If it\’s got an engine. . .

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Archive for January, 2006

I know who killed Dale Earnhardt

Posted by ifitsgotanengine on January 30, 2006


I met the man who claims to have killed Dale Sr. the other day.

We were sitting around at work (we seem to do that a lot) when Bob (not his real name – his real name is Daniel) asked “did I ever tell y’all about how I killed Dale Earnhardt?”

Before I go any farther in this story I feel it appropriate to explain that the room was pretty well full of rednecks.

At this point the senior redneck present looked at the clock and told Bob (still not his real name – see above) “you’ve got eight minutes to explain yourself or you’re gonna die.”

So here goes.

It seems that Bob was at an amusement when he saw Dale Earnhardt there. Bob isn’t a Nascar fan, but he was with a friend who is. At some point in the evening they found themselves on a roller coaster with Dale. Bob was right behind him and his friend was a few seats back.

Bob leans up and says to Dale, “I know you’re here with your family and I hate to bother you, but my friend is a real big fan and I was wondering if I could get your autograph?”

Dale remains silent, as if he didn’t hear Bob. His nephew said “Uncle Dale, that man asked you a question.” Dale leans over to the nephew and says “Shut up.”

The rest of the ride is completed in silence. As he gets off of the roller coaster, Bob shouts “I hope you wreck at your next race!”

Dale’s next race was his last.

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Drive what you build?

Posted by ifitsgotanengine on January 29, 2006


Are cooks at McDonald’s allowed to eat at Burger King? Outback?

If you work for the railroad can you fly to your vacation destination? Take a cruise?

What’s the difference between that and Ford workers being required to drive Fords? Okay, I know they aren’t required, but they have to park across the street if they don’t.


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I’ve read positive reviews of this policy here and here, but I can’t agree with it.

Here’s why.

If I purchase a 1998 Audi A4, how does that hurt Ford Motor Company? And how exactly does my purchasing a 1998 Ford Taurus (what a comparison!) help Ford?

In either case the answer is – “it doesn’t”.

The only automoble purchases that affect the automakers are new car purchases and I’d bet that over half of the cars in the employee parking lots were purchased used.

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Did the Treaty of Versailles lead to the Shelby Daytona Coupe?

Posted by ifitsgotanengine on January 29, 2006


Kind of.

You see, the Treaty of Versailles prohibited Germany from maintaining an Air Force. They already had several wind tunnels, so rather than let them sit, they turned their use toward the automobile.


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This led Dr. Wunibald Kamm to discover that the the key to reducing aerodynamic drag was not to teardrop the rear of the car, but rather to cut it off abruptly – the KammBack.

Much later, while working on a coupe version of the Shelby Cobra, Peter Brock ran across a German aerodynamics text that included the Kammback. Peter couldn’t even read German (!), but the illustrations included were enough to convince him that the Kammback was what was needed.

The Daytona coupe went on to defeat Ferrari at LeMans, and the rest is history.

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And he drove it home!

Posted by ifitsgotanengine on January 24, 2006


According to Jalopnik, the winning bidder of the Futureliner ($4.1 million) drove it home!

That rocks.

Thanks to The View Through the Windshield.

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Barrett-Jackson 2006

Posted by ifitsgotanengine on January 22, 2006


Jay Leno once said that he knows that he has a problem and was making preparations to check himself into the Henry Ford clinic.

That pretty much sums up the atmosphere at the Barrett-Jackson auto auction.

Last night, during the auction of a 1952 Chrysler D’Elegance concept car, the bidding had stalled at $800,000. The host got on the microphone and told the croud that “this is a bargain for a car of this caliper“. I turned to my wife and told her that it must have been a Fordian slip.

The car truly was spectacular, with a front end that looks like a modern Bentley GT and a profile that recalls the Karmann Ghia.

It sold for $1.1 million.

Others to break the million dollar mark included a 1954 Pontiac Bonneville concept car which sold for $2.8 million, a 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS LS6 that sold for $1.05 million, a 1970 Plymouth ‘Cuda Hemi convertable for $2 million, and the surprise of the show – a 1950 GM Futureliner tour bus that sold for a staggering $4.1 million dollars.

I think one of the bargains of the show was 1953 Corvette with serial number 003 – most likely the first Corvette made that wasn’t destroyed by Chevrolet. It sold for only $1 million.

Wish I had been there.

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My turn for a ‘first’ post

Posted by ifitsgotanengine on January 15, 2006


All this talk in the carblogosphere about ‘firsts’ got me thinking. I’ve already mentioned my ’83 Mercury Capri GS a couple of times, so I won’t go into that now.

What I haven’t talked about is the first car I ever autocrossed.

When I was in the Navy, my next door neighbor’s cousin moved in with him. He had a 1977 Porsche 924. It was white and didn’t look or run very well. I remember seeing him many mornings working feverishly trying to get it to run so he could drive it to work.

Well, fast forward a couple of months and I come home from a deployment to find the Porsche gone and a Jeep in its place. I knocked on the door and asked what happened to the 924 and he told me he got tired of it and left it in long-term parking on base several months earlier. Naturally I asked him what he wanted for it. I ended up buying it from him for $250.

He gave me a ride to the lot where the car was and we managed to jump-start it and I drove it home.

It had mold on almost every interior surface and the wiring was atrocious. The fuel pump had apparently quit at one point, as there was a wire running from the hatch area, through the interior, across the passenger seat, out the door, under the hood, directly to the battery. There was a toggle switch spliced into this wire where it laid on the passenger seat.

The start procedure included “flip fuel pump toggle ‘on’ on passenger seat”.

I realize that this post is getting long and I haven’t even got to the autocross part yet, so stay tuned for a Part 2.

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Stephen finally did it!

Posted by ifitsgotanengine on January 12, 2006

He started his own blog.

Check out Seeing the World Through a Bug Covered Windshield.

Welcome, Stephen.

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Where did everybody go?

Posted by ifitsgotanengine on January 10, 2006

The Bavarian Falconblog‘s been dead for a while now

Bill’s Blog Project appears abandoned


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.:Ride:. appears to have stalled

Ben’s Car Blog
is on the back burner.

And I haven’t been too frequent with upgrades myself.

Did everyone make a New Year’s resolution to stop blogging?

Come back, guys.

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Blast from the past

Posted by ifitsgotanengine on January 5, 2006


Inspired by Philip’s post on 4 Drivers Only about the Morgan 4/4, which has been in continuous production since 1936, I felt compelled to write about my favorite motorcycle – the Royal Enfield Bullet.

This motorcycle was built by the British company Royal Enfield. At some point in the 1950s, the Indian government bought the rights to open a factory to build the bikes locally for their armed forces. The British Royal Enfield company went out of business, but the factory in India is still churning out motorcycles remarkably unchanged from the 1955 model. The bike pictured is a 2005 model, available for $4795 in the US.

One day . . .

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It doesn’t have an engine . . .

Posted by ifitsgotanengine on January 5, 2006


And it’s not a car. But it does have a motor. Three, to be exact.

And if flies.

Indoors.

It’s my new favorite toy, a Bladerunner II RC helicopter. Click the link to see a video on their website.

It weighs around 50 grams, which I think rounds down to zero. That’s with the body, most of which I have cut away in the name of increased flight times.

I’m now getting a little over 10 minutes on a full charge of its onboard 300 mah Li-Po (that’s Lithium Polymer) battery. It takes close to an hour to recharge.

There’s a pretty active web forum for these things where they discuss a variety of modifications.

I got it a Circuit City for around $60.00.

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