Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Happy Earth Day!

How does Ford mark Earth Day.....by announcing that the 2015 Mustang will be a hybrid.  It will burn gas and rubber!  

Ford has announced that the 2015 Mustang GT will feature a standard electronic line-lock feature!  I love how the announcement and video released explain the practical aspect of line-lock for all the drag racers out there who need to heat up their tires for maximum traction at the drag strip.  Just like your buddy who swears he subscribes to Playboy for the articles......there is obviously an ulterior motive behind Ford's new feature.

Ford identified a marketing gimmick which will provide tons of press coverage and is inexpensive to package. Its not aimed at the science of drag racing, it aimed at the inner hoonigan in all of us. I guarantee you'll see more 2015 Mustangs doing brake-stands at your local cruise night than at the drag strip. I'm not even considering how many "Mustang line lock' videos that are going to flood YouTube! So what do I think about Ford's shady marketing move.....well done Ford!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Mustang Turns 50!

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the Mustang debut at the 1964 World's Fair in New York!  Ford is doing its best to mark the occasion and is taking advantage of the fact that it coincides with the  New York Auto Show.....meaning the automotive media is already focused on New York.

Mustang display at the 1964 World's Fair
Ford has also placed a 2015 Mustang convertible on the observation deck of the Empire State Building to recreate one of many publicity stunts carried out half a century ago.

According to a statement released by Ford, the only way to get a car to the deck is to use the elevator of the 80-plus-year-old building. “No portable crane can reach the 86th floor observatory, and the spire towering above the relatively narrow deck makes helicopter delivery impossible," the statement says.

Since the building's elevator can't fit an entire Mustang, the car had to be cut into six elevator-friendly pieces. A team of workers then rebuilt the car on the building's observation deck; though, as the video below shows, the team did at least one practice run beforehand.

What is amazing is the amount of promotion Ford did back in 1964 to ensure the Mustang was a success (maybe the Edsel debacle was still fresh in everyone's mind).  I recently spoke to a friend who remembers when Ford loaned him a new Mustang for him to review and write about. He didn't work for Motor Trend or any other major trade magazine......he was a writer for his college paper. 

GM has even chimed in with a very fun press release:

So happy birthday Mustang.  We've had a few close calls (Ford Probe) but are happy you are here and looking forward to what the future holds.

How it all began:

Monday, April 7, 2014

Caffeine and Carburetors

Yesterday was the first Caffeine & Carburetors event of 2014.   Caffeine & Carburetors is a gathering of automotive enthusiasts that meets in New Canaan, Connecticut about six times a year.  The home base for the event is  Zumbach’s Gourmet Coffee. Doug Zumbach began hosting these gatherings in 1995. These Sundays start around 8 am to gather and enjoy a cup of coffee followed by a leisurely drive through the countryside.

This event is definitely gaining popularity. Between the buzz leading up to the event and being blessed with a sunny, crisp Spring day after a long cold winter over 700 cars turned out for a great automotive exhibition.  The town of New Canaan also did a great job to embrace and support the event.

So what makes Caffeine & Carburetors so special (compared to other shows and cruise nights)?  First of all the focus is enjoying the cars (i.e. driving). There are no sponsorships or awards. Furthermore, while C&C does have an an emphasis on foreign sports cars, everything in the automotive world is represented.   So you will come across everything from a Model A or 1920's Rolls Royce to the latest Ferrari or Lamborghini.

The remaining events for 2014 are scheduled for :
  • May 4
  • June 15
  • September 7
  • October 5
  • November 2

Here are just a few photos I took from the event:

Dyson Porsche IMSA 962 (The first customer Porsche 962, chassis number 962-101)

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Comet was Sold!!!!!

Here's a very brief update.  The 1962 Comet has been sold!  I almost traded it for a 1967 Pontiac LeMans convertible project car but decided to sell it outright to free up space in the shop (and some cash) so I can finally start digging into the 1969 Mustang!

Loaded up and ready to go....

On her way....

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Hoff's KITT

The Hoff's (David Hasselhoff) personal KITT is going across the auction block! Need I say more!

Here are the detail:

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Comet is for Sale!

So I spent the weekend cleaning out the Comet and finishing a couple odds and ends it needed to make it drive-able.  I photographed it and listed it on Craigslist, the H.A.M.B, Grassroots Motorsports and Comet Central. So here are the details....

For sale in a '62 Comet project car. Car could be used for parts, restoration or with a little work could be a neat rat rod cruiser (it has loads of patina).

This Comet is a 4 door and was originally equipped with a 170 cid six cylinder engine. The engine has been upgraded with a 200 cid from 1967. The car has an automatic transmission and starts and moves. Car needs some mechanical work to be a driver. Namely, the brake line to the rear of the car needs to be replaced and the exhaust manifold is cracked (and very noisy).

The body has rust issues in the lower portions of the body panels (see photos). The leading edge of the hood is also badly rusted. The radiator support has rust and there is blistering on the rear frame rails behind the rear leaf spring mount.

Car also has a set of American Racing Outlaw II's in it which are hard to come by in the correct 4 lug bolt pattern . Rims are in great shape except one has minor curb rash. Tires are very good. Buyer can also have the original 13 inch steel wheels that came with the car (tires bad) if you want the traditional look.

Bill of Sale only! Window sticker shows that car appears to have last been registered in New York in 2003. Asking price is $1400

Please email me questions or set up a time to come take a look.

If it doesn't sell locally I will list it on eBay in a week or two.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

New England Auto Museum

Today I had the pleasure of attending an informational meeting about the New England Auto Museum.  The New England Auto Museum is a non-profit organization that has been created with the goal of  opening a first class facility that preserves, interprets and exhibits automobiles and automotive artifacts in Southern New England.

During the meeting the directors of the organization outlined their goals and plans.  They emphasized their ambition to go beyond a collection of cars on display.  The organization was very proud of its focus plan to bring students and auto enthusiasts together to celebrate the automobile, and educate guests regarding the significant role of the automobile in New England and in the wider world from a historical, technological, social and cultural aspect.

The  organization has a presence on Facebook so please 'Like' the page to stay informed with what's going on with the progress of the organization. The organization also has a rudimentary website (http://neautomuseum.org) now but will be relaunching with a more comprehensive site within a few weeks.  The current site has information about donating to the 501(c)(3) charity.

In addition to being extremely informative, the the meeting itself was a lot of fun.  The room was full of avid auto enthusiasts and collectors. Bob Sharp (of Bob Sharp Datsun/Nissan and Paul Newman fame) attended and spoke briefly.  The venue for the meeting was Dragone Classic Motorcars  in Westport, Connecticut which was full of fantastic cars and memorabilia.  So I spent my day talking cars with avid collectors while sitting next to a  1907 Fiat Targa Florio racer.....does it get any better than that?

Regardless, I'll most likely featuring more information about the museum's activities and events in the near future. For now, here are some pics I snapped while walking around Dragone's showroom:

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Pimps Everywhere Rejoice

Just saw this on eBay.....and I am baffled!

My car buddies and I have had many discussions about car designs in the 60's, 70's and early 80's when designers were limited to standard round  5 3/4" or 7" headlights or a basic set of rectangular sealed beam units.  We often discussed what we considered creative designs that tried to integrate the lighting units in new and interesting ways (which is probably why just about everything exotic in that era had flip up / recessed lights) .  However, whoever came up with this design wins by a landslide! 

This pimptastic whip is up on eBay right now!  As ridiculous as it is....it really is in immaculate condition.  The scary thing is as soon as I saw the auction listing I knew I saw one of these before. Then it hit me....the movie cover of Super Fly. I'm not sure if I'm proud or ashamed of the fact that I was able to recall this.

So happy bidding!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Cool Porsche Carrera 3.2 Teardown

Just saw this really cool video on YouTube.  It is an animation of the tear down of a Porsche Carrera  3.2 engine.  I wonder how long it took to make this.

The producer of the film posted a teaser for the rebuild which should be appear here at some point.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

I Don't Like Musicals

I love car movies! I even love the bad ones (which there are plenty of) if there is enough driving, racing, or hooning on display.  I have a special place in my heart for the classics like American Graffiti, Two-Lane Blacktop, Dirty Mary Crazy Larry, Bullitt, Vanishing Point....you get the point.  If I stumble upon one while channel surfing I consider it must see TV till the final credits roll.  However, the majority of the cult classics really only appeal to car-guys at this point in time. My clinical data to substantiate this statement.....of the movies mentioned above I'd probably only gt my wife to watch American Graffiti with me again (yes she has watched all of the other out of obligation).

However, there is one car movie that she absolutely loves and I cannot stand. In fact it was on two days ago and she stopped to see if my sons would be interested and I literally left the room.  That movie is 1978's Grease!

Her and I joke about the fact that there is a movie that features cars, gangs, and Vinnie Barbarino and I can't stand it.  The simple fact is I don't like musicals. I guess that people randomly breaking into song can even ruin Ben-Hur style hub caps.

Honestly, Grease can probably be considered the most mainstream car movie ever made.  The irony goes even further. When I was in high-school the majority of my class was having parties in which they watched (and apparently sang along with) Grease. You know who wasn't at these parties? The socially shunned gear heads (you sense the bitterness) who were literally out cruising/street racing while these private screenings were taking place. And just for some perspective on the movie's staying power.....I went to high-school 18 years after the movie was released!

So why do I bring this up now. As I mentioned, Grease was on yet again the other day, but more importantly, the original 1949 Mercury that Craterface drove is for sale on eBay right now.  So if you have over 100 grand burning a hole in your pocket and aren't revolted by the concept of people randomly bursting into song here's the ride for you...