A few thoughts about cars

Mystery Car 130


Here is an interesting car. Ever seen this one? Guess first then click here for the answer.

Redneck or Resourceful? — Home Made Car Ramps


While perusing the latest X300 articles at the, I came across this link to a clever set of home made car ramps for working under your car. They are made of 2x10s and seem to be well supported. My only concern would be that they might flip over once weight is put on them. But with proper bracing, this might be a good thing to have if you (like me and most other people) don’t have your own hydraulic lift in the garage.

Redneck or Resourceful? I vote for the latter.

What’s the Scoop? — Motorcycle Edition


Today, I was given the opportunity to drive this Ford F250 Dually Flatbed to deliver seed to four different farmers. Driving that truck reminds me of maneuvering a full size school bus through a construction zone. It was wide enough to make you check both mirrors quite often. Thankfully, God gave me a safe trip with no problems whatsoever. However, something interesting did happen.


After dropping the last load in Ashville, Ohio, I drove as far as I could before refueling. I took this picture in Lodi after filling the tank and washing the windshield. Then it happened. A motorcycle rider walked up to me with his helmet on and the clear plastic visor down. “Hey, buddy, give me a few scrubs!” In other words, he wanted me to clean his visor. So, I smiled real big and did it. I scrubbed up and down while he moved his helmet from right to left. One of the female riders said, “That was so cool!”

I’m still smiling just thinking about that. It’s not every day (actually it’s never happened before) that someone asks you to wash their helmet visor. You just never know what will happen when you drive through Ohio.

Synchronized Silliness

Remember the synchronized swimming that was all the rage a while back. It was interesting how the swimmers could stick limbs out of the water at the exact angle, speed, and time as the others. I’m not much a fan of dancing but the synchronized part was impressive. Move forward a few years to today.


I’m not sure whether my two oldest were thinking of that sport on our ride home, but they decided to do some synchronized arm thrusts out of the moonroof and side windows of the Jag all the way home beginning in downtown Chardon. No music was playing. They just decided to do it — laughing the entire time. Where do they get this stuff? :-)

Mystery Car 129


Toward the end of our walk a few days ago, my wife and I saw this mystery car next to Bertone’s 76 gas station in Painesville. What could this thing be? I betcha Chuck Widemire knows.

QOTD #53: Why would a Jaguar XJ6 lean to one side?

During my last visit to the Jaguar Forums, I came across this helpful post. The owner of a 1997 Jaguar XJ6 L complained that the right side of his car rode lower than the left. After replacing the front shocks, nothing changed. The right side was still about 1/4″ lower than the left side.

Why would a Jaguar XJ6 lean a little lower on one side?

Several people came up with suggestions, but Don B. offered the most probable solution to the problem.

jaguar xj6 shock diagram“It is not unheard of for springs to sag with age, but the most common cause of sagging ride height is deterioration of the big foam rubber ‘donut’ spring isolator bushes, Part 5 in the diagram below. Since the bushes are more than an inch thick, there is a lot of ride height to be lost as they lose their resilience and compress with age.”

Hunting down a problem is the hardest part of working on cars — especially a Jaguar XJ6 (X300). If it had been my problem, I probably would have bought new springs, shock absorbers, tires, and then sold the car to relieve my frustration before realizing what the real problem was. That’s the beauty of visiting the forum when a problem arises.

VW Gets it Right

Driving a German Car in a July 4th parade?

Yesterday was July 4th, the 238th anniversary of our country’s declaration of independence. As we were driving to help Sarah Fowler pass out re-election campaign literature during the Chesterland parade, I wondered if it might help my friend to offer the use of our Mercedes-Benz for the parade. By the time I got there, it was too late to make that change as everyone was already in position to start.

I think that a Mercedes-Benz would be a nice touch to her campaign for re-election to the State Board of Election. But I also wondered if driving a German car in a July 4th parade might be a slap in the face to some WW II era people. Those who lost loved ones during the war may never be able to enjoy anything built by Germany, Japan, or Italy. But for others like me, whose parents were infants during that war, there is no feeling of ill will toward the current people in those countries.


Just before the parade left the parking lot, my family walked back to see the old cars that would be accompanying the others. There were several American cars painted a variety of bright colors, but the one car that stuck out to me (besides the Jeep FC fire truck I was unable to picture) was this 1930’s Mercedes-Benz convertible. At first I thought it was a VW conversion but when he started the engine, you could tell the engine was in the front. Was it real? No, the owner told me it was a replica riding on a Ford frame with a Mustang engine from the 1980’s. Very nice.

I do not mean to denigrate the feelings of those who fought during the wars before I was born. Instead, I am happy to say that the freedoms they fought for include the ability for each citizen to make his own choices regardless of how others feel about them. In the USA, we are free to worship God according to our own beliefs, choose to vote for those who represent our own point of view, and we have the right to voice our point of view. Those are good things that I hope continue in the future. In the mean time, I’ll keep driving a Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar just because I can.

Test Drive : Lotus 7 Replica

Our drive to church on Sunday morning is about 40 minutes. As a family we have used that time to read various books to each other. It gives reading practice to the children and keeps them from pestering each other. Our latest book is from the original Tom Swift series from the early 1900’s. During each novel, young Tom invents or improves something like a motorcycle, electric car, or flying machine. The stories are quite dated but are exciting and make you think that maybe you could build something yourself. That’s a good thing.


This Sunday, after our afternoon church service, I got to drive a Lotus 7 replica that is being built by the son of one of our church members. As you can see in the pictures below, it is not quite completed. The owner is slowly working on it and hopes to add fenders for the wheels eventually as well as a hood to cover the engine. This one has a turbo-charged Mazda Miata engine with a 5-speed manual transmission. It certainly makes me walk over for a look every time I see it. Notice how low it sits to the ground?

“You know it’s a Lotus when your knuckles touch the ground.”
–Jon Engdahl

The owner offered me a ride and we drove up Rt. 322 about a mile. He gave it the gas and made it move pretty quickly. Of course, being that low to the ground, everything seems fast. Then he surprised me by asking if I wanted to drive it. “Sure,” I said. We switched places in somebody’s driveway and I backed it out and back onto 322. It took me a while to get used to the bottom hinged pedals. But after over-revving the engine a couple times, I managed to get it into the various gears. The biggest surprise was pressing the brake pedal — no power brakes! We made it back safely but from the picture someone took, it looks like he didn’t like my driving. (Actually, he didn’t complain. It’s just a bit awkward to get out of the car.)


I’m of the opinion that it would take a lot of patience to build a car from the ground up. But on the positive side, you would know the vehicle inside and out and probably appreciate it more. The owner of this car has been working on it for several years and drives it daily when the weather permits. That reminds me of the scientist inventor in the old Tom Swift books we’ve been reading. Funny thing is that the owner’s father has the entire first series of those books.


I don’t think so.

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Upgraded Cats

two cats

I updated both cats yesterday. One received a new flea collar and the other some touch up paint. Both are happy.

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