Munday Mosings

I have to say that I am impressed with Carvana. We signed the paperwork to sell the Cascada yesterday, a Sunday. The payment for the car was in my bank account by 5 AM local time. (Yes, I was up at that hour. I usually am.)

It’s just one transaction, but Carvana seems to be able to function when so many American companies are unable to do so. Again, I wish they sold “classic” cars, but I am not buying anything in the near future, anyway.


Some photos to start the week:



No points for guessing where we had lunch yesterday.



The cloud in the center looks like a big head to me. I never said I was sane.



A link to a CNBC piece that warmed my heart: “Facebook scrambles to escape stock’s death spiral as users flee, sales drop.” Laura Martin, an analyst at Needham, said, “I’m not sure there’s a core business that works anymore at Facebook.”

Fack Fucebook!


Not all automobile executives are jumping on the EV bandwagon. In another article that brightened my day, this piece from Hagerty reported on Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda’s continuing skepticism over “pie in the sky mandates” such as the one issued by California in August, six days before asking EV owners to reduce their charging because the grid couldn’t handle it. What the hell, here’s a big chunk of the article:


“Speaking with reporters during a dealer meeting in Las Vegas, Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda expressed skepticism over pie-in-the-sky mandates such as California’s total ban of gasoline-powered cars in the state by 2035, according to a report from Automotive News. The mandate, which was recently adopted by Washington state and even more recently New York state, doesn’t seem possible, according to Toyoda. “Realistically speaking, it seems rather difficult to achieve that,” he said. Electric vehicles are “Just going to take longer than the media would like us to believe,” he continued.”

“This isn’t the first time that Toyoda poked holes in what many believe to be the future of the automobile. In September of last year, Akio Toyoda expressed similar skepticism about the inevitability of autonomy as well as the electric revolution. While automakers [are] continuing to chase more efficient and eco-friendlier EVs, Toyoda’s remarks feel like a welcome reality check for the prevailing market forces that seem to think the various issues with EVs—where the materials come from and the rising costs of battery vehicles in general, to name a few—will magically sort themselves out in a few short years.”


A welcome reality check, indeed.


Another CNBC article, this one about the 10 least popular US states to move to. Only one state surprised me on the list.


The 10 least popular states to move to in 2022:

  1. New Jersey
  2. California
  3. Illinois
  4. New York
  5. Connecticut
  6. Utah
  7. Maryland
  8. Rhode Island
  9. Louisiana
  10. Virginia


Utah was first in percentage gain in population among all states from 2010 to 2020 so its inclusion here is surprising to me. States 1-5 are all high tax jurisdictions. When they can, people vote with their feet. In a federal republic states are allowed to have different tax regimes. I have lived in two of these ten states and would NEVER live in either one again.








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Assorted Nuts

Post titles matter; today’s has nothing to do with anything except that I like the way it reads and sounds. Food products that are an assortment of nuts are almost always labeled “Mixed Nuts” and not “Assorted Nuts.” The latter just sounded better to me today.


This CNBC piece from early last week reports that a “Harvard expert” (Bill George, a senior fellow at Harvard Business School) thinks Zark Muckerberg is “de-railing” Fack Fucebook and that “He’s really lost his way.” My contempt for Muckerberg and his platform burns with the heat of a thousand suns.

Here is a remark from George, “I think Facebook is not going to do well as long as he’s there. He’s likely one of the reasons so many people are turning away from the company. He’s really lost his way.” Much of the article cites specific traits that George thinks are counter-productive.

Fack Fucebook and Guck Foogle have a de facto duopoly in digital advertising with a combined market share of more than 50 percent. Digital advertising comprises more than half of all advertising expenditures. It is in the best interests of a capitalist economy for entities with that kind of market power to be broken up.


Here are links to four posts from Why Evolution Is True:


Mencken on nonexistent gods

Some of H.L. Mencken’s entries in his private diary have been described by some as racist and anti-Semitic. Others disagree with that characterization. Judging the words and actions of someone in 1900 by the “standards” of 2022 is often, but not always, nothing more than ideological and temporal arrogance.

I would be remiss if I didn’t note that Mencken and I graduated from the same Baltimore high school, although 82 years apart. Mencken graduated at age 15 as the school valedictorian. I think he once wrote that newspaper editors separate the wheat from the chaff and print the chaff.


Did Wokeness come from Marxism?

NYT and other media fall for a hoax because it matched their ideology

Confirmation bias is very real.

Two articles on the Queen: one lionizing her and the other attacking her

For the nth to the n time, one of my most strongly held beliefs is that NO ONE who is alive or who has ever lived is/was perfect. Read this book by the late Christopher Hitchens if you think Mother Teresa was perfect.


I don’t know if this news is supposed to be shared, but we received the sad word from our friends and former neighbors, MB and BB, that they had to put down their legendary Basset Hound, Truman. He was the star of the neighborhood and graced us with his presence for all of the ten years they owned him after rescuing him at the age of two. I think most of us know what it’s like to lose a beloved pet.



To me, many dog faces resemble human faces. For me, no other species has the same quality.


No, the parts needed to complete the repairs of the Z06 have still not been delivered; at least not as far as I know. The latest they are supposed to be delivered is Thursday the 22nd. I think it’s way less than 50-50 they are delivered by then and I will have to inform the Ford dealership from whom I purchased the ’22 Mustang GT. Not looking forward to that, at all.









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Fractious Friday

Fractious (Adj): Irritable, quarrelsome, difficult to control, unruly


Although, unfortunately, yesterday’s precipitous fall in its stock price does not portend the end of the company, I did enjoy watching the price of Fack Fucebook stock fall by 26%. For those of you who are not an investor in and/or follower of stock markets, that is a huge one-day drop, especially for a company with that kind of market capitalization.

The criminal organization reported its first ever decline in the average number of users and that Apple’s new iOS that allows its users to opt out of tracking is severely impacting ad revenues (Yeah for Apple!). Once again, from Roger McNamee:


“There was once a hacker named Zuck

Who screwed half the world for a buck

People hoped he’d do betta

So the name changed to Meta

But the name and the product still suck.”


For me and I think for many others, automobile auctions are more about seeing interesting cars than about buying and selling. One of the aspects that interests me is seeing cars with which I was not previously familiar, cars like this:


1951 LINCOLN LIDO - Side Profile - 251435

1951 LINCOLN LIDO - Interior - 251435


This is a 1951 Lincoln Lido that, obviously, was offered at a Barrett-Jackson auction–the recently concluded event in Scottsdale, Arizona. It sold for $66,000 all in.

I had never heard of the Lincoln Lido before seeing it at the auction. The Lido, which debuted in June of 1950, was Lincoln’s answer to the General Motors hardtop coupes that were introduced in the late 1940s. It was only produced in 1950 and 1951 and fewer than 10,000 were made. The exact number cannot be known for sure as the production for the L-72 line of Lincoln coupes for 1950-51 is not broken into an amount for the two types of two-door coupes produced in those years.

Oldsmobile was the “O” car in Cars A To Z and its most significant innovation was almost certainly its introduction of the first truly automatic transmission, the Hydra-Matic. This Lincoln Lido had a Hydra-Matic transmission; they were optional or standard on Lincolns from 1949 through 1954, inclusive.

Frankly, the pictures don’t do the car justice in my opinion and I cannot find a photo that I took of the car. I was quite taken with the looks of the Lido.

I hope the upcoming Mecum auction in Glendale, Arizona–which my wonderful wife and I plan to attend–allows me to discover more interesting cars whose existence had been previously unknown to me. The auction starts in just 40 days.







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Cars A To Z: D

Life goes on; sometimes it doesn’t.


An example of how much my life has changed: my wonderful wife and I watched most of the first half of last night’s Packers-Cardinals game. (Go Pack Go!) At halftime, I changed the channel and then started streaming an episode of The Incredible Dr. Pol. I forgot all about the game and we both fell asleep somewhere near the end of the episode. I didn’t learn until this morning that Green Bay hung on to win its seventh straight game and hand the Cardinals their first loss of the season.

If you had told the 30-year old me that I had forgotten to watch the second half of a football game involving one of my “favorite” teams and, instead, streamed a show about a veterinarian, I would have coughed up a lung laughing. (Never mind, of course, that streaming TV didn’t exist when I was 30.)

Of course, if you had told the 30-year old me that I would be diagnosed with bone spurs in addition to the bunions on both feet I might have used some choice language to convey that you’re crazy. Nevertheless, that is the diagnosis I received yesterday from the podiatrist.


In response to the news about Mecum Auctions’ broadcasts moving to Motor Trend starting in January, I texted Scott Hoke and John Kraman and cautiously asked them if that was welcome news. Hey, I didn’t know if all of the crew would be making the move.

Both responded enthusiastically, which was great to read. They both also offered condolences, which was appreciated, on the death of my wonderful wife’s mother.

I’m just happy I will be able to continue watching the auctions. If Scott is reading this, maybe he can chime in on whether or not the telecasts started in 2008 on what was then called HD Theater, which is now–in a roundabout way–Motor Trend. For Mark in Canada, if Discovery Velocity is still being shown you may now be able to watch the Mecum Auctions.


As many of you may know, Fack Fucebook has changed the name of its parent company to Meta Networks. Noted tech investor/commentator Roger McNamee composed this limerick “in honor” of the occasion:


“There was once a hacker named Zuck

Who screwed half the world for a buck

People hoped he’d do betta

So the name changed to Meta

But the name and the product still suck.”


Once again, a turd by any other name still stinks.


OK, to the “D” car in Cars A To Z. By the way, I think that most of my first posts after any kind of break, even just one day, are longer than average.

I could have written about the beautiful French makes Delage or Delahaye. I could have written about two of my personal favorites, DeSoto or De Tomaso. The 100+ year old American company, Dodge, could have been the topic. In the end, though, one “D” car stood out: Duesenberg.

How many of you know that a Duesenberg was the winning car in the Indianapolis 500 four times in the 1920s? How many of you know that a Duesenberg finished first in the French Grand Prix in 1921?

Frederick and August Duesenberg (Fred and Augie) could build some cars. (I listed Fred first because he was the older brother.) What they couldn’t do well was to run a business. Perhaps it was an inevitable manifestation of the rapid growth of the automobile industry at that time that their road cars ceased to be innovative by the mid-1920s.

Errett Lobban Cord, successful businessman and President/CEO of the Auburn Automobile Company, bought Duesenberg. Most sources say the deal happened in 1925, but The Beaulieu Encyclopedia Of The Automobile cites the year as 1926.

Anyway…inspired by Ettore Bugatti, Cord wanted to design and to build a new car that would outclass and outperform any other car made anywhere in the world and felt the Duesenberg brothers were the people to do it. In 1928, the Duesenberg Model J, designed primarily by Fred, debuted. While the company had been producing road cars, primarily the Model A, since 1921, it was the Model J for which the company is most remembered. A couple of relevant photos, OK the bottom photo is an SSJ, so sue me:


See the source image


Whether or not the 420 cubic-inch straight-eight engine could really produce 265 HP is a matter of some debate, but not completely relevant, in my opinion. The highest output for a 1929 Cadillac was 90 HP and for the same year Packard’s highest output was 130. If the Duesenberg motor really produced 225 or 240 HP, it was still way ahead of everyone else at the time.

Between EL Cord’s stock “machinations” and the Great Depression, his automobile empire, including Duesenberg, collapsed in 1937 and he sold the company to the Aviation Corporation. Don’t feel bad for EL Cord; he later made millions in real estate and was an early Radio/TV “magnate.”

Of course, Duesenberg is a legendary make today. Although no US company builds a no-holds-barred luxury car at present, that hasn’t always been the case. A fully completed Model J, including coachwork which came from an outside coachbuilder and not Duesenberg–they only built a drivable chassis, could cost as much as $20,000-$25,000. The most expensive Cadillac in 1930 was less than $10,000 and an eight-cylinder Caddy could be purchased for under $4,000. In 1931, it was possible to buy a Chevrolet for $445.

I will opine for the nth plus nth time that I think an American-made super-luxury car would be successful today. I wish I were in a position to make that happen.









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More Car Show Pics

First…my “political” statement for the day:



This is the t-shirt I wore as my wonderful wife and I did some trimming ordered by the HOA fascists. I really don’t care if they paint the few square millimeters of bushes sticking through the back fence, but they won’t paint the fence unless the bushes were “removed.” Have I ever mentioned how much I loathe the small-minded, self-righteous pinheads who serve on most HOA boards and the management companies that supervise them?


Here are some much better pictures:



Oh, you want to see the car…



You might recognize the Corvette on the right. The longer I have the new wheels, the happier I am with them.

I really liked the following car and we usually see something like this at this particular monthly gathering:



This is a beautiful 1933 Pontiac. They built about 90,000 of these in 1933 priced between $585 and $695.



The bottom photo is a current generation Acura NSX. Unfortunately, production of this car will end with the 2022 model year. Mecum auctioned VIN 001 for the last year of the NSX for charity at the recently completed Monterey event. I think the car hammered for $1 million, but I also think Mecum still collects a commission even for charity cars so the buyer paid $1.1 million all in.

Hope you have enjoyed the pictures; well, at least the ones about cars.









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Fast Friday Fricassee

No, I am not going to share a recipe for chicken fricassee, which by the way was apparently a favorite dish of Abraham Lincoln. I am going to share some links to articles, but not go into depth about them.


This piece is titled “Facebook and its advertisers are panicking as the majority of iPhone users opt out of tracking.” Here’s more:


“With iOS 14.5 released to the public earlier this year, iPhone and iPad users now have the ability to easily opt out of cross-site and cross-app tracking and targeting. New data from analytics firm Branch indicates that just 25% of users are opting in to tracking, which is causing panic in the advertising industry.”


Well done, Apple!


This link is to an op-ed about China titled, “American corporations must stop selling out to China’s brutal regime.” Bill Drexel and Paul Wolfowitz write, “The Chinese government’s ability to decisively influence even minuscule advertising decisions across America should be cause for great concern in a world in which U.S. movies, schools and publishers bow to Chinese fiscal pressure.”

The Chinese government is the opposite of altruistic and China’s “system” should not be a model for any country where freedom is valued.


This piece has the title, “Legal Aid Society demonizes progressive public defender who criticized racial tribalism.” More: “Why? Because she’s [Maud Maron] in the process of being canceled for writing a letter to the New York Post denouncing the racial tribalism promoted by Critical Race Theory and its everyday interpretations and tenets.”

Critical Race Theory is itself grossly racist. Cancel Culture is the antithesis of freedom of speech. Once again, the author of the linked blog is an American liberal, not a conservative.


Shifting to cars…this Hagerty article is titled, “The most valuable Corvettes from C1 to C6.” Not surprisingly, the most valuable Corvette from the first six generations was one of these (picture from Mecum):


1967 Corvette Coupe L88 front three-quarter


According to Hagerty a 1967 L88 in excellent condition has an average value of $2.5 million. Of course, only 20 of them were produced. This generation’s most valuable car had the lowest value among the six:


2003 Chevrolet Corvette 50th Anniversary front three-quarter


This is a 2003 Corvette Pace Car Convertible, with a value of $33,000 in excellent condition. Of course, this is a C5. I personally do not care for cars with writing on them and over the top ornamentation.


Hope you have enjoyed today’s post. I may engage in this type of writing on a semi-regular basis if the response is good.

Enjoy your weekend.







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Wandering Around

On this day in 1911, the United States Supreme Court ruled that Standard Oil Company of New Jersey was guilty of monopolizing the petroleum industry through a series of abusive and anti-competitive actions. The Court’s remedy was to divide Standard Oil into many geographically separate and eventually competing firms.

Guck Foogle has a de facto monopoly in internet search and Fack Fucebook has a de facto monopoly in social media. The two companies have a de facto duopoly in digital advertising. Both companies have engaged in abusive and anti-competitive actions. Why have they not been broken up?

Our so-called representatives are asleep at the switch. We are governed by an unholy alliance of special interest groups and overly ideological politicians. Of course, a scary proportion of our “representatives” don’t even understand how Guck Foogle and Fack Fucebook work. They also don’t seem to understand the scary amount of power that all tech giants have, way too much power for a democracy to function properly.


Besides a cloud-based DVR that seems to have a mind of its own, the other annoying thing about Hulu + Live TV is the excessive number of promos for shows that seem beyond stupid, including some of its own original programming. I won’t dignify the show by mentioning it by name, but the show–a Hulu original–reviewed in the linked article seems to be the definition of unappealing to me.

I know I will sound like an old fogy, but whatever happened to “real” comedies with clever writing, character development, AND live studio audiences?! I also think that political polarization and political correctness have ruined the “entertainment” industry.

I always make sure I have several Mecum broadcasts on my DVR so that when I feel like watching TV I will have something to watch. It’s too bad that the Hulu DVR “forgets” to record them from time to time.


Well, I have taken the plunge and made the deposit for the work on my Z06. For many reasons, I have decided against the more invasive work that would have included the installation of a new camshaft, but would have also meant much more HP/Torque. This job is a “bolt-on” application.

Part of the job will include installation of an aftermarket heat exchanger for the supercharger in addition to a supercharger fluid expansion tank that adds 2 gallons of capacity to the stock system to slow the rise of intake air temps. More horsepower means more heat and in Arizona heat is already a concern.

It is possible the work could be done in late July, right after the expiration of my powertrain warranty. Oh, as if the car didn’t sound good enough as is, the new headers with a high temperature ceramic coating should make it sound even better. What does my car sound like now?



You know what the car looks like…












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The Beginning Of The Middle

Today’s post title refers to yesterday’s post/post title.


The good news is that blog views for April, 2021 were 16% higher than for April, 2020, when views took a quantum leap up in the wake of the damn virus. The bad news is that the average number of views per day for April, 2021 was 16% lower than the average of the previous six months.

As I wrote somewhere in this blog, I believe that the six months ending in March of this year will represent the high-water mark for blog views. As people stop being confined they will read less and spend less time with their computers and mobile devices. It is what it is.


From a speech by Vince Lombardi, thoughts on a theme about which I have written:


“We as individuals have struggled to liberate ourselves from ancient traditions, congealed creeds and despotic states. Therefore, freedom was necessarily idealized against order, the new against the old and genius against discipline. Everything was done to strengthen the rights of the individual and weaken the state…and weaken all authority. I think we all shared in this rebellion, but maybe the battle was too completely won, maybe we have too much freedom. Maybe we have so long ridiculed authority in the family, discipline in education and decency in conduct and law that our freedom has brought us close to chaos.”


That last sentence rings very true for me. I think about the assault on the US Capitol in January, about the Antifa riots, about people refusing to wear masks and get vaccinated, and I think people have lost all respect for anyone except them, for any ideas with which they disagree. I would add that this behavior also stems from excessive narcissism, but that could be partly explained by the struggle “to liberate ourselves from ancient traditions, congealed creeds and despotic states.”

I have no answers, only despair. I think “social media” plays a huge role in the decay of respect for others and for other ideas. It is my fervent, albeit futile, hope that Fack Fucebook is broken up and that Zark Muckerberg ends up in prison.


On this day in 1953 Zora Arkus-Duntov was hired by Chevrolet although, initially, he had no involvement in the recently introduced Corvette. However, before the year was over Duntov wrote an internal memo titled, “Thoughts on Youth, Hot-Rodders and Chevrolet.” He expressed his thoughts that an image for high performance cars should be developed by Chevrolet with the Corvette as the focus and, as such, was linked to that effort thereafter.

It was Duntov who first proposed a mid-engine design for the Corvette in the 1950s and that culminated in the first mid-engine Corvette prototype, the CERV I of 1959. That it took 60-ish years for Chevrolet and GM to actually produce a mid-engine Corvette…well, I guess large companies are like large ships in that it’s difficult to change direction quickly.

While I doubt my wonderful wife or I will ever own a mid-engine Corvette, I think the decision to produce such a car was the “right” decision and the overwhelming success of the C8 so far seems to confirm that thought. The obligatory picture of a C8 Corvette:


2021 Chevy Corvette Holds the Line on Base Price, Orders Open Next Month


Is it really May 1?!









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Frugal Friday: 25 Miles From Home And Turbocharged

First…this CNBC article is titled, “Apple CEO links Facebook’s business model to real-world violence.” Here is one of Tim Cook’s comments: “If a business is built on misleading users, on data exploitation, on choices that are no choices at all, it does not deserve our praise. It deserves scorn.” Amen!

Here is another one of his remarks: “At a moment of rampant disinformation and conspiracy theories juiced by algorithms, we can no longer turn a blind eye to a theory of technology that says all engagement is good and the longer the better.” Cook never actually mentioned Fack Fucebook by name (I try to avoid mentioning those criminals by name, as well), but his reference could not have been clearer.

Delete Facebook! Fack Fucebook!


OK, I have decided to continue Frugal Friday on occasion, but only when I can really think of something interesting to me. By extension, I hope any Frugal Friday cars I choose are interesting to you, also.

In 2010, only about 5% of the new cars and light trucks sold in the US were turbocharged. By 2017, that percentage had increased to almost 28%. Intransigent proponents of all-electric vehicles dream about that kind of speed of adaptation.

While I would never impose my will and beliefs on others, I do think that all internal combustion engines should be turbocharged. Such engines can have smaller displacement, meaning better fuel economy, without sacrificing power. Turbocharged engines are also more thermally efficient than naturally aspirated motors and produce less emissions.

Long way ’round, today’s Frugal Friday cars are an interesting pair of turbocharged cars with fewer than 45,000 miles found on AutoTrader within 25 miles of my home zip code. In all, the search returned 645 cars and sedans were excluded.

Remember that I will not show pictures of the actual cars as AutoTrader aggressively breaks links to pictures on their website. Without further ado:


See the source image


From Auto Evolution a picture of a Saab 9-3 turbo convertible. The AutoTrader car, a 2004 model, is Black over Gray, has about 41,000 miles and an asking price of $11,500. The two-liter turbo four produces 210 HP/221 LB-FT of torque. The AutoTrader car has a 5-speed automatic transmission.

My wonderful wife’s father owned a Saab convertible and he really liked it, except the time he parked it with the top down and birds pooped on the interior. Oh, I do not like the term “in-law.”

From Drag Times, a picture of a car like one currently offered on AutoTrader:


See the source image


This is a 2008 Saturn Sky Red Line. As regular readers of Disaffected Musings know, I am a big fan of these cars AND think General Motors should have given Buick an improved and upgraded version of this car as a halo car after it and its close cousin, the Pontiac Solstice, were discontinued due to the GM bankruptcy and the end of Pontiac and Saturn.

The AutoTrader car is in Midnight Blue over Black, has 43,000 miles and the asking price is $14,999. The two-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine produced 260 HP/260 LB-FT of torque. When this engine was introduced in the Red Line and Solstice GXP it had the highest specific output (HP per unit of displacement) of any engine in General Motors history. The car for sale has a 5-speed manual transmission.

Two interesting (IMO) cars that are turbocharged and convertibles, no less, for under $15,000 each. Sounds good to me…if only we had room for another car. 🙂









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A Real A Or B

OK, two pics first…



That white smudge is Venus. Not sure why the pic is so blurry; it looks fine on my phone. Must be a resolution thing. Any help, photobyjohnbo? Ironically, I named the photo “A Better Picture Of Venus” before I saw it here. No rest for the “wicked,” I guess.



That is my wonderful wife holding up my newest acquisition. While Guck Foogle T-Shirts are plentiful, I had to have this made. I will wear it as often as possible and when it wears out, I will buy one or two more. Fack Fucebook!


OK, today’s A Or B is not a theoretical exercise. Tangent…looking out my office window can be quite the distraction. I can’t get a good picture because of the window screen and schmutz (“dirt” in Yiddish), but my eyes and brain are having quite the feast at present with the bands of orange, the cactus and the distant mountain peaks. Just since I began writing this tangent, the sky has developed a large orange-pink feature. (Sorry, I am partially color-blind and terrible at assigning the “right” name to many colors.) It’s still 10-15 minutes before “sunrise.”

Anyway, back to the cars…as every regular reader of this blog knows, my wonderful wife and I are on the verge of buying a car, I think. While we will make the final decision, of course, I would like to get your choice and read your thoughts about these two cars:


See the source image


The photo comparison is not apples to apples because the picture of the Lexus RC is of “studio quality” and the picture of the Cadillac ATS coupe is not.

OK, what do you want to know? For this exercise price does matter and assume the Lexus is $5,000 more expensive, let’s say $30,000 compared to $25,000 for the Cadillac. Assume the turbocharged 4-cylinder engine for each car.

The rear seats in the Cadillac are larger, but the trunk space is virtually the same. I have no “data” on how the RC drives because we haven’t driven one, yet.

If you want more info before casting your vote, please feel free to let me know. OK, Lexus RC or Cadillac ATS coupe? Thanks.








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