Sunday, August 30, 2009

Wheels & Wings: Hill AFB Museum Car Show

Pretty cool concept for a HechtSpeed'er, right? Warbirds/Jet Fighters and Hot Rods! What else does a Hecht need? :) This Wheels & Wings is put on by The Hill Air Force Base Museum every year. Here are some of my favorite pics!

This shot was taken on our way out. A military land vehicle with a line-up of Hot Rods and Custom cars next to the Hill AFB Museum sign. Cool!
Wheels & Wings

I was hoping there'd be more 'birds out with the Hot Rods. They didn't bring any outside from the museum. They had a business jet and this DC-3. It looks awesome next to this '32 roadster. Looks like it could be a pic taken in '45 eh?
Wheels & Wings

Here's another cool shot of the DC-3 with a custom coupe. Don't know much about this car? What is it? I see an Indian head there, so it must be a '30's Pontiac.
Wheels & Wings 2009

Another shot of that '32 and DC-3. It was just such a cool photo op.
Wheels & Wings 2009

OK, you guys know I've been into Model A and 32-34 Roadsters and Coupes. This Black Beauty Roadster with white walls was probably my favorite ride at the show. This thing has a traditional hot rod look that is just timeless. This car will look Boss in another 77 years. Beautiful!
Wheels & Wings

The Mormon Meteor showed up and was parked in the Fighter Gallery hangar. This thing is big! Love the orange and blue paint scheme too!
Mormon Meteor at Wheels & Wings

Here's THE hot rod of the wild blue yonder! F-104 Star Fighter. Love it in this faded bare metal look! It was missing engine, wings and stab, but hopefully the Museum will resto this thing. Maybe a resto-mod? Slap in a "big block" motor from an F15 or something! ha ha
F-104 Hot Rod in the Sky

Monday, August 24, 2009

No Show Vintage Vdubs and Bikes

My favorite car at the show and the crustiest too!

Radio Flyer trike on the roof rack

Christy teaching me the finer points of photography on this one. Nice!

Love these old 50's and 60's interiors. So classic and cool!

Slick Cal-Look bug slammed down on 5 spoke Empi's

Monday, August 17, 2009

Hechtspeed down the Long Course

So, these pics are probably 2 of my favorite from Bonneville. This is me riding shotgun in Pike's 1927 Pinto powered T Roadster down the Long Course. What a blast that was! Look at the smile on Pike's face! Classic! :) Can't wait 'til next year! I need a cool rod of my own to take down the track.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Long Course and off into the White Stuff


So, probably the most memorable moment for me at Bonneville's Speedweek 2009 was the pass I made with good friend Pikesan down the Long Course in his '27 T bucket. Yes, I got to go down the track, the actual racecourse in an 81 year old hot rod. :) How cool is that!? Rad, that's how cool! This year the Long Course was 8 miles long. Wow! It took longer than I thought. After the drivers meeting, the rookies and crew and press can take any car down the tracks and do what they call an "Inspection Pass" to see the surface of the track and get a feel for it.

After the pass, we pulled off the track after the 8 mile marker and pulled into fresh virgin salt. This white stuff is much stickier and wet compared to the prepped/packed down track salt. It makes for amazing pictures to say the least and a lot of salt getting tossed up in the air.

These two cars were from Nebraska. They drove out together in there hot rods. How rad is that!? These pics turned out great eh? Thanks for the pshop TRod.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

See You On The Salt!!!

Here's a quick pic that GregRod took of the crew, Pikesan, Hechtspeed and GreaseGirl next to Pikesan's 1927 Ford T bucket roadster running a 2.3L pinto motor with dual webers, a C3 trans and 8" rear with 4.11's. Good times my friends.

See you on the salt

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Speedweek 2009 Blog 1

So, for Speedweek 2009 Blog 1, I chose a few pics that are some of my favorite. TRod photoshopped them to make 'em pop even more. These pics were taken right after Craig Pike, owner of and good friend and I made an "inspection run" down the 8 mile Long Course race track. :O All I have to say is what a cool memory. The first Hecht to make a run down the salt even if it was an inspection pass (hey, I'm in Quality, what do you expect). The track was pretty dang smooth for a naturally occuring dry lake bed. Sure, it was dragged and prepped weeks prior to get it worthy for those 200-400mph+ speeds.

Craig's roadster that I rode down the track can't get any cooler or more Hecht-like. It is a metal body '27 T Bucket Ford roadster running a 2.3L Pinto motor with dual Weber carbs on, hot cam and lakester header. I don't know much about roadsters, but people kept commenting on its suspension setup and I think it has a lengthened chassis slightly. I can find the full specs on in Craig's virtual "garage". Anyway, its the sort of car a Hecht might build with that odd little 4 banger. It was running rich, so it sounded nasty (in a good way). Once it cleared out, it got up and went good. It's runnign 4.11 gears on a C3 (no lockup converter, but its been rebuilt, so she's shifts good) trans.


Craig's roadster's name is Bonnie. So, getting to Bonneville is somewhat of a homecoming for Bonnie because of her namesake and Lakester build style. This was Craig's first time at the Salt and he became infected with "Salt Fever" way before he stepped bias ply on the Salt. He's hooked and he'll be back. He, with my and other's help, plans to write a book about Bonneville. It should be a fun project that we work on during this year. More info to come on that.Photobucket

Anyway, there's no tach (or speedo, gas, nothing gauges) but Craig said we probably got up to about 70mph or so on the big course a few times. COOOOOL!!!! There's no experience more sweeeter in a vehicle than an open top roadster. Just like last year, experiencing Bonneville inspires me to build my own roadster to drive out to the Salt and get it Salty. For now, I've got a '32 Roadster plastic model that I will treat as my own and do it up proper. :)

One of the coolest things is driving in virgin Salt. It's pretty wet and sticky and if driving an open wheel ride, flings salt everywhere. You'll see that Craig ziptied black hose onto the Webers to protect against inhaling NaCl into the intake system. In later pics I took of the street rods that drove on the flats, the Salt gets everywhere. I really love the pics I took with the salt on coupe roofs and on valve covers and headers. Man, Bonneville is Rad! :)

That's it for Blog 1 I guess. Back to work tomorrow. I already can't wait for next year. Maybe I'll even try and go to World Finals in October (there's World of Speed in September, but baby Zrod is due in Sept, so that's a no go).

In the following Salt Blogs, I'll put up pics (I took about 500+ pics total) of race cars, the pits, the sweet car show at the Golden Nugget in Wendover and our little campsite. :)

See You On The Salt!!!


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Happy 8-6 Day!!!

Kind of cool that Toyota President announced this on 8-6 Day!
Pulled from RoadandTrack:
We've reported on this before, but we now have stronger evidence than ever that Toyota is getting back into the affordable sports-coupe game with an all-new model priced at around $20,000–$25,000. This front-engine/rear-drive 2-door will reincarnate the spirit of the 1983–1987 Corolla Levin/Trueno (AE86), a car that's still popular today, especially among drift enthusiasts. According to our friends at Best Car magazine, Toyota's code name for this future sports car is 086A. That it's so similar to AE86 is no coincidence.
Toyota is partnering with Subaru to bring this project to reality. In fact, most of the engineering seems to be coming from the company known for its all-wheel-drive rally cars. Powering the future coupe will be Subaru's 2.0-liter flat-4 equipped with a new direct-injection system, tuned to produce an impressive 200 bhp and 145 lb.-ft. of torque. We predict the car will weigh about 2700 lb., so expect fairly quick acceleration times, probably around 6.0 sec. to 60 mph. The suspension will consist of MacPherson struts up front and a multilink setup at the rear, with the chassis based on that of the Subaru Impreza and Legacy.
Toyota will mainly be in charge of the car's styling. Although both Toyota and Subaru versions will be offered, the two models won't look much different, apart from badging — think Toyota Matrix and Pontiac Vibe.
The car is scheduled to appear sometime in 2011 or 2012. If this future car truly is a reincarnation of the AE86, Toyota and Subaru will have a big hit on their hands.
This from
TRAVERSE CITY, Michigan — Toyota Motor President Akio Toyoda, making his first public appearance in the U.S. since assuming the top job in June, confirmed that the company plans to launch an affordable sports car "in the next few years."
The so-called "Toyobaru" is a compact, rear-drive two-plus-two coupe that's being developed in partnership with Fuji Heavy Industries, the parent of Subaru and an affiliate of Toyota. Both Toyota and Subaru versions of the car are expected to be unveiled this fall at the 2009 Tokyo Auto Show.
Akio Toyoda, grandson of the founder, spoke about the sports car and about his vision for the company in a speech here at the annual Management Briefing Seminars sponsored by the Center for Automotive Research.
A self-described "car nut," he said, "I am passionate about driving and I race as well.... I want to see Toyota build cars that are fun and exciting to drive." Referring to the new sports car, Toyoda said, "I am very excited about it, and I plan to fast-track it."
Inside Line says: It's usually a good sign when the boss says he likes sports cars. — Paul Lienert, Correspondent

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Mazda RX-8 test drive

9000 RPM redlining 1.3L Rotary with 240hp, rear wheel drive, 4 doors (sort of) and 6 speed manual. Sounds good right? Right-O! So, my buddy at work has owned his silver 2004 Mazda RX-8 for just over a year now and I finally took it for a test drive. I do have somewhat of an excuse though for waiting that long. At first, he had 4 bent wheels and I didn't want to ruin a potentially excellent drive because of that. I didn't want to walk away with a negative experience just because of bad wheels. Then, the clutch went down the "slip 'n' slide" if you know what I mean. Well, he bought some stock wheels from a local autocrosser that were nice and straight and replaced the clutch with an aftermarket "stage 1" clutch and lightweight flywheel.

So, I see if RonRod has any lunch plans since I didn't bring the usual pb n j. We decided to go out and I'd be the driver. Cool! He hands me the keys. I sit in the drivers seat, adjust the seat down and back a little and bring the steering wheel up. I find reverse (by luck) and pull out. I get in first and we're heading out of the parking lot. We pull onto the street and up through first gear to a 90 right. Hmm...that rotary exhaust note sounds yummy. I get into second a tiny bit after the right turn and think "huh, that's pretty quick and responsive". I think again, "man, that exhaust note, even though its stock, sounds good." The tranny shifts quick and easy and pretty solid. The car in general feels spry and light. We make our way to Rancherito's for some carne asada burritos. On the way there, I was driving fairly normal, with the occasional juice to the go-pedal.

On the way back, I take that same 90 degree turn, this time is a left and the slight S-turn before it at a decent speed and it handled great. It almost feels like its not rear wheel drive. It's very neutral feeling. I think it has 50/50 weight distribution front to rear.

Daddy likey! It felt interesting and different, very fun and entertaining. I do love an engine that revs and this rotary certainly does that eagerly. I much prefer an engaging drivetrain like this compared to a turbo 4 cylinder actually. I like how its responsive and connected to your right foot. Sure, its lacking torque, but it doesn't need it to be fun. It actually gets up and goes, I mean, come on, it does have 240hp stock. This one probably had 245-250hp because of the light flywheel. Taking 5 lbs or so off the engine on a small fella like this 1.3L mill is going to get you extra ponies.

So, those are the Good. The Bad? Well, if the Mazda 8 had any negatives, I guess it'd be the lack luster MPG. But, let's be honest here. It's a high strung rotary that makes 240hp and revs to 9000 R's. It weighs 3000lbs on the nose (maybe a few less). It doesn't get any worse than a 230 hp turbo Suby or 300hp EVO, STi and Mustang. I think the 8-ball is rated at about 17-24 mpg.

Slap some 18x9.5 inch Rota wheels and 245/40/18's on some lowering springs, an exhaust and intake to really bring out that rotary music and find yourself some mountain roads and get your Zoom-Zoom on. :)

Now what do I do? :) ha ha RX-8, STi or EVO? Tonight, I feelin' the Mazda Zoom-Zoom. I like the lightweight, balanced chassis and that sweet spinning rotary engine. :) We'll see how I feel tomorrow.

What else should I test drive?

Part II: So, Benrod asked about creature comforts, interior, and how it compared interior size wise to the Genesis Coupe. The car I drove had sunroof, leather interior, power seats. That's all I really remember. I was focused on the handling and driving aspects. The interior size though, good question. Comparing in my head the two cars, Genesis Coupe and RX8...I'd say the room was very equal. They both had more leg room available. I wasn't pushed all the way back. The backseat is easier to get to obviously with the 8-ball's suicide doors. The 8 has a higher roof line in the rear compared to the Genny. The 8-ball had a more traditional armrest/center console compared to the Genny, which made my arm sit level if that makes sense. Head room seemed a smidge better in the 8 too. The seating position felt good in the 8.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe Test Drive

So, Friday afternoon, after making a hobby shop run with Burt, we headed over to Murdock Hyundai. The salesman called me last week and said they received a turbo 4 cylinder coupe with the manual trans (when I was there, they had 3 auto tranny cars, LAME!!). So, we drop in and after waiting for a minute for the Kjarsten, they had a different kid go with me, Tyler. Brent rides shotgun and T-dawg sits in the back. The bummer is that it was like 3pm on a Friday afternoon, so we had traffic when we got on the freeway (and a cop behind me).

The good:

This car is a sweet looker for sure. Especially that Nordsleife Grey color.

The shifter is sweet and solid. That's the trans the WRX and EVO should come with. I also liked the how my arm sat on the armrest while gripping the shifter cruising around.

It had nice brakes. When I got back in my Civic, I really had to push on the pedal.

The seating position was pretty decent, the seats were sweet. Brent kept commenting on how cool they were and how they keep you planted nicely.

The bad:

It's slow, slower than I imagined. It felt like a naturally aspirated 4 cylinder, or maybe that 2.8L inline 6 from a 328i I drove months ago. The first area to address with this car is the power department. It needs an exhaust, manual boost controller and tune. Give me 50hp more and then we'll talk. The aftermarket covers that, but this would be a brand new car and I'd have no money to play with for 2-3 years I'm sure.

It's expensive. Ok, so for new cars, comparatively, its a great value and "cheap" compared to other cars out there. But, I'm on a budget. I need a car in the $10k-$15k range. I'd need a used one and those won't exist for 1-2 years for sure.

Head room is not good. I turned to look behind me and the top of my hat hit the headliner. That bugged. The seat was lowered as low as it would go. It did have a sunroof, which I would not want, so maybe that'd be enough clearance sans sunroof, who knows.

It's rear wheel drive. That's really a good (in the summer) and a bad (in the winter).

The back seat is small and only seats 2. As much as I'd really want an S2000 or 350/370Z, those are 2 seaters. As much as the Genesis Coupe and Mustang GT have a "backseat", its still not very practical when I wanna take the boys cruising, to car shows and baseball/soccer practice.

280+HP Turbo Acura RSX Type-S Test Drive

Ok guys, I test drove a 2004 Acura RSX Type-S with a Greddy Turbo kit. According to the owner and his emails back and forth, the car is making around 280-300hp at about 8-9 psi. He's asking $9,800, which isn't bad, except the car does have a rebuilt/restored title. It didn't appear that the car had bad damage, but the front end panels had some fitment issues. So, on with the show. How does the thing run? Well, its quick. As soon as the R's hit about 4000 the car starts to pull good and the front tires start to spin. The tires/wheels are stock, so that is one place where a few bucks could go to really improving both the looks and handling. On the few corners Brent and I took it had a hard time managing both the steering duties and go duties. When you stay below around 6k, this would be a pretty cool daily driver. But all that power up top is useless unless you're going like 60mph and over. Brent asked for me to do a little launch, so I gave it a go from a stop sign. I was rolling but less than 5mph. It spun for a quick sec' and then started to wheel hop really bad. Ouch! It didn't sound or feel good. Forget that stuff. I'll have to say this is a big PASS! FWD really does SUCK! I should have listened to my 2 year old and his fwd trike. ha ha