The I-75 Adventures of Juan Santamarina -- Flying Ladders and More!!

Hi folks -- I am convinced that I-75 between Dayton and Cincinnati is far more dangerous than anything you can run up against while traveling on I-5 or I-15 in Southern California. UD History colleague Juan Santamarina has had more than his share of adventures on I-75, including flying pieces of wood aimed at his windshield, hood, and grill. Here is a short account of his latest heart-rendering event:

Thought you would enjoy my latest I-75 adventures:
I was southbound on I-75, just north of I-275 late yesterday afternoon. There was a tow truck loading a car on the right shoulder and cars were slowing down on the right lane as a result. A Ford Fusion must have been distracted and didn't notice the slowing traffic then slammed the brakes and turned sharply to the right toward the shoulder. Somehow it missed the tow truck/car combo just in front of him and went flying through the grass beyond the shoulder into the ditch and up the other side of it stopping just short of the sound wall and not hitting anything (at that point he was perpendicular to the highway and only stuck in mud and water!). I was a few cars behind but pulled over to see if the driver needed help--so did 2 others. Turns out the driver was maybe 80, a little confused--either by what had just happened or perhaps before....someone else called police who arrived 3 minutes later. Excitement enough?
I was standing on the shoulder telling the cop what had happened when a pickup truck passed us and proceeded to drop his 20+ foot extension ladder out the back, landing a couple of feet in front of us and sliding up the right lane 30 feet forward while cars swerved to avoid it---leaving me to direct cars off the right lane while the cop and tow truck driver fetched the ladder from the right lane and dumped safely in the grass beyond the shoulder. Let me tell you that a big ladder like that hitting the road at 65mph is a little startling!
At that point I told the cop I had enough for one day and if he didn't need me I was on my merry way. He smiled, said thanks and bye.....
First a 2x4 flying at my car, then what was essentially a hit and run, and now this...? I guess I'm free now if these things come in threes--hopefully anyway, even though neither I nor the Benz suffered any damage on this event.

Aston Martin DB6 for the Royals!

A wonderful Aston DB6, the last one I'm told by a slotbrother from the UK, was the chosen mode of transportation for The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge today!

Carrera 1/24 Corvette GS reviewed

By Harry Wise of Home Racing World:

We have a lot of choices in our hobby today and because of all these great offerings, some models simply slip through my fingers. This Carrera Corvette model is one of them. Of course it has been on my list like many others, but thanks to some perfect timing this classic bowtie finally arrived sooner than I expected.

All Carrera 1/24 models really need 18 volts to run optimally. I want to make that clear before I give you my comments. I simply do not race Carrera 1/24 that often, but when I do it is just like our other scales and classes: Just for fun. Something different every once in awhile.

The one change is the NEW TIRES Carrera makes for these cars. These are a slightly softer compound and they did make the operation a lot better. You still need to sand them pretty good to get a optimal tire patch, but that is easily done.

Read the full review at this link.

Identification and Significance Questions: Study Sheet for Final Exam, HST 378

Hi folks-- how many of these questions, taken from my The Automobile and American Life, can you answer well?

Exam on Thursday, May 19, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
I Identification and historical significance (50 pts.). Answer five of the following eight (8) people, places, and things in a concise and detailed paragraph, in five sentences or less for each.

Henry Gregor Felsen’s Hot Rod (1950)
African-Americ ans, the Automobile, and Civil Rights during the 1950s
American Graffiti (1973
Don Stanford’s The Red Car (1954)
The Corvette and the Thunderbird during the 1950s
Garten Motors, Hinton, West Virginia
The UAW, The Big Three, and Pattern Bargaining
The 1949 Oldsmobile Rocket 88
The VW Beetle
Chuck Berry and “Maybellene”
Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
Thunder Road (1958)
Cadillac and the establishment during the 1950s and 1960s
Ralph Nader and the Corvair
The Federal Government, the automobile industry, and the 1960s
Crap Cars of the 1970s
Ben Hamper’s Rivethead: Tales from the Assembly Line (1991)
The Drive-By
NASCAR in the recent pastWomen, Poetry, and Passion, post-1980

Slot MiniAuto 77-May



El nuevo BMW M3 GTR GT2 de Scaleauto es el protagonista principal de nuestra portada del mes de mayo. También se destaca las pruebas del nuevo Ford Escort RS1600 Rally Safari de Superslot y del Porsche 911 S de MRRC.
En el interior se puede encontrar los reportajes del Corvette SR2 de Ninco, el nuevo Vintage Banco Occidental de Scalextric, el Mercedes Benz W196 y Pegaso Spyder Touring Panamericana de Top Slot. Además una excepcional colección de los Chevrolet Corvette que participaron en Le Mans de 1960.
Además de las noticias, novedades y presentaciones de modelos nuevos, destaca el artículo de brico-slot, de cómo realizar muros de piedra.

(A la venta el 28-04-2011)

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The new 1:12 Scaleauto BMW M3 GTR GT2 is the main protagonist of our cover in May. It also highlights the track test of the new Scalextric Ford Escort RS1600 Safari Rally and MRRC Porsche 911 S.
Inside you can find reports of Ninco’s Corvette SR2, the new Scx Vintage Renault Alpine, the Top Slot Mercedes Benz W196 and Pegaso Touring Spyder Panamericana. Also an exceptional collection of the Chevrolet Corvette that took part in Le Mans, 1960.
In addition to news, novelties and presentations of new models, a notably article of DIY-Slot, how to make stone walls.

(On-Sale 28/04/2011)

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New Fly cars coming

8 Reasons Why Stealing an Art car is a Bad Idea - Stolen Art Car ALERT

This is a stolen art car ALERT - Dennis Dillow from Fort Bend County, Texas has his station wagon art car covered in comic strips stolen right in front of his house Easter morning. First of all who would steal and art car and secondly who would steal one on Easter morning? For the most part stealing art cars is not a very good idea and here is why:
  1. REAL easy to spot
  2. Not reliable
  3. Most people know who the owners are
  4. Not a good get away car.
  5. Resale value is lousy
  6. Gas millage is poor
  7. Everyone stares at you
  8. The art car community looks out for each others cars
So if you are a bad guy reading this blog and you stole this car or are considering stealing an art car in the future think again. My advise to you is just keep walking!!! Anyone with information on the art car’s whereabouts is asked to call police. Here is a link to the video.

Slot Car Corner Guide Spacers

Slot Car Corner now offers high-quality guide spacers which fit most popular 1/32 guide flags. Guide spacers are one of those "little things" that are often overlooked but can make a big difference in a car's performance. Made from Teflon (tm), they are .010" thick and can be stacked to achieve the desired thickness for a given guide/car. For more information or to order, please visit Slot Car Corner.

Note: Guide shown for illustration purposes only - must be purchased separately.

Donks -- Cincinnati, the Individual, and Common Sense

Hi Folks -- Visiting back in Centerville, I read the Dayton Daily News this rainy Easter morning and found an rather lengthy article on Donks and the City of Cincinnati trying to take them off the road. Seems that the police argue that these cars are unsafe, and expose gas tanks and other parts to vulnerability during a crash. The owner of Fatt Boyz accessory shop in Kettering Ohio is worried that his business will lose lots of money if Cincinatti's stand starts a trend among municipal governments. Donk owners claim racial profiling, while anti-crime advocates assert that these cars are associated with gangs. Another example of American individuality being squelched for the common good.
Well, these cars are stupid. They can't handle, they are a total waste of money, and probably their owners have IQs in the range of 80. But -- if Cincinnati does this, will they also take off the road all the good old boys with their jacked up pickups that are equally as unstable and stupid? Give me examples of crashes involving these Donks? Show me statistically that they are unsafe?

Is this really about about traffic safety?

Easter Musings: Jesus and the cars he would drive

Hi folks -- this Easter, as we think of Jesus an God, my thoughts go back to the What would Jesus Drive question that emerged during 2002 as a response to the question of SUVs and the environment. Years ago I wrote an essay on Christianity and automobiles, and in revised form that can be found in Chapter 5 of my book "The Automobile and American Life."

On another website, T.J. Nelson had this to say back in 2002:

This week, an organization called the "National Religious Partnership for the Environment" has started a national campaign to make people feel guilty for driving SUVs. The centerpiece of this campaign is the slogan, "What would Jesus drive?". This, of course, has driven people into paroxysms of laughter, with jokes like "A Christ-ler" and comments that, being a carpenter, He would have needed a van with a ladder rack on top. White, of course. With a statue of his mother on the dashboard.

Guaranteed Overnight Delivery truck One person suggested that Jesus, the ultimate eternal surfer, would most likely drive "a cherry 1940s flathead V-8 Ford woody with surfboards on the roof".


However, in all seriousness, this question can be answered authoritatively. One need only turn to the Bible to find what cars were driven in those days.

In the beginning, God himself made mention of His favorite car, when He described to Jeremiah His plans for the Israelites.

  Jer 32:37
Behold, I will gather them out of all countries, whither I have
driven them in my Anger, and in my Fury, and in great wrath; and I
will bring them again unto this place, and I will cause them to dwell
Clearly, God was driving, not a bus, but a Plymouth Fury and a car called an "Anger", which is no longer being produced. Later, however, the Lord was seen driving people around in a Valiant:
  Jer 46:15
Why are thy Valiant men swept away? they stood not, because the LORD
did drive them.
The Lord frequently drove people out to important occasions, if they didn't have their own car:
  Judg 1:19
And the LORD was with Judah; and he drove out the inhabitants of the
mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley,
because they had chariots of iron.

Station wagons were also popular in early times. God saw that they were good, as they could not only carry an assembly of people, but would shield them in a crash.

  Ezek 23:24
And they shall come against thee with chariots, wagons, and wheels,
and with an assembly of people, which shall set against thee buckler
and shield and helmet round about: and I will set judgment before
them, and they shall judge thee according to their judgments.
Unfortunately, his followers, being generous in the ways of the Lord, tended to give them away:
  Num 7:6
And Moses took the wagons and the oxen, and gave them unto the

Fords, then as now, were popular, but not universally so, often being left behind in emergencies.

  Gen 32:22
And he rose up that night, and took his two wives, and his two
womenservants, and his eleven sons, and passed over the Ford Jabbok.
Ford dealerships were commonly used as gathering points for women.
  Isa 16:2
For it shall be, that, as a wandering bird cast out of the nest, so
the daughters of Moab shall be at the Fords of Arnon.
The Israelites also drove customized automobiles. There was a distinct preference for brass and molten parts, which are rarely used today because of the difficulty in handling them.
  1Kgs 7:30
And every base had four brazen wheels, and plates of brass: and the
four corners thereof had undersetters: under the laver were
undersetters molten, at the side of every addition.

1Kgs 7:33
And the work of the wheels was like the work of a chariot wheel:
their axletrees, and their naves, and their felloes, and their
spokes, were all molten.
The ancient Israelites took great pride in their wheels. Often they were of unusual design, with wheels inside other wheels instead of at the four corners like today's cars. This may have been done to facilitate performing stunts such as "wheelies".
  Ezek 1:16
The appearance of the wheels and their work was like unto the color
of a beryl: and they four had one likeness: and their appearance and
their work was as it were a wheel in the middle of a wheel.

Ezek 1:20
Whithersoever the Spirit was to go, they went, thither was their
Spirit to go; and the wheels were lifted up over against them: for
the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels.
Clearly, the Israelites considered the wheel to be the most important part of the car. But they were also fond of powerful engines:
  Ezek 26:10
By reason of the abundance of his horses their dust shall cover thee:
thy walls shall shake at the noise of the horsemen, and of the
wheels, and of the chariots, when he shall enter into thy gates, as
men enter into a city wherein is made a breach.

Of course, God, with an infinite expense account, could afford to occasionally drive a Rolls Royce.

  Ezra 6:1
Then Darius the king made a decree, and search was made in the house
of the Rolls, where the treasures were laid up in Babylon.

Dodge is one of the oldest car companies, selling the Triumph, Avenger, Colt, and Charger in Biblical times.

  2Sam 1:20
Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Askelon; lest
the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the
uncircumcised Triumph.
Of course, in modern times, circumcision is no longer performed on automobiles.

They were popular gifts.

  Mark 6:28
And brought his head in a Charger, and gave it to the damsel: and the
damsel gave it to her mother.
The Dodge Ram was greatly admired, and frequently customized with aftermarket accessories such as custom leather seats and extra horns of different pitch.
  Dan 8:3
Then I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and, behold, there stood before
the river a Ram which had two horns: and the two horns were high; but
one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last.
Collisions, however, were frequent.
  Dan 8:6
And he came to the Ram that had two horns, which I had there seen
standing before the river, and ran unto him in the Fury of his power.
Here we see one of the earliest documented cases of road rage.
  Dan 8:7
And I saw him come close unto the Ram, and he was moved with choler
against him, and smote the Ram, and broke his two horns: and there
was no power in the Ram to stand before him, but he cast him down to
the ground, and stamped upon him: and there was none that could
deliver the Ram out of his hand.
There are also very few Japanese cars in the Bible. The Honda Accord is mentioned several times, although one might question the driving skills of the ancient Israelites.
  Acts 5:12
And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought
among the people; and they were all with one Accord in Solomon's

Acts 19:29
And the whole city was filled with confusion: and having caught Gaius
and Aristarchus, men of Macedonia, Paul's companions in travel, they
rushed with one Accord into the theatre.
However, the AMC Spirit was unquestionably the most popular car of Biblical times. They were so highly prized that they were sometimes even described as "holy", and unlike the Spirits of today, had powerful engines, probably V-6 or V-8 turbines with fuel injection and dual overhead cams. Often people were said to be driving around "in an excellent Spirit". The Lord Himself even reputedly owned one, undoubtedly because of their reputation for reliability. They would go wherever you wanted them to.
  Ezek 1:20
Whithersoever the Spirit was to go, they went, thither was their
Spirit to go; and the wheels were lifted up over against them: for
the Spirit of the living creature was in the wheels.

Carpool For Dummies - Art Car Central Moron Alert

Car in a pool
There needs to be a book called Carpooling for dummies written by art car central that helps people drive and park in around swimming pools. Holy smokes!!! do we need special protective barriers around pools to stop some folks from driving their precious vehicles into the pool??? By the looks of it I think we do.
I want to know how on earth does one get that close to a swimming pool to actually drive their car into it. None of these cars is a Prius, so the sticky gas pedal excuse wont work here. Was there no parking space available left that the pool seemed like the next best thing? Was the pool gravity so strong that it just sucked these cars into them? The only answer I can come up with is "The Devil made them do it", what do you think happened ? Some of the cars found in the bottom of these pools include: Mazda, Jeep, MiniVan, even a very expensive Rolls Royce, ouch!!!
Van in a pool Miata in a pool
Car in a pool Car in a pool
Car in a pool Jeep in a pool
Car in a pool Sation Wagon in a pool
car in a pool 4x4 in a pool
Corvette in a pool Truck in a pool
Rolls Royce Car in a Pool car in a pool

Engineering the Ride: Ford Engineering, 1952, and the "mechanical man"

An early type two arm friction shock absorber
Ride control certainly has gone scientific!

Hi folks -- one area of auto history that needs much more study centers on ergonomics, ride comfort, and research studies done on ride comfort. These studies have been around at least since the 1920s. As I was reading a 1952 issue of Speed Age last evening I came upon this entry that was a part of a story by Charles J. Yarbough, "A Day with the Ford Engineers." In this article the author goes on to say:
"Close to the top in the fantastic array of instruments used in seeking the ultimate in comfort is a gadget billed as "a mechanical man with a seismograph in his stomach." Engineers developed the 'man' using the human form as a model.
The 'man' is designed with a center of gravity and weight distribution determined from statistics of the average person. Head and legs were omitted and when in use, 'his' lap is covered with instruments.
'He' could be the ideal back-seat driver. Placed beside the driver, its uncanny instruments provide information on riding comfort an car performance, tests springs, shock absorbers and cushions.
Three accelerometers measure the slightest quiver or shake, up, down, or sideways and the unbiased report is an audible as an irate wife.
To determine the course over which the 'man' goes for a ride, survey teams actually built a highway of potholes and bumps. Some of Detroit's worst highway surfaces have even been duplicated on the testing grounds."

Mutant Jesus Vehicle Fish Makes and Appearance at Burning Man

The Jesus fish is pretty standard these days but a big giant one is an entirely different story. This mutant Jesus vehicle fish and fish-let made its appearance at the 2010 Burning Man

Shelby Le Mans Series – Shelby Modelismo

A report in Spanish from our friends in Brasil of a 12 Hour race they recently did at the Shelby Modelismo club in Sao Paulo. If you don't read Spanish you'll at least be able to enjoy the pictures.

Shelby Le Mans Series – Shelby Modelismo

En marzo de 2011, en el club Shelby ( Brasil ), los fascinantes mini automóviles rodaram por muchas horas en más una edición de su tradicional Carrera , las 12HORAS Shelby.

Los coches, sus pilotos, en mucho tiempo de dedicación, kilometros y kilometros de concentración, capacidad y placer.

Con más esto, el club agrega 45 ediciones de prueba de resistência y larga duración (Replicas de coche 1/32). Marca mundial para los coches en la escala 1/32.

Felicitaciones para los participantes del evento. Felicitaciones para sus equipos y sus coches.

Shelby Modelismo y Ninco, companeros también en las carreras de gran duración.
(Fotos em

10 Art Vespas of Magnificent Proportion

Tartan Vespa Bike Art car Central

A while back I posted the Disco Vespa or the disco ball on wheels and now I am totally stoked to introduce 10 magnificent art vespas that would definitely turn heads riding down any street in the world.

Disco Vespa Bike Art car Central

Sticker Vespa Bike Art car Central

Tartan Vespa Bike Art car Central

Painted Vespa Bike Art car Central

Painted Vespa Bike Art car Central

Sharpie Vespa Bike Art car Central

Painted Vespa Bike Art car Central

Painted Vespa Bike Art car Central

Painted Vespa Bike Art car Central

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