Sunday, October 30, 2016

FranktoidTM No 16 - Another Incredible Barn Find!

After my last barn find adventure I never thought I would actually run across another barn find, yet alone one that I would be buying! Although this particular find wouldn't exactly be considered the "Holy Grail" like discovering a Shelby Cobra or split window Corvette, it's more along the Cup of Christ level. Not quite the Holy Grail but pretty darn close. To be honest I still can't believe that car is actually mine. These things always seem to happen when you are least expecting them. It's not like I was actively looking for a new project or even in the market to buy one, but then I heard a rumor...

Well, maybe not an actual rumor but more like someone who overheard someone else's conversation. The story was that one of the guys at work had heard of an "old car" that had been sitting in a garage for over 25 years. The car was owned by the widow of an old hot rodder who had fixed up the car originally and she still had it in her garage. After finding out that none of her kids or grandchildren were interested in it, and enough time had passed after her husbands death, she felt it was time to sell it. Of course the first question out of everyone's mouth was "what kind of old car?" "An old fifty something Chevy" was the response and that really piqued my interest. My mind instantly conjured up images of 55 Chevys and 57 Belairs, maybe an old straight axle car or even an ex drag racer. I have wanted a tri-five forever but they are just totally out of my price range. The ones that I actually could afford are nothing more then rusty, bare body shells that need literally everything. I really wanted to know more so I asked around work to find out who the person was so I could talk to him. After a bit of back and forth and several weeks in-between, I finally found out and tracked him down to get him to divulge some details. Low and behold he had just purchased the car, which turned out to be a 1956 Chevy 2 door post. It was such a good deal that he decided to buy it. Damn! I missed it!

So, I missed out on an incredible barn find, or did I? Well, the story doesn't end here. The '56 needed work, maybe a bit more work then he was planning on. Heck, any car sitting for 25 plus years is going to need some work, that's just a given. He told me if I was really interested in it to come out and take a look at it and make him an offer. You don't have to ask me that twice! As soon as I saw the '56 I knew that I wanted it, but I didn't want to seem too eager so I said I would think about it. Just knowing he was interested in selling it was driving me crazy because that meant that anyone could potentially buy it at any time. I decided to make an offer before it was too late. All I can say is that he must have picked up this car really cheap because I got an incredible deal! I'll just let the pictures tell the rest of the story...

The car right after we pushed it out of the garage.
Getting it loaded on the trailer.
The interior complete with 20 plus years of dust!
Washing off 20 plus years of dust.
Getting ready to start working on it.

It's still hard to believe that I now own a tri-five! I have a lot of things planned for it but the budget will determine what gets done, with safety being the priority, as I want to get it on the road as soon as possible. Stay tuned as I discover what mysteries have been hidden for over 20 years!
 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Future is Almost iHere

I received yet another new product for testing the other day. This one sounded real promising and I was looking forward to testing it. I ended up being a tiny bit disappointed but let me explain further...

Have you ever lost your car keys? I think we all have at one time or another. Most of the time they are just "somewhere in the house" but locating them is nothing short of a monumental undertaking, usually requiring a team of volunteers. Looking to put an end to decades of human misery, Nonda  came out with the  iHere, the best item locator in the world! Not only is this little device a key locator, it also can call your cell phone (to find it when you misplace it), locate the last place you parked your car, record messages, and even use it as a selfie remote. Say goodbye to selfie sticks!

This shot will give you a good idea of iHere's size

All these features sound great but the one I was most interested in was the key finder. Not because I misplace my keys a lot but rather I thought there could be other possibilities for this feature. My dreams were crushed when I realized that the iHere device is not GPS based, it is bluetooth activated. The maximum distance to "locate" your keys or whatever you attach the iHere fob to is limited to the range of your phone's bluetooth, that or the last known location via google maps. The vehicle locator works by locking in your car's location via your phone. Just choose "Car Locator" in the iHere app on your phone. Press the button on the iHere fob and the app will remember that location for locating your car. Getting back to the key finder feature, the app does have a "lost keys" feature. When this is activated the app will "search" for your iHere using anyone's device that has the app downloaded. If your iHere's signal is picked up by another device's bluetooth, the location is sent to you. Pretty cool feature but it is dependent on other devices passing within bluetooth range of your iHere. Obviously, the more folks that have this app the better this feature will work. It doesn't take a computer scientist to figure that one out.


Although the app was easy to find I had to delete it twice before I got it to download and work correctly. The fob also needs to be charged before using it and about twice a month or more after that depending on how much it is used. The app does tell you the state of charge of your iHere, which is a useful feature. In summary, this is a clever little device, albeit with a few quirks. If you're prone to losing your keys or forgetting where you parked your car, this might be your lifesaver. Do yourself a favor and check out  iHere,  .

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

A Hundred Dollars at a Time

I came across this video recently and just had to share it with all my readers. Watching this brought back a flood of memories of my '64 Falcon Sprint that I use to own. Man, I wish I still had that car...

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Super Truck Sunday

It's been awhile since I have posted anything car show related here at the Amberlight Garage. I must admit that I have been quite remiss in my blogging duties. I hope to rectify this oversight in 2016 by attending as many car shows as possible so I can share them with all of my readers here.

The show that I attended today was called Super Truck Sunday which was held at a local Bob's Big Boy restaurant. The turn out was pretty good considering it was Super Bowl Sunday and all. There wasn't just trucks there as I saw a few wagons as well. Heck, I even spotted a contingency of vans! Who said vannin' was dead? Not me! I predicted the resurgence here.Without further ado, here are my pictures...
Very cool Rambler gasser wagon.

Big block Olds powered!

This shot will give you an idea of how high this Rambler is.
 
Suddenly it's the 70's again.


A couple of Dodge custom vans.

Murals are kind of expected on a van.


Another Ford custom van.

Check out the interior of this Ford shaggin' wagon.
A super clean GMC pickup.

Nice early Mack diesel tractor.


Check out these Ford Econolines.

This is an E100 pickup.

Econoline pickup and Econoline van.
The tail light of a Chevy Cameo truck.

A C-20 Chevy bagged with a radically shortened bed.

Super clean Ford Country Squire station wagon.

Magnum 500s, faux wood paneling and a surf board!

Near perfect stance on this Ford pickup.

This big window is tucking some meats under those fenders.

All good things must come to an end...

Sunday, January 24, 2016

ZUS - The God of Phone Chargers

I have said it before on this blog, I get a lot of interesting emails. One of my latest was from a very nice gal asking me if I wanted to try out a new smart phone charger, or as they called it, a "smart car charger". Sure, why not? If you've seen one charger you've seen them all, right? That's what I thought, but I was wrong... very wrong. Let me explain.

Most in-car chargers that I have had were bulky and awkward. Some even had huge coiled cords on them like on an old fashion land line telephone. Remember those? Also, a lot of the chargers did not fit very well in the power port or cigarette lighter socket. They would move up and down or lose connection while you were driving. The best one to date was just a small, simple charger with a single USB connection. That's what I was using until I received the ZUS .



The ZUS is one slick charger. It is the only car charger to meet US Military Standard MIL-STD-810G High Temperature Standards which might explain why it kind of looks like a miniature SR-71 Blackbird. Pumping out a maximum 4.8 amps, this beast can charge your device at 2x the charging speed of normal car chargers. Both your kids have iPads? Plug them both into ZUS at the same time! Other features include lighted USB ports and smart device detection for optimum charging. I have saved what might be the best feature of ZUS for last - the Smart Car Locator. No, it doesn't find "Smart" cars, it locates your car! That's right, losing your car is now a thing of the past. Just open up the ZUS app on your phone and walk in the direction of the red arrow to find your ride. The app connects to the ZUS device through Bluetooth 4.0 so you need a device with Android 4.3 or newer to use it. The app is available in both the App Store and Google Play.

Because of the aforementioned fit problems that I had experienced with other chargers, I wanted to see how well the ZUS fit in various types of automobiles. Not every power port or cigarette lighter socket is in the same location so I needed to put this high tech charger to the test...

The packaging is almost as impressive as the charger! I'll save you some grief by letting you know to carefully cut one of the plastic tabs that go into the USB port and then gently pull the unit free from the other tabs.


Here is the ZUS in a 2014 GMC truck. Nice tight fit and it does not stick out too far.


Here is the ZUS in a 2014 Ford Mustang. Note how deep this power port is. ZUS fit perfectly! No worries about cord clearance because the USB ports are slightly angled.

Here is the ZUS in a 2012 Fiat 500. Nice tight fit and lots of clearance.

Finally, this wouldn't be Frank's Classic Car Blog without including a classic car! Here is the ZUS in a 1967 Oldsmobile.

In my opinion the ZUS is one of the best designed car chargers on the market, bar none. I'm hooked on it. Let me put it this way, if Chuck Norris needed a smart phone, he would have a ZUS! It's like the MacGyver of chargers, but that comparison is probably lost on anyone younger then 30. MacGyver was bad ass. Google it.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Targa Florio

I was obsessed with race cars from a very young age. When I was 6 years old my dad took me to my first race, the Inaugural California 500. This was held at the brand new Ontario Motor Speedway and featured Indy style open wheel race cars. Ontario Motor Speedway (OMS) was known as the "Indianapolis of the West" and was the first and only automobile racing facility built to accommodate major races sanctioned by all of the four dominant racing sanctioning bodies. Although the racing was great, the thing I remember most was the souvenir that I got that day. There was a poster vendor and I recall that I didn't really like the plain looking OMS or driver posters that everyone seemed to be buying. What caught my young eye was a large color poster of a red Ferrari 330P3. In large print across the bottom were two words: "Targa Florio".

That poster hung in my room for years. I think I was about 10 years old when I finally found out what the Targa Florio was. I have never forgot that name or poster. Fast forward to the present day. Yet another interesting email pops up in my inbox. This particular one just happens to be from Antonino Salemi, the Director of the Floriopoli Natural Museum in Sicily. For those who are not familiar, Floriopoli is the temple of the legendary Targa Florio.
Floriopoli 1968
Mr Salemi wrote to tell me that the Floriopoli Natural Museum has started a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter to restore Floriopoli, an important place of history of the legendary Targa Florio. They are calling it the "Rebirth of Floriopoli" and you can view their campaign here:  http://kck.st/1CtaiPG Check out this link here  for more information on the museum itself.

Lets back this project and be a part of history at the same time. There are some cool rewards depending on what your pledge is. Personally I chose the 65 lira pledge (about $72 USD), which includes a exclusive book on the history of Floriopoli autographed by the director of the museum. Do yourself a favor and check it out: http://kck.st/1CtaiPG