You’re Never Going to Believe Who Built This

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Many of you my age or older will remember AMC, or American Motors.   Formed out a merger between independent car makers Nash and Hudson in 1954, AMC first became know for manufacturing the Rambler make in the 50’s and 60’s.  By the early 70’s however, AMC was having increasing difficulty competing with the Big Three (GM, Ford, and Chrysler).  They tried some innovative things that worked, like the Javelin, Hornet, Concord, Spirit, Eagle and Gremlin (yes, they sold hundreds of thousands of them during the entire production run;1970-1978!), and some things that did not work at all, like the Pacer & Matador.  However, the most stunning thing they came up with did not go into production.  Here it is…

This is the AMX III.  Designed by AMC’s Dick Teague, and built by Italian specialty car builder, Giotto Bizzarrini, the AMX III was to be a mid-engined, low production, high cost, halo car to make some money, but even more importantly, enhance AMC’s image as a car builder.  The car was also meant to have been a competitor for the DeTomaso Pantera, which Ford was planning (and eventually produced), as well as a variety of mid engined Corvette concepts (none of which reached production)

DeTomaso Pantera
DeTomaso Pantera

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Unfortunately, the car never came to fruition.  First, cash-strapped AMC couldn’t deal with cost over-runs for the AMX III program.  A labor dispute at that time cost even more.  The death blow came when AMC would have to see the car for $12,000 a copy, when Ford was going to be able to sell the Pantera for just under $10,000, with increased production.

Here’s some additional information regarding the AMX III from  Kit Car Mag.

Reportedly six of these prototypes were built by Bizzarrini, with further development work by BMW, and were powered by AMC’s tough 390 V8 backed to a transaxle. That set-up ultimately yielded 0-60 times in 5.5 seconds and a top speed of over 145 mph. However the AMX/3 design was never tested in a wind tunnel, and the front end got a little light at the higher speeds.

I’m sure those teething problems would have been sorted out before a production car would had ever come off the line, but the cash-strapped American Motors just couldn’t justify the numbers for this limited-production supercar and the continued problems and cost overruns closed the AMX/3 project before too long. The final blow came in the form of Ford’s new DeTomaso Pantera, with looks that were as sleek as the AMX, bigger production volume, and a more reasonable price tag ($10,000 versus the $12,000 for the AMX).

Six cars were built. Five are currently know to exist.  They escaped the destruction ordered by AMC’s management largely due to Dick Teague himself, who bought two of the cars, as well as the remaining transaxles, which were designed and manufactured solely for the AMX III.  The sixth car is assumed to be somewhere in Europe.

I like this car, not only because it is a beautiful example of design and engineering, but also a company that was barely hanging on to life created it.  It shows what the free market is capable of, if left to it’s own devises.  That, and AMC was the perpetual underdog, and managed to survive until it’s purchase by Chrysler in 1987.  It’s one of those little treasures of automotive history that more people should know about, and be able to appreciate.

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Ford offers a Jeep Killer? Yes, but sadly, not in the States

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Ford Owned Troller T4

American loves big cars. The bigger, and it would often seem the more pointless, the better. Enter Ford’s latest entry into the lucrative SUV market, the Troller T4. It’s the creation of Troller Motor Company, a firm founded in Brazil in 1995, by Rogério Farias. In 1999 the first Trollers were produced. The T4s were introduced in 2004 and three years later, Ford do Brazil purchased Troller and since then, the T4s have been made under the umbrella of the Blue Oval guys.troller t4 003troller t4 005This latest model T4 has this author salivating at the idea of an American competitor to the Jeep brand. Its aggressive stance, both high and wide lend that bad boy feel to this SUV.  From it’s rugged looking, yet classic body lines to the meaty rubber, this SUV could be at home in Arizona, Wyoming, or on Rodeo Drive. The overall feel is reminiscent of the older Jeep Wranglers, but with an updated twist. The interior is pretty rugged looking too, with obvious Ford influences.

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2013 Troller T4 Interior

With a little more “Americanizing” we can get an idea of what the American T4 interior might be like by comparing this 2012 Ford F150 Harley Edition interior with the T4’s, shown above.

ford f150 interior 2012 harley edition
Ford F150 Harley Edition Interior

But looks aren’t everything and the T4 seems to know that. The engine is a 3.2-liter turbodiesel paired with a six-speed manual tranny. Heavy-duty Dana solid axles, along with electronically disconnecting sway bars have made the T4 a Dakar Rally favorite. Add in the snorkel air intake and water crossings get easier. This SUV can not only talk the talk, it walks the walk, as well.

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The turbo diesel isn’t a choice for off roaders in the states, even Jeep doesn’t offer them here. With the Toyota FJ now gone, there seems to be a slot open for some competition, but the cost of meeting US Federal requirements will more than likely keep this sweet little beast south of our borders. That’s a sad thing, because it looks like the market would demand this type of vehicle, but Uncle Sam’s onerous CAFE standards seem to have claimed yet another victim.

This would also be a perfect fit for our brave guys and gals on the border patrol. Police agencies in other parts of the world look and feel right at home in a T4.

troller t4 007

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troller t4 0010

I’m thinking competition makes things better for consumers, so with Jeep being so lonely at the top, the Blue Oval guys oughta get serious about bringing this tough little SUV stateside.

troller t4 004

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The auto plant Ford wants to put in Detroit, but the UAW won’t let them.

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ford_logo

 

Ford has a plant in Brazil that ought to be the model for a resurgence in Detroit. Too bad the UAW and Democrat politicians refuse to let this happen.

ford camacari plant brazil 001At Ford Motor Co.’s factory here, a group of Visteon Corp. workers connect the wiring in a dashboard module for a Ford EcoSport. Next to them, Lear Corp. employees are building seats for the same vehicle. A few feet away, Ford’s Diede Silva dos Santos applies trim to a Fiesta subcompact. She’s mastered seven jobs at the plant and is working on an eighth.

“If you do different jobs, it’s more interesting,” said Silva dos Santos, 24. “It gives me a chance to expand my knowledge. (It) makes me a more valuable employee, too, so that I will have a future here.”

All of them exemplify a different kind of worker in a different kind of plant for a Detroit automaker.ford camacari plant brazil 003

This state-of-the-art manufacturing complex in the northeastern Brazilian state of Bahia is not only the centerpiece of Ford’s Brazilian turnaround plan, it is also one of the most advanced automobile plants in the world. It is more automated than many of Ford’s U.S. factories, and leaner and more flexible than any other Ford facility. It can produce five different vehicle platforms at the same time and on the same line.

Ford isn’t alone in their wish to try out new ideas in manufacturing, either.

Ford sources said it is the sort of plant the company wants in the United States, were it not for the United Auto Workers, which has historically opposed such extensive supplier integration on the factory floor.

Many automakers use South America to try out new manufacturing ideas. Volkswagen AG has suppliers in some of its factories, and General Motors Corp. has a supplier park surrounding its plant in Gravataí, Brazil. But analysts say no automaker has gone as far as Ford.

“South America is kind of the global sandbox for a lot of automakers to try out new methods,” said Michael Robinet, vice president of global vehicle forecasts for CSM Worldwide. “Ford was able to think out of the box, and it’s paying off for them.”

Henry Ford would be proud. The Camacari (pronounced kama-sari) plant is innovating his baby, the production line, which was a revolution in itself.

At Camaçari, more than two dozen suppliers operate right inside the Ford complex, in many cases producing components alongside Ford’s main production line. Having those supplier operations on-site allows Ford to take the concept of just-in-time manufacturing to a whole new level. Inventories are kept to a bare minimum, or dispensed with entirely. Components such as dashboard assemblies flow directly into the main Ford assembly line at the precise point and time they are needed.

“It’s a good arrangement,” said Mauro Ribeiro Leite of Atlas Copco AB, a Swedish company that maintains production at Camaçari. It gives us more flexibility, and we’re better able to understand the customer’s needs.”

The system also helps with quality. If there is a problem with a part, it is a simple matter for Ford engineers to trace it to its source and work with the supplier to correct it.

“It’s a simultaneous supply chain,” said Edson Molina, logistics general manager for Ford South America. “When you have a problem, everybody works together to solve it.”

ford camacari plant brazil 005

Along with the new, innovative production line process, the workforce is unique in several aspects, as well.

The entire operation, including suppliers, employs about 9,000 workers. The average age is just 26, and nearly half are women.

ford camacari plant brazil 007Most have no industrial experience when they hire on at Camaçari, so each worker receives about 900 hours of training. Much of that time is spent working on a scaled-down version of the real assembly line that was built just for that purpose.

Unlike many U.S. auto plants, where workers’ responsibilities are strictly limited to specific job classifications, workers like Silva dos Santos are encouraged to learn as many different skills as possible.

Everyone — from senior managers, designers and engineers to rank-and-file line workers and maintenance staff — wears the same uniform here. The only difference is that those working for suppliers have their own corporation’s insignia embroidered on their chest instead of Ford’s Blue Oval.

More than just an egalitarian touch, the uniforms are designed to reinforce the idea that everyone is on the same team, working to achieve common success. In addition, Ford believes the uniforms encourage dialog between workers and management, because it is so hard for people to tell the difference.

Nowhere is that more evident than in the plant’s four cafeterias. Each serves the same fare, and workers are free to choose whichever is the most convenient. They are also encouraged to discuss product and ford camacari plant brazil 008production issues with others at their table.

“People are more open to telling you what they think,” said Hau Thai-Tang, head of product development for Ford in South America. “It fosters an atmosphere of co-dependence. I think we need that elsewhere.”

Thai-Tang knows this because Ford’s South American product development center, with its design studios and engineering offices, is inside the factory complex.

This is the kind of economic boom we could be having here, in America. But first we have to get the government off our backs and out of our way.

 The land is not the only thing Ford is improving in Bahia, according to the state’s senator and former governor, César Borges. He estimates that some 50,000 jobs have been created in the area because of the Ford plant and says the state’s GDP has almost doubled since it opened.

Jobs at the plant are highly sought after in this region, known for its rampant unemployment, which officially stands at about 25 percent. The best work most of Ford’s employees hoped for before the plant was built were low wage jobs in Salvador’s tourist industry.

It is no wonder then that Ford employees are often seen wearing their uniforms into town on their days off.

“It’s a great job,” said Claudia Sena, 27, as she grinds metal burrs from the body of a Fiesta.

Borges was the governor of Bahia in 1999 when Brazil’s federal government first began allowing states to offer incentives to attract industry. He jumped at the opportunity to bring good jobs to his region, where the economy had long been based on the production of cacao, the tropical plant that is used to make chocolate.

He offered Ford generous financing and other incentives to come to the rural state and even threw in a private port — an important asset in a region that lacks road and rail connections with the rest of South America.

The plant cost $1.9 billion. Ford put up $1.2 billion; its suppliers paid for the rest.

Work began immediately, and the plant was completed in October of 2001. The first vehicle rolled off the assembly line six months later.

“We broke a lot of paradigms,” Molina said. “It was not easy, but it’s working.”

 Here is a short video about this groundbreaking plant. It  reveals so much about how the UAW has hurt the viability of American auto companies. I for one, would be thrilled to see American companies be free to opt for this type of innovation and high quality production. If you think of how many more Americans could be working if this type of plant could be built in America, it is easy to see why we our economy has been in free fall for the last few years.

Make sure you pay attention to the last couple of sentences in this video.

Sources in Dearborn say privately that this is the sort of facility Ford would love to build in the U.S. If only the UAW, historically adverse to this sort of supplier integration, would allow it.”

Read more here.

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The American Dream, Automotive Style

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I never thought I’d be saying this, but I have to agree with the New York Times on this issue –
 
FRED KANTER deserves a lifetime pass to the New York auto show.

And it’s not just for creating this awesome automobile, but that’s a huge part of the reason.

 

The Chevrolet 789

 

From the NYT:

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The N2A Chevy 789

It seems Mr. Kanter was “car-struck” at an early age.

His first trip to the show, in 1958, was the pilgrimage of “a car-struck 13-year-old” from New Jersey, Mr. Kanter recalled in a recent interview.

1958 Chrysler Dual-Ghia 400
1958 Chrysler Dual-Ghia 400

“Shortly after a friend and I arrived by train from Morris Plains, I was transfixed by the Dual-Ghia 400 concept on display,” he said. “It was absolutely breathtaking, very imaginative and the most stunning car I’d ever seen.”

The car had been created as a design study by Ghia, the Italian coachbuilder, for Dual Motors, a limited-edition car builder in Detroit. Dual-Ghias gained visibility with celebrity owners like Frank Sinatra and his Rat Pack pals.

But Kanter isn’t the only person who fell in love with the Dual-Ghia.

Alex Freeman, a New Jersey machine shop owner who had come to the auto show in search of a family car, was also moved by the Dual-Ghia 400. All thoughts of shopping for a new Ford or Chevy were swept aside by Mr. Freeman’s realization that he “must have that car.” Hearing that, his wife shuffled the couple’s eight-year-old daughter to another display, explaining that daddy needed time by himself.

By the time Mrs. Freeman returned, her husband had convinced Gene Casaroll, president of Dual Motors, to sell the car on display for $15,000, at least twice the price of a new Cadillac. Delivery was postponed to let the car finish its tour of auto shows.

Here’s where the dedication to your first love comes into play.

Nearly 20 years later, Mr. Kanter heard that the concept car was for sale. A deal was struck the same day and by that evening, the dream machine was parked in the Kanter garage.

Never intending to hide his prize, Mr. Kanter has often displayed the car in the classics section at the New York show. Gregg D. Merksamer, the show’s historian and author of “A History of the New York International Auto Show” (Lionheart Books, 2000) said he thought no other car had topped the Dual-Ghia’s number of appearances at the show.

Mr. Kanter started out buying unwanted Packard auto parts simply because when he was 15,  he and some friends put a down payment on a used Packard and sold all the extra parts that were in the car’s trunk. They made enough to pay the car off and own it outright.

Kanter turned this accidental business transaction into a multi-million dollar business.

While visiting dealers for the parts he needed to repair his Packard, Mr. Kanter learned that a hubcap might cost $8 and a door handle $12 but, since Packard had gone out of business, a dealer might have two truck loads of spare parts he would be happy to unload for $100.

Every Packard dealer’s junk soon became Mr. Kanter’s gold. In 1960, he bought the parts inventory of a dealer in Henderson, Pa. Like a grapevine, his operations spread along the East Coast, then extended west to Detroit and beyond. While attending Lehigh University, where he earned degrees in industrial engineering and applied sciences, Fred and his brother Dan sold parts to the Packard needy using Fred’s college address. Various storage sites, including their parents’ basement, housed the inventory.

Today, Mr. Kanter said, the vintage parts business is a $15 million operation with 65 employees and 150,000 square feet of warehouse space in Boonton, N.J. “We stock everything a Packard dealer would have offered from a clock hand to a new frame,” he said. “And we’re still buying inventory from anyone interested in disposing of their stock.

The quintessential American dream. Not only has Mr. Kanter branched out into other antique auto parts, but he also owns a design studio on the West Coast. Again, almost by accident, he turned a simple business transaction into the Chevrolet 789.

It is so named because it combines the best styling elements of the 1957, 1958, and 1959 Chevys.

Mr. Kanter’s concept-car quest came full circle four years ago, when he was searching for a company capable of building a small run of show car clones he could sell to car enthusiasts. His research revealed that a candidate for his business — the West Coast design studio operated by MSX International, a business, engineering and personnel services conglomerate — was closing. Mr. Kanter bought MSX’s equipment and assumed its lease, making a grand leap from the East Coast to the West Coast — and from servicing antiques to designing and building futuristic cars.

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’57 Chevy
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’58 Chevy Hardtop

A chance encounter with George Kerbeck, an Atlantic City Chevrolet dealer, provided Mr. Kanter’s next inspiration. “Kerbeck was about to chop up 1957, 1958 and 1959 Chevrolets to create the ultimate 1950s icon,” he recalled. “I asked him to wait 30 minutes for our input. After a quick call to Kanter Concepts on the West Coast, my designer, Terrence Robinson, responded via fax with a sketch. Kerbeck preferred our design to his original concept.”

“I founded Kanter Concepts to help keep America’s love affair with the automobile alive,” Mr. Kanter said. “I modeled the company after Italy’s Carrozzeria Ghia, which, in its day, was one of the world’s foremost design and low-volume manufacturing enterprises.

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’58 Chevy Convertible
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The Distinctive Tail Lights and Fins of the 1959 Chevy

“My goal is to tap the gold mine of design cues invented by Detroit to touch the soul of the American consumer,” he said. “I want to trigger buried emotions the same way a hint of perfume recalls a long-lost love. Hopefully, our efforts will help the U.S. auto industry reclaim the eminence it deserves.”

Read the full story here.

Now sit back and enjoy more pics of this beautiful car.

789 003  789 001789 002789 004    789 0013  789 0012789 0014789 007789 0011789 009

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Take a ride on a real life Tron Bike

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Yep, we all remember Disney’s Tron which debuted in 1982. My neighbor’s brother worked at a TV repair shop (yes, people used to actually repair their televisions back then when they quit working…) and he got his hands on bootleg copy of it. I was enthralled. So in 2010 when Tron Legacy came out, I was more than happy.

But now, well now I just look at this latest development in the Tron universe and drool.

 


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Newest Automotive Painting System

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I saw this on my Facebook page and thought it would be nice to post this for all the car guys out there in CH2.0 land. Hope you like it, and make sure to watch the end, beginning at the 10:57 mark.

This is a new method of painting automobile rims, car parts, bike parts, etc… Pretty revolutionary and pretty cool, to boot.

Hydrographics or HydroGraphics, also known as immersion printing, water transfer printing, water transfer imaging, or cubic printing, is a method of applying printed designs to three-dimensional surfaces. The hydrographic process can be used on metal, plastic, glass, hard woods, and various other materials. Also known as “hydro dipping”.

In the process, the substrate piece to be printed is pre-treated and a base coat material is applied. A polyvinyl alcohol film is gravure-printed with the graphic image to be transferred, and is then floated on the surface of a vat of water.An activator chemical is sprayed on the film to dissolve it into a liquid and activate a bonding agent. The piece is then lowered into the vat, through the floating ink layer, which wraps around and adheres to it.

After removing the piece from the water, a top coat is applied to protect the design. With multiple dippings, hydrographics printing can achieve full 360° coverage of the part surface, including small crevices.

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Obama Sold Americans Lemons. Thirteen Americans Died In Those Lemons

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After finally solving problems with computer viruses this past weekend, there was an e-mail waiting from a good friend. He was wondering about General Motors’ recall of 2.6 million cars for faulty ignition switches, which have caused at least thirteen deaths, and what the Obama administration knew at the time it was illegally bailing out GM  with $49 billion of your money. Well, one thing we can say with  certainty is that President Obama was totally unaware of this problem at that time, because he never knows anything until or unless he hears it on MSNBC.

The truth is that I hadn’t been following this story and didn’t realize that the ignition switch problem with GM’s Colbalt and other models dated back before the formation of Government Motors. But, my friend’s e-mail sparked my interest and I began searching the web for information. What I learned was that something is rotten inside General Motors and something is rotten inside of the Obama administration.

 

Something Is Rotten In GM

According to this New York Time’s article, GM engineers were aware of the ignition switch prob as early as 2001.

The company apparently knew about the defect as far back as 2001, when it discovered the problem during testing of the Saturn Ion. It saw the problem again in 2004, as the Cobalt was about to be rolled out with the same ignition system. According to documents obtained in congressional investigations, engineers came up with a proposed fix, but it was nixed on the grounds that it was too expensive and would take too much time.

Too expensive? The Detroit News reports that the following haunting words were included in an internal memorandum by a still anonymous engineer:

“None of the solutions represents an acceptable business case.”

When the engineers finally did find a fix for the ignition switches in 2006, they did it in way to try to cover up the fact that there had ever been a problem. From the NYT article linked above, we learn:

Finally, in 2006, engineers at General Motors appeared to have fixed the problem, but they did so without changing the part number, which is a shocking violation of engineering protocol, wrote Micheline Maynard at Forbes.com. It makes G.M. appear to have been engaged in subterfuge, hiding the fact that its ignition had been defective all those years.

Meanwhile, at least 13 people died in accidents that were clearly the result of the faulty ignition design. There are also another 140 people who died in accidents involving the Cobalt in which the cause is unknown. Yet for more than a decade, General Motors did nothing.

Something is definitely rotten inside General Motors.

Something Is Rotten Inside Of The Obama Administration

The National Review has an excellent two page article titled: Duped or Complicit. The article raises some very disturbing questions. Before bailing out GM, did Obama’s task force do their due diligence to get a clear picture of GM’s assets, liabilities, and problems? Did GM’s management hide the ignition switch problem from the task force? Did the Obama administration give GM’s new management protection from liabilities caused by the old management? I must admit I find it a little suspicions that our government sold its last shares of GM in December 2013 and the recalls started in February 2014.

The author of the National Review article tells us a good reason why the government should own a car company:

Finally, the American government should not own a car company because it inevitably turns the leader of the free world into a car salesman. President Obama would occasionally joke about his role, declaring at the 2009 White House Correspondents’ Dinner, “GM will rise or fall on the quality of its products — like the taut, athletic design of the new Buick Enclave. Its French-seamed leather and warm wood tones make the Enclave more than transportation. It’s a modern driver’s retreat. Come on, work with me here. I’ve got cars to move, people!”

And the there is this from our Car Salesman-in-Chief:

Obama held a rally at the General Motors Lordstown Assembly Plant in Warren, Ohio, on September 15, 2009, touting the popularity of the Cobalt as he praised the Cash for Clunkers program: “The Chevy Cobalt that you build here was one of GM’s most sought-after cars under that program. Dealers across the country started running out. You need to build more.” He told the workers building the Cobalt, “You’re doing your part to move us forward and make sure that the high-quality, well-engineered, safe, and fuel-efficient cars of the future will be built where they always have been built — right here in Ohio, right across the Midwest, right here in the United States of America.”

David Harsanyi writing at The Federalist tells us The GM Scandal Is Worse Than You Think. While GM was Government Motors. a competitor, Toyota, was having to recall some of their cars. President Obama’s Secretary of Transportation, Ray LaHood, was making public statements like “My advice is, if anybody owns one of these vehicles, stop driving it”, which caused Toyota’s stock price to nosedive. And, even though  LaHood’s agency later put out a report saying there was no evidence equipment failure in the Toyota case, good soldier, Eric Holder, kept up his law suit against Toyota going until they caved-in and paid a $1.2 billion settlement. Now, maybe Toyota deserved what they got. I don’t know. But, as Harsanyi points out, it is troubling that LaHood did not go after GM even though his staff twice suggested there were serious problems there.

President Obama sold Americans lemons and 13 Americans died in those lemons and many more were injured. Not only has his administration made a practice dealing with crony capitalist, with his bailout of General Motors he made our government a crony capitalist.

It’s hard to be a proud American these days.

Well, that’s what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts?

Original Post: Asylum Watch

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1978 Subaru Brat

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I’ve taken to doing non-political posts with the 12:00 AM Slot, so tonight, or this morning, as the case may be, I thought a look at the 1978 Subaru Brat would be in order.  They were strange, even by 1970’s standards, and still have aficionados.  So, he is a video discussing the Subaru with the weird seats in  the back.

At least the guys doing the video had some fun.

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You Want a Deuce Coupe? You Can Buy it!

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For you car nuts out there, and more specifically, the rat rod type, few bodies are as sought after as the “Deuce Coupe.”  That is the five window, 1932 Ford two door Model B.  They were the most preferred body style for rat rod conversion.    With originals dwindling fast, and the market making them ever more costly, Ford is stepping in with a solution.  FOX has more…

According to Ford, these ’32 Coupe reproductions are exclusively licensed to United Pacific Industries, which rolled out a flawless 5-Window replica at SEMA 2013. Each shell is stamped from virgin metal, then welded and assembled using modern manufacturing techniques. This, along with supplementary rustproofing, keeps the new Deuces from warping and wearing as the decades roll past—ideal for builders, though we do love a good 5-Window rat rod. Each part comes with an official Blue Oval tag.

Ford doesn’t have its own prices for the ’32 5-Window body up yet, but you can expect to pay around $20,000 for a steel United Pacific Industries shell. Of course, you’ll still need a decent frame to build off of, plus a 327-cid small-block should you want to relive all those John Milner American Graffiti fantasies.

Save your pennies kids, it’ll take a while to save up for that Deuce Coupe!

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Is This the Next Toyota Supra? The FT1 Concept

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The rumbling is that this is the next Toyota Supra.  It is the Toyota FT1 concept.  Motor Trend’s YouTube Channel has the video…

The Toyota styling, particularly in the front, seems over-wrought to me.  Too busy for my tastes.  I’d like a much cleaner design.  But, I’m sure that there are more than a few car nuts out there that have their checkbooks on standby.  No matter what, this is a bold announcement that Toyota wants back in the sports segment.

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Meet the 2015 Corvette Z06

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What’s yellow and really cool looking?  Why. it’s the 2015 Corvette Z06!  Motor Trend has more…

“It’s a Stingray on steroids,” Juechter says matter-of-factly, trying to sum up the C7 Z06 in a nifty sentence. “We tried to bring a ZR1 level of performance down to the Z06, but this car is also a lot more balanced than ZR1.” Indeed, Juechter hints that in early testing at GM’s proving grounds, the Z06 turned in figures roughly on par with the Blue Devil. That’s significant, but how is it done? “The new 6.2-liter LT4 engine is based on the Stingray’s LT1 architecture with an emphasis on low-end torque,” explains Jordan Lee, chief Chevy Small Block engineer. “There’s still a lot of work to do, but it’ll have 625 horsepower plus — emphasis on the ‘plus’ — and 635-lb-ft of torque.” Guess that wasn’t a typo after all. Lee goes on to explain that titanium intake valves, dry-sump oiling, direct injection, cylinder deactivation, and continuously variable valve timing are all found here. So is an ultra-compact Eaton R1740 TVS supercharger with an integrated air-to-water intercooler, both located in the valley between the V-spaced cylinder heads, allowing the engine to sit just 1 inch taller than in the LT1. The intercooler is 2 percent more efficient than the LS9’s, and low-end torque is significantly improved over the infamous ZR1. The hood of the Z06 is carbon fiber with larger vents and more clearance to accommodate the blower.

The Reader’s Digest Condensed version would simply read, “super cool!”

Here are a couple pics…


Motor Trend has a picture gallery with over 100 images so go and check it out!

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Saturday Conservative Links: Matt’s Self Indulgent Music SelectionEdition

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Sorry for the limited posting as of late.  I have been busy with #FreeKate and #KatesFight story.  Things will be made clear in hopefully a few days, but that, and another project, are keeping me overly busy.  But, we have to have a weekly link post.  So, here are the weekly links, as well as a selection of songs I personally like.  Hey, it’s my blog!

Enjoy!

90 Miles for Tyranny

 

Adrienne’s Corner

 

All American Blogger

 

Always on Watch

 

America Victorious

 

America’s Watchtower

 

American and Proud

 

American Perspective

An Ol’Broad’s Ramblings

 

Angry Mike’s Hood

 

ARRA News Service

 

Ask Marion

 

Asylum Watch

 

Atlas Shrugs

 

Bacon Time!!!!!

 

Be Sure You’re RIGHT, Then Go Ahead

 

BlazingCatFur

 

Blogs for Borders

 

blogsense-by-barb

Bob’s Blog

 

Bunkerville

 

Capitol Commentary

 

Catholibertarian

 

Catholic Banditia

 

Caught Him With a Corndog

 

Chicks on the Right

 

Closet Conservatives

Cmblake6’s Weblog

 

Constitution Coalition

 

Cordite in the Morning

 

Cry and Howl

 

Da Tech Guy

 

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There you have it folks.  I hope you you enjoyed my totally self indulgent musical selection.  Keep on stopping by for more conservative news and views!

Linked by the Daley Gator: Thanks! ( A link post linked in another link post? Does this threaten the stability of the space-time continuum?  Who knows?)

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2015 Ford Mustang with a 300 HP Four-Banger?

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It seems that Ford has found a balance between power and economy, but it will only be available in the European market.  The 2015 Ford Mustang will feature a 300 HP four-cylinder engine.  Edmunds has more…

The four-cylinder engine is not expected to be offered to Mustang buyers in the U.S. The small four-cylinder engine will be offered to European buyers as a more economical, low-emissions alternative to the V8 engine in the Mustang, which is likely to be highly taxed in Europe. European buyers who feel that a Mustang should only have a V8 engine will be offered that as well.

The four-cylinder engine in the European Mustang is based on the turbocharged 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine featured in the 2013 Ford Focus ST.

Engine output is likely to rise from 252 horsepower to 300 hp in 2.3-liter form, according to company insiders. The 2013 Ford Focus ST achieves 23 mpg in city driving and 32 mpg on the highway, according to the automaker.

Motor Trend has a pic gallery. 

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Cash for Clunkers Revisited: More Damage Done

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For those of you that have been here since almost the beginning, you know that we pegged “Cash for Clunkers” as the huge failure that it was.  Here is what we wrote while the program was ongoing…

The cars traded in on the program are to be destroyed.  Now, in normal situations, a trade in will either go on the dealer lot, go to auction, or go to the junkyard.  In any of those situations, others will have the opportunity to benefit from this car, either by driving it, or by purchasing the usable parts from it.  When the car is destroyed, there is little benefit.  Or is there?  I wrote here about how the new Secretary of Transportation wants to “coerce” people out of their cars and onto public transportation.  Here are some quotes…

The moderator of the press club event asked LaHood: “Some in the highway-supporters motorist groups have been concerned by your livability initiative. Is this an effort to make driving more torturous and to coerce people out of their cars?”

LaHood answered: “It is a way to coerce people out of their cars.

 

And some more…

Lahood then made a joke about the fact that some conservatives believe that the way he wants to use the Department of Transportation represents an increased government intrusion in people’s lives.

“Some conservative groups are wary of the livable communities program, saying it’s an example of government intrusion into people’s lives,” said the moderator. “How do you respond?”

“About everything we do around here is government intrusion in people’s lives,” said LaHood. “So have at it.”

“So have at it.”  Pretty cavalier attitude regarding manipulating the public into a pre-arranged goal, isn’t it?

In the “Cash for Clunkers” plan, how many cars will be taken out of the market?  How many fewer Americans will be able to own a used car due to this?  New cars that are to be made to the messiah’s specifications will be more and more expensive.  To reach the mileage and emissions goals, more, newer technology will have to go in, increasing the cost.  With so many used cars sent to the crusher, where will people go for a car when they cannot afford the newer ones?  Funded with $1,000,000,000, the initial plan was to scrap 250,000 cars.  The congress wants to add another $2,000,000,000 to the plan, does that mean a total of 750,000 cars?   How many people will that “coerce” onto public transportation?

That was in August of 2009.

Here is what we said a little more than a year later…

 

I think we have the answer to my last question, courtesy of Ed Morrissey at Hot Air.

In other words, there was real and rational demand for the cars that the Obama administration sent to the grinders.  That demand hasn’t stopped, even if tainted with political incorrectness.  The top four vehicles for price increases in Edmunds’ used-car tracking are all high-end, larger cars or SUV:

Cadillac Escalade – 35.6% increase
Chevy Suburban – +34.2%
Dodge Grand Caravan – +34%
BMW X5 – +33%

As predicted last year, the people most hurt by the price increases are those who can least afford them.  The used-car market usually attracts people who need transportation on a budget, who cannot afford to buy new.   By destroying a quarter’s worth of trade-ins in three weeks and permanently taking them off the market, the Obama administration has forced an artificial inflation by supply restriction.  Moreover, they did so by subsidizing new-car sales that would have occurred anyway, eating up three billion dollars in taxpayer money.

In other words, the White House spent $3 billion to make used cars more expensive for working-class families.  Nice work.

I’m not claiming to have a gigantic brain with super -predictive powers.  Anyone with half a brain could see this coming.  However, the folks in DC are lacking that half brain, or any other, for that matter.  There is even more for the post mortem on “cash for clunkers.”  Freedomworks has more…

“Cash for Clunkers” allowed drivers to trade their old gas-guzzler for up to $4,500 towards the purchase of a sparkly new green machine. Progressive pundits hailed it as a foolproof win/win/win: The anemic auto industry would sell cars, broke customers would get a sweet deal, and Gaia herself would breathe easier at America’s crystal-clear skies.

Alas, reality begged to differ:

[Cash for Clunkers] created a dearth of used cars, artificially driving up prices. For those who needed an affordable car, but didn’t qualify for the program, this increase in price meant affordable transportation was well out of reach. It also meant used-car dealers, most of whom are independently owned, small-business owners, had little to no stock. According to Smith, 122 Virginia dealers chose not to renew their licenses after that year.

If 122 dealers were put out of business in one state alone, just imagine the damage nationally. And help to the consumer was illusory. The artificial trade-in bonus helped people who couldn’t qualify for a new car loan get saddled with debt they had no hope of repaying. Once financial reality — and higher insurance rates — kicked in, many saw their cars repossessed and their credit ruined. Ultimately, they traded in their affordable ride for a daily bus ticket.

And, there is even worse new from the greenie front…

E – The Environmental Magazine gravely notes that Cash for Clunkers produced tons of unnecessary waste while doing almost nothing to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

Shredding vehicles results in its own environmental nightmare. For each ton of metal produced by a shredding facility, roughly 500 pounds of “shredding residue” is also produced, which includes polyurethane foams, metal oxides, glass and dirt. All totaled, about 4.5 million tons of that residue is already produced on average every year. Where does it go? Right into a landfill.

E Magazine states recycling just the plastic and metal alone from the CARS scraps would have saved 24 million barrels of oil. While some of the “Clunkers” were truly old, many of the almost 700,000 cars were still in perfectly good condition. In fact, many that qualified for the program were relatively “young,” with fuel efficiencies that rivalled newer cars.

So, it cost jobs, and was even worse for the environment.  And everyone saw that, but they did it anyway.  It looked good, and it “felt” good, so it really didn’t matter if it actually made things worse.

Once again, Quinn’s First Law is proven…

 

Liberalism always generates the exact opposite of it’s stated intent. 

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2014 C7 Corvette: See it Here

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Just when you thought that the C6 was the pinnacle of Corvette awesomeness, they went and created the 2014 C7 Corvette.  Steve, at Motor City Times, has the pics…

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Then, the Dallas News has more details…

 

Wave bye-bye to the old plastic-fantastic Corvette, America’s original sports car.

In a nod to the past and a major reach for the future, Chevrolet unveiled the all-new 2014 Corvette tonight in Detroit, renaming it the Chevrolet Stingray.

The much anticipated ‘Vette was introduced on the eve of the opening of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

And you can forget those old slams — the complaints that the Corvette was crude and unsophisticated.

The lithe, slightly more European looking two-seater gets a carbon-fiber hood and roof panel, a compact high-compression 450-horsepower V-8 and a new seven-speed manual transmission (a six-speed automatic remains an option).

The car’s taut body — fitted to a wheelbase that is about one inch longer than the current car and an inch wider — includes composite fenders, doors and rear quarter panels and carbon-nano composite underbody panels.

In addition, it will ride on a hydroformed aluminum frame that is 57 percent stiffer and 99 pounds lighter than the current car, Chevy says.

Direct fuel injection and cylinder deactivation for cruising in four-cylinder mode were just some of the additions to the ‘Vette’s 6.2-liter V-8.

In fact, the Stingray shares only two parts with the previous-generation Corvette, Chevy said of its new Porsche- and Viper-fighter.

“The 2014 Corvette delivers the fastest acceleration, the most cornering grip, the most track capability, the best braking performance and what we expect to be the best fuel economy ever for a standard Corvette,” said Tadge Juechter, chief engineer for Corvette.

Chevy says the Stingray will rip to 60 in less than 4 seconds and achieve highway fuel economy of more than 26 miles per gallon.

Although the company did not disclose the car’s weight, it should have a better power-to-weight ratio than a Porsche 911 Carrera or Audi R8, Chevy said.

Even though the C7 is on the permanent “no buy list,” due to it’s involvement with Gubbmint Motors and it being assembled by forced union enslavement, it is a remarkable achievement.

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