05 December 2011

Oops!

Heh ...

A luxury sports car outing in Japan has ended in what may be one of the most expensive car crashes in history.

Eight Ferraris, three Mercedes-Benzes, a Lamborghini and two other vehicles were involved in the pile-up in the southern prefecture of Yamaguchi.

No-one was seriously hurt, but the road was closed for six hours after the accident.

Media reports estimate the damaged cars are worth at least 300m yen ($3.85m; £2.46m) in total.

...


Some of the most expensive scrap metal I've ever seen.

06 November 2011

I Got Another Good Boy

I figured I'd brag about the kid over here too.
I posted this at Ornery Bastard last night.

Proud of the young man, I am.

All of 13 years old and he took to wrenching like a duck to water.

The kid as almost as big as I am at 13 and already wears size 12 shoes.

Scary.

I found a pair of coveralls that was a bit too big for him and we went to town .
Tearing the front of the motor apart, yanking the radiator, fan, belts, crank pulley and all to yank out the front crank seal and put it all back together.

He kind of petered out towards the end but he did awesome and took direction to the Tee.

Yeah, his name is Bobby and I am damn proud of him today.

A typical teenager, he tends to smart off but I figure some positive reinforcement will go a lot farther than threatening to beat his ass.
Besides, the boy has a natural talent which I am going to out of my way to encourage.

Speaking of talent, this kid will amaze you with his Yo Yo's. I am serious.
He pay's 80 bucks apiece for them and watches youtubes and is absolutely amazing at the tricks he can do.

If he stays serious about this much longer, he will make money.

For you lady folks, he looks just like that little Justin Beiber.
This kid is going to have to beat the little girls away with a stick in a couple years.

He never really had a Dad and I just came along but my other boy had the same situation and I could bust a gut, I am so proud of that guy.The young man is well on his way to being a stand up individual.
Speaking of which, I am going to be a Ornery Fucking Grandpa again.

Some time in March.

Thankfully, I have the New Wife to keep track of all these Birthdays and shit.

Y'all have a nice day and thanks fer stopping by

24 October 2011

Attention Chevy Lovers

There is a 1978 Corvette for sale that has 13 original miles on it for about fifty grand.
The guy bought it and put it in his barn.
I t is covered in dust and still has the window sticker in it and a gas reciept for seven and a half gallons of gas he paid for with five dollars.

Original down to the factory battery and it started right up.

I don't have that kind of money but I did just trade a 1995 F-150 for an 80 El Camino.
It has electrical issues but I have already traced most of them down to the printed cuircit board behind the instrument cluster that was demolished by some rookie mechanic.

Starts and runs good, has an Edelbrock four barrel and STILL gets better mileage than that damn ford with a straight six.

Kind of a two tone, flat black and grey primer, I call it the Rat Mobile.

Went to a wrecking yard and got an entire instrument cluster that even has a clock in it for 65 bucks.

I should be out there putting it in as I type, it ain't raining but I am going to wait a few more minutes.
Hey, I actually have insurance now.
The things ya gotta put up with when ya get married.





Btw, 1978 was the first year a Vette paced at Indy.

17 October 2011

Racing Darwinism ...

Veteran driver Dan Wheldon, who won the Indianapolis 500 for the second time this year, died from injuries suffered Sunday when his car was entangled in a horrific 15-car wreck early in the IndyCar series' season-ending race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The Englishman was 33.

...


It was a bad day in Vegas yesterday.

Already we're hearing calls to reduce the speed and "make the cars safer". Indy Car is at a place NASCAR was 10 years ago, just after the death of Dale Earnhardt. Hopefully, Indy goes the other way.

NASCAR went the full route, a complete redesign of the cars, in and out, and look what we have now. Nothing more than a spec race (in the vein of IROC or the Barber Saab Series), a tour that's more suited to short tracks than super speedways. You see it now, as cars have to run in pairs just to stay on the lead lap or pass. NASCAR ain't NASCAR anymore. It's been made too "family friendly". Nobody wants their kids to see their favorite driver smeared all over the catch fence.

So Indy Car is at the point now where they have to make a choice. Slow the cars down and bulk them up with even more safety equipment or keep the status quo and let Racing Darwinism come into play. It goes like this.

Fielding a competitive Indy Car team costs big money.

If the owners don't want to lose their investment, in both personnel and equipment, they'll change the way they build cars. They'll figure out a way to keep them on the track at high speed or they'll continue to wreck.

If they continue to wreck, the good drivers will think twice about crawling into the car.

When they start losing money, things will change. There is no need for a complete makeover. The biggest problem is keeping the cars from going airborne and that's easy enough to do (a gyro and small parachute in the rear of the car - if it goes nose up at too steep an angle and too high a speed, the parachute deploys, dragging the nose back down).

Racing is racing, and people have been dying in race cars since the top speed was 30 mph. When you push the envelope, shit happens sometimes. Pushing the envelope is what racing is all about and when you put limits on speed, you lose some of the appeal.

I'm old enough to remember NASCAR when it was good. When the cars that ran on the track could be bought at your local dealership. Never seen a V-8, carbureted, rear wheel drive Toyota Camry on the road; have you? When you could tell the make of a car without the decals on it. NASCAR's "Car of Tomorrow" all share the same body. So how do they call it "stock car" racing anymore?

Indy Car has a choice. Follow NASCAR's lead and redesign the whole sport or allow the teams to make the changes they feel they need to in order to be competitive and entertaining. Personally, I'm for the latter. Racing with speed limits is neither racing or entertaining.

09 October 2011

Granite Trial

Click to embiggen

Once again the only Twin Shock Novice 4-line rider, my "Gord made the rope wrap around the tetherball pole! Yay!" award. Seriously, I'm proud of it. Four inches across and a half an inch thick and nicely machined and etched. Its maker said he'd engrave it for me for free if I want. I'm thinking of going with "World Trials Champion". Heh.

Once again, Mrs. G plodded around in the woods for some video. Thank you, sweetie.

From the SactoPITS Granite Trial on 10-8-2011 near Cisco Grove CA.

1st scene shows me as my own worst enemy. As usual. The delightful and senior-citizen-friendly young lady checker was bound and determined not to give ol' gramps here a 5. I deserved one, believe me. I paddled my way through.

On the next loop I got an honest 3 on this section. On the 3rd loop I fell on two duffs, mine and the forest's. Softest getoff I've had all year. Like landing on a pillow. Got my 5 legit! Finally. Heh. The young lady scorekeeper, who couldn't have weighed 90 pounds soaking wet, lifted my bike off me. An All-American girl, that one! I think that was the only section I couldn't clean at least once in three times through.

2d scene is riding a section in the snow. It was slushy and slippery and I had to put a foot down.

3rd scene shows me riding the "4 line" (beginner/novice) through an easy section. The exit to the check and the scorekeeper were cleverly placed behind a stump. The motorcycle you hear is not mine.



The day went well. The snow didn't matter much. I rode 3 loops of 8 sections for 24 sections, ended up with 21 points and 16 clean rides for my personal best on both. Damn fine way to end the season.

02 October 2011

Last Gasp At Donner Summit

This is from yesterday's Vintage-Beginner day of the SactoPITS Boreal Ridge Trial held at the Auburn Ski Club property located at Boreal Mountain Resort (formerly Boreal Ridge Ski Area) atop Donner Summit in the Sierra Nevada in California. 7200' of elevation and just a few yards from Interstate 80. You can see traffic on I-80 at one point.

Thanks to my lovely Diane who walked a mile and a half and clambered up and down rocks to get this video.

In the 1st segment, you can see me hit a rock that was hidden in the grass. I had to use my feet to save it and "5ed out". No glory after that so I just sat and paddled out of the section.

2d segment, I clean an easy section. I'm still a beginner and get to ride the easiest line.

3rd segment, I darn near clean the section but had trouble with a sharp turn at the end. I cleaned it on my 3rd try.

Even when you do it as badly as I do, this sport is big fun!

27 August 2011

Saturday Emmylou Blogging

Note: When I hooked my desktop back up I musta skipped something because I have no audio, so I posted this without being able to hear it. Lemme know if it plays OK or not.

Thanks to DrBlindopolis.

07 August 2011

Geritol Trial

The more detail-oriented among you might notice that I am not riding the same motorcycle I started my trials career on. This is a late night quickie and I will explain later.

My wife took some little dabs of videos of me at today's Geritol Vintage-Beginner Trial at the SactoPITS property in the Sierra Nevada east of Sacramento. I strung 'em together. Look at this as an old fart having fun trying a new sport. I've been riding dirt and street for over 50 years and thought I knew how to ride a bike 'til I tried this. Heh.

10 July 2011

Cannibal Cruise '11

Here are a few photos from today's Cannibal Cruise at Truckee River Regional Park three blocks from my house. We got there a little early while a good many of the cars were out on a Poker Run so I can only ass-yoom that none of these run. Cough. Missed the burnout contest too, but I'm opposed to those anyway on the grounds that they're wasteful and toxic. I don't like it when the NASCAR winners do it either. Why can't they just jump up and down and drill a ball inta the ground or sumthin'?

What car shows are all about. The only photo you really need.

Click photos to embiggen


The obligatory '55 Chevy photo or Mrs. G won't talk to me. Her first car was a 210 like this one.



"Oh yeah, dude, we hadda lower it so it's easier ta get the stuff outta the back, man..."




Here's the mural on the side:



A Ford I could live with.



Proper positioning of yer rod is important to impress the judges.



The trophies were on display. Even as far from the ocean as you can get and still be in California, the surfer and woody theme is popular. The painting is of a popular view of Truckee from Hilltop looking across the Truckee River toward downtown.



Always wanted me one'a these Meskin cowboy hats. They had 'em at the car show. Mrs. G got a floppy straw sun hat exactly like she's wanted for a long time but she's camera shy.



Update:

I stand corrected. Mrs. G is not camera shy at all and so informed me just before she let my arm untwist so I could work the camera.

07 July 2011

Lovely ...

Bad enough most people can't handle an automobile in 2 dimensions (left and right), now we're gonna let them drive in a 3rd (up and down)? Nothing good can come of this.

30 June 2011

Unreal

Someone recently paid 217 thousand dollars for a Volkswagen.



A completely concourse restored 1963 twenty three window Volkswagen van that took seven years to restore.

Click the link for a picture.

What Barrett-Jackson says about it:
Every part on this bus was completely rebuilt and detailed to the highest level possible. The interior has a German mohair headliner, original German balsamic gray interior, all original latches, handles, ashtrays and luggage rails restored to perfection. Many NOS parts were used on this build like the speedometer and clock. The entire inside of this bus is beautiful . Every detail down to the original radio is correct. The paint and body work on this bus are some of the first details you notice. The entire undercarriage of this bus is as detailed as the rest of it. Not only does everything on this bus look great underneath but it runs and drives like it would have when you drove it off the lot in 1963. This bus is museum quality and has every correct detail down to every correct little decal on the engine.

Still, really?

23 June 2011

Junk before ...

Gonna be junk after. Ain't nobody I know liked working on Saabs (well, except for my buddy Vinny who made a cottage industry out of being a Saab specialist). The "backwards engine" idea was the best. Try changing accessory belts (normal maintenance) in any amount of time when you got an inch between them and the firewall. Anyway, it looks like Saab is going the way of Oldsmobile, Pontiac, and Saturn as failed GM divisions:

PARIS - The outlook for Saab took a turn for the worse on Thursday, after the automaker’s Dutch owner said that it was unable to pay employees their June salaries and warned that the prospects for obtaining short-term funding were uncertain.

...

The announcement Thursday dashed hopes that recently announced deals with Chinese partners would turn Saab around. Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile has agreed to pay €136 million, or $195 million, for a 29.9 percent stake in Swedish Automobile, the companies said June 13. That deal came on the heels of the announcement in May that Pang Da Automobile Trade would pay €109 million for 24 percent of Swedish Automobile.

The companies have portrayed the deals as game changers offering access to the Chinese auto market, the world’s largest. But industry analysts have expressed skepticism that those cash injections, assuming they are approved by the Chinese authorities, are of a sufficient scale to fix Saab.

...


It's time to let it die a somewhat dignified death, as opposed to letting the Chinese turn it into a bigger piece of junk than it is now.

07 June 2011

28 May 2011

IoM TT

It's TT time again! History.



Here's a nice relaxing and scenic ride on a pair of Old Gentlemen Vincents from Ramsey south 'round the Ramsey Hairpin (1:50) and up the mountain to its highest point. The cameraman is on a '53 Black Shadow. Note the almost vertical speedometer so you can see it hit the magic Ton whilst yer chin is on the tank. Heh.

Following 1950 Vincent Comet from Ramsey


Thanks to printermon, UK.

22 May 2011

Vincent Hillclimber

I played this one about ten times just to listen to it!

A Vincent Sidecar Oufit competing at Baitings Dam Speed hill Climb in 1992


Thanks to 72degrees, UK.

20 May 2011

Men in Motion

I edited this from a DVD made from an old Super-8 film. Backstory here. I didn't shoot this, but I bought the movie camera and projector from Rocket Man and he threw in the reels his wife had taken. He got the moniker 'Rocket Man' before the Elton John song because he was a truck driver and used to deliver guided missiles to Cape Canaveral. You will notice he appears frequently in the vid. Helps ta sleep with the camera operator, I guess...

Credit where credit is due. The original cinematographer appears, with Rocket's mom, at :28. She did pretty good, I think, given the limitations of the home movie equipment of the time.

Me and Mrs. G appear at 2:36, and the only two seconds of video in the world of me actually riding one of the damn things in an event is at 4:26.

Riders came from all over SoCal to ride this event but most of the riders and others in the vid are from our gang from the San Fernando Valley and environs.

This is just guys and gals having fun. Enjoy.

From Super 8 shot by Elena Rocket Man at the Dirt Diggers Grand Prix at Pioneertown (or maybe Trabuco Canyon. It's been a long time.), Orange County CA in 1977. Her hubby Rocket Man's the big guy with the beard on the 750 Triumph.

16 May 2011

I love this ...

To an old vet like me, K-I-A means "Killed In Action", and I've seen my share of dead Kias. That said, I love this commercial:

05 May 2011

Sorry Gord!

Dayum, I feel like an idiot.

I went to send Gord a picture of an old Indian Motorcycle and the link took him to a nasty, nasty place.

My bad, I thought I caught the time stamp at the bottom of the picture and instead it took him to nasty land.

Understandably, he was quite confused and didn't have a clue as to what I wanted him to see.
"No more of that" kind of response.
I finally clicked on the link I sent him and figured it out quite pronto.

My Bad, sorry bud.
This is what I wanted you to see.

No brakes or clutch handles on the bars.
No gear shifter, and ahem, the cute little seat on the rear fender.

12 April 2011

I Need A New Drool Cup


The old one cracked after I dropped it when I saw this'





One mint condition Boss 429 Mustang with 4,400 original miles, it even has the original Bias Ply tires.

Can you imagine?
It's on Ebay and you can "Buy It Now" for a measly five hundred and fifty grand.
I knew a guy who had one of those when I was in high school, it was ten years old at the time and still one bad assed motherfucker.

Cross posted at Ornery Bastard.


16 March 2011

"Publish and be damned!"

My old pal Gary was the one who told me that Morgan was resurrecting (carefully chosen word) their 3-wheeler (see post below) so naturally I sent him a link to F& G.

I've known Gary since the late '70s when I was National Service Manager (grand title, little horsepower) at Triumph Motorcycles America, the factory-owned distributor. Gary was one of a team of fitters that came over from England to rectify a rear brake master cylinder problem by replacing them in the crates before the bikes went to dealers. One of the cylinders had failed in use as a clutch cylinder in some kinda Limey car or other and I think their lawyers panicked. Anyway, due to the new cylinders arriving in dribs and drabs, Gary and his partner John were in SoCal for about four months. Perhaps Gary will see this and tell me how many units they replaced, but it wasn't very many. I think the English term for that poorly planned flusterpluck would be "a right bloody cock-up".

During that time, me and my motersickle club buds rescued these guys from sheer boredom several times and took them out to the desert and other places, made 'em desert BBQ and such as that. The club called them "the blokes from Triumph". We were all Triumph riders anyway so they were a big hit and we've been friends ever since.

Gary emigrated to Oz several years ago and is the dealer liaison for the Australian Triumph distributor.

His response to F & G was so good that I asked him if he minded if I posted it. His reply to that is the title of the post. Thanks for the one, way ahead of you on the other, mate.

Hey Gordon – Thanks for the link.

The George Formby film 'No Limit’ is one of my favourites still. It’s a tale of the battling little man beating adversity. Freeze frame one of the mainstand shots and look at the flags of all nations .What looks like an IOM three legged flag is actually a swastika! This was probably one of the last outings for the glorious Socialist Germany before the little altercation.

The pub he crashed into is now a gift shop. The beer on the IOM is an acquired taste – always reminded me of cat piss.

The Catalina races were something else – all BSA’s and Triumphs – do you remember me riding that Pink TRIUMPH twin in Bean Canyon? it reminded me of that! Of course the best racing was always pre-legislation!

TTFN

GARY

I took the opportunity to tell him that yes, I remembered how good he looked on Triumph Lady's pink TR6 desert sled and that I still have photos and my pension could stand a little augmentation...

And I won't fault him for missing the odd Matchless and Velocette in that 50+ year old clip (three posts below). Heh.

His insight on 'No Limit' (two posts below) is great!

And yes, the best of everything was before the anti-fun people found out about it.

13 March 2011

2011/12 Morgan 3-Wheeler

If ya don't want to listen to Mr. Morgan, the great unveiling is at about 4:00.

The piece has an S&S V-Twin and a Mazda 5-speed+reverse. It is expected to cost around $40Large. More info here.

Me want!

Charles Morgan reveals the new Morgan 3 Wheeler at the Geneva Motor Show. Open to the public until 13th March 2011.

Better hurry...


Thanks to morgan3wheeler,UK.


I couldn't find any video of the new one at speed, so here's a slightly older model:

Morgan Three Wheeler Super Sports 1934


Thanks to vincentgreen1984, UK.


And when I get one, I won't even have to start it myself! Mrs. G has been ready for the day since she started this one 35 years ago. At least I think it started:

06 March 2011

George Shuttleworth, Speed Demon

I just gotta get a DVD of this. Hell, it parallels my own life/racing career (including the 'creative financing/sponsorship'. Heh.) so closely I could probably make it myself!

This is from No Limit (1935) starring George Formby, Jr.

Here's the setup. There's a golden comedy line in this that I couldn't read 'til I full-screened it. George is a Rainbow man and gets a letter back from the Rainbow Cycle Company Ltd. telling him thanks but no thanks for a spot on their racing team but "we wish you success on your reconditioned 1925 Rainbow motor cycle". Best o' luck on that old crapcan we sold you, chump. To me that's priceless.


Thanks to freejim2828.


Here's the obligatory (around here anyway) cruise ship scene on the way to IoM:

Actress and comedienne Florence Desmond sings in George Formby's debut Ealing-ATP film 'No Limit' (1936).

I've subtitled the scene, "Fixer takes the wheel!". Musta spent some time on the set first. Heh.


Thanks to littleshoemaker, UK.


Here's the payoff - the Isle of Man TT race, filmed on location on the Isle of Man. TT aficionados will recognize some famous landmarks such as the Ramsey Hairpin, the famous jump at Ballaugh Bridge, and others including a particular pub that's probably had more motorcycles through the front door than any biker bar in Sturgis. Heh. Try some of this stuff on modern racebikes and you'd have many expensive lumps o' shit and a lousy movie. There's something to be said for old-fashioned simple iron and steel motorcycles.

This puts a lot of modern comedy chase scenes to shame. I musta learned to ride by watching this in the cradle...


Thanks to megasuggs, UK.


I hope you enjoyed that. I sure did.

01 March 2011

Catalina Grand Prix 2010

There was a Catalina Grand Prix held on the SoCal island for several years back in the '50s. After a 52 year hiatus, there was one last year. This is huge to us old SoCal riders, operative word being 'old'.

From Dirt Rider:

A legendary event that had been nothing more than a faint memory for a select few, a tall tale for others and a history lesson learned through photos and 8mm film for most was about to repeat itself. We speak of a post-war race that took place 22 miles off the coast of Southern California on a small island called Catalina. This quaint little mound of terra firma in view from downtown Los Angeles on a clear day has been a small venture with vast history-including military training in the '40s, spring training for the Chicago Cubs Baseball team from the '20s to early '50s and the epic golden years of the Catalina Grand Prix in the '50s. 1958 marked the last year of the then legendary and world famous race and its hallowed ground lay dormant for 52 years before a miracle took place.

There's a good article in Cycle World too, which I just got in the mail yesterday.

Interesting tidbit: Even though there's an ocean between Catalina and L.A., it's the closest place to have a race these days.

Here's what it looked like in the old days:


Thanks to elrodracing.


Here's the recent one:

Cycle World Off-Road Editor Ryan Dudek gives us an onboard view of the Red Bull Catalina Grand Prix course on his way to victory in the Veteran Heavyweight A race.

Notice that not only are there no bikes in front of him, there's almost no bikes visible behind him on the switchbacks either. Mr. Dudek was haulin' the mail.

Note to Dudek: Next time put a camera facing to the rear. I'd love to see what the rear end is doing! I betcha he got that Katoom so crossed-up a coupla times he'da got pictures of his face!

Note: you may wish to take a seasick pill before viewing. Also, Mr. Dudek crammed a 5-mile lap into the ten minute YouTube limit. If I had done the same video, crossin' the line would have been in Part 3. Okay, okay, part 6. Heh.


Thanks to cycleworldmagazine.


Update:

Also see the weapons-grade 350 KTM in action in the desert. Whee!

20 February 2011

Re: Daytona

Who in Hell thought "pairs racing" was a good idea? That's racing? I'll give 'em this, in 45 years I ain't seen nothing like it. The last few laps should be interesting.

Update:

That's wrecked, that's ruined. Heh ...

Update (Monday):

Arguing with my buddy Noonan on Facebook about this ... whatever they call that race.

Personally, I thought the race was a joke. Cars running around in pairs for 500 miles ain't racing in my book. It's who can make the best bargain in the push/pull negotiations.

Then too, to take nothing away from the kid's talent or the Wood Bros. (their record speaks for itself), I'd offer that were it not for the "drafting" causing the wrecks that took out the real threats (Gordon, Johnson, Kyle Bush, Little E, etc) the outcome would have been quite different.

17 February 2011

One pass down the driveway

The 280cc mill is working hard in snow this deep. Not as hard as I would be if I had to use a shovel.

One pass down my driveway to show how well the Honda 928 handles snow as deep as it is.

If the excitement is too much for you, search for "watching paint dry".

12 February 2011

Eye Candy & Strange Music

Bu İngiliz motorsikletlerine ait bir slayt gösterisidir.

Oh sure, easy for you to say...



Thanks to thunderbird979, Safranbolu, Turkey.

11 February 2011

Whadda da fucka?

Don't look like any F-150 I ever seen:

Ford Motor Co. is suing Ferrari SpA for trademark infringement after the Italian exotic-car maker named its new Formula 1 racing car the F150. Ford says the car’s name comes too close to that of its longtime top-selling vehicle the F-150 pickup truck. Ford filed the suit in federal court in Detroit.

...


Does it look like yours, Nucks? Heh ...

05 January 2011

This Is Cute

From 1965, I was 5 years old and recognize several of these old cars, er, models of cars.
My old man actually had one of those old Volvo's. He used to race  a Bugeye Sprite back then and raced one of the original Mini Coopers too.

No wonder I am crazy, it's hereditary.