Monday Musings

Yesterday was the first NFL regular season Sunday without my having NFL Sunday Ticket in over 20 years. I have to say that I didn’t miss it.

I did watch a little football, some of the Colts-Chargers game that aired on the “local” CBS affiliate. Local is in quotes because I live in a state without any major network affiliates or without commercial aviation. Many of you should now know in which state I live.

I was curious about seeing the Colts without Andrew Luck. The game was exciting with the Chargers winning 30-24 in overtime.

My interest in NFL football is the least it’s been in decades. In general, I am tired of billionaire owners and millionaire players who are out of touch with the middle-class fans that support them. Let me quickly add that I am not a supporter of wealth re-distribution policies or socialism. I am just exercising my right as a consumer in a “free-market” economy to stop spending money on a product I no longer want to consume.


A post-script to yesterday’s scribbling about Kaiser automobiles. By way of Richard Langworth’s excellent book about Studebaker are comments by Hickman Price, Jr., former export vice president of Kaiser-Frazer (and later, Assistant Secretary of Commerce during John Kennedy’s administration):


“I was young and I was brash and I had a whole lot of ideas. One of them was that in the automobile business—although this had not been proven at that stage at all—the big ones got bigger and the little ones went out of business…We may have a period of three or four years—I remember putting 1950 as the terminal date—in which we can sell everything we can make, and hopefully we can price things at a level where we can make a good profit. But that isn’t going to be enough because it isn’t enough volume and it isn’t enough business really, in this industry. That was Hudson’s experience ultimately and Studebaker’s; I was sure it would happen to us. Actually, it happened to us earlier than it did to Hudson and Studebaker and for different reasons.”


Concentration of market share in the hands of a few firms is common and can often be primarily the result of stochastic variation or “luck.” Once market share is obtained, however so, it can be difficult for those firms with less share to ever make significant inroads in that market.

From a picture of a 1955 Kaiser Manhattan, one of the few four-door cars whose styling appeals to me:


See the source image


1955 was the last model year Kaiser sold cars in the US. Only 226 of these four-door sedans were produced for the US market in 1955. These cars were powered by a supercharged version of the same inline 226 cubic-inch 6-cylinder engine that Kaiser used for all of its tenure as an automobile manufacturer. In supercharged form the motor could produce 140 HP/215 LB-FT of torque.


This past Saturday my wonderful wife and I attended the “car show” hosted by a local Corvette club the first Saturday of every month from April to October. Once again, we are taken by the camaraderie among these automobile enthusiasts. Even though the show is sponsored by a Corvette club, many non-Corvettes are brought. Thanks to Brian for being so friendly and for bringing his wonderful 1987 Buick Grand National:



One would never know this car has 118,000 miles on it. Many also would not know that this variant of the Buick Regal and other similar models like the Turbo-T and, of course, the GNX were the pinnacle of American performance cars in the mid-1980s.

Yes, that is a DeLorean parked next to the Grand National. That car belongs to Brian’s friend, John, who also owns two Grand Nationals having been inspired to acquire those cars by Brian’s example. I have always been a fan of these Buicks, but it’s nice to have that fandom rekindled from time to time by seeing a good one in person.








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