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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - October 27, 1970, Lethbridge, Alberta PACE 14 CRAFTSMAN At work in his tiny workshop, Michele Conti puts the final touches on the chassis of a model racing car. Conti requires hours of work on each model, so painstaking is his craftsmanship. Styling Added To Safety Glass If you remember when fly- ing glass brought many in- juries in automobile accidents, when all car glass was flat, or when no car had tinted glass, d o n't automatically classify as an old fogey. It was only 40 years ago that safety glass started- becoming an accepted part of motoring. And it has only been since World War n that cars start- ed ha'-ing most of the glass styling and comfort features taken for granted today. The automotive glass story really started in 1929. This was when laminated glass, com- posed of two glass panels sep- arated by a plastic interlayer (Uie construction used in wind- shields -today) was developed. Tempered glass, the heat- strengthened single glass panel now used for all side and rear windows, was not introduced until 1935. Actually the idea of a glass- and-p 1 a s t i c lamination, in which glass particles adhere to the plastic when the glass is fractured, began in 1910. That's when a Frenchman named Edouard Benedietus stumbled onto the idea oi" using celluloid as a clear binder for two glass panels. He accidentally drop- ped a flask containing a dried- out cellulosic solution, and was when the flask didn't shatter. In the mid-30's. safety glass became standard for wind- shields and vent windows, but was an option on other auto glass area. Many motorists re- jected the option because it originally cost more to equip side and back windows with safety glass. As manufac- turing techniques were perfect- ed, safety glass became Uie QUIZ ANSWERS Modern Geppetto Makes Car Models That Seem Real Geppetto, the fictional Italian wood carver who fashioned the life-like puppet Pinocchio, has a modcrMlay and real-life heir. But instead of producing puppets that look and act like real boys, he creates model cars that seem genuine enough to take a few laps around Le- mans or Daytona. This 20th century -Trade maker is Michele O a 36- year-old native of Tori; Italy. Conti builds 1-10 to 1-12 scale models of the great racing cars of our lime. He creates his masterpieces of miniaturization in a modest 8x10 foot work room in a third- floor apartment in the Italian automotive capital. Oonti got his start at the age of 12 when he created a scale- model replica of a World War n-vintage U.S. Army Jeep. He later turned his talents to crea- ting full-scale mock-ups and models for various Italian au- tomobile manufacturers. In his spare time, he continued hand- crafting replicas. Soon bis hobby became known to an increasing number of potential customers. They began requesting Conti's work until he realized that he would low-cost material it is today, and became mandatory in all car window areas. Along with its now promi- nence as a safety feature, safety glass also became im- portant as a styling feature. Auto glass through the 1930's was flat, leading to some claims that the windows look- ed like "holes punched in the auto body." But in 1939 came tiie first car glass with a curve: the back window, con- toured to help air flow over the back of tire moving vehicle. World War II interrupted automotive production, but new-f o u n d. ways to curve glass for wartime airplanes paved the way for curved glass in peacetime cars. Windshields started being curved in the 1940's with simple bends in the old two-piece windshield with divider bar. Today virtually all automotive glass has a curva- ture which enhances styling while maintaining good optical quality. Like curved glass, tinted and shaded glass now seems so much a part of'motoring that's it's taken for granted. But it was only 23 years ago that cars available to the public could be equipped with blue-green glass for reduction of glare and sun heat gain. Windshields with a band of shading at the top, to give drivers a "sunshade" with- out blocking vision, did not come until 1951. Today automotive safety glass can do more than ever before. For example, there are now heated rear windows which keep the inside glass sur- face free of fog, as well as antenna windshields which function as the car's radio aerial. These windshields bring in radio signals through wires between the two glass panels, and eliminate the need for the regular antenna rod. have to devote full-time to creating the miniatures. He has been busy ever since. Conti devotes exacting hours to each model he pro- duces. His method of operation would do credit to a Renais- sance craftsman. He first spends days examining draw- ings and photographs of the ear he is about to build. He then makes his own scale- model drawings of the subject. With this complete, he begins carving the contours of the model out of a solid piece o( wood. Over this model, he ham- mers and fits the panels out of brass which are later soldered together. With the chassis complete, he begins producing the engine, running gear, suspension and other parts of the car. All of these, are made by hand. For tires, he creates the molds which are later custom pressed by a tire shop. The wheels and hubs are turned on a lathe. So exacting is Conti's work that the match bead sized shocks really function and the instruments may actually be read by means of a magnify' ing glass. .The brake, clutch and gas pedals often even carry the name of the manu- facturer, just u on the original automobile! In the past decade, Oonti ha) only been able to complete little more than 100 automo- biles. Naturally, they are prized by owners, one of whom is not Conti. The demand for his work is an great that he has not been obie to keep one for himself. While Contt generally works on order, he sometimes be- comes so food of a particular ear that he begins manufactur- ing one for himself. So far, he has not been fortunate enough to keep one. The price? That's one subject Contt will not discuss. It almost seems unimportant to him, compared to the pleasure he gets out of his work. Safe Distance What's a safe distance to fol- low another car? Experts re- commend one car length for every 10 miles per hour of speed on dry roads. When roads are slippery, the distance should be doubled. It's Dangerous Driving with a burned out headlamp or broken tail light is thoughtless and dangerous. Give your lights a thought and light the way. Check them for condition and aim. Make sure you are seen in Uie right places. GET TOUR CAR TOUtf! BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE! REMEMBER LAST WINTER? MAKE THIS CHECK! Check bafery for condition and charge, also ignition system points, condenser, plugs, etc. 2. Add windshield system anti-freeze 3. Add fuel system anti- freeze to gasoline 4. Check automatic choka operation 5. Change oil 6. Lubricate car 7. Check radiator and heat- er hoses for defects 8. Install proper and thermostat 9. Inspect and adjust all types of pulley belts 10. Mount snow tires free of defects, properly in- flated. A.M.A. CLUB BENEFITS ARE ALSO AVAILABLE FROM ANY C.A.A. OR A.A.A. AFFILIATE CLUB FROM COAST-TO-COAST! IT PAYS TO BELONG TO THE A.M.A. THE MOST TRUSTED NAME IN TRAVEL Phone 328-1771 903 3rd Ave. S. Lefhbridge ;