The Beginning Of The Middle

Today’s post title refers to yesterday’s post/post title.

 

The good news is that blog views for April, 2021 were 16% higher than for April, 2020, when views took a quantum leap up in the wake of the damn virus. The bad news is that the average number of views per day for April, 2021 was 16% lower than the average of the previous six months.

As I wrote somewhere in this blog, I believe that the six months ending in March of this year will represent the high-water mark for blog views. As people stop being confined they will read less and spend less time with their computers and mobile devices. It is what it is.

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From a speech by Vince Lombardi, thoughts on a theme about which I have written:

 

“We as individuals have struggled to liberate ourselves from ancient traditions, congealed creeds and despotic states. Therefore, freedom was necessarily idealized against order, the new against the old and genius against discipline. Everything was done to strengthen the rights of the individual and weaken the state…and weaken all authority. I think we all shared in this rebellion, but maybe the battle was too completely won, maybe we have too much freedom. Maybe we have so long ridiculed authority in the family, discipline in education and decency in conduct and law that our freedom has brought us close to chaos.”

 

That last sentence rings very true for me. I think about the assault on the US Capitol in January, about the Antifa riots, about people refusing to wear masks and get vaccinated, and I think people have lost all respect for anyone except them, for any ideas with which they disagree. I would add that this behavior also stems from excessive narcissism, but that could be partly explained by the struggle “to liberate ourselves from ancient traditions, congealed creeds and despotic states.”

I have no answers, only despair. I think “social media” plays a huge role in the decay of respect for others and for other ideas. It is my fervent, albeit futile, hope that Fack Fucebook is broken up and that Zark Muckerberg ends up in prison.

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On this day in 1953 Zora Arkus-Duntov was hired by Chevrolet although, initially, he had no involvement in the recently introduced Corvette. However, before the year was over Duntov wrote an internal memo titled, “Thoughts on Youth, Hot-Rodders and Chevrolet.” He expressed his thoughts that an image for high performance cars should be developed by Chevrolet with the Corvette as the focus and, as such, was linked to that effort thereafter.

It was Duntov who first proposed a mid-engine design for the Corvette in the 1950s and that culminated in the first mid-engine Corvette prototype, the CERV I of 1959. That it took 60-ish years for Chevrolet and GM to actually produce a mid-engine Corvette…well, I guess large companies are like large ships in that it’s difficult to change direction quickly.

While I doubt my wonderful wife or I will ever own a mid-engine Corvette, I think the decision to produce such a car was the “right” decision and the overwhelming success of the C8 so far seems to confirm that thought. The obligatory picture of a C8 Corvette:

 

See the source image

 

Is it really May 1?!

 

#TheBeginningOfTheMiddle

#VinceLombardi

#TooMuchFreedomIsAlsoNotAGoodThing

#FackFucebook

#ZoraArkusDuntov

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Zora!

After the trip to Corvettes at Carlisle I have the car in my brain more deeply than ever. For example, I hope to visit a “local” restomod Corvette shop tomorrow (if I can stay out of doctors offices long enough) to have very preliminary discussions about what I want and what it might cost. How does this look?

See the source image

From corvetteforum.com a picture of a 1967 restomod. Hey, how does one add words to the WordPress dictionary? I am tired of restomod or resto-mod being underlined in red as being misspelled.

My restomod will preferably be a convertible, but with the auxiliary hardtop welded in place to create a one-off hardtop coupe. The person with whom I’ve been communicating has been very helpful and very thorough with his email replies. One “bright” spot is that to get good HP (550+) will not necessarily require supercharging or turbocharging. That fact will help keep the price manageable. Of course, in a dream world where money is no object I would get them to build a 1,000+ HP engine, maybe a twin-turbo stroker motor.

Of course, the big news in the Corvette world right now is the anticipation of the debut of the C8, the eighth-generation Corvette. It is widely expected that the C8 will finally bring Zora Arkus-Duntov’s dream of a mid-engine Corvette to life. Road and Track is keeping track (pun intended) of C8 rumors here. I would like to show you their photos of the camouflaged C8 prototypes, but their pictures are copyrighted and it is never my intent to violate copyright laws.

According to Road and Track Mark Reuss, head of Global Product development at GM, says that the C8 will be “revolutionary.” To some Corvette watchers, that can only mean one thing: a mid-engine Chevy supercar. While some had hoped the car would be unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show this past January, the best guess now is that the car will be shown for the first time sometime in 2019, perhaps to go on sale later in the year as a 2020 model.

From Road and Track: “The only reason the Corvette would switch to a mid-engined layout is for performance. Engineers at GM understand that there is a limit to how much power a front-engine supercar can put down, and how much cornering grip it can achieve. Although the current Corvette is a fantastic sports car, it’s inherently held back by its front-mid-engine layout. With the engine in the middle, the car’s weight distribution can be optimized, with turn-in and corner holding capabilities benefitting as a result.”

Also from Road and Track: “A member of the mid-engine Corvette forum recently discovered that Chevrolet has begun to trademark the name ‘Zora’ in several different countries, including the US, the UK, China, Japan, and Australia. If you’re not familiar with the name, Zora Arkus-Duntov was the GM engineer responsible for much of the early Corvette’s development, engineering, and racing success. He worked on the Corvette program from 1953 up until his retirement in 1975 at the age of 81 years old. Though he didn’t create the car, he’s known throughout the car world as the ‘father of the Corvette.'”

For some Corvette aficionados it is a matter of “I’ll believe it when I see it” in terms of a mid-engined car. In my opinion, the Corvette is already the best performance car in the world, dollar for dollar. No, even the ZR-1 will not keep up with a Bugatti Chiron, but the Chiron costs millions and the ZR-1 is about $140,000. What would a $1 million Corvette be able to do? Of course, how many $1 million Corvettes could GM/Chevrolet sell? Who knows, maybe more than I think.

For those Corvette fans out there, I keep asking what do you think about the seeming inevitability of a mid-engined Vette? Will the almost guaranteed higher price change the makeup of the Corvette market? What do you think about the likelihood that two generations of Corvette will be offered simultaneously for the first time?

As always, I hope to read your thoughts. Also, if you were to build a restomod Corvette without an unlimited budget, what would you want?