They ran the company with prudence for 100 years, then ignored technology and buried it in ten.

They ran the company with prudence for 100 years, then ignored technology and buried it in ten.

Robots at the front desk and in the kitchen are among the fears prompting a possible strike this month by Las Vegas hotel and casino workers. It is yet another example reflecting the speed and pervasiveness of new technologies, to say nothing of software advances that will continue to disrupt most traditional industries. —<>— In 1998 Eastman Kodak comprised 170,000 employees and sold 85 percent of the photo paper used worldwide. Then their business model failed, and the company filed for bankruptcy protection in 2012. Kodak’s fate is likely to repeat in many industries within the next 10 years. Ironically, it was a Kodak engineer, Steven Sasson, who, in 1975, invented and built the first self-contained electronic camera. The first models embodied only 10,000 pixels and its development followed Moore’s law. Thus, as with most exponential technologies, it was discouraging at first before becoming superior and inevitably ubiquitous. Similarly by the early 1960s, the British motorcycle industry was in a state of collapse. The Birmingham-based Norton company won the inaugural Isle of Man TT in 1907 and by the 1930s had assumed total domination, winning 14 Junior and Senior TTs with remarkable single-cylinder supermacy in that decade alone. But after WWII, they and their British competitors refused to anticipate the prospects of superior multi-cylinder Italian engines built by Moto Guzzi, Gilera and MV Agusta, which were followed by similar advances by the Japanese. Better an emblem of progress than to perish in obscurity. The familiar process of change currently persists with advancements in Artificial Intelligence, autonomous and electric cars, health, education, 3D printing, agriculture and employment. Uber, for example, is just...
The woman who mastered the LS Fest…twice

The woman who mastered the LS Fest…twice

By Martha Maglone: Brenda Cox has a gift for drag racing. In Bracket and Index events in 2017, she won two NMCA races back-to-back at the Auto Club Dragway in Fontana, California, and conspicuously repeated the double triumph by winning the LS Fest West in Las Vegas in 2017, the inaugural event, and again in 2018. Performing two passes at 12.25sec and another at 12.26, she recorded the most consistent series of runs of the entire event. She also won Best Package in the Three Pedals Rumble LSX class. An index contest co-sponsored by TorqStorm, she claimed ownership of one of the Michigan firm’s finest supercharger kits as well as winning the title, trophy and prize money. The best package, which applied to the first round of competition, refers to the driver’s Reaction Time and deviation from Dial-in. “You add your reaction time,” she explains, “to the amount you ran over on your dial-in. Well, I was .045 over on my dial-in, and when you add that amount to the reaction time (.174), my total package was .219.” Brenda, from Victorville, California, has been participating in the sport for the past 12 years. She purchased a new GTO in 2005 and began racing it the following year. “A friend invited me to an event at Fontana and I was hooked!” “I love my racing—I was thrilled by the way things turned out in Las Vegas,” she said. But winning successive events is quite the achievement. So, how did she manage it? “My level of concentration at the lights has probably been my greatest strength,” she replied.  On her last...
The 4-link system – credit where due please!

The 4-link system – credit where due please!

In response to our Don Garlits article of 12 Nov 2013 on the pioneering of the rear-engine dragster, one of our readers, Mr D. Smith, made this noteworthy comment concerning the invention of drag racing’s ubiquitous four-link system: Connie Swingle, who was instrumental in many of Garlits’ successes, was sharp, but Jerry Dawson of St Louis was clearly one of the first to build a rear-engine dragster. I have a faint recollection that Dawson and Connie knew each other. Sadly, intelligent inventors don’t always receive the credit they deserve. I conceived and produced the first billet 4-link system. It was adjustable in 1/8in increments. Although pictures were featured in an issue of an 1998 National Dragster after we debuted the design at the US Nationals on Labor Day weekend, it took NHRA a few issues before publishing it. Then miraculously, 3-plus years later, Don Ness is credited with inventing and patenting the first 4-link system with infinite adjustment. Actually, those were my exact words to National Dragster’s writer who wrote that exact phrase in the N/D issue, which featured a full-page article on the race car. Don’s patent used my exact verbiage to describe what everyone with an NHRA Dragster subscription saw years earlier. God bless Don, for Lord knows we all copied many of his innovative ideas. But he certainly copied mine, has sold millions of dollar’s worth of my intellectual property, and will continue to receive the credit because he patented it. Stealing intellectual properties is not just restricted to the dubious acts of foreign countries, it happens here everyday....
41st Classic Motorsports Mitty presented by Hagerty:

41st Classic Motorsports Mitty presented by Hagerty:

An annual festival celebrating historic and vintage racing. By Vic Moore:   It was Lord Melbourne’s unfaithful wife who said of Byron—he’s mad, bad, and dangerous to know. This was how I felt about Road Atlanta nearly two decades ago when I first took to the track in a 1-liter Suzuki GSXR-powered Radical D-sport. Reaching a 1m: 33s lap time took forever to accomplish and later persuading it into the twenties, with 1,300lbs and few of today’s aero efficiencies, was faster than I wanted to travel. At the track’s fastest point, on the back straight after it veers gently left and then plunges down into the second-gear left/right kink, Turn 10, the Radical reached 127mph. Then pointing northward, it was swiftly up the hill and under the bridge overlooking the track’s administrative building. At ever increasing speed, the car swept down the other side to conclude another lap, motoring through Turn 12 with its defiant bump awkwardly positioned on the racing line as well as a required gear change. But it was on the other side of the track, when rushing down through Turns 3 and 4 and the Esses in the wet that still reverberates in the memory. In those conditions, if the car touched a curb on the way down the mountainside it was instantly out of control and onto the grass and then… who knows. To those of us with mediocre talent but determined to press on anyway, it was intimidating but that’s precisely why the challenges of those Road Atlanta races, particularly those held in inclement conditions, remain burned into the consciousness. Like the adventures...
TorqStorm’s new facility, its grounding, and its foray into Drifting

TorqStorm’s new facility, its grounding, and its foray into Drifting

By Alfie Bilk: TorqStorm Superchargers has announced it is selling its existing 10,000sq ft premises in Wyoming, Michigan and purchasing a new building of 25,000sq ft located about two miles away at 2909 Buchanan Avenue. They hope to take possession by August 2018. The company was founded and developed by two car enthusiasts, Chris Brooker and Scott Oshinski, with life-long affection for power and speed. Together they own Accelerated Tooling LLC, a successful CNC-machine shop housed in the same building as their supercharger enterprise. Pioneering a centrifugal supercharger Both Brooker and Oshinski emerged from the tool and die profession where precision and thoroughness is foremost. Predictably, when they had built the initial prototypes, they tested them for over two years before releasing their new designs for sale in 2009. Adding an independent oiling system to the supercharger was regarded as essential from the earliest design stage, and Brooker was adamant that the product should be covered by a lifetime warranty. But the unit’s central provisions are its sturdy blend of billet aluminum components and its ability to produce about 40 percent power increase over base with 7psi of boost pressure. Also, the supercharger’s rampant power is generated barely off idle. With its turbo-inspired compressor wheel, it commonly builds boost as early as 1,800rpm and continues with gusto to 6,500. Light, robust, energy-dense and most enticingly of all, the TorqStorm at $2,800 is inexpensive. In 2017 the company enjoyed its most productive year to date.   Drifting: The flourish of youth, a TorqStorm supercharged LS-powered Nissan and its eye-catching livery for Formula Drift 2018     In the higher tiers...
Kaase goes off-shore with Miss Geico.

Kaase goes off-shore with Miss Geico.

By Ben Mozart: Have you ever read online discussions on off-shore power boat racing?  For the young and the young at heart, it seems to offer an irresistible future, an intoxicating new world they wish to be part of. For Kaase, the prospects of entering this new world came in 2015 when his engine shop was approached by the West Palm Beach-based Miss Geico power boat racing team. Though the team’s engines were fast they were not always reliable, so their crew chief, Gary Stray, then contesting his fifth season with Miss Geico in the premier class, flew to Kaase’s north Georgia location for discussions. His race boat team urgently needed an injection of top-flight talent. Stray (48), who’s in charge of Miss Geico’s entire engineering operations of which the engine package is a major part, knew his engines’ architecture would be a departure from Kaase’s normal fare. Geico’s power is derived from two 550cid V8 twin-turbocharged engines in each boat configured with double overhead cams, each generating 2,000hp and operating with fly-by-wire throttle control and boost control. So, he predicted a steep learning curve for any race engine shop that didn’t know boats. But Stray also knew of Kaase’s meticulous preparation and race engine history, including the numerous diverse power units that distinguished themselves so well in the national Engine Masters Challenge events. “We gave him all the data from the boat and other info we’d learned,” said Stray, “and he began attending the races with us to see how everything worked. We race Class 1 boats—which is an unlimited class, meaning you can race whatever you desire....
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