<b>Rust & Smoke</b><BR>

See, Wednesday night was Johnson's personally issued deadline.

He wanted to be traded by yesterday so he could prepare for his next start on Friday in Denver against the Rockies or possibly in New York against Baltimore.

But Wednesday came and went, and while a lot of talk about a trade took place, no trade was actually made.

The official trade deadline is Saturday, so the Big Unit will probably be traded by then.

But as a member of the Diamondbacks on Wednesday, Johnson had to sit and watch his team get hammered by the Rocket and probably spent a lot of time contemplating his future.

But while Randy waited on Wednesday, what was going through the minds of the other members of the Diamondbacks' organization on Wednesday?

D-Backs General Manager Joe Gariagolo Jr.: Randy, next year is going to be a whole let better.

We'll re-sign Richie Sexson, trade Steve Finley, and with Sexson, Alex Cintron, Roberto Alomar and Shea Hillenbrand, we're going to have a great infield.

Just stick with me.

RJ: If I'm not a Yankee soon, can I get suspended for throwing at my own guys?

What are they going to think when my overpowering fastball becomes an 80 mph cream puff down the center of the plate?

Finley: Randy, Randy, Randy, that's all I hear.

Why am I not chasing down fly balls in Petco Park or admiring those fancy goggles of Eric Gagne's when he comes out of the bullpen.

Sexson: It's all my fault; if I weren't injured, we'd be in first place.

Gonzo: One dropped ball and he gets in my face.

He should be thanking me everyday for putting that ring on his finger.

Elmer Dessens: I think I can, I think I can, I think I can … (crack) … there goes another home run.

I guess I can't.

Brandon Webb: What's Randy so upset about? I'm the future ace of this staff, and no one's trying to help me win.

Shea Hillenbrand: And I left Boston because …

Manager Al Pedrique: Sure, the fall, winter and spring is nice here in Phoenix, but why couldn't I be in Montreal or even Atlanta this summer?

RJ: If Schilling calls me one more time, telling me to come to Boston, I'm going to take away his 2001 World Series Co-MVP award and give it Derek Jeter.

Jerry Colangelo: Diamond-who, no I don't own any team called the Diamondbacks.

And one final thought from outside of Arizona.

George Steinbrenner: That Ken Jennings from Jeopardy was pretty impressive.

I wonder how much he would sign for, because if I don't get a starting pitcher, I'm going to need a new general manager.

Brent Hinckley is the Miner's sports writer.

He can be reached by e-mail at bhinckley@kingmandailyminer.com.

Overcoming a shaky start, Chevrolet is now an American icon

Chevrolet, to state the obvious, is an American icon that is recognized throughout the world.

But it could be said, if a point was to be stretched, that it was, initially, an import.

With that foundational premise, the story would begin on Christmas Day, 1873, in Switzerland, as that was the birth date for Louis Joseph Chevrolet.

Between that snowy Yuletide and mid 1912 when the first "Classic Six" Chevrolet rolled from the assembly line, Louis had established himself as a gifted mechanic and racing driver of great skill.

The former brought him to the United States, in 1900, as an agent for French auto manufacturer DeDion-Bouton.

The later brought him to the attention of William C.

Durant, the dynamic founder of General Motors.

It might be of interest at this juncture to note that it was his racing prowess that brought him to Kingman, in late 1914.

In that year the course for the last and the greatest of the Cactus Derby races ran from Los Angeles, across the desert to Needles, through the Black Mountains, into Kingman, to Ashfork and then south through Prescott to Phoenix.

Louis Chevrolet, as well as Barney Oldfield and more than a dozen of the world's finest racers, participated that year.

The automobile that would become his namesake was launched in 1909 when Durant hired Chevrolet to design an engine for a new line of automobiles that would bear the famous racer's name.

Durant and Chevrolet felt that the combination of a European sounding name (European cars were perceived to be of superior quality at the time) and the reputation of the Chevrolet racing team, Louis and his brothers Arthur and Gaston, was a recipe for success.

After more than two years of experimentation and disagreement between Durant and Chevrolet as to what type of car the Chevrolet should be, and the delay that resulted from Durant loosing control of General Motors in 1910, assembly of the new automobile began in a small subsidiary shop on Grand River Avenue in Detroit.

In a deft move, Durant had managed to keep the Chevrolet project separate from General Motors.

Initially, though the car was well built and featured many technological advancements, sales were worse than anemic, largely because Louis had insisted on building a luxury car.

Durant's solution was to combine the features of the Little, another small manufacturer he had acquired, with those of the Chevrolet to produce a quality car that could compete on a price level with the Model T Ford.

As it turned out, Durant was correct.

This, however, did little to alleviate Louis Chevrolet's desire to build an expensive, fast automobile.

In early 1914, with threat of leaving the company as leverage, Louis presented an ultimatum.

Unfortunately for him, Durant held the rights to the Chevrolet nameplate.

Chevrolet, in spite of a number of other successful ventures, essentially faded from the scene.

Durant, as he had with General Motors, quickly maneuvered the Chevrolet company to a position where it was a major contender in the American auto industry.

And almost as quickly he used the company to regain control of General Motors.

But by 1920, as he had previously, Durant overextended himself and the company to a point of near collapse.

As a result, Durant was forced to resign, and the new board of directors was given the unenviable task of evaluating each division for the purpose of cutting costs.

Heading the list of recommended cost-saving measures was the liquidation of the entire Chevrolet operation.

The report stated that, "… this division shows little possibility of becoming profitable."

Alfred Sloan Jr., executive vice president in charge of operations, saw merit in the company.

Overriding the advice, he approached Pierre duPont, general manger, and laid out an aggressive plan for marketing and establishment of a dealer network.

As a result of this enthusiasm, Chevrolet was given a new lease on life.

Almost immediately the company received another blow, the first recall, the result a management debacle in which an air-cooled engine that had not been properly tested through experimentation was installed in production models.

Fortunately, only 759 had been produced, which made the job of getting them back and retrofitted with conventional engines or destroying them relatively easy.

An interesting historical footnote to these cars is that two still exist in spite of the company's buy-back and subsequent destruction.

One, purchased by Henry Ford for examination, resides in the Henry Ford Museum.

The original owner of the second car refused to sell, and, as a result, it is now in the hands of a collector.

No sooner was this issue resolved than another arose.

The rear axle, a weak link on Chevrolet products for several years, became a public relations nightmare as owner after owner began to complain of snapped axles.

But these shortcomings were overshadowed when in late 1928 a highly advanced, overhead valve, six-cylinder engine became standard issue for all Chevrolets.

Known among fans as the "cast iron wonder" the Chevy six, with subsequent minor modifications, would be the only engine used by that company until 1955!

Today, the shaky beginnings are largely forgotten.

It is the names of numerous models, both cars and trucks, produced by Chevrolet that are remembered.

These legendary models immediately conjure visions of class, speed and the open road.

Imagine a car show where there wasn't a Corvette, a Chevelle or Impala.

Try and envision a story about Route 66 without a 1957 Chevrolet Belair.

Picture an America without hot dogs, apple pie or Chevrolet.

Jim Hinckley writes weekly columns on classic automotives and regional travel for the Miner.