Confusing technology

April 25, 2015

If you are a V-8 type of person who likes your
pipes loud and back tires wide, you may not
have heard of the new technology called VTEC.

VTEC stands for variable timing and lift electronic
control. Yes you guessed it, ten dollar scientific
jargon for a system that improves the efficiency of
a four-stroke internal combustion engine.

Invented by Honda engineer Ikua Kajitani it is a
brand new set up as the old set up, VVT or variable
valve timing, only advanced the valve timing. VTEC
also changes the camshaft profile and valve lift.
Since Japan taxes vehicles based on engine size
the car makers there try to squeeze more out of

Hence the VTEC technology. This allows for one
engine to provide two profiles with one camshaft.
One profile best for low-RPM and fuel efficiency
and the other best for high RPM power output. But
it is still a small engine.

Which got us wondering what this mechanical marvel
sounded like. Would this set up have a throaty
roar, or a quiet whisper? And we found out. The
following video explains it all.

Thus concludes our unscientific, politically
incorrect look at VTEC technology. We will atone
for this lapse of cognitive thinking with a Sunday
snicker post and say three Hail Mary’s.

Comments are always welcome.

Morons, a Corvette, a backhoe, and Hot Rod

April 23, 2015

In our never ending quest to enrich our education
we cruise the information highway, check emails
from friends, and chase down leads. What results is
a post like this.

We like parody songs and this one shared by a
friend had us both laughing and saying “ouch!”
So turn the speakers up and enjoy “That’s A Moron”.

Something about a blown big black breathing though
open pipes in an enclosed space that gets our motor
revving. This one isn’t funny, but the car is
insane. Mile deep paint and big wheels and tires
combined with the engine song.

Did you know that in 2007 at the Rocky Mountain
Nationals in Canada that they had a dragster
backhoe running? Those guys up in Edmonton sure
know how to have fun. And it’s probably quicker
than you think.

And thank made us think of music again. Remember
the Collins Kids? Here they are singing “Hot Rot”
on Western Ranch Party in 1958.

We don’t know about you, but we felt smarter after
watching these videos. If you’re in our area on May
1st and 2nd, remember the Vintage Torque Fest held
at the Dubuque County Fairgrounds in Dubuque, Iowa.
Comments are always welcome.

Inquiring minds…

April 10, 2015

People who know me also know I can come through in
a pinch. Although it is widely believed that I
put several local bars out of business when I
quit drinking, I can honestly say I did not.

But people also approach us with questions and
sometimes we even have an answer. So we will
answer some of these questions now.

Can you explain torque without resorting to $10
words or scientific jargon?

Yes. See picture below.


Are the police really as bad we’ve been told?

No. Sometimes they even play pranks on their
fellow officers.


Where do babies come from?

Ask your mother.

What do I do in my spare time?


Do I like riddles?

When I know the answer, like the following video.

What kind of music do I like?

Depends on the day. Today it is this one…

And finally, what is a rat rod?

To us it is obvious, but for the uninformed the
video below should explain it.

We hope this answers some of your questions. If it
doesn’t we will do a post with more answers later.
Comments are always welcome.

Steam powered what?

April 7, 2015

Did you know that the first police cars in Boston
were steam powered? The first police vehicle in the
city was a 1903 Stanley Steamer. These steamers
were faster than their gas powered counterparts,
but only held together for about 7,000 miles.

Why are we bringing up steam powered police cars?
Glad you asked. It ties into a story about how
California decided to fund a trial of steam powered
law enforcement vehicles to offset pollution.

What could go wrong with that idea? Would you
believe just about everything. Oh, did we mention
this happened in 1969? Anyway, the California
legislature funded a trial of steam powered police
cruisers and even found two companies who take on
the task of converting gas burning police cars to
the more environmentally friendly steam power.


The Dodge Polara was chosen as it was popular
model in law enforcement at the time along with an
Olds Delta 88. The Olds was sent to Thermodymanic
Systems for conversion and the Polara went to
William P. Lear’s company.

Neither vehicle was ever seen again. The group
assigned the Olds raised the white flag almost
before they started and the company working on the
Dodge soon followed. Of course when this happened
the plans for steam powered buses also went up
in smoke.

We can’t pretend to guess if the government even
thought this one out before passing it. A heat
source had to be available to make steam and
propane was being seriously looked at as a source.
But the government wanted no pollution and the
project was finally officially ended.

And that is yet another reason some people scream
in fear when they hear the words “I’m from the
government and I want to help”.
Comments are always welcome.

Holiday diversions

April 3, 2015

Today is Good Friday. Since it is not an official
holiday in the U.S., some of us will observe the
holiday and others will not. Enjoy the day
regardless of your religion of lack of.

Some of us attend special services or prayer
vigils, some observe a day of fasting, some have a
day of quiet reflection, others play religious
music, and still others bake hot cross buns. We
prefer the quiet reflection without the quiet.

Having the best of intentions I cruised the
information highway. But because I am human I soon
got distracted. So we will share a few items we ran

Thinking on life, loss of life, saints and
sinners, we usually get around to cars. It’s a
curse. But when we ran across a clip of the scene
containing the race on Paradise Road from “American
Graffiti” we had to share.

Another video shows the restoration of the 28.5
liter Fiat s76 and the starting of the engine for
the first time in 100 years. This car has a top
speed of 181 mph and was built to beat the 1912
land speed record.

Since I was on an engine starting kick, how about
starting a 22,500 hp diesel engine built in 1932?
It was the world’s largest diesel engine for 30
years and has 8 cylinders.

Engines always make me think of music as some do
sound sweeter than music to me. But if you like
your music a tad different, here is a video of Jinx
Jones doing “Redneck Barbie” on California Live Mic
at Loudville studio.

And engines and music get me thinking about car
movies. If you don’t have it in collection, here is
“The California Kid”.

Another nod to my different musical tastes, and
because it is a religious holiday. We present
Dave’s Highway singing “I’ll Fly Away”.

Since I’m not fasting today it’s time for pizza.
Drive no faster than your guardian angel can fly
and enjoy the weekend.
Comments are always welcome.

Not what you think

March 26, 2015


Some people will look at this picture and see a
409 cubic inch Chevrolet engine. In this case those
people would be wrong.

The engine shown is a 1963 Z-11 427. This RPO
option would cost you $1,240 over the cost of a new
Impala. What did you get for that? You got a 427
cubic inch engine that produced a rated 430 hp
yet actually made 480-525 hp!

You also got aluminum hood, front fenders, front
and rear bumpers, fan shroud, and more that
dropped 300 pounds off the weight of your Impala.
Most were ordered with the heater delete option
to save weight.

There were metallic brake shoes and special
backing plates with venting screens and air scoops
for cooling, a T-10 4-speed, and a a bullet proof
posi rear end with 4:11 gears.

The RPO optioned Impala would set you back a total
of a little more than $4,000 and that didn’t
include destination charges, taxes, plates, etc.

This option was made for drag racing, but rumor is
that around 20 1962 Impala’s were sold COPO with
this engine also. That means they made it to the
dealer’s lot. Now the kicker, only 57 of these
Impala’s were produced and only 7 are believed to
survive today.

And there you have the story of this small piece
of automotive history. For those who don’t remember
or weren’t around, here’s a little musical history
from 1963.

Now we have to pop back to the present lest we get
lost in 60s again.
Comments are always welcome.

The mouse is 60

March 24, 2015

The year was 1955.

7 out of 10 families owned a car, new laws made
seat belts mandatory, the first McDonalds opened,
TV dinners arrived, Coca-Cola was sold in cans for
the first time, and the minimum wage was raised to

The average yearly salary was $4,130.00, a new
car cost $1,900.00, gas was 23 cents a gallon, Bill
Haley and the Comets played on the AM radio, and
Chevrolet introduced the 265 cubic inch V-8 engine.

The 265 for sedans with a 2-barrel carburetor put
out a whopping 162 hp, and the optional 4-barrel
engine produced 195 hp. The 1955 engine did have
a drawback though. It had no provision for oil
filtration built into the block. One could order an
optional add-on oil filter that was mounted on the
thermostat housing.

Displacement varied over the years but the engine
proved to be the favorite of gearheads, racers,
and hot rodders and still is today.

For years this was the only choice of V-8 in a
Chevy and it didn’t really have a nickname until
the mid 60s when the big blocks started to show up.
Everyone started calling them small blocks and a
little later, mouse motors when big blocks were
called rats.

As of November, 2011, over 100,000,000 small block
engines had been built. So we would like to wish
the mouse a Happy Anniversary! Thanks for the miles
of smiles.
Comments are always welcome.


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