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Cars > alwaysakid’s Garage > Blog

 

Listening To A Gentle Breeze

By alwaysakid

Here that? It's the sound of a gentle breeze passing over the road and through the weeds.
See the traffic? It's a couple of tumble weeds chasing each other through the barren cyber town.
Once a bustling website of automotive enthusiasts, the only thing that seems to be left is an occasional passing new member and maybe a couple diehard old timers, hoping it will return to its glory days. But it has been too long neglected. Unless a new vein is discovered and old shafts repaired, it will likely remain a place occupied only by past fond memories and friendships.

Not Afraid of the White Stuff

By alwaysakid

After getting a couple little drives in, the snow returned. But who's afraid of a little white stuff?
Apparently the guy in the attached picture wasn't, because he left his '75 Ford Ranchero out. And a '50 Chevy coupe, too! OK, the Chevy is always out there and it shows. It would seem the Chevy is some future project for its owner.
At least it's warm enough that the snow melts fast and is gone by the end of the day.
I should get my T-Bird out again. I'm not afraid of a little white stuff.
Oh wait. It's St. Patrick's Day and my Thunderbird isn't green. Neither is that Ranchero, which may be why it's parked. Ah, well, I'm not Irish anyway.
Happy St. Patty's Day to ya!

Keep It To Yourself

By alwaysakid

I think maybe I've been a bad boy. They took away my markers! And my votes!
In perusing the latest cars added to Motortopia recently I noticed that I can no longer click to add a trophy for a car I like. I also noticed that I cannot add comments either. It could be I've been giving trophys to the wrong cars. Or maybe it's been too long since I've posted a comment on someone's car and my marker simply dried up.
Or it could be that Motortopia is trying to get away from the individual activities between members in an effort to become more of a resource where people can come to learn about individuals' vehicles with information that is based solely on what the owner knows and shares about his own car or truck.
I have noticed that other photo sharing websites, specifically Flickr, where comments can be made don't seem to generate a lot of comments. Maybe commenting just isn't that popular these days. Or maybe what a lot of folks are putting on Flickr just isn't worthy of comments.
Still, I do miss being able to tell folks on Motortopia when I like their ride, whether it be by typing out a comment or simply clicking on a trophy.
C'est la vie.

Merry Christmas!

By alwaysakid

Here's wishing all my Motortopia friends a merry Christmas and a blessed new year.
We're having a very white Christmas here in northern Idaho. In fact, it's so white, travel plans to visit family remain iffy. But that's okay, because we're celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ and he's with us wherever we are. Plus the snow is a reminder of the purpose of Jesus' birth -- to die on the cross so our sins could be redeemed, making us as pure as the driven snow in the eyes of God. That's the greatest gift of all.

Try And Find Me!

By alwaysakid

I just got an email from Motortopia stating that they haven't seen me "in quite some time!"
I guess they missed the blog I posted just a little over a week ago. So I wonder if they'll see this one.
Hey, here I am! Can you see me? Keep looking, you're getting colder, although that's actually the season changing.
I guess that's one of the weaker areas in the changes Motortopia has made. Our blogs kind of get lost as they no longer get time on the site's home page like they used to. But then, if I'm just blogging about some automated email i got, does it really deserve that much attention? I think not, so I'm ending it here.

Accumulating Less Miles

By alwaysakid

Filed under: /blogs/browse/t/vehicle/v//p

As we wind down the 2015 cruising season, I'm seeing where I will likely be putting a lot less miles on the Thunderbird than I did in other places I've lived.
That might seem odd, given the abundance of beautiful roads to cruise. But it is in large part due to the nature of those roads. If it's an unimproved dirt trail, then it'll be the Mitsubishi I'll be driving just so I can have the higher clearance to get over bumps, rocks and gullies, plus the availability of the four-wheel-drive should that become necessary to keep it moving. Then there are the paved but winding mountain roads that make me want to be behind the wheel of the Toyota Celica because its handling abilities make those conditions so much fun.
But in addition to that, I now only have one driveway. While living in Minnesota I had two driveways with two garages, so it was just a matter of opening the garage door and driving on my way. Now I have to move one of the other cars to get the Thunderbird out.
But I'm not complaining. It's beautiful country, and there are many opportunities for some gorgeous cruising. The difference is each car now has its own advantages for the many different conditions I can choose from.
You can be sure, though, that sometimes I will be choosing the path that best fits the Thunderbird simply because that is the car I want to drive.
Finally, there aren't as many local car shows or organized old car cruises as what I saw in other places I've lived. That probably comes with living in a more rural and less populated area. But I'm okay with that, because that also means less traffic for whatever type of cruise I do and wherever I may choose to go.
Yep, even though things are different now, it's still happy motoring.

They Want My Car!

By alwaysakid

The Salvation Army wants my car. They said so, sort of, in a recent email I received from the Minneapolis Salvation Army. It read, in part:
"Donating a used car, truck, or motorcycle assists The Salvation Army in its work to heal broken lives and helps men on their way to recovery. Vehicle Not Running? No Problem - We will tow your donated vehicle at no cost to you! DONATE YOUR VEHICLE TODAY! CALL 612.332.5855."
So how do I know they want my 1961 Ford Thunderbird? Well, besides it being the best-looking car I own, I saw an ad on TV where the Spokane, WA, Salvation Army said they were looking for donations of vehicles also. And in the background was a 1965 Ford Thunderbird.
Therefore, I have deduced that the Salvation Army likes vintage Ford Thunderbirds. And why not? An organization that has a connection to God would certainly have good taste.
In case you are worried, I am not donating my '61 T-Bird to the Salvation Army, nor to any other organization. I have accepted God's son Jesus Christ as my savior, giving me my own connection to God, and so far He has not told me to donate my car to anyone. Plus, I have to confess I still have some selfishness in me, part of that sinful nature, that causes me to want to hang onto it a little longer, so don't be calling me and claiming to be God telling me to donate my car to you.

To Pay Or Not To Pay

By alwaysakid

I think I'm noticing a trend when it comes to car shows. More and more collector car owners are electing to park outside of a particular car show so they can enjoy looking at all those neat old cars like the rest of the public without having to pay. They don't want to pay the car entry registration fees, some of which can be quite high.
I paid $50 to enter my car in an annual show in the Midwest once and afterwards all I had to show for it were a lot of very cool pictures and a plastic big-gulp style cup. Every year after that I paid $8 like the rest of the public to gain walk-in entry and had a lot of very cool pictures to show for it, but no cup. It's probably the biggest car show in the Midwest, so obviously a lot of people don't mind paying the registration fee.
But I have heard from other people that they spend a lot of money restoring and maintaining their collector car, so they don't want to pay additional fees to help someone else have a successful event by having their car in attendance. It's a valid argument.
And yet, many of these events incur expenses. There are costs for purchasing the trophies, sometimes there is a rental fee for using a fair grounds, pavilion or other facility, and there can be promotional costs, too, such as advertising and printing up fliers.
But as I see the registration fees for car shows go up and up, I'm finding I may also be less inclined to pay for that prime parking spot in the show field.
In a couple weeks I will have to make a decision on whether to join one of two car shows being held on the same date. One is $30 and the other has no cost to enter, and both are almost the same distance from home. It would seem like a no-brainer except the one that costs $30 has more concurrent activities that interest the wife, and has historically been a much larger event. But I like the "just come and have fun" attitude of the free car show.
I guess you'll just have to stay tuned and watch for my photo album in a couple weeks to see where I ended up.

I'm For Any Holiday That Brings Old Cars Out

By alwaysakid

Loyalty Day is a new one on me. I don't know if I forgot it or never heard of it. I don't recall ever being anywhere that celebrated it before. That was until today. They had a parade in Osburn, Idaho, in honor of Loyalty Day, and apparently this isn't the first time they've done it.
According to Wikipedia, Loyalty Day was officially started May 1, 1921, for Americans to show their loyalty to their country. It was apparently to counteract the May Day festivities that were seen as communist or socialist events during that time.
Whatever the reason, I showed my loyalty to the old car hobby by taking photos of the old cars in the parade and posting them on Motortopia. I hope you enjoy them, as all good, loyal Americans should.

Confession of Neglect

By alwaysakid

We've completed our move to Osburn, Idaho. I had my Thunderbird shipped there from Minnesota as I had two other cars to drive. The shipping carrier couldn't get the truck to our old place in time to pick up the car at the agreed upon date, so they sent a tow-truck operator to take it to storage to await shipment. Then they ended up delivering the car in Idaho before I could get there -- must've passed me up while I was sleeping in a motel. I knew that T-bird was fast, even while on a car-carrier truck.
But now I need to change the oil and clean it up before the first local car show in Kellogg April 18. I don't think I'm going to make it. I still have too many chores on our new house, as it needed a lot of work when we moved in. I'm afraid the old T-bird is being neglected while I work on the house.
That's OK, because there's another car show in nearby Wallace next month. Maybe I'll make it to that one.

Finding Old Cars in Winter

By alwaysakid

OK, so car shows are few and far between during the winter months in the northern parts of the USA. But if you keep your eyes open, you can still find some automotive treasures even in the snow.
During my travels this winter I have managed to get a few pictures of antique cars and trucks. Granted, nobody was out there buffing their fenders, but they still held some fascination for me. In fact, I would say the ones covered in snow had a special look to them that we'll never experience during the other seasons.
So, I offer you this small photo album. I haven't run into a lot of old cars outside in the winter, but I think some of these are particularly interesting, or I wouldn't have stopped to take a picture of them.
Check them out, and if you can, leave a comment on what year and model you think they might be.

An Anniversary Worth Celebrating?

By alwaysakid

On this date (Feb. 13) in 1958 Ford introduced the first four-seat Thunderbird. Was it a good idea?
The sales records say it was, as the sales of Thunderbirds soared past the two-seater numbers. Total production was almost 38,000 even though they were initially offered late in the model year and the country was in the midst of an economic recession. There were 21,380 Thunderbirds produced in 1957.
So the production numbers say adding two more seats to the Thunderbird was a good idea, yet to this day it continues to be criticized as ruining the original purpose of the car. And the argument usually continues into whether or not the Thunderbird ever was intended to be a "sports car."
As for me, I see a distinct difference between the two-seater and the four-seater, yet I like most all of them regardless of labels or the number of seats.

We're Leaving Town

By alwaysakid

Our house is sold, so we should be leaving the frozen prairies of Minnesota next month. That means if anyone is interested in buying my '61 T-Bird, now is the time to make an offer. Once we move, it'll no longer be up for sale, as the main purpose in selling it was to make the move easier.
We're going to establish a new residence somewhere in Idaho, probably in the Silver Valley near Ceour d'Alene. The cost of living and taxes are much lower out there, the weather is milder and we'll only be a couple hours from our grandchildren.
Stay tuned, as our relocation saga continues...

It's Gone

By alwaysakid

Filed under: /blogs/browse/t/vehicle/v//p

My employer arranged an early retirement for me last year, whether I wanted it or not. Since I was living in Minnesota on my employer's behest, I decided it was time to move somewhere I want to be and where the cost of living is a little cheaper. One of the more difficult aspects of moving to another state is trying to move a collection of cars, even just 4 of them. So, I decided to advertise the two collector cars I have in Minnesota for sale so I would have less cars to move. Even if only one sells, that would make it possible for me and family members to drive the remaining cars if need be, and if both sell, I'll pick up something else when I get settled at the new home.
As it turned out, the Studebaker sold first. Last fall a fellow from Texas called me and said he saw the FozzieMobile (even understood the name's connection through the Muppets) for sale on Motortopia and said he was coming up to get it. Didn't even quibble on the price. He drove up with a trailer in November, paid the money and took the car to Texas, thereby postponing its usual winter hibernation.
I don't even miss it. At least not much. But I may change that tune come spring when the collector cars start basking in the warm sunlight again.

Cold Storage

By alwaysakid

While out for a drive, I came across this car parked in some dude's driveway south of Hastings, MN. If this is outside because there's no more room in the garage, it makes me wonder what's in the garage!
I'm having difficulties identifying this car, however. I think it's a GM model, looks like latter half of the 1930s.
Anybody out there want to offer a guess, educated or otherwise?

Somebody Has Awakened!

By alwaysakid

Hey, I just noticed many of Motortopia's program attributes are working again. Nothing has changed with my computer, so I think someone with Motortopia has finally awoken to the many glitches and gone to work. I've been able to actually make some adjustments to my garage, and can even look at newly listed vehicles and scan through photo albums.
I might have to become active on Motortopia again.
And to whoever fixed those many website flaws that had accumulated, thank you!

Why They Call Them 'Pony Cars'

By alwaysakid

Check out this photo of a 1966 Mustang parked between two 1966 Chevy Impalas at a car show in Farmington, MN this past weekend. The cars were parked so the front bumpers were even with one another. But besides the difference in length, you can also see a dramatic different in height. It's almost like someone snuck a 1:50 scale car in a 1:43 scale display or diorama.
It really shows how the term "pony cars" came to describe these new style of vehicles. Of course, the Mustang name also hints as to where the term originated, but the "pony cars" label was quickly placed on all smaller, sporty vehicles by the public during that era.
In this view, however, I'm inclined to think the Chevys look more like Clydesdales than Impalas next to that pony car.
By the way, I tried to include this photo in the attached photo album, but for some reason the Motortopia program wouldn't allow it there. Maybe it thought there was something wrong with the photo because it had two different "scales" of cars in it.

Setting a Scene From Long Ago

By alwaysakid

Filed under: /blogs/browse/t/vehicle/v//p

In April of this year, during a brief moment when it wasn't snowing or raining, I took the 1950 Studebaker for a ride to Fridley, MN, where I watched a steam train go by. The train was pulled by a Milwaukee Road 4-8-4 steam locomotive. I took a picture in hopes of creating a scene that might look like it came from the early 1950s. I think I got pretty close, other than the modern Amtrak diesel that promoters had to add behind the steam engine for insurance purposes. I guess they didn't trust the steam locomotive to make it without a break-down. Imagine if we had to tow a modern car behind our antique cars every time we went out because our insurers were worried our classic car might have a break-down!

Away Alot

By alwaysakid

Not spending much time on Motortopia lately. That's mainly because I busted up my right hand and it's painfully slow doing anything on the computer with one hand, especially since I'm right-handed.
But the last few times I tried to get on Motortopia (until today), I've gotten warning messages from Google that this website has been reported several times as being used to plant computer viruses to infect users. That makes me leery of coming on here anymore, especially since the spam abuses have gone ignored by the new owners for so long.
Nonetheless, I'm here today because I miss my Motortopia friends.

Merry Christmas!

By alwaysakid

Here's wishing everyone a very merry Christmas. May the true meaning of the birth of a savior bring extra joy to you this year.

Lotsa Snow

By alwaysakid

Well, this should be enough of the white stuff to assure us of a white Christmas, unless some unusual tropical breeze gets stuck in our direction for several days before then.
We got almost a foot of snow Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. The snow started coming down very early in the morning and never stopped until well after night-fall.
When I drove our four-wheel-drive Mitsubishi up the hill in our front driveway, it got stuck, even though it was in four-wheel-drive. It took a second attempt and getting a run at it to make it up to the garage to deliver the full gas can for the snow blower..
After the previous winter when I never even put gas in the snow blower, I had it out twice today. Fortunately, the long dormancy did it no harm and it handled the heavy, wet snow just fine.
But it does cause one to pause and ponder, is this just a sample of what is to come? There is still a lot of winter ahead.

Heck Of A Deal

By alwaysakid

A friend of mine in South Dakota is selling his 1974 Charger. It's got a rebuilt 440 and rebuilt transmission, and he's only asking $4,500. If I had room for it, I'd be buying it.
If you might be interested and want more info, go to:
http://sd.cra...41982827.html
Might make a nice Christmas present.

Dental Work

By alwaysakid

Filed under: /blogs/browse/t/vehicle/v//p

So, it's nice out and I'm fooling around in the garage. The next thing I know, the Mitsubishi Outlander has teeth! I thought it would give it a more aggressive look, kind of like the semi trucks with their teethy winter radiator covers. But I'm not sure if I like it or not. However, I do find it amusing.

Out Of The Polls and Out Of The Closet

By alwaysakid

I've seen a lot of commentaries following Tuesday's elections stating that election results may indicate our country has become more liberal. Since the Marriage Amendment in Minnesota, defining marriage as for one man and one woman, failed, maybe it's true. I can remember a time when it was a great scandal for a guy and a girl to "shack up together" without getting married, and now it doesn't gain any thought. And we're seeing the gay lifestyle coming close to similar acceptance.
I was pondering this yesterday as I drove back to Sioux Falls for a funeral, and decided maybe it was time for me to come out of the closet.
I have done very well over the years at driving close to the speed limit, but I really have a need for speed. I get out on the highway and I really want to drive fast, especially if the road curves a lot. I can't help it that I'm that way, I just am. Even as a kid, I often rode my bicycle fast. Apparently I was born with this need for speed.
So, why do people want to persecute me? If I release that inner fast self, I'm hit with mean-spirited speeding fines. And everywhere I go, there are "speed limit" signs to curb me from being myself.
I think it's time for our country to become more tolerant of people like me. Society should stop stunting my inner expression.
After all, we re-elected a liberal president and the news commentators say we're a more liberal country these days. Have we become liberal enough to accept people like me? Should I come out of my speed-restricted closet and swap my old six-cylinder Studebaker for a muscle car?

My Truck Is On Ebay

By alwaysakid

Every once in a while I list something on ebay as it helps my wife think I'm thinning my massive accumulation of stuff. When I saw a die-cast car identical to one I have go for $585 on ebay, I decided that would be a good item to list so I can say my toy car collection is smaller than it used to be (at least until I buy another one). It turns out that this particular Matchbox vehicle is in a rare paint scheme. I like it a lot, but it's not one of my favorites, so I thought I'd see if the ebayers want it more than I do. If it goes for the starting price where I listed it, then I'll be the loser because I really didn't want to get rid of it that bad. I don't expect to see it go for $585, though, because I don't have the original box, but I thought it was worth the risk to list it and see how it does. My collection is big enough and the truck is small enough that it won't really leave a hole.
If you want to also watch to see how it does, it's ebay item 120999333770, or just go to:
http://www.eb...4.m1555.l2649
And, of course, if you want it in your collection, please put in a bid.
This has got to be more exciting than the jerseys and jackets and stuff we usually see for sale on Motortopia's blogs.

It's Going To Go

By alwaysakid

Since there is such a wide variety of blogs selling stuff on this website lately, I thought I'd add my own. But at least mine is automotive related.
I've got an old new-car brochure listed on ebay and it has received its first bid! That kind of excites me, because it's fun to watch something like this to see how well it does. I'm not so much interested in making money on it as I am in seeing it go to someone who really wants it, and of course the higher the bid indicates how much the person wants it.
The brochure is from 1973 or 1974 (it doesn't have a year on it) and is for a Datsun pickup truck. You can see more description of it on the ebay listing at:
http://www.eb...4.m1555.l2649
I would especially like to see it go to someone on Motortopia, since I have a connection with my fellow Motortopians, but I don't know if I would learn whether or not it sold to a fellow Motortopian unless they told me.
The bidding ends Sunday evening, in case you're interested. Not much time left.
And since I'm writing this blog about it, at least I'll have something to remember what I found, what I had and what I let go of.

Bumper Thumper

By alwaysakid

Filed under: /blogs/browse/t/vehicle/v//p

Whatever happened to bumpers that could withstand a bump? Isn't there still federal regulations requiring bumpers to withstand a 5-MPH hit?
Our Outlander Sport got hit from behind Sept. 10, 2012, and, as you can see in the picture, got a hole punched in it. A pickup truck was stopped behind it at a stop sign when the pickup driver dropped something and while leaning over to retrieve it released his brake. It rolled into the back of our Mitsubishi.
The Mitsubishi goes into the shop tomorrow for repairs, to be completely covered by the dude's insurance, including a rental car while the Mitsubishi is being fixed. The repairs are going to cost over $1,100, the result of a little bumper-thumper.
I'm thinking maybe today's bumpers no longer hold up to those 5 MPH hits like they should. Maybe manufacturers should go back to steel bumpers. I think in our situation it would've held up much better.

Analyse This

By alwaysakid

I heard on the radio yesterday that Dr. Phil's 1957 Chevy convertible was stolen! According to the radio news dude, Dr. Phil of TV psychoanalysis fame had his classic towed to a Burbank, CA, repair shop to have some work done on the transmission and a short time later it disappeared from the shop's parking lot in broad daylight.
I wonder if they catch the culprits, will Dr. Phil have them on his TV show to help them overcome their character defects? Having personal insight on the incident, he could really come up with some good questions.
"During the act of the dastardly deed, did you ever think about the great personal and emotional stress you were perpetrating upon the car's owner by the denial of his possession of so great an icon? Did you give any thought as to how much personal attachment the true owner may have to this car and the depth of the emotional scaring you may be causing?"
And if he doesn't get the answers he wants to those questions, he might get personal.
"Do you hate your father? If not, I do, just for conceiving you, you car-thieving worm!"
Oh what the heck, Dr. Phil, you're rich enough, just go buy another one. It'll make you feel better.

Ulterior Motives

By alwaysakid

I own four cars and I ride the bus to and from work. Can you imagine that? But it saves me $86 a month in the cost to park in downtown Minneapolis versus the bus fares, not to mention the cost of gas and wear-and-tear on the car.
Then there are the experiences I gain from mingling with the public, too.
So, I'm standing at the bus stop, waiting for the bus, when a guy comes up to me. He introduces himself and starts talking to me like I'm a buddy with all things in common. Finally, he came to the part I was expecting. He needed a couple bucks.
When I told him I couldn't give him any money because I spent it all the night before, he suddenly turned and walked away. Wait a minute, I thought we were friends. I didn't get a chance to tell him how I spent all my money.
In fact, come back, I made a mistake. I didn't spend all my money. ... My wife did.
Do you know what my wife spent all my money on? Portraits. Not pictures, but portraits. Pictures you can get for 25 cents at Wal-Mart, portraits cost $50.
And it's a portrait of us. She gets to see my ugly mug every morning when I get up and every evening when I get home from work, after riding the bus ... twice. Why does she need to see my picture if she's always seeing me? And why does she need to see a picture of herself? We have mirrors in the house, all over the place. Surely she doesn't forget what she looks like while going from one mirror to the next.
And the salesman wanted us to buy more portraits. How many portraits does one need to hang in their house? Besides, he got all my money, I didn't have any more.
But the salesman said we could buy more and put it on our charge card. No I can't, because I already ran that up with an airline ticket. My wife is using an airline ticket to go see her 96-year-old aunt, perhaps because she's tired of seeing me -- I know she's not planning on taking our portrait with her. How am I going to pay the charge bill if I buy more portraits and give my money to people who think I have a lot in common with them, except for hopefully not needing money as much as them?
But I didn't get to tell the guy all that because he walked away. We could've been friends and shared stories, all but for a lack of $2.
That's OK, I ride public transportation, there'll be another time.

Sheriff of Mayberry Passes On

By alwaysakid

Andy Griffith, long known as the sheriff of Mayberry, died July 3, 2012. He was born in 1926, and will continue to live on in forever in the perpetual rebroadcasts of the Andy Griffith Show.
We've had Motortopia's announcement of Carroll Shelby's death on the website's main page for two months, so perhaps it's time to announce someone else's passing. Shelby did leave a far greater mark on the automotive world, but Griffith drove a lot of Fords, too.
So here's to another great loss. May Andy Griffith enjoy his new citizenship in heaven, and may all Motortopia members mourn his loss here on Earth. Because, "a man's got to do, what a man's got to do," as Barney Fife always said.
 

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