Tuesday Tales Out Of Turn

With the “benefit” of hindsight it is apparent that my marvelous mom suffered from Meniere’s Disease as I do. That illness can create horrible vertigo attacks. While I have not had a code-red vertigo attack since I stopped working full-time (no coincidence) I do, on occasion, have dizziness. This morning I had such dizziness and my wonderful wife brought me Meclizine. After 15-20 minutes, the dizziness subsided.

Those who scoff at modern medicine (and there are many people who do so) fail to realize one fact. A person born in the US in 1900 had a life expectancy of 40 years. Today, even with Americans using too many drugs, too many guns, not exercising and not eating properly, US life expectancy is basically twice that number. The only two developments that explain the change are modern sanitation and modern medicine. My wonderful wife’s mother is alive today (and kickin’) because of modern medicine.

Oh, forgot to mention that there were almost no people aged 100+ in the US in 1900. Today, about 75,000 people are 100+ years old.

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On the left is my 1998 National League Championship ring and on the right is my 2008 American League Championship ring. Shortly after the Rays lost in the World Series a friend of mine said, “Well, you’ll have to wait until 2018 for your World Series Championship ring.” That’s what I would call excessive extrapolation from an insignificant sample.

Two years after the Rays played in the World Series I was basically out of baseball. When they called to let me know they would not be renewing my contract (the call was on Friday, October 15, 2010) they offered to make recommendations to other teams. My response? “The fact that you’re not renewing my services will speak much more loudly than any recommendation.”

NO ONE will ever be able to convince me that I deserved to lose my seat at the table. NO ONE who knows me well thinks I’m obsolete. A World Series ring? If baseball’s “Golden Boy”—for whom I was a mentor and influence—were a mensch and not a taker he might have ordered such a ring for me as a token of appreciation. In one of my favorite movies, Midnight Run, Charles Grodin’s character says, “There’s good and bad everywhere.” To which Robert DeNiro’s character replies, “There’s bad everywhere. Good I don’t know about.”

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I believe I have written that if you read this blog you should read the comments. In the comments for C8, Wait! Steve Dallas offered the expert opinion that the 12-volt electrical systems used in cars today—and, I might add, that have basically been used since the 1950s—are no longer adequate for powering all of the devices used in automobiles. Some have described modern cars as nothing more than computers with wheels.

Well, this article from CorvetteBlogger.com asks if the C8 is going to have a 48-volt system. More from that article:

 

“Since the 1950s most vehicles have operated with a 12V electrical system and battery which provided plenty of starting power for most vehicles. Today’s vehicles are more power-hungry and ‘more juice’ is needed to start and run the new electronic systems as manufacturers have replaced previous mechanical-driven components with more efficient electrical-powered components including power steering racks, electric brake vacuum pumps and electric water pumps to name a few. Then you have all the new infotainment options as well as creature comforts like heated or cooled seats, lane departure warnings, and even adaptive cruise control systems that need to be powered as well, and you can see how a 12-volt system could be in danger of being maxed out.

The alternative to the 12V system that most automakers are going with are 48V systems which provide more than enough electrical power through the system. Not only does a 48V system have the juice to handle the new electronics, but they can also offer the ability for more performance and fuel economy savings. In fact, 48V systems are described as ‘mild hybrids’ because the alternator is replaced with an electric generator to provide the additional electrical power. As more of the mechanical components can be converted to electric systems, that means less parasitic power loss to engines which improves fuel economy, reduces emissions and increases power.

One article we read touts Audi as using a 48V system in conjunction with an electrically powered supercharger which boosts power at low engine speeds without the lag of an exhaust-driven turbo is known for, while a lithium-ion battery in the trunk recaptures energy from regenerative braking. When the ZR1 first came out, we learned the massive supercharger draws about 100 horsepower from the engine. Think about the power that could be gained if more mechanical systems could be off-loaded to an electrical power system.”

 

While it is now too late in the life cycle of the internal combustion engine for this to happen, I have often wondered why valves weren’t actuated electronically instead of through cumbersome and power-robbing chains and gears. Lift and duration could be changed with the touch of a button and one wouldn’t have to slog through the ordeal of changing the timing gear and chain and then hope that everything is back to top dead center.

I hope the issues that are delaying the C8 Corvette are resolved swiftly and completely. In the meantime, a gratuitous picture of a Corvette of my favorite vintage:

 

https://www.supercars.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/1093421-1536.jpg

From supercars.net a picture of a 1967 Corvette that is obviously a convertible and, just as obviously, is not “wearing” the auxiliary hardtop.

 

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

 

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Sunday C8 Key Fob

From this article in corvetteblogger.com comes these pictures, from FCC filings, of the key fob for the C8 Corvette:

[SPIED] 2020 Mid-Engine Corvette Keyfob and C8 Logo from FCC Filing

[SPIED] 2020 Mid-Engine Corvette Keyfob and C8 Logo from FCC Filing

Here is some more information from the article:

“On the backside of the keyfob is a Crossed-Flags Corvette logo which appears more elongated and pointed than the C7’s crossed flags logo. If you look at it closely, its almost in the shape of a “V”. If this is indeed the logo for the C8 Corvette, it’s a significant sighting as its the first time the C8 logo has been spied in public.”

“Further documents from FCC filing specifically lists the keyfob as a ‘GM MY20 B1 Keyfob.’ [emphasis mine] Also included is the in-car receiver for the transmitter which carries the GM part number of 13529177.”

“This is pretty big news during a time when details have been scant. This FCC filing appears to confirm the C8’s arrival for the 2020 model year, as well as the new crossed-flags logo for the C8 generation!”

What will the C8 look like? How much will it cost? What engines and transmissions will be available? Speculation on these and other questions have existed for quite some time, but based on the FCC filings it does appear that the car is real and will be introduced for the 2020 model year.

Of course, photos of a keyfob don’t confirm a mid-engine configuration. However, it is difficult to believe that with all of the “smoke” about a mid-engine Corvette that a “fire” doesn’t exist.

The “spy” shots of supposed C8 Corvettes in camouflage do nothing for me and seemingly all of them are copyrighted so I can’t use them here, anyway. (Sour grapes?)

Some people must know the real story, but apparently have been fairly tight-lipped. This is contrary to Mark Twain’s famous remark, “The only way two people can keep a secret is if one of them is dead.”

I assume that the vast majority of Corvette enthusiasts await the C8 and the potential for two generations to be sold simultaneously, which would be a first for the Corvette. For me, while I welcome the innovation I don’t think a mid-engine car can ever look as good as a C2 Corvette.

https://www.corvsport.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/dsc8414__large.jpg

From corvsport.com a picture of a 1967 Corvette. Hopefully, my restomod will look very similar to this, but in a different color. That body style cannot accommodate a mid-engine configuration.

 

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

 

 

 

Sixty-Five Years And A Job Offer

On this day in 1953 the first Corvette rolled off the production line in Flint, Michigan. That was the only year the car was produced there; production was moved to St. Louis the next year where it remained until the Bowling Green, Kentucky plant opened in 1981.

The Corvette is, in my opinion, the quintessential American car both for good and for bad, but mostly for good. Despite what the Guinness Book of World Records claims the Corvette is the best selling two-seat sports car in history with over 1.7 million sold and, despite what Mercedes-Benz claims, the Corvette is the longest-running car model in the world.

To me, the ultimate Corvette: a 1967 convertible with side exhaust. I took this picture during a recent visit my wonderful wife and I made to the Newport Car Museum, which is actually in Portsmouth, Rhode Island and not Newport. We began chatting with Dan, a docent at the museum, and within two minutes he offered me a job based on his perception of my automotive knowledge. When I told him we lived more than 300 miles away he nodded and remarked, “That’s too bad.”

I no longer possess the swiftness with which to chase my dreams.

It’s Friday…

Reader Maurice has correctly guessed the car from yesterday’s What Car Is This? post. The car is a Pierce-Arrow and the photo is from piercearrow.org. (In the interest of full disclosure, Maurice and I have known each other since freshman year of high school, which wasn’t yesterday.)

Given the makes of the two “mystery” cars so far and that I indicated that the first three were “related” a car devotee should be able to figure out the make of next week’s What Car Is This? car.

Do tags help blog readers find posts? Today is the first post for which I have included a tag. I would like to know what you think. In general, this blog will be better if it is interactive.

Image result for 1967 Corvette

From cargurus.com a picture of a 1967 Corvette, which is probably my choice as the best-looking American car ever.