Muscle Car Menagerie

Road Runners, Goats…Super Bees, Shelbys

OK, that was bad free form poetry or incomplete haiku. My friend Ben (yes, I have friends) suggested I write about muscle cars so here I am.

Most automotive historians and fans would say the first muscle car was this:

 

See the source image

 

From the appropriately named allmusclecars.com a picture of a 1964 Pontiac GTO. In order to skirt GM rules on engine size in new models, Pontiac division president John DeLorean (yes, that John DeLorean) decided to offer Pontiac’s legendary 389 cubic-inch V8 as an option for the mid-size Tempest model. Sales of this option were expected to be about 5,000, but Pontiac sold 32,450. The other American manufacturers took note and soon muscle cars abounded. The GTO became a separate model in 1966; GTO sales had reached 75,352 in 1965.

OK, what is a muscle car? No hard and fast definition exists, but the general idea is an American factory-built car with a large, powerful V8 dropped into a mid-size body to make a car suitable for drag racing. By that definition one can make a case—and some have—that this might be the first muscle car:

 

See the source image

 

From Mecum a picture of a car offered for sale at its 2017 Indianpolis auction, a 1949 Oldsmobile Rocket 88. That was the first year that Oldsmobile and Cadillac offered the first modern overhead-valve, “high compression” V8. That engine was available in Oldsmobile’s smaller, lighter 88 model (as opposed to its 98).

Muscle cars were also supposed to affordable for most. The car that might fit that bill best was this:

 

See the source image

 

From cruisinclassicsinc.com a picture of a 1968 Plymouth Road Runner. The Road Runner was offered as a less expensive version of the GTX with more basic trim. (The base 1968 Road Runner listed for $2,896 while the base GTX sold for $3,355.) The standard Road Runner engine was a slightly modified version of the Chrysler company’s 383 cubic-inch V8 that produced 5 more HP than the standard as long as the car was ordered without air conditioning. If A/C was ordered, the standard engine was fitted as the high-performance spec did not produce enough vacuum. The Road Runner engine generated 335 HP/425 LB-FT of torque.

Where do the Mustang-based Shelby GT350 and GT500 fit here? That is a matter of debate. The cars were certainly very good performers, but there was more emphasis on braking and handling, sad to say, than most muscle cars and the Shelbys were never inexpensive. The base price for a 1965 GT350 was $4,457 whereas a base 1965 GTO sold for $2,751. In the interest of completeness, from streetmusclemag.com a picture of a 1965 Shelby Mustang GT350:

 

See the source image

 

Ford/Shelby produced just 562 of these in 1965, which was the first year of production. That low volume also disqualifies the car from being considered a muscle car in the eyes of many. These cars began as a stock Mustang that was shipped to Shelby American for the conversion. Among the upgrades were front disc brakes and a modified Windsor K-code engine (with a high-rise intake manifold, bigger carburetor and more aggressive cam, headers, etc.) that produced 306 HP/329 LB-FT of torque.

I hope you have enjoyed this brief and idiosyncratic look at muscle cars. Thanks, Ben.

 

#MuscleCar

#1964PontiacGTO

#1949OldsmobileRocket88

#1968PlymouthRoadRunner

#1965ShelbyGT350

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Haphazard Friday

“The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits.”

– Albert Einstein

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Elvis Presley died on this day in 1977. At the risk of incurring the wrath of many readers I must confess that I am not and never have been a fan of Presley. I don’t like his music and I could never get through more than five or ten minutes of any of his movies. Different strokes for different folks…Oh yeah, Presley once shot his De Tomaso Pantera after a fight with his girlfriend.

Babe Ruth died on this day in 1948. When I followed or cared about baseball I was a huge fan of Ruth and his unbelievable accomplishments. As Bill James has pointed out, Ruth’s last game in the major leagues (1935) is now closer in time to the end of the Civil War than it is to today.

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Has any of you ever watched The Great British Baking Show? I think the show is actually called The Great British Bake-Off in the UK. Our local PBS station airs the show and my wonderful wife and I are hooked.

Every season the show begins with 12 bakers. In each episode the bakers have a signature challenge, a technical challenge and a show-stopper challenge. At the end of each episode one contestant is named “Star Baker” and one is eliminated. However, the final competition episode actually has three bakers.

In the episodes aired here, which are older, the judges are Paul Hollywood (yes, that’s his real name) and Mary Berry. Berry left the show three years ago when it moved from the BBC to Channel 4. The show has been produced since 2010.

Unlike American competition shows The Great British Baking Show does not feature contestants fighting with each other. The difficulty of making the items given to them provides enough tension and the tension seems more genuine. Hollywood and Berry have an unusual, but endearing on-screen chemistry.

After the competition has ended the series shows what it calls Masterclasses where Hollywood and Berry (supposedly) make some of the items that were given to the contestants to make during that season. In my opinion, these shows are even better than the competition. The banter between Hollywood and Berry is hysterical, at times.

My mother’s parents were bakers in Poland before World War II began. I began baking when I was a teenager; believe it or not, I had much more patience during that time than I do now. My mother also baked; frankly, her pastries were too dry for me, but she liked dunking her cookies. When I began baking I used less flour than she did so that my cakes or whatever would be moist. My mother would always try to sneak extra flour into my batter and issue a stern warning that my batter was too thin and that my cake would fall down in the oven. I can honestly say that never happened.

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A car like this was offered for sale at the Mecum auction currently taking place in Monterey, California:

 

See the source image

 

From Bring a Trailer a picture of a 1966 Buick Riviera. The badging on the front fender reads “GS.”

While I don’t think these cars are as stylish as the first-generation Riviera (1963-65) they are certainly more handsome than most. Other than the boat-tail generation I think Rivieras were well-styled automobiles.

 

#AlbertEinstein

#BabeRuth

#TheGreatBritishBakingShow

#MecumAutoAuctions

#1966BuickRiviera

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Throwback Thursday

I guess I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that 50 years ago today the famous Woodstock music festival began. Almost a half million people attended the event that ran through August 18. Remember that the Internet as we know it didn’t exist in 1969. A relevant photo from history.com:

 

See the source image

 

Of course many famous acts performed such as Jimi Hendrix, Santana, Sly and the Family Stone and Joe Cocker. In this interview, Ian Anderson—frontman for Jethro Tull—explains why he didn’t want to play at Woodstock:

 

“The reason I didn’t want to play Woodstock is because I asked our manager, Terry Ellis, ‘Well, who else is going to be there?’ And he listed a large number of groups who were reputedly going to play, and that it was going to be a hippie festival, and I said, ‘Will there be lots of naked ladies? And will there be taking drugs and drinking lots of beer, and fooling around in the mud?’ Because rain was forecast.”

“And he said, ‘Oh, yeah.’ So I said, ‘Right. I don’t want to go.'”

“Because I don’t like hippies, and I’m usually rather put off by naked ladies unless the time is right. Well, indeed, unless the money’s right.”

 

Anderson wasn’t kidding, by the way. Here is more from the interview (FYI, I am not a fan of Jethro Tull; I just thought this was interesting):

 

“My impression was that the majority of bands were really enjoying and living up those moments when they were temporarily famous and about to have the good fortunes of young ladies’ attentions thrust upon them on a nightly basis, which I could never have possibly kept up with the pressure to fulfill.”

“So, yeah, that’s my impression, everybody was at it. I mean, out of all the bands, and all the people I’ve known, really, I’m probably the only person I know for sure never did what we popularly called “drugs” during all of that period. It was just something everybody did. And I didn’t really enjoy being around people who were doing drugs, so I just took myself often to read a book somewhere, and waited for it all to kind of evaporate from the rock and roll lifestyle. But of course it hasn’t.”

 

My understanding is that with the development of streaming music services and, in general, the ease with which music can be heard without paying for it in any way, live concerts are now the lifeblood for bands.

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“We have no more right to consume happiness without producing it than to consume wealth without producing it.”

– George Bernard Shaw

My first blog was named after one of Shaw’s most famous remarks:

“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”

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In 1969 an iconic car made its debut, the Pontiac Trans Am:

 

See the source image

 

From classiccars.com a picture (I hope) of a 1969 Trans Am. I wrote “I hope” in parenthesis because, of course, I don’t really know if the car shown is one of the just 697 Trans Ams built in 1969.

As I have written before I am not a fan of white anywhere on a car, exterior or interior, but with the blue stripes I think these cars look terrific.

Ironically, as muscle cars were killed by insurance companies and government regulations, sales of the Trans Am increased dramatically during the 1970s. In 1970 about 3,000 of the cars were produced. By 1975 that number increased to over 27,000 and then peaked at more than 117,000 in 1979 (including one that my wonderful wife owned). I tried to find the total number of Trans Ams built, but was unsuccessful. In a rare occurrence one of my go-to books, Encyclopedia of American Cars by the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide®, let me down. Trans Am sales were not broken out of Firebird sales consistently after 1987. I can tell you that from 1969 through 1987, inclusive, more than 725,000 Trans Ams were produced.

With the discontinuation of the Firebird after the 2002 model year the Trans Am was no more. Of course, Pontiac itself ceased to exist in 2010.

 

#Woodstock

#IanAnderson/JethroTull

#GeorgeBernardShaw

#1969PontiacTransAm

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Witless Wednesday

It’s about 3:30 AM local time as I start writing this post. I have been up for about three hours after, maybe, 20 minutes of sleep even though I took 10 mg of melatonin. Something is stirring in what’s left of my brain and making it impossible to sleep. I have also been having some physical issues that would be TMI (Too Much Information) to mention here. Like I have written before, it is hell to be inside my head.

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I was never a Boy Scout, but I do like to be prepared. Take a look at what I ordered to take care of a car I don’t even have:

 

 

If I change my mind and buy something other than a Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk (or buy nothing at all), I wonder if I’ll still enjoy reading this on my computer. I used to like to read the repair manuals in my father’s gas/service station, but mainly the pages with engine specs. Hmm…am I going to end up buying a 1955-56 Packard manual and a 1967-68 Cadillac manual, too?

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From this Automobile Magazine article comes this picture of the Acura Type S Concept car that will be introduced tomorrow at a private event during Monterey Car Week before its public unveiling on Friday:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The concept car is, supposedly, not a preview of an actual car, but “will ‘heavily influence’ the design and look of the upcoming second-generation TLX Type S.” I have often wondered why more concept cars don’t end up in production, but am reminded that the Camaro and Challenger reboots were proceeded by the unveiling of concept cars, although those concept cars were obviously almost production-ready. Do most car buyers lack imagination?

“I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”

To whom is that remark attributed? Albert Einstein…

I think everyday life in the modern world too easily strangles imagination. Imagination should not just be about new tech devices. I realize that comment is tinged with hypocrisy given my comment about the lack of imagination in most automobiles today. A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. Also, I see cars as more than tech devices.

If, somehow, I were to obtain a nine- or ten-figure net worth I suspect I would expend some single-digit percentage of that in the pursuit of building a car, either a one-off or an attempt to build a limited-production vehicle. It is hell to be inside my head.

 

#StudebakerShopManual

#AcuraTypeSConcept

#WeNeedMoreImagination

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Magnificence

Synonyms for magnificence from merriam-webster.com:

augustness, brilliance, gloriousness, glory, gorgeousness, grandeur, grandness, majesty, nobility, nobleness, resplendence, resplendency, splendidness, splendiferousness, splendor, stateliness, stupendousness, sublimeness, superbness

Or, one picture can portray magnificence:

 

See the source image

 

From en.wheelsage.org a picture of a 1932 Packard Twin Six Sport Phaeton bodied by Dietrich. The idea for this post came from a book, American Auto Legends, Classic of Style and Design, which is basically a collection of great photographs accompanied by a little bit of text. One of the cars featured in the book is this Packard.

This is not my favorite Packard—that honor belongs to the 1956 Caribbean convertible—but this car is an embodiment of magnificent, in my opinion. This car is also a manifestation of rarity because, if I understand correctly, only two of this particular model were actually built in 1932.

Twin Six means the car was powered by a V-12 engine; only 549 of all Twin Six examples were produced in 1932. In calendar year 1932 the unemployment rate was almost 24 percent! (c.f. The US unemployment rate for July, 2019 was 3.7 percent.) This V-12 had nothing to do with Packard’s original Twin Six engine that was introduced in May, 1915 for the 1916 model year. The historical consensus is that the first Packard V-12 was the first V-12 engine produced although some historians make claims for a company called National. 1932 was the first model year for the new iteration of the Packard V-12; the engine displaced 446 cubic inches and produced 160 HP, quite an output for that time. Cadillac’s V-12 made 135 HP.

The exigencies of modern production and the homogenization of automobiles today mean that we will probably never see the 21st century equivalent of a car like this. As mentioned before, a bill introduced in the US House of Representatives in 2015 was supposed to make it possible for companies to build replicas of cars like this in low volume. I think that bill remains in legislative limbo.

I would never restomod an original version of this car—even I, Mr. Restomod, would think that a sacrilege—but I would love to own a car that looks exactly like this, but with modern underpinnings. I wonder if 3-D printing will, someday, enable the production of such a car.

 

#magnificence

#1932PackardTwinSixSportPhaeton

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Monday Musings

First, for the cryptographers out there:

jjcvg pbpmih

Second, I would appreciate your telling me what three posts have been your favorites over the past 3-6 months. If I want to have an audience then I have to write to that audience, at least a little bit.

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Thanks to this article for inspiration, here is something you don’t see too often:

 

See the source image

 

From farer.com a picture of a Gordon-Keeble. As I have written many, many times when I hear the word “hybrid” I don’t automatically think of the modern use of the word, a car with a gasoline engine that charges an electric motor(s) that actually drives the vehicle. The Gordon-Keeble is an “original” hybrid meaning a car with at least an American engine, but body/chassis from another country usually European.

This car, not surprisingly, was first built by John Gordon and Jim Keeble. The first one made (in 1959) was actually supposed to be sort of a one-off built for a pilot in the US Air Force. It used a Corvette engine and a Peerless chassis, not from the long-defunct American company with that name, but from a British company from the 1950s with the same name.

Actual production didn’t start, however, until 1964. By this time the Corvette engine was now of 327 cubic-inch displacement (not the 283 used in the 1959 “prototype”). By the way, the body was designed by the legendary Giorgetto Giugiaro of Bertone in Italy.

As is the case with many limited-production cars, Gordon-Keeble ran into all sorts of difficulties and the company ended up in liquidation. What was left of the company was sold to two men who attempted to continue production as Keeble Cars Ltd., but when the dust had settled production ended in 1966. One car was assembled the following year from what was lying around in the factory so that the final production total would be exactly 100.

Back in 2015 a bill was introduced in the US House of Representatives to allow small companies to manufacture replicas of cars that were originally built at least 25 years ago. As first written the bill would allow companies to make up to 500 such cars a year although I think that number has been pared to 325 by the relevant committee. SEMA President Chris Kersting made this comment at the time of the bill’s introduction, “The bill…will allow U.S. companies to produce turn-key replicas of older vehicles that are virtually impossible to build under today’s restrictive one-size-fits-all regulatory framework. This program will create skilled-labor jobs in the auto industry and help meet consumer demand for these classics of the past.”

Going off on a tangent…regulation is often incredibly inefficient because of its one-size-fits-all nature. The costs of complying with regulation are not the same across all industries or even among different companies in the same industry. Since resources are finite, efficiency always matters.

Anyway…I don’t think the bill has had a full House vote, yet. What a surprise…not. What the anti-gearheads fail to understand (maybe they don’t want to understand) is that people almost never use collector cars as everyday drivers. In my opinion, the desire of these people to control what other people do stems from smugness, self-righteousness and arrogance.

Do any of you have any interest in these original hybrids? If so, which ones?

 

#cryptography

#Gordon-Keeble

#inefficientregulations

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Sunday Willys: August, 2019

First, all of you idiots who keep submitting comments on how to buy Amoxicillin, don’t you realize that none of those comments will ever be published here?! (Are the comments actually being “submitted” by robots?)

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From commons.wikimedia.org:

 

See the source image

 

This is a picture of a 1955 Willys Bermuda. Note the Bermuda script on the door.

The Bermuda was basically the Aero-Eagle with a new name. Yes, some changes were made to the styling such as a vertical-bar grille, bodyside two-toning, new ornamentation and taillights. Still, the chassis was the same and the engine choices were the same as for the Aero-Eagle in 1954. Almost all of the 2,215 Bermudas produced in 1955 were equipped with the side-valve, inline 6-cylinder engine of 226 cubic-inch displacement producing 115 HP/180 LB-FT of torque. The transmission was a 3-speed manual. The Bermuda was marketed as the least expensive hardtop available in the US; the model equipped with the 226 cubic-inch engine was listed at $1,997.

1955 was the last model year Willys sold cars in the US, but continued to build Jeeps as a subsidiary to Kaiser. However, the Aero continued to be built and sold in South America as the Kaiser Brazilian subsidiary acquired the dies and built the Eagle in the early 60s. Brooks Stevens cleaned up the design and that car was manufactured until 1972. He actually made those changes in the late 1950s, but they were not applied until the early 60s. Some of the changes Stevens made to the Willys Aero were very similar to those he later made to the Studebaker Hawk design to turn the car into the Gran Turismo Hawk. The most notable of those changes were to the C-pillar/sail panels.

I don’t have interest in the Willys Aero-Eagle/Bermuda as a performance car, but think the styling is good and, of course, the car comes from a defunct American car company. Would it be inappropriate to restomod the car? I have seen the Henry J done that way so why not the Aero-Eagle/Bermuda?

 

#1955WillysBermuda

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Friday Disarray

And I thought the “Birds” post was a dud…the number of views/visitors for yesterday was the de facto lowest for a day with a post since September of last year. Obviously, I can’t ask people who aren’t reading Disaffected Musings why they’re not reading. I have an idea why readership has dropped off so markedly this week, but I’ll just classify it as yet another sign of complete intolerance for views that differ from one’s own. The right to never be offended is not actually in the Constitution.

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An Abraham Lincoln story by way of a tweet from Thomas Sowell. He is a noted American economist—and former Marine—who is currently a Senior Fellow at Stanford University.

“Abraham Lincoln once asked an audience how many legs a dog has if you count the tail as a leg. When they answered ‘five,’ Lincoln told them that the answer was four. The fact that you called the tail a leg did not make it a leg.”

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This article from classiccars.com, one of a series, is quite interesting to me. The series is about the future of the collector car hobby. With the caveat that history is replete with examples of the folly of human beings trying to predict the future, it is only human to have curiosity about the future.

The article was written by John Kruse, co-founder of Worldwide Auctions. He is in his late 30s, which is relevant to his article, and grew up in an Indiana family well known through several generations for its various auction businesses. Here are some excerpts:

 

“We have gone through a period of time where the auction companies, which for lack of a better term have largely been car dealers who have gotten into auctions, have been telling everyone else what cars are worth. I think there’s going to be a significant shift, a shift toward people and authenticity.”

“I think we’re already seeing that shift, a shift to where people — collectors and buyers — will be put back into the driver’s seat and the auctioneers are going to take what I believe is an appropriate role, that of more of a guide rather than telling people what to do, which happens through such things as pre-auction estimated values.”

“At Worldwide Auctioneers, we have eliminated printed auction estimates. It’s my opinion that the origin of estimates is not what people think it is. Such estimates cause problems, unrealistic expectations. Bidders and buyers should get to decide what something is worth in an auction format.”

“That’s going to be one of the biggest shifts, power going to the collector and the buyer, and that’s what I think auctions should be. We should be helping and guiding the collector buyers.”

“We also need to remember this is a hobby business. Regardless of how many millions or billions of dollars are transacted in our industry, it’s not like a normal business. This is a hobby. The people stroking the checks — the bidders and the buyers — are going to be increasingly in the driver’s seat.”

“Authenticity and people is what Millennials look for. Millennials are not just going to influence their decision-making elders and parents. They’re going to be the decision makers, and there are a lot of Millennials. We give them a bad rap, frankly, and while they’re still finding their way as a group, they’re figuring it out pretty quickly. And once they take hold, that’s the new culture, and it’s not going to take 10 years to get there.”

“The second part of the demographic shift is that with the digital age and online consumption there’s a craving for instant gratification. That’s true to a degree, but online sales will never ever be a replacement for live auctions. You can’t replicate that. Online auctions are for business transactions, for things you have to have, not things that you want to have.”

“Millennials want to have experiences and there’s not much more exciting than a collector car auction.”

 

Kruse also wrote that most of us don’t have “expendable money” until we’re in our 50s after the house is paid off and the kids have finished college. Of course, by definition millennials are not at that stage of life. He also wrote that he strongly favors no-reserve auctions. I would like to read your views on this topic.

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Technically this is not a Frugal Friday post. The reason I have suspended that feature until after Labor Day is that it seems, for some reason, that late summer Fridays are poor days for viewership. Anyway…from classiccars.com a picture of a car that seems like a bargain to me:

 

Large Picture of '56 400 - 97ON

This is a 1956 Packard 400 hardtop coupe, of which 3,224 were produced. The seller is asking $14,980. While not a certainty—only one thing in life is certain—it is more likely than not that at some indeterminate time in the future I will buy a companion for my 2016 Z06 and that car will have been built by a defunct American auto manufacturer.

 

#AbrahamLincoln

#ThomasSowell

#IntolerantPeople

#FutureofCollectorCarHobby

#1956Packard400

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Throwback Thursday, #20 Edition

This post is not about recent Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee, Ed Reed.

The late Frank Robinson (who also wore Number 20) appeared in a dream once again. He visited me in the hospital (?!) and seemed genuinely concerned for my well-being. When he asked how I was doing, all I could say was, “I don’t know.”

 

See the source image

 

From si.com (Sports Illustrated’s website) a picture of Frank Robinson.

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From the sublime to the slime…If one were to grab a male Baltimore native aged 50 or older and ask who were the three most evil people in history, he might very well answer: Adolf Hitler, Osama Bin Laden and Robert Irsay. (Don’t ask me why I am writing about this today because I don’t know.)

I had a friend (remember that I was born and raised in Baltimore and was a die-hard Colts fan) who defended Irsay’s moving the Colts to Indianapolis and continued to root for the team after the move. This (former) friend was the ultimate knee-jerk contrarian and I believe that was his way because he felt that made him smarter than others or more special than others. Being a knee-jerk contrarian is no more profound or insightful than being a knee-jerk conformist.

This friend also used to deny what a miserable excuse for a human being Irsay was. Well, here is a long excerpt from a Chicago Tribune story from 1986:

 

“But even worse, Indianapolis got Robert Irsay, the rich Chicagoan who owns the team.”

“Irsay has long had a reputation in Chicago as a loudmouthed boor and braggart. And in football as one of the biggest bumblers in the game–a millionaire who treats a team like his personal toy and his players and coaches as disposable slaves.”

“Of course, being a loudmouthed boor and braggart is not unusual in Chicago. Just look at some of our biggest civic and political leaders. But now we learn that those are among Irsay`s teeniest imperfections. In its current issue, Sports Illustrated prints a meticulously detailed story of the grubby life and times of Bob Irsay.”

“It says that he . . . that he . . . well, there`s so much, I`m not really sure where to start.”

“I mean, what are we to think of a guy whose own mother, at age 84, is quoted as saying about her son:

”’He`s a devil on Earth, that one. He stole all our money and said goodbye.'” [emphasis mine]

“Irsay`s mom was referring to how, as a young man, Irsay got his start toward becoming Chicago`s biggest sheet-metal contractor and a financial wheeler-dealer.”

“His mother, his own brother and others say he did it by quitting his father`s sheet-metal company, taking away customers and employees and eventually driving his old man out of business.”

“As his younger brother put it: ”Bob actually worked to destroy his own father. Oh, he`s a real sweetheart all right.'”

“Then there`s his military record. Irsay has occasionally boasted about his wartime exploits. In interviews, he`s told of being injured by a Japanese grenade on New Guinea and being discharged as a commissioned officer.”

“Many of us like to talk about our wartime injuries. I`ve often told my kids how I wrenched my back when I got stewed and rolled out of an upper bunk. But the magazine checked Irsay`s version with the Pentagon. True, he was a marine. But the Japanese soldier who tossed the grenade must have had an incredible arm, since military records show that Irsay never left the states. And he was discharged as an enlisted man.”

“The magazine also looked into Irsay`s frequent boast that he played Big 10 football at the University of Illinois while getting a degree in electrical engineering. All this while waiting on tables at a frat house to work his way through school because his family was poor. Being a former Big 10 football player has given Irsay the aura of having knowledge of the game.”

“But the magazine found that Irsay didn`t play football. Nor did he get a degree. And while he went to Illinois, he didn`t wait on tables–he belonged to the fraternity and his businessman father picked up the tab.”

 

My former friend said that none of these stories were true. Yes, never let the facts get in the way of your opinions. Hey, a POS is a POS.

 

#FrankRobinson

#disaffectedmusings

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Whatchamacallit Wednesday

Post titles/headlines really make a difference. Yesterday’s post entitled “Birds” was a dud. The number of blog views yesterday was less than half of the number of people who are signed up to follow Disaffected Musings either on WordPress or via email.

I have read that 70%-80% of people looking at blogs never get past the headline. I realize that with millions and millions of active blogs, not to mention millions of other potential Internet destinations, people perceive their time to be short and that competition for eyeballs is fierce. I guess cutesy post titles are for the birds. 🙂

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Maybe or maybe not on this day in 1937 the last Cord automobile rolled out of assembly. The “source” that states this as a fact is not always reliable and I was unable to find corroboration. These cars are revered by many today and certainly the timing of the Cord automobile in general was unfortunate, being launched just months before the stock market crash and the beginning of the Great Depression.

Cord automobiles were not produced at all for model years 1933-35, inclusive. What the fans of the car won’t/can’t admit is that the cars, while being revolutionary in design and in engineering (along with Ruxton, Cord offered the first front-wheel drive cars of any significance sold in the US), the cars were fraught with quality issues. The Cord 810/812 of 1936-37 was plagued with transmission and overheating problems. The “coffin-nose” design drawn by famed designer Gordon Buehrig was actually a protest against Harley Earl’s belief that the face and front grille of a car made the design. (Buehrig had worked for Earl prior to designing the Cord.) Of course, the face of the 810/812 is, probably, its most famous feature.

 

See the source image

 

From gieldaklasykow.pl a picture of a 1937 Cord 812. Errett Lobban Cord founded the Cord Corporation in 1929 as a holding company for the numerous companies he controlled, most of which were related to transportation. His company manufactured Auburn and Duesenberg automobiles in addition to the eponymous Cord make. He had acquired Auburn in 1924 and Duesenberg in 1926. In 1937 he sold what was left of his corporation and later made millions in radio/TV and uranium.

Any Cord fans out there? Do any of you reading actually own one or know someone who does?

 

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