Yay! It’s Definition Day!…

Hey, y’all…Sorry I wasn’t able to get you the post I promised on Saturday, as I had more than mountains of homework (on Thanksgiving weekend!).  Since I don’t have time to do a post on all the cars that I took pictures of at the San Francisco International Auto Show, I hope that you’ll be content with a definition.  By the way, I will do a post on the San Francisco International Auto Show on Friday!

SAE stands for?  Society of Acura of England?  Nope, it’s Society of American Engineers.  SAE publishes articles on cars, does horsepower and torque testing, and some safety testing.  SAE has been around since 1841.  SAE is made up of the brightest engineers from  all over America.  SAE accepts about 50 engineers annually.  Overall, people would have very odd feelings about their car(s).

Live Coverage from the San Francisco International Auto Show

There were cars that I drooled over, there were cars that I stuck my nose up and walked away from, and then there were the cars that I just HAD to take a picture of. The San Francisco Academy of Art had the finest classic car that I’ve ever seen; a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300Sl Coupe, with only 1000 miles on it! 1000 miles!  Isn’t that amazing?  I’ll drive that right after my Baby dies!  

Isn’t this the BEST 300Sl you’ve ever seen?  It has the original tires, wheels, suitcase, steering wheel, paint, etc! I’d drive this any time!

I had so much fun as the paparazzi of the car world that I’ll have to post the rest of the photos and my thoughts tomorrow!  Six and a half hours at the Auto show definitely was NOT enough.  Tune in sometime before midnight tomorrow and you’ll have an exciting post regarding the latest models, just waiting for you to comment and read!

Second Time’s the Charm!

So, I’m sure that many of you have had a leaky radiator.  This can be a quick and cheap or an expensive problem.  I know this, as I’ve heard stories of it, and it just happened the other day to Mom’s Chrysler Town & Country.  You know the setting.  You pull into the driveway, turn the engine off, and start walking towards the house.  Just as you enter the house, you remember you forgot your cell-phone in the car.  You run out to the car, and see smoke pouring out from under the hood.  You pop the hood open, and the radiator is smoking.  You call Triple A and the mechanic (or dealer), and the car ends up at the mechanic’s shop.  The mechanic says, “Well, looks like you need a new radiator.  Hmmmm…Yeah, yaw’re radiator is smoking.”  You end up paying $500 big ones for a new radiator.  So, I think right now’s a good time to tell you how to look for telltale radiator leaks, and how to prevent them.

Radiator leaks just happen.  It’s just the way they work.  You can’t help it.  If you live in an area where the roads get salted, a leaking radiator may happen more frequently.  It’s more actual age than anything else.  If you have a car at least five years old, it’s a REALLY good idea to check the coolant level.  If you don’t the radiator may run dry without any warning.  If you have a car (or truck) with an electronic message center, and you haven’t checked the radiator in a while, there may be a message telling you to “check radiator.”  This means: you’ve got a leak in the radiator, or low (or non-existant) coolant levels.  Either of these are bad.  If they happen, then the engine in your car will overheat, and Ka-Boom!..I will tell you the telltale signs of a leaking radiator.  Just so you know, you do NOT need to be OCD about checking your radiator after you read this post!  These are the signs:

  • Low coolant level.  This is NEVER good, so check the radiator coolant level from time to time.  Your coolant level can go from full to almost empty (what happened to my truck 15 years ago)  Also, check your radiator before you go on a road trip over 200 miles.
  • A good amount of smoke pouring out through the grille.  This usually means that there is a leak on a radiator hose, which gets very hot, and the coolant is starting to burn.  It won’t do any serious damage to your engine, but you will need to replace the hose.
  • A puddle underneath your car.  It will be: bright (never shiny), neon-green, have a slightly radioactive look to it, and slimy to the touch.  DO NOT touch your face, or any part of your body with the body part you used to touch it with.  Wash your hands!  It is ethylene glycol.  It is one of the most toxic chemicals ever invented.  This is your radiator coolant.  This will need to be cleaned up properly.  DO NOT use laquer thinner!  It will only make it soupy and sticky.  Use some sort of absorbent material such as sand, kitty litter, or canvas.  Use rubber gloves and paper towels to clean it up!  According to the EPA, radiator coolant can go in through your pores, causing severe internal damage.  Blechg!

If you have a pressurized radiator (where a certain pressure is kept to maintain a cool engine), and have any of the above problems, call a mechanic right away!  You will have severe problems if you let it be.  I won’t even tell you what will happen if you let it be!  It makes me queasy just to think about it!

I know what it’s like to have to get a year-old radiator fixed, as Mom’s Chrysler Town & Country just had the smoke and leakage out a hose problem…Dad and I pulled into the driveway, got out of the car and saw some smoke pouring out from under the hood.  We popped open the hood, got a flashlight out, and saw some neon-green, bright stuff on a radiator hose.  Dad repeated some ‘unworthy of this blog’ words, and called the mechanic first thing in the morning.  I hope that it’s nothing serious, but hopefully, we’ll just need to get a new hose.

Some cars need radiator repairs more than others, but that may just be because you tow and/or haul a lot.  If so, then you’re engine has to work harder with that load behind you.

There are many online websites for radiators, but, radiator.com offers deals up to 75% off!  For example, a 1999 Nissan Quest’s radiator might cost $429 from a dealer, but from radiator.com will sell it to you for $118!  How about that type of deal?  Well, then again, it’s around the Holidays…

I hope you all have a fun Thanksgiving!  So, eat a lot of turkey, pumpkin pie, and my personal favorite; mashed potatoes!  Gobble-Gobble (Not you, turkey!)!  Just so you know, my tag on the top of the page will say “The Unmuffled Auto News; A Car Blog for Kids.” I am now going to be doing posts on an adult level of understanding.  Kids CAN read my blog, but it might be a LOT harder for them to understand…

Horacio Pagani; Yet Another Great Car Guy…

Imagine driving in the most beautiful car you can imagine, high up in the Argentinian Andes.  The views of an amazing coastal city from this high up make it look like a postcard.  The windows in your car are down.  There’s amazing birdsong, and the occasional cry of an eagle.  There’s a curve in the road.  You turn the steering wheel one rotation, pull the handbrake, and you drift through the curve effortlessly.  You punch the skinny pedal, and a whir, rumble, and screeching of tires tells you that no officer of the law can catch you now.  You can’t have a care in the world except that you might break down.  This is the Pagani video of their new Huayra (WHY-RA).

Horacio Pagani is one of the least-known men in the auto industry.  He has founded Modena Design; an advanced composite design consulting company.  He has created some amazing cars such as the: Zonda, Huayra, and so few others.  Pagani makes special cars that look even more macho than a Lamborghini Murciealago (bat in Spanish) 670-4 Super Veloce (Super fast in Italian).  I personally happen to like the sleek lines of the Huayra (the newest car).  So, enjoy Horacio Pagani’s life story.

Horacio Pagani was born in 1955 to a family of bakers in Casilda, Argentina, on November 10, 1955.   One of his life-long friends said “We never ran out of bread…In high-school, we’d head over to his family’s bakery, and grab a loaf of bread.  Horacio would grab a pastry of some sort; usually a danish, and split it with me.  If we ever didn’t have bread, I’d hop on my bike, and go over to the bakery.  They’d almost always have a loaf of bread in the oven for us.  We weren’t poor; we were actually well off.  We just liked their bread.”  Horacio liked to draw cars, and would carve them out of balsa wood.      When he was 12, he constructed his first balsa wood model car that looked similar to a Porsche 917, missing the top.  Those early, small balsa wood cars designs have been transferred to the real world, and are now  seen on his cars today.  He also designed and constructed a Mini Moto (which he still owns) in 1971.

1972 was a big year for Pagani.  He received his diploma from a technical high school, and he also built his first car; a buggie with Renault mechanics (cannibalized from various family cars).

Horacio went on to study industrial design at the University of La Plata, in Argentina from 1972 through 1974.  The following year, he studied mechanical engineering at the University of Rosario, Argentina.  You’re probably wondering how he founded an automobile company in the first place.  Well, one of his friends asked him to build a “cool car.”  Horacio did.  His friend then asked him to convert it to a race-car.  Horacio did, and loved it.  Making race cars was just a full-time hobby.

In 1977, he began working at his one-man business of making race-cars in Argentine, Argentina.  He also worked on bar manufacturing and design, to support his small race-car business.

Due to a slow market for race cars, Pagani needed to diversify.  The following year, he started designing and building caravan campers and RV trailers.  He was selling them out of his garage.  Since he sold them cheaply, his clients were mostly serious campers on a budget, or radio stations in Argentina ( he would install them with a desk and microphone).  He also studied and designed a Formula 2 (F2) single-seater race car.  Formula 2 is what comes before Formula 1.  It started out as a street racer.

In 1979, he built a Formula 2 single-seater in his garage (only a part-time hobby…), designed and constructed a camper-van for Chevrolet pickups.  A few months later, he collaborated in a study for orthopaedic chairs and beds.

1981 was a very big year for Horacio Pagani.  He designed fiberglass reproduction cabins for the following; Chevrolet Cheyenne pickups, Ford F100 pickups, the Toyota Hilux, and Peugeot 504. While doing this, he also took a class on “Human Factors in Industrial Design,” at the University of Rosario, Argentina.  To add to this workload, he also designed a cabin for a combine harvester made by the Marinari, Argentina, company S.P.A.  It seems that wasn’t enough, so he designed two touring bicycles; for men and women.  Some of the cabins were hand-built.

The following year brought new and different challenges.  He designed and constructed a Mays JMF roughness meter, to be used to measure road deterioration.  It was commissioned by The Centre For Research And Development at the University of Rosario, Argentina.

In 1982 and 1983, Horacio Pagani won two scholarships:  one from the Rotary Club International For The Royal College Of Art (in London).  The other scholarship was from the Art Center in Pasadena, CA.  He also moved to Italy in 1983 to pursue his dream of working for Lamborghini, working as a design consultant.

At twenty-nine, his career got rolling.  He helped design the Jeep LMA, and was on the team at Lamborghini design and build the Countach Evoluzione; the first car in the world with a carbon-fiber frame.

For the next three years, not much is known about him (good and/or bad), but in 1987, he was responsible for the design of the Lamborghini Countach Anniversary.  Battista Pininfarina (the man who started the legendary coachbuilder company, Pininfarina) hated Pagani’s “subtle” design of the Countach Anniversary.  Yet, if you look at a picture of the original Countach, and then at the Anniversary Edition, you will see so many differences, it is amazing.

During the late Eighties, and early Nineties, he designed, engineered, and built various parts of a Formula 1 engine (Lamborghini uses the technology today in their sweet new ride; the Aventador).  In 1990, he collaborated in the establishment of design and engineering of the Lamborghini Diablo bodywork.  Later in the year, he built models and moulds, and transferred his know-how to Lamborghini, for the construction of bodywork, built with composite materials.  From 1990-1991, he designed the Lamborghini L30.  To get into deeper detail, he designed the bodywork, engineered, modeled, moulded, and used technology of composite materials.  Also, in 1991, he founded Modena Design.  Modena Design was a design consulting company that would help companies design, engineer, and help with anything in general.   In 1992, he collaborated in the design of the Lamborghini Diablo Anniversary.

Pagani left Lamborghini in the early nineties, to work for a Rossignol-Lange Racing partnership. There, he designed ski boots for snow mobile racing.  He started making parts out of advanced composite materials.  He also designed and started the prototype for the Pagani Zonda.

The following year, he worked at Nissan, where he studied spoilers for a race-car.  He also designed interiors for Automobili Lamborghini from 1994-1997.  During this time, he also worked for Aprilia; designing, moulding, and constructing parts for their 250/400  racing motorcycles.

He moved to Renault, and from 1995-1996, he worked at Renault France, engineering and moulding, for the prototype “NEXT.”  He also worked for Ferrari Automobili; making various parts for their Formula 1 engines.  Also, in 1996, he worked at Berman: designing, engineering, models & moulds and parts for the Suzuki Vitara/Dahiatsu Move.  In 1997, he did moulds and construction for the Dallara F3.  Dallara, by the way, is one of the best-known racing teams in the world.

A masterpiece of masterpieces was born.  1999 saw the birth of the Pagani Zonda C12 and it was introduced to the public at the Geneva Auto Show.  The following year, the Pagani Zonda S 7.o was introduced, where it’s ancestor had stood, just a year before.   In 2002, the Pagani Zonda S 7.3 was introduced by Horacio Pagani himself.  He also did work on the study and concept of the Chrysler ME412

2003 was a big year for Pagani Automobili.  The Pagani Zonda S 7.3 Roadster was introduced in the exact same spot that it’s ancestors were introduced in.  Two years later, the Pagani Zonda F was introduced at you guessed it!  The Geneva Auto Show, Stand 188.

2005 was an even better year for Pagani.  The Zonda F was introduced at Stand 188, Geneva Convention Centre.  Just two months later, a Zonda S 7.3 Roadster was the Pace Car for the Indy 500.  A Zonda F also won 14th place over all at the 24 Hours of Nurburgring.

Just another two years later (you can see a pattern here), the Zonda R was introduced.  It was called “the cool alternative to the Lamborghini Gallardo.”  But, I guess that Horacio Pagani begged to differ, so he introduced the Pagani Zonda Roadster F at the same stand… In 2008, the introduction of the super-rare Pagani Chrono, and the still  rare remaining Zonda R models got to be at the same stand.

In 2009, the Italian preview of the Zonda R was introduced at the Milan Auto Show.  The presentation of the Zonda Cinque, Zonda R, and the sound system of the Zonda R were all introduced at the same spot.

2010 wasn’t nearly as big as previous years, but it still deserves attention.  At the 2010 Geneva Auto Show, the Zonda Cinque Roadster and Zonda Tricolore (three colors) were both introduced.  A buyer could get a Zonda Tricolore in any three colors he/she wanted. The Sultan of Brunei ordered a Zonda Tricolore with the following colors: Bottom color: Matte black.  Middle color: Gold leaf plates.  Top color: Ivory sheets.  I guess that’s what happens when you have too much money…

February 18, 2011:  The Pagani Huayra is introduced at the worldwide headquarters of Pirelli Tires, in Milan, Italy.  Just a mere three months after, the U.S. was the first country to get a Huayra delivered to a customer.  But, the owner is a Canadian who met Horacio Pagani in Vermont, and then drove it up to Canada (nice road trip in a cool car…).  Just a few days after, Horacio Pagani flew to Japan, to introduce the Huayra to the Asian market.  He left Japan the day before the earthquake.  Isn’t that lucky?  I think so…

Trivia facts (look for answers Tuesday):  Do you know what Huayra means?  What does Zonda mean?  How long did it take Horacio Pagani to design and produce the Pagani Huayra?

Please check out the awesome website of Pagani at: http://www.pagani.com/

Watch the video of the Huayra in action!  Awesome!  The video is maybe five minutes, maximum.  It is truly worth those five minutes.  Besides, if your boss sees the video, they’ll need to get it too…

Trend of the Trucks!

Hey y’all, as I have a lot of homework to do, I will only detain you for about ten minutes. This post is on the “Pickup & SUV Authority;” Motor Trend’s Truck Trend!  

Truck Trend covers such topics as: Fuel economy standards for trucks, new concept trucks, race coverage (in the magazine & online!), and so much more!  I think that many of you would enjoy getting some nutty truck owner in the family a subscription (if they don’t already have one!).  You can subscribe online at: https://www.circsource.com/store/Subscribe.html?magazineId=117&sourceCode=I8ABNN

I’m still waiting for my presents…

Gifts for the Car Enthusiast (Hint, Hint!)

So, you know how everybody has the nutty friend, spouse, grandma/grandpa or uncle? Well, a recent study has shown that they aren’t nutty, they’re just car enthusiasts!  So, as the holidays come closer, I thought I would help you out (and bust your brains).  Lucky you, I will be doing a series of  posts until the week before Hanukkah and Christmas (when you’ll all be on vacation…).  I will.  Over the next weeks, look for magazine reviews,  great books to purchase, and a couple of movies to buy on dvd. I hope to get to great tools and a few surprises!  Tell me if you want anything else!  I will review it (whatever it is, but only if you pay for it!), and post it on my blog.  The posts won’t be every Tuesday and/or Friday, but they will be close together.

To get your “nutty” relative a few well loved presents, how about a Hemmings Motor News Car Specs 2012 Calendar?   Instead of photos, it’s got these great illustrations of cars.  It’s loaded with facts on cars.  Plus, it’s got easy-to-read format.  So, if they loves to pore over old blueprints and manuals, get them this for a change.  It costs $13.95, and you can order it from Hemmings Motor News at: 1-800-227-4373, extension 79550, or you can get it online from: hemmings.com/store

Does your “nutty” old grandma like to prowl the junkyards, and auto-wrecking yards, well, here’s the perfect gift!  There’s a “Hemmings, the Moon & Stars Tote Bag.”  The Hemmings Motor News 1934 Dodge Panel Truck is a beacon in the night for this artistic 16″x5 1/4″x 12″ tote bag makes a great Corvette-part-carrying bag, or an awesome reusable grocery bag.  It is $3.95.  Again, you can order online, or from the phone.  The phone number is: 1-800-227-4373, extension 79550.  The web address is hemmings.com/store

Like cars, but aren’t allowed to wear anything below Khaki’s and a Polo shirt?  Well, there’s a nice Hemmings Classic Car Polo Shirt will be your favorite shirt, and your boss’s!  It has sizes ranging from Small to Extra-Extra-Large.  It is Maroon, and $27.95.  You can order by phone, or online at 1-800-227-4373, extension 79550 or hemmings.com/store

Are you an avid hiker who likes classic cars?  There’s a Hemmings Motor News Blue Fleece Vest that’s just perfect for a cold hike or jog.  It is top-quality WASHABLE fleece with two zip pockets.  It goes great with just about any shirt, too!  It comes in sizes Small through Extra-Extra-Large, is navy blue, and $39.95.  Again, you can order it online at hemmings.com/store, or by phone at 1-800-227-4373, extension 79550.

You part of a local Muscle-Car group? Well, there’s an “I’m a Man (or Woman)” Hemmings Muscle Machines Pit Crew Shirt.   It’s like those button-up shirts that make you look sharp, but you’ll be simply dazzling with this shirt on!  It’s got timeless styling, and a Hemmings Muscle Machines logo declares YOUR interests!  It comes in sizes Medium through  Extra-Extra-Large, is $24.95.  You can order it off the online Hemmings store at hemmings.com/store, or off the phone at 1-800-227-4373, extension 79550.

That not enough for you?  How about the Hemmings All-Pursose Cotton Canvas Tote Bag (The Tote Bag of Tote Bags) is a long-standing favorite of Hemmings Motor News subscribers and staff!  It has extra-long handles for throwing your UPS truck full bag of groceries onto your shoulder.  It might not be a bad idea to buy a few more, as the burglars, family, and friends will be strip-searching you for it!  It is a true bargain at $15.00 for one bag!  Yet again, you can order it online at hemmings.com/store, and off the phone at 1-800-227-4373, extension 79550.

Is THAT not enough for you?  Well, how about the Hemmings Porcelain Sign.  It all started back in the day of 1954, and if you’re a Hemmings fan, grab one of these signs to hang in your garage or den!  It is $21.95, and order able online at hemmings.com/store, or by phone at 1-800-227-4373, extension 79550.

Not bored yet, still got some more space (and money!) how about the Coconut Cafe (Cheeseburger Lovers’) Hawaiian Shirt has a picture of a nostalgic drive-in food joint car-focused theme is dramatically shown on BOTH the front and back!  Great for Hawaiian shirt and car lover!  It comes in sizes Medium through Extra-Extra-Large, is $24.95, and is available by phone at 1-800-227-4373, extension 79550, and online at hemmings.com/store (other styles available online)

Have a classic truck?  Subscribe to Hemmings?  Get the Hemmings Trailer Hitch Cover to make you instantly cool, and is highly resistible to breaking (and braking).  It costs a mere $5.95, and is order able online at hemmings.com/store, or by phone at 1-800-227-4373, extension 79550.

So you know a lot about classic cars?  Let’s see!  Challenge your friends and family with this Car Quiz for the Classic Car Aficionado!  Try not to play it too often, or they might not let you play it again (Know-It-All)!  $16.95, available online at hemmings.com/store, or by phone at 1-800-227-4373, extension 79550.

Like this post so much, you had to get something (else) for me? How about the 1935 Chevrolet 1 1/2 canopy van diecast model?  It’s 1/24th scale, $39.95, has a: working suspension, steering wheel that turns the front wheels, side doors that open and close (to make ingress/egress easier for the toy soldiers…), an opening rear tailgate, a detailed cab interior, engine, and underside, and a tilting windshield.  Oh!  I almost forgot the Hemmings branding with Hemmings logo on the doors and tailgate, and the hemmings.com website on both side panels and the front edge of the roof.  It would be a wise choice to order one now, as other Hemmings-branded trucks have sold fast in the past!  Again, order at 1-800-227-4373, extension 79550, or hemmings.com/store

Still waiting to get the “bargain”?  Well, here you go.  The Hemmings Motor News Illustrated Collector-Car Encyclopedia is the bargain of 2011!  It has over 300 pages, with over 30 categories that include: Body Styles, Body Construction, Designers & Stylists, Coachbuilders, Automobile Companies, Pioneers, Engines, Transmissions, Differentials, Suspension, Brake Systems, Fuel Systems, Ignition Systems, Tools & Machinery, Primers & Paints, Interiors, Wheels, Tires, Lighting, Accessories, Racing, Hot Rodding, High Performance, Restoration, Concours, Shows & Events, Museums, Auctions, Clubs, Toys & Models.  Yet again, order by phone at 1-800-227-4373, extension 79550, or hemmings.com/store

Oh, and by the way, all items ship within 48 hours!

Goodness!  I almost forgot to tell you about one of the best presents for “nutty” grandma and uncle!  You can get a Digital Edition subscription for: Hemmings Motor News, Hemmings Muscle Machines, Hemmings Classic Car, and Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car.  The print edition (12 issues) for Hemmings Motor News is $31.95, and is the same amount for the digital edition.  The others are $18.95 for the the print edition, and $7.00 for the digital edition.  Or, you can subscribe to all four online for only $25.00, instead if $33.00.  So, be quick for those “nutty” grandma’s and uncles!

Happy H0lidays (to you & me!)  Tune in for more!  By the way, I would be elated to receive ANY of the above-mentioned items…..ahem.