Archive for the ‘TOP TEN Lists’ Category

Cynthia Ann Stephanie Lauper achieved success in the mid-1980s with the release of album 'She's So Unusual' in 1983, which spawned four Billboard Hot 100 top-five songs, one of them, 'Girls Just Want to Have Fun.'

   I was reading a friend’s blog the other day, and she was simply making some observations about her three daughters. Having my own daughter, her observations hit home. So thank you Carinda Kerr, for the idea for this TOP TEN list. Without further ado, here are the TOP TEN Annoying Traits of a Girlie-Girl:

10. Their Love / Hate Relationships: How can Girlie-Girls totally love each other one minute, and a half-millisecond later want to tear every last strand of hair out of each other? It’s a well defined scientific fact that in Girlie-Girl’s world, ‘Two is company, three’s a crowd.’ Any two girls can get along fabulously. But add a third, and you’re looking for trouble. Just like in Quantum Physics, two will always bond against one. This can be defined by the equation:
but it cannot be understood.

9. Their Cute Suits: When Girlie-Girls see each others’ outfits, they say, “Oh, I love it”, “It’s so cute on you”, “I would totally wear that!” But, if two Girlie-Girls show up at a party wearing the same thing, it’s on. Watch out for flying insults and obscenities. And momma has no taste in clothes – that is, until Charise shows up at school in a tie-dye Summer dress just like the one in momma’s closet (er, make that, used to be in momma’s closet).

8. They are Fashion Fickle: Girlie-Girls change clothes twenty-four times a day. Seriously. They’ve been home ALL DAY and their drawers are empty and the hamper is full. They try on clothes and if it doesn’t fit their mood, or the shade of red doesn’t match their lip gloss – it goes in the dirty clothes for mom to re-wash, re-iron, re-fold, and put away for tomorrow’s fashion quest. I know, because folded clothes frequently end up in the hamper. And why do they care so much which bathing suit they wear and whether the top looks good with the bottom in our own back yard with zero probability that anyone outside of our household will see them?

7. CH..CH..CHanges: Changing clothes aside, why do Girlie-Girls change their MINDS so frequently? Pull up to the drive-in window with three girls and ask, “What flavor ice cream do you want?” They reply, “Vanilla. No, chocolate. No, strawberry. No, cherry….” (One of the girls decides she adamantly wants vanilla). Now ALL the girls want vanilla. But one wants chocolate sprinkles. No, pink sprinkles. No, purple sprinkles…

6. Girlie-Girls are Pack Rats: Why can’t we walk anywhere without picking every last weed….err, I mean flower…and then leaving them all in my car? Look in a girly-girl’s room. You will find a drawer full of ticket stubs: football, theater, concert. They are usually kept in the drawer next to the drawer full of different brands of empty chewing gum boxes. Need money? Look for change under her bed. Need a pencil stub? There are several to choose from, behind her desk, up against the wall. Need a hair scruchy? There’s a box in the closet… and a bag in the dresser… and some under the bathroom sink. Need to see last year’s social calendar? It’s in there too.

5. Girlie-Girls leave Crime Scene Forensics: Why do they leave so much evidence that they have been wherever they go? For example, if girly girl decided to make breakfast on her own, she will leave the following clues: a bath towel draped over a chair, four cabinets left open, the spoon drawer hanging out, a gallon of milk on the counter, milk spilled on the bar, the lid to the milk on the floor, cereal box on the stove, cereal flakes in the sink, a pair of scissors in the window sill, and two ‘box tops for education’ in the fruit bowl, despite the fact you don’t do ‘box tops for education.’

4. To them, It’s just Jewelry: Two hours before the prom, Girlie-Girl will ask, “Mom, can I borrow your gorgeous 16-inch, 24-karat gold necklace, the one that belonged to daddy’s grandmother and he gave it to you when he got down on his knees and proposed to you on Valentine’s day in front of the whole office where you worked?” Then, two hours after the prom, they ask, “What necklace?”

3. The Appeal of the Squeal: Girlie-Girls squeal. Actually, they scream. And they scream all the time. They scream when they are frightened, They scream when they are scared. They scream when they are hurt. But they also scream when they’re excited. They scream when they’re happy. They scream when they first see each other, and upon each subsequent meeting. They scream when they hear a joke. They scream when they get an idea. They scream when they’re giddy, then they scream at each other when they get mad. They scream really, really loudly when they are mad!

2. Why do they cry so much? If they aren’t screaming, they are crying. In addition to the list of things they scream about on Item #3, they cry if they think someone may be mad at them, or they think that someone looked at them, or a certain boy didn’t look at them. Or their best friend’s neighbor’s dog growled at them. I have often thought, “Crying? Again? Seriously?” Let me give you something to cry about: my boss at work, taxes, gas prices, tuition, the rent is due, and the car broke down… again.

1. They’re A Stranger in our Midst: Why are Girlie-Girls so unpredictable? If someone asks (and this happened for real yesterday), “Do your girls like carrots?” I honestly don’t know how to answer. It seriously depends upon their mood, if it’s sunny or rainy, the temperature in the house, if their best friend’s goldfish smiled at them six hours ago and if they have the right kind of shoes on.

A BONUS ANNOYANCE: My friend Carinda has three girls. She says of the total improbability of getting a really great picture: Why can’t I get ONE picture where all THREE of them are looking at me, with all SIX of their eyes open and all THREE mouths smiling?

TOP TEN rules for dating my daughter


The mighty American dollar - not so mighty any more?

   Everyone agrees that the economy is bad, jobs are scarce, hours long, and pay is low. Personal debt is at an all-time high, homes are being repossessed, and millions of dollars worth of risky investments are being written off the books.

   To be honest, I just vaguely understand how these items indicate that we’re in a troubled economy. Only Economics professors can understand the connection. So I put together a TOP TEN list for us dummies. This list of indicators describe simple, everyday signs that show we’re in tough economic times:

10. The economy is so bad, you order a burger at McDonald’s and the kid behind the counter asks, “Can you afford fries with that?”

9. It’s so bad, the CEO’s of major companies now play miniature golf.

8. The economy is so bad Hot Wheels and Matchbox stocks trade higher than General Motors.

7. Wendy’s is now offering the 1/4-ounce single.

6. Motel Six won’t leave the light on unless you call ahead and make a deposit.

5. The economy is so bad, Exxon-Mobil laid off 25 Congressmen.

4. It’s so bad, the value of a car is determined by the amount of fuel in the tank.

3. Kroger and Food City offer grocery financing.

2. The economy is so bad, I got a pre-declined credit card in the mail.

and the #1 indicator for dummies that the economy is bad:

1. The bank returns your check marked “Insufficient Funds,” and you have to call them to ask if they meant you or them.

   Senior Pastor, Worship Leader, Minister, Youth Leader, Preacher, they’re all Pastors, and we put them on a pedestal. Even though they’re just men like you and I, we expect a little more from them. Right or wrong, we expect them to be better than we are ourselves. And in a lot of ways they are. Here are the TOP TEN Reasons you should appreciate your Pastor.

#10 – You Never catch him snoring during the service or congregational prayer.

# 9 – He rarely ever misses a service to go fishing or watch a ball game.

# 8 – He knows all the words and tunes to all the hymns.

# 7 – He remembers every single prayer request – even the one about your great-uncle Tom’s first cousin twice removed’s oversized gall bladder.

# 6 – You can trust him with your children.

# 5 – He never complains that the sermon was too long.

# 4 – He’s the only one who can find the book of Obadiah without looking in the index.

# 3 – He actually encourages teenagers to come to church.

# 2 – He knows every member’s name without having to look in the church directory.

And the number one reason you appreciate your pastor:

— Even if there wasn’t a little fish on his car, he would NEVER cut you off in traffic like you just did him.

By Marc Lachapelle of MSN Autos

   A car can be sexy in the same way a person can be sexy — although the trait is a bit harder to define when you’re talking about sheet metal versus flesh. Part of a sexy car’s appeal is purely physical: proportions and curves, size and muscle. Humans have eyes, lips and hips; cars have headlights, grilles and fenders. But then there’s the truly intangible — the basal attraction that turns mere mortals into drooling buffoons. For this, a machine must be bold, distinctive and aggressively elegant. And there’s the sound, too — a car’s voice. A beautiful car you admire; but a sexy one you desire. Here are our 10 choices for the sexiest cars of all time. They are not necessarily the most beautiful of their breed, but they will get your heart racing and your blood boiling.

Mercedes-Benz SSK

   This race-bred German roadster from the early 1930s doesn’t have the swoopy elegance of a Bugatti Type 57 Atlantic, but there’s sheer elemental beauty in its spare bodywork, wire wheels, big headlights, stubby windshield and the three large exhaust header pipes shooting out from either side of its long, narrow hood. The SSK embodies the very essence of a classic sports car and was among the best and fastest of its time, with the top models powered by a supercharged 7.1-liter inline 6-cylinder engine that develops 250 horses. Derived from the Super Sport model, it rides on an 18-inch-shorter wheelbase, for greater agility. Hence the ‘K’ for ‘kurtz’ [German for ‘short’]. The SSK was the last car designed at Mercedes-Benz by Ferdinand Porsche, and fewer than 40 were built.

1957 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham

   Tail fins unquestionably remain the defining feature of American cars from the Fabulous Fifties (check out these fine fins). They were used liberally, sometimes to excess, but never more gracefully than on the 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham. Watching it roll down the street from behind is like watching Shakira wiggle her hips on stage, only the Caddie’s rear end is wrapped in chrome. Cadillac’s first-ever 4-door hardtop has rear-hinged “suicide” doors, is 18 feet long and weighs more than 5,300 pounds. The 6.0-liter 185-horsepower V8 engine is a must with such mass. The Brougham was largely hand-made and was more expensive than even a Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud. The Brougham has unique features, such as a stainless-steel roof, air suspension, and the industry’s first memory power seats.

Jaguar XKSS

   While the Jaguar E-Type is the very essence of automotive beauty and elegance, the XKSS is raw energy on wheels. Only 16 copies were ever built of what is basically a road-going version of the sublime D-Type racer that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans from 1955 to 1957. The XKSS has the D-Type’s bulging fenders but skips the large, vertical fin that stood behind the racer’s driving quarters. Jaguar also added a second seat and door, a windshield and a folding top. The XKSS is powered by a 3.4-liter 250-horsepower inline six, good for a top speed of 150 mph. Actor Steve McQueen reportedly acquired an XKSS for about $5,000 in 1959, sold it after a decade and bought it back a few years later. The car is worth millions today.

Ferrari 250 GTO

Ferrari 250 GTO   Long, low and lean, the 250 GTO is one of the rarest Ferraris in the legendary Italian carmaker’s 63-year history. Only 36 were built to obtain racing approval, as a GT in the World Manufacturers’ Championship, hence the abbreviation for “Gran Turismo Omologato.” The GTO subsequently won this title from 1962 to 1964. It is powered by a 3.0-liter V12 engine that develops 300 horsepower, but the car weighs only 2,400 pounds — less than a Mazda Miata. In its time, the GTO was the quintessential Grand Touring car; it could win races at the highest level yet be driven on the road. Its interior is Spartan but all is forgiven with the addictive howl of that V12 engine. You could buy a new GTO for $18,000 in the early ’60s, but a collector paid $42 million for a pristine 1962 model in 2008.

Lamborghini Miura

   By 1966, the mid-mounted engine had become the norm in Formula One, ruled at Indianapolis, and helped Ford beat Ferrari at Le Mans. That year also saw upstart Italian automaker Lamborghini reveal the first exotic sports car with a mid-mounted engine. The Miura premiered at the Geneva Motor Show, featuring a 3.9-liter 350-horsepower V12 engine mounted transversely behind the cabin and stunning bodywork by Italian designer Marcello Gandini. The Miura’s impossibly low, long and wide body, draped over big alloy wheels and tires, created the template for the modern supercar. Its flowing lines have a sumptuous elegance that would be lost in Gandini’s next famous design at Lamborghini, the fighter plane-like Countach.

Shelby Cobra 427 Roadster

   In the early ’60s, a tall, lanky Texan named Carroll Shelby set out to beat Ferrari at the highest level of sports-car racing by stuffing a Ford V8 engine under the hood of a classic British roadster. The AC Cobra was born. By 1965, with Ford’s backing, Shelby’s team had won the FIA Manufacturers’ Championship with the roadster and its streamlined version, the Cobra Daytona Coupe. The original narrow-fender Cobra, most notably powered by the 4.7-liter 289 engine, was followed by the legendary Cobra 427 Roadster with its radically flared fenders and 7.0-liter V8 engine. Rarest and most valuable are the S/C models (what does this mean?), barely detuned race cars of which only 31 were officially built. The Cobra roadster was a beast of a car then, and nothing has ever quite matched its raw power and brutish looks.

De Tomaso Mangusta

   Alejandro de Tomaso was a fiery, ambitious Argentine who took on Ferrari and Lamborghini at the game of building exotic sports cars. The Mangusta still looks stunning more than four decades after its 1967 debut, but it is by no means perfect. The impossibly low, mid-engined supercar has nasty handling traits and is anything but a paragon of comfort, tameness, or reliability. Reportedly named after a snake-killing critter, when engines promised by Ford went into Shelby Cobras instead, the Mangusta was nonetheless powered by V8s from the Blue Oval. Only 250 are still around. A 1969 Mangusta made an appearance in this Quentin Tarantino film as Mr. Bill’s vehicle of choice.

Porsche 911 Turbo

   The Porsche 911 family of sports cars is the grandest ever, and the Turbo is its wildest child. The first 911 Turbo was launched in 1974, in the wake of the first oil crisis. It is powered by a rear-mounted, turbocharged, air-cooled 3.0-liter flat-six engine that develops 260 horsepower. The Turbo became just as famous for its generously flared rear fenders and a large rear spoiler that was quickly nicknamed “whale tail.” Engine displacement and horsepower grew over the years, culminating with the rare 1993 Turbo 3.6S, the last and most powerful of the rear-wheel-drive Turbos, with its 3.6-liter 380-horsepower engine. The Turbo’s notoriously tricky handling was mostly tamed with all-wheel drive in the 1995 Type 993. The newest 911 Turbo is both slick and fast, with its water-cooled 500-horsepower 3.8-liter engine.

Aston Martin V12 Vanquish

   The Aston Martin Vanquish is the most exquisite iteration of the superb form that was introduced by the Aston Martin DB7 in the early 1990s. Both cars were shaped by Ian Callum, currently Jaguar’s Design Chief. The Vanquish was Aston Martin’s flagship from 2001 to 2007. The V12 DBS, which replaced it, is spectacular in its own right but doesn’t have quite the same pure feline appeal. The Vanquish is powered by a 460-horsepower 6.0-liter V12 engine with a 6-speed gearbox with automated clutch (the S upped the ante to 520 ponies). Its “hand-tailored” aluminum body panels were precision-fit over a monocoque structure that combines aluminum extrusions and a carbon-fiber transmission tunnel.

Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione

   The mere name Alfa Romeo is already music to the ears. For more than a century, this fabled Italian automaker has honed its reputation for auto racing exploits and beautiful machines, none more so than the 8C Competizione. Its gorgeous lines are inspired by Alfa racers from the ’30s and ’40s (see photos of these classics), and it is named after the 8C racer that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans four straight years from 1931 to 1934. The 8C Competizione was introduced at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2003 as a concept with only limited production. The 8C coupe has a carbon-fiber body and is powered by a 4.7-liter 450-horsepower V8 engine with a 6-speed automatic gearbox.

They see me rollin’

Surprising Facts About 10 American Muscle Cars

Article by Ben Stewart | Popular Mechanics online

   America loves speed. The 1960’s and 1970’s might have produced the wildest and rarest muscle cars packing giant torque-rich V-8s, but the 1980’s brought its share of powerful machines to the street too – cars that were quick and yet met the more stringent emissions controls. And behind the horsepower there are some surprising stories.

1968 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500

   The first two years of Carroll Shelby’s Mustangs are the most desirable to many Mustang purists. Those 1965 and 1966 GT 350s were light, simply styled, and perfect for track work. But the later 1967 and 1968 cars offered more fun under the hood and were the machines of choice if you wanted to win drag races.

1968 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500

   For the first time, ’67 to ’68 GT 500 Shelbys came with 355-hp 428-cubic-inch big-block power under the hood. Car testers of the day saw quarter-mile time slips in the mid-to-low 14-second bracket—quick for the day. The Shelby Mustangs received more scoops and flashier styling than the older cars to match the new-found power and torque. And the even quicker KR (King of the Road) high-performance model was available in 1968 too.

The Little-Known Fact: The 1967 Shelby Mustangs used Mercury Cougar tail lamps, but the 1968 models used tail lamps from the ’66 Ford Thunderbird.

1984 Chevy Corvette

   The third generation of America’s sports car, the Chevrolet Corvette, had an incredibly long run: 1968 to 1982. So when it came time for GM to launch the next-generation C4 Corvette, there was wild speculation about the car. Some predicted it would use a mid-engine chassis, like an Italian exotic. And others thought it might use a rotary engine, like Mazda’s.

1984 Chevrolet Corvette C4

   In the end, the next ‘Vette wasn’t so radical. It still had a small-block Chevy V-8 up front driving the rear wheels. The first year, it cranked out a meager 205 hp. But after a switch to a new, tuned port fuel-injection system, horsepower jumped — and so did performance. Five years later, Chevy debuted the first ultra-performance ‘Vette since the 1960’s: the 375-hp ZR-1.

The Little-Known Fact: There is no production 1983 Corvette. Although 1982 was the last year for the third-generation Corvette, Chevy decided to wait until the 1984 model year to launch the all-new car. Why? Some sources claim tighter emissions regulations necessitated more time for development. Others say that quality glitches at the factory were the real reason. All we know is every 1983 Corvette prototype was destroyed, except one: a white car that now lives at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

1969 Dodge Charger Daytona

   The 1969 Dodge Daytona and its sibling, the 1970 Plymouth Superbird, are arguably the most radical vehicles to emerge from the muscle car wars. But the Daytona, as the name might suggest, wasn’t designed for street racing. It was built to win NASCAR races on the super-speedways — the longest and fastest tracks in America.

1969 Dodge Charger Daytona

   To increase top speed, Chrysler engineers took the Charger to the wind tunnel. The aerodynamic modifications to the big Dodge included a nearly 2-foot-tall rear wing, a flush rear window, and a longer, sloped nose cone. The results were impressive. The race version of the Daytona became the first car in NASCAR history to break 200 mph. After numerous Dodge wins in 1969 and some by Plymouth in 1970, NASCAR’s new rule book banned these high-powered cars. The production cars, which came packing a 440 big-block or the legendary 426 Hemispherical head engine, are sought-after collector cars today that bring more than $150,000 at auctions.

The Little-Known Fact: The Daytona’s aerodynamic modifications over a those of a standard Charger helped lower the coefficient of drag to 0.28 — an excellent figure even by today’s standards. But did that huge rear wing really need to be so tall to maximize rear-end downforce? According to legend, no. The reason for the exaggerated height of the wing was so that the trunklid on the production cars could pass underneath it and fully open.

1970 Oldsmobile 442

   The 442 (which gets its name from its four-barrel carburetor, four-speed manual transmission, and dual exhausts) was based on the Cutlass and became the hot muscle machine for the Oldsmobile division of General Motors. It shared its platform with two other hot GM machines, the Chevy Chevelle SS and the Pontiac GTO. And like the GTO, the 442 was only a cosmetic trim level at the beginning. But by 1970, you could get a huge 455-cubic-inch big-block V-8. And when equipped with the even more potent W-30 parts, the motor made 360 hp and a whopping 500 lb-ft of torque. It could hit 60 mph in less than 6 seconds, which was very quick for the time — especially for an Oldsmobile.

1970 Oldsmobile 442

The Little-Known Fact: Actor James Garner raced a beefed-up 1970 Olds 442 in the NORRA Mexico 1000 (a precursor to the Baja 1000), where it won second in class. The Goodyear Grabber, as it was known, was built by legendary Baja-race-vehicle guru Vic Hickey and sponsored by Goodyear tires. The vehicle was recently restored and put up for sale.

1978 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am

   By the late 1970s, muscle car performance was a mere shadow of what it had been years earlier. The latest emissions controls, combined with high gas prices and stratospheric insurance costs, caused most automakers to severely dial back horsepower.

1978 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am

   But not Pontiac. The Trans-Am had been riding a new wave of popularity since its starring role in the movie Smokey and the Bandit. For the 1978 model year, Pontiac added to the excitement by actually increasing the horsepower of its top-level Trans Am from 200 hp to 220 hp. The brand also developed a special handling package called the WS6 that added a sport-tuned suspension, wider 8-inch wheels, new tires, and quicker steering. The result was a Pontiac Trans-Am that was actually quicker and handled better around a track than the Chevy Corvette.

The Little-Known Fact: The Pontiac’s T-top roof, which first became an option in 1976, was as close as a buyer could get to a convertible Trans Am. These lift-out roof sections were initially made by Hurst and were known as the Hurst Hatch. The problem was, they leaked. This led Pontiac to develop its own T-tops within GM’s Fisher Body Division and launch the option midway through the 1978 model year. So some ’78 Firebirds have Hurst T-tops and others have the Fisher units. You can spot the difference because the Fisher glass roof panels are larger than the Hurst Hatch.

1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429

   In the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, NASCAR was in its golden age. Automakers took the business of stock-car racing seriously and would dream up engines and bodywork for racing that were often too wild for the street. All the automakers needed to do was sell 500 of these radical cars and they could run them in NASCAR.

1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429

   The Boss 429 Mustang was just such a beast. Although the Mustang never competed in NASCAR, the 375-hp 429-cubic-inch V-8 under its hood was designed specifically for racing and built to rev to 6000 rpm. The problem was, this motor did not perform well on the street. It was slower than the other big-block Mustangs at the time. The NASCAR-bound V-8 was monstrously large and did not fit in a stock Mustang’s engine bay. So Ford contracted Kar Kraft in Brighten, Michigan, to handle the job. The company relocated the shock towers, widened the track of the front end using unique components, relocated the battery to the trunk, and fitted a smaller brake booster—all to make room for this beastly powerplant to fit in the Mustang. Today, the rarity and mystique behind the Boss 429 has pushed values at auction well beyond $200,000.

The Little-Known Fact: There were actually three different 429 engines installed in the Boss 429 between ’69 and ’70. The hardcore “S-Code” was installed in early cars and filled with race-duty parts. But the S-Code had warranty problems, reportedly because of an incorrect assembly process. So the “T-Code” with lighter-duty parts was used in some cars. The later “A-Code” version of the 429, equipped with smog equipment and a new valvetrain, appeared toward the end of production life.

1970 Chevy Chevelle LS6

   When GM relaxed its longstanding rule forbidding engines larger than 400 cubic inches to be installed in midsize cars, it set off a muscle frenzy across the company’s divisions. Oldsmobile put the huge 455-cubic-inch into its 442, and Chevy installed a unique 454-cubic-inch V-8, the LS6, into its Chevelle SS.

1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS

   A conservative estimate of the LS6’s power puts it at 450 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque. But thanks to its high 11.25:1 compression ratio and giant Holley 780 CFM carb, the LS6’s real output in the Chevelle SS was closer to 500 hp, many experts claim. Our pals at Car and Driver tested one in 1970 and found it hit 60 mph in just 5.4 seconds, running through the quarter-mile in 13.8 seconds. And that was with the skinny low-grip tires of the day. That same car with modern rubber would be much quicker. The LS6 carries the highest factory horsepower rating of all muscle cars.

The Little-Known Fact: The Chevrolet Corvette has always been Chevy’s top performance car. And up until the LS6, GM wouldn’t allow any other Chevy to carry a horsepower rating higher than that of the Corvette. But somehow that stance was relaxed for 1970 — the highest horsepower engine you could get in a 1970 Corvette was a 390-hp LS5 454. An LS7 was planned with 465 hp, but it was never officially sold. So why no LS6? An LS6 Corvette was offered for 1971, but its potency slipped (at least officially) to 425 hp.

1969 Pontiac GTO Judge

   Pontiac owned the muscle scene in the early 1960s. In fact, the 1964 Pontiac GTO is widely regarded as the very first of the breed. But by 1968, that car had plenty of competition. The thought within Pontiac was to make a cheaper version of the GTO with a smaller 350-cubic-inch engine called the ET (for “elapsed time”) a drag-racing term.

1969 Pontiac GTO - "The Judge"

   Pontiac boss John DeLorean didn’t like that idea. To him, no GTO could have an engine that small. Instead, the team built a car one step up from the regular GTO. DeLorean himself named the car after a popular skit on the TV show Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In. “The Judge” featured the 360-hp Ram Air III engine standard, but buyers could also opt for the more hardcore 370-hp Ram Air IV. The rarest of all were the GTO “Judge” Ram Air IV convertibles — only five were built in 1969.

The Little-Known Fact: The original TV commercial for the “Judge” featured the rock band Paul Revere and the Raiders singing about the GTO out on a dry lakebed. According to the book Pontiac Pizazz, by Jim Wangers and Art Fitzpatrick, the lead singer, Mark Lindsay, was a car guy and loved the Judge, so he wrote a song about it. Wangers claims this commercial is considered one of the earliest rock-music videos.

1969 COPO Camaro

   Chevrolet’s Central Office Production Order (COPO) system was designed for fleet sales. It was intended to spec out heavy-duty suspensions for cop cars and stain-proof interiors for taxicabs. But enterprising dealers with the right connections, such as Yenko Chevrolet in Pennsylvania, figured out that Camaros could be ordered this way, too. And given the right order codes, the dealer could spec out a fire-breathing monster-of-a-Camaro that Chevy didn’t really want you to own.

1969 Chevrolet Camaro Special Order

   The production order 9561 specified a 427 big-block V-8 rated at 425 hp — just like a ‘Vette. But the even rarer COPO 9560 called for an all-aluminum ZL-1 427 V-8. Though this engine was rated with just 5 more hp, it was widely known that this race-spec engine delivered more like 550 hp. Only 69 ZL-1 Camaros were built, and these cars command prices in the $400,000 range at auction.

The Little-Known Fact: The aluminum ZL-1 427 V-8 in the 9560 COPO Camaro is essentially a race engine. Chevy originally developed this 427 motor for the Chaparral racing team to use in the Can Am series. There are no external emblems on a ZL-1 Camaro that let you know what’s under the hood — only plain-vanilla Camaro badges.

1987 Buick GNX

   Long after the big block V-8-powered muscle cars of the 1960’s and 1970’s went, Buick brought back some of that magic in the 1980’s. The Buick GNX, based on the Grand National (which is itself a hot-rod version of the Regal coupe), was equipped with a potent, turbocharged V-6. The GNX package brought the Grand National’s horsepower from 245 up to 276. Car and Driver tested one in 1987 and recorded a 0-to-60-mph time of just 4.6 seconds, making it one of the quickest cars on the market. Buick made only 547 of these black beasts. Many were squirreled away into storage as investments.

1987 Buick Grand National GNX

The Little-Known Fact: Buick had quite a few of these engines left over when it stopped production of the GNX — so Pontiac picked up the turbo V-6s and put them in the 1989 20th Anniversary Trans Am. It was conservatively rated at just 250 hp, but true GM enthusiasts knew the potential that lay under the hood of that Trans Am.

[Source: 10 Surprising Facts About American Muscle Cars | Popular Mechanics]

The TOP 10 Sexiest Cars of all Time

The Chevrolet Camaro


   I suppose you’re a retired or separated sailor and you’re reminiscing about your days on the boat at sea, or it could be that you’re a Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) cadet, accepting a commission to the United States Navy, and wondering what the next four to six years of your life will be like. Or you could just be a Navy wanna-be and want to answer a question that’s been burning in your mind: Could I hack it in the Navy?

A typical berthing area (sans people) onboard the USS Bataan

   Then you must read on, because presented here are the TOP TEN things you need to do to simulate a life in the Navy:

#10. HOUSING: Buy a dumpster, paint it grey and fill the bottom with six inches of liquid sewage. Bilge pump the liquid sludge back out and mop up the remainder, then repaint the floor terra-cotta. Live in the dumpster for six months with all the people from High School you said you wouldn’t be caught dead with after graduation.

#9. HOME MAINTENANCE: Re-run all the electrical and plumbing from behind the walls to the outside of the walls were you can see them to paint them. Label all the pipes and conduits so you can easily identify what you hit your head against for the accident report.

#8. SPECIALTY MAINTENANCE: At least weekly, completely disassemble and inspect your lawn mower. Discard one piece or part and reassemble the mower to working condition.

#7. EARLY MORNING ASSEMBLY: Have your wife (or husband) write down everything they want you to accomplish that day, and what you’re going to wear while doing it. Then get up at 5:00 a.m. and stand at attention in the backyard while your spouse reads the list to you.

#6. DAILY PRIVILEGES: Allow your 5-year-old cousin to cut your hair with a rusty pair of goat shears. Raise your bed to within 12 inches of the ceiling. Have your neighbor collect your all mail, randomly discarding every 5th piece, and then deliver it all to you on the last day of the month. Purchase TV dinners for every night, but don’t cook them, just thaw them out and eat them.

#5.FASHION: Have your mommy sew a name tag with your name on it to the back of your pants, and sew back pockets on the front.

#4. WORK: Set your alarm clock to go off at some random time in the middle of the night. Jump out of bed, get dressed as fast as you can, making sure to button the top button, tuck in your shirt, and tuck your pant legs in your socks. Shut off the main circuit breaker. Walk through your house with a flashlight, a clipboard and a pencil and make a note of the date, the time, the water level in the toilet tanks, the temperature inside the refrigerator, and the oil level in your car. Run outside and uncoil the garden hose. Call a neighbor from your cell phone and when he answers, say “All Secure, Sir.”

#3. SUPPLIES: Purchase 50 cases of toilet paper, lock up all but two, and ensure that one of those two rolls remains wet at all times.

#2. SAFETY: Raise the thresholds and lower the top sills on all your door frames in your house so that you either trip or bang your head every time you move form room to room. To prevent tripping and banging your head, paint all the door frames with glow-in-the-dark paint. Because glow-in-the-dark paint is radioactive, place human bio-hazard stickers on all the door frames you painted with glow-in-the-dark-paint. Put a red bulb in every light fixture that is near a door that leads outside.

And the #1 simulation for life in the Navy: Yell, “Attention on deck every time your wife enters the room.”

Read about“My Rack” on Confessions of a Sailor

My daughter may be all grown up and seem to be a mature woman to you, but to me, even if she's 30 years old, she will still be my little girl.

Rules for Dating My Daughter


Rule #1: Picking her up
If you pull into my driveway and honk you’d better be delivering a package, because you’re sure NOT picking anything up.

Rule #2: Proper attire
   I am aware that it is considered fashionable for boys of your age to wear their trousers so loosely that they fall off their hips. I want to be fair and open-minded about this issue, so I propose this compromise: You may date my daughter with your underwear showing and your pants ten sizes too big, however, in order to ensure that your pants do not “fall off” during the course of your date with my daughter, I will take my staple gun and fasten your trousers securely in place. ‘Hot pants’, ‘short-shorts’ and ‘topless’ are never acceptable… on either of you.

Rule #3: The Wait
As you sit in my front room, waiting for my daughter to appear, and an hour has passed, do not sigh and fidget or roll your eyes at me. If you want to be on time for a movie, you should not be dating. My daughter is putting on her makeup and fixing her hair, a process than can take longer than painting the Golden Gate Bridge. Instead of just sitting there, why don’t you do something useful, like change the oil in my car or clean my toilets?

Rule #4: Topics of discussion
It is usually understood that in order for us to get to know each other, we should talk about sports, politics, and other issues of the day. Please do not do this. The only information I require from you is an indication of when you expect to have my daughter safely back at my house, and the only word I need to hear from you on this subject is: ‘early.’

Rule #5: Lies, drinking, foul language, drugs
Do not lie to me. I may appear to be dim-witted, but on issues relating to my daughter, I am the all-knowing, merciless master of your universe. If I ask you where you are going and with whom, you have one chance to tell me the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

  • If you are planning on drinking alcohol – don’t.
  • If you plan on using foul language – don’t.
  • If you plan to use drugs – don’t.

If you plan on lying to me about any of the preceding topics – don’t. I have a shotgun, a shovel, and several acres of woodland. Do not lie to me.

Rule #6: Where you may and may not go
The following places are considered appropriate for a date with my daughter:

  • Shoney’s
  • Pizza Hut
  • Taco Bell
  • McDonald’s

– I realize that Denny’s is open 24 hours a day. Eating there between 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 p.m. is OK. Eating there between 10:30 p.m. and 8:30 the next morning is not.

– Movies with a strong romantic or sexual theme are to be avoided. Movies that feature chain saws are OK. Disney movies are even better.

The following places are considered inappropriate for a date with my daughter:

  • Places where there are beds
  • places where there are sofas
  • places with anything softer than a wooden stool
  • Places where there is darkness
  • Places where there is dancing, holding hands, or hugging going on
  • Places where the temperature is warm enough to wear shorts, tank tops, midriff T-shirts

School functions are okay, church is better, Retirement Homes are even better.

Rule #7: Eye and hand contact
   Do not stare at, or touch my daughter inappropriately. You may glance at her, and admire her dress, but you do not stare anywhere below her neck. You may look at her face. You may look in her eyes. But remember, her eyes are not anywhere near her necklace, so you should not be spending a lot of time looking there. Do not touch her ANYWHERE below the neckline either. If you cannot keep your hands off of my daughter’s body, I will remove them for you.

Rule #8: Sex
   There will not be any.

Rule #9: Your physical well-being
   I was in the military. It takes very little for me to mistake the sound of your car in the driveway for a ‘chopper coming in over Mogadishu. When my Battlefield Post-Traumatic Stress starts acting up, the voices in my head frequently tell me to clean and load my guns. For your own well-being, as soon as you pull into the driveway you should exit the car with both hands in plain sight. Announce in a loud, clear voice that you have brought my daughter home safely and early, then return to your car and depart – there is no need for you to come inside. I will be awake.

Rule #10: Termination of the relationship
   I have no doubt you are a popular fellow, with many opportunities to date other girls. As long as my daughter understands this, it is fine with me. Otherwise, once you have gone out with my little girl, you will continue to date her, and no one else but her, until she is finished with you. If you make her cry, I will make you cry.

A Dating Questionnaire

TOP TEN traits of a Girlie-Girl

Happy Valentine’s Day!