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Buggy Humor and War Stories - Page 4 - Buggy Alumni Association

Buggy Humor and War Stories

shafeeq
Posts: 238
Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2008 6:40 pm
Organization: CIA
Graduation Year: 2000
Real Name: Shafeeq S

Re: Buggy Humor and War Stories

Postby shafeeq » Fri Apr 30, 2010 12:49 pm


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BuggyBob
Posts: 129
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2008 8:42 am
Organization: SAE
Graduation Year: 1974
Real Name: Rob Thomas
Location: Stealing Your Wheels

Re: Buggy Humor and War Stories

Postby BuggyBob » Fri Apr 30, 2010 1:57 pm

We (SAE) used to try tests of wheels and tires (etc.) in Baker Hall (nice down slope) late at night, until the Rent-A-Cops threw us out.
Actually, the slope was long and shallow enough to be able to assess if 'improvements' did 'improve'. It was useful to have such a safe and readily accessible place within walking distance. Perhaps this should be encouraged as a dedicated test area. When we did roll tests, it was always just a straight 'let go from dead stop' start (no push off).

We also found a number of places off campus (industrial parks) whose paved (city) roads were virtually empty of weekends, where we used to 'try out' 'improvements'. (Hardly an original idea.).

I built one of SAE's buggies myself over the summer at home in Philadelphia, and brought it back to CMU strapped to the top of my mom's Volvo station wagon. We got some weird "WTF is that?" looks from passers-by on the PA turnpike.
* "I love the smell of solvents at Free Roll. It smells like......victory".
* "I'm loosing my mind, but I don't seem to miss it much."

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Elmo Zoneball
Posts: 132
Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2009 3:31 pm
Organization: SAE
Graduation Year: 1979
Location: Bottom of Flagstaff, watching the chute, collecting samples...

Re: Buggy Humor and War Stories

Postby Elmo Zoneball » Fri Apr 30, 2010 2:02 pm

I realize what follows is probably not terribly funny for hard-core buggy people, as it relates to the Infamous SAE "New Ken Limo" -- used for many years as a humorous entry on race day, but if you are that hard core, please skip this post.

For the rest of you, some background: the "Limo" (as it was known in later years,) started its existence as a nameless "push practice" buggy in the early '70s. Built by BuggyBob and another member in a single weekend, it was basically the simplest, cheapest vehicle that could be constructed with minimal effort and materials and still meet the definition and safety rules of that era for a buggy. Its original function was simple -- it allowed the race buggy not have to be used for nightly push practice, reducing danger of damage and kept prying eyes from ogling it too much. Secondarily, it had the benefit of being a solid 25 + lbs HEAVIER than a race-day buggy. The pushers complained bitterly about this, especially when a 135 lbs driver -- such as myself -- was pressed into service to drive it for push practice, instead of the regular 120 lbs driver. The benefit was the pushers really had to work HARD in practice to get this beast up the hill. I believe, as a hill #5 pusher for several years, this really worked. Painful, but it paid off on race day.

Limo.jpg
C:\Documents and Settings\d\My Documents\My Pictures\buggy\Limo.jpg
Limo.jpg (69.93 KiB) Viewed 3513 times


Made of a plywood pan with 2" x 6" (?) planks for sides, the practice buggy featured standard OSBD axles and wheels, with angle iron crash protection that was arguably more robust (and surely heavier) than any other in Sweepstakes.

No body, no aero shape, and heavy as a lead sled, it dutifully served it function as the push practice buggy on which the erstwhile pushers impaled their guts each night. A Hill #1 with it was like running a marathon, and took nearly as long (well over 20 seconds.)

It was the first buggy I ever pushed, and very nearly the last. As freshmen second semester pledge, I wandered past the bottom of Hill #1 one night (push practice was 11PM to midnight in that era) and saw all the buggies being pushed up the hill. The guy running SAE's push practice spotted me and said: "Hey, I heard you're on the CMU soccer team -- you think you can push this thing up that hill fast? Being young and foolish, I said: "Sure, I'll give it a try...."

After a couple of pointers, still dressed in street clothes, I grabbed the push bar and gave it a mighty heave........ I immediately knew I had made a very big mistake. I was half way up the hill (all 135 lbs of me) and the thing still wasn't up to full speed. After what felt like an entire Dr. Fugazi lecture in Intro to Chemistry, I passed the end of Hil #1 and nearly passed out. I spent the balance of the push practice that night trying to avoid blowing lunch.

Fast forward several years: the size of the SAE house had grown to something like 80 members, so there was more interest in buggy than the house had buggies, so somebody got the idea of entering the practice Buggy in the race, not on a competitive basis, but for just the guys who came out and flagged, swept the course, flagged, etc., to be able to "participate." An alumnus who owned a limousine company in New Kensington had several guys from the house working part time for him as drivers, so they nicknamed the practice buggy "New Ken Limo," and was given a lovely coat of flat black spray paint -- so it looked like a "limo." Race day times were in the 3:00 + range, but considering the pushers had never practiced, and the buggy was rolled with the same practice wheels used in push practice, with original OSBD bearings, one couldn't expect much better than that.

Fast forward several more years: during the 1980s, the brothers began to get innovative in their use of the Limo as an entry. One year, in an obvious lampoon of the retractable push bars of the era, they made the limo look like a sailboat, replete with retractable mast and bed sheet sail that was pulled up by the driver at the bottom of Hill #3. The Limo driver proceeded to driver zig-zag path up the back hills to simulate "tacking."

The ultimate "politically incorrect" gag entry of the limo was the year after OJ Simpson was charged with murdering his wife. The Limo was once more transformed for race day (under complete secrecy, of course) into a white Ford Bronco look-alike, with a black driver holding a toy pistol to his head, while the pushers where dressed in serious business suits and briefcases,wearing "Groucho-glasses" with a big nose & mustache, in honor of Allen Dershowitz's legal contributions to OJ's legal team. Onlookers in the back hills were in tears from laughing so hard....

Image
Another incarnation of the irreverent "Limo" w/cardboard body panels

With the later revisions to the rules requiring structural covering over the entire length of the driver, the Limo's days of Sweepstakes "competition," and irreverence, were over for good.

I now return this thread to discussion of serious buggy issues.
Last edited by Elmo Zoneball on Fri Apr 30, 2010 9:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"I love the smell of solvents in the morning -- they smell like... victory."

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Carl Nott
Posts: 313
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2008 4:24 pm
Organization: Spirit
Graduation Year: 1998
Real Name: Carl Nott
Location: Seattle

Re: Buggy Humor and War Stories

Postby Carl Nott » Fri Apr 30, 2010 3:55 pm

I have a few stories to share, I suppose.

Start with the anecdotal...
So, my best friend's sister's boyfriend's brother's girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who's going with the girl who heard...

A couple of guys spend a summer between school years carving a mold for their new buggy. Load up the mold on the top of the car, start driving to Pittsburgh. At some point there's a lurch, guy in the passenger seat turns around, sees the mold flopping on the highway behind them and then gets vaporized by a following semi.
Driver: 'Dude! What happened?'
Passender: 'Just keep driving man.'

A driver showed up for push practice wasted, threw up in her buggy, and the mechanics refused to unload her until push practice was over.

Anecdotal Spirit stories...

Spirit has traditionally had very bad drivers for the truck. One year the truck ran over a car belonging to one of the mechanics riding in the back of the truck. I think there is a pic of this in the galleries, actually.

In one of the early years Elan missed the chute turn, hit the barracades, and disintegrated. This is understandable as the buggy was built out of aluminum tubes epoxied together (welding is hard). On a positive note they were able to re-epoxy the frame back together and roll it the next weekend.

My Spirit stories... more war stories than humor...

In '97 I decided to get Menes out for rolls. Visconti (chair) was passive-aggressively against this idea. Things like 'we're putting in new axle mounts' 'but... I just put fairings on Menes and that will mean I'll have to remount them and I thought we could roll her this weekend' 'tough'. Finally I had gotten her together to the point that she needed a new steering component and she could roll, last weekend, fall rolls. So Visconti and I are up all night that Friday finishing Menes up. I build the most horrible replacement part that has ever been seen. It involved drilling a massive block of aluminum (3" square, or some such) and then drilling and tapping... and then having to grind out sections so that it could bolt on... it was terrible (but functional) and we finished at around 3am. Stepped outside to smoke. Snow. So we went to Eat n' Park.

In '98, due to various academic suspensions and vacations, I did all the buggy prep before both days of Raceday. Good times.

Spirit Buggy has, traditionally, had a small budget. I think in '98 we had $900, but I could be wrong. Anyway, after design comp I called to confirm the truck reservation but was informed that my credit card ($700 limit, if I can recall) had been declined, so no truck. So had to drive, I dunno, someplace way away from Pittsburgh to get to a truck rental place that was still open and still had a truck. If I recall correctly we got there 10 minutes before they closed. So, we almost didn't have a truck in '98.

In '98 I remember showing up (with the truck(!)) on Raceday, walking around a bit, and running into Ninja Daan from Beta. He was pissed as hell. 'Somebody didn't send out folks for course watch out last night! I'm going to get them DQ'd!!!'. I wished him luck. Then realized we hadn't sent anyone out...

In '97, must have been, we had to pick up some materials from someplace about an hour outside of Pittsburgh. I had a car, though it was fairly questionable (I lent it to Sweepstakes one morning and they returned it after being flummoxed by the fact that the timing belt was stretched to the point that it would stall if you didn't shift it into neutral whenever RPMs dropped below 1100 or so). On the way back, at 7pm or something, the alternator gave out. I realized that I was on battery power when all of the gauges died, the headlights flickered out, and I coasted into a gas station right before a following semi (who obviously couldn't see my darkened car) thundered past.

I lent my car to Visconti and he fell asleep when driving it (after freerolls) and blew out the front right trailing arm when he crashed. Car developed a therapeutic steering wheel vibration after that.

I went to see GWAR one Friday night, the one Friday night that Visconti requested off, and got stuck behind an accident in Cleveland. Showed up in time for rolls, but too late to keep Visconti (suffering from that sweet 'I'm still incredibly wasted but now am also incredibly hung over' combo) from being dragged out.

I remember a Phi Kap brother threatening a couple of grad students, who were trying to drive on to the course during push practice, with a screwdriver. When the police showed up the description given was 'A white male with a hat', which didn't help much, hehe.

But my earliest memory of buggy was flying out for sleeping bag weekend as a bagger. I bagged with two mechanics from SDC and they took me out to push practice. It was the coolest thing I had ever seen.

User avatar
Stratis
Posts: 30
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 9:29 pm
Organization: Fringe
Graduation Year: 2001
Real Name: Chris Stratis
Location: McKinney, TX

Re: Buggy Humor and War Stories

Postby Stratis » Fri Apr 30, 2010 4:56 pm


ipmcc
Posts: 34
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2009 4:18 pm
Organization: SigNu
Graduation Year: 2000
Real Name: Ian McCullough

Re: Buggy Humor and War Stories

Postby ipmcc » Fri Apr 30, 2010 6:35 pm

Back in the late 90's I accepted a post-races ride in the cab of another (nameless) organization's truck. We pulled down over the bridge, and turned right to go around the Carnegie Library towards Forbes Ave. As we're driving, I hear this BANG, BANG, BANG (and so on) noise. The guy driving says, "That's just the guys in the back being pussies!"

I look out the window in the passenger side mirror and realize that the banging noises were the mirrors of ~10-15 parked cars being torn off as they hit the box section of the UHaul after barely missing the cab section.

I advised that organization to return that truck as soon as possible, as far away from the city as possible.

mbueti
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2009 4:00 pm
Organization: SigEp
Graduation Year: 2007
Real Name: Mike Bueti
Contact:

Re: Buggy Humor and War Stories

Postby mbueti » Fri Apr 30, 2010 6:48 pm

Worse than not being able to rent a truck is renting one and not being able to use it. Raceday 2007 (I think). SigEp had rented a truck. It was loaded. Then the guys who'd rented it decided to go home and crash, with the keys in hand without telling any of us. And then wouldn't pick up his phone. Thankfully I still had the padlock key, but we had to load all of our gear into peoples' cars and stage from Skibo. Because bolting down those cement steps with a buggy is perfectly safe on raceday.

the cook
Posts: 121
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2008 7:38 pm
Organization: SigNu
Graduation Year: 1987
Real Name: Duane Delaney

Re: Buggy Humor and War Stories

Postby the cook » Fri Apr 30, 2010 11:48 pm

similar to the truck story above, one year that must have been a good one, the champagne-induced dancing on top of the the truck ( all the way back to the house - watch those streetlights at forbes!) severely dented the hood in to the point of being concave. It would push bvack up but not stay. So I fetched some foam from the garage and carved some nice supports to hold up the sheet metal.

It worked, we returned it without detection, although I suspect the foam may have caused some trouble later when the engine warmed up.

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McCue
Posts: 186
Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2008 4:35 pm
Organization: Sweepstakes
2nd Organization: KDR
Graduation Year: 2007
Real Name: Adam McCue
Location: New York, NY
Contact:

Re: Buggy Humor and War Stories

Postby McCue » Sat May 01, 2010 12:14 am


shafeeq
Posts: 238
Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2008 6:40 pm
Organization: CIA
Graduation Year: 2000
Real Name: Shafeeq S

Re: Buggy Humor and War Stories

Postby shafeeq » Sat May 01, 2010 12:55 am

Forgot if I'd shared this already. My first driving experience in Pittsburgh was our U-Haul. Passing Beeler, I hear this godawful BANG! from the passenger side. I look over to see WTF I could possibly have hit in the middle of the road and find myself staring back at me. Turns out I'd clonked the mirror on a telephone pole that was leaning out over the road, causing it to fold back against the door, blocking any view I'd need in order to pull over.

For raceday, we had some snafu that made us late getting to the truck, and then, since it was a diesel with flaky glowplugs, it took another 15 minutes of cursing to get it to start. By the time we got to the start line, everyone else had already parked. I stare at our parking spot, the inches-wider-than-the-truck gap between the Fringe & Beta trucks and figure I can make it work. Halfway through, I look back to see this Beta mechanic sticking his head out the back of his truck to see what was up. At that exact moment, the wheels on the opposite side went over the curb and tilted my truck enough to bring the top corner into the space his face would have been if he didn't do a turtle impression pretty damn quick.

A few years later Pioneers was using their truck for booth, and succeeded in getting it hung up on its tailgate going in to the Morewood lot. A couple of hours and much tire & clutch smoke later, they finally got a tow truck big enough to lift it out.


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