Weblog of Miss-Lou Motor Mafia

July 31, 2008

A Classic Dilemma: Old Car enthusiasts worry about effect of BioFuels on Engines

Filed under: Cars, Fuel — Tags: — blasterhappy @ 6:37 am

by Beata Mostafavi | The Flint Journal

Thursday July 31, 2008, 12:51 AM

FLINT, Michigan — Biofuels may be friendlier for the environmentally conscious future but what about for the cars of the old world?

Classic car buffs such as Ed Hanson, whose collection includes a 1957 Chevy convertible, 1964 Corvette and 1908 Buick, aren’t taking any chances.

“I wouldn’t want to put that stuff in my old cars right now because I just don’t know,” Hanson, of Flint Township, said of biofuels. “The fuel itself is fairly new and the modern cars are designed for that.

“No one knows exactly what it does for old cars.”

Flint Journal extrasAbout the study:

• Two-year study funded by specialty insurer Traverse City-based Hagerty Insurance Agency, the largest provider of insurance for collector vehicles.

• A $50,000 study for a team of Kettering University researchers to test ethanol’s effects on older automobiles (1972 and earlier) and their fuel systems.Â

• The company hopes to announce the results of the study by the end of 2008.

In what appears to be one of the earliest studies of its kind, a team of researchers at Kettering University will test the impact of ethanol-blended fuels on classic car parts.

Traverse City-based Hagerty Insurance Agency, which insures more than 600,000 collector cars nationwide, is sponsoring the $50,000 study. The company launched the research as ethanol grew in popularity as an additive to gasoline, with “E10” (90 percent gas and 10 percent ethanol) being used more in modern gasoline around the country.

“As far as I know, there has not been a study of this kind done in the past,” Hagerty CEO McKeel Hagerty said in an e-mail to The Journal. “It is our ultimate goal to determine whether E10 is potentially damaging to older vehicles, and to provide our clients with tips to effectively overcome any negative impacts ethanol could have.”

He said the biggest concerns are about the compatibility with certain types of gaskets, seals, and hoses as well as the fear of ethanol speeding up the corrosion process to fuel system parts and hardware.Â

He said the company has received minimal feedback from clients who have blamed ethanol for both minor and severe problems. Several collector car owners, he said, have reported problems with ethanol loosening “sludge” in their gas tanks, causing clogs in the fuel system.Â

The research should show which types of fuel lines, hoses and seals are best used with current fuels, he said.

“We hope to be able to provide conclusive evidence to the collector car hobby about the effects of ethanol on collector cars and tips of how to effectively adapt to modern gasoline with ethanol additives,” he said.

Flint Journal extrasClassic worries:

Concerns that have been raised about the impact of ethanol on classic car parts:

• The compatibility of ethanol with certain types of gaskets, seals, and hoses.

• The fear of ethanol speeding up the corrosion process to fuel system parts and hardware.

• How ethanol may loosen “sludge” in gas tanks, causing restricted flow or clogs in the fuel system.Â

• E10 (90 percent gas and 10 percent ethanol) may contribute to the drying and cracking of rubber seals and gaskets.Â

• The increased likelihood of vapor lock due to ethanol’s tendency to vaporize at lower temperatures than straight gasoline.Â

It’s a fairly new issue being discussed among old car enthusiasts and some are more concerned than others.

“From an old cars standpoint, the ethanol blends can be detrimental to the fuel pump and the carburetor,” said classic car collector Bob Sovis, of Tyrone Township.

“The older the vehicle the more detrimental it could be. I’ve been watching the hobby publications very closely and there hasn’t been a whole lot I’ve seen published about it at this point.”

But Sovis, who still isn’t convinced biofuels will be an environmental savior because of the drop in mileage that comes with their use, welcomes Kettering’s study.

“I think it’s excellent they’re doing that because we need to know,” he said.

Hagerty Insurance expects to announce the results of Kettering’s research by the end of the year.

Al Hatch, who has been involved with classic car collecting for more than 40 years and is chairman of the local Back to the Bricks cruise, is waiting to see what the research shows.

“The switchover to biofuels hasn’t impacted the car collecting hobby yet,” he said. “It’s going to generate a lot of buzz as biofuels become more prevalent.”

He recalled the older debate of whether unleaded fuel would negatively affect older engines and guesses that there will be solutions for any potential problems ethanol might bring for collector cars.

“The hobby is pretty dynamic and I’m sure if there is a major shift there will be some entrepreneur who will come up with something to adapt older cars to run on biofuels,” he said.


July 30, 2008

Monthly Contest…

Filed under: Monthly M3 Contest, Uncategorized — Tags: — blasterhappy @ 6:00 am

As we approach the end of the month there will be an all new Monthly Contest for August.  It will be a bit more difficult as there will be 5 questions to answer and the first to answer all 5 correctly will win.  The contest will be posted at 6:00 am on August 1st.  I will post prizes also at that time.  So look for Chevy Girl with your chance to win!  Also check out the Contest Winners page for pics of previous winners.

July 29, 2008


Filed under: Pin-up Art — Tags: — blasterhappy @ 5:07 am

This is a piece by Greg Hildebrandt and you can see more of his and his brother’s work here.

July 28, 2008

Goodyear really Screwed Up at Indy this weekend…

Filed under: NASCAR — Tags: — blasterhappy @ 6:51 am

This Sunday’s NASCAR race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway was basically a farce.  Goodyear brought a CRAP tire that required competition cautions about every 12 laps which really screwed fans out of a good race and in turn put the drivers and equipment in danger.  Goodyear even tested there this year!  There is NO reason this should have happened.  The cars would come in and have cord showing and there were several top 12 drivers impacted by the Goodyear deficiencies.  There were countless numbers of blown tires and I feel the race should have been stopped and rescheduled.

I really think it is time for Goodyear to step aside and let another manufacturer come in and build tires for NASCAR’s Elite series.  NASCAR is just as to blame as Goodyear because they recognized a problem during Cup Practice and didn’t take action.  I guess it’s all about the all mighty dollar and not really the sport.   I’m just glad I wasn’t a fan that actually paid to see that race because I would be demanding my money back.

July 27, 2008

This Day in Automotive History…

Filed under: Cars, History — Tags: — blasterhappy @ 5:06 am

July 27, 1904

Flint man buys first Buick

On this day in 1904, Dr. Herbert Hills of Flint, Michigan, purchased the first Buick automobile ever to be sold. Founder David Buick initially made his mark as an inventor and mechanic in the plumbing industry, but had sold out of his business in order to pursue building motor cars. Buick was a man with an innate gift for inventing and tinkering, but who cared little for financial matters. He reputedly was unable to sit still unless he was concentrating on some kind of mechanical problem. None of his contemporaries would have been surprised that his company eventually became more successful than he did. In 1902, after years of fiddling with an automobile design, Buick agreed to a partnership with the Briscoe Manufacturing Company, wherein Briscoe would write off Buick’s debts while in turn establishing a $100,000 capitalization for Buick’s car company. Buick ceded $99,700 of the company’s stock to Briscoe until he repaid his standing debt of $3,500, at which point he could buy controlling interest in the stock. Still, Buick had yet to complete an automobile. When it became clear to Briscoe that Buick would neither be able to pay his debts nor complete his vehicle soon, they sold their interest in the company to the Flint Wagon Works for $10,000. Buick and his son were given stock, but their managerial roles shrunk. Finally, in July of 1904, the first Buick made its initial test run. During the test run, the Buick averaged 30mph on a trip around Flint, going so fast at one point that the driver “couldn’t see the village six-mile-an-hour sign.” Sixteen Buicks were sold in the next few months, but Flint Wagon Works remained troubled by the Buick venture. They had purchased the company in order to help the city of Flint adjust to a new economy of automobile production, but Buick was already heavily in debt to a number of Flint banks. At this point, David Buick owned only a small share of stock and held none of the business responsibilities, and the Wagon Works decided to bring in Flint whiz kid William Durant to turn the business around. Durant kept Buick on as a manager, a position he held with little impact until 1908. Durant turned Buick into a major player in the automotive industry before incorporating it into his General Motors project.

July 26, 2008

Tony Stewart pays Tribute to Childhood Hero in choosing new number

Filed under: NASCAR — Tags: — blasterhappy @ 7:06 am

Tony “Smoke” Stewart recently presented his new number 14 Chevrolet Impala that he will be piloting with sponsors Office Depot and Old Spice.  The number 20 and the bold orange that was his flagship for most of his career will no longer be associated with “Smoke” at the end of 2008.  Stewart chose the the number 14 to pay tribute and emulate childhood hero and 5-Time Indianapolis winner A. J. Foyt.

The second driver for the newly formed Stewart-Haas Motorsports organization has yet to be announced but rumor has it that it will be fellow Indiana native and 2008 Daytona 500 winner Ryan Newman.

Stay tuned for more as Silly Season progresses and details are announced.

July 25, 2008

I Found HELL On Earth and it is in the Cab of a UHAUL Truck!

Filed under: General — Tags: , — blasterhappy @ 7:01 am

Well I made the long trek to and from Colorado and managed to keep my sanity. But needless to say my will was tested. I could sum up the entire trip with 2 words….UHAUL SUCKS! I reserved a 26′ UHaul truck in Greeley, Colorado to move my sister and her 2 boys back to Louisiana. This was the largest truck UHaul has to offer and they said I could down grade if needed once I arrived. But that wasn’t the case when I arrived a day prior to picking up the truck to confirm everything. I was told I couldn’t down size the truck and that I could not pick-up the truck I reserved till 11:00 am the next day. I asked why so late and the young greasy headed kid behind the desk could only give me “Maintenance”. I also inquired about renting a appliance mover and the reply was “Don’t got None!” He seemed more interested in getting back to his XBox that was on pause than to actually be of any assistance to me.

After finally getting the truck it went surprisingly well in packing it up.  We had plenty of help and we were done in a little better than an hour.  We then went to Brighton to visit and have supper with some relatives before heading out the next morning.  In driving to Brighton I found out that the UHaul did not have Cruise Control.  WTF!  Now I realized I was going to have to pedal this whale turd on wheels all the way to Louisiana.  The fun is only beginning.

The wife, my sister and her two boys were all in our Grand Caravan and always seemed to run away from me when we got to the open interstate as it took quite a bit to get the truck up to speed.  I discovered the truck had a governor that shut down at 75 mph.  Well that became my new cruise control because I held the thing to the floor the whole way and let the truck regulate itself.  Needless to say my right leg was really stove up at the end of the day.

When I started the trip I was in the later stages of a head and chest cold and soon developed sinus headaches that seems to last the entire 5 days.  So now here I am with a pounding headache, congestion, and a sore leg.  Could it get any worse?  I dare say YES!

I was also tasked to transport the pets which consisted of a female medium size dog and a full grown male cat.  The cat was in a pet carrier while the dog was in a pet cage that just fit on the seat next to me.  The cat was on the floor on the passenger side.  The pets actually traveled well and didn’t get sick but there did seem to be a passing of a pet poot every once in a while that was a bit unpleasant.  Initially we gave both pets a sedative prescribed by our local vet and I think that contributed to the passing of the gas.  Maybe they were too relaxed.  Needless to say I didn’t administer the drugs again and they traveled fine there afterwards.

So now I have a pounding headache, sore leg, congestion and what sense of smell I have left is being bombarded with pet poots.  So the next logical thing to do is to roll the window down for some fresh air.  BIG MISTAKE!  I didn’t realize the amount of loose pet hair that had accumulated in the truck until the wind came rushing in through the window.  There was a huge cloud of pet hair swirling in the cab now.  I had it in my eyes, up my nose, and in my mouth.  After a few minutes of blowing, hacking and spitting the hair seems to settle.  An image came to mind of a movie where the character had to ride a bus in South America with all of the locals and it seemed everyone was carrying a chicken or a pig or something and the guy gets off with chicken feathers stuck to his face.  Well I was that guy.

Needless to say, I made it with my sanity and delivered my sister and her two boys safely along with their pets to their new home in Louisiana.

I’m glad I’m back and that it’s all over.

July 20, 2008

Road Trip

Filed under: Travel — Tags: — blasterhappy @ 6:00 am

As you are reading this the wife and I will be on a Road Trip to Colorado.  We usually don’t travel well together so this could be intertesting.  I have a few posts in queue but there maybe a few days there might not be a post.  I will catch everyone up when I get back.  Since my contributors consist of just me (hint) it is hard at times to keep a daily post going.  So again, if anyone out there is interested in being a contributor email me.  Wish me luck! I will see you guys in a few days.

July 19, 2008

NASCAR Silly Season

Filed under: NASCAR — Tags: — blasterhappy @ 6:00 am

Well Silly Season is well underway in NASCAR’s elite series and here is what we know…Tony Stewart will leave Joe Gibbs Racing to start a Owner/Driver venture with Haas Motorsports that will officially become Stewart-Haas Motorsports in 2009 which will also bring Stewart back to Chevrolet.  Ryan Newman, the 2008 Daytona Winner, will be realeased from Penske Racing at the end of the 2008 season and rumor has it that he will be going with fellow Indiana native Tony Stewart to start his new race team.

Penske Racing is looking at Gilette-Everham Motorsports driver Reed Sorenson and he is rumored to fill that seat.  There are others that have been mentioned such as David Streme and Scott Riggs.

Also in the mix is Casey Mears who will be released from Hendrick Motorsports number 5 car after the end of the 2008 season and rumors have surfaced that he and current Dale Earnhardt Inc. driver, Martin Truex Jr. are the front runners to fill the new number 33 car being fielded by Richard Childress Racing which will bring RCR to a four car team for 2009.  Hendrick Motorsports has already filled the seat of the number 5 with veteran driver Mark Martin who will come out of semi-retirement and run a full season in efforts to capture his first championship.  More to come as we get closer to the chase.

July 18, 2008


Filed under: Pin-up Art, Uncategorized — Tags: , — blasterhappy @ 6:00 am

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