Monday, July 27, 2015

Car guy's vs. Normal people - A reasonable daily commuter

Ok. Most people today think of a car as a mean of transportation. Information: Car guy's doesn't understand this strange attitude to cars and bikes. Because their brains are not wired that way.

For these people, and I know them well, a pair of wheels are something different. It's a way to transport the soul (and as well the body) in graceful harmony with feelings and as well to  expose these publicly. To experience freedom and to see this freedom in other peoples eyes.

To walk out one early summer morning, in the total stillness, with all senses fully awake, let the car key smoothly slide in to the ignition switch....listen to the solenoid as it engage the starter motor, hear the engine turn and then, as a true more silence...just the song of the engine and a flow of all associated dreams that comes alive. At this point, even the birds will envy of sound of controlled combustion.  The hedge shiver from the exhaust pulses, as you clear the engine throught. Now, the hairs on your arms will stands up. 
The hedge...
But as well car guys needs a daily drive. We all need to go to work, most of us live where there's seasons and hence we all need a reliable pair of wheels to manage our every day. But since car enthusiasts has a skewed picture of what a sensible ride is, our view might seems unreasonable to normal people.

To get a better understanding, I've confronted car guys from Sweden, US, Germany with following question: (Mostly well structured men and women with generally clear minds)

- What is a reasonable commuter, a daily drive?

A good friend (in US):
- Good question! -You really need something sensible, nothing strange. -Something that always works. -Something effortless. -Hmmm.... -Let me think...(long silence). Hmmm....-Perhaps an old International Scout? -Very good vehicle if the snow strikes hard! -Or an early man Porsche Turbo? They're small, reasonable and swift in traffic. -Hmmm...very hard to decide with these boundary conditions...
Another close friend (in Sweden) concluded:
-A daily drive...very complicated question. -You need to think in another, more logic way....-A Ford Thunderbird -61 with a Coyote engine perhaps? -Do you think it will fit? -Or perhaps a S10 with an EFR boosted V6, with manual transmission? could be really nice...and reasonable at the same time. 
-An old Mercedes W123 Station Wagon from the-80ties! bursted another friend. -A more sensible vehicle could not be found on this earth. -Extremely practical! 
Another, not too old man, claimed that a Lotus Exige was more or less as far as you could get in usefulness and ride comfort. -Keeps you fit as well, he claimed rightfully.
An alternative to The Gym, the practical Exige
-Well, if it wasn't for my wife's interest in comfort and social status, I would have kept my Dodge Weapon carrier from 1942 as a daily drive, with some extra clothes in the winter, it was a remarkably practical vehicle, said a dear friend with a crave for the open sky and side valve configuration,
A comfy ride.?
How about Carina and I? Well....

...who are we to judge...

Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Aesthetics of Exhaust pipe

There is a peculiar thing with exhaust pipes.  Exhaust pipes seems talk to us, and I'm not referring to the growl and noise, tough it may play a part of it, it's something with the looks that triggers a dark side in our minds.

It's thought provoking because the exhaust pipe ought to be completely uninteresting.  It's merely the outfall pipe for the remains of combustion, with it's useless rest products of water, carbon dioxide, some unburnt fuel - and the occasional puff of blue smoke from the remaining engine oil.

No, I think it's something else that is lurking here. The tail pipe tells a tale and the tale is about a sleeping force. We unconsciously know it, and we know that we need to look for it.  How we know it is a mystery (and I think a solution probably involves a magneto resonance scan of the right half of the human brain). 

Anyway, the last exhaust iteration yielded this: 

It did already went trough the passenger door.  But now it got an outer shroud which leads the pipes clear from the engine compartment, through the passenger compartment and through the door. The door holds the piece of shroud and snugly connects it with the chassis parts when the door is closed.

This way the pipes can move with the engine and don't need and flexible joint. I'm also thinking that the exhaust may extract some air from the engine compartment as it goes out, like an ejector pump. 

The exit has a NACA duct look, but I doubt it will make a difference as I think the exhaust plumes will make everything totally turbulent. But remember, function equally important as form.

Or, as some say, if it looks good then it usually is good.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

V8 Hotel !

A V8 hotel?  No, I will not dwell upon the barns and garages where I keep all my private rides equipped with this engine configuration.

Instead I'll show you some pictures and impressions from a weird, but wonderful place in Stuttgart, Germany.

As you know, the car enthusiast community is a very mixed bunch of people. From rags to riches, from rebels to connoisseur, from sport car fans to luxury car collectors. From car restorers to creative hot rodders and car builders of various kind.

V8 hotel in Stuttgart is on the posh side, but still ok since it's open to anything on wheels with a speed spirit. To check in at this 4 star hotel is something special. On the surface everything is's a standard 4-star hotel, but still there's something extra.
One of the two entrances. A C1 Corvette is a nice intro.
The second entrance is a bit pompous. But still a Bauhaus kind-of-way.
Connected to the hotel there's a car sale. A special car sale. And yes, you can buy a beer a couple of meters from here. Heaven? Well here's a...
...Delage Sport from 1933...and no, there's no Pebble Beach fee needed to adore the details. Yes, the hood has the appropriate length. 
 I admit, I forced my wife to take a picture with me and this inspiring pair of wheels.
 There are other cars for sale as well. A one owner Porsche?
So you're in another car guy corner? Perhaps a Model A pick-up?
Some guy's even store their drives in glass cubes...
The formed air craft hangar represent a nice mix of cars and a cool open, accessible  atmosphere.
Some cars like this Mercedes 290 Roadster were sold. 
 Yes, I admit. I like the Windshield design. 
 Model T racer. Raw, real steel.
And a Datsun! For those with a taste for the East to a reasonable price.
Lambda control? Ignition adjustment? Could once be performed while taking a sharp bend in style. No laptop struggle, no matrix to populate. An RR example.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

El Mirage and hot rod dreams

Alrighty then... Back home after a couple of weeks in the US of A. I had the pleasure of going there for some work and as always I took the time to visit some friends. First I went to a summer kick off party. There I met some old friends and made some new. A lot of hot rods showed up for example this newly finished Ford model A Victoria. I instantly knew I need to have one. It inspired me to think up a 60's styled hot rod with lots of chrome. But seriously, were do you find a decent Vicky?

Note the header is from a 32 Ford. Much nicer than the stock model A header.

We went on a trip up to higher altitudes and on the way back we wanted to take a little detour from the big interstate. That's when the strangest thing happened. In the corner of my eye I saw something familiar. And didn't I see the well know sign with the orange text "FOR SALE"? Yes absolutely, there it sat. A pretty nice Ford model A Victoria prject ready for the full hot rod treatment. Fairly complete almost stock except for the wheels and a model B engine. Sheet metal was straight and only a small amount of rot. Sad part was that it was priced a bit high. Actually way high and one could buy a restored for the money that the owner asked for this. Still a strange coincidence that tells me I need one. Right?

Fast forward a couple of days and we made a stop at a significant location. Both historical and in the future I hope. El Mirage dry lake. We did not really have time to go out on the lake bed but it looked really inviting and I'm looking forward to run flat out there in the future.

Well that's all for now. Back to the garage with the current projects, fueled with inspiration and new ideas. As of now I'm keeping my eyes open for a Victoria.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

No particular place to go

Swedes, rightfully, always complain about the weather. It's too cold, too rainy and so on. Then, all of a sudden, The Heat Wave strikes. The Swedish press send out message and warnings, communicating that it will be 30 degrees C for a couple of days. The working moral, which is normally reasonably high, goes down, and as a consequence we start to socialize and wind down. Even though it's painful, we eventually accept the summer and start to float into sloppiness.  Which means that we're not really making progress with the race car right now. Instead we're in some kind of driving-around-to-various-places-with-entusiast-cars mode currently, waiting for/praying for rain.
Driving around part one. One of my old Benz a 350SE (bore*stroke=92*65mm V8 with manual gearbox). From a time when revving was not a problem in any car segment.
Karl-Johan and Anders trying to break the speed limits in a 1928 model A. While I enjoyed the comfy back seat and the nice feeling of mortal danger at low speed.
All good things are 3.Opposites attract. Rev limit and combustion speed differ.
But how about the ol' Swedish metal saw? Yes we got it off Carina's pick-up truck ( hint: we needed another machine to get it inside)
Afterwards, we were somewhat proud. 

Can we use the machine still? Nope! Why not? When we know we might tell you why...perhaps...maybe...eventually. If it's not too embarrassing that is...