Friday, March 28, 2008
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
CRUZIN' ROUTE 66
Sure, you've heard a lot of stories of Old Route 66, but have you heard the story of the alien abduction that occurred on Route 66?
My story is about Sonny Paul a fellow Route66er and classic car nut, and the horrible thing that happend to him one night on Old Route 66.
Sonny Paul was riding the Road all the way from Chicago to San Bernardino and was well along on his journey when he reached Kingman and made the decision to make a side trip to Las Vegas.
The sun was just going down, but he decided the drive to Las Vegas at night would be cooler. He was diving an absolutely beautiful 56 Chevy Bel Air convertible and he really wanted to drive with the top down. Sonny was really proud of it as and had carefully restored it over a period of 15 years and he was taking it on its maiden cruise on The Mother Road. Does life get any better than cruisin' America's Main Street in a sweet classic car? I think not.
How ever things were about to take a bad turn for Sonny Paul!
The First mistake was trying to travel at night because the roads are harder to follow at night.
The Second mistake was in not watching his gas gauge. He had made good time until he realized that he was almost out of gas and started looking for some place to fill up. He was some place on Highway 93 going North, he recalled later, when he thought he saw a gas station off the main road and so took the next exit and doubled back to it. Area 51 is not far from there and we all know what can happen out there! His last recollection was that the station was strange looking, kinda saucer shaped, but when you are anywhere near Area 51, you should expect to see strange things, mostly tourist traps aimed at the Alien minded tourists heading for Area 51. It is from the point that he drove up to a gas pump, that the lights went out for him.
When the police found him later on what was determined the third day after his blackout, he was stark naked and no longer in possession of the 56 Chevy Bel Air convertible and 30 miles North of Las Vegas... When they found him, Sonny was okay but dehydrated and sunburned as you might expect from someone who has been wondering around in a desert naked and without supplies for 2 or 3 days.
The police were very through in their investigation of the incident and I even drove out with Sonny to the spot he thought he saw the gas station, but all to no avail. There was no gas station and worse, no 56 Chevy Bel Air Convertible!
It has been almost a year now and Sonny is doing better. But he is still having flashbacks, his strangest flashback is that of a weird little green guy doing donuts in the sand in his 56 Chevy Bel Air Convertible, just before he drove it into the strange gas station. He says that he remebers that the gas station dissapeared straight up? He asked me if I thought a gas station could fly?
I don't want Sonny to know this, but I think he may never see his 56 Chevy Bel Air Convertible again. Because I think he had the bad luck to run into an Alien that was a car collector?
So if you are going to Cruise Old Route 66 this summer in a classic, be forewarned, your classic may be in jepordy! Don't make me say, "I told ya so!".
Copyright KL Nichols 2008
Monday, March 24, 2008
XM and Sirius Satellite Radio stations announced that they were merging.
Who did not expect this?
In my personal opinion which is worth little on the market, there is no reason for one satellite radio station, much less two! Why? If you haven't figured it out for yourself, why pay for something that you get free. Almost all vehicles have radios that we have paid for in the purchase of the vehicle or added at a fairly hefty price later. We have .mp3 players, CD & CD changers, iPod by the millions, just what brainiac figured we need a paid subscription radio too? My guess is it was some spoiled rich guy that didn't think it thru!!
What is the future of satellite radio? It won't last on a paid basis! The $120 or more wasted on it each year is the first thing to go in a financial pinch like a recession! There may be some hope for it if they can figure out how to sell you a radio and include a lifetime subscription in the price. Or the same thing with a car. My guess is that there are 10,000's of cars running around with Satellite radios in that the aren't working!
I have another idea, why don't they get corporate sponsors for it and give Satellite Radio to the masses or is this just another richboy toy? Or here's an idea, why don't they sell commercials on it and give everybody that is interested free Satellite? You know there already is a similar radio system called National Public Radio and it has a real small listening audience too, maybe they could merge with them? Either way, it's overkill in the capitalistic marketplace! For it to survive, they are going to have to do something radical or it's curtains for Satellite radio!
Friday, March 21, 2008
KL Nichols In the news recently are two stories about Classic Mustangs that havebeen returned to their owners. Here they are:
1. After 38 years, man's stolen Mustang is back
It has 300,000 extra miles, but still running just fine
LOS ANGELES - A Los Angeles man is getting his Mustang back — 38
years after it was stolen.
The vehicle has an extra 300,000 miles and a different paint job, but Eugene
Brakke's 1965 Mustang is evidently running just fine.
Brakke reported the car stolen to Burbank police in May 1970.
One month later, a Long Beach teenager named Judy Smongesky received
the car as a high school graduation gift from her father, who had bought it at
a used-car dealership.
Smongesky, who now lives in San Diego, said Thursday she had been
driving and maintaining the car for nearly four decades, and only learned that
it had been stolen when she recently prepared to sell it. San Diego police
verified the car was hot.
"It's his car, even though he had it for four years and I had it for 38,"
Smongesky said. "He seems like a real nice gentleman, though."
Brakke found out Smongesky had twice rebuilt the engine and painted the
Mustang from its old gold color to silver-blue.
"He wasn't too happy with that," Smongesky said.
The pair planned to meet up to transfer the car soon.
"It was hard but it was the right thing to do," Smongesky said. "I haven't really
cried yet, but when he drives it away, I think I'll fall apart."
2. Man to reunite with his Mustang
LEAGUE CITY, TX (KTRK) -- We know that truth can be stranger than fiction.And some stories, if you made them up, they wouldn't be believable. That seems to be the case for a League City man and his Ford Mustang, stolen 16 years ago.
Andy Felchak's mom gave him her 66 Ford Mustang when he was a junior in high school in 1991. He spent a year painstakingly restoring it inside and out, only to have it stolen from a Crosby grocery store parking lot.
He has spent much of his adult life aching over that missing car. That is, he had until now.
Felchak loved his '66 Mustang. "I took time to restore it after she gave it to me," he said. "I had the motor redone. I had some front end work redone. Also got it painted and replaced all of the interior."
But then one day at work, someone stole it.
"Never really thought I'd see it again," he said. "After a year or two passed, I was pretty confident I wasn't gonna see it."
But for some reason, Andy and his parents kept stacks of photos of that sky blue classic. They kept the title, still in Andy's name. They even kept the keys.
But then one day a couple of months ago, Andy got a call from a detective in Wichita, Kansas.
"He said he thought he had my car," said Andy.
And in fact he did. A woman in Kansas tried to register the car and it came up stolen all these years later. She was probably the fourth or fifth person to have that car since 1992, the first one outside of Texas.
It's a little worse for wear. Andy doesn't care. He's already cleaned out his garage and is ready to go pick it up in a couple of weeks.
"Are you planning on putting an alarm system or a Lo-jack in it?" we asked.
"I'm gonna do something," he said. "Definitely don't want to get it stolen again."
And maybe one day, he says, he'll give it to his daughter.
Interestingly, Felchak is getting the car back because he didn't have it insured in 1992. He only had liability coverage. If it had been insured, he couldn't keep it. It would have belonged to the insurance company.
Is there a moral here? Surely not the lack of insurance angle, but maybe it is that the system
actually or occasionally works?
Saturday, March 15, 2008
"Collector cars increase in value approximately 7 to 10% per year and some cars appreciate much more, why not make an investment you can have fun with!! How is your 401K doing???"
This is a quote from a friend of mine, Tom Thorson of Valley Motors and it reaches into the heart of the question, "Will The Stockmarket Affect The Collector Vehicle Market?"
The Stock Market is on everybody's mind as is the Weak American Dollar, plus the price of OIl, Gold, etc., etc., etc. But past experiences tells us that when the stockmarket gets hinky and the dollar drops, a lot of the Smart Money moves to the Collector Vehicle Market. Add to that the fact that when the dollar is weak, buyers from all over the world flock to the bargains that American Collector Vehicles offer. This is good and bad, good for collector vehicle sales, but bad in the sense that American Iron is going abroad! But we can take solace in the fact that when their stock market takes a dive and it will, the collector vehicles will come back. Meanwhile, the American Collector Vehicle Market should be a Bull Market!
Monday, March 10, 2008
Study of recent hurricane and gasoline issues have proved the existence of a new chemical element.
A major research institution has recently announced the discovery of the heaviest element yet known to science.
The new element has been named "Governmentium."
Governmentium (Gv) has one neutron, 25 assistant neutrons, 88 deputy neutrons, and 198 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312. These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons. Governmentium is inert. However, it can be detected, because it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact. A minute amount of Governmentium can cause a reaction that would normally take less than a second to take over four days to complete.
Governmentium has a normal half-life of four years; it does not decay, but instead undergoes a reorganization in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places. In fact, Governmentium's mass will actually increase over time, since each reorganization will cause more morons to become neutrons, forming isodopes. This characteristic of moron promotion leads some scientists to believe that Governmentium is formed whenever morons reach a critical concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as Critical Morass.
When catalyzed with money, Governmentium becomes Administratium (Am) -- an element which radiates just as much energy as Governmentium since it has half as many peons but twice as many morons.
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
One Top Fuel 500 cubic-inch Hemi dragster engine makes more
horsepower (8,000 HP) than the first 4 rows at the Daytona 500.
* Under full throttle, a dragster engine consumes 11.2 gallons of nitro methane per second; a fully loaded 747 consumes jet fuel at the same rate with 25% less energy being produced.
* A stock Dodge Hemi V8 engine cannot produce enough power to merely drive the dragster's supercharger.
* With 3000 CFM of air being rammed in by the supercharger on overdrive, the fuel mixture is compressed into a near-solid form before ignition. Cylinders run on the verge of hydraulic lock at full throttle.
* At the stoichiometric 1.7:1 air/fuel mixture for nitro methane the flame front temperature measures 7050 degrees F.
* Nitro methane burns yellow. The spectacular white flame seen above the stacks at night is raw burning hydrogen, dissociated from atmospheric water vapor by the searing exhaust gases.
* Dual magnetos supply 44 amps to each spark plug. This is the output of an arc welder in each cylinder.
* Spark plug electrodes are totally consumed during a pass. After 1/2 way, the engine is dieseling from compression plus the glow of exhaust valves at 1400 degrees F. The engine can only be shut down by cutting the fuel flow.
* If spark momentarily fails early in the run, unburned nitro builds up in the affected cylinders and then explodes with sufficient force to blow cylinder heads off the block in pieces or split the block in half.
* Dragsters reach over 300 MPH before you have completed reading this sentence.
* In order to exceed 300 MPH in 4.5 seconds, dragsters must accelerate an average of over 4 G's. In order to reach 200 MPH well before half-track, the launch acceleration approaches 8 G's.
* Top Fuel engines turn approximately 540 revolutions from light to light!
* Including the burnout, the engine must only survive 900 revolutions under load.
* The redline is actually quite high at 9500 RPM.
* THE BOTTOM LINE: Assuming all the equipment is paid off, the crew
worked for free, & for once, NOTHING BLOWS UP, each run costs an estimated
$1,000 per second.
*0 to 100 MPH in 0.8 seconds (the first 60 feet of the run)*0 to 200 MPH in 2.2 seconds (the first 350 feet of the run)*6 g-forces at the starting line (nothing accelerates faster on land)*6 negative g-forces upon deployment of twin 'chutes at 300 MPH
An NHRA Top Fuel Dragster accelerates quicker than any other land vehicle on earth, quicker than a jet fighter plane . . . quicker than the space shuttle.
The current Top Fuel dragster elapsed time record is 4.420 seconds for the quarter-mile (2004, Doug Kalitta). The top speed record is 337.58 MPH as measured over the last 66' of the run (2005, Tony Schumacher).
Putting this all into perspective:
You are driving the average $140,000 Lingenfelter twin-turbo powered Corvette Z06. Over a mile up the road, a Top Fuel dragster is staged & ready to launch down a quarter-mile strip as you pass. You have the advantage of a 200 mph flying start. You run the 'Vette hard up through the gears and blast across the starting line & pass the dragster at an honest 200 MPH. The 'tree' goes green for both of you at that moment. The dragster launches & starts after you. You keep your foot down hard, but you hear an incredibly brutal whine that sears your eardrums & within 3 seconds the dragster catches & passes you. He beats you to the finish line, a quarter-mile away from where you just passed him.
Think about it - from a standing start, the dragster had spotted you 200 MPH & not only caught, but nearly blasted you off the road when he passed you within a mere 1320 foot long (1/4 mile) race!
That is acceleration!
Note: I receviced this from a friend and have no idea of the orgin, if any reader knows where it came from, please let me know and I will give credit to the originator!