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Millbrook GM European Proving Grounds

European Proving Grounds Millbrook is a 700 acre facility about 40 miles north of London with test tracks and testing facilities for aerospace, military, vehicle production, driver training (Aston Martin), and real-time online vehicle tracking. Here is link to the Millbrook website. Construction began in 1968 for a smaller version …

Auto Body Tems

Automotive Body Terms Every automotive professional has been challenged by their lack of knowledge regarding this particular terminology. Complications arise when the same parts and sub-assemblies are referred to with different names even if everyone speaks English. Furthermore, every automotive technical professional has been frustrated by their lack of knowledge …

Low Speed Vehicles – Neighborhood Electric Vehicles

  LSV Low Speed Vehicles and NEV Neighborhood Electric Vehicles represent a classification for a Federally approved street-legal vehicle that is speed limited to 25 mph.  This United States Department of Transportation [USDOT] legislation was put into effect by Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard [FMVSS] 500 in 1998.  Simply put, NEV’s represent a …

Auto Battlefront 2011

Cruze, Focus & Elantra, The 2012 Models King Kong vs Godzilla vs Smog Monster — An epic battle is in the works for 2011 and it is definitely not some of my favorite from the classic 1950-1960’s sci-fi mega-characters. Chevrolet Cruze, Ford Focus and Hyundai Elantra are the three 2012 models that are on the …

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Event Data Recorder — EDR

Advanced Research Test EDREvent Data Recorders or EDR devices, installed in the vehicle, record what happens in your car during an airbag deployment or wake-up speed change situation.  Typically these devices record pre impact speed, Delta-V or speed change in the event, and possibly other inputs like seat belt operation, and throttle position.  Each manufacturer has their own set of criteria and values.

Photos shown are for research and testing of an advanced EDR.

Avanced EDR and Vericom Instrumentation

Avanced EDR and Vericom Instrumentation

EDR systems can be much more robust and offer many other features which would be very valuable to fleets and businesses.  Photos shown here detail testing of an advanced EDR device.  Selected acceleration, deceleration, turn, and other tests are performed with the NEV before testing with real vehicles.

EDR systems provide real credibility associated with impacts because they provide an unbiased record of what happens.  This information can be vital to document what happened in the “event”.

EDR’s are typically referred to as Black Boxes.  However, in looking at the attached photos none of the devices are actually black.  The advanced EDR is in a white box and an actual Flight Data Recorder is orange.

Instrumented NEV

Instrumented NEV

EDR’s are in the news and in your car.  Every vehicle today has airbag devices.  Every OEM has their own data that they can retrieve post impact so they can evaluate how well their car and safety devices performed in the crash.  Other data from the EDR requires special diagnostic and test equipment for data retrieval.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, NHTSA, and the National Transportation Safety Board, NTSB, have been very active with EDR issues.  NTSB has a long history with the five transportation mediums that embrace EDR: highway, rail, pipeline, aircraft and vessels (boats/ships).

Brock Yates Leaves Car & Driver

Tribune Editor and Brock Yates in 2003 at the Amelia Island ConcoursBrock Yates, the trivia, blasphemy, and other unprintable news man reports about being fired in his January 30, 2008  article at www.thetruthaboutcars.com where Editor Csabe Csere of Car and Driver magazine “let him go”.

Automotive Tribune Editor (L) and Brock Yates (R) photo taken at the Amelia Island Concours in 2003.

Right now Brock seems to be in a position of re-assessment of options regarding which forum or podium he wants to ascend / tackle / affiliate because of the public’s shift from print to internet.

Brock is absolutely one of the preimminent automotive journalists in the world.  I enjoyed his humor in Car & Driver starting in the late 1960’s.  Brock is opinionated in a manner that probably turns many people off but his writing is always tied to freedom / USA / individual success / upbeat-at-heart even in tough times. … Continue Reading

Daytona Speedweeks — Living Legends

On the sand at Daytona Beach

On the sand at Daytona Beach

On the wide expanse of sand at low tide in 1903 Ransom E. Olds [think Oldsmobile & REO cars & trucks] is credited with the first timed run at Daytona Beach, Florida.  Just to the north of Daytona Beach is Ormond Beach, proclaimed by the city as the Birthplace of Speed because racing started there in 1902.  On a roll, Ormond Beach had their first race where Alexander Winton’s Winton Bullett powered by a 492 cubic-inch 57 horsepower engine beat the Olds Pirate, a stripped down and light weight version of the Curved Dash Olds, for the Challenge Cup by .2 second.

Beach racing had started, the press was there to cover the action, and the public followed these activities.  Nascar ultimately came out the beach races and the famous Daytona International Speedway.  Historic racing fans have a special love and respect for beach racing. … Continue Reading

Kings For Another Era

Little brother to the ZR1, the 2009 Z06 Corvette has 550 HP

Little brother to the ZR1, the 2009 Z06 Corvette has 550 HP

2009 CTS-V

2009 CTS-V

CTS-V and ZR1

arguably represent the finest passenger car and Corvette built by GM.  These monster performance vehicles are at the zenith of advertized horsepower with 556 and 638 as explained on their respective pages at the GM web site.

Both vehicles have accolades from the world wide automotive press.  This is absolutely impressive, because now the press really does provide positive commentary about GM vehicles.  The CTS-V can feel right at home in the company of BMW M products and Mercedes AMG while the ZR1 Corvette can out perform almost every car ever produced.

Dinosaurs once romed the earth and in today’s environmentally conscious society and GM’s negotiation with Washington for capital CTS-V and ZR1 vehicles will end the run for ultra high power internal combustion engine GM vehicles.  This is a terrible consequence for performance car fans, who would love to have one of these vehicles and GM, who needs positive press for providing a fantastic car at a reasonable price for cars in that perforance category.  Admittedly, prices that start at $60K and $106K are not cheap but then that is the price required to get into this exclusive performance group. … Continue Reading

Sales Improve

Car Sales Bottom Out and Rebound

Car sales analysts are paid a lot of money to get the numbers right.  Massive investments ride on predictions of economists and mathematicians.  Production decisions must be made months in advance so that suppliers can have the parts and components ready at the assembly line. … Continue Reading

Ford Vision

February 27, 2009 Auto Manufacturer No Comments

Ford is the Premiere North Americford-logoan Automaker

To say these words almost sounds like shock for many who have followed American and World automotive car business.  However, the simple fact that both GM and Chrysler are at the financial edge and recognize cash flow failure and bankruptcy are real possibilities absolutely moves both companies to a file folder with the title of “Reorganize Business Model”.

Automotive history texts will likely say that Ford Motor Company recognized that its Business Model did not work for the 21st Centry in 2004 and that if effective change was not implemented then Ford was going to fail.  Harsh reality for a company incorporated in 1903 but absolutely true based on money in and money out. … Continue Reading

Random Photos From Automotive Tribune Site

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Richard Kubis Explains Solar Thermal Hybrid Automobile