Friday, September 30, 2016

BAMF 4AGZE Starlet on BaT

TRD racing flares, 13" x 9" three-piece Compomotives, four wheel discs, an LSD and ~175 HP pushing ~1,800 pounds. Bad. Ass. Mother. Fucker.

Brand New F40 Speedlines on eBay

With a $17,800 BIN.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Rear Three Quarter Angles: Renault 5 Turbo

Lancia Delta Integrale Evoluzione II Production Line

Circa late 1993. Some of the very last Integrales ever made.

Carmusic: Pegaso V8

2.8 liters, dry sump lubrication, quad cams, 32 desmodromically operated valves, all alloy construction. From 1951.

All the more remarkable is that these were engineered and built in postwar Spain, essentially a third-world country at the time.

More on the complexity-obsessed and eccentric engineering genius of Wifredo Ricart to come.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

A Photoshop, Unfortunately: Citroen 2CV Picasso

1988 Plymouth Voyager Hearse on Craigslist

I don't have a subtitle. I don't think one is needed.

H/T to my buddy Alex, who asks "can you imagine a more dignified way to be carried to your final resting place?"

Nope. Can't say I can.

Reads the ad:

"WE offer GREAT FINANCING PACKAGES on All our INVENTORYTrades Are WelcomeAll our Units Serviced at our Service DeptWith a COMPLETE Walk-Thru at Delivery

That's right we also have a Hearse!
This is a SUPER Clean Van
Rear Coffin Rollers"

plenty of room for WalMart Mountain Dew and meth cooking supply runs.

Driving Music: Jaco Pastorius & The Modern Electric Bass Guitar

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Step-by-Step: Assembling A 270ci Offenhauser Indy Car Engine

A very enjoyable read/look for anyone interested in pure-bred vintage race engineering and beautifully machined assemblies.

Office Clutter

I'm quickly running out of office shelf space.

Sooner or later I'll do a writeup on the old R/C airplane rotary engine. And maybe my world-beating collection of EB110 memorabilia.

Enjoy other mildly interesting photos on my Instagram feed.

Monday, September 26, 2016

This is a Community, Dickhead: A Self-Righteous but Truthful Rant

So the other day I was drawn into a ridiculously childish social media disagreement, the details of which I'd honestly prefer to forget.

Still, what good our are embarrassments if not for spectacle? I guess we'll never know, at least in this case, as I went back and deleted all evidence of my participation in said discussion--a bitch move, some might say with a bit of credibility.

Anyway, the subject of this interaction was what I perceive to be an alarming trend towards utter dickishness against fellow car enthusiasts whose only crimes are showing enthusiasm for a car modified by a jerk. A jerk who's obviously not without need for validation, as evidenced by typically constant posting of their car to Instagram, Facebook and forums, usually photographed at a gathering of similarly themed builds at a casual show.

The implication seems to be "look how cool my car is, but don't tell me so or ask me questions about it, because I'm a too-cool-for-school rebel." A real badass who attends community college, works at Verizon, plays Pokemon Go, and lives in the suburbs. Probably.

The deep irony at the crux of the issue is that said individual is almost certainly to have researched their build extensively, basing it heavily upon grueling trial-and-error work documented and shared with other enthusiasts by generous, community-minded pioneers. Car guys, you might call them.

Unless you've developed the mods in question your damnself, with plans to patent or otherwise monetize your graft and ingenuity, there's simply no reason for this type of hostile secrecy and D-baggery other than inflating your own pathetically fragile sense of self at the expense of others. We're not talking about race cars either, so any arguments about maintaining a competitive edge are just nonsense.

I've owned several modified cars over the years, and will readily admit that routine questioning can sometimes be frustrating, especially when you're just trying to get home after a long day at work or busy running hectically scheduled errands. I've always felt obliged to answer polite inquires in kind, however, most likely as a result of being raised by decent human beings.

This is a community, one that simply wouldn't exist were it not for the graciousness of our pioneering grandfathers, uncles, dads and other friendly old guys. They were secure in themselves and felt no need to disrespect their brothers in order to feel like men. They were truly cool--not snotty shitheads with credit card debt, bad attitudes, vape modz and weak characters.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

JCCS 2016: Low-Res Cellphone Photo Bazaar

The Neurotic family just returned from a nice 2.5 day weekend getaway to beautiful Orange County and (for a few hot, hectic, crazy busy hours) Long Beach, Californias.

With so many J-tin geeks in the LBC, it's kind of hard to get a decent photo of anything. But somehow, someway, I snapped a few shitty cellphone pics for that ass.

Just know that these photos represent probably <1% of the show. The quality, variety, presentation, and often, rarity of the cars (and bikes and trucks) in attendance is simply overwhelming.

the boy and I checking out the granddaddy Lancer Turbo :) <3 and other happy symbols that can be made with a keyboard
It's no surprise that JCCS remains an incredible, get-on-a-plane-worthy show, but 2016 marked its 12th anniversary, and it's sadly outgrown the pretty little patch of Queen Mary bayside parkland that's been home since '04.

Parking was full an hour after opening, lines for (packed) shuttle buses were hundreds of people long, and there's precious little space to pop up a few folding chairs or let a toddler burn off some steam like in years prior. Additionally, though it's being held a few weeks later than in the past, it was still well into the 90's, Fahrenheit-wise. If there are plans to expand within current confines, cars will either be parked fender mirror-to fender mirror or in the ocean.

In short, it's very much time for a change of venue, and perhaps a schedule adjustment as well.

Still had a blast, and scored a bunch of cool swag, too--more on that to come later.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Like Shifting With a "Geisha's Ceremonial Dildo"

We're headed to JCCS this weekend, and my hand-made bosozoku shift knob just came in the mail today nearly a month after it was ordered.

It's ridiculous, of course, but it's also colorful and fun, and with no stickers, wings, neon, randomly applied plasti-dip, stick-on chrome vents, demon camber, orange wheels or other tacky garbage anywhere to be found, the Mean Mommy Wagon could otherwise easily be accused of taking itself too seriously.

My wife says it's like shifting with a "geisha's ceremonial dildo." I can't top that, folks.

Quirky Japanese Stuff: ANF One & Two

The ANF fleet close to a year ago, I'd guess.

The Subaru still has terrible fitment (though new wheels are on the way, so not for long) and has also picked up a Bernie Sanders 2016 sticker that I refuse to remove.

The RX-7 is gone, sadly. I need another rotary in my life.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Sorry Baby, I Had to Crash That Honda: Butch's Blue Bookshelf Bburago Bugatti

spotted this during a recent re-watch--only took a hundred times to notice it

Bugatti Diesel Powered Pur Sang T35B

This Argentine built Pur Sang T35B is an identical replica of Ettore Bugatti's original design, right down to bespoke odd-sized square head hardware and the elaborate methods utilized in its construction--unchanged from those employed by Molsheim's craftsmen nearly 100 years ago.

In fact the only physical difference between this circa-2001 car and one built 75 years earlier would be found in its engine, if one was fitted. Reportedly, the car was ordered without, and has never been made complete.

Pur Sang will sell you a fully accessorized, palletized, and ready-to-fit 2.3 liter, SOHC, 24-valve, supercharged straight-eight for $130k or so, but it won't have roller crank bearings and it won't run a magneto--in the interest of drastically improved reliability, plain bearings and a distributor are substituted.

2.3 liter straight-eight. note the blower and cam drive--the shaft extending through firewall drives a magneto (distributor in Pur Sang spec), while the belt to the left drives tachometer. Bugatti's distinct monoblock design means no separate cylinder head

Or, for about 4% of said engine's list price, one could just buy this Bugatti diesel (scroll about 1/3rd down) and really put some weight over the exquisitely made, tapered, hollow front axle.
Bugatti diesel--like a regular diesel, but no more elegant

Thus equipped, I'd drive it to Pebble Beach and a few other snooty concours, deeply offend some folks in pressed khakis, and provided we made it out alive, return home and put in a great sounding straight six--Datsun or perhaps Jaguar--and then proceed to drive the wheels off at every opportunity.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Name That Engine - Round One

A few hints:

DOHC per-bank
Six valves per cylinder
Fuel injected
Roller bearing crankshaft
Twin turbo
High revving

Friday, September 16, 2016


Hang in there.

Little Blue the $900 Hardbody

I bought a truck a few weeks ago for $900. It's an '87 Nissan D21 Hardbody shortbed. Two wheel drive, 5-speed, twin plug Z24 four cylinder, many miles, new tires, new clutch, runs like a clock.

Killer patina, some rust in the bed floor through which I lost about 150 pounds of playground sand, leaving another 350 or so to kind of fill the sandbox I made for Carlo. Otherwise nice and solid.

I really like it and plan on putting it to use for home improvement/parts hauling/mid-century modern furniture hunting/garage type project duty, but apart from coating much of the I-5 in pristine white sand, mostly it's just taken me to get coffee and croissants at the donut shop. And donuts.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

A Message From the RX-7 Development Team

No Gimmicks

True fact: Nissan's head of design collects vintage Braun and drives a BMW M1.

Actually he lives in Dallas and invented those stick-on chrome vents. Wears rayon anime print shirts.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Homesick as Usual

Here's the view I grew up with. Mostly. The skyline has changed quite a bit since I left in the early 2000's. We're visiting in January next year so Carlo can play in the snow. Still planning on buying a second home somewhere in the city in the next few years, and I can't wait.

Mid Engine Third Gen Civic Build

Scroll to the bottom. Tell me this doesn't look incredible. Kudos to the builder, and if anyone has more info, please share.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Triumphant Return: A Short Personal Note Followed by Wankelcedes SL Content

It's been a while, but I'm back. For now. Maybe. Occasionally. Sporadically. Minimally. Semi-coherently. We'll just have to wait and see, OK?

When this blog was started, I was working an overnight shift and had lots of early morning time on my hands. Since then, I've become a father and changed careers, both of which are full-time, seven day a week type gigs that I'm rather passionate about.

As such, I no longer have the time, patience or mindset to be as meticulous in my posts to this hobby blog, so if you've come to critique my grammar and mechanics, you're about to have your perineum thoroughly tickled. Just remember--I've made a comfortable living out of writing about cars, and neither pedantry nor comment likes pay the bills. So naaaah.

I might be broadening my scope a bit too, as was previously played with in a few off-topic posts prior to the site really slowing down a couple of years ago. I'll still be focusing on cars primarily, but don't be surprised to check in and find a new post on something completely unrelated--music, architecture, food, vintage high-end hi-fi gear, home improvement, travel, yellow book hoarding, competitive flat-pack furniture assembly and the like.

This is something I've long planned to do, as I still truly love this site, and feel that it's worth nourishing on occasion despite any scarcity of free time.

So welcome back, or more likely, not--I'm pretty sure ANF's once steadily growing and valuable following of well-informed, opinionated, and passionate readers has dried up completely, but if by chance anyone is reading this, please feel free to drop a note below and let me know that this isn't a purely masturbatory exercise.

Without further pontification, here's something incredibly cool.

Apparently, Dr. Felix Wankel (patriarch and founder of the famed Wankeler & Sons Inc., LTD GmbH.) bought a third generation R107 platform Mercedes-Benz SL when first launched in the early 70's, right around the time MB had cancelled development of its nearly production-ready rotary engines in face of the 1973 fuel crisis.

Wankel had been in contact with colleagues based in Benz's C111 development team, and had been anxiously awaiting delivery of one of the first production cars. Upon its cancellation, he was somehow able to have a disassembled but complete prototype four-rotor included with the purchase of a new 350SL, in fact the very car seen below, now apparently tucked away in some obscure central European museum.

Reportedly, he drove the car often and very quickly, as it was very fast thanks to the relatively massive 2.4 liter, nearly 400 HP rotary.

Internally coded M950F, only 12 were ever built, and apparently it took several months of work at the doctor's eponymous Research Institute in Lindau to get his running again. It's difficult to imagine a more qualified organization for such work, leading one to believe it would have been a nearly impossible task for anyone lacking similar resources.

Here's a closer look at the wonderful, mysterious four rotor. Reportedly, it pushed the car to 240 km/h or 150 mph with ease, likely sucking down fuel at single digit rates all the while.

Interestingly, a 300SEL 6.3 exhaust manifold is believed to have been re-purposed for collection of spent fumes, and front suspension required quite a bit of modification as well. A stronger clutch was specified, and a large oil cooler was installed under the nose. Notably, the four rotor weighed in some 60kg less than the car's original 4.5 liter (yes, 4.5) V8, easily offsetting any weight added by the cooler.

The car reportedly wears Wankel badges front and rear, but is otherwise largely indistinguishable from any other early R107. I think it's one of the most fascinating and intrinsically valuable cars on Earth, which neatly explains why virtually no one else is even aware of its existence.