Just for Fun 69

If you’re waiting for a sign, here it is. Get your car inspected before you buy so you don’t overpay. TireKickers!

Until now, you didn’t know that getting a car inspection before buying will keep you from buying an unsafe car. Now you do. Tire Kickers come to you.

What’s news: Big Tesla E-Semi Order

Tesla (TSLA) has secured a massive order of 130 Tesla Semi electric trucks from Walmart Canada.

Back in 2017, shortly after the unveiling of the Tesla Semi, Walmart Canada ordered 15 electric trucks from the automaker.

They have been adding to that original order and now almost 3 years later and after the Tesla Semi program was delayed, Walmart has announced that it is expanding its Tesla Semi orders to 130 trucks:

“Walmart Canada is now reserving a total of 130 Tesla Semi trucks, making it one of the largest reservations of electrified trucks in the country. The move comes on the heels of Walmart Canada announcing a major $3.5 billion investment over the next five years aimed to generate significant growth in the business and is aligned with  Walmarts global goal to target zero emissions by 2040 announced at Climate Week earlier this month.”

Tesla first started taking reservations with a $5,000 deposit per truck, but it later changed the listed deposit price to $20,000 for a “base reservation” of the production version and the full $200,000 for the “Founders Series” truck.

It means that Walmart would have placed over $2 million in deposits alone for the electric trucks and the total order could be worth over $20 million.

It makes this new order one of the biggest orders to date for the Tesla Semi….

Story link

Jet Style Cars

With the birth of jets flying became all the rage. While none of the cars below are propelled by a jet engine—and such things do exist—they are definitely inspired by jets.

Rear of Ghia Streamline X Coupe

There are a number of plane designers which moved into car production, such as Saab and Spyder. Sometimes there seemed little design here at all, just put four wheels on a fighter jet, but some designers showed a bit of innovation.

As you might expect, these were products of an age when everyone thought we might have flying cars in thirty or forty years’ time. Remember that airplanes were only about fifty years old or so, givn another 30 or 40 years anything could happen. They might be a little sad to know we still don’t have flying cars.


Many car designers had the idea of getting the dashboard to look slightly like a plane’s cockpit. I say slightly because a plane’s cockpit must be the most confusing thing to base a dashboard on, but that’s fashions for you. Although we are used the steering wheel they also had designs on that too, a more D-shaped design.

A number of vehicles had cockpit dials, such as a Morgan 3 wheeler, if you require a smaller example of these type of car. Or you can go all-out and go for Lamaghorni ‘s Reventon. Inspired by a US fighter jet, these has more complicated dials and details for a cool 1.6 million dollars.


Ghia Streamline X Coupe

What makes a “jet inspired” car? Maybe having rear lights which are pointier than normal. This was the idea of Ghia Streamline X Coupé from 1955, and its front is noticeably prominent and, er, streamlined. The wheels are rather similar to discs.


There’s also the names like Vapor which conjure up the idea of flying through the air. Why they decided to call a car that looks like a plane “T-Rex” is maybe more of a mystery, but again there is a observable prominence of the hood. Maybe their son just happened to like T-Rexes, but it may make it hard to sell to adults.

From 1950 the Studebaker Woodie seems a weird combination of style, the pointy hood (again evoking the jet) but also a veneer design to both the doors and the trunk. To continue the aeroplane feel it also has a fur lining.

Chrysler Turbine

The Chrysler Turbine seems to be named after its turbine style headlight and has a brass metallic coloration. It was only built by Chrysler for less than two years, from 1963 to 64. As with the Ghia above it has a coupé style, which is defined as “having two doors, a sloping roof and has a roof which can’t be removed.” So definitely branded to those who have yet to start a family.

The Fad is Not Dead:

It seems as if the Mustang wants to continue the jet analogy in its marketing. The latest version of the Mustang has the word “Groundspeed” imprinted on its speedometer, just for those fans of the air.

There seems a number of people out there ready to renovate these vintage cars, hardly a revelation given the prices that these tend to go for. Why go for a common car when you can go for “jet” car?

Best of the Web: Omologata

70 years of grand touring tradition translates into the coach-built shape of the ferrari omologata. a client commission, the car is their 10th one-off design crafted over their V12 platform. it took over two years to complete, building upon inspiration of racing heritage, sci-fi and modern architecture to define a futuristic yet timeless shape – all handcraft from aluminum bodywork.

Story link

Notes on Speed and Acceleration

People aren’t clear on the exact difference between speed and acceleration. Speed is the amount of miles per hour (or similar) while acceleration is changing the speed over time.

The first example of speeding was in Dayton Ohio with a speed of 12mph. This was in 1904.

To open up a car means to open up the throttle. It is also known as driving full throttle. This device, also known as the accelerator or gas pedal is designed to regulate fuel or air reaching the engine and speed up.

To zoom suggests a car which spins along with a humming sound. The term spin was once only applied to an engine turning to twist thread, but is now applied to any engine ticking over.

Go hell for leather originally referred to riding a horse as fast as possible.

Burn rubber which is first seen in 1900 meant to go so fast that you could hear a burning smell.

There are several speedy phrases which come from films. The need for speed comes from Top Gun (1986) and Fast and the Furious was from an action film about street racing.

Fast and loose means generally reckless and irresponsible, but it can mean going too fast.

Gear is the transmission concerning the torque and similar which allows the car to move, hence Up a gear, into top gear, etc.

To tootle is to travel in an aimless direction rather than at speed, first referring to riding a bike in 1949 quote.

Running on Empty comes from about 1905 and refers to driving without the adequate fuel. Then there is a backfire, a mistimed explosion in the cylinder or exhaust.

0-60: The speed of acceleration of the vehicle; how quickly it can travel from 0 to 60mph. This is the standard of acceleration measured in test drives on a racetrack. Most cars can go to 0 to 60 in under 6 seconds but cars like the Tesla Roadster can do it in under 2 seconds.

It seems a pity you can’t highlight a cars top speed on adverts, because it is believed that encourages the owner to speed. The advertisers have to come up with other reasons for you to buy their car.

The first speed limit set was at 10mph as long ago as 1865 for propelled vehicles (traction engines, steam cars and similar).

In 1901, Connecticutt set the maximum speed limit of 12mph in its cities and 15mph in its rural areas, but it took several years for other states to follow suit. Exactly how they intended to judge the speed isn’t clear as the speedometer wasn’t patented until 1902 and wasn’t a common feature for cars until 1910…

Drive safely out there…

What’s news: ID.4 new VW SUV EV

Volkswagen ID.4 All-Electric SUV Unveiled

Volkswagen ID.4 is enjoying a digital world premiere. This is Volkswagen’s first fully electrically driven SUV generating zero local emissions and is produced with a carbon-neutral balance. It will be launching into the world’s largest and most competitive market segment, the compact SUV class.

Volkswagen has unveiled its first fully electrically driven SUV, the ID.4. It offers the space, flexibility and all benefits customers appreciate about SUVs. This is the first mass-market electric product from the company and is a part of an USD 44 billion plan, which is one-third of the corporation’s planned expenses over the next five years in an “electric offensive” that will include developing the largest electric vehicle production network in Europe and carbon-neutral manufacturing.

Story link

Is Your Car Ready For Fall Driving?

Cooler weather is finally here. You’ve brought out your sweaters and jackets and stored your summer attire. Your wardrobe is all set to enjoy the crisp, cool days but what about your vehicle? Is your car ready for cooler-weather driving?

If you’re not sure if your vehicle’s ready or aren’t sure what needs to be done, here are a few things you’ll want to take care of before you hit the open roads this fall.

How to Get Your Car Ready for Fall Driving

1. Give Your Car a Bath

Chances are your summer driving routes took you to a beach, at least once. Whether it’s sand from a freshwater lake or salt from the ocean air, you’ll want to rinse it off before you start any fall road trips. The salt, sand, and other grime from summer drives can collect on the vehicle’s undercarriage. If left on too long, it can cause corrosion.

To prevent this from happening, rinse all of the salt and other grime off your car. A garden hose can be just as effective as a car wash.

2. Check Tire Pressure

Did you know that every time the temperature fluctuates 10 degrees your tire pressure changes as much as one pound per square inch? This means that when the temperature changes you want to check tire pressure.

If you’re not sure what is recommended for your vehicle, optimal tire pressure will be listed in the owner’s manual. You can also look your vehicle up online or ask a mechanic if the manual is lost.

3. Replace Windshield Wiper Blades

You might not have to replace the windshield wiper blades if they weren’t used during heavy spring and summer downpours. However, if you spent a lot of time parked at the beach the salt air can corrode the rubber blades.

It is recommended that you change the blades every six months. Drivers in colder climates may want to plan on replacing them every fall. The last thing you want is to find out your windshield wipers aren’t effective in the middle of a rain or snowstorm.

4. Check the Oil and Filter

Checking your oil levels should be a part of your regular car maintenance. Depending on the type of oil used, mileage, and driving conditions, it might not need to be changed. If it’s measuring low and still looks clear, it’s okay to just add to the existing oil.

If it’s time to change the oil, often to a lighter-weight one, you also want to replace the filter. Lighter oils are often recommended for fall driving since it can help the engine perform more efficiently in cooler temperatures. A new filter can do what a dirty one can’t; keep the oil clean and debris out of the engine.

5. Change the Air Filter

The air filter is an important component and it’s often overlooked. It prevents dust and other small impurities from entering the cylinders’ combustion chambers. This can lower fuel efficiency and reduce engine performance. Like your oil filter, it should be changed every six months.

6. Flush the Cooling System

Your vehicle’s cooling system should be flushed and refilled every 2-years or 24,000 miles. It’s part of good car maintenance and an easy item to add to your spring car maintenance checklist.

You will need a radiator cleaning product to flush away oil, grease, and collected sediment. After flushing the radiator, refill with a mixture of water and coolant. The percentage of water and coolant will depend on the climate. Severe climates require a higher mixture of coolant than water.

7. Check the Spark Plugs and Battery

This is something you should already be doing regularly. Checking the battery and connections helps ensure that you won’t be stranded. Make sure that the connections are tight and that there aren’t any signs of corrosion. You also want to make sure that the battery housing is solid.

The final thing you want to do before heading off on your first fall drive of the season is to clean out the car’s interior.

Emission Rules For Traffic

EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) had developed clean automotive technology and state of the art testing to help prevent air pollution, even if a ZEV or Zero Emissions Vehicle is a long way away (it’s not quite the same as an electric vehicle, see below).

The regulations around vehicle inspection are all over the place. Some states require periodic safety inspection, some states require safety inspection upon sale or transfer. Some states require a safety inspection when registering from elsewhere (different state or country), for instance Maryland and Alabama.

It seems that most states are on the side of the businesses, they don’t require inspection tests at all. States such as Minnesota and Kentucky have removed their tests and other states may follow suit. The tests might be unpopular but having them is better for the environment than not having them.

California set the strictest standards of all, with legislation that predated the 1970 Clean Air Act. California’s new laws weren’t that popular with the automobile industry as a whole, to put it mildly, even though some feel it should be the standard for all states.

The rules for heavy duty vehicles are very strict-requiring ultra-low sulfur diesel – 15 ppm (parts per million).

Around the World in two Paragraphs

It’s not a problem confined to the US. In 2009 a regulation said that all new passenger cars should have 130 grams of CO 2 as a target, but it was finally phased in as late as 2015. It seems as if many countries are slow to catch up to the emission standard and in 2021 they are due to change again.

In a perfect world, all vehicles would be zero emission, but we have not got there yet. A Google search of Zero Emission Vehicles will produce a list of low emission cars such as Audi or Mazda. However, if a car is recharged from fossil fuel, it cannot be called a ZEV.


The problem is further exasperated by hybrids being sold as ZEV – the problem is does anyone know or care if it’s being run on electrical power or not after it is sold? There’s something is suspiciously wrong with the classification here.

Fuel Cell Vehicles may be considered the better of the low emission vehicles as they run on cells powered by Hydrogen, rather than traditional methods. They work by transforming the Oxygen in the air. Even these type of car rely on a natural gas power, so more fossil fuel. It does seem a bit of a battle here to change the status quo.

Changing the Status Quo

Low emission zones in certain towns and built up islands may be one way to fix it as long as they are enforced strictly. The larger vehicles, such as trucks have the toughest rules, but it doesn’t mean that SUVs aren’t a problem. Some areas are imposing a diesel surcharge and you might wonder if companies would rather pay the charge than alter the fleet of trucks. Legislation can only go so far.

What’s News: is Bugatti up for sale?

Between the Nissan Z Proto, next Hyundai Tucson, and the Ferrari Portofino M, it’s safe to say we’ve had some pretty important news this week. However, the biggest of them all might not concern a new model debut as this week’s headliner could be an acquisition. We’re using “might” because nothing is official at this point, but Car Magazine is reporting the Volkswagen Group has decided to offload elite brand Bugatti to Rimac Automobili.

Story link