Sunday, December 30, 2012

Car and Driver: 2014 Corvette C7 - Declassified

I have to say, I kind of like it.  I'm not sure about the hood vents, as they look a little odd.  That said, this Vette is lighter (3,000 lbs), a little more powerful, and built upon an aluminum three member frame previously reserved for the Z06 and ZR1.  Regardless of your take on the styling, the Vette will once again battle amongst the best of the best.  Can't wait to see the next gen ZR1!

Car and Driver - 2014 Chevrolet Corvette C7

Moser 9" Modular Center Section: Ordered


Merry Christmas to me!  I just ordered up my Moser 9" modular center section, w/3.25 bearings for 35 spline axles.  Within the next month, I hope to get the gears, bearings, and pinion support out of the way, and then the axle housing/brakes with tax return money and money from selling my 12 bolt out of my car.  Once I have the parts, hopefully in March some time, I want to go full speed ahead getting them in the car.  We have a baby due in June, and that means even less time to work on the car, so I need to have it up and running early this year.  Daddy and his little girl wanna do some cruising, and Momma and new baby will follow behind. (can't fit a rear facing baby seat in my Camaro)

Friday, December 28, 2012

Thank You Santa!

Santa was pretty good to me this year.  He brought me a couple of tail light housings for which I have put off buying for at least 2 years.  In the mean time, I have sported a tail light with the reverse lense missing.  While I gave my wife a healthy list of "suggestions," she had said before, she was tired of looking at a busted tail light, so it apparently shot to the top of the list.

In addition, I will be pooling my money I got and order up my Moser nodular center section in the next few days or so.  I will also be ordering the gears, bears, and pinion support within the next month.  With a buyer for my 12 bolt, and tax refund just a few months away, I shouldn't have any troubles getting a M9 Moser rear under the car.  Then, come summer, I'm basically a set of sticky tires away from hitting the drag strip.

With our second baby on the way, due in June, any racing will be very limited.  That said, I'd like to make it to the track at least once or twice, and be prepared for several more visits during 2014!

Fast & Furious Gearbox

This is hilarious!  I lost track of how many times Vin Diesel shifted gears in his Charger in FF1.  I was also baffled as to how you have some sort of catastrophic failure inside your engine, yet keep on going.  That said, it is one of the more entertaining series, and I can stomach a bit of cheesiness.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Radio Control Cars (and trucks)

Sears Lobo...The Hornet....JRX2...RC12L...Linx II Elite...USA-1, Burns Nitro DX 4wd.

These were the radio control cars I owned back in the day.  Starting with model cars, I grew into the RC world, and I have always thought of it as a stepping stone until I got my license.  I really wish I would have kept a few of them, as I sold them for pennies on the dollar when I had thought I outgrew them.

The above list is in order of purchase, and the Burns Nitro was my bought and last sold.  Being powered by nitro, 1/8 scale, 4wd, it was a terror!  It would do all of 55 mph across grass, confirmed by pacing it against cars traveling down our road.  I regularly raced, modified, and toyed with all my cars.  Looking back, it was likely the first toys I wrenched on, being able to not only take them apart, but ALSO put them back together.

Though the majority of my cars and time in the hobby were the electric cars, and I truly loved my USA-1, there was no denying how awesome the nitro cars were.  When outta fuel, simply fill them up and go.  There was no trickle charge or fast charge, and no batteries to swap out.  Yeah, looking back, it truly was my stepping stone.

I took quick look at Tower Hobbies, THE premier RC company from back then, and apparently a big player still today. I was shocked to see the number of "ready-to-run" cars listed.  For me, the fact that you assembled the kits yourself was part of what separated them from the Sears Lobo, or the Radioshack racers.  It was a pride, building it yourself, modifying it yourself, as it made it YOUR car.

This topic was brought to mind thanks to an article Bangshift ran, but also being the Christmas season, it simply seemed appropriate.  Below are a few pictures and promo videos I found for the cars/trucks I owned.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Dad's Challenger R/T Update - 12/18/2012

Went down to work on dad's car yesterday, though accomplished little. I'm to the point that I need a better way of stripping the paint from the cracks and crevices.  The wire brush mounted to a drill just didn't cut it.  I'm thinking a small air powered angle grinder may do the trick.  The engine bay is probably about 95% stripped now, and if I can't get the last bit of paint off, I won't lose sleep over it.  Painting over the top of what's left won't even be noticable.

I haven't crawled under the car my last few visits, but I have about 20% left to strip.  I may very well haul down my welder during my next visit, and start fixing the few pin holes I found, and patching a few sections that nee repaired.  I think I'll only get one more visit during my time off to work on it, and it may very well be for Christmas activities, so my time may be VERY limited.  It won't take a whole lot more work to get the underside ready to por-15, and the engine bay ready for paint.  It's real close!  Hopefully, I can get that finished up, and we can order up a new front k-member with suspension, brakes, and steering.  Then, it'll start looking like a car again!

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Winged Express - Bakersfield

I'd love to build and pilot a Fuel Altered one day, though perhaps alcohol powered instead of nitro.

Dodge Cummins drags Chevy across the parking lot

The local mall parking lot.

It was always a good, desolate location after hours.  Plenty of room, relatively no traffic, and the only obstacles of concern were the light poles...which I once saw somebody wrap a truck around, screwing around.  It was perfect for burnouts, donuts, and power sliding (today known as drifting).  That said, nothing ever came close to this tug-of-war battle.  This goes way beyond an ass whoopin'.  This is an automotive embarrassment of epic proportions, one that goes way beyond a cross town rival.  This my friends, this is one of those videos that is already legendary.  Enjoy!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

2013 Bentley Continental GT Speed fastest ever at 205 miles an hour

The new GT Speed has an acceleration time clocked by Bentley itself at four seconds to 60 miles an hour, certainly in super-car company.

The new GT Speed has an acceleration time clocked by Bentley itself at four seconds to 60 miles an hour, certainly in super-car company. (Bentley)

I will admit, Bentley's never did much for me.  While they are much more stylish than they use to be, they still are a massive luxury cruiser that sells for crazy money.  I will say this, any car that weighs 5,115 lbs, has a twin turbo V12 making 616 hp, and tops out at 205 mph is cool in my book. It's almost as if this big old boat defies physics!


Poor Bentley. The storied British motorcar manufacturer is plagued by customers with short attention spans who rarely keep their expensive new cars more than a couple of years.
So the imperative is to continuously reinvent the company's few basic models to keep them fresh, exciting and exclusive, and their devotees writing checks. Thus it is that we witness the debut of the 2013 Bentley Continental GT Speed, billed as the fastest Bentley ever, with a top speed of 205 miles an hour.

Until now, that title belonged to the 204-miles-an-hour Continental GT Supersports, which likely will regain the top spot again once the GT Speed becomes old hat in, say, a year plus some months. Or maybe sooner.

But wait a minute — the new GT Speed has an acceleration time clocked by Bentley itself at four seconds to 60 miles an hour, certainly in super car company. But the 2010 Supersports did it in a claimed 3.7 seconds. So the GT Speed is faster but the Supersports is quicker in a sprint. It's a distinction without much of a difference.

The Continental, an exotic high performance ultra-luxury coupe, is Bentley's best-selling car, and it comes in eight variations. There's the GT, GT Speed and GT Supersports, each in coupe and convertible models. All of them have 12-cylinder engines and all-wheel drive, and each sells for somewhere north and south of a quarter of a million dollars, including bespoke (that is, custom) options that also are aimed at keeping exclusivity-oriented buyers titillated.

In addition, there's a still speedy but less expensive and relatively more economical GT with a V8 engine, also available as a coupe or a ragtop.

When Bentley brags about the new GT Speed's speed, it's talking about a machine with that maximum of 205 miles an hour. It's a rare something you might be able to attain on an aircraft runway, a deserted stretch of Germany's autobahn or a racetrack with a long straightaway. But mostly it's a bragging rights and feel-good thing, just knowing you could do it.

It is that capable because the entire package — chassis, suspension system, steering, brakes — all are designed to ensure that there is no driver discomfort, mental or physical, at those triple digit speeds. In fact, cruising at 150 or so on Germany's autobahn, unheard of in the US of A, doesn't feel much different than an ordinary midsize sedan at 70. The GT Speed is that steady.

The power comes from a W12 engine, so called because the cylinders are arranged in a W pattern, unlike the more familiar V arrangement. It delivers 616 horsepower through an eight-speed automatic transmission that can be shifted manually with paddles mounted on the steering column.

One of the characteristics of the new Bentley eight-speed is something called block shifting. It means that if you're cruising in eighth gear and you want to pass someone, flooring the pedal will jump the transmission all the way down to third gear without any intervening interruptions.

It's a surprising and exciting whack in the shoulder blades as the Speed fairly rockets past the unsuspecting victim. But there's a noticeable shudder once the transmission shifts back to a normal mode to resume cruising. The tested GT Speed also had racetrack ready carbon ceramic brakes, a $13,600 option.

The engine is sourced from Volkswagen of Germany, which now owns Bentley, based in Crewe, England. But the Bentley engineers bristle at any suggestion that it resembles anything with a VW badge. They say that it is thoroughly cleansed and massaged before it ever finds its way into any Bentley.

That, of course, is part of the Bentley performance mystique, which dates back to "W.O." — William Owen Bentley — in the 1920s. At one time, both Bentley and the pinnacle of luxury, Rolls-Royce, were under the same ownership. But now the Rolls rolls under BMW's mantle.

The Bentley always was the driver-oriented machine, leaving the chauffeurs to compete discretely for the Rolls. That remains true to this day, and especially so in the Continental GT models, for which Rolls-Royce has no answer.

The neat thing about the GT Speed, aside from its sumptuous interior and state of the art electronics, is how docile it can be in everyday urban motoring. Anybody's genteel Aunt Edna could trundle about without mussing a hair, although she'd have to be careful not to frighten herself by inadvertently stabbing the accelerator pedal.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Ford snags company's oldest car for $264K

The oldest surviving car sold by Ford Motor Co. is back home.
Bill Ford Jr., executive chairman of the Dearborn automaker, was the winning bidder — spending $264,000 — in an auction this fall for an original 1903 Ford Model A Rear Entry Tonneau.
The car, auctioned by RM Auctions in October, is now in Dearborn, where it will help kick off a year-long celebration of the 150th anniversary of Henry Ford's birth. Henry Ford was founder of Ford Motor Co.

"The legacy of Henry Ford includes many lessons from the past that can help us shape our future and make it better," Bill Ford Jr. said in revealing the purchase at an employee event Tuesday. "My great-grandfather is famous for innovations that changed the world, from the Model T to the assembly line to the $5 a day wages. These innovations continue to have a major impact on our lives today."
A series of events will take place next year. Ford has started a website — — as part of the celebration. The vehicle will be shown at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit next month before becoming part of the permanent collection at Ford headquarters in Dearborn.

The Model A Rear Entry Tonneau sold for less than half of its 2007 closing bid of $630,000, according to RM Auctions.

The eight-horsepower cars, sold by Ford from July 1903 to March 1904, retailed for $850, according to an archived ad on the website
"With its provenance, and it's an early one, it's a great little car," Carlton Pate III, a collector of antique cars and author of "Pate's Early Ford Automobile Encyclopedia," said after the auction. "It's also got a little history behind it."

Pate said three cars were sold on the same day and were stamped with as many as four separate serial numbers in different places, but records show the other two vehicles are no longer in existence, making Bill Ford Jr.'s car the oldest surviving.
The Model A has had five owners during its 11-decade lifespan, the most recent being John O'Quinn, a Houston trial lawyer who died in a 2009 auto accident. The car comes with extensive documentation which details its history and condition. RM said the car has performed "flawlessly," including during the famous London to Brighton Veteran Car Run in 2003, the same year the car turned 100 years old.

The engine was rebuilt prior to O'Quinn's acquisition in 2007.
RM said the car retains all of its original features, including the rare Kingston carburetor and the coil box stamped No. 30.

An RM vehicle description said Henry Ford and an associate originally placed part orders for the 1903 Model A, which included car bodies with C.R. Wilson Carriage Co. at a cost of $68 each; wheels from W.K. Pruden Wheel Co. at $26 per set; and tires from Hartford Rubber Co. at $40 per set.The Dodge Brothers supplied Ford's chassis and running gear at $250 each. said 677 of the original closed-rear Model A cars were produced; an additional 1,131 updated open-rear Model A with a 10-horsepower engine and improved cooling were also produced.
(313) 222-2504

Challenger work - 12/12/2012

Went down and worked on dad's Challenger again today.  I just wasn't in the mood to lie on my back under the car today, so I only concentrated on the engine bay.  I have to say, I was shocked at how much I accomplished!  Aside from some minor cleanup in some hard to reach places and corners, the engine bay is about 95% stripped and ready for paint.  I didn't really come across any big surprises.  I'm not sure what is going on in the hood hinge area.  There was body filler on both sides of the fastener hole.I couldn't tell it they had did work on this area or what, but at some point, body filler found it's way.  Structurally, everything appears to be fine, so I'm not overly concerned.

The only other area that really isn't of concern is where I believe the battery tray sat.  The metal was extremely pitted, which leads me to believe that battery acid may have got to it at some point during it's life.  It was the only area in the engine bay that showed any signs of age, so I'm thinking it was thanks to an acid bath.  Structurally, it's fine, and I'm not even sure if I will do anything with it.  That said, we will likely move the batter to the trunk, so it may see just a little attention prior to paint.

The last concern, perhaps the biggest concern, is the mangled up mess of a lower radiator support.  It looks like they've used it a few times to tow the car.  The weld is broke on one side, it's actually torn in one area, somebody tried to straighten it, judging by the creases in the metal making up the side supports.  It could probably be fixed, but I'm thinking of buying a new one and cutting up the part I need and welding it in.  It would probably turn out better, and be easier in the long run.  I'm on furlough for another 2.5 weeks, so I plan on at least another 2 visits down there to finish up the dirty work.

On a side note, I found a buyer for my 12 bolt out of my Camaro, so I will be putting that money towards my Ford 9 inch rear.  Looks like I WILL have a 9 inch by next summer, and likely be able to hit the race track.  I wanna feel some 2 wheels in the sky launches! Until next time, take'r slow, cool, and easy.







Friday, December 07, 2012

Lawnmower with 206.5 hp to the wheels!

Those Australians are crazy!

Black Air - The Buick Grand National Documentary 12/11/2012

Black Air - The Buick Grand National Documentary will be released on DVD on 12/12/2012.  I've always had an attraction to the black beauty.  I suppose it had a lot to do with growing up with an '82 Regal in the family.  It was a dog of a car, with it's naturally aspirated 3.8.  Yet the styling was just right.  I always liked the Buicks better than their Chevy cousins.  The Buick just had a cooler look in my book.  The Grand National, and later GNX, added power to back up the styling.  Perhaps a documentary on one of the last divisional rivalries is long over due.  I may very well have to snatch this DVD up before they all disappear.  I may need a poster for the wall as well.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Costco "Ultimate Garage" - $89,999.99

 Ultimate Garage Package

Ok, I have to admit, if money was no object, this would be one helluva package to buy.  Costco has did they unthinkable, created an "everything-you-want" package that not only fills your garage with many necessary items, they also toss in a Kirkham Motorsports 427 KMS/SC aluminum bodied Cobra kit car (minus engine and transmission).  That said, while the package is intriguing, it seems significantly light on substance. Still, props to Costco for even putting together such a package.  For $89,999.99, you get the following items.

The Ultimate Hot Rodder's Garage Package Includes:
  • NewAge 6pc Garage Cabinet System   
  • Kirkham Motorsports 427 KMS/SC component vehicle (engine and transmission not included)  
  • 456 square feet of Black and White Motofloor® Garage Tiles, your choice of color, 40 female edges and 2 Completer Packs.  This is enough flooring to cover a standard 2 car garage.  
  • One BigHorn 36 ECB Safe  
  • One FlowWall Ladder Hook & Bin Bracket Set/Hook Starter Set  
  • One Racor Extreme Rack/Ladder Lift/Heavy Duty Rack/Golf Storage Hanger/Garage PRO  
  • One Trinity 41" Stainless Steel Toolbox  
  • 1 two ton capacity breakdown engine crane  
  • 2 six ton capacity ratcheting jack stands  
Costco Ultimate Garage Package

Friday, November 30, 2012

Took the Camaro out for one last ride

I pulled my battery out today, as it has been giving me fits the last two years.  It just didn't seem to want to hold qucia charge, sometimes requiring a jump start to get home from a car show.  I knew my alternator was good, as it is a 170 amp unit and keeps the voltmeter around 15 volts.  Still, the voltmeter would occasionally drop down a few volts, which I always thought may have been a ground problem.

I tried to fire up the beast a few days ago, to show a new neighbor.  I was rewarded with a click-click-click...nothing.  I put my charger on the car, and the next day I checked the battery, 10.5 volts.  So, today I removed the battery and took it into Sears, knowing the 3 year warranty was still in effect.  The battery was bad, and I walked out with a new one.

The car fired right up, and me being me, well, that wasn't enough.  The roads were dry, and other than being in the low 40's, it wasn't a bad day out.  So I figured I may as well take her out one last time.  I've said it before, I'll say it again, I will say it until I'm blue in the face....she is one fast sonofabitch!  Seriously, a quick blip of the throttle, I mean I'm talking 1/4 throttle, maybe 1/3, and she lights up the tires.  Unfortunately, I couldn't find a spot without traffic to really put on a smoke show, so a few "dust offs" of the tires was all I was going to get.  Still, it left me hungry, anxious for next season, and most importantly, anxious to get a Ford 9" under her and some sticky tires.  I wanna feel what 2 wheels in the air feels like.  :)

Walter P. Chrysler Museum - Closing Soon

Sadly, it was reported today that due to financial troubles, the Walter P. Chrysler Museum will be closing by years end.  Chrysler is going to buy the collection of 67 vehicles, and the museum will be open in the future for special events as well as private events.  I will try my hardest to make one last visit prior to the closing.

Walter P. Chrysler Museum

The Walter P. Chrysler Museum had 35,000 visitors last year. It has run out of money. (John M. Galloway / Special to The Detroit News)

Chrysler Group LLC is purchasing the holdings of the Walter P. Chrysler Museum to protect the company's patrimony, but says the classic car collection will no longer be open to the public — except for special occasions.

The museum, which has run out of money, will merge with the Chrysler Foundation at the end of the year. After that, the company will purchase the 67 vehicles and displays housed in the museum, which is located next to Chrysler's world headquarters in Auburn Hills.
Chrysler already owns the building.

"Chrysler will continue to share its automobile heritage housed at the Museum with the public during special exhibitions. The existing Museum facilities will also be used to meet Chrysler Group needs," said Brian Glowiak, president of the Walter P. Chrysler Museum Foundation.
"We are very thankful for the generosity of our many members, friends, volunteers and employees and very proud of the Museum's legacy as an educational and cultural institution."
Approximately 35,000 people visited the museum last year, though that figure includes special events and facility rentals.

"Over time, the revenue just has not been there to sustain its operations," said Chrysler spokesman Kevin Frazier, who added that the automaker is keen to preserve this important part of its history.
Opened in October 1999, the Chrysler museum was the first in this country to be located at an automaker's headquarters.

The Chrysler Foundation said it would use the proceeds of Chrysler's purchase to fund a variety of charitable community activities and organizations.
(313) 222-2443

From The Detroit News

1979 Chevrolet Caprice

I came across this 1979 Caprice while out and about today.  This car was as mint as it gets.  It appeared all original, and as if it just rolled off the assembly line.  I am more of a mid 1980's Caprice fan, though there was no denying this car was a 10 out of 10!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

2014 Chevrolet Corvette C7...IT'S COMING!!!!

While I'm not sure I'll ever be able to justify buying a new Corvette, it IS without a doubt, the top American Sports car in our history.  I can't help but get excited when another model is about to debut.

2013 North American International Auto Show - January 14-27, 2013

The North American International Auto Show in Detroit, MI is just around the corner. This should be an exciting year at the show.  The automakers are once again healthy.  Most automakers who pulled out of the show have returned.  Alternative fuel/Electric vehicles are here in full force, for better or for worse, they will be heavily displayed at this year's show.  While I expect some technologies to rise to the top, others will disappear into an abyss.  Yet it goes without saying, for anybody into cars, it's an exciting show to attend. The following schedule is from the official website, listed below.

Press Preview - January 14-15, 2013

Industry Preview - January 16-17, 2013

Charity Preview - January 18, 2013

Public Show - January 19-27, 2013

North American International Auto Show

Chevy & NASCAR show off the 2014 Chevy SS

Chevrolet opened a new chapter in its storied racing history with the unveiling of its eagerly anticipated 2013 NASCAR Chevrolet SS race car.

We knew it was coming. We even had a pretty good idea as to what it would look like. Well, here is the NASCAR version, which as history how shown us, is unlikely to resemble the production version much beyond the stick on front fascia. Swaying too far from the car above would be a damn shame.  The lines are actually pretty nice, and the wheel well flares, almost certain to be on the chopping block, give the car a muscular look.  A NASCAR inspired rear spoiler would also help connect the two, but again, will likely be replaced with something less tasteful.  A cowl hood, or some sort of scoop is a given.  The late GTO made the mistake of being too bland, adding the hood scoop and other items as the car had one foot in the grave already.

Prodding aside, I'm glad that Chevy will be re-entering the V8 rear wheel drive sedan segment. Though possessing 2 extra doors than I would prefer, it puts the 4 door up against the Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300. Based on the sharp looking/short lived Pontiac G8, it will likely have an almost instant cult following, with plenty of aftermarket support.

Reading the article below, provided by the Detroit Free Press, I can't help but notice a couple of inaccuracies that scream out to me.  First, it can't go without mention, Jim Campbell of GM suggests this will be a halo car for all other models.  Funny, as I was under the impression that a halo car is something at the top of the food chain, the best of the best, such as Chevrolet's long running halo car, the Corvette.  Everything else simply has a spot on the king's least in my opinion.  As for the inaccuracies, how about "Chevrolet’s SS badge has an alternately illustrious and wretched history." Wretched?  Sorry, but even during the relatively dismal 1980's, cars that adorned the SS badging were amongst the best cars offered at the time.  Perhaps a few lackluster years throughout the 1970's, but hey, it was par for the course in the 1970's.  Nothing "wretched" comes to mind when I hear "SS."  Chevelle as Chevy's first muscle car?  I guess one could say that, as I guess the 1964 Chevelle was the beginning of something new.  That said, I guess it's a label I've never hear before.

Campbell goes on to say the styling will be "very distinct" compared to the Caprice underpinnings for which it shares.  I would expect so, considering the wheelbase and dimensions will differ from the Caprice.  I would expect it to be different from both the Caprice AND Camaro, regardless of what frame and suspension resides underneath.

Here is the article as it appeared in the Detroit Free Press:

Chevrolet unveiled a new race car today that provides the first clear look at the 2014 SS sport sedan that goes on sale late next year.

Featuring a rear-wheel-drive platform and the latest version of Chevy’s legendary small-block V8, the SS aims to tighten the connection between the Chevrolets racing in NASCAR and the street cars the brand’s customers drive.

“It’s the first rear-wheel-drive sport sedan in Chevrolet showrooms in many years,” said Jim Campbell, Chevy vice president for motor sports and performance cars. “The SS will increase the relevance of what we race to what we sell. The production car will be a halo for all the other models in our lineup.”

The car will debut in February at Speedweeks, NASCAR’s season-opening races in Daytona.

“It should generate additional sales,” said Jim Hall, managing director of 2953 Analytics. “The SS badge can be good for Chevrolet’s image, as long as they use it on appropriate vehicles.” Chevrolet’s SS badge has an alternately illustrious and wretched history. Short for Super Sport, the initials adorned legends like the 1957 Corvette SS race car prototype and the Chevelle SS that was Chevy’s first muscle car. It also suffered its share of indignities when marketers used it to jack up the price of vehicles with no serious performance credentials.

The 2014 SS sport sedan will ride on the second generation of the architecture that underpins the Chevrolet Camaro, Caprice police car and the Australian Holden Commodore.

The sport sedan’s styling will be “very distinct” from the police car, Campbell said.

Contact Mark Phelan at or 313-222-6731.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Bob Drake Reproduction 1940 Ford Coupe

Photo courtesy of Ford Media

Bob Drake, long time restoration expert, now is offering a 1940 Ford Coupe steel body.

Hemmings Daily: Reproduction 1940 Ford coupe bodies receive official Ford licensing

Actually, while searching for Bob Drake's car, I realized that another builder, Dennis Carpenter, also began producing steel 1940 Ford coupes a few months back.

Dennis Carpenter 1940 Ford Coupe

Fiberglass, Re-pops, and Chinese bodies - Still Hot Rods

Last outing to the grocery store I made my typical trek down the magazine isle.  It's quickly becoming pointless, as I have subscribed to about 7 car magazines, leaving very few on the shelf to thumb through.  One particular street rod cover caught my attention, and got my thinking, as they covered the building up of a brand new reproduction 55 Chevy.

I can't say whether the body they were using as the basis was made here or overseas, but it had me questioning my very own stance on what is and isn't acceptable to me when it comes to this hobby.  As nice as glass hot rods are these days, it's still not the same as a steel car.  That said, I have long accepted that they ARE real hot rods, just of a different flavor.

To take it a step further, what about these "American" muscle cars being stamped and assembled overseas?  Initially, while excited that many of the most popular muscle cars were now being reproduced, my stomach turned when I thought about them being made in China.

Then, it hit me.  It's not so much where it was built as it is HOW it was built.  I have never been a fan of all original, numbers matching, decals and paint marks, 100% restored to how a car rolled off the assembly line.  While there is no denying such a restoration takes skill, it doesn't develop a uniqueness to stand out in a crowd, a personality applied by it's owner, it's simply exactly the same it was 40-50 years ago.

While I would prefer a Camaro, Mustang, or other American classic be reproduced here.  The simple fact that they are being built and assembled by individuals building cars how they want them, they are simply hot rods...of a different flavor.

Me?  My dream kit/reproduction car would be a mid 60's Corvette being built by Downs Bodies, right here on the west side of Michigan.  I know it's not a REAL Vette, but who cares?  It looks cool, would be built my way, and I really don't care if it can't score a victory in the judging lanes.  That ain't my cup of tea any way.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

'69 Camaro Fan Install

Upon returning home from working on my dad's Challenger, I figured I may as well finish the day working on my Camaro.  I went ahead and installed my flex fan, with 2 inch spacer.  It's advertised to be good up to 10,000 rpm's, so I should be good to go.  The snow hasn't quite fallen yet, so I'm thinking a test run may be in order.







'70 Challenger R/T Project Update

Here are some photos from today's work.  I stripped the underside more, and have about 3/4 of it complete.  I also started on stripping the unibody frame rails.  The frame rot was a little more than I expected, though easily patched with some sheet metal and a welder.  I will likely take my welder next trip, and perhaps get started on the repair.  I also removed the steering column, seats, carpet, side markers, and wheel well trim.  My dad recently installed the decklid for a trial fit, and it seems to fit well.  The dirty work is nearly complete, and its almost time to start figuring out what parts to order next.