I don’t know how many Grand Prixes I have to post before it’s officially an obsession, but this is the best one yet. It’s a perfect dark blue, has a matching blue interior, and is just fabulous. The early GPs might have the best example of Pontiac’s split-grille/stacked headlight motif, and the minimalist lines have definitely stood the test of time. In addition, Pontiacs always had beautiful dashes, and the almost aeronautical feel of the controls in this car look fantastic. I’d even keep the whitewalls on the 8-lug wheels.
Monthly Archives: June 2013
It’s become an annual tradition at the Magicboltbox household to enjoy the annual Massillon Cruise-On-In and Dance Party, typically held the Saturday before Father’s Day. This year, the whole family was able to join me, but, true to form, the Tempest wasn’t able to make the trip. Here are some of my favorites from among the hundreds of cars shown:
I typically don’t like C3 Corvettes, but I did love the metallic green paint on this one.
I’m also not much of a ’57 Chevy guy, but I love almost anything with black paint and dog-dish hubcaps. It also helps that this is a base model and not the over-the-top Bel Air.
Speaking of over-the-top, this Judge was in fantastic condition and I like the contrasting blue and yellow stripes over the Carousel
Orange Red paint.
I don’t know if this ’72 is a real GSX, but it’s a looker either way.
I’m more a muscle car guy than a street rod guy, but this little roadster is perfectly understated and looks just right.
This Olds 88 was LOW and very, very clean. I can get behind the idea of a lowrider if it still looks stock otherwise.
Even the interior was spotless.
Just look at that interior – who even needs sand?
A nice Limelight Green ‘Cuda.
And another, this one in (I think) Tor-Red.
I still like these turbo T-Birds, especially in blue with the contrasting red stripes. There wasn’t a price listed, but I bet it wasn’t much.
This beautiful ’65 Riviera was probably my favorite car at the show. I could do without the zoomie exhaust, but that’s just picking nits on something this gorgeous.
2nd-gen F-bodies are a love-’em or hate-’em proposition, but I loved this one.
Poor Fred isn’t looking so hot these days.
This truck was in nice driver condition, and the matching Indian motorcycle in the bed is a nice touch.
It’s a shame Novas are worth so much money these days. This one was sporting a big block.
Speaking of Novas, this earlier ’67 was looking pretty spiffy in black with a small block.
I couldn’t help myself. This GN was definitely a driver, with some touch-up needed here and there. I was sufficiently jealous.
Man, I’ve got to be better about taking pictures of non-GM stuff! You like what you like, I guess.
I’ve heard these car-truck mashups referred to as “trars,” but since this started life as a Jeep, I’m calling it a “creep.” Linguistics aside, there is some legitimate creativity and – dare I say it – craftsmanship involved in this monstrosity. Who would have ever wondered it a 1957 Chevy and a Jeep CJ had the same track width? Like some sort of mad scientist, the builder behind this machine has created something both impressive and horrifying at the same time, all for under seven grand. If the pictures don’t do it justice, I kind of want to see it in person. Of course, I’m afraid to go look at this thing, in case the guy gets curious as to what my head would look like on his dog’s body.
My middle daughter is stubbornly hanging onto her pacifier, and every now and again she will wake up in the middle of the night and not be able to find it. As is every toddler’s first inclination, she will immediately start crying for mommy and daddy to come and find it. Usually, the “binky” is no further than under her pillow, but a few months back it started getting legs and ending up elsewhere. Since she shares a room with her older sister, I can’t just turn on the lights and have to resort to a flashlight. Of course, because kids love flashlights, none of ours have functioning batteries.
The first time this happened, in a shocking display of sleep-deprived parental genius, I remembered that I have a rechargeable LED trouble light hanging in the garage:
So there I went, barefoot at 4 AM, stumbling through the garage in search of it. It worked (the pacifier was somehow under her bed), and everyone was happy. I guess it proves there’s more than one way to skin a cat, but maybe I should just invest in some batteries.
While this one’s not a convertible, there are few cooler Detroit land barges than the suicide-doored 60’s Continentals (assuming you can get past the whole “bloody death of a beloved political figure in one” thing). I like the baby blue, the full-width hubcaps, and the lead photo showing off the car’s best feature. Sure they aren’t that safe and not much more than a conversation piece, but there’s just something inexplicably fun about the doors on these cars. The description makes it sound like the car is in good physical condition, although I’d forgo the seller’s rat rod suggestion and leave it as-is, faded paint and all. Hopefully you could just flush all the fluids, get the engine started, and be well on your way to a swinging party in no time.
I finally pulled myself back from the insurance fraud ledge last month and got back in the garage. Replacing the fuel pump was easy enough, and I ordered the best gasket I could find to fix the transmission leak. While I was waiting for it to arrive, I decided I would replace the weepy, patched-in-several-places transmission cooler lines. I removed them (getting a nice coating of transmission fluid on both my legs and directly on my chest in the process) and eyeballed their length to get the appropriate replacements from the parts store. The plan was to turn these:
Into something resembling these:
Being that these were relatively thin 5/16 lines, I was able to bend them by hand without kinking them (for the most part). I could probably use another 4-6 inches on the one line for a prettier routing, but it doesn’t look too amateurish. I made sure the lines were clear of any moving suspension parts and weren’t rubbing on each other or anything hot. If anything else, that’s one less leak path to worry about.
The new transmission gasket still hadn’t arrived, and I was feeling pretty confident after that line-bending exercise, so I decided to go back after the similarly patched fuel line between the pump and the carburetor. Again, the goal was to make the line on the top look like the line on the bottom:
I quickly realized that 3/8 fuel line is much harder to bend than 5/16 transmission line. I made the first few bends by the carburetor without mangling it too badly, but by the time I got to the bends behind the water pump and to the fuel pump, it looked like I’d invited a manic chimpanzee to help in the garage. To make matters worse, I had slightly unbent the original line when removing it from the car, and it didn’t want to line up with the pump anymore. After kinking that line to oblivion, I angrily cut both ends off and replaced the whole thing with a length of rubber hose. Not much more than a temporary solution, but it will do for now. I’ve since purchased an el cheapo tubing bender and another length of line, so we’ll see how that goes.
Later that week, the new transmission gasket finally arrived. I decided to replace the pan as well, in case there was some flaw in the original that was causing me trouble. I steeled myself for another fluid bath, but I actually came out relatively unscathed and was able to catch any of the fluid before it flooded the garage. The new gasket and pan went on quickly, and I followed the strict two-step torque sequence that came with the new gasket. I topped off the fluid (a two-day exercise, since I ran out of fluid at 2AM the first night) and slid a clean piece of cardboard under the car to check for leaks.
The next morning, I pulled the cardboard out and found just two small drips. Satisfied, I actually drove the car to work. A few minutes after I arrived, a coworker broke the news that my car was leaking. By lunchtime, I was officially the Captain Hazelwood of my company (unfortunately, I wasn’t drunk either). Disgusted, I nursed the car back home, parked it in the garage, and put a clean pan underneath to catch the brand-new fluid for reuse.
After cooling my heels for a bit, I think the next step is to verify where the leak is coming from. I’ve been over this pan and gasket so many times that it’s time to step back and reevaluate. To that end, I plan on purchasing a UV dye kit and pinpointing the source of the leak. Stay tuned…
Following up last week’s Grand Prix, I figured I’d jump ahead a couple generations. I’ve gotta say, I actually like this car – somehow the disco-era combination of Cragars, gold billboard side panels, and a white landau top all works for me. Tie in the faux burlwood and the gold interior, and I’m sold on it for less than $4k. Lord knows I love my Pontiacs, and this might be the best proof of my sickness. If only it had t-tops…