Friday, November 21, 2014

Flashback 1966! Exciting Road Test of Volkswagen's New Fastback!

Yesterday, I posted some Road Tests from the March 1966 issue of Mechanix Illustrated featuring a Chevrolet Caprice and a Mercury Cyclone. These beasts suck down fuel like it was cheaper than water...oh, wait, it was! Power and size didn't always matter to everyone as the following road test of a VW Fastback will attest. Our reviewer, Tom McCahill pulls no punches as usual and has a wonderful way with words. Well worth a read, and don't forget to read the ads too.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Mechanix Illustrated Snapshot into the Past

As part of that group called the "Baby Boomers", I particularly enjoy looking at old magazines from the MCM era of the 1960's. A while back at an Estate Sale, I picked up some old issues of Mechanix Illustrated from 1966 that have some fascinating articles, ads and pics.

As a self professed Gearhead, I always gravitate to reading the articles about the cars from that period. In the March 1966 issue, Tom McCahill files a glowing report about the 1966 Chevrolet Caprice. This beast comes equipped with a 427 cu in big block motor. The car delivers some surprising performance for a car of this period. Needless to say, I would gladly take a 427 in my full size Chevy. Enjoy reading as Tom McCahill pulls no punches and provides a rather entertaining perspective.


Mimi, where are you now? My bowling style could use your training aid. Love the oufit.....

Mario, you the man! 

Do you think if I sent in the 15¢ I could still get the 16 page pocket catalog?

For you Ford fans, here is Tom McCahill's review of a Mercury Cyclone also with a big block motor. Tom's descriptions and sense of humor is priceless.......

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Paint Burning a Hole in my Pocket......

Summer just disappeared too fast this year. I had high hopes to complete numerous outdoor projects. Although I got a fair amount of them completed, life got in the way and didn't allow me to finish all of them. One of them was to paint the Salterini wrought iron furniture I've picked up at Estate Sales over the years. I had gone through all of the left over spray paint I had accumulated and decided that some of it was destined to find a home on some of these pieces. The 1st piece painted was a table that might or might not be Salterini as it was bought with a couple of the Salterini chairs I have. Sorry, no before or after, but here is the result:

I just love orange! This came out better than I imagined it would. 

Next on the list was one of the Salterini Cantilever Rocker Chairs I have. This chair had been repainted by a previous owner at least once, maybe even twice.

1st step was to scrape/sand/wire brush all the loose paint off:

Hard to believe, but that is a teenager doing some real manual labor! 

We spent a good amount of time trying to get down to the bare metal where possible. In the end, we got off the really loose stuff and sent it to the painting area. Here are the results:

I still have 3 more of these chairs to paint. With chilly weather setting in, I won't get to the others until Spring.

Prior to doing the painting I found a place that for around $ 150 a chair, you can have these chairs stripped and powder coated your choice of colors. Is it worth it? Maybe if I win the Power Ball Lottery....

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Vintage Family Heirloom Lawn Boy Mower

Family heirlooms are great to have. Especially when they come from a close family member. In my case, I inherited my dad's vintage 1980 R7070 Lawn Boy 2-stroke walk behind mower. It predates the Ralph Nader safety equipment. It does not have the cutoff bar that makes the engine shut off when you to walk away from it. Basically, it consists of a deck, engine, wheels, and handle. I've been told that this model is a classic mower that will never die. This mower has had the wheels replaced numerous times, and the coil pack a couple of times. Usually, that is the only thing that wears out on them.

Anyone with a sharp eye might notice an extra piece at the base of the handle, near the back right wheel. Yes, that is a vice grip. Sadly, I had a slight failure of the handle bracket due to age and use while mowing the lawn yesterday. Without this extra equipment, I wouldn't have been able to finish mowing the lawn.

Fortunately, Ebay came to the rescue with a used replacement in good condition as this part is no longer in production or available through the normal mower part outlets. $20 later and I should have the replacement later in the week.

I think $20 is better than buying a new mower any day.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

MCM Kitchen Dinette Set and Chair Glides

A while back, the wife and I were out at a local consignment shop dropping off some items to sell. We spotted a really cool vintage 1960's laminated kitchen table and chair set. The wife had been looking for a while to replace our 17 year old kitchen table and chair set with a 60's vintage set, but it was priced way too expensive. So, on we went. Back again a month later and the set was still there. We gave it a longing look but passed it up again. Fast forward to the next month and the set is still there. The shop's policy is that items have to be cleared out after 30 days. If it is still there, it's supposed to be donated. I asked the ladies why the set was still there as they were surprised to see the date on the table. They promptly called the consigner who told them to donate it. We made an offer of $50 which was quickly accepted. Here's the result....

The table also has a matching leaf. 

The chairs are extremely comfortable and very cool. We sold our old set for $50 at our yard sale, so it turned out to be a fair trade. 

One of the reasons we couldn't see spending the money originally asked was that the chairs will eventually need to be recovered. We couldn't justify the expense of the table and chairs knowing the potential cost. The recovering of the chairs will be done some time in the future, but more immediately the chairs needed new feet.

The nylon pads were worn out and the previous owner had tried to band-aid them with felt pads. Not a great solution. I started my search for them at the big box hardware stores, but came up empty. Had to figure out that the replacement parts are called chair glides. Once I figured this out, it was easy to find replacements on-line.

One thing about doing projects like this is the importance of having the right tool to do the job. That seems to be a common theme on any of the projects I undertake with this one being no exception. When I ordered the glides, there was a recommended tool to remove and replace them. I hemmed and hawed about ordering one, but in the end, spent the $20 for the tool. Well worth the investment, even if I don't use it again.

Used in conjunction with a hammer, the tool removes the glide and then is used to seat the new glides on the legs. What could have involved a lot of screaming and aggravation without the tool, turned into an easy job of replacing all of the glides on all of the chairs in roughly an hour.

 The feet on the table need to be replaced also, but I haven't found a suitable replacement yet. If you look at the second photo, you might notice a deck of cards holding up one of the legs. The feet have a longer collar than any I've found on-line. Any suggestions for a supplier are welcome......

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Vintage JC Whitney Parts

Who can remember perusing the JC Whitney catalogue? This old MT magazine I've been putting up had some interesting JC Whitney ads in it also....

I think I need a Record Player and a Oh-Ooo-Gah horn for my car. That would get me into the modern age!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Introducing the 1964 Model Year Car Lineup Pt. II

Here is Part II for the 1964 model year line-up in the November 1963 issue of Motor Trend Magazine. A few notable manufacturers such as Studebaker which produced the famous Raymond Loewy designed Avanti, International Harvester, and Kaiser are now just memories. Make sure you scroll to the bottom as it lists all of the models engine and gearing specifications.