the dirty dozen

June 30, 2006

According to the QC Times article in today’s paper there are 12 known gangs in Davenport. These gangs have a people or folk affiliation. Neither plays well with the other. Add to that a couple of local gangs, and it makes a person wonder. According to police quoted in the article, “the gangs are not as violent as they were 20 years ago”. These people sell drugs and guns, rule by intimidation, and are not considered violent? Gangs aren’t wearing colors, or flashing gang signs anymore, so we civilians usually don’t have a clue as to who’s where. We could have gangs in our neighborhood without even realizing it. I’m glad we got the drugs, money, and gang members off the street but with 11 more gangs out there are the going to keep up the momentum and arrest more? For the QC Times article on this subject go
to this link.

new garbage set-up

June 28, 2006

Today was our first day to try the new garbage bins and things went reasonably well. The main problem I had was when I put the bin 4 foot away from obstacles, it ended up in the middle of my driveway. I wasn’t for this change, I don’t believe we needed to spend over $3 million to impliment it, and I can’t see fixing something that isn’t broke. Time will tell if the city saves money with this or not. That said I have no complaints, they took everything I had in the bin, and I’m glad we went for the large one.

Now, if they could just make the roads smoother I would be a very happy cruiser. I’m getting a little tired of tightening all the nuts and bolts that get jarred lose.

more car stuff

June 27, 2006

Here’s a couple pictures of a 1981 Corvette that a relative of the wife has for sale. His price is $10,260 delivered. If you are interested, or know of someone who is, e-mail me a and I will e-mail you back. Seems like a deal for the money, but I’m not really into Vettes.

While I’m talking cars, again, there’s some car events coming up in July. On July 8th., in the Village of East Davenport, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., is a cruise-in. Also on July 8th., is the cruise-in at Southpark Mall, by Dillard’s, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
On July 15th., at Northpark Mall, from 6 p.m. to ??, is a cruise-in with a live band. And on July 22nd., at Maid-Rite in Bettendorf is a cruise-in from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. That’s not all by a long shot, but if you like cars check one or more out.

1924 Buick Roadster

June 26, 2006

Thought I’d do a rundown of classic cars every so often- here’s the first.

History and profile of the Buick Roadster

The classic roadsters of the 1920s are among the most sought after and most collectible of vehicles today, but when they first hit the market they were merely a way to get around. At that time many people were still getting used to the idea of motor powered vehicles sharing the road with horses and wagons. Although the roads had greatly improved compared to earlier times, they still posed quite a challenge to those first intrepid motorists.

The tires of the era had to live up to several challenges as well. At the time, any journey that was completed without at least one flat tire was the exception and not the rule.

In fact, one of the selling points of the Buick Roadsters sold in the 1920s was the fact that it came equipped with not one, but two spare tires.

A classic collectible

The 1924 Buick Roadster is one of the most famous and most collectible of the classic roadsters of the era. A well preserved example is worth much more than its original $1,675 selling price.

There were 1,938 1924 Buick Roadsters sold. The roadster was a rear wheel drive, front engine vehicle equipped with a 241.3 cubic inch four liter six cylinder engine and weighed in at 3,470 pounds. The transmission was a three speed manual and the roadster featured room for four people.

The Buick Roadster did not come equipped with a heater, but the included side curtains provided some protection from the elements of the day. In addition, the engine threw off a large amount of heat, making those trips in frigid weather somewhat more comfortable for the driver and passengers alike.

Great Features for warm weather

For trips in warmer weather, the Buick Roadsters built during the 1920s featured a fabric top that could be pulled into the cabin and secured to the top of the vehicle. This innovative design provided for additional ventilation during warm weather. In addition, each side of the engine hood was equipped with 27 louvers to provide ventilation and help dissipate the heat generated by the large engine.

The wheelbase of the Buick Roadsters built during the 1920s was a generous 128 inches. This, along with the leaf springs located at each corner, helped to provide a pleasant ride. Although primitive by today’s standards, these shock absorbers were certainly capable of doing the job.

The wheels of the Buick Roadster were also primitive by today’s modern standards, but quite exceptional for their time. They were also quite stunning to look at. A typical Buick Roadster featured 4.5” x 32” tires mounted on attractive 12 spoke oak wheels.

At the time of its manufacture, the ads for the Buick Roadster made much of its extra strong frame and axles, along with its four wheel mechanical brakes. Like most cars of the era, the Buick Roadster featured running boards covered in linoleum. The six volt battery that powered the roadsters was located underneath the floorboards.

As with most cars of this bygone era, the list of options on the 1920s Buick Roadsters was quite short. A typical list of options on such a roadster might include features such as front and rear bumpers and optional wind wings.

The advertisements of the day claimed that the Buick Roadsters manufactured in the 1920s were capable of turning out a respectable 70 horsepower from their six cylinder engines, and the speedometer went up to an optimistic 80 miles per hour. Even so, many owners of classic Buick Roadsters from the era claim that the top speed is closer to 60 miles per hour rather than 80.

These Buick Roadsters came with no ignition and the car had to be secured using a lock located at the base of the floor shift lever. The car could be locked into reverse, providing an effective disincentive to many would be car thieves. In addition, a lockable storage compartment was located behind the seat.

The Buick Roadsters built during the decade of the 1920s featured a two piece windshield which was split horizontally. The bottom part of the windshield was stationary, while the upper portion of the windshield, located in front of the driver, came equipped with a single windshield wiper, which was operated manually by the driver or passenger. The dashboard of the Buick Roadster was equipped with a cigar lighter attached to the dashboard via an electric cord tether.

The back of the sixteen foot long Buick Roadster featured a single taillight, as well as a single brake light, that spelled out S-T-O-P when it was illuminated.

The Buick Roadster models of the 1920s are still a blast to drive, and many classic car enthusiasts still enjoy the nostalgia and fun of these classic Buick automobiles.

no left turns

June 24, 2006

I got an e-mail that had reference to cars and Iowa. It’s a little lengthy, but I will have a link at the end of the post. Seems this man’s father quit driving at the age of 25 in 1927. He lived, worked and walked around Des Moines. It’s an intriguing tale right up to the man’s death in 2004 at 102. I don’t know if it’s true or not, but it is an interesting read. To go to the article, including a picture of the man from the 1930’s go here.

new toys

June 23, 2006

“New” Viper
Since its introduction, the Dodge Viper has sold 23,000 copies. The car has gone through some minor facelifts throughout the years and now a “new” Viper may be reality.
Called the Diamondback, it may go into limited production. According to sources, the regular Viper, as if it isn’t fast enough, will go into hibernation for 2007, but the source would not elaborate on why the car may or may not be built.

But to meet demand, Dodge will build a backlog of 2006 Vipers. The Holden GTO suffered the same fate, reportedly due to new airbag standards, but this is not the case with the Viper. With no regular 2007 Vipers to maintain enthusiasts’ interest, a special-limited edition model could help bridge the gap. The Diamondback will reportedly wear ASC’s OmniCarbon technology lightweight body work that removes 85 pounds of mass from the current car.

A special clearcoat process leaves the bare carbon-fiber fabric visible in places, without suffering from the yellowing that normally occurs with sunlight exposure. Recent spy photos show the Viper sporting a hood with two rows of holes. The new V-10 may produce 615hp, and with the car’s new diet, that could translate into 3.5 second 0-60 times.
– By George Mattar

If you want to look at the whole Hemmings newsletter go here.

Speaking of the GTO, rumors have it that we’ll be seeing them again in 2009. There has been an air-bag compliance problem that is being worked out by GM’s Holden Division down under. Another rumor is that the Camaro will have a convertible option option.

Nascar update

June 22, 2006

Nascar team owner arrested, accused of conspiracy, filling false tax returns, and witness intimidation. Haas CNC Racing owner Gene Haas stands accused of bogus expenses on income tax to the tune of millions of dollars. The team runs #66 in Nextel Cup, and #00 Busch Series cars. To read more on this go to this site.

Also in Nascar news- Nascar will start testing unleaded gas with the Busch Series and Truck Series to work out bugs before Nextel Cup Series cars get involved. The plan is to have unleaded gas phased in for the 2007 Nextel Cup Daytona Race. The ARCA Series will also test on unleaded on restrictor plate engines. To learn more about this story go here.

4 year terms

June 20, 2006

Looks like the vote for 4 year terms is a go. I am not for it and will vote against it. Then, like QCI said in his blog, I will have a right to complain. If only half the current council can run for mayor, and not the other half it seems to set the odds for the even numbered wards, and stack the deck against the odd numbered wards. As has been pointed out on other blogs, the even numbered wards have bigger turnouts.
I don’t know the answer, but I guess we’ll all find out in about a month. If you want to read Tom Saul’s take on it from the QC Times go here.

Father’s day

June 18, 2006

Happy Father’s day to all. And for all of us awaiting the arrival of the new Camaro, a virtual road test. The 2009 Camaro vw the 2009 Mustang. I won’t tell you who wins but if you’re interested go here to see.

As a bonus to all older gearheads here’s a story on the CARtoons magazine. If you’re old enough to remember or would like a look at humorous cartoons go here.

Ronnie Sox

June 18, 2006

This month’s Hot Rod magazine has a good memorial on Ronnie Sox. Ronnie died April 22, of cancer, at the age of 67. He was rated at 15 in the 50 Top Drivers by NHRA (National Hot Rod Assn). He was universally thought to be the best four-speed driver ever. To quote the article- “The good news is that, by all accounts, Sox pent his last year marveling at the input from his fans nationwide, seemingly having been previously unaware of the truly deep impact that his drag racing career had on people.”