Tuesday Two-Fer

I had intended to use the following as all or part of today’s post, but was “inspired” to write about a Solstice Drive, instead.

Yesterday, a much larger number of countries than usual generated blog views. Besides the US, of course, Disaffected Musings was read by people in nine other countries:

 

Australia (Yes, also a continent unto itself)

Austria

Brazil

Canada

Czech Republic

Finland

Japan

Luxembourg

Yemen

 

In all, views from outside the US comprised just under 15% of total views yesterday. For 2020 so far, views from the outside the US represent about 11% of the total. For 2019 that proportion was about 8%. As always, I am grateful for these views “from abroad.” I am also happy to see the magical Grand Duchy of Luxembourg represented and, might I add, not for the first time. From Wikipedia a map showing Luxembourg and its European neighbors:

 

 

 

This is a picture I have shown here more than once, including in this very recent post. This is from the Grund section of the capital of Luxembourg, Luxembourg City. According to the CIA World Factbook (only available online now, it used to be available in a print edition), Luxembourg is one of only five countries in the world with a per capita GDP of more than $100,000. In the 2011 Mercer worldwide survey of 221 cities, Luxembourg City was ranked first for personal safety.

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On this day in 2007 the Ferrari 60th anniversary global relay, that lasted almost five months and passed through more than 50 countries, ended at Ferrari headquarters in Maranello, Italy. Thousands of Ferrari owners and their cars participated in the relay, each carrying a baton with 60 badges representing important milestones in Ferrari history. From autoevolution a picture of a car that was introduced in 2007, the Ferrari 430 Scuderia:

 

See the source image

 

It’s about 530 miles from Luxembourg City to Maranello; that would be a great drive in one of these.

 

#TuesdayTwoFer

#InternationalReaders

#Luxembourg

#Ferrari

#somanycarsjustonelife

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Tuesday Trip

Although I don’t really see well enough in low light conditions to drive, I like the thought of driving before sunrise, but with some light in the sky. Although I don’t like humid weather and allergy symptoms, it is only at this time of year that I could take such a drive well before 6 AM. Of course, because of the intake and exhaust mods on my Z06, I would probably wake half the neighborhood if I decided to take a 5 AM drive. Once again, everyone: everything is a trade-off.

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Speaking of trips…as much as this might sound like a “been there, done that” I would like to return to Luxembourg. My wonderful wife, her parents and I visited the magical Grand Duchy in August/September of 2014. Here are two pictures from the trip:

 

 

The top photo is from the country’s oldest town, Echternach. I just think the town square evokes a peaceful feeling not of the US. The bottom photo is from the Grund section of the capital, Luxembourg City, which is traversed by two rivers (the Alzette and Pétrusse) that have created valleys and a sense of cities within a city. By the way, Luxembourg is the only European country where I have seen a Corvette. Luxembourgers should not apologize for being hard-working and for being successful, neither should any Americans.

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Hey, it’s been more than two months since I have written about this car…although the book Cadillac at 100 : Legacy of Leadership claims it was the first car in the world with traction control while other sources claim it was the first front-wheel drive car with traction control, the Cadillac Allanté was a ground-breaking automobile, albeit ultimately unsuccessful. From the same book, former Cadillac General Manager John Grettenberger on why the car failed:

 

“We probably brought that car out a little quicker than we should have. The quality wasn’t at the level that Cadillac was historically known for. It was underpowered at the start…It wasn’t fast enough off the line and it didn’t have the top-end speed that we’d like. And it didn’t have an automatic top. Those that were designed by Pininfarina failed every durability test we put them through and it was too late in the program to bring that design responsibility back into Cadillac engineering. The car never did get an automatic top, which I think hurt it.”

 

I’m sorry, but if you know you’re bringing the car out too soon and you know the car needs an automatic top, then why don’t you wait a year and fix those issues? This is an example of how General Motors lost its way and, along the way, turned many car fans into anti-GM people. By the way, I have also long thought the car was underpowered at first, but it’s interesting to see the division GM at the time say the same thing. (Grettenberger died in March of this year.)

From this article about the Allanté by Eric Peters:

 

“Then came 1993 and the major updates which might have saved the car – had they been effected back in 1987 or ’88. Chief among these was the installation of an all-new powerplant that was, at last, up to the car’s potential and promise. This was Cadillac’s excellent 4.6 liter/279 cubic inch DOHC Northstar V-8, rated at 295 hp. The addition of nearly 100 hp transformed the Allante into the exotic GT it might have been at the get-go. Zero to 60 times dropped by more than two full seconds to just over six seconds – while top speed climbed to nearly 150 mph.  A revised suspension with speed sensitive steering, auto-adjusting road sensing ride control and upgraded brakes rounded out what had, at the 11th hour, finally become an impressive package. So impressive, in fact, that a mechanically stock 1993 Allante was able to serve as Pace Car for the Indy 500 race that year – with only the addition of track-required safety equipment differentiating it from a standard model. There was also a new power-assisted optional hardtop [my note: this somewhat contradicts Grettenberger], one-piece side windows and a new Delco-Bose premium audio system with high-frequency speakers. Most of the hideous quality control problems had been fixed, too.”

“But though it wasn’t too little – it was definitely too late. GM had already decided to euthanize the Allante. Even though sales of the ’93 model were by far the best to date – 4,670 were sold, despite a base price that had by then climbed to $61,675 – there would be no more Allantes after this final hurrah.”

 

Woulda, coulda, shoulda…as every regular reader knows I love the looks of the Allanté and as most readers know, if the car weren’t a “fail” as a grocery car it would be a very strong contender to be purchased after our move to the desert, whenever that might happen. Anyway…from the Peters article:

 

Allante lead

 

 

 

 

 

 

Although I personally prefer two-seat roadsters, I can understand why in today’s “automobile” market most big car companies don’t want to produce them. I still think an Allanté might be in my future, but who knows…

 

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#Luxembourg

#CadillacAllante

#somanycarsjustonelife

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Europe Encore

For reasons unknown I have been thinking about our most recent trip to Europe. Maybe it’s because I want to make at least one more. In any event, we spent nine days based in Luxembourg City, Luxembourg. Of all of the places I’ve visited in Europe (I think I’ve been in six different countries there), Luxembourg is the one I enjoyed the most. This picture helps to explain why:

I took this picture in the Grund section of Luxembourg City. I mean, c’mon…what a beautiful scene. Luxembourg City is traversed by two rivers (the Alzette and Petrusse) that cut the city into “sections.” It is a very clean and beautiful city and the people were very polite.

The country of Luxembourg has three official languages (French, which is the de facto #1 language, German and Luxembourgish); English and Portuguese are also spoken widely. I understand written French a little bit, enough to interpret the menus for my companions, but one can get by with English.

From Luxembourg one can easily visit France, Germany and Belgium. I would not set foot in Germany although I could have taken 50 steps on a bridge over the Moselle River from Echternach and been in Germany. We did travel to Belgium and to France; one of our stops was the lovely town of Arlon, Belgium where we saw this in the town square:

We were there very near to the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Arlon by American troops. People who have never had their life or their freedom threatened, for no reason, by their own country or by an invading country can’t possibly understand the terror. (My parents felt that terror.) People who complain that they can’t afford to buy their child an expensive pair of sneakers should just shut up.

Maybe some day I/we will return to Luxembourg, but if that doesn’t happen the memories will never disappear.

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Obviously from autoevolution.com (that’s not a copyright mark next to the name; it’s a trademark symbol) a picture of the Peugeot e-Legend concept car shown at the Paris auto show. You know me, the first thing that grabs my attention about a car is its looks. I think this car looks amazing. Given the name it’s obviously a fully electric car. Peugeot claims the car will accelerate from 0-100 KM (62 MPH) in under 4 seconds, which is very quick.

Peugeot has not sold cars in the US or Canada since 1991 although it does sell cars in Mexico. It is not legal to bring Peugeot cars into the US from Mexico.

Peugeot is one of the oldest automobile companies in the world. The company was founded in 1810 as a manufacturer of bicycles and coffee mills (!). The company built their first car powered by an internal combustion engine in 1890. The Peugeot line is, in my opinion, one of the most varied in the world as they still build sports and luxury cars in addition to “everyday” cars and commercial vehicles. Here is another Peugeot that you couldn’t buy in the US although it was available in much of the rest of the world:

See the source image

From motorauthority.com a picture of a Peugeot RCZ. The RCZ and its performance version, the RCZ R, were built for six years (2009-2015) with nearly 70,000 sold worldwide, but not in the US. The RCZ R was powered by a small (1.6 liters, 97 cubic inches for Bill Stephens), turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that produced 270 HP and 243 LB-FT of torque. Yes, 270 HP from 97 cubic inches…

So many cars, just one life…