Thursday, September 29, 2011

Barn Finds You Can Afford.

While searching for Jaguar MK2 parts on ebay, I came across the work of middleton models.

They seem to do some cheeky, barn-find style model dioramas. Really nice stuff, and fairly priced, not off the charts.

Some of the details I really love are the brick through the MK2's window. The tight GTI badges. And finally, the fact that they did a model of Kit from Knight Rider. Now, that last one would be a spectacular barn find.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

French Car Spotting in Godard's Weekend

So, thinking of Goddard's famous(in film circles) 7:30 one take dolly shot, I always wanted to slow it down even more. Check out the cars and the detail of it all. So, I screen grabbed about fifty images that cover the full length of the shot, which must be a half mile. Enjoy. Click to make the mosaic large - blogger doesn't let it get really large. It is actually 12x40 inches.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Craigslist Ad for an Airbrushed Masterpiece

Above are the pics and below is the copy for an ad I did with a friend to sell his Saturn that he had had a Pegasus airbrushed onto the hood. Guess the ad-background worked, he sold the car in less than one day and had dozens of calls:

The first thing you should know about this Saturn is that it features a very rare, one-of-a-kind, custom hood painting. This painting makes the lame bird on the hood of Pontiac Firebirds look like something you would put on the wall of your daughters bedroom to help her fall asleep faster. This hood paint was done by a Greek Muse. Wanting to show a fast and powerful animal, the artist chose to paint a virile Pegasus rearing up on its hindquarters, wings spread, ready for battle. You can see how manly this Pegasus is. How could it not be when it's father was Poseidon, now that was a man. Also, this painting has lots of details including a beautiful golden shower cascading down the driver's side. This painting alone is awesome. It should be hung on a wall instead of a car. The Denver Art Museum is considering acquiring this piece. So is the Uffizi.

Also on the exterior are the fantastic Saturn plastic body panels that don't show dents. Seriously, a bear when I was car-camping came and rammed its bear head into the door and didn't even leave a mark. The mirror on the passenger side was modified by my robot mechanic to be more aerodynamic.

As you can imagine, women find the painting decidedly erotic. It just comes with owning a piece of art like this. Often this artwork is compared to the sensual flower paintings of Georgia O'keeffe.

Hipsters are also drawn to this painting. They can't believe that there is something hipper than they are. Well, there is hipsters on razr scooters. This hood mural is hipper than you.

A final note on the painting. This is not a Unicorn. Unicorns are easily tamed by virgins. The Pegasus is not easily tamed, it does its bidding only to help Greek gods. Unicorns have a narwhal tusk-like tumor. Pegasus can fly. Leonardo da Vinci wrote how 'loving' Unicorns were. He did not write about Pegasus because he knew Pegasus would not want this and would fly over to his lame ass art studio and stomp him to death, leaving behind only a fresh spring from which you could drink water.

Yes, I mentioned my robot mechanic earlier. While some people prefer to have their cars dealer maintained I prefer to have mine looked after by a robot. Robots are by their nature disinclined to lie to you about your car needing work that it doesn't. My robot followed the factory specs when doing all sorts of maintenance on this car like enhancing the side view mirror, putting air in the tires, adding factory-style coolant. If you wish to speak to my robot mechanic that is fine. But know that he only speaks digital, he kinda sounds like a dial up modem. So, if you can understand that, you can chat with him.

Engine wise, I had my robot mechanic ensure that the 116 cubic inch inline 4 cylinder was always functioning at its best. This way, I knew that all 100 horsepower that this car was delivered with from the factory are still available to be called upon today when the need arises to run from a crazed roadside wild game jerky seller or to pass a truck. The healthy 114ftlbs or torque spins out at a low 2400RPMs for a sporty character. This engine has only covered XXX,XXX miles. It is in great shape. It has just completed a two week trip from DENVER to your mom's and back.

Robot mechanic said this car was a hybrid before there were hybrids. It gets 28MPG in the city and 39 on the highway. Take that Qatar. Take that Canada. This mileage allows me to rarely visit my NASCAR fueler. I only have my fuel put in by a disgraced NASCAR gasman because I am super busy. Factor this in when trying to respond to this ad. It may take me from one minute to one year to respond.

So I have covered the exterior and mechanics. Now on to the interior. This is the type of car that you will want if the world becomes like it is in Walking Dead. You can sleep in this car. It will come with the bed which includes a cotton-batting pillow cushion and comforter. Tempurpedic engineers have studied this bed and were blown away with how comfortable it is. Sleep Number engineers refused to come view it because they knew they could not rival the comfort of this bed. There is enough room to take care of all your body needs. Thunder mug not included.

Now for the asking price. If you've read the whole ad, you now are probably willing to pay whatever it takes. Some of you have probably already cashed out your 401ks. But do not fret. I am looking to get $800.

Trades. I like trading. And I would really like an El Camino. Not a Ford Ranchero. Rancheros are like Unicorns. I like El Caminos because they are half car, half truck. They are like Pegasus. Totally serious. If it has a 4-speed even better. As nothing lays down pavement tattoos like an El Camino with a manual gearbox.

I might also trade for a motorcycle. Not a scooter. A motorcycle. The difference is a motorcycle you shift gears. A scooter you do not.

So, give me a ring at XXX-XXX-XXXX

Thursday, September 22, 2011

1967 British Racing in Color. A Dozen Pics and a Video

This 1967 documentary on the British racing scene is auto-tastic. Really shows how un-polished it was back then. I watched it back to back this morning it is so deliciously filled with the cars we all lust after today.

Incredible machines captured on the grainy film are Terry Sanger's V8 Cortina.The first winged Chapparal and what might be the first ricer car in the paddock - look for the high-winged Morris or some such family car.

There is a five-barrel roll crash by a female Sprite racer alongside lots of sliding Hillmans and Minis.

The drivers look the part too with the suave Graham Hill and tragic Bandini.

You really do owe yourself the 23 minutes needed to watch this film. Might I suggest you do so with the volume up and a Fuller's Vintage Ale or Avery Old Jubilation?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

British Car Show Photo Essay - Colorado Conclave 2011

A conclave is a private meeting, or a meeting of Catholic Cardinals, so I really have no idea what a conclave has to do with an open meeting of British cars besides alliteration. But, all you need to know is that the Colorado Conclave is a great gathering of all that is British.

From 3 Deloreans(assembled in the UK), to a delicate Lotus Elite, the show had a wonderful selection of cars. I was there showing the MK2 and promoting my new novel, and trying to keep my son from ruining someone else's car.

Enjoy the photos. From the Marcos that makes the MG look big. The rusty hips of a Triumph. And even an MGA bodyshell waiting for you.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

6 Vehicles a Friend Should Own But You Never Should

In no particular order.

There are lots and lots of motorized vehicles that seem like good ideas. Like it would be great to own them. We think of the upside, but not the downside. These are the vehicles that just weigh us down. Give us a bit of utility a few times a year. They, like Ralph Waldo said, are the "things in the saddle that ride mankind." Because for every vehicle we buy it means more responsibility, more expense, more time.

That is why it is best to have a great friend who has them. Because you get all the upside of enjoying, but none of the downside. All you have to do is bring the beer or buy dinner after a days enjoyment or work. Nefarious? Yes. Smart? Yesser.

1. ANYTHING REQUIRING KNOBBY TIRES. This means ATVs, dirt bikes, side by sides, etc. Because you also now need a trailer. A larger shed. A closet of extra safety gear. Permitting hassles. You will even have to buy two so you always aren't riding by yourself. Finally, raise your hand if you like mixing gas and oil. Yes, it is fun to bomb along some tight forested roads, enjoying nature while at the same time mechanically attacking it but how often will you go? Forget your visions of clearing the doubles, you'll most likely be pressed up against another chubby male either trying not to fall over or to help him restart his rig. While the utter lack of potential asset appreciation is the nail in the tire making owning one of these a flat idea.
EXCEPTION - You own a working ranch.

2. ANY VEHICLE MOSTLY CONSTRUCTED OF WOOD. Boat or car or plane. Tools are great. I love them. But now, you will need an entire other set of tools to work and shape and repair(and you will be repairing) your wooden toy. The aged ash won't be the only thing getting shellacked, your wallet will also as you try to keep the elements at bay. It is the smart man's play to not buy a machine that a winged-bug or swimming worm can eviscerate. If Pappy has say a Morgan and a Lotus in his will, always fight for the Lotus.
EXCEPTION - You are stranded on an island and need to construct a boat.

3. RIDING MOWERS. I shall never understand how owning a riding mower is something a lot of men strive to achieve. What is admirable about them? They are ugly. They are slow. They are acoustically unattractive. And, you look like either the help or a toddler trying to ride a sheep while seated upon one. If your yard is large enough to need a riding mower(in my book this means it takes more than 60 minutes to push mow) you either pay a service or pay your neighbor. Don't even get me started on riding mower racing...
EXCEPTION - You have arthritis and can't afford a Lark.

4. STANLEY STEAMER. They are fast. Brassy. Bold. Clever. And a complete hassle to own and drive. Hey, how much does that thing get to the gallon? Your answer, gallon of water or kerosene. While driving, you have more levers and pumps to constantly manually manipulate than starlet in a film I once saw entitled, 'Inga and the Three Humpeteers'.
EXCEPTION - You are Jay Leno.

5. VINTAGE MOTOR COACH. Art deco decadence and streamline style all rendered in steel, mahogany and linoleum. Fantastic. Some of the most sensational designs this side of a Bugatti Atlantique are to be found in these finned and two-toned roadies. Really, you can live out your Lucille Ball dreams from The Long, Long Trailer in one of these with the panache of Desi. What's not to like? Storage hassles. Leaky windows. Slooooooowwwww. Parts harder to find than good Mexican food in Vermont.
EXCEPTION - You run a Big Band Revival Tour.

6. WORK TRUCK. This I would consider to be any full size domestic pickup from 1968 to 1979. They are cheap, plentiful and durable. They are too new to be collectible(please don't try to convince me) and too old to be used daily. They are really like owning a motorized wheel barrow. Best that a friend own it, and you just have to pull the tarp off it and the key out from under the mat to use it. No need to try to get it to pass emissions, or deal with trying to keep the rust at bay. It's even better to rent the Home Depot truck for a half hour than be burdened by one of these. Even though a 390 4-speed F-250 two-wheel drive lays a nice set of strips down.
EXCEPTION - You are a freelance roadkill collector.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

New Windshield for the 901

A few weeks back at my last(only) race of the season my windshield had a rock chip, that spread to a small crack. Then, on the last lap and clipping an apex which always results in a pretty good shock to the car, it cracked to about 2 feet in length.

Not good.

The reason being, that your car won't pass tech inspection with a large crack that is in the line of vision. So, until I replaced it, the car was illegal to run.

Side benefit, the original glass was super rock-chipped and sandblasted. Contributing in no small part to me missing a turn in the last race due to sun glare.

Calling around I was getting prices, installed, of between $290-$400. Ouch. Lexan would be near $400 and need $50 tear-offs to protect it.

Finally, I got in touch with Preferred Auto Glass in Denver and had them come to my house and install the windshield for $236. The lucky gentleman did a fine install in my well-stocked raceshop(street). Perfect.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Digital Ink Version of Hunt for the Blower Bentley Dropping. Kindle Readers Say Hey.

Yesterday the Kindle version of my newest automotive archaeology novel went live. Now you can Hunt for the Blower Bentley for less. Download it here.

It takes a bit of time to get the formatting correct and proofs done. But, voila. There it is in soothing digital ink.

The cover image still looks nice, but not as great as it does in color. For that, you'll need a better Kindle or Nook than I have.

Currently I am 50/50 paper vs. ebook. For new books I buy digital. For older books and travel I still use trusty paperbacks. One less thing to charge or worry about breaking.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Blower Spotted at Lime Rock Vintage Festival

Whether real or recreated, this VDP bodied Blower Bentley is the business.

A bit too polished and clean for my taste, but I would not kick it out of the garage for leaving spots on the floor.

My brother, who can be blamed for me liking European cars, spotted this at the Lime Rock Park vintage festival yesterday. Jealous.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Jaguar MK2 Model Pictures

I dig in situ model images. And these snaps from are really great. He has dozens more images of MK2 models and other jaguars here.

Of course I am partial to the Tamiya model in the same blue as my MK2. Now, he has me searcing the web for this model.