Tuesday, July 16, 2019

New Corvette Unveiling

Maybe you've heard of the folks in Detroit called Chevrolet and their automobile the Corvette? You know, the one that's as American as Apple Pie? The 'Vette has been with us since 1953 or so, and this year's new update really is BIG NEWS, because it will be the first Corvette with the engine behind the driver! To be specific, we're told it's mid-engine, so the engine sits between the front and rear wheels.

Also big news, you don't have to be at some super expensive car show in an exotic location to see the official unveiling, because Chevrolet has joined the 21st century and will stream it live on the Internet! You know, the INTERNET, it's on your computer now! CAR AND DRIVER CORVETTE INFO

According to our friends at Car and Driver magazine, the event will happen on July 18th at 10:30PM Eastern Time, so 7:30PM in California. To be precise, here's the Chevy page that will carry the show, complete RIGHT NOW with a countdown timer just in case you like that sort of thing. CHEVY CORVETTE MEDIA

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Lemons Maintenance Begins for Fall

Last weekend the Bunch of Idiots team (aka Team Coronautski), officially placed their entry into the CMP Fall race and are unofficially committed to the December race at Road Atlanta with 24 Hours of Lemons. The team will be focusing on a smaller 4 person team for each race to give each driver a little more seat time.

Bottom end of a factory-original 280,000+ mile motor. We'll leave it as-is.
Step one toward tackling the most busy racing schedule of the team's existence is getting some repairs from the last race completed and doing some preventative maintenance. Some of us decided we didn't want to swap a head gasket overnight at the track again, so that was item number one on our list. 
Top end / head with intake manifold is going to get a little refresh.

The top end of the engine was disassembled and sent home with Kyle for some cleanup and getting it to a machine shop as we found it was ever so slightly warped. While the engine is apart, we are assessing how to tackle our leaking exhaust header. The front timing belt cover fell apart during the 24 hour race and caused us some unwanted time in the pits, so we've decided to replace the timing belt and have sourced a new timing cover.
Timing belt showing a bit of wear after 24 hours.

We had two wheel bearing failures at the 24 hour race, so we've also disassembled most of our suspension while we order replacement parts. We ran a Raybestos brake compound known for durability and it survived all 24 hours great up front, but the Carbotech pads we had on hand and put on the rear were a bad match. New matching Raybestos rears will also be on order.

We found a few other little items to fix and tune up and are looking to be right on track for one more weekend of work at the end of July.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

NMS Announces HUGE Upgrade

At a secret location just outside of New York City, the NMS-North engineering team today announced their latest HUGE upgrade to the mighty 1.4 liter 160hp FIAT Abarth. Our reporter was there and filed this report, complete with NEVER BEFORE SEEN PHOTOS of how the installation took place.

After hearing rumors about some SECRET SAUCE that the NMS engineers were working on to improve performance, we were curious if it were true, and just how difficult it might be to improve upon the already mighty Abarth.

Probably for the FIRST TIME EVER ON THE INTERNET, we're going to show you this procedure.
You might be tempted to do this at home, but remember, these photos are for informational purposes only, do not try at home, these are trained professionals on a closed circuit operating in a high security clean room that is NOT OPEN TO THE PUBLIC!

Identify the windshield washer filler. You really don't want to be putting
washer fluid in your oil pan. 

NMS recommends the RED funnel. RED is the fastest color.

This special fluid is guaranteed to add horsepower, shorten braking
distance, and increase GDP by 10%. 

The cap is child resistant, so go find a 5 year old to open it. 

You can use some pliers or TNT to remove the cap, or, if you're Chuck
Norris, just use your hands. 

Car keys make a great tool for getting that final wrapper off. 

And there's always that last little bit that doesn't want
to come off. Take it off anyway so it won't end up clogging your
washer fluid lines. 

We like to live dangerously, and pour the fluid into the LARGE
end of the funnel. Try the other end if you want, we'll be happy to watch. 

All filled up? Don't forget to close the lid and then close the hood. 

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Cars and Coffee Ferrari Style!

On Father's Day, Ferrari and Maserati of Long Island hosted a Cars and Coffee for their customers, and some of the rest of us showed up to take a look at the cars as their owners were breakfasting! Here we go:

Are all Ferraris Red?

Not Red!

812 Superfast

Not Red

308 Magnum era car

Not the Same old Red!

Really Not Red!

Not Red Again!

I Like the Detail of the Little Winglet on the Floor for Aero

Nice Stripe

Scaglietti 612

355 in Yellow, V8 Powered

Not Just Red, but a Redhead Testarossa


First there was the Ferrari 458. Then the Speciale version. Then, the Speciale edition that
was open, or Aperta. I think they only built 499 of these. 

Sunday, May 19, 2019

In The Garage

Lately I've been following a lot of the work of Adam Savage online. You may be most familiar with him as one of the main co-hosts of the Mythbusters TV show. As a generalist, he makes all kinds of cool, nerdy stuff. I like making cool, nerdy stuff...including race cars.
The drawers are all pretty full, but I still have stacks of tools and parts needing homes.

One of the biggest things I've taken away from watching him and the crew from Tested, is that it's important to show the process and even failures and not always just the shiny final results. I'm hoping to run with that idea in future posts, because especially with my experience in the 24 Hours of Lemons, nothing comes easy and there's a lot to learn in all the struggle.
The new tire trailer fits! ...When the toolbox is unbolted and you lean it carefully against a wall.

Today I made a lot of progress cleaning up the one car garage. Speaking of failures, buying a one car garage then trying to build race cars in it and have an active car hobby is pretty high up there! It's a lot of work keeping the small space clean enough to get anything done, but at last, the purple car is back inside!

There's still several boxes of spare bolts that need sorting and organizing. 
I've been continuing to invest in more shelving for the ever-increasing inventory of spare parts and tools, but I've managed to also kill a lot of working space around the sides of the car, so even getting a jack under a Miata is a tight fit.  It's also pretty common that I just can't get all the tools and parts put in their homes (or find them a home) quick enough between projects.
Miata, Miata, Honda...the lawnmower just barely fits.

It will always be a work in progress, but for now, everything fits inside and I can still walk all the way around a Miata, so I call that a win!

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

USMMA Auto Show Part Two

Hey, we've got more cars to share from the United States Merchant Marine Academy's 2019 annual Auto Show. Thanks to the Academy, and all the car owners for  bringing these cool vehicles to our show!

1936 Chrysler, Parked at Walter Chrysler's House! The Details
of the Older Cars Knock Me Out, From the White-Walls and Spare Tire to the
Rear Brake Lights. 

48 Chevrolet Featured at the Flag Pole


Nice Two-Tone Oldsmobile Starfire

Ford: I Noticed the Wood Frame for the Convertible Top!

As ZZ Top Sings: "What's the Word? Thunderbird!

Hot Rod, Flames. 'MERICA!

Buick Grand National!

Ye Olde Speedometer, Goes All the Way to 85!

Buick Grand National
Did You Know That Decades Ago, Ford Had a Hard Top Convertible?

Willys Jeep


Colorful 40 Ford

One of the Midshipmen Shared His Civic Type R

This Ford Was for Sale Too!

Plymouth Fury, When America Was Covered in Chrome! 

Plymouth Fury, Great Detail in the Lights

Now THAT'S a Steering Wheel! 

Spoiler Alert!