Monday Musings 63

I tried an Impossible food product for the first time, a breakfast sandwich from Starbucks. I have to admit it wasn’t bad. It wasn’t bad at all and I will probably order one again.

I know some people have a “philosophical objection” to Starbucks and that’s OK. If you don’t want to eat/drink there, you don’t have to. You don’t have the right to try to physically stop me, though. (Sorry for the split infinitive.)

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I will probably not watch the Super Bowl. Of course, I didn’t watch either conference championship game. My wonderful wife and I helped her parents set up their Hulu account, gave them a Hulu tutorial, and programmed their in-vehicle garage door openers so they would work with their garage door. The first activity took a long time, way too long.

Of course, I am not happy the Packers lost although I am happy the Chiefs won. The main reason I probably won’t watch the game (I stopped watching the pre-game show decades ago) is I don’t want to watch the Tom Brady Genuflection Show.

I give him props for leading his team to the Super Bowl; he’s the most accomplished quarterback in NFL history, maybe its most accomplished player regardless of position. However, I suspect the broadcast will simply be an over-the-top homage to Brady.

For some reason, he has always rubbed me the wrong way. When he destroyed his cell phone during the “Deflategate” situation I really began to dislike him. The ends do not justify the means.

I can appreciate his extreme competitiveness. Non-sports fans and fans alike really have no idea how competitive professional athletes are. This post about Randy Johnson chronicled a time when he went ballistic over a ball/strike call during a spring training game. Still, like all behavioral paradigms, competitiveness in the extreme has many drawbacks.

Go Chiefs!

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This Hemmings article is titled, “Turnkey replica cars are now legal, but many replica carmakers aren’t ready to make them just yet.” The piece begins,

 

For David Smith, the president of Factory Five and one of the members of the SEMA steering committee that advocated for the Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act, last week’s news that the replica car law passed its last regulatory hurdle before going into effect should have been cause for celebration. Instead, as he noted, he saw it as a mixed bag.

“We were prepared for this in 2015 and invested in vertical integration at the time,” Smith said. “But with all the delays, in lieu of going forward with full production we used that space for another purpose – to do more with composites – and now it’s booked. That’s definitely going to slow down our ability to take advantage of this law.”

 

Smith said it will still take another year or two before Factory Five is up and running. Government is not a panacea populated by supermen! Government creates many problems. What the ratio of created problems to solved problems is depends on one’s perspective, no doubt.

That it took five years to get this act implemented is yet another example of the ponderous nature of government. It can’t move quickly, which is often quite the detriment. If government labs had been in charge of developing a COVID-19 vaccine, they would still be arguing over the color of the lab coats.

From Allard Motor Works via Hemmings, a picture of their J2X Allard replica:

 

Post Image

 

They have offered turnkey replicas to customers in the UK, Canada, New Zealand and China. The United States is the only country where they don’t/can’t do the engine install for the customer.

I’m sorry, but selling 325 cars a year (the annual limit to the number of turnkey replicas that can be built), and the drivetrains have to be certified for emissions compliance by the EPA and the California Air Resource Board, is not going to hurt anyone. Smug, self-righteous and arrogant people who think they are in charge of everyone’s lives need to go away.

I can’t stand Tonald Drump, but I also can’t stand the belief that government always knows best. It doesn’t.

 

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#GovernmentIsTooBig

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997

First Monday Musings Of 2021

Thanks to everyone who read Disaffected Musings yesterday, which saw the most views in the history of this blog for a day without a post. Actually, a year ago I would have been happy with yesterday’s number of views for a day with a post, but things change.

Human beings almost never judge events by objective reality, but against expectations and the status quo. If the Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers each have an 8-8 record next year, for the Bengals it would be a successful season while for the Steelers it would be a failure even though it’s the same record.

Speaking of sports and football…It’s a badge of American manhood to think you know a lot about sports, but it’s often not a merit badge. On a related thought, fantasy football is well-named because it bears little or no resemblance to the real thing. Actually, the same thing is true about all fantasy sports.

When I was Director of Baseball Operations for a major league team, one of my “responsibilities” was to hobnob with wealthy season-ticket holders. I can’t count how many of them said something like, “I could run a major league team. I finished second in my fantasy league last year.”

I would bite my tongue hard and then ask them a question or two about running a team or evaluating players. I am still waiting for my first correct answer.

Long way ’round…in this post I showed a table of NFL quarterbacks ranked by something called TOTSC. This metric uses the two individual stats that matter most in passing performance: yards per attempt and interceptions. With the regular season over, I thought I would show the final rankings and make some comments including the fact that the guy at the top of the charts is not going to win the MVP award:

 

    RANK TOTSC
Deshaun Watson HOU   1 3.28
Aaron Rodgers GB   2 2.82
Patrick Mahomes KC   3 2.57
Ryan Tannehill TEN   4 1.78
Derek Carr LV   5 1.36
Josh Allen BUF   6 1.36
Drew Brees NO   7 1.12
Matthew Stafford DET   8 0.87
Kirk Cousins MIN   9 0.68
Baker Mayfield CLE   10 0.68
Philip Rivers IND   11 0.60
Tom Brady TB   12 0.57
Justin Herbert LAC   13 0.57
Matt Ryan ATL   14 0.50
Joe Burrow CIN   15 0.34
Gardner Minshew JAX   16 0.27
Teddy Bridgewater CAR   17 0.17
Russell Wilson SEA   18 -0.02
Kyler Murray ARI   19 -0.35
Lamar Jackson BAL   20 -0.40
Jared Goff LAR   21 -0.58
Ryan Fitzpatrick MIA   22 -0.60
Ben Roethlisberger PIT   23 -0.78
Tua Tagavailoa MIA   24 -0.90
Can Newton NE   25 -1.02
Daniel Jones NYG   26 -1.21
Mitchell Trubisky CHI   27 -1.40
Andy Dalton DAL   28 -1.53
Nick Mullens SF   29 -2.07
Nick Foles CHI   30 -2.55
Drew Lock DEN   31 -2.80
Alex Smith WSH   32 -2.96
Dwayne Haskins WSH   33 -2.99
Sam Darnold NYJ   34 -3.03
Carson Wentz PHI   35 -3.72

 

Coming into this season, I had always thought that DeShaun Watson was a tad overrated, that he was a good quarterback who was thought by most to be great. One season does not a career make, but in light of everything that happened to that franchise, including the trade of their best receiver, I think his performance was great in 2020.

Along the lines of one season does not…, but still giving a player his due, I never thought Josh Allen could play at this level. Despite his obvious physical skills, he was a mediocre player in a non-Power Five conference in college. College is not more difficult than the NFL. Give Allen credit for his tremendous work ethic and give the Bills’ coaching staff tremendous credit for ironing out his flaws. I will also give Tom Brady his due as he played much better than I thought he would at age 43.

It is interesting to note that the two quarterbacks at the bottom were both drafted among the top three players overall in their respective draft years and that their futures with their current teams are less than clear. It’s also interesting to note that the two best running quarterbacks in the league, and two of the best of all-time, ranked a middling 19th and 20th with one team in the post season and one team out. Oh, the disclaimer: TOTSC does not pretend to measure leadership, the ability to audible to a better play, running capability or anything else except passing productivity. This metric is not adjusted for strength of schedule, although it could be. The quality of talent surrounding the quarterback and his system fit are not measured, either.

The biggest drawback to TOTSC, in my opinion, is that a player’s rating will almost certainly change even if he isn’t playing, say because of an injury. That could be partly mitigated by using more than one season as the basis for comparison. The current NFL system is flawed because it is no longer possible to really compare passing performance across different seasons, which was one of the reasons the system was developed.

The theoretical average in the NFL system is 66.7. The current system is based on data from 1960 to 1972. For 2020, the average passer rating for all qualified quarterbacks was 95.3. A quarterback with a 95.3 rating in 1970 was an effective passer, not an average one.

Anyway…enough of this scribbling. Because this type of analysis has nothing to do with fantasy football, few football fans would be interested in reading it. It would also not be considered advanced enough for football teams to have interest. I still think, though, that similar analyses and writing WOULD be of value to companies like Barrett-Jackson or Mecum. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Speaking of cars…

On this day in 1930, and not being the best of timing, Cadillac first introduced its V-16 engine/car to the public at the New York Auto Show. The car was offered in two generations through 1940 despite that it’s likely Cadillac lost money on every car. In its first model years, depending on the exact variant, the car could have had a price as high as $9,700. One could have purchased a 1930 Chevrolet, Cadillac’s GM stablemate, for $495.

 

 

From the 2019 Elegance at Hershey is a picture I took of a 1930 Cadillac Series 452, meaning a V-16 powered car. It made an in-person impression far beyond what is conveyed in this photo.

 

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Last Monday Musings Of 2020

I was originally going to show another sunrise photo, but when I looked at it on my computer screen, the picture was just ruined by the screen and dirt on my office window.

The views of mountains look better in real life to me than the pictures I take. The views of color in the sky look amazing to me either way. So…

 

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I must admit to a paucity of ideas for blog posts in recent days. Maybe it shows…

I thought skipping a day would recharge my mental battery, such as it is, but that has not been the case. Trying to analyze and unearth reasons for the lack of ideas is not worthwhile, in my opinion.

Obviously, I’m not writing this blog for the money. I really enjoy writing and, frankly, think I’m very good at it. I enjoy receiving thoughtful comments from regular readers and first-time commenters. Being consistent in creating content is important in building an audience.

If anyone reading wants to offer some ideas for a post or posts, I would like to read them. Thanks.

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On this day in 1953 production of the Corvette began at its new “dedicated” facility in St. Louis. The 300 Corvettes produced for its first model year, 1953, were kind of cobbled together in a garage in Flint, Michigan. Chevrolet/General Motors, anticipating annual sales of about 10,000, had decided the Corvette needed a “real” production plant to meet the expected demand.

The best laid plans of mice and men…after producing only 700 Corvettes for model year 1955, Chevrolet/GM almost shelved the Vette. The introduction of the two-seat Ford Thunderbird in that model year and the growing influence of Zora Arkus-Duntov kept the car alive. Still, Corvette sales didn’t reach the 10,000 level until 1960.

The re-bodied C1 Vette for 1956 that included “modern” features like roll-up windows instead of window curtains and external door handles/locks was really the catalyst for saving the Vette, in my opinion. Automobile enthusiasts like to credit the introduction of the V-8, but the V-8 was available in 1955 and all but seven ’55s had it, but the car still sold only 700 units. I think that by the mid-1950s, the American car-buying public didn’t want to buy a car without modern windows and locks, period. For 1956, production approached 3,500 cars and then the introduction of fuel injection and a four-speed manual transmission for 1957 cemented the Vette as a performance car with broader appeal and sales topped 6,300.

The St. Louis facility produced Corvettes until 1981 when production was moved to its current venue in Bowling Green, Kentucky. The Bowling Green facility had been previously used by Chrysler, I believe, but for the manufacture of industrial HVAC systems and not cars. Chevrolet/GM wanted a more modern home for Corvette manufacture and Bowling Green wanted a tenant for the recently vacated plant. Some tax incentives later and, presto, a new home for the Corvette. Oh, if I have gotten any of that story wrong, please let me know. I’m relaying those details from memories of our tour of the Corvette Museum in August, 2019.

From Hemmings a picture of a Corvette that was built in St. Louis, a 1954 model:

 

See the source image

 

Nearly two million Corvettes later and the car is now a world-class performance automobile in its eighth generation. It didn’t have to turn out that way, though. What actually happens in the world is not the only thing that could have happened. Life is a Monte Carlo simulation.

 

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Monday Musings 62

Although I am feeling a little “off” this morning, I did receive some good health news on Friday. My Hemoglobin A1C reading still starts with a 6.

I have been diabetic for more than 20 years. The A1C test is an ingenious use of blood chemistry that measures a person’s average blood sugar level over the last 90 days. Readings of 7.0 or higher are deemed to be “sub-optimal.”

The fact that my level was measured in the “sixes” is kind of amazing. Given the blood draw was last week, the testing “period” began in mid-September. I was under enormous stress at that time, stress that continued until about a week after we moved into our house the second week in November.

Under stress the human body (usually) produces cortisol, which is really a steroid. Steroids raise blood sugar levels. Add the long period of stress to the lack of access to my treadmill to the less than careful way I ate the first 2-3 weeks after the move and I was sure my A1C level would be the worst of my life, something around 7.5.

Let me back up: I have had only two readings above 7.0 in my life. The first was a 7.4 in 2010, after which I began the running regimen that I still follow today. The second was a 7.1 in 2018 that came after an ice cream binge period.

Anyway…for a diabetic their A1C level is often as important a number as their net worth. I can stop worrying…at least for awhile.

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Please indulge me, some more photos:

 

 

I played a little fast and loose with the photos. The top one with the sign about “The Most Beautiful Desert In The World” was not taken where the subsequent photos are from.

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Today, of course, is the first day of Astronomical Winter in the Northern Hemisphere. This is also the day with the least amount of daylight. Where we live, “sunrise” today is at 7:28 AM and “sunset” is at 5:23 PM.

As I have become an early riser, this time of year is not my favorite. I don’t see well enough to drive without worry in the dark so I am unable to take my Z06 out when I wake up. However, by Memorial Day “sunrise” is about 5:20 AM. Maybe I won’t have to limit myself to one Solstice Drive. No, I don’t mean driving one of these:

 

 

See the source image

 

From RM Sotheby’s a picture of a Pontiac Solstice.

 

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#DesertPhotos

#SolsticeDrive

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Monday Musings 61

Today is supposed to be the first day that US residents will begin receiving a COVID-19 vaccine outside of a clinical trial. Almost 3 million first doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech formulation have been shipped. Their vaccine is given in two doses over a three-week period.

I have written about my bewilderment that a large percentage of the US population apparently has no intention of ever receiving the vaccine. I really can’t comprehend the obtuseness of those who feel that way.

I blame “social media” almost exclusively for this phenomenon. (Fack Fucebook!) Most of the “news” on social media is not vetted, not credible. Your “friend” posting on Fack Fucebook about hearing that her friend’s husband had a bad reaction to a shot is not news and is certainly not meaningful data.

My wonderful wife and I will get vaccinated as soon as possible. I weep for the future.

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Maybe my fascination with mountains in general and the mountains around here in particular stems from having been raised in a part of the country that didn’t really have mountains. The state in which I was born and raised does have the Appalachians running through its extreme western counties, but that was not accessible without a car from where we lived and we never traveled there, at least not that I can remember. The state from which we just moved has hills, but the highest elevation there is only about 450 feet above sea level.

Anyway, much to the chagrin of some of you, below are some pictures of the mountain views around here. I realize that those of you living near the Rockies will probably dismiss these as being of big hills, not real mountains.

 

 

That bottom shot looked much more impressive in person than it does in this photo. When distilling the three-dimensional world into a two-dimensional picture, much can be lost in the translation.

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I receive regular emails from Hagerty, the specialty auto insurance company. They consider themselves to be an automobile “lifestyle” company, a view to which they are certainly entitled.

The most recent email featured their “2021 Bull Market List.” Here is a picture from that story:

 

 

One would have to acknowledge that’s an eclectic mix of vehicles. Here is the intro to the piece:

 

“Hagerty ardently upholds the philosophy of “buy what you love.” When that love intersects with cars that are appreciating, so much the better—you might just be able to buy what you love and also drive it for free, which is surely proof of a well-lived life.

Over the past four years, that’s what Hagerty’s Bull Market list has been all about: highlighting fun cars, across a variety of budgets and tastes, that we believe are poised to rise in value over the next 12 months. This isn’t a get-rich-quick list for flippers; it’s a tipsheet to help enthusiasts get their cake and maybe eat it, too. And it’s informed by our analysis of all the market data Hagerty has at its disposal.”

 

I very much agree with the first sentence. Some people are obsessed with outsmarting or outdoing the world. Most of the time for most of them they just outsmart themselves.

Some people have a knack, often after years of experience, of being able to unearth items that will appreciate in value, whether that’s cars or art or the stock price of certain companies. Most people, though, don’t have the time and/or the acumen to be consistently right about such things.

I consider myself to be fairly knowledgeable about cars, but I would never think I could consistently buy cars that will appreciate. Frankly, I don’t care. I buy cars that I really want to own and to drive, no matter how idiosyncratic those cars might seem to many.

In general, I am usually not concerned with how others view my interests. I like to think that is because I am not an insecure person who needs the approval of others in order to validate my choices. I like what I like and if you don’t like it, I really don’t care.

Still, making decisions can be just as difficult for me as it is for many people. I will not discuss “the car purchase” again except to say regular readers know how much I/we have struggled with the choice. However, what other people might think has never and will never enter the decision-making process. I/we will buy something because I/we like it and it suits our needs. Whether or not that car could appreciate in value will also not be a factor.

I think you will enjoy reading the article about Hagerty’s 2021 Bull Market. I hope you have enjoyed today’s post.

 

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#Anti-VaxxerMorons

#MountainViews

#HagertyBullMarket

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Monday Musings 60

It will probably be a short post today as ever since lunch yesterday, my GI tract has been extremely upset. Hope the wild mushrooms in my pasta dish were not too wild.

 

If you don’t know that on this day in 1941 Japan attacked the US Naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, then you must have flunked history class…several times. Father Time is undefeated and soon no survivors of the attack or among those who served in World War II will remain. Many others are far more qualified than I to discuss details of the attack. Suffice to say that Japan awakened a “Sleeping Giant” and, as a result, sowed the seeds for its eventual defeat in the war. Japanese Admiral Hara Tadaichi remarked, “We won a great tactical victory at Pearl Harbor and thereby lost the war.”

I have never been to Hawaii; from our new “home” airport it’s about a 7-hour flight to Honolulu, nonstop, which is at my limit for length of flight before I want to get a parachute and jump. Maybe we will visit Pearl Harbor someday, but that trip is far from a certainty. That I may never visit is, of course, no affront to the brave people who served there.

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So, recent model convertibles with four seats and a decent-sized trunk are not common, especially if one only wishes to spend a modest amount. Even at a higher than modest amount, such cars are not readily available. I understand as convertibles are not often viewed or used as “practical” cars.

Obviously, we don’t have to buy a convertible, but we are not buying a sedan or SUV. Life is too much of a compromise already or, as I used to say all the time, life is too short to be unhappy on purpose. The Cascada looks better to us every day.

 

See the source image

 

Picture “courtesy” of The Car Connection.

 

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#ConvertibleDearth

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950

 

 

Monday Musings 59

 

Note the notification on top that I received yesterday. Thanks to everyone who read Disaffected Musings and please keep reading.

The first time I received the word that my “stats are booming” was the day that Bill James tweeted the main link to the blog in April, 2019. Yesterday’s notification was only the third or fourth time I have received that news in the nearly three years this blog has existed. Oh, Bill…please feel free to tweet the main link to the blog or to any specific post anytime you want. 🙂

Thanks again.

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Although most search terms are hidden I suspect that, once again, much of yesterday’s traffic was the result of people searching for Cristy Lee news. Oh, it’s Cristy and not Christy.

While I don’t want this blog to be a one-stop shop for Cristy Lee news, she is fairly active on “social media” and you can follow her there, I am grateful for any new readers and hope that they will read the blog even given she is not mentioned the vast majority of the time.

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Although I have shown pictures of my Corvettes here, I don’t think I’ve shown all three in the same post…until now:

 

 

The top photo is of my current Vette, a 2016 Z06 that I purchased (with the help of my wonderful wife) in March, 2019. I have driven it a little over 4,000 miles in the 20-ish months I have owned it.

The middle photo is my 2007 Vette, the only one of the three that I purchased new. I bought the car in February, 2007 and sold it in October, 2010 when I lost my business and thought I needed to raise cash. I think I drove the car about 14,000 miles in the roughly 44 months I owned it.

The bottom photo is my 2002 Corvette that I bought in March, 2004. I nearly died in February, 2004 and that experience, along with the death of my mother in January, pushed me into buying the car as I have had much interest in Corvettes for a long time. I decided to buy a used one because if I didn’t really like driving the car then I wouldn’t have paid the price for a new one and suffered the depreciation. Obviously, I really liked driving a Corvette as I traded it in on a new one after driving the ’02 approximately 12,000 miles in 35 months.

Doing the math: I have driven these cars about 30,000 miles in 99 months of ownership. That’s not exactly a lot of driving and I do feel as though I have missed out on some of the potential enjoyment of these cars. I suspect I will drive my Z06 more in the desert than I did in the mid-Atlantic, but the car will never remotely approach 1,000 miles a month.

Long live the Corvette!

 

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Monday Musings 58

I am going to share a long-held secret. As long as I can remember one of the manifestations of my OCD has been to utter a phrase to myself in a soft whisper. I usually do this several times a week.

The phrase used to not really be connected to what was happening at that moment. That phrase was often a variation of “The 1958 Baltimore Colts.” Today’s Monday Musings “number” reminded me of that.

Of course, I was not alive in 1958, but that team is probably the most important one in the history of my former hometown. It was Baltimore’s first major sports championship of the 20th century as the city was without major league baseball from 1903 to 1953, inclusive. As for football, Baltimore had a team in the AAFC from 1947 to 1949 and that team was included in the NFL-AAFC merger, but only lasted one season before folding. A year before the St. Louis Browns relocated to Baltimore (1954), Baltimore rejoined the NFL.

In the last ten years, the phrase is more often related to what is happening in the moment–although not necessarily at that exact moment–and, as a result, has become far less benign and far more angry. I hope the move to the desert elevates my mood, at least a little bit, and perhaps the phrase can go back to being about the ’58 Colts.

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Either tomorrow or Wednesday will be the last day I post before we move. As photobyjohnbo has pointed out, I could write some posts that would automatically publish at times I select, but I think I’ll just use this time as an organic break. PLEASE don’t forget about Disaffected Musings. Barring a horrible turn of events, I will resume posting.

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This Corvette Blogger article from two weeks ago is titled, “What The Reveal Of The C8 Lineup Tells Us About The Future Of Corvette.” First, the “obligatory” photo from said post:

 

What The Reveal Of The C8 Lineup Tells Us About the Future Of Corvette

 

From the piece:

 

“The cadence of a modern Corvette product roll-out is like the beat of a familiar song for us faithful fans.”

“First, the base model breaks cover and its newness is leveraged for all its worth. Then, over the lifespan of the car, multiple trim levels debut creating lustful thoughts from existing owners who yearn to trade up to the latest version. A clever (and profitable) strategy by Chevrolet to maintain interest and sales over the lifespan of the car.”

“The trim level names include a familiar cast of characters. Stingray, Grand Sport, Z06 and ZR1 with the only deviations being where they are slotted in the performance hierarchy.”

“While the all-new C8 is going to continue this strategy, there’s a new twist that is rarely talked about in the open air. First, we told you about the electric hybrid E-Ray trim level that will not only replace the Grand Sport, but will introduce all-wheel drive and electric propulsion to the Corvette for the first time. Combined with the LT2 V8, the hybrid will be estimated at 600hp and will slot nicely between the base model and the 650hp, flat-plane crank DOHC V8 Z06.”

“A top-of-the-line Zora model will take the E-Ray a step further with 1000hp and nest at the top of the lineup. Motor Trend brings us a deeper dive of the new model mix, but if you read between the lines, the future of Corvette unfolds further. Based on this article, when the full C8 lineup blossoms, fully half of the lineup will have hybrid-electric power.”

 

I have offered the thought that the LT2, the current base motor for the C8, will be the last pushrod engine for the Corvette. The author of this piece, Dave Cruikshank, goes one step further. He believes that the next-generation Corvette, the C9, will offer only an all-electric drivetrain and not even a hybrid setup like the McLaren P1 or Ferrari LaFerrari. It is true that long ago and very quietly, Chevrolet/GM trademarked the name “E-Ray.”

I must admit a feeling of disappointment in reading Cruikshank’s opinion. I don’t know why a modern DOHC gasoline engine can’t be offered along with hybrid and all-electric drivetrains. Yes, having three drivetrains is expensive, and Chevrolet will want to amortize its non-ICE development costs over greater output so a DOHC engine could be an impediment. Still, I strongly believe that a significant segment of the car-buying public, especially in the US, will want to continue to buy ICE-powered vehicles for decades to come. Taking that option away could be a losing strategy for the Corvette. My 2¢.

I would like to read your thoughts.

 

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Monday Musings 57

Can a brain return to its “native state” after a half-century? Before I discovered sports at the age of 8 or 9, I read about cars, science, history, countries. Some of my favorite books were just compilations of data, such as information on countries.

This morning, my “bathroom reading” was the 2008 edition of the CIA World Factbook, a compendium of facts and figures about nations, dependencies, etc. Sports books have virtually ceased to be “throne reading material.”

Most people I know, even some of those whom I have known for decades, seem to be in denial that I have reverted to my “native state.” As I have written here before, I came relatively late to the sports world. For the most part, my male neighbors and classmates were following sports by the time they were 5 or 6.

I can assure you that I am not secretly following sports, but pretending not to. I really have little to no interest in sports, anymore. If other people don’t understand or don’t approve, that’s their problem.

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On this day in 1987, also a Monday, world stock markets experienced a pronounced decline. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by a frightening 22.6%. (An equivalent percentage fall today would be almost 6,500 points on the Dow.) The S&P 500 declined by 20.4%. Some “pundits” also believed the decline was unexpected, although the Dow had fallen a total of 10% over the previous three trading days.

Because (or in spite) of action taken by the US Federal Reserve, the stock market rallied strongly on Tuesday the 20th and Thursday the 22nd. While it was almost two years (September, 1989) before the Dow reached its pre-crash levels, for calendar year 1987 it actually eked out a small 0.6% gain.

Because of “Black Monday” equity markets have instituted circuit breakers or trading curbs that temporarily shut down trading in the wake of large price declines. Based upon the idea that a cooling off period would help dissipate panic selling, these mandatory market shutdowns are triggered whenever a large pre-defined market decline occurs during the trading day.

As of the close of trading on Friday the 16th of this year, the Dow was 16.4 times higher than its close on October 19th, 1987. The S&P 500 was 15.5 times higher. A hypothetical investment worth $10,000 in an S&P “index” instrument at the close of trading on “Black Monday” would have a value of about $155,000 today, not counting dividends. If one had removed 40% from that S&P investment before trading resumed the next day, the remaining $6,000 would be worth about $93,000 today.

Unlike the stock market crash of 1929 that precipitated the Great Depression, the US economy did not enter a recession until 1990-91. US GDP grew by 3.5% in 1987 and 4.2% in 1988.

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I assume (everyone knows what happens when one assumes) that by late October, 1987 the 1988 model year cars were available. Here is one of interest to me:

 

See the source image

 

From Car Gurus (crossing my fingers the picture link doesn’t break) a picture of a 1988 Corvette. Chevrolet built 22,789 Corvettes for model year 1988, of which 15,382 were coupes like the car shown here.

The base MSRP for the 1988 Corvette coupe was $29,489; the convertible base MSRP was $34,820. Except for the 125 Callaway-installed twin-turbo cars, costing an additional $25,895, all ’88 Vettes had either 240 or 245 HP. (The Callaway had 382 HP and 562 LB-FT of torque.)

1988 represented the 35th anniversary of the introduction of the Corvette and Chevrolet marked the occasion with an anniversary edition car that was only available as a coupe. The differences in the anniversary edition were solely in appearance; 2,050 of these cars were sold.

In a world where my net worth was 10 or 20 times more than it is today, I might have a C2 restomod AND a C4 restomod. Too bad I haven’t been invested in the stock market since the mid-1980s.

 

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Monday Musings 56

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On this day in 1920, 100 years ago, the legendary racehorse Man o’ War raced for the last time, winning the Kenilworth Park Gold Cup, which was actually a match race against 1919 Triple Crown winner Sir Barton, although no one used the term “Triple Crown” at that time. This was the first horserace to be filmed in its entirety. Man o’ War did not win the Triple Crown because he did not race in the Kentucky Derby.

Thoroughbred racing and the Triple Crown were not the same 100 years ago as they are today. Samuel Riddle, Man o’ War’s owner, skipped the Kentucky Derby because he felt, and he was not alone at the time, that horses should not race a mile and a quarter early in their 3-year old season.

The Blood Horse named Man o’ War as the greatest race horse of the 20th century with Secretariat at number two. I respectfully disagree, but appreciate the impact Man o’ War had on racing and on American sports in general. His funeral service in 1947 was nationally broadcast on radio. From America’s Best Racing, a picture of Man o’ War:

 

See the source image

 

I just don’t think one can compare a horse foaled in 1917 when probably 5,000 foals were born to one foaled in 1970 when almost 25,000 were born. (Yes, in the context of horses “foaled” and “born” are essentially the same word.) However, Man o’ War’s impact on thoroughbred racing endures as his sire line continues to excel through horses such as Tiznow and Tiz The Law.

My father’s gas/service station was so close to Pimlico race course that one could hear the track announcer. In the mid-1990s I was part of a group that owned a racehorse and she actually won a couple of races for us. The waning of my interest in sports in general applies to horse racing as well, but I still watch the Triple Crown races and the Breeders Cup.

Is anyone reading a fan of horse racing? I would very much like to read any comments you might have.

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Our move to the desert is supposed to be getting closer. Part of me will not believe it until (if?) it happens, but I think part of me is getting anxious. Without getting into disturbing detail, for a few days I have been suffering from what could be physiological manifestations of anxiety.

How can I calm down? Well, my running usually helps, at least for 4-6 hours, but so does this:

 

See the source image

 

From owlshead.org a picture of a 1967 Corvette convertible with the auxiliary hardtop in place. I think that is the best automotive shape in American history, much like I think Secretariat is the greatest racehorse in American history.

I estimate the probability of my buying/building a restomod based on a ’67 Vette as very low, but not zero and not as low as the odds of winning the Mega Millions or Powerball. What is life without dreams?

 

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