Ultimate Garage 3.0, Part Two

First, thanks to those who read the blog yesterday. I guess when I “stay in my lane” more people read. I will still leave my lane in the remaining months of this blog, but perhaps a little less often.

Second, for Mark the answer is that the Cadillac XLR will not be a part of my Ultimate Garage 3.0. I decided it was not prudent to ignore information. The XLR was excluded from 2.0 because of its poor reliability record, especially for its first two model years. I have/had a friend named George who owned two XLRs from these model years and both had to be repurchased by Cadillac under the state’s lemon law. His experience was not unique.

Maybe some of the cars in 3.0 would not be good to live with on a daily basis, either, but I don’t know that right now. This thinking is also why the Saturn Sky Red Line is not in 3.0. My wonderful wife and I test drove a Sky and were just put off by the cheapness of the interior.

Remembering my own experience with a car I seldom, if ever, write about was the clincher. I “bought” a new 2011 Infiniti G37x coupe. (I’ll explain the quotation marks for the word *bought* later.) On paper, schematically, it seemed to have everything I wanted. It wasn’t a great-looking car, but I thought its looks were a 6 on a 1-to-10 scale. It had 330 HP and a 0-to-60 time of under 6 seconds. It had all-wheel drive, which I thought was necessary for living in the mid-Atlantic. It had an internal hard drive for storing media files and a nice navigation system.

However, the longer I owned the car, the less I liked it. The main reason was the AWFUL CVT transmission. I like crisp shifts, not droning and whining. We lived in an area with some hills and sometimes when I went downhill the transmission went nuts and the engine would rev to over 4,500 RPM. Every time that happened I thought the car would explode. How annoying that transmission would prove to be was hard to ascertain in a 15-minute test drive.

The all-wheel drive proved to be unnecessary as I basically retired about a year after my acquisition of the car. The AWD system was very useful just one day in the three years I had the car, a day when we received an un-forecast 6 inches of snow.

I had actually leased the car, but with just one payment. Hence the quotation marks around the word *bought.* I didn’t have to make any payments for the life of the lease and, therefore, didn’t have to pay interest on the lease payments. That probably saved me almost $1,000 during the time I owned the car.

I grew to dislike the car so much that I actually turned it in three months early. I had a 39-month lease, but turned the car in almost exactly three years after I acquired it. The point of this story is (yeah, get to your point) that I learned very relevant characteristics about the G37x and could only have learned them by actually “buying” the car. Those characteristics will never disappear and, therefore, are very relevant in an assessment of that car.

On to Part Two of Ultimate Garage 3.0…

 

THE CRÈME DE LA CRÈME

 

Iso Grifo Small Block

I excluded this car from my first edition of my Ultimate Garage because I thought it was too close in appearance to the C2 Corvette coupe. Also, the Iso Grifo usually had a C2 Corvette drivetrain. For 2.0 and 3.0 I decided the hell with that. I loved this car from afar for years and when I finally got to see one in person I was not disappointed.

 

 

The fact that it has a C2 Corvette drivetrain is actually an asset as far as I am concerned. Oh, I specified the small block version because the big block necessitated a roof-like structure on the hood that really took away from the car’s looks, IMO.

 

Lexus LC Coupe

This car has been a part of all three Ultimate Garages I have published. I like the convertible almost as much, almost.

 

See the source image

 

The LC is not a slug with its 5-liter V-8 producing 471 HP/398 LB-FT of torque and was very impressive when I test drove one back in January of 2018. The car is not rare in this part of Arizona and never fails to grab my attention. Good thing my wonderful wife usually drives when we’re going somewhere together.

 

1965 Buick Riviera GS

As every regular reader knows, I think the first-generation Riviera (1963-65) is one of the great automotive designs in history. In fact, sometimes I’m not sure that it’s not the best-looking car ever made. Ned Nickles drew the car under the auspices of GM’s design chief, Bill Mitchell. Without further ado:

 

See the source image

 

In GS spec, the 7-liter/425 cubic-inch V-8 produced 360 HP/465 LB-FT of torque. If I ever acquire one–highly unlikely–I would leave it alone, more or less, if it had a numbers-matching drivetrain as fewer than 4,000 of the GS were produced. If it already had a new engine or transmission, then all bets would be off, but I would not modify that body one bit.

 

C7 Corvette Z06

Dollar for dollar, this is possibly the greatest performance car in history. The current generation Ford GT is part of Ultimate Garage 3.0 and it’s a great car, but it doesn’t really outperform the C7 Z06 and it starts at a half-million dollars. New, this car stickered for about $100,000 depending on options. Of course, I paid far less for mine which was less than three years old and with 4,400 miles. Speaking of my car:

 

 

The C7 Corvette Z06 had 650 HP/650 LB-FT of torque right out of the box. The car would accelerate from 0-60 in less than three seconds, do the standing quarter-mile in less than 11 seconds and pull 1.2g on a skidpad. As I have learned, the LT4 engine is easily tuned to increase power. Joe Cordes of Cordes Performance, the company that will be working on my car later this month, told me he has easily gotten these engines to 1,300 HP. Mine will probably have 750-775 HP when it’s done. Almost seems minuscule by comparison…

 

DeTomaso Longchamp

This car and the last one in Ultimate Garage 3.0 are both shown here. I guess these are my two favorite cars, but sometimes I am not sure. Anyway, the DeTomaso Longchamp:

 

See the source image

See the source image

 

Like the Pantera, the Longchamp had a Ford engine, the 351 cubic-inch Cleveland V-8. Almost all of the cars were equipped with the Ford C6 automatic transmission although a few had a five-speed ZF manual. For the first year of Longchamp production, 1972, the engine was still rated at a decent output of 326 HP/344 LB-FT of torque.

The Longchamp was produced for a long time, 1972 to 1989 (some think production actually ceased in 1986), although only a little over 400 were produced in total. I will never own one, but I can still admire these from afar. That leads to the last car…

 

1967 Corvette Convertible Restomod

In all honesty, I would be happy with any C2 Corvette Convertible Restomod as long as I had the auxiliary hardtop and the car was done to my specifications. Still, as long as I’m writing about my “Ultimate Garage…”

 

See the source image

 

Imagine the bottom car with a set of C7 ZR1 wheels and that’s close to perfect for me. Of course, a restomod is not bound by numbers-matching drivetrains or anything else. Basically it’s “how much for how much.”

I would insist on at least 500 HP/500 LB-FT of torque, a six- or eight-speed automatic transmission, modern suspension and brakes, Bluetooth, front and rear cameras, etc. It’s likely that a really good restomod would probably cost at least a quarter-million dollars, whether I bought it or had it built. Again, that’s the major reason why I decided to buy a C7 Z06.

Well, I hope you have enjoyed my Ultimate Garage 3.0. These two posts are the longest in the history of the blog (about 2,600 words in total) and are certainly the last such endeavor I will ever publish. By this time next year, this blog will no longer be active unless WordPress gives the Classic Editor an unexpected, 11th-hour reprieve.

Once again, please feel free to submit your Ultimate Garage. It’s a free-form exercise, but please don’t submit one with 50 cars. If I could end up with 14, you should be able to keep yours to a similar number.

 

#UltimateGarage3.0

#CrèmeDeLaCrème

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Ultimate Garage 3.0: Basically A Beauty Contest

Ed Welburn, former General Motors’ Vice-President of Global Design, remarked that if two cars had equal technology then the better looking car wins. For me, I think the better looking car almost always wins regardless of technology. I’m just a sucker for a pretty face…

I really don’t like cars such as Pagani, Koenigsegg, not to mention the Shitlermobile in disguise, Bugatti. I don’t care that the Koenigsegg transmission has seven clutches or that the Bugatti can reach 270 MPH. They look like pods to me, almost formless.

That being said, the Buick Reatta is not part of Ultimate Garage 3.0 precisely because it is so far from being a performance car. I guess what I am trying to say is that performance matters, too, but not at the expense of appearance.

Not in any order, here is Part One (Of Two) of my Ultimate Garage 3.0.

 

THE NEWBIES

This car could be considered a half-newbie as its coupe brother was listed in Ultimate Garage 2.0.

Jaguar F-Type Convertible

 

 

The proportions, the rear haunches of this car are just perfect, in my opinion. I might have like to seen what a hardtop convertible would look like, but that might have ruined the rear deck.

In R-spec, this car is an all-wheel drive convertible powered by a 5-liter V-8 producing 550 HP/502 LB-FT of torque that enables the car to accelerate from 0-60 MPH in 3.5 seconds, which is too quick for most drivers, trust me.

Jaguar has/have (don’t know if any Brits are reading) never made an ugly car.

 

Ferrari 330 GTC

I have really fallen for this car in the last year or so. This might have been the car that did it…

 

 

This picture was taken at the Mecum auction in Glendale, Arizona in March of 2020. Because of the damn virus that was the last auction we attended, but we have tentative plans to attend the Mecum auction at Monterey in the People’s Republic Of Calizuela next month.

 

 

Those lines are just awesome to me. The 330 GTC was powered by a 4-liter/242 cubic-inch V-12 producing gross power output of 335 HP/270 LB-FT of torque. (Net figures are 300 HP/240 LB-FT.)

This is a small car with just a 95-inch wheelbase and overall length of 176 inches. According to Hagerty, an average example of one of these has a value of about $500,000. The price of this and one other newbie will make Ultimate Garage 3.0 far more costly than 2.0. That newbie is:

 

Second Generation Ford GT

Some would argue that the current Ford GT is really the third generation. Doesn’t matter, the car included here is the Ford GT currently available new that began production in 2016.

 

See the source image

 

Despite the mid-engine design, the proportions of the car are not pod-like to me. Performance? The car is powered by a 3.5 liter/213 cubic-inch, twin-turbo V-6 that originally produced 647 HP/550 LB-FT of torque. In model year 2020, the output was boosted to 660 HP although torque was not increased. This Ford GT will accelerate from 0-60 MPH in 3 seconds, do the standing quarter-mile in 10.8 seconds and pull 1.1 G on a skidpad. Of course, my 2016 Corvette Z06 can do all of that and even a little better and didn’t cost a half-million dollars. Still…I love the new Ford GT and it’s in Ultimate Garage 3.0.

 

1968 Dodge Charger

This will be one of the few cars for which the model year is specified. While I really like all of the second generation Chargers (1968-70), my strong preference is for the ’68 because of the clean grille.

 

 

Of course, the one to get would be one with the legendary 426 Hemi. I have been a fan of this generation Charger for a long time.

 

Aston Martin DB11

This car and the 1968 Charger were originally going to be included in Ultimate Garage 2.0 (first unveiled in May of 2019), but were “kicked out” at the last minute. A month or two later I knew I had made a mistake with both cars.

 

See the source image

See the source image

 

At the heart of the current DB11 is, sorry Aston-Martin purists, a 4-liter twin-turbo V-8 producing 528 HP/513 LB-FT of torque. No more V-12 engines and, I suspect, ICE-powered cars will also disappear sooner rather than later. That bottom DB11 in Orange is an 11 in looks on a scale of 1 to 10.

 

The last three newbies, and there are more newbies than returning cars, are highly idiosyncratic favorites of mine. The thought of one of them is actually getting me a little teary-eyed.

 

Honda S2000

I mean, how could I leave this car out this time? Every time I see one I drool. My wonderful wife and I have a running gag about the S2000. Every time I see one I say, “I love those cars.” My wife responds, “Really? I had no idea.”

 

See the source image

 

The S2000 has an aura to me. No, it’s not a 500 HP beast, but its combination of looks and performance is hard to beat, IMO.

Honda began production of this car in 1999 as sort of a 50th birthday present to itself. The car has a 2-liter (hence the 2000 in the model name)/122 cubic-inch 4-cylinder, naturally-aspirated engine that produced 240 HP, but only 160 LB-FT of torque. The engine had the famous VTEC technology that enabled it to rev to 9,000 RPM. For the day, two HP per cubic inch in a naturally aspirated engine was quite the feat; it still is, actually.

It is a small car with a 95-inch wheelbase and 162-inch length. Its curb weight is well under 3,000 pounds. Manual transmission be damned, I want one of these cars.

 

1993 Cadillac Allante

While I would want a ’93 model because it was the only year the 295 HP Northstar V-8 was available (slipping head bolts and all), I would try to find an auxiliary hardtop because that’s when these cars look their best.

See the source image

See the source image

 

Yes, these cars were an abject failure with only about 21,000 sold during their seven-year production run. I just see a beautiful car, with a body designed and built by Pininfarina–the company that designed and built bodies for Ferrari from 1951 to 2018. Oh, the top photo is of a 1987 model. Technically, availability of the auxiliary hardtop ended in 1992, but “rogue” hardtops for ’93s are available like for the ’93 in the bottom photo.

The heart wants what it wants, which leads to the last of the “Newbies.”

 

Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk

For years, I used to think that a certain song was my favorite of all-time, until I realized that it wasn’t the song I played the most often. This was my personal manifestation of stated vs. revealed preferences.

The Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk has to be in Ultimate Garage 3.0. I mean, C’mon, I bought a 1:18 model of the car:

 

 

Here is another photo I have shown in this blog:

 

 

This is the car that made me a little teary-eyed when I realized it would be included in Ultimate Garage 3.0. It was listed as one of the cars that “just missed the cut” in 1.0 and 2.0. I can declare, “I love this car!”

I still have hope that, one day, I will own one of these. The obsession with buying one is another reason I knew the Gran Turismo Hawk had to be included.

Hope you enjoyed this first installment of Ultimate Garage 3.0. I also still hope some of you will submit your own.

 

#UltimateGarage3.0

#ABeautyContest

#TheNewbies

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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A List For Saturday

First…this is one of my favorite, if not my favorite, posts of the year.

 

This is a highly idiosyncratic (can I have any other kind?!) and incomplete list of my favorite TV episodes ever. You will notice they come from just a very few series and, I admit, are highly biased in that they tend to come from series to which I have streaming and/or DVD access. I’m sure there are episodes of shows I watched in the 1970s that I really enjoyed, but I’ll be damned if I can remember what they are now. In addition, except for Family Ties, I did not watch any TV series from the late 1970s through the mid 1990s. Even now, I am not a big TV watcher.

 

“Unfaithful”  House

“All In”          House

“DNR”           House

“My Coffee With Niles”  Frasier

“Are You Being Served” Frasier

“Back Talk”                     Frasier

“Reverend Jim: A Space Odyssey”  Taxi

“Going Home”                                Taxi

“The 43 Peculiarity”                        The Big Bang Theory

“The Bath Item Gift Hypothesis”    The Big Bang Theory

“The Only Way Out Is Through”     Transplant

“Fit For Duty”                                  Flashpoint

“Everything Old Is New Again”       ER

“The Returning”                              Resurrection

“Up And Down The Dial”                          WKRP In Cincinnati

“Doctor Fever and Mr. Tide” Parts 1 & 2  WKRP In Cincinnati

“Turkeys Away”                                         WKRP In Cincinnati

“Password”                                               The Odd Couple

“A, My Name Is Alex” Parts 1 & 2            Family Ties

“The One With Ross’s Wedding”             Friends

 

I’m sure that a few days or weeks from now I’ll think of some other episodes. I’m also reasonably sure I won’t bother to share them because what difference does it really make?

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You wanted to see an automotive list, perhaps Ultimate Garage 3.0? Depending on circumstances, I may reveal that list next week. No points for guessing that this car will be included:

 

See the source image

 

This picture is shown here and is, of course, a DeTomaso Longchamp. Please don’t be shy about submitting your Ultimate Garage. So far, only David Banner (not his real name) has done so.

 

#AListForSaturday

#UltimateGarage3.0

#DeTomasoLongchamp

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Monday Blues

When I worked in office jobs that were not in baseball, I–like many people, I suspect–really disliked Mondays. (Remember that only about 30% of Americans like their job.) Not that I know what it’s like to be in prison, but it felt like I was incarcerated in those places while I was at work.

I’m not working in or out of an office, but I have the Monday Blues today. Why? It’s probably a combination of events, some of which I cannot discuss here.

I did suffer acid reflux last night, which woke me up and kept me up for about an hour before I fell asleep, rather uncomfortably, in my chair in the bonus room.

I am also tired of the ineptitude of American business…on Saturday my wonderful wife and I ate lunch at a place highly recommended by locals. It took the “establishment” three tries to get her burrito right. My first glass of iced coffee tasted like iced tea and I suspect it was.

We ordered solar screens for the windows on the south side of the house. When the company arrived more than a month ago to install them, the one we ordered for a half-moon window was not installed as, apparently, they had forgotten to order it. We are still waiting for it to be installed even though we have completely paid for the job and all of the screens.

I ordered an expensive item almost three weeks ago, something I have wanted for awhile, and was told it would arrive last Friday. It did not arrive and neither a phone call nor an email to the company were returned.

My strong belief is that when people are hired and/or promoted for reasons other than genuine merit, everything goes to sh*t. The damn virus has really scrambled logistical and work systems, as well.

I think it’s a sad sign, and a bad sign, when a company CEO makes a public statement about the importance of merit in hiring and promoting employees and is immediately subjected to vitriolic criticism. Frank Slootman, CEO of cloud software maker Snowflake (an ironic name, no?), said earlier this month, “We’re actually highly sympathetic to diversity but we just don’t want that to override merit. If I start doing that, I start compromising the company’s mission literally.” Slootman also said other CEOs feel the same way about the need to reach a more “moderated” approach to diversity, but are reluctant to say so publicly.

He was immediately criticized by dozens of US executives and was forced to backtrack somewhat from his comments. The world is messed up when a CEO can’t say that merit matters most. When merit doesn’t matter most, the result is the wrong item served at a restaurant, a missing solar screen, an expensive item not delivered when promised.

Perhaps it’s a good thing I’m not working in an office job. I would not be happy if I were passed up for a promotion based on criteria other than merit. What goes around comes around…

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Do any of you really care about my Ultimate Garage 3.0? I have been ruminating on the topic and much in the same way something a college professor said to me gave me the kick start I needed to finish my Masters Thesis, just setting a limit, arbitrary or not, to the number of cars has helped me complete the list, more or less.

As I have written before, if I publish the list it will not be one car at a time. Given the limit I imposed on myself, I can show the garage in two posts. (Contestant: I can show that garage in two posts. Host: Show that garage! Is the Name That Tune reference lost on most of you?)

Not having anything to do with 3.0, but with a model that will be represented…on this day in 1996 the last C4 Corvette was built and sold to Mike Yager of Mid-America Motorworks. From this Corvette Blogger article a picture of the car:

 

Last C4 Corvette

 

Even many Corvette enthusiasts don’t realize that the C4 was really a very different car from the C3. The latter still used the chassis, more or less, developed for the C2, which means at the end of the run for the C3, the chassis was 20 years old. From The Genuine Corvette Black Book:

 

“The 1984 Corvette was a complete redesign in almost every aspect. Handling considerations dominated and the result was praised by the motoring press as the world’s best cornering automobile.”

 

The full redesign wasn’t complete until the 1985 model year as the Cross Fire Injection system that was introduced in 1982, the last year of the C3, wasn’t replaced until ’85. Once again, from The Black Book:

 

“Design criteria specified that the 1984 Corvette have more ground clearance but less overall height, a lower center of gravity, and better front-to-rear weight distribution. In order to achieve these goals, engineers located the engine more rearward, then routed the exhaust system through a larger transmission tunnel. The effects on handling were dramatic, but a penalty was paid in interior room, especially in the footwell area.”

 

I will write that the C4 Corvette is not a part of my Ultimate Garage 3.0, but I have still grown to really like the car, especially from model years 1992 and later or, more particularly, from 1995 and 1996. About 359,000 C4 Corvettes were produced during the 13 model year run. Of those, about 109,000 were produced from 1992 through 1996. As the hashtag reads, so many cars just one life.

 

#MondayBlues

#BringBackMerit

#UltimateGarage3.0

#LastC4Corvette

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Tuesday Tidbits

No, I don’t mean these although I wish they were still available:

 

See the source image

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This CNBC article reports on the recovery of much of the Bitcoin paid to the Colonial Pipeline hackers. With a court order, US government officials were able to identify a virtual currency wallet used by the hackers and retrieve the “funds.” This morning, the price of Bitcoin is declining sharply. Let’s see: the bad guys suffered and now Bitcoin is “suffering.” I think there’s a message in that…

The main reason that Bitcoin has become the favored payoff for modern digital criminals is that it is supposed to be untraceable after the transaction. Well, I guess it isn’t.

******************

This piece reports on how “wokeness” and “cancel culture” threaten real freedom of speech in the publishing industry. It’s not written by a person of conservative ideology, by the way. While the author maintains that freedom of speech doesn’t really apply to publishing companies, here is the last sentence of the post: “It would be sad if senior editors started capitulating to their offended or woke staff, for that would lead to the homogenization of literature (most publishing staff are liberals).” By literature, he means all books and not just fiction.

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Ultimate Garage 3.0 is getting out of control. My list is up to 17-18 cars. While that represents an infinitesimal fraction of all cars ever made, of course, it sure is a case of “garage inflation” when one considers the first Ultimate Garage I published had 7 cars.

Does that increase stem from learning more about cars, about being more immersed in the automotive world than ever before? Am I just getting more indecisive as I age? I guess I’m supposed to show a car photo here. Let’s see…

 

 

This is a picture of a 1967 Corvette restomod I took at the 2019 Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Arizona. (I wonder where that is? Yes, that is sarcasm…) I had hoped to bid on the car, but the bidding took off and the car hammered for $192,500 all in.

The prices of C2 Corvette restomods at that auction, in addition to the cost and time of having one built, were major factors in my decision to buy a C7 Z06. Of course, I actually bid on two C7 Corvettes at that auction, but had the next-to-last bid both times and each of those bids was $71,500 all in, a long way from $192,500.

While I don’t think I will ever be in a position to acquire a C2 Corvette convertible restomod, at least not without parting with my Z06, I still very much would like to have one. If Ultimate Garage 3.0 is published, it will come as no shock that one of these will be included.

 

#TuesdayTidbits

#Bitcoin

#ProtectRealFreedomOfSpeech

#UltimateGarage3.0

#1967ChevroletCorvetteRestomod

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Sunday Says

OK, so there’s a cease-fire in the Middle East. Most world opinion is anti-Israel. No matter what I write, no matter the truth, that won’t change. Still, here is the truth as written in Why Evolution Is True:

 

“Remember that Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005 as a voluntary good-will gesture in connection with the Oslo Accords. PM Sharon also evicted 7,000 Jews from Gaza at that time, leaving it “Judenrein” (“Jew free”). The Jews didn’t want to leave, and many had to be physically carried out of their homes by Israeli soldiers, homes that were destroyed by the soldiers as well. However, the agricultural and industrial infrastructure of Gaza, previously owned by Jews, was donated by Israel to Gaza and the Palestinians, who promptly destroyed this infrastructure simply because it was Jewish. Have people forgotten this?

Let’s be clear here: Israel is not depriving Gaza of food, medicine, or other amenities and necessities of life. The blockade, which is enforced by Israel and Egypt (Egypt is stricter!) is meant only to prohibit the importation into Gaza of weapons or of material that can be made into weapons. The EU, the UN, and many GMOs pour millions and millions of dollars into Gaza (more is coming soon), and if there is a reason for a grim life for ordinary Gazans, let us remember that much of that is due not to the blockade of weapons, but to the appropriation of donated money to build rockets, tunnels, and to line the pockets of corrupt Hamas officials. Those who continually indict Israel for turning Gaza into an “open-air prison” often seem to forget that this is largely due to the leadership of Gaza by Hamas.”

 

“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.”

– Aldous Huxley

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So, how many cars would be too many for Ultimate Garage 3.0? I could easily see myself listing 20-25 cars, but think that would be overkill. If I publish 3.0 I will try to limit myself to 14-15 cars.

Theoretically, I could just list four or five as the crème de la crème–there are cars that fit that description for me–but it’s less fun for me to do and probably less fun for you to read. Once again, any thoughts you have on this topic or the presentation of your own Ultimate Garage are very welcome.

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With my renewed interest in C6 Corvettes, I can’t help but think about the one I owned:

 

 

This picture was taken outside of our second home in Texas. This wasn’t a second home as in a place we only lived part of the year. Chronologically we lived in this house after our first Texas house. This is the only brand new house in which we’ve ever lived, we went to the site every day during construction, and will probably be the only brand new house that we will own.

Back to the car…at first I was not a fan of C6 styling because I liked the hidden headlights that were part of the Corvette for four generations (C2 through C5). The more I saw the car, though, the more I appreciated what I thought were material improvements in styling compared to the C5 like the reduced overhang at the rear.

In a previous post I listed my order of Corvette generations by styling only. I think the C6 would now rank third for me behind the C2 and C7. Does anyone care to share their ranking?

 

#SundaySays

#TheTruthIsOftenIgnored

#IStandWithIsrael

#UltimateGarage3.0

#C6Corvette

#My2007Corvette

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Sluggish Saturday

I couldn’t drag myself out of bed early enough this morning to attend a nearby car gathering. Am I already taking the car culture here for granted? I hope not…

I don’t know if it’s allergies or something else, but my quality of sleep has not been good for most of the time we have been in Arizona. To be honest, though, it wasn’t that good before we moved, either. I think the last time I had consistently good sleep was in the summers between school years and that was a LONG time ago.

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Two years ago today I unveiled the first automobile in my 11-car Ultimate Garage 2.0. (It was a 1956 Packard Caribbean convertible, by the way, in case you don’t click on the link, or even if you do.) It simply doesn’t seem possible to me that it’s been two years. The ever increasing swiftness of the passage of time is the most powerful indicator of advancing age, in my opinion.

I am thinking about and trying to formulate Ultimate Garage 3.0. If I do publish the list, though, I will not do it one car at a time. It is a virtual certainty that 3.0 would have more cars than 2.0 and I just wouldn’t want want to drag it out. If I finish and publish 3.0, I will do it in two or three posts. Also, I will not have posts prior to the reveal writing about the cars that just missed the cut.

I have decided to have fewer restrictions than before. Who knows? I might even include a car that was only available with a manual transmission. However, I will not include cars of which only 10 or 50 were made. That might be the only restriction.

Of course, I would be very happy if any of you decided to submit your Ultimate Garage. You can have as few or as many vehicles as you like with as few or as many restrictions as you like. Be assured, though, that my Ultimate Garage 3.0 will remain highly idiosyncratic and personal.

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Lot F276 at the Mecum Auction in Indianapolis, a beautiful 1963 Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk restomod, was bid to $50,000, but did not sell yesterday. Dirty Dingus McGee speculated the build cost $100,000 and the reserve would be around $60,000. For the nth plus nth time, Mecum does not allow its online photos to be captured (why?) so I cannot show the actual car. Although I haven’t quite finished watching yesterday’s broadcast, I don’t think the car was shown, anyway.

Once again, I will use my recently purchased 1:18 model as a stand-in for a photo:

 

 

Yes, I have written many times that my “ideal” Gran Turismo Hawk would be in British Racing Green, maybe with a Cream top, would have wire wheels and probably be a restomod. If you’re going to dream, then dream big.

 

#SluggishSaturday

#INeedBetterSleep

#UltimateGarage3.0

#StudebakerGranTurismoHawk

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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A Very Mixed Bag

At noon local time on Tuesday, the minimum age for registering for a COVID-19 vaccine was lowered to 55 in this state. A limited number of vaccine appointments were made available, first on the state’s Department of Health Services website.

All of those appointments were gone by 2 PM. Amazingly, I was able to snag one for myself, for next Friday at 6:15 AM. State Farm Stadium, one of the public vaccination sites, is open 24/7 when they have vaccine supply.

Very unfortunately, I was unable to get an appointment for my wonderful wife. Later, I tried the website of the national pharmacy chain where we had secured appointments for her parents, but with no luck. All vaccine appointments are currently booked. So much for vaccine hesitancy, huh?

I have continued my efforts to get her an appointment, but it seems as though no more new appointments will be available for awhile. I am very conflicted about being able to get a vaccine while my wonderful wife cannot.

I know supply is still somewhat constrained, but this is an unfortunate turn of events, a very mixed bag, if you will. I was hoping to get both of us signed up with the national pharmacy chain and then I would have cancelled my state appointment. The best laid plans of mice and men…

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Those who sympathize with the cause of the “Palestinians” should read this article, which appears in the bastion of liberal news, The New York Times. The piece is titled, “As Palestinians Clamor for Vaccine, Their Leaders Divert Doses to Favored Few.” From the article:

 

“…in secret, the [Palestinian] authority has diverted some of the thousands of vaccines it has received to some senior members of the ruling party in the West Bank who have no formal role in government, according to two senior Palestinian officials and a senior official from the party, Fatah, who all spoke on condition of anonymity.”

“Vaccines have also been secretly given to top figures at major news outlets run by the authority, according to one of the senior Palestinian officials and two employees at those outlets. Family members of certain government officials and Fatah leaders were also given the vaccines, the senior official and a former government official said.”

 

In my opinion, the “Palestinians” have no moral ground on which to make any claims for themselves about any issue. Their governments (yes, they have two governments: one in the West Bank and one in Gaza) are beyond corrupt. The “citizenry” is obsessed with the annihilation of a sovereign state that has existed for more than 70 years and is the only democracy in the Middle East.

Maybe those inclined will see this article as more reason to sympathize with “Palestinian” citizens. Well, they elected Hamas as the ruling “party” in Gaza. Hamas is a terrorist organization that has only one policy initiative: to annihilate Israel. (Yes, I know the Times article is about Fatah.)

I stand by my statement. The “Palestinians” have no moral ground to make any demands for themselves.

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Taking deep breaths to calm down…

May is about eight weeks away. In late May of 2019 I began to unveil my Ultimate Garage 2.0. As I have mentioned before, I am considering an Ultimate Garage 3.0 to be revealed in May and/or June of this year.

Version 2.0 had 11 cars. My first Ultimate Garage, released on my first blog hosted by the Evil Empire, had seven. I am aiming for 10 cars for 3.0, but it will not be easy to limit my choices to ten.

Some have offered the opinion–and not in the form of a blog comment–that I should only include cars I’ve actually driven. I understand that view, but feel it’s too limiting. An Ultimate Garage is an exercise in fantasy, which by definition is not grounded in reality.

A car on the bubble for 3.0 is this one, a car that just missed the cut the first two times:

 

See the source image

 

From FastLaneCars a picture of a Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk, a 1962 model to be exact. The timeless design of this car is an homage to the original Loewy coupes, designed by Robert Bourke and Holden Koto.

In profile or rear three-quarter view, I still think the car looks stunning. While if somehow I had the means and the space to acquire one it would probably be restomodded, for an Ultimate Garage exercise I would include a stock car. Here is sort of a three-quarter view I took at the Mecum auction in Arizona almost exactly one year ago. First, an aside: a very mixed bag also means getting started on being vaccinated against the damn virus, but not being completely vaccinated in time to attend either the Mecum or Barrett-Jackson auctions that will take place here later this month. Yes, that’s a shallow and selfish perspective; I’m only human and I LOVE attending car auctions.

 

 

Part of me almost feels obligated to include the Gran Turismo Hawk for 3.0, like I can’t leave the car out again. Those of you, like C/2, who were gracious enough to send me your own Ultimate Garage almost two years ago, can do so again. Of course, you can send me your Ultimate Garage even if you weren’t reading this blog two years ago. It’s amazing how writing about Ultimate Garage 3.0 and the GT Hawk succeeded in calming me down.

 

#AVeryMixedBag

#IStandWithIsrael!

#UltimateGarage3.0

#StudebakerGranTurismoHawk

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Slapdash Saturday

Who says Arizona has no bodies of water?!

 

 

This is a picture of Lake Pleasant (appropriately named, I think) where my wonderful wife, her parents and I spent part of New Years Day. I mean, c’mon, a lake surrounded by mountains on a cloudless, dry New Years Day with high temperatures in the low 60s. How can it get any better?

The dew point is about 20° here right now; in parts of south Florida the dew point is still in the 60s! No thanks, I’ll stay here. Yes, it will be very hot in the summer, but I don’t think a dry 105°-110° is any worse than a humid 90°.

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This piece from Classic Cars is one in a series of looks at 2020. This article chronicles the rapid growth of online automobile auctions in response to the damn virus. I enjoyed this sentence: “But in the middle of March, everything came to a stop faster than an F1 car heading into a hairpin turn.” I’m not even a big fan of auto racing.

I think the rapid move to online auctions speaks to the advantage of an economy where the private sector makes most of the decisions in terms of allocating resources. Can you imagine government being able to pivot so quickly? I maintain that’s not possible.

 

“Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy; its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.”

– Winston Churchill

 

I know Dirty Dingus McGee has bought cars via an online auction; has anyone else? I have made some half-hearted bids on Bring a Trailer, but knew that little to no chance existed that I would wind up owning the cars. BaT listings show scores of photos and the seller is almost always available to answer questions.

I think online auctions will be the dominant form in the future as the low overhead and low commissions will be a competitive advantage. Even if you have not done so already, would any of you consider buying a car in an online auction?

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Some more blog stats…

The number of views that were referred by search engines in 2020 was seven times higher than the number for 2019 and 85 times higher than the number for 2018. I have no idea how “sticky” that referral pipeline is. Of course, I wish that the total number of views for 2020 had been seven times higher than 2019 or 85 times higher than 2018.

From my perspective, I think it’s unfortunate that 86 percent of those referrals from search engines in 2020 were from the Evil Empire, aka Google. I didn’t think that their share of the search market was that high, but maybe this blog is not a representative sample. I haven’t used any Google product for three years. The fact that I still have to delete Google cookies from my computer every week is just more evidence of their criminality.

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I am just beginning to formulate ideas for Ultimate Garage 3.0. It seems like I wrote about version 2.0 just a few months ago, but May of 2021 will be two years.

I am struggling to make these choices organic. I do not want to simply repeat the same 11 cars that I listed in 2.0, but don’t want to change just for the sake of change. In addition, my feelings about various cars are difficult to compare to each other.

I think at least five cars will stay the same; you can guess as to their identity. Why not limit 3.0 to just the “core” cars? What fun would that be?! 🙂

I don’t think I will write posts on the cars that just missed the cut as I have done in the past. However, I will begin to show cars that are under consideration, but not locks, such as this one:

 

See the source image

 

From Classic Nation a picture of a 1956 Continental (don’t call it a Lincoln) Mark II. In conversations with friends who are car people, some of them have “complained” about lack of representation of Ford and Mopar vehicles in Ultimate Garage 2.0. I am NOT a proponent of quotas in any aspect of life and that applies to this exercise. I think decisions about inclusion/exclusion should be made solely on the basis of merit, whenever possible, and it’s possible far more often than the SJWs will admit.

However, I also don’t want to exclude cars just because they were made by companies of whom I am not the biggest fan. For me, FoMoCo will always have the shadow of its disgusting founder hanging over it. Will that affect my decision to ultimately include or exclude the Mark II? I’m only human, but I will try to be as objective as possible about something that is subjective in nature, as paradoxical as that sounds.

 

#SlapdashSaturday

#DesertViews

#OnlineCarAuctions

#GoogleIsEvil

#UltimateGarage3.0

#1956-57ContinentalMarkII

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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