Tuesday, July 16, 2019

K & N now offers black filters, so your underhood color coordination efforts will be more appreciated

Book review, The Vagabonds by Jeff Guinn. Finally, a book about a topic I know something about, and with so much I want to learn!

By the numbers:
253 pages, and about 40 more of notes that are also worth perusing, and bibliography
26 photos and or images. These are in the middle of the book, as is usual in hardcover non fiction books

1st impression, this is the most researched book I've ever come across. Its also one of the easier ones to read because the author is good at making the story flow.

To say that this book is about the most famous Americans in the past 100 years is probably accurate. Henry Ford and Thomas Edison are probably the most pivotal men in the modern industrial era. Lighting and transportation... if these two men didn't pioneer and provide the path the rest of us followed on, in those categories, tell me who did more?

My complaints, are few, but here it is, once again a non car nut who wrote a book about Ford ascribes the modern assembly line method to Henry Ford, when it was the Curved Dash Oldsmobile that created the assembly line method.

However, this author is specific in pointing out that Edison was working from where others had invented, and he worked out how to make better light bulbs, useful ones, and make them commercially available.

Also, it just happens that I am one of the very few people to have been born in L'Anse, and raised in Sidnaw, and those are two of Ford's visits on the 1923 trip the Vagabonds took, so, I'm personally aware of a few things that I was looking for in the book that aren't there, and it's a bit annoying, as I was hoping that this book would mention a few things about Sidnaw, Camp 1, and where things were. But the author is mostly relying on newspaper reports for the trip's facts.

You probably remember my posts about the Vagabonds, I just recently posted some photos about their trip to Sidnaw and L'Anse. I very much recommend you look at them while reading the book for they are better than what's in the book https://justacarguy.blogspot.com/search?q=vagabonds and will help you with a mental image of what's going on when you read about the men, and where they were

So, back to the review.
Not only has this author done a herculean task of reading newspapers, books, notes from Ford, Edison, and Firestone, but he also makes SENSE of it, and doesn't just regurgitate the stats, facts, and dates. THAT is a very nice way to write this, and it makes it a pleasure to learn from while reading.

Harvey Firestone. Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, and Edward Kingsford 1923

The personalities of the men on the trips, and even their wives, comes through, and what made them that way, what was going on at the time in not only their lives, but their businesses, and the world at large, and how it affected them, puts so much of the information in context! It's so damn helpful in understanding why these titans of manufacturing were on trips with each other, what caused them to select each other, and not more, and who had what role and why in those decisions, and also... why they stopped going on these trips. That's a really smart way to wrap up this book, and the author uses such insights to fill in the reader on some thing essential to the story, but something I've never come across before in a book about car related things. Motivations.

Something I hadn't expected, is that the author keeps bringing the story into context, which is important for understanding the motivation of Edison, Firestone, Ford, and Burroughs.

The complex personality of Henry Ford is probably the dominant and most explored, and that is remarkable, in that he was already so jaded to people asking him for charity, and taking steps to avoid those confrontations - as his farm work upbringing was simply work = results, and he often shunned helping people. However, I was surprised at how many times he gave away cars, and tractors! Also, it's mentioned in passing that he kept a large supply of pocket watches, and gave them to kids that had caught his attention.

Not only that, he was ready willing and able to do farmwork, mechanics work, and improvise on the fly to keep cars on the road and on schedule. Try and find a corporate CEO today that can do anything in his company maunfacturing.

SO, I'm impressed all the way around with this book, and simply out of time to go through all the things I learned from it, as I usually do with book reviews. I will get back to that after Comic Con which starts in 12 hours.

I was also impressed that the author realized that to select 9 years to focus on, didn't preclude doing some history on the men in the story, and he brought up that Henry Ford started by driving a race car to a world speed record, and that Thomas Edison started with riding trains and selling newspapers to the riders.

Things I learned:

Henry Ford was generous to his friends, as he knew them well enough to know they weren't after his money, and he often showed how little he cared how much money he lost due to his generosity. Burroughs mentioned that his family farm near Roxbury NY was near bankruptcy, as his family couldn't afford the mortgages, so Ford paid it off.

Thomas Edison was given a new car annually... not a cheap Model T either.

When Edison's New Jersey lab and factory burned down, Ford handed him a check for $750,000 and mentioned in passing to let him know if Edison needed more.

The 1915 Panama American Expo that was held in San Diego was competing with a similar World expo in San Fran. Ford, Edison and Firestone went to San Fran first, then San Diego

The dinner that was held in their honor? Slightly crazy amount of telegraphers felt they had to cover it... it was food for pete's sake, and 400 newspaper reporters were present. That's how much of a celebrity Henry Ford and Thomas Edison were, and they were such incredible celebs due to the miracles that they'd performed for the people... no Kardashian, no Hollywood A lister, no country president has ever invented the light bulb, city electricity, set a worlds land speed record, mass produced the Model T so cheaply that it kick started the American automotive industry, invented the record player, perfected the motion picture, etc etc. So, do you see just how unbelievably famous the Vagabonds were?

Thomas Edison was the guest of honor at the San Francisco expo, and just a reminder, Edison had been a telegraph operator and newspaperman... so, the menu was printed in Morse code. The speeches were tapped out on telegraphs. After the dinner and the speeches, everyone went outside to see that all the lights in town were on in honor of the inventor of the modern mass produced light bulb, and flashing lights on the downtown building roofs were spelling out a Morse code message for Edison.

A quote from Ford "If I ever wanted to kill opposition by unfair means I would endow the opposition with experts. No one ever considers himself to be an expert if he really knows his job"

Ford didn't invent the 5 dollar workday, that was the brainchild of his general manager James Couzens. Ford simply took credit for it, as he realized early, the power of publicity. Turnover was 300% annually, and with people either training or being replaced, the assembly line process was affected dramatically, and the 5 dollar wage was a remedy method, nothing more, to get productivity up. Ford was paying $2.34 on average, and balked at the idea of $5... he was only willing to entertain $3 a day, but Couzens got his way based on the chronic absenteeism and training costs, plus, it pissed off all of Fords competitors, and was such incredible good publicity from all newspapers, that aggravating the competition was just bonus.

Couzens was the only man in the company allowed to disagree with Henry Ford, he'd been with Ford since the inception, and earned all the respect he was given, the hard way.

The end of their working relationship was when WW1 put Ford's philosophy anti war philsophy into every interview, and Couzens realized what a publicity nightmare was happening and tried to get Ford to be circumspect. Well, Ford had last word over everything his company did of course, including the Ford Times which had been Couzens' baby, and when it ran two articles Couzens had ruled out, which Henry had put back in? Couzens had enough with Fords personal politics being in the business publication. Couzens quit, went on to be Detroit's mayor, and Michigan's senator

Ford and Roush Performance unveiled the “Old Crow” finally

The custom Mustang hits the auction block at the Experimental Aircraft Association's 2019 AirVenture air show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, on July 25th. Ford doesn't have an estimate as to much it might go for, but all proceeds will benefit the EAA's youth and adult aviation programs.


The Japanese Air Force ground staff formed their own display team…but as none of them have a pilot’s license, they do it all on Honda scooters – the Blue Junior display team. (The Blue Impulse are the pilots and planes)

have you heard of the motorbikes Wooler made? (Thanks Steve!)

how cool was the inventor? He only used 2 nut sizes, so you only have to carry one wrench with a two sizes at opposite ends, and a screwdriver. The wheels are interchangeable.

This motorcycle is usually housed at the Sammy Miller museum (and restored by them), the bike is one of the machines in the collection of the British Motorcycle Charitable Trust (www.bmct.org). John Wooler had a very inconventional approach to motorcycle design (as can clearly be seen!) from his debut at the 1911 Olympia show, an approach that he maintained throughout the next 45 years.


A Canadian man has been charged after an officer spotted a child in his car using a case of beer being as a booster seat substitute.

2-year-old unharmed when driver used a case of beer for a booster-seat.

Driver charged w/ failing to ensure child properly seat-belted. Children under 40lbs require child-seat and under 8years and 80lbs and 4'9" require a booster


There's an auction in Atlanta that has some cool interesting stuff, focused mainly on Corvettes, Jeeps, and tractors (thanks Doug!)

interesting, and rare, like this Jeep ambulance body for example

or a couple half tracks that are currently under 1000 dollars, and with a couple for parts, a rebuild seems far more possible to happen

a couple small 1940s John Deere tractors

a 1953 GMC deuce and a 1/2

A 1953 Daimler Ferret Scout w/ Rolls Royce engine, for under 6 thou

a 63 Split window for about 52 thou

a Sun distributor tester for 300

there's a Whizzer

a Korean War era M38

and a 1949 tank - which every pain in the ass will tell you isn't a real tank, but is a "self propelled gun" so- like I said, it's a tank. Canadian, so maybe it's all Whitworth nuts and bolts, or metric. Who knows?  If you're one of the pain in the ass people that is compelled to correct everyone who doesn't give a damn about the specifically technical accurate definitive catagory for old tanks? Zip it. Realize that no one else wants to be corrected UNLESS they ask you what the hell are they looking at. Then you can tell the the right words, and when you see their lack of comprehension, you'll remember I told you so, and you'll probably say "like a tank, but without the bigger cannon turret"

plus a lot of Corvette parts, tractor parts, etc etc.


A guy riding a flying hoverboard (Zapata Flyboard) stole the show at the Bastille Day military parade in Paris.

And THAT is what focus on a single goal of development, and incredible wealth, can achieve. Thomas Edison took 4 years to perfect the light bulb, for example, and the flying man chem reaction rig was used in the 1970s, so, about 10 times as many years were needed to perfect the way to make a man fly for about 10 minutes, as it took to perfect the light bulb

Here's hoping that this becomes as common as the light bulb, for anyone that can pay an expected amount of disposable income to have one of these.... if the French Govt doesn't prevent commercial sales.

Of course, once something's been made, sooner or later, there will be generic copies

A little girl in Utah has helped police searching for porch pirates by drawing a very specific picture of a red truck suspected in the thefts.

A Springville Police Department corporal canvassing a suburban neighborhood found a 9-year-old witness who recalled a pickup truck with a funny looking rack in the back. She was able to recreate it with "a very well drawn picture" of the suspects' vehicle, police said.

The child's handiwork even captured dents in the side of the truck and a tall, four-poster rack in the back.

Officers were able to match the felt-tipped wanted poster with a vehicle captured on home surveillance video.


Nice eye catching ad, must have been for season 1

Original paint 1956 with it's original trailer

You picked a bad time to leaves me Loosewheel!

882 pounds of cocaine found hidden in an excavator, that's an estimated street value of $144 million

it was being imported to Australia from South Africa


Update, Aug 6th:

In a unique drug bust, border officials in Sydney, Australia, say they've intercepted more than $1 million worth of liquid methamphetamine that arrived, hidden inside 15 snow globes, by air from Canada.


Toyota lost a lawsuit from a So Cal dealership, over safety, and retaliatory actions the manufacturing company took against the dealership. Toyota has been ordered to pay nearly $16 million

In a groundbreaking action, a prominent and longstanding Toyota dealer, Roger Hogan, and his Toyota dealerships in Claremont and San Juan Capistrano, California, have filed suit in Orange County Superior Court against Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. for fraud and breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing

The lawsuit alleges that following Toyota’s massive, highly publicized, multi-billion dollar safety recall in 2009-2014, Hogan, who had been in business with Toyota for almost 40 years, created a software technology called Autovation. This software, when installed at and utilized by Toyota dealers, enabled the dealer to identify customers with uncompleted safety recalls—many involving dangerous defects such as unintended acceleration—and send them letters offering a fix. The recalls addressed dangerous defects such as “sticky acceleration pedals” and “floor-mat entrapment” that caused deaths and serious injuries—over which Toyota was charged criminally and fined $1.2 billion. Hogan and his dealerships developed the Autovation technology because many Toyota customers—hundreds of thousands—did not know their vehicles had open safety recalls.

According to the lawsuit, Toyota sent out only one recall notice to customers, and many customers, for various reasons, did not receive or ever see the notice. Also, the antiquated system Toyota put in place made it difficult, if not impossible, for dealers to identify open safety recalls when customers brought in their vehicles for service. Thus, per the lawsuit, Toyota was not fixing hundreds of thousands of recalled vehicles, despite hazards jeopardizing customer safety.

Of course, Toyota was required to pay for the additional safety recall work that Hogan’s Autovation Program was generating. Notwithstanding the positive effect of Autovation for Toyota customers, and the benefits to dealers who were servicing more customers, per the lawsuit, Toyota sought to, and did, kill the Autovation program in order to avoid having to pay multi-millions of dollars for repairs and fixes. According to the lawsuit, Toyota went even further, hatching a plan to rid itself of Hogan as a dealer.

As set forth in the lawsuit, Toyota told Hogan to create a succession plan for his dealerships, but then rejected Hogan’s sons for ownership and management positions, knowing that Hogan’s sons are his succession plan. And, as set forth in the lawsuit, Toyota did more to force Hogan out:

Toyota instructed Hogan to purchase additional land for Capistrano Toyota (which he did for $2.5 million), only to later deny him the additional vehicles the new land entitled him to.
Toyota claimed Claremont Toyota was not “sales efficient,” but Toyota continually refused to allocate the cars Claremont Toyota needed to reach Toyota’s view of sales efficiency.
Toyota failed to allocate vehicles fairly and in good faith to Hogan’s Dealerships by, among other things, favoring Hogan’s competitors in vehicle allocation through Toyota’s secretive “General Manager’s Pool.”
Toyota directed its financing arm to change the structure of its loan to Capistrano Toyota, tripling Capistrano Toyota’s monthly payments and slashing its value.
Toyota extended the Capistrano Toyota franchise agreement for two years only and often only for months at a time, contrary to its customary practice, so that it could continue to pressure Hogan.
Toyota unfairly distributed its best inventory to favored dealers in the region, and not to Hogan’s Dealerships.
Toyota diverted Hogan’s customers to competing dealerships.

The lawsuit alleges that Toyota put corporate profits over customer safety, that millions of Toyota vehicles still have unrepaired safety recalls, and that Hogan and his dealerships have lost millions in revenues and value as a result of Toyota’s retaliatory actions.


The Los Angeles Times reported an Orange County jury decided Monday that Toyota had breached “good faith and fair dealing” with Roger Hogan, who has dealerships in Claremont and San Juan Capistrano.


Monday, July 15, 2019

photos of the Ghostbusters 2020 version of Ecto 1 are being posted by Director Jason Reitman, but other cool news, is that Paul Rudd is going to be one of the main actors, playing a teacher living in a small town

this is fantastic... I hope you're sitting down... Mickey Thompson's Mini Dragster has been honored with a tribute build! (thanks to Casey for the photos and info!)

It was built by Dave Miller Concepts in Anaheim, for Casey the owner, who had the idea and design outline and uses a $99.00 dollar harbor freight “predator” 6 horsepower engine with a mukuni 23mm motorcycle carb that will function correctly while it wheelies. Casey brought the engine, rear axle, tires/wheels, and steering wheel. The rest was fabbed, evolved, and figured out.

 It uses a CVT style torque converter which continues to shift during the wheelie which means you start the wheelie at 2 mph and finish at 40 mph after traveling at least 300 feet on the back wheels.

 Throttle is on the steering wheel with left and right brake pedals ( it has a differential) so you can “steer” during the wheelstand. (There is a spring loaded castor welded to the back of the seat that keeps you right at the balance point.).

Rear tires are off a Cessna airplane, front tires from a mobility scooter. Frame was constructed as close as possible to Mickey Thompson’s original. We shortened the wheelbase 10 inches so that it would fit into the back of my truck.  Ha!

 We took it to the 70th reunion of hot rod magazine’s two days of drag racing at Pomona Fairgrounds and it was a fun pit vehicle.

If you're wondering what Mickey Thompson mini dragster we're referring to:
and http://justacarguy.blogspot.com/2016/07/mickey-thompson-in-his-mini-dragster.html

Fwiw, you can't believe anything you see or hear anymore, the new tech can make anything photo realistic, and make any celeb voice say anything a hacker wants it to say

This is terrific! A nose art piece by Brinkman, famous for the Zodiac Squadron!

His work was superb because before the war he'd had 6 years experience as a commercial artist.

Note the pilot's nickname, Tailskid Kid


the definitive hatchet job

During WW2, all sorts of guys went into the military, even cartoonists, and some were put to work on all the many publications and booklets in the training department, and

Except, the facts above are wrong. The comics were Smilin' Jack and Sparky Watts. The above Lt had the first name Gordon, and was known as Boody.

Rogers was Zack Mosley's assistant on The Adventures of Smilin' Jack when he sold his own strip, Sparky Watts, to the Frank Jay Markey Syndicate, which distributed such strips as Ed Wheelan's Big Top and Rube Goldberg's Lala Palooza. Sparky Watts debuted Monday, April 29, 1940 in some 40 newspapers. The strip ended when Rogers was drafted. During World War II he gave chalk talks to servicemen. His World War II experiences are detailed in his autobiography, Homeless Bound (1984).


how many service members in disgrace were sent to polish the general's B 24 Seventh Heaven?

I wish that someone had come along with a color film camera and taken pictures of nose art

This probably would have been a great color nose art. I'm wondering if that was a Disney Studios created piece, or just an exceptionally talented nose art painter on some base...

B 17 "Better Duck" flew 53 missions before returning to the US in July 1945
  43-38229 95th BG 8 AF


have you heard of the B 17 "Dreamboat" prototype and test mule?

A project B 17 with the nose and tail power-operated turrets from a B-24 Liberator, where they provided much more firepower and better armor protection.

The tail turret had a field of fire about six times greater than the original B-17 turret.

Since the nose was now taken up by the turret, the bombardier was moved to an under nose gondola, which provided such excellent visibility that he acted as the navigator too, reducing the number of crew members from 10 to nine.

The radio operator and his equipment were moved from the middle of the aircraft forward to a compartment next to the bombardier gondola, making it possible for them to communicate if the inter phone was shot out. More importantly, this moved the center of gravity forward and eliminated the tail heaviness. As an added benefit, this required a longer antenna wire, which provided a stronger signal.

The dorsal and ball turrets were replaced with lighter, roomier and better armored models, and the two waist gun positions were removed and replaced by a power boosted twin .50 machine gun mounted on top of the fuselage just above the old waist gun positions. It required only a single gunner, so the number of crew members was further reduced to eight.

The “barn door” type bomb bay doors were replaced with folding doors that extended only 8 inches into the slip stream. This cut drag during the bomb run and provided a tactical advantage, since the folding bomb bay doors were invisible from a distance. This meant that open bomb bay doors would not alert German fighters when the bomb run was beginning and the bombers could not maneuver. The oxygen system was redesigned so each crew member had double lines so if one was cut he would still receive a half supply.

The final results for the “Dreamboat,” as the project was nicknamed, were weight reduction of more than 1,000 pounds, the center of gravity moved forward to a nearly ideal point, all the manually operated machine guns were replaced with power operated weapons, and two crew members were eliminated. Speed and altitude performance remained the same because the drag of the bombardier’s “gondola” offset the reduced weight and improved the center of gravity.

Despite the improvements, incorporating the changes into the B-17 production line would have resulted in unacceptable delays for retooling and they were too extensive to be done in England, so Major Reed’s “Dreamboat” remained an object of curiosity in various depots for the rest of the war. The project was not, however, for naught. Many of Major Reed’s changes were incorporated in the new Boeing B-29 Superfortress and Convair B-32 Dominator, which were in their initial test stages and were to replace the B-17".