Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Earth Day 2014

 Here in Minnesnowda we are just wrapping up one of the coldest winters in recent memory. As much of the world commemorates Earth Day, today April 22, 2014, I could not help but think back to less than one week ago to an overnight snowfall here.  Lady, our shop dog, and I were spared the 10" of snow that fell about 1/2 hour north of here, but still had our hopes of spring dashed with a fresh covering of the white stuff as shown in the photos below.

And the (not so) good news?  The weather prognosticators say we may get a repeat next week!

"...but I thought you said spring was here..."
Lady shivering from the combination of more snow and a recent outing to the beauty parlor for a haircut (she has only herself to blame - I told her she should wait)
All of this leaves us with just one question:
Seriously folks.  We had one month this winter that our heating bill was north of $1500 while the thermostats were set so low that it remained long-johns and sweatshirt weather inside both the house and the shop.  My wife's legs were nearly crushed from the weight of extra blankets on our bed all winter.
So PLEASE, do your part to promote Global Warming.  Drive more ...and faster; preferably in your pre emissions vehicles.  Do more smokey burnouts! Have a camp fire in your back yard every night, and if you need to use all your trash to get the fire going, so much the better.  Don't worry, those big garbage trucks will still come around burning diesel fuel whether there is anything to pick up or not.  If you have room, you might even consider getting a cow.  It is said that their flatulence is a major cause of Global Warming.  I say a pair of vintage muscle cars idling in every driveway and a cow in every backyard!  With your help maybe we can get enough Global Warming going to save the planet for humanity!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Three Stooges and a Disappearing Act

About a week ago my old friend and racing buddy, Uncle Aard, dropped by the shop.  I hadn't seen him for a number of years, and while perusing the many pictures on the walls he mentioned that he no longer had any pictures from his time involved in drag racing.  That thought stayed with me long enough to spend a few minutes later in the week sorting through a stack of old photos that had accumulated in a small box on my desk.  That, in turn, inevitably led to this post.
I like to call this one "The Three Stooges"

The photo above caught my eye first.  Obviously taken before we became savvy enough to build stands to hold the drag bikes up off the ground high enough to save on the back.  But then, we were all young then and likely did not notice.  On the left is Uncle Aard hard at work on his Shovelhead.  Yours truly is in the middle attending to the Pro Stock Knucklehead and Neil Ryan on the right is probably chasing down leaks in his Shovelhead's air shifter.  My guess is that the picture is from 1989.  If so, that was the second year for the PMFR chassis with 8-1/2" slick on the dual carb Knuckle.  Neil also ran a PMFR chassis on his Shovel; the first one ever built for a Harley (mine was the second).  Neil's sported a 10" slick which he put to good use behind the 114" Shovel.  This picture may very well have been taken the weekend that Aard first put a 7" slick on his Shovel, promptly breaking the front motor mounts off his crankcases.  Nothing like the tire really hooking up to stress test everything else in the drive train!

Below is a series of photos from the early 1990's.  The dual carb Pro Stock Knuck had been replaced by a 120" Knuckle with a centrifugal supercharger in a lay down Top Gas chassis with 10" slick.   That's Dangerous Dan, our long time crewman (in black with red bandanna) enjoying the view ...well, at least for a moment.  I am pretty sure that is Aard piloting the bike, since he always wore a dark colored helmet and mine was white.  It was probably taken at the Sturgis race.

Going ...Going ...Gone!