Thursday, January 18, 2018

Salute of the Day! An 81yr old Kentucky grandfather was reduced to tears on his birthday when his grandson presented him with his secretly restored 1957 Bel Air that had been collecting dust in a garage.

A full frame off restification of the garaged Chev, that hadn't moved since 1976, included AC, upgraded steering, suspension, stereo, engine, exhaust, etc.

the above video is good, the bottom one is better

Trucking, the 2nd highest fatality career

According to the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, 786 truck drivers were killed on the job in 2016.

 That’s 78 percent of the 1,012 motor vehicle operator fatalities reported for the year.

Across all occupations in the U.S., there were 5,190 fatalities reported, an increase from 4,846 in 2015.

Construction had 970 fatalities

the Beetles

Action in 5 trucking-related crimes has recently been reported by the DOT’s Office of Inspector General

An Ohio-based trucking company was ordered to pay a criminal fine of $525,000, forfeit $215,000 and serve three years of probation after conspiring with at least five other carriers to reincarnate operations to avoid out-of-service orders issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Enson Trading LLC, doing business as Eternal Food Service (EFS) allegedly received $12,000 in cash from a customer without filing with the IRS, and conspired to get new carrier registrations and reincarnate.

A Texas fleet owner pled guilty for paying Texas Department of Public Safety officers for clean inspections.

Orlinte Cruz, owner of 30-truck fleet Cruz and Sons Transportation paid a DPS trooper $4,000 in exchange for 39 favorable Level I safety inspections between 2014 and 2015.

A Washington state-based drug tester pled guilty to making fabricated clean results to meet DOT drug testing requirements for companies that contract hired her to administer DOT drug testing programs and get clean results.

Christine Clark, owner of Premium Drug Screening in Shelton, Wash., was supposed to collet urine specimens from employees and send them to certified labs for testing, according to OIG. Instead, she  fabricated hundreds of DOT drug test reports to make it look like the urine specimens had been tested.

Donald Freeman, a California DMV employee, and Juan Arroyo Gomez pleaded guilty Dec. 14 to charges related to their roles in a CDL testing scheme.

According to OIG, between 2016 and 2017, they were paid to alter DMV database records to fraudulently indicate applicants had passed written CDL exams when they had not.

A former Mississippi CDL trainer recently pleaded guilty to providing fraudulent paperwork to CDL applicants in exchange for $200-$400 for each set of fraudulent paperwork.

Derrious Emadrick Dillon, of McComb, Miss., was fired from a company that provided CDL training and certification, but continued providing paperwork to CDL applicants after his termination. According to a report from the District Attorney’s office, Dillon obtained a list of authorized CDL instructors and ID numbers in Mississippi. He used these names and ID numbers to create false paperwork stating CDL applicants had passed the written test, when they had never taken the tests.

Matt Harris of 40 Cal Customs racing his 1923 Harley-Davidson

Roy Orbison

On December 6, 1988 he spent the day flying model airplanes with his sons and ate dinner at his mother’s home in Hendersonville. Later that day, he died of a heart attack, at the age of 52.

I thought he was blind, due to the black glasses, and just learned that he wasn't. Huh.

Up for sale, one cool old 1951 Shell service station in Indiana for 55k, with a Rotary center post lift

RJ Taylor, trucker and teacher of road safety to schoolchildren and the motoring public

RJ Taylor passed away this last December, but lifetime of work in the trucking industry will live on for years to come.

After acquiring a old 1951 Kenworth in the mid-1960’s he began a long career in specialized heavy haul work that spanned the next 5 decades. The big blue truck became a fixture on the trade show circuit and eventually he founded Ol Blue, USA (United Safety Alliance) in 1986 to bring the message of safe driving to truckers but at the same time educate the public about safe driving around big rigs.

Ol’Blue was a fixture at the Mid-America Trucking Show and others prior to the beginning of the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas, then in Dallas as well. “He did it all and did it free of charge,” says Paul Taylor, supported by trucking industry businesses who donated to his nonprofit to afford the fuel and other on-highway expenses.

Along with his presence at major truck shows and events he visited hundreds, maybe thousands of schools over his 30 years of hard work promoting United Safety Alliance.

The national economic downturn of that started about 10 years ago put a severe crimp in RJ’s funding raising efforts as advertisers cut their budgets. And RJ’ turned down any advertisers that he felt did not have products that coincided with truck or public highway safety in any way.

A crabby old man has a meltdown at the airport, what's amusing is that the grouch is Buzz Aldrin, and he got so pissed, he got up out of his wheelchair

“Are you operating an airline here or not?” Aldrin asked on the video. “We’ve been sitting here now 20 minutes waiting for somebody to come and fix a two-minute problem…. This is the most lousy operation I’ve ever seen.”

At 9:20AM he’s still at the check-in counter for his 9:25AM flight, so it's not out of bounds to suppose the fault is his own for not abiding by the rules the apply to us mere blue collar working joes, who don't get to throw our weight around as one of a dozen people that have ever walked on the moon.

Huh, sure sucks to have to put up with airport bullshit, after being a military pilot and NASA god, huh? He says to someone trying to get a sound bite, that his son works for, or worked for, Delta, and I imagine he's used to being one of the privileged few that was given head of the line since he was a test pilot.

Welcome to the rat race Buzz. TSA probably doesn't give a shit about YOUR opinions either.

Buzz goes on to ask for the names of the Delta representatives, and says “I’m going to see the president, I’m not kidding you.”

You probably didn't know,

His mother's maiden name is Moon

 Buzz earned a full scholarship to MIT, but first he went to West Point, graduated 3rd in his class, then did his grad work at MIT, getting a doctorate in astronautics

In the Korean war he shot down 2 MIGs and had 66 combat fighter jet missions.

The docking and rendezvous techniques he devised for spacecraft in Earth and lunar orbit are still used today.

He pioneered underwater training techniques to simulate spacewalking, performed the world’s first successful spacewalk, and also took the first ‘selfie’ in space.

He was the  the 1st astronaut with a doctorate, and 1st non test pilot admitted to the astronaut program, ending the prerequisite that only test pilots could become astronauts

Ironically, he then became the commandant of the Air Force Test Pilot School before retiring from the military after 21 years. A career ended by post astronaut god status alcoholism and depression, no doubt brought on by the Carter era malaise, and the shuttering of the only govt program that paid for space exploration. An obsolete expert whose glory days altered the course of the human race to getting to another solar object, only to find nothing there that would excite the taxpayers to continue to fund a pointless ego trip for JFK's patriotic one upsmanship with the Russians

A lowrider motion simulator designed by Magú as part of a traveling exhibit

 the traveling exhibit called Chicano Now, was on a five-year, fifteen-city museum tour

 "Chicano"was a multimedia exhibit consisting of"Chicano Now: American Expressions" and "Chicano Visions: American Painters on the Verge."

Impelled and created by the entertainer Cheech Marin's private collection of Chicano art, presented by Target Stores, and sponsored by Hewlett-Packard Company and DaimlerChrysler, organized and produced by Clear Channel Entertainment,  and applauded by the Smithsonian

After more than half a century of burning rubber, Englishtown / Raceway Park is ending the dragstrip, the longtime site of the NHRA Summernats, it reached the end of the business for profit ideal

The Napp family, which opened the raceway in 1965 and continues to operate it privately, decided to end drag racing, and convert the grandstand and about half the strip into an outdoor concert venue

Other forms of racing and motorsports will go on, including motocross, as well as cart racing and drifting.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Our Family Car, just one of many cars Gilbert “Magu” Luján used to serve his family's transportation needs

Lujan purchased the Chevy from a cousin in the early 1980’s while he was creating the movie-themed artwork in the Hollywood and Vine Metro station.

Using pinstriping brushes and lacquer-based textile crayons, Luján transformed his family’s 1950 Chevrolet sedan into a lowrider with what he called “a lighthearted kind of folk art narrative.” Unlike other lowriders, Luján humorously blends the aesthetic elements of street rods with symbols of Chicana/o culture.

Later, when times were tough, Lujan used the car to cover rent and traded it to his landlord, who stored it in the auto-salvage yard he owned.

Another artist bought it, but he then needed money, and a pawn shop ended up putting the car for sale on eBay.

Dunlap was shopping for a hot rod on the website when he saw the ad for the 1950 coupe, went to the shop, paid $7,000 for the Chevy and drove it home.

Dunlap sought out Lujan and commissioned the artist to restore the car to its original glory. They became close friends.

one of many of Lujan’s family cars looks essentially as it did in 1987 when Lujan used it as a canvas. This makes me wonder what his other cars looked like

and damn it, a retrospective of his art was just in Irvine, and closed it's run a couple weeks ago

Gilbert Luján was born in Stockton, CA and after 3 years in the Air Force, attended East LA City College, Cal State Long Beach, and the University of California, Irvine where he received a Bachelor of Arts in ceramics and a Master of Fine Arts in sculpture.

A visionary, a dedicated artist, and an intellectual who helped define and promote Chicano art in the 1960s and 70s, in the wake of the Civil Rights Movement. He was born in 1940, the son of Mexican and indigenous parents, and grew up mostly in Los Angeles where he immersed himself in contemporary music and art, occasionally ditching high school to attend art exhibitions.

Between 1976 and 1980, Magú taught at the La Raza Studies Department at Fresno City College, where he also served as department chairman. Later he taught art at Cal Poly Pomona, while maintaining his personal studio, Magulandia, in downtown Pomona.

I bet these would sell for an unexpected reason.... there simply will be nothing like it in the American market to compete with it for startling good looks, mini trucking, retro El Camino, and every one looking for something new and unusual to own, instead of another Camry look alike

I'm so damn tired of my commuter never having enough space inside to move big things, and still not yet a small car. I'd get a mini truck like this, if nothing else, it would finally put a 2 door on the market that isn't a 50 thousand dollar car. Vette, Camaro, Chally, Stang. All overpriced, with no entry level 15-20 thou model like the manufacturers made in the 60s.

You could get a entry level cheap Dart, Camaro, Mustang, Coronet, Chally, Charger, Road Runner, Torino, Falcon, etc etc with out the high powered engine, options, etc.

Not any more. There are no cheap american 2 doors for high school and college kids to buy.

hard to believe it mattered to anyone how nicely uniformed the ambulance driver was... as if the stupid hat makes him a better driver

Today's Sesame Street is brought to you by Under! and Murcielago!

wow, the oncoming lane of traffic never knew how close they were to getting wrecked

The LAPD made a big deal about going green with a fleet of 300 electric BMWs. They probably had to, but no one actually made them use the cars they disliked, and never asked for, but had foisted on them. Possibly

BMW won the 10 million dollar contract to provide 300 electric cars for the LAPD. One hundred delivered each year for three years, to be used right now for administrative purposes. Non-emergencies. The department is leasing them.

Probably reluctant to use the electric cars because they can only go 80-100 miles on a charge, and have to be returned to BMW at the end of the lease.

Most of the electric cars have only been used for a few thousand miles. And a handful are sitting in the garage with only a few hundred on them.

Like one in service since may 27, 2016, with just 400 miles on it! Evidently, these were too many cars, with no useful purpose, except to make the mayor look "green", progressive, and forward thinking. Just a 10 million dollar narcissistic play for publicity he doesn't need? Likely.

For that 10 million, don't you think they could have patched a lot of pot holes around LA?!

The commanding officer of LAPD fiscal operations, Annemarie Sauer, used the department’s electric BMW and stopped at an elementary school in long beach, which is outside the city of LA. She stayed there for almost an hour. Then she parked the car a few blocks away outside this nail salon.

I bet if forced to explain what official law enforcement business brought her to her nail salon, and he kids school, she'd have nothing to offer that would honestly provide a reason.

Thanks to Dick and Jenni Froemming for reminding me about this! If you're as fed up with bad cop stories as I am, let Dick and Jenni know! Tell them to quit interfering with the guy who makes the blog who isn't going to be fucked with. is their email.

the National Historic Landmark assoc has been busy, I think they've actually sped up the process!

The last time I posted about the HVA, they were just doing the press release of the Thomas Flyer in June 2016, making it the 12th in this effort by the HVA to promote historic vehicles.

The first 14 (ending with the Camaro) are pretty easy to understand their iconic, historic, and cultural significance... but a 1920 Anderson? 1895 Benton Harbor? a 33 Graham? The rest are either obvious or easy to guess at. But these two have me stumped

Well, I read it, and I guess they have a point, but, I think you'll agree there isn't much about the Anderson to put it in this esteemed group.

The 1920 Anderson is one of only seven known survivors of South Carolina’s first automobile company that operated between 1916 and 1922. The Anderson is the first automobile to be added to the National Historic Vehicle Register for its local and regional historic significance.

Weak. Superficial, unworthy, and reminiscent of the "Me Too! Everyone Gets a Trophy for Participating" social idiocy.

To put it in with the Jeep that was critical to WW2, the Tucker and Y Job, the Futurliner, Meyers Manx and Cobra Daytona simply because it's old and didn't have what it took to survive in great numbers (like the Packards, Fords, Chevys)? Weak.

This example survives only due to the founding company owners family keeping it, and it's now owned by Anderson's great grandson

The Benton was an immediate flop, and they gave up.

Since than, the BuickY Job, the 67 Camaro, 1920 Anderson, the McGee Roadster, Hirohata Merc, Gypsy Rose, the '33 Graham, 1895 Benton Harbor, and the hero car that Steve Mcqeen had tried to buy back after filming was complete on Bullitt... have all become distinguished as Historic Vehicles - both culturally and historically significant

The Graham is simply one of the earliest examples of windtunnel testing by Northrup, the chief designer at the Murray (body) Corporation, it was an integrated whole not a mash-up of desperate elements, a design built for speed, handling, safety in an elegant streamlined modern package. Ahead of its time, the Graham Blue Streak proved to be a tipping point from the old way cars were built to a new, modern streamlined design.

A Snap On K60 top and a K200 bottom, nearly done with getting repainted and rebuilt... they sure look better than the latest designs from Snap On

vs what it looked like before getting fixed up like new:

saved from a junkyard, this is all that's left of a workstation, or really big tool chest

One last chance to get a brand new competition '65 Shelby GT350. The only people who can, legitimately, create a real Shelby GT 350, were the guys in the 60s who did it, and they decided to do it again, for $250,000 per car

They are taking the opportunity to install upgrades meant for the original car, incorporating features the original car was meant to have, but development time and money not run out.

But, since it's the design of Peter Brock, either original alternate, or optional, then... really it's all still legit. I mean, if you could get Chip Foose to build some more Hemispheres, and he chose to go with a slightly different this or that, because he didn't get the chance to try them the first time... what's the diff? Really, it's all a wash, but the buyer gets a better built machine, and can always switch to the old 1965 variant of the rear glass, or scoop, or spoiler.

The engines didn't change, still supplied by the Carroll Shelby Engine Company, and it's coupled to a period correct 4-speed transmission with an authentic shifter.

The car bodies are fully reconditioned and built to 1965 “competition” specs before installation of a new Brock designed aero front valance, refined rear window, and quarter glass

The revised shape of the rear window improves the car’s interior aerodynamics by promoting better airflow for driver comfort. The new front valance increases the airflow efficiency to better cool the engine. While these changes may look subtle, they combine with the new suspension to dramatically change the character of the car.

in 2015, the built the two above, and then played around with them, making them a bit better, and then they were asked, a lot, if either was for sale... so now they're in business to sell some!

Since the Shelby cars begin with an actual 1965 Mustang, they can be raced and registered for street duty, and yes, they get a Shelby serial number, which will be submitted to the Shelby American Automobile Club Registry, as well as the official Shelby American Registry administered by Carroll Shelby International.

Once the OVC Shelby production kicks off, the company has plans to offer the valance, Plexiglass windows, brake ducts and IRS to vintage Mustang owners, either installed or as stand alone parts.

Peter Brock, Ted Sutton, and Jim Marietta. Ted Sutton are the Original Venice Crew

The Giant Uniroyal Tire on I-94 in Allen Park, was the 1964 Worlds Fair Ferris wheel, and when put on permanent display, they simply removed the Ferris wheel

6 am is too early for the sun to be up, and too early to deal with sinkholes! But one poor guy happened to be on the scene just before dawn, and damn, drove right into it

Salute of the day to Joy Lofthouse!

In 1943 Joy Lofthouse, a 20-year-old bank cashier, replied to an advertisement she had seen in the Aeroplane magazine. It was for women to train for the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA), and although the competition was intense her application was successful. As a result she went on to become one of 164 female pilots during the second world war who were given the important job of ferrying military planes around the UK from one air base to another.

both Joy and her older sister, Yvonne, were dedicated to sport in general and to tennis in particular. Joy began working in the local Lloyds bank just as war broke out. But she had greater ambitions than to be a cashier, and sought inspiration in the pages of the Aeroplane magazine

When Joy applied to the ATA she had no idea that Yvonne had also put in an application, just before her. Both were successful and served together until the end of the war.

The pilots’ work expanded rapidly from the transport of medical supplies and personnel to ferrying fighters and bombers to bases around the country. For Lofthouse this meant a posting to Hamble, near Southampton, in 1944.

Alongside workaday aircraft she also flew more spectacular machines. There were Hawker Tempest Vs, North American Mustangs and Supermarine Spitfires, all 400mph fighters. She flew a total of 18 types of aircraft – relying on a map and the view out of the cockpit for navigation – but the Spitfire was her enduring favourite.

In 1946 EC Cheeseman’s book, Brief Glory: The Story of ATA, was published, listing, on page 230, “Third Officer Gough, Joyce, Miss”. But jobs for women pilots were then practically nonexistent, and she had to turn to other things.

After the war she married Jiri Hartman, a Czech Spitfire pilot whom she had first encountered while working at Lloyds. The marriage ended in divorce in 1966. Two years later, while training to become a teacher in Portsmouth, she met Charles Lofthouse, a former bomber pilot who had been held at Stalag Luft III prison camp in what is now Poland, where he had worked on preparations for the 1944 Great Escape. They married in 1971, by which time he was a headteacher and she was teaching children with special needs.

It was only towards the end of the 20th century that the scale of the achievement of women such as Lofthouse began to be appreciated. Throughout her life she retained her links with her former female comrades in the ATA and attended many reunions. In 1990 she met young women aspiring to be RAF pilots at Biggin Hill, and in 2008 she was a recipient of a commemorative badge for the Attagirls issued by the government. She was also a patron of the Fly2Help charity, which encourages young people to take up flying. In 2015, at Goodwood in Sussex, she took to the air in a (dual-control) Spitfire for the first time in 70 years.

Happy Birthday pinstriper and artist Doug Dorr!