See if you can relate to this. Summer trips with the fam
It’s the mid 70’s or 80’s when the whole family piled into the family wagon to go on vacation. It could have been west like I did with my family in our 1967 Rebel Cross Country wagon. Almost identical to this one I found in the classified sporting the same Strato Blue Metalic color. Yup, I have all kinds of stuff still rattling around in my brain. Mom, Dad, and my two younger sisters went to Yosemite to see Old Faithful and stuff like that and Read more
Spellcheck went crazy with this
Lots of red lines below my copy when I wrote this blog entry about the Open Rekord. It kept wanting to change it to “Record”. You know me and odd ball cars. I was actually running through eBay looking at promo models when I came across a Record, oops, Rekord. More about the promo model in a minute but first I needed to find our more about the real deal since I’d never heard of the car. This car was no one-hit wonder as there were approximately ten million sold between 1953 and 1986. It was produced by GM’s Opel brand and was the second best-selling brand in Europe behind the Volkswagen Beetle. Check out the spot but brush up on your German. Read more
I’m a pretty happy AMC fan this morning!
That’s because last night at the Gooding & Company auction in Scottsdale, AZ this AMX 3 sold for $891,000 setting a new world record price for an American Motors creation. More than other cars in the auction like a 1935 Auburn 851 SC Boattail Speedster which sold for $693,000 but not as high as the top seller, a 1925 Bugatti Type 35 Grand Prix hammering for $3,300,000. Read more
Carpeting and paint codes
As a kid my first promo model was a pink ’63 VW Bug. I had my eye on this at the local hobby shop for the longest time lusting over it although I doubt at age five I knew what lust was. Dad said is was mine if I would give up dragging around my blanket, yup just like Linus from Peanuts. Tough but I did it for my first promo model and the rest is history. I bet I’m not alone either touching up promo models or redoing them the exact paint code. Dad brought home lots of them when he went to work for American Motors in 1963. I didn’t have to give anything up when those started rolling in the door and I had boxes of them. Most promo model cars will come in the colors that their big brothers were painted in like this rare red 1970 AMX that I have in my collection. Sure AMC made a red AMX in 1970 but this color is more of an approximate, not exact color match. I must have painted and detailed lots of them but none to the detail I have seen on the auction sites. Read more
I love Australian cars
By Paul Daniel
Unfortunately after next month there will no longer be anymore built after Ford closes the doors on its plant following the lead from GM who shut down its Holden plants. At one time this was a booming market cranking out just over 400,000 vehicles in 2004 but it dwindled down to 175,000 in 2009. Why did all they pull out? Mostly political tax stuff that I’m not going to get into here.
A little history first
Holden manufacturing dates back to 1856. They were the first to introduce the “ute” and Australians ate it up. It became a huge market. It may have also inspired the El Camino and Ranchero built by Chevy and Ford in their U.S. Plants. See my blog entry, history of the El Camino and Australian “utes”. The Holdens, in my opinion, are the fastest and best looking cars produced in Australia. In 1925, Ford Australia’s first products were, of course, Model Ts assembled from knock-down kits. Ford is best known in Australia for the Falcon, not the same as the one produced here in the U.S. Chrysler also played in the Australian market but only stuck around for a much shorter time. Read more
Restorations take a lot of time and cash …
By Paul Daniel
.. I’m short of both right now. Getting a forgotten car back on the road is one thing but getting it back on the track it another. Watch this video where the iconic 1966 Le Mans-winning P/1046 GT40 shared by Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon returned to the track at Lime Rock Park. It took almost two years to make this happen. Enjoy.
The biggest roar of engines you will ever hear!
And one of the few places you will hear them is where I was this week, AirVenture 2016 in Oshkosh, WI. I’m sure I’m not alone where I say that I get excited hearing a car like a new Corvette jump on the throttle as it comes out of a turn. Well take that feeling and multiply it by, let’s say 10! And if you think a Hellcat Charger at 700 hp is a lot, multiply that by about four and you have the horsepower of many of the engines in the warbirds up here, even more for the jets. In case you’re not familiar with the event it is the largest gathering of aviation enthusiasts in the world, held every year in Oshkosh, and hosted by the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA). The event, which began on July 24th and runs through July 31st, spans the entire spectrum of aviation. It attracts 10,000 airplanes and more than 500,000 aviation enthusiasts from all over the world. If you haven’t I would highly encourage you to come to this event just once. It is a hoot. Read more
We were pinned in by a jerk
It happened one winter when we were in Downtown Milwaukee at an event. Parking is not easy there especially if you add in a recent snowfall. We were driving an ’87 Jeep Wagoneer (XJ) that I had bought from my dad similar to this one. We snuggle into a spot on the street and go have fun. When we came back we saw another car had parked us in. The car was actually not in a spot and at the end of the block near the intersection. My wife tried first with no luck. It was my turn. I put our Jeep in 4wd and pushed the car out ahead of us and it just happened to roll into the intersection. Ooops.
Jeep people don’t mess a round
In a parking lot you wait your turn to move into a spot where a car is leaving. But then every once in a while some jerk decides they’re going to take that spot. We’ve all had that happen. Not sure any of you came to this creative solution.
When is the last time you heard that?
If you’re a boomer like me, you heard that around the time you were in high school, but hardly at all now because car/truck windows are powered. Well most of them anyway. One of my many gigs is doing the marketing for a local golf course The Preserve at Deer Creek. I also help out in the golf shop.
Recently on a morning I was opening and one of our grounds’ guys, Bill, came in to tell me he saw a customer’s Toyota Tundra with the driving lights were left on and the driver’s side window partially open. Rain was on the way. I told him what group that golfer might be in and he headed out on the golf course to find him. We are HUGE on customer love here! The customer gave Bill the keys and on his way to the truck grabbed me. Read more
…and a giant step in barn finds
An out of this world barn find. It will need some fixing up but not too bad for a ’66 model. Who makes this, Ford, Chevy, Chrysler, or AMC. How many were built? Does it need any kind of restoration? What’s the estimated value? Is it numbers matching? Where was it found? When do we get to see it? Why is it so rare? A galaxy of questions but it’s going to take a person who likes to shoot for the moon to take on this project.
I love building stuff!
By Paul Daniel
You would not have to walk more than ten feet in our house to see examples of my work. I’ve been building plastic model car kits since I was a kid and it seems like only yesterday that my dad sent me a box of balsa which would become my first radio control airplane. About 30 years later my plane builds have become more complex like the F-16 with a real turbine. This picture was taken two years ago at the EAA’s (Experimental Aircraft Association’s) AirVenture event held every year in Oshkosh, WI. Yup, that’s me, and my daughter Meg, on the ramp with my jet’s big brother thanks to the USAF Thunderbird team that had performed that week. The entire team autographed my plane. Fun stuff.
I also love to tinker
That would be evident if you poked your head in my garage. I do all but the big stuff on my Suzuki Hayabusa while next to it sits a 1975 Honda 360T I’m turning into a Cafe Racer. This is a hot segment of the motorcycle market. Same goes for our 2016 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited and our aging 2008 Chrysler Pacifica which is starting to show its age at 140,000 miles. Read more
Almost like a big barn find
It’s winter as I write this blog post in Wisconsin. Gotta tell you that as I’ve gotten older I’ve grown more of a distaste of winter. It’s cold and snowing which means all the collector cars are taking their long winter naps. Not one wanting to hibernate, I grabbed my camera and my daughter and took a ride up to the Wisconsin Automotive Museum. Read more
A Frankenstein classic car
Well maybe not a classic but for sure the guy who combined what I believe to be a ’66 Valiant Barracuda, a ’64 Dodge Dart, and the fins from maybe ’61 Caddy (my best guess). It caught my eye one day when I was out for a ride on my Busa passing through Hartford, WI. Of course I had to turn around to grab some pictures. The ‘Cuda is the base car and a real quick look at it did not show any major signs of rust. Ok, I can see doing a bit special on the hood with the Dart parts but when he added the fins, I’m out. If you take a close look at the pics I shot of the fins, he did not do a very good job grafting them on. But hey, who am I to judge? It’s his car and as long as the guy is happy with it, let ‘er rip tatter chip. Read more
Drivers and passengers roasted for decades
Now cars come with air conditioning where the temperature can set by the driver and the passenger and have a different temp. This image is from our 2008 Chrysler Pacifica where the driver and passenger can set the exact temp they want. It’s old technology now because the new cars can do so much more.
Speaking of old
And what inspired me for this blog entry? My head’s always on a swivel when I’m driving or riding and while I was in a northern suburb of Milwaukee I spotted an old large green car. Not wanting to go past, I turned around because, well I’m a car guy. I think this is a ’53 because my uncle Walter had one. To ride in that car was like putting your living room on wheels. It cost him what was a ton of money then, something like 5,400 bucks. Yup, you were somebody if you were seen in one of these. This one was in mint condition. And of course what really caught my eye was the crazy thing hanging out the passenger window. Now it was all coming back because my uncle had one on his Buick. This is the precursor, to what we now
take for granted, cool air in our car, called an air cooler it came as an add-on.
Green before Green
Time to put the research hat on. According to Oldeskool.org, inside the big gray tube is a blanket with a string attached that hangs in the passenger window. You fill the tube up with water before leaving on a trip, then every so often you pull the cord. It rotates the blanket inside and dips it in the water. Then air comes through the tube and becomes cool by going through the wet blanket into your car. But there were drawbacks. You had to be moving for it to work really well. It doesn’t work in places with high humidity like here in Wisconsin. It worked great in places like California, Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada.
The perfect finishing touch for a classic car
Even though the original manufacturers, Thermador and Sears Roebuck, have long stopped making air coolers they still can be found. I poked around eBay and found one guy still making them for the retro group for $175, otherwise used ones can run up to $350. So the next time you turn on the a/c, which runs in any kind of humidity, and at stop lights, you should be glad you don’t have this item hanging from your passenger window which looks like a vacuum cleaner.
I have never been a fan of French engineering
I have first-hand experience with my mother owning a Renault Alliance and then me owning an Encore. This was the big deal about the partnership with American Motors and Renault. The cars were a hit out of the gate with the Alliance named Motor Trend Car of the Year but it all went down after that. Mom had the 1.4L engine in her car and I thought it sounded like a sewing machine. I opted for the 1.7L in my Encore and the car could still only barley get out of its own way. I did like the manual shift. The cars had a bunch of issues but it basically came down to cheap materials and bad engineering. Did you know that the Read more