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Tuesday
Dec142010

Wesco Boots

At the motorcycle show Wesco had a comprehensive display of hand made boots. Obvious that if you ride a bike, especially a cruiser you have a pair of boots, or should have a pair of boots.

A totally cool boot making video...

Wesco custom boots: Sites and sounds from Wesco Boots on Vimeo.

 

 

Tuesday
Dec142010

Eco Drive

Presentation from Fiat (how is your Italian?) on the Eco Drive initiative they are promoting in Europe, although the principles are applicable anywhere. 

 

Monday
Dec132010

Times Change

As time passes by we change!We constantly hear times change, or that the only constant is change, that change barely blips on the radar.

Obvious that when "something" hits you, it leaves a mark.

Here's the story...

A few months ago when it was warmer, and the opportunity to have a car with a healthy V8, a proper manual transmission with enough gears and a clutch pedal, accompanied by a proper "enthusiast suspension and brakes". Yes....the stuff you read about in magazines and online publications. 

This car on paper makes a ton of folks drool today, a few decades back a similar configuration was a daily driver during the summer months. It goes, it stops, it rumbles, it does everything with authority, confidence, and a good measure of fun.

On a Friday early evening we are going to dinner with friends, and elected to take surface roads, to avert traffic, and enjoy the drive. Country roads, good power, V8 sound, shift gears, it does not get much better.

At a certain point I look at the passenger, or it was the passenger that looked at me. The comment was "We are beyond getting rattled and shaken in a car"...."Do you remember we used to enjoy riding around in such a car"...."Yes..but times change".  

Here's the thing...

If you go for a drive by yourself, and get spirited this car is a ton of fun, its the "enthusiast moment" with your priority to enjoy the drive, the car, the experience.

If you are going out with a passenger, and the car is primarily a conveyance to go from A to B, its too much engine, too much suspension, too much gas...and it will rattle you silly. 

More change...

Once we arrived at our destination (friend's house), obvious the car is an attraction..."Is it the new xxxx?".... "Yes it is"....."What a pre historic instrument panel/instruments"...."The dash and instruments are cool,like the original"....."Yes...pre historic".

As individuals we have our own perceptions where for one replicating instruments is cool, for another its pre historic.

Times do change!

 

Sunday
Dec122010

Automoblox

We featured Automoblox 3 years ago...here, now they have hot rods...here.

 

 

Saturday
Dec112010

Your Father

How often do you hear, that an individual is passionate about cars? How often do you wonder, where does it come from?

Is it really a passion?

Accompanied by a myriad other questions that might arise, especially during an age where everyone seems to be a passionate automotive expert. 

At the same time most guys have this paradoxical relationship with their father, especially from the late teens when the father evolves into the "ole man" sphere, where often perspectives of the father and son are diametrically opposed.

In the evolution of life we reach a stage where the "ole man" has been gone for decades, and suddenly out of the blue, the son misses the "ole man".

My father was one of the guys that was enlisted in WWII, he left at 19, fought a war, was taken prisoner, and returned home to a destroyed environment when he was 26. You wonder if such an experience today would make someone eligible for some sort of "traumatic something" or other. Back then he was very happy to be alive, and back home to finally start a life! 

This was a time when millions of guys lived through the same experiences of fighting a war, enduring a war, and getting a first hand look at the ugliness of war. When they returned, they had acquired several layers of toughness, and a sense of immediacy to catch up on a portion of life that was "served for others".

Years later you realise how long it took these guys to put closure on some of the ugliness.

My father was a mechanic, at a time when a mechanic actually repaired vehicles, and required an profound understanding of all the mechanical components of a vehicle. The diagnostic equipment was in a "mechanic's head" and the repairs were in his ability to understand the symptoms, and arrive at the correct solution. In addition to rebuilding Detroit Diesels when they were 2 cycle, had a blower, and injector racks. Where did he acquire an inclination for being a mechanic? At Benicia Arsenal....(a story for another time).

In the process of life, as a kid you hang around your "ole man" long enough that you start getting dirty, touching stuff that you have no business touching, getting familiar with hand tools, and eventually start understanding what makes a car function, and then understanding how to diagnose a car. Diagnosing an "issue" on any car was/is an art form.

At his funeral it struck me from the people attending, that he did make a difference, a contribution, that many people appreciated what he did for them in one fashion or another.

Another fascinating process of life; stuff that you learn at a young age for some reason never evaporates, or is it stuff that really fuels a passion. 

It simply follows through that at some point, cars are taken apart, repaired, rebuilt, modified with relative ease (understatement). Although cars have evolved dramatically by leaps and bounds, the mechanical aspect of cars still has a tradition going back many years. 

The other step to really fire up your passion is to understand and participate in every aspect of the "business" around cars (another story for another time).

Yes...there is passion and PASSION.