Sunday, February 28, 2010

Beat on the Street - Jeep J-10 Stepside

The Jeep J-10 offers a usable alternative to the ubiquitous Ford, Chevrolet, and Dodge pickups of the 70's. J-10s are almost cool enough to curb my hatred of flareside trucks. Almost.

It's somewhat odd to see one of these trucks not sporting massive malaise decal packages featuring all the colors of the sunset emblazoned on the doors, bed, and hood. This particular truck is equipped with the AMC 304 V8, 4-speed manual and even has the factory brush guard.

Someone's gone to town with the rattle can, but otherwise the body looks quite good. Hopefully the owner throws a proper bed on it, bombs it yellow and pretends like he's in Twister.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Before They Were Beaters: Cadillac Cimarron

The internet already has enough vile prose for the littlest of Cadillacs so I'm not going to pile on. Instead, let's just admire this special D'ORO edition and the ad's pre-photoshop imaging wizardry.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

How Many Cambodian Flood Cars Can You ID?

Forcefully torn from this 1970's issue of National Geographic is this shot of a massive pile of Cambodian flood cars. Either Khmer Rouge requires water soluble paint or has an inexplicable affection for white cars.

How many makes and models can you spot?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Beat on the Street - Aussie Market F-150

F-150s were assembled in Australia from a variety of American and home-grown components. This resulted in a subtly strange look to the trucks if you are used to seeing the American market version on a daily basis. Now sold only as imported vehicles, the F-100 and F-150 trucks were once pieced together in Australia for those who desired something slightly more substantial that the Falcon Ute.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Before They Were Beaters: 1973 Chevrolet Impala

1971-76 Impalas are the automotive equivalent of the buffalo. All of their parts can be found useful (350, Turbo 400, 12 bolt, etc goes well with anything) and although once found in great abundance throughout the plains of the US, most have been killed off for fun by now.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Anatomy of a Breakdown - Simca Brake Failure, Among Others

I know what you're thinking. But no, I didn't do it.

What you see here is the master cylinder on my Simca securely fastened to the vehicle by a tightly twisted coat hanger. Apparently, this was a necessary step as this was a poorly chosen replacement unit. I know Simca parts are difficult to find, but anything would have been better than simply taking a part off of the first French car you see, band sawing the mounting flange to "fit", hand tightening only the nut that was easy to reach, and coat hangering it the rest of the way on. Little did I know that this was only the start of the trouble.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

1987 Uniden Cell Phone/Time Machine

$3,295 plus fitting? That's it?? I'll take four!

Unless it's not really an ATM equipped time machine packed with unlimited cash for the future...then the price is completely un-phenomenal.

As far as why it connects to your car horn, your guess is as good as mine.

In the Garage - We Have Liftoff

One small step for man, one giant leap for usable garage space.

It took destroying the shop to get it in, but the lift is finally in place. When the space is finally reconfigured and my junk is redistributed, there will be work space both in front of the car and to the right side. At least for now the underside of the Javelin can be accessed and the Simca will have dry storage to prevent its disintegration before spring.

The downside now is that cars look a lot better on the ground than they do in the air, the Javelin being evidence of that. Still a ton of work left.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Hot Wheels Carrying Case and Cars from 1968!

While roaming around the basement of my girlfriends grandmother's house in Henderson, NC searching for a strange antique toaster that I had been informed of, I stumbled upon something even more interesting: a box full of Hot Wheels, Matchbox, and Johnny Lightning cars from the late 60's!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Dick Teague's Garage is Cooler Than Yours'

Richard A. Teague not only penned stylish American Motor's products, he also kept a collection of fine automobiles. Here's a look into the Teague garage circa 1979.

Beat on the Street - 1958 Chevrolet Biscayne

Parked proudly on the main drag of an upscale yet classic-car-dense 1880's Indianapolis neighborhood is this long time resident 1958 Chevy Biscayne. Oddly enough, 1958 would be the only model year Biscayne allowed to park in such a prestigious neighborhood as it is the only year of production where the Biscayne was not the lowest trim level of the large Chevs.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Beat on the Street: Museum Edition - Baja 1000 XF Ford Falcon Trar-Ute

First off, there's nothing wrong with trars and it's perfectly OK to want one. Last year there was a Brazilian market Fiat Strada pickup-trar on Detroit craigslist and I kick myself daily for not buying it. No one is too good for a trar and they should always be respect.

Case in point, this icon of Australian motorsport is on display at the museum at the top of the hill at Bathurst.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Latch-Key Kids Accepted to 24 Hours of LeMons

The Chia Neon survived the last mid-west LeMons at Nelson Ledges and the 2010 season is now underway. The Latch-Key Kids have been accepted into the 24 Hours of LeMons American Irony at Gingerman April 17-18. To get into these things you need to tell Jay Lamm and his crew why you deserve to be on the grid. Our entry inside.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Before They Were Beaters: 1977 Toyota Corolla Liftback

In the wake of sticking throttles, hard brake pedals, and demonic power steering, Toyota may finally be forced to take some time off for soul searching. As we all know, Toyota executives constantly monitor beaterblog for the latest in automotive trends. Therefore, let this be a place where we kindly remind Toyota of what it used to be: maker of frumpy, odd, reliable, and fun cars that people enjoyed driving and formed personal bonds with.

The 1977 Toyota Corolla Liftback is one of these cars. Part Volvo P1800ES, part Mustang II, and part Corolla, these cars were meant to serve a purpose with that uniquely 70's Japanese style, if you are comfortable with calling it that. We are.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Beating in Progress: MIRA Ice Racing Feb, 8

Most racers spend February in deep hibernation. The Michigan Ice Racing Association lets you go wheel to wheel even when your cold toes tell you to stay indoors.

Beaterblog Garage - CMM Installation Ridiculousness

Friend of Beaterblog and gracious lessee of garage space Karl has purchased this ridiculously massive CMM (coordinate measuring machine) at auction in Detroit for about 1/10th of its scrap value. Luckily, it's perfect for creating point clouds for the complete re-creation of Simca 1204s, if all goes to my glorious plan....

To move this 15,000lb. piece of precision, it took the coordinated efforts of two 8,000lb capacity fork lifts and about 30 feet of chain.

When in place and set up, it will be run with the latest in Window's 3.1 technology with designs fed to the CNC on the other side of the wall.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Beat on the Street: Toy Ranger with bonus Street View

Even though the automobile covered in toys is now cliche as a piece of art, I salute the man willing to hold his head high behind the wheel of a beater covered in Chinese plastic.

PCPS February Open House

The Points Condensers Preservation Society never disappoints at making my car collection seem utterly pitiful. Never the less, I can't help but go back for more. Full gallery inside.

Beaterblog Product Review - Haul Master 2-Piece Vehicle Dolly Set

With a new lift going in to the garage, I'll be trading some of my precious horizontal space for vertical cubic footage. To make better use of the room that's left, I picked up a set of dollies to make the Javelin a bit more mobile, primarily in the lateral direction.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Before They Were Beaters: 1965 MG 1100

Although 116,827 MG 1100 sedans were produced in all, very few managed to find their way to American buyers - after all BMC did have the identical Austin America for that reason.

Designed by Alec Issigonis of Mini fame, these cars were essentially a larger version of the Austin Seven/Mini but instead of utilizing rubber bushings for springs, a fancy front to rear linked "Hyrdolastic" suspension was employed, eliminating all springs and shocks.

These cars were sold in the US from '63-'69 until BMC decided to let the Austin division worry about the US sedan sales until they finally gave it up in 1975. Just like the Magnette, these MG sedans were good cars that were met with great fanfare in the motherland but just like baked beans dripping over Marmite covered toast, they just never sold well here.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Marketplace Feature: Tell 'em he's dreamin' - 1974 Monte Carlo

Production of the 1974 Chevrolet Monte Carlo Landau Edition was over 120,000 cars in 1974 alone. $244 was never so well spent as in a vinyl top and ornate badgery of such distinction. Nowadays, the second generation Monte Carlos are stuck in the rare-ish but valueless category along with many of their cushy domestic contemporaries.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Beaterblog Vintage Archives - 1977 Steiger Edition Ford F-250

Ford has been known throughout the past decade and a half for emblazoning their trucks with decals and assembling special edition option packages in an attempt to fill seemingly every niche in the pickup truck market. Editions like the Harley Davidson, Northwoods, King Ranch, Eddie Bauer, and countless others have appeared in showrooms in this fairly recent marketing phenomenon.

These offerings were at their peak for automobiles in the mid to late 1970's but remained fairly rare in the still bare-bones truck market. When digging through the family automotive photo archive (which seems to share pages with the rest of the family photo album) these vintage slides surfaced from my dad's work at Steiger in the late 70's. Here is what he had to say about his work with the company and the Steiger Edition Ford F-250s of 1976-1978:

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Before They Were Beaters: Renault 16 Sedan-Wagon

The Renault 16 has always held a special place at BB because its represents nearly everything we love about French cars. Where German cars are supremely logical and American cars bloated, a good French car should be quirky. Who else wouldn't mind if the wheel base isn't symmetrical. The interior is versatile accomplishing family hauling tasks better than the plethora of ordinary "cross-over vehicles" available today. Of course the French motoring public couldn't get enough of the brilliant little car while American drivers didn't pay attention.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Ann Arbor Law - Don't Flat Tow Your Civic in Downtown with a Toyota Pickup

Apparently the city of Ann Arbor, Michigan either has some sort of ordinance against practical thinking or is in cahoots with the local towing companies.

I was sitting on the couch, minding my own business, and googling "Simca AND master AND cylinder AND brake OR clutch" last week when I saw the familiar reflection of the blue and red AAPD lights bouncing off the walls. I walked out on the front porch expecting the obligatory speeder or 'no turn on red' violator but instead I see this poor stranded motorist's day get worse.

The kicker? While the Civic steerer was read the riot act, the poor bastard doing the towing was the one getting the ticket. Looks like someone owes someone a case of Pabst.