Category: Vehicle

Faces in the Car Show Crowd

January and February are the best time of the year for the car buffs in Arizona! This year The Car Guy went to Russo and Steele, Silver Auction at Fort McDowell and the Fountain Hills Concours in the Hills. He would have gone to Barrett-Jackson too, but got tired of trying to find a place to park.

Silver Auctions At Fort McDowell

Chrysler Town and Country

Fountain Hills Car Show

Triumph TR250

Fountain Hills Car Show

Shelby Cobra

Fountain Hills Car Show

Ford Ratrod

At my other blog, Almost Artistic, I used several filters on the same photos – the faces are not nearly so recognizable: Faces at the Car Show.

This week’s WordPress.com Photo Challenge is A Face in the Crowd.

Transmogrify – The Rat Rods and Transformation

On March 23, 1987, cartoonist Bill Watterson introduced his readers to ‘The Transmogrifier’. In appearance, it looked like a cardboard box, but in the hands of Calvin and Hobbes, it was a miraculous change agent.

Calvin: You step into this chamber, set the appropriate dials, and it turns you into whatever you’d like to be.
Hobbes: It’s amazing what they can do with corrugated cardboard these days.
– Bill Watterson –

‘Transmogrify’ was a new word to me, but the dictionary says it has been with us since the 1650’s. It means ‘to change into something very different, especially in a way that is funny or strange’.

I can’t think of a better world to describe the cars below – the Rat Rods. They are built from salvaged parts and random trinkets. No two would ever be alike!

Above all, rat rods are built to be enjoyed and driven. They are a mechanic’s art form that allow each builder to think outside the box.
– Tara Hurlin –

555-rat-rod-sabotage-ii

555-rat-rod1

555-rat-rod2

I can’t get The Car Guy interested in building one of these cars. His transmogrify box must be broken…

555-henry garden sculpture

We have done our own small transmogrifying project though. A visit to a friends’ farm revealed a wealth of metal scraps. I chose rakes for some wings, a big spring and a length of rebar for the backbone, a hinge for the beak, some nails for a tail, and some bits that I don’t even know what they once were, for the rest of the body. Once our Friendly Farmer Friend welded the bits together for me, I decided  my creation was a chicken. I named her Henrietta. Some time later, The Car Guy and FFF made a slight modification to Henrietta. They added a bolt and a couple of nuts… and that is how my chicken became Henry.

What do you think of when you hear the word Transmogrify?

This weeks WordPress Photo Challenge is Transmogrify.

Post 555

A Vibrant Willys Coupe at Barrett-Jackson

Willys-Overland Motors produced the Willys Americar from 1937 to 1942 – either as sedans, coupes, station wagons or pickup trucks.

The coupe version is very popular with the hot rod set, and this beautiful 1941 Willys Custom Coupe wears vibrant metallic pearl and royal ruby pearl paint. With extensive chroming from front to back, this car sparkled under the lights at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale in January 2016.

Willys-Overland’s biggest claim to fame is the famous 4×4 “Willys” which was chosen by the War Department as its light utility vehicle of choice. The “Jeep”, as it would become known, was based on the original Bantam design of the Willys company.

A Willys Americar would have cost about $630 in the early 1940’s. As a hot rod, this one sold in 2016 for $80,300. In 2015, the same car sold at Barrett Jackson in Las Vegas for $110,000. What goes up, must come down, they say…

Have you ever taken a big ‘hit’ when you sold a car?

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is Vibrant

Post 529

Oil Field Dodge and Stalking John Dillinger

The Oil Field Dodge was the star of a Dodge Brothers promotional film that was apparently filmed in Texas in the 1920’s. (The piano music in this video is “New Walk” by Dave Hartley, released 2006.)

The vehicle used in this video would probably have been produced after March of 1919 (when a four­ door enclosed sedan was introduced into the Dodge line) and before the 1924 model year when the wheelbase was extended to 116 inches, louvers were placed on the hood, and the entire car was given a lower appearance.

Oil Field Dodge

1919 Dodge

1924 Dodge

1927 Dodge

The Dodge Brothers (John and Horace) began building motor cars in 1910. Initially they manufactured and assembled Model T’s for the Ford Motor Company. In 1913 they began designing their own car, and on November 14, 1914 the first Dodge Brothers vehicle rolled off the assembly line. In just three years Dodge became the fourth largest American automobile manufacturer. By 1919, the company was producing about 106,000 vehicles per year and in 1925 they sold their one millionth car.

The Dodge Brothers both died in 1920. In 1925 the Dodge heirs sold the firm to New York investment bankers Dillon, Read & Company for $146 million. Dillon then sold it to Walter P. Chrysler in 1928 for $170 million.

DH 4 Door Sedan movie ‘Public Enemies’

1931 Dodge

This 1931 Dodge 4 door sedan was owned by Hurley County, Wisconsin, Sheriff Frank J. Erspamer. The original purchase price of the car was $950. In 1934, the Sheriff supposedly accompanied the FBI to the Little Bohemia Lodge where the outlaw John Dillinger was.

The car sold at the 2014 Barrett-Jackson Auction in Scottsdale, Arizona for $19,250.

Last, but certainly not least, is The Car Guy’s Dodge Dakota:

While it probably could not navigate the mud like the Oil Field Dodge, and it certainly isn’t used to hunt down famous criminals, last month it started (without being plugged in) when the temperature was -30C (-22F).

I’ll be glad to reply to or dodge your questions, depending on what I think will help our election most.
– George H. W. Bush –

If you can’t Dodge it, Ram it.
– Author Unknown –

Post 462

Harley Survives. Will the Honda Lawnmower?

When we last saw the Harley Davidson in August 2012, it was being loaded onto the back of a truck. Bent and broken like it’s owner, the bike was no longer The Car Guy’s concern. The Harley’s destiny was in the hands of the insurance company.

Then – we got a phone call from our Son-in-law a few months ago. “I’ve found your Harley,” he said. “Not only that, it is repaired, and is being sold by the same guy here in Alberta that I bought my Harley from. If that isn’t coincidence enough, the guy who is selling the bike is the guy who repaired the bike, and he did the work this past winter in Phoenix Arizona!”

Phoenix – that meant the Harley had spent the winter in the same general area where The Car Guy had spent the winter recovering from his damages. But there is even more to the story. The guy who repaired the bike has a son who lives right next door to The Car Guy’s dad. It really is a small, small world!

The Harley survived, but will our Honda? This Honda lawn mower is 30 years old. It spent the last 3 years out at the cabin, and was one of the items The Car Guy salvaged from our flooded cabin last weekend. So far all he has done is pressure washed it, but starting this week, he and his Dad will start to dismantle it and see if they can bring it back to life.

“Why bother?” you might ask. Indeed, why.

Maybe it is because it has faithfully mowed our lawns for 30 years, and it deserves another chance.

Maybe it is because we were raised to reuse, recycle, fix and make do – long before it was the popular thing to do.

Or maybe it is because there was so little we could salvage from the flood, that anything is better than nothing, and something is a nice reminder of all the happy days we spent there. Mowing the lawn. We didn’t have much, so it wasn’t really a big job. But it smelled so nice when it was being done, and it looked so nice when it was finished. And every time we fire up this mower again, we will be reminded of all our neighbours, and the sounds of their mowers on those happy sunny days when all the mowers on the street came out for a quick run around the yard.

Consider the many special delights a lawn affords: soft mattress for a creeping baby; worm hatchery for a robin; croquet or badminton court; baseball diamond; restful green perspectives leading the eye to a background of flower beds, shrubs, or hedge; green shadows – “This lawn, a carpet all alive/With shadows flung from leaves’ – as changing and as spellbinding as the waves of the sea, whether flecked with sunlight under trees of light foliage, like elm and locust, or deep, dark, solid shade, moving slowly as the tide, under maple and oak.  This carpet!
–   Katharine S. White, Onward and Upward in the Garden, 1979

Post 446

PT Cruiser Gets a Short Block Transplant

For the past ten years I have been driving a 2003 PT Cruiser – the Dream Cruiser Series 2. It has a turbo engine, is tangerine in colour and has very low mileage. I call my car Pete. Up until a week ago, PT Cruiser collectors would have said it was one of the more rare and valuable PT Cruisers in existence. According to a guy who has researched these cars, there were only 2200 made.

Several weeks ago ‘Pete’s engine light came on, so we took Pete to the local Chrysler Car Hospital. We expected some minor malfunction, an hour or so of labour, a few small parts and then Pete would be back on the road again.

engine

This is a photo of Pete’s engine compartment. It is only slightly larger than the glove compartment of a big truck – at least, that is how The Car Guy describes the cramped quarters of the place where Pete’s stomach, heart, lungs and circulatory system are. Wedged somewhere under the upper bits is the Short Block.  It contains the pistons, the crank shaft and the connecting rods.

To make a long story short, Pete’s ailment was not minor. Pete was going to need a Short Block transplant. The Car Guy questioned Pete’s surgeon about this diagnosis. Surely the condition could be cured by rebuilding the block. The surgeon looked at The Car Guy, as only a Young Car Guy can look at an Old Car Guy, and said, “No one rebuilds these things anymore.”

When The Car Guy explained the situation to me, I asked him if he could rebuild it. He told me he certainly could, but if I wanted to have Pete back on the road in less than a year or two, then the transplant was probably the best way to go. (The Car Guy and his dad are good mechanics, but they aren’t fast.)

A short block was ordered and Pete was pushed out into the parking lot behind the Car Hospital. On about the sixth day of Pete’s absence from the safety of our garage, large dark clouds rolled into town. They were packing pellets and weren’t afraid to use them. As I watched the hail beat down, I wondered about Pete. What were the chances that the hail was big enough and hard enough to beat holes into Pete’s tangerine skin?

Would the Fickle Finger of Fate (the Insurance Company) then decide that Pete, (with no engine block and a pock marked body), was a complete write off? Fortunately, the hail did no damage and I brought Pete home a few days ago. Pete’s Hospital stay cost about as much as what Pete would be worth if I sold him, which doesn’t make much sense, but that is how things are with used vehicles.

No, no, no. There’s no such thing as cheap and cheerful. It’s cheap and nasty & expensive and cheerful.
– Jeremy Clarkson –

I’d show you a photo of Pete’s engine now, but it really doesn’t look any different than it did before.

Post 412

The Car Guy and his Automotive Quests

If all the cars in the United States were placed end to end, it would probably be Labor Day Weekend.
– Doug Larson –

 The Car Guy attended  the Barrett-Jackson Car Auction in Scottsdale this past January.

yellow red

He is always on the look out for another Challenger like his.

Or a truck like his 1950 Fargo.

Post 406

From Pumpkins to Tangerines – Colourful Orange Vehicles

Orange is red brought nearer to humanity by yellow.
– Wassily Kandinsky –

Orange – it can be the color of a carrot, orange peel, pumpkin or persimmon, to name just a few shades. It was never my favourite colour until I walked into a car dealership and saw a Tangerine PT Cruiser. It was love at first sight.

The colour continues to appeal to me, as you can see from this set of photos I have taken at various car shows and auctions.
Irricana Pioneer Truck Museum Ron Carey Collection

A 1926 Mack, Riggers Truck – Ron Carey Collection, Irricana Pioneer Truck Museum, Alberta, Canada. These trucks were used primarily for bridge and subway construction.

Tangalo Pearl Orange

A 1932 Ford 5 window custom 2 door coupe in Tangalo Pearl Orange.

orange with suicide doors

A 1933 Dodge truck with suicide doors.

Two views of a 1935 or 1936 Plymouth.
orange, chrome wings on sides of the grill

A 1948 or 1949 International truck, chrome “wings” on the sides of the grill.

orange

A 1950 Ford Thames E83W. This was built by Ford of Britain at the Ford Dagenham assembly plant (home of Fordson tractors).

2001 or 2002 Prowlers, one original, one modified, in Prowler Orange Metallic.

Tangerine Pearl Coat paint

Last, but not least, my 2003 PT Dream Cruiser Series 2, in Tangerine Pearl Coat paint. Production was limited to 7,500 units for North American markets including 750 for Canada and 2,000 units for international markets.

Post 391

Old Car Nostalgia

Nostalgia is a file that removes the rough edges from the good old days.
– Doug Larson –

7-fargo2

The Car Guy has a 1950 Fargo half ton. It has been in his family since the early ’60’s. It isn’t all that comfortable to ride in, and it no longer does any particular job around here since a newer truck was purchased. But I expect the Fargo will stay in the family for many more years because it is a link to a place and time that is now only a memory.

The Car Guy has been thinking about adding a Hot Rod to his fleet, so this summer we attended a few car shows. What we discovered was – we have very different opinions as to what would be the perfect Hot Rod.

I took pictures of some of my favourites and when I looked at them after the show I realized that they all had two googly eyes (headlights) – old Fords, I think.

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.
– Henry Ford –

People can have the Model T in any color – so long as it’s black.
– Henry Ford –

I see no advantage in these new clocks. They run no faster than the ones made 100 years ago.
– Henry Ford –

It has been a month and a half since the last car show. Much has changed since then. The Harley has been written off, six inches of snow covers the ground, and the stores are already playing Christmas Music. Time to hunker down and think fondly of better days – both in the past and to come.

If you could go back to the “Good Old Days”, when would that be?

Remembering the Harley Motorcycle

Never trade the thrills of living for the security of existence.
– Unknown-

It is with great sadness that we announce the demise of an inhabitant of The Car Guys garage, Harley Davidson.

2011 Harley Davidson Electra Glide Ultra Classic CVOOctober 21, 2010  to October 19, 2012

Harley went for a short ride on the morning of Friday, July 13, 2012. Apparently neither the rider nor bike thought about the consequences of venturing out on such an unlucky day. A Perfect Storm of events resulted in both of them being in the ditch.

Harley had many broken and bent bits and it was eventually decided by the Insurance Doctor that Harley was not a candidate for restorative surgery. This was because the cost to repair Harley was likely going to be more than it was worth on the resale market.  Harley will, however, probably become an ‘organ’ donor, and it is our hope that many of Harley’s parts will breath new life into bikes that are in need of a transplant.

The Car Guy was more fortunate. He had many broken and bent bits too, but the People Doctors don’t consult a resale blue book before they decide if a patient is worth saving. The Car Guy has passed his 3 month post accident check-ups with flying colours, and he is well on the way to being just like before. Well, not exactly like before because the brain injury has altered his personality a bit, but in a good way.

Post 366

Free Spirit – Pink Freud the Antique Auto

As I watched Layton pack his little bags into Pink Freud, a 1938 Ford, I thought, “He’s a Free Spirit, an Adventurer – Indiana Jones in a Hot Rod.”

I’ll skip over the fact that he had arrived at our house with a pack of luncheon meat and cheese in his Computer Bag, but had forgot to bring a coat of any kind. From our house, he was leaving on a week’s road trip in a car with no side windows, no heat and a broken windshield wiper. (Alberta to British Columbia in early September – rain or snow are both possible this time of year.)  Pink Freud’s battery was dead,  but once boosted the engine roared to life. With a cheerful wave, Layton and Freud were gone.

Post 355

A Perfect Storm – The Motorcycle Accident

A “perfect storm” is an expression that describes an event where a rare combination of circumstances will aggravate a situation drastically.
– Wikipedia –

damaged bike HarleyHe remembers getting on his motorcycle on a Friday morning and heading east for a short ride on a quiet country highway. He doesn’t remember the ambulance trip, nor much about the day he spent in Emergency. His next 4 days in Trauma were also a bit of a blur, but that was to be expected with a brain injury. There were lots of other injuries too – the  human body isn’t designed for unexpected flight off a motorcycle.

It was the Perfect Storm. In a split second, everything that could go wrong  that morning – did. And, after that, everything that could go right – did too.

Someday, our family will say, “We wish this had never happened. We hope it never happens again. But – we are a stronger family for it.”  Each member of the family will take a different lesson away from the experience. It has been that life altering.

It has been three weeks since the accident. The stitches are out, the wounds are healing, the bones are knitting.  The brain is probably working the hardest, though. It has no problem retrieving the memories of everything that happened before it got bumped, but holding onto everything that has happened since the accident is like trying to capture a stream of water in your hands.

The Harley Davidson motorcycle waits patiently in the garage. Like the owner, it is scratched and dented, but with the touch of the key it still roars to life. With time, and patience, both will be well again some day.

Post 349

Getting Ready for a Motorcycle Ride

The best alarm clock is sunshine on chrome.
– Author Unknown –

Rough and ready motorcycle riders get up at the crack of dawn to make sure everything is ready to roll.
The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready.
– Henry David Thoreau –

And that is the challenge. When a group rides together, no one goes anywhere until the last person is ready! That means every boot is done up, every chap is buckled, every jacket is zipped, every helmet is cinched and every glove is slipped on. If the weather is cold, it takes extra time to add another layer or two. If the weather is hot, it means no one wants to be ready first because they don’t want to overheat while they wait.

Multiply this by the number of stops per day, which can sometimes be five or six, and it is actually quite amazing how far we get in a day!

Post 282

Altered Car Photos

1-corvette-before

With the help of Photoshop Elements, or any other program like that, a car can be altered in all sorts of interesting ways. The first one I tried was creating “Toy” cars. I started with The Car Guy’s Corvette.

1-corvette-pieces1Basically it involves cutting the photo of the car into five vertical strips that extend from the top to the bottom of the photo, making a layer out of each strip. Then, starting at the front of the car, some of the strips are left full width (the front and back wheel sections), while the rest of them are made narrower (highlight the layer, and drag the arrow from the front to the back.

1-corvette-pieces2

I did this several times until I had reduced the front, middle and back strips by about 50%. When the strips are moved into place, the car is shortened into a “Toy” car. If you want to include some landscape on either end of the car, cut those into strips too, but don’t alter them.

corvette

This all sounds much easier than it is… it is tricky to get the narrowed strips to match up properly with the unaltered ones. This technique worked very well with the Corvette, since it is such a long car.

I also shortened a PT Cruiser.

1-ptcruiser

 

PT Cruiser

It is also possible to change the color of the car, etc. One site with tutorials for manipulating car photos is The Photoshop Bible.  Another is Photoshop car tutorials.

 Post 268

I Was a Little Mixed Up – a Key Fiasco

I like to think of my behavior in the sixties as a ‘learning experience.’ Then again, I like to think of anything stupid I’ve done as a ‘learning experience.’ It makes me feel less stupid.
– P.J. O’Rourke –

Now and then I have momentary lapses in my attention to important details.  Whether I feel stupid about these, or not, depends on timing.

Tangerine PT Cruiser Limited Edition

For example, recently I put a key in the ignition of My Car, and it fit in just fine, but it wouldn’t turn.  Curious. I wiggled the key a few times, turned the steering wheel a bit, got out and glared at the hood of the car, and then tried the key again. It still wouldn’t turn. So I phoned The Car Guy and asked him (because he had driven my car last) why the key wouldn’t work.

He couldn’t think of any reason why, and suggested I drive His Truck instead.

maroon and silver

This is where the key belonged.

So I took the key out of My Car and went back to the key rack to get His Truck key. That is when I realized that My Car key was still on the key rack, and the key I was trying to start the car with was His Truck key.

Now, if I had NOT made that phone call to The Car Guy, I could have called this key fiasco a learning experience. But in my haste to ask The Car Guy to solve my problem, I had painted myself into the proverbial corner. I was going to have to confess to him that I was, in fact, guilty of doing something that was a bit stupid.

There was no glossing over the fact that I had mixed up similar and mostly congruent, but not identical keys. One key fob has a Ram head on it, the other doesn’t…

In the big scheme of things, however, this was a very minor oversight. I have committed many other such ones in my life. But to my credit, so far I have never tried to  wash the dirty clothes in the dishwasher, cook pancakes on the scanner, or tried to make a phone call with the TV remote. Things could be a lot worse…

Post 221

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