Craigslist is the place to find the strangest items and people that you never knew existed. Last night I received a text message from my brother informing me of one such item / person. From the moment I saw the CL ad, I knew that the 1A Auto Blog readers would appreciate such an amazing car. Without further adieu, I present to you, the $4500 invisible car (New snow tires included)!
If you were to tell me that you have never heard of Shin Yoshikawa, I wouldn’t be shocked, because I hadn’t either up until recently. Who is he? you ask. Well, the short story is that he is an absolutely incredible metal fabricator. He and his shop (Studio Time Capsule) create automotive art in the form of classic sports cars. They restore automotive history, and recreate some of the more special cars in their own interesting way. They are true craftsmen in my mind, and use all of the old school tools that the coach builders of the 1920’s and 1930’s used. Much of their work is with aluminum, which is generally known to be painful to work with. It is tough to weld, and even tougher to shape. Shin and his crew don’t seem to be phased by it though, because they build entire cars out of it. But how? Well, I don’t know…. When I figure it out I will let you know.
This specific project is a hand built recreation of a Toyota 2000GT (Only ~350 real ones were built from 1967-70). Shin decided to make his own all aluminum body from scratch that was identical in shape to an original body. The amount of work and skill involved in doing this is nearly unmeasurable. I hope you enjoy today’s project as much as I do, because it is a very rare art.
This week, I have decided to focus the 1A Auto blog solely on cool project cars. Old cars, new cars, and cars so ferocious that you will be left shivering in your PJ’s. I’m not saying any of the cars this week will ever be safe, cheap, reliable, or even good ideas. Will they change your life? Nope. Will you share this blog with your friends? Of Course you will, because it’s awesome!! Might you shed just 1 tear over the course of the week? Quite possibly.
And so we begin…..
Ebay just recently came out with a new feature that is still quite beta, but looks pretty good. It is called “My Vehicles”, and I feel like it is a big step in the right direction. It allows users to save specific vehicles to their user name, which is great for people like myself that search for parts for the same car every time.
Since it is a beta version, eBay is trying to get users to test it out for them. If you fill out a survey, you are entered into a contest where you have a chance to win a free trip to the SEMA show, and then dropped off in the “my vehicles” area. Good stuff! You can enter the contest a bunch of times, which of course I did because I like free stuff as much as anybody. Here is the link to get you there.
If you are feeling super lazy or if you are way too cool to enter a contest, you can go straight to the “my vehicles” area by clicking the next link below. 😉
Check it out and let me know what you think.
I personally think it would be pretty rad if a user could save a picture of their own car up there, and maybe have saved searches as well. I’m sure cooler stuff is on the way. 1 step at a time!
Recently I went to a fantastic car show and spotted a VW Beetle with an absolutely beautiful wiring harness. I know, I know. It sounds completely crazy to call a wiring harness beautiful, but it was! It was the kind of wiring job that makes everybody else in the world look like hacks. Wiring a car like this takes a crazy amount of planning. It isn’t as easy as splicing a few wires to the fuse box to hook up your mad phat beats. Something of this caliber is done with serious skills. Much like TIG welding, what you see here is automotive art. Sit back and take it all in.
Got an Awesome Wiring Picture or Story? Post it up!
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? and What 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.
Over the weekend I saw a real jerk-of-a-stick spear through a nice tire. I then said to myself, I bet this is not that uncommon. Show me your destroyed tires caused by unlikely situations! Show me your abused, beaten, and neglected tires! Bring me the worst of the worst, and the best of the best! If you post up a link that fits the bill, I’ll get it up here for the world to see!
Bonus Flat Tire Info: It is widely accepted that one of the most common cause of flat tires, is under-inflated tires. Seems dumb right?“Ok, so my tire was flat and caused my tire to be flat? What? Am I being punk’d?”….Well, yes. People never check their tire pressures (or oil, antifreeze, brakes, etc, etc, don’t get me started!). Over time, the wheels corrode, valve stems deteriorate, temperatures change, and planets align causing tires to lose a teeeeeny tiny little bit of air pressure every once in a great while. Time passes and pretty soon, you are getting awful gas mileage and wearing out the sidewalls of your tires because they are not meant to be driven on. Duh. the sidewalls then blow out in grand fashion, leaving you surprised on the side of the road. “What?! I can’t believe this happened!?!? I remember checking the pressure in 1994, and it was perfect!!!? What happened??”