Friday Friendly’s Fribble®

Has the quest for alliteration gone too far? When will the madness end? Stay tuned for the next episode of As Rules Of Logic Turns.

By the way, Fribble is just the name for a Friendly’s milkshake. Do you have or have you ever had Friendly’s where you live(d)? They serve meals in addition to ice cream. My wonderful wife and I would dine there occasionally while we lived in the mid-Atlantic.

 

Fribble(R)

 

One meal at a Friendly’s I remember well was when I began my seventh and last semester as an undergraduate in college. My then girlfriend accompanied me and my father up to school–which was about a 75-minute drive from where I lived–and we stopped at the Friendly’s near campus. I did not have a car at that time and my father surprised me by offering to take me to school. He would surprise me again at the end of the semester when he drove to pick me up and bring me home. The meal at Friendly’s was among the most enjoyable of my life.

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I found this story interesting: the purchase of a majority stake in Barrett-Jackson by IMG. I had an interesting text dialogue yesterday with Scott Hoke and John Kraman about this development. I would be betraying their confidence to reveal their thoughts. I think the fact that IMG is buying a majority stake is of great significance. A company like that would not own most of an asset and not end up being in charge, eventually. I learned today that the purchase price was $261 million.

I don’t know anything about Craig Jackson other than what he wants the public to know. However, he might have decided to ease his way into retirement by selling a majority stake in the company. Of course, I could be adding two and two and getting six.

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I am thinking more and more about this car:

 

 

According to the episode of Everyday Driver where this car was compared to a Porsche 718 Cayman and BMW M2 Competition Coupe, the Supra has the fastest 0-60 time of the three at 3.9 seconds. That, my friends, is fast.

It was a big deal when the C5 Corvette Z06 had a 0-60 acceleration time of 4.0 seconds, granting that was 20 years ago. A current-generation Supra is faster, 0-60, than both of my first two Corvettes. Think about that for awhile.

Does it sound to you as if I have already made up my mind to sell my Z06 whenever it is returned and to buy a Supra? I would swear that I haven’t, but maybe I’m not sure about that.

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This CNBC article reports that “wealthy” American households, defined in a SmartAsset survey as those earning $200,000 or more annually, are flocking to the Sun Belt. Not surprisingly, the two states losing the most high earners in 2019-2020 were California and New York. Here are the five states receiving the most wealthy households; you’ll have to read the article to see which states rounded out the top ten:

 

 

  1. Florida: 20,263
  2. Texas: 5,356
  3. Arizona: 5,268
  4. North Carolina: 4,713
  5. South Carolina: 3,967

 

California and New York were each -20,000 or worse. I would never live in Florida under any circumstances, I think the weather is actually awful with the rain and humidity and I really like to look at mountains, but one can understand the desire by wealthy people to live in a place with no state income tax. If they can, people tend to vote with their feet.

For those on one side of the political spectrum who say “Good Riddance” to wealthy people, I remind you that it is not usually an optimal development to have a jurisdiction’s tax base shrink significantly. Despite the refusal by many to accept this basic fact or wish that it was not so, the United States is a federal republic and not a unitary one.

 

#FridayFriendlysFribble

#Barrett-Jackson

#ToyotaSupra

#PeopleVoteWithTheirFeet

#somanyCARSjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Hall of Very Good Cars: The Z06 Replacement?

First, I have another dream to report. It was a bit strange, but not too disturbing. I dreamt I was in attendance at a large outdoor gathering. The purpose was either unknown to me at the time or has been lost forever to dreamland.

Thousands of people were there from all sorts of disciplines and occupations. I recognized two people: the first General Manager for whom I worked in baseball (who died last December) and the brilliant former high school classmate of whom I have written before, like here.

The two wound up in close proximity and my former classmate tried to strike up a conversation. My former boss seemed totally disinterested and began moving away.

I approached my former boss and began to tell him he had no idea from whom he was walking away. I rattled off my former classmate’s academic achievements, but my former boss moved away from me quite quickly.

As is the case with all dreams I can remember that had deceased people in them (except one), the former General Manager did not speak. I don’t believe that all dreams are just random neural firings with no meaning. I used to have very similar dreams over and over, like driving in my car and realizing that I was lost and in a bad neighborhood. What last night’s dream meant, though, is beyond me.

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Every regular reader should already know the identity of today’s Hall of Very Good Cars member. I mean, I just wrote about it yesterday.

 

 

In case you can’t tell, or even if you can, these pictures of a current generation Toyota Supra were taken at the Mecum auction in Glendale, Arizona in March, 2022. Yes, I would buy one in yellow although I would prefer red or gray/silver.

These cars are built on the same assembly line in Graz, Austria as the current generation BMW Z4 convertible. In an episode of Everyday Driver Todd Deeken remarked, “I’m not sure what would offend more people: that the best Toyota currently made is a BMW or that the best BMW is a Toyota. You’re equally offended.”

The current Supra is basically a BMW, but with Toyota badging. Paul Schmucker said during the same episode, “BMW built a car for Toyota with better steering feel and handling than they built for themselves.”

I would opt for the turbo six engine and an automatic transmission. (Both Everyday Driver hosts had much praise for the Supra automatic.) BMW has developed a reputation for understating engine output; many feel–and have proof–that the Supra is not immune from this sandbagging. Although the stated output for the Supra six-cylinder engine has been increased from 335 to 382 HP, many people have dyno slips showing the horsepower number begins with a 4. The official torque rating is 368 LB-FT. Remember that this car’s curb weight is just 3,400 pounds.

I know their styling is not everyone’s cup of tea, but I have grown very fond of the look of this car. In person, it’s almost as if the car is alive and exuding a strong presence.

I have not decided for sure that I will sell the Z06 and buy one of these. New Supras are not available around here as the ’22s are sold out and the ’23s have not been delivered. Used ones are not plentiful, either. My preference would actually be to buy one from Carvana, but they didn’t have any available cars listed yesterday anywhere in the country. Carvana doesn’t charge any “garbage fees” as my wonderful wife calls them going back to her days in the mortgage business. Also, I can drive the car for a week and if I don’t like it, they will take the car back, no questions asked.

I guess I will just have to wait and see how I feel when my Z06 is returned. If the feeling of trepidation does not wane quickly, I will probably sell the car.

 

#HallofVeryGoodCars

#TheMysteriesOfDreamland

#ToyotaSupra

#somanyCARSjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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The Reluctant Post

I wasn’t going to post today, giving myself a break after writing for ten consecutive days. I was surprised by the response I received to yesterday’s post (both inside and outside the confines of the blog), There’s Bad Everywhere, in which I wrote about Pete Rose.

I think the evidence is beyond overwhelming that Rose is an awful person regardless of how many hits he amassed in his baseball career. Of course, people are entitled to a different view than mine, but mine was not created out of thin air. I offer this piece by someone who used to be an admirer of his. I realize some might question the motives of the author, but Rose has given the world almost unlimited fodder for articles like this.

That’s the last time I will write about this topic.

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Sometimes I’m a little too quick to permanently delete emails. I don’t want to have thousands of emails in either my Inbox or Saved email folders.

Unfortunately, I deleted an email that had a tantalizing tidbit about the possible release of a new model from Chevrolet; I was going to offer it was the Malibu, but they are still selling a model by that name. An admittedly brief Internet search did not unearth the story.

The reason I thought this merited a mention was that this new vehicle is to be powered by a good old-fashioned Internal Combustion Engine, a 2.7 liter turbocharged V-6, if I recall correctly. Of course, the same article reported that Buick and Cadillac would be “all-electric” starting in 2030 although GM is playing a little fast and loose with that definition by including hybrids. I want to show a brief snippet of a piece about electric cars from someone in another country (Chile):

 

“Politicians are forcing electromobility, regardless of whether it’s technically and environmentally sound or not. This is fully in line with the increasing trend toward technically unfounded, purely political decisions, that are increasingly common in many places of the world.  We are living in a strange age when technology and science are as highly developed as never before on earth, but at the same time the people making all-important decisions are increasingly incapable or unwilling to understand even basic technology and science, and decide by feeling, belief and fashion instead of hard facts.”

 

Bravo! One of the main points this person made is that unless the electricity used to charge EVs comes from non fossil fuel sources, then these cars are not that much better for the environment than modern ICE cars. He also pointed out that no EV actually has the range reported by the manufacturer and that if one looks at the fine print in the ads one will notice a disclaimer like this, “this figure was computed from calculated performance data, or that it is valid with an optional high capacity battery which is not included in the price printed at the top of the page.”

Mr. Chile also wrote, “In short, it’s not a real range you can expect to get under actual, normal, everyday driving conditions. That actual range is shorter, and often very much shorter. Many people who drive electric cars report that with a fully charged battery, the range estimation shown on the dashboard is much lower than the value claimed in the advertising, and that while driving the car the estimation of remaining range drops at a significantly faster rate than the odometer counts up. The final range they can actually achieve is rarely more than 60 to 70% of the claimed range. And on cold days, when they want heating and in addition the battery performance drops, the true range can melt down to 20% of the advertised value!”

I will be, and have been, accused of having a blind spot about electric vehicles. Well, I have no fear of disagreeing with the so-called consensus (I wouldn’t have had a 20+ year career in baseball if I did) and I do not accept politicians forcing their agenda on me. EVs are not the answer.

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No, I still don’t have the Z06 and also have no idea when I will. I send a text to the owner of the shop every two weeks. Two weeks ago he wrote that he had “sourced” the parts and expected them to arrive “any day.” Today he simply wrote that he would “check in with his advisor.”

If you asked me today, I would say it’s highly likely I will sell the car almost immediately upon its return. If I buy a replacement what am I most likely to buy?

 

 

I think I can sell the Z06 and buy a used (2020 or 2021) Supra for about the same price. I have done some research. My biggest obstacle to buying a Supra is that, in reality, it is a BMW despite the Toyota badging.

I sort of wish I liked the look of the current generation Mustang more, but I just don’t. I could buy a low-mileage 2020 or 2021 GT Premium for substantially less than the Supra, and without the taint of a German make, but the cars just don’t light me up.

Of course, I could feel differently when (if?) my Z06 is actually back in our garage. I would like to read thoughts from you on this topic.

 

#TheReluctantPost

#EVsAreNotTheAnswer

#ToyotaSupra

#somanyCARSjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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National M&Ms Day

Yes, apparently today is National M&Ms Day. I have said many times to many people that whoever invented M&Ms was a genius. A fitting photo:

 

 

C’mon, I had to buy some today, right? Hemoglobin A1C be damned…

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Not only is today the day to celebrate a candy icon, but it was an amazing weather day here. I eschewed doing my Wednesday workout on the treadmill and walked outside for 40 minutes. When I returned at 10:35 AM the temperature gauge in the backyard read 64 degrees. We probably had a high temp of 71° or 72°.

Not only was the temperature wonderful, but there was not a cloud in the sky for almost all of the day and there was a light breeze. Can’t really convey the feeling with photographs, but I’ll try:

 

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OK, you still want to see at least one car photo…a double shot of Supra.

 

 

Be well and eat some M&Ms.

 

#NationalM&MsDay

#GreatWeather!

#ToyotaSupra

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Halfway To What…

At noon today, 2021 will be half over. I don’t know about you, but even with progress against the damn virus and a strong first-half performance in the US equity markets, I don’t think this has been a great year, so far.

As I wrote here, I actually divide events into thirds, as per my OCD. We are now in the second third, or the middle, of meteorological summer. (Today is Day 32 of 92.) Although I have had a surprising ability to tolerate the Arizona summer, I will be happier when it passes. We did receive some rain, though, this morning and may receive more in the coming days as the monsoon season seems to actually be happening this year, unlike last year. Of course, my wonderful wife and I were not living here last summer.

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Friend and former neighbor MB sent me an article–sent to him by another friend and former neighbor, PP–about Robert Wimmer’s testimony in front of the US Senate in March. Wimmer is Toyota’s head of energy and environmental research. Here is one thing he said:

 

“If we are to make dramatic progress in electrification, it will require overcoming tremendous challenges, including refueling infrastructure, battery availability, consumer acceptance, and affordability.”

 

Wimmer also noted that while manufacturers have announced ambitious goals, just 2% of the world’s cars are electric at this point. For price, range, infrastructure, affordability, and other reasons, buyers continue to choose ICE [Internal Combustion Engine] over electric, and that’s even when electric engines are often subsidized with tax breaks to bring price tags down.

Neither Toyota, Wimmer’s company, nor Honda have committed to producing only electric vehicles by 2030 or 2035. [After this post was published, Honda announced its intentions to go all electric by 2040.] The German car companies haven’t done so, either. For example, BMW’s formal goal is to have 50% of its production be electric by 2030.

Of course, committing to producing only electric cars by 2030 or 2035 is not exactly the same thing as saying that all vehicles in use will be electric by then. I will also offer the politically incorrect opinion that the announced mad dash to EVs by Ford and GM is as much about trying to get their stock price to perform like Tesla stock as it is about anything else. Five years ago, Tesla’s stock was trading at about $40/share. Today, it’s almost $700/share.

I maintain that for the next 10-20 years, a large part of the market for vehicles will still want to buy ICE-powered cars and trucks. For me, I have learned to never say never. While I would not consider buying an EV in the near term, I–like all humans–am not really that good at predicting the future. I would, however, buy one of these before I would buy an EV:

 

See the source image

 

From autonxt.net a picture of a Toyota Supra. Remember that this part of today’s post began by referring to Robert Wimmer’s testimony and he works for Toyota.

Have a great holiday weekend…

 

#HalfwayToWhat

#OCD

#MadDashToEvs

#ToyotaSupra

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Wandering Wednesday

First, from Wikipedia:

 

Wandering, in people with dementia, is a common behavior that can cause great risk for the person, and is often the major priority (and concern) for caregivers. It is estimated to be the most common form of disruption from people with dementia within institutions. Although it occurs in several types of dementia, wandering is especially common in people with Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). This can be due to forgetfulness and also to a frequent need for stimulation.”

 

My post titles are not intended to be disrespectful or to make fun of people with illnesses. As regular readers know, I like alliterative titles and alliteration, in general, and sometimes my posts are not “linear.”

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I found a statement by GM Vice-President Steve Hill, as reported here, to be most interesting. Hill remarked that the median household income of a mid-engine Corvette buyer is $76,000 higher than those who purchased a C7 Corvette. That is not a small difference.

If this difference holds, it is evidence that many people in the market for high-performance cars were, indeed, put off by the front-engine design of previous Corvette generations. Maybe Chevrolet/General Motors knew what they were doing, at least in this context. OK, a couple of photos:

 

See the source image

 

I can’t imagine anyone reading this blog wouldn’t know, but the top photo (credited here) is of a C8 Corvette and the bottom photos are the C7 Corvettes that my wonderful wife and I own. I no longer feel that she will definitely buy a C8 convertible.

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I found this CNBC video to be most interesting as well. It is a 15-minute report on why Japanese automakers are still producing sports cars in the “age of SUVs.” If you’re reading this blog, then I think you would enjoy watching it.

One of the reasons the Japanese auto industry is still making cars like the new Supra is to distinguish themselves from the rest of the industry by giving people the option of buying cars for the fun of driving and not for grocery shopping and schlepping the kids. With rare exceptions like the Corvette, American car companies (at least GM and Ford) have basically abandoned the coupe and sedan markets. In the piece, the narrator also quotes some “experts” who think it is premature to assume that SUVs and pickup trucks will always have at least a 70 percent share of the US market. From autonxt.net a picture of the aforementioned Supra:

 

See the source image

 

Yes, many JDM fans are unhappy with Toyota’s partnership with BMW that created the new Supra, that the car can be considered to be a re-skinned BMW. Hey, I think it’s better that the partnership was used to create this car and the new Z4 than to create another pair of SUVs.

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After the landslide in the 1972 Presidential election, many pundits proclaimed the death of the Democratic party. After Watergate just a couple of years later, many of those same pundits proclaimed the death of the Republican party. History is replete with examples of the folly of human beings trying to predict the future.

Today, a new administration takes office. While I am not a fan of either party, I hope that the rancor and vitriol of recent years fade, at least a little. The anger and extreme disrespect prevalent today are, in my opinion, a manifestation of arrogance and ignorance. NO ONE has a monopoly on truth and wisdom and neither does ANY ideology. Oh, the remark about arrogance and ignorance is not an attempt to channel Bull Durham.

 

Stay safe and be well.

 

#WanderingWednesday

#WealthyC8Buyers

#JapaneseSportsCars

#ToyotaSupra

#ArrogantAndIgnorantAmericans

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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