Help get my car back on the road

Help get a broke college student's car back on the road. There will be prizes!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Something new..

Not a lot of news... yet. there are some good things coming for sure in the car department.

but today, I decided to take a nice day out with an angry russian and some guns. I'd wanted to do some trap shooting, but alas, their pidgeon launcher was broken or something. God damned lazy pidgeons.

this is probably how it works

So anyway I spent the day shooting my 1911 instead. Did really well at 7yds, and did alright at 15. I'll let you decide though. Pistol shooting is pretty tough with my eyes and especially since my 1911 has no semblance of anything close to high visibility sights.

Still I love that sidearm. Everything about the 1911 is how I want it. Single stack mag, so its narrow. Decent capacity (most mags are between 7-8 rounds, with larger ones available) and utter reliabilty. I bought the GI issue-style gun because I like things simple. Or because it was fucking cheap. Either way, its a fantastic little tool. Yes a tool. For those not in the know guns are TOOLS just like anything else. I could kill you  with a shovel if I want to, but I don't have to wait 11 days at Orchard Supply to get one. But I've digressed. I love my 1911. It's not for everyone, and its not going to be a carry gun until the apocalypse because its fairly inconcealable. But when SHTF, this gun is the one I want to have around. Besides...

I shot my friends .40, I can't remember the namer of the model, but its a Berreta somethingwithanxanda4 i think. Anyhow, it felt alot nicer in the hand than the last .40 I tried, the Springfield XD. The XD was nice, but wasn't as ergonomic and had a lot more muzzle climb than the Beretta.

And also, I've been stressed out for a few weeks, my family's been telling me to go get a massage or something. All I have to say is fuck massages. I feel fucking fantastic.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Not a huge update today. I'm still in finals mode, just a few more days and its summer for me. But I wanted to thank all you followers out there since I just hit 200 :)

I promise the posts will pick up soon, just gotta power through this week

in the mean time i leave you with some eye candy



also if there are any particular cars you'd like to read about, please let me know! Thanks and enjoy

Friday, May 13, 2011

Back in the day

Before I started to go to school for artwork, I used to have a shit ton of spare time. Naturally I spent a great amount of that time drawing, particularly cars (gee, I wonder how that happened) like a boss.

Anyway the real issue here is this, I used to do a lot of Car-icatures for commission back in the day, and hell, why not start again. If you have any interest in one, leave a comment.

Also, some of you may have noticed that tight as button on the top of the page that says donate. I would like to introduce a new little game, involving said button. At the end of every month there will be a random drawing of those that donated. It can be as little as a dollar or as much as you want, but the winner will get a high res car-icature  of whatever car they find most pleasing. I'll still accept private commissions as well, but I thought this might be a fun way to get started. And now, for your viewing pleasure,

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

So I recently heard

The absolute greatest news in current supercar events: The new De Tomaso Pantera.

I cannot bring to words how much I've wished to see those words glowing at me from an LCD screen. The god damned Pantera is coming back! I (oddly, I suppose) never really bothered with fancy Italian supercars when I was younger. I know it sounds strange, but it ill what it ill. That is, until I saw this car at a car show for Fords back in high school.

I mean just look at it!

And the best part for a muscle car obsessed 14 year old was they used the Ford 351 Cleveland. My bloods always bled blue, so to me, this was the pinnacle of exotics. And hell, they weren't even all that expensive compared to most. I remember a guy at the show saying he;'d picked up his fiery red one for just thirty grand. Well out of reach for me, and it still is, but a thirty grand car these days is a Mustang or low end 3 series. I'd Much rather have that fire breathing Pantera

It's not the fastest, craziest or most radical supercar ever made, I think that's fair to say, but it was everything I ever wanted in a car. The Pantera was perfect.

In closing, I'd like to leave with you with this fantastic video of the camo'd Pantera leaving its factory. Enjoy.

Now if only they stuff one of these bad boys in there.. hehehe...

Monday, April 25, 2011

Gran Turismo 5

So, I've been playing GT5 for a while now, and I think  I've finally played enough to have some worthwhile things to say about it. First and foremost, I've been waiting for this damn game for ages. I spent years playing GT2 and GT3 because I was too brokeass of a kid to buy GT4 until recently, when I borrowed it from a friend. Not long after, a friend of mine bought GT5 and we've been addicted to it ever since.

Simply put, this is the best feeling driving game I have ever played. The cars all have very different driving characteristics, even when figures may seem to be close and every car seems to actually have some element of personality to how you drive it. It's easy to lose touch with the "feel" of a car in a videogame, as you're relying on purely the visual and auditory experience to convey information about what you are doing in the game, but it manages pretty well. The dynamics as a whole are greatly improved and GASP you can actually slide a damn car without it going insane now.

Then theres the sheer amount of cars. Theres always something interesting in the used car lot and honestly, there are so many different choices in this game that if you can't find a car that makes you happy, you're a dirty stinking fool with no appreciation for anything videogame or automotive related. That being said  it is taking AGES for the Cobra R to reappear in the used car lot. Saw it once, didn't have the cash, and I've never seen it since.. sigh..

Someday... she will be mine...

When just driving gets boring, theres still tuning to look forward to. If the player so wishes, they can customize almost any detail about the suspension setup, transmission, aerodynamics and more. You could do a lot of this in the old game, but its much simpler and better in my opinion now. The ability to change everything from gear rations to camber and toe to spring rates and dampening... the list goes on and on. I love being able to fiddle and tune these cars that I am probably never going to own. And since tinkering often takes a backseat to the rest of the happenings in my life, this is a good way to enjoy most of the fun of racing, without having to spend the god knows how many millions I yearn to blow on fast cars.

This post doesn't even begin to really describe whats great about this game. I'm not saying its perfect; you'll find out in future posts all the things that are definitely far from. But it's still a fantastic game. With that, I'll leave you with some youtubian shenanigans

Also, the only flaw I'll mention today is very apparent in this video. V8's DONT SOUND LIKE THAT

but I digress.


Thursday, April 14, 2011

alright i can't make you wait any longer

So this is it. This is that demon car I've been raving about for a while. It's also my first car, a 1976 Cobra II. Yeah yeah, a Mustang II, all the assholes that want to laugh can suck it. Throughout the years this car has been more fun than any vehicle I've ever owned. It's also been the number one cause  for my lack of money lol

In any case, I bought this car when I was 15. It was white and blue back then, with a 2.8L V6 and a 4 speed on the floor. it only had 105hp but i loved it.

Over the years there were plenty of mods. First the exhaust, then a  V8, suspension, transmissions, and countless sets of wheels and tires. I even did the bodywork and repainted the car myself:



Anyway, the V8 was doing well and all, but I was always looking for more. After dumping coolant all over the parking lot at an all mustang car show, I decided it was time to freshen her up. I figured while tinkering I'd also switch over to EFI (electronic fuel injection) for better power, driveability, reliability and general awesomeness. I mean thats kind of how I roll. I started buying EFI parts and tinkering away

That was two years ago. College, moves and life got in my way. I didn't have time to drive home to my parents to work on my old car anymore. I hated that.

Last winterI decided to get some help. Since I couldn't work on it while living 35 miles from home and going to school full time, I sent it to a very trusted shop. These guys had worked on the car in the past and even fixed it for free when the car broke down on the way to a car show that the owner was attending. The car has been at that shop for a few months now, and it's nearing completion!

In addition to a sweet as all sin  fuel injected  V8, they replaced the old 1986 motor (which had an inferior head design, and had pistons that didn't allow for much modification) with a 1992 5.0 with a scant 6,000 miles! In addition to this sweet as all sin powerplant, I've now got bigger brakes, front and rear, a 5 lug conversion, new wheels, tires, a working power steering system and more.  A stock 5.0 Mustang (from where the EFI is sourced from) made about 225hp and 300lb-ft of torque. Coupled with the suspension rebuild I did last summer, and the fact that this thing should be under 3,000lbs mean this baby is going to fly. And the best part? This motherfucker of a car is going to pass smog, so fuck off hippies!  Anywho, the car shouldn't be much longer, so enjoy these pics!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

lets talk bimmers

I know I promised you guys juicy news last time, but it’s not quite ready to be delivered from the mad scientists I have working on it, so it will wait. One of my classes required me to review a piece of artwork in my field of study. As an Industrial Design major who hopes to move into auto design, I chose to review an old friend, the BMW 3 series.

Specifically, I’d like to discuss the slightly older BMW 3 series. I haven’t been exactly taken aback by BMW’s current styling department, and while they do seem to be fantastic cars on paper, I’m not totally convinced.  My mother owns a BMW a few years newer than my father, but hers has all kinds of nitpicky things that bug me. Things like the paint/coatings chipping off interior pieces and the awkward GPS navigation make you wonder why you paid so much extra for that blue and white badge. And many other current models are just too flashy to really be taken seriously in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong, my mother’s black on black X3 is, most of the time, a pretty good car. It accomplishes what we ask of it without too much complaint. Even the newest BMWs are toning down their ridiculous styling. But what I really want to talk about is my dad’s 323i.

At first glance the 2000 323i seems to be pretty standard in terms of 11 year old German automobiles. It’s simple, big enough for a small family, economical and rather comfortable inside. All of the things one might expect on a thirty thousand dollar luxury sedan are present: power accessories, a marvelous stereo system and buttons galore to control all the toys within. But that’s not what makes this car great.
One might expect a typical, business-like sedan to be rather neutral to own. Yes it’s reasonably stylish, but it’s not causing all the 8 year olds in the vicinity to stare either. The lines are simple and clean. The whole car looks very solid, very planted. The overall stature of the car is unassuming. It isn’t abundantly flashy, though the fenders flare out just enough to give a hint at what this car is capable.  All this visual neutrality belies the real excitement of this car. Because while on the outside the Bavarian machinery is dressed in a very normal looking suit, underneath it’s quite the athlete.

The real beauty of this car is that you can use it every day, commuting to work or school, hauling your family around, and no one ever raises an eyebrow. But the moment you take a detour through the mountains, you start to forget about all that practicality you told yourself you wanted.

As someone who routinely romps around in an American V8 torquemobile, the lower figures of the BMW are at first difficult to get used to. The inline six, while very smooth and refined, doesn’t have quite the same kick as something larger. Despite only having 172 horsepower and 181 lb-ft of torque, the car still manages to move around briskly. The gearing of the transmission is very well set up to take full advantage of the cars available power. You won’t be breaking any speed records, but you also won’t be bringing up the rear, either. When you do find yourself cruising at higher speeds, the autobahn inspired chassis stays smooth and comfortable, with hardly a twitch when lesser cars might be shaking about. Lack of torque aside, the motor loves to rev and use the entire range. The result is a very positive experience driving around, either at commute speeds or those that are decidedly quicker. While a manual transmission would be preferable, the automatic does a good job of figuring out what you want to do based on throttle position and response. It also offers a tiptronic/sequential style shift mode, where the driver can manually select the gear, but it’s rather sluggish and not worth switching out of automatic. This point is heightened by the fact that it will not hold gear indefinitely; it will shift out of any given gear if the car things the transmission or engine will be damaged.
The steering is solid and confident, and it doesn’t wobble around just because there’s a bump or two. Turn in is quick and crisp and the car has a stability that isn’t just found in any car. This is for good reason, as this era of 3 series had a near 50-50 weight distribution which contributed greatly to the overall balance of the car. It’s true that there is some body roll, but it is, after all, a family sedan, not the sportier and more aggressive M3. In the event that an owner would want to tighten it up, performance accessories are just a click away. The amount of grip the car has is pretty nice as well; you can accelerate out of turns with confidence that you won’t suddenly break loose and slide. This sort of stability pushes the driver to go just that little bit harder, to see just how much he can accomplish.

At the end of the day, it’s not an amazing car. It doesn’t reign supreme in any given venue. What it does provide though, is fun in anonymous business attire. If you’re the sort of person who likes to keep things discreet but still enjoys the occasional blast through a windy road, this is a marvelous example of what to look for. And today these cars have depreciated significantly. A decent conditioned model will run you anywhere from $5-8,000. Not too bad a deal for an economic, comfortable commuter with a wild side no one ever needs to know about.

And just to be fair, here's a sneak peak at whats to come:

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Well, I thought I fixed it..

Some updates on my car. I repaired the broken tie rod, got some new tires and pieced back the body into a reasonable state. Unfortunately at this point in time I haven't got the cash to really get the bodywork done. The drivers side fender is banged up a little, but its really the rocker panel and door that got the worst of it. The headlight mounting tabs and the bumper got pretty thrashed, but they're good enough for now.

All of this is well and good, I thought. I figured once I reached this point I'd at least have a working, usable car, even if she was a bit banged up.

Yeah no, that would be too easy.

At first I simply thought it was a dead battery. The car had been sitting for 2 months and that wasn't too much of a stretch to me. Hell it made a lot of sense. But when after checking to see if it could still hold a charge (it couldn't) and eventually replacing it, I was still without and internal combustion to power my new fangled horseless carriage.

Then I remembered the inertia switch in the trunk. Ford installs a switch in the back that is supposed to detect a crash or even some other harmful scenario for the car and cuts the fuel. It's basically so you don't just piss a lot of gasoline into the ditch you've buried your car in. Good feature. I chalked it up to the switch temporarily. I tried resetting it (though for some reason, the car started right back up when I crashed.. I had to even use the car's power to help the tow truck get it out) but to no avail. Eventually a friend of mine came over with his Mustang and we did some sciencing.

We turned the ignition to the ON position without starting either car. In his car, you could hear the fuel pump start to prime the system. On my car, only an annoying clicking sound. Next we tried the same thing, but with the switch disconnected. My car still made that stupid click, but the other car was just silent. Still not sure what the hell this means, but thats where progress has taken me so far. I fixed all that I had thought I broke, but I guess thats part of the deal.

On the plus side, the rebuild of my other car is going rather well, and should be finished up not too long from now. But I'll tell you more about that juicy story later.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Earning that beer

As a college student, living away from home, its been tough for me to find time for what used to be everything I lived for. Once upon a time I would wake up at the crack of 9 to start working on my car. All day, no breaks. No food, no rest, nothing but completing the project would matter. I would toil away on my beloved machine until the sun began to go down and only then would I rest.

With school and all the other commitments that come with getting older, I've had less and less time to tinker. But alas... this last week was spring break. I finally got to spend an entire day (albeit in the rain..) working on  my Mustang. It wasn't all fun and games mind you, I unfortunately got into an accident a few weeks ago, and I've been carless since. I had no time to fix the car during the schoolweek, but I finally got the chance.

It felt good to make short work of that snapped tie rod. and begin putting the body back together. I admit, the poor car is going to have to stay beat up for a little while, as I cant afford the more expensive aspects of the bodywork, but hey, at least its going to be back on the road. Progress was temporarily halted while I wait for new tires to come in. Two of the wheels had dismounted tires from the crash, and theres no way to go get the car realigned til those come in.

At the end of the day I got to finally do what I could never do back in high school. I sat down with my good friend MGD and my car, and relaxed for the first time all day.

Its so easy to forget the value of a single beer these days. Parties rage for days at times and no one stops to remember that the little bottle of brewed perfection is more than just a ticket to a schwasted sinfest with your "associates". It's a treat. It's a reward. It's a reminder that you spent all day doing backbreaking labor to fix something you could have paid alot of money for someone else to do. But you did it yourself. Why?

Because you love it. And at the end of the day, why else do we do anything.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

As an avid fan of older bikes, I have a lot of love for Harley Davidson. I know most people these days scoff at those over chromed heavy ass buckets of  steel. Ancient motors! Rudimentary suspensions! Slow as hell!

I've heard it all. And the worst part is.. theres a great deal of truth in these criticisms. 

I found these pictures a few years ago and they blew me away. A monoshock Harley? Sure this particular model isn't exactly cutting edge, but it got me wondering. Why can't Harley make a modern motorcycle? After all, Harley Davidsons weren't always about putting around at 60mph on the freeway across the country. While that is a big part of HD culture, its not the ONLY part of it.


When you go to the HD website, under "racing" all they have is drag racing and dirt track. Whatever happened to road racing? Harley had some pretty sweet bikes back in the 1980s on the racing circuits. The closest thing we've had to high tech racing Harleys lately were the Buells, but those have been cancelled now.

But I think I figured it out. HD the company isn't the issue. The customers are. The guy who comes in to buy a Road King with hard bags and a fairing and floorboards is not interested in the least in the high tech V-Rod, a HD-Porsche collaboration. He WANTS his slow ass chromed machine. Which is fine, those bikes should exist for those who want them.

But why can't I go down to the local Harley dealer and find something that can compete with a comparable Japanese midrange sportbike? The XR1200 you say? I do love that bike... but its hardly a sportbike. Cool as shit, yes, but not a true performance bike.

Most "Harley guys" scoff at that bike too. I saw a post on an unnamed forum not too long ago where one HD owner posted in the XR-1200 section that he wished they would cancel the bike. 

WHY? He doesn't like it so its a travesty that the bike even exists. I rolled my eyes so hard my roommate came in to ask if I was alright. This hatred of fellow enthusiasts that merely have different preferences is ridiculous. I guess that's why Harley doesn't make cutting edge bikes anymore: the average client seems to be too ignorant to give a rats ass.

Then why not market these cooler sportbikes under a different brand name, sell them to the types of people who DO want a modern bike with a sweet vintage sounding v-twin and call it a day? surely that solves the problem. Wait.. this sound a lot like Buell.... which they canceled..

Sigh. I guess I won't be seeing a sweet cutting edge HD anytime soon.. At least they do offer some bikes without chrome.