Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Bigger Blower Bentley

This crazy 27 litre contraption by British creative heir to the likes of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Bob Peterson is quite the machine. And you do need to see more of this guy Bob's work at his site.

The Telegraph newspaper had an article about it a few days ago here. But some of the larger numbers are the aforementioned 27 litres. 660HP. 12 exhausts and 24 spark plugs. Giddy-up we would say in Denver.

The original Blowers cast a long shadow. And the desire to own one, or something better/faster than one is strong. Although a replica in spirit, at least they are forthright about it. Not something that can be said of the shenanigans around fakes in my Blower novel (a great gift, cough, cough)- Hunt for the Blower Bentley..

Saturday, November 26, 2011

In Defense of Car Wreaths or Happy Holidays Post

Happy Holidays. Hope you can all squeeze into your vintage cars after the Thanksgiving feasting.

Now, I have for a few years, enjoyed the personality switch that comes with putting a cheery wreath on my classics. I have put them on my 911, Wagoneer and now my MK2.

Some people may scoff and say that the McMansion prowling SUV crowd has ruined the wreath on the car and made it seem more Pottery Barn art direction than grassroots celebration of the season. I disagree.

Anytime you are driving your classic in the winter months is a commitment to the joy of classic motoring. And, to add a bit of holiday polish on top of that is well worth it. My straw pole of looking whiling driving says that I get more smiles and looks with the wreath than without. Many more.

So, source an appropriate wreath for your car, zip-tie it on and get out there.

A final note, check out Jim Clark in 1967, now that is a wreath that is worn well by both car and man.

While Cadillac owners get a pass as they have wreath's on their cars at all times.

Photo from

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Warning Light Overload. B5 A6.

One of the main reasons I like older cars more than newer cars is that the new ones boss you. Especially with warning lights.

On our 2002 A6, a rare 2.7T 6 speed manual MT6 model, when it is low on windshield washer fluid you would think that it was about to explode. It flashes a light and beeps more than a Cameroonian taxi driver.

So, the car was recently throwing an ABS light. A quick scan showed it to be the rear ABS sensor. With a quote of $100 to install the sensor, I decided to save the money and install myself.

It was super easy. The only hard part was trying to lift up the bottom of the rear seat. I could not get it dislodged. I managed to pull the corner up enough to clip and thread in the new harness. A tip here is to 'fish' in the sensor with a stiff wire taped to the end.

One hiccup was that the allen head bolt that fixed the sensor to the caliper did not fit the thicker mounting of the new Bosch piece. Odd, as it was an OEM fitment. So, a quick dig in the old metric bolt pile had me back in action right quick.

Start to finish in under an hour. And that includes some leaf pile jumping with my son.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

'Upgrades' are for Video Games & 'Investments' are for Wall Street.

UPGRADES and INVESTED. These words are tossed around in for sale ads by car owners far too often. Because owners rarely upgrade or invest in their cars. Hey, if you are having your Bugatti prepped for vintage racing by High Mountain Classics you are upgrading.

And if you have a minimum of $500,000 to spend in Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason's IGA-backed automobile fund you might be investing in cars.

But short of that. I question your grammar.

Instead of upgrading and investing, owners are modifying and spending

And there is a big difference between the two. The power of words is in their proper use. And using the word upgrade to define adding blue light bulbs to your civic is incorrect. Or using the word invested to describe spending $9,000 on a candy-flake-pearl paint job on your 68 Chevy is another misuse.

Top Five Misnamed Upgrades:
  • Cold Air Intakes
  • +2 or larger Rims
  • Aforementioned light bulbs
  • Anything from KYB
  • Exhaust components

Top Five Misnamed Investments:
  • Tires
  • Stereos
  • Custom upholstery
  • Detailing
  • Tint
And let me say it first - I've never invested or upgraded my cars. But as sure as syrup in Vermont I've done a lot of spending and modifying.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Simeone Foundation Founder Loves Hunt for the Blower Bentley

My Dad, like all parents, is an unrepentant promoter of his kid's activities. So, he mailed a copy of my novel to Dr. Frederick Simeone, the collector of some of the world's most impressive cars. Including a Blower Bentley. My Dad had previously met him delivering some cars to his museum. You can view his jaw-dropping, jealousy-inducing collection here.

In the above letter, he states he enjoyed the book. But also, did his own fact checking on my Bentley history and found it to be impeccable. Thanks for the support. It means a lot to get a positive review from someone who owns one of these incredible machines.