Entries in Racing (34)
Carbon fiber has been around for a few decades. This week we are fortunate to have The Colonel hang out with us most mornings. We are going to prod The Colonel to share his thoughts on carbon fiber.
Q: Colonel, good morning almost the end of the week, and getting closer to Christmas. As usual you look refreshed and invigorated this morning.
A: Good Morning guys, the cappuccino is excellent as usual, yes the Christmas decorations are all up too.
Q: Wgat is your knowledge of carbon fiber.
A: My technical knowledge is non existent, but I know its light and strong, race cars, planes are assembled with numerous carbon fiber components.
Q: It seems to be taking time for carbon fiber to reach mainstream applications in autos.
A: Guys, think of this...a few generations ago aluminum was an exotic material, it was light and reasonably strong. Its taken a long time for aluminum to sort of make its way to mainstream autos.
Q: Aluminum engines were a rarity at one time.
A: In the mid 1960's (50 years ago) GM had an aluminum 215 cubic inch nail head engine in Buick Skylarks, ZL1's (aluminum big block) which started in Can Am cars. Agreed aluminum engines were rare for decades.
Q: Now with the Ford F 150 an aluminum body is truly in the mainstream.
A: Yes, and its encouraging to see a quantum leap in saving weight.
Q: Back to carbon fiber...it seems to be taking a long time.
A: Its much easier, economical to uphold a steel process, and make the steel thinner especially for body panels.
Q: BMW is pioneering carbon fiber with the i3?
A: Yes, think of it batteries are very heavy, to compensate the structure and shell of the car is very light with carbon fiber.
Q: BMW is also pioneering a sort of mass production for carbon fiber.
A: Yes they are...its a brave new world.
Q: Do you think that carbon fiber will become widespread in autos.
A: No...it requires additional steps, more time, not really conducive towards cost conscious mass production.
In case you missed it, we started the week with Assholes.
Think of this, are we reaching the point where safety features in a vehicle imply doing the job of the driver. We are evolving in a direction where increasingly vehicles can get themselves "out of trouble" especially that most folks do not fully grasp many of the safety features on vehicles.
They know the acronyms, they sort of have an idea of what it does, and that's it. Reminds us of the mother that was concerned with a side air bag in the door panel at the time hurting an unsecured child sleeping in the back seat.
An interesting presentation by Brian France of NASCAR at the Wharton School of racing evelving in the digital world. Yes you can arrive at your own conclusions.
A different perspective of NASCAR from The Autoextremist. Yes...we always tell you to be your own editor and are presenting you with 2 perspectives this morning. Let us know which one resonates with you.
Wondering about this morning's photo? Agreed its huge. Its a cool way to start and plan the day with a superb view. We urge to spend a few minutes early in the day to reflect on your day.
Yes...Corvette Racing is at CTMP (Mosport) this week end.
Our usual old race cars from LeMans.
Its the last Friday of the month, its the Vroom Room, enjoy the cappuccino and biscotti, join the conversation, leave a comment.
Did you notice this week we have covered a wide spectrum of interests, from some cool videos, a review of the Fiesta ST, negative equity, to buying a house. Truly eclectic entries...
Last Sunday was the annual "race day" starting with Monaco, then the Indy 500, and moving on to Charlotte. What struck us, the cars are safer, they are faster, and at the same time you get the feeling that "something" is missing. You can listen to the team communications, watch the drivers push the various buttons on the steering wheel, and still something is missing.
The human drama is missing, its clinical, its empowered by technology, its fast, its safe, the drivers are good, but there is limited human drama.
Mercedes keeps on winning in F1 this year, nice to see Andretti Autosport with Ryan Hunter-Reay win at Indy which has often been a hard luck place for the Andretti's, Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus at Charlotte...what can you say!
On a different note, at Charlotte the archaic pushrod engines spinning at 9,000 RPM for 600 miles...cool stuff.
The other day we coined a new term navigating the bullshit, we always mention that you have to be your own editor, and to edit you need to navigate various levels of BS. You do remember that we started the year with assholes.
Last year we acquired a John Deere JS28 lawn mower at the begiining of the summer and paid "full pop" for the mower. This year on the first start the engine starts turning over, backfires, and never starts again. This mower at best mowed a limited amount of lawn 10 times.
We remove that spark plug, its wet, dry it out, blow air in the cylinder, not starting and the plug is wet again, repeat a few times. Is it the park plug, the carburetor, the ignition system? We bring the mower to our friendly John Deere dealer, interesting paradox bringing a mower to a tractor dealer.
Finally its the spark plug that is defective, we pick up the mower, the service manager comments "You spent more money in gas than the price of the plug" our reply "Back in the day, when we had plugs lying around..."
Who would ever think that a spark plug has a life expectancy of a few hour at best.
Ever wonder why folks of a certain age gravitate towards old cars?
- Reminds them of when they were younger.
- Reminds them of mechanical cars.
- Reminds them of family members.
- Awakens memories and events.
- Good way to invest money.
Superb photo gallery of the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este 2014...enjoy.
More Mille Miglia 2014 photos.