An Apology To Hemmings

In this post I complained that Hemmings refused to publish my comment about this article. Well, once again we have an example of why patience can be a virtue. They did publish the comment although more time passed than usual between submission and publication. I apologize.

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Motor Trend published an article titled, “10 Cars You Won’t Believe Cost More Than A Base C8 Corvette.” Of course, everyone is focused on Mark Reuss’ comment that the base C8 will start at less than $60,000. (His comment that was surprising to me was the C8 will be offered with right-hand drive in the appropriate markets.) Of course, $59,995 qualifies as less than $60,000. More importantly, I doubt many people will buy a 1LT, non Z51 car with no options at all. However, I don’t think anyone will buy a C8 that costs as much as this Toyota:

 

 

From that Motor Trend article a picture of a Toyota Land Cruiser. The price of this “vehicle” is listed at…$86,460! NFW! Save the car! By the way, the subtitle for the Motor Trend article is, “This ‘Vette might be the bargain of the century.”

Here’s an interesting photo from motor1.com:

 

See the source image

 

Yep, that sure looks like a C8 convertible. Maybe I shouldn’t have shown this photo or my wonderful wife might want to buy one. Just kidding, I think. She really likes the C8, by the way, more than I do.

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I’ve written about the difference between stated preferences and revealed (or actual) preferences. When being polled or just in normal conversation, people often say they feel one way about something, but their actions reveal they actually feel another way.

In Ultimate Garage 2.0 I included a 1967 Cadillac Eldorado among the 11 cars. (No Toyota Land Cruisers were included.) I really do love that car and for awhile I would, on occasion, look on websites where “classic” cars are sold to see what a ’67 Eldo would cost.

In the last 2-3 weeks, though, my browsing has almost exclusively consisted of one car: a Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk. I look almost every day at multiple websites to see what a GT Hawk will cost. By the way, I do not look for a 1964 model as I like, for some reason, the rear deck molding that was really only there to cover the grooves stamped into the rear of the deck lid that was added to the GT Hawk’s “predecessor” in 1956. For 1964 a new stamping was made that eliminated those grooves. I looked for a public domain photo of the molding, but was unsuccessful. Therefore, from Studebaker’s 1962-64 Gran Turismo: Final Flight Of The Hawk by Mark James, a picture of the relevant item from a ’63:

 

 

I mean if you’re going to have one might as well tell the world what it is, right? Actually, I just think it looks better than the unadorned rear deck of the ’64.

So, what do they cost? I have seen cars that are running listed anywhere from just under $5,000 to over $30,000. According to Hagerty a base 1963 Gran Turismo Hawk has an “average” value of about $15,000. Coincidentally that is the same value they place on a 1967 Cadillac Eldorado.

Anyway, this tangent is about what car really “should” have been in Ultimate Garage 2.0. The GT Hawk has been on the “cars that missed the cut” list in both Ultimate Garage iterations, but maybe it should have been in instead of out. I sure think about it a lot more than some of the cars that were included. At this point I am also forced to conclude that I am more likely to buy one as a companion to my 2016 Z06 than any other car. Of course, that’s not going to happen any time soon, anyway.

 

#AnApologyToHemmings

#C8CorvetteConvertible

#WhatPeopleDoIsMoreImportantThanWhatTheySay

#1967CadillacEldorado

#StudebakerGranTurismoHawk

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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(Sort Of) Frugal Friday or A Lunatic’s Guide To Cars, Part One

Maybe I should change the name of the blog to “A Lunatic’s Guide To Cars.”

My brain possesses a disparate, even dissonant, set of assets and liabilities. As someone who was a high achiever for many years I can’t seem to come to grips with a new reality where that is not the case. This blog is an effort to achieve something of high quality.

An example…oh, a self back patting alert is necessary: while I was Director of Baseball Operations for a major league team the President/CEO walked into my office one day and told me that the Commissioner’s office was having difficulty with an issue regarding interleague play. He said that they had two or three people who had been working on this issue for weeks and that he informed the Commissioner’s office he would bring this topic to my attention. I figured out a solution in about an hour. My neurons may not function quite as well now as they did then, but I can still out-think the vast majority of the population. The fact that I don’t have the “credentials” to prove that to people I don’t know doesn’t change the truth. (The fact that I am way over 40 doesn’t help, either.) False modesty is also supposed to be a sin or if I have to choose between modesty and honesty I’m picking honesty every day.

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Creating/writing a post, even about an idea with a known theme, can be very difficult for someone like me who can struggle focusing on one idea. Such is the case with today’s Frugal Friday. So, with no pre-determined path or destination here goes:

This car has been featured in multiple posts and was named to Ultimate Garage 2.0. It is also a very affordable car: the 1967 Cadillac Eldorado.

 

 

From this Hemmings listing a picture of a 1967 Cadillac Eldorado offered by a private seller for $20,000. Remember from the Ultimate Garage 2.0 post about this car that Hagerty says the average value of one of these is $15,000. Also remember that the average “transaction” price for a new vehicle in the US is almost $40,000. What can I say? I just love these cars. If we had more garage space I might have one and not to replace my 2016 Corvette Z06. In the last two/three years I have REALLY come to understand how so many people own multiple cars.

 

 

From this Hemmings listing a picture of a 1963 Studebaker Lark offered at $9,650. Yes, it’s far from stock (besides the wheels it has modifications like a Holley carburetor), but that’s what keeps the asking price down. How could you go wrong paying less than ten grand?

From Hemmings again comes this beauty:

 

 

From the ad: “…original 389 engine and Tri-color Red interior. Stored in a Missouri garage for 45 years. In 2016, the fuel tank was removed and cleaned, new fuel pump and carburetor installed and transmission serviced. New BFG Red-Line Tires. It’s a solid car with only minor rust spots.” The seller, not a dealer, is asking $12,900 firm. If he really won’t negotiate then this is probably not a car for me, but even at that price I think the fun/price ratio is very high.

One could buy all three of these for their asking price and only pay approximately what one new vehicle costs today in the US.

I welcome your thoughts on these cars or on your own ideas for Frugal Friday. Hopefully those ideas won’t be as much in disarray as mine.

 

#FrugalFriday

#ALunaticsGuideToCars

#Icantdownshiftfromhighachiever

#1967CadillacEldorado

#1963StudebakerLark

#1962PontiacBonneville

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Ultimate Garage 2.0: Car Number Five

“Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself.”

– Mark Twain

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Last night I had a strange dream. (“Last night I had a crazy dream about a chick in a black bikini.” Anyone remember “Chick-A-Boom” by Daddy Dewdrop?) I dreamt I was a drummer in a band, but I was missing one of my drumsticks and was in a panic. No one had any sympathy for me at all and I had the impression I would be replaced, even at the last minute, if I could not find my drumstick. To use a colloquialism, what’s up with that?!

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This car is not making its first appearance in Disaffected Musings so its place in Ultimate Garage 2.0 should not be a surprise.

 

See the source image

 

The top photo of a 1967 Cadillac Eldorado is from History of the American Auto by the Auto Editors of Consumer GuideĀ®; the bottom is from Mecum and was a lot offered at their Harrisburg auction in 2017.

What can I say? I just love these cars. I love the styling, the ride, the technology, the luxury. To me, these cars are transcendent. Of course, they were based on the same front-wheel drive platform introduced in the Oldsmobile Toronado in 1966. The Toronado is a fine car, but the Eldorado is in another league, in my opinion. The styling is just so much sharper.

The one pictured at the top reminds me of so many great moments I had riding in the ’67 Eldorado of my then brother-in-law. His was the same color. I just remember being in awe whenever I was in the car even if it was returning from another rained-out Orioles game in 1971. They had so many rainouts that year (well in excess of 20, I believe) that they only played 158 games meaning that four games were never made up.

The ’67 Eldo was powered by Cadillac’s 429 cubic-inch V8 then in its last year at that displacement. For 1968, the engine was increased to 472 cubic inches, perhaps in part to offset the effects of having to meet new government emissions standards that were mandated beginning in the 1968 model year. The 429 cubic-inch motor produced 340 HP, but 480 LB-FT of torque. Even though it had only two doors, the ’67 Eldorado weighed 4,500 pounds so it needed some torque to be drivable. Cadillac produced 17,930 Eldorados for 1967 with an MSRP of $6,277. As a point of reference, and the two cars were obviously not in competition, the base price for a 1967 Corvette coupe was $4,389. The base price for a 1967 Lincoln Continental hardtop coupe was $5,553.

According to Hagerty the average value of a 1967 Cadillac Eldorado is a modest $15,000. Currently on Hemmings four 1967 Eldorados are listed for sale with asking prices ranging from $9,900 to $20,000. For an Ultimate Garage car, the ’67 Eldo is quite a bargain.

 

#UltimateGarage2.0

#1967CadillacEldorado

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Even A Blind Squirrel…

Finds An Acorn Once In Awhile…So goes a saying. An aside: I loathe squirrels. I consider them to be rats with better PR.

Just as I believe that virtually everything is a tradeoff I believe that no one is right or wrong all the time. That is part of my reason for rejecting blind adherence to ideology.

In general, I believe in individual freedom, individual responsibility and individual accountability. I think all of these must be practiced together. Unconstrained freedom is not freedom, it’s anarchy. I also believe that people should not expect strangers to provide them with a comfortable life without any effort.

That being said, I reject most/many of the policy tenets of US conservatives. For example, and as I have written before, I do not believe that tax cuts are a panacea and I do not believe in a flat tax. I do not believe in confiscatory taxation, either; that is, I don’t think that government should ever take half or more of a person’s/family’s marginal income no matter how high it is, but I think tax rates don’t need to be reduced anymore. I also think that spending more on defense than the next 7 or 8 or 9 countries COMBINED is simply imprudent.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. I honestly believe that the ideological divide in the US is intractable and will lead to the dissolution of the country as we know it. Maybe that’s not such a bad thing.

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I fully understand how people end up with multiple cars, even adjusting for my ADD/OCD affected brain. I watched an episode of Chasing Classic Cars this morning for the third or fourth time where Wayne Carini takes six or seven cars to the annual Auburn spring sale auction. One of those cars was a 1967 Cadillac Eldorado, like this:

 

https://ccpublic.blob.core.windows.net/cc-temp/listing/94/604/5806904-1967-cadillac-eldorado-std-c.jpg

(Photo from classiccars.com)

I am very fond of these cars for many reasons and as I am watching the show this morning I start to think, “Hmm, maybe I should buy one of these instead of the 2016 Z06. Maybe I should buy one of these AND the 2016 Z06.” Barring a lottery win I am not going to buy multiple cars at this stage of my life, but I would sure like to do so. You know…one car for driving fast, one car for cruising in style, one rare car for turning heads…

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In yesterday’s post I asked the following question: If you have a preference, about what would you rather read, Studebaker/Packard, Corvettes, or something else? I have not received a single answer. If you want to tell me without having it posted in the blog, you can use the Contact form to convey your thoughts. As written in About, I welcome thoughtful comments as a dialogue is almost always better than a monologue.

 

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Eldorado!

Usually no real reason exists that explains why I have written about a given car on a given day. Hey, that’s just me…

See the source image

From cargurus.com a picture of a 1967 Cadillac Eldorado. These were based on the same platform as the Oldsmobile Toronado that was introduced in 1966 and that was the first real front-wheel drive US automobile since the Cord 810/812 of 1936-37.

My former brother-in-law had one of these when I was much younger and I drove in it many times. I LOVED that car. It seemed so smooth, so luxurious and so powerful. I still think it looks magnificent.

Only in 1967 the Eldorado was powered by a 429 cubic-inch V-8 rated at 340 HP but a whopping 480 LB-FT of torque. (The next year the Eldorado received Cadillac’s new engine, 472 cubic inches, 375 HP, 525 LB-FT of torque.) Despite weighing about 4,700 pounds the 1967 Eldorado could accelerate from 0-60 MPH in a little over 8 seconds.

Just one life, but so many cars…