Cash for Clunkers – The Down Side

If you are reading this then you might like cars, old cars, muscle cars and even VW’s.

I’ve read some of the articles and I even watched them kill a Corvette, with that “gunk” they poored in the engine.  It took a long time for it to die.  Excuse me….I need a minute. OK, I’ll be  fine.  But maybe you won’t after you read this list of cars that got crushed.  I clipped this out a magazine Hot Rod Magazine ( I think).  Another fine periodical worth having.

I’ll give you a minute to go grab a tissue……………..waiting……………..waiting………..waiting.

Ok ready?  Read on if you dare:

1 Buick Grand National GNX (rare?….do ya think?)

1007 Chevy Camaros

131 Chevy Corvettes (Haters!!!!)

209 Chevy El Caminos (ok some of the later ones..maybe)

3842 Crown Victorias and LTD (big engines..gone)

24 Ford Lighting trucks

1611 Ford Mustangs (curse them!!!)

107 Ford Taurus SHOs (almost don’t care here)

3060 Ford Thunderbirds (sad)

sit down for this one

571 Pontiac Trans Ams and Firebirds (one was a 20th anniversary) (WHAT!!?!?!?!?! Son of…)

Approximately 690114 were destoryed.

Get this I have a distance relative, that had an old truck sitting in a field for years. Got it running and brought it in for an easy couple grand..yeah…your taxes at work.

Tomorrow we’ll get back to talking about mods and I’ll tell you my “issues” that I need to work through.

Thanks for reading.


Auto Factoid for 1/4/2010

We just passed some milestones in Automotive history over the holiday.

Jan 1, 1966 the Dodge Charger was introduced.

Jan 2, 1923 Chevy shows the world it’s air-cooled engine

Today First use of road signs on major roads – in 1901.

(From my 2010 Hemmings Calendars)

I recommend the Muscle Machine  and the Abandoned Autos calendars.

Notice:  Nope I don’t work for Hemmings, nor receive any compensation for mentioning them or any other publication or references. Just let you all know what I like and/or find useful.

Some Fun for 01/03/10 Comment Contest

For a little fun.  I’m looking for some comments for this blog. Send me an interesting/entertaining comment that’s related to restoring, modifying, or racing a muscle car – or any car and if selected you’ll win a promo Corvette car model.  These are the original cars that dealerships gave away when the cars came into show rooms.

Let’s see what you’ve got.

We’ll run this through the Month of Jan 2010.

Seems weird typing 2o1o.

Introduction to the C4

Two days into 2010 and  everything seems to be going fine, so far.  :^)

I promised some details on my 1984 Corvette, so here ya go.

1984 was the first year for the new much awaited body style.  There were no 1983 Corvettes, well depending on what you read, there were a few made but not production and were sold.  Each generation of the Corvette has been placed in to generation categories. These were designated as  C1 (1953-1962), C2 (1963-1967), C3 (1968-1982),  C4 (1984-1996), C5 (1997-2003), and the C6 (2004 to ……).

The C4 took long time to develop, starting in 1978 (we’ll do more details another time) and was very innovative. For example, it had the Z51 racing suspension (fairly new development), all digital dash with graphs as indicators for mph and rpms, extremely low drag co-efficient and all electronic shifting transmission.  We’ll cover more later on.

My C4 is red and came equiped with 205 hp 350 Crossfire Engine (more on this engine later on), Z51 suspension, electric drivers seat, trauga top.  Here is a picture:

The story of how I obtained the Vette is a good one.  So go get a beverage, smoking if you gott’em ( no no…smoking is bad!) and sit back and read.  This one of those stories that I’ve always read about and said “What luck that guy had…nothing like that would happen to me.”


Actually, it’s a pretty cool story on how I came to own the Vette.

Purchased my 1970 Mustang a while ago (picture attached) and I wanted a fox body Mustang to go with it.

I had a cherry 1995 Toyota Celica with Bella Niche rims and I put it up on Craigs List offering to trade it for one.

I got a call from a lady living here in Tucson that wanted the Celica for her daughter.  I told her I wasn’t interested in selling it and she said didn’t want to purchase it but to trade a 1984 Vette for it.

In the course of 3 months, it was an on again off again deal.  She wanted to give her daughter a car for Christmas, but her daughter wanted the Vette.  But props to Mom, she wasn’t going to give a 16 year old that kind of car. In our conversations it was revealed that the daughter tossed a fit and said she didn’t want the Celica.  Christmas came and went and in January the lady calls me again.

Finally, we set a time to meet, but still I was thinking either the Vette was trashed or something was up.  I was also concerned that the perception might be that I took advantage of her, to me who in their right minds would trade an American icon car for an import?  To my surprise we agreed to meet at her husband’s Auto A/C shop.  So I started feeling a little bit better, at least her husband must know something about cars.  So I showed up and things improved, the husband actually had a restored Ford Galaxy and another in the works.  They got better when he stated it’s her car and she won’t drive it and it’s just taking up space.  She bought it but never really drove it.

I was even more pleased when I found the Vette in excellent shape (recent repaint that wasn’t great but not too bad, I grew up in an auto body shop, so I know good paint).  It was all original, only 32k miles with the Crossfire engine (I didn’t know much about the Crossfire..but I sure do now as I’ve recently rebuild the injector towers).  Anyway, both cars went up on the lift and we looked them over and test drove each others.  Vette had very good power, shifted a little hard, but not too bad.  We agreed to sleep on it and within a week I was the 3rd owner of the C4.

Yeah, I know, this was one of those deals you only read about in a car magazine.

Thanks for reading.


Auto Factoid for 1/1/2010

Did you know that AMC’s AMX (two-seater sports car – muscle version of their Hornet) had a concept version that did away with the trunk and turned it into a rambleseat?  Yeah…they did.  Ya know I always thought the word was “rumble seat”.

Anyway it was part of their Project IV which was 4 concept cars that they took to auto shows.  At the time this particular concept was called “Vignale AMX”.   This was around 1966.  Jim Jeffords was the president of the AMC racing team, called the Javelin Racing Team, Inc. He liked the concept, and even though AMC was not going to produce the AMX with the rear exposed seat, he bought a few AMX’s and offered the rambleseat as a dealership options.  They were officially called, the AMX R  and had his name in badge form on the hood.  So it was known as the AMX R – JEFFORDS. Hemming Muscle Machines has a great article on the car in their Nov 09 issue.

TIP:  I highly recommend the Hemmings magazines.  I subscribe to Muscle Machines, Classic Cars, and Motor News. Good stuff.

Thanks for reading.


The Mustang

For this evenings writing I thought I’d give you a run down on my Mustang.

WARNING:  Caution Chevy owners you are going to hear Ford stuff!!!!  This blogger does have a split personality.. Ford vs. GM. I catch a lot of <insert bad word> from my Corvette club and the same from the Mustang guys.  I’m learning to live with a split persona..”No you’re not!!!”…”Yes I am!!!!”  “HEY guys…not NOW…they’ll notice.”  “Fine!!!!!”….”He started it!!!!”  ENOUGH!!!

Sorry folks, must have missed my medication  this afternoon. Sooooooooooo..oh…yeah…I remember.

I purchased the Mustang about 4 years ago from a family in Glendale, Az., for $6000.00 cash.  They were the original owners and purchased it in Phoenix, Az and handed it down their daughter.  She is the one I purchase it from.  So, I am the 3rd owner.  The car was in pretty good shape but had over 173K miles.  Engine was a 250 straight 6.  No power.  It had dealer installed AC and when you turned that on..forget ’bout it (insert heavy NY accent) you could walk faster.  Ok, not really the 250 was rated at about 155 hp but it had 10:1 (or 9:1) compression and for some odd reason they stuck a single barrel carb on it.  “What?” you say….I say was a Webber. It also sported (and still does) a 3 speed manual transmission mounted on the floor.  The interior was recently re-done and in good shape, except for the dash.  All the gauges worked.  The original radio was replaced with a crappy first generation cd changer (located in the trunk…pretty convenient).

Here is a program note.  When see the word “TIP” you’ll know that this is something you might want to jot down.

I’m going to give you the details for how the Mustang came “configured” when it was ordered.  Later on I’ll give you the list of modifications and if anyone likes (comments…good or bad…are welcome and questions as well) I’ll pass on my web site link and you can see some before and after pictures.

Get ready here comes the first programming note.

TIP:   I love the history of a thing.  Sometimes, to me, the history is more important than the actual value of the object.  As far as cars go documentation will increase the value, sometimes considerably.  So where’s the tip? Ok….just for being patient I’ll give everyone a double dose.  Keep the paperwork!!!! If you are buying a car ask for any and all paper.  Some people keep everything, you’d be surprised.  My Mustang came with a folder full. Anything major done with this car was in the paper work.  There the second dose. Find a registry for the car make and model.  A registry is here someone or some organization contacts owners or is contacted by owners and the list all the details of their particular cars.  The individual or organization often create databases and store all the collected information.  They are a fountain of information for you to use when getting the details, similar to what you’ll see below in a second, for your ride.

TIP:  (No extra charge for 2 tips in a row!!)  Ford lovers check this out.  There is place in El Mirage, AZ called  Marti Auto Works.  They own the rights to the Ford databases and records prior to 1974 (some models up to 1989).  These guys have everything..I mean everything.  Give them the VIN number and they’ll pile on the data (it’s not free but very reasonable).  They are authorized by Ford to reproduce window stickers and Protecto Plates (identification plates that go on the inside door jamb).  I  had them run the number for my ’70 coupe.

Here are some of the details:

The car sold for $2984.20 (ha…2o cents!!!) .  The engine was less than the radio.  TIP:  Insurance companies may only insure your car for the sticker price, that is what my regular insurance company would do.  Get some collector car insurance!!! We’ll cover that together in the near future.

She came  with the  6 cylinder 250 IV 250, vinyl Hi-back bucket seats (Mach I seats), color-keyed carpeting, floor-mounted shift lever, Instrument gages, factory Ford color “white” color code “M”, black sidewall “belted tires” and  AM radio.

(HELP: If any one knows why most people refer to their cars as “she” or “her” drop me a comment.  I’d like to here some suggestions.)

It was ordered and sold from Don Sanderson Ford Inc, 5300 Grand Ave., Box 938, Glendale, AZ.  It was shipped from Dearborn, MI via rail. Come on cool is it to know how it was shipped?)

Kevin Marti will provide you with an “Elite Report” this includes very detailed data.  I’m not kidding..right down to how many were produced exactly like yours.  I won’t type it all here, I can send you the level of detail if you drop me a comment and ask for it.  Here’s an example:  191,522 Mustangs were produced in 1970; 15, 300 had the straight 6 engine; 107 had the same seats.  My car was one of 1,146 with the same paint and trim codes. It was the 58,634th Ford vehicle scheduled for production at the Dearborn plant. And here is my favorite.  “Your car was actually produced on January 28, 1970 – one day behind schedule.”  Cool?  Way Cool!!!!  Hey, she has a birthday coming up..40 years old!!!!

I think that’s enough for now. Tomorrow – a run down on the Corvette…..”OH YEAH….love GM!!!” …”So the Ford got to go first!”..”That doesn’t mean anything!!!”…”Does too!!!”….”Not!!!”    I’ll take my meds tomorrow!!! Promise!!!!

Thanks for reading


1970 mustang

“The Mustang Dynasty” (Book Review)

I’ve had this book on the shelf for a couple of years now.  It is a  great reference to own. The book is by John M. Clor and it features Mustang Memorabilia, a lot of cool stuff. First thing inside the front cover is a CD entitled “Sounds of Mustang”.  Yup you …
1970 Mustang – Getting the Boot!!!

Replaces that is, boot as in shifting boot.  (Were you thinking…since I just got back from the Barrett Jackson Auction.. I was considering getting rid of the Stang ?   Nope..but I tell you there were a couple of cars I’d even swap for…that’s for sure!!) When the 4 speed trans got …
1970 Mustang – Replacing my Pillar Post Moldings Part I

If you searched and found or followed my posts on restoring the dash-board of my ’70 Mustang, then you might recall my planning/scheduling issues.     As I was taking the old dash pad off, I realized that I hadn’t order the plastic pillar molding.  When I finally called a few Mustang parts …
1970 Mustang – Update and Next Mini Project – Pillar Moldings

The last I blogged about my Mustang I had finished up the installation of the new dash pad and replaced all the bulbs and cleaned up a few years of dust. If you recall (well you don’t have to,  just go back and read the posts) I talked about planning and …
1970 Mustang – Replacing my Pillar Post Moldings Part II

I’ve the pillar post moldings painted and ready to installed.      I put on 3 coats of paint.    Now I have to remove the dash pad (again) and install.  That will be later this week, my Corvette is still in shop and the Mustang is my back up car.  Thanks for reading more to …
1970 Mustang – Replacing my Pillar Post Moldings Part III

Caulk another tasks down on the restoration of the Mustang.  I finished up the pillar post molding last night.  Here is the before:    Now these were not as labor intensive as the dash-pad but here were some issues.  We’ll walk through them.  The removing the dash-pad was chronicled in my earlier post and that was …

The Family and the Cars

So I’ve “blogged ya” some history, now it’s time for some current stuff.  Of course my Dad is a car guy and my brother is pretty handy with a set of wrenches, but 24.2 years ago I married into a family that pretty much made most of the car guys I had known in my adult life (ok the adult part is debatable) mere tinkerers.

I have three brother-in-laws that were raised in the car business and not just a little bit of a car business, but a full-blown mechanic shop, engine building, stock car sponsoring, car show restoration, towing type business.  These guys knew more about cars by the time they were teenagers, then I did when I was 30 (yeah..I’m over thirty..and not just a little).  This guys know their stuff.  I now have nephews (their kids) that are even giving me a run for my money.

So I’ve set this up, pretty well, and keep it in mind because when I get to the physiological hurdles of restoring a car, you are going to understand my particular issue and you might relate.

(I seem to start a lot of sentences with the word “So”.  So I’ll try to limit the use of it.  You might also notice that I use ‘…..’ between words.  I do that for to give emphasis on a larger more dramatic pause the you get from the run of a mill comma. Nope not grammatically correct…but a habit I might break….if I get enough comments about it from the readers of this blog.)

So here is a quick introduction to my cars.

1.  1970 Ford Mustang Coupe.  I’ve owned it for approximately 4 years and I love it.  This is my first real restoration.

2. 1984 C4 Corvette. First year for that generation, everything is unique.  Although not my dream generation of corvettes, I love this car.  Ever since my uncle put me in his Corvette, I’ve wanted one.  When I joined the Air Force my goal was to finish up by second degree become an officer and by a Corvette.

Ok enough for this evening.  Tomorrow I’ll give you the run down on each.  I have a great story on how I got the Corvette.

Thanks for reading.