Tuesday Tune

This post is not about tuning your car’s engine. My favorite song of all-time—the last cut on my favorite “album” of all-time, Enigmatic Ocean by Jean-Luc Ponty—has quite a strange title. It is the third part of a three-part suite called “The Struggle Of The Turtle To The Sea.” What kind of lyrics does a song with that title have? None…

That song transcends music, in my opinion. To me, it is an otherworldly manifestation of the creative spirit. My best estimate is that I have listened to it between 12,000 and 14,000 times in my life. I listen to it almost every day, sometimes more than once. I decided to write about it today while listening to it last night and realizing what kind of effect it still has on me after all these years and all of these plays. I guess this “album” cover is subject to copyright, but I’m going to show it, anyway.

 

 

The excellence of this recording stands in sharp contrast to the state of “music” today. I think the phrase “modern American music” is an oxymoron and the crap (a carefully chosen word) that passes for music in the present day is an abomination. By the way, if you put me in front of a keyboard I can find F-Sharp above Middle C, I know what an agogic accent is and I know what an arpeggio is. Almost no one in this country today knows any of this.

Ah, I hear “my” song in my head. I think I’ll play it on my computer while I’m writing. I’m not sure I’ll be able to write, though. The post can wait.

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12,000-14,000 plus two…

I found this Hemmings article to be quite interesting. The title is, “Why the new Corvette had to be mid-engine.” According to the piece the main motivation for Chevrolet/GM for moving the Corvette to a mid-engine layout is simply demographics. Here is an excerpt:

 

“First on the list is demographics. The front engine Corvette, on the market since 1953, and one of the first postwar American sports cars, has an increasingly older audience. The average age of the buyers was said to be 59, and male. What’s wrong with that?”

“Chevrolet wants to have at least one model with a youthful image, a progressive we-like-innovation type audience. But no matter what changes and updates they made to the front-engine Corvette, the audience remained stubbornly middle-aged, even beyond what you could call the age for a mid-life crisis.”

“…Chevrolet also expects to pirate sales away from Ferrari, Lamborghini and Porsche. Why? Ferrari’s average buyer is said to be 47, Lamborghini’s 48, and Porsche 911 buyers 52. If the new Corvette actually scores buyers in their ‘30s, it will be achieving Chevrolet’s dream because those buyers will be role models for future Corvette owners.”

 

From the same article a picture of the C8 Corvette:

 

2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

 

As I have mentioned before my wonderful wife and I saw the C8 in person at the National Corvette Museum in late August. In my opinion, while it is obviously a mid-engine car it is also obviously a Corvette. We both thought the car looks amazing. To the Corvette “purists” who are wringing their hands and protesting the mid-engine design all I can write is, the only constant in the world is change.

 

#EnigmaticOcean

#JeanLucPonty

#BringBackGoodMusic

#MidEngineC8Corvette

#TheConstancyOfChange

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Zora!

After the trip to Corvettes at Carlisle I have the car in my brain more deeply than ever. For example, I hope to visit a “local” restomod Corvette shop tomorrow (if I can stay out of doctors offices long enough) to have very preliminary discussions about what I want and what it might cost. How does this look?

See the source image

From corvetteforum.com a picture of a 1967 restomod. Hey, how does one add words to the WordPress dictionary? I am tired of restomod or resto-mod being underlined in red as being misspelled.

My restomod will preferably be a convertible, but with the auxiliary hardtop welded in place to create a one-off hardtop coupe. The person with whom I’ve been communicating has been very helpful and very thorough with his email replies. One “bright” spot is that to get good HP (550+) will not necessarily require supercharging or turbocharging. That fact will help keep the price manageable. Of course, in a dream world where money is no object I would get them to build a 1,000+ HP engine, maybe a twin-turbo stroker motor.

Of course, the big news in the Corvette world right now is the anticipation of the debut of the C8, the eighth-generation Corvette. It is widely expected that the C8 will finally bring Zora Arkus-Duntov’s dream of a mid-engine Corvette to life. Road and Track is keeping track (pun intended) of C8 rumors here. I would like to show you their photos of the camouflaged C8 prototypes, but their pictures are copyrighted and it is never my intent to violate copyright laws.

According to Road and Track Mark Reuss, head of Global Product development at GM, says that the C8 will be “revolutionary.” To some Corvette watchers, that can only mean one thing: a mid-engine Chevy supercar. While some had hoped the car would be unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show this past January, the best guess now is that the car will be shown for the first time sometime in 2019, perhaps to go on sale later in the year as a 2020 model.

From Road and Track: “The only reason the Corvette would switch to a mid-engined layout is for performance. Engineers at GM understand that there is a limit to how much power a front-engine supercar can put down, and how much cornering grip it can achieve. Although the current Corvette is a fantastic sports car, it’s inherently held back by its front-mid-engine layout. With the engine in the middle, the car’s weight distribution can be optimized, with turn-in and corner holding capabilities benefitting as a result.”

Also from Road and Track: “A member of the mid-engine Corvette forum recently discovered that Chevrolet has begun to trademark the name ‘Zora’ in several different countries, including the US, the UK, China, Japan, and Australia. If you’re not familiar with the name, Zora Arkus-Duntov was the GM engineer responsible for much of the early Corvette’s development, engineering, and racing success. He worked on the Corvette program from 1953 up until his retirement in 1975 at the age of 81 years old. Though he didn’t create the car, he’s known throughout the car world as the ‘father of the Corvette.'”

For some Corvette aficionados it is a matter of “I’ll believe it when I see it” in terms of a mid-engined car. In my opinion, the Corvette is already the best performance car in the world, dollar for dollar. No, even the ZR-1 will not keep up with a Bugatti Chiron, but the Chiron costs millions and the ZR-1 is about $140,000. What would a $1 million Corvette be able to do? Of course, how many $1 million Corvettes could GM/Chevrolet sell? Who knows, maybe more than I think.

For those Corvette fans out there, I keep asking what do you think about the seeming inevitability of a mid-engined Vette? Will the almost guaranteed higher price change the makeup of the Corvette market? What do you think about the likelihood that two generations of Corvette will be offered simultaneously for the first time?

As always, I hope to read your thoughts. Also, if you were to build a restomod Corvette without an unlimited budget, what would you want?