There are a lot of cars out there that belong in your garage, and this is the one that you need the most. That’s right folks, a real Monkees mobile. Replica or not, you would be the coolest dude in the neighborhood rolling in this thing. It makes a great conversation piece as well. The only unfortunate thing is that you have to open up your wallet and remove over $100K to own it. I guess that’s the price of monkeeing around.
Do not drive your car into a lake, unless you have an Amphicar. If you do in fact have an Amphicar, then you are obligated to drive in to and out of as many lakes as possible. I cannot even begin to imagine what kind of willpower you need to have to drive a classic vehicle into a lake, AND feel confident enough to drive away from the shore. Better him than me, that’s for sure.
You know how sometimes your eyes are bigger than your stomach when you’re at a restaurant? Well I have that problem with old rusty junk cars. I see a car that looks like it was likely deemed unrestorable in the early 1980’s, and I decide I need to save it. UGH. I then drag it out of a ditch, trailer it’s dead body home and unload it into its final resting place in my yard. Around this moment is when my brain is released from ambition prison, and I say “oh crap, what have I just done?!” Before long I am knee deep in sandblasting sand, MIG welding wire and receipts for sheetmetal. Rather than spending a grand on a solid car from Arizona, I spend 10,000 hours restoring a rot box from the north east. What the heck is wrong with me? Do other people make bad decisions like this or am I alone here?
I pride myself in knowing random automotive trivia, but recently I was hit with a question that has left me confused.
The question is: “When looking at the back of a car, how do you know which side of the car the gas filler door is on?”
The “answer” is: “The opposite side of the car as the tailpipe” (obviously this doesn’t work for cars with dual exhaust).
Now I thought the answer was all together was crazy, but after a day or so of observing random cars, I think there may be some truth to it. The cars that I own all seem to fit this “mold”. What the heck is going on here? Do car manufacturers actually plan to do this? If so why? You should never leave the car running at the gas pump, so the exhaust should have nothing to do with the gas filler door. Am I right or am I right?
Image Borrowed From eBay Item # 290425293432
Over the last century there have been thousands of really amazing automotive achievements, and then there have been truly awful failures. Today, I bequeath to you the latter.
I was at a car show over the weekend and saw this really great absolutely terrible “feature” on a late 1920’s – early 1930’s vehicle. I am leaving it’s name out intentionally. The “feature” is a heater, which obviously sounds like a good idea right? Well it is, but only when executed properly. This design was excellent use of creativity for sure, but heavily lacking in foresight in my opinion. It was a cast iron box that mounted to the top of the exhaust manifold that basically funneled exhaust gases cool outside air through it, warming it up, and shooting it into the interior of the car to warm up your little toesies. This is all well and good until there is an exhaust leak or a cracked exhaust manifold. Then Mr. Carbon Monoxide walks into the place and spoils the winter time party. I don’t know about you guys, but this gives me a new appreciation for my heater core and blower motor.
I have spent the vast majority of my life reading about, researching, and working on cars. Every once in a while though, I am smacked in the face with something that I have never seen before. Most recently, it was the “triflux” engine. I don’t know a whole heck of a lot about it, except that it was experimental and designed by Lancia in 1986. The way I’m understanding it, it has 4 cylinders, 2 turbochargers, 2 intercoolers, fuel injection, a dry sump oil system, and ~600 hp @ 8000 rpm. There is confusion all over the place though. We’ll start with mechanical timing? Ummm, isn’t the crankshaft supposed to be connected to the camshafts? If not, how is mechanical timing controlled? Secondly, how is 600 horsepower being made from less than 1.8L? It must be running super efficient turbos at high pressure, and revving to the moon. I guess this is why I am not an engineer. Enjoy the wackiness that is the turboflux. (more…)
I often find myself day dreaming about building a rock crawler and bashing it through the woods without fear of breakage. I think about TIG welding the tube chassis together with its fully custom suspension, and using Unimog front and rear axles. Modern turbo diesel power would be suitable, and I might even be convinced to use an automatic transmission (it’s against everything I stand for). It would probably have 2 seats, 4 cup holders, and a nice spot for a large cooler. That way I could bring along a friend, and thoroughly enjoy a horsepower-filled day in the wilderness. Once the picnic is over, I would strap myself back in, turn on the roof camera, fire up the turbo diesel, and blast through the mud, rocks, and trees until I run out of fuel. Then I would switch to the reserve tank and head back home for a nap. Yeah, that would be a good day….
Image borrowed from ebay # 160441587411