Automotive Tips & Tricks: Suggestion #1

The Automotive lesson today is:

“When using a DVOM (Digital Volt Ohm Meter), don’t put your finger on the backside of the wire that you are stabbing into.  There is a 102% chance that you will stab yourself in your finger. Anybody that owns a multimeter has done it….. and it hurts…. every time.”

Also, I took this picture by myself, without a timer or tripod. Think about that for a moment.

Jeremy Clarkson, His Books, and The United Kingdom Location.

Pop Quiz:

1) Do you watch Top Gear UK?

2) Do you enjoy Jeremy Clarkson style humor?

3) Do you know the difference between the UK, Great Britain, and England?

If you answered “yes” to number 1 & 2 above, you will definitely enjoy this book.  If you answered “no” to question 3, don’t worry about it, we’ll cover that in a few minutes.  I’ll save you from lying when somebody asks you if you know the difference.

The Book:

I was recently in a used book store (so what?), and I spotted a copy of “Motorworld” by Jeremy Clarkson for $2. My first thought was: “Jeremy Clarkson writes books? How did I not know this?” I grabbed it and hoped it wouldn’t be a giant letdown like my 59 ounce “half gallon” bottle of orange juice.  I got the book home and flipped through a page or two to get a little taste of what it was like.  Hysterical gasping-for-air laughter ensued, and before long, I was done with half the book.  What I’m getting at is that it’s a pretty flippin’ funny book if you read it with Jeremy Clarkson’s sarcasm and panache.  It’s covers Jeremy’s thoughts on 12 places around the world that build cars, yes, even Detroit. It’s rich to say the least.  Grab it online for cheap cash monies if you get the chance, it’s worth your time.

Now The World:

While reading this book and watching TGUK, I often find myself (embarrassingly) saying “I have absolutely no clue where in the world these guys are”.  I mean I knew that they were in between the United States and Russia, and probably close to Ireland.  However,  as far as UK vs. England vs. Great Britain, I was lost worse than a out-of-state’r in Boston.  Let’s dig in deeper so that we all can act smarter. (more…)

Chevelle SS Hood Pins: Why?

First off, I love Chevelle’s in a very bad way, especially the front end of a 1970, and the back of a 71-72.  Combining those two aspects together would make the ideal A-Body in my mind.  But anywho, that’s not the topic at hand.  I want to know why the heck GM decided that the SS packages so desperately needed hood pins?  Was there really a chance of a hood flying up?  “Hi Chevy (Sorry, Chevrolet), the Chevelle hood weighs in at just less than 400,000 lbs, do you really think it’s going to fly away?”  Maybe the latch just wasn’t able to handle the job alone?  Or maybe it was done strictly for the badass muscle car look?  I don’t know, I’m probably alone here, but I just think the hood pins take away from the clean Chevelle hood lines, and they make it look like a factory installed hack job.  Hey, just my 2 cents.

Somebody please school me.

Oh yeah, here are some pictures of an absolutely mint ’70 SS with a 582 cubic inch engine, pushing out ~750hp, through a 5 speed manual transmission at the 1A Auto car show. MMMMMM,

Your Opinion: Most Beautiful American Car Ever Built?

Personally, when I think about beautiful American cars, I always turn my brain right back to the 1930’s.  That was a period in time when cars were endlessly classy and smooth.  They were longer, lower, and more luxurious than any other time in history (my opinion).  Many of them were hand formed by master coach builders using wooden bucks, planishing hammers, and english wheels to shrink and stretch the metal into the right shape.  Not to mention they welded metal panels together with torches (Read: insanely hard), and could make it flat when they were done (…which is even harder).   A good coach builder’s work is absolutely amazing even in raw bare metal form.  Oh yea, so if I had to pick the most beautiful American car, I would likely go with an old coach built Duesenburg, like this one built by their in-house shop known as LaGrande.  mmmmm….



In your opinion, what is the most beautiful American car that was ever built?

Picture credit:

Now You Too Can Own Your Very Own Colani Lambo!

Every once in a long while I catch a show on TV about Luigi Colani.  He is a designer of a variety of  things, cars being one of the more prominent ones.   He is ridiculously talented at what he does, and is always thinking outside the box with his nature-related design.  His automotive concepts are always WAY beyond anything that current manufacturers are ready for, but they are thought provoking nonetheless.  Try doing a Google image search for his name sometime when you’re bored and check out his work.

One of his lost vehicle concepts from 1970 popped up on eBay the other day.  It’s known as the “Lamborgini Miura Le Mans concept prototype car”. It’s based on a Lamborghini (surprise), and it’s quite futuristic to say the least. It toured around Europe for several years when it was first built, then oddly enough it traveled 30+ years into the future to an estate auction in Indiana (clearly hitting a few bumps along the way).  A totally awesome car no doubt; it’s really too bad a car as cool as this has been hidden for so long.  Hopefully it will be restored and driven or put on display so that it can be enjoyed by the masses again.

Quicky Sidenote: Be sure to look at the green picture below.  It looks like he designed the car to comfortably seat two bears. lolzzz.

eBay Item # 270670824212

Soooo The Batmobile Was Just On Ebay If Anybody Is Interested.

You heard right, The “1989 Batmobile” from Batman Returns was just up for grabs on eBay listed as “1980 Other Makes Batman”.  Apparently eBay doesn’t have a Batmobile category yet.  The listing has already been pulled down though.  Apparently for $450,000, you would not only get the cave dwelling Batmobile itself, which does fully function and have hydraulics (Batman, you so gangsta!), but you also get a Batman statue and a Gotham city police badge!   BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE!  If you had bought it now, a real Batman Batarang would have also been included.  Geeze, you guys really missed out on this thing.  Imagine going grocery shopping in a Batmobile.

Note to self: If you are going to try to sell the Batmobile, make sure you get “the ok” from Batman, or he WILL put a stop to it.

Note to eBay: Create Batmobile category for future Batmobile listings.

ebay # 150524434748

You Need New Struts….. 3 Years Ago….

Last night I had the pleasure of working on a truly amazing 1992 Chevy Lumina. I am forced to describe it this way for two distinct reasons.   The first one being that it was daily driving with two front strut spring mounts that were moments away from catastrophic failure.   I’m not talking about a small scale failure here like when you step on a rake, it’s way more unpredictable than that.  Just imagine stepping on the end of a rake, and when it swings up to whack you in the forehead, you get hit with a lemon maringue pie instead.  Yes, strut failure would be that crazy.  I’m talking about the kind of failure that you read about in text books, and the type that induces Y2K sort of fear.   I mean if these struts had failed, it would have blown out the new tires in grand fashion.  There would have been violent bull-ride steering,  foot-through-the-floor braking, and enough spinning to find yourself being the first one at the scene of the accident.  At that point, the car is totaled because let’s be honest, its a 1992 Lumina.  NADA values it between $362 – $2062.  Ouch.  The second reason that this car was truly amazing is that (more…)