Motortopia: Where your passion parks

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Cars > Blogs > Motortopia Official Blog > Most Viewed Posts


Kugel Thru The Firewall Brake and Clutch Assembly

By motortopia

Kugel Komponents offers a high quality thru the firewall brake and clutch assembly for the avid enthusiast. These assemblies have been built by Kugel since 1996. Available in both power and manual brake configurations with or without master cylinder or clutch. The assembly is compact allowing for ease of installation in tight spots. Assembly mounts to firewall inside your vehicle and above the floor thus removing worries about exhaust and ground clearance issues. Assembly shown features power brake and clutch with 1” bore cast iron master cylinder, clutch master cylinder and 8” dual booster. All master cylinders are available as standard fill or remote fill. Also offered are slotted brake and clutch pedals and a variety of pedal pads. Kugel also makes independent front and rear suspension systems. Check out the company website for other components and options they have to offer. In business since 1969, Kugel Komponents has the experience and know how to supply your suspension needs.

Contact: Kugel Komponents (562) 691-7006

Hemp As a Fuel Source??

By motortopia

Hemp is touted as great fuel substitute.

We are starting to do some year-end clean up here at Part of that process takes us through story suggestions by many of our members. Here's one that seems interesting for year's end; and, quite frankly, one that we would like to know the thinking of our members about.

Various sources tell us that hemp would make a great bio-diesel.

Other sources seem to indicate that while hemp could be a good fuel, there are some performance characteristics to consider.

And, then again, if it doesn't work our for a fuel source, it seems to make good diapers.

Thoughts, anyone?

Help Motortopia Grow - Win a $250.00 Shopping Spree

By motortopia

Win a Griot's Garage $250.00 shopping spree by helping Motortopia grow. It's so easy!

Join for Free or Invite others to Join for Free. That's it.

Invite your buddies, club friends, and other car, bike, plane, or boat enthusiasts to join Motortopia! Just use our awesome, invitation system. (or click on "Invite" in the Motortopia top navigatoin bar)

For each person who joins Motortopia from your invitation - you increase your chance to win the $250 Griot's Garage shopping spree! An early Christmas for you.

We'll announce the winner at noon on January 20, 2010. So, get started inviting folks to join the best place on the internet for motor enthusiasts.

And, by doing so, you will help -- entirely created and provided by car enthusiasts.

Thank you.

The Motortopia Team

Post SEMA review. Part One. Camaro on my mind.

By motortopia

We're all back safe and sound from SEMA and getting some rest for the 8 million miles we walked on hard concrete floors. We had a great time and are thinking of holding our first worldwide Motortopia conference next year in conjunction with SEMA. Now, that would be fun!

Over this next week, we'll post our reflections and ruminations about SEMA, what it is, what it represents, and why it is so important to so many people.

We'll talk about how Ford was strutting its stuff at SEMA, how some great new design concepts were revealed at SEMA, and how the spirit of ingenuity is alive and well at SEMA.

Today though, It's time for a CAMARO fix. Whew. Lots of great Camaros. You can look at some of the pics we took, and also a great photo album of Camaros uploaded by Motortopian TerryO.

We felt something about the Camaro this year. While FORD was showing off its new lines, new image, and its new profits, the Camaros all over the SEMA floor caught our eyes.

And, it seems, Camaro is catching the eyes and the the bank accounts of the American public.

US News reports that it may be the muscle car that is leading the way back to sales for car companies and Camaro is at the head of the pack. A great sporty, muscle car at a very affordable price.

And, Consumer Reports tells us that the 2010 Camaro my be one of the best buys for American cars.

But, you judge for yourself by taking a look at the great photos of the Camaros at SEMA. Thanks to Motortopian TerryO for his great photo album too.

Mad Max Returns? Detroit Diesel a Winner at SEMA

By motortopia

This is the kind of vehicle that Mad Max would use for his Sunday drives around town. Nice, clean, yet looking plenty deadly.

Hard to describe this V12 Detroit Diesel powered monster.

Awesome, weird, scary?

Well the judges at SEMA determined this vehicle a winner.

We'll be looking for your comments to help us describe this vehicle. The best description gets a free SEMA2009 Women of SEMA poster.

Have fun now!

The Caped Car Revealed. 2010 Ford Mustang. Two Winners

By motortopia

Kartrac3r and BigNuttyPaul were the winners in the "Caped Car" contest.

The Caped Car is a modified 2010 Ford Mustang. Here are some pics.

Good goin' everyone.

Motortopian Wins Award at SEMA!

By motortopia

A lot of you know Dave Hall and Restore A Muscle Car from their amazing Trans Am restorations, and especially for putting together the annual Bandit Run.

This time it is a 1972 Dodge Charger getting Restore A Muscle Car some recognition, winning the Mother's Shine Award at SEMA 2009! We caught up with Dave and had him show us the 1972 Dodge Charger.

Check out the video and photos of this awesome car, and see more of Dave's work at Also, make sure you stop by his garage here on Motortopia, and check out The Bandit Run.

Women of SEMA 2009 - Day Two - Wow!

By motortopia

Trick our Treat is over. . . but it seemed like a holiday to us.

We promise, we'll get your some car stories and pics soon (tonight) but thought you should have these right away.

And, remember to leave those trophy votes on the photo slideshow to show your appreciation.

Chip Foose unveils new Dream Car - A 70 Cuda

By motortopia

Jaws were a droppin' and the video cameras were recordin' as Chip Foose unveiled his latest Dream Car project.

This year it was a 1970 Plymouth Barracuda -- named the "Super Cuda."

Mix vintage muscle car styling and power with the best design paints and custom styling products offered by BASF and that is a winning combination, according to Foose.

Creative? Yep. Super cool? It goes without saying.

Now, how about this. This thing is powered by a 1500 HP twin turbo Viper V10. The thing wasn't even running but most folks said they could feel the floor at SEMA vibrate as Foose pulled back the cover.

Always the car guy, Chip reviewed the car with all assembled. He carefully inspected the car as we all stood a gawkin'.

Enjoy the pics.

New Products at SEMA 2009 -- Look But Don't Touch

By motortopia

Walking all day at SEMA does wear you out; or at least make you thirsty for a cold brew at the end of the day ;-).

Lots of great stuff. On Tuesday we decided to start the day with innovation -- new product offerings at SEMA. See the attached photo album for a view of some of these products. See something you like?

For a full list, information, and contact information for all the products displayed here, just download the product report.


Guess the car under this cape -- chance to win a SEMA model poster

By motortopia

We are hanging out at SEMA. It's just getting started and will start full blast tomorrow.

We've had some fun guessing the cars that are still covered up. Thought you would enjoy the guessing game too.

Here is an example. Post your guess about what the car is under this cover. We'll select one correct answer for a signed poster from one of the beautiful SEMA models.

Take a look at last year's models to get an idea of things to come.

Just post your guess here as a comment.

Motortopia at SEMA - Las Vegas - Thanks to you!

By motortopia

Thanks to all our great readers and members, Motortopia is at SEMA this year, covering the event as official media!

Wow, how things have changed. It was only a few years ago that Motortopia was not recognized as a legitimate news source. Well, with tens of thousands of you Motortopians out there; we are now recognized as a major source of news for the automotive enthusiast.

Watch for regular updates from the show. Hey, is there anything (besides the models ;-) ) that you want us to write about? Maybe some pics and video you would like to see? Just leave a comment here for us and we'll be your media team on the ground here at SEMA.

And, we're likely to do a quick comment contest or two during the show. Win some great stuff here from the show. So, check back often.

Thank you.

The Motortopia Team

P.S. The weather is great!

EdselMania in Omaha

By motortopia

OMAHA - One Edsel driving down the street is a spectacle. There were close to 40 of them parked next to each other with the trunks and hoods popped open at the 41st annual Rally of the International Edsel Club in Omaha last week, culminating in the car show on Saturday.

Teams of judges carefully examined the interior, body, trunk and undercarriage of the cars. Style, vibrant colors and design separate Edsels from the other cars on the road, but that’s not what the judges were looking for. Authenticity is what separates winning Edsels from all the rest.

The turquoise or talisman red paint job isn’t enough to impress by itself, it has to match the original color of the car. Or the driver will lose points, said Marty Scott, the chief judge at the rally. The data plate on the inside of the driver’s door gives the vehicle’s original information.

But while the judging is going on most of the owners don’t seem to care. Sure everyone wants to win, but Edsel owners don’t take themselves too seriously.

“People who can love an Edsel are the ones who always root for the underdog in the Super Bowl,” said Jere Gauss, a retired Boeing engineer from Fresno, Calif. "You couldn't have an ego and own one of these cars."

Gauss' first Edsel was a Pacer that he got in 1977.

"I wanted a car that I could take care of and actually have it gain value," he said.

There aren’t that many surviving Edsels left, but almost all Edsel models – other than some of the station wagons - were on display in Omaha on Saturday.

Ford only produced the chain of cars for three years before they pulled the plug on the project in 1960. The Edsel was once hyped as the car of the future and its design was kept secret prior to its release. But the Edsel went down in history as one of the biggest financial failures in the auto industry.

There were a number of reasons the Edsels were doomed from the onset, including that it was introduced during a recession. The pricing confused the public; the larger, more expensive Corsairs and Citations were priced comparably to the top-of-the-line Mercury cars and the more affordable Rangers and Pacers were more expensive than the nicest Ford sedans.

In the late 1960s Gauss and another member of the IEC began putting tabs on all the Edsels left in the world. He estimates there are 3,500 drivable Edsels, 3,500 that can be made road-ready and another 3,500 gathering dust somewhere with useful parts.

Doug Hartmann, the head of the rally and an IEC member from Fremont, said the event surpassed expectations, and recent years attendance and participation.

“We’re real happy of the way it went,” Hartmann said. “Getting it to Omaha was kind of special.”

Earl W. Dorsey, an IEC member and Edsel owner from Illinois, visited Omaha for the rally. He didn’t bring his Edsel, be he still attends the annual event to see friends from across the country. Members of the IEC are kind of like a big family, he said, who only see each other for about four days a year.

Like many of the owners at Saturday’s rally, Dorsey was in the military and stationed overseas when the Edsel was introduced, so he missed all the hoopla leading up to its release.

“I can’t say much of the fanfare,” he said. “They were just so different I couldn’t help but notice them.”

He travels to rallies because of the camaraderie shared between the owners. Even when his travels are not Edsel-related, he still carries a list of IEC members.

“If I have a problem I can call someone from the club,” Dorsey said. “They’re all very quick to assist.”

It’s a shame, Dorsey said, that there aren’t that many younger Edsel enthusiasts in the world today. There are some important life lessons that people can learn while working on a brightly-colored automobile with a notoriously corky reputation.

They can learn from Edsel owners, who, despite having cars Americans once laughed at, have found a niche in the world of vintage cars and given The Edsel a respectable reputation. Which is more than the Ford Motors Company could ever do.

“All the money in the world, it doesn’t guarantee success,” Dorsey said.

Happy Birthday Fisher Auto Body

By motortopia

We have all worked on them...our cars.

And that means we have all worked on the cars bodies, which also means we have likely worked on something produced by Fisher Body Company.

On this day, July 22, 1908 the Fisher Body Company was established and rapidly grew to dominate the auto body industry; supplying bodies to all major American manufacturers.

In fact, every body from GM between 1919 and 1944 pass the approval of a Fisher Body inspector.

That is hard to think of in this day and age of multiple "on time" suppliers, but that was the case.

Like many things automotive, the company started out as a "horseless carriage company" but quickly grew into one of America's largest manufacturing companies, and was ultimately acquired by GM.

Some Things Just Amaze You. Victoria's Secret and Lamborghini

By motortopia

I guess if you are in the lingerie business it is ok to spend about $350,000 to get a Lamborghini and put top models all around it for a photo shoot.

That is what the Lamborghini Diablo VS means - Victoria's Secret.

This pearl white model was, well ,for models.

Hey, though, from our perspective...we'll stay with the Motortopia Nebraska Bikini Team.

Nimbus Motorcycle exhibits the art of utility

By motortopia

At the end of our conversation, Kris Thompson mentioned that his 1954 Nimbus motorcycle was designed and built by the Fisker company which builds vacuum cleaners and sewing machines. Then, all of what he had related to me in the previous thirty minutes made sense. This motorcycle was the ultimate utility machine. Built for utility, for a purpose; just like a sewing machine or a vacuum. No hint of "build it sexy" for the marketing department and for the sales guys, this bike was all about getting a job done.

Kris kindly and patiently described his latest motorcycle purchase. Kris was taking part in the European Motorcycle Nightat the Haymarket in Lincoln, Nebraska.

This 1954 Nimbus is an inline machine with a drive shaft and a 45 cubic inch engine. Every part of it, the overhead cam, the kick start, the inline driveshaft power set up; and even the painted tire pressure on the fenders revealed the point of the Nimbus, to get from point to point.

Kris purchased the Nimbus at an auction a few years ago, and except for some clean up, an oil change, a new carburetor, and new tires, the bike started up and ran like a champ.

Kris has had the bike up to a top speed of about 100 KM per hour (about 55 mph), but feels more comfortable at about 40-45 mph riding the bike.

The Nimbus was manufactured in Denmark and its last use before Kris purchased it at auction was with the NATO forces in Europe in the 1960's. This mission-oriented nature for the bike is hinted at with the military-style rear light covers.

Suspension for the bike consists of a few rubber bands to give the seat some bounce.

Kris's interest in the Nimbus feeds a great interest in antique things. He grew up in a family that bought and sold antiques. With this built in interest in the reason and story behind something, the Nimbus is a good fit for Kris. This classic tells a story as it sits in the street. Maybe of a much simpler day when things had a straightforward purpose...and so did the people who rode them.

I met Kris at the European Motorcycle Night get-together at the Haymarket in Lincoln, Nebraska. You can see more photos of that event.

[url]Please join the Nimbus Motorcycle Enthusiast Group[/url]. Free.

For more information, visit the Nimbus Motorcycle Club.

Del Luehring shows off bullet-nosed Studebaker at Hot Rod National Power Tour

By motortopia

In 1959 high school graduate Del Luehring drove out of West Point, Nebraska in a 1948 Ford. He returned to West Point fifty years later, in the Spring of 2009, driving his 1948 Studebaker Starlight coupe....significantly modified with Del's creativity.

Showing off his bullet-light Studebaker at the 2009 National Hot Rod Power Tour, Del gave the history and pedigree of this great car.

Headlights from a 1953 Ford and tailights from a Dodge Viper give you an idea of the chopped and rebuilt nature of this Studebaker. Like most projects, it took Del a few years to take it apart and put it together. From a barn in Gibbon, Nebraska twelve years ago Del saw this as a challenge. The car was rare and the challenge "something different." He took the '48 frame, put on a 1951 Studebaker front end, a 350 Corvette engine, 9 inch Ford Rear end, disc brakes front and back, and welded in the rear fenders. Finish it off with a great paint job by Dave Hulksor and this project is complete.

Now its time to drive and show.

The West Point High School reunion may have been the most memorable, but trips to Kansas City, Des Moines, and other Midwest locations give Del lots of showin' time. He says that the bullet-nose of of the Studebaker pulls folks over then then like really like the panoramic view of this unique car.

As a kid, Del said he was always interested in cars and girls...not telling which was top of his list; even though the grin and twinkle in Del's eye gave it away. Since then he has worked on plenty of projects. It's just a great hobby and he wished more folks could enjoy it as he has over the years.

One of hundreds of cars ( and stories ) at this event, this one confirmed that hot rodding is as much about creativity and fun and ingenuity...sort of the American way. And Del and his Studebaker exhibit that fully.

A little Bit of Freedom -- Texas Style.

By motortopia

Many a movie and dime-store novel has told of the freedom-lovin' culture of Texas. Independent, growly, and distrustful of authority, the rebel, don't tie me down, spirit is alive and well in Texas.

And, here is one great sign of it. Speed. On the roads. Real Fast.

There is a stretch of hiway in Texas where you can go fast, as fast as you want, not limits --- once a year that is.

And, the cops don't mind.

It's known as the Big Bend Open Road Race and it features speed demons from all over the country. Amateurs, mostly...but they all wanna go FAST.

And, it is happening now, in Texas.

Leave you comments about a "speed moment" you may have had, in Texas or anywhere.

Read More.

Car Thiefs Mummified.

By motortopia

Stealing a car in Russia can have longlasting effect. From the Russian News Agency, we learned today that a car stolen twelve years ago was found, with the thief inside and mummified. Sometimes you really do get all that you deserve, I guess.

Read more Here.

Women of SEMA 2008 Photo Album is here.

By motortopia

Happy Monday everyone. This was our first SEMA show and even though colleagues explained to us that we would sometimes have a hard time looking at the cars.....we didn't understand until we got there. For all of you Motortopians out there facing a tough week, well, just enjoy our "Women of SEMA 2008" photo album.

Feel free to leave trophies and comments!

Have a good one!

SEMA - Our feet are tired but our spirts are high!

By motortopia

Our last two SEMA were highlighted by the good deeds and charity events promoted by SEMA, the ingenuity of the new products division, and, of course, the great ladies of SEMA who help take your mind off the zillion miles we walked in the last several days.

Since launching Motortopia we have been always impressed by the great many "good guy" and charity events and deeds done by car guys and gals. Things that don't end up on CNN and the nightly news, but do help real people in real need and give folks a helping hand when they need it. It is part of why God put us on this planet, we think, and we are encouraged by what we see the automotive community doing in this regard.

This year two events were highlighted. The 15th annual SEMA Show Silent Auction featured a 2008 Ford Flex customized West Coast Customs. The money goes to fund a scholarship program for those wanting to enter the automotive aftermarket business. Several other events and auctions raised money, but we did note the silent auction for a once-in-a-lifetime ride along with NASCAR driver Kyle Petty, which money goes to help fund the Victory Junction Gang Camp, founded by Petty to serve chronically ill children. What a great thing. Kudos to all involved.

And, of course, the great ladies of SEMA. We can only say that we enjoy bringing you this pics and hope you enjoy as well. Watch for our "The Women of SEMA" later today or tomorrow ( we are flying home today so will likely work on this on the plane ).

Last evening was capped off by a great dinner with Jerry and Mary; early devotees and Motortopians of Merit. Great people and it was our please to meet Jerry and Mary in person. I will post a personal blog post later, but just short note to say Thank you Mary and Jerry.

Thank you everyone, and enjoy!

SEMA inspires patriotism! Go USA.

By motortopia

This is the engine that drives America and it is uniquely an American Event.

Now after having spent two full days wandering around SEMA, I can report that ingenuity is alive and well. Yesterday was sort of like the State Fair that caught my attention as a young man. I was always fascinated with the demos...the folks showing and telling about their wares and services.

Yesterday I watched folks demonstrate new buffers, creams, polishes, and other things that make a car or vehicle nice and shiny and protect it from the elements. Wow. I saw cloudy finished get shined up in instants.

Here are some of the highlights of the day.

I had fun looking and testing the new Autonet Mobile down the road and connect to the internet. Oh, and the new Sony car amplifiers. Wow. Great, clear sound. With those you would be spending more time in the car.

And, interesting to me as something new in the Gentex Rear Camera Display. I know lots of folks that could use that.

A panel discussion by the woman of NSRA was informative. Peggy Llewellyn, Karen Stoffer, Hillary Will, Melanie Troxel and Ashley Force talked about how it is for women in drag racing. Hey, all the women in my life have proved to me that women can do anything they put their minds to... and this talk showed it as well. Very interesting.

Also interesting to me was the Green Zone .... cars, motorcycle, engines, and fuels using soybeans, vegetables, corn stalks, and all sorts of interesting inventions. Many of the exhibitors in this area were at SEMA for the first time. Here is the engine that drive American..personal innovation. Very inspiring.

And, this on a day when all the big automakers were looking for $50 BILLION in government funding, here were little entrepreneurs pointing the way to the future.

Now, I am not much of a tire guy, but when the president and CEO of Pirelli introduces their new tire lines flanked by the Pirelli girls...well it drew a crowd.

Again, being sort of a gadget nut, I was especially impressed by the cool laser tire diagnostic equipment. A long way from the old tire gauge that I used to use.

Now, I will never look at a wheel again without considering the thousands of new wheel types here at SEMA. It seemed like miles of shiny wheels. There were more wheels here than Emelda Marcus had shoes -- a lot.

And, finally, in the last hours, I watched artists ply their metal cutting and welding skills. Anyone who says that the industrial arts have all moved off shore and that Americans can't do this type of work have not been to SEMA.

I know this has had a bit of a patriotic theme; but it impressed me yesterday and I am certainly proud of the American auto and aftermarket industry.

SEMA - A fella can learn a lot here. And the shenery is pretty good too!

By motortopia

Day two of SEMA in Las Vegas.

We gotta head back to the show, but thought you would like these photos!

Walking 8 zillion miles of high-performance and specialty wonder.

Boggles the mind.

Can you say HOT? Brazil and Cars and Bikinis

By motortopia

Filtered Content: This photo may not be appropriate for work.

Saboianeto, our Motortopia friend from Brazil has posted a video from the latest car show in Brazil.

You can view it here.

ok ok, no bikinis in the video. But we DID get your attention, no?

The Times, they are a Changin'. Veitnamese Businessman buys Private Plane.

By motortopia

It happens every day in the United States, but in Vietnam, not many businesspeople have their own aircraft. But, the times are chaning.

Chinaview reports that "Doan Nguyen Duc, chairman of the Hoang Anh Gia Lai Joint Stock Company, paid 7 million U.S. dollars for the U.S.-made Beechcraft King Air 350, Series FL-417, which has a 12-seat capacity.

The plane is scheduled to reach Tan Son Nhat airport in the southern Ho Chi Minh city on Wednesday, and to be used for business purposes, said the newspaper.

The Law on Aviation in Vietnam allows private ownership of planes. It also requires that the owner have an aviation license, a licensed air crew and pilot, and approval from the Ministry of Defense to fly within the country, Lai Xuan Thanh, deputy director of Vietnam's Civil Aviation Administration was quoted as saying. "

What next? EAA chapters? Let's hope so.

Mystery Car of the Day (#13)

By motortopia

Looking for the year, make, model and owner. Good Luck!

Mystery Car of the Day (#12)

By motortopia

What's the year, make, model, and who owns it? Also, is this the only vehicle on motortopia with an "organic" nature to it?

Boys and Their Toys. If you Can't Buy 'em Build 'em.

By motortopia

When we look at sleek planes and rockets, you have to think about and admire the folks who designed them.

Well, for one young man, designing flying things is not a dream. The Star Online reports that an 18 year-old, Aditya Singh, has won a prestigious NASA competition for submitting the best essay about building rockets.

Might be an interesting young man to invite to your next EAA meeting. Cool.

You can read the full article here.

Ya Don't Say: Guys Like Fast and Brawny Cars.

By motortopia

Talk about explaining the obvious in terms of the revelatory, the Daily News reports today that guys like sporty, fast, muscular cars.

We guys even like cars that go 150 miles an hour or more. Goodness.

I am glad The Daily News and an article in Forbes that they referenced figured this out before summer is in full swing. We might not have known what to do this summer in our garage or on the street.

Ok, well, here's the deal...shhhh, don't tell anyone, they won't figure it out and we can keep on doin our car thing and no one will notice....except our wives, and girlfriends, and buddies and everyone else except, I guess, big media.

Well, with that, enjoy your day. You can read the full article here.

Question of the Day: What's the BEST car to come from Detroit?

By motortopia

Yesterday we heard your (and Barack Obama's) thoughts on the worst car to come from Detroit.

But today, we want to turn around and focus on the positive. What is the best car that an American automaker has ever churned out?

Let us know in the comments!

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