Sunday, December 19, 2010

Thursday, November 25, 2010

SCISR Night Race video

That's right... I threw together another one from last Sunday's mayhem... or at least SOME of it:

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Friday, October 29, 2010


24" Schwinn DX from back in '52. Smaller size reminded me of a sporty, so...

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Quick look back: Mess-O-Schmitt

Gunze Messerschmitt Three-wheeler on a Jaw Breaker frame with V-12 power that started out as TWO of the downsized Damiler sixes from the Red Baron.
No, not Von Dutch - VON DEUTSCH!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Finished BOSS ROSS

I didn't spend as much time on it as I might have liked - I had some more fabricated aluminum pieces dancing around my brain - but I'm really happy with the result, anyway.

See more here:

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I had a dream this morning.

Now, I don't normally remember a lot of detail in my dreams, and I rarely dream about building things. That said, I woke up with a bolt-by-bolt memory of building and driving a little track roadster.

The flatty was nearly stock, save for a set of Edelbrock heads and a two-pot manifold. It was pretty gutless, and the dry-lakes gearing didn't do that ol' three speed any favors as I slipped the clutch to get it rolling around the streets of Ventura. A deep bellypan allowed me to sit low in the bucket body, down between the rails. Loads of patina - only the newly fabbed parts in primer. The track nose was sloping with a low, eliptical opening. A big steering wheel looked like it started out on a farm truck or tractor. The wheels were 17" spokes with tall and taller skinny blackwalls. The home-made bucket seats were well-worn leather on padded plywood forms... no aluminum bomber seats for this ride.

I don't know - maybe it's a vision of the futute, or maybe it's just what I wish my latest soapbox project could be.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


Three days and it's not done, but it's really, really CLOSE!


Four feet wide and five and-a-half feet long.

Before, after it was excavated from a construction site:

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Yup... we still do this.

Yeah - that's me catapulting over the curb at about 2:20.

Friday, May 28, 2010

BOSS ROSS is rideable

Lots more details and cool features to come, but I just want to pedal it around a bit.

Saturday, May 15, 2010


This is my Roth tribute bike. I'm building it to "compete" in the RAT ROD BIKE BUILD-OFF at


I thought a monster would make it more "Roth", though my inspiration is more about his cars, and less about all the monster cartoons.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Less than three days left to Rat Rod Bikes Build-Off

Here are some pics, stolen from one of my favorite blogs and reference sites (Nostagia on Wheels). Looking for inspiration:

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Hot Wheel I did in February...

The theme was "Rat Rods", and I'm sick to death of too-long, too low shot-rods masquerading as cool. I thought a ratty-tatty altered pickup was a more original, and much cooler option:

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Illegal Soapbox Racing: Turns out, it's actually illegal! (UPDATE: No, not so much)

So we went with some of the SCISR guys to run GMR this morning. First run was a blast, and spirits were high as we hooked the cars up to tow back to the top. We noticed a Forest Service truck full of khaki-shirted workers passing us, but didn't give them too much notice, as they didn't stop. We passed them on the way up; they'd pulled into a turn-out and waved and took photos as we passed.

When we saw them again as we unhooked at the top of the hill, we knew something was up. A very friendly worker came over, taking photos and asking questions about the cars, joking and being very friendly with us the entire time. We were waiting for the other shoe to drop, but as he walked back to the truck, he gave us a wave, and said, "Have fun - be safe!" We figured that was pretty much a go-ahead.

After a somewhat eventful run (more on this some other time), we were greeted at the bottom of the mountain by a bigger Forestry truck and a couple of stern-looking uniformed gentlemen that began asking for driver's licenses. They seemed to feel that since we were some sort of loose association/group, that we should not be enjoying this hill except under coverage of a permit. They called the Sheriffs Department for a deputy to clarify.

Guess what, folks? Seems that in the last year, the County of Los Angeles has put a code into place forbidding the use of non-powered vehicles on county roads with a grade of more than 3%. In my understanding, this includes skateboards, street luges and our "box-car coasters", but exempts bicycles, as they are well defined, and covered under other statutes. Long story short, a bunch of us were cited, and our soapbox cars seized as evidence pending a hearing.

There's more to the story, but this explains most of it. The deputies would have let us go with a warning, but the U.S. Forestry Department was bound and determined that we should be prosecuted for this misdemeanor to the fullest extent of the law.

Will I fight it? Probably.
Does it suck? Yes.
Will I race somewhere outside of LA County next Sunday? You bet your ass.

UPDATE: The citation cites a code pertaining to skateboards, which they define as "not having a steering device", which our cars obviously do. Can't see this sticking, but I still have to wait at least three months to get the B&GS back.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Building a Few Customs

Hot Wheels, that is.

Create your own video slideshow at

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The City

The concept of THE CITY intrigues me. I hadn't really given much consideration to the Blog as a form of storytelling, until now.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Are you a model BUILDER, or a model ASSEMBLER?

I was looking for a review of AMT's recently reissued "Hippie Hemi" dragster/showrod today, and stumbled across a build thread on SAE's message board. The builder became discouraged with it's "flimsy" frame and the less than perfect fit of some of the parts, and threw his semi-completed kit into the garabage. I've started this model myself today, and though I wouldn't call it a snap kit, I think that with a bit of patience and forethought, this a completely viable model.

Many modern day hobbyists seem to have lost (or perhaps never actually developed) any but the most rudimentary modelbuilding skills. As a kid, I remember having to trial fit, reshape/clearance and fill seams with regularity. Filler was a necessary part of every builder's toolbox. As moldmaking technology has advanced, it seems many have forgotten what that's like.

In comparison to the kits I remember from my childhood, today's kits nearly fall together. Open a few paint bottles and one of liquid cement, dump them into the box, shake, and out comes a completed model! I've talked to builders that won't touch anything but a Tamiya kit, because they "take too much time to assemble". I thought that was the POINT of this hobby!

My Hippie Hemi is being built box stock. Not only does the kit include a vinyl blower belt, flexible upper fuel line, and transparent oil pan with visible chrome crankshaft, but the envelope-style body (that has to be painted AFTER assembly if I wish to smooth the seams) is part of the CHALLENGE of building the best model that I can from this kit. Sure, this means that I'm going to have to revive nearly forgotten (for me) aircraft-style masking techniques, and the actual assembly order may not EXACTLY follow the instructions, but I'm daring the judges at the next contest I enter to fault me for it.

And I dare any of you to go out and buy a kit made from an older, worn, prone-to-warpage tool and make it the absolute best that you possibly can...

..or maybe just scratchbuild something.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Tuesday, January 5, 2010