Start The Plants Day

Today is supposed to be the day that General Motors plants resume operation. This is meaningful to me because that means production of the C8 Corvette is supposed to restart.

Criswell Chevrolet of Gaithersburg, Maryland is one of the largest Chevrolet/Corvette dealers in the country. One of their salesmen, Mike Furman, does a feature for Corvette Blogger called Corvette Delivery Dispatch. Here is part of what he wrote in the latest Dispatch:


“…I am sure the World events have impacted each and every one of you. The question I keep on getting…’Are a lot of people canceling?’ It’s actually the exact opposite…I am writing 3-4 deals per day every day. I have a tremendous allocation and a big following along with a pretty darn good reputation…”


Of course, he is a salesman–and a successful one–so it’s his job to minimize negatives and to maximize positives. Still, I think interest in the new Corvette is genuinely strong. It’s just too bad that its production has been severely affected by the UAW strike and the coronavirus.

Mike Furman spoke at a banquet during the Corvette Caravan last August. He was extremely personable and patient answering dozens of questions about the new car, which had been officially revealed the previous month. Of course, a photo of a C8:


See the source image


This picture is from the Detroit Free Press. Supposedly, when production resumes GM/Chevrolet will be building model year 2020 Corvettes, but it is not clear if everyone who ordered a 2020 model will be receiving one and not a 2021, instead. ***OK, just received an update. GM has notified Chevrolet dealers that model year 2020 Corvettes will be manufactured through October. The start of regular 2021 model year production will begin on November 2nd, assuming no other setbacks.*** My question: If 2,700 2020 Corvettes were made before the shutdown, can they produce the other 37,000-ish cars by the end of October?


According to 365 Days of Motoring (incredibly, the site is not secure so I will not link to it), on this day in 1868 the three oldest Studebaker brothers–Clem, Peter and John M.–formed the Studebaker Brothers Manufacturing Company. The company would continue to make vehicles for not quite another 100 years, with Studebaker ceasing to manufacture automobiles in March, 1966.

I have written a lot about Studebaker on this blog and shown a lot of pictures of Studebaker vehicles. My wonderful wife and I have even joined The Studebakers Drivers Club. I have to admit, though, that my interest in their cars has waned in recent months as has my interest in defunct American makes, in general.

Part of the reason for the diminution of my interest has to be my search for a Corvette companion/grocery car in which the search has morphed from looking for a nostalgic car to looking for a modern car. Inherent in that change is the reality that I am not super-wealthy nor do I possess much experience in working on cars. In addition, something John Kraman told me while my wonderful wife and I were in Arizona for the March Mecum auction has stuck with me. He said that it would take multiple iterations of repairs to get an older car to the point where it would be reliable. If my wonderful wife and I are going grocery shopping or are going to take some friends somewhere, we can’t worry about the car.

That being said, I will always have fondness for Studebaker and other defunct American makes. Which Studebaker is my favorite? Based on the length of time I have admired the car and its initial effect on me, it has to be this one:


See the source image


From the Classic Auto Mall a picture of a 1964 Avanti. For you Studebaker enthusiasts, which one is your favorite? 56PackardMan is no longer in the blog world, but his favorite–the 1953 Commander Starliner–is his favorite car, period.







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Weaving Through Wednesday

If any of you are/were fans of the show Mythbusters, then I recommend reading Crash Test Girl by Kari Byron. It is a no holds barred look at her life loosely arranged, in my opinion, around the scientific method.

One of the lessons she tries to teach is that credentials are overrated. (A woman after my own heart.) Here is a relevant passage from the book:


“As it turns out, you don’t need to wear a lab coat to be a science geek. You don’t need a Ph.D. to be fiercely curious.”


Supposedly, Albert Einstein once remarked, “I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.” Of course, he did have a Ph.D. and he was intelligent beyond the comprehension of all but a few. Still, and as I have noted here before, the modern submarine was invented by a school teacher. The fax machine was invented by a priest–before the telephone. America’s obsession with “credentials,” and sometimes those credentials have nothing to do with college degree, is not allowing the cream to rise to the top as is the intent, it is creating a country where merit doesn’t matter. Merit and credentials are NOT perfectly correlated.

Something else from Byron’s book struck a chord with me and it is something I have mentioned before. Here is what she wrote:


“If you have anyone in your life now that drains the energy out of you with negativity, complaining, whining, backstabbing, get rid of them. Life is short.”


I have written that we should avoid people who lower our quality of life. I must confess that I whine some in this blog. Guilty as charged, but the overall theme of this effort is not one of whining.

I have put this belief into practice. I have been estranged from a sibling for years because this person is the definition of negative, the definition of selfish. I have had no communication with one of the best men at my wedding for more than a decade because our conversations had become nothing but verbal abuse from him. The longer I was in professional sports, the more resentful and jealous he became. While that may be understandable to some degree, that is not the definition of a friend.

Anyway…I am about 85% through the book and have enjoyed it very much. I think Kari Byron is a brave person, far braver than I.


Sorry, more Disaffected Musings data. So far, 2020 has seen an increase in the percentage of views from outside the US. That sounds good to me, the more the merrier. In 2019, 7.6% of views were from outside the US; that figure for this year is 12.6%.

Even with the increase in views from “abroad” only three countries besides the US account for even one percent of total views: Canada (5.8%), Israel (1.3%) and India (1.1%).


From this Carbonhans Blog post comes the news that the state of Kentucky is going to end restrictions for automobile manufacturing and dealerships on May 11th, next Monday. If the plant in Tonawanda, New York where Corvette engines are manufactured can reopen, and since that part of the state has been far less affected by the coronavirus than New York City itself (very high population density can be a very bad thing), reopening is a possibility. All of that could mean the resumption of Corvette production before the end of this month. Oh, the Corvette assembly factory is in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Yes, another picture (from Motor 1) of a C8 Corvette:


See the source image


I’m still waiting to see my first C8 in the wild.

Stay safe and be well. Hopefully, we are seeing the first glimmers of light at the end of the tunnel and, hopefully, the light is not from an oncoming train.






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