Saturday, March 22, 2008

Steering wheel repair, customizing, and pearlizing

If you live near Riverside CA, you might want to look through this racing museum

Dedicated to the exhibition and housing of a sportscar and racing collection, as well as a new automotive museum.


To help preserve NHRA's rich history and tradition while capitalizing on the success of nostalgia drag racing competition.

With Nostalgia being the key, they are in groups and catagories,
Nostalgia Top Fuel Dragster, Nostalgia Funny Car, A/Fuel, AA/Gas Supercharged, Nostalgia Eliminator, A Gas, B Gas, C Gas, and D Gas; and Hot Rod.

NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Racing Series Schedule*
March 7-9/March Meet/Bakersfield, CA/TF, FC & Groups 1 & 2
April 18-20/So Cal Shootout/Fontana, CA/TF, FC & Groups 1 & 2
May 2-4/FC Feature/Las Vegas/FC & Group 2
May 30-June 1/TF Feature/Bakersfield, CA/TF & Groups 1 & 2
Aug. 8-9/NightFire Nationals/Boise, ID/TF & FC only
Sept. 13-14/Sports Special/Fontana, CA/Groups 1 & 2 only
Oct. 10-12/California/Hot Rod Reunion/Bakersfield, CA/TF, FC, and Group 1

If you have time for a fun event this summer

Every year auto amateurs, gear heads and adrenaline junkies construct eccentric non-motorized carts to compete head to head in a downhill battle. This year Red Bull Soapbox Race travels to Philadelphia, Cincinnati and Denver.

If you live near Seattle you might want to look at this auto museum, the largest in the world Under construction and not planned to be finished for a year or more, but will have 100 cars on display, and storage for 2000 more under the museum.

The endowment is from the world's largest private car collection of Harold LeMay

Mischief Makers Hot Rod-A-Rama

galleries of the past 5 years of great hot rods - pre 64

Hot Rod Deluxe, new ones are out

Not for sale by subscriptions, just magazine racks. I found mine in 7-11 and Kragen so far.

The blue marker in the road is the indicator in the dark that a fire hydrant in nearby... Kinda helpful at night!

Tags expired for 4 years indicate this is just there to keep the garage doors from opening

For sale: and making me want to visit national parks

Falcon station wagon that wound make a great tow car for a dragster

What the heiroglyphics meant I couldn't understand

Old International Harvester


Herbie Hancock

If you've read Hemi In The Barn, you already know, but for the rest... Herbie is the longest original owner of a Cobra other than Carroll Shelby. He bought a 1963 Cobra from a show room.

Printed in Road & Track September 2007

Herbie Hancock, Carroll Shelby and all that Jazz
By Tom Cotter

In spring 1963, two young men on opposite sides of the country were plying their chosen crafts, each eager to become successful in their respective careers. On the west coast, Carroll Shelby was anxious to prove his own brand of sports car-the Cobra-could be a winner both on the racetrack and in the showroom.

On the east coast, a young musician was pounding keyboards and writing songs that he hoped would jump to the top of the jazz charts.
Even though Shelby’s California operation was still in its infancy, his new car’s brilliance was already being realized. In February the Cobra scored its first win at Riverside Raceway, then nearly won at Daytona and Sebring.

Quietly, in New York, pianist and composer Herbie Hancock was celebrating his first success. In t6he mail that April, Hancock received a check for $3000 as a royalty payment for his song, “Watermelon Man” for a 22-year –old in 1963, this was a fortune.

For Hancock, who lived in the Bronx and commuted to rehearsals in Manhattan by subway, his first thought was to spend his windfall on a station wagon. After all, he was a musician, and he could pack fellow musicians and their instruments in the back. But his roommate, jazz trumpeter Donald Byrd convinced him otherwise. Byrd drove a Jaguar that belonged to his girlfriend, and was a sports-car aficionado. He persuaded Hancock to consider a new sports car that was just beginning to get attention on display in Manhattan.

“Donald told me the Cobra was kicking Ferrari’s ass,” says Hancock. The next day he hopped on the “L” train and heade4 to Charles Kreisler Automobiles on Broadway. “I had never bought a car in my life; I had only driven an old Dodge my father bought me for college.”

Instead of feeling excited as he walked into the dealership, Hancock experienced racism that, sadly, was all too common in 1963. Even though the civil rights movement was gaining momentum-Dr Martin Luther King Jr. would deliver his famous “I have a Dream” speech just four months later- that didn’t seem to register with the salesman on duty. Noticing the young black man walking into the showroom, the salesman all but ignored Hancock and continued reading his newspaper. “I walked right up to his desk and asked if I see the Cobra, “Hancock says, admitting that he was shabbily dressed. “He never looked up or answered my questions; he just pointed in the direction of the car.”

Hancock attempted to engage the salesman in conversation about the Cobra’s specifications and features, but no luck.

“He pissed me off.” He says.

Hancock walked across the showroom to CSX2006, the sixth-production Cobra ever built. He was instantly smitten. It was Old English White, with red leather interior and silver wire wheels. Under the hood was a high-performance 245-bhp, 260-cu.-in. engine that had originally been developed for the Fairlane. Interestingly, it is the only known Cobra ever equipped with a two-barrel carburetor.

“I walked up to it and kicked the tires, because that’s what I heard you were supposed to do,” he says, upset over the salesman’s attitude.

“I walked back to his desk and said, Okay I want to buy it!”

Hearing that, the salesman suddenly lifted his eyes and asked, “Do you have any idea how much the car costs?”

“Yeah, $6000; I’ll be back tomorrow to pick it up.” says Hancock, who admits that he probably would not have purchased the Cobra if the salesman hadn’t been so rude.

The next day his friend Byrd accompanied him to pick up the new car. This time Hancock was dressed in a suit. Word of the celebrity had apparently spread throughout the dealership because this time he was treated like royalty. He paid $2500 in cash, and financed the balance through the dealership. He was nervous about the performance of his new purchase. “That car could go from zero to a hundred in less than a block,” he says. That acceleration, plus a very stiff clutch pedal, convinced Hancock that his friend Byrd should drive the car back to the Bronx.

“I rented a garage for the car near Donald’s house, but didn’t drive it for two weeks because I was scared,” he says. “But every day I’d sit in the car and press the clutch…and make motor noises with my mouth,” he says with a laugh. Finally, as Hancock became more comfortable with the Cobra, he began taking it out for short drives. One day several weeks after his purchase, Byrd was involved in a minor accident while driving the Cobra. “Herbie, I screwed up your car,’ he said to me on the phone. I said, ‘Hey, man, don’t worry about it; it’s just a car.’

“That fender bender connected me to reality.”

From that time, CSX2006 was no longer a shrine, but a daily driver. As soon as it left the body shop, Hancock began driving it to gigs in Philadelphia, Boston and Chicago, and even drove it to California a couple of times. Hancock chalked up more than 70,000 miles on the Cobra before the speedometer cable broke.

Eventually Hancock moved to California and began using the Cobra less and less. He purchased a new Ferrari in 1990, and from that time, CSX2006 has been in storage. “When I bought the Ferrari, I went into the garage and had a long talk with the Cobra,” Hancock says. “I said, ‘This is for your own good; you’re too valuable to drive. Look, I’m replacing you with a Ferrari; at least it’s not a Chevy!”

In April 2007, the 67-year-old Hancock celebrated his 44th year of Cobra ownership, making him the longest original Cobra owner in the world except for Carroll Shelby himself, who still owns prototype CSX2000.

Both Shelby and Hancock went on to become hugely successful; Shelby’s cars won an untold number of races and championships, including Le Mans in 1966 and 1967; Hancock has written scores of hits and chart-busting albums and received a Grammy Award in 1983. But despite these accolades, Hancock remains passionate toward his four-wheeled companion.

I’ll never sell it,” he says. “It represents my first success in life.”

Since this original owner of a Cobra concept really intrigues me, I've looked into how many others are still alive and owning a Shelby Cobra since it was sold new in the 60's. Less than a handful that I've been able to find....

Friday, March 21, 2008

Dirt bike track at Barona under siege by noise nazis

Via came word that noise nazis are trying to get every possible govt agancy to shut down a dirt bike track at a local reservation.

I'm very glad to learn of the one example of vehicluar activities not being relocated, or shut down, due to complaints of neighbors.

No other location for off road enjoyment of internal combustion engines has endured and overcome the adversity of homeowners, residents, or tenants to my knowledge of race tracks, drags race sites, or oval tracks.

It's a rare occurance when cicumstances do not allow the complaints of a vocal minority who catterwaul to the press, EPA, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and unknown other official entities who have likely been contacted to act as agents to close, diminish, or outlaw the extremely rare track or other outdoor area for enjoyment or cars, trucks or motorbikes.

Just last year I believe the Imperial Dunes environmentalists were trying to get Off Road Vehicles (ORVs) banned from the sand dunes because some insignificant flower of no environmental impact (my opinion) was found to only exist in the sand dunes... and perhaps a handful of intelligent beings in the whole universe are aware of it's existance. Why it should matter to any species that a flower may cease to continue its existance on this planet of 6 billion humans, and countless billions of other creatures, who have no contact or knowledge of it's existance, is baffling to myself.

So long as anyone gets to enjoy the USA in any mode of transportation a teetotaler finds offensive, there will be environmental nazis who have no life to find comfort in beyond stamping down the freedom associated with gas powered vehicles that bring poeple to locations where the vehicles can be enjoyed by those fortunate enough to find a use for barren deserts, blasted death valleys, dry lakebeds, forest trails, frozen lakes, national parks, and outskirts of town where drags strips once existed.

Southern California once had 9 or 10 quartermile dragstrips south of Bakersfield. Now only 1. Pomona. Not all were closed by noise nazis and NIMBY (not in my back yard) types who moved into the area and then found it offensive to have previous users who could make happiness from nitro burning hemis, but most were. Case in point, the noise nazis who have moved into Miramar after the US military found that the land was a really good location for aeroplane takeoff, landing, and practice. 1997 found another coordinated effort by noise nazis to force previous tenants (US military) from continuing to use the airstrips, due to the change from F14, F16, F18 etc of the Topgun era of NAS Miramar to the helicopter needs of the USMC, who became the newest in a chain of Department of Defense agencies who could best use the base that has been a military asset for about 100 years since the US needed the area for horses for the US Army infantry.

About time, I say, that somehow myriad circumstances align in an area that can continue to be of use to ORV users who find happiness in minding their own business instead of trying to outlaw the pleasures of others. How'd prohibition work out for those lawmaking teetotaling religious zealot busybodies anyway?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Uni lugs- turn the spacers around and it'll fit a Ford-or a Chevy

It was easier to use a huge oblong hole and spacers with an offset hole, than to make 3 sets of rims. One set of spacers would be used for 4inch, or turn them around and it would work on 4.5inch Mopars. A different set of spacers with the hole in the center, and you had 4.25inch.

What it takes to do paint and body... between 12-17 thousand dollars of supplies a month.

Things to know about paint and body.

Choose your shop after lots of research, it’s a lot of money and time to get the job done right, and I’m only going through that once. Here’s a couple of ways to choose a shop: check with the customers they’ve had. At least a dozen, see if those guys will get more work done there. Look into their shop once a month for 3 months, and see how work flows through, or if the cars are just gathering dust and cobwebs. If the cars aren’t moving, your will be last to get done, after all the prior works gets out of the way. If they ask for a down payment, get down the road.

Roughly 4 months, and upwards of 5 thou.

When to get your ride to the shop; after all the welding, trial fits, mock up, grinding, customwork, and anything you’re going to do from the side or top of the car. . . if you’ve still got work to do, get it done before the car goes for paint and body. 10 thousand dollars of paint isn’t going to like a scratch and dent-a-thon when the big block upgrade you have always wanted involves removing the hood, reworking the motor mounts, and recessing the firewall.

1/3rd of the vehicles at So Cal are rework jobs. Other places have screwed up that many rides, that just this one shop gets 33% of it’s work by fixing rides other shops have already made money from customers by screwing them out of money, time, and body panels.

Logic here: “Dumb-as-rocks” shop makes a mule out of your Arabian, AND YOU PAID FOR IT. None of the panels, paint, fenders, hood or trunk are repairable. Now you want it done right, or take a total loss on your ZL-1, 71 Hemi convertible, all steel body 32 Vicky etc.
So you take it to a shop that states right up front, “We do it once, we do it right, we guarantee it” and they do. For 25 years plus. You have to pay for new fenders that “Dumb-as-rocks” made waves of, new 1/4rs they made soda can thin, new rear window frame “Dumb-as-rocks” left rust in, etc etc. And you pay for another strip and paint, you get to wait another 4 to 6 months, you get to add all that to the “Dumb-as-rocks” bill and time you already lost. OR you do it right the 1st time, the last time, the only time.

Understanding what a guaranteed job requires: anything that isn’t metal is getting removed… paint, parts, panels, plastic, rust, trim, and hood ornaments. Once the fundamental body is left in a metal state, stripped of all old paint, rust, etc… then prep begins. All panels are sanded by hand, only nooks, crannies, and crevices are media blasted with black slate. No walnut shell– leaves oil that screws up paint adhesion, no sand – it heat distorts the flat panels and also impact hardens the metal which makes flat filing for perfectly flat “No Waves” panels impossibly difficult.

Once all the old paint and primer are removed the car immediately gets epoxy primer sealed. Moist air and anything that touches the metal will screw up the paint adhesion or cause rust in time.

No bondo on bare metal, it causes rust by condensation, moisture absorption, etc. Bondo or fillers aren’t a good idea in any regard, metal work is the way to go when possible, filler is only a last resort when all the possible metal work has been accomplished.

No wetsanding anything but final paint. Primer is drysanded, not wet… primer absorbs moisture and causes rust.

Silver paint is the hardest to get right, 2wice as hard as black paint. Silver and metallics will show scratches and the metal flake particles flow into the valley caused by scratches, gouges, etc. Black just shows ripples or waves when large areas aren’t flat, but doesn’t highlight scratches.

There is more to doing it right than we’ll ever know, that’s why when you want it done right, you take it to the pro’s. The right way, the right paint materials, the right technique to removing dents, etc etc.

In the works

427 ss

For perfect paint and body, So Cal Paintworks

This spent 24 years undisturbed in the garage before seeing life again.


I don't see Cougars very often, have to photograph them when I can

Lunch at Islands Burgers in Mission Valley for a 15 bike fleet of Sheriffs

There's always one unique individual who can't be concede to uniformity... notice the one helmet out of place, I looked closer to find that it's on the one Kawasaki

Only 2 had license plates.

One Kawasaki, one Honda, and the rest BMW. and there is all it takes to get you, the radar gun and the ticket book
What this does at 33 to 36 GigaHz? I speculate that it's a radar transmitter for determining the speed of vehicles while the bike is in motion.