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Changes in our lifetime


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14 minutes ago, 8E45E said:

Winchester was Cord:

 

Westchester was a prewar Plymouth wagon.

 

Craig

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I’ll find something definitive when I get in front of a computer but I’m 99% sure it is Cord Westchester.

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78 rpm records to 45 rpm and LP (long playing) record albums. This may have changed in my life time, but like the cars ,I like older music of the era when they were new.  Now have assorted hand crank phonographs ( no they were not referred to as gramophones when I knew them 🙄) to play the 78 rpm records, I got a little weary of that so restored a 1938-39 Wurlitzer juke box you can stack 24 favorite records in. Car radios that you had to wait to warm up the tubes once you turned it on ( still have to do that in my 1940 Buick Roadmaster) Cap guns with the paper caps on a roll. Cars that had manual roll up windows ( still own those too). Milk delivered to your door step and placed in a wood milk box that was then replaced by an insulated metal one , bread being delivered to your house ( in delivery trucks made by Divco) and beer and soda being delivered in huge open back trucks with shelves for cases of same. Air conditioning/cooling was an electric fan on a table or on a post with a base.

Edited by Walt G
spelling correction (see edit history)
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Here we go:  https://www.hemmings.com/stories/article/1936-1937-cord-810-812

 

 

There were four models in 1936: Westchester Sedan, Beverly Sedan, Sportsman and Phaeton. All rode on 125-inch wheelbases. In 1937, two models, the Westchester and Beverly sedans, kept their 125-inch wheelbase, but the other four models-Sportsman, Phaeton, Custom Beverly and Custom Berline-had longer, 132-inch wheelbases. The longer-wheelbase cars had eight louvers on the hood side panels, with the shorter-wheelbase cars having seven louvers.

 

EDIT:   I don't know why I'm quoting an article that says "Sportsman" instead of "Convertible Coupe".

Edited by alsancle (see edit history)
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I was always jealous of my grandfather, Archibald McKim Lewis, who was born in 1886 and died in 1970.  He was born in Napanee Ontario Canada and moved to Detroit when he was 3.  His father was a circuit minister in the Methodist Church which meant my grandfather moved around Michigan quite a bit.  During a stint in Michigan's UP the Chippewa Indian kids used to come get him and take him to the reservation to play.  Later he was a cook on early great lakes freighters.  During his time America went from the horse and buggy age to use of automobiles, many got their start in buggy shops where engines were added and horses eliminated.  Henry Ford first was building the Ford Mansion on Jefferson in St. Clair Shores and happened to be on site when my grandfather was taken to the site to see what Mr. Ford was building.  Mr. Ford stopped a carpenter and had him saw up blocks of wood for my grandfather to play with.  My grandfather lived to see the Wright Bros fly the first airplane, Edison and Tesla electrify America, the golden age of railroads.  Later he drove to work in a brand new 1930 Buick coupe and was a supervisor in the Acme White Lead plant in Detroit.  When they switched from windup office clocks to electric he brought home 3 Sessions Regulator school style clocks, one of which I stood in front of for hours watching it's pendulum swing in his bedroom and is now on the wall in our dining room.  He lived thru 2 world wars, the great depression, the golden age of aviation, the jet age, invention of the transistor and was around long enough to see man land on the moon.   

 

Later I gained an appreciation of my grandmother's heritage.  She came to America from Ireland on an indentured servants ship and worked off her passage as a young woman.  She was Maude Foster, about 4 generations removed from Lady Elizabeth Foster who had a notorious past as the kept second wife of the 5th duke of Devonshire, William Cavendish.  My mother took me to the Toledo Art Museum when I was a young teenager to view "The Chatsworth Collection" of art on loan from the castle by the same name in Devonshire England.  There I got to see Rembrandt paintings of Elizabeth Foster and William Cavendish. 

 

My dad had a pretty interesting life as well, born in 1912, drove his dad's 1929 Chrysler to high school, graduated with a degree in aeronautical engineering in the first senior class at Lawrence Institute in Detroit where the senior project was building an airplane.  He went to work for Phillips Petroleum in the desert outside Bartlesville, OK explosion testing 500 gallon propane tanks.  When he got bored with that he circulated his paperwork and got picked up by U of M Scientific in Ann Arbor, MI where he designed and patented the first practical rotating mount for a radar antenna.  He got a masters in Mechanical Engineering at U of M then got picked up by Ford Motor at the old Ford airport.  He worked in what they called experimental bay 8 which provided engineering support for the Willow Run Bomber Plant and specifically B-24 bombers.  He had Norden bomb sight clearance and his main job was experimental instrumentation.  Some of his adventures included signing off his life insurance and going on active flight status in trade for a 25cent/hr raise to help with payments of the warbox home he bought in Wayne, MI where I grew up.  Active flight status meant he flew in B-24's over the Lake Michigan Gunnery Range to prove out instruments and controls.  His first flight was piloted by some guy named Doolittle, who was home on RR from the European and wanted to try out a direct current auto pilot that was to replace an earlier alternating current arrangement that led to some very close calls when it was switched on.  Whoever designed it didn't understand Weber's Theory very well because the design had A/C wiring bundled with DC control surface servo wiring and when switched on the auto pilot made the controls go nuts.  Bundled with the tryout of the auto pilot was some new navigational instruments my dad was developing so he went on this flight sitting at a work station in the belly of the aircraft and connected to the flight deck by headset so he couldn't cheat by using the primary navigation instruments installed on the instrument panel.  They took off and my dad navigated from his remote location giving compass direction to Doolittle and a copilot to navigate a mapped route over the gunnery range.  The demo was successful and Doolittle also was satisfied with the performance of the DC auto pilot and dismissed my dad from his navigation role.  My dad took his headset off and was sitting on a lab stool smoking a cigarette when his world literally rolled over.  Apparently Doolittle decided to impress the copilot of the day with a demonstration of the B-24's ability to do an 8 point barrel roll.  Doolittle put the 24 in a shallow dive and over they went with my dad not knowing what the H was going on climbing over wire harnesses and lines in the belly of the aircraft until it righted itself.   That was my dad's introduction to Jimmy Doolittle.   He also met and worked with Charles Lindbergh who lived in Ann Arbor.  One snowy night my dad's Chrysler Windsor crapped out near the gate at Willow Run.  He had the hood up in a snowstorm trying to figure out the problem.  Lindbergh stopped and offered my dad a ride home to Wayne which was out of Lindbergh's way but he insisted.  My dad was ever grateful and they became good friends. 

 

After the war was over my dad stayed on at Ford at the Dearborn Research and Engineering center where he eventually was made a manager in Custom Vehicle ops.  He worked on Big Red- the Ford gas turbine truck that Hagerty just published an article about.  He worked on frame rail exhaust for the Lincoln, developed early air conditioning systems, worked on "Project Wiggly Worm", a Ford version of variable ratio power steering which Ford shelved at HFII's direction.  He changed his mind when the feature showed up on Cadillac the following year.  

 

My dad hired a guy named Klaus Arning who defected from the German Luftwaffe to the US during WWII.  Arning was a brilliant suspension engineer.  When Carroll Shelby decided the Cobra needed a big block engine to stay competitive he got Arning to design the suspension.  Arning did it on a computer which was a first computer aided design project at Ford.       

 

I didn't come along until a little later, missed WWII by about 5yrs.  At that the technological advances in communications, electronics, medicine, space exploration, add infinitum are mind boggling. 

 

History, advancing technology and our lifetime experiences all share a common thread...

 

Time...

Clocks 006.JPG

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2 hours ago, alsancle said:

Here we go:  https://www.hemmings.com/stories/article/1936-1937-cord-810-812

 

 

There were four models in 1936: Westchester Sedan, Beverly Sedan, Sportsman and Phaeton. All rode on 125-inch wheelbases. In 1937, two models, the Westchester and Beverly sedans, kept their 125-inch wheelbase, but the other four models-Sportsman, Phaeton, Custom Beverly and Custom Berline-had longer, 132-inch wheelbases. The longer-wheelbase cars had eight louvers on the hood side panels, with the shorter-wheelbase cars having seven louvers.

 

EDIT:   I don't know why I'm quoting an article that says "Sportsman" instead of "Convertible Coupe".

I can't think of an automobile that has so much written about that is incorrect.  in this case the wheelbase of the phaeton and convertible coupe did not change from 1936 to 1937.   

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We got our first tv remote control in 1966, but it didn’t work till 1969...........when I was taught to jump off my fathers lap and turn the knob clockwise by a certain number of clicks...........I was the remote control. About 1975 we got a unit that screwed on directly to the wooden front of the TV. It only went clockwise and you pushed it once to advance it one channel. In made a loud clunking noise.  I got my first cell phone very early......1988. Didn’t have a need to use it much till the late 2008. 
 

In my fifty five years, the only great every day advancements : modern medicine and the internet. The internet is a “loaded” answer. Instant access to information, technology, video on demand, email, ect, ect, ect. Hopefully we will learn how to use it without it running our lives. We took a vacation a few years ago, no electronic devices were allowed for a week. Some people were passing out and getting ready for a nervous break down in the first twelve hours. Just because you can do/use something doesn’t mean you should. Instant communication and instant news cycle is damaging the country and the world. Technology is changing faster than we can figure out how to properly integrate it into our lives without causing damage. It does just as much good as it does harm. 

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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12 minutes ago, edinmass said:

The internet is a “loaded” answer. Instant access to information, technology, video on demand, email, ect, ect, ect. Hopefully we will learn how to use it without it running our lives. We took a vacation a few years ago, no electronic devices were allowed for a week. Some people were passing out and getting ready for a nervous break down in the first twelve hours. Just because you can do/use something doesn’t mean you should. Instant communication and instant news cycle is damaging the country and the world. Technology is changing faster than we can figure out how to properly integrate it into our lives without causing damage. It does just as much good as it does harm. 

I hope you're not giving us advance warning of how bad the AACA Forum going offline will affect you tomorrow!!  😉   

 

Craig

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Gee Ed I was in the USAF when you were born. By then I had already built a remote control. Switching from VHF to UHF was the hard part. Have always been lazy. In college I put away a calculator for a year because was forgetting how do math in my head (did keep my slip stick).

 

Have been communicating world wide since 1966. Just natural. Even remember doctors making house calls and drove Buicks.

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On 4/2/2021 at 10:35 AM, SC38DLS said:


People had respect for each other!  

 

"The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise." -- Socrates

 

:)

 

Seriously, I'd guess that the big change in our lifetimes was the invention and incredible spread of computer networks and the Internet.  

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8 hours ago, padgett said:

Gee Ed I was in the USAF when you were born. By then I had already built a remote control. Switching from VHF to UHF was the hard part. Have always been lazy. In college I put away a calculator for a year because was forgetting how do math in my head (did keep my slip stick).

 

Have been communicating world wide since 1966. Just natural. Even remember doctors making house calls and drove Buicks.

Slip sticks made me smile , we called them slide rules, used at school and with log tables 😊

 

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Born in 1955. I remember the CNR and CPR using old steam locomotives as yard and shunt trains. I loved watching them from my grandparents veranda.

They had a "player piano" in their massive hallway that had came from the Klondike. I loved putting the rolls in it and pretending I was playing. Early form of punch cards! 

Transistor pocket radios. I had so many I lost  count. They broke fairly easy when handled by 9-10 year olds like me. Taping them to the handlebars, then crashing my bike. Also having a "Dynamo Generator" to power the headlight on my bikes.

 As a teen starting to drive and pulling out the choke knob and pumping the gas pedal before starting my 1956 Meteor, then waiting for the tubes in the radio to warm up !

 

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Born in 1971, I sometimes feel I missed some of the earlier, legacy eras.  Not much I can do about that. Lol. With reference to automobiles my earliest memories would be mid-70's. My parents cars.

I remember going to a car lot to pick up a slightly used large blue 4 door Pontiac. It was a massive boat with tons of room in the back seat for my brother and I.  I remember it seemed to float down the roads with power steering and brakes. Probably a Parisienne. Before the Pontiac Dad had a '74-5 Dart with a 318. I know I travelled in it but have no actual memory of it. 

 

Fast forward to a later period when cars started to gather my attention. High School. 1985 or so. All the kids were driving muscle cars. Most were 15-20 year old original cars. Most had been hopped up with performance parts. I don't think many got or needed a full frame-off restoration at that time. I have fond memories of illegal street drag racing into the wee hours on Friday  and Sat nights.  Some cool cars that come to memory are '69 Beaumont, '69 Mustang Cobra Jet, '67 Chevy II, '67 Chevelle....Big thirsty engines. Cheap fuel. Horrible handling. 

 

The older I get the more I regress. Earlier, simpler cars appeal to me.  Carbureted, points, no computers. These are my daily drivers. My wife gets a new car every 5-10 years. Each new year, more and more computers and plastic in cars. If the digital touch screen flakes out you can't control the heat or A/C. I am not a fan. I do the minimum required maintenance, then get rid of it when the miles get high.  I suspect that adaptive cruise control, auto brake collision avoidance, lane correct auto steering, back up cameras, lane change cameras, proximity sensors,  and the like, are dumbing down drivers in general.  Leaving responsibility and consequences absent from driver's minds.  Safer, yes I agree in some aspects. Dumber in other aspects. 

 

I am hanging on to the good old days in some ways.

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"Born in 1971, I sometimes feel I missed some of the earlier, legacy eras" wanna swap ?

"are dumbing down drivers in general" maybe the new drivers have already been dumbed down. Can say when autocrossing I often make a car do things it does not really want to. Is like a horse refusing a jump except with a car. And then there are the Teslas that seem to be attracted to police cars and heard of trying to drive under a tractor trailer...

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Critical change in the amount of physical activity that everyone gets. Kids used to walk to school, for multiple reasons whether a kid goes to school someone takes him/her there and picks them up. Kids used to bicycle constantly, now the only people on bikes are cyclists. Bowling was a pastime that everyone was involved in. Striking number of people don't even mow their own lawn-and their kids that another story all together. Sit-down restaurants used to be a place that people spent an enjoyable hour, or more dining, today it's all fast food.

 

Men used to wear suits and hats, women dresses. A fur coat was a status symbol, today it's a symbol of something very different. Civility is it's own subject that deserves a chapter all it own, I should have said lack of civility. Truth has become and alternate reality.

 

This is not a rant its a matter of how things have changed.

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Some basic daily life changes .

 

The end of the paper boy jobs, boys lawn businesses and just about anything else of that sort that got young girls and boys of 10 years plus out of the house to learn and earn a few dollars on their own ,and be a bit independant .

No more hanging out a your friend's dad's or uncle's gas station while he was helping out after school pumping gas ,then you too,eventually getting paid and picking up many skills.

 

There are not that many real starter jobs left for younger teens and priced accordingly for the skill level.

 

Once the grannies were in McDonalds..that was it for many teen jobs.

Our local Walmarts have 10% under the age of  20 work force ,same at the large grocery chain stores.

 

We where able to work at 14 for limited hours in 1960s-80s .Don't know if that still holds.

 

We no longer have milk ,egg and cheese delivery.

 

 I recall in 1969 the last sighting of the local fruit and produce man cruising the neighborehoods in his 1935 Dodge open canopy express truck.

 

We use to have morning and afternoon mail deliveries and could send a night letter.

 

 The trash men wore white and took those freaken heavy galvanized garbage  cans from the back of the house to the truck and back. Like a 50 yard round trip.

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And the TV had three (maybe four) channels. Doctors drove Buicks and made house calls. Five and Dime meant something. Micky D's were 12c (15c with cheese).

 

Long distance cost A Lot. In state cost more than intraState. Telephones had dials. Gas was 20c/gal reg and 22c/gal premium. (Weird observation - the price of a gallon of gas has has followed the price of a gallon of milk for a looong time)

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1 hour ago, Buffalowed Bill said:

Critical change in the amount of physical activity that everyone gets. Kids used to walk to school, for multiple reasons whether a kid goes to school someone takes him/her there and picks them up. Kids used to bicycle constantly, now the only people on bikes are cyclists. Bowling was a pastime that everyone was involved in. Striking number of people don't even mow their own lawn-and their kids that another story all together. Sit-down restaurants used to be a place that people spent an enjoyable hour, or more dining, today it's all fast food.

 

Men used to wear suits and hats, women dresses. A fur coat was a status symbol, today it's a symbol of something very different. Civility is it's own subject that deserves a chapter all it own, I should have said lack of civility. Truth has become and alternate reality.

 

This is not a rant its a matter of how things have changed.

 

You hit it dead on!

 

I remember going to a few Yankee games in the mid to late 60's with my Grandfather and all of the men wore a tie and a fedora, and everyone smoked cigarettes. 

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Jack didn't wear a hat and that changed the style and lowered roof-lines. Remember men wore suits to fly when airplanes had propellers. Anyone remember "Sunday go to meeting" clothes ? Milk bottles (recyclable) with cream separators ?

 

Even when working at GM only salarymen wore ties.

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Most all adult folks did get dressed up  when going out in public ,but that started to end 50 years or more ago. 

But the final straw I think was when fake fleece was invented in the 80's , it was all casual comfort when not working and before that, polyester jumpsuits for men ...eek!

 

.

 

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46 minutes ago, Flivverking said:

Most all adult folks did get dressed up  when going out in public ,but that started to end 50 years or more ago. 

But the final straw I think was when fake fleece was invented in the 80's , it was all casual comfort when not working and before that, polyester jumpsuits for men ...eek!

 

.

 

 

LIESURE SUITS!!!!!!!

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I always wore a suit to church until a few years ago it was announced that it was too hot for suits and coats could be dispensed with. Still not comfortable with shorts in public.

 

Missed leisure suits except for in the garage.

Sill think the greatest invention of the 20th century was cold light followed by Velcro.

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52 minutes ago, John348 said:

 

LIESURE SUITS!!!!!!!


Speaking of cars, I am feeling inordinately goofy at the moment. Therefore, going to skate some thin ice here, but this reminds me of an old photograph many of us have seen. So let me disguise, or attempt to evade the censors scalpel for just a while. Picture was Edgar J. Weirdo and his buddy Clyde lounging identically dressed in such leisure garb. Right down to exact same hats, save for the bands. I have always wondered why the different bands. Was it because of different head  sizes, or was Edgar afraid of Clyde’s cooties ? Did Edgar own a car and drive ? Did Clyde drive him ? Or did they use some motor pool conveyance ? 
 

 Moderators, please delete this nonsensical, inappropriate response. Thank you,   -   CC

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Watching the demise of the British automotive industry which accounted for the majority of imports in this country in the early 1960's, to where the 21st century survivors are either German or Chinese owned, and the dramatic rise of the Japanese and Korean automotive industries starting in the 1970's.

 

Craig

Edited by 8E45E (see edit history)
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The mention of kids and working is a big thing. I am the youngest of 5, born in 1964. It was a right of passage that once the boys hit a certain age, around 12, that they started cutting grass for income. Pop had a decent cub cadet we could use(still in my garage) and we would hit up all of the neighbors for jobs. There were 3 boys in our 'hood that shared the wealth by cutting the yards of 20 or so local houses. We all had our regulars and respected each others territories.  Made about $3-$5 a yard. Kept us busy and out of trouble during the summer.  

 

Try finding a 12 yo kid today to cut your grass!!

 

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Think the fed was a big part of the decline of the British industry by requiring the steering wheel to be on the left, adding very tight emissions laws (that favored large slow revving engines), mandating the location and pattern of motorcycle foot shifts, requiring a minimum height and construction of headlamps, and emissions/noise laws that were not mirrored in Europe (OBD-II was not mandated in Europe until five years after first seen in the US).

 

As to the small oriental buzz bombs (would buzz you to death at 60). Their popularity really started with the NMSL (National Maximum Speed Limit) and Gas milage laws that favored very small cars and gave them a base to develop into what Americans prefer.

 

Is a lot more to it (e.g. labor that destroyed the feeling of quality in UK cars) but that is a start.

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If you really want to see our current "future"  go watch some episodes of the original Star Trek from the 60's. And then watch some of the episodes of Star Trek, the Next Generation.   

 

These shows are about 60 & 30 years old and the number of things that we now take for granted today is amazing.

Edited by Larry Schramm (see edit history)
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I really hope by commenting on a previous response I'm not hijacking this thread, I guess I will be told. The Jaspanes emergence initially may have been the gas situation of the 70's, but it's not all of the answer. First was my experience with my wife's 1974 Toyota Corolla. When I first started dating her the car was new with about 10K miles on it. I looked at it as a disposable joke. The first time I got under it to change the oil I took my grease gun, but everything was prelubed and sealed. She didn't like my 1967 Camaro and told me so, and I opened up on her about here little piece of Japanese tin. I told her that my Camaro would still be on the road when "Puddle Jumper" was two thousand pounds of scrap. Was I ever wrong, by the time I quit driving it, that car had 275K miles on it and it was still running and driving, albeit with no hard valve seats left, in the aluminum, hemispherical head. I just got tired of having to adjust the valves every month. So what you got in the package was was unanticipated quality. At the same time some American manufacturers weren't doing as well.

 

Second was our Datsun 240Z. We bought our's with about 100K miles on it, but anyone remember the waiting list when they came out? Well I do, and it wasn't because of gas mileage. It's an icon today. It just checked off all of the boxes in the day. 

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5 hours ago, Buffalowed Bill said:

I really hope by commenting on a previous response I'm not hijacking this thread, I guess I will be told. The Jaspanes emergence initially may have been the gas situation of the 70's, but it's not all of the answer. First was my experience with my wife's 1974 Toyota Corolla. When I first started dating her the car was new with about 10K miles on it. I looked at it as a disposable joke. The first time I got under it to change the oil I took my grease gun, but everything was prelubed and sealed. She didn't like my 1967 Camaro and told me so, and I opened up on her about here little piece of Japanese tin. I told her that my Camaro would still be on the road when "Puddle Jumper" was two thousand pounds of scrap. Was I ever wrong, by the time I quit driving it, that car had 275K miles on it and it was still running and driving, albeit with no hard valve seats left, in the aluminum, hemispherical head. I just got tired of having to adjust the valves every month. So what you got in the package was was unanticipated quality. At the same time some American manufacturers weren't doing as well.

 

Second was our Datsun 240Z. We bought our's with about 100K miles on it, but anyone remember the waiting list when they came out? Well I do, and it wasn't because of gas mileage. It's an icon today. It just checked off all of the boxes in the day. 

 

Yep.  The Japanese actually listened to Deming.

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a) Thought seriously about a '73 Celica SR5 and later a Mitsubishi 3000 GT but never pulled the trigger, was racing Corvairs and then the Sunbird in solo II. Had a gaggle of H-bodies (one had been totalled but was fine) mostly 4-speeds with AC.

 

b) Deming was a GM employee in the 50s and mostly ignored.

 

c) Just indoctrinated into GM early and has stuck. Only B-Bodys I had were both 67s, a Grand Prix 'vert and a  Fleetwood 60-special Brogham, also had a 67 Eldo but was smaller.

 

d) Also had a 68 FIAT 124 Spyder bought with 100k and sold with 200k, just had to keep the oil slinger clean. Put an X1/9 steering wheel onnit. One of the few cars I would have again.

 

flat.jpg

 

 

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13 hours ago, padgett said:

a) Thought seriously about a '73 Celica SR5 and later a Mitsubishi 3000 GT but never pulled the trigger, was racing Corvairs and then the Sunbird in solo II. Had a gaggle of H-bodies (one had been totalled but was fine) mostly 4-speeds with AC.

 

b) Deming was a GM employee in the 50s and mostly ignored.

 

c) Just indoctrinated into GM early and has stuck. Only B-Bodys I had were both 67s, a Grand Prix 'vert and a  Fleetwood 60-special Brogham, also had a 67 Eldo but was smaller.

 

d) Also had a 68 FIAT 124 Spyder bought with 100k and sold with 200k, just had to keep the oil slinger clean. Put an X1/9 steering wheel onnit. One of the few cars I would have again.

 

flat.jpg

 

 

 

Mr P, not only have you mastered hi-jacking many other threads, you actually have accomplishes hi-jacking the thread you started! OUTSTANDING! 

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On 4/9/2021 at 10:31 AM, Larry Schramm said:

If you really want to see our current "future"  go watch some episodes of the original Star Trek from the 60's. And then watch some of the episodes of Star Trek, the Next Generation.   

 

These shows are about 60 & 30 years old and the number of things that we now take for granted today is amazing.

I remember when the 'big' Christmas gifts my brothers got were personal calculators. Texas Instrument models. Not scientific but just a basis calculator. Probably around '73-'74?  You can buy one now with the same function at the dollar store!  They were simply amazing. There was a game that was played using numbers of coarse. Dont remember the details but it started something like if you have __ many of this and multiply by __ many of that. The punch line turning the calculator upside down spell 'SHELL OIL' 

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10 minutes ago, TAKerry said:

I remember when the 'big' Christmas gifts my brothers got were personal calculators.

My dad gave me a set of beautiful Pickett yellow magnesium slide rules when I was still going to school.  Only a few years later hand held calculators began to replace Frieden counters at Ford.  Very shortly after that while I was working in the HVAC lab where we were constantly doing calculations like air density and converting test CFM to standard CFM to report airflow test results to engineering, a vendor came into the lab with a box of hand held calculators and everybody in the lab got one.  A few years later I sold the Pickett slide rules off to an engineer who was collecting them. 

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I still have my Dad's slide rule that he used in college and I also used in high school and the first year or so of college.  I remember that first calculator that I purchased was a Texas Instrument calculator now is the equivalent of a dollar store model for about $250.00 dollars and the price had just been cut from $500.00.

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About 30 years ago a friend's mother died at close to 100 years old.

The mother had outlived all her friends, so it was a small group at the'

graveside service.   Son & daughter in law, a granddaughter and a old

neighbor of the deceased.   They had hired a preacher to come and

say a few words, and he never appeared.  The son was trying to figure

out what to do, when I said, I can do it.   (Me not being a religious man

the son said, "are you sure?)

I spoke of what she had witnessed in her long lifetime, like the rise of the

automobile, airplanes, the plague of 1918, 2 World Wars, Polio Vaccine,

marriage, Birth of Children & grand children, Man on the Moon, etc, etc..   

No fire & brimstone, just the fact that she lived through a lot of history

and in spite of all that she had a nice life.

A talk I've used a few times since then.

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We are at the point of “what’s next.?”  I keep thinking my house should be a better source of heating and cooling data for more efficient energy use control and me regulating it from a tablet computer. Is there a new clean fuel just around the corner?  Will sight and hearing come for those who can’t?  Will people like me with a complete spinal cord injury find a way to get a working body?  
 

The flying cars, totally self driving cars, living on Mars and the list goes on. I never thought a phone with a camera in it would have much use, well I blew that one!   Everything has room for improvement it seems, it just takes forward thinking people to figure out what to tackle next.  The latest Mars exploration has demonstrated there are some very sharp people out there just waiting for the next challenge.

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