Sunday, March 1, 2015


Everything but the same old cars

Archive for July, 2009

Datsun Six Ten

Posted by Mike Bumbeck On July - 29 - 2009

datsun610_leadThe story of Todd Manning’s 1973 Datsun 610 unfolds like most classic car stories. Scour forever and eventually purchase a car from some faraway seller via the internets or classifieds. Spend at least the initial purchase price of the car again repairing thirty year old spun out suspension bits and replacing rotten hoses. Spend countless yet rewarding hours at the local self-service junkyards finding missing bits and bonus pieces. Among some of those pieces Todd found were a set Mitsubishi Starion wheels, a factory sway bar, and four-cylinders worth of Datsun Trans-Am era gold from scrapped Datsun sleeper.
Read the rest of this entry »

Ram Cuda

Posted by Mike Bumbeck On July - 28 - 2009

ram_cuda1A car can acquire some interesting stories over 45 years. If that car is this 1965 Plymouth Barracuda, it can also collect a transfer case, some sweet van-style fender flares, and a set of dualies out back. This Plymouth started life much like any other 1965 Barracuda, and was known to trip the win light at Fremont Dragstrip before being transformed into a show car in 1978 with some help of a man named Steve at BullShift Transmissions in San Jose, California. Today the Plymouth is owned and driven by Debi Hesselien-Leary, who refers to the mighty Plymouth by its given name of Ram Cuda. Read the rest of this entry »

Santa Clara Sunset

Posted by Mike Bumbeck On July - 24 - 2009

datsun_710It was hard to tell what sort of deal this fairly clandestine roll-in of old school imports on El Camino Real had in store. Word came in by way of forums, text messages, and Craigslist postings, but the simple facts were enough. Old schools. 7PM until whenever, and finally a good reason to go park near a Starbucks. By nightfall cars had rolled in from as far out as Modesto, and it became obvious that Datsun was the marquee of choice. From SR20DET powered Datsun 1200 Roadsters right up to a rare ’73 Datsun 610 wearing early-eighties Mitsubishi Starion wheels, there were plenty of reasons to hang out and share some knowledge. Stay tuned to Clunkbucket for a few mini-features on some of the cars shown here, as well as announcements as to when the next Thursday in Santa Clara will happen. And yes  – there is clearly some major editorial bias towards slot mags around here.

More: Ratsun Forum

Lunar Roving Vehicle

Posted by Mike Bumbeck On July - 20 - 2009

lrv7On this day in the year of 1969, Apollo 11 Astronaut Neil Armstrong was the first man to set foot on the moon. A few short years later in 1971, Apollo 15 Commander David Randolph Scott became the first man to drive on the moon. The Lunar Roving Vehicle, or LRV, went the distance folded up under the Lunar Module. The LRV was deployed and loaded up with tools by the Astronauts on the moon. The LRV was fully electric, with 10,000 RPM wheel mounted motors for motivation, and a set of silver-zinc potassium hydroxide batteries providing the juice. LRV development spawned more than a few different prototypes and configurations on the way to the final and famous lunar going version we know today. In honor of the legendary achievements of the Apollo Space Program, and Apollo 16 Commander and LRV driver John Young getting the moon buggy moonborne off the edge of a crater at eight miles per hour, we present just a few examples of Apollo Space Program LRV history from at the NASA photo archives. All NASA images courtesy of

More: The Apollo Lunar Roving Vehicle [NASA]

Treasure Island Vintage Bonanza

Posted by Mike Bumbeck On July - 19 - 2009

img_6473Old schools from all points descended from the Bay Bridge onto Treasure Island for a gathering of a different than the usual vintage show cars and trucks. An unofficial but mostly adhered to 1984 or so cutoff date allows for later lineage, as long as the model is progeny of the original. A 1988 Mitsubishi Starion? OK, as the turbo coupe made its debut in 1982. Everything from show quality seventies Toyota Celicas with modern engine and transmission transplants to daily driven Datsun 510 coupes showed up to show off. Owners and fans alike hung out, had some snacks, and swapped ideas and knowledge for the next project or upgrade plans. While there were a few race-only and half-finished builds trailered in for the event, most everyone else that rolled down off the bridge fired up their machines and drove right back off the island when the very well spent day was over.

Related: Origins of Old Schools at Treasure Island

Old Schools at Treasure Island

Posted by Mike Bumbeck On July - 17 - 2009

flyermeetThe man-made island that sits between the two sections of the bay bridge will be the site of an old school and vintage import gathering tomorrow, July 18th. The event will run from from 10AM until whenever the BBQ coals cool off, and the last set of Panasports are sold. All old school cars are welcome. The gathering seems to be a combined effort of numerous clubs, forums, and the only other guy we’ve ever met that owns both a Starion and a Starlet. So blow the dust off that Datsun 810 sedan, grab some snacks and beverages, and head on out to the middle of the bay for a day in the sun. We’re almost positive there might even be some old schools native to the residents of Treasure Island. The only charge for the event will be the bridge toll itself. If you motor to the island from the San Francisco side you’ll save four bucks. Follow the Celicas and Starlets, or this use handy map of Treasure Island. [edit - not really a BBQ, but there will be some grilling]

Thanks to JapaneseNostalgicCar, the StarquestClub, and the 1939 World’s Fair for making Treasure Island in the first place.

Oldsmobile Division F-85

Posted by Mike Bumbeck On July - 16 - 2009

f85_3 As unlikely as Oldsmobile is to come up in conversation about modern performance automobiles, remember that the 1961 Oldsmobile F-85 Cutlass featured a factory turbocharger and water methanol injection system bolted up to its aluminum block V8. Second-generation Cutlass F-85 cars got a intermediate size designation, along with iron-block Jetfire Rocket 345 horsepower V8 engine. Scads of power and Jetaway transmission meant that F-85 got up and left with the futuristic velocity of a modern fighter aircraft! Jet age styling cues on the F-85 exterior meant there was serious business underhood. Over a decade before the F-85 Oldsmobile was the XF-85 Goblin jet fighter. The XF-85 was a tiny jet interceptor meant to be launched, and then stowed away, in the cavernous bomb bay of a B-36 bomber. While the mid-sixties Oldsmobile Cutlass F-85 sold well among elderly drivers and younger hooligans alike, the XF-85 Goblin program was canceled after the Air Force determined the practice of launching and stowing fighters inside a giant flying bombers created more problems then it solved. The second-generation 1964 Oldsmobile F-85 shown here belongs to Cynthia and Charlene Nolan of the Outcasts car club, and was seen accelerating away from the Strangers car show at San Jose’s History Park at near takeoff speed. One can only hope she hit the afterburners out on the freeway.

Jet Age Advantage

Posted by Mike Bumbeck On July - 14 - 2009

avanti7From the car of the future department circa 1963 is Studebaker Avanti number 188. The slopey coupe is currently owned and driven by Lenny Dold, who rolled the Avanti out among the Royal Customs at the Strangers car show in San Jose, California. Lenny says he’s had the car now for over a year, and that “no one knows what the hell it is”! The fiberglass-bodied Avanti was not only designed by modernist icon Raymond Loewy, but was also the first American production car to feature standard disc brakes. Lenny’s recent adventures in driving futuristic automobiles manufactured over four decades ago have included replacing a spun radiator clutch fan, and cobbling the factory carbureted supercharger system back into boosted working order. Once the cooling bugs are worked out it will be time to re-install the centrifugal Paxton blower under the fiberglass hood, and return the 289 cubic-inch Studebaker V8 back to its factory-rated 290 horsepower for an upcoming poker run. Given a full tank of mid-sixties high-test and a set of polarized Ray-Ban Baloramas, the Studebaker Avanti would be perfect for a drive to SFO to hop a Braniff SST Concorde to Paris.

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