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 | Category: News Item
entry 25 May 2006, 18:54
If you happen to find yourself near Maranello this summer check out the new exhibit at the Galleria Ferrari entitled "La Ferrari e la Musica" It's billed as including Eric Clapton’s guitar and Miles Davis’ trumpet, with their music, in an exhibition dedicated to great artists and their Ferrari cars.
La Ferrari e la Musica - Galleria Ferrari La Ferrari e la Musica - Galleria Ferrari La Ferrari e la Musica - Galleria Ferrari La Ferrari e la Musica - Galleria Ferrari La Ferrari e la Musica - Galleria Ferrari La Ferrari e la Musica - Galleria Ferrari
To see more photos from the Galleria Ferrari go here.

Maranello (Italy) April 14th 2006 – After the great success of the exhibition dedicated to Ferrari and the cinema, from April 15th to June 30th, the Galleria Ferrari of Maranello will host a new and original thematic exhibition, which associates Ferrari cars and myth to music. Several singers and performers from all over the world who developed a fondness for the Prancing Horse’s racing exploits since its origins, and loved the style of the cars, have expressed this admiration in their songs and video clips. With three expositive rooms entirely dedicated to this event, the Galleria Ferrari pays homage to the 60-years long link between Ferrari and artists who left their mark on the history of music.

The Galleria Ferrari of Maranello, located near the factory and the Fiorano track, is open every day, holidays included, from 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The visiting hours will be extended to 7 p.m. during the summer season starting from May 1st.

Somehow I can't imagine Mercedes-Benz having a similar event unless of course it involves marching music ...

entry 24 May 2006, 04:29
Cisitalia D46
To read more about the Cisitalia D46 you can view the main article here.
I've upgraded my short article on the Cisitalia by adding wheelbase, track and general information. I've also included a few more images.

World War II had only just ended and most of Europe lay in ruins. Day to day life was marked by a struggle for mere survival but the people were resilient, Even after life on the precipice, a hunger for sport and the spectacle of racing cars could not be extinguished. Commendatore Piero Dusio was a former Italian champion amateur racing driver and businessman. He commissioned Ing. Dante Giacosa, the designer of the Fiat Topolino to create a simple, inexpensive single-seater racing car which could get Italy racing again.

entry 22 May 2006, 16:04

To read more about the 1930 Mille Miglia you can view the article here.
I've just finished my short article on the 1930 running of the Mille Miglia.

The Mille Miglia was by now firmly ensconced within the Italian psyche. For Brescians the end of winter brought the sound of motors unshackled by normal decorum. A preponderance of young men and women in a hurry juxtaposed against a still mostly rural background. In each town where there lived dreams of motoring laurels a nervous excitement greeted the prospect of deeds backing up words. A champion of the living room or of the dining table would now have to be confirmed on those 1000 terrible miles.

entry 20 May 2006, 03:03
For those of you who live within driving distance of San Jose, California there is a new "adult" playground openning up in July. For $100/month you get unlimited use of all available equipment 24 hrs a day.

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TechShop will be a fully-equipped open fabrication workshop and creative environment which is currently being planned by Jim Newton and Ridge McGhee. The facility will be located on the San Francisco peninsula. Anyone will be able to come in and build and make all kinds of things themselves using the TechShop tools, machines and equipment, and draw on the TechShop instructors and experts to help them with their projects. TechShop is designed for everyone, regardless of their skill level. TechShop is perfect for inventors, "makers", hackers, tinkerers, artists, roboteers, social antagonists, families, entrepreneurs, youth groups, FIRST robotic teams, arts and crafts enthusiasts, and anyone else who wants to be able to make things that they dream up but don't have the tools, space or skills. The TechShop workshop provides a wide variety of machinery and tools for the open and unlimited use of its members, including milling machines and lathes, welding stations and plasma cutters, sheet metal working equipment, drill presses and band saws, industrial sewing machines, hand tools, plastic working equipment, electronics design and fabrication facilities, tubing and metal bending machines, electrical supplies and tools, and pretty much everything you'd ever need to make just about anything all by yourself. Take a look at the equipment list here.

 | Category: Slot Car & Other Images
entry 19 May 2006, 02:10
Got some new "old" magazines in the mail. Nothing like reading about the old days. I just love reading these magazine and looking at some of the goofy ideas.

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One of the craziest was a slotless track described in the July-August 1964 edition of Model Car & Track. It operated on two levels with the bottom level trolly running a magnet that would cause the attached car on the top level to move. There was also an article on British racing ... did all people in the UK wear clip-on ties? Model Car & Track also provided scale plans like their British counterpart, Model Cars.

entry 17 May 2006, 15:34

Managing a website can become quite a large undertaking and sometimes you feel like the boy at the dike constantly plugging holes that spring a leak. Unless you maintain it the walls might all come tumbling down. It's easy for parts to go stale, stubs that never get finished or holes that need patching. Code gets placed upon code that before long you need a roadmap to work your way through. With more than 700 pages wanting my attention it's hard sometimes to know what to work on so in order to keep it interesting I don't bother with any master plan. Which to make a long story short I decided that my Mille Miglia section needs an overhaul and that I must add the missing years, bios and a few important cars. So I'm putting in a new menu system ... ugh and hope to have it up and running by the end of the week if not sooner.

entry 16 May 2006, 04:48
Lotus-Climax 25
To read more about the Lotus-Climax 25
you can view the main article here.
I've upgraded my short article on the Lotus-Climax 25.

Colin Chapman was known as an instinctive seat of the pants designer. In fact when the first prototype was being built he took the opportunity of sitting in the car. To his surprise he found that he could fit quite comfortably and announced forthright that: "This cockpit's too wide ... take another inch and a half out out of it!" Dick Scammell, one of the mechanics that built the first car would later remark that: "None of us really knew what we were doing, but it all took shape very nicely and it certainly looked right."

entry 14 May 2006, 14:20
Alfa Romeo 158
To read more about the Alfa Romeo 158
you can view the main article here.
I've upgraded my short article on the Alfa Romeo 158.

The moment the flag fell to mark the beginning of the first ever F1 World Championship race on May 13th 1950 at Silverstone there was little doubt what car would cross the finish line first. Four Alfa Romeo 158s lined up ahead of all others thus continuing their 3 year long domination. One Alfetta (which means ‘Little Alfa’ in Italian because of its compact dimensions) retired during the race but the others finished 1-2-3 and left their nearest opponent 2 laps behind.

entry 13 May 2006, 16:07
Nuvolari and the Alfa Romeo Bimotore
To read more about the Alfa Bimotore you can view
the main article here.
I've upgraded my short article on the Alfa Bimotore by adding wheelbase and track information. I've also included a few more images.

Alfa Romeo was desperate to regain their superiority. Scuderia Ferrari was tasked by Alfa Romeo to build their own super car. Long-time Ferrari designer Luigi Bazzi, did not resort to half measures. Leading this mad adventure, a team of 30 employees, the entire Scuderia, he designed a special chassis based upon the P3 that carried two 8-cylinder engines that were placed in front and behind the driver.

entry 13 May 2006, 03:50
Alfa P3 getting ready for the second heat.
To read more about the Alfa Romeo P3
you can view the main article here.
I've upgraded my short article on the Alfa Romeo "Monoposto" P3 by adding wheelbase and track information. I've also included a few more images.

In the face of the 1934 Teutonic onslaught even Jano's Monoposto could not stem the tide except for one race that has come down through the ages. The P3's most famous victory came very late in its career when Tazio Nuvolari beat the combined German might of five Mercedes and four Auto Unions. That race, the German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring, in front of dozens of Nazi officials is considered one of Nuvolari's greatest victories of all time while the car that took him to victory, the P3 is enshrined in the pantheon of great Grand Prix cars.

entry 12 May 2006, 06:46
Mercedes W163
To read more about the Mercedes-Benz W163 you can view the main article here.
I've upgraded my short article on the Mercedes-Benz W163 by adding wheelbase and track information. I've also included a few more images.

The last of the Grand Prix Silver Arrows before the war brought an end to racing in Europe the W163 was a continuation of the W154 with new bodywork and engine. The engine sported a multi-stage supercharger that was now common in German airplane design, the same planes that would bring death and destruction in a matter of months.

entry 11 May 2006, 01:23
I've added direct links to my Hall of Fame in a panel along the right edge of this blog. Please feel free to click on any of the images for a short article. Don't bother sending me any suggestions ... I don't take any.

 | Category: Slot Car & Other Images
entry 10 May 2006, 15:50
SLOT-HEAD Sign #1

SLOT CARtoon #9
To see more of his artwork and to gather size & pricing information go here.
I've always been a very visual person and on my Grand Prix History website I have featured several famous automobile artists. Here is a gentleman doing slot car art, please forgive the fact that many of his subjects display HO cars. Maybe we can drop him a line to suggest he consider 1/32 or 1/24 for some future artwork. Bob C. Hardin's artwork harkens back to the legendary Ed "Big Daddy" Roth and is just the thing to illustrate the ol' slot car room. Oh and for those that have never heard of Big Daddy or the Rat Fink never mind.

Bob is a Creator/Illustrator with comic book training commercially freelancing since 1982. Specializing in Automotive, Animals, Caricatures,Cartoons, Children, Fine Art/Limited editions, Humorous, Logos, People, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Toy/Game, Hot Rod, Tattoo, and Pin-Up Art.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS:
  • 10 years as artist/writer for Petersen Publishing’s CARtoons Magazine

  • Conceptualized and illustrated 30 detailed vignettes for Dan Transport International Cargo Shipping

  • 200 fine art caricatures of corporate executives for Lucent Technologies

  • Creator and illustrator of 30 fine art paintings for the award winning print series Slot Car Thrillustrations

  • Creator and illustrator of fine art paintings for the print series Mighty Fine Art

  • Part time instructor at the Joe Kubert School of Cartoon an Graphic Art, Inc. in Dover, NJ

entry 10 May 2006, 02:40

Early attempt at communications between Driver and Mechanic (1914)

entry 9 May 2006, 07:15
Peugeot 1914GP
To read more about the Peugeot 1914 GP car view the main article here.
The inspiration for the new Grand Prix Peugeots actually came from a race that they lost. Racing as Lion-Peugeot they were soundly beaten by Paolo Zuccarelli's Hispano-Suiza at the 1910 Coupe de l'Auto. Both Peugeot drivers Boillot and Goux pleaded with Robert Peugeot to sign Zuccarelli to replace motorcycle star, Cesare Giuppone who had recently died. Added to this group was a young Swiss Draughtsman by the name of Ernest Henry to put their ideas to paper. Thus the drivers and erstwhile engineers formed a team that along the way picked up a new moniker, the charlatans from the skeptical Peugeot design department and would go to produce the legendary "Racing Peugeots of 1912-1919".

 | Category: General Observations
entry 8 May 2006, 13:46
After a very wet April the weather seems to have turned the corner and for the last week it’s been beautiful. I especially enjoy the longer days and walks with my wife after dinner. Just received two more Model Cars magazines in the mail with wonderful articles my Walkden Fisher including a balsa wood Auto Union D Type powered by a Romford “Phantom” motor.

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My Guia Slot Racing magazines that I have on eBay haven’t gotten any bids yet but I did sell a Pentax camera lens for $410 + shipping. It sure seems strange to have a positive account at Paypal … will have to do something to rectify that problem. Picked up a couple of used books in Walnut Creek today, one a bit of historical fiction about Fra Mauro, a cartographer to the Court of Venice called A Mapmaker’s Dream. The other is a handbook on sextants; their adjustment, repair, use and history. I don’t own a book or even a sextant but you can never be ill-prepared.

I’m not much for going to movies and most of what I watch on TV are documentaries and of course Speed TV. Currently I’m reading a book by George Orwell called Burmese Days, a short novel based on his experiences in colonial India. My favorite writers these days include Graham Greene, Joseph Roth, Paul Bowles and Orwell, all writers who have spent a large portion of their lives as ex-pats, something I find myself dreaming about though my wife says I’m too old to run away from home.

entry 8 May 2006, 13:46




  Car:   Mercedes 1908 GP   Engine:   4-Cylinder In-line
  Maker:   Mercedes   Bore X Stroke:   155 X 170-180 mm
  Year:   1908   Capacity:   12,781 cc
  Class:   Grand Prix   Power:   135 bhp at 1,400 rpm
  Wheelbase:   270 cm   Track:   140 cm
  Notes:   A combination of foot brake and hand brake that acted on the back wheels slowed the vehicle down while the 4-speed gear box and chain drive kept it going. The Michelin supplied tires were 875 mm x 105 mm in the front and 895 mm x 135 mm in the rear and pressured to 100 p.s.i.!




Mercedes 1908 GP In the early part of the 20th century automobile racing development was driven by the quest for ever larger engines for a given weight of car. What you ended up with was a motor, a chassis, seats for the driver and mechanic and not much else. Motors with capacities of 13.5 litres were being made to fit in 1,000 kg cars and raced at speeds nearing 100 miles per hour.
After running a fuel consumption formula the previous year the rules for the 1908 Grand Prix season stipulated a minimum weight of 1,150 kg., calculated without coolant, fuel, spare tires and mudguards, but including lubricant and finally a maximum piston area of 117 sq. for 4 cylinder cars and  in. which limited the maximum bore to 155 mm. These new regulations forced designers to be more efficient and saw output exceed 10 h.p. per litre for the first time. According to Robert Dick in his wonderful book, Mercedes and Auto Racing in the Belle Époque stated that the new regulations also partially mitigated  the engine misfiring due to self-ignition. The earlier gigantic pistons were glowing, being unable to dissipate heat quickly enough through the cylinder walls.
William Maybach had left the firm in 1907 and the responsibility for creating a new car was given over to Paul Daimler who had earlier returned from the Austrian branch of the firm. Daimler did not stray far from the tree and created a design that followed practices that were established by Maybach earlier. The new car was built much lower to the ground and the hood line was in turn lowered by the repositioning of the radiator. With these cars Mercedes was able to triumph at the French Grand Prix over their German and French rivals with Christian Lautenschlager taking the laurels.
Their victory might have been due more to preparation than outright speed giving that many of the other racers suffered from chronic tire problems. In fact Lautenschlager's mount was down to it's last set and another puncture would have spelled doom. At the end of the season the cars were sold off to rich patrons and continued to compete in various events. Modifications were made and one model was to attain 180 bhp. Driven by the veteran driver Camille Jenatzy this race car was clocked at 107.5 mph over a kilometer during the Ostend Week sprint events.
Mercedes 1908 GP Mercedes 1908 GP Mercedes 1908 GP Mercedes 1908 GP

For more great racing cars visit here ...
http://www.ddavid.com/formula1/rcg.htm

 | Category: Slot Car & Other Images
entry 8 May 2006, 13:45
Reports out of ITV tells of a limited edition coming from Scalextric this summer.

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QUOTE
This wonderfully presented Scalextric box set comes with 1/32 replica cars of Hunt’s McLaren and Lauda’s Ferrari from that year, and is due to be released over the summer. The code is SCX2558, the price £59.99.

 | Category: News Item
entry 8 May 2006, 13:45
InternetNews.Com
May 3, 2006
Sun's Real Time Java Challenge is … Slot Cars?
By David Needle



MENLO PARK, CALIF. -- Sun Microsystems is going to have a bit of fun at its JavaOne conference later this month with the first Slot Car Programming Challenge.

The purpose behind the Challenge is a bit more serious, however. Sun says it wants attendees to experience the Real Time Java (RTJ, also known as RTJS, or Real Time Java Specification) version of Java.

"One of the problems with Real Time Java is that everyone says it's really hard to use," said Greg Bollella, a distinguished engineer at Sun involved in the Slot Car challenge. "We're saying it's very easy to get started with, though it can get harder later [depending on the complexity of the project]."

One example of RTJ's potential, Bollella predicts that in ten years emergency vehicles won't have to stop for red lights. "We'll have real time telemetry and the emergency vehicles can just go without sirens or waiting for red lights."

Although there are sensors programmed for street lights now, Bollella said they generally don't work very well.

"We've all had the experience of being the only car around and we still have to wait for the light to change. I suspect the reason is [the system's designers] used crappy programming languages."

So why the Slot Car Programming Challenge?

"We want to get engineers to think about something else," said James Gosling, a Sun vice president and Fellow, who did the original design of Java and implemented its original compiler and virtual machine. Gosling has also been a recent contributor to RTJ.

Slot car racing, though a long way from its glory days in the 1960s, is still popular in some circles.

The Slot Car Programming Challenge involves the small, 1/24 scale cars with electric motors that move around on a track. Normally, these cars are driven through a small handheld controller that you push down to send voltage to the car to make it go faster, and lift up to slow it down.

As in the classic controller-driven race, the challenge for RTJ programmers is to make it around the track as fast as possible without going so fast around the corners the car wipes out.

However, the Slot Car Programming challenge is a little different. At JavaOne, Sun will have 100-200 feet of race track embedded with 200 sensors. The program can detect whether or not the car is over a sensor, but it can't tell which sensor. All the sensors will be merged together.

Developers who enter the Challenge have to write a polling loop that gathers the sensor data and continually monitors whether the car is over a sensor. Sun will give prizes to the top ten best times and plans to have the three finalists race on stage at the event.

"A lot of [developers] have an amazingly weak grasp of physics," said Gosling. "We've become a much more connected world and there's a lot more to program for than Web services."

MORE INFO

http://blogs.sun.com/roller/page/jag?entry=fun_in_real_time

 | Category: General Observations
entry 8 May 2006, 13:45
After reading how John Daly (Golfer) lost $50M gambling I feel a lot better about my eBay habit. Having vowed to only use Paypal and to keep a positive balance I’ve been scrounging around the house looking for things to sell that I know I won’t need next week such as Kato track, old magazines, extra camera lenses, duplicate Hawaiian shirts; don’t ask. I’ve been holding back on selling my Marklin Z-Gauge even though currently they are sitting in their boxes.

I “won” a couple more Model Cars magazines to replace the GSR magazines I’m off loading and have a couple bids in for some structures. Even my mother has gotten involved but with mixed results, it’s hard convincing someone that the real worth of an item is what someone is willing to pay for it and not what it has been appraised for. Oh well excuse me while I go dig some more …

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Grand Prix History

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Hall of Fame
Mario Andretti
Alberto Ascari
Jack Brabham
Rudolf Caracciola
Colin Chapman
Jimmy Clark
Juan-Manuel Fangio
Enzo Ferrari
Emerson Fittipaldi
Graham Hill
Vittorio Jarno
Niki Lauda
Nigel Mansell
Stirling Moss
Alfred Neubauer
Tazio Nuvolari
Ronnie Peterson
Nelson Piquet
Alain Prost
Jochen Rindt
Bernd Rosemeyer
Michael Schumacher
Michael Schumacher
Ayrton Senna
Jackie Stewart
Achille Varzi
Gilles Villeneuve
Jean-Pierre Wimille

Great Racing Cars
Alfa P3
Alfa P3

Auto Union Type C
Auto Union Type C

Auto Union Type D
Auto Union Type D

Brabham Repco BT19
Brabham Repco BT19

BRM P56
BRM P56

Bugatti Type 35
Bugatti Type 35

Cisitalia D46
Cisitalia D46

Cooper T51
Cooper Climax T51

Duesenberg 1921 GP Car
Duesenberg 1921 GP Car

Eagle-Weslake
Eagle-Weslake

Ferrari 500
Ferrari 500

Ferrari 156
Ferrari 156

Ferrari 312B
Ferrari 312B

Ferrari 312T
Ferrari 312T

Lancia D50
Lancia D50

Locomobile Type 1906
Locomobile Type 1906

Lotus-Climax 25
Lotus-Climax 25

Lotus-Ford 49
Lotus-Ford 49

Lotus-Ford 72
Lotus-Ford 72

Lotus-Ford 79
Lotus-Ford 79

March 711
March 711

Maserati 250F
Maserati 250F

McLaren M23
McLaren M23

Mercedes 1908 GP
Mercedes 1908 GP

Mercedes W125
Mercedes W125

Mercedes-Benz 196
Mercedes-Benz 196

Napier 30 HP
Napier 30 HP

Peugeot 1914 GP
Peugeot 1914 GP

Renault RS11
Renault RS11

Tyrrell P34
Tyrrell P34

Vanwall 1957 F1
Vanwall 1957 F1


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