Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Operation Anti-Lawn Ornament

In an effort to turn the engine-less, WT flag in my front yard into a running driving car, my wife has offered to cook food for my buddies and I once a week in exchange for some team work style toolin on my '68 Imperial Crown Coupe. So we're gonna get together during the weeknights to get this bad boy up and running before the weather gets too cold to do so.  Oddly enough, given the career that I'm in, I don't have many friends that are into old cars like I am, though that isn't stopping some of them. It should be cool for them, since they can get their dinner on, then get their wrench on, maybe learn something, and hopefully we can assemble and bring the old beast back to life. It's definitely cool for me, since I have a wife who not only supports my car obsession, but is cool enough to help me to get it done, in whatever way she can. 

(This a 4 door, but you get the picture... It's a barge!)

A little background on the car:
When I was a kid, I used to go to any car show I could with my old man. One of the first of his cars that I can remember was a 68 Imperial Crown Coupe. It was a monster and i loved it.  When I started building my own collection of junk, I thought about finding a 68 to make my summer commuter. I came across this one on CL in 09. There was a small nondescript ad on the Tampa FL list with no pictures and the cursed "would make a good parts car" line. Two big strikes, and normally I wouldn't even bother, but it also read "rust free", and "47k original miles" so I figured I might as well give a call. After talking with the older gentleman, I learned that he bought the car off the estate of the original owners who were elderly when they bought it in 68. They parked it in 82, and there it sat in their garage until he bought it in 02. He tried the basics to get it started, but wasn't very mechanically inclined, so became quickly frustrated and sat on it for the next few years until deciding he was no longer interested. I asked for some pictures, to which he said, "Sure, whats your address?" (It's kind of scary how out of place receiving snail mail with 3"x5" photos is in this digital age.) Regardless after a few more conversations, I decided to take a shot on it. 
Turns out that the reason he couldn't get it running was that among a few other age related issues from sitting, the valves/springs had seized, so when he poured gas into the carb, tossed a new battery in it, and attempted to fire it up, it immediately bent 4 push rods. Luckily that's all it did.  I took the motor out to refresh it, and while that 2 week job turned into 2 months, I ended up buying a house (another project) and the job turned to 2 years of sitting dormant... which brings us to today.
On the upside, I've been slowly buying parts for the past 2 years now, so I should have everything we need to put her together.

Recap:   Awesome wife, home cooked food, buddies, wrenching, shootin the shit about cars. This should be good.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Steve's 72 Vette. Part 2: in the Flesh!

Some pics of Steve's Vette as it sits, though by the time you read this it'll most likely be further along!

This really shows the color.. it's intense!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Vinsetta Garage Repurposed.

For those of you local to this area, the Vinsetta Garage in Royal Oak MI probably needs no intro. It's the oldest garage "this side of the Mississippi," according to Jalopnik. Opened in 1919, it was in service until earlier this year, when the owner decided to call it quits for personal reasons. Because of it's location, it was assumed that the old structure would meet with the wrecking ball, but as of yesterday I was pleased to find out that the building will remain as it is, and house a new restaurant thats owners have vowed to not change the exterior, short of maybe stripping the paint off of it. I'll be watching this closely but for now, am relieved to see that a pretty significant piece of this areas automotive history will be somewhat preserved, albeit for a different line of service. :)

(Pics grabbed from various source online)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Woodward: Wednesday night

More fun as the streets get more and more crowded.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Woodward: Tuesday night

A few flics from the night... always a lot of variety at Woodward!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

What if: Custom bodied roadster.

This car showed up on the HAMB recently with a call the figure out what it is, or was for that matter. I like my hot rodding history as much as the next guy, but this this doesn't really seem to ring too many bells as far as gettin recognized as anything too noteworthy. One gentleman mentioned that it could have been built in the 50's or early 60's when the idea of European sports cars was starting to really take hold, but the budget of most forced some back yard builds, loosely based on sleek euro proportions. Whatever the case, this example is a bit on the wonky side. Nothing really seems to line up, and with the addition of some 70's turbine wheels, and a later model small block, it looks like a kit car gone ...kit car.

Alas!  Some see junk... some see potential. I'll play for the latter team today. I think the low and long proportions lend themselves to an indy car inspired rod, complete with knock off wires, white letter Pirellis, & hood straps. The front and rear fenders would both need some work, both by bobbing, and a bit of massaging to get the shapes to flow better. I've shorted up the distance from cowl to grille, which still leaves it about a half mile long, and added a hood. Power comes from a "function driven" flatty. In otherwords, the dress up stuff would be to a minimum, though if it's finned for performance? Hell yeah. I've lobbed off the roof, which looks unnecessary, and strightened out the belt line. Some might argue that the dipping belt is race car-ish, though in this case, given how sectioned the car is already, keeping it hurts the speed of the body side. Windshield is angled back, and flat. Lastly that humpback of Notre Dame deck lid needs some reshaping. It has no flow with the rest of the car and aids in the broken look of it.

Easy job? Not so much. But potential is potential, and if people didn't believe that, the hot rodding/custom thing would have died a long time ago.

The car in question: Yikes.

My thoughts:

Original thread: HERE

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Woodward is gettin closer...

Took a quick ride over to Woodward Ave last night, and it was swamped. We're a week out from what some people say is the largest rolling car show in the world. Expect full coverage starting mid week!

Friday, August 12, 2011

My GLH meets Terra Firma once again... this time a much closer relationsip.

Now, I know this is a stark departure from the normal stuff that I post about here, but my love of cars, especially odd ones runs the gamut.  This is my daily, when I'm not driving my 54. It's an 86 Dodge Omni. That's right.... the lowly econo-box of the 1980's. While not one of the 500 numbered S cars, it is a turbo GLH (short for "Goes Like Hell" as coined by Carrol Shelby). I bought the car in 05, and have been fighting it ever since. Between having to rebuild the motor, blowing 2 trans', temporarily losing the car to a shady mechanic who disappeared along with everything he was working on, and weathering the harsh streets of downtown Detroit street parking for 2 years, the car and I share a special relationship.  I wont bore ya with all the details, but after rebuilding the suspension, and having some steelies widened for it, it's back on the road after a 8 month hiatus.  It's grimey, beat up, it rattles and shakes, and it wakes up my entire subdivision when i fire it up.
I love it. My wife, (and probably my neighbors) hate it. It's my ridiculous little monster.

When I bought it in '05:

As it sits today:

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

On my travels: Freman's Auto, MO

An absolutely breathtaking ammount of stuff. Super nice guy too.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Barn Find Friday: 57 Bug

Here's a bit of an odd ball.  Off the road for almost 40 years, rag top, oval window, and a pretty cool history!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Steve's 72 Vette: Part 1

Been super busy with the day job as of late, so here's some stuff from a few months back. Steve is building up his fathers old 72 vette, and he's goin for gold. It wasn't in the cards to have the car done by Autorama this past Febuary, but I assume it'll be done soon. The color is a pearl Lambo yellow that screams in the sunlight. (I'll get some pics of the actual car soon). It's bagged, subtly smoothed over, and running some monsterous Americans. Here's a rendering that I did for him to kick off the build, and some sketchwork of his ideas for some of the details

Some rough sketchwork around the interior: