December?!

Is it really December, 2018?! Time flies whether you’re having fun or not.

My condolences to the family and friends of George H.W. Bush. Someone I hired for his first full-time job in baseball had opportunities to interact with President Bush and had nothing but wonderful things to say about him.

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No excusing Kareem Hunt’s actions, but I am surprised the Chiefs released him. I am also reminded of something I tell people about my time in baseball: except for their ability to play baseball, most baseball players are entirely unremarkable people. I suspect that applies to football players as well.

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LAND YACHTS!

The AACA Museum in Hershey, PA has a new exhibit entitled LAND YACHTS: Postwar American Luxury Convertibles. My wonderful wife had the day off yesterday (her company is very generous with PTO) so we made the long drive to Hershey to see the exhibit.

My two favorite cars in the exhibit were parked next to each other right in the lobby by the front door.

This is a picture of a 1966 Buick Wildcat. The beautiful wheels were a factory option. This car was available with three different engine options: the base 401 cubic-inch V8 with a four-barrel carburetor producing 325 HP/445 LB-FT of torque, a 425 cubic-inch V8 with a four-barrel carburetor rated at 340 HP/465 LB-FT and the same 425 cubic-inch engine with two four-barrel carburetors rated at 360 HP/465 LB-FT.

I don’t know how much the picture conveys, but in person this car looked just stunning to me. By the way, despite the fact that this is a two-door model it is 220 inches in length, more than 18 feet. Buick produced about 5,400 Wildcat convertibles in 1966 in both regular and Custom trim.

 

My other favorite of this exhibit is this 1954 Packard. My (insane) obsession with defunct American makes is well-known to regular readers of Disaffected Musings.

1954 was the year of the Packard/Studebaker merger that, ultimately, contributed to the demise of both companies, IMO. Perhaps 56packardman would like to weigh in about this topic. This was also the last year that Packard offered an inline 8-cylinder engine. The undersquare (bore<stroke) motor displaced 359 cubic inches and was rated at 212 HP/330 LB-FT of torque. The Packard-developed Ultramatic automatic transmission was used.

Only 863 of these cars were produced and Packard only produced about 31,000 cars in total for 1954, of which about 23,000 were the “plebian” Clipper. This was a very poor year for Packard as 1953 had seen about 90,000 cars produced of which about 64,000 were Clippers. By the way, I am only counting finished cars and not chassis. Packard built about 500 chassis in 1953 that were bodied by another company.

I firmly believe that if one is a car enthusiast they should support the hobby in any way they can within their means. My wonderful wife and I are AACA Museum members, despite the fact that it is a schlepp to drive there and back.

 

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

 

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4 thoughts on “December?!

  1. Agreed no reason to release Hunt at this time. If he made a mistake then he should be punished and then allowed to resume his job. This is not murder etc and he should not be treated as if this is such a grave incident.
    We all make mistakes.
    And yes, athletes and other peeps in the public arena are just people like the rest of us and def not perfect.

    I always felt in my heart that GeorgeW
    Would leave quickly after his wife
    I never thought it would be this soon
    Prayers…….

    Ben

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  2. I agree with you about that Buick Wildcat. It is still a great looking car. Those wheels were available on several Buick models and like the design of the car itself, the design of those wheels has aged well. They still look great!

    Re Packard’s poor showing in 1954. Studebaker had a terrible year in 1954 as did almost everyone not named Ford or Chevrolet. In 1953, Packard was tracking to build 100,000 cars. And in 1953, the public loved Studebaker’s stunning new Starliner (hardtop)/Starlight (pillared) coupes. The problem for Studebaker in 1953 was they weren’t prepared to build as many coupes as the public wanted to buy, costing them many thousands of sales. Also Studebaker (mis)management bungled the design of the new-for-’53 sedans, again costing them many thousands of sales. That whole sad story is here: https://56packardman.com/2015/09/22/gear-head-tuesday-studebakers-lost-opportunity-in-1953/

    Compounding the sales problem, as hinted at above, for everyone not named Ford or Chevrolet is that in 1953 Ford and Chevrolet got into a fierce volume war slugging it out for the #1 sales position in the industry. The two makes pumped out more cars than there was demand for and these cars were forced down dealers’ throats to move them. In turn, the dealers were slashing the prices to “move the metal”. This volume war spilled over into 1954 and lasted most of the model year. The price war effected sales of middle, upper middle and luxury class cars as well. Everyone suffered, but particularly the independents who didn’t have a big corporate parent’s deep pockets to offset the losses.

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    1. Thanks, 56packardman. Many automotive historians believe the Chevrolet/Ford war may have been the biggest nail in the coffin for the Independents.

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