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.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

WEC Championship Series Round 6: Porsche 919 at the Texas Circuit of the Americas

The two Porsche 919 Hybrid defied the Texan heat in Austin. With ambient temperatures of up to 35 degree Celsius, the two Le Mans prototypes covered 158 laps in total of the 5.513 kilometre long Circuit of The Americas (COTA).
In the first of two 90-minute free practice sessions the championship leaders Romain Dumas (FR), Neel Jani (CH) and Marc Lieb (DE) were second (1:48.500 minutes). The reigning world champions, Timo Bernhard (DE), Brendon Hartley (NZ) and Mark Webber (AU), finished fourth (1:49.248 minutes). The second practice session was held after dark. Bernhard/Hartley/Webber were third fastest (1:47.959 minutes), while the sister car of Dumas/Jani/Lieb came fourth (1:48.130 minutes).

Porsche leads the manufacturers’ world championship

The demanding track is known as the favourite of the modern Formula One circuits. High ambient temperatures can be expected and the timing for the race provides an extra challenge: The six-hour race will start at 17:00 hours with sunset being at 19:32 hours.
Porsche leads the manufacturers’ world championship after having won four races in 2016 – Silverstone, Le Mans, the Nürburgring and Mexico City. It is the third sea-son for the innovative Porsche 919 Hybrid. During this year’s five championship rounds Porsche has scored 201 points, Audi is second (158) and Toyota follows in third position (112). In the drivers’ world championship, this year’s Le Mans winning trio of Romain Dumas (FR), Neel Jani (CH) and Marc Lieb (DE) has extended its lead to 41 points ahead of the best placed Toyota drivers. The first Audi drivers fol-low in P3 with 74.5 points. The second Porsche works drivers crew of Timo Bern-hard (DE), Brendon Hartley (NZ) and Mark Webber (AU) recently achieved two con-secutive race wins and improved to fifth in the standings. The reigning World Champions have scored 53.5 points.

Facts and figures
  • In 2015 Jani/Lieb took pole position with an average lap time of 1:46.211 minutes. The overall fastest lap was done by Jani in 1:46.018 minutes. Hartley/Webber were second on the grid with a qualifying time of 1:46.375 minutes. (In the WEC the average of the respective best laps of two drivers counts for the grid position.)
  • Bernhard/Hartley/Webber won last year’s race. After leading for a long time, Dumas/Jani/Lieb finished fifth in the LMP1 class.
  • A lap on the Formula One circuit in Austin, that was opened in 2012, is 5.513 kilometres and has 20 corners. The circuit goes anti clockwise.
  • At normal race speed (no safety car) the Porsche 919 Hybrid is due for refuelling after every 31 laps at the latest. 
  • Refuelling and changing tyres may only be done sequentially, not at the same time. Only four mechanics may work simultaneously when changing tyres and may use only one wheel gun. That takes a lot longer than in Formula One, for example. 
  • The drivers are normally only changed when new tyres are needed. 
  • A set of Michelin slick tyres should ideally last two fuel tank fills. 
  • The WEC efficiency regulations limit the amount of energy that can be used per lap. In Austin the Porsche 919 Hybrid can use 5.01 megajoule of electrical power from energy recovery systems and 1.411 kilograms or 1.930 litres of petrol.
  • These different types of tyres can be used: three different compounds of slick tyres for dry conditions, a hybrid tyre (no profile either but softer cover) for mixed conditions and wet weather tyres. 6.5 sets of dry weather tyres are available per car for qualifying and the race.
Quotes after Free Practice
Team Principal Andreas Seidl: “This was a healthy first day for us. Despite the hot conditions, both 919s were running smoothly, so we were able to complete our programme as planned. Alongside various cooling options, the focus was on tyre testing. All drivers have done their mandatory five night laps. The competition looks very strong here. We will now carefully analyse our data to do the next step tomorrow.“
Drivers Porsche 919 Hybrid number 1
Timo Bernhard (35, Germany): “Especially in the first session, it was really hot out there and this will be about the same for the start of the race at 5pm on Saturday. It’s a balancing act to get the car’s setup right for the race, because the longest part takes place after sunset in cooler conditions.”
Brendon Hartley (26, New Zealand): “It is great to be back at COTA and in the City of Austin. Our car performed very well straight away, and we used the day to run through a long list of test items.”
Mark Webber (40, Australia): “It is nice to feel the car in a normal situation again with a lot more grip after the high altitude experience in Mexico. Driving anticlockwise is actually something that requires a little bit of familiarisation, because we sit on the left hand side of the 919 Hybrid and this makes it hard to see the apexes of turns 11 and 15, but I was tuned in quickly.“
Drivers Porsche 919 Hybrid number 2
Romain Dumas (38, France): “COTA is a nice and interesting track with a lot of grip. You have everything here – fast corners, slow corners, with camber and without camber. I think the 919 performs best in the fast corners between turns two and nine.“
Neel Jani (32, Switzerland): “We definitely have a good baseline with our car, now it is all about developing the details in the best possible way. If it stays as hot as it was today, the race is going to be a battle for men and machines.”
Marc Lieb (36, Ludwigsburg): “On the first day of practice, of course, the car is not a hundred per cent perfectly tuned for the track, but this isn’t an issue, as we’ll get that done. I really do enjoy fast corners like those in sector one. They are flowing in sixth gear at generally over 200 km/h – I could do with more of such sections.”
Porsche 919 Hybrid
The Weissach developed Porsche 919 Hybrid competes in the highest category of the 31 car field, which is the class one Le Mans prototypes (LMP1). The two-time Le Mans winning car produces a system power of over 900 HP (662 kW). Its combustion engine is a ground breaking downsizing motor: the very compact two-litre V4 turbocharged petrol engine drives the rear axle with almost 500 PS (368 kW). Two different energy recovery systems – brake energy from the front and exhaust energy – feed a lithium ion battery that, on command, passes on the energy to an E machine to power the front axle with an extra boost of over 400 PS (294 kW).
WEC: Eurosport-Livestream
The six-hour race on the Circuit of The Americas (COTA) is the sixth out of nine rounds of the 2016 WEC and starts on September 17 at 17:00 hrs local time (midnight in Central Europe).
Europort offers a free of charge Livestream of the six-hour race in Mexico City on his website.
The official WEC App can be downloaded free of charge in its basic version and can be extended (not free of charge) by a live stream. Several live features, such as on-board cameras, timing and GPS tracking, are implemented in the Porsche Motorsport App (free of charge) and at

A Special Edition of Cars & Coffee, At Carillon Park, Dayton, September 17, 2016

Some of the photos of cars I thought special at the special edition of Cars & Coffee at Carillon Park this  morning.  this event precedes the Dayton Concours that will take place tomorrow. I'll be judging French cars.  I noted several members of the Renault Club around this morning, and a Renault Alliance station wagon. Pretty rare, I would guess!

So what we have here is a Fiat 850, 1970 Lotus Europa with a Renault Fuego turbo engine, A 1970 VW Type 3, with automatic transmission, and a 1970 Jaguar XKE, 4.2.

Monday, September 5, 2016

End of the Line: Production of the First Generation of the Porsche Panamera has Ended

After seven years, the last Panamera model of the first generation has rolled off the production line at the Porsche plant in Leipzig, Germany. Between April 2009 and August 2016, the company produced a total of 164,503 units of the Gran Turismo.

It all began back in 2009. After a two-year project to expand the plant, the springtime saw a completely new model go into production: A luxury saloon combined with a premium sportscar – the Panamera.
After being launched onto the market, initially only part of the Gran Turismo was produced in Leipzig. The body shells were produced and painted at the VW plant in Hanover before ultimately being brought to the Porsche location in Saxony for pre-assembly and final assembly. Following in the footsteps of the Cayenne and the limited-edition Carrera GT, the Panamera was the third model to be manufactured in Leipzig. The Macan has since been introduced as the fourth model.

The Gran Turismo is popular throughout all continents

Dirk Kolar, Director Manufacturing at the Porsche plant in Leipzig, remembers this time well: “With the launch of the Panamera in 2009, we tapped into a completely new segment. The sports saloon has gone on to both define and inspire us”. It proved particularly popular in China and the USA. More than half of all the Panamera models produced ultimately found their home in these countries. However, the Panamera was also very well received among people in Germany.
Now, however, the last model of this kind has rolled off the production line. But this is no cause for sadness: The second generation of the Gran Turismo is now manufactured entirely at the plant in Leipzig – “and we are proud of every single centimetre.”, says Mr Kolar.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Ed's Final Report from the Arctic Circle: Ferraris in Norway, Harley-Davidsons in Finland

John, got back this past Tuesday and dead tired.  But in a resort town at the base of a beautiful fiord we encountered a group of Ferrari's driven by members of the Ferrari Club of Norway.  

They parked together and I went over and chatted with a couple of the owners.  I think there were about 12 cars all together -- mostly red ones, a few yellow ones, and one black one.  

I asked the owner of this red one (photo attached and in motion) if he had ever heard of Heitmann Motor Sports and -- to my amazement -- he said that he had met Mr. Heitmann a few months back at a car show.

Approximately 50 kilometers above the Arctic Circle, we stayed one night in a Finnish summer resort that, in the winter, was a haven for snowmobile fanatics..............but outside our hotel upon our arrival was a gathering of Finnish Harley-Davidson owners.  We were told that there were over 800 Harley's in town for the weekend and several of the hotels were literally surrounded by Harley cycles.

I spoke briefly with a salesperson who had trekked up from Helsinki with a "special new" limited edition Harley inside of a beautiful enclosed trailer (see attached photo).  

Inside, along with another new Harley was this (also pictured) "military-style" special edition.  The gentleman sold me he sold it within ten minutes of pulling into the hotel parking lot.