Friday Floating

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A picture of the cover of a book I highly recommend:



I swear I didn’t show the cover just because of the beautiful ’67 Corvette. 🙂

This book has real stories about the very personal connection between people and cars. Chapter 7, “Designed For Mastery, Driven By Sentiment, Wired For Speed,” is absolute poetry to me. Here is a long passage from that chapter:


“Without mastery, without the ability to steer the car in the direction of your every whim, you’re just a passenger. Maybe that’s why autonomous vehicles feel to us like the sworn enemy of every single human sentiment and emotion described above. It takes the Zen moment at the start of a drive, where all destinations are possible, and replaces it with a cyber-plotted itinerary. It exchanges the noble elements of mastery for a lesser alloy of possession and detachment, turns the illicit thrill of speed into the heartless arithmetic of distance and time. The lovingly customized personal vehicle will give way to the linoleum subway chic of shared operation, easy to wipe clean and frequently in need of said cleaning, because few things in this world are treated worse than a public conveyance. Those quantum collisions of romantic entanglement that occur when a girl in a flatbed Ford swings past a corner in Winslow, Arizona? Gone, replaced by frantic and unpleasant coupling behind curtains and between waypoints on Google Maps.”

“Nobody ever wrote a love song about a subway.”

“Nobody has ever felt a deep, personal connection with a city bus.”


If you can, support the car hobby. Attend car shows, join an automobile museum…if you can afford it, buy a car that meets your personal definition of classic.


Although we had a great time at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction last year, we are not attending this year. However, that doesn’t mean we won’t be watching. Of course, I am currently watching and enjoying the broadcasts of the Mecum auction from Kissimmee, Florida.



The photos on the covers are of high-profile cars that will sell for six, seven or even eight figures. Remember from this that I don’t really have super-expensive tastes in cars. No seven-figure cars were in my Ultimate Garage 2.0. Only two of the eleven could be valued at $250,000 or more and five of them were valued at less than $100,000.

I don’t know if I can show actual cars from the catalog without violating copyright laws. In all honesty, I have more interest in the cars from earlier in the auction than in those from Friday and “Super Saturday.” My highly idiosyncratic interest in the Cadillac Allante is piqued by this lot from Tuesday, the second day of the auction. Here is a picture of a similar car from


See the source image


This is a 1991 Allante; the Barrett-Jackson car (also in Red) has just 35,268 miles. At the Mecum auction in Denver in 2018 a 1990 Allante sold, all in, for $1,650. No, I’m not missing a zero. At the Barrett-Jackson auction in Connecticut in 2017 an Allante, I don’t remember the year, sold all in for $8,250.

I don’t think these cars will ever be valuable, but I think they’re gorgeous and if you buy one from 1989 or later, the car has enough torque to be fun to drive. How can you go wrong for less than ten grand?







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It Was The Best Of Days, It Was The Worst Of Days

On this day in 1999 I moved in with the wonderful woman who has been my wife for more than 20 years.

On this day in 2004 my marvelous mom died.

For me, this day—January 9th—is a most apt metaphor for my life. I fervently wish that, just once, I could enjoy a relatively long and uninterrupted stretch of good fortune. It seems to me that such a span does occur for others.



How to segue to something else, to anything else…

Trying to transition I will quote Thomas Jefferson via The Muscleheaded Blog:

“I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.”

Once again, I hope the promise of the future is better than history.


On this day in 1926 the first Pontiac was shown at the New York Auto Show. From (unfortunately, not a secure website) is a picture of the ad for the first Poncho:


1926 Pontiac 'Chief of the Sixes' advertisement


The creation of Pontiac by General Motors as the companion make for Oakland came from GM President Alfred Sloan’s desire to create “A car for every purse and purpose.” In other words, Sloan felt that segments of the automobile market existed for which GM didn’t have a product.

LaSalle, Cadillac’s companion make, is remembered today for its styling and for being Harley Earl’s first contribution to GM design. The LaSalle was produced from 1927 to 1940. Pontiac became so successful that its parent make, Oakland, was discontinued after the 1931 model year.

The companions for Buick and Oldsmobile—the Marquette and Viking, respectively—were victims of the Great Depression. The Marquette, despite decent sales under the circumstances, was produced only for one year, model year 1930. (About 35,000 Marquettes were made.) Buick management, the GM divisions had much more autonomy in those days, felt that given the economic conditions of the day, the expense of Marquette production was not prudent. The Viking, the only companion make priced higher than its parent, limped along for three model years (1929-1931) with total sales of just 7,224 units.

Pontiac, of course, survived until the GM bankruptcy/reorganization of 2009-2010. I have written before about my affection for Pontiac and its significance in my life. It seemed only fitting to note its beginning on this day and its history fits my personal theme of the day, as well.






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P.S. A picture of a recent acquisition, appropriate for today’s post.


Stan Cat Pontiac


The Exigencies Of Life

Exigency; n. an urgent need or demand

Two cousins of mine passed away in the last week. Both were in their 80s and I hadn’t seen one of them in decades although I spoke to her in 2018. Nevertheless, both were important parts of the tapestry of my family, which is spread all over the world.

We all have to deal with the cycle of life as frightening as that can be.


Exigencies can be exogenous or endogenous; they can be universal or singular. For me, writing this blog has become a “must” event, an urgent need. That, no doubt, sounds trivial compared to the “real” world, but this blog gives me an outlet to be creative, to use my brain. On Saturday, Disaffected Musings will be two years old. By then I will have written about 660 posts, some of which have exceeded 1,000 words in length. I complain about the “lack” of views/visitors, but in the end my need for this blog is infinitely greater than that of its readers.


OK, I have to show some blog stats for 2019. Yes, I HAVE to…

Thanks to 56PackardMan and the readers of the Studebaker Drivers Club (SDC) forum. With a late surge, the SDC forum became the biggest referrer to this blog in 2019.


Percentage of Blog Views By Referrer:

SDC Forum                 6.2%

Search Engines          6.1%

WordPress Reader    4.6%

Twitter                         3.2%

Hemmings                  2.2%

Packard Forum          1.7%


The Twitter number is extremely misleading as almost half of all Twitter referrals came in two days. Obviously, most blog views do not come from links shown elsewhere, but by people who are following the blog. Other sites referred readers, but none of the others reached one percent of the total.


On this day in 2001 the 11th, and what turned out to be the last (at least as of now), generation of Ford Thunderbird debuted at the Detroit Auto Show. Without further ado:


See the source image


From a picture of a 2002 Ford Thunderbird. I don’t think it’s an ugly car, but something about the shape is just “off” to me. Here’s another perspective of the same car:


See the source image


The rear bumper/valence sticks out too far for my tastes although I’m sure regulations and the technology of the day played a role. Maybe my brain wants a more angular, less round profile.

The car was successful its first year (model year 2002), with over 25,000 sold, despite some early bugs that delayed full production until the fall of 2001. After that, however, sales dropped dramatically every year until the plug was pulled after the 2005 model year.

As to why the car didn’t succeed many people have differing opinions. Some think not offering a manual transmission hurt sales. By the early part of this century more than 90% of all new cars sold in the US were equipped with automatics so I don’t think that was a significant factor. (In the third quarter of 2019 almost 99% of all new cars sold in the US had automatic transmissions.)

Some think the car was underpowered. In the first year the 3.9 liter/240 cubic-inch V8 (similar to the one available in Jaguar automobiles, remember that Ford owned Jaguar from 1990 to 2008) produced 252 HP/267 LB-FT of torque. For 2003 output was increased to 280 HP/286 LB-FT. Maybe a high-performance version with 400+ HP would have helped sales, maybe not. Foreign makes like BMW and Mercedes-Benz offered two-seat convertibles that were perceived to be better performers and, perhaps, that limited T-Bird sales.

I think it’s a shame that the “Ford Thunderbird” is no longer produced. I think Ford is lost in the wilderness at present and has abandoned car production too soon. I tweeted to Ford the idea of bringing the Thunderbird name back as an electric-powered sports car. What do you think? You Ford guys out there (and I don’t just mean you, C/2), where do you think the company has gone wrong and how can it be fixed?






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Tuesday Toss And Turn

My sleep patterns are not consistent. Sometimes I can sleep 7-8 hours a night for 2-3 nights, but usually I get less sleep. Depression interferes with sleep.

My wonderful wife has been dealing with a severe neck strain for which she was prescribed a muscle relaxer. That drug makes her snoring worse and, not surprisingly, her snoring makes it difficult for me to sleep. However, this morning (it’s about 2:30 AM as I am writing this) I am awake simply because I couldn’t go back to sleep after going to the bathroom despite the fact that my wife was perfectly quiet.

I take melatonin every night, but I think that only makes it easier for me to fall asleep, not to stay asleep. I do not want to take prescription sleeping meds. From WebMd here is a list of potential side effects from these formulations:


  • Burning or tingling in the hands, arms, feet, or legs
  • Changes in appetite
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty keeping balance
  • Dizziness
  • Daytime drowsiness
  • Dry mouth or throat
  • Gas
  • Headache
  • Heartburn
  • Impairment the next day
  • Mental slowing or problems with attention or memory
  • Stomach pain or tenderness
  • Uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body
  • Unusual dreams
  • Weakness


The same WebMd article also lists parasomnias as a potential side effect. Parasomnias are movements, behaviors and actions over which one has no control, like sleepwalking. During a parasomnia, you are asleep and unaware of what is happening. As someone with a long history of talking in his sleep, including having conversations which are totally forgotten after awakening, I don’t think these pills are for me.

Anyway, an explanation as to why I am writing at this time of day.


Wouldn’t you like to drive something that looks like this?


See the source image


Or maybe this?


See the source image


The top photo, from, is a 1954 Hudson Italia. The bottom photo, from RM Sotheby’s, is a 1937 Duesenberg Model SJ Cabriolet. The car-buying public may finally be able to buy replicas of these cars as NHTSA, no doubt in response to SEMA’s lawsuit, has finally issued regulations to implement the—get this name—Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act, which was passed in 2015.

My wonderful wife and I regularly attend our annual HoA meeting. Our local state representative always visits to give an update on local legislative issues. He is a nice person and seems to take his role seriously, but when he starts to talk about the “workings” of the state government, about “district re-equalization payments” and “federal overlays,” I become more convinced than ever that government is interfering too much in the lives of individuals. I don’t believe government, which is only supposed to exist with consent of the governed, should tell me what I should drive, where I should live, what I should eat and with whom I should be friends. Government, like all institutions of mankind, is flawed.

Most people are motivated by self-interest most of the time. That behavior is part of our survival instinct. It is naive to think that once someone is elected to public office they will automatically become purely altruistic. That applies regardless of political ideology or party.






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First Monday Musings Of 2020

Father Time is undefeated…


I will tell you that the genuflecting shown to the Patriots before the playoffs by people who get paid to talk about the NFL was disgusting. One, a former attorney who now hosts an NFL TV show, called the Patriots “The Terminator” as in “turn your back on them at your own peril.” Another, a former player to whom I will refer as “Prime Time Big Mouth,” said his confidence in the Patriots was “extremely high” and when asked to elaborate he just said “They’re the champs.”

Anyone who objectively watched the Patriots over the last half of the season would have told you that they did not resemble a championship team in any way, shape or form. The Patriots are just not athletic enough to be considered a great team. They are, obviously, well-coached, but there is no substitute for talent.

Switching teams…I am not a big fan of either the Vikings or the Saints, but I can’t say I was disappointed by the Saints’ losing at home. I have never, ever heard anyone describe their coach as a good person. I have heard and read him described as the ultimate in smugness and arrogance.

My “dream” Super Bowl of the Ravens vs. the Packers can still happen although I doubt it will. I am not so arrogant as to think I can actually predict the outcome of the NFL playoffs. Remember that pro sports, like the rest of life, is just a Monte Carlo simulation. Whatever happens is not the only thing that could have happened and doesn’t even have to have been the most likely outcome.


From one of the top Corvette salesmen, Mike Furman, via Corvette Blogger:


“The New Year has begun and 2020 mid-engine Corvette coupe production officially starts within a month…the GM allocation system is frustrating as the patience of many gets tested. We live in an instant gratification world but the 2020 allocation rollout will be slow and methodical. I’ve been down this road many times before and the only thing that has changed is how we receive information. The computer informs all in an instant which is like a double-edged sword. The saying goes, “Patience is a virtue”…well all I can say is the 8th generation Corvette is well worth waiting for.”


I really like the sentence, “The computer informs all in an instant, which is like a double-edged sword.” I have written many times and fervently believe that virtually nothing is all good or all bad and that virtually everything is a trade-off. I have also written about how so many people have been seduced by the “Cult Of The New.” I don’t subscribe to “Status Quo Uber Alles,” either. To me, neither new nor old is automatically good or bad. From CorvetteForum a picture of something new that I think is really good, a 2020 C8 Corvette (in orange, of course):


See the source image


I think having seen the C8 in person has made the photos of the car look better to me. I hope I will be able to take a picture of the first one I see on the street, but that will probably be a few months from now.






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Silly Saturday

A scary, but hopefully somewhat humorous look into my brain, or what’s left of it…


Remember these?


See the source image


From a picture of Goobers and Raisinets. When I was young a jingle was featured prominently in their advertising. The jingle began, simply enough, “Goobers and Raisinets.” My messed-up brain used “Poopers and Scoopinets” as the second line. To this day, when I see these in the store, which is not often, I hear the jingle like this:

🎶Goobers and Raisinets,

Poopers and Scoopinets. 🎶

Thanks to my OCD I will hear this jingle in my head for at least a half an hour. I am very prone to earworms and way too often the earworm will be a song I can’t stand, like “Little Sister” by Elvis Presley, which is played WAY too often on the Sirius/XM Sixties channel.


Pout With The Bold,

Sin With The Few.


Animal Planet, which I seldom watch, airs a show called “Pit Bulls and Parolees.” My brain immediately goes to “Pit Bulls and Pierogies.”


From 56PackardMan’s Friday Funnies yesterday:


Blonde x-ray
























I howled with laughter at this. No offense intended to my wonderful wife, who is blonde.


Two hunters are out in the woods when one of them collapses. He’s not breathing and his eyes are glazed. The other guy whips out his cell phone and calls 911.

“I think my friend is dead!” he yells. “What can I do?”

The operator says, “Calm down. First, let’s make sure he’s dead.”

There’s a silence, then a shot. Back on the phone, the guy says, “OK, now what?”


The only thing flat-earthers fear is sphere itself.

I can’t do a lot of math but I can do SUM of it.

Why does the Norwegian navy have barcodes on their ships? So when they come back to port they can Scandinavian.


Enjoy your Saturday…




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Frugal Friday

First…even though their market share in the US was less than two percent, in the third quarter of 2019 electric cars still outsold cars equipped with…manual transmissions. (Sorry, can’t remember where I read this, but I’m virtually certain this is correct.) I believe that 1.8% of new cars sold in the US in that quarter were electric and 1.1% had manual transmissions. The latter figure has to be an all-time low.

I will offer the opinion, somewhat heretical in some corners, that at least in the US the manual transmission is already dead on its feet, but no one has had the decency to knock it over and to give it a proper burial. I will also offer the opinion that many of those, but not all, with a stated preference for manual transmissions are actually engaging in signaling.


The last Frugal Friday car of 2019 was a Buick and so the first Frugal Friday cars of 2020 will also be Buicks. First, the current Mecum auction in Kissimmee, Florida offered a car like this for sale yesterday:


See the source image


This is not the actual car—Mecum does not allow the online photos of current and recent lots to be captured—but it is a car offered at a Mecum auction in 2011. This is a 1990 Buick Reatta convertible, of which only 2,132 were built. While I prefer the coupe in appearance, I have always liked the way these cars look. When I moved to California in the mid-1990s I wanted to buy one, but the Buick/GMC/Pontiac dealer from whom I eventually purchased my Pontiac Grand Prix did not seem to want to find me a used Reatta. Production of the Reatta ended in 1991.

Anyway, the Reatta convertible offered yesterday sold, all in, for $3,850. Yep, $3,850. Even if you needed to put that much in it after purchase and had to spend $1,500 to ship the car (I paid much less than that to have my 2016 Corvette Z06 shipped to me from Oklahoma), you’d only be in the car for about $9,000. Everyone from Mecum to Hagerty to Barrett-Jackson is telling us that cars from the 1980s and 1990s are becoming more popular and should continue to do so. While except in rare instances like a 1930s Duesenberg I would never recommend buying a car as an investment, buying something like this could prove to be a money-making endeavor. Even if it doesn’t, you would own a fun, good-looking car (IMO) that is probably not too bad on gas and that could probably still be serviced by Buick dealers for less than ten grand up front.

A car similar to this next one was featured in my Ultimate Garage 2.0. While not a 1965 model, this Hemmings ad shows a car in which I would have interest, especially at the asking price of $16,950: a 1963 Buick Riviera:



While I wax nostalgic for cars like a 1963 Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk or a 1956 Packard Four Hundred, if/when I buy a companion to my Z06 the practicality of having the car serviced could steer me away (see what I did there…) from a car like that to a car like this. I am not a mechanic and don’t know if I want to start wrenching in my 60s. In addition, if I were ordered to limit my Ultimate Garage to five cars, this generation Riviera would definitely make the cut.

As always I welcome thoughts from you. Have a good weekend…







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Throwback Thursday

See the source image


From a picture of the sleeve, I presume, of the only record to reach the Number One position on the Billboard charts, fall off and then return later and reach Number One again, “The Twist” by Chubby Checker, real name Ernest Evans. The song was actually written and originally released by Hank Ballard and the Midnighters as the B-Side to “Teardrops on Your Letter” in 1959.

Checker’s version first reached Number One in September, 1960 and then again in January, 1962. When both chart runs are added together the song was on the Hot 100 for 39 weeks.

If it seems as though I am obsessed with chart performance of 45s that is just an extension of my personality and my intense interest in such things when I was 12-13 years old. My best friend, Dr. Zal, began creating his own Top 40 way before I started although, at first, he simply rearranged the existing Billboard Top 40 to suit his preferences. I began creating my own Top 40s from scratch and he soon followed that practice.

Many of the songs to which I listened were not “Pop” but “Soul Music” and would never appear on the Billboard Hot 100 or Top 40. At the end of the first calendar year in which I compiled my Top 40 charts I used a point system to create a Top 40 for the year. My Number One song for that year was a very obscure piece called “Sweet Sweet Tootie” by Lonnie Youngblood. “Outa Space” by Billy Preston was #2, presaging, no doubt, my eventual interest in jazz and instrumental music.

Although as I age I grow more impatient and, therefore, don’t listen to music as much as I used to, music has always been a very important part of my life. Remember this photo?



I would very much like to read what type of music you like(d) and how important music is to you.






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January 1, 2020

Can that date be correct?!


I was going to push past trivia and even minutia and publish a lot of stats about this blog comparing views, visitors, etc. for 2018 and 2019. I was also going to publish stats comparing my workouts for the two years. After some reflection I realized that I don’t want to subject my readers to that stuff.

I have to admit, though, that given the number of views/visitors for Disaffected Musings has been stagnant for about 15 months, my motivation for writing is waning. It is entirely possible that by this time next year, I will be posting far less frequently or not at all. Time is finite, like every other resource, and has to be allocated efficiently. Sorry to sound like a Gloomy Gus, but it is what it is.


On January 1, 1862 the first US income tax went into effect in order to help pay for the Civil War. The tax, whose [I know the tax was not alive, you tell me which pronoun I should use] rates were raised in 1864, was repealed in 1872.

In 1895 the US Supreme Court ruled that taxes on rents from real estate, on interest income from personal property and other income from personal property (which includes dividend income) were direct taxes on property and therefore had to be apportioned. Since the apportionment of income taxes is impractical, these rulings had the effect of prohibiting a federal tax on income from property. Due to the political difficulties of taxing individual wages without taxing income from property, a federal income tax was impractical from the time of this decision until the time of ratification of the Sixteenth Amendment in 1913.

Those people advocating a “wealth tax” seem oblivious to this history. The Sixteenth Amendment reads: “The Congress shall have the power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.” Notice incomes is specified, but not total assets or wealth. A wealth tax is unconstitutional and even if some future administration and Congress are able to pass such a law, given the current makeup of the Supreme Court it is virtually impossible to think such a law would be upheld during an inevitable challenge.

I also believe in the 12 or 14 countries that have enacted a wealth tax that tax has been repealed in every one of those countries. Vilification of the wealthy is nothing but abject populism.


Diane of indianeskitchen commented (thanks, Diane) that the $346,000 MSRP of the Rolls-Royce Dawn was “crazy.” I’m not picking on her, but I guess she doesn’t know that some new cars have price tags in the millions. Some limited editions of makes I would never buy given their ownership (think Bugatti/Volkswagen) cost in excess of $10 million. From (where else?!) a picture of a car costing almost $5 million, the Koenigsegg CCXR Trevita:



Most Expensive Cars - Koenigsegg CCXR Trevita











I am not a big fan of hypotheticals. I don’t know what I would do if I could afford to buy a car like this. I do know that it’s not my place to say that no one should.

Happy New Year!






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Tick Tock, Tick Tock

A year, a decade near the end,

What will happen in the time we spend…


I wish all of my readers a happy, healthy and prosperous new year.


On this day in 2002, and after 71 years together, the world famous British car marques [UK spelling], Bentley and Rolls-Royce, separated. Rolls-Royce became part of BMW AG, while Bentley stayed a part of Volkswagen AG.

From the Wikipedia article about Rolls-Royce:


“In 1998, Vickers decided to sell Rolls-Royce Motors. The most likely buyer was BMW, which already supplied engines and other components for Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars, but BMW’s final offer of £340 million was beaten by Volkswagen’s [my mark] £430 million.”

“A stipulation in the ownership documents of Rolls-Royce dictated that Rolls-Royce plc, the aero-engine maker, would retain certain essential trademarks, including the Rolls-Royce name and logo if the automotive division was sold. Although Vickers plc sold the vehicle designs, nameplates, administrative headquarters, production facilities, Spirit of Ecstasy and Rolls-Royce grille shape trademarks to Volkswagen AG, Rolls-Royce plc chose to license the Rolls-Royce name and logo to BMW AG for £40 million, because Rolls-Royce plc had recently had joint business ventures with BMW.”

“BMW’s contract to supply engines and components to Rolls-Royce Motors allowed BMW to cancel the contract with 12 months’ notice. Volkswagen would be unable to re-engineer the Rolls-Royce and Bentley vehicles to use other engines within that time frame. With the Rolls-Royce brand identification marks split between the two companies and Volkswagen’s engine supply in jeopardy, the two companies entered into negotiations. [BMW threatened to cancel its supplier contract, which forced the negotiations—my note.]”

Volkswagen agreed to sell BMW the Spirit of Ecstasy and grille shape trademarks and BMW agreed to continue supplying engines and components until 2003. Volkswagen continued to produce Rolls-Royce branded vehicles between 1998 and 2003, giving BMW time to build a new Rolls-Royce administrative headquarters and production facility on the Goodwood Estate near Chichester, West Sussex, and develop the Phantom, the first Rolls-Royce from the new company. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Limited became the exclusive manufacturer of Rolls-Royce branded cars in 2003.”


Technically, the current Rolls-Royce company, a subsidiary of BMW, is not connected to the original Rolls-Royce company. I doubt many Rolls-Royce customers know or care.

From (the rear “plate” is a giveaway), a picture of a 2020 Rolls-Royce Dawn:


See the source image


OK, how much? The MSRP, I assume for a “base” Dawn, is about $346,000. For the nth time I will offer my opinion that it is not for me to tell someone else how to spend their money, especially someone whom I do not know. If someone can afford a car like this and wants to buy one, who am I to tell them they shouldn’t?

On to 2020…






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