Nyquist Capital: Chinese Irrational Exuberance

Nyquist Capital
t’s a good (but paradoxical) thing when Communists start buying stock.

This is one of the blogs I read (via RSS) on a regular basis. Nyquist capital’s blog follows some industries I am involved with (namely Colocation facilities) and it was their insightful takes on a some industry news last year that caught my eye. Their occasional succinct but useful commentaries like this one keep me coming back.

Fix It Again…

The scene: In Nova Scotia, right about here on the 2001 Forza Mille. Sherman & Scott Wolff experienced an Italian flavored “failure to proceed” moment. I don’t recall the nature of their problem, but I do recall they were in an odd pair of vehicles: The one pictured above, and a eight-cylinder pre-war Packard.

The “name that car” photo above is way too easy, but hey, my little green British roadster from earlier in the week remains anonymous so maybe my readers NEED a dead giveaway. 😉

VW hopes to find oldest-running VW diesel in U.S. – Autoblog

Officially Official: VW unveils Jetta TDI in D.C. and hopes to find oldest-running VW diesel in U.S.

Volkswagen is searching for the oldest running Diesel VW in America. My very first car was a 1980 VW Rabbit Diesel. I loved that car. It carried me all over the American West during my college years (’81-’85)… many climbing and skiing roadtrips. I went to college in Lubbock, Texas and spent virtually every 3-day or longer weekend or holiday break in Colorado (Estes Park and Boulder being the favored locales), or New Mexico (Taos mostly… staying at the Abominable Snowmansion Hostel in Arroyo Seca!)

It was never a very fast car. I got a speeding ticket once (a federal offence… long story, some other time, I promise) where I was clocked at 74 MPH on flat ground and was astonished it could go that fast. 0-60 was clocked in minutes, not seconds. But these were the 55 days, so we couldn’t go 60 anyway. Patience was the virtue the car taught me. Passing required plenty of forethought and a lot of good timing. I learned aerodynamics too as I frequently drafted off of big 18-wheelers, both for passing assistance and just dealing with headwinds. Truckers seemed OK with it so long as I let them know I was back there.

It taught me frugality as well, since it faithfully carried me from Lubbock to Boulder (575 miles) for under $10.

My only mechanical issue with the car was an alternator bolt that slipped out while I was underway in a remote New Mexico highway. I walked up and down that road for hours looking for the bolt, and never could find it. I rigged up a climbing chock to wedge the alternator housing off the engine and keep the belt under tension and limped the 70 or so miles into the next town to a NAPA. This was a very small town, in a very remote place, and even though my car was built in Pennsylvania (yes, VW was the first “import” to have a factory in the USA) they didn’t carry any metric fasteners and I had to make do with an SAE bolt and a shim. The shim rattled out at some point later down the road and the bolt wobbled just enough to enlarge the softer metal of the “bracket”… which on a VW Diesel of that vintage was cast into the block of the engine. Needless to say it became a persistent issue as I kept having to put larger and larger bolts in. I eventually found a machine shop (somewhere in rural Montana IIRC) with a guy willing to drill both the alternator and the block to a metric size and properly fit a bolt in there. I doubt that car is still running on the original engine.

I traded it in on a Mk2 Golf GTI in early ’87. The old rabbit had well over 120,000 miles on it. I should dig up my old photos of it and post a Roger Los style obituary for it.

Another Nervous Breakdown

Sorry for the lack of postings of late… I’ve been sick as a dog.

Anyway, in today’s Car Photo of the Day the “breakdown” theme continues. Here it wasn’t so much a breakdown as a near-catastrophe of Hindenburgian proportions. This car ran over a chunk of rebar, which punctured the (full!) gasoline tank, which emptied itself rather quickly. THANKFULLY for all involved, this was not a Hollywood movie, or there would have been a huge explosion. Fortunately it was merely the annual running of the Colorado Grand.

Anyone know the car?

Oh No! Why is this man smiling?

That’s me, emerging from underneath my father’s 1954 Jaguar XK 120 OTS, holding what remains of the v-belt.

We were participating in and LEADING the 2003 New England 1000 Vintage Rally when the old-old Jag threw the belt and we ended up accruing enough penalty time to grow an oak tree from an acorn. No, wait, we were in Quebec… grow a Maple tree from a helicopter. Oh well.

Like all adventures, it was made all the more memorable by adversity!

Anyway, we were zipping along at above the legal limit having just passed a telco repair van when the belt shredded in a puff of rubber particulate and a death rattle that would make the Grim Reaper smile. It was frightfully hot for a June day in Quebec and the old XK motor inside that tight compartment was WAY too hot to touch. Getting the belt off was tough, but replacing it was impossible until the car cooled down significantly. We sat by the side of the road speaking really bad French to Quebeckers who spoke really bad English and managed to get a replacement belt (I always carry two in my Jag… dad carried one, and it was the wrong size!) and get it installed… eventually.

Never a dull day when driving vintage iron.