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"The Relay" Online Newsletter
December 2021 Issue

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.

President's Message

I want to wish you not a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year but wish you a "normal" Christmas and New York - you know, like we were back in 2019 before all this nonsense began. And in case you were wondering we may never go back to "normal" circa 2019. That said things are moving forward with the return of the Polar Bear Run in January and the 60th Annual Asphalt Angels Show in February. So at least we are trying to get things back to normal if the media and politicians would only let us.

The state election has turned blue Virginia into red Virginia. I think this happened more because of missteps by the democrats. We will see how the republicans rule come January's General Assembly session. You will note in articles below that the democrats have stacked the senate finance committee to try and keep some of the laws they passed over the last two sessions. Of interest to we car hobbyists is the climate control laws which the democrats really want to preserve. We all know that climate legislation/executive orders has caused the sharp increase in energy prices which in turn has helped fuel inflation. The massive printing of money in the past months also fueled inflation. You'd think that the people in charge would realize that printing money and increasing energy prices would lead to this - I think they just don't care.

After the Virginia election you'd think they would care. But they continue with their agenda. Of course the mid-term election in 2022 could slow down this agenda.

Next year the big problem car hobbyists will face is the coming push to get all of us to abandon gasoline and diesel vehicles for electric ones. Everyone seems to be in on this: we now have electric crate motors from Ford and GM, most motorsports have or are working on electric vehicle classes, people are actually building electric tractors, helicopters, airplanes and ships. Okay I will go out on a limb and say that this isn't going to work out like the powers that be wish. Electric cars could well be the Edsels of tomorrow.

Think about it - do you know anyone who owns an electric vehicle that doesn't also own a gasoline one? Electrics have too many problems to be accepted right now. I don' think massive government spending on electric vehicle super chargers are going to change peoples' opinions. We just had 18 months of hype about a flu virus, years of hype about climate change and the sad truth is there were a lot of lies told. I just wish fewer people would be fooled by the media.

Time to look forward to the new 2022. Let's hope it is better than 2020 or 2021 and let's do our part to make that come true.

~ Fred

Nice looking Santa

Next Meeting

The next meeting will be Monday, January 24th at 6:30 PM at a location that will be in the January 2022 newsletter. The General Assembly will be in session and we will discuss the bills and what the new governor's direction for the state.

Car Hobbyist News

Transportation and Climate Initiative Falls Apart
TCI was an interstate compact involving 13 states that would increase gasoline taxes, reduce funding for highway construction and repair, and initiate gas rationing in an effort to force Virginia away from fossil fuels. Last month Governor Northam said he was not going to push it in the next Assembly session. Of course his term as governor would be over so he would not have the clout to get it done. He never got TCI introduced into the Assembly while he was governor. It was not popular. Last week Connecticut’s Governor announced he would give up the fight and was rapidly followed by Massachusetts’ Governor and then Rhode Island’s. TCI is falling apart and the sharp increase in gasoline prices under the Biden administration has hastened its death. This is good news for us.

COP 26 (26th United Nations Climate Change Conference)
It was two weeks of partying with the elites of the world and when it was all done nothing gone done. They flew into Glasgow in over 400 private jets spewing carbon dioxide. Our president even participated in an over 80 car parade on a side trip before getting to the conference where he was filmed dozing off. And who wouldn’t fall asleep with all the same talk as the previous conferences – we only have 10 years to save the planet – the same phase that has been used in all the other conferences. You may recall the Paris Accord where the US and western Europe promised to give the UN $100 billion a year to work on climate projects in third world countries – what could go wrong with that? Now the ante is up to a trillion bucks a year and no one seems to have the money. After the pandemic lockdowns the money for “fixing” man-made climate change isn’t available. There’s always next year with COP 27.

Climate Change at the General Assembly
We’ve got a new administration coming to Richmond in January and I’ve already heard that they want to repel a lot of the laws that were passed by the last administration. The democrats in the Senate have loaded the one committee that climate bills have to get through - Senate Commerce and Labor, has 12 Democrats and only 3 Republicans. This was done to insure that the climate laws do not change. We will see what will happen come January and I’m betting this could be interesting. We watched Virginia turn from blue to red in November and this could change how the democrats act once the Assembly session begins.

Release the Oil Reserves
As this is being written the Biden administration is looking at releasing 50 million barrels of oil from the national reserves to lower gasoline and diesel prices. Too little, too late. It is quite amazing that an administration that has done all it can to increase fossil fuel prices now wants to lower them because it just doesn’t look good politically. We know why they want gasoline, diesel, natural gas and propane to soar in price – so we can all go to renewable sources of electrical energy. Looks like someone forgot to tell the Biden administration that few people want to pay a lot more to travel, heat their homes, etc. And no one seems to be in favor of the inflation caused by increasing energy prices. Just think less than a year ago fuel prices were much lower and America was energy independent. What is really scary is Biden has been president less than a year and has over three years to go.

Does Anyone Want An Electric Car
In just a couple of years there will be 400 new models of electric vehicles available for purchase. The Biden administration’s budget bill has $555 billion or over half a trillion dollars in it for climate change. Looks like the feds are going to go to an all electric fleet of cars and trucks. Plus we taxpayers have to pay for charging stations so places like Nowhere, Nebraska can have one. Of course no one there may own an electric but it’s just taxpayer money. We now know that when Cadillac told their dealers to purchase equipment and get ready for selling and servicing electrics over a third of the dealers have chosen to quit. Now you are going to hear this first – could it be that electrics will be the Edsels of today? If that many Cadillac dealers don’t want to make the investment to sell electrics – just what do they know? Do you know anyone who owns only an electric car? It seems that everyone who owns one also owns gas vehicles.

Here’s a quote from iSeeCars.com: “Categorically, electric vehicles depreciate more than the average vehicle because resale values take into account the $7,500 federal tax credit and other state and local credits that were applied to these vehicles when they were bought new,” said iSeeCars.com CEO Phong Ly. “Because the technology of EVs changes at a rapid pace, obsolescence also plays a role in their dramatic depreciation as well as consumer range anxiety and lack of public charging infrastructure.”

Just try to sell one and see what happens. After 5 years the best Tesla holds about 47% of its value. If you bought a new F-150 5 years ago and it is in great condition with normal mileage its retail value will be the same as what you paid for it when new – it held 100% of its value. If we get “forced” into buying electrics things will get very interesting very quickly. Your old gasoline vehicle’s value may really climb.

Recently I read a magazine article by car guru Jay Leno where he said “electric vehicles are the future”. People said that in 1900. Gasoline vehicles could have the last laugh and history could repeat.

As Cost Kills TCI in Connecticut, Virginia Dems Dig In To Defend Virginia Green New Deal Laws

Since this article was written TCI has fell apart with three states quitting
By Stephen D. Haner, Senior Fellow for the Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy
The Governor of Connecticut has abandoned his efforts to enroll that state in the Transportation and Climate Initiative, an interstate compact which would impose a cap, tax and ration scheme on gasoline and diesel fuel.

Virginia remains a part of the planning group that developed the compact, which has now been under consideration for more than a decade but not implemented anywhere. In late 2020, Connecticut was one of four jurisdictions pledging to go forward in 2021, while Virginia remained on the sidelines.

As in Virginia, Connecticut’s participation in the compact required legislative blessing, which Governor Ned Lamont was unable to secure during 2021, even in a legislature controlled by his own party. In light of that failure, and the lack of any other signs of movement toward an agreement, Lamont announced Tuesday he would not try again in 2022. He was quoted in the Hartford Courant:

“Look, I couldn’t get that through when gas prices were at a historic low, so I think the legislature has been pretty clear that it’s going to be a pretty tough rock to push when gas prices are so high, so no,’' Lamont said Tuesday, acknowledging that the cost of motor fuel was likely to rise under the initiative, known as TCI.

At a later appearance in East Hartford, Lamont said that gasoline prices had reached a seven-year high and there was not enough support in the legislature in 2022 — a year when both Lamont and the entire legislature are up for reelection.

The Rhode Island legislature also passed on the issue in 2021 despite its governor’s efforts. Only Massachusetts and the District of Columbia are poised to join TCI once enough states make it viable, and in Massachusetts opponents have put the issue in front of the voters in a 2022 referendum question.

Virginia Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin has made no pronouncements on TCI, which would first cap and then slowly reduce the total volume of gasoline and diesel fuels available for sale in Virginia. While they enjoyed full control of all branches of Virginia government, Democrats signed the state up for the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) cap and tax on fossil fuels used in electric power plants but failed to even introduce legislation on joining TCI.

They have now shifted to a defensive posture, promising their supporters that Democratic control of the Senate – and one key committee in particular – provides a firewall to protect various climate-fear-driven measures approved in 2020 and 2021.

Typical was a prediction made by Senator George Barker, D-Alexandria, at a meeting with the Alexandria City Council Monday, reported on Virginia Public Media outlets. He and other Democratic legislators who represent that city were asked about coming efforts to repeal or amend some of those earlier laws, efforts that now might be successful in the House of Delegates.

"If the bill, a bill, does come over backing down on some of the climate change types of things from the House, and it's certainly possible it will," Barker says. "I think we have the ability to deal with it in the Senate and box it up and it'll probably never get to the floor and have the bill basically defeated in the committee."

The committee in question, Senate Commerce and Labor, has 12 Democrats and only three Republicans as voting members, and it only takes seven votes or even a tie to defeat a bill in committee. That imbalance exists despite a 21-19 split in the body overall. Barker went on to claim that some of his Republican colleagues, when he speaks with them privately, express support for the bills which have passed.

A day later over at Virginia Mercury, an anti-fossil fuel advocate affiliated with the Sierra Club surveyed the new Virginia political landscape and was similarly encouraged, partly by the remaining Senate firewall and partly by Youngkin’s lack of specific statements on the various issues during the campaign.

Attorney Ivy Main pointed to the one candidate debate segment that touched on the issues, heartened by Youngkin’s statement he “wholly supported” the coming offshore wind project Dominion is set to build, but dismissive of his complaints about other elements of the Virginia Clean Economy Act and his advocacy of continued use of natural gas.

With Democrats still in charge of the Senate, Youngkin isn’t likely to find a RGGI or VCEA repeal on his desk. Creating an energy transition framework was one of the Democrats’ biggest successes in the past two years and protecting that success will be a party priority.

But there are many ways Republicans can undercut climate action. They might attract just enough Democratic votes with bills that, for example, grant exemptions for powerful industries that have friends among Senate Democrats. They could also use the budget process to undermine the transition by starving agencies and grant programs of funding.

But the TCI idea failed in solidly Democratic Connecticut because it would clearly raise costs on every family and commodity in a time of inflation, and for the same reason has never even been pushed here in the Commonwealth. The same is true of every other aspect of Virginia’s misguided response to overblown threats of climate disaster. Making that clear is the first step toward a change in course.

eCrate Motors are Here

Well, that was fast. After making its debut under the hood of a 1976 F-100 last week at SEMA, Ford’s Eluminator e-crate motor is already sold out, according to the automaker. “Demand has exceeded expectations,” says Emma Bergg, of Ford’s Electric Vehicle Communications team. If you missed the first wave of $3900, 281-hp motors, stay tuned—Bergg also said that although the units are now out of stock, interested customers should sign up to be notified when orders open once again.

For some, the idea of an electric crate motor is about as exhilarating as the dash to the grocery store for more milk. But to a large portion of the car community, the prospect of e-crate motors simply means that their favorite silhouettes and classics have the chance for a longer life. While we don’t know how many Eluminators were in stock when the project was announced, selling out in less than a week is a noteworthy achievement that shows the industry’s appetite for well-executed, accessible e-crate motors.

The Ford e-crate is not the most attractive power plant

While Ford used a 1976 F-100, Chevy used a 1977 K-5 Blazer to showcase it's eCrate motor. GM showcased its first eCrate, the 60-kWh Electric Connect and Cruise package, in the form of the K5 Blazer-E. For the project, GM kept as much of the 1977 Blazer's other original components as possible, but removed its malaise-era 175-horsepower 400-cubic-inch V8, fuel system, exhaust and three-speed automatic transmission.

In its place went the electric motor out of a Bolt EV, good for 200 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque and an electronically controlled Chevrolet Performance four-speed automatic transmission. In fact, approximately 90 percent of the K5 Blazer-E's eCrate are factory parts from the Chevrolet Bolt EV. According to GM, they were able to keep the rest of the Blazer's drivetrain intact, including its driveshaft, transfer case and axles.

The Chevy e-crate motor

The K5 Blazer-E is powered by a 60 kilowatt-hour, 400-volt Bolt EV battery pack that uses production controllers and wiring harnesses from the Bolt itself. That takes a lot of the guesswork out of issues like battery management and shock protection, and really does make an EV swap sound easier than ever.

A few aftermarket components were used in the K5 Blazer-E build, however, the coolest of which is an electric controller that works with the original Blazer gauges and displays the charge level of the battery on the stock fuel gauge. An electric pump provides vacuum for the stock braking system and there's also an electric power steering kit.

The 60-kWh Electric Connect and Cruise package is set to go on sale in the second half of 2021, and includes most of what's on that Blazer: a 200-hp electric motor, a 60-kWh battery pack, the DC-to-AC power inverter that drives the electric motor, the DC-to-DC power converter that powers other onboard systems (think accessories like the radio and lighting), controllers, wiring harnesses and water pumps for heating and cooling the batteries.

Chevrolet Performance is even certifying dealerships and aftermarket companies as Electric Connect Cruise and Connect installers, making sure that they'll have the right training and equipment to work on these kits. Michigan's Lingenfelter Performance Engineering—as in, the fast Corvette people—will be the first company to test out the new certification program.

That is the battery pack

While 200 hp is a decent upgrade for older cars, GM also knows its performance parts customer base (and SEMA, whose virtual show included the K5 Blazer-E reveal) well. The company says they're evaluating offering additional high-performance eCrate packages as well as new battery configurations. Further out, GM plans to offer eCrates that offer the modular Ultium battery system that's going into the new GMC Hummer EV.

Sources are Hagerty and The Drive.

Note that both Ford and Chevy used 70s vehicles - they are ready when the government forces people to get rid of gasoline and diesel vehicles to help you retro fit your antique with electric power. Just like the "re-power" with boats using more modern fuel injected engines we could see a "re-power" gasoline with electric movement.

Old School Hotrodders of Virginia Fall Cruise In & Swap Meet
Old School Hotrodders of Virginia Fall Cruise In & Swap Meet October 30
See all the photos at Old School Hotrodders of Virginia Fall Cruise In & Swap Meet

Over a Third of Cadillac Dealers Say No to EV Shift, Take Buyout

This is from Hagerty - the future apparently isn't electric for these Cadillac Dealers.

When Cadillac announced its ambitious plan to be an all-electric brand by 2030, it offered each of its dealers a choice: jump on the electric Caddy train (including necessary dealership modifications), or accept a buyout and give up the franchise. After the November 30, 2020, decision deadline passed, at least 150 (or 17 percent of) Cadillac dealers in North America indicated they’d prefer cold, hard cash than the all-electric gamble. It was an unexpected response to Cadillac’s grand plans. Nearly twelve months later, Automotive News reports that over 300 Caddy dealers have decided to take the cash and close up shop.

One-third of a network sounds mighty condemning, but the 315 or so dealers that closed shop accounted for only 10 percent of total brand sales. Are the closures a no-confidence vote, or an overdue fat-trimming? Even with the reduction, Cadillac will have roughly twice the dealerships of BMW, Mercedes, or Audi, though it can claim only a fraction of each German marque’s vehicle sales. No one has a crystal ball here, but it’s clear that change is afoot.

Mopar Christmas

6 Underappreciated Ways to Winterize for Storage

From Hagerty
The fall colors are upon us, at least in the states where that kind of thing happens. That means the vintage rides are being prepped for storage as we collectively brace for the snow to fly and the salt to hit the roads. Hagerty has covered proper winterization methods and tips for your car in a multitude of ways, but here are a few suggestions that haven’t always made our lists but you should consider.

No parking brake
Opinions regarding the use of parking brakes can get oddly heated, so whether or not you should use yours regularly is a discussion for another day. The key thing here is to not set it and leave for months over the winter. If you’re worried about your car rolling from its parking spot, wheel chocks are a better option because the chance that your parking brake binds or seizes up over time is too great of a risk. It’s no fun finding your classic is garage-bound for an additional couple days or weeks for a brake job when all you want to do is drive in the spring.

Floor moisture
I used some leftover rollup vinyl flooring to keep the moisture off the bottom of my Model A. Kyle Smith The enemy of any vintage car owner is rust, and the easiest way to keep it at bay is to keep things dry. Moisture can wreak havoc on multiple parts of a car, but it’s the underside and chassis that often end up paying the price when rust takes hold. If you aren’t lucky enough to have climate-controlled storage, consider laying down plastic sheeting before parking your car in its winter resting place. Whether the floor is dirt or concrete, moisture will rise up, and this plastic will help keep it from condensing on the bottom of the vehicle and take hold. The sheeting will also help keep the concrete from pulling moisture and oils from your tires, extending their life too.

UV control
Just like you want to protect the underside of your car, the top and interior need to be saved from invisible forces: UV light. Some garages have cave-like architecture, and therefore there’s no concern about sun wearing on your paint or interior, but if you’re parking a car in one spot for a long time, be sure to take into consideration where the sun hits it and what that might do. Faded and cracked interiors can be avoided with the right cover or some careful window blocking.

Deep clean
This one is simple. Vacuum and deep clean your interior. Don’t leave any debris or dirt in the nooks and crannies and allow it to take hold and stain or rot your interior surfaces. This will not only help keep the materials soft and supple during cold winter months, but it will also keep any small things from growing into stains that might require more work to remove in the spring or will attract rodents or vermin. Did you eat in your car this year? Get that french fry out from underneath the seat. You aren’t fooling anyone.

Top up
Not your fluids, but your convertible top, if you’ve got one. We’ve seen many a car with a nice cloth top that shrunk to the point that it is nearly unusable without extra hands helping to get the frame close enough to latch and risking a tear or two. Even if you live all summer with the top down, store your car with the top up. Most car covers are fitted to be used with the top up (you do have a car cover right?) and this yearly top-up time is also the perfect opportunity to lube all the pivot points before the long winter season.

Record your winter priorities
Planning to work on your ride at all over winter? Now is the time to make your to-do list and set your priorities while you can still do a last drive and any diagnostics that might require moving the car. Also think about how the car is placed into storage. Need to work on the engine but you backed into the garage, so now you have to walk around the car every time you need tools? Set yourself up for success and avoid that mistake by thinking through what you plan on doing and when.

Varina Ruritan Car Show
Stumps Pig and Pint Car Show November 7
See all the photos at Stumps Pig and Pint Car Show

31st BOPC Show
Beacon of Hope Dog Rescue Fall Cruise-In - November 14
See all the photos at Beacon of Hope Dog Rescue Fall Cruise-In.

Electric Hot Rods: Sacrilege, or a Glimpse of Our Future?

From Hemmings
You may have heard that General Motors displayed a ’57 Chevy that had been outfitted with an electric drivetrain at last week’s SEMA Convention. It certainly wasn’t the first classic in recent years to receive a plug-in powertrain, but it might be the most controversial to date, at least for hot rodding enthusiasts. The issue isn’t so much that a classic ’57 was electrified, but that it was this particular ’57: Project X.

If you’re not familiar, Project X is a widely recognized project car that got its start in automotive media back in 1965 in the pages of Popular Hot Rodding magazine. It began as an effort to create a “low-buck” street/strip car and continued to be used as a test bed or evaluating equipment and performing experiments. Years later, in 1980, it appeared in the movie The Hollywood Knights in iconic form, street racing in chrome yellow with fat meats just inside its radiused rear wheel arches and a 6-71 supercharged small-block on full display thanks to its lack of a hood.

Whether on the pages of a magazine or up on the silver screen, this car inspired many gearheads through the years, remaining in countless minds as the archetypal street machine. I'm one of them, and can clearly recall watching the wicked yellow shoebox on the screen, hearing it make all the right sounds. I didn't make the connection to the magazine project car until years later, and when I did it only made the car seem cooler. Even after Popular Hot Rodding folded up, Project X continued to build its legacy as it transferred to Hot Rod magazine. This car has had small-blocks, big-blocks, LS power, and all manner of speed bits over the years. But an electric motor?

To an extent, I get it. Electric cars are a hot topic right now, and it was entirely predictable that there would be a crop of them at the SEMA show, where the latest automotive trends are always front and center. Still, I have to wonder, is this actually a trend or just a fad?

We've been on the receiving end of a steady and heavy message for a few years now: The electric car is the future, and it's coming soon, whether you want it or not. Traditionally, car enthusiasts are averse to any message that might seem to threaten elements of their passion, and suggesting that the internal combustion engine is on its way out ought to be a sure fire way to raise the ire of the typical gearhead. Yet, a significant number of enthusiasts seem enthralled with electric propulsion, which might seem to run counter to their perceived values, save for one thing: Electric vehicles offer the promise of serious forward thrust. That's the facet of electrics keeping car people interested, rather than repulsed.

So why, then, was the general vibe coming from observers of Project X's latest configuration more vitriol than verve? You'd have only needed to stand next to the car for a few minutes in the Chevrolet display in the Las Vegas Convention Center last week to get a taste.

“Well, they’ve finally ruined Project X…”

“This is the worst idea I’ve ever seen executed on this car.”

“Look, they turned Project X into a golf cart.”

That last comment about the golf cart seemed to offer some insight. It stemmed from the belief floating around early in the week that the ‘57’s new drivetrain only offered one-hundred-some-odd horsepower--that wouldn't be enough to excite anyone when mounted to a vehicle that likely weighed around 4,000 lbs with the battery packs. Without the performance, enthusiasts aren't interested. Clean air and efficient transport might be benefits they'd look for in a commuter, but not in a hot rod. So, even when it became clear that the motor was actually good for about 340 hp, attitudes weren't swayed much. That’s on par with a garden-variety mild performance small-block these days--no need for alternate propulsion to achieve that.

Again, it is that potential for rapid acceleration that has made the electric motor option at least mildly palatable for many enthusiasts, if not intriguing. While electric cars have existed for nearly as long as cars themselves, for most of its history, the automobile has been motivated by combustion engines, and the electric variations that cropped up sporadically through the years usually seemed like compromised oddities. As such, the tried and true combustion engine had remained essentially unchallenged from a performance standpoint.

But something changed in the 1990s, when General Motors created a concept electric car it called the Impact. It was designed from the ground up to be electric, rather than using an electric drivetrain in a modified existing car. The experiment was interesting enough to garner the attention of the California Air Resources Board, which then mandated that major auto manufacturers produce zero emissions vehicles as a stipulation of continuing to sell conventional combustion engine vehicles in California. General Motors released the EV1, the production electric car that was based heavily on the Impact, and consumers in Southern California and Arizona were allowed to lease the new cars.

The EV1 was intended mostly for practical, emissions-free transportation, but it may have also been the first vehicle to make people aware of another benefit of the electric motor: Its ability to provide peak torque instantly, and across its entire rpm range.

So, while the EV1 wasn’t remarkably powerful, with 137-hp and 110 lb-ft, it was able to accelerate briskly—0-60 took around 8 seconds, and EV1s were reported to be capable of 14-second quarter-mile times. That’s not exactly blistering performance, but it made the masses understand that electric cars were not necessarily slow.

Of course, it was Tesla’s efforts that really drew attention, first with its earliest battery electric vehicle (BEV), the Roadster, which was a sports car based on the Lotus Elise that used lithium-ion battery packs for improved efficiency and longer range. The Roadster was also quick, sprinting from 0-60 in 3.9 seconds; a later Roadster Sport model would manage 3.7 seconds. Tesla has continued to bring new models to market, and acceleration has been a highlighted feature of many of its cars. The most recent Model S Plaid takes this to the extreme, with a claimed 1,020 hp rating, a 0-60 time of 1.99 seconds, and the ability to turn the quarter mile in 9.23 seconds.

So clearly, electric cars can be more than just quick. And if you’ve ever experienced the acceleration of even a much milder electric car, you’ve felt the very different sensation that comes from that instant application of maximum torque output. It can be stunning, and even somewhat intoxicating for speed freaks lucky enough to experience the hottest electric vehicles.

Right there is where I begin to feel conflicted. I've sampled some lesser electric vehicles, and I can't help wondering how insane the Tesla Plaid must feel at full pedal. See? There I go, getting sucked into the electric vortex by pondering the allure of outstanding acceleration.

All of which leads up to last week’s 2021 SEMA show, and that electric propulsion system fitted to a famous ’57 Chevy. Predictably, there were a number of other electrified cars. Ford had its own Eluminator electric motor package on display between a ’69 Mustang and a ’78 F-100 pickup that were said to each have working versions of the new motor, which carries ratings of 281 hp and 317 lb-ft of torque. This motor is taken from the production Mustang Mach-E, and the F-100 had two of them stacked together making 480 hp and 634 lb-ft.

Ford is not currently offering a battery pack or the controllers to run the powertrain, but that didn’t seem to matter to the market—by the time the SEMA convention was wrapping up, reports were coming out that the first batch of Eluminator motors were sold out. Meanwhile, we haven’t seen any reports on the performance of that F-100, but by the numbers, it ought to move along quite well—something buyers of the Eluminator must be anticipating.

There were others at the show. A Superformance Cobra with an electric driveline, another Cobra-inspired sports car with electric propulsion. One outfit, Webb Motorworks, was displaying a '32 Ford coupe that showcased the electric motor they were offering, which came encased in a shell that gave it the appearance of a V-12 engine. There was even a ’72 Plymouth Satellite with a Tesla powertrain swap done by an enthusiast in his own garage, illustrating the very essence of hot rodding.

But the question remains: Is this actually the future? I’ve scoffed at this notion for some time, and while I’m not quite ready to change my position, I have noticed that, somewhere during the course of the last 18 months, there’s been a general shift in acceptance of the electric car from the American public. I maintain that many of these people have yet to live with one, and if our attitudes towards inconvenience in the country can be relied on, I’m having a hard time seeing how we’ll all adopt electrics completely for every day, everywhere use. But what about for our "fun" cars?

I’ve expected my fellow gearheads to share my feelings, generally shunning the idea of electric propulsion, and while plenty do, there are a surprising number of people I know—ones who love to spin wrenches, make noise and smoke, and burn fossil fuels—who seem genuinely excited by some of the electric developments. Even "Big Daddy" himself, Don Garlits, a man who's combusted lots of nitromethane over the years in the pursuit of ever quicker ETs, has been racing an electric dragster and setting records as recently as 2019.

Of the American carmakers, Dodge has probably made the strongest appeal to traditional muscle car fans during the past decade-plus. Not only has it made Hemi V-8 engines common, but it has produced multiple times more Hellcat-powered vehicles since 2015 than Chrysler Corp built 426 Street Hemi cars during its 1966-’71 run. Yet even Dodge has recently let us know that it is going to make use of electric propulsion in some form soon, while also making sure we understand that this will be for the purpose of going fast—not necessarily to save trees. Another effort to make electrics appealing based on their performance.

Meanwhile, in spite of the aforementioned intrigue, I’m not ready to put an electric drivetrain in anything I own, though I'm certainly paying attention. I don’t like being told that internal combustion is headed towards obsolescence, and I’m not ready to believe that yet—I fully intend to keep messing with traditional piston engines. Whether or not I stick exclusively with things that burn fuel remains to be seen.

So, if Chevrolet was trying to convince people like me that electric propulsion is the future of hot rodding, it should have put more than 340 hp under the hood of that ’57 Chevy. But really, it should have used a different car—not Project X. I still want to hear that car make raucous noises they way it did when it moved me more than 40 years ago on the big screen. Call me a troglodyte, but I maintain that some things should be kept sacred. Let us know where you stand.

Electric Car Memes 3

Inflation Numbers

The Labor Department’s consumer price index (CPI), a key inflation gauge that measures how much Americans pay for goods and services, rose 0.9 percent over the month in October and 6.2 percent over the year, with the annual figure reflecting the highest pace of price hikes in nearly 31 years.

The agency’s report (pdf), released Nov. 10, breaks down how much prices have increased for certain key services and goods, including gas, food prices, electricity, and used cars. Seasonally adjusted figures are only available for the month-over-month comparison, while seasonally unadjusted data is available in both over-the-year and over-the-month formats.

Gasoline: 49.6 percent year-over-year and 3.7 percent month-over-month seasonally unadjusted; 6.1 percent month-over-month, seasonally adjusted

Fuel oil: 59.1 percent year-over-year and 12.3 percent month-over-month seasonally unadjusted; 12.3 percent month-over-month, seasonally adjusted

Electricity: 6.5 percent year-over-year and minus 0.1 percent month-over-month seasonally unadjusted; 1.8 percent month-over-month, seasonally adjusted

Utility (piped) gas service: 28.1 percent year-over-year and 6.5 percent month-over-month seasonally unadjusted; 6.6 percent month-over-month, seasonally adjusted

Propane, kerosene, and firewood: 34.7 percent year-over-year and 7.9 percent month-over-month seasonally unadjusted; 6.2 percent month-over-month, seasonally adjusted

Food: 5.3 percent year-over-year and 1.0 percent month-over-month seasonally unadjusted; 0.9 percent month-over-month, seasonally adjusted

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs: 11.9 percent year-over-year and 1.4 percent month-over-month seasonally unadjusted; 1.7 percent month-over-month, seasonally adjusted

Bacon and similar products: 20.2 percent year-over-year and 2.1 percent month-over-month seasonally unadjusted; 2.0 percent month-over-month, seasonally adjusted

Pork chops: 15.9 percent year-over-year and 5.0 percent month-over-month seasonally unadjusted; 5.0 percent month-over-month, seasonally adjusted

Uncooked beef steaks: 24.2 percent year-over-year and 1.9 percent month-over-month seasonally unadjusted; 1.7 percent month-over-month, seasonally adjusted

Peanut butter: 6.0 percent year-over-year and 3.3 percent month-over-month seasonally unadjusted; 3.3 percent month-over-month, seasonally adjusted

Coffee: 4.7 percent year-over-year and 1.7 percent month-over-month seasonally unadjusted; 2.8 percent month-over-month, seasonally adjusted

Restaurant prices: 5.3 percent year-over-year and 0.8 percent month-over-month seasonally unadjusted; 0.8 percent month-over-month, seasonally adjusted

Furniture and bedding: 12.0 percent year-over-year and 0.3 percent month-over-month seasonally unadjusted; 0.3 percent month-over-month, seasonally adjusted

Sporting goods: 8.7 percent year-over-year and 1.6 percent month-over-month seasonally unadjusted; 1.6 percent month-over-month, seasonally adjusted

Appliances: 6.6 percent year-over-year and minus 0.2 percent month-over-month seasonally unadjusted; minus 0.1 percent month-over-month, seasonally adjusted

Used cars and trucks: 26.4 percent year-over-year and 1.4 percent month-over-month seasonally unadjusted; 2.5 percent month-over-month, seasonally adjusted

New cars and trucks: 9.8 percent year-over-year and 2.6 percent month-over-month seasonally unadjusted; 1.4 percent month-over-month, seasonally adjusted

Motor vehicle maintenance and repair: 5.4 percent year-over-year and 1.5 percent month-over-month seasonally unadjusted; 1.5 percent month-over-month, seasonally adjusted

Delivery services: 7.5 percent year-over-year and 0.4 percent month-over-month seasonally unadjusted; 0.7 percent month-over-month, seasonally adjusted

Rent: 2.7 percent year-over-year and 0.5 percent month-over-month seasonally unadjusted; 0.4 percent month-over-month, seasonally adjusted

Lodging away from home: 22.3 percent year-over-year and minus 3.2 percent month-over-month seasonally unadjusted; 1.4 percent month-over-month, seasonally adjusted

From The Epoch Times

Hot Rod
Chopped coupe in white with red flames

The Briefs

A prototype battery developed by Panasonic is claimed to have five times the storage capacity of existing cells, but cost significantly less. Panasonic battery chief Kazuo Tadanobu said the 4680 battery (named for its 46 mm x 80 mm size) would have a radical impact on Tesla, allowing battery production increase by a factor of 100 by 2030 and cut costs in half. “We have developed this because of the strong desire of the other party (Tesla), and we think this can only lead to stronger ties,” said Tadanobu. Tesla recently announced that it was shifting its standard range models over to less expensive Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) batteries which are currently cheaper. Such is the pace of change in battery technology that this development by Panasonic could flip that decision on its head, actually increasing the range of Tesla models while reducing the costs.

2022 marks the 85th anniversary of Mopar, and it’s chosen to celebrate the occasion in style with a limited-run Dodge Durango. Mopar’s rendition of the SUV debuts a factory-customized package that’s available in either White Knuckle or DB Black paint, and themed with a Mopar Blue stripe, badges, and accents throughout. This special-edition Durango sports Dodge’s 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 and a TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission, as well as retuned adaptive suspension and an electronic limited-slip rear differential. A lowering kit drops the ride height one inch, and 20-inch wheels help add to the aggressive look. To get the $3995 Mopar package, you’ll need to spec a 2022 Dodge Durango R/T AWD with the Plus Group and Tow ‘N Go Package. Production is limited to just 250 units in North America (200 for the US and 50 for Canada), and orders will open in Q1 of next year.

The scale of climate misinformation on Facebook is “staggering” and “increasing quite substantially”, a new analysis of hundreds of thousands of posts has found. A report released on Thursday by the Real Facebook Oversight Board, an independent watchdog group, and environmental nonprofit Stop Funding Heat, analyzed a dataset of more than 195 Facebook pages and groups. Researchers found an estimated 818,000 posts downplaying or denying the climate crisis, which have received a combined 1.36m views every day.

A man died after driving his car over the Grand Canyon’s western rim on Wednesday in an apparent suicide, authorities said. The unidentified driver was the only person inside the vehicle when it rolled into the canyon, according to Lea Cooper, director of marketing for Grand Canyon Resort Corporation. Cooper said the incident “appeared to be intentional.”

Bus driver shortages have caused problems across the United States as students have returned to in-person learning, but when Ohio dad Sean Rogers Jr. saw his kids and their friends lacking transportation to school, he decided to take matters into his own hands. He borrowed a limousine from his father's limo company, and is using the stretch ride to take kids to school in style. "I'm going to continue to do what I can do to help these families get their kids to school," Rogers Jr. told Fox News. "If it gets to the point where, you know, the limo is not enough, then I would definitely pull a charter bus out and we'll go from there."

After several teases, hints, and spy shots, the production version of the all-electric VW minivan, dubbed the ID.Buzz, was shown in the most detail yet during a launch video for the ID.5 sedan. The funky graphics cover some design details, but there’s plenty to ogle, like the texture of the front grille, the sliding door, and the two-tone wheels.

Electric hippie van

When hopeless romantic Matthew Huber, 43, was questioned by police on Oct. 12 after witnesses reported him breaking into a Nissan truck outside a Walmart in Vero Beach, Florida, he wanted them to know it was a labor of love. According to the police report, Huber claimed that he attempted to get into the vehicle "to see his imaginary girlfriend Emma," whom he only sees when he is "tripping on meth." The Smoking Gun reported that Huber was arrested for burglary and carrying a concealed weapon during the commission of a criminal offense. Emma could not be reached for comment.

The robot apocalypse may be getting closer every day, but if self-driving car technology is any indicator, it's probably still a ways off. Case in point: A dead-end street in San Francisco has seen a swell in traffic recently, but the humans inside the cars are not to blame -- the A.I. is. Those who live in the area of 15th Avenue in the Richmond district have been baffled by the Waymo self-driving cars that seem to have taken a liking to their street. The cars appear throughout the day and night; they enter and drive to the end of the street, the driver's inside take over and make a multipoint turn, then the cars go back the way they came. Resident Jennifer King told KPIX 5 that "there are some days where it can be up to 50. It's literally every five minutes." Waymo representatives told KPIX 5 they are looking into the situation.

Someone actually posted this picture in a car ad - nice wiring job

David and Paula Knight of Surrey, England, were confused when they opened a letter informing them of a traffic violation and fine that took place in June in Bath. The letter, which detailed a bus lane violation and included a photo of the offender, was generated by a traffic camera that captured a woman walking in a bus lane, wearing a shirt that said KNITTER. The Knights' vehicle tag reads KNI9 TER, a reference to David's nickname, Knighter. "We thought one of our friends was stitching us up," Paula told the BBC, but they finally contacted authorities to straighten out the incident. She said the staff member who looked at the photo "burst out laughing." The fine was canceled, everyone involved got a giggle out of it, and the next time the Knights go to Bath, they may take the train.

Folks in Plouneventer, France, were perplexed on Oct. 11 when they woke up to find a van perched atop a bus stop shelter, Oddity Central reported. Police were summoned, the van was removed and the owner identified -- but the mystery remained, with theories involving alcohol and performance art. Finally, three days later, the truth came out: The prank was part of a "commercial dispute" between the van's owner and the perpetrator, who used a pallet truck to hoist the car onto the bus shelter. The latter may face charges of endangerment.

A Pittsburgh grandmother was assaulted with a pumpkin on Oct. 20 after she parked in front of James Gazis' home, WPXI-TV reported. The victim was picking up her grandson from a nearby home and parked in front of the Gazis property, where Gazis' wife and children started yelling at her before James hurled the gourd at the car. When she lowered her window to say "'You've got to be kidding me,' ... he took the second pumpkin, threw it (and) hit her in the face," the victim's son, James Moore, said. Moore and Gazis, 40, tussled; Gazis was charged with aggravated assault, and Moore is facing a simple assault charge.

With Halloween coming up, Clark County (Nevada) law enforcement agencies came together to promote pedestrian safety on Oct. 26. The "crosswalk fairy," a police officer in costume, even escorted people across busy Boulder Highway, KVVU-TV reported. But as officers demonstrated proper crosswalk techniques, pedestrian Tammy Wotton tried to cross the street where the event was being held -- and was almost struck by a semi-truck. Nevada law stipulates that vehicles must yield to pedestrians. Officers pulled over the truck driver, along with several other offending motorists.

On Oct. 23, police in Gillette, Wyoming, were called to a home about a fight between a man and woman. When they arrived, the man had already left in his pickup truck, the Gillette News Record reported. He was pulled over and emerged from the truck with his two sons, 15 and 4. Sheriff's Lt. Paul Pownall said that the 39-year-old admitted he'd been drinking but said his 4-year-old had been sitting on his lap and doing the actual driving. The suspect, who was already on unsupervised probation, was charged with his second DUI.

A customer shopping for a used car discovered a naked woman pleasuring herself in the rear seat of a 2010 Jeep Wrangler parked outside a Florida auto dealership, according to an arrest report. Police were called Wednesday afternoon to Bob Tyler Toyota in Pensacola after “a customer complained to a sales associate about a naked woman in the back seat of one of the vehicles on the sale lot.” When a dealership manager opened the Jeep’s door, he said he spotted Alexis King, 37, “naked, with her legs spread wide open.” A receptionist reported that the suspect was “pulling at her vagina.” A third employee, who called 911, told police that a coworker called him “to the front lot to get a vehicle that a homeless woman was inside pleasuring herself.” After King exited the auto and walked away from the dealership, employees noticed damage to the car’s interior, including a broken radio and a “period stain” on the back seat. A manager estimated that King caused $1300 in damages to the Jeep. One witness told cops that the auto smelled “so horrible” that it “went straight to detailing.”

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Nov. 22 that he will ask state lawmakers to cut gas and fuel taxes by $1 billion in the upcoming January session of the legislature. DeSantis said that “nothing has pinched people more than these gas prices.” In addition to relief for Floridians via the tax cut, he called on fuel stations to reduce prices by 25 cents per gallon. DeSantis said he is concerned that an increase in salaries and wages will not be enough to cover the rising costs of goods. “Even if you start making more money, if the prices [for goods and fuel] are going up faster than your wages or salary, you’re actually losing money in this inflationary economy,” the governor said. The governor added that he is pushing back on the Biden administration’s “inflationary pressures.”

Experts from GM and LG have identified the simultaneous presence of two rare manufacturing defects in the same battery cell as the root cause of battery fires in certain Chevrolet Bolt EVs. As a result, GM will be conducting a recall of Bolt EVs (2017-2022) and Bolt EUVs (2022) to address the risk of battery fires in these vehicles. Production of all Bolts has stopped due to the recall.

Looks like a 55 Chevy from the late 60s - no front bumper, two tone, 5 spoke mags

Repair Mistakes & Blunders

From Rock Auto
A few years back, I was the proud owner of a 1987 Chrysler Fifth Avenue. For me, this car was really the lap of luxury. However, it did develop a very annoying problem. Every time I hit a bump in the road or turned into a driveway, it seemed as though the whole front end of the car was going to fall away from the vehicle, accompanied by a thundering clump.

I took the vehicle to a number of Chrysler dealers and an independent front end repair shop to have it checked out. But each of the repair shops said there was nothing wrong and that everything was tight with the front end, even though they too could hear the clunking. They all said for me not to worry and to go ahead with an upcoming road trip. Anyway, I took their advice and hit the road for the eight hundred mile excursion, returning home none the worse for the experience.

The following morning, I went out to my Chrysler and lifted the hood to have another look for myself, still baffled at the noise I was hearing. I leaned over the drivers side front fender to look down at the suspension system to see If I could spot anything that was missed. As I looked down, I grabbed on to one of the two long fender support rods which bolt to the firewall and the top of each front fender. I grabbed the rod for leverage as I strained to look down. The rod made a clicking sound. That was when the lights in my mind came on. I ran and got myself a ratchet with a 7/16 socket, returned to the car and tightened the tie down bolt that caused the rod to become loose. I reasoned that the clunking sound was caused by the buckling of the front fender sheet metal, and this time I was correct. I then jumped behind the wheel for a test drive. And guess what...the problem was solved.

Ralph in Ontario, Canada

A Camaro on top of a Camaro

84-Year-Old Kansas Woman Sells Her 1937 Ford Older Than Her, Whose Family Originally Bought It

From The Epoch Times
An 84-year-old Kansas woman last month auctioned off her Ford truck for $16,000—that’s not unusual.

What is unusual is that her Ford has been in her family since before she was born in 1937.

The original “barn find” workhorse of a truck was originally bought by Great Bend woman Genie’s dad back when horse and buggy were still the main mode of transportation.

“Dad was pretty proud of this pickup because he farmed with horses and trailers,” Genie told Chad Ehrlich of F&E Collector Auto Auctions.

For a farmer to go from horses to a new truck was a big deal in those days.

What’s so amazing about the antique pickup, though, is how well it’s preserved. And it amazingly still ran (until recently); albeit the motor (the only part that isn’t original) was remanufactured and replaced.

The survivor Ford still has its original paint job, with just a smidgen of rust. The same sideboards which once increased the bed’s capacity to haul more grain are still in place. And the V-8 still has its original title from July 1937.

“I was born in the end of July,” Genie added. “[Dad] got that before he got me.”

After two decades working the fields, it was parked in a garage in 1957—after Genie’s mom replaced the tires amidst the rationing during World War II.

“My mom even had a hard time getting a tire for it,” she added. “My mom didn’t lose her temper very much, but she sure did that time.”

And it’s scarcely seen the light of day since then, some 64 years ago.

“It’s a pretty amazing truck,” Chad said.

“These were utilitarian vehicles, they were bought for a purpose, that purpose was to work.

“This truck does show some battle scars of those days, but back then, it’s what you had to do.

“No, it’s not perfect, because it’s original, and you don’t find original very often.”

1935 Ford Coupe

Texas Mom

For those of you who have lived in Texas, you’ll understand this.
If you haven’t – this may give you some insight!
And if you’re thinking of moving or visiting there ~~ this may be a helpful tip for you!

One day, "MY MOM" a very normal Texas lady was drivin' across a high bridge in Austin.

As she neared the top of the bridge, she noticed a young man fixin’ to jump. ("fixin" in Texas means: has the means or abilities to take action)

She stopped her car, rolled down the window and said,
"Please don't jump! Think of your dear mother and father."

He replied, "My mom and dad are both dead; I'm going to jump."

She said, "Well, think of your sweet wife and precious children."

He replied, "I'm not married, and I don't have any kids."

She said, "Well, then you just remember the Alamo."

He replied, "What's the Alamo?''

She replied, "Well, bless your little heart!
You just go ahead and jump you Yankee, Democrat bastard. You’re holding up traffic”

When was the last time you saw a Grenada this clean?

Support the RPM Act

Sign at this link: www.votervoice.net/SEMA/campaigns/45394/respond

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.

UPDATE TO THE RPM ACT - click link below

Corvette and Chevelle at a local cruise-in

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