Tuesday Is

Q: What do you call the passengers in a Yugo?

A: Shock absorbers.


Tuesday is election day in the US because way back in the 19th century people would often have to travel a full day in order to reach a polling place. Since almost everyone attended church services on Sunday in those days, the first day of the week they could leave was Monday and, therefore, elections had to be held on Tuesday.

A move is afoot to move election day to the weekend. It sounds like a good idea to me, which means it will take forever to be implemented. Hey, I don’t vote, anyway. I do not accept the notion that I HAVE to vote, especially when I feel I have no choices. I do not believe in voting for the lesser of two evils. The lesser of two evils should not be elected to public office. As Henry Kissinger once said, “Ninety percent of politicians give the other ten percent a bad name.” In any event, the hard mathematical odds that my vote will make a difference in a federal election are literally almost zero. “Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” – Aldous Huxley  Local elections? Sorry to say I have no interest in local politics. Perhaps that’s because, at one point, I moved 14 times in one 25-year period, then again maybe not.


As I wrote in an email yesterday, part of me is worried I won’t be able to buy the car I want at the Barrett-Jackson auction next week and part of me is worried that I WILL be able to buy the car. How does that saying go? “Be careful what you wish for because you may get it.”

While I am not poor I am also not working. Is it prudent to spend a lot of money on something that I don’t really need? Is the finite nature of life an excuse to act in a less than responsible manner? Or…should I enjoy my life as much as is “reasonably” possible?

Like EVERYTHING else in life it is not always a good thing to be able to see all sides of an issue because that can prevent someone from making a decision. (Paralysis through analysis…) Also, one can “invent” sides or perspectives that may not actually exist.



From thecarconnection.com a picture of an example of the final generation Ford Thunderbird. On this day in 2001 this iteration of Thunderbird was introduced at the Detroit Auto Show.

One can obviously see the homage to the first generation T-Bird. While I don’t think it’s a homely car, something about the lines are a bit off to me. I can’t even put my finger on it; the car just doesn’t look right. (Sorry, Mrs. @CarKraman. John Kraman’s wife, apparently, really likes these cars.) Maybe it’s just not angular enough for me.

Whether it was the looks or for some other reason(s), the 2002-05 Thunderbird never resonated with car buyers. Some have blamed the underwhelming drivetrain, others have blamed Ford for not properly marketing the car. For 2002 the 3.9 liter/241 cubic-inch V8 produced 252 HP/267 LB-FT of torque. That’s a good specific output, but it was a 3,800-pound car. For 2003-05 output was increased to 280 HP/286 LB-FT. (Total minutia: for 2002 the displacement is shown as 241 cubic inches, but for 2003-05 it is shown as 240 cubic inches. A 3.39″ bore and 3.35″ stroke for an 8-cylinder engine is 241 cubic inches.)

According to my go-to source, Encyclopedia of American Cars by the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide®, production of the 11th and, to date, last generation of the Thunderbird began at almost 26,000 cars in 2002, but declined significantly every year thereafter. By 2004 production had declined to fewer than 11,000 units. Some have speculated that the 2005 model was built only because that represented the 50th anniversary of the introduction of the original T-Bird. Statements that the Thunderbird could “go into limbo again” were attributed to Ford executives in 2004.

Any thoughts from any of you about this car? Given that Ford has really turned into a non-car company it seems highly unlikely the Thunderbird name will ever be used again on a car. Would it be blasphemy to use the name on an SUV or pickup truck? It would to me and I am not even a FoMoCo fan.




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Mittwoch Musings

October 10?! Once again, Mittwoch (“Middle of the Week”) is the German/Yiddish word for Wednesday.

Based on the specific “referrals” to the site, and as far as I can surmise, yesterday’s out of context post title (Mutant Zombies) may have attracted one or two readers who might not otherwise have read Disaffected Musings. Were any regular readers put off by the title?


From Ambrose Bierce: “A conservative is a statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from a liberal who wishes to replace them with other evils.”

Bierce also said, “Politics is a strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage.”

Bierce was a renowned writer/poet and a journalist who served in the Union Army for virtually the entire Civil War. In late 1913 he traveled to Mexico in an attempt to experience the Mexican Revolution first-hand. He was never seen again.


Even noted finance publication Barron’s has taken note of the restomod industry. Long-time friend and Disaffected Musings reader Robert sent me this link. The article is about restomod Mustangs by a company called Revology founded by Tom Scarpello, a long-time auto industry veteran. What I found interesting and amusing is that the tone of this article makes it seem like Scarpello invented the idea of the restomod, even though that actual word is not used. Of course, restomods have been around a long time. Maybe people who read Barron’s have no idea.


I’m still in a moratorium on writing about or showing C2 Corvettes. (Technically, I guess I just violated the moratorium.) I have been re-reading More Than They Promised, a history of Studebaker, by Thomas Bonsall. If I didn’t want to push away the rapidly increasing number of readers I would show a lot of charts from the book. These charts, on things like sales data and assets, fascinate me, but I’m more than a bit of an oddball as any regular reader knows.

Five-ish years ago I would not have had any interest in a car like this:

This is a photo (by yours truly) of a 1932 “custom” Studebaker St. Regis. By custom I mean the car has a non-standard body that includes extra-long doors. Most people think of Studebaker as a lower-price make and, of course, that was the reality for much of Studebaker’s existence. However, the real world is almost always more complicated than our distillations of it. People who engage in what I call impossible distillations of reality are usually off the mark.

This car is quite handsome in person, but one would not expect to see too many museum pieces in a state of squalor. Once again, if you are a car aficionado please do all that you can, within your means, to support the hobby. That might include membership in an automobile museum.

October 10?!