Hall of Very Good Cars: Also Kicked Out Of An Ultimate Garage

First, I thank everyone who has been reading the blog lately. Both the last four days (Thursday-Sunday) and the last WordPress week (Monday-Sunday) had more views and visitors for any such time frames since February.

I guess I shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth, but I am hard pressed to ascertain the reason(s) for the dramatic increase. (For example, views for the last week were 34% higher than the average of the previous four.) I suppose I should just be grateful, but that’s not in my nature.

Having a failure of our second floor HVAC system in the middle of an Arizona summer doesn’t help my mood, I guess. We had the entire system–AC unit, furnace, blower motor, coil–replaced last year. If it hadn’t been for the third strong thunderstorm in four days, I might not have been able to get any sleep at all, as opposed to the four hours of poor quality sleep I did manage. A relevant photo:

 

 

Not too long after I took this picture, the mountain disappeared in the rain. I wish I had a rain gauge because micro-climatic variations in this area are such that rainfall amounts for surrounding locations are not much of a guide as to how much rain we received at our house.

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In light of the strong number of views and visitors for days in which the posts had little, if any, automotive content I am reluctant to write about cars today. Here goes…

This picture from this post reminded me of another car that once occupied a spot in one of my Ultimate Garages, but was not included in Ultimate Garage 3.0 last July.

 

 

The Facel Vega was a hybrid in the original meaning of the word in an automotive context. The chassis was designed by British race driver Lance Macklin, Facel owner and founder Jean Daninos (Facel was a French company) designed the body and the car had an American drivetrain: a Chrysler V-8 engine (a hemi from 1954 to 1958) and, usually, a Torqueflite automatic transmission. The car had three iterations: the Vega, the HK 500 and the Facel II.

Despite famous people like Tony Curtis and Ringo Starr owning a Facel Vega, the cars didn’t sell well enough to keep Facel afloat. The last Facel Vega was manufactured in September, 1964 and the company was liquidated in 1965.

I grant that the exterior design is, perhaps, a bit dated. However, I am still very much a fan of the Facel Vega. Just one is shown with a listed price (as opposed to “Inquire”) in Hemmings ads this morning; the asking price is $197,500.

 

On a more general topic, I remain curious about what content readers want to see. As long as the comments are civil, please feel free to express yourself truthfully. Thanks.

 

#HallofVeryGoodCars

#BoomInBlogViews

#FacelVega

#somanyCARSjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Hall of Very Good Cars: The Z06 Replacement?

First, I have another dream to report. It was a bit strange, but not too disturbing. I dreamt I was in attendance at a large outdoor gathering. The purpose was either unknown to me at the time or has been lost forever to dreamland.

Thousands of people were there from all sorts of disciplines and occupations. I recognized two people: the first General Manager for whom I worked in baseball (who died last December) and the brilliant former high school classmate of whom I have written before, like here.

The two wound up in close proximity and my former classmate tried to strike up a conversation. My former boss seemed totally disinterested and began moving away.

I approached my former boss and began to tell him he had no idea from whom he was walking away. I rattled off my former classmate’s academic achievements, but my former boss moved away from me quite quickly.

As is the case with all dreams I can remember that had deceased people in them (except one), the former General Manager did not speak. I don’t believe that all dreams are just random neural firings with no meaning. I used to have very similar dreams over and over, like driving in my car and realizing that I was lost and in a bad neighborhood. What last night’s dream meant, though, is beyond me.

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Every regular reader should already know the identity of today’s Hall of Very Good Cars member. I mean, I just wrote about it yesterday.

 

 

In case you can’t tell, or even if you can, these pictures of a current generation Toyota Supra were taken at the Mecum auction in Glendale, Arizona in March, 2022. Yes, I would buy one in yellow although I would prefer red or gray/silver.

These cars are built on the same assembly line in Graz, Austria as the current generation BMW Z4 convertible. In an episode of Everyday Driver Todd Deeken remarked, “I’m not sure what would offend more people: that the best Toyota currently made is a BMW or that the best BMW is a Toyota. You’re equally offended.”

The current Supra is basically a BMW, but with Toyota badging. Paul Schmucker said during the same episode, “BMW built a car for Toyota with better steering feel and handling than they built for themselves.”

I would opt for the turbo six engine and an automatic transmission. (Both Everyday Driver hosts had much praise for the Supra automatic.) BMW has developed a reputation for understating engine output; many feel–and have proof–that the Supra is not immune from this sandbagging. Although the stated output for the Supra six-cylinder engine has been increased from 335 to 382 HP, many people have dyno slips showing the horsepower number begins with a 4. The official torque rating is 368 LB-FT. Remember that this car’s curb weight is just 3,400 pounds.

I know their styling is not everyone’s cup of tea, but I have grown very fond of the look of this car. In person, it’s almost as if the car is alive and exuding a strong presence.

I have not decided for sure that I will sell the Z06 and buy one of these. New Supras are not available around here as the ’22s are sold out and the ’23s have not been delivered. Used ones are not plentiful, either. My preference would actually be to buy one from Carvana, but they didn’t have any available cars listed yesterday anywhere in the country. Carvana doesn’t charge any “garbage fees” as my wonderful wife calls them going back to her days in the mortgage business. Also, I can drive the car for a week and if I don’t like it, they will take the car back, no questions asked.

I guess I will just have to wait and see how I feel when my Z06 is returned. If the feeling of trepidation does not wane quickly, I will probably sell the car.

 

#HallofVeryGoodCars

#TheMysteriesOfDreamland

#ToyotaSupra

#somanyCARSjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Hall of Very Good Cars: Kicked Out of the Ultimate Garage

The only constant in the world is change. I have published three versions of my Ultimate Garage in the blogosphere, one of which has been lost forever thanks to the Evil Empire, AKA Guck Foogle. Some cars that were included in one or both of the first two versions were not included in the latest, and almost certainly last, published Ultimate Garage. I thought I would just show those cars in this series without much prose. Not in any particular order:

 

 

From The American Auto by the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide® a picture of a 1967 Cadillac Eldorado. A ’68 model would do, as well.

I am still a big fan of these cars and if we ever own a home with a garage long enough I could be tempted to buy one. As I write this, these cars are still relatively affordable. The three shown on Hemmings this morning have an average asking price of about $22,500.

 

 

Yes, another German car. Of course, this is the car I owned for 29 months: a second generation BMW Z4. Although it turned out to be extremely unreliable, I didn’t buy it new so the original owner’s neglect probably played a role in the car’s issues while I owned it. I think I included the car in the first iteration of my Ultimate Garage in large part because I owned it at the time. I do still think they have a fabulous exterior design, top up or down.

 

See the source image

 

This is a 1963 Studebaker Avanti. My fervor for this car was still at a fever pitch when I published my first Ultimate Garage (2017?), so much so that I included both the original Studebaker version and the Avanti II. Again, I am still a fan of these cars, just not enough to have included it in Ultimate Garage 3.0.

Some of you who have been reading Disaffected Musings from the beginning might have been surprised that this car was left out of Ultimate Garage 3.0.

 

See the source image

 

Obviously from RM Sotheby’s is a picture of a 1956 Packard Caribbean Convertible. This is the car whose status has fallen the most of those listed in this post. I still like these cars, but if I were to publish a fourth version of my Ultimate Garage, this car would not receive much, if any, consideration. By the way, my first Ultimate Garage had seven cars, the second had 11 and the third had 14.

The list of Hall of Very Good Cars that I have scribbled in my notebook still contains about two dozen cars that will/might be included. It might be that when I run out of those cars I will stop writing this blog.

 

#HallofVeryGoodCars

#KickedOutOfTheUltimateGarage

#somanyCARSjustonelife

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Hall of Very Good Cars: Hail To The Goat!

Today marks the fourth consecutive day we’ve received measurable rainfall. However, I would be willing to bet that total accumulation is less than a half inch. Still, that’s about 4-5 percent of the average annual rainfall amount here so it is welcome.

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My wonderful wife and I went grocery shopping after breakfast this morning. As we were walking to the Cascada a red Honda S2000 drove past. I had to stop, wait for the driver to get out and tell him I loved his car. He was most appreciative and most gracious. I think it was a 2007 model, but I’m not sure. The driver told us he has driven the car 299,000 miles! He lamented that he has not taken better care of it as he is aware of the current market value of the S2000.

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Of course, Hail To The Goat! could refer to someone or something that is called the Greatest Of All Time. In the world of cars, though, the Goat usually means this:

 

 

Of course, the top photo is my first car, a 1967 Pontiac GTO that I drove from 1976 to 1980. I have recounted the sad story of how the car was wrecked while sitting at a red light in the summer of 1980.

The bottom photo is a 1965 GTO that I photographed at the local Wheels and Wings event earlier this year. As I noted then, while I will always have a sentimental attachment to the 1967 GTO, I’m not sure I don’t like the looks of the ’65 better.

In stock trim the ’67 was probably a better car. That was the first year of the Pontiac 400 cubic-inch engine that replaced the venerable 389. It wasn’t the larger displacement by itself that made the engine better; the heads were redesigned for better flow. Although the two engines in base spec were both rated at 335 HP, it is likely the ’67 engine made more power. It was rated at 10 LB-FT of torque more, 441 vs. 431.

The ’67 was the first year front disc brakes were an option and was the first year for the improved Turbo-Hydramatic 3-speed automatic transmission. My Goat had the automatic with the Hurst “His & Hers” shifter.

I just could not have a Hall of Very Good Cars and not include a first-generation GTO (or two). The GM A-Body cars were redesigned starting in 1968 and I just don’t like the looks of them anywhere near as much as the 1964-67 design. I guess that makes me a heretic in the car world; I don’t care.

 

#HallofVeryGoodCars

#HailToTheGoat!

#somanyCARSjustonelife

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Hall of Very Good Cars: Alfa Siblings

First, I have unblocked the email address of the person mentioned here who asked why I crossed out the word Nazi. If that person is reading this, feel free to send thoughtful comments and questions.

Second, we once again received light rain this morning not forecast by the National Weather Service. The amount could hardly be called a drought-buster, but any rain here is better than no rain.

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My blog, my post series, my rules. I don’t have to show just one car in a Hall of Very Good Cars post. I also think giving these posts subtitles is a good way to differentiate them. Without further ado:

 

See the source image

 

Obviously from AutoGeSpot a picture of an Alfa Romeo 4C. The concept version of this car was first shown at the Geneva Motor Show in 2011. The Alfa Romeo 4C Concept was voted the ‘Most Beautiful Concept Car of the Year’ award by the readers of German magazine Auto Bild, and won the Auto Bild Design Award 2011. Production of the 4C began in 2013.

The US version of the 4C was unveiled at the 2014 New York Auto Show. In order to meet US regulations the 4C had to have extra bracing and strengthening that added 220 pounds. Ironically, the coupe was discontinued in North America in 2018 because it failed to meet some new DOT/NHTSA regulation. Production of a spider (convertible) version began in 2015.

All production of the 4C ended in 2020. I had an impossible time trying to unearth total production of the Coupe and Spider. The Wikipedia article about the car claims 9,117 but underneath the total is the note “citation needed.”

The 4C coupe weighed just 2,300 pounds, but its turbocharged 1.75 liter/106 cubic inch inline 4-cylinder engine produced 237 HP/258 LB-FT of torque. Did I mention it’s mid-engined? The 0-100 KM (62 MPH) time was officially 4.5 seconds, but like the secret menu at In-N-Out burger it was possible to get that time down to about 4.2 seconds with an unpublicized shifting trick.

I really like the car because it looks like nothing else on the road and it is quite the performer. Is it an everyday driver? Probably not, but on the show Everyday Driver Paul Schmucker raved about the car during an episode comparing the 4C, the Lotus Elise and the Porsche Cayman.

Barring a huge lottery win, I doubt I will ever own a 4C. I am even more sure I will never own one of these.

 

See the source image

 

This is an Alfa Romeo Montreal. I am 99.9% sure I have at least one picture of a Montreal on my phone and 99.9% sure I couldn’t find it in less than a week of searching. I have almost 10,000 pictures on my phone, probably 7,000 of which are of automobiles and I don’t really have my photos organized except for the 30-35 I have in my Favorites folder.

In this recent Hagerty article, the Montreal was one of five cars said to be losing ground in a strong collector car market. I found this passage particularly apt: “The Montreal is a drop-dead gorgeous car, and the sound of its 2.6-liter V-8 engine is an Italian opera of engineering.”

According to standard catalog of Imported Cars: 1946-1990, just 3,925 Montreals were built from 1971 to 1976 with most of those (2,377) built in 1972. The car was never officially certified to be sold in the US although I have seen two or three in person. How else could I have taken the picture(s) I can’t find? Given their age, it is legal to import one into the US.

The Montreal was, indeed, powered by a very small displacement V-8, 2.6 liters/158 cubic inches, that produced 227 HP/199 LB-FT of torque. The car weighed (still does, I guess) about 2,800 pounds. The transmission was a ZF 5-speed manual.

 

The list of Hall of Very Good Cars is still growing faster than I am publishing them. Maybe it will be the series that never ends, at least not until the blog does.

 

#HallofVeryGoodCars

#AlfaSiblings

#AlfaRomeo4C

#AlfaRomeoMontreal

#somanyCARSjustonelife

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Hall of Very Good Cars: #3, 7-14-2022

Acknowledgement of Bastille Day, anyone?

 

Money is important, but it’s not the only thing that matters. Like virtually everything else, money/income has diminishing marginal utility or usefulness. I believe, but am not certain, that the application of the diminishing marginal utility principle is the underpinning for progressive income tax systems. In principle, I agree with that concept.

That being said, I also strongly believe that the acquirer–not the government–should have first dibs on assets legally acquired. Marginal income tax rates of 70% or 80% constitute theft by government, in my opinion.

I believe in the “Rule of 49.” No one’s income, even if it’s a trillion dollars in a year, should ever have a combined marginal income tax rate (federal, state, local) of more than 49%. I don’t know if a similar idea is the reason that state income taxes can be deducted from federal taxable income.

In some countries, the maximum combined marginal income tax rate can be more than 50%. For example, a Canadian citizen living in the province of Nova Scotia can be taxed at 54% on the margin (33% federal tax, 21% provincial tax). It is interesting to me, though, that some countries seem to have adopted the “Rule of 49.” France has a 45% maximum national income tax rate plus a 4% surcharge on “high” incomes. Germany’s de facto highest income tax rate is 47.475%.

Sadly and scarily, people who are resentful and envious of those wealthier than they are and the politicians who stoke and take advantage of those feelings in order to receive votes think marginal tax rates of 70%, 80% or even higher are not only justified, but just. Obviously, I vehemently disagree. Oh, I don’t really think estates should be taxed at all (the income that generated those estates has almost certainly already been taxed, heirs will pay capital gains taxes on assets sold at a profit), but estate tax rates should also never exceed 49%.

In my utopian country, such a policy would be part of the national constitution. I don’t want to bore 99% of readers by outlining my constitutional principles in detail, but this is a topic about which I have thought long and hard. I really do expect the US to dissolve, which will give its successor countries an opportunity to fashion their own constitutions.

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OK, today’s car is German and not a power monster. However, in good conscience I could not ignore a car that I think is among the 10 or 20 best-looking cars ever made.

 

See the source image

 

This is, of course, the BMW 507. Designed by Albrecht Goertz, the car was supposed to be BMW’s entry into the US luxury car segment, but wound up almost bankrupting the company. When you tell a car person who doesn’t know otherwise that only 252 507s were produced, you’re likely to get a strong reaction of disbelief.

I think it would be, to borrow Pope’s phrase, breaking a butterfly upon a wheel to write about the 507’s engine or suspension. The car is rolling sculpture. That status forced me to hold my nose and to admit a German automobile into the Hall of Very Good Cars. I know many enthusiasts for whom the 507 is among their five or ten favorite cars ever, an Ultimate Garage car for them, if you will.

 

#HallofVeryGoodCars

#BastilleDay

#RuleOf49

#BMW507

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Hall of Very Good Cars

If this series continues should I include the featured car in the post title? Should I number these posts or include the publication date?

 

Today’s car had an engine that revved so quickly, from idle to its 9,000 RPM redline in 0.6 seconds, that it had to be fitted with a digital tachometer as no analog device could keep up. Jeremy Clarkson of Top Gear and The Grand Tour fame called it the best car he had ever driven.

In an episode of Everyday Driver in which another car from the same manufacturer was featured, Todd Deeken remarked, “It [the engine] feels like it has some genuine personality. It wants to have some fun and [in a mocking tone] it’s not allowed to. We don’t do that at […]. We don’t have fun, we just are nice.”

Any idea what today’s car is? It had a claimed top speed of 202 MPH and a 0-60 MPH time of 3.6 seconds. Without further ado:

 

 

See the source image

 

This is the Lexus LFA. In the same episode of Everyday Driver quoted above (a comparison between the C8 Corvette convertible and the Lexus LC convertible) Paul Schmucker said, “I think building the LFA caused Lexus to think a little bit naughty.”

This is certainly not an accessible car for the masses. Only 500 were built in total during its two-year production run (2010-2012). In the US and Canada, 150 cars were initially sold through a two-year lease program. This was to prevent owners from reselling the vehicle for a profit. When it was later made available for outright purchase, at $375,000, it was only on the condition that the buyer sign an agreement giving the dealer the first right of refusal to buy back the LFA if the owner wanted to sell it within the first two years. The dealer would have the option to buy back the used LFA for either fair market value or the original sticker price, whichever was lower. In all of Europe only one Lexus dealer, located in the UK, sold the LFA.

A few “purists” were not happy that the LFA was only available with a six-speed automated manual transmission and not a traditional stick. Some didn’t like the wave-like air scoops behind the doors or the fact that the hood isn’t flush with the front valence. That’s all nitpicking to me. I have never driven one, nor is it likely I ever will, but these “read” like amazing cars.

The LFA was powered by a 4.8 liter/293 cubic-inch V-10 engine that produced 553 HP/354 LB-FT of torque. If that torque figure seems “low” note that 90 percent of the maximum torque is available by 3,500 RPM. Remember that redline is 9,000 RPM. The LFA’s engineers selected a V-10 engine over an equivalent displacement V-8 engine for its ability to rev higher, and over a V-12 for its lower reciprocating mass allowing for more rapid engine response.

The more I researched the LFA and the more I write about it, the less I can explain why it was not part of any of my Ultimate Garages. It certainly looks the part and no sane person can complain about its performance. I doubt this blog will continue long enough for an Ultimate Garage 4.0, but I think it’s more likely than not this car would be included in that compilation.

As for the Hall of Very Good Cars, I really need to see significantly more views for this post than for the first one. I would be disappointed if the identities of the more than two dozen cars I have written down (so far) are never revealed.

As always, please feel free to submit thoughtful comments, to share the blog URL (https://disaffectedmusings.com) with friends, to “Like” posts and to click on any ad in which you have genuine interest. Thanks.

 

#HallofVeryGoodCars

#somanyCARSjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Hall of Very Good Cars

Welcome to the second half of 2022. Technically, though, that doesn’t really happen until noon tomorrow.

 

Not all value systems are equally valid. The Nazis had a “value system.” Do I really have to tolerate or respect that paradigm? Too many people think that freedom of speech means freedom from consequences.

In a marginally related vein, here is a passage from David Maraniss’ wonderful biography of Vince Lombardi, When Pride Still Mattered, that I am reading for the 10th or 12th time:

 

“WITH EVERY [sic] national scandal comes shock, surprise and lamentation on the fall of man. The event is seen by some as substantiation of decline, as though human imperfection were a modern-day phenomenon. Along with diatribes come complaints of public apathy; the righteous express bewilderment that no one seems to care.”

 

Maybe I’m projecting my own views onto Maraniss’ words, but when he writes “the righteous” I think he means self-righteous. Thomas Sowell–noted economist, historian, social theorist and a senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution–uses the word “anointed” as in self-anointed. From his book The Vision Of The Anointed:

 

“One of the sad signs of our times is that we have demonized those who produce, subsidized those who refuse to produce and canonized those who complain.”

 

We have lost our way and I don’t think we will ever find the way back. That’s my lamentation. NO ONE has all the answers no matter how much they think they do. EVERY endeavor of human beings is flawed because EVERY human being is flawed. By the way, that is not an indication of any religious belief of mine.

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This Hall of Very Good Cars post is the ultimate anti-climax, but I figured I better Shit Or Get Off The Pot.

 

See the source image

 

The pictured car is, of course, a 1958 Chevrolet Impala. That was the first year the Impala was produced. Despite the protestations of many, reliable sources indicate that for its first year of existence the Impala was a variant of the Bel Air and not a model unto itself. The Impala became a separate model in 1959.

I don’t know if it’s the wrap-around rear window, the noticeable but not excessive canted rear fins, the triple rear taillights, or all of the above, but I just love the looks of this car. Apparently, so do many collectors as good examples of this car are hard to find at (much) less than $60,000.

Why this car doesn’t rise to the level of an Ultimate Garage is difficult for me to articulate, but that it doesn’t is clear to me, nevertheless. I am loathe to stoop to “I know it when I see it.” However, that’s the difference in a nutshell. (Yes, I hear you; nutcase is more like it.)

It can be said that the Hall of Very Good Cars posts will be a long presentation of automobiles that “Just Missed The Cut” like those I posted in the first two versions of my Ultimate Garage. Maybe it’s just an excuse to write about cars I find appealing. I am far from perfect and would love to have more reasons to keep writing, even if I have to invent those reasons. By the way, through yesterday I had written about 738,000 words in this blog. An educated guess (am I capable of such a thing?!) would be that I have written about 940,000 words in total in my two blogs.

As always I welcome thoughtful comments. Of course, if any of you want to offer a list similar to the “Hall of Very Good Cars” we would like to see it.

 

#HallofVeryGoodCars

#NotAllValueSystemsAreEquallyValid

#1958ChevroletImpala

#somanyCARSjustonelife

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It’s Monday

Vindication of sorts…our power went out on Saturday. Our generator did exactly what it was supposed to do: it kicked in quickly and then shut down when power was restored.

One detail: we weren’t home when this happened. Our friend and neighbor, Emily, texted my wonderful wife asking if the generator was running (it’s not quiet). When my wonderful wife replied that we weren’t home she also asked if the power was out at Emily’s house; it was.

As it turned out, the power was only out for a few minutes. Of course, I still had to reset some clocks at home. Also, when I did my laundry yesterday both the washer and dryer displayed a message about the power having failed.

The population of metro Phoenix has increased five-fold since 1970. The electrical infrastructure is not five times as robust. My wonderful wife did not really want to install a whole-home backup generator, but kept her word after we had a long power outage (five hours) last monsoon season. I expect power outages to be more frequent in the future and am VERY glad we have the generator. Maybe, maybe, some decisions I’ve made post-career apocalypse have worked out.

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The list of Hall of Very Good Cars I am scribbling in the notebook on my office desk has already reached 17 cars. I am not putting a limit on the list. As of now, all of the cars have been mentioned in this blog. I am trying to include some automobiles that have not been shown previously, but after 1,400+ posts I have written about a lot of cars.

Speaking of this list, it was on this day in 1957 that General Motors applied for a trademark for the name “Impala.” Are you tired of looking at the 1958 Chevrolet Impala? Too bad, it’s my blog.

 

 

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

 

The rest of this post is being written about an hour after the previous material. I was so hungry that I could literally not concentrate enough to keep writing. I woke up my wonderful wife and we went to breakfast.

Why was I so hungry? I am really pushing myself on the treadmill. I worked out Monday, Wednesday, Friday and yesterday averaging about an hour per session. That’s almost 16 miles walking at close to 4 miles per hour uphill all the way. Combine that with the fact that I can’t/don’t eat dinner and maybe you can imagine how hungry I was this morning.

While at breakfast we ran into our neighbor, Bill. He owns a 2022 C8 Corvette convertible. Bill graciously offered us the opportunity to ride in/drive his car. I passed, but my wonderful wife drove his car and came away quite impressed. Impressed enough to trade in her 2018 Corvette for a C8? I don’t know.

Oh, while the three of us were talking I noticed at least three people take a long look at my Cascada as they walked past it in the parking lot. I know beauty is in the eye of the beholder–I really do believe that, by the way–but I think if circumstances had been different the Cascada would have sold many more units. In addition, for American drivers, many of whom are obsessed with power figures (guilty as charged, at least some of the time), 200 HP/207 LB-FT of torque in a 3,900 pound automobile probably left many cold who may have been considering the car.

Even though my Z06 has spent most of the last ten weeks in the shop, I am still glad to own it. The car also satisfies my “need for speed” so the Cascada is a nice change of pace that satisfies other needs. No, I won’t show another photo of either car here.

 

The Threes And Sevens series will continue. I am debating whether or not to wait posting Hall of Very Good Cars until after Threes And Sevens is finished. I’m sure some of you would be fine if I posted both series simultaneously, but I think I need to “conserve” ideas. Maybe I’m wrong.

 

#It’sMonday

#HallofVeryGoodCars

#somanyCARSjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Freelance Friday

I didn’t know Lance was incarcerated. Sorry…

 

At 1 PM yesterday the National Weather Service forecast that rain was a virtual certainty for our area between 3 and 4 PM. Of course, it didn’t rain then. We did receive a little rain around 6 PM.

The skies opened up overnight, though. As I write this at about 5:15 AM local time, the sky looks quite menacing with vivid lightning flashing to the northwest, but also awe-inspiring. I wish I could show you, but the outdoor light level is just not enough for a good picture or video. I don’t have a rain gauge and slept through much of the deluge, but I would be surprised if we didn’t receive at least a half inch of rain.

As I wrote last year during monsoon season, I have become a rain watcher here in the desert. The rain we received yesterday/today is the first meaningful rainfall in our immediate area in weeks. I don’t know anyone here who complains when it rains.

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My Z06 is back in the shop again. I am cautiously optimistic that the third time will, indeed, be the charm. No, it is not at the dealership that had it for almost eight weeks.

The exhaust will be returned to stock so the ECM can, once again, read all four O2 sensors. That will stop the Check Engine light from being on all the time, should return the car to normal performance without hesitation under “heavy” throttle and will stop the notifications from OnStar that the car is having trouble with its emissions system.

When all is said and done, the cost to undo the tuning I had done last summer will far exceed the cost of the tuning itself. Between the replacement of brake pads and rotors and the “un-tuning” I will be out of pocket about $25,000. I’m not poor, but I’m not happy about that development. Unless we win the lottery, I will never again have a modern, computer-controlled car tuned “past” stock.

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For the last 20 years the Professional Football Researchers Association (PFRA, analogous to the Society for American Baseball Research or SABR) has inducted players into a Hall of Very Good. From their website, “the Hall of Very Good seeks to honor outstanding players and coaches who are not in the Hall of Fame.”

Seeing a 1958 Chevrolet Impala on an episode of FantomWorks yesterday started me thinking about a similar concept for cars. I suppose these cars would be similar to those I listed as “Just Having Missed The Cut” for my first two Ultimate Garages. (I did not include such automobiles for Ultimate Garage 3.0, Parts One and Two.)

Obviously, such an endeavor is subjective. Other than horsepower and torque minimums, my Ultimate Garage cars have been based largely on styling. Hall of Very Good cars would be selected the same way. Yes, exercises like this stem from the primary manifestation of my OCD, an intense desire to make order out of chaos. Let me show a picture of the car that inspired this madness.

 

 

This is a 1958 Chevrolet Impala that was offered at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Arizona in January of this year. I think the color is great and I really like the look of these cars WITHOUT a continental kit. As most car aficionados know, 1958 was the first year for the Impala–one of the most successful models in US automotive history–and the only year for this body style.

How successful was the Impala? It is the only car model in US history, except for the Model T, to reach one million in sales in a single model year (1964 and 1965). OCD taking over…manually entering much of this data:

 

Impala Production

1958-1967    6.653 million

1958-2020   15.954 million (excludes Caprice Impala SS models 1994-96, no Impalas were produced 1986-93 and 1997-99)

More Impalas were produced than Model Ts. About twice as many Impalas were sold in its first ten years compared to the first ten years of the Ford Mustang.

 

Back from tangent…what do you think about a Hall of Very Good Cars series of posts? The good thing about such an idea is that it doesn’t have to have at least x number of cars or no more than y.

I was originally going to include some links from Why Evolution Is True in today’s post. Today’s entry is long enough already. I would also like to know who (besides friend and former neighbor MB) clicks on those links.

 

#FreelanceFriday

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