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Sunday
Apr062014

General Motors

If you have been involved in this business for a few decades you perhaps read "My Years with General Motors" by Alfred P. Sloan, are aware that Peter Drucker used GM as a management model, and perhaps even remember the golden years of GM. 

You probably also remember the GM of the mid 1970's and onward...

If you are a little younger, this is a succinct review of GM, and its decline...

 

 

 

 

Saturday
Apr052014

Joy of Jaguar

Enjoy..."Whole bunch of money and a whole bunch of time"...

 

Friday
Apr042014

Vroom Room

Good Morning!

DeuceIts Friday, its the Vroom Room, come in make yourself comfortable, enjoy the cappuccino and biscotti, join the conversation, leave a comment.

Is Spring finally in the air?

A statement by Peter Drucker...

The educated person will therefore have to be prepared to live and work simultaneously in two cultures--that of the "intellectual," who focuses on words and ideas, and that of the "manager," who focuses on people and work.

A statement by Phillip Roth...

The young especially live according to beliefs that are thought up for them by the society's most unthinking people and by the businesses least impeded by innocent ends. Ingeniously as their parents and teachers may attempt to protect the young from being drawn, to their detriment, into the moronic amusement park that is now universal, the preponderance of the power is not with them.

We urge you to reflect on these 2 statements, especially if you are in the auto business. While taking a monent to connect a few dots that capture your attention.

It will be informative and fascinating to see how the GM ignition switch investigation, debacle develops in the coming weeks. The opening round this week was perhaps as expected with the anticipated posturing from all concerned. At some point additional transparency will be shed on "modifying a part, not changing the part number" mystery.

Talking of GM, the product is dramatically better that the sales numbers indicate in Canada. It remains a mystery (you think) as to why GM is not selling more. One gets the feeling that GM refuses to double down, start selling, start winning. Go figure, and yes we could keep on going...

Canadian Sales:

A good March comparable to previous years, and a strong first quarter. As expected some manufacturers gained sales, while others faltered, fair to say that most throttle up in March to arrive at a satisfactory first quarter. Its been a "rugged winter" while keeping in mind that most folks use the Internet which is not affected by climatic conditions.

Our usual old race cars from the Goodwood Members Meeting.

 

 

 

Thursday
Apr032014

Don Garlits

If you are of a certain age you perhaps had an opportunity to see Don Garlits race from way back in the day.

This morning The Colonel is walking around, and we know that he saw Don Garlits race.

Q- Colonel Good Morning you saw Garlits race live?

A- Guys...good morning...yes at Sanair a few decades ago. Sanair back in the day was the Canadian Pomona holding the NHRA Nationals...

Q- What was it about Garlits that was so interesting?

A- You would read stories about Garlits usually months after the actual event, he would win very often, he was on the leading edge, and walked with a limp (lost a good portion of a foot in a clutch explosion).

Q- What do you remember about that Sunday at Sanair?

A- Guys it was decades ago, those were the days of towing an enclosed trailer with a pick up. As you can just imagine  Garlits was the HEADLINE, he did a couple of runs, and then lost (perhaps something happened to the car. I got the feeling that he was a sore loser, being far from home, he packed up and left.

Q- It must have been a spectacle?

A- Seeing Don Garlits getting a push start from the tow pick up in front of the stands, and then doing a run. Then getting another push start, noticing that he "tipped the can" a little harder, doing another run. Priceless moments.

Q- None of this stuff was on TV?

A- Told you it was a few decades ago.

Q- What caught your attention on the video.

A- Don Garlits is 82, his wife of 61 years passed away a few months ago. Look at his hands, see how he laps valves, adjusts valves, torques a head, spins the long T handle for the spark plugs, checks the tension on the blower belt. You see the guy come into his "zone" as he did it a gazillion times, at a gazillion strips. Even at 82 the guy still gets in the "drag racer zone".

Q- Back in the day those guys did not have much of a pit crew.

A- Not much at all, the reason the car is black, he always wore black, the grease and grime did not show as much. Think about it, drive the car, rebuild the engine, drive the car again, rebuild again.

Q- He was the first to have a rear engine dragster.

A- Yes he was...he probably figured that he would have to "tip the can" further, tune the engine to grenade level,  to keep on winning, while straddling a differential, and a blower in front of you was getting perilous.

The HEMI is 50 years old...take a look at more nostalgia.

We could keep on going...enjoy the video.

 

Wednesday
Apr022014

Rolls-Royce Wraith

Interesting comments by Dan Neil of WSJ on the Wraith...you gotta love the suicide doors.