This is the monthly online newsletter for the car club council. All car hobbyist events are listed on this site under "Calendar." Just click on the link above to view the list of car shows and other activities.
Happy New Year - if this year is as bad as 2020 I'm not sure what we will do. Already "2020" is being used as a four letter word. That's how bad it was. No one enjoyed 2020, no one. And we have a 10 group limit for gatherings so this means no January council meeting. It has been moved to February and hopefully the 10 person limit will not be extended pass the deadline of January 31. Also the 22nd Polar Bear Run has been moved from January 23 to February 6 to avoid the 10 group limit. The Asphalt Angels 59th annual show has been cancelled because of the virus restrictions. Yes, 2021 is starting out just like 2020 ended.
This month the General Assembly will meet for its so called short session which will be even shorter because of rule changes due to the virus. Keep in mind the "special" session last fall lasted nearly 3 months but this session is set for only 30 days. A lot of legislation was left in committee last fall - and some of it was good legislation like the bill to open the DMV customer service centers up just like Walmart and Home Depot.
It looks like the Transportation Climate Initiative will not make it into legislation this session. Governor Northam passed on signing onto the TCI in December. That doesn't mean it has gone away. It's only been delayed and I wouldn't be surprised if someone puts in a bill on it. The governor passed on it because it would send tax on a gallon of gas to over 50 cents. The federal gas tax is 18.3 cents per gallon. Over 68 cents per gallon of gas is pretty steep. So steep that people would buy less and that means fewer road and bridge repairs. And keep in mind you can look forward to another raising of the gas tax on July 1. And the next year you can also look forward to the gas tax going up on July 1, 2022. And the gas tax will keep going up until you buy that electric car.
Buying an electric vehicle will not let you escape a fuel tax. Electric vehicles are required to pay a fixed highway use fee, which is currently $88.20, to reflect the amount in fuels taxes electric vehicles will not pay during a single year due to not purchasing motor fuel. Of course states are still considering a mileage tax instead of a fuel tax. The big problem is how to determine the miles driven for the tax.
The council will search through all the General Assembly introduced legislation to see if anything will affect the car hobby. We will keep car hobbyists informed just like we have for over 25 years.
New Year - time to lose the weight
Dues Are Due in January
Council dues are due every January. Please have your club or organization send a check for $10 for the council dues. Make the check out to CCCCVA and mail to Fred Fann, 15628 Rowlett Road, Chesterfield, VA 23838. If you have any question about the dues or if you'd like to find out if you club has paid them email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for being a member!
Our next meeting will be Monday, February 22nd at 6:30 PM at a location to be announced in the February newsletter. We will discuss bills introduced in the General Assembly, discuss the 26th anniversary car show, and more. The meeting is usually in January but because of the governor's executive order limiting groups to 10 or less until the end of January the meeting had to be moved.
Car Hobbyist News
It is January and that means the General Assembly will soon meet for the 2021 session. This session was supposed to run 45 days but the Assembly leadership has made some rule changes: the session will be reduced to 30 days and there will be limited public access to lawmakers’ offices. In other words you will not be able to go to the General Assembly building and meet with your delegate or senator to let them know your views on legislation.
You may recall state Senator Bill DeStpeh who sponsored the antique exhaust bill for us a couple of years ago. He is suing over the new rules as a violation of the First Amendment. The case has been moved to federal court and hopefully we will know soon if the rules will change and people will be able to meet with their representatives. You also may recall that 22,000 gun owners last year protested gun control bills in the Assembly. That will not happen this year as our governor changed a couple of rules and now those citizens – who had the Lobby Day 11 AM Capitol Bell Tower meeting place for 17 years – have now been denied a meeting place and will instead form several “trains” to drive to Richmond. New leadership means new rules and these rules are not helping citizens get their wishes across to their representatives.
There is one big piece of legislation that has drawn car hobbyist attention. That would be TCI – the Transportation Climate Initiative of which our governor signed us up for – but the Assembly will need to approve. This is simply a new additional tax on gasoline and diesel to encourage us to buy electric vehicles and “save the planet”. The TCI consisted of thirteen states on the east coast north of us plus DC. There have been concerns about TCI and New Hampshire has dropped out, Massachusetts is considering dropping out and New Jersey is discussing dropping out.
On December 21 the governor passed on signing onto the TCI. This means it will not come before the General Assembly and this is very good news. We just had a big gasoline tax increase in the last session and we certainly do not need another one. The TCI's own modeling estimated that Virginians could have paid $9 billion over the next 12 years if this was enacted. But the governor has not withdrawn from TCI. Why didn’t he sign onto it and get legislation enacted in the Assembly? One pundit has stated that when Ralph Northam decided this week not to sign the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) documents that would have pushed Virginia fuel taxes above 50 cents per gallon , imposed gasoline rationing, and reduced funding for roads. Keep in mind that the gasoline tax increases once again July 1, 2021.
TCI has been drawing concern from several groups. This is from Insider NJ (New Jersey): “Opposition from environmental justice (EJ), environmental and social justice groups in New Jersey and around the country continues to expand against the regional Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI). The opposition in New Jersey and nationally is led by EJ communities that critique TCI for not guaranteeing lifesaving emissions reductions in the communities that need it most. At a time of growing concern over the multiple impacts from COVID on the health and economic well-being of the most overburdened and vulnerable, Of Color and low income communities, EJ groups believe their constituents cannot afford an investment in a strategy like TCI that falls far short of both environmental as well as equity and justice goals.”
Car hobbyists need to watch out for this type of legislation that has a goal of driving us out of gasoline and diesel vehicles and into electrics. TCI is not gone and it could be introduced into any session of the General Assembly.
Governor Northam is a big proponent of the TCI. He’s been working for it the last couple of years and in 2019 signed a budget item that allowed taxes from TCI to be deposited into the general fund where the Assembly controls how to spend those funds. This didn’t sit well with environmentalists as they want those funds used to improve the climate and environment.
During the GA session we will be watching the Green New Deal Virginia legislation. You can view more at this website: www.greennewdealva.com.
This Green New Deal is being sold as a fix to climate change and inequity (see the above section from Insider NJ where justice organizations doubt the inequity fix). The problem with climate change legislation that the Assembly has passed is that it seems to simply raise taxes while doing little to fix climate change. Could it be that this is more about money than the climate and environment?
As always the council will check on introduced legislation for anything that could affect the car hobby and report to you anything that is concerning.
White Mustang with red stripes - license plate Kool Beans
Virginia Passes on Carbon Tax Compact For Now
This is from Stephen D. Haner of the Jefferson Policy Journal.
Three states and the District of Columbia announced today that they have signed the Transportation and Climate Initiative, but Virginia is not among them. Virginia will remain a part of the planning consortium and could consider membership at a later time. Only Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island signed with the District.
Governor Ralph Northam was correct to decline Virginia participation at this time, and any effort to join by legislative action in January should also be resisted. Virginia needs to stay out of the compact. If you would like to discuss this issue with your state legislators, and do not know their names and email addresses, use this website to identify and contact them.
The Transportation and Climate Initiative if implemented in Virginia will substantially increase the cost of gasoline and diesel fuels, drain family budgets, and damage the state’s economy. It will hit middle and lower income families and small businesses the hardest. It will do this while producing no change to global temperatures or to human health.
Here are five major reasons the 2020 Virginia General Assembly should say no.
1) Virginia just raised its gasoline taxes substantially, by 78 percent in parts of the state. These additional carbon tax amounts will be economically crushing. Any higher cost for a key energy commodity will reach into every aspect of our economy and raise costs. During this recession, the 2020 gas tax increase proved to be invisible, but eventually fuel prices will rebound.
If the average family buys 1,000 gallons of fuel per year, and that’s common, then the carbon taxes will cost them hundreds of dollars annually. Many families and business buy far more fuel. But it is the ripple effect in the overall economy to worry about, as outlined in this Thomas Jefferson Institute-sponsored report.
2) Fuel taxes are regressive, as are any increase in energy costs. Middle and lower income families, and most small businesses, spend much of their earnings on energy, and electricity costs are also rising in response to environmentalist demands.
The regressive nature of this has drawn fire from advocates for low-income families, with one New Jersey advocate being especially outspoken back in September. She denounced this as just a tax on poor people to pay for the electric vehicles sought by rich people. That is correct.
3) The claims of environmental or health benefits are false. If you accept that CO2 is the principal cause of rising air temperatures, the reductions claimed from TCI will not move the needle more than tiny, infinitesimal amounts (0.000018° C). The claims of lower illness or death are also based on disputed models and ignore how little the amount of CO2 or pollutants in the atmosphere will actually change. That question was addressed last year by this Thomas Jefferson Institute report. “TCI: All Pain and No Gain”.
TCI organizers themselves have admitted that people are already choosing electric or lower emission vehicles, and the CO2 from transportation is already shrinking. It may shrink up to 15 or 20% over ten years without any of this. When you look only at the small marginal benefit of adding the tax and rationing, the cost is even less justified.
4) Most of Virginia’s borders are with states that will not be part of this, and which will immediately be selling these fuels at lower prices. Individual families, small businesses and trucking firms will simply cross the line for gasoline, and probably everything else they buy at the same locations.
When North Carolina raised its gasoline tax to a level substantially higher than Virginia, businesses on that side of the line suffered. With Virginia in TCI they would come back, and our stations would begin to suffer.
5) The major source of money for road and bridge construction and maintenance remains the fuels taxes. If the sale of fuel is frozen, and then rationed down 25 percent, the same will happen to those revenue sources. But even electric cars will need roads. The lost revenue will need to be replaced, either with a mileage tax or with higher and higher taxes on remaining fuel sales. Thomas Jefferson Institute Chairman Bill Howell wrote of his concerns on that issue.
More about how TCI will work:
After long, closed negotiations, the details of the proposed TCI carbon tax and rationing scheme began to gel December 21, when representatives of three states and the District of Columbia released the actual memorandum of understanding. It contains the terms of the interstate compact that each state must sign to join and then implement in 2023. The date is now pushed back from 2022.
The stated goal is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from motor fuels within a 12-state region. The CO2 is produced by gasoline and diesel, so the real goal is cap fuel sales at current levels, and then reduce sales of gas and diesel by 25 percent over ten years.
This will be accomplished mainly by the declining cap on total supply, which is simply government rationing. Of the billions of gallons were sold in 2019, by 2030 only 75% of that amount can be sold by licensed wholesalers within the states. The wholesalers will fight over that shrinking supply through an interstate auction, the second main element of the program.
At that auction they will be buying allowances, bidding against dealers within the entire multi-state region. The allowance price is the carbon tax. By design, by intention, the allowance costs will rise over the years, increasing the cost per gallon paid by the ultimate consumers. Claims that the oil companies will pay ignore the reality that they will just pass the cost along penny for penny.
Haynes, the company that has delivered in-depth repair manuals for cars and trucks for more than 50 years, recently announced that it would no longer be developing new print manuals. All of its back catalog of manuals will still be available, but all future projects seem destined for digital consumption only.
One of the most valuable tools to have at your side when tackling a car project is knowledge. There are few feelings worse than getting blindsided in the middle of a project by an unexpected complication, and Haynes manuals have been helping do-it-yourself mechanics prepare for and complete the job since 1966. The company announced its move to the digital medium on December 3 with the following statement:
Embracing John Haynes’ philosophy, we are currently in the process of creating a new automotive maintenance and repair product that covers around 95% of car makes and models – an increase of around 40% over our current Workshop Manual coverage. [2/3]
— Haynes Manuals (@HaynesManuals) December 3, 2020
This will provide you, our loyal enthusiasts, with a greater choice than ever before and we will reveal more in due course. Far from being the end of the road, we are ensuring that Haynes will continue well into the 21st century. [3/3]
— Haynes Manuals (@HaynesManuals) December 3, 2020
Haynes was founded by the late John Haynes, who was a prolific car collector. His first manual, the one first published in 1966, was based on a complete teardown and rebuild of an Austin Healey Sprite. Each subsequent Haynes manual has been based on the same method: the Haynes team buys a vehicle, documents its disassembly and reassembly, and then condenses the lessons learned into a repair manual. If you’re a frequent reader of our website, odds are you’ve got at least one Haynes manual in your garage or on your bookshelf. Some of our media staff even have manuals for cars we don’t own anymore.
We’re not sure what exactly sort of digital model Haynes plans to adopt for future repair manuals, but we’re hoping that the new medium will be as useful as before. Perhaps the company will expand its resources to include videos of some of the more difficult procedures.
The bad news is there is possibly something new to worry about. The good news is that awareness and simple tools are enough to prevent this problem from literally striking you in the head or hands.
Pressurized gas Lift Support struts have been holding up hatches for over forty years. I replaced the lift supports (found under "Body & Lamp Assembly" in the RockAuto.com catalog) that hold open the huge, heavy hatch on my '86 Mustang GT when I noticed on cold days the lift supports were unable to hold the hatch open. The pressure exerted by the gas inside a lift support gradually drops as the temperature gradually drops. A failing lift support will eventually not have enough gas pressure to hold open the hatch, especially if the temperature falls.
Pressurized gas lift supports now also commonly hold open hoods on newer cars. Many of these "newer" cars, like my youngest daughter's 2010 Hyundai Santa Fe, are old enough to have failing lift supports with low gas pressure. Unlike hatches/trunks, hood lift supports are more likely to be exposed to sudden temperature changes that may lead to quick, potentially disastrous pressure changes inside the lift supports.
For example, imagine my daughter driving around town in her Santa Fe. The car's original equipment (OE) hood lift supports have warmed to a pleasant 80 F (27 C) in the hot engine compartment. She then pulls into our garage and opens the hood so that she and I can change the spark plugs and coil-on-plug-boots. The warm gas inside the failing OE lift supports has enough pressure to hold open the hood.
Hood Prop and Lift Support Clamp
However, the temperature inside the unheated garage is only 20 F (-7 C). The exposed hood lift supports immediately start cooling. The gas pressure inside the lift supports drops rapidly. About 1/2 hour into the repair, there is no longer enough gas pressure inside the failing OE lift supports, and the hood falls on my head. My daughter is anguished that her car's hood has a dent in it.
Luckily, such a hypothetical drama-in-real-life can be prevented by regularly checking to see if hood lift supports perform completely normally on the coldest of days while the engine compartment is still cold. Replace the hood lift supports if they seem weaker at extreme temperatures or otherwise perform inconsistently.
A professional mechanic is at the greatest risk because the hood on a new customer's car may not have been opened for many months. The hood lift supports may have been slowly losing gas pressure with nobody to notice.
Many professionals protect themselves, their tools and customers' vehicles by always using a Lift Support Clamp and/or Hood Prop. The lift support clamp attaches to a lift support's rod so that it cannot retract. (The lift support clamp is made of soft metals that will not mar the hardened steel rod.) Hood props are sturdy, easily adjustable sticks.
The Danish Climate Minister Closing Down The Oil Industry For Good
This is from The Guardian. Hopefully this will change the weather - one thing for certain the powers that be are going to try and drive us out of our gasoline and diesel vehicles into electrics ~ Fred
Denmark’s climate minister is fairly certain that the deal to close down the nation’s oil industry by 2050, announced on Friday morning, marks the biggest moment in his career.
“I think this is probably going to be the biggest decision that I’m a part of in my life,” Dan Jørgensen told the Guardian hours after the announcement.
“This obviously wasn’t an easy decision. We are the biggest oil producer in the EU. We have, since the 1970s, to a large extent financed our welfare state with oil money. So to say, ‘stop’, and to pay the cost for that, is a big deal for us.”
To call it the “biggest decision” is nonetheless significant for the man who for the past year has been the public face of what many argue is the world’s most ambitious climate goal, Denmark’s plan to cut emissions by 70% by 2030.
In recent months, Jørgensen and Denmark’s prime minister have come under criticism for over-reliance on technical solutions, such as two “energy islands”, which together will generate 5GW of wind energy, and foot-dragging on issues like green tax reform.
Jørgensen said he hoped Friday’s announcement would show his government’s green promises were sincere “I think there’s an English expression ‘put your money where your mouth is’, and that is basically that’s what we’re trying to do,” he said.
He said the centre-right opposition Liberal party also deserved credit for backing the cancellation of the current exploration licensing round, something it had long opposed.
“This is an example of what has changed in Danish politics, that we now really do have a broad support for the green transformation,” he said. “Political parties that a decade ago would have never even have thought about this are now on board.”
The deal is binding on all future governments.
“That’s important, of course, because when we then tell the world that we will do this, they can count on it, but also for the industry, because it gives them some stability and certainty,” Jørgensen pointed out.
“Obviously, the industry is not happy about the cutoff date. They’re not happy about us having cancelled the tenders. But on the other hand, I think they will be happy about knowing exactly what conditions they have. Because when we say 2050, then that also means we’re not going to change that to 2045 or 2040.”
Under the agreement, oil companies with existing licences in the Danish North Sea will be able to continue exploring for oil and gas in them.
“If we were to say to companies that already had the permissions, ‘we’re taking them away from you’, the price tag on that is one that no government would be able to bear,” he said.
“The costs would be so enormous that I doubt that we would be considered a frontrunner. People would just shake their heads and think we were stupid.”
Jørgensen claims his government’s existing actions have already brought Denmark a long way. “We need to reduce by 20 megatons between now and 2030, and we’ve already reduced by five. We have 10 years to do it, and in one and a half years, we’ve done a fourth of that,” he said.
Jørgensen has also been spending much of his time since his appointment last year on international outreach. Unfortunately, he said, some of the countries that looked likely to follow Denmark’s example had had their plans knocked off course by the coronavirus crisis.
“The pandemic has unfortunately put good developments to rest in some countries … I hope that this doesn’t mean that too many countries forget that we have another extreme and more long-lasting crisis, which is the climate crisis.”
He said it was crucial the world did not repeat the mistakes made after the financial crisis in 2008 and divert stimulus spending to “old-fashioned technologies”.
Jørgensen said he was not worried that US president-elect, Joe Biden, would be insufficiently radical.
“I have total confidence that the Biden administration will bring huge progress to the American transformation on the green agenda,” he said. “I’m just extremely pleased when I see such progressive forces being given the power, and I think all the signs that we’ve had from the president-elect and his team are pointing in the right direction.”
The four years of climate backsliding under Donald Trump, he said, should not be seen as fatal for efforts to keep global heating to an acceptable level.
“In a lot of the individual cities and states, there has been some progress that can be built on, so I don’t subscribe to the standpoint that there has been irreversible damage,” he said. “Now, when the US are re-entering, I’d say that it can give us a new momentum.”
With Friday’s announcement, Denmark has gained the moral power to punch above its weight. “In most countries, politicians will often say ‘This is a historic decision’. Sometimes it’s true, other times it’s not. With this one, we don’t even have to say it ourselves.”
Defund the police? Over the past two months, Minneapolis police have logged more than 125 carjackings in the city, a troubling surge that authorities had largely linked to small groups of marauding teens. But an increasing number of adults have been arrested in recent weeks for the same crime. Within a one-hour period Saturday morning, police reported three separate carjackings in southeast Minneapolis, including one where an elderly woman was struck on the head. Such attacks are up 537% this month when compared with last November. “The numbers are staggering,” said police spokesman John Elder. “It defies all civility and any shred of common human decency.”
Daniel M. Rizza, 20, of McKeesport, Pennsylvania, driving a gray Audi SUV, ran out of gas on November 27 and called state police to ask for help, but when he was told a trooper would be responding, he abruptly said he'd changed his mind and hung up, according to court documents. WTAJ reported the trooper responding to the call learned en route that a gray Audi had been reported stolen nearby earlier in the day, and after a check of the SUV's make, model, identification number and registration, he arrested Rizza, who was charged with a felony count of receiving stolen property.
Police in Corvallis, Oregon, said Dylan Milota was high on marijuana when he crashed the 2019 Tesla S he was driving at more than 100 mph into a utility pole on November 17, breaking the pole and spraying hundreds of small batteries through the windows of two nearby residences. One landed on a bed, starting a fire in the bedsheets, KMTR reported. A tire from the car struck the second story of a nearby apartment building so forcefully it broke water pipes inside the wall, destroying the bathroom on the other side and causing flooding in the lower level, police said. Citizens were warned not to pick up any stray batteries, which can stay hot for up to 24 hours and release toxic fumes. Milota fled on foot but was quickly apprehended and charged with various offenses.
"Do not let moose lick your car," say the flashing electronic signs along roads in Jasper (Alberta) National Park, where park spokesman Steve Young told CNN: "(Moose are) obsessed with salt. ... They usually get it from salt lakes in the park, but now they realized they can also get road salt that splashes onto cars." Officials say if moose become accustomed to licking cars, they'll lose their fear of vehicles, putting the animals in danger. In Jasper, where drivers often stop to get photos of the moose, officials recommend driving away if the animals start to approach.
French police in Lannion, Brittany, became suspicious when they spotted a man lurking near a parked car at a time when France's COVID-19 lockdown rules required him to be at home on November 20. Upon questioning, the 39-year-old unnamed man produced the legally required "attestation," including his full name, the time he left home and his written-in reason for being out: to "smash a guy's face in." Local police chief Daniel Kerdraon said, "He was trying to fulfill the letter of the law, in his own way," The Guardian reported, "but we told him his reason for going out was not valid." He was fined not only for violating the curfew but also for being drunk in public.
Matthew Piercey, 44, has been indicted on 31 federal felony counts related to a suspected Ponzi scheme, but when FBI agents tried to arrest him in Redding, California, on November 16, he took off, authorities said. NBC News reported agents followed him to Lake Shasta, where Piercey pulled a $1,200 Yamaha 350LI Seascooter out of his vehicle, then disappeared into the frigid water, spending about 25 minutes "out of sight underwater where law enforcement could only see bubbles," Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Hales wrote in court papers. The agents waited him out and arrested him when he resurfaced. Piercey faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.
Douglas Allen Hatley, 71, of Lakeland, Florida, was arrested on November 16 after the Florida Highway Patrol said he found a metal light pole by the side of the road in Tampa and tried to sell it to Eagle Metals Recycling. The Tampa Bay Times reported the recycling center turned him away because he didn't have documentation for the pole, and officers responding to reports of a 1997 Camry with a pole twice its length strapped to the top pulled him over soon afterward. Hatley told troopers a highway maintenance worker "gave it to me." He was charged with third-degree grand theft.
Chrysler established its tech-savvy reputation for innovation with its very first car. At the 1924 New York Auto Show, Walter P. Chrysler unveiled a new car that was regarded as a technological masterpiece. Its 3.3-liter straight-six engine had a then-unheard-of 4.7:1 compression ratio, and it produced 68 horsepower. The engine was loaded with innovative features, including pressure lubrication, an oil filter, and a carburetor air filter that doubled as a silencer. But what made the Chrysler go was no less innovative than what made it stop: The 1924 Chrysler boasted four-wheel hydraulic brakes, this at a time when most cars only had mechanical brakes on two wheels. With its tubular axles and shock absorbers, the Chrysler could be driven at its top speed of 75 mph without soiling one's jazz trousers.
Aptera, the company that designed a radical, wildly efficient three-wheeler and then died (but only after making into a Star Trek movie) was reborn a few years back and is now ready to officially announce their all-new, reborn car, which it seems like it is just calling the Aptera solar electric vehicle (sEV). It’s a remarkable-looking thing, wildly advanced, and Aptera claims it can have a fully charged range of “up to 1,000 miles” and can use its solar cells to allow for “charging for most daily use.”
Volvo built its first car in 1927. Known unofficially as the Jakob and officially as the OV4, the first example of this large four-seater tourer was driven out of the company's workshop on 14 April and promptly back in again – because the rear axle had been assembled incorrectly, resulting in the car having four reverse gears and just one to move the car forwards.
When the Titanic sank in 1912 it had a solitary car in its hold – a brand new Renault Type CB Coupé de Ville. The car was bought by William Carter of Pennsylvania, while he was touring Europe with his wife and two children. The Renault was then loaded on to the Titanic when the Carters returned home – only to sink to the bottom of the Atlantic, never to be seen again. And yes, it’s the car you see play an, ahem, important role in the blockbusting 1997 movie. The Carters happily all survived the sinking. Auctioneers RM Sothebys sold an example for $270,000 in 2008.
The first land speed record was broken in December 1898 – by an electric car named Jeantaud Duc, travelling at 39.24mph. The next five records were all broken by electric cars, which raised the bar to 65.79mph. The seventh record was broken by a steam car (75.06mph) – it wasn't until the eighth record that a car powered by an internal combustion engine reigned supreme. That was in 1902, when William K Vanderbilt drove his Mors to 76.03mph.
Samsung made cars. Yes, that Korean company that makes your phone and your TV briefly also made cars. It started in 1994 but was clobbered by the Asian financial crisis of 1998. It sold the company to Renault in 2000.
The replica 1963 Aston Martin DB5 stunt car used in the latest James Bond movie slid too easily on the roads in Matera, Italy. How was this problem solved? Learning from the sticky floors in movie theaters, film crews sprayed the roads with hundreds of gallons of sugary soft drinks.
A woman has been arrested after robbing a convenience store while brandishing a hypodermic needle she claimed was infected with AIDS. Authorities were told that an adult female, who brandished a hypodermic needle she claimed to be infected with AIDS, demanded money before making off with an undisclosed amount of cash. However, a witness was able to record the suspect’s license plate before she made her escape and a notice was subsequently issued to surrounding communities to be on the lookout for the suspect and vehicle, according to a statement by the Raynham Police Department. ”Moments later, the same vehicle was identified by State Police as being wanted in connection with a similar robbery in New Bedford. State Police located the vehicle and made a traffic stop in the town of Marion after a brief vehicle pursuit,” Raynham Police Chief James Donovan said in a statement. After a brief on scene investigation, Raynham Police arrested 34-year-old Ashley Demers of East Wareham, Massachusetts, and charged her with armed robbery. According to police, Demers now will likely face additional charges from crimes committed in other communities as well as other potential charges related to the police pursuit and motor vehicle infractions.
A man was struck and killed by three separate hit-and-run drivers who all fled the scene after colliding with him while he was crossing a street and now police are appealing to the public for help in finding the perpetrators. The incident occurred at approximately 7:39 p.m. in the South Los Angeles neighborhood of Florence when 50-year-old Jose Fuentes was crossing a street when a motorcycle traveling northbound collided with him, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. In video released by the LAPD, Fuentes can be seen lying in the road after being struck by the motorcycle as it speeds away. Just seconds later Fuentes is then hit by a white sedan which also fled the scene after the collision, according to ABC News’ Los Angeles station KABC. Fuentes was subsequently hit a third time following the motorcycle and the white sedan but police did not release any information on that vehicle or a possible description of the suspect. Not one of the three vehicles stopped after striking Fuentes.Authorities are now looking for all three suspects.
1965 Mercury Cyclone
Southside Speedway Closes
Southside Speedway, the legendary short track in Chesterfield that saw the birth of several successful racing careers, has decided to close its gates for good.
Last year was the first in the track's 60 year history that it did not host a racing schedule. Friday in a statement, track owners said the restrictions from the COVID pandemic have proved too much to overcome.
The track first opened as Southside Speedway in 1959, and for a time, was part of NASCAR's top series schedule. Drivers like Junior Johnson and Ned Jarrett won there before the circuit moved on in 1963. Since then, Southside has hosted late model and other divisions of racing and seen the beginnings of careers like Denny Hamlin's take shape on the oval.
The following is part of a statement sent out by track owners on Friday:
"After much discussion, work, and prayer, we have decided that Southside Speedway’s time has come to an end. Please know that this was not a quick or an easy decision, and that we grieve along with you. The pandemic proved to be more than we could overcome, and rather than continue to keep you all in limbo, we have made the decision to close our gates.
To our staff, our dear friends. Thank you. Thank you for sharing your talents and your love of racing with all of us. For mentoring generations of racing enthusiasts, and for sharing so much of your precious time with us, we will forever be grateful. We could never have asked for more.
To our drivers, owners and crews, we love and appreciate you. Thank you for showing up! You are all such a talented group of competitors. We hope that the cheers from your fans and the trophies in your shops will bring you joy for years to come. We have loved cheering for you, and seeing your successes. You showed us all what racing is supposed to look like. We will be rooting for you, as you find new places to race, and we hope that your time at the toughest short track in the south has left its mark on your heart.
To our fans. There wouldn't be a Southside Speedway if it weren't for y'all. In 1957, when the land was purchased with the intent to develop a community, the fans pleaded for it to remain a race track. The fans showed up, supported, and cheered each week. You brought your families, and then they brought theirs. Generations have grown up on Friday night racing. We will miss you all so much, and truly hope that you find new traditions and new ways to spend those Friday nights with your families.
For generations, there has been Southside Speedway. We are grateful that you were a part of its story."
Repair Mistakes & Blunders
From Rock Auto
About six years ago, I was replacing the brakes on my '99 BMW. Changing the front brakes went completely fine. But when I got to the rear, I could not for the life of me get the rear passenger rotor off. I had snapped off the Allen key holding the rotor to the hub, so I borrowed my neighbor's drill to drill that out, but even after that was out of the way the rotor would still not come off! I used a hammer to hit the rotor; nothing. I kicked it, same result, nothing. Hours and hours went by. I kept getting more defeated and tired struggling with this rotor.
And then....I remembered...my emergency brake was engaged (facepalm)! I dropped the brake handle and boom...the rotor dropped right off the hub on its own with no additional effort. To say the least, I have now made it a habit to check the emergency brake while changing brakes.
Brendan in Virginia
1967 Olds 442
U.S. Congress Passes Bill to Commemorate Route 66 Centennial in 2026
Big celebrations require plenty of planning—sometimes years of it. The U.S. House of Representatives has passed SEMA-supported legislation to create a commission “that would recommend ways to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Route 66” in 2026. The historic 2448-mile stretch of road was commissioned in 1926 as the first all-paved U.S. highway.
According to SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association), the “Route 66 Centennial Commission Act,” S. 1014, creates a 15-person commission with representatives appointed by the President of the United States. The appointments are based on recommendations from the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation, U.S. House and Senate Republican and Democratic leaders, and the Governors of Route 66 states Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California.
The commission has two years to make recommendations to Congress about how to celebrate the iconic highway known as The Mother Road. SEMA says, “It may recommend the production of various written materials, films and documentaries, education programs, artistic works, commemorative memorabilia, and celebrations to commemorate Route 66’s storied history.”
The legislation, which unanimously passed the U.S. Senate in August, now heads to the White House for the President’s signature.
The RPM Act is common-sense, bi-partisan legislation to protect law-abiding citizens who convert cars, trucks and motorcycles into racing vehicles. The bill clarifies that it is legal to make emissions-related changes to a street vehicle for the purpose of converting it into a racecar used exclusively in competition. It also confirms that it is legal to produce, market and install racing equipment.