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California Wildfires Destroy Land, Classic Car Collection

California Wildfires Destroy Land, Classic Car Collection

The wildfires ripping through California have killed more than 77 people and consumed some 150,000 acres. More than 993 people are missing and dense smoke from the first has been described as “the dirtiest air in the world” and officials are calling the fires the worst in state history.

Citizens and celebrities alike have lost their homes and properties to the flames. Well-known car enthusiasts and collectors Gary and Diane Cerveny lost an irreplaceable collection of classic and rare vehicles.

Worth millions, the cars lost included a Ferrari Dino, a ’65 Pontiac GTO gasser, a ’66 Dodge Dart, a Marty Robbins NASCAR, a ’66 Dodge Charger, a ’71 Plymouth Barracuda, a ’97 Dodge Viper, a Studebaker kart hauler and perhaps the rarest car in the collection, the one-of-a-kind 1948 Norman Timbs Special.

Created in the 1940s by engineer Norman Timbs, the custom car took more than three years to build.

The Norman Timbs project began with several comprehensive drawings of the chassis, followed by a quarter-scale clay model of several potential ideas. These were followed by a wooden model that incorporated several of the more pleasing design elements. The aluminum body was hand-formed by Emil Diedt and the chassis was constructed from aircraft tubing.

The rear body of the car had a special hydraulic operation that allowed it to raise and lower with the push of a button. When opened, the engine, spare tire, and fuel tank were exposed and accessible.

The design of the car was influenced by several pre-World War II race cars, like the Auto Union Type C and the Mercedes-Benz W25 Avus Grand Prix cars. The Norman Timbs Special was built for the road, and not the track.

By the mid-1950s, it was painted white and was in the care of Air Force Officer Jim Davis of Manhattan Beach, California. Much of its later life was spent outside in a desert where it deteriorated over the years.

In 2002, it was auctioned by Barrett-Jackson at the Petersen Museum Classic Car Auction and sold for $17,600.

To aid victims of the wildfires in California, you can mail physical donations to The Salvation Army, P.O. Box 348000, Sacramento, CA 95834, call (530) 776-1009 or (800) 725-2769, or donate online to the Del Oro Division of The Salvation Army.

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Modern Cars Equate to Higher Insurance Bills

Modern Cars Equate to Higher Insurance Bills

As the vehicles we drive evolve into massive computers on wheels, they are becoming increasingly delicate and lead to higher insurance bills.

Chips and dents to the body of your ride a decade ago wouldn’t have been a big deal, but now small dents can push important sensors out of alignment or break them entirely.

For example, today’s cars house sensors in places like windshields for automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and other warning systems.

As a result, that’s how what would have been a $300 windshield repair a decade ago can become a $1,500 repair job for a newer car, according to AAA.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the number of people killed in motor vehicle crashes has fallen over the last decade.

The death toll increased 6 percent in 2016, though it still is lower than it was in 2005, when it began a sharp decline, or in 1975 when the U.S. Department of Transportation began keeping track. Fatality rates per population and per mile traveled have dropped even more rapidly.

The overall crash death rate per population has fallen by nearly half since the 1970s, but in the age of distracted driving, it increased 5 percent from 2015 to 2016

Modern cars that are equipped with modern electronics are usually safer and can prevent millions of injuries, but in turn, costs more in terms of insurance and repairs. 

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1930’s Hotrod Powered By BluePrint

1930’s Hotrod Powered By BluePrint

Our friends at Factory Five offer hot rod fans the chance to experience a vintage Ford with today’s speed and technology.

Factory Five uses modern engineering to build cars that perform as good as they look.

This traditional 1930s Ford is difficult to replicate because the original frame, chassis, and suspension designs that make up the bulk of what is sold today, are not really capable of delivering sports car performance and modern ride quality.

Using the Factory Five product template helps keep the design as traditional as possible but make performance and drivability the focus.

This awesome 1933 Ford hot rod is powered by our 427 LS! BluePrint also offers a new, automatic 4L series GM trans for the LS engine!

Our crate engines offer a custom builder, hot rodder, or kit car builder an engine that is ready to drop in the vehicle. They come complete with all the components that will be needed to start and run the engine super quickly.

BluePrint engines are dyno-tested and shipped with a documentation of their high-performance power curve.

We love seeing our engines in awesome rides: remember to share your #BluePrintPowered pictures with us on social media!

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