Saturday, September 09, 2017

before they made a good copper colored paint I suppose...

or it was simple to have the chauffeur keep it polished

1920's 5th wheel trailer on the of a 1914 Marmon Model 48

Dat son? Who, him?

Wait... we can do it this way? What? Why didn't anyone think of it sooner?

pretty enough to be a trophy

Javier Jubete of the spanish-based ‘vintage luxury bicycles’ brand specializes in bespoke, chrome-engraved bicycles featuring traditional japanese art.

The new chrome and freshly painted white pearl body reinforces the engraving and drawings on the various parts of the bicycle and wheels.

Though the newly reworked gold-plated Campagnolo classics retain their traditional edge, vintage luxury bicycles implements complex Japanese motifs on each bicycle.

Thanks Mario!

when you see it...

I bet right now the insurance companies are trying to figure out how to get out of paying for flooded cars

Day one with a new excavator, and the boss took it out to soft swamp ground and got it stuck

if you were curious about hurricane strength winds

Friday, September 08, 2017

allright.... this is cute

if anyone ever slash's Slash's tires... what do he say to people?

40 percent of the Japanese auto market is mini micro cars, the "kei" which get incredible gas mileage, and for incredibly low price (thanks Concrete Rob!)

Would you buy a mini car that gets 72 mpg for $6,637?

And how many would you like?

So, why the hell doesn't anyone make them in the USA? Federal crash standards I suspect. All the legal safety requirements probably eliminates their possibility, but, keep in mind, you can still ride a motorcycle that has zero crash standards.

So... why any crash standards that prevent us from driving inexpensive high MPG cars? If you buy it knowing that you're no safer than on a motorcycle, who's going to lose their minds that you die in one if involved in a crash?

Damned if I know. But I'd pay 1/4 the cost, or, 1/2 the payments for 1/2 as long. How ever you look at it, it's just a new tiny mini car with some new features like a good radio I expect

this made me laugh, the guy with the GTO Judge wagon created a decal, advert, and option package paper trail to support his car's imagined authenticity

I photographed this wagon at the 2011 Goodguys in Del Mar

and the people over at the station wagon forum found these:

ready for the great outdoors

Cutty Sark's salute to John DeLorean

historical side note,
the Cutty Sark was built in Scotland in 1869, and originally designed to carry tea from China to England as fast as possible. It's the world’s only surviving tea clipper, and has a recorded speed of 17.5 knots

This record-breaking ship travelled the globe and visited every major world port throughout its varied history.

Cutty-sark, the nickname of the witch Nannie Dee who chases Tam o' Shanter, snatching his horse's tail before he escapes by crossing water, because she wore a sark, and it was short (cutty). This ship was named for her because it was based on the previous ship, which had a figurehead of Tam o' Shanter. So, chronologically, it followed / chased Tam o'Shanter.

Cutty Sark was destined for the tea trade, then an intensely competitive race across the globe from China to London. Though the "premium" or bonus paid to the ship that arrived with the first tea of the year was abandoned after The Great Tea Race of 1866, faster ships could usually obtain a higher freight (the price paid to transport the cargo) than others.

 Her first round trip voyage under captain George Moodie began 16 February 1870 from London with a cargo of wine, spirits and beer bound for Shanghai. The return journey, carrying 1,305,812 lbs of tea from Shanghai, began 25 June, arriving 13 October in London via the Cape of Good Hope.

 Cutty Sark sailed in eight "tea seasons", from London to China and back

When the tea clippers arrived in China in 1870, they found a big increase in the number of steamers, which were in high demand, got twice the amount of freight, and half the insurance premium, plus they could use the 3000 mils shorter Suez Canal route.

Why the ship history lesson? Ummm, the ad, plus I'm a 1/4 Scottish, and was a Navy guy, and it's a Scottish built ship that set a world speed record

VJ day was Sept 2nd... and I just remembered

August 14th was the unconditional surrender, but the ceremony was Sept 2nd on the USS Missouri, ending 6 years of war in the Pacific

By 1945, in an attempt to break Japanese resistance before a land invasion became necessary, the Allies were consistently bombarding Japan from air and sea, dropping some 100,000 tons of explosives on more than 60 Japanese cities and towns between March and July 1945 alone.

The Potsdam Declaration, issued by Allied leaders on July 26, 1945, called on Japan to surrender; if it did, it was promised a peaceful government according to “the freely expressed will of the Japanese people.” If it did not, it would face “prompt and utter destruction.” The embattled Japanese government in Tokyo refused to surrender, and on August 6 the American B-29 plane Enola Gay dropped an atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima, killing more than 70,000 people and destroying a 5-square-mile expanse of the city. Three days later, the United States dropped a second atomic bomb on Nagasaki, killing another 40,000.

Of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II, more than 400,000 died during the war. At the end of the war, there were approximately 79,000 Americans unaccounted for, 48,103 in the Pacific war zone.

This number included those buried with honor as unknowns, officially buried at sea, lost at sea, and missing in action. Today, more than 73,000 Americans remain unaccounted for from WWII.

America then took 6 years to locate all known leads to buried or missing American military, locating and identifying 280,000 of the approx 400,000 dead

Then from 1951 to 1976 another 200 were located

From 1976 to 2003 another 346 were located, and after 2003, another 300 were located

In 2003, historians at the Defense Prisoner of War Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) began to develop a comprehensive database of WWII service members whose remains were not recovered or identified after the war. This database was a significant step in creating a comprehensive plan to research WWII missing personnel.
VE Day is May 8th

Donna Esposito, who works at the Empire State Aerosciences Museum in upstate Glenville, visited Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands this spring and was approached by a local man who knew of WWII dog tags and bones found along a nearby jungle trail. The man asked if Esposito could help find relatives of the man named on the tags: Pfc. Dale W. Ross.

After she returned home, Esposito found that Ross had nieces and nephews still living in Ashland, Oregon. A niece and a nephew were given his dog tags and a bag containing the skeletal remains.

Assigned to the Army's 25th Infantry Division, he was listed as MIA in January 1943, during the final weeks of the Guadalcanal campaign. He was last seen in an area that saw heavy fighting around a Japanese-held hilltop.

Oops. When showing off, don't smack your plane into another

45 yr old driver crashes his 1969 Charger near Halifax, it might have been a busted throttle return spring, and lack of commonly used backup safety device,.... a 2nd spring

limitations, or challenges that can be overcome?

Thanks Martin!

I just realized I've posted this video as part of the paralympic post

I hadn't heard, but the Skip Barber Racing school is outta business.... bankrupt

Skip sold the company in 1999

Well, ok, should have taken the name with you.

Now the business is millions in debt, and owes Skip for rent on the Lime Rock track... which Skip bought.

But the school? Didn't do so good, and seems to have over extended itself at too many tracks

The school owes rent to race tracks across America,
 $239,617.19 to Road Atlanta,
$169,568 to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca,
$112,000 to Mid-Ohio,
 $105,983 to Palm Beach International Raceway,
$56,623.77 to Virginia International Raceway,
 and $29,600 to Willow Springs

the Skip Barber Racing School doesn't let viewers know they are out of business, have lost their instructors etc

Now a group of former SBRS coaches have banded together to start a new school that continues the Skip Barber tradition while addressing some of the concerns that long-time participants have been voicing for most of the past decade.

Headed by former Skip Barber Master Instructor Peter Stolz, the LevelUp Racing School just held its maiden event on the Wisconsin Illinois border north of Rockford at Blackhawk Farms Raceway.

Given a free hand to deviate from the Skip Barber canon, however, the LevelUp crew has seen fit to make some significant changes in the way the school runs.

There was more track time, and the Spec Miatas used for the school were in generally better repair than the patchwork-quilt MX-5s of old. The cars were supplied with Hoosier SM7 tires, which offer far more grip than the venerable BFGoodrich street tires used by Skip Barber.

one of 6 pages of cars, trucks, etc for sale from the Skip Barber school, full list at

prepping the Cobra

rough and wrecked Superbird went on Craigslist hoping to find a rich idiot. They asked 45k for this pile o crap

The car was wrecked in the front-end in the early ‘80s and underwent a complete color change to a heavy metallic custom B-5 blue. The original color is a Vitamin C orange with a black vinyl top. The car was drag raced in the ‘80s. The front clip (fenders & nose cone) were removed due to the wreck it was in. The original U-code 440-4bbl was destroyed long ago. The front radiator cross support was removed, along with the fender tag that was lost.

“The VIN reads as RM23UOA178679. I’ve done research on the VIN and it shows up in the NASCAR Superbird registry. The VIN can be found on the original A833 4-speed transmission. The trunk VIN number is hard to read.

HUH! Coincidence that the radiator VIN and trunk VIN, and fender tag are missing, and the only real Super bird parts are the wing and vin tag... easy enough to get from another car.... am I just skeptical about piles of crap claiming to be gold mines?

Looks like the 2019 Corvette will finally be mid engined, and give Chevy a car to excite buyers for the 1st time in decades. Seriously, what was the last revolutionary car GM made?

According to Automobile magazine this is the artists rendering of what it will look like, and it's going to be called the Zora Corvette

Really, why would anyone buy a new Corvette? The 2018 was not much better than the 2017 which wasn't much better than the 2016

Now, finally, a reason for Vette owners to salivate and lose their minds about buying a new Vette

that time when the Mets gave away a toy truck... with the Phillies logo on the cab door

somebody better have had a backup job, cause there's no way that such a colossal mistake could go unpunished. At the least, the promo and marketing people for the Mets should be fired for not checking on the give away before it went into the hands of the fans

Hit Promotional Products blames “human error” for the Phillies trucks getting into the Mets packaging, and also calls this an isolated incident.

Only two makers sold more cars than they recalled in 2016: Tesla and Hyundai

Compare that to the below graph of 2014 data, when the bottom 4 accomplished the selling of more than they recalled

You've possibly never heard of the Toyota test driver Hiromu Naruse, he gave a lifetime of hands on experience to making cars better

A driver who had spent nearly half a century with one company, and not some niche automaker, but Toyota, one of the largest in the world.

Naruse climbed that company’s ranks to lead a global team of test drivers. His fingerprints could be traced across Toyota’s history of performance cars: the Sports 800, the 1600GT, the 2000GT, the AE86 Sprinter Trueno. The Corona, the Celica, the MR2, the Supra, the Altezza (our Lexus IS), the MR-S (MR2 Spyder). His legacy spanned decades, woven through the history of the modern fast car.

He had no hobbies, did not smoke or drink, and worked hard enough to leave an impression on others.

Naruse practically lived on the shop floor. Adachi said Naruse would stalk engineers in the upstairs cubicles. “He [would say], ‘Why are you sticking to your desks in the office? Why do you not touch the vehicles more often?’ ”

“He felt that if a car is not able to be competitive with those cars developed in Germany, it wouldn’t be a qualified car,” said Yurika Motoyoshi, a Toyota spokeswoman and Naruse biographer.

With the third-generation Supra, in the late 1980s, Naruse finally succeeded in convincing the company to ship prototypes to the Ring for testing. After that car’s success in the market, he assembled a squad of top test drivers, nicknamed the Naruse Team, that would travel to the Nürburgring for skill development. The team had its own rules. One, established early on, said that one Nürburgring test lap had to be completed for every rated horsepower of a new model. For a car like the Supra, that meant more than 300 laps. At roughly 10 minutes each.

In 2000, when company heir Akio Toyoda returned from a stint in the United States, preparing to assume the presidency, his father, former president Shoichiro Toyoda, suggested he meet with Naruse.

At the time, Toyota was deep in the throes of the Prius revolution. Much of the company’s engineering and culture were focused on a model that would legitimately change how the world viewed green cars. Toyota had not produced a competitive sports car since the Supra, and Naruse privately bristled at this drought. He also disliked the new hobby that Akio had picked up in America: golf. In his time there, the future president had barely touched a steering wheel.

If it wasn’t clear that Naruse had established himself as a hallowed presence within the company, that fact was cemented by one of the first things he said to Toyoda: “I don’t want to be preached to about cars by someone who doesn’t even know how to drive.”

So when the opportunity came to create the LFA, he jumped at it. Naruse was given complete authority of the project, even over the chief engineer—the first time anyone could recall that happening. Naruse insisted that the LFA be fully developed at the Nürburgring. He was not a damper engineer, but he chose Japanese supplier Kayaba (KYB) to build the dampers and helped them engineer every part. He was not a tire engineer, but he called Bridgestone engineers to Toyota’s testing facility and showed them exactly where to improve the tires—so many times that his colleagues lost count.

“Bridgestone engineers are thinking about tires 24 hours a day, but Mr. Naruse is not shy,” Katsumata said. “Then it turns out, he’s right.”

read the whole article:

Yuji Yokoya, a Toyota engineer, was given responsibility for re-engineering a new generation of the Toyota Sienna minivan for the North American market. So he drove one more than 53,000 miles across America, from Anchorage to the Mexican border and from Florida to California.

Crossing the Mississippi River by bridge, he [Yokoya] noted that the Sienna's crosswind stability needed improvement. He observed excessive steering drift while traversing gravel roads in Alaska, and the need for a tighter turning radius along the crowded streets in Santa Fe. Driving through Glacier National Park, he decided the handling needed to be crisper. He also made an all-wheel-drive option a priority, along with more interior space and cargo flexibility. Finally, he decided that the new Sienna would have to be a minivan that families, and especially kids, could live in for extended periods of time. Upgrading seat quality became a priority, along with “kid friendly” features such as a roll-down window for second-row passengers, an optional DVD entertainment centre and a conversation mirror so parents could monitor what was going on in the back seat.

the 14 principles of The Toyota Way

Principle #1 – “Base your management decisions on a long-term philosophy, even at the expense of short-term financial goals.”

Principle #2 – “Create a continuous process flow to bring problems to the surface.”

Principle #3 – “Use ‘pull’ systems to avoid overproduction.”

Principle #4 – “Level out the workload (work like the tortoise, not the hare).”

Principle #5 – “Build a culture of stopping to fix problems, to get quality right the first time.”

Principle #6 – “Standardized tasks and processes are the foundation for continuous improvement and employee empowerment.”

Principle #7 – “Use visual controls so no problems are hidden.”

Principle #8 – “Use only reliable, thoroughly tested technology that serves your people and process.”

Principle #9 – “Grow leaders who thoroughly understand the work, live the philosophy, and teach it to others.”

Principle #10 – “Develop exceptional people and teams who follow your company’s philosophy.”

Principle #11 – “Respect your extended network of partners and suppliers by challenging them and helping them improve.”

Principle #12 – “Go and see for yourself to thoroughly understand the situation.”

Principle #13 – “Make decisions slowly by consensus, thoroughly considering all options; implement decisions rapidly.”

Principle #14 – “Become a learning organization through relentless reflection and continuous improvement.”

I never could have guessed a Gemini mission pod would have wheels... so, color me shocked, but happy to post!

Looks like a scoreboard of flights too

Ok,. comments popped in immediately about the this being a test pod for the Rogallo wing, an inflateable delta wing thing that was supposed to help direct the pod towards a splash down, instead of using the parachutes.

Seems stupid to go with wings, or steering, and not use parachutes to slow down a tin can with astronauts in it, which happens to be at terminal velocity heading toward a collision with earth. I'm no rocket scientist, but JC on crutches, that's simply idiotic and if a car guy like me can figure that out?

"the Gemini capsule mockup used to test an inflatable steerable delta wing as an alternative to the parachutes used in the Mercury program (and ultimately Gemini and Apollo). Parachutes ultimately proved lighter and more reliable, so the were never used by the space program"

Anyway, no one seems to be tossing down atta boys for finding a damn pod with wheels.. .. where's your sense of awe guys?

And no one has explained the scoreboard

actually, this is braced pretty well, and the tire between the tree and roof is a pretty good idea!

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Amphibious algae collection vessel, Alu Marine Shipyard, France

Hi A Le Ah . .. a Florida development of Glenn Curtiss had a pretty cool articulated bus

In Florida - just NW of Miami Hialea was known as "Miami's Industrial Suburb" and was famous for its dog racing track (that had a ton of flamingos) and golf courses back in the day.

It was a Glenn Curtiss development, and that's why the bus has that familiar type of design

did you know that chrome plating steel suspension parts makes them brittle and prone to cracking? Don't do it. Airbrush instead if you must

Starting in 1973 Formula One rules forbid chrome plating of steel suspension parts. The electroplating process had been proven to substantially worsen a phenomena known as hydrogen embrittlement. Hydrogen atoms are diffused throughout all steel alloys, and various manufacturing processes can cause them to migrate, become concentrated, and build-up in in pressure to the point where cracks start from within. Since the problem is worse with chrome plating than other finishing operations (including nickel plating), Formula One rules singled chrome plating out.

The Brunner-Winkle Aircraft Corporation built 220 planes in Brooklyn between 1928 and 1931, and perhaps 60 are still around. But this one was bought by Charles Lindbergh

Full story at  but basically, the Smithsonian would like someone to "donate" it, and for free, but the guy who bought it for 700 dollars in the 50s, and restored it, but died months later... well, his philosophy was one you recognize. Things with wheels aren't statues, so, he made it airworthy, and it was sold to a guy who will keep flying it, who also doesn't think planes belong in museums. So, now that it's also worth a 1/4 million or so, it's going to stay flying and being sold to anyone who won't give it to the museum

Jim Croce was a truck driver, and worked as a driver on construction jobs, while writing songs between runs

Croce cut an album in 1969, and when it failed to sell, he became a truck driver until he and Ingrid moved to a farm in Lyndell, Pennsylvania.

When money ran low, Croce went back to construction work, doing some session singing for commercials on the side.

 Finally, after one rejection from ABC/Dunhill (which Croce had framed and put on the wall next to his first gold record; the rejection regretting that his songs were "not strong enough for us"), he signed with the label and cut a couple of songs he'd written in a truck cab, on his construction job: "You Don't Mess Around With Jim" and "Operator."

Richard Petty can do whatever the hell he wants to on the track... and went for a 2nd lap in his 1967 Southern 500 winning Belvedere while leading the race as the honorary pace car

Sunday, Petty was driving the Plymouth Belvedere he won the 1967 Southern 500 in, and that served as an honorary pace car.

Normally honorary pace cars are supposed to head to the pits one lap prior to the field getting the green flag. However, Petty is the King, so instead of returning to the pits, Petty stayed out.

The field had to take an extra lap as the flag man waved the black flag at the 80-year old, who was grinning ear to ear.

a new plank road photo popped up on Facebook, somewhere in the country

Want to do something cool, with just an email? Wish the Fitzpatrick Brothers shop Happy Anniversary, their 123rd in business!

this past February I posted a story about the oldest operating garage in the USA, and it's near Boston, and it's been in the same location since 1894

And September 8th 1994 was their 100th anniversary, so, that makes tomorrow their 123rd!

And that.... is effing cool. So, email a happy anniversary to the Grandsons, (who took over in the 50s) and Great Grandsons (took over in the 80s) of the founders is their website,
my article is for the sweet condensed version of their history

and their email is,, and or

take your pick, or add all these addresses to one email and make sure they get your good wishes, don't delay, email today!

The AC Cobra Coupe of the English duo Jack Sears and Peter Bolton in the paddock before the race in 1964 .


Andretti / Bianchi GT40, Servoz-Gavin / Beltoise Matra-BRM and P.Hill / Bonnier Chaparral 2D.


I love it when an amateur shows off, and makes the pro's look ridiculous