Monday Musings 49

Maybe I should have called this post Monday Musings, The Alaska Edition as in Alaska was the 49th state admitted to the US. No? OK…

This CNBC article is by Morgan Housel, a partner at The Collaborative Fund, behavioral finance expert and former columnist at The Wall Street Journal and The Motley Fool. He is also a winner of The New York Times Sidney Award and a two-time finalist for the Gerald Loeb Award for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism. It is nine rules about life and money he wants his very young daughter (she was born in 2019) to know. While I don’t agree with all of the manifestations of these rules that he uses, I think most of the rules are quite sound. Leaving the elaboration for you to read yourself, here are the nine rules:

 

Don’t underestimate the role of chance in life.

The highest dividend money pays is the ability to control time.

Don’t count on getting spoiled. (Remember this is for his daughter.)

Success doesn’t always come from big actions.

Live below your means.

It’s okay to change your mind.

Everything has a price.

Money is not the greatest measure of success.

Don’t blindly accept any advice you’re given.

 

My interpretation of the first rule is one about which I have written here many times. People who think everyone gets what they “deserve” and who dismiss the role of luck/chance in life outcomes need an operation to have their heads removed from their rectums.

Living below one’s means is the way my wonderful wife and I have lived for most of our marriage. People might say, “You both have late-model Corvettes and you live in a big house.” Well, all of those things are owned free and clear, so we must not have stretched to or beyond our means to acquire them.

A former friend, one of the best men at my wedding, was incapable of changing his mind. I would argue that this inability has contributed to his life outcome being one that has made him bitter and also made him incapable of accepting his role in how his life has turned out. I also think that changing his/her mind is not automatically a bad thing for a public official. As Keynes is supposed to have remarked, “When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?”

Everything has a price, which I interpret as nothing is free. Politicians who promise “free stuff” are lying to gain votes. Housel uses this rule to write about the trade-offs in life, something about which I have also written.

The last rule is another one that has appeared here often, although perhaps indirectly. EVERYONE has an agenda. Don’t just accept what they’re saying as being true. Have some discipline and use your mind to think.

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Perhaps because 56PackardMan has left the blog world or perhaps because the search for a Corvette Companion/Grocery Car is now focused on modern cars, I have not written much lately about defunct American makes like Packard. This article hit my email and I found it interesting. From said article, a picture:

 

 

The article is about the end of the straight-eight engine era in American automobiles. Some have attributed the demise of Packard, at least in part, due to its being late in bringing out a V-8, not offering such an engine until the 1955 model year. Cadillac and Oldsmobile introduced a modern, overhead-valve (OHV), oversquare (bore greater than stroke) V-8 engine for the 1949 model year. Ford was later, but (finally) introduced its successor to the flathead in 1954, but the flathead dated to 1932 and it was a V-8. Chrysler introduced its first OHV V-8, and a hemi no less, in 1951. Even fellow independent make Studebaker introduced its V-8 in 1951.

A blog post is not the proper forum to discuss at length the reasons for Packard’s demise. Indeed, many books have been written about Packard and its end. I think that like most life outcomes, the company failed due both to exogenous forces (e.g. the Chevrolet-Ford production “war”, or “Ford Blitz,” of 1953-55) and its own decisions like trying to use a small, body-stamping plant for the entire production process, which had major growing pains and led to quality control issues for much of the 1955 model year.

One theme about which I used to write quite a bit is that fewer companies producing cars means fewer companies to develop innovations in engineering and in styling. More competition is almost always better for consumers.

56PackardMan, if you’re reading we would love to hear from you. I would also like to read thoughtful comments by all readers.

 

#MondayMusings

#NineRules

#TheEndOfPackard

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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The End Of The Marque

From The Fall of the Packard Motor Car Company by James A. Ward:

 

“The news of Packard’s demise was announced on July 13 [1958, emphasis mine], but nobody at S-P [Studebaker-Packard] took responsibility for it. The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal ran retrospective pieces, emphasizing Packard’s past, and explained its death by saying that S-P’s ‘destiny is tied to smaller cars.’ The Times pointed out that with Packard’s demise, only 16 remained of the 2,700 nameplates that had appeared since 1893. Business Week headlined its story ‘Ask The Man Who Owned One’ and compared the fall of Nash, Hudson, Packard, Willys, Crosley, and Frazer to the disappearance of automobile companies in the depression.”

 

For many Packard purists the 1957 and 1958 models were not Packards, but merely badge-engineered Studebakers. However, the fact that they were made at all was really an attempt to keep the name alive in the hopes the make/marque could be given a new identity, if not one wholly separate from Studebaker. No offense intended to those Packard aficionados who disdain the last two model years, but from en.wheelsage.org a picture of a 1958 Packard hardtop coupe, of which only 675 were made.

 

See the source image

 

Believe it or not I am not a big fan of quoting myself, but here is something I sent in an email to Bill James:

 

In the overwhelming return of my passion for automobiles I have noticed something similar [to the difficulty of dislodging successful entities from their perch]. While people like me lament the demise of makes like Studebaker and Packard, the writing was on the wall long before those companies folded. Even before World War II the top selling cars in America were almost always from The Big Three automakers. Maybe the lesson is that Studebaker must have actually made some good cars to last until 1966.

 

As 56packardman believes, maybe the slogan that the 1956 Packards were “the greatest Packards of all” was true. Even so, that wasn’t enough to save the name from extinction. Life outcomes are a function of endogenous AND exogenous forces. I believe that people who only credit one or the other are missing the point.

 

#TheEndOfPackard

#1958PackardHardtopCoupe

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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

 

If you’re here after clicking on a link from the Packard or Studebaker forums (thanks, 56packardman), welcome. Even though not every post is about those cars, most posts are about automobiles and I am very proud of this blog. Please feel free to visit as often as you like. https://disaffectedmusings.com

 

 

The “End” Of Packard; More From The AACA Museum

Thanks to 56packardman for making the effort to post a link to yesterday’s Disaffected Musings entry on the Studebaker Drivers Club forum and thanks to the avid followers of that forum for clicking on the link in such numbers that the number of views yesterday was the highest in over a month. (Yes, that’s a run-on sentence.) As is my penchant and one of my weaknesses I can’t resist poking the world in the eye with a stick; I think that the number of blog views for yesterday should be at the low end of the usual range for this blog and not the high end.

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On this day in 1956 the last Detroit-built Packards rolled off the assembly line. From Packard: A History Of The Motor Car And The Company edited by the late, great Beverly Rae Kimes, “On that sad day, June 25th, 1956, twenty-four Clippers and eighteen Packards were run through the body shop and completed. Altogether, there had been 28,835 cars built for the 1956 model year—18,482 Clippers, 10,353 Packards.”

The “official” end of Packard in Detroit came on July 25th when Roy Hurley, President of Curtiss-Wright which had taken de facto control of Studebaker-Packard through a management agreement (that, technically, wasn’t approved by the Studebaker-Packard board until the next day), announced that he intended to recommend the continuation of the automobile manufacturing part of the Studebaker-Packard business, but only in South Bend, Indiana—the Studebaker headquarters. The next day upon formal approval of the agreement with Curtiss-Wright, James Nance, President and General Manager of Packard, and Paul Hoffman, Chairman (he had also been President of Studebaker from 1935 to 1948), resigned. Studebaker-Packard faced the end of operations if the board hadn’t approved the agreement.

How much blame Nance bears for the end of Packard is another topic for another day. 56packardman is free to offer his opinion on the subject as is anyone else reading.

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A picture of a 1955 Packard Caribbean convertible that I took during our recent trip to the AACA Museum.

I dare anyone to tell me why this next car looks dated. To me it doesn’t look much different from its contemporaries at The Big Three.

 

 

This is a 1964 Studebaker Daytona convertible of which only 703 were made. I don’t remember if this car is owned by the AACA Museum or on loan. I discovered that the museum does sell 3-4 cars a year. Their basic donation agreement stipulates only that they must keep the car for a minimum of three years.

I have asked this question before, but what is the source of my obsession with defunct American car companies? I really don’t know so I am willing to read any answers you might offer.

 

#TheendofPackard

#AACAMuseum

#1955PackardCaribbean

#1964StudebakerDaytonaconvertible

#Obsession

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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