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More On Flood Damaged Cars

September 20, 2011 Automotive Topics No Comments

Flood Damaged Cars In The News

With all of the heavy recent flooding you probably have seen a lot of cars in and under water. This topic is very serious because any car that you might consider purchasing could possibly be a flood damaged car. Here are some resources that can help you make a knowledgeable assessment or bring in professional help before purchasing a questionable vehicle.

NAAA Flood Damage Training Presentation

NAAA recognizes that flood damaged vehicles are a significant problem.

Here is a link to their webiste presentation.

Interent research turns up a lot of information about flood damaged cars.

Here is CarFax Reports video on flood damaged cars.

 httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qy0BuwjGfJg”>

Carfax Flood Damage Check. This is new. For no cost they will run the vin for flood damage.

Here is link to a previous Automotive Tribune article on Flood Damaged Vehicles.

Flood damaged vehicles range from partial to complete immersion. If you have concerns be sure and have a professional inspect the car. Some problems are immediate and some problems (wiring corrosion) may take a long time to occur.

Remember that Carfax Reports only what it has available to report. If the car were to be flood damaged and no report was made to the insurance company or the authorities then there will not be a line item in Carfax.

Two New ZL-1 Camaros in 1969

In 1969 the ZL-1 did not have badging but the 2012 ZL-1 does.

Rosenthal Chevrolet 1969

I was helping to work my way through college as a mechanic at Rosenthal Chevrolet from 1968-70.

Two New ZL-1 Camaros

Rosenthal got two (2) 1969 ZL-1 Camaros.  One was sold and the other car was parted out.  Yes, the second car did not sell so the decision was made to replace the engine and transmission in the remaining car and sell the car.

The Details

Rosenthal was big into racing and high performance at that time.  Gene Altizer (a racer) was the shop foreman who also did put his hands on transmissions.  Mousie Brown (also a racer) if memory serves me correctly did the workover on the ZL-1.  What is most memorable was the Last Drive of the ZL-1.  Mousie aggressively drove the ZL-1 in our large service area.  The F70 x 14 raised white letter tires could not handle the power.  It was fitting for this car to have its true character demonstrated, by a professional, before its dismemberment.  This one and only demonstration of the power and performance of this special car is something that represents a cherished memory.It has been reported that 12 cars had the engines removed.  This car would logically be one of the 12.

Final Thoughts

Yenko Chevrolet and Baldwin Motion Chevrolet built their own 427 powered 1969 Camaros

I have many memories of these 2 cars and many other great products in that era.  Specific reason for this post is to relate my recollections associated with these very special cars.  One car that was sold and one car that was effectively parted out by replacing the engine and transmission to sell the car and then to sell the ZL-1 engine and transmission independently.

 A Ghost Remembered

Of the two cars, the one that I remember best was the one that was in the Rosenthal showroom.  It was a “plain vanilla” silver with black interior Camaro ZL-1.  It sat s;ightly higher and squarer than the other 69’s which would be consistent with the heavy duty big block springs and lighter weight of the all aluminum 427.  Basic hub caps provided an appearance reminiscent of the 1963 Biscayne 409.No center console for the four speed floor shift.  It did have the cowl induction hood, however.  And, a placard board on top of the car proclaiming All Aluminum 427 with 550 Horsepower.  If memory serves me correctly,  the window sticker price was around $7,700.

These were very special cars.

Here is a road test on the 1969 ZL-1 Camaro.

Fuel Prices Going Up

October 22, 2009 Automotive Topics No Comments

Fuel Prices Are Moving Up and Fuel Economy Is Moving Up

The fact that gas prices are going up is probably something that you have been noticing lately.  Certainly the current price of gas is under $3.00 per gallon.  This is certainly a lot a lot better than $4 per gallon last year.

Auto Implications

Car and truck purchase decisions are made on the basis of many factors and fuel price is one of them.  If you need a pickup truck or SUV then that is what you need.  If you need a simple car to get around with then lots of miles per gallon, and the associated lower total operational expense, is precisely what you are looking to achieve.

Vehicle Purchases

Car and truck sales have, at least in the years leading up to $4 per gallon gas, represented about a 50-50 share of sales between them.  When gas prices peaked truck and SUV sales dropped and car sales increased.  When gas prices dropped then truck and SUV sales went back up.  This information was on the nightly news and in the newspapers as everyone speculated on how high can fuel prices go.

Fuel Prices Collapse

Fuel prices did start going down, and down and down.  It was an absolute relief not to have to pay so much at the pump.  It was possible to look at the gallons and say “a few months ago I would have paid twice as much.”

Fuel Prices Rise

Fuel prices are going up.  Fuel prices are steadily going up and that has major significance for everyone.  This time increased fuel prices are likely to stay high because the general economic conditions around the world are on the mend so more money will be available to go to the oil producers.

Economic Vehicle Purchase Assessment

VW Jetta DieselIncreased mileage trucks & SUV’s, high mileage cars, hybrid cars-trucks-SUV’s, and electric cars are coming in a big way.  Yes hybrid vehiclesare here right now.  However, the real bulk of these new powertrain vehicles have not hit you dealership yet.

Diesel Power

VW, BMW, and Mercedes have diesel cars that are selling briskly.  It is interesting to note that at the EPA Fuel Mileage site that for the 2010 Jetta TDI the car’s test results are 30 city, 41 highway and 34 combined.  However, in the MPG Estimates from Drivers Like You report 47 MPG.

It is clear that we will all be watching fuel economy numbers very closely when it comes time to get a replacement car or truck.

SuperBird Pace Car

October 18, 2009 Automotive Topics No Comments

SuperBird Convertible Paces The Race

SuperBird Pace CarThis SuperBird Convertible served as pace car at a recent SCCA event held at the Miami Homestead Speedway.

SuperBird Convertible

There never was an OE convertible SuperBird.  Research indicates that there are at least a dozen now.  This particular car was built from a Satellite convertible.

Resto-Mod Cars

Resto-Mod Muscle Cars are the rage today, as was clearly evident in the October 2009 Barrett-Jackson Auction from Las Vegas.  These high performance collectibles are highly desirable because original vehicles can be priced “off the scale” or original cars can be very difficult to drive and maintain.

SuperBird On Pit RowResto-Mod Muscle Cars are updated versions of originals that can be fitted with Original Equipment (OE) or fully modernized technology including anti-lock brakes, better seats and seat belts.  These modern parts can make the car much more enjoyable and safer to drive than if the car were fully built with all OE components.

Reproduction Cars

Reproduction cars are available in many different configurations.  It is possible to have a brand new old car.  Carroll Shelby through his Shelby Automobiles Company has, from time to time, come up with some old chassis and ends up delivering a new automobile with a new vehicle identification number.  The Shelby saga and legend has been the source of many books.  From a resto-mod and reproduction standpoint, Shelby products can definitely qualify.

Superbird Convertible

440 CIDIt has been a while since I have gotten the story about this unique SuperBird.  If memory is correct there were a lot of original Superbird parts and a fairly good convertible body.  Everything was combined and then painted with Plum Crazy purple.

Unique Front and Rear

Uniqueness associated with the front and rear of the SuperBird are documented and they are unique.  This wing car has a number of adjustment points in addition to the special support members to carry wing forces into the vehicle frame. 

Front and rear modifications are a great deal more than simple  bolt on parts.

OE Remembrance

Original 1970 Superbirds and 1969 Dodge Charger Daytonas were a tough sell back then.  These cars were unique and after the high performance cars of the 60’s there was simply a lot of big engine high performance iron.  I remember the first Superbird I saw on the dealer’s lot.  This car was very visible and going back and forth to college I would pass the car.  I am absolutely certain that the dealer had to substantially discount this car to sell it.

ZL-1 Camaro

From 1968 to 1971 I worked during time off from college at Rosenthal Chevrolet in Arlington, VA.  In 1969 Chevrolet produced 69 ZL-1’s.  Rosenthal had two of them.  One sold and one was parted out.  The parted out car had the all-aluminum 427 engine and special automatic transmission removed and the powertrain was replaced with something less exotic.  These unique cars will be the focus of a future article in the Automotive Tribune. 

However, the point is, that we simply did not know how fantastic these ultra high performance cars were to become going forward. 

SuperBird Convertible

This unique car was built by Jay Vitagliano.  It features a 440 CID feeding power to a torqeflight transmission.  The car is very drivable and is a total attention getter at parades, automobile events, and just going down the highway.

Every Superbird Gets Attention

SuperBirds always get attention.  They are a remarkable piece of history.  This unique SuperBird convertible is history.

Automotive Tribune would like to thank Jay Vitagliano for sharing these photos and information about his SuperBird Convertible.

Racing “On The Beach” At Daytona

Where Did They Race On The Beach At Daytona Beach?

North Turn Restaurant SignBeach racing at Daytona Beach was the foundation that led to today’s Daytona International Raceway built by “Big Bill” France who organized NASCAR.

Original beach racing photos and movie coverage is captivating … assuming that you like that sort of history with all of the drivers and unique challenges associated with an earlier era of technology and safety issues.

North Turn Restaurant EntranceToday, if you want to go to the actual beach race course the best location is Racing’s North Turn Restaurant which is located at the point of the north turn along the beach.  Inside the restaurant are hundreds of photos and memorabilia.  Spending some time at Racing’s North Turn Restaurant is an opportunity to look back at history.

Automotive Memorabilia

Automotive Memorabilia

Pontiac ServiceChaos brings opportunity for automotive memorabilia.  With closing of thousands of dealerships there will be substantial memorabilia available t collectors.  Opportunities are significant for small to large items signage and logo items and absolutely new to very historic.

Everything that you can think of and much that you have never heard of or forgotten will be on the market.  Getting a mental grasp on the magnitude of this situation is not easy.  Every car enthusiast has seen the big signs out front and on the buildings.  Showroom decor, parts and service all have unique signage and logos.  Corporate branding and related or product_branded items.  The list is seemingly endless.

Dealership Pontac SignWhere Are The Opportunities

Dealerships that have closed or will closenear you are fair game.  Owners may be too busy to speak with you directly right now but eventually they, or their representative, will be ready to speak with a liquidator of assets.  If someone does not buy and remove the items then some great things ar going to the dump.  Unfortunately, a lot of great stuff will end up at the dump.  The dealership closing numbers are just too great to save a lot of great historical memorabilia.

When Are The Opportunities

Opportunities are going to be there for the collector over tenext few years, for today’s dealerships that are closing.  If there is an immediatete change then the items will be available for removal right now.   If it takes years to resolve issues then it may take years for an outcome.

… Continue Reading

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Richard Kubis Explains Solar Thermal Hybrid Automobile