It Never Ends…

While our family is dealing with a very serious situation at present, I/we received another kick in the teeth yesterday that we certainly didn’t need, but is certainly consistent with my life.

The new HVAC system that we had installed for the second floor just weeks ago has already given up the ghost. The compressor or condenser or whatever you call it outside still runs, but no air–cold or otherwise–comes out of any vent upstairs. I guess it’s a small blessing that this happened in May and not in July, but we’re around 90° for high temperatures with, of course, lots of sun. It’s less than comfortable upstairs; my office where I write this blog is on the second floor and even though it’s just 8 AM and the ceiling fan is on, it’s not exactly pleasant in here.

A small, very small, part of me still thinks the reckoning will come and somehow we will receive some great and unexpected turn of luck. That part is shrinking every day, though.

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For some reason, this post from July of 2019 received some views yesterday. The post is about Nils Bohlin, the Volvo engineer who invented the modern automobile three-point safety belt.

When I read it again yesterday I thought it held up well and is among the better posts of the 1,100+ I have written. Feel free to read it.

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On this day in 1963 the talks collapsed between Ford and Ferrari relating to Ford purchasing the Italian automaker. Supposedly, the deal breaker was a clause Ford inserted into the contract that required Ferrari to submit to Ford, ‘for quick approval,’ any racing team budget over 450 million lire. That equaled $257,000 at the time, the amount of Ferrari’s race budget for the 1963 season.

Ferrari said that provision would compromise the total freedom he had been promised in his new position as Racing Team Director. He flew into a rage and, basically, that was the end of the negotiation.

Of course, most of you reading know the rest. Henry Ford II flew into a rage of his own, vowed to beat Ferrari at LeMans and did with the Ford GT-40 cars.

The lineal descendant of those cars, the third generation Ford GT is–as I have mentioned previously–a contender for Ultimate Garage 3.0, if I ever publish it. Without further ado (from Money Inc):

 

See the source image

 

 

At $400,000 or $500,000 or whatever this car costs, it is more expensive than any automobile in Ultimate Garage 2.0. I think the GT moniker is somewhat of a misnomer. GT implies Grand Touring, a car with high performance, but one that is more at home cruising on the highway than whipping around corners at a race track. This generation Ford GT is very much at home on the track. Of course, what else could Ford call the car?

So many cars just one life, indeed.

 

#ItNeverEnds

#NilsBohlin

#FordVersusFerrari

#ThirdGenerationFordGT

#IStandWithIsrael

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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PS, courtesy of David Banner (not his real name) and relevant to comments from yesterday, a picture of a Bentley at a Hong Kong hotel:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nils Bohlin

Who? On this day in 1962 Swedish-born engineer Nils Bohlin, working for Volvo, received a US patent for the three-point safety belt. From this site comes this description:

 

“N. l. BOHLIN SAFETY BELT July 10, 1962 Filed Aug. 17, 1959 -United 3,043,625 SAFETY BELT Nils Ivar Bohlin, Goteborg, Sweden, assignor to Aktiebolaget Volvo, Goteborg, Sweden, a corporation of Sweden Filed Aug. 17, 1959, Ser. No. 834,258 Claims priority, application Sweden Aug. 29, 1958 2 Claims. (Cl. 297-389) This invention relates to a safety belt for use in vehicles, especially road vehicles. Safety belts comprising a chest strap adapted to be strapped obliquely across the chest are frequently used in order to prevent a driver from being thrown against fore parts of the vehicle, such as a wind-shieldor steering column, in case the vehicle is colliding or upon hard application of the, brakes. In certain cases, the chest strap has been combined with at waist or hip strap adapted to be strapped across the waist.”

“The object of the present invention is to provide a safety belt which independently of the strength of the seat and its connection with the vehicle in an effective and physiologically favourable manner retains the upper as well as the lower part of the body of the strapped person against the action of substantially forwardly directed forces and which is easy to fasten and unfasten and even in other respects satisfies rigorous requirements.”

 

The description is actually much longer. It should be noted that Volvo then made the new seat belt design patent available to other car manufacturers for free. From wallpaperup.com is (supposedly) a picture of a 1959 Volvo 122, which was the first car to have the three-point safety belt as standard equipment:

 

See the source image

 

Bohlin was a former aviation engineer at Saab who had worked on airplane ejection seats. He knew an effective belt must absorb force across the pelvis and chest yet be so easy to use even a child could buckle up. He came up with an inspired solution that combined a lap belt with a diagonal belt across the chest. He anchored the straps low beside the seat so the geometry of the belts formed a “V” with the point directed at the floor. That design meant the belt would stay put and not shift under a load.

While no one can know exactly how many lives have been saved by Bohlin’s invention, Britain’s Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents estimates the three-point safety belt has saved more than 1 million lives worldwide. NHTSA estimates that the belt saves 11,000 lives in the US every year. According to a NHTSA survey (uh, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), about 90% of American drivers/passengers use seat belts, which is significantly higher than just 20 years ago when that rate was about 67%. Of course, stated preferences are not always the same as actual/revealed preferences.

I always wear my seat belt and will not drive until my passenger(s) has(have) done the same. What about you?

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Why am I showing these photos? This morning I decided to take my wonderful wife’s car (the one in the top photo) to get breakfast. As noted here, she is out of town on business. As her car is still new and well below the 500 miles needed for the first oil change (mandatory with a dry-sump system) I took it easy and never let the engine rev above 2,500 RPM.

I have to admit that her car is superior as a daily driver to mine. While plenty of power rests under the hood, noticeable even below 2,500 RPM, the car is well-behaved. My Z06 is like a barely-tamed beast that will bite hard if you don’t pay attention. Intellectually I understand that my car is equipped with features that actually make it difficult to get into trouble. Still, that is my visceral reaction.

From a February, 2015 story in Road & Track by Sam Smith (part of which was a fictitious letter to his boss) via Steve Magnante’s 1001 Corvette Facts:

 

“If I bought one of these things [a C7 Z06], I would get dead. Not injured, not arrested, but dead. Not because the Z06 is hairy, but because it so effectively relocks your street-car comfort zone that you end up at decisions that you never thought you’d see. When you factor in price, this is possibly the most dangerous, frightful device ever thrust upon mankind. Please give me a raise so that I may buy one.”

 

My next-door neighbor has a beautiful McLaren 570S. The car probably cost him about $200,000. Its engine produces 562 HP/443 LB-FT of torque, which enables the car to accelerate from 0-60 MPH in about 3 seconds and do the quarter-mile in about 11 seconds. It can do 1.05g on a skidpad test. My 2016 Z06 stickered for $101,000 new (I paid $62,000 including shipping). The Z06 engine produces 650 HP/650 LB-FT, the car accelerates from 0-60 in 3 seconds and does the quarter-mile in 11 seconds. It can pull 1.2g in a skidpad test. Subjectively, I think my car looks better and sounds better. Different strokes for different folks.

As always, I welcome thoughtful comments.

 

#NilsBohlin

#ThreePointSafetyBelt

#1959Volvo122

#BeastvsDriver

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

If you like this blog please tell your friends and share the blog URL (https://disaffectedmusings.com). Thanks.