Meandering Monday

The only political axiom to which I subscribe is that no matter where one thinks they stand on the political spectrum, much/most of the truth is usually somewhere else. That being said, I believe that anti-Semitism exists all along the spectrum. As I have written before, many perceive that David (the Jews) has turned into Goliath and no one roots for Goliath. Here are some stats to show how the perception of Jews as Goliath may have developed:

 

Jews comprise just two-tenths of one percent of the world population. They have been awarded:

37% of Nobel Prizes in Economics

26% of Nobel Prizes in Physics

25% of Nobel Prizes in Medicine

19% of Nobel Prizes in Chemistry

AND

25% of Fields Medals, the ultimate honor in Mathematics

 

 

On the left, it is my opinion that anti-Semitism’s roots stem from the extreme and, in my opinion, incorrect belief that all people who are less well off, especially in the developed world, are less well off because they are oppressed. Sorry, but in the developed world many/most people who are less well off are that way because of bad decisions like dropping out of school.

On the right (think the neo-Nazi faction of the right, like the POS who shot up a Pittsburgh synagogue; pretty sure he’s not a Bernie Sanders supporter), I believe anti-Semitism’s roots stem from the narrow minded hate of people who are unlike them. That hate manifests itself in a belief that those unlike them who are successful must be evil because, to them, it’s just not possible that their success is a result of skill and work ethic.

I realize that I will not convince anyone to modify their views or even to re-examine their positions. I acknowledge that I do not possess a monopoly on truth or wisdom. No one else does, either. The political spectrum is two-dimensional, at most. The real world is three-dimensional, at least. Do the math.

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Many times in the nearly 20 years we’ve been married I have asked my wonderful wife, “Why did you marry me?” I am only half-kidding when I ask. She is the kindest, cutest, sweetest and most wonderful person in the world. I am not close to being any of those things. I LOVE YOU, V Squared!!!

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Ford, Mecum reach settlement in Ford GT dispute

The picture comes from this ClassicCars.com article about Ford and Mecum Auctions reaching a deal on the consignment of the new Ford GT. Wrestler/actor John Cena sold his Ford GT, despite signing an agreement that he would not do so for a period of two years after purchase, for far more than he had paid for it. (Ford sued Cena and the two parties reached an agreement where Cena would pay Ford an undisclosed sum.) Subsequently, Mecum sold a Ford GT at its Indianapolis auction in 2018. The car hammered for $1.85 million. The Mecum car was not the Cena car nor was it consigned by the original owner.

Ford initiated court proceedings against Mecum and the two parties reached an agreement earlier this month regarding the Ford GT. As cited in the ClassicCars.com article, here are the three main terms of the agreement:

1.) Mecum will not accept for consignment sale any Ford GT owned by its original purchaser which is still subject to the two-year sales moratorium.

2.) Mecum will consult with Ford regarding any Ford GT consigned with Mecum by any downstream purchaser (i.e., not that GT’s original purchaser) for the first two years following the GT’s initial sale to the original purchaser, and will not permit the auction sale of that GT during that time without Ford’s consent.

3.) Mecum will make a charitable contribution to the Ford Motor Company Fund.

Mecum did not admit any wrongdoing.

What do you think? I am not an attorney, but I am fairly certain that all terms of a contract are not always enforceable even if the contract is executed willingly by parties that are competent and fully understand its terms. For example, I can’t legally agree to work for less than the minimum wage even if I am willing to do so. That provision is not enforceable. (Any attorneys who are reading this are free to comment and/or correct me if I’m wrong. Consider it pro bono work, if you must.)

An obvious conclusion for me is that Ford is not charging enough for the GT. I have a long-time friend who is a very gifted artist. When we first met in the mid-1980s she was struggling to make a living. During a conversation she said she might have to lower the prices of her work. I suggested that, instead, she raise the prices which would make her paintings appeal to a certain segment of the market. The strategy worked and about a year later she received a six-figure commission from a prominent local university to produce some paintings.

Companies are under no obligation to make their goods or services affordable for everybody. The Ford GT is more than a halo car and, as such, is supposed to be owned only by those of means. My wonderful wife and I are not poor, but we can’t afford one. However, we do not resent those who can.

 

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Throwback Thursday, Mecum Edition

When the 2009 baseball season started I had four teams as clients. Less than two weeks after the 2010 season ended I had one. My business was essentially dead so I had to find a job. This excerpt from Steve Magnante’s 1001 Corvette Facts could have been written by me: “My life as a Chevrolet salesman was brief. After six months, I learned there was a big difference between liking cars and selling them.” By the way, Corvette fans should buy the book.

My first job after baseball was training to be a salesman at a local Nissan dealer. I didn’t last six months, though; I lasted four days before I quit. I received a job offer from a (very) large financial services company, the same company where my wonderful wife was working so I accepted. I lasted nine months at that job before I resigned. I am NOT cut out to sit at a desk in front of a computer screen 40-45 hours a week doing someone else’s bidding. The longest I’ve ever stayed in a non-baseball office job is one year.

Maybe I’m just fooling myself, but I would love to work for an automobile auction company, like Mecum. Don’t these companies have a need for someone who can analyze data?

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See the source image

From playtoysclassiccars.com a picture of a 1975 Bricklin SV-1 like the one that will be offered for sale today at the giant Mecum auction in Kissimmee, Florida. Once again, Mecum does not allow online pictures of its lots to be captured. I used to have a couple of photos of a Bricklin, but they were lost when I couldn’t access the backup of my old iPhone after I bought my new one.

Malcolm Bricklin, who started the General Vehicle company that manufactured the SV-1, seems like quite a character. A Rolling Stone article from 2013 described him as, “brash, bombastic, and pathologically prone to betting the farm on pie-in-the-sky automotive endeavors.” Bricklin founded Subaru of America in 1968 and was the importer of the Yugo, considered by many to be the worst car ever made. In fact, I just ordered a book titled The Yugo: The Rise and Fall of the Worst Car in History by Jason Vuic.

From Hagerty a concise history of the car: “The Bricklin SV-1 was conceived in 1973, when the U.S. auto industry was in a slump due to fuel shortages, emissions regulations, and increased safety requirements. Subaru importer Malcolm Bricklin believed there was a seam in the market for a ‘safe’ and individual sports car, so he persuaded the Canadian government to invest money for construction of such a car in depressed New Brunswick. [My note: the unemployment rate in New Brunswick at that time approached 25%.] Cost overruns and quality control problems with the inexperienced workforce led to eventual bankruptcy. The first Bricklins were built in 1974, and the factory shut down in late 1975, with a few 1976 models built from leftover parts.”

I believe the Canadian and/or New Brunswick government pulled the plug on the project so even though Bricklin was providing jobs something must have made the government(s) think the investment was no longer worthwhile.

The “SV” in SV-1 stood for Safety Vehicle. Bricklin wanted to build a car that exceeded US government safety regulations. Initially the SV-1 was powered by a 360 cubic-inch American Motors V-8 and later by a Ford 351. The SV-1 was a front-engine car, looks notwithstanding. The car was fraught with quality issues like overheating and gull-wing doors that wouldn’t open. About 3,000 cars were produced in total.

In person the Bricklin is quite a handsome car, in my opinion. It’s not a contender for Ultimate Garage 2.0, but very few cars are. What do you think of the Bricklin?

 

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

 

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Mecum Auctions

Scott Hoke is the “lead” host on the Mecum Auctions broadcasts on NBCSN. He and his co-host, John “The Professor” Kraman, both follow Disaffected Musings on Twitter, for which I am very grateful. (Gentlemen, is it too much to ask for a mention of this blog during a broadcast? Hey, nothing ventured nothing gained. By the way, if you are on Twitter Scott’s handle is @ScottHoke1 and John’s is @CarKraman. Mecum’s handle is simply @mecum.)

In response to this post about the most significant years in US automobile history, Scott sent this via Twitter message:

“Morning! To your question of most significant years in US automotive history: tough question, with many possible answers. ’67 was big as you point out. 1955 as well. Maybe 1964? Unveiling of the Mustang, Barracuda and, oh yeah, the GTO! I think other than possibly Henry Ford putting America on wheels, 1955-70 may be the most important era. But that’s a large can of worms!”

Of course, 1964 was a big year especially given the introduction of the Mustang, which is still being produced despite Ford turning into a non-car company. As for the GTO, regular readers of this blog know my first car was a ’67 Goat as (fuzzily) pictured here:

If I had the money and the room for multiple car acquisitions then I might buy a GTO of this vintage. Despite being only two letters in length “if” is a very big word.

If you are a car person, and since you’re reading this blog you probably are, then you should watch the Mecum broadcasts on NBCSN. As I have written here before, I very much enjoy the telecasts. Every on-air person (Bill Stephens, Stephen Cox, Katie Osborne in addition to Scott and John) makes a meaningful contribution to the effort, but an element of levity exists that is missing from other similar broadcast efforts. The Mecum crew love cars and love the auctions, but they don’t always take themselves quite so seriously and that adds to the show in my opinion.

 

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

 

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Throwback Thursday

I don’t know how many of them are reading this, or will read this, but my thanks to the legion of Studebaker fans who clicked on yesterday’s post enough for Disaffected Musings to reach a new daily high in unique visitors and just miss the “record” for views. Thanks to 56packardman for posting a link to “Wednesday Wanderings” in a Studebaker Drivers Club forum. 56packardman and I have never met nor ever spoken voice-to-voice. However, he has done more to promote this blog than anyone else, by far. I am grateful.

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Could I have chosen any other make today?

https://i2.wp.com/momentcar.com/images/studebaker-president-1932-8.jpg

 

From momentcar.com a picture (obviously at an RM auction) of a 1932 Studebaker President. NBCSN airs Mecum auctions, but also airs Mecum specials. One of those specials showed the top ten pre-war cars in terms of hammer price. A 1932 Studebaker President was one of those ten although I don’t remember the number or the specific variation of the car. One of the hosts of the show (John Kraman?) commented that this automobile was the pinnacle of collectible cars for Studebaker enthusiasts. To the Studebaker fans reading this, do you agree?

From More Than They Promised by Thomas Bonsall: “The wonderful President chassis received its greatest accolade in this period [circa 1932] when it was selected, in more-or-less stock form, as the basis for a series of Studebaker race cars especially built for the grueling Indianapolis 500. In 1932, five Studebaker Specials had been built. The top finisher, driven by Cliff Bergere, came in third and averaged 102.66 miles per hour overall—the first time a ‘stock’ racer had cracked the century mark.”

The 1932 President was powered by a 337 cubic-inch inline eight-cylinder engine that produced 122 HP. Although only about 2,400 were built that year they were available in an overwhelming variety of body styles, 16 in all if my counting is to be trusted. That means, of course, that some of the variations were and are exceedingly rare. However, not all of them are exceedingly expensive. At the recent Mecum auction in Chicago (Schaumburg, Illinois to be exact) a 1932 Studebaker President State Sedan hammered for $28,000 meaning the buyer paid $30,800 all in.

As many of you know and as I have written before, the next year—1933—was a disastrous one for Studebaker. The company declared bankruptcy and its President, Albert Erskine, committed suicide. Studebaker seemingly recovered, though, and reached its all-time high in yearly production in 1950 at almost 321,000 vehicles, which ranked eighth among US car companies and was the only independent in the top ten. By 1963, however, fortunes had declined so dramatically that Studebaker ceased production at its main factory in South Bend, Indiana and limped along making cars at its Canadian plant in Hamilton, Ontario until March of 1966.

I won’t write it again, but most regular readers know what I am thinking…

 

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

#tbt

 

Hey, Canadian readers! I would love to read some comments from you.

 

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