Friday, December 31, 2010

Beat on the Street - One Living and One Dead Peugeot 404

Surprisingly popular here in the land built on a sheep's back is the robust yet stylish Peugeot 404. Most having been long since retired from daily service in the US, the tough old Pugs seem to be popular with hobbyists and commuters alike. My 404 count so far in about two weeks is 4 which to me is a shockingly high number!

The first example shown was seen cruising the streets of Melbourne's historically preserved first suburb, Fitzroy. As an antithesis, the second example lies dormant, or likely beyond, in a barn near rapidly developing Charlestown, NSW.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Beating in Progress - Beating around Australia, The Sequel

It's a beater, but I'm going as easy on it as possible on this borrowed Australian 1992 Toyota Camry wagon. The condition of the vehicle would defy Kelly Blue Book classification but it owes me nothing and has performed way beyond expectations. So far, it has braved the locust storms of the central New South Wales coast, the near freezing temperatures of Phillip Island, and the now scorching heat in my current location in the hoon capital of the world: Newcastle.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Market Place: Monster Dodge Flower Car Will Burn You Alive

This might be the scariest lawn ornament in Detroit. Its made of ancient rusted Detroit steel, spews fire in every direction, and was welded together by art students. Be afraid, be very afraid.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Why Does Glass Break for No Reason?

Replacing a rear window was not what I had originally planned to do on my snowy Saturday morning.

My poor E30's rear window was completely shattered but remained completely intact until I slammed the door. No foul play is suspected as my CD player and iPod remain in the vehicle. No branches or small rocks are present in the area. Completely clean crime scene - no evidence.

Does water get in the driprails and freeze? Was my chassis tweaked, stressing the window? Is this an act of local wildlife? If anyone has any insight, please enlighten me in the comments below!

Beat on the Street - 1966 Chevrolet Corvair

Seeing this car in Blowing Rock, NC brought back memories of the '63 Corvair coupe that my dad had in '89-91. I remember going to buy it from an old lady who never got up from the couch while Jeopardy was on, Dad driving around in reverse on cold mornings to get the two forward gears to come into action before driving me and my frequently carsick brother to elementary school, and of course the stalling on left turns. He eventually sold it to some guy who had dreams of using the motor in some sort of homebrew aircraft - not really sure if Dad told him about the whole left turn stalling thing. Let's hope it didn't matter.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Marketplace Feature: Big Body Fords

The owner selling this Crown Vic wagon is also selling a slightly older LTD. And that's not all - he's also got a '75 Elite in the garage and yet another LTD - two door this time - under the cover beside the grey one. Is that enough for him? Hell no, he was out looking at another four door earlier in the week! Aside from the big Ford sedan fetish, he also has a Camaro, a Model T, and a '64 Ford F-250.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Ronrico Rum Presents - Fodder For a Weekend Full of Bad Decisions

How would your life change if overnight you were to win "The Marshall Tucker Band Sweepstakes"? Suddenly, you were endowed with a 1982 Trans-Am Turbo equipped with a Craig stereo tape deck loaded with the soundtrack to a weekend of destruction? A win like this could completely change the trajectory of your existence.

This month in 1981, someone just won a 301 cubic inch, Turbocharged redneck chariot and 1500mL of bad life choices in a bottle.

Get ready to burn to the ground, Myrtle Beach!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Marketplace Feature: 1963 Renault Dauphine

Its French, rear engine, and runs for $3500. Not much else I can say except I wish I had that lying around. Anyone want a Spec Neon race car so I can pick this up?

Detroit Craiglist

Sunday, November 14, 2010

In The Garage - Dishwasher Partswasher

If you are in a fairly thrifty mood but are looking for some sort of project for the garage, the dishwasher turned parts washer may sound interesting. If you've got $75 and dirty parts, this project could be for you. Hell, I don't even have a dishwasher for my dishes but I figured I'd try and hack this up for the sake of experimentation.

The goal here was to created a closed circuit parts washer that could heat a strong water based solvent (unlike most $200 barrel-agitator style parts washers on craigslist) as well as accomodate a large number of items. As with all things Beaterblog, low cost is of course paramount.

Beat on the Street - 1964 Ford Ranchero

How did the market segment containing the Ranchero and El Camino die in the United States? A vehicle that get good gas mileage, has hauling and limited towing ability, and vehicle dynamic qualities that don't threaten to kill you at every bend, how did that fail? A car-based compact pickup is about the only car I'd consider going in to debt for these days. That or something rear wheel drive, four door, and less than 2,000 pounds. I digress.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Marketplace Feature: 1969 Chrysler Newport

Now parked on Hwy 12 in Clinton, MI - in the same spot previously occupied by past Marketplace vehicles - is a pea green metallic Chrysler C-body.

These 'Fuselage' body style Mopars were the last true domestic hardtops available when they were finally phased out in '78. This Newport is from the first year of production for the new body style; 1969.

Unfortunately, a pop of the hood revealed the 290hp 383 instead of the 440 that I was hoping for. There is a bit of rust in the rear quarters and where the vinyl top was stripped off (Boooo, hisssss!!) but nothing too scary. The car has 70's Ohio plates and a Mopar Nationals sticker so it could be a recent barn find traded at a swap meet.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Marketplace Feature: Custom Car White BOY Owned

Who cares if it was "White BOY owned"? I didn't think any race in the universe was capable of making a Roadmaster wagon so shitty. Chances are that if you read this ad without looking at the pictures, your mind's eye will likely paint the image for you. Get your Downriver dream boat right here. And don't be a dummy and offer no stupid offers neither.

But if you do, please, please return it to woodgrain.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Beat on the Street: Citroen DS Cabrio

I'm slightly embarrassed to admit I didn't know a factory convertible DS existed until I saw this example looking appropriately French in Montreal. More pictures after the jump.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Fiat 600 resembles Italian women with chrome hub caps

As Fiat prepares to re-introduce itself to America lets take a look at how it went about its first introduction. "Italians regard their cars almost as highly as their women" will most likely not appear on any modern Fiat 500 ads. Even though a low cut dress is a proven way to move metal, its simply too patronizing these days. Especially the way the ad portrays doing so as a particularly Italian endeavor.

Monday, October 25, 2010

How To: Sweep Your Bride Away via Motorcycle

I knew my woman was a keeper when I suggested (in complete jest) that we ride away from our wedding on my Ducati, and she immediately said "yes". Now all I had to do was figure out how to pull it off.

Cars and Caffeine October Car Show

Quirky British rides made a strong showing at Auto Zone Hobbies weekly Cars and Caffeine meet this past Saturday. When most meets might boast a few MGB's or Healeys, AutoZone attracted a Jenson Interceptor, TVR, Morgan, 2 Aston Martins and a mini. Highlights after the jump.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Marketplace Feature: 1972 Citroen DS

Since I paid for a wedding only one month ago, I'm certain I don't have the $8500 asking price for this piece of rare (in Motown) french motoring. Sure there are lots of better reasons not go near a french car but they would likely have little effect. I mean, it looks respectable on the outside and runs so how bad could it be? I also appreciate the sellers honesty. When discussing the hydraulic system leaks he conditions every assurance of tight seals with the statement "for now". The price is probably a little high, but if the body is relatively rust free and mechanically sound at the moment, it could be worth making an offer. If you buy it, I want a ride.

Detroit Craiglist

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Auto Zone Cars and Caffeine Show

Incredible weather (for Michigan in October) brought out the crowd to Auto Zone Hobbies weekly Cars and Caffeine meet this past Saturday. While many of these fine machine make regular appearances on Woodward, it was my first introduction to the Singer Gazelle. Highlights after the jump.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Waterford Hills Open Track Day

Waterford Hills Road Racing held its third and last open track day of 2010 this past Sunday. A few dozen drivers weathered cool temperatures for a few final laps here this year. Gallery inside.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Beat on the Street - Daimler 250

A true rarity here in the US (or anywhere, really) is this Turner V8 engined Daimler 250. Essentially an upmarket Jaguar MkII with the 2.5 liter eight out of the Daimler SP250 Dart roadster, these cars were imported to the US in very limited quantities between 1965 and 1967. Being a right-hand-driver, this one wasn't even one of the those officially imported.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Tell 'em He's Dreamin' - 1985 Ford Ranger TurboDiesel

Up for sale is this ultra-rare, Tarheel blue-ed out '85-'87 Ford Ranger Turbo Diesel in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains. Even with its blown up Mitsubishi mill and rusty door frame and kick panel, it has already managed to lure bidders over the $1,500 mark.

The truck is currently for sale on Ebay.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Vintage Article - Road and Track's Review of the Taunus Cologne Motors

Although there are some notable exceptions, it seems to me as though mainstream automotive media has become largely hype and adrenaline based. Article after article of "Sedan Shootouts!" consisting of five different drivers driving ten similar-but-different cars around three different tracks, concluded with a forced quantization of what was essentially a subjective analysis of each car, with scores added up to determine the victor that you already knew would win. All written in Top Gear format, of course.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Oldsmobile Omega ES - Getting There is More than Half the Fun!

Wait, where the hell are you going?

Admittedly, this package is a better effort (especially considering the times) than what GM has managed to put together for the compact car enthusiast in years leading to the Cobalt SS. At least the package mandates the 'hot' motor paired with the manual. But still, a medium weight FWD sedan with 130 smog-strangled horsepower and a live rear axle is not fun compared to most destinations at which you will arrive...unless you only drive to CVS, Big-Lots, and the DMV in between visits to the doctor's office.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Band-Aid Fix - Literally

While re-re-re-securing the incessantly sagging lower dash panel of the freE30, I noticed something that I had intentionally blocked from memory somehow overlooked.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Marketplace Feature: 1963 Studebaker Lark Cruiser

This thing would have to be downright awful underneath not to be a bargain. But a four door Lark in the common yet desirable 'Green Mist' color with the Powershift auto and boost-me-please Studebaker 289? Larks are inherently undervalued but how is this 'dependable' car only $1500 or best offer? I really wish I didn't have so many projects right now.

Being a once-member of the Studebaker Driver's Club and having cut my teeth on Studebaker big and little sixes, 232s, 259s, blown and non blown 289s, I am very partial to anything from South Bend or Hamilton, Ontario. Selling my GT Hawk may have been a regrettable decision, but I'm damn sure it wasn't my last Studebaker. Unfortunately, under no circumstances can this be my next Studebaker.

You can find the ad here.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Beaterblog Product Review - Harbor Freight Bead Roller

Bead rollers can be used to form channels in otherwise flat pieces of sheet metal to give the panel rigidity. This is commonly used to form floors, joggle panels, or make decorative patterns.

Generally I approach Harbor Freight tools as I would approach a strange dog - with a large degree of caution and with a small degree of blind optimism. If you buy something that you've never tried using - like said bead roller - and your work turns out awful, you never know what percentage of man vs. machine produced the failure. Am I a natural born bead roller with terrible tools? I may never know.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Local Media Discovers Waterford Hills Road Racing and Yours Truely

In preparation for this weekends activities at WHRRI, The Oakland Press has published coverage of last month's race. I did have a great weekend winning both class races which I hope helped me get a picture of myself and my abused Neon in print. After running countless laps around that place for the last five years it feels good to realize someone noticed me, a lowly Neon driver. In my first recorded post race interview (see video at The OakPress) I did neglect to thank my Momma and Baby Jesus. If I can just figure out what to do with my hands next time, I won't be awkward.

link: The Oakland Press News

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

BeaterBlog Safety Tip: Convertible Roof Loading

The joys of open air motoring usually have a few strings attached like wind noise or rain leaks. Most owners accept these limitations while others strap folding ping-pong tables (I'm guessing) to the thin tubular structure separating scalp from sky. This proud fox body owner has one strap looped over the table and inside the car to allow him to adjust tension with his right hand. Next time buck up for a six pack of PBR for your friend with a pick up truck.

Bonus safety tip: While towing your race car in an overloaded Jeep XJ, do not attempt to take pictures with your camera phone.

Monday, July 19, 2010

How Reclaim a Lost Title (in Michigan)

Ever buy a project car and promptly lose the title before registering it? That's my SOP. Unlike most states where your new purchase would otherwise be destined to Lemons or the demo derby, Michigan has a loophole for those who have lost a title after the sale the vehicle but before transferring the title officially. I've done it twice and it's awesome. Here's how it works.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Beat on the Street: Traffic Cone Edition

Each time I visit Northern Michigan it seems like every early '90s GM A-body has gone up there to slowly rust and die. The woods are filled with the diesel like rattle of the Iron Duke. This example sports an attractive rattle-can finish in safety orange and a wooden header panel.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Before They Were Beaters - Jaguar XJ-S

How can you inner American-circa-1976 possibly resist this advertisement?

Of course, the XJ-S is distinctly English but somehow this ad makes me want to see what glass packs sound like on a V12 while I power-brake it. The car looks great in Buick beige with the Anglo-Magnum 500s and it makes a stunning Trans-Am entry too. If only it had a vinyl top...

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Beaterblog Suggested Attraction - Garage JC Mathoul

Tucked away off of a backroad near Spa-Francorchamps in Stavelot, Belgium is Garage JC Mathoul. Although they were closed when I dropped by, I took the liberty of walking around a bit and peering into their windows.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Cars and Caffeine, May Car Show

Fine weather and the holiday weekend made far a strong showing at Auto Zone Hobbies weekly Cars and Caffeine meet. Sure metro-Detroit hosts dozens of car shows every weekend, but how many of them include a Vector W-8? Pictures after the jump.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Marketplace Feature: Beat Worthy - Mercury Capri

They say that if you are going to buy a car, buy the nicest one that you can afford. This goes against the fundamental pillars of Beaterblog but nonetheless, this Capri would be the right car for someone who must have one of these Australian imports.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Motorcycle Safety Tip #423

Either due to the corded rear tire or the fact that her feet can't touch the ground, if this lady crashes then odds are that natural selection still exists.

Did you know?: When faced with a completely bald or corded tire, the best thing to do is to spend the cash on extending the swingarm to get it as far away from you as possible.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Before They Were Beaters - 1982 Renault LeCar

If you should find out that your new product does not fit to the tastes of your overseas markets:

1. Make potential buyers second guess their domestic inclinations by bragging about the vehicle's motherland and how much more advanced it is than ____________.

2. Take credit for said advancements because you too are part of aforementioned nation and with that comes partial responsibility.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Beaterblog Featured Product - "Selling Well Friction Power Car"

Introducing the all new "Selling Well Friction Power Car". This new product, or "All new enter", from the "21 Century" will be sure "To insure a like new appearance in definitely", whatever that could possibly mean. What is clear, however, is that the Chinese toy manufacturers do not have a firm grasp on the line between pickup and semi truck.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Beater How To: Homemade Brake Light Switch

I don't know why my rear brakes aren't building enough pressure to trip the brake light switch but what I do know for damn sure is that I'm not pulling the currently leak-free system apart to find out why. Therefore, I made a brake light switch to both warn drivers behind me that I will be slowing down intentionally and increase driver involvement.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Ten Reasons To Move To Canada

Beaterblog isn't getting political - this is just a listing of ten cars that you can get in Canada that you can't get in the US. And every one is for sale right now, just click on the title! Maybe these vehicles aren't enough reason to move to Canada alone but if you're already fond of hockey, Tim Horton's, and poutine, maybe one of these slightly oddball automobiles will tip the balance.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Before They Were Beaters: 1982 Dodge Rampage/Charger

This ad does nothing to curb my burning desire for a Rampage. Who needs a BMW when you could have America's Driving Machines?

Furthermore, racing matching FWD Mopars in matching firesuits to a remote location in the desert sounds like a very interesting date.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Hoon On, Old Man

Australia continues to conjure up a different license plate for nearly every human condition; whether it be P and L-Plates for new drivers, H-plates for convicted hoons, or the new S-plate for elderly drivers.

Marketplace Feature: Rastrojero, Spanish for "That's how it's supposed to look!"

Ok, it actually means 'cropper' but it probably had to look that way. Reason being that these trucks were government-built from a warehouse full of 2,500 defective Argentinian tractors that pulled hard to the right and were hence never sold. Demand was steady so they kept making them until the late 70's when Proceso de Reorganización Nacional put the brakes on the whole operation. To top off the obscurity, they used a Borgward Diesel with a whopping 40 horsepower that eventually went in to a more refined (and stainless steel!) truck version and a sedan called the Conosur.

This one is selling for about $1,500, although most of the nicer ones are in the $2,500 range. Epic road trip anyone?

Go here for the ad.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

In the Garage - Project FreE30

As I had mentioned earlier, Steve is moving to a sailboat and getting rid of everything. As a result, I've happened upon this '91 or so E30 318is that was given to me as an early wedding gift. I've been told that it's not so much of a present as a curse, but I'm a sucker for freebies.

The goal here, since it is technically a wedding present given to both parties, is to make it in to something that my girlfriend can beat on daily and something that I can throw around the track every now and then.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Beat on the Street - '73 Ford XB Landau

If Mad Max preferred corduroy to leather and felt more like sitting down to talk about problems with fellow road warriors instead of jury rigging explosives to blow them up, he would have likely driven the somewhat classier XB Landau in place of the Falcon Interceptor.