Sad Saturday

Dixie Lewis, daughter of noted author Michael Lewis (whom I consider to be a friend), died in an automobile accident a couple of days ago. She was 19.

What can we say at a time like this? This passage from Saul Bellow might fit:

 

“We have a word for everything except for what we really think and feel.”

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In more sad news, regular Disaffected Musings reader and commenter Dirty Dingus McGee is in the hospital. I will spare you the details although if you are a thorough reader of the comments you will know some of the particulars.

Get well soon, DDM!

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On this day in 1946 the first production Kaiser and Frazer automobiles came off the Willow Run line. From this wonderful article on Ate Up With Motor:

 

“The first cars were shipped to dealers on June 22; all were registered as 1947 models. Despite Kaiser and Frazer’s earlier talk of inexpensive small cars, neither model was anything close to a low-priced economy car. The Kaiser Special started at $1,868, nearly $700 more than the cheapest 1947 Chevrolet. The Frazer, meanwhile, started at $2,053, over $100 more than an eight-cylinder Buick Special. Both Kaiser-Frazer products rode well, were reasonably economical, and had nicely trimmed interiors, but they were in no way exceptional.”

 

From Classic Cars.com a picture of a 1947 Kaiser, I think:

Kaiser-Frazer had some success until the Big Three introduced new post-war cars for model years 1948 and 1949. In 1948, Kaiser-Frazer sold about 140,000 cars. By 1952, Kaiser sales (the Frazer make was discontinued after 1951) had declined to around 32,000.

The company ceased production of cars for the US market in the middle of the 1955 model year. Kaiser purchased Willys-Overland in 1953. Willys, of course, manufactured the Jeep. The company name was changed to Kaiser Jeep in 1963. American Motors Corporation bought that company in 1970. That company also included the General Products Division, which Kaiser had bought from Studebaker in 1964. (Still with me?) AMC renamed that division AM General, which built the original Hummer H1. Of course, all of AMC was sold to Chrysler Corporation in 1987.

I guess one could say that Kaiser “lives” on in Chrysler Corporation, but the latter is really just part of Stellantis and has an uncertain future. Don’t we all?

 

#SadSaturday

#MichaelLewis

#SaulBellow

#DirtyDingusMcGee

#Kaiser-Frazer

#somanycarsjustonelife

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Saturday Admission

I have to admit that on some days I turn on my computer, sit in my office chair and have no idea what I am going to write for my post. Today is one of those days. Why am I writing then? First of all, this blog is very important to me. Even if I had fewer readers, I think I would still write as often because writing is a catharsis for me. In other words, blogging is cheaper than therapy and almost as effective.

In addition, one of the “rules of blogging” is to be consistent. As I have written a blog post almost every day for more than four years–the last two in my previous blog and two and a half years for Disaffected Musings–I think the readers have come to expect almost daily output. Supposedly, more blog posts also mean stronger results in search engines. So far this year, referrals from search engines account for 18% of all blog views; that number was just 6% in 2019. For 2020, even though the year is barely into its second half, the number of referrals from search engines is basically three times the number for all of 2019. Those of you who are mathematically inclined can deduce that, given these facts, the number of views for 2020 has basically matched the number for all of 2019.

Long way ’round, if any of my regular readers want to write a guest post (photobyjohnbo has already graciously contributed one), please feel free to let me know.

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Speaking of regular readers, this is a picture of Dirty Dingus McGee’s 1960 Studebaker Lark. Whether or not much of the appeal stems from the fact that these are a product of a defunct American make, I have always liked the look of the two-door Larks.

Even though I am not a fan of many cars considered classics by the majority of American automobile enthusiasts (GM A-Body cars from 1968 to 1972, for example), the universe of cars that appeals to me is still quite large. When I dream of having a four-car or five-car garage I think of what I could buy. I also think of cars that are not so rare as to be imprudent to be modified. These Larks fit that bill; from 1959 through 1961 a total of 26,001 Lark two-door hardtops were built. (Data courtesy of Studebaker 1946-1966, The Classic Postwar Years by Richard M. Langworth.) In addition, 81,090 two-door sedans were built.

56PackardMan was (is) very opposed to restomodding a car, as are many other enthusiasts. While I understand the sentiment, for me that restriction only applies to rare and historically significant automobiles, like a Duesenberg Model J, not that I will ever be able to afford one of those. While I never have had an automobile “collection” I can’t conceive of myself buying cars that are de facto museum exhibits. As I have written before, if I buy a car it is for the purpose of driving it, even if that’s just 1,200-1,500 miles a year.

While this topic has been discussed here before, I would still like to read your thoughts on when, if ever, restomodding is appropriate.

 

#SaturdayAdmission

#DirtyDingusMcGee

#1960StudebakerLark

#Restomods

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

If you like this blog please tell your friends and share the blog URL (https://disaffectedmusings.com). Thanks.