Tuesday, March 28, 2017

And then... a new trick was invented, and I lost my mind. Monster trucks will now being doing FRONT flips!

the Jaguar XJ 220 specialty shop

.... it was a major strain on the finances of Jaguar at a very difficult time, and Ford ultimately made the decision that they want to stop the program. Once the program was stopped, that literally was the end of the interest from Jaguar’s point of view. They had a 10 year responsibility to supply parts and service backup in Northern Europe to fix the cars, so they came to me for help, at which point they formally asked if they could send customers to us.

TG: So you became an officially certified XJ220 service center?

It was made very clear that we could not be “official and certified” because of their contractual obligations to the main dealerships who’d never seen a car. They’d spent all this money investing in the car, so it was all very tricky and political. It never was a bad car, there never was a problem with the car. It was circumstances to do with the financial markets, and you know there’s the fact that more than 100 of the depositors found themselves in difficult situations where they couldn’t buy the car that drove them to lose faith in their own program.

TG: You described earlier their 10 year obligation to the car, what happened on the last day of the 10th year?

Well Jaguar basically said to Justin and I, if you service these cars and keep the good name of the car and look after the car and assist us with the parts situation, we’ll take care of you. The chain of parts suppliers was very depleted during that time so we actually came in and began manufacturing parts for the XJ220 during that 10 year period. So we did this for Jaguar for 10 years, at which point they called up and offered us the entire business. And literally to the day exactly, in 2007 I had a call from one of the directors to say look, this business is yours and you know, our obligation to the dealers has finished, come and see us and you can buy the business. They couldn’t wait to get rid of it quickly enough.

TG: As I saw in the workshop, you guys have the original wooden buck. What’s the story there?

A lot of the tooling and equipment came with our deal with Jaguar and some of the other very interesting things too; we have a cutaway Jaguar engine, and the buck is actually a CAD model, so that was the full sized CAD model that Jaguar made, gave to the body manufacturers, and said “You make it like that and you don’t make any changes,” and we just decided that you know, as well as rescuing the parts business, we’d try to rescue the heritage of the car as well, so we saved the pre-production cars and we saved the MIRA crash test car and we saved the buck


" one of his people started out on his own and took the car. He turned out to be a criminal and more or less hijacked the body for three years" Holy crap... the things you learn by accident about a car you saw at a car show

The car was found via eBay, an unlikely vehicle for me to buy a car because normally you don’t get to inspect what you’ve bought unless you have enough money to fly there, but this was a local car. It had escaped two auctions and I called the owner, who happened to be a car dealer in a nearby town. We struck up a deal for $1,500 for the body. It was an intact car, fairly straight, but it had the Marauder package on it. It was a two barrel, 390, non-air conditioned car, very plebeian, nothing much, but the body still spelled NASCAR to me when I looked at it. Because of the way it was trimmed, had you elected to restore it, it would been a very expensive restoration.

I elected to strip the car and put it on a rotisserie and then the body went in one direction. It actually went back to the man’s shop who had built the Indy car all those years before. His son took over his business and we had been friends and they started the body work. Then at some point he decided that he was selling his business and one of his people started out on his own and took the car. He turned out to be a criminal and more or less hijacked the body for three years. Six months of which I didn’t know where the car was.

I saw this car at the Art Center College or Pasadena annual Car Classic last fall: http://justacarguy.blogspot.com/2016/10/merc-marauder-at-art-center-classic.html

Petrolicious was so impressed by the car at the Car Classic that they did a full article and photo shoot   https://petrolicious.com/articles/this-mercury-marauder-is-one-mans-hand-built-legacy
and that is when I found out about it being stolen and snagged that headline for this post

I don't recall anyone taking a better photo of a Shelby valve cover. Well done Andrew Golseth!

Australia stopped making Utes. Geez man, that's messed up. It's like when you heard they were going to stop making the VW beetle.

Sales of Commodore and Falcon utes hit record lows in 2015, as both models approach the end of the line. 

Ford’s factory in Broadmeadows falls silent forever October 2016, and Holden’s assembly line in Elizabeth near Adelaide shuts in late 2017.

Both Ford and Holden have no plans to replace their Australian-made utes with models based on passenger cars such as the Falcon and Commodore. Instead, Ford and Holden have embraced the massive shift in buyer tastes towards four-door 4WD pick-ups.

The Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger are now the top sellers in the ute class.

The Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger are made in Thailand along with the Holden Colorado, Nissan Navara, Mitsubishi Triton, Mazda BT-50 and Isuzu D-Max.


Further, Australia V8 fans will have to get used to four-cylinder and V6 power for their future performance sedans, the Asia-Pacific boss of General Motors Stefan Jacoby has confirmed what has long been feared.

The Holden V8 will die once manufacturing comes to an end at Holden’s factory in Elizabeth in South Australia at the end of 2017.


The last ever Ford Falcon ute rolled off the Broadmeadows production line near the end of shift about 3pm on Friday — following in the tyre tracks of the original Falcon ute built in the same facility 55 years ago, in February 1961.

Ford is said to have invented the ute — and then introduced it to the rest of the world in 1934
after receiving a letter from a Victorian farmer’s wife in 1933 requesting a vehicle civilized enough to drive to church on Sundays and practical enough to take pigs to market on Mondays.

Holden and Toyota will be shutting down their car assembly lines in late 2017.

Rather than building cars in Australia, a team of more than 1100 designers and engineers will develop global vehicles for Ford.

And suddenly, Australia will be stuck with the American problem of Detroit... having car manufacturing head offices, and planning staff, but outsourcing all the production to cheaper foreign labor... just like Detroit.... and even more similarities arise when you compare NAFTA with the Australia Thailand free trade agreement. More on that below

The next generation of vehicles such as the Ford Ranger will be designed and engineered in Australia, but made in Thailand where manufacturing labour costs are one-fifth the rate in Australia.


Sales of locally-made cars and utes have been in free fall since Australia signed a free-trade agreement with Thailand.

In 2004, one year before the trade deal with Thailand — the biggest producer of pick-ups in the Asia-Pacific region — Ford and Holden sold more than 40,000 Australian-made utes between them.

In 2015, just 2600 Ford Falcon utes and 4900 Holden Commodore utes were sold. The decline has continued into 2016.

In 2006, just one year after the Free Trade Agreement with Thailand, the Toyota HiLux overtook sales of Holden Commodore and Ford Falcon utes.

Imports of cars and utes from Thailand have almost tripled since the Free Trade Agreement was signed (from 84,000 in 2005, to 250,000 in 2015).

In return, Australia has exported just 100 Ford Territory SUVs to Thailand, in 2012.

Well, darn it, I didn't know that a tip jar would be a thing... why didn't I ask for

email addresses of lonely women racetrack owners who need a friendly test driver to get their muscle cars sorted out and ready for vintage racing?

barn find Hemi Superbees or 100 year old Indian motorcycles?

1965 GT 350s that need a new home?

You guys are great! I sure didn't realize how much you all like this pet project of mine!

Thanks to Bruce, Trevor, Brett, Timothy, Gordon, Karl, and Bjorn for making my day!

(and if anyone needs some help with Pebble Beach Concours, or knows a rich widow that has a beer brewery in Ireland that is looking for a friendly taste tester who can help her with her dad's race cars? Just saying, I'm available!) 

Monday, March 27, 2017

AAA headquarters at Eighth and Olive Streets, 1912

so... what's the three wheeler?

and that's where I'll leave the posts for the night!


Reliability run -- Palomares Hotel, Pomona, April 27, 1904

1958 Cherokee Station, Hollywood

1939 train comparison

Ever wonder who created and built the Easy Rider chopper Capt America? We know who made it famous, and who restored them, and who made millions from them.... but who created it? Ben Hardy

Peter Fonda, the producer of Easy Rider, hired Cliff Vaughs to coordinate the motorcycles for the film, and Cliff tapped Ben Hardy for the actual construction of the machines. Peter and Cliff both worked on the design of the bike. A drawing here, a sketch there, and then a final agreement to make it like this.

The whole story has been told on the Vintagent blog, and I can't add anything but increased awareness of all the research that's already done there on the story of the Capt America chopper

Ain't it sorta odd that the most instantly recognizable vehicles were made by guys that aren't known for making more things? The Deuce Coupe the Beach Boys used on the cover of their album, and the Easy Rider chopper Peter Fonda rode.

Well, I insist that the right guys get the credit and respect they deserve. That's what they earned. I think business people and Hollywood types often try and grab undeserved credit, what ever they can do to get ahead... but I believe car guys are focused on the quality of something, and they want to know who to credit for that quality.

If it's speed parts, they want to know how made it. If it's a fast car, car guys want people to know who made it. If it's a beautiful car design, or a sweet paint job, we give the artist or designer the credit and respect. Simply because it's the right thing to do, and there's respect to be given, so we do that.

So, that's why it's important to me to post who did what, who made a thing, and who should get credit and fame for what they've done. Hell, that's pretty much what I do all the time.... tell you who painted, sculpted, built, or collected... or who won a race.

So today, it's Ben Hardy's day of appreciation.

video from Jesse James’ ‘History of the Chopper’ TV series

you can even get more in depth on the Capt America chopper in the book:

He didn’t get the recognition he deserved for those bikes, partly because the whole crew was fired when Columbia Pictures took over production, and Ben and Cliff’s payout/signoff included a clause keeping them off the film’s credits.

Publications like Ed Roth’s ‘Choppers Magazine’ explored Cliff’s role in ‘Easy Rider’ from 1968 onwards, but both Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper at various times claimed credit for building those bikes, and Dan Haggerty took credit too.


2017 Car calendar

April 9th
LaJolla Concours

April 8 -9th
Mopar Spring Fling
Woodley Park
Van Nuys

May 28th
2nd Annual Shelby Car Show

June 3rd
Steve McQueen car and bike show at
Boys Republic,
Chino Hills

June 11th
Bikers and Bombers
Lyon Air Museum
9 to 4

June 11th
San Marino Motor Classic
9am to 4pm
$25 per ticket

Sept 16th
Wave Crest

October 9th
British Car Club Council Car Show

Rodeo Dr Concours
Wave Crest
British Car Show Day
Art Center College of Design


More info on Sirius XM and their willingness to come down on the rates

Here's the latest.

They wanted $209 for a 12 month renewal.

Well, I don't have that money (maybe you already read the post about me not getting back my rental deposit, if not, it's a couple posts down)

So, I called them up and it takes 8 minutes to get the 1st guy to understand I will not be renewing my subscription.

8 minutes... he probably doesn't speak English very well. I don't know why, I do believe it's an American company, catering to USA drivers.

Anyway, he can't do anything with an account anyway, we all probably know that. The 1st person is just to get your call to the right person who handles accounts

So then I talk to a woman that has NOTHING in the notes from the 8 minutes I just spent talking to James, and I waste 2 minutes telling her I am not renewing.

THEN she has to try and get me to stay on the billing. I don't know why they are desperate to keep an upset customer, or a broke one. She asked why I would not renew, and I told her, because your company can't take a note, and put it in the account with my name on it, and I have to waste my time explaining everything over and over again every time there is a problem.

So, she offers to renew my Sirius XM for a year, or whatever, for 1/2 price.

Then she tried to tell me what a long time I've blah blah and that Sirius will offer blah blah blah

and I say no. I said, you aren't listening to me. I am not renewing.

Then the magic last ditch, low dollar, bottom line offer gets mentioned. $25 dollars for 5 months.

Friends, that's 3.5 times less a month than they want to bill me for at the normal rate. $209 for 12 months, is 17.4 a month.... but when you're telling them you are going away, and turn off the subscription, they suddenly will give you the same amount of Sirius XM radio for about 1/3rd the price (for 5 months)

I've mentioned this before. http://justacarguy.blogspot.com/search/label/Sirius%20XM 

Hammond starts up his 1931 Lagonda... sure takes a few more steps to achieve ignition than a new car requires

Australia is home to the only surviving 1914 Delage Type-S grand prix car in the world, and thanks to a 3D scanner, it's going to be able to continue driving!

In 2014, when the engine block cracked and water met oil, the Delage ground to a halt

With no replacement parts or original drawings to go by, and with few people having the traditional manufacturing skills, Grant Cowie looked for alternative ways of rebuilding the complicated 16-valve engine.

He decided that using digital technology to clone the original block would be the most accurate, efficient and non-destructive method to get the car back up and running, as the traditional wooden pattern method would be prohibitively expensive and might make several useless blocks before one good one

A local iron foundry cast the engine using the 3D-printed mould, then it was finished with traditional  machinists work.

After the engine was installed, there was an enormous sense of relief when the Delage turned over successfully.  "It is a considerable achievement for all those involved and, might I say, quite an achievement for Australian engineering," he said.

here is that same car in 1914 racing in Lyon France in the 750-kilometre French Grand Prix.

Thanks Bruce!


Salvage yard in Maine where the trees grew much faster than the cars went to the crusher

I ran a poll on the tip jar idea a couple weeks ago, and it's now activated

I didn't get any one saying it was a bad idea, and a recent set back reminded me about it.

Dont'cha just hate when someone else has your rental deposit, and it's worth a weeks pay (half a paycheck) and they refuse to be cool and give it back?

See, I moved and rented a room for the past 4 months, and without any written contact of any kind, as I can't see how renting a room and being a roommate needs one, or is helped by one, handed over 500 bucks for a deposit, and now I'm moving out because a friend needs some serious help and company while going through a bad time with a lot of issues (I'll be helping by paying half her rent and giving her a lot of emotional and motivational support while she is on temp disability).

So, the *$%@(^@#! roommate I've been paying is using a stupid excuse that I didn't give him a months notice. Well, we never talked about giving notice on moving out.

The way I figure it, a weeks notice is fine, as no one surfs craigslist for a place a month out, people just don't list places for rent a month early (in my experience) and especially in the case of being a roommate, if you leave the place nicer than when you moved in and were a cool roommate that was never using the rest of the house (nasty kitchen and living room I avoided) you deserve your deposit back with a "nice to have met you, you were a cool roommate, I wish you the best, if you need a place in the future don't hesitate to let me know" and "Here's your deposit check back" with a handshake.

When I start a business agreement with a handshake, I finish it that way. I'm a car guy. Not a business lawyer.

Anyway, getting shafted reminded me that some of you cool people mentioned how happy you were with the blog, and thought a tip jar was not a bad thing.... so - here goes.

Thanks in advance for your kindness and charity!

the perfect stocking stuffer for your favorite Mopar guy

three real original diners sitting abandoned in Rockford, Michigan.

nothing like a collection of early hemis, and even an air raid siren hemi

might be a 440 6 pk Bee... but WTF are those front rims? AMC Machine rims?


they might be Sport Fury rims from 1965:

they sure as hell look weird on a Super bee

Over on Barn Finds facebook page, he posted this on Feb 21st 2016, and it sold to someone in Florida for 25 thou by the 23rd

The 2nd owner has photos up on this thread, and it also says he bought it, sold it, then bought it back... however, then he just let it sit and rust away under wet leaves... because Arkansas.

For more cool cars like this that are for sale, and quickly snapped up on Facebook, see https://www.facebook.com/groups/MOPARSUNLIMITED/ 

Hmm, in the news today, Uber is suspending its autonomous tests in Arizona because it's self driving car was hit by a failing to yield moron

An Uber spokeswoman confirmed the incident, and the veracity of the photo, and added that the ride-hailing company is suspending its autonomous tests in Arizona until it completes its investigation and pausing its Pittsburgh operations.

A Ford Edge failed to yield for the Uber car, causing the autonomous vehicle to flip on its side, according to the police report.

So, riddle me this, if they get to the point of these robot cars being taxis, or sold to the public, how likely is it that they'll shut them all down every time something unexpected and previously thought impossible happens?


The ride-hailing company was sent running from California after it failed to fill out proper paperwork, and landed in Tempe, Arizona.

 The company is also being sued by Waymo — the company spun out of Google's self-driving car program—for allegedly using the company's intellectual property to build their own autonomous cars.

And as for the self driving software stuff? It still does NOT keep the car it controls from running red lights. Well, the date stamp on the video is last thanksgiving-ish, but... really? Blowing off a red light when a pedestrian is off the curb and on the road in the crosswalk? Not cool

But even though Uber said it had suspended an employee riding in the Volvo, the self-driving car was, in fact, driving itself when it barreled through the red light, according to two Uber employees, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they signed nondisclosure agreements with the company, and internal Uber documents viewed by The New York Times. All told, the mapping programs used by Uber’s cars failed to recognize six traffic lights in the San Francisco area. “In this case, the car went through a red light,” the documents said.


Wouldn't it be cheaper for Uber to just hire and train drivers to give people free rides? Retired folks with impeccable driving records and exemplary driving skills need part time jobs you know. 

Some days... geez

it's like sinkholes are out to kill us on the road!

If you need to convince your kids to put their toys away, or maybe you want to show them what happens if they don't park their toy car where they are supposed to, show them this

there is even a car museum in Iceland

show off the metalwork by only painting half the car

This half-and-half 1971 440-6 ’Cuda owned by Darryl Wischnewsky received a lot of attention in the Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals show at the Apex booth.

 Carefully fitted on one side as complete and done on the other side to show metal working finishes, the car was centered in their booth and was one of a number of cars on display this year from major shops that were shown in “ongoing” mode


the Deltawing by Nissan, another example of the "Car Of The Year Curse"

I haven't heard a word about this in years, not since Automobile Magazine said "The Nissan DeltaWing is Automobile Magazine’s slam-dunk Racing Car of the Year. In fact, we just as easily could have named it Racing Car of the Decade or even Racing Car of the Half Century." This was the 1st time after an 8 year absence of the Racing Car of the Year that they gave that award to a race car.

If you haven't heard of the magazine curse resulting from them deciding some car was the "car of the year" read  http://livingstingy.blogspot.com/2012/11/motor-trend-car-of-year-curse.html  because I can't find the post I did on this phenomenon years ago

It's odd that a group of focused car enthusiasts that only make a magazine that celebrates the best in cars can get it wrong so damn often... hell, it's ironic. It's simply beyond belief that they only choose cars that fail to deliver on the promise of Car of the Year.

Here's the ultimate bizarre thing about it, they never gave any Porsche "Design of the Year". Figure out why they snub one of the longest production designs being made, the 911. Of all the cars made that basically never changed their look over a couple decades, the Model T, the VW Beetle, and the 911, only the Porsche designs have been around during Automobile magazines run, and they've been snubbed why? Hell, the 911 has been made since 1963... how can a design that old not get recognition at one year or another for being the best design of the year?

Isn't the best design the one that sells the longest? Or is admired by the most people? 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

it's been a long time since I've come across a cool roller coaster to share, but check this out, the first suspended roller coaster, 1902

Bisby's Spiral Airship built in 1902 had cars that were suspended underneath a track and could swing freely. The cars travelled up an inclined track, and then descended along a spiral track around a steel frame tower before returning to the station. This is commonly acknowledged as the first suspended roller coaster type ride.


a very cool looking Goodyear gas and tire station, looking south on Los Angeles Street (now Anaheim Blvd.) from Cypress Street after the 1938 flood

I don't think I've ever seen a close up of a Goodyear gas station, http://oac.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/kt8199q44r/?brand=oac4

visible stores and businesses include he Goodyear Service Station, Cone Bros. Chevrolet Sales and Service, Van Buren Furniture, Riutcel-Smith Furniture Company, F.P. Robins Signs and the Pickwick Hotel.


2 girls were barred by a gate agent from boarding a United Airlines flight, because they were wearing leggings, and traveling under an employee travel pass that includes a dress code,

The girls, one is 10 years old, were not allowed onto the morning flight because they were traveling under an employee travel pass that includes a dress code, United spokesman Jonathan Guerin said.

The dress code bars pass travelers from wearing spandex or Lycra pants such as leggings. The teenagers agreed to change their clothing and take a later flight, Guerin said, but the airline's actions sparked a quick backlash

Activist Shannon Watts of Denver tweeted that she witnessed Sunday's events and questioned United's decision to police women's clothing.

Watts was traveling on vacation to Mexico when she heard a family next to her panic. Then she heard the female agent explain to the young travelers that they couldn’t get on the plane wearing spandex.

Watts said the girl's father was allowed to board while wearing shorts and called the airline's policy sexist.

And there you have it, the real story... schools aren't the only places with sexist dress codes.


Delta Air Lines saw the opportunity this presented... and was fast to say: "Flying Delta means comfort. (That means you can wear your leggings),"


Pacific Auto Works in Long Beach designed in 1928

Packard dealership, Santa Monica. Now it is the Mercedes Benz dealership

99 year old Gladys Stroud enjoys wheeling around Las Vegas in her 2002 Oldsmobile Intrigue, and says the secret to long life is cigars, sex, and scotch. No argument here, I'm half her age and willing to try whatever she recommends.

She came into the world on March 31, 1917, six days before the U.S. entered World War I and at a time when the maximum speed limit in most American cities was 10 mph.

While it’s fascinating to learn that the hamburger bun was invented in the year of her birth, it’s even more wonderful to be in the company of someone who has been around for a century and still has the good health to really enjoy life now.

Returning to New York after high school, she graduated from business school and met her first husband, Arnold Bazell. Their second child, Frank, a Green Beret, was killed in Vietnam in 1965. He was awarded the Silver Star for Valor.

Her only prescribed medications are for mild cases of high blood pressure and acid reflux. She also takes a few vitamins.

After parking the Olds the other day in her Peccole Ranch neighborhood in west Las Vegas, Gladys half-ran into her house to play mahjong.


Thanks Steve!

a darn good use for a belly tank, National Aircraft Show, Dayton Ohio – 1953


Nha Trang, Vietnam – 1969 Lambretta Lambro 3-wheeler.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

ice fishing straight out of the car, a '46 Chrysler New Yorker

1940s circus, behind the scenes

1951 trip to the lake in a late 40s Pontiac

wrecking companies sure have sunk a long way from this downtown streetfront business model

Emmanuel Zurini’s bronze Maserati 250F, and Stanley Wanlass’s The Racers, 1978

a most remarkable collection of classic cars, and 48 of them went to auction in Sept 2015, and resulted in 24 million dollars

the residence was once the summer house of the king of Denmark

this 1914 boat tail model by Schebera Coachbuilders is just one of the cars in the 24 million dollar collection of Mr. Henrik Frederiksen

Wilhlem Maybach started his career as an apprentice to Gottlieb Daimler. He is credited with several Mercedes innovations still in use, the radiator among them.

Maybach outlived Daimler and went on to build V12 dirigible engines for Count Zeppelin and, with his son, formed an autombile company after WWI.

In the 1930s Maybach, like Mercedes and Packard, offered more affordable models. The Maybach SW-38 was one of these cars. Its Spohn design gave true meaning to the term “fitted luggage”