Tag Archives: 2019

Green from Goodguys Spring National for St Patrick’s Day

Well the Goodguys Rod and Custom folks are wrapping up their Spring Nationals show today, on St Patrick’s Day. In honor of this day, it seemed appropriate to give you a glimpse of some green. No not cash but vehicles.

Green is always a tenuous choice for car owners. Too much and it screams out, too subtle and you risk being drab- olive drab.  So enjoy some of these highlights and let us know what you think..

 

Resto Mod or Resto Blah? You Decide

If you listen to some automotive pundits, the hottest trend is a resto mod car.  Well that term has been around for years and we’ve been seeing cars built on a resto mod for years in magazines and at car shows.  So we can’t be sure that it is a NEW trend.

Resto Mod

A resto mod is taking an older car and while restoring it, also modifying or modernizing it.  That typically means changing out the power plant to a bigger, more efficient and modern engine. The LSX variants are a popular choice right now as are new crate engines.  Typically you replace points and condensers and double pumping carbs for fuel injection with electronic ignitions.  Most builders will also readily take out a four speed and swap in a low rpm overdrive automatic.Resto Mod Corvette

So what has fueled the rise in resto mods?  The market, my friend the market.  Many affluent buyers see their cars as trophy’s to plop in a garage, hire a guy to detail it and drive it (cautiously) to a cars and coffee event once a month.  After all if you just plunked $400 large on a resto mod Corvette are you willing to park it at the local grocery store while you pop in for a gallon of milk?

NOS Resto

In years past a car was restored to look factory fresh and showroom new.  That meant seeking out the correct parts, hoses and connectors to bring back a stove bolt six cylinder engine to restored status.  When showing your car at a show, you would worry that the judge would deduct points for using the wrong shade of glossy black on your radiator fan shroud.  Plus owners would hunt down dealer installed options so they could have the most accessories on their car.

Rest Mod Blossoms

But the resto mod craze has changed all that. People don’t want a big old Auburn and might not even have a long enough garage to store one. Fewer folks have actually driven in a Duisenberg (let alone know how to spell it) and even the cars of the fifties are languishing as the market ages upwards.Resto Mod Corvette

Let’s be honest. The ride on a 64 Corvette pales to what you get on a new C7 Corvette. And that resonates with new buyers. They want and enjoy cars that have Bluetooth, push start buttons and navigation screens. The fruits of technology is not just under the hood.

So resto mods force the classic car market into a quandary. Do you take a beat up classic and spend the years and buckets of money to restore it to a 100 point restoration with NOS (New Old Stock) parts?  Recognize that you’ll have put way more money into it than the market will ever price it at?  Or do you shuck it all, swap in a new chassis, blend in lots of bling and a new 700R4 transmission and a crate engine from GM?

More and more the builder will go where the money is and create a resto mod.  Years from now history will decide if the builders were revolutionary or heretics.  You can decide for yourself now.

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Supra from Toyota Revived at Barrett-Jackson

The Toyota Supra is a Japanese sports car  produced starting in 1978. The original four generations of the Supra were manufactured from 1978 to 2002. The styling of the Supra was a take off of the Toyota Celica, but with it being both longer and wider. Starting in mid-1986, the Supra model became a separate model distinct from the Celica.

In 1998, Toyota regrettably ceased sales of the fourth generation Supra in the United States and in 2002 Toyota officially stopped production of the Supra even in Japan. But in 2019, the fifth generation Supra is unleashed.

The new 2019 Supra was displayed at the recent Barrett-Jackson auction held in Scottsdale, AZ. Besides the new model, the marketing folks from Toyota rounded up a fine set of white clad specimens representing the previous four generations for a nostalgic look.  During the auction, a 2019 Supra GR still to be built, but number 1 on the VIN was auctioned off for $2,100,000 with the proceeds going to charity.2019 Supra

Supra First Generation A40

The first generation Supra was based largely upon the Toyota Celica lift back, but longer. The doors and rear section were shared with the Celica but the front panels were elongated to accommodate the inline-6 instead of the stock Celica’s 4-cylinder engine.Supra First Generation Driver Side

Supra Second Generation A60

In mid 1981, Toyota completely redesigned the full Celica lineup, thus including the Supra, for its 1982 production year. Still being based around the Celica platform, there were several key differences, most notably the design of the front end and fully retractable pop-up headlights. but a six cylinder was still offered.

Supra Second Generation

Supra Third Generation A70

In February 1986, a totally separate model Supra was introduced. It was no longer based on the Celica. . The Celica changed to front-wheel drive, while the Supra kept its rear-wheel-drive set up.

Supra Third Generation

Supra Fourth Generation A80

Official mass production began in April 1993. The fourth-gen Supra again shared its platform with the Lexus SC. However, the two cars looked nothing alike and the Supra was more than 13 inches (340 mm) shorter than its Lexus stable mate. Supra Fourth Generation


Supra Fifth Generation A902019 Supra

The latest version of this iconic nameplate is generating some buzz, both good and bad. Its engine was a joint effort with BMW and it even garnered its own “pinball wizard” Super Bowl commercial.  As with many “revived” nameplates, it will be interesting to see what the public thinks of the latest Supra?  What are your thoughts?

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PRS4 from Praxair Cuts to the Chase at Barrett Jackson

Besides 1,850 classic cars being auctioned off at the Barrett-Jackson Car Auction, there are a variety of vendors showing their wares. Beyond artwork, mattresses and outdoor furniture, one of the most intriguing displays was the Praxair’s Lancer PRS4 Automated CNC plasma cutter.

Lancer PRS4

This entry level plasma cutter is a ferrous metal cutting machine. At an initial price point of under $25,000 this device can allow a small business owner to enter the custom metal work industry.  Using existing templates or designing their own from line drawings or sketches, a user can quickly get to work, cutting up to 7/8” steel plate.Praxair Plasma Cutter Sparking

At the show the plasma table was using compressed air and electricity to cut out everything and anything. Besides hearts and ghouls, they were cutting out cars and animals as well. They even were up to the challenge and made a custom Corvette cut out.Praxair Plasma Cutter Corvette

PRS4

Chris Vihnanek, Senior Director at Praxair, explained that his device had several advantages over a water jet. Besides price point, the water jet while versatile can’t cut at the speed of the plasma cutter and the lack of the water jet abrasive allowed for a better control of the subject metal. Users can run with one of two plasma systems  Hypertherm or Thermal Dynamics- and the welding table starts at a pre-fabbed 4′ x 4′. The PRS4 can cut up to an astounding 500 inches a minute.

Given the crowds surrounding the machine, there were tons of interest in this machine. So why is Praxair offering a device that uses some consumables but no specialized gasses?  Well it is a plasma cutter and they hope companies will follow along up the product chain where argon or oxygen gas would be needed and consumed. Smart marketing with a nice hook.Praxair Plasma Cutter Finished Product

They’ll cut through about $7,000 worth of metal as they cut up all sorts of images promoting the PRS4 and other CNC machines.  So if a bidder can’t buy a car, maybe they’ll end up with a car cut out?

What would you use a CNC machine for?

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Custom Works Zon at Mooneyes

Zon2One of the most prestigious custom car and bike shows is held in Japan and is commonly called the Mooneyes Show, although officially it is the Hot Rod Custom Show. The one day show attracts entries from across the globe but this year’s winning “Best of Show Motorcycle” was a home grown entry from Custom Works Zon with an eye opening engine from BMW.

Custom Work Zon Founders

The two leaders at Custom Works Zon are Yuichi Yoshizawa and Yoshikazu Ueda who are no strangers in the motorcycle world. Their creations frequently cross the ocean for American shows.Zon4

Custom Works Zon

Their entry is shrouded in a mysterious new boxer engine from BMW. The specs on the engine and further details are still not official. But from this entry you can expect air and oil coolers with a high displacement BMW boxer style engine.
The bike itself feature a low profile and skinny tires, 21″ up front and 25″ at the rear. The folks at the shop hand crafted the tank, seat and trim.Zon9

Custom Works Zon Wins Prize

Given that over 650 bikes are typically entered at this Yokohama show, nabbing the coveted top prize was quite an honor for the duo and BMW. Can’t wait to hear more about the engine.

Photos courtesy BMW