Just for Fun 8

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



Racing Merchandise


When you think of merchandise associated with racing cars, whether track-side or online,you probably think of helmets and race suits (full of sleeved panels and pre-curved sleeves apparently, though why you’d want to pre-curve a sleeve is anyone’s guess). However, the big seller might just be the posters.

There’s certainly a long history. You can get copies of posters for Monaco races from 1932 online and maybe the originals if you are prepared to spend money. Some posters are even signed by the drivers involved (which certainly increases their value.) For this type of merchandise, it is best to buy track-side rather than rely on an anonymous EBay seller, though many people are used to shopping the web and don’t realize that it’s not a good idea in this situation.

helmet-1038400_1920.jpgWhen seeking out original items be wary of too much damage but given that they are only made of paper and likely to be folded up in any case some depreciation is probably inevitable. Many posters had limited runs so that may be where the value is.

One strategy in collecting is to look for the more obscure race teams and the more obscure drivers, though the big names are unlikely to lose value overnight. Most people prefer to buy from the owner’s website (for example, Ferrari) rather than on auction sites as there are a number of fakes around. It all depends on how well you trust people and how much you are willing to spend.

For the more souvenir like items, beanies, mugs, coasters and all that haven’t caught on in racing to the degree seen with Elvis, Star Wars or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. People do like to buy things associated with a race team or a big name (for instance Schumacher) but it’s no Grateful Dead.

These items are certainly suitable for a boy or girl who visits the track for the first time and wishes to obtain a souvenir. They are probably unlikely to hold their value though, unless it is a very rare team or racing car driver. You can’t think about profit every time you buy something though, it’s for entertainment purposes mainly.

It’s possible to get decent merchandise that’s not the “official” stuff but still collectable. Items related to specific racing drivers for example, created by independent craftsmen, such as T-shirts or portrait painters. This is a good way to follow a driver’s career (or remember them, if they are no longer driving) but not break the bank in the process. Whether they are worth anything in the long run might not even be important if you are a True Fan.

colorful-4486382_1920.jpgWhen it comes to toy racing cars the biggest name at the moment seems to be Hot Wheels, though Scalextric remains popular for an older age group, especially those would-be racers who want to race round their own mini-track. There were other slot-car racing sets in their day – so-called because the cars race along a special groove or slot in the track) but Scalextric seems to be the only one that remains to this day.


Cheesy Car Ads


What makes 50s car ads cheesy? It could be that look to a lifestyle we no longer recognize such as men in hats and women in headscarves, or it could be the convoluted way they say things. Some examples can be seen below.

What about “super-sonic sleekness exciting the most spirited imagination”? (The Oldsmobile’s Golden Rocket) or even “the way it looks, handles and makes you feel” (Mustang). Indeed no one seems to advertise a car nowadays on how the car handles, possibly because it is a subjective thing. But it certainly gave the 50’s driver a good reason to part with their dollars.

When in doubt maybe you might describe your car as the “greatest ever” as a ’73 version of the Volvo decided to do. (There’s some strange copy in their advert “the more comfier you are (sic), the safer you and your family are”). It might just be wishful thinking?

car-hop-4398145_1920Some pieces of copy might need you to become more interested in cars than you really are. “The best thing to happen to the 6 cylinder engine” – Chrysler Dodge. Why does it need to be a 6 cylinder engine? Would it be not so good if it was 7 cylinders? The 6 cylinder is apparently set at 30 degrees to produce a “bigger manifold system”. We’re not sure on the science, or really what they are going on about. To save a trip to the dictionary, the word manifold means “many and various” so it has the same meaning as system really.

It seems bizarre that advertisers would ever show cross-sections of cars to the public just to make them sell, but you need to remember that this might just possibly be the only car the driver would buy in their lifetime and it helped them to know it was reliable, even if they didn’t understand all the jargon involved. It was a case of “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it” – if a picture of a car’s inside worked before it must surely work again?

You’d worry nowadays if an engine said it had “hurricane power” but that seemed to be all right for the Willys-Overland Jeepster. For those who have not heard of the vehicle a Jeepster only was manufactured for two years as was designed as a cross between a convertible and a SUV. Put like that, it’s no wonder they didn’t catch on.

7g1zht0uxthxtiYou’ve got to love it when advertisers decide to highlight the most mundane items –for instance a Foam-Rubber Seat in a Mercury with the name “Lounge-Rest.” (Leather had yet to become the most obvious material for car seats). Strangely the carburettor has been nicknamed “Econ-O-Miser” because it doesn’t use that much gas, which seemed a common theme in writing copy for these types of advertisement.

A big thing seemed to be the way cars could “go for miles” on just thimblefuls of gas – this was before things like the Lanham Act, so it was much easier to lie at that time. Not that today’s advertisers tell the whole truth.


Best of the Web: Farting Tesla’s? You betcha!


This is kind of news you need to get hot-off-the-presses, and we couldn’t hold it back.

Elon has been tweeting again and this time it’s not just hot air. Government regulations require EVs to emit some noise at speeds under 20 mph. On the serious side this is a safety need for people with disabilities to prevent accidents because they couldn’t hear the silent cars.

However, there is no direction as to the exact sound and in a twist of whimsy, that the writers at the kicker blog truly applaud, Tesla will offer a few options that are truly inspired. Fart sounds for example.


Another option could be the sound of coconuts clopping, or more cowbell.

No this isn’t April fool’s. Just a car company with the guts to not take life too seriously.

Proof we didn’t just make this up.via GIPHY