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2009 Chicago Auto Show

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by atrhugo, Feb 10, 2009.

    atrhugo guest

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    Oh, one final final thought regarding Ford's Transit Connect (and following up on something mentioned in an earlier post).

    I've spent more than my fair share of time in B Vans, either behind the wheel or as a passenger. (There's gotta be a blues ballad in there somewhere, "I Ride the Short Bus . . ."). But they were always either too big, or too small for the task at hand and never as efficient as they could be.

    Well the Sprinter was a welcome product when it was introduced to the US market a few years ago and is a favorite of mine, great utility and decent efficiency.

    The Transit Connect fills a gap below the Sprinter and will be a great addition. Small business owners will love this thing. I want one, in British racing green of course, with "Marleybone Jellied Eel" in cream lettering on the flanks.

    Oh, and here's a little piece of van insider trivia you can impress your friends with. One of the great aftermarket vendors for B Vans is Quigley. They make 4x4 conversions for B vans, and dropping the Quigley name amongst van aficionados is sure to give you instant expert status.
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    granthr

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    Thanks for your reports. I have enjoyed your commentary and pictures. I think this Ford Transit has the Mercury Mountaineer headlights from a few years ago.

    I really like the VW Vanagon Syncros from the later 80s and early 90s. Once I saw a caravan of five or six these 4x4 Beasts on the highway. I was surprised, b/c they are so rare.

    atrhugo guest

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    Thanks Grant!

    It appears that the public turnout for the show is good. That's encouraging. (Or this may be as close as they come to a new car for awhile.)

    The pix come from Paul Brian, Director of Communications, Chicago Auto Show
    [IMG]
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    granthr

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    I went to the NY Auto Show a few years ago. It can get pretty crowded during the public days! It must be completely different to be there on the press days. Lots of room to look at the cars without some hack try to push you out of the way. :D

    atrhugo guest

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    Well I was the hack, and I was pushed out of the way a couple of times. ;)
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    granthr

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    Yea, I can understand it can get to that point! :D The day I was there it was basically impossible to get a picture of a car without someone either in it or leaning over it somehow. But it was still fun and I hope to go again sometime. It is great seeing the exotic and rare cars up close.
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    az3579

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    Eh? I find it painful, especially when I get to the BMW stand (despite not being any exotics there) because I know I won't be able to afford an M car for many many years. :(
    Same applies to any of the exotics. Hell, none those may ever find their way into my driveway.

    atrhugo guest

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    Yeah, but I have always liked She Who Must Be Obeyed's outlook. Whenever I drool over a really large old house, she'll look at me and say, "How are you going to heat it? And don't look at me when you want 10,000 sq.ft. cleaned!"

    Sometimes you just need to see and touch something that's truly out of reach. And know that not being able to afford to pay for it also means you'll save BIG bucks not having to maintain it. :D
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    granthr

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    Botond, cheer up! E36 M3s are dropping in price as we speak. Just save your pennys and you can have one sooner rather later. There are high mile ones out there for less than $10K And depending how much you need to work on it a lot less.

    atrhugo guest

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    Spyker - trivia

    One thing I discovered while poking around for information on Spyker was that they had an inline 6 cylinder engine in 1903. That predates everyone's favorite as the first inline 6, the Napier, by a year.

    But it was a real odd duck of an engine. It was a T head engine, so it had valves arrayed (upside down - or better, valve stem down) on both sides of the block. That in itself wasn't all that unusual. What was truly weird was that it employed transverse camshafts!

    Basically there were the equivalent of four flywheels on the crank with helically cut gear teeth, above them were the camshaft gears, running perpendicular to the 'geared flywheels'. On either side of that cam gear were shafts that the cam lobes were on. Each lobe operating a rocker arm which operated a valve. The camshaft at the nose and rear of the case operated two valves only (for the first and sixth cylinders). The camshafts between cylinders two & three, and four & five operated four valves each.

    It may not have been too noisy (since the gears were on a pronounced bias) and it would be expected to be pretty smooth, since it was an I6 and it had four flywheels in the crankcase. Yikes!!

    I've attached a crude drawing of what I think that arrangement looked like, it's probably correct as far as how this was laid out, but I've been unable to find a really good image of the real thing. (Oh yeah, and I'm aware the gears are not drawn to scale. ; -)

    atrhugo guest

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    I spent some time Sunday looking for a series of pix I had taken a few years back (and a couple of OS changes ago) and ran across a CD chock full o' Chicago Auto Show pix starting in 2004. The difference in '04 to '09 was startling.

    I hadn't remembered the money the manufacturers were spending on displays, press kits, and feting the assembled press back then. This year's show was a distant echo of that. Probably rightfully so. I'm sure there'd be someone who'd report that they were 'shocked and appalled' if the manufacturers were anything but subdued.

    The show, of course, is over and it appears that it's over for Saab, Saturn, Chrysler, and a handful more. Pontiac reduced to becoming 'Pontiac by Buick' (remember the rebadged Daewoo, 'Opel by Buick'? ; -). Opel looking for restructuring; it's not fun. Who'll survive? Stay tuned . . .

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