Updated the links on December 17, 2007
|This is my latest toy. It's a 1978 Porsche 928 that I picked up as
a stray. A buddy's wife had had enough of this car taking up space in the
garage, so it had to go. Funny how the neighbors always come to me to
clean out their junk...
The really funny part of this is I remember saying, many years ago, "The Porshce 928 is one car I will *never* own." You see, the early models were expensive, heavy, under-powered, and not as great at handling as they could have been, given the rear-mounted gearbox. However, by the time the 928 S4 came out, Porsche had increased the horsepower by 50% and really tweaked the handling and overall performance. Unfortunately, this is *not* an S4. Alas, I have the original 928. Oh, well...
Historical note: Check out the Packard Panther a couple of pictures down. That car was designed by Dick Teague, chief designer at Packard, at the time. It's a cool car! With the demise of Packard, Teague ended up at American Motors (AMC). He went on to design such controversial, but unmistakable, vehicles as the Gremlin and Pacer. Squint your eyes at a picture of a Pacer (often referred to as a goldfish bowl on wheels). The similarity between the 928 and the Pacer is kinda spooky... Sure, the 928 is much sleaker and better proportioned, but they both have that bulbous, rounded look. In fact, the designers of the Porsche 928 admit that they were inspired, in part, by Dick Teague's work on the AMC Pacer. It's a funny world...
|This is a montage of my family. Obviously, they don't all fit into this 1957
MGA that my Mom bought new. It needs lots of cosmetic work, but it runs and looks
great. Besides, what could be finer than cruising in an old English sports car with the top down?!
|This is a picture of the MGA in its native habitat.|
This is my uncle's 1931 Rolls Royce. He's had this forever (most of my
lifetime) and it was important in getting me interested in old cars.
Restoring a car like this takes incredible determination. Believe me, it's not like restoring your favorite American muscle car (see below)!! These cars were hand-built so each one is unique. Spare parts are rare and accurate documentation is not always available. On major repairs he has had to travel to England (or other parts of the world) to search for parts, talk to experts (many of whom disagree) and get advice on what is: 1) correct, 2) possible, and 3) best for the situation.
(No, they don't usually dress like this! This picture was taken at an old car rally.)
|This also was my uncle's. He sold it recently, but talk about tough to restore! This is a 1954 Packard Panther Daytona. This was a custom show car built to set a new land speed record at Daytona and to try to salvage a dying car maker. With this car there are no experts and everyone disagrees about virtually every detail of the car! Over two years and two distinct body styles there were no more than 6 of these made. Probably only 4 or 5. (There are 4 known in existence in the world at this time.) The body is entirely fiberglass. The windshield is the upside-down rear window from some other car that nobody has indentified. (It has a compund curve - curves both from side-to-side and top-to-bottom - and not a company in the world has the abilty to reproduce it in safety glass anymore. Several have tried including the big guns like Corning, but always the same result.) Even the car's chief designer could provide few clues, some 35 years later, on many of the details such as this, or even the total produced, for that matter. (He has since passed away.)|
|This is the "before" picture of my most active project right now. My 87 Subaru wagon was totaled by some kid in an 83 Volvo (only broke the Volvo's turn signal lens) so I bought this as my daily driver. It has the Pontiac 350 V-8 with 2-barrel carb and T-350 automatic transmission, but it's a good ol' American muscle car. Even with 106,000 miles it's very reliable and fun to drive. (And it looks better, now. See below!)|
|This is the "after" picture. It's no longer my most active project...that's my house. (more on that below.) It's just as reliable as it's ever been! I love taking it out when we get a decent snow early on a weekend morning (before the salt trucks come out). Nothing like a rear-wheel-drive muscle car on a fresh layer of snow!! (Click on the picture to see more of it.)|
It's a Jag. What more needs to be said?
This is truly a fun car, as well. This car was my daily driver when I lived in California. It's rare to have a Jaguar of this vintage that is truly reliable, but I've been really lucky with this one.
I've had this 1971 XKE 4.2 L 6-cylinder since 1984.
This is NOT my mother's MGA!
I bought this for $750 when I was in high school and kept it for many years. This was my last picture of it in Endicott, NY, before I moved to California and had to leave it behind.
It had a Ford 406 with dual Holley quads and a Borg Warner Super T-10 4-speed transmission when I bought it. The conversion had not really been completed when I got it so I learned a lot about working in tight spaces on this one! Imagine fitting the chunk of iron that sits around 406 cubic inches into the space normally filled by the iron around 1500 cc's. The original MGA engine was smaller than your bigger Harleys!
I eventually had to replace the 406 short block with a 390 because it had gone through a poor amateur rebuild. The 390 and 406 are bolt-for-bolt replacements so it wasn't a big deal.
Can you believe my Uncle's Rolls Royce (above) inspired me to buy this!?!
This has been my biggest project most lately!
I've been building this garage addition to my house, nearly single-handedly, for about seven years. (Several of my neighborhood buddies, that I've drafted into service to hoist heavy beams, etc., might scoff at the "single-handedly" part, but I won't point them to this website. ;-)
The garage on the far right has a grease pit in it. It actually connects to the basement under the main part of the house. It is original. I added the hockey-stick part beyond the 45-degree angle. (The three garage doors, almost double-deep, with "lab" above.)
I built the structure out of "stay-in-place" concrete forms made of styrofoam (PolySteel), then just filled them with concrete. Pretty cool and fun to build! (I am not kidding when I say one of the selling points of the PolySteel is it is bullet proof!) There is not a single interior support post inside the garage!! It is entirely free space. (The steel beams supporting the deck and lab are W18x76...just massive)
I've had seven cars inside the garage with bikes, lawn equipment, etc...