"The Relay" Online Newsletter
July 2020 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.
It's July and we have hit Phase 3 of the reopening. The government has given us the go ahead to have larger groups so car shows and cruise-ins can resume. Restaurants can fully open with some distancing guidelines. The calendar has events for the next few months. We going to have a shortened car season but that's better than no season at all. What also comes with July 1 is a big jump in the gas tax. The tax will go up over 12 cents a gallon. I doubt this will raise enough funds to get all the roads and bridges fixed that need repairs. Instead of spending a bunch of money on climate change projects that only decease greenhouse gases by a tiny bit, the state should take that money and upgrade the roads and bridges that everyone uses.
If you need to go to DMV for something you will still need to get an appointment. I'm running the same article as last month on DMV so you can click to set up an appointment or check to see if you can take care of what you need online.
We are going ahead with our 25th anniversary event on September 26. We could use items for door prizes, silent auction and vendors. If you want to help out we'll certainly appreciate it. The council will meet on August 24 for the first time since the end of January. There will be a complete update of the General Assembly and the new laws along with more info on the 25th anniversary. Now that things are reopening it's time to get out there, drive and enjoy your special vehicle.
Our next meeting will be Monday, August 24th at 6:30 PM at a location to be announced. The meeting info will be posted in the August newsletter. We will discuss our 25th anniversary show that will be on September 26. We will also discuss changes in law that will go into effect on July 1.
Car Hobbyist News
I’ve spoken to car hobbyists who think the entire car season has been cancelled and they’ve stopped looking at the council calendar of events. The entire car season has not been cancelled and there are big events such as Carlisle and Goodguys that you can attend. There have been a couple of local “drive-byes” and they haven’t been well attended. A couple of cruise-ins have started up since the opening of restaurants. Check the calendar, see what’s going on and attend. It’s time to get out and do something.
The council’s show on September 26 is still a go. We are working on making this a stellar event. We are worried about another lockdown and hopefully our elected leaders have learned from the previous lockdown. I’ve checked the Virginia Department of Health’s website and cases are definitely down. Plan to be at the show!
July 1 we get some new taxes. Important to we car hobbyists is the increase in the gasoline tax. The pre-July 1st tax was 16.2 cents per gallon. Beginning July 1 we will get hit by two new gasoline taxes: a 5 cent per gallon tax and a 7.6 cent “regional” tax which is actually state-wide. While some parts of the state had the regional tax our area did not. The 16.2 cent tax will jump to 28.2 cent. This is a 78% tax increase! I fear this is not going to be enough to fix our roads and bridges. Plus with so many people out of work and a big jump in gasoline prices I’m sure people will drive less, buy less gasoline and the tax will not be enough to fix the $12 billion worth of poor condition roads and bridges in Virginia. Of course the state leadership could fund roads with money other than what comes from the gasoline tax but they have other plans. The state budget jumped 20% from the previous one. In fact at the General Assembly veto session a new tax was put on games of chance to help pay for expenses from the virus.
We are better off than hobbyists in other states because we didn’t have any bills aimed at the car hobby this past session. In Maryland the assembly tried to pass a bill to require emissions testing for all vehicles less than 40 years old including those registered as antiques. The bill failed. The State of Washington tried to restrict use of year of manufacture plates and impose larger fees on collector vehicles. Those bills also failed. We need to keep track of what happens in other states because legislators in Virginia sometimes look to other states when considering legislation.
Last year Ohio voted to go to one plate to save about a million dollars a year. The last time one plate was proposed in Virginia the initial saving was about two million the first year and about a million a year after. Oklahoma is another state with one plate. Both Ohio and Oklahoma had bills introduced to go to two plates and those bills are still pending.
Minnesota is trying to increase the ethanol standard from the current 10% to 15%. That bill is still under consideration. Again we need to watch what happens in other states. There used to be a saying in Virginia that legislation seems to come down I-95 south and gets introduced into our General Assembly. If you have not registered to vote I strongly urge you to register and vote in every election. In a recent city council election in Staunton Virginia there was a huge voter turnout. The last election saw 7,068 people vote – the election in May saw 17,279 people vote. That is nearly a 145% increase in voters. This is how we the people change things.
The car industry has been hit hard by the virus. Car sales are down. Ebay Motors is having such trouble with car sales that during the month of June Ebay offered a $100 gift card if you bought a car off the site and a $25 off for listing a vehicle in June. The low sales don’t seem to have affected prices much. I still see plenty of overpriced vehicles and few bargains.
Sweetie Boy Social Distancing Charity Cruise Event - click to see all the photos
Review: 2020 Chevrolet Corvette 2LT
This is the only Corvette that matters. This one, right here. Not in the sense that the Clash was once “the only band that matters.” Quite the opposite, in fact. People used to say that about the Clash so you understood they were too sophisticated to listen to Led Zeppelin or Boston. (While at the same time not being sophisticated enough to listen to Ornette Coleman or something like that.) It was meant to be a marker of superior discretion, albeit not that superior. Snob appeal for Main Street, if you will.
By contrast, this 2LT Coupe, an all-American mid-engined supercar that gives you 94 percent of a Ferrari 458 Italia for 40 percent of the MSRP, is the only Corvette that matters because it has no snob appeal, no extra street cred. Six months from now, it will attract about the same amount of cars-and-coffee attention as a 2007 Mustang GT. If you buy one and try to sell it after five years, you will find yourself saying “Uh, no” again and again to pitiless inquisitors:
No, it’s not a convertible.
No, it’s not a Z06.
No, it’s not a Z51.
No, it doesn’t have 3LT.
It’s just a regular Corvette.
Which is precisely what makes our test car so important. It’s the base model, the one that will find homes with those people long considered to be traditional Corvette buyers. Blue-collar retirees. Military officers. Slightly frustrated fellows with no previous sports-car ownership history who realize at the age of fortyish that they should maybe do something about that. Those folks. The ones who spend more money on Zaino polishing compounds than on Hoosier R7 tires. Year after year, the majority of Corvettes are sold to people like them, configured like this one.
When I saw the mid-engined Corvette for the first time, I was more than a little concerned that Chevrolet had left those buyers behind in the interest of doing more business with the Z-whatever crowd. It seemed obvious that a mid-engined, supercar-proportioned vehicle couldn’t possibly serve its most loyal buyers as well as the entirely conventional C7 could and did. When this unassuming $72,000 coupe on all-season tires showed up, my concerns went nuclear. How could something that looks and goes more than a little bit like a Ferrari meet the needs of the trad-Vette crowd?
Good news, retirees and racetrack-allergic show-and-shine participants: You’re about to buy the best Corvette ever made, and it feels like it was designed just for you. I mean that in a non-snobbish way. All the things you need out of a Corvette—room, comfort, usable controls, and a thunderous 0–45 stoplight sprint—are present and accounted for, in greater volume and finer quality than ever before.
Let’s start by addressing the elephant in the room: Can I get in and out of the thing? Your humble author is a relatively youthful 48 years old, but I have had multiple surgeries on both legs thanks to a spectacularly unsuccessful cycling career, so I’m a good measure of entry/exit. It’s super easy. Easier than a C7. The door sill is so low as to not exist. The door opens wide and the aperture is big-bore, to say the least. I was able to get out using just one leg by gripping the raked A-pillar. Compared to something like a Huracán or Lotus Evora, this is a Dodge Caravan in terms of accessibility.
Once you’re in, you’ll realize that 2LT is probably the minimum Corvette interior you want. 1LT is the $59,995 price leader, and 3LT adds some nifty interior fabrics, but 2LT is the package that adds all the good stuff. 14-speaker sound, heated/ventilated seats, navigation, and the all-important Rear Camera Mirror. More on that in a minute. It will cost you $7300 to make the move to 2LT. You should do it.
While you’re at it, go ahead and spend $1495 for the Front Lift Package, which will ease your nose over driveways and parking-garage ramps. One drawback of looking like a Ferrari is that you have Ferrari levels of ground clearance. If you’re too cheap to do that, you can take some heart in the fact that forward visibility is just outstanding. This is the same big-windshield, zero-visible-hood sight picture you get in the modern exotics. I suspect this is the reason many drivers are already posting faster lap times in base C8s than they did in identical C7s; it’s easier to place the car in a corner at high speed. Around town, the payoff is that you are unlikely to bop a curb or a parking pole.
Chevrolet resisted the temptation to make the side windows too short, so drivers who are least five-foot-two should be fine in that respect. To the rear? Well, that’s where the Mirror Camera comes in. Flipped up with a dimmer-style lever, it shows you the relatively narrow field of vision through the rear engine cover. Flipped down, it’s a wide-angle view from side mirror to shining side mirror. This completely eliminates blind spots. After ten minutes, you’ll wonder why your Silverado doesn’t have it.
Our test car came with $1495 worth of fancy wheels and all-season tires. You’ll need to risk life and limb to get near their limits, and the payoff is outstanding behavior in nightmare (or night-time) rain. Please resist the impulse to choose “Track” mode for the street; “Sport” makes the car hellaciously loud on startup, which is what you want, while preserving the electronic safety net. On the move, it’s once again obvious what an improvement the C8 is over the C7. It’s faster, thanks to a little more power from the new LT2 and the speed-of-thought dual-clutch transmission. The “automatic” programming of that is pretty faultless, with one big exception: If you’re really being irresponsible with your corner entry speeds, you’ll see the occasional unannounced downshift on the way into the turn, which can give that electronic safety net a moment to shine on your behalf. Any plans to triple the listed corner speeds on your back road should probably include hitting the “M” gearbox button, for manual selection.
Photo by Andrew Trahan
Steering is a modern high point for Corvettes; the brakes are considerably better than the no-talent clown clamps fitted to base and even Z51 C7 models, partially due to a little more swept area and partially due to the advantages of mid-engine weight balance. A quick jaunt through Ohio’s Hocking Hills proved that the C8 has major-league ability to cover ground; you would need a stopwatch to tell the difference between this and, say, the Ferrari 458 Speciale I took through these same roads five years ago. The C8 doesn’t have the same audio drama, but it will also have a considerably longer engine service interval. Pay your money and make your choice.
Removing the roof doesn’t have any tangible effect on body rigidity or cornering balance, although it does mean that you’ll be limited to the “frunk” for storage, which can hold one gym bag or two sets of Red Wing work boots but not much more. This is one area where the C7 has it all over its successor; that big-hearted coupe was also insanely generous with hatchback-covered cargo area. Current owners should be aware of the difference. More troubling is the general lack of in-cabin stow space. In the last six generations of Corvette coupes, you could simply throw something behind you if you didn’t want to hold it on your lap. Since the engine sits there now, all Corvettes now have the same hard wall behind the seats that was once a convertible-only feature.
That’s a minor gripe for most buyers. The infotainment system and infamous “Chiclet line” center console, which has generated so much negative press lately? It probably doesn’t even rate that high on the annoyance scale. After three days of use, I could find pretty much everything I needed without too much looking around. Real owners, as opposed to short-term press testers, will become perfectly familiar with the climate and seat controls in short order. Once you get past the looks of it, you realize how much thought has been put into making most needed features immediately accessible. The 2LT stereo is better than anything available in previous Corvettes. The heads-up display, as well, seems to work a little better, although that could just be a function of windshield rake.
Would this Corvette be more enjoyable with a clutch pedal? Yes. Can you have one? No. Buyers for whom that is a deal-breaker should find a C7 Grand Sport, which is a more serious performance vehicle than this base C8. Everyone else will like this one better. The obvious excellence of the base car has the track junkies drooling at the thought of future cars. Wider front tires, with 100 treadwear at most? Flat-crank V-8? More aero—like, a lot more? Your humble author is filled with joy at the thought of such things. I liked the outgoing ZR1 more than any Corvette in history. There is no such thing as “too hardcore” for me …
… but I’ve owned precisely one Corvette in my life, and probably won’t have another one. So you can ignore what I have to say. The real buyers, the people who spend their savings on Corvettes, are going to love this car just the way it sits. It’s just right for them. Chances are it’s just right for you, as well. The only Corvette that matters is better than ever.
2020 Corvette 2LT: $69,885 with all relevant options (destination included).
Pros: Better in every respect than an automatic-transmission C7, and better in many respects than the mid-engined exotics selling for three times as much. Outstanding real-world usability and stunning performance.
Cons: Would be nice to have a manual option, would be even nicer to have 40 mm added to the width of each front tire, your HOA is going to write you a letter the first time you start it for the morning commute.
Summary: The best Corvette yet, from a company that didn’t forget about its most loyal buyers.
June 13 Drive By - click to see all the photos
A car retailer has dropped plans to build a vehicle inspection facility that was slated to create new 500 jobs in Virginia. Carvana spokeswoman Amy O'Hara confirmed that the company had withdrawn plans for the plant in Chesterfield. The 191,000-square-foot (177,445 square-meter) facility would have vetted vehicles before they were shipped to buyers across the country. It was expected to be completed by early 2021. Carvana planned to invest $25 million. Residents who had opposed the plant said they were pleased that the plans had been scrapped. Some had previously raised concerns about increased traffic on the road leading up to the proposed site, and increased noise from large trucks hauling vehicles and maintenance work at the plant.
Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada has inherited his father's silver 1960 Mercedes-Benz 300SL.
On May 9, a New Hampshire State Police trooper pulled over Nicole George, 31, in Newington. George was driving 90 mph in a 50 mph zone; after the traffic stop, she went on. But only 13 minutes later, a second trooper clocked her doing 111 mph in a 65 mph zone in Rochester. The first trooper responded to assist at the second traffic stop, NECN reported, and she was arrested for reckless operation. However, after her arrest, authorities found about 40 grams of fentanyl and some methamphetamine in George's possession; they seized her Honda Pilot, and they suspect criminal activity was the reason for her big hurry.
Car buffs who were able to snag a 2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8 were lucky: Coronavirus shut down production before too many of them could be built. So imagine how angry the owner of one of the prized autos was when he took his car to a Chevy dealership in Jacksonville, Florida, for service on June 1 -- and the car was dropped off the lift. According to CarBuzz, the new 'Vette has a different weight distribution than its predecessors, and service techs didn't know the right way to position it on the lift. Car owner Jake Anthony posted a photo of the wrecked hot rod on his Instagram account, where he noted that "I've spoken with [GM] executives, I'm not interested in a new base model."
In 2013, Chad Dearth of Overland Park, Kansas, purchased his dream car, a 1964 Chevy Impala, and got an "antique" license plate for it. Since then, he has sold the car and moved to a new neighborhood, but earlier this year he received word that seven to 10 collection letters a day were arriving at his old address from state turnpike authorities up and down the East Coast. That's when Dearth learned that Kansas is one of a few states that assign identical numbers to different categories of specialty license plates, and his old antique plate number matched the number on a commercial semi truck -- the one photographed by one of the authorities demanding payment for toll violations. Lee Ann Phelps, vehicle services manager for the Kansas Department of Revenue, told Fox4 she doesn't know why the state uses identical numbers, but there are about 625,000 plates in the state that share a number. Kansas has issued a new license for the truck, but in the meantime, the bills continue. Dearth most recently got a letter from the Delaware Turnpike Authority seeking $479.
Restaurants have adapted to local lockdowns with curbside and drive-thru services, so it's no surprise that other businesses are following suit. Minx Gentlemen's Club in Virginia Beach, Virginia, is offering drive-thru pole dances and other entertainment in a makeshift outdoor space, according to The Sun. Dancers were showered with bills or grabbed their tips using a trash picker to reach into vehicles as patrons enjoyed the performances from the safety of their cars. Meanwhile, in Las Vegas, Little Darlings is offering completely nude drive-up strip teases. "Guests can drive up to the front door, and we're going to have dancers separated by the 6-foot separation rule, and (customers) can enjoy a totally nude show right from the seat of their car," a Little Darlings spokesperson told KSNV.
The economic uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic has forced Wells Fargo's bank to stop processing auto loans with as many as 1100 independent dealerships and refocus on dealers it already has deep relationships with. The change is likely to affect used-car shoppers more, but they can still get loans from other banks to buy their vehicles. If the dealer already looks to multiple lenders for its customers, this change might not be noticeable to someone buying a car.
An IIHS study determines that autonomous cars would still struggle to avoid two-thirds of crashes.
While self-driving cars eliminate issues around detection and incapacitation, if they are built to be more aggressive than safe, they’ll still end up crashing. The IIHS concludes that self-driving vehicles "would need to be specifically programmed to prioritize safety over speed and convenience" Something AV developers say they are already doing.
University of Illinois at Chicago researchers found that more people in the Chicago area are anticipating taking road trips post-COVID-19 pandemic. The survey showed that many are expected to remain fearful of flying even after the risks of the pandemic have passed.
The researchers are working on a larger national study with Arizona State University.
Germany's newly passed fiscal recovery package includes a requirement for electric-vehicle charging stations at gas stations and larger incentives for EVs. The country wants to expand the EV charging infrastructure rapidly to kick-start electric-vehicle ownership, which currently stands at less than 2 percent in Germany. Germany will also invest in battery-cell production.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently tweeted he plans to move Tesla’s headquarters from California to Nevada or Texas, following California’s response to the coronavirus, which he criticized as overreaching.
Ford Motor is delaying the unveiling of its highly anticipated Bronco SUV lineup so it will not coincide with O.J. Simpson's birthday. Ford communications chief Mark Truby tweeted Friday that the company will move the debut to July 13.
Motown Night - click to see all the photos
Revealed: 2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1
This most auspicious of days in Ford’s history—the anniversary of the company’s founding in 1903—is not passing this year without a bit of fanfare. Ford is officially announcing that, after 17 years, the Mach 1 Mustang is back. Wedging its way into the pony-car lineup between the GT and the Shelby GT350, this latest high-performance pony is meant to be the ultimate 5.0-liter Mustang. With a bevy of chassis and aero upgrades, some of which hail from the Shelby parts bin, Ford promises this Mach 1 will do right by the legendary model that first took to the street and track in 1969.
What maketh a Mach 1 in the 21st century? Let’s start with what’s under the hood. All Mach 1 Mustangs will come with a 5.0-liter Coyote V-8 good for 480 hp at 7000 rpm and 420 lb-ft of torque at 4600 rpm. According to Ford, it’s essentially the same revised Mustang GT motor as in the outgoing Bullitt, albeit with a slightly different ECU tune. GT350 bits include the intake manifold, oil filter adapter, and engine oil cooler, which all together improve engine oil cooling by 50 percent compared to the standard GT. The Mach 1 will also get two side heat exchangers, one for engine oil and the other for transmission oil, in addition to a rear axle cooling system. The Mach 1 also adds a lower diffuser and rear tire spats sourced from the GT500.
A six-speed Tremec 3160 manual transmission from the GT350 is standard, offered for the first time with rev matching, but you’ll have the option of a 10-speed automatic. The automatic, which is also used in the Mustang GT and F-150, receives an upgraded torque converter and unique tuning for the Mach 1, along with a secondary air-to-oil cooler to enhance cooling capacity by 75 percent.
As for handling, the Mach 1 will ride on standard MagneRide dampers with a unique calibration. Ford also stiffened the steering I-shaft, added stiffer sway bars and front springs, included the GT350’s front and rear subframe and its stiffer bushings, and rounded out the upgrades with the GT500’s rear toe link. The Mustang GT Performance Pack Level 2 donated its brake booster for use in the Mach 1, and the newest fire-breathing pony will also get a unique electronic power steering calibration.
As indicated in earlier spy shots of camouflaged prototypes, the Mustang Mach 1 starts with the car’s all-new front end. The nostril-like faux lamp elements are the obvious nod to the original Mach 1’s look, but loyal fans may be disappointed to learn that the 2021 iteration does not have a shaker hood. (Ford says that including one would have compromised the engine’s cooling.) Still, the Mach 1 wears plenty of bespoke pieces. The two-piece upper grille, lower grille, lower valence, and side grilles are all unique to this model and optimized for increased airflow and cooling. In concert with the Performance Pack Level 2 rear spoiler, these upgrades improve downforce by 22 percent compared to the Performance Pack Level 1 Mustang.
Ford stresses that the Mach 1’s most significant aerodynamic improvement is a new underbelly pan, which extends 20 inches farther toward the car’s rear than that on the GT Performance Pack Level 1 and increases and smooths airflow underneath the vehicle. “Large underwing features in the belly pan increase downforce, while special belly pan airfoils in the brake cooling ramps improve downforce and assist the brake cooling flow—a first for Mustang,” Ford says.
Another Mach 1 first is the addition of an optional Handling Package, intended to transform the pony car from a fearsome street performer to a track-capable machine that can more than hold its own on a road course. For starters, this basket of handling goodies comes exclusively with a manual transmission. Up front, the Handling Package adds an extended front splitter for additional downforce, new front wheel lip moldings, and the GT500’s Gurney-flap-equipped swing spoiler. Compared to the Performance Pack Level 1, downforce is up 150 percent. While the standard Mach 1 arrives with 19-inch five-spoke aluminum wheels (9.5 inches front/10 inches rear) and Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires, the Handling pack swaps those out for wider wheels (10 inches front/10.5 inches rear) and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires. Those looking for maximum track performance can also opt for 20-inch wheels (10.5 inches front/11 inches rear).
The base Mach 1 should still be plenty entertaining on the street, but there’s no question that the Handling Package’s aero and cooling improvements will make a massive difference on the track.
Since the Performance Pack Level 2 was already a reasonably capable track Mustang, you might be wondering how the Mach 1 compares. “This car has a much bigger aero package than any of the GT cars,” says Ford Performance marketing chief Jim Owens. “From the front end to the subframe and stiffer springs, everything has been engineered specifically to the aero, tires, and engine. This is not a PP2 [on top of] the upgraded 5.0-liter.”
Though Ford’s engineers put to use lessons learned from the Shelby GT350 and GT500 programs to develop the Mach 1’s specific design and capability, this Mustang is still very much the bridge between the GT and the Shelbys. “The GT350 and GT500 are what they are,” Owens noted.
There should be no mistaking the Mach 1 on the road. In addition to the recognizable front end, the Mach 1 adds fender and trunk badging, low-gloss Magnetic gray mirror caps, a Magnetic pony logo in the grille, and ten paint options. The available Appearance Package adds Satin Black side and hood stripes that can be accented in Red, White, or Orange; the latter matches nicely with the Mach 1’s orange-painted brake calipers.
Inside, the Mach 1 comes standard with a Dark Spindrift instrument panel with aluminum accents, the Bullitt’s cue-ball shift knob, and a cloth interior. Mach 1-themed touches abound: the door sill plates, splash screen for the 12.3-inch LCD all-digital instrument cluster, and the serialized chassis number badging on the passenger-side dashboard. Leather seating surfaces come with the 700A package, and those chairs add an accent stripe meant to draw a connection with the original Mach 1’s SCCA racing heritage.
Arriving in spring of 2021, the Mach 1 will be a non-limited production vehicle, which means Ford will build as many examples as it can sell in global markets, including those that require right-hand drive.
“This is one of those special Mustangs that truly brings a smile to the faces of our owners, enthusiasts and fans—including me,” says Ford Chief Operating officer Jim Farley,” so there’s never been a better time to bring back Mach 1 and have it go global too.”
Considering the bewildering variety of high-performance Mustangs that will be available, from the four-cylinder High Performance Package to the supercar-slaying GT500, the Mach 1 is a welcome addition, with a famous name to boot. We can’t wait to drive it and see whether it’s the game-changing secret sauce that Mustang fans first knew in 1969.
How Bad Are Car Sales
How bad are collector car sales? I watch collector car sales on Ebay nearly daily. During the virus lockdown there were at least 11,000 collector cars for sale on Ebay even though DMVs were closed and the only way to title and register a vehicle was by mail. By the middle of June collector cars listed for sale were down to about 9400 with only 1700 listed by private sellers. The rest were by dealers. Keep in mind that there are many collector car dealers that list on Ebay. I know from my experience that the lower the number of vehicles for sale on Ebay the fewer vehicles are selling. When the total number of collector vehicles for sale gets up to 13,000+ then sales are up and it is usually a good time to list a vehicle for sale.
Vehicle sales are so slow on Ebay that the company offered a $100 gift card if you bought a vehicle between June 8 and June 30. To get the $100 gift card you had to download an Ebay app and buy through it. The vehicle had to be purchased on Ebay. Also Ebay is offering sellers a $25 credit just to list a vehicle for sale.
Ebay keeps track of the last three months of sold vehicles. There were about 8500 vehicles sold from April through June.
Another thing that has changed is the number of vehicles on auction. Of the 9400 collector vehicles for sale less than 2500 are auction listings. The majority of listings are but it now/best offer or classified ads. Dealers use classified ads so they can run vehicles for weeks on Ebay. One reason people use a buy it now/best offer is they don't wish to be embarrassed by a low ending bid.
NASCAR To Ban Confederate Flag at Events
From Yardbarker: In the wake of the killing of George Floyd and the subsequent protests over police violence and racial injustices that spread in the United States and throughout the world, Bubba Wallace, the only full-time black driver in the NASCAR Cup Series, called for the organization to ban the Confederate flag from all events.
NASCAR did that very thing ahead of Wednesday's race at Martinsville Speedway:
While speaking with CNN this week, Wallace hit out at the notion that anybody should be allowed to fly a Confederate flag at an official NASCAR event, saying:
"No one should feel uncomfortable when they come to a NASCAR race. So it starts with Confederate flags. Get them out of here. They have no place for them.
"There's going to be a lot of angry people that carry those flags proudly but it's time for change."
Wallace, who wore an "I Can't Breathe / Black Lives Matter" shirt on pit road ahead of last Sunday's race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, will drive a car with a #BlackLivesMatter paint scheme at Martinsville on Wednesday evening.
Meanwhile, Bob Pockrass of Fox Sports reported NASCAR drivers, team members and other officials can kneel and peacefully protest during playings of the national anthem.
Repair Mistakes & Blunders
From Rock Auto
Many years ago, I had a VW Transporter van with a rear 1.6 liter inline-four, water cooled diesel engine. I took it on a long vacation to the mountains with a couple of my buddies. Going uphill on a long steep grade, it started overheating. After stopping, I noticed a coolant leak. It was coming from the hose clamp on one of the hoses spanning the length of the van, from the engine in the rear to the heater core in front. I fixed the leak, but realized I had no coolant available or place to buy it anywhere nearby. I decided to fill up with water from the mountain stream flowing through the rocks. I was amazed how much water this car needed. For such a small engine, it had a huge radiator and four large hoses going from back to front, providing heat to the cabin and running to the radiator. The rest of the trip was uneventful, but once home, I immediately replaced the water with fresh coolant.
On my first drive afterwards, the van overheated. I figured that the stream water had destroyed the water pump impeller or plugged the radiator somehow. I checked the cooling system piece by piece. I could not find anything obviously wrong. I made sure that there was no air pocket trapped in the coolant. I checked belts, pump, thermostat...all looked OK. I was about to pull the radiator from the car when I realized my mistake.
To remove all water from the system, I had disconnected the lower radiator hose and pulled it from its normal position to below the front frame rail, letting out the water into the drain pan. What I did not realize was that when reinstalling the hose, I had forgotten to place it above the frame rail. Reinstalling the spare tire in its place, behind the front bumper (underneath the van), had pinched the hose to the frame rail almost completely cutting the flow of coolant. Once I rerouted the hose like it should be, the VW ran with the coolant gauge needle sitting right in the middle; no more overheating.
Mateusz in Illinois
71 Mach 1
Important DMV Info
Certain DMV offices have opened for specific services by appointment only as part of a phased reopening plan. Please visit dmvnow.com/reopening for more information.
The 75 DMV customer service centers were closed by the governor's executive order. Beginning May 18, 2020, certain DMV offices have reopened for specific services by appointment only as part of a phased reopening plan. Please visit dmvnow.com/reopening for more information. Be sure to click the link above to see the latest info from DMV.
In the continued interest of public health, DMV will make operational adjustments to balance social distancing guidelines with its mission to serve the needs of the public. To minimize customer volume at DMV offices, appointments will be required and will be available for specific services which necessitate a visit to DMV. To make an appointment click the link above on reopening. If an alternate service method, such as online or by mail, is available, customers should use that method.
DMV continues to encourage its employees and customers to follow the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Virginia Department of Health in regards to personal health and social distancing.
Thank you for your patience and understanding.
Driver’s License/ID card and Vehicle Registration
The validity of driver’s licenses and identification cards expiring on or before June 10, 2020 is extended for 90 days, not to exceed July 31, 2020. This means that a customer whose credential expires between March 15 and May 1 will have an additional 90 days beyond the expiration date to renew and credentials with an expiration date from May 2 to June 10 will expire on July 31, 2020. This includes credentials for individuals aged 75 and older who are typically required to visit a DMV office to renew.
Vehicle registrations that expire in March and April are extended for 90 days, and those expiring in May are extended for 60 days.
All renewal fees (driver's license, identification card and vehicle registration) will remain the same and no late fees will be assessed for customers who renew during the extension period. The month in which your new credential expires will also not change from the original date of expiration. For example, a customer with a vehicle registration originally expiring in May 2020 will have until July 2020 to renew, and the new credential will be valid until May 2021.
Virginians eligible to renew their licenses, identification cards, or vehicle registration online are encouraged to take advantage of those services. Mail-in options are also available for a number of transactions, such as vehicle registration, original title transactions, and driver's license renewal, if mailed a notice.
CAUTION!!! - if you mail anything to DMV be sure to keep a couple of copies of everything! DMV will lose your stuff! Keep copies!!!
A pair of Mercurys
2018 Electric Vehicle Sales by Make
The chart below lists all 2018 sales of electric vehicles by make. In 2017 only 1.15% of cars sold were electrics. There are estimates of between 250 - 260 million vehicles in the US. From Nanalyze: "In November of 2016, there were 540,000 electric cars on the road in the USA. This sounds like a lot, but it’s only 0.22% of all cars on the road in the USA. If we look at yearly production numbers, it still paints a miniscule picture. In 2016, there were around 17.5 million cars produced of which only 134,000 were electric (about 0.77%)." Not many people want electric plug-in vehicles. Most of us buy trucks or SUVs and as long as gasoline prices are below $5 a gallon it looks like things will stay that way.
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
GM CEO: Electric Vehicles Will Help Us Sell More Cars On The Coasts
Mary Barra, the chief executive of General Motors, took questions from car journalists today during a virtual “fireside chat,” held by the Automotive Press Association. Even though the writers represented mainstream auto outlets, many of the questions focused on GM’s EV plans.
Barra was challenged about her recent comments, published last week by Bloomberg, that the transition to EVs could take 20 years. She said the quote did not convey her answer in context. Barra commented today that she was referring to how long it would take for the nation’s entire fleet of 250 million vehicles to become uniformly pure electric.
I’m very optimistic that we can see EV growth. But if you look at the whole portfolio changing over and when you look at the average age of a vehicle on the road is 11.4 years, the tail will be a bit longer. But we couldn’t be more excited about EVs. We believe in an all-electric future, and we’re moving aggressively.
She explained that part of her excitement was about helping GM sell more cars in US regions where it faces challenges – namely in California and on the coasts. Unfortunately, the implication was that EVs will be a growth segment on the coasts while the heartland will keep buying gas cars.
EVs will allow us to grow as a company. If you think about General Motors, we are strong in the middle of the country. Our share isn’t as strong on the coasts, where EVs are having the most success. So we think that gives us a chance to continue with strong sales from internal combustion engine perspective across our brands, and EVs are very additive.
The CEO downplayed any notion that the pandemic has slowed the company down regarding the development of its future EVs, plans for the all-electric Cruise Origin autonomous vehicle, our introducing new internal-combustion SUVs and trucks.
She said, in the meantime, that Chevrolet Bolt EV is “very well received” and that a new variant, the EUV version, is coming out soon. (These models will be the last ones on the current GM EV platform.)
Barra also emphasized that its new Ultium EV platform would help the company’s market position in China.
We’re going to be in the sweet spot where there is a growth opportunity as the entire market transition to New Energy Vehicles.
Some of the NEV vehicles have a different profit outlook than some of the ICE vehicles, but as we get to the Ultium platform and get that at scale, which we plan to do very quickly, we’ll be looking at profitable and volume growth.
Barra promised that the canceled GMC Hummer EV and Cadillac Lyriq unveilings would happen “in the not too distant future,” while not providing a specific date.
You will see a couple of exciting reveals coming yet this year, including the Cadillac Lyriq and GMC Hummer EV. They will largely be online both virtual and augmented reality technologies to help tell our story. And I think we’ll be able to generate the excitement and share what these products are.
When asked if she has been pushing government officials to introduce a Cash for Clunkers program to stimulate auto sales in the US, she pivoted to EVs (and restoring EV tax credits for GM cars).
We still see incentivizing people to learn, experience, and purchase EVs would help accelerate the transition, which we think is important. That’s the input we’ve been giving.
A pair of Boss Mustangs
3 Dos and Don’ts For Cleaning Your Engine Compartment
From Hagerty: Hagerty
The fit and finish of a car’s exterior often gets all the attention, and most gearheads will debate polishes and paint protectants for hours on end. If you want to find who is really detail-oriented at a car show, don’t look at the hood—look under the hood. A spotless engine bay is tough to achieve and even harder to maintain. It’s worth it, though, because a clean engine compartment is not only attractive but also conducive to spotting any leaks or issues when they start, rather than leaving them to be camouflaged by grime.
If your engine is a dingy, oily mess and you want to bring it back to a respectable condition, here are a few tips.
Don’t: Be quick to take things apart
Do: Take a “before” picture
The last thing anyone wants is to get here and forget how it goes back together. Photo by Kyle Smith | Hagerty Media Site
If the engine is running smoothly, I’m hesitant to take anything apart to clean it, and I’d recommend you think the same way. The old adage of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” has treated me well for many years. However, to get a deep clean you must dive deep. Before you start, grab your camera and snap a picture.
Even if you have a great memory and a wealth of reference materials, a photo can still prove invaluable. Sometimes, all it takes is a simple glance at a “before” picture to know where that hose with the weird bend was attached. It also serves as great evidence of the improvement you make.
Don’t: Go crazy with the “engine cleaner”
Do: Use chemicals appropriate for the job
Three cleaners for engine detailing
Here are three chemicals of varying intensity. I start with the mildest and progress to the most aggressive, making sure that even the strongest will not damage the finish on the parts I am cleaning. Photo by Kyle Smith | Hagerty Media Site
It’s on a shelf at every auto parts store—you’ll be tempted to grab that aerosol can of foaming degreaser and pretend you are the greatest graffiti artist known to man as you fog the entire engine compartment. Don’t do it.
Aerosol engine cleaner works great for engines that are very heavily soiled, but most of the time that stuff is overkill. It’s also deceptively involved; if you don’t rinse off all the residue, it will cause corrosion. Instead, spend a little extra time by using a few clean rags, spraying your detailer of choice on the rag, and simply wiping away the dirt. I typically start with a quick detailer and, if the grime is stubborn, I progress to more aggressive chemicals like brake or carburetor cleaner.
This more time-consuming process has two benefits: It prevents chemicals from forcing their way into nooks and crannies they shouldn’t be in, and helps you become familiar with those same nooks and crannies. Seeing a lot of oily buildup in one spot? Investigate to see whether there’s a leak that needs to be cured.
Don’t: Grab the pressure washer
Do: Use the garden hose
Hosing down my Corvair’s engine doesn’t make sense because it won’t drain water like most engine compartments. Rinsing this Model A, on the other hand, might be the easiest way to remove lots of sludge. Photo by Kyle Smith | Hagerty Media Site
If you need to wash off the grit and grime, resist the urge to reach for the pressure washer. Both a home pressure washer and the wand at a local DIY car wash will eject water at a dangerously high pressure and threaten just about any part of your engine compartment. The jet can easily push past gaskets, into electrical panels and connections, and also into grease fittings.
If you discover the engine compartment is so filthy that a rinse-down is needed, take the time to seal all electrical connections and crankcase openings (the oil fill, for example) before using a garden hose. If the garden hose doesn’t provide enough pressure, gently scrub with a soft bristle brush to break the gunk free.
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