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Hot, Damn Hot…

The last few days here in the Upstate of South Carolina the weather has been HOT, DAMN HOT.  I mean Summer in the South – gotta love it baby!   And it ain’t no “dry heat” so don’t start with that crap.

Add to this,  today the HVAC system at the office had “issues”.  And by this I mean, as I drove up this morning and exited RedRock, in the parking lot I could hear one of the units broadcasting that special sound bearings make when there is no more “bearing” left.  You know, that dreaded sound of metal-against-metal.  From my vantage point, it appears the bearings gave up the ghost several days ago and of course…  Things quickly went down from there.  Reminds me of the day the wheel bearing went bad in bowtie6 but not quite:  the bearings on the AC unit were playing a serious symphony of sorts.  As we say in the South, “bless their heart”…

So the temperature in the office proceeded to get rather “toasty”.  My buddy Jeff felt the “warmth” too and proceeded to pull up that glorious video from “Good Morning Vietnam” on his iPhone, where the sorely missed Robin Williams talks about things being HOT, DAMN HOT.  Yes indeed – today felt exactly like Roosevelt E. Roosevelt said…  HOT, DAMN HOT.  You have to watch the video…

Yes indeed!  HOT, DAMN HOT!!!  And as Martha Reeves and the Vandelas said, “There ain’t no where to run” in this heat.  If you don’t “get it”, watch the video.

Oh, and many thanks Jeff for the video…

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That Magic Moment…

IMG_3306I’ve had my 2014 Camaro SS (RedRock) for six months now and it has been everything and a bag of chips – today though, was that magic moment.

Slowly but surely, I’ve been testing the limits on RedRock.  Pulling at the tail of the beast if you will…  Today, driving home from work I decided to take a spirited drive.  I selected “sport” mode and switched the Range Device on.  For those of you that don’t know what that is, well…  That is the “on” switch that GM forgot to include.

The Range device enables the Active Fuel Management (AFM) to be disabled.  This means the L99 is in full 8 cylinder mode all the time.  With the Range device “on”, RedRock takes on a different personality.

So, there is this off-camber left-hander on the way home that if you catch “just right”, will put a perma-grin on your face of epic proportions.  I’ve taken this all wrong before in bowtie6 and the result was a nice loop:  I ended up facing the wrong way.  Well today was special…  I was able to get RedRock in most impressive oversteer drift.  Nothing stupid, mind you…  Just right!  Just the kind of stuff that makes you want more…  :mrgreen:

I just love this car!  400hp at your beck and call is just intoxicating.  That magic moment indeed!

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Just Because He Can

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Hands on the back of a Ford, because Fords must be pushed…

Today’s post falls in the class of “just because he can”…  You know, “just because he can” – you have the skillz; the artistic “gift”.  And my cousin Jim falls in that category.

In today’s featured image you see the trunk lid on the 1940 Ford that Jim is building.  Jim is a bit of an “artiste” and he wanted something unusual, something unique, something “just because he can” on the 40 Ford’s trunk.  How about those trunk hinges?

What we have here are “hands” made from a slab of aluminum.  Carefully machined, filed, trimmed, polished and etched.  No CAD mind you.  Just Jim’s trusted Porterfield milling machine and plenty of filing.  This, my friends, is “old school”…  Add to that the trunk on this 1940 Ford: it is all aluminum made from scratch.

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Helping push the Ford!

I realize this is not for everyone.  Matter of fact, who would want this, right?  All I can say, is “just because he can”!  Jim told me about the “hands”…

  • They are made from a slab of aluminum milled on the Porterfield, the “old-fashioned way”.
  • Lots of hand-filing…  A file!  What is that??
  • The “hinge” part was the most difficult part; the pin through the three-piece hing took some doing.
  • The trunk lid has curvature – it is not flat.  Therefore the entire “hand” has a bit of a curve to it and the pin mentioned before had to be made to fit.
  • Check out the fingernails.  Yes, there are fingernails on the tips of each finger!

And here you go…  Each “hand”!  Just because he can…

Happy Independence Day weekend, everyone.

Our finest moment; Happy Birthday America!!!

Our finest moment; Happy Birthday America!!!

 

1937 Railton Special Limousine by Rippon Bros Coachbuilders

1937_Railton_12One of the featured cars in the August 2016 issue of Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car magazine is a 1937 Railton Special Limousine by Rippon Bros Coachbuilders.  I had to do a double take when I saw the article because several years ago, I was able to photograph this very car.

But first, what exactly is a 1937 Railton Special Limousine?  This particular car hails from an era where a customer could have a car built bespoke to their specifications.  This Railton’s body was aluminum, made by one of England’s premier coach builders – the Rippon Brothers.  Matter of fact, Rippon Bros also built bodies for Rolls Royce.  This car was built for Reid Railton who was at the time, a land-speed record holder.

1937_Railton_11I had a chance to photograph this gorgeous car at a gathering of Hudson automobiles.  The event took place at the then owner’s home and there were numerous Essex-Hudson-Terraplanes on display.  But… What does this have to do with a Rippon?  You see, this limousine is powered by a Hudson engine!  Matter of fact Rippon cars were powered by Hudson engines and this was not the only one in the collection.  I’ll have more posts about the others soon…

Back to the 1937 Railton Limousine…

1937_Railton_02As you can see in this picture, the back seat has access to a pull-out table.  Each side featured a lift-top with compartments for many things…  On one side a fully stocked bar with crystal and barware necessary for making cocktails along with compartments for cigars ; on the other side a vanity, with mirror, hair brush, comb, and aspirin bottle.  There was even a center compartment with silver plated affairs to hold various snacks and sweets.  And that was just the start…

1937_Railton_03The rear trunk area includes custom fitted luggage!  That compartment at the very top, included plenty of tools all neatly arranged in their respective locations.  That trunk lid is special…  Note the part with the corrugated rubber – that is there for a reason:  it is designed for adults either standing or seated.  But why?  This car could also double as a shooting-brake and yes, it has a “secret”, water-tight compartment designed to hold shotguns.  I also remember seeing under the front seat several drawers containing an assortment of fuses, spark plugs, spare light bulbs, etc.  The dash also had a pull out map tray.  There was nothing left to chance here.

The chrome work around the front grille and emblem is something else!

IMG_3839The article in the issue of Hemmings Sports & Exotic car magazine mentions this car is now part of the Gilmore Car Museum (Hickory Corners, MI) and was transferred there by the car’s previous owner, a Hudson collector by the name of Eldon Hostetler.

These pictures were taken when the car belonged to the owner prior to Mr Hostetler at his residence in Greenville SC.  If memory serves me right, this was in the summer of 2006.

Finally, I do remember this car as being gorgeous but at the time was not in “museum quality”.  According to the article in the magazine, the limousine went through an extensive restoration and won numerous awards.

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Further Reading

Conceptcarz.com article about the 1937 Railton Limousine – there are interesting pictures here.

LaVine Restorations article about the 1937 Railton Limousine – apparently the Limousine underwent restoration by this company and there are very nice pictures on this link.

1937 Railton Limousine at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance – this link opens to a beautiful photo collection from Ryland Scott Photography at the time the Limousine was shown a Pebble Beach in 2011.

Special Feature at Hemmings website – this link opens the article at the Hemmings website about the 1937 Railton Limousine.

 

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Race Ramps Product Review

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67″ RaceRamps two-piece model

I finally bit the bullet and ordered a set of Race Ramps made by BruteTechnologies and I thought it might be helpful to write this product review…

I’ve owned RedRock for 6 months – traveling some 4200 miles – and this weekend I decided to do an oil change even though the “Oil Life” indicator showed 45% remaining.

When I purchased RedRock last December, the dealer had done an oil change.  However I had no idea what quality oil they used.  Ditto for the oil filter.  So I headed to the parts store and purchased 8 quarts of 5-30 Mobil1 oil with a matching K&N oil filter for the 2014 Camaro.

I quickly found out my trusty, home-made, wooden ramps were just not long enough and the slope was all wrong.  I did some research and found Race Ramps.  Race Ramps come in various sizes and slopes to fit just about any application; they also have all kinds of accessories.  After further reading, I selected the two-piece, 67″ long version (RR-XT-2).  The slope is very gentle and this allows proper clearance for the front overhang on my 2014 Camaro.  They will also work perfectly on my S2000 and with bowtie6.  A win-win on all counts!

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RaceRamps – the ramp is detachable…

The ramps arrived in a very large box, as shown (bought via Amazon Prime).  You can also see they are made like a jigsaw puzzle: the “ramp” part is detachable from the part the car rests on.  These ramps are also available in one-piece, but I selected the two-piece to make it easier to store.  I am glad I did!

The ramps are made from very dense plastic material.  The plastic material is lightweight and very easy to handle.  The ramps are rated to handle 1500lbs and are also “grippy” – they did not slide at all when I drove RedRock on them.  Working under the car while on the ramps was a good experience with enough room to place an oil pan.  I was able to reach the oil drain plug easily as well as the filter.  Finally, the ramps are wide enough to handle all but the widest of racing tires – in fact, I had no issues with the tires on RedRock.

The downside to all this awesomeness is the price:  the Race Ramps are quite expensive.  Unfortunately, these seem to be the only ones available that fit my needs and thus I suppose one must “pay the price”.  The alternative would be to build a set of home-made ramps, but quite frankly I just decided to deal with it and get them.  I’m glad I did and I must say, Race Ramps are made in the USA so I feel I am also helping the local economy.

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Gotta love the supplied sticker – LOL!

Finally, I during my research I found the folks at Brute Technologies have a special offer (expires soon) that requires printing a form and filling it out.  Then, attach the sales receipt and for this they will send a pair of wheel chocks made of the same material as the ramps.  The condition is that this applies only to certain ramp models – mine being one of them.  Hopefully soon, I’ll have a review of the chocks when the good folks at Brute Technologies receive my form…