Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A very rare and "best of show" Vauxhall Boat Tail -- Dayton Concours, September, 2011

That is me in the background in the black long sleeve shirt with badge viewing a fabulous Vauxhall owned by Dr. Bernstein.

Riding in the rumble would be an unforgettable experience!

Mr. Rick Grant of Dayton -- one of the Midwest's most distinguished car collectors -- thinking some deep thoughts. On Rick's grandfather, one of the most important figures in the history of the automobile in America, see my The Automobile and American Life, pages 59-61.

Thanks to Ed Garten for the Photos!

Most folks know that Vauxhall was acquired by General Motors in 1925. But where did the brand name come from?
Alexander Wilson founded the Vauxhall iron Works. Located on the south bank of the Thames in London, initially the firm specialized in steam engines for marine use. its location was near the ancestral home of 12th century Norman mercenary Fulk le Breant, also known as Fulk's Hall. Later the name was changed to Fawkes Hall, then Foxhall and finally Vauxhall, an area name still in use today.
The first Vauxhall car was built in 1903, and two years later the firm moved to Luton in Bedfordshire.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Oops -- my mistake! GM workers now offerered $12,500 over the next four years -- Tentative UAW Contract

Hi folks -- Am I the only one not thinking clearly? GM and the UAW have worked out a deal that will set a pattern for the other two Detroit Three that industry representatives, union leaders, and politicians are uniformly praising. The proposed deal, it is claimed will offer $2-3 raises to entry level line workers, a big bonus over four years, and purportedly save or create more than 6,000 jobs in U.S. factories while taking some work away from Mexico. It will also result in the re-opening of the Spring Hill, TN Saturn factory, making Senator Bob Corker very happy.

Given the near-death experience of the industry only two years ago, is GM going to make itself again non-competitive in the long run? How is UAW ownership of GM coupled with political involvement as a result of the bailout influencing matters in ways that may be detrimental over the long haul? Are we in a premature feeding frenzy?

However, there will no longer be a Job Bank.

And there will be 75K buyout offers to skilled trade workers who retire between 11.1.11 and 3.31.12.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Tentative GM and UAW Contract: A $5K "signing" bonus?

Hi folks -- every time the auto industry stages a comeback -- going back to the Chrysler- Government Loan of the early 1980s -- the union can't wait to get into the share the wealth requests. And management concedes. So I read in Sunday's Dayton Daily News where the GM-UAW tentative agreement includes a maintenance of pension and health care benefits for UAW workers, and a 5K signing bonus. And the promise to reopen a plant in Tennessee.
What is going on here? We as a country will never comeback strong with this kind of collective behavior. Sure, management is now giving themselves bonuses as well -- another sin. The whole thing never deals with longterm matters. Are we not on the road to perdition?

Images from the Dayton, Ohio Concours, September 18, 2011

Several Indy cars were on display.

My favorite, by far -- this Rick Grant 1949 Alfa Romero 6C.

Introduced in 1938, the 2500 (2443 cc) was the last 6C road car. World War II was coming and car development was stopped, but a few hundred 6C 2500s were built from 1940-1945. Postwar, the first new Alfa model was the 1946 6C 2500 Freccia d'Oro (Golden Arrow), of which 680 were built through 1951, with bodies by Alfa. It was sold to wealthy customers like King Farouk, Alì Khan, Rita Hayworth, Tyrone Power, and Prince Rainier.
The 6C 2500 Villa d'Este was introduced in 1949 and was produced until 1952, named for the Concorso d'Eleganza held in Villa d'Este;[4] a Touring Superleggera-bodied version won the prize. Villa d'Este was Alfa's last hand built model, only 36 examples made. The last 6C was produced in 1952, and was replaced by the 1900.
6C 2500 Coloniale 90 bhp @ 4500 rpm (1939–1942), 152 produced
6C 2500, 90 bhp @ 4600 rpm (1938–1949)
6C 2500 Turismo
6C 2500 Sport, 95 bhp @ 4600 rpm (1947–1949)
6C 2500 Super Sport
6C 2500 Super Sport Corsa 120 bhp @ 4750 rpm (1939–1953)
6C 2500 Freccia d'Oro 90 bhp @ 4600 rpm (1946–1951)
6C 2500 Villa d'Este 110 bhp @ 4800 rpm (1949–1952)
6C 2500 GT (1950)
6C 2500 Competizione 145 bhp @ 5500 rpm (1948)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Another Friday Night Cruise-In, Beavercreek, Ohio, September 16, 2011 -- a very interesting anti-auto theft decal from California!

This was a great find and significant in Rebecca Morales work on governmental agencies in CA that were set up to combat auto theft.

The dash of a very nice 1958 Chevy

This 1958 Buck is the iconic "Dinosaur in the Driveway."

A very slick hood to a Mazda RX-8

What class! On a Jaguar XK-120.

Sorry I have been so quiet lately, folks. My wife was involved in a terrible accident at home several weeks ago, and had surgery last Friday. She is doing much better now, thankfully, and life is getting back to a more normal state.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

One Hot Friday Night Cruise-In: Friday, September 2 in Beavercreek, Ohio

It was way too hot on Friday night, and attendance at the weekly Friday night cruise-in certainly suffered. But there were still a few interesting cars on display, including this 1957 Thunderbird done in blue. I think a bit too extreme for me in terms of one color, since the interior matched the exterior. But I loved the car in general, and the wonderful town and country wonderbar radio.

A Very original Model A

a classic hot rod just the way I like them!