One Down, Three To Go

Incredibly, the first quarter of what was supposed to be the first year after the damn virus ends today. Of course, this is not a post-damn virus year, anyway, at least not yet. I’ll write this again: The more hosts for the damn virus, the more it replicates. The more it replicates, the more it mutates. That’s simple virology. The virus has no intent; it’s just doing what viruses do and we have to respect its biology.

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With one day left, March of 2021 has had the second highest number of monthly views of Disaffected Musings. Thanks for reading.

Of course, the Barrett-Jackson broadcasts and the related search for Cristy Lee have played a large role in the “elevated” number of views. I wonder if the June Barrett-Jackson auction will have the same effect.

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The sub-head from this piece from Road and Track reads, “The next-generation of road-going Z looks almost nearly exactly like the Z Proto.” From the article:

 

“Back when Nissan revealed its new generation of Z sports car in September 2020, it told the world the design was ‘close to final.’ It seems the company wasn’t lying. We’ve finally gotten our first look at what looks to be the production version of Nissan’s 400Z, and design-wise, it’s nearly identical to the Z Proto shown last year.”

 

You want to see some photos? OK:

 

nissan z photos

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The 400Z will be available with either a manual or automatic transmission. Nissan has confirmed the output of the 400 engine will be higher than the 332 HP of the 370Z. I hope the engine has even more added torque and that the automatic transmission is not a CVT type. Maybe it never was on the 370.

The Datsun/Nissan Z cars are among the most important and most influential in automotive history. It was the original 240Z that really put Japanese cars on the map in the US. In 1969, the model year before the introduction of the 240, Datsun sold about 60,000 cars in the US. By 1974, that number had increased to 185,000 of which about 50,000 were Z cars (the 260, to be exact).

For a long time, I thought my wonderful wife would end up with a 350 or 370 convertible. She had a 300ZX and she really liked it. The Z cars are not expensive and they are not slugs. Still, she loves her 2018 Corvette convertible so a Z car is not in the cards.

Do any of you have any opinions about the Z car in general and/or the 400Z in particular?

 

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Goodbye Gale Sayers/Automotive Assortment

It is not my intent to disrespect the memory of Gale Sayers with today’s post title…I offer my sympathies to the family of Gale Sayers and to the Chicago Bears. The electrifying Hall of Fame running back–The Kansas Comet–died yesterday at the age of 77.

Sayers’ NFL career was cut very short by injury; he played in only 68 games. The impression he made on those who saw him play will last forever. At age 34, he was the youngest person ever elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He is also a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.

Gale Sayers was one of three first-round picks of the Bears in the 1965 NFL Draft, which was actually held in November, 1964. One of the others also achieved quite a bit on the football field; his name is Dick Butkus.

In my book about the greatest NFL teams of all time, I illustrated the extent to which football is a team game by pointing out the Bears’ relative lack of success even with two of the greatest players of all time on the team. From the beginning of the 1965 season through Game 9 of the 1968 season when Sayers suffered a devastating knee injury, the Bears’ record was just 26-22-3 and only 17-17-3 excluding 1965.

At a muddy Wrigley Field in Chicago in December of 1965, Sayers had one of the most remarkable games in NFL history. He scored a record-tying 6 touchdowns despite only touching the ball 16 times. Before you think this was a game where he just ran a few TDs in from the 1-yard line, three of the six TDs were on plays of 50 yards or more. Sayers scored on an 80-yard pass reception, a 50-yard run and an 85-yard punt return. He ran for 113 yards on just 9 carries. In all, Sayers gained 336 yards on those 16 touches. Remember that 1965 was his rookie season. I am loathe to offer a link to a minion of the Evil Empire, but here is a short video about Sayers’ 6 TD game.

I was going to recite a bunch of statistics in order to illustrate Sayers’ ability. I decided against going too far in that direction so as not to “break a butterfly upon a wheel” to quote Pope. Sayers’ friendship with his ill-fated teammate Brian Piccolo is well-known and speaks to the kind of person Sayers was.

From a site called Sports Retriever, a picture of Gale Sayers:

 

See the source image

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From Auto Express of the UK a picture of the recently announced Nissan Z Proto, which is assumed to be very close to what the next Z car will look like.

 

See the source image

 

In terms of appearance, the car is part homage to the original 240Z and part “modern” Z as expressed by the 350 and 370. Here is another photo, from Nissan by way of CarFax:

 

Nissan Z Proto / Photo Credit: Nissan

 

Even though the car is likely to be called the 400Z, its engine is not likely to be 4 liters in displacement. The 240Z had a 2.4 liter engine, the 260Z had a 2.6 liter engine, the 280Z had a 2.8 liter engine, etc.

The powerplant for the 400Z is probably going to be a 3-liter, twin-turbo V-6 that will produce about 400 HP. Manual transmission devotees will be happy to learn the new Z car will offer both an automatic and a manual gearbox. In fact, it is possible the car will be introduced as a manual only with the automatic to follow a few months after introduction. The car is supposed to arrive sometime in 2022.

Nissan can point out that, unlike the new Toyota Supra, the new Z car will be all Japanese. I like the looks of this car better than the 350 and 370, but wish the new Z car looked more like the 240, which I consider to be one of the great automotive designs of all time.

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As sort of a Throwback Thursday I will note that the 1965 model year, corresponding to Gale Sayers’ rookie season, had some of my favorite cars. Corvette enthusiasts like the ’65 as the first year for the availability of a big block engine, the snarling solid-lifter 396, as well as the first year for disc brakes.

As regular Disaffected Musings readers know, the 1965 Buick Riviera is one of my four or five favorite cars ever. Hey, let’s show one.

 

See the source image

 

From Russo and Steele a picture of a ’65 Riv. The house in which we hope to live in the desert in the very near future does not have a large enough lot to park a car on the other side of an RV gate, which it also does not have. It is highly unlikely that the Grocery Car/Taxi/Corvette Companion will be a car of this vintage. Oh well…

 

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