Saturday, July 30, 2011

AutoMotorPlex Minneapolis

This complex, located in Minneapolis, MN was recently brought to my attention. This is truly a gearhead's dream! It is essentially a condo/country club for people into cars. Unfortunately, such a place doesn't come cheaply, and the smallest units will set you back $40,000. This explains why there is noticably more European exotics than classic American muscle cars in the video. Still, it is an awesome concept, and a club I would no doubt LOVE to be a part of. Perhaps the one problem that nags at anybody who is into cars is where to store them all?


Saturday, July 23, 2011

2011 Telegraph Cruise Pictures

Today we ventured down to the 2011 Telegraph Cruise. I met up with a friend on Telegraph near I94, parked, and set up chairs to watch. Considering I'm currently hobbling around with an ankle boot, I wanted to simply observe from the comfort of our fold up chairs this go round.

I had made a last second decision NOT to drive my Camaro, a decision in which I'll admit I regret after the fact. I was concerned about the weather, as there was a 50% of storms, the heat, which while cooler, was still suppose to hit 90, and lastly, I just wasn't in the mood to deal the noise and inconvenience of crawling over the roll cage with a boot on. Also, I felt it better served to take my pain meds and watch in comfort, as opposed to go without, and be able to drive the Camaro, so pain meds ultimately won out.

The cruise actually stretches from Eureka north to around Joy Rd, though the greatest concentration was south of I94. We cruised from end to end on our way out, and the cruisers were farther and fewer between as you headed north. I will say, this 11 mile stretch is probably one of the most cruisable summer shows in Detroit. The downside, is that it makes it also one of the less walkable shows. Thankfully, it looks like most of the parking along the whole route was free, and there were plenty of options as to where to park, and see the clusters of cars along the way.

Next year, having tested the waters, I will be taking my Camaro, as long as I manage to get the day off. All in all, it was a good cruise, and an enjoyable Saturday once the clouds rolled in and cooled things down a bit. Here are just a handful of the pictures I took, check out the rest via the link at the bottom.


I believe this is a Camaro, as I recall round tail lights. Everything was smoothed out on this baby, with a full tilt frontend.


Flamed Ford with lake pipes.

An altered straight axle...not my thing, but can appreciate the historical value behind it.

A chopped top on a Riviera...WOW!


VERY nice Ford wagon. I even love the color scheme they used.


Love these old Vettes.


I'd love to own a 55 Chevy, and this one was about as nice as they get.


Nice looking Pontiac!


Nice 50's Ford Pickup.


I've been informed that this is a 1960 Dodge, not a 58 Chevy as I formerly had thought. I knew that didn't seem right, but I just couldn't register the body lines, even though I have the movie Christine amongst my dvd collection. While a few years different, it is obviously a Mopar, that much I now can see.


If I ever need concrete work done, I want this rig.


This guy can pick up my trash.


Alrighty then...nice antlers.


Another nice Ford.


Both classics....both awesome!


Nice convertible 69 Camaro in a burnt orange hue and nice set of wheels.


Nice Hemi Cuda with a shaker scoop.


A Jeep Commando. I'm not sure what year this is, or how long they made them, but it looked sweet as hell and fun on wheels.

2011 Telegraph Cruise Pictures

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Woodward Avenue All American Road Signs

Just got my Woodward Avenue All American Road sign the other day. My friend works for the Woodward Avenue Action Association which is responsible for securing federal funds to place these All American Road signs along Woodward Ave, stretching from downtown Detroit to Pontiac. These signs are kickass, without a doubt, and the moment I saw them going up I thought to myself "Damn, that's a cool ass sign I'd love to have in the garage." Well, it seems others out there felt the same way, and took it upon themselves to steal theirs.

At $500 a sign, the theft was both costly and disappointing. The Woodward group however saw this as an opportunity, and decided to test the waters regarding interest in purchasing the signs. They quickly ordered up a batch of 100, and sold out quickly. With little hesitation, I reserved my sign in that first batch.

The sign quality for this first batch seems fairly good. I expected a few imperfections, as is the case with most first runs. I need to trim a small corner they failed to cut perfectly, and the vinyl sticker has some air bubbles. I am assured that these issues are currently being resolved with the manufacturer, and some signs were sent back to be replaced. As for mine, I didn't find the imperfections of major concern, and think the sign will look great towering 10 feet above in my garage.

The signs are exact scale replicas of the real signs, measuring a massive 2 ft x 4ft. I'm not sure what the center section or backing are made of, but the front surface is either aluminum or steel, with a vinyl sticker for the sign itself. I must admit, I can't wait to have this hanging up, but sadly, have to finish off the upper portions of my garage with insulation and OSB before I'll have a surface to mount to. This is truly the type of piece in which will be the center piece of my garage once put in place.

For more information on purchasing one of these signs for $100, or an exact replica for $500, contact Woodward Avenue Action Association or call them at 248-288-2004. In addtion to the signs, they also sell other Woodward Avenue items, check them out!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Comp Cams CamQuest Tool

I saw this listed in one of my car magazines a few months back and figured I'd try it out. You enter your vehicle information along with intended use. Comp Cams then lists a few cams they would recommend. Once you slect the cam, you can also get the approximate dyno results from your selection. While my Comp Cams custom grind was not one of the available selections, I was able to pick a cam that is about .020 lift under, and another that is about .020 higher then my solid roller cam, and it gave me a fairly good ballpark idea of what my engine is making.

Dyno results with the smaller cam come back with 712 hp/608 ft/lbs of torque. The larger cam came back with 734 hp/614 ft/lbs. So, an average of the two puts me in the 723 hp/611 ft/lbs vicinity. In my opinion, I think that may be a bit high, as I've estimated in the past to be around 700 hp, and Popular Hotrodding built a 454 nearly identical to mine making over 700 hp, so I think that's a pretty close guestimate.

Check out the CamQuest Tool and see what cam/dyno results you get.

Friday, July 15, 2011

At least it wasn't my lead foot

Last weekend my partner and I came in contact with a guy who decided he didn't want to go to jail. In the end, he went, but not without a fight. Both he, along with my partner and I, sustained injuries. My injury was initially diagnosed as a fractured left foot. Thankfully, it appears that it isn't actually fractured, according to the radiologist, and looks to be a sprain. So here I am, off work, sporting one of those big snow boot style foot boots/braces.

At least the brace allows me to be more mobile, as it allows me to be without crutches. Sadly, the pain meds which allow me to be much more comfortable, also prevent me from driving/operating heavy machinery....hence, I can't exacly hop in the Camaro and go to a show. In addition, even though the injury is to my left foot, I have to "two-foot-it" in the Camaro, as even though it was a streetable build, it can occasionally be a little finicky at stop lights, so the two feet have become my standard modus operandi.

Considering the foot isn't broke, that should hopefully at least shorten my heal time/time off of work. So hopefully this will only be a temporary setback in what I hoped to be a fun filled summer with plenty of cruise nights and shows. I had hoped to attend the Telegraph cruise next weekend, even if just for a half day if I were back to work, but we'll see how this injury pans out, and whether or not I'm up for it. In the mean time, enjoy the summer, burn some rubber, and stay tuned for continued cruise coverage in the future.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Metro Detroit Car Shows - July 2011

Below is a list of car shows and big cruises during the month of July 2011. These are only the once a year bigger shows. There are approximately 75 cruise nights each and every week in Metro Detroit, all within about a 30 minute drive from downtown Detroit. In the near future, I'll try and sift through other sites and repost all of those shows that are in and around Detroit.

Cruisin' Michigan Avenue - July 9th, 2011

Stretching along Michigan Ave, communities involved include Wayne, Westland, Inkster, Dearborn Heights, and Dearborn. I've never attended this show, but considering the communities involved and the distance it must stretch along Michigan Ave, it's sure to be a good show! This is the 5th year for the show.

Telegraph Tomorrow Cruise - July 23, 2011

This cruise includes the cities of Taylor, Dearborn, Dearborn Heights, and Redford. The cruise stretches from Eureka road north to Puritan. The cruise kicks off at 9 am and lasts until 9pm. This is the 7th year for this cruise.

Concours d'Elegance - July 31, 2011

Here is a show in which is a little bit out of my element, though on my list of shows I'd like to attend some day. This year isn't going to work, since I'm not off. It should be noted that the show was formerly at Meadowbrook Hall and is now located at The Inn at St John's in Plymouth, Michigan.

In addition to all of these shows, there are regular events on a nightly basis througout Metro Detroit. For more information on all cruises, click below.

Southeast Michigan Cruise Nights

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Spark Plug Gap

Today I regapped all of my plugs, which once again entailed removing the passenger side header. The Accel shorty plugs came gapped .035, and I found on MSD's website that they recommend .050-.060 for engines with a compression ratio in my ballpark. After regapping all the plugs, I re-installed them and went for a test drive. I immediately noticed a much better idle quality. As I took a blast on the freeway, then settled into cruising speeds, I found that the engine miss was still present, seemingly unchanged.

When I removed the plugs, I took a read of each one as I placed it on the bench. I found that 4 of the plugs looked to have an ideal burn, perhaps showing an every so slight lean condition, as they were a light brown. The other 4 plugs however showed nothing, almost as if they weren't even firing. Now I would definately notice if half of the cylinders weren't firing, so this leaves me a bit baffled.

Next step is to go a step richer jet in the carb, as well as maybe a 1/4-1/2 turn richer on all 4 idled screws. After that, which I'm guessing isn't going to resolve my miss, I think it's time to start taking a look into the electrical. I believe I still have some grounding issues, as my turnsignals make my voltmeter jump a bit when flashing, as does my fuel gauge.

So while the drivability keeps improving, with my charging issues, leaks, and cooling all taken care of, gremlins still exist in the form of electrical, and my brakes are still a bit more softer than I'd like. I have made the decision that my Camaro will remain in my garage come next winter, and skip the winter storage trip to my parents' house. I concluded that I can accomplish more improvements during the winter this way. Already on the list is a new carb and intake, sound mat w/carpet, tail light housings, and hopefully (crossing my fingers) a new rear end, so I'd be ready for the track next season. Stay tuned, as I hope to hit a cruise night sometime in the coming weeks.