Wednesday, March 4, 2015


Everything but the same old cars

Archive for the ‘Misfit Toys’ Category

Hot Rodding Electric Cars

Posted by Mike Bumbeck On July - 2 - 2010

aurora-thunderjet-fordIt was just a few years into living that we gained knowledge of modifying electric cars for more power and increased velocity. Digging through the Clunkbucket Collection, we found an original Aurora Thunderjet car that was hopped up as a father-son project to beat the guy in the other lane. From what little we can remember, this procedure involved hand wrapping more copper windings on the electric motor armature, and soldering a few wire bonds in between the pickup shoes and motor brush plates. The passage of time and later assaults by the GI-Joe with lifelike hair and Six-Million Dollar Man combined armies were not kind to many of the original Thunderjet cars in the Clunkbucket Collection. Somehow a few survived, along with the memories and chronicle of performance modifications. Looking at this HO scale electric car more than 40 years after it was modified has got us thinking that genuine electric automobiles that haul around expensive heavy batteries and then have to stop for recharging are fraught with inherent problems. We have a solution. Now is the time to turn shovels on the Joe Biden Atomic System of Interstate Electric Roadways.

This heavily modified Aurora Thunderjet Ford XL500 was probably made in the late sixties, and is on permanent display in the Clunkbucket Collection of fine automobiles.

Distracted by Junk

Posted by Mike Bumbeck On June - 28 - 2010

la-roadster-swap-13 The Los Angeles Roadsters have wrapped up their 46th exhibition. While we didn’t venture into the big show, we did spend quite a bit of time walking the swap meet trying to get our monies worth back from the parking and gate fees. There were certainly many show-quality examples of shaved ’32 Fords, pastel-hued Hiboys, and bazillion dollar traditional (don’t say rat) rods and kustoms on the show grounds, but after forking over the green our mission of the day was clear. Deliver a photo collection of exquisite castoffs, misfit toys, and hi-dollar junk. The hi-dollar street rods were left to themselves. All was balanced in the expensive junk continuum after a few hours of peering at bent-tube contraptions, tether cars, go-karts, T-buckets, and dining on a Hot Dog on a Stick. Thank you Los Angeles and your highways of the future for making this trip by automobile to through the past in Pomona a modern possibility.

Indy 500 Hot Wheels

Posted by Mike Bumbeck On May - 28 - 2010

IndyeagleFrom the endless internets Indy 500 division of Clunkbucket comes this collection of directly and somewhat Indy 500 related Hot Wheels, culled from the vast and apparently growing archive of the Hot Wheels Wiki. Before the days of instantaneous all decades, all the time, on demand information, watching the Indy 500 on the Zenith color TV was the giant motor racing event of the year for kids and adults alike. Following the nationwide coverage of the race were wide-eyed kids running their own version of Silent Sam, a Gurney Eagle, or the Lotus turbine car down and or around what seemed like miles of speedy orange track. This miniature racing bonanza came thanks to the marketing genius of Mattel, and the art of Hot Wheels designers like Ira Gilford, who not only designed the Gurney Eagle Hot Wheel pictured here but also the legendary Twin Mill, a Hot Wheel so famous it was later built into a full-size 1400 horsepower functional repli-car for the 2001 SEMA show. The miracle of Sizzlers aside, there is vague memory of some sort of lever and rubber wheel contraption that sent cars around the orange track at ridiculous speeds. There is no recall if that particular orange track had anything, or everything, to do with the greatest spectacle in racing.

Thanks to Alex Nunez for the tip and the Hot Wheels Wiki for the photos!

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