Monday, March 27, 2017

nothing like a collection of early hemis, and even an air raid siren hemi


  1. This posting (and the previous one) are the visual evidence that is never included in the phrase "Ran when parked" so often used in Craigslist ads.

    Two years ago, I went to look at an early 1970's BMW motorcycle that was described as "not having run in the past few years, but did run when it was parked." The deceased owner's son recalled that he topped-off the gas tank to prevent moisture damage a while back, and that the battery would need to be replaced, but that the tires held air, and the seat looked like new since it has been brought in the basement.

    I drove 1/2 hour to go see a bike with a 2" tree grown between the final drive and the frame. Mice had made nests in every crevice and cranny. A wild raspberry bush had grown through all the spokes of the front wheel which was not only flat, but terribly weather checked and could not possibly hold air any longer. But the worst part was opening the gas cap and having the worst varnish smell escape from the sludge that was at one time a petroleum product. The old battery had swollen so much around the middle that it was going to need to be cut out in pieces and the cage bent back into shape. Surprisingly, there was not all that much rust, but a ton of oxidation. The seat turned out to belong to a Kawasaki, not a BMW.

    My offer of $50 was not accepted. And the first thing he said after "no" was that the bike did run when it was parked - it's all there - it will just need some attention.

    1. Damn... that BMW was just a mess huh? So many things are neglected to the point of not even being good for parts use... And I look at these engines and think about the decades of rain and moisture getting into the cylinders past the carb, through the open intake valves, or seeping into the cylinders past the open exhaust valves... and realize not many were ever really saved. They were simply pulled and left to die.
      Did you end up getting a good bike?

    2. I have many good bikes. I highly suspect that one day, there will be a news story about the crazy old guy from Wisconsin that hoarded and restored all the cool stuff with wheels, and it will show up on this site with great commentary added by J.B. himself. I just hope none of my stuff ever dies of neglect!

    3. Well... I'll be darned. Wisconsin! Good for you! I grew up just over the Michigan border north of Green Bay. Beautiful country.... I miss all that green in the summer and snow in the winter. I spent the summer of '88 in Eagle River working at a summer resort.
      Anyway, hoard and restore! You're making those vehicles last another 100 years at least! Darn right the next 100 years will be easier than the 1st hundred when they weren't valued, and were just replaceable with better models that came out every couple years until about 1971. Nothing in the next two decades was better than what had been made before that.
      Have you figured out what happens to your cars and bikes after you?
      I've been dealing with that question myself, I only have the one muscle car, and I plan on keeping it for a long time, until I can't push in the clutch anymore.... or can't buy gas!
      But I got to chatting with Jay, the guy with the green Super Bird I posted about a couple years ago, Jay is also the guy who collects lawnmowers, and got a couple Richard Petty edition lawn mowers and was able to get Petty to sign them... Jay was telling me about a great kid that loves Jay's bird, and how he's already told his wife to give that kid the car, as the kid is the only one who will love that car as much as Jay does.
      So that got me thinking. I don't know anyone who wrenches, loves tools, loves my R/T, etc... all the goofy garage eye candy stuff I've bought at the swap meet one piece a year.
      Makes me concerned that my sister will just sell it off and it'll all just get bought cheap by people who want to flip it for profit instead of appreciate the tools and car for their quality, or uses.
      Cripe the books, the tools, they fill one garage around the R/T.
      I just need to figure out the right way to see them find a great home in the event I die early and suddenly, like a car accident or something.
      They never tell you that all the cool stuff you collect is just together for the short time you own it, then it's all scattered like leaves in the wind.

    4. oh... take good photos of your stuff! It's a crying shame to have lousy photos when posting about the great collection someone had! It brings down the whole story... that is, if it ever gets to be a news item. I hope your story turns out better than that.... like a few others, I hope your story becomes something effing cool, and someone who really digs your stuff keeps the legacy going. Like Steve McQueens stuff, sort of. It usually keeps the reality of Steve's love for bikes and cars alive, and even benefits the Boys Republic. I have been to their show a couple times, it's just terrific that someone who once was a kid their, keeps money going into running that place for the boys for years after he died.
      That's seriously some amazing legacy. Having your favorite charity be the cool place that gets an annual income from your estate/legend, simply out of respect by the people that knew you were cool, and want your legacy to live on.

  2. Robbie Coltrane's planes and Automobiles went to Don Garlits and fired up an air raid hemi he had in a shed. At about 17:40 they get into the fun part.
    The whole series is pretty good and worth watching.