Freeform Friday

I am having a difficult time deciding on an “N” car for Cars A To Z. First, not a lot of makes have begun with the letter N. Second, one that does marketed its cars under a different name for a long time.

 

From Kaiser Permanente data in southern California (Henry Kaiser founded the Kaiser Permanente health system as well as Kaiser-Fraser automobiles, he was a very successful shipbuilder) via the Twitter feed of CDC director Rochelle Walensky. I apologize if a code embedded in the tweet ruins the post spacing:

 

NEW: Study on severity of those infected with the omicron variant compared to the delta variant:

53% less risk of symptomatic hospitalization

74% less risk of ICU admission

91% less risk of death

0 Omicron patients required mechanical ventilation

 

Another doctor (Marty Makary) tweeted this:

 

Omicron is likely even less severe than this study suggests because:

-Study used an imperfect test that can pick up some delta cases

-Study did not distinguish hosp & deaths FROM Covid vs WITH Covid (they used a temporal association assumption)

 

Of course, the media with its obsession with negativity is breathlessly reporting the surge in cases. If you are vaccinated, you really have very little to fear from the new variant.

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From this post:

 

However, in the American political world, real debate has ended. Each side simply yells louder and louder often engaging in nothing but propaganda and lies. An uninformed population buys the agenda that suits its a priori view of the world, almost never engaging in a rational analysis of the situation. I think “social media” is not what its advocates claim, a way to unite the world, but is instead a great divider as it makes climbing into bubbles way too easy.

 

I recognize some may call me a hypocrite for criticizing social media while writing a blog and maintaining a presence on Twitter. “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.”

I have had Twitter accounts to drive traffic to the blog. For the most part, the platform has failed miserably. However, Twitter has made it possible for me to connect to other car aficionados and has enabled me to establish friendships with people like Dominic Chu and Scott Hoke. Tradeoffs…

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Although not officially consummated until May 1, on this day in 1954 Nash-Kelvinator Corporation agreed to merge with Hudson Motor Car Company to form American Motors Corporation (AMC). Apparently, at the time it was the largest corporate merger in US history.

According to most automotive histories, Nash-Kelvinator CEO George Mason had been pushing the US “Independent” automakers to merge for years. The merger that created AMC was supposed to be only the beginning as Mason wanted to unite Nash, Hudson, Packard and Studebaker into a company that could at least hold its own against the Big Three. Of course, Packard and Studebaker also “merged” in 1954, but Mason died later that year and his hope of merging all four companies died with him.

Hudson was my choice for the “H” car in Cars A To Z. In my opinion, its most interesting cars were near the end of its existence as an Independent manufacturer. I have long been smitten with the looks of this car:

 

See the source image

 

This is a 1954 Hudson Hornet Hollywood hardtop. (How’s that for alliteration?!) While the step-down styling was considered passé by this time, and the drivetrain was behind the times, I just find the car irresistible.

In 1949, Nash and Hudson produced a combined total of about 294,000 cars. Five years later, the year of the merger, that number had fallen to approximately 142,000. Nash was in better shape financially than Hudson, in large part due to its successful Kelvinator business, but Mason was right about the need for the Independents to merge. It’s too bad he didn’t live long enough to give the idea a fighting chance. What might have been…

Have a great weekend.

 

#FreeformFriday

#MediaNegativity

#NashHudsonMerger

#somanycarsjustonelife

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Freeform Friday

 

No one should be surprised that I receive emails from Mecum Auctions on a regular basis. Imagine my surprise, though, when this car showed up in my inbox. I was also surprised that I could save the photo to use in the blog.

This car is a 2021 IsoRivolta GT Zagato, of which only nine were made and that will be offered for sale at Mecum’s giant Kissimmee auction next month. Of course, Iso was the “I” car in Cars A To Z and I showed a picture of the reborn car.

Remember that the drivetrain for this car is a C7 Corvette Z06. What do you think of car manufacturers “just” re-skinning another car? I think that description is apt for the Rivolta, even if the interior is also unique to the car.

I know a market exists in restomod Corvettes for customers who want modern safety features like airbags that can’t really be supplied in standard restomods. This type of restomod is basically a C7 (or C6 or whatever) Corvette chassis/drivetrain with a C2 (or C1 or C3 or whatever) body replacing the original one. Of course, because–for example–a C2 body was built for a chassis with a 98-inch wheelbase and a C7 Corvette-for example–has a 107-inch wheelbase, the restomod body has to be stretched to fit and the result is almost never as sharp as an actual early Corvette body.

Anyway, I hope Iso (technically, the company name is now IsoRivolta) keeps making cars. I doubt they can make something as amazing as this, though:

 

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In another case of burying the lede, my wonderful wife and I are still waiting and hoping to exhale. The final, but most important, post-surgery result has still not been reported. We should hear today, but are taking nothing for granted.

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From Louis Armstrong, “There are some people that if they don’t know, you can’t tell them.” This piece from Why Evolution Is True is about the disturbing trend for anti-vaxxers to grasp at straws as alternative “treatments” for the damn virus, in this case Ivermectin. Supposedly, the FDA sent a Tweet that read, “You are not a horse. You are not a cow. Seriously, y’all. Stop it.” The link in the article took me to another article on the FDA website and not to that tweet.

All I can do is to shake my head and mutter about the scary levels of ignorance and blind adherence to ideology that have permeated the developed world. Oh, this is not just happening in the US.

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On this day in 1986 John DeLorean was acquitted for the second time in two years of major criminal charges. The second trial was on charges that he swindled $8.5 million from backers who bankrolled his failed sports car company in Northern Ireland. Of course, the first trial was related to charges that DeLorean was involved in cocaine trafficking, but his attorneys’ entrapment defense seemed to prove decisive.

Of course, even by the time of the first acquittal, DeLorean Motor Company was bankrupt and the now legendary DMC-12 was no longer being produced. While the car was far from perfect, the body was designed by the acclaimed designer, Giorgetto Giugiaro. He was “only” named the Car Designer of the 20th Century under the auspices of the Global Automotive Elections Foundation. Say what you will about its uninspiring drivetrain, but the DMC-12 did not blend in with the crowd.

 

See the source image

 

I have seen a few in person and they always grab my attention. Ah yes, what might have been…

 

#FreeformFriday

#NewIsoRivolta

#MecumAutoAuctions

#DeLorean

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Freeform Friday

One and one and one is three…

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It should not come as much of a surprise that houses in America have become larger over the years. From this article by Michael Batnick on The Irrelevant Investor comes this chart with data from the US Census Bureau:

 

 

Is the decline in median square feet since 2015 meaningful? Batnick doesn’t address this in the piece, but writes “Houses are getting bigger, and thanks to HGTV, they’re definitely getting nicer.” He also writes:

 

“Houses today are bigger and nicer than the ones we grew up in. I’m not going to get into interest rates in this post, but obviously, this is a critical part of the story.

It seems like there is an island in every kitchen and granite on every counter. These things did not exist when I was growing up. What I remember were old wooden counters and walls all over the place. Open concept is the thing these days. There are no more walls.

Crown molding is now standard. Bathtubs are separate from the shower. Houses are turning into hotels.”

 

Of course, as the population ages the median square footage for houses could decline as people often downsize as they grow older. Our Arizona house is 2,000 square feet smaller than our house in the mid-Atlantic. That fact is due primarily to the housing market here and what we wanted to spend and not necessarily due to a strong desire to downsize, though. Yes, Batnick is talking about new homes, but wealthier, elderly Americans could have new homes built that are smaller.

I grew up in a rowhouse–they weren’t called townhouses in those days–in Baltimore. I can’t find the square footage on the Baltimore City website, but I can tell you the lot is just 18 feet wide. Zillow to the rescue…according to them the house is 1,152 square feet. I’m guessing that counts the finished part of the basement, but I could be wrong. That house was built in the 1950s. From the Maryland Historical Trust a less than stellar picture of a rowhouse block:

 

See the source image

 

For most of us, our house is the single most significant purchase we make. It is where memories are made. I have been remiss in not writing about this topic more often.

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From Hemmings is this article about automobile restoration dos and don’ts. Here are most of the don’ts:

 

DON’T: Be afraid to ask questions

What kind and/or brand of paint does the shop typically use? Is it going to media blast the body or chemically strip it? If it doesn’t do its own engine work, who does it typically use? Get into the weeds of your restoration, so you’re clear about hows and whys of the work.

DON’T: Hover over the restoration shop

Let the shop do its work. Helicoptering over the project, because you live nearby, invites stress on your part and the craftspeople doing the work. A few in-person visits to track progress is fine, but don’t make the shop your weekly haunt. You’ll annoy the staff and interrupt the shop’s workflow.

DON’T: Change course midstream

It happens often: A simple repaint turns into a full-blown restoration, or standard resto turns into a concours-ribbon-chasing project. Changing course midway through the project inevitably requires the shop to backtrack and redo work. That adds time and money. Make your plan before the shop starts and stick with it.

DON’T: Expect to make money

Only a fraction of cars are worth more than what it costs for a full restoration. If you’re committing to the project, do it for the love of the car and thrill of the project itself. If it’s because you’re harboring notions of turning a profit after the color sanding is completed, don’t bother. For the vast majority of vehicles, it ain’t going to happen.

 

Of course, most of these tips do not apply to people doing the work themselves. The last “don’t” is something about which I have written before. I don’t believe in buying a car as a financial investment, but as an investment in the enjoyment of life. Some people think they can make money buying, restoring and flipping cars (of course, that’s similar to what many people do, or try to do, with houses…I am not writing about car dealers). I think if you can afford it and you want to restore a “classic” car, then you should do it “for the love of the car and thrill of the project itself.”

What I am doing with my Z06 is not a restoration in the traditional sense, but it is an investment in the enjoyment of my life. I will quote “Ferris Bueller,” “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

Enjoy your holiday weekend!

 

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#BiggerHouses

#AutomobileRestoration

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Freeform Friday

Hope all of you that celebrated the day had a very Happy Thanksgiving.

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From this Corvette Blogger piece comes the data on final 2020 Corvette production. Oh, please feel free to click on the blue hyperlink as I only link to secure sites whose URLs begin with https.

The fact that the data is available obviously means that 2020 production has ended and 2021 production has begun. I hope “Professor” John Kraman has received his new 2020 Corvette.

The final production figure was 20,368 2020 Corvettes, about half of the expected total before the damn virus and UAW strike. Coupes were 82.4% of the cars built meaning that convertibles were 17.6%. The Z51 performance package was very popular as 76.0% of 2020 Corvettes were equipped with it.

Torch Red was the most popular color at 25.2% with Arctic White second at 15.2%. My favorite color, Sebring Orange, was fourth at 6.8%. From the famous Corvette Mike, a picture of a 2020 Corvette in Sebring Orange:

 

See the source image

 

I hope Chevrolet/GM can sell 40,000+ 2021 Corvettes. The car does seem to be very popular so the hand-wringing by “purists” (otherwise known as sticks in the mud) over the change to a mid-engine layout seems to have been much ado about nothing. (Sorry, Mr. Shakespeare.)

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If I have interpreted and extrapolated from this chart correctly, then the air pressure at our home in the desert is 6.7% less than it was at our previous home. I guess that means for a given volume of “air” there’s actually 6.7% “less” air.

I have been struggling with my running on the treadmill since the move. (Yes, I was able to get it fixed by an excellent electrician who jerry-rigged a connection.) David Banner (not his real name), a former physician, replied to a text that the change in altitude/air pressure can certainly affect exercise. No one has been able to tell me when or if my body will adjust.

I had never had any difficulty running 30-40 minutes or even longer, but in my last workout I ran out of gas at about 26 minutes, pushed myself to 27 and then had to spend 10 minutes on the floor catching my breath. My wonderful wife and I have been here about four weeks. I hope my body will adjust and soon. By the way, although it wasn’t the same calendar day, we met on the day after Thanksgiving 23 years ago. Happy Anniversary, V Squared!

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Our Simplisafe security system seems to be working just fine with one exception: one of the motion sensors won’t stay on the wall. The flat part at the back of the sensor doesn’t fit into the wall corner so the two adhesive strips are not adhering to anything. Here are some pictures:

 

 

We think the sensor has to be perpendicular to the corner (if that makes sense) so the beam covers the most area. The other motion sensors in the house are mounted that way and, at least so far, they’re still on the wall. I know the textured surface is somewhat of an issue.

Anyway, any suggestions will be appreciated. I have ordered what is supposed to be “super sticky” double-sided tape and it will be delivered this weekend.

Have a great weekend.

 

#FreeformFriday

#2020CorvetteProduction

#MotionSensorFall

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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