Thursday, April 24, 2014

Rotting in Style - 1961 Austin A40 Farina Mark I

1961 austin a40 farina mark i mk1 abandoned florida orlando running rev engine british

The United States was, is, and probably will be all about big cars.  Sure some cars made in the US may be smaller these days, and there are some imports, but over in other parts of the world, small was usually the way to go.  That is no different for this little 1961 Austin A40 Farina Mark I.  That is quite a mouthful.  Regardless, that is what we have here in the group of cars known as the Gabel Collection. 

This car was purchased by the owner from a lawyer, sight unseen.  After he purchased it, he realized there was quite a bit of rust in and on the car.  For that reason, and other poor condition reasons, he parked the car and laughed at it for three straight months.  After that, he began to drive it and like it.  While the car seems small on the outside, there was quite a bit a storage space on the inside, and that was useful for the owner.

It wasn’t all that bad; this was a small car with a small 948cc engine.  Sure it made only about 28 horsepower, but small car plus small engine equals good gas millage.  The current owner described it as “terrific”.  Back in the day, this car was said to get 38 imperial miles per gallon, which equals about 32 miles per gallon in the US.

After a while, this car began to sit.  The original rust problem definitely did not get better.  As you can see, the front and sides of the hood is pretty much nonexistent.  There is rust under the car, inside, and in quite a few other locations.  You can even see daylight through the driver side floor/wall.  That is not something you want to see.

Even after all this neglect, all this sitting, all this rust, deterioration, and all this abandonment, she still fired right up.  It probably would even be able to go for a drive.  With the current state of the rust and flaking paint, you may not come back with as much of the car as you left with, but you could still go for a drive none the less.  For now, it’s not going for a drive.  It just sits here rotting in style.

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1961 austin a40 farina mark i mk1 abandoned florida orlando running rev engine british

1961 austin a40 farina mark i mk1 abandoned florida orlando running rev engine british

1961 austin a40 farina mark i mk1 abandoned florida orlando running rev engine british

1961 austin a40 farina mark i mk1 abandoned florida orlando running rev engine british

1961 austin a40 farina mark i mk1 abandoned florida orlando running rev engine british

1961 austin a40 farina mark i mk1 abandoned florida orlando running rev engine british

Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Men Behind The Mustang: Where Are They Now?

mustang history 50 yeras designer shelby iacoccoa frey oros

The big five-oh of happened for the Mustang.  It’s hard to believe that America’s most popular pony car first rolled of the assembly line fifty years ago.  It’s common for people to be fascinated with movie stars.  Everyone wants to see what the kid from Christmas story looks like now and what not.  What about us car guys?  What do we get to see?  Ladies and Gentlemen: I now present to you (in no particular order), “The Men Behind the Mustang”, today.

Lee Iaccoca
The Father of the Mustang

lee iacocca mustang history 50 yeras designer shelby iacoccoa frey oros

Lee Iacocca is known for overseeing the development of the first Mustang.  It was this man that revealed the 1964½ Mustang at the 1964 New York World’s Fair.  Today, Iacocca continues to be a legendary name in Mustang culture.  In 2009, for the 45th anniversary of the Mustang, the legacy continued with an exclusive, hand-built production of just 45 Iacocca Mustangs.  Iacocca currently spends most of his time with the Lee Iacocca Foundation, the Iacocca Institute, and other “philanthropic endeavors.” 

Iacocca recently wrote a book entitled “Where Have All the Leaders Gone?” after noticing that this nation is lacking strong men such as Iacocca.  You know you’re a badass when you have earned the right to say (in regards to writing this book), “I can’t sit on the sidelines while this nation needs me.”  For more information about this great man, Lee Iacocca, please click here.

Donald Frey
The Product Manager

donald frey mustang history 50 yeras designer shelby iacoccoa frey oros

Donald Frey worked with Lee Iacocca to make the Mustang a reality.  At the time, Frey was Ford’s assistant general manager and chief engineer.  In 1962, Frey had come up with the initial design for the 1962 Prototype Mustang, which was a two-seater, mid-engine, roadster.  After, he oversaw the design and engineering work for what would become the Mustang as we know it.

Frey would meet in secret to discuss the Mustang.  Since Henry Ford II was not in support of the Mustang, when he finally approved the project, Ford said that he would fire Frey if the Mustang was not successful.  I guess we can see that “success” of the Mustang is an understatement.  Donald N. Frey passed away in 2010 at the age of 86.

Joe Oros
The Chief Designer

joe oros mustang history 50 yeras designer shelby iacoccoa frey oros

Joe Oros was a man who designed many cars for Ford Motor Company included MotorTrend’s Car of the Year in 1958: the Thunderbird.  Of course, he also went on to work on the Mustang.  Oros wanted the Mustang to be appealing to woman, but wanted men to want it as well.  It’s ironic that the 2015 Mustangs are all about European styling, when Oros actually wanted the original Mustang to be based off of European styling as well.

After his time with Ford, Oros continued his artistic endeavors at home.  Two years ago, I had the pleasure of speaking with his daughter, Janet.  She told me that when she was little, she met all of the famous names covered in this article.  She also told me that Oros had developed very bad Alzheimer’s, and was placed in an assisted living facility.  Sadly, Joe Oros had passed away later that year (2012).

Carroll Shelby
The Power Adder

carroll shelby mustang history 50 yeras designer iacoccoa frey oros

It’s really hard to think of Mustang and not think of the man known as Carroll Shelby.  When Iacocca was president of Ford in 1962, Shelby pitched the idea of the now famous Shelby Cobra.  With Shelby creating these high performance Cobras that continued to win races, Ford requested Shelby to create some high performance Mustangs.  The rest became history.

He took the existing, growingly popular Mustang platform, and went to work.  The product?  The Shelby GT350, and the Shelby GT500.  We have all seen them, and love them.  Shelby continued to work with Ford to create arguably one of the best modern day muscle cars: the 2013 Shelby GT500 which set quite a few automotive records.  Unfortunately, Mr. Shelby passed away on May 10, 2012.

And More
The Automotive Dream Team

There are many other names that are synonymous to the original Mustang.  If it were not for all of these people, the famous American icon would not be where it is today.

John Najjar (1918 – 2011) – Co-designer of Mustang prototype
Philip T. Clark (1935–1968) – Co-designer of Mustang prototype
Daniel Sexton Gurney (born April 13, 1931) – Test driver of Mustang 1 prototype

These are just seven people.  With the aid of more, the car originally unwanted by Henry Ford II became America’s most popular muscle car.  We have seen 50 years of the Mustang.  Even through hard time, government regulations, and more, the Mustang lived on every year.  The car will continue to live on, and continue to win over the admiration of many.  Regardless of styling, technology, and the names associated with it, it’s still a Mustang, and will always be one.

mustang history 50 yeras designer shelby iacoccoa frey oros 1964 2015

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wax Daddy Bead X - The Last Quick Detailer You'll Need

random automotive auto wax daddy formula 113 car detail spray wax bead x

When it comes to detailing cars, there are TONS of products that you can choose from.  Of course you have some of the big ones like Mothers, Meguiars, and stuff like that.  There are even more products then just the ones you can find at Walmart.  There are a bunch of little guys in the market that should be the big guys.

I wipe down my car every day before I drive it.  Yes, this may be overkill, but that’s what I do.  So very frequently, I will find myself needing a good quick detailer.  In 2010, I was walking around a car show after I finished setting up my car.  There was this vendor selling a purple-liquid product named “Bead X”.  He said he swore by this product so much, he gave me his personal bottle and told me to wipe down my car.

I had just clayed and waxed it, so I didn’t notice anything extreme.  I decided I would take a chance and buy a spray bottle of it.  From the next time I used it on, that’s all I have used as a quick detailer.

random automotive auto wax daddy formula 113 car detail spray wax bead x
So what is Bead X?  Bead X is the “super water repellent”, and “the quickest way to maintain that just waxed look.”  At least that is what it says on the bottle.  You know what?  The bottle is correct.  This spray detailer is made by the “Wax Daddy” (aka “the godfather of car care”) and Formula 113.  It is a purple spray detailer that is really darn good.

As I said, I wipe down my car before I drive it.  I use this spray to remove surface dust (sand, and pollen), and occasional road muck spin off and bid poop.  A very light spray does quite a bit.  The bottle claims that two ounces takes care of an entire car.  While I have not measured, those claims are probably true.  I use a very light mist per area, and wipe it down with a microfiber towel.  The product contains no alcohol or abrasives.

After the application, my car is not only smooth to the touch, but if it rains, the water beads up just like it would if touching wax.  I can’t confirm how long it stays that way since I apply it almost every day.

I have used Bead X as my go to quick detailer for four years now.  I use it on plastic, paint/metal, glass, and chrome, and it is safe for it all.

At one point, the original spray bottle that this stuff came in leaked.  I emailed the company and mentioned the issue.  I was sent a new bottle right away without even asking.  Since then, I have moved on to the gallon jugs, and I refill a cheap spray bottle I found at a dollar store.

This product is a little pricey.  When I purchased it from the vendor at the car show, I think I paid $10 for a 32 ounce bottle.  The price on their website is $21 for that same bottle, and $40 for their gallon.  Their prices have gone up since I ordered last.  However, to stretch the life of this product out, I dilute it with filtered tap water like crazy!  Even after diluting it so much, it STILL works like a charm.

As I have mentioned, there are tons of quick detailers out there.  Out of all of them, I highly recommend Bead X which is made in the good ol’ USA (New York).  I would love to give you more detail about the company and product, but the Wax Daddy was impartial to an interview.  Regardless, this product should be the last quick detailer you will ever need.

random automotive auto wax daddy formula 113 car detail spray wax bead x


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