Fringy Friday

Fringy: adjective form of fringe, a noun which can mean on the edge or periphery (Perry Ferry for my (i)ncomparable niece).

No doubt exists that I am much closer to the fringe of society than to its center. That condition has been exacerbated by aging. I have never been a part of the social mainstream, but as those under 40 still occupy more than half of the space in this country, their interests and habits seem very foreign to me, indeed. Still, it is what it is and I’d rather be here than there.


My dentist found “debris” in one of the extraction sites and that was the cause of my issues. He cleaned it out and gave me syringes filled with a dental cleaning solution for me to continue to keep the sites free of debris. Of course, I am not a dentist and at least half of the solution does not end up where it’s supposed to go. My mouth does feel better today than at any time since I had the procedure. I wish my neck would get with the program.


I have always thought these cars were radiantly elegant:



This is a 1942 Lincoln Continental Cabriolet; cabriolet is a fancy word for convertible. Of course, given the model year very few of these were built, just 136, to be exact. This car, offered at no reserve, hammered for $85,000 or $93,500 all in.

This iteration of Continental was built through model year 1948 (not counting the war years of 1943-45). The ’48 Continental was the last American production car to be offered with a V-12 engine. We will never again see a V-12 engine in an American production automobile. If you want a car so equipped, you will have to buy a foreign automobile. Maybe something like this:


See the source image


This is a Ferrari 812 Superfast, powered by a 6.5 liter/396 cubic-inch V-12 that generates 789 HP/530 LB-FT of torque. The engine is naturally aspirated, but still produces about 2 HP per cubic inch of displacement. The base MSRP for a 2021 812 Superfast is about $340,000.

Can’t spend that kind of money? On AutoTrader I found six cars in the US, convertible or coupe, equipped with a V-12 and with fewer than 100,000 miles that were listed for less than $10,000. Four were Jaguar XJS V-12s and the other two were Mercedes-Benz CL600s. The two Benzes were built in 2001 and 2002. I wouldn’t ever buy a Mercedes, but I can only speak for myself.

Have any of you ever owned a car with a V-12 engine? If so, we would like to read about it.

Have a great weekend…







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Next To The Lap Of Luxury

Despite not winning the Mega Millions lottery yesterday, I am at least 90% certain that my wonderful wife and I have a net worth that places us at least in the 90th percentile among US households. I am 100% certain, however, that we are not in the 99th percentile.

That state of affairs is fine with us although, of course, we would like to be in the top one percent; that’s one reason we play the lottery. However, I do not begrudge people who are wealthier than I am. As I have written many times, I feel very strongly that being resentful and envious of people who are wealthier is not a sound basis for public policy.

Where we live, though, we see evidence of many people who may indeed be in the top one percent. Consider this car, for example, that is available for sale not far from where we live and is just one of dozens, if not hundreds, of luxury cars available at this complex:



That is a Ferrari 812 Superfast available for purchase at the Ferrari dealer in this complex of Lamborghini, Bentley, Aston-Martin, Rolls-Royce, Maserati, etc. While the seven-figure cars usually take awhile to be sold, the other cars are moved with surprising speed. For example, all eight Maserati MC20s that were available at the Maserati dealer have been sold, supposedly, before the cars were even on the lot. The MC20 is roughly a quarter of a million dollars.

Someone is buying cars of this genre because we see them driving everywhere. It is not an exaggeration to say that I see more interesting cars in 4-5 days here than I would have seen in a year in the mid-Atlantic.

This past weekend my wonderful wife and I went to an open house, of sorts, in an exclusive, gated golf community, which again, is not far from where we live. The house we saw was huge: about 10,000 square feet in the main house plus a 1,000 square foot casita. I wish I had taken pictures.

Of all of the amazing things in the house, the one that stood out to me was the two-level, seven-car garage, of course. The garage had a lift so four cars could be parked inside the house, basically, and the other three in the traditional garage space.

We were far from the only people looking at this house and it seemed to me that some of those looking were seriously considering buying it. What do they say? If you have to ask how much then you can’t afford it. How about $7 million…of course, the house would come fully furnished with everything that is currently in the property. No, we can’t really afford a $7 million house. Again, next to the lap of luxury.

In our zip code, 64% of the population 25 and older has at least a bachelor’s degree. Over one quarter of that population has a graduate degree like me; in other words, over 40 percent of the people who have more than a high school diploma have a graduate degree. Oh, the median age of the people in our zip code was, at last estimate, 60.1 years.

Combine people who have college degrees with time to amass wealth and voila!, a community that drives Ferraris and buys seven-figure houses. Again, nothing wrong with that in my book.






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No News Tuesday

I probably won’t receive results from yesterday’s procedure until next Monday. What I can tell you is this: since I thought I would be going under, my wonderful wife accompanied me to the Mayo Clinic. My appointment time was 1:15. What time did we leave after the procedure ended? 1:15!

Obviously, I did not need general anesthesia, but just as obviously the Mayo Clinic–to use the colloquial–has its sh*t together. In addition, the first bills I have received were not for what I would consider to be an extraordinary amount. I am very lucky to have access to such a world-class facility.


Now the earworm thing is getting ridiculous. Today’s song stuck in my head is not even one I have heard lately although the last time I heard it was on Sixties on Six on Sirius/XM. Does anyone remember “The Pied Piper” by Crispian St. Peters? The song was his only big hit, reaching #4 on the Billboard chart in 1966, although he had one other top 40 song a year later (“You Were On My Mind”) that reached #36.

Even worse is that my brain seems to be waging a battle about which song will play repeatedly in my head. Every now and then, the piano intro and ending to “Fortune Smiles” by legendary jazz/classical pianist Keith Jarrett plays in my head. I made a copy of the song years ago, editing out the middle and just keeping the intro and ending, which are about three minutes in total. I very much want to embed that audio here, but worry about a copyright violation. Oh, what the hell:



I used to play the keyboards a little and Jarrett’s solo parts from “Fortune Smiles” are the pieces I would have most liked to learn how to play. Sadly, since suffering two strokes in 2018 Jarrett has been unable to perform.


Here’s a very recent photo of a very fast automobile:



This is a Ferrari 812 Superfast. How much? Apparently, its price is so high that you have to ask the dealer; the price was not shown on the sticker as it is on almost all cars. The MSRP for a “reasonably” equipped 2020 model was about $400,000. Other cars in this complex have a sticker price in that neighborhood and yet those prices are displayed on the cars. I guess I don’t really know why the sticker reads, “Ask Dealer For Pricing.”

I could probably visit this luxury make complex once a week and never get tired of it. Many of the people on the lot are automobile “sight-seers,” people who obviously have no intention of ever buying one of these cars, but just want to see them and to take pictures. Is it better to actually be able to afford one of these cars, knowing that doing so would seriously damage one’s net worth, or not be in a position to afford one and, therefore, never be able to succumb to temptation?









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Son Of Not So Frugal Friday

Believe it or not, I was originally going to call this post Audacious, Belligerent Son Of Not So Frugal Friday. Talk about a buzzkill…

Maybe this post is a combination of Ultimate Garage and Million-Dollar Challenge. Then again, maybe this post is just my pulling the pin, burning it down, just saying f*ck it. (Oh, please feel free to click on the links to other Disaffected Musings posts or to other sites on the Internet. I am never going to publish a hyperlink to an unsecured site.)

In an episode of Transplant the young, ambitious surgical resident asks the attending physician in charge, “Haven’t you ever just wanted to burn it down to the ground?” a reference to the latter’s seeming obsession with doing things by the book and not making waves. Surprisingly, the attending answers, “Yes,” and then says she did that once or twice. She then says that she was the only person who got burned.

Still, the temptation to thumb our nose at convention and behavioral constraints can, at least sometimes, just be too overwhelming to ignore. While I might be able to buy one of these cars if I decided to significantly deplete my net worth, I am just not wired to pull the pin or to say f*ck it. Here is an exercise in automotive fantasy, in car porn, if you will.


See the source image


From nuvomagazine a picture of an Aston Martin DB11. The V-12 AMR edition of the car starts at about $275,000.

As I have written before, I don’t think Aston Martin have (using the British convention of a company needing the plural conjugation of a verb) ever made an unattractive car. The damn virus has hurt the company not long after it seemingly turned itself around to be profitable and even became a publicly-traded company on the London Stock Exchange.


See the source image


From Curbside Classic a picture of a Chrysler Ghia ST Special. Only four of these were built and they have been offered at auction and bid up to $450,000.



This is the gorgeous Rondine concept car drawn by the legendary automotive stylist Tom Tjaarda. Every time I watch Bitchin’ Rides I spend at least 30 seconds dreaming about winning the lottery and having Kindig-It Design build me this car, but over a modern chassis, of course. How much would that cost? I really have no idea, but the $500,000-$750,000 range sounds reasonable.

Contrary to what I have written before about a 1967 Corvette restomod or DeTomaso Longchamp being my first acquisition after winning a huge lottery jackpot, I actually think I would set a Rondine project in motion first, then buy/build the other two cars.


See the source image


From Wikipedia and not in Rosso, a picture of a Ferrari 812 Superfast. I mean, I couldn’t resist putting this car in this post. Just the name “Superfast” is compelling enough for me to want to buy the car. How much? The “base” MSRP is about $340,000.

Note that even in this exercise in car porn, I have not included any seven- or eight-figure cars. Too many of them look like pods. I am just not enamored of the looks of the Pagani Huayra or any Koenigsegg. I don’t care how fast or futuristic they are.

OK, before my mood deflates as I realize I can’t really have these cars, I am just going to call it quits. As always, please feel to indulge your own automotive fantasies, whether or not they fit the definition of an “Ultimate Garage” or not. We would like to read about them.

Stay safe and be well.













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Sunday Miscellaneous

I had another weird dream last night, a dream that a tree had fallen in our front yard. The tree had come completely out of the ground and the root system was visible. The only hitch was that the way the tree was laying in the yard, it could not have come from our lot. Explaining why that is so is unnecessary, only the point needs to be made.

In the aftermath of Tropical Storm Isaias, many trees were downed in this area. Many of those had come completely out of the ground and their root systems were visible. The storm even spawned two tornadoes in this state including the one with the longest recorded tornado path in state history.



In our almost 13 years of living in the mid-Atlantic, we have experienced blizzards and severe tropical weather. Where we are going we are very unlikely to experience any of those events. That sounds OK to me; I’ll take four months of heat as the “price” to pay.


I will probably post every day until I can’t. Yes, that sounds like a tautology. What I mean is that in the near future I will be unable to post for 10-15 days while we move and get settled into our new house, get set up with utilities there and so forth.


I wonder how long it will be before we see one of these in the desert…


See the source image


From formulamotors a picture of a 2018 Ferrari 812 Superfast. As I wrote here, we saw more interesting cars in 3-4 days in the Phoenix area than we would see in a year here in the mid-Atlantic. Given the automotive stimuli overload, it’s possible we saw one of these and it was “lost” amidst all the automobile eye candy.

Yes, if you have to ask then you almost certainly can’t afford it. OK…the base MSRP is about $340,000. As handsome as the car is, I see a distinct resemblance to the C7 Corvette, side “scallops” aside.

IF I could afford one and had a place to park it, I would probably own a Ferrari. Yes, if I could afford one then it is likely I would have a place to park it. The Portofino was included in my Ultimate Garage 2.0 and the California, the Portofino’s predecessor and the best-selling Ferrari in history, was part of my first Ultimate Garage.

I admire and respect the engineering and performance of current Lamborghini models, but the company is part of VolkswagenAudi. I just don’t think I could get past that association and buy a Lambo, assuming I could afford one. Frank Sinatra supposedly remarked, “People who want to be somebody buy a Ferrari. People who are somebody buy a Lamborghini.” Of course, he said that a long time ago, well before Lamborghini’s integration into the Shitlermobile company.

What sayeth thee? Would you buy a Ferrari if you could afford it? Would you make a cross-country move if you really wanted to do so?







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Sunday Sundries

From an interesting story that, to me, once again demonstrates the flaw in the belief that government is, or ever can be, a panacea. Here, let me just paste parts of the article titled, “SEMA sues DoT over delay in replica vehicle rules.”


“Congress approved legislation in 2015 but NHTSA hasn’t followed with mandated regulations”

“As it prepares for its annual automotive trade show in Las Vegas, the Specialty Equipment Market Association [SEMA] says it has filed suit against the U.S. Department of Transportation for failing to implement a Congressional mandate for replica vehicle regulations.”

“Passed by Congress as part of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act in 2015 was a provision that would allow low-volume automakers to produce as many as 325 replica cars on an annual basis. Such cars would be new versions of vehicles last manufactured at least 25 years earlier.”

“Congress gave the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration until December 4, 2016, to issue any necessary regulations to implement such a law. The SEMA suit says the agency has yet to take any such action and thus SEMA has petitioned a federal appellate court ‘to require the government to allow replica car manufacturers to immediately begin production.'”

“‘Prior to enactment of the FAST Act, the United States had just one system for regulating automobiles, which was established in the ’60s and designed for companies that mass-produce millions of vehicles,’ SEMA said in announcing its suit. “The lack of regulatory flexibility prevented small businesses from manufacturing turn-key vehicles.‘” [emphasis mine]

“’Eager to produce replica vehicles under the new law, many companies made capital investments and took customer orders on the assumption that sales could begin in late 2016. However, NHTSA has failed to issue regulations or undertake any other action allowing the small automakers to produce and sell vehicles as permitted by law.'”

“’SEMA has made every effort to work collaboratively with NHTSA for over three and a half years, although the agency has taken no action to implement the replica car law, SEMA president Christopher Kersting was quoted in the news release. ‘Consequently, companies have not hired workers, businesses have lost money, and consumers have been denied their rights to purchase replica cars.’”


As I have written before the “one size fits all” approach of most regulation makes it inefficient and since resources are finite efficiency always matters. The ponderous nature of government (among other reasons) makes it unavoidably wasteful. The anti-gearheads—in their smugness, self-righteousness and arrogance—do not and will not understand that almost no collector cars are daily drivers and that we are not going to be driving an all-electric fleet anytime soon. Electric vehicles comprise less than one-half of one percent of the cars and other vehicles owned by citizens all over the world. (Besides, these low-volume replicas could be powered by electric drivetrains.)

The Nissan Leaf, the best-selling all-electric car in history, was introduced in late 2010. The US has been its largest market, with about 127,000 sold here through October, 2018. From 2011 through 2018, more than 128,000,000 new cars, SUVs and pickup trucks were sold in the US. That means Leaf sales in its largest market were about one-tenth of one percent of all vehicles sold. Let that sink in before one proclaims the death of the internal combustion engine.

By the way, if someone wants to buy an electric car that decision is their business. Just don’t tell me I have to buy one…that is an unacceptable infringement on my freedom.


Here is a most decidedly un-electric car:


See the source image


From a picture of a Ferrari 812 Superfast. The Superfast name is more than appropriate for this car. From Ferrari’s website: “…the 812 Superfast is the most powerful and fastest road-going Ferrari ever built (with the exception, of course, of the rear-engined special limited-series 12-cylinders).”

How much? How does that famous saying go, “If you have to ask, then you can’t afford it.” OK, the MSRP for the 2019 Superfast is about $360,000. I believe it was recently revealed that Ferrari’s average profit per car is about $80,000. Their profit is twice the average “transaction price” for a new vehicle sold in the US.

The Superfast can exceed 200 MPH and is powered by a 6.5 liter (396 cubic inches for Bill Stephens) V-12 with a maximum output of 800 HP/530 LB-FT of torque. It is also certainly not an ugly car. I mean, WOW!


See the source image


OK, why am I showing a picture of a 1958 DeSoto Adventurer which was offered at Mecum’s Monterey auction in 2010? Live and learn…here is something I just noticed in standard catalog of® American Cars, 1946-1975 by John Gunnell, “A new option [for 1958] was an electronic [emphasis mine] fuel injection system manufactured by Bendix. Cars so equipped wore special nameplates above the front fender medallions and were later recalled to the factory for reconversion into ‘standard,’ dual-quad carburetor form.”

Chrysler Corporation offered electronic fuel injection in 1958! Although it sounds like the system was not a success—this article claims that only 35 cars were equipped with Electrojector—it was a hell of an effort, IMO. Were any of you aware of this before I mentioned it here?

Live and learn…










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Monday Musings

Happy Birthday to me, I guess…

How about one of these?!

See the source image

From a picture of the relatively new Ferrari 812 Superfast. My wonderful wife and I were watching Top Gear on BBC America yesterday and Matt LeBlanc was driving/reviewing this car. At 789 HP, the Superfast is the most powerful naturally aspirated, non-hybrid car ever made. Of course, that could change tomorrow.

A drop-dead gorgeous Ferrari…like that doesn’t happen. 🙂 This would be a nice birthday present, but I don’t know any people with a nine-figure net worth who like me enough to buy one for me. If one could buy this car in the US the price is in excess of $300,000. I wish I could afford one.