Last week, this video popped up on the interwebs. It consists of a camera strapped to a 650+ horsepower Ariel Atom. Not familiar with the Atom you say? Well, just imagine an F1 car that you can drive on the street. It is sort of like that, but less expensive. It’s not a luxury or winter vehicle by any means, but it will out corner any other vehicle in your neighborhood, and make your friends shriek out profanity. The one in this video was apparently built by RealStreetPerformance in Orlando Florida. It claims to have 650+ horsepower coming from a K20 Honda engine with the help of some forced induction. The power is sent through a 6-speed to the rear wheels, which clearly makes for one serious hell ride.
The guys over at Infamous Performance in Fall River MA are a ridiculously talented group. One of their latest creations is a 4G63 turbo powered Honda S2000. It is owned by a guy named TJ (one of the Infamous guys), and it entered his life in an extra crispy form, complete with a freshly doused engine fire. After owning a high horsepower DSM, the goal for this car was “not trying to be that fast, just trying to have some fun and keep the car in one piece“. Sure. Once in the shop, the “budget build” began.
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. (more…)
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. (more…)
Ok ladies and gents, this topic has been on my mind for a while now and today I’m going to let it out as eloquently as possible. The bottom line is: There is some kind of unnecessary harsh feelings between the older generations and the younger generations in the automotive world. It doesn’t seem to be one sided, and I’m beginning to think that it is the fear of the unknown. Why should a young guy like a 1954 Chevy?andWhat is so great about being hella-flush?The answers aren’t important, but how you go about learning them is.
First and foremost, I believe that a car enthusiast should be a car enthusiast. If it has wheels and an engine, a true car enthusiast should be able to appreciate it on some level. When a person has poured their heart and soul into their car, a true enthusiast should be able to look at it and say “wow, I may not personally like the x, y, and z, but I can most definitely appreciate the amount of blood, sweat and tears that went into this car”. Unfortunately that is not reality. More often than I want to admit, people consider certain cars to be “junk” purely based on the year or the make of the vehicle. This is the root of the problem in my opinion.
Foreign vs. American Cars
People often base their approval of a vehicle solely on whether it is American or Foreign. In 2010, American car companies assemble their cars from parts made all over the world, and foreign car makers do the same thing. Some “foreign” cars are built in America and some “American” cars are built in foreign countries. In fact, Honda just announced that they built more cars in America last quarter (April-June 2010) than it did in Japan! The obvious question then arises: If an American car is built in Japan, does that make it an American car or foreign? Is it right to like the car more or less based on the location where was assembled? Basing your automotive choices on a vehicle’s features, looks, and options seems far more logical to me. Am I wrong? Just imagine for a moment that you are a proud owner of the new Ford Fiesta, and a guy that drives a big-rig truck pulls up next to you and starts informing you of how worthless your Fiesta is because it can’t even haul a 50 foot trailer full of goods. That would be ridiculous right? Just because the Fiesta doesn’t haul a trailer full of goods doesn’t mean it is an inferior car, it just means that it does not fit that truck driver’s needs. Each driver has different needs and each vehicle has a different purpose. In my mind, you don’t have to like all cars that exist, but you shouldn’t go out of your way to hate a car because it doesn’t suit your specific needs. This brings me to my next point ….
Car Shows & Cruise Nights
Who is welcome at these events? Are they intended for “classic cars”? What is a classic anyway? The Classic Car Club of America defines a classic car as a vehicle that is 20 to 45 years old. Over 45 years old falls into the Antique category. Ok cool, so I’ll bring a stock 1987 VW Rabbit and my friend will arrive in a 1989 Mitsubishi pickup. No?They aren’t classic’s? Why not?This is a common issue in the small town automotive world. How about “newer” cars? Should a new Ford GT be allowed at a car show or cruise night? I think so. It’s appreciated by fellow enthusiasts, just like a VW R32, or a 2010 Camaro. Just because a car isn’t of your particular interest doesn’t mean that it should not be welcomed at a car show / cruise night. People like different cars for different reasons, and you don’t have to like every car you see. Just walk by it, it’s that easy! Do you get offended when a different model car parks next to you at a mall? Why would an automotive event be any different? As long as the owner of the vehicle is respectful to you and your car, all should be well in my mind.
Young vs. ……well….”Old..errr”
People drive what they can afford. If I had unlimited funds, I would have way cooler cars, and I would suspect that you would too if you have made it this far down the page. A struggling college kid just isn’t able to drop the $10K+ on the muscle car of their dreams, so they drive what they can afford. Typically that is a newer car that needs some work, but it’s also something that they can drive daily as they learn to spin wrenches. It doesn’t mean that they don’t dream of big blocks, flat head V8’s, and tunnel rams all night though. On the other hand, they may have never had the opportunity to pedal a big V8 to regain traction, cruise with a silky smooth straight 6, or hear the amazing popcorn sound from a high compression small block running on race gas. It isn’t “the norm”, so how can they be faulted for it?
The older generations are typically a bit more established in life, with a little more money, experience, and time to work with. Thus, they are finally able to have the dream cars of their youth. Maybe that dream car is a brand new Corvette, or maybe it’s a late 1940’s lead sled. Either way they often go back to the epitome of “cool” when they were younger and follow it all the way to the driver’s seat. Should the younger generations dislike them for having more expensive cars? Of course not! That is just as crazy as disliking the younger generations for not having expensive cars.
We’re all in the same club!
What’s cool to today’s youth and cool to older generations may or may not be the same, but in my opinion, appreciation for cars is universal in all car enthusiasts. If somebody has put their heart and soul into a car, and wants share it with the world, embrace it! Introduce yourself and talk to the owners of vehicles outside your “norm”. There are so many amazing features of old cars that can bring smiles to younger generations, and vice versa. Whether young or old, you don’t have to like every car that you see, but as an enthusiast you should embrace the other enthusiasts around you. After all, they are part of the automotive world just like you are.
Please feel free to share your thoughts and opinions on all of this in the comment box below. I would love to read them!
NOTE: All of the above is the opinion of Jeremy Nutt.
My friend and co-worker Scott Young and I have had a competition going on for about 12 years now. Every once in a while it comes up in conversation and puts the look of shock on people’s faces. Our competition is “who has owned the most vehicles”. We have defined “ownership” as having the vehicle’s title officially in that person’s name. In Massachusetts, getting a title can be a huge hassle, so we agreed this would be a great way to prove ownership. Now, we have been legally driving for about 12 years now, and the amount (and kind) of vehicles that we have owned could really make you question what is wrong with us. Some of these vehicles were great deals, and some were huge mistakes, but they were all great learning experiences.
1) 1964 Chevy Impala Convertible straight 6, 3 speed on the column:
I bought this car when I was 15, and started a body-off restoration to it. I have driven it 10 miles in 12 years. I still have it, because it is a lifelong project. Someday I might drive it a few more miles.
I spent about 1 million hours making this truck look discretely custom, super clean, and straight. Regretfully, I got bored with it and sold it for a mere $800. It is now in a junkard, completely destroyed. I visited her often to make sure she was ok, then one day she was gone.
3) 1995 Chevy S10 Truck:
It was ok for basic transportation, but terribly slow with it’s 2.2L & automatic transmission. I bet I drove it for a solid 4 months before selling it.
4) 1994 Chevy S10 Extended Cab Truck:
I liked this truck a lot. I lowered it, put a big stereo in it and tried to make it loud enough to set off car alarms. Gosh, I was a real jerk back then, I’m sorry about that.
5) 1994 Dodge Intrepid:
Awesomely big and comfortable car, but it ate up timing belts, water pumps and transmissions like nobody’s business. If it was a rear wheel drive car with a manual transmission, I would probably still have it. Unfortunately, it was just way too stressful to own. It was the only car I purposely did damage to. I still have nightmares about the timing belt I broke in a snowstorm, that was the absolute worst.
6) 1996 Saab 900 SE:
A fairly fun car to drive with the turbocharged engine, but replacing the clutch cables on a regular basis was getting annoying. It was also not a cheap car to fix when it needed parts.
7) 1990 Mitsubishi Mightymax:
This was my first truck that I did the turbocharged eclipse 4G63 engine swap to. I finished the engine swap and thought about driving it on the road legally. However, after realizing that it was going to take 10 years of bodywork to get the panels straight, I stripped it to a shell, and junked it. No regrets.
8 ) 1990 Plymouth Laser Fwd turbo:
For $300, I pulled this out of a back yard and drove it home with a bad turbo, running on 3 cylinders. I cleaned it up, replaced the turbo and the burned valve, and drove it for several thousand miles. Sold it to another 1A Auto employee that continued to drive it for many thousands of miles. It is rumored to be a full time drag car these days.
9) 1990 Mitsubishi Eclipse AWD turbo:
This car was abandoned in a parking lot, and I had watched it sit there for about 2 years untouched. I hunted down the former owner, and bought it for $500. I threw a different ECU in it and planned on keeping it for many wonderful years. Unfortunately, I got pulled over a lot, and decided that it needed to go. It was also bought by the same 1A Employee that bought my Plymouth Laser. It was then sold to another friend of mine that is currently swapping a stroker motor into it.
This was the slower, 4 door, replacement car for the Eclipse. I bought it with an automatic transmission, and swapped it to a 5 speed manual transmission because automatics are awful. It starts everyday and always gets me where I’m going. I like it.
11) 1996 Chevy S10 Truck:
I got an absolutely spectacular deal on this and I knew the entire history of it. I drove it about 500 miles and sold it for a nice profit.
12) 1991 Chevy Camaro RS 305:
This car was received in trade for some work on our very own Rob Conlon’s 1975 Corvette. It really is a clean car, but the clearcoat just doesn’t want to stay on the roof for any period of time. I recently sold this one to a good home. It is in good hands.
This is my current truck that I put a turbocharged Eclipse 4G63 engine into. It is the cleanest truck that I have ever owned and the free price tag was just right. I thoroughly enjoy this truck and I hope I don’t come up with any reason to get rid of it. It is really quite fun to drive, and it doesn’t scream out “arrest me” while I drive through town.
14) 1988 Honda Hawk GT 650:
This is my motorcycle that I completely customized and ride in the summertime. It has 1964 impala tail lights, viper yellow paint, and a huge list of modifications. I like working on it more than I like riding it. I’m a car guy at heart.
This was a good deal like many of the vehicles that I have owned. Its fun in the sun, and makes me feel more important than everybody else on the road. I’m going to sell it soon because I don’t belong in this car, and I could use the driveway space.
1) 1980 Toyota Celica:
This car was the best off-roading vehicle that either of us have owned. It was rear wheel drive, had a manual transmission, and the reliability of a Toyota. If he didn’t total it, I have no doubt that it would be a full time race car right now. Gosh that car was fun.
2) 1986 Chevy K5 Blazer:
3 speed manual transmission, V8 and an unimaginable amount of rot. It was truly amazing that the body stayed in 1 piece, because there wasn’t a solid piece of metal on it. On the other hand, it was quite a reliable truck, I don’t believe it ever let him down.
A true piece of American history. This car was no less than 200 feet long, and the 14 additional speakers could deafen people from a 1/4 mile away. With it’s red racing stripes over the hood, it raced its way to the junkyard under its own power in 1st gear with no brakes. It was truly hilarious in every way, shape, AND form.
4) 1988 Chevy Camaro T-Top 2.8L (Z28 look-alike):
Scott got this Camaro for free because it had an engine fire, was disassembled, and left out in the weather for several years. As crazy as it sounds, the car was in great shape other than the engine. We put over 1 trillion hours of work into this car at the time, and it hated us in return. The injectors constantly had what appeared to be chocolate brownie stuck in them on the fuel side. The car had a new tank, new fuel lines and a dozen fuel filters. To our knowledge, the brownie fairy wasn’t filling his injectors in the middle of the night, so we were baffled. We both learned immensely from that car, and although it was a major headache at the time, I am glad he had it. I am also glad it is long gone.
5) 1988 Chevy K5 Blazer:
This truck was a value that could not be beat. It had new everything, looked great, but kids were scared to ride in it. So Scott bought it for about a 1/10 of what it was worth, and began customizing. It got a monster truck size lift kit, big tires, a light bar, soft top roof, vinyl floor covering, and a loud flowmaster exhaust. With all of these things combined, getting a legal inspection sticker became impossible. It was sadly sold, and the regret is still deep in Scott’s heart.
6) 1986 Mustang GT 5.0L:
This was free to Scott if we helped a friend move to a new house. The car had been sitting long enough to begin to sink into the PAVED driveway. After siphoning a few mouth fulls of bad gas out of the tank, we got her running again and drove her to her new home…. hidden at a friends house. Seriously, if Scott brought another junk car home, he may have been kicked out of the house. This was a decent car and quickly flipped for a decent profit.
7) 1964 Thunderbird 390:
Thunderbirds seem to always end up in Scott’s hands, nobody can explain it, because he doesn’t really even like Fords. Anywho, he bought this from my family, he did some work to it, and drove it a bit. Then he re-sold it to a friend that sadly parted it out. This was truly disappointing, because it was a very original car.
8 ) 1995 Ford Windstar Van (The Teal Serpent):
A free van can’t be passed up sometimes, even if it is teal green and was rumored to have a pair of blown head gaskets. After quickly learning that “head gasket in a bottle” doesn’t actually work as shown on TV, he replaced them the “right” way. It was then that he learned that the radiator was the actual problem that caused the head gaskets to blow from overheating. It was a learning experience for all parties involved. Good van, too bad it was so darn ugly.
9) 1998 Geo tracker:
This was passed down through Scott’s family until his sister released the pistons from the engine while driving down the highway. The carnage was immense, and fun to look at if it isn’t yours. Scott bought it off his sister and tossed an engine in it so that he had a reliable 4 wheel drive beater.
10) 1963 Ford Thunderbird:
People call Scott and myself all the time with automotive bargains, and this was one of those. It is a beautiful looking and driving T-bird that had been sitting in a friend’s driveway for a few years because the “family thing” happened. It is now in Scott’s capable hands and he drives it regularly to car shows and to get ice cream.
11) 1991 Honda Hawk GT 650:
Yes, Scott and I have the same bike… pretty much. After riding his bike, I knew I needed one too. I can’t say enough great things about Honda Hawk’s. They have a V-Twin, a single sided swing arm, and a short wheelbase to carve corners with. Both of our bikes are unbelievable fun to ride and extremely unique.
12) 1985 Pontiac Fiero GT:
While trying to sell “The Teal Serpent”, I nonchalantly put a sign on Scott’s windshield that said “may trade for Fiero” because he is a Fiero Fanatic. We laughed at the thought of a Fiero owner wanting a teal van in trade, but apparently it was nothing to laugh about. A guy left his business card on the windshield saying that he would sell his 1 owner 85 GT 4 speed V6 for “cheap money” if Scott was interested. Well, Scott sold the van, and bought that guy’s Fiero. It is currently in the middle of a fastback conversion. Hopefully we can get it done soon!
13) 1951 Dodge B Series Truck:
This was a good deal from a friend & fellow 1AAuto employee. It was sitting in her parents yard, and Scott was pretty sure he could do something with it. That is still yet to be determined.
14) 1992 Chevy Lumina:
The high class Geo Tracker was rear ended and totaled, so a replacement was needed fast. A few phone calls later, a $1, one-owner Lumina arrives. It had issues, but they are sorted out, and now he is riding in style. Temp gauge, oil gauge, voltage gauge? Who needs em!? Not this Chevy Lumina.
So as you can see, we have both had quite a few vehicles. This is not counting the ones that we have owned and not titled in our names. You can assume there have been 40-50% more if we included those, but that just wouldn’t be fair.
How does your collection compare? Do you have us beat?