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 that..it 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.


Restore or Mod it all cost money

Money, cash, coin, bucks, what ever you call it’s the 900 lbs monkey sitting in the passenger seat right next to you!!!!

This can be tough.  Us average guys, have to “pinch pennies until Lincoln calls the cops”. Even then there is a lot of …free time..between mod or new parts.  Am I right?  You betcha.

You’ve heard the stories, that start out…”Yeah..and to sell her.” or “Got a family started.” or “Had to move and no place for the car.”

I wonder about the guys that say…”I have too many projects.” I’m thinking 40% of them ran out of money and then ‘honey’ said that it has got to go.

I don’t have a direct solution for your money problems and I won’t tell you anything you don’t know or haven’t already read about. What I will say is take your time. Work on it as often as possible, even if you are just wiping it down or cleaning a part. That way you don’t “loose” touch so to speak.

What is important is to keep track of what you spend, keep receipts, and spreadsheets are good for that. Why is it important?  For a couple reason:

1.  Most of us average guys are on a budget.  Keep one for your car.  Get prices ahead of time and match that up with your “real world budget” the one you keep to eat/pay the mortgage/utilities.

2. Investment purposes. It’s good to know how much you’ve spent.  That’s a big deal if you were to…go head winch now…you know what’s coming resell.

3.  Insurance – especially if it’s collector car insurance. Most will let set a value.  I have this for my Mustang.

errk…..story time!!!!!  When I first got the Mustang, I called my regular insurance company, told them I purchased a collectable car and I wanted to insure it.  They asked me how much it cost when it was new. I said $2,984.20. The gal on the other end of the line said “Then that’s how much we’ll insure it for.” as if it were a done deal.  So be careful.  I use Hagerty..they are great.  Remember my story about the kid that hit my Mustang….the paid for it all and kept sending checks when ever the amount went up.

Ok..more tomorrow.

Don’t forget about the Clean and Disaster Garage contest.  $25.00 gift card…..hey..it’s extra money!!!!

Thanks for reading.


Car Shows Judging

There are basically two categories professional and average guy judging.

Now I must confess here I don’t understand the professional, there is just too much to know.  I frankly don’t know how some the of the larger shows can finish the judging – especially the contours judging.   Whether there are the proper pre-assembly marks and  is there the proper over-spray in the right places.  I suppose thats great in some respects and I guess is can see the necessity.

But I’m the average guy muscle car owner.  I like what I like and being judged by average peeps is ok by me.  I’d like them to have some car knowledge but it’s still not that necessary.

I found it interesting that at one of the medium size shows one guy called the Mustang a Restro-mod.  I wasn’t sure how I felt about that.  It’s period – meaning it could have been ordered that way at the time. Only real change is the larger tires and Center Line wheels.

The latest Hemming’s Classic Car issue has interesting reading on the subject of “original/survivor cars” vs “everything else”  I’ll do another post on that topic later on.

Couple of admin notes:

1.  If I mention a product or a publication it’s because I have an opinion or an “experience” with it.  This is a non-commercial blog. As of write now I don’t have plans to have ads embedded, click throughs or sell “stuff” .

2.  Send me comments. Post them up here or email them to me timsweet@cox.net.

3.  I don’t sell contact info either or send spam email.  If you email me that’s as far as your info goes.  I’ll even ask you if you mind having me post email contents before I do.


Car Shows (and some more)

Having fun at car shows is easy.  Here’s some tips on enjoying even more.

1.  Talk to the other owners. You’ll learn a lot and make some lasting friends.  Last year I went to a large show with both cars and I spend more time wandering around then I did sitting by my car.  I met a lot of people. Here is Tucson, AZ we get a lot of “snow birds” – people escaping the really cold weather and hanging out down here.  I met a guy from up north w/ a beautiful 1972 Vette.  The following month we accidently met at an all Corvette show in another town. 

2.  Take someone with you.  Since I have two cars, I often get a work mate (someone I can stand for more then 2 hours) or one of my brother-in-laws (yeah from the group of  mechanically talented brother-in-laws) and I even had my neighbor – nice guy, great family drive one to a show. 

3.  Let the kids sit in the car.  This is so cool.  Not to many owners allow this.  But I tell them..it got here with me sitting in it.  !!!Flashback!!!! Remember my story about my uncle letting me sit in his Corvette.  Maybe it’ll spark some interest for another kid. Even better if safety permits I’ll even start the Vette for them.  Big deal you say….yeah..it is the sound is great and the 84 C4 is a graphical/digital display – no gauges.  It’s dark and black before you turn the key and then it lights up and the graphs run up to the max and back. Kids love it. You’d be surprized how many adult will sit in them..and take someone take their photo!!!

4. Participate in the events. Vote if it’s set up for entries to vote.  Have an event at your car.  I once had a company do a waxing demo on my Mustang during a show.  Lots of folks came up to watch.  I actually liked that wax and that’s all I use on  my cars “JAX” is the name they sell under. 

5.  Have a display, I always have magazine about the cars and original advertising brochures.  I have given away some of my son’s Car Art he created. I’ve seen some great ones that fill their car with period correct items like Coke coolers and Drive-Inn food trays or even the old Drive_In movie speakers.  CAUTION SOAPBOX WARNING:  I hate the displays with the dolls leaning up against the cars.  I don’t get it.  You know what I’m talking about they have these dolls face first into the grill or the tire or the trunk lid…ok sorry… END OF SOAPBOX.

Drop me a comment if you have an idea or two, maybe with something you do.

Thanks for reading.  Don’t for get about the Clean/Disaster Garage contest.

Readers Cars 01/03/2010

I enjoy seeing readers’ cars.  Here is a 1982 Mercury Cougar Stationwagon…..YES!!!  That’s what I said…”They did what????”

Submitted by Steve Sears.

There were 19,254 Cougar wagons built, in GS and Villager trim, in 1982.

The only other year there were Cougar wagons was 1977 when 9,700+ built.

I’d be willing to bet that there isn’t close to 500 remaining.  They were very prone to rust as were all FOX body Fords.  Most never survived in damp ocean air or areas where salt was used on the roads. Mine was originally purchased in the Dallas area and moved to California sometime in 1984.  I bought it 7 years ago. In 1977 the Cougar replaced the Montego.  They built the two and four door models along with the wagon.

In 1982 they replaced the Zephyr.  The body style continued in 1983 as the Marquis, not to be confused with the Grand Marquis which was the Mercury equivalent of the Crown Victoria.  On the Ford side the body style was renamed LTD which replaced the Fairmont. 

Very confusing days for Ford and Mercury.

The engine is the 200 six with a C5 automatic, cruise, tilt, power door locks, p/s,power front disc brakes, a/c that’s not currently working and am/fm stereo with premium speakers I got from a 1984 LTD along with the seats.  I couldn’t take the vinyl seats anymore in the heat we have here. If you like wagons take a look at stationwagonforums.com.  Great site with lots of pictures in the gallery and lots of nice folks.  All station wagon nuts.  My rear end is the 2.73:1 ratio. (Pretty sure Steve means the car’s). Not real peppy off the line but it loves the highway.

<<<I hear ya on the hot weather and vinyl seats.  My Mustang has them and here in Arizona…yea….I get it!!!>>>>>>

Here is a pic of Steve Car at the Fabulous Fords Forever show last year. Thanks Steve…Nice car..love the wagons!!!!

1982 Mercury Cougar Station Wagon

Cleanest Garage of the Week – Disaster Garage of the Week Contest 1st Entry

Ok we are on a roll.  First up for the CorD Garage of the week….Steve Sears and I’m thinking he looking for the disaster Garage of the week.  Here is the pic:

Thanks for getting this rolling Steve. 

Remember at the end of the month someone gets a gift card!!!!

And by the way..you’ll be glad I’m not entring….my garage will beat anyones (disaster for sure)

Car Show Comments

I often get emails from readers of this blog.  Here is  one from Mr. Stephen Sears on car shows.  He emphasizes the social interaction as his main reason for attending and I say “right on”.  Thank you Mr. Sears.  Any one else?  Post the comments or email me.

Stephen P. Sears

....I'd drop you a line or two on car shows.  I have a 1982 Mercury Cougar GS
Station Wagon.  Unrestored and a driver.  I've attended several car shows with
my car and the reaction to it are very polar meaning many just hate it and many
love it.  I mainly go for the interaction with other folks and of course I'm
more interested in looking at the other cars and chatting with the owners.  I
could care less about trophies and awards.  I do get to explain about Cougar
wagons a lot and most have not ever heard of them.  I don't think I'd enter a
show that gives out awards.  It's not my thing nor is my car award worthy.  But,
I liked your comments about the subject. 

I went to the Fabulous Fords Forever show last year and made the mistake of
parking with the other Cougars.  Not one of those folks came over to see.  But
the Fairmont/Zephyr folks gave my Cougar a lot of attention.  I'll be parking
with those folks this year.  My Cougar is a close cousin to those cars. 

Like I said the important thing for me is the interaction with the other owners.
Way too much fun. Not to mention I can get ideas and tips on maintenance and
restoration for free. 

Stephen P. Sears
Ridgecrest, Ca. 

(permission was granted for posting his comments)

Auto Factoids for week 1 of Feb 2010

2/1/1947 – Kaiser buys Graham_Paige (auto maker from 1928 to 1940’s) – The “Sharknose”

2/2/1899 – Renault incorporates

2/5/1923 – Ethyl gas available for sale

Kaiser buys Graham_Paige and on 2/5/1970 AMC buys Kaiser-Jeep Corp.

2/5/1846  John Dunlop  born in England…Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre Company.

2/6/1951 – Kaiser Silver Dragon debuts

Events listed on Hemmings Calendars.  www.hemmings.com

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 timsweet@cox.net and I’ll post the weekly winners right here.

This should be fun.

Car Shows (con’t)

We were talking about car shows and that taking them seriously when you’re just a hobbyist is just asking for a let down. We don’t have the funds, time or even space to a lot of the work necessary. 

I’ve taken both my cars to small and large shows.  I love both.  The large ones have so much to do and so many cars to view and owner to talk, you might forget you’ve got your there.  The small ones are great too.  They are usually busy as well.  But have more time to talk those walking by and the guy sitting on other side of you car.

Now if you really want to try for a trophy here a couple hints.  I found this out by accident.  I was merely trying get my cars in the right class for the show and wound up with two trophies in the same show.

Tip 1 – Smaller shows.  Of course that’s just math, the less cars the better odds of winning something. Not only that, the judging isn’t all that “professional”.  Some shows have the contestants vote for the cars they like. 

Tip 2 – Check out the Classes that will be judged.  If your cars aren’t exactly finished, or there’s a couple issues that user will notice look for the under construction Class.  I won two trophies in that class.   Read the class descriptions carefully.  I went to one car show where the class were “Other Sports Cars” and Corvettes from 1962 to present.  ’62 to present covers a LOT of corvettes and there’s no way my C4 will compete with 1967 427  C2…just no chances there.  Because I wanted to park my Corvette and Mustang together, they made me select the “Other Sports Cars” and I didn’t win…but I got a lot of votes (and that was one of the larger car shows in the area).  In a smaller show I entered the Corvette in the C4 class and I picked a show that was for a charity and just by luck there was a huge Corvette Show on the other side of town.  I pick of a trophy there for Best in Class (yes there were other C4’s) but part of it was that they appreciated me bringing the Vette there and forgoing the big show. 

3. Most important tip – Have a good time.

4. Take a friend.  I’ll have a friend drive one of my cars while I take the other.  It just adds to the fun.

I’ll do more later on car show and give you some more ideas for having fun.