I have to admit that I am, indeed, reluctant to keep this blog “automobile dominant.” (A play on the medical phrase “autosomal dominant.”) The surge in views since mid-August has coincided, maybe coincidentally, with a de-emphasis on automotive content.
I also think that the seemingly never-ending saga with the Z06 has sapped some of my interest in cars. This situation is now in its 21st week and is certain to reach its 22nd week, at least. While life is filled with obstacles that have to be overcome, I think everyone’s emotional, mental and physical energies are finite.
A shout-out to my most active commenters: you are a prime example that life is not about doing as little as possible. While I don’t really know all of you in the sense that we have ever met face-to-face or spoken voice-to-voice, from the glimpses you have provided, your lives are robust. For those commenters I do know, I know that is true, without question. I salute Photo By Johnbo, Dirty Dingus McGee, Philip Maynard, Mark, David Banner (not his real name) and “Bill Babowsky.”
This weekend I watched virtually all of two college football games: West Virginia-Pitt and Ohio State-Notre Dame. Contrary to what a former friend of mine used to believe (he was wrong a lot although he never acknowledged being wrong at all), I enjoyed the first game even though I had no interest in which team won.
I don’t know if Friday’s unanimous vote by the College Football Playoff’s board of managers to expand the playoff to 12 teams starting in 2026 played a role in my watching more college football. (Yes, West Virginia-Pitt was actually played on Thursday, but word had broken about the board meeting and likely outcome.) Of course, if the “petty commissioners” (as the SEC Network’s Paul Finebaum called them) could have reached a unanimous vote nine months ago, then it is likely the 12-team playoff would start earlier. It is also true that the playoff’s board of managers, consisting of presidents and chancellors, could have seized the initiative earlier.
Like the sport in which I worked for 20+ years, college football moves slowly. To borrow a phrase from Bill James, it moves like a scout crawling on his knees, trying to avoid upheavals and revolutions. Well, sometimes we don’t get to make choices, choices are thrust upon us.
It is obvious that football players at schools with significant football revenues will be paid, sooner rather than later. As I have written before, if universities can pay their head football coaches $10,000,000+ a year, as Alabama and Georgia do, then they can provide the players $1 million a year to be divided among them. If that means the end of men’s cross country or women’s field hockey, so be it. No one has a right to be able to play their sport at the intercollegiate level.
Today is a significant anniversary in the automotive world. It was 100 years ago today that William Lyons and William Walmsley founded the Swallow Sidecar Company. That company is now known as Jaguar, which–ironically–is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Indian company Tata Motors. Sadly, as far as I am concerned, it appears that Jaguar has swallowed the Kool-Aid (see what I did there) and will stop producing ICE-powered vehicles perhaps as soon as 2025.
The name Jaguar was first seen after Lyons had sold his interest in Swallow Sidecar to Walmsley and formed S.S. Cars Limited in 1934. The next year, the name SS Jaguar appeared on a sports saloon, or sedan as we would call it in the US. In 1945, the name of the company was changed to Jaguar Cars Limited.
Mark’s most recent post is about the book British Auto Legends: Classics of Style and Design. We have a bit of a running comment dialogue in which I offer that Jaguar and Aston Martin have made the best-looking cars ever, especially when one considers the entire history of automobile makes. Below are a couple of relevant photos.
The top photo is, of course, a picture of a Jaguar F-Type Convertible, a member of my Ultimate Garage 3.0. The bottom pic is an Aston Martin DB11 in Kermit Green. Yes, that is the official name of the color. The DB11 was also a member of Ultimate Garage 3.0.
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