Saturday, April 20, 2013

Is this the best parts house in the world? Possibly.

Park's Auto Parts is a staple of motoring in Charleston. There are a couple dozen across the lowcountry but the original is on North Charleston's Rivers Avenue, or the 'daul lane' as the old timers call it. The minicipality of North Charleston was a byproduct of the Naval Yard on the Cooper River that was started at the turn of the century and boomed throughout the Cold War period. At some point in the 80's, someone got the idea that if the bridge over the Charleston Harbor was taken out, the Naval forces would be immobilized...so they pulled the base and the town crashed in spectacular fashion. However, in it's heyday, North Charleston's dual lane was the Woodward Avenue of the South with car sales, machine shops, and other outlets for men in uniform to spend their money. Park's would certainly have seen a lot of that disposable income. Luckily, they've managed to retain all of that knowledge and experience and to this day have staff that knows what they are doing (!), have a Speed Shop, and even hard to find parts in stock.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Marketplace Feature - Indonesian Obscurity

I went on eBay Australia right quick to check out some old Mitsubishis when I happened up this hot mess.

It's Suzuki Marvia, an Indonesian-built retro car based on some kind of Suzuki intended for sale in Bali. I thought I knew my obscure cars but I've just been humbled. If I had to guess, I would say that it's a Suzuki LJ80 (I see a leaf spring perch poking out of the front and a big 5 lug pattern on the spare) with a bizarre, somewhat Dekotora style body draped over the top of it. It's absolutely fascinating and I can't seem to find any more information on it in a language that I can decipher.

It's really not my cup of whatever they drink in Indonensia, Milo I guess, but I've got admire that the current Aussie owner liked it enough to bring it back from Bali and it's a shame that he can't work on it any more.

Here is the ad:
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Very-Rare-Suzuki-Marvia-Sports-Car-/321105468099?pt=AU_Cars&hash=item4ac3609ac3&_uhb=1#ht_500wt_1203

Monday, April 8, 2013

Beat on the Texas Street: Pick-ups of West Texas

Chevrolet Task Force
Texas is the undisputed capitol of Truck Country. Fortunately, the dry climate of West Texas preserves what the heat and sun doesn't melt or fade.  I particularly like the patina on this late '50s Chevy.  Hit the jump for the best Dodge and Ford I could find in Marfa, Texas and a bonus Cadillac hearse/ambulance.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Beat on the Street - 1965 Rambler Classic 770

Found on the streets of downtown Charleston, SC is this beautiful Rambler Classic sedan. Slotted between the American and the Ambassador, the Classic was the middle child of the most conservative car company around at the time, making it quite a boring option in '65. In a marketing effort centered around safety, American Motors even claimed that the only race that they cared about was the human race. Certainly they sensed the collective eye roll of every car buyer in the US got back to racing in the late 60's, however, at the time AMC had a serious reputation problem that would seriously hurt their competent performers like the Rebel Machine, S/CRambler, and AMX.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Stranded Dauphine

What started as either a cruel prank or some poorly thought out advertising for a used car lot ended up with a Renault Dauphine being stranded atop an abandoned service station turned buy-here-pay-here lot in North Carolina's Robeson county. I'm not sure what's more amazing; the fact that the car hasn't rusted away or the miracle that it hasn't been stolen for scrap.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Marketplace Feature - My CSX-T!

Just as quickly as it came into my life as my 30th vehicle, I realized that I have too many projects and am not really getting the things done that actually need to get done on my cars. Example: The CSX-T is now running but the Simca has no brakes and my Jeep is about to drop its ball joints. So it's last in, first out as I consolidate my collection. Also with the the new Beaterblog Dixieland Branch MegaGarage (read: two car garage in my back yard) to start construction in a couple weeks, I could use the extra scratch.

My budget for this project did climb quite a bit and I ended up spending about double the cash and five times the effort that I had originally planned. But my loss could be your new track day, or even freaky Friday drag car project. After all that, I did get a reliable and fast daily out of it for a few weeks. Now it's your turn to reap the rewards now that all of the grunt work is done.

See the listing here. I'll take anything for it, really!

Beat on the Swedish Street - Photo Gallery

Swedish beaters endure months of arctic cold, feet of snow, darkness for twenty hours a day, and roads filled with moose. To survive, every car needs an array of rally lights, studded snow tires, mud flaps, as well as engine and interior heaters. These accessories don't make you a rally dork, just grandma heading to the store for more reindeer meat. I spent a few weeks in Sweden and snapped some interesting cars I ran into.

Beat on die Strasse: Custom E36 Cabrio

I spotted this heavily customized BMW E36 cabriolet at a nearby used car lot. It appears someone went all retro 80's on this 3 series by bringing back the shark nose, E21 taillights, and mono-red paint scheme. Up close, the car is surprisingly presentable with reasonable panel gaps and paint work. Someone spent a lot of money to make this car look this way. Unfortunately, my German skills were not adequate to learn any more information. More pictures after the jump.

BeaterBlog Recommended Attraction: Meilen Werk

Meilen Werk is essentially a chain of high end German car dealerships that double as tourist attractions. The main event are the new Ferrari's, Bentley's, and Lambo's but they've also got a large classic car dealership, parts store, clothing store, two restaurants, a model shop, a car themed hotel, and conference rooms. To top it off, they offer climate controlled storage all of which is on display. The result is a lot of easily accessible, high end cars with no entry fee. Oh, and they've got a jet hanging from the ceiling. Not a bad way to spend an afternoon.