Friday Free For All

My heartfelt condolences to my good friend Bob, whose father died on Wednesday night.

 

I think C/2 had a great idea with Cars A To Z, but the posts receive fewer views than the average post. As I am going to finish the series, I would like to “hear” suggestions how to improve readership.

 

This CNBC piece is about Jim Cramer’s belief that “it’s impossible to recommend Chinese stocks in a hostile communist regime.” The naivete of so many Americans who admire the Chinese government is hard to fathom. Maybe it’s “worse” than naivete.

This CNBC piece reveals Apple co-founder’s Steve Wozniak’s earnest advice: Get Off Facebook. He has been off the “platform” since 2018. He said, “…[T]o many like myself, my recommendation is — to most people — is you should figure out a way to get off Facebook.” Amen!

 

From this Archon’s Den post, some one-liners:

 

I was reading this book today, The History of Glue….
….I couldn’t put it down.

I hired a handyman to do some odd jobs around the house….
….He did every other thing on the list.

I made strawberry jam today….
….It was a jarring experience.

Women only have two problems….
….Nothing to wear, and no room for all their clothes.

Life is like a helicopter….
….I don’t know how to operate a helicopter.

I’ve heard of a lot of dumb criminals….
….But bakery robbers take the cake.

I think I need professional help….
….A chef, a butler, and a maid should do it.

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This recent article from Classic Cars reveals Goodwood’s list of ten of the ugliest road cars ever. The inclusion of supercars like the Lamborghini Venemo and the McLaren Senna might come as a surprise to some, but as I have written I am not a fan of cars with pod-like styling regardless of performance, which is not to say I agree with the supercars Goodwood included in their list. I don’t think the Venemo is ugly, per se, just overstyled. What do you think?

 

 

Lamborghini’s designers would probably argue that every styling feature on the car serves a purpose. That may well be the case and while I believe that form should almost always follow function, styling matters. I think I object to the large wing more than anything else as I am not a fan of large external air forms on an automobile.

Two cars on the list that many would agree are ugly are the Pontiac Aztek and the Chrysler PT Cruiser. I don’t really want to spoil your (or my) morning by showing one or both of these cars, but here goes:

 

See the source image

 

In this post I shared the exposition of Pulitzer Prize-winning automotive critic and syndicated columnist Dan Neil who named the Aztek one of the 50 worst cars of all time. Neil wrote, “the Aztek violated one of the principal rules of car design: we like cars that look like us. With its multiple eyes and supernumerary nostrils, the Aztek looks deformed and scary, something that dogs bark at and cathedrals employ to ring bells.”

The US car-buying public didn’t like the car, either. General Motors expected to sell 75,000 Azteks a year, but never even reached 30,000–its reported break-even level–in any year. If beauty is only skin deep and ugly is to the bone, then the Aztek is a skeleton.

I won’t show a picture of the PT Cruiser (I’ve tortured all of us enough already), but I think it looks like an upside-down bathtub with wheels. Unlike the Aztek, the PT Cruiser was popular with just over a million sold in the US during its ten model years in production. There’s no accounting for taste?

Feel free to submit a few of the cars that you think fall short in appearance.

 

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Friday Free For All

As I predicted, with the availability (on the Motor Trend app) of the first episode of Garage Squad after Cristy Lee’s departure, the number of views of Disaffected Musings spiked as people searched the Internet to find out why she is no longer on the show. Where Is Cristy Lee? and The Gift That Keeps On Giving saw a fair number of views as did the main blog link.

I have not written about the lovely Ms. Lee in quite some time, but she seems to be inextricably woven to my blog. I can think of worse fates.

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Two posts from Why Evolution Is True:

 

The Times of London defends Kathleen Stock’s freedom of expression and so should we

Eric Clapton breaks my heart for the fourth time, bankrolling an anti-vaxer band

 

I am drawn to this blog because the author is a self-proclaimed liberal, but one who does not buy into all of liberal ideology and is very critical of the most radical elements. In fact, many of his posts would be seen as blasphemous by those on the radical left.

If someone could point me to a similar blog written by a self-proclaimed conservative, but one who does not buy into all of conservative ideology, then I would appreciate it. I don’t know if George Will, who wrote a cover blurb for the book I co-authored about the greatest baseball teams of all time, qualifies as I think the only place he rejects “modern” American conservatism is his rejection of Tonald Drump. As I have written before, I think we have reached a point where the truth resides not in the place where both sides are satisfied–which may no longer exist, anyway–but in the place where both sides are angry. That may be the real truth, now.

From the outside, it could be said that I “lean” right because I reject the notion of government as panacea. However, I also reject most of “modern” American conservatism. Of course, I also reject most of “modern” American liberalism.

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From the Kogod School of Business via Corvette Blogger comes the annual list of the Made In America Auto Index, the cars with the most US content for model year 2021. The Mustang GT with a manual transmission ranks first at 77% and the Corvette ranks second at 72%. Interesting to me is that for the bottom 52 of 342 vehicles in the survey their US content is 0%. So, about 15% of “mainstream” vehicles sold in the US have no US content. The obligatory picture of a C8 Corvette:

 

 

Model year 2022 production has already begun for the Corvette and the C8 version of the Z06 will be unveiled at the famous Petersen Auto Museum in Los Angeles on October 26th. The Z06 will almost certainly be a 2023 model year car, however. Once again, word stronger than mere rumor is that the car will be powered by the most powerful naturally aspirated V-8 in history: a 5.5 liter/336 cubic-inch DOHC flat-plane crank engine producing 650 HP/600 LB-FT of torque.

I will be very interested in the pricing of the new Z06. For the last year of the C7 (2019), the base price of a Z06 coupe was $80,590 and $84,590 for a Z06 convertible. My 2016 Z06 coupe stickered at about $101,000, but it has 2LZ trim, the Z07 performance package, an automatic transmission, etc. Of course, I didn’t buy the car new.

I’m thinking the base price of a C8 Z06 coupe will be under $100,000, but maybe not for the convertible. We’ll find out soon enough.

Have a great weekend…

 

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