Riverside Green

Featuring: Jack B. and Bark M.

John Z: An Appreciation

I read John Z. DeLorean’s autobiography about thirty years ago; I was alternately fascinated and horrified. One of our readers, “Reno”, wrote this up as part of a healthcare degree he’s been taking. If you’ve never heard of the fellow beyond his stainless-steel coupe, this is a good place to start!

A healthcare leadership paper about Al Sloan and Charles Kettering would be an interesting intersection of the US automotive industry and cancer care. Alfred Sloan donated $4,000,000 to what was then known as the New York Cancer Hospital, and Charles Kettering agreed to oversee the organization of the cancer research program. At that time Alfred Sloan was the chairman of General Motors and Charles Kettering was Vice President of research at General Motors. These men came from wealthy families and made their fortunes running General Motors and forming Delco (Dayton Engineering Laboratories Co.). Charles Kettering is credited for inventing the electric starting motor at Delco. General Motors acquired Delco through its acquisition of United Motors Corporation in 1918. This is an interesting story, these men were able to position themselves for success through their various family connections and alumni networks. An intriguing story would be the story of a leader that was on the fast track to the top. This leader is the son of immigrants with an unstable home life growing up, making it to the senior executive team of one of the world’s largest corporations and then stepping down to peruse his own interests due to his refusal to comply with the strict hierarchy of a ridged corporate culture. A leader that would fit that description would be John Z. DeLorean.

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An Attitude About Gratitude – Custom Ink Censors “Thanks, China!” Shirts

(Editor’s note — I told Ronnie ahead of time that he would get nowhere with this. I know from experience that CustomInk might seem good from far but it’s very far from good. I also suspected that they were stuffed to the gills with the kind of pogues who pride themselves on detecting badthink. He chose to go ahead with his idea anyway… —JB)

My rabbi for many years, R’ Avraham Jacobowitz, taught me that the most basic of commandments is to show gratitude, hakarat hatov in Hebrew, recognizing the good. Xi JinPing and the Chinese Communist Party are now engaged in a worldwide public relations campaign to make sure everyone thinks that their country has selflessly helped the world contain and turn back the Covid-19 pandemic. Color me skeptical about the CCP’s altruism.

However, in light of my rabbi’s teaching and the CCP’s craven need for gratitude, about a week ago I decided to see if I could financially exploit the current crisis by selling t-shirts that said, in English and Chinese, “Thanks, China!”, red shirts with yellow ink, just like the Chinese flag.

I’ve been 3D printing face shields for first responders (my nephew is a NYC EMT) and N95 equivalent masks for friends, relatives, and neighbors. I haven’t been charging for them and I was hoping the t-shirts would help defray the costs – antimicrobial printing filament is about 5X the price of regular stuff.

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My 1966 Chrysler Windsor, Part 2: Fighting A Rust Monster

Note: This is the continuation of Mike Batch Kirouac’s ’66 Windsor saga (Read Part 1 here, if you missed it). As previously related, he’s a friend of mine, met during the olden days, at Cantankerous Coot, ha ha. Hope you enjoy. He finished this car last summer, and I am hoping he will write up a brand new post with the fascinating conclusion. As always, republished with his permission. -TK

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I am fighting a rust monster. I haven’t seen it, but the signs of its voracious appetite are everywhere. The monster’s corrosive, salty venom has taken its toll on my 1966 Chrysler Windsor, even eating away structural components such as frame rails and body mounts.

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My earlier article on the Windsor ended in a cliffhanger in the fall of 2011, just as I pulled the trigger on restoring the body. I removed the grille, bumper, radiator, underhood wiring harness, engine and transmission.

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1955-56 Gaylord Gladiator: Falling on the Sword

Note: Yet another interesting article by Tony LaHood. Republished with his approval! Enjoy. -TK

Malcolm Bricklin and John DeLorean are well known to this audience, but do the names James and Edward Gaylord ring a bell? Probably not. Even so, the brothers Gaylord built one of the more interesting cars of its time. Or more specifically, three of them.

The story starts with the brothers themselves, who had the good sense to be born into money. Their father was the inventor of the bobby pin, which made him an extremely wealthy man. His son Edward eventually stepped in to run their Chicago-based family business, known as Gayla, quite successfully. Both he and his brother, James, who operated out of Scottsdale, Arizona, had been lifelong car fanatics, having grown up with Packards, Pierce-Arrows, Stutzes and Duesenbergs gracing the family driveway.

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1948 Davis Divan: Divine or a Three Legged Stool?

Note: Another post by my buddy Tony LaHood. Republished with his permission. -TK

Detroit. Kenosha. South Bend. Van Nuys? Maybe the latter doesn’t seem like a car-making town, but it was. For a brief two years, Van Nuys, CA, was home to the Davis, a three-wheeled automobile-cum-sofa.

The Davis story starts with a man named Frank Kurtis, an erstwhile racing car designer and builder of “The Californian”, a three-wheeled roadster commissioned by Southern California racer and banking heir Joel Thorne. It was this car that inspired former Indiana used-car salesman Glen Gordon Davis to create a namesake convertible that would incorporate many features of The Californian.

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Harley-Davidson Sprint: The Spaghetti Hoglet

Note: Another motorcycle history by my friend, Lee Wilcox, of Texas. Republished here with his permission. Enjoy. -TK

Why is the Harley Davidson Sprint such a contradiction? In the hands of a slug like me they become a heavy, somewhat awkward, vibrating, slow, and uncomfortable machine. In the hands of some of the guys that grabbed U.S. and World titles, the bike was a champion. You know how some machines just make the rider better? Well, this was not one of them. But it said Harley Davidson on it, and they did sponsor racers. You get the picture. How Harley Davidson (and I) came about to have this little Italian one-lunger is a bit of a longer story.

Aermacchi is shortened from Aeronautico Macchi. For you folks that don’t speak Italian I am told that means Macchi’s Aeronautical company. They made airplanes. Still do. Their first planes were in 1917 and they were flying boats. As I recall (no I’m not that old, but I can read) they were on our side in that war and came out fairly prosperous.

Between the wars they continued to grow and then in a fit they picked the wrong side in the second war. While it paid off in the short term, in the long term it proved very detrimental.

Actually all of Europe was in the same boat no matter which side you had been on if you were a civilian trying to feed yourself. At any rate, Aermacchi and everyone else knew that fuel was precious and that motorcycles would sell. They found an engineer named Lino Tonti who had been at Benelli and worked on aircraft engines during the war. Tonti designed and built a 50cc bike that set the land speed record for it’s size. While it’s not their first bike this is a good example of Italian bikes in 1950.

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The Volvo Duett: Most Practical Volvo Ever!

Note: Today’s post is from none other than Ingvar Hallstrom, whom some of you may remember from TTAC. Republished, and slightly revised, with his permission. Enjoy. -TK

To understand the Swedes’ love for the station-wagon, one has to go back to the war, the Second World War. Much of Sweden’s economy was built upon the fact that the country hadn’t been ravished by the war. While other countries built tanks and gunships, the Swedes developed cars for the glorious post war society they were sure would be built upon the rubble and ruins of Europe. Swedes were not going to spend their post-war years squeezed into tiny bubble cars. And in addition to proper family-sized cars, a roomy station wagon was called for.

The Volvo PV444 was presented in 1944, with deliveries started in 1947.

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A Tale Of Two White Wagons

There were those who considered Vernon O’Neal a cumbersome and plodding businessman; far more people admired his Texas pluck, which manifested itself in his cheeky exuberance to shake things up. His instincts had paid off quite well; he owned the biggest-by-volume mortuary/ambulance service in the city, which included an all-white fleet of professional vehicles–white, since he believed that while death should be treated seriously, it should not be thought of as something depressing. His newest vehicular acquisition was an Aspen White 1964 Miller-Meteor Cadillac hearse, purchased just three months earlier at a national funeral directors’ convention in Dallas.

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Cooper And Norton: How The Triton/Norvin Motorcycles Came To Be

Note: Another motorcycle post by my friend, Lee Wilcox. -TK

A while back, I came across a little story that explained why Triton/Norvin motorcycles became so popular in the ’50s and what started the movement to rear-engined race cars.  If you are like me, you might have never thought much about what you would do to power a race car, especially when the engine size was limited to 500cc. It must be even harder if you are stuck in a situation where there are more shortages than anything else. Into this situation comes John Cooper in war ravaged post WW2 England.  He’s smart and he wants to go racing.  There is a major shortage of cars, but there are some choices.

Charles Cooper founded the Cooper Car Company.  He did this with his son, the aforementioned John and his son’s boyhood friend Eric Brandon.  They began building racing cars in 1946.  The first cars built by the Coopers were single seat 500cc Formula 3 cars that were driven by John and Eric.

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1941 Dodge Business Coupe: Giving America The Business

Note: Another article by Lee Wilcox! Enjoy. -TK

Even though I am retired, I frequently find myself crossing the state for non-income producing reasons.  Now I carry a camera.  I was minding my own business doing just that when I came across this little attention grabber.  These coupes have always been favorites of mine despite having too many wheels.  Just honest workhorses.

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