The Now Explosion

Do any of you remember a TV show called The Now Explosion? I don’t know why I suddenly have the show on my brain, but I do.

Before MTV or YouTube, The Now Explosion (which aired in 1970-71) showed what can only be called music videos with Top 40 songs as the background. The videos did not show the performers, at least I don’t recall any, but instead showed people dancing, often against special effects and outdoor backgrounds.

A Washington, DC TV station was one of a handful that aired the show across the country. In those pre-cable, pre-satellite, pre-streaming days, we could easily receive TV signals from DC at our home in Baltimore, especially after my father had a special rotating antenna (Alliance Tenna Rotor!) installed on top of our house.

I was mesmerized by the show and watched it from start to finish almost every airing. I think the show was four hours long, but I could be mistaken. Anyway, just had to write about the show today.

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The 2023 Corvette Z06 will be introduced to the world on October 26th. It was believed, initially, that the car would have been unveiled this summer as a 2022 model year automobile. In case you haven’t noticed, the world has had some disruptions. From the linked Corvette Blogger article:

 

[VIDEO] The 2023 Corvette Z06 Will Be Revealed to the World on October 26th

 

Obviously, the Z06 prototype on the right is in camouflage. The car is rumored to be powered by a flat-plane crank V-8 of 5.5 liters in displacement (about 335 cubic inches) that will have the highest output of any naturally aspirated V-8 in history: 650 HP/600 LB-FT of torque. The engine redline is supposed to be 8500-9000 RPM. It is also supposed to be the first Corvette with active aero, air forms that deploy based on conditions and that do not have to be changed manually.

I think it will be a performance car bargain, but I do not think I will buy one. I have probably purchased my last Corvette and if circumstances ever allow me to do so in the future, then I will buy something like a Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk as a companion to my Z06, not as a replacement.

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Some more recent photos:

 

 

These cars were valet parked in front of our hotel one day. Lots of Prancing Horses, to be sure.

 

 

The bottom photo is a 1929 Duesenberg Model J, bodied by Murphy. It is the only known surviving example of a Murphy-bodied long wheelbase Duesenberg. It sold, all in, for $2,365,000.

I have almost 5,000 photographs on my iPhone and at least 70% of them are of automobiles. Shocking! <end sarcasm>

 

#TheNowExplosion

#C8Z06

#MoreCarPhotos

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Tuesday Trifles

No, today’s post title is not meant to diminish of the significance of this day in 1969 in any way. Of course, that was the day that Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin became the first humans to walk on the moon.

In September of 2002 Aldrin gained more “notoriety” by punching a conspiracy theorist/lunatic who told him the moon landings were fake, staged in a Hollywood studio. I can’t say I blame Aldrin one bit.

From Wikimedia a picture of the crew of Apollo 11:

 

See the source image

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Speaking of space, today Jeff Bezos rode “into space” in a vessel designed and built by his company, Blue Origin. Both his flight and the recent flight of Richard Branson were sub-orbital, but still represent a huge turning point, in my opinion.

It is sickening to me how many cretins on social media think that what Bezos and Branson are doing is nothing more than billionaires flaunting their wealth. In my opinion, the fact that very few people actually know anyone very wealthy creates an antagonism similar to how the fact that few people actually know any Jews creates an antagonism towards them.

I have known very wealthy people and, without exception, they are/were very hard-working. In the same way that most non-athletes cannot comprehend the level of competitiveness among professional athletes, most people who are not wealthy cannot comprehend the work ethic that the majority of wealthy people have. Sorry, but that’s true, as inconvenient as it may be to politicians who deal in the politics of envy and to lazy POS who want to stay home, smoke weed and play video games. My wish for both of those groups is the same: Luzzim Brenna Vee Da Keen!

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Yesterday, Chevrolet officially announced that the Z06 version of the current Corvette generation, the C8, will be revealed this fall as a 2023 model year car. The consensus had been that the car would be revealed this month as a 2022 model year car, but given the UAW strike last year, the damn virus and the worldwide computer chip shortage, plans had to be adjusted.

As much as I am loathe to use any part of the Evil Empire (AKA Google), here is a link to a short video about the C8 Z06. The most heard “rumor” about the engine is that it will be a 5.5 liter (about 335 cubic inches), flat-plane crank, naturally aspirated V-8 and will be the most powerful non forced-induction V-8 in automotive production history. The best guess right now is that the engine will produce about 650 HP and 600 LB-FT of torque. It should be capable of revving to about 9,000 RPM. In keeping with the spirit of this part of today’s post, a picture of a (non Z06) C8 Corvette:

 

 

What will the C8 Z06 cost? I’m guessing, and it’s little more than a guess, that it will start at under $100,000, but depending on options could sticker at $120,000-$140,000. In the world of very high performance automobiles, that’s a bargain. Consider that the well-worn, but well-made Nissan GT-R, a car that hasn’t really changed since its introduction in 2009, starts at about $115,000 and costs more than $200,000 for the NISMO and NISMO Special Edition.

Long live the Corvette!

 

#TuesdayTrifles

#Apollo11

#WorkEthic

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Wingless Wednesday

Idea to ponder:

 

France has long laid claim to a national identity, based on a common culture, fundamental rights and core values like equality and liberty, rejecting diversity and multiculturalism. The French often see the United States as a fractious society at war with itself.

 

Many of those on the American left idolize France. I wonder if they know how much most of the French, including the French left, abhor the identity politics of the American left. The French economy is still broken, though, IMO.

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From @EricTopol on Twitter:

 

 

Israel’s test positivity of 0.3% is their lowest since the pandemic started. Vaccines work! In that vein is this CNBC story about former FDA chief Dr. Scott Gottlieb’s prediction that “I think you’re going to start to see cases come down quite dramatically as we get into May.” Of course, the primary factor in his prediction is the increasing number of those in the US who have been vaccinated.

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This piece in AutoEvolution is about the soon to be released Z06 version of the C8 Corvette. The focus of the article is that it is expected that the Z06 engine will be the most powerful naturally aspirated V-8 in the world, producing about 620 HP. This DOHC engine will feature a flat-plane crankshaft instead of a cross-plane design and should have a redline of at least 8,000 RPM. From 2019chevyusa.com a picture of a C8 Corvette in what is probably my favorite color for the car:

 

See the source image

 

See those stripes? I am toying with the idea of having similar stripes, but in medium metallic gray, painted on my C7 Z06. The hood vents will be an issue, though. Want to see my car again? No? Too bad:

 

 

Why I have this sudden desire for much more modification to my car is not clear. Maybe it’s my way of celebrating as much of a return to normal as is possible given I am fully vaccinated against the damn virus. Maybe I just hear the clock ticking and don’t want to leave any stone unturned. Life is NOT about doing as little as possible.

 

#WinglessWednesday

#SayNoToIdentityPolitics

#GetVaccinated!

#C8Z06

#CarpeDiem!

#somanycarsjustonelife

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Two Two Two One

I like the movie Groundhog Day, but in all honesty I think the groundhog ritual is pointless. My 2¢.

 

Defining Gen X as people born between 1965 and 1980, twice as many people in that demographic are buying a C8 Corvette as compared to the C7. In 2019, the average age of a purchaser of a new Corvette was 61. No offense to older people (like me), but a product usually cannot survive in the marketplace with an older demographic. Cadillac has long had that problem and despite major efforts, the make does not connect with younger buyers. From the linked Corvette Blogger article:

 

Chevrolet Seeing Twice As Many Gen X Buyers with the New C8 Corvette

 

I was born in the last part of the “Baby Boomer” era and, in terms of automobiles, fit the “standard” profile in that I own a Corvette and a Cadillac.

 

More Corvette news…a Chevrolet salesman in Florida posted this on the Fack Fucebook group Corvette C8 World: “for those interested in on Z06, July 2021 we will be able to tell you more about this amazing car. Z06 is not a project anymore!” It has been rumored that the Z06 variant of the C8 Corvette would be introduced for model year 2022 so a July, 2021 reveal would fit that timeline.

The rumored Z06 engine is supposed to be a small displacement (4.2-4.4 liters, 255-270 cubic inches), twin-turbo, dual overhead cam V-8. Guesses about the output of this engine have varied, but I have read 600 HP/550 LB-FT of torque. I have offered the thought that the current base engine for the Corvette, the LT2, will be the last pushrod motor ever offered in the car. Of course, who knows what the long-term future is for the Corvette?

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I still don’t think I will watch the Super Bowl. I really don’t want to watch the Tom Brady Genuflection Show or worse, maybe have to watch him win another title. My “distaste” for Brady is grandfathered in from when I cared about sports a lot more than I do now.

I can’t remember the last time I actively missed the Super Bowl. A couple of them unfolded in a way that I didn’t watch too much of the game. The 1988 (calendar year) Redskins-Broncos Super Bowl (they were still called the Redskins then) happened in my first month of full-time employment with the Baltimore Orioles. I was very busy working on a salary arbitration brief and exhibits.

In those days, salary arbitration hearings took place in February and the game was at the end of January. I also loathed and despised both teams, so between those feelings and my work, I didn’t start watching the game until late in the first quarter. After Washington scored 35 points in the second quarter I figured the game was over and I went back to working on the arbitration case.

It almost feels as if that were someone else’s life, but I know it was mine. We settled the case (the two sides agreed on salary) a few days before the hearing. In my days in baseball, salary arbitration cases almost always settled before the hearing. One time, we settled a case right as the hearing was supposed to start. In all honesty, I was not happy about doing all that work, getting that far and then not having the hearing. Of course, it wasn’t really my money at stake. Again…someone else’s life.

 

#TwoTwoTwoOne

#GenXAndTheC8

#C8Z06

#NoSuperBowlForMe

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Frunk Fix

From Corvette Blogger:

 

“After several YouTube videos caught the Corvette’s frunk suddenly opening, the Corvette Team has determined that it’s caused by customers inadvertently opening the frunk via the key fob or interior release buttons and then missing the audio and visual warnings when they put the car in drive.”

As also explained in the Corvette Blogger piece, the fix is to reprogram the fob so that “it’s less likely to be inadvertently pressed causing the frunk to open while the fob is in your pocket. The recall update also updates the maximum speed at which you can drive with the frunk open to 26 mph, down from the 82 mph it is set at currently.”

 

With nearly 9,000 C8 Corvettes having rolled off the assembly line so far, getting the fix now is a good thing. Oh, you want to see one:

 

See the source image

 

From midenginecorvetteforum.com (are you surprised such a website exists?) a picture of a C8 convertible in Torch Red.

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From this Carbonhans Blog piece comes the “news” that the C8 Corvette will have a Z06 version–which will probably first be offered for the 2022 model year–and it will be powered by a small displacement (4.2-4.4 liters, 255-270 cubic inches), twin-turbo, dual overhead cam V-8. I put the word “news” in quotes because a C8 Z06 has long been rumored and documents confirming the rumors have been leaked about the different C8 variants.

The real question is whether or not the LT2 engine that powers current versions of the C8 Corvette will be the last “traditional” pushrod engine for the Vette. Remember that Corvettes have been offered with overhead cam engines before. The ZR-1 version of the C4 Corvette, which was introduced for the 1990 model year, was powered by an engine developed jointly by Chevrolet and Lotus that had four overhead cams and 32 valves.

With the move to a mid-engine design, also moving to an overhead cam design would complete the transformation of the Corvette from “advanced” muscle car to “world” sports car. Well, that’s my opinion. What do you think?

 

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Goodbye, Small Car Saturday

I guess Small Car Saturday is not a good idea for this blog. Yesterday was the first day with a post and no comments in well over a month. The number of views was well under the daily average for the previous two months.

Showing an AMC Gremlin yesterday didn’t help, but I think it’s only in hindsight that these cars are so disrespected. American Motors scored a “win” in getting an American sub-compact car to market before the Big Three and the Gremlin was produced for nine model years.

All that being said, I am discontinuing the series. However, small cars may appear from time to time in the In Or Out? posts.

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In this post I asked why Corvettes have never been offered with active aero, which are systems that deploy spoilers and other aerodynamic modifications without active human intervention. According to this post from Corvette Blogger, active aero will be offered in the Z06 version of the C8 Corvette that will be produced beginning in model year 2022. In addition, the engine for this Z06 version will be an all-new (all-new for regular production), naturally aspirated 5.5 liter, 32-valve dual overhead cam V-8 (called the LT6) with a flat-plane crank, a redline of 9,000 RPM and output of 650 HP/600 LB-FT of torque.

Of course, such an engine can easily be the basis for a forced induction motor that can push output into the 800-850 HP/800-850 LB-FT range (ZR1?) as well as the gasoline part of a hybrid drivetrain that could push total output into four figures for HP and torque (Zora?). Without coming right out and saying it, it may very well be that GM/Chevrolet has decided that the first C8 Corvette engine, named LT2, could be the last such motor with pushrods. I could be wrong about that, too. From GM Inside News a picture of a C8 Corvette:

 

See the source image

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Of course, today is Flag Day. On June 14, 1777, the US Continental Congress adopted the Stars and Stripes flag, replacing the Grand Union flag. In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation that officially established June 14 as Flag Day. On August 3, 1949, National Flag Day was established by an Act of Congress. Flag Day is not an official federal holiday.

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How fast is time moving? We had a plumber fix a semi-clogged drain in the master bath shower. If you asked me when that happened, my first response would be 3 or 4 days ago. It was actually 11 days ago. Is anyone else experiencing this time compression/swift passage of time? Is that just part of getting older? The weeks seem to be collapsing on each other, what seems like last Thursday was actually two or three Thursdays ago.

 

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#TimeCompression

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