Tuesday Toss And Turn

My sleep patterns are not consistent. Sometimes I can sleep 7-8 hours a night for 2-3 nights, but usually I get less sleep. Depression interferes with sleep.

My wonderful wife has been dealing with a severe neck strain for which she was prescribed a muscle relaxer. That drug makes her snoring worse and, not surprisingly, her snoring makes it difficult for me to sleep. However, this morning (it’s about 2:30 AM as I am writing this) I am awake simply because I couldn’t go back to sleep after going to the bathroom despite the fact that my wife was perfectly quiet.

I take melatonin every night, but I think that only makes it easier for me to fall asleep, not to stay asleep. I do not want to take prescription sleeping meds. From WebMd here is a list of potential side effects from these formulations:

 

  • Burning or tingling in the hands, arms, feet, or legs
  • Changes in appetite
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty keeping balance
  • Dizziness
  • Daytime drowsiness
  • Dry mouth or throat
  • Gas
  • Headache
  • Heartburn
  • Impairment the next day
  • Mental slowing or problems with attention or memory
  • Stomach pain or tenderness
  • Uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body
  • Unusual dreams
  • Weakness

 

The same WebMd article also lists parasomnias as a potential side effect. Parasomnias are movements, behaviors and actions over which one has no control, like sleepwalking. During a parasomnia, you are asleep and unaware of what is happening. As someone with a long history of talking in his sleep, including having conversations which are totally forgotten after awakening, I don’t think these pills are for me.

Anyway, an explanation as to why I am writing at this time of day.

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Wouldn’t you like to drive something that looks like this?

 

See the source image

 

Or maybe this?

 

See the source image

 

The top photo, from momentcar.com, is a 1954 Hudson Italia. The bottom photo, from RM Sotheby’s, is a 1937 Duesenberg Model SJ Cabriolet. The car-buying public may finally be able to buy replicas of these cars as NHTSA, no doubt in response to SEMA’s lawsuit, has finally issued regulations to implement the—get this name—Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act, which was passed in 2015.

My wonderful wife and I regularly attend our annual HoA meeting. Our local state representative always visits to give an update on local legislative issues. He is a nice person and seems to take his role seriously, but when he starts to talk about the “workings” of the state government, about “district re-equalization payments” and “federal overlays,” I become more convinced than ever that government is interfering too much in the lives of individuals. I don’t believe government, which is only supposed to exist with consent of the governed, should tell me what I should drive, where I should live, what I should eat and with whom I should be friends. Government, like all institutions of mankind, is flawed.

Most people are motivated by self-interest most of the time. That behavior is part of our survival instinct. It is naive to think that once someone is elected to public office they will automatically become purely altruistic. That applies regardless of political ideology or party.

 

#Insomnia

#GovernmentIsIntrusive

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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First Monday Musings Of 2020

Father Time is undefeated…

 

I will tell you that the genuflecting shown to the Patriots before the playoffs by people who get paid to talk about the NFL was disgusting. One, a former attorney who now hosts an NFL TV show, called the Patriots “The Terminator” as in “turn your back on them at your own peril.” Another, a former player to whom I will refer as “Prime Time Big Mouth” said his confidence in the Patriots was “extremely high” and when asked to elaborate he just said “They’re the champs.”

Anyone who objectively watched the Patriots over the last half of the season would have told you that they did not resemble a championship team in any way, shape or form. The Patriots are just not athletic enough to be considered a great team. They are, obviously, well-coached, but there is no substitute for talent.

Switching teams…I am not a big fan of either the Vikings or the Saints, but I can’t say I was disappointed by the Saints’ losing at home. I have never, ever heard anyone describe their coach as a good person. I have heard and read him described as the ultimate in smugness and arrogance.

My “dream” Super Bowl of the Ravens vs. the Packers can still happen although I doubt it will. I am not so arrogant as to think I can actually predict the outcome of the NFL playoffs. Remember that pro sports, like the rest of life, is just a Monte Carlo simulation. Whatever happens is not the only thing that could have happened and doesn’t even have to have been the most likely outcome.

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From one of the top Corvette salesmen, Mike Furman, via Corvette Blogger:

 

“The New Year has begun and 2020 mid-engine Corvette coupe production officially starts within a month…the GM allocation system is frustrating as the patience of many gets tested. We live in an instant gratification world but the 2020 allocation rollout will be slow and methodical. I’ve been down this road many times before and the only thing that has changed is how we receive information. The computer informs all in an instant which is like a double-edged sword. The saying goes, “Patience is a virtue”…well all I can say is the 8th generation Corvette is well worth waiting for.”

 

I really like the sentence, “The computer informs all in an instant, which is like a double-edged sword.” I have written many times and fervently believe that virtually nothing is all good or all bad and that virtually everything is a trade-off. I have also written about how so many people have been seduced by the “Cult Of The New.” I don’t subscribe to “Status Quo Uber Alles,” either. To me, neither new nor old is automatically good or bad. From CorvetteForum a picture of something new that I think is really good, a 2020 C8 Corvette (in orange, of course):

 

See the source image

 

I think having seen the C8 in person has made the photos of the car look better to me. I hope I will be able to take a picture of the first one I see on the street, but that will probably be a few months from now.

 

#FirstMondayOf2020

#C8Corvette

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Silly Saturday

A scary, but hopefully somewhat humorous look into my brain, or what’s left of it…

 

Remember these?

 

See the source image

 

From michaelstvtray.com a picture of Goobers and Raisinets. When I was young a jingle was featured prominently in their advertising. The jingle began, simply enough, “Goobers and Raisinets.” My messed-up brain used “Poopers and Scoopinets” as the second line. To this day, when I see these in the store, which is not often, I hear the jingle like this:

🎶Goobers and Raisinets,

Poopers and Scoopinets. 🎶

Thanks to my OCD I will hear this jingle in my head for at least a half an hour. I am very prone to earworms and way too often the earworm will be a song I can’t stand, like “Little Sister” by Elvis Presley, which is played WAY too often on the Sirius/XM Sixties channel.

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Pout With The Bold,

Sin With The Few.

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Animal Planet, which I seldom watch, airs a show called “Pit Bulls and Parolees.” My brain immediately goes to “Pit Bulls and Pierogies.”

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From 56PackardMan’s Friday Funnies yesterday:

 

Blonde x-ray

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I howled with laughter at this. No offense intended to my wonderful wife, who is blonde.

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Two hunters are out in the woods when one of them collapses. He’s not breathing and his eyes are glazed. The other guy whips out his cell phone and calls 911.

“I think my friend is dead!” he yells. “What can I do?”

The operator says, “Calm down. First, let’s make sure he’s dead.”

There’s a silence, then a shot. Back on the phone, the guy says, “OK, now what?”

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The only thing flat-earthers fear is sphere itself.

I can’t do a lot of math but I can do SUM of it.

Why does the Norwegian navy have barcodes on their ships? So when they come back to port they can Scandinavian.

 

Enjoy your Saturday…

 

#SillySaturday

#disaffectedmusings

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Frugal Friday

First…even though their market share in the US was less than two percent, in the third quarter of 2019 electric cars still outsold cars equipped with…manual transmissions. (Sorry, can’t remember where I read this, but I’m virtually certain this is correct.) I believe that 1.8% of new cars sold in the US in that quarter were electric and 1.1% had manual transmissions. The latter figure has to be an all-time low.

I will offer the opinion, somewhat heretical in some corners, that at least in the US the manual transmission is already dead on its feet, but no one has had the decency to knock it over and to give it a proper burial. I will also offer the opinion that many of those, but not all, with a stated preference for manual transmissions are actually engaging in signaling.

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The last Frugal Friday car of 2019 was a Buick and so the first Frugal Friday cars of 2020 will also be Buicks. First, the current Mecum auction in Kissimmee, Florida offered a car like this for sale yesterday:

 

See the source image

 

This is not the actual car—Mecum does not allow the online photos of current and recent lots to be captured—but it is a car offered at a Mecum auction in 2011. This is a 1990 Buick Reatta convertible, of which only 2,132 were built. While I prefer the coupe in appearance, I have always liked the way these cars look. When I moved to California in the mid-1990s I wanted to buy one, but the Buick/GMC/Pontiac dealer from whom I eventually purchased my Pontiac Grand Prix did not seem to want to find me a used Reatta. Production of the Reatta ended in 1991.

Anyway, the Reatta convertible offered yesterday sold, all in, for $3,850. Yep, $3,850. Even if you needed to put that much in it after purchase and had to spend $1,500 to ship the car (I paid much less than that to have my 2016 Corvette Z06 shipped to me from Oklahoma), you’d only be in the car for about $9,000. Everyone from Mecum to Hagerty to Barrett-Jackson is telling us that cars from the 1980s and 1990s are becoming more popular and should continue to do so. While except in rare instances like a 1930s Duesenberg I would never recommend buying a car as an investment, buying something like this could prove to be a money-making endeavor. Even if it doesn’t, you would own a fun, good-looking car (IMO) that is probably not too bad on gas and that could probably still be serviced by Buick dealers for less than ten grand up front.

A car similar to this next one was featured in my Ultimate Garage 2.0. While not a 1965 model, this Hemmings ad shows a car in which I would have interest, especially at the asking price of $16,950: a 1963 Buick Riviera:

 

 

While I wax nostalgic for cars like a 1963 Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk or a 1956 Packard Four Hundred, if/when I buy a companion to my Z06 the practicality of having the car serviced could steer me away (see what I did there…) from a car like that to a car like this. I am not a mechanic and don’t know if I want to start wrenching in my 60s. In addition, if I were ordered to limit my Ultimate Garage to five cars, this generation Riviera would definitely make the cut.

As always I welcome thoughts from you. Have a good weekend…

 

#FrugalFriday

#1990BuickReatta

#1963BuickRiviera

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Throwback Thursday

See the source image

 

From 45cat.com a picture of the sleeve, I presume, of the only record to reach the Number One position on the Billboard charts, fall off and then return later and reach Number One again, “The Twist” by Chubby Checker, real name Ernest Evans. The song was actually written and originally released by Hank Ballard and the Midnighters as the B-Side to “Teardrops on Your Letter” in 1959.

Checker’s version first reached Number One in September, 1960 and then again in January, 1962. When both chart runs are added together the song was on the Hot 100 for 39 weeks.

If it seems as though I am obsessed with chart performance of 45s that is just an extension of my personality and my intense interest in such things when I was 12-13 years old. My best friend, Dr. Zal, began creating his own Top 40 way before I started although, at first, he simply rearranged the existing Billboard Top 40 to suit his preferences. I began creating my own Top 40s from scratch and he soon followed that practice.

Many of the songs to which I listened were not “Pop” but “Soul Music” and would never appear on the Billboard Hot 100 or Top 40. At the end of the first calendar year in which I compiled my Top 40 charts I used a point system to create a Top 40 for the year. My Number One song for that year was a very obscure piece called “Sweet Sweet Tootie” by Lonnie Youngblood. “Outa Space” by Billy Preston was #2, presaging, no doubt, my eventual interest in jazz and instrumental music.

Although as I age I grow more impatient and, therefore, don’t listen to music as much as I used to, music has always been a very important part of my life. Remember this photo?

 

 

I would very much like to read what type of music you like(d) and how important music is to you.

 

#ThrowbackThursday

#ChubbyChecker

#LonnieYoungblood

#disaffectedmusings

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January 1, 2020

Can that date be correct?!

 

I was going to push past trivia and even minutia and publish a lot of stats about this blog comparing views, visitors, etc. for 2018 and 2019. I was also going to publish stats comparing my workouts for the two years. After some reflection I realized that I don’t want to subject my readers to that stuff.

I have to admit, though, that given the number of views/visitors for Disaffected Musings has been stagnant for about 15 months, my motivation for writing is waning. It is entirely possible that by this time next year, I will be posting far less frequently or not at all. Time is finite, like every other resource, and has to be allocated efficiently. Sorry to sound like a Gloomy Gus, but it is what it is.

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On January 1, 1862 the first US income tax went into effect in order to help pay for the Civil War. The tax, whose [I know the tax was not alive, you tell me which pronoun I should use] rates were raised in 1864, was repealed in 1872.

In 1895 the US Supreme Court ruled that taxes on rents from real estate, on interest income from personal property and other income from personal property (which includes dividend income) were direct taxes on property and therefore had to be apportioned. Since the apportionment of income taxes is impractical, these rulings had the effect of prohibiting a federal tax on income from property. Due to the political difficulties of taxing individual wages without taxing income from property, a federal income tax was impractical from the time of this decision until the time of ratification of the Sixteenth Amendment in 1913.

Those people advocating a “wealth tax” seem oblivious to this history. The Sixteenth Amendment reads: “The Congress shall have the power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.” Notice incomes is specified, but not total assets or wealth. A wealth tax is unconstitutional and even if some future administration and Congress are able to pass such a law, given the current makeup of the Supreme Court it is virtually impossible to think such a law would be upheld during an inevitable challenge.

I also believe in the 12 or 14 countries that have enacted a wealth tax that tax has been repealed in every one of those countries. Vilification of the wealthy is nothing but abject populism.

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Diane of indianeskitchen commented (thanks, Diane) that the $346,000 MSRP of the Rolls-Royce Dawn was “crazy.” I’m not picking on her, but I guess she doesn’t know that some new cars have price tags in the millions. Some limited editions of makes I would never buy given their ownership (think Bugatti/Volkswagen) cost in excess of $10 million. From wealthygorilla.com (where else?!) a picture of a car costing almost $5 million, the Koenigsegg CCXR Trevita:

 

 

Most Expensive Cars - Koenigsegg CCXR Trevita

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am not a big fan of hypotheticals. I don’t know what I would do if I could afford to buy a car like this. I do know that it’s not my place to say that no one should.

Happy New Year!

 

#January12020

#KoenigseggCCXRTrevita

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Tick Tock, Tick Tock

A year, a decade near the end,

What will happen in the time we spend…

 

I wish all of my readers a happy, healthy and prosperous new year.

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On this day in 2002, and after 71 years together, the world famous British car marques [UK spelling], Bentley and Rolls-Royce, separated. Rolls-Royce became part of BMW AG, while Bentley stayed a part of Volkswagen AG.

From the Wikipedia article about Rolls-Royce:

 

“In 1998, Vickers decided to sell Rolls-Royce Motors. The most likely buyer was BMW, which already supplied engines and other components for Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars, but BMW’s final offer of £340 million was beaten by Volkswagen’s [my mark] £430 million.”

“A stipulation in the ownership documents of Rolls-Royce dictated that Rolls-Royce plc, the aero-engine maker, would retain certain essential trademarks, including the Rolls-Royce name and logo if the automotive division was sold. Although Vickers plc sold the vehicle designs, nameplates, administrative headquarters, production facilities, Spirit of Ecstasy and Rolls-Royce grille shape trademarks to Volkswagen AG, Rolls-Royce plc chose to license the Rolls-Royce name and logo to BMW AG for £40 million, because Rolls-Royce plc had recently had joint business ventures with BMW.”

“BMW’s contract to supply engines and components to Rolls-Royce Motors allowed BMW to cancel the contract with 12 months’ notice. Volkswagen would be unable to re-engineer the Rolls-Royce and Bentley vehicles to use other engines within that time frame. With the Rolls-Royce brand identification marks split between the two companies and Volkswagen’s engine supply in jeopardy, the two companies entered into negotiations. [BMW threatened to cancel its supplier contract, which forced the negotiations—my note.]”

Volkswagen agreed to sell BMW the Spirit of Ecstasy and grille shape trademarks and BMW agreed to continue supplying engines and components until 2003. Volkswagen continued to produce Rolls-Royce branded vehicles between 1998 and 2003, giving BMW time to build a new Rolls-Royce administrative headquarters and production facility on the Goodwood Estate near Chichester, West Sussex, and develop the Phantom, the first Rolls-Royce from the new company. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Limited became the exclusive manufacturer of Rolls-Royce branded cars in 2003.”

 

Technically, the current Rolls-Royce company, a subsidiary of BMW, is not connected to the original Rolls-Royce company. I doubt many Rolls-Royce customers know or care.

From fckerbeckrollsroyce.com (the rear “plate” is a giveaway), a picture of a 2020 Rolls-Royce Dawn:

 

See the source image

 

OK, how much? The MSRP, I assume for a “base” Dawn, is about $346,000. For the nth time I will offer my opinion that it is not for me to tell someone else how to spend their money, especially someone whom I do not know. If someone can afford a car like this and wants to buy one, who am I to tell them they shouldn’t?

On to 2020…

 

#ByeBye2019

#2020RollsRoyceDawn

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Last Monday Musings Of 2019

Very, very random post today…

 

From James Madison via 56PackardMan:

“There are more instances of the abridgement of freedom by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.”

Let me add my 2¢, and not that in any way, shape or form I imagine I am in Madison’s league, but economic freedom is another freedom that must be protected. People have the right to keep most of the fruits of their (legal) labor and their (legal) efforts. Government does not and should not have “dibs” on the wealth of private citizens. It is the ultimate in hypocrisy for people to criticize the “greed” of individual citizens, but encourage greed by government.

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I am not anywhere near as big a fan of the NFL as I used to be. However, it was a most enjoyable weekend of NFL football, made more so by the presence of my best friend, Dr. Zal (not his real name), and his younger daughter, Tog (also not her real name).

My favorite team, the Ravens, completed an amazing season with 12 consecutive wins and secured the #1 seed in their conference for the first time in their 20+ year history, despite two Super Bowl Championships. My other favorite team, the Packers, has a bye and the #2 seed although I really think they’re no better than the fourth best team in their conference.

By the same token, both of my least favorite teams—the Cowboys and the Steelers—failed to earn a spot in the playoffs. Also, while I am not a huge Patriots “hater” I did enjoy their squandering a bye by losing at home to the previously 4-11 Dolphins. In the Belichick/Brady era, the Patriots have never made the Super Bowl in a season in which they did not earn a bye.

One thing that appeals to me about pro sports is that games are won and lost and the outcomes of seasons are determined by objective outcomes, acknowledging the role that officiating plays. Still, a team wins the game by scoring more points than its opponent and not by the basis of a poll or focus group.

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The last Studebaker made on the regular assembly lines in South Bend was a 1964 Daytona hardtop in Red, number 64V-20202. This car is at the Studebaker National Museum in South Bend. I could not find a picture of the car on the SNM website or elsewhere on the Internet, so this picture will have to do:

 

See the source image

 

This pic is from topclassiccarsforsale.com or its successor site, giantclassiccars.com. Neither site is secure (you know, begins with https instead of http) so I will not embed the links here.

My wonderful wife and I, hopefully not getting too ahead of ourselves or damaging our “karma,” are thinking about future trips after she retires. One trip would entail visiting three automobile museums in the same week: the Studebaker museum, the Auburn/Cord/Duesenberg museum and the Gilmore Museum. We could base ourselves in South Bend (as long as the Notre Dame football team isn’t playing a home game, talk about a team of whom I am most assuredly not a fan) and visit all three museums.

Fewer than 36 hours until 2020…

 

#MondayMusings

#1964StudebakerDaytonaHardtop

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Saturday Serenade

From Dave Brubeck via The Muscleheaded Blog:

“The secret of a great melody is a secret.”

Sorry, but the embedded audio file is not of Dave Brubeck.

 

Don’t let people without genuine authority tell you how to live your life. In the end, and as selfish as this may sound, your life belongs to you and to you alone. You may choose to share your life, but it should never belong to anyone else. The only exceptions for me are if you are the parent of a young child or are the caregiver for someone who is unable to take care of themselves.

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b

f

f

g

i

j

 

j

m

n

u

z

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What do you think of the looks of this?

 

1995 Fiat Barchetta

 

From this Hagerty piece a picture of a 1995 Fiat Barchetta, Type 183. The article is about seven cars that will be able to be imported into the US without restriction (except for the People’s Republic of California) in 2020 because the cars are now 25 years old. It’s not this car’s performance that intrigues me, but to quote Hagerty, “The performance is not the point, though—just look at it!” I mean, Wow!

 

#YourLife

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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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.

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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!

 

#FrugalFriday

#Don’tBeAfraidToStandUpForYourself

#1956BuickCentury

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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