Nelson Piquet

Brazilian race car driver and former Formula One World Champion, Nelson Piquet was Born 17th August 1952. Born the son of a Brazilian politican, he had a brief career in tennis before losing interest in the sport. Piquet took up karting and hid his identity to prevent his father discovering and he became the Brazilian national karting champion in 1971-72 and won the Formula Vee championship in 1976. With advice from Emerson Fittipaldi, Piquet went to Europe to further success by taking the record number of wins in Formula Three in 1978, defeating Jackie Stewart’s all-time record.In the same year, he made his Formula One debut with the Ensign team and drove for Mclaren and Brabham.

In 1979, Piquet moved to the Brabham team and finished the runner-up in 1980 before winning the championship in 1981. Piquet’s poor performances in 1982 saw a resurgence for 1983 and his second world championship. For 1984-85, Piquet had once again lost chances to win the championship but managed to score three wins during that period. He moved to the Williams team in 1986 and was a title contender until the final round in Australia. Piquet took his third and final championship in 1987 during a heated battle with team-mate Nigel Mansell which left the pair’s relationship sour. Piquet subsquently moved to Lotus for 1988-89 where he experienced his third drop in form. He eventually went to the Benetton team for 1990-91 where he managed to win three races before retiring. After retiring from Formula One, Piquet tried his hand at the Indianapolis 500 for two years. He currently runs his own company Autotrac, which supplies tracking equipment for transport and also manages his son Nelson Piquet Jr.

International Biodiesel Day

 Biodiesel Day is celebrated annually on 10 August to commemorate the occasion in 10 August 1893 when Rudolf Diesel’s prime model, a single 10 ft (3.0 m) iron cylinder with a flywheel at its base, ran on its own power for the first time in Augsburg, Germany, fuelled by nothing but pea-nut Oil. Rudolf Diesel and the Otto Company also exhibited a small Diesel Engine at the Paris Exhibition in 1900 (Exposition Universelle) Which ran on arachide (ground-nut or pea-nut) oil and worked so smoothly that only a few people were aware of it. The engine was constructed for using mineral oil, and was then worked on vegetable oil without any alterations being made. The French Government at the time thought of testing the applicability to power production of the Arachide, or earth-nut, which grows in considerable quantities in their African colonies, and can easily be cultivated there.” Diesel himself later conducted related tests and appeared supportive of the idea. In a 1912 speech Diesel said, “the use of vegetable oils for engine fuels may seem insignificant today but such oils may become, in the course of time, as important as petroleum and the coal-tar products of the present time.”

Biodiesel refers to a vegetable oil – or animal fat-based diesel fuel consisting of long-chain alkyl (methyl, ethyl, or propyl) esters. Transesterification of a vegetable oil was conducted as early as 1853 by Patrick Duffy, four decades before the first diesel engine became functional. Biodiesel is typically made by chemically reacting lipids (e.g., vegetable oil, soybean oil,animal fat (tallow) with an alcohol producing fatty acid esters. Biodiesel is meant to be used in standard diesel engines and is thus distinct from the vegetable and waste oils used to fuel converted diesel engines. Biodiesel can be used alone, or blended with petrodiesel in any proportions. Biodiesel blends can also be used as heating oil. The National Biodiesel Board (USA) defines “biodiesel” as a mono-alkyl ester.

Despite the widespread use of petroleum-derived diesel fuels, interest in vegetable oils as fuels for internal combustion engines was reported in several countries during the 1920s and 1930s and later during World War II. Belgium, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, Portugal, Germany, Brazil, Argentina, Japan and China were reported to have tested and used vegetable oils as diesel fuels during this time. Some operational problems were reported due to the high viscosity of vegetable oils compared to petroleum diesel fuel, which results in poor atomization of the fuel in the fuel spray and often leads to deposits and coking of the injectors, combustion chamber and valves. Attempts to overcome these problems included heating of the vegetable oil, blending it with petroleum-derived diesel fuel or ethanol, pyrolysis and cracking of the oils.

On 31 August 1937, G. Chavanne of the University of Brussels, Belgium was granted a patent for a “Procedure for the transformation of vegetable oils for their uses as fuels” (fr. “Procédé de Transformation d’Huiles Végétales en Vue de Leur Utilisation comme Carburants”) Belgian Patent 422,877. This patent described the alcoholysis (often referred to as transesterification) of vegetable oils using ethanol (and mentions methanol) in order to separate the fatty acids from the glycerol by replacing the glycerol with short linear alcohols. This appears to be the first account of the production of what is known as “biodiesel” today. More recently, in 1977, Brazilian scientist Expedito Parente invented and submitted for patent, the first industrial process for the production of biodiesel. This process is classified as biodiesel by international norms, conferring a “standardized identity and quality. No other proposed biofuel has been validated by the motor industry.”As of 2010, Parente’s company Tecbio is working with Boeing and NASA to certify bioquerosene (bio-kerosene), another product produced and patented by the Brazilian scientist.

Research into the use of transesterified sunflower oil, and refining it to diesel fuel standards, was initiated in South Africa in 1979. By 1983, the process for producing fuel-quality, engine-tested biodiesel was completed and published internationally. An Austrian company, Gaskoks, obtained the technology from the South African Agricultural Engineers; the company erected the first biodiesel pilot plant in November 1987, and the first industrial-scale plant in April 1989 (with a capacity of 30,000 tons of rapeseed per annum). Throughout the 1990s, plants were opened in many European countries, including the Czech Republic, Germany and Sweden. France launched local production of biodiesel fuel (referred to as diester) from rapeseed oil, which is mixed into regular diesel fuel at a level of 5%, and into the diesel fuel used by some captive fleets (e.g. public transportation) at a level of 30%. Renault, Peugeot and other manufacturers have certified truck engines for use with up to that level of partial biodiesel; experiments with 50% biodiesel are underway. During the same period, nations in other parts of the world also saw local production of biodiesel starting up: by 1998, the Austrian Biofuels Institute had identified 21 countries with commercial biodiesel projects. 100% biodiesel is now available at many normal service stations across Europe.

Nigel Mansell

British Motor Racing Driver and 1992 Formula One World Champion Nigel Mansell, CBE was born 8 August 1953 in Upton-upon-Severn, Worcestershire, England. He won both the Formula One World Championship (1992) and the CART Indy Car World Series (1993). Mansell was the reigning F1 champion when he moved over to CART, being the first person to win the CART title in his debut season, making him the only person to hold both titles simultaneously. His career in Formula One spanned 15 seasons, with his final two full seasons of top-level racing being spent in the CART series. Mansell remains one of the most successful British Formula One drivers of all time in terms of race wins with 31 victories, and is fourth overall on the Formula One race winners list behind Michael Schumacher, Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna. He held the record for the most number of poles set in a single season, which was broken in 2011 by Sebastian Vettel.

Mansell was also rated in the top 10 Formula One drivers of all time by longtime Formula One commentator Murray Walker. In 2008, American sports television network ESPN ranked him 24th on their top drivers of all-time. He was also ranked No. 9 of the 50 greatest F1 drivers of all time by the Times Online on a list that also included such drivers as Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, Jackie Stewart and Jim Clark.Mansell raced in the GP Masters series and signed a one-off race deal for the Scuderia Ecosse GT race team to drive their number 63 Ferrari F430 GT2 car at Silverstone on 6 May 2007. He has since competed in additional sports car races with his sons, Leo and Greg, including the 2010 24 Hours of Le Mans. To date, he is the most recent inductee to the International Motorsports Hall of Fame from a country other than the US, having been inducted in 2005. He is also the current President of one of the UK’s largest Youth Work Charities, UK Youth and is also President of the IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists).

Severn Valley Railway Classic Car Day

This years Severn Valley Railway Classic Car & Bike Day takes place on Sunday 30 July at Kidderminster, Highley Bewdley & Bridgnorth Sations and features approximately 200 vehicles on display. There are also cars on display at Arley & Highley Stations aswell as an impressive line-up of classic & vintage motorcycles on display at Hampton Loade Station. From Ford to Fiat, Jaguar to Lotus, Rolls Royce to Triumph, and VW Camper to Heinkel Bubble Car, there will be up to 150 vehicles in attendance.

 

Cars in previous shows have include a Bentley 3 Litre, 1926 Cluley, a 1926 Rolls-Royce, an Austin Maxi, Bentley & Rolls-Royce Classics, a rare 1934 Hillman Aero a 1920s Austin Seven Tourer. E Type Jaguar, Jensen Interceptor, 1960 Messerschmidt 200, Morris Minor 1000, Austin A40, Ford Zephyr, Vauxhall Viva, Austin 7, Hillman Minx, 1922 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost, 1925 Bentley, 1934 Lagonda 16/80 & 1953 Armstrong Siddeley. 1959 Heinkel Bubble Car, MG TA, Daimler Dart, Jaguar XK150, Morris Minor Police Car, Austin Burnham, a Rover 10, Ford Consul, Riley RME, Triumph Mayflower, Alvis TE21, Triumph Roadster, Vauxhall Cresta, Austin 7, MG TA, Morgan 4/4, Jaguar S type, Wolsley 12/48, Morris Minor Traveller, Land Rover, Hillman Minx, Ford Capri, Lotus Elise, Austin A35, Ford Zephyr Zodiac, MG Magnette, Austin Cambridge, Daimler Dart, Jensen Interceptor, Austin Healey Sprite, Rover 10, Rolls Royce and a Jaguar XK12.

 

Clive Cussler

American adventure novelist and marine archaeologist Clive Eric Cussler, was born July 15, 1931 in Aurora, Illinois. His exciting thriller novels, many featuring the character Dirk Pitt, have reached The New York Times fiction best-seller list more than seventeen times. Cussler is also the founder and chairman of the real-life National Underwater and Marine Agency (NUMA), which has discovered more than sixty shipwreck sites and numerous other notable sunken underwater wreckages. He is the sole author or lead author of more than 50 books. Born in Aurora, Illinois, Cussler grew up in Alhambra, California and was awarded the rank of Eagle Scout when he was 14. He attended Pasadena City College for two years and then enlisted in the United States Air Force during the Korean War. During his service in the Air Force, he was promoted to Sergeant and worked as an aircraft mechanic and flight engineer for the Military Air Transport Service (MATS) After his discharge from the military, Cussler went to work in the advertising industry, first as a copywriter and later as a creative director for two of the nation’s most successful advertising agencies. As part of his duties Cussler produced radio and television commercials, many of which won international awards including an award at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival.

Clive Cussler began writing in 1965 when his wife took a job working nights for the local police department where they lived in California. After making dinner for the kids and putting them to bed he had no one to talk to and nothing to do so he decided to start writing. His most famous creation is marine engineer, government agent and adventurer Dirk Pitt. The Dirk Pitt novels frequently take on an alternative history perspective, such as“what if Atlantis was real?” or “what if Abraham Lincoln wasn’t assassinated, but was kidnapped?”The first two Pitt novels, The Mediterranean Caper and Iceberg, were relatively conventional maritime thrillers. The third, Raise the Titanic!, made Cussler’s reputation and established the pattern that subsequent Pitt novels would follow: a blend of high adventure and high technology, generally involving megalomaniacal villains, lost ships, beautiful women, and sunken treasure. Cussler’s novels, like those of Michael Crichton, are examples of techno-thrillers that do not use military plots and settings. Where Crichton strove for scrupulous realism, however, Cussler prefers fantastic spectacles and outlandish plot devices. The Pitt novels, in particular, have the anything-goes quality of the James Bond or Indiana Jones movies, while also sometimes borrowing from Alistair MacLean’s novels. Pitt himself is a larger-than-life hero reminiscent of Doc Savage and other characters from pulp magazines.

Clive Cussler has had more than seventeen consecutive titles reach The New York Times fiction best-seller list.Following the publication in 1996 of Cussler’s first nonfiction work, The Sea Hunters, he was awarded a Doctor of Letters degree in 1997 by the Board of Governors of the State University of New York Maritime College who accepted the work in lieu of a Ph.D. thesis. This was the first time in the college’s 123-year history that such a degree had been awarded. In 2002 Cussler was awarded the Naval Heritage Award from the U S Navy Memorial Foundation for his efforts in the area of marine exploration. Cussler is a fellow of the Explorers Club of New York, the Royal Geographic Society in London, and the American Society of Oceanographers. As an underwater explorer, Cussler has discovered more than sixty shipwreck sites and has written non-fiction books about his findings.

Festival of Black Country Vehicles

The 15th Annual Festival of Black Country Vehicles takes place at the Black Country Living Museum on 18 June. The festival celebrates the Black Country’s historical reputation as a major centre for vehicle manufacturing and will feature a gathering of cars, motorcycles and commercial vehicles all built in the Black Country from 1913 up until the present day, such as Austin, Bean, Clyno, Jensen, Lomax, Quantum, Rickman, Star, Sunbeam, Swallow, Turner and Westfield.

The museum also has many other road transport exhibits which were used and made in the Black Country including the Wolverhampton District Electric Tramways Company tram No. 34, Dudley, Stourbridge and District Electric Traction Company tram No. 5, a Guy single-decker Bus, a 1920 Dudley, Stourbridge and District Electric Traction Company No. 5 Tividale single-decker tram, the Wolverhampton District Electric Tramways Company No. 19 works car, TheWolverhampton Tramways Company Horse Tram No. 23 open-topper built in 1892, the Wolverhampton District Electric Tramways Company No. 34 Tividale single-decker built in 1919. The Wolverhampton Corporation Tramways open topper No. 49 built in 1909, The Dudley, Stourbridge and District Electric Traction Company No. 75 Tividale single-decker which was built in 1919, The Wolverhampton Corporation Tramways No. 102 Tividale single-decker built in 1920, the Birmingham Central Tramways Company Ltd cable car No. 104 open-topper built in 1886 and the Lisbon No. 361 single-decker built in 1907. Buses at the museum include the West Bromwich Corporation Daimler CVG6 GEA 174 built in 1948, the Midland Red BMMO D9 6342 HA built in 1963, the Guy Motors KTT 689 built in 1948, the West Bromwich Corporation Dennis E-Type EA 4181 built in 1929 and the Reo Speedwagon with C14D bodywork MR 3879 built in 1924.

Operational Trolleybuses at the museum include the Walsall Corporation trolleybus 862, The Wolverhampton Corporation Guy Transport 78, the Wolverhampton Corporation Sunbeam Transport 433, the Bradford Corporation Transport 735 – A Karrier W built in 1946 and the Walsall Corporation Transport 862, a Sunbeam F4A with a Willowbrook Body. Wolverhampton was home to some early manufacturers of motor cars, such as Sunbeam, Clyno, AJS and Star and The Museum collection includes a 1903 Sunbeam, a 1912 Star and a 1931 AJS as well as examples of later vehicles such as the Kieft, Frisky and Westfield Topaz. There are also approximately 40 motor cycles in the Museum’s collection, including Sunbeams, AJS, Wearwell and Rocksons. Unusual vehicles in the fleet include a 1924 Guy-Morris fire engine, a Model T Ford van used by Willenhall firm Brevitt’s and a Bean of Tipton flat bed truck.

James Hunt

British Motor Racing legend James Hunt tragically died 15 June 1993 after suffering a heart attack. Born 29 August 1947, He began his racing career in touring car racing, Hunt progressed into Formula Three where he attracted the attention of the Hesketh Racing team and was soon taken under their wing. Hunt’s often action-packed exploits on track earned him the nickname “Hunt the Shunt”. Hunt entered Formula One in 1973, driving a March 731 entered by the Hesketh Racing team.

He went on to win for Hesketh, driving their own Hesketh 308 car, in both World Championship and non-Championship races, before joining the McLaren team at the end of 1975. In his first year with McLaren, Hunt won the 1976 World Drivers’ Championship, and he remained with the team for a further two years, although with less success, before moving to the Wolf team in early 1979. Following a string of races in which he failed to finish, Hunt retired from driving halfway through the 1979 season.

After retiring from racing in 1979, Hunt became a media commentator and businessman, commenting on Grands Prix for the BBC. He was known for his knowledge, insights, dry sense of humour and his criticism of drivers who, he believed, were not trying hard enough, which in the process brought him a whole new fanbase and He was inducted into the Motor Sport Hall of Fame on 29 January 2014.