Rust: The Reason Why We Can’t Have Nice Things.

Rust for sale

In the northeastern part of the country, we live under a blanket of snow from December to March.  During this time, the roads are covered in 3 equal portions of snow, sand, and salt.  While the sand and salt mixture does in fact do amazing things when it comes to road conditions, it also removes the structure from your vehicle.  Not cool salt, not cool.

Many people ignore it until the guy at the inspection station says “I had to fail you for safety because your control arms aren’t there anymore, and neither are your rocker panels, floor pans, and rear quarter panels.”. You then look at your fresh new red “R” on your windshield and wonder where all the metal went. (more…)

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Lincoln Mark VIII: Stink Buggin’

Between 1993 and 1998, Lincoln made two generations of the Mark VIII.  The first gen was 1993-96 and the second was 1997-98.  I always thought that they were a very underrated car, because there was much greatness hiding under their skin.

Being a rear wheel drive was the most obvious great quality, but they also had an all aluminum, 32 valve 4.6L that pushed out 280 ish horsepower and about the same amount of torque.  The power went through an automatic (hey, no car is without faults, Lincoln wasn’t doing manuals at the time.), and sent the power through its independent rear suspension.  It had enough electronics to make Kitt feel inadequate, and a massive futuristic curved dashboard that flowed into the doors.  They all had 4 wheel disc brakes, and they even ran 15 second quarter mile times in stock form.  Not too bad for a relatively heavy car right? (more…)

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Did You Know That You Can Still Buy A New VW Without A Radio?

Back in the 1950’s, car stereos were a luxury that not just anybody could afford.  In the 1960’s, they became a cool thing to “delete” on your new car order to keep the weight and 1/4 mile times as low as possible.  In the 1970’s, stereos were much more common, and if you were a big deal, you may have even had an 8-track player. Dig it?  The 1980’s happened and tape players were the pinnacle of automotive sound.  You could rewind your favorite song and listen to it over and over again. 1990’s brought compact discs, which made rewinding a laughable idea, until you scratched your $17 CD and it became only usable for hanging from your rear view mirror.  Hey, if you got it, flaunt it.  We all survived the ominous Y2K, and stereos are now standard equipment…….or are they?

VDub2625 over on VWVortex spotted this new 2011 Jetta in a local dealer.   It is the meaning of a base model, like no radio sort of “base”.  Why you ask?  Well, because they are selling it brand new for $13K, and viola, it is posted all over the interwebs for being a strange bird.  Win? Lose?  I don’t even know?   (more…)

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Nascar’s Racing At Bristol

This weekend the Nascar Sprint Cup series will be racing at Bristol. Bristol traditionally is one of those tracks where cages get rattled, and the old bump and run used to be the only way to pass a guy and get by him.

Since they have changed the track banking, it has opened up from a one groove track to two and even sometimes three lanes of racing. Even with the changes, the atmosphere at Bristol is incredible. It’s a half mile of short track racing with steep seating completely around the track that reminds you of a roman coliseum.

It’s also the loudest track on the circuit, because of the way its designed there’s no way for the noise to escape. Pit crews aren’t able to talk to one another like they do at other tracks, so they use hand signals and pass pieces of paper with instructions to one another to get the job done. (more…)

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The Automotive Roller Coaster Of 1929

In 1929 Los Angeles had opened an amusement park with an automotive roller coaster. The roller coaster was constructed of wooden planks, banked turns, 5-10 foot hills, and stretched for 2243 feet.  Basically you would pay for a one trip ticket that allowed you to drive your 1920’s automobile around the track, following guidelines that were placed on the wood for cars to follow.

A railing was erected around the edges of the track to keep cars on course, and there was room to pass another vehicle if you had to. There was also a speed limit on the track as to how fast you were suppose to be able to drive around the course. Once you were done with your driving experience, you could then park in the middle of the automotive roller coaster if you wanted to for an additional fee.

I have seen some old footage of this on TV before, and couldn’t help but think of all of the modern day safety devices that those cars lacked.

Image Borrowed From:

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Oldie But Goodie: A Rendezvous In Paris

If you are a car enthusiast, there are a few videos that you are obligated to view at some point in life.  “C’était un rendez-vous” is one of them.  Like many good things, it is surrounded in lies and controversy, but fake or not, it gets your adrenaline pumping and the sound is music to the ears.

The story goes…… that in 1976, a guy named Claude Lelouch raced through Paris at high speeds in the early morning hours driving his Ferrari 275 GTB. He scattered birds, endangered the public, and generally ignored all rules of the road.  You can distinctly hear the heel-toe shifting and the revving V12 as the car flies through narrow intersections and sharp corners.  It is 9 minutes of ear candy……as strange as that sounds. Much like yesterday, crank your volume up!

Can’t see the video? Here is the link:

The truth is unfortunately far less thrilling than the video.  Apparently the camera is actually attached to a Claude’s Mercedes-Benz 450 SEL (yawn..) and the sound was dubbed in after.  The sound is likely from his V12 Ferrari 275 GTB though, just not the one flying through the streets of Paris, because that one never existed. Regardless of reality, it is a fun video to watch, and a great topic to bring up when you’re bench racing with your buddy’s in the garage.

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Because Beautiful Welding Never Gets Old.

In the past, we have touched upon my borderline insane slight obsession with welding once or twice. I just can’t seem to get over the inherent beauty of taking two solid metals, liquifying them with massive amounts of electricity, and watching them flow into each other while hiding behind copious amounts of safety equipment. It’s unbelievably gratifying. The ultra violet light shines brilliantly from the tip of the torch as if it were full of magic, which it is. You are more or less in charge of a mini version of the sun, and you can do whatever you want with it. Liquify a little mild steel here, then maybe some aluminum over there, and if you feel wild, you challenge yourself on some copper.  Then, when that perfect weld happens, you feel as if you just invented the wheel.  High 5’s are handed out by the dozen, and much rejoicing takes place.  Unfortunately, to make consistently beautiful welds takes crazy amounts of skill.  The kind of rare skill that many people do not have, including myself.  The good news is that some of those rare people that are that good at welding take pictures of their work for people like us to sit back and dream about.  “Califonia Jay” from VWVortex is one of those people. (more…)

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