Saturday, March 18, 2017

We are on wheels from the cradle to the grave. Everything in between is a lot more fun though

22 millionth view happened just now

I hope it was a good one!

The G+ account used to have a counter, but Google was not happy with people using that stat to brag about their traffic, so, they removed that feature.

Damn it. I was getting really close to a half billion views on that G+ version of this blog.

Oh well. 

Interesting trivia... what factory optional rim was made by Cragar? the 1983-86 Cadillac Eldorado and Seville, and the 1965 Dart with Go Go package

if you know of some others, please note it in the comments.

I think it was cool of car manufacturers to use aftermarket companies for performance parts, like the Edelbrock 6 pk intake on Mopars in 1969, and the Hurst SC /Rambler having glasspacks.

But when I came across this, I was disappointed to find that there doesn't seem to be a simple answer online of what cars had Cragars from the dealership or factory. Just this Cadillac answer. 

far out space age Sinclair gas station of the 1964 Worlds Fair. Amazing that they thought we'd have such nice designs instead of penny pinching looking cheap stations. They had hope back when things were good

This Sinclair station was a special edition, built for the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair.

This picture is from the wonderful 1966 book
 A Great Name in Oil : Sinclair Through Fifty Years.

Gru discovers he has a long lost twin brother that loves cars and crime in Despicable Me 3

Darn kids better get off his lawn too


watch from 1:45 to 2:10. The driver is ok, his foot was injured a bit.

Hellé Nice. You'd have to believe someone picked that nickname for work in the modeling industry right?

Hellé Nice was a talented, bold and beautiful race car driver, a true pioneer of the sport in her day.

She went to Paris at age 16, where she found work in some of the city's music halls. She became a very successful dancer under the stage name Helene Nice which eventually became Helle Nice. She built a solid reputation as a solo act but in 1926 decided to partner with Robert Lisset and performed at cabarets around Europe. Her income from dancing as well as modeling became such that she could afford to purchase a home and her own yacht.

Some of her affairs were brief while others were of longer duration that, beyond the wealthy and powerful Philippe de Rothschild, included members of the European nobility and other personalities such as Henri de Courcelles, Jean Bugatti and Count Bruno d'Harcourt.

Nice loved the thrill of driving fast cars and so snatched the chance to perform in the racing event at the annual fair organized by fellow performers from the Paris entertainment world. She was an avid downhill skier but an accident on the slopes damaged her knee and ended her dancing career. Helle Nice decided to try her hand at professional auto racing. In 1929, driving an Omega-Six, she won an all-female Grand Prix race at Autodrome de Montlhery in the process setting a new world land speed record for women. Capitalizing on her fame, the following year she toured the United States, racing at a variety of tracks in an American-made Miller racing car.

Philippe de Rothschild introduced himself to her shortly after her return from America. For a time, the two shared the love of automobile racing. Rothschild had been racing his Bugatti and he introduced her to Ettore Bugatti.

Ettore thought Nice would be an ideal person to add to the male drivers of his line of racing vehicles. She achieved her goal and in 1931 and drove a Bugatti Type 35C in five major Grands Prix in France.

She owned and raced a Bugatti type 35 in the early 1930s, competing at prestigious international circuits like Le Mans, Reims and Monza.

Born Mariette Hélene Delangle, Ms. Nice ran more than 100 hill climbs, rallies and grand prix races, broke a female world speed record at Montlhery in 1929 and set closed course endurance records that still stand, primarily behind the wheels of Bugatti Type 35s and Alfa Romeo race cars.

She was the face of Esso in the USA, and Lucky Strike cigarettes in France

In 1937 while racing in the "Yacco" endurance trials for female drivers at the Montlhery racetrack in France, alternating with four other women, Nice drove for ten days and ten nights breaking ten records that still stand to this day. For the next two years, she competed in rally racing while hoping to rejoin the Bugatti team.

However, in August 1939, her friend Jean Bugatti was killed while testing a company vehicle and a month later, racing in Europe came to a halt with the onset of World War II.

In 1949, the first Monte Carlo Rally after the war took place and Nice was there to take part. At a large party organized to celebrate the return to racing, Louis Chiron, a multiple Grand Prix champion and Monaco’s favorite son, loudly accused her of being a spy for the Gestapo. He, had been racing for the Nazi propaganda Mercedes Benz team, and historian Miranda Seymour, author of Nice's biography went so far as to check the official records in Berlin and was advised by the German authorities Nice had never been an agent.

Chiron's motive for destroying HER reputation and career are debateable, but likely he saw her talents as an obvious threat to HIS racing future, and by destroying her public image, removed her as competition.

Her racing records were quickly forgotten because of the drama of World War II, and she died in 1984, impoverished and largely forgotten.

In the end, she was to be found living alone in a small apartment in a run-down part of Nice, provided rent-free, out of charity, by a sympathetic landlord. Her only income were handouts from a charity organization called “La Roue Tourne”, which helped former theatricals.

The Hellé Nice Foundation will continue to assist young women interested in pursuing a career in racing, through grants and direct support.

The goals for the Hellé Nice Foundation is to educate the public about the history of women in motorsports, and, as the foundation grows financially, to be able to sponsor young women with an interest in pursuing a career that may not have all the money they need.”

The Hellé Nice Foundation, Inc. is a registered non profit foundation in the State of Georgia, and Federal 501(c) 3 status is being approved.

Contact via post or email. Your support is appreciated.
Donations, as well as references to people who have an interest, tips, and to help raising funds are appreciated

Sheryl A. Greene, Founder
The Hellé Nice Foundation, Inc.
320 Knox Bridge Trail
Canton, GA 30114

Sheryl's interest in cars began as her father enlisted her as his helper. “My first car was a Triumph Spitfire, purchased for $230, when I was 16. We towed it home and my dad and I got it running.”

Years later, she found a fantastic deal on a 1971 E-Type Jaguar and joined the local Jaguar Club. One thing led to another, and before long she was running slaloms with her E-Type and became a certified Jaguar Concours judge.

She now has a degree in speech communications and theatre, has worked behind the scenes in television and the costume industry, and managed an auto restoration garage.

the first serialized hardtop Mustang ever made is going to get auctioned and is expected to sell for a half million, give or take 100k

it was sent to the Yukon, and sat around a dealership for about a year, so very different than the other first Mustang, the convertible, which was bought 3 days before the official unveiling in Newfoundland.

As Bob Fria, author of Mustang Genesis: The Creation of the Pony Car and owner of 100002, noted, it was no coincidence that both cars wound up in the far extremes of Canada. Ford wanted to have Mustangs in every Ford showroom on April 17, 1964, the day Mustang sales were scheduled to begin, so logistically the company would have to send its first salable examples to its farthest-flung outposts.

While 100001 eventually made its way back to Dearborn for The Henry Ford to pamper and care for it, 100002 bounced around among more than a dozen owners across the Canadian and American West for the next 30-plus years, until Fria bought it in 1997 and treated it to a two-year restoration.

the early Bugatti racing rim on the type 35 of 1925, or the type 51 of the 1930s

The type 35 was the first car with alloy rims, and the early rims had 32 bolts, the later ones had 24,

the 8 spokes were dull cast aluminum, not shined at the factory. They seem to be designed for some lateral movement resistance, but by being cast, they were porous and broke sometimes

They were refined in the next decade or so, and later in the type 51 they had ribs added to the inner surface of the spokes.

Supercar Classics magazine says they were probably the best rim until 1950, stonger, stiffer, rounder, and lighter
What you probably never heard of is Ettore's design had a innovative 2nd aspect, the brake drum was removed with the wheel in the pit stop, and not just the tire, but the brake pads were also rapidly replaced with new, and unlike other racers, Ettore Bugatti had the brake pads machined to fit the brake drums at the factory, before the race, and so they were matched, interchangeable, and nearly perfect when slapped together quickly during racing pit stops.

That's thinking ahead.

Most people don't know of Ettore's great patent office patronage, I read he might have been the most common signatore of patents. He is mentioned as having studied the other tire and rim patents, and due to the rapid evolution of design and engineering, it makes sense, and he was one of the run flat tire patent applications. The first run flat was patented in 1904, and they were constantly improved until Goodyear had an engineer make a breakthrough in 1947.

Bugatti built the Type 35 between 1924 and 1930, 96 left the factory and they’re now considered amongst the most collectible of the early models.

The Type 35B Bugatti's had a very glorious racing career, one that captured 412 racing victories. It was a dominant force in international competition from 1924 through 1929 and one of the most respected vehicles from the Ettore Bugatti legacy.

Founder Ettore Bugatti and son Jean were pleased with the performance and success of the Type 35. Because there is always room for improvement, the duo decided in the 1920s that it could use more power. Interested in the Miller front wheel drive racers, they traded three Bugatti Type 35 cars for two Miller cars and went to work. The result was the Bugatti Type 51, visually similar to the 35 with increased power and other tweaks inspired by the Miller cars.

By the time they worked out the type 59, they decided to change the rim from the flat cast, to wire, and they didn't go with a wire spoke like you'll be familiar with, Borrani for example, they went with piano wire instead.

Just 40 examples of the Type 51 and Type 51A Bugatti race cars were produced in the 1930s.

above is an estate sale find that is getting flipped for $8500

Bugatti Royale engine

The Type 41 Royale engine had massive displacement: 12.7 liters, or over 700 cubic inches, roughly twice the size of most of the largest production V-8s that would be built by Detroit four decades later. This is still the largest engine of any car to be sold privately.

A mere six Royale’s were produced and two were never sold, staying instead with the Bugatti estate.

More Royale engines by far were used in SNCF (French National Railway) locomotives than in cars. The French government bought several hundred of these motors and used them in pairs and even in triplicate to pull passenger railcars. Sadly, none of these engines are believed to have survived the war.

Goodwood live streaming
at the time I'm writing this at 521 pm California time, it's GT 40s and Lolas racing

Thanks Chuck Berry, you left us with some great rock n roll.. my favorite will always be Johnny B Goode. Click it on, and turn it up

the two car related ones first, then JBG

how does the 1969 Dodge Charger stand up aerodynmaically compared to a 2015 Charger Hellcat?

this driver is very fortunate!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Here are a lot of people unaware of their surroundings. That's a train, that's a lot of snow. It's not going to stay on the track

"Amtrak Snow-mo Collision," Nick Colvin posted this YouTube video of a "train moving faster than usual plus fresh snow from (Winter Storm) Stella resulted in a more spectacular arrival than expected."

As of March 1st, 2017, new drivers in the UK who are caught using a phone at the wheel will lose their licence

From Mar 1st, anyone found calling, texting or using an app while driving will face a £200 on-the-spot fine and six points on their licence in the UK.

It means that new drivers – who can lose a maximum of six points before being banned for the first two years after passing their test– will face an immediate ban for sending a single text message.

"Everyone has a part to play in encouraging their family and friends not to use their phones while driving. It is as inexcusable as drink driving." Chris Grayling, the Transport Secretary

According to research, the proportion of people who think it is acceptable to take a short phone call while driving has doubled in the last two years.

More experienced motorists can lose their licence if they receive 12 points in a three-year period.

It follows a tragic incident in which Polish lorry driver Tomasz Kroker killed four members of the same family after failing to stop while scrolling through music on his phone.

This just wows me. I need to make a copy of this gate someday, it's incredible

Happy St Patrick's Day!

cool trucks at the Milan Autoclassica 2016

above, an Itala

above and below, Fiats

You may need a kleenex after this, just be ready. (use the video menu to get the captions in English, or whatever language you prefer)

it's startling how far we've come since then... we no longer have movies banned from most countries (unless you're in China, or some other dictator ruled country like North Korea) and we never consider buying a car without making payments

What is the idea with those front fenders? Not good... that's a bad idea right there. 1952 Ferrari

Man, there were some weird ideas of what looked good in the 50s. Looks like a Vignale badge

Rolls Royce with tailfins. Named the "Honeymoon Express" OMG, even people with taste and expensive cars couldn't escape the tailfin epidemic of the 50s

the coachbuilder Freestone and Webb is to blame. They also converted a 4 door into a two door to build this for an enormous amount of luggage space and the convertible top

the headlights have a distinct mid 50s Ford design too

these are the 2 Rolls Royce that were made this way, F and W also built one Bentley this way. This blue one recently sold at auction in 2012 for 912k,18220/1958-Rolls-Royce-Silver-Cloud-I_photo.aspx

why not make a 3 wheeler?

With a long wheelbase like this, would it be nearly as stable as it was with 4?

Wow, if I were still in high school, I'd go to the junkyard and start creating one, it would be the talk of the town, pissing off all the cranky ol men, but thrilling all the hooligans

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Coffee and donuts morning movie, time lapse engine rebuild

44 years of repairing Porsches in San Clemente in the same shop. Wow.

As a teenager in the late 1960s, Staggs belonged to the era when hundreds of thousands of VW Beetles were sold in the U.S. each year, and every kid learned to work on these air- cooled runabouts.
 Staggs worked on Beetles in the parking lot of his high school in San Clemente, then moved on to Porsches by visiting the shops of the best Porsche mechanics and asking questions for hours.

Staggs sits at his wooden workbench in a primitive two-bay shop not far from PCH in San Clemente, California. It's the same shop where he has done business since 1973. He specializes in the 356, and he does car repair in the classic way: one man, one toolbox, one car. He can, in that manner, do just about anything. "Depending on what you want, I can repair your car, or I can really fix your car, or I can make your car like it was when it was new," Staggs says.

One service Staggs doesn't perform is concours-level restoration. "We're more interested in people driving their cars," he says. Neither does he want much to do with newer Porsches. "Fancy 911 Turbos or whatever—I have actually no interest in those things. Can you even get it out to nine-tenths of its ability, ever? With a 356, there's no power steering, no power brakes. And you can hear the engine and you're working the clutch, heel-and-toeing. It doesn't get any better than that." dec 2017 update

the jalopy jungle at Fourth and Omar Streets just off L.A.'s skid row.

Old cars were used as sleeping quarters at night by homeless men, and city health and police authorities declared the jalopies would be hauled off.

I wonder how many cool old cars were junked after breaking down, getting abandoned, and then cities had to get them off the streets. New York had a really bad problem with this in the 60's and 70's

I had an idea of how to improve racing in the dark, especially on the Baja 1000, when jackasses screw with the route markers, and try to get the racers lost.

I was just watching Dust to Glory, and I was wondering, why don't they mark the route with glowing paint that only reacts to a certain headlight?

Like blacklight makes certain liquids and minerals glow if the light is shined on the stuff, but the stuff won't glow at any other time for any other light.

I was watching the documentary movie, and they were mentioning how the spectators had messed with the route markers in the dark.

Then they had some racers get lost for 30 minutes to an hour while looking for the ballpark finish line.

So, since no one will be able to see the marked out route by eye, the jackasses that want to screw up the race for the racers in the dark wouldn't be able to keep the racers from finding it.

They simply wouldn't be able to find or remove the glow in the dark painted sand, rocks, etc etc.

The stuff would not last long in the sun, day after day, and no one else would ever have the right lights to make the stuff glow.

So - no trace left behind, no one to claim it's make the race route graffittied, or uglied up Mexico.

And on the upside, all the racers would be able to see the route no matter how many rotten people try to screw with them.

Just an idea. After all, the route has to marked for the racers anyway, why not do a better job of it for the 8 hours or so they race in the dark? 

Mickey Cohen's "bulletproof" Cadillac with 3 inch thick glass

Mickey Cohen and 3 others were ambushed at 3:45 a.m. in front of the restaurant on the Sunset Strip. Mickey's car drove up to the curb and gunmen (hiding across the street under an advertising sign indicated in the area circled on the left side of the picture) opened fire with shotguns. The gunmen then sped away in a gray auto, tossing out the guns a block away. Mickey was the least seriously wounded. (File date: July 20, 1949)

the car is in the Len Southward Museum in Paraparaumu New Zealand

How crime photos were used to illustrate the scene of a crime for a court presentation in the 30s

Richfield Oil Co., Station No. 16, Los Angeles next to the macaroni manufacturing company

Do NOT upset people with pickaxes