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Categories: Miscellaneous

Bad Driving: Where Do They Grow You People?

On: Wed, Nov 4, 2009 at 5:48PM | By: Clay Ritchings


Bad Driving: Where Do They Grow You People? test 1-1

If you spend enough time on the road you will see drivers involved in all sorts of behaviors from applying makeup, doing hair, eating a Dagwood, watching a DVD, changing clothes, and some unmentionable things. The other day I was driving to work and noticed the person in the lane next to me reading while they were driving, Yes, reading a book while driving, not a map, not a scrap of paper with a note on it, but a freaking book. Looking back I wish I could have gotten a glimpse at the cover or at least the author because that must have been a great book if the driver could not peel his eyes away from it to run to the grocery store. I am jealous; I have not read a book that gripping in a long time!


The Race of Champions, Bejing Pt1: The Machinery

On: Wed, Nov 4, 2009 at 5:14PM | By: John Welch


The Race of Champions, Bejing Pt1: The Machinery test 1-1

The Race of Champions has signaled the end of the racing season for many years now. Predominantly held in Europe, the RoC pits the best race drivers from around the world against each other in identical cars, on a track that crosses itself, ensuring the same distance traveled by both competitors.

 

This year's RoC is being held at the "Bird's Nest" Stadium in Beijing China, last used for the 2008 Summer Olympics. In our first installment of RoC coverage, AutoShopper will review the various machines to be raced in the 2009 RoC.


Love The Beast Trailer

On: Tue, Nov 3, 2009 at 1:19PM | By: John Welch


Love The Beast Trailer test 1-1

Coming to an Isle of Britannia near you: (In other words, you'll have to have it imported over here, at first anyway) Eric Bana's "Love The Beast" That's right, kids, your favorite bad-Hulk, Eric Bana, has refurbished his cherished Ford Falcon and entered it in the Targa Tasmania Rally. As with anything involving the words "Targa" and "Tasmania" this race is dastardly in its ability to chew up race-prepped cars and spit them out.

Also starring Mr. Bana's childhood friends, as well as Jay Leno, Jeremy Clarkson, and Dr. Phil . . . Doctor Phil?! What the eff?! . .. this trailer does its job, making me want to see Eric conquer "600 horsepower and leaf-springs" as Clarkson so eloquently puts it . . . The trailer and corresponding news report of the Falcon eating a tree inside the post. . .


Abu Dhabi; The Formula One Season Finale

On: Mon, Nov 2, 2009 at 12:05PM | By: John Welch


Yas Marina Circuit test 2

The Formula One season ended on Sunday, under the watercolor Abu Dhabi sunset. Sebastian Vettle dominated the second portion of the race, clinching his fourth victory of the season. Lewis Hamilton took pole postion during qualifiying Saturday afternoon, but he never felt comfortable during the race. Hamilton's McLaren was a bear under braking, and he retired shortly after his first pit stop. The right-rear caliper failed, attributed to the complexity of the McLaren brake set-up: Brembo calipers clamp Akebono rotors in the rear, while the front brakes are manufactured by Carbon Industries. Most teams use only one of these suppliers for all four brake assemblies.

After three years in the sport, this was the first DNF related to a mechanical failure for Lewis Hamilton. Ever. McLaren builds a tank of a GP car.

So that's the result, but so many more interesting things happened during Sunday's broadcast. The astounding architecture of the United Arab Emirates, the last race for BMW/Sauber, Alonso and Raikkonen choking away final races with their current teams, and how exactly can you hold a major motor racing event in a country that outlaws drinking?


 

Red Light Cameras: Solutions Require Cities To Use Common Sense

On: Fri, Oct 30, 2009 at 12:48PM | By: Clay Ritchings


Red Light Cameras: Solutions Require Cities To Use Common Sense test 1-1

In my last post on RLCs I talked about how when a city decides to install these devices their concerns are not about safety because the studies show that they increase the chance of accidents. If you have any doubts, ask yourself why would a city install the RLCs and then reduce the yellow light timing to less than the federal or state guidelines unless they wanted only to produce more red light violations. In order to get the cameras installed, the city has to write the ordinances so that the violations do not put any points on drivers’ licenses. Why would the city decriminalize a violation as serious as running a red light? It's really not that complicated. Red light cameras are used only to create a revenue stream for the incestuous relationship between money-hungry cities and money-grubbing RLC companies.


Red Light Cameras: Show Me The Money

On: Wed, Oct 21, 2009 at 3:16PM | By: Clay Ritchings


Intersection With Camera test 2

I have not put much thought into the whole “red light camera” topic until my town decided to place these autonomous ticket printing machines up in strategic places that will Make Money. Make no mistake about it that when a town decides to use an independent company that has incentives to write tickets without the discretion of a police officer at the scene to take in the whole situation and use his judgment, they are in it to make money. I must say that in no way do I advocate reckless driving or breaking the laws, but If Big Brother is going to start writing tickets from an armchair in Arizona for your front tires being over the white line then I must protect myself.


The Light At The End Of The Tunnel Is Green

On: Wed, Oct 7, 2009 at 5:35PM | By: Clay Ritchings


Honda test 2

There is light at the end of the tunnel, but no, it’s not from an oncoming Prius, Insight or Fusion Hybrid

There is much debate on which direction the automakers should go with the development of new vehicles, and this blog is no exception. Should auto manufacturers go the way of the hybrid by engineering more cars like the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight or look at the EV (Electric Vehicle) possibilities? Both technologies have many pros and cons to consider.


Peugeot 1-2 At Rain Shortened Petit Le Mans

On: Mon, Sep 28, 2009 at 10:32AM | By: John Welch


Peugeot 1-2 At Rain Shortened Petit Le Mans test 1-1

When I was growing up, my taste in Christmas presents was usually fairly predictable. My parents would begin asking what I wanted around Thanksgiving, even though the answer was the same for a solid ten years. Go Cart! All I wanted in the world was the freedom to tear around our neighborhood in my own go cart, and every year the response to my answer would be "we'll see". And every year I'd wake up at dawn, run to where ever 'Santa' had positioned his offerings. And every year I'd get a bunk bed. (They didn't actually buy a new bunk bed every year, but that’s the present that made me stop asking for a go cart.)

Looking over this young blog, it seems I may have been a tad excited about the Petit Le Mans. That’s putting it mildly. I've lost sleep over it. I planned my entire weekend around it. I got my hopes up. Every single time I ever get my hopes up about anything, be it a go cart or 10 hours of Diesel-Prototype carnage; something goes wrong, and I am left broken hearted and disenfranchised.


Mileage Tax Proposal Rumors?

On: Thu, Sep 24, 2009 at 11:05AM | By: Clay Ritchings


Mileage Tax Proposal Rumors? test 1-1

Has anyone heard about this proposed new tax? Instead of taxing the gas that we use, we will be taxed on mileage. Drivers will be tracked through GPS chips installed in their cars and charged a quarter-cent per mile.

The concept for a mileage tax was created in response to declining gas tax revenues due to improved fuel-efficiency in cars. All this time we are encouraged to buy fuel efficient vehicles and offered “Cash For Clunkers” rebates, and now, they are going to change the system to make sure that they get their chunk of change? I believe I pay enough tax on my vehicle via sales tax and vehicle registration fees, that, by the way, just doubled here in Florida.


Petit Le Mans Preview Pt.2

On: Wed, Sep 23, 2009 at 11:46AM | By: John Welch


Petit Le Mans Preview Pt.2 test 1-1

Dr. Don Panoz (say 'PAY-nose') is the savior of sports car racing in America. NASCAR began dominating national media towards the end of the twentieth century, leaving little room for other forms of motorsport. Trans-Am was a shell of its former self and several accidents were beginning to erode support for big time GT1 racing. After the rise and decline of Group C in the late eighties, the fate of road racing on American shores was becoming darker and grimmer by the day. Dr. Panoz decided to stop the hemorrhaging and created an endurance race to rival any run in Europe or the rest of the world.

The Petit Le Mans.


F1 Soap Opera Heats Up Pt.1

On: Tue, Sep 15, 2009 at 10:31AM | By: John Welch


F1 Soap Opera Heats Up Pt.1 test 1-1

I haven't even sucked down the morning's first Coke and already more has happened in the world of F1 than seems possible in 24 hours. Grogginess aside, I think I can lay out the basics of the recent lunacy. First, who exactly will be racing next year?