A Bit More on Mildred Deason's 1952 Oldsmobile 98

Hi folks -- just talked to Grandma today about the previous entry photo of her with her 1952 Oldsmobile 98. She told me that her husband, Jim Golden, went to town saying he was going to buy a new suit. They had just moved to Aiken, S.C. from Prattville, AL, as Jim was working at the Du Pont Savannah River Plant. Instead of coming home with a suit, he came home with that car, which Mildred (Mickey) says her two girls (then age 4 and 3) loved very much.

The Automobile as a Background for the Family Photograph

Mildred Deason, my wife's mother, with a snazzy looking hardtop from the early 1950s. Maybe a Mercury?
James Golden ( my wife's father) with brother Ted
You can barely see a 1930s car behind the slew of folks, including Franklin E. Golden.

Franklin E. Golden with a VW, 1961. A tall man from Alabama with a 1961 VW? Taht tells you something about the appeal of the VW at that time!Franklin E. Golden with a VW, 1961. A tall man from Alabama with a 1961 VW? Taht tells you something about the appeal of the VW at that time!

Young Ted Golden. A mid-1930s Chevy?

hi folks -- all of these photos are a part of a fabulous collection that depict the complex relationships connecting together my wife's family. These folks were rooted in central Alabama (Prattville, Clanton). The number of photographs of cars in the background tell us much about values and status and ambitions of everyday Americans over the course of several generations.

Fuck it, Dude.

A tragedy itself, "What Was the Hipster?" at nymag.com, definitively shows that the leading edge of popular culture has run into a brick wall, and is now being crushed to death as the trailing weight of society, full of unstoppable momentum, carreens into it, leaving an unintelligable, unnavigable morass of style, asthetics, and values.

Nothing is new.

Hotslots grand opening Nov.6th

Stop by next Saturday Nov. 6th for the Grand Opening of Hotslots 1809 Philo Rd Ste A. Urbana Il 61802. There will be slotracing all day with prizes given out to racers and attendees as well. I'll be there doing a Carrera Race Day event, so stop by with your slot car and do a bit of racin'!

Pipe dreams

Tea Party anger is genuine, but very sadly misplaced. It's like watching a trust fund kid run out of money. Except in this case that money is cheap energy - easily obtainable oil and gas.

A half-decent screed on t r u t h o u t was brought to my attention today by some friends on facebook. Author Henry A. Giroux claims that Tea Party vitriol is led by a vast conspiracy of rich people getting greedier and meaner, the result of a collective loss of our moral compass over the last 30 years - since Reagan's election.

I read it, realized he was partly right, and was quickly reminded of the book I just finished a few weeks ago, James Howard Kunstler's, The Long Emergency. We have gone through about half of our total endowment of fossil fuels - specifically oil and gas, Kunstler writes - the cheap and easy-to-get half (and especially our own rapidly depleting supply of gas, and we do not have the infrastructure to import LNG at soon-to-be needed levels). It's all down hill from here. If anything, read the book, written in 2004, for Kunstler's related prediction of the housing collapse and foreclosure crisis will make the hairs on your neck stand up as stiffly as a legion of brownshirts coming to attention.

And many sources would say he's right, showing that global production peaked as late as four years ago. Consequently, Giroux is right, too. Our "ideals" did begin to change once Reagan was elected, because Reagan's election was in fact a reaction to our collective failure to deal with our own national peak oil crisis, in 1970: blaming it on the liberals and Arabs.

What next immediately jumped out at me was Giroux's absolute denial that government solutions don't work; that reams and books and stacks and entire libraries and roomfuls of computer servers of rules and regulations have never worked. His stone-faced failure to acknowledge that the Tea Party is, ultimately, a very real reaction. We're as self-centered as we ever were, 30 years ago, or 3,000. Don't believe me? When has a rule ever changed what you wanted? Needed? Have you ever seen a government RFP? I have. It was 57 pages of ADA, EEO, and DBE accommodations that would drive Bill Gates to become a turnip-farming revolutionary.

That the Tea Party is a reaction seems self-evident at first, because all liberals love to tout how proactive they are. But failing to address the action that caused the reaction you are condemning makes you just as big a reactionary.

Everyone loves to argue these days about who the real Nazis are, who's the real next Hitler. The truth is, who ever is in power the moment the permanent energy shocks and blackouts start is gonna be saddled by that unfortunate historical comparison. Unfortunate because it will be completely out of their control. We'll all slip into a collective psychosis, as Kunstler warns, looking to blame our problems on someone that is not ourselves, very much like the real Nazis and the German people of the 1930s.

You think the Tea Party supports your right to bear arms? Just wait until they're in power when the center starts really coming apart and they suddenly start taking the blame. I got yer second amendment right here. And the 1st, 3rd, 4th...you get the picture. And if Barack Hussein Obama and his crew happen to be the unlucky ones still in power when the shit goes down, then Palin and Co. will be proven right, but only by accident. If only they could be so lucky.

Truth is, labels shift and blame changes with whoever is in power because nobody wants to deal with the truth. It's the reason Palin, Paul, Miller, Angle, and O'Donnell are all part of this current zeitgeist. They're on the outside looking in, claiming to have all the answers. They'll be sorry when they're finally in and want out.

According to Kunstler, the world's endowment of cheap energy has made the illusion of modern economic utopia possible, including the ability for our nation, with all its diverse political views, to tolerate the massive entitlements that come with a modern democracy. But as the energy that underpins our entire, now global, society becomes unaffordable, we're suddenly realizing that we can't afford those entitlements anymore because we've dumped so much national wealth into an unsustainable lifestyle that only runs on cheap gas in our cars (read: the suburbs).

Employers can't afford to keep the payroll what it was. Food prices, for goods shipped in from all over the world, are getting too expensive, especially for the unemployed. Utility shut-offs ("come on, people...gawd, pay yer BILLS!") are the highest since the Great Depression. Freezing in a dark apartment has a sudden chilling effect on your democratic ideals.

But how can we get rid of all the entitlements? Privatization? I have several family members that each lost nearly $100,000 in investments in 2008, all their own private stash, when the market tanked. It's all moot anyway, no one can live on a SSA check alone to begin with.

So let's blame Harry Reid and his Mexicans.

As if Nevadans are going to wake up November 3rd and find all the illegals gone before Sharron Angle even takes her oath. Or even the year after. Although, in a few years, Nevadans will wake up to find all the water is gone and no one can afford their AC bills. I'd like to see Angle fix that. If she tries to come to the great lakes with a water pipeline, long a Nevada pipe dream - after they've let private mining operations drain their unreplenishable aquifers at the expense of all those people living a friggin desert (Lake Mead is at it's lowest level since the Hoover Dam made the goddamn lake!)...she'll have a fight on her hands, by god, cause I'm voting local. That's one example of socialism against which I'll join a revolution.

(Plus I love that she got so upset when that fat woman on The View called her a "bitch"...that after she told Reid to "man up." She can dish it out, but can't take it. Gender stereotypes go both ways, Sharron.)

And now that we're trying make things more efficient and sustainable, they call people like me a "socialist." With our bike lanes, VMT-reduction goals, 20-minute neighborhoods. They may be right, because it will still be underwritten by oil. Socialism is only an attempt to keep it all banded together with bailing wire and bubblegum what won't stay together on it's own without a huge endowment, a trust fund of cheap energy - gas and oil.

And don't give me the nuclear power argument - do you think the technicians needed at those plants are gonna get to work in nuclear cars? Nuclear's contribution is currently far too low, and electric cars are barely on the market. The time is now, the danger immediate. By time the market responds it will be too late. You only have to look once at Russia's nuclear situation for a clue as to what our own infrastructure may soon look like. And the "socialist" solution is provoking the very reaction about which I've decided to write.

Is it too late? It depends on your definition of "too late." The reality is probably that renewables will never satisfy our current demand. Kunstler argues that contraction, in that scenario, is the only way. He is proving to be more right every day, and it is a bitter pill for an ever growing number of people to swallow.

NSR Porsche Video

A few photos from Italiaslot to show today from the NSR Porsche that's coming soon.

And apparently already out at Evotechshop in Spain.

Muffler Mobiles and the Muffler Shops that Made Them

Meineke Muffler Mobile Art Car
Meineke Muffler Mobile Art Car

I run into this muffler art car on Jalopnik last night and where there is one muffler car there is another.

This "Muffler mobile" was created by Joe, Scott, and Steve Minghelli, family owners of two Meineke muffler shops in Southern New Jersey. They started out by creating art from used mufflers laying around like muffler men, muffler dogs, muffler waffle irons and then one day got serious and made the Muffler mobile. They started out with a Datsun truck and stripped it down to its frame. Then they rebuilt the frame from exhaust tubing welded to the Datsun and then covered it with sixteen gauge steel panels to create the distinctive muffler shape. I guess if a muffler shop is serious enough about their muffler business to build a muffler art car, then they might be a good shop get your muffler replaced.

So here is the complete set of muffler shops around the country you might want to check out next time your car needs a new muffler. I wonder if these cars need to get smogged every hear?

Kelly's Pimp My Muffler Art Car
Kelly's Pimp My Muffler Art Car via
Muffler Hut Pink Muffler Mobile
Muffler Hut Pink Muffler Mobile via
Steve's Muffler Mobile
Steve's Muffler Mobile via
Keith's Muffler Shop Art Car
Keith's Muffler Shop Art Car via
Seeburg Muffler Art Car
Seeburg Muffler Art Car via
Muffler Art Car
Muffler Art Car via
5 Star Mosaic Muffler Art Car
5 Star Mosaic Muffler Art Car via

Slot Miniauto 73


El nuevo Ferrari F10 de Fernando Alonso de Carrera protagoniza la portada de la revista Slot MiniAuto del mes de noviembre. Al mismo tiempo se destaca un artículo sobre todos los modelos de la NASCAR comercializados por Scalextric. La segunda parte de la Supercomparativa de los Audi R8 de Carrera, Ninco y Superslot, pone al descubierto su comportamiento en pista.
Presentamos también los cuatro Mercedes 300 SL de Slot Classic que participaron en Nurburgring de 1952 en unas decoraciones hasta ahora inéditas.
En el interior, las pruebas en pista de los nuevos BMW M3 GT2 y McLaren MP4/24 de Scalextric, el Audi R8 GT3 Lightened de Ninco, y del Jaguar XJR 14 de Le Mans Miniatures.
Se completa la revista con las secciones habituales de Noticias, Novedades, Presentaciones y Slot Sport.
Este mes, de regalo, los dos primeros meses del Calendario 2011.
(A la venta el 29-10-2010)

Slot MiniAuto en Facebook
(Más información en www.revistasprofesionales.com)



The new Fernando Alonso Ferrari F10 of Carrera is the main protagonist in the Slot MiniAuto cover of November. At the same time an article is highlighted on all NASCAR models sold by SCX. The second part of the Audi R8 comparative between the Carrera, Ninco and Scalextric models, exposes its behavior on the slot track.
We also present the four Slot Classic Mercedes 300 SL that dominate in Nurburgring 1952, in a previously unheard decorations.
Inside, the track testing of the new SCX BMW M3 GT2 and McLaren MP4/24, the Audi R8 GT3 Lightened of Ninco, and the Jaguar XJR 14 of Le Mans Miniatures.
Magazine is complete with the usual sections of News, Novelties, new car introductions and Sport Slot.
This month, as gift, the first two months of the 2011 calendar.
(On-Sale 29/10/2010)
Now Slot MiniAuto in Facebook
(More information on www.revistasprofesionales.com)

Scaleauto Porsche RSR-Matmut

Photos of the new Scaleauto Porsche RSR in 1/24 "Matmut" decoration.

Hitler's Wheels -- a Mercedes 11/40

1923-5 Benz 11/40

Thanks to Ed Garten for this inforamtion!!!

this just appeared in the November issue of Harper's Magazine:


From a September 13, 1924, letter to Jakob Werlin, a Mercedes-Benz car salesman, from Adolf Hitler. At the time of the letter, Hitler was writing Mein Kampf while serving a thirteen-month sentence in Landsberg Prison for his involvement in the Beer Hall Pusch. In July 2010 this letter and several others that Hitler had written from prison were sold at auction in Furth, Germany, for $33,400. Translated from the German by Natascha Hoffmeyer.
Dear Mr. Werlin!

After reflecting upon our conversation today, I would like to ask you, dear Mr. Werlin, to perhaps intercede for me in two ways. Generally, I am convinced that an 11/40 would suit my present needs. The only thing that is perhaps influencing me is the fact that it runs 300 rotations faster than the 16/50. I would be grateful if you could let me know in your next letter whether you think an rpm of 2250 isn't so high that a car might suffer in the short run.

As I said, this is the only thing that makes me cautious about the 11/40, because I will not be able to afford a new car in two or three years and I cannot take the time every few years to find better, more lucrative work. However, I would like to ask you to perhaps also inquire into what kind of a rebate I would get with either a 16/50 or a 11/40. Also whether there is an 11/40 available in gray with wire-spoke wheels.

The difficulty for me, of course, is that -- even in the case of my release on October 1 -- larger revenues from my book will not be available until mid-December, so I am forced to ask for an advance or loan. It goes without saying that several thousand marks make a difference, as I also have to pay my court and legal costs immediately, which are already making my hair stand on end. Thus, I sincerely ask that you put in a good word for me, since my chance of a purchase genrally depends on it.

In any event, I would like to ask you to reserve the gray car you in have in Munich until I have clarity regarding my fate (probation?). I will le tyou know immediately whether I will be released in October and whether I will be able to buy a car.

Yours most respectfully,

Adolf Hitler

1915 Franklin: Mother-In-Law Seats: from Jay Leno's Garage

1911 Model T Ford
1915 Franklin

I always learn from my students. In this case, Tony Porreci called my attention to a recent video clip on "Jay Leno's Garage" in which Jay describers a mother-in-law seat that was installed on a 1915 Franklin. Personally, if it were my mother-in-law, I would like that seat to have a very loose set of hold-down bolts!
This connects well with a section in my book "The Automobile and American Life" that deals with how courtship changed because of the coming of the automobile. here it is: (and please buy the book!)

Previously, “calling” was the traditional means by which couples were brought together. “Calling” was a courtship custom, and it involved three central tenets of middle class American life: the family, respectability, and privacy. Calling admitted the male into the young woman’s private home, where boys engage in conversation with the girl under the watchful eyes of her mother. Tea was often served, and perhaps the girl would display her musical talents and play the piano as light entertainment. All of this took place in the parlor. Mothers, the guardians of respectability and morals, decided who could call on their daughters and who could not. Daughters could request a certain male visitor, but the mothers made the final decision as to his acceptability. Family honor and name, along with class boundaries, were to be respected.
The calling ritual as practiced resulted in giving middle class mothers and daughters a measure of control. How much of this was real and actually practiced is certainly open to question, particularly since horse-drawn carriages, the woods, and the haystack were also options for young couples. But community controls and prevailing rituals and beliefs certainly have power. Yet it is undeniable that the emergence of the automobile and dating caused the loss of some of that control as power shifted from women to men. Under the calling system the woman asked the man; but in dating, the male had the car and invited the female out beyond the sphere of the parental domain. Cars took young couples off porch swings, outside of home parlors, and far away from concerned mothers and irritating brothers and sisters.

Scaleauto 1/24 BMW prototype photos

Photos I took last weekend of the Scaleauto BMW GT2 while I was visiting Mid America Raceway during the Scaleracing weekend of racing.

A bit of editorializing here too, hopefully Scaleauto will not mind... I found the body shape on this car to be VERY nice. All the detail that you'd hope to see on a model of the BMW is there as well as the promise of the car to be a VERY nicely performing car due to the excellent chassis that comes with this car. I'd had the chance to race the Porsche RSR that Scaleauto during a 6-hour team endurance race at Mid America and I simply love that car. The cars were run nearly box-stock with no chassis mods allowed (none appear to be needed BTW) and everyone I'd say was completely taken with the performance of the cars.

The BMW will come with the same chassis, so expect very, very strong performance from this BMW.

I fully expect this BMW to be an extremely good value for your racing dollar (or Euro).

DaveK, Publisher-Slot Car News

"The Last Cruise-In" -- Across from the Greene, October 22, 2020

1961 Jag MK II
A modified Triumph TR-6 engine -- 200 hp!
Dash from a 1952 Lincoln Capri
Hi folks-- it has been a slow couple of months on the blog. Too much to do at school and, as I was occupied with travel and grant application preparation, my schedule has kept me away from my blogging tasks. Last night, however, was a glorious Friday evening here in Southwest Ohio, and I took the opportunity to go to what may well be the last cruise-in of the season at in Kettering, located across from the Greene. It was sparsely attended, but I caught a few nice cars. Speaking to an old by who was sitting in front of his vehicle, he expressed sadness that winter was around the corner and that our "endless summer" was coming to an end. For me this is all tempered somewhat by my moving on to San Diego next term. Hope has replaced despair and the prospect of a dark winter.

New Slot It Toyota 88C/Ford GT40-Gulf!

Pix of the new Slot It Ford GT40 (Gulf) and the new Slot It Toyota 88C. Both are being shown at IHobby and both are prototypes.

Carrera at IHobby

The Carrera of America booth at IHobby 2010 in Rosemont, Ill.

There are a number of new cars on display including the new F1's, new Aston Martin in DIGITAL 124, and Corvette test car from 2008.

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