Thursday, June 25, 2009

2009 Jetta TDI Sportswagen

Two words: I want.

Of course, I won't buy the first year of production. I'll also probably wait at least 3 years for the first wave of depreciation to pass. Guess I'll start shopping for one sometime around 2013.

Here's a first drive. And another and another and another

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Side Glances -> Egan Still a Great Wtier

Peter Egan created my obsession.    It was over 20 years ago that I stumbled on his articles in Road & Track and Cycle World.   There was just something about his storytelling that captured my imagination.   I ended up subscribing largely because of him and as a boy,  remember eagerly awaiting each new issue.   

First stop:  Side Glances, his monthly column. 

Over the years I've read about his adventures fixing old race cars, flying planes, and buying or selling various vehicles.   I'm glad to report that Egan is still belting them out.    After reading this month's piece on hitchhiking, I almost feel like sticking out my thumb and taking a ride.    Well, ok.. maybe not but I will definitely give the next hitchhiker I come upon a serious glance.   

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Bright and Shiny

I never really understood why parts are chromed. Turns out that chroming makes steel more durable because it resists corrosion. The shine is a side effect. Unfortunately there are heavy environmental costs.

Looks like an alternative is in the works...
Initial tests showed that when materials were coated in the nickel-tungsten alloy, using a modified electroplating technique that keeps its crystals particularly small, the plating remained stable indefinitely at room temperature. Nor did it easily degrade when exposed to great heat. The nickel-tungsten alloy can be extremely bright and shiny, and even made to become harder than chrome. All in all, its characteristics and absence of environmental hazards make it the most appealing replacement yet found for chrome. The researchers intend to report as much to a forthcoming conference of the National Association for Surface Finishing in Louisville, Kentucky.