Frugal Friday, What Are We Doing Edition

Academia, like most of America, is drowning in credential-ism. Accreditation of universities is nothing more than people trying to protect their fiefdoms. To use an economics term, it’s a barrier to entry designed to ward off competition.

Academia is not everyone’s nirvana nor should it be. Academic achievement is not the only kind of achievement that matters or should matter, even in the context of academia.


OK, I almost showed the results for whatever cars were the least expensive that were from model years 2014 to 2016. Then I remembered that Frugal Friday is about buying a collector car, an interesting car, without having to take out a second mortgage and not about buying a Toyota Corolla.

Today’s Frugal Friday cars are just my subjective picks without any really hard criteria, sort of a protest against credential-ism. Sometimes you just know something is right or wrong without checking or needing credentials.



From Hemmings a 1962 Buick Electra 225 convertible listed for $14,900. Unlike many cars for sale the ad copy for this one is quite expansive. (By the way, if you like cars you should read Hemmings and even think about a subscription.) Here is a small excerpt (Edgar shout-out!) from the ad:

“This beauty is not a trailer queen or a Barrett Jackson $100k restomod. However, she’s not a set out in the middle of a field with the grass grown up around her. This is a super solid car at every angle.”

I think for almost any used car you have to budget for repairs to get the car “right.” I just bought a 2016 model car with 4,400 miles, but I had to spend almost $2,000 for a set of tires. That’s just life.

I really like this Buick, but at heart I’m a General Motors guy. What can I say? Having said that, though:



Also from Hemmings a 1956 Studebaker Power Hawk. All of the Hawk models, introduced in 1956, were simply updates of the classic Studebaker coupes introduced in 1953. For 1956 only the Hawks are devoid of those tacky (IMO) bolt-on rear fins. The dealer is asking $12,750 for this excellent example of a 1950s American car. For the nth time I will write that the average “transaction price” for a new vehicle in the US is approaching $40,000.

My wonderful friend and neighbor, Jack, stopped by to have a look at my recently acquired 2016 Corvette Z06. He is a smart man and asked an insightful question, “What’s next?” I told him I have a desire to buy an interesting car that was built before I was born and that wasn’t expensive. This Studebaker would be a contender although I will quickly add that until we have lots more garage space I am not buying any more cars.

Readers, feel free to submit your own finds for Frugal Friday. I just love alliteration!





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4 thoughts on “Frugal Friday, What Are We Doing Edition

  1. The hot rod movement started because people needed a cheap way to acquire transportation. When they wanted to go fast, they modified what they had. The SEMA show in Las Vegas is the outgrowth of those efforts. Farmers in the 1920’s needed tractors with which to till their soil, so they modified Model T’s and A;s into tractors. Some companies sold kits to facilitate those efforts. Classic cars and their collection runs in trends which are affected by availability and economics. If you see a classic or older which appeals to you, “collect” it now. It may be tomorrow’s “trend”. In my mind (over 70) if it was made after 1957, it is ugly, with some exceptions.


    1. Thanks, Philip. Different strokes for different folks, but many car “experts” advise to simply buy what you like. If it appreciates in value, great, but if not you will enjoy the car.


  2. Credential-ism in some cases is necessary. I am a registered Professional Engineer licensed by the State of Arizona. Where public safety is necessary, i.e. engineering structures in accordance with building codes, having the necessary “credentials” is paramount. However, there are some state “licenses” where it is truly a barrier to entry into the field. Academic achievement in the form of a college degree is not necessarily an advantageous “achievement” in today’s society. You should look into the efforts of Mike Rowe, formerly host of “Dirty Jobs” and his efforts to foster interest into the “trades” and achievement there.


    1. No argument that credentials are SOMETIMES necessary. However, in America credentials are mostly used to fend off competition. I am familiar with Mike Rowe and his efforts to bring more attention to the honor of doing blue-collar and no-collar work well.


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