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Old Cars

Messages
17,707
Location
Funkytown, USA
Electric has some amazing advantages when it comes to performance and lack of maintenance. A friend of mine has a Tesla that will make you swallow your eyeballs, it's so fast and the ability to computer control the speed of each wheel independently should, eventually, make the handling equally amazing. But the environmental impact of battery production is significant. To a great extent it's just shifting the burden to somewhere where we don't have to look at it. And battery recycling is a nightmare of potential pollution ... recycling plants have left their taint in homes many miles away and so far it's kind of a mystery how that's happening. Charging times are an issue, unless you only commute a short distance. AND there doesn't seem to be enough generating or transmission capacity. Lastly, you do NOT want to see an electric car burn. Really! That said, I will add ... AT THE MOMENT. I suspect these systems will get a lot better, cleaner, more efficient in the next 30 years. Personally, I think a hybrid is the better compromise provided you live in a city where you're using the regen braking all the time.

As fast as that Tesla was, it was no where near as fun as my Alfa, a high performance car in its day but pretty slow by 2022 standards. But 45 in the Alfa feels like 70 in anything else and the sound is extraordinary and the handling is ... also fun. Not 1 G on a skid pad but an absolute grin inducing automotive riot. Offered a Tesla or something like an excellently restored 1960s Corvette (probably the same price), I'd take the Vett, as impractical as it may be.

I too dislike seeing the more promising Fuel Cell tech taking the back seat just because it lacks performance (so far). I always thought it was the wave of the future.

I had the pleasure of working on a fuel cell research project several years ago. We gutted a battery powered tow tug vehicle and outfitted it with off-the-shelf fuel cell technology. It was a fun project, but to me it's main limitation is fuel production. While Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the known universe, isolating it as a fuel is a challenge, and the production of it can require more energy than you get out of the Hydrogen as a fuel.
 

caddyd

New in Town
Messages
12
You are what you drive and I remember when cars used to look different and there was a change in style every two years. Those were the days my friend and we thought they'd never end but they did so here we are.
 

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GHT

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,317
Location
New Forest
You are what you drive and I remember when cars used to look different and there was a change in style every two years. Those were the days my friend and we thought they'd never end but they did so here we are.
batterycar2.jpg

This needs a good caption.
 

tonyb

I'll Lock Up
Messages
9,908
Location
My mother's basement
You are what you drive and I remember when cars used to look different and there was a change in style every two years. Those were the days my friend and we thought they'd never end but they did so here we are.
You couldn’t give away a ’59 Chevy in ’69.

In the past few years they’ve attained something akin to cult status. Good (and better) examples are fetching big money these days.

If you find yourself with 28 minutes to kill, you might want to check out “The American Look,” a 1958 Jam Handy film produced for General Motors. The first half of it or so is an ode to mid-century industrial design — consumer goods mostly. And then it’s a visit to the GM facilities in Michigan, where we are treated to what is mostly an advertisement for the 1959 Chevy.

It’s kinda fun.
 

MikeKardec

One Too Many
Messages
1,147
Location
Los Angeles
One other interesting phenomenon over here is how many kids no longer learn how to drive a stick.
Ha! We call a stick shift the "Millennial anti theft device."
many companies have set a date for phasing out their petrol-engined cars in Europe
Here in California too. I'll believe it when I see it. I can't figure how they can tune up the grid to withstand all the vehicles charging if we can't get through summer without rolling brown-outs. We are very long on the passing of symbolic regulations, however!
Leasing is also becoming popular
With an electric this is, no doubt, the best of both worlds. You don't have to deal with recycling the batteries when that day comes and the maintenance situation is so good that the leasing company never has to worry during the time you have it.
the big game-changer is going to be the fast-charge (you could see how getting caught on the hop most of the time is less of a big deal if you could get a charge in half an hour rather than four or five - it's only a matter of time) and, crucially, the solar charge.
The fast charge thing is a BIG deal! Even if it was 4 to 5 times longer than a petrol fuel stop.
For me the killer app would be some sort of solar charging panel on the roof of the car, so that it's always being charged when it's out in daylight.
It takes a lot of real estate. I have an RV that uses solar panels. They keep up with the fridge but not much more.
with the markedly cheaper cost of petrol in the US, the bigger challenges of rolling out infrastructure, and, I think ,a very different car culture to begin with, Europe and the US will diverge on this.
You were right. The distance thing and the amount of juice sucked up by long grades is an issue. Plus, I don't know about batteries and the cold in some areas. I'm thinking the northern states and Canada, mostly.
I dream of the idea of being able to afford something like a really nice Rover P5B or a Morris Minor 1000 with an electric motor dropped under the hood in place of the original lump
This is where I really get excited about electric. There's all sorts of old cars, like the Citron DS, where everything is awesome ... except the engine. There's an early Porsche Speedster somewhere in my neighborhood (probably a kit car but very accurately done) that seems to be electric. Very cool!
I had the pleasure of working on a fuel cell research project several years ago. We gutted a battery powered tow tug vehicle and outfitted it with off-the-shelf fuel cell technology. It was a fun project, but to me it's main limitation is fuel production. While Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the known universe, isolating it as a fuel is a challenge, and the production of it can require more energy than you get out of the Hydrogen as a fuel.
I always thought that this is where some renewables shine, cracking off the hydrogen for fuel. In most cases, however, I think we're foolish to use cutting edge tech for vehicles. Size, weight, temperature tolerance, vibration tolerance, distance between fueling/charging, that's all worked out very well in petro cars. Alternatives may be better in stand by generators, locomotives, ships, etc. I've never understood the need to try and evolve a technology in a platform that takes such a beating.
 

Who?

One of the Regulars
Messages
286
Location
Vernon, CT
I’m not convinced I want to be anywhere near any device which either generates or uses hydrogen as a fuel.

The detonation range of mixtures with air at standard pressure is 18.3% to 59%, and flammability limits are even wider at 4% to 75%.

I’ll pass.
 
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Turnip

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,555
Location
Europe
One more reason not to visit Germany as more and more counties and communities are about switching their public transport to fuel cell buses…here.
 

Edward

Bartender
Messages
23,429
Location
London, UK
I’m not convinced I want to be anywhere near any device which either generates or uses hydrogen as a fuel.

The detonation range of mixtures with air at standard pressure is 18.3% to 59%, and flammability limits are even wider at 4% to 75%.

I’ll pass.

I keep thinking of the Hindenberg, but I can't imagine they'd allow that sort of risk on the roads now! We do have a very small number of hydrogen-fuel buses here in London. I believe they were brought in as a beta-test on some routes fifteen years ago or more, but they're rare indeed still. Most buses here are now electric / diesel hybrids, running mostly on electric within the innermost London routes and parts of routes. There have been a few, outlier incidents of buses going on fire here in the last few years, though none of them were the hydrogen variety.
 

LizzieMaine

Bartender
Messages
31,088
Location
Where The Tourists Meet The Sea
You couldn’t give away a ’59 Chevy in ’69.

In the past few years they’ve attained something akin to cult status. Good (and better) examples are fetching big money these days.

If you find yourself with 28 minutes to kill, you might want to check out “The American Look,” a 1958 Jam Handy film produced for General Motors. The first half of it or so is an ode to mid-century industrial design — consumer goods mostly. And then it’s a visit to the GM facilities in Michigan, where we are treated to what is mostly an advertisement for the 1959 Chevy.

It’s kinda fun.
I suppose I'm in the minority these days, so what else is new, but I've never cared at all for late-fifties car design. I didn't like them as a kid, and I like them even less now. Too big, too low, too festooned with phallic symbols for my taste. I've always preferred the honest stodginess of the pre-war fat-fendered style. The post-tailfin early-sixties Chevrolets are a bit less offensive to my eyes, but they were not especially well-made : we owned a 1961 that was so flimsily constructed that it had big rust holes thru the sides when it was only seven years old. Then the brake system failed and my mother drove it into the side of a house. Quality workmanship thru and thru.

I had a friend in high school whose family owned a 1959 Chevy and they used to swear that, when driving fast on the Interstate, the rear end would start to lift. I never believed this -- the fins pretend to be aerodynamic, but they actually aren't in any way that I can see. -- but they seemed firmly convinced of it.
 

LostInTyme

A-List Customer
I had never heard that, but, if you consider the aerodynamics of the winged fenders, it would seem entirely possible. Today, the Indy cars all use wings to force downward pressure on the rear tires of the car.. The winged fenders of the 59-60 Chevys might just have caused an upward lift from the air skirting across the sides of the car and rear fenders. Also, it might have been hydroplaning if it had been raining, something experienced a lot of cars with bias ply tires of those days.
 

tonyb

I'll Lock Up
Messages
9,908
Location
My mother's basement
I suppose I'm in the minority these days, so what else is new, but I've never cared at all for late-fifties car design. I didn't like them as a kid, and I like them even less now. Too big, too low, too festooned with phallic symbols for my taste. I've always preferred the honest stodginess of the pre-war fat-fendered style. The post-tailfin early-sixties Chevrolets are a bit less offensive to my eyes, but they were not especially well-made : we owned a 1961 that was so flimsily constructed that it had big rust holes thru the sides when it was only seven years old. Then the brake system failed and my mother drove it into the side of a house. Quality workmanship thru and thru.

I had a friend in high school whose family owned a 1959 Chevy and they used to swear that, when driving fast on the Interstate, the rear end would start to lift. I never believed this -- the fins pretend to be aerodynamic, but they actually aren't in any way that I can see. -- but they seemed firmly convinced of it.

There is a gaudiness to many cars of the tail fin era, the Mopars especially, which goes some way toward explaining why they fell out of fashion pretty darned quickly and sold for peanuts once they got to be less than ten years old. The few survivors bring big money these days because, 1.), that relative scarcity itself, and 2.), a sizable population of now-senior people with a few bucks to throw around looking to recapture a piece of their early years. There’s enough of that in me, so I have some insight on the matter.

Like all fashion trends, there are better and worse examples. I love the 1960 Cadillac tail fin, on the two-door models especially. It’s simple, it’s elegant. The taillight is cleanly incorporated into its trailing edge. Contrast that with the ’59 version, the one with the pair of bullet shaped taillight lenses on each fin. To my eye, it’s anything but elegant.

I gotta believe that a large part of the appeal of the gaudier late-’50s/early-’60s cars these days is that very over-the-top quality. They’re head turners, for sure. But then, so are overturned semis.
 
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LostInTyme

A-List Customer
Here is one to gander at. It's a '66 Mustang that I restored in the latter part of the twentieth century. I started the resto in 1988, finished it in 1992. I gave it to my son, Curt in 2004 when we purchased a Mini Cooper. Now some thirty plus years later, my eldest grandson, Connor has put in a request to his Uncle Curt to keep it in the family, when he turns 16 this fall. Well, I'm getting a bit nostalgic and may want another turn or two around with the old 'Stang.

Grazin' in the grass, up in Erie, PA.

958A6E26-1A0A-4F2E-8CA4-06B5A1145FE4.jpeg
 
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GHT

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,317
Location
New Forest
Old cars have always been a passion for me. I am speaking of an era of cars that were built in the last century, particularly in the thirties, forties and fifties.
You and me both. I particularly like the exposed headlights. They, with an iconic grille, gave the car a "face."
I would often sit in these cars and think of who may have owned and driven them in the past. The thing, other than the look of these cars that intrigued me was the smell of them. Rather than smell, I should call it the aroma of them. Smell somehow causes a negative feeling sometimes. The word aroma evokes another type of feeling. These cars certainly have their own particular aroma.

So, that is my memory of Old Cars, and days gone by. Good memories, to be sure, and that is how I want to keep them. I hope I have triggered some switch in your mind, of opened up a long forgotten and happy part of your life.
You have perfectly described the word, smell. It conjures up stink, like a stale old fart, whereas the word "aroma" gives a hint of nostalgia. My old MG is like that, the fragrance of it's walnut dashboard and leather seating produces a heady mix of walnut and leather, so tangible, that if you could bottle it you might have just hit the jackpot.
old photos 276.JPG
 

GHT

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,317
Location
New Forest
I noticed the opening for a crank. I had a 1960 MGA, purchased used in 1964 and it still had a crank. I never used it. The car would start and run on sunny days. When it rained, I took a day off work. There was no starting it when it rained.
For those who service, repair and do their own maintenance, a cranking handle is the perfect tool. You can turn an engine over very slowly allowing you to be accurate in finding top dead centre. If you have never worked on an engine then all that will have been gibberish.
 
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