All posts filed under: Vehicles

The Race is On – Fall Harvest

Alberta has 21 million hectares (52 million acres) of agriculture land that is used for farming and ranching. Wheat, barley, canola, oats, rye, dry peas, lentils, flax, dry beans and potatoes are the primary crops. An Alberta Harvest – past and present. Irricana’s Pioneer Acres hosts an annual Farm Days which features working demonstrations of  the farm equipment that would have been used by our grandfathers and great grandfathers. This photo shows a wagon, a stationary thresher machine (which separates the grain from the straw and chaff) and a grain truck. The thresher is powered by a tractor (not shown). Today, harvesting is done by self propelled Combines that cut the crop and threshes it. The combine doesn’t even have to stop moving to transfer the grain to trucks. This is one of three combines that harvested the quarter section behind our place yesterday afternoon. It was a dusty day for everyone within a mile of the action (but probably not for the driver!) Farming has always been a risky business and that is no …

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. 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 – I can’t get The Car Guy interested …

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. 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 …

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 …

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. 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.  …

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. 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. A 1926 Mack, Riggers Truck – Ron Carey Collection, Irricana Pioneer Truck Museum, Alberta, Canada. These trucks were used primarily for bridge and subway construction. A 1932 Ford 5 window custom 2 door coupe in Tangalo Pearl Orange. A 1933 Dodge truck with suicide doors. Two views of a 1935 or 1936 Plymouth. A 1948 or 1949 International truck, chrome “wings” on the sides of the grill. A 1950 Ford Thames E83W. This was built by Ford of Britain at the Ford Dagenham assembly plant (home of Fordson tractors). 2001 or …

Old Car Nostalgia

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

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 CVO – October 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 …

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.

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 – The Car Guy 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 …

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!

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. 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. So I took the key out of My Car and went back to the key rack to get His Truck …

Our Harley Motorcycle’s First Adventure

A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for. – William Shedd – There came a day when The Car Guy asked me to be his Biker Chick (perhaps as a way to justify the handsome touring bike he coveted), and I just couldn’t turn down a chance to ride behind this dashing man dressed in black leather… It was time for me to leave my safe harbor. Two Up Riding – I sit on the back of a two wheel machine that can accelerate to infinity and beyond before I’ve even noticed the light turned green. I trust The Car Guy and his knowledge of this machine to keep me safe… well, as safe as one can be on the back of a motorcycle, which isn’t the same thing as the safety of my recliner in the living room, or even the seat of my PT Cruiser, for that matter. This past week-end we pointed the Harley west. After climbing through the Rogers Pass, we descended into Revelstoke BC where …

Harley Davidson Electra Glide Ultra Classic CVO – 2011

My Spousal Unit, The Car Guy, has ridden motorcycles for many years. He started with a Honda 50 Cub in about 1963. When he outgrew that, he graduated to cars, owning a string of them through the early years of our marriage. In about 1982 he decided to ride again, and purchased a 1979 Yamaha 750 Triple. This was sold, and then replaced with a new 1984 Honda V65 Magna. Road trips with his buddies were replaced with road trips with his wife, when in 2005 he purchased his first touring bike – a BMW K1200 LT. The BMW, still in pristine condition, was put up for sale in order to make room in the garage for the new bike, a 2011 Harley Davidson Electra Glide Ultra Classic CVO. As the kids say, we are spending their inheritance… The BMW and the Harley are both, of course, top of the line touring bikes. And though the Harley is brand new, the BMW is technologically as modern. So why replace the BMW with a Harley? A number of things, really. One …

Tractors – Big Deere, Little Deere

We have a few John Deeres in the family. The most hours are put on the one that keeps the lawn under control.  The second busiest tractor is probably the pedal car that the grandchildren drive when they come for a visit. My husband usually mows the lawn. But now and then I take a turn. It is a simple job, that gives me a lot of time to think. What I have been thinking about this spring is our former neighbour up the road. She had a lawn tractor too, but it wasn’t a John Deere. Green was not her colour. Her lawn tractor didn’t have a bagger on it, so she would hand rake the rows of grass that were left on her lawn. Then she would put the cuttings in a bucket and haul them into the woods, where she would scatter them.  When she got tired, she would turn the bucket over and sit on it for a while. She probably had about an acre of grass. A few years ago, we had a lot of rain. Her grass …