Threes And Sevens: 1963

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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.


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.






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