Sunday, September 30, 2012

Texas Car!

I recently started watching Fast'n Loud, and have to be honest, I kind of like their in-your-face, over the top, Gas Monkey style they portray on the show.  A few weeks ago, a new show started playing after Fast'n Loud called Texas Car Wars. The show billed Texas as having the largest collection of salvage yards of any state in the country, and I thought the show looked promising, so I added it to my DVR list.

Having just sat through the first episode, I can say that in my opinion, this show absolutely sucks ass!  It reminds me of the show Storage Wars, or whatever its called, that I accidentally got sucked into once.  It's the same 4 or 5 shops bidding on a few cars each episode.  Then, they do work on them in an effort to flip them for big profits.  Perhaps the dagger for me was when they listed the purchase price, investment, and profit.  They stated that they had invested $4,000 into a 1963 Ford Uni-cab pickup.  Well, the body guy cut them a break at $3,500, and the stainless shop charged $600.  By my math, that's already over the $4,000.  That's ignoring all the mechanical work, which it needed plenty, and the labor for which the shop that purchased the car performed.  Then, this group one the competition for making the largest profit.

I don't think I can even bring myself to watch the other 3 episodes I've recorded, it was that painful. It will be quickly dropped from my DVR lineup.

Sweet Panel Van

Yesterday, while out running errands with my daughter, the panel van above caught my eye as I was parking.  For a second, I felt like "The Count," from Counting Cars, trying to catch up to another car guy to tell him "Hey man, nice car!" (minus the funds to offer the owner money for his ride of course)

The owner made it into Lowe's before I could catch up to him, though as luck would have it, he exited the store shortly after I.  Naturally, I had to talk to him about his ride.  I hadn't "flagged somebody down," let alone talked to a complete stranger/gearhead in a long while.

We probably talked for a good 20 minutes, about our rides, about local cruises, and about the what shows we like to hit.  It made me realized how much I enjoy meeting new car people.  This guy not only owns this ride, but also a 1960's Chevy pickup which serves as his year round daily driver, ever since the 1980's.  We shared many of the same lines of thought, though were I tend to lean toward "MORE POWER!" this guy was from the mentality of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," sporting 283's in both of his rides.

In 2013 I think I'm going to make a greater effort to stop and talk to people at shows and cruise nights, maybe even make a few new friends, and build a better network of gearheads.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Motor Trend TV

I added links to Motor Trend TV on Youtube via the sidebar to the right.  Lots of cool videos to check out!

Streetrodding Muscle Cars: Good or Bad?

Perhaps one of the most interesting things about being into cars is how opinions can change over time.  Cars I once thought were hideous are now cool, and things I once thought were cool (rear window louvers) are now gaudy.  The same applies to how cars are built, and a conversation with my father-in-law at a local show got me thinking.

My father-in-law has somewhat of a Dodge Ram fetish.  He owns an SST, Rumble Bee, and Sport of which see much time on the road, all of which will likely be forever a part of his collection.  In the near future, he hopes to add the unthinkable, a car!  He keeps going back and forth between a brand new Challenger, perhaps SRT8, or a classic 60's Mopar like a Sport Fury or Belvedere.  My vote is for the classic from the 60's, and I listed a whole bunch of reasons why.

The conversation soon morphed into modern engines in old cars, which I call "streetrodding the muscle car."  In the 1980's, the TPI engine from Chevy no more than debuted when it soon started appearing between the fenders of everything pre-1948.  In addition, the 700R4 also followed, giving streetrodders the ability to travel across the country while knocking down good mpg and turn-key/no headaches performance.

I can appreciate the dependability of a new powertrain, but I'm quickly getting tired of seeing the LS, HEMI, and occasional Mod motors in the engine bays.  So much so, that I'm becoming more pro-Old School recently.  I will probably ALWAYS prefer a big block anything between the frame rails, but even with a new motor, it needs an old twist, something to make it unique or cool.

I love the new Camaros, Mustangs, and Challengers.  My biggest gripe has always been their weight.  These cars have so many options I could live without, and because of those options, these cars are all at or even over 4,000 lbs.  The Challenger tipping the scales at 4,200 lbs!  I can't say I wouldn't own any of the 3 modern muscle cars, but it'll have to be perhaps 10 years from now, when prices drop and the skinny jeans crowd move on to whatever the new fad cars are to them.

As cool as the new muscle is, it will never be the same as the originals in my eyes.  Now, that doesn't mean that to the 10 year old kid growing up next door to a guy with a 2010 Camaro SS with 426 hp won't view it as a classic when he grows older, and buy one because of the passion it instilled in him.  For me though, even years from now, it still won't represent what the 60's cars did.

I have brainstormed about what the next evolution of my 69 Camaro will be, and an LS engine had crossed my mind more than a few times.  When it was all said and done, I have pretty much concluded that it will be a 540 crate engine (or bigger) topped off with my AFR heads and Victor intake.  I love the raw, crude, send you running with your tail between your legs power and sound that you simply can't replace with the new engines.  Now, that's not to say I won't drop an LS engine between the fenders of my 1989 Formula some day.  In fact, that is what I plan on doing, though it'll have to be either twin turbo, supercharged, or an Inglese or Kinsler fuel injected stack setup.  Hell, or maybe I'll slap a dual carb/mini ram intake on it.  Something to make it different, somewhat nostalgic, ya know?  To hell with running with the pack, I wanna be running in front of the pack!

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Frankenmuth Autofest Coverage


We headed up to Frankenmuth yesterday to check out the Autofest.  I hadn't been to the show since I was in college at CMU, back in 1999.  It was everything I remembered and then some.  It really is an amazing show, and considering it lasts 3 days, it really is a lot more than your average car show or cruise.  Those of us in Michigan truly are spoiled, with so many top notch shows, cruises, and cruise nights.  We are without a doubt the best state an automotive enthusiast could ask for.  This really is another show that I think I need to pencil in as a must see, and try and get my Camaro up to in coming years.


Can't say I ever liked this style Mustang, but there is no denying the engine it's due.

What an awesome Merc!


This is a car that fits the wife's needs, and one that is at the top of my list.  The problem is cost, as these cars sell for big money, and at their current low, are gonna usually be north of $25K.

This is one of the nicest second gen Firebirds I've seen.

With 532 ci, this thing was badass!



 Formerly my favorite year, I now prefer the 60 or 61 Caddys.










 This scoop is just too damn big for this super charger.  Scratch that...this super charger is too damn small for the scoop.  :)

I have never seen a Jeep like this.  Not sure if it was a home made project, or simply just so rare that I haven't seen one.

One of the baddest wagons ever!  I normally don't care for brown, nor woodys with very few exceptions.  This car is about perfect in every way.





I'm not sure what to make of this.  While I can appreciate the amount of work that went into it, I'd want nothing to do with it.


Another D100.




2012 Frankenmuth Autofest - Photos

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Frankenmuth Autofest: September 7, 8, 9 2012

This weekend marks the 29th Annual Frankenmuth Autofest, September 7, 8, 9 2012.  While I've only made it to this show once, back in 1999, it is one helluva show.  I'm holding out hope that the weather forecast will look a bit more positive as the weekend gets closer.  As it is, there is a chance of scattered showers, and wouldn't be worth the drive if that's still the forecast.  For more information, check out the official website.

Frankenmuth Autofest

Not done cruisin' yet!

Often, I look at the Woodward Dream Cruise as the end of the cruise season. Yes, it doesn't start getting cooler until mid October, that is true. Yet for me, Woodward had alway been a good stopping point, and a time in which I would start to consider what my winter plans for my car were. This year is different.

Maybe it was the long road trip to California which ate up some of our summer cruising. Or perhaps it was the fact that I simply didn't get my Camaro out to as many shows this summer as I have in the past. Either way, Woodward left me hungry.

As previously stated, my next cruise was Hines Drive, which is probably my new favorite summer cruise. I wasn't done though, and I called upon my friend Rod from my home town. I had hoped to get him up here to Detroit for a night out at a week night cruise. We settled upon Friday night, and I already had a few spots in mind, and we started out with the Sears down in Southgate. My last few visits to this cruise were a little disappointing, as the numbers have dwindled from 10 years ago, though I held out hope that people would be out in full force as the season comes to an end...I was wrong.

Turnout was relatively light, with perhaps 75 or so cars. I had planned ahead however with a few other cruise nights close by. Instead though, I decided to hit the freeway and head to the eastside, Continental Lanes Bowling alley near 13 mile/I94. I was glad we did, as turnout was much better, and exactly what I had wished to show my friend. We walked the show for a bit, then decided to cap the night off with a cruise over to Woodward. Woodward wasn't too lively, but a Shell Station was going strong with a good 25-30 cars, with a constant flow of in and out traffic. After some bs'n with the locals, we called it a night and headed for home.

 3 shows in one night, in just a few hour span. That had to be a new personal record, and one of the most fun nights out I've had in a long, long time when it comes to cruise nights. I may have a few more cruise nights in me, and weather permitting, we still hope to make Frankenmuth, MI this coming weekend. I'm not sure that weather is going to cooperate though, as they are calling for scattered showers. I will promise to remember my camera next time, something I left at home for this trip.

Epic Drives: Corvette ZR1 chases 200 mph in Europe

Ran across this video on a friend's Facebook page the other day. Simply awesome! Pushing a ZR1 to it's limits, then playing cat and mouse with a Ferrari. Why oh why did they pick a white Vette though? Any color would have been better.