Since the year 2000, there has been an event going on called the TX2K. It was initially intended as a drag racing event for Toyota Supras, but quickly grew into a thrilling cornucopia of insanely fast cars, including many, many exotics. This year I have a friend that went to it, which I’m hoping to steal some pictures and video from in the future. Until then, here is a video of a Toyota Supra losing a door at about 185mph.
The same guy that posted that video also has some amazing Supra dyno pull videos where 800 horsepower seems to be the minimum. Absolutely. Sick.
One of my long term dreams in life is to own a beautiful old Porsche. I haven’t yet decided which model or just how old it will be, but a convertible ehem… sorry, roadster really does sound quite nice. It doesn’t necessarily have to be super fast, but it will need to be as functional and nimble as it was when it was new. I want to carve the farm surrounded rural roads of New England without a radio, totally enveloped in the amazingly distinct sounds that the air cooled engines can only produce. Maybe I’ll be wearing a well worn leather jacket with some cracks in it, along with a cool hat. Yeah, a hat… that will be nice.
This car that we have here today was spotted on eBay, and it is a long way from carving rural roads. In fact, its a long way from just about everything, including resembling an actual vehicle. That said, these cars are worth an absolute fortune when restored properly. So even though it appears that this Porsche had a major role in a horrific accident that took place at the bottom of a swamp 40 years ago, it still has extremely significant value! In fact, with 6 days still left, the 20 bids have already hit $15,000! Crazy? Like a fox. Let’s think about it. Imagine that you hypothetically buy this car for 20 grand (bargain alert!). You then dump $50 grand into it restoring it over the next 5 years while you break in your leather jacket. When it’s done, the car will be worth more than what you have into it. Convertible versions of these 356’s go for $80K+ depending on their quality and history. Although this one is rougher than most (all?), it may be the bargain of the week! Luckily for me and my family, I know how long it takes me to get metalwork to my impossibly straight standards, so the closest this Porsche will ever be to me is in my dreams. Is this a project for you?
As you saw a few weeks ago, I recently purchased a 2006 Subaru Legacy GT Limited that was missing compression in cylinder #3 due to a burned exhaust valve. Long story short, it runs again, but getting to this point was a fair amount of work. Here is how it played out:
Over the weekend I was sent a picture of a car that was spotted on the edge of a wooded area. Typically, I’m fairly good at identifying cars in the woods, but this one left me a bit puzzled. To me, the headlight area looked Karman-Ghia-ish, the curved door looked Italian, and the back looked like flat-out like a Triumph Spitfire. I hit the internet, looking at all sorts of different vehicles, hoping to find a match, but failed to come up with anything definitive. Luckily, there are enthusiasts out there that are FAR more familiar with small foreign convertibles than I am, and it was now time to test out their skills. With many different automotive experts on the internet, my place of choice for this question was TheCarLounge. The people on there are many, and I knew that if anyone could identify an old foreign convertible in a short amount of time, they would be the group. As I had imagined, they proved themselves to be champions (a user named “brickfrenzy” especially)! Without much fuss, we all agreed that the car in question is an Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider, which according to some sources on the internet they built about 14,000 of between 1955 and 1962. This is what a nice one looks like.
Above Blue Alfa picture borrowed from seriouswheels.com (very educational website btw.)
With the Mayan calendar running out later on this year, we all may find ourselves battling the undead sooner than we initially expected. During this time, Mad Max-esque vehicles will be our only hope for travel. We’ll obviously need the basic zombie apocalypse survival vehicles, along with the search and recovery vehicles. Then there’s today’s wheels of choice, designed strictly for zombie hunting. Okay, maybe it wasn’t built for hunting zombies per se, but it was definitely built for hunting. The vantage point. The gun racks. The spotlight. The full staircase for your convenience. It’s all there folks, ready for zombie attacks. Granted, everybody know that zombies know not to mess with Aerostar-Suburban double deckers, but hey, you may catch a few here and there. The clock is ticking, are you ready to battle the undead in the zombie apocalypse?
When you rebuild a carburetor that hasn’t been used in a long while, the jets are guaranteed to be clogged up. There are tools that you can buy to pick all of the crusty nougat out of the microscopic holes, but I have a different method that works terrific. First, I like to disassemble the entire carb and dunk all of the parts into a bucket of carburetor cleaner. They sell these cleaning buckets at nearly every local auto parts store, and most have trays inside so that you don’t have to fish your hands inside to grab the parts out. Once the carburetor soaks for about a day, I begin attacking all of those clogged up jets and orifices. Now, as I mentioned before, we all could buy the proper tools intended for doing this, but my quicky carburetor rebuild tip is to use steel guitar string. It is filthy-dirty-stinkin’ cheap, somebody you know probably has some that they will give you, and it comes in fairly awesome lengths and sizes. I know absolutely zero about guitars, but I do know that the smallest “normal” guitar string easily cleans out carburetor jets. It is firm enough that it won’t bend if you push it, and flexible enough to go around gentle curves in the carb. The only thing you have to watch out for is getting speared by it. It’s basically the size of a needle, so pushing on the end of it will go right through your skin like it isn’t even there. Like every tool in your tool box, you need to fear it. If you do, it will last forever, and reward you with an awesome running carbureted engine.
Got carburetor rebuild tips, hints, or tricks? Share them with us!
About 18 years ago, I went to Florida to visit my grandparents. While we were down there, my dad and I escaped from the rest of the family for a bit, and found ourselves at a local junkyard. I remember very little about that day, except for a glorious pair of convertible Packards that we found. When we first entered the yard, we exchanged pleasantries with the yard owner and wander through the dusty gates. Sitting right before us were two 1948 Packard convertibles that looked like the had been off the road for quite a while, but probably not at that junkyard for long. They weren’t in bad shape overall, and had beautifully patina. Back then, patina would have been removed immediately. These days it would have commanded top dollar. Sadly, we had zero room for a set of gigantic Packards in our driveway back up in Massachusetts. So, much to my chagrin, we left them behind. Since that day, there has always been a spot in the back of my mind, yearning for one.
Today on eBay is exactly that, a 1948 Packard 2 door convertible. It actually looks extremely similar to the mental image of them that is branded in my mind, though a little worse for wear. This one is for sale for $6500, and looks surprisingly solid. If it were mine, I would drop a good running engine in it, some nice brakes, a decent bench seat, a new windshield, and drive the heck out of it. What can I say, I just love that barn woods-fresh look.