Saturday, November 24, 2018

cool looking hot rod, that 4 inch chop is great, and the wheel covers nail it

the Holbrooks added a new Odd Rod to their Reapers Rejects

if you want a quick look back at the rest of the collection they have:

It's been a while since I've posted a street freak... Keytones and Thrush sidepipes, the 70s had some cool looking bolt ons. I don't think there have been cool looking inventions for muscle cars since the early 70s, or am I forgetting something?

One winter night in 1945, Al Rossi was clearing snow off of Lake Mansfield in Massachusetts. The 1938 International, freighted with a load of sand for traction, plus a heavy plow blade to scrape the surface, broke through the ice

Weeks passed with the truck, plow, and its load of sand beneath the ice. Eventually, the truck was offered for sale. Three hundred dollars was the price, with the condition that the buyer had to haul it up from Lake Mansfield's inky depths.

Bob Hebert's father was the intrepid buyer. "On the day he planned to bring it up, I was allowed to skip school and accompany him," says Bob. He was ten years old at the time. "I can remember looking through the ice and seeing the truck, driver's side up, and wondering how he'd ever get it out."

Bob's father and several assistants built a gantry on skids and located it on the ice, above the sunken rig. The plow frame was close enough to the surface that the men could attach the chains from the lake surface. A network of chainfalls attached to the cross beam hauled the truck skyward. Once it breached the hole in the ice, they removed the plow frame, and eventually, the rest of the truck broke through.

From there, the men cut a 200 foot channel in the ice to allow a tractor to pull the truck the rest of the way to shore.  thanks Chuck! 

they had a Porsche tractor race at the 2018 Rennsport Reunion

photo by Eric Bonney

I remember posting the 1960s Porsche race car, the 917 Pink Pig 

The Gunnar Racing team has painted the venerable vehicle in the “Pink Pig” livery and added a large rear wing to lend the tractor a sporting look. For good reason: John Oates, the frontman of the famous American pop duo Hall & Oates (“Maneater”) is eager to go racing. Since the insurance contract of his current tour forbids him from driving a race car, he is putting his foot down in a tractor. “You’d be surprised. I have several tractors on my farm in Colorado. I know what you can do with them,” laughs the pop star.

760 hp Gremlin

and David says that at the end of the Gremlin timeline, they offered a 4 cylinder engine for better economy, and to be cheaper than the 6 cylinders. That engine was the same 4 cylinder engine used in the Porsche 924, Audi 100, and VW van.   An Audi 100 2.0 liter four-cylinder engine

The Porsche of course had a slightly modified version, those featured a beefed-up, forged crankshaft and larger bearings in the cast-iron block case with a Porsche-designed aluminium cylinder head.

dragsters aren't the only things with wheels that pop a chute to slow down... so did the space shuttles

Friday, November 23, 2018

Do you recall hearing about the Paradise Papers / Panama Papers? They exposed tax loopholes, offshore accounts, and other nefarious ways the extremely rich get around paying taxes... take Lewis Hamilton for an example

The Paradise Papers are documents relating to offshore investments that were leaked, then shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, a network of more than 380 journalists. Some of the details were made public on 5 November 2017, second only to the Panama Papers of 2016 as the biggest data leak in history, and stories are still being released.

The documents originate from legal firm Appleby, ( an offshore law firm which advises clients on "legitimate and lawful ways to conduct their business") the corporate services providers Estera and Asiaciti Trust, and business registries in 19 tax jurisdictions.

The documents contain the names of more than 120,000 people and companies. Among those whose financial affairs are mentioned are, separately, AIG, Prince Charles and Queen Elizabeth II, President of Colombia Juan Manuel Santos, and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.

And, Lewis Hamilton.

Why am I singling out Hamilton? Well, it's likely that all of you know who he is, and why his name is instantly recognizable, and that in the car enthusiast world, he is likely the worlds richest sports icon. After all, if I wrote this article about Penny Pritzker's, you'd have no idea who she is... I've never heard of her before...  but since I bring her up, she had pledged to divest from more than 200 firms when she was confirmed as President Barack Obama's commerce secretary in 2013, but she transferred her assets to a company owned by her children's trusts, which shared the same address as her office. See?

So, that's why Hamilton, and also because there is a clear and easy to read article in the Guardian to draw information from about Hamilton, about how he avoided paying European taxes on his private jet using an Isle of Man scheme, where he has a company on the island, which bought a private jet for him, and he leases the jet from that company, that he owns.

Simple, right? If you are rich enough, you get a lawyer to draw up papers that are legal, and that will create a business for you, even without an office or a door. It's simply a legal entity that will pay taxes. Though, when you are rich enough, you can select where you create that paper that makes you a company owner... and why not do that where that country isn't going to tax you very much. Then, your company buys a plane... and leases it. Why not? Companies buy and lease things all over the world, why shouldn't you, if you are rich enough, own a company that buys planes. Well, one plane... the one you want.... and lease it, once, to you?

You then aren't buying it, that leasing company is... and so you aren't going to own it, just rent it, and you don't have to pay taxes on the value of that asset, that's up to the leasing company to do. Now, you're riding anywhere, any time, in your own private jet, if you can afford it.

Appleby, the law firm at the centre of the Paradise Papers leak, helped Hamilton and dozens of other clients set up seemingly artificial leasing businesses on the Isle of Man, through which they rented their own jets from themselves.

Then the Isle of Man government gave tax refunds to the private jet owners. 231 of them, which add up to about a $1bn giveaway, and that's money the rich don't pay in taxes, it's money they receive. Yes, instead of paying a tax for purchasing a 50 million dollar airplane, they are getting a tax refund. 231 of them. A billion dollars, leaving the govt budget, making rich people richer, instead of rich people who can afford (when you have over 100 million dollars, I state that enables you to afford anything short of islands and countries purchased for private resorts, who says I'm wrong?) to pay a tax on a purchase. Sales tax, and property tax. Is that really too much to do, when you are worth over $100,000,000?

Hamilton said he had instructed a senior lawyer to check his arrangements and was told they were lawful. He said his practice was to rely on professional advice. Legitimate tax avoidance schemes are not illegal. There is no suggestion Hamilton was directly involved in creating the scheme used for his jet. He sought professional advice and followed it.

That's why so many people get a university degree in business and economics. They want to learn how to make a ridiculous amount of money, and how to keep it, and not pay taxes to a govt that didn't work for it.

Anyway, how much was the sales tax/ VAT (value added tax ) on the jet? Just 3.3 million British Pounds. Can Hamilton afford to pay that after buying a 16.5 million British Pounds private jet?

Well, if you are worth 100 thousand dollars and can afford a 16 dollar blu ray, and then pay 20 dollars after sales taxes, then yes, he can. But, he's found that he doesn't need to, if he leases it on the Isle of Man.

If he had paid the 3.3 million British Pounds (£3.3m) instead of getting that as a refund, he would have funded, all by himself, 17 Sure Start childrens educational centers (similar to pre-school) for one year. Simply by paying the VAT tax on the jet plane.  17 pre-schools, for one year, is what £3.3m does when paid INTO the govt.

Hamilton appears to have used shell companies in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), the Isle of Man and Guernsey to avoid the entire £3.3m VAT bill triggered when he imported his £16.5m (25 million dollars) red Bombardier Challenger 605 into England from Canada in 2013. Hamilton set up another Isle of Man company to purchase a €1.7m motorhome that he uses at racetracks. No VAT appears to have been paid on that purchase either. Hamilton denies using shell companies, and says the Manx entities were part of his businesses. He drives a car, fast. So... what businesses? Exactly. Papers that create businesses that don't exist with an office, or a door.

Hamilton is worth about £130m, ($167 million dollars) and is contracted to Mercedes via a Guernsey company. What's Guernsey? A little island off the coast of France.

Hamilton has a Malta company for image rights, and has lived as a tax exile since 2007, first in Switzerland and now in Monaco.

So, how hard is it to avoid paying taxes? Not very if you're rich enough to afford lawyers, and business advisers, and investment strategists.

The business was set up for Hamilton by Appleby with advice from EY, and offered to dozens of other super-rich clients.

The advisers decide the price the jet should be leased. Appleby staff set up a Manx company and provided a director, and EY arranged the VAT registration and secured approval for the scheme from customs. This arrangement is not unlawful.

The jet was bought and owned by a BVI (British Virgin Islands) company called Stealth Aviation Ltd. and leased for €140,000 a month to a specially created Isle of Man company, Stealth (IOM) Ltd, who then charges a fee to lease the plane to a private jet operator in England. This fee allows the Isle of Man company to turn a profit and therefore claim to be “in business”.

The private jet operator is a genuine business that services and charters private jets. After all, it's not going to fuel itself. It gets paid to look after Hamilton’s plane, provide pilots and crew, and do repairs and maintenance.

The private jet operator then charges Hamilton's Guernsey-based company BRV Ltd, which charges a fee to Hamilton to manage the accounting of paying the private jet operator.

The lease payments were flowing out of bank accounts belonging to Hamilton at one end and into bank accounts belonging to him at the other end. The profits made by the Isle of Man company belonged ultimately to its owner and only customer: Hamilton.

The data suggests the sole purpose of the leasing business was to allow Hamilton to rent his plane from himself. Invoices show the jet was not leased to anyone else, and there appears to have been no effort to market it to other customers.

These would make great xmas presents, park benches, car show benches too

Cool looking motorcycle

we've all felt this way

Nissan president and Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn has been removed from his position as chairman of the board at Nissan, after being arrested for under-reporting his income by more than $43 million over the past five years.

Nissan also accused Ghosn of numerous acts of "misconduct" such as abusing company assets for personal use, including the reported redirection $1.5 million to remodel a privately-owned home, according to NBC News. The automaker's board stated Monday that it would seek to remove Ghosn from his position as chairman, and in a meeting Thursday, the board followed through on its removal of the executive.

The Nissan board's representative director Greg Kelly was also removed on Thursday, as he was implicated and arrested with Ghosn. Nissan has created two separate committees as a reaction to the pair's removal, one to evaluate executive compensation at the company, and the other to identify potential replacements. One candidate for Ghosn's successor is believed to be Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa.

For the time being, Ghosn remains the chairman and CEO of Renault, another member of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance.

Credit where credit is due, he's got that pretty well organized

quote of the day

it came in like this, and the customer isn't going to pay for a new one.

As someone who doesn’t care about tpms and just wants the light off, this is genius

If you really wanted to do this right, you drill 3 extra holes in the spare rim, replace the standard schrader with one of the sensors, and mount the others in the new holes.

way back in the 50s when parking was a quarter... and minimum wage was a dollar or so... I bet the ratio of the parking charge to minimum wage has shifted to more like 1 to 1

thanks Doug!

Oil price drops to low not seen since October 2017, $50.42 for West Texas Intermediate crude on the New York Mercantile Exchange

After reaching a high of more than $86 a barrel in early October, which prompted warnings that it would climb further to $100, the oil price has since plunged by more than 30%.


Russia, Saudi Arabia, and U.S. oil are producing at record levels

China’s demand for oil byproduct, gasoline, dropped to a the lowest level in 13 months, according to a Reuters report on Friday

A rising dollar also helped to create a headwind for the commodity because the dollar-priced asset becomes less attractive to buyers using other currencies when the buck strengthens.

custom skid plate, cheap

road flare from 1956... I bet someone with OCD really wants this for their restoration of a tri 5 Chevy

someone at NAPA is a damn moron

The imprint left from a wrench that must have been on the roof for a considerable time, looks like it was a flex-head ratcheting box end as well.

that's about 5 thou, and a trap. Why do they try and trap the mechanics?

Linda Vaughn took a last parade lap standing on the original 1972 Hurst 442, with the original platform, and the original Hurst Golden Shifter at the 2018 Hurst Nationals in Carlisle, PA

Dodge Shelby racing program in 1982-83 was missing one thing, Shelby paying his share

Mopar provided Rossi with 2 new Shelby Chargers, but even with free cars and parts, the prize money for a stocker - even 3 or 4 winning stockers - is not enough to cover the costs of a racing program, so there has to be additional funding for the costs of the builds, being on the road, etc.

After running the numbers, Rossi outlined the final plan to Carroll for his approval.

"We can put this program together for $30,000"

"Each car?" asked Shelby

"No sir, for both."

"Hot Damn, son! Lets do it!" replied Shelby.

By 1984 Team Dodge consisted of 3 Shelby Chargers, a 600 convertible, a Shelby Daytona, and a Rampage with a 360.

Carroll Shelby never paid the $30,000, but instead told Rossi that "You can sell them for a lot of money after I die," and one of the Rossi Shelby Chargers just sold at an RM auction in Florida for $9900. So, there you go, Shelby screwed him over, twice. 

Mopar fans are aware of the build sheets under the seats, on top of the glove box, and sometimes under the carpet... but in 1966 they were put in another location also

a sheet metal panel behind the bumper.

The magazine article that mentions this, Chrysler Power, Nov/Dec 2018, page 39, doesn't say if that is the front or back bumper

before and after a vinyl wrap with R2D2s graphics

1976 Belgian police car Porsche 911

start your morning with a laugh, poke fun at the Ford owners

ever look at a situation, and predict the outcome, but not the perfect song to overlay the video?

the clever way to load railroad ties into a trailer

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving everyone... take it easy on the turkey, save more space for pie!

the Olds 98, not just another pretty car... it had swing away grills, and seats that could take a pounding

for dozens of 60s and 70s car commercials:

the complete story of the 1973 Olds 98 commercial at Mackinac, The Oldsmobile, The Skunks, and the Bridge (Thank you Chuck!)

The Leo Burnett Ad Agency was to produce a commercial for the 1973 Olds 98. One of the new features on the car was a new-fangled Air Filter that filtered out unpleasant odors...a first in the industry, I guess.

The setting was a family traveling in their Olds 98 throughout beautiful northern Michigan . The commercial was more or less through the eyes of the two children in the backseat ... two perfect offspring of two perfect parental units.

While marveling at the beauty that is Michigan, the dramatic demonstration was to be that the filter un-stunk the stinks that happen along life's highways. The drama was to reach a crescendo with the discovery of 3 skunks on the side of the road.

Well, at least there were supposed to be 3.

 Unfortunately, a local bear decided that his evening meal that night would be one of our star stinkers. He peeled back the chicken wire that made up the skunk cages and chowed down on one of our salt and pepper beauties. It was a minor tragedy, because we still had 2 “striped smellers” for the roadside scene next day. We had hired a zoo employee from Detroit to attend to the skunks’ every need. Burial of the dearly departed was not necessary as the visiting Grizzly had left nothing behind of our number 3 Mephitis mephitis.

This resulted in a very minor setback as we still had two of his polecat brothers left for stink duty. All our zoo keeper had to do was to tie a piece of mono-filament line (guitar string) to each of the B and W mammalia. A simple tie-down and cue the 98 pass by. Simple, right? Not so fast!

Who knew skunks don’t get along? Not just don’t get along, skunks hate other skunks! When staked next to one another and released, a fight of monumental proportions broke out, turning two black and white smellers into black, white and red little stinkers. Cue the zookeeper, his asbestos gloves and his syringes of skunk anesthetic.

Time to rethink the pass by scene. How about we wait until the skunks just start to come out of the deep sleep, and still haven't seen each other? "O.K., everyone into positions. Zoo keep, let us know when the skunks start to wake up." Zoo keep ... "They're coming around". Director ... "Roll camera. Cue the car. And, 'Action!' Kids, point out the window at the skunks. Mom, look at the skunks with calm amusement ... no one needs to pinch their nose. And, 'Cut!'."

At this point, the skunks, once again, became aware that there was another skunk in "their space" and the bloodbath commenced once again.

Take 2.

It may be of interest to the reader that, the bear and the skunk-capades were just two of the memorable issues on the commercial shoot. Segue to the Mackinac Bridge closing scene.

In this magnificent piece of cinematography, the director hired a helicopter and anchored the cameraman in a harness, hanging him out the door of the helio. The scene called for the car to travel once in each direction over the bridge. The copter would fly to the East on the first pass. The pilot was to fly sideways with the cameraman out the back door, facing the bridge. The car would travel North over the bridge. The helicopter was to hover, approximately 1/2 mile West of the bridge until the Olds 98 covered the first quarter of the bridge. At that point, the helio would start its sideways move toward the bridge. As the car reached the middle of the bridge, the copter was to raise up over the span and execute a turn that put the cameraman facing Westward. Take one and "Cut ... now, let's bring the copter back to Position One and as soon as the car reached the Northend of the bridge, let's have our happy family in their Olds 98 head back South over the bridge. Oh, look, there's one of those classic Great Lakes Ore Boats. Let's see if we can include that in the shot.".

So, the pilot gets into position, the car starts its Southbound trip over the bridge and the director yells, "Action!". With the camera rolling, the sun setting in the West and the car approaching the quarter-point ... the helo pilot saw an opportunity to add his own value-added piece to the commercial. As he approached the bridge, and the car reached the halfway point, he made the one man decision to fly under the bridge instead of over it. If you think skunks hate one another, you've never seen how livid an uninformed cameraman can get when he finds himself between the bottom of a bridge and the tip of an ore boat! Beautiful shot. Perfectly beautiful end of the commercial. But, the start of another brawl.

We delivered a beautiful commercial to the Oldsmobile clients - digested skunk; his wounded comrades and one peeved cameraman aside.

maybe you're just relaxing this afternoon, maybe you've already feasted on Thanksgiving, and you're looking for a nice quiet bit of eye candy.... here's the building of Riva sports boats, with smooth jazz soundtrack, and then the restoration of Lamborghini's Riva

Thanks Brad!

turbonique powered

A young A.J. Foyt, in a bellytanker...

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

some unusual dragsters

swiss cheesed

this dragster has some history. It was the creation of Scotty Fenn, who went on to be one of the important early dragster chassis manufactures. The car was run by the Spaghetti Benders and had Cadillac power. At some point, Nick Arias ran his GMC-six engine it. Later still, the team of Cook and Bedwell reworked the car and broke the 160 MPH mark at an astounding 166 MPH at Lions Drag Strip... (Thank you Manuel Maldonado for the information)

streamlined dragsters that were evolutionary dead ends