Decem

Despite my not posting for a good chunk of the month, November had the highest number of unique visitors for any month in the history of Disaffected Musings. It also had the third highest number of views and would have easily had the highest if I had posted on a more regular schedule from the beginning. Thanks for reading and please tell your friends. I’ll spare you the longer commercial today.

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According to Wikipedia, “December got its name from the Latin word decem (meaning ten) because it was originally the tenth month of the year in the calendar of Romulus c. 750 BC which began in March. The winter days following December were not included as part of any month. Later, the months of January and February were created out of the monthless period and added to the beginning of the calendar, but December retained its name.”

Of course, this is the last month of 2020, a year of scourges. Maybe the following news, from CNBC, is a ray of hope:

 

CDC panel to vote Tuesday on who gets vaccine first

A CDC panel is set to vote Tuesday on who will be first in line to get a Covid-19 vaccine once one is authorized by U.S. regulators.

The meeting with the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), an outside group of medical experts that advises the CDC, comes after Moderna and Pfizer requested emergency clearance from the Food and Drug Administration for their Covid-19 vaccines. Vaccine doses could be distributed in the U.S. in as little as two weeks. [emphasis mine]

Medical experts have said health-care workers should get the vaccine first, followed by vulnerable Americans, including the elderly, people with preexisting conditions and essential workers. The CDC will follow ACIP’s guidance, but states are not obligated to do so.

 

Of course, some would say the CDC has played a role in the havoc that has occurred with its inconsistent messaging and “guidance.” Some would ask why the FDA is waiting until next week to “evaluate” the requests from Moderna and Pfizer. Anyway, some real weapons are on the way.

My long-time friend, the estimable Dr. Hoss, has made out well investing in “vaccine stocks.” As a Ph.D. in a difficult science discipline from an Ivy League school, he is among the sharpest knives in the drawer. He was warning me about the damn virus well before it reached the public radar screen. He is also optimistic that these new vaccines, created with new technology, will make a real difference. His belief is echoed by many doctors in the field of public health.

Let’s hope it really is at least another 100 years before another scourge like this is unleashed on the world.

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On this day in 1914, and in the middle of The Great War, Maserati was founded in Bologna, Italy. The five Maserati brothers had been involved in automobile racing/building for more than a decade when they founded the company, which was almost exclusively a racing company and not one that manufactured cars for the street.

The brothers that were still alive sold the company to the Adolfo Orsi family in 1937 and they moved the company headquarters to Modena, where it remains to this day. (Would have been a nice dovetail if the city name were Moderna, like the pharmaceutical company that has developed a promising vaccine candidate for the damn virus. Hey, Modena is close enough.)

After the crash that killed 16 people, including 13 spectators, at the 1957 Mille Miglia, Maserati moved into building Grand Touring automobiles. I have previously shown the “picture” below, but it’s worth sharing again:

 

 

This rendering of a Maserati 5000 GTI is from The Golden Guide To Sports Cars, first published in 1966 and first purchased by me in 1968 or 1969 through a program sponsored by my elementary school. This copy of the book is one I bought far more recently, but remnants of my original version are still in my possession. I have been a fan of Maserati automobiles since seeing that rendering.

Although wildly impractical, I still hold onto a sliver of hope that one of these will be in our possession in the not too distant future:

 

See the source image

 

A picture of a GranTurismo coupe that I have shown before (from Motor Authority). Hey, they have four seats and a trunk meaning they could function as Grocery Car/Taxi and would certainly qualify as a worthy Corvette Companion. Yes, I know: too expensive to acquire and to maintain, too long for the garage, too valuable to park outside, too small a backseat. Details can be a pain in the ass.

 

#December

#Maserati

#MaseratiGranTurismo

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Maserati Friday

2015 Maserati Gran Turismo MC

This is the picture I will be looking at for the month of August in my office. If you can read the small caption at the bottom right, you can see that it is a picture of a 2015 Maserati GranTurismo MC. Like many cars made by Maserati in its long history, I think it is a work of automotive art.

This Business Insider review by Benjamin Zhang sums up the feelings of many auto enthusiasts:

“Maserati has always been a bit of an oddball to me. While brands like Ferrari and Lamborghini are well defined in their identities, Maserati exists mostly in pop culture as a representative for all things mysterious, European, and very expensive.

In short, most people know Maserati but have no idea what it really is.

And cars like the GranTurismo only goes to reinforce the brand’s mythical stature.

First things first, the Maserati GranTurismo is pretty. Not just any kind of pretty, but the achingly attractive kind where you can’t help but stare. The kind of pretty that makes you fall in love with the car in spite of all that is wrong with it.”

Except for the very limited production MC12, Maserati has never produced a supercar with 700/800 HP or more. Even though the name “Maserati” is famous, the Maserati brothers actually sold their interest in the company in 1937 after beginning production of road cars (as opposed to race cars) in 1926.

The Maserati company has endured more than its share of hard times. The company was acquired by Citroën in 1968 only to see Citroën go bankrupt in 1974. As part of reorganization, Citroën announced that Maserati would be liquidated, which created quite a furor in Italy. Alejandro de Tomaso became President and CEO (and part-owner) under the auspices of the Italian state-owned holding company GEPI.

Fiat acquired sole ownership of Maserati in 1993. In the interim, Chrysler had purchased a stake in Maserati that it held for a short time. Ironically, of course, Fiat and Chrysler became linked again when the former purchased majority stake in the latter after the Chrysler bankruptcy.

In 1998, the introduction of this car helped put Maserati on sound footing:

See the source image

From autoevolution.com a picture of a Maserati 3200 GT. With a Ferrari engine (the two former rivals “joined forces” under the Fiat banner) and stunning looks, the 3200 GT made quite a mark. In my previous blog, the 3200 GT was on the list of cars that just missed the cut for my Ultimate Garage.

At present, it seems as though the focus of Maserati is on its two sedans (the Ghibli and Quattroporte) and its SUV, the Levante. However, the Gran Turismo is still part of the lineup, at least for now. I guess one should be thankful for whatever one can.