Throwback Thursday and A Quarter Of A Million

Somewhere in this post is the 250,000th word I have written on Disaffected Musings. (Maybe it’s this one or this one.) If in the roughly 21 months I have been writing this blog I had half as many views as words then I would be happy, well maybe less unhappy.

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While my wonderful wife and I were at the National Corvette Museum I entered a raffle to win a 2019 ZR-1. Here is the car, picture from the NCM website:

 

 

A maximum of just 1,500 tickets will be sold. Here is a question: if I actually win the car do I keep it and sell my 2016 Z06 (I don’t have room for and don’t want two Corvettes AND I will have to pay taxes on the ZR1) OR do I sell the ZR1—for somewhere north of $100,000—pay the taxes and then upgrade my Z06, etc.? What would you do?

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On this day in 1964 the number one single on the Billboard charts was “Oh, Pretty Woman” by Roy Orbison. By the way, that is the correct title of the song.

Orbison was very popular in Great Britain. From August, 1963 through December, 1964 he was the only American artist to have a number one single in Britain; he actually had two, “It’s Over” and “Oh, Pretty Woman.” He toured the UK in 1963. His opening act, although some times he opened for them, was the Beatles.

Of course, 1964 was the year the Beatles entered the consciousness of the US. I am not a big Beatles fan, but I appreciate their significance and the fact that they changed popular music forever. On the April 4 Billboard Hot 100, the Beatles occupied every position in the Top 5! In the next chart, April 11, they had 14 songs in the Hot 100. Between January 18 and October 24 the Beatles had 28 different titles on the Hot 100.

When the Beatles phenomenon began their former record labels realized they had quite a treasure trove. While their first “big” American label was Capitol Records, “She Loves You” was recorded and released by Swan Records and “Love Me Do” on Tollie Records, a subsidiary of Vee Jay. (By the way, much of this information is from The Billboard Book of Number One Hits by Fred Bronson.)

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Of course, 1964 was the debut model year for the Pontiac GTO, considered by most to be the first modern muscle car. Also of significance in the auto industry (some understatement never hurts) was the debut of the Ford Mustang in April, 1964. However, continuing my obsession with defunct American makes I am going to show this car, instead:

 

See the source image

 

From classicregister.com an obviously recent picture of a 1964 Studebaker Daytona convertible. Apparently, I have shown a picture of and written about a car like this before. I guess after 250,000+ words I can’t remember everything I’ve written.

The Daytona was one model that survived the closing of the main Studebaker plant in South Bend, Indiana in December, 1963. The wonderful Avanti and Gran Turismo Hawk were not as fortunate. I think these cars (the Daytona) have quite an appealing design. Only 702 1964 Daytona convertibles were produced, 647 with a V-8 and 55 with an inline six-cylinder engine.

 

#ThrowbackThursday

#250000Words

#CorvetteChoice

#1964

#RoyOrbison

#TheBeatles

#1964StudebakerDaytonaConvertible

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Throwback Thursday, All Over The Place Edition

See the source image

 

If you follow the NFL at all it is likely you have read that the Miami Dolphins are being accused of “tanking” in order to acquire the highest possible draft pick in 2020. They are so bad (their record is 0-4 and they have been outscored 163-26) that commentators and fans are already talking about a winless season.

Winless seasons are not as rare as they used to be in the NFL. Just two seasons ago the Cleveland Browns finished 0-16 and in 2008 the Detroit Lions did the same. However, one winless season seems to garner the most attention: the 0-14 record compiled by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in their first season of existence, 1976. The picture above is of that team and is from espn.com.

You may not know that in their first year of existence the Bucs were in the AFC. Their fellow expansion team, the Seattle Seahawks, were in the NFC. The following season they would switch conferences. The Seahawks returned to the NFC in 2002 with the addition of the Houston Texans and the major realignment that followed.

In each of their first two seasons the Bucs and Seahawks played every other team in their conference once and played each other once. The schedule was still 14 games in 1976 and 1977. That schedule and the fact Tampa Bay was in the AFC in 1976 meant they played the Baltimore Colts, who were defending AFC East champions, and that meeting was in Baltimore.

My best friend, Dr. Zal, and I attended the game between the Bucs and the Colts, which was the fourth of the season. We were not amused when Tampa Bay scored first on a field goal although they had led 6-0 the previous week against Buffalo. That field goal seemed to wake up the Colts who proceeded to score the next 42 points. However, Dr. Zal and I were also not amused when Tampa Bay scored their first touchdowns of the season (and in their existence) in the fourth quarter. The Colts outgained the Buccaneers 458 to 89 and made 31 first downs to Tampa Bay’s six.

Tampa Bay was outscored 412-125 in 1976, an almost unfathomable differential. The worst point differential last season was amassed by the Arizona Cardinals who were outscored 425-225 in a 16-game season. Tampa Bay started the next season 0-12, setting the all-time record for an NFL losing streak, before winning their last two games in 1977. However, by 1979 the Buccaneers were a playoff team winning the NFC Central Division. Does that mean hope exists for Miami? Who knows…

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Some car enthusiasts lament the development of what they call “nanny” aids like ABS and traction control. They say those systems have taken away “road feel” and real control of a car. Well, all that may be true, but it is also true that automobiles and other “light” vehicles are safer than ever, for the same level of driving skill and attention. Here’s a relevant passage from the excellent book, Steve Magnante’s 1001 Corvette Facts. If you are a Corvette fan or hope to learn more about them I highly recommend Steve’s book. Anyway, from fact #714:

 

“Without computer-controlled handling systems…there was no way Corvette or Detroit’s other automakers could put such powerful cars in the hands of the general public. Today, every high-performance muscle car has some form of an active-handling system to preserve order and help keep less capable drivers out of harm’s way.”

 

Of course, modern safety systems make all cars safer and not just performance cars. Trying to tie a car to the first year of the Buccaneers existence is not easy as 1976 was not a good year for American cars given the denuding of performance caused by government regulations and insurance companies. From supercars.net a photo of a car that could still scream:

 

See the source image

 

This is a 1976 Lamborghini Countach. The Countach is a legendary car, posters of which were on the bedroom wall of countless teenage boys. No doubt, far more posters were sold than cars. Only about 2,000 of the Countach were produced despite a long production run from 1974 to 1990.

In 1976, the Countach was powered by a 3.9 liter/240 cubic-inch V-12 that produced 370 HP/266 LB-FT of torque. As a comparison, the more powerful of two Corvette engines that year produced just 210 HP although the torque output was close to the Countach’s at 255 LB-FT.

As I and others have written, the golden age of automobiles is now. Enjoy it before the electric automatons take over.

 

#ThrowbackThursday

#1976TampaBayBuccaneers

#1976LamborghiniCountach

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Throwback Thursday

The 2019-20 prime-time TV “season” began this week. Of course, with streaming, DVRs and the like people watch TV far more on their schedule than the schedule of TV networks.

September, 2019 is the first September since 2006 without a new episode of The Big Bang Theory. I am still having a little difficulty dealing with that.

What was the #1 rated show, based on Nielsen, in the 1969-70 season? Here’s a big hint:

 

See the source image

 

From a Pinterest page a picture of the cast (plus Tiny Tim and John Wayne, not sure from which season but I’m certain it’s later in the series than 1969-70) of Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In. The show could have not have been more different than the one it replaced in NBC’s Monday 8 PM timeslot in January, 1968, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. From The Complete Directory To Prime Time Network And Cable TV Shows by Tim Brooks and Earle Marsh:

 

Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In was one of TV’s classics, one of those rare programs which was not only an overnight sensation, but was highly innovative, created a raft of new stars and started trends in comedy which other programs would follow.”

 

I remember watching the show, but remember very few details. The Arte Johnson character of the German soldier smoking a cigarette and remarking, “Very interesting, but…” (in a German accent) with a different punchline each time is one of the few bits I do remember. The 1969-70 season was the second of two consecutive seasons in which Laugh-In finished first in the Nielsen ratings.

Not that this really matters to anyone, but I only watch one major network prime-time show, The Good Doctor. Occasionally I have tried to watch some current shows, but have never been able to get through more than a few minutes of any episode. In general, the entertainment apparatus does not care about my demographic and that fact is evident in the programming.

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See the source image

 

From classicmotorcarsonline.com a picture of a 1956 Oldsmobile 88 Holiday hardtop coupe. I have expressed my affinity, largely sentimental in nature, for the 1956 Buick Century. While I don’t think I will end up purchasing such a vehicle anytime soon (if ever), I am fascinated by the concept of owning and driving a car that was built before I was born, such as this Olds. Also, I think this car looks great.

Oldsmobile produced both an 88 and Super 88 series in 1956 in addition to the Ninety-Eight. Olds made about 75,000 88 Holiday hardtop coupes AND 43,000 Super 88 hardtop coupes. The “higher” brand was designated as the DeLuxe Holiday coupe for the Super 88 and 98 in 1955, but according to Encyclopedia of American Cars by the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide® it was not given the “DeLuxe” name in 1956. The engine for the Super 88 (and Ninety-Eight) was the same displacement as the 88 engine (324 cubic inches), but had ten more HP (240 vs. 230) and ten more LB-FT of torque (350 vs. 340). The 1956 Olds 88 hardtop coupe was priced at $2,599 (less expensive than the sedan) and the Super 88 coupe was priced at $2,808.

Remember that Oldsmobile is the only American car company that produced vehicles in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries and was the company that introduced the modern automatic transmission.

 

#ThrowbackThursday

#Rowan&MartinsLaughIn

#1956Oldsmobile88HolidayHardtopCoupe

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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0 and 5

 

 

 

 

Throwback Thursday

Today’s date is, of course, 9/19/19, which is a palindrome. This is the last of ten consecutive days in which the date is the same forwards or backwards.

As far as I know the longest one-word palindrome in the world is saippuakauppias, which is the Finnish word for soap-seller. Don’t ask me how I know because I don’t know.

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I wonder if Apple is in cahoots with my wireless “provider.” Even though we have full Wi-Fi coverage throughout the house for some reason my phone is often in LTE mode without my realizing it. If we exceed our data usage for a month we have to pay an overage fee.

Anyway, that happened (once again) while I tried to send this picture:

 

 

This is a 1942 Buick Roadmaster. All 1942 model year cars are rare. Unless you flunked history many times you should know why, but remembering what can happen if one assumes I will remind everyone that the US entered World War II after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December, 1941. Civilian car production was halted early in 1942 and didn’t resume until the war ended in 1945.

Buick produced about 8,400 Roadmasters for the 1942 model year, of which approximately 5,400 were 4-door sedans. While the legendary Hydra-Matic automatic transmission was already available on Oldsmobile and Cadillac vehicles, automatics were not available for Buick until the introduction of the Dynaflow transmission in model year 1948. In this era, while General Motors had many makes under its umbrella the individual “companies” retained much autonomy until the late 1950s. Many point to the homogenization of GM makes as a key reason why the company lost market share. Many consumers with loyalties to specific GM makes were not fooled by the increasing amount of badge-engineering that occurred later.

As I have written many times before [so one more time won’t hurt, :)] I have an affinity for Buicks as the first car I remember in my family and the first car I ever drove was a 1956 Century. As I have also written before I have developed an appreciation for pre-war cars that I did not have just a few years ago.

What older cars do you like? We would all like to read about them so please feel free to comment.

 

#ThrowbackThursday

#Palindromes

#1942BuickRoadmaster

#BooOnBadgeEngineering

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Throwback Thursday

First…as I have often written it can be hell to live inside my head. A couple of nights ago I had yet another disturbing dream. A doctor was telling me I had a pancreatic tumor, but that he was 99.9% sure it was benign. However, he kept asking me to spell “benign” and, somehow, I inferred that if I couldn’t then maybe the tumor wasn’t benign. In the dream I couldn’t spell the word.

My mother died of pancreatic cancer.

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Maybe the collector car market is softening because wealthy people are buying…thoroughbred horses. A filly sired by 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah sold for $8.2 million at the September yearling sale at Keeneland in Kentucky. That’s the highest price ever for a filly at the September Keeneland sale.

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For 1963 Motor Trend’s Car of the Year was certainly the Corvette, right? I mean that was the first year of the second generation with its beautiful, timeless styling. That was the first year a coupe was offered, the legendary one-year only split window. The 1963 Corvette was also the first American production car with independent rear suspension. Well, that was not Car of the Year.

OK, then Car of the Year was the Buick Riviera. The Riviera, with its great blend of American and British styling, took the personal luxury car to a new level. Try again…

All right…going off the range then Car of the Year must have been the Studebaker Avanti. The Avanti had unmistakable styling and was a good performer, too. 0-for-3…

Motor Trend’s Car of the Year for 1963 was actually the entire line of Rambler cars by American Motors Corporation. The Rambler was cited for “engineering excellence and outstanding design achievement.” This was the first Motor Trend Car of the Year award for a non-Big Three company.

Rambler was on a roll during this period in its history. In model year 1961 it was the third-best selling make in the US behind only, of course, Ford and Chevrolet. AMC Chairman and President George Romney had steered the company through the teething pains of its beginning as a merger between Nash and Hudson and had positioned AMC as sort of the “anti-Detroit” selling sensible, efficient cars while the Big Three were selling horsepower, chrome and fins. In 1963 Rambler finished just a few thousand units out of fourth place in the US car sales race.

 

See the source image

 

From AMC via flickr a picture, obviously, of a 1963 Rambler Classic Six 550 2-door sedan. AMC offered quite a few body styles and engines for 1963. The Classic series alone offered ten styles, six sedans and four station wagons. The inline-six came in four different power configurations and AMC offered two different displacement V-8 engines. The smaller 287 cubic-inch variant was available as an option on the Classic line.

 

See the source image

 

From en.wheelsage.org a picture of a 1963 AMC/Rambler Ambassador 990 2-door sedan. The Ambassador was only available with the company’s larger V-8 engine of 327 cubic-inch displacement. The lower output version of this motor produced 250 HP/340 LB-FT of torque.

I can understand Rambler receiving the prestigious award although I prefer the three cars I mentioned at the beginning. These Ramblers are cleanly styled and had engineering developments such as one-piece “Uniside” door structures, a US first, that saved weight, increased rigidity and reduced squeaks and rattles. Everyone together now…fewer companies manufacturing cars means fewer potential sources of innovation in styling and in engineering.

 

#ThrowbackThursday

#YouDontWantToBeInsideMyHead

#RecordKeenelandSale

#1963MotorTrendCarOfTheYear

#1963Rambler

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Throwback Thursday/Happy Birthday, Mel Kiper/Hodgepodge

 

This picture is full of throwbacks. Although the instruments have been acquired in the last five years they really speak to a time long ago when I had musical aspirations. The Flying A gasoline sign is a throwback to when my father ran a Flying A station in the early 1960s. The painting of the car that is obviously a C2 Corvette (with a 1967 big block stinger hood), even though the word Corvette doesn’t appear anywhere, is just as obviously a throwback to that car and to that era.

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Happy Birthday to my friend, Mel Kiper! He has appeared on ESPN’s NFL draft coverage since 1984. As I have written before, the first round of the NFL Draft has better TV ratings than most MLB and NBA playoff games. From ftw.usatoday.com a picture of Mel:

 

Image result for mel kiper

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I believe that if these ten Senators were replaced by people with more moderate views, then the Federal government would function more smoothly almost regardless of what is going on in the House:

 

Jim Inhofe

Michael Enzi

Tom Cotton

Mike Rounds

John Cornyn

Kamala Harris

Bernie Sanders

Jeff Merkley

Kirsten Gillibrand

Elizabeth Warren

 

I shouldn’t have to write this, but these are the five most conservative and five most liberal members of the US Senate based on Govtrack.us. Note that four of the five most liberal Senators are running for President. BOTH parties have moved away from the traditional majority in American politics, the center. Whether they are in tune with what is happening in the American populace or just pandering for campaign contributions, I can’t say.

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See the source image

 

From corvetteforum.com a picture of GM President Mark Reuss and, of course, the new C8 Corvette. I had read in multiple places that, eventually, the C8 would offer a manual transmission. However, just like the reports were wrong that the C7 and C8 would be produced simultaneously for awhile, so were the reports about a manual transmission. When Corvette lead engineer Tadge Juechter was recently asked if there is any chance the manual will come back, he replied simply: “No.”

Here is more of what Juechter said, courtesy of this article:

 

Juechter said a manual-equipped Corvette wouldn’t sell well enough to make it worth a supplier’s effort to develop. ‘We couldn’t find anybody honestly who’d be willing to do it.’ Just like the dual-clutch automatic transmission that will be in the car, a manual for the C8 would have had to be a bespoke production. ‘It’s low volume, very expensive,’ Juechter said. ‘The reason is it’s a low-volume industry. That industry is dying — building manual transmissions. [emphasis mine]

Even for the Corvette, the take rate for manual transmissions has dropped to 15 percent. ‘Every year it goes down, down, down, down,’ Juechter added. Porsche experimented with dropping the manual from its track-focused 911 GT3 but found that upset buyers, who have since bought the manual in that car in large volumes. In fact, according to Porsche North America chief executive Klaus Zellmer, two-thirds of GT3 buyers opt for the manual. Juechter said the same wouldn’t hold for the Corvette. ‘It’s 15 percent on cars like the Z06, which historically have been only a manual. And as soon as we offer the automatic, everybody buys the automatic,’ Juechter said.

The future doesn’t look bright for the manual in the ‘Vette or the industry, Juechter said. ‘It’s a dying business. The people who make a living building manual transmissions, they see that it’s not a bright future for them,’ he explained.

Juechter also said (in another interview, I believe), “DCT [Dual-Clutch Transmission] shifts faster and better than any human can.”

 

People can lament change, but change always happens; it’s the only constant in the world. Besides, tradition aside and as Juechter said, no human being can shift as quickly or as optimally as a modern automatic. That’s not just a technicality as those transmissions help cars get better gas mileage in EPA testing. Why do you think Ford and Lexus offer a 10-speed automatic? It’s primarily for EPA testing.

 

#ThrowbackThursday

#MelKiper

#BlindAdherenceToIdeologyIsDangerous

#NoManualForTheC8

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Throwback Thursday Returns

First, on this cool and very rainy morning in the mid-Atlantic a bit of a personal throwback from not very long ago although my time in baseball seems like a long time ago. In this post I wrote, “As has been our experience, people at this car event were, almost without exception, friendly and polite. I find more camaraderie among strangers at car events than among co-workers at every place I’ve worked and that includes major league baseball teams with the exception of one of my consulting clients.” I decided to send a link to the post to the President of Baseball Operations and the General Manager of the team that was the exception; I worked with both of them for 10+ years. Of course, both responded quickly. One response was very nice, and yet, very sad to me.

 

“That is very kind of you.  I hope you’re doing well.  I was recently reminiscing with one of the now 35 people that work in our front office that we used to have 8 of us in the front office, and you consulting with us as our analytics “department”!  Baseball has changed a ton over the past 10-15 years.  You were at the forefront of that change, and helped to get us thinking about the right things in the right way.

Best to you, and thanks for the email.”

 

I am not so full of myself that after not having worked in baseball for almost a decade and not having followed the game for almost a decade that I think I could still contribute to a major league organization. However, I firmly believe that if I had stayed in the game I would have continued to be an asset and no one will EVER be able to convince me otherwise. The fact that I am a “father” of Moneyball, but that no one seems to know or to care will always be a source of anger and frustration. Sorry, I’m only human.

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Another voice in the “Automatic vs Manual” debate…Steve Strope is the founder and owner of Pure Vision, one of the most respected and most decorated custom car shops in the country. During an episode of Hand Built Hot Rods when a client brings his custom Firebird in because he can’t really drive the 6-speed manual in the traffic and hills of southern California Strope remarks, “So having a high-performance car with a stick and a heavy clutch. I’m sorry, we’ll just blow the whole romance out of the water. It sucks.” An automatic 4L80 is installed in the car and the client enjoys driving it much more than before.

A note: this episode makes me even more suspicious about all of these car “makeover” shows. I remember the person and his Firebird from an episode of Overhaulin’. One would think that would have been mentioned.

Speaking of first-generation Pontiac Firebirds:

 

 

From this listing on Hemmings a picture of a 1969 Firebird for sale. It no longer has the original engine, but supposedly has new paint, a new interior and a new stereo system. No mention of anything else about the mechanicals other than the non-original engine.

 

#ThrowbackThursday

#IamNOTobsolete

#SteveStrope

#PureVision

#1969PontiacFirebird

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Throwback Thursday, “Unhappy” Anniversary Edition

Eight years ago today (!) I began working at a very large financial services company. I lasted nine months before I resigned. The only reason I lasted more than nine weeks is that my wonderful wife also worked there and it was great commuting and having lunch with her.

Although it is a very successful company I am mystified as to how that can occur given what I saw. My immediate supervisor was a…well he was…he was an a**h*le. If he is an example of middle management then I can understand how only 30% of Americans like their job.

The company “culture” was such that if anyone didn’t drink the company “Kool-Aid” then they would suffer no matter how proficient they actually were at their job. Creativity and individualism were not encouraged. Moving people to their highest-valued role as quickly as was practical was not a consideration.

People in my position underwent a six-week training course. Our job obviously involved using a computer, but the IM infrastructure there was surprisingly antiquated in my opinion. Multiple systems had to be used to execute job tasks. The company was trying to move all functions to one or two systems, but during training the instructors would still instruct on the older systems even acknowledging the company efforts to modernize.

When I resigned after nine months, only 5 of 12 people in my training class were still with the company. More than 50% turnover in less than a year! People vote with their feet when they can.

The silver lining in the cloud is that my frustration with work led me to start blogging. Of course the Evil Empire (aka Google) deleted my first blog after SIX years because, well because they’re evil. I have been blogging with WordPress for 15 months and they, so far, have treated me well.

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This CNBC article is titled, “Higher minimum wage means restaurants raise prices and fewer employee hours, survey finds.” EVERY policy has real costs. Blind adherence to ideology is dangerous, very dangerous. Here is the beginning of the article:

 

“For restaurants, minimum wage hikes usually mean higher menu prices and fewer employee hours, according to a survey released Wednesday.

Harri, a workplace management software company that works with restaurants, surveyed 173 restaurants between Feb. 28 and March 15 about the impact of raising the minimum wage. The respondents represent more than 4,000 restaurant locations ranging from fine dining to fast food.”

 

Companies don’t possess infinite resources and cannot raise wages without consequences. By the way, governments don’t possess infinite resources, either.

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While I wish 56packardman all the best with his new restaurant endeavor, I miss new posts on his blog (especially Gear Head Tuesday) and I miss his comments on this blog. In his honor, here is today’s Throwback Thursday car:

 

https://i1.wp.com/orig14.deviantart.net/57c4/f/2011/086/3/5/1956_packard_clipper_super_by_haafasst-d3cm16l.jpg

 

From roadtripdog.deviantart.com a picture of a 1956 Packard Clipper Super. I believe that by this time, and although it came too late to save the company, Clipper was technically a make separate from Packard. Notice the name on the front of the car says “Clipper” and not “Packard.”

For many this model year represented the last “real” Packards as beginning in model year 1957 all Packards were based on Studebakers and built at the Studebaker factory in South Bend, Indiana. Remember that the two companies had merged in 1954 with Packard, technically, as the acquiring company. Packard production ceased after the 1958 model year.

Clipper production for model year 1956 was about 18,000, which represented the majority of Packard’s total production of approximately 29,000. This Clipper probably had the Packard designed 352 cubic-inch V-8 with an output of 240 HP/350 LB-FT of torque.

To me the car looks like a Packard despite the badging. I think it is a gorgeous car and a great example of a 1950s American automobile.

 

#ThrowbackThursday

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Throwback Thursday

I can do almost anything except create the opportunity to do almost anything. Virtually all successful people have had help in becoming successful. Let me quickly add that 99.9% of “work situations” do not appeal to me. However, that still leaves a lot of potentially fulfilling opportunities.

Almost two years ago I sent a letter to every member of the board of trustees of the local museum that presents the marvelous annual auto show that my wonderful wife and I attend. I mentioned this state’s long history in automobile manufacturing and the tremendous turnout at local car events. I asked why this state doesn’t have an automobile museum and offered my help in getting such a project started. I included my resume. I never received a single response from any trustee, not even a form letter acknowledging receipt of my letter. People are incredulous when I tell them that story, but it’s the truth.

While I am very proud of this blog and post almost every day, it doesn’t pay the bills. Most people want to feel as though they have some value and that value is usually expressed monetarily. America is drowning in credential-ism and age discrimination.

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OK, today’s Throwback Thursday is also sort of a What Car Is This? post.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-OF1O1yFSKXc/UOf3GMGDOYI/AAAAAAABiYI/BZsoL-uS3Qs/s800/1971_Momo_Mirage_01.jpg

From allcarindex.com a picture of the car in question. Do you know what this is?

Only six of these were built in 1971-72. The engine is a good old Chevy 350 cubic-inch V8. If I tell you the names of the two people responsible for building this car then the name of the car will be revealed.

From the ultimatecarpage.com article about this car: “The ambitious project was the result of the dream of two men; Alfredo —- and Peter S. Kalikow. The former was Briggs Cunningham’s old team manager and Jaguar’s representative in New York, while the latter was a young real-estate developer with a strong passion for sports cars.” An American named Gene Garfinkle who was working for Pietro Frua in Italy designed the body; Vittorio Stanguellini built the chassis designed by Giulio Alfieri, formerly with Maserati. You can see where I am going with this…it’s another “original hybrid.”

I think that like many of these hybrids, this car just looks amazing. I think the blend of an American V-8 in an Italian body with the technology of other countries (the front suspension of this car was from Jaguar) is just phenomenal. What is it? It is a Momo Mirage; the Alfredo who co-fathered the car was Alfredo Momo.

I will almost certainly never see one of these in person. For many of “today’s generation” virtual “experiences” are enough to satisfy. That belief is one reason that many museums are struggling to stay open. However, I like to experience the world in three dimensions that are real.

What do you think of this car? What exotic automobiles excite you? As always, I would very much like to read your opinions.

 

#tbt

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

 

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Throwback Thursday

Although not an original phrase, my wonderful wife suggested “Throwback Thursday” as a topic and given my affinity for alliteration I thought, why not?

On this day in 2006, Tesla Motors revealed its first roadster prototype in Santa Monica, California.

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From zombdrive.com a picture of the first Tesla Roadster. The first such cars were actually not produced for the general public for almost two more years. It was the first electric car to be able to drive 200+ miles on a single charge and, given the fact that electric motors produce all of their torque immediately, the Tesla Roadster could accelerate from 0-60 MPH in 3.7 seconds. (Yes, I am aware that Tesla has announced plans to produce an all-new roadster, but this is Throwback Thursday.)

This car was “based” on the Lotus Elise. Elon Musk took an active role in Tesla Motors in 2004 and the next year Tesla and Lotus entered into a development agreement. (Tesla Motors, now known simply as Tesla, was incorporated in 2003 by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning.)

Tesla is a very controversial company. Some people worship Musk and the company as the way to the future of the automobile. Others think the company, which is publicly traded (as of 2010) and has never earned a profit, is not on sound footing as the company often borrows money in order to keep operating. Others think that the traditional automakers, with their vast resources, will surpass Tesla in EV technology and production. Of course, no one really knows what will happen with Tesla and electric vehicles. Without question, whether or not Tesla still exists in five years, Elon Musk and the company with which he is so closely associated have left a mark on the automobile industry.

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OK, more of a throwback:

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From wallpaperup.com a picture of a 1935 Duesenberg LaGrande dual-cowl phaeton. To me, Duesenberg is a prime example that the phrase, “Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door” is often incorrect. Duesenbergs are worshiped as perhaps the ultimate in American cars and, today, can sell for millions. No expense was spared in their production and their technology and performance were way ahead of anything else on the road. However, due to the Great Depression and to mismanagement, the company folded in 1937.

Despite my lifelong love of automobiles, cars like this didn’t really interest me until recently. My auto universe has expanded and, hopefully, will continue to do so.

What would you like to see in future editions of Throwback Thursday? Hey, where else on the Internet are you going to see a Tesla and a Duesenberg in the same post?!