Saturday, November 29, 2008

Looking for a pre-war (1945) car?

I found an online central website that has about 200 makes, searchable by manufacturer, or year. It's amazing.

A lot I'd never heard about the Tucker car, and why it didn't make it

I never knew that Preston Tucker had worked in sales for Studebaker, then Stutz, Chrysler, and finally as regional manager for Pierce-Arrow.

The car was designed to have an engine that was air cooled, and could be replaced in 18 minutes by three service techs. The front and back seats were interchangeable so owners could periodically swap them for even wear of the cloth fabric.

The leased factory he was using was wanted by the National Housing Agency to be used to build pre-fab homes. Long court battle.

In order to raise investment capital, but not lose control of his corporation, he sold dealer franchises to dstribute the car, and even presold accessories to the car that hadn't yet been built... this had the Securities and Exchange Commission auditing him for years.

For an ad, business card, and photos:

Like New Auto Detailing, wouldn't mind some more work...

Mainstay of the business is taking care of dealership cars, and Francisco is a really nice guy... if you need bumpers replaced, paint buffing.. that kind of stuff, he's the man.

A photo history of the Pontiac, from 1926 to 1970
He has some great links too, of just about every manufacturer or well known car.

Cool model T images

From the online photos of the Museum of Speed

With galleries of vast collections of pedal cars, air pumps, intake manifolds, etc etc.. there is a lot to look at, enjoy!
World's Largest Collection; Vintage to Exotic Racing Engines & Speed Equipment, located in Lincoln Nebraska

Friday, November 28, 2008

How traffic jams evolve, and migrate


Brilliance from around the world, Via Drivercrhis

"Used from the 1940s to the 1970s in Australia these analogue traffic signals defuse driver impatience by displaying your waiting time. Critics might suggest that they'll turn every set of traffic lights into a potential drag race" Ya think?
Philadelphia police tried out virtual speed bumps?

A reason to watch the roads out there in the rainy season, total washout. Big surprise at 2 min 50 sec
Via: good videos here!

New car jargon from Mini

Brewnesia n. The condition of forgetting your coffee on the roof of your car and driving off.

Carligraphy n. The art of writing on a dirty vehicle with your finger.
Careoke v. To sing while motoring.
Cartesy n. The generous act of letting another car merge into your lane.
Cashtray n. A car ashtray that's been repurposed as a coin holder.
Clutchuoso n. A talented driver of a car with a standard transmission. A rare breed.
Commutant n. Someone with a poor shave or makeup job as a result of doing it on the way to work.
Disflooriented adj. Feeling of confusion when you can't remember what level of the parking garage you're on.
Driversion n. Something that distracts a driver, such as a cell phone conversation, DVD player or PDA.
E-cellerate v. To drive with the emergency brake on.
Enigmark n. A dent or paint scrape to which the origin is unknown.
Farking Spot n. A seemingly open parking space that when you get closer, you discover a small car parked there.

Flashole n. That person who flashes you with their brights even though your brights aren't on.
Freeter n. A parking meter that already has time on it.
Foodabuster v. To speak slowly at the drive through window so you can stall for time while still making your decision.
Insectiride n. A vehicle that has just killed an extraordinary amount of bugs on its grille or windshield.
Interstucktion n. When multiple cars arrive at a stop sign and no one goes.
Notmeflex n. The involuntary act of hitting the brakes when you see a cop regardless of whether you're speeding or not.
Obstacar n. A slow moving vehicle that keeps you from going your desired speed.
Poorlainoia n. The fear that you're always in the slowest moving lane.
Potholevard n. A street with a large number of potholes on it.
Premature Co-pilotation v. To call "shotgun" too early.
Prohibiturn n. To perform a driving move you think might be illegal, yet you do it anyway.
Roverdrive v. The dangerous act of motoring with a dog on your lap. Not recommended.
Rockupied adj. When you're physically unable to leave the car until a song is over.
Seatus quo n. The normal position of your car seat. May be upset by valets and other new drivers.
Shoegitive n. The mysterious sneaker you always see on the side of the road.
Spalker n. A vehicle that follows shoppers in the parking lot in hopes of getting their spot.
Spumped adj. Condition that occurs when you get to the gas station but can't remember what side your tank is on.
Waltermonstale n. A bumper sticker for a presidential election long since passed.
Wiperfection n. The ideal wiper speed for the amount of rain currently falling.

Words are from an ad campaign by the brilliant and long admired advertising agency that I've looked up repeatedly since the early days of the terrific ad campaign for Mini...

Adweek and are two great websites for looking at fun new advertising. for some award winning ads for Mini

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The best BMW restorer in America. Tim Stafford. I stumbled across his shop, and the Von Dutch painted BMW he's going to mechanically repair.

Click on the lower pic for FULL size legible size to read the whole thing. Or read from the same author on his website edition
"The 2006 Las Vegas motorcycles auction clearly set new highs for the value of fine old BMW motorcycles. The $20,000 brought by Tim's white R50/2 was probably a record for a slash-2 without a sidecar. But I believe as well that the three BMWs Tim brought to Vegas has shown vintage BMW motorcycle cognoscenti a level of restoration perfection previously unseen."
He would have been wrenching, but I was interviewing him. Nice guy who took the time to swap some stories and didn't mind me taking photos...
That is a cool office display... no question.

The surest sign of utter respect from your customers is them trusting you with irreplaceble treasures from their collections... like this Von Dutch painted bike, it's in for a mechanical. Nobody touches the paint.
The cracking paint on the tank, never going to be messed with, the rock chip? Who cares about them? No one. Those stripes were applied at the hands of the Da Vinci of pinstriping. They won't be restored.
Notice the subtle light shade inside the red?
This seems to be the BMW auctioned off in this article :

The above was intentionally composed with the poster reflecting the actual Vespa it portrays beside it

That is a sweet showroom floor display! 1949 if I recall correctly

Still has the 1970 papers... now that is cool!

Most of these are wall paper size for your computer, or to print.

I'd never heard of Zundapp, but learned from Tim that they made a nice 4 cylinder 4 stroke bike for the War effort, of superior design over what BMW had at the time... but Zundapp could not make enough for the war, so Zundapp was forced to give up their right to the design, and BMW went on to make the bikes for the war, and established the name recognition of a great engineering design for bikes.... and Zundapp didn't.
Similar situation to the Bantam company designing the Jeep, but being so unable to mass produce them for the Army's high demand, that the US Govt gave the designs to all the high production capable factories.
I forgot to include Bill H's comment here for everyone to see:
"Magda Goebbels, wife of Propaganda Minister Josef Goebbels, was at one time (through most of the '20s') married to Guenther Quandt, whose business holdings included a very large chunk of BMW. Even after the divorce, Magda and Guenther had a very friendly relationship, which likely made BMW a natural choice for German Army motorcycle contracts."

Bultacos.. the above is one serious racer.
From Tim "The Bultacos are all mid to late 1960s 250cc 5 speed Metralla (model name). The one above with a glass tank is the race kited one called kit America by most. Un-kited this model was tested by David Dixon (for some bike mag) and he nicknamed them the Barcelona Bomb. At 103 mph it was the fastest 250 single of that time. At least for a production street legal bike.
In 1967, the first year the IOM (Isle of Mann) had a production class this bike took 1st Bill Smith, 2nd Tommy Robb, and 6th with Kevin Cass. The bikes all used the over the counter race kits much like my bike. I however do not think they were the underdog for the 250cc production class but have not read much more. By the way, their average speed was 88.63 and 88.62 (1st and 2nd) for 3 laps of the 37 3/4 mile mountain circuit. This fact raised quite a stir at the time."

This is some cool decorating!

Update, May 2018, I just came across a 2nd place win for Tim at the 2012 Pebble Beach