Friday, March 12, 2010

all time best of posts

I've wanted to go back through the archives for a while and find the coolest stuff I've posted, so here they are, but keep checking back, this will take a while to complete

in no order of significance; and it's update a year later and

that's all I have time for before work, I'll finish this off later

If you remember some that you think were the coolest, post the link in the comments, or email me direct at, and thanks for reading and enjoying!

fundamental lack of knowing when it's time to stop messing up your vehicle

Thursday, March 11, 2010

In a matter of months, these 3 subscription cards were all in Hot Rod... look at the drastic differences in price, how can they all be half price?

Notice please, they all have the same "offer expires June 30, 1981"
What is that about?

Nomadic Mechanics, by Hot Rod Editor Doug Glad.. .. I want you to enjoy this too, a tribute to the mechanic

In the May 2010 Hot Rod, the Editor, Doug Glad, wrote this awesome tribute... enjoy!

The first time I spotted a nomadic mechanic was during my brief tenure at Loper Service Center, a fast food-style carb and intake installation center in Pheonix. He appeared one day dressed in linen-truck work blues with battered hands showing the burns and cuts of a guy who could spin a wrench. For most of the morning, he stood in the corner and smoked, and observed, and smoked. He was like a gunslinger, his movements slow and easy, waiting for your move.

His box appeared in the afternoon on the back of a chromed and flamed flatbed truck that looked like it could handle a car show or 50-car pileup with aplomb. The box was the big Snap-on roll cab, spotless, with a bulk section and 54-inch workstation riser in classic red. Its mass dwarfed all other boxes in the shop, including that of the boss, as a group of tatted mercenaries eased off the bedwith chains like a captured animal. It carried enough tools to work the heavy line, the tune-up bays, and maybe even the machine shop. He took every job and made twice as much cash as we did. A month later, he was gone.

These are my people. And if you've spent enough time under hoods and in the engine room and really know what you are doing, you become recognizeable as a clan member in any environment. I'm not talking about tattooed and faux-speed-shop Dickies -wearing guys; I'm talking about night-shift heavy liners with maybe some diesel truck experience and a serious handbuildt monster in the garage back home. They're easy to spot at the racetrack- it's tougher at the car show or cruise night. They show up later, and their cars make the horsepower sound that isn't all cam and Flowmasters. They can weld the top side of a muffler upside down with a smoke dangling out of their mouths, eat a sandwich with a black hand without tasting grease, and know that nut is 9/16 with a glance.

Along with engineering and manufacturing, this thing we do is supported by the professional, bread-and-butter mechanic; the serious veteran from aircraft, freight train, or shipyard work; the guy in the pit working the wrenches. The pit snipes with air-powered grease guns waiting to get a swat at your brand new boots, the heavyweight fromt he transmission bay shambling out of the back like the recently exhumed when the roach coach arrives, and the perfectionist front-line tune-up guy have all earned their places. If they choose to, they can help the clean-hands guy on the side of the road with his flat-tired import, or not, and they'll run across four lanes of traffic to help a girl in trouble.

These guys are the warriors behind the lines who do the jobs to keep the trucks, heavy gear, and maybe even your commuter running so you don't have to. Even if you aren't from the clan of the wrench, appreciate what they do every day to keep this industry going. They are the backbone, and they deserve your respect.

Give that man a hand, bravo! Email him at and let him know how much you enjoy that tribute!

I met a woman with a seat belt purse yesterday... it's strap will never break or wear out, that's for sure!

New entries to the "solutions made simple, Automotive repairs"

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A museum exhibit you won't want to miss if you're in New York! Museum of the City of New York "Cars, Culture, and the City" symbiotic influencing is the website to get more info on the other events they have

This exhibit explores how New York City played a pivotal role in creating American car culture, and how the car has helped, in turn, to shape modern New York.

The exhibition features visionary drawings and models; historic photographs, films and advertisements; and a wealth of car memorabilia to tell this fascinating, largely unknown, story.

The exhibition is on view from March 25 to August 8th 2010 and is augmented by some exciting public programs:
Cars, Culture and the City: Gallery Tour - Saturday, March 27th, 1 PM
Speedy: Silent Film Screening - Saturday, April 3rd, 2 PM
Cars, Culture and the City: Educator Open House - Wednesday, April 14th, 4:30 PM
The Car of the Future: Family Workshop - Saturday, April 17th, 2 PM
Speed and Glamour: Early Automobiles and NYC - Tuesday, April 20th, 6:30 PM

Traffic Tower , 5th Ave. and 42nd St. , Looking North, New York City , c. 1920 Postcard Museum of the City of New York , Gift of Dale E. Jenkins

above photo found on
Model of a Traffic Tower for Fifth Avenue , designed by Joseph H. Freedlander, c. 1922 Photograph by Ali Elai Museum of the City of New York

Untitled [Brooklyn Battery Tunnel looking South], c. 1950 Photograph by Andreas Feininger Museum of the City of New York , Gift of the Photographer

Chrysler Building showroom, 1936 Photograph by Samuel H. Gottscho Museum of the City of New York , Gottscho-Schleisner Collection

Crow Motor Sales Co., 1918
Museum of the City of New York , Byron Collection

Crow-Elkhart Motor Company, 1920
Museum of the City of New York , Byron Collection

Warren Nash Motor Company showroom, Broadway and 58th Street , 1925
Museum of the City of New York , Byron Collection

Packard Dealership, designed by Albert Kahn, Broadway and Sherman , Manhattan ,
Courtesy Albert Kahn Associates Inc.

Packard Dealership, rendering, designed by Albert Kahn, 11th Avenue between 54th and 55th Streets, circa 1928
Courtesy Albert Kahn Associates Inc.

Ford New York Service building, designed by Albert Kahn, 1788-22 Broadway, circa 1917
Courtesy Albert Kahn Associates Inc.

South and DePeyster Streets (near Wall Street), 1935-39
Photograph by Berenice Abbott
Museum of the City of New York

Columbus Circle with General Motors Building, 1908-09
Photograph by Samuel H. Gottscho
Museum of the City of New York , Gottscho-Schleisner Collection

Park Avenue and 51st Street , 1921
Museum of the City of New York , Byron Collection

Exterior, Ford Pavillion, 1939/40 New York World's Fair
Photograph by Samuel H. GottschoMuseum of the City of New York , Gottscho-Schleisner Collection

Grand Central Terminal, 1944
Museum of the City of New York , Gift of the Department of Local Government, Public Record Office of South Australia
(now this blows my mind.. .. what a layout, I'd be too distracted by the enormous stately building to make the turn!)

Exterior, GM Building, 1939/40 New York World's Fair
Photograph by Samuel H. Gottscho
Museum of the City of New York , Gottscho-Schleisner Collection

National Automobile Show program, 1935
Courtesy Automobile Reference Collection, Free Library Philadelphia

Experimental cars displayed at the General Motors pavilion at the 1964 New York World’s Fair
Courtesy Automobile Reference Collection, Free Library Philadelphia

Experimental car displayed at the General Motors Pavilion at the 1964 New York World’s Fair
Courtesy Queens Museum of Art

US Royal Tires Ferris Wheel at the 1964 New York World’s Fair
Courtesy Queens Museum of Art

UW “The up-way,” designed by Rafael Viñoly, 2009
Courtesy Rafael Viñoly Architects

Reproduction of images is permitted for the sole purpose of editorial publicity for Cars, Culture, and the City, an exhibition on view at the Museum of the City of New York from March 25 through August 8, 2010.
Museum of the City of New York
1220 Fifth Avenue at 103rd St.
New York, NY 10029
212.534.1672 Phone212.423.0758 Fax E-mail

Museum Hours
Tuesday - Sunday: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Closed Mondays (except holiday Mondays)

Suggested Admission (as of April 15, 2009)
Adults: $10
Seniors, students: $6
Families: $20 (max. 2 adults)
Children 12 and under: free
Members: free

I'm a Neighbor
If you live or work in East Harlem above 103rd Street, visit the Museum free of charge. Mention “I’m a neighbor,” and the suggested admission charge will be waived.
By bus:
M1, M3, M4 or M106 to 104th Street, M2 to 101st Street.
By subway:
#6 Lexington Avenue train to 103rd Street, walk three blocks west, or #2 or #3 train to Central Park North (110th Street), walk one block east to Fifth Avenue, then south to 103rd Street.
Ramp access is available at the 104th Street entrance.

Nearby Public Parking Garages
105th and Madison Avenue
97th Street and Third Avenue
95th Street and Third Avenue
95th Street between Third and Lexington Avenues
88th Street between Park and Madison Avenues
89th Street between Park and Madison Avenues
90th Street between Park and Madison Avenues
94th Street between Park and Madison Avenues

Had you heard about the Peter Max collection of Corvettes?

above photos Tony Cenicola /

Above photo David Allee /

36 vintage Corvettes in a parking garage in Brooklyn.

One Corvette for each year they were made, starting with a pearl-white ’53 (one of only 300) and ending with a red 1989, they were the prize in a contest sponsored by VH1, the cable music channel, in 1989. The contest awarded the whole lot to one winner, Dennis Amodeo, a carpenter from Long Island. HE sold the whole bunch for $500,000 to Peter Max who intended to paint them all as rolling art, but never got around to it. So the Vettes sat and gathered dust for about 20 years. They recieved a lot of publicity... but no love or interest from Peter.

The collection was a promotion envisioned by Jim Cahill who realized the VH1 audience was a good target demographic for any year Corvette and the contest would boost ratings. and

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

NYPD detectives parking illegally, and getting towed!

Dozens of detectives say they have had their department cars towed — by their own department.

On at least 35 occasions, have walked outside to find their cars hooked by a special detail of the Internal Affairs Bureau that hunts for illegally parked cop cars.


Comments in this news article point out that the cops took overtime pay to get the cars out of the tow yard. Further endearing is that the city cars, were being locked up... by... the city. So, stupidity abounds, NYPD cops are hypocrites and not aware of the oath of office they swore (and that pisses me off) and then complained about Internal Affairs busting them for being parking a-holes. Int he word of the great Walter Matthau "Putz!"

But when their former leader New York City police commissioner Kerik just plead guilty to no less that 8 Ferderal Felony Charges, what can you expect of leaderless NYPD? That their integrity would be scupulous?

not that I'm on a roll, but everywhere you look at New York news the cops are hypocrits and worse

Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. Lord Acton's dictum, April 1887,_1st_Baron_Acton

New York streetcars from decades ago, among the warehouses along the waterfront

notice the 150 year old (or so) warehouses that were built to last, and with full hurrucane shutters... amazing. The streetcars still have the power lines above them, and with so many open windows they surely won't last for asvmany more years as they've had, before the weather just detriorates them from the inside out. The last of their kind? Probably, can you imaging any others that were saved from scrap, allowed to keep their peice of track, and weren't buearacratically removed from public enjoyment? I suppose very very few people looking at them feel any nostalgia, and maybe I'm one of a handful that is glad they are still around just to look at.
Via an awesome website that focuses on New York City historical bits of architecture and history that is everywhere but seldom noticed, like gargoyes, statuary on buldings (even in Times Square) and is all noticed and posted by a wonderful writer who swears very well at the destruction of the cool old buildings that developers are quickly making disappear to be replaced with glass and steel nondescript high rise condos. has these street cars and his jaunt to a neighborhood called Red Hook, where the warehouses are great, and their is a perfect front view of the Statue of Liberty

Monday, March 08, 2010

Czysz C1 990 MotoGP racebike. Innovation hasn't happened in motorcycles to this extant in, perhaps, decades

Image via:

40-year-old American architect Michael Czysz from Portland, Oregon was an architectural designer by trade, a damn good one, he heads Architropolis which has done work for celebs Lenny Kravitz and Cindy Crawford.

But his father and grandfather were motorcycle mechanics, and Micheal wanted to make his mark in the MotoGP world, and he has now done more, he's invented a new engine design, new front forks and front suspension design, new chassis design, and engineered and manufactured it to full functionality, perhaps even competiveness. Definitely breaking apart from the paradigm of prior engine design, and pulling a fully realized racing motorcycle from paper to race track in about 3 years.

HD Theater on cable tv had a one hour show about all of this, and I was blown away at the total single handed design of a previously unheard of motor. Then they showed how Michael drew up a new design of all the other things I've mentioned.

But think about just the one part, the engine.

A new design. When was the last new design in engines of any kind engineered or produced?

The Dual over head cam 427 Ford in the 60's? The Wankel (rotary engine) in the 70's? It took about 10 years of GM and other companies putting full engineer teams at work to make a rotary engine actually work, and then Mazda to perfect it. . . but Michael designed, engineered, built, and perfected his split crank counter rotating inline 4 cylinder engine... in months. Start to finish, paper to combustion, in months.

Then he puts this inline with the wheels, countering gyroscopic torque that causes wheelies, and it also doesn't screw around with the bike's rolling left or right when turning.

To read a real motorcycle journalists description of it, and thoughts on the ride he had:

For an update on what happened after the C1 990, and how MotoGP reducing the engine size from 990cc to 800cc, read this

July 2011 update

Motor Trend Classic will be back in press! About effing time! talks about it.

I had a subscription to this and loved it, I still have my copies. They killed the magazine without telling any of us subscribers, and that still pisses me off. No one bothered to contact us to offer a substitute or arrange for our satisfaction of how Motor Trend's owners would repay us our subscription money. talks about it's demise in 2007

They don't seem to be wide open to renewing subscriptions, as the wording they use is "Limited number" of subscriptions, so maybe that is their way of pressuring interested people to nailing down your money so they can finance this idea.

Order yours, if it's as good as the previous iteration, it's worth it. It won't be monthly, it's now going to be quarterly, like Rodders Journal. It starts with the Spring 2010 issue. Order from this website I just did.

here's my post about the dork's who kileed off the monthly in Feb 2007

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Studebaker buildings in New York

Above once had a 2 story glass windowed showroom. It was designed in 1920, but was past its glory days in 1929 when the stockmarket imploded and they started selling used cars here. Now it's a low rent apartment building. for an interesting historical perspective of it and the "Automobile Row" of New York
Photo via:

The above was an automobile finishing building for Studebaker during the 1920's. The same stock market crash killed it too.

Beautiful advertising from 1924, found in Sevilla Spain also via:

Even the Romanovs drove ski clad and tank tracked cars!


The photography of Neil Rashba, Bonneville 2009

Above: the Old Crow bellytanker:

Tha above 54 mainline might look familiar: I've photographed it at El Mirage and Barona

This probably looks familar, it's Jeff Brock's 52 Buick

I believe the above is the straight eight Packard kustom that got much deserved praise in the magazines
The above bakery truck is so cool, I photographed another here:

All of these photos courtesy and permission of Neil Rashba Photography
1174 Neck Rd.
Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082
ph: 904 273 0388 cel: 904 612 8227 fax: 904 273 6203