text is sized for an 800 x 600
We would encourage everyone to become
a POCA member, if you aren't already a member. Your membership in the
national club helps fund your local chapter. You can download a
membership application at http://www.panteraclub.com Please help our club grow.
Brunch with the
As you might remember from the last Capitol
Pantera Newsletter, Ken Montgomery mentioned that the DeLorean group was going
to Napa for a brunch and winery outing. We saw that our schedule was open,
so we contacted Ken about attending. We were able to attend the brunch at
the Rutherford Grill, but needed to return home in order to take Jim's mom out
for her 86 birthday dinner. (That is an automotive adventure of another
type, getting an 86 year old and a walker into our "big car", the Capri.) The
drive over to Rutherford was very nice. If traffic is moving, Highway 12
can be beautiful, rolling green hills, windmills, sheep with their lambs.
Jim figured that it was the first longer drive that the Pantera has been on
since he had the transmission work done. He thought that the new
fifth gear made the car run quieter than before. It is about 50 miles to
Rutherford from Rio Vista. We made the trip in one hour and two
minutes. That was very good time considering it was Sunday traffic on
Highway 12 on a beautiful Spring day. We were the first of the group to
arrive at the Rutherford Grill. That is one thing about meeting a bunch of
DeLoreans, it is easy to tell if anyone else has arrived. Since we were
about 40 minutes early, we walked across the road to do some olive oil and
vinegar tasting. After tasting several unusual items, we walked
back to the restaurant to find two DeLoreans parked next to the
Pantera. These two cars were from Sacramento. Ken told us that
John Worsley was unable to attend, in the Bricklin, due to a bad cheap gas
We waited a bit more and four more DeLoreans
arrived. This was the Bay Area contingent. They drove into the parking
lot with their doors open to keep cool. That was cool in every
way. They looked very impressive when all lined up in a row in the parking
lot! We then went into brunch. The Rutherford Grill had a wide
variety of entrees. All the plates looked very good when
they arrived at the table. The food was as tasty as it
looked. The mealtime conversation was good and we met some nice car
people. After brunch it was off to the parking lot to look at cars and
answer questions from the public. A couple of people even noticed the
Pantera! But the main attraction was definitely the DeLorean. It was
then time for them to head to their next stop and for us to head home to Rio
Vista. We thank the DeLorean group for taking in another orphan for
Notes from Thailand
This newsletter article is a "No Pantera Content" article. Jim and I
just returned from Thailand a few weeks ago and had some automotive observations
while on the trip.
First, they drive on the opposite side of the road. You must be
very careful crossing streets, because you will naturally look the wrong way to
make sure it's OK to cross. As you would expect from a city of 12 million,
Bangkok traffic is crowded and slow almost 24 hours a day. Traffic is much
more organized here than Beijing. There are almost no bicycles in Bangkok,
but lots of scooters and motorcycles. In a strange way the city is very
quiet, because the Thai seldom use their horns, totally unlike NYC where you
would swear the horn was wired to a toggle switch!
They don't manufacture their own vehicles. They are all imports from
Asia, Europe,and the USA. The most exotic car that we saw was a
Lamborghini Murcielago, in an exotic car showroom
window, along with various Porsche models and a 60's E-type Jaguar. We did
see a billboard that had the Ferrari and Masserati logos on it. Also, a
car dealership is called car gallery. The freeways are very good and
most of them are toll roads.
While we were there, the Government of Thailand raised the price of
gasoline 20% between Tuesday and Wednesday. This resulted in very long
lines at the gas stations, similar to the 1970's gas lines in the US. The
price of premium gas went from 20 to 24 baht per liter. That converts to a
new price of $2.16 a gallon. By the way, the premium gas is 95 octane and
the regular is 91 octane. Our Panteras would be very happy on this fuel.
The major gas brands are ESSO and Shell, with gas stations more plentiful then
in the USA.
The heat and humidity there is brutal, so the Pantera would be a real
pain. They have just two seasons, hot and relatively dry (the 'cool'
season) and hot/rainy (really hot & wet). You would just end up
permanently wiring the A/C on and forget about an off/on switch!
Another unique experience was a ride in a 'long tail' boat. These are
the canoe type boats powered by auto engines with a prop on a 10 foot drive
shaft, made famous in the James Bond movie 'Tomorrow Never Dies'.
The engines ranged from small Rotax plants to turbo charged V8's. There
was lots of vibration at idle, but was quite smooth when throttled up. We
motored through small cannels, similar to Venice, to a floating market.
The other 'Bond' vehicles were the Tuk-Tuk 3 wheel taxi's. They're
everywhere, quite maneuverable, and practical. Unfortunately, the
opportunity never presented itself to ride in one.
If you are able to go to Thailand, we would definitely recommend it, even
with the one way 16 1/2 hour flight time (2 legs, SFO to Taipei, then to
Bangkok). Come in January, if possible, to have the least heat/humidity
experience. The Grand Palace in Bangkok and the Bang Pa-In Palace near
Ayutthaya, fell into the HOLLY WOW category of places to see in the
world. It's good to be the king!
April 2 Tech Sessions
We were up early for a Saturday, because we were off to
Concord to make it on time for the first of hopefully many future Donut
Derelicts. The weather was clear and sunny, a great day for a drive
in the Pantera. We were a loaded up, camera, sun hat, maps.
Jim had prepped the Pantera the day before, detailed, fueled,charged the
battery, we were belted in and then it happened, or should I say it didn't
happen. The Lucas Gods of darkness struck! Jim started the car, then
it just went dead. There was no power to anything, the car just sat there
quiet and dark. Well, Jim checked the battery connections, and at
first glance appeared fine. The following week he found the problem
was in the main battery cable, much cheaper to fix than a new ignition
switch. Since we were on a mission to get to Donut Derelicts, there was no time
to trouble shoot the several problems that could have caused the system
failure. We quickly changed to plan B. We transferred everything to
the Capri and we were off only a few minutes behind schedule. The traffic
was light, so it was an easily drive to Concord. We have taken both Bailey
Road and Kirker Pass Road over from Highway 24 to the Concord area. Both
have the potential of being a fun drive in the Pantera, if the traffic
cooperates. We arrived at the Renaissance Cafe with time to spare.
While the location was good, the coffee and munchies good, the parking good, the
turn out was not. It was a first time attempt and we did meet Ed who has a
308 Ferrari. The next DD is set for Saturday, April 16th. The hope
is to combine a short drive if there are enough cars, but the drive will be
optional. We have Greg Jacobs to thank for all the effort in getting DD going in
While in Concord, we picked up a fly wheel from Greg Jacobs to
be used at the Tech Session in Stockton to help get Terry Eriksen's
recently acquired 1974 Pantera #7075 back on the road. (Terry should
be our next Capitol Pantera POCA member.) We arrived in Stockton to
find that Mike Drew, Mark Tumbarello, Curt Hall, Mike Lamm were already
there. It looked like a small car show in the neighborhood, Pantera,
Cobra, and E-type Jaguar, all parked in front of the garaged Pantera. A
short time later we were joined by Marcus Smith.
The session began with Krispy Kreme Donuts, so it was a mini-DD
session of sorts. The main goal was the replacement of the clutch.
Terry had already gotten the parts from PI, done the prep work that Jim
had earlier told him to do, had his floor jack and engine lift ready to go.
That turned out to be but one of the procedures that were preformed on the
formerly Houston based Pantera. There were numerous electrical
concerns that were partially addressed as well as resurfacing the aluminum
flywheel prior to it being reinstalled. Lunch was very good pizza that
provided a much needed break. Part of the group had to leave mid
afternoon, but Jim, Marcus, and Mike worked later. At about
7:30 pm, Jim and Mike were off to Greg Jacobs to help finish up his race
car conversion. I went home and was sound asleep when Jim and
Mike rolled in at about 12:30 AM. They then made a CD of the
photos that had been taken. Mike will no doubt be using them
in some sort of article. He was leaving that Monday for
Baghdad. By the way, Mike did drive his 427 Cobra to the sessions and that
was how he and Jim got to Concord. I'm glad it is only a two setter
and that I had to drive back to Rio Vista on my own. I like my
creature comforts too much and the Pantera is roughing it enough for me!
When I saw Jim drive off in the Cobra, all bundled up in multiple layers,
hat and ear plugs, I was happy to drive home in the Capri with a heater and
radio! I was in bed by 9:30 pm and never heard the guys enter the
house that morning! Thus ended yet another Pantera Saturday, only to
know that Jim will be tending to #1575 to have it back on the road for the next
Pantera Saturday. All in all it was a good day!
A nice little car show at Terry's home.
Notice the absence of friction material on the old clutch disk
on the left!
Mike & Greg working on the clutch slave cylinder