Saturday, June 20, 2015

Fageol bus returns to Denali

the 1924 Fageol safety coach that belonged to the Mt. McKinley Tourist and Transportation Company. This once-upscale coach carried tourists on sight-seeing excursions in what is now Denali National Park. After the Park ended MMTTC's concession, the Fageol was brought to Fairbanks and parked outside where it set deteriorating for over seven decades.

The distinctive ventilation louvres on top of the hood—a key Fageol design feature—are intact. The Hall-Scott engine (#44) and Brown-Lipe 4-speed gearbox with an overdrive top gear are still under the hood.

Around 2,500 Fageol Safety Coaches were built, and there are only five known survivors in addition to this one. Clearly, ours is in bad shape, but a rare artifact like this deserves to be saved. We moved it to the Fountainhead Development headquarters earlier this month, and will work to stabilize and preserve its remains, rather than try to restore it.

Honolulu's Exec Director of Housing, wants to convert five donated, decommissioned city buses into transitional shelters for homeless.

“The idea is to convert them into living, sleeping, showering, recreational facilities," she said.

Like the buses, supplies for the refurbishment are be

ing donated by a host of organizations. Labor will be on a volunteer basis.

"The entire design is based on the premise that you could walk in to a hardware store, buy everything you need in one go and build everything with no trade skills," she said.

The buses are designed to work in fleets. As opposed to an RV, which is more or less a house on wheels, buses will each have a specific purpose.

"We're fitting some out to be bathrooms and showers, we're fitting some out to be sleeping areas, and the design completely folds away like a little Japanese tatami mat."

While every detail of the buses has been accounted for, the reaction to them was not.

"It's completely organic, and we when we started did not even realize number one what a need there was for this, and number two how people can benefit from it...but mostly how many people want to help."

Kim is hoping to complete the first two buses this summer, and have the first five done this calendar year. Details on who will operate the buses and where they will be deployed are still being finalized.


Me, I doubt this is going to happen

Friday, June 19, 2015

Special delivery sidecar

T&T trucker stops a car chase decisively, nobody hurt, bad guy not going to get away and possibly hurt anyone in a longer car chase

This is T and T truck from Bakersfield CA.

 He moved in front of the car on purpose.

He also ended up getting fired for damaging the truck.

He got in absolutely no legal trouble and was actually praised by the police for his actions. This video is what ended up getting him hired back on because it got the company so much press.

He did the right thing. That person could have caused a lot of harm to others by being so reckless. The driver made the right move knowing that his truck could protect him of the impact as well as possibly save others lives.

it's yesterdays news, but hey, safety 1st. Some diesel fuel tainted gas was delivered around Pittsburg

 BP stations got the tainted gas:
7 Eleven 
3915 William Flynn Highway
Allison Park, Pennsylvania 15101
7 Eleven
4630 William Flynn Highway
Allison Park, Pennsylvania 15101
7 Eleven
8136 Ohio River Blvd.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15202
7 Eleven
2 Heckle Road
Mckees Rocks, Pennsylvania 15136
Get Go
9003 Frankstown Road
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15235
4305 State Route 51
Belle Vernon, Pennsylvania 15012
Buckeye Partners says it will pay for any repairs needed because of the mix-up.
If you think your vehicle was affected, you are asked to give the gas station a call.

Porsche has patented a new type of variable compression ratio con rod ( I bet you never thought you'd read about Porsche con rods here today!)

Turbos work by compressing the intake charge of air and fuel before ramming it into the combustion chamber under pressure. Because a turbocharger is powered by exhaust gas, and therefore is not always running at peak boost, the amount of fuel/air mix entering the cylinder varies from low volume when the turbo is not spinning to maximum volume when the turbo is running at peak revs. Turbocharged engines must therefore run lower compression ratios, to allow that higher volume at peak boost. This costs them power.

One way to increase the efficiency of a turbocharged engine would be to constantly adjust the compression ratio, giving higher compression off-boost, and reducing the compression as boost pressure rises, to prevent detonation.

One way to increase the efficiency of a turbocharged engine would be to constantly adjust the compression ratio, giving higher compression off-boost, and reducing the compression as boost pressure rises, to prevent detonation. The Porsche system (top) is clever, planting the piston on an eccentric mount that is automatically adjusted by control rods, which swivel the piston up or down on the crankshaft connecting rod depending on oil pressure, thus controlling the compression ratio.

I just learned that Lindbergh had a VW Bug!

The American aviator Charles Lindbergh, acquired a Beetle Deluxe in Paris in 1959. The vehicle was well used by the pilot, an avid traveller, who in those years drove with it through numerous countries, including France, Turkey, Egypt and Kenya. In 1970 Lindbergh, who died in 1972, drove his Volkswagen to his childhood home in Little Falls, Minnesota, where the car has been conserved and can be seen as part of the Charles A. Lindbergh Historic Site.

From the publishing house Naono in Barcelona, who made a book about the VW company vehicles, Coccinelle 1303 Cabriolet and a special section on the ones owned by celebrities, for a book company in France

a great story written by an old Australian, who is quite funny, about a 1927 Essex... which happened to get into a couple movies like Great Gatsby and Unbroken

Coming home, the trip home was mostly in very heavy rain, no real problem apart from the bloody vacuum windscreen wiper and flood waters blocking the highway near Bomaderry.

 To the amazement AND the cheers of other flood bound motorists 'Esme,' along with a couple of trucks and 4wd's was the only conventional car to get through for several hours that day nosing steadily and unfazed in low gear through a lengthy stretch of swirling muddy water which was level with, and at times flowing across Her running boards.

All I had needed to do to make it through was to close the radiator shutters and remove the fan belt to curb the risk of the fan picking up water and drowning the ignition. When I pulled over on the northern side of the flood to refit the fan belt, the stranded motorists who'd witnessed Her progress gathered around to admire 'Esme' and heap praise on her.

 One loud mouthed blokes fruity comment really stood out and I will quote it here verbatim but to protect the sensibilities of the Ladies and gentler souls, I will change a word or two.

As he sauntered over he bellowed on top note., “Ahh mate., Love yer Model A!...Takes a Henry to do it!”

 And then, before I could set him straight, he peered at the radiator before exclaiming in amazement for all to hear... “Excrete a piece of masonry, A furshlugginar old gutless wonder! Well I'll be conscropulated...who'da thought it., ...Still a freenbean good old job though., Beauty, mate!”

 A lovely man. But anyway, I've never been prouder of our Essex as I was at that moment.

 She has transported several blushing brides over the years, free of charge.

 Each of these young Ladies had all requested 'Esme' simply because they liked Her angular style, antiquity and character, which is precisely what I had seen in Uncle Jacks Essex all those years ago.

For the same reasons She was chosen in October 2011 to work with me on “The Great Gatsby” alongside our 1930 Chev and 1917 Dodge Coupes and She performed faultlessly throughout. 'Esme' is easily identifiable in The New York street scenes. After the “Gatsby” She didn't see a great deal of use as Her clutch was beginning to fail.

Gone was the sparkling acceleration that I once thrilled to ( sarcasm here ) and most disturbingly, cyclists could now overtake Her effortlessly without having to rise from their saddles and strain to do so. Thirty mph was now top speed, downhill. A cheeky, snotty nosed four year old son of a neighbour would often attempt to race me to the corner on his dinky whenever I ventured out in 'Esme' but now the rotten little brat was thrashing me, even when I had a good head start.

Finally, and just before the battery surrendered She started but just barely ran., I managed to coax Her home (almost) but She expired within sight of my garage and nothing, including a few good whiffs of 'start ya bastard' and a tow around the block with the clutch engaged in second gear would bring Her back to life.

 With the help of some of my stronger neighbours we managed to manhandle her uphill with great difficulty and lodge Her safely under cover. For twenty years I had kept a good supply of hard to get spare points sets and it was at this time that I discovered that I was down to the last. I never toss out the old ones, keeping them as 'get you homes,' so using these I cobbled a workable set together but still to no avail. Though there was a reasonable spark and plenty of juice there was no way the old donk would start.

Weeks had passed and I had tried every possible trick in the book short of stripping the engine down which I was loath to do and kept in reserve as the last resort. We had been approached by Angelina Jolie’s company in regard to 'Esme' appearing in her movie, ”Unbroken,” which was due to be filmed in Sydney, and I knew that once I started a complete overhaul, time could become a critical factor and all bets would be off. There was no other option left however and thirty minutes later I had the head off to reveal that the head gasket, five exhaust and three inlet valves had gone to God and the remainder were in very poor condition.

With all the new and reconditioned parts coming together it seemed to be just about all over bar the shouting but I hadn't reckoned on just what a rotten swine of a job it can be to re install the valves in an Essex Super Six.

Accessibility is no cake walk with the permanent placement of the inlet manifold, which is cast en bloc, and the inconvenient position of the steering box doesn't help., A garden variety valve spring compressor is virtually useless and the job is not made any easier by the valve housing gallery itself which apart from its awkward position is relatively small. Removing the valves isn't too difficult and I reckoned that whatever comes out, must surely fit back in. Simple logic but forget it.

Once again I dug deep into my Dads old tools and discovered that I had no less than five different valve spring compressors to choose from, each dating from the 1920s'30s'. “Problem solved.” I thought., “One of these beauties must be compatible.” Wrong, Dennis. Two came close but rendered installing the collets impossible by completely shielding the lower end of the valve stem from both view or fingertip, no matter what approach was taken.

I briefly contemplated joining the hot rodding fraternity by dropping a Holden unit back in and I was beginning to understand why I would often hear Dad mutter dark oaths whenever Uncle Jack brought his Essex to him for repairs. Across many frustrating hours I had only managed to successfully fit two valves at the cost of badly pinched and blood blistered fingers, torn knuckles, sore knees, elevated blood pressure and I'd learnt to swear fluently, all over again, scandalising anyone who dared venture within earshot of my garage.

It got worse. I began eyeing off and salivating over twenty year old Daihatsu Charades!! Horrified by this development Lorraine realized that I was a very troubled man. She was concerned enough to consider calling on Tony Atkinson or Fred Rodgers to come over and kick some sense back into me. Off my own bat I decided to close the garage door on the Essex for a few days and cool down, and to this end I considered an offer from a Herpetologist friend of a relaxing session of milking angry tiger snakes.

When I griped about the trouble I was having he invited me to his home in Georges Hall where he showed me a Valve spring compressing tool he had invented for this very contingency.

Geoff has always been an avid enthusiast of British and European cars as opposed to my interest in American makes., As a result there have been countless spirited debates between us spanning our sixty year friendship each liberally sprinkled with good natured insults.

Grinning broadly and needling me with his typically dry, laconic humor Geoff handed me his absurdly simple tool..... “Here Dennis., Take it home and try it on your Yankee black iron, Your Essex sickly six, 'bet it works.” As I reached Geoffs front gate he was still in fine form, calling from his front porch... “You know Dennis, there's always a gallon of petrol and a match...” (I didn't rise to the bait).

I think that I have worked out why we blokes can tend to view our old cars as living entities and to personalise them, sometimes bestowing upon them, feminine names.
 “She can be a delight to the eye.,
A stunning beauty that stirs the blood and excites the senses merely standing at the curb.
Age does not dim the attraction either but rather, enhances it.
The deep satisfaction in running your hand lovingly over Her shapely body, Is never diminished by the frequency of the act and the throaty sound of Her voice is music to the ear.”
But then,… She can be the most frustrating b***h of a thing,
the cruellest mistress to cross your path when all of your coaxing and cajoling are only met with a cold, stony indifferent silence that can only be broken by the expenditure of vast sums of money together with your undivided attention.
 Even so, fools that we are, we will always forgive Her,
her peccadilloes, feed Her hungers and remain Her subservient slave.

I rest my case.

 Dennis Ballard, (hopeless Essex addict)

Found in the The Hudson Hub – May - June 2015
Hudson AMC Car Club of Australia
The Official Publication of The Hudson-AMC Car Club of Australia Incorporated PO Box 2123 North Parramatta NSW 1750

rental car facility is finally built at the San Diego airport, instead of across the highway, around the corner, and a waste of your time to get to and from them

Scheduled to open in Jan 2016, the consolidation of 17 rental car company locations will save a hell of a lot of traffic on North Harbor Dr, eliminate 70 % of the shuttle busses from rental car companies to the airport, and probably pay some rent to the airport from these rental car companies.... most are already on Port Authority property, so who knows.

As you can see in the lower right area, "Rent a Car Access" rd has about 5 car rental businesses, and nearby are a dozen more. Enterprise, Dollar, Fox, Payless, Budget, etc etc

Thursday, June 18, 2015

the Great Race this year is from St Louis to Santa Monica along Rt 66, June 20-28

The nature of the event does not involve the winner crossing the finish line first. It’s all about precision driving, to match a pre-determined “perfect time” on the allotted course.

The racers get their turn-by-turn driving instructions 30 minutes before departing for the day’s journey. These directions also dictate speed changes, direction changes and gas stops—the theory is that if you follow the directions precisely, you will get a perfect score.

Just to give you an idea of how difficult that can be; in more than 30 years of competition, there has only been one team that has scored a completely perfect day, down to the second. The age of your car adds a multiplication factor to your score—the older the car, the better the multiplication.

Today is sticker and registration time

Some of the cars that are going to be on the race are a '60 Fiat Multipla, Nissan Pao, a '69 Super Bee with a 440 6 pack hood, Datsun 2000, GT 350, a 32 Auburn Speedster, a 66 Hemi Coronet, 1916 Hudson, '72 Skyline GTR, and the cars you see in the above photos add up to the 117 registered vehicles... though 130 are on the list at

Next years race is already in the planning stages

Steve McQueen biography, graphic novel style format

Steve McQueen: Full Throttle Cool by Dwight Jon Zimmerman (author) and Greg Scott (artist) is a graphic novel of the life of a man that once said "I'm not sure whether I'm an actor who races or a racer who acts." Fortunately for us, he was the best of both and this book brings his passion to life for the first time in graphic format. It's really cool.

Steve McQueen left an indelible imprint as one of Hollywood's sexiest leading men. His masterful film roles in Bullitt, The Great Escape, The Thomas Crown Affair, and Papillion have been often imitated but never repeated.

An actor, motorcycle and automobile racer, and all-around gearhead, McQueen also epitomized the American dream, rising from hardscrabble circumstances to become one of the most famous movie stars in the world.

Steve McQueen: Full-Throttle Cool presents McQueen's life story in an artistic, graphic-novel format. It covers his entire life, from his earliest years growing up in a suburb of Indianapolis to his death from mesothelioma. Learn all about his stunning movie career, in which he defined the antihero archetype. The cool panache he brought to the screen was perhaps only matched by his adrenaline-pumping racing exploits. Get the full measure of both from this book.

7 chapters, 50 pages, and available through Amazon

Autoworld in Brussels, one big, cool, incredible museum

Thanks to the efforts of Ghislain Mahy and his family,
- the irreversible persuasion of the then Crown Prince, later King Albert II,
- plus the coincidence of ministerial responsibilities of Minister Louis Olivier, who was in charge of Public Works
- and Chairman Herman De Croo, for eight years at the head of the Belgian Department of Transport, 1986 in Brussels a wonderful anniversary palace transformed into a treasure trove of automotive history, colorful, pedagogical and evolutionary developed.

This created an impressive collection of cars from all over the world, old, some electric, steam drive or combustion engine.

Ghislain and his sons Hans and Ivan, kept the collection a hobby project, devoid of commercial purpose.

Every year, five cars were restored. The collection includes several Belgian brands:. Minerva, Germain, FN, Imperia, Fondu, Vivinus, Nagant, Belga Rise, Miesse.

The majority of the Autoworld cars on display are from the Mahy collection, with 1,000 cars - one of the largest car collections in the world.

the origins of automobiles in a nutshell

The first car powered by petrol which was sold to the public, was that of Karl Benz: it was equipped with a stationary engine at low speed in the frame of a tricycle.

The vehicle was both homogeneous as possible. In 1886 Benz was the first car ever marketed. At the same time worked another German, Gottlieb Daimler, assisted by Wilhelm Maybach another type of engine oil which was completely different from the heavy, slow stationary engines of the time. They wanted a light engine with high speed that could be used in all kinds of machinery .

 Oddly enough, this type of engine was first used in France and not in Germany. Panhard-Levassor built it under license from Daimler.

Peugeot bought these engines also Panhard and installed them in the first Peugeots rear-engined. Shortly installed thereon Emile Levassor engine Panhard Daimler in the first Panhard-Levassor car that was the harbinger of how the next generation cars would look like this: a front engine with a gearbox behind it that drives the gears (via chains at that time).

Therefore, we consider Daimler as the developer of the modern engine and we see Levassor as the creator of the layout of the vehicle the following years would be followed by all cars.

These types of cars on oil, steam and electricity were now in competition offered to the public. France was taking the lead in this new sector with Panhard, Peugeot, De Dion Bouton.

Germany was slower despite the technical lead for the land was divided and there were fewer roads, while England suffered from restrictive legislation such as the law stipulated that each vehicle had to be preceded by a man on foot with a red flag - which hardly gave rise to a rapid industrial expansion.

In the United States, the motor industry had a slow start due to lack of roads and the Selden patent. That was the name of an impostor who claimed to have invented the car and managed through various legal maneuvers to require a royalty each built or imported car.

interesting Honda commercial... do they understand they are showing that they once made cool little cars, but every time they changed them they got bigger and fatter?

Car insurance companies really hate teen drivers getting added to the policy, here's how bad:

In California, the average policy goes up 88.57 percent.

 That's 14th in the country with New Hampshire leading the increase of 114.92 percent when adding a teen driver.

 In Hawaii where state laws limit an insurance company from considering age and gender, the increase is only 16.83 percent.

Car exhaust (not really) place a block from In n Out busted for having a 300 plant grow operation (the smell of pot was so strong the neighbors complained)

Right off the 5 and Mile of Car Way (old 24th street exit)

DEA only arrested one guy, but they took all day to tag the evidence

Innovative car decal of the day award

Found on

I just learned that there is a Snoopy California license plate edition in the works, as soon as all 7500 are ordered and paid for, they'll be made and shipped out

Even though the State of California recently passed a budget, there have been severe cuts and many projects have been put on hold. The California Association of Museums remains committed to getting Snoopy on the road despite this “speed bump” and they're working hard to get your favorite beagle on your license plate as soon as possible.

So far, about 5500 of the needed 7500 orders are placed. You can order yours at

or check out the California Association of Museum's Facebook page for occasional updates:

The basic plan has not changed: when they launch the pre-purchase period, they will collect a $50 fee from anyone who wants to get their own Snoopy plate - or a bit more if you would like it personalized. When they reach the magic number of 7,500 folks who have completed an application and paid the fee, the plates will go into production, and voilà, Snoopy is yours.

When the plate is produced, proceeds will go towards supporting museums in California communities.

58 museums across California have banded together to help promote the plate, and are giving free or discounted admission to the first 7500 people who order the plate. Bonus!

Operation Doorstep 1953 civil defense research into the effects of nuclear attacks

Snoopy's home ice Zamboni, at the Redwood Empire Ice Arena in Santa Rosa Ca

Machine No. 4 is in the US Hockey Hall of Fame in Eveleth, MN and machine No. 21 (originally sold to the Boston Bruins in 1954) is presently at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, Canada.

 Frank J. Zamboni was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Engineering from Clarkson University in Potsdam, NY in 1988.

The shape of the Zamboni ice resurfacing machine (like the shapes of the Jeep® grille and the Coca-Cola® bottle) is a federally registered trademark.

On January 1, 1995, Rotary International’s Tournament of Roses Parade float entry titled “Lending a Helping Hand” featured Snoopy at the wheel of a Zamboni machine, surrounded by the PEANUTS characters.

Charlie Brown said it best: “There are three things in life that people like to stare at: a flowing stream, a crackling fire, and a Zamboni clearing the ice.”

Henderson Deluxe Fire Department model 1926 Glenview FD, from Lee Hartung's collection

Henderson sold many bikes to police departments, as it was one of the fastest and most reliable bikes of the day. Occasionally we see a PD model but this is the first time such a complete and original Fire Department edition came up for sale

landing stolen planes in Manhattan, used to be a bar bet winning move

Tommy Fitzpatrick stole a plane from a New Jersey airport and landed it on St. Nicholas Avenue in northern Manhattan, right in front of the bar where he had been drinking around 3 a.m. on Sept. 30, 1956, when he was 26. He took a single-engine plane from the Teterboro School of Aeronautics in New Jersey and took off without lights or radio contact and landed on St. Nicholas Avenue near 191st Street. It was reported as a “fine landing” by the New York Times.

 It would provide enough material to tell everyone and anyone "Remember the time when Fitz landed that plane outside?" Naturally, people wouldn't believe he did it. So he did again two years later to prove it. Both daredevil landings were made in incredibly narrow areas, in the dark – and after quite a number of drinks.

On Oct. 4, 1958, just before 1 a.m. Fitzpatrick made his second drink and land.

He took a plane from Teterboro once again but this time landed on Amsterdam and 187th Street in front of a University building. He apparently jumped out of the plane and fled the scene but decided to turn himself in afterwards. Fitzpatrick simply told the police that he did it the second time because someone at the bar refused to believe he had done it the first time around.

After that first time, Fitzpatrick was charged with grand larceny but that was then dropped as the plane’s owner declined to sign a complaint. In the end he was only charged $100 for violating the city’s administrative code, which prohibits landing a plane on the street.

But for the second time he did it, he was sentenced to six months in jail for bringing a stolen item into the city.

That's right, I love your car!

Found on Facebook

the wife cheated on him after 12 years of marriage, then wanted 1/2 of the stuff in the divorce. Apparently he's rich enough to give it to her

He cut 16 things in 1/2 to sell on Ebay... this might just be an artists creative way to get free publicity, of might be a really bored guy who can afford to destroy his stuff that he won't want to look at or use because it reminds him of that bitch that wasted 12 years of his life...

best car commercial I've seen in a really

Barnfind Turbonique twin T16 go kart

Winning the world title for downhill mountain bike... not easy. How does Aron Gwin do it when his chain breaks out of the gate? With panache

show rooms used to be nearly palace like... back when things were built to last

one of the coolest merchandising tie-ins before the Harley Ford, was the Levi Gremlin

Coolest pedal car I've seen in a while

cool looking Javelin AMX, painted in racing form is a damn good idea for any restoration, cars just look impressive as hell in an early Nascar or Trans Am racing livery

a twist on the Red Bull mini drome, now it's a figure eight!

Red Bull Mini Drome is an all-day racing competition for single-speed fixed gear cyclists where they can race against the clock and then against each other to see who is the fastest burner on two wheels.

Just recently in March, I posted about a Red Bull mini drome and it was oval.

Red Bull Mini Drome in 2015 is set to be extra special because a hardly seen Figure 8 track is going to be built this time around. Known to only have existed a few times — one being the 1995 Toronto Cycle Messenger World Championships — it involves more speed, extra precision and a bit of danger as cyclists take turn after turn without rest.

Coming to life Friday, June 19, in an old 1920s Queens dance hall that has been holding up as a creative art space called Project Studio for the previous 20 years. Its recently restored colorful and antique fixtures and moldings lend to the spectator-friendly, playing-where-you-don’t-belong vibe synonymous with Red Bull Mini Drome.  via