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"The Relay" Online Newsletter
October 2019 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

We had a meeting in September and plan another one for October to work on our 25th anniversary celebration/car show event. The flyer is just about done and we have determined the classes and class awards along with a lot of other stuff. The field is very large and it will be a challenge to mark it off for show vehicles, vendors, entertainment and spectator parking. Usually shows have a limited area but with this event there will be tons of room. Trailer parking will be no problem. We still need to do a lot of work to prep for this event and as it gets closer to May we will work harder and smarter to make this a stellar event.

Our meeting this October will be at a new restaurant. We will elect 2020 officers - we already have volunteers for all positions, talk about the 25th celebration, discuss some of the changes at the EPA and the coming November General Assembly election in Virginia. This election could really change things. Currently the republicans have a very slim marginal in both houses. Since the federal courts have changed the makeup of 11 districts to favor democrats this election could put the democrats in charge of the House and perhaps even the Senate.

I'm sure you will recall the problems in Warren County/Front Royal. Antique car owners were charged with a crime that really didn't exist and were convicted. When three of them appealed to Circuit Court, a court of record, the charges were non-processed. Requests for help went out to the state Attorney General, three times I contacted the Governor plus a couple of members of the General Assembly were contacted. No one did anything - that's right the Governor ignored my requests, the AG refused to do anything, one member of the GA ignored the request to help and another stated he couldn't do anything. So much for good government. Below is a link to what has happened in Warren County/Front Royal. The story doesn't mention the antique vehicle problem or other things that have happened but concentrates on the embezzlement of millions of dollars that led to charges filed, the sheriff killing himself and just a plain mess. Here's the link: Millions of dollars are missing. The sheriff is dead. A small Virginia town wants answers.. Hey, I want some answers too - like why do we keep electing people who do nothing but enrich themselves. A position of leadership is supposed to be a position of service - to we the people.

~ Fred

Next Meeting

Our next meeting will be on Monday October 28th at 6:30 PM at Bella Italia, 6407 Iron Bridge Rd, Richmond, VA 23234, 804-743-1116 (Irongate Village Shopping Center - it is to the left of the Food Lion if you are facing the Food Lion). We will eat in the banquet room and hold our meeting where we will elect officers for 2020 and discuss the 25th council anniversary along with the upcoming elections and more.

October 1957 Esquire calendar

Car Hobbyist News

President Trump has revoked California’s authority to set auto emissions standards. You may recall years ago automakers built 49-state emissions vehicles and also built vehicles just for California that had its own standards that were higher than the federal government standards for emissions and mileage. It didn’t take automakers long to figure out it was easier to just build one vehicle that would satisfy both federal and California standards. The problem was that everyone – including those in 49 states – were paying more for vehicles that met California standards. Federal authorities say an agreement California reached with major automakers to produce more fuel-efficient cars violate anti-trust laws.

From Yahoo! News: "The Trump Administration is revoking California's Federal Waiver on emissions in order to produce far less expensive cars for the consumer, while at the same time making the cars substantially SAFER," Trump tweeted.

The administration argues that higher standards lead to higher costs for consumers, depressing the new car market and resulting in more old and unsafe vehicles on the roads.

Trump, who made the announcement during a trip to California, added: "There will be very little difference in emissions between the California Standard and the new U.S. Standard, but the cars will be far safer and much less expensive.

"Many more cars will be produced under the new and uniform standard, meaning significantly more JOBS, JOBS, JOBS! Automakers should seize this opportunity because without this alternative to California, you will be out of business."

Trump made the announcement to revoke California from setting its own standards on September 18 just days before a major UN summit on averting climate change disaster. It also brings up the topic of state’s rights. The EPA does have the authority to set emissions and fuel economy standards for the entire country.

The average price of a new vehicle is now just below $40,000 and it is climbing. Anything to make vehicles less costly I think is a good move. You may have also noticed that both new and used vehicles are not selling. Dealers are trying different techniques to sell vehicles such as contacting people after their vehicles are serviced at a dealership to try to entice people to trade their old vehicles in for new vehicles. In fact one person I know called a dealership about a used truck and during the next week that dealership called him four times in an effort to get him to buy the truck. Apparently houses are selling but not vehicles.

And if you’ve looked at antique vehicle prices you might get sticker shock. I have no trouble finding vehicles for sale at double high book price and I’ve even found ones for triple high book. Keep in mind that the highest book price is usually for vehicles offered for sale by dealers who can finance a purchase and may give a 30-day warranty. In Virginia all private sales of vehicles are no warranty/as is by state law.

There are over 14,000 vehicles for sale in the collector car category on eBay Motors and over the last 90 days about 13,000 vehicles have sold. Most vehicles run for one week so using some simple math that means about 1% of vehicles sell on eBay. Of course this doesn’t account for vehicles that run multiple times and some other variables. Still this hasn’t stopped people from listing vehicles for sale at unreal prices. I know of one vehicle that has been on eBay for over two years for sale with a buy it now of $29,500. My estimate of the vehicle’s value and what it would actually sell for is about half that price. And I’ve seen vehicles for sale for months on Craigslist. CL a few months ago started charging $5 to run a vehicle for sale for 30 days. I heard this was to stop fraud but it seems to have cut down on some of the older vehicles being posted for sale. Facebook Marketplace is another site where vehicles are listed for sale. The vehicles are all lumped together – motorcycles, trucks, big trucks, cars, SUV’s and even jet skis are all in the same category called “vehicles” and there are plenty of dealer ads. In fact the dealer ads out number the private party ads. Unlike CL, on Facebook Marketplace you cannot just select for sale by owner only.

Stray Cats Rod and Custom Show
Stray Cats Rod and Custom Show - click to see all the photos

Jessi Combs Dies at 39

Automotive legend Jessi Combs' tragic death has sent shockwaves through her industry. Combs, who was a professional racer, television personality, and metal fabricator, died on August 27th while attempting to beat her own women's land speed record (398 mph) using a jet-powered car in southeast Oregon, a record she first captured in 2013. She was 39 years old.

Jessica Combs (July 27, 1980 – August 27, 2019) was an American professional racer, television personality, and metal fabricator. She set a women’s land speed class record (four wheels) in 2013 and broke her own record in 2016. She was known as "the fastest woman on four wheels". She co-hosted the Spike TV show Xtreme 4x4 for more than 90 episodes from 2005 to 2009. Other television shows she appeared on included Overhaulin', Mythbusters, The List: 1001 Car Things To Do Before You Die, All Girls Garage, and Science Channel's How to Build... Everything in 2016. Combs died in a crash of a jet-powered high-speed race car in southeastern Oregon while attempting to beat her own four-wheel land speed record on August 27.

On October 9 2013, Combs drove the North American Eagle (NaE) Supersonic Speed Challenger at the Alvord desert, claiming the women's 4-wheel land speed record with an official run of 398.954 mph (632 km/h) and a top speed of 440.709 mph (709 km/h). In doing so, she broke the 48-year-old women's land speed record, a 308.506 mph (496.492 km/h) run average set by Lee Breedlove in Spirit of America - Sonic 1 in 1965. On September 7 2016, Combs set a new top speed of 477.59 mph (768.61 km/h) driving the Other American Eagle. Combs was also a 2014 Ultra 4 Spec Class National Champion with Falken Tire. In 2016, she took first place in King of the Hammers with the Savvy Off Road team in the EMC Modified Class and a 2017 12th place finish in the Unlimited Class driving the same Stock Mod car.

Mathews Market Days Car Show
Mathews Market Days Car Show - Click to see all the photos

Pentagon Using Surveillance Balloons to Track Vehicles

The Pentagon is using high-altitude balloons to conduct surveillance test in six Midwestern states, the Guardian newspaper reports.

The U.S. military is using up to 25 of the solar-powered balloons to surveil vehicles in the Midwestern states of South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Missouri and Illinois, according to documents from the Federal Communication Commission.

The surveillance balloons are carrying small satellite-like units with synthetic aperture radars, sensors and communications equipment, the Guardian reports.

The balloons travel at altitudes of up to 65,000 feet and are able to track multiple vehicles at a time, day or night, in all kinds of weather.

The documents reveal that the tests are being conducted to "provide a persistent surveillance system to locate and deter narcotic trafficking and homeland security threats."

The balloons use an advanced mesh networking technologies which allows them to share data and communicate with one another, reports the Guardian. They are also able to relay the data to receivers on the ground. Unlike surveillance planes or drones, the balloons can stay aloft for weeks or months.

According to the documents, the U.S. military has acquired a license to operate the surveillance balloons from mid-July until September.

The tests are being commissioned by the U.S. Southern Command, or Southcom, which is responsible for disaster response, intelligence and security operations in the Carribbean and Latin America.

“We do not think that American cities should be subject to wide-area surveillance in which every vehicle could be tracked wherever they go,” Jay Stanley, a senior policy analyst at the American Civil Liberties Union, told the Guardian.

“Even in tests, they’re still collecting a lot of data on Americans: who’s driving to the union house, the church, the mosque, the Alzheimer’s clinic,” he said. “We should not go down the road of allowing this to be used in the United States and it’s disturbing to hear that these tests are being carried out, by the military no less.”

Central Virginia Mustang Club 35th Annual Mustang and Ford Show
Central Virginia Mustang Club 35th Annual Mustang and Ford Show - click to see all the photos

Will Electrics Replace Gas Vehicles

Will other energy forms replace our gasoline and oil? A lot of car people are worried that we will be forced to drive electrics when we really want to get behind the wheel of a gas piston engine with a standard transmission? Bernie Saunders has on his website that if elected president he would provide $2.09 trillion in grants to low- and moderate-income families and small businesses to trade in their fossil fuel-dependent vehicles for new electric vehicles. Yes, he wants to get rid of gas and diesel vehicles.

An expert, Paul Dreissen, writes on climate change and energy. He has a BA in geology and field ecology from Lawrence University a JD from the University of Denver College of Law and accreditation in Public Relations from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). Here is what he says:

"The wind and sun may be free, renewable, sustainable. and eco-friendly but the technologies and raw materials required to harness this widely dispersed, intermittent, weather dependent energy to benefit humanity absolutely are not. In fact, they are far more environmentally harmful than any of the fossil fuel energy sources they would supposedly replace.

Biofuels - US ethanol quotas currently gobble up over 40% of America’s corn, grown on cropland nearly the size of Iowa, to displace about 10% of America’s gasoline. They also require vast quantities of water, pesticides, fertilizers, natural gas, gasoline and diesel, to produce and transport a fuel that drives up food prices, adversely affects food aid and nutrition in poor nations, damages small engines, and gets one-third fewer miles per gallon than gasoline.

Replacing 100% of US gasoline with ethanol would require some 360 million acres of corn. That’s 7 times the land mass of Utah. But eliminating fossil fuel production means we’d also have to replace the oil and natural gas feed stocks required for pharmaceuticals, wind turbine blades, solar panel films, paints, synthetic fibers, fertilizers, and plastics for cell phones, computers, eyeglasses, car bodies and countless other products. That would mean planting corn on almost 14 times the area of Utah.

Solar power - Solar panels on Nevada’s Nellis Air Force Base generate a minuscule 15 megawatts of electricity, about 40% of the year, from 72,000 panels on 140 acres. Arizona’s Palo Verde Nuclear Power Plant generates 760 times more electricity, from less land, 90-95% of the time.

Generating Palo Verde’s electricity output using Nellis technology would require acreage ten times larger than Washington, DC. And the solar panels would still provide electricity only 40% of the year.

Generating the 3.9 billion megawatt-hours that Americans consumed in 2018 would require blanketing over ten million acres with solar panels. That’s half of South Carolina – a lot of wildlife habitat and scenic land. And we’d still get that electricity only when sufficient sun is shining.

Wind power - Mandated, subsidized wind energy also requires millions of acres for turbines and new transmission lines, and billions of tons of concrete, steel, copper, rare earth metals and fiberglass.

Like solar panels, wind turbines produce intermittent, unreliable electricity that costs much more than coal, gas or nuclear electricity – once subsidies are removed – and must be backed up by fossil fuel generators that have to go from standby to full-power many times a day, very inefficiently, every time the wind stops blowing. Turbine blades kill numerous raptors, other birds and bats every year – a million or more every year in the USA alone. Their light flicker and infrasonic noise has health effects for many humans.

Modern coal and gas-fired power plants can generate 600 megawatts some 95% of the time from less than 300 acres. Indiana’s Fowler Ridge wind farm also generates 600 megawatts from 350 towering turbines, located on more than 50,000 acres, and less than 30% of the year.

Now let’s suppose we’re going to use wind power to replace those 3.9 billion megawatt-hours of US electricity consumption. Let’s also suppose we’re going to get rid of all those coal and gas-fired backup power plants – and use wind turbines to generate enough extra electricity every windy day to charge batteries for just seven straight windless days.

That would require a lot of extra wind turbines, as we are forced to go into lower and lower quality wind locations. Instead of generating full nameplate power maybe one-third of the year, on average, they will do so only around 16% of the year. Instead of the 58,000 turbines we have now, the United States would need 14 million turbines , each one 400 feet tall, each one capable of generating 1.8 megawatts at full capacity, when the wind is blowing at the proper speed.

Assuming a barely sufficient 15 acres apiece, those monster turbines would require some 225 million acres, Over twice the land area of California – without including transmission lines. Their bird-butchering blades would wipe out raptors, other birds and bats in vast regions of the USA.

But experts say every turbine needs at least 50 acres of open airspace, and Fowler Ridge uses 120 acres per turbine. That works out to 750 million acres (ten times Arizona) – to 1,800 million acres (ten times Texas or nearly the entire Lower 48 United States)!* Eagles, hawks, falcons, vultures, geese and other high-flying birds and bats would virtually disappear from our skies. Insects and vermin would proliferate.

Manufacturing those wind turbines would require something on the order of 4 billion tons of steel, copper and alloys for the towers and turbines; 8 billion tons of steel and concrete for the foundations; 4 million tons of rare earth metals for motors, magnets and other components; 1 billion tons of petroleum-based composites for the nacelle covers and turbine blades; and massive quantities of rock and gravel for millions of miles of access roads to the turbines. Connecting our wind farms and cities with high-voltage transmission lines would require still more raw materials – and more millions of acres.

All these materials must be mined, processed, smelted, manufactured into finished products, and shipped all over the world. They would require removing hundreds of billions of tons of earth and rock overburden – and crushing tens of billions of tons of ore – at hundreds of new mines and quarries.

Every step in this entire process would require massive amounts of fossil fuels, because wind turbines and solar panels cannot operate earth moving and mining equipment – or produce consistently high enough heat to melt silica, iron, copper, rare earth or other materials.

It is past time for citizens, newscasters, debate hosts and legislators who are grounded in reality to confront Green New Dealers with hard questions and icy cold facts, and keep repeating them until the candidates provide real answers. No more dissembling, obfuscation or incantations permitted.

They should no longer be allowed to dodge these issues, to go from assuming the climate is in crisis, to assuming reliable, affordable, renewable, sustainable, eco-friendly alternatives to fossil fuel (and nuclear) energy will just magically appear, or can just be willed or subsidized into existence."

Be Like Mike Car Show
Be Like Mike Car Show - click to see all the photos

Repair Mistakes & Blunders

From Rock Auto
Back in 1979, I was only 17 years old and trying one of those coolant “Flush & Fill” kits where you splice a “T” into the heater hose to hook up a garden hose to flush the cooling system, engine, radiator and heater core. I carefully read the directions as I performed each step on my 1973 Pontiac Grand Am.

As I hooked up the garden hose to the “T” adapter and turned on the water, I was still reading the steps, and by the time I read that a radiator hose was supposed to be removed...I heard a loud “bang” as the water pressure blew the tank off my radiator! As I started the disassembly to get the old brass and copper radiator out to be repaired at the local radiator shop (remember those?), my dad came over and grabbed the fan and said, “Son, may as well replace the water pump on this Pontiac while you have the radiator out.” So a simple coolant flush turned into a radiator repair, a new water pump, hoses, belts, etc.

The moral of the story was: #1) Read ALL the directions BEFORE attempting any repairs. #2) Whatever the anticipated repair or preventative maintenance procedure, it may become more complicated than expected.

Douglas in Delaware

NRA Car Show
NRA Car Show - click to see all the photos

Porch Pirates Using Car-Share Vehicles as Getaway Cars

Mobility company Lime is best known for its go-anywhere, throw-anywhere electric scooters, but it also launched a car-sharing product this year called LimePods. The service uses technology similar to the functionality of the scooters to allow quick and easy access to a car for cheap. Unfortunately, the anonymous-to-the-public nature of the business is being taken advantage of by criminals. According to reports from KIRO7, the shared vehicles are being used to steal mail and packages.

The reports come from Renton and Bellevue, Washington, just outside of Seattle. This past May, a Renton home surveillance camera caught a LimePod Fiat 500 stopping at multiple mailboxes to pull out anything of interest. This type of caught-on-camera evidence is typically a major break in an investigation, but because the cars all look the same and could see multiple drivers throughout each day, the situation was much more complicated. KIRO7 says there are approximately 1,500 of the Fiats in Lime's Seattle-area fleet.

The cops caught a break this week, though. A 32-year-old-man was reportedly arrested for identity theft in relation to mail theft in the Bellevue area. Similar to the incident in Renton, dozens of surveillance cameras caught the man taking packages and leaving in a Lime vehicle. Using a warrant to search his home and a locker in Renton, police recovered 200 items of evidence, including stolen mail, IDs, passports, credit cards and stolen packages.

Monster Munster Kar Show
Monster Munster Kar Show - click to see all the photos

The Briefs

Amazon to add 100,000 electric vehicles as part of climate pledge. CEO Jeff Bezos says the company plans to be carbon neutral by 2040 and plans to meet goals of the Paris climate agreement 10 years early. The vehicles will come from Rivian which makes pickups and SUVs. The company is going to create a van for Amazon deliveries. The van will be tested next year. No vehicles are available from Rivian now - the company says they can be preordered with delivery in late 2020. This 100,000 vehicle order is the largest ever for electric vehicles. Rivian claims a range of 300 for one model and a range of 400 miles for another model.

Only 18% of American drivers can drive a stick shift car.

The average sticker price of a new vehicle reached $39,500 in the first half of 2019.

The VW Beetle enthusiast took one look at the engine and said, "Doghouse-style, that motor must have been pulled from a 1971 or newer Beetle." What does "doghouse-style" refer to? 1971 and newer air-cooled Beetles got a higher capacity engine oil cooler built into a new fan shroud nicknamed "doghouse." The 1970 and older fan shroud design became known as a "non-doghouse" fan shroud.

If you've experienced one (or more) flat tires in Sherburne County, Minnesota, over the last few weeks, we now know why. Jeffrey Scot Caouette, 63, of Elk River admitted to authorities in late August that he had purchased 55 pounds of sheetrock screws (that's more than 12,000 screws) and scattered them on local roads to "slow down" a person he believed was in a relationship with his ex-girlfriend. Specifically, KSTP reported, he put the screws on the road where he believed the man lived and on the roads between that house and the ex-girlfriend's house, among others. The arrest complaint notes that Big Lake police have received more than 100 reports of damage from the screws, including to three of their own vehicles. Caouette was charged with first-degree property damage.

Officers in Madison, Wisconsin, were called to a home by an unnamed 34-year-old male resident who went on a spree of destruction when he thought his wife had destroyed his prized collection of action figures. Madison Police Chief Mike Koval wrote in his blog that officers arrived to find an ax buried in the windshield of a car. The man explained to them he had overreacted and used the log-splitting ax to chop up a TV, TV stand, laptop computer and other items in the house before going outside to attack his car, chopping off both side mirrors and breaking out the windshield, reported WMTV. He admitted to officers that he had also been drinking too much, and he was charged with disorderly conduct and felony damage to property.

A BP gas station in Swansea, South Carolina, was the setting for a reprise of at least one iconic moment from 1984's "The Karate Kid," according to Fox News. As surveillance cameras looked on, an unidentified man struck Mr. Miyagi's signature Crane Technique pose -- twice -- before stealing a purse from a parked car nearby. The Swansea Police Department posted the video to its Facebook page, and with the public's help, officers were able to identify the man and issue warrants for his arrest.

Anyone who’s lived in California will advise you to never leave anything of value out and visible inside a parked car. That’s just an open invitation for a car thief to break in. But now it seems thieves are going beyond ransacking a car’s interior: A San Francisco woman returned to her Toyota Prius only to find the car disassembled and its main battery pack stolen. "You know, you go looking for your car and you know what your car looks like. It didn't look like my car. It looked like a jalopy car. It looked different. It looked disheveled," Kaplan explained to ABC7 News. "They took the seat out, cut all the wires and removed the battery, which I understand weighs 180 pounds.” As a result of the battery theft, she’s reportedly facing a $5,000 to $10,000 repair bill.

According to ABC News, somebody in Washington state stole a getaway pickup truck while the owner was allegedly robbing a business across the street. A local security camera caught the theft on camera, and the Kennewick Police Department posted the footage to Facebook. In an eyebrow-raising twist, the truck owner accused of burglary is reportedly the one who called the cops. Around 6 a.m. on a Sunday morning, the Kennewick Police received a call from a man saying his 1992 Chevy truck had been stolen. After some investigating, the cops found nearby security camera footage that had captured the entire event. Somebody riding a bicycle had noticed the keys sitting on the front seat of the truck, tossed the bike into the bed, and drove off. As the pickup is driving away, a second person appears on video, throws something at the truck, and chases after it. This person had allegedly just returned from attempting his own robbery across the street. Once police realized the situation, the man who called the cops was put in jail and charged with burglary. As of the report, the Chevy truck had yet to be recovered.

Aimee DD, a software engineer whose list of interests includes body modifications. She saw a way to mingle those two topics after she bought her Tesla Model 3. She already had a chip planted in one arm, which she uses for tasks such as unlocking her front door. So the car's RFID key card got her thinking, much as any of us would: Hey, why not put that thing in my other arm? They chip dogs, don't they? Aimee says she "talked to a few doctors, and they were a bit leery about doing this." Huh, you don't say. So she wound up lining up a fellow named "Pineapple". She extracted the chip from the card, had it sealed in a biosafe polymer — which by the way looks a whole lot bulkier to implant than the bare chip itself — and then let Pineapple do his thing. The chip implanted in her body can now start her Tesla car. Not sure what happens when she gets another car.

A Washington state trooper who pulled over to help what he thought was a disabled vehicle found something else instead: The driver had eight phones simultaneously playing the video game Pokemon Go. The driver was stopped on the shoulder of Highway 518 in Burien, south of Seattle, on Tuesday evening. The agency tweeted a photo showing a blue foam square, with the phones sitting in eight rectangular cutouts. Trooper Rick Johnson is a spokesman for the patrol and said Sgt. Kyle Smith did not issue a ticket because he did not observe the car moving while the driver was using the phones. But Smith asked the driver to put the phones in the back seat and move along, because stopping on the shoulder is for emergencies only.

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office said the suspect was visiting a friend at the mobile home park before the incident. Witnesses say they first thought the man was shirtless, but as he roamed the park, they noted his lack of pants. The truck, a well-cared-for 1988 Chevrolet Silverado, belonged to a resident at the mobile home park who left it running to retrieve a forgotten cellphone. "She sees a gentleman walking up the street,” Gerald McCauley, a friend of the truck’s owner, told St. Louis local news affiliate KMOV. “She sees his head, and the she sees he's not wearing a shirt, and then she sees he's not wearing anything. And he said ‘Good morning’ to her and just kept walking.” Deputies say he climbed into the truck, then drove down the highway in the wrong direction, clipping two vehicles before leaving the road and crashing on the lawn of Ron Thompson. "I heard the boom," Thompson said. "I looked out the window, and that's when I saw the car busting through the woods. I looked down, and it was actually on fire, and the guy was laying there with no clothes on.” No one in the vehicles he clipped was injured, and the naked man survived being ejected in the crash. He was treated for minor injuries at a hospital — and released, as authorities were still trying to figure out what charges to bring.

A man was shot and killed after an argument with another man over a parking spot in Clearwater, Florida Saturday night, the police department said. Police said a verbal dispute took place between Derek Omasta, 32, and Deshon Powers, 26, at 1133 Grove St. around 11 p.m. Police said the dispute over a parking spot escalated when Powers retrieved a gun from inside a house and shot Omasta. “All of a sudden, right when I turned my head, I seen him shoot the gun really fast. And I seen the guy like get shot right here and then he falls. That was like the worst thing I’ve ever seen,” said the suspect’s roommates and friend, Scarlett Knott who witnessed the shooting. Omasta died shortly after being transported to Morton Plant Hospital. Powers is charged with first-degree murder and was taken to the Pinellas County Jail.

Volkswagen will offer all-electric conversion for vintage Beetles: VW will bolt your Beetle’s body onto a new platform with the electric drive system installed for the equivalent of $55,000, which is similar to the price of a conversion of an existing car by Zelectric Motors in San Diego, which charges $56,000. Or you can just buy the platform to install in your own car for $44,000. The original Beetle’s modular construction—that made its platform so attractive as the foundation for kit cars, where a (usually) fiberglass body replaced the stock body atop the running platform—is executed in reverse in this case. Now the classic Bug’s body is retained, while all the new guts roll into place beneath it. That same modularity makes the conversion suitable for other air-cooled Volkswagen models, so eClassics says that it is already working on a Bus conversion (and theoretically it could work on a Thing or a Karmann-Ghia). eClassics even has an its eye on the Porsche 356.

Saturday with the Classics
Saturday with the Classics - click to see all the photos

Support the RPM Act

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

2019 marks a new session of Congress. Bills that did not become law at the end of 2018 must be reintroduced for consideration.

UPDATE TO THE RPM ACT - click link below

Diesel Generators Used to Charge Electric Vehicles

Jon Edwards, a retired engineer in Australia has invented a diesel powered generator to charge electric cars where there is no electric grid. And the greenies claim this is "greener" than just burning the diesel to power the vehicle. They stress that the point is not to offer a diesel-powered EV charger as the final solution, but as a reliable stop gap until installation of batteries and renewable-powered EV chargers become financially viable. The photo below is of the generator in use. Story below photo.

It’s becoming a joke all around the world — the EVs in Australia powered by dirty diesel. But what’s the difference?

Most EVs in Australia are running on fossil fuel — the generators are just hidden behind longer extension cords. (Ones that carry 240,000V). EVs on our grid are running on 80% of fossil fuels every day.

The sign on the charger above says “Nullarbor” — the vast treeless and grid-free center of Australia — but this is actually a test site in Perth (the trees were the giveaway).

The 3,000 kilometer trip across the Nullarbor from Perth to Adelaide is such an achievement for an EV that it’s practically a news story each time one makes it.

Electric Car owners carry a chip about not being able to drive across the country as any real car owner could.

So Jon Edwards, a retired engineer from Perth, set up this test site in his backyard. He wanted to know if it could be a realistic stop-gap for our far remote roads.

To me, this looks like a chain of efficiency losses going from diesel to mechanical to electrical to battery to mechanical, but Edwards tested it with ten friend’s cars last December and estimates it works out slightly better on fuel use than just driving a diesel.

Readers can check out all his calculations and tables on his page — at a glance it’s a respectable effort. He is an engineer.

The charger is a Tritium Veefil 50kW DC (a big fast one) and took 9 hours to charge all 10 cars and used 108L of fuel. Good for fuel. Bad for time. (The 6,600km return trip across the Nullabor took 13 days in case you were wondering, though they were not in a race).

There’s a good reason EVs are only 0.2% of all new Australian car purchases — with vast distances, a fragile grid, expensive electricity and heavy towing loads.

A Chevy C10 and below is another C10.

And the second C10

Ohio Goes to Single Plate for 2020

Beginning July 1, 2020, vehicles will no longer need to have the front plate in Ohio. It was part of a compromised deal reached by lawmakers in a two-year state transportation budget bill.

The push to eliminate the front license plate has received push back from law enforcement groups who have argued in favor of keeping the front license plate because it allows them to easily identify vehicles and help solve crimes, according to Ohio.com.

According to Ohio.com, Gov. DeWine was "not excited" by the measure, but noted the plate dilemma would be studied over the coming year.

As part of the transportation budget, Republican Gov. Mike DeWine also approved a gas tax increase by 10.5 cents a gallon and a tax on diesel fuel by 19 cents to maintain the state's deteriorating roads and bridges. The new tax rates start July 1. The increases mean Ohioans will pay a state tax rate of 38.5 cents per gallon on gas and 47 cents a gallon on diesel fuel.

Protect Your Right to Buy Ethanol Free Fuel

Below is a link to Fuel Testers - a website that is opposed to more ethanol in gasoline and would like to preserve our ability to purchase gasoline free of ethanol.

DMV Titling Information

As promised I have a document about titling antique vehicles posted below for download. This contains information from the DMV speakers at the August 2015 meeting and some other information that I hope you will find useful. If in doubt about anything email or call the DMV administrators in the document; I have their contact information listed. And for the millionth time be sure to check to see if the VIN matches the VIN on the vehicle before buying it. This can save you a lot of trouble - just ask anyone who has purchased a vehicle without a matching VIN. There is also valuable info on purchasing an older vehicle from a non-title state. If you are thinking about buying a vehicle from a non-title state be sure to read it. Link to the document: Antique Vehicle Titling and Registration. I also have a bill of sale for use in buying or selling an antique vehicle: Bill of Sale; and a bill of sale for use if the signatures need to be notarized: Bill of Sale.

You may also find these links useful. The following link goes to the National Insurance Crime Bureau where you can put in a VIN that will be checked for fraud and theft at no cost. The link is www.nicb.org/theft_and_fraud_awareness/vincheck. You should do some research on the vehicle you are thinking about buying, check the VIN to make sure it matches the vehicle and of course make sure the VIN on the vehicle and title match.

The next link goes to Stolen Car Reports, another free service. At this site you can register a stolen vehicle. You can also search a zip code, city or area for the vehicles that were stolen from that area. The link is www.stolencarreports.com/report/Search.

Antique Plate Info Flyer Online

The council delegates have approved the flyer with information on antique plates and a link to it is online here: flyer opens to a new window. Council members and antique owners may print the flyer for their own reference or distribute it to those who own or are considering registering a vehicle as an antique. It will remain on the site for an undetermined time. Council delegates will review the effectiveness of the flyer at a later date.

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