Tag Archives: GM

High Street Cars and Coffee – Phoenix , AZ

Plenty of places offer a Cars and Coffee format in the Phoenix, AZ region.  Show up in a vacant parking lot, check out some cars that you aren’t likely to see on too many roads, sip some lukewarm coffee and head back out with most of the day still available to you. You could even watch the departing cars and hope to see a dimwit crash his new car when he punches it on the drive out. See how it is done at High Street for March 2021.Boss 302

Like I say there are plenty of places to check out the cars – until COVID-19 struck. Crowds and social distancing don’t mix.  Some meets have had trouble getting city permits or landowner’s permission. But as things loosen up, the shows go on.

High Street Cars and Coffee

Highline Auto magazine has sponsored a show for a while, most recently at the Scottsdale Fashion Center, but for March 2021 they moved to the High Street complex.  This setup involves a long tree-lined boulevard with plenty of street-side parking for the show cars.  Some adjacent restaurants are open for business as well. Exotic

This month’s show had a nice collection of cars, some music from a DJ, some free Bang energy drinks and a vendor was selling donuts too. Nice vibe but even with security in the area, probably less than 50% were wearing masks.Camaro

Cars at High Street Cars and Coffee

Cars varied from a Koenissegg to Corvettes, McLarens to Porsche’s. There were even some classics and some down-low land yachts. Not to mention an older Bronco along with a Bronco Sport for an interesting comparison.Bronco SportBronco

Not sure if this was a one-time location change or a permanent move.  Spectator parking filled up fast along the east side of the area and many folks had to park in a dirt lot, just FYI.

Do you have a favorite Cars and Coffee event?

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Chip Repair for Cars and Trucks – the 2 P’s

Paint chips take a real toll on a car. No matter how careful you are, your car is bound to get a chip from a wayward shopping cart, a door ding, or gravel flying low across the car.  It seems that modern paint is not only expensive but more subject to chips, as many new car makers seem to skimp on the thickness of their paints. But chip repair is easy to do.

To get a quality DIY repair you need to focus on two P’s – Preparation and Paint.  Without sufficient attention to these two prime areas, your chip repair will be less than successful.

Paint Chip Preparation

First, you should evaluate the paint chip or scratch and see what is involved. Did the scratch go all the way to bare metal or is the body piece even made with metal?  If your fingernail can catch on the chip or scratch you have some prep work to do.  Depending on the severity you need to take super fine sandpaper (1000-1500 grit wet) and sand those edges so they are smooth. This will make the paint easier to apply and blend in with the original paint. 

A good quality car wash should be applied around the affected areas. That should remove any surface contaminants. Be sure and remove all existing waxes or sealants by using some isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) to remove any car chemicals on the chip area.

Let the area dry and get it in good lighting so you can see what you are doing

Paint for Paint Chip RepairAutomotiveTouchup-Products

You need to make sure that your new paint will match the existing paint. If your car has never been repainted and you bought it new, you should have the listing of what the color and the paint code (a string of letters and numbers) is. If not, look inside of your glove box and see if the information is printed there. As a last resort, your dealership should be able to help you out.

If the car has been re-painted hopefully the painter can tell you the paint code that he “used”. But even if armed with a code, there is no guarantee that he mixed it right. A different vendor or batch of paint can still have differences.

Now you have several choices where you can get your paint. A regular auto paint supply shop could mix up a quantity but they may have a large minimum amount for an order. Plus remember these guys are more apt to make paint up in large volumes, so when you ask for a small 2-ounce bottle of paint they may lack the precise dispensers for such a small quantity. One drop too much may make a huge difference in the final look.

I would suggest that you get your paint from AutomotiveTouchUp. They are a national company that specializes in the rapid shipment of consumer-friendly amounts. They also have advice on their website if you want to review the repair process. With the paint in hand, it is now time to do the touch-up.

Paint Chip Repair

Think small, very small. Rather than apply a large glob of paint your aim is to sneak up on the repair by applying small amounts and let it dry before applying a second level.  The first attempt should get a good portion of the chip covered with each additional layer building up to the final effort.AutomotiveTouchup-Webpage

Let the paint thoroughly dry. At this point, you would apply a clear coat if applicable.  Let dry again and then use a small amount of rubbing compound to get that paint to shine.  Let dry some more. Frankly, for a small job, the paint is not going to emit a lot of fumes (gassing) and you could apply a small amount of wax. If you spray can’d a large panel you will want to let the paint cure for at least one month before applying any wax or sealant.  If you can smell “new” paint still, don’t wax.

With a little time and effort, you can get a great chip repair. Remember the two P’s and take your time. Use quality paint and tools and you will be surprised at the results.

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River City Rods’ 1972 Chevrolet C30 Franklin Camper

River City Rods and Fabrication have been making waves with their custom builds at the SEMA Shows for the past few years. Every Chevy gear head loved “Brown Sugar” that rolled out for the 2019 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, Nevada and was recently up for sale on eBay. But they also built a 1972 Chevrolet C30 RV Truck for the 2017 SEMA Show that had some interesting post-SEMA experiences.

River City Rods 1972 Chevrolet C30Driver's SideRiver City Rods 1972 Chevrolet C30

The 1972 Chevrolet C30 was based on an original Franklin Coach camper that was treated to a custom suspension and new internals.  The crew at River City threw in a LS3 GM Performance engine and a Bowler five speed automatic transmission.  Arizona based GSI did the chassis work and used an AccuAir air ride system.

Of course the interior had to be eye popping and that included a 50 inch television and barn wood motif. There was a bar in the back as well. The blue paint was eye-catching and plenty of lookers enjoyed the retro look at the SEMA Show.River City Rods 1972 Chevrolet C30 Interior

After the SEMA Show

Well sometimes the show cars from SEMA disappear after the show and you wonder what happened to them. In this case it didn’t take long to see the Chevrolet C30 back in the public’s eye.

Barrett-Jackson had it offered at their Scottsdale, Arizona show in January of 2019. It drew plenty of interest and was hammered sold for $126,500. But not so fast partner.

In September of this year it was offered up by a dealer through Bring A Trailer. The seller claimed that the buyer at Barrett-Jackson backed out of the deal and while Barrett-Jackson offered to make the deal stand, the dealer took the truck back.

So it ran on the Bring A Trailer auction but only was bid up to $56,555. Quite a drop from a heady Barrett-Jackson hammered price.  So the dealer took it off the auction site and went to eBay.

River city Rods -1972 Chevrolet C30 on eBay

On eBay the dealer had it listed with a buy It Now price of $89,900.  The seller claimed over $200,000 was invested in the build.  After being on the site for a few days it was ended by the seller.  Many car sellers on eBay will often state they are offering the car for sale elsewhere, like on their own website, and might remove the vehicle from the auction early.  My guess is the dealer received an offer outside of eBay and hence ended the auction without an official sale from that auction site.

So if the dealer was able to get it sold this time, maybe it will surface soon again for the public to view?River City Rods 1972 Chevrolet C30 Rear view

Would you use this ride for an RV in the post-COVID 19 days?

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Goodyear Brakes Breaks Into The Brake Parts

Whoa, partner.

There is a new player in town when it comes to brakes. Goodyear Brakes, a licensee of the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, now offers up to the consumer DIY auto enthusiast a set of calipers, rotors, brake pads with all the related hardware for many vehicles, from daily drivers to SUVs to light trucks.Goodyear Brakes Bundle

Their website GoodyearBrakes.com is designed to support both do-it-yourself and do-it-for-me customers. In an interesting twist, the brand is trying out the direct to consumer avenue by offering their items solely through Amazon.com and other Internet based sellers. Expect to see consumer focused advertising and social media to push the branding efforts.

Goodyear Brakes

Goodyear Brakes manufactures and distributes a full line of brake system solutions. The brake pads are manufactured for them by a company with more than 50 years of experience in friction science. The rotors are made to Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) standards by other manufacturers while their calipers are actually remanufactured units.

Goodyear Brakes offers brake pads, brake rotors and calipers. They also offer bundles of the pieces for a one-stop shop experience.

Goodyear Brakes Website

Their website will specify the correct brake pieces based on your car and VIN. The website also offers up some helpful guides for the shade tree mechanic. In addition Bruno Massel, a TV host and NHRA racer is featured with some videos to help consumers know what is involved when changing out the brakes.Bruno Massel

Presently the direct to consumer channel is the only way to acquire the Goodyear brakes. That is an interesting approach, as most repair shops are not going to be able to let a car sit around for a few days while the parts are enroute. For the DIY’er ordering and waiting a few days for delivery would not be a sticking point, especially if the pricing is right.

Brakes are a vital component of cars and with consumers holding on to cars longer, the need for brakes will crop up more often. Now Goodyear Brakes offers consumers a new option for brake components.

Would you be willing to break out a new brand?

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Images courtesy of Goodyear Brakes

 

 

 

 

 

Great Subscription Offer from Round-Up Publications

The good folks at Round-Up Publications know a thing or two about good deals. Their magazines are packed with deals tighter than five teenagers in a trunk sneaking into a drive-in movie. Remember those?

For a limited time the publisher is offering an exclusive offer.  Get a year’s subscription to not one, not TWO but all THREE of their award winning magazines.  Yes folks, you’d get a year of Classic Car Round-Up and Truck Round-Up. These are monthly issues so that translates to twenty four sets of great deals and car articles.

But WAIT there’s more. You also get a year’s subscription to Auto Round-Up magazine, the star ship of the fleet from the publisher. This comes out every two weeks so you’ll get 26 issues delivered to your door.

Round-Up Magazines

With that many magazines, your mailman will need a back brace. Plus you’re bound to find at least one amazing deal on one amazing car or truck or …

Besides the great ads for cars and trucks, there is always a mass of parts and supplies offered for sale.  So don’t delay and get your order in. Operators might not be standing by, but the electrons of the WWW – world wide web are. So hop to it!

Here is the link for ordering this awesome set of magazines.

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Got Flames – NHRA’s Arizona Nationals

NHRA AZ Nationals Jet CarThe action was red hot at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park, near Phoenix, AZ when the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) showed up on Friday February 21 through Sunday, February 23, 2020. The Wild Horse Pass Motorsport Park is south of Phoenix and a short hop down the freeway from the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. Technically it is on the Gila River Indian Community. Despite rain on Saturday, it did not dampen the spirits of racers or fans and NHRA squeezed in a round of pro qualifications for the Arizona Nationals between the rain storms.

Rain Shortened Qualification

So with two rounds of qualifications on Friday to lead the race ladder, the full field was set for a sold out crew of race fans on Sunday. By now you probably know that Erica Enders, Tommy Johnson Junior and Steve Torrance won in the pro ranks. Plus there were plenty of winners in the sportsmen classes as well.NHRA AZ Nationals Funny Car

Flames

One of my favorite times at a drag strip is when the skies get dark and the exhaust flames shooting out from the headers are more visible. While the Arizona Nationals are generally run in the day light, the lighting gets dark enough to see some flames. We always enjoy hanging around taking some shots as sunset approaches and checking out the flames. Hope you do too!NHRA AZ Nationals Dragster 2

Jet cars

Plus of course if you are a race track promoter you have to have jet cars! At the end of the day’s races, what better way to close out the night but to have not just one or two jet cars but THREE jet cars zoom down the track? The heat these engines throw off is actually felt in the stands as the jet cars belch white smoke and streak down the track.NHRA AZ Nationals Approaching Jet Car

The races ran smoothly and how many racetracks can claim a sold out show? So NHRA must be doing something right, huh.

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Leg Show T-Bucket

The Grand National Roadster Show wrapped up the three day show, announcing the winner of America’s Most Beautiful Roadster (AMBR) on Sunday January 26, 2020. The winning entry is certainly an awesome Arizona build and I admire the craftsmanship.
But (and you knew there would be a but right?)

Leg Show T-BucketLeg Show T-Bucket Side Shot

I could not take my eye off a T-bucket that seemed to be a tribute to the original Leg Show T-Bucket. This roadster was as outrageous as the original and just screamed at you. I had commented to others that this bucket was the hit in my youth but was too far out there to be the final AMBR winner this year.Leg Show T-Bucket Passenger Side

Craftsmanship of Leg Show T-Bucket

But hats off to the owners, Walter and Thenia Sigsby. This T-Bucket had some great workmanship and the paint and shiny pieces glowed under the lights in Pomona, CA. The Jaguar rearend was easy to see in this design and the Dan Fink grill was top notch. Due to the stanchions, I couldn’t see much of the Ron Mangus interior but what we could see was awesome. Turns out the gas tank was done by Jim Babbs who had also worked on the original Leg Show T in 1970.Leg Show T-Bucket Engine

Leg Show T-Bucket Legacy

The original Leg Show T-Bucket made the cover of Rod and Custom in 1971 and was an instant hit. Here’s hoping this one does the same.

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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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Easiest Car Repair After a Crash

With the technology of today’s car getting more and more sophisticated a motor vehicle crash can end up being a major cost and a time consuming process. But there is one part of a repair that is easy to do and takes less than an hour.Evenflo_EveryStageDLX_FFHarness_Lifestyle_5

Car Seat Replacement

After a major crash, your child’s car seat needs replacing! While it may look safe and undamaged, odds are that it sustained hidden stress and strain while keeping the child safe and unharmed. The car seat did its job, so now you as a parent (or grandparent) needs to do the right thing and get a new car seat for your youngster.

This week, September 23-29, 2018, is Child Passenger Safety Week and several companies are helping to get the message out that after a crash, you need to replace the child car seat.

Car Seat Spokesperson

Shannon SpakeSpokesperson Shannon Spake, from Fox Sports, noted “when your car is involved in a crash, it’s just as important that you take care of your car seat or booster seat as it is to address the car damage.”

Evenflo, a major car seat manufacturer, stresses that even though the seat may look undamaged, it may no longer be usable and safe to save a child in future impacts. This is clearly a case if being “better safe, than sorry.”

Car repair shops, like the nationwide CARSTAR network, commits to reminding car owners that the seats should be replaced and are often covered under the insurance policies.

Obviously not all fender benders would necessitate a replacement, so the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) advises car seats do not need replacement if the car was in a minor crash.

Minor Crash Defined

NHTSA further defines a minor crash as

  • The vehicle was able to be driven away from the crash site
  • The vehicle door nearest the car seat was not damaged
  • None of the passengers in the vehicle sustained any injuries in the crash
  • If the vehicle has air bags, the air bags did not deploy during the crash
  • There is no visible damage to the car seat

Also just because the car seat was unoccupied during the crash does not mean it can be used again! It likely still suffered stress and strain even without a child in the seat.Evenflo_EveryStageDLX_RFHarness_Lifestyle_3

Shannon Spake Spokesperson

After all as Spake notes, “You always want to make sure your children are protected in the car.”

When replacing the car seat, send it to a recycling center and never give it away or offer it to a charitable group for reuse. Plus don’t forget to register your new seat with manufacturer in case of future safety recalls. If the new seat is different, you may seek out help to ensure it is installed correctly.

So when in doubt, throw it out!

 

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Corvette Turns 65 Happy Birthday

Congratulations to the Corvette, America’s Sports Car for turning 65 today.  The longest running passenger car marque first had their production run start up in Flint, Michigan producing the first Corvette on June 30, 1953.  So the Corvette is officially a senior citizen now.1953 Corvette Passenger Side

First Year Corvette

All the first year Corvettes were produced as Polo White with a red interior and a black canvas top for the convertibles.  Only 300 models were produced in the first year and they all had a Blue Flame straight six cylinder engine and automatic transmission.

Corvette enthusiasts might have the T-Bird to thank for continuing the lineage as Chevrolet was strongly considering dropping the Corvette until the Ford Thunderbird entered the market in 1955.  Lucky break!1953 Corvette Front Quarter view

Building the 1953 Corvette

The first year Corvettes were all made by hand, without an assembly line and so the fit and finish and actual parts used varied a bit as building techniques evolved.  All came equipped with AM radios and a heater as the only “options.”

Surprisingly, with only 300 originally built there are a few originals that can’t be accounted for.  Our guess is they were “just a car” back then and went into somebody’s junkyard for scrap.

 

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