Episode 52 – Summer RV, Camper and Boat fun along with Elon’s Tesla Robot
Whether you’re new to the program, or you stumbled into this place for the first time, we’d like to welcome you to the automotive podcast that never forgets a great guest.
Our good friend Regan is back for another episode of Throwin’ Wrenches where he joins us for more in-depth conversation about all things automotive. We also go down a few non-automotive rabbit holes to discuss the virtues of old appliances (like Regan’s 1951 Frigidaire refrigerator) versus new appliances, we learn exactly how creepy the new Tesla robots will be, and we even get a glimpse into Eric’s latest recreational vehicle purchase.
Don’t worry, it’s not the vintage Italian roadster he’s been dreaming about. It’s something much more unique.
Grab a cold beverage and crank the speakers. This is one fun (and long) ride.
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Thanks also to:
|Fort’s Toyota of Pekin||Casey Law Office||Arena Esports|
Eric recalls the past month in automotive adventures, including a few car shows with Daryl and Gabe and covert tours of rare European automobiles squirreled away in tiny towns. Special thanks to Mrs. Stahl for helping to get us the ‘backstage pass’ to the cool car collection of Bo Dannenberger. Should she accompany Eric and Daryl on all of their adventures? Maybe.
We also learn what Treehugger 1.0 has been up to, and get an important update on Treehugger 2.0.
Oh, and we’ll chat about the mysterious caustic fluid that’s inside of the modern day heated & dimming rear view mirror. Much like Tide Pods, you won’t want to drink it.
Daryl is happy to report that Oscar the ‘47 Chevy is back on the road. He and the family took it to a Friday Night Lights crseui-in and a small show in Eureka and it’s great to have it back in service. He’s all buffed and had a fresh lube job. We’re going to roll some miles this fall if everything cooperates. He also received his beautifully re-cored radiator for Minerva the ‘55 Plymouth. That’s going under the knife next and he should have that ready just in time for a fall tour and then it will be time to tuck her away for winter storage. C’est la vie.
Regan catches us up on his wiring harness project on his Model A hot rod pickup. It’s been a long road, but he’s looking forward to firing it up and putting some miles on it. Or perhaps putting a For Sale sign in the windshield so he can start another kind of project. Perhaps one that involves high horsepower boats. (Stay tuned.)
TWISM [ This week in social media ]
In case you missed it, Illinois motorists who have their vintage cars registered with Expanded Antique license plates will now be able to drive them longer. Rather than park the classics 25 years or older at the end of October, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed a bill into law that allows an extra 30 days of cruising at the beginning and end of the season, or March 1 through November 3oth.
The SEMA Action Network reported this great news recently in a Facebook post.
It went something like this:
Which naturally led to some colorful commentary like this:
Sure, we all have political opinions. The Illinois governor isn’t the most popular figure these days, but one thing we can all agree on is laws that help auto enthusiasts enjoy their cars and trucks with less regulation and regulatory hurdles is a good thing.
Now let’s work on some of the other important automotive legislative issues across the country. Learn more by following the SEMA Action Network at semasan.com.
Toyota Refutes Claim of ‘Dragging Its Feet’ on EVs
Source: Adapt Automotive
In a column written for Medium.com,
Toyota Motor Corp. Chief Scientist GIll Pratt vehemently denied that Toyota has been slow to develop full battery solutions, adding that a significant portion of the $10 billion per year the company spends on R&D goes to scientists working on battery development.
Pratt says the company is “all in” on the Biden administration’s goal of having 50 percent of all new vehicles sales being some form of EV by 2030. Toyota is expecting around 70 percent of its U.S. vehicle production to be electrified by that time.
We believe the best approach, as the Biden Administration has proposed, is for policymakers around the world to insist on results, and allow innovators like Toyota and our competitors to create diverse solutions to achieve those results,” Pratt says. “We believe this proven approach of driving innovation by focusing on outcomes — rather than prescribing particular technology solutions — is the best way to reduce carbon emissions. Carbon is the enemy, not a particular drivetrain.”
Ford Motor Co said late on Friday it will ask the U.S. Patent Office to rescind trademarks obtained by rival General Motors Co for the terms “Cruise” and “Super Cruise,” escalating a brawl GM began by suing Ford over its use of “Blue Cruise” for an automated driving system.
The legal fight between the two Detroit automakers turns on whether “cruise” is a generic term for technology that allows the car to take over some share of driving tasks from a human motorist.
The clash underscores the intensity of competition among established automakers to be seen as leaders in automated driving technology, competitive with Silicon Valley rivals Tesla Inc, Alphabet Inc ‘s Waymo unit and others.
GM filed a federal suit against Ford https://www.reuters.com/business/autos-transportation/gm-cruise-demand-ford-drop-bluecruise-name-hands-free-driving-2021-07-24 on July 24, accusing Ford of violating GM trademarks by using the name “Blue Cruise” for a system that enables hands-free driving.
GM had previously trademarked “Super Cruise” for its hands-free, partially automated driving technology. It also has trademarked “Cruise,” the name of its robo-taxi unit in San Francisco.
Ford reiterated on Friday its position that GM’s suit is frivolous. The effort to nullify GM’s trademarks for the use of the word “cruise” takes the fight to a new level.
“To defend itself, Ford has no choice but to ask the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to rescind both of GM’s “Cruise” and “Super Cruise” trademark registrations that should have never been registered in the first place,” Ford said. “Any number of companies use the word ‘cruise’ in connection with driver assist technology.”
Among the examples Ford cited: “Predictive Cruise,” marketed by Mack Trucks; “Smart Cruise Control” marketed by Hyundai Motor Co, and Autocruise, used by auto supplier ZF Friedrichshafen AG.
GM said Friday that Super Cruise “has had a well established commercial presence since 2017,” and added in a statement that the company “remains committed to vigorously defending our brands and protecting the equity our products and technology have earned over several years in the market and that won’t change.” (Reporting by Joe White; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall and Daniel Wallis)
Question: Who invented cruise control as we know it today?
Answer: Ralph R. Teetor
Inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame in 1988
Distinguished Service Citation Award 1964
First patented as the “Speedostat” in 1954: U.S. Patent number 2916100A
From the Automotive Hall of Fame Website:
In 1945, automotive engineer Ralph Teetor was responsible for creating the technology we now know as Cruise Control – one of the first steps towards autonomous vehicles. He accomplished this and many other innovations without the benefit of sight.
Born in Hagerstown, Indiana, in 1890, Teetor had normal vision until one day, his hand slipped while working with a knife. The blade penetrated his eye and within a year, he was completely blind. However, Teetor never let his condition define him. He quickly developed a highly refined sense of touch; a trait that would benefit him greatly throughout his career.
His father and uncles trained him to be a machinist, and by age 13, Teetor managed to build an automobile of his own design that was capable of traveling 25 mph. Teetor graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1912 with a degree in mechanical engineering.
He eventually joined the family business, Perfect Circle Corporation, as lead engineer. Teetor helped refine and improve the company’s designs, and his sense of touch soon became legendary around the factory. His daughter once recalled a story about him feeling some new castings and remarking that they didn’t vary by more than .002 inch. The castings were measured, proving Teetor was correct.
Teetor’s driver had a habit of varying his speed based on whether or not he was speaking, which caused inconsistencies. In response, Teetor began working on an automotive speed control device. He received a patent for the “Speedostat” in 1945. The device was later renamed “Cruise Control,” and eventually it became a standard feature in nearly all automobiles.
In 1946, he was named president of the company. Under Teetor, Perfect Circle became one of the first automotive suppliers to market its products through motorsports and also became a major defense contractor. Later in life, he also invented a fluid-operated gearshift mechanism that he sold to Bendix Corporation.
Teetor served as president of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and became an influential supporter of automotive education. SAE International recognized Teetor’s contributions by naming one of their most prestigious engineering awards after him. He often said, “You are not handicapped so long as you can think logically,” and was a significant figure in the industry who was able to see innovations that others could not.
Oh, and it’s important to note that Ralph Teetor did not work for GM or Ford!!!
Chicago speed cameras now ticket drivers going 6 mph over. The new rules resulted in about 300,000 citations and $11 million in fines in the first 2 months.
Source: Chicago Tribune
Across the street from a car wash, next to a fenced-off former lumber yard stands one of Chicago’s most prolific park safety speed cameras.
The speed camera at 4831 W. Lawrence Ave. caught the second most speeders in the first two months after Mayor Lori Lightfoot started ticketing motorists driving as little as 6 mph over the speed limit.
And two blocks west on Lawrence Avenue, on the other side of a railway viaduct, sits the small park the camera is ostensibly protecting from speeding cars.
Until last March, that camera and more than 100 like it around the city could ticket drivers going at least 10 mph over the limit. But after Mayor Lori Lightfoot dropped the threshold to 6 mph over in March, the Lawrence Avenue speed monitor — and lots of others — got mighty busy issuing the $35 tickets.
Bloomington Gold Corvette Show Returns to… Bloomington.
The “Grandaddy of Corvette Shows” was born in Bloomington in 1973, but has been gone for decades. Now, it’s coming home.
Tuesday it was announced that the 50th annual corvette show will be held on the Illinois State University campus, at Redbird Arena, Horton Field House, the Bone Student Center ballroom and the grounds in between on June 10-11, 2022. It will be open to the public.
Estimates place up to 5,000 Corvettes in Bloomington-Normal for the upcoming event, which will include judging and certifying of the sports cars, along with new and used Corvette sales, and sales of Corvette parts and supplies.
The Bloomington-Normal Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) projects the Corvette show will bring 15,000 visitors and pump more than $1 million into the area economy.
CVB President and CEO Crystal Howard proposed a Corvette parade along Route 66 and Corvette-themed movies at Normal Theater as part of the event.
Howard said the community needs more big indoor events like this as entertainment venues struggle to recover from the pandemic.
Bloomington Gold left Bloomington in the 1990s and had a brief return later that decade. The car show has had several homes since then, including St. Charles, Ill., and the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana.
Moment of Musk
Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveiled plans to produce a humanoid robot called the Tesla Bot, which will use the same artificial intelligence that powers the company’s autonomous vehicles.
According to Reuters, Musk said the electric carmaker will likely launch the Tesla Bot next year, which will be designed to do dangerous, repetitive, or “boring” work, such as going to the store for groceries.
The reveal was an unexpected end to Tesla’s “AI Day” presentation on Thursday.
The robot is expected to stand 5′ 8″ and weigh 125lbs, using the same autopilot cameras in its head that are used in Tesla’s vehicles. The face will also be a display screen.
“It’s intended to be friendly, of course, and navigate through a world built for humans,” Musk said. “We’re setting it such that it is, at a mechanical level, at a physical level, you can run away from it and most likely overpower it.”
Tesla CEO added with a chuckle, “Hopefully that doesn’t ever happen, but you never know. Five miles per hour, if you can run faster than that you’ll be fine.”
GRINDING the GEARS
Eric overheard a great conversation at Home Depot this weekend involving a loud-mouthed gentleman who was browsing at new refrigerators with his wife. He proclaimed loud enough for everyone within earshot to hear him bellyache that “They don’t make anything to last anymore”.
We use this as an opportunity to discuss modern-day build quality, the anticipated life cycle of durable goods, and value for the dollars spent by consumers of yesteryear versus and in 2021.
We also make fun of that guy because seriously, dude. Nobody cares.
You want to buy a new fridge? Buy one.
You don’t want to buy a new fridge? Go home and watch Wheel of Fortune.
Cars of the Weak
Eric is getting ready to embark on an embarrassedly unabashed attempt at a side-hustle with this little 2500lb camper. The Stahl’s have been searching for the perfect mix of kitsch, size, and eyeball to capture all the hipsters using apps like Outdoorsy to get their COVID blues relieved by some time in the woods.
Boondocking or camp-grounding? We don’t care. We are looking forward to trying this guy out for a night or two during a mound expedition in Ohio or Iowa in the coming months. (it’s got a heater!)
Sold at a summer closeout price of 17000 and some change.
Get yours here: https://www.campliferv.com/
1974 Avco 22 foot Motorhome – $9,000
Source: Facebook Marketplace
Up for sale is a 1974 AVCO 22ft. motor home in excellent condition. 128k miles. Sitting on a Dodge chassis with the famous 440 engine, this 70’s time capsule features a recently-services 5K Onan generator, a new toilet, and an updated furnace. It rolls on Michelin tires the entire set of batteries is also fresh. Check out the interior. It’s a disgusting masterpiece of 70’s fabric. And it’s CLEAN! What more could anyone want in this day and age but a shag-carpeted RV that doesn’t smell like farts?
Will Regan take the plunge? Only time will tell.
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