Frugal Friday and Super Bowl V

First, and WordPress gave me the OK to write this, if you see an ad for a good or service in which you have genuine interest, please feel free to click/tap on the ad. Thanks.

Second, on this day in 1971 the Baltimore Colts defeated Satan’s Minions…uh, the Dallas Cowboys…in Super Bowl V, which is “Five” for those of you unfamiliar with Roman Numerals. I nervously watched the game by myself in the small living room of our Baltimore row house.

The Colts trailed for much of the game, in which both teams combined for 11 turnovers including 7 by the Colts. About midway through the fourth quarter, with the Colts trailing 13-6, Baltimore safety Rick Volk intercepted a Craig Morton pass and returned it 30 yards to the Dallas 3-yard line. Two plays later, Tom Nowatzke scored the touchdown and, unlike the Colts’ first TD, rookie kicker Jim O’Brien converted the extra point to tie the game.

With about a minute left a holding penalty against Dallas left them with a long second down. Morton was rushed by Colts’ defensive end Roy Hilton and threw high to intended receiver Dan Reeves (yes, the same Dan Reeves who was an NFL head coach for 23 seasons). Mike Curtis intercepted at the Dallas 41 and returned it 13 yards. The Colts ran the clock down to 9 seconds and O’Brien kicked a 32-yard field goal to give Baltimore a 16-13 lead.

In the recaps of the game it is never mentioned that the field goal was not the last play of the game and that after the kickoff Dallas had time for one more play. I had remembered that was the case, but began to be unsure given it was never mentioned. Upon discovering the play-by-play I found that what I remembered was correct, that Dallas received the kickoff and that Morton was intercepted, once again, this time by Jerry Logan to end the game.

When O’Brien lined up for what turned out to be the game-winning field goal, at first I turned away from the TV too nervous to watch. Then, just in time, I faced the TV and saw the kick. After the game ended, I screamed louder than I had ever screamed before and ran outside screaming, without wearing any shoes, into the cold Baltimore day. Our awful next-door neighbor stuck her head out of the front door and threatened to call the police if I didn’t quiet down.

The next day as was our custom, Dr. Zal and I met in front of the department store with whom I shared a last name (it was not our store) to walk to school. We did not speak during the walk, but sang the Baltimore Colts’ fight song the entire way.

The Colts’ win was doubly sweet as the Baltimore Orioles had won the World Series in October, 1970, meaning that for the 1970 season Baltimore had the champions in the two most important sports in the US. I’m not sure if baseball is #2, anymore, and in light of the Astros’ cheating scandal and other issues, major league baseball is in trouble. Still, that was a great time to be a young Baltimore sports fan.


I guess have Buick and the Buick Riviera on the brain. For today’s first Frugal Friday car I present this car from this Classic Cars ad, a 1999 Buick Riviera:

1999 Buick Riviera (CC-1300289) for sale in Cadillac, Michigan

1999 was the last model year for the Riviera. I have always liked the looks of this last generation. The car’s engine appeals to me as well as it was a supercharged V-6 (driving the front wheels) of 231 cubic-inch displacement producing 240 HP/280 LB-FT of torque. This was the same engine in the famous Buick Regal of the 1980s and a tweaked version of the same motor was used in the legendary 1987 Buick GNX although the motor was turbocharged in the GNX and in the Regal line.

The mileage is not listed in the ad, but reading the copy strongly implies the car has at least 120,000 miles. The asking price is $8,495. Only 2,154 Rivieras were built in 1999 at an MSRP of $33,820.


If I don’t show a car other than a Buick I might get stuck on them. 🙂

From this Hemmings ad a picture of a 1989 Ford Thunderbird SC, or Super Coupe:



Like the ’99 Riviera I think these cars look good and have an interesting engine. In the case of the T-Bird this car is powered by a supercharged 232 cubic-inch V-6 (note the similarity to the ’99 Riviera engine) that produced 210 HP/315 LB-FT of torque. The ’89 T-Bird was available with either a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic; this car has the manual. It has about 64,000 miles and the seller is asking $14,000. Ford produced 12,962 Super Coupes in model year 1989 with an MSRP of $19,823, significantly higher than the MSRP for the base model of $14,612. Almost 114,000 Thunderbirds were produced in total for 1989.

Have a great weekend…







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1999 Monday Musings

Wouldn’t that be something if this post contained 1,999 thoughts? (You’re probably thinking, “No!”) However, note the lack of a comma in the number in the post title.

1999 was, of course, the year I married my wonderful wife. That was also the last year I worked for a major league baseball team in a full-time position. To this day, many people can’t understand how I gave up a high-paying, high-ranking job in professional sports (Director of Baseball Operations). In retrospect, my only mistake was not having a landing spot secured before I jumped off the sports job. I had become absolutely miserable working in that role for that team. My path for advancement in baseball, in or out of that organization, seemed blocked as long as I remained there. I also was dismayed at what I perceived to be a lack of morality among many of those working in that organization. Let me leave that thought there.


1999 was the model year for a significant redesign of the Ford Mustang. The exterior had crisper lines, structural stiffness was increased and the output of all engines was raised. Not being a Mustang “guy” I don’t know this for sure, but I believe the 1999 redesign was not a new generation, but a significant update.


See the source image


From (!) a picture of a 1999 Mustang. The 4.6 liter/280 cubic-inch V8 for the GT was boosted by 35 HP for 1999 to 260 and produced 302 LB-FT of torque. Motor Trend said the 1999 GT was “as good or better than any stock Mustang we’ve ever tested, Cobra or not.”


1999 was the last year for the Buick Riviera. Only 2,154 were produced; the last 200 were designated as Silver Arrows with silver paint and special trim. The Silver Arrow was the concept car that was the basis for the original 1963 Riviera. The front-wheel drive 1999 Riviera was powered by the well-known Buick V6 of 231 cubic-inch displacement, but with a supercharger instead of the turbo-charged variety made famous in the Grand National/GNX of the 1980s. The supercharged type produced 240 HP/280 LB-FT.


See the source image


In a still from a YouTube video this is a 1999 Riviera, supposedly a Silver Arrow. I don’t like every iteration of the Riviera, unlike John Kraman (@CarKraman on Twitter), but I like most of them including the last generation. Every photo generated in an Internet search shows a ’99 Riv in gray/silver, white or black. To me this body screams for red or green.


1999 was the 50th and last “birthday” for the Oldsmobile Eighty Eight. Of course the entire Oldsmobile make would be kaput five years later as the last Olds car rolled off the assembly line on April 29, 2004.


See the source image


From a picture of a 1999 Oldsmobile 88. For calendar year 1999 Oldsmobile finished 7th in sales among American car companies and saw an almost 8 percent increase compared to 1998. However, Olds sales slumped by 23 percent in 2000, which played a large role in GM’s announcing in December of that year that Olds production would be phased-out. Once again, Oldsmobile has the distinction of being the only American car company to produce cars in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries.

According to History of the American Auto by the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide®, 85.6 percent of the cars and light trucks sold in the US in 1999 were assembled in North America, 9 percent were imported from Japan, 3.8 percent came from Europe and 1.6 percent from South Korea. According to the Kogod School of Business, 65 percent of cars and light trucks sold in the US in 2016 were assembled in North America. Of course, foreign car makers have many plants and facilities in North America.

A world without tariffs and trade disputes would be a wonderful thing, but so would a world in which I could eat ice cream every day. The exigencies of the real world make for difficult choices.









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