Threes And Sevens: 1947

Should I mention that Henry Ford died in 1947? I just did…

1947 was proximal to automotive years of significance, but not one in itself necessarily. It was the next-to-last year of production for the last American car powered by a V-12 engine, the Lincoln Continental (shown below, image from Hemmings).

 

See the source image

The first model year for the beginning of the tailfin era was 1948, and unlike most model years where production begins late in the previous calendar year, 1948 Cadillacs were not produced until February of 1948. The first “modern” overhead-valve, oversquare V-8 was introduced by Cadillac in September, 1948 as a 1949 model year car. Of course, Oldsmobile introduced a version of this engine in January, 1949.

So, what did happen in the US auto industry in 1947? Production reached 3.56 million cars, far ahead of the figure for the transitional, strike-afflicted year of 1946 when total production was 2.16 million. It is worth noting, though, that 1947 production was still well below the figure for 1929, which was 4.45 million. The Great Depression laid waste to the US economy for a long time and recovery took a long time.

While World War II led to an economic boom during wartime, the adjustment to a post-war economy was not smooth. US GDP declined in real terms in three consecutive years, 1945-47. Most of the increase in real GDP from 1929 to 1947 occurred from 1940 to 1944 when US real GDP increased by 77 percent.

Enough with the economic data…Chevrolet led American makes in sales/production in 1947 with approximately 672,000 units. Ford was second (430,000) and Plymouth was third (382,000). Chevrolet’s leading seller was the Fleetline two-door Aerosedan, which sold about 159,000 units. Here is, hopefully, a picture of that car:

 

See the source image

 

All 11 Chevrolet models for 1947, whether they were a Fleetline, Fleetmaster (that’s not confusing) or Stylemaster, were powered by the same engine: an inline 216 cubic-inch 6-cylinder motor that produced 90 HP, but 174 LB-FT of torque.

Ford offered two engines for 1947, an inline-six and flathead V-8. Its best seller was the Super DeLuxe Tudor sedan with about 136,000 units. From a site that sells computer “wallpapers” is a picture of Ford’s top car for 1947:

 

See the source image

 

One of the confounding issues regarding writing about the US auto industry is the fact, as mentioned before, that model years didn’t (and still don’t) completely coincide with calendar years. For example, while most US cars of the immediate post-World War II era were just slightly facelifted pre-war cars, the 1947 model year saw the introduction of two new designs. One was by Kaiser-Frazer, a car company that did not exist before the war, and the other was by Studebaker. However, both of these new models were actually introduced in the 1946 calendar year. The American Auto by the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide® had this passage about 1947, “…in fact, the ’47s received even fewer changes than did the ’46s.”

Some would argue that given production of the Tucker began in 1947 that year was significant. In my opinion, while the Tucker story is interesting, the fact that only 51 of them were produced diminishes the significance of the car in terms of its real impact on US automotive history. Mine is not a popular opinion for sure.

Convertibles accounted for almost five percent of sales in 1947 while station wagons were almost three percent. Even Crosley, maker of very small cars, added a station wagon to its 1947 model year lineup. It was already producing a convertible. OK, I’ll show a picture of a Crosley station wagon (from Pinterest):

 

See the source image

 

Crosley produced 1,249 station wagons in model year 1947, about 6.5 percent of its overall output. The Martin Auto Museum in Glendale, Arizona has a section of its floor space devoted to Crosleys.

As always, I welcome thoughtful contributions and comments about 1947 or any other relevant topic.

 

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#1947

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Threes And Sevens: 1943

Every f*cking day…yes, not a “real” problem, but another “paper cut.” My wonderful wife and I decided to go to McDonald’s for breakfast this morning. As we have done every time except one, we used the drive-thru line.

Our usual order is three egg and cheese biscuits, substituting a McGriddle for two of them, a large half-cut iced tea with light ice and a large iced coffee with cream and no sugar. The line went quickly today and when we received our food I counted three sandwiches so off we went to return home.

Even though the sandwiches were labeled correctly, they were all prepared incorrectly with sausage and no egg. I don’t eat sausage and we weren’t going to drive the five-ish miles back to the McDonald’s. We have been told that we could call to register our complaint and that we would get a comped meal the next time. We didn’t do that, either.

Once again, I know this was not a serious, life-altering issue. Still, I would like a month–hell, how about a week–where nothing goes wrong.

By the way, I still don’t have my Z06. The service advisor at the Chevy dealer called yesterday to tell me that after much testing, the only thing they can surmise is that the aftermarket tune I had done–nine months ago–is the cause of the issue. When I had the car towed there I told them they could replace the ECU or re-tune it and in either case they could tune it back to stock. I confirmed that again and they said they would tune to stock, but I was warned I would have a “permanent” error on the DIC since the ECU expects to get readings from two O2 sensors on the exhaust manifold, which no longer exist since I have aftermarket long-tube headers, instead.

Since I received the call at about 10:30 AM I had a reasonable expectation that the car would be fixed by close of business yesterday. Of course, I have not received any subsequent call to tell me I can pick up the car. No news is not good news in this case.

I can tell you that even the suspicion that the aftermarket tuning could be the cause of this situation–it has now been 11 days since I have driven my car–completely rules out any such tuning in the future. I guess I’ll just have to make do with 700+ HP/720+ LB-FT of torque.

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Passenger car production ceased in the US in early 1942. In January of 1943 the Office of Price Administration (OPA) banned “nonessential” driving in 17 eastern states and 25 million gasoline ration books were issued to motorists all over the country. What do you think the response would be today to a similar action?

Sadly, Edsel Ford–the only child of Henry and Clara–died on May 26, 1943. On June 1, the senile, anti-Semitic tyrant re-assumed the presidency of the company that bears his name. The following long passage largely comes from More Than They Promised: The Studebaker Story by Thomas Bonsall.

 

“By the time America was drawn into the war, Ford Motor Company was in dreadful shape. Indeed, it had been for many years. One is tempted to refer to this as an “open secret” in Detroit, except that there was nothing secret about it at all. Every intelligent industry observer knew that Ford was in a potentially fatal downward slide and also knew the reason: Henry Ford [my mark].

…In the opinion of most observers, the only thing that offered any hope for the company was the old man’s remarkable son, Edsel…Under the circumstances, Edsel’s premature death at the age of 49 in May, 1943, caused shock waves–and not just in Detroit.”

 

Remember that the US was fighting on two fronts in World War II with the largest manpower and industrial commitment in the nation’s history. Ford’s vast manufacturing capability was desperately needed to being the war to a successful conclusion. Back to the book:

 

Peter F. Drucker, one of the mid-century’s most highly regarded writers and theorists on corporate management, wrote this about what might have happened next:

 

“Reality was such that the survival of Ford seemed improbable–some people said impossible. The best indication of the seriousness with which these chances of survival were viewed was a scheme proposed in responsible circles during those days in Detroit. The US Government, it was said, should lend enough money to Studebaker–the fourth largest automobile producer but still less than one-sixth the size of Ford–to buy out the Ford family and to take over the company. In this way, and this way alone, Ford would have a chance to survive. Otherwise, it was agreed, the company might well have to be nationalized lest its collapse seriously endanger the country’s economy and its war effort.”

 

As More Than They Promised points out, Drucker had impeccable credentials and, at the time, was conducting detailed research in Detroit for his very significant study of General Motors. His efforts involved almost unprecedented access to top auto industry leaders such as Alfred Sloan, who certainly knew what was happening in Detroit.

In the end, of course, nothing came of this plan. For one thing, the Ford family would almost certainly have vehemently resisted the idea. Henry Ford II, Henry Ford’s grandson, was released from military duty in July of 1943 and appointed to Vice-President of Ford in December, although at that point he became the person in charge de facto.

In addition, by the end of 1943 almost everyone “in the know,” including the German High Command, knew the Allies were going to win the war. The sense of urgency in the US Government regarding Ford’s situation evaporated, especially since Henry Ford II was in charge by then.

 

In 1943, about 1.3 million people were working in 1,038 automobile plants producing war materiel. The combined value of production was $13 billion in 1943 dollars. That translates to about $216 billion today, an amount which sounds large but is actually less than a third of annual US government expenses on “defense.” Of course, much of that is not actual production of war hardware.

Want to see some car “photos?” From Richard Langworth’s book on Studebaker during the post-World War II years are two photos of styling proposals for 1943-44 models.

 

 

Once again, what actually happens/happened is not the only thing that could have happened and is almost certainly not always the event with the highest a priori probability. Life is a Monte Carlo simulation and has just one event with a 100% probability, although the timing of that event is usually unknown.

 

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#EveryF*ckingDay!

#1943

#StudebakerBuyingFord

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Threes And Sevens: 1937

Yesterday I was looking forward to writing this post. Today, not so much. Still, I will try to write at least one of these every week.

Oh…I want to acknowledge the readers from the following countries (in alphabetical order): Brazil, Canada, India, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands and Nigeria. Of course, Canada has accounted for 4 percent of all views–and about 5 percent so far in 2022–since I started writing Disaffected Musings in January, 2018. The other countries have accounted for about 5 percent of all views this year.

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On February 11, 1937 a 44-day sit-down strike against the General Motors plant in Flint, Michigan ended. GM agreed to recognize the United Auto Workers (UAW) as the bargaining agent for workers.

Ford, specifically Henry Ford, would not recognize the UAW. On May 26, 1937, at The Battle Of The Overpass, men from Ford’s “Service Department” attacked several union organizers. After images of the incident were released to the public, support for Henry Ford and his company greatly decreased. Ford did not sign a contract with the UAW until 1941.

While the recent plague of corruption among UAW leadership weakens support for unions (and is just more evidence that most people who seek power are corrupt and that acquiring power further feeds that corruption), I think there is little doubt they were needed in the 1930s.  Whether they are needed today is an open question, in my opinion, but the fact is that unions are of very little consequence in the US.

In 2021, only 6 percent of private-sector employees belonged to a union. Contrast that to 34 percent of public-sector workers. The total unionization rate was about 10 percent. For the first year that comparable data is available, 1983, that rate was 20 percent.

I think the significant amount of coverage of recent attempts to unionize Amazon warehouses exists because of the decline in union influence. How that will all shake out is anyone’s guess.

 

Elsewhere in the US auto industry in 1937:

While the output of 3.9 million cars represented a 6.7% increase from 1936 (and a 160% increase compared to 1933), sales declined sharply late in the year as a very serious recession hit the US economy. Unemployment remained high at 14.3% in May, 1937, but by June of 1938 had increased to 19.0%. The data strongly suggests that World War II, and not the New Deal, ended the Great Depression.

Ford re-took the lead in model year sales over Chevrolet. Just as in 1933, Plymouth finished a strong third. Those three makes accounted for almost 60 percent of sales/production. The Standard Tudor 5-passenger sedan was Ford’s best-seller in 1937 accounting for a third of the company’s output at about 308,000 units. Below, a photo of “the big dog” for 1937:

 

See the source image

 

At 300,000 units, Chevrolet’s best-seller for 1937, the Master DeLuxe Town sedan, sold almost the same number of units as Ford’s best-seller. The Master DeLuxe Town sedan accounted for 37 percent of Chevrolet sales/production.

E.L. Cord’s automotive enterprise ended in 1937 as he sold what remained of the company to The Aviation Corporation in August. While it’s not clear if any Duesenbergs were actually produced that year, Cord’s namesake car was:

 

See the source image

 

From RM Sotheby’s a picture of a 1937 Cord 812 Supercharged Phaeton. As best as anyone can calculate, 1,278 Cords were produced in 1937 with 688 (54 percent) of those being supercharged models.

While these cars are revered today by many automotive enthusiasts, the dirty little secret is that they were not reliable. They were plagued with balky transmissions and with overheating. However, all of the cars of Cord’s empire–Auburn, Cord, Duesenberg–are highly prized today as a reminder of when some American car companies aimed very high.

Packard produced the most cars of any year in its history–109,518–in 1937. The new 115C, introduced in September of 1936, was very popular. That model actually competed against 6-cylinder Dodges, Pontiacs and Studebakers as it could be purchased for as little as $795. Compare that to the top of the line Packard Twelve which started at $5,900.

The moving downmarket saved Packard in the short run, but many, if not most, automotive historians think it played a significant role in the eventual demise of the company as it was not able (or not willing) to re-focus on higher-margin luxury makes after World War II. The past cannot be altered, but playing “What If?” is part of human nature.

 

As always, I welcome thoughtful comments and feedback. Thanks.

 

#ThreesAndSevens

#1937

#Cord

#Packard

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Threes And Sevens: 1933

It never ends…while we were washing my wonderful wife’s Corvette yesterday I discovered a screw embedded in the tread of the right front tire. Run-flat tires cannot be patched, at least they’re not supposed to be patched. After the new front tires are mounted today (you can’t replace just one front or rear tire), my wife will be out about $900, less than a week after her $600 expense to replace the windshield, which led to my sunburn. Every f*cking day…

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My decision to continue “Threes And Sevens” despite the lackluster number of views for the first post is primarily due to one reason: the “Big Five” commenters. They are photobyjohnbo/JS, Dirty Dingus McGee, Philip Maynard, David Banner (not his real name) and Mark. In particular, Dirty Dingus McGee and Mark genuinely seem to appreciate almost any automotive content I publish.

In the first post, I wrote that I would refrain from writing about events outside the US auto industry. Looking at 1933, though, makes me realize that is not a good idea. The automobile industry doesn’t exist in a vacuum and can be both cause and effect for events in other parts of the economy and country.

Although total US car production increased in 1933 by about 26 percent compared to 1932, the latter was the absolute trough in production during something called the Great Depression (yes, a poor attempt at sarcasm). Production for 1933 was less than half of that from just five years earlier and basically was equal to US production from 1916.

US GDP declined by 8.5% in 1930 compared to 1929, declined another 6.4% in 1931, by 12.9% in 1932 and, just for good measure, by 1.2% in 1933. Real US GDP declined a total of 26.3% from 1929 to 1933, inclusive. As a comparison, real US GDP declined by 2.7% from 2007 to 2009 during the Economic Crisis or “Great Recession.”

Only four US makes reached the six-figure mark in production in 1933: Chevrolet, Ford, Plymouth and Dodge; those makes accounted for more than 80% of US sales. In 1928, every brand that made the top eight easily exceeded the 100,000 figure. The best-selling US car model was the Chevrolet Eagle 5-passenger coach at about 163,000 units, just surpassing the Eagle 5-passenger sedan at 162,000. Ford’s best seller was the V-8 Tudor 5-passenger sedan at about 106,000 cars.

Trying to find a photo of the best-selling US car for 1933 is not as easy as one might think. Many photos of 1933 Chevrolets are of highly modified cars. Here is the best I can do; this photo is from standard catalog of® American Cars 1805-1942:

 

 

Yes, I know this is labeled as the sedan and not the coach. I couldn’t find a picture of an unmodified coach. So sue me…

By the way, according to Encyclopedia of American Cars by the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide®, the Master (and accompanying Standard) line was not named as such until 1934. That book says that Chevrolet’s two lines of cars for 1933 were called Eagle and Mercury. Like I keep writing, record-keeping has been poor for most of human history.

Elsewhere in the US auto industry in 1933:

Studebaker was forced into receivership. Although company president Albert Erskine made mistakes, including continuing to pay outsized dividends despite sharply declining profits, the proximal cause of the company’s bankruptcy was the surprise national “Bank Holiday” declared by Franklin Delano Roosevelt days after his first inauguration. Erskine was about to execute a purchase of Ohio-based White Motor Company. The acquisition would have given Studebaker a solid position in the truck segment and given it access to White’s decent level of cash reserves.

An effort by a minority of White shareholders to scuttle the deal led to just enough delay for the whole thing to be squashed by the surprise national bank closure, which led many companies–not just Studebaker–to suspend or to end operations due to lack of operating capital. Studebaker, which had actually shown a profit for 1929, 1930 and 1931 and whose market share had increased by more than 70 percent since 1929, was placed in receivership on March 18, 1933.

Erskine resigned the next day and, deeply in debt and in poor health but carrying life insurance policies worth $900,000 that did not include a suicide clause, committed suicide on July 1. Some automotive historians think Studebaker’s eventual end as an automobile company was inevitable after the events of 1933.

 

Studebaker had acquired Pierce-Arrow, manufacturer of luxury cars, in 1928–not great timing as it turned out. In August of 1933, Pierce-Arrow was sold to a group of investment bankers. The company would finally succumb to the Great Depression in 1938, but not before producing this magnificent car in 1933:

 

See the source image

 

This is the famous 1933 Pierce-Arrow Silver Arrow, advertised as “in 1933 the car of 1940.” Five were built and one paced the Indianapolis 500.

The other half of what would eventually be the Studebaker-Packard Corporation also had difficult times in 1933. Packard sales were just under 10,000, compared to almost 50,000 in 1928. By 1937, however, sales had exploded to more than 109,000, due in large part to the company moving “downmarket” with the introduction of the One Twenty in 1935 and the Six in 1936. Many automotive historians think these moves also led to the eventual downfall of Packard as it was unable/unwilling to re-focus on being a luxury make after World War II.

In 1933, General Motors President Alfred Sloan combined Chevrolet and Pontiac manufacturing to cut costs. He also merged Buick, Oldsmobile and Pontiac sales divisions forcing relevant dealers to sell all three makes.

Plymouth’s 1933 sales surge that pushed it to close behind Ford was due in large part to using a six-cylinder engine as standard equipment instead of the four-cylinder motor it had previously used. Plymouth sales increased by 60% in 1933 compared to 1932.

 

https://ccmarketplace.azureedge.net/cc-temp/listing/102/652/9504417-1933-plymouth-sedan-std.jpg

 

Hopefully, the photo above is a 1933 Plymouth.

I have written enough today about 1933. PLEASE feel free to give feedback on Threes And Sevens. Thanks.

 

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#1933

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Foul Monday

I am in such a mood that the fact the post title will stop many people from reading is no deterrent to my writing this post today. Speaking of not reading…the first installment of “Threes And Sevens” was met with indifference. It had easily the fewest views of any of the first eight posts I published this month. In fact, if it hadn’t been for an unusual number of referrals from Twitter and the “obligatory” few searches by people who still don’t seem to know that Cristy Lee is no longer part of Barrett-Jackson broadcasts, Saturday would have produced the fewest views for a day with a post in well over two years.

Only Mark offered a comment on Threes And Sevens: 1927. (Note: Dirty Dingus McGee sent a comment that I didn’t see until after I published this post.)  I welcome thoughtful comments and they don’t all have to be complimentary. I know some things about automobiles, but I sure as hell don’t know everything. NO ONE knows everything about anything. Albert Einstein spent the last 20 years of his life chasing a unified field theory. Basically, the only way people can learn is to acknowledge that they don’t know everything.

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For nine years my wonderful wife and I used Ooma for VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) service. To be honest, for the first two years Ooma didn’t work that well as it habitually dropped calls. After many discussions with their tech “help” one “high-level” technical assistant changed one setting in a parameter file and that solved the issue. We thought about dropping Ooma many times during those first two years, but didn’t want to go back to using the local cable company who had been charging us three times as much for phone service. As for why we felt we needed a VOIP connection, we lived in a house with a poor cell phone signal due to all of the tall trees and, frankly, I just didn’t want to leave my connection to the world subject to the vagaries of cellular communication.

A little more than a week ago our original Ooma box began to fail as we were unable to retrieve voice mail. I thought nothing of using Ooma’s website to order a replacement. The new box arrived Saturday. Despite being on the phone for hours on Saturday and Sunday with many “customer service” representatives and “high-level” technical assistants, the box simply would not work. The last straw was waiting for a half hour yesterday in an effort to speak with an assistant without ever reaching one.

I hung up, called back and after waiting more than 20 minutes was finally connected to a “customer service” representative. I told them I had had enough and wanted to return the new box for a full refund and to close my Ooma account. This rep offered to connect me to a supervisor. I basically said, “What good would that do at this point?” Long story short, as soon as Ooma processes the return of the box (thankfully, the closest UPS store is open on Sunday), our Ooma account should be closed.

I am just sick and tired of companies that are staffed by people who can’t do anything except read from a script, by people who don’t really want to work and who don’t care about their jobs. I am sick and tired of every day handing me another obstacle. Once again, I realize I am not living in Ukraine or starving in Africa. I am still mentally worn out from dealing with crap every single f*cking day.

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Another reason this day has me in a foul mood as it was on April 11, 2011 that I began my stint working at a large financial services firm. My tenure there lasted 288 calendar days.

I hated that job. If it hadn’t been for the fact that my wonderful wife also worked there so we commuted together and ate lunch together almost every day, I wouldn’t have lasted 28 days. If that position is representative of life in corporate America, then companies are complicit in the poor morale and apathy of most workers.

This day is also another painful reminder that I was never able to establish a rewarding and fulfilling career after my 20+ years in baseball. That’s a significant reason why this blog is important to me and why it is disappointing when readership numbers fall short.

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Speaking of complicity…although my self-inflicted sunburn is finally showing signs of healing, I am pissed off to no end in my complicity and stupidity in getting sunburned in the first place. This experience is making me reconsider my plan to completely shave my head in preparation for the Arizona summer.

 

Maybe this will make me smile:

 

See the source image

 

On the other hand, this picture is another reminder of the constraints in my life. At least for now, I basically have to choose between buying something like this, which will mean a higher insurance premium, or having the second and final tune for my Z06, which will cost much more initially, but will not mean a larger insurance bill, will save me money on gas as I will be able to go back to 91 Octane fuel and should give the car about 1,000 HP at the crank. I hear you: “first-world problems…” At present, words are inadequate to describe how much I yearn for an unconstrained life, even if for just a month. Yes, I know: EVERYTHING in life involves trade-offs.

 

#FoulMonday

#ThreesAndSevens

#NoMoreOoma

#ConstraintsSuck

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Threes And Sevens: 1927

I had not originally intended to publish this post today. Happy Birthday to my wonderful wife’s father…

 

No law says I have to start this series with a year ending in “3.” This year, 1927, made the most sense to me as a starting point for one main reason: it was the last year of production for the Ford Model T. (By the way, it was not the last year for Model T engine production. Ford continued to manufacture those engines until 1941!) Yes, when I was a “baseball guy” 1927 had much significance as the year of the legendary ’27 New York Yankees, still considered by some baseball historians as the best team ever. However, I will not write about events outside the automobile industry in Threes And Sevens. OK, maybe I just did.

The end of the Model T marked the end of what I call the first wave of automobile popularity in the US. In 1907, the year before the Model T was introduced, the entire US auto industry produced 43,000 cars. In 1926, the last full year of Model T production, that figure was 3.7 million cars. Obviously, US population did not increase 86-fold from 1907 to 1926; it increased by 35 percent. (58,000 is about 35 percent higher than 43,000.)

As late as 1923, Ford had more than a 50 percent market share of the US auto industry. However, Ford sales declined by 22 percent from 1923 to 1926 and its market share declined from 51% to 39%; the latter is still an impressive figure, of course.

Henry Ford has been criticized by many automotive historians for ending production of the Model T without having fully developed its replacement. The Model A was announced about the same time Model T manufacture ended, May of 1927, but it was not revealed until December of 1927, obviously as a 1928 model.

As Mark has pointed out, in 1928-29 US automotive styling changed with the introduction of more complex shapes and curves. That was another reason I thought 1927 was a good place to start as it marked the end of the “box on wheels” phase of automotive design. I would argue that idiom has returned, especially with the dominance of pickup trucks and SUVs. In my opinion, virtually all of those vehicles look like boxes on wheels. From My Classic Garage, a picture of a 1927 Ford Model T. By this time, they were available in colors other than Black.

 

See the source image

 

Despite production ending in May, as far as I can tell the Model T was still the leading car model in terms of sales in 1927. However, Chevrolet outsold Ford for the first time and became the first non-Ford US manufacturer to reach the million mark in annual sales. Chevrolet’s leading seller was the 2-door, 5-passenger Coach, which sold about 240,000 units. Hopefully, below is a picture of that type of car. I can never be sure photos like this are labeled correctly and I don’t know enough about this vintage automobile to identify them on my own. (Where is Dave’s Car ID Service when I need it? @iowahawkblog on Twitter identifies rare cars once a week.)

 

 

This car had a “list” price of $695. That figure is supposedly equivalent to about $11,300 in today’s dollars, which would still be very inexpensive for any car, let alone a new one.

Elsewhere in the US auto industry in 1927:

 

According to The American Auto by the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide®, it was in 1927 that General Motors President Alfred Sloan led the industry toward the annual model change, ushering in the concept of “planned obsolescence.”

1927 was the last year Dodge operated as an independent make. Walter Chrysler purchased Dodge in July of 1928 from Dillon and Reed, the large New York banking company that had purchased it from the widows of the Dodge brothers in 1925.

Overall US car production declined by 20 percent compared to 1926.

LaSalle was created as a companion make to Cadillac. Designing the LaSalle was Harley Earl’s first real project after being hired by General Motors.

In the interregnum between E.L. Cord’s purchase of Duesenberg in 1926 and his remake of the company that led to the introduction of the legendary Model J in late 1928, Duesenberg built 13 examples of the Model X in 1927. Only five are known to survive today including one that Jay Leno found in a garage in 2005.

 

PLEASE let me know what you think of this post and what changes, if any, you would like to see for the Threes And Sevens series. Thanks.

 

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#1927

#ModelT

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Friable Friday

No good deed goes unpunished…the windshield in my wonderful wife’s Corvette needed to be replaced, a quite common occurrence in Arizona. The appointment for the Safelite tech was yesterday.

I decided to observe most of the work (my wife had a physical therapy appointment) and even ended up helping a little bit. When the tech, who couldn’t have been older than 25 or 27, put on a sun hat I should have taken a clue. Of course, I am now sunburned on my scalp (thanks a lot, thinning hair), forehead and nose. The feeling of having your entire scalp throb is not exactly pleasant.

I don’t remember the exact number, but our next-door neighbor told my wonderful wife that they have had their windshield(s) replaced multiple times. Even though we have been living in Arizona just 17 months today, this is already our second experience with a broken windshield, the first having been with a rental car during our trip to the Mecum auction in March, 2020.

I am sure I didn’t have my windshield replaced more than twice during my decades in the mid-Atlantic. One of those times is actually amusing. I was in my mid-20s and was driving my car with my then girlfriend accompanying me. She hated wearing seatbelts and only wore one because I insisted. The entire time she was in the car she would hold the seatbelt away from her and would often put her feet up on the dashboard.

Well, during this drive I decided to pinch her butt. That must have surprised/frightened her because she shrieked and her foot hit the windshield with such force that it cracked. Obviously, once the insurance company realized the crack was on the inside they would not cover the cost of the replacement. No good deed goes unpunished?

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I had a weird dream this morning. (What else is new?!) I was at a large gathering although I didn’t seem to know anyone there. I vaguely recall that some of the attendees were supposed to be famous, but those details are lost to dreamland. The venue was a very large house with many floors; I remember climbing four flights of stairs at one point. If you’re from Baltimore like I am, imagine a large home in Roland Park/Guilford on steroids.

All of a sudden everyone is in a hurry to leave. As I try to depart I notice several very cute puppies. I then notice that all of them have peed on the floor and realize I better watch my step.

I am reminded of something Norm Van Brocklin said on the sidelines as recorded by NFL Films when he was a coach. Commenting about a player Van Brocklin remarked, “The gears haven’t meshed in that guy’s head for a long time.” That describes me to a tee.

******************

Perhaps you sense my reluctance to actually begin the “Threes And Sevens” series chronicling years in the US auto industry that ended with “3” or “7.” I still think it’s a good idea, but once I start I will be committed (maybe I should be) to finishing. That commitment is a bit daunting to me, at present, although I’m not sure why.

Speaking of cars, this one crossed the block yesterday at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Palm Beach, Florida.

 

1993 CADILLAC ALLANTE CONVERTIBLE - Rear 3/4 - 256666

 

In case you don’t know, or even if you do, this is a 1993 Cadillac Allante. You may recall a beautiful example of the same car offered at the Mecum auction here in Arizona last month. That car was bid to $26,000, but didn’t sell.

All or virtually all of the vehicles at Barrett-Jackson auctions are sold at no reserve. This red Allante sold for…$11,000 all in.

I don’t HAVE to buy another car now, but I sure have an itch to do so. How much itching can I take before I have to scratch?

 

#FriableFriday

#NoGoodDeedGoesUnpunished

#MoreWeirdDreams

#ThreesAndSevens

#CarItch

#somanyCARSjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Threes And Sevens

I don’t know why I am compelled to retell this story, but here it is:

 

When she worked in an office, I accompanied my wonderful wife to her company Christmas party more than once. One time I was introduced to someone whom I think was the spouse of one of my wife’s co-workers. Here is the conversation (I apologize to those who have read/heard this story before):

Me: Hello.

Person: Do you like country music?

Me: No (in a very flat, non-confrontational tone).

Person: But you like Waylon Jennings, right?

Me: No.

The person turned around and walked away.

 

I do not understand and strongly disagree with the notion of projecting one’s life on to the rest of the world. No one else HAS to think the way you think, like what you like, believe what you believe. NO ONE has a monopoly on truth and wisdom, on good judgment and good taste. By the way, I don’t believe I have a monopoly on any of that, either.

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OK, what does “Threes And Sevens” mean? For a long time, I have contemplated a series of posts about what was happening in the US auto industry during various years in history. At first, I was going to use just the years ending in zero. Primarily because this series would be heavily based on Encyclopedia of American Cars by the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide®, and because that book begins with 1930, I was going to start with that year. Because the 21st century has been more about pickup trucks and SUVs than cars I was going to end with the year 2000.

Thinking about this project made me realize that many significant cars and events would be excluded if I only used the years ending in zero. For some reason, it seemed to me that the years ending in three and seven have had more than their share of important cars, like the 1953 Corvette or the 1987 Buick GNX/Grand National. Of course I am aware that no US cars were built for consumption by the general public in 1943.

I have also decided that just because the “car” market has morphed into the “pickup truck/SUV” market doesn’t mean I have to write about non-cars. I could still use years in the 21st century if I so choose and that this series can be as personal and idiosyncratic as I want.

I haven’t decided if the series will begin with 1933 or 1913 or 1903. I do have the standard catalog® of American Cars, 1805-1942 so I could use that as a source of material. One thing I wanted to show was the car model that sold the most in the year featured. Another reason I wanted to start with 1930 is that the Model T dominated American car sales for two decades, ending in 1927, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to show the same car as the best-seller in so many posts.

What do you think of this idea? I very much want to hear from you and please be totally honest. By the way, it would have been a no-brainer (yes, I know the jokes) that this very limited production car would have been/will be featured in a post about 1933.

 

See the source image

 

This is the famous 1933 Pierce-Arrow Silver Arrow, advertised as “in 1933 the car of 1940.” Five were built and one paced the Indianapolis 500.

 

#ThreesAndSevens

#WaylonJenningsStory

#somanyCARSjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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