Saturday, February 11, 2012

In a parking lot at the GNRS

 this is Ed Fox's double cab transporter, his website is

While you are enjoying the Grand National Roadster Show photo galleries I'm posting, be sure to see Lowtech Blog for Marc's photography, it's better. Not as general in subjects, he focuses on hot rods and customs as complete cars

you can see all his photos at his Flikr, or look at his blog to see the selection he posts to lure you to that gallery, and the other coverage he's done for other events

Have fun with life, invent something crazy and fun... and inspiring

cool things from the Vault (

1940 LeBaron Chrysler Newport phaeton

past winners of the Rolex24 for the 50th anniversary, the parade from beachside to the track

John, the olelongrooffan at lives at or near Daytona Beach, and is heavily covering events at the Daytona raceway, both Nascar and whatever else they do. Great blog, good writer, and he now also adds to Hooniverse

Why a love for automobiles

I believe we have this love affair with vehicles from Vespa scooters to airplanes, VW Bugs to Bugattis, because we are attracted to the various aspects of vehicles. The design beauty, the elegant curves, the accommodating inclusiveness of the rolling sculpture that we can enter, sit in, lay in, eat or sleep in, all in comfortable seats with a stereo system, climate control, and body enveloping bucket seats... the ability to relocate our vehicle to any other area we can drive it to, or in other levels of performance we can transform it to, and the variety of things we can do with our cars... take friends to the beach, drive in, or mall... haul groceries, dogs, or loads of wood for the fireplace... race on SCCA courses, dragstrips, or sand dunes... or in special cases we can display them as art, at car shows, car museums, or make and model specific concours de elegance

Car show news flash, I just learned that tomorrow will be a muscle car show in LaJolla on Girard, between Silverado and Prospect

brought about by the "Nuts 4 Cars" who are producing the car shows in LaJolla
• Orphan and Handcrafted Cars: March 11
• British Car Day: May 6
• Volkswagen Meet: June 24
• Ford Family Day: July 22
• Sports Car Rally: Aug. 26
• GM Car and Truck Meet: Sept. 16
• German Autofest: Oct. 7
• Italian Car Rally: Nov. 4

Friday, February 10, 2012

blogger tip to my followers and readers, spam comments are way up today, about 15 -2 dozen in just one day

Today I had a lot of spam comments, they are easy to spot because they are consistent with a link at the end of the comment, they are a very nice compliment that is vague and not aimed at the post they are left on... but well written, and always the commenter has a first name, middle initial, and last name, and the whole thing is in bold.
Why does it matter? Every spam comment is just an uninvited advertisement for someone you didn't allow to add advertising some product you don't endorse.

Do what ever you want with your blog, but now you know that someone decided that today they were going to blast out spam comments like there is no tomorrow.

If you let comments happen to your blog without your controlling the approval of them, anyone can put anything in your content.

Best wishes to all you bloggers, my compliments to all of us who share our hobbies and passions for free to anyone who finds us on the internet

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

the 25th Anniversary Corvette, Pace Car edition, an instant draw for investors... but was it a bad idea? MSRP was $13,000, most sold for double that due to the consumers demand

The Wall Street Journal on March 27th, 1978 had a front page article about what a great investment it was. 

So many people jumped on it, that instead of a limited production, and controlled supply to keep the investment value high, Chevrolet made more.

The most ridiculous option I've heard of, the AM FM CB was RPO UP6 - $638.00. One antenna was called on to provide for the AM-FM and CB functions, so its performance was compromised. The AM FM 8 track radio was a $419 option... still ridiculous

One big improvement was the new temporary space saving spare tire which enabled the installation of a new 24 gallon (previously 17 gallon) fuel tank, increasing the driving range between fill-ups.

One guy bought one, stuck it in storage, and it had a total 13 miles on it. He sold it after storing it for 25 years, and got less than the $50 thou that 2nd owner is asking for it so he wasted 25 years of space I believe. 25 years, for maybe double your money, but having to take care of a car? Would have been better buying gold. Would have at least tripled his money

The WSJ article stirred up a commotion at dealers who were bombarded by excited buyers. Though some dealers held the line at the suggested retail of around $13,000, many bumped the price north of $18,000. The secondary market high jumped the $30,000 level and some sold at double that figure and more. By race day, Econ 101 kicked in. Fearing legal action from its dealers, Chevrolet decided to build enough Pace Cars to supply each dealer at least one, a tactic that exploded final production to 6,502. Inevitably, supply and demand caught up with reality and by race day, prices dropped like a bag of hammers.

Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley bought one, had it for 2 years, gave it to his brother in law for a graduation gift. It was on ebay, and only got bid to 19 thou... with autographs and the famous person link.

The approximate delivery sticker price on the majority of the Pace Cars was $13,800 for the L-48 and $14,300 for the L-82. As the production date neared, word spread that this could become a very collectible Corvette given that each dealer would only be allocated one Pace Car. The final production number reached 6,502. One for each of the Chevy dealerships, because GM legal told them they had to make one per dealership. SO much for exclusivity, and sellability

The Wall Street Journal ran a front-page story on March 27, 1978, reporting the collectible stories of this special Limited Edition Pace Car. At that time, prices went wild – with asking prices frequently in the $20-25,000 range for the L-48 and L-82 automatics, with the L-82 4-speed commanding up to $40,000. Stories and pictures began to appear everywhere; we even recall seeing a Pace Car in a dealer’s showroom with an armored guard watching over this Special Limited Edition!

Today, the average price of a 1978 Pace Car is $17,600, which reflects no change from the 2001 pricing. However, many of these Limited Edition Pace Cars are available for sale with little or no miles on them, which make them special buys. It is interesting to note that today’s average prices exceed the window sticker price in 1978!

Today, the Pace Cars with limited mileage continue to bring top dollar. A L-82, 4-speed Pace Car with less than 100 miles was recently sold for $31,000. Another Pace Car with the L-48 motor and automatic transmission with only 4 miles sold at the “low price” of $20,750 at Bloomington Gold last year.

So, 40 years, double the value. Terrible. Most 1968-1971 musclecars are aboout 5-10 times the original price. That "special" Corvette gets about 1-3 times? That's it? Waste of automotive interest. 

What you did not know about the 1956 SR2 Corvette SS

The SR-2 (Sebring Racer) designation was given to three 1956 Corvettes. All of them left the factory as stock Corvettes, and were shipped to GM styling in Warren, MI for race modifications and cosmetic additions. This is the first of the three. In the spring of 1956, it was a known fact that the GM Head of the Styling Studio, Harley Earl, had a son Jerry who road raced a Ferrari. Management told dad he should be racing a GM car. Harley made a deal with his son: “If you sell the Ferrari, I will build you a special Corvette to race.”

This car, #2522, had the highest priority with no cost spared. Work began in May ’56 modifying the body, brakes and suspension. Special windscreens were installed for driver and passenger. The parking lights were removed allowing air to flow for front brake cooling. Fifty-five years ago this weekend, Earl debuted his SR-2 at Road America in Elkhart Lake, WI. Dr. Dick Thompson completed the six hour race with a respectable finish. Jerry Earl continued to race the SR-2 throughout the 56-57 seasons and sold the car in 1958 to Jim Jeffords. National race champion Jeffords painted the car purple to match the moniker, “Purple People Eater,” named after the 1958 song by Sheb Wooley.

Found on

a couple of cool displays from inside the Suede Palace

 not flashy or eye grabbing,... but subtle, tasteful, apropos, and thorough

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

A father - daughter project car, blogged about to share the trip from neglect to a teenagers daily driver

Starting in 2002, Brianna wrote the commentary that followed what is probably familiar to most of us, finding a cool car, buying it, then leanring that the engine is seized, and all the rest of the things that must be repaired, replaced, and improved to make a good car from it.

Here are some highlights:

4/13/02: Trailered the car to our house. What a job getting it onto the trailer. Pictures taken before we moved the car.

4/14/02: Emptied out the interior and clean the outside and the seats. Smells a lot better too. Can't get into trunk because the ignition key (only one that came with car) won't work. Pictures taken as the cleanup goes on.

4/20/02: Mom took the wheels to the tire place to have the old tires removed. They found a wasp nest inside one of them. Luckily no one was hurt.

7/27/02: My dad and I removed the gas tank and flushed it out.

8/3/02: Shook a chain around the inside of the tank and flushed some more.

10/18/02: Dad did one of the jobs that I didn't want to. He painted the underside of the car in the area where the gas tank gets installed.

10/20/02: We adjusted the carburetors, then it was time to see if the engine would turn. We removed the spark plugs, put a little oil into each cylinder, put a wrench on the crank bolt and pushed. Nothing moved. Dad put an extension on the wrench and really leaned on it. The only thing that moved was the engine on its mounts. Dad sprayed PB Blaster into each cylinder, and said we'd wait to see if it works. Worst case is we have to take the engine apart. We hoped the PB Blaster would work. Also got the gas tank strap cleaned and primed.

10/28/02: Moment of truth (at least one of many). We hooked a battery up and tried to turn the engine with the starter. Only clicks, no motion. Disappointed, I went back to my homework, while dad started the disassembly process. He drained the oil, removed the exhaust pipe, muffler, and one of the shrouds. This will be more of a project than I'd thought. Here's some pictures.

10/29/02: Dad decided to dive right in. I was glad that it was him and not me that discovered the rat nest after removing the top shroud. He also filled a box with the rest of the shrouds, oil cooler, coil, generator mount, fuel pump, and marked baggies filled with nuts and bolts. I'm glad I don't have to remember where everything goes.

11/23/02: We did some beating and banging. With dad on his back on the floor and me working above, we traded whacks with the sledgehammer until we got four of the six cylinders off. It was getting late by that time, and after twenty minutes of trying on the last two, we gave up and dad sprayed more of this PB Blaster into the two still stuck cylinders. He keeps telling me that this Blaster stuff is great, but I've got my doubts.

4/10/05: After a long winter of not working on the car, Dad drug me out to the garage to put Bondo on the small dents and dings left after he hammered on the car. Dad kept the spreaders and mixing board clean while I mixed and applied. Sorta like frosting a cake, which I was never really good at.

4/17/05: Time to sand. My arms could only last about an hour and a half, but Dad and I got most of the Bondo smoothed out. It's going to need a second coat to fill in some voids and places where we sanded down too far.

5/1/05: I was too busy studying for finals, but Dad finished sanding the Bondo and put on the second coat until he ran out of Bondo.

5/17/05: More Bondo and sanding.

5/22/05: Even more Bondo and sanding.

6/12/05: Last coat of Bondo.

You might have lost interest at this point, but here is where that struggle we've all had with old cars begins

1/15/06: Time to go back to school. I left the house around 9 PM. I only got about 25 miles down the road when the engine backfired a couple of times and then lost all power. I coasted onto the shoulder of the road and called Dad. He threw a bunch of tools into his car, and drove down to try and fix the problem. While I was waiting for him, I tried cranking the engine, but nothing turned. This was a new, not-so-good problem. When Dad got there, he discovered that we'd forgotten to tighten the distributor clamp bolt, so he thought that the timing had changed. He static timed the distributor, and then we decided to try and push-start the car with his. He explained how the Corvair is one of only a few automatic transmissioned cars that can be push started. His car pushed mine up to 40 mph, and the engine was turning, but not running. He ended up pushing me to the nearest offramp, which fortunately had a Park-and-Ride. We move all my stuff into his car, lock my car, and drive back home.

1/16/06: Dad got up early and packed even more tools into his car and drove down to the Corvair. He was able to get the ignition switch/starter to work. He did a bunch of sleuthing and found that the coil was sparking, but the spark wasn't getting to the plugs. He replaced the new cap and rotor - still dead. He called Ken Hand who told him it may be the condenser or the coil. He replaced the new points and condenser - still dead. He replaced the coil - bingo. It started right up, and ran nice and smooth. At that point I showed up with Mom. She and I had decided that even if Dad was able to get my car running, I wasn't going to trust it to get me to school. So, I took Dad's car on to school, and he drove mine home.

1/19/06: Heard from Dad. Here's what he reported: "I went out to drive the Corvair home from work, and it wouldn't start. The now-familiar sound of an engine without spark was all I heard. I went inside work and borrowed a multi-meter to check things out. I also called Ken Hand again who gave me a plan of attack and a bunch of valuable information. I followed his plan and discovered that voltage at the positive terminal of the coil was not what it should be with the points open. From that, and his description of how a load resistor worked, I determined that the noise-suppression condenser attached to the negative terminal of the coil was shorting directly to ground resulting in no spark at the points, thus no spark from the coil. I disconnected that condenser, and the engine started right up. Looking back on it, this was probably the problem since the first time the car died two weeks ago." I still wanted to have him drive the car for a week or so more to make doubly sure all the gremlins have been killed.

read all about it at: as it's amazing how much trouble they had with this Corvair and the number of repairs and hours of trouble shooting the oddest problems up to 8/31/09 on just this link, the blog continues to present day

Craig Breedlove – the first person to exceed 400, 500, and 600 miles per hour on land – was the recipient of the fourth annual “Spirit of Competition” Award

The Spirit of Competition Award that Dr. Simeone presented to Breedlove featured a model of the Museum’s Cobra Daytona Coupe CSX 2287, the car Breedlove co-drove to 23 international records in 1965, shortly before breaking the 600 MPH barrier in his Sonic I jet-powered car . This was also the barnfind Cobra Daytona

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011. Breedlove joined drivers Mario Andretti, Janet Guthrie, and John Fitch as an Award recipient.

“Craig Breedlove represents what you can achieve if you have a clear vision and determination,” 

“With only a handful of volunteers and a shoestring budget, he was able to accomplish what many others could not. His achievements captured the country’s imagination and made him a household name.” commented Fred Simeone, executive director of the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum.

His quest for a speed record captured the imagination of the nation and his technological feat became a symbol of national pride during the Cold War. His achievements made him a household name in the 1960s, and the Beach Boys even wrote a song about him. Shortly before exceeding 600 mph in November, 1965, Breedlove set 23 international speed records – including averaging 150 mph for 12 hours - co-driving the Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe (CSX2287) that is on display at the Simeone Museum.

The Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum (Philiadelphia) was awarded the International Historic Motoring Awards “Museum of the Year” for 2011-2012

The judging panel included such noted figures as TV host Jay Leno, vintage car racer and Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason, Pebble Beach Chief Judge Ed Gilbertson, five times Le Mans winner Derek Bell and Lady Susie Moss, wife of racing icon Sir Stirling Moss, Horst Bruning, president of the International Federation of Veteran Automobiles, Ian Callum, design director of Jaguar Cars, Duncan Wiltshire, Chairman of Motor Racing Legends, Robert Coucher, international editor of Octane magazine, Peter Stevens, designer of McLaren F1, and Simon Kidston, international car consultant and commentator.

The other museums that were considered were the National Motor Museum of England and the Jaguar Heritage Museum in the UK, the Peterson Museum in Los Angeles, and the Auto Museum Prototyp in Germany.

“This is an enormous honor for the Simeone Automotive Museum, especially considering the quality of the other institutions that were considered,” said Executive Director Fred Simeone. “These are the very best automotive museums in the world and we were humbled just to be considered. To actually win was beyond our wildest dreams. This award is the greatest international recognition to which an automotive museum can aspire.”

The results were announced on November 16th 2011.

During WW2, Firestone made floatation belts in Akron Ohio... here is an awesome story about that factory's QA

thanks to my friend Roy for sending me this to share with you