One of the reasons that I love old cars so stinkin’ much is because of the colorful history behind them. Each car has a story to tell, and each year that passes makes the tale that much more interesting. For me, it’s often the cars that started life as lowly base models that end up being the most interesting, because they are often the ones that people cared least about. Who the heck wants a slow muscle car, am I right? :: raises hand ::
The handsome car in this photo is exactly what I need more of in my life. It has somehow survived the last 40+ years with merely SIX cylinders under the hood, and THREE speeds on the floor. How? I really have no idea. It’s like seeing a honey badger riding a unicorn, it just doesn’t happen. If this were my car, I would not change a single thing about it. I love it for everything it is, and everything that it isn’t. My question to you is, if somebody were to hand you the keys to this car, what would you do with it? Could you keep the straight 6 in it, or would you take the road more often traveled?
Around 1.5 years ago, I made a blog post about a 1972 Chevy Nova project. At the time I said;
Making this post allows me to be accountable for work getting done or not getting done on his car. If you fail to see updates on a regular basis, please kick me, and we will pick up the pace. Ideally we want it to move under its own power in 2010.
Yea, about that. We did work on it some more after that, but then some life happened again, and progress was delayed. My bad. I take the full blame. Guess what though… It just arrived at my house, so I can no longer escape it. I don’t even think I am allowed to return it to the owner unless it looks like a completely sinister tire shredding hell ride. Anything less will be unacceptable. So, let’s try this again, and shoot for 2012. Oh, and if 2012 turns into a zombie apocalypse, we will turn it into a tank or something.
Lots of work ahead of me this winter. Fingers crossed for a warm winter in New England. Yeaaa…
Seriously. If you guys don’t see updates on this every couple weeks at the least, please don’t hesitate to kick me.
The Bank Of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, didn’t seem to have much going for it until the last 40 laps or so when guys started to get itchy and impatient. Midway through the field there was plenty of pushing and shoving going on.
Jimmie Johnson rolled into Charlotte third in the Nascar Chase, but his incident with Ryan Newman changed all of that. Johnson was running low and Ryan Newman was going around on the high side, when the air off of Newman’s car seemed to upset the 48 of Johnson. Johnson’s Lowes Chevrolet began to spin sideways, when that happened Jimmie floored the gas to keep the car from backing into the wall, all of a sudden the 48 hooked sideways and went full tilt tight into the safer barrier.
Johnson’s car hit the wall so hard it moved the safer barrier back about a foot, stoved the whole front end of the Lowes machine in, and when he hit the safer barrier, the rear of the car lifted about 3-4 feet off of the ground from the impact.
Jimmie was taken to the infield medical center where he was immediately checked and released, and ended up being okay. If this accident were about 10 years ago the outcome more than likely would have been grim.
Nascar has done a great job in the past 10 years in evolving these cars to the point where the drivers can walk away from accidents like this. Jimmie Johnson now sits 8th in the Chase.
Great News! I have a short and sweet update on my 1964 Impala convertible project. Here goes…
I left off with some some freshly welded quarter panel action on Part 5 of the Impala project. From there, I went around the entire quarter panel and spot welded it just like they would have in 1964, except that I did it with a MIG welder (Hey, nobody is perfect amirite?). Once it was fully welded on, I decided that it was time for a drastic change in scenery. Yes. It was officially time to soda blast the entire car down to the bare metal, and give it a brand new, even, epoxy coat of primer. There were a million benefits to doing this, like having no more rust to deal with, a solid base for “real” body work, and it would be sealed properly from the elements around it. Yes, there would still be some metalwork here and there to do, but at least I would be working with clean metal from now on.
So last weekend was huge. I borrowed a soda blaster from my friend that owns Homestead Blast, and spent the day blasting my way through decades of mismatched primers and disgusting grossness. I used a few hundred pounds of soda, and a then several hundred pounds of sand. When all was said and done, my car was beautifully naked metal.
I then washed the whole car down with some metal-prep cleaner, and began mixing up some black epoxy primer. I did exactly as the directions told me, with a 2:1 ratio of paint to hardener, mixed it, filtered it, and turned the pressure down on the compressor. After a few questionable passes with the spray gun, I got it dialed in, and the primer began laying down smooth. It seemed to take forever to get the trunk, hood, Arizona born rust-free doors, and the body itself covered in two coats of the stuff, but at about 10pm, I had finally finished.
It is finally beginning to look like a legit vehicle again. Phew! I still need to clean up & prime both front fenders, and come up with a new passenger side hood hinge (mine is beat). I’m also going to splash some POR-15 on the insides of the doors, fenders, rockers, etc. The last time I used that stuff, it changed my world, and I need more of it in my life.
More to come…
In case you missed it:
1964 Impala Convertible Project Part 1
1964 Impala Convertible Project Part 5
Over the last few weeks, I have spent a fair amount of time wrenching on an early 1970′s 1600cc air cooled Volkswagen engine. Before I acquired this relic, it had been sitting for oh… maybe… 20 years or so. Needless to say, it needed a teeny bit o’ lovin’ before hitting the streets again. In the days ahead, I will be tossing it into the back of a 1969 Karmann Ghia, so that my mom & dad will be able to attend Broke Down 2011. Yes, you read that right. Anyway… with the VW juices at an all time high this week, it was an absolute pleasure to lay my eyes upon this video posted up on Jalopnik. It instantly reminded me of two things. The first is just how much I loved Legos when I was younger, and secondly, I probably have a TON of Legos buried somewhere in my attic. Hmm. Regardless, whether it is built of fine metals or fresh Legos, watching a vehicle assembled from nothing is always a pleasure to me. I hope that you thoroughly enjoy the video, as I surely did.
Can’t see the video? Here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Xn4VMCEB3A
Every now and then I catch a tiny glimpse of a classic luxury vehicle whizzing by. I quickly react by whipping my head around, and instantly realize that I have been tricked again by a Zimmer. So… Many… Times… Zimmer. Since their beginnings in the late 1970′s, they have been based on Cadillacs, Buicks, Oldsmobiles, and other large American rear wheel drive cars. Factory body work is removed from the donor vehicle, and the new Zimmer body is grafted on. Before long, you’ve got a super long, low, “modern” classic.
Fast forward to today, and I notice this eBay Listing. It’s a relatively new Zimmer that is based on a Mustang GT fastback. What the what? I can’t say whether I’m impressed or depressed about it, but I know it surprised me. See for yourself and let me know what you think. Love it? Hate it? Buy it?
Images Borrowed from eBay Item Number: 270826616829
Working at 1A Auto, I often find myself discussing the differences between OEM vs. Aftermarket auto parts. Today we have a little bit of that, along with an old vs. new part comparison. It comes to you in the form of 1999 Dodge Grand Caravan “non-quad” headlights.
A neighbor and friend of mine came to me recently after her van failed inspection for having headlights that light cannot possibly pass through. The inspector planted a big “R” sticker on the windshield and sent her on her way. Last year, her husband had tried using the headlight polishing magic in a bottle, which did worked temporarily, but as you can see, it was not a long term solution. This year, the only good option was to toss the sand blasted, yellowed, 12 year old OEM headlights into the trash, and bolt on a fresh new set.
As you can see, the new lights are identical shapes and sizes as the originals, but they also included the leveling bubbles to help you aim the headlights once they are installed. Fancy right? Other than that, it was a simple switcharoo. Pull the old ones out, put the new ones in, and finally see the light. The End.