Thursday, March 31, 2011

Latch-Key Kids prep for 24 Hours of LeMons Gingerman

After six unsuccessful attempts at the 24 Hours of LeMons the Chia Neon is getting ready for lucky number seven at Gingerman April 16-17. Ray Ayala, Jahan Assadi, Dan Kwolek (pictured), Luke Keller, Ed Hessell and myself will be driving our astro turf covered rust bucket against four dozen of the crappiest cars ever assembled.

Monday, March 28, 2011

MGBGT 302 Update 3/11

*******Murdered Out**************
Lots of progress since the last post and I apologize for the delayed posting of it. First of all I need to mention that the title, MGBGT 302, is incorrect. In fact I'm sorry to say that the 302 is just not going to work. By that I mean its just not enough cubes, so I'm stroking it to 347 ci!!!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Project Update: Turbo Van

I hope many winter projects take longer than expected, because mine is going on two winters and has a long way to go. When I'm asked how the van is progressing I'm a bit embarrassed at my unwillingness to brave my frozen garage. Well after a few trips to the junk yard and a couple Sundays turning wrenches, I've made some solid progress. No, its not running yet.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Marketplace Feature - Series III V8

Parked next to a coastline every bit as dramatic and perilous as the typical service history of a V8 engined Land Rover is this Series III that, according to the whitewash artwork on the windshield, has the heart of a Leyland P76. The P76 should have several Beaterblog posts all it's own but for the purpose of this one, it's essentially the all-Australian equivalent of a car something like an AMC Hornet or Studebaker Lark - the domestic oddball answer to the very generic question of four-door sedan.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Beater Past: Merkur XR4Ti

Of all the cars I've owned, I miss my Merkurs the most. Through high school and college I had a pair of odd European Fords that weren't Mercuries and its pronounced mare-coor for your information. For me it was my first car I bought instead of being handed down.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Catastrophy Strikes - BMW Throws Connecting Rod onto Sidewalk!

As I was driving out to Parts Galore off 8 Mile in Detroit to meet Dave and Chris, the slight knock that the E30 had obtained the week before became noticeably louder - basically going from a light tap to door knocker-like. Being 20 miles from home and 20 miles from Parts Galore, I turned it around. With lots of luck and a little bit of Rotella, I limped nearly 20 miles on the shoulder of I-94 at 30mph to less than a half mile from home!

70's Car Enthusiast Enclave on Brunswick Street

Fitzroy, Melbourne's first suburb, is an eclectic area full of vintage clothing shops, steam punk mustaches, and independent coffee shops. Is it any surprise that there is a back alley filled with 70's Australian Iron? A malaise era vehicle is the perfect compliment to any collection of antique XXS T-shirts. A fixed gear Peugeot would fit nicely in the back of a panel van too.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Beat on the Street: Truck Stop Edition

While cars are occasionally used as signs, this is the first semi tractor I've seen crucified. This Kenworth is perched about three stories above the Yucca, Arizona desert. Closer inspection revealed the frame is only a few bars welded together just well enough to make it look like a big-rig and I don't recommend standing underneath it. Why someone raised it on high was not easily discerned. Perhaps the other trucks placed randomly about are part of some abandoned desert junkyard. Fear of snakes and scorpions kept me from venturing too far but no signs or entrance is visible from the road.

Beater Junkyard Find: Ford Windstar Holocaust

Covered in a coat of new snow, these family haulers await execution by crushing. Ford's recent recall of nearly every Windstar ever made means they're filling local junkyards. Since I need old Caravan parts, I can't help but feel like old Mopar boxes are being squeezed out of scrap yard real-estate by Fords with inferior rear suspensions. Of course if all the Windstars are recalled and scrapped nooone will be searching the pick-a-part for them.