Monday Melange

Well..while some comments have been offered on Ferrari or Lamborghini?, no one has actually stated a preference. I will not state mine until and unless some readers offer theirs.

 

I love coffee, but it doesn’t love me. It has been determined that the primary source of the excessive incidence of PVCs that caused a trip to the ER is excessive consumption of caffeine, so I have reduced my caffeine intake. I know people who say they drink coffee just for the taste, but if that were true there would be more consumption of decaf. I don’t think decaf tastes that much different from regular unlike the gluten-free versions of certain cereals. Talk about tyranny of the minority…a single digit percentage (maybe 4-6%) of the population has a physiological sensitivity to gluten, but one of the big cereal manufacturers now offers many of its products only in gluten-free versions. I’m sorry, but the cereals without gluten DO NOT taste the same. I will never buy another “Big G” product.

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Although the De Tomaso Longchamp is one of my two ultimate cars, most people know the De Tomaso name from the Pantera:

See the source image

From dyler.com a picture of a De Tomaso Pantera. One of the books I enjoyed the most in my late teens and early 20s was Modern Classics, The Great Cars of the Postwar Era by Rich Taylor. Although some of the featured cars were very obscure, the book is informative and entertaining. Let me show you the beginning of the piece on the Pantera and hope I’m not showing too much:

“You say you really like expensive mid-engine cars GTs from Italy like the Maserati Bora, Lamborghini Countach and equally pricey Ferrari GTC Boxer? But you don’t have enough money? Well, step this way to Uncle Richie’s Expensive Italian Sports Cars, Inc…What’s the name? Well, De Tomaso. How ’bout Ghia? Ford? Would you believe Lincoln-Mercury? No, huh?…So what if it ain’t a Ferrari, nobody’s gonna know except you and your accountant.”

Taylor also wrote, “I’m firmly convinced that Ford Motor Company lost oodles on each one and only kept bringing the cars in ’cause they wanted to get old man Ferrari’s back up.” Ford and Ferrari had seemingly reached a deal in the early 1960s for Ford to acquire controlling interest only to have Enzo Ferrari back out at literally the last minute. That rebuke led Ford to build the Ford GT which kicked Ferrari’s ass at LeMans. Taylor thinks the importation of the Ford-powered, but very Italian mid-engined car with the exotic design was simply a continuation of Ford’s revenge. Yes, Panteras were sold through Lincoln-Mercury dealers. Ford stopped importing the cars into the US in 1975, but De Tomaso kept building the Pantera in small numbers until the early 1990s. About 7,000 were made in total. That was a big number for De Tomaso. By comparison, only about 400 of my dream De Tomaso, the Longchamp, were built despite the fact that car was manufactured for more than 15 years.

It is still possible to buy a Pantera for a five-figure sum although many sell for six figures. The Pantera is not a contender for my Ultimate Garage, but it’s still a head turner and a desirable car.

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

Wait a minute…other than the US only Canada has produced 1%+ of views for Disaffected Musings. While I welcome comments from everywhere I would very much like to read comments from Canadian readers. Thanks.

 

 

Passion/Obsession

I’ve written about this topic. What is the difference between passion and obsession? Seems obvious, right? Passion involves joy whereas obsession is more about compulsion. Right? Don’t be so sure…besides, how much does it matter, anyway?

Am I passionate or obsessive about automobiles? Once again, does it matter? Maybe it’s both in my case, anyway. What about you?

As an aside, readership has increased dramatically in the last month and I am grateful. Much of that increase comes from the Studebaker Drivers Club reading this and Hemmings readers reading this.

On the other hand, the number of comments has not increased. This blog will be MUCH better if it is more interactive. Please feel free to post thoughtful comments, but remember that all comments are moderated before they can appear on this blog.

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See the source image

From thewestcoastclassics.com a picture of a De Tomaso Pantera. This is the model most people think of when they think of De Tomaso. Of course, I think of the lovely Longchamp.

My understanding is that Ford’s decision to import Panteras to the US and sell them though Lincoln-Mercury dealers was a continuation of the feud with Ferrari that led Ford to develop the GT that dominated Le Mans. Ford lost money on every Pantera it sold, but wanted to stick it to Ferrari. What was the cause of the feud? In the early 1960s, Ford and Ferrari had reached an agreement where Ford would acquire controlling interest, if not the entire company. At literally the last minute, Enzo Ferrari pulled out of the deal. Ford decided it would kick Ferrari’s ass at Le Mans, which the GT accomplished with wins in FOUR consecutive years from 1966 through 1969, inclusive.

Ford began importing the Pantera in 1971, discontinuing the imports in 1975 after selling about 5,500 cars. De Tomaso continued to build the car in limited numbers until the early 1990s.

I have written about the “first” definition of a hybrid car, a car with European styling and maybe a European chassis, but with an American V-8 engine. The Pantera was such a car. However, the Ford engine was mounted behind the driver creating a mid-engine configuration. The cars had a propensity to overheat and, as is the case with virtually all mid-engine cars, rear vision was limited and the car had a high level of interior noise.

I would rather have a Longchamp, if I could ever find/afford one, but the Pantera is quite a car, in my opinion.