Real Life Intrudes

Originally I was going to write a Throwback Thursday post about one of my favorite cartoons from childhood. However, with the news that the 2020 Pebble Beach Concours D’Elegance has been cancelled, which probably means all of Monterey Car Week will be cancelled, I decided to skip the cartoon post. Gooding & Company cancelled its Pebble Beach auction, as well.

I understand the decision, of course, but with the events not scheduled to occur for almost four months this chain of events is, for me, a very sad intrusion of real life. Do the organizers have some knowledge about the progression of infection that most of us don’t have? Are they acting out of an abundance, some might say over-abundance, of caution?

While I would never take place in a demonstration, probably for any reason, but certainly not one designed to force authorities to reopen all businesses, I understand the sentiment. We are under siege and for many it probably seems self-inflicted.

If I had a reasonable estimate for the return to normal I could just count the days. No one knows, however, when all of this will end and for me, like for most people I suspect, it’s the not knowing that makes the situation even more unbearable.


On this day in 1947 Packard produced its one millionth car, a model year 1948 (or Twenty-Second Series) Super Eight convertible. A quick entry of all of Packard’s yearly production numbers into a spreadsheet (Lotus 1-2-3, yeah!) confirmed that 1948 was the model year when Packard surpassed one million in total production. From Renderosity a picture of a 1948 Packard Super Eight convertible:


See the source image



History records that these were dubbed by many as “a pregnant elephant” or “the bathtub look.” History also records that Packard had healthy sales of nearly 100,000 vehicles for 1948 and almost 117,000 for 1949. Whether those sales figures were simply the post-war sellers market or that many buyers liked the looks of the car, awful nicknames notwithstanding, is impossible to know from this distance in time and space. Based on the figures I have, Packard’s market share nearly doubled from 1947 to 1948 and stayed well above the 1946-47 share in 1949, although its share did decline.

This is well-worn territory on Disaffected Musings, but it seemed appropriate (and a nice diversion) to note the one millionth Packard. They didn’t make it to two million, unfortunately.






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10 thoughts on “Real Life Intrudes

  1. When you mentioned Pebble Beach, I thought you were going to write about the great golf course there. A destination which is on many Bucket Lists. So now I am left with one question. What was the cartoon?


    1. I have actually stayed at the hotel on the Pebble Beach golf course, but not to play golf. That’s another story…

      Since I might still use the cartoon in a later Throwback Thursday post, I think I’ll withhold its identity for now. Stay safe and be well, sir.


    1. Yes, I think their final total was around 1.6 million, which makes their demise even sadder, but at this distance it’s howling at the moon to protest too much.

      Stay safe and be well, sir. I look forward to living in the desert where we might be able to chat over coffee. (I didn’t know coffee was noisy…)


  2. I’m not an economist, and I didn’t play one on TV (obscure?) but I suspect that normal, as we knew it, is a long ways down the road. In my opinion our economy is a snowball on the edge of a steep, and long, downhill slope. Our business is hanging on, with our employees getting a partial paycheck, but we can’t sit on our hands forever. Another aspect that many aren’t looking at is the effect this will have on state and federal revenues. At the moment there is a major increase in the need for unemployment monies, yet the states are facing drastically reduced tax revenues. The same issue is facing the federal government. Where will these monies come from? The federal government can print more money, but we have seen how that works in other parts of the word.

    We can only hope that the economy rebounds fairly quickly, but I don’t see it returning to the level it was 2 months ago, for a good long while.If it doesn’t rebound fairly quickly, all of the shows, and auctions, that we enjoy so much will be a moot point. Given the choice between food and shelter, and a chance to buy that car I’ve always wanted, I know where my money will go.


    1. Many thanks for the thoughtful comment, sir. Yes, this situation will not see a return to absolute normal, whatever that is, in the blink of an eye.

      I am an economist, sort of, as I have a graduate degree in Economics. I think the recovery will depend on the medical facts on the ground. A swift reduction in new cases could lead to a relatively swift economic rebound, although I don’t see a “V-shaped” recovery but more like a “U-shaped” one with the right side of the “U” a little lazy. The economy will be awash in stimulus. That almost always results in a boost to GDP although the magnitude and duration are impossible to predict.

      Of course, very discretionary purchases like collector cars are way down the list right now except for the very wealthy, and many of them might not like to be seen engaging in “conspicuous consumption,” to use Veblen’s phrase.


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