Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Happy Birthday, Jochen Mass

24 Hours of Le Mans, 10/11 June 1989. Sauber-Mercedes Group C racing car C 9. Start number 63 – winners: Jochen Mass / Manuel Reuter / Stanley Dickens.
He remains to this day an established name in the world of motor racing: Jochen Mass. He recorded numerous victories from the 1970s until into the 1990s, among them his overall victory in the famous "24 Hours of Le Mans" in a Sauber-Mercedes C 9 in 1989. After that, and up to the present day, Jochen Mass has regularly driven for Mercedes-Benz at historical events, piloting famous classic cars from the company's own collection. His next outing, for example, will be at the Zoute Grand Prix (6 to 9 October 2016) in the Belgian coastal resort of Knokke.
Stuttgart. High praise from an illustrious source: Jochen Mass "is an extremely knowledgeable driver with a tremendous feel for racing cars," says former racing driver Sir Stirling Moss. "He is familiar with the racing history of every age." This is precisely the description that fits Jochen Mass: not just that, in his active days, he was Germany's most successful racing driver, but he is equally at home in racing cars from the complete history of motor sport, knowing how to pilot them with great virtuosity. Whether pre-war or post-war cars, Mercedes-Simplex, Mercedes-Benz SSK, famous Silver Arrows such as W 25 and W 196 R, the Sauber-Mercedes C 9 or the rally racers of the 1980s: Jochen Mass is always an expert at the wheel.
And he possesses an unrivalled ability to describe the peculiarities of vehicles from every age and to accurately compare their technologies and driving characteristics. In this way, Jochen Mass allows enthusiasts and visitors to share in his driving experiences. As he now turns 70, Mercedes-Benz Classic sends him the warmest congratulations.
Jochen Mass was born on 30 September 1946 in Dorfen near Wolfratshausen and grew up near Mannheim. His first career move was as a sailor on the world's oceans. After that, however, he quickly turned towards motor sport. Having served his apprenticeship as a mechanic, in 1968 he began his varied career in motor sport with touring car racing. In 1972, he won the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps. At the same time, he took part in Formula 2, finishing second in the 1973 European championship. In the same year, Mass made his Formula 1 debut in the Grand Prix of Great Britain at Silverstone, driving for the Surtees team. Having proved himself in top-tier motor sport, he went on to contest a total of 105 Grand Prix races for various teams, collecting 71 world championship points. Alongside Wolfgang Graf Berghe von Trips, he was until that time Germany's most successful Formula 1 driver.
After his years in Formula 1, his career carried on apace: in 1984, Mass piloted a Mercedes-Benz 500 SLC (C 107) in the Paris–Dakar Rally. In this highly challenging event, simply completing the race represented a great achievement: he finished 62nd. After winning the German Sports Car Championship in 1985 and a stint as a works driver at Porsche, in 1988 he joined the Sauber-Mercedes team as a works driver. He drove in Group C for the same team until 1991. In the new Silver Arrow, the Sauber-Mercedes C 9, Jochen Mass triumphed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1989 in the same team as Manuel Reuter and Stanley Dickens, going on to finish runner-up in the world championship in the same year. Three years later, in 1992, Mass moved to team management of the DTM. On land, water and in the air – Jochen Mass is a competitor through and through: in 1992, the trained sailor took part in a balloon race across the Atlantic. From 1993 to 1997, he worked as a co-commentator on Formula 1 broadcasts for the RTL television station.
Given this extensive experience, it is hardly surprising that Jochen Mass is today active as a Mercedes-Benz brand ambassador, taking part in historical events. He regularly competes in a team with other famous racing drivers. Sir Stirling Moss recalls their joint participation in the Mille Miglia in 2005 – fifty years after his legendary triumph in a Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR. Moss: "I drove out into the night and, as agreed, handed over this great car just a short time later to my replacement driver – Jochen Mass. I did so with no misgivings whatsoever, as, for me, Jochen is a kindred spirit."

Sunday, September 25, 2016

HST 344 "Automobile and American Life" Exam 1 Study Sheet -- How well could you do?

Hi folks -- I have a first exam coming up soon.  How well could you do on it?

HST 344
Exam 1 study sheet, fall, 2016
Dr. Heitmann

I  Identification and Significance. (50 pts.) I will choose eight of the following and you must answer five.  For each write a short paragraph (minimum 3 to 4 sentences).  Make sure you are as incisive and factual with your response, and stress the significance of the person, place, or thing.
  1.  The Bicycle as a Technological Antecedent
  2. “European by Birth, American by Adoption”
  3. Early 20th century Electric Cars
  4.  Horatio Nelson Jackson
  5. Henry Ford and the Origins of Mass Production
  6. The Ford Model T
  7.  Frederick Winslow Taylor and Scientific Management
  8.  Sloanism and Production Changes, late 1920s-1930s
  9. Billy Durant and General Motors
  10. C.F. “Boss” Kettering and the Self-Starter
  11. Harley Earl and Automotive Design
  12. Ned Jordan and Automotive Advertising
  13.  The Rickenbacker Automobile
  14.  The Lincoln Highway
  15. The Copper-Cooled Engine
  16.  Route 66

II Essay(50 pts.). In a well-organized and factual essay, answer the following, making sure to include both an introduction and conclusion.

Ben Hamper’s Rivethead: Tales from the Assembly Line is a remarkable tale focusing on the nature of assembly line work at General Motors during the late 1970s and early 1980s. It is among other things, quite an indictment of General Motors’ management practices, ironically coming from an unhinged worker.  At the same time, it is sorry depiction of UAW work ethic. First, being as specific and detailed as possible, describe Hamper’s portrayal of management style and managers.  Secondly, how did Hamper and others cope with their work environment? To what degree do you think that Hamper’s account is on target, or perhaps not? 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

WWI and the Automobile; Photos of Trucks at the Front and a Workers' Rally at Dodge in Detroit.

World War I rally in Dodge Bros. plant. Recorded in glass negative ledger: "D/History-European war, 1914-18."

Packard Co. file photograph of two 1915 Packard front view, top raised, canvas tops, one on a rocky dirt road, rear truck driving up side bank, several troops pushing alongside of the two trucks. Inscribed on photo back: "1915 Packard motor trucks with French Army on the World War I front."

Two Super Thunderbirds at the Dayton Concours, September 18, 2016

Hi folks -- these two Thunderbirds -- a 1955 and a 1957 -- were in the Nifty Fifties class at the recent Dayton Concours held at Carillon Park. Both cars were meticulously prepared. The 1955-57 Thunderbird is perhaps my favorite car of the decade. Thanks to Ed for the photos!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Prometheus Project: Foundations for the Future of Networked Mobility

Pioneering autonomous driving
Autonomous driving has become a reality, current series production vehicles, such as the Mercedes-Benz E-Class already control individual elements. Thirty years ago, the European PROMETHEUS cooperative project established the foundations for the networked mobility of tomorrow. The findings have long since been integrated into numerous everyday technologies, such as DISTRONIC PLUS adaptive cruise control or the PRE-SAFE® concept. These and many more developments will lead to the fully automatic vehicle – it's almost tangible.

Press Information
20 September 2016

Stuttgart. On 1 October 1986 when PROMETHEUS was launched, only experts were aware of the project's magnitude: The "Programme for a European traffic of highest efficiency and unprecedented safety" (in German: Programm für ein europäisches Transportwesen mit höchster effizienz und unerreichter Sicherheit"). The following, specific questions formed the basis: What must be done for cars to also enable maximum mobility in the future? How can we increase safety despite an increasing number of vehicles to reduce the number of accidents? How can we boost efficiency? How do we harmonise the flow of traffic without building new roads? How do we achieve all these goals while simultaneously preserving the environment? The research programme was set to analyse these and many more questions. What was then Daimler-Benz AG launched the European cooperative project. For over eight years, it represents a cooperation between several, European automotive manufacturers, electronics and supplier companies, universities and institutes.
"It soon became clear to us that there would only be one solution for the increasing number of traffic issues", Walter Ziegler, PROMETHEUS project manager at Mercedes-Benz, said at a past event. "We had to integrate new technologies into road traffic – most of all microelectronics, sensors, telecommunications and information processing – as comprehensively as possible." Back then that represented major developments. At that point, no one could have been able to anticipate the scale to which electronics have taken over our everyday lives. Neither could we have been able to foresee that almost all technologies developed as part of PROMETHEUS would be in or close to series production nowadays.
VITA drives autonomously
As part of PROMETHEUS, Mercedes-Benz achieved the highest level of intelligent vehicle with the VITA vehicle. Small video cameras installed behind the windscreen and rear window of an S-Class to enable a steering of the vehicle using automatic image processing. Thanks to these electronic eyes, the on-board computer is always aware of what is going on around the vehicle. VITA – an abbreviation of "Vision Information Technology Application" – is a genuine autopilot that can brake, accelerate and steer. The computer detects the course of the road and also registers whether the vehicle is on collision course with other objects. The primary goal is automatic collision prevention: we are keen to demonstrate that what is commonly known as "computer vision" can prevent accidents.
However, it does boil down to autonomous driving. It was in October 1994 when the research vehicle covered more than 1,000 kilometres on a three-lane motorway in normal traffic at speeds of up to 130 km/h while demonstrating lane changes in both directions as well as autonomous overtaking after approval by the safety driver.
A previous version of the VITA vehicle was initially developed on the basis of a Mercedes-Benz van and its spacious load area was packed with computer technology. The S-Class as an evolution already represented an important step towards miniaturisation and consequently series production maturity.
DISTRONIC, PRE-SAFE® brake, navigation system and Car-2-X
Intelligent cruise control, a function that always maintains the required, safe distance, is a sub-project of VITA. As soon as the infrared sensor identifies a slower object ahead, the vehicle is automatically braked until it maintains a safe distance. Drivers can override the function at any time. Daimler-Benz advanced the project, named it Traffonic and used radar sensors in the process. Such a system has long since reached series maturity at Mercedes-Benz, i.e. DISTRONIC or DISTRONIC PLUS. The automatic PRE-SAFE® brake has also long since reached series maturity.
Communication played a major role in further PROMETHEUS sub-projects. In this context, researchers were working on dual route guidance to relieve drivers. It was the precursor of the navigation system. Back then it had to make do without assistance from satellites as this technology had not yet been released for civilian use. The sub-project also involved communication between vehicles, for instance to prevent collisions or warn each other of black ice patches – nowadays known as "Car-to-X" technology.
Nowadays fleet management is standard
Cross-border communication is the key term of a further PROMETHEUS sub-project by Daimler-Benz researchers: freight and fleet management. It is designed to enable freight forwarders an efficient use of transport capacities and also react flexibly to unforeseen events. The tests surrounded a mobile online connection between freight forwarders and their vehicles. Distribution managers can identify their vehicles' positions using terrestrial and satellite-based radio systems. They can send their vehicles messages that will pop up on driver's screens via a central computer system. An enhanced system known as FleetBoard® is a matter of course in today's on-road goods transport.
A further sub-project called STORM (Stuttgart Transport Operation by Regional Management) tests regional traffic management using a series of ideas and results from PROMETHEUS. In this process, use of the available traffic infrastructure throughout the Stuttgart region is improved by linking and enhancing available traffic guidance systems: with the objective to reduce the environmental impact and increase the safety and efficiency of traffic within the region. The main claim is to provide traffic participants with all information and assistance at the right time and in the right place so they can responsibly choose their mode of transport.

Additional innovations, such as lane change assistance or parking aid are also routed in the PROMETHEUS research programme. "It was well ahead of its time", Werner Breitschwerdt retrospectively analyses the project, having been responsible between 1977 and 1983 for research and development as a member of the Daimler-Benz AG Executive Board and ultimately also between 1983 and 1987 as chair of the company's executive board. PROMETHEUS lives on in current vehicles and future, fully automatic vehicles.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Cars from France: !0th Dayton Concours, September 18, 2016

a 1963 Renault Dauphine. You can argue about its significance, but the facts say it was very significant.  Over 1 million made, put many French workers on the Road, and as an import to the US actually outsold the VW Beetle on year during the late 1950s!
The Facellia -- not to be confused with a later model that had a big Chrysler engine stuffed in it.  1100 of these models were made, with a B18 Volvo engine as its power plant.  Thought of as a failure, it has to be one of the most beautiful failures in history. The rear of this car is a design to die for.
An early 1970s Citroen-Maserati. A pathbreaking aerodynamic design, with a low sloped front and chopped rear end.  All kinds of crazy steering and braking features, and of course the hydropneumatic suspension. If you wanted to drive something different and had $11.000+ in the early 1970s, this was the car for you! The color is hideous.
Rick Grant's 1935 Bugatti Royale.  Best in class. Rick bought this car for $1800 in 1967.

This 1929 Bugatti reach car was run at the Indianapolis 500 in 1929 and is at the Indy 500 Museum. The classic Bugatti blue color.