Saturday, October 14, 2023

a situation possibly preceded by a "clunk clunk" sound

1972 Rallye du Maroc with a Citroen

Wheelstander competition

both Ford and Rivian are losing big money on every EV each is selling these days (30k per unit), those companies aren’t alone, as Chinese EV maker Nio loses 35k on each car

Nio – which sold around 8,000 EVs each month in April through June of this year – has thus far invested heavily in its expanding operations, employing 11,000 people in research and development while also sinking big money into a plant capable of churning out 300,000 EV motors annually. For these reasons, the company lost $835 million in Q2, or around $35,000 on each car that it sold over that time period. Regardless, it manages to stay afloat thanks to financial assistance from the Chinese government and other local investors, which invested $2.6 billion total in the company when it ran out of money back in 2020.

 By comparison, Rivian lost $33,000 on every vehicle it sold in the second quarter of 2023, but still has plentiful cash reserves of around $9 billion, and has managed to significantly ramp up production in recent months, inching closer to breaking even as it works to lower costs on the parts it purchases from suppliers.

this is genius, my sister took the time to gather the cans from around the garage and boat dock, logging truck etc, and used gorilla tape and scissors for quite an innovative decoration idea!

Friday, October 13, 2023

I have been a fan of Keystones since the mid 70s when I was mid 7

the remains of MIA pilots who flew Phantoms, are being returned to America finally

Wouldn't it be cool, if there was a couple of schools for construction, logging, and farming equipment

 formed by a partnership between Caterpillar, Volvo, John Deere, Tigercat, JCB, Kubota, Bobcat, Liebherr, Linkbelt

In a couple weeks, anyone that wanted to trade a couple thou in tuition could get a crash course in dozers, graders, plows, excavators, cranes, dumptucks, drilling, driving, transporting, and general maintenance on the variety and mix of the biggest names in construction and farming rolling equipment. 

Just a thought. 

I have no clue, maybe there already is such a thing. But I doubt there is one where those companies are partnered up

Felipe Nunes of Tony Hawks skate team, is in a new Metallica video. WTF is he doing without an effing helmet?

it's mentioned in the podcast Tony does, in the interview with Weird Al, at 23:36 - 24:12

Tony Hawk hopped on Instagram in full support of his rider, teammate and friend, saying, "Consider this post the world premiere of @metallica’s music video for “Too Far Gone?” featuring the world’s gnarliest skater (aka @felipenunesskate)"

Archaeologists in England have excavated an experimental catapult (RAE Mark III) at Harwell, in Oxfordshire, designed to launch World War II bomber planes into the air.

It was made to enable take-offs using shorter runways and so the planes could be loaded with more fuel.

The contraption was built between 1938 and 1940 when the site was RAF Harwell. But the prototype, built between 1938 and 1940, was never used. The device was later buried, and a regular runway was built over it in 1941.

The catapult has now been dismantled to allow construction works in the area to continue, though the remains are being archived. Excavations also uncovered large lights from another nearby runway, and a light anti-aircraft gun emplacement used to defend it from attack.

Abarth Ghia coupe concept drawing (looks like some Panhard influence to me)

Arnold Schwarzenegger joined the Austrian Army and became a tanker in 1965.

Before he moved to the US to enjoy massive success as a bodybuilder, movie star and politician, the future Governator had to perform military service back home. In 1965, an 18-year-old Schwarzenegger began his national service in the Austrian military, where he opted to train as a tank driver.

Looking back, Schwarzenegger reflects, “I was an 18-year-old kid, still really not ripe enough I would say, to take on the responsibility of a 50-ton tank. But there I was, I was going through tank driving school, I passed easily, I was very very excited and enthusiastic, studied everything about the tank. Then I had my own tank, I started driving the tank, it was wonderful.”

After retiring from bodybuilding, Schwarzenegger moved into acting and wound up becoming one of the biggest box office stars of the 80s. By the 90s, he made his first side-step into politics, enlisted by President George HW Bush to chair a Presidential committee on fitness – and during this time, nostalgic for his army days, Schwarzenegger had a fanciful idea.

Reflecting on his love for his old M47 tank, “I said to myself, ‘well, now they don’t need it anymore… they’ve become obsolete.’ So I asked the Austrian army if I can have it back.” 

To receive his tank, he had to obtain permission from the Austrian government, the Pentagon, and the US military.

With the help of high-ranking White House figures Dick Cheney and Colin Powell, Schwarzenegger was indeed able to get the very tank he had driven all those years earlier, paying $20,000 to transport it to his US home.

Understanding that the spectacle of a tank’s destructive power is a novelty to most people, Schwarzenegger starting putting his tank to good use at charitable events, including a 2014 fundraiser in which one lucky raffle winner got to head out to LA to run things over in Schwarzenegger’s tank. (This is the vehicle’s only destructive power, as its gun has been disabled.)

As Schwarzenegger explained “I’m very passionate about after-school programs, which I’ve been doing nationwide for the last twenty-some years. And we always need money so we can enroll more kids in after-school programs. Here we found a way of having people participate and pay, and we raised through this fundraiser over a million dollars.”

Schwarzenegger continues to use the tank’s pulling power to get kids to participate in the after-school program. “I bring kids out here from the after-school programs. When they stay in school their reward is to come out here and drive tanks with me,”

Schwarzenegger’s association with tanks endures. 2021 saw a petition launched on Reddit to make Schwarzenegger part of video game World of Tanks. In response, Schwarzenegger did indeed collaborate with the makers of the game on a special event.

the Makita cordless leaf blower is so powerful, people are using it to power rc airplanes

These images show the better one in the video at the above link

Thursday, October 12, 2023

must have been amazing

nice pair, cool Vespa trailer

92 year old Bernie Ecclestone found guilty, for failing to declare £400m of overseas assets to the UK government

Prosecutors told the court that Ecclestone would pay £652m to HM Revenue and Customs, the UK’s tax authority. 

He was handed a 17-month jail term, suspended for two years, and was also ordered to pay prosecution costs of £74,000.

Somewhere in Argentina, not accessible to tourists

only about 24 1958 Oldsmobile Dynamic 88 Fiesta station wagons are still known to exist

J-2 tri-carb 371-cid Rocket V-8 engine, it sports power steering, brakes and antenna; roof cargo carrier, the K-5 interior trim package that included fancier carpet and seats, along with a padded dash; courtesy lights; clock; heater; glove box light; underhood light; windshield washer; fender skirts in back; and white walls. It has the aforementioned removable radio

the HBO drama, the Sopranos, had a lot of viewers getting an idea how the mafia could be running the trash disposal industry, and strip clubs. But would you guess the tow truck companies?

A Brooklyn tow company owner who raised big bucks for Mayor Eric Adams and faces bribery charges tied to his interactions with a former top mayoral aide has been enmeshed in scandals dating back 25 years — including one in which prosecutors alleged his company was controlled by the Genovese crime family.

Last month Michael Mazzio, 54, was indicted on charges of bribing Eric Ulrich, while Ulrich was a top aide to Adams. In exchange for cash and Mets tickets, prosecutors allege that Ulrich got Mazzio access to Adams’ chief advisor, Ingrid Lewis-Martin, and snagged him a sit-down dinner with the mayor himself.

Before that, Mazzio and his company, Mike’s Heavy Duty Towing, had turned up in the middle of two scandals that highlight a longstanding effort by the towing industry to corrupt the system New York City uses to regulate who gets to tow disabled vehicles.

Mike’s Heavy Duty first emerged in a 1998 lawsuit alleging the city’s system for regulating which companies are permitted to tow vehicles off of city highways was corrupt. And Mazzio and his company were indicted in a 2018 case that included allegations of Mafia control of New York’s towing industry.

prosecutors say Mazzio was bribing Ulrich and communicating with Adams’ chief advisor, Lewis-Martin, in 2021 about reinstating his license, getting work towing vehicles stuck on highways during snow storms, and revoking the highway permit of a rival firm, Runway Towing.

Behind the scenes, this sometimes pugilistic industry has been plagued by mob infiltration. As the then-Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. put it in a 2018 case filed against Mazzio and 10 other tow companies and their affiliated auto body shops, “The New York City towing industry is influenced by organized crime.”

The city’s system for regulating the towing of vehicles within its borders has been tainted again and again with allegations of bribery, bid-rigging and general day-to-day corruption.

This is particularly true regarding the system managed by the NYPD to regulate which companies are granted permits to haul vehicles off highways, parkways, expressways, bridges and tunnels.

In 2017, the NYPD began suggesting that, in addition to the base fee they’re required to pay, applicants should also pay the department an unspecified “vendor proposed percentage” of the fees they collect for highway towing. One vendor who declined to make such a payment was rejected and alleged that the NYPD only awarded permits to tow companies that kicked in this extra lucre.

For the last two weeks the NYPD has refused to provide THE CITY with a list of the companies currently holding highway towing permits or to reveal how much they’ve collected in fees and “vendor proposed percentage” over the last two years. The city comptroller, who reviews and registers all contracts with city agencies, has no information about who is doing this work and how much the companies are paying the NYPD for these permits.

QED, the NYPD is on the take, paid by the mafia, and won't disclose who or how much.

That ought to be an invetigative drama Netflix series

the street vendors right to have a location, is now the pivotal issue that the Queens borough president, Democrat Donovan Richards, will not bend on, if the New York City Adams administration wants his vote for the 780 million dollar soccer stadium

Democrat Donovan Richards disclosed the ultimatum in remarks before the nonprofit Street Vendor Project’s gala at MoMA PS1 last week and repeated it to Gothamist. The project must undergo a lengthy land-use review, including of street maps.

“What I said to the administration is: I will not sign off on any fútbol stadium until my vendors are returned to Corona Plaza,” Richards told the gathering, to thunderous applause. “And you can tweet that.”

He added, “Those [street] maps will collect dust for the rest of the year because we will not turn our backs on the working people of our borough.”

The ultimatum adds a new wrinkle to a long-running dispute over Corona Plaza, where the city earlier this year shutdown a popular street vendor market amid complaints about cleanliness, crime and crowding, including from owners of brick-and-mortar stores. Many of the street vendors are migrants doing business without licenses.

The 25,000-seat stadium is the future home of the New York City Football Club, set to debut in 2027.

City officials have said they are still ironing out long-term plans for a market at Corona Plaza, after sanitation police cleared out dozens of vendors in July over ongoing complaints of blocked sidewalks, unsanitary conditions and “illegal vending” too close to storefronts.

Richards said he’s still negotiating with the Adams administration about the number of vendors that will be allowed back at the plaza, which was once home to over 80 stalls. Richards said his “magic number” is 28 vendors, but said he’s still fending off proposals to permanently exclude vendors from the plaza.

“I'm going to use every tool in my toolbox to ensure that they're not left out of the conversation,” Richards said.

He added, “Hell, no. I'm not gonna put this stadium in drive while the vendors are in neutral.”

Richards pointed to what he called “hypocritical” doublespeak by the Adams administration, at once advocating for the Biden administration to expand work authorization for newly arrived migrants, while denying new licenses to long-time vendors in the city.

The number of licenses and permits to legally vend in the city have remained limited for decades. Effort to expand the supply has been mired in years-long delays.

“It’s been dead,” Queens Borough President Donovan Richards said of the plaza since the vendors’ departure. “It’s taken the life out of the community.”

New York City sanitation police shut down the bustling street vendor market in Corona Plaza in late July, citing ongoing complaints about blocked sidewalks, “dirty conditions,” and “illegal vending” that took place too close to storefronts.

More than 80 vendors — who are mostly women and immigrants without any legal immigration status, according to advocacy groups — lost their livelihoods and income following the crackdown, after helping to revive the neighborhood, which was among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The market used to lure weekend tourists from across the boroughs and even outside the state. TikTokers advertised the “cheap eats” — dollar tacos! — and home-style cooking from across Latin America. This spring, New York Times food critic Pete Wells pegged the venue as No. 48 on his list of The 100 Best Restaurants in New York City.

“This was one of the most interesting places you could go to explore and see what people in that part of Queens were cooking,” Wells said in an interview, later adding: “It was unlike anything else in New York.”

Councilmember Francisco Moya, who represents the area, has said that his office receives up to 20 complaints a week about vendors, including that they steal customers from brick-and-mortar businesses, block the sidewalk, and improperly dispose of trash. Moya, who supported the sweep, has blamed the market for unsanitary conditions, rising crime and unruly behavior. “What is happening in Corona Plaza and all along Roosevelt Avenue is just out of control, it’s chaos,” Moya told the Jackson Heights Post.

A 2019 settlement mandated the city Department of Transportation to survey and fix any street that didn’t have adequate access for sidewalk ramps at every corner. Believe it or not, the city blames the quarantine, when no one was out interfering in transportation construction. That was 3 years ago

The discovery of ramp-free locations that were not previously identified, along with pandemic-driven construction delays, officials say, have combined to push back the completion dates agreed to in a 2019 settlement. Two class-action lawsuits had charged the city with not making streets and sidewalks accessible to people with disabilities, a condition the city may not be able to fulfill for years.

The delays are spelled out in the Department of Transportation’s July “transition plan,” which details how the agency has completed a survey of 217,678 pedestrian ramps at approximately 134,000 corners in the city. There are approximately 185,000 corners citywide, according to an August progress report of the pedestrian ramp program.

A little more than 40,000 ramps have been revamped or installed.

Several disability rights organizations sued the city in 1994 and again in 2014 over sidewalk ramps that were missing, inaccessible or lacking tactile warning surfaces for people with visual impairments.

As part of the settlement just four years ago, the DOT says it used high definition, street-level imagery and mobile light-detection and ranging technology to survey every street corner and determine which ones need curb cuts installed or repaired.

But DOT records show that the survey, completed in October 2019, also turned up additional locations that lacked ramps but were not on the agency’s list of known corners

New York City’s commitments to accessibility upgrades are also lagging in other cases. THE CITY reported last month that the Taxi and Limousine Commission missed a June 30 deadline for making half of the 13,587 yellow taxis accessible to wheelchair users — after initially blowing a 2020 deadline set nearly a decade earlier.

Overlanding area at SEMA 2023 will be outdoors in the West Hall parking lot

Jim McFarland has passed away, he was the Hot Rod Magazine tech editor in 1966, editor in 67, and publisher in 1968... he left in 1969, unknowingly avoiding the OPEC crisis and insurance crunch, the vans and Vegas era, and worked for 20 years at Edelbrock

In the decades after his leaving the HOT ROD magazine staff, McFarland continued to write hundreds of tech articles and columns for HRM, Car Craft, Popular Hot Rodding, Circle Track, Motor Trend, and other publications.

International Drag Racing Hall of Fame's Founders Award in 2018. 
 2001 SEMA Hall of Fame Inductee

Thanks for letting me know George

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

easy to see this is a veterans Camaro

Ever get annoyed that someone tells you what booth they'll be at in SEMA, but, they don't know how to give general directions? I found an online interactive map of the Vegas Convention Center from 2022 SEMA, it's very useful

just click on the drop down menu in the upper left, pick the hall, then zoom in

If you click on a booth, it pops open a menu, gives you the companies website

Have you heard of a Ford Beyond outlet? No, probably not. Unless you're in China

The Ford Beyond store itself is tailored and designed to look like a “glass jewelry box” on the outside, while making extensive use of wood and stone inside, with a decidedly nature-focused theme. The space contains a vehicle display area, a new car delivery area, a maintenance zone, a dedicated modification area, a lifestyle merchandise area, and a community club where like-minded fans can meet up.

The very first Ford Beyond storefront just opened in Chongqing, China, and it’s decidedly outdoor-focused, with the automaker noting that the intention here is to create a “one-stop outdoor off-road ecosystem” for its customers. Aside from displaying products including the Ranger, Bronco, and F-150 Raptor, these stores will also offer a wide array of parts and accessories for those vehicles, along with merchandise, customized test drives and even “professional experiential programs,” which cater specifically to off-road enthusiasts.

here's a big problem with electric cars, the chargers mostly don't work. Worse, there aren't enough electricians to fix them

there simply aren’t enough electricians out there to fix these chargers and keep them operating for customers

According to Qmerit – an EV charger installation company – the U.S. will need at least 142,000 more certified electricians than are currently in operation by 2030 to support the current growth in EV sales, but that process involves four to five years of apprenticeship, not including the time it takes to obtain a charger certification. 

Demand for electricians in general is expected to grow by six percent over the next decade as well, with 812,000 needed by 2032. At the same time, between now and 2030, the number of electricians is expected to shrink by 14 percent.

There are a few organizations working to rectify (no pun intended) this issue, including the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Training Program, a nonprofit between automakers, educational institutions, utility companies, and EV service equipment manufacturers, which has trained about 30,000 electricians over the past 10 years, as well as ChargerHelp!, which is working to train more electricians as well.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, there were around 4,000 public charging stations 
with between 4500 and 7,000 inoperable ports as of early this month, IAW with a Here Technologies report

a tractor collector is auctioning off an impressive collection, and in the mix, are three unusual items, rollers, and a very early Polaris

Above, a Buffalo Springfield

an ACME, so you know, it's unable to kill roadrunners. 

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

a fascinating look at the early 40s car dealership's transformation through the 50s, and 60s, and obsolescence when the paradigm of selling cars was changed by GM to sell all of each years models before getting any of the next years

Stewart G took a look at this very old pencil that came with the 150 year old house he bought, in Kentucky, after not noticing it for years... and looked to see what it was about

And here's the story about it's history!

the Griffin family bought into an Oldsmobile franchise in Florence, South Carolina, sometime in the late 1930s or early 1940s, when car dealerships would often have only a couple cars in a showroom

At the end of the 1940s, there was a shift in the way cars were bought and sold. Vehicle manufacturers began shipping larger quantities of vehicles to dealerships so that they could be sold off the lot.

Bob Griffin knew the value of publicity. Not only did he choose a high-visibility section of Florence in which to place his dealership, he also chose a modern design with plenty of glass to showcase the cars inside and a tall pylon lettered with the Oldsmobile name.

Throughout the summer of 1950, the inaugural 500-mile stock-car race in nearby Darlington was opened and Griffin began a relationship between NASCAR and Griffin Motors that would last for decades and provide reason enough for the dealership's recent addition to the National Register of Historic Places.

The Griffins not only advertised the race with the aforementioned 88, they also sold tickets to the race from their dealership, and were the first to register a car for the race -- then later grew into a full-fledged racing team, one that employed the likes of Buck Baker, Fireball Roberts, and Lee Petty.

Griffin Motors retained the Oldsmobile franchise until 1962, because in 1960, GM began the requirement for dealers to sell all of the previous year’s stock before receiving the next year’s vehicles. This requirement often resulted in major losses for the dealers as they would have to sell the year-old vehicles at a loss.

thank you Stewart G! 

Compliment of the day!

 I have enjoyed your blog daily for several years.  


I posted years ago about the Sizaire-Berwick luxury car, but didn't learn about the WW1 armored car they made with a propeller (Thanks George!)

The Sizaire-Berwick's Armored Car was an Anglo-French lightly armored military vehicle that was originally designed for combat in arid desert regions during the start of World War 1. Comprised of a civilian car body and outfitted with a giant plane propeller on the back, the Sizire-Berwick Armored Car was meant to glide over sandy terrain.

ecause of their need for a desert vehicle, The Royal Navy sought a design solution and placed a Sunbeam 110CV plane engine on the back of the chassis while adding some steel-plated armor on the front of the vehicle to protect the car's operators.

The thought was that the added plane engine could help propel the vehicle over the loose sands of the desert. However, rather unsurprisingly, because the chassis for the vehicle was not designed or graded for military use, there were many problems with the Sizaire-Berwick's Armored Wind Wagon, and the vehicle was never used in a real operation.

'67 Rambler Rogue drop top

Looks like fan made advertising, on the top, with original advertising section on the bottom. Clever. There seems to be only one online source

If you need a big OLD Cat, grader, etc - even for yard art at the farm driveway entrance, there is a good size collection for auction... lots of old iron eye candy, and a couple of mills and big lathes