Sunday Silence

Of course, today’s post title was the name of a famous thoroughbred horse. Today’s title is also what the sport of thoroughbred racing will have to do after yet another equine death at Santa Anita, site of this year’s Breeders Cup races.

The injury to Mongolian Groom, which necessitated the horse be euthanized, happened on the last and most prestigious race of the Breeders Cup, the Classic. Almost 40 horses have died at Santa Anita, near Los Angeles, since last December.

Officials at Santa Anita took extra precaution during the Breeders Cup with horses undergoing additional examinations that led to some horses being scratched that might not otherwise have been. Still, tragedy occurred and, let’s be honest, during the race with the most scrutiny.

I am a fan of thoroughbred racing. My father’s gas station was so close to Pimlico you could hear the track announcer. I used to have partial ownership of a thoroughbred. However, the situation at Santa Anita needs a thorough investigation, which could necessitate no racing there until answers are found.

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On a lighter note…congratulations to the owners, jockey and other crew for Vino Rosso, the horse that won the Breeders Cup Classic. The Classic has become just as important as any of the Triple Crown races, if not more so.

However, the real star of the Breeders Cup coverage, in my opinion, was Britney Eurton. She is a host on TVG (the horse racing channel) and on NBC Sports covering horse racing. Her father, Peter, is a successful trainer and one of his charges won a Breeders Cup race this year.

She is a beautiful woman with tremendous poise in front of the camera. Her knowledge of the sport allows her to ask insightful questions, often on the fly, but she is respectful of her guests. OK, I guess I’ll show her picture:

 

See the source image

 

From imdb.com a photo of Britney Eurton.

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Speaking of beauty, on this day in 1966 the original Maserati Ghibli made its debut at the Turin Auto Show. Without further ado:

 

See the source image

 

From wsupercars.com a picture of the original edition Maserati Ghibli. I must admit that I consider it a sacrilege that Maserati has put the name “Ghibli” on at least two four-door sedans, including one currently offered.

The “real” Ghibli was drawn by now legendary designer Giorgetto Giugiaro, then working for Ghia. Originally, the car was powered by a 4.7 liter/288 cubic-inch V-8 producing 306 HP/305 LB-FT of torque. The standard transmission was a 5-speed ZF manual with a 3-speed automatic as an option.

A quick search of Hemmings for 1967-69 Ghiblis returned six available cars, only three of which had asking prices shown (the other three read “Inquire”) and the lowest listed price was $100,000.

When I was a teenager I thought the original Ghibli was one of the most beautiful cars ever made. I still think it’s quite stunning.

 

After having posted every day for over a month, I am going to take a break that will probably last 2-3 days. Besides the “Main” page and the About page, here are the five most-read posts so far this year, so you can catch up:

 

Saturday Salary Arbitration

Loewy Coupe Concerto In Four Movements

The “End” Of Packard; More From The AACA Museum

Saturday Song

The End Of The Marque

 

See you on the flip side.

 

#BreedersCupClassic

#MongolianGroom

#SantaAnita

#VinoRosso

#BritneyEurton

#1967MaseratiGhibli

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Cord!

On this day in 1935 the revolutionary Cord 810 was introduced at the National Automobile Show in New York.

 

See the source image

 

From RM Sothebys a picture of a 1936 Cord 810 that was offered at their Amelia Island auction in 2016. Many of you know that the design was drawn by legendary stylist Gordon Buehrig. Many of you probably know that his design was a protest against Harley Earl’s axiom that the front grill was the face of the car. Buehrig tried to draw a car with no face, but ironically the front of the Cord is its defining feature and one of the most recognizable designs in automotive history. As stated in History of the American Auto by the Auto Editors of Consumer GuideĀ®, “[The] dazzling new 1936 Cord 810 could never be mistaken for any lesser auto.”

The 810 marked the return of the Cord make after three years in hiatus. When one considers that US GDP declined for four consecutive years through 1933, the hiatus of an upper-class car is easy to understand. The sad aspect to the story is, of course, that Errett Lobban Cord’s automobile empire collapsed in 1937, taking Auburn, Cord and Duesenberg into history.

Although Glenn Pray purchased much of the parts inventory of the three makes of the Cord empire, and his son Doug continues to build “continuation” cars from those parts where possible, imagine if the FAST act were actually implemented enabling Doug Pray and/or another party to build hundreds of Cord 810/812 replicas with modern drivetrains. (Doug Pray refuses to call his builds replicas, which is why I called his products “continuation” cars.)

What classic cars from the past would you like to see built? No points for guessing what 56packardman will answer.  šŸ™‚

 

#1936Cord810

#GovernmentIsNotAPanacea

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Frugal Friday and The One That Got Away

First, is it really November, 2019?

Second, can “it” be “The One That Got Away” if you are unaware of “it” at the time. I’m going to rule Yes.

 

 

From Bring a Trailer a picture of an almost perfect 1964 Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk. This is how I envision my GT Hawk looking if/when I buy it. Maybe I would want a slightly darker green, but this car just looks awesome to me. It even has both the clock and tach on the instrument panel. Fewer than 1,800 of these were built for model year 1964 before Studebaker closed its South Bend facility and the Gran Turismo Hawk (and Avanti) were no more.

This car was auctioned on BaT last July/August selling on August 2 for $15,250. I think that’s $16,012.50 with the buyers commission. Even though I have had the idea to buy one of these for quite some time, I wasn’t explicitly looking when this car was available. Had I known who knows what I might have done. I still had the BMW Z4 at the time and that could have been an obstacle. By the way, in the comments the seller claimed he had more than twice the sale price in the car and that the car was “all there.”

Money is important, but it isn’t everything. Albert Einstein once remarked, “Not everything that counts can be counted and not everything that can be counted counts.” I don’t ever want to be the type of person who knows the cost of everything, but the value of nothing. Car restorations should be a source of satisfaction for the person involved above and beyond the value of the build. By the way, I did not grow up with money and, as the saying goes, “You can’t take it with you.”

 

Perhaps inspired by my friend Joe’s very recent purchase of a 2016 Corvette Z06 convertible, I have decided to show an affordable C6 Corvette. From Car Gurus:

 

 

This is a 2010 Corvette in 2LT trim plus navigation with about 46,000 miles in Crystal Red Metallic over Cashmere. The seller is asking $21,995. These cars are powered by a 6.2 liter/376 cubic-inch V-8 that generates 430 HP/424 LB-FT of torque. The NPP “two-mode” exhaust option would raise the maximum output slightly to 436 HP/428 LB-FT.

A beautiful, modern Corvette with more than 400 HP for a little more than $20,000…that’s a great deal, in my opinion. What do you think?

 

#FrugalFriday

#TheOneThatGotAway

#1964StudebakerGranTurismoHawk

#AlbertEinstein

#2010ChevroletCorvette

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Throwback Thursday

Halloween? My thoughts on the so-called holiday have been expressed before.

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On this day in 1959 a song that had been originally composed in 1928 was the Number One song on the Billboard Hot 100. “Mack the Knife” as recorded by Walden Robert Cassoto, better known as Bobby Darin, reached the top position on the charts in early October and stayed there for a total of nine weeks.

 

See the source image

 

From MusicStack a picture of the “Mack the Knife” recording. Growing up in the 1960s and 1970s I had quite a collection of 45s. “Mack the Knife” was not part of that collection. It did, however, sell more than two million copies and was awarded the Grammy as “Record Of The Year.”

Supposedly, Darin did not want the song released as a single. Darin, sadly, had a short life. Having been afflicted with rheumatic fever as a child he had a severely weakened heart and died in 1973 at age 37. Darin had success not only as a singer, but also as an actor and was even nominated for an Academy Award in 1963.

“Mack the Knife” was actually composed for a musical drama called “The Threepenny Opera.” The song’s lyrics were originally in German, but somehow the song became a favorite for American pop and jazz singers to record. For example, Louis Armstrong & His All-Stars released a version that reached #20 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1956.

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Making rich people poorer will not make poor people richer.

ā€œSocialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy; its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.ā€

– Winston Churchill

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No rule says that the Throwback Thursday car has to be from the same year as any other subject of the post. As I do from time to time, here is a chart:

 

Top Ten Selling US Makes, 1950
Chevrolet 1,498,590
Ford 1,208,912
Plymouth 610,954
Buick 588,439
Pontiac 446,429
Oldsmobile 408,060
Dodge 341,797
Studebaker 320,884
Mercury 293,658
Chrysler 179,299

 

Note Studebaker’s position as the only non Big-Three make in the Top Ten. Also note that Studebaker is one of five companies that no longer exists. Although not shown here, the #11, #12, and #13 positions were also held by now-defunct makes. (Nash, DeSoto and Hudson)

 

See the source image

 

From smclassiccars.com a picture of the best-selling vehicle for the best-selling make in 1950. This is a Chevrolet Styleline DeLuxe four-door sedan. By the way, I think the word “Styleline” is awkward to pronounce, but what do I know?

Chevrolet produced more than 316,000 of these in 1950. Note that number would have ranked in the top ten among makes in 1950. Chevrolet produced 14 different offerings across four model lines in 1950. At $1,529 the Styleline DeLuxe four-door was in the middle of the Chevrolet price range.

Chevy offered only two engines in all of those cars: a 216 cubic-inch inline six with an output of 92 HP/176 LB-FT of torque for cars equipped with a manual transmission and a 235 cubic-inch inline six with 105 HP/193 LB-FT for cars equipped with the Powerglide automatic.

This car doesn’t really do anything for me, but for much of the automobile era four-door sedans were the bread and butter for American car companies. Those days are over, probably for good, as SUVs and pickup trucks have become the most popular vehicles.

 

#ThrowbackThursday

#MackTheKnife

#BobbyDarin

#WinstonChurchill

#SayNoToSocialism

#1950USAutoMarket

#1950ChevroletStylelineDeLuxe

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Wednesday Incoherence

Some of you might offer that this Wednesday is no different than any other day on Disaffected Musings

Thanks again to 56packardman for posting the URL to yesterday’s post on the Studebaker Drivers Club forum. Once again, I would like to thank SDC forum readers for clicking on that link, but I doubt any of them are reading this.

Blog readers are not “sticky” in the economic sense of the word. When 56packardman posts a link to my blog on a forum the number of views/visitors gets a two-day bump. When Bill James (father of modern sports analytics, should be in the Baseball Hall of Fame) tweeted the link to my blog, traffic for the next two days was the best ever, but only for two days.

Either my blog is not as good as I think it is or the competition for eyeballs is overwhelming given the hundreds of millions of active blogs. For my own sanity, or what’s left of it, I have to believe the latter explanation.

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CNBC’s Jim Cramer is a polarizing figure. Some think he’s a shill for the stock market. Others think he’s not as expert as he wants you to believe. Others, like me, think he’s an extraordinarily intelligent and hard-working person whose insights are quite valuable.

This CNBC article has quite a long title, “Cramer on stock record: We need apologies from trade war naysayers who said US would be damaged.” In the piece Cramer says, “I think thereā€™s some mea culpas that we need to hear from the people that said cyclical America would be damaged…It turns out, the industrials are not as perturbed about China as you would have thought.”

As I have written before I think the word “war” to describe the current state of US-China trade is an overstatement. However, the current administration is trying to shift the state of trade to a different place.

I think people, in general, overstate the effect of most potential changes in the status quo. I think that’s happening in the UK with Brexit. Neither the UK nor the EU will collapse if Britain leaves. The “remainers” are overstating the negative consequences. Of course, the “Brexit-ers” may have overstated the advantages of leaving, but that’s really the same phenomenon.

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No doubt should exist that the NFL is the Emperor of American Sports. The recent Sunday night NFL game between the Packers and the Patrick Mahomes-less Chiefs had 61 percent more TV viewers than the fifth game of the World Series. (The fourth game of the 2019 World Series was the second least-watched World Series game ever.) Baseball may call itself “The National Pastime,” but that’s a delusion.

I can easily envision a US sports landscape where baseball is no higher than #4 in the hierarchy behind football, basketball and soccer.

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I had to note that on this day in 1963 Lamborghini unveiled its first car, the 350 GTV prototype, at the Turin Auto Show. The GTV would quickly evolve into the 350 GT, Lamborghini’s first production car.

 

See the source image

 

From rmsothebys.com a picture of the beautiful Lamborghini 350 GT, in this case a 1965 model. Of course, many of you have heard or read the story—which may or may not be true—that Ferruccio Lamborghini, a very successful builder of tractors, was disappointed in the clutch of his new Ferrari. When he expressed his disappointment to Enzo Ferrari supposedly Ferrari remarked, “Get knotted [or some other less family-friendly uttering], tractor-maker. Go build your own car if you don’t like mine.” Even if the story is not true it sure is a good story.

Of course, Enzo Ferrari pissed off Ford Motor Company and Henry Ford II so much when Ferrari pulled an 11th-hour withdrawal from an agreement to sell controlling interest that Ford vowed to beat Ferrari at LeMans. I think Ferrari cars had won LeMans from 1960 to 1965. Ford exacted its revenge by winning LeMans with the legendary GT40 from 1966 through 1969, inclusive. Some race drivers who didn’t drive for Ferrari called Enzo Ferrari “Enzo The Butcher” because of the number of drivers that died while driving for Ferrari.

 

#UnStickyBlogReaders

#BillJames

#JimCramer

#NFL>>MLB

#Lamborghini350GT

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Black Tuesday

As will be noted elsewhere, on this day in 1929 “Black Tuesday” or the Stock Market Crash of ’29 occurred. What many people don’t know is that this was not a one-time, out of the blue event. For example, the Dow Jones Industrial Average actually peaked in early September. In late September the London Stock Exchange crashed when a top British investor and many of his associates were arrested and jailed for fraud and forgery. More significant selling of securities began on October 24.

While the Great Depression ensued quite quickly after Black Tuesday, not all dramatic stock market declines lead to economic slowdown. The “Black Monday” of 1987, also in October, during which the Dow declined by 22.6% in one day, the largest one-day percentage decline in history, did not lead to a prolonged decline in economic activity.

Both events led to major changes in stock trading rules. Of course, the Great Depression led to wide-sweeping changes in the economy.

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As it applies to the automobile industry, the Great Depression accelerated the shake-out of firms and the concentration of market share in a few companies. On a page in History of the American Auto by the Auto Editors of Consumer GuideĀ® a list is shown of makes that “expired” [their word] from 1930 to 1941. The list shows more than 40 companies and I’m sure it is far from complete. In 1930, US automobile production declined by nearly 35% compared to 1929. In 1932, the worst year of the Great Depression, car production was 73% lower than in 1929. The production number from 1929 was not topped until 1949 although, of course, World War II had much to do with that.

Some automotive historians have postulated that the seeds of the eventual demise of Packard and Studebaker were sown during the Great Depression. (That’s a long discussion for, perhaps, another time.) Studebaker actually did go into receivership in 1933 and was the first US auto company to recover and to continue production after such an event.

 

 

From this article by Hemmings a picture of a 1934 Studebaker President Land Cruiser. This car was part of the “Year Ahead” series and does bear more than a passing resemblance to the legendary Pierce-Arrow Silver Arrow of the year before. Studebaker purchased Pierce-Arrow in 1928 and sold the company in 1933 as part of the post-bankruptcy reorganization.

Studebaker was known more as a “middle-class” car company, but this President is definitely more of an “upper-class” car. The President Land Cruiser sold for $1,445 in 1934 when one could buy a Chevrolet for $465 or a Plymouth for $485.

I have seen a car like this in person (and am sure I have a picture or two on my phone, but good luck finding it among thousands of car photos) and it is quite stunning to behold. Unless my net worth were orders of magnitude higher than it is, owning a car like this would not be practical for me. Still, I can admire this automobile and I do.

 

#BlackTuesday1929

#GreatDepression

#1934StudebakerPresidentLandCruiser

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Monday Mulling

This Automotive News article is about the increase in pedestrian deaths even given a decline in traffic deaths. The article states, “Auto safety experts say the growing number of drivers distracted by mobile devices is at least partly to blame.” However, near its end the article also reads, “38 percent of pedestrians killed had some alcohol in their systems.” Gee, do you think that at any given moment 38 percent of the adult US population in general has alcohol in their systems? <end sarcasm>

What is not discussed at all, either, is the increase in distracted pedestrians. On the History show “The Epic History Of Everyday Things” it is stated that 6,000 people die in this country every year because they are distracted by their devices. I don’t know whether or not that includes traffic accidents.

Like every other paradigm, “Don’t Blame The Victim” isn’t always appropriate even if it’s usually appropriate. A society that harps on that concept incentivizes some people to “want” to be a victim. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

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“To be, or not to be, that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take Arms against a Sea of troubles,”

– Shakespeare

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My friend and mentor Bill James is ending his long association (17 years) with the Boston Red Sox. I wish him nothing but good health and good fortune.

In the early 1990s Bill wanted me to write an article for one of his baseball books. We agreed on the fee he would pay. About a month after I submitted the article he sent me a check for more than the amount to which we had agreed and a letter that read in part, “I only had to edit one word in your article and I defy you to find the change.”

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I have discussed my affinity for these cars before. Here is a picture of a 1990 Cadillac Allante taken this past weekend by yours truly:

 

 

I have to admit I think cars don’t look as good with the hoods up, but anyway…the failure of the Allante is sad to me. I think they look amazing. I mean the bodies were designed and built by Pininfarina, Ferrari’s coachbuilder.

Despite the fact that I receive a regular email newsletter from the national Allante/XLR club, I have never seriously considered purchasing an Allante. A ’90 Allante was offered for sale without reserve at Mecum’s Denver auction in 2018. The car hammered for $1,500; no, I did not leave out a zero. According to Hagerty the average value of a 1990 Allante is $5,900. When new, the MSRP of such a car was $51,500. Talk about falling to the bottom of the depreciation curve and staying there…

“The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” – Robert Burns

 

#PlentyOfBlameToGoAround

#Shakespeare

#BillJames

#1990CadillacAllante

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Serious Sunday

Last week my wonderful wife received news of a less than pleasant nature that can only be interpreted as a life-changing event. Fortunately, it is not health-related. Still, it is yet another example of the random and unfair nature of life. Don’t tell me it’s all part of “the plan” because I don’t buy it.

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I had another strange dream. (It’s OK to think “consider the source.”) I dreamt I was on the set of The Big Bang Theory and two cast members were continually trying to pull pranks on me, but I was always one step ahead. Finally, I just asked them to stop and they agreed to do so. The weird thing (yeah, the dream wasn’t weird at all before) is that I’m not sure if I was actually in an episode and the pranks were part of the plot or if I was an observer/guest on the set. You don’t want to be inside my head…

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Can any of you identify this car? (Picture from Silodrome):

 

See the source image

 

I have been enthralled with this car for a long time after seeing a picture of it in this book:

 

 

OK, you can eliminate half the alphabet. You know I am going to reveal the identity of the car, so why don’t you take a minute and try to guess. (Cue the Final Jeopardy music…)

The car in the picture is an A.C. ME3000 (or 3000ME, I have seen it listed both ways). A prototype of this car was shown as early as 1973, but the car did not enter production until 1979. As is the case with many limited production automobiles, funding was always an issue and the rights to the car eventually belonged to three different companies, at least two of which went bankrupt.

The “ME” stands for mid-engined and I could list the powertrain specs, etc. However, it’s the looks of the car that intrigue me. Depending on the displacement and layout of the engine, mid-engine cars do not have to give up the long hood/short deck look. I think the 3000ME is a great-looking car.

 

#LifeChangingEvent

#WeirdDreams

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Last Saturday In October

I have a thought experiment. Think how elegantly sober quiets unruly actors’ delinquency.

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My wonderful wife and I attended the fall edition of a car show held twice a year at a “local” casino/racetrack. Here are just three photos from the show as we have seen many of the cars before.

 

 

This is either a real 1936 Auburn or it isn’t. I strongly suspect the latter (no model badge on the grill, for example). It is a beautiful car, though, either way.

 

 

That looks like a lot of Corvettes, and it is, but was just a small fraction of the Vettes at this show.

 

 

Two “oddballs” at the show, a Ferrari 308 and a Lotus Esprit. For a show that doesn’t charge admission to spectators it is quite an event for car enthusiasts. I just wish more makes and eras of automobiles were represented. That’s my gripe with almost every car show.

I know I have an unusual interest in defunct American car companies, but remember that Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Mercury and Plymouth all fit in that category. Even though all of those companies produced cars in the 21st century (granting that’s just barely true for Plymouth) they are not usually well-represented at local car shows. This show did have a few GTOs and 442s, but they paled in comparison to the number of Camaros, Corvettes, Mustangs, 1970-ish Chevelles and Tri-Five Chevys.

A famous saying goes, “Variety is the spice of life.” Please let me know if you want more spice in this blog.

 

#BeWaryOfIgnorantsInPower

#AttendCarShows

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Frugal Friday, Among Other Things

Going back to yesterday’s post for a moment…a lot of people have asked me why I don’t do more commercials. Well, that’s another endeavor that has been corrupted by credential-ism. Ad agencies and their clients want “proven” talent and/or, I kid you not, people who have taken acting lessons. What a bunch of f*ck*ng b*llsh*t! Just because life isn’t fair doesn’t mean we should just keep our mouths shut.

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From my WONDERFUL wife, a Friday Funny:

 

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I have to admit that it is increasingly difficult for me to find cars for Frugal Friday. I have compiled the list of all Frugal Friday cars so I won’t repeat myself, at least not too much. Still, this is not a blog about SUVs or Ford Taurus four-door sedans.

For some reason I hear the words of the late Dennis Hopper in my head, “If you can remember the sixties then you weren’t there.” Hey, look at this:

 

 

From this Hemmings ad a picture of what seems to be a very nice 1966 Pontiac Bonneville:

 

 

The seller claims the car has only 64,000 original miles and is a two-owner vehicle. The ad also states that the car has new tires, new shocks and a new exhaust system. The asking price is $18,000.

Of course, I have a huge soft spot in my heart for Pontiac. I also think this seems to be quite a nice car. About 42,000 Bonneville hardtop coupes (called Sport Coupes by Pontiac) were produced in 1966 at an asking price of $3,354. Pontiac was in the middle of its eight-year run (1962-1969) as the third best-selling make in the US.

From the year before America lost much of its innocence, 1962, here is another car from Hemmings:

 

 

This is a 1962 Ford Thunderbird listed at $9,850. 1962 was the middle of the three-year run of the third-generation Thunderbird, often called the Bullet Bird. The ad copy is sparse, but hey, they’re asking less than ten grand for the car.

Just under 70,000 Thunderbird hardtop coupes, both with and without the Landau roof, were sold in 1962. The list price for the non-Landau version was $4,321. The standard engine was Ford’s 390 cubic-inch V8 rated at 300 HP/427 LB-FT of torque. That’s not a weak engine, but the car weighed about 4,100 pounds.

This is well-worn territory, but I think it bears repeating that although it’s the first-generation Thunderbirds that are revered today, the subsequent generations sold much better. Remember that about 70,000 T-Bird hardtop coupes were sold in 1962; only 53,166 cars were produced for the entire first-generation (1955-1957). It is the automobile business, after all.

Once again, I ask for Frugal Friday suggestions from you. I will also ask, once again, if you want Frugal Friday to continue as a weekly feature. Thanks.

 

#FrugalFriday

#FridayFunny

#1962PontiacBonneville

#1962FordThunderbird

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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