Watts With Electric Motorcycles ?

Porsche 618 Concept

You probably know
that many of my
posts have been
inspired by conversations
I have with folks
in the gym….

I guess it’s
natural enough, right?

BMW LS-218

Ok –
so I’ll tell ya
what’s not natural…
for me, at least.

Electric Motorcycles.

No.

Oh sure, according to
a gym buddy of mine,
they’re the next big
thing.

They’re sleek, smooth
riding, quick, light, and
simple to operate.

And there’s certainly
been some solid
entries in the category
already.

Bultaco “Rapitan”

I saw a electric Lotus
motorcycle at a car
show, and it not only
looked like something
from outer space, but
it woulda been a bitch
to ride- offering so
much power to the
throttle instantaneously
you’d need to strap
yourself to it to
stay on.

(of course, they
weren’t giving
test rides, but
yoweeeee. )

Voxan “Wattman”

There’s a new
electric street bike
by Voxan they’re
talking about now;
the “Wattman” is
a 200 horsepower
beast that will get
you 0 to 100 mph
in less than 6 secs-
again, though, it
looks like you could
ride it to Mars.

Harley-Davidson “Live Wire”

Harley-Davidson’s
fixin’ to release the
“Live-Wire” in
August, 2019-
which is supposed
to be blazing fast
(0-60 MPH in 3 secs) –
with a range that
averages about 120
miles per charge.
If you don’t look
hard at it, you might
think they brought
back the Buell, but,
still, the $30,000 price
tag is bound to
shock you.

Brutus V9

If you’re throwing around
that kinda money,
(you know, like for
a Christmas gift ) then
maybe the Brutus V9 is
more my speed, anyway –
it looks like a traditional
cruiser, has a top end
around 115 MPH, and
gets about 250 miles
per charge; chicks
not included.

Fuell Flow 1S

Oh, speaking of Buell –
well, Erik Buell
is back in the
motorcycle business,
and his electric Fuell
“Flow 1S” will become
available in 2
versions, a 15 HP
and a 47 HP .

And, if you’re
more into dirt
than asphalt,
the Zero FX

Zero ” FX “

Stealthfighter
can be had
for under
$10,000 – 44 horses of
pure voltaic power with
70 foot pounds of torque
driving only 280 pounds
of bike – which really
only means a faster
crunch and munch
to me.

Yamaha PES-1

Yamaha has one too…
it’s the PES-1, with a
readily replaceable
lithium battery pack.
No price on that, yet,
but it does look more
like an honest to
goodness dirt bike,
anyway.

BMW’s street entry,
the Lightning LS218,
is a natural for the
Autobahn –
and the world’s
fastest production
electric motorcycle:

BMW “Lightning” LS-218

200 horsepower
means a stunning,
hang-on-for-dear-life
0 to 60 MPH in 2
seconds flat.

Now you see it,
now you don’t.

And that brings up my
main problem with
electric motorcycles —
they’re so quiet and
powerful that you can
become a rather
large bug-splatter

BMW ER-80 Concept

– on somebody’s pickup
truck who was changing
lanes unexpectedly
without the driver even
noticing you were there.

I want to be seen,
and I want to be heard.

I want that V-twin rumble
to be felt in any surrounding
cage driver’s bottom when
I’m sharing the road with
them.

Honda Electric Concept

And all of these bikes
are almost noiseless
and vibration-free.

So, despite the
amazing speed,
simplicity, and
smooth glide;
at least for this rider,
electric motorcycles
are still a piece of high
technology that I don’t
want or need, thanks,
anyway.

!!! HOY !!!

.

Yamaha Gen-Yu Electric Concept

 

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The Jaguar ‘E’ Type

The great car engineer
and designer Enzo Ferrari
called it : “the most beautiful
car made
“.

The Museum of Modern Art
in New York City recognized
the E-Type’s importance by
adding a Series 1 XKE to
its permanent design collection-
one of only six automobiles
so distinguished.

It is no overstatement
to say that one cannot
consider a list of the
landmark top 10 sports
cars of the 20th century
without including the
Jaguar ‘E’ type.

Available between
1961 and 1975,
the ground breaking
Jaguar ‘E’ type (known
in the United States as
the ‘XKE’) was truly a
performance icon.

Series 1 : Made
between 1961 and 1968,
it was available in three
body styles, all two doors-
a fastback coupe,
a roadster, and
beginning in 1966,
a 2+2 coupe with an
optional automatic
transmission.
All were equipped
with a straight six
engine, originally
a 3.8 liter, but in late
1964, a 4.2 liter making
about 265 horsepower.
Type ‘1.5’ designates a
1968 series 1 car with
modifications anticipating
some of the changes
made in the upcoming
Series 2, like the twin
carb set-up.

Series 2: Made between
1968 and 1971, this series
was largely Jaguar’s response
to new automotive regulations
in the United States –
it’s performance was de-tuned
and the three SU carburetors
used in Series I models were
replaced by two Stromberg
carbs, reducing horsepower
to just over 260. The front
grill was widened for cooling
purposes, headlight covers
were removed, and a
wrap-around rear safety
bumper was added.

Series 3: Made between
1971 and 1975, this series
is primarily remembered
as the “E” types with the
new Jaguar V-12 engine
and quad Zenith carbs,
making about 270 horsepower,
although a few series-3 cars
were ordered with the 4.2 liter
straight 6. (WHY?) The E-Type
was no longer available in a
two seater fastback coupe –
but the 2+2 coupe and the
roadster were still offered.
The redesign had several
advantages to buyers-
more comfortable seats,
better grip from wider tires,
faster acceleration and top
end than the Series 2, and
improved interior spaces.

The E-Type ended
production in 1975-
49 of the last 50 cars
made received a
commemorative
dashboard plaque,
and a black paint
scheme with chrome
wheels.

According to automotive
sources, in 2020, Jaguar
will release it’s “Concept-Zero”
E-Type to the marketplace .

This car, based on a revival of
the 1968 E-Type 1.5, will be
an all electric, zero emissions
vehicle, able to accelerate
from 0-60 in 5.5 seconds,
and have a range of over
160 miles before recharging.

!! HOY !!

.

Plymouth Valiant – 1st Generation – 1960-1962

valiantThe Plymouth Valiant,
built by the Chrysler
Corporation for the
U.S. market between
1960 and 1976, never
received much attention
from critics or auto
fanatics – despite
Road & Track calling
it “… one of the best
all-around domestic cars. “

(not to be confused
with the Australian
made ‘Chrysler Valiant’)

Today’s post deals
with the
“first generation”
of Valiants –
manufactured
from 1960-1962.

Originally planned as
a stand alone brand
and ‘compact car’
competition for the
Rambler, Corvair and
the Volkswagen Beetle,
the first generation
Valiant debuted at the
International Motor Show
in London in 1959 and
introduced a brand new
6 cylinder overhead valve
engine, called the
“Slant 6”, which, in
it’s several versions
(170 c.i. standard,
225 c.i. optional)
earned a reputation as
sturdy, dependable, and
easy to work on; even
after aluminum blocks
(challenging in
several ways)
were made available
(as options) around
1962.

1960 saw
2 body styles
for Valiant –
a four door sedan
and a station wagon,
available with either
2 sets of seats or three.
(The third was rear facing.)

A popular option was the
all-new Torqueflite A-904
automatic transmission,
(with push-button control
on the driver’s panel )
but a 3 speed manual was
standard.

There were several trim
packages available in
the early Valiants,
usually delineated
V-100 and V-200;

— the V-100 a base
trim level with little
ornamentation,

— the V-200 ‘Signet’
as a fully dressed
model with chrome,
stainless steel,
and brite-dipped
aluminum trim.

In 1961, two-door
variations of Valiant
were added to
the line-up –
a hard top and a sedan.

Buyers found the Unibody
construction of the
Valiant created better
handling characteristics-

– this led Chrysler to
release a “Hyper-Pak”,
a tuning package for
upping the performance
so the car could run in
stock car racing; upping
the compression ratio in
the 170 c.i. slant six, &
a single four-barrel carb
adding horsepower
to 148.

The 1962 models
brought certain
cosmetic alterations,
like rounded tail lights,
and a flatter grill,
but the real changes
came by way of mechanical
changes in the alternator,
starter, new gear boxes
and gear ratios, and the
new high-visibility
dashboard – which was
wildly popular .

Next time:

Second generation
– 1963 -1966
Third generation
– 1967 – 1973
Fourth generation
– 1974 – 1976 .

!!! HOY !!!

James Bond’s Aston Martins

bondToday’s post is
another edition
of “Vintage Cars
of TV and Movies ”

A car that always
took my
breath away
in movies
belonged to 007 –
– James Bond.

Oh yeah.

Aston Martin DB-5 – “Goldfinger “

All those cool,
memorable
gadgets didn’t
come standard
with the car
from “Goldfinger”…

but it was still
a brilliant car –
-the Aston Martin
“DB-5”.

The “DB”
designation
represented the
initials of
David Brown,
who acquired
Aston Martin
after WW II,
and was a
performance
enthusiast.

Equipped with
an all aluminum
DOHC 4.0 liter
straight six engine
making 282 horsepower,
the DB-5’s top end was
somewhere around
145 MPH.

The “DB-5” is
the most
iconic of the
James Bond cars,
appearing in a
total of 9 films–
including:

Aston Martin Vanquish V-12

“Goldfinger”,
“Thunderball”,
“Golden Eye”,
“Tomorrow Never Dies”,
“The World Is Not Enough”,
“Casino Royale”,
“Skyfall”, and
“Spectre”.

It wasn’t the
only Aston Martin
to have appeared
in the Bond
films, however.

In “Die Another Day”,
the “V-12 Vanquish”
was featured;

Aston Martin DB-S

And the “DB-S”
made it into a
total of 4 films.

A project car called
the “DB-10”
(developed as a
promotional vehicle
for the Bond series)
was featured in the
2015 “Spectre” as well.

The current model
in the “DB” series
is the Aston Martin
DB-11, starting in
2016-

Aston Martin DB-11

– with the V-12
5.2 liter engine
it is capable of
speeds of over
200 MPH.

And I’m told that
the newest Bond film
will feature an
all-electric car
from Aston Martin
called the “Rapide-E”.

.

!!! HOY !!!

Here Comes The Judge

The Pontiac GTO Judge —
one of the most iconic
muscle cars of the late
1960’s; offered in both
Hard-top and Convertible.

It was intended
to be an inexpensive,
stripped down GTO
model but with a bit
more gitty-up……

.. it came with a spoiler,
a 366 horsepower Ram
Air III engine, rally wheels,
wide tires, and a Hurst
shifter, and of course,
the Judge decal package.

Pontiac wanted to offer
the package to go up
against the Plymouth
Road Runner, and it was
originally only available
in Carousel Red
(a sorta orange color).

Yet, against all expectations,
the GTO Judge somehow
captured the buying public’s
imagination and sales soared.

More than 6,800 were
sold the first year, and
Pontiac relented mid-year
in offering the Judge in
all the GTO colors.

In 1970, an additional engine
option was added in the 370
HP RAM IV engine, and some
additional colors; about 3800
were produced.

Unfortunately, pressure on
the muscle car market in
general was being brought
by a combination of high
insurance company rates,
rising gas prices, and
increasing production
costs — and a decline in
demand for and the
manufacture of large
horsepower cars like
the GTO Judge resulted.

1971 was the GTO
Judge’s final year….
and only 357 were
produced before it was discontinued in February of that year.

.

!! HOY !!!

.

 

Franco Mosca’s Scooter Art

Today
our weekly
Saturday Car Post
hosts a series of
Lambretta / Vespa
images from the
venerable Italian
( Piedmontese )
poster artist,
painter,
and illustrator
Franco Mosca.

.

Mosca was responsible
for the art in the annual
Lambretta calendars in
the years 1951 and
1954;

— his work is still much
favored among the fans
of the genre.

.

Actually, “Scooter Art”
has become increasingly
popular in the 2010’s —

— it certainly has a
special kind of charm
that Mosca’s work in
particular tends to
reflect.

.

As previously stated,
Mosca was a well
known poster artist,
and also created
adverts for:

BMG Bicycles,
San Pellegrino,
Sesa Detergent,
Binacrin Shampoo,
FIAT,
Simmentha Meats,
Paglieri Perfume,
Kendall Motor Oil,
CGE Radio,
Amonn Farm Products,
Zuegg Jams,
Oransoda and
Lemonsoda, etc.

.

Mosca used several
styles in his posters,
and that sometimes
makes his art harder
to spot –

— for instance, he
did a good deal of
work in a neo-socialist
realistic style that is
very unlike any of the
ladies he created for
his Lambretta/Vespa
calendars.

An example of this
style can be found
at the bottom of
this post.

.

He was a prolific
artist, living and
working well into
his 90’s, and is
certainly
remembered
in part for his
beautiful
“Vespa Art”.

.

PS:

Just in case you’re
not familiar with
the Innocenti
(Lambretta) and
Piaggio (Vespa)
lines, both brands
were inspired by
American made
Cushman scooters
(used by G.I.’s)
after World War II
to create popular
economical small
rugged motorbikes,
and they became
ubiquitous throughout
Europe in the 1950’s
and 1960’s.

Lambretta production
has been discontinued
at present, but the
Vespa brand scooter
is still made today
at their plant near
Pisa in Tuscany-

— their most
popular markets
are in Italy,
Britain,
and Southeast Asia.

.

! Ciao !

.

Franco Mosca – 1939 – Fiat 500

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pontiac’s Prototypes

1977 Pontiac Phantom

“Driving
Excitement ?

Sure……

I’ve always
had a
soft spot
in my
driving heart
(head)
for
Pontiacs..

1988 Pontiac Pursuit

… to me,
as a kid
growing up
in the 1960’s,
the “Wide
Track Sporty Pontiac”
was the image
of what an automobile
should be and would
represent in the future.

Fun, style, handling,
and power.

1963 Pontiac Scorpion XP-758

No matter how
hard GM seemed
to try to wash
out the
distinctive
qualities of
the brand
over the years,
Pontiacs always
looked pretty
much LIKE a
Pontiac.

1959 Pontiac El-Tigre XP-92

The marque
was started
in 1926 as a
General Motors
stable mate to
a car make
called the
“Oakland”
(discontinued
in 1931) and was
outselling it within
months of it’s
introduction.

1959 El Catalina

Until the
mid-1950’s,
Pontiac wasn’t
really known
for it’s good
looks or it’s
performance,
necessarily…

1970’s Pontiac Banshee XP-833

It was simply
known
as a rugged,
dependable
and relatively
inexpensive car.

1956 changed
all of that-
along with
marketing
strategies,
lead engineers,
and even
a new general manager.

1956 Firebird II

Soon, a new 1957
Bonneville was selling
for more than a Cadillac –

– and their old fashioned
stodgy image was changed
almost overnight into
” America’s Number
One Road Car “.

And Pontiac designers
continued to set this
tone, well into
the early 1970’s.

1990 Pontiac Sunfire

That new emphasis
on style and engineering
meant the development
of several prototypes
to keep ahead
of coming trends —

— so, today’s post
includes several of
Pontiac’s most cutting
edge designs from that
prolific period .

!!! HOY !!!

1956 Pontiac Club De Mer

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