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Tags » ‘operator’

I was emailed by a car model maker who wanted to know about the Howard Hughes Duesenburg he modified to tow gliders, and learned he has the only 1958 Moskvitch in the USA, and wow, what a story

August 11th, 2017 by admin

a retiring sea captain bought a 1958 Moskvitch in Amsterdam, and had it shipped to Los Angeles, where the customs guys bounced it right back… nothing was SAE approved… no lights, electrical, or glass.

But when some Mongo went to forklift it back onto the ship, both forks went into the doors.

Maybe it was a reaction to the Sputnik fear. Who knows.

But the car was taken to a repair shop in Ensenada before the ship headed back to return the car to point of origin, and was going to get the doors fixed.

But it was stolen, and driven into LA. Yeah, complete opposite of what happens to cars in LA, when stolen, and taken to Tijuana.

It was stripped and abandoned in LA, and the cops impounded the hulk, and it went to a junkyard. The junkyard operator thought it was kinda neat, got it running (remember, it was barely ever used since being bought) and when some DMV employee friend asked to borrow a car, and this was the best option in the junkyard, the DMV guy got some paperwork to make the car legal.

Later, another acquaintence in AAA did a paperwork trick to make the car legal, and the Moskvitch was suddenly a legit California titled car.

So it was occassionally used as a backup or loaner car, but as years passed, it sat in the junkyard and rusted. Just hanging out in a corner. Until the junkyard was finally closed as the operator retired, and moved to Hemet (between Riverside and San Diego on the I 15) when it was finally put up for sale in the newspaper.

Then it was finally acquired by Gary, who took it with him when transferred to a new job in Texas, and diligently restored it, even when it was part of a sudden disappearance of all the cars in the paint shop as the owner went out of business, and was found miles away in a barn… and then finally Gary took it to car shows. Such as the one on an Air Force base… where someone freaked out that Gary may have mentioned he was in frequent contact with a parts supplier of communist political affiliation (this was the 80s and cold war paranoia was nuts, just look at the goofy movies we made about that whole era) and the FBI stopped by to ask some questions.

Obviously, the FBI agents realized what a gaffe had been made, laughed it off, and Gary has continued to bring his 1958 Russian car to concours condition the hard way in the many years since 1981.

And since I’m in a hurry to tell you this story instead of waiting for him to email me some photos, I’ll just post this right now. Photos to come later, I hope.

Here is the original:
I was emailed by a car model maker who wanted to know about the Howard Hughes Duesenburg he modified to tow gliders, and learned he has the only 1958 Moskvitch in the USA, and wow, what a story

Gray Drum Drive 1918 tractor

July 23rd, 2016 by admin

The large drum on this tractor was used for traction to by pass Caterpillar patents. The wide drum on this tractor also prevented the soil from compacting.The entire engine in this tractor slid forward or backward to speed up or reverse the tractor’s direction.

The Gray Tractor Company of Minneapolis, Minnesota was one of dozens of companies trying to make it big in the tractor business in the teens and 1920s. What set the Gray apart from its competitors was the large drum which took the place of rear wheels. According to company advertising, the drum offered ten advantages: “Simplicity of construction; does away with all bevel gears and differential; distributes weight over a larger surface; avoids packing of the soil and injury to seed bed; ideal for soft and wet land; gives double traction surface; supplies more power to the drawbar; produces a never-slip grip; affords easy steering and turning; and rolls everything flat before plows.”2

One Gray owner agreed with at least some of these claims. Roy Mitchell and two partners bought an 18-36 HP Gray tractor in Winnipeg during the summer of 1918 and drove it out to the farm two miles south of Headingly, Manitoba. Mitchell said he hauled four-wheel tractors out with his Gray “when they got down so bad in the mud in the gumbo soil in the Red River Valley.”3 He went on to say that the Gray was good for travelling through snow. Mitchell took his Gray tractor with him when he moved to Star City, Saskatchewan in 1927.

There were two practical problems with the Gray drum drive tractor. One was that, given the wide bearing surface of the drum and consequent low soil pressure, the tractor bumped over every stone it encountered, and in many applications, it would hit just about every stone in the field.

Connecticut has found a new way to tax the drivers… snowy car tickets.

February 20th, 2014 by admin

State Police are aggressively ticketing drivers who ignore Connecticut’s new “ice missile” law, which requires motorists to remove all snow and ice from their vehicles.

Since the law took effect Jan. 1, state police have issued at least 230 tickets to truckers and motorists who were driving snow-covered vehicles. At $120 per summons — the fine is $75 plus $45 in various surcharges — that amounts to $27,600 in tickets in a month and a half.

If snow is on a vehicle and it comes off, you’re responsible,” Vance said.

Vance could not break down the number of tickets issued to motorists and truck drivers, who face the added burden of clearing snow from tall trailers not easily accessible from the ground.

According to the law, drivers must “remove any accumulated ice or snow from such motor vehicle, including the hood, trunk and roof of such motor vehicle, so that any ice or snow accumulated on such vehicle does not pose a threat to persons or property while the vehicle is being operated on any street or highway of this state.”

The law was passed in 2010 but implementation was delayed to Jan. 1, 2014, to allow the public to become aware of the regulation and for trucking companies to develop ways to remove snow from big rigs.

If snow falls off a passenger car and damages another vehicle or causes an accident, the operator can be fined $200. Commercial drivers face a $500 fine.

Found on

And that is my news for the day

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Connecticut has found a new way to tax the drivers… snowy car tickets.