Throwback Thursday, Mecum Edition

Stephen Cox (@SopwithTV on Twitter) is a racing driver in the Electric GT Championship, the Super Cup Stock Car Series and the World Racing League endurance sports car series. He is also one of the hosts of Mecum Auto Auctions on NBCSN and is a Ford “expert.” I tweeted the link to yesterday’s post that, in part, was about the 1966 Le Mans race where Ford finished 1-2-3 and that mentioned the upcoming film about that race and the Ford/Ferrari feud. I asked him for any commentary he might want to offer. This was his thoughtful reply:

 

“I expect the film to capture the essence of the Ford/Ferrari battle quite well, judging from the trailers. It was basically an act of revenge from Ford, who had worked very hard on a deal to buy out Ferrari only to be snubbed at the last minute. The film seems to reflect that accurately. I’m also pleased that it’s a big budget film with quality actors, one of whom plays racing driver Ken Miles, whose contributions to Ford’s success were immeasurable. Looking forward to it!”

 

Thanks again, Stephen.

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Speaking of Mecum hosts I have been remiss in not sharing Scott Hoke’s (@ScottHoke1) email about this post.

 

“Happy Fathers Day!

Saw your post and yes, how often do we run into people at car events who don’t judge or assume anything, and have that instant connection because of the love of cars!! So cool!

And I get your point about people not knowing or caring what you’ve done in baseball. That’s their loss. I’m quite certain there are many out there who still remember and respect your abilities and insights, and your impact on the game, even as the game has advanced. Rest in that knowledge!

And with regard to the “Overhaulin’”-type shows…you’re spot on! They give everyday folks a very UN-realistic picture of what it takes to re-do a car. Suspicious indeed!”

 

Many thanks, Scott.

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I briefly looked at the lots for the Mecum auction in Portland that begins tomorrow. Once again, it is not easy to capture online photos of Mecum lots. I was able to print the screen and copy a photo to a Word file, but seem unable to copy it here.

 

See the source image

 

From www(dot)goodtimer(dot)ch a picture of a 1953 Lincoln Capri convertible. The one being offered at Mecum is Blue over Blue and is described as an “Older restoration on a rust-free car.” As the copy states—and as I confirmed in one of my reference books—2,372 of these convertibles were produced in 1953. The price was $3,699. As a reference, Cadillac’s convertible for that year (a Series 62) cost $4,144.

This car is no longer equipped with the original drivetrain although it is included in the sale. However, the buyer will incur additional costs to ship the engine/transmission from lovely Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Not being facetious using “lovely” to describe Coeur d’Alene; my wonderful wife and I spent a few days there during one of our anniversary celebrations and were overwhelmed by the beauty of the area, especially Coeur d’Alene Lake.

I hope that’s enough of a Throwback for those of you reading. As always, I welcome thoughtful comments.

 

#ThrowbackThursday

#StephenCox

#ScottHoke

#MecumAutoAuctions

#1953LincolnCapriConvertible

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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A Classic Classic

My wonderful wife and I were simply overwhelmed by the looks of this car from yesterday’s offerings at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Palm Beach, Florida:

 

 

This is a 1933 Packard 1002. According to Barrett-Jackson only 1,099 of these cars were produced. This number is confirmed in Encyclopedia of American Cars by the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide®. However, 11 body styles were available for the 1002 model in 1933 so the number of 2-door, 5-passenger coupes like this one that were sold is far smaller.

This car still has its original drivetrain, which was restored about 15 years ago. The first owner acquired the car in July of 1933. The 1002 was powered by Packard’s straight-eight engine of 320 cubic inches that produced 120 HP. The 5-passenger coupe had a price of $2,980. As a comparison, the most expensive 1933 Chevrolet cost $565. At the auction the Packard 1002 hammered at $65,000 meaning the buyer paid $71,500 all in.

As I have written before I had no interest in cars of this era as recently as five years ago. That has changed for sure. While I don’t know if I would purchase a classic pre-war car if I won the lottery, I don’t know that I wouldn’t, either.

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Speaking of automobile auctions, I have often wondered what is the ratio of the median sale price to the average sale price. Well, at the Mecum auction in Arizona in March the median was 65% of the average. I have no idea whether or not the fact that most lots at Mecum are offered with a reserve changes that ratio. About 60% of the offered lots were sold.

One of my favorite cars from the Mecum Arizona auction was a car like this:

 

See the source image

 

From topclassiccarsforsale.com a picture of a 1967 Buick GS convertible. This lot—once again, Mecum does not allow online photos of its lots to be captured so this is not the actual auction car—did not sell with a high bid of $20,000.

Buick produced 2,140 of these cars for model year 1967 which had an MSRP of $3,167. That price is not much more than the original price of the 1933 Packard sold yesterday at the Barrett-Jackson auction. The 1967 Buick GS had a 400 cubic-inch V-8 rated at 340 HP/440 LB-FT of torque.

 

#somanycarsjustonelife

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Saturday Sampler, Final Four Edition

I don’t expect a lot of people to read Disaffected Musings today since this is the day of the national semi-finals of the NCAA basketball tournament. Except for a minute or two of the Maryland-Belmont first-round game I have not watched the tournament. Some people I used to know would have told me I’m lying about that. Why would I lie about my basketball viewing habits? Why can’t my interests change over time?

I firmly believe that you should stay away from people who erode your quality of life. People who accuse you of lying about a trivial matter and who can’t understand that life always changes fit into that category for me.

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Rachel De Barros BG3

 

From her website a picture of Rachel De Barros, now formerly of All Girls Garage on Motor Trend. I was virtually certain she was leaving the show because in a brief shot in a commercial for the Season 8 premiere (today at 11:30 AM Eastern) someone else was in the back seat of the car. I have been searching for the news on the Internet since then, but the news was only made “official” yesterday.

Best of luck, Rachel, and be well.

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This Jalopnik article asks and answers the question if it’s a bad sign that a used car has been sold at an auction. The answer is, basically, if it’s just once then that’s not a red flag, but multiple auction appearances are a red flag. The article claims, “In fact, the vast majority of used cars move through auctions at least once.” If that’s true, then that’s something I didn’t previously know.

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This article from Automobile Magazine is called, “Seriously, Just Put Your Damn Phone Away.” It is a funny, yet truthful and scary look at the danger of drivers distracted by their cell phones. I have opined that the drivers side of a car should be turned into a Faraday cage so that drivers phones simply won’t work. Of course that will never happen. It makes too much sense and threatens to reduce motor vehicle sales. Maybe when the number of road deaths due to distracted drivers reaches five figures annually then something will be done. On the other hand, the number of people who are killed every year in this country because someone is driving under the influence of alcohol is in five figures and the legal BAC “limit” is still .08%. IT SHOULD BE ANYTHING OVER ZERO! In Europe the BAC limit is .04% or .05%. Why this country coddles people is beyond me. Oh, stop telling yourself you can drive under the influence. You can’t, either.

One of my best friends used to make a yearly trip to Scandinavia for research. The nature of the trip meant that he was always in Scandinavia for New Years. Every year he and his party were warned not to drive under the influence or they would be arrested and jailed without exception. Taxicabs didn’t charge a fare on New Years Eve.

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At the Mecum auction currently taking place in Houston a car like this was offered and sold:

 

https://ccpublic.blob.core.windows.net/cc-temp/listing/98/9742/7982330-1965-pontiac-gto-std-c.jpg

 

From classiccars.com a picture of a 1965 Pontiac GTO. Regular readers know that my first car was a 1967 GTO, but may not know that I am also a big fan of the ’65. The car to which I am referring sold for $37,400 all in meaning the hammer price was $34,000.

Sorry to sound ignorant, but does the claim of a “WT-suffix” engine mean that the car has the Tri-Power three-carburetor setup? The Tri-Power was available through the 1966 model year. In 1967, the heads were changed for better flow, displacement increased from 389 cubic inches to 400 and the Tri-Power was no longer available.

Like the hashtag says: so many cars, just one life.

 

#PutYourF***inPhoneAway

#somanycarsjustonelife

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Wednesday Words

From Ukranian-born, American-raised Golda Meir, the fourth Prime Minister of Israel, “We will only have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than they hate Israel.”

Truer words were never spoken.

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First day of spring, my ass!

 

 

Arizona sounds better to me every day!

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Thanks to Scott Hoke (@ScottHoke1 on Twitter) for writing to me, “Always enjoy reading your exceptionally thoughtful posts!!” In case you don’t know, or even if you do, Scott is the host of the Mecum auction broadcasts on NBCSN. Fortunately for me, Mecum has many auctions (I think 12) every year and I very much enjoy watching them. As I write this I think have 10 “episodes” of the Mecum auctions on my DVR, which I will watch often.

The telecasts are very enjoyable because while Scott and the rest of the crew (John Kraman, Stephen Cox, Bill Stephens, Katie Osborne) respect the cars and the auctions they don’t take them so seriously that they forget to have some fun.

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Speaking of Mecum auctions, a car like this was offered for sale at the recently completed auction held in Glendale, Arizona. (There’s that state again!)

 

https://www.bentleygoldcoast.com/galleria_images/5742/5742_p3_l.jpg

 

From bentleygoldcoast.com a picture of a 2011 Ferrari 599 GTO, of which only 125 were exported to the US. At Mecum a car like this sold for $770,000 all in including the buyer premium.

I have been using the phrase “rolling sculpture” a lot these days since I purchased Gordon Buehrig’s book by the same name. Buehrig was one of the most important automobile designers in history having drawn the amazing Cord 810/812 among others. This Ferrari, like most Ferraris in my opinion, is rolling sculpture.

The Motor Trend review of this car claimed that it was the fastest road-legal Ferrari ever made (up to then, anyway). The 599 GTO was powered by a 6-liter V-12 producing 661 HP/457 LB-FT of torque. (Hey, Steve Magnante, not all engines have higher torque than HP numbers. Let me quickly add that I am a fan of his.) The Motor Trend reviewer/writer, Arthur St. Antoine, called the 599 GTO “The Best Car I’ve Ever Driven.”

If I could afford one would I buy one? Is the Pope Catholic? Can Usain Bolt run fast? Of course, for less than 10% of the Mecum hammer price from Arizona I could buy a used C7 Z06 Corvette with almost identical HP and lots more torque. Stay tuned… I believe some auto “people” say, “Horsepower sells cars, but torque wins races.” What’s the difference? The best way I’ve heard it described is to imagine an athlete on a track. Torque is how hard he pushes against the track while horsepower is how fast he can move his legs.

Any thoughts on this Ferrari, any Ferrari, any car or anything else? I eagerly await reading those thoughts.

 

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Omnium Gatherum

I had to take this picture this morning from the end of my driveway.

Don’t worry, photobyjohnbo, my photographs will never approach yours in quality.

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This was in my Twitter feed (@RulesofLogic1):

 

“File under: Socialism destroys what it pretends to defend.

Spain. Government decided to raise minimum wage 22% in January.

Social Security Affiliation fell 136,000 and unemployment rose by 87,000 in January and February.”

 

Socialism doesn’t work!

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See the source image

 

Wow! Double Wow! From classiccarweekly.net a picture of a 1955 Chrysler Ghia ST Special. A car like this was just offered for sale at the recently concluded Mecum auction in Glendale, Arizona. The car didn’t sell, but the high bid was $450,000.

Do you really care about the drive train? OK, this car was powered by a 331 cubic-inch Chrysler Hemi V-8 rated at 250 HP/340 LB-FT of torque. It had a 2-speed Powerflite automatic transmission.

Ghia is a famous Italian coachbuilder and this car is yet another example of what I call an original hybrid: American drive train with European styling. This car also has an American chassis; in this case a Chrysler New Yorker chassis.

According to the Mecum listing this car was the last design in the collaboration between legendary stylist Virgil Exner and Ghia chief Luigi Segre that lasted from 1951-1955. Only four examples of this car were produced in 1955.

An aside: for an auction that was only announced last November, the docket at the Mecum Glendale auction was very impressive. I just wish Mecum would allow its online lot photos to be captured. I mean, it’s not like someone else can sell the car once it’s been consigned.

I posted about a similar car, the Dual-Ghia, last June. I thought that was the epitome of rolling sculpture, but I think I like the way the ST Special looks even more. So would an original version cost more or less than a replica made from scratch? Why am I asking as I couldn’t afford either one…

 

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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P.S. I still would like to read your thoughts about this blog, about your Ultimate Garage or about any other topic you deem relevant. Please keep the comments polite, though, or I won’t post them. The number of comments has declined recently even though the number of views/visitors has not.

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.

 

Remember that Facebook and Google are evil. Please don’t let them take control of your life.