Ferrari Sunday

As I may have mentioned, we do not live far from a dealership that sells just about every luxury make in the world. I believe the dealership is owned by Roger Penske, but his name is only on the marquee sign and none of the specific make “stores” are named for him. It’s Scottsdale Lamborghini and not Penske Lamborghini. However, the Penske Racing Museum is on site. This collection of dealerships is where my wonderful wife and I test-drove a Maserati Gran Turismo coupe.

My wonderful wife spent much of yesterday with her parents dealing with important family matters so I was left to my own devices. As I hadn’t driven the Z06 in quite awhile I decided to head down to the luxury dealership complex although, I must admit, I didn’t exactly take the most direct route. I almost forget, almost, how much fun it is to drive my car.

Two cars really caught my eye yesterday. Here are some pictures:

 

 

 

The top three photos are a Ferrari Portofino and the bottom three are a Ferrari Roma. The Portofino was part of Ultimate Garage 2.0. Even though the Roma bears a strong resemblance to another 2.0 car, the Jaguar F-Type coupe, I’m not sure I don’t prefer its looks to the Portofino, although that Portofino looked very sharp to me with the black roof over the silver body and the yellow brake calipers.

Between the drive and the trip to the luxury dealerships, it was not a bad way to spend 90 minutes.

 

#FerrariSunday

#RogerPenske

#FerrariPortofino

#FerrariRoma

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Thanks, Bill

 

No, this is not the same image I posted here. This screenshot is from yesterday. Just like the first time I received a notification such as this from WordPress in April, 2019 when Bill James tweeted the main link to Disaffected Musings, yesterday’s “booming” activity resulted from Bill’s graciously tweeting the link to Good Old Days. Many thanks, Bill.

Just like the first Bill James tweet resulted in a “record” for blog views in a day, so did yesterday’s. The new “record” is about a third higher than the old one.

Did you know that Time (magazine) selected Bill to its Time 100 list as one of the most influential people in the world in 2006? His work in applying data to baseball was one of the major drivers in the explosion of analytics in the world.

Bill’s work was my biggest inspiration in my 20+ year career in major league baseball. He helped me whenever he could, which is the mark of a true friend. Below is a picture of my favorite book of his, one that despite my not following the sport for almost a decade is probably still the book I have read most often.

 

 

The improvised book cover was made by the father of an ex-girlfriend. As you can see, that book has been used a lot.

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On this day in 2008, the (second) Bush administration announced an emergency bailout of General Motors and Chrysler. The plan was supposed to distribute $13.4 billion by January, 2009 to the companies from the fund that Congress authorized to rescue the financial industry. By the time all was said and done, the federal government nationalized the two companies de facto.

Of course, both companies wound up declaring bankruptcy, anyway. Chrysler filed in April of 2009 and GM did so in June, 2009.

By the end of July, they emerged from bankruptcy reorganization. General Motors became two separate companies and spun off General Motors Acceptance Corporation (GMAC, GM’s financing “arm”) into Allied Financial. Chrysler became a brand owned mostly by Fiat. The Treasury Department began selling off its ownership of GM in 2010. Chrysler paid off the last of its loans by 2011.

The pros and cons of such a move by the federal government were widely and forcefully debated in government and elsewhere. When making their plea for help in 2008, the Big Three warned the government that the collapse of Chrysler and GM would result in the loss of one million American jobs. (Ford didn’t ask for help, per se, as it had already instituted large cuts in expenses. However, it asked to be included so it wouldn’t suffer by competing with companies who already had government subsidies.)

It is often said that if a person borrows $40,000 from a bank that the bank owns them, but if they borrow $40 million they own the bank. The topic of “Too Big To Fail” and the issues surrounding concentration of market power, particularly in an industry with large initial costs, are way beyond the scope of a blog post.

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In yesterday’s Son Of Not So Frugal Friday, I probably should have shown the following car instead of, or in addition to, the 812 Superfast:

 

See the source image

 

No, this is not a Ferrari California. It is the California’s “replacement,” the Portofino. (Picture from Car Scoops.)

Why the Portofino and not the California? Well…I guess I can rationalize the choice by citing the increase in engine output, the increase in stiffness in the chassis and the decrease in weight of the Portofino compared to its predecessor. Once again, despite being part of my “Pulling The Pin” collection, the Portofino is not a seven- or eight-figure car. The base MSRP is about $220,000. Yes, the Portofino was part of Ultimate Garage 2.0. Speaking of which, do you think next May/June would be too soon for Ultimate Garage 3.0? That would be two years (!) since 2.0.

 

#Thanks, Bill

#BillJames

#AutomobileIndustryBailout

#FerrariPortofino

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

If you like this blog please tell your friends and share the blog URL (https://disaffectedmusings.com). Thanks.

 

Ultimate Garage 2.0: The Tenth Car

“The nice part about being a pessimist is that you are constantly being either proven right or pleasantly surprised.”

– George Will

I think he is 90% right…by the way, George Will wrote a cover blurb for a book I co-authored and it was my relationship with him that led to his lending his name to the book. Explain again why I cannot find an interesting and fulfilling work situation.

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I guess I could have titled this post, “Ultimate Garage 2.0: The Penultimate Car.” Yes, this is the next-to-last car. (Geez, I thought it would never end…)

This car’s predecessor was in my first Ultimate Garage; this car is the Ferrari Portofino.

 

See the source image

See the source image

 

The top picture is from parkers.co.uk; the bottom is from Wikipedia. To me the Portofino and its predecessor, the California, are very similar in appearance (gorgeous) and the Portofino is a little more advanced so I picked the Portofino. By the way, the California is the best-selling car in Ferrari history. How many of them were made? Approximately 18,000. Enzo Ferrari used to like to say that every model year he wanted to produce one fewer car than the demand for the cars. About 70 percent of Californias are owned by people who had never previously owned a Ferrari.

Like the California the Portofino is Ferrari’s “entry-level” car (with a base MSRP of about $215,000). It is also a convertible with a retractable hardtop; I guess I should show a picture with the top down.

 

See the source image

 

From Motor Trend…the Portofino (you have no idea how many times I have typed “Protofino” instead) is powered by a modified version of the base California T engine, a 3.9 liter/235 cubic-inch twin-turbo V8 that produces 591 HP/561 LB-FT of torque. The Portofino can accelerate from 0-60 MPH in 3.2 seconds. Sorry, manual transmission “fans” but this Ferrari—like all current Ferraris—uses a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

The Portofino is about 170 pounds lighter than the California and the suspension is a little stiffer. I doubt that the California was strictly a boulevard cruiser, but that is certainly not true about the Portofino no matter how much the Ferrari “snobs” dislike the car. (Many of them disliked the California.)

I’m going to use a value/price of $250,000 for the Portofino because I am going to assume I would want some nice options. Hey, I had to have a Ferrari in Ultimate Garage 2.0, right?!

 

#UltimateGarage2.0

#FerrariPortofino

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Friday Ferrari

Having declared my preference for Ferrari over Lamborghini I thought I would start with something I found amusing in this article from Automobile Magazine. The article is about being able to drive the Ferrari Portofino for one week. Here is, once again, the Portofino:

See the source image

From motoringresearch.com a picture of a Ferrari Portofino. This excerpt (Edgar shout-out!) is what I found amusing: “At a stoplight, one guy in a big SUV looked down into the open Ferrari and offered: ‘Let’s trade. You can have my truck. And the three kids in back. And my wife.’ His wife was in the passenger seat. She did not appear to be laughing.”

The predecessor to the Portofino, the California, was in my first Ultimate Garage as well as my wonderful wife’s. I apologize if I write too much about Ultimate Garage for your tastes, but I will offer the second version at some point in this blog. (A real tangent: I struggle with prepositions. “In” or “On?” “For” or “To?” Maybe that struggle results from the fact that English was not the only language I spoke growing up and that my parents were not from the US.) I would also like to show readers’ Ultimate Garages so please feel free to submit yours. Maybe I’ll even use one of them as a post if it’s written well enough.

The Portofino is lighter (by almost 200 pounds) than the California, yet more rigid. It is also a tad more powerful; its engine produces 591 HP and 561 LB-FT of torque. (The same numbers for the California were 552 HP/557 LB-FT.) Subjectively I don’t think the Portofino looks much different than the California, but both cars are gorgeous in the Ferrari tradition.

The Portofino is the “entry-level” Ferrari. The base MSRP is just north of $200,000, but it’s easy to push that closer to $300,000 with options. I think Ferrari is one of the very few car makers who can get away with charging $4,000+ for Apple Car Play. In the Automobile Magazine article the test car, which had many options, had an MSRP of almost $270,000. More Americans than you can imagine can afford a Ferrari. About 2,500 of them were sold in the US in 2017. By comparison Lamborghini, which makes fewer cars than Ferrari, sold about 1,100 cars in the US last year.

 

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings