Monday, June 27, 2016

Post #400 and a New Car in the NMS Stable!

Welcome to post number 400 on the NMS blog! Thanks for following along with us on the Internet as we've been auto crossing, going to car shows, taking photos of cars, talking about cars, test driving cars, and then auto crossing some more! Like most car lovers we have a lot of thoughts on not only the cars we're driving, but also those cars we'd like to drive in the future. Sometimes this is just fantasy (yes, I would like to drive the Lunar Rover on the Moon, but can't find them on eBay, much less afford a Saturn rocket to get there), but mostly we plan to keep discussing our cars. Sometimes they need some TLC, some new tires, and all that regular maintenance that keeps them running.
Brian Nixon is obviously the talented driver and artistic director of the blog, so thanks to him for starting this thing, and he's still faster than me too!

Today I want to tell you about a 2000 V6 Mustang that followed me (NMS-North) home one day because I bought this at an auto auction in Norfolk VA. (Cue the flashback story-telling music and special effects here...) The bidding was quick and short that day.  At least it went quickly once the auctioneer realized that no one was bidding on his opening $500 asking price. So, with two other guys both raising their hands for the first bid at $200, and then my next bid of $225, that was all she wrote, and NMS turned out to be the winner! You just can't lose with a 225 dollar car can you?

It came complete with exciting options like, wheels and tires, a key, and more surprises inside than a box of Cracker Jack! Among the "freebies" inside the car were both a Haynes AND a Chilton repair manual for the car, a bunch of bottles of various auto-fluids, and an unopened 12 ounce can of Mountain Dew! Also, a huge set of Channel Lock Pliers, a drain pan, and an owner's manual for a 2006 Mustang. More to follow on this fine stallion as we see if we can get it running!

Special thanks to my friends that helped tow this beast home, Rudy Rendon, Michael Moore, Spencer Burnham, and Stephen Reier. You guys deserve a free lunch!

At the auction lot
Ready to trailer it  home
Currently resting at NMS-North HQ

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Auto Auction Results

Let's see how we did on our estimates for the auto auction! As the official judge, I'll reserve the right to call "close enough" on some of these bids! Hey, when you make up the game, you get to make up the rules! After this event, the next auction will be in September. If you're a regular reader of our NMS blog, stay tuned in the near future and we'll be revealing which one of these automobiles is now sitting in my garage, and how it's going to get it running!

1999 Chevy Blazer
Sold: 300

OK, on the one hand, I was off by 200% which is terrible, but 300-600  bucks not so bad. Maybe I just stink at estimating truck prices, we'll watch how the rest of the truck bids go, but for now let's grade it tough and say I missed it.

2001 VW Jetta
Predicted: 250
Sold: 650

A car, I should get this right! Wrong! My estimate was farther off on this than the truck, so it's not looking good for the ol' NMS prognosticator so far, let's make it another loser, so I'm 0-2.
2001 Ford Focus
Predicted: 300
Sold: 225

Much better, I was only off by 75 bucks, I'll take that as a win, so my record improves to 1 win and 2 losses.

1986 Jeep Comanche
Predicted: 100
Sold: 475

Ouch, another truck, even a funky old Jeep Comanche didn't help me. Jeep will be making these pickups again in a year or so, but my record isn't looking so good, now at 1-3.

2011 Nissan Altima
Predicted: 1,000
Sold: 2,200

Hmmm, this is not going to be a good day for me, I missed it by OVER 200%, so let's just say 1-4 and move on.
1991 Mitsubishi 3000 GT
Predicted: 500
Sold: 600

Off by 100, let's call it a victory, and as cool as these cars looked when they were new, they're still not selling like hotcakes!

Estimating record now up to 2-4, maybe I can get back to .500 before this thing is over.
1999 Mazda Millenia
Predicted: 50
Sold: 200

Ohhhh, I'm off by 400%, but only 150 bucks. The way it's going so far I need some help from the judges on this one, so I'll rule that being off by 150 bucks is pretty good, make it a W, so 3-4, and almost back to even par!

1998 Mitsubishi Eclipse
Predicted: 400
Sold: 100

Off by 300 bucks, a huge percentage, gotta call it a loser. At the auction I noticed the engine covers were gone, so the auctioneer pointed out that they made it easy for everyone to see more of the motor that way, still only sold for 100 bucks, my record sinks to 3-5.
2008 Nissan Altima
Predicted: 1,200
Sold: 4300

This is not good, I'm way off on another one, even a nice shiny red car This thing went for the highest bid on the day, so when you see another car later that I predicted would be the top dog, you can laugh at my guesses again! Loser!


2001 Honda Civic
Predicted: 700
Sold: 1200

Loser, I don't want to talk about this one!


2004 Hyundai Tiburon
Sold: 200

1993 Nissan Sentra
Predicted: No Sale
Sold: 75

I'm 5-7, and just going to count that Hyundai and this Nissan as victories, within 275 for the two of them, close enough for jazz.
2002 Ford F150
Predicted: 1,000
Sold: 800

Hey, a truck. I was off by 20% give or take, close enough, let's say I'm 6-7.

It surprised me that these full size truck and vans sold for so little, but then again there are millions of them on the road. This one had a bunch of extra tires in the bed, that didn't help the price any!

2001 Ford E150
Predicted: 2,200
Sold: 750



People, you could throw a new motor in this thing and have an awesome cargo van for $2,000. Oh well.

2003 Dodge Ram
Predicted: 1,300
Sold: 450

See comments on the van above, wrong again on this one, sinking like a rock here, my picks are standing at 6-9.
1972 Chevy C10
Predicted: 2,000
Sold: 1,800

This 72 truck was looking pretty good, and I guess it was old enough that it attracted more bidding action. This marks the half-way point of this auction, so with this counting as a win, I'm sitting at 7-9.
2000 Nissan Maxima
Predicted: 25
Sold: 50

The auctioneer made a good joke about how the rear end was in great shape!

Kicking off the 2nd half, I was within 25 bucks of this winning bid, so that's the best I would do all day, overall record now up to 8-9.

2006 Ford Mustang
Predicted: 400
Sold: 1,900

Yeah, sure, I hear you, right when I'm looking to improve I totally blow it on this wrecked Mustang. Add another loss to my record coach, so now we're looking at 8-10.
1998 VW Jetta
Predicted: 300
Sold: 500-ish

I was looking around the auction area, watching people bid, thinking ahead to the next couple of cars, when the bidding on this one ended quickly and I didn't quite catch the amount. Since a few folks had bid on it, I know it was around 500, so let's go with that .

Compared to my 300 estimate, uh, that's close, but I'll continue to grade tough and say it's not close enough to count as a win. Running out of time to get to .500, now at 8-11.

2001 Oldsmobile Intrigue
Predicted: No Sale
Sold: 200

This Intrigue sold. It sold for 200. That is very intriguing. I have no idea what I'm doing, will give up on this game very soon. Maybe I'll just go buy 70-Million-to-1 lottery tickets.

2006 Honda Civic
Predicted: 5,000
Sold: 3,500

I thought this would be the most expensive car at this auction, and even though I was close, it was the 4th most expensive. Still, you could tell it would be a good seller, gather a lot of bids, and go for a much higher price than the 50-75 dollar cars! It's tempting to call this a win, but let's just say better luck next time, 8-13.
2000 Ford Mustang
Predicted: 600
Sold: $225

V6, needs a belt and an oil filler cap, other than that who knows. If it runs with just a bit of work, not bad. I've seen other Mustangs like this go for over 500, so I was hoping to see that I totally nailed this price. WRONG!


2005 Scion TC
Predicted: 1,000
Sold: 4,100
1995 Oldsmobile Cutlass
Predicted: 200
Sold: 125

The Scion above=WRONG 8-15

This Olds, CORRECT!  9-15

2005 Nissan 350Z
Predicted: 1,500
Sold: 3,600

Man, way off, what was I thinking?

Another loser, let's just keep things moving here.

1991 Cadillac El Dorado
Predicted: 200
1995 Toyota Predicted: 550 Sold: 700
Sold: 225

BAM! Right when I know to give up I get one almost exactly right on target.

I don't know what you do with a 91 Caddy, but someone else does now!


2003 Infiniti G35
Predicted: 850
Sold: 1,100

I just bribed the judge, and he gave me credit for the Toyota and this Infiniti, so thanks judge!
There are five cars to go, and I need to get them all right to just finish at or above .500. Let's do this!


2001 Acura Integra
Predicted: 1,000
Sold: 1,500


12-17, not leading the league!
1997 Saab 900
Predicted: 1,000
Sold: 200

OK, this would have gotten my vote for
"World's Most Interesting Car at this Auction", but it sold for 200! I found out later that the winner didn't pay for it in time, so maybe we'll see it auctioned again in September.

2000 Chevy Astro Van
Predicted: 1,200
Sold: 750

Sorta close, I'm way off on another truck, whatever, let's get this over with! This even had storage racks built in, but it didn't sell as high as I predicted.


2001 Honda CRV
Predicted:  800
Sold: 300

Kinda in the ballpark, but not close enough, thanks!


2005 Ford Mustang
Predicted: 1,400
Sold: 4,100

Ya know, if I was breaking even at this point in the guessing game, I'd claim dyslexia and say that I got this one exactly right, but since 1400 is not the same as 4100, this ends our game with another losing estimate.

My predictions were 12 close and 21 not close.

Hope you have better luck, thanks for reading!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

NMS Showdown Results!

7 Short Policemen? Helmets to Borrow?
Last weekend Brian and Robert competed in North Carolina on Saturday (we both drove the same car on the same course on the same day) and somehow Brian was a lot faster! The NMS 2015 Ford Fiesta ST was running on well worn tires, but it held up over 12 runs with the North Carolina Region of the SCCA, on a wonderful weather day. The day had 80 competitors, and we know that our times weren't very competitive overall, but our focus was on the inter-team battle for bragging rights. For the record, Brian ended up 29th fastest, and Robert was down in 35th. We were both in the top half of all competitors,and we'll award Brian with the NMS Driver of the Day!

Here's the results with all the 80 driver's PAX adjusted times: NCR Results LINK

Small car on huge trailer! FIAT Abarth at Cherry Point

How about a few photos from Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point? We can also confirm that the sound of the Marine Harrier jets taking off and flying overhead is officially "loud!" Some folks refer to that specific noise as "the sound of freedom!"
Brian preps the Fiesta ST 


NMS Helmets at the Ready!

Let's Drive!

Lotus type

Brian Demonstrates Proper Inter-Cooler Cooling Technique!

Sunday's second event of the weekend ended up with just Robert driving the FIAT Abarth, and winning the G Street class to maintain his perfect Tidewater Sports Car Club GS class season, with four wins in four events. However, in the interests of honesty, there were no other cars in the class, but that still makes it first place for the season! The NMS Abarth placed 35th fastest overall from 95 drivers, so right about where it usually places. Results are at this TSCC link: TSCC Results LINK

Brian did a great job of volunteering instead of driving, and was working in the timing and scoring trailer for one run group, and then did a double-duty as a driver instructor for Novice drivers on another run group. Thanks for all the help Brian, that was a great Father's Day, even though you beat me on Saturday!  Here's a few photos from Sunday, and a link to the next Tidewater autocross coming up in July!  July TSCC LINK

Team NMS Selfie

1958 Morgan Roadster


Friday, June 17, 2016

Sunday Autocross Preview

NMS FIAT Abarth Driver
After the Saturday event with the North Carolina Region, our Father's Day double-header will conclude on Sunday the 19th at Little Creek Naval Base in Virginia Beach. This event is sponsored by the Tidewater Sports Car Club, and we'll both agree that the TSCC is a great local car club. For autocross events they follow the same SCCA rules, and are very well organized. We'll be up against a total of 116 drivers that pre-registered, so like usual we're shooting for the top 25%, which (if my math is close) will be the fastest 29 drivers.

NMS Mazda Miata Driver

At this event, the late breaking news is that Brian is still working on the Miata, so at this time we don't know if he will be driving the Miata in ES or the Ford Fiesta ST in HS class. Competing in his 1999 Miata would put him in the E Street class (sounds like Bruce Springsteen's band!) while Robert will return to his FIAT in G Street (as in "Gee, I hope the FIAT beats the Miata)! The Fiesta would be H Street, and I don't have any funny lines about H Street. This means the NMS drivers will be in different classes, but we'll still be battling to see who is fastest in the NMS Atlantic-Chesapeake Fathers Day Weekend Showdown, commonly referred to as the NACFDWS. You can buy your commemorative NMS NACFDWS T-shirts in our on-line store.

This will be the third Father's Day in a row that we've been driving together, so let's just put in a little reminder here that you still have time to get dear old dad a gift. Or maybe just let  him beat you in autocross for a change!

So far there are no other cars in the GS class with the FIAT, so we're predicting a top ten placing! Over in ES with the Miata, here's the entries listed below. A bunch of Miatas, and Pete and Cooper Frazier in their Toyota MR2. Interesting enough, there have been auto brands named both Cooper and Frazier, but no Nixon brand cars we've heard about. Yet.  We'll predict a top ten in ES for Brian in the Miata also. We're not very good at math, but somehow manage to always get these top ten predictions correct (when there are less than 10 entries anyway)!

Tidewater Sports Car Club June 19th E Street Entries

27 Wallner, Roland 1994 Mazda Miata Smithfield, VA
28 Frazier, Pete 1988 Toyota MR2 SC Virginia Beach, VA
44 Thorpe, Mike 2002 Mazda Miata Virginia Beach, VA
126 Banks, Sam 1999 Mazda miata Mattaponi, VA
128 Frazier, Cooper 1988 Toyota MR2 SC Virginia Beach, VA
256 Wells, Mike 1994 Mazda Miata Poquoson, VA
286 Nixon, Brian 1999 Mazda Miata Columbia, SC

Over in HS the field looks like this so far, Chris Parsons and Dan Adams are very fast drivers, so this would be tough competition:

H Street   3 ENTRIES
2Parsons, ChrisVolkswagen golf tdiprecision dent removalChesapeake, VA 
16Laferty, Albert Jeff2015Hyundai ElantraSuffolk, VA
79Adams, Dan2015Ford Fiesta STVirginia Beach, VA

Now about those T-shirts...

Of course, we don't have an on-line store, and no commemorative NMS NACFDWS T-shirts, so you might as well just go buy some lottery tickets and hope for the best. Friday night's Mega Millions drawing will be over $300,000,000 so what do you have to lose? Or maybe it would be smarter to go buy a three pack of plain white t-shirts and a black marker and make your own NACFDWS wearable shirt. It's up to you!

More info on this event, and links to the list of all 116 registered drivers can be found at the TSCC web page: TSCC LINK