I often thought it was too bad GM and other manufacturers never had a
refurbishing business (not through dealers). I think they missed that
sales area big time. You only have to look around on a sunny Sunday to
see thousands of older GM cars restored and cruising the highways. I
still think they had a good market share (still do) of big, roomy
vehicles. If they had of moved into the restoration business of
gathering up the oldies and refurbishing them, I think they could have
added at least 15% more profits to their books. Who better else to do
the job than the manufacturer who already has the parts and the
knowledge of what the older vehicles need. There's still tons of
people who would rather drive the old styles. I myself am tired of the
sea of "silver-gray, jelly bean style" cars. And that's another topic.
When GM dropped the Caprice police models there was at least one
company that refurbed them for PD's.
Doubt that is still going on.
About 1996 I think, and they were being refurbed as late as 2000.
Think those dates are about right.
As I recall new engines, transmissions and upholstery.
When GM dropped all RWD cars they put that production capacity into
making SUV's and PU's.
Another stupid move.
I have been told that they would have to upgrade them to current
standards. I know this happened with a company in Kalifornia that was
bringing VW Beetles into the US after Volkswagen quit selling them here.
They sold them new as manufactured in Mexico, or Brazil, until the Feds
found out about it. Then for a while they put the guard rails in the
doors, installed catalytic converters and replaced the carburetors with
fuel injection and what else needed to be done. In the process the price
went from around 5 grand to over 10 grand. Supposedly this is why VW
dropped the Beetle. It cost too much to meet the emission and safety
standards. The price of a VW Bug convertible in 1979 was around 10
grand without all of the new requirements being met.
For a short period there was a loophole where you could buy a new Beetle
in Mexico. I talked to a Juarez dealer back in 1980 about it. But, he
couldn't sell a new one direct to a US buyer. He had to sell it to a
Mexican national and obtain a Mexican title. Then you purchased it from
the Mexican as a used vehicle. It never left the dealers lot. As soon as
you paid for the car along with the straw buyers commission you took it
to El Paso and got a Texas title as a used car.
Listening to 1010 radio (Toronto) this morning, they were saying that
GM Oshawa should be building vehicles for the millitiary who are
sadly lacking same.
Like you, I wouldn't change my smooth running '97 LeSabre, for some
of these 'new' designs. For one - I can't get into most of them, and the
ones that I can, there is insufficient leg room. Even this car doesn't
allow long-legged passengers in the back seats.
The Japs may be leading the way, but they are 5' tall, on average.
So long as we continue to inport from China, etc., we'll sink more
and more into this mess. Products should be made by *Canadians for
*Canadians (*substitute your country) and the only way to do that is
for the gov to practice extreme protectionism. Nationalise GM, etc.,
no more NAFTA like trading policies that only benefit the rich. No
more sale of our natural resources, not electricity, natural gas, water.
We all should be proud of "Made in *Canada" but it'll take a revolution
and a believable, trustworthy, one of the people, dictator - to achieve
Without being so drastic, we could start by insisting that all retailers
stock and sell a percentage of *Canadian made goods, and that imports
cannot be sold cheaper, with a plan to increase that percentage year by
Of course none of this is going to happen with 'One World Government' on
the horizon (unless we have a revolution).
Studebaker did pretty good building military vehicles, but it didn't
help them later on. They just fell out of touch with their customers.
GM forgot that forty percent of their customers need room.
The only reason we have cross over vehicles and SUV's is because
someone put out the propaganda that stationwagons were only for hockey
mom's. Yet stationwagons were the best all round design bar none.
That's why most of the new vehicles look like stationwagons, but we
call them cross overs or SUV's. And people want a solid car with a
frame, that's why they're buying trucks. All the big size car owners
simply moved into trucks to avoid the jelly bean cars. Oh, don't get
me started. And one last thing, what happened to bumpers? Bumpers are
for bumping into other cars and having no damage. What's with this
plastic cover stuff? That isn't a bumper. I see them lying on road all
the time. Bring back the chrome, steel bumpers with shock absorbers
linking them to the FRAME! oh, well, my rant. sorry.
I agree. Saw some article recently about a new car which has sensors
on the front, electronically coupled to brakes preventing contact with
the vehicle in front of you but it didn't say anything about driving at
100 clicks towards a solid brick wall - and of course someone can
still drive into the back of you. This idea only lessens the risk of
collision if everybody has them, mandatory by law.
I like the idea of sensors, if every vehicle has them, but putting them
to better use imo, by having them sense speed limits from transmitters
at the road side, and record in the vehicle, electronically,
infractions. Then when the vehicle goes for gas, the driver has to pay
for the infractions, before he can get more gas. If the infractions are
severe the driver has to call the police.
Speed is not really the issue, for the capable driver, in fact I believe
that a driver, without infractions - a clean driving record - should be
allowed to drive at whatever speed he decides (within reason:
volume of traffic, weather conditions, vehicle capability, driver
experience, etc) on a freeway/motorway, away from city traffic..
..it is really aimed at the inexperienced or lazy driver: that doesn't
come to a complete stop at a stop sign; that hogs the oncoming lane;
that doesn't indicate his intentions; that speeds in residential zones;
that speeds in bad weather conditions, etc.
With such sensors in place, the police would have more resources
to investigate crimes.
Our local roads have been all broken up by this past winter, with the
sucessive freeze/thaw cycles, except on bridges which are as smooth
as the day they were laid and the 407 (Toronto, GTA area) which was
originally private but now owned by the gov (you need a transponder
for paid usage) which I think is concrete, rather than tarmac - and
never shows any damage by freeze thaw cycles (not that I've seen).
Whereas the local roads show straight cracks, across the road, where
joins between sucessive tarmac applications occured during their
construction - leading to very bumby rides (depending on how fast
you are travelling). At this time of year, early Spring, there are teams
of guys filling in holes and cracks with loose tarmac-stuff and patting
it down with shovels! - soon to broken up again, by a heavy truck or
another freeze/thaw cycle, i.e. a complete waste of time, imo. Worse
than the cracks and holes, are the lopsided manhole covers, which
seem to want to unevenly erupt from the road's surface - and beware
of catching the steel edge, at speed.
Which brings me to another point, why are there (so many) manhole
covers on our roads? I've *never* seen any workmen going into them,
and surely a better placement would be on the verge, where the rain
runoff drains are. They are not in any pattern either, seemingly
randomlyplaced, so drivers are threading their way through them
constantly watching for lane changes by other drivers, who have the
Which brings me to another (slightly off-topic) point. We convey Water,
Natural gas, Telephone and Cable 'underground' so why not Electricity
too? - and do away with all these eyesore towers - and free up the green
spaces they occupy - and of course the seemingly commonsense solution
is to convey all these utilities under our roads.
Sometimes I just feel like writing, and writing.. :-)
An interesting solution would be to go completely solar and get off
the grid. You've probably read about this stuff in magazines and then
it disappears forever. But there's new hope on the horizon if the
major energy players don't squash it.
Solar Paint. Discovered in Toronto, Canada at U.of T. by Prof.
Sargent. They already have a working batch that collects energy from
the sun using the unseen infared part of the light spectrum. The
current solar panel technology (which is too expensive) to use only
uses the visible part of sunlight. Apparently, even in it's earliest
version, solar paint is far more energy efficient than solar collectors.
So, paint the sides of your house with this stuff and imagine, having
a set of batteries charged during the day, (even in cloudy weather).
Running your office/house on your own energy. They actually can do this.
Let's see how they squash this discovery over the next few years.
You've always got to have a way to make a buck off anything like this,
so maybe some kind of tax or a way to have the paint wear out every so
often so someone can make a dollar from it.
I worked at the UofT for 15 yrs, in research, and see if I can find out
more about this, other than these web articles..
Waiting to see a specialist in our local hospital, a few years ago, I
talking with a guy who welded (to get the air out, so he said) solar
panels for the international space station - and said that they were so
efficient that just one metre-square array would power the whole
No kidding. I would like to know if he gave it away to the U.S. or if
he managed to get a grant to get it further along in Canada.
Solar panels are great, but they cost so much you can never get your
I got the impression that he was on contract to NASA.
I don't know why 'they cost so much' ? Aren't they simply NPN
junctions? I remember buying a pound (yeah, sold by weight!)
of metal-canned npn transistors, cutting the tops off to expose
the junctions to light and linking them in arrays... but that was
a long time ago, and I forget the details.
I like top posting, no scrolling and I remember what the previous post
said. Also with top posting you don't get your name linked to someone
else's comments in a google search.
Don't be sorry.
Back in the old days, it was considered bad mannered, simply because
a late entrant to the topic could see easily how the conversation
progressed, before jumping in.
Rather like reading a book - you start at page #1.
It is still considered good netiquette. The following is from:
"Remember that proper newsgroup posting is a consideration for others,
help subsequent readers of your post read your comments in their proper
context. If you post your comments at the top and away from the previous
poster's comments, then any subsequent reader will have to scroll
the whole post to try and make sense of yours and the previous poster's
comments. It isn't so much about what is easiest for you, it's much more
about what are good manners towards others."
Ya, the good old days, they are long gone. Those late entrants often
just added a few lines that made no sense to the conversation. Mainly
because they never read the whole thread anyway.
Anyway, "onwards and upwards".
Good chatting with you.
> longwinded wrote:
How can he be working in a Canadian University for NASA?
I just read in the news that the government is going to make funding
available for technologies like solar paint. I wonder if Mr. Sargent
knows about it. But he's a U.T. professor so I think he wouldn't be
taking advantage of it.
Ha, that's funny, you wrote the one before the one I replied to.
And I'm writing to the one you wrote.
Your newswreader doesn't group posts and show the links between?
I can see all the posts and how they are linked.
You need a good newsreader, what are you using?
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