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