Wednesday Weirdo

Yes, it is Wednesday and I am a weirdo. To wit, this strange dream: I was driving along–destination unknown–and, apparently, in a convertible. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a flash of green. The next thing I knew I saw lots of money just floating in the air. Some of it floated into my car. Imagine my disappointment when I realized it was only two dollars.

Then, the person who was (apparently) responsible for tossing this money pulled up very close to me–remember, we’re driving–and handed me two more dollars. I thanked him, but then forcefully told him to get away from my car before he hit it.

What would have been wilder is if the total amount I received in the dream had been six dollars. Why? After I woke up I checked my Mega Millions ticket and we won $6.

I think sharing dreams in this blog helps me to remember them better, at least long enough to write about them here. One of the few really good dreams I can remember still didn’t start out that way. I dreamt I was worried about money, about how I would pay my bills. Then, I said to myself in the dream, “What are you worried about? You have four million dollars in the bank.” The feeling of joy and relief was amazing. Oh, this dream was decades ago, long before I had anywhere near the assets that I have today, which is not to say I have four million dollars.

As for the exact amount I think I must have just watched the movie Twins. At the end, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character says to Danny DeVito’s character, “Don’t you feel better about returning the money?” The reply, “Oh, you mean the four million dollars. Yeah, it feels good to be one of the good guys.” Of course, the amount in question was actually five million, so the implication is that DeVito’s character took a million for himself.

A financial services company (Thrivent?) used to have commercials in which the announcer said, “We think money should be a tool, not a goal.” Of course, the more money you have, the bigger the hammer. All kidding aside, and as I have written before, I think it’s good to be careful with your money, but it’s OK to splurge every now and then if you can afford it. You can’t take it with you.

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In Ultimate Garage 2.0, which I revealed almost two years ago (!), a Jaguar F-Type coupe was one of the cars. In a sign of my growing affinity for convertibles, if Ultimate Garage 3.0 is ever shown, then this car might be a part of it instead and might be something on which I would splurge if I had the opportunity:

 

See the source image

 

From an unsecured site (motorward.com) a picture of a Jaguar F-Type convertible. I think the rear end of that car just looks amazing and looks much better than the rear end of the coupe. I am hardly objective, but the F-Type convertible and the C7 Corvette convertible might be the two best-looking ragtops ever made, unless you count the C2 Corvette convertible with the auxiliary hardtop in place.

Happy Dreams!

 

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Wednesday Weirdo Meets 600

It’s Wednesday, I’m a weirdo (as if you needed reminding) and this is the 600th post on Disaffected Musings. Who said there’s no method to my madness? 🙂

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Famed writer, diplomat, political scientist and historian Alexis de Tocqueville wrote:

 

“Americans of all ages, all lifestyles and all types of predispositions always form associations. In democratic countries, knowledge of how to combine is the mother of all other forms of knowledge; the progress of all others depends on its progress.”

 

To me, implicit in de Tocqueville’s thought is that associations are always for the good. The American Nazi Party and Antifa are associations; are they good for progress among Americans?

Yes, perhaps I am using somewhat of a red herring by mentioning those two “groups.” Still, in this day and age of social media-fed bubbles, intent of association can be questioned and like virtually everything else associations are neither all good nor all bad.

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This piece on Hagerty reports the sad news that Alfa Romeo’s plans to introduce a performance GTV coupe and 8C supercar are dead. Here is the depressing first paragraph:

 

“Former FCA chief executive Sergio Marchionne had big plans for Alfa Romeo, but now, it has been confirmed that those proposals are off under the company’s new leadership in the name of a ‘rationalized portfolio plan.’ In fact, next to a facelifted Giulia sedan debuting in 2021, all Alfa Romeo will give us in the future will be crossovers and SUVs, either with a hybrid system or a full electric drivetrain. That means the GTV coupé based on the Giulia’s rear-wheel-drive platform is cancelled and so is anything else that may remind you of a sports car, including the proposed mid-engine 8C.”

 

For a company with the history of Alfa Romeo this news is quite upsetting. It would be nice to see an automobile company zig while everyone else is zagging, but Alfa Romeo will not be that company.

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Although the recently settled UAW strike will push the beginning of C8 Corvette production to February, the fact is the front-engine Corvette is no more. This Automobile Magazine article reports the results of test-driving the “ultimate” C7 Corvette, the ZR1. I liked this passage:

 

“Because it seems unfair, really, that the 2019 Corvette ZR1 has already become a thing of history, just another Vette in the model’s long and storied line. This is the culmination of not just the most recent generation of Corvette, but also the entire 66 years of the front-engine paradigm.”

 

While the aesthetics of the ZR1 are not really to my liking—I am not a fan of large wings on cars—I appreciate the sentiment expressed here. I fully understand the rationale behind the move to a mid-engine design and I hope the C8 is a huge success, but something important will leave the automotive landscape when the first C8s hit the road. From the Automobile Magazine article a picture of the “beast.”

 

2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 90

 

#WednesdayWeirdo

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Wednesday Weirdo

Actually, I’m a weirdo every day of the week, but you don’t need me to tell you that. 🙂

Halloween? My parents had been in the US only about two years when I was born. I may have physically grown up in America, but culturally I was not raised here. My mother disapproved of Halloween. “You go around and beg for food,” she used to say with disdain. I think I only went trick or treating twice in my life. Of course, I didn’t need a costume as I looked scary enough on my own. I don’t consider Halloween to be anything except an excuse to eat candy; it does not remotely approach holiday status for me.

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I have owned two Corvettes and my next car will almost certainly be a custom restomod C2 Corvette that I will buy and/or build. I love high performance cars with what I consider to be great styling, like this car:

https://i2.wp.com/www.extravaganzi.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Ferrari-365-GTB4-Daytona2.jpg

From extravaganzi.com a picture of a Ferrari 365 GTB/4 “Daytona.”

 

So why do I love a car like this? See, I told you I was a weirdo.

https://disaffectedmusings.files.wordpress.com/2018/10/e8f49-1989_nissan_figaro_concept_01.jpg

From pistonheads.com a picture of a Nissan Figaro. The Figaro was produced only for the 1991 model year. Originally only 8,000 were going to be made, but the demand was so high that Nissan ended up producing 20,000 of them.

They were powered by a turbocharged 987cc (everybody chime in, 60 cubic inches for Bill Stephens) inline 4-cylinder engine that produced 76 HP/78 LB-FT of torque. The Figaro had a three-speed automatic transmission.

I have a couple of pictures of me sitting in a Figaro at a local auto gathering, but didn’t want to show any of them here. I have shown a picture of me on this blog, but I was with three other people so it isn’t clear which of those people is me. In the Figaro photos I am the only person in the picture. See, I told you I was a weirdo.

Do I have to say it? The Nissan Figaro is adorable. Since all of the cars are now more than 25 years old they can be legally imported into the US. What do you think of the Figaro?

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Thanks to everyone from the Corvette Forum who read yesterday’s post making it one of the most read posts on Disaffected Musings. If you like this blog, please tell your friends and please share the blog URL (https://disaffectedmusings.com).

Thanks to everyone who read this blog this month. October has had more views, unique visitors, likes and comments than August and September combined. I am grateful; please keep reading and please feel free to post thoughtful comments.

Here are the most read posts on Disaffected Musings not counting, of course, the home page:

1) Sunday Studebaker

2) Paean For Pontiac

3) Saturday Studebaker

4) Tuesday Notes

Thanks to 56packardman for posting links to this blog, when relevant, on other car forums.

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Thanks to an interesting email dialogue with Steve Dallas I am re-considering the engine choice for my restomod C2 Corvette build. He pointed out that in the real world titanium connecting rods and intake valves (stock on the LS7 engine) are really not a difference maker and that a crate LS3 can be purchased that makes more HP out of the box than the LS7.

I am not an unintelligent person, but I know that I don’t know everything about anything. As the title of a book by the late, great Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver said, “It’s What You Learn After You Know It All That Counts.” I think that many people who suffer from delusions of grandeur and delusions of omniscience are really among the most ignorant. The more one learns the more one should realize how much they don’t know.

 

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