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Thursday, October 14, 2021


1969 Camaro Z-28

I was receiving information, reading it or watching and listening to a YouTube video, about a car, and they mentioned the 0 to 60 speed as being some number of seconds. Okay, that's nice, but what does that mean? Back in the day we rated cars on quarter-mile times - 13 seconds and 100 MPH was what the 1969 Camaro Z-28s and Ford Mach 1 Mustangs were doing, and those two numbers were the most important numbers in the world. Everything since then is just imitators beating their chests. Young men are such nincompoops.

Okay, nothing has changed except now we're quoting a different number, and I have no idea what's good or bad, so some random time means nothing to me, so I go Googling and Google takes me to Zero To 60 Times where I find a list of a couple hundred cars along with their 0-to-60 times as well as their quarter mile times. Times range from two seconds for a Tesla and a Ferrari to 14.1 seconds for some Hyundai econobox. A big surprise were number of trucks that showed with sub-seven second times.

I took those numbers and put them in a spreadsheet and sorted them according to their 0 to 60 times. Then I broke them into one second brackets and counted the number of models in each bracket. That's the blue line. You'll notice that there is a significant dip at the 10 second mark. The number of different models peaks at the 7 second mark. If your car can make it to 60 in seven or eight seconds you are in good company. Then there is another peak at the 11 second mark. These I believe are your econoboxes, cars designed to get you around with the least amount of fuss and bother. Given the way traffic is in big cities these days, they will probably get you where you are going just as fast as one of the hot rods.

Then I tried to a apply a little ordinary math to the numbers to see if a better picture would appear. Faster cars cost more money and fewer of them are sold. Slower cars cost less money and more of them are sold. If we choose the right multiplier to adjust the price and number of cars made, then the total value of the cars sold in each category should approximate a straight line. It didn't turn out that way. Instead it looks like more money is to be made from making a few, very expensive cars than than from making a zillion econoboxes. This is just me playing with numbers, it might be interesting to find the actual number of cars made of each model and the price they sold for, but that's a lot of work that I am not going to do.


Packer said...

How fast must we go? Fast enough to safely travel at freeway speed or fast enough for male nincompoops to get all orgasmic. Found you blog in mid air it is really well done.

Chuck Pergiel said...

Thanks for the kind words.

xoxoxoBruce said...

The manufacturers and ad agencies used 0 to 60 times because they didn’t want to be seen as promoting drag racing by using quarter mile times and speeds exceeding any legal speed limit.
As I recall the first time I broke 10 seconds I wasn’t allowed back on that track without considerable upgrades in safety. Harness instead of seatbelt, longer wheel studs with lug nuts that had the hole all the way through instead of the typical chromed lugs that didn’t, safety net on the driver’s door, and a roll bar.
It isn’t how fast we must go, it’s how quickly we can get out of the way of the locomotive bearing down on us crossing the tracks. Or being able to get there first when you spot a naked lady hitchhiking up ahead.

Chuck Pergiel said...

Tell us more about your car, Bruce.