Frugal Friday, Mecum Glendale 2020 Edition

First…in Where Is Cristy Lee? I noted her absence from the telecast of the Barrett-Jackson auction from Scottsdale, Arizona in January. Well, as some of you may know that was Motor Trend’s last broadcast of a Barrett-Jackson auction, at least for the foreseeable future. When those auctions resume they will be shown on the A&E networks (e.g. History, fyi). As Cristy Lee is under contract to Motor Trend, I assume, given that Motor Trend is part of the Discovery “empire” and that A&E is jointly owned by Hearst and Disney, I don’t think the gorgeous Ms. Lee will be on the broadcasts, anymore.

Of all of the on-air talent only Steve Magnante actually works for Barrett-Jackson. It could be almost an entirely new cast of characters the next time a Barrett-Jackson auction is held and broadcast.

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Some automotive “experts” advise not to buy a car for less than $15,000 or so at any auction as that is strong evidence, they believe, of a sub-standard car. Well, I think that all depends. Some cars can be purchased for so little money that even if they need work the total cost will still be low. Example #1 from the recently concluded Mecum auction in Glendale, Arizona is a car like this:

 

See the source image

 

From autoblog a picture of a 1999 Cadillac Eldorado. The actual Mecum car was White over Tan with a faux convertible roof. Mecum’s own estimate for the price was $5,000-$10,000, granting that they have incentive to overstate the value. Anyway, the car sold all in for $3,850, which is even slightly less than Hagerty’s estimated value of about $4,500. OK, maybe this is not the best example of a frugal buy, but I think being able to buy a good-looking (IMO) Cadillac for under $4,000 is a good buy.

How many of you know what this is?

 

 

See the source image

From smclassiccars.com a picture of a 1986 Mercury Capri ASC McLaren convertible. Only 245 of these were made. They were powered by a 5-liter/302 cubic-inch, fuel-injected V-8. The Mecum example, also in Red, had just 28,000 miles. It sold, all in, for $5,775. That’s a rare, good-looking (IMO) convertible that is not a slug for less than six grand! I’m sorry, but that screams “Buy The Car!” to me.

If we weren’t about a year away from moving, which means we would have to store a new car outside and then move it across the country, we might have purchased a car like this.

 

#FrugalFriday

#MecumAutoAuctions

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Wednesday Return

I am aware of current world events, but except for this passage it is unlikely I will write about them. I will write, however, that it is disappointing, but not surprising, that most people seem to view what is happening today through the very narrow lens of political ideology.

By the way, if any medical professionals unaffiliated with any government agency are reading I would very much like to read your views, suggestions, etc.

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Father Time is undefeated.

Just as I was perplexed and disgusted at the genuflecting shown towards the Patriots before the start of the most recent NFL playoffs, I am mystified by the notion that Tom Brady’s apparent move to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers fatally wounds the Patriots and makes the Buccaneers a Super Bowl contender.

Tom Brady has basically missed 20 games since he became the Patriots starting quarterback. I grant that is not a large sample, but what was New England’s record in those games? How about 14 wins and 6 losses?

Here is another chart to make the point (you didn’t think I was going to stop using charts, did you?!):

 

SEASON AGE PASSER    RATING
2015 38 102.2
2016 39 112.2
2017 40 102.8
2018 41 97.7
2019 42 88.0

 

Yes, Brady did not have Rob Gronkowski in 2019 and his supporting cast was less than sterling. Still, when do professional athletes improve at age 43? By the way, for November and December combined Brady’s passer rating was just 80.8.

Tom Brady is the most accomplished quarterback in NFL history, but he’s only human. By the way, like most NFL fans outside of New England I am tired of Brady and the Patriots. If both implode in 2020 I won’t be upset.

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So, where was I, if anywhere, during the hiatus? See if you can guess:

 

 

That last photo contains quite a few hints (duh…). Here’s one more:

 

 

My wonderful wife and I were, indeed, in Arizona for much of my writing hiatus. We spent most of four days at the Mecum Auction which was conducted as scheduled.

Although I was not well for the entire trip (and am still not well…don’t worry, Lon, I’m not contagious) we had a great time. We spent quality time with Scott Hoke and John Kraman, hosts of the Mecum broadcasts on NBCSN. We had a nice encounter with Katie Osborne, who is also on the telecasts. You think she looks good on TV? In person she is drop-dead gorgeous and could not have been nicer to us.

The docket on Wednesday the 11th (can’t believe that’s already a week ago) was weakened by a collection of “cinema cars” that were sold at no reserve. Most of them were in poor condition and some hammered for under $1,000. I think, though, that Mecum collects a minimum fee so that even if a car sells for less than $1,000 its commissions are based on a sale price of $1,000.

We did see a lot of amazing cars, though, like the 1964 Studebaker R2 Gran Turismo Hawk shown above. My obsession with making order out of chaos leads me to pick one car as my favorite.

 

 

From the Mecum listing:

 

Highlights

  • Custom build completed at J&M Enterprizes at Brooksville, Florida
  • Fuel injected LS3/525 HP V-8 engine
  • Dual exhaust
  • Aluminum radiator
  • 4L80E automatic transmission
  • Street Shop Inc. mandrel-formed rolling chassis
  • Corvette C7 suspension
  • 4-corner coilover shocks
  • Detroit Speed rack and pinion steering
  • C7 Z06 brake system
  • Black with Red stinger hood
  • Custom Red interior
  • Air conditioning
  • Power windows
  • AM/FM radio
  • Side exhaust
  • Tinted glass

 

Although I might prefer a metallic teal/gray exterior color with the red stinger hood, this 1965 Corvette is about as close to what I would want in a restomod as I have ever seen. The car did not sell, though, despite a high bid of $180,000. That is a reminder why I purchased my 2016 Z06 almost a year ago. (!) Yes, the front fenders and stinger hood are from a ’67. With a restomod I don’t care about matching parts.

Anyway, I am back and will probably resume regular posting. What’s life without a little mystery?

 

#TomBrady

#MecumAutoAuctions

#1964StudebakerR2GranTurismoHawk

#1965CorvetteRestomod

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Cars, Cars and More Cars

If you are among the few Disaffected Musings readers who comes for something other than cars, maybe you shouldn’t read today.

 

From this post by Classic Cars comes the first results for the Scottsdale auctions in 2020. According to Classic Cars, the gross sales amount for all of the auctions in Scottsdale, and there were eight of them this year (and you wonder why my wonderful wife and I want to move there…), was almost exactly the same as for 2019. Compared to the “disaster” of Monterey Car Week in August, 2019 when auction sales were off by a third compared to 2018, this result was welcome. However, 17 percent more cars were sold in 2020 than in 2019, so—obviously—the average per car was still significantly less than last year.

For whatever reason(s), the collector car market is softening. Potentially this could mean an entry point for collectors, experienced and novice alike, to get into the market.

 

As usual a lot of these were offered for sale at Barrett-Jackson. German or not, these are fine cars:

 

2004 MERCEDES-BENZ SL500 ROADSTER - Side Profile - 236083

 

This is a 2004 Mercedes-Benz SL500 offered for sale on Wednesday the 15th, one of 22 SL500s offered at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale this year. This car sold for $17,600 all in meaning it hammered for $16,000. The copy stated that the car had only 32,751 miles.

Before I bought my BMW Z4 in May, 2016, one of the cars I test-drove was an SL500. The car was in obvious need of new brakes and I didn’t care for the extreme pushiness of the salesman. Of course, I didn’t keep the Z4 very long as I sold it in October, 2018. Maybe the child of Holocaust survivors shouldn’t own a German car. The Z4 was the least reliable car I’ve ever owned.

 

Also from Wednesday the 15th, this basically brand new car (25 miles) was offered for sale:

 

2019 FORD MUSTANG BULLITT - Rear 3/4 - 236593

 

This is a 2019 Bullitt Edition Ford Mustang. This car has a 5.0 liter, 480 HP Coyote motor mated to a 6-speed manual transmission. The car sold, all in, for $49,500. You FoMoCo guys out there, how does that compare to the price of a brand new 2020 Bullitt Mustang?

 

Also on Wednesday, this car was offered, supposedly not long after a frame-off restoration:

 

1972 TRIUMPH TR6 ROADSTER - Front 3/4 - 237433

 

This is a 1972 Triumph TR6. My wonderful wife’s father used to own one of these although I’m not sure how he could drive it because he is well over six feet tall. The car must have made quite an impression as it sold, all in, for $55,000.

 

Of course, one big US car auction took place in January somewhere other than Scottsdale, Arizona. The Mecum auction in Kissimmee, Florida offered more than 3,500 vehicles for sale as well as some guitars. Although this is a picture of a 1964 Chrysler Imperial convertible offered for sale by Mecum, it’s NOT the one offered at Kissimmee this month (on Wednesday the 8th, to be exact). I am loathe to write this again, but Mecum does not allow online photos of its current and recent lots to be captured.

 

See the source image

 

The one offered at Kissimmee this January was beige over beige and sold, all in, for $28,600.

The majority of Mecum lots are offered with reserve so many of them do not sell, either on the block or at “The Bid Goes On” desk. From Midwest Car Exchange, a picture of a car very similar to one offered at Kissimmee and that did not sell:

 

See the source image

 

This is a 1987 Buick Grand National, but not the rare, top of the line GNX. At Mecum, a car like this was bid to $40,000 but did not sell. I REALLY like these cars and they are a sleeper contender to be the companion to my Z06. However, I would not spend anywhere near $40,000 for a car like this. I have seen these cars advertised in places like Hemmings listed between $17,000 and $25,000. Even the top half of that range is more than I want to spend, but to get one of these for $17,000-$18,500 could work.

As you can probably guess, I could go on and on (and on and on) about the January auctions and the cars offered, but I’ll stop here.

 

#CarsCarsAndMoreCars

#ScottsdaleAuctions

#MecumAutoAuctions

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Frugal Friday, Mecum Auction Edition

As a change I decided to look at cars that have already been sold, in this case at the Mecum auction conducted in Louisville on September 20-21, instead of cars that are offered for sale. First, how many of you like Frugal Friday? Second, would any of you like to see it offered once a month instead of every week?

 

See the source image

 

From, obviously, gtcarlot.com a picture of a 2006 Jaguar XKR convertible. The XKR designation means the car is powered by a supercharged V-8 engine. For the nth time, Mecum does not allow the online photos of its lots to be captured from its website. The actual Mecum car was Black over Black.

According to Hagerty the average value of this car is $17,600. The Mecum lot sold, all in, for $11,550. Even ignoring for a moment the difference between the auction price and the Hagerty value, $11,550 just seems inexpensive, IMO, for a beautiful, 390-HP convertible built not much more than 10 years ago. In addition, if you had to put $3,000-$4,000 in it after purchase you would still be below the Hagerty value.

OK, how about another European high-performance convertible from the first decade of this century?

 

See the source image

 

This is a Mecum auction photograph of a 2004 Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG convertible, but not of the lot sold in Louisville in September, which was Black over Gray. These cars were powered by a supercharged V-8 that generated 493 HP/516 LB-FT of torque. (I am using the most conservative torque rating I have seen; some sources put the torque output at 590 LB-FT.) The Louisville car is said to have had fewer than 54,000 miles.

Hagerty values an average example at $24,900. All in, the car sold for $20,350. Once again, subjectively that just seems like not a lot of money for a car like this.

Many people believe that all auction cars are overpriced. While it is true that in the excitement of the moment bidders can bid up a car past what seems to be a reasonable price, it is also true that some bargains are available.

Now, a downer: I am very disappointed by the dramatic decrease in views/visitors over the past 7-10 days. Yes, I know I’m not supposed to complain about such things, especially to people who are reading the blog. Has this blog run its course? Is it just too difficult, in a sea of millions of active blogs, to gain traction without using Fack Fucebook? Any thoughts anyone has would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks.

 

#FrugalFriday

#MecumAutoAuctions

#2006JaguarXKRConvertible

#2004MercedesBenzSL55AMG

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Thank Goodness For Mecum/Sunday Kaiser: September, 2019

I am grateful for the quantity and quality of Mecum auction broadcasts. Last night another of my many physical “crises” kept me awake from midnight until about 4 AM. When the acute phase of the crisis passed I needed something to calm me down. I had two new Mecum broadcasts from the recently concluded auction in Dallas recorded so I watched the shorter one. Words are really inadequate to describe how much I enjoy watching those telecasts. Thanks to Mecum, to NBCSN and to both crews.

 

Mecum Auctions

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This article on allpar.com by Kelsey Wright is the best I’ve ever read on Kaiser automobiles. This passage was particularly interesting:

 

“Jack Mueller wrote, ‘The Kaiser body shell for the 1949-50 model run was, in four-door sedan form, the same basic shell as 1947-48; overall length changes reflect [the revised] design of front and rear bumpers and bumper guards to get a couple of inches here, a couple there, that sort of thing. The problem was that, in 1949, most other car companies either rolled out a new body platform for the model year (Big Three and Nash), or a good facelift of a recently released design. Additionally, Kaiser-Frazer had too many smaller dealers that could not or would not start selling the way the Big Three stores started doing that year. [Another] big problem is that Frazer turned in his resignation as president at the end of 1948. Frazer saw that the information from dealers showing 60,000 orders in hand, as of October 10, 1948, were made up of mostly bogus orders. That story is almost a chapter in itself.'”

 

The first car from the Kaiser-Frazer Corporation was for model year 1947. Henry Kaiser was so successful at building ships that many call him the father of modern American shipbuilding. Joseph Frazer was a long-time “operative” in the automobile business, beginning as a mechanic’s assistant in his brother’s Packard dealership and then working his way up the sales/management ladder at many companies until getting into business with Henry Kaiser. (That’s decades worth of story in two sentences. Indulge me.)

At first, Kaiser-Frazer was successful as the Big Three automakers used the postwar sellers market as a way to sell warmed-over pre-war cars. Kaiser-Frazer had a market share of more than four percent for model years 1947 and 1948. Ultimately, their inability and/or unwillingness to “get with the program” in terms of styling and engineering led to their demise in the US in 1955. Henry Kaiser is supposed to have remarked, “Slap a Buick nameplate on it and it would sell like hotcakes.”

 

See the source image

 

Speaking of Mecum here is a picture of a 1951 Kaiser Deluxe Sedan (yes, a 2-door sedan; I don’t want to open that can of worms) offered at their Kansas City auction in 2013. With input from noted car designer Howard “Dutch” Darrin these cars are appealing aesthetically, in my opinion. About 11,000 of these were built in model year 1951; total Kaiser production for that year was just shy of 140,000. All cars from Kaiser for 1951 (the Frazer part of the business ceased after model year 1951) were sold with the same engine: an L-head, inline six-cylinder motor of 226 cubic-inch displacement that produced 115 HP/190 LB-FT of torque.

The company, either as Kaiser-Frazer, just Kaiser or Kaiser-Willys (Kaiser purchased Willys-Overland in 1954) never offered hardtop coupes or sedans (cars without a visible B-pillar, a style introduced by GM in the late 1940s that proved to be quite popular), convertibles, station wagons or a V-8 engine. All of these types of cars became very popular in the early 1950s, but Kaiser did not have money for development and marketing.

Maybe Henry Kaiser’s lament about branding was partly true, but in a rapidly changing market his company’s inability to change with the times was their biggest problem. For the nth plus nth time I will opine that fewer companies making cars means fewer sources of innovation for styling and for engineering. The automobile as we have known it is not dead, yet.

 

#MecumAutoAuctions

#KaiserFrazer

#1951KaiserDeluxe

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Haphazard Friday

“The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits.”

– Albert Einstein

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Elvis Presley died on this day in 1977. At the risk of incurring the wrath of many readers I must confess that I am not and never have been a fan of Presley. I don’t like his music and I could never get through more than five or ten minutes of any of his movies. Different strokes for different folks…Oh yeah, Presley once shot his De Tomaso Pantera after a fight with his girlfriend.

Babe Ruth died on this day in 1948. When I followed or cared about baseball I was a huge fan of Ruth and his unbelievable accomplishments. As Bill James has pointed out, Ruth’s last game in the major leagues (1935) is now closer in time to the end of the Civil War than it is to today.

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Has any of you ever watched The Great British Baking Show? I think the show is actually called The Great British Bake-Off in the UK. Our local PBS station airs the show and my wonderful wife and I are hooked.

Every season the show begins with 12 bakers. In each episode the bakers have a signature challenge, a technical challenge and a show-stopper challenge. At the end of each episode one contestant is named “Star Baker” and one is eliminated. However, the final competition episode actually has three bakers.

In the episodes aired here, which are older, the judges are Paul Hollywood (yes, that’s his real name) and Mary Berry. Berry left the show three years ago when it moved from the BBC to Channel 4. The show has been produced since 2010.

Unlike American competition shows The Great British Baking Show does not feature contestants fighting with each other. The difficulty of making the items given to them provides enough tension and the tension seems more genuine. Hollywood and Berry have an unusual, but endearing on-screen chemistry.

After the competition has ended the series shows what it calls Masterclasses where Hollywood and Berry (supposedly) make some of the items that were given to the contestants to make during that season. In my opinion, these shows are even better than the competition. The banter between Hollywood and Berry is hysterical, at times.

My mother’s parents were bakers in Poland before World War II began. I began baking when I was a teenager; believe it or not, I had much more patience during that time than I do now. My mother also baked; frankly, her pastries were too dry for me, but she liked dunking her cookies. When I began baking I used less flour than she did so that my cakes or whatever would be moist. My mother would always try to sneak extra flour into my batter and issue a stern warning that my batter was too thin and that my cake would fall down in the oven. I can honestly say that never happened.

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A car like this was offered for sale at the Mecum auction currently taking place in Monterey, California:

 

See the source image

 

From Bring a Trailer a picture of a 1966 Buick Riviera. The badging on the front fender reads “GS.”

While I don’t think these cars are as stylish as the first-generation Riviera (1963-65) they are certainly more handsome than most. Other than the boat-tail generation I think Rivieras were well-styled automobiles.

 

#AlbertEinstein

#BabeRuth

#TheGreatBritishBakingShow

#MecumAutoAuctions

#1966BuickRiviera

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Throwback Thursday, Mecum Edition

Stephen Cox (@SopwithTV on Twitter) is a racing driver in the Electric GT Championship, the Super Cup Stock Car Series and the World Racing League endurance sports car series. He is also one of the hosts of Mecum Auto Auctions on NBCSN and is a Ford “expert.” I tweeted the link to yesterday’s post that, in part, was about the 1966 Le Mans race where Ford finished 1-2-3 and that mentioned the upcoming film about that race and the Ford/Ferrari feud. I asked him for any commentary he might want to offer. This was his thoughtful reply:

 

“I expect the film to capture the essence of the Ford/Ferrari battle quite well, judging from the trailers. It was basically an act of revenge from Ford, who had worked very hard on a deal to buy out Ferrari only to be snubbed at the last minute. The film seems to reflect that accurately. I’m also pleased that it’s a big budget film with quality actors, one of whom plays racing driver Ken Miles, whose contributions to Ford’s success were immeasurable. Looking forward to it!”

 

Thanks again, Stephen.

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Speaking of Mecum hosts I have been remiss in not sharing Scott Hoke’s (@ScottHoke1) email about this post.

 

“Happy Fathers Day!”

“Saw your post and yes, how often do we run into people at car events who don’t judge or assume anything, and have that instant connection because of the love of cars!! So cool!”

“And I get your point about people not knowing or caring what you’ve done in baseball. That’s their loss. I’m quite certain there are many out there who still remember and respect your abilities and insights, and your impact on the game, even as the game has advanced. Rest in that knowledge!”

“And with regard to the “Overhaulin’”-type shows…you’re spot on! They give everyday folks a very UN-realistic picture of what it takes to re-do a car. Suspicious indeed!”

 

Many thanks, Scott.

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I briefly looked at the lots for the Mecum auction in Portland that begins tomorrow. Once again, it is not easy to capture online photos of Mecum lots. I was able to print the screen and copy a photo to a Word file, but seem unable to copy it here.

 

See the source image

 

From www(dot)goodtimer(dot)ch a picture of a 1953 Lincoln Capri convertible. The one being offered at Mecum is Blue over Blue and is described as an “Older restoration on a rust-free car.” As the copy states—and as I confirmed in one of my reference books—2,372 of these convertibles were produced in 1953. The price was $3,699. As a reference, Cadillac’s convertible for that year (a Series 62) cost $4,144.

This car is no longer equipped with the original drivetrain although it is included in the sale. However, the buyer will incur additional costs to ship the engine/transmission from lovely Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Not being facetious using “lovely” to describe Coeur d’Alene; my wonderful wife and I spent a few days there during one of our anniversary celebrations and were overwhelmed by the beauty of the area, especially Coeur d’Alene Lake.

I hope that’s enough of a Throwback for those of you reading. As always, I welcome thoughtful comments.

 

#ThrowbackThursday

#StephenCox

#ScottHoke

#MecumAutoAuctions

#1953LincolnCapriConvertible

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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A Classic Classic

My wonderful wife and I were simply overwhelmed by the looks of this car from yesterday’s offerings at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Palm Beach, Florida:

 

 

This is a 1933 Packard 1002. According to Barrett-Jackson only 1,099 of these cars were produced. This number is confirmed in Encyclopedia of American Cars by the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide®. However, 11 body styles were available for the 1002 model in 1933 so the number of 2-door, 5-passenger coupes like this one that were sold is far smaller.

This car still has its original drivetrain, which was restored about 15 years ago. The first owner acquired the car in July of 1933. The 1002 was powered by Packard’s straight-eight engine of 320 cubic inches that produced 120 HP. The 5-passenger coupe had a price of $2,980. As a comparison, the most expensive 1933 Chevrolet cost $565. At the auction the Packard 1002 hammered at $65,000 meaning the buyer paid $71,500 all in.

As I have written before I had no interest in cars of this era as recently as five years ago. That has changed for sure. While I don’t know if I would purchase a classic pre-war car if I won the lottery, I don’t know that I wouldn’t, either.

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Speaking of automobile auctions, I have often wondered what is the ratio of the median sale price to the average sale price. Well, at the Mecum auction in Arizona in March the median was 65% of the average. I have no idea whether or not the fact that most lots at Mecum are offered with a reserve changes that ratio. About 60% of the offered lots were sold.

One of my favorite cars from the Mecum Arizona auction was a car like this:

 

See the source image

 

From topclassiccarsforsale.com a picture of a 1967 Buick GS convertible. This lot—once again, Mecum does not allow online photos of its lots to be captured so this is not the actual auction car—did not sell with a high bid of $20,000.

Buick produced 2,140 of these cars for model year 1967 which had an MSRP of $3,167. That price is not much more than the original price of the 1933 Packard sold yesterday at the Barrett-Jackson auction. The 1967 Buick GS had a 400 cubic-inch V-8 rated at 340 HP/440 LB-FT of torque.

 

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Saturday Sampler, Final Four Edition

I don’t expect a lot of people to read Disaffected Musings today since this is the day of the national semi-finals of the NCAA basketball tournament. Except for a minute or two of the Maryland-Belmont first-round game I have not watched the tournament. Some people I used to know would have told me I’m lying about that. Why would I lie about my basketball viewing habits? Why can’t my interests change over time?

I firmly believe that you should stay away from people who erode your quality of life. People who accuse you of lying about a trivial matter and who can’t understand that life always changes fit into that category for me.

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Rachel De Barros BG3

 

From her website a picture of Rachel De Barros, now formerly of All Girls Garage on Motor Trend. I was virtually certain she was leaving the show because in a brief shot in a commercial for the Season 8 premiere (today at 11:30 AM Eastern) someone else was in the back seat of the car. I have been searching for the news on the Internet since then, but the news was only made “official” yesterday.

Best of luck, Rachel, and be well.

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This Jalopnik article asks and answers the question if it’s a bad sign that a used car has been sold at an auction. The answer is, basically, if it’s just once then that’s not a red flag, but multiple auction appearances are a red flag. The article claims, “In fact, the vast majority of used cars move through auctions at least once.” If that’s true, then that’s something I didn’t previously know.

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This article from Automobile Magazine is called, “Seriously, Just Put Your Damn Phone Away.” It is a funny, yet truthful and scary look at the danger of drivers distracted by their cell phones. I have opined that the drivers side of a car should be turned into a Faraday cage so that drivers phones simply won’t work. Of course that will never happen. It makes too much sense and threatens to reduce motor vehicle sales. Maybe when the number of road deaths due to distracted drivers reaches five figures annually then something will be done. On the other hand, the number of people who are killed every year in this country because someone is driving under the influence of alcohol is in five figures and the legal BAC “limit” is still .08%. IT SHOULD BE ANYTHING OVER ZERO! In Europe the BAC limit is .04% or .05%. Why this country coddles people is beyond me. Oh, stop telling yourself you can drive under the influence. You can’t, either.

One of my best friends used to make a yearly trip to Scandinavia for research. The nature of the trip meant that he was always in Scandinavia for New Years. Every year he and his party were warned not to drive under the influence or they would be arrested and jailed without exception. Taxicabs didn’t charge a fare on New Years Eve.

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At the Mecum auction currently taking place in Houston a car like this was offered and sold:

 

https://ccpublic.blob.core.windows.net/cc-temp/listing/98/9742/7982330-1965-pontiac-gto-std-c.jpg

 

From classiccars.com a picture of a 1965 Pontiac GTO. Regular readers know that my first car was a 1967 GTO, but may not know that I am also a big fan of the ’65. The car to which I am referring sold for $37,400 all in meaning the hammer price was $34,000.

Sorry to sound ignorant, but does the claim of a “WT-suffix” engine mean that the car has the Tri-Power three-carburetor setup? The Tri-Power was available through the 1966 model year. In 1967, the heads were changed for better flow, displacement increased from 389 cubic inches to 400 and the Tri-Power was no longer available.

Like the hashtag says: so many cars, just one life.

 

#PutYourF***inPhoneAway

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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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.

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First day of spring, my ass!

 

 

Arizona sounds better to me every day!

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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.

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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!)

 

https://www.bentleygoldcoast.com/galleria_images/5742/5742_p3_l.jpg

 

From bentleygoldcoast.com 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.

 

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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