Hall of Very Good Cars: #3, 7-14-2022

Acknowledgement of Bastille Day, anyone?


Money is important, but it’s not the only thing that matters. Like virtually everything else, money/income has diminishing marginal utility or usefulness. I believe, but am not certain, that the application of the diminishing marginal utility principle is the underpinning for progressive income tax systems. In principle, I agree with that concept.

That being said, I also strongly believe that the acquirer–not the government–should have first dibs on assets legally acquired. Marginal income tax rates of 70% or 80% constitute theft by government, in my opinion.

I believe in the “Rule of 49.” No one’s income, even if it’s a trillion dollars in a year, should ever have a combined marginal income tax rate (federal, state, local) of more than 49%. I don’t know if a similar idea is the reason that state income taxes can be deducted from federal taxable income.

In some countries, the maximum combined marginal income tax rate can be more than 50%. For example, a Canadian citizen living in the province of Nova Scotia can be taxed at 54% on the margin (33% federal tax, 21% provincial tax). It is interesting to me, though, that some countries seem to have adopted the “Rule of 49.” France has a 45% maximum national income tax rate plus a 4% surcharge on “high” incomes. Germany’s de facto highest income tax rate is 47.475%.

Sadly and scarily, people who are resentful and envious of those wealthier than they are and the politicians who stoke and take advantage of those feelings in order to receive votes think marginal tax rates of 70%, 80% or even higher are not only justified, but just. Obviously, I vehemently disagree. Oh, I don’t really think estates should be taxed at all (the income that generated those estates has almost certainly already been taxed, heirs will pay capital gains taxes on assets sold at a profit), but estate tax rates should also never exceed 49%.

In my utopian country, such a policy would be part of the national constitution. I don’t want to bore 99% of readers by outlining my constitutional principles in detail, but this is a topic about which I have thought long and hard. I really do expect the US to dissolve, which will give its successor countries an opportunity to fashion their own constitutions.


OK, today’s car is German and not a power monster. However, in good conscience I could not ignore a car that I think is among the 10 or 20 best-looking cars ever made.


See the source image


This is, of course, the BMW 507. Designed by Albrecht Goertz, the car was supposed to be BMW’s entry into the US luxury car segment, but wound up almost bankrupting the company. When you tell a car person who doesn’t know otherwise that only 252 507s were produced, you’re likely to get a strong reaction of disbelief.

I think it would be, to borrow Pope’s phrase, breaking a butterfly upon a wheel to write about the 507’s engine or suspension. The car is rolling sculpture. That status forced me to hold my nose and to admit a German automobile into the Hall of Very Good Cars. I know many enthusiasts for whom the 507 is among their five or ten favorite cars ever, an Ultimate Garage car for them, if you will.








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Brownian Motion Thursday

Brownian motion is the random motion of particles suspended in a medium (a liquid or a gas). In 1905, Albert Einstein published a paper where he modeled the motion of pollen particles as being moved by individual water molecules, making one of his first major scientific contributions.


From an Israeli newspaper comes a story with this title and sub-head: “Israeli study: Babies born to vaccinated moms have COVID-fighting antibodies. All 40 infants in Jerusalem research have antibodies, suggesting they are born with immunity to coronavirus, according to Hadassah doctors.”

The caveat that the presence of antibodies in newborns doesn’t prove they will protect against the virus is noted in the piece. However, Dr. Dana Wolf, head of the virology department at Hadassah Medical Center, strongly believes they will.


Recently, most of the country changed the time on their clocks to move into Daylight Savings Time. According to a report from CarInsurance.com, data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that the few days following the change is the second most dangerous period to drive in the US. Take an hour of sleep away from a sleep-deprived country and…

In general, driver fatigue, caused primarily by lack of quality or quantity of sleep, is among the leading causes of traffic accidents in America. My marvelous mom was an intelligent person. She used to rail against the bi-annual clock changes. The fact that Arizona doesn’t engage in the foolish practice was not a reason we moved here, but it is a nice bonus.


I always knew I wasn’t the only WordPress blogger who disliked the Block Editor and favored the Classic. This post is called “[T]he tyranny of the new and shiny at wordpress.” By the way, the post author is way more adept at using a computer than I am. He has also been blogging on WordPress since 2013.

I have also thought that the WordPress push to move every blogger to the Block Editor–or Blockhead Editor, as I call it–smacked of tyranny, while granting this issue is not really important enough to use that description. Once again, I have to state that it is likely I will discontinue blogging on this platform if I HAVE to use the new editor.


From BMW CEO Oliver Zipse via Phil LeBeau of CNBC: “BMW has no plans to stop developing internal combustion engines because demand for ICE vehicles will remain robust for many years to come.” Finally, an automotive CEO who understands the real world!

The “damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead” approach to EVs taken by so many car companies ignores reality. First, well over a BILLION ICE vehicles are being used all over the world with millions more still being manufactured every year. Second, some segment of the vehicle-buying public will continue to prefer them for “many years to come.”

Do we really want to put all of our transportation chips into the EV basket given that makes us extremely dependent on raw materials from other countries? In addition, upgrading the electric grid to accommodate millions of EVs being charged every night will not happen overnight. For the nth time, blind adherence to ideology is almost never a good idea.

A picture I took of an example of a very famous BMW, a car that influenced design and has become legendary despite only 252 examples ever being produced, the 507:



In what I consider to be a practical policy, BMW has committed to having half of its new vehicles being electric by 2030. Remember that, at present, EVs have only a 2%-3% market share and that share has not really grown much in the last few years. (Hybrid sales have increased, however.)

Although I won’t be around to see it, I think it’s very likely that EVs will become the dominant paradigm in personal transportation some time in the future. However, ignoring the realities of the present is fraught with peril. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Oh, history is replete with examples of the folly of human beings trying to predict the future.











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Monday Musings, GERD Edition

How many of you know what GERD is? It stands for Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease. I have suffered from it my entire life; I can remember getting heartburn in kindergarten. As it turns out I have faulty construction in that I have a hiatal hernia, which simply means that not all of my stomach lies below my diaphragm.

With a strict timetable in terms of my last meal of the day (usually no later than about 3 PM), two or three doses of Omeprazole per day and my running regimen (3-4 days a week, 30-45 minutes at a time), the GERD does not manifest itself that often, anymore. However, every now and then it reminds me it’s still around, like last night.

Being awakened by the sensation that I am choking to death and that my throat is on fire is way beyond unpleasant. The culprit was probably a small PB & J sandwich that I ate around 4 PM. My stomach doesn’t digest anything nut-based that well, anymore.


Courtesy of 56packardman comes this Autoblog article about a BMW 507 available for auction. Why is that news? Beyond the rarity and status of the 507, this is news because this 507 was owned by the man who created the amazing look of the car, Albrecht Goertz. He also designed the Toyota 2000 GT and the Datsun 240Z. From the Autoblog article:

While as it turns out I have a “problem” with all German cars, not just Volkswagen and Porsche, it is impossible for me not to admire the design of this car. (My German “problem” played a role in my selling my BMW Z4 last month.) I don’t know of any companies making kit car replicas of the 507 (a real one, of which only 252 were made, is VERY expensive), but I think such a replica might have a market. Look at how many companies are making Cobra replicas. Classic Driver currently has three 507s listed for sale, but all are POR meaning Price On Request.


I don’t know why I am compelled to do this (I guess that’s the definition of compulsion), but here are links to all posts (besides the Home Page) that have generated at least one percent of blog views in order of most views:

Sunday Studebaker

Tuesday Collection

Wednesday Wanderings

Paean For Pontiac

Saturday Studebaker

Tuesday Notes

Wednesday Weirdo

JD Power



If you’re relatively new to Disaffected Musings you might want to read some of these posts. Even if you’ve been reading for awhile, maybe you missed one or more of these posts.

As always I invite thoughtful comments by any and all readers. I am still waiting to read comments by the increasing number of Canadians viewing this blog.







Saturday Salmagundi

Anybody want to guess where this picture was taken? Want a hint? Here’s a run-on sentence: I took this photo four years ago in the town square of the oldest town in the only country in Europe where I have seen a Corvette. (Sure, that’s a big help.) Before I reveal the location I will tell you that this picture is a particular favorite of mine. This photo is from Echternach, Luxembourg.

Sorry, but I don’t know the source of this photo that has been on my computer(s) for years. It is a view of sunset in Europe and Africa from space.


One book I own on automotive history seems to be unreliable in terms of dates. That fact is unfortunate as the book purports to be a compendium of the significant events in automotive history for each day of the year. For example, the book states that on this day in 1893 the Duryea Brothers made the first test of their automobile, which was the first operational personal car in the United States. However, all other sources list that day as September 20 or 21 and not September 22.

See the source image

From a Pinterest site [does anyone still use that?, I guess I do :)] an alleged picture of a Duryea Brothers automobile. The Duryea Motor Wagon Company, founded by brothers Charles and Frank Duryea, was the first American company to build gasoline-powered automobiles. The US was relatively late to the party in terms of automobile manufacturing; the first car as we know it today was built in Germany in 1885 by Karl Benz. The first company formed solely for the purpose of manufacturing automobiles was the French company Panhard et Levassor, which was founded in 1889.

The same book mentioned earlier lists today, September 22, as the day when the magnificent BMW 507 was introduced to the public at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Other sources say the car was introduced earlier, in the summer, and in New York. What did Shakespeare write? “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” It really doesn’t matter when this BEAUTIFUL car was first shown to the public, but details do matter.

This is a picture I took of a 1958 BMW 507 at a local auto show. I am a car nut. (Well, maybe I’m just a nut and cars have nothing to do with it.) This car also moved me to tears as it was the first time I had ever seen a 507 in person. Less than a month later I saw the same car while I was returning from running errands.

The irony of the 507 is that, in many ways, it put BMW on the map as an automobile manufacturer and at the same time almost bankrupted the company. That’s another story for another day. Only 252 of these cars were sold and their value today is off the charts. According to NADA Guides the “high” retail value of the 507 is $2.8 million. The “average” retail value is $2.3 million.

As I continue to ponder Ultimate Garage 2.0 I struggle in terms of whether or not each car should be constrained by a budget. What do you think? Should the cars in someone’s Ultimate Garage have any budgetary limitation? I can’t afford a BMW 507 today, but could I still put the car in my Ultimate Garage?