Threes And Sevens: 1993

First, since most of you do not read the comments I am going to post this one from long-time regular reader and commenter, Dirty Dingus McGee. I am not showing it because it happened to be the 7,000th published comment on Disaffected Musings.


”this blog will have less automotive content”

I, DDM, also have less automotive content today, not by choice however. I’ll explain:

Friday I headed out to a race track with High Times, my gasser, for a bracket race. Not a huge one, probably 100 cars entered, $3,000 to win. Friday evening around 6.00pm I was lined up for time trials, in the left lane. Burnout was fine, launch was fine, shifted to second and at about 400 feet into the run all hell broke loose. Car made a HARD left turn and I hit the wall at a more than 45 degree angle (I’m told) at around 110 mph. From what I’m told, the car climbed the wall partially and went over on to the passenger side and rolled over twice, finally coming to a stop on the passenger side. I remember none of that as I apparently blacked out on the initial contact with the wall. Luckily there was a good safety team there and they were able to get me out of the car fairly quickly. As I did have some injuries they went straight to the hospital with me, one of my semi volunteer crew with me.I was released from the hospital Sunday morning. The injury count, while high, could have been far worse. I ended up with a mild concussion, a torn ACL in my left knee, broken left ankle, broken pinkie and ring finger on my left hand and a light bruise on my heart. From what I understand, and what little I saw, my car likely suffered fatal injuries. It’s currently at the home of a fellow racer from that area, who graciously brought it, and my trailer, to his home for storage until I can get it home.

The good: I’m alive, thanks to the safety equipment in the car and on me; over built cage, harness, HANS device and Snell approved helmet.

The bad: After visiting an orthopedic surgeon today, I will be having surgery in 2 weeks to repair the ACL, rest to let my heart and head heal and probably 2 months for everything else to heal.

The ugly: I hurt in places I wasn’t aware COULD hurt, including my “boy parts”. In addition to the 5 point harness, I had added “anti submarine” belts which come up between your legs. At the moment, I’m a giant bruise and even my toenails hurt.

The aftermath: Too soon to tell. As I said, I suspect the car suffered fatal injuries. Why did it make a hard left? I will guess either fluid under the left side of the car resulting in loss of traction (unlikely), or (more likely) a broken axle on the left side. When I get the car home and can look it over I will know what the future holds for it, but my impression is that it likely made its last pass under its own power.

The future: Unknown at this point. In the event the car is irreparable, I doubt I’ll build another like it. It would take too long and the cost would be high. I probably have over 6 figures invested in High Times over the years and will be able to sell off some parts and get back pennies on the dollar if I’m lucky. Will I continue to drag race once I’m healed? Yes, but in lower powered cars I suspect. (my magic 8 ball said “check back later”)

All in all, NOT how I planned on spending my weekend.


I wish DDM a quick and complete recovery.


This is the penultimate post in the Threes And Sevens series. According to The American Auto by the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide® in 1993, “…unemployment and the lingering recession hurt car sales.” However, according to Car Sales Base, total US sales of new vehicles increased 8.6% compared to 1992. Yes, that includes light trucks and imports.

Still, when comparing sales from the top 12 US makes in 1992 and 1993, the latter year saw an increase of 5.9%. Anyway, as in 1987, Ford and Chevrolet (technically, Chevrolet/Geo) were the only US makes to reach seven figures in production/sales. The Blue Oval’s number was 1.29 million and the Bow Tie’s was 1.05 million. Ford’s best-seller was also in the middle of a four-year run as America’s best-selling car. Do you remember the Taurus?


See the source image


Ford produced roughly 459,000 units of the Taurus in 1993. In those four model years (1992-95), Ford manufactured more than one and a half million Taurus. The least expensive one for 1993 was the GL sedan with an MSRP of $15,491. The limited production SHO was the most expensive at $24,859; about 22,000 of those were produced or only about 5 percent of total Taurus output.

For me, FoMoCo’s most interesting product in 1993 was the all-new Lincoln Mark VIII. Here is a photo:


See the source image


Not even thirty years later, Lincoln no longer manufactures cars of any kind, let alone a two-door model. Lincoln produced 32,370 Mark VIII models at an MSRP of $36,640. That represented about 18 percent of total Lincoln volume.

The engine for the Mark VIII was a 4.6 liter/281 cubic-inch, double-overhead cam (not a typo) V-8 that produced 280 HP/285 LB-FT of torque. The base Corvette engine, which displaced 350 cubic inches, had 300 HP/340 LB-FT.

Speaking of the Corvette, engine output for the limited production and very expensive ZR-1 model increased to 405 HP/385 LB-FT of torque. Only 448 were sold that year and with an MSRP of $66,278, almost twice the base price for a coupe, maybe that’s not a surprise. Of course, Chevrolet had sort of predetermined the number of ZR-1s to be sold.

For $50,000 one could buy one of these:


See the source image


That is, of course, a 1993 Dodge Viper with its awful fitting top. It looks to me like a very bad toupee. Dodge sold 1,043 Vipers in 1993 powered by an 8-liter/488 cubic-inch V-10 producing 400 HP/465 LB-FT of torque.

Yes, I will mention that 1993 was the last year for the Cadillac Allante. The ’93 Allante was part of my Ultimate Garage 3.0 published last July. (It’s still hard for me to believe that was a year ago.) I picked the ’93 model because it was the only one with the 295 HP/290 LB-FT Northstar V-8. The previous six models were beautiful, but underpowered.


See the source image


The Chevrolet Cavalier was General Motors’ best-seller for 1993. Anyone want to guess what was number two?


See the source image


Obviously from is a picture of a 1993 Pontiac Grand AM GT Coupe. Of course, the four-door sedan sold many more units, but with total production of more than 247,000 the Grand Am was GM’s second-best seller in 1993.

I almost bought one of these after I moved to California in 1995, but when I saw the Grand Prix I liked the looks much more so I bought that instead. This generation Grand Am was manufactured from 1991 to 1998 with a total output of 1.76 million units. Of course, I much prefer the 1973-75 Grand Am, a totally different kind of car.


Once again, I hope you have enjoyed the soon to be finished Threes And Sevens series.









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Sad Saturday

Dixie Lewis, daughter of noted author Michael Lewis (whom I consider to be a friend), died in an automobile accident a couple of days ago. She was 19.

What can we say at a time like this? This passage from Saul Bellow might fit:


“We have a word for everything except for what we really think and feel.”


In more sad news, regular Disaffected Musings reader and commenter Dirty Dingus McGee is in the hospital. I will spare you the details although if you are a thorough reader of the comments you will know some of the particulars.

Get well soon, DDM!


On this day in 1946 the first production Kaiser and Frazer automobiles came off the Willow Run line. From this wonderful article on Ate Up With Motor:


“The first cars were shipped to dealers on June 22; all were registered as 1947 models. Despite Kaiser and Frazer’s earlier talk of inexpensive small cars, neither model was anything close to a low-priced economy car. The Kaiser Special started at $1,868, nearly $700 more than the cheapest 1947 Chevrolet. The Frazer, meanwhile, started at $2,053, over $100 more than an eight-cylinder Buick Special. Both Kaiser-Frazer products rode well, were reasonably economical, and had nicely trimmed interiors, but they were in no way exceptional.”


From Classic a picture of a 1947 Kaiser, I think:

Kaiser-Frazer had some success until the Big Three introduced new post-war cars for model years 1948 and 1949. In 1948, Kaiser-Frazer sold about 140,000 cars. By 1952, Kaiser sales (the Frazer make was discontinued after 1951) had declined to around 32,000.

The company ceased production of cars for the US market in the middle of the 1955 model year. Kaiser purchased Willys-Overland in 1953. Willys, of course, manufactured the Jeep. The company name was changed to Kaiser Jeep in 1963. American Motors Corporation bought that company in 1970. That company also included the General Products Division, which Kaiser had bought from Studebaker in 1964. (Still with me?) AMC renamed that division AM General, which built the original Hummer H1. Of course, all of AMC was sold to Chrysler Corporation in 1987.

I guess one could say that Kaiser “lives” on in Chrysler Corporation, but the latter is really just part of Stellantis and has an uncertain future. Don’t we all?









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Saturday Admission

I have to admit that on some days I turn on my computer, sit in my office chair and have no idea what I am going to write for my post. Today is one of those days. Why am I writing then? First of all, this blog is very important to me. Even if I had fewer readers, I think I would still write as often because writing is a catharsis for me. In other words, blogging is cheaper than therapy and almost as effective.

In addition, one of the “rules of blogging” is to be consistent. As I have written a blog post almost every day for more than four years–the last two in my previous blog and two and a half years for Disaffected Musings–I think the readers have come to expect almost daily output. Supposedly, more blog posts also mean stronger results in search engines. So far this year, referrals from search engines account for 18% of all blog views; that number was just 6% in 2019. For 2020, even though the year is barely into its second half, the number of referrals from search engines is basically three times the number for all of 2019. Those of you who are mathematically inclined can deduce that, given these facts, the number of views for 2020 has basically matched the number for all of 2019.

Long way ’round, if any of my regular readers want to write a guest post (photobyjohnbo has already graciously contributed one), please feel free to let me know.



Speaking of regular readers, this is a picture of Dirty Dingus McGee’s 1960 Studebaker Lark. Whether or not much of the appeal stems from the fact that these are a product of a defunct American make, I have always liked the look of the two-door Larks.

Even though I am not a fan of many cars considered classics by the majority of American automobile enthusiasts (GM A-Body cars from 1968 to 1972, for example), the universe of cars that appeals to me is still quite large. When I dream of having a four-car or five-car garage I think of what I could buy. I also think of cars that are not so rare as to be imprudent to be modified. These Larks fit that bill; from 1959 through 1961 a total of 26,001 Lark two-door hardtops were built. (Data courtesy of Studebaker 1946-1966, The Classic Postwar Years by Richard M. Langworth.) In addition, 81,090 two-door sedans were built.

56PackardMan was (is) very opposed to restomodding a car, as are many other enthusiasts. While I understand the sentiment, for me that restriction only applies to rare and historically significant automobiles, like a Duesenberg Model J, not that I will ever be able to afford one of those. While I never have had an automobile “collection” I can’t conceive of myself buying cars that are de facto museum exhibits. As I have written before, if I buy a car it is for the purpose of driving it, even if that’s just 1,200-1,500 miles a year.

While this topic has been discussed here before, I would still like to read your thoughts on when, if ever, restomodding is appropriate.








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