Wednesday, March 4, 2015


Everything but the same old cars

Archive for April, 2009

Ford Fiesta the Elder

Posted by Mike Bumbeck On April - 30 - 2009

1978_ford_fiesta1978 and 1775 pounds of Ford Fiesta were two good things for Jerry Kuszak to find in the used car market. Jerry’s been the third proud owner of this daily driven and occasionally autocrossed MK1 Fiesta for over 20 years. Fiesta, the elder was sold here in America for three short years from 1978-80. Under the hood is 1.6L of Kent engine fury, with the Ghia package representing the highest level of Fiesta luxury one could get in ’78. This particluar signal yellow hatch was shod with a set of correct offset wheels of mystery manufacture and Toyo R888 shoes for maximum driving amusement. The flexible front air dam and rear hatch spoiler are genuine factory bits that Jerry has collected and added over time. While finding ducktail spoliers is fun, driving the Fiesta for two decades is better. “It’s been a great car. It’s a solid running car. It gets great gas mileage. It’s fun to drive.”, said Jerry.

Jerry and his Fiesta were part of a 150 or so automobiles at the Mid-Week Get Together, which convenes every Wednesday from March to November from 4-8PM at El Camino Real and Scott in Santa Clara, California.

More: North American English and European Ford Registry

Replace Bulbs

Posted by Mike Bumbeck On April - 29 - 2009

bulbyChanging a light bulb at home is ideally an uneventful experience. Switch goes off. A ladder or rickety chair comes out. Out goes the old bulb, and in with the new. The procedure is mostly the same when it comes to automobiles. There are just more sorts of bulbs. While some modern vehicles might tell you when a bulb or headlamp has burned out or gone dark, older vehicles require the driver to occasionally inspect bulb and lamp condition. Replacing an automotive bulb is usually more simple than it looks, but may require some basic hand tools and a little patience. The rickety chair should only come out if you have to sit down to think of how to get after the pesky dark bulb.
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Dream Machines Roundup

Posted by Mike Bumbeck On April - 27 - 2009


The convergence of great stuff automotive, aeronautic, and agricultural that is the Pacific Coast Dream Machines show is a wrap until next year. Hanging out directly under the dulcet thrum and doppler effect of World War II piston engine airplanes was worth the price of admission alone. Also present at the Half Moon Bay were dune buggies, streamliners, and numerous examples of something called a hit and miss engine – which chuffed along according to a cycle that was definitely not otto. Stay tuned for more of a few things as seen though the Clunkbucket eye by-the-sea. For now please enjoy this visual roundup of just some of the dream machines.

Tatra T87 World Tour

Posted by Mike Bumbeck On April - 24 - 2009

tatra_t87Because Paul Greenstein was able to forge a lifelong dream of a streamlined future and rusting satellite TV antenna together into this beautiful air-cooled V-8 powered sedan is exactly why automobiles will forever be part of our culture. That being said, we bring you Paul and Dydia’s 1941 Tatra T87. Legend has it that a soldier returning from World War II drove this particular Tatra T87 onto a ship, and then back off home to New York State. The T87 then sat at a local dealership for many years as undeniable proof that they really would take any car on trade-in. The Tatra ended up switching hands a few times until in 2001 Paul acquired the rusty T87 after the previous owner had stalled on his restoration plans, and parked the Tatra on a concrete slab shared with a satellite TV dish.

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Chevy LUV Mikado 1979

Posted by Jonny Lieberman On April - 23 - 2009

chevy_luvMy pal Jonee Eisen is the proud owner of a 1960 Mazda R360 and a 1960 Fuldamobile. In addition to those two micro cars, Jonee used to own a Subaru 360, a Subaru R2, a DAF 66, a BMW Isetta, a Renault Le Car and a string of AMC Pacers. Like us, he’s pleasantly mental. I accompanied Jonee to pick up the shift linkage for that Fuldamobile. Interestingly, the Fuldamobile is about five feet long (seems that way) and the shift linkage is four feet. But you can’t fit a four-foot piece of metal into a 860 lbs. R360 (or for that matter a two-foot piece of metal). Nope, for something that major you need some LUV — some 1979 Chevy Mikado LUV.

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Concours d’LeMons

Posted by Jonny Lieberman On April - 23 - 2009

pinto_camptopYup, there goes the neighborhood by-the-sea. The guys that organize Billetproof and the band of hooligans that have been fouling up the nation’s road courses via the 24 Hours of LeMons have joined forces. They’re now they’re out to destroy, or at least tarnish, Monterey Weekend. For the three or four of you that don’t know, Monterey Weekend combines the pre-war monocle-on-a-stick and silk ascot dignity of the Concourse d’Elegance with the eye-popping, bank account draining grandeur of the Monterey Historic races at Laguna Seca. Plus scads of other highly sophisticated, notably exotic but most of all expensive automotive activities. Oh how the times change. Coming this August 15 is the first annual Concours d’LeMons, “celebrating the oddball, mundane, and truly awful of the automotive world.” You’re thinking right – Mustang IIs on the green. We’re hoping someone will motor down in a pristine example of the Chrysler Town & Country TURBO wagon with genuine simulated wood paneling. Mark the calendar, and ask Grandma if you can borrow the Buick Reatta in August. Make the jump for the press release and more information.

Ford Pinto Camperback image courtesy of Drew Philips Photography

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Buck a Lap Fast Track

Posted by Mike Bumbeck On April - 22 - 2009

img_3432Dateline 1971. Malcom Bricklin had just left Subaru. The question was what to do with a heap of leftover Subaru 360s, unwanted in part thanks to a Consumer Reports article that blurbed the diminutive runabout as the most unsafe car in America. If you were Malcolm Bricklin, you got on the horn with Bruce Meyers of Meyers Manx dune buggy fame and had him fab up some racy-looking bodies, bolted ‘em up to the Subarus with nerf bars, and launched a company called FasTrack that sold a turn-key racing franchise – complete with 10 racecars! Buck-a-Lap racing in Manx-bodied Subaru 360 based race cars is an idea which was clearly a little too far ahead of its time. FasTrack, or the lack thereof, may also go far to at last solve the mystery of this Subaru 360-based race car seen on the side of the road in New York state last year. Reuse. Recycle. Race!

More: Street Legal Subaru 360 Fastrack II at the Lane Motor Museum

Shrunken Fury

Posted by Mike Bumbeck On April - 21 - 2009

shrunken_furyFrom the Clunkbucket northern California car shortening division comes this shrunken 1964 Plymouth Fury. This former b-body belongs to one Alan Rutter of Al’s Rapid Transit, and packs roughly 450 horsepower of big block Mopar for motivation. Alan picked the car up as a project, and got busy cutting and welding everything back together eight inches less long. The 440 engine sits two inches back from the stock location into the middle of the now 108″ wheelbase. Alan reports voluminous tire smoke from the right rear wheel in all three speeds of the automatic transmission after extensive daily road testing since getting the Fury together again. We predict a Sure-Grip getting swapped in in for the peg-leg open rear differential at a date in the near future.

If you’re in SoCal this weekend stop by and say hello to Alan and hundreds of other Moparnauts at the Spring Fling XXIII at Woodly Park in Van Nuys. A few more shrunken Mopars can be found at Moparts.

Tool of the Week: Fiat SST

Posted by Mike Bumbeck
Sep-3-2010 I 1 COMMENT

Replace Window Regulator

Posted by Mike Bumbeck
Aug-28-2010 I 1 COMMENT

Five Tips for DIY Automobile Repair

Posted by Mike Bumbeck
Jul-21-2010 I 8 COMMENTS