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Topics - bakes

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Racing Discussion / Any former S/360 crewmen around?
« on: January 05, 2017, 11:03:46 PM »
Jim Martel is restoring the former Carter/Warren 44 - Diffendorf S/360 "Flying Cockroach" sedan and is looking for anyone who may have worked on the car back in the day.  More info here...

Racing Discussion / 85 Ideas Every Race Track Should Try
« on: October 23, 2015, 02:01:37 PM »

Mandee is Billy Pauch's daughter IIRC.  Some good ideas in there...

After reading about what is happening at Lancaster and the car counts at Shangri-La II, I was reminded about a column written a few days ago by 3Wide over at 3Wide's Picture Vault.  I'm linking to it below with permission;  it's a great read and IMO every single fan and promoter out there would benefit from listening to it.

Racing Discussion / Herb Harvey Speedway (Lemon, PA)
« on: January 20, 2013, 11:30:59 AM »
Anyone know if the current owner of the speedway allows people to wander around the junkyard?  Good junkyards are becoming more and more rare, and that one looks like it may hold some neat stuff... maybe an old stock car or three?

Racing Discussion / Oswego
« on: June 18, 2011, 05:27:35 PM »
Per Pinner's, there are 29 supers in the pits tonight.   Yes, 29... for a regular show.

Just two years ago they were happy to get 17 or 18 cars.  A lot of this has to do with the Torrese brothers buying the place, putting a lot of work and money into it, and generating a serious and positive buzz about the future of the speedway.  Pretty amazing turnaround. Can't wait to make it there later this year.

Racing Discussion / Sidelines Roll Call - who's idle and why?
« on: June 28, 2010, 09:10:29 PM »
OK, a lot of the "where are the cars?" got me to thinking (dangerous, yeah, I know)...

- If you have a car and are not running it this year, what is the class?

- What is the reason that you're not running it?  Sponsorship?  Gate costs?  Tire costs?  Low purse?  No help?  No time?  Dislike the French fries in the pits?  Promoter or other competitor cheesed you off?

- If it's been idle for a long time, what could a promoter do to get you to the track?

There have to be a few dozen street stocks and probably as many Modifieds in garages out there that would be on the track in different times.  Maybe if there's a specific reason (other than the obvious "lack of money") that would get a few more cars onto the track, we could find it and go from there.

Off Topic Discussion / What really killed the US auto industry...
« on: October 07, 2009, 01:18:50 PM »
It's not the unions or the designers or the engineers... nope. It comes down to something more basic:  beancounters.

You know the type, if you work in any corporate structure:  the bureaucrat whiose sole job is to control costs no matter what the outcome and, when you bring up something to counter his worldview, he brings up data from "focus groups" or "research."

These are the people who take the original intent of the designers and make it "cost effective for production."  For example, hideous as it was, here's the original Pontiac Aztek show car:

And here's the dowdy looking production version:

Want to know what happened between the two pictures?  Some whiny middle nmanagement guy with a bad suit said "Hmmm, noooo, that hood's gonna cost too much, if you use a standard understructure we'll save $30.00 per unit" and "Hmmm, nooo, the stainlesss steel effect on the roof rails will cost $8.50 per unit, it has to go, hmm..."   

Bits and pieces add up, and you end up with a road-going pig of a car.  People don't buy it because they don't want to be seen in it - yet if they would have left some of the more interesting details in place people would be more likely to buy it or consider buying it, even if it cost $200 more because it seems like a car designed to be what it is, niot de-contented to meet some price point set by a know-nothing manager.

Which leads me to a second and related issue - they just out-think themselves.  Take nameplates for example.  Everyone here has a mental image of what a Buick LeSabre or a Pontiac Grand Am or a Ford Taurus is.  We *know* what they are.  So in comes some marketing genius who says "We need something to really let people know that this is a new car!  Let's change the name!!!"   


So we get things like a Buick Lacrosse - the hell size car is that?  Ford 500?  Is that a car or a Nascar race?  G6? Way to build name equity.  Do you see Honda changing the names on its Accord or Toyota on its Camry?   No, and for good reason - they *get* it.  Ford comes out with something called a Flex:

No, I'm sorry, I grew up at Ford dealers and that thing there is a Country Sedan, unless there's panelling on it, then it's a Country Squire.

Think back a few years.  Chevy had the Malibu for 20 years.  Out comes the new model and they call it... CORSICA!  HAH?!?!?!?  And it differs from a Celebrity... how?  Two cars fighting for the same market at the same dealership at the same time, all because some GM beancounter wanted to amortize the tooling cost of the Celebrity soi they kept it in production for 100 years.

Which leads me to my final point - people know when you rehash old cars, Mr. Beancounter. Cavaliers were good cars at first - then they kept it in production for 20 years.  Yes, they put new sheetmetal on it, but underneath it's the same, and you're not going to sell many old new cars when there's a brand new Corolla across the street.  People know what old lfeels like.  The infernal part is that GM developed and sold its replacement in Europe - twice! - during the original's lifespan.  Wonder what the cost of bringing that tooling over would have been as opposed to the cost of facelifting the tired old dog they had here.  Bet the beancounter would know, down to the penny.  Yes, changes would eed to be made to meet federal regulations, but still - how many more of the truly new cars would they have sold?

Look at the new Focus.  Doors look familar?  Thought so.  Rehash.  There's a new Focus on sale in Europe, but again, Mr. Beancounter has a better idea.

The funny part?  I just rented a new Malibu for a few days, and it's a fine car.  The only issue I had with it was a GM peculiarity that needs to be destroyed as quickly as possible:  autolocking doors.  Kill this.

rant over...

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