Saturday, July 29, 2017

Maren Morris - My Church: The Ultimate Road Song -- and Driving an Old Mercedes, no less!

Yes, Maren Morris' "My Church" evokes feelings similar to those when I drive my 1982 Mercedes 380 SL.  Going to a real church and dealing with "believers" often beleaguers my spirit. Getting behind the wheel of my Benz never does that!

Lyrics to "My Church"
I’ve cussed on a Sunday
I’ve cheated and I’ve lied
I’ve fallen down from grace
A few too many times
But I find holy redemption
When I put this car in drive
Roll the windows down and turn up the dial
Can I get a hallelujah
Can I get an amen
Feels like the Holy Ghost running through ya
When I play the highway FM
I find my soul revival
Singing every single verse
Yeah I guess that’s my church
When Hank brings the sermon
And Cash leads the choir
It gets my cold cold heart burning
Hotter than a ring of fire
When this wonderful world gets heavy
And I need to find my escape
I just keep the wheels rolling, radio scrolling
'Til my sins wash away
Can I get a hallelujah
Can I get an amen
Feels like the Holy Ghost running through ya
When I play the highway FM
I find my soul revival
Singing every single verse
Yeah I guess that’s my church
Can I get a hallelujah
Can I get an amen
Feels like the Holy Ghost running through ya
When I play the highway FM
I find my soul revival
Singing every single verse
Yeah I guess that’s my church
Can I get a hallelujah
Can I get an amen
Feels like the Holy Ghost running through ya
When I play the highway FM
I find my soul revival
Singing every single verse
Yeah I guess that’s my church
Yeah I guess that’s my church
Yeah I guess that’s my church

Friday, July 28, 2017

The Tesla Air-Friction Speedometer in the 1920 Pierce-Arrow.

In terms of automotive history, we often think of Tesla in the present but not in the past. Yet in 1920, the Pierce-Arrow, a very high-end automobile manufacturer, featured a patented, Waltham-built "air-friction" speedometer, invented by engineering genius Nikola Tesla. The speedometer had a jeweled mechanism that operated by the friction of the air generated within within the instrument by the speed of the car. Unlike the ordinary cable-operated speedometer, it was free of any inaccuracies caused by dirt, grease, or wear of gears.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Classic Days Schloss Dyck 2017: Mercedes-Benz Classic vehicles

Benz Patent Motor Car, true replica of the first car built in 1886. At the wheel: Jutta Benz, great grand-daughter of Carl and Bertha Benz. Photo taken in 2014 at the Classic Days Schloss Dyck.

Benz Patent Motor Car, 1886.
On 29 January 1886, Carl Benz applied for a patent on his "gas-powered vehicle". Patent number DRP 37435 is regarded as the birth certificate of the automobile, and gave its name to the Patent Motor Car. The world's first automobile was an autonomous design in which the engine and chassis formed an organic unit. Benz designed it as a three-wheeler, as he was not convinced by the drawbar steering used for coaches. The resounding achievement of Carl Benz was the persistence with which he turned his vision of a "coach without horses" into reality: he had the idea for a motor vehicle, designed it, built it, patented it, tested it, brought it to market, produced it in large numbers, developed it further and therefore made his invention usable. The Benz Patent Motor Car ushered in a new era in individual mobility.
Technical data: Benz Patent-MotorwagenProduction year: 1886
Cylinders: one-cylinder four-stroke engine with Summer ignition
Displacement: 954 cc
Output: 0.55 kW (0.75 hp) at 400 rpm
Top speed: 16 km/h
Mercedes-Benz Model S (W 06), 1927
The Mercedes-Benz Model S of 1927 was the first in a series of supercharged sports cars that were nicknamed "White Elephants" and which dominated motorsport in the late 1920s, achieving world fame. The "S" stood for Sport, which says it all. Its first race outing – the inaugural race at the Nürburgring on 19 June 1927 – resulted in a triple victory for Mercedes-Benz. The winner was Rudolf Caracciola, who went on to become the most successful racing driver of the pre-war era. Other triumphs for the brand included a triple victory in the German Sports Car Grand Prix at Nürburgring on 17 July 1927, the second major event at the "Ring" in its opening year. The racing version of the Model S was reserved for works drivers. However, it was also available as an exclusive road-going sports car which numerous private drivers successfully drove in competitions – for such "gentleman drivers" it was one of the fastest cars available. A total of 146 units were built up until 1928. Two models based on the Model S (for "Sport") came out in 1928 – the SS ("Super Sport") and the SSK ("Super Sport Kurz" - "Kurz" meaning "short"), with the SSKL ("Super-Sport Kurz Leicht" - "Leicht" meaning "light") being added in 1931.
Technical data of the Mercedes-Benz Model SProduction period: 1927 to 1928
Cylinders: 6/in-line
Displacement: 6789 cc
Output: 88 kW (120 hp), with compressor  132 kW (180 hp) at 3000 rpm
Top speed: 170 km/h
Mercedes-Benz SS (W 06), 1930
Despite its powerful engine, the Mercedes-Benz SS ("Super-Sport") was conceived as a "grand tourer". From its 7.1-litre displacement, the vehicle's six-cylinder in-line engine developed up to 118 kW (160 hp) without a supercharger and up to 147 kW (200 hp) with a supercharger. The SS, in the guise of a  184 kW (250 hp) racer, had its baptism of fire in June 1928, winning the Bühler Höhe hill climb with Rudolf Caracciola at the wheel. Numerous other racing victories were to follow. A total of 111 units of the Mercedes-Benz SS were manufactured between 1928 and 1933.
Technical data of the Mercedes-Benz SS (standard-production version)Production period: 1928 to 1933
Cylinders: 6/in-line
Displacement: 7065 cc
Output: 118 kW (160 hp), with supercharger  147 kW (200 hp)
Top speed: 185 km/h
Mercedes-Benz SSK (W 06), 1928
Of the six-cylinder supercharged, high-performance sports cars in the Mercedes-Benz S-Series, the SSK (W 06) was the most exclusive and fascinating model. The model designation of this supercharged car with a 7.1-litre six-cylinder engine stood for Super-Sport-Kurz (Super Sport Short) and featured a shorter wheelbase alongside its particular sportiness. Following numerous victories achieved by the Model S as the first model in the series, the succeeding SS and SSK models continued the success story: In the summer of 1928, works racing driver Rudolf Caracciola won the Gabelbach Race on the first attempt as well as the races at Schauinsland and Mont Ventoux with the brand-new SSK. In 1930 he won the European hill racing championship driving an SSK. In that same year, the supercharged sports car also took part in the Mille Miglia for the first time. Rudolf Caracciola and Christian Werner were the winners in the class up to eight litres, and took sixth place in the overall ranking with a driving time of 17 hours and 20 minutes. With reduced weight and another power increase to 220 kW (300 hp), the 1931 version also known as the SSKL (Super-Sport-Short-Light) achieved a spectacular success in the Mille Miglia: In April 1931, Rudolf Caracciola was the first non-Italian to win this demanding road race from Brescia to Rome and back - in a new record time of 16 hours and 10 minutes.
Technical data of the Mercedes-Benz SSK (standard production version)Production period: 1928 to 1932
Cylinders: 6/in-line
Displacement: 7065 cc
Output: 125 kW (170 hp), with supercharger  165 kW (225 hp)
Top speed: 192 km/h
Mercedes-Benz 300 SLS (W 198), 1957
Two examples of the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLS, a special version of the 300 SL Roadster presented in 1957, were built for the American sports car championship in the same year, owing to the fact that the production version of the brand-new model was not yet allowed to enter the 1957 season in the "Standard production" category. In order to maximise its chances in the only remaining alternative motor racing category, D, every trick in the book was applied to slim down a standard Roadster to an SLS weighing just 970 kilograms. The engine output was also increased to  173 kW (235 PS). It was in the SLS that Paul O’Shea won the Category D of the American sports car championship by a significant margin over the competition – he had already previously taken the title in 1955 and 1956 with the 300 SL "Gullwing".
Technical Data of the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLS (W 198)Year: 1957
Cylinders: 6/in-line
Displacement: 2996 cc
Output: 173 kW (235 hp)
Top speed: 260 km/h
Classic Days Schloss Dyck 2017: the ALL TIME STARS vehicles
Mercedes-Benz 280 SL (W 113), 1968
The W 113-series "Pagoda SL", which was given this name by enthusiasts because of its pagoda-shaped hardtop, replaced two other models at once in 1963: the 300 SL Roadster (W 198) as a powerful series production sports car and the 190 SL (W 121), which was intended more for sporty, comfortable touring. The "Pagoda" combined the qualities of the two preceding models, and was very popular with a demanding customer base that wanted to see the performance and serene power delivery of a sports car together with the comfort of a luxurious touring car. The most highly developed variant, the 280 SL launched in 1968, had a displacement of 2.8 litres and developed an output that was  15 kW (20 hp) higher than that of the preceding 230 SL and 250 SL models. Thanks to greater flexibility, this above all made the six-cylinder in-line model more refined. Hence the 280 SL model in the "Pagoda" line-up was almost as popular with buyers as the 230 SL and 250 SL combined, the latter of which was only built for about a year.
The 280 SL displayed by ALL TIME STARS at the 2017 Classic Days Schloss Dyck underwent a comprehensive works restoration in the workshops of Mercedes-Benz Classic. The vehicle is in as-new condition – as it was when it left the Sindelfingen plant in 1968.
Technical data of the Mercedes-Benz 280 SL (W 113)Production period: 1968 to 1971
Cylinders: 6/in-line
Displacement: 2778 cc
Output: 125 kW (170 hp)
Top speed: 200 km/h
Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster (R 107), 1986
The R 107 SL model series hit the roads in spring 1971. Apart from elegance and quality, these cars exuded safety, as the crash behaviour of the open two-seater was well ahead of its time. In technical terms, for example, there is a carefully defined crumple zone on the body and bodyshell structure, a highly stable A-pillar and interior equipment that has been systematically designed in accordance with safety criteria. During a production period spanning 18 years, which was not planned but ultimately proved very successful, this SL featured a whole range of six and eight-cylinder engines. The model designations are equally diverse. Production of model series R 107 ended in August 1989, after more than 18 years. As such this SL model series set an internal company record which is unlikely to be surpassed: With the exception of the G-Class off-road vehicles, there has never in the entire history of the brand been another passenger car series which has been in production over such a long time period. In total 237,287 convertible vehicles were produced in Sindelfingen, a figure which impressively demonstrates the popularity of the R 107 model series. 62,888 examples of the Coupé (C 107) were produced in parallel between 1971 and 1981.
Just 16,550 kilometres – this is the odometer reading of the 300 SL from the Concours Edition displayed by ALL TIME STARS at Schloss Dyck. It was produced in 1986. The vehicle impresses with its outstanding overall condition and classic colour combination of red paintwork and cream-coloured leather in the interior.
Technical data of the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster (R 107)Production period: 1985 to 1989
Cylinders: 6/in-line
Displacement: 2962 cc
Output: 138 kW (188 hp) at 5700 rpm
Top speed: 203 km/h
Mercedes-Benz SLK 230 Kompressor (R 170), 1999
Mercedes-Benz introduced the SLK (R 170) model series in 1996. It enhanced the family of Mercedes-Benz sports cars with a compact roadster. One of its impressive features was the Vario roof, which converted the SLK into a weatherproof coupé or an open-top roadster within a short time. The sophisticated kinematics of the electrohydraulics are a work of art: when opening, the two-section steel roof first swings upwards. At the same time the parcel shelf is lowered below the boot lid, which pivots upwards and to the rear to provide space in the boot for the roof. The roof folds together and glides into place, the boot closes and the parcel shelf is returned to its former position. The entire procedure takes 25 seconds, and it was a trailblazing concept: the SLK established the Vario roof throughout the industry. With this and numerous other day-to-day qualities, it soon captured the hearts of many male and female customers.
The SLK 230 Kompressor at the Classic Days Schloss Dyck dates from 1999. The colour combination – red paintwork and black leather interior – is classic but rarely found in an SLK. In view of its well cared-for, original condition, ALL TIME STARS has assigned the car to the Collectors Edition. It is accident-free and has not been repainted.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

More Cruisin' on the River: a 1929 Chevrolet that did the 100th Anniversary Pekin to Paris Race and Run

Thanks, Ed, for some interesting material!!

Back in 1907 there was a famous automobile run and race from Peking to Paris that was reenacted 50 years years later.  Then in 2007 the race was reenacted for the third time to mark the 100th anniversary of the trek.  The antique cars were staged for the grueling journal in Vilnius, Lithuania.

Yesterday at the "Cruising on the River" car show in Cincinnati I met the owner of a 1929 Chevrolet that made this 100th anniversary run.  See attached photos.  His co-driver was a petite young woman of -- at the time early 20s -- who now lives in New York City.  They stayed mostly in small hostels along the way but he told me that during the days they drove in Mongolia they slept on the ground.  The entire trip took 34 days and, can you believe, the only trouble that the old Chevy had was one blown out tire?

This gentleman told me some incredible stories as I raptly listened.  He lives in Cincinnati and brings the car out for shows at least six times a year. He told me the car still starts up "first time, every time."  

This is the kind of "car culture" story that is truly fascinating !!!


Addendum to my just made post regarding the fellow I met yesterday who drove in the 2007 Peking to Paris antique vehicle race.  His name is Dan Reising and he is listed on this participant list found at this website.  I stand corrected -- the car was a 1930 Chevrolet coupe and not a 1929.  But can you imagine -- unless he was telling me a tall tale -- the car's only trouble was one blown tire.  How many of our vehicles would make the same run without any mechanical trouble.  And sleeping on the ground in Mongolia -- no Motel 6's?

And more -- biographies of the drivers ---

The Peking to Paris Motor Challenge, the first-ever trans-continental motor race, celebrates its centenary this year: 100 years after five cars left Peking (today known as Beijing) to drive all the way to Paris, over 130 vintage cars will follow the same itinerary. In total, ten Chevrolet cars are participating in this year's challenge, built between 1928 and 1941. One of these cars is the Chevrolet coupe owned by Dan Rensing. It was built in 1930 at the Janesville, Wisconsin assembly plant and is equipped with a 6-cylinder engine delivering 50 hp.

Michele Shapiro, 37, will be behind the wheel of the historic vehicle. She lives in New York and is currently Director of Special Projects at an international investigations and security firm, but will quit this job for the race. She has already participated in multiple rally challenges. For instance, she was the first American ever to compete in the Aicha de Gazelles Rally, a grueling eight-day rally in the Sahara desert. She was also the winner of the 2004 European Bullrun Rally. A lover of cars, fashion and extreme adventure, Michele says: "I'm constantly looking for new ways to challenge myself. My favorite challenges involve driving cars I've never driven before in places I've never been before. If I could just get Alexander McQueen to design my racing suit I'd really be in heaven."

The owner of the vehicle, Dan Rensing, 57, will be the co-driver, navigator and mechanic. A resident of Cincinnati, Ohio, he is married, has one daughter and one son and has been working as a surveyor since 1970. He has always been passionate about mechanics and started working on cars at age 16 when he began reading books and repairing vehicles as a hobby. He bought the 1930 Chevrolet coupe especially for the Peking-Paris race. Dan explains: "When I decided to participate in the race, I was, of course, looking for a car that would be available in running condition and at a reasonable price: The Chevrolet car was the perfect solution. For me, Chevrolet has always stood for solid build quality and durability." He found the car in Minnesota and drove it back to Ohio where he restored it completely and prepared it for the race.

The New 2018 Ford Mustang

So why is the Ford Mustang so enduring in American life?  Is it the sheer beauty of the car? Performance? Or is it the democratic appeal, the fact that a Mustang owner can work at a steel mill, a university, a bank, or anywhere in between?  The Mustang is one of those rare mass assembly products that both evoke status and blur class lines. It can be -- if accessorized and options -- nearly as fast as a Porsche or Ferrari -- or it can be rather tame, although tameness is increasing difficult to achieve.  If you stretch it, you could almost argue it is a family car, but that family must have short legs.  It makes a person look better, although if you dig deep enough that person is really quite unimportant, as we all are.

So the new 7th generation Mustang is coming soon at a Ford dealer near you!

Monday, July 24, 2017

A Customized Karmann-Ghia at Crusin' on the River: Note the Porsche Hubcaps!

Nice customized Karmann-Ghia where the owner  brought his own umbrella to protect his bllue baby

The Venerable Chrysler Corporation Slant 6 of the 1960s: Crusin' on the River, July 23, 2017

One of the best engines ever to come out of Detroit,  Here are Ed's comments:

Was struck in a sentimental way by this Dodge Dart with a 225 Slant Six engine.  Can't imagine they came from the factory this clean.  Had a 66 Dart with this engine after college graduation and then when a couple of years later had a 68 Barracuda in British Racing Green with the same engine.  I recall that folks who had never seen one of these engines would peer under my hood and say: "The engine slants to the side."  Yep, they would be correct.

Crusin' on the River, July 23, 2017, Cincinnati, Ohio: Ed's Favorite Car, an Opel GT

My favorite car at the show today was a very nice original Opal GT -- among the first imported to this country with the body built in France prior to the building of the Opal Rudesheim factory.   Look at this photos -- original paint and original non-blemished brown leather seats.  Only 43,000 documented miles on the car.  I told the owner that he ever wanted to sell him give me a call.  

Note the cute little German flag on the front fender in one of the photos;  Of course the Goodyear tires are not spec, but that's a small thing.  And recall the odd headlight lids that were manually opened and closed -- they tilted "inward" rather than up and down.

Ed's Old Cougar at Cruisin' on the River, July 23, 2017

An Excerpt form Ed's email; to me -- 

John, in all of the many years I've been going to car shows, I'd have to rate the "Cruisin' on the River" one in Cincinnati near the top -- while it rained pretty hard in late morning, by noonthere were nearly 400 vehicles there and the rain stopped.  I had never driven old US-50 which runs along the river in the western part of Cincinnati but its like a walk back in time: Neat old buildings along side of the road.  Plus the park where this show is held each year, part of the Cincinnati park system, was spectacular!

I will send you some photos of some interesting vehicles either later today or tomorrow -- for the blog.  But my Cougar was prominently displayed (see the three attached photos).  

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Cars and Coffee at Austin Landing, Springboro, Ohio, July 22

First two photos are of a Porsche 914, looks like it is for sale, Very nice appearance, dash looked immaculate. An original color. I wonder what the dealer wants for this car?

I normally do not see many Fiat 124s at these events. This one was very presentable, although engine certainly was not detailed in any way. A most beautiful body style, questionable reliability, if I remember correctly!

We had considerable rain during the night and so there were not as many cars as usual, but there seemed to be plenty of people walking around! Because of the threat of rain the event was held on the covered, lower part of the parking garage. So it was sort of dark and not in a open space. I did not find many older cars there, and perhaps that is what Cars and Coffee has become in terms of a gathering.  Many young people, however, and thus quite a contrast from the Friday night Cruise-In in Beavercreek, which is large populated by "old dogs."

Beavercreek, Ohio Cruise-In, July 21, 2017

The First 4 photos depict a 1963 Studebaker Lark Daytona

Slim Pick-uns on this Friday night. Same turnout maybe due to heat and the threat of rain.

Slow night tonight at the Beavercreek Cruise-In.  Turnout low, perhaps due to the high humidity and heat along with the threat of raid, which did one eventually, but well after dark. I wasn't terribly excited by the cars present, although the 1963 Studebaker Daytona  was similar to Andy Beckman's 1964 model.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Comment on the article by P.J. O'Rourke, "The Last Best Year: Why 1967 may have been the pinnacle for the automobile"

1967 Austin-Healy 3000 BJ8
1967 Porsche 911S in Irish Green
The article appears in the Fall 2017 issue of Haggerty, pp. 28-39.

1967 was a year during which I was absorbed with survival in the classroom: advanced freshman chemistry, calculus, university physics -- all tough stuff.  I did own a 1959 MGA, similar to that of P.J. O'Rourke's, but probably did not heave nearly the fun in it that he did.

1967 was a great year for the automobile, and due to looming federal legislation, the last year in which automobiles were relatively free of emissions equipment and safety design modifications.  Soon the government could be designing cars, although politicians at air quality and safety hearings swore that they did not want to do so.  The reality proved different.

O'Rourke's article is a joy to read, taking me back to a day when car culture was at its apex and socialization often took place with the automobile as a backdrop. The author points to various 1967 automobiles, both domestic and foreign, that defined the ear -- the Jaguar XKE, The Porsche 911S, Austin Mini, Shelby GT350 and GT500, Corvette C2 Stingray, and Alfa Romeo Spider. It was a Golden Age that superseded the mid-1950s, in part because American per capita wealth was near its all-time peak and thus the masses could either afford or aspire vehicles that they could have only dreamed of a generation earlier.

Yes, the air was foul, and people were dying in record numbers. Urban congestion was worse than ever. Vietnam was beginning to rip into the soul of America's social and class fabric. Racism was rearing its ugly head, not only in the South but also the North.  But we were all Americans during the 1960s, despite our differences. Individualism would only triumph a decade later.

I heartily recommend that you read O'Rourke's article if you get a chance to do so.  He ends on a very strong and perceptive note, suggesting what was lost after 1967:

"Cars are better today, cleaner an safer, far more reliable, easier to drive at high speed and, in many cases, faster and more powerful as well. But enough complications have been added to make a shade tree mechanic use his tree to hang himself. And quirkiness has been subtracted. The since of aerodynamics and the ease of computer modeling has calmed styling. High-tech electronics have soothed manic -- and depressive -- mechanics traits. Modern automobiles are high-functioning, but they're on Prozac. Back in 1967, the cars were crazy good."

1967 Camaro 396 SS

1967 Ford Shelby Mustang GT500

The Meaning Behind the Color of a Car

Taken and slightly modified from an interview with French color designer Jean-Gabriel Causse published  in the Porsche magazine Christophus:

Most people are a little more decided in their preference.
We know that blue is the most popular color in all cultures. This might have something to do with the fact that blue is the color of the sky.
A very basic question: What exactly are colors?
In physical terms, colors are different combinations of electromagnetic waves. Our retinas turn these mixtures of light into nerve impulses. These signals are transmitted to the visual cortex of the brain, which gives us the conscious sensation of color. So colors do not exist as such. They arise in our minds. Which also explains why they are extraordinarily subjective. Each person perceives color in a slightly different way.
But there is a surprising amount of overlap, such as in the colors people prefer for their cars.
According to surveys, 60 percent of people say that color is one of the main factors they consider when purchasing a car. In this case, however, they don’t choose their favorite color but instead generally select something discreet and reserved. A few decades ago, red was the most popular color for cars. Now it’s white, followed by black, silver, and gray. Three-quarters of the new cars sold in 2016 were one of these colors.
How do you explain this development?
People simply used to take more pleasure in brighter colors, which also used to signify wealth. Dark suits only started becoming popular for men in the nineteenth century. In the twentieth century, women’s fashion began to lose color as well—one example being Coco Chanel’s “little black dress.” By the way, you can observe a similar trend in architecture and interior design. Even fifty or sixty years ago, it wouldn't have occurred to anyone to paint the walls of their homes white. That has now become the absolute standard. And we’re seeing a similar trend in cars. As an aside, white is a good choice for safety reasons. We know that white cars have the lowest accident rates, which is probably because they’re readily visible in all kinds of light.
Why white is so popular?
White is a very discreet color. It doesn’t clamor for attention. And that’s exactly what most people are looking for. If you want to have a low profile, then it’s good to choose something like white, black, silver, or gray.
Nearly every tourist who visits Havana is thrilled by the colors of the cars on the streets. But that’s because those vehicles were made at a time when it was customary to paint them in vibrant colors. Back in the 1960s and 1970s, the same was true of cars on the streets of Paris or Stuttgart. People used to make greater use of the symbolism or power of colors than they do now.

What effect do colors have on us?
Countless studies have shown that colors exert considerable influence on us. Mountain climbers feel the cold less when their parkas are red—a color that everyone associates with warmth. People who have a blue desktop on their computers produce around twice as many ideas as those with a red desktop. Colors have incredible power.

Biological, cultural, and individual psychological factors all play a role.

All cultures associate red with aggression and strength. That’s also true in the animal kingdom. When finches encounter members of their same species with red feathers, the level of the stress hormone corticosterone in their blood increases by fifty-eight percent. So the color red appears to have a direct physical effect on us, quite simply via the wavelength of red light.
What about cultural factors?
Red warns us of danger. But this effect is surely also learned. Every child learns that prohibition signs are always red. Red is also the color that we associate with Italian sports cars. But this isn’t a law of nature. It’s historical happenstance. At the famous Gordon Bennett Cup in 1900, the English team got the color green (British Racing Green), France got blue, Germany white, and Italy red. That’s why if I bought a Porsche, it wouldn’t be red. In my opinion that doesn't fit with a German sports car.

Sports cars are less likely to have drab colors.
That’s true. People who drive sports cars are a little more open to the mentality of play. It’s about pleasure and fun, not just the seriousness of life. Furthermore, many sports cars are simply gorgeous. I can never get enough of the elegant lines of a Porsche 911. You almost have to choose a color that stands out. I think we need more courage again in our choice of color. Walt Disney once said, “Dream your life in colors—it’s the secret to happiness.”

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Quick Fix for a loose taillight bulb on a 1971 Porsche 911

Hi folks --- Three times during recent weeks I have been told that my left brake light was out on my 1971 Porsche 911T.  At first I tried to bend the two contacts for the 1157 bulb and that did not work.  I then tried using some dielectric grease, and that worked only until the car moved and then the light went out for good.  So I looked at the internet and found a quick fix; namely, add some drops of solder to the two contacts and that should tighten the bulb up.  I did that -- fixed the bulb in a box with a hole in it to make working on it easier, then placed some drops of solder on the two contacts. I added enough solder that the bulb did not want to lock in place!  So I took a small file, and  carefully took material off until the bulb locked to place.  And guess what? The light now works like a charm!

1157 Bulb

Friday, July 14, 2017

Porsche GT Team at the Nurburgring, July 16 -- 6 hour race

Porsche 911 RSR

The six-hour race on the Nürburgring on 16 July is the last event on European soil for the 2017 Sports Car World Endurance Championship. After the Nürburgring round, five overseas races will be contested in Mexico, USA, Japan, China and Bahrain. On the storied racetrack in Germany’s Eifel region, the Porsche GT Team fields two new 911 RSR in the GTE-Pro class, in which the fight for points and victories is the most cutthroat in the WEC. Thanks to the Balance of Performance, which was created to ensure that all vehicles of different concepts compete on the same performance level, fans will witness gripping fights for positions and thrilling races to the flag. The 510 hp 911 RSR racers were developed from scratch by Porsche Motorsport in Weissach and are based on the seventh generation of the iconic 911 sports car. The 911 RSR made a successful start to the season, clinching third at its maiden outing in Silverstone. At the 24 Hours of Le Mans recently, the new racer narrowly missed out on a podium spot, securing fourth after a strong performance and long stints in the lead.

The Porsche drivers

Four works drivers compete for the Porsche GT Team: Richard Lietz (Austria) and Frédéric Makowiecki (France) share the cockpit of the #91 Porsche 911 RSR in the GTE-Pro class. They started into the season with third place at Silverstone. Their team colleagues Michael Christensen (Denmark) and Kévin Estre (France) man the #92 car. In the GTE-Am class, the Porsche customer squad Dempsey Proton Racing fields a 911 RSR from the 2015 model year. It is driven by the Porsche Young Professional Matteo Cairoli (Italy) as well as Christian Ried and Marvin Dienst from Germany. So far this season, they have achieved third place at Silverstone and second in Spa-Francorchamps.

The Porsche 911 RSR

The 911 RSR, which celebrated its race debut at the Daytona 24-hour classic in January, is a completely new development: the suspension, body structure, aerodynamic concept, engine and transmission have all been designed in Weissach from scratch. Depending on the size of the restrictor, the motor, which is now positioned in front of the rear axle, puts out around 375 kW (510 hp). Thanks to the large rear diffuser combined with a top-mounted rear wing, the level of downforce and the aerodynamic efficiency were significantly improved. 

Balance of Performance (BoP)

The “Balance of Performance” applies to the GTE-Pro class of the WEC Sports Car World Endurance Championship as well as the GTLM class of the IMSA SportsCar Championship. “BoP” was introduced by the FIA ​​with the aim of achieving a level playing field for the different vehicle concepts, and thus ensuring balanced and fair races. The intention is that it should not make a fundamental difference if a vehicle is powered by a turbocharged or normally aspirated engine, or if the engine is mounted on the front axle or in front of the rear axle. The basic aerodynamic shape of the vehicles should also not play a decisive role.
After an initial grading by the FIA, the balance of performance is adjusted at the races by means of telemetry - not only using lap times, but also acceleration profiles and engine mappings. This data input is automatically analysed and incorporated into the “Balance of Performance”. The most frequently used means of adjusting the performance level is through adding or subtracting weight. In keeping with the rule-makers’ intention, the key to success on the racetrack is not about the individual potential of a vehicle, instead it’s about the performance of the drivers, the race strategy, a perfect setup or the skill of the team with their pit stops.

Comments before the race

Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser, Vice President Motorsport and GT Cars: “It’s not only the fans who enjoy the race on the Nürburgring with its great tradition in long-distance events. The entire Porsche GT Team is very excited about our home race. When the WEC first raced here two years ago, Porsche celebrated an outstanding double victory. The Eifel circuit is the home track of our long-standing partner Manthey Racing, who will again run the WEC operations for us this season. We hope we can make the most of our home advantage and get a good start into the second half of the season at our races abroad.”
Marco Ujhasi, Overall Project Leader GT Works Motorsport: “We face two main challenges at the Nürburgring. Firstly, we have to see how quickly the team can adjust to the race after the long break following Le Mans, and how can we best optimise our procedures. Secondly, will we manage to find the best possible setup for our new 911 RSR for this demanding racetrack? On top of this, we have to be prepared for absolutely everything in the Eifel and make sure that we have the right tyres for all eventualities.”

Thursday, July 13, 2017

A Brief History of the Solitude Ring in Stuttgart, Germany

Solitude Hill Climb, 18 May 1924. Spectators in the Mercedes stand.
Mercedes-Benz and the Solitude Ring
The Solitude racing track in Stuttgart not only has strong associations with Mercedes-Benz racing history: this shared past dates back even further than the brand, which came into being in 1926. Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft (DMG) competed on the triangular circuit with its Mercedes racing cars from as early as 1922. The hill climb, which was inaugurated in 1903 for motorcycles, was opened to automobiles in 1922. In the years that followed, the racing cars of Benz as well as the Mercedes vehicles of DMG played a dominant role in many classes.
Already in 1923, a young Mercedes driver won his class in the Solitude hill climb as part of the ADAC Reichs Rally. The world of motorsport was to hear a lot more of this young man, who, in only his second race for the brand with the star, was victorious in three individual categories in his Mercedes 1.5-litre racing car while winning the overall classification for touring cars up to 6 tax hp: his name was Rudolf Caracciola. Benz and DMG vehicles also celebrated other victories. In the following year, for example, Mercedes factory driver Adolf Rosenberger was triumphant in the hill climb.

"Around Solitude", 18 September 1927. Georg Kimpel (starting number 27) at the wheel of a Mercedes-Benz Model S. Kimpel finished second in the class for sports cars over five litres displacement.

The first "Around Solitude" race was held in 1925. Otto Merz won the inaugural competition in the class for racing cars up to two litres in a Mercedes two-litre four-cylinder supercharged racing car. This time, Adolf Rosenberger won the class up to 8 tax hp in a Benz two-litre "teardrop" car – the world's first mid-engined racing car, which was unveiled by the Mannheim-based company in 1923.
One class victory each for Mercedes and Benz in the first "Around Solitude" race over the challenging 22.3-kilometre circuit: from a present-day perspective, this seemed like a taste of things to come. For the merger between DMG and Benz & Cie. in 1926 was to give rise to the Mercedes-Benz brand,
Whose first success at Solitude was not long in coming: on 12 September 1926, Willy Walb was victorious in the class for sports cars over five litres in a Mercedes-Benz Model K. The same race marked Alfred Neubauer's debut as racing director. In the decades that followed up until 1955, he was to play a leading part in this role in the racing triumphs of Mercedes-Benz.
The Solitude races of that era were true festivals of motorsport. Yet it was not just public interest that was growing steadily, but also the power of the racing cars. For safety reasons, therefore, 1927 – the success year of the Model S – was the last year in which automobiles were allowed onto the 1925 circuit. Mercedes-Benz said goodbye in style, the Model S winning the classes for sports cars over five litres (Willy Walb) and over three litres (Otto Merz).
From 1928, Solitude was to be reserved for motorcycle racing. Even so, at the Solitude Race of 1937 Mercedes-Benz racing driver Hermann Lang was able to demonstrate the Silver Arrow W 125 at full speed to the enthusiastic spectators. A press release from the company at the time stated: "Tripoli winner Hermann Lang, at the wheel of the victorious Mercedes-Benz racing car, will start the International Solitude Race of 1937 by completing several laps of the familiar Solitude track at racing speed. The citizens of Stuttgart will have their first opportunity to admire the thrilling skill of their local driver following his first victory in a major international race as he negotiates this difficult circuit."
After the Second World War, the Solitude Ring experienced a new heyday. Now, it was not just racing cars that competed over the 11.7-kilometre triangular circuit, which, still in existence today, features numerous curves and differences in height. The Solitude Rally was added in the mid-1950s. It, too, is associated with the names of Mercedes-Benz racing drivers such as Eugen Böhringer and Eberhard Mahle. The Solitude Ring was additionally used by Mercedes-Benz in the 1950s for testing its racing cars as well as for selecting and training its racing drivers. Car racing was reinstated on the circuit in 1949. In the 1960s, even Formula 1 and Formula 2 races were held on the Stuttgart track, adding international sparkle with a star-studded field of competitors. The last race on the Solitude Ring was in 1965. Since 2008, the history of the circuit has been brought back to life by the Solitude Revival.