Throwback Thursday, Rowhouse Edition

See the source image

 

From the Maryland Historical Trust a blurry picture of a Baltimore rowhouse block. We didn’t call them townhouses in those days.

From the time I was 2 until I was 25 I lived in a Baltimore rowhouse. It is highly doubtful I will ever call another place my home for as long. Counting from the major road at the “head” of our street, our house was the 37th of 38 houses on our side of the block. The block was “split” in two with about 20 or so houses (24?) in one group and the rest, including our house, in the second group. (As a comparison, our current neighborhood only has 37 homes in total.)

Even now, sometimes when I dream of being home it is this house that appears. Rowhouses still exist in droves in Baltimore and in other eastern cities, but for me rowhouses are a throwback to a different and much simpler time. I suppose that someone in my family might be in possession of photos of our house and that neighborhood, but I don’t seem to have any, hence the appearance of the “borrowed” photo.

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Speaking of Maryland, on this day in 1952 the Chesapeake Bay Bridge opened. The original bridge, at 4.3 miles in length, was the world’s longest continuous over-water steel structure. A parallel span opened in 1973. From Wikipedia a small picture of the two spans:

 

Chesapeake Bay Bridge viewed from Sandy Point State Park.jpg

 

From the Wikipedia article:

 

“The bridge is officially named the Gov. William Preston Lane Jr. Memorial Bridge after William Preston Lane Jr. who, as the 52nd Governor of Maryland, initiated its construction in the late 1940s finally after decades of political indecision and public controversy.”

 

Despite being born and raised in Maryland, I have not driven across the bridge that often. The bridge links the “eastern” and “western” shores of the Delmarva Peninsula, with the beach community of Ocean City, Maryland and the Delaware beach communities being on the eastern side. I am not a beach person; Baltimore is west of the Chesapeake Bay.

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge is part of US Routes 50 and 301 and has led to the growth of towns on the eastern shore. Queen Anne’s County, Maryland is on the eastern shore (and at the eastern terminus of the bridge), but is now considered part of the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area by the Census Bureau. The county population increased from about 15,000 in 1950 to almost 34,000 in 1990 and nearly 48,000 in 2010.

Our future home will not be in a place in close proximity to large bodies of water that require enormous bridges. Maybe my wonderful wife and I should take a drive across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge before we move.

 

#ThrowbackThursday

#BaltimoreRowhouse

#ChesapeakeBayBridge

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Throwback Thursday, Old TV Edition

From The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946-Present by Tim Brooks and Earle Marsh a picture of the page showing the TV schedule from the season during which I was born, the 1959-60 season. No, I am not a TV character…

 

 

As you can see, the schedule is dominated by Westerns. There were 30 prime-time Western series on American TV in this season. Four seasons later, that number had dwindled to 8. Of course, the most-watched TV show was Gunsmoke; Wagon Train and Have Gun Will Travel were second and third in the ratings, respectively. From TV Guide a picture from the first season of Gunsmoke:

 

See the source image

 

On the left, of course, is the star of the show: James Arness as Matt Dillon. Gunsmoke was produced and shown on CBS for 20 seasons. That was the longest run by any live-action, primetime series on US television until September, 2019 when the 21st season of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit debuted.

I have a confession to make: I have never seen an episode of Gunsmoke. I have another confession to make: the primetime TV schedule shown below (also from the Brooks and Marsh book) is more interesting to me than the one from 1959-60:

 

 

This is the first primetime TV “schedule,” from the 1946-47 “season.” For some reason, the beginning of an endeavor is often far more interesting to me than after that endeavor becomes established. OK, what network is represented by the “D” in the listing? That is the DuMont network that folded in the mid-1950s.

Do you see the show listed at the bottom called Voice of Firestone Televues? I am fascinated by that show because it might very well be the first network series. NBC began feeding its Monday night schedule to TV stations in Philadelphia and Schenectady, New York–in addition to being shown on its New York City station–in April of 1944.

Ironically, my interest in automobiles does not exactly follow the same pattern. While I appreciate the significance of the first cars–Benz, Duryea, etc.–they don’t appeal to me and I have not studied them much. I am, however, far more interested in the automobile business before the consolidation into the few large companies that exist today.

What idiosyncratic interests do you have?

 

#ThrowbackThursday

#OldTV

#Gunsmoke

#VoiceOfFirestoneTelevues

#somanycarsjustonelife

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Throwback Thursday, 800 Edition

Eight hundred is not as sexy a number as one thousand, but I’m not a sexy guy. One expression I say often is that it wouldn’t have been fair if I had been made ugly and brain-dead. Needless to say, my wonderful wife is not a fan of that saying.

This is the 800th post on Disaffected Musings. I was going to include a link to the first post, but a) it’s embarrassingly short and awful, and b) the epidemic of broken picture links has claimed that post as another victim. Please use this to let me know if you see any posts where reference is made to a picture, but the picture doesn’t display.

Hey, I might not make it to 1,000 posts for a variety of reasons although I have no intention of ending the blog. Of course, I could easily pad the post total with short supplementary pieces, but that’s not me.

Thanks for making it to 800 posts with me. I think some of you have been reading from almost the very beginning.

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Let’s see…converting 800 into months into years yields 66 years and 8 months. What was happening in October, 1953 besides the New York Yankees winning their fifth consecutive World Series, a feat unmatched in baseball history? On October 7, 1953, St. Louis Browns’ owner Bill Veeck told the team’s stockholders that the team would declare bankruptcy unless they dropped their lawsuit blocking the sale of the Browns and its move to Baltimore. The stockholders acquiesced and the modern Baltimore Orioles were born. That is the account given by On This Day, a historical website. The Wikipedia article about the St. Louis Browns tells this story:

 

“After the [1953] season, Veeck cut a deal with [Baltimore attorney Clarence] Miles to move the Browns to Baltimore. Under the plan, Veeck would have remained as principal owner, but he would have sold half of his 80 percent stake to a group of Baltimore investors headed by Miles. Despite assurances from American League president Will Harridge that approval would be a formality, only four owners voted in favor – two short of passage. Reportedly, Yankees co-owner Del Webb was drumming up support to move the Browns to Los Angeles (where Webb held extensive construction interests). The Los Angeles proposal may have been a bluff – many owners believed that travel and schedule considerations would make moving only one franchise to the West Coast insurmountable for the league.”

“However, Veeck, Miles and [Baltimore mayor Thomas] D’Alesandro realized that the other AL owners were merely looking for a way to push Veeck out. Over the next 48 hours, Miles lined up enough support from his group of investors to buy out Veeck’s entire stake for $2.5 million. Facing threats of having the franchise canceled and having sold his only leverage–the renamed Busch Stadium [formerly called Sportsman’s Park]–Veeck had little choice but to agree. The other owners duly approved the sale. While Baltimore brewer Jerold Hoffberger became the largest shareholder, Miles was named president and chairman of the board. His first act was to request permission to move the team to Baltimore, which was swiftly approved–ending the Browns’ 52-year stay in St. Louis.”

 

I was not alive in October, 1953, but I was alive and present in March, 1984 when the Baltimore Colts sneaked out of town under cover of darkness. Of course, I was alive in November, 1995 when the announcement was made that the Cleveland Browns would move to Baltimore for the 1996 season. By the way, I’m sure this has been noted elsewhere, but both of Baltimore’s current major sports franchises moved there from another city where they were called the Browns.

I, like many Colts’ fans, had been turned off by the antics of Bob The Red-Faced Owner and was not as upset as I might have been when the team moved. I was very happy at the announcement that Baltimore would rejoin the NFL and even though I was living in California at the time, I bought Ravens’ season tickets and would fly back as often as I could to watch their games in person.

When I was still an avid baseball fan and worked in the sport, I bought St. Louis Browns caps and even a uniform top. I no longer remember exactly which years they were–or even know if I still have them–but I thought that one of the Browns’ caps from the late 1940s was one of the best looking caps ever.

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In a much more important event, on October 30, 1953 George Marshall was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. I am of the very strong opinion that once the award was given to Yasser Arafat (in 1994), one of the world’s worst terrorists and murderers, the award became meaningless, another exercise in political dogma. However, Marshall’s award, given to him for “a plan aimed at the economic recovery of Western Europe after World War II” speaks volumes about the magnitude of Marshall’s plan and its impact.

Whadda ‘ya know? A post with no cars and no pictures, I hope you enjoyed it.

 

#ThrowbackThursday

#800Posts

#StLouisBrowns

#GeorgeMarshall

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Throwback Thursday 40

While it is true that on this day in 1895 Charles Duryea was issued the first US patent for a gasoline-powered automobile, I wanted to write something more personal for this edition of Throwback Thursday.

At this time 50 years ago, I was in the last days as a fourth-grade student at Public School #241 in Baltimore. Our teacher was Mrs. S and both Dr. Zal and I had a crush on her. She lived in the same apartment complex as Dr. Zal and one day during the summer between fourth and fifth grade, after screwing up our courage, we decided to pay her a visit. She could not have been more gracious and friendly. I think we spent a half hour in her apartment talking about school.

Could something like that even happen today? (I’m not talking about the virus restrictions getting in the way.) One reason I remember that afternoon fondly is that it seems like a relic from a simpler time. As I have written before, I often pine for my childhood because it was a time when almost anything seemed possible. It also seems, from this distance, as if those were much simpler and more pleasant days.

Of course, my memory could be faulty. In his great book about Vince Lombardi, When Pride Still Mattered, David Maraniss writes about “the fallacy of the innocent past.” I simply could have been unaware of life’s travails at that age.

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As I have previously revealed my birthday is in late March. While my annual physical was originally scheduled for early April, in deference to current circumstances I pushed it out until June 12, which is tomorrow, of course. Yesterday, I received a call from my doctor’s office basically begging me not to have the physical as scheduled, but to reschedule or to have a phone visit, instead. When I reminded the representative that I needed blood work, she said if I had signed up for the “Patient Portal” the doctor could have given me a slip to get the lab work done somewhere else. When I replied that still would require a visit to a lab outside my house and that I might as well see the doctor, after confirming I had a mask and gloves, she relented and confirmed my appointment.

I have to say that, while I realize her intentions were honorable, the call was most disturbing. Yes, the doctor’s office is in a building attached to this area’s primary hospital, but haven’t they established procedures to mitigate risk by now? Her call has also made me question whether or not I want to have the physical exam tomorrow.

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All of the In Or Out? cars have been voted In except for the first one, the Maserati 3200 GT. I have tried to choose cars that are not obviously In or Out for you, the readers. I have also tried to choose cars that are not obviously In or Out for me, but think that almost all of the cars have been candidates, at least, to make my vaguely defined Automobile Top 100.

While this is not an In Or Out? post, I want to show a car that might be a subject for the series at some later date. From Classic Cars, a picture of a 1958 Chevrolet Impala:

 

See the source image

 

I am 95% certain that for this first year, the Impala was actually a sub-model of the Bel Air. In standard catalog of® American Cars, 1946-1975 by John Gunnell the Impala is listed under the Bel Air series for 1958, but then listed separately from 1959 on.

This was a one-year only body style. It’s hard to imagine something like that happening today, even though modern design systems actually make it easier to make changes.

Although now discontinued for the third and almost certainly final time, the Impala is one of the most significant models in US automotive history. At its introduction, one of its most distinctive features was the symmetrical triple taillights. From Fine Art America, a picture showing those lights:

 

See the source image

 

I have seen this taillight treatment on several modified Corvettes, especially C2 models (1963-1967). The 1958 model year was also significant as it marked the introduction of the first version of the Chevrolet big-block engine, the W-Series. Originally displacing “just” 348 cubic inches, this engine family would be produced until 2009. (Please see the comments for clarification. Technically, the W-Block was not the same as the famous 396/427 big block of the 1960s. Still, this began Chevrolet’s production of big-block V8s that continued until 2009.) My sources are not in agreement on the highest output for this engine in its intro year. Using the more conservative source, for 1958 the 348 cubic-inch engine maxed out at 280 HP/355 LB-FT of torque.

Any thoughts on the 1958 Impala?

 

#ThrowbackThursday

#TheFallacyOfTheInnocentPast

#InOrOut?

#1958ChevroletImpala

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Throwback Thursday, 1950s Concept Car Edition

I am disappointed (unhappy?) that more concept cars don’t end up in production. I am also disappointed that on those few occasions when those cars are produced, they are often watered down versions of the original.

Although the saying “If you can dream it, then you can do it” is not always literally true–I mean, I can dream of flapping my arms and flying to the moon, but that’s not going to happen–trying to bring dreams to fruition can be among the most noble of human pursuits. In the last two decades or so, Cadillac has created a number of stunning concept vehicles, but except for the Evoq, which became the XLR, none of them have been brought into production and I think that’s a real shame.

The first car I will show is probably my favorite 1950s concept car. From Cars Of The Fabulous ’50s, the 1953 DeSoto Adventurer I:

 

DeSoto Adventurer I Cars Of The Fabulous 50s

 

Supposedly, Chrysler (DeSoto’s parent, in case you didn’t know or even if you did) almost put this car into production. However, the memory of the Airflow of the 1930s still lingered at Chrysler and that, coupled with corporate conservatism, doomed the car to concept-only status. (By the way, on a point only tangentially related to this: If you see a post with a broken link to a picture–in other words, if a reference to a photo exists but the picture isn’t displayed–please let me know here. Thanks.)

The January, 1954 issue of Popular Mechanics shows the Adventurer I and the Dodge Firearrow (to be shown shortly) and mentions that the bodies for both cars were built in Italy by Ghia. Chrysler Corporation had a partnership with Ghia in the 1950s that led to cars like the rare Chrysler Ghia ST Special and the Dual-Ghia. Supposedly, the Adventurer I was Virgil Exner’s favorite car and he lobbied hard for Chrysler to put the car into production. Since it was an early-1950s DeSoto, it was powered by DeSoto’s version of the first Chrysler hemi engine.

From oldconceptcars.com a picture of the 1954 Dodge Firearrow concept car:

 

See the source image

 

This one is the Firearrow III and, as one would suspect given the suffix, was the third in a series of concept cars with that name. So, how many words is a picture worth, anyway? Again, it’s a shame this car was never produced. I don’t know if the car has been sold again, but the Firearrow III was sold by RM Auctions (now RM Sotheby’s) at its Phoenix auction in January, 2009 for $800,000. Remember what was happening in the world at that time.

 

 

This is a picture I took during the Elegance at Hershey in 2019 of the 1951 LeSabre concept car by General Motors. This was the “follow-up” to the first concept car, the famous Buick Y-Job of 1938. Like that car, the LeSabre was fully functional and like the Y-Job Harley Earl used it as his personal car after it was shown around the country.

The LeSabre was the first GM car to have the transmission mounted in the rear and was also the first application of the aluminum small-block V-8 that was later used in Buick, Oldsmobile and Pontiac cars of the early 1960s and then by Rover group (including Land Rover, Triumph, MG) until the early 1990s. By the way, the LeSabre engine was supercharged and could run on gasoline or methanol. According to Nick Williams of the Historical Vehicle Association, the LeSabre answered the question of what could be built without the restrictions of fuels, costs, or availability of materials.

Before you think I have forgotten the other “Big Three” company:

 

See the source image

 

From topworldauto.com a picture of the 1955 Lincoln Futura show car. It was a success in that role and was later released as a model kit and a toy. In a less extreme form, the headlight and taillight treatments were used on production Lincolns like the Capri and Premiere in 1956 and 1957. Of course, the most famous use of the car was as the basis for the Batmobile in the Batman TV series. George Barris acquired the car for $1 and “other valuable consideration.” Obviously given the timing, the transformation to the Batmobile was not made until years after the Futura was shown. Oh…the original body was assembled by Ghia.

I remember a time when car shows were more about concept cars than about companies trying to show their current lineup in an attempt to get you to buy one. Sadly, I guess we’ll never return to those days.

 

#ThrowbackThursday

#1950sConceptCars

#somanycarsjustonelife

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Throwback Thursday 39

Reader Michael T is not a fan of Cristy Lee. He sent me a note through the Contact page in which he wrote the following regarding her contributions to the Barrett-Jackson telecasts, “Basically she only recited the obvious with no depth or great knowledge of the classic car hobby. Really just a self-promoter using the pretty face to weave her way through job after job and make appearances based on a really shallow resume. It will run out soon.”

Everyone is entitled to his/her view. I think Cristy Lee is/was a great addition to the telecasts. She has much experience working on vehicles and covering motorsports. Besides, no one should ever forget that TV is a visual medium. Is she an expert on automotive history? That’s why Steve Magnante and Mike Joy are (were) there.

As I have written here before, although I like (liked?) watching the Barrett-Jackson telecasts I enjoy watching the Mecum broadcasts more and that’s not just because I’m friends with Scott Hoke and John Kraman. The Mecum crew respect the cars and the auctions, but they don’t take any of it so seriously that they forget to have some fun. Frankly, the Barrett-Jackson telecasts are, at times, stiff. The Mecum telecasts feature conversations among the crew whereas the B-J broadcasts often consist of Person A saying X and then Person B saying Y with no real interaction.

Anyway, just wanted to make sure I’m not accused of being a shill for Cristy Lee. By the way, since the comments for any post close after 36 days, if you want to add to the conversation after that you can write to me here, like Michael T did.

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How many of you remember this cartoon?

 

See the source image

 

From a Wiki site devoted to the Cartoon Network a fuzzy photo of an image from “The Herculoids.” When I was a kid I LOVED this cartoon. Although I haven’t seen an episode in decades, I have to admit that I still get chills of joy and awe just looking at the picture and thinking about the show.

The show was broadcast on CBS from September, 1967 to September, 1969. In the life of someone whose age is in single digits, two years is a long time. From Wikipedia, “In the show, the space barbarian family Zandor, Tara and son Dorno fight alongside their giant pet Herculoids — dragon Zok, rhinoceros Tundro, rock ape Igoo and the shape-shifting Gloop and Gleep — to keep their planet safe from invading robots, mad scientists and mutants.”

Do I remember specific episodes and plots? No, I just remember the effect the show had on me. Once again, sometimes I long for my childhood, which was a time when almost anything seemed possible.

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I also long for something else that will never happen, the ability to buy and to store cars at will. I look at car listings on Hemmings, Classic Cars, AutoTrader and Bring a Trailer virtually every day. I have never needed a rationale like finding a Corvette companion/grocery car for our life in the desert. Sometimes I think that such a reason is just an excuse to keep ogling at cars, cars like this:

 

 

See the source image

 

From Wallpaper Cave a picture of a Ferrari 458 Spider. (Yes, the first picture I showed here was from Bring A Trailer, but they are getting aggressive at “breaking” picture links from their site.) No, we will not buy a car like this unless we win the lottery. For the nth plus nth time from the movie Diner, if you don’t have dreams you have nightmares.

 

#ThrowbackThursday

#CristyLee

#TheHerculoids

#Ferrari458Spider

#somanycarsjustonelife

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Throwback Thursday And Other Things

I guess I could have used the post title to talk about this song:

 

See the source image

 

From 45cat.com a picture of the label for “The Rain, The Park & Other Things” by The Cowsills. I believe the original title of the song was “The Flower Girl,” but I think the title was changed to avoid confusion with Scott McKenzie’s “San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair).” The Cowsills, a “family” singing group, were the inspiration for the popular TV show “The Partridge Family.” This song peaked at #2 in 1967 on the Billboard Top 40/Hot 100.

Speaking of BillBoard:

 

See the source image

 

On this day in 1966 this song ascended to the #1 position on the Billboard chart. (Picture from muskmellon.) Don’t ask me why I picked 1966, maybe it has to do with the Orioles winning their first world championship that year led by my friend and colleague (which was in the future then), Frank Robinson.

Both of these songs predate the practice, but as I have written before Dr. Zal and I both made our own Top 40 charts. He did it far longer than I did, but he started by re-arranging the existing Top 40 to better suit his preference. When I began after he had been doing his charts for more than a year, I devised mine from scratch, including many songs that were never anywhere near the Billboard charts, and he soon followed suit.

Music has always been a very important part of my life, but for reasons I don’t fully understand I am listening to music less frequently now than at any other time. Remember this photo from this post?

 

 

I will once again offer my strongly held opinion that the phrase “current American music” is an oxymoron. The crap (a carefully chosen word) that passes for music today is an abomination.

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If the pandemic lasts until after the move to the desert I might not be around to buy the Corvette companion/grocery car and my demise will probably have been caused by a mental breakdown. In any event…this article from the Classic Cars Journal by Andy Reid discusses buying a car without seeing it in person first. The subhead for the piece reads, in part, “Buying sight unseen is commonplace for many collectors…”

As regular readers of Disaffected Musings know I bought my current car, a 2016 Corvette Z06, without seeing it in person. By the way, some “experts” still think one should never buy a car sight unseen, but in my opinion the world is changing, like it always does. Anyway…I am going to list Reid’s rules for buying a car online, but let you read the article for full exposition of those rules:

 

Rule 1. Is the car real?

Rule 2. Pictures

Rule 3: Find an expert

Rule 4. Ask the owner why they are selling the car

Rule 5. Ask the seller to tell you everything about the car and then shut up and let them talk

Rule 6. Don’t be afraid to walk away

 

For example, below is a picture of a car listed on Hemmings that is an example of the make/model that is currently a strong contender for purchase:

 

 

The odometer reading more than 98,000 miles on this 1994 Jaguar XJS convertible is a huge red flag for me, anyway, but how could we know what the car is really like, especially since it is being sold by a private seller and not a dealer? I’m not sure which online marketplace does this, but somewhere amidst my countless searches one of the sites I use promotes a professional inspection service, pre-purchase. Of course, how do we know how qualified any specific individual is or whether or not these services are just shills to get you to buy cars?

If/when the time comes that we are serious about buying a car, I don’t know how we will proceed. I guess first things first and we need to get back to normal or new normal or whatever.

 

#ThrowbackThursday

#BuyingCarsSightUnseen

#JaguarXJS

#somanycarsjustonelife

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Given the record-breaking month for views, the fact that Disaffected Musings will surpass a monthly level I thought it would never reach, given I have posted every day for more than a month and that I have to make a nerve-wracking trip to the supermarket tomorrow, I seriously doubt I will post on Friday the 1st. Happy May!

 

 

Throwback Thursday 37

In my second year in college two of my dorm mates were Whale and Cutch. (Why I called it my second year and not my sophomore year is explained here.) We got along very well, one reason being we were all rabid sports fans.

Fast forward to today where Cutch and I have lunch once a month and have been doing so for years. Unfortunately, Whale passed away in his sleep last week. When Cutch told me the news I was shocked even though Whale had suffered from numerous health issues, many of which were the result of his weight. Why do you think his nickname was Whale?

Please take care of yourself and Carpe Diem!

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Remember this?

 

See the source image

 

From Etsy a picture of Spirograph. From the Wikipedia article:

 

Spirograph is a geometric drawing device that produces mathematical roulette curves of the variety technically known as hypotrochoids and epitrochoids. The well known toy version was developed by British engineer Denys Fisher and first sold in 1965. The name has been a registered trademark of Hasbro Inc. since 1998 following purchase of the company that had acquired the Denys Fisher company.”

 

I really enjoyed using this when I was in elementary school. Innately I possess no artistic talent, but with Spirograph I could create interesting drawings. How many of you used Spirograph?

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In 1965, the year Spirograph was introduced, the US auto industry set a new production record at 8.8 million units. Ironically, that was also the year that Ralph Nader’s Unsafe At Any Speed was published.

Chrysler produced the last “letter series” car with the 300-L. The first, the C-300, was built in 1955 and is considered by some automotive historians to be an ancestor to the muscle car. From classiccars.com a picture of a 1965 300-L convertible:

 

See the source image

For 1965 these cars were powered by a 413 cubic-inch V-8 engine that produced 360 HP/470 LB-FT of torque. The legendary Torqueflite automatic was the transmission.

Chrysler produced 2,405 300-L hardtops and just 440 convertibles. The hardtop sold for $4,153 and the convertible, as one would expect, stickered for more at $4,618. The total of 2,845 cars was the second highest among letter series cars; 1964 production (the 300-K) was 3,647. In the 11 years the cars were sold, total production was 16,981 units.

 

What do you remember about 1965? I remember that was the year I very reluctantly started kindergarten, but that’s another story for another day.

 

#ThrowbackThursday

#Spirograph

#1965Chrysler300L

#somanycarsjustonelife

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Throwback Thursday 36

One hundred years ago was, of course, a US Presidential election year just like this year. Well, maybe not like this year.

Warren Harding, long considered by most historians to be among the worst Presidents in US history, easily defeated James Cox capturing about 60% of the popular vote and 404 electoral votes to Cox’s 127. Who was James Cox’s running mate? Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Harding’s was, of course, Calvin Coolidge who succeeded Harding as Chief Executive after the latter’s death in 1923.

Harding actually “campaigned” against two-term incumbent Woodrow Wilson who, supposedly, wanted to run again but Democratic Party leaders did not want him to run given his poor health and lack of popularity. Harding’s most well-known campaign “slogan” was “Return To Normalcy,” but the slogan “America First” was also used. Everything old is new again…

On the first ballot at the 1920 Republican convention, Harding was just sixth among candidates in delegate votes. No candidate received a majority, obviously. He was not nominated until the tenth ballot. From Wikipedia:

 

“Harding’s nomination, said to have been secured in negotiations among party bosses in a ‘smoke-filled room,’ was engineered by Harry M. Daugherty, Harding’s political manager, who became United States Attorney General after his election. Prior to the convention, Daugherty was quoted as saying, ‘I don’t expect Senator Harding to be nominated on the first, second, or third ballots, but I think we can afford to take chances that about 11 minutes after two, Friday morning of the convention, when 15 or 12 weary men are sitting around a table, someone will say: ‘Who will we nominate?’ At that decisive time, the friends of Harding will suggest him and we can well afford to abide by the result.’ Daugherty’s prediction described essentially what occurred…”

 

From rarenewspapers.com (not a secure site, which is why I didn’t include the hyperlink):

 

See the source image

 

The 1920 election was the first in which women were allowed to vote. It was also the first election after the ratification of the 18th Amendment, the “Prohibition Amendment.” Socialist Eugene Debs, running for President for the fifth and last time, received almost 1,000,000 popular votes or 3.4 percent of the total. He ran while in jail for advocating non-compliance with the draft during World War I.

While mass media and “social media” have changed the way messages are propagated, human nature hasn’t changed much, if at all, since 1920. Most people are still motivated by self-interest most of the time. The new means of communication have simply exacerbated the differences in society.

As I have written before, I do not vote because I disagree with most of the policy prescriptions of both parties. I cannot and will not support a candidate with whom I disagree on 65% or 75% of policy even if I disagree with the other candidate on 70% or 80% of policy. However, many of my previous posts reveal that I am not a believer in government as panacea. I am not a believer in monolithic business as panacea, either, which is why I believe that Guck Foogle and Fack Fucebook should be broken up. I DO NOT agree that Apple and Amazon are in the same situation, though, but that’s another discussion for another day.

 

#disaffectedmusings

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Throwback Thursday 35

On this day 50 years ago this song was in its last day as the #1 single on the Billboard Top 40/Hot 100:

 

See the source image

 

(The picture is from a blog hosted by the Evil Empire.)

By the way, despite the identical title this song is completely different from Frankie Avalon’s #1 song from 1959 with the same name. The Shocking Blue was a Dutch group and had no other songs reach the Top 40 in the US. They were more successful in their native Holland/Netherlands.

Although I don’t remember the product I know I’ve heard this song used in at least one commercial. Do you remember any of the lyrics?

 

A goddess on a mountain top
Burning like a silver flame
A summit of beauty and love
And Venus was her name.

She’s got it,
Yeah baby, she’s got it.
I’m your Venus,
I’m your fire at your desire.

 

Like a lot of pre-teens during that time I grew up listening to Top 40 radio. I loved listening to Casey Kasem and the American Top 40. As I have written before, Dr. Zal and I used to make our own Top 40 charts. I have an innate need to make order out of chaos. When I worked in major league baseball, my favorite task was my season-end analysis of minor league performance. I took huge amounts of raw data and turned it into tables and charts of players ranked by various metrics, many of my own invention. I miss that kind of project very much. That’s why I include charts and tables in this blog.

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

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Yeah, I hear you…little minds, alright. No reason the Throwback Thursday car has to be related to any other topics in the post.

MarkCars2014 has become a regular reader and commenter here. (Please check out his blog, which is linked in his name.) In a comment he mentioned his affinity for Buicks. Regular readers of Disaffected Musings know I also have an affinity for Buicks. My interest in these cars has moved beyond my attachment to the ’56 Century, the first car I ever drove, and the “First Generation” Riviera, one of my absolute favorite cars ever. How about this car?

 

See the source image

 

From a Pinterest page, this is supposed to be a picture of a 1950 Buick Roadmaster Riviera hardtop coupe. In the context of this era, a hardtop was not just a car with a fixed metal roof, but one without a visible B pillar. Those who think the “Riviera” began in 1963 should note that this car, and others, were given the name Riviera, although not as a separate model, but as a sub-model designation.

The swooping body line is a portend of the sweep spear that would appear on Buicks soon enough. The waterfall grill had its origin in the famous Y-Job concept car of 1938.

In model year 1950 Buick built 10,732 Roadmaster Riviera hardtop coupes, 2,300 in “base” trim and 8,432 in “DeLuxe” trim. The DeLuxe model cost $2,854, $30,431 in 2020 dollars. I don’t think a 2020 model-year car like this would actually cost that little. Remember that the average “transaction price” for a new vehicle in the US is about $40,000. Buicks were only behind Cadillac in prestige in the GM lineup.

The 1950 Model 70 Roadmaster was powered by a 320 cubic-inch version of the long-running Fireball inline 8-cylinder engine. Buick used the Fireball inline-8 from 1931 to 1953. The 320 cubic-inch variant produced 152 HP, but 280 LB-FT of torque. As these cars weighed about 4,200 pounds, they needed some torque to get moving.

In my OCD-addled/ADD-addled brain my thoughts move from car to car and then fixate on a few. One car that has been in my consciousness, if you can call it that, is a Buick from this period. However, my thoughts move immediately to resto-modding the car, especially if the original drivetrain no longer exists.

Happy Throwback Thursday!

 

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#1950BuickRoadmasterRivieraHardtop

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