Cars > BillG’s Garage
About BillG’s Garage
About me and my passion for cars
My first car was from Britain (Austin-Healey). The second was American (Ford). The third was built in Canada (Ford). The fourth was from Germany (VW). The fifth was another Ford, built in Dearborn. The sixth was Japanese (Toyota). The seventh was Detroit iron (Dodge). The eighth was Japanese (Nissan). The ninth was built in Australia (a Ford, but sold here in the U.S. as a Mercury Capri). The tenth was a GM, made in America (a Saturn SC, for our older daughter). The eleventh was from Korea (a Kia Sportage, for our younger daughter). My wife now drives a 2007 Taurus SE (another U.S.-built Ford). My daily driver, a pickup, is a Ford Ranger XLT made in America. And my latest fun ride is from Brazil (see photo). I think I have most of the world's continents covered now. If anyone has a spare, not-too-rusty Fiat 124 Spider looking for a good home, though, drop it by anytime.
My first car
It was a faded red 1962 Austin-Healey Sprite Mk II that my dad heard about on a radio call-in show in the summer of 1969. It turned out to be in a barn outside Shiner, Texas. We drove out there with a trailer, just in case, and with a little gas in the carb and a jump start, it cranked right up. Paid $450 for it, and it came with three tops -- soft, tonneau and hard. I had to replace the right rear axle and the exhaust system, found a boat builder to remake the side curtains, and bought a new shift knob. That little jewel took me all over Texas for the next three years and only stranded me once (the generator died about 4 a.m. six miles north of Comanche on an overnight trip from Houston to Abilene). Got rid of it a few months before I got married three years later, and still regret it -- the car, not the wife.
Car I wish I still had
That old Sprite.
My dream car
A 1981 Lafer TI.
Car clubs I’m in
MP Lafer Clube USA (the car is from Brazil, so we go with the Brazilian Portuguese spelling)
TD Replica Car Club (tdreplica.com)
- Type of racing: F-1
- Driver: Graham Hill
- Driving song: The Road Goes On Forever, and the Party Never Ends (Robert Earl Keen)
- Car movie: Le Mans, Grand Prix, Winning, Two for the Road
- Car magazine: Road & Track
— Profile last updated: Jun 12, 2012
BillG’s Groups 1 of 1
Formula 1 Enthusiast
MP Lafer USA Club
A group of very special car enthusiasts that love, own, restore and drive the Brazilian manufactured MP Lafer (Moveis Patenteados Lafer in our American language Patented Lafer Furniture!!!!) The Lafer Company only produced 4300 of these beauties, Approximately 1000 escaped Brazil and made it to...
North Carolina, United States
BillG is not a member of any business groups
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Mar 13, 2009
Found a new mechanic who actually knows VW engines (and drives a '63 Beetle himself). He discovered that the electric fuel pump I'd had installed was mounted wrong, was wired incorrectly, and wasn't the right pump for my engine in any case. He swapped it...
Apr 23, 2008
I seem to have developed an intermittent starting problem. Ran a few errands the other day, and stopped for a bite to eat. When I climbed back in the Lafer to head home, turning the key gave me only two red lights on the dash and a whirring noise. The motor...
Mar 17, 2008
I was getting a bad front-end vibration between 40-43 mph, regardless of whether the road was smooth or bumpy. Below that and above it -- no problem. A quick stop at my nearby NTB confirmed my suspicion that one front wheel was out of balance. It also...
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