Saturday, December 17, 2011

'Tis the Season to Bring a Tow Dolly - 5 Winter Beaters for Under $1500

Now the the snow has fallen in Metro Detroit, it's time for some to put away the cars that you actually enjoy and bring out the vehicles of which you have feelings of borderline hatred or ambivalence. But wait, winter beaters can be fun. There is something to be said for having a car that you can hoon the hell out of because deep down you know will die of salt poisoning, if nothing else happens to it first. It's like that "Live Like You Were Dyin'" song that recommends that you ride bulls and jump out of airplanes when you know your number is up.

We will cap this list at $1,500 which is a little higher than the normal beater budget, but let's assume you need this car to last more than 2 winters. There is a craigslist ad linked to each car, so go find yours.

Sampson Engineering Magnesium Wheels?

In order to investigate an ever-worsening high frequency shimmy coming from the front end of the Falcon, I squeezed it into the garage and threw it up jack stands for a quick arch-joint clamp of some ball joints and the like.

In taking off the wheels, which I thought to be cheap aluminum alloy kidney bean Halibrand ripoffs, I knocked off some well established brake dust clumps to reveal that I have genuine Australian magnesium Halibrand ripoffs! It's tough to find any concrete information on these wheels as they seem to have been produced over a short timeframe in a very regional market. Most of the information that I was able to glean on these wheels came from the casting itself - Sampson Engineering - South Australia - 14x7.

If anyone has any more information on Sampson Engineering Wheels, sound off below!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

In The Garage: 1991 Mazda Miata

The first snow has fallen so its time to add a convertible to my fleet. Like my last three vehicle purchases, this one doesn't run and hasn't for at least a year. Full plan inside.