Car Projects: Do You Have a Frankenstein Too?

July 2010_1

Over the past weekend, while making a new alternator mount for my truck on the wrong side of the engine, I began thinking ….. just how many vehicles have donated parts to this Ram 50 truck project?  Hmmm, maybe I will start a list?

The Truck:

1989 Dodge Ram 50 macro cab.

The vehicles that have donated to the truck & their donations:

1983? Mitsubishi Mightymax Bellhousing Cut-out, Clutch Fork, Pivot Ball, Slave Cylinder, Clutch Master Cylinder
1985 Mitsubishi Montero Limited Slip Differential
1986? Mitsubishi Starion Transmission Tail Section & Shifter
1987 Dodge Ram 50 5-Speed Manual Transmission & Manual Steering Box
1990 Mitsubishi Eclipse Ignition Coil
1991 Plymouth Laser AWD 4G63 2.0L Turbo Engine
1991 Mitsubishi Eclipse 2.0L Front Wheel Drive Flywheel & Pressure Plate
1991 Mitsubishi Mightymax 2.4L Waterpump (modified)
1992 Mitsubishi Eclipse 1.8L Thermostat Housing Cap
1993 Honda Accord Wagon Bucket Seats.
1993-96 Mitsubishi Mightymax Grille & Front Bumper
2002 Dodge Viper Front/Rear Brake Calipers, 13″ Rear Rotors, Brake Master Cylinder
2005 Cadillac CTS-V Front Cross Drill Rotors
2006 Mitsubishi Evolution 16G Turbo, Exhaust Manifold & Intercooler
2007 Cadillac Escalade 18″ Wheels

Got A Frankenstein’ed car or truck?  I want to know about it!  Post a Comment or Send Pictures & Info to me at blog@1aauto.com

Today’s Crazy Idea: Turn 1960′s Metal Into 1930′s Metal.

If you have been following the 1A Auto Nutt’s and Bolts blog, you have no doubt seen the pictures of the 60 Pontiac Ventura rot box that is waiting patiently awaiting some love in my garage.  If you are sick of hearing about it, I’m sorry, but it is weighing on my brain, and I need to get my thoughts straightened out.  So yea, I have spent a lot of time recently trying to figure out what the heck I’m going to do with it.  It definitely doesn’t make sense financially to restore it back to original, because you can easily find clean drivable examples for sale for less money than it would be to restore this (and that doesn’t include my 1000+ hours of my “free” labor.)  That fact has definitely been established.

So my latest wild and crazy idea is to turn it into a 1930’s style hot rod. (Disclosure: Yes, I was somewhat inspired from Gary Campesi’s paintings from the other day.)  Anyway, I would do this by cutting it up and shrinking the body into a 2 seater, almost like a T-bucket but with all the sexy 1960’s body lines.  Then I would drop it on a home made chassis and suspension. I’d probably power it with something more modern like a 4G64, L92, 2JZ, or maybe a KA24DET. No matter which I choose, it would be backed by a manual transmission, because that’s how I roll.  Wrap some giant brakes and big wheels around the whole thing, and I feel like it could be pretty slick.  Other than the injected engine, I would keep everything super simple, no crazy options.  Just simplistic beauty.

Unfortunately I couldn’t find anything similar on the internet (imagine that?), but these four pictures are the closest to the idea itself.  Obviously none are 1960 Pontiac’s, but…. well…. you get the idea…

So what do you think? Stupid? Awesome? or just plain “no”?

Picture Credit:

Willys: http://randyellisdesign.com/photo-gallery/custom-fabrication/willys-hot-rod/

Gary’s amazing art : http://www.hubgarage.com/mygarage/GaryC/vehicles

Hot Rod Art by Gary Campesi

While cruising the wild wide world web of internet, I landed on an fantastic web page.  It seems to be the home of Gary Campesi’s hotrod renderings.  His work isn’t just a rendering though, they actually seems to capture a moment, just like a really great photographer does.  The word “amazing” isn’t strong enough to describe this kind of talent.  My eyes nearly popped out of my head when  I first spotted this.  Apparently he sells prints of his work, though I can’t seem to find prices or how to purchase them?  I personally think a hardcover book would be ideal so that enthusiasts like myself can enjoy the whole collection.  It would be a tragedy to have one by itself!  Enough of my 2 cents though…..  Be sure to check his website for all of the rest of his work, you won’t be disappointed.   You may want to grab a coffee though because there are hundreds of absolutely brilliant pieces of art to see.

See more of Gary Campesi’s amazing work at:

http://www.hubgarage.com/mygarage/GaryC/vehicles

Saab Sonett: The V-4 That You’ve Always Wanted.

Today I was going to do a most vs least expensive car on eBay post, but then I saw this green gem hiding amidst some scrap metal on eBay. Let me start off by saying, I’ve owned a Saab before, but I never drank the kool-aid.  They do have many cool features, decent horsepower, well thought out designs, and comfy interiors.  They also built the Sonett.

The Sonett was a special little rascal that somehow made it into production between 66-74.  It was intended to compete with the Triumph’s, MG’s, and Austin-Healey’s, but it never really “took off” (ha!…Saab).  Now the V-4, let’s talk about it.  The Sonett was in fact powered by a Ford Taunus V-4 engine (Not Taurus……. TauNus, with an N). It made around 60 horsepower, had timing gears  instead of a belt or chain (pretty cool?), and sent power through the transmission to the front wheels.  Wait…front?..what? Yes, FRONT wheels. This car is not only filled with oddball V4 technology, but it is front wheel drive.  It’s almost like all the airplane engineers at Saab got together in the 1960’s and said “Let’s take everything we know about sports cars and throw it out the window! Then let’s build a sports car! Here Here!! ”   Ok, ok, the Saab crew did get the fiberglass body aspect nailed down and the car didn’t seem to have any weight attached that wasn’t 100% necessary.  Bonus points for that.  When the Sonnet equation is added up at the end of the day, you had a super light, ok handling, front wheel drive, underpowered (though not in comparison to it’s peers I suppose), low production sports car.   Win ? Lose? I’ll let you decide.

Now that you know the basics of the Sonett, it’s time to consider a purchase.  The car pictured is obviously awesome because of it’s color and aggressive hood bulge.  Don’t let the whole “I can see my feet when I look inside the rear window” thing scare you away.  The body looks fairly solid and straight, and it is honestly a very rare car. Not to mention all of the parts are there where they belong.  I’m thinking that in the right hands, this could be on on the road again in short order.  You won’t be winning trophies and sipping a perfectly aged glass of Merlot at the Pebble Beach Concours D’Elegance, but you will likely make some friends at cruise nights, and save a piece of rolling history.  That’s what this whole “car thing” is really about anyway.  For $800, somebody should grab this thing and hit the streets with it.

eBay Link:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1974-Saab-Sonnet-III-Parts-/270662633731?pt=US_Cars_Trucks&hash=item3f04c00903#ht_500wt_1182