Sunday Bare

The title of today’s post refers to the fact that I don’t really have anything to write today. I am writing because I feel compelled to do so, in no small way due to the fact that blog views for May are even higher, per day, than they were in the “record-setting” month of April. Obviously, because people “follow” Disaffected Musings more people read the blog on days with posts than on days without.

I guess I could mention that on this day in 1934 Gordon Buehrig filed for a patent on his design of a smaller Duesenberg; the patent was issued Oct. 2, 1934. The design was assigned to the Cord Corporation, Buehrig’s employer, and later became the starting point for the Cord 810 models. Buehrig was named named chief designer for Duesenberg in 1929. From RM Sotheby’s a picture of a 1936 Cord 810 convertible:


See the source image


As many car enthusiasts know, Buehrig’s design for this car was a protest against Harley Earl’s maxim that the face made the car. Buehrig had worked for Earl at General Motors before joining Duesenberg and designing the Cord 810 and the Duesenberg Model J. Ironically, the car with no face became a car with one of the most famous faces in history.

One of the dirty little secrets of these cars that are so revered today is that they were not well-made. Like virtually all US companies, the Cord Corporation, which owned the Auburn Automobile Company and Duesenberg among other holdings, struggled mightily during the Great Depression until E.L. Cord sold the remnants in 1937. This Cord was known for transmissions that performed poorly and for overheating/vapor lock. It should be no surprise that myth and legend almost always conflict with facts, that’s why they’re called myth and legend.

About 1,600 Cord 810s were built in 1936 and almost 1,300 812s were built in 1937. The 812 offered a supercharger and about 54% were supercharged.

Anyone have anything to offer about these Cords? Have a great Sunday.







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Wednesday Words

From Ukranian-born, American-raised Golda Meir, the fourth Prime Minister of Israel, “We will only have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than they hate Israel.”

Truer words were never spoken.


First day of spring, my ass!



Arizona sounds better to me every day!


Thanks to Scott Hoke (@ScottHoke1 on Twitter) for writing to me, “Always enjoy reading your exceptionally thoughtful posts!!” In case you don’t know, or even if you do, Scott is the host of the Mecum auction broadcasts on NBCSN. Fortunately for me, Mecum has many auctions (I think 12) every year and I very much enjoy watching them. As I write this I think have 10 “episodes” of the Mecum auctions on my DVR, which I will watch often.

The telecasts are very enjoyable because while Scott and the rest of the crew (John Kraman, Stephen Cox, Bill Stephens, Katie Osborne) respect the cars and the auctions they don’t take them so seriously that they forget to have some fun.


Speaking of Mecum auctions, a car like this was offered for sale at the recently completed auction held in Glendale, Arizona. (There’s that state again!)


From a picture of a 2011 Ferrari 599 GTO, of which only 125 were exported to the US. At Mecum a car like this sold for $770,000 all in including the buyer premium.

I have been using the phrase “rolling sculpture” a lot these days since I purchased Gordon Buehrig’s book by the same name. Buehrig was one of the most important automobile designers in history having drawn the amazing Cord 810/812 among others. This Ferrari, like most Ferraris in my opinion, is rolling sculpture.

The Motor Trend review of this car claimed that it was the fastest road-legal Ferrari ever made (up to then, anyway). The 599 GTO was powered by a 6-liter V-12 producing 661 HP/457 LB-FT of torque. (Hey, Steve Magnante, not all engines have higher torque than HP numbers. Let me quickly add that I am a fan of his.) The Motor Trend reviewer/writer, Arthur St. Antoine, called the 599 GTO “The Best Car I’ve Ever Driven.”

If I could afford one would I buy one? Is the Pope Catholic? Can Usain Bolt run fast? Of course, for less than 10% of the Mecum hammer price from Arizona I could buy a used C7 Z06 Corvette with almost identical HP and lots more torque. Stay tuned… I believe some auto “people” say, “Horsepower sells cars, but torque wins races.” What’s the difference? The best way I’ve heard it described is to imagine an athlete on a track. Torque is how hard he pushes against the track while horsepower is how fast he can move his legs.

Any thoughts on this Ferrari, any Ferrari, any car or anything else? I eagerly await reading those thoughts.




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