Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Picture is Worth Two Thousand Words

Times are tough. Everything is getting more and more expensive and my paycheck seems to be getting smaller and smaller. All of my dollars now have permanent stretch marks and I can't even afford to pay attention anymore! The Amberlight Garage is currently devoid of any vehicles right now but I hope to remedy that situation soon. It really sucks when you start getting car show applications in the mail for the upcoming summer season and you don't even have a cool car! I mainly go to these shows to photograph cars, so obviously I can still do that, just without the premium parking.

 It's also nice to take a trip down memory lane once in awhile and there is no better way to do this then by perusing classic car pictures. Do you know that old saying "a picture is worth a thousand words?" Well, I discovered a site where the pictures are worth 2 thousand words! It has alot of the stuff I like; old cars, patina, cool outdoor locations, and expertly taken photos. Check it out here. If you like Andrea Kelley's photographs as much as I do you should also point your mouse to Nebraska Sky, the home of Nebraska landscapes and vintage car art. Remember, if you like what you see be sure and spread the word, or in this case, two thousand words!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

It's All In The Details

Details, details, details - they can drive you nuts. If you want your classic to stand out in a crowd, pay attention to the details. From suspension to engine, there is always something that could use some extra attention. One major detail on any ride is the engine and the compartment that it resides in. I can remember as a teenager one of the very first things I would do to any car that I had was detail the engine compartment. I went through cases of Plasticoat paint. Semi-gloss black was my color of choice. I know what you're thinking, that it was just "spray bombed", but let me tell you that there was a lot of prep work involved. I've seen some crude spray jobs also, but mine could have been considered works of art.

Technically, it's not about just painting either. A good detail on the engine should include new plug wires, holders, distributor cap, vacuum hoses, water hoses, clamps, etc. Also, removing these components allows for a better detail on the engine itself. Don't let the lack of chrome valve covers stop you either. With careful masking and sanding you can two-tone an engine and achieve excellent results. A lot of my tricks were learned from my good friend Jim. He was the master of detailing an engine. Jim even made up special tips for the spray cans that could get into hard to reach areas without making a mess and when he popped the hood on his Camaro it would always attract a crowd. Like my friend Jim, I am also a stickler for details. I guess that makes me sort of a nitpicker, or maybe even a fussbudget, but definitely not obsessive - compulsive. Just don't ask my wife...

For your perusing pleasure, here are some pictures of a detail job I did on my '62 Mercury. Enjoy!
This is what the engine compartment looked like before the detail

Painting the engine block gloss black

Prepping the valve covers for paint

Painting the valve covers and being careful about the overspray

All done and detailed

Was the detail job worth it? You bet! Afterwards I was able to lift my hood at the car shows and feel proud of what I had accomplished. The gloss black on the block went well with the flat black engine compartment and semi-gloss pulleys and brackets. The gold valve covers, gold flames and red plug wires really made the whole thing pop.

So there you have it, all the details! Sorry, I couldn't resist. Just be prepared to use a lot of elbow grease, newspaper, and tape. Also remember that overspray can ruin your day, so when it doubt, mask it!