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Changes in our lifetime


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57 minutes ago, TerryB said:

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.

 

I have a friend who has been blind since birth.  Really an amazing guy who has led quite a productive life, very computer/tech literate, and so on.  His wife is blind too - so they've never "seen" each other.  I've often wondered what his reactions would be if he were to suddenly have vision.  (She is decent looking, so he'd be happy about that!)

 

"A phone with a camera" is the wrong way to look at it.  They are really handheld computers with a phone app.

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1 hour ago, wws944 said:

 

I have a friend who has been blind since birth.  Really an amazing guy who has led quite a productive life, very computer/tech literate, and so on.  His wife is blind too - so they've never "seen" each other.  I've often wondered what his reactions would be if he were to suddenly have vision.  (She is decent looking, so he'd be happy about that!)

 

"A phone with a camera" is the wrong way to look at it.  They are really handheld computers with a phone app.

I think there were cell phones in the early 2000s that were certainly not as smart as today’s do alls that had a built in camera option.  I thought the camera would be too low tech to be much good and besides, what would you use the camera for?  Cameras are supposed to be complicated and have lots of knobs and buttons to adjust.  I truly believe the modern cell phone camera caused the extinction of Bigfoot, the lock ness monster, flying saucers and little green people from space as none have been seen since the cell phone camera became so popular. 😀

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" They are really handheld computers with a phone app." We flew to the moon with less. Remember paying about a grand to upgrade a 4.77 Mhz computer from 256k to 640k (limit caused by Lotus). Still have a few 300/1200 baud modems.

" 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. " Can now. Electric company here reads meters with tablets.

ob AACF: also use my cell phone to monitor my car.

 

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My current cellphone has more power, speed and capability than we had in a 360/65 IBM mainframe. It was in a 40x50 room, used $4000 worth of electricity a month and had 20 tons of air conditioning to keep the room cool. 
The cell phone can fit in my pocket and take pictures!  

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I am a leading edge baby boomer who grew up just a few minutes outside of British Columbia, Canada's capital city of Victoria.  Being very close to the province's centre of government didn't guarantee we had such things as a dial telephone.  We had a wall mounted hand crank phone and we shared a party line with seven other households.  Our "ring" was one long and two short and the operator only did it once.  That was it for "technology" of any kind in our house.  

My mother cooked all of our meals on a massive cast iron lump of a stove which probably predated the house (built in 1922) by at least a decade.   There was a sawdust hopper on the side of the stove's firebox which was topped up twice a day - morning and evening - and the fire in the stove burned 24 hours a day 7 days a week.  It was the source of heat for our hot water tank which was mounted on the side of the stove next to the oven.  Along with the living room fireplace, the stove kept the living area of the house warm.  The bedroom end of the house was heated by what had to have been the most basic piece of heating equipment it was possible to have.  There was the shell of as furnace which had neither pump nor blower on it.  Fuel came from a fifty gallon drum on a stand outside the house and was fed to the furnace by gravity and controlled only by how much the tap on the drum was opened.  Fuel flowed into a deep Y shaped groove in the earthen floor of the furnace.  When that was partially full, my dad would light a Kleenex and drop it on the oil.  Needless to say, it wasn't very effective, but that's what we had. 

We didn't have a fridge or a freezer.  Instead, we had a large walk In pantry which was kept cold by a fifty pound block of ice in an ice box.  Saturday mornings meant a trip to the Evans, Coleman and Evans warehouse on Victoria's waterfront where we would buy a fresh block of ice for 25 cents.

 

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WOW  !! That is a fantastic peep through the keyhole of a time machine, ‘27. Thanks for that ! For you as a Victorian Back late ‘50s I would take the Princess from Seattle to Victoria and play with the 73” telescope at the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory there. The observatory held public nights, the kind and friendly astronomers thrilled me by allowing me to hunt objects while controlling the motions of the ‘scope myself. I had hobby level knowledge. About 40 years earlier , that telescope had briefly been the worlds largest. It saw “first light “ a year before the 100” telescope at Mt. Wilson above Los Angeles CA became operational. Of course now, the Hubble is slightly larger yet , and In orbit above the Earth’s distorting atmosphere. Earthbound telescopes these days are considerably larger in diameter than the 200” telescope at Mt. Palomar in the mountains South of Mt. Wilson. 

 

Speaking of distorting atmospheres is a great lead in to mention the most remarkable positive environmental change I have seen in my life. You would have had to live in L.A. in the late ‘60s and into the ‘70s to understand the meaning of “smog”. Sunny cloudless day, the mountains a couple of miles away were invisible. Tears streaming down yer face as eyes burned from the toxic acidic filth polluting what you had no choice but to inhale. Constantly sick , sore throat, symptoms of what the Angelenos called “Summer cold”. I was forced to give up the best job I have ever had, and move away to regain my health. I have never had a “Summer cold “ since. Nobody gets them any more. Young folk know absolutely nothing of smog. How could they ? Down L.A. way, with probably twice or three times the number of cars, driving at least three or four times the mileage or more than 50 years ago, no smog ! No REAL smog ! Comparatively no smog at all ! The strict pollution controls on California cars, industry, and everything down to lawnmowers and barbecues has made So. Cal. livable again. Hadn’t wise , forward thinking leaders grabbed bull by horns, we would be experiencing a death zone where today lucky Californians and happy tourists alike frolic in warm , sunny , delightful God’s country by the shores of the deep blue sea. Sure wish I had bought a chunk of it back ‘round 30 years ago during a significant real estate bust .

 

Hey now, ‘27 : speaking of Victoria’s waterfront, I enjoyed strolling it way back then. Came across what at the time was the worlds largest floating drydock. Wonder where it ranks in size now , if it even still exists ?    
             Your admiring, respectful Southern neighbor, locked out just across the border,     -     ‘Carl 

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6 hours ago, C Carl said:

Speaking of distorting atmospheres is a great lead in to mention the most remarkable positive environmental change I have seen in my life. You would have had to live in L.A. in the late ‘60s and into the ‘70s to understand the meaning of “smog”. Sunny cloudless day, the mountains a couple of miles away were invisible. Tears streaming down yer face as eyes burned from the toxic acidic filth polluting what you had no choice but to inhale.

Yes, I do for ONE reason, even though I never lived there to experience it!!

 

In 1965 when I was in early grade school, we had to draw a color picture of a landscape, or city skyline.  I chose to draw a picture of a city skyline, and selected BROWN oil pastel for the sky to be 'different' from the others in my class.  When our teacher came around to look at the progress on our work, she asked "How can you have a BROWN sky!!?!  Its either blue or black!"  I replied, the announcer on TV said on the news last evening "Los Angeles had another brown night..." and showed some scenes of the darkened skies in the areaWhen I saw some actual color photos of the LA sky in a Time magazine not long after, I was not far from wrong in my color selection.   Still, my teacher was NOT amused.  I wonder if she experienced that LA Smog for herself!!

 

Craig 

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On 4/3/2021 at 11:54 AM, padgett said:

Hint: ""If it's a 30-30, then it must be a Winchester""

We had a 30-30 Winchester on the farm. A Pre 64 which was machined rather than stamped. My Brother still has it. I have a 1948 model 32 also. Winchester, The gun that won the west. 

 

Computer stuff. In collage we had IBM PC 360's. The ancient tech of floppy disks. 

 

On the farm we went sort of backward when Dad decided to sell off the cows and get into draft horses. We searched old barns and hedge rows for equipment from the first half of the last century and older to use with the horses. Interesting life on the farm as I was able to experience old tech and new in my life time. Dandy Dave!    

 

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One change in our time that really didn't take hold as much as they (who every they was?) thought it would ,was the complete conversion over to the metric system..

It's very funny,it was a big annoying deal .

Now what,are we 20 or 25% diluted with it after 45 years?

 

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Our first cordless phone was in the early ‘90’s and was an analog in a big bag.  Paid $150.00 for it at a Boy Scout fundraiser.  Had it for three or four years until  it was hacked(remember phones being hacked?) and it got traded in on smaller hand held. My wife carried the family phone as she often had kids with her.  Now I have been trained not to leave the house without it. 🥴

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3 hours ago, Flivverking said:

One change in our time that really didn't take hold as much as they (who every they was?) thought it would ,was the complete conversion over to the metric system..

It's very funny,it was a big annoying deal .

Now what,are we 20 or 25% diluted with it after 45 years?

 


Man ! You sure got that right, Flivv’ ! Good one ! 
As a somewhat, or perhaps totally unique vehicular example : By chance I was at a “Landing Party” in Pasadena, CA for some Lockheed junk which was supposed to gently descend at a polar location on Mars. Not a run of the mill Mars probe, polar landings involve an extra set of celestial mechanical difficulties. Great anticipation in the hall. Bill Nye, (The Science Guy), was M.C. Quite a gathering ; I was sitting two seats over from Carl Sagan’s widow, Ann. Timely touchdown contact confirmation was not made, however signal acquisition can be delayed. Seconds, minutes went by. Some transient signal spurred hopes, enthusiastically cheered on by the Sci. Guy. Then silence. Murmurs turned to muted chatter, and folks began to nervously circulate and form sub groups. Since I normally don’t have access to such an erudite , professional group, I started to “Head Hunt” by I.D. tag in order to maximize my educational opportunity. Bagged a “big tag” for my personal, on topic, edification. Speaking of which, I really should share what I learned from this scientist :


I wondered what level of stratigraphic analysis this probe could have provided. The prominent gentleman whose time was valued in fractions of a minute, was kind and generous enough to engage in conversation with me, who am at best a gadfly. (Oh, and I did get about 1/2 - 3/4 of a minute in face time of an extremely nervous and dismayed Bill Nye - not a happy Guy, Science and otherwise). Anyway, at the time, there was some vague evidence going back to Schiaparelli and perhaps, later, Lowell, (what is that - maybe 150 years of visually recorded data ? - although that being sporadic), that Martian global climate variation could be in synch with that of our own wonderful planetary home. Polar stratigraphic analysis might be able to support this, or maybe not. At a series of amateur astronomy conventions spanning perhaps a decade or more, (this being a very long term hobby of mine), I had the pleasure of discussing this potentially  observed phenomenon with the late Dr. Donald Parker, the congenial and treasured Pride of Coral Gables , FL. Initially, Don had tentatively given some credibility to this theory due to his own observations, but as the years gave a longer term baseline, he felt that the evidence was extremely thin, if even present at all. He debunked it. If it had been so, the implications would have been profound. Name tag informed me that such capability was NOT - CORRECTION - NOT within the scope of this MIA , operational or not. Looked at me, and suggested I not hold my breath waiting. Such space borne machinery was unlikely to be developed in my lifetime. A manned expedition to a Martian pole with or without stratigraphic analysis capability would also remain science fiction for me. I definitely got my money’s worth from the benefit of disillusioned free association. 
 

Oh ? And the Lockheed junk ? I don’t think the taxpayers got their money’s worth. The governmentally bailed out failure of an inadequate aerospace company, (remember the L-1011, and the C5-A ?)  - please don’t take offense if you are one of the beneficiaries of this trough of government slop, and PRETTY PLEASE don’t shoot this humble messenger - had made a HUGE and inexcusable metrology error. The lander had in fact found its target spot , all right. Trouble is, it crashed there, rather than making a gentle landing. Turns out that the boys and girls at the ‘heed had mixed their yardsticks and meter sticks. They were unable to calculate the necessary deceleration thrust forces, BECAUSE THEY HAD UNKNOWINGLY MIXED AND SCRAMBLED KILOGRAM CENTIMETERS WITH FOOT POUNDS !!!!!!  Way to go !!!!!     ‘Member that’un ?      -    Spaced out, Cadillac Carl 

 

 

 

24 minutes ago, C Carl said:

 

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Thought it was feet vs meters and the landing motors cut too soon. Agree kinda stupid mistake. Of course people wondered why I started using cryptographic checksums when sending control programs.

Always liked the L-1011, was like a ballroom in the sky.

Don't suppose you would care to mention the DC10-10 in Chicago or the flipping V-22s ?

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1 hour ago, C Carl said:

Oh ? And the Lockheed junk ? I don’t think the taxpayers got their money’s worth. The governmentally bailed out failure of an inadequate aerospace company, (remember the L-1011, and the C5-A ?)  - please don’t take offense if you are one of the beneficiaries of this trough of government slop, and PRETTY PLEASE don’t shoot this humble messenger - had made a HUGE and inexcusable metrology error. The lander had in fact found its target spot , all right. Trouble is, it crashed there, rather than making a gentle landing. Turns out that the boys and girls at the ‘heed had mixed their yardsticks and meter sticks. They were unable to calculate the necessary deceleration thrust forces, BECAUSE THEY HAD UNKNOWINGLY MIXED AND SCRAMBLED KILOGRAM CENTIMETERS WITH FOOT POUNDS !!!!!!  Way to go !!!!!     ‘Member that’un ?      -    Spaced out, Cadillac 

The (in)famous "Gimli Glider" Boeing 767 airplane crash comes to mind: When a metric mix-up led to the 'Gimli Glider' emergency | CBC Archives

 

One can bet Boeing didn't expect their new on-board emergency generators to still give the pilots some directional control that automatically deployed squirrel cages to drop down under the wings upon engine loss to be tested "for real" so soon!!

 

Craig

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12 minutes ago, SC38DLS said:

C Carl. The Mars probe lost was a question on Jeopardy tonight. It was answered correctly!  


What an amazing coincidence, Dave ! It is not quite 5:30 way out here, so I will check it out !! About to plop in front of the tube for the news anyway. Is Aaron Rogers still at the helm ? I am a closet Packer fan out here in “‘ Hawk” territory. Guess my allegiance is smeared all over the place, as I am originally from Chicago !   Little like that verse form “Rocky Raccoon “.      “Her name was McGill, but she called herself Lill, but everyone knew her as Nancy”.       🥴😛,           -    C Carl,    a.k.a.  Cadillac Carl,   a.k.a.     (Just plain) Carl

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On ‎4‎/‎8‎/‎2021 at 12:01 PM, padgett said:

"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...

 

 

As long as you are trying to make the car do things it does not want to do you have a chance. Once you try to make the tires do what they don't want to do you are just going around in smokey circles. In the end it all comes down to grip.

 

Greg

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You realize I was the first to do a computer analysis of "unladen understeer" that led to late braking and "zero rear roll stiffness". Ever hear of a "Peterson box" ?

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I can't say I am familiar with a "Peterson box ". At least not by that name. I realize computer analysis is a great tool at the design stage. But there is still lots of track specific " dialing in " and  condition specific selection of tire compounds at the track. The computer is the start of the optimization process , but the seat of the pants and the stopwatch still determine how the car will be set up on a given day.  And it is all aimed at giving the car the best grip possible under as much of the dynamic envelope as possible.

 Then there is driver preference. A team with two "on paper" identical cars and two driver's will often have set up differences between the two cars.

 

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)
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a: is best known in the midwest. Developed it when we were short of pylons for an autocross. Is basically four pylons in a square with one in the middle. Depending on how you lay out the course it can have four entrances. Idea is to enter, miss the center pylon, and exit the opposite side. Many complained and would lift and swerve to miss until I took Warren's Econoline van and ran through at full chat (well as much as a 302 could do) in a straight line and without lifting.

b: in 1970/71 my PC was an IBM 370 and was told later was the first at GM modelling over 1 gee cornering for my 63 'vette (fortunately they did not know what I was doing). Guess this is another change in my lifetime

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No,in that case I definitely haven't heard of a "Peterson Box " . We only use the standard  "stop box " up here. Otherwise it's just all cones.

 I doubt any of my cars had any computers involved in their design. Both the open wheelers are old enough their designers just relied on incremental development and track results / driver feedback to develop the cars from year to year. Most of the British competition car designers up to the early 1980's did much the same. Same with the sports racer. It's the newest at 1978 but much of the chassis is drawn from Lola's FIA 2 litre car of about 5 years earlier. Just simplified for amateur racer budgets and driving ability.

The Auto - X car is based on a Lola T540. I think it's Lola's fourth generation Formula Ford , but there is a direct design progression from Lola's first Formula Junior car of the early 1960's right on up to Lola's last Formula Ford the T640 and T644. All are a fabricated tube structure with mostly unstressed fiberglass and alloy bodywork, the later floors are bonded on and riveted so are stressed.

 The big engine Lola's are quite a bit different ; usually monocoque, but well beyond my wallet or skill.

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4 hours ago, SC38DLS said:

C Carl. The Mars probe lost was a question on Jeopardy tonight. It was answered correctly!  


 

 

4 hours ago, C Carl said:


What an amazing coincidence, Dave ! It is not quite 5:30 way out here, so I will check it out !! About to plop in front of the tube for the news anyway. 


Well, I plopped. Same ol’  news. And then came a rather nasty amazing coincidence. Some days you just ................

 

 

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1 hour ago, padgett said:

1912: must be wonderful to be so certain about what was going on in the midwest in the early 70's

See here.

 

I was actually claiming total ignorance of what was happening in the Midwest in the early 1970's. Sorry for any misconception.

I know Beasley and co were building some very quick cars starting at about that time in the Midwest but that's about all I know.

 

 That's an interesting link. The courses in my area are often relatively simple and laid out in a fairly small space. We had use of part of a decommissioned airport many years ago but it was then reactivated and we lost the use of it. Quite a few years of just small spaces at shopping malls. More recently airport space again up until covid. But the course builders don't go as far as naming the particular features of the layout other than slalom sections and gates. Get a course map, walk the course , wait your turn. We are not SCCA affiliated locally so there are bound to be some differences.

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)
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In the sixties and 70s Florida had an abundance of abandoned airfields (Sebastian was popular, Florida state championship was usually held there) and the was an housing development that went broke after building the roads on Sugarloaf Key was one. And then we had PBIR (Palm Beach International Raceway). Was something going on every weekend. By the late 70s it was almost always SCCA Solo II. My Sunbird was twice Florida region champion and once Florida state champion.

 

Courses were often wide open and several times exceeded the ton on a long straight, Peterson box was often used to slow down a long straight. My Buick GS beat a lot of Z-28s in the midwest in the early 70s. Could just pin the nose on a pylon and just walk it around a 180. A Buick ? Wore out A Lot of tires.

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Possibly because of the comparatively small courses , locally the fast cars have generally been small and nimble.

The American production based cars just have too much weight.

That's why my car is Formula Ford based. Nice light chassis paired up with a alloy, hemi Renault engine and transaxle. { modified R16 TS, like a Gordini or Alpine without the sky high price tag }  Lowest practical weight and best engine placement.

Lotus Europa's  , Elan's and 7's can also do well. And a very heavily modified 105 E Anglia was for years one of the top local cars. Almost a British practice "Modsport "  Also a Brabham BT 21 was often FTD during my Bug Eye days .

 

Actually the car didn't even start off using a FF frame. It was actually based on a series 2 Lotus Europa. I gradually lightened and improved it { Colin Chapman " just add lightness" } and was going to fit FF rear suspension . The fellow I was buying the suspension from asked if I wanted the rest of the car as well , very little additional price as he wanted it gone. So the Europa body and frame evolved into a FF tube chassis and almost no body or heavy things like glass. How much more lightness can a guy add ?

 

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True, the Posches got bothered when beaten with an American car, part of the fun. Even better when I was running my E-type at Indianapolis Raceway Park, the Corvette chase car could no keep up (needed a pylon counter on the road course). Had A Lot of lap time at IRP.

 

Has me remembering things I had forgotten, guess was near 50 years ago.

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If you are talking about regular production " P " cars I am not really a fan either. But 50 years ago these were a force to be reckoned with.

910/8 Bergspyder, 2019, Porsche AG

Very " British " chassis combined with a cost no object German engine. Only a 2 litre , but reasonably fast. They could give more than a few American cars a run for the money despite the displacement handicap. The chassis is quite close to a Chevron B16. Or even a Lotus 23 of 15 years earlier.

 

 

Porsche 908 - Wikipedia

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They do , and it is.   Pretty outrageous cars , but the British cars could hold their own with much simpler powerplant's. Almost all the British cars of this era used one of the BDA derived series of 4 cylinder  Cosworth's.   Cheap and simple { compared to a Porsche racing engine } , and used by both factory cars and many privateer's . The Cosworth Ford ,Formula 1, DFV engine was essentially a pair of BDA's on a common crankcase to make a V8.

 My other open wheel car had a BDA when it was first built. For Formula 3 in England / Europe and SCCA Formula B over here.

I am setting it up as a Formula Ford. BDA's are based on the Ford "kent " , so you can bolt a Formula Ford engine in exactly the same spot as a BDA, or a Lotus Twin Cam for that matter.

 A much better match to my wallet and driving ability. That's the car I need some 4 x 4" , 5 1/2 inch wide wheels for. I have some lovely 8" and 10 " Gotti wheels that were on it when I bought it. But completely useless if I run it as a FF.

 At some point in the future I will put it back to original spec. But that will be when my time with it is over. It will probably end up back in the U.K where the Historic F3 series is very popular.

This is what it looked like for the first few years of its life. { #21 } Many changes now , but 99% of it reversible.

If you are familiar with Ford Cortina's or early Pinto's at all you will recognise the block design.

This engine is a late development, alloy block 2 litre version. But a Kent at heart. Just like in your grandmother's Cortina sedan.

Ted Wentz – Elden Racing Cars

Tech – The Cosworth BD engine. – Historic Motor Sport Central.

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