Your answers are the reason I posted this stuff. Here's a few of the puzzling details:
a) compared to the Corvette, why did the T-Bird look so dull? Same exposure mode (AP). Same subject mattter and lighting and tonal values? The Corvette images yielded a creamy texture. With depth. Perhaps I should post more of those to illustrate the gap in quality.
b) No change in camera settings. Only the addition of the CP filter.
c) I have never used computer software for PP. I'm new at this. Waiting for the availability of an Intel iMac to discard my G4 Mac.
d) The photos I discarded were worse than the ones that slipped by me. Could that be because they were NEF and contained more detail? I tend not to accumulate trivia, so I thought no PP would redeem them and relieved my hard drive of some fluff
e) for the life of me, I can't explain what I was hoping to gain by using a polarizer. It obviously provided no advantage.