He surely was a hell of a driver and he holds so many records in Formula One that you can't keep count. The new Mercedes team has enticed him out of retirement to fill their empty seat. In retirement since the end of 2006 and now 41 years old (next week) he is about to set some new records. It is very difficult for these drivers to return after being gone so long, but others have done it and went on to be World Champions. And Schumacher has nothing to prove after being a World Champion for a recordseting 7 times.
Even though he was a great driver it was hard for me to get on his bandwagon because of his dangerous intentional accidents in 1994 with Damon Hill and 1997 with Jacques Villeneuve. Damon Hill, former World Champion who is the son of two-time champion Graham Hill, is content these days to be the president of the British Racing Driver's Club and the manager of the racetrack that hosts the British Grand Prix. Villeneuve, also a former World Champion and the son of Formula One driver Gilles Villeneuve, has been out of Formula One for some time and is now racing in Le Mans and in NASCAR with a rumor floating around that he may return to Formula One in 2010.
Back to Schumacher for a minute, before his retirement at $80 million a year he was classified as the world's first billionaire athlete. He has donated at least $50 million to causes that were dear to him. A couple of which make me want to throw up, but it is his money and his causes. One was a €1.5 million to UNESCO and the other was $10 million to Bill Clinton. What the hell was he thinking? On the plus side he paid for the construction of a school for poor children and for area improvements in Dakar, Senegal. He supports a hospital for child victims of war in Sarajevo, which specialises in caring for amputees. In Lima, Peru he funded the "Palace for the Poor", a centre for helping homeless street children obtain an education, clothing, food, medical attention, and shelter.
It is going to be interesting to see what 2010 brings him.
In the next few years we are going to see a lot of electric automobiles on the market. One up and coming car that I like is the Tesla. The company put together by some hard working whiz kids from the computer field. For a while I thought it was looking a little bleak for them, but now they have a dealer network and they offer service no matter where you are at in the United States and Canada. They will probably do the same in Europe as their dealships increase from their current three. If you have the money it might be interesting to try a dealership....I would do it in a minute. Only because I have been following 'electrics' for the last 41 years.
A few days ago they started off on a trip to put their car in the Detroit's North American International Auto Show. Driving across country with lots of stops to promote their product. Smart idea. Leaving from Los Angles with stops on the first part of the trip in Palm Springs, Phoenix, Tucson, San Antonio and a couple of other towns in Texas. Through St. Louis, Chicago on into Detroit. As a former Detroiter we had a saying, "if it is snowing, it is Auto Show time." Some of the worst Michigan snow storms are during that two week period that the show is on. I will be interesting to see how the last half of their trip goes.
By driving across country they will expose a lot of people to this little beauty. At their stops they will give test drives and they are going to be scouting for the 'best of the best' as employees. When they hit the show they will be parked on Electric Avenue, sharing the scene with many other electric cars. A couple of years ago I went on a trip with a hybrid electric, what a fine car that was.
Fabrice Lachavanne hangs his hat in Geneva, Switzerland. His favorite auto era is the Grand Prix cars of the 30's with a mixture of big American V-8's and he owns a car from each era. For his originals he also builds special frames which takes many hours of his time, but it is the package. He has a limited amount of prints for sale that can be viewed at http://www.fabricelachavanne.ch/. Be sure to check out how detailed his work is.
Kobayashi filled in the last two races of the 2009 season for Timo Glock who had been injured while racing for Toyota. He did a great job, but to his disappointment Toyota pulled out of racing in Formula One. The BMW team that raced for the last three years also decided to pull out of F1. It's former owner, Peter Sauber, picked up the team again and his first driver choice is Kobayashi. I am still looking forward to an interesting season.
Fire investigators ruled today that arson caused a fire that broke out at McCormick’s Palm Springs Exotic Car Auctions. Investigators are seeking tips from the public. Damage was calculated today at $200,000 to the building and an additional $300,000 to the contents inside.
The fire broke out shortly before 6 p.m. Friday at the business, 244 N. Indian Canyon Drive. The blaze broke out just after employees left for the day and firefighters had to break the storefront windows to get inside to fight the flames. The roof caved in and debris had fallen onto the cars inside.
McCormick's hosts a popular car auction every year where buyers may purchase classic and hard-to-get vehicles. The most recent auction was held Nov. 27-29 in Palm Springs having $5.5 million in sales.
Two veteren drivers signed up with a brand new team with a very old name…..Lotus. The Malaysian –backed team has picked Jarno Trulli, with 219 F1 races under his belt, and Henkki Kovalainen, with 52. If their cars are good they will give everyone a run for the money. There are still a lot of open spots.
New to Formula One and on a brand new team, Manor sponsored by Virgin. Virgin sponsored a new team last year which happened to be the championship team that also produced the championship driver. This year there may be as many as five new teams and I think Virgin will continue to rotate their sponsorship around. Lucas came up through the ranks of Formual Two and will be teamed with Timo Glock. Glock signed on early when he found out that Toyota wasn't going to continue racing.
My friend, Jack in Canada, ran across these pictures somewhere and passed them on to me. Knowing full well that I would like them. He also sent a link to an article about the stainless steel cars produced for Allegheny Steel by Ford Motor in 1936, 1960 and 1967. These dated pictures apparently were of a display at Allegheny in 2008. The three years represented were on display at Hershey, Pennsyvania in October of this year and reside permanently at a museum in Ohio. The '36 Ford, '60 Thunderbird and '67 Lincoln have been shown around the world. Also, unknown to Jack, my father started his 40 year 'steel' career at Allegheny Steel.
The article from Allegheny Steel and Jack's pictures of just the 1936 Ford:
In 1935, officials at Allegheny Ludlum Steel Division and the Ford Motor Company collaborated on an experiment that would become a legacy and a tribute to one of the most dynamic metals ever developed.
Allegheny Ludlum, a pioneer producer of stainless steel, proposed the idea of creating a stainless steel car to Ford. The idea took shape in the form of a 1936 Deluxe Sedan. That car became the centerpiece of a campaign to expose the public to the new metal and its many uses.
Allegheny Ludlum and Ford would later collaborate on two more stainless models, a 1960 Thunderbird and a 1967 Lincoln Continental Convertible. Of the 11 cars originally built, nine are still in use.
The stainless steel cars were perfect vehicles for increasing awareness of the quality of the metal. And over the years, this quality has been shown in its stainless performance.
Of the six stainless steel cars that rolled off the Ford assembly line in Detroit in 1936, four exist today as living proof of the durability of stainless steel. One is on display at the Heinz Regional History Center in Pittsburgh, PA.
Each of the original six logged at least 200,000 miles in the hands of Allegheny Ludlum officials before "retiring" to private ownership in 1946. Thousands of additional miles have been logged on the odometers since, and the shiny bodies have outlasted most of their non-stainless steel parts.
The experiment was an unparalleled success on a number of levels. Public awareness of stainless steel's many uses increased with every city and state the cars visited. Through many years of active use, metallurgists and engineers were amazed at the superiority of the silvery metal.
Since 1960, when two stainless steel Ford Thunderbirds were introduced, they have been displayed throughout the United States and Europe.
The two Thunderbirds came off the Wixom, Michigan production line on July 11, 1960, and each has traveled over 100,000 miles, demonstrating the durability and timeless beauty of stainless steel.
With the exception of the body skin, bumpers and grille, which are made of T302 stainless steel, every other component is standard 1960 Thunderbird equipment. Also included is the first T409 solid stainless steel muffler released on a production vehicle. Both cars still have their original mufflers and T304 exhaust pipes after 25 years on the road!
The 1967 Lincoln Convertible was the last of the stainless steel cars produced by the Ford Motor Company and Allegheny Ludlum Steel.
Once again, the companies proved that stainless steel's enduring beauty is matched by its toughness.
As with all stainless steel there is no need for painting. The corrosion-resistant properties of the stainless eliminate the problems caused by rust.
Except for the vehicle's body, all other parts and equipment on the car are standard for the 1967 Lincoln Convertible. The vehicle's weight is just about equal to one with a standard steel body.
Three stainless Lincolns were built that year. Allegheny Ludlum Steel retains two and still uses them for customer visits and special events. A full set of Stainless automobiles (1936 Deluxe, T-Bird, and Continental) are on permanent display in the Crawford Auto Museum in Cleveland, Ohio.
Welcome to the Fred Ertl, Jr. Collection at GoMotorBids.com. We are truly honored to have been selected by Mr. Ertl to facilitate the auction of his own private collection. Mr. Ertl is truly a legend to Diecast collectors from around the world; his company is often credited as being at the forefront of the hobby – creating collectibles for almost every type of vehicle imaginable. The items you'll be seeing here each week will include never-produced factory one-offs, factory prototypes, early licensing samples, and other rare & unique pieces that Mr. Ertl has been accumulating for more than 50 years.
Fred Ertl, Jr. was born in Dubuque, IA on June 6, 1930. His father, a German immigrant, was a sand molder by trade, but when his factory went on strike he still had 5 children to feed. Fred, Sr. started melting aluminum from a local junk yard in the furnace of their home and making toy tractors when Fred, Jr. was 15. He, his mother, and his brothers would paint and assemble them in the kitchen, then load them into their car to sell to anyone who would buy.
When Fred Jr. was 18, his father became very ill and he had to take over the family's business. At that time they had a small factory in Dubuque, which produced tens-of-thousands of toy tractors up until 1959, when they had finally outgrown that facility and moved the operation to Dyersville, Iowa. The family sold the business to Victor Comptometer Corp. in 1967. In 1977 Walter Kidde Corp bought the company and in 1987 it was sold again to Hanson Trust LLC. During all the acquisitions Fred Ertl, Jr. remained as President & CEO until he retired in 1992.
During his tenure, The Ertl Co. acquired Carter Tru Scale, MPC Plastic Models, AMT Model kits, Esci Models, and Structo Steel Trucks. The Ertl Co. had operations in England, Italy, Europe, Australia, Hong Kong, Mexico and China.
Fred worked very hard for his various associations. He served on the Board and was President of the Toy Manufacturers of America (TMA) and the Hobby Industry Association. During his tenure as Pres. Of the TMA the first Toy Safety Standards were developed. Fred was inducted into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame in New York, the Farm Toy Hall of Fame in Dyersville IA, and this year was named the first "Legends of the Industry" by the Hobby Association.
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