California Hot Rod Reunion® at Bakersfield

California Hot Rod Reunion® at Bakersfield

Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the California Hot Rod Reunion® presented by Automobile Club of Southern California is a BIG deal since those folks 25-years ago just thought we were going to do it only once! The Reunion continues to be the venue to renew old friendships, meet the legends and your heroes, and just have a great time. Whether you’re a first-timer, or can boast you have been to them all, you’ll enjoy quarter-mile nitro nostalgia racing, a giant vendor midway and an eclectic swap meet. You’ll need three days to take it all in! The Reunion is just $25 per day, or if you buy in advance of October 7th, you can save $10 over gate admission on a three-day event ticket. You’ll also get a goodie bag filled with the collectible 25th anniversary event program, dash plaque, souvenir badge/schedule, lanyard, and more. On behalf of the Museum and our Reunion sponsors: Automobile Club of Southern California, Good Vibrations Motorsports, Dynamat  and Racepak, we hope you join us for this special silver anniversary! October 21-23, 2016 – Friday – Sunday, Auto Club Famoso Raceway, Bakersfield, CA   Tickets available by phone (800) 884-6472 or online. For more information and a list of events go to:...
Harmonic balancers: Free advice on selecting them

Harmonic balancers: Free advice on selecting them

By Archie Bosman:  It’s easy to underestimate the cost of a deficient harmonic balancer. But they can have a profound effect on the fortunes of the able race engine—a natural enemy of crank and bearings. With the engine running, camshafts and crankshafts vibrate torsionally (in twist) and, as the saying goes, for every action there’s a reaction. Camshafts are affected by the forces related to the opening and closing of the valves while crankshafts by the combustion events. Each time the cylinders fire, torque is imparted to the crank, causing deflections—twisting it as much as 2 degrees. All of this partially complicates the timing of the valve openings as well as the cam and ignition timing to say nothing of the oppressive conditions in which the crank operates. As a result of the vibrations and deflections in both shafts, a harmonic balancer or damper is connected to the crank to absorb them. Vibrations are at their highest when furthest from the flywheel. Hence dampers are mounted on the front of the crank. Yet, on historic and vintage race engines often there was no provision at the front of the crank to mount a damper. Consequently, they might use a custom elastomer or tunable pendulum damper at the rear of the crank near the clutch.   Resonance At certain engine speeds the torques imparted by the cylinders are in sync with the vibrations in the crankshaft, which results in a potentially destructive phenomenon known as resonance. This resonance can cause stress beyond what the crank can endure, resulting in crankshaft failure due to fatigue. Robert Bartlett of the noted historic...
There’s road racing…then there’s Irish road racing!

There’s road racing…then there’s Irish road racing!

By Victor Moore: When Stirling Moss, the 1950’s Formula One sensation, was asked how he compared today’s F1 competition with motorcycle racing’s MotoGP, he said F1 is interesting, MotoGP is exciting. He’s right, for how can any form of racing excite when there’s the likelihood that one of two cars will invariably win. And mostly it’s been this way in F1 for decades. Not so in bike racing however. MotoGP and its two subordinate classes, Moto 2 and Moto 3, leave you balanced on the edge of your seat from the moment the start lights extinguish. As 93,000 fans poured into the Sachsenring circuit earlier this month for the German Grand Prix, motorcycle racing, especially in Europe, rides high on the wave of public exuberance. And then there’s Irish motorcycle road racing, an eccentric hundred-year-old tradition that functions by applying to local councils for permission to close public roads for several hours during which time road racing can be conducted. You might have thought such racing to be extinct such is its potential danger. Not a bit – and what’s more its entry ranks are overflowing. With Superbikes reaching speeds approaching 180mph and negotiating their paths between five-inch curbs, concrete walls and pillars and lighting poles, painted lines, manhole covers, recessed water drain grates, varying road surfaces…well, if you think MotoGP is exciting this is something quite other! The Race of the South is long established, probably started in the 1970s. Now held deep in the County Westmeath countryside, the venue is known as Walderstown, a region of rural beauty not far from Athlone. Located about three-quarters of an hour’s...
Women Welders at the Lincoln Motor Company, circa 1918.

Women Welders at the Lincoln Motor Company, circa 1918.

By Martha Maglone: Ninety-nine years ago, in Dearborn, Michigan, engineer Henry M. Leland and his son Wilfred established a car production company and called it Lincoln, paying homage to the former US President. The company produced its first automobile in 1917, the luxurious V8-powered Lincoln Model L. But as the United States was still engaged in World War I, its principal source of income relied upon military contracts, notably the assembly of Liberty V12 aircraft engines. Alas, during the 1920s Lincoln found itself on its beam ends. Severe financial burdens had forced it into bankruptcy. This misfortune proved to be both glorious retribution and opportunity for Henry Ford, who purchased the company in early 1922. Retribution because Leland had earlier driven Ford out of his second company; opportunity because Henry harbored a desired to have his own luxury car company. Lincoln with its reputation for the production of fine vehicles and limousines has remained a subsidiary of the Ford Motor Company...
How steering columns relate to ergonomics:

How steering columns relate to ergonomics:

Making hot rods a pleasure to live with. By Ben Mozart: If you aspire to own or build a great hot rod, especially a street rod, never take the positioning of a steering column for granted. Variations in cockpit and seat dimensions, particularly seat height, as well as steering wheel design and human proportions play an important role. However enticing the photographs of a machine may be, it is almost impossible to discover if it qualifies on all these counts unless you sit in the vehicle and test it for yourself. Exact steering column location is indispensable. Dave Cattalini of Roy Brizio Street Rods, a company based in South San Francisco that has built 300-plus street rods, reveals their formula. In the trade, they often speak of “drop”, which means the distance between the dash and the steering column. “Where will the seat be mounted?” asks Cattalini. “What is your height—are you 5 feet or are you 6 feet? Do you have short or long arms? Are you using a flat or a dished steering wheel? How much reach do you prefer—you don’t want the wheel to be placed too close or too far away, do you?” To answer these questions Cattalini urges the following: “Get a wooden dowel like a closet pole and to simulate the steering wheel, attach a pie plate to its upper end. Move the mock steering assembly about until you achieve the optimum layout. Then use a piece of 3/4in tape to hold it in place.” While the tape acts as your temporary drop link you can measure your column length, remembering to add...