Tuesday, July 2, 2013

EVBC Berkshire Power Cruise 2013

Friday, June 28, 2013

Carlisle Celebrity Award

Its almost two weeks until the All-Chrysler Nationals in Carlisle, PA and I Can't Wait! I took the last two years off from going to the show and I am looking forward to meeting up with some old friends and meeting a few new ones.

The club tent is all set and my car is registered, all done well in advance of the event, so when I got an email from Carlisle Productions last week from a person I don't usually have contact with I had to wonder what was going on.

I have been invited to attend the Celebrity Luncheon on Saturday during the event. What does this mean? Other than getting a free lunch I was chosen to judge a "Celebrity Pick" for the event this year. I'm stunned, surprised and ecstatic to have been chosen for this. This is going to make the show really special for me this year.

So. I have to set some criteria for my pick. It goes without saying that for the purposes of fairness I won't be choosing an early Valiant or Barracuda. I don't want to play favorites.

So I guess it gets philosophical. What do I believe a car should be? What are some of the trials and tribulations we as early Valiant and Barracuda owners have we had to endure during the restoration or resto-mod process of getting our cars back to driveable status?  I have a very "Do It Yourself" attitude about this hobby so any car chosen must have a hands on approach by its owner and family.

The chosen car must exhibit some resourcefulness to overcome some the adversity of finding available parts, or the lack of parts. We all know how hard it is to locate that one trim piece or match the seat covers for some models. We can't just open a catalog and order everything needed for a repair and that will factor into my choice.

Does it need to be painted? No. Does it need to be driven? Yes. Does it need to be a complete restoration? Probably not as I have a soft spot for "rolling restoration" projects.  It will most likely be a 1966 or older Mopar but I'll leave a caveat for that one because you never know what will show up at Carlisle.

Will it be a modern Mopar? NO! No PT Cruisers or 2012 Challengers. Will it be a cheesy 4x4 Duster painted orange with a "01" painted on the side? Don't hold your breath! Will it be an E body? Doubtful.

This is going to be very hard and very fun at the same time. Picking a car that represents the Club's attitude of "Just Fix It, Drive It and Enjoy It" will keep me on the show field more and in the swap meet area less.

But that's OK. Because this year, I'm a Celebrity Judge representing The Early Valiant and Barracuda Club at the biggest all-Mopar show on the east coast! Its going to be a good weekend!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Rat Rod Engines

The thing I like seeing in a T Bucket, coupe or early rod is a unique engine with odd intakes and carburetors. Here are a few from last nights cruise in Colchester, CT.


Check the Dual Back Draft Carbs on this Buick Engine.

A modern small block but Love the carbs. Check the vacuum "Horn" mounted to the intake!
And one Wicked cool radiator cap replacement!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

June 1, 2013 EVBC Berkshire Power Cruise
 Greenfield, MA at Home Depot
 Adams, MA at Miss Adams Diner
John "The Shoe" Schumacher
1965 Barracuda
Scott Baeder
1965 Barracuda
Don Carpenter
1965 Barracuda
Roger Kizer
1966 Barracuda

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Mile Markers

You know you are a "Car Guy" when you see highway mile markers as engine sizes.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Spring Is In The Air

I've been putting a few miles on my car this past week logging data to get the new fuel injection system dialed in and its been fun doing it, but as I drove through the center of my town, I saw it.

The Community Bulletin Board Sign. The one that lists all the upcoming events. There it was. "Cruise To The Green, This Wednesday".

I thought "It's that time already? The snow just melted" and at the same time, " My car is dirty as hell!"

I have plans this weekend so I have no time to get the 'Cuda ready for a show, even if its the first one of the season. Plus I'll still be driving it next week tweaking the programming of the injection.

Since the Car Show/Cruise Season is upon us, what have you done to get your car ready?

Sunday, March 24, 2013

True Tales - 1st car 1969 Honda

"1st car, 1969 Honda" by Steve Wander

Being brought up in a working class home, where I was making minimum wage $3.35 an hour while my dad was making about 10, I quickly found the value of a dollar. Any time I could save one or make one, I did. My first car became reality about 5 weeks into my drivers license. I had saved up about $150 and was really getting tired of riding my bike 3 miles to school (one way) every morning and then riding that same bike to work the closing shift at the local Wiener World.

I saw an add for a 1969 Honda AN600 coupe. I had never seen this model but the price was right, $200. I quickly had my dad drive me down to the beach community where the car lived. We turned the corner and saw the smallest car I had ever seen, It was like a Morris Mini, but about 10 inches skinnier. I curiously looked it over and declared that I would probably fit in it with a small passenger, but that was about it. It did have a back seat, but the driver seat was adjusted back so it was touching the rear seat bun. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Stock vs. Modified - Factory vs. Aftermarket

If you have been following along then you know I'm currently in the process of installing throttle body fuel injection on my 1966 Barracuda. Its not being done from a kit and there is a lot to alter to marry the wiring needed to power and control all the various components to the existing stock harness.

I also had to modify a distributor for the system. Here's where I find the "Great Divide". I already made the mods and went searching through various forums for more info on others who have done similar mods or upgrades to their Mopars. Many have and there are quite a few people using GM ignitors to fire their ignitions, either a full on HEI distributor setup or just an ignition module bolted to a stock Mopar electronic distributor.

Here it gets weird because there seems to be those who feel that anything but components from Ma Mopar are the ONLY suitable part to go on the car. The other side of the argument are the people who are looking for more performance or better fuel mileage from their cars. To the first group, the only ignition upgrade from points ignition that YOU SHOULD EVER DO is to install the Mopar electronic ignition. BECAUSE IT WAS GOOD ENOUGH FOR THE FACTORY, WHY DO YOU NEED ANYTHING ELSE!

Sorry for the yelling, but that's how some of those forum posts get. Below is an exchange between two people from a Mopar forum to show the divide.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

For Rent

So many things going through my mind when I saw this, hoping its a joke.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Rally 'Cuda Front End

I'm very picky about the look of my car and take my time with any custom changes I do to it to make sure they keep true to the era and don't come off looking cheesy or "bolted on". I Want it to look smooth and refined almost like the factory could have done it.

Over the years its evolved into what I'm calling a 1966 Rallye 'Cuda. The Hood started the look, the rims continued it as well as the side stripes and Formula S badges on the lower front fenders.

Now, I'm thinking about continuing the look with adding dual exhaust dumping out in front of the rear tires. I'm also considering another front end change. I like the 1966 grill so I wont mess with that, but what about swapping the bumper for a 1965 Barracuda bumper and the lower valance like a 72, 73 'Cuda? That might be taking it too far and lose too much of the 1966 look.

I would make a custom valance from fiberglass and could incorporate brake cooling ducts or round driving lights instead of the rectangle ones.

I (badly) Photo shopped my car to get an idea of what it might look like. I'd like to hear your thoughts or if you have any suggestions please leave a comment below.



Monday, February 4, 2013

True Tales - A Valiant Race

"A Valiant Race" Copyright 2007-2012 by: E.C. "Stan" Field by:    E.C. "Stan" Field

My buddy Jay and I loved to race cars. All kinds of cars. Big ones like Cadillacs, medium ones like Valiants and Ramblers and small ones... Like Fiat-Abarths and Volkswagens.

Due to lack of money, we did almost all our own work. The only things that ever got farmed out were transmission and machine shop tasks.

Since I had been raised on road racing in Mexico, during high school, I naturally paid a lot more attention to my suspension and handling than raw horsepower. This proved very handy one winter night.

Now my two door 1964 Plymouth Valiant was a cheery sight back in those days. It was running a 225 slant six with an automatic and anyone standing outside normally considered it a family car. Underneath, I had Monroe Load Leveler shocks all around, with coil-overs and a sway bar in the back. The tires were Firestone wide ovals and a custom exhaust that let it breath just a bit better. My previous best top end was about 95 mph, but it handled very well indeed.

Monday, January 28, 2013


I'm pretty sure this is a girls car, but I didn't stay to see who got in.

Monday, January 7, 2013

My Garage

 So, I'm in my garage working on my car and along comes the friendly neighborhood OSHA inspector. He walks right in and immediately trips on his own feet but claimed it was because of the pile of parts blocking access to my tools.

"Be Careful!" I tell him. But he says nothing for a minute or two as he looks around and writes some things down on a little note pad. "This place is a mess." he finally says. "Your work bench is cluttered, You can't get to your tools, your window is half blocked and you have a pile of crap in the middle of your work space."

"Can I see some I.D. Please." I ask the guy. He continues, "You have too many hardware bins with multiple items that need sorting, Your vise is in the wrong spot on the bench and for heavens sake put the bench grinder on a pedestal stand and gain some area on the bench."

"Who are you?", I ask.  "I'm afraid I need to fine you a 6 pack for all these infractions. You're lucky I'm willing to overlook your blatant misuse of pegboard. Simply awful."

So the guy rips off a page from his note pad, hands me a list of the infractions, picks up some beer and promptly leaves muttering something about being back for a re-inspection or more beer. I'm stunned, speechless really. I would have tried to stop him from leaving if I didn't know he was right. My garage work space was a mess. Well I did something about it! Check the photos below for the transformation.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

True Tales- First New Car

"First New Car" by Paul from Dayton, submitted 2012

August 1971, after getting out of the service, I bought my first brand new car. I had my eye on a Scamp most of the summer and told my wife that if it was left when they started selling off the '71s to make room for the '72s, I was going to buy it. It was a beauty in my eyes, charcoal gray, black vinyl top, black inside with high back bucket seats, dark centered rally wheels, a 318, and a three speed stick, floor mounted. The window sticker claimed 3.55 gears and sure grip in an 8.75 housing, well someone goofed and it had 3.23s with the sure grip, still plenty of go for that little body.

It wasn't long until I saved up a few dollars and bought a dual exhaust kit for it. It was an easy change, cut the "Y" pipe just as it began to cross over under the back of the engine, clamp a cup-like plug onto the new cut, replace everything on the other side and slap on this pair of Purple Hornies I had bought. Purple Hornies were nothing but a copy of the bullet shaped Cherry Bombs painted purple, but constructed much better than the tin can Thrush mufflers available. 

Forgotten Relics - 1965 Barracuda

1965 Barracuda 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a safe and happy New Years Eve and I look forward to Carlisle 2013 and our early spring EVBC Destination Cruise. (Still planning it so stay tuned)