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.


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.


A tragedy and the car show

August 20, 2017

We’re going to show you some of the cars that were at the VVA
Car Cruise-In but before we do we have to mention something that
happened 107 years ago on this date. Bear with us and we’ll get
to the cars.

The Great Fire of 1910 occurred when hurricane force winds
prodded hundreds of small fires into blazing infernos. When
all was said and done 3 million acres were burnt in Washington,
northern Idaho, and western Montana. Two towns in Idaho and
five in Montana were completely destroyed in the fire before
a cold front brought in a steady rain. There were 87 fatalities,
mostly firefighters.

And now some pictures from the car show. You can click on any
picture to get a better look.

There were many more cars, but this should give you an idea
of the show. And now I hear leftover pizza and a coffee pot
calling my name.
Enjoy our Sunday as that means some of us rejoin the rat race
tomorrow.
Comments are always welcome.


Staying local

August 18, 2017

Today we are going to mention a couple things, happening or
about to happen, on the east coast of Iowa. We mention them
only because one is of interest to us and the other just goes
to prove the insanity is everywhere. So if you bear with us,
we’ll explain.

Tomorrow the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 776 are
hosting a Cruise-In at NorthPark Mall here in Davenport, Iowa.
The proceeds from this event will be used to support military
and veterans programs. Things get started at 5 pm and continue
until somebody turns off the light or the cows come home. It’s
a great event for a good cause and we hope to see you there.

Then we have the circus coming back to our city government. It
is now being said by one Alderman that another Alderman is a
racist and a bigot. The whole incident began when a former mayor
said something to the effect that the Irish were slaves too.

Of course that got those who see racism everywhere full of
righteous indignation and caused our city to pass a proclamation
that our fair city is diversified. Whatever happened to just
shrugging it off and calling the speaker a nut if you don’t
agree. It may not be popular but he has the right to say it.

This brought about the facebook melee between the two Aldermen.
She claims the other shares the views of our former Mayor and a
zoning letter he wrote to residents near a College that wants to
tear down some buildings is racist.

The complaining Alderman went before the local Civil Rights
Commission and stated “if you’re poor and black, you are not
going to understand the letter.” Hell lady, I’m an oldfart
white guy and I can’t understand it. Of course this same
outraged Alderman has a candidate she thinks would be more
compassionate, caring that will run against the one she doesn’t
like.

I don’t believe Alderman Ambrose has much to worry about but
time will tell. We wish him well in the election. An article in
our Quad-Cities Times written by Devan Patel was used as a
reference for some of this portion of this post.

Now I’m craving a burrito and a gallon of coffee so enjoy our
friday. Before we know it monday will come calling again.
Comments are always welcome.


Two upcoming events

August 16, 2017

As summer winds down here on the east coast of Iowa thoughts
turn to the west coast of Illinois. It’s almost time for the
64th Annual O’Reilly World Series of Drag Racing at Cordova
International Raceway. The 1/4 drag strip is once again home
to this event.

The World Series has been held at Cordova almost every year
since it began. And this year the event will be held August
25-27. Admission will be $25 on friday and saturday, $12 Sunday.
We’re told discount tickets are available at O’Reilly Auto Parts.

That same weekend, August 26-27, Farm Days are being held in
the Village of East Davenport. Hours are 10 am to 5 pm
saturday and 10 am to 4 pm sunday. Admission to this even is
free.

11th Street is blocked off for the event between Mound and
Jersey Ridge and the street is filled with older farm tractors.
On the grassy area of lower Lindsey Park there will be a rope
making exhibition, petting zoo, pedal tractors, and a Gator
raffle.

There is also a wagon ride available pulled by a 2-cylinder
Johnny Popper that takes a short trip through the historic
district. If we remember right most businesses will be open for
the event also.

Tough choice. A cruise up the Illinois river road to a drag
strip for some serious bench racing and noise or a quick trip
to the east end to listen to some Johnny Poppers. Since my
buddy I used to go to the World Series with is in a Nursing
Home it looks like we’ll go to the farm show.

Enjoy our wednesday and we will forewarn you that we may do
a rant tomorrow about all the nonsense taking place. Now I need
another cup of coffee and a Snicker’s.
Comments are always welcome.