"April Fools" Automotive Style.

Has anybody ever done anything to their friends cars as an April Fools joke?  I have always wanted to do something over the top to one of my friends, but never had the real audacity to do it.  Here are some of my favorite ideas.

Automotive April Fools:

1) Take your friends steering wheel off. Leave it on the passenger seat, doors locked.

2) Remove your friends drivers seat. Put it in the trunk or rear hatch. Again, doors locked.

3) Remove the entire interior carpet, put everything else back in and make sure nothing else is out of place.

4) Fill your friends vehicle with crickets.

5) Disable the engine from starting, and put a giant sign under the hood that says something humorous.

6) Fill the car with balloons, don’t forget the glove box, trunk, console, etc.

7) Make a sign that says “Please stare at me awkwardly” and tape it to the outside of the passenger door.

8 ) Poke tiny holes in a carton of eggs, and hide it in a friends car. Wait patiently for epic stink.

9) Jump the horn wire to permanently be on.

10) Grease under all of the door handles, heavily. The more grease the better

What Automotive Related jokes have you played on your friends?

Love it or Hate it: 1983 Cadillac Seville.

There are so many cars out there with a cult following these days, that I often find myself wondering if all the weird cars in the automotive world have a place to “belong”.  Do people really like these oddball cars? Or do they get stuck with them and learn to love them?  I have very strong affection for a many of the ugliest, most backwards, slowest, and terribly designed cars in existence.  I bet I’m not alone.

For today we have a 1983 Cadillac Seville. These had amazing oil leaks V8 engines that sat way too far forward in the engine compartment because they were front wheel drive.  The weight distribution felt like it was 98% on the front wheels and 2% over the rears.  Luckily the power steering pumps could power a small city so turning those overloaded front wheels was easily done with your finger tip.  The interior was chock full of switches, hundreds of them.  Switches in the dash for everything imaginable, switches on the sides of the seats, the doors, the roof, the glove box, and if I recall correctly, the sun visors had switches as well.  Nobody knows what all those switches did, but if you wanted to turn anything from off to on, you could do it successfully in this car. Cigarette lighters? Yeap, there were enough of them for you and 80 of your closest friends to have a smoke.  As a kid, I enjoyed putting dimes in the lighter holes, sadly, the US didn’t mint enough dimes to stuff into every lighter hole in these cars.  The trunk; “Hey GM designers, what the heck went on there?”

My opinion: If it were rear wheel drive, I would love it because of its weird looks, and gangster soul. However, being front wheel drive with the worst weight distribution in history, I am leaning on the hate meter for this one.

What’s your opinion?

Image from http://www.carversation.com

Car Builds: Before and After Pictures

When building or restoring a car, you absolutely HAVE to take pictures.

Here are my top 7 reasons why:

1) Without pictures, nobody will ever believe that you did any of the work (unless it’s terrible, then they will believe you 100%).

2) You will never remember how things originally went together. That extra bag of bolts needs a home!

3) You can hold the photo up against your car and say “look guys, before and after”.

4) It can remind you where you came from, and how you got to where you are.

5) You can look back and laugh at the horrific work you did toward the beginning of the project.  Remember when you couldn’t weld?

6) You can post them on the internet and show off all of your work to the world.

7) You don’t realize it at the time of the photograph, but there is always weird stuff going on in the background. It is fun to look for!

If you are saying to yourself “This guy is right, I don’t have any pictures of my cars…”, grab a handful of camera right now and go take some pictures.  I promise you that you will appreciate it down the road.  Just imagine how cool it would be to see all the cars that your parents had throughout the years.

Got before and after pictures?  I want to see them! Post them up or Send them to me: jnutt@1aauto.com

Gearhead Art. What’s Your Favorite?

Possibly the most beautiful painting in history?
Possibly the most beautiful painting in history?

Over the weekend I went on an automotive tour of sorts, and in the process I saw a painting of a car that was mind blowing.  It was a painting by Tim Frederick of Arnie Beswick’s “Funny Farmer” 63 Tempest.  Looking at it made me want to rip the exhaust off my 389, fire it up, and watch flames explode out the open manifolds.  It made me reevaluate art as a whole, and made me wonder what other outstanding automotive art work was out there.  Whether it is photographic, painting, pastels, photoshop, or something I don’t even know about, I want to see it.

Show us your wonderous, glorious, mind blowing, and breathtaking automotive art at once!!

See! Rust isnt so bad after all.

Most car enthusiasts hate rust with a passion, because once it starts it never seems to go away.  However, growing up in Massachusetts, you quickly realize that cars without rust don’t exist in our area, and rust is just a part of life.  Naturally, I want to do everything in my power to have a rust free car, and last summer, I found some rust hiding in the deepest darkest regions of my 1964 Chevy Impala.  Describing where this metal came from is somewhat tough, but I’ll do my best.  Ok, imagine a 1964 impala (sweet right?), now open the gas filler door.  You see the filler pipe with the gas cap on the top of it.  Surrounding that pipe is a piece of metal that is welded to the inside of the outer wheel house.  This is THAT piece!  Naturally water collects in there and rots out the whole area.  I wasn’t having that so I tore it all out and began the rebuild.

First I removed it from the car and evaluated the situation at hand.  The outer perimeter was completely rotted out and needing replacing.

Not pretty from any angle
Edges rotted out

I then cut all the edges off of it and began making replacements from flat sheetmetal.  You can see where I welded the new pieces in on the back side in the next picture.  With some of the compound curves, there is some metal stretching and shrinking involved.  This can be done with hammers and dollies if you are really good, or you can buy yourself a metal stretcher & shrinker to make the job 1 million times easier.  In any case, new pieces were then welded in and ground down to make them pretty again.

Back side before the welds are ground down
Looking complete again.

Front side after some grinding

Then I decided that the easiest way to clean it up completely was to blast it with some extra fine sand.  So blast I did.

Blasted
Tada!

With a little bit more massaging after this picture, it was completed, and then spot welded back into its happy home.  See, rust isn’t so bad after all!