In New England, rust free cars don’t exist. When you buy an old car, a “solid body” means that it will only need doors, fenders, floors, and quarters. Replacing sheetmetal is just a way of life for us. So when car enthusiasts up here see a car for sale that still has good original floors in it, for cheap cash, it sends us into a panic. That is exactly what happened to me this last weekend, and it reminded me of the two most important rules to being a proper gearhead:
1) Buy now, think later.
2) Always….. ALWAYS…. keep an extra spot in your yard just in case you need to bring some rolling stock home on a whim.
I failed hard on both accounts, and can only blame my own procrastination & cheapness. » Continue reading more of this post…
During my lunch yesterday, before I even got off the motorcycle, I was told by the local inspection station that I needed new tires, a license plate light, and a more visible location for my license plate. Apparently I have been riding dirty for a while now. “Oopsy! You caught me!” I won’t lie though, I was aware of all of this, and figured somebody would call me out on it eventually. As it turns out, that time was yesterday. Ah well, at least once I fix it all I won’t have to cross my fingers, toes, and bring a lucky rabbit’s foot to the inspection station each year. What a relief.
Since I was replacing my tires this year whether I had an inspection sticker or not, I ordered them about a week ago. Now, I have never had new tires on my bike, so I had no idea that shops charge anywhere from $25 – 50 per tire for mounting and balancing. Surprise! Yea, no. I am way too cheap, and I tend to stress out when people touch my vehicles. I have trust issues I suppose. Anyway, when I got home yesterday, my fresh new tires were waiting for me, and “operation tire swap” was about to commence. I had swapped car tires without machines before, but never motorcycle tires, but how different could it be?
I began by hanging my bike from my garage rafters and popping the rear wheel off. I laid it on a piece of cardboard, and pulled the schrader valve out of the valve stem to let all of the pressure out.
With my fingers crossed and happy thoughts in my head, I broke the bead loose on the old tire with a shovel. » Continue reading more of this post…
It all started back in early April when I posted the Honda Hawk GT Build Part 1. I had just pulled it out of my dark, damp, and disgusting shed, and found that it had become the meeting place for all of the local spiders. Once the arachnid population was evicted and the sunlight hit it, I came to the realization that my long term neglect had really taken a toll on my once loved motorcycle. Every piece of aluminum was corroded, and all of the steel was rusting. It was flat out sad looking. The only way to properly correct this situation was to strip the whole thing down and start over. » Continue reading more of this post…
This short story of mine has been many years in the making, and yesterday was a major unexpected turning point. You see, years ago I heard a rumor of a mid year Corvette (1963-67) sitting all apart in a garage. I was told that this Corvette had entered the garage for a restoration around 1980 and never came back out again. Naturally when you hear about this sort of thing, you imagine that it could be the “holy grail” of car finds, but when reality enters the scene, you find a derelict shell of a 1970′s Yugo. Yeap, been there before.
Up until yesterday, this story consisted of me begging, then me pleading, and then sadness, followed by extended periods of time. May 10th then arrived and as if by magic, I finally got just a tiny taste of what this car really was. I opened the first image and stared at it in amazement. Instead of the 1970′s Yugo shell that always sneaks up on me, I was staring at an absolutely beautiful Silver Blue 1964 Chevy Corvette Convertible with the L84 Fuel Injected 375 horsepower 327 engine. Inside my head, my brain was screaming “Cannot Compute! System Malfunction! Meltdown Imminent”. I slapped myself in the face, started breathing again, and welcomed back my surroundings. The next two pictures were equally mesmerizing. This was definitely a very, very special car.
Just how rare is this car you ask? Well, let’s take a look at the production numbers for the minimal facts that we do know.
Total Convertibles – 13,925 produced
Total with Silver Blue paint – 3,121 produced
Total L84 Fuel Injected 327′s – 1,325 produced
Now, we know that at the very “worst”, it is 1 of 1,325 built, which is crazy rare as is. But how many of that total were in convertibles vs. coupes? I would imagine that we can assume half? (Corvette gurus, feel free to jump in anytime.) Okay, so let’s say that the car is now about 1 of 650 convertibles with the L84 fuel injected 327 produced. But wait, out of 22,205 Corvettes made in 1964, only about 14% were painted Silver Blue and that was included coupes and convertible. For the sake of fun, let’s just assume that the color was split evenly across both body types. We can then assume the car is about 1 of 300 built based on what we currently know. Now, how many of those still exist? Not all of them, that’s for sure.
Great, now where do we go from here? Well, I have been sworn to secrecy and I don’t have any more pictures or information. My hope is that it will someday be finished because I would absolutely love to hear that this Silver Blue convertible is back on the road again.
*Special thanks to the “Top Secret Informant” for sharing these pictures with us.
A friend forwarded me an email this morning that he received from Lincoln Electric (The Welding Experts). In this email was the most fantastic table that mankind has ever witnessed. It is made entirely of old wrenches & engine parts. Does it get any better than that? Let me answer that for you – no, no it does not. » Continue reading more of this post…
Back on the 4th of April, I showed off my terribly neglected motorcycle. It clearly needed a bath, along with a complete tear down, and rebuild. We left off with a picture of a motorcycle frame & suspension sitting on a wooden block in the middle of the garage. It was not a pretty site, and it only got worse from there. » Continue reading more of this post…
A friend of mine has a black 3rd generation RX7 that is stunningly beautiful. Over the years it has acquired an epic list of modifications, and made ludicrous amounts of horsepower with its single turbo conversion. There has always been one modification under the hood that has never been quite right though… the battery box. » Continue reading more of this post…