Simanaitis Says

On cars, old, new and future; science & technology; vintage airplanes, computer flight simulation of them; Sherlockiana; our English language; travel; and other stuff

Monthly Archives: April, 2014

THE HECK, YOU SAY

THE GERMAN term Heckmotor (rear engine) is usually reserved for Porsche and Volkswagen. However, in the 1930s, Mercedes-Benz preceded Volkswagen in offering rear-engine passenger cars to the public. And, as you … Continue reading

April 15, 2014 · Leave a comment

MY FAVORITE ENGLISH DETECTIVE

PAUL TEMPLE is my favorite fictional English detective—as opposed to the tantalizingly real Sherlock Holmes. We have Dr. John H. Watson to thank for chronicling Holmes’ exploits. We can thank … Continue reading

April 13, 2014 · 3 Comments

$AVE THROUGH FONT$

ONE OBSERVANT 14-yer-old could save the federal government roughly $234 million a year—by suggesting a standardization of type font. His research made “News of the Week” in the March 14, … Continue reading

April 12, 2014 · 2 Comments

TRIPOLI TANGLES, 1933

GOOD STORIES often get better—or at least more convoluted—in retelling. Such is the case with the 1933 Gran Primio di Tripoli. The original plan was bizarre enough: I Lotteria di … Continue reading

April 11, 2014 · Leave a comment

JUNKERS G-38

Passengers in today’s jumbo jets travel encapsulated in alloy tubes, but those in the 1930’s Junkers G-38 had more interesting choices: Eleven sat in upper or lower levels, four had … Continue reading

April 9, 2014 · Leave a comment

ROUND, BLACK, STICKY—AND ARTFUL

AUTOMOTIVE TIRES are said to be “round, black and sticky,” yet they’re also objet d’art, especially when portrayed by some of the world’s greatest poster artists. What’s more, Bruce Halle, … Continue reading

April 7, 2014 · Leave a comment

AUTOMOBILES AND ROOFTOPS

A FORD publicity stunt planned 50 years ago and its imminent recreation remind me of Fiat’s Lingotto facility in Turin, Italy, and the action flick, The Italian Job (the original … Continue reading

April 5, 2014 · Leave a comment

CIVILIZATION, IN A FEW WORDS

AN OP-ED piece in The New York Times, March 30, 2014, “Civilization’s Starter Kit” by astrobiologist Lewis Dartnell discussed an interesting question. It was first posed by physicist Richard Feynman: … Continue reading

April 4, 2014 · 2 Comments

MOROCCO, CIRCA 1991

THOUGH MEMORABLE, my visit to Morocco resulted in very little original source material. The press kit, expense report and passport of the era have all gone missing. I have only … Continue reading

April 2, 2014 · 2 Comments

THE DURAY MILLER—AND ETTORE’S DOHC

FORTUNES INTERTWINED for an Italian-born Alsatian, a Wisconsin-born Californian and a Cleveland kid who changed his name in tribute to a famous race driver. The personages, respectively, are Ettore Bugatti, … Continue reading

April 1, 2014 · 7 Comments