Auto Urban Legends

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Is exercising at work widely accepted?

Getting a workout on the clock may be as easy as showing up to work — if you’re a construction worker or rafting guide. For others, getting a workout at a place of employment may be as easy as walking down to the company gym. However, a good many workers without the luxury of on-site gyms (or permissive managers) may have to sneak in a few reps within the confines of their cubicles when nobody’s looking.
We should be getting all the exercise we can. There are around 130 million American workers, and about 1 in 3 is at risk of developing a chronic disease [source: American Heart Association]. Between age 20 and retirement, the American worker has a 1-in-3 chance of becoming eligible for disability benefits [source: Social Security Administration]. And when retired workers move, 3 out of 5 list “access to healthcare” as the top reason for relocating [source: Hughes].
There’s clearly a need for healthier practices both in and out of the workplace

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. But is exercise itself welcome at work?
If your employer has an on-site gym, exercise is clearly welcome — when it takes place inside the gym. If you have the urge to do some cubicle lunges, you may want to bottle that up and save it for the on-site facility.
Even if you have the green light to perform cardio kickboxing in your cubicle, you still need to be aware of how it’s affecting you and those around you. If you’re stinking up the joint and frequently gasping to catch your breath, your daily exercise sessions will be most unwelcome no matter how tolerant your employer is otherwise.
Even if exercise is encouraged, don’t be tricked into thinking your workplace is more casual than it is. You know the saying, “When in doubt, be the best-dressed person there”? It’s better to wear your coat and tie while speaking to your sweat-suited boss than the other way around.
But how accepted is exercise in the workplace? We’ll find out, next.

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1963-1992 Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer

The arrival of the Jeep Wagoneer in the fall of 1962 was tremendously important for Jeep. While Willys Motors dominated the market for four-wheel-drive vehicles, there was little need to update its 1940s-vintage Jeep Station Wagon. But when industry rivals began entering the field in the late 1950s, a modern replacement became imperative.
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Indeed, the development of the Wagoneer was an essential, defining event for an entire class of vehicles that would spring up over the next 40 years, bringing together four-wheel drive, ample passenger and cargo room, and ever-greater levels of luxury.
Willys Motors, since 1953 a division of Kaiser Industries, had the market for light-duty four-wheel-drive vehicles nearly all to itself for years. It began producing the CJ-2A — the civilian version of the already-famous wartime “jeep” — in mid 1945, then introduced four-wheel-drive trucks in 1947.
Although the four-wheel-drive market wasn’t large in the immediate post-World War II years, Willys dominated it. But for 1961, there appeared a new contender. International Harvester introduced its Scout line of modern four-wheel-drive vehicles. The Scout’s target was the Jeep CJ, but with more room and comfort. Suddenly, Jeep was facing serious competition.
Willys management sprang into action. In early 1961, funding was approved for a new-product program that would include an entirely new range of Jeep vehicles and a new engine. Chief engineer A.C. Sampietro would handle the nuts and bolts, while the styling job was assigned to Brooks Stevens, the talented independent designer Willys had on retainer, and the tiny in-house Jeep styling staff under Jim Angers.
When Stevens was asked to come up with an all-new lineup of Jeep station wagons, pickups, and panel trucks, the project probably seemed a little bit like dижjид vu. A similar request during the mid-1940s was how Stevens began his affiliation with Willys. Back then, he labored on a series of postwar designs that resulted in the Jeep Station Wagon in 1946. In 1949, a four-wheel-drive version made its debut; it was the very first sport-utility vehicle.
But that was then and this was now. Willys no longer owned the four-wheel-drive market as it had a decade before. In the late 1950s, International, Dodge, Chevrolet, General Motors, Ford, and Studebaker all began offering factory-built 4б┴4 versions of their conventional light-duty trucks. Then came the Scout, and if it succeeded, would others follow? Stevens was going to have to come up with something really spectacular to compete with them all.
He did.
What Stevens developed, after a series of clay studies and endless sketches, was an attractive station wagon with fashionable, almost elegant lines. Introduced in November 1962, Willys called it the Jeep Wagoneer. It was larger than the old Jeep wagons and capable of carrying six passengers comfortably.
Glass areas were unusually large, endowing the interior with an airy, open feel quite unlike any previous utility wagon. The slab-sided body had a masculine handsomeness. Front-end styling was especially distinctive: a keystone grille flanked by large round vents almost as large as the headlamps. The hood was low, the flanks spare of unnecessary ornamentation.
It was a simple, honest look without gimmicks. This was not the sort of styling usually associated with trucks, yet it was much more rugged looking than an ordinary car. The overall style perfectly reflected Wagoneer’s personality.
Family wagon features abounded, with roll-down windows at each door, a tailgate with retractable window, and a stylish instrument panel. Engineers integrated the various four-wheel-drive components into the chassis design so that although the body sat low to the road, ground clearance remained excellent.
The step-in height was almost like that of an ordinary car. The company boasted that “The Wagoneer … is the first station wagon to offer complete passenger car styling in combination with the advantages of four-wheel-drive traction.”
Wagoneer’s 110-inch wheelbase was almost half a foot longer than the previous Jeep wagon, and its 183.6-inch overall length was more than seven inches greater. These were the largest, roomiest wagons Jeep had ever built.
Car Life noted “overall dimensions are almost identical to those of the Chevy II …. But Wagoneer looks a lot bigger than it really is — for reasons we cannot fully explain.” Yet, despite its size, Wagoneer seemed lithe and nimble compared to an Inter?national Travelall or Chevrolet Suburban. That perceived difference was crucial to the Wagoneer’s acceptance

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. In the public mind, the International and Chevrolet wagons were trucks; the Wagoneer seemed more like a family car substitute.
Even more important to its success was this: Wagoneer was a rolling laboratory of new ideas. It simply bristled with innovations. Wagoneers offered not one but two body styles; a conventional two-door utility wagon and a new four-door wagon that greatly expanded its appeal to families.
Wagoneer was also the first four-wheel-drive vehicle to offer an automatic transmission — by any estimate, the single most-desired feature among car buyers. The optional column-shifted Borg-Warner automatic earned Wagoneer a place on the shopping lists of thousands of new-car prospects.
Wagoneer also was the first four-wheel-drive wagon to offer an optional independent front suspension, utilizing long torsion bars in place of the standard front leaf springs for a smoother, carlike ride. This setup also reduced the turning radius by 16 inches.
Four-wheel drive was operated by a floor-mounted lever. The transfer case included four-wheel high and low ranges, plus regular two-wheel drive, though apparently Wagoneers with automatic transmission didn’t come with a low range. Indicator lights told drivers at a glance in which drive range the vehicle was engaged.
There was innovation under the hood as well, where the new “Tornado OHC” six-cylinder overhead-camshaft engine nestled comfortably in the large engine bay. Although it first appeared late in the 1962 model year as an option on Jeep utility wagons, pickups, and panel trucks, the engine was developed especially for the new Jeep line.
Then the only ohc engine from a U.S. producer, its power output was exceptional: 230 cid generated 140 bhp at 4,000 rpm and 210 pound-feet of torque at 1,750 rpm, 35 horsepower and 20 pound-feet more than Willys’s old Super Hurricane 226-cid L-head six.
Willys claimed it offered “the lowest specific fuel consumption of all production gasoline engines.” The Tor?nado was the only engine offered in Wagoneers; Willys had no V-8. Standard transmission was a three-speed manual with a column-mounted shifter. Over?drive could be ordered on two-wheel-drive models only.
Designated series J-100, at announcement Wagoneer offered two trim grades. Base-level Wagoneers came with plain upholstery and rubber floor mats, while flossier Deluxe models offered full carpeting plus fancier upholstery and door trim. Later in the year, the Custom series replaced the Deluxe, apparently without any change in equipment.
The two-door Wagoneer was the price leader, especially in two-wheel-drive form, with a base price of $2,546. A four-door, four-wheel-drive Wagoneer was priced at $3,332. Like most American vehicles back then, the base price was merely a starting point.
Wagoneer offered a broad list of optional equipment. Beside the autobox, buyers could order power steering, power brakes, push?button AM radio, electric clock, back-up lights, seat belts, electrically operated tailgate window, chrome wheel covers, and more. A dash-mounted compass was standard on four-wheel-drive models, optional for two-wheelers. There were work options too, including snowplows, winches — even a rotary broom.
Automotive magazines loved the new Willys. Four-Wheeler called Wagoneer “a striking and remarkable styling change” and spoke of “important advancements for four-wheelers.” Car Life said the OHC six was “commendably smooth and quiet.” Its testers recorded a 0-60-mph time of 15.9 seconds with automatic and 17 mpg on a 60-mph highway trip. City mileage was 14.5 mpg, which Car Life said “certainly demonstrates the remarkable efficiency of the OHC engine.”
Continue on to the next page to see more reactions to the new Jeep Wagoneer.
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Name the Price: Airplanes

In the 1997 film “The Edge,” Anthony Hopkins’ character shares this little slice of David Mamet-penned wisdom: “Never feel sorry for a man who owns a plane.” The message, of course

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, is that anybody who owns his or her own aircraft probably has more than enough money to buy happiness, too. That’s because flying costs some serious dough. But just how much money is tied up in the world’s airplanes

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How Sewing Machines Work

?Without the sewing machine, the world would be a very different place. Like the automobile, the cotton gin and countless other innovations from the past 300 years, the sewing machine takes something time-consuming and laborious and makes it fast and easy. With the invention of the mechanized sewing machine, manufacturers could suddenly produce piles of high-quality clothing at minimal expense. Because of this technology, the vast majority of people in the world can now afford the sort of sturdy, finely-stitched clothes that were a luxury only 200 years ago.
In this article, we’ll take look at the remarkable machine that makes all of this possible. As it turns out

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, the automated stitching mechanism at the heart of a sewing machine is incredibly simple, though the machinery that drives it is fairly elaborate, relying on an assembly of gears, pulleys and motors to function properly. When you get down to it, the sewing machine is among the most elegant and ingenious tools ever created.
Sewing machines are something like cars: There are hundreds of models on the market, and they vary considerably in price and performance. At the low-end of the scale, there are conventional no-frills electric designs, ideal for occasional home use; at the high-end, there are sophisticated electronic machines that hook up to a computer. Textile companies have many machines to choose from, including streamlined models specifically designed to sew one particular product.
But just like cars, most sewing machines are built around one basic idea. Where the heart of a car is the internal combustion engine, the heart of a sewing machine is the loop stitching system.
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1930 Isotta Fraschini 8A Flying Star Roadster

Kings, tycoons, popes, and movie stars rode in Isotta Fraschinis, including the 1930 Isotta Fraschini 8A Flying Star Roadster. Clara Bow had an Isotta, and Rudolph Valentino owned two. The 1950 film Sunset Boulevard appropriately equipped fictional silent-film star Norma Desmond with an Isotta Fraschini landaulet.
The Italian automaker was best known for its big eights of the Twenties and Thirties, but Isotta Fraschini also built a broad range of sporting machines before World War I and was active in racing. In 1910, it was among the first to put brakes on all four wheels; most other makes didn’t offer four-wheel brakes until the mid Twenties.
After the Great War, Isotta changed course and offered a single luxury model powered by the first production straight eight. Luxury-car buyers wanted smooth, flexible multi-cylinder engines, but the early V-8 engines had vibration issues. Until V-8 technology advanced, straight eights were smoother and dominated the luxury-car market between the wars. Isotta’s 5.9-liter eight with overhead valves developed 80 bhp in the Tipo 8

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In 1925, capacity was increased to 7.3 liters for the Tipo 8A and horsepower rose to 110-120. The power ratings are deceptive because there was also a tremendous amount of torque. The big Isotta could creep along at four mph in top gear of its three-speed transmission, and first gear was seldom needed as the car could easily launch in second. Top speed was more than 85 mph, and acceleration was strong. More important to Isotta’s clientele was the eight’s smoothness and reliability.
Isotta Fraschini competed with Rolls-Royce and Hispano-Suiza in the super-luxury market. Isottas were as meticulously crafted and as well finished as their lofty competition. But it was the long hood and Italian coachwork on a standard 145-inch wheelbase that really set Isotta Fraschinis apart from other luxury cars. With the American economy booming in the Twenties, a third of the 1480 Isotta straight eights were sold here. An 8A chassis cost $6500 and custom bodies started at $6,000, although a complete car could exceed $20,000 — this when Lincoln’s 1929 offerings topped out at $7,400.
In 1928, the company began to concentrate on aircraft engine production. Then the 1929 stock market crash killed the lucra?tive American market. Dwindling car production ended in 1935

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. Prototypes for a rear-engined V-8 car were shown after World War II, but it was not put into production.
In 1931, Carrozzeria Touring built a striking Flying Star roadster on a short 135-inch 8A chassis. The car seen here originally had a coupe body, but that was replaced by an Australian reproduction of the Flying Star. It is owned by Paul Emple of Rancho Santa Fe, California. Mr. Emple says he often drives the car, which took second in its class at the 2001 Peb?ble Beach concourse.
What of the original? Rumor has it that when last seen, it was being driven by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini and his mistress.

The Most Expensive Car Gear

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The Rise of Food Trucks
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How CEOs Work

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You’ve heard about his private jet, fancy mansion and sports car collection — not to mention the cutthroat business practices that helped him attain all these things. He’s the CEO of your company, and you’re probably lucky if he knows your name.
Well, this is the stereotypical portrait of a CEO, anyway. In reality, yours might be a nice, down-to-earth guy, or he may be a she. Regardless, CEOs have a reputation for living luxuriously, having keen business minds and striking fear into the hearts of employees whenever they happen to drop in.
In corporate culture, a chief executive officer, or CEO, is the big boss. CEOs may not do the nitty-gritty hirings and firings themselves

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, but they run the show. They’re in charge of setting strategy, company goals and making the high-end decisions

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. Because this is a big job, they delegate many of their powers to other executives. Employees can question a CEO’s judgment, but only at their own risk. That’s not to say CEOs are untouchable or have unchecked power. Although he or she may be top dog in the office, the CEO must answer to a board of directors.
?Nevertheless, the power associated with the position often generates suspicion and controversy. When a company is suffering throu?gh a tough quarter and sends word to its employees that there won’t be any Christmas bonus this year, it certainly looks bad to see a CEO take an increase in salary and fly off on vacation in the company jet. It’s also suspicious when a company’s CEO serves simultaneously as chairman of the board of directors. What’s more, the position draws heightened scrutiny these days after such corporate scandals as Enron exposed CEOs abusing their power.
Before we delve into these and other controversies that swarm around CEOs, we need to understand what these officers do. It can be difficult to define a CEO’s responsibilities due to the fact that every company’s CEO is different. Because they hold the top internal position in a corporation, CEOs get to decide which duties they want to take on personally and which they want to delegate. And because every corporation has its own culture and various industries operate on different corporate structures, we’ll have to look at the role from a general perspective. Let’s start with a brief overview of how corporations work.
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1968-1974 AMC Javelin

The 1968-1974 AMC Javelin was the creation of Richard A. Teague, chief designer for the company since 1960. Teague left his job at Chrysler and signed on as chief stylist for American Motors. There he remained until his retirement, which he took shortly after the French buy-in and restructuring of the company around Renault (and soon-to-be Chrysler) models.
AMC looked like a good choice for a talented designer in those days. It had been formed out of Hudson and Nash in 1954 by George Mason, whose untimely death later that year prompted George Romney’s promotion into the president’s chair.
Like Mason, Romney believed in smaller, more efficient “compact” cars, and so American Motors shifted most of its emphasis to the Rambler American — just in the nick of time for the 1958 recession.
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Thus, in a year when sales of most Detroit products plummeted, Rambler rolled to a record 200,000 units

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. A year after Teague had come aboard, AMC found itself third in volume behind Chevy and Ford, an amazing showing for an independent.
Teague couldn’t have minded, after what he’d been through. California-born, a nut for cars and planes, he had joined General Motors in 1948 but was underwhelmed by the bureaucracy there. Switching to Packard, he became director of styling in 1953, only to play centerstage during the death throes of the marque in the mid-1950s.
Teague presided over AMC Styling through those prosperous years when the firm — the leading purveyor of cars Romney called “alternatives to the Detroit dinosaur” — could do no wrong.
Teague’s eye for styling integrity turned the overstyled Rambler into a smoothly skinned design by 1963, while the American “ordnance vehicle” blossomed into a graceful compact by 1964, the same year AMC embarked on its ponycar project.
While the AMC Javelin was very definitely a competitive response to the wildly successful Ford Mustang, other complex changes occurring at American Motors at that time also affected its creation.
When Romney resigned to enter politics in February 1962, his replacement as president was Roy Abernathy, a sales executive with the dubious prior background of Kaiser and Packard.
Almost simultaneously, AMC switched roles. From an exclusive supplier of reliable-but-dull compacts, the firm moved toward a broad product line meeting the Big Three across the board.
During this period, AMC built luxury Ambassadors, fastback Marlins, Rebel muscle cars, the novel two-seater AMX, and the handsome Javelin.
The AMC Javelin was not Roy Abernathy’s kind of car, and by the time it arrived, he’d gone. He had been blamed for setting AMC on an ultimately fatal course, first because his board asked for it, secondly because there were few alternatives.
They’d been first out with a compact, but once the Big Three entered that market, Rambler sales bombed. You can have a good idea, even if you’re small

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. But, as Rich Taylor once commented, “you’ll have elephant footprints all over you” before you know it.
But Abernathy’s successor, Roy Dikeman Chapin, Jr., welcomed such new product thrusts as the Javelin, which improved morale among AMC stylists. The enthusiasm was not hard to understand, Motor Trend remarked, after you’d met Teague himself: “He sits at his desk, surrounded by models of classic cars, flails his arms and yells with enthusiasm when discussing even moderately exciting ones.”
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