Tropical Storm Tuesday

As I write this (at about 5:45 AM), the area where I live is under a Tropical Storm Warning. It is currently raining here although the winds have not yet increased. We are supposed to have seven or eight hours of winds with at least tropical storm force (>39 MPH) gusts.

As I have written before, we live in a neighborhood with many tall trees, including such trees on our lot, that make weather like this most nerve-wracking. I am imagining a worst-case scenario in which we suffer damage that forces us to put the attempt to sell our house on hold. Hey, I am a child of Holocaust survivors and I expect the worst to happen.

“Mother Nature” seems most cruel at present. “The virus” seems unstoppable and although most people who become infected survive, as age increases so does the mortality rate from it. I am not a young person. I believe that until safe and effective vaccines are widely available, we are all going to have to stay in “virus mode.” People who want to go back to normal now are simply clueless.

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Today is Roger Clemens’ birthday. If you don’t know–or even if you do–he is one of the most accomplished players in major league baseball history. Clemens won the Cy Young Award as the best pitcher in his league seven times, more than any other pitcher in history.

He was credited with 354 wins in his career; any number 300 or higher is rare and significant. He is the only pitcher in history with 350+ wins and 4,500+ strikeouts. What is also significant is that Clemens is the only pitcher with 300+ career wins who is not a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Clemens has been dogged by accusations that he used steroids during his career. He was also indicted on charges, including perjury and contempt of Congress, stemming from testimony he gave to Congress about his use of such substances. His first trial ended in a mistrial and he was acquitted on all charges in his second trial.

The principle that people are innocent until proven guilty does not apply in the court of public opinion. To the extent that I have an opinion, I think it’s absurd that Clemens is not in the Hall of Fame. Even if he used steroids, those substances cannot turn an ordinary player into a Hall of Fame player.

I don’t know anything about the Basketball or Hockey Halls of Fame, but I think both the Baseball and Football Halls are tainted, primarily by the inclusion of players who don’t belong. However, I think the Baseball Hall of Fame is also tainted by the sanctimonious behavior of many of its voters.

From a Pinterest page, a picture of Roger Clemens:

 

See the source image

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I am currently re-reading Packard: A History of the Motor Car and the Company edited by the late, great Beverly Rae Kimes. She was known as the “First Lady of Automotive History.” The book was awarded the prestigious Cugnot prize for automotive writing.

The book is quite thorough and for someone like me with ADD tendencies it is virtually impossible for me to completely read it word for word. (The book is 828 pages long.) I am also overwhelmed by the desire to re-write history, for Packard to have merged with Nash (or maybe with Nash and Hudson) instead of with Studebaker and at least surviving until Chrysler’s purchase of American Motors in 1987.

I think it is human nature to form an alternate history scenario that ends much more pleasantly than real life. “What If?” is a common question. From the Packard forum (Hey, site moderators. Why doesn’t the Packard forum have a secure URL beginning with https?) a picture of a 1933 Dietrich-bodied V-12 convertible:

 

See the source image

 

From Streetside Classics a picture of a 1956 Packard Executive:

 

See the source image

 

Maybe some day…

 

#TropicalStormTuesday

#RogerClemens

#Packard

#BeverlyRaeKimes

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Update: I’m posting from my phone at 1:10 PM Eastern Time. We lost power at 12:30. In anticipation of such an event I surrounded the milk in the fridge with ice packs. Modern refrigerators are not designed to keep food cold very long without power.

I hope power outages are far less common in the desert. In any event we are going to have some type of backup power system.

 

 

 

Compulsion

I wasn’t going to post today, but here I am. As I awoke before 5 AM for the second consecutive day and since I cannot use the treadmill because my wonderful wife is still asleep, here I am. Once again, OCD is a bitch even if it’s OCD-lite.

 

I have been reading Packard: A History of the Motorcar and Company edited by Beverly Rae Kimes. She was, perhaps, the finest chronicler of American automotive history. The book is enormous at 800 pages and with my other wonderful trait, ADD, sometimes I just can’t wade through all of the details about the engineering, the interiors, etc. However, I am enjoying the book.

Would you buy a car without a working master cylinder?

 

 

From this Hemmings listing a picture of a 1956 Packard Executive without a functioning master cylinder. No, I am not going to buy this or any other car anytime soon, but as I have written before my brain is pestering me with the idea of buying a car that was built before I was born and is not too expensive. The seller is asking $8,000.

This was the last model year for the “real” Packard manufactured in Detroit. It was also the only year such cars featured a negative ground, 12-volt electrical system, the standard for cars built in the last 60 years. Of course, that is changing as some manufacturers have moved to a 48-volt system.

While this car will not end up in my Ultimate Garage 2.0 another Packard might. Speaking of Ultimate Garages I am still hoping more of you will send me yours. Not that I can’t post yours after I reveal mine, of course, but some of you might not want to wait until then. I will probably start before Memorial Day.

 

#compulsion

#Packard

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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

 

Tuesday Notes

Belated condolences to the family of John McCain. Regardless of one’s political inclinations (or lack thereof), I think McCain’s service to his country should be appreciated.

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In this post I mentioned a book called “Ask The Man Who Owns One,” which was a famous ad slogan for Packard. Well, you didn’t think I would discover the book’s existence and not buy it, do you? Remember, I have an unhealthy obsession with defunct American makes.

In this blog I have argued that the famous saying, “If you build a better mousetrap the world will beat a path to your door” is often incorrect. Apparently, Henry Joy—longtime Packard president in addition to having a large ownership stake—agreed. Joy once wrote to James Packard (co-founder of the company), “We cannot make a success of this business by hiding our light under a bushel. It seems to me that anybody in this business has to make a demand for his goods by making a constant noise about them. In addition, of course, the goods must have merit, but no matter how meritorious, they will disappear from the ring unless pushed before the public with the greatest possible vigor.”

In the classical economics model, information is free and its transmission is frictionless. In the real world, people won’t buy something, regardless of quality, if they are unaware of its existence. People are also not omniscient, regardless of what those blinded by ideology think.

In honor of Packard a photo of a 1955 Caribbean convertible I took at a local auto show. Sorry, 56packardman that it’s not a 1956 model.

Another Packard picture:

See the source image

From momentcar.com a picture of a 1931 Packard 840.

See the source image

From hobbydb.com a photo of a Packard ad with the famous slogan. Note the year.

While Packard was never a high-volume manufacturer, it did produce over 1.6 million vehicles in its history. For a long time, Packard was revered as a standard of luxury and excellence. Hopefully, the latter quality will never go out of style or out of fashion.

For those interested in reading more about Packard, I highly recommend The Fall of the Packard Motor Car Company by James A. Ward.

 

If you’re reading this after clicking on a link from the Studebaker Drivers Club or Packard Info, welcome. Please feel free to bookmark the blog URL, https://disaffectedmusings.com, and return often.

 

 

Obsession

I am obsessed with defunct American car makes, such as Packard, Studebaker and Pontiac. Why? What shapes our interest in anything? I believe it is a combination of genetics and environment.

A picture like this (from Hemmings and, obviously, Volocars.com; https://www.hemmings.com/classifieds/dealer/desoto/firedome/2016958.html) makes my day. This is a 1956 DeSoto Firedome. I have developed a real affinity for 1950s American cars, but the fact that this is a DeSoto makes it even more appealing to me.

I own and have intently read books on Packard and Studebaker. I will probably buy books on American Motors and fervently wish a complete history of Pontiac were available. In general, why am I so interested in cars? Is (was) it an attempt to bond with my father, even though he has been dead for 25 years? My father was an auto mechanic who owned and operated a service station in the days when those businesses sold gas and fixed cars, not gas, snacks and lottery tickets. No inanimate object captures my attention as much as cars. Honestly, I’m not sure I even want to know why that is so. What difference does it make, anyway?

See the source image

From conceptcarz.com a picture of a 1930 Packard 745 Deluxe Eight. I don’t know why, but a picture of a similar car built by Cadillac would not be as interesting to me.

Besides automobiles (I assume you’re interested if you’re reading this), in what other subjects do you have interest? Why do you think you’re interested or do you even care? I would very much like to read your opinions.