Tag Archives: AZ

Lowrider Guadalupe Style Down and Low

A while back the Intimidators Car Club sponsored the Guadalupe Car Show. The dusty streets of Guadalupe, AZ were shut down for this event filled with lowriders of all dimensions and plenty of fun activities.Guadalupe Car Show

Lowrider

We’ve always been enchanted of the craftsmanship involved in these rides. Whether it is old school or a newer vintage car and truck the workmanship is spot on. Of course you expect some awesome, vivid paint jobs and terrific stances from these lowriders. But best of all is the camaraderie and friendship that the owners exhibit amongst themselves and the various car clubs.Guadalupe Car Show

Guadalupe

It is an interesting venue as Guadalupe may be one of the poorest and most disadvantaged towns in the Phoenix metro area, but for this one day that doesn’t matter.Guadalupe Car Show

Low Rider Old SchoolGuadalupe Car Show

Personally we favor the old school Impalas, but this show proves that any car is a contender for the lowrider lifestyle. Mix in some paint, a killer suspension, maybe some engraving and plenty of compressors and battery power and you are set to jet! It may seem that we hit a number of lowrider shows but hey, we have eclectic tastes and always enjoy the rides and friendships.Guadalupe Lowrider Car Show

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Hot Times and Cool Cars in Phoenix, Arizona

The Arizona Indoor Custom Car Show

While it may be hot in Arizona in the summer, the car show scene is even hotter. Plenty of shows move to the pine country and higher elevations of Arizona but the Arizona Indoor Custom Car Show adheres to their name and just holds the car show indoors in air conditioned comfort.AZ Indoor Custom Car Show

AZ Indoor Custom Car Show FordThis year’s show was held at the Phoenix Convention Center in downtown Phoenix. So while it might have been hot outside, that didn’t detour car owners and the public from checking out some awesome rides. And holding it on Saturday , June 15th, just before Father’s Day was a nice touch and a perfect excuse to see a car show.AZ Indoor Custom Car Show Truck

Indoor Car Show

While there is a huge showing from the lowrider clubs, this show had a little piece of everything in all the car categories, plus cycles and trucks galore.  They had a section for pinstripers to style away and a few vendors offering up their wares. Of course there were some food options and libations for the adults in the crowd. This is the fifth year for the show and I think they are on to something, don’t you?AZ Indoor Custom Car Show Golden

There were hundreds of cars and trucks spread out on the floors of the convention center. So check out just some of our favorites from the show and join us in hoping the temperatures cool down fast. But keep the cars and trucks red hot.AZ Indoor Custom Car Show Raised

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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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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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ISM Raceway Speeds Fans to a New High

The ISM Raceway hosted the NASCAR trio of races this past weekend and the premiere turned out to be all that the owners had been predicting. The massive reconstruction took two years but left the historic dogleg mile track intact. The track in Avondale, Arizona was previously known as Phoenix International Raceway (PIR).ISM Raceway Overall View 2

ISM Infield

By shifting the stands counter clockwise they put the fans into the afternoon shade, offered wide stadium seats, a better view of the new finish line and overall the bar was raised for track amenities.

ISM Raceway Fan Access

If the fans opted for the infield admission ticket at ISM Raceway , they had a close up view of the racers’ garage areas plus they could see the driver’s meeting and the walkway leading to it. They could easily walk through an underground tunnel to get to the infield throughout the race day.ISM Raceway Garage

The victory lane area has a sunken pit area where lucky fans who stake out an early spot can enjoy all the victorious festivities. Plus in the infield were seats and shade alongside three sites serving food and “adult” beverages. To maneuver around, nine elevators were added along with four escalators.ISM Raceway Victory Lane

ISM Raceway

Fans could get views never before seen, literally standing within feet of a hard working garage crew. Plus over 400 monitors kept fans up to date on the action. Plenty of space remained in the midway for souvenir purchases and the parking was plentiful and easy to get to.ISM Raceway Garage Area

Wi-Fi (free of course) was available throughout the site with no dead zones. Of course the facility offers 51 upgraded suites plus three suites that overlooked the actual NASCAR garage. All in all getting this project done, without interrupting the racing venue’s schedule, was quite an accomplishment. This two year project cost over $175 million and involved no tax dollars! Quite an accomplishment.

@2018 Route 66 PubCo

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Hero Cards Display Craftsmanship and Ingenuity

It is funny how something as trivial as a hero card display can become a functional expression of the craftsmen involved. Hero cards are those 8X11 color shots of drivers, or their cars, passed out at NASCAR races, drag racing pits and at fan appreciation events. Even if you don’t get them autographed, it allows a connection between the fan and the racing team.

At the recent SEMA Show in Las Vegas, lots of hero cards were signed by celebrities including Brittany and Ashley Force.Hero Card Signing with Force Sisters

NASCAR Hero Cards

At the latest NASCAR race at ISM Raceway in Avondale, (Phoenix area) Arizona all the race teams from each of the three series, Camping World Truck, Xfinity and Monster Energy NASCAR Cup, had hero cards ready to be handed out. But how these hero cards were displayed shows the ingenuity of some teams.

Some were rather bland and basic. A weighted box to hold the hero cards. Ho hum….Basic

Basic Too

Martin Truex’s display had the foresight for a clear cover to avoid rains or strong winds.Truex Display

Paul Menard’s display utilized a Menard storefront to help pass out the hero cards.Menard Display

Menard Display Closeup

Basic Too

The folk’s from Procore and Kasey Kahne, used a fuel can as their prop.Kahne Display

Winning Hero Card Display at NASCAR’s ISM Raceway

But Jimmie Johnson showed he hit the nail on the head with this design. See how it contrasts with his race mate, Alex Bowman?Johnson Bowman Hero Card Display

Funny how a little time and ingenuity can make you stand out in a crowd. Just like in life, right?

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Headlight Restorer and Protectant from Chemical Guys

It seems every year at the SEMA Show that more vendors pop up offering a headlight restoration product.  From a few companies that offered a slew of detailing gear and compounds, now anybody with a selling spot had a miracle liquid cleaner for those pesky glazed over headlights.Headlight Before

Headlight history

Ever since the car manufacturers dropped using glass headlights, (anybody remember the sealed round H-4’s ?), which was initiated in 1983; the movement to plastic lenses has also created a market to repair the glazed, cloudy lenses. Originally many just paid their mechanic to swap in a new lens but that option gets more and more expensive. So now companies offer up various cleaners to restore the lens to like new condition.

Headlight restoration

Some sites will recommend toothpaste or even bug repellant to clean lenses but honestly these are short term fixes that mask the issue. Most legitimate cleaners work by smoothing out the rough surface and then polishing the plastic back to new.  If the surface has really degraded, the repair process might need to actually start with sandpaper to get in all the deep crevices.

Headlight Restorer and Protectant from Chemical Guys

We had the chance to try out the Headlight Restorer and Protectant liquid from Chemical Guys, a leader in the boutique car detailing business.  These guys (no pun intended) know their stuff and I was impressed with the outcome.  Our test car was a 2010 Camry whose lenses have been exposed to some intense Arizona heat.  The directions call for spreading 3 – 6 dots of Headlight Restorer and Protectant over a microfiber towel or applicator pad, then scrubbing the hazy headlight lens vigorously until the polish turns clear and finally wipe off residue with a clean microfiber towel and inspect work. Repeat as necessary.Cleaner on a microfiber

The protectant part of this product is equally important because after cleaning and polishing the lens, the sun is still going to beat down on that plastic.  That means you need some sort of UV resistant layer to help prolong the squeaky clean look. Chemical Guys uses sealant technology to preserve that look and keep the sun at bay.

We were impressed with the ease of use, no need for an electrical buffer, and the look is darn right impressive.  We’ll keep an eye on the lenses and see how they hold up over the next few months, so subscribes to this blog and see how the product holds up in Arizona’s brutal heat.Headlight After

PS  Technically these electrical components are headlamps, and the light they emit are headlights but I don’t know anybody who calls them headlamps. Do you?

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Drag-U-La Selling at Russo and Steele

If you are a certain age, you’ll remember the TV hit- The Munsters. This comedy featured some famous bits and even some neater cars, like the Drag-U-La. It seems strange that the producers would allow purpose built cars that would last for only a few episodes. But we’re glad they did.DragULa Front End

Drag-U-La

The story line was that Grandpa had to build a dragster to race and win back Herman’s “The Munster Koach”. So Hollywood had George Barris produce the car/casket vehicle. While Barris has been known for claiming credit for builds that are barely linked to his firm, this one was designed by Tom Daniel under his auspices. Richard Korkes took on the build and used an actual coffin for the “body”.

The original car moved among sellers after the series and a movie ended. At one point it was owned by Planet Hollywood. The Volo Car Museum had it for a while before flipping it. By then it had a 302 engine and an automatic transmission.DragULa Passenger Side Close Up

Drag-U-La Recreation

So why are we talking about a custom car from the 60’s? Because auction house Russo and Steele has a recreation of the Drag-U-La on their docket for this weekend. We had a chance to part the crowds at a recent Cars and Coffee and check it out on the flat bed tow truck.

Drag-U-La’s Design

This version has the reliable 350 ci engine and a two speed PowerGlide automatic transmission. With such little weight, only functional rear brakes were installed. Just like the original, the exhaust pipes sweep up to look like a church’s organ pipes. The seller claims plenty of “vintage” car parts but also indicates the have “custom made vintage air cleaner”.DragULa Passenger Front

This front engine coffin will certainly be a crowd pleaser when you pull up, but the single seat does limit the ability to hop onto the HOV lanes. Hopefully this is a car you would “die for?”

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Gas Monkey Garage AWOL at Barrett-Jackson

Gas Monkey Garage, Where Are You?

At the January, 2018 Barrett-Jackson Car Auction held in Scottsdale, AZ there are over 1700 cars and trucks ready to sell. But the venerable Gas Monkey Garage, with Richard Rawlings and Dennis “I need my name on every shirt I wear” Collins are nearly invisible.GMG GT350 Decal

Gas Monkey Garage

As mentioned previously the most recognizable Gas Monkey Garage selling vehicle is the 1956 Nomad that Rawlings did for Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Mountain Dew. It has drawn some interest under the tent and it will be interesting to see what it brings.

Gas Monkey Garage’s GT350

As for Gas Monkey Garage, there is a nearly new 2016 Shelby GT350 Mustang that was on the Fast N’ Loud series on the Discovery channel. Rawlings drove it onto the track when he was building a car for Kurt Busch. From the seller’s description it indicates the car “was personally owned by Richard Rawlings of gas Monkey Garage”. So it is anybody’s guess if the seller is actually Richard Rawlings.GMG GT350 Low

For the car itself, it has less than 200 miles on the Mustang. It is black inside and out along with a vivid red racing stripe. Not sure why the seller hasn’t taken care of a recall for an engine oil cooler tube assembly replacement yet. After all it wasn’t on the road that much.

The Shelby Mustang is the 5.2 V8 engine with the six speed manual transmission. It sells on Friday (the seller couldn’t even get a Saturday docket number?) So if you were expecting a fleet of Gas Monkey Garage cars at the auction his week, you might be disappointed.GMG GT350 Rear End

So do you think the GT350 will sell for above retail? After all it is nearly new and hardly abused?

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