evil Empire, aka Google. I didn’t think that their share of the search market was that high, but maybe this blog is not a representative sample. I haven’t used any Google product for three years. The fact that I still have to delete Google cookies from my computer every week is just more evidence of their criminality.

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I am just beginning to formulate ideas for Ultimate Garage 3.0. It seems like I wrote about version 2.0 just a few months ago, but May of 2021 will be two years.

I am struggling to make these choices organic. I do not want to simply repeat the same 11 cars that I listed in 2.0, but don’t want to change just for the sake of change. In addition, my feelings about various cars are difficult to compare to each other.

I think at least five cars will stay the same; you can guess as to their identity. Why not limit 3.0 to just the “core” cars? What fun would that be?! 🙂

I don’t think I will write posts on the cars that just missed the cut as I have done in the past. However, I will begin to show cars that are under consideration, but not locks, such as this one:

 

See the source image

 

From Classic Nation a picture of a 1956 Continental (don’t call it a Lincoln) Mark II. In conversations with friends who are car people, some of them have “complained” about lack of representation of Ford and Mopar vehicles in Ultimate Garage 2.0. I am NOT a proponent of quotas in any aspect of life and that applies to this exercise. I think decisions about inclusion/exclusion should be made solely on the basis of merit, whenever possible, and it’s possible far more often than the SJWs will admit.

However, I also don’t want to exclude cars just because they were made by companies of whom I am not the biggest fan. For me, FoMoCo will always have the shadow of its disgusting founder hanging over it. Will that affect my decision to ultimately include or exclude the Mark II? I’m only human, but I will try to be as objective as possible about something that is subjective in nature, as paradoxical as that sounds.

 

#SlapdashSaturday

#DesertViews

#OnlineCarAuctions

#GoogleIsEvil

#UltimateGarage3.0

#1956-57ContinentalMarkII

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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An Exercise In Self-Indulgence

Happy New Year!

For me, self-indulgence is not about binge-eating or binge-watching, it’s about numbers. Here we go:

The record-setting month of December ended with a strong number of views and visitors on its final day. Not only did the month have the most views/visitors of any month in the nearly three years this blog has existed, but the number of views was about 30 percent higher than the previous high-water mark set in October. Thanks to those of you who read the blog and thanks to Bill James for tweeting the link to Good Old Days. Interestingly though, the last time Bill tweeted a link to Disaffected Musings the number of views and visitors saw a two-day surge. This time, the surge only lasted one day.

So, December had the most views, the most visitors, the week with the most views, the day with the most views and–I hope WordPress doesn’t delete my blog because of this–the highest amount of ad earnings. I’d say that’s a good month.

Not surprisingly, the United States had the highest percentage of blog views in 2020 at 88.2%. Canada (5.6%) was the only other country at even one percent of blog views. In 2019, the percentage of views from the US was 92.3%. Oh, I have to mention the views from Malta. On a per capita basis, Malta had a higher percentage of blog views for November and December than any other country, including the United States. Of course, Malta’s population is fewer than 500,000 people and the US population is over 330,000,000. To whomever is reading the blog in Malta, thanks.

More year-to-year comparisons:

2019 saw a doubling of blog views compared to 2018 and 2020 continued that trend, basically. However, I obviously do not expect blog views to double again in 2021. In all honesty, I expect the number of views to decline. As the vaccine is given to sufficient numbers of people, I suspect many to abandon the indoors and spend much less time with their devices. This blog experienced a “quantum leap” in views/visitors beginning in April, when the damn virus shut down many activities.

Also, the Cristy Lee “boost” will have to fade away. Where Is Cristy Lee? accounted for 3.6% of all views in 2020. I suspect that searches for her added more to the view total than just for that post. Here are the six most-read posts in 2020, not counting the About page AND not counting “Home Page/Archives,” which is the main link to the blog and whose views dwarf that of any specific post, even Where Is Cristy Lee?

 

Where Is Cristy Lee?

Another Weird Dream…

Good Old Days

Throwback Thursday 36, this post was written in February but had almost ten times as many views in September

Monday Mishegas

Ultimate Garage 2.0: Honorable Mention & Car Number One, this post was written last year but had three times as many views this year

 

Thanks again, please keep reading even after you’re vaccinated and please tell your friends about my blog.

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I hope my wonderful wife doesn’t get too upset over this picture:

 

 

This is Gemma Godfrey. No, she is not a model or an actress. She used to be a quantum physicist and is now an influential person in the world of finance. I kid you not…

Do people who look like that have more confidence in themselves or is there no correlation? One of my favorite restaurants in our former stomping grounds used to employ a gorgeous young woman named Laurelyn. One time while eating at the counter she served me and the woman sitting two seats away. The woman remarked to me how nice Laurelyn was and I replied, “It’s easy to be nice when you look like that.” The woman answered, “Oh, she is lovely.” Even my wonderful wife remarked on more than one occasion about Laurelyn’s looks.

If anyone has any studies they can cite I would like to read them. Obviously, this situation does not apply to me.

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You knew a post about self-indulgence would show some car photos. Yes, I am beginning to think about Ultimate Garage 3.0 that could be published in May or June, if I am in a position to do so.

 

https://i1.wp.com/corvettestory.com/images/corvette-images/1967-convertible-corvette-marlboro-maroon-2_a.jpg

https://www.carsaddiction.com/files/cars/72__Longchamp.jpg

 

The “credits” for all of these photos have been listed when these pics were originally shown in the blog.

I hope you enjoyed my exercise in self-indulgence. Once again, Happy New Year!

 

#AnExerciseInSelf-Indulgence

#GemmaGodfrey

#LooksAndConfidence

#ILOVECARS!

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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975

 

Of Viruses And Vitriol

Good Riddance, 2020! Good riddance to a year when both a virus and an election cycle highlighted and exacerbated the social and political polarization of the United States. As I have written here often, I believe that polarization is now intractable and the only solution is dissolution.

Good Riddance, 2020! I will not miss a year in which so many people in my former industry of employment–professional sports–have died, including many I knew personally.

While in one way–the move to the desert–this year has been good for me and my wonderful wife, 2020 can only be described as a year of calamity. Another like it in 2021 and…I don’t even want to finish that thought.

I offer a most fervent wish for a happier, healthier, calmer and safer 2021.

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I hope this picture shows as intended:

 

 

Well, I guess the photo is not sharp enough to convey what I saw with my eyes. In fact, the picture almost looks like a painting. The full (or near full) moon illuminated the mountain that sits not far to the north of our house. Oh well, let me show some more:

 

 

My wonderful wife took those two photos. It does rain in the desert, but that rain can lead to some amazing panoramas.

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Except for “Joe Walsh’s” tongue-in-cheek endorsement of the Maserati (Life’s Been Good, not this year), every reader who offered an opinion favored this car as the one we should buy:

 

 

As I wrote yesterday, I think this car (a Cadillac ATS coupe) is in the lead at present. Thanks to everyone for reading and to those who offered opinions on the subject. The post drew quite a lot of views.

My wonderful wife and I kept saying “Next Year” as to the time frame of the car purchase. Well, tomorrow is next year. That’s not to say we’re going to buy a car next week, but I will not be surprised if we buy the car by mid-February.

 

Thanks to all of you who read the blog on a regular basis and to those who send so many thoughtful comments. Stay safe, be well and Happy New Year.

 

#OfVirusesAndVitriol

#DesertViews

#CadillacATSCoupe

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Three Test Drives

I had decided yesterday that I wasn’t going to post today and waking up today with one of my nasty head/neck aches seemed to clinch that decision. Then, I saw that a “new” person offered two thoughtful comments on the blog (thanks, PavementandGravel) and yesterday was an interesting day, I have to admit. So, here I am.

My wonderful wife and I test drove three cars yesterday. Well, she drove them and I was a passenger. We really are going to buy another car. We had another reminder of the need for something with more cargo room when we tried to take the Christmas presents we had purchased for my wonderful wife’s parents in her Corvette convertible and they wouldn’t fit in the trunk. They barely fit in the “cargo area” of my Z06.

OK, here is a picture of the first car:

 

 

This is a 2017 Dodge Challenger in SXT spec, meaning it has a V-6 engine. This car has about 21,000 miles and the “firm” price is about $23,000.

The first thing I noticed is that the car lacks a backup camera and navigation. (I thought by model year 2017 backup cameras were mandated, but I guess I was wrong.) The second thing is that even though the car was EPA rated at 19 MPG City/30 MPG Highway, according to its readout, the car had a lifetime MPG of 16.3. My Z06 gets better mileage. Still, we’re not going to buy a car based on mileage, especially a car that’s likely to be driven 1,500-2,000 miles a year. What does Dirty Dingus McGee like to write? YMMV, as in Your Mileage May Vary.

The car drove smoothly and had good acceleration, steering and brakes. It was roomy and would certainly seat four people comfortably. As the “official” trunk volume figure of 16+ cubic feet would suggest, the trunk was quite large.

The car felt a little cheap on the inside, if I am being honest. The quality of materials was not the best. Maybe our Corvettes have spoiled us, especially my wonderful wife’s that has the 3LT package with leather and suede everywhere. The car would be more than capable of being a Grocery Car/Taxi as well as being worthy of accompanying our two Corvettes in the garage.

This is a picture of the second car, but not one that we took:

 

 

This is a 2016 Cadillac ATS 2.0 Turbo Coupe. The car looked much better to me in person than it has in any photo. The fact that this one is in Black over Black is not an asset in the desert. It also has more miles than we would have liked, about 37,000. The asking price is about $24,000.

The interior of the car made an immediate impression. As befitting the Cadillac name, the car is well-appointed with higher quality surfaces. It also has navigation, a backup camera, a sunroof, front collision mitigation system, etc. The rear seats would not be quite as comfortable as in the Challenger, but they were sufficient. Despite the listed trunk volume of about 10 cubic feet, the trunk seemed large enough for our purposes especially when considering that 99% of the time, only one or two people will be in the car so the back seats can be used for storage.

Turbocharging is an amazing technology. The 2-liter/122 cubic-inch inline four-cylinder engine produces 272 HP/295 LB-FT of torque and you feel that when you accelerate. The steering, road feel and brakes were also very good. I think my wonderful wife was pleasantly surprised at how much she liked the car.

For our last test drive of the day, we splurged:

 

 

That is a 2017 Maserati Gran Turismo coupe. This example has about 12,000 miles and the asking price was much more than that of the other two cars, combined.

The backseats were surprisingly roomy, but the trunk is, in all honesty, a fail. It’s listed at 9.2 cubic feet, but seems much smaller than even that of the ATS. Still, it’s a car that will almost always have only one or two occupants.

How did it drive? How do you think? First, the front seats are unbelievably comfortable and the car just has the feel of luxury in the interior. Second, that engine…what a sound! Third, hold on to your hats!

The Ferrari-sourced 4.7 liter V-8 produces 454 HP/384 LB-FT of torque, but seems to have even more power than that. You really feel the g forces under acceleration and that sound is just wonderful. I wish I had made an audio recording. Of course, the handling and braking were superb.

However, even an older example of the car (a 2014 with similar mileage) at the same dealership had an asking price equal to that of the other two cars combined. A quick Internet search revealed some older Gran Turismos nationwide with 60,000 miles and list prices under $30,000, but would you want to buy a 10-year old Maserati with 60,000 miles?

The Maserati has not been ruled out, but I doubt we’re going to buy one. One of the problems is the length of the car (194 inches). Remember that our third garage space is shorter than the other two. If we were to buy this car, we sure as hell wouldn’t leave it parked on the driveway. Right now, I would say the ATS–although not necessarily the car we actually drove–is in the lead.

Anyway…we had a great time yesterday and I could do that at least once a week. Thanks to Sam, Frank and Patrick for treating us so well. Of course, at some point we’re actually going to buy a car and the research and test drives will cease. EVERYTHING is a trade-off…

 

#ThreeTestDrives

#2017DodgeChallenger

#2016CadillacATSCoupe

#2017MaseratiGranTurismo

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Tick Tock Two

Down to 65 hours until the end of 2020…

Yet another person in the sports world with whom I worked has died in 2020. Bob Brown, who was the Public Relations Director for the Baltimore Orioles for 35 years–including while I worked for the team–died on Sunday the 27th.

Brown and I did not work together, per se, as I worked in Baseball Operations and not Public Relations, but I did assist his department in putting together the minor league players section of the team’s annual Media Guide. He had a reputation for having a temper, but I seldom saw that side of him and he treated me cordially, even if he didn’t quite understand what I was doing for the team.

 

“And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”

– John Donne

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

Even though I managed a post of normal length yesterday, it was the Corvette anniversary that bailed me out. I am still at a loss for topics about which to write.

Although December has already set “records” for most views and visitors in a month, those metrics have tailed off in the last week. Which came first, my running out of ideas or the decline in blog views? Well, at least I can keep showing these:

 

 

Stay safe and be well.

 

#TickTockTwo

#BobBrownBaltimoreOrioles

#DesertViews

#disaffectedmusings

If you like this blog please tell your friends and share the blog URL (https://disaffectedmusings.com). Thanks.