Monday Musings It’s March, 2020 Edition

I doubt many of you watched and many of you are probably not even aware, but the “Underwear Olympics,” AKA the NFL Scouting Combine, concluded yesterday. Many teams used to be suckered into liking a player without good game tape because he had “performed” well at the Combine. Long-time NFL coach and current Head Coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Bruce Arians had this to say (the remark is taken from here): “The tape don’t lie. The combine lies. You can fall in love at the combine and get your ass broke.”

Albert Einstein’s oft-repeated remark is quite appropriate here, yes even in football. (By the way, does anyone besides me think Einstein would have been a great football strategist if he had studied the game for a few years?) “Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.”

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Apparently, the first shipments of C8 Corvettes did not occur last Friday as anticipated/hoped. However, photographs from the assembly plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky show hundreds of C8s parked outside, supposedly ready for transfer. From this post comes a link to this video.

For Corvette fans like me (and my wonderful wife) the success of the C8 is important. I have written before that I think if the C8 fails that will be the end of the Corvette. From Corvette Forum yet another picture of a C8 Corvette:

 

See the source image

 

The more I see them, the better they look. I hope to see one on the road before the end of this month.

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A picture I took yesterday while my wonderful wife and I were driving through an equestrian/Old West park. I love horses although I am not a rider or outdoor person in any way. I was, however, once part of a group that owned a thoroughbred race horse. She actually won twice while under our 14-month ownership and we broke even, which is better than the vast majority of horses do for their owners.

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On this day in 1990 a team of drivers completed a two day trial during which they set a dozen land speed records with a Corvette ZR-1 and a Corvette L-98. The cars did not have mufflers or catalytic converters, but otherwise were stock. Records broken included 5000 miles in a time of 28:46:12.5, 5000 km in a time of 17:40:53.7, and 4221.3 miles in 24 hours. The average speed for all record runs were 170-175 MPH. The ZR-1 set the 24-hour record, driving over 4200 miles at an average 175 MPH. The trial occurred at the Firestone Test Center in Texas. From this Hemmings article a picture of a 1990 Corvette ZR-1:

 

1990 Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1

 

The ZR-1 debuted in model year 1990. The engine was the result of a joint effort between Chevrolet and Lotus; the engine had four overhead cams and 32 valves. It was rated 375 HP; the base Corvette engine for 1990 was rated 245/250 HP. The base engine had different outputs depending on whether or not the car was a coupe and its rear axle ratio. Don’t ask…

The base price of a 1990 Corvette coupe was $31,979, but the ZR-1 option cost an additional $27,016. Believe it or not, over 3,000 ZR-1s were ordered out of a total Corvette coupe production of 16,016. (The ZR-1 was only available as a coupe in 1990.)

 

#BruceArians

#AlbertEinstein

#C8Corvette

#Horses!

#C4CorvetteZR1

#somanycarsjustonelife

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Time For A Stroll

Does anyone still use the word “stroll?”

From this Corvette Blogger post comes the news that, according to QuoteWizard Insurance, the Corvette is one of the least accident-prone vehicles on the road. The author of the post makes the common sense argument about the Corvette’s superior handling playing a role (I would have also mentioned the brakes) as well as the fact that, face it, Corvette drivers tend to be of an age that drives more carefully even though careful driving and Corvettes may seem to be mutually exclusive.

In the Corvette Blogger post I didn’t see any reference to accidents per mile driven, but Corvettes do not tend to be driven a lot. Here is a chart from ISeeCars via another Corvette Blogger post:

 

STUDY: Top 10 List of Most Driven Cars

 

I wish I were on pace for about 4,700 miles for the first year with my Z06 coupe. I have owned the car almost 11 months (!) and have still not reached 2,600 miles. I don’t think anyone should be surprised by the cars on the least-driven list. I also suspect that cars like Ferrari and Lamborghini were not included in the study. It’s too bad the median number of miles driven by make/model is not displayed. Once again: smug, self-righteous and arrogant anti-gearheads do not want to understand that most high-performance and collector cars are not driven a lot of miles. A gratuitous picture of my car:

 

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“Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.”

– Albert Einstein

I believe that even when we have computer chips planted in our brain that can spit out the history of the universe at a billion words a second, some things that are important in life and life outcomes will not be able to be accurately modeled and predicted.

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I am not a professional evaluator of football players. I don’t even play one on TV… πŸ™‚ Oh, that’s not a crack at someone like Mel Kiper. Mel and I have been friends a LONG time.

I will still offer my unsolicited and probably uninformed opinion that if it weren’t for injury, Tua Tagovailoa is a better prospect than Heisman winner and National Champion Joe Burrow. Why do I think so? Tagovailoa had two very successful seasons in college whereas Burrow really had just one. Subjectively, I think that Tagovailoa’s vision, decision-making and accuracy are simply better than Burrow’s, which is not a knock on Burrow. I think those aspects of Tagovailoa’s game are almost unparalleled.

Any draftniks out there who want to comment on this?

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Hey, Mick Lennon of the former Mick Lennon Car Photography website! Where did you go? I hope everything is OK.

 

#RateOfCorvetteAccidents

#AlbertEinstein

#TuaTagovailoa

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Frugal Friday and The One That Got Away

First, is it really November, 2019?

Second, can “it” be “The One That Got Away” if you are unaware of “it” at the time. I’m going to rule Yes.

 

 

From Bring a Trailer a picture of an almost perfect 1964 Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk. This is how I envision my GT Hawk looking if/when I buy it. Maybe I would want a slightly darker green, but this car just looks awesome to me. It even has both the clock and tach on the instrument panel. Fewer than 1,800 of these were built for model year 1964 before Studebaker closed its South Bend facility and the Gran Turismo Hawk (and Avanti) were no more.

This car was auctioned on BaT last July/August selling on August 2 for $15,250. I think that’s $16,012.50 with the buyers commission. Even though I have had the idea to buy one of these for quite some time, I wasn’t explicitly looking when this car was available. Had I known who knows what I might have done. I still had the BMW Z4 at the time and that could have been an obstacle. By the way, in the comments the seller claimed he had more than twice the sale price in the car and that the car was “all there.”

Money is important, but it isn’t everything. Albert Einstein once remarked, “Not everything that counts can be counted and not everything that can be counted counts.” I don’t ever want to be the type of person who knows the cost of everything, but the value of nothing. Car restorations should be a source of satisfaction for the person involved above and beyond the value of the build. By the way, I did not grow up with money and, as the saying goes, “You can’t take it with you.”

 

Perhaps inspired by my friend Joe’s very recent purchase of a 2016 Corvette Z06 convertible, I have decided to show an affordable C6 Corvette. From Car Gurus:

 

 

This is a 2010 Corvette in 2LT trim plus navigation with about 46,000 miles in Crystal Red Metallic over Cashmere. The seller is asking $21,995. These cars are powered by a 6.2 liter/376 cubic-inch V-8 that generates 430 HP/424 LB-FT of torque. The NPP “two-mode” exhaust option would raise the maximum output slightly to 436 HP/428 LB-FT.

A beautiful, modern Corvette with more than 400 HP for a little more than $20,000…that’s a great deal, in my opinion. What do you think?

 

#FrugalFriday

#TheOneThatGotAway

#1964StudebakerGranTurismoHawk

#AlbertEinstein

#2010ChevroletCorvette

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Haphazard Friday

“The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits.”

– Albert Einstein

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Elvis Presley died on this day in 1977. At the risk of incurring the wrath of many readers I must confess that I am not and never have been a fan of Presley. I don’t like his music and I could never get through more than five or ten minutes of any of his movies. Different strokes for different folks…Oh yeah, Presley once shot his De Tomaso Pantera after a fight with his girlfriend.

Babe Ruth died on this day in 1948. When I followed or cared about baseball I was a huge fan of Ruth and his unbelievable accomplishments. As Bill James has pointed out, Ruth’s last game in the major leagues (1935) is now closer in time to the end of the Civil War than it is to today.

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Has any of you ever watched The Great British Baking Show? I think the show is actually called The Great British Bake-Off in the UK. Our local PBS station airs the show and my wonderful wife and I are hooked.

Every season the show begins with 12 bakers. In each episode the bakers have a signature challenge, a technical challenge and a show-stopper challenge. At the end of each episode one contestant is named “Star Baker” and one is eliminated. However, the final competition episode actually has three bakers.

In the episodes aired here, which are older, the judges are Paul Hollywood (yes, that’s his real name) and Mary Berry. Berry left the show three years ago when it moved from the BBC to Channel 4. The show has been produced since 2010.

Unlike American competition shows The Great British Baking Show does not feature contestants fighting with each other. The difficulty of making the items given to them provides enough tension and the tension seems more genuine. Hollywood and Berry have an unusual, but endearing on-screen chemistry.

After the competition has ended the series shows what it calls Masterclasses where Hollywood and Berry (supposedly) make some of the items that were given to the contestants to make during that season. In my opinion, these shows are even better than the competition. The banter between Hollywood and Berry is hysterical, at times.

My mother’s parents were bakers in Poland before World War II began. I began baking when I was a teenager; believe it or not, I had much more patience during that time than I do now. My mother also baked; frankly, her pastries were too dry for me, but she liked dunking her cookies. When I began baking I used less flour than she did so that my cakes or whatever would be moist. My mother would always try to sneak extra flour into my batter and issue a stern warning that my batter was too thin and that my cake would fall down in the oven. I can honestly say that never happened.

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A car like this was offered for sale at the Mecum auction currently taking place in Monterey, California:

 

See the source image

 

From Bring a Trailer a picture of a 1966 Buick Riviera. The badging on the front fender reads “GS.”

While I don’t think these cars are as stylish as the first-generation Riviera (1963-65) they are certainly more handsome than most. Other than the boat-tail generation I think Rivieras were well-styled automobiles.

 

#AlbertEinstein

#BabeRuth

#TheGreatBritishBakingShow

#MecumAutoAuctions

#1966BuickRiviera

#somanycarsjustonelife

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Frugal Friday, Einstein Edition

Yep, that Albert Einstein was a really smart guy. This article from physics-astronomy.org is about an “insane” test of his theory of relativity and that theory passed the test.

The test had to do with measuring gravitational redshifting as a star orbited around Sagittarius A, the black hole at the center of our galaxy. As predicted by Einstein’s theory, new measurements revealed the redshift. According to the article, this result was based on 26 years of observations.

Remember that Einstein had no computers, no calculators. Many of his theories resulted from “thought experiments,” mental exercises without the use of data, but that used deductive reasoning to reach a conclusion.

I wonder what Einstein would have thought about today’s high-tech automobiles. Maybe nothing at all.

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Speaking of high-tech automobiles, here are some more pictures of the new member of the family:

 

 

 

 

Friend and Disaffected Musings reader/commenter C/2 has named the car “The Red Rocket.” I like that name. In all honesty, in my brief time behind the wheel the most impressive feature of the car has been the brakes. The stopping power is phenomenal. Thanks to my amazing niece who helped me get the grime and gunk off the car that it accumulated during its 2-3 days on an open car carrier.

Of course this is my life, though, which means almost nothing goes completely as planned. The car has some issues, even with just 4,400 miles, so I am taking it to the nearest Chevrolet dealer next week to get those issues sorted. Fortunately the car is still under its bumper-to-bumper warranty. Even with the issues I feel very good about the decision to eschew the buying/building of a restomod C2 Corvette and buying a car like this, instead.

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OK, for Frugal Friday here’s a car that has been featured before:

 

 

From Hemmings a picture of a 1964 Studebaker Gran Turismo (or GT) Hawk. That was the last model year of the three that this final iteration of the Hawk was offered for sale. Of course, the roots of this car go all the way back to 1953 and the revolutionary Studebaker coupes introduced that year.

The ad copy is short and the mileage is not given. Still, for a car of which only 1,767 were made that model year (only 14,789 were made in the truncated three-year run), the dealer is “only” asking $14,950. Studebaker closed its South Bend, Indiana factory in December, 1963 in the middle of 1964 model year production. After that, all Studebakers were manufactured at its Canadian plant; the GT Hawk and Avanti were discontinued.

OK, maybe I’m just a nut about these cars. OK, maybe I’m just a nut and these cars have nothing to do with it. I think this car would be an inexpensive entry into collector cars. Getting the car serviced might be difficult, though. This car just missed making my first Ultimate Garage and is still a contender for Ultimate Garage 2.0. I keep hoping that more readers will submit theirs.

 

Also from Hemmings a picture of a 1964 Rambler convertible:

 

 

Even though not mentioned in the ad this has to be a Rambler American model as that was the only one offered as a convertible that year. Of the roughly 160,000 Rambler Americans built in model year 1964 only about 9,000 were convertibles. The dealer is asking $12,595.

If you had one of these you almost certainly would have the only one within a large radius of your house.

I welcome feedback about Frugal Friday or anything else in this blog. Please keep comments polite, though, or they will not be published.

 

#FrugalFriday

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Once again, I would very much like to hear from any of the growing number of readers from Canada. Thanks.

 

Tuesday Tunes

Although I don’t listen to music as much as I did even five years ago, music has almost always been an important part of my life. My musical tastes are decidedly non-mainstream and have been ever since that day I put the needle down on a song called “Groove Drops” by the late, great jazz organist Jimmy Smith.

I believe quite strongly that the phrase “modern American music” is an oxymoron. Rap? Rap is vulgar, devoid of musical content and a plague on the world. By the way, I am entitled to my opinion even if it differs from yours. Taylor Swift? “Haters gonna hate, hate, hate” is not exactly a profound lyric. In fact, Judge Michael Fitzgerald, sitting on a case of plagiarism involving Swift, ruled that such lyrics were too banal to warrant copyright protection and that they were “too brief, unoriginal and uncreative.” Country? Drivel sung by men in cowboy hats. EDM is droid-syntha noise for robots. Have I offended almost everyone? Good…

I wish that album covers were not protected by copyright because I would show the covers of my favorite albums. Yes, the word “album” is obsolete, but what else do I call a collection of songs released together? Not that anyone has asked, but this is my blog. Here are my favorite albums, in order (Edgar shout-out), as I have an obsessive need to make order out of chaos.

1. “Enigmatic Ocean” by Jean-Luc Ponty; this is an easy choice, an amazing recording that transcends music, an otherworldly manifestation of the creative spirit

2. “Pressure Sensitive” by Ronnie Laws; Laws’ debut album and a million times better than anything else he ever released

3. “Joyous Lake” by Pat Martino; the title cut contains what may be my favorite guitar solo ever

4. “Time Machine” by Joe Satriani; I believe that Satriani is the greatest rock guitarist ever

5. “The Extremist” by Joe Satriani

6. “Heavy Weather” by Weather Report

Have any of you ever heard of any of these albums or artists?

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I received a long comment yesterday by Steve Dallas (thanks again for the comment) that federal law prohibits the retro-fitting of modern SRS to older cars. During subsequent research I wasn’t able to find confirmation or a specific cite of such law or regulation, but I did find many comments that shops will not retrofit such systems due to potential liability. You know, if they install a system and it fails to deploy in a crash resulting in death or serious injury then they could be sued. The end result is the same: I probably will not be able to have airbags in my restomod. I will just have to get the shop to use modern plastic foam wherever possible to make the car stronger.

I also think that if such law or regulation exists, then it’s another example of stupid government. People who think that government is a panacea fail to realize that any institution of people will be flawed because ALL people are flawed. Distorted incentives don’t help government function well, either. Winston Churchill is supposed to have remarked that democracy is the worst form of government except for all of the others. Capitalism is the worst form of economic organization except for all of the others.

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Acura NSX Designer Michelle Christensen on the Influence of Nature, and the \'67 Chevelle

From Car and Driver a picture of the latest generation of the Acura NSX and the woman who was in charge of designing the exterior of the car, Michelle Christensen. I think that the NSX is a technological marvel with its hybrid power system that improves performance, especially low-end torque. Yes, I know about cars like the Ferrari LaFerrari and the McLaren P1. However, while the NSX is not a cheap automobile its price pales in comparison to those other cars.

What is Christensen’s favorite car? β€œMy favorite car is the ’67 Chevelle. It’s simple, beautiful, and timeless.” Hurrah! I much prefer that vintage GM style to the A-Body style that was released in 1968. I consider the later design to be chunky with its excessively large C-pillar and other similar design elements. Einstein said, “Every problem should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.” He was a pretty smart guy, I’ve heard. πŸ™‚

 

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings