Monday, October 31, 2011

Blast from the past: Ford reintroduces the 1965 Mustang

A brand new body shell for the original Mustang convertible is now available to enthusiasts as an 'official' Ford licensed restoration part by Dynacorn Classic Bodies Inc. Instead of spending copious amounts of money fixing rust and welding in replacement panels, restorers can now transplant their running gear and interior parts onto the new body shell. ($15,000 USD.)

The main drawback is that unlike the older versions which were 'all American', the new models are made in Taiwan. Hopefully this means that the originals will retain their value and appeal to enthusiasts. According to a statement released by Ford, “New body shells are made with stronger steel and use modern welding techniques, making them better than the original.”

An older car is much more appealing to me than any new model on the market today as I have found that the former provides a driving experience like no other. The raw feeling, unrefined cabin noise and distinctive smells that an older car emits combined with the history of the car is what makes classic motoring so much fun!

When you buy a new car, one of the most important factors to consider is the kilometres that it’s travelled. With retro rides, you shouldn't care because the body, engine and trim will usually indicate how a car has been maintained irrespective of the kilometres it's travelled. Restoration is about reviving a relic and should never be an easy process.
The hunt for replacement parts both online and at wreckers or buying a donor car is what makes classic cars both unique and enjoyable. 

Many will contest that this is the painful part of owning an older car, but the rewards of building an automobile that was ready to retire is a fulfilling feeling that can only be truly appreciated when experienced. I wonder if the Mustang reproductions will ever make it onto Australian roads? will ever make it onto Australian roads? It would be nice to see some more vintage vehicles chugging along in traffic.

Volvo Art Session 2011

Most people would consider graffiti as vandalism. Because of this, the risk artists take has affected the speed and accuracy with which they create their masterpieces. Graffiti is being recognised globally as a modern art form and earlier this year Volvo commissioned various street artists to show case their skills on an automotive canvas. During the event, the S60 was transformed into unique works of art. 

Despite the victory for street artists who were able to express themselves in a legal environment, the real win was for the car company itself for developing such an innovative marketing campaign.  Either way it’s good to see car companies thinking differently.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Haynes wall murals

Haynes manuals have helped educate people working on cars since 1960. Surface View now offers enthusiasts the opportunity to take them from your garage floor and put them onto your walls. Using workshop diagrams as wall decor or textiles is about as unconventional as cooking food on a car engine, but I love it!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Silvia is in my bedroom

After frequenting many shops for a bed side lamp, I had become exhausted. Retail shopping can be a dull experience when there is no easy way to find what you like, and no assurance that you’ll get what you’re after. What better way to express my love for cars than to make my own with a Silvia corner light that exudes as much charm as the sports car itself.

Nissan Silvia S13

Sunday, October 16, 2011

To explore or not to explore?

Not many cars make it from concept at the motor show to creation on the showroom floor without some changes. For once the design team, engineers and finance department have all agreed to recreate an off-road legend. 

The FJ Cruiser pays homage to its predeceasing Toyota FJ Series Land Cruisers which were produced from the 1960’s to 1984. To help maintain tradition, Toyota opted for white roof and wrap around rear windows for their new model. The original FJ Series LandCruisers earned a reputation for their ability to endure the toughest terrains, which is what separates most old 4WD's from new. The majority of today's car manufacturers tune their 'off roaders' for on road use which is attributed to the small number of people who actually take their SUVs off the tarmac and onto the dirt. 

According to the Toyota website, the new version is more than just a reinterpretation of the cult classic FJ40. It's marketed as a comfortable spirited off road vehicle that's designed to deliver loads of retro charisma.The lack of diesel and manual transmission may have the purists upset, however if you appreciate the great outdoors then the new Xplore Toyota FJ Cruiser could be a tempting buy complete with custom matte paint and Bilstein 5100 Series shocks.

Automotive abode

A living space should reflect personality, rather than worrying about trivial matters such as when the grass was last mowed, or whether or not it’s time to paint the exterior walls. A home is a personal place that reveals who you are and what you're interested in.

Ever heard the expression, it’s either the car or me? Can anyone guess which one stayed?

Tractor time

Last month I helped my neighbour to clean out his garage. His parents originate from Dapto so his shed had all kinds of interesting stuff, among the items he was throwing in the skip bin, was this pre loved tractor seat.

With a little vision, I decided that I could revive the rusty seat and let it retire to a greener pasture inside my house. I went in search of a base for the chair; council clean ups are a treasure trove for items like this. Amongst all the broken appliances, old tins and bags of damp clothes are some real treasures.

Clean ups are beneficial for all involved as people get rid of unwanted belongings, others find treasures in that junk and the council avoid rubbish being thrown out onto the kerbs randomly throughout the year. Everyone's idea of treasure differs depending on their needs; some people look for bikes, some for scrap metal, computer parts, or toys. I struck gold, when I found this neglected bar stool.

I rubbed the seat down with coarse sandpaper, applied some rust converter, and added four coats of fire engine red paint. The base needed some adjustment to the bolt holes, which was easily fixed with the drill. Below is the final result:

Smile, pain at the pump can pay off!

My first post will be about what every car enthusiast should have in his or her garage:
a vintage petrol bowser! I used to work in Sydney’s North Shore, and one day driving back from work; I took an accidental wrong turn. I am fortunate I did, because sitting on the back of a Ute was this bowser. I had seen these classic Gilbarco’s in photos but never in real life.

I took a guess and knocked on the door of a house, first time lucky it turned out I’d chosen correctly. After a brief chat about whom I was and what I wanted, we agreed on a price with delivery included. The owner was a retired marine mechanic who’d salvaged it from the service station he had previously worked at (this explains why it was so rusty).
I paid a little more than I had hoped to but it’s not very often you come across something like this.

The first step involved stripping the pump down to its bare minimum. With the help of penetrating lubricant to loosen the old bolts, the internal pumps were then removed and the rusty panels taken off for some much needed ‘TLC’. The tool responsible for the chrome finish on the stainless trims is an electric drill with a buffing pad and lots of metal polishing compound. The rust was cut out and revamped with ‘repair sections’, the panels were then smoothed with body filler, followed by two coats of primer, two coats of paint and one coat of clear

With the help of my dad who is a retired graphic designer and the internet we managed to recreate the correct period “Shell” insignia. The design and measurements were then sent to ‘BodyMold’ to be printed on vinyl stickers. It’s now become a central part of my garage and will continue to be for many years to come.

About Reinventing Wheels

Now you may find yourself asking where the name “Reinventing Wheels” came from.
When a product leaves the manufacturing plant, it starts a journey. 
Like humans, we all start from the same place and end up in very different places, in-between the start and the end is the story. 

Reinventing gives items another chance, this is my story and I hope you enjoy.
If you have any questions or suggestions about any of my posts, feel free to contact me.

Thank you for your support,