We interrupt this hate...

Today is a holiday for TCW, and your regularly scheduled vitriol will not be seen today. We will return to Thursday Hate on October 8th.

Auto Art Oct/Nov cars

Click on photo for larger version.

Estimated product availability - October 2009

Item No. Description SRP
12116 1/12 PORSCHE 997 GT3 RS (BLACK W/ ORANGE STRIPES) $499.95
50907 1/43 BUGATTI VEYRON 16.4 (BLACK/BLUE) $54.95
50908 1/43 BUGATTI VEYRON 16.4 (PEARL/ICE BLUE) $54.95
59001 1/43 KOENIGSEGG CCX (ORANGE) $39.95
71505 1/18 DODGE CHARGER E49 (RED) $129.95
71506 1/18 DODGE CHARGER E49 (SILVER) $129.95
76241 1/18 MERCEDES-BENZ S63 AMG (SILVER) $129.95
76242 1/18 MERCEDES-BENZ S63 AMG (BLACK) $129.95
76286 1/18 MERCEDES-BENZ 280 SE COUPE 1968 (BLACK) $114.95
78801 1/18 LEXUS GS430 2006 (LHD) (MERCURY METALLIC) $114.95
78802 1/18 LEXUS GS430 2006(LHD) (BLACK ONYX) $114.95
78811 1/18 LEXUS IS 350 2006 (LHD) (BLUE) $114.95
78814 1/18 LEXUS IS 350 2006 (LHD)(CRYSTAL WHITE) $114.95
78821 1/18 LEXUS GS450 H (METALLIC BLUE) $114.95
78856 1/18 TOYOTA FJ CRUISER (BLACK) $139.95
78857 1/18 TOYOTA FJ CRUISER (YELLOW) $139.95
79507 1/18 VOLVO 850R ESTATE 1996(RED) $129.95

Estimated product availability - November 2009

Item No. Description SRP
12551 1/12 DUCATI SPORT 1000 (RED) $84.95
12552 1/12 DUCATI SPORT 1000 (YELLOW) $84.95
71504 1/18 DODGE CHARGER E49 (METALLIC YELLOW) $129.95
72821 1/18 FORD MUSTANG MACH I 1971(YELLOW) $114.95
72824 1/18 FORD MUSTANG MACH I 1971(WHITE) $114.95
76287 1/18 MERCEDES-BENZ 280 SE COUPE 1968 (WHITE/RED ROOF) $114.95
77321 1/18 NISSAN SKYLINE GT-R (R33) V-SPEC (SILVER) $114.95
78855 1/18 TOYOTA FJ CRUISER (BLUE) $139.95
79002 1/18 KOENIGSEGG CCX (BLACK) $169.95

AUTOart 1/24 Scale Slot Car
Item No. Description SRP
14536 1/24 PORSCHE 911(996) GT3 RSR 2005 PLAIN BODY VERSION (WHITE) $54.95
14546 1/24 PORSCHE 997 GT3 CUP CAR 2007 #89 $59.95

SCX slot person of 2009

See this thread for availability.

New Pioneer Mustang pix!!!!!!!

Photos of the new Pioneer Mustang provided by Jules of Pioneer.

Rides for Retirees -- Tricked Out Out Wheels -- Hot Golf Carts!

Since we have Carolyn Ludwig now almost retired, I thought I would give her some ideas on what her next wheels might look like.

Driving empowers us. Our vehicles, no matter what they might be, provide us with both real and imagined opportunities in life. Mobility gives us freedom, and at every stage of life technologies give us that. it might be a stroller when we are infants, a tricycle and then bicycle in early adolescence, and it might be a golf cart or a Jazzy when we get old.

In retirement communities from Florida to Arizona, and planned communities like Peachtree City in Atlanta, tricked out golf carts are the rage. The can serve as second vehicles, and take their owners shopping, to the mall, and of course around the golf course. They are modified both internally as well as in terms of external design. Speed cut offs can be shunted, larger tires and wheels added, 1400 watt stereos attached -- all to keep folks in places like Sun City in Arizona happy and healthy. They can cost upwards of $20,000 or more, but why scrimp?
The electric car is not just in our future as highway drivers, but also as those us us about to retire and enjoy the good life. The good life with an attitude!

Early hate

This guy is too big an asshole to wait for Thursday.

Toronto columnist Terence Corcoran was almost Jonathan Swift with this obscene twist of logic:
When car drivers cruise....on Saturday night, their metabolisms are more or less flat-lined. They just sit there, burning up little energy personally but paying for the cost of their automobile's carbon footprint via taxes and fees. Bike riders grinding up the same route burn up a lot more carbohydrates, which their bodies convert into carbon dioxide and exhale, adding to their carbon footprint. The volumes are small, but it all adds up, and bicyclists don't pay.

But this is mixed in with some legitimate gripes about rude and thoughtless cyclists riding on the sidewalk and blowing stoplights and such, so even if it was satire, it's just not very good. I'd consider it a wasted opportunity, in fact, since that behavior is no worse than any driver with orders of magnitude less liability.

And does the world need another BikeSnob? A conservative, pudgy, non-cycling Canadian one with no sense of humor, at that?

So I will state this is probably real, and nothing if not trolling for a reaction. And he certainly got one from looking at the comments.

I'll say this: no matter how much C02 cyclists are emitting directly and indirectly - through increased calorie consumption - cars get taxed because they carry so much liability amid their surroundings and create so much wear on the surfaces intended to be driven on, not to mention real pollution. I'd bet this guy certainly wouldn't argue to have CO2 declared a pollutant in any other context besides heaping hostility on cyclists.

The amount of money saved on infrastructure maintenance by every "one-less-car" is certainly worth the cost of the so-called "free lunches" given to cyclists. Not too mention, we're the ones offsetting all the demand you sedentary fucks are putting on the healthcare system. You think your premiums are high? Thank us cyclists for keeping the risk down where it is!

Teammate and friend "Bryce" commented to me, "
This is an odd and hostile twist on a common theme. There have been numerous op-eds in favor of taxing/licensing cyclists....that just because someone is on a bike that they must never use a car (or own property or pay sales tax) and are thus somehow freeloading."

And I don't own property or car. I guess that makes me some sort of communist. Bryce continues:

"Even if you pay rent in lieu of a mortgage (not a bad idea these days), you're subsidizing your landlord's property taxes and contributing to public infrastructure in a direct and measurable way. So no, you're definitely not a freeloader and yes, this guy can suck it. Anyway, it's never about who pays for what, with crap like this the subtext is always hostility towards cyclists."

There you have it. Terence Corcoran. What an asshole!

Truth in 24 : Audi Documentary Video Free on iTunes

Hey race fans... If you are a fan of the 24hrs of LeMans... there is a FREE video (standard or HD) on iTunes right now. (dont know how long it will be in the free section, but as of today it is).
I dont know how long it will be there, but its really slick! Its a documentary by the Audi team, and was just released at the end of March 2009.

From the iTunes main window (assuming you are using the latest version of iTunes) scroll all the way down the screen towards the bottom center section, and click on "SEE ALL". Then scroll down to the bottom of the next screen. Truth in 24 is on the lower left corner of the screen.

Enjoy in amazement...

Michigan, again

We arrived at Mark's cottage in Three Rivers on Friday evening after a peaceful drive out, escaping the worst of Chicago traffic and nabbing some roadside Dairy Queen along the way.

I'd been waiting since late July to have a seat on that faded couch, kick off my shoes, breathe in the room's pleasantly musty scent of procrastination, and take that first nip of peppery-velvet bourbon. I sighed a long sigh, letting the last of the stressful summer and road cycling season drain out of my feet; allowing fall's cool breath to whisper on the back of my neck, and the warmth from old mismatched lamps, reflecting off of cloudy windows, to seep in through my pores.

We drank our drinks and played trivial pursuit and chatted the night away as the dogs' toenails clicked on the floor to the rhythm of Sam Cooke's voice. And when they'd stopped their curious pacing, contented sighs from the couch would interrupt our conversation occasionally.

The night got away from us. Soon it was 2:30am and the bottle was over half-empty.

I awoke on the couch feeling bloated and had a headache, and didn't even remember shutting off the light. It was still somewhat early, but I'd still slept in by my standards. We took a stroll through the woods up the hill to the clearing, letting Jack and Charlotte run ahead in a glorious breach of protocol for them, leashes nowhere to be found. The break in the woods at the top is the result of a bad storm years ago, Mark tells me. Huge swaths of trees needed to be cleared, and it's now a peaceful surprise, a grassy field dotted by manicured bush groves and a tree or two, after walking through scruffy and uncouth undergrowth.

Imagine hippie drum circles or an aboriginal dance party and what-not going on up there.

After a breakfast of bacon and eggs, and a longer walk with the pooches, we took a moderately long ride as a prequel to Sunday's Century in Three Oaks, about an hour west. On the area's lightly traveled and beautiful roads (belied by the constant road kill - a veritable critter holocaust), we rode up and down constant and surprisingly challenging rolling hills, dodged the dead raccoons and feasting turkey buzzards, and stopped to the take the occasional odd sight, such as this huge red bard that was covered in deer antlers:

About an 90 minutes into our scheduled two hour ride - still outbound - we realized just how freaking big Chicago is...East Michigan Avenue?

We got a bit lost, missing a few turns, but the flat parts always seem to do that to you:

What would I do for a Klondike Bar? 57 miles, apparently:

We still had another 100 miles on tap for tomorrow, so additional recovery was needed:

And yet, with the great day so far, and all that was planned for Sunday, it's photo-ops like this that make getting out of the city entirely worthwhile:

Still, that 100 miles up tomorrow did weigh heavy on our...appetites:

Kirby arrived late that night, and after staying up a bit more chatting over a beer, we hit the sack well after 1am. The alarm was set for 6, and both Jack and I had a hard time getting to sleep. Jack wasn't quite sure what to make of the extra person in the room, and his toenails clicked all night long as he paced between Kirby on the floor, me on the couch, and Mark and Charlotte behind the closed door of the bedroom.

As I jumped blearily up to shut off the twitching, treble-y phone, I noticed he'd finally fallen asleep underneath my feet at the opposite armrest. Wake up, jerk.

Being in the far western end of the eastern time zone ensured it was dark for our 6:30 am departure to the Apple Cider Century in Three Oaks, an hour west. We left Jack and Charlotte to entertain each other over a huge bowl of water.

After a pancake breakfast, we donned the spandex and met several friends at the start finish...

...and were soon rolling with the sun chasing our heels:

The Apple Cider Century is becoming a tradition among us, the perfect way to end the season with a fun, stress-free, yet hard ride. About every 20 miles is a rest stop with cookies, PB&J, soup, and yes, apple cider. There is every kind of rider imaginable, from roadies like us, wearing full kit and giving our sponsors their due, to more relaxed weekend warriors in Primal Wear jerseys - lots of beer labels this year - even a few culture warriors on fixies were spotted, and lots of kids and families.

There are many route options, ranging from 15 miles all the way to the 100 miler we were tackling. Jonathan and Lara in fact were towing their year-old son Jacques in a trailer, and rode with us for the first 6 miles or so before reaching their turn to continue on the 37 mile route.

Kirby admires gravity's work at the 2nd rest stop:

Over the course of the ride our group got a bit smaller. Evan was riding with us on his cyclocross bike, with wider, lower pressure tires, and we'd picked up a 15 year old named Sam from Chicago riding on a old, vintage Trek steel racer a few sizes too big for him. By mile 50 the day was taking its toll on them, and they started falling off the back on the rolling hills. We said goodbye to Sam shortly after the 2nd rest stop, and Evan would catch up to us as we were leaving the 3rd and final stops.

Kirby was having mechanical problems and took the opportunity the turn-off for the 75 mile option offered, and there was just us: myself, Mark, and Loukis.

Fatigue hit all of us pretty hard rolling out of the last rest stop at mile 82, but Loukis had the most strength. He relished the effort of going 100 percent on the hills, and only a few times was I able to muster the motivation to chase, fewer to beat him to the top. Mark has been out of racing for nearly two seasons now, and the lack of training was showing. After a modest push for Loukis and I up a steeper roller, we'd look back to see Mark hurting.

But in his fitter days Mark was one of the fastest guys on the team and a tireless worker. Most casual riders train for months, very focused, to just complete a century. Mark kind of just did this one. That's saying something. See? I'd say he looks pretty good for mile 98.5 (and dig that tailwind!):

Since I had my camera out, I thought I'd record the last few images of the ride:

As I snapped this picture:

...Loukis had been waiting patiently for me to put my camera away as the city limits sign approached. There is nothing more sacred to the Long Ride than the sprint to the City Limits Sign. Soon it was almost too late, and as I was still reaching into my back pocket, there was the sound of his chain dropping cogs.

"You son of a BITCH!" I roared with laughter, and scared the bejeezus out of a family of four as I tried to grab his wheel. But the sign was right there. The century was over.

Yeah, that was rude of me, but like I said, nothing is more sacred.


There was the spaghetti dinner and ice cream afterward.

Thank you, Carolyn Ludwig! -- 1936 Chevrolet

On Friday, October 2, we are celebrating the retirement of Carolyn Ludwig, my assistant while I was Alumni Chair in Humanities. Carolyn's time at the University of Dayton spanned some 49 years. During that time she held numerous positions, and positively touched the lives of many faculty students and staff with her kind and gentle manner. She began in 1960, fresh out of high school, and worked for Brother Mann in College of Arts and Sciences office. Dwight Esinehower was president of the United States then, the Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the New York Yankees in the World Series (perhaps the best game 7 in history!), Chubby Checker topped the pop charts with "The Twist," and I was in the 6th grade.

Later she moved on to the Athletic Department, where she briefly got to know Harry Bajuan, "The Blond Beast," and where she worked directly under Tom Frericks. She was there when the UD arena was constructed, and when Elvis performed in concert there. After a stint in the College of Arts and Sciences again, she became the first and to date only administrative assistant for the Alumni Chair in Humanities, working with Professors Gene August, Michale Barnes, Richard Benedum, and lucky me. Carolyn kept the trains running on time, the symposia organized, the materials ordered, and much, much more. She also assisted Graul Chairs Eric Street and Sean Wilkinson. Carolyn knew who to see and where to go, no matter what the problem.

The inserted photo is that of Carolyn on the hood of a mid-1930s Chevrolet. For several generations Americans had their photographs taken with their cars -- it was that important to them. And like Carolyn today, she seems to have everything under control. This time it was with rope over the hood ornament! A pretty serious little girl!

VW Porsche Reunion, Cincinnati, September 27

Hi folks -- another rainy and gloomy morning in Ohioland, but that didn't keep VW and Porsche owners from coming out with their cars to Mark Schlacter's annual VW/Porsche reunion, held at GE Park. The morning started out dark, cold (for September) and drizzly. It seems we have had this weather almost non-stop for a week, with just enough breaks to cut the grass before the next rain event comes. How I ever decided to come to Ohio 25 years ago is now beyond my comprehension, although I can explain it away as a thought disorder.

There were plenty of VWs of all kinds, although I did not see many Karmann-Ghias. And these shows brings out all kinds of nuts, like the Kuebelwagen guy with his guns mounted on the vehicle and ready to go. Actually, I took great offense at his SS sticker on the car, and should have told him so. Only now as I think back to it and that sticker have I concluded that I was morally weak. I wonder if this owner ever was shot at or killed someone in combat. Some historical artifacts need not be brought back to us so faithfully. And indeed, I don't know if Kuebelwagens were actually marked with SS designations. Third Reich nuts!

The Porsches shown -- there were about 27 or so -- were uneven in terms of quality and historical merit. I wonder about these folks who want a concours prize for their 2008 vehicles. It seems to me to be a lame attempt at some sort of psychological gratification. And I have to say that Porsche owners are a strange breed. Some are so self-centered I certainly don't want to be around them. They have missed the point.

Ferrari, Dyson, and Peugeot win Petit LeMans

The Peugeot teams won the day today, despite the Audi's leading nearly all day.
Dyson team was jubilant to take the top step on the podium today.
Kaffer and Salo celebrate their win over a large GT2 field.

Photos from the race can be seen at this link.

Petit LeMans... RACE ON!

It was really wild to see the cars do some warm up laps this morning. Water is everywhere and the spray behind the cars is amazing. The race starts soon. I'll do updates during the race. Check this thread for regular updates.

Jaguar XKR RSR ALMS entry

The Jaguar XKR RSR went through scrutineering yesterday... but don't get too excited. The car was due to do some test laps this morning but because of the weather that's probably been cancelled. The team did a dry run with the IMSA officials yesterday at the end of the day and to give the team some experience with the process IMSA goes through for pre-race tech inspection. The car is scheduled to make it's debut this year at Laguna Seca.

Petit LeMans practice/Porsche Cup photos

Braselton, Georgia Sept. 26, 2009:
The weather cooperated (unless you consider oppressive humidy uncooperative) for the Patron GT3 Challenge Porsche Cup race.
The field lines up before the start of the Patron Challenge race.
Bergmeister and his team are sixth on the grid for GT2 for the start this morning.
Patrick Long waits for practice to begin Friday morning.
The Peugeot mechanics work on one of the cars during practice Friday morning. The changed the nose and rear bodywork during this stop.
The 08 is second in the field after the sister car qualified with a time of 1:06.937 with an average speed of 136.606 mph in only 3 laps of running.

Many more photos at this link.

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