Weird Car Wednesday

Believe it or not, this is the first post with this title. “Weird,” “Weirdo” and “Weirdness” have been part of previous titles, though. Also, do not infer that this is the start of a series of posts with this title, although I guess it could be.

Of course, some probably think this car is weird.



The wire arrived on time (our brokerage company did not disappoint, after all) so my wonderful wife and I drove down to the dealership yesterday to pick up the new resident of our garage. The much higher beltline of the Cascada relative to the Corvetttes really stood out to me after the car was parked.

The Cascada has some features not found on our Corvettes, such as a lane departure warning system and parking sensors. However, my new car does not have memory seats or a built-in garage door opener. Good thing we found the only hand-held opener we have for that door and that it works. Yes, we replaced the battery. Of course, I could have purchased a universal garage remote and programmed it for the two-bay door.

During the two previous test drives I had never noticed any turbo lag. I did on the drive home, though. I actually enjoyed when the turbocharger kicked in. The audio/navigation controls are idiosyncratic, but not inscrutable.

The real payoff for buying the car will come when the weather cools down a bit and I can get in some top-down driving. While I don’t believe in an afterlife, I did think of my parents when I got in the car to drive it home. As I have written probably far too many times already, the Cascada was built in Poland, the country where my parents were born.


The real inspiration for today’s post came from an episode of For The Love Of Cars, with Ant Anstead and Philip Glenister, that I watched yesterday. A vehicle like the car below was featured.


See the source image


This is a Saab 96. Something about the design that I cannot articulate is very appealing to me.

I think that for many the Saab 96 is a weird car. At first, it used a two-stroke, three-cylinder engine even though the car was introduced in 1960. That engine was replaced in 1967 by a V-4; yes, a V-4.

For some reason that I don’t even understand, I am fascinated by the concept of a V-4 in an automobile. I tell myself it’s because the extremely short block can be placed almost anywhere in the chassis, but actually I think I like the V-4 just because it’s different. The V-4 used by Saab was built by Ford, which originally was going to use that motor for a new compact car intended for the US market to be called the Ford Cardinal. The Cardinal was never built as Ford developed the Falcon, instead.

The 96’s unusual, but aerodynamic body is also decidedly not mainstream. Remember, though, that Saab began as an aircraft company in 1937. Oh, even though the car-making arm of the business is defunct, Saab is still very much alive and continues to build aircraft and offers related products and services.

Making my attraction to the Saab 96 even stranger is that I envision the car as a blank canvas for a restomod. I imagine just using the body and maybe even abandoning the front-wheel drive layout.

When I was in college a friend of mine bought me a card with a cartoon whose caption read, “If a man does not keep pace with his companions, maybe he marches to the beat of a different drummer. Or maybe he’s just a weirdo.” Of course, the first sentence is taken from Henry David Thoreau. I am who I am, for better and for worse.







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Still Saturday

After more than a week of wind and rain and even snow, this morning is still and sunny. However, “inclement” weather can create some amazing images around here. These have NOT been Photoshopped:



Yes, the rainbow is in front of the mountain. Incroyable!


“Still” Saturday can also refer to the fact that I still, and will probably always, have strange dreams. Two nights ago I dreamt that I needed gas in my car, although I don’t think it was the Z06 but some generic vehicle that still needed premium gas. When I finally got through the long line to get to the gas pumps, I discovered that they were basically buried in the ground. That meant I had to get out of my car and sit on the ground to pump the gas. In addition, this gas station did not have 91 Octane (the highest usually available in Arizona), but only 87 and 89 Octane.

Last night/this morning I dreamt I was obsessed with some prop from the show ER when I discovered it was being carried around here in the back of a truck. I told my wonderful wife that I would have to stay with the prop for awhile and climbed into the back of the truck. WTF?!


In yesterday’s Frugal Friday post a Saab 9-3 convertible was one of the cars I mentioned. Later in the day I watched an episode of For The Love Of Cars with Ant Anstead (recently of Wheeler Dealers) and Philip Glenister. This was the car featured in that episode:


See the source image


From Nettiauto (note the credit in the lower right) a picture of a Saab 96. This same make/model was featured in an episode of Wheeler Dealers with Ant Anstead.

For some reason, these “oddballs” are appealing to me. I guess one could say, “Consider the source.” What’s even more odd is that I would restomod this car. I would keep it a front-wheel drive layout, but with a modern FWD drivetrain and, of course, would upgrade the suspension and the brakes, etc. Consider the source, indeed…







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