One Hand Giveth, The Other Taketh

From the pictures below you can see that my new wheels have finally been mounted, more than seven weeks after they were ordered and paid for.



For reference, here is a picture with the old wheels:



Yes, I am very happy with the look of the new wheels. Of course, apparently I am not entitled to have everything run smoothly. I was supposed to take the Z06 into the “speed shop” early next week for parts and tuning that would boost horsepower and torque. Some of those parts (get it?) were to be ceramic-coated racing headers.

I received a call Wednesday that my appointment will have to be rescheduled. Why? The company that the speed shop uses for ceramic coating is way behind in doing its work. What’s worse is that the ceramic coating company is soon to be out of business as its owner is retiring and the headers for my car may have to be coated by another company, which will delay the process further.

I’ll ask no one in particular: WTF?


All that being said, I really like this remark by Henry James:

“Excellence does not require perfection.”

Of course, Voltaire’s “Perfect is the enemy of good” is also applicable. Still, life seems to be very far from perfect and, for the most part, far from excellence.

The speed shop manager apologized to me for the delay and we began a very politically incorrect discussion about what is happening with American companies. Political correctness is fascism.


According to 365 Days of Motoring (for the nth time not a secure site AND for the nth time, why?), on this day in 1901 American automobile pioneer Ransom Eli Olds was issued a design patent for his “Vehicle Body”, now commonly called the Curved-Dash Oldsmobile. The story that this car wound up being produced because its prototype was the only one saved in a fire is…well, not exactly the truth. While Olds would later say that all company plans and patterns had been destroyed in the fire, and that only one model had been saved by a brave worker–his curved-dash runabout, actually, the runabout and several other prototypes emerged safely from a fireproof vault.

Also, about 300 orders for the Curved-Dash runabout had already been received before the fire. In 1901, only one American company even produced as many as 1,000 cars for the entire year so 300 orders was a large number in the context of the time.

Anyway…the Curved-Dash Oldsmobile is credited as being the first mass-produced automobile, meaning that it was built on an assembly line using interchangeable parts, as opposed to be hand-built with parts made to fit. Henry Ford is often credited with inventing the assembly line for automobiles. He actually began the practice of using a moving assembly line. From the Haynes Motor Museum, a picture of an Oldsmobile Model R, the Curved-Dash Oldsmobile:


See the source image


This car moved Oldsmobile to the top of the US production chart for 1903 from 1905, inclusive. For example, in 1904 Oldsmobile produced more cars (5,508) than the next two makes combined.

Sadly, Oldsmobile has been defunct for almost two decades. It remains, and will always remain, the only US company that produced cars in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. It built about 35 million cars. This article is titled, “Is Ransom E. Olds The Most Famous Man You Never Heard Of?” He might not be the most, but his legacy is mostly forgotten today.

Have a great weekend…









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Haphazard Wednesday

From Winston Churchill via The Muscleheaded Blog:

“If we open a quarrel between past and present, we shall find that we have lost the future.”


I disagree with the characterization of socialism as “progressive.” In my opinion it is regressive, it is atavistic. In addition, it runs contrary to one of the basic tenets of human nature: people want to reap most of the rewards of their labor.


My previous comment notwithstanding I can’t believe I am going to quote Marianne Williamson:

“There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you.”

In this cauldron of faux equality and political correctness it is usually considered rude to display exceptional talent. That is sheer, unadulterated b*llsh*t, in my opinion. We should encourage people with real ability to use it and not to hide it. Intelligence is not a disease and it’s not something of which to be ashamed.


More from Winston Churchill:

“You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.”

Multi-tasking is one of the great myths of the 21st century. Human brains CANNOT multi-task as they were designed to be serial processors, not parallel processors. Do one thing at a time, but commit to do it well.


On this day in 1921 Warren Harding became the first US President to ride to his inauguration in an automobile. Some of you may know what kind of car it was; it was a Packard Twin Six. From Classic Auto Mall a picture of a 1921 Packard Twin Six:


1921 Packard Twin Six


It seems to me that US Presidents were a little late in adopting the automobile. By the time of Taft’s inauguration in 1909, for example, Cadillac was already well-known as a quality builder of automobiles having won the prestigious Dewar Trophy the year before. Buick offered its first closed body for model year 1909, a limousine no less. They also finished a close second to Ford in production that year.

Back to the Packard…the Twin Six was, of course, powered by a V-12 engine, an amazing feat of engineering and production given the car was introduced in 1915 (as a 1916 model). The Twin Six was noted for its amazing smoothness of operation, its virtual lack of vibration. Packard was the first American car company to offer a V-12 and theirs was the first car engine anywhere to use aluminum pistons.

About 35,000 Twin Sixes were built through June, 1923, which was an impressive number for an expensive car. For its first model year the Twin Six ranged in price from $2,750 to $4,800. Not that the Model T was in the same segment of the automobile market, but a “Tin Lizzie” could be purchased for under $500.

This picture might look familiar:



Automobile enthusiasts should never forget the contribution made by makes that no longer exist. I would very much like to read your thoughts on this topic.







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