Gallimaufry

“…a confused jumble or medley of things…”

From this CNBC article comes this chart:

United States 79,595
Japan 17,915
China 16,875
Germany 15,080
Canada 10,840
France 10,120
Hong Kong* 10,010
United Kingdom 9,370
Switzerland 6,400
Italy 5,960

OK, what is it? According to data firm Wealth-X this is the number of Ultra High Net Worth (UHNW) individuals in the ten countries with the most such people. Wealth-X defines UHNW as having a net worth of $30 million or more. By the way, the asterisk next to Hong Kong denotes that it is a “semi-autonomous, special administrative region of China.”

Seven percent of all American households have a net worth of $1 million or more and the number of US households with a net worth of $25 million or more has increased 73 percent since 2008. I have written this data before because I didn’t understand why a wealthy country with so many empty-nester and single-person households seemingly buys nothing but SUVs and pickup trucks. Thanks to my friend Robert I have come to the realization that it is America’s obesity that plays a major role in what vehicles the country’s citizens buy.

I have no problem with wealth as long as it is acquired legally. As I have also written before I believe that money I have legally earned, legally saved and legally invested belongs to me. Government does not have “dibs” on the entirety of a country’s wealth so that it can “fix” wealth distribution. Government exists to protect property rights, not to usurp them.

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Speaking of property:

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From cargurus.com a picture of a 1995 Corvette, the next to last year of the C4 generation. Five years ago I did not care for these cars. The looks seemed bland to me and until the introduction of the “new” LT-1 engine in 1992 these cars were less than spirited performers. As I have often written, however, as I grow older my tastes have changed and I appreciate cleaner lines more. Not that I am going to buy a C4 Corvette, but if I were I would still buy something 1992 model year or newer, preferably 1995 or 1996 because the fuel injectors were improved in 1995 to deal with the effects of the corn farmers subsidy program…I mean ethanol content in gasoline.

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I titled this photo “WTF Buick.” I wish I could remember the source, but it is a picture or rendering of the Buick Avista concept car. Of course, the first concept car was the Buick Y-Job from 1938:

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The photo is from cartype.com. From time to time American automobile manufacturers tease the public with stunning concept cars, but most of them never come close to production. Conceptus Interruptus

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The next Barrett-Jackson auction begins soon so I thought it was about time for another Cristy Lee photo:

 

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From cristylee.tv…

 

 

Y-Job? No, Y-Job!

http://autoweek.com/article/car-life/buick-y-job-jay-leno-drives-first-concept-car-gms-michael-simcoe

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From supercars.net a picture of the first concept car, the Buick Y-Job. This car was “designed” by the legendary Harley Earl (George Snyder probably made the actual drawing) and was produced in 1938. While it was a concept car, it was drivable and, in fact, Harley Earl drove it for years. The car had a Buick straight 8-cylinder engine (modern V-8s were a decade away) and, except for the brakes, was basically a stock Buick Super underneath the body.

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From ultimatecarpage.com another view of the Y-Job showing the waterfall grille that Buicks still have to this day. Other styling cues from this car would be used in Buicks for at least a decade afterwards.

I would never modify the actual Y-Job if I were to somehow acquire it (I doubt GM will ever sell it or relinquish ownership in any way), but if I were really wealthy I might commission someone to make a faithful replica of the body and then put a modern drive train underneath. Once a resto-modder, always a resto-modder. I think the look is timeless, but the engineering is not.