I roam the interweb far and wide searching for automotive beauty, and occasionally I strike pure gold. Is this van the scariest thing that you have ever seen? Probably. Does it look like it has a questionable past? Yes. Does it do wheelies? Please… Do I want one just like it? Maybe. This Chevy Van doesn’t even look safe enough to lean on, never mind the horror show that must happen when you rip on the throttle. One thing that seems to be missing is the inspection sticker on the windshield? He must have forgotten to get one.
More animal nests? Yes please, just enough to fill the intake.
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?
If you have read any of my previous blog posts, you may have noticed that the GM LS series engines make me as happy as a new pair of socks (VERY happy!). So naturally when I saw some pictures and video of this Boss Hoss “Berzerker” motorcycle, I knew that I had to bring it to the forefront of the 1A Auto blog.
In my strange world, I imagine the birth of this bike began like this:
Guy 1: “Hey man, I wanna go fast, like super-space-ship fast. I think I want to ride an actual laser beam, or maybe like a missile or something. ”
Guy 2: “Maaaan, you know you can’t put a seat on a laser beam, and handlebars would look ridiculous on a missile! You’re talkin’ crazy bro!”
Guy 1: “Ok, what if we take an LS2 engine, bore it to 430 cubic inches, strap it to a 2 speed transmission, crank out 700+ horsepower, and put a seat on it?”
Guy 2: “Wheels?”
Guy 1: “Oh yeah, we’ll use those too, but no more than 2! If I am traveling super-space-ship fast, I don’t want rotational weight crowding my peoples.”
Guy 2: “That’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout! What we need is more “Berrrrzerker“.”
Now the conversation probably didn’t go like that, I really have no idea. One thing we do know is that the bike exists now, and it apparently makes ludicrous power. Judging by the violent symphony blaring out of my over-treble’d computer speakers and the NHRA decals all over it, I would bet the 706 hp numbers are legit. Does it go super-space-ship fast? Probably…
I will be the first on here to say “I would like a second helping of Berzerker Please….”
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….
Chevy S10 Trucks, S10 Blazers, GMC Jimmys, and Sonomas eat ball joints. Being in the biz, we knew this, and we also knew that our customers could benefit from an installation video. One thing lead to another and BAM! – A beautiful 1AAuto Ball Joint How-To Installation video was born. With the right tools, and the right patience, this job is very doable in your driveway.
Over the years, I have had the opportunity and pleasure of working on a wide variety of cars and trucks. The ones with hydraulic suspension systems were some of my all time favorites. It combined huge amounts of electricity (8-10 Car batteries in 1 vehicle) and the unimaginable power of hydraulics. The hostile symphony that appeared when these two forces came together made for months of non stop entertainment. We bounced cars around, lifted 1 wheel off the ground for “3-wheel motion”, dragged them around, and laughed hysterically at just how ridiculous it all was. Looking back, it was some of the most fun that I have ever had working on cars. It was endless work, tons of money, long days, late nights, and I enjoyed every single second.
Pictured above is my friend Chris’s old 1989 Chevy truck. The amount of work put into that truck by he and I was unmeasurable. From what I understand, it’s gone from the earth for good, but the lessons learned from that truck will be around for decades to come. Mental Note: 8 car batteries in parallel will liquify and throw a wrench more than your expect.
Rat Rods are cool, and I am here to tell you my top 10 reasons why:
1) They are cheap to build – You don’t need rust free metal, so you are often able to put cars back on the road that never would have been restored otherwise. 2) You can build it yourself – It gives you an amazing sense of pride to drive something that you built, and even more when you get a “thumbs up” from a fellow gearhead. 3) Lowered cars and trucks are cooler – That’s just a fact. 4) Raw metal – Unpainted metal is a great way to show off your fabricating skills. 5) Simplicity – These cars work off the bare essentials. Windows, heat, seats and suspension are optional. 6) No Fear – You don’t have to worry about parking your clean car in a grocery store parking lot. If somebody swings their caravan door into it, it doesn’t even matter! 7) Wiring – All you need is power for the ignition coil, alternator, lights, and a horn. That is like 8 wires. Anybody could handle that. 8 ) Typically a two seater – This means you don’t have to cart your friends around all over town. “Can you give us a ride to blah blah somewhere place?…….” “nope sorry, I only have two seats….” 9) Exposed engine – Watching mechanical things move is awesome on every level. There is no denying it. 10) Part availability – All parts that you will ever need can be found in a junk yard, swap meet, home depot, or convenience store.
Picture borrowed from eBay Item number: 18049680146