Sunday, August 31, 2014

Cars For Fun

I'd been thinking about this combination for a while before I actually drew it, but here is the "Shits & Giggles" pair: a '27 Model T hot rod with a '53 Mercury Flathead V8 and a Meyers Manx with a '60s Ford 289 c.i. V8 dropped in place of the VW motor.  

Friday, August 29, 2014

Getting Settled In At School - Thrift Shopping

Settling in at the new apartment before school starts has been fun.  I've been having to run errands and take care of business, often spending the whole morning, afternoon, or both on my bike travelling between places for the last week.  My bike's rear rack and basket have seen more cargo this week alone than it had for the entire rest of the time combined that I've had the bike for.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

More Car Art: 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, etc.

Yesterday, I talked about how most of my car drawings were attempted imitations of real life images.  I'm not sure if I would actually consider those "art" because there isn't much thought or personal style that I intentionally put into these illustrations, but I could be wrong.  I guess what came out really does reflect my personal style, even though I tried my best to make it *gasp* like real life.  Well, I suppose they could be art because things like the realistic paintings from the Baroque period are without a doubt considered art.  Either way, I don't really care.  I just draw for my own satisfaction.

I also briefly mentioned my numbering systems for different scans of my car drawings to deal with my inability to decide on colors.  I'll go through a sequence below with my '57 Lincoln drawings first.

'57 Lincoln Premiere 0.0 on the left.  I forgot that I wasn't supposed to color it yet so I reverted the scan to black & white and had to sort of blot out the taillights on Microsoft Paint before printing it out on my non-color printer.  '57 Lincoln Premiere 0.1 on the right was the result.  

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Monsters In The Garage

I always keep a list of cars to draw when I have time since my mind is usually thinking about this kind of stuff.  It's weird, although drawing is sort of fun, the main reason why I draw cars is because I have an image in my head that I would like to see in real life.  My habit is that if something I want doesn't exist or isn't obtainable by me, I make it myself.  Therefore, when it comes to images of cars, I attempt to make most of my drawings very realistic so that I can capture the image from my mind and put it on paper.  I also don't usually do art to express any feelings.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Last-minute Projects

Now that I'm finally at school but classes haven't started yet, I can finally make a few more posts.  So, near the end of the summer, with all the big projects done and out of the way, I started attacking a few of the smaller tasks that I'd been meaning to do.  I felt even more productive just by knocking a few of these out every day.  There are only a few that are worth posting about, though.

Saturday, August 23, 2014


Man, it's been a while since I last posted.  I've been packing to move off to school and it's been a bit more difficult to find interesting things to talk about (to me, at least).  I've also been learning a little more about trains as I said I would in the last post, which is coming along quite well.  I might post about that down the road.  As for the frequency of my posts once school kicks in, I'll have to drop back from the daily posting that I've been doing during the summer but will still try to post more than once a week.

Here's one of the most interesting things I found while researching about bikes a while back: the 1960 Bowden Spacelander.

Image from

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Favorite Steam Locomotives

I've loved trains, especially steam locomotives, since even before I got into cars.  The strange thing about this is that while my car hobby exploded into an almost all-encompassing obsession that nearly takes over my life, I haven't learned nearly as much about trains in the meantime.  This could be in part by the fact that cars are much easier for me to relate to: I see them daily, ride or drive them daily, and classic or otherwise significant cars aren't all that rare.  I can safely bet that on an average day here in Michigan, it's more likely that I see a car I love than it is to see even a regular freight train on the tracks down my street.

Allegheny #1601, one of the batch of the heaviest, most powerful steam locomotives ever built on display at The Henry Ford
Image from

Monday, August 18, 2014

In the Black of the Night

After returning from the Dream Cruise on Saturday, which I wrote about yesterday, I threw down some dinner and met my friend Nikolai to go biking again.  I decided to bring my Raleigh Sports for the ride.  At 8 PM, we headed east along Hines Drive further than we had ever ridden before.  The sky quickly got dark but we both had blinky taillights and Nikolai had a super bright LED headlight that way outperformed my Dynohub LED.  Visibility was not too much of an issue.  We cruised about fifteen miles down the road and decided it was about time to head home.  Since I had been riding at least ten miles nearly every day, I felt as though my energy reserve was endless.  Despite the weight of my all-steel 3-speed being a few times that of Nikolai's road bike, I was keeping up comfortably in second gear.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Mustang Alley and the Woodward Dream Cruise: Boss 429 Spotted

Yesterday, my friend Kevin and I volunteered to be photographers for Mustang Alley at the 20th annual Woodward Dream Cruise.  Each year since 1994, Woodward Avenue starting from the Detroit city limits to about sixteen miles to the north fills up with classic and modified cars on specific dates.  The Woodward Dream Cruise started out as a fundraiser but has since expanded into a multiple-day event in which large corporations are involved, namely Detroit's Big Three automakers.  Mustang Alley at 9 mile and Woodward, itself in its 16th year, is run by Ford and saw an especially large turnout in cars this year because of the Mustang's 50th Anniversary.

I picked up Kevin and essentially drove more than twenty miles east on the very road that we live on.  After several scenery changes and a few turns, we found ourselves in the volunteer parking garage and walked out into the "Snake Pit", a purely-Shelby and SVT vehicle display area in Mustang Alley.

Friday, August 15, 2014

St. Benedict Chapel by Peter Zumthor: 1:30 Scale Model

I have to say that this summer has been the most productive summer that I've ever had.  Here's the next big project that I've finished.  This started out as the final project in my ARCH 202 (Graphic Communication) class in the fall semester of 2013 at U of M.  Each person was assigned a building to draw at a certain self-determined scale.  We were to draw horizontal and vertical sections, as well as an axonometric analysis (exploded) drawing. Later that year, many of my classmates decided to take ARCH 218 (Visual Studies) in the spring semester because the same instructor was teaching it.  Since about 70% of the class were 202 students, our instructor allowed the oldies, me included, to build a model from the old drawings for the last assignment.

There is a walk-through video in the link that I suggest checking out. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014


I always catch myself wondering about funny little things that don't matter.  Right now, I'm a little mystified as to why Hot wheels cars offered in McDonald's Happy Meals are so different from those sold in stores.  I only have one example, which is called Riveted that my friend gave to me nine years ago.  Riveted looks to be based off a 1969 Mustang fastback except the two inner grille headlights were moved out to the outer headlight buckets.  It also has gull wing doors, quad circle tail lights, and a spoiler that looks like it's been "riveted" on.  The valve covers of engine are reminiscent of the Boss 429 V8 which was also offered in 1969.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Bursley Sunrise

It's hard to imagine that I'll be heading back to college at U of M in about a week.  I'll be living in an apartment this year with three good friends which is very different from my living arrangements last year.  During the past school year, I lived on North Campus at Bursley, a concrete/cinder block dorm that was completed in 1967.  It is one of the biggest, if not the biggest dorm on campus, with a capacity of over 1300 students.  I liked living there.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

My Headphones

I mentioned in an earlier post that despite being raised a musician, I didn't get into music until about 9th grade.  As expected, I didn't get serious about my headphones until I got more serious about music.  In my freshman year of high school, I voiced my desire for a pair of studio headphones because I found earbuds to be uncomfortable and all of the headphones that came with various old music playback devices weren't up to par.

My 30mm Sonys left to right: V150, Giiq, and ZX300

Monday, August 11, 2014

Old News: Low-Budget Repairs for the Wagon

In February of 2012, months after my father handed the Sable wagon to me, he drove it to work one day and was softly T-boned by a drunk driver on the way home.  Luckily it happened at a very low speed and pretty much nothing happened, except for this:

After thirteen years of taking such good care of the car, it was scarred by a drunk guy in a Ford Ranger.  

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Carpet Bumps are Always Welcome

This is the same car that is in the current banner photo for the blog.  It's a Revell 1:25 1956 Ford Thunderbird model kit that came with a pre-painted metal body.  The box had images of the TV show American Dreams on it but I'm not familiar with it, so I can only guess that this car must have appeared in the show.

Photo credit Nikolai Hedler

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Potty Humor

Even though I'm a college student, I'm still very much a fan of potty humor.  I sure hope I never grow out of it.  There are two jokes today: One heard from Dirty Jobs host Mike Rowe and another found online with NSFW language.  Brace yourselves.  

Friday, August 8, 2014

"Uncompromised Luxury"

It's interesting to see how far the culture and expectations surrounding cars has changed throughout the last century.  I mentioned that in an earlier post and today, I'll take my opinion about the subject into a little more detail.

Video from Audi of America

I saw the above advertisement one morning and near the end of the video, the words "uncompromised luxury" jumped out at me.  I laughed at myself, noticing how much my preferences for a luxury car differed from what people today expect from a luxury car.  Today, most luxury cars (not limited to Audi) are pretty fuel efficient, laden with electronic features, and have sporty handling.  Regular cars are also getting more luxurious as they come.  The nice Audi in this advertisement isn't even expensive by today's standards.  While I can't deny that today's luxury cars are very fancy indeed, it seems like my preferences for luxury cars are more on par with those of an old man.  

1976 Lincoln Continental Mark IV, Givenchy designer series
Image from

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Sprinkler Repairs: A Rite of Passage in Michigan

I'm not sure if this post will be helpful or interesting to anyone, but here we go.  About two weeks ago, my father decided to finally start watering the grass because the weather had stayed pretty cool until that time.  During testing, we saw that there was water gushing out from under the grass next to the driveway.  This was not much of a surprise since the past winter was so harsh.  The next day, I dug out the area around the leak and saw that one of the black polyethylene pipes connected to a sprinkler head had been pulled out a little bit.  The next day, after the area dried out, I undid the sprinkler pipe, cleaned out the opening, and tried to even out the gap.  That didn't do the trick.

The following pictures are all from my cell phone since I didn't want to get my camera dirty.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Breaking Records in a Hot Wheels Car

Being a car enthusiast from when I was only a few years old, it makes sense that I'm a fan of all things Hot wheels.  Hot wheels not only produces toys, but they have created numerous real-life, driveable versions of their cars for display and publicity and stuff like that.  Within the last few years, they've gone so far as to break records with their running, driving cars.  I don't think this post needs any further introduction.

Video from Hot Wheels

Tuesday, August 5, 2014


Ever since I got my '58 Raleigh Sports 3-speed back in November, I've sort of had my eye out for cool bikes around campus.  Not that I have to try very heard to spot them; once bikes were on my radar, they were hard to ignore.  I was particularly happy about finding more English 3-speeds, so I'll share those ones on this post.  Millions of these bomb-proof bikes were produced every year for about half a century, more than 70% of which were shipped out of England.  It's no surprise that many can be seen still alive and kicking today.  Most of these photos are from my cell phone since I don't carry my DSLR to class.

Monday, August 4, 2014

1949 Mercury Coupe and 1956 Ford F-100: The Quintessential Customs

It is common knowledge in the car community that the 1949-1951 Mercuries, along with their Ford and sometimes Lincoln counterparts, are some of the most popular, if not most sought-after custom cars.  Starting at the time when these cars were new, people started shaving, slamming, and repainting the curvaceous bodies to be sleeker, lower, and more beautiful.  Most of these customs were more focused on appearance than on speed, although raising performance was not uncommon.  Today, a quick Google image search of "49 Mercury" will yield many more customs than stock, restored vehicles. With the popularity of the cars among hot rodders, it's no wonder that the '49-'51 is the most replicated Mercury in small scale models.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Pirate Ship

Just a short post for today since I've been pretty busy.  I have a joke that one of my best friends told me back in high school and even he couldn't get through it without laughing.  It went something like this:

Image from

Once upon a time, there was a pirate ship sailing on the deep blue sea.  One day, the guy in the crow's nest says "Captain! there's a ship ahead!" The captain told the crew to prepare to fight and said "First mate, bring me my red scarf so if I get shot in the neck, our crew won't notice and they'll keep fighting valiantly." The two ships reach each other moments later and the pirates fight and win.

The next day, the guy in the crow's nest says "Captain! there are two ships ahead!" and again, the crew gets ready to fight.  The captain tells his first mate "First mate, bring me my red shirt so even if I get shot in the chest, our crew will keep fighting valiantly!" They get to the ships and win the battle.

On the third day, the guy in the crow's nest says "Captain! FIFTY ships ahead!" This time, the captain shouts "First mate! Bring me my brown trousers!"

The end.

Friday, August 1, 2014

1958 Raleigh Sports: It's Done! Restoration Days 14 and 15

Not much happened on Day 14, actually.  I spent most of the day working with Dad to repair the sprinkler's main supply pipe, cutting PVC and cementing it together.  I used the remaining time to give the handlebars and brake calipers the WD-40 penny treatment and removed most of the rust.

The first thing I did yesterday, day 15, was pack the fork bearings.  I slathered grease on all four bearing surfaces and smushed them together to install the fork.

Miles of Exploration on Two Wheels

For part of this summer while my Raleigh Sports was in pieces being restored, I rode my mountain bike all over the place, finally getting to explore the town that I grew up in for the last fifteen years. In relation to that and the anticipated completion of the Raleigh, I started to think about all of the times I cruised (or bolted) around Ann Arbor during the school year trying to discover new places and the specific riding experience that the rough, unrestored bike provided.