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.