As noted in the previous entry, for me retirement from my position at the VW Arizona Proving Grounds arrived this past Friday and not a moment too soon. When I was younger I was into road bicycling for a while and once did a 100 mile bike ride called a "century" in 5 hours and 42 minutes. You cannot imagine how much the last 5 miles of that ride hurt.
A career with a multi-national automobile company is much like a 100 mile bike ride. It all seemed like a good idea when I started. After the pain is forgotten it will be seen once again as a good idea. I'm not going to go into a lot of stuff right now about my career, maybe later as there were plenty of good things that happened and even some minor stuff involving motorcycles.
The title of the post in in reference to the fact that where I worked for 28 years secrecy was and is a big deal. There isn't even a sign out front of the site that tells you what the place is about and if you drive up to the guard shack and ask they will not tell you. It's not hard to guess, of course, especially if you're a local or a car nut. You can even find it and many others like it on Google Earth. An automotive proving grounds is not Area 51 but it's as close to being the car world's equivalent as you can get. Years ago (pre 9/11) I once had a vendor tell me our security was tighter than the security at a nuclear plant he on which he also called.
Below, my career in summation: My colleagues presented me with a model of one my my thermocamera test set ups with and with the model the car signed by everyone in the department. Thank you, "Dr. Tom," you're the best.
Oh yes, and along the way it wasn't all just murderously hot sun, stultifying meetings, and tedious reports. I had to work with and drive some very boring cars but also got to work with and drive some very cool cars:
|Bentley Continental Flying Spur: 560 hp never gets boring.|
|The 1001 horsepower Bugatti Veyron: It is everything it is said to be and much more.|