Carphonix Interest Mashup 6

12/26/2016 01:51 PM
Fresh Air… or embrace DriveTribe because Jalopnik is LAME

As 2017 approaches I feel a breath of fresh air approaching!  We are not alone, progress can be made, there are others like us, and you are welcome here!  What the hell am I talking about?  Hear me out; things are getting better for rough-cut car guys.  There is a coming age of acceptance for men, and cars.  The environmentalists and politically correct, for once, are not winning.  Welcome 2017!

First on my front.  I finally put the A arms and hubs together and mocked the front end up for the (fake) Lotus 7 project.  Suddenly I see a car again. A car with possibilities.  I’m about two days of work from seeing the car sitting on wheels.  With 3.73 gears it should be quick off the line but not too slow at the top end.  “STOP TALKING GEARHEAD GIBBERISH!!” Ok, fair enough. I’m building a car that will probably be a death trap.  It will probably be fast.  And fun. And did I mention unsafe? Liberals will hate it.

But wait.  Let’s talk about liberals.  Trump won!  Despite every media article reporting it would never happen, despite the protests, despite feeling like I’m alone on a planet of lesbians and men that act like them (I live in Portland Oregon), we won!

And on that note I digress.  You are welcome here.  If you voted for Trump, I’d like to have a cigar and beer with you, while we sit on the back porch talking horsepower, after eating fried food, while the women stay inside because the want to talk women stuff and don’t like cigars. 

Does this sound like a stereotype?  How “man” can you be?!  No one is like this.  You should talk about your emotions, Freudian feelings, and metrosexual leanings.  The women should be just as male as you, knocking the beers and cigars back and challenging you to arm wrestle.

Bite me.

You know what Trump winning told me? That there are still real men out there. That I’m not alone in a world of skinny jeans and man-bun oils.  That there are others, outside of my group of four good friends that are similar.  That men can be men, and women can be women, dismissing any stupid notions that we must be something else, something new,  something more liberal, and in touch with our feminine side (or vice-versa).

The majority of car guys I know do not fit the metrosexual description.  We like adrenalin. We like power.  We don’t care what the Paris fashion week thinks is hip, we enjoy our race track t-shirt.  Shoes come in two types, new ones for the day-to-day and old ones for the garage.  We don’t care that its now acceptable that we, as men, can get pedicures; why the hell would we want one when in the same time and money we could add that extra four horsepower on our car or motorcycle that would give us those extra four cells of adrenaline someday?

Seen driving through Portland, what is it?!

And that leads me to this.  There is news, and there is news.  And we haven’t had options. They are all a bunch of Hillary pant suit worshiping, mall coffee drink sipping, limp-wristed spewers of insults against conservatives.  And chief among these is the car blog site Jalopnik.

Jalopnik.  It was a wonderful idea.  A team of bloggers giving me up-to-date car news.  I like cars.  I like knowing about horsepower.   People are having fun and getting adrenalin right now. Tell me how! Tell me how! TELL ME HOW!!  Maybe I can do it too.  I’m cool with stealing ideas for having fun.

And Jalopnik did give me fun.  Sometimes.  But they couldn’t help spouting off, every fourth paragraph, that they are hardcore Hillary pant-suit worshiping morons that hate my guts because I’m not a liberal.  Owned by Gawker, their news feed typically goes, “Cars… Cars… Cars… I love Hillary’s Newest Pant Suit…Conservatives Suck… Cars...  Cars... (Cycle repeats)”.

And that brings me to Drive Tribe.  It’s the new blog feed setup by the ex-Top Gear guys.  You know.  The guys that got fired for punching a producer that didn’t have warm food available after a long day of filming.  Princesses.  Yes.  They are.  But lacking politically correct decorum.  If I called Clarkson a “princess” after a few drinks we’d probably brawl.  The media would condemn us as barbarians.

But you know what?

We’d be friends.  That’s what happens after you punch each other… sometimes.  You know how many times this played out in my small town upbringing? And we grew up different.  We expressed ourselves as men, not in the shopping mall looking for/hoping for an identity.  We met each other after school, in the wooded area, to have out our differences.  And we grew up stronger.  And we relate to other men.  And we recognize women as different and bringing something into our life which we didn’t have without them.

And this is us.  We are politically incorrect.  We still believe in the concept of men.  We like building something and driving it hard.  We like banging our knuckles.  We like breaking things because we pushed them too hard. We are sick of being told we are barbarians.  We are sick of being fired because we raise or voice or suggest that there is conflict.  We are tired of being told we are a dying breed.  We are men.

And so I say, embrace Drive Tribe.  Stop going to the Jalopnik website. They are spiteful liberals hiding behind a thinly veiled love of cars.  They would never b.s. with you in the back yard through cigar haze, they’d be inside talking the newest skinny jean style.  They would condemn the idea that men should work, and women are a better fit for the day-to-day empathy the kids need.  Half of them are probably stay-at-home dads, while their wife goes to work and they write car blogs about something they saw on Youtube.

Case-in-point, my M3.  It has the flappy paddle transmission, called SMG.  The Jalopnik couch sitters say that it’s terrible almost daily.  But that’s because one of them had that opinion once (possibly) and liberals simply repeat what they hear over and over until they believe it as a mass.  The masses have never driven an SMG transmission.  It shifts fine. Don’t take my word for it, Jeremy Clarkson drove the M3 CSL, which has SMG, and was in absolute rapture with it (Season 3).  But these Jalopnik band-wagoners, never have driven it, say over and over how terrible SMG is. But they’re liberals; they are truly skilled at calling things deplorable. 

So in response, I say “Jalopnik is a bunch of liberals that only repeat what the bandwagon liberals want them to repeat.  They are mainstream media, a subset of the worthless Gawker, and they’re lame”.

That’s why I’m turning to Drive Tribe, the newly established blog feed by Clarkson and crew.  I want it to succeed.  The world needs more politically incorrect people that will tell the truth.

G.K. Chesterton wrote that it is a dangerous thing when only liars tell the truth. I feel like we are at that point.  Liberal mainstream media lie left and right, but because their counterparts are all liars themselves, they embrace each other’s lies and press forward perpetuating the lies until almost everyone believes them as true.

We, the Gearhead crew, those that still learn from experience and act like men of ages past (putting our lives at risk, experiencing adrenaline, doing things that testosterone likely plays into,  etc.), are the liars of now.  We actually live life outside the plastic safety bubble, and through our experiences we are some of the few that can cry “b.s.” because we know the media to be lying from our experiences and lessons learned.

But relax.  Trump won the election.  You are not as rare as you think.  There are other people out there that realize: 1. We need an intelligent immigration strategy, 2 Our Jobs are all going overseas,  3. Isreal is a better friend than Palestine, 4. Law enforcement protect us from thugs, and should be respected 5. We should be allowed concealed weapons to protect ourselves from thugs, 6. We need to support our troops, etc., etc., etc.

You know, those strong thoughts that are tough to develop and only men say.  The sort of things your mother would never say to you, but your father would when he told you to “Stop being a jackass, and pull your head out”.

My Christmas present T-Shirt

And that’s why I feel like there is a breath of fresh air.  My car is coming along. There are other conservatives. There is an alternative to Jalopnik in the car world.  And we can be men.  Men. Cancel the pedicure.  Go work on your car.  This summer, feel that adrenaline pulse through your veins while you push your machine dangerously hard.  And then, while you sit around the back yard with your friends about it, realize you are not alone in the world.  We are with you.  I am with you.  I’d have a beer and cigar with you and enjoy it.  Jalopnik would call you a hater and spray paint “love” on the side of my truck and break out the windows while they march through Portland.  Forget Jalopnik. Embrace Drive Tribe, till something better comes along.  Because I have a sneaking suspicion Clarkson and crew are only a little less liberal, being British, but hey, at least we finally have a car blog option that didn’t rise from the stench of Gawker.

10/07/2016 02:17 AM
The M3 Broke 100 M.P.H. in the 1/4 Mile but I'm Still Boring

June 26th.  That's the last time I wrote a car blog.  Why?  I've been writing blogs for over 10 years and I've learned that you should write when the muse hits you strong and you're feeling humorous.  Sometimes a glass of wine helps.  The best blogs write themselves.  But that's not why I'm writing tonight. I'm writing tonight because I can.  I'm away on business, which means I can't do anything else productive.  So I have two options, go wander around Seattle at 10 P.M. until I get robbed, or update the car blog.  So.. come on muse, hit me... please. Nothing. Is there wine around here?

First, an update.  In June I told you the BMW was frustratingly close to hitting 100 m.p.h. at the Woodburn drag strip (99 m.p.h. multiple times).   Well, I got the opportunity to try again.  Inexplicably, on a Friday night date, my wife and I found ourselves "driving past" the dragstrip and I begged Kellie to let me make a few runs and she (suspiciously) agreed.

I wanted to lower the weight of the car to gain that needed one mile-per-hour, so I took out the rear seat, spare-tire, stroller(s), stuffed animals, blankets, beach toys, etc.  My lightening attempts didn't work, and I couldn't hit 100 m.p.h.  So for the last run Kellie, who'd been watching from the stands, joined me. We put the seat, tire, jackets, stroller(s), etc back in and went out for one last launch down the track.

And we hit 100.  Apparently the M3 needed some weight holding the rear tires down?   Baffling.

I received a NHRA 100 mile-per-hour club sticker.  I'm proud of it.  How many other M3 owners have those? Probably not many, they're too busy cutting you off in traffic.  I was cut off today on the way to Seattle, by my car's twin.  I felt a little self-deprecation with my anger.  It was good though, it turns out self-deprecation and anger are the perfect emotions for Seattle and are the summary every Nirvana grunge song on the radio here.

Not long after the drag race I took my father out to the Portland Historic Races.  I had one of those light-bulb moments as we walked around.  I was about to say, "You don't have anything like this in your (small town in the middle of nowhere), do you?", when I realized five miles from his house in every direction are a BAZILLION miles of dual sport trails and he has about 10 running dual-sport motorcycles in his harem, not to mention 20 that may run someday.  My dad's freedom to have fun with a motorized machine blows my opportunities out-of-the-water.  Yay, once a year I can watch old rich dudes drive their expensive cars carefully around a race track.

I think the local vineyard owners should take their fences down so I can ride my dual sport nearby.  Britain has something called "the right to roam".  As a fenced in yuppieite I'd like to know more about this.

This summer my buddy Andrew put an LS motor in his land cruiser.  I helped guide it in.  Really, that's the coolest car thing I've done in the last 3 months.  The truck is awesome now.

Now, how about an update on my Lotus project?

Ok, I hate calling it a Lotus because I'm like one of those guys that builds a Fiero with a Lamborghini bodykit and calls it a Lambo.  Its a Fiero!  But my problem is, I didn't start with a Fiero, I started with... nothing... a pile of metal sticks.  I don't think I like what it could be called, being a British design.  In my politically correct grade school days they preached that a faggot wasn't a homosexual, it was a British pile of sticks.  Fine, apparently there's a faggot beside my house.

But British car people are cool.  Aside from watching the rich dudes at the Goodwood Revival truly race their pretty cars hard (and smash them), I met this British gentleman, rallying across the U.S., cleaning his car in front of Starbucks in downtown Portland because... why not?

The frame for my Lotus/Carish Thing is pretty well finished.  I know I'm going to have to re-weld shock mounts, the steering column frame, etc. but at least I can move on and deal with those as fitment issues.

Before and After

Right now I'm re-building and welding the front end. The Ford Mustang II front-end is awesome because parts are cheap!  I bought the hub/rotors for $30, with the Chevy bolt pattern that fits my spare M3 wheels!  They did cheap out on the wheel studs though.  When I placed a M3 wheel up to the hub, the wheel studs stuck out only a 1/4 inch, not enough for lug nuts.  And of course they were a size of stud that doesn't come in longer lengths, so now I'm tapping out the hubs for larger 3" studs I found on clearance at Summit.

Why I'm Re-Welding A Arms

Yes, I know that last paragraph was incredibly boring.  I'm bored too.  Considering deletion.

See, this is why the writing muse hasn't hit me.  Building cars around the frame is BORING.  I'm even bored when I'm doing it.  My friends think I like to work on cars.  I don't.  I just want to drive a fake Lotus Seven and I can't afford one that's finished.  So here I am.

One last note on building the Lotus, I somehow managed to match the 400 holes (not exaggerating) on the bottom of the frame to my new steel floorboards for riveting. Don't ask how, it's beyond boring and it took me two days.  But I did it, and I feel some sense of accomplishment.

Oh, and I found an older picture of my own Lotus/Car Type Thing when browsing Google Images for Lotus Sevens.  Turns out my car was a featured car on when someone sold it in 2015. It was still ugly in 2015.

Argh, Mark Knopfler automotive lyrics just played on my radio and they blow away anything my mind can produce tonight.  I'll leave you with something well-written (and with British words again).  It's the least I can do after writing this blog.  Music and lyrics to Border Reiver by Mark Knopfler -

Southern bound from Glasgow town
She's shining in the sun
My Scotstoun lassie on a border run
We're whistling down the hillsides and tearing up the climbs
I'm just a thiever stealing time in the Border Reiver

A hundred thousand on the clock and plenty more to go
Crash box and lever - she needs the heel and toe
She's not too cold in winter but she cooks me in the heat
I'm a six-foot driver but you can adjust the seat in the Border Reiver

"Sure as the Sunrise"
That's what they say about the Albion
"Sure as the Sunrise", that's what they say about the Albion
And she's an Albion
She's an Albion

The Ministry don't worry me my paperwork's alright
They can't touch me
I got my sleep last night
It's knocking out a living wage in 1969
I'm just a thiever stealing time in the Border Reiver

06/26/2016 06:23 PM
Free Ferraris and Insults for Everyone or… I Went Drag in Woodburn Oregon

I’ve been fairly active since the last time I put words to the keys, with lots of time in the shop, a few races, a car show, and some new parts.  I’ve even watched TV (the new Top Gear).  Now if I was a smart man I’d end the blog here.  But I’m not, and I’ll let this paragraph stand as an introduction rather than a short and precise update.

I took the M3 out to the drag strip in Woodburn Oregon for their street-legal Friday night races.  The Woodburn dragstrip is a historic NHRA track operating since the 1950s.  Although an almost bone stock BMW is not what I consider a drag strip car, with Woodburn’s rich history I’ve wanted to try it for years and was happy to finally get out there.

That being said I was beaten by everything.  EVERYTHING.  Even the four door Ford (Taurus?) blew my doors off by a second.  I asked the guy what was in it.  He replied, “Ford Ecoboost with a few mods”.

And that’s the reality; everything has a turbo and 300+ horses now. And I like it.  Even when a Ford (Taurus?) sweeps past my M3.  It gives me hope that the future might actually be a little better.  Growing up in the 1980s the future of cars seemed bleak because they’d been on a steady performance decline since the muscle car era.

So what is it like racing an M3 at a drag strip?

Apparently I’m not smart enough to drag race an M3.  This is what happens when poor people buy cars above their social class, they’re just not smart enough to use the tool.

The BMW “Launch Control” feature takes the sort of multi-tasking coordination only the ruling elite possess from years of playing polo while riding an elephant in a pool while answering emails on their Blackberry to meet their executive level commitments.

Here’s the procedure:

Drive forward until the 1st white light comes on the drag racing light thingy (also called a tree).  Drive very slowly until the second white light comes on the tree and stop immediately. Put your left foot on the brake.  Press the SMG shifter all the way forward from the “Drive” position and hold it there.  Depress the accelerator pedal, but not too quickly or you’ll engage “Burnout Mode”. Hopefully the tree hasn’t already went green.  When the tree turns on the second yellow light pull your left foot back and release your right hand on the shifter while keeping your right foot down (pat your stomach and rub your head at the same time while trying to run forward, for a similar experience).

My fastest times of the day were my first and last run,  and in both I decided to disregard “Launch Control” and merely put one foot on the gas and one on the brake until the light turned green.  I’ll probably need a new clutch soon but I didn’t smell any clutch heating up.

NHRA gives you a sticker if you hit 100 MPH in the quarter mile.  I hit 99 twice.  I’m actually glad because it gives me a goal to go back for.  I don’t want to put any money into the M3’s motor (M3 performance upgrades are too expensive – mufflers start at $500 for the crappy ones), so at least I can strive for the 100 m.p.h. sticker.  I’ll shed the rear seat & spare tire, jack the front tire pressure up, and bring some dry-ice to stick in my cold-air intake box (or go on a colder day).  I want that 100 mph sticker!

I'm The 99 MPH Car On Both

We actually won a race the next weekend.  No, it wasn’t drag racing, it was the Friday Night Time Speed Distance (TSD) rally.  And we were in the Beginner class.  And there was only one other Beginner car.  But whatever, we got a first place sticker!  Yeah baby.

Drag and TSD Stickers

And second place didn’t get anything.  And I mean that figuratively as well.  We gathered in a Pizza shop after the race to calculate times and b.s..  We asked the couple that took second to us how they did.  From there it was like watching a train wreck and knowing that you couldn’t do anything about it.  He made a comment like “Well if there is a next time I’m definitely navigating.”

She cheerily responded with, “Well great, I’d like to drive”.

He responded, “Yeah I don’t think that would help”.

And it went on.  She’d try and brighten the mood and he’d say something stupid.  I even tried to step in with a comment like “It was your first time, we all struggled our first time.”

He responded with something like, “Yeah, I doubt there’ll be a next time.”

At that point she let him know that she wanted to go home without sticking around for a drink or snacks.  Perhaps TSD rallying with your wife/girlfriend is not a good idea.

The next morning was the Sherwood car show.  I’ve devoted whole blogs to this show because it is the first big show of the season and (if the weather cooperates) lots of cars show up.

I saw my car culture pet peeve at the Sherwood show. 

A young guy, probably twenty-two or so, wearing trendy clothing that would look more at home on a yacht than a car show (tucked in collared shirt, pink shorts, tassled loafers, trendy sunglasses), talked the 50 year old wearing similar clothes into driving his Maclaren up and down the packed (with pedestrians) street while the younger yachter filmed it with his expensive camera mounted on a boom.  It put everyone on the road at risk for what?  So maybe grandpa could get on Youtube?  And let’s talk about grandpa.  He was beaming like a rich four year old showing everyone in kindergarten that his show and tell is better than theirs.  Total disregard for those of us walking in the street, wearing hot rod t-shirts and jeans, pushing our double stroller.

The car elitism trend is especially strong online.  There is a website, run by and authored by the flaming liberals associated with Gawker, called Jalopnik, where I occasionally read blogs because there is almost enough car material to cover up their annoying liberal circle-jerk mentality which they must weave into every article (today its “waaaa waaaa waaaa Brexit, and a little car stuff”).  One of their authors, Doug Demuro, drove his Ferrari to a box store and brought a TV home on his Ferrari’s roof.  He literally received death threats from people because he disrespected the car/badge.

What is wrong with you people?  Seriously, there are real problems in the world and you’re choosing to put a Ferrari in your Holy of Holies?

And I’m 100 percent certain you’d ask the Maclaren driver for a sweet moving shot for your Youtube channel.

I saw an article yesterday that asked who will be the next Henry Ford and make a people’s car?  I would.  And you know why I would be good at it?  Because I don’t care at all about the mystique of the price or badge.  I want sports cars to be fun.  That’s it.

I guess I’m the Bernie Sanders of car guys but I’d be more than happy if everyone could have a Ferrari in their garage.  Actually, I want something better. I wish upon you all a car that handles well, sounds great, provides great performance, is Toyota reliable, and induces smiles.  Everyone.  On Saturday mornings I’d like to go out to the imaginary open race track and dice with all my good buddies because they can also afford a great sports car.  And I’d be happy to try and provide that car to you all as a modern Henry Ford. I would love your daily, cheap, reliable commuter to also be incredibly fun.  I want to build a better car than Ferrari and sell it to you for pennies.  Elitism in car culture should be eradicated as its purely perception and performance is what should matter.

And on that subject, let’s talk about Top Gear.  If you’re my great grandson reading this in 70 years, here’s the (abbreviated) back story.  Three guys make a car show that’s very funny but many of their jokes make fun of others. They insult everyone alike, but minorities, insecure countries, and homosexuals take special offense.  The three car guys have fun in cars and bring us along with them.  One of the guys punches a member of the film crew for failing to secure dinner after a long day filming and they are all fired.  New politically correct cast is hired.  They aren’t funny.  And because they aren’t having fun, they don’t make me smile when they drive cars. Its just rich people driving expensive cars.  Yay (sarcasm).

Even my 1 year old was entertained by the fired hosts.  No joke.

Top Gear management forcing political correctness on us is another form of elitist corporations deciding they are smarter than us normal people.  Top Gear management are saying, “We don’t care if you enjoy old Top Gear (it was wildly successful) and joke in the same way, we are smarter than you, and we know that offensive jokes are the worst thing in the world, so we are taking old Top Gear away from you because you’re too dumb to realize the great travesty of slightly offensive jokes”.

No! Stop it!  Just grow some thick skin you pasty white, overweight, over-the-hill, middle-management, bad teethed British leaders!

See what I did there?  I offended you based on stereotypes of British businessmen; you probably took offense.  Yet there is a hilarious youtube video of an Island of Jeremy Clarckson's (this is the name of the most controversial of the three original hosts).  I would bet big money that Jeremy Clarkson got a good laugh and wasn't offended.  Try laughing, after all, why should you care what I say?

All people groups have traits that can be laughable if presented in a humorous way, and people like to laugh.  Stop telling me I’m a bad person because I think jokes about Mexico being terrible and the Miata being a gay hairdresser car are funny. 

Gasp, yes, I laugh at stereotypes despite, for the last 30 years, American educators trying to teach me stereotypes are terrible, horrific things.  You failed. My gut instinct beat down your attempts at programming me.

Well, I don’t know how to segway out of that. So I’ll just abruptly change the subject.  My Craigslist wanted ad for cheap wheels worked out. Someone contacted me and sold me a decent set of M3 wheels for $300 bucks today.  This means I can put wider wheels in the front of the M3 so at the next autocross my understeer doesn’t send corner workers running for their life, like the last time.

I was thinking about selling the four front wheels that I’ll be left with, but I realized I need wheels for the Lotus 7.  It’s a pipe dream because I’d have to find hubs and an axle that fit (for cheap), but I think the M3 wheels would look great on the Lotus, maybe painted either that classic Lotus Yellow or Gold.

The Lotus is coming along slowly.  I’m pretty close to finishing re-welding the existing frame.  From there I will need to add a few tubes that are missing and paint it.  Then I can start adding parts!  I’m probably three days of working on it from the adding parts stage.  I’d like to have the Lotus a rolling chassis by the end of the Summerall (Summer Fall) good weather in the Pacific Northwest.

I made a costly mistake.  I was grinding on the Lotus frame and the sparks landed on the M3’s windshield.  I now have a bunch of little pockmarks on the M3’s windshield.  A new windshield for a M3 runs about $1000 dollars.  I’m going to live with the pockmarks.

I’m not sure if the windshield is a cost of my hobby.  I think it’s a cost of my stupidity and carelessness.  After all, you can make pricey mistakes no matter what your hobby.  Some of the most mundane hobbies have the biggest risk. Consider the hobby of finding your own mushrooms in leisurely strolls through the woods.  Sounds peaceful right?  Until you pick the wrong one and die a horrific slow death.  A windshield isn’t sounding so bad now is it?

I was worried I wouldn’t have enough funds to maintain the M3 when I bought it.  It turns out my budget is no problem.  I just don’t maintain the M3.  Mechanically I do, but not all the little things. 



Replace the busted washer fluid reservoir I destroyed understeering through an autocross corner cone in the near vicinity of terrified corner workers?


Replace the cracked front plastic piece from same corner incident?

Motorcycle-style zip tie stitching worked great.

Replace the cracking side window rubber pieces that sell for ridiculous prices.

No way.

Repair the door dings and dented fender?

I’d rather buy performance parts.

Buy new door panels that aren’t peeling?

Just… Don’t… Care… Enough

Replace broken CD player?

Nope.  There’s still radio.

To be honest, I’m shocked the satellite navigation is still working.  But when it goes out I won’t try to fix it or replace it.  Google Maps, on my phone, auto-updates without buying new CDs from BMW.

So, in summary, I don’t like the new Top Gear, my car is slow, I’m un-fashionable, I’m careless, I laugh at stereotypes, liberal rhetoric annoys me, I hate status symbol seekers, I’m cheap and I don’t maintain my vehicles as expected.  It’s a good thing I’m married because this summary wouldn’t look good on a match maker website as my introduction.

04/20/2016 01:26 PM
Lotus in a Tree or E46 M3 BMW Doesn't Steer

TSD (Time Speed Distance) rally, autocross, removing a million rivets, it's been a busy month or so since I last wrote. Some fun, some not.  But in my "spare" time I just launched a website (RareTome.Com) so this is going to be a very short write-up because I have no "spare" time!

Pre-TSD Parking Lot Meeting

The TSD rally kicked off the season.  I'd been looking forward to an "event" for months and it didn't disappoint.  They ran us through some roads West of Portland I'd never been on that were tight (single lane at points) with tons of curves.  Not many people had been on those roads I'd guess by the way all the high school age kids were pulled off on the shoulder doing....?

One of the things that cracks me up about TSD rallys is that you often stop and wait, just outside the windows of mansions..  Well, when you're running around the country hillsides just outside of a major metropolitan city you're in rich people country.  More than once we found ourselves sitting down the long driveway of someone who pays more in taxes per year than my home is probably worth.  They were probably sitting in their huge bay windows wondering why people kept sitting at the bottom of their acreage for a minute and then leaving.  Lots of people casing the place (I'm not sure if anyone else uses that term; it's a circa 1930's detective movie term for reviewing a home for thievery).

My buddy Brian navigated and we had a great time.  Don't tell our wives but I think partially we just enjoyed a two hour break without any potty breaks, crying for treats, whining, etc.  Actually, we still did that, it's just our children weren't with us for two hours.

The next weekend I headed down to the Salem area autocross.  It was dumping rain.  Possibly my own fault but not one person said "hi", "good morning", etc..

Luckily one Lotus guy was there and when I told him I had a Super 7 kit car he gave me the best advice I've heard yet, "I hear a lot of guys run Zetec motors in those".  Long story short, after a lot of internet searching I've figured out that's probably the cost effective option I'm going to go with too.

For the first time ever at an autocross I didn't really have fun.  The M3's motor is absolutely awesome.  I love that motor.  And I didn't ever think the SMG shifting was slow once I had it turned up.  But the thing understeers like nothing I've ever driven.  Of course they gave us a talk before the race about not drifting (or they might lose the parking lot), but I think hanging the rear-end out is the only way to turn that pig, especially with bare front tires in the rain.  Wanting to turn while your car just shudders straight forward is one of the most frustrating things I've experienced in a car.

Fun looking vintage car at the autocross!

At one point as I was hurtling towards a corner (remember the motor runs awesome) I literally saw the corner workers take off running ha ha ha.  I was pushing it.  A lot of people were going slow but I figured I get to drive slow all the time, it was time to push and feel my limits.  I only took out one or two cones a lap doing that so it wasn't too bad.  Other than the turning, that was bad.

At home the M3 forums told me this was normal behavior for the M3.  Some BMW people are so goofy; there were threads discussing that if it came from BMW with understeer that must be the best way for it to be.  Pure goofy, borderline cultish/stupid.  Apparently you fix it by putting a pair of the wider rear wheels in the front and kicking the camber in.  Now I'm looking for some cheaper beat-up rear wheels.

At home I removed a million rivets from the Lotus taking it down to the frame.  I had to.  It's ridiculous how bad some of the welds are.  Some of the frame pieces fell off in my hand when I took the rivets out.  It was a very full day drilling all the rivets out.  I saw one internet poster guy say there's around 500 in his Lotus 7.  I didn't count but that sounds fair.

I spent another day cutting little tabs in each frame tube to get the rivets out so my car didn't permanently rattle like a baby shake toy.  I thought that'd take a few hours.  Nope. A very full day.  There's a lot frame tubes in that car, although it my not look like it.  And yes, I hung it from my tree to get to some of the tubes; I'm sure the neighbors wish they had an HOA.

I've almost got the frame to a point where I can start fixing things.  I like that point.  It's when things start getting better, rather than worse.  There's something depressing about taking a car apart.  Fears of seeing it in boxes on Craigslist years down the road under the title "Project" I guess.  I think I'll be all right.  There's so little to this car it's barely more than a motorcycle project.  I'm actually looking forward to it.  I think it will be an absolute blast when it's done.  How could a cigar body, motorcycle fenders and sitting 4 inches off the ground not be fun?

You can buy this blog's greatest hits book at -

03/26/2016 02:47 AM
The Lotus 7 Wannabe... or Peter Egan & Darrell Rock
The Lotus 7 Wannabe

I'm back fully engaged in the classic car world!  I picked up a (sort of) Lotus Seven for $400.  But this isn't just a story of my latest case of consumerism, it's also an excursion into the writings of a poser writer, the redemption of Craigslist, and a hope for the future of car culture (named Darrell).

A $400 dollar Lotus 7?  What, did I buy a wheel?

Well, it's not a Lotus 7, it's a Nothing.  Seriously, someone made it completely from scratch.  From what I can tell it has a (terribly) welded space frame, Mustang II spindles, a MGB rear end and some MGB wheels (only two).

Sounds terrible right? 

But its awesome! For some reason I can't look at it without thinking how much I like it. And I mean "like" as in visions of keeping it until the day I die and willing it to my favorite child. Of course this may change after I start working on it but right now I think it's the essential 1950s sports car; there is nothing but the bare essentials of fun and it looks like it will be a complete blast to drive.

The story of how I ended up with it is a little odd.  I was shadowing a trainee at work.  We work 12 hour shifts monitoring a system and I can say that not every moment is engaging, especially when your role is to look over someone else's shoulder.  During one of those slow moments I was perusing the search term "project" on Craigslist's autos pages (if you haven't used that search term I'd highly recommend it; it's fun to peruse other people's failed projects and consider if you'd pick up the torch).

Suddenly a fairly complete looking Lotus 7 popped up for $600.  The ad said that the owner was moving "today" and didn't want to drag it with him.

I'd never even seen a project Lotus 7 pop-up on Craigslist before ("project" being a common search term for me) and I couldn't believe the price.  I called, called and then called again.  Finally someone answered on the other end sounding somewhat exasperated.  The Lotus was still available and not far from my work.  I begged my boss for a couple hours off, grabbed some cash and headed to the warehouse it was stored in.

Pulling up I saw a Series 2 Land Rover and Ferrari GTO 250 (Datsun 240z body kit) on trailers.  This instantly raised my spirits,  There was hope the ad wasn't a total lie designed to lure me to the scene of my murder, which I'd pay $600 for.

I found the owner cleaning out his warehouse just as the ad claimed.  He told me he was moving to a different warehouse and didn't want to move the Lotus because it didn't roll.  A number of BMW 2002's, Honda CB750s, a homogolation special Mercedes, etc littered the shop still.

The Lotus in the ad had looked wonderfully complete.  In truth it was highly mocked, with Nissan wheels leaning against the rear end and loose fenders placed carefully on tops of tires,  but there was a lot of car there.  I offered $400, asking to leave the Nissan wheels, and he agreed.  Basically I wound up with a frame, nose cone, front end, aluminum body pieces, fenders, rear axle housing, and windshield mounts for $400.  This redeems my terrible Canada trip (read about it here); you can find good deals on Craigslist!

I had no idea how to get the Lotus/Nothing home. Before seeing it in person I was thinking it was go-kart size and I'd just throw it in my Ford Ranger bed.  Well, a Lotus 7 (at least this one) is about ten feet long and still weighs in at several hundred pounds (at least) without a motor and tranny.  I called Uhaul and Hertz but they don't rent flatbeds and their car trailer's tracks were too wide for the narrow wheelbase of the Lotus.

My buddy Andrew came through.  He called someone named Darrell, who came down from Washington at rush hour in pouring rain, to load my car onto a flatbed trailer and drag it an hour into the Oregon countryside.  I still don't really have any idea who Darrell was, but I think of him as some sort of almost priest-like character, the embodiment of a potentially achievable brotherhood of classic car nuts (not just narcissistic buttheads working on cars by themselves in their garages).  I gave Darrell $100 bucks I had in my wallet and asked Andrew if I should get him more later.  Andrew said Darrell just likes to help people.  Thanks Darrell, you're the man.

Once the car was tucked away in the side yard I remembered that Peter Egan had wrote many articles on his Lotus 7 project.  I broke out Egan's Side Glances and was reminded why I started writing.  I realized that I could still remember Egan quotes years after reading them.  Here's a memorable one regarding the car I'd just purchased that I'd been thinking of when I bought the car - "Colin Chapman built the frame and then started removing tubes, one at a time, until the frame collapsed under its own weight.  Then he put one tube back in."

And that's when I realized, with my failed books (buy on Amazon here), slightly humorous blogs, ownership of random British cars, etc., that I'm simply a poser Peter Egan.  If you've read until here you're either family or bored.  You can stop.  Just go pick up Side Glances and you'll read everything you were hoping to find there.  It's hard to explain, but I have the humility to admit I haven't achieved Egan's skills at sharing enjoyable classic car stories.  Can those skills be developed, or is it God given talent?  I don't know but I'm hoping for the 1st.  Time shall tell.

On a more positive note my buddy Andrew is stoked about the Lotus 7 as well, and he'd like to be involved.  It'd be fun to work on something with someone.  Get beers, barely pause for food. Really get stuff done. Work long days with good jams on slamming this thing back onto the road (if it ever was).  A picture of redneck efficiency.  Then I remember we have wives, kids, families, different job schedules, and we live 45 minutes apart; these are the stark realities of adult life.  Even as I write this one of the kids just started crying in the next room for no apparent reason. Sigh. Today was supposed to be my day to work on the Lotus but it's 12:30 and my wife's still not home from her 9:40 appointment.  The reality I'm expecting is getting a full day to work on this thing about once every two months, if I'm lucky.

You know what though?

I've resigned myself to being ok if this project takes years. I'd love it to be ready sooner but  I have a sports car (BMW M3 that understeers like a tank I found out at this weekend's autocross), and I have no pressing need for the Lotus.

Plus, the Lotus will be a non-poser opportunity to wear leather goggles; how often can you do that? And I get to wear logo shirts again!  There was no way I'd wear a BMW shirt, but I'm totally cool with a classic green and yellow Lotus logo.  Wait.. mine isn't a Lotus.  So that DOES make me a poser again.

I really dig the Lotus 7/Nothing.  From the nothing-but-sportscar concept to the cigar body/motorcycle fender look I think it's a strange sort of awesome.  And if I ever get to drive it on a trackday (even if its years from now), I'll be a very happy camper.  Being able to watch your tire as you try to hit the apex has got to be just awesome.  

Isaiah the Peter Egan Lotus Seven Poser

02/26/2016 01:54 AM
Ever Consider Writing a Classic Car Book? This Is What Its Like
You can find a Greatest Hits collection of this author’s best works, available in Kindle and printed book format, on Amazon at -

I put together a collection of my short car stories/blogs and published them (you can buy it on Amazon at –; but self-publishing a car book was a major learning experience, at times comical.  I doubt it’s quite the experience you think it is, it sure wasn’t for me.  I’ll walk you through it.

First, you have to have some impetus for writing a book.  Be it your abnormal love for cars that resemble guppies (Citroen D.S., Jaguar XJ220, etc.), or your wife’s prodding that you need to do something with your life other than practicing car racing on Xbox Live while she works, you have to want to put a car book together.

Photo License FLICKR Creative Commons - Jaguar MENA

In my case it was likely a combination of vanity and lack of social skills that made me take up the pen.  Actually that’s a lie, I use a keyboard; the only time I take up a pen is to appease my wife’s desire for inscribed cards that border on Hallmark copyright infringements.  Lucky for her, I refuse to write Hallmarkisms and always find my own style when signing cards with platitudes. My wife Kellie is lovely though; she sweetly reassures me that I could save time and just buy the Hallmark card almost every holiday/birthday.

But I was discussing vanity and a lack of social skills.  Regarding vanity, I love when I tell one of my car stories and the room breaks into a riotous laughing.  I can’t recall this ever happening but the concept sounds great.  And on the topic of social skills, it’s seldom that I’m in a room of friends.  It turns out there just aren’t enough grumpy conservative car nuts in the local area to fill a room as my friends… or maybe there are but everyone is scared someone would die.  I don’t know.   Long story short, it was while in college that I realized that I might be able to reach someone that would laugh if I wrote my stories down and launched them out into the World Wide Web.

And that’s exactly what I did, blogging about every grand thought I had for a number of years.  After many angry friends and family members I learned that it’s not always best to write your thoughts in public record. 

After college I finally had a little more money.  Gone were the weeks I planned my eating by how many items I could buy on the dollar menu (and I ate every scrap of lettuce that fell out of that Big-n-Tasty)!

So what did I do with my new paycheck?  Responsible things like invest in my retirement and purchase a house?

No way. I started playing with motorsports.  I bought cars and motorcycles and used them hard (ish, they were still cheap and broke easily).  Then I’d blog about my experiences.  And less people were pissed off when I wrote about my car experiences.  As a matter of fact some people even seemed to enjoy my motorsport blogs.  So I kept doing it.

I’ve probably got about 10 years of motorsport blogging under my belt and according to Google my “views” are approaching 200,000.  I decided to collect some of the better short stories together and publish something of a “Greatest Hits”.  Why?  Well, remember the vanity.  Plus, if I sold a few maybe it’d pay for some racing parts!

At first blush it sounded awesome.  I’d copy and paste my old stories into book format, publish it, and watch the money roll in.

And then I started reading some of my old blogs.  Whoo boy.  Who was my editor?  That’s right, I didn’t have one.  Or if I did, it was 11 o’clock at night and she’d kept our children alive all day and couldn’t be considered super alert.  They were bad.  Just like this one probably is.

Finally I picked some stories I wasn’t completely embarrassed by and started editing them, which in some cases meant largely re-writing and making new mistakes I’ll see in two years.

It took a month to edit the stories to a point where I might not be embarrassed to have friends and family read them.

And then a different problem arose.  You see, I can’t use just any picture to illustrate my stories.  When I blog I get to use photos that photographers have released to bloggers for use as long as the blogger is not making money.  These photos are called “Creative Commons”.  But if I try to do anything commercial with the photos, like write a book, they all want me to pay for their photos or they’ll sue me. 

Side note - I used to copy and paste any photo from the internet into my blogs and then some creepy lawyer type from the UK threated to sue me with a 5 page email dissertation on why that’s illegal.  I’m poor, so in general I think people that make money on copyright pictures on the internet are lame.  I should be able to steal anything if it’s on the internet! GO BERNIE SANDERS.  Kidding… I think.

I had to delete all the Creative Common photos I’d used in my blog.  That meant I had to revert to pictures I’d actually taken for the book.  True, the book could have gone without pictures but I’ll be honest, I know my writing isn’t Ivy League, and I figured some photos could give the book a needed boost.  Who doesn’t like illustrations in books?  But consider the differences in the Creative Commons photo below and my stock photo.
Photo - Flickr Creative Commons License, Photographer: Jim Culp


Digging through all my old photos finding applicable photos for the stories took at least another couple weeks.  Bear in mind, with two very young kiddos and a wife that thankfully still likes to hang out with me for some odd reason, most of this was done in the period from 10 PM until I fell asleep with my face in the keyboard.

Finally, after a month and a half, I had what resembled a book in Microsoft Word format.  And I was going to give people their money’s worth.  This baby wasn’t short!  In 6x9 inch size it came out to 350+ pages.

So I kindly asked Kellie to proof read it.  She said “Sure, as soon as I have time”. 

I asked a few other people.  Same response.  You know who has time to read your 350 page manuscript, even if they have good intentions and possibly would if they did have time?

No one.  No one has time to read your 350 pages.  Not even your grandma.  Especially if they’ve already read a few of your blogs and already possess the knowledge that you’re not the next Hemmingway. Only my kids have time and energy to review 350 pages.

By this time you’ve read each story 15 times and you believe it says things it doesn’t.  Seriously.  When you’ve went through it a number of times your mind starts reading it without reading it.  You’ll look at a sentence and read it as perfect because that’s what you want there, when in reality you left out the subject or verb and you misspelled your best friend for life’s name.

So after a couple people have reviewed the first chapter, and you’re sure the other twenty-four are perfect, you’re ready to upload your file to the publisher.

You press upload, wait 20 minutes, and review what the publisher’s program picked up… and it’s completely jacked up.  Your chapter titles take up half a page.  Your pictures overlap text. Any special fonts you had are now in Chinese. An odd error causes a two page gap between each picture and the following text. Your photos look like they were edited by an impressionist painter.

So now you have to change things in your original Word file and wait 20 minutes, each time, to see if what you changed fixed the corresponding problem at the publisher’s software.  And during each 20 minute upload you guard the computer like a Rottweiler, protecting it from family members who might want to use it (or watch Curious George, if you’re my two year old).

Days later you’re down to 6 pages with formatting issues and you’re thinking “Screw it, six out of 350 pages ain’t half bad; let’s publish this bad boy.”

So you press publish.  And you’re really really really excited.  And then the publisher’s note pops up, “Your book must be reviewed by our team and may be available in 2 to 7 days”. 

Days later you get an email, “Your book was successfully reviewed and uploaded.  It is now available for purchase but first you must release the ransom we put on it by purchasing a copy”. 

Ok, I paraphrased but that is essentially what it says.  Hoping the review caught the formatting issues the software was jacking up you excitedly peruse the online preview they sent only to discover that the errors are still there.  You imagine the reviewers laughing when they found the screw-ups as they say, “Look what this moron is trying to publish.  Definitely not the next Hemingway.”

Impressed that a huge website is hosting your publishing, you’re sure that just by putting the book for sale you’ll sell thousands.

A day goes by and no book sells other than the one you bought.  Ok, you realize you’ll have to market.  You took marketing in college, no problem.

But you’re not as excited anymore after this cooling period.  Which is bad.  Because now you’re supposed to hock the stupid thing.  And you hate sales pitches.

First you tell your friends and family.  Strangely, with the formatting errors and because they might have already read the blogs, you’re a little embarrassed.  So you don’t tell them in person, you put it on Facebook.  Cool, they’ve been notified.  You’ve got five hundred friends, you should have 100 hundred sales in a day or two right?

The next day you have four sales.  Two of them yours, and two from your parents.

What’s even more awkward is you’re such a gem socially you haven’t logged into Facebook in 6 months.  You’ve got friends requests from people you went to Junior High with and now the only reason you’re logging in isn’t to be friendly, but to sell your stupid book. You’ve become the marketing scum you hate.  You might as well go get “Direct TV” tattooed on your butt because that’s the company you keep.

Days later the late adopters have also bought your book.  You’re up to 12 sales because there still exists friends and family that are dutiful although they’re wondering what they’re going to do with a 350 page book that’s too ugly to be used as a coaster.

You’re scrambling because you believe your creative genius just hasn’t been realized yet.  You need the right audience, car guys.  So you go out to every car magazine you can think of and explore the “Contact Us” pages collecting emails.   You spam them all with links to your book and a short biography of your illustrious writing career (“…almost 200k ‘views’ on Google!”).  You also log onto their forums and tell all their subscribers about your amazing new car book.

And then silence.  You sent 40 emails and not one person even sends you a reply.  Wait, you did get one!  Excitedly you open the reply to find, “Out of Office Reply: Bob will be gone until Tuesday”.

You decide to cruise back to the forums to find out what sort of snarky remarks people have wrote on your posts and follow up.  You find all your posts were deleted by forum moderators as spam.

The silence isn’t deafening, but your blood pressure rising might have side effects.  You haven’t been so ignored since captains were picking teams for recess basketball in 5thgrade.

You grouse to your coworkers because they’re forced to be in your presence, and at some point ask the question, “How do I sell books”?

One of them immediately responds, “You need something scandalous, put sex in each chapter.”

Your father works with someone who successfully self-published a book.  You ask that guy for tips.  1st response, “Well, car guys like scantily clad women.  Put scantily clad women in it.”

So there you have it, and that’s where I’m at.  If you want to successfully sell car books have scantily clad women in every chapter.  I’m a Christian, & father of two girls so there’ll be none of that junk for me.  So my book will probably sell 15 copies over the next two years.  I don’t think I’ll make the NY Times best sellers list.  And that’s my car book publishing experience.

01/07/2016 05:09 AM
Import Your Next Classic Car - Some Ideas from Europe
You can find a “Greatest Hits” collection of this author’s best works, available in Kindle and printed book format, on Amazon at -

Did you know there are almost no restrictions for importing a car older than 25 years?  This got me thinking, "Am I buying the right cars"?  If you look at Haggerty's price guides for classic sports cars just about everything interesting has spiked insanely in the last year in America.  Are there better deals to be had overseas?  You probably won't believe what I found; you can have a Lambo for under $15k!

Screenshot of the price of a Ferrari 328 in America

Yes, I decided to do some foreign investigative journalism for you my readers; this global effort involved logging onto the British magazine Classic and Sports Car's classified pages.  Yes, just for you, readers, I spent several hours looking at classic car ads online.  The life of an investigative journalist is tough.

Instead of plagiarizing and writing drivel about things I know little about, I'm going to take a road most journalists never consider and I'll point you towards the source of my info about the 25 year rules. Doug Demuro, over at Jalopnik, wrote a blog on import laws (  The summary of his article is once a car hits 25 years old, it doesn't matter how out of conformance with emissions or safety it is, the car is allowed to be imported to the US.  There's also a video I'll embed here.

So just what cars can I bring over?  

I would have enjoyed searching the Italian countryside for a bargain Ferrari but 1. I can't read Italian, and 2. I can't find a well functioning searchable classic car classified site for Italy.  So I landed on British classifieds written (mostly) in English.  Likely a mistake as the pound seems to be doing very well against the dollar, unlike the Euro, but I could at least read the ads.

It seemed relevant to set a budget.  I thought a $13,000 US dollar budget was a good price point for people like me, who are too politically incorrect to ever be middle-managers (for example, I passionately dislike the supposed profit Mohammed and will never believe his religion is peaceful no matter how many CNN/NPR articles they air/write/televise).  $13k equates to about $9k British pounds.

Note: All photos are screen grabs from Classic and Sports Car classifieds.

Ok, first let's get this out there. I teased you with a Lambo.  And yes, yes, you can have a Lambo for under $15,000 USD.  Turns out before he went all wedge with the Countach, Signor Lamborghini built tractors.  It is pretty.  If I owned a farm I might even be tempted.  But I don't.  And I've watched two tractor shows in the last year (Oregon Steam Up and Heritage Days in McMinnville) and they remind me way too much of beauty pageants which I've never had the slightest desire to enter.  Seriously, they line the tractors up and have them drive a runway in front of the judges.  Thankfully there's no bikini contest for Farmer John or I might lose my fried elephant ear (these are high class events with 1st class dining).

While we're on the subject of vehicles with no horsepower, consider this Austin 7.  Now why in the world am I showing you this car?  Well, if you've ever seen one in person you'd understand the uniqueness.  They are roughly the size of a large John Deere riding lawn mower.  With prices for "micro-cars" going through the roof, I think these are the un-recognized micro-car deal of the year.

Now I understand a clown car may not be in the cards for all of you, but I've always thought it would be fun to drive around a car the size of my motorcycle.  Especially this one, which in pictures without scaling elements looks like it should be completely normal.  Maybe you could park it at one of those optical illusion parks when you're not driving it to earn money on the side.

Well, I've shown you a tractor and a micro-car so far.  My American muscle car readers may be about to hit the "x" button but wait... I've got a Ford for you!

You know how that chicken farmer Shelby made his fame sticking Ford power in an English built body?  Well, did you know that Ford was building sporty cars in France 6 or 7 years before Shelby had his idea?  Mark Twain once said something to the effect of, "If anyone ever tells you they came up with the idea completely on their own they are blatant liars, everyone plagiarizes to some degree", but I'm too lazy to actually look up the quote.

Ford's French bodies are a huge hit with me, and I would give serious consideration to selling my current well running track day car for this pile of parts.  Here's a photo of one restored (drool) -

Photo license Flickr Creative Commons user Michael

Perhaps drop-dead gorgeous, like the Comete, isn't your thing.  Perhaps you've been more a fan of Tim Burton movies than those glossy A-list movies with glamorous unrealistic people.  Consider this...

Behold the Citroen.  Everything is bizzare, but not bad.  From it's air ride suspension, to it's weird single spoke steering wheel this car is not for the run-of-the-mill Mike.  But all the reviews I've read say they were great cars, if a little complex.  To testify to either their reliability, or the strangeness of Portland Oregon, I still see these occasionally around town... although I don't think I've ever seen one moving.  Hmmmmm...

Ok, true, everything I've shown you could probably be whipped in a drag race with the earlier mentioned John Deere riding lawn mower.  How about some power?!

Ok, I cheated. You'd need to bump your budget up just a little but a Caterham 7 looks like more fun than a barrel full of monkeys (which actually sounds horrific, especially if you're inside).

With it's little dual-overhead cam, dual side-draft carb, modern Ford motor setup, and a weight of 1300-1400 lbs, this thing likely moves like few things you've driven before (if ever).  And it looks like it's almost track ready with seats, harness, battery cut-off, etc!  I want to drive one bad, and if I didn't have kids I'd like to take to my car events this would likely be the car I'd be pursuing right now.

Four cylinders remind you too much of Honda's with fart-can exhausts.  Sick of pissed off bumble-bee noises?  Well, perhaps the TVR might turn you on.  These little sport cars sport Ford V-6 motors, and in some cases V-8s.  The rumor is they "go-like-stink" as I read in one TVR ad (I think this is British for "fast").

And on the topic of British auto-makers, check out this Reliant!  And it's not a Robin.  Great body-lines on this car and you'd have something totally unique at any car show.  I dig it.  Would go great with a high revving small block.

And if you have no idea what a Reliant Robin is you HAVE TO WATCH this video.  I vote for this as the funniest Top Gear segment of all time.

And to keep rolling along with the British cars...

The quid-essential Morgan 4/4!  This is the 1938 motor show car that's continued giving demonstrations for it's entire life.  2 owners from new! Could you find a more pristine platform, with better provenance, to plunk a body on ?  Actually, forget that.  This calls for some aluminum seats.  That's it.  Oh, and maybe a steering wheel and a pair of goggles connected to a leather hat.  

But you know what caught my eye the most?  Maybe it's because I grew up in a small mountain town where we did strange things like "go muddin" but I still have an affinity for anything that can take me where most of the U.S. population (that disagrees with me on almost every belief front) isn't; I need a break!

Behold the Land Rover Trail... wait. Tralala... forget it.  Four x Four thing looking awesome.  I don't think I've ever heard of or seen this before but the WANT is soooo strong.  If I didn't have fun in that I'd need to go apply for those happy pill medications they're always pushing on TV with the creepy ads warning of anal seepage (I think I prefer grumpy and stain free to happy and leaking).

Let me guess, there's no way the wife will let you bring home that monstrosity.  She's asking for a larger family car to meet the growing needs of your family....

Bring her home a station wagon!!! Seriously, it's named a "station wagon".  I think my wife saw my eyes light up when I saw one of these because the other day she told me she's scared that someday I'll make her drive "some weird thing where the air filter sticks up above the roof".

I only hope we are so lucky.

And it's not just the extreme and family haulers that seem well priced.  Look at this gorgeous S2.  You show up to the hunting cabin in that and all the Dodge Ram diesel drivers will cry late that night as they realize that they were just out accessorized.  The S2 exudes "fishing and hunting", in a classic way.  Best invest in some tweed with arm patches if you go this route.  Oh, and I'd recommend an English shotgun but... that'll cost you more than the truck.  But see, you could tell your wife, "think of all the money I saved not buying the Dodge Ram diesel"!

But which was my in-budget favorite?

This. "Road Legal".  Just look at it!  It's the insane go kart that you could drive to work, legally!  Pick a twisty track and watch the BMW M3 and Porsche drivers fold their "popped" collars down when you utterly destroy them and check their haughty spirit.  Center of gravity two-inches off the ground? Check.  No weight? Check. Race legal? Check. Best commuter ever? Check.

Well, it's two in the morning.  I need to be done.  If I wasn't so tired I'd wrap things up in a witty conclusion.  But it's two in the morning. Conclusion is, consider importing when you start looking for your next classic car.  Looks like there is some fun, different stuff out there you don't have to be rich to afford.  I'll be jealous if you pick just about any of the above.. except the TVR, it's ugly.

Here's the links to the above cars -

11/15/2015 05:03 AM
Cuba,The Classic Car Scene & Your Chance to Join It-Discovery Channel Hiring for Reality TV Show
You can find a “Greatest Hits” collection of this author’s best works, available in Kindle and printed book format, on Amazon at -

Photo use courtesy of Pilgrim Studios, photographer Â© Roberto Lusso |

A warm climate, classic cars, beaches, delicious Latin food, cervezas, and amazing jazz.  Sound like the perfect vacation?  Want to live that way, not just vacation?  Well, your opportunity may have just opened up.

I recieved a bizarre email from Pilgrim Studios, producers of Fast N' Loud on the Discovery Channel, announcing they are issuing a casting call (request for cast applications) for a new "unscripted" reality TV show filmed in Cuba; they're going to send American car restorers down to help the Cubans restore their vintage iron. They asked if I could help get the word out to American car restorers and I thought it'd be fun to pair that with a blog on the Cuban classic car scene, so I agreed.

Photo use courtesy of Pilgrim Studios Â© Jedynakanna |

Do you have a vague recollection of what's going on with the Cuban car scene?  Want a brief refresher?  Here's a little perspective before you fly to the "casting call/submit application" website address at the end of this blog. 

Photo courtesy of Jim Culp, Flickr Creative Commons License

First let's flashback to the 1950s Cuba, a successful and vibrant time for Havana. Imagine casinos filled with American tourists lining downtown Havana.  Starting in 1957 Cuba hosted an International Grand Prix race. See the above car? It's a Ferrari 335 S.  More specifically Stirling Moss won the 1958 Cuban Grand Prix in one of these.  In just six laps!

What?  Six laps?

Photo courtesy of Jim Culp, Flickr Creative Commons License

The race was red flagged because another competitor had crashed into the crowd killing seven at a race where safety was already much in question for two reasons: 1. the track layout was dangerous with poor run-offs (hence the crash into the crowd), and 2. Juan Miguel Fangio had been kidnapped by rebels the night before and was still missing.

Photo free on Wikipedia, photographer unknown

Yes, the socialist rebels that were trying to overthrow Cuba's American friendly 1950s government had taken "El Maestro" from his hotel by gunpoint.

For some of you "Fangio" may not ring-a-bell so a quick history lesson, Fangio is possibly the best driver to ever race cars.  Wikipedia says this about him:

"Juan Manuel Fangio nicknamed El Maestro ("The Master"), was a racing car driver from Argentina. He dominated the first decade of Formula One racing, winning the World Drivers' Championship five times - a record which stood for 47 years until beaten by Michael Schumacher. He is regarded by many as one of the greatest F1 drivers of all time and holds the highest winning percentage in Formula One - 46.15% - winning 24 of 52 Formula One races he entered."

Photo available on wiki, courtesy of çŽ›èŽŽæ‹‰è’‚ - 玛莎拉蒂中国 Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons

Fangio was returned rather un-ceremonially after the race but the kidnapping was a sign of things to come in regards to how socialists dealt with car racing.

In extreme short, because this is a car blog not a history blog, circa 1959-1960 the rebels succeeded in overthrowing the government.  Extremely socialist in nature, they began re-allocating the wealth (as it rapidly disappeared), and persecuting those that didn't conform to the new status quo, as they were trained by expert emissaries sent from the USSR to help make sure socialism was firmly established.

The US, not being fond of Socialism or the USSR just miles from Florida, applied trade embargoes against Cuba. Alyn Edwards of the Vancouver Sun writes, "Thousands of American cars were brought into Cuba up until 1960, the year that the United States government declared a trade embargo that stopped all imports. From that time on, the innovative Cubans found ways to keep their prized American cars in operation, even though they could no longer import parts from the U.S.."

Photo courtesy of Alexander Schimmeck, Flickr Creative Commons License

The Cuban Grand Prix tried once more to race in 1960 but the same safety and political instability plagued the event and the 1960 Cuban Grand Prix was the last to be held in Cuba.

In 1962 the Cuban government issued an edict that car racing was elitist in nature, and that no government infrastructure would be used for car racing. In a socialist government, where all infrastructure was controlled by the government, this effectively killed all motor-sport competition in Cuba.

Ok, history lesson over, let's move forward to the now.  Again, in extreme brief, Cubans are gaining some personal freedom, enough so that President Obama has decided to lift some of the embargoes against Cuba.  Apparently enough restrictions have been lifted that Pilgrim Studios/Discovery Channel thinks they can bring down a film crew, tools and car parts to restore classic cars in Cuba for a reality TV show.

Photo courtesy of Alexander Schimmeck, Flickr Creative Commons License

Now the first question that popped into my head is, "do they need the help"?  After all, they've been keeping vintage iron alive for 55 years without American help.  They've got to be pretty good mechanics right?  I decided to do a little research into the state of classic car repair in Cuba.

Again,  Alyn Edwards of the Vancouver Sun writes (after a visit to Cuba), "The majority of these cars have been re-powered with diesel engines, either from Russia or Japan. There are no junkyards in Cuba. Everything that would have been junk is on the cars. A passing old Ford sports a grille from a Buick. A mid-'50s Chrysler slides by with parts that look they came from an old refrigerator. A 1956 Ford features extra side trim of unknown origin. Many of these cars have been banged up over the years and have been recipients of very bad body repairs."

Socialism resulted in most of the population going into poverty as gross national output fell.  I don't know if you've ever had a classic car and been poor but I have so let me tell you how that goes.  You do  not restore your classic car to look like a SEMA Car Show winner when you are poor.  What you do, when poor, is fix things that break in the cheapest way possible to continue to be able to make it to your low-paying job on time.  I've done this with an old Ford F-250.  See the bike in the back in the below picture? That's so when the classic car breaks down you can still make it to said low-paying job without being so late you get fired and have to find another low-paying job.

Photo courtesy of Anthony Easton, Flickr Creative Commons License

I searched "Cuban Classic Car" in Flickr photos to confirm visually that "repairs done as necessary" was indeed the state of the majority of classic cars in Cuba.  The photographs from Cuba did confirm that the majority of photographed classic cars in Cuba are in a state of disrepair and fall far short of American "restoration" standards.  

In other words, a bunch of Americans with nice parts and the available time to spend on restoring cars (rather than having to work 14 hours every day to afford food) could help the Cuban classic car owners have nicer cars.

Photo courtesy of Alexander Schimmeck, Flickr Creative Commons License

Remember the picture of Cuban mechanics around the blue car earlier in the blog (think stomach)?  Well, the photographer also shot a picture of the inside of the car.  Notice lunch. And the state of the interior.

Photo courtesy of Alexander Schimmeck, Flickr Creative Commons License

I also happened across this photo of a mechanics garage space.

Photo courtesy of Susan Sermoneta, Flickr Creative Commons License

All signs indicate a majority of classic car owners in Cuba would appreciate help getting their cars restored.  I will caveat though, although some American builders will be better at complete restorations, I highly doubt that they will be better at "just-make-it-work" based on what I'm seeing.

Photo courtesy of Alexander Schimmeck, Flickr Creative Commons License

Now, I've come across photos of good looking cars in Cuba too, but they were not in the majority.  Also, I asked Pilgrim Studios to provide me stock photos for this blog and the below picture they sent me does appear to show some well restored cars.

Photo use courtesy of Pilgrim Studios Â© Kmiragaya | 

And some guys in Cuba are hot rodding their cars. A new movie documenting Cuba's underground drag racing scene was just released and it's earning rave reviews.  It's called Havana Motor Club and Jalopnik wrote up an article praising the movie you can read here (click the word "here").

I am a cynic of everything corporate, and I can't help but think that Pilgrim Studios is probably hoping they can make some money buying up cars like the famed derelict Cuba Mercedes Gullwing.  I can't find a royalty free picture of the car but you can see it at the blog located here -

If you need more incentive than just helping poor people fix up their pre-1960 American cars (a noble cause in my mind, especially if they need it for work like a taxi service, or etc), then consider the following factors.

Factor 1 - The food is tasty.  I live near Portland Oregon where there is a Cuban restaurant, Pembiche. The food is delicious and the ambiance is colorful.  I'm sure you'd find much more of the same in Cuba.

Photo courtesy of Joel Bechtolt, Flickr Creative Commons License

Factor 2 - The Cuban jazz scene is vibrant and lively.  I'm sitting here listening to the Buena Vista Social Club as I write this.  If you haven't heard the Social Club go find it online and listen to it now, you will thank  me.  Or watch the movie documentary of the same name.  After a hard day of working on cars I don't think you could go wrong catching one of these artists at a show.

Photo courtesy of Frnbrnks, Flickr Creative Commons License

Factor 3 - It's tropical.  Tired of winter in Portland/Minnesota/etc?  Palm trees. 

I do have a practical question though.  In a nation where people are supposed to all be equal, and motor racing has been banned as "elitist" how will you select who will get their vehicle restored?  Won't that put them at an economic advantage that socialism frowns at?  Castro is going to allow this?  Oh well, I'll let Pilgrim Studios worry about this detail.

Photo courtesy of Gerry Zambonini, Flickr Creative Commons License

So what do you say?  Want to go help people in an impoverished nation restore their vintage American metal?  Want to enjoy a tropical climate, lively jazz scene, and good food while you do it?  Want to experience what life is like under a quasi-dictator in a socialist country?  Well, the cars, owners & Cuba await.  Here's the link to the casting call (place to submit your resume) -

Oh, and here's the blog Pilgrim Studios suggested I post:

"Do you want to restore classic American cars in Cuba?"

"Discovery Channel is now seeking American Classic Car restorers to fly to Cuba for an exciting unscripted TV series."

Three low-res low-quality pictures go here (OK I wrote this last sentence, but the first pictures they sent me were LOW quality but they did follow up with better photos when I published this blog).

11/09/2015 02:41 AM
Bizarre Classic Cars I Want to Drive Before I Die
You can find a “Greatest Hits” collection of this author’s best works, available in Kindle and printed book format, on Amazon at -

Photo courtesy of Flickr CreativeCommons user Robert Stokes 

The classic car magazines, shows, auctions and etc. can get boring with more and more of the same old, same old; so if you're sick of hearing what an amazing car the 911 VW is I'd like to show you some of the cars I dream of driving for a unique experience, not because they are the go-to dream of every hobbyist globally (a.k.a. anything Ferrari badged).

There is no particular order to this.  I've probably got about 20 minutes before my toddlers wake-up so there will be English mistakes as well.

Photo courtesy of Flickr CreativeCommons user ClemensVasters

How about mounting a massive radial motor to the back of a 40's era soviet car?  To top it off add huge skis and long travel suspension.  The Russian Kamov Sever-2 did exactly that. I don't know how well it worked in Siberia, but man I want to try it. 

Photo courtesy of Flickr CreativeCommons user FrancoisGuignard

After a frigid weekend in Siberia blasting that (noisy I'm sure) Russian beast around I'd like to head to Africa to warm up.  You know those bizarre French 2CV cars?  Well, they built them with a motor at the front and back (two total) to make something that might be considered an all wheel drive. 

 I read some magazine that claimed these were made for the French oil expeditions in the middle east.  It's telling that the only free Flickr photo of one I could find was a picture of two both broken at the same time but I'd still head off into the desert with one.  What's an adventure without risk? And how bizzare can you get?  Two motors in a weird French car blasting (or slowly wobbling I'd presume) across the desert?  Yes please.

Photo courtesy of Flickr CreativeCommons user Georg Sander

Then there are mini-cars.  I'd probably want one of those flags four-wheelers use in the sand dunes to let other riders know where they are, but geez I want to drive a mini-car.  I know, from owning an MGA, that the closer you sit to the ground the faster it feels like you're going.  Add in a terrible suspension, little tiny tires and a tiny motor that you'd want to keep wide open all the time and you have the pedigree for a riotously fun car.  You'd feel like you were speeding and driving on the edge everywhere you went while grumpy crossover drivers piled up behind you like intense soccer parents in grandstands.  Wait... they all are soccer parents...

Photo courtesy of Flickr CreativeCommons user Georg Sander

And if you make a "Competition" version of said mini-car it has to be epically fun.  I can't even fathom that the Messerschmitt Super would let me down.  I'm relatively sure (when I wasn't driving it) I'd park it in my living room to brighten rainy Oregon days with its presence.  Wish they'd designed a flat surface where I could put my beer though; maybe on the front seat.

Plus, could you imagine showing up to an SCCA Autocross in this?!  I smile just thinking about it.

Photo courtesy of Flickr CreativeCommons user Image & Design Ian Halsey

Now you probably just saw the picture of the Morgan and thought, "What a dork, Morgan's aren't bizzare".  Yeah, I found a picture of a Morgan, which has become almost as over-marketed and promoted as the 911 in the last decade, but it's not what I wanted but I couldn't find a legal-to-use picture of the right stuff.

I've read about something awesome that the Morgan had roots in.  I hear back in the day garage mechanics in England pieced together their own three-wheeled contraptions to avoid English license and tax laws using motorcycle motors.

I think making my own tiny little three-wheeler is in my future if I become rich and no longer have to work (it could happen right?... sshhh, don't break my heart).  I'm thinking of using an old Honda shaft driven bikes running gear and a relatively simple front end like the MGBs.  

It's got to be fun, especially if I made it and it's a complete Frankenstien.  Aren't we all proud of our Frankensteins, regardless of their actions.  I would love it if it moved 10 feet without breaking.  I'd probably throw my hands over my head, laugh hysterically, and yell "IT WORKS, IT'S MOVING" if it went so far as 10 feet without breaking.  I'd hope it was night time and there was nearby lightning.

Especially if the budget was circa $1000. Yeah , I think I can pull that off.  My old Honda Nighthawk was shaft driven and I was given it, albeit in rough shape but with a carb kit it ran fine (although it had no third gear).  An MGB Front end can be found on Craigslist for hundreds.  I can pound some metal in a roundish shape and take a seat from pick'n'pull for $40.  Then let the fun begin!  Hopefully I live.  Of course it will use wire MGB wheels at the front!

Photo courtesy of Flickr CreativeCommons user P & P 

Photo courtesy of Flickr CreativeCommons user Jez 

Ok, my babblings about Honda motors with MGB steering may have prepped you for turning off the blog but don't despair. For those of you that love massive motored muscle cars hear this one out!  

Back in the day it was popular to put huge airplane engines in cars!  These things breathe fire out of their short pipes.  They look incredibly dangerous. The suspensions can't handle all the weight without being built like a small tank.  And you'll barely be able to see around the motor.  Oh, and don't forget it's necessary to wear ear plugs to avoid hearing damage.  You know what, I'll take the ringing ears for three days.  I want to hear every glorious moment of the experience so the memory is that much brighter if I survive.

Photo courtesy of Flickr CreativeCommons user Robert Stokes 

Photo courtesy of Flickr CreativeCommons user Jim Culp 

Did you know Eric "On the Roof" Carlsson passed away recently of natural causes?  Who's that?  Well, wikipedia him, but in extreme short he won the 1960, 1961 and 1962 RAF World Rally Championships in the bizarre Saab 96 with front wheel drive, a three cylinder two-stroke engine, and column shift.  How in the heck did those characteristics make a 3 time world championship rally car?!!! Was it just the driver or is the car somehow a strange magic formula for perfection off road? I don't know, but I want to pilot one and find out.

Photo courtesy of Flickr CreativeCommons user Joanna Poe 

I'm too old to become a fighter jet pilot, but I still want to have control over a turbine. Several turbine cars made it through development to driving down the road.  In the 60s Chrysler made a turbine car in the era when "because jet" was the main design cue; man I wish this styling cue still survived.  In the late 60's there was a Formula 1 car with a turbine motor also.  I'd sell small redundant body parts to drive the jet powered formula car on track.  Or should I say pilot?

It's rumored that the Mercedes super-car in the new Bond movie was originally designed to have a turbine motor with small electric motors for slow speeds (turbines historically failed at anything less than near-full throttle).  This setup makes so much sense. This will probably the only time in my life I'll ever say this but PLEASE MERCEDES!  YES MERCEDES! DO IT!!!! (wow that sounds awkward!)  

Photo courtesy of Flickr CreativeCommons user JorbasaFotografie

Speaking of odd powerplants, there was a gentleman in France who made street legal prop powered cars.  Maybe I should have put this with the Siberian car mentioned earlier, but there are differences.  Mainly, this one is meant for the road, not the Tundra snow.  I'm pretty sure you'd want to brake as little as possible adding an extremely fun element to the challenge of driving this. Am I the only one that follows the slow-people coming down from the mountain in neutral in a game of keep-up without using the engine (makes it so much more fun)?  Also, there would be the fear/terror of hitting a pedestrian or deer.  On the plus side you wouldn't have to hire a butcher to cut up the venison.

Photo courtesy of Flickr CreativeCommons user Markvan Seeters 

And on the topic of being in the middle of the road, how about a car that blasts peasants in front of you with steaming hot water.  A unique feature of the Swan Car is that the nostrils of the Swan shoot steaming hot water forward.  Who wouldn't love to envelop that black M3 that just cut you off with a steam bath?  The swan doesn't do much for me, but the steam spitting does.

Photo courtesy of Flickr CreativeCommons user Ron Brickman 

And if we're going to discuss the fanciful, how about the Munstermobile?  Possibly designed by some quasi-famous guy that dubiously claimed a lot of cars were designed by him, I'm dying (weak pun) to know how this car drives.  Was it a true hot-rod or a barely running collection of cheesyness?  Also, I've watched this show so many times that I could probably imagine the whole family sitting with me as I drove it.  Creepy?  Well that's the point isn't it?

Photo courtesy of Flickr CreativeCommons user Sebastiaan Claus 

And lastly, I'll leave you with another French car.  I don't know why, but I think the Alpina is gorgeous.  I would put it on par with any Ferrari in terms of looks.  To each his own, I'm sure.  But I think it's a magnificent blend of aggressive and soft lines.  And the fact that the face looks like an alien creature with multiple eyes just adds to my appreciation of it's foreignness. I hope the interior has other bizarre features, perhaps a Z shift pattern and gauges that read like old school thermometers.  I could google it but then the mystery would be gone.

Well, there you have it.  Some car thoughts that aren't commonly seen in the mainstream classic car culture.  There's probably good reason for that, But if I made you think about one car you hadn't thought of before I consider it an honor!

09/07/2015 12:39 AM
Epic Classic Sports Car Show - 2015 Lime Rock Historic Festival, Sunday in the Park
You can find a “Greatest Hits” collection of this author’s best works, available in Kindle and printed book format, on Amazon at -

Sunday morning I found myself at the best car show I've ever attended, with almost unlimited access to many cars I've only seen in sports car magazines, and news articles about record setting sales results.  The Lime Rock Historic Festival in Connecticut left me astounded at the vehicles I could walk up to and drool over without anyone once saying, "Sir, please step away from the car".

We even asked a number of people to open hoods and doors with only the friendliest of responses.  Maybe Prozac is distributed in the water supply in this friendly, historic and picturesque state.  It was almost as though the owners were saying, "You're finished drooling on my paintwork and would now like to drool on my interior?  I'd be happy to open the door to my million dollar car to find a home for your spittle".

The highlights of the show for me were the Mercedes factory racing cars.  I've read legends, watched documentaries, etc., about the Silver Arrows, Juan Fangio, and Stirling Moss' Mille Miglia win and at Lime Rock I was able to see  the associated cars.

If you get a chance, watch this short well produced video to hear the above Mille car run producing a stunning sound.  The video also has a brief documentary and commentary about the race with Stirling Moss.

The Silver Arrow cars are the stuff of legend.  Here was a car designed to prove world dominance in a hugely unstable political climate where such a feat was almost possible.  A book could easily be filled with the context, politics, races, technology, drivers and etc. associated with the Silver Arrows and if you're interested a quick google search will provide vast quantities of info.

The onsite curator told me this car guzzles a gallon a mile.  Inside the cockpit there is a suspension adjustment control because the car changes weight drastically as the 90+ gallon gas tank drains requiring multiple suspension settings between fuel stops.

I'm sad to report that i didn't get a good photo of Juan Fangio's 1955 car although it's a car and driver I've loved watching race (and dominate) in vintage films.  I'll post an excellent video below of one such race.

Ralph Lauren's black Mercedes is stunning.

This 1908 Mercedes "Brooklands" race car was a testament to the nature of Brooklands racing.  Beastly in proportions, chain driven with little to no suspension technology, or protection for the driver this car is an artifact of one of the most dangerous and brave times in racing history.

On the more personal side, one of the people interaction highlights at the show was chatting with the 1950s NASCAR racer Russ Truelove, who still owns and drives his race car which lived through two seasons of racing, including a nasty flip at Daytona.

One of the best looking cars I came across was a beautiful blue Maserati.

There were a number of rarities I'd not seen before like these two, one of which is Russian and the other I know nothing about.

Two Stutz rally cars added to my tally of cars I'd never seen in person before.

And having never seen a Bristol before, I was surprised to walk up on a group of 4 or 5 of them.  Powered by a triple downdraft carb system on a straight six, they're likely to peppy and they are great looking cars.

In the pits I found several 1950s era race cars that looked like something straight out of a Speed Racer cartoon.

There was also a stunning Speed Racer out on the track. 

And then, this Allard revolted against all this race car beauty providing an excellent example of function before form.  What a beast!  Check out those Hemi heads on a 1940s American V8.

Italian beauties were everywhere.  I wouldn't be surprised if you added up every vintage Italian beauty I've seen in my life and the number was smaller than the number of Italian gems I saw today.

The British also had a strong showing of beauty.

And there were still more Germans!

Including this 300 with every doo-dad available for a 300 SL including the shaving kit, luggage, and spare fuses box.  Impressive in an almost unbelievable way!

And there were Pre-WWII Great Gatsby cars.

I'm really enjoying these new classes for un-restored vehicles.  Probably difficult as hell to judge, but fun to look at!

Some very nice vintage, historic motorcycles could be found throughout the event.

And, although oddities, these last two cars I'll share pictures of are two cars that sit very highly on the list of cars I'd like to try driving, hard.

10/17/2016 02:39 PM
AudioControl’s LC2i

The LC2i, is a compact, two-channel processor with active input circuitry, which allows it to accept speaker-level signals of up to 400 watts per channel from factory-installed source units or amplifiers.  It converts them to high-quality pre-amp signals that can then be directed to after-market processors and/or amplifiers. Users can enjoy maximum sound quality while […]

The post AudioControl’s LC2i appeared first on Columbus Car Audio.

10/10/2016 09:23 AM
How to Shop for a Remote Starter

So you’ve decided you’re done with getting into a cold car and done with scraping your windshield in the winter – you’ve made the right decision! Getting a remote car starter installed can save you from battling the cold weather every time you go to get in your car. (P.S. You can use one in […]

The post How to Shop for a Remote Starter appeared first on Columbus Car Audio.

09/26/2016 10:20 AM
Leather vs. Cloth Vehicle Interior

Pretty much everyone has an opinion on which is better; leather or cloth seats.  If you’re still deciding or thinking about upgrading your interior with Katzkin Leather installed by us, then let’s discuss a few pros and cons.  Leather Interior Pros: Simply put, it’s luxurious, whether it’s your own opinion or just its reputation. And the […]

The post Leather vs. Cloth Vehicle Interior appeared first on Columbus Car Audio.

09/19/2016 10:22 AM
Pioneer Safe & Sound Tour 2016

Driving safe is not only smart, it’s cool. With another school year starting and students back in class, we’ve partnered with Pioneer and New Albany High School to promote safe driving among teens at last week’s Varsity football game against Gahanna-Lincoln! With technological advancements in car entertainment, such as Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Pioneer’s exclusive […]

The post Pioneer Safe & Sound Tour 2016 appeared first on Columbus Car Audio.

08/01/2016 08:45 AM
Rockford Fosgate 2016 Road to Sturgis Promotion

Rockford Fosgate wants to help you prepare for your ride to the 76th Annual Sturgis® Motorcycle Rallyâ„¢. They’ve teamed up with Bell Helmets, Bell-Ray Lubricants, Bagger Nation, and The Good Ride for three great prize packs in the 2016 Road To Sturgis Promotion! Between now and Aug. 19, 2016 you can enter to win a motorcycle […]

The post Rockford Fosgate 2016 Road to Sturgis Promotion appeared first on Columbus Car Audio.

07/27/2016 12:49 PM
Football, Bourbon, & Brew

Prepare for the biggest tailgate this fall with 97.1 The Fan and Columbus Car Audio‘s FOOTBALL, BOURBON & BREW presented by Local Waste Services on Saturday, September 17th at Express Live! The day will feature craft beer and bourbon tastings, autograph sessions, live broadcasts of 97.1 The Fan’s Pre-Game and Tailgate Shows, food trucks, Scoonie Penn’s “Cornhole […]

The post Football, Bourbon, & Brew appeared first on Columbus Car Audio.

07/19/2016 03:14 PM
5th Annual Tent Sale

Our 5th Annual Tent Sale held on 7/15/16 and 7/16/16 was one of our biggest and busiest days of the year, and we hope you were able to stop by! Not only did we have special prices and discounts on all products, but on Saturday 7/16 at our Morse Road store Pioneer, Rockford Fosgate, Kenwood, […]

The post 5th Annual Tent Sale appeared first on Columbus Car Audio.

07/18/2016 11:46 AM
Radar Detector FAQ

Investing in a radar detector can give you freedom while you drive; no more stressing about unwanted and unnecessary tickets. These devices can detect the frequencies being emitted from radar guns and signal you while driving when there is radar technology in the area.  If used appropriately, they can be useful tools that can send […]

The post Radar Detector FAQ appeared first on Columbus Car Audio.

07/04/2016 11:42 AM
How to Choose a Radar Detector

The freedom to relax, drive with confidence, and not worry as much about an unwanted ticket – that’s what an investment in a radar detector can give you. But, what should you look for when you’ve decided to purchase one? How Radar Detectors Work Police radar guns “see” a vehicle by transmitting a microwave pulse. […]

The post How to Choose a Radar Detector appeared first on Columbus Car Audio.

07/01/2016 03:18 PM
QFM 96.3 Bike Night at Scioto Downs

Hopefully you’ve caught us at Scioto Downs for the weekly QFM 96.3 Bike Night every Thursday from 7-9pm Hosted by Kristie Kemper on the Budweiser Party Patio! We typically set up and show off some of the bikes we’ve added sound systems or custom lighting to, give out koozies, and register everyone to win one […]

The post QFM 96.3 Bike Night at Scioto Downs appeared first on Columbus Car Audio.

12/01/2016 09:00 AM
Holiday Season Specials: Car Audio Electronics Sale

The holiday season is upon us and Sounds Good To Me audio electronics in Tempe, Phoenix, Arizona is very aggressive in our pricing this holiday season. Christmas holiday specials, sales and savings

The post Holiday Season Specials: Car Audio Electronics Sale appeared first on Sounds Good To Me.

04/04/2016 03:11 PM
2nd Chance Consignment for Car Audio

Experienced, Tested & Ready to Rock! We are frequently asked “what can I do with my old stuff?” Craig’s List? E-Bay? Pain in the ass. Not worth the hassle dealing with freaks. So here is our second chance consignment on car audio electronics in Tempe Arizona, near Phoenix AZ at Sounds Good To Me. We […]

The post 2nd Chance Consignment for Car Audio appeared first on Sounds Good To Me.

03/18/2016 10:00 AM
Alpine SWA-10S4 Subwoofers On-Sale

By Dave Looking for a steal of a deal? Right now Sounds Good to Me is selling Alpine SWA-10S4 subwoofers on sale for $49.95 each in Tempe AZ near Phoenix Arizona. You read that right.Not 20%, Not 30%, Not even 40%! While they last NOW…50% off retail! That’s right 50% off for the Alpine SWA-10S4 […]

The post Alpine SWA-10S4 Subwoofers On-Sale appeared first on Sounds Good To Me.

12/05/2015 11:14 PM
Amps and Reading the Specs

Shopping advice for Amps: a legit amp should run you about a dollar a watt at retail prices. If the amp highlights its peak power instead of continuous or RMS output (root mean square), it's a P.O.S.

The post Amps and Reading the Specs appeared first on Sounds Good To Me.

10/11/2015 07:03 PM
Hot Fall Clearance Sale:

by Dave Fall into the savings this autumn during our Hot Fall Clearance Sale at Sounds Good To Me in Tempe Arizona near Phoenix AZ. Hot items of the season include: During our fall clearance of car audio and vehicle electronics and stereo system accessories, this is a great time to take advantage of some […]

The post Hot Fall Clearance Sale: appeared first on Sounds Good To Me.

09/14/2015 07:20 PM
What’s a Po’ Boy Gonna Do?

Car Audio Advice: Learn the costly reality about upgrading from the factory settings in a new vehicle. For aftermarket speakers to sound good, it’ll need a multichannel amplifier and much more.

The post What’s a Po’ Boy Gonna Do? appeared first on Sounds Good To Me.

08/14/2015 10:10 AM
Back to School Sale

By Dave. Hey ASU, college students, staff, and all those young at heart…Welcome BACK TO SCHOOL! As the dorms reopen and classes begin, Sounds Good to Me is here for YOU with great deals on car audio electronics to welcome you back to campus with during our Back to School Sale! Did you come from […]

The post Back to School Sale appeared first on Sounds Good To Me.

07/01/2015 03:21 AM
Sound Review of the Alpine SPS-M600 Marine 6.5″ Co-axial Speakers

By Mugs Ahoy all you boaters and side by siders we have been listening closely to all your inquiries about finding a decent 6.5″ speaker that sounds better than tissue paper on a comb and can take the elements too; Something tough, something that won’t jade or disintegrate in the sun, something that also sounds great and […]

The post Sound Review of the Alpine SPS-M600 Marine 6.5″ Co-axial Speakers appeared first on Sounds Good To Me.

06/07/2015 11:00 AM
Father’s Day Special

Father’s Day is almost upon us and Sounds Good To Me Car Audio Electronics in Tempe, Arizona, We know what to get the big guy. Daddy Wants AMP and you can give it to him this year during our Father’s Day sale in Tempe AZ. Don’t disappoint dad this year with yet another tie, another […]

The post Father’s Day Special appeared first on Sounds Good To Me.

04/16/2015 02:08 AM
Review of the Alpine iLX-007

By Mugs. OK, all you die-hard iPhone users your wait to import your iPhone into your car is finally here.  Find out why the Alpine iLX-007, iPhone, Apple CarPlay fit great together at Sounds Good to Me in Tempe Arizona. We just received the Alpine iLX-007 digital media receiver that is the first head unit […]

The post Review of the Alpine iLX-007 appeared first on Sounds Good To Me.

05/09/2016 12:07 PM
Tips on How to wire your Car Audio System

If you are planning the installation of a new amazing sound and video system in your car, you have to consider the wiring that it entails. A little expert advice on wiring your stereo and speakers will help you achieve the quality of sound that will make others green with envy. The speaker wires If

The post Tips on How to wire your Car Audio System appeared first on Best Car Speakers Brand.

05/09/2016 11:51 AM
How to Use an Mp3 Player in Car Stereo

5 Ways for you to enjoy your MP3 Player through your car stereo A lot of us have a super collection of our favourite tunes on our MP3 player. We can listen to this collection of our best tunes wherever we are, but what if you want to listen to it in your car? So

The post How to Use an Mp3 Player in Car Stereo appeared first on Best Car Speakers Brand.

05/05/2016 12:55 AM
How to Install Bluetooth in a Car Stereo System

The desire for a Bluetooth connection in one’s car has increased in the past few years due to more and more drivers carrying smart phones, tablets and other Bluetooth devices. A lot of places now enforce laws limiting the use of cell phones in cars, and Bluetooth car stereos is one method of bridging the

The post How to Install Bluetooth in a Car Stereo System appeared first on Best Car Speakers Brand.

05/05/2016 12:37 AM
How to Install Satellite Radio in Car Audio System

If you want to listen to commercial-free music while travelling in your car, it is worth your while looking into Satellite radio, see How you can install satellite radio in car Audio System. A lot of newer cars comes with a factory installed Satellite radio as part of their sound system, but if your car does

The post How to Install Satellite Radio in Car Audio System appeared first on Best Car Speakers Brand.

05/04/2016 12:00 AM
How to Make a Car Speaker Box With Pictures and Videos

If you are a true fan of car sound, you can surely appreciate a decent speaker box. Transforming your car into a moving sound machine is as simple as making the perfect speaker box. And this you can achieve all by yourself. Follow me as I show you How to Make a Car Speaker Box.

The post How to Make a Car Speaker Box With Pictures and Videos appeared first on Best Car Speakers Brand.

05/02/2016 11:05 AM
How to Improve Your Car Audio Sound Without Going Broke

How to Improve Your Car Audio Sound Without Going Broke; When you’re driving down the road and you hear someone’s bass beating loud and clear from his car, you realize how great it sounds and suddenly you want to upgrade the sound in your own car. Well, why not? You can improve your car audio

The post How to Improve Your Car Audio Sound Without Going Broke appeared first on Best Car Speakers Brand.

05/01/2016 11:04 AM
How to Add Car Video to Your Vehicle

Cross country trips and long boring car rides could certainly be made a lot more bearable with a little entertainment to speed things along. Learn How to Add Car Video to Your Vehicle even if this is your first time. You have a number of car audio and video options available to you to make

The post How to Add Car Video to Your Vehicle appeared first on Best Car Speakers Brand.

04/30/2016 02:07 PM
Alpine SWR-10D4 Type-R 10 Subwoofer Review

The Ultimate Subwoofer, Made By The Best Manufacturer: Alpine SWR-10D4 Type-R 10″ Subwoofer with Dual 4-ohm Voice Coils Alpine is one of the best car speaker and component manufacturer on the planet, so it isn’t a coincidence that this subwoofer, made by them is one of the best. Alpine SWR-10D4 comes with all features a

The post Alpine SWR-10D4 Type-R 10 Subwoofer Review appeared first on Best Car Speakers Brand.

04/29/2016 02:48 PM
Polk Audio AA3104-A MM1040 DVC 10-Inch Subwoofer Review

The Most Affordable Subwoofer With The Best Features You Can Get: Polk Audio AA3104-A Tuning up a car sound system doesn’t have to be expensive nor complicated. This subwoofer proves that these devices can be affordable, but also have great features. Simply said, Polk Audio AA3104-A has been designed for people who want to improve

The post Polk Audio AA3104-A MM1040 DVC 10-Inch Subwoofer Review appeared first on Best Car Speakers Brand.

04/28/2016 02:25 PM
Polk Audio AA3105-A MM1040 10-Inch Subwoofer Review

Reasonably Priced Subwoofer With Amazing Features: Polk Audio AA3105-A MM1040 DVC 10-Inch Subwoofer No matter when and how you want to improve the sound system in your car, you will have to add or replace a subwoofer. These devices are the best way to get crystal clear sound that will impress your friends. A good

The post Polk Audio AA3105-A MM1040 10-Inch Subwoofer Review appeared first on Best Car Speakers Brand.

01/04/2016 08:18 AM under a new Owner with a completely different attitude!

From all of us here at New Year Everyone!! And to start off the new year, all orders over $49 and up now ships FREE! As some of you may already know, is now under a new owner with a completely different attitude! If you are not satisfied with a recent purchase, please email and we will make it right for you! Hoping for a prosperous year ahead of us all!

12/21/2015 06:48 AM Is Now Under New Management

We would like to announce that is now Under New Management. Please bear with us as we transition to a better system as we strive to improve our customer service and provide better shopping experience to you, our valued customers. 

11/17/2015 06:30 PM
Mega Stock Clearance Sale

Our Mega Stock Clearance Sale is here!! Deep discounts up to 60% OFF. Plus get an additional 8% OFF your entire order by using promo code: CLEAR8 on checkout.

10/30/2015 08:31 AM

Here at it all about treats and not tricks. Enjoy up to 60% Off on popular car stereo and car component speaker systems and amplifiers. This sale starts now and ends Sunday night, Nov. 1st. Stocks are limited and may sell out anytime so don't miss this once a year event! Happy Halloween!

10/22/2015 10:14 AM
We don't just sell Car Audio!

We also specialize in Pro Audio & DJ Equipment/ Stage Gear! We offer...

- Turntables & Source Units

- Pro Audio Amplifiers

- Pro Audio Speakers/ Subwoofers 

- Pro Audio Sound Processors

- Pro Audio Microphones

- Guitars & Guitar Equipment

- Public Address Systems

- Scratch Mixers

- Power Conditioners

- Club DJ Lighting

10/21/2015 03:31 PM
Check Out this Kenwood Indash On Clearance!
Looking to update your factory car radio? This Kenwood In Dash has everything you need! 

General Features:

  • Kenwood DDX372BT In-Dash Receiver
  • 6.2" LCD touchscreen display with 800x440 Resolution
  • Customizable background images and top menu
  • AM/FM tuner
  • 5-band equalizer with 8 preset settings
  • Independent high pass crossover for the front and rear channels
  • Built-in bass boost, loudness, volume offset and dynamic range controls
  • 3.5mm Rear A/V Auxiliary Input
  • Rear USB Input
  • CD text information display
  • MP3 ID3 Tag Display (Title/Artist/Album)
  • Built-in Bluetooth technology for hands-free talking and audio streaming
  • Secure Simple Pairing
  • Notifies you when a SMS message has been received
  • Supports A2DP audio streaming
  • Works with most Bluetooth enabled cell phones
  • Includes an external wired microphone for clear, convenient talking
  • 3 Sets of 4V preamp outputs (front, rear and subwoofer)
  • SiriusXM Satellite Radio Ready

10/16/2015 12:08 PM
Check out one of our Best Selling Speaker Set by JL Audio
If you are looking to upgrade your factory speakers this is the set. These speakers are our best Selling item and they are priced to sell. Listed below are some of the key features. 

Power Handling

  • 100W Peak
  • 60W RMS

Woofer Features

  • Injection-molded
  • Mica-filled
  • Polypropylene Cone
  • Butyl Rubber Surround
  • 1 in. Voice Coil on Kapton Former
  • Symmetrical Roll Spider
  • Ferrite Magnet

Tweeter Features

  • Silk Dome
  • Ferrofluid Cooling
  • Damping
  • Neodymium Magnet

Crossover Network

  • 1st Order Low-Pass Filter
  • 2nd Order High-Pass Filter
  • 3-Position Adjustable Tweeter Level
  • Premium Mylar Capacitors Premium Air-Core Inductors

10/11/2015 08:35 AM
One of our ON SALE Item. Pioneer AVH-170DVD 6.2" Double Din Touchscreen DVD Receiver

This Pioneer In-Dash has all the bell and whistles when it comes to touch screen car radio. Looking to upgrade your factory radio? Trust us this is the unit! It's currently on sale on our website. Click on the link to see the guarantee low price . Listed below are some of the key features. 

General Features:

  • 6.2" Double-DIN DVD receiver
  • Fixed resistive touchscreen
  • 16:9 aspect ratio
  • 18 FM/6 AM station presets
  • MOSFET 50W x 4 amp
  • 5-band EQ
  • USB & aux rear inputs
  • Composite A/V 3.5mm input
  • Rear camera input
  • Wired remote input
  • Composite video out
  • 2 pair RCA preouts