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Racing “On The Beach” At Daytona

Where Did They Race On The Beach At Daytona Beach?

North Turn Restaurant SignBeach racing at Daytona Beach was the foundation that led to today’s Daytona International Raceway built by “Big Bill” France who organized NASCAR.

Original beach racing photos and movie coverage is captivating … assuming that you like that sort of history with all of the drivers and unique challenges associated with an earlier era of technology and safety issues.

North Turn Restaurant EntranceToday, if you want to go to the actual beach race course the best location is Racing’s North Turn Restaurant which is located at the point of the north turn along the beach.  Inside the restaurant are hundreds of photos and memorabilia.  Spending some time at Racing’s North Turn Restaurant is an opportunity to look back at history.

Automotive Memorabilia

Automotive Memorabilia

Pontiac ServiceChaos brings opportunity for automotive memorabilia.  With closing of thousands of dealerships there will be substantial memorabilia available t collectors.  Opportunities are significant for small to large items signage and logo items and absolutely new to very historic.

Everything that you can think of and much that you have never heard of or forgotten will be on the market.  Getting a mental grasp on the magnitude of this situation is not easy.  Every car enthusiast has seen the big signs out front and on the buildings.  Showroom decor, parts and service all have unique signage and logos.  Corporate branding and related or product_branded items.  The list is seemingly endless.

Dealership Pontac SignWhere Are The Opportunities

Dealerships that have closed or will closenear you are fair game.  Owners may be too busy to speak with you directly right now but eventually they, or their representative, will be ready to speak with a liquidator of assets.  If someone does not buy and remove the items then some great things ar going to the dump.  Unfortunately, a lot of great stuff will end up at the dump.  The dealership closing numbers are just too great to save a lot of great historical memorabilia.

When Are The Opportunities

Opportunities are going to be there for the collector over tenext few years, for today’s dealerships that are closing.  If there is an immediatete change then the items will be available for removal right now.   If it takes years to resolve issues then it may take years for an outcome.

… Continue Reading

Revenge Of The Electric Car

June 13, 2009 Auto Manufacturer Comments Off on Revenge Of The Electric Car

A New Electric Car Film, Information & Technical Updates

EV1 at the Henry Ford Museum

EV1 at the Henry Ford Museum

Much is happening on the electric car front.  The Chevy Volt final design has been finalized and GM is moving to have the car in dealerships in 2010.  Chevrolet has permitted a few journalists to drive the Volt and the reviews are all very positive.  There will be much more hype over this car as it comes to production.  However, the good thing is that this car appears to be carefully engineered and provides good driving and performance characteristics as addressed in Chelsea Sextons Road Test.  Much depends on the success of the Volt for mainstream electric cars.  It is clear that GM Current Product Engineering will be very involved with the Volt. 

Revenge Of The Electric Car

Who Killed The Electric Car DVD CoverChris Payne and P.G. Morgan were Director and Producer of Who Killed The Electric Car? and have teamed up for a new film Revenge Of The Electric Car which will debut in 2010.  A web site and blog have been setup to chronicle developments associated with the film and related technologies.  An intertesting and informative road test article on the Chevy Volt has been prepared by Chelsea Sexton.

2010 GM Volt Update

LG Chem of Korea got the contract to provide lithium-ion batteries for the Volt.  GM will incorporate the batteries into  their proprietary battery pack design and software control so that they will be able to manage continued battery development and provide the battery packs to other customers.

Nano Engineered Batteries

Several weeks ago I had the opportunity to see a presentation about nano-engineered battery developments.  To say that nano engineering is a hot topic is an understatement.  In a fundamental way a base definition for nano engineering a battery would be to increase the energy density of the battery. 

Asking an automotive battery pack quesitons went like this: if an electric car battery pack weighing 1,000 lb were to be replaced by a nano-engineered battery what would the weight of the nano-engineered battery be?  Answer — 10 lb.

One thing is for sure, if the nano-engineered battery is anywhere close on performance and packaging then the entirety of the electric car will be light weight and spectacular.  Basically the car would represent a rolling chassis with minimum weight for the powertrain.  Such a real-world vehicle could have a curb weight of around 2,000 lb.

A Visit To The Closed Bill Heard Chevrolet Orlando

A Visit To Bill Heard In Orlando

hill-heard-i-4-signimg_0636-mediumSeveral days ago I had the opportunity to stop at the Bill Heard Chevrolet dealership in Orlando and take some photos for the Tribune.  Taking a look around the Bill Heard property in some ways is like visiting a grave sight after everyone has left and before the casket is lowered into the ground.  In this massive location I found everything to be totally quiet.  Looking around and seeing the totally quiet facility easily produced mental images of the greatness that had occurred in this Cathedral to Mr. Big Deal.

One Big Facility

bill-heard-orlando-google-earth_bBig signs, big buildings, big showrooms, big parts area, big service area, an administrative complex and other structures surrounded by acres of parking for new and used vehicles.  This is one absolutely huge place.

Life After People

Parts and Service

The facility looks like the doors were shut and the gates chained and nothing else has happened in the months after collapse of the Bill Heard empire.  Things take on the appearance of a sci-fi film about life after people.  Birds chirp and the wind blows.  There are no cars and no people.

Life With People

Used car salesNew car delivery area "Delivery Parking Only" signsLooking at the various structures on the property it became clear that in better times this was a massive economic and social engine.  Huge numbers of customers and employees were here every day.  Parts, service, sales, vendors, tool trucks, car shows, kids, adults, seniors, business leaders, community leaders, and the list could continue on-and-on; this place was a city of commerce and historical significance.  Bill Heard Chevrolet in Orlando is that big and it was that significant.

Photos in the article provide a general feel for the facility.  Additional photos are posted in the Gallery.

Bite of the Viper

Bitten By The Viper

viper_3Chrysler CEO Bob Nardelli has potentially opened a proverbial Hornet’s Nest by saying that there were no serious interested parties for the Dodge Viper and inaccurately stating the offers for Viper.  In Washington on June 4th it came out that a Michigan-based investor group had offered $35 million for the Viper car line.  However, Chrysler reported in their bankruptcy filing that the best offer that came along was $5.5 million.

This Looks Like A Major Error

His statement may be valid, although at this time it is has become public that the higher offer was made.  This mis-communication may be an honest error on the part of Mr. Nardelli.  Unfortunately for Chrysler and Mr. Nardelli, Washington, D.C. Congressmen and Senators will likely take this topic and turn it into a media show that will not be good for Chrysler.

Chrysler Smoke In Washington

For now the smoke is rising on this matter and it has been said that where there is smoke there is fire.

The Real Money

Viper value is a “drop in the bucket” of money associated with Chrysler.  This money is almost totally negligible when keeping Chrysler alive.  Although, if there is an error in reporting the information then everything that Chrysler brings forward will be suspect.  That outcome would certainly make future negotiations between Chrysler and the Government much more challenging.

GM Bankruptcy Filing For A New Start

GM Files Bankruptcy June 1, 2009

The Automotive Tribune has chronicled the evolution of this saga for some time with focus into selected or unique issues associated with the auto maker.  All car guys have some level of concern whether or not you like GM because problems with one manufacturer o supplier affects teh entire industry.  GM’s formal bankruptcy filing on June 1st in Manhattan is historic. … Continue Reading

Random Photos From Automotive Tribune Site

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Richard Kubis Explains Solar Thermal Hybrid Automobile