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Is speed passé?

This is a really cool article about man and his quest for speed. Looks like we are decelerating. You might need a WSJ subscription to view this. Check out the timeline and video.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704587004576242450234233350.html?mod=WSJ_hp_MIDDLENexttoWhatsNewsForth
 
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Cool link! My dad is building a 100 year old speedster using all period correct parts. The frame is from an electric car he thinks. In fact I'd argue he's the only person in the world converting an electric car to be gas powered!

In front where an engine would hang from the frame rails there were tranverse bars about every eight inches- presumably to hold some batteries or something in front. In back there is a "factory" Timken differential complete with a cover with the Timken logo. Oh yeah in the front the suspension is called an "underslung" chassis since the frame goes under the front leaf springs. Just like an American Underslung but not one of those.

The engine is a rare Wisconsin T Head engine like the ones used in a Stutz Bearcat, not like the truck versions. Here's a pic I found online that's similar but probably 5 years newer. Note how each cyl gets two spark plugs- and look how far apart they are! It should push the speedster to 70 or so. He's putting an old manual transmission where the shifter arm goes out and around the car to where the driver can operate it... Also a large conical shaped clutch.

I'll post more pics later from my other computer if anyone's interested.
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He bought it out of a field near his house for $25. He knew it was going to get scrapped and couldn't bear to see it. Once home he started schemin' ! The engine was bought from a friend on the East Coast that had it in a large Buick Touring car. That guy got the right engine so my dad made an offer on this Wisconsin. He picked it up at Herschey swap meet almost a year later.

Finding projects has always been easy for him. He once flew to Dallas, rented a car, drove a hundred miles or so to some old timers house, told the old timer he was in the neighborhood, and asked if he could see the old car. It was a 1908 REO that had been given to this old codger right after WWII. Dad tried to buy it, but the old guy didn't want to sell it and that he still intended on restoring it. This was over fifty years after WWII. Dad said OK and MENTIONED TO THE OLD LADY on his way out that he'd give five grand for the rusty old car in the barn. Dad was back to pick up the car within a few months! He has a '10 T Touring that he bought from Bill Harrah himself in about 1970 and a '32 Woody Wagon he has known about for about sixty years and has owned for almost fifty years. He's shooting for finally showing that car at the Palo Alto concours in June. He's going to have custom side curtains fitted to it in LA between now and then to complete the car. Now you see where the Ford bloodlines come from!

Andy

Oh- here's a pic of me driving the T a few years ago. I know, I know a lot of denim but Dad said that's what people wore back then.
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And the Woody last year at Woodies on the Wharf.
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Some nice posts here. Love that old car stuff.
But getting back to "speed" I always felt that it is not the speed but rather how quick one can get from one place to another. Speed is but one factor. This applies to airplanes but to a greater extent with cars. You've get traffic jams, road condition (weather or quality), timing (weekend traffic) and a bunch of other things.
To me with cars at least, it is acceleration, not necessarily speed. 8)
 

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