Hard to believe

December 14, 2017

Early Wednesday morning while watching local news we heard of
a house fire in Maysville, Iowa. As the morning got later the
reports got more specific and we learned a car had hit the
house and there was an explosion. It had been called in around
11 pm Tuesday.

The woman who was in the house when this happened got out ok
but the driver didn’t fare so well. It was then called a
fatality accident. And this morning we learned the car, which
was a total loss, was a 2013 Ferrari 458 Spider.

This happened on a two lane blacktop road that I know fairly
well so I mentioned to wife I’d bet speed was involved when we
saw the first broadcast. I was thinking a kid in a hot rod.
Turned out it was a 58 year old man in a Ferrari. Then in a
later update the reporter mentioned that authorities believe
speed could be a factor in the crash.

This Ferrari makes 570 horsepower, has a 7 speed transmission,
tops out around 200 mph, gets around 14 mpg, and a used one would
set you back around $250,000 today. Since these cars are made
to go fast one has to wonder if he hit a gas main that caused
the explosion.

Our condolences victims family and friends and the lady who
now has to have her house put back together. To learn more
about the event, go here.

Enjoy our Thursday as it looks to be a good one here. Now I
need to hunt down some more coffee.
Comments are always welcome.

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Selling a dream

December 11, 2017

We follow car auctions just to see how certain cars stand up
to pre-auction estimates. We’ll be paying attention in January
2018 when the RM Sotheby’s Arizona sale comes around. There
will be what we consider a rare car there and pre-auction
estimates are between $1.25 and $1.5 million.

The car is Preston Tucker’s personal Tucker 48. A rare car to
begin with as only 51 cars were built by tucker in 1848 before
the company folded. Tucker cars were advanced for the time and
had features many others didn’t.

The third head light in the center turned with the front
wheels, the engine was an adaption of the Franklin 0-355 flat
six aircraft/helicopter engine converted to water cooling. It
had 355 cubic inches, made 166 horsepower and was installed in
the rear of the car.

For a transmission Tucker used an adaptation of the Cord 810/
812 with a Bendix electric shifter. Tucker’s personal car had
a Tucker Y1 transmission, a larger, more improved version of
the Cord tranny.

The car being auction has less than 20,000 original miles.
The vehicle was Preston Tuckers personal car from 1948 to
1955, was then a daily driver of future Arkansas governor
Winthrop Rockefeller, and was in the Francis Ford Coppola’s
1988 film “Tucker: The Man and His Dream”.

When we hear the results of the auction we’ll put them up.
Now we know a little more about this event. Enjoy our Monday
as we’re one step closer to spring.
Comments are always welcome.


Awake in a dream

December 8, 2017

After watching the sunset set fire to the sky I remembered
that I forget to get something written here. For some reason
my brain has been laser focused on trying to decipher a dream
I’ve had for the last 3 nights.

The wife and I are still married in the dream and things start
out normal until we realize said dream is set in the 1940s. We
live in a house I’ve never seen and our daily driver is a
1941 Chevy. Not much strange there as old cars have been a part
of life for 50 years.

The strange part comes when Mom pulls up in 1936 LaSalle
convertible. To my knowledge my folks never owned a convertible
or a LaSalle. When Mom gets out of the car I notice her
familiar blonde hair is different. Halfway down the length of
her hair it is black. She’s been gone for 7 years now yet never
had black hair either.

Right about then I wake up and wonder what’s going on. It may
have no meaning at all much like the cardinals I’ve been
seeing more of lately but still I wonder. It was almost like
at some point she’d dyed her hair black and let it grow out
so the top half would be blonde.

And now I have to start the chores I should have gotten done
during the day. At least the critters got fed. Which reminds
me, I haven’t eaten anything yet today and we restocked the
frozen pizza section of our freezer.

Enjoy our Friday. Here on the east coast of Iowa we have a
dusting of snow in the forecast for tonight,
Comments are always welcome.


What happened?

November 22, 2017

Since we’ve had an explosion in the number of car thefts here
on the east coast of Iowa, and because almost all are being
committed by juveniles and none of them see jail time, we have
to wonder what happened.

Back in the day we had juvenile homes, repeat offender laws,
and in the worst cases banishment from the city. Now we have
politicians and others telling us the culprits brains aren’t
fully developed and they’re not responsible for the crimes
they commit. This always breaks the needle on my Bull meter.

The owners of the stolen, often wrecked and trashed
vehicles are left holding the bag for damages. So we would like
to know what the hell happened that people are no longer
responsible for the crimes they commit?

And aren’t you tired of hearing about our overcrowded prison
system too? Perhaps the reason for said overcrowding is that
the current policies aren’t working. When convicted aren’t the
guilty supposed to serve a sentence and not be on vacation?

Now that I’ve said that, I don’t want a 12 year old kid to go
to prison for stealing a car. I have a novel idea. Make the
criminals responsible for their actions and not the victims!
Put the offending kids in pastel coveralls, hand them a trash
bag, and make them pick up litter if not in school and after
school if they are.

Make the parents liable for the damages and I bet things would
change. There has to be a way for this to work as the current
polices are not. Don’t know what the answers are, but until we
make the criminals responsible for their crimes I fear nothing
will change.

Enjoy our Wednesday as it means Thanksgiving is tomorrow.
Happy Thanksgiving! Now I need more coffee and another
doughnut.
Comments are always welcome.


You ever wondered?

November 21, 2017

Yes, this post is late again. But a thought stuck in my head
and a little research is sometimes necessary for me to truly
understand a situation.

I got to thinking about pictures of the earliest cars and how
they all had that tall flat glass. Reasoning that this era was
not known for a population of giants why was the top so high?


from the Model T Ford Club of America

Looking into photographs of the era one notices that if people
are in the shot they are wearing hats. In particular, the men
wore top hats. So I wondered if that had anything to do with
the design of the automobile.


from IFCAR

In the thirties the windshields shrunk as top hats were no
longer in fashion. Fedoras, derby’s, and straw hats were the
rage. These hats didn’t need the extra clearance of the top
hats so windshield height lessened.


unkown


by sicnag

Around the 1950s hats were starting to be phased out as a
daily part of ones wardrobe. And the tops again got lower. Some
of the 1960s vehicles appeared to have taller roofs as the
body height of cars was shortened.


U.S. News

Today there are cars around that I honestly don’t know how
anyone over the age of 20 can even get into. Tne new Camaros
come to mind. While the lower body has gotten taller it looks
like a designer chopped the top.

You may have noticed that the most popular hat today is the
baseball cap. That doesn’t need a lot of clearance, and there
are many who don’t wear any type of hat when it’s warmer out.
And in the winter, a basic stocking cap doesn’t add height.

I haven’t found confirmation of this yet but do believe our
cars were designed around our fashion trends at the time they
were built. If I’m wrong I’ll admit and if I’m right it was
worth the time trying to figure it out.

Enjoy our Tuesday. It means Thanksgiving is only 2 days away.
Now I need some coffee and a couple chocolate doughnuts.
Comments are always welcome.


Sunday service

November 5, 2017

Yes, it’s time for another edition concerning cars. In this
one we’ll take a quick walk down memory lane before going back
to the future. This is one concept we hope makes it to
production.

If you’re old enough to remember commercials from the late
1960s this one might start a stroll down memory lane, “Ford
has a better idea”. Wonder how many Mustangs they sold with
that ad campaign? Well, we don’t know if they had a better
idea in 1968, but we’ve heard of one they have now that
caught our eye.

Ford engine designer, Jim Clarke, has designed an engine that
has a turbocharger for each cylinder. Ever since the fuel
economy standard and the emission laws came out designers have
been looking for a way around them. Ford is already in the
game with their EcoBoost engine with its turbocharger.

If you have an EcoBoost powered vehicle, as we do, you know it
has enough power for a long Interstate cruise and sips gas
while doing. Ours has been reliable in the short time we’ve
had it. The engine also doesn’t suffer from turbo lag.

The new engines are being designed with the intent to get more
and cleaner power out of a smaller engine. These won’t have neck
snapping, tire smoking, super car power but more than enough to
get out of its own way.

Back to Mr. Clarke’s new engine. His concept is called
synergistic induction and turbocharging. That’s 10 dollar words
for an engine with two throttle bodies on each cylinder instead
of just one, and a turbo on every cylinder. The turbos will also
be smaller as there are more of them.

For now this is only a concept, but with a CAFE standard that
will force car-makers to produce vehicles that get over 54 mpg
in the foreseeable future, it’s an option to an electric car.

This isn’t a pipe dream. BMW has 3 and 4 cylinder engines with
multi-turbos, Volkswagen has one with electric turbos, and as
mentioned Ford has the EcoBoost. It will be an honest rival to
the electric with great gas mileage, and we hope they run with
it.
Comments are always welcome.


Some thoughts on Halloween

October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween! Here on the east coast of Iowa it’s going to
be a cold one. The little ones will be out tonight in costumes
that may restrict their vision and may not be reflective, so
please be careful if you’re out around the time they go house
to house to get their treats.

Recently it was mentioned we have an increase in shots fired
calls and when I glanced at our morning newspaper today I saw
we also have an increase in juvenile car thefts. 12 were caught
in stolen cars over a two day period ranging in age from 13 to
15. And it was mentioned these kids know they won’t see any
kind of punishment.

Oh they are charged, and go to the juvenile detention center
to be booked and wait for mommy or daddy to pick them up, but
they are usually given probation. Thing is, after being caught
doing these crimes multiple times, they are still given the
probation.

Having talked with a few of these misguided youngsters one
gets the impression the theft and joyride is their version of
fun and some are on probation for as many as 20 offenses. You
cannot blame the police who arrest them. Somewhere along the
way our court system or our legislators have dropped the ball.
Perhaps both.

Yes, when it gets colder as it is now, some leave their cars
running and unlocked to warm them up which makes it easy for
those who wish to take what isn’t theirs. But the blame must
fall on those who steal the cars.

When the owner gets their vehicle back there is usually
damage to said vehicle. Sometimes thousands of dollars worth
while the kids don’t pay a dime towards repair.

We don’t have an answer, or at least one that would stand a
chance to be made into law, so we’ll leave it there. Enjoy our
Tuesday, and Halloween. Now I need more coffee and less news.
Comments are always welcome.