Saturday, June 08, 2019

I ain't never seen this photo before

1948 Delahaye 135 M Sport Coupé by Hebmüller

proof that all the lazy guys making lists of ugly cars that always include the Aztek and Pacer never bother looking for the really ugly cars

Built in 1957, it is one of the last Spohns ever built. Spohn was a coachbuilder from Ravensburg, Germany, who was credited for building bodies for the pre-WWII Maybach luxury cars.

After WWII, Spohn purchased left-over cars from the U.S. military for their chassis and continued as a coachbuilder taking orders on a one-on-one basis. Each car was built to the specific desires and specifications of the buyer. There were less than 200 cars built and no two were alike.

This example is built on a 1939 Ford chassis with a 1953 Cadillac 331 cubic-inch V8 engine, with a 4-barrel carburetor, and is backed by a 3-speed Ford transmission.,22673/1957-spohn-convertible_photo.aspx

1900 Rockwell Hansom Cab

1907 Métallurgique-Maybach 21-Litre Three-Seater Special, the only one of its kind in the world

Originally built in Belgium in 1907, the Métallurgique featured a 10-litre engine but was later modified to take a 1910 21-litre six-cylinder engine as used in the German Zeppelin airships.

The story behind the modification goes that the car was raced by American David Bruce-Brown who was unhappy that the promise of 100mph was not achieved. The car was then returned to manufacturer Métallurgique and the engine was changed to honour the pledge with the new engine developed to deliver 1,000lbs of torque at 1,000rpm.

It was eventually found abandoned in a shed in Brundall, Norfolk in April 1951 by avid collector Douglas Fitzpatrick who used it to compete in races at Brands Hatch, Bexhill and Silverstone, as well entering it for sprints and continental touring. Fitzpatrick went on to claim the FIA World Speed Record at Elvington Airfield in Yorkshire on 19 October 1969; a record that continues to stand today.

did Flxible make woodys?

this cool guy cut open his truck to save a cat!

Thanks Martin T for clinking the tip jar!

Friday, June 07, 2019

here's a strange design I don't think I've seen before. French probably, pre WW1

great looking little fuel tanker!

The special tool for testing and aligning the "Autronic Eye".

if you want to know more about the Autronic-eye, or the Guide-matic (same thing) see

do you know two people who work together and build or restore cars who want to have their own show on the Discovery Channel?


Are you an ambitious, high-octane auto entrepreneur who builds or restores cars with an equally dynamic partner? Then YOU could have your own TV show on the Discovery Channel!

Producers are now searching nationwide for outgoing auto pros LIKE YOU who are hungry to take their custom build or restoration business to the next level on national television as part of Discovery’s Motor Mondays.

Fabricators, mechanics, designers! Hot rods, classic cars or modern!


Send an email to with your names, phone numbers, city/state, recent photos and a brief explanation of why you are ready for your own TV show.

Tim Gilmour
Casting Producer
PH: 818-478-4736
FAX: 818-847-7938

I've been thinking

I'd like to do a top twenty list of auto enthusiast websites

Maybe if that's not easy, and more need to be added to show just how damn good they are ans how much others are respected, and have inherent unquestionable awesome content, maybe a top 40.

But here's the part where I'd like help.

There are hundreds, maybe a thousand websites that would qualify for such a comparison to judge the best of, and to do it right... no job worth doing deserves less than that. And no website where someone is working to deliver entertainment, should be forgotten, ignored, or dismissed without a good contemplation to see if they've got the goods.

I don't work like most "top ten" list yabos... I don't google up a couple lists, then take the best, and make up my own. Nope. It's not about making the list for just another post. I've got about 39,000 posts, I'm not making posts just to ad to that.

I'm making posts to respect the builders, painters, creators, racers, riders, artists, photographers, veterans, airplanes, designers, manufacturers, tanks, cars, tires, rims, writers, movies, photojournalists, magazines, skaters, bikers, legends, icons, winners, fighters, and enthusiasts.

Well, I'm also making posts to share the humor, the ridiculous, and the warnings to avoid the morons, damn assholes, suicidal freaks that want to kill you on their way out, and idiots that are not easy to discern while on the road unless you know what to looks for (politicians election campaign bumper stickers, and the "energy drink" stickers) because stickers are for sponsors, not for bumpers.

What do you think about offering up a dozen of the best, that you're completely loyally following like a dog chases a ball?

Would getting those, and your ratings, (best to worst? scale of 1 to 4, and maybe "I'll die without it" and "YOU MUST SEE THIS") and then choosing for myself be a good method?


Just open the door to votes on a list of 100, or 200 and the ones that get the highest ratings get to the top of the list, and then, those that get the best ratings get a top 25 list, but first, everyone takes a look at those, and then ranks them?

Why? Well, I might give Hot the highest, and so might 50 other people, BUT, the other 50 have never looked at it... so, it might rank in the middle, BUT if then everyone takes a look at the ones the ranked highest from the original 200, or whatever, and are now narrowed down to 40 best, and with those people that have never heard or seen these websites get to take a look, and also everyone can compare these, and give one last ranking, each of the best gets a look at by everyone involved, and truly, none would be unseen by anyone, so they all have that chance to make their mark.

Then the semi final list would be ranked by 1-25. By everyone involved, and we'd give #1 to the website that had the most #1 rankings from the most people involved. and the #2 would go the the site with the most #2s, and the 2nd place of the #1s, (like 30 people chose HRM as #1, but 15 chose Chromejuwelen as #1, and 40 chose Chromejuwelen as #2, and 4 chose HRM as #2, and 10 chose Dean's Garage as #2, 15 chose it as #3, and 10 chose something else as #3.) Then we'd easily see that the most votes for a site at one rank would make it that rank, unless another tied for that rank, but also some people chose that other as the rank higher.

Yeah, I can't easily communicate with a typed out paragragh what I mean, and maybe charts and Ven diagrams would help, but I don't have that ability to figure out how to do all that.

I can though, just say, what do you think, and how many people and websites need to be involved to make this a legit fair well rounded list of the top 25, or 40... or is there a better way that you know of from college classes on statistics or some other metrics method of ranking sites?

Should I instead post a list of the top 40 sites by their Alexa ranking? But doesn't a method like that then include sites that no one knows of? That no one has seen? That a few diehard fanatics of auto enthusiasm would absolutely not have on any list because they are too damn focused on one topic, like rims, and have NO coverage of all the other cool stuff we like to see in a auto enthusiast site, like news, photography, cars, planes, etc? I mean, that site about rims might be the iron bound encyclopedic A to Z of all hot rodding rims and nothing else compares for size, variety, research etc,... but no one ever looks at it for fun, they only use it rarely for research.

So, this is the type of thing I contemplate when walking... how to do a really good list of the best, and what method to use, how to avoid coming up with the same damn list everyone else has who just took some google ranking and made a list based on that?

Or would a well intentioned big project like this simply be too damn ponderous to complete, and fail due to lack of participation? 

Malcolm Smith, most people know him as the star of the iconic Bruce Brown motorcycle documentary “On Any Sunday", is a 6-time winner of the Baja 1000, 3 times on a motorcycle and 3 times in a car; a 4-time winner of the Baja 500;

has twice won the Mint 400 in Nevada and the Roof of Africa Rallye; participated in the Paris Dakar Rally twice; and was the overall winner of the Atlas Rallye in the mountains of Morocco.

And he was just run over by a damn golf cart and broke his hip in January, in Death Valley.
Furnace Creek Golf Course. Yeah, that's pretty damn obscure

The next couple of weeks were not kind to Malcolm and his son Alexander Smith—or their families. Both were injured badly within a week of one another in early 2019. Both had surgeries involving plates and screws (and pins and rods), and both were, up until the 13th of February, convalescing at the same rehab center in Southern California, and in adjoining rooms.

It’s crazy how quickly things can change.

Six weeks ago, during the holidays, I was watching our large and extended family enjoying themselves at our home and thinking things were pretty darn good, with everyone healthy and happy. But two weeks ago it all went to hell in a handbasket in the space of just a few days when my son Alexander and I both suffered serious injuries in separate accidents hundreds of miles apart.

I got run over by a golf cart, of all things, while golfing in Death Valley, California, breaking my hip badly enough to need emergency surgery in Las Vegas. I hadn’t golfed in 20 years, but there you go! And Alexander, while leading an off-road ride down in Baja, Mexico, hit a cow head-on at high speed, badly breaking his femur, arm, and hand, all of which required multiple surgeries to fix.

It’d be almost funny if things weren’t so painfully serious, but we’ve both ended up at the same rehabilitation center in Loma Linda, California, and in rooms right next to one another. As a family we haven’t said much publicly about all of this, and there’s a little misinformation floating around because of that, so we wanted to bring you all up to date on what happened and how things are going in the aftermath.

My injuries occurred at the Furnace Creek Ranch golf course in Death Valley, California, while participating in a fund-raising tournament organized by my great friend and racing buddy Bud Feldkamp and his wife Pam, who head a foundation called the 128CM Memorial Foundation ( The foundation is dedicated to their two daughters—and their families and friends—who were tragically killed in a plane crash in 2009.

My wife Joyce and I had gotten to the final hole and were waiting for the team we were playing with to walk onto the green and finish up when I was basically run over by a golf cart. In a nutshell, another golfer sitting the offending cart wanted to move the cart to a different spot and clicked off the parking brake and pushed down on the gas pedal in order to move it. Problem was, the cart was in reverse, and the reverse warning beeper—which is required on all such carts—wasn’t working or had been disconnected, which would have alerted him—and us—to that fact. Since the cart was battery powered, it was not only whisper quiet but had 100 percent of its torque available immediately, two facts not at all in my favor as I stood 10 or 15 feet away.

The thing hammered me into a patch of cement and continued climb over me just as a 4WD Jeep would over a big pile of rocks, breaking my hip pretty badly. Standing back there, I had no warning I was about to be hit. Even as I was being pounded into the ground I had no clue what was happening; it was a complete blind-side. I don’t have a lot of padding these days, never have, really, and the pain was terrible as soon as the shock wore off.

Once they pulled the cart off me and figured out I was broken pretty badly, someone called the Park Service ranger who helped load me into a fancy 4WD medevac truck for a ride to nearby Pahrump, Nevada’s Desert View Hospital. There they diagnosed the damage, knew I needed surgery, and Joyce began researching doctors and hospitals that could fix me up reasonably quickly. We settled on a Mountain View Hospital in Las Vegas and a well-respected doctor in the area, and a day after I was moved there I underwent surgery, surgeons plating and screwing my hip together. A couple days later I was moved to a SoCal rehab center in a van with worn-out shocks (I felt every bump!), which is where I stayed until going home on the 13th of February.

The weirdest part of the story might just be this: Joyce and I actually sponsored the golf carts for the tournament, each one carrying a placard that read, “Golf Carts Furnished by Malcolm Smith Motorsports.” Go figure!

Anyway, about the time I was recuperating from surgery, my son Alexander was down in Baja leading his annual ‘No Wimps’ ride, which is highly challenging and reserved for really talented riders. When one rider from the group took a wrong turn and got lost, Alexander and another rider went off to collect him.

Alexander :

We were on day three of our second-annual ‘No Wimps’ Baja ride, and the group of about 20 riders was jelling really well and having a great time. At the end of the day, just as we’d gotten into Bahia de los Angeles, one rider hadn’t yet checked in, and via our GPS system we figured out where he was, so me and my trusted wingman and good friend Bob Foster headed out to grab him. It took us about an hour to reach him and, since it was now dark, the three of us headed back to the Bay of LA on the highway instead of the trail. I was leading, with our lost rider between me and Bob.

The highway was rolling, with dips and rises, and we were going pretty fast, probably 60 mph. As I crested one of the rises a very large cow ran across the road in front of me, and the positioning and timing couldn’t have been worse. The cow was basically straddling the double-yellow stripe when I slammed into it at full throttle. It all happened so quickly I didn’t even have time to shut off, let alone brake. By the time my brain comprehended what was happening I’d already hit the cow.

I remember everything … tumbling and sliding and hearing that sickening sound of metal and plastic scraping across the asphalt, and feeling my helmet do the same. The rider we’d gone after ended up crashing when my bike ricocheted in front of him after hitting the cow, but he wasn’t hurt badly. When I finally came to a stop I was facing the direction I’d come from, and the guys were quickly with me and assessing the damage. Bob got his flashlight out and we pretty quickly determined my femur was busted, and I remember looking down at my left arm and seeing my index finger touching my elbow. And that’s when everything started coming apart. The pain was now heavy, and I knew I was badly hurt.

A car happened by pretty soon after, and it was a godsend, as the guy inside was the driver of the town’s ambulance. His wife was the paramedic, so he headed back into town to roust her and grab the ambulance. Once it arrived, they taped me to a body board to secure my leg and neck, not knowing if I had any back or neck injuries, and drove me to the town’s medical clinic, which was basically a back room at the police station. And that’s where I spent the night, taped to a body board suspended between two plastic coolers (so I wouldn’t be on the ground) with several serious fractures and no pain meds. Let’s just say it was a long, painful, and awful night. Luckily, some of the group stayed with me, giving me water and trying to keep my spirits up. It wasn’t easy.

Daniel Ixcot, a family friend who’s intimately involved with our Malcolm Smith Baja Adventures and the El Oasis orphanage in Baja, and my wife Lauren arranged to have me flown to Tijuana the next day, where I could be transported across the border to a hospital. So almost a full day after getting hurt I was placed in a Cessna 210 and flown north to TJ, where I was taken by ambulance to Scripps Mercy Hospital in San Diego, where doctors were waiting. Being on the body board gave me blisters, and the duct tape they’d used to tape me to the board stuck to my skin, which tore off when they removed the tape. It was ugly, but I was happy to finally be in a place that could take proper care of me.

In two separate surgeries over the next few days, doctors at Scripps put a rod, plates, and screws in my femur, and in a second surgery placed two plates and several screws in my left arm, along with a bunch of screws and pins in my hand. A day or so later I was moved to the rehab facility closer to home, and that’s how I ended up being in a room next to my Dad—which my mom Joyce arranged. I’ve got about another week of rehab until I can go home, but I can already stand and, while the physical therapy hurts, I’m finally starting to feel better about returning to normal.

It’s more than a little ironic thinking about my Dad’s history, as he broke his femur at 18 after hitting another rider smack dab in the middle of the motorcycle as the two were traveling perpendicular to one another at a high speed—just as that cow and I were doing. We both timed it perfectly, and we both broke our femurs and had rods, plates, and screws inserted to repair them. Dad broke that femur again in the Baja 500 years later and had to be flown back to the states for surgery, just like me. Seems like broken femurs and 90 degree-impact accidents must be threaded into the Smith DNA!

somedays you want to reach through a magic portal and stop the stupid before someone gets hurt

because sometimes floods take out the roads, and you STILL need to get across!

this beauty sold for $88,000, a record amount I suspect

I like this, where the bed isn't separate from the cab, in looks. Hell, I've no idea how twist and use might mess up the sheet metal.

This Ford F-100 pickup from 1961 was treated to a no-expense-spared, nut-and-bolt restoration to return it to its original factory specifications. Starting with a rust-free Southwest truck, the body was repainted in the factory two-tone combination of Academy Blue and Corinthian White. All chrome was replated, the trim was polished and a set of Firestone whitewall tires were installed. It’s powered by a 292ci V8 engine, backed by a 3-on-the-tree manual transmission with overdrive. The engine compartment is detailed and period-correct, down to the hose clamps and battery. The underside has been completely cleaned and detailed as well. Inside, the soft surfaces were reupholstered with a factory-correct padded dash, armrest and bench seat. It also is equipped with factory temperature controls, cigarette lighter, AM radio and a white steering wheel with a chrome horn ring.

that GTX that the cops didn't bother to find the owner of (proving how useless police detectives are!) had a box in the trunk with the owners name

The owner asked a buddy to store it, and everyone forgot about it.

The buddy, Craig McIntosh, whose name was found on a shipping label in the trunk, at the time lived in Michgan, put the GTX in storage there, and then moved to Georgia. The buddy (who isn't ever named, and never given a reason for abandoning this GTX) doesn't live in Michigan

The clue that cracked the case was in the trunk, which had been locked and was opened recently by the towing company. Inside was a replacement carpet kit from Auto Custom Carpet, ordered on August 12, 2002

 “The car isn’t abandoned, it belongs to a friend of mine,” McIntosh says. “He was dealing with some personal stuff back then, and I was trying to help him out by taking care of it and putting it in storage. I thought the car was gone a long time ago.”

McIntosh was stunned to learn that the Plymouth was being auctioned, since he thought it had already been sold. McIntosh insists he was contacted by law enforcement “years ago,” and he offered to pay the car’s outstanding storage balance if he could take possession of his friend’s car, but without proof that he owned the GTX or was representing the owner, the Leelanau County Sheriff’s Office refused to release it to him—and rightly so, he admits.

I guarantee this is a case of making the car disappear so that guy's wife couldn't sell it during the divorce, couldn't find it for child support! 

a quad slumbers on in Argentina.... a 1918 Nash Quad to be specific... and it needs a new home. Anyone know of anyone that is looking for an obscure 101 year old truck to waste a fortune on?

Do you know what they will have after spending a fortune to make this look and work like new? A paperweight that won't ever move, because there is nothing anyone is going to do with a brand new 1918 Nash Quad... but watch it gather dust and depreciate in a museum. Either a personal museum, or a professional museum.

Either way, waste a fortune, and watch your museum get closer to bankruptcy too.

The fastest they would move is 18 mph. They weighed 6200 pounds. 4 wheel drive, 4 wheel steer, and 4 wheel brakes.

Here's what they look like when restored, I shit you not

they look like a work bench that people put junk on. Because there's nothing else to do with one. Sad? Yeah. That cost enough to feed a small village in any country you can find on a map, and it was wasted and used to store water coolers and other junk.

headers for outboards dramatically increased power with no other changes

of course the rest of the mods were done too... carbs, porting, port matching, etc, but these are some far out headers compared to stock exhaust

Teslas come equipped ready to record the events that occur around them even while the vehicle is unoccupied. Why aren't other car makers setting up the cameras to record (if the owner chooses to) at all times?

this question was brought up the other day when someone used the recorded video from camera recording while the car was driving to that a drunk driver on that road ran into a car, killing the driver of the unsuspecting vehicle .. and the police had that video to work with to see what had occurred

and it's a good question, as the cameras are front, back, and sides on the Pacifica, Sienna, Ram 2500 etc.