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lateapex
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115 years old
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Kathmandu, Nepal
Born Jan-24-1905
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Studying the Bible.
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Joined: 23-December 03
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Last Seen: 24th January 2020 - 12:00 AM
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lateapex

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24 Jan 2006
Hi all. I will not be around for a while because I will not have internet access starting tomorrow, since Charter was not able to help me on their new rate increase. I have no TV, and just for internet access their new rate will be $61.24 / month before taxes (they must charge more in Nepal than they do in America). That is over a 53% increase from my current rate. Bell South was supposed to be my new internet provider, but they have not gotten me their software yet, even though I ordered it 3 months ago and again 3 weeks ago. I may get spoiled by all of the extra time and just take an extended brake from the internet.

I will drop by the library now and then to see what is going on at FRRAX. If I get serious withdrawals, I may try Earthlink or something. When I got rid of my TV a few years ago, I missed it for less than a week. I define ďprogressĒ differently than most people.

My only regret is that I never got to 3 rocker arms.
11 Nov 2005
Some of you may be familiar with this article, but it appears that it is best to switch gasoline brands at certain intervals to minimize deposit buildups.

The author says he works for the largest gas retailer in the world, has 28 patents, and his specialty is gasoline additives. He has invented some for his employer.

http://vettenet.org/octane.html
24 Aug 2005
The Camaro will go back into limited production at a very high price.

http://www.autoweek.com/article.cms?articleId=103007
4 Aug 2005
This is from today's Automotive News:

Mustang success motivates GMís engineers, Mark Reuss says
By Richard Truett
Automotive News / August 04, 2005
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- The continued success of Fordís red-hot Mustang is being noticed at General Motors. There has been talk reviving the Chevrolet Camaro as a competitor to Fordís pony car.

Mark Reuss, GMís executive director of vehicle architecture and Performance Division, says his engineers are looking to develop a low-cost rear-wheel drive platform that makes good business sense. Reuss spoke to staff reporter Richard Truett at the Management Briefing Seminars.

In light of the success of Fordís new Mustang, has there been any rethinking of plans to bring back the Camaro or some other competitive car?
Yeah, absolutely. Itís not going unnoticed for sure. I think Ford did a great job with the Mustang, and you really have to look at it as a portfolio of cars. They have everything (in price) from the mid 20s up to 40s on that. Theyíve done a nice job. And you have to pay attention to that. For many, many years it was SUVs and four doors. I think the market goes back and forth on a lot of this stuff. I think a coupe with a really great package is a great thing to have. The Pontiac GTO right now is filling our niche in the upper end of the Mustang portfolio. But as we go through time, we look at how do we participate?

The rear-wheel-drive program GM was working on, is it killed, frozen or just not on the front burner?
We would like to have a low-cost, rear-wheel platform in our portfolio, but business is very tough right now. You have to look at that and ask how do we do this on a very profitable basis? We have more brands than just the Ford brand. We are trying to make intelligent decisions on how you do a rear-wheel-drive platform for a couple more brands than a one-branded Ford deal. I think Ford has said the Mustang is the main brand but we are going to do Cobras and all these sub-brands that get us into the higher end. We are probably going to do things that have more brand exposure potentially on a low-cost, rear-drive architecture. Sometimes it gets a little dangerous, quite frankly, about who talks about what and what that person in the media writes about it. Like there is some sort of revelation that we are canceling something or starting something. Quite frankly this is a journey we are on all the time.

Does ďlow costĒ rule out using the Cadillac CTS platform?
Well, I donít know. If you look at the CTS, you have to look at the good things, such as the straight frame barrels on the front that are very efficient for crush and very stiff for vehicle dynamics. We have an short- and long-arm front suspension and a multi-link rear and those Ö inherently perform very, very well. There are some cost issues compared to a strut suspension. But the geometry and components that you have in a short- and long-arm architecture could change to make a low-cost rear-wheel-drive architecture. We also have aluminum components. We have some pretty expensive materials in there. There are a lot of different ways to get costs down. Right now we are trying to look at what the portfolio looks like for the next 20 years. What are the things we want to do with it? I donít think the know-how is lacking. Itís specifically, what do we want to do with it over the next 10 years and then making an efficient business decision to address those needs.

Is the CTS a good size to launch other vehicles off?
We have two different widths, one for rear-wheel drive, one for all-wheel drive. Weíve got a long wheelbase version for China. So thereís a lot of wheelbase flexibility there.

Since the Holden Monaro is going out of production, is there pressure to come up with the next rear-wheel-drive architecture?
Itís not really an initiative as much as it is part of doing the business. We are looking at this stuff all the time. When we are ready to make decisions around what we are going to do there it is going to be a lot of where we want to put the car performance-wise, price-wise and brand-wise. Then we will go from there. Thatís kind of how we are approaching it. This is an ongoing thing.

What makes the Pontiac Solstice so special that buyers are lining up for it?
The soul of this car is four-cylinder, 20,000 bucks and low-volume.

How would a GXP version of the Solstice be configured, with a supercharger?
Probably not. If wanted to do something we probably would look more globally on how we want to charge the engine. We could use a turbocharger.

What else is the Performance Division working on?
We are actually doing some things for mainline vehicles, such as uplevel engines and with packaging and execution, things we have not been asked to do in the past. Iím launching the Cadillac XLR-V and STS-V, and Chevrolet Trailblazer SS right now. We are spending a lot of time on those launches making sure those cars are right.

Beyond the engines in the XLR-V and STS-V, will the performance division get any engines out of the new Performance Build Center, where engines are made by hand?
Oh yeah, I think so.

You may e-mail Richard Truett at rtruett@crain.com
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