Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Tool Box fetish

I'm beginning to enjoy the suburbs there are a lot of little surprises.  Garage sales are a different breed in these parts, the taste level isn't quite there but people aren't trying to make money as much as get rid of stuff.  When I hit the neighborhood garage sales last weekend I didn't expect to find much.  Until I came across the guy selling all his old tools (I felt bad until I saw his giant MAC case of "new" tools).  I could have and probably should have spent the kids college fund there but I just came away with this rolling toolchest and a creeper and a handful of tools and records.
It's kicked my inner gearhead in gear....I need to start working on a car....or maybe a redwood hot tub

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The engine is fried - for real this time

Eric finished his examination of the engine.  Actually he tracked down an RX7 person to confirm it and officially the engine is fried.  Which is something I think we all knew but It's good to hear for real from an official type decision maker.  Basically it would be cheaper to buy a new engine than to replace all the parts that need replacing.

So, now with the dreary economy and much of the team living a freelance lifestyle we're taking a little longer to regroup than originally planned.  It's too late for Reno but Buttonwillow is still looking feasible.  I've kind of been working on the car but not quite in the right direction to keep it running.  Then again, I've got to get it out of my garage one way or another.

Friday, March 13, 2009

craigslist definitions - "classic"

okay this is something that always bugs me on craigslist, the use of words that don't accurately describe the given vehicle.  This week "classic."

these are cars whose owners describe them as classic....?

1981 Toyota Corolla
1983 Honda Civic wagon
1985 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham
1978 Chevy Silverado
1990 Jaguar xj6
2007 Cheverolet Silverado
1988 Range Rover
1993 Toyota Tacoma
1992 Explorer Sport
1998 Mustang V6
1972 Shasta Camper

next week "restored"

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I haven't been good about updating lately.

Basically, Eric's got the engine and is checking it out.  I'm trying to ignore the awesomely weird cars that are winding up on craigslist due to the economic collapse.  That and I need to get my taxes done.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Eric got the engine!

I'll keep you posted!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Motor's been sent to Eric!

Eric's taken on the task of going through the motor.  I wish him luck.  And it isn't that expensive to ship a 12a engine to Seattle, especially if you divide it into three boxes.....now getting it back....hmmmm

Friday, February 20, 2009


I've procrastinated on writing about this film for awhile now.  Basically it's pretty much the same as LeMans but with a plot.  You know, evilish Ferrari team, driver with a troubled past and something that might be described as a love interest.   It also has Toshiro Mifune and some awesome camera work .  The split screen stuff is pretty amazing and the split, split, split, split screen is even more awesome BUT Frankenheimer seems to completely forget about the technique halfway through the movie.
PARENTING TIP - My 6 year old loved this film.  That's when I realized that "adult" films of the 60s are way better for kids than kid films of the 2000s.  There really isn't any violence, foul language or nudity.  People are courteous, dress really cool  and there's no glaring product placement.  We did have to fast forward through some of the lengthly relationship conversations but the movie kept him interested and he actually still talks about it.  AND it was way better than Herbie fully Loaded.
TRAINING TIP -  Like LeMans I learned that basically you only win if the other team crashes or has mechanical problems.  In this case the main driver of the Ferrari team is killed and the Ferrari coach(?) pulls the entire team.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Tulare Agfaire

John's dad John sent me some images from the World AgExpo in Tulare.   You know some substitute engines for the car.  This was by far my favorite.  Why  1) it's big and yellow 2) They painted it after they put the belt on (classy and officially triple yellow). 3) a couple plants on the pallet (extra super classy).
I'm officially sold.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Announcement from George C

"I just want to suggest that everyone avoid ColdStone's new ice cream cupcake. 
All sorts of gross. 
wish I could puke that thing up."

and as a haiku
new icecream cupcake
wish I could puke that thing up
ugh, all sorts of gross

Back from Utah

I went to Logan Utah to do a panel discussion/artist's talk and drooled over all the houses with old cars, tractors and anything else you wanted strewn across the yard....sigh....
Well it snowed and luckily I didn't follow through on my idea of flying to Utah and driving a $500 car back.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

youtube follow up - Santa Baby

I spent a little time searching the internet for more about the "Santa Baby" scooter that was featured in my previous video post.  I couldn't find much except a couple flicker images.  All I can say is the level of detail for something so awesomely horrifying, is brilliant.

Friday, February 6, 2009

I heart youtube

Youtube meets the needs of my short attention span.  I started off by watching the tractor pull video above.  John's dad John sent it to me and I have to say it shows one of the most effective ways of examining your pistons ever.
Then  I got bored and started watching videos of people playing records and this is one of my all time favorites.  *It's best if you play the tractor pull video and record video at the same time*

Who needs a turntable when you can pretend.  I wish that I'd done this, the first 45 is my favorite.  The same guy shot some great video of the Isle of Wight Scooter rally 2008 where aesthetics are job 5.  I want Santa Baby at :22 seconds.


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Album Covers

So, Jalopnik recently did a gallery of 80 Auto-themed album covers and had some glaring omissions.  And like any obsessive record nerd my first reaction was to look at my wall of album covers to see what they had missed.  So here's my quick additions
El Trio Colombia "Invita a viajar" - really who doesn't think of this album when they're working on their car.
Hurst takes you to the '64 Nationals - A classic, so much better than the '63 or '65 Nationals and don't get me started about the '66 Nationals.  AND it's got a dedication to a dedicated man on the back, the ""grand-daddy of drag racing"" (that's double quoted because they quoted it from someone) Dan "Big Daddy" Garlits.
SCRAMBLE, The Sounds of Motorcycles at Speed -   Like everyone when I think dirtbikes I think New York and this album was recorded at the cross country motorcycle races at Andre's Farm in East Fishkill, New York.  With tracks like "Honda 125" and "Zundapp 250" I don't know how Jalopnik missed this one.  Unless there was some sort of 4 wheel bias.
Finally, one of my favorite albums of all times
Griff Borgeson Presents Hot Rod Heaven BAKERSFIELD SMOKERS -  With tracks like side one's "4) A Chrysler stock has trouble with shifts, then a Chevvy (sic) dragster makes a good run.  A badly behaved Buick with Dynaflow makes its run rather awkwardly." how could this one have been forgotten.  Plus the absolutely brilliant drawing by Ed Robbins on the cover.  I've loved this album enough to make a piece about it.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Are You Ready for Some Football!

Fun weekend! Paul and Eric came down to tear apart the car.  We hadn't really done anything like this since college when we were tearing apart scooters and playing with gravity propelled vehicles.  Sadly, we didn't "live on our bikes" and moved to where there were jobs and schools.  So, it's been a 20+ year hiatus since our last project.
The good part about working with engineers - Eric immediately organized my tools but was sensitive enough to my needs to keep the flourescent recorder and wood glue on the tool box.
The bad part about working with engineers -  Both Paul and Eric fell madly in love with the rotary engine.

In the end I got to play the role of the pessimist "maybe we should think about a different car?"  Eric got to be the enthusiast "we can fix this car!"  And Paul got to be the nihilist "it's going to be impossible no matter what so why not just stick with this one."

So, we'll see what happens.  I'm going to attempt to send the engine to Eric to go through and he'll deliver the verdict.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Other Options - 1969 Bluebird School Bus

Only $875 and it runs!  This bad boy isn't far from my parents house in San Diego and I possibly could've been picked on and generally abused, while riding it as a child!  Too bad there's certain weight "rules" or we could all race this at the same time.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Other Options - Ice Cream truck

George had mentioned a stereo that would play Ice Cream truck music but really if we were to switch cars we probably couldn't get anything together until Buttonwillow in August.  And what do you need in the central valley in August?  Ice Cream Truck!   This ones a bit out of our price range but if we could sell the rims for $4000?....maybe.....or  vans with V8 engines seem to be a dime a dozen, maybe a simple conversion?

Other Options-1967 Vanden Plas Austin Princess

Well, since I'm avoiding the car.  I started thinking of what we'd do if we went with something else. I came accross this on ebay.  Definitely a way bigger headache than an RX7 but we'd have class.  It runs , is in Santa Paula and the bidding is only at $300.

Avoiding the car - What's the deal with the Honda Ridgeline tailgate!?!

Okay, I've been trying not to  think too about the car.  I've actually been trying to get some art done and avoiding the car has inspired my practice.  I've also, been dealing with a little dose of credit card fraud.....fun. so...

What's the deal with the Honda Ridgeline Tailgate?
I've been kind of craving a truck lately.  Although, I still find the 1991 Toyota Previa to be the most perfect vehicle ever but maybe when it hits 250,000 something might go wrong with it? So, I've been looking around.
     I liked the idea of a Ridgeline.  It's just ugly enough and it's a honda.  BUT then I saw the tailgate!  It's like 2" shorter than the sides of the truck.  What in the heck?  It looks like they ordered the wrong part.  Supposedly it's because there's a blind spot behind you  BUT couldn't they have figured it out earlier?  What else did they miss and have to add at the last second?  Just lower the sides two inches (they look goofily high).  It messes with the lines of the whole vehicle.  I wouldn't even expect something like this from an American truck, and it they did do it they would have the decency to at least put a plastic chrome bit on the corners so it would look like they did it on purpose.
 So, based on that the ridgeline is off my list....sorry ridgeline

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

the car's back - Minor Threat

I got the car back yesterday and can't say I'm thrilled to see it.  

This morning, I needed some motivation.  So I put on Minor Threat's complete discography cd to get me moving (actually, I played it on my ipod, but that's a different post).  It did.  This was the first CD I ever purchased way back in 1991(?).  I was a teeny bit of a hold out when it comes to CDs and I can't say I will miss them.  At the time, the complete discography made the conversion worth it, I had all the lps/eps but I was in grad school and as I've learned over and over again, playing vinyl while working in my studio is a horrible idea.  

So, the team is still recovering from our collapse.  People are coming together and sort of enthused but also need a little of a time out.   I think some of us are going to tear apart this engine and look at it.  There's an extremely slight chance we can get it running.  Then again taking it apart is free.

party with me punker,
Surly Captain

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Happy New Year!

Cliches I learned to believe in 2008

  • Use the right tool for the right job
  • If it aint broke don't fix it
  • Don't force it
  • Look before you leap
  • don't bring a spoon to a gun fight