More For Monday

OK, as you can guess whatever interest I have in elections lies in the data. From this August article on comes this chart:


Midterm Election Results

This chart shows the number of seats in the House of Representatives and U.S. Senate that the president’s party won or lost during midterm elections dating back to Franklin D. Roosevelt.

 Year  President  Party   House   Senate  Total 
1934 Franklin D. Roosevelt D +9 +9 +18
1938 Franklin D. Roosevelt D -71 -6 -77
1942 Franklin D. Roosevelt D -55 -9 -64
1946 Harry S. Truman D -45 -12 -57
1950 Harry S. Truman D -29 -6 -35
1954 Dwight D. Eisenhower R -18 -1 -19
1958 Dwight D. Eisenhower R -48 -13 -61
1962 John F. Kennedy D -4 +3 -1
1966 Lyndon B. Johnson D -47 -4 -51
1970 Richard Nixon R -12 +2 -10
1974 Gerald R. Ford R -48 -5 -63
1978 Jimmy Carter D -15 -3 -18
1982 Ronald Reagan R -26 +1 -25
1986 Ronald Reagan R -5 -8 -13
1990 George Bush R -8 -1 -9
1994 William J. Clinton D -52 -8 -60
1998 William J. Clinton D +5 0 +5
2002 George W. Bush R +8 +2 +10
2006 George W. Bush R -30 -6 -36
2010 Barack Obama D -63 -6 -69
2014 Barack Obama D -13 -9 -21


The lesson? Regardless of party, whichever one won the Presidency will almost certainly lose Congressional seats in the midterm election. I don’t watch CNN or MSNBC or Fox News or network news so I don’t know if this FACT has been reported; I doubt it, but it sure seems relevant to me. Do I have a prediction? I don’t know enough to make one, but the history sure seems clear. (Update: regular reader Philip Maynard has commented that the “news” networks are “reporting” this general trend in midterms. However, I suspect that regardless of ideological slant the reporting comes with an agenda and is not “just the facts.”)


Thanks to 56packardman for posting links to this blog on other car sites when relevant. I will return the favor and post a link to a piece that I found quite interesting, the subject of which was Studebaker and not Packard.

From the article comes this picture:

I don’t know the year, but it looks like a 1964-66 Studebaker Cruiser four-door sedan. As regular readers know my interests are almost exclusively in two-door vehicles, but this car’s history overcomes that for me. More from this post by 56packardman:

“As we have covered previously, Studebaker found itself on the ropes yet again after the 1959 Lark briefly saved the company. Studebaker had been in decline since the badly botched introduction of its 1953 line. In 1961 the Studebaker board brought in Sherwood Egbert to end auto production. Instead, he mounted a Churchillian effort to revive the company’s car business. While the effort didn’t save the company, it did result in some of the most memorable cars Studebaker ever built: the Gran Turismo Hawk and the Avanti. Egbert brought Brooks Stevens on board to re-make the cars and Raymond Loewy was tasked with the project that yielded the Avanti. Stevens worked miracles with almost no money on the passenger car bodies. Over three model years, he grafted enough new sheet metal onto the cars that the 1964s looked like they were an all-new design. Stevens’ re-working of the Hawk produced one of the finest designs of the ’60s with the bonus to Studebaker of the ’62 Gran Turismo Hawk costing the company $28 a car less to produce than the ’61 model. Bean counters today would be pleased with the $28 per car savings, but in 1960’s dollars, this was a very significant cost reduction. Despite the lower cost, the car looked new and fresh – and the design has aged well. Stevens’ Gran Turismo Hawk, like the Robert Bourke-designed Starliner hardtop coupe it is based on, is still a very handsome automobile.”


“Necessity is the mother of invention” is a famous saying. Studebaker made some remarkable cars in the early 1960s, but was doomed anyway. If you build a better mousetrap the world will not necessarily beat a path to your door.





For Philip Maynard:

From a picture of the “Hanky Panky” by Bruce Geisler.




5 thoughts on “More For Monday

  1. So you are not completely in the dark, the news networks are reporting about your seats gained and lost in the Congress…………endlessly.


  2. Thank you for the “plug”! 🙂
    The Studebaker in the photo is an unrestored ’64 Cruiser. The badge on the fender in front of the door indicates that this particular Cruiser is fitted with an Avanti engine. I can’t get a clear enough look to tell if it is the non-supercharged R1 or the supercharged R2.


    1. Thanks for the clarification. I don’t know if it’s just my obsession with defunct American makes clouding my judgment, but the ’64 Cruiser looks pretty good to me.


  3. Since you have posted about Studebaker so much recently here are two of my favorites. I post them if your blog would let me post pictures. Both are 1953 models as this a favorite of the Bonneville Land Speed Racers because of it’s aerodynamics. The first is Bruce Geisler’s “Hanky Panky” a long time competitor with a variety of engines and little body modifications. The second is Jack Chisenhall’s “A Cool 200” with body modifications, a big block Chevrolet and air conditioning. They set a record at 219 mph with the air conditioning on. Jack owns Vintage Air in San Antonio, TX.


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