Last Frugal Friday Of 2019

First, a story…about two weeks after I submitted my Masters thesis the “institution” I had attended informed me in a letter that they were not going to accept the paper. The reason? The margins on three or four pages were an eighth of an inch off, only on the right side of the pages. As I had not typed the paper and, instead, had paid a secretary in the department to type it and given that the department knew this, I was shocked by the letter.

What did I do? I threatened to sue the university, the same university that would—about 25 years later—bestow upon me an “Alumni Award of Excellence.” What do you know…a couple of weeks later I received a letter informing me that the paper was accepted and I would be receiving my Masters degree.

Why am I writing about this? Sometimes a person or institution has to threaten in order to get results. This Hemmings article is titled, “After SEMA files lawsuit, NHTSA drafts replica car rules.” I wrote about this situation here. By the way, I have only filed a lawsuit once and, in general, think the US is too litigious.

ANYONE who thinks that people are always good-hearted and always have good intentions needs an operation to have their head removed from their rectum. Some people, and institutions are just collections of people, are ornery or mean-spirited or have to show they’re in charge. Counting on the goodwill of people to always do the right thing is naive and foolish. Besides, much disagreement exists about what “the right thing” is, anyway.


The last Frugal Friday car of the year is sentimental to me. I was actually surprised, upon reviewing the list of Frugal Friday cars, that this one had not been included. From Hemmings:



This is a 1956 Buick Century four-door hardtop sedan, of which 35,082 were made. One of these was the first car I really remember and the first car I ever drove. My father purchased one in 1961 and owned the car for more than 20 years.

One of the pictures accompanying the ad shows 210 miles on the odometer; the only thing we don’t know is if the car has 100,210 miles or 200,210 miles. The seller is asking $16,950. While pictures can be misleading (and often are), the car looks like it’s in good condition.

I believe this is the 34th Frugal Friday post. For at least the 33rd time I will offer that I would much rather have this car at $16,000-$17,000 than the vast majority of today’s new vehicles for which the average “transaction price” in the US is about $40,000.

I would very much like to read about your first car or a car that holds a special place in your memory. Happy Frugal Friday!







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7 thoughts on “Last Frugal Friday Of 2019

  1. I’ve always thought the ’56 Buicks to be the best looking of the ’50s Buicks. Good choice for your final Frugal Friday of the year!

    My first car was a ’57 Ford Custom. Base model, but with a V-8 that had been “souped up” – 272 block but with 312 heads and the 4 bbl. carb setup from the 312.

    The car I had the most fun with was a ’55 Triumph TR-2 that had been “t-boned” by a … wait for it … Buick. I blogged about that here:

    Despite my fondness for Packards, the car I honestly miss the most is the ’69 Porsche 912 I had. Relentless nagging by my then-wife, the infamous World War I as I call her, led me to sell it. I realized I should have ditched her instead of the car and later did exactly that …


    1. 56PackardMan, thanks for your comments and the exposition on your favorite personal cars.

      Not that divorce is funny, but your remark about which to ditch, your then-wife or the car, was very funny.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah, yes! And after ditching World War I, I got another Porsche – one of the limited edition ’76 912-Es. After World War I, I was so battle scarred I didn’t remarry for 28 years! 😂


  3. Back in the late 60’s, one of my friends had access to his father’s 1958 (I think) Buick Roadmaster). That car, known to us as “The RoadToaster” was my dream car back then. The interior room was immense, especially that back seat. What more could a teenager ask for (other than an inheritance to afford one?)


  4. My first car wasn’t a car. In 1986 my dad gifted me a 1975 Chevy Custom Deluxe C10 pick up he got for $250. 305 4bbl, THM 350, 2wd, lime green. Pretty dead simple. Unfortunately, about a year into owning it, I was driving to work in Toronto traffic on the highway, it was August and about 95 out, and one of the fan belts popped off. I couldn’t get over to the shoulder before it overheated and died. Pops and I replaced the scorched heads in the parking lot at work, but a knock told us a connecting rod was likely bent.
    I think if I were to pick up another cruiser, a square body C/K wold be just the ticket.


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