Monday, 20 March 2017

My new daily driver. 2005 XR6 Turbo Falcon. What? Me...a hoon? NEVER!

2005 xr6 turbo falcon
Folks, this is my new daily driver. It's a bit long in the tooth and has probably had a hell of a life, but she still pulls some punch for an old girl.
If you read last week's post about me absolutely craving a 370z, you will know that I am in the middle of some sort of crisis. Well, the crisis has been averted. We are keeping Dorothy forever and I bought something that might give me a bit of a smile when I put the foot down. Is there anything wrong with that? Nope, nothing in the world.

Just have to flog off our 2011 Hyundai ix35 wagon now. Anyone interested?

Thursday, 16 March 2017

The call of the 370z is becoming harder to resist

Folks, for as long as I can remember...well, at least back to 2009, which is about, I must confess, all I can remember that far back to,  I have had a strong and increasing affection for the stunning Nissan 370z, and that passion is refusing to go away. Gorgeous lines, powerful engine, great handling...who would NOT put their hand up and say they wanted one? 

Well, I am seriously considering purchasing one of the stunning cars.  And this one you see in the picture is just one of many examples that are on my radar at the moment. 
Those who know me (and I am a very private person, so there won't be many of you) can attest of my love of two door sports cars. It has been over six years and I am still pining for my beautiful RX7 FD twin turbo machine. In gorgeous red, this car was a beast. Incredibly smooth engine, amazing sound and just drop dead gorgeous looks. Well, the story goes, I sold that to a guy from Sydney who wrote it off around a year later. Dunno what happened, but it is now officially a statutory write off. And what a shame.
I put a ton of money and love into that car and turned a lemon into a really nice sports car capable of some pretty serious performance. So, why the hell did I sell it? I dunno, really. Same reason I am now thinking of doing the same with Dorothy. 
I think I have gone as far as I can with it without spending mega bucks.
With the RX7, I wanted to go single turbo, but never bit the bullet, and I was always shit scared of that rotary engine giving way. Where I live ( in the Illawarra, NSW) there is NOBODY who knows anything much about rotary engines. Now some people will come back and say, well there's this guy and that guy, and I can tell you, they are all f*****g rogues.  There was a guy near Penrith, NSW, who actually did know what he was doing with rotaries. (The Hitman). But that was a long time ago and so, we move on. The rotary is a weirdly fascinating thing. There is no other engine on the planet like it, and for that reason, most guys are happy to rape your wallet. Well, that was what I discovered anyway. 
One thing I miss is the curious camaraderie that I felt with owners of these RX7's. Something that has never been repeated in my journey through this world of automobile ownership.

When I started looking into American cars as a bit of a hobby, I really had no idea what I was in for.
I bought a 1952 Buick Super and really loved it, but the poor old thing was far too big a project for me to handle and a year later was sold off. Don't know whatever happened to it.
I broke even on it, anyway.
 And then I bought a beautiful 1955 Buick Century, and a year later, did the same thing...Why? I don't really know why.
I can only blame a lack of talent and a fear of spending lots of money I didn't have the money or the skill to turn it into what it should have been. I had visions of a jag front, right hand drive and eliminating the torque tube, but learnt that torque tubes and old Buicks were fairly inseparable (unless you had wads of cash or skill or both).

So, I sold Buick number 2. Big mistake. I loved that coupe. I even imported it myself from Florida.
I broke even, more or less. 

So then I bought Dorothy. And the rest you can read about from day one, nearly four years ago.
Do you believe the registration is due in six weeks? That means she has been on the road for nearly one year! How many kilometres have I done since then?
Would you believe 1400!
So, I sat down and thought about that.
My life is so f*****g busy with my shitty job, that I live, breathe eat and shit on the go five days a week, fifteen hours a day. By the time the weekend hits, I am, well, literally stuffed. I hate the job, hate the 2 1/2 hour train trip I take each way (5 hours a day on a train just to get to and from work), and resent how it has engulfed my life. And that means I get no time to mess with things like old trucks. I get no time to go for weekend cruises. I get no time just to take her for a run.

Maybe I just need a chill pill? Maybe I need to turn the clock back 20 years and wonder wtf just happened to the last 20 years. Maybe I want to recapture the fun factor of a fast sport's car? Reclaim some lost youth? Pick up girls.
Hey, just kidding- my wife reads this blog too, I suspect. 

So, what am I saying, man? Is this the end of Dorothy? I dunno. I don't think I can let her go...ever.
If it is, it is probably the end of my "messing around with old cars hobby", too. I guess I will save money. And I will have clean fingernails. Not much chance of me fixing anything on a Z car.

Time will tell. Ideally, I'd like to keep the truck and buy a Z car. Now wouldn't that be a perfect solution!

Friday, 24 February 2017

The people you meet along the way make it all worthwhile

One could be forgiven for thinking that it's all really about the truck, but, you know, it isn't really.
The last couple of times I have been out in Dorothy have given me lots of joy, not simply from just driving around in the old tart, (which IS a lot of fun because it is running so well now), but also the enjoyment I get with talking to people about this and that on the truck and then in turn they tell me their own stories, and that, I find, is the most enjoyable aspect.
Last week, for instance, I went to buy some more carpet for the upcoming sound deadener job which I have earmarked for this weekend. Pulling up outside Carpet Court, I was approached by a very nice retired couple who told me they would both love to work on such a project for themselves as they found like a bit boring after retirement and were looking at an old truck to work on (I hate the word "tinker" because to me it implies something childish, like "toy" for instance.- it's just one of those things. Tinker is the sound that is made when you stir your glassful of home made lemonade with a steel spoon. When you do things on a truck, you WORK on it. You curse and you swear and you bust veins and smash knuckles and tear flesh from bone and you get filthy dirty and covered in oil and grease and dirt from fifty years of roadkill. Nothing about all that says tinker to me.)
Anyway, resuming regular channel...

This charming couple spoke to me for about thirty minutes asking what I had done, how easy it was, what else is left to do and so on. But really, I just delighted in talking to them and it was a joy to see their eyes light up and the inspiration beginning to take hold.
Finally I got into the carpet shop only to be told they had some carpet but it was up the back and since nobody was interested in getting it down and actually cutting me a couple of metres because it was a Saturday morning (Figure that out?) I ended up at Bunnings whereupon they cut me exactly what I wanted on the spot. On the way back from the shop I met another guy. A panel beater. A TAFE teacher, no less, who talked to me for about forty minutes on the pros and cons of good paint and how much work it was gonna take to get Dorothy looking schmick. (Lots, let me tell you). Once again, I really enjoyed talking to him, learning a bit about paint and the associated issues with applying it on old things like this, and how much hidden rust and bog I was likely to encounter.
So, now with half the day gone, I got home just before lunch. Can't remember what I did for the afternoon, but early in the arvo I had to go to Super Cheap auto to get some damned thing or other. I forget now and as I was leaving there, without a word of a lie, I met a fellow in his 80's who said to me the truck just brought back a whole lot of memories to him, and we spent the next hour talking about cars and trucks and stuff and he told me he had owned several hotrods in his time (on his mobile phone) and then proceeded to show me photos of his 1934 Ford Coupe and then he showed me some of the prizewinning (Summernats) cars his son had owned over the years and, I have to say, I can't recall when I have had a finer day just chatting with these folks really made it incredibly worthwhile.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Happy Tiger Time!

Happy Tiger Sound DeadenerFolks, you might remember a couple of years ago, I bought some sound deadening stuff from Johnny Law Motors in Campbelltown. Paid the miserly sum of around $30 for a roll from memory. Typically, I had no idea whether it was good quality or bad, nor even what it supposed to look like. I just thought; well, this is what everyone uses and went along merrily singing fairy songs to myself. Ignorance is bliss, as they say.
Well, I have since discovered, quite recently, that the stuff I bought form JL Motors (which has since closed shop and moved off shore somewhat rapidly- which kind of speaks for itself) is excruciatingly awfully awful. Read a fair bit about how good Dynamat was, but never actually came in contact with it. I just thought it was a bit of marketing hype that it was really good blah de blah blah and so on we go. So, I thought about buying some of the product when a guy tells me I should try some Happy Tiger or PingJing. Apparently its thicker, which means probably at least as good as Dynamat, if not better at sound proofing, as it has more bitumen fill in between the layers. About 2mm I think.
Well, I can tell you something. It actually feels thick. You can indent it. There is substance to this stuff that the other crap never had, and now I am highly excited about getting it inside the cabin to quieten things down a touch, because Dorothy is pretty noisy at the moment. I mean, I don't really care about the noise, because I just crank up the volume, but my better half tends to prefer gentle ambience and serenity. Hmmm. In a pickup truck?
Remember, you heard it first here, guys.

Happy Tiger Sound Deadener
Look, to cut a bloody boring story short, we're gonna stick this stuff in as many places as we can, and there is quite a bit of it. Ten sheet to be exact. Should at least do the floor and maybe the doors. Only bummer is ripping out the goddamned Cadillac Seville electric bench seat once more, and I have memories and scars to attest to its indifference towards coming out. I am sure it will not be any easier. And then, of course, I have to remove the steering column and the pedal assembly as it is bolted to the firewall.
Oh, the fun, the fun!
Of course I am doing this all arse about as per normal. What I SHOULD be doing is probably getting the cabin sprayed first and then fitting new carpet and getting the upholstery done and so on. But I am not. At least not for now. Who can say what the following week will bring. Come back on the weekend and check out the action.

26th Feb.
Yep. Well my lovely wife helped enormously with the carpet and she even assisted with getting that rotten great Caddy seat back in there. Took best part of two days to clean up the floor a bit, take out all the stuff, lay the sound deadener and then cut and fit the carpet and then put all the stuff back in there again. Time consuming, and not a very enjoyable job, though the sound deadener was a joy to work with. Still have to do the big test drive, but will let you know how she sounds or doesn't sound.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Jag tailpipes! Why the heck not?

Been sitting around the garage for the past couple of years waiting for me to fit 'em up. Well, this weekend, being 38 degrees out there, Celsius, that is,  I decided it was a good time to break out the hacksaw and get stuck in.

Because the State was in the middle of its hottest spell on record, I thought it best not to burn down the neighbourhood by breaking out the angle grinder, so I used the old hacksaw instead. These exhaust tips are from a series III XJ6 Jaguar. It makes sense, as the same front end from that car is under Dorothy. So why the hell not? The fun thing about these tips is they have this very nice finished lip on the tip of the pipe (see left). Just gives the old tart a bit of British elegance, old chap. The right end of these pipes has a grub screw or allan key head screw setup for screwing onto your new pipe.

So, last week I whipped down to the Muffler Men  and got them to knock up an adapter to fit my larger exhaust pipes. Which they did. Picked up a few days later. Looked great!

So, the first thing I had to do was measure up the old pipes and cut them off. In hindsight, I should have just got the Muffler Men to fit them, but where would the challenge of sawing off old pipe from underneath the truck on the hot concrete be? I made a small cut first off using the dremel as it was easier than trying to make a start with a hacksaw especially lying on your back.

This was how they used to look. Deadset ugly.

Not badly hacked at all from a big guy on his back on this, the hottest day of the year. Well, it was either that or swelter inside with the piddling fan on doing sweet FA.

Bunnings specials. $6.95 for 15 hacksaw blades. They got the job done on one pipe, in the end. A pity I went through 12 out of 15 blades to get there. Hmmm. You DO get what you pay for sometimes. So off we go up to good old Bunnings to buy some bloody more...
Stone the crows, mate! $20 for a set of  foreign blades from the US? They'd wanna be good. And guess what? They bloody well were. Sawed the second pipe off without losing a blade.

New and the old. That curly Jag pipe sure is gonna make the tail end of Dorothy look a bit, ah, funky, man, ya dig? 

This was how I first imagined the pipes. Complimenting to curves of the rear valance. However, it became apparent that they were going to stick out far too much, and I am sure they would not be deemed legal. Something about not having pipes extend beyond the body of the vehicle et cetera.

So, I decided to set the on an angle, bit like the way Jaguars have them. Sideways.

What do you reckon, guys an' gals?
I might have to cut and bring them in a bit more, even though they don't go past the bodyline, From side on they look a bit odd still. Anyway, gotta be better than before?

Okay, now, some of you guys have suggested I have gone a bit, you know, funny in the bonce, by suggesting these look super cool, when they actually look pretty patsy, if you get what I am saying.
So, just to make everyone happy, I did the unthinkable...that's right! I turned 'em around.
Let me know what you reckon? Either way they look fine? Yah?

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Choking Chickens! The most fun you can have for 25 clucks....I mean bucks!

After a solid day in the salt mines (aka the office), there is nothing more pleasurable than getting your fingers around that chook and give its neck a good wringing. This could eliminate the need for stress therapy sessions with your friendly counselor.   Jaycar sell them for 25 bucks. Go here to get yourself one now. Here's our chook in full voice! 
I am sure to reach for my chook whenever I have to work on those steenking electric windows.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

2017 Autorama Illawarra Post Mortem

As the temperature crept upwards of 30 plus at 9am this morning, I decided to venture out with baseball cap, aerogard and sunnies and a good dab of 30+ on the back of the neck and check out the anuual Autorama display. Had to get to my brothers' 70th birthday party at 1pm the same day, so, once again, had to make a quick whirlwind flick around, snapping this and that and trying not to get in everyone's way. What I saw, that is, the quality of what I saw, just keeps getting better and better.
Not sure if there were more entrants, but I skittled outta there around an hour later. Anyway, here is a small snapshot of what I saw. Hope you like.
Click on them to make them bigger.

A beautiful old Coupe. Deserves another angle.

Perfect everything! 

Oak Flats Electronics showing what they can do with a hatchback and about seventy speakers. The sound was earth shattering! But where do ya stick the milk and the bread?

This year was the unofficial year for dak daks. Wayne Penrose (local vw guru) delievered no less than ten vw creations for the display. I am not sure this one above was one of his collection, but there are a few in this photo shoot that were.

Very neat Corolla (correct me if I am wrong) with a beautiful paint job and an immaculate engine. And a very classy looking lady helping out with a polishing cloth. Sorry, I didn't take any picutres of her! What? Do you think I am a pervert or something? 

Hey, don't answer that question, just check out the cars.

And the men's butts.

Classy lines on these Austins. More I see of them the more I love 'em.

Nice display of trophies on offer. And a nice yellow chair in the foreground.

I love old Corvettes to death and this was a stunner.

Late model motorvation.

I am a bit of a fan of the Supra. Bit of an arch rival in my old RX7 days. This one was in good hands 

A mountain of metal! 

Plenty of support from people like Pedders, Shannons, and so on.

Gorgeous Holden ute! The interior was just luxurious!

It didn't look like rain, but somebody brought their yacht just in case. 
Aka 1971/2 Buick boat tail.

Is Boat Tail two words or one word? Never mind. I can't really tell you much about this one, only that it was very different. 

Late model Falcons. F6 and a GT in background. Quite a few of these on show. They were all beautifully presented.

Holy snapping duck turds, Batman, is that an LS engine in a Datsun?

Frytnd? Not really. Amazed? Definitely! 

Some Fords

Some Holdens

And even a Sigma.  Stunning detail in the engine bay. In fact all of the cars I saw were just so goddamned clean! 

A Charger in orange with silver stripes! I think that almost works!  Pro Street style making a comeback? (If it ever went away?)

Didn't matter if your dog got sick out there because there was a 'vette on every corner.

Rare XU1 in a gorgeous mandarin colour. (the sandwich board says one of only 150 Bathurst Specials)

See, I told you! 'vettes everwhere!

Not enough trucks! This was the only one I saw all morning! Hmmm. 

This was the stage for some live music. Beautifully clean Murrell's truck. Equally photogenic red wheely bin.

Plenty of stalls selling merchandise of various kinds.