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Top-Less or Top-More?

11/17/2014

by Mark Worman from Graveyard Carz


Take a guess...DSCN0870Which one weighs more?

A 1970 Plymouth Barracuda Convertible or an identically equipped 1970 Plymouth Barracuda hardtop?

While the initial appearance of a car with no roof would lead you to believe it's lighter than one with a roof, it's not...and here's why.

A hardtop vehicle, by nature, is a more solid car than one missing it's top. The roof on a unibody car makes up a large portion of the structural integrity of the overall body. When the top is removed, such in the case of a convertible, reinforcements are added to the body to compensate for the missinDSCN2759g roof structure. Items such as frame rail connectors, IE "torque boxes" are added at the front and rear of the floor pan to join the rocker panels to the floor sections.

In addition to this, a section of thick, solid steel angle iron is welded inside each rocker panel. While this does add strength to the car, it also adds weight.

Also contributing to the weight of a convertible vehicle, is the actual top mechanism itself. This includes the solid iron frame work of the top , as well as the hydraulic pump, pistons, cables and lines, etc. (optional on E bodies) that allow the top to go up and down. 

Another great example noDSCN1024t judging a book by it's cover.

- Mark

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How Do You Pull Historic Cars Out of a Sinkhole? Find Out in Real Time.

03/03/2014

Corvette-museum-sinkhole-S

You may remember that a few weeks ago the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Ky. was the extremely unlucky host of a giant sinkhole right in the middle of their showroom.

Thankfully, no person was injured, but the 25-30 foot sinkhole swallowed no less than eight Corvettes.

This week began the extraction of said Corvettes, including the first one out -- a ZR1 "Blue Devil" that was driven out of the showroom in good condition.

You can watch them pull out more Corvettes over the museum's live cams, including this one (which should show highlights during any down time):


Video streaming by Ustream

Let's hope the automotive gods are smiling upon the operation and you're able to see more classic cars drive away from the scene.

Chevrolet has offered to help restore the Corvettes pulled from the sinkhole.

Meanwhile, enjoy the latest in Corvette technology with this spotlight on the Stingray from Tech Toys. 

Photo Credit: Image at top provided by the National Corvette Museum.

The polar vortex is over and the Amelia Island Concours is coming!

02/23/2014

Here on the upper East Coast we are rather sick of that whole winter thing.  Polar Vortex and ice and snow and sleet and school closings are hopefully on the wain.  Its time to look forward to sunny skies and beautiful cars for the automotive enthusiasts among us.

So that brings us to the 2014 edition of the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance.  This concours is held on the luscious grounds of the Ritz Carlton.  300 of the world's finest automobiles, motorcycles and race cars will grace the greens of the impecable golf course, a virtual feast for the eyes.

Every year Bill Warner and his vast crew of volunteers and veterans have chosen some of the most incredible pieces of transportation.  You'll find everything from $50 million dollar Ferraris to incredible Duesenburgs and grand classics to cars that you never knew existed.

Some of the featured classes and cars from this year are: General Lyon's Duesenberg which is a 1930 Model J Speedster featuring a dissapearing  convetible top.  Ralph Marano is a highly regarded Packard collector and he is bringing all ten of his Packard concept cars from the 50's. You'll be able to see the re-debut of the Chrylser La Contesse Concept car.  The Stirling Moss 450S Le Mans Coupe will be one of the featured cars helping to celebrate  the Maserati centenary.  A set of BMW "Batmobiles" will be on the greens, representing the German's 180mph winged monsters from the 70's.  The BMW's represent one of the unique features of the Amelia Island Concours, that is Bill Warner's love of race cars.

So as a teaser, let's take a look at some previous entrants to the Amelia Island Concours.

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Here we see old meets new.  The "Grey Wolf" meets the Sunoco Javalin race car from the Trans Am series.

  Ai08 d2 tflyer 0909 lr kcv

2008 saw the greatest gathering of Thomas Flyers that anyone in the last 50 years could remember.  Above we see the actual Thomas Flyer that won in the famous 1908 New York to Paris race. 

The National Automobile Museum in Reno Nevada, loaned the world famous Thomas Flyer for the 100th anniversary of its epic 22,000 mile race.  George Schuster, the only member of the US team to drive the entire route, assisted Bill Harrah restore the car to its original trim as it entered Paris 26 days in front of the next competitor.

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The Lamborghini Muira Roadster in a rare appearance at the Amelia Island Concours last year.  Photo courtesy of Brett Lemoine.

This is the only Roadster created and built by the factory, making it very special indeed.  It was named the ZN75.

Malcolm 240 experimental kcv

Here is Malcolm Pray and his beloved 1939 Delahaye Type 135 M next to the predecessor to the Ferrari GTO.  Its the 1962 Ferrari 250 Experimental chassis 2643GT.

Unfortunately we lost Malcolm Pray in 2013.  He was a main stay at so many concours events.  He will be missed.  This years judges sheets (which I designed) are a tribute to his many contributions to the field.

  Moal carini lr kcv

 You just never know what is going to come around the corner.  Here we see Wayne Carini from Velocity's Chasing Classic Cars driving one of the Moal Couchbuilders Torpedo.

A great place to hang out is right in front of the Ritz, especially during Saturday.  All sorts of cars are loading up and tooling around.  Then you walk in and see the RM Auction as well as some of the great seminars and take advantage of the exotic test drives.

Yes, the Amelia Island Concours should be on every car lovers bucket list.  Come for the weather and stay for the cars!

Car Fix Returns on February 8th and You Could Win Big!

02/07/2014

Jaredlou

Lou and Jared are back for another season of Car Fix and they start out with a unique Camaro rebuild. The guys set their targets on a second generation Camaro and they have big plans for this classic car. It's Jared's dream project, but he only has 90 days for the rehab. Can he pull it off? You don't want to miss this one!

What's the best part of this project? You have a chance to win the car! That's right, one lucky fan will win the revamped 1971 Camaro, valued at $98,000. The grand prize winner will also recieve a trip to SEMA 2014 and a cash award of $30,000. Click here to learn more about the STA-BIL 360° Custom Car Sweepstakes.

Tune in each week as the guys revamp this classic muscle car, and be sure to enter the Custom Car Sweepstakes for your chance to win. You can enter once a day until the sweepstakes ends on August 31st.

Don't miss the all-new season of Car Fix, February 8th at 11AM|10AMc!

Racing at leMans - amazing machines they are

11/24/2013

Racing At leMans - Amazing Machines They Are

Ken Visser

karmakvisser@yahoo.com

kenneth_visser@discovery.com

I started to do some research on a blog about the Porsche 917, one of the most successful and dominant race cars in history.  As I was going thru my photos, I came upon quite a few examples of successful leMans racers and have decided to pursue that storyline.

leMans, one of the toughest races on the planet.  24 hours of straight up racing on a mix of public and racing circuit roads.  Participants have to balance fuel, brakes, mechanical durabilty, tires as well as fatigue.  In 2010 the winning Audi covered 3,360 miles on the Circuit de la Sarthe.  

We are talking 6 times longer than the Indy 500 and 18 times longer that a Formula One Grand Prix race. Heck, from New York to LA its 2,792 miles!  Can you imaging running at top speed on the Mulsanne Straight at 3 am, checking your mirrors for a prototype approaching at 200 plus MPH, flashing its lights?  And I thought the DC Beltway was stressful during a Friday night rush hour...

To make matters even more tense, the race takes place in June with soaring temperatures and the ever present threat of rain.  Race cars don’t use air conditioning so the interior temperatures can get excruciating,  This is why you see roadsters competing, like our 59 Aston Martin DBR1 from the Simeone Museum.  Let's take a look.

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1958 Aston Martin DBR1 chassis 3 as presented by the Simeone Museum at the 2013 Radnor Hunt Concours d'Elegance

This spectacularly shaped 58 Aston Martin DBR1 has been lovingly maintained by the esteemed Dr Fred Simeone, an avid and astute collector of amazing historic competitive automobiles.  His collection is housed in the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum near the Philadelphia airport.  

Aston Martin won the World Championship and a win at leMans with a small team of 4 DBR1 race cars.  Caroll Shelby helped win at leMans in 59, turning out to be one of his last outings as a race car driver due to a heart condition.

Continue reading >


Visit daily for posts about the shows and spirit of Velocity, an upscale male lifestyle network, featuring the best of the automotive, sports, adventure and travel genres.

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