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Four-Links – Nevada’s neon, Huettenpalast, Geo Metro as icon, Ford’s V8-60

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Reno, like Vegas, was once awash in neon signs, and while some still stand, there’s a concern about preserving those that don’t — or those that soon won’t — as Holly Hutchings of KUNR recently reported.

Ainsworth wants people to recall the heyday of these signs, which may look dilapidated now. After WWII, she says a travel boom brought visitors en masse across the desert who would stop in Reno for the night.

“You can imagine coming through here because every single one of these motels had fantastic neon signs,” she said. “By the late ’30s into the ’40s and definitely in the ’50s, everybody had their neon and one of my favorites is west of here, the Sutro Motel. It has a sweet little script, just says Sutro on it. There’s small and there’s beautiful large signs like this Sandman, so it must have been something coming in town.”

* Berlin’s Hüttenpalast is a hotel of a different sort, using vintage travel trailers as individual rooms within a hotel, as the Tiny House Blog recently pointed out.

Hüttenpalast, which translates to “hut palace,” is built inside a nearly 6,500-square-foot Berlin factory. It houses eight unique camping trailers, three artistic tiny houses, six regular hotel rooms, and shared bathrooms. The hotel also includes a breakfast area, lounges, and a courtyard garden. Each of the houses and campers are available for overnight stays that range from 70 to 100 Euros per night.

* U.S. News and World Report has declared the Geo Metro an icon. Well, yeah, duh.

Yes, the Metro has become a cult classic, with the high fuel economy XFi being the holy grail of the Metro-centric world. The inexpensive, simple, subcompact Metro was GM’s last attempt to create a car with excellent gas mileage without using the slightest bit of technology.

The Geo Metro XFi was initially rated at 53 mpg in the city and 58 mpg on the highway using regular gasoline. The EPA later changed its testing and downgraded the car to 43 mpg in the city and 52 mpg on the highway. However, some Metro enthusiasts have reported gas mileage as high as 75 mpg. It seems that each time gas prices spike, there’s renewed interest in the car.

* While the Offenhauser had a major role to play in the history of the midget racer, it was far from the only engine of choice for midget builders, as we see from Al Blixt’s history of the Ford V8-60 as midget engine. (via)

In 1937, good news arrived from Ford Motor Company in the form of a new 136-cubic-inch, 60-horsepower V-8 engine. Designed as a more economical alternative to the larger 85-horsepower flathead V-8, the V8-60 also represented the first production-based engine to seriously challenge the Offy’s supremacy. Here was a nearly ideal powerplant — one that would dominate non-Offy midget racing for many years. They could be hopped up with special cams, heads and dual carburetors and they powered the majority of midgets through the late 1940s. It worst fault was overheating because of restricted exhaust passages out of the engine. As a result, the Fords were called “teakettles” and blew hoses regularly, sometimes terribly scalding their drivers. Still, they were fast enough to give the Offys a run for their money.

* Unless you’re a cyclist or French, there’s one reason to watch vintage films of the Tour de France: the promo vehicles that accompanied the racers. (via)

Il y a plus de 57 ans ! Maillot jaune : Jacques Anquetil, que l’on aperçoit très fugitivement dans la montée du col de la Schlucht.. A l’époque, les équipes étaient nationales… Et voyez la caravane publicitaire, c’est très drôle ! J’avais 18 ans et je me servais pour la première fois d’une petite caméra 8 mm… alors excusez les imperfections. Merci.