Saturday, February 27, 2010

I just bought a 2010 Honda Accord Coupe...

At Meyer Honda, me and Joe Duco just after signing the paperwork.

At home in the driveway for a photo shoot

...but I really wanted to buy one of these. I know the clip from Top Gear is a couple 
of years old, but the coolness is still there. Too bad I don't have over $40K to throw 
at a car. However, I could be inclined just to get the 1968 Mustang Fastback with 
the 390 instead. Old technology - yes. Coolness factor - over the top!!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

I Need To Clean The Garage!

Although I live in a house that is only a few years old I am constantly thinking about updates that could be done to the house. A couple of years ago my wife decided to buy some faux stone and replace the fireplace surround. The stone sat around for about a year, but eventually last winter (2008-09) we removed the original tile surround from around the fireplace and my brother-in-law, my wife and I installed the faux stone surround. The fireplace is set into a corner of our living room at a 45 degree angle so we had to cut each stone on the edges to fit. Because it was winter and very cold outside we cut the first day in our garage. This was a BIG mistake! The dust from the tile saw covered every surface in our garage and the next day we cut outside which cut down on additional dust, but the damage had already been done.

During this project we also removed the original fireplace mantle and my wife's brother built a new one out of oak from scratch for us. When he came over to install the mantle it needed a little bit of wood taken off each side where the 45 degree angle meets the wall. So, he sanded each side of the mantle a few times to get the right fit.  Since it was still cold outside this was also done in the garage and now even more dust collected on every surface.

During 2009 I never did get around to cleaning the garage.  I parked the 1967 Cougar that I bought in April in the garage all summer and early fall, but I constantly worried about stuff falling on the car or getting a ding from my wife's car in the garage. This winter the Cougar has spent its time in a large, heated garage at my parent's house. I like things to be organized and I can frustrated when things are out of place, but I will also admit that I am not a big fan of cleaning and tend to put this chore off indefinitely. However, this year procrastination is no longer an option.  The garage is a complete disaster!  I have added a generator that my dad gave me plus we added two large trash cans (one for garbage and one for recycling) from the village where we reside.  This spring I will need to pull everything out of the garage and start from scratch. 

I am looking for low budget ideas on organizing the garage and maximizing the space that we have and keeping an adequate amount of space around the cars. I want to get all of my tools and extra stuff organized so finding things is easy and putting them back is a breeze. I am researching, but I am open to ideas from anyone who is actually reading this post.  Now I will continue to procrastinate until the weather warms up a little.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Thinking About Better Weather And Hitting The Road

As I write this we are getting snow outside so it's weird to be thinking about summer and car show season. However, the NASCAR drivers raced in the Daytona 500 today and ESPN2 is showing their coverage of the Winternationals from Pomona, CA.  The official start to car show season is fast approaching. Here are some big events for the year. 

My goal for 2010 is to attend at least one National Car show event so that means start planning now! Here's a few events that I have penciled in for reference -

Dates - June 5 - June 12, 2010
Route - 
  • Saturday June 5 - Iowa Speedway, Newton, IA
  • Sunday, June 6 - Downtown Springfield, Springfield, IL
  • Monday, June 7 - DuQuoin State Fairgrounds, DuQuoin, IL
  • Tuesday, June 8 - Warren County Airport, Bowling Green, KY
  • Wednesday, June 9 - Chattanooga State Community College, Chattanooga, TN
  • Thursday, June 10 - Regions Park Stadium, Birmingham, AL
  • Friday, June 11 - Downtown Mobile, Mobile, AL
  • Saturday, June 12 - U.S.S. Alabama, Mobile, AL

Other Stops - TBA
Registration Fee: $70.00

For those of you that don't know, the Hot Rod Power Tour is an organized event where car enthusiasts from the hobby drive a pre-planned route or "tour" through parts of the United States. The Power Tour began in 1994 when Hot Rod Magazine staff members decided to take some of their project cars on a cross-country drive from Los Angeles, CA to Norwalk, OH. Thousands of people participated along the route, but only seven participants (other than staff members) made the entire journey and were inducted into the original "Long Hauler Gang". Since its inception, the event has continued to gain in popularity and is now one of the most anticipated automotive events each year. The Power Tour is usually scheduled for six to eight consecutive days and is typically held during late May or early June. During the last few years, the Power Tour has evolved to become a Dylanesque "never ending tour" around the United States. Organizers have started the event in or near the location where the tour ended the previous year. Each stop along the Power Tour route is organized around other events or activities that vary as much as the participants themselves. See the Hot Rod Power Tour page for the magazine's 2009 coverage of the event or the main Power Tour page for coverage from previous years. 

I don't see myself attending this event this year unless it's for the couple of days that it's in Illinois. 

Carlisle All-Ford Nationals 16th Annual Event
June 4-6, 2010
Carlisle Faigrounds
Carlisle, PA
Adult Admission: Th.-Sa. $10 /Sun. $7  
Child Admission: 8 and under - FREE 
Gate Times: Th.-Sa. 7am-6pm / Sun. 7am-3pm

The Carlisle All-Ford Nationals is a three day event featuring the largest gathering of Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury vehicles in the United States. Everything from rare to common vehicles are featured as well as a marketplace full of parts and accessories. See this link for a recap of the 2007 event. Although it would be nice to get together with other Cougar owners from around the country, the problem with this event is the distance from home - over 750 miles and over 12 hours away. 

July 16-18, 2010
Minnesota State Fairgrounds
1880 Como Ave.
St. Paul, MN
Pre-Registration: $45
The Car Craft Summer Nationals is a three day event featuring over 4,000 cars of all makes and models and attracts over 45,000 people. Ten years ago this event was only drawing 1,200 cars so they're certainly doing something right to triple or quadruple the particpants. Those in attendance can stuff themselves with a basket cheese curds while gawking at the shiny cars and watching the activities along the way. The Summer Nationals features a Miss Car Craft Contest displaying the best bodies, an autocross challenge to determine the best handling car, a dyno contest (a meausrement to see which car makes the most horsepower) and a launch box challenge. Extras include a burnout contest featuring smoking tires and the smell of burning rubber. There is also a car corral, family fun zone, and performance marketplace to look at all things car related. See the Car Craft site for coverage of the 2009 event by clicking here.

This is the event that I could see myself attending this year.  First, I like Car Craft magazine the best of the car magazines that I read. Second, the entrance fee to the event is an affordable $45 and St. Paul, MN is roughly only 9 and a half hours and 545 miles from home.  I have also visited the area and driven most of the route in the past so it's familiar territory.  We could maybe stay in Stillwater, MN like we did last time - there are several bed & breakfasts and a historic hotel in town - the Water Street Inn.

Another option would be to attend one of the various Good Guys events that are held throughout the year. There are a few that are held in the Midwest that are only a few hours from home.