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"The Relay" Online Newsletter
June 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

The 2nd Annual Breakthrough Car Show and council 26th anniversary went well. We had over 200 show vehicles, several cruiser vehicles, about 1200 spectators and more. A lot of people have noticed this show. Last year we had almost 100 vehicles and it poured the rain. The show committee met a few days after the event to discuss what we need to do to make it a better event next year. May 14, 2022 looks like the date we will pick. We are looking at attracting auto-related vendors, expanding parking, and other improvements to the show. Suggestions are welcome and feel free to send me a message.

The Biden administration has moved forward with exactly what we were expecting. Gas and diesel prices will go up in an effort to get us into electric vehicles. Just check what Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm has been saying. Yes, they are pushing climate change legislation. Climate change legislation on both the federal and state levels has fallen short of actually changing the climate. These bills all seem to increase taxes, take money from we taxpayers while doing very little to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Even environmentalists are noticing this pattern. Climate change legislation looks like the old tax and spend routine. We have a state election coming in November and if the results are the same as the last couple of elections we are looking at more of the same. But thing could change as I've seen articles that state Virginia could be in play this year. Perhaps people have grown tired of lockdowns, losing our rights and government overreach. We will see.

I got a call from a man who needed to get a title for a car but only had a bill of sale. I did some research and there is an article below "Bill of Sale Only Title Process" that you should take a look at and maybe copy and save. It explains how to get a title when you only have a bill of sale. If you need a title for a vehicle this will come in handy. I know you can use the DMV abandoned vehicle process to get a title but that can be pricey. DMV thinks you have "found" an abandoned car on your property and along with getting you a title the government agency wants you to pay sales and use tax on it. The kicker is DMV determines the value for the tax calculation. I'm guessing most of these vehicles are project or even parts cars so no one wants to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars in tax for them.

Summer arrives this month and if you have taken a look at the calendar there are plenty of events and cruises each weekend. Take advantage of them.

~ Fred

June - time to take the old Buick to the beach

Next Meeting

The next meeting will be Monday, August 30 at 6:30 PM at a location to be announced in the August newsletter.

2nd Annual Breakthrough Car Show - CCCCCVA 26 Years

The show was a big success with over 200 show vehicles, over 1200 spectators including people who drove 6 hours to participate or view nearly a century of automotive history. Thanks to everyone who participated in this event. Are we going to do it again next year? Yes, we are looking at a 3rd show. If you have any suggestions, comments email me at fredfann@comcast.net. You can see the show photos at 2nd Annual Breakthrough Car Show.

Car Hobbyist News

I’ve been saying for months that politicians at both the state and federal level are trying to drive up gas prices to force us into electric vehicles. At the last council meeting several delegates brought up the facts that we do not have the infrastructure to switch from gasoline to electric and also that we will never be able to get rid of gasoline. Both points are correct. Let’s take a look at them.

First (see chart below) Virginia imports electricity from other states. Only California imports more electricity from other states than Virginia. This means that electricity generated in Virginia is not enough to run what we have now. Change vehicles from gas/diesel to electricity and we will need to import even more. Apparently the General Assembly members and the governor are not aware of this fact. They have passed laws that Virginia will go with clean green energy when in fact we will just have to import electricity from coal fired plants in West Virginia. In addition we do not have enough charging stations to “fuel” the coming electric fleet. The cost of a super charger for your home can run $10,000.

Second – we will not be able to completely get rid of gasoline and diesel. Ever see a battery powered airplane? How about an ocean going cargo ship powered by solar or batteries – seen one of them? Have you seen an electric tractor or combine? There is no way to make an electric plane, big ship and lots of other things that are currently powered by gas or diesel. And you can bet that people like special presidential envoy on climate John Kerry will be able to keep his jet planes running on aviation gasoline and his yachts running on diesel. It’s people like you and me that will have to make sacrifices.

You may recall months ago I predicted gasoline will get over $3 a gallon by July 4th. So far it looks like that prediction is going to come true especially when the gas tax increases once again on July 1st. If the state election in November turns out like the last couple of state elections you can expect gas prices to go up even more after the Assembly 2022 session. Expect TCI – Transportation Climate Initiative to be implemented which will not only increase the gas tax but also limit sales. The goal of TCI is to get you and me out of gasoline and diesel vehicles and into those clean electrics – and we do not have the infrastructure for that to happen. But it will be a controlling experience. Perhaps we’ll even have some brownouts as they do in California.

Why do the politicians want gas prices to increase? We all know that will contribute to inflation and the cost of everything going up along with plenty of other bad things happening. Well they have seen the studies that we Americans will not consider electric vehicles until gas prices go over $5 a gallon and stay there for quite a while. Currently less than 2% of vehicles in the US are electrics. This is despite a federal rebate and many states (including Virginia) also giving tax rebates for buying electrics. And what do the politicians say about this – people aren’t buying electrics because there just aren’t enough of them. So by 2025 there will be 400 new models of electrics and by 2035 many automakers are saying they will stop production of gas vehicles. That should force people to buy an electric.

I’ve heard people say that those electrics are great because you don’t have to buy gas and if you use a Tesla super charger at certain places the electricity is free. There are some chargers that are free to use but don’t expect that to last and do you want to have someone drive you to one, leave your car to charge for several hours and then have someone take you back to pick up your car? Plus electrics can be pricey – they cost more than a gasoline car and the cost for the battery replacement for a Tesla Model 3 is estimated at $12,000 to $15,000. I saw an article online about a person who paid $16,000 for a battery replacement from Tesla. In the 90s when the City of Richmond went with 3 electric buses they were parked after 6 months because of the battery replacement costs. And let’s not talk about charging times.

Which one do you want to drive?

The General Assembly has been helping out poor Dominion Energy – you know the company that supplies electricity to Virginians and has a net worth of over $60 billion. The Assembly has voted to give Dominion money to buy wind turbines and solar panels. That is taxpayer money used to buy infrastructure to generate electricity to sell back to the same taxpayers. Dominion failed to get the Assembly to fund an electric school bus program. Taxpayers would buy electric school buses so Dominion could make money selling the electricity to charge them. Several localities are stepping up. In fact Chesterfield just got a couple of electric buses via a Dominion program that includes charging stations. Just think of all the money Dominion will make if all Virginia school buses were electric – and that is the plan.

Okay what does this mean for the car hobby? I’m warning you that the governments want you out of your gasoline vehicle and into an electric. Why? If you research that question the answer is always climate change but the real reasons are always the same when it comes to something the government wants: power, money and especially control. Just think about how well we’ll be controlled when we need electricity to go somewhere, how long we will have to wait to get charged and how much closer we will stay near home. It will make it easier to keep track of us and all we do.

OBX Rod and Custom Car Show
OBX Rod and Custom Car Show - See all the photos at OBX Rod and Custom Car Show. Photo by Ron Clark

The Equity of Roadbuilding

I don’t guess anyone driving down the road is happy with the litter, and overgrown weeds, along our highways. COVID certainly reduced congestion – but traffic jams will return, and potholes are there waiting.

Poor judgments by the Department of Transportation led to reckless spending which landed the department, and our highways, in a ditch. Workers were laid off, litter pickup services stopped, roads we needed to build were put on hold. Staring at the mess DOT had created the General Assembly stepped in, adding legislative appointees, like me, to the Transportation Board to try to improve oversight. But now, an even bigger crisis is looming. Two-thirds of the money the state spends to build and maintain highways comes from one source – the gas tax. It works like this: Every time you fill up your car at the service station you pay a gas tax – which means what you pay is based on the amount of miles you drive. In effect, what you pay depends on how much you use and wear down roads. It’s a user fee.

But the days when almost everyone drove a gas-powered car are past. Today many people drive electric cars and while they use and wear down roads – just like people who drive gas cars – they pay no tax to build or repair highways.

Our biggest automakers are working to accelerate the shift to electric cars, and liberals, from President Biden on down, agree – which is fine. But, at the same time, how will we pay to build and maintain our highways? After all, whether you drive an electric car, or a gas-powered car potholes and traffic jams are a problem. It’s also a looming economic threat, and our biggest cities – the pillars of our economy – will be hit the hardest. There’s a way to fix the problem but, as often happens, politics is standing in the way. To keep highway funding adequate every driver, whether he drives a gas car or electric car, needs to pay a fair share to help build and maintain roads. Governor Cooper and the Transportation Department know that. But to suggest electric car drivers pay a ‘user fee’ – the same way gas car drivers do – draws the wrath of the left. So many politicians remain silent. But how long can we go on without building roads and fixing potholes?

Andy Wells
N.C.Senator (Retired)
1301 N. Center Street
Hickory, NC 28601

NHRA Launches New EV Drag-racing Class For 2022

From Hagerty
The NHRA Summit Racing Series is about to have a whole new racing class that will likely cause a lot of stir in the drag racing world, though it won’t create much noise on the track. The class, set to debut for the 2022 season, will allow electric vehicles to compete against one another in the quarter-mile.

Electric vehicle racing is nothing new. Chevrolet showed off the eCOPO back in 2018, Ford tested the CobraJet 1400 at NHRA events in 2020, and Don “Big Daddy” Garlits himself has been toying with an electric dragster for years. There are some interesting benefits to an electric drag car. For one thing, an electric motor should offer more consistency, considering that atmospheric conditions don’t come into play like they do with a combustion powerplant. The batteries and motors aren’t cheap, but neither is a race engine, and an electric setup has fewer moving pieces that can break or foul or jam. What’s common in drag racing, no matter the powerplant, is the skill required to read the track and get the perfect launch.

Like their internal-combustion counterparts, EV drag cars will need parts to continue racing in top condition, and Summit Racing Equipment, the title sponsor of the aforementioned racing series, hopes to offer the same kind of support to EV racers that it has to fuel-burners for the last 50+ years. Likewise, the NHRA sees the benefit in giving racers a safe place to test and develop their cars, whether it’s a Sportsman drag car like the CobraJet 1400 and eCOPO or a Tesla.

“The NHRA is excited to provide the OEMs a platform to showcase their EV technology, production, and racing efforts,” said NHRA’s vice president of competition Ned Walliser. “Adding an EV category to Summit Racing Series expands our involvement in EV racing and better solidifies our effort to provide a platform of Speed for All.”

The NHRA is still cooking up class rules, but it hopes to have everything ironed out soon so that teams will have ample time to prepare for the 2022 season. As more manufacturers seek to get enthusiasts interested in electric vehicles, we may see new brand rivalries emerge on the drag strip.

Old School Hot Rodders of Virginia Spring Cruise In
Old School Hot Rodders of Virginia Spring Cruise In
See all the photos at Old School Hot Rodders of Virginia Spring Cruise In

Bill of Sale Only Title Process

From Car Titles
Solution: If you have purchased or acquired a vehicle and the prior title is not available, or the prior owner is not available, the least expensive option is to use an out of state title process to obtain your title. If the vehicle is more than 15 years old (2006 or older), the State of Vermont will accept a basic bill of sale to transfer ownership to your name. The other 49 states do not allow for bill of sale to transfer.

You do not have to live in Vermont
• The vehicle does not have to have come from Vermont
• The bill of sale does not need to be from the last titled owner (can be from anyone)

Vermont issues a registration form of ownership for 15 year old vehicles. Since that is their version of a title, you can obtain this document in your name by paying the registration fee with just a bill of sale, and then present it to your state DMV who will then issue you a legal title in your name, in your state. This Vermont registration you receive can be used in most states. Please verify with your state to determine the vehicle eligibility for particular years. If your state requires a title, Click Here for an alternate process.

Recent news stories regarding the “Vermont DMV Title” process have created scrutiny of VT documents in certain states. (link below)

The Vermont DMV Is Secretly America’s DMV

Most state DMV agents know to recognize the Vermont registration as a valid ownership document, since they are a non-titling jurisdiction. There are instances where a particular office or window agent may not be aware of the interpretation. Be advised that using any title recovery process is at the sole risk of the client. You may wish to select an alternate title method if you do not have certain confirmation that your DMV office would easily accept the VT reg,

Click Here to view alternate methods

You will receive a registration / ownership document from the state of Vermont. (Along with valid license plates). Bring these to the DMV / title office in your state to exchange for a title issued to your name, in your state.

Since US states may recognize other states’ documents, this may be converted to a more formal title in your home state.

Bonus: In addition to the legal ownership documents, Vermont will also send you a license plate for registration. No insurance is required to obtain the registration documents.

Bill of Sale Only Title Process FAQ

How much will the bill of sale only title process cost me?
When you order with CarTitles.com, our $79 flat fee provides you with all of the documents and instructions to obtain your title.

What about sales tax and registration fees?
You will receive a notice for the sales tax and registration fees separately. You can pay these fees directly to the DMV at any time you wish, by check or money order. The current Vermont DMV fees are $48 for motorcycles and $76 for cars, plus sales tax.

Does my bill of sale need to be notarized?
No, your bill of sale does not need to be notarized.

Can my bill of sale be handwritten?
Yes, your bill of sale can be handwritten or typed.

What does my bill of sale need to include?
Include the VIN, purchase price, purchase date, buyer and seller information.

Does this work for any vehicle?
Yes, any legitimate vehicle. This is not a method for stolen cars, parts-only, or lienholder owned vehicles.

Title Orders Call: 256-448-4853

2nd Annual Breakthrough Car Show
2nd Annual Breakthrough Car Show and 26th Anniversary of the Car Club Council of Central Virginia - See all the photos at 2nd Annual Breakthrough Car Show.

20% of EV Owners Switching Back to IC Engine Cars

From Team BHP
According to a new study by the University of California, 1 in every 5 EV owners are switching back to IC engines, due to inconvenience of charging EVs.

The University of California, Davis has recently conducted a new study which shows that 1 in every 5 electric vehicle owners are switching back to conventional IC-engine powered cars.

Reports suggest that one of the main reasons for this is the inconvenience faced while charging the batteries of electric vehicles. The time required in filling up a vehicle with a full tank of fuel is significantly less compared to charging the batteries of an EV.

According to the study, a standard home-charging unit (Level 1) in California puts out 120-volts, while a fast-charger (Level 2) offers 240-volts of power. However, the study showed that over 70 per cent of EV owners in the survey lacked access to a level 2 home charger.

The study also mentioned that two-thirds of the EV owners participating in the survey confirmed they didn't use public charging stations.

The researchers mentioned in their study that although EVs have come a long way in terms of safety, tech and comfort; the process of recharging, however, has remained mostly the same. They also stated that if this trend continues, it will result in a slow PEV market growth, making 100% EV adoption more difficult.

From electrek: "University of California Davis researchers surveyed just over 4,000 households who own or owned electric vehicles in California and found that about 20% of plug-in hybrid owners and 18% of all-electric vehicle owners end up going back to gasoline-powered vehicles."

2nd Annual Breakthrough Car Show
One of three prancing horse Ferrari's at the show

Chrome Plating Under Fire

From Hemmings
Chrome shops are going out of business and under fire for pollution and the chemicals used in the process. This is the latest from California ~ Fred.

The palm trees of Southern California never look so iconic as when viewed in the reflection of the massive chrome bumper of a big American sedan, cruising down some sun-drenched boulevard. That touch of blue to the chrome makes all the other colors pop, like looking through a mirror instead of at one. And pretty soon nobody in California will be able to replicate that reflection after a proposed ban on hexavalent chromium in favor of a more environmentally friendly alternative.

"We're still in talks with CARB, but this is a pretty serious issue," said Art Holman, one of the co-owners of Sherm's Custom Plating in Sacramento, California. "It's an uphill battle that we've been fighting for the last two years."

The push to ban hexavalent chromium from the chrome plating process isn't a total ban on chroming in the state, according to CARB representatives, and the state agency has yet to issue any draft regulations. However, it has started conversations with platers, plating groups, and other stakeholders to determine how it should go about replacing hexavalent chromium with trivalent chromium.

The difference between the two, from a public health standpoint, is significant, according to CARB materials. Hexavalent chrome (chromium VI), which CARB identified as a toxic air contaminant in 1986, is a carcinogen "for which there is no safe threshold exposure level." The fume suppression products that platers have used since to reduce the amount of chromium gas emitted during the electroplating process contained first PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonic acid) then later PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances), two so-called "forever chemicals" that have been blamed for a variety of health problems.

Trivalent chrome (chromium III), on the other hand, is not considered a carcinogen, and is far less toxic to human health (in minuscule doses, it is considered an essential dietary element). In addition, according to CARB, it does not require PFAS compounds, the electroplating process requires less energy, and in high chloride environments it provides better corrosion resistance. A relatively new process (in 2017, just 10 companies in the United States plated with trivalent chrome), trivalent chrome plating has similar operating costs and has yet to be fully accepted by OEM automakers.

Yet, for decorative chrome platers, trivalent chrome has one major drawback: It doesn't have the same look as hexavalent chrome.

"It's just not the same color," Holman said. "Hexavalent has that clear blue sheen, but trivalent is more grayish and smoky. Trivalent will not replace the look of hexavalent."

Which is a problem, he said, not just for owners of hot rods competing in the Grand National Roadster Show, but for anybody looking to restore an older vehicle in California to the original specifications or to rechrome a part to match the rest of the chrome on their vehicle. "If this ban goes through, you'd have to send those parts somewhere else, out of state," he said.

That's if any decorative chrome platers remain in business in California following a hexavalent chrome ban, Holman said. CARB estimates that it could cost a small chroming facility $60,000 to $100,000 to switch from hexavalent to trivalent. Large facilities would likely pay anywhere from $250,000 to $300,000 to switch. Those who wouldn't want to switch would have to move their shops out of state. Holman said that would likely cost him seven figures, not counting the moving costs for his 12 employees.

In all, Holman estimates a ban on hexavalent chrome could affect 100,000 jobs across California's surface finishing industry. For its current rulemaking process, CARB counted about 130 platers in the state—57 of them decorative platers. Statewide, just five platers are set up for trivalent plating, according to CARB's count.

Significant regulation didn't come around for chrome shops until the 1980s, when CARB issued its first Airborne Toxic Control Measure for hexavalent chrome, requiring fume suppression, scrubbers, and HEPA filters. Those measures alone cut hexavalent chromium emissions by 97 percent, according to CARB's website, and additional measures followed in the 1990s and the late 2000s. The current focus on eliminating hexavalent chromium began in 2018 after "recent findings showing high levels of hexavalent chromium exposure in local communities" and after "community members have expressed concerns regarding the health and environmental impacts from fluorinated chemicals used in chemical fume suppressants," according to CARB's website.

Holman said that he understands the need to regulate the industry and that in his 40-plus-year career in chrome plating, he's gone to great lengths to meet and even exceed CARB's limits on hexavalent chromium emissions. "Our footprint is minuscule," he said. "You'd contract more hexavalent chromium from the air following a diesel truck than from our facility. You'd be amazed at how much stuff has chromium in it." A typical fabrication shop, for instance, produces chromium emissions after grinding and welding stainless steel—more than what Holman's shop produces, he claims—but CARB considers those to be "fugitive" emissions and doesn't regulate them.

In total, according to CARB materials, the 130 platers in the state emit about 4 pounds of hexavalent chromium per year, less than the 10.7-pound maximum that the state currently allows, calculated based on the maximum permissible rate of .0015 milligrams per amp-hour per chrome plater.

All Holman and the metal finishing industry (including the Metal Finishers Association of California and the National Association of Surface Finishers, both of which advocate for businesses like Holman's) would like is "to have some type of standard that's allowable and guidance on how to get there," he said. Yet he's seen no willingness on CARB's behalf to budge from its goal of an absolute ban on hexavalent chromium.

If the ban on hexavalent chrome goes through, he said he may just close down the shop rather than switch or move out of state.

While no draft regulations have yet been issued, CARB has proposed a rough timeline for phasing out hexavalent chrome, starting with a December 31, 2021, and ban on all new hexavalent plating facilities. Decorative platers would have to switch to trivalent chrome by January 1, 2023. Platers specializing in hard hexavalent chrome for industrial and military applications would have to switch by January 1, 2027, while anodizers still using hexavalent chrome would have to switch by January 1, 2032.

A CARB representative said that the agency does not expect to have a draft of the regulation ready before June 2022. For more information, visit ARB.CA.gov.

2nd Annual Breakthrough Car Show
A very rare 1960 Edsel convertible

The Briefs

The facts on plastic pollution just keep getting more dire. A 2016 MacArthur Foundation report found that “only 14 percent of plastic packaging is collected for recycling” out of the billions of tons produced every year. Now, Scottish engineer Toby McCartney is doing his part to put a dent in that environmental impact with his unique invention. His company, called MacRebur, uses waste plastic to literally pave the roads—creating what he calls the world’s first “plastic roads.” See the whole story at Scottish Inventor Paves Roads Made Out of Plastic Pellets to Reduce the World’s Plastic-Waste Crisis

A Florida lawmaker is ripping the Biden administration for ending a 30-year tradition by pulling a permit that would allow a massive motorcycle Memorial Day parade down Constitution Avenue in Washington, D.C. The gathering, which draws tens of thousands of motorcyclists from across the country each year, stages in a Pentagon parking lot, but the Biden administration has rescinded its annual permit. “Memorial Day traditions like Rolling to Remember have been granted permits by every administration, Democrat and Republican, for the past 30 years,” said Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL). “The Biden Administration’s decision to end this Memorial Day tradition flies in the face of the freedoms that so many have died to protect.”

Bus rides are free - just like in communist countries. Petersburg Area Transit riders can expect free fares for at least the next year, says Charles Koonce Jr., transit general manager for PAT. The influx of funding from the previous Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act in March of 2020 and other federal dollars, allows PAT to ensure free rides until the end of the 2021-2022 fiscal year. "We've already balanced our budget without the revenue from free fares," said Koonce. Free bus fares have been intact since March of 2020. Ridership decreased about 40% since the start of the pandemic, according to Koonce. Nearby localities have followed suit in providing free fares for its riders in efforts to protect everyone on board. Greater Richmond Transit Company will operate under free fares until the end of the next fiscal year and hold a board meeting to see whether or not to continue the free fares for the following year. Charlottesville promised its residents zero fares for the next three years.

China emitted more greenhouse gases (GHG) than the United States and all other developed countries combined in 2019, according to a report published on May 6 by New York-based research firm Rhodium Group. The report found that China alone was responsible for over 27 percent of total global emissions, with the United States being a distant second at 11 percent. India was ranked third with 6.6 percent, followed by the 27-country bloc of the European Union at 6.4 percent. China’s emission reached nearly 14.1 gigatons of carbon dioxide equivalents in 2019, more than triple 1990 levels and a 25 percent increase over the past decade, according to the report. Global emissions in 2019 topped 52 gigatons. Additionally, China’s per capita emission reached 10.1 tons in 2019, which increased nearly three times over the past two decades, according to the report. The figure was slightly lower than the 10.5 tons per capita average found across the 37 nations making up the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Top U.S. fuel pipeline operator Colonial Pipeline has shut its entire network, the source of nearly half of the U.S. East Coast’s fuel supply, after a cyber attack that the company said was caused by ransomware. The shutdown has raised fears of a price spike at the gas pumps ahead of peak demand summer driving season if it persists, and has drawn attention to how critical U.S. energy infrastructure is vulnerable to hackers. Colonial transports 2.5 million barrels per day of gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and other refined products through 5,500 miles (8,850 km) of pipelines linking refiners on the Gulf Coast to the eastern and southern United States.

A replacement Tesla battery costs between $12,000 to $16,000.

Michelin and General Motors are working together on Project Uptis to install airless tires on new passenger cars as early as 2024.

Cautioning against unsubstantiated “doomsday prophecies” and “scare propaganda”, Norwegian researchers said that the ice edge at the most important parts of Antarctica, dubbed “the world’s freezer” not only hasn’t become thinner, but has even grown, contrary to some expectations. Having measured both temperatures, ocean currents and salinity in the sea and under the ice in Antarctica since the end of the 60s, researchers from Norway have arrived at rather surprising results. Contrary to alarmist predictions and tendencies witnessed elsewhere, the climate at the South Pole has been stable for the past 40 years, oceanographer and senior researcher at the Norwegian Research Centre (NORCE) Svein Østerhus told TV2. “So far we have not seen any significant changes. The ice edge we are studying has not become any thinner, on the contrary,” Østerhus said after his 15th trip to Antarctica. From Sputnik News

NASCAR Cup Series driver Bubba Wallace confirmed reports on Thursday that he would leave Richard Petty Motorsports, releasing a statement on social media. Wallace, 26, is competing in his third full-time season in the NASCAR Cup Series and has raced only for RPM. The 2020 season has been his strongest yet, with one top-five result and five top-ten finishes, but speculation has been swirling about his future prospects for some time. His best result came in the 2018 Daytona 500 where he finished second, while he added a second podium to his tally last year at the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Wallace explained his decision to leave Petty with the following statement, branding it “not easy” to leave, but believing it was time for someone else to “take over the reins of the No. 43.” “This was not an easy decision as I have nothing but the utmost respect for Richard Petty and his family,” Wallace wrote. “But I believe it’s time for someone else to take over the reins of the No. 43.”

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm has sold her ownership interest in an electric bus maker that the Biden administration has touted. A spokesman said Granholm sold her holdings in California-based Proterra Inc. this week, clearing a net gain of $1.6 million. The sale fulfills Granholm’s obligations under an ethics agreement three months before an August deadline, the Energy Department said.

Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm appeared at a press briefing at the White House on Tuesday and took questions about the gas crisis caused by a cyber attack against a major pipeline. “Yeah, I mean, we obviously are ‘all in’ on making sure that we meet the president’s goals of getting to 100% clean electricity by 2035 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050,” Granholm said. “And, you know, if you drive an electric car, this would not be affecting you, clearly.“

Fifteen Republican State Treasurers sent a warning that they will pull assets from financial institutions if they give in to Federal pressure to de-carbonize and “refuse to lend to or invest in” the fossil fuel and coal industry. The letter, led by West Virginia Treasurer Riley Moore, is directed at Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry. It expresses concerns over reports that Kerry and other members of the Biden administration have been “privately pressuring” U.S. banks to stifle the fossil fuel industry.

John Kerry, special presidential envoy on climate at the State Department, has disclosed millions of dollars in income from stocks—including of oil companies—that he liquidated after he assumed office in January, according to financial disclosure forms obtained by media outlets. Under federal ethics laws, most political appointees are required to publicly disclose their current and past financial ties for reasons of transparency and public confidence that their policy decisions are free of conflict of interest.

For Jay Leno, a “Pandemic Car” Is About Smiles, Not Speed

By Jay Leno
It hasn’t exactly been a banner year, what with the virus and folks losing their jobs, but things are looking up. Restaurants are open again, kids are going back to school, and a guy can take out his Lamborghini and race around the city with an open exhaust like the idiot son of some deposed dictator and people won’t even want to kill him. That wasn’t so true a few months ago. My wife and I were out in the 1950 Plymouth Suburban and pulled into a grocery store. We saw a huge line of people waiting to get in. They were wearing masks and looked like extras in Les Misérables, just fuming and ready to go to the barricades.

But as we drove past the line and parked, folks waved at us, and an older guy came up to me and said, “Oh, my mother had one like this—can I take a look?” Everybody was friendly and nice, and I thought, this is what I want to drive around in for now, because it doesn’t excite envy or get on people’s nerves. It just makes them smile. I went back to the garage and picked out a list of what I call my “pandemic cars.” Of course, the Suburban is on it. It’s teal green, it has mohair upholstery that smells like a wet dog, it doesn’t go much faster than 60, the radio hums when you turn it on, and it just looks like pure Americana.

Another car on my list is the 1954 Dodge Coronet wagon, and for the same reasons. People just gravitate toward these lumpy, early ’50s Mopars, they’re just so ridiculously cute. Another one I’ve been driving is my 1959 Olds Super 88. When I was a kid, my dad had a big, good-looking friend named Mario the Carpenter who drove a convertible 88, and women would swoon, my mother used to say. I haven’t seen any women swoon when I drive by, but I do get a lot of waves from people who maybe were having a worse day until they encountered the “Linear Look” Super 88.

I’ve been reminded these past months how much more fun it is to make people smile with a car than to go fast in it. It’s amazing the stories people come up and tell you, even when it’s a 1927 Model T. There’s nobody who doesn’t cheer up when a Model T goes by, because they realize the driver is either the thriftiest person alive or just some sort of eccentric, and it’s hilarious either way.

Meanwhile, I’ve been using the downtime to get some projects finished that just seemed interminable. A while back, I bought this 1962 Maserati 3500GT for not a lot of money. It’s basically an Aston Martin for about one-tenth the price. We got the fuel injection working, but it started popping out of gear and it refused to go into reverse. You would have to stop, shut the car off, put it in reverse, and restart it. It has an obscure ZF gearbox, and trying to find parts was a huge headache. It turns out a brand-new five-speed Tremec TKX cost about the same as a couple of gears for the ZF. The TKX is compact, it can handle about 600 horsepower, and it fits right in, so we’ve been installing it.

Another good pandemic project was the Pontiac Firebird Sprint I told you about a few months ago. Back when he was running Pontiac, John Z. DeLorean was enamored with the Jaguar E-Type. He built a concept called the Banshee, but GM management said that the company didn’t need two Corvettes, so they told him to make something that would hold four people to compete with the Mustang and Charger. The Firebird Sprint was his answer, with a belt-driven overhead-cam cylinder head dropped on a Chevy straight-six block. It was expensive and not very fast, so few people bought it, but I’ve always thought they were neat.

Ours had 90,000 miles on it when I got it, and I learned in researching them that the rocker arms tend to wear out, so we had them finished with diamond-like coating (DLC) to harden them. It’s a restomod, meaning that it looks stock, but we put on a Hotchkis suspension and steering box and four-wheel Wilwood disc brakes. It handles beautifully. I’m not sure it makes people smile like the ’50 Plymouth, but whenever I drive the car, it certainly makes me smile.

A movie from 1979 - back when someone pumped your gas

Repair Mistakes & Blunders

From Rock Auto
Many years ago, early in my wrench turning and learning, I had a 1967 Thunderbird with a 390ci engine. I always tried to do my own repairs, and this time it was something that I had experience with, a tune-up. Everything went smoothly even though I had the distraction of my girlfriend looking over my shoulder asking a never ending barrage of questions.

I finished, put away my tools, cleaned up, and we walked to a friend's for dinner. The next day, I was leaving to go to work and started the car. The Thunderbird would barely run and had an unusual lope at idle and poor acceleration. But I had to get to work and drove it anyway. I was talking to a friend at work who also was a bit of a gear-head about how awfully my car was running, and he volunteered to take a look at it.

He drove off and quickly returned. Immediately he popped the hood, poked around for a couple of minutes and announced problem solved. It turned out that I had only connected the left bank of spark plug wires. The right side was just lying near their respective plugs. To this day, that same friend asks if I am firing on all cylinders. I have never repeated that little oversight in the ensuing 40 years.

Allan in Georgia

2nd Annual Breakthrough Car Show
One of the cars at the show from the Thunderbird Club

Fisker Wants EV Incentives Increased, But Capped At $55,000

From Car Scoops
There’s been a lot of talk about EV tax credits as President Biden’s American Jobs Plan calls for $100 billion in incentives for people who purchase electric vehicles.

The specifics haven’t been hashed out and it’s simply a proposal, but a number of stakeholders have been asking for changes to the current $7,500 tax credit.

The latest is Henrik Fisker who has unveiled his “75 And More for 55 And Less” proposal in a LinkedIn post. In it, the executive says “We are witnessing a rapid and sweeping change in mobility” and “it is imperative that America stays ahead in the race for BEV technology and development.”

Fisker then lays out his proposal, which would see the current $7,500 incentive increased by an additional $10 for every mile of range an EV has. As an example, the Ford Mustang Mach-E RWD with the extended range battery has an EPA-estimated range of 300 miles (483 km) so it would be eligible for $7,500 as well as an additional $3,000. The proposal also calls for the money to be applied at the time of sale and available only to electric vehicles that cost $55,000 or less.

Fisker went on to criticize the current tax rebate, which has largely “served to reward affluent early adopters with the motive and the means to purchase the latest technology.” As a result, he believes the next round of subsidies should encourage automakers to develop more affordable electric vehicles while also incentivizing mainstream consumers to purchase them.

Interestingly, the executive came to the defense of General Motors and Tesla whose vehicles are no longer eligible for the current $7,500 rebate. As he said, “Buyers of more affordable BEVs from some companies are no longer eligible for the federal tax credit, just as the industry is on the cusp of offering even more appealing mainstream vehicles to the masses.”

While Fisker would benefit from the changes, he contends “these incentives are not about promoting one company” but rather “about keeping America at the forefront of innovation and creativity worldwide while maintaining our domestic independence from imported sources of energy such as foreign oil.”

That being said, Fisker took the opportunity to plug the Ocean which is set to be launched in the fourth quarter of 2022. He also noted the company is working on an electric vehicle that will cost less than $30,000 and arrive by the end of 2023.

2nd Annual Breakthrough Car Show
Model T bucket

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

2nd Annual Breakthrough Car Show
Classic Lincoln

2nd Annual Breakthrough Car Show
One of the rat rods at the show

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