Did a Tax on Chicken Change the Pickup Truck Industry?

Subaru Brat in a Brook with a Bridge Featured in Background
Subaru Brat Created as an Attempt to Circumvent the “Chicken Tax”

 

It sure did. A German tax on imported chicken from the 1960s is still affecting where and how trucks are built and what trucks are available in the US – even though the original German tax has expired! International trade is complex and the results can be strange. Cheap chicken in the ‘60s is the reason you can’t get a Ford Ranger in the US today.

Why was there a Tax on Chicken in the ’60s?

Following World War II, US chicken farms became extremely productive, bringing down the price of chicken not only in the US, but in Europe. Cheap imported chicken led West Germans to eat 23% more chicken than before. That was great news for German chicken eaters and American chicken farmers, but bad news for German chicken farmers, who couldn’t produce chicken cheap enough to compete. In 1961, to keep German chicken farmers from going out of business, Germany imposed a tax on imported chicken. France, in a similar situation, followed suit.

The tariff became a point of contention between the US and Germany. German Prime Minister Konrad Adenauer later reported that most of his conversations with President Kennedy were about chicken.

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Signs & Symptoms of Failing Shocks & Stuts

Your shocks and struts can wear over time. The rate of wear will depend on the driving conditions where you live, but generally shocks last about 50,000 to 80,000 miles. Shocks are important to the overall safety of your vehicle. They help keep the tires in contact with the road, giving you the traction to accelerate, stop, and steer as necessary. They also keep your ride smooth and in control.

Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to check if your shocks need to be replaced. There are some telltale signs that your shocks may be wearing out, some visual signs to look for, and a simple test you can do yourself to decide if you need to replace your shocks.

Signs Your Shocks Are Going Bad

  • Your ride will start to feel rougher or more bouncy than before.
  • You may hear a rattling or creaking sound when you drive over bumps.
  • Brake dive, acceleration squat, and the body roll.
  • Loss of traction and increased stopping distances
  • Uneven tire wear including cupped indentations or bald spots

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Symptoms of a Bad Wheel Bearing

How do you know if you have a bad wheel hub or bearing? There are number of symptoms that can indicate a bearing or hub problem. They include:

  • Grinding noises coming from the wheels
  • Sounds of clicking, popping, or snapping from the wheels
  • Steering that feels loose or sloppy
  • Steering wheel vibrations that get worse at higher speeds
  • Roughness or difficulty rolling in neutral gear
  • Pulling to one side when you use the brakes
  • Unusual or uneven tire wear on one side
  • Lit up ABS dashboard light– on many cars the anti-lock brake system sensor is built into the hub

What Can Go Wrong With a Wheel Hub?

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What to Do If Your Car’s Overheating

Car Coolant System

How do I know that my Car is Overheating?

Temperature Gauge:

You’ll notice the needle on your dashboard engine temperature gauge (that’s the one marked with H for hot and C for cold) creeping up.

Plastic or Rubber Smell:

Plastic parts and rubber hoses in your engine bay may give off smells under intense heat.

Bubbling Sound:

A Bubbling sound coming from the engine bay might be a sign of hot, expanding coolant overflowing from the radiator to the coolant tank.

Ticking Sound:

A ticking sound from the engine could indicate that your oil is low, but can also be a sign that your oil is thinned out from overheating.

Steam:

If steam is starting to come out from under your hood, you most likely have an overheating problem.

What Should I do?

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What’s That Leak Under my Car?

Car Fluid Leak Identification Chart
Click to enlarge

You go out to your car in the morning or at the end of the work day, and there are drops of liquid, or worse yet, a big puddle, underneath it.  You wonder what’s leaking and how bad is it? You don’t necessarily need to call a mechanic or have the car towed off the bat. With a little knowledge and some testing you can figure out what the fluid is what to do about it.

First you’ll want to capture the leaks. It will be hard to get a good look at them on dark pavement, so put down a piece of butcher paper, newspaper, cardboard or aluminum foil underneath your car to catch the leaks. Park the car somewhere flat and level, and weigh down your drip catcher so it doesn’t get blown away by the wind. Once you’ve caught some of the fluid, it’s time to identify it. To do this, you’ll have to use your senses of sight, touch, and maybe even smell.

Identify where the leak is coming from

The first clue you’re going to use to identify your leak is where it’s coming from. If you have a rear wheel drive vehicle (common for pickup trucks, some sports cars, and most classics), a leak coming from the rear of the car is most likely differential fluid. A leak in the rear could also be coming from the gas tank.

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2017 1A Auto Charity Car Show & Fundraiser

It’s almost time for 1A Auto’s annual charity car show in Pepperell, MA. We started doing this car show back in 2009 to raise money for the Multiple Sclerosis Society of America and the North Middlesex Athletic Boosters.

We wanted to give back to our local community and a great national cause. The North Middlesex Athletic Boosters award scholarships to our local high school students and support athletic programs. The Multiple Sclerosis Association of America connects people with multiple sclerosis with products and services that help improve their lives. Multiple sclerosis affects about 400,000 people in the US and 2.5 million people worldwide.

With our love of all things automotive, we thought, what better way to raise funds – and have a little fun – than a car show. The show’s been growing ever since. Last year, was our biggest year yet, with over 225 cars. We plan to build the event into New England’s biggest car show.

Join Us!

When: Sunday, July 23rd at 9:00 am – 1:00 pm

Where: Pepperell Town Field, 4 Hollis Street, Pepperell Massachusetts

Price:  $10 per vehicle
$20 for Vendors
Free For Spectators

Rain or Shine.

Pets are welcome

Check out Facebook for full details and see what people are saying!

Last year we spotted a lot of awesome cars like this GTO Judge:
GTO Judge
These Beetles:

volkswagen beetles

This GTR:

Nissan GT-R

And this crazy contraption:

custom truck with two front ends

If you’ve got a sweet ride to show off, we’d love to have you join us.  All makes and models are welcome. And if you just want to check out the show, kids are welcome and entrance is free. It’s sure to be a great time.

Why You Should Rotate Your Tires

What is tire rotation?

To start, tire rotation is when you change the location of each tire.  You keep the same tires and just move them around.  This helps extend the life of each tire.

Why should I rotate my tires?

The short answer is that your tires wear at different rates.  Relocating tires that experience more wear to spots where they’ll experience less wear (and vice versa) can give you the maximum life out of each tire.  That’s better than letting an individual tire wear out quickly, requiring you to replace it more often.

Why do tires wear at different rates?

You might think they would wear out at the same rate, since they go the same distance over the same roads.  Well, actually, they don’t necessarily all go the same distance.  In a turn, the outside wheel covers more distance.  Since we drive on the right hand side in the United States, left hand turns take longer.  That means our left tires cover more distance than the right ones, so they wear faster.  If you live somewhere where driving on the left side is the norm, your right wheels will wear faster.

The other factor affecting tire wear is the weight on top of the tires.  The engine is the heaviest thing in your car, and in the vast majority of cars, it’s located at the front.  That means the front tires get pushed harder against the road than the rear tires.  That also wears them faster.

The front wheels also have the duty of steering.  When steering, the tires turn across the ground, which scrapes off some of the rubber surface.  That also speeds up the wear on the front tires.

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