An interesting story

September 12, 2014

After yard work got cut short by a light rain it
was decided a cruise on the information highway was
in order. And as happens the page ended up with a
picture of a rare vehicle.

brooks

The 1941 Stevens/Ledbetter Western Flyer that was
created when two halves of a Brooks Stevens van
were put together and artistic license given free
reign. And the motor-home is for sale.

The original Books Stevens looked something like
this 1940 Western Clipper.

brooks1

brooks2

Clifford Brooks Stevens was not a one hit wonder.
He designed the vehicles shown here but also
designed furniture, he designed the Wienermobile
fleet, the Miller Brewing logo, redesigned the
1962 Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk, Harley Davidson
motorcycles, Jeep Wagoneer, engines for Briggs and
Stratton, the Skytop Lounge observation cars for
the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul, and Pacific
Railroad, and a series of Excalibur cars based on
1930s Mercedes roadster among others.

One of our personal favorites of his many
creations is the Zephyr Land Yacht that he designed
in 1936.

zephyr

And to think, his father pushed him to draw as a
child when he was stricken with polio. If you’d
like to learn more about the man and his designs,
please go to his bio page.

Although he is no longer with us we’re sure
sure vision will live on.
Comments are always welcome.


Running on fumes

September 9, 2014

A friend shot an email my way with an attached
video and asked for my thoughts. The video was
about how a guy modified his pickup to run on fumes
and our friend asked for my thoughts.

I replied that the concept had been around for a
while but I never heard of anyone perfecting it.
Claims of 200-400 mpg with the modification have
been around since the 1930s.

What most people forget is that the idle circuit
of an internal combustion engine runs on fumes
anyway. It isn’t straight gasoline put in the
combustion chamber rather an atomized mist.

Some claim it works and evil big oil and other
corporations are blocking efforts to increase our
gas mileage. John Weston claims he got
463 mpg in his 1992 Geo Storm with his version.

But if one pays attention he actually claims the
car can run 14 miles on 4 ounces of fuel and that
equals 463 mpg.

A claim that’s been around even longer is that in
1936 Charles Pogue recorded over 200 mpg in a V8
Ford using a modified carburetor to run on vapors.
He ran a total of 1,879 miles on 14.5 gallons of
gas.

His family even claims that during World War II
his carburetors were installed on some of our
tanks and Jeeps in North Africa.

But again, Mr. Pogue did admit the car was hard to
start, it never got over 10 mph, and the test was
run with a pint of gasoline and a mpg average was
calculated.

Things may have changed and improvements may have
been made but we are not convinced this would be
a conversion to do.
Comments are always welcome.


Powered by what?

September 7, 2014

There is a new player in the game to fuel our
world and it isn’t ethanol. As a matter of fact, it
isn’t even a gas. We’re talking about thorium.

A piece of thorium weighing 5 grams, and small
enough to fit in the palm of your hand, could power
a car for 100 years! And we’re told it is as
plentiful as lead.

We still didn’t know what it was, why we needed
it, or why some feel it’s a good investment. I mean
is buying a car that can run for 80-100 years
without a refill that big a selling point? And if
it was, wouldn’t we have to improve the cars bodies
and suspensions to last that long?

Sounding like a cost estimate from our city
leaders, claim is it has a half-live between 25.52
hours and 14.05 billion years. Well that certainly
narrows it down.

There has been talk of converting nuclear power
plants to thorium use, but so far none have. The
Thorium Fuel Research and Development Program was
activated by the US Atomic Energy Commission (AEC)
in the early 1960s.

Then there are those who lecture we could build
a thorium powered city on the moon, or even here.
Mr. Sorensen makes some interesting points in this
video.

If you watched both videos you should have a grasp
of what thorium is. But yet we wonder. If it is so
cheap and plentiful why use anything else?

Want to read about thorium? Here is a Forbe’s
article about it.
Comments are always welcome.


Speaking of cars…

September 4, 2014

The weekend is almost here, the weather might
co-operate and there are some car events to be
mentioned.

Friday, September 5th is the Dick-N-Sons Car Show
at the Dick-N-Sons Lumber & Flower Shop in Blue
Grass, Iowa. Things usually get started around
5pm.

Saturday, September 6th is the AMC Nationals held
at Cordova Dragway.

Saturday, September 6th is the “Rollin in the
Oldies” Cruise-In held at NorthPark Mall in
Davenport, Iowa hosted by the River Valley Classics
Car Club. It starts at 5 pm.

Sunday, September 7th is the 6th Annual Hooters
Car Show to Help Kids held at the Hooters
Restaurant 110 E. Kimberly Road in Davenport, Iowa.
Event goes on from 9 am to 4 pm. Proceeds benefit
the Children’s Therapy Center.

Nascar has released the Sprint Cup Series
schedule for 2015.

We have NASCAR, overseas they have Banger Caravan
Racing in Ipswich.

Have you ever heard a sonic boom? If you want to,
just watch this video.

Ever seen a Kaiser? Here’s a little story and a
few to look at.

And finally a song, a cruise down Memory Lane, and
an old favorite. Join us as we get “Lost in the
Fifties”.

Comments are always welcome.


A first for everything

September 2, 2014

Over the weekend there was a Sprint Cup race at
the Atlanta Motor Speedway. And while these races
occur on a regular basis we believe this race will
be the one to remember.

Yes, Tony Stewart returned but that’s not it.
Yes, it was the next to last of the race for the
chase but that’s not it. Yes, there were a few
crashes during the race, but that’s not it either.

Video clips of this race have gone viral and we’d
imagine Ray Stevens is working on a song as we
chat. As someone who has watched all forms of motor
sports for more decades than I care to remember,
what happened during this race was a first for me.

Kevin Harvick was leading the race when over the
radio came his words “I almost hit a cat!” Not to
be outdone, later Brad Keselowski radio came alive
when he said “Squirrel sitting over in turns 3 and
4″.

When I could control my laughter, after I
dried the tears from my eyes, I thought this had
to be one the best races on the year. If not the
decade. And no animals were harmed in our reporting
about this race.
Comments are always welcome.


A longer tale…

August 30, 2014

We wrote a little about Dan Parker yesterday and
now feel we should tell a little more of his story.
Parker was the 2005 ADRL Pro Nitrous World Champion.
His dream was to build race cars and race until
the wreck that took his sight in March of 2012.

He used to spend his weekends like this-

There are tracks across our great country where
every weekend the average Joes, the backyard
mechanics, tinkerers, and professionals run what
they brung.

Parker went to the Salt Flats last year and the
National Federation of the Blind (NFB) became one
of his sponsors. This year he went back. Riding
a three-wheeled motorcycle, that he designed, he
set a new world record in 51-85cc single cylinder
2 stroke cycle car class with an average speed of
62.05 mph.

He also went in the record books as the first
blind person to set a Land Speed Record without
any other human assistance. He did have a very
sophisticated GPS system and electronics that
would turn off the engine if he veered off course.

Mr. Parker is now on the return trip home after
achieving his goals on the salt. If you would like
to know more about his run, please watch this
video.

Congratulations Mr. Parker, and we’re sorry we
called you Don in yesterdays post. We will not make
that mistake again as we follow your career.
Comments are always welcome.


A racer, a rare car, a train wreck, southern women, and more

August 29, 2014

If you haven’t heard of Don Parker, we hope you
remember his name after reading this. He is at the
Bonneville Salt Flats with his motorcycle and has
the required passes to get an average speed. His
official average speed is 62.05 mph.

That may not sound like much to many but it has
earned him our respect. As he puts it “I’m not a
blind man trying to race. I’m a racer who went
blind.”

parker

Now here are some upcoming events in our area.
Friday, August 29th will be the Midnight Mayhem at
Cordova Dragway. Gates open at 10 pm and the races
will run from 11 pm to 3 am.

Also tonight is the Friday Night Cruise In at the
Coral Ridge Mall in Coralville, Iowa hosted by the
Classy Chassis Cruisers from 5-9 pm.

Saturday, August 30 is the Sauerkraut Days Car
Show held in Blairstown, Iowa.

Sunday, August 31 is the Labor Day Weekend Car
Show held in beautiful downtown Bradford, Illinois.

Sunday is also the Orion Fall Festival Car Show in
picturesque downtown Orion, Illinois.

Monday, September 1 (Labor Day), is the 17th
Annual McCausland Labor Day Car Show held in
McCausland, Iowa. Things kick off at 7 am with a
pancake breakfast and the parade starts at noon.

And Saturday, September 6, is the Rollin’ In The
Oldies Cruise-In at NorthPark Mall in Davenport,
Iowa hosted by the River Valley Classics. Starts
at 5 pm.

Here is a car you may not have seen before.

Some think our society crazy today but we didn’t
get that way overnight. Starting in the late 19th
century, train crashes were a spectator sport.

How about a primer on the sh*t southern women say?

We don’t have a song this week so will leave you
with this…

Comments are always welcome.


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