Racing to conclusions

February 9, 2016

Yesterday we mentioned the EPA wants to severely limit
production cars that can be made into race cars and
eliminate some parts used. We feel this move proves
that those in leadership roles have risen above
their competency.

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Every form of racing has influenced the major
manufacturers in ways that would surprise some and
we’ll mention a few here. Things on our daily drivers
that have been taken from race cars include the basic
design of the engine and where the ignition switch
is placed.

The Direct-Shift Gearbox (DSG) is common in today’s cars
yet came from Formula 1 racing. The push button
ignition got its start in many forms of racing.

The suspension of our cars have a racing heritage
with either multi-link or MacPherson struts.

Racing has even influenced how the tires on our cars
are made. The grooves in the tread push water away to
give us better traction and sportier versions may have
less grooves to give more contact on dry roads.

Disc brakes were refined on race cars before becoming
standard on production cars.

Engine air intakes (scoops) had their start in racing.

Aerodynamic styling and the use of wind tunnel
testing is another race technology that made the
mainstream.

Weight reduction. Race cars are light which allows
them to go faster and the car manufacturers utilized
light weight materials to help with fuel efficiency.
Carbon fiber and aluminum come to mind.

The rearview mirror that lets us miss the car in our
blindspot got its start in racing.

Magnesium (mag) wheels are now standard equipment on
some models in the showrooms.

Superchargers and Turbochargers got tweeked in racing
and the technology is still used on some cars today.

Alternative fuels were used in race cars long before
greenhouse gases became a political hotbed.

Even the seatbelts most of use on a daily basis got
their start in race cars. Some say Barney Oilfield had
the first set in his Indycar in 1922.

And if there was no racing these innovations may not
be around today. The EPA should butt out.
Comments are always welcome.


The rabbit hole

February 8, 2016

There are days we feel like we’re a character in
Alice In Wonderland. Things just get too strange for
explanation and are so weird you can’t make it up.

fired

If you are a member of SEMA SAN you may already know
this, but now comes news the EPA wants to ban turning
most street licensed vehicles into a race car and ban
some of the parts needed to do so.

SEMA SAN is an organization that fights senseless
legislation as it applies to the car hobby. The EPA
proposal is called “Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fuel
Efficiency Standards for Medium and Heavy-Duty Engines
and Vehicles-Phase 2”.

Just goes to show the insane are running the asylum.
When the Clean Air Act was passed it was not intended
to extend to our vehicles modified for racing, yet the
EPA sees fit to try and override the intent of
Congress. Final regulations are expected to be
published in 2018.

So Washington has taken God out of schools,
been trying to take our guns, started the ridiculous
Politically Correct movement, brought Common Core into
our schools, have limited our free speech, and now
they want our cars?

Stop shipping the bull, ban the phrase “greenhouse
gas emissions”, and start telling the truth.
Comments are always welcome.


Shiny thoughts

January 24, 2016

There might be a new show for us car nuts coming
up. So we’d thought to share this preview so you
could see what you think.

After all, there can never be too many car shows
on TV. With NASCAR changing the rules every few
minutes we don’t plan on spending as much time
watching the coverage this year and depending on
when it airs we might watch the Barn Finds
series.

And a group on Facebook has a lot of videos. We
found this one about an old Ford dealer that has
old cars and more inside.

Looks like it was nippy in New Hampshire when
the video was shot.

And we ran across one more video after talking
with a friend today about the same subject. We’d
guess that people who aren’t car lovers would
never bring up the subject.

We’ve all seen the new car sales data and car
makers brag up who is the best selling each and
every year. But what do they do with the cars
that don’t sell?

One would think the car makers would slash the
prices to sell them all and possibly end with a
great total sales number. Instead they park the
cars and let them rot.

Which made us wonder; if they can rent someplace
to park all the cars to watch them rot, how much
money are they making? They must make enough off
what they sell to turn a profit while sending the
unsold vehicles to a death camp. Just saying.
Comments are always welcome.


Eyesore or eye candy?

January 15, 2016

what

Recently our city council denied an expansion of a
local scrap yard, formally known as junk yard. Even
though we have no car in this race the reasoning
behind the denial makes no sense to us.

This junk yard opened in the 1950’s and has been in
operation ever since, but does have a new owner. It
also is in a flood plain and the Mississippi river is
right across the road from the business.

Some neighbors say the owner isn’t a good neighbor
and others say there is better uses for the land. To
the latter we ask; aren’t you about 60 years too late
with your complaint? It makes one wonder if anyone has
stopped at the yard office and talked to the owner.

Years ago I was down there at least weekly to see if
any decent W-blocks had come in since my last visit
and to buy parts. But if the owner wants to expand the
business wouldn’t that mean more monies coming to our
city through taxes?

One neighbor was worried about fluids leaking into
the ground, nearby wetlands, and river. But again, it
seems a bit late to protest that. And can anyone who
parks their vehicle outside ensure no fluids would
end up somewhere? I don’t believe the average person
checks for leaks regularly.

We don’t know about the business not being a good
neighbor either. It is open 8 hours a day during the
week and around 6 on Saturday, and most businessmen
we’ve run across try to make people happy unless they
start trying to restrict their business.

It is said the owner can try again in a year to get
approval for his business expansion and we hope he
does. Where some people see an eyesore most car people
see an Amusement Park where we could happily spend
the day.
Comments are always welcome.


The morning after the night before

December 19, 2015

We’ve mentioned that the lady who follows me around wanted to go to ShopKo yesterday to look at Black Hills gold.

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I bought her a ring because her anniversary tomorrow even though my anniversary isn’t until Monday. At any rate, we got to talking during our little walk this morning and marveled at how fast the time has gone. And we talked about our first ride in a gas/electric hybrid car. Our youngest has a Buick hybrid
and he volunteered to drive us to Boise in it. It just seemed strange to me that when you pull up to a stoplight the engine shuts off and all gets quiet.

That may be good for conversation, but this old school redneck doesn’t think he’d get used to it. Of course I still have my “Loud Pipes Save Lives” t-shirt and was wearing it during the trip. It is a nice car, with a neat interior and clean body lines, but it’s just too quiet for me.

This morning the roadhouse hit another home run for our breakfast and biscuits and gravy got a run for my number one breakfast. Turns out it was biscuits and gravy, just different from what I usually order.
These were two homemade biscuits topped with sausage patties and two sunny side up eggs covered with sausage gravy and surrounded by hash browns. What’s not to love?

So after our meal, served on a plate bigger than a Cadillac hubcap, we decided a little walk would work off some of the calories. I don’t know if it did, but did get some more pictures of the mountains that seem to get closer every day.

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Hope you’re having as much fun as we are.
Comments are always welcome.


So much for tradition

December 1, 2015

Sitting at the kitchen table this morning sipping
coffee and talking with wife I mentioned how today
was December Day. Since she asked me what that
was I explained.

December Day is a celebration of the coming winter
and the day we dance around the December pole until
we meet near the base and kiss under the mistletoe.
I then told her I had the pole up and we could go
outside and get started. As usual she replied
“start without me”. It’s hard to start any new
traditions in this household.

I do know that on this date in 1913, the Henry Ford
assembly line started. It reduced the time to build
a car from more than 12 hours down to 30 minutes.
In 84 steps the Model T went from bare chassis to
finished automobile while the work moved to the
workers.

Because of this improved efficiency, and more
profit, Ford employees were the highest paid
industrial workers in the world by the end of 1914.

1fa
Picture courtesy of Ford Motor Company.

His was not the first assembly line, many believe
that was in 1104 at the Venetian Arsenal. Nor was
it the first vehicle assembly line in America. That
honor goes to Ransom Olds who began using one in
his Olds Motor Vehicle Company factory in 1901.

But the claim is that Ford did invent the moving
assembly line and started using it 102 years ago
today. And that gives me hope. Someday one of my
tradition ideas just might pass muster with the
wife. Enjoy the rest of December Day.
Comments are always welcome.


When we loved rockets

November 23, 2015

rocket

The 1956 Oldsmobile Golden Rocket made its debut
at the 1956 General Motors Motorama before it
appeared at other car shows across the country for
many years.

In the 50s, automakers looked to the future by
adding references to the rocket and fighter planes.
Production cars had hood ornaments that looked like
rockets, jets, or gun sights. How things change.

The Golden Rocket was a fiberglass bodied car with
built in bumpers painted gold, styled to look
like a rocket. The interior was blue and gold
leather. It was powered by a 234 cubic inch Rocket
V-8. It was also one of the first vehicles with a
tilt steering wheel.

To get in, the roof panel raised which raised the
bucket seat 3 inches and turned it so when the door
was opened it was easy to enter. Buttons on the
steering column allowed it tilt for easier driver
access and a comfortable driving experience.

rocket1

The Rocket V-8 produced 275 horsepower and the
car only weighed about 2,500 pounds. Another
feature was that the speedometer was mounted in the
center of the steering wheel. This little two
seater was considered very futuristic and
spectators marveled at the engineering and design.

The current fate of the car is unknown to us, but
if it wasn’t preserved it’s a shame.
Comments are always welcome.


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