Thursday, 7 April 2011

Faboulous Classical Cars Housed in Film and Television Museums

Several of the cars that have been used as the central character of a film or television show have already found their way into museums across the nation. Many of these gas-powered inventions have been so loved by visionary writers that they were even given names that identified them as special vehicles with extraordinary powers. The most famous fictional cars to appear in pop culture are Herbie, Kit, Gladys, Eleanor, and the Batmobile.

Herbie of "The Love Bug"

Herbie was one of the first racers to come from the magic of film. As he raced to fame, Herbie could do wheelies, outrun the fastest sports cars, and help his driver find love. Awkwardly, the love he finds is the girlfriend of his racing buddy. Herbie appeared in several film and television spinoffs from the late 1960s through the early 2000s.

Kitt of "Knight Rider"

Kitt was a marvelous machine equipped with the most advanced computer gadgets envisioned by the television industry. He was a sleek black car driven by Michael Knight and bound for heroic feats and derring-do. Together, the duo saved women, foiled bank robbers, and stopped a disaster that would have certainly ended the world. Kitt's on-board talking computer was famous for keeping Michael Knight in check. There was a very human quality about Kitt that rang true with his television audience.

Gladys of "My Mother the Car"

Kitt was not the first talking car to visit homes through television. Many years ago, for a short period of time, Gladys was an older vehicle inhabited by the spirit of the dead mother of Jerry Van Dyke. Any one of the many automobile museums would have been far happier to have her grace their showrooms than her son was to have her parked in his garage. The car constantly argued with her son throughout the show's short run on television.

Eleanor of "Gone in 60 Seconds"

From the jaunty jalopies that ushered in an era of fast cars to the daring young men that drove them, cars and their drivers have been the objects of legends as they sped their way to success in the film world. Eleanor ranks high within the muscle class category of collector's prizes. She's a beauty with a sleek frame and powerful engine. Before Nicholas Cage stole the iconic beauty in the movie "Gone in 60 Seconds," H.B. Halicki stole a different model with the same name in the 1974 original film.

The Batmobile

This role has been performed by numerous cars in movies and on television. The original Batmobile has resurfaced every now and then in the news, and people have speculated on its whereabouts for decades. Many car aficionados have sought it out for their own collections, but for now it rotates between multiple automobile museums. It's not a particularly attractive car, and its speed is questionable, but it holds a nostalgic place in the hearts of television viewers who first saw the caped crusader drive it in the 1960s.

Whether it's muscle cars or luxury sedans that catch your interest, great cars are on display all across the nation in automobile museums.

Saturday, 22 August 2009

What to Look for When Hiring Retirement Planning Services

With all the hustle and bustle of the here and now, it is easy to overlook the future. However, if you ever want to be able to stop working and enjoy your golden years, the future is something that needs careful consideration. It might be tempting to try to plan the financials for yourself, it really is important to consult retirement planning services. These trained professionals can ensure that you have enough money to live a comfortable life when you are older.

Experience Matters

When looking for a company to help you with this important step, you should look for a group that makes you feel content with your choices. While they shouldn't promise the moon, they should offer you a long-term approach to managing your financial goals. They also should be able to help you strategize for those unforeseen events that manage to pop up from time to time.

Understanding Your Goals

Qualified retirement planning services will sit down with you and go over what your intentions are for the future. This will help them determine what your projected cost of living will be. They will take into account any unexpected health issues and your children as they come up with a plan. They will need to know what your investments and current retirement portfolio in order to make a clear strategy.

By taking all of the data into account, a qualified team will be able to analyze your needs and desires and come up with a clear structure for your golden years. This will help you enjoy life without worrying where the money will come from. They will help you know how much to save, invest, and how to budget in order to achieve these goals.

Devising a Plan Early

You do not need to wait until you are about to leave your job to talk to these consultants. You should do so when you are at the height of your job. During your search for a retirement planning service, you should look for a company that will not only take into account all your wishes and needs, but also help you out with mid-career planning. They can help you make the right financial choices and plan your career in order to make the most of your golden years. Nothing can mess up a well thought out strategy than poor career decisions.

Retirement planning services should be well rounded when it comes to helping you strategize for your future. They should not only give you great career advice, as you may be working for an additional 10 to 20 years, but they should also provide tips and advice on how to allocate your assets. You need to be sure to find a company that has adequate experience to help you move forward towards your goals. Don't forget to plan for the unexpected, things always come up that are not taken into consideration.

When looking at retirement planning services, Portland residents go to The Secure Retirement Group.

Saturday, 13 May 2006

The Aston Martin Virage Sports Car

Aston Martin Virage - A close look at this sports car including performance, technical data, features, comparing rivals, history, used prices

from Classic to Modern


The V8 Series of Aston Martin sports cars had been successfully produced since 1969, and a replacement was well overdue.

Consequently, in late 1988, and as a natural evolution, the successor was introduced at the Birmingham Motor Show as a 2+2 coupe, and designated the Aston Martin Virage sports car.

It was positioned as the company's premier and exclusive model, and the timing of the launch coincided with the acquisition of the company by Ford of the US.

In terms of styling, it's sleek lines, which produced a drag coefficient of just 0.34, resembled that of a Lagonda rather than the classic lines of the V8 Series.

It was fitted with spoilers both front and rear, and stylish flush headlights.

The influence of Ford was noticeable in the fact that, as a cost-cutting measure, a number of the car's' components were sourced from a wide range of companies, including the Parent.

Although it used aluminium body panels, it was still a heavy car with a curb weight of 1790 kg.

When production ended in 1995, Aston Martin had built a total of 365 Virage sports cars.


The Virage was powered by a front-engined, all aluminium, 5.3 litre, 32 valve, DOHC, V8 unit with the head modified by Callaway Engineering in the US, and incorporated a modified intake manifold and Weber-Marelli fuel injection.

This developed 330 bhp at 5300 rpm, and 350 ft/lbs of torque at 4000 rpm.

Fitted with a ZF five speed manual gearbox and using a 9.5:1 compression, it produced a top speed of 158 mph, with 0-60 mph in 6.5 secs.

Interestingly, the majority of customers preferred the optional Chrysler three-speed Torqueflite automatic transmission.

Towards the end of production, an optional six speed manual gearbox from the Vantage sports car was offered.

In January 1992, as part of a programme of improvements, existing customers were able to replace the original 5.3 litre engine with a 6.3 litre V8 unit that had been incorporated in the Aston Martin AMR1, a Group C sports car racer that was entered in the 1989 Le Mans 24 Hours race.

The new engine developed 500 bhp at 6000 rpm, and 480 ft/lbs of torque at 5800 revs, which gave the car a top speed of 175 mph.

The conversion included fitting larger vented disc brakes, 18 inch wheels, air dams and side air vents.

For Technical Data, see original article below


Typical competitors of the Aston Martin Virage sports car were the following: Porsche 964 Turbo, and Ferrari 550 Maranello.

For Comparative Technical Data, see original article below

This concludes my Aston Martin Virage Sports Car Review

Wednesday, 12 January 2005

A Guide to Understanding Water Damage Restoration

Whether it is after a fire, burst pipes, or the result of a flood, your home must be restored from all the destruction caused by moisture. Water damage restoration will repair the house and make it safe to live in again. There are several steps to repairing your property after this type of devastation.

Assessing the Damage

The first step to repairing your home after any type of flooding is the loss assessment. This procedure is how the technicians know exactly what to do in order to repair your home. Technicians are required to work with insurance companies to determine property's injuries. Only then can a plan be devised on how to go about refurbishing it.

During the assessment, the water damage restoration company will assign one of three categories. Each of these categories signifies a different manner in which the devastation is handled and reversed. These categories are:

Category One: This is water without any contaminants such as urine or feces. The liquid comes from a clean source such as pipes or sinks. It may also come from toilets, as long as it was free of contaminants.

Category Two: The liquid comes from dishwashers, washing machines, or toilets with urine and has some minor contamination.

Category Three: The impairments are caused by an unsanitary source such as flooding, toilets with fecal matter, sewage lines, or has been standing for some time and may contain microbes.

Drying and Decontaminating the Area

Once a category has been set, the water damage restoration team can start the process of drying out the area. If the damage has been categorized as a two or a three, the area must also be decontaminated in order for the area to be livable again. It is important to understand that an entire house may not contain contaminated liquid. In some cases, it is only specific pockets of the space that must be decontaminated.

If the area is small and has little moisture absorbed into the surrounding materials, the process is much quicker. Dehumidifiers and blowers may be all that is required to restore the space to its natural state. However, a larger area with carpet or one that has deep saturation may require more equipment such as scrubbers and subfloor drying devices.

Finishing the Job

Of course, during the process, you should expect the technicians to be available on site during the duration. They must constantly monitor the equipment to ensure that the area is drying evenly. They should also verify that the entire site is completely dry before removing the dryers. The company should also be observing the area to spot any other problems that may arise once the water has been removed.

Water damage restoration is not something anyone wants to go through. However, with the right company and the proper equipment, your home can be restored to its former glory. When looking for the right group to handle the job, make sure you do your homework. Look at reviews and check out the Better Business Bureau to see if the business is accredited or has any outstanding complaints.

Wednesday, 2 June 2004

The Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato Sports Car

Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato - A close look at this sports car including performance, technical data, features, comparing rivals, history, used prices

from Classic to Modern


The DB4 sports car was launched at the 1958 London Motor Show as the two door Series 1.

Following its popularity, the lighter DB4 GT was launched in 1960, at the same venue, with a view to its appearance in the track.

This involved, primarily, reducing the DB4's wheelbase by 5 inches, and using thinner, lighter 18-gauge aluminium body panels, which subsequently reduced the curb weight to 1270 kg.

However, when it came to track performance, the DB4 GT fell well short of its stablemate, the DBR1, which won the 1959 Le Mans 24 Hour race.

Consequently, Aston Martin then decided to approach the renowned Italian styling house of Zagato, which specialised in lightweight body construction.

The intention was to create a racer, based on the DB4 GT, that would be serious competition for the Ferrari 250 GT which was, at that time, in an unassailable position in the World Sportcar Championship.

Following agreement, the first chassis were shipped to Zagato in 1960 with the goal of producing 25 units of the new sports car, which was to be designated the DB4 GT Zagato.

The Zagato was both smaller, lighter, and more aerodynamic than the DB4 GT.

By removing non-essential components, such as bumpers, substituting aluminium for as many steel components as possible, and using Perspex instead of glass, a further 45 kg was removed from the overall weight.

It used an aluminium alloy body on a chassis composed of steel and aluminium, to produce a curb weight of 1225 kg.

It was fitted with Girling hydraulic disc brakes, independent front suspension with a live axle at the rear, and 16 inch wheels.

A feature of the body styling was the addition of two bulges in the bonnet to allow for the protruding rocker covers.

However, once again, Aston Martin could not overcome the supremacy of Ferrari, with the DB4 Zagato no match for the Ferrari GTO.

Of the 19 Zagatos built when production ended in 1963, most were sold to privately entered race teams, although four were produced as road legal sports cars.


The Aston Martin DB4 GT

It was powered by a 3.7 litre, straight six, 12 valve, DOHC engine, with a 9.0:1 compression, three twin choke Weber carburettors, and two spark plugs per cylinder, that developed 302 bhp, and 270 ft/lbs of torque.

Linked to a four speed manual close ratio gearbox, this enabled it to reach a top speed of 152 mph, with a 0-60 mph time of 6.1 secs.

The Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato

The Zagato was to be powered by a modified version of the engine used in the DB4 GT, that included raising the compression from 9.0 to 9.7:1, which duly developed 314 bhp at 6000 rpm, and 279 ft/lbs of torque at 5400 rpm.

This produced a top speed of 154 mph, with 0-60 mph in 6.1 secs.


Comparable competitors to the Zagato included the following spots cars: Maserati Ghibli, Series 2 Jaguar E-Type, and Ferrari 250 GTO


An original Zagato in showroom condition would be valued at anything between $2m and $2.5m.

This concludes my Aston Martin DB2 Sports Car Review

To view my ORIGINAL more detailed article, containing Photographs, Videos, Technical Data, and Charts not shown above, then please click the following link:

Thursday, 19 June 2003

Five Reasons The Future Belongs To Solar Power

There was a time, not so long ago, when solar power was the stuff of science fiction. Now, it is the nation's fastest-growing source of renewable energy. Here's why things will only get brighter for the burgeoning industry.

1. Rising Capacity

Like most innovative products, the panels that convert sunlight into usable electricity took some time to catch on. In fact, about two-thirds of global capacity was installed in the last four years alone! The initial remaining one-third took over 40 years to put in place, which means the industry has grown more in the last few years than it has since its inception. Of particular interest is the amazing growth in the American market the past two years. Nearly 200,000 installations were completed in 2014, up 20 percent over the previous year.

2. Larger Workforce

What do all viable industries have in common? They employ people! Until recently, the number of workers who made, sold, or installed solar panel systems (photovoltaic or PV systems) was too small to measure. Today, there are nearly 174,000 solar workers in America-a 53 percent increase since 2011. This large, engaged workforce is desperately needed to keep up with the ever-growing demand for commercial and residential installations and expert maintenance. At last count, nearly three-quarters of a million U.S. homes and businesses have made the switch to solar. Perhaps even more impressive is the fact that a new PV system is installed every 2.5 minutes in America!

3. Exploding Global Markets

Nearly every developed nation has invested in solar power. As we mentioned, the U.S. market is growing at a rapid rate, more than 40 percent in 2014 alone. Other global powers have made major commitments in their push to harness clean energy. For example, China recently announced that it would triple PV installations by 2017!

4. Falling Costs

Once seen as a luxury product only the rich could afford, rising competition has led to a rapid decline in PV system prices. A recent report from the International Renewable Energy Agency found that the cost of solar power prices and equipment has fallen more than 80 percent since 2009. Those costs will decline even further as the permitting process becomes streamlined, and installation training increases. We are now living in the time when the average American family can make the switch to renewable energy without worrying about the cost.

5. Finite Fuel Resources, Infinite Sunshine

As the price of solar energy installations decrease, solar is becoming cost competitive as a legitimate alternative to traditional power sources like coal, nuclear, and natural gas. This is because solar energy as a power generation technology relies on the sun rather than fuel. As traditional fuel resources decrease, the cost of extraction will rise. With solar energy, the future is bright and sustainable!

For all those reasons and more, solar power should be considered the energy source of the future.

Friday, 18 April 2003

How To Buy A Lucrative Muscle Car

There is always a difference between an ordinary vehicle and a muscle car. A muscle car brings on a cool attitude when you are driving. If you prefer extreme driving and love sports such as drag racing, a muscle car can suit you best. These exclusive vehicles are available in various designs. Different models have different styles and features. They are tough, hardy, trendy and reflect a masculine attitude. These types of cars are eye catchy and can easily be spotted with its unusual bright look.

Some people prefer to choose sophisticated cars for smooth driving. Normally youngsters prefer extreme, hard hitting driving. They require fast moving cars that can withstand rush driving or extreme driving through hill areas. If you are adventurous and enjoy being with a sporty group of friends, then you may like to enjoy thrilling experience in your vehicle. Muscle cars will be the best option for you in this situation. These types of cars are hard and designed in a stylish way. You get a wide range of variety of these vehicles at affordable prices.

If you are determined to buy a hardy automobile, you must know the difference between this sort of hardy cars and other luxurious cars. Usually, these cars are made for high performance with a medium size and a huge powerful engine, normally a V8. Common muscle cars have two doors, but some classic ones have four doors as well. Except all these, these sorts of cars have special trims that create maximum torque and rotary force when driving. Drag racing experts choose these cars for competition. They are comparatively larger in size than any sport cars.

Being aware of the qualities and features of such cars, you need to pay attention to different attractive models of these cars. These cars are colorfully designed and very stylish in looks. May be this is one of the reasons for youngsters craze for these powerful cars. They were introduced in the early 60s and those old models are called classic muscle cars. Now with the invention of new technology and new stylish designs, classic cars become rare collections. Old owners sometime take their vehicles for classic muscle car sales and buy more fashionable new cars for their young generations. These cars continue to create a craze among young people. Now several models have come up with consideration of modern choices.

Once you have decided to buy a lucrative muscle automobile, you can start looking for the right affordable vehicles. First, you can visit several automobile exhibits. Different vehicles manufacturers host such exhibits in your city where they feature their vehicles. You can have a look at your favorite one. Secondly you can go through magazines that contain such car images, and you can search in Websites based on automobiles. You can easily get the contact details of car manufacturers/dealers from the sites. But before buying any stylish muscle car you should verify the credibility of the manufacturer. You can visit different showrooms to take various glimpses of attractive cars and ultimately in this way you can choose the right and the best car for you.