Munday Mosings

Who said this?

 

“Those who claim that the availability of firearms is not a factor in murders in this country are not facing reality.”

 

That remark was uttered by none other than long-time FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. Yep, J. Edgar Hoover. Who wrote the following?

 

“I also wish that during the years I was in public office, I had had this firsthand experience about the difficulties business people face every day. That knowledge would have made me a better U.S. senator and a more understanding presidential contender.

Today we are much closer to a general acknowledgment that government must encourage business to expand and grow…We intuitively know that to create job opportunities we need entrepreneurs who will risk their capital against an expected payoff. Too often, however, public policy does not consider whether we are choking off those opportunities.”

 

The actual passage is much longer. Would you believe the author was the one-time darling of liberal America, George McGovern?

To clarify, I used J. Edgar Hoover as someone who was supposed to represent the “Right” part of the American political spectrum advocating a position that today’s “Right-Wingers” refuse to consider. I used George McGovern as someone who was supposed to represent the “Left” part of the spectrum also advocating a position that today’s “Left” will not acknowledge.

Blind adherence to any ideology is the road to ruin. It will be the road to the dissolution of the US.

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Here are links to a couple of posts from Why Evolution Is True.

 

Fracas at Washington Post leads to firing of reporter

Here is a brief passage from this post:

 

“Even I [the blog author], a free-speech defender who would argue that Sonmez has the right to say what she wants on public media, cannot argue that the paper must keep her on whatever she says, including accusing it of being racist. This is one of the consequences of public speech: you are not free of disapprobation by your employer.”

 

Freedom of speech does NOT mean freedom from consequences. Freedom of speech does not mean that everyone, or anyone for that matter, has to listen nor does it remove the responsibility to be informed. Too many people forget the axiom that it is often better to be silent and thought the fool than to open one’s mouth and to remove all doubt.

 

American hospitals refuse to adhere to new price transparency law

 

Medical care is the only good or service that one purchases without having real a priori knowledge of how much it will cost. Any law is only as good as its enforcement.

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This piece from Classic Cars is about a new exhibit featuring Postwar Turnpike Cruisers at the Audrain Museum in Newport, Rhode Island. My wonderful wife and I spent a week in Newport one year to celebrate our wedding anniversary. Of course, with my luck the museum was closed while we were there so it could change over to a new set of exhibits.

While I don’t think a Plymouth Superbird or Oldsmobile 4-4-2 really counts as a turnpike cruiser, some of the cars in the exhibit are the very definition of such an automobile. From Audrain via Classic Cars are pictures of some of the cars in the exhibit:

 

1957 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz

 

From top to bottom: a 1948 Hudson Commodore (that was the first model year for Hudson’s Step-Down design), a 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz and a 1965 Chrysler Imperial that was a gift from Spencer Tracy to Katharine Hepburn.

I think some of those Hudson models from 1948 through the last ones that were really Hudsons and not badge-engineered Nashes are quite stylish. It is a 1-in-300,000,000 shot I will ever be in a position to do so, but if I were I would probably buy one of these Hudsons and have it resto-modded.

 

As always, I ask that you tell your friends about the blog, feel free to submit thoughtful comments and to click on any ad in which you have genuine interest. Thanks.

 

#MundayMosings

#TurnpikeCruisers

#HudsonStepDown

#somanyCARSjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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A Case Of Mistaken Identity

Another strange and disturbing dream…I was working at a job I seemed to enjoy as I think it involved the automobile industry. In addition, the office setting seemed large, open and informal.

I was preparing for a work-related trip when someone who apparently worked in company security informed me I would not be taking that trip and that my job was in serious jeopardy. He then showed a criminal complaint against me alleging I had assaulted someone.

The complaint was barely legible as it was hand-written, not typed, and did not look official to me. More importantly, I did not know either the person I had allegedly assaulted or the person listed as a witness and could not recall ever having been to the place where the alleged assault occurred.

The security “officer” talked like it was a fait accompli that I would go to jail. I was 101% sure I did not commit the crime and began to scream at this person that it was a case of mistaken identity.

I decided to leave the premises and tried to take as many of my belongings as I could. At that point, I thought that maybe I was leaving my own house as so many of my personal items were there. I also realized I could not carry everything by myself.

The more I think about this dream, the more upset I become. I wonder if it’s connected to the following real-life situation.

About a month ago I started to receive calls on my cell phone (remember that we no longer have a “landline”) from a large Internet service company. More specifically, these calls are from the company department that deals with business accounts. The calls were to inform me that a technician was on his way to my location. I do not have an account with this company and, of course, don’t have a business.

I have called them twice to tell them about this. When I have called it seems as though I was calling a legitimate company. The second rep I spoke to said it must have been a typo on the account and that my number would be removed. Well, the calls are still coming although those numbers are now blocked. Calls from blocked numbers can still leave voicemail messages.

I have had the same cell phone number for almost 20 years, from the time we lived in Texas. A similar situation to what is happening now occurred for years as I would receive calls for a woman who, apparently, owed a lot of money to one or more companies.

Two or three times I called the originating number to explain I was not this person. I was assured my number would be removed from the account, but the calls persisted for years.

It is frightening to think that people can, and are, falsely connected to entities/situations and be falsely accused of “crimes” they did not commit. Once again: NO endeavor of human beings is perfect because NO human being is perfect.

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I actually didn’t take a lot of pictures at yesterday’s car gathering, but here are some more.

 

 

The bottom photo shows just one of the many areas where cars are parked for this event. Oh, can you tell that I really like the current Supra?

 

#ACaseOfMistakenIdentity

#somanyCARSjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Saturday Car Pics

I’m surprised this is the first post with this exact title. Oh, don’t expect too many photos today.

 

My wonderful wife and I attended the monthly car gathering this morning at the “event venue” in Scottsdale. The owner of the venue has become wealthy selling tires, primarily for luxury and performance cars. Once a month he opens his business and serves coffee/donuts/breakfast burritos so the car aficionados can gather.

I have seen a real Ferrari Enzo at this event although not today. This is the first time we have attended in a few months. While my car was in the shop I was, frankly, too depressed to attend any of the numerous gatherings in the area. Yes, you can infer that the Z06 is back home. It only took 53 days and $6,000. Actually, I will be on “pins and needles” for at least a month, wondering if the car will start and run without a hitch.

From talking to people at today’s event attendance was down compared to the last couple of months. Even though the event is supposed to start at 7 AM–it actually starts earlier–when it’s 100° before 10 AM people will stay home.

Instead of saving the best for last, here is my favorite car from today’s gathering.

 

 

These are pictures of, supposedly, a two-owner 1942 Packard 180. Among the Ferraris, Porsches, Corvettes, etc. this car really stood out. Only 81 180s were built in 1942; Packard built just 6,085 cars as US automobile production ceased early that year.

 

 

I have always really liked the styling of the second generation Chevrolet Corvair. These are not common here, either, but obviously are more plentiful than 1942 Packards, or any pre-war Packards, for that matter.

 

 

I don’t know if the Supra “reboot” is selling well, but I very much like the styling. I have also heard from many sources that Toyota is understating the engine output, especially for the BMW-sourced inline-6. The first model year for the car, Toyota announced the HP at 335. For year three (model year 2022), it is “rated” at 380. Once again, many sources claim that a “4” is the first digit of the actual HP output.

OK, I think I’ll call it a day.

 

#SaturdayCarPics

#1942Packard180

#somanyCARSjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Fragile Friday

Thanks to everyone who read the blog yesterday, which had the largest number of views for a day with “just” one post since late April. Threes And Sevens: 1963 did not actually receive an unusually high number of views, but the main page and this week’s Wandering Wednesday were clicked more than normal.

Once again, I ask that you let your friends know about this blog, share the URL, submit thoughtful comments and feel free to click on any ad in which you have genuine interest. Thanks again.

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This book was published in 1994. The title and topic seem prophetic, don’t they?

A tangent…my purchase of The Coming Plague was a source of tension between me and the young woman (ten years younger) I was dating at the time. I didn’t “discover” Amazon until 1999 so when I bought this book in 1996 I still frequented bookstores.

My “girlfriend” and I were out shopping and I insisted we stop in a Barnes and Noble. My reading tastes are exclusively non-fiction and, basically, always have been. When I pulled this book off the shelf my companion strenuously protested. She grabbed the book out of my hands and put it back on the shelf. She was not happy when I pulled the book off the shelf once again.

The Coming Plague is a sobering look at how, despite medical advances, pathogens almost always seem to be at least one step ahead of humans. The book also details how other “advances,” such as traveling by jet, come with a cost. Modern society is proud of its ability to visit almost anywhere on the globe, but that ability makes it possible for pathogens to spread quickly to all corners of the world. How does that saying go? NOTHING in life is all good or all bad; EVERYTHING is a trade-off.

Remember that the first “super-spreader” of the damn virus (COVID) in the US was the New York subway system. That is yet another of the countless examples of why those who want all of us to live in areas of high population density so we can “save the environment” are clueless like all of those who are blindly ideological.

I believe that the most likely cause of the extinction of the human race will be a virus that is spread via airborne transmission, has a long latency period and a very high mortality rate. If HIV could be spread that way that could have been the end of us. Don’t underestimate the fragility of the existence of any species, including humans.

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How about a more calming thought?

 

 

I took this photo yesterday around “sunset.” (The sun does not rise and set, of course; our planet spins on an axis with a full rotation about every 24 hours.) As is often the case, the scene looked better in three dimensions than it does in its two-dimensional representation. The left of the cloud was its western edge and in the lower right a little bit of Black Mountain is visible.

After living here for 19 months I still really marvel at the scenery. I hope that never stops.

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My wonderful wife and Philip Maynard–who are cousins, by the way–both passed along the info about Cadillac’s return to racing. Here is the link to the MotorTrend article about this and below two pictures of the car Cadillac will use.

 

Cadillac Project GTP Hypercar 8

Cadillac Project GTP Hypercar 9

 

From the MotorTrend piece:

 

“Cadillac revealed the car today [June 9], and it’s a gorgeous design, full of delicate touches and LED lighting that may or may not make it to the actual competition car. The taillights, in particular, recall a certain 1950s-era flourish that, while common to many American cars at the time was perfected and maximized by Cadillac. Face it: They look like tailfins—and there’s even a third tailfin standing vertically in the center, at the peak of the car’s dorsal fin. The ’50s, you’ll recall, are when the first Cadillacs raced at Le Mans.”

 

Is Cadillac returning to racing as part of its attempt to appeal to a younger demographic? In 1986, Cadillac sold more than 300,000 vehicles in the US. Sadly and scarily that figure was just 118,000 in 2021. I will once again offer the opinion of the power of halo cars and that Cadillac is best positioned to bring an American-made hyper-luxury car to the US market.

 

#FragileFriday

#TheComingPlague

#CadillacRacing

#somanyCARSjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Threes And Sevens: 1963

Thanks to Philip Maynard, JS and Josh for sending thoughtful comments and for encouraging me to continue writing the blog. Your kind words have more impact than you can know.

Once again, if you enjoy reading Disaffected Musings, then PLEASE let as many friends know as you can and encourage them to sign up to follow the blog. Not only has readership declined by more than 30%, but no one has signed up to follow the blog in months. The blog used to add 5-15 new followers a month.

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Conflict is an inevitable part of life. By the way, I am not talking about armed or violent conflict (although, sadly, that also seems to be inevitable), but about when people “butt heads.” Although I think some/many people seek conflict, by extension some/many avoid it at all costs, even when that path is not optimal.

I have written that some people try to avoid bad change by avoiding all change; the latter is impossible as change is a constant. By the same token, sometimes a person has to stand up for themselves even if that act is uncomfortable.

Believe it or not, my innate nature–no doubt inherited from my marvelous mom–is to avoid conflict. However, I have learned that, at times, diving into the fray is a more optimal path.

For example and this might not be totally applicable, after my first year working full-time for the Baltimore Orioles (1988), my net worth–such as it was–declined compared to before I began working there. I decided that was unacceptable. I calculated how much more I needed to earn and also figured my worth to the team given my positive impact on player salary negotiations, both in terms of outcome and how much I had saved the team in legal fees.

Remember that my first year as a full-time baseball operations employee the Orioles lost their first 21 games, a dubious record, and finished with the worst record in baseball. (Attendance was surprisingly good in spite of the poor performance, though.) In addition, owner Edward Bennett Williams died during the season after a long bout with cancer, but not before committing the team to Baltimore by signing a lease that paved the way for the construction of Oriole Park at Camden Yards. He knew he would not live to see the new ballpark.

Anyway…I asked for a big raise, about 25 percent. After some initial push-back I stood my ground and received the raise I had asked for. It would have been easier if I had modified my original request, but I knew my value to the team. Of course, some might say I had undersold myself since the team ultimately agreed to my request, but I had never earned as much before as I earned in 1989.

I don’t know why I am compelled to write about this today, and as “part” of a Threes And Sevens post, no less. I guess it’s another way of expressing my strong belief that no behavioral paradigm is always appropriate. That is one of the toughest parts about being human, knowing when to deviate from one’s usual, and hopefully at least semi-considerate, MO.

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1963 might be my favorite of all US automotive years. In this post, written almost two years ago (!), I recounted how during a Mecum Auction broadcast Stephen Cox asked the crew if they could have any three cars given to them for free, but they all had to be from the same model year, what cars and what year would they choose.

For me, 1963 was the obvious choice and here are the three cars:

 

See the source image

See the source image

See the source image

 

1963 was, of course, the first model year for the celebrated C2, or mid-year, Corvette and was the only year for the legendary Split-Window coupe. It was also the first model year for two of my all-time favorites, the Buick Riviera and the Studebaker Avanti.

I have to admit that I could not have conceived of the Threes And Sevens series if it weren’t for my affinity for the 1963 model year. By the way, as this is the 8th of what should be 15 posts in the series this could be considered the “hump” post like Wednesday is hump day.

Other events from 1963:

Industry output increased about 10 percent compared to 1962 and 1955’s record was finally broken as 1963 saw production of about 7.3 million cars.

It might be hard to fathom today, but General Motors management worried about anti-trust action as it had a 54 percent market share in the 1963 model year. Chevrolet easily led all makes at 2.24 million units. That accounted for 57 percent of GM’s output (and a 31 percent overall market share), but Pontiac was third with about 8 percent of total industry production and Oldsmobile was fifth at about 6.5%. Rumors abounded that GM would be forced to spin off Chevrolet as a separate company. The most popular Chevrolet model was one of the most successful cars in US history, the Impala, with production of almost 833,000 units. By itself, the Impala outsold every make except Chevrolet and Ford. Below, hopefully, is a picture of a 1963 Impala SS coupe:

 

See the source image

 

Studebaker became the first US company to offer front disc brakes, which were standard on the Avanti but available on all models. That didn’t stop Studebaker sales from plummeting by 22 percent compared to 1962 and in an up year for the industry as a whole. Studebaker ceased production at its long-time facility in South Bend, Indiana in December, 1963.

Half of all US model year 1963 cars had power steering, three-quarters had automatic transmissions, two-thirds had V-8 engines and about one-seventh had air conditioning.

Positive crankcase ventilation–PCV–systems were installed on all cars in 1963 to reduce pollution. However, trucks escaped this mandate, at least for awhile.

In 1963 almost nine million US households had more than one car, more than double the number from just nine years prior. In case you’re interested, or even if you’re not, that meant that about one-sixth of US households had more than one car in 1963, compared to about nine percent in 1954.

 

I see by the little word counter that I am approaching my unofficial limit of 1,000 words. I will stop here. Once again, I appreciate my loyal readers, but ask that you spread the word about this blog. Thanks.

 

#ThreesAndSevens

#1963

#somanyCARSjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Wandering Wednesday

Turmoil reigns…

 

The path of least resistance is not always the best path. On the other hand, the world is complicated enough so that adding unnecessary complications is not a smart thing to do, either.

 

Originally, I was going to add remarks from Carol Roth and Alex Tabarrok. Roth’s comments were an indirect criticism of ESG while Tabarrok’s were about retribution, not solution, being the main aim of many “environmentalists.” I decided that nothing I write about the state of affairs in the world will make any difference at all. I am beginning to think that nothing I write in this blog, regardless of topic, makes any difference at all.

 

#WanderingWednesday

#disaffectedmusings

 

House, M.D.

This post is actually two weeks “late,” but my wonderful wife and I were out of town on May 21. It was on that day ten years ago that the last original episode of House, M.D. aired.

It is very difficult for me to comprehend that the show has been out of production for over a decade. It is also very difficult for me to convey how much I enjoyed House, which is still my favorite TV show ever.

I will tell you, though, that despite my admiration for House and despite the fact that I have all the episodes on DVD and can watch every episode streaming via Hulu and Amazon Prime, I don’t watch the show as often as one might think. However, when I do watch I still thoroughly enjoy it.

Why don’t I watch more often? I really don’t know. Maybe I don’t want to get a case of House burnout.

The picture below is the cover of a book about the show. The book covers the first six seasons of House, which ultimately ran for eight seasons. To me, the quality declined markedly after season six, so maybe it’s just as well that the last two seasons aren’t discussed.

 

 

In a morbid way, the fact that the show has been out of production longer than it was produced mirrors the human condition in that, eventually, everyone will be dead longer–much longer–than they were alive. The last episode of House was titled “Everybody Dies.” That’s both an immutable truth and a play on one of the main character’s axioms, “Everybody Lies.”

Do you think you can name your favorite scripted TV show? For me, House and Frasier are easily my two favorite such programs. I watch very little major network TV and, in fact, only watch 15-20 hours of TV a week. I think the American average is closer to 30 hours. The only current major network show that truly captivates me is Transplant, which is really a Canadian program that NBC decided to air when the damn virus halted TV production. Yes, it is a medical show.

Not that this is necessarily a reason to watch, but Transplant is the most-watched scripted show in Canada and its lead actor, Hamza Haq, has won the Canadian equivalent of the Emmy for Best Lead Actor in a drama both seasons Transplant has aired. It has, not surprisingly, already been picked up for Season Three both in Canada and by NBC.

 

I will not post for the next few days as my wonderful wife and I are going on a short vacation to celebrate our wedding anniversary. See you on the flip side, I hope.

 

#HouseMD

#disaffectedmusings

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Infinity Upright

What does this represent?

 

 

This is the symbol for infinity. If the symbol is rotated 90° either left or right it becomes the number 8, which I call Infinity Upright. In my OCD, math-addled brain that gives the number 8 a special status. How does that manifest itself for me? If you must know, one manifestation is that when I am drinking G Zero (Gatorade’s zero sugar product) I much prefer to take eight sips instead of seven or nine. I have written many times that it is hell to live with my brain, or what’s left of it.

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By the end of the day the insurance company that royally screwed up by informing Arizona MVD that we had cancelled our auto insurance policy–we didn’t–which led to our registrations being suspended will be our former insurance company. We already have policies with another company that became effective yesterday, but I wanted to wait at least a day to cancel the other policies.

That last over-the-top screw-up was just the straw that broke the camel’s back, although in this case it was also the heaviest straw. Ever since the outbreak of the damn virus our very soon-to-be former insurance company’s customer service has just been awful. Our only recourse as a consumer was to change vendors.

When people are incentivized not to work and when people are hired and promoted for reasons other than merit, the results are awful. I know I am preaching to the choir for some and that my words would reach blind eyes for others, but I am sure I am right; well, as sure as a human being can be about anything.

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Obviously, the 1953 installment of Threes And Sevens received enough views so the 1957 post was published. The latter also received a fair number of views.

I know the posts are longer than most, but I enjoy the research and the writing. I also became aware yesterday that Threes And Sevens is the name of a song recorded by Queens Of The Stone Age, a group that had previously been unknown to me.

Back to 1957…I realized that I did not show Ford’s best-selling car for that model year. (Ford led all American makes in sales in 1957.) By a very slim margin, the Custom 300 4-door sedan led the way for the Blue Oval. Hopefully, below is a picture of that car.

Ford produced 194,877 of these compared to 193,162 Fairlane 500 4-door Town Sedans. I also didn’t mention that, of course, 1957 was the last year for the first-generation Thunderbird, the “Baby Bird.” I didn’t want the post to exceed 1,000 words, which I think is the upper limit for readability and a threshold I have crossed just a handful of times.

 

#InfinityUpright

#ChangeVendors

#ThreesAndSevens

#somanyCARSjustonelife

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Threes And Sevens: 1957

First…I actually had a dream that was neither disturbing nor frightening. My wonderful wife and I were in a giant antiques store, but warehouse is probably a more appropriate description. Along with the furniture, coins, clothes, knickknacks and old advertising this establishment also sold older cars. Some of the cars were sitting on huge shelves many feet off the ground. (Shades of Carvana towers?)

I noticed one such vehicle and was immediately in the company of a store employee who proceeded to tell me all about the car, called the Comet. I don’t think it was a Mercury Comet, though, as my recollection was that the name was a make unto itself. The employee somehow knew of my preference for an automatic transmission and tried to sell me on the favorable power-to-weight ratio. Oddly, I could not see all of the car from my vantage point, only the front two-thirds as the car was on a shelf. I didn’t buy the car and then I woke up.

I have always been able to remember some of my dreams, but writing them down in the blog has increased my retention. Perhaps, my brain knows I use dreams as content so it somehow stores them for me. Maybe that’s a crock.

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1957 was, in many ways, two years in one for the US automobile industry. It was a year of innovation and sales that increased–albeit slightly–from 1956, but it was also a year when a sharp recession that hit in late summer devastated the industry. Sales declined by a third from 1957 to 1958. This recession played a major role in the demise of makes like DeSoto and Edsel and led to the increase in imports of cars like Volkswagen.

Sales reached 6.4 million cars in 1957. Ford, with new models and new styling, beat Chevrolet selling 1.67 million cars to the Bow Tie’s 1.5 million. Note that the two big dogs had about a 50% market share combined. One Ford model was quite the innovation: the Skyliner retractable hardtop:

 

See the source image

 

Obviously from RM Sotheby’s is a picture of the Ford Fairline Skyliner. The car was introduced very late in model year 1957, April of ’57. In its advertising Ford claimed, “Ford’s sensational “Hide-Away” (Retractable) Hardtop is the most revolutionary idea in automotive design since the development of the closed car 40 years ago!”

The Skyliner was produced for three model years becoming part of the Galaxie line in 1959. The car was not a huge hit with total sales of 48,394 during its run. It was the first American car with a retractable hardtop (the Peugeot 402 was introduced in 1938) and first in the world to reach 10,000 in total production/sales.

General Motors also introduced an innovation for 1957, mechanical fuel injection. While this system is best known for its use in Corvettes, it was also used in this car:

 

See the source image

 

This is a 1957 Pontiac Bonneville. All 630 of these were powered by a fuel-injected 347 cubic-inch V8 that produced 310 HP/375 LB-FT of torque. (Some sources state that the Bonneville was available with a Tri-Power setup, but most claim the car was only available with a fuel-injected engine.) These cars were not cheap with a list price of $5,782, $2,000+ more than Pontiac’s next most expensive model, the Star Chief Custom Safari wagon. While I don’t know who would service such a vehicle, the ’57 Bonneville is a car I would very much like to own.

Speaking of expensive cars, 1957 was the second and last year for the beautiful Continental Mark II, priced at $10,000, but the 1957 model year saw the introduction of an American car even more expensive:

 

See the source image

 

This is a 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham. This is another car I would love to own, but these are not cheap just like they weren’t cheap when they were introduced. Their price when new was $13,074. Two Cadillac models were available for less than $5,000 that year. The average price of a 1957 Cadillac, not counting bare chassis and weighted for number of sales by model (yes, I have OCD), was about $5,200. Not surprisingly, even Cadillac buyers consider(ed) price; the two models priced under $5,000 were the two best sellers accounting for 40 percent of the make’s sales.

The Brougham was also a car of innovation. It had self-leveling air suspension; however, this system didn’t really work and many owners replaced the system with coil springs. It also had the first automatic two-position “memory” power seats in addition to low-profile tires, automatic trunk opener, cruise control, high-pressure cooling system, electric antenna, automatic-release parking brake, electric door locks and a dual heating system.

Only 704 of these were produced during its run in model years 1957 and 1958. Perhaps these cars were also a victim of the 1957-58 recession.

Other notable events for 1957:

Both Nash (founded in 1916) and Hudson (1909) were discontinued after the 1957 model year. American Motors, the product of the merger between Nash-Kelvinator and Hudson in 1954, decided to cast its lot with the Rambler, a strategy that ultimately proved successful.

The Automobile Manufacturers Association formally banned factory-sponsored racing. Of course, that didn’t stop “wildcat” racers with surreptitious help from car companies from racing.

Chrysler Corporation introduced torsion-bar suspension in its models. Of course, Packard had introduced its Torsion-Level suspension system in 1955, but that was far too late to save the company. Chrysler used its system until 1992.

Speaking of Packard, while the name survived, the 1957 model year was the first of two in which the cars were just badge-engineered Studebakers. Only 4,497 “57th Series” Packards were produced.

 

I could write much more, but will stop here. As always, I welcome thoughtful comments.

 

#ThreesAndSevens

#1957

#somanyCARSjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Wandering Wednesday, June 1

It’s hard to drive straight down a crooked road. It’s hard to be smart in a stupid world. No, those are not lyrics to some song I am writing.

“It’s hard to win an argument with a smart person. It’s damn near impossible to win an argument with a stupid person.”

– Bill Murray

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I have not been feeling well for a few days. I don’t know if the cause is allergies or not, but my sinuses hurt leading to other pains in the head. My GI tract has not been 100 percent, either.

I have written about this before, but I have never been blessed with good health. For example, I once caught the flu twice during one flu season about two months apart when I was in elementary school. I had my first kidney stone when I was 17.

As I get older, though, anytime a new ailment arises part of me worries that it could be very serious. My most recent blood work, blood drawn in early May, was good. As my primary care physician has told me, “I know you don’t feel well, but on paper you’re very healthy.”

What’s that joke about the tombstone of a hypochondriac? The tombstone reads, “See, I told you I was sick.”

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Do you want to read an update about my Z06? I really don’t want to write it, but…sure enough, our friend Bob and I were right in that the ECM (the main “brain” of the car, sometimes known as the ECU) will have to be replaced. The dealer that has now had the car for more than six weeks finally got General Motors tech support involved. They recommended replacing the ECM. At this point, I’m guessing it will be at least another week until the car is back home, hopefully for good this time.

This experience has led me to start thinking about selling the car. Is that cutting off my nose to spite my face? Maybe, but it’s difficult to drive/own a car that can’t be trusted.

IF I sell the Z06, the car pictured below would be my first choice:

 

See the source image

 

This is a Lexus LC convertible. Lexus has ranked at the top of the annual JD Power Vehicle Dependability Study something like 11 times in the last 12 years. My wonderful wife has owned two Lexus convertibles and while the second one was boring (an IS 250C), the cars never gave her major trouble. The second one did have a GPS system that didn’t always seem to know where you were and the AC system had to “cleaned” by the dealer twice in the 25 months she owned the car. Still, the cars always started, drove, steered and stopped. That’s more than I can say about my Z06.

The only drawback to the LC convertible is the price; it is not possible to find one without major accident damage for under $100,000. My wonderful wife and I test drove the LC coupe in January, 2018 and were very impressed. Before the Z06 crapped out on me I was considering the purchase of a convertible as a companion. Buying an LC convertible kills two birds with one stone.

I would appreciate any thoughts from any of you.

 

#WanderingWednesday

#LexusLCConvertible

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#disaffectedmusings

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