Just Another Wednesday?

From Wikipedia:

 

“The name [Wednesday] is derived from Old English Wōdnesdæg and Middle English Wednesdei, ‘day of Woden’, reflecting the pre-Christian religion practiced by the Anglo-Saxons, a variation of the Norse god Odin. In other languages, such as the French mercredi or Italian mercoledì, the day’s name is a calque of dies Mercurii ‘day of Mercury.'”

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Maybe millennials are not committed to central cities, after all…this CNBC article mentions that, according to the Census Bureau, 2018 was the fourth consecutive year in which a “noticeable decline” occurred in the millennial population of major cities. A 2018 Ernst & Young survey of 1,200 adults aged 20-36 found that more people in this group are buying homes in the suburbs than in cities.

In Sunday Suburbia I expressed my preference for living in the suburbs. I also noted that the suburbs have been the most populous part of the US in every census since 1970. Given the trends mentioned in the CNBC piece I guess that won’t be changing any time soon.

A relevant chart showing the 1950 and 2010 central city populations for a few selected locales:

  1950 2010 Pct Chg
Baltimore 949,708 620,961 -34.6%
Chicago 3,620,962 2,695,598 -25.6%
Cleveland 914,808 396,698 -56.6%
Detroit 1,849,568 713,777 -61.4%
St. Louis 856,796 319,294 -62.7%
Washington, DC 802,178 601,723 -25.0%

Yes, some of the loss of population in these cities is due to migration to other metro areas, but much of it is simply a move to the suburbs. For example, Baltimore’s central city population declined by about 16% from 1990-2010, but the metropolitan area population (which includes the central city) increased by about 14%. Sorry to change time frames, but I can’t find metro area populations for 1950 and I wanted to show the full scope of population decline for these cities, which began shortly after the end of World War II.

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So, two of the three books about Studebaker have arrived; the other will not be delivered as the order has been cancelled by Amazon due to a “technical problem.” As I order more and more items from third-party sellers I have encountered more difficulties in order fulfillment.

One of the books that was delivered was this:

 

 

In all honesty I only ordered the book to get more information about and more pictures of this car:

 

See the source image

 

From blog.consumerguide.com a picture of a Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk, the automobile with which I am currently obsessed. (OCD is a bitch even if it’s OCD-lite.) A slight disappointment is, except for the front and back covers, all of the photos in the Reynolds book are in black and white.

Do any of you have your own obsessions that you would like to share? I promise that no one will judge…

 

#Wednesday

#FlightToTheSuburbs

#StudebakerBooks

#StudebakerGranTurismoHawk

#Obsession

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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First Monday In October Musings

I have mentioned this before both in the blog and to WordPress directly. For 2019, the leading referrer to Disaffected Musings is search engines. Those referrals comprise about seven percent of blog views this year compared to less than one percent for 2018. Does anyone have an opinion—or better yet, some facts—as to whether or not that change means anything?

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Speaking of blog views, I have noticed that during the NFL season blog views slow down during the 1 PM games (that’s Eastern Time, of course), which is not surprising. Then, at the end of the 1 PM games a burst of views usually occurs. Yes, I am OCD enough to be constantly checking the views/visitors numbers for the blog.

Speaking of the NFL, even though I am following it less this year than I have for at least 20 years, yesterday was a good day for me as my two favorite teams—the Ravens and the Packers—defeated my two least favorite teams—the Steelers and the Cowboys. You know, those same results would have occurred whether or not I watched the games.

I don’t really know why my interest in the NFL (and in college football, as well) has dropped off so markedly. At the root of the disconnect could be a desire to stop living vicariously. If “my” teams win a championship I will not receive a ring or a bonus and I have nothing to do with their personnel decisions. Unlike other times and places…

 

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Following up something from yesterday’s post…the Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk, while not a small car, is not as long as the two 1956 Packards I mentioned. The GT Hawk is 204 inches/17 feet long; the two Packards were 215 and 218 inches long. I knew that yesterday, but neglected to mention it. Oh…our garage is almost 22 feet deep, not that I am going to evict my 2016 Corvette Z06 for any reason, not even for one of these:

 

See the source image

 

From luxify.com a picture of a 1963 (?) Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk. Going off on a tangent, one of these was featured in an episode of Fantomworks. Near the beginning of the episode Dan Short (the owner of FantomWorks) asked the customer why he owned a GT Hawk. The customer replied that it was an homage to a Packard Clipper his father had once owned.

I welcome comments from long-time commenters AND from those who read, but don’t comment. Don’t worry: I won’t bite.

 

#SearchEngineSurge

#GarageDepth

#StudebakerGranTurismoHawk

#FantomWorks

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Tuesday Twaddle

I follow Dominic Chu of CNBC on Twitter (@TheDomino). He is knowledgeable without being arrogant and passionate without being partisan. Occasionally we engage in short dialogues via Direct Message on Twitter. Often those dialogues are the result of my sending Dom a link to a Disaffected Musings post. Yesterday, in the middle of one of those dialogues Dom wrote this wonderful comment, “Your posts are awesome.” Wow! I mean, Wow! Dom’s comment was not in response to my asking him what he thought about the blog or any specific post. He offered it unprompted by me.

As every regular reader knows I am very proud of this blog AND wish many more people were reading. However, it is always great to receive such positive feedback, especially from someone who is a professional journalist. Thanks again, Dom.

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C8 Convertible

 

From this autoblog.com piece comes a picture of a C8 Corvette convertible. The article is about Chevrolet’s announcement that the official reveal of the C8 convertible will occur on October 2, despite the fact that the car was already shown in official company photos when the C8 was revealed in July.

No doubt the C8 convertible will have a soft-top and, no doubt, the chassis will be beefed up in order to compensate for the loss in structural rigidity a fixed roof provides. I suspect the base price for the convertible will be $5,000-$6,000 more than the coupe. Are any potential buyers reading this?

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More evidence of the softening of the collector car market: the gross sales total from all of the auctions held during Monterey Car Week last month was down by about 31% from 2018. The average price per lot was down about 24% and the median price declined by 16 percent. Combine that with slightly fewer lots offered and a small reduction in the sell-through rate and, voila, -31%.

Total sales have actually declined in four of the past five years in Monterey with only 2018 being an increase compared to the previous year. Remember that even the very wealthy don’t have to buy expensive collector cars. In all honesty, though, data like this makes me a little nervous about the overall economy.

My wonderful wife ribs me from time to time about having too much cash in our holdings. The ribbing happens even though our family portfolio has significantly outperformed its expected risk-adjusted return over a period of more than a decade. If the economy falters then having a substantial cash position will be quite an asset, in my opinion. Also, if the collector car market continues to soften and if that softening trickles down to all segments then maybe I can buy that Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk for even less than the modest amount one would cost today.

 

#DominicChu

#C8CorvetteConvertible

#SofteningOfCollectorCarMarket

#StudebakerGranTurismoHawk

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Today’s post title is nothing more than my penchant for self-deprecation and alliteration.

 

 

An Apology To Hemmings

In this post I complained that Hemmings refused to publish my comment about this article. Well, once again we have an example of why patience can be a virtue. They did publish the comment although more time passed than usual between submission and publication. I apologize.

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Motor Trend published an article titled, “10 Cars You Won’t Believe Cost More Than A Base C8 Corvette.” Of course, everyone is focused on Mark Reuss’ comment that the base C8 will start at less than $60,000. (His comment that was surprising to me was the C8 will be offered with right-hand drive in the appropriate markets.) Of course, $59,995 qualifies as less than $60,000. More importantly, I doubt many people will buy a 1LT, non Z51 car with no options at all. However, I don’t think anyone will buy a C8 that costs as much as this Toyota:

 

 

From that Motor Trend article a picture of a Toyota Land Cruiser. The price of this “vehicle” is listed at…$86,460! NFW! Save the car! By the way, the subtitle for the Motor Trend article is, “This ‘Vette might be the bargain of the century.”

Here’s an interesting photo from motor1.com:

 

See the source image

 

Yep, that sure looks like a C8 convertible. Maybe I shouldn’t have shown this photo or my wonderful wife might want to buy one. Just kidding, I think. She really likes the C8, by the way, more than I do.

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I’ve written about the difference between stated preferences and revealed (or actual) preferences. When being polled or just in normal conversation, people often say they feel one way about something, but their actions reveal they actually feel another way.

In Ultimate Garage 2.0 I included a 1967 Cadillac Eldorado among the 11 cars. (No Toyota Land Cruisers were included.) I really do love that car and for awhile I would, on occasion, look on websites where “classic” cars are sold to see what a ’67 Eldo would cost.

In the last 2-3 weeks, though, my browsing has almost exclusively consisted of one car: a Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk. I look almost every day at multiple websites to see what a GT Hawk will cost. By the way, I do not look for a 1964 model as I like, for some reason, the rear deck molding that was really only there to cover the grooves stamped into the rear of the deck lid that was added to the GT Hawk’s “predecessor” in 1956. For 1964 a new stamping was made that eliminated those grooves. I looked for a public domain photo of the molding, but was unsuccessful. Therefore, from Studebaker’s 1962-64 Gran Turismo: Final Flight Of The Hawk by Mark James, a picture of the relevant item from a ’63:

 

 

I mean if you’re going to have one might as well tell the world what it is, right? Actually, I just think it looks better than the unadorned rear deck of the ’64.

So, what do they cost? I have seen cars that are running listed anywhere from just under $5,000 to over $30,000. According to Hagerty a base 1963 Gran Turismo Hawk has an “average” value of about $15,000. Coincidentally that is the same value they place on a 1967 Cadillac Eldorado.

Anyway, this tangent is about what car really “should” have been in Ultimate Garage 2.0. The GT Hawk has been on the “cars that missed the cut” list in both Ultimate Garage iterations, but maybe it should have been in instead of out. I sure think about it a lot more than some of the cars that were included. At this point I am also forced to conclude that I am more likely to buy one as a companion to my 2016 Z06 than any other car. Of course, that’s not going to happen any time soon, anyway.

 

#AnApologyToHemmings

#C8CorvetteConvertible

#WhatPeopleDoIsMoreImportantThanWhatTheySay

#1967CadillacEldorado

#StudebakerGranTurismoHawk

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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