Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Boyd Coddington Dead at 63

[Ed. note: Man, this news breaks my heart, and I haven't even been into cars long enough to truly understand!]

[] Boyd Coddington, the hot-rod innovator whose creations won the coveted Grand National Roadster Show's America's Most Beautiful Roadster (AMBR) trophy a record seven times, died Wednesday morning after a lengthy hospital stay. He was 63.

Photo courtesy

"It is my firm belief that Boyd is the founding father of this street-rod movement," said Gary Meadors of the Goodguys. "From the Boyd cars to the Boyd billet aluminum wheels . . . that whole smooth look that he brought to street rodding is what set him apart. He took our hobby to a whole other level with all the exposure he got in media outside our world. He was a forerunner, and he will be missed."
Get the full story at

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Video: Rally MINI!

Here's a video of a MINI wallowing in its Rally heritage.

[From a MINI USA Press Release, 08/07]*
"...[In] 1960, the MINI for the first time won a rally in its category, the Geneva Rally, with brothers Don and Erle Morley at the wheel....[T]wo years later the MINI was even able to clinch overall victory in rally racing, with Pat Moss, the sister of world-famous Formula 1 driver Stirling Moss, and co-driver Ann Wisdom bringing home the Tulip Rally in the Netherlands.

Another two years later the MINI works team entered the annals of motorsport once and for all: No less than six MINIs showed up for the 1964 Monte Carlo Rally, already the most famous rally in the world. Four of the cars were MINI Coopers developing maximum output of approximately 70 hp from 997 cc in Group 3 trim (close to production standard) and two were MINI Cooper S with maximum output of approximately 90 hp from 1,071 cc in Group 2 trim (improved), together facing more than 290 competitors in the event. Some of the other cars entering the 1964 Monte Carlo Rally had more than twice as much horsepower, such as the 4.7-litre Ford Falcon, the Mercedes-Benz 300 SE, the Volvo 544 “Humpback”, or the Alpine Renault.

In a genuine struggle of David against Goliath, the MINI quickly proved its fortes. With its compact exterior dimensions and broad “stance on the wheels”, as well as its long wheelbase, the MINI excelled through its optimum roadholding and above all its superior grip in bends even at the car’s top speed of 160 km/h or 100 mph..."

*Read the full press release at

Maximum Safety in the MINI Cooper

(You may have recieved this in an eNewsletter recently!)*

Maximum Safety in the MINI Cooper: How a very small car can be a very safe car.

Safety is not a matter of size and mass, but the result of brilliant engineering and design.

The 2008 MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper Clubman are among the safest cars on the road today. Despite its diminutive size, a MINI Cooper is engineered to protect its passengers. Safety in your MINI comes in two forms: Active—the capability to maneuver out of harm’s way, and Passive—systems and structural elements that protect occupants from the forces and consequences of a crash. Every 2008 MINI Cooper excels at both active and passive safety, exceeding government standards for equipment and performance in actual crash testing.

As MINI drivers know, their MINI Coopers are agile, nimble and remarkably capable of performing any maneuver needed with precision. That’s handling! And handling is the key to active safety. Handling provides the ability to drive out of danger and avoid accidents.

Your 2008 MINI Cooper is packed with computers, sensors, systems and mechanical equipment designed expressly for optimal handling. Under normal driving conditions, you are blissfully unaware of most active safety in the MINI. It’s only when the going gets dicey that you experience the amazing abilities of your MINI.

Take braking for instance. It’s the way we slow down, and brake function is normally routine and easily modulated. Sometimes, however, you have to slow quickly or stop suddenly. When you do, MINI is equipped with four-sensor antilock brakes (ABS) that refuse to lock and continue to provide controllable braking power in emergency situations. ABS is assisted by Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, a system that adjusts braking force and response according to load. In other words, your MINI will stop differently depending on who and what is onboard and MINI’s braking forces will be distributed accordingly. Similarly, MINI’s Cornering Brake Control is specially engineered to keep you balanced and in control when carving corners. It, too, uses sensors and selective brake application to maintain stability when cornering.

Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) is yet another vital ABS partner in your MINI. DSC is perhaps the single most important safety system on your MINI besides the seatbelts. It constantly senses steering angles and yaw forces and measures angles to detect a skid. If your MINI starts to drift, DSC steps in and applies corrective braking and, if needed, reduces engine power to prevent a loss of control. Government and industry statistics prove that stability control prevents accidents by allowing drivers to maneuver safely in an emergency driving situation, saving themselves and passengers from a crash and potential injury.

In addition to DSC, your MINI is equipped with Traction Control, a system that prevents the front drive wheels from losing traction. It kicks in during acceleration when any slippage is detected. It allows you to pull out to pass with confidence that power will be transferred efficiently to the pavement.

There are other active safety features on your MINI, several of which you probably never considered as such. For example, consider MINI’s headlamps. MINI has automatic leveling xenon headlamps with specially sculpted prisms that boost light output by 25 percent. When you see more and farther ahead, driving is safer. There are also speed-sensing windshield wipers that operate at the optimum speed for good visibility. Heated window washer nozzles that prevent the fluid from freezing in winter assist them. Examine the warning lights in the MINI’s maxi-speedometer bezel, and you’ll find a flat tire monitor so you will know the instant one of your tires starts getting soft.

If an accident is unavoidable, MINI has your back with an ultra-rigid body engineered to absorb the impact forces of a crash before they get to you. Seatbelts with pre-tensioners are critical since you must be held in a secure position for the optimal operation of airbags. Six airbags are standard consisting of front, side and curtain head airbags for the driver and front passenger. The extra-large curtain airbags (integrated in the roof lining) offer optimum protection from head injuries for the rear passengers.

MINI is all about motoring and doing it safely. You can be confident your MINI is equipped to help you be a good driver who is in control at all times. You can also be confident that, in the unavoidable crash, your MINI is designed and equipped to prevent injury, sacrificing itself in the interests of your safety.

*Published by Assael BMW and MINI

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Street-racing Crash Kills 7

[Ed. note: Well, this sucks....]

[From:] A car plowed into a crowd that had gathered to watch a drag race on a suburban road early Saturday, killing seven people and injuring at least four, police said.

A witness said two cars in the illegal street race sped past just before a car without its lights on came up behind the crowd of about 50.

"There were just bodies everywhere; it was horrible," said Crystal Gaines, 27, whose father was among the dead.

Read the full article at

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Silverado Truck Reaches 1,000,000 Mile Mark

*Yes, that says one meeeleeion miles, and no, that's not a typo! At least not according to the article from local Wisconsin newpaper, Shawano Leader...

Wisconsin man’s dependable pickup hits incredible milestone

(Shawano Leader, Sunday, February 10, 2008)

GRESHAM, Wis. - Frank Oresnik's trusty pickup truck — he calls it "the old girl" — passed the 1 million-mile mark with a camera crew filming the event and a public-radio audience listening in. "I can't tell you how much fun it was," he said. "It was really humbling, all this interest."

Oresnick uses this perspective: He’s had the oil changed more than 300 times. In fact, the oil’s been changed so often, the oil pan drain plug has needed rethreading. Several times.

Dr. Evil would approve.

Full text available at:

[Ed. note: So, technically, since most odometers only go to 100,000 miles before flipping, then his odometer actually read zero, right?]

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Camtasia Captures MINIUSA!

Doing research for something completely unrelated, I found myself amused at the Camtasia website, and the website it chose for its short video demonstration...

Click the link below for a fun little demo*

*not trying to sell you Camtasia

Friday, February 08, 2008


I got pointed to, who features a short vid on Southern California MINI Maniacs!

I'm off to check out what is all about... |