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Old Dec 4, 2010, 12:34 PM   #1
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Default Cars, not cameras.

Since I am waiting to pick up my "new" camera in a couple of weeks (I am two generations behind as usual, I got a K10D when the K7 came out and now a K20D when the K5 is introduced. Some day I will catch up), I will not be talkng about upgrade decisions anymore, instead I am going totally off topic with an automotive thread.

Since some of us are just as interested in the technology as we are in the images, it transfers over to other technological toys (notice image threads on aircraft, motorcycles and cars are quite common). I would like to explore that if anyone is interested.

Here is what I would like to see, give me a brief history of your motorized transport, especially cars, along with pictures. I will start with my current "recreational" ride, my summer car is a 1999 base model Ford Mustang. It has a 3.8L simple V6 with 190hp, a 5 speed transmission and no electronic assists (very "twentieth century"). The 15" wheels look tiny compared to the 18" found on most modern ponycars but tires are more affordable and road feel is much better than with the super wide sticky tires. I will work backwards with posts on three of my earlier cars.

I hoope this thread will not seem too far off topic, I will use pictures taken with Pentax cameras where-ever possible (I didn't own a Pentax when I got my first car.)

The Mustang:
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Riverview, NB, Canada
http://aicphotography.blogspot.com/
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Current equipment
Pentax K5, K3:
FA 35mm f2, FA 50 f1.4, FA 28-70mm f4, FA 28-80mm f3.5-5.6, FA 80-320mm f4.5-5.6, F 50mm f1.7, Tamron SP 70-200mm f2.8 Di, DA 10-17 f3.5-4.5, DA 14 f2.8, DA 16-45mm f4, DA 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 WR, DA 50-200mm f4-5.6 WR, AF-540FGZ

Olympus E-P2, E-P5, OM-D E-M1: 9mm to 150mm lenses

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Old Dec 4, 2010, 1:00 PM   #2
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Default The 1984 Fiero

Here is the 2.5 litre Pontiac Fiero. Mine was unusual since it had a 3.32 final drive instead of the usual 4.11. Only about 7000 of these were built to help Pontiac to advertise a very high MPG number.

Rust and neglect by previous owners made it a money pit so I eventually gave up and sold it.

here are some pics from my old website http://ironduke7.tripod.com/index.htm , which, due to the cult status the Fiero now has as the only mass production American mid-engined car, is still there. I haven't touched it in years but it gets enough hits that tripod hasn't pulled it down!!! Amazing!

I modified the hood with a radiator vent and added the rear spoiler and the interior red accents. I also padded the aftermarket Grant wheel and did the leather cover by hand, not a kit.

Here it "was":
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Ira
Riverview, NB, Canada
http://aicphotography.blogspot.com/
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Current equipment
Pentax K5, K3:
FA 35mm f2, FA 50 f1.4, FA 28-70mm f4, FA 28-80mm f3.5-5.6, FA 80-320mm f4.5-5.6, F 50mm f1.7, Tamron SP 70-200mm f2.8 Di, DA 10-17 f3.5-4.5, DA 14 f2.8, DA 16-45mm f4, DA 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 WR, DA 50-200mm f4-5.6 WR, AF-540FGZ

Olympus E-P2, E-P5, OM-D E-M1: 9mm to 150mm lenses

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Old Dec 4, 2010, 1:11 PM   #3
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I don't have any pictures here of my 1984 VW GTI, or the 1984 Honda Civic 1500S, or the other nice cars I owned before family obligations made me buy "sensible family cars".

My first car was a 1976 Chevy Monza Towne Coupe. It was an odd package that someone had ordered but declined when they saw what they had created. It had a 4.3L V8 (262 cubic inches), positive traction rear with 3.23 axle ratio, 4 speed manual transmission and no power brakes or power steering. Small, light and fast (for its time) but an absolute bear to drive (especially in a parking lot). I added an Edelbrock Streetmaster single plane aluminum intake manifold, a Holley 4360 four barrel carburetor, Addco sway bars in the largest sizes available and Gabriel adjust-o-matic shocks set full hard from and soft rear. It was lots of fun but mid seventies GM "quality control" were its downfall, today build quality that bad would be criminal.

Here is a brief account of what happened the first summer I spent home from university. (I will post a picture when I can find one)


"He goaded me every chance he got, not outright bullying but a constant nagging effort to find flaws, especially with my car. It sounds silly now, but for a 22 year old, a car can be an extension of your personality and insulting one’s car was personal. As the summer progressed the gibes continued. Sometimes I did get my own back, like the time he bragged about his car without truly understanding mine.

¨That’s a sway bar” he said, tapping the thin metal object bolted to his car’s suspension as it perched on the garage hoist in my uncle’s service station. ¨Bet you haven’t seen one of them before!¨

¨Not that small¨ I quipped, pointing to the 3/4¨ aftermarket sway bar I had installed that previous spring. It was a small victory but only temporarily interrupted the abuse.

He liked to show off, especially the tire shredding one-wheeled burnouts he did in front of the local beach hangout. I was more concerned about my car, and a little nervous about embarrassing myself, so I made no efforts to compete. My car was much smaller and got little respect but it was a bit of a ¨sleeper¨ the term used for a car that was much quicker than its appearance implied. It had a small v8, a manual transmission and a limited slip differential, a recipe for some serious two-wheeled burnouts. All it lacked was a driver with the nerve to try.

Then that day arrived, the day that ended this abuse once and for all. I sat in my car watching him do his usual burnout, waiting for the inevitable teasing to follow. My best friend Doug was with me that day, and after the usual ¨guess you can’t do that in your little car¨ comment Doug looked at me and said, ¨What have you got to lose, maybe he’ll lay off you if you at least give it a try.¨

Well, things couldn’t get much worse so I slowly backed out onto the pavement. That is where providence took over. At that time many people kept a couple of cattle, for milk, and a winter calf for slaughter. These cattle ran freely, eating from any roadside meadow and depositing their waste products with no restrictions. In backing up I had unknowingly run through a fresh, slippery, cow pie.

I stopped the car and looked down the straight stretch of empty road. Selecting first gear I floored the gas and dropped the clutch. We just sat there, the engine screaming near the redline with the car edging forward out of a cloud of white smoke. Not knowing what to do I jumped on the clutch and jammed it into second gear. The screaming continued but the car finally got enough grip to shoot forward. At redline I shifted to third which was accompanied by a healthy scream from the tortured tires and as I crested the hill the shift to fourth brought an audible chirp. I slowed the car to socially acceptable speed and we cruised back to the hangout. When we arrived there were still a few people examining the twin black marks on the pavement, but he was nowhere to be seen.

He never bothered me again. He still did his showoff burnouts, but only when I wasn’t around. I didn’t set out to embarrass him, he managed that all by himself, and for the rest of that summer I never attempted to repeat my performance. He didn’t bother me so I was happy. And of course only Doug and I knew of the little extra lubrication courtesy of the local bovine population. "

Enjoy
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Ira
Riverview, NB, Canada
http://aicphotography.blogspot.com/
_______________________________
Current equipment
Pentax K5, K3:
FA 35mm f2, FA 50 f1.4, FA 28-70mm f4, FA 28-80mm f3.5-5.6, FA 80-320mm f4.5-5.6, F 50mm f1.7, Tamron SP 70-200mm f2.8 Di, DA 10-17 f3.5-4.5, DA 14 f2.8, DA 16-45mm f4, DA 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 WR, DA 50-200mm f4-5.6 WR, AF-540FGZ

Olympus E-P2, E-P5, OM-D E-M1: 9mm to 150mm lenses

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Old Dec 4, 2010, 2:30 PM   #4
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Great idea for a thread, Ira.

I don't have much in the way of pictures of my early vehicles but here's descriptors of some of the more memorable ones.

Motorcycles:

  • Yamaha YDS3C...Catalina Super Sports..250cc twin, 2 stroke, twin carbs, 5 speed transmission, 28.6 hp @ 8600 rpm...for it's time quite a quick sports motorcycle...had in the 60's.
  • 78 Yamaha SR 500, 4 stroke 500cc single, Japanese copy of the old British sporting singles such as the BSA Gold Star, Manx Norton, Matchless 500cc CS. The SR is an essential motorcycle...great handling, lightweight, kick start only. large dis brakes at each wheel...excellent handling, hard riding (sport suspension)...I have # 209 off the assembly line, bought it new in April, 1978, shortly after it's introduction. Still have.
  • '67 Matchless G15 CS (Competition Sport) Scrambler. It is a factory hybrid, made by the AMC motorcycle company in England. It has a Norton 750cc, 4 stroke, twin cyl. engine with twin Amal Carbs, sports camshaft...shoehorned into a light Matchless frame, with elongated and beefed up, Norton Roadholder forks, Lyta aluminum racing tank (gas), crankcase skid plates, low gearing, Dunlop Universal trials tires....all factory. They were built for desert racing in the southwestern US deserts and sometimes referred to as Desert Sleds. Kick start only, nothing on this bike but the essentials. Not a touring bike. Still have.
Cars:

  • 62 Volvo PV 544s- looked like a '41 Ford tudor coupe. I had the B18s sports engine...twin SU carbs, 1800cc, 4 speed std., harness belts..Volvo was an early safety advocate...first belts I had. These cars were used in early sports car races and rallies...very rugged, excellent handling, had good acceleration for the day. Had in the early 70's.
  • '67 Chevy Camaro RS (Rally Sport) coupe- 327 cube V8, 4 speed Muncie wide ratio transmission....handled not bad and good acceleration, terrible gas mileage. I don't have either car anymore....had in the 60's.
I've had a lot of cars since then....but now, being older, I drive a newer big Buick sedan. I'm quite large (6' 3" +, 240 lbs) and I need lot's of leg and shoulder room, many cars don't fit me well.

Has the legendary Buick 90 degree, 3800 cc V6, a torque rich engine, with surprising punch. I know Buick's get the gears for being an old man's car (I fit the bill )...but it's great on the interstate.. high gearing...loafs on the highway at relatively high speeds, tomb like quiet, 6 passenger seating , very comfortable and doesn't handle all that bad....I've replaced the factory tires with Michelin tires....run them at 33-35 lbs.
Big disc brakes all the way around.

BTW, Ira some very nice vehicles you have and I like your suspension and engine mods on the Monza.. I'm a fan of the type of gearing you had on that car....I like high speed cruising with lower engine rpm.

What are you driving up in Tuk....snowmobile I bet.

Les

Last edited by lesmore49; Dec 4, 2010 at 2:36 PM.
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Old Dec 4, 2010, 3:11 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lesmore49 View Post
I've had a lot of cars since then....but now, being older, I drive a newer big Buick sedan. I'm quite large (6' 3" +, 240 lbs) and I need lot's of leg and shoulder room, many cars don't fit me well.

Has the legendary Buick 90 degree, 3800 cc V6, a torque rich engine, with surprising punch. I know Buick's get the gears for being an old man's car (I fit the bill )...but it's great on the interstate.. high gearing...loafs on the highway at relatively high speeds, tomb like quiet, 6 passenger seating , very comfortable and doesn't handle all that bad....I've replaced the factory tires with Michelin tires....run them at 33-35 lbs.
Big disc brakes all the way around.

BTW, Ira some very nice vehicles you have and I like your suspension and engine mods on the Monza.. I'm a fan of the type of gearing you had on that car....I like high speed cruising with lower engine rpm.

What are you driving up in Tuk....snowmobile I bet.

Les
Les, rumour has it that the 3.8 L in my Mustang was a reverse engineered project based on the earlier RWD version of that Buick 3800 (like the turbo model in the old Regal GN). It redlines at only 5200rpm so it is more about torque than horsepower. I get your size problem, I am not far off at 6'1" and about 225lbs so the Mustang was the best fit in a sportier car. The new Challenger is just my size but not my price range. This older Mustang only weighs about 3100lbs so it is lighter than most of the sub compacts sold right now, as a result it has enough acceleration to be entertaining while still getting great highway fuel economy.

I love those old Volvos, and the RWD models that followed them. I once saw a 244 run an autocross course and beat all comers. There have also been a couple of 242s in the Targa Newfoundland rally. They have squared bodywork but aren't mush different mechanically from the one you owned. One competitor referred to his as the world's fastest refrigerator.

As for suspension upgrades, I just got a set of GT springs that I intend to put on the Mustang next summer, along with better shocks. I haven't found a good deal in sway bars yet, the factory GT bars should work well on the lighter V6 producing a little less understeer (perhaps the stock front bar with a GT rear to get even less understeer).

Sorry rambling again. This is just as big a passion for me as my Pentax cameras and here in Tuk there are mostly just 4WD trucks and snowmobiles (of which I have neither), and I get an occasional ride but haven't driven a vehicle since August.

BTW just fixed some errors in an earlier post, the Monza was a 1976 with a 262ci V8 (4.3L).
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Ira
Riverview, NB, Canada
http://aicphotography.blogspot.com/
_______________________________
Current equipment
Pentax K5, K3:
FA 35mm f2, FA 50 f1.4, FA 28-70mm f4, FA 28-80mm f3.5-5.6, FA 80-320mm f4.5-5.6, F 50mm f1.7, Tamron SP 70-200mm f2.8 Di, DA 10-17 f3.5-4.5, DA 14 f2.8, DA 16-45mm f4, DA 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 WR, DA 50-200mm f4-5.6 WR, AF-540FGZ

Olympus E-P2, E-P5, OM-D E-M1: 9mm to 150mm lenses

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Old Dec 4, 2010, 8:17 PM   #6
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Hey , Ira.
I loved the story about you're burn out. Reminds me of a similar experience I had once but, I'll share that story later. First i wanted you to know I did a little research and found a photo of your old Monza...



Pretty nice sleeper.
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Old Dec 4, 2010, 8:26 PM   #7
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One more thought on this subject... I have owned well over 100 different vehicles in my short life and I'm not sure if I can do it but you have inspired me to try and see if I can list them all. Not now, later!
This is my current ride, first time I have had a 4 wheel drive vehicle.
Its a tin can on wheels but kind of fun to drive. 98 Chevy Tracker. 4 cyl atuomatic, good on gas.

Only photo I have at the moment.



And of course I still have my Goldwing. I don't have many photos of it though, since I lost most of them when my computer was stolen. But, I found this one (with my daughter posing) I posted once before. It was stored on my web site.
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Life's a breeze on a Goldwing...

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Old Dec 5, 2010, 12:06 AM   #8
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GW

I like the Tracker, a simple honest fun machine. As for the Goldwing picture using your daughter as a model was a great idea, beautiful girl, beautiful bike, perfect.
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Ira
Riverview, NB, Canada
http://aicphotography.blogspot.com/
_______________________________
Current equipment
Pentax K5, K3:
FA 35mm f2, FA 50 f1.4, FA 28-70mm f4, FA 28-80mm f3.5-5.6, FA 80-320mm f4.5-5.6, F 50mm f1.7, Tamron SP 70-200mm f2.8 Di, DA 10-17 f3.5-4.5, DA 14 f2.8, DA 16-45mm f4, DA 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 WR, DA 50-200mm f4-5.6 WR, AF-540FGZ

Olympus E-P2, E-P5, OM-D E-M1: 9mm to 150mm lenses

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Old Dec 5, 2010, 1:22 AM   #9
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Here's my current ride... a 2010 Subaru Impreza Outback Sport with manual transmission. Not as fast as a WRX but plenty peppy and tons of fun to drive. Plus it is mechanically interesting, at least to me:
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Old Dec 5, 2010, 1:26 AM   #10
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I shouldn't have used an f/2.8 lens on the above shot... the front tip of the car is out of focus - or do you think that's some kind of decentering? It's a DA* 16-50, y'know. But I've owned many cars in my life... my first being a 1974 Ford Pinto. I've also owned a number of motorcycles... my first being a 1969 Harley Sportster and my current being a 2004 BMW R1150R. I can't seem to find a ready photo of that, however. That's a neighbor's Goldwing under the cover across the street, BTW.

Last edited by Biro; Dec 5, 2010 at 1:29 AM.
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