95.6 Percent

At the end of today 2019 will be 95.6 percent in the books. What kind of year has it been? Obviously in the US it has been a year of political tumult. Of course, with the increasing polarization of the American public and government, and with next year being an election year, don’t expect things to calm down. I’m just going to duck and cover.

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The electrical infrastructure in our admittedly small development is underground. However, it connects to the electrical grid just outside the neighborhood and that system is above ground. We live in an area with a high density of trees and many of these trees have been allowed to grow into the power lines. Therefore, despite touting an underground electrical system our neighborhood has about 3-4 power outages a year and I think about half are localized to our development. We had a very brief one this morning.

I am a very unhappy camper without power. Our next house will have some auxiliary means of generating electricity, maybe even more than one such system.

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This recent post features the Aston Martin Lagonda. The Lagonda was a four-door sedan manufactured for almost 15 years (1976-1990), but with total production of no more than 650 cars. My wonderful wife and I have seen a lot of them, though, all in one place and all in one day. To wit:

 

 

As you can surmise by the license plates these pictures were taken in Europe. While we were on vacation in Luxembourg a Lagonda owners gathering took place at one of the hotels in the hotel complex in which we were staying. I guess most of these are Series 2 and later cars, but the green car on the right in the second picture might be a Series 1. The wedge shape of the Series 2 is certainly different. I think these cars might look better slightly shortened and as a two-door model, but that’s just me.

What do you think of the look of the Lagonda? It was an “original hybrid” of sorts in that it had an Aston Martin V-8, but a Chrysler Torqueflite automatic transmission. Not surprisingly, the hand-built Lagonda was a very expensive car approaching £30,000 (about $54,000) new in 1976-78.

One of the reasons the car was so expensive is that it was the first car ever to use a digital instrument panel. The high cost of developing that panel could only be amortized over a very small number of units. The panel was incredibly unreliable, not surprisingly, and the switch to a different electrical system in the Series 3 proved to be worse than the original system. (It is only when machines fail that they remind us how powerful they are, like when your electricity goes out.)

As for the looks I guess the Lagonda is a car where many people either love it or hate it. I am actually in neither category, but appreciate its uniqueness. Nothing else looks like a Lagonda.

I wonder if automobile tourism is a “thing?” I’ve only seen one Corvette in Europe (also in Luxembourg), but have seen many cars not seen in the US like the Aston Martin Lagonda.

 

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