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Tuesday
Aug052014

Cars Online 2014

The latest edition of Cars Online by Capgemini...always thought provoking.

 

 

Saturday
Aug022014

Low Riding

Comprehensive low rider coverage by Jay Leno...the 63 Chevy is unique.

 

Friday
Aug012014

Vroom Room

Good Morning, 

First day of the month, on the cusp of a long week end. Its Friday, its the Vroom Room.
Come in make yourself comfortable, we have cappuccino and biscotti.
Join the conversation, leave a comment.
Yes...what summer, July has been a good example of climate change with sporadic warmth, sun, rain, and brisk temperatures. Something is surely changing. 
Fascinating to see automotive pundits realise that closing Pontiac dealers in Canada; was a costly adventure for GM. We have been saying the same thing for the past several years. 
The Colonel is catching up, between road trips. Yes...he still has some catching up to do, so bear with us.
Some random thoughts:
  • The Colonel grew up during the glory years of the cold war, and enough nuclear weapons to erase the globe. Looking back and looking ahead, one wonders if the globe is not on the brink of some sort of event that is not palatable
  • Gone in a food store lately? Vehicles are inexpensive compared to the rise in the price of food, and the usual summer rise in the price of gas. Imagine if the free flowing money that powers vehicle sales in Canada tightens up by a few increments.Which begs the question "How much iron can you move for how long?"
  • What do you do with 707 HP besides bragging rights and burn outs. Agreed its affordable horsepower which is over the top.
  • Shaker scoops were cool on an engine with a "wild camshaft and a lopey idle" the scoop telegraphed what was going on under the hood. You surely remember when you had to raise the idle speed to get some sort of an idle from an aggressive camshaft.
  • Yes...horsepower requires gas, and generates heat, its always been a challenge to cool any engine that generates HP, especially with a blower. 
  • A "slush box" was a 2 speed Powerglide automatic transmission...don't go there.
  • Did you know that B&M was putting a clutch in front of an Hydra Matic transmission decades ago? Interesting...you could push start a vehicle with an Hydra Matic.

 

 Awesome photography of old race cars from the Silverstone Classic.

 

 

Thursday
Jul312014

Wheels and Tires

15 inch wheelLets take a look at wheels and tires for a moment. Agreed we get whimsical during the "Dog Days of Summer".

Today we take bigger wheels and low aspect ratio tires for granted.

If you are of a certain age, you surely remember the standard 75 aspect ratio tires with 14 inch rims. Back when 9.00 x 14 were as big as you could get. Yes some cars even had 13 inch wheels.

The advent of wide oval 70 aspect tires, and subsequently the advent of 60 aspect tires still on 15 inch wheels. You surely remember "wide oval" tires.

If you had an interest in hot rodding the classic American Racing 5 spoke 15 inch wheel was to die for at the time. Or the Halibrand kidney wheel on a hot rod.

These small diameter wheels (by today's standards) of the time provided limited room for brakes, and limited brake performance on cars.

At one point 16 inch, then 17 inch, up to 20 inch wheels emerged, with aspect ratios of 55, then 45, and 40. and 35.

The larger diameter wheels provide room for dramatically bigger brakes, no wonder braking performance of all vehicles has improved. 

18 inch wheelObvious the lower aspect ratio tires, especially when they are high performance provide a higher level of grip.

As well as a higher rate of wear. Modern performance tires have a short life expectancy. Especially when aggressive driving is involved.

If back in the day you could hit a pot hole with a 75 aspect tire and it was not a big deal, hitting the same pot hole with a 35 aspect ratio can quickly become an expensive deal.

Often the tire and rim are damaged.

Needless to mention that modern tires, and larger rims are a vast improvement raising the performance level of any vehicle.

Yes...we prefer that larger rims and lower aspect ratio tires within bounds of reason. The old school tires feel vague compared to today's tires.

 

 

 

Wednesday
Jul302014

Leadership

This morning we have The Colonel sharing a coffee, and his thoughts with us.

Q: Colonel Good Morning, you look refreshed as usual.

A: Thank You, and just back from a road trip.

Q: What is going on with leadership. As you know there is constant talk about leadership.

A: There is lots of talk about leadership, and when the proverbial s#%t hits the fan, there is a lot of ducking.

Q: What is going on with leadership at dealerships.

A: Great question, what leadership?

Q: Are you implying that dealers owned by "groups" are lacking leadership?

A: It goes beyond that.

Q: Care to be specific?

A: Dealers are in the people business through cars (vehicles). Its that simple, and that complex.

Q: It should be easy to be in the people business with social media, various platforms, and so on.

A: It probably is not easy, its confusing, and misleading. Dealers have all sorts of "techno apps" that often do not flow well together while augmenting the confusion.

Q: Are dealers missing the essence of being in the people business for a lack of leadership?

A: Precisely, its getting lost in the trees, and  missing the forest.

Q: There has to be some leadership, some sense of direction?

A: Absolutely, there is some, but is it enough for 2014?

Q: You point is vague.

A: Good observation, it can be interpreted as vague, and perhaps its the vagueness that is perplexing too many individuals. You need more leadership now, than 10 years ago.

Q: Its more challenging to keep folks aligned and focused on achieving results, closing deals as an example.

A: Precisely, in 2014 the focus must be laser sharp.

Q: Some dealers have exceptional leadership, which seems "old school".

A: Absolutely, it seesm old school because human nature is "old school".

Q: With all the technology one would think...

A: There lies the competitive advantage...

Q: Let the techno apps do all the grunt work, freeing the humans to lead humans.

A: Its quite an advantage for the folks that grasp the "forest".