Wednesday Weirdo Meets 600

It’s Wednesday, I’m a weirdo (as if you needed reminding) and this is the 600th post on Disaffected Musings. Who said there’s no method to my madness? 🙂


Famed writer, diplomat, political scientist and historian Alexis de Tocqueville wrote:


“Americans of all ages, all lifestyles and all types of predispositions always form associations. In democratic countries, knowledge of how to combine is the mother of all other forms of knowledge; the progress of all others depends on its progress.”


To me, implicit in de Tocqueville’s thought is that associations are always for the good. The American Nazi Party and Antifa are associations; are they good for progress among Americans?

Yes, perhaps I am using somewhat of a red herring by mentioning those two “groups.” Still, in this day and age of social media-fed bubbles, intent of association can be questioned and like virtually everything else associations are neither all good nor all bad.


This piece on Hagerty reports the sad news that Alfa Romeo’s plans to introduce a performance GTV coupe and 8C supercar are dead. Here is the depressing first paragraph:


“Former FCA chief executive Sergio Marchionne had big plans for Alfa Romeo, but now, it has been confirmed that those proposals are off under the company’s new leadership in the name of a ‘rationalized portfolio plan.’ In fact, next to a facelifted Giulia sedan debuting in 2021, all Alfa Romeo will give us in the future will be crossovers and SUVs, either with a hybrid system or a full electric drivetrain. That means the GTV coupé based on the Giulia’s rear-wheel-drive platform is cancelled and so is anything else that may remind you of a sports car, including the proposed mid-engine 8C.”


For a company with the history of Alfa Romeo this news is quite upsetting. It would be nice to see an automobile company zig while everyone else is zagging, but Alfa Romeo will not be that company.


Although the recently settled UAW strike will push the beginning of C8 Corvette production to February, the fact is the front-engine Corvette is no more. This Automobile Magazine article reports the results of test-driving the “ultimate” C7 Corvette, the ZR1. I liked this passage:


“Because it seems unfair, really, that the 2019 Corvette ZR1 has already become a thing of history, just another Vette in the model’s long and storied line. This is the culmination of not just the most recent generation of Corvette, but also the entire 66 years of the front-engine paradigm.”


While the aesthetics of the ZR1 are not really to my liking—I am not a fan of large wings on cars—I appreciate the sentiment expressed here. I fully understand the rationale behind the move to a mid-engine design and I hope the C8 is a huge success, but something important will leave the automotive landscape when the first C8s hit the road. From the Automobile Magazine article a picture of the “beast.”


2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 90









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Tuesday Trivia

OK, what is this?

  Pct of US Per Capita
United States 100
Canada 28.09
Ireland 17.68
Israel 17.55
Puerto Rico 16.32
New Zealand 14.78
Australia 11.07
Hong Kong SAR China 6.83
Norway 5.84
Cyprus 3.62
Sweden 2.68
Switzerland 2.16
Netherlands 2.09
United Kingdom 1.58
France 1.33
Belgium 1.16
Colombia 1.02
Portugal 0.87
Czech Republic 0.84
Singapore 0.75
Germany 0.67
South Africa 0.65
Dominican Republic 0.44
Greece 0.42
Spain 0.27
Chile 0.25
Poland 0.23
South Korea 0.17
Ghana 0.16
Italy 0.14
Peru 0.14
Venezuela 0.14
Mexico 0.11
China 0.05
India 0.04
Nigeria 0.02
Indonesia 0.02


Not surprisingly the US has the most views of Disaffected Musings and the most per capita. Canada is second in total views/views per capita and its views per capita are 28.09% of the US figure. You can argue with WordPress about Puerto Rico and Hong Kong being considered separate countries, but that is how they categorize those jurisdictions. I am and always have been a numbers nerd.

Taking this tangent even further, Australia is third in overall views but seventh in views per capita. Not counting the US, 16 countries have a per capita view rate of at least 1% of the US rate. The US accounts for 93% of blog views. That’s enough…I promise.


This article titled “Corvette Power in the Modern Age” from Hemmings is similar to something I posted in my previous blog. Here is a photo (from germaine to the piece:


This is a 2019 Corvette ZR1 convertible. The car is powered by a supercharged 6.2 liter/376 cubic-inch V-8 that produces 755 HP and 715 LB-FT of torque, the highest rated GM engine ever, at least for now. The ZR-1 accelerates from 0-60 MPH in 2.8 seconds, which is way too fast for most drivers I promise you.

In the wake of the General Motors announcement yesterday that it is closing multiple plants, “laying off” thousands of workers and discontinuing several sedan models in order to “right-size production for the realities of the market” I thought mentioning THE American sports car was a good idea and the Hemmings piece was the catalyst.

The legendary L88 engine option from 1967-1969, of which only 216 were made, had a likely HP output between 525-575 and that would have been a gross rating (Chevrolet lied and rated the engine at 430 HP in order to dissuade most people from ordering the option; the L88 was also only available without a radio or heater further discouraging people from ordering it), meaning the HP figure was at the crank (not at the driven wheels) and excluded all accessories like the water pump. The ZR-1 engine produces about 200 HP more than the L88 and that is not an apples-to-apples comparison.

I’m sure most of you reading know this, but in the late 1970s automobile engines were much less powerful than they had been earlier. This denuding of output was due to oil shocks, emission and safety regulations and pressure from insurance companies. For example, the highest-rated Corvette engine for 1979, 40 years before the current ZR-1, was 225 HP. The standard engine was rated 195 HP.

A Corvette engine rated at 400+ HP wasn’t available again until the LT5 engine for the ZR1 option was upgraded to 405 HP for 1993. The first engine rated at 500+ HP was available in 2006; the first 600+ HP engine was available in 2009.

Where will it end? My guess, and others are making the same guess, is that barring unforeseen circumstances Chevrolet/GM will introduce a hybrid drivetrain for the Corvette similar in concept to the Ferrari LaFerrari and McLaren P1. Much speculation exists that such a drivetrain in the Corvette will produce 1,000+ HP. Supposedly, GM/Chevrolet have already trademarked the term “E-Ray.”

For the nth time, what do you think of the Corvette speculation? Can you foresee a day when the Corvette is discontinued?










I know almost no one cares, but it is not easy to write something here almost every day. (Sorry, but I am in a sour mood this morning.)

For example, I have to “worry” about infringing on copyrights. Even though I credit the source of every photo I show, unless I have taken it, some of these photos may be copyrighted. (I never display photos that have the copyright mark.) When I include excerpts from articles published elsewhere, even though I always credit the source the mere act of inclusion could be a copyright violation. I am not a copyright/patent attorney.

From Car and Driver comes their annual Lightning Lap test for 2018. I have no idea if printing the results is a copyright violation, but here goes:


Of course the result that pleases me the most is the fact that the Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1 is the only non ultra-expensive car in the top five. Here are the MSRPs, as best as I could find them, of the cars in the top five:

Porsche 911 GT2 RS Weissach $345,300
Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1 $132,900
McLaren 720S $288,800-$378,200
Lamborghini Huracan Performante $274,400
Ford GT $500,000

OK, let’s see if we can make a question out of that group. Which one shouldn’t belong? Actually the “base” price of the ZR-1 would put the car in the LL3 category, but since Car and Driver showed it as LL4 I assume the car wasn’t stock and looked for the “right” price on the Chevrolet website.

The bang for the buck of the Corvette is just amazing to me, but it seems to be lost on many car aficionados. Sure, if you have a nine-figure net worth you don’t care what your car toy costs. In the real world, though, the price matters.

If I am to be totally honest the most impressive showing here might actually be the 2018 Ford Mustang GT Performance Package Level 2. Although I keep reading that trim level is not really designed for regular street use it is very impressive for the car to post a time below three minutes and finish in the top ten despite being in the LL2 price category.

See the source image

From a picture of a 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1.

What do you think of the Car and Driver test? What is your ideal balance of performance and street-ability?


P.S. If I had watched the videos of the top five cars in the test I would have learned their prices as tested. The conclusion is still valid, though. The Corvette ZR-1 is a bargain in the world of performance cars.


Remember that Facebook and Google are evil. Please don’t let them take control of your life.



First…one of my favorite college professors would, on occasion, recite something he heard growing up in China. “It doesn’t matter what color a cat is. Any cat that catches mice is a good cat.” People who obsess about diversity just for the sake of diversity are focused on the cat’s color and not its mice-catching ability.


From Automobile Magazine comes this article comparing the 1990 Corvette ZR-1 to the 2019 ZR-1. Really, which one do you think is better? From the article, a picture of the 2019 ZR-1:

This ZR-1 has a top speed of 215 MPH, which is limited in order to stay within tire safety standards. The car is powered by a 755 HP/715 LB-FT of torque supercharged V-8. I found this passage amusing: “Coming into turn 1, the car was beyond 150 mph, still accelerating hard as I entered the brake zone. I pushed the stop pedal hard, and the ZR1 dutifully spit my eyeballs out of my head.” The writer, Andy Pilgrim, was driving this car on Road Atlanta.

Chevrolet claims the ZR-1 will accelerate from 0 to 100 MPH, not 0 to 60, in 6 seconds. A six-second time 0 to 60 is damn quick, believe me. The ZR-1’s 0 to 60 time? According to Chevrolet, 2.85 seconds! By the way, the 1990 ZR-1 had 375 HP, 370 LB-FT of torque and could accelerate from 0 to 60 MPH in a shade under five seconds.

OK, so nobody really needs to own or to drive a car like this. In my opinion, life is too short to always be responsible. In general, I believe that virtually no behavior is always appropriate. Have some fun! Be good to yourself! As I have written (too) many times before, if you like performance cars, buy one if you can afford it or they might not be available for long.


As has been reported in several venues the 2019 Chevrolet ZR1 has set a new lap record at the Virginia International Raceway. Just think, the ZR1 is certainly not as fast as the fastest C8 Corvette, which will be shown in public for the first time in the near future. I am conflicted about the C7 ZR1, which has external wings. I do not really like external air forms on a car, but they are more effective than integral features. What do you think?

Image result for 2019 ZR1

From (a decent website, but IMO it has too much politics).

From (a very good site) is a rendition of what they think the C8 Corvette will look like:

Image result for c8 corvette

Looks like a Lamborghini and that is a compliment.

You Corvette fans (and I am one as well), what do you think of the recent news and speculation?