Friday, September 13, 2013

Chopped Model-T hot rod

Saw this fun white Model-T outside the famous Cowgirl restaurant in Santa Fe.

While I was explaining the process of chopping a roof a white chihuahua leaped at my hand from within. Luckily the window saved me from a certain mauling.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Colonel Custard

Yet another single speed bike apparently used for commuting. At least it has brakes. 

I do quite like the bars though.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Another member of the flock

Another Lotus has come home for the summer from wherever it migrated over the cold seasons (probably a nice heated garage), it promptly went shopping Uptown.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Lotus: like Punxsutawney Phil but for supercars

Love the color of this gorgeous Lotus Elise, it's definitely the season for exotics to stray forth and delight us with their tuned exhausts and sensuous styling. I'm looking forward to more and more of these as the warm weather develops.

Need to wash my windows.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Chevy Malibu

This sweet Chevrolet Malibu was parked near the VA hospital. It has most likely been restored recently, as evidenced by the shiny paint (in hot-rod red with stripes) and clean chrome.

Friday, April 12, 2013


Plymouth Duster driving down the road, at the time of their sale these were considered small 'economy' cars, like the Honda Civic today. Their styling, availability and engine packages make these great starter-muscle cars.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

From the Archive: Model T hot rod

This is a Model T I saw in front of a radiator shop about six years ago.

It had a piece of steel welded in for a roof, a small block Chevy motor with an automatic transmission, the interior consisted of the steering wheel, some house carpet, and a bench seat from a small pickup truck, the seam from the (approximately) 4-inch chop is clearly visible. This hot rod was for sale, after seeing it sit for several months I contacted the owner and learned that he was asking ONLY $13,000. Somebody eventually did buy this Rustoleum-covered deathtrap, and the dope chopped Model A two-door sedan in the background. I hope they had some money left for seat belts.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Toyota Corolla of Classic Cars

When someone says "classic car" the first things that always come to mind are two-tone paint jobs, excessive chrome accents, sweeping compound curves, and enormous tail-fins. While there have been many cars that fit this description, there is no more common an example of it than the Chevy Bel-Air.

 While the Bel-Air remains a beautiful example of the artistry of fifties car-design, the question that has to be asked is: What is the purpose of owning a classic if everyone else on the road has one just like it? Every person who has some money and decides to spend it on vintage cars, appears to begin their collection with a fifties-era Chevy. 

Part of the reason for this is that the car was exceptionally popular when it was new. From 1954-1957, more than 2,630,000 cars bearing the "Bel-Air" monicker were produced, according to This makes parts comparatively easy to find, and therefore makes the cars easy to restore. However, there are problems that arise as a result of this. Part of where antique cars get their value is from something called the economy of rarity, wherein the fewer of something there is, the more that thing is worth. 

This concept applies to intrigue as well. The more of a certain type of a thing there is floating around the more likely people are to think, "oh another such-and-such" and thus diminish the curiosity value of that thing. The Bel-Air appears to be in severe danger of falling into this category. This doesn't have to be the case however. There are plenty of other cars from around the same era that are possessed of just as much integrity and virtuosity of styling as the Bel-Air, and which should be able to curb our obsession with it.

The stately Chrysler, for example,

monstrously befinned Plymouth,

regal Buick,

or imposing Mercury.

This is a call to action for classic car owners and lovers, shift your focus away from the Chevy Bel-Air and instead spend all the time and energy that goes into restoration on some of these more unique and unusual, but no less beautiful and quintessential classics. In so doing you will rescue the Chevrolet Bel-Air from being relegated to the "meh" column of history, as well as foster some appreciation for other hallmarks of automotive design.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Midget, Or 'Little Car'

This cute MG Midget was in a parking garage downtown, the person who owns it must live in the apartments above based on the presence of an oil pan to catch this leaky buzzard's leavings. The leather tonneau cover for the cockpit really caught my eye.

This is a late 70s model add indicated by the grotesque plastic bumpers. Despite the bumpers I think these little British cars are just the bees knees.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Kawasaki Bobber

When leaving the local pub last weekend I happened upon this Kawasaki bobber. It was  very dark so my phone's flash had to work overtime on these photos. Nevermind the dorky scooter in the background.

Red spokes, always a hit with the hot rod crowd.
Solo seat.

The best part was the lace paint job on the tank, despite this photo the paint was more of a root beer color than red or pink.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

From the Archive: Kaiser Traveler

I bought this 1949 Kaiser Traveler at an estate sale in Edgewood (east of Albuquerque) five years ago. It had been sitting for some time in a large yard with many other cool vehicles. I had planned to put a big block Ford V8 in this with and auto, repair all the serious rust and refresh the suspension while leaving the beautiful patina alone.

The tow truck driver was an automotive enthusiast and worked his butt off to get the Kaiser free of the mud and grass.

The Traveler was a higher trim-level of the Kaiser Special, and was only produced for two years (1949-50). These cars were unique for having many post-war advancements in construction before other automakers had them, and were quite luxurious at the time, they were also advertised as 'safety cars.' The Traveler and its big brother the Deluxe had hatchbacks with a tailgate, making it a great family camping car. Camping and picnic accessories were sold specifically for these cars.

Unfortunately, despite being innovative ad luxurious, the styling o Kaiser cars was already looking dated by 1950, and overproduction hurt the company badly. Despite purchasing Willys-Overland (and thus Jeep) and creating the phenomenal Kaiser Darrin, sales continued to slide and Kaiser eventually went out of business.

Due to a major disruption in my personal life I was unfortunately never able to make serious progress on the Kaiser, and had to sell it. Luckily, I  know the new owner (a hip rockabilly tattoo artist) is taking very good care of it.

UPDATE: I found some photos from after the Kaiser came home, and some detail shots.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Two-Toned Class

This restomod was leaving the local auto parts store while I was headed home from the surplus store. The paint was very shiny with cool scallops, a badge on the side claimed to herald a V8, and the vanity plate says 'sparki.'

I'm not super familiar these cars, it's probably late thirties era Ford or Chevy .

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Aluminum Monsters

A short drive around my neighborhood revealed something to me: my neighbors must like road trips. Three vintage-style trailers are within a mike of my home, including two of the ever-so-iconic Airstreams.

Thursday, March 28, 2013


I recently took a trip to my favorite surplus store, and upon leaving found this beast of a sand-rail/dune buggy parked out front. This is clearly a fairly high-dollar off-roader, all the paint and chrome, the high build quality, and the registration (not simple to get for these vehicles) point to a deep wallet or an un-cluttered schedule.

Plug plug plug.

Major suspension at work.

It's only two wheel drive.

All-business two-seater cockpit.

Plenty of lighting.

Fuel cell and cargo area behind the seats.

Exposed controls ahead of the cockpit.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Hipster Bike

Because it's my blog and I'll write about what I want, but also because bicycles ARE vehicles and should be respected on the road more.
Anyway, I saw this single speed bike on campus recently, it has some sort of shiny silver paint and very wide handlebars.

The front fork also seems stretched forward significantly, I didn't have the opportunity to measure the trail but I guessed it as long.

I don't know if it's a true fixed-gear but I'm glad to see brakes at least on it.
The oddest feature though is the tires, with a diamond/scale pattern painted on them and what appears to be drawer lining glued to the contact area. I've never this before, and I hope it's not a new trend.