Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The $30K Collection. The Captain.

All aboard. You ship sails daily from your driveway. Destination unknown. But the weather is always sunny and the journey always enjoyable. The commute is a short hop. The road trip is a circumnavigation. The buffet is fully laden and your are ready to sup on all that is luxurious. You sir, are a Captain. And a Captain is nothing without his ship. His lady. His passengers. 

Detroit has no ocean but a big lake. As such, they have experience with lots of Captains and the ships they require. Albeit mostly second rate Captains of ore ships who ply the inland sea but Captains none the less. On to the ships. Captain! Aside, Salute.

The 1965 slab sided Lincoln. The Kennedy car. For $15,000 you can live out your Captain fantasies and those carried over from watching Parker Posey in The House of Yes. Introduced in 1961 this beauty was as flat on the sides as Twiggy was on her front. But both somehow were quite attractive. With miles of electrics and a drop top that filled the enormous trunk this was indeed a dreamy ship. Go for the powder blue to get the most nautical effect. Maybe with a white interior and pretend you are ferrying guests from a Yacht moored of Monaco. The 340HP 462 provides propulsion as silent as Clancy's Red October. The rear hinged door is debonair. Go for an excellent condition hard top over a so-so convertible. And, as any Captain knows, check your charts for safe passage. Or, in land lubbers terms, measure the garage to make sure it will fit.

1968 Cadillac. The newest, biggest, smoothest V-8 ever offered is yours today for around $10,000 in perfect, shall we say, ship shape. We shall. With dozens and dozens of configurations you are sure to find a broker who has one of these cruisers that will raise your sails. Limo? Four door? Coupe? Yes. Yes. Yes. By golly your passengers will enjoy the ride to with laid back rear seating and carpeted footrests. For cabin trimmings do try to find one that has the optional DuBarry cloth with Leather trim. Best to get one of these and also hire a trusty helmsman so you can enjoy the company of your charges on board, the good ship Cadillac. The difference between the Cadillac and the Lincoln? Best brush up on the difference between International Style and Federalist Style.

W126 Mercedes 560 SEL. With their 2380KM of coastline the Germans are certainly capable of constructing a ship that meets their specific North Sea needs. It is the W126 and it is yours with low miles and all options for $15,000. There were dozens of variants and over 800,000 produced, but you are looking for something specific sir. Either the high compression 5.6 liter V8 with 300HP. Or, if you don't mind searching the deep blue for a while, an AMG modified version with the DOHC 6 liter V8 and locking differential. This machine will pound through the harshest waves and fastest currents. The rakes and rafes out there will hold out for the 2+2 seating variation that creates a rather sporty Barchetta feeling. Set sail, to an electronically limited 155MPH. 

Photos: cteinternational.com, oldcarmanualproject.com, 

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Leaving It To The Pros...

I received my first royalty check for Hunt for 901 and splurged by paying my mechanics to do the timing belt and water pump install on the Brown Bomber. That is the name that has stuck in the past few weeks on my track car. 

Really, of all the jobs on a 944 the one that you do not want to mess up is the timing belt because if you do, the whole top end of the engine can be ruined.

And another thing about doing this and oil and gearbox fluid changes is being green. I remember as a kid, no joke, pouring oil in the backyard and flushing radiators right into the storm drains. Oops. Who knew it was bad, right?

So, now when you do these jobs at home you need to bottle up the old stuff and bring it somewhere. Ugh. Might as well pay my shop the $20 to do the change in the first place.

Can't wait to pick up the Brown Bomber later today and rev it up. I was too afraid to bring her past 3k as the belt was ten years old. Good thing too, the old belt had several cracked teeth.

Finally, notice that early 911 Targa in the pics. It is a daily driver. And yes, that is my mechanics finger poking right through the bodywork. At least it is lightweight.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Streetview catches Porsche Prototypes and My Old Car

FIrst, streetview caught a bunch of Porsche prototypes in Colorado. And then I looked up my home. This shot is from two summers ago. Judging by the 951 I used to have and the weather.

I think this might be a good way for Faston to find some rare cars.

Some people get all jammed up like they are being spied upon. Who really cares? They can't see me in my house. And even if they could, they could watch me type, cook, eat, wrench. Thrilling.

Friday, January 16, 2009

A TV Show About Cars That is Good...

I watch Top Gear but I do not love it. It has its moments though. My Classic Car with Dennis Gage is a 100% disaster. He is bad. His crew is bad. His mustache is a joke. Motor Trend TV is so repetitive that it is unwatchable due to the nonstop puns, hack descriptions of power and the over the top host who styles himself a voice talent. If you can imagine the most boring person you know making a TV show, that is what Motor Trend TV is like.

The worst TV show about cars ever. And I mean ever. Is 101 Cars You Must Drive Before You Drive. This show makes My Classic Car seem like an Emmy winner. There is at least three shots in each episode where they shot into the sun and you can see the dirt on the lens. Have some respect for yourself people. And the host, a stand up comic knows as much about cars as the Bush administration knows about middle eastern culture. This show is soooooooooo bad it is unwatchable. And that is saying alot. I will read or watch most anything about cars. Like the movie Eyes Wide Shut. It was so bad I could not watch it despite the massive amounts of nudity.

Anything on Speed is too loud and too overproduced. Why all the yelling Pinks host and Tuner TV host? Enough. No one LIKES TO BE YELLED AT.

But now there is one very good TV show about cars and about how most of us enthusiasts engage with them. Most people don't race, buy cars at auctions, wax their mustaches or go fake tanning in their cars. What they do is buy them, tinker with them, and then sell them on to do it all over again. And that is exactly the premise of Wheeler Dealers.

Sure they do some dumb stuff like replacing the original Blaupunkt in a Cosworth Benz with a flashy CD player but overall they do exactly what most people do. Their best to make the cars better. And the two have genuine enthusiasm for cars, not themselves, which I can't say about any other TV show about cars. I only wish I could be the host.

Enjoy, and look up all the shows there.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

You Can Only Go As Fast As You Can Stop.


That is certainly not Aspen Pure brake fluid in the above picture. It is more like coal ash spill brake fluid. It actually contained wisps of thicker bits. Very dangerous, I'd say.

Also notice the new stainless flex lines. I am of the opinion that stock is usually better than aftermarket, but in this case I disagree. Mainly on priced. The stock rubber lines are more expensive than a set of bright new metal cased lines.

I did not get to bleeding the clutch as the days are short and my workshop is my driveway. Maybe next weekend.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

A/C Delete Finally, Finally Complete

Finally the Rapunzel's hair-sized rats nest of wires and devices and hoses that is the air conditioning system in a 944 has been removed. The shot above shows all the contents that are hidden behind the passenger dash. Out of sight, adding weight silently. Like an extra chocolate bar a day, the weight sneaks up on you.

Good thing I did just hack out all the wires because I wanted to keep my heat in tact for defrosting my windows on early race mornings. There is a ground and relay that need to be kept for the heating system to function. But careful following of wires will allow you to remove the entire A/C wiring harness from behind the center console to the under dash connections.

Next I'll be installing some new brake lines and bleeding the clutch and brakes. Because right now both of them are softer than Ron Jeremy before his dose of, as the French say, le weekender.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Art into Words Show

The Transportation Guild that I am a member of is hosting its first show.

There will be some fantastic paintings available. But how does an author showcase his work? Looking at a novel in a gallery, unless its some illuminated manuscript, is kinda like trying to enjoy a meal cooked on TV. It works. But lacks the sensual pleasure.

Hence, the authors in the guild wrote some short stories that give a bit of a background to what might have inspired the images the artists painted. I rather enjoyed the work. I wrote some stories about a Model T, Duesenberg and a Porsche 911 Turbo. And I would rather like to see this done across more art showings. 

Friday, January 2, 2009

A/C Delete Not Totally Complete

The nooks and crannies of a 944 hide more parts than the nooks and crannies of an English Muffin hide butter. I thought I took all the stuff for the A/C out but there seems to be a passle of stuff left under the passenger dash.

Can I take all this stuff out? Will I mess up some of the regular heating system which I want to keep? Who knows? Find out soon...