Rudy's Rants

Rudy Ramsey’s Rants and Ravings

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There’s Good News, and Bad News, and…

Well, the best news is that nobody was hurt when (this is the worst news) my trusty Acura TL bit the dust:

I was off in Scotland last September and called home to learn that I didn’t have a car any more. My son Devin had borrowed the car (with permission) when his car was blocked in by a tree surgeon, and he had a close encounter with a Comcast van. Judging from the appearance of my Acura, I’d say the Comcast van won.

I moped around a bit, frustrated at my likely choices. I really liked the Acura TL as a daily driver, but don’t like the new model nearly as well as I like the model I had. But I also don’t much like buying used cars. Somewhere amongst my moping, two family members came to my aid. First, my wife Alice was kind enough to say that with me retiring soon, we might be able to get by with my having a smaller car. Then Devin suggested that I take a look at the new Honda S2000 CR. My first reaction was, “Yeah, right!”. My second reaction, however, was “Where do I sign”?

I did, in fact, wind up buying this most wonderful of all second-childhood cars, and I love it. I got a yellow one (actually had to have it shipped in, as there wasn’t one available in Colorado at the time), and here it is:

I’ve actually had the car since October, waiting for an autocross to try it out. All our winter events were snowed out until Feb 10, when I finally had a chance to drive the car for real. Wow! I haven’t had a car that sticks to the road like this since I was 40 years younger and racing a Formula Vee. The Vee, of course, stuck to the road because it weighed 825 pounds. This one sticks to the road because it’s an engineering marvel. (I could be biased. )

Here’s a video of a run from three months later, in May, just to give you an idea what it’s like.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HunEZjubFR0&feature=plcp

Posted 9 years, 1 month ago at 12:16 am.

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Carlos Joins the Ramsey Racers

Carlos with Kart
Around September, I bought a go-kart for our grandson, Carlos, so he could join Devin and me in autocross racing. He hasn’t had very many opportunities to drive it yet, since he started just at the end of our regular summer series, but he’s having a good time. And we’re very much enjoying having him there. Ian (his dad and my son) has been helping us prepare the kart and get it to the events, and the whole family (Ian, Susan, Siggy, and Carlos) come occasionally.
Here’s what Carlos looks like without the helmet:
Carlos
He’ll be racing in the Formula Junior B class. There aren’t a lot of competitors, but it’s a great way for kids to have a chance to race in a very safe and supportive environment.
One thing I really like about our local SCCA events is their extreme safety consciousness. Whenever the juniors are moving, all other cars are stopped, and remain stopped until the juniors are back in their own grid area. And the stewards who run this youth program (both fathers of girls who race in the Formula Junior classes) are great with the kids.
Here’s Carlos with part of his pit crew (Siggy):
Carlos and Siggy with Kart

Posted 9 years, 2 months ago at 5:37 pm.

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Hatchling Goes Dancing

In June 2007, my company (Z-Axis Corporation) had a podcast contest for its employees. We’ve been using podcasting in our corporate marketing and internal training activities for awhile, and this exercise was intended to encourage folks at Z-Axis to learn more about the technology. I decided to take the opportunity to do a brief video about our race car (“Hatchling”) and the Solo2 autocross racing that I do with our son, Devin.

Devin was actually the reason I got back into autocross racing after a gap of nearly 40 years. I raced a Formcar Formula Vee in Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) competition in the 1960s, and did a lot of autocross racing and rallying as well (both Alice and I won Midwest Division SCCA championships in the 60s, Alice in the women’s class and me overall). Well, around 2005, Devin’s interest in cars (especially Japanese sports cars), racing, and tuning was getting him involved with a street-racing crowd. Not a good thing, in my opinon (and in Devin’s retrospective opinion, as well). I decided that SCCA was a much more positive outlet for this energy, and took him to a local SCCA autocross. He was instantly completely at home, and we decided to build a race car together (a 1989 Honda Civic Si Hatchback). We chose this car because it tends to be the fastest car in the most competitive affordable class (Street Touring – Stock). We’ve been having a great time. This video shows what we’re doing.

I should mention that there’s a bit of suggestive language in this video, as I spiced it up slightly for the contest. It didn’t win, but I think folks enjoyed it. I hope you will, too. :-)

 
icon for podpress  Hatchling Goes Dancing [3:00m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download (217)

Posted 9 years, 9 months ago at 1:57 pm.

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