Friday, May 20, 2016

ADAC 24 HOUR CLASSIC at the Nurburgring -- May 27, 2016

DTM, Hockenheim I. Mercedes-AMG DTM Team, Mercedes-Benz, DTM, Daniel Juncadella, UBFS invest Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM.
They're racing again: On 27 May 2016, Mercedes-AMG DTM racing driver Daniel Juncadella will again start in the Youngtimer Trophy at the Nürburgring driving an EVO II constructed by Mercedes-Benz Classic. As in the past year, he will compete in the Three-Hour Race of the ADAC 24h Classic. Juncadella will share the cockpit with TV moderator Matthias Malmedie ("Grip – Das Motormagazin", RTL II). The Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.5 Evolution II is one of the most famous and successful racing sports cars in DTM history. Mercedes-Benz Classic constructed the car as an authentic copy of the Group A racing cars of the early 1990s and has been using it in the Youngtimer Trophy since 2013.
Stuttgart. More than 160 vehicles will start as part of the ADAC 24h Classic event. The 190 E 2.5 Evolution II from Mercedes-Benz Classic is in direct competition with other EVO IIs in the Group A vehicles of the years 1989 to 1991. The starter field of the event comprises vehicles of the mid-1960s and newer. The race starts at 4:20 pm on Friday, 27 May, following the qualifying on Thursday, 26 May. The ADAC 24h Classic race is run on the legendary Nordschleife and on the Grand Prix track. It is the second race of the season of the Youngtimer Trophy and of the FHR racing series.
Photos of the qualifying and race will be available for download at this link starting on 27 May 2016:
Youngtimer motor racing as a journey through time
The Youngtimer Trophy is an extraordinary journey through time to the recent past of circuit motor racing. The racing series is characterised by a high degree of authenticity. Mercedes-Benz Classic set standards in this regard with the construction of the second works racing car of the Stuttgart-based brand for historic motor racing: Like all competing vehicles, the 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II works racing car complies with Appendix J of the International Sporting Code of the FIA (Féderation Internationale de l’Automobile) and the homologation requirements of the particular era.
The Mercedes-Benz EVO II works racing car as a high-performance vehicle based on the Mercedes-Benz W 201 compact class continues a brilliant and multifaceted history in its race starts of the present day. The inaugural race of the new Nürburgring in May 1984 featured 20 vehicles of the Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.3-16 model with Ayrton Senna emerging as the eventual victor. In 1988, Mercedes-Benz entered the German Touring Car Championship (DTM) with a motor racing touring car developed on this basis.
The 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution had its début in 1989, followed finally 26 years ago in the 1990 season by the successful EVO II with an output of 274 kW (373 hp). It competed in the DTM for the first time at the Nürburgring in June 1990. In 1992, Klaus Ludwig won the DTM championship driving an EVO II, with his team-mates Kurt Thiim and Bernd Schneider finishing as the runner-ups. Ludwig also won the DTM race on the legendary track in the Eifel in 1992.
The driver of Mercedes-Benz Classic at the ADAC 24h Classic 2016
Daniel Juncadella
born 7 May 1991 in Barcelona, Spain
In 2004 Daniel Juncadella began his motor racing career in kart racing at the age of 13. In 2007, he switched to formula racing. After winning the legendary Macao GP in his Formula 3 car in 2011, he made 2012 his year: Juncadella won the title in the Formula 3 Euro Series and the FIA Formula 3 European Championship while also winning the Masters of Formula 3 race in Zandvoort. The highly promising racing talent switched to the DTM and Team Mücke Motorsport for the 2013 season. The successful collaboration was continued in 2014. In addition, Juncadella is a reserve driver for the Force India Formula 1 Team, which uses Mercedes-Benz engines. 2016 is the fourth DTM season for Daniel Juncadella. His personal choice of start number: number 12.
The vehicle from Mercedes-Benz Classic at the ADAC 24h Classic 2016
Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II (W 201)
In August 1989, work began in the in-house Mercedes-Benz sport technik (st) department on the second stage of development of a DTM racing car based on the compact class W 201. The Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II made its racing début on 16 June 1990. Mercedes-Benz Classic constructed the vehicle used in the Youngtimer Trophy since 2013 with utmost authenticity for historic motor sport races. The first works racing car, a Mercedes-Benz 220 SE (W111) affectionately referred to as the "Racing Fintail" by fans, celebrated its première in the Dunlop FHR Long-Distance Cup in the 2011 season.
Technical data Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II
Year of production: 1990
Cylinders: 4/in-line
Displacement: 2463 cc
Output: 173 kW (235 hp) at 7200 rpm
Top speed: about 250 km/h.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Cruise-In at Lofino's Beavercreek, May 13, 2016: A BMW 2002

Hi folks -- got there late last night and really didn't see very much that interested me.  This event has turned into almost exclusively American Muscle, Corvettes, and Hot Rods with a smattering of pre-WWII cars.  One car I have seen there before and I always liked was this BMW 2002.  the owner bought this car while in the Air Force -- actually has two "Wolfgang" (for Mozart) and "Ludwig" (for Beethoven). A very original car that had its engine rebuilt at 2014,00 miles, one respray 25 years ago. Optional fog lights and Minilite wheels. this one is for all intents and purposes a survivor.


The Roberta Cowell Story -- Auto Racing, Spitfire Pilot, and the first known British Transsexual Woman to Undergo Reassignment Surgery

Hi folks -- this is a story that while well publicized in Britain, may well be a topic of further historical work. I ran across the Roberta (formerly Bob) Cowell (1918-2011) story while glancing through a 1958 Speed Age magazine last night. (January, 1958), p. 39. the story reports "Roberta Cowell sets new ladies' fastest time at Britain's National Speed Hill Climb. Known 10 years ago as Bob Cowell, tracing driver and ex-fighter pilot, she registered formal sex change six years ago."

Just doing a bit of research, I discovered Bob Cowell caught the racing bug at Brooklands in 1936, raced a Riley at the Lands End Speed Trial. In 1939 he competed at the Antwerp Grand Prix, and later became an RAF Spitfire and test pilot during WWII. After WWII and his sex change he won the 1957 Shelsley Walsh Speed Trial Hill Climb, and was active in motorsports to the 1970s despite having financial difficulties.

Sounds like a nice topic, even though the Brits have written him up.  Go deeper into the story?

Friday, May 13, 2016

Anyone Know Anything about the Value of a Rutenber Engine from the Early 1900s?

Good morning Mr. Heitmann, 

I have recently acquired a defunct early 1900s horse drawn fire apparatus.  On this apparatus is a Rutenber 4 cylinder engine.  I'm interested in any information you may be able to share about this engine and or apparatus and would like to sell it, preferably to a museum or collector that will restore and preserve the engine for future generations.

From my research, I've found that the Rutenber engines were used in Howe Fire Apparatus in the early 1900s.  The serial number on the engine is 7663 so I'm thinking it's an earlier version but again, can find very little about these engines online.  

The block appears to be aluminum with steel exterior cylinder heads.  The heads are pretty well worn.  There is lots of brass accessories and fittings on the engine that are still good.  I haven't done anything with it since I got it so I'm not sure if it's locked up or anything. 

I haven't been able to find any Rutenber engines on the market at all.  I do know that one was donated to the smithsonian back in 1973.  Any info, including an approximate value would be greatly appreciated.  I know value is going to be very subjective due to the lack of past sales information as well as the condition of the engine, but I do know it's extremely rare.

If you prefer to speak about this over the phone, feel free to call me at 336 317-0504.


How Baby Boomer Boys Developed Their Interests in Cars

Their interest in the automobile (and mine!)  started at a very young age, well before one could acquire an operator’s license.   For example, as a 5 year old in 1953, I was fascinated by a colorful Golden Book of Automobiles that featured stamps of cars. My task (and that for thousands of other little boys) was to match the stamps with blank spaces contained on pages that described specific cars. Undoubtedly, along with comic books, it was one of the first books that I read.  I routinely played with metal cast cars, made in mass quantities by companies like National Products of Chicago where plaster replicas were cast into molds and then painted in infrared ovens. It was not long thereafter that I built the first plastic model of an automobile, coincidentally also first marketed in large quantities in 1953.

Until the early 1950s, the hobby of scale modeling had a very small following, not surprising, given the high degree of skill and patience and the ability to work with wood or metal.  Beginning in the mid1940s, however, the technique of injection molding had been developed. Soon thereafter, the Revell Company, founded in Venice, California in 1943, used the designs of Gowland & Gowland from Santa Barbara, California in a series called “Highway Pioneers.”  Previously Gowland & Gowland had partnered with Revell in making toy cars called “Action Miniatures,” strange little models that bucked when one pressed in a protruding front cable. But sales of the “Action Miniatures” indicated that there was a large potential market for plastic cars, and thus “Highway Pioneers came to be. These sixteen early plastic models were made in large quantities, and shortly thereafter Revell began making its own models, followed by Monogram and Aurora.  Model building became the number one pastime of young boys by the early 1960s, and to further empty young boys’ pockets, by the1962 Aurora began marketing their extremely popular slot cars and track. With organized club events and the support of the Ford motor Company, Aurora, Strombecker and the A.C. Gilbert Company marketed a variety of cars and tracks to more than a million competitive “drivers” in 1962. It was a short jump for boys to go from toy cars to their own cars, with the family car as only a temporary set of wheels from which to learn to drive.  And in time full scale cars would become toys for bigger boys.

The future of the automobile

Peking, China, 2016 (Porsche)

Hi  folks – an interesting interview to say the least.  After reading this, do you agree that in the future automobiles will no longer be status symbols? What will be the status symbols of those living in 2030? What kind of events might flip this entire projection upside down? Is this view one centered on the U.S., Europe, Asia or is it global?

Interview with Lars Thomsen, futurologist:  Courtesy Porsche.

Mr. Thomsen, will automobiles even exist in future?

Yes, but several basic aspects related to automobiles and individual mobility will change fundamentally over the next ten years. This will particularly be the case with regard to drive systems and autonomous capability, or "intelligence". However, there will also be a change in the way we view the concept of individual urban mobility. In other words, we're on the verge of several upheavals.
Some people are predicting that the significance of the automobile as a status symbol will decline rapidly.

Most people still view their cars as a very important and also emotional part of their lives and their culture of mobility. However, more and more people in big cities, and especially young people, want to be able to use cars but don't necessarily want to own one. The mobile Internet allows them to choose the most efficient form of mobility for a given situation, which in many cases is not an automobile. In general, these people no longer view cars as status symbols but instead as one mobility option among many. This trend is growing in line with the increasing availability of car-sharing services, and it will expand even further with the advent of fully automated urban vehicles in future.

What will the car of tomorrow actually be like – in terms of drive system technology, for example?

The combustion engine has been the dominant power source for cars and trucks for more than 100 years now, but like every other technology, it too will be replaced by something better at some point. Electric cars are much more dynamic, require less maintenance and consume fewer resources. Up until now, however, the lack of powerful and reasonably priced batteries has prevented electric vehicles from achieving a major breakthrough. Nevertheless, we will very soon reach the point where pure electric drives will be cheaper than combustion engines and hybrids. We will reach this point on a global scale before 2020 in fact. In around ten years, according to our calculations, we will rarely see vehicles equipped with combustion engines coming off the assembly lines anymore. However, this doesn't mean that such cars will lose their special appeal, especially since they'll then be viewed as classics. It's just that more and more cities will tighten restrictions on vehicles with combustion engines – and the autonomous city pods we expect to see starting around 2022 will all be electric.

Why is this development so important?

It's already the case that our children no longer accept the way we use energy and finite resources, or how we deal with climate change. In ten years, it will be difficult for us to explain to them why we didn't act differently, given our level of knowledge and our moral codes, and especially given the fact that we already knew there were effective solutions available. In Germany, for example, we already generate nearly twice as much electricity from renewable sources as all passenger cars in the country would need if they all ran on electricity. We're talking here about energy we produce ourselves and energy that does not harm the global climate. Moreover, providing such power for electric cars would be four times less expensive than the imported fossil fuels we use today. The large-scale use of electric cars would also offer a partial solution to the problem we currently face in terms of a lack of storage media for energy from renewable sources. In addition, I would point out that the raw materials used for the batteries in electric vehicles do not pose any problem. For example, more than 98 per cent of the materials used in lithium-ion batteries are recyclable and non-toxic. Moreover, when you consider that a car with a combustion engine consumes more than 20,000 kilograms of non-recyclable fossil hydrocarbons throughout its service life, and thus produces around 70,000 kilograms of greenhouse gases, then the roughly 300 kilograms of material in a battery doesn't really amount to much of an issue.

Vehicle electrification isn't the only mobility megatrend that people are talking about at the moment…

No, as I indicated, there are currently a whole range of megatrends that are changing our world. Megacities around the world with millions of residents are desperately looking to develop new urban mobility concepts that are not necessarily compatible with the products that are available today. Digitisation will also bring us to the point where computers will be able to carry out an increasing number of routine activities (and driving will be one of them) more effectively and in a more error-free manner than is the case with humans. In just five years, a computer will be driving us around in our new cars in most driving situations – and we will find this to be very cool and relaxing. At the same time, we will be able to enjoy and celebrate the old-style driving experience with traditional cars in our free time.

Does this mean automakers will become IT companies?

Yes, and IT companies will become automakers. What we're hearing now is that Apple plans to launch a vehicle as early as 2019. Google and other companies are working on autonomous vehicle systems that we might soon be able to use in major cities around the world. As a result, assistance systems and systems that connect vehicles with energy, traffic guidance and information networks will also become more and more important in the vehicle development process in future. The nature of expertise and value creation in the automotive industry will change and competition will become more intense. This will present tremendous challenges to the industry and related economic sectors.

Nevertheless, let's be honest: isn't all of this still a long way off?

A lot of things that appear normal to us today seemed like a dream of the future just ten years ago. Most developments follow a certain logic and are based on reliable data. Whenever there have been upheavals throughout history, you can always look back and retrace how it was that they came about. Our approach is to apply this principle to the future. Consider the following example: when you make popcorn, you heat up the corn kernels in a pot with hot oil (this is the trend) – and then nothing happens for a while. However, at a certain point the first kernel opens up because the water it contains turns to steam and this causes it to pop. The thing is that once this point is reached, nearly all the kernels pop within a few seconds. We refer to this as the tipping point, and it is relatively easy to calculate beforehand if you understand the basic principle. If you look at the technological transformations over the last 300 years, you'll see that this type of logic is involved in nearly every case.

Yes, but how can you know all of this – do you have a crystal ball in your office?

Yes, actually we do – but it's used more for decorative purposes. The work of futurologist is based on a good mixture of curiosity, the meticulous collection of facts and data, the development of understandable and logical models of future developments and a great deal of travel in order to learn about the people and companies that are working to shape the future. This also makes the work of a futurologist very exciting. The future is not a coincidence; it is shaped and invented by people who come up with new things. Ultimately, it is then the consumers who decide whether a given innovation actually improves their lives. It's as simple as that.