Saturday, July 13, 2013

"Shop around" so said the Capt and Tenille, and they were right... tire comparison 2013, this time Tire Depot on Adams Ave beats all the rest

With a classic Coke bottle vending machine and a 60's juke box in the customer service area, you gotta love a place like this. They even have a koi pond!

The tires on the Veloster were good for 40 thousand miles, now they're near bald

215/45r17 Nexen Cp671came from Hyundai on it, and stangely, can still be bought from places but not at the Hyundai dealership

So, the prices and tires from the places in order of  best price to worst, with out the door prices, and extras that impressed me

Tire Depot  and I doubt any company can beat the reviews on Yelp

376 out the door

SD tire and wheel
430 out the door

Kearny Mesa Hyundai
same brand etc, but part number CP672
520 out the door

Discount Tire
normally my go to for buying but the prices were way too high this time
440 plus extra costs for install and road hazard which is something I value from them, but can't afford this time. 610 out the door with the road hazard

Evans Tire
420 out the door with some nonsense about buy 2 get 2 free

EXP Tires
buy 4 Cooper tires, and get 4 MLB tickets to the Padres
I don't need to waste that much time talking to people at a ball game. They bore me as I wait for the next ball to be thrown and only to see a strike. Yippee. Hooray. 15 bucks a beer.
550 for Cooper Zeon RS3a

Very cool, the nice guy behind the counter insisted on looking at the tire and verifying he would be getting the right tire for me. Wow. I am impressed with that from the place I expected to be the worst
575 Eagle Authority tires

They impressed me by looking up the car to see what it should get. Yes, they were the only ones!
They only had Bridgestone Euopa. Fine tire, but 300 more than Tire Depot. 65k mileage warranty
671 out the door

Custom VW Beetle for sale in Canada

Meat eater, this ones for Scott

Mini Mach 5 spotted in the Lowes parking lot

the owner was cool and chatted with me a minute, this is her 3rd Mini in a row, she had her 1st when they were new in 2002, kept it for 8 years, got a new one just before they rolled out the proto-type of this one, and traded in her year and a 1/2 old mini for this one that she had made into a Mach 1 livery

New high price record set at auction, 29.5 million USD, the W196R Mercedes Benz that Fangio won 2 Gran Prix wins

Friday, July 12, 2013

forgotten history of what might have been, the California Cycleway (bicycle only elevated wood road from Pasadena to LA)

the Hotel Green, Pasadena, 1900

In 1897 bicycling was a fad, a craze. The first of many strange compulsions that caught Americans up in a social movement that seems strange to those same people after it's gone (pet rocks, flag pole sitting, etc)

It was soon swept away by the board track racers, endurance runs, and land speed racing on dry lakes. But there was a time when biking was the thing to do, and LA had an entrepreneur that built 1.2 miles of this bike highway to charge a toll for a quick easy way to get from Pasadena to downtown LA.

He had it all worked out, except for the part where it gets completed while it still was in demand.

found on from a facebook post by but it originates in a 1901 magazine article posted on the

"On this splendid track cyclists may now enjoy the very poetry of wheeling. At Pasadena they may mount their cycles and sail down to Los Angeles without so much as touching the pedals, even though the gradient is extremely slight.The way lies for the most part along the east bank of the Arroyo Seco, giving a fine view of this wooded stream, and skirting the foot of the neighboring oak-covered hills.The surface is perfectly free from all dust and mud, and nervous cyclists find the track safer than the widest roads, for there are no horses to avoid, no trains or trolley-cars, no stray dogs or wandering children." 

the article is written in an antique flowing way, eloquent by todays norm, but it points out some interesting signs of it's time... 5000 cycle inventors, nothing worth riding a bike on in the age of steam locomotive prestige but adobe roads and train track crossings of muddy wagon wheel ruts. The bikes would be smoothy riding above all the horse manure, rocks and ruts on a boardwalk with nothing to interrupt a pleasant Southern California sunny day. If you started in Pasadena, you'd cruise downhill the whole way without pedaling at all due to the 600 feet elevation difference and the 20 miles... it's likely if this had occured it would have been an hour of riding downhill.

Throughout the entire distance from the center of one city to the center of the other it has an uninterrupted right of way, passing over roads, streets, railway tracks, gullies and ravines. At its highest point, the elevation of the track is about fifty feet. The maximum grade in the nine-mile run is three percent., and that only for two thousand feet. Elsewhere the grade averages 11/4 percent.

the elevated cycleway was designed to run from the Hotel Green in Pasadena to the Plaza in Los Angeles, and was an attempt to speed up transportation and accommodate the booming bicycle craze at the time. In some areas the cycleway was planned to be 50 feet above the ground. The toll was going to be 10 cents for a one-way trip or 15 cents for a two-way ticket, or cyclist could take one of the trains back up the hill. The sudden popularity of automobiles quickly made the cycleway obsolete and the project was abandoned after only one and a half miles of the intended nine mile track was completed.

some of it went through the back yards of 35 East California Street to 78 East California Street

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Local Motors had a competition, internationally they had 90 concepts for a vintage looking motorized bike, this is the winner

A three-week design challenge took place May 21 - June 14, 2013. At the end of the challenge, Local Motors Community members from 17 countries had submitted a total of ninety (90) finished entries. After a comprehensive design review by the Local Motors team and a global community vote, the winning concept, the Ariel Cruiser by Ianis Vasilatos of Romania, was selected as the first community-designed gas-powered bicycle to be produced under the Local Motors brand. The Local Motors Cruiser will be available for purchase in the Shop at later this year.

"The Ariel Cruiser concept presented by Ianis was a compelling balance between the inspiration of vintage boardtrack racing presented in the challenge, and a look that was entirely its own,” said Jay Rogers, Local Motors Co-Founder and CEO. “Ianis' design is extreme, with an aggressive stance, totally custom engine covers, a signature tank shape and mounting style, low-slung handlebars and horizontal body layout totally reminiscent of the boardtrack racer heritage. When so many bicycle styles already exist, it is impressive to see a design that still can stand apart from the masses. It will be even more exciting to see it in physical form, ready for riding."

For his first place concept Ianis Vasilatos (aka vasilatos_ianis) from Romania, will be awarded a $2,000 cash prize and the first production Local Motors Cruiser.

“To design a motorized bicycle reminiscent of the early 1900s was a dream of mine that began a long time ago. And my passion for this era will never stop,” said Ianis Vasilatos. “All parts of my Ariel Cruiser design were intended to give a nod back to the history of boardtrack racing and early motorbicycles: the motor and engine covering, the fuel tank and straps that hold the tank, the other elements of leather and the seat are all very respectful to this history.”

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Bethany Hamilton and teammate place 8th in Morocco's Gazelle Rally

found in Automobile Magazine, July issue... what an amazing news story to have in a car magazine! No one else has this story but Automobile Magazine is my guess!

Bethany will be on one of five US teams participating in the 2013 Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles. The well-known international competition, celebrating its 23rd year, will take place in France and Morocco from March 16th – March 31st. The off-road rally raid is unique in format – nine days of off-road driving competition using traditional dead reckoning navigation, outdated maps, no GPS or outside assistance while on course. It is considered one of the toughest all-female sporting events on the planet.
Bethany’s teammate, X-Games gold medalist navigator Chrissie Beavisis an architect by trade, but has top-notch skills in rally racing. She is also a driving instructor, rally racer and her capabilities as a mechanic and ace fabricator have led to appearances in popular TV shows such as “Monster Garage” as well as commentator roles for ESPN.
above press release from Bethany's website:

above photo from

Any wonder I'm a fan and subscriber?

With its unique concept involving eco-driving without excess speed, based on traditional navigation without GPS and for women only, the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles du Maroc was the precursor to a new vision for auto rallies.

In our constant quest for quality, the environment has always been one of our main areas of focus. In 2010, the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles du Maroc became the first auto rally in the world to obtain international environmental certification (ISO 14001:2004).

Yup, I just checked Google news, and not a word about it.

However,... very cool news for women, Bethany is a spokeman for Proctor and Gamble's Tampax business, and is hosting a contest for young women:

Tampax and pro-surfer Bethany Hamilton are joining forces to shine a spotlight on awesomely active girls - those who have the confidence to get off the sideline and into the game. The Awesomely Active Girls Challenge is designed to celebrate and reward girls who share pictures of moments when they have been awesomely active. In addition to being featured on the Tampax Facebook page, girls have the opportunity to win a great prize, which includes a chance for their photo to appear in Tampax Pearl Active advertising.

For one month, from June 21 until July 21, girls can enter the Awesomely Active Girls Challenge by submitting a photo of them taking on their favorite activity with 140 character caption on Beginning July 29 and through October 6 the community can place votes for their favorite moment. Each week, a winner will be selected and highlighted as the "Awesomely Active Girl of the Week," not only receiving the spotlight but also $500

must be a 70's mod to the Mustang, the tiny little opera window in the C pillar

Saab Sonnett at last months Encinitas car cruise

2004 Maserati GT donated to fundraiser for local PBS station

KPBS revved up its “Donate Your Car” campaign this month (June 2013) which, along with drivable used cars, often attracts tired, tread-worn mechanical castaways with more miles than a Platinum Frequent Flyer.

 This week was different, however. A caller said on Monday he wanted to donate his beloved Maserati.

Well, sure … So, in rolled a sleek, immaculately maintained Maserati loaded with driver-pampering goodies — and legitimate ownership documents.

 The black 2004 GT coupe with tan leather interior had a manufacturers list price of about $81,000. About 80,000 miles later, it should fetch between $25,000 and $35,000 at auction, predicts James Rowten, corporate development manager for KPBS in charge of its vehicle donation program.

 “This is the most standout car donated in my tenure, and I’ve been here five years,” he said.

While many of the autos end up being sold for scrap metal, and drivable cars head to used-car auctions, this one will go to an international auction of high-end vehicles, Rowten said. The owner’s name remains confidential, although Rowten said he is a longtime donor and fan of KPBS from La Jolla.

San Diego found a new way to raise $750,000. Instead of enforcing the 72 hour parking law, which they don't do, they made parking RV's on city streets overnight illegal.

They think that they will spend 2.1 million dollars enforcing this new law, though they can't seem to enforce most every other law that they could in order to get the RV's to move along, the big complaint against them from beach cities homeowners.

The city councilman that pushed this law through after 7 years of debate, states several complaints against the RVs, but concedes that the law enforcement force is not up to the challenge of enforcing all the stupid laws that the city, county, state and federalies have made up to tax/ticket all motor vehicles.

So instead of solving problems that the home owners have complained about, the city council of San Diego has outlawed parking an RV on city streets overnight from 2am to 6am.

So, what, the police departments are supposed to start ticketing all the RVs at 6am? Not going to happen.

San Diego, so called Americas Finest City, seems to want to emphasis FINE as in "pay up".

All the rest of California, according to todays news story, have oulawed living in RVs on city streets, and thus forced the undesireable nearly homeless south to San Diego (actually the best year round temperatures in all California).

About a dozen years ago houseboats were outlawed, about 6 years ago the free boat anchorage in San Diego Bay was removed, and now the RVs that many poor people have bought on the cheap, are the newest target of the wealthy.  Maybe some year in the future the homeless will be the target of the cleanout of California so that the wealthy and tourists won't see them.

“The proliferation of illegally parked vehicles is a public safety, is a quality of life and can be an environmental issue that especially impacts our neighborhoods and particularly many of those that are in our beach and bay communities,” said Councilman Kevin Faulconer, who pushed for the ordinance. “Currently we have vehicles that are parked in front of homes and businesses for weeks at a time, taking up valuable parking spaces … and limiting access to driveways and alleys which present major pedestrian problems.”
The new ordinance bans street parking of oversized vehicles, nonmotorized trailers and RVs between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. and prohibits them from parking within 50 feet of intersections at all times. Violators would receive a $100 ticket. Residents and their guests would be able to apply for permits to park on the same block as their home while preparing for trips.
The council’s independent budget analyst projected the annual costs of implementation at $2.1 million and revenue generated through permit and citation fees at $2.8 million for a yearly surplus of roughly $731,000.
Supporters of the RV overnight ban showed photos of vehicles that have remained on the same street for months and years on end without moving. They also pointed out that San Diego and Imperial Beach are the only coastal cities in the county without RV restrictions.

1953 Riley gets a 2nd breath as a sports car, with a Volvo turbo engine. This got my attention, but not enough to buy the magazine

the magazine is Practical  Performance Car 
they have nothing about the car on their website, typical magazine website. Months after they've taken the photos and written the article, they still won't have the info from a magazine on the shelf simultaneous on their website...because they figure you won't buy the hardcopy if you can get the info for free. Right now I can't find info about the car or the owner on the web

AMC Engineering Data Analysis on the 1968 pony cars

Best issue I've seen yet, Motor Trend Classic

Lots of great stuff inside, and the legit Vette given to an astronaut on the cover next to a NASA lunar rover prototype doesn't look too bad either!

Best interview of Bob Bondurant I've ever seen.

the article on the cars that weren't the stars of the movies (in Herbie the Love Bug the car that was chosen for the article was the Throndyke Special ... an Apollo 3500 GT  ) is well done

Monday, July 08, 2013

I have the privilege to showcase an artist, show a step by step, get a superb banner for my blog, and a piece of art for my garage!

I think all of you regular readers are familiar by now with my admiration for artists in general, and a few specifically. BOMONSTER (all caps) is one of the few I particularly enjoy talking to, looking at the art of, and learning what new things he's made.

Also, he's one of the few that I've met that makes art, instead of photography, and will take the commission of a personal piece and I've wanted for some time, a favorite banner of mine (though I frequently change them for variety sake) completely made by an artist in their own way.

Here is the step by step!

"My art is created on scratchboard – which looks like a piece of Masonite coated with a soft white Claycoat finish and then sprayed with a black India ink. My job is to scrape the black surface with a knife - which reveals the white Claycoat layer underneath. I taped the scratchboard to a drawing board - which I can pivot on my desktop.

For this project Jesse sent me the photo of a vintage hot rod roadster at speed. He requested some slight modifications and left the rest to me.

 I threw his photo into Photoshop and leaned the car forward and enlarged the wheels. Then I Googled some aviator goggles because his photo lacked good detail. I added a light pool with a shadow and printed it out for reference while scratching.

Since an Internet blog masthead is a small file I was able to keep the art size relatively small on an 8x10” sized scratchboard. I like to scratch larger pieces like shirt designs onto a 12x16” board for better detail.

Sometimes I work from my own drawings and sometimes I work from photos where I tweak the perspective and can bend around in Photoshop. Since this was Jesse’s photo, I opted not to tweak it too far. And since my art is scratched with no room for error, I always work out the driver first as people are the trickiest part to get right. I figure at this stage I can always start over if the driver’s face turns out funky. Then I proceed by scratching out the basic outline following a faint graphite tracing. Graphite transfers are created by doing a soft pencil rubbing on the back of the printout and redrawing the basic shape onto the scratchboard. I wear cotton archival gloves to keep the surface free of skin oils – which can resist the Krylon clear coat sprayed on later.

Many artists can do sheet metal well but bad lettering can bring down the quality of their picture. My challenge was to re-create the “brush-painted-in-hurry” look but not make it look like I can’t do good lettering. I opted to let the scratch marks show to give the feeling of hand painted numbers

One of the things that defines my style is a scratchy light effect created by scratching a lot of little wavy lines. It’s a time-consuming process and it’s important not make the length or the line quality too uniform. I just keep scratching until I like the look.

There are many scratchboard tool sets available online. I can see the value in all the different shapes and sizes but what works for me is one single tool – an Xacto knife with a #16 blade. The point allows me to scratch the fine lines and the flat edge lets me remove a lot of surface material if necessary. I also wrap the tip of the handle with a strip of black duct tape to soften my finger pressure against the harder knife handle surface. As it is, hours and hours of scratching can leave dents on my fingertips for days! I change blades often and will usually go through 7 or 8 blades to create one design

Every artist has to answer the question: “When is it done?” I have to be careful not to scratch too much but at the same time know how to create an intricate look. Here I’ve added some flying trails of “energy” behind the driver and the car and I came back to the wavy lines creating the pool of light at the base of the drawing. The left half looks finished because I’ve added stipple marks to the wavy lines and also threw in some longer scratches to look more explosive. The wavy lines on the right need that added touch to finish them off.

Once finished I then scan and create a digital file for printing. I spray a Krylon non-yellowing clear coating onto the original surface - which removes a lot of smudge marks and evens out the surface. This one was a fairly simple execution and I was able to scratch it out in two hours after spending about an hour of prep time creating the printout. More involved pieces like my shirt designs and poster prints can take 10-12 hours of starting-and-stopping scratching to finish -

A BOMONSTER / collaboration!

a '69 Super Bee in Japan, and news of a Kennie's Mopar garage there that takes good care of Mopars

Found on Facebook in the Dodge Coronet & Super Bee Owners Club  was the top photo from Yamaguchi Ryo's Super Bee

the website for Kennie's :    and they have Mopar muscle cars for sale, AAR and 440 + 6pack 'Cudas, Challanger T/A, R/T Charger, and some Dart and Dusters

Kennies Mopar Service

Address: Tokyo Metropolitan Tama County Mizuho-machi 1-6-4 Nanping
042 -557 -4996 phone
FAX :042-556-5581