Everything old is new again

March 31, 2014

Today it seems all the automakers are talking gas
mileage. They all think their solution to the mpg
problem is the right one and clearly state the EPA
estimated mpg in their ads.

Would you believe us if we told you this has been
going on for almost 100 years? If you answered no,
you probably haven’t heard of Frank J. Enger. Mr.
Enger was a carriage maker who was known for the
quality of his work and in 1908 decided to build


The Enger Motor Car Company of Cincinnati, Ohio, put
out an ad in 1917 that stated the Enger Twin-Unit
Twelve model got 35 mpg. It actually averaged 36.8 on
the track at Indianapolis.


The Enger Twin-Unit was powered by a 60 degree V-12
that displaced 227.3 cubic inches and was rated at 55 hp.
But the amazing thing about this vehicle was when you
pulled a lever on the steering column you deactivated
the exhaust valves and fuel supply to one bank of the
engine making it a 6 cylinder.

Yes, it was the 1916 version of GM’s Displacement on
Demand technology in use today. The problem Mr. Enger
had was that the Twin-Unit Twelve sold for $1,095 in
1917 which was 4 times the cost of a new Ford Model

Mr. Enger committed suicide in 1917 and left
instructions that the family keep the company going.
Being a married man this didn’t happen of course.

And thus ends the tale of first use of “displacement
on demand” technology.

A few more items you probably didn’t think go back
as far as they do is the tilt steering wheel (1916),
and the locking steering column (1913).
Comments are always welcome.

Almost wrecked my day

March 30, 2014


When I woke up this morning and put on my glasses
a screw let loose and one lens popped out. Still
half asleep I thought, not a problem.

Finding the lens was easy, I’m still looking in
the multicolored berber carpet for the screw that
held things together.

Determined not to let the lack of glasses ruin my
day I found an old pair of bifocals and a few
pair of reading glasses.

Thinking if I could take a screw out of a pair of old
reading glasses, put them in my other glasses, that
I would no longer be legally blind.

I could never figure out why something that is so
easy to remove proves impossible to reuse. My fingers
aren’t made for such delicate work.

After losing 3 more screws and driving the wife
crazy trying to put the last one into my glasses, she
grabbed everything and quickly declared that the only
screw I saved was too small to work.

It was then decided a trip to Wally World for an
eyeglass repair kit was in order so I could read the
Sunday papers.

We got back home and when I opened the eyeglass
repair kit, you guessed it, I dropped all the screws
from the kit on the kitchen floor.

So I grabbed a handy flashlight to search for the
missing screws, hit the button, and the batteries
were dead in the flashlight.

When I retrieved my back-up flashlight, which did
work, the screws were rounded up in no time. Soon
after that I had my glasses repaired and was happily
reading the papers.

I was doing great until reaching the section that
involved politics at which time the wife told me to
quit yelling at the paper. I had to get one more barb
in so I pointed and yelled “I’m no Protologist but I
know an asshole when I see one”!

And that’s how I almost wrecked the day.
Comments are always welcome.

Vietnam Veterans Day

March 29, 2014


Today is a day to show respect for and reflect on
the sacrifices of our Vietnam veterans. These brave
men and women returned home to protests and ridicule
instead of accolades and parades.

58,286 lost their lives, 153,303 were WIA, and
1,643 are MIA. During the war 30% of those wounded

“If you are able, save for them a place inside
of you and save one backward glance when you are
leaving for the places they can no longer go.

Be not ashamed to say you loved them, though
you may or may not have always. Take what they
have taught you with their dying and keep it with
your own.

And in that time when men decide and feel safe
to call the war insane, take one moment to embrace
those gentle heroes you left behind.”

Major Michael Davis O’Donnell
1 January 1970
Dak To, Vietnam
Listed as KIA February 7, 1978

Thank you.

Comments are always welcome.

A few dates

March 28, 2014

The following is a list of events that include
everything from Vietnam Veterans Day to a tractor
auction. This doesn’t cover everything going on, just
some that are important to us.

March 29,2014 is Vietnam Veterans Day. Those old
enough to remember may know our last soldier left
Vietnam on March 29, 1973.


If you think she likes your tractor and you want to
get another one, Mecum has an auction for you. April
4-5, 2014, the auction will be held at the
Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds, 2815 W. Locust St.,
in Davenport, Iowa. Admission is free and things get
started at 7 am.

April 12-13, 2014 is the 40th Annual Hawk A Model A
Ford Club Swap Meet held at Hawkeye Downs in Cedar
Rapids, Iowa.

May 2-4 are the dates for TorqueFest 2014 held once
again in Dubuque, Iowa. This year along with all the
usual mayhem they are having a wedding. For more info
go here.

This year July 11 has been designated National
Collector Car Appreciation Day. Shine it up, get it
out, and show it off.


October 10-12, 2014 is the River to River Retro
Road Trip from Davenport to Council Bluffs on US
Route 6. As the advertisements say; no interstates,
no chain restaurants, just two lane black top. There
will also be a Cruise the Ones event October 9th.


The SouthPark cruises held by the Quad Cities
Cruisers will be held in a new location. They will
be held at the Davenport Community School District’s
Kimberly Center, 1002 W. Kimberly Rd., Davenport,
Iowa. They will kick off the cruising season on
April 26.

The NorthPark cruises will still be held there
as far as we know. The River Valley Classics host
these and their first cruise is June 7.

Here is a short video of goings on in Rangiora,
New Zealand.

Comments are always welcome.

Goblin stories

March 27, 2014

We read an interesting blurb about a custom that
will be at this weekends World of Wheels show in
Boston. Said custom was different enough that it
caught our eye even though it was green.

The first thing that came to mind was the Dodge
Deora show vehicle from years past.


Or the Ford Explorer concept from 1973.


The new iteration on the cab forward idea is
called the Green Goblin.


It all started with 1962 Chrysler Newport that Chad
Hiltz got for free. The car was stripped with no
interior or drive-train but he is a ‘because I can
do it’ kind of guy.

Thinking outside the box, he spied a 1974 Olds
Cutlas he owned and thought the top would make an
excellent roof for his Goblin.


When it came to power, he decided a Cadillac
Eldorado front-wheel-drive set up was what the
custom needed. He just mounted it to the back
wheels instead of up front.

You wouldn’t find another one like it in the
parking lot.

To see more on this strange vehicle, go here.

Comments are always welcome.

Random thoughts

March 27, 2014

Sometimes we get ideas that are better left alone,
but of course we don’t listen to voice of reason.
It is times like that when local legends are born
and end with a 911 call.


There are times when we laugh even though we know
something isn’t really that funny.


Of course, love makes the world go round when you
are in love.


But, since we can’t laugh all the time we have
periods when we grieve.


A lot of people think about money, but it isn’t


And some people have no idea.

A healthy dose of reality can be a sobering thing.


When all else fails, some have to resort to an
attitude adjustment.


And I just get ideas that are better left alone.
Comments are always welcome.

Tweaking the tweel

March 25, 2014

Some time ago we did a post about about a strange
new tire Michelin was working on. Some call it a
tweel, or perhaps even a Whire, but it combines the
wheel and tire into one component.

This new tire has no need for air valves, or air
for that matter, and cannot be punctured.


We believe these tires would take some getting used
to as they look almost invisible going down the

The prototype is within 5% of the rolling
resistance of a current pneumatic tire which could
mean that it would be within 1% of the fuel
economy of a conventional tire.

Having been around for almost a decade, the tweel
tires can be seen on the Segway Concept Centaur,
skid steer loaders, and even the military is looking
into them.

It must be working because Bridgestone and other
tire companies are also working with the idea. No
matter what you call it, there should be a market
for a tire that never goes flat.

And if you hadn’t heard of this before you have
now. I was asked if I would put a set on my car and
replied more information was needed. The big issues
with us would be cost and ride quality.
Thanks ET.


We may be doing a guest post soon from someone who
we think has a new twist on an old problem. When we
do it will be in their own words.
Comments are always welcome.

Iowa Constitutional Carry

March 24, 2014


The Iowa Gun Owners have asked us to
stand for our beliefs.

It now seems the 2014 Iowa legislative session will
end without a vote on Constitutional carry. We have
all heard the reasoning; the words don’t mean what
we think they mean, the Senate won’t pass it, it’s
a super secret anti-gun bill, and so on.

But if this is so, why is the IGA getting threats
from legislators because they ask those of us with
interest in the bill to contact said legislators.
These lawmakers are now claiming we are harassing
them with our emails and calls!

To these legislators we say that you work for us.
If we’re not happy you will hear about it. Pass it.
Then if the senate doesn’t vote on it we will
remember on election day.

Stop the whining, lying, and finger pointing and
do what you were elected to do. Remember House Rule
60. Find your legislator and then contact them by phone
or email if you believe Constitutional carry has
Comments are always welcome.

The Emergency Easter Meals Project

March 23, 2014

Easter will soon be here and many of us look
forward to the day. Some say that there is a
connection between the Jewish Passover and the
Christian feast of Easter.

If your religion doesn’t celebrate the holiday
or you don’t believe in religion at all you probably
go to movies or concerts, or even out for dinner.

We ask that you consider the fate of our wounded
warriors who are having problems.


The Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes has
started their Emergency Easter Meals Project
and are asking for donations.

For some background on what the group is about, go

It tells the story of Andrew Smith who suffered
a traumatic brain injury during the war on terror,
the bank foreclosed on his home, due to his PTSD
his wife left him, and he is raising a 4-year-old
his son with muscular dystrophy.

The group is asking for a tax-deductible donation
of $60 to feed the family of 1 wounded warrior an
Easter dinner. It is a crying shame that these
brave men and women who have given so much to keep
us free have to live like this.

Even if you can’t donate $60, click on a
link and there is a line where can fill in the
amount. If you can’t donate, at least read
about their plight.

We can tell you that before Christmas we donated
enough so that 2 families could have Christmas
dinner and a few presents for their kids and it
felt great. We plan on doing the same for Easter.

If nothing else, you will learn just how tough
some of these veterans have it.
Comments are always welcome.

Interesting home

March 22, 2014

What you do if you were living in Thailand and a
friend gave you some land on his mango plantation?
Pitch a tent? Pull in a travel trailer?

If your name is Steve Areen and you had six weeks
and around $9,000 you would build a dream home.

I don’t know much about dome homes, but I know I
could live in one like this. I also don’t know much
about the cost of things in Thailand but don’t
believe one could beat the price.

It wouldn’t be for everybody and we think it is one
of those love it or hate it deals, we we like it.
Throw in a radio we could watch and it would be just
about perfect.
Comments are always welcome.