Another week is done here in The Garage. We had what may just be the last big snowfall of the season, fortunately here in the little town of Whitby the white stuff melted by the end of the day. I hope all of you folks digging out in the Eastern US are just as lucky, it sounds like you had a lot more than we did. Something has changed for me and I’m having fun in the kitchen again. What does that mean here in The Garage? Well, nothing other than I spent yesterday afternoon making a giant pot of chili that Carroll Shelby would be proud of! And so, enough about my world, let’s get on with the Carnival of Wheels!
One of the leading causes of injury in a shop is the incorrect use of tools. The other of course is using the wrong tool for the job. Old friend of The Garage, Dorri from If it’s got an engine… has come to the realization that he’s been using adjustable wrenches backwards. Tsk Tsk Dorri. I would have thought you might pick up on this one in Engineering 101.
Regular readers know that I’m all over the concept of branding. It amazes me sometimes how marketing people and product planners often miss the mark when trying to define or redefine their brand. With the release of their new Patriot and the
fugly cute Compass, the Jeep product seem to be struggling a bit with their branding program. Brian from RaceDriven thinks they’ve got it all wrong. While I agree with Brian on who their target demographic should be, one thing can’t be dismissed. With this new project, Jeep must have done something right, as almost every car blog covering new cars has posted the video over the past week or so. A bit of viral marketing goes a long way, but was that their intention?
It’s a funny thing that I’ve never been a big fan of engine swaps. A 240Z didn’t need a V8, it was plenty fast with the straight six. In fact, I really don’t dig this trend towards an engine swap being at the top of every tuner’s list. So why is that funny? Because a couple of my favourite cars started out with an engine swap! Think Shelby Cobra and Sunbeam Tiger. Where would automotive history be today if somebody hadn’t stuffed a small block into the Ace and the Alpine? Enter Monster Miata. I’ve never really seen the point in the MM, as the Miata could be made plenty fast without the added weight of the Ford lump. Jeff at DrivingEnthusiast.net has a look at the Monster Miata this week and he’s got me thinking that maybe there really was some potential there. Remember, these were smog legal supercars that would run fairly reliably thanks to the bone stock engine. In collector car terms, the Monster Miata may just end up being one of those gems that the auctions never saw coming.
Could Bubba win a Formula 1 race? Sports Illustrated ran a piece attempting to compare the best NASCAR has to offer with the same from the F1 circus. They tried to make NASCAR look like Gomer Pile, compared to F1’s Stirling Moss. Whenever you put together a piece like this, you had best do your homework or someone is going to pop the plugs out of all those holes in your bucket. Marc at Full Throttle knows his stats and does a great job of making that bucket leak. Each year top driver’s from each country are invited to Paris to compete in the Race of Champions. Drivers from NASCAR, F1, CCWS, IRL and WRC are regularly pitted against each other in identical, unfamiliar cars. You’ll be amazed what happens when you compare oranges to oranges.
And that’s it for this week’s Cow, I’m off to watch the tape of last nights Australian Grand Prix. If you didn’t see your submission, there might be a reason. Remember folks, this is the Carnival of Wheels, not the Carnival of UNIX or the Carnival of Buy my brain workout software. For all you car bloggers, next week’s submission deadline is Saturday March 24 and I’ll be posting on Sunday as usual.
Have a great week!