Sunday, November 29, 2009

Beat on the Street - Outer Banks Tow Vehicle Edition

On the Outer Banks of North Carolina, it's not uncommon to see local "Hoi-Toiders" outfitting pretty much any vehicle with a hitch for pulling the boat, but how often do you see a semi-caminoized, bob-tailed, and steer horned ex-'Herrif' car towing a Zodiac? Not all that often.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Before They Were Beaters: Mercury Topaz AWD

When 120 ft.lbs of torque is too much for one axle you need All Wheel Drive. If your Tempo or Topaz is properly equipped, you've got it. Although entirely mediocre, the Tempo AWD and diesel variants are almost interesting enough to care about.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Beaterblog Marketplace Feature: '56 Plymouth Savoy

Sitting outside a body shop on Ann Arbor's North Main Street is this 1956 Plymouth Savoy, displayed in a typical Detroit Metro area scene.

The mid-level Mopar is being sold through the body shop after the owner decided the restoration was more than he could afford. In talking to the owner, the price had not been fully decided but it around the $1,000 mark.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Before They Were Beaters: 1981 Cadillac 8-6-4

As opposed to the '81 Diesel
Cadillac that used the 8-6-5-7-2-1-0-1-0 deactivation sequence utilizing the latest in bottom end failure technology, the 8-6-4 system used hydraulic actuators to close off either 2 or 4 of the intake valves and reduce fuel input from the TBI system in low-load situations. Offered only for the '81 model year, this system caused GM so much trouble that it was discontinued for all sedans after the first model year and limousines after '82. Even when all 8 were working in unison, only 140hp was produced out of 6.0 liters.

The remedy for this disaster was the equally dreaded 4100 "High Technology" V8, which offered new space age features like automatic coolant/oil homogenization, permanent cylinder deactivation, and self actuating rotating assembly ventilation.

Beaterblog Garage Failure - The ugly way to fix exhaust leaks

From my humble and embarrassed garage comes this goober welded monstrosity, a successful yet horribly unattractive exhaust leak fix. You see, the junction between my muffler and the inlet pipe was seemingly leaking the entire way around as a direct result of a failed attempt at a powerslide over a pothole on 12 Mile.

After multiple failed attempts at finding cracks and welding over the leak, I decided to plug up the exhaust with shop rags and weld directly into the stream leaking gasses, which obviously blow away all of your argon shielding gas. Simply weld until the hissing stops. Results to the right, please don't judge me.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Beat on the Street - 1978 Ford P6 LTD

Spotted in the parking lot of the Australian National history museum is this genuine Aussie blue oval big-body. It's odd seeing other nation's interpretations of classic American sedan designs and especially the oddball super-lux editions, but this down under design is spot on in capturing all malaise era design elements. It's got the front end of a '74 Catalina, Eldorado hubcaps, '77 Electra 225 rear quarters, and plenty of '74 Torino in the hips.

Don't like it? Well then watch "Mr. Nice Guy" and see Jackie Chan compressed into the rear seat as a mining truck drives over the top of a P6 LTD. Sacrilege.

Before They Were Beaters: Hurst Cutlass Olds

From Beaterblog
You can keep your Grand National, I want a Hurst Olds. The paint and decals are way cooler and since GM is bringing back the Regal its not has hip anymore. I bet after a case of PBR I'll see it in the same golden glow shown in the ad.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Before They Were Beaters: Turbo Diesel Ram 50

From Beaterblog
When I think of Diesel Dodge Ram, the first thing that comes to mind is always 80 horsepower Mitsubishi four-cylinder. Ok, maybe not every time. Now that Ram is going to be its own brand, perhaps it will return to its heritage of badge engineered imports. Or, maybe not.

Marketplace Feature: 1975 Chevrolet Cosworth Vega

The Cosworth Vega is probably one of the most under appreciated classics on the market today. Had it been a success, maybe the American sports car market would have evolved differently throughout the 70's and 80's.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Before They Were Beaters: Escort EXP

Ford doesn't have the greatest track record in making exciting small cars in its home market. The formula for an exciting Escort probably didn't need to include the impracticality of two seats or the horrid NVH of the 1.6L CVH engine. What really set the EXP apart was the styling. What were they thinking?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Beater Junkyard Find: Iacocca K-car Limo

Of the dozens of Chrysler K-car variants and derivatives my favorite is the Executive Limousine. For me, it was a car of lore that only existed in my father's old brochure collection and car magazines. A product planning odity that seemed to have no market or purpose. Its probably fitting that my first face-to-face contact with the real thing was at Parts Galore junkyard. In some way I pity the executive who had to settle for what is merely a lengthened Reliant K.

Before They Were Beaters: Pontiac Phoenix SJ

Perhaps the most special edition of the GM X-bodies was the Phoenix SJ. H.O. got you 135 horsepower of from an unreliable push-rod six. The ad does a great job of explaining all the unique features of the SJ including 205/70R13 radials, Woo-Hoo!

Beat on the Street - AMC Eagle SX/4

This 'Special Edition' edition of BOTS brings you this 'it's a boy' colored AMC Eagle SX/4. But before we go into too much detail, some clarification needs to be made: Subaru did not make the world's first sport utility wagon. I'm not sure where they got that one.

It's tough to improve upon the already perfect 'almost-a-trar' AMC Eagle, but the special SX/4 option package on the two door liftback made for one of the best 4-wheel-drives ever. This well worn 5-speed, 258, and Selectrac equipped equipped model was spotted on the streets of downtown Ann Arbor, Michigan, eagerly awaiting winter's snowdrifts and roads impassible to inferior automobiles.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

BB Presents Special Edition Week

I'd like to believe that all beaters are special but in reality, a few are created just a little more special than others. Sometimes product planners go the extra mile and allow you to own a vehicle a little better than your neighbors'. To celebrate all those marketing gimicks BeaterBlog is bringing you Special Edition Week. Seven days of beaters that have been blessed with unique trim packages, dealer specials, odd variants, or homologation specials.

Project Update - Operation G[hetto]o Kart: Phase II

Although slightly behind schedule, Project G[hetto]o Kart is well on it's way to becoming a functioning low-budget ice racer.

A powerplant has been acquired with the help of our friend in fabrication, Andrew. A 440cc inline twin snowmobile engine will provide the thrust paired with a CVT packaged at the rear of the vehicle. Some basic mocking up shows that it may actually fit! With the added moral boost of working steering, this project may actually be ready for the winter.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Beat on the Streetview - Triumph TR6 in Raleigh

Outside of this local independent coffee shop in Raleigh, NC is a nice looking Triumph TR6. This eccentric and extremely smokey place, Cup-o-Joe's, is home to some of Raleigh's finest coffee and always seems to always having some sort of daily driver classic car parked out front. Usual patrons include a late 60's Wagoneer, an early 60's Suburban, a '71 'Cuda, and a '72 Charger. See it on Google Streetview.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Beaterblog Marketplace Feature: Back to the Future Edition

If my calculations are correct, when this baby hits 88 miles per hour, you're going to see some serious shit.


Think you are up for the challenge of DeLorean ownership? Well this fairly clean example is for sale on Stadium Boulevard in Ann Arbor, Michigan, only blocks from the Big House. Not surprisingly, the car only has roughly 10,000 miles on it, as it was used mainly for commuting around the Hill Valley metro area and obviously time travel does not directly impact odometer readings. This car has been for sale for quite some time on the roadside, but is now on Craigslist Detroit, listed for $18,200 by a private seller. Drive by Lewis Jewelers in Ann Arbor to take a look.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Beater Barn Find: Series I Alfa Romeo Giulia Sedan

Although not technically a barn find, resting in this Ann Arbor, Michigan back yard is what appears to be a very rough first generation Alfa Romeo Giulia sedan. Maybe it's a donor car for a garage project, or maybe it's a restoration project that's always delayed until next Saturday. Either way, this car would look beautiful as a fully restored example, a beater, or a Twin-Spark track rat. For information on location, email your editors.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Before They Were Beaters: Renault 18i

Marriages of American car companies to European rivals have been successful at introducing quirky home-market products to unassuming Americans. The Renault 18i sedan only danced on the American stage for 2 years (1981-82) and was the forerunner to the less than popular Eagle Medallion and Eagle Premier. In some way its fitting that European car companies play on stereotypes to promote there product; German is to engineering as French is to art.

Before They Were Beaters: Awesome Datsun Turbo-ZX

Nissan Datsun has used the "shift" ad campaign before. In the 1982 version, shifting into awesome got you 180 laggy horsepower, big hair, and a laser show in your rear view mirror. Hopefully most new Datsun owners knew better than to choke the shift knob as shown above.

Beaterblog Product Review - Harbor Freight 7 Piece Body and Fender Set

Want to try out your own panel beating but don't feel like dropping a bunch of money on a hammer and dolly set just to see if you like it? Although I'm no body man, but I can say this set is a great starting point for trying to pick up the skill. For my Simca crash course in emergency auto body repair, I found that this set made the task bearable - enjoyable even. Like most items on the shelves of your local Harbor Freight, it's not perfect. But for $29.99 with a lifetime warranty, it doesn't really have to be.

This set nestles cozily inside the ubiquitous and unlabeled injection molded box that all Harbor Freight tools seem to come in, but possesses a slightly higher manufacturing quality than most items you'd normally find inside. Included are 3 double ended hammers of various types and 4 dollies, two of which are also double ended and easy to hold on to. The hammers are solid cast units so you won't have to worry about the pickhammer head coming off the handle and going into your person upon backswing.

I can't say that I know what each of these hammers and dollies are actually for at this point in my bodywork career, but all of the hammers seem to have some use in my project. Whether it was identifying corroded areas with a swift punch, dressing down raised areas, forming contours, or making crisp corners, I seemed to always have the hammer I needed - well, for my skill level anyway. The one thing that this set could use is a shrinking faced hammer, or one with a grid pattern on the face, but these are also cheap and readily available.

From a bodywork newbie's perspective, I'd say that you can't really go wrong with this set to get you started. Click here for the listing on Harbor Freight's site.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Beat on the Streetview - Peugeot 404 in St. Kilda

Beat on the Streetview brings you interesting vehicles from around the world courtesy of Google Streetview in regular or 'mystery car' formats. This installment comes from the Melbourne beach suburb of St. Kilda, Victoria, Australia in the form of a beautiful Peugeot 404. Check back for more Beat on the Streetview discoveries, or tip your editors off to cars of both known and unknown origins.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Beater How-To: Aiming Headlights

During the creation of Beaterblog and specifically the How-To section, we came to the conclusion that tutorials should not just include the steps necessary to complete the job, but the stuff-ups along the way as well. Let's be honest - things rarely go off without a hitch and maybe it will even provide more material. In this How-To, I'll explain an easy way to aim headlights but also how I managed to totally mess things up.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Beat on the Street: Snuffleupagus Edition

I've seen a lot of strange things on my monthly pilgrimage from the suburbs into the city of Detroit. This Toyota Camry has transcended its boring automotive appliance origins to fill our beings with art.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Beat on The Street - Bedford CF Dually Shaggin' Wagon

What's happenin' baby? You a Taurus too? Well hop in this late 70's period custom Bedford CF panel van spotted outside a hostel in Sydney's red light district. But I wouldn't touch anything if I were you...

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Beater Blog Gets an Upgrade

Beater Blog is going up a trim level with high class plaid fabric and all new features. Don't miss the Marketplace (on the right hand tool bar) where the Beater Blog staff showcases the best and worst cars seeking a new home.