Auto Factoids for the Week of 2/7/2010

2/7/1942  Our government order the production of cars halted and production lines converted for producing wartime functionality. ( Hemmings had a great series of articles a couple years ago that covered what each car manufacture produced for the war-time effort.  If you can find them they are a great read.)

2/7/1958 – The Dutch DAF 600 automatic transmission was intro’ed.

2/10/1942 – Pontiac physically halts car production for war-time effort

2/11/1932 – Ford introduced this new flathead V8.  It had a good run through 1953

2/12/1908 – First New York to Paris Auto Race.

Thanks for reading.


Unrestored Originals? Survivors? Most (Almost) Original Cars

This ties in very well with the discussion of  restoration or restromods…almost.  I reading one of Hemmings Classic Cars mags (March 2010)…..erk…how the heck can it be a March 2010 and I got it two weeks ago ..that would be January…never mind.  The theme running through the edition was cars that are unrestored originals, basically cars that are old and haven’t been….well … restored.

First the main kick-off article (that’s one that explains the “theme” of the issue) was written by one of my favorite Hemming’s editors, Rich Lentinello- hopefully he won’t mind me call him Rich. He touches on the idea of preservation and not restoration.  A repeated phrase used in the other articles is “it’s only original once” and of course you can’t argue with that. (Oh..that is also the name of Rich’s book…I haven’t picked it up yet, but I intent do.)

As I read the articles covering 1932 Ford, 1937 Packard, 1971 Cuda, 1930 Oakland, 1948 Chrysler, ’60 Corvette (needs paint…really), ’67 Eldorado and a few more, I enjoyed the stories..all car guys love “the story”.  But each car had something changed about it. There was the 1954 Hudson the car had dents repaired, gas tank dropped and boiled(common practice when a car has sat for years), window cylinders replaces and brakes all redone.  The ’60 vette had the engine rebuild and all the upholstery replaced. The fact that the paint is  pealing off makes it more original?  I don’t know.

Now does that hold up against replacing the control arms on the Mustang or the upholstery being redone (using original materials..I might add.)  Restromod? Restored? Original?  How about drivable, race- able (yes the Mustang makes it to the drags at least twice a year) and fun…yup that’s the ticket.

I guess I’m still not comfortable with the “restromod” moniker that guy stuck on my car. (I bet you could tell, could ya?)  More therapy coming up.

Thanks for reading.


Old Part “To Keep or Not To Keep” That is the Question

I’m always reading where a guy had replace every part on his car and saved all the old parts.  As with all things there is line of demarcation.  What made me think of this was the new front end of the Mustang and a previous conversation when I was needed to rebuild the transmission for the 2nd time in the Corvette.

I was pretty fed up with the T400R (I’ll share the story when I talk about the mods for the Vette in another post).  I had trouble with it when I first got it —only 32K miles,  and then a horrible rebuild and on the second rebuild I was considering just replacing with another level 2.  A fee of the guys from the Corvette club (ACE) that I belong to encouraged me to keep the old trans because it would be important at some point to have the matching number trans.

I’ve read were some have even kept old sheet metal because of the part number and the new after market ones don’t have that.  But there can’t be much value in having an old front valance for my Mustang laying around..ya think?  (Ok..fine I do still have it and it does have the original part number on it..but I wouldn’t put it on again.)

So saw no reason to keep the old control arms no value in that.

BTW I had the Corvette transmission rebuilt.  This really leads me to another topic I read about in a car magazine.  The topic was survivor cars or the most original.  That one later.

Thanks for reading.


Missed Car Show – Mustang Front End – Closure.

We all love closure and especially when it ends well.

Mustang is back from the shop. Buying the control arms ahead time saved a few dollars.  HINT:  If you know you need a part, but not right away, but you have the funds (too many buts???) look for a sale.  I’m continually sent emails with discounts from Mustang parts places.  I purchased these on an email and got free shipping.  What I didn’t have was the spring perches.  Luckily I found them at a local place that specializes in muscle cars and in particular Mustangs.  They ran about $80 for the pair. 

 While they had  a part I splurged for a set of shocks…no labor because they had it apart already. (Hint:  More savings!!)

So I drove over to pick it up and drive it around the corner to the tire place and got two new tires tossed on.  I can’t believe the difference the new front end makes.  Took it out for a drive.  This car is nearly done. 

Side note:  I’m enjoying this Blogging thing.  Although we are light on the comments..Mr. Sears is always helping out there, it’s good fun.

Got to give a shout out to a loyal reader…HEY PDAWG!!!  Get me that pic of your garage!!!!

Restoration vs. Restromod

There has never been a clear understanding between these two ways keeping a car alive.  Perhaps is not so much an understanding issue as to a delineation of the fine line between the two.

I do agree that there is a difference.  Clearly if one were to take a 1970 Camaro and put 1989 front end on it, or a Ford 8 bolt rear end and 351 Cleveland that’s a restro-mod.  A couple of car shows ago I saw a 1967 Ford Mustang with a Corvette engine (LS1) shoved under the hood.  Oh..hey..I have pics…here’s one and there on at the bottom of this post.

I spoke to the owner and asked him “why” to which he responded “Because I could.”


Sometimes it’s pretty easy to know when to call it a restoration or a restromod.  But what about finer changes, cosmetic, or safety changes.

I mentioned, in a previous posting, that a judge called my Mustang a restromod. Which I was take back a bit by.   I started thinking about after I posted that and  I’m going to have to agree with him and here is why.

I believe the swapping of the 250 for a 302 wasn’t the problem (unless your definition includes a requirement for a matching year block …I’m sure mine isn’t from 1970 at least not the short block)  or the dual exhaust.  The Center Line wheels…. maybe.  Now the rear spoiler and the Mach I mirrors might be where I crossed the line.  You couldn’t have purchased a coupe with those items, as far as I can tell with the research I’ve done.  But aren’t we now just talking about accessories, like dice hanging from the mirror or a locking gas cap?

Now what if there was just a brake change (drum to disk) for upgrade for safety, or seat belts added or something as simple as steel belted tires.

Where would you draw the line?  Drop me a comment and let me know.


Thanks for reading.


Cleanest Garage of the Week – Disaster Garage of the Week Contest

Hey….send me a pic of you nice clean garage…I’ll post them up here….under the post…Cleanest Garage of the Week.  OH…don’t have a clean garage (me either)…send me  your cluttered up, messy garage photo and I post it up here..under the post…..Disaster Garage of the Week?

I like this idea soooo much I’m going to offer up a $25.00 gift card for the winner of each to Home Depot or Checkers Auto.

Send me your pics and at the end of Feb. 2010 I’ll select the winner.  Send the email to me and I’ll post the weekly winners right here.

This should be fun.

Dream Car, What’s yours?

Yeah…I know it’s tough to pick…but what if you could pick two cars and the criteria was..1 old and 1 new (last two years)?

What you choose?  Drop a comment and to this post and let me know.

Mustang Front End – Why I missed the Car Show

Well the news was pretty good.  Since I had the control arms already, I was only missing the spring seats (sometimes called perches) and a new set of shocks and I’m good to go – Labor $300.00 I was thinking much worse.

Tim Sisk asked when I was going to sell the car to him.  I laughed..he laughed and I said..HOW MUCH???  He laughed some more.

Need to pick up the parts Monday and get some new tires.  Good to go.

Missing Car Show “The rest of the story”

The joys of owning a classic muscle car are numberous.  Restoring one takes some planning and forethought. errkkk……….having said doesn’t take a genus to know that a 40-year-old car with nearly 200k miles on the body/frame and suspension might need stuff.

Well the tire problem I discovered was the direct cause of defective tire and serious wear (they aren’t that old).  The wear is a bit disturbing because of the limited miles I’ve driven it.

About 10 months ago I started feeling the typical sloppiness that a front gives you when it needs some attention. So I ordered upper and lower control arms, which wasn’t a budget buster, mainly because I’d planned on install them myself (labor is will kill the budget).  I stuck them away until I had time.  Well doing a little research I realized that for this Mustang I didn’t have the tools get the job done so I delayed it a bit longer.

I drive the Mustang to work a couple times a week (maybe) and on the weekend run errands.  So the front had to be much worse to do that much wear in those miles. I took it over a fellow Mustang owners shop (actually we recently sold it Mustang so he’s Stangless right now).

eeeeerrrrrrrrrrrkkk…………ok I have to say that this guy is partner/manager for a “chain” auto repair company.  I won’t say which one because, I normally won’t take my cars to such establishments. But I met Tim Sisk 3 years ago when I needed a quick oil change on the Mustang and I stopped in. We talked about Mustangs and I found him to be extremely knowledgable. So I had them to a few things for me.  It worked out great and now when I can’t do something on my own with Mustang and even a few on the Corvette I’ll take it there. Another benefit is that the place is two miles up the road.

I tossed the upper and lower control arms in the trunk and took the Mustang there this morning.  We put it up on the lift and sure enough the control arms needed to be replaced.  I’m sure there will be a few more things I’ll need and most likely they’ll have to be ordered and if I can swing a good deal on the labor I’ll have some shocks put on as well. 

So standby for the $$$$.  I’ll post it when I get the news.

Oh..there are lots places to get Mustang parts.  I happened to pick up the control arms from WSD. Worldwide Suspension Distribution LLC.

Thanks for reading.