Sunday, September 30, 2012

Auto Zone Cars and Caffeine photo gallery

Nice fall weather brought out a crowd to Pasteiner's Auto Zone Hobbies Saturday morning. Pictures of those car's I enjoyed seeing most after the jump.

Cars and Caffeine takes place every Saturday from 8 am to around 10 am on Woodward just north of fourteen mile.

Waterford Hills Race 6 photo gallery

Race cars like cool air to make power and a sun warmed track to keep the tires sticky. Conditions were nearly perfect to go racing this past weekend for WHRRI's season ender. I stopped by Saturday afternoon to see friends and take a few pictures of the group 1 class race. Hit the jump for Spec Neon, Spec Miata and Spec Focus racing action.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Bitter S.C. is a work of art and other 1986 Luxury car ads

Bitter S.C.
The DuPont Registry advertises luxury cars, boats, and houses to people with Scrooge McDuck levels of money. Competing for those stacks of gold are most mainstream luxury brands: Mercedes-Benz, Bitter, Lincoln, BMW, Rolls-Royce, Volvo, Saab, Peugeot, Porsche, and Maserati. Proof that money doesn't buy taste are the coachbuilders Clenet, Excalibur, and Zimmer. See all the ads after the jump.

Looking back at what was on hand in 1986, nearly all of it has devalued to fit my budget. I will eventually own E24 BMW, I've wanted one for years. I'd also take the Peugeot 505 wagon, 944 turbo, and Bitter. Got a favorite? Sound off in the comments.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

I'm 'that guy' with a vanity plate now!

It was $35 plus two stamps and it was worth it. Now I must live up to its name and forever roll smoke off of the right rear tire.

This photo was taken at the local hoon park.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Beat on the Prague Street: Polski Fiat 125p

Last July I traveled briefly to Prague to take in the scenery and find beaters from Soviet times. This Polski Fiat was parked right outside our hotel and is similar to one my father drove in a visit to Poland in 1972. The condition fulfills all my stereotypes of cars from behind the iron curtain. Every body panel shows scars that appear to be repaired with whatever was on hand. One more pic after the jump.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Lamborghini Presents the LM002

Decades before Porsche made and Cayenne, Lamborghini showed how a sports car brand could authentically cross over to SUV's. Take the V-12 out of your awesome super-car and mount it in a space frame off-roader with serious capability. I'll always remember seeing one of these at the Detroit Auto Show in the late 1980's. The LM002's utilitarian styling looked worlds apart from any other Lambo. The show truck had two odd posts at the rear corners. These, it was explained to me, were machine gun mounts. There's no way to impress an 8 eight year at an auto show more than showing him a Lambo with machine gun mounts. I don't remember any other car I saw that day.

I've scanned the four page brochure for the LM002, no model year is listed. The other pages are after the jump.

Beat on the Street - The 'Special' Editions of Europe

What does a Peugeot 205 'Kid' mean? Does it have extra cup holders, Scoth-Guard carpet, and a baby seat anchor? Does the VW 'Bon Jovi' Golf come equipped with a better stereo and special compartment for hair care essentials? And how about the Mitsubishi Mirage 'Tram-Line'? It probably does get knocked out of alignment quickly and I would maybe rather take the train, but no, none of these titles seem to relate to the features of the car whatsoever. It's only a sticker that appears to have been ironed on by a disparate car salesman in the mid-90's who forgot to put a number in the GTi, LX-i, and DX boxes.

I never ran out of examples, only out of interest in looking like a creeper taking close-ups of people's cars while they were walking towards me with groceries. I don't know nearly enough German to talk my way out of a situation like that.

Enjoy some of the questionably special editions spotted this time around!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Topless Miata Road Test w/Video

Project Miata has gone from a non-runner headed for the scrapper to one tremendously fun way to get to work.  Short of handing you the keys, a video is the best way I can think of to show you what it feels like to drive.  It's a lot of fun. My thoughts after the jump.

Monday, September 17, 2012

American Express Presents the Gold Plated Delorean

For the 1980 Christmas season, American Express offered a golden opportunity. For only $237,000 (adjusted for inflation) you could have driven conspicuous consumption to a whole new level.  In all only three golden examples were built before DMC went the way of the golden goose.

Matt discovered a classified listing for such a car earlier this year. If Wikipedia is to be believed, that car is VIN 4300 and now resides in a museum in Reno Nevada. Hit the jump for the full advert. 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Thunderdrome! photo gallery (Now with more pics)

The Thunderdrome! was alive yesterday with the sounds and smells of two-stroke. Although my Honda Spree was ready to return and race again, I decided to drink beer, take pictures and enjoy the spectacle. And what a spectacle it was racing under the lights. More after the jump.

(EDIT: Due to this post's popularity I've added a whole bunch more pictures. Enjoy.)

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Battle of the Brits photo gallery

Battle of the Brits is metro-Detroit's tribute to Lucas Electronics, Solex carbs, oil leaks, and everything else that makes English motoring special. I dropped by this afternoon and took a few photos. Hit the jump to see more.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Project Miata Roadster Windscreen Install

When I first envisioned my roadster project it was defined by the short windscreen. Its a drastic modification, fundamentally altering not only the styling but the driving experience as well. Those few inches of plastic transform my Miata from a cute convertible into a purpose built driving machine. Here's how I did it.

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Only Neon I Saw in Germany Was in a Junkyard

I know American junkyards are full of Neons so I shouldn't be surprised it's a worldwide phenomena. My 1998 ACR coupe was the same color and this car and has the same DOHC engine and manual transmission. Beyond that, this Neon has a black interior with leather seats that I've never seen stateside. At some point the windows were tinted and it traded alloy wheels for steelies. Otherwise its a complete car that's relatively clean.

This example ended up at a small wrecking yard in Weil der Stadt, Germany where my brother-in-laws lives with his family. To learn more about the car, I attempted communication in my limited German. The owner isn't willing to part it out and he started negotiations at 300 euros. I guess stuff is more expensive in Europe. He provided some explanation for its mechanical difficulties but it was far beyond my vocabulary.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Beat on the Spanish Street: Skirts and Scooters Photo Gallery

The scooter's step-through layout allows women to mount a two wheeler without the un-lady like motion of raising a leg over the saddle.  I knew this, but I didn't really comprehend it.  It's the difference between knowing a 600hp car can travel 200mph and actually driving that speed.  It must be experienced to be known.

When I stepped off the bus in Barcelona I immediately noticed the motorcycles and scooters.  They're everywhere.  Shortly thereafter an attractive girl in a skirt zipped by.  I love Spain.

Beat on the Street: Merkur XR4Ti

I've been stalking this car since I first spotted it almost a year ago. In that time its moved about ten feet and the notes I've left on the car have gone unanswered.

Its a rough Rosso Red example from 1988 or 1989. Despite its current neglect, at one point someone cared enough to install euro glass headlights, cosworth sierra grill, cossie front bumper, cossie hood vents, RS wheels, a Rapido intercooler, Borla exhaust, and lowered suspension. This car has everything I wanted from the BAT catalogue but couldn't afford in my college days when I still owned one of these.