More Miscellany

I’m taking a break from Throwback Thursday this week. In general, I am a believer in open trade. I don’t call it free trade because I believe that nothing is free or without sacrifice. While I am opposed, in general, to tariffs and to other trade barriers I have thought since the beginning of the current trade tensions that for the US the hoopla is largely much ado about nothing. Apparently I am not the only person who thinks this way. From this CNBC article (where else?) comes this: “The real risk from the trade wars [with China] is less about tariffs going up and hurting consumer spending. It’s more about confidence.” Those are the words of Ethan Harris, head of Global Economics at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. If I may paraphrase Mr. Harris, the actual “hard” effect on the US economy from a reduction in trade with China would be small, but if a decline in consumer confidence occurs that manifests itself in a major change in consumer behavior, then bad effects could become a self-fulfilling prophecy. That conclusion to me is far from the “the sky is falling” reaction we hear and see from many with a media voice.

The headline from the same article read, “Trade wars could be worse for China’s economy than the pain they inflict on US.” Make of that what you will. Remember that pride often goeth before the fall. Both the US and China could get stuck in a “don’t lose face” scenario which takes both countries to a place they didn’t want to go. I believe that the origin of the idea of “losing face” is Asian.


See the source image

From a picture of a 1967 Corvette restomod with an LT1 engine from a C7 Corvette (2014-present). I would rather have the hardtop in place than the soft top and the wheels are little busy for me, but that’s a beautiful car.

While I don’t have any agreement in place to build my C2 (1963-1967) restomod, I did receive some “good” news regarding that build. The company with whom I have been communicating about the possibility of doing the project—and the company that is 99% likely to get the business when I finally commit to it—told me that my estimate for engine/transmission/chassis was off by about 20% on the high side. As I wrote them maybe that means I’ll get to have a really nice paint job, after all.

I have to admit that my obsession with a car I don’t own, a car that I can’t possibly own for at least two more years barring unforeseen circumstances, is making me think about selling my Z4. OCD is not a good thing even if it’s OCD-lite.


The fact that I occasionally post comments on car websites should come as no surprise. Car and Driver recently posted an article about the upcoming rebirth of the Toyota Supra. At first, the comments were very harsh about the car. I then posted this:


Wow! Lots of hate towards Toyota…at least they are SELLING a sports car even if they weren’t primarily responsible for its development. In my opinion, anything is better than another CUV or SUV or pickup truck.


That statement seemed to resonate with a lot of people. If you don’t know (or even if you do) the Supra will be the result of a joint BMW-Toyota project in which BMW will produce a new Z4 convertible and Toyota will produce a new Supra coupe. The cars will share much engineering. That fact as well as the animosity by manual transmission snobs [that’s what they are] because no manual will be available in either car led to many hostile comments at first.