Deep In The Heart Of Texas

This CNBC article reports on the “wave” of businesses relocating to Texas. Of course, Governor Greg Abbott, who is the focus of the piece, is hardly an objective observer. Still, quoting Governor Abbott, “We’re working across the board because the times of Covid have exposed a lot. They’ve exposed… that you really don’t have to be in Manhattan, for example, in order to be involved in the trading business or the investment business…Cost of business means a lot. No income tax means a lot, but also the freedom to operate without the heavy hand of regulation means a lot…”

Again, the inability/unwillingness of many people to understand that taxes and regulations have real costs that are imposed on everyone, business person or not, is yet another manifestation of blind adherence to ideology. It is also frightening to me that so many people seem willing to give up their economic freedom to government, not realizing that could be the beginning of the end of freedom, period.

I believe that government exists to protect property rights, not to usurp them. An economy cannot thrive without well-defined and well-protected property rights. Arbitrary expropriation of those rights will NOT lead to the “general welfare” of a population.

My wonderful wife and I lived in Texas for almost eight years. We didn’t leave because we didn’t like living there; we left because I grew homesick and wanted to go back to the mid-Atlantic. Of course, I outgrew that homesickness. We didn’t have views like this in Texas, either:

 

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At one of the few lights where I actually had to stop while on my way back from my enjoyable meeting with JS, I clicked on my car’s “Driver Information Center.” One of the displays is gas mileage over the last 50 miles with a “best” (whatever that is) and the average MPG. For the last 50 miles, my 700+ HP/700+ LB-FT Z06 had averaged 23.5 MPG.

Obviously, the owner/driver of such a car does not have gas mileage as a top priority, especially when that “supercar” is only driven 200-300 miles a month. Still, that 23.5 MPG is not shabby and demonstrates that in some contexts, the features that contribute to great performance (like aerodynamic styling) can also help gas mileage. Also, electronic fuel injection is not only far more reliable than carburetors, it also improves fuel economy (and emissions). OK, a picture:

 

 

Yes, I know I have to take pictures of our Vettes in our new venue. Hopefully, I will do that soon.

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On this day in 2000 General Motors announced it would phase out the Oldsmobile make. All future model development was stopped and advertising and marketing expenditures were drastically reduced. Remember that this was almost a decade before the GM bankruptcy and reorganization that led to the end of Pontiac and Saturn. From my most valuable book, Encyclopedia of American Cars by the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide®,

 

“Ironically, Olds car sales finally turned up for 2001, the first year-to-year increase since 1994…As [Ronald] Zarella [then President of GM North America operations] told AutoWeek: ‘Our strategy with Olds was starting to work–we ended up with a lot of positive demographics. The problem is there just wasn’t enough of them…'”

“At first, GM planned to keep building existing Olds models ‘until the end of their current life cycles or as long as they remain economically viable.’ By September, 2001, however, the company announced ‘Oldsmobile production has remained unprofitable…’ The very last Oldsmobile, a black Alero, came off the line on Thursday, April 29, 2004. It was immediately sent to the R.E. Olds Transportation Museum in Lansing, the city where the story had begun 106 years earlier.”

 

Oldsmobile’s history as an innovator was most impressive and has been shared on this blog before. The company is, and will always remain, the only American automobile manufacturer to build cars in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. Although it is extremely unlikely we will do so, a small part of me wants to buy a car like this:

 

 

From Hemmings a picture of a 1963 Oldsmobile Starfire Convertible (obviously…) listed for sale with an asking price of $36,900. That would make a hell of a Grocery Car/Taxi/Corvette Companion.

Anyone want to share their thoughts about Oldsmobile? They would be appreciated.

 

#DeepInTheHeartOfTexas

#ModernAutomotiveSystems

#EndOfOldsmobile

#1963OldsmobileStarfire

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Cult Of The New

First things first…after today I will be posting sporadically or not at all for awhile. I will also not be in a position to “Like” posts on the many blogs I read.

Here are links to the three most-read posts so far this year:

Monday Mishegas

Ultimate Garage 2.0: Honorable Mention & Car Number One

Where Is Cristy Lee?

Here is the link to 2019’s most-read post:

Saturday Salary Arbitration

 

I have used the expression “Cult Of The New” many times in Disaffected Musings. That is actually the title of Chapter 9 in David Maraniss’ outstanding biography of Vince Lombardi, When Pride Still Mattered. The chapter begins with the closing stanza of a poem written by legendary sportswriter Grantland Rice a month before his death in July of 1954:

 

Far off I hear the rolling, roaring cheers.

They come to me from many yesterdays,

From record deeds that cross the fading years,

And light the landscape with their brilliant plays,

Great stars that knew their days in fame’s bright sun.

I hear them trampling to oblivion.

 

Even though the main subject of the book is Vince Lombardi, obviously, and the main theme is football, Maraniss uses the first two pages of the chapter to discuss the “Cult Of The New” and, whether it’s intentional or not, his discussion is a critique of blindly following any trend. What seems like progress can have a very dark side. If you’re a football fan I highly recommend the book.

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This blog has become very C8 Corvette “heavy” in recent weeks. However, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that the first 2020 C8 Corvettes have been shipped from Bowling Green, Kentucky and some have been delivered to customers. I assume I will see one “in the wild” in a matter of weeks.

 

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So, what else should I write about given this will probably be the last “full” post for awhile? I often daydream about checking the number of blog views on my computer or on my phone and instead of seeing a few dozen views for the day I see a few hundred or a few thousand, instead. Yes, I am still obsessed with blog views and why this blog doesn’t receive more of them. I know without using Fack Fucebook my readership will never approach my daydreams, but I still think I should have more readers. If any of you have suggestions, please feel free to pass them on. If you are a regular reader, please be an advocate and spread the word. Thanks.

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This Hemmings ad is for a car I might consider as a Z06 companion even though I have not mentioned it previously. Here is a picture:

 

 

In addition to the fact that the car comes from a defunct American make, this 1963 Oldsmobile Starfire currently resides in our old stomping grounds of the Metroplex, the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The car probably is not as good as its pictures, but its pictures are very good.

The ad copy claims that the engine, transmission, suspension and brakes have all been rebuilt. If true that mitigates the nearly 90,000 miles on the clock although no time frame for the rebuilds is mentioned. The car is powered by the Olds 394 cubic-inch V8 that produced 345 HP/440 LB-FT of torque and is coupled to a Hydra-Matic automatic transmission.

This Starfire would more than qualify as a grocery car. In fact, it might be “overqualified” in that it is 214 inches long (17′, 10″), which could make it tough to fit in a garage. My wonderful wife and I used to live in a house with a “two-car” garage that was only 19 x 19.

So, what’s the price? The seller is asking what seems to me to be a reasonable $16,900. I have seen Oldsmobiles of this vintage sell for a lot more. As this is just a theoretical exercise for now (and perhaps always) no harm in looking at ads and dreaming. If you don’t have dreams, you have nightmares.

Hope your dreams are good ones. See you on the flip side.

 

#CultOfTheNew

#C8Corvette

#1963OldsmobileStarfire

#Z06Companion

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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