Hello 2020! It’s been years since I actively did anything with this site, and I’ve failed to reboot it a number of times. But I think this time may different and I’d like to use this space to share my hobbies, side business, and travel. I know that this post is being delivered to subscribers that haven’t seen an update from me in ages, but if you’d like to follow along I’d appreciate the feedback.
One of my renewed pursuits is photography. I stumbled onto a camera that has me curious about it’s super zoom capabilities, the Nikon P1000, and specifically it’s “moon mode” for caputuring stunning pictures of moon. LensRentals.com has the P1000 avaiable for $67 for a week. Add in insurance and shipping, and it’s right about $100.
In preparion of renting this camera, I dusted off our 6 year old Sony HX400V because it boasts a 50x zoom and should serve as decent benchmark to compare. Here’s the shot I got of the moon on an incredibly clear night:
For the most part this is right out of the camera with some adjustments in Photoshop to clean it up. Not bad for a 15 minute effort.
Here’s the shot I got tonight from the rented P1000 on a flimsy tripod with about 5 minutes of prepartion.
It’s not as sharp but the potnetial is there as I wasn’t even zoomed in all the way. Sunday and Monday are super moon display opportunities and it’s looking chilly here, so we should have some good opportunities to get the moon again even clearer.
This is my 3rd or 4th year in a row and this show never disappoints. You have the actual show which always turns out spectacular looking bikes, and there’s the bike parking lot which is like a show of it’s own. Always is at these things! Here are my pictures, enjoy!
Here are some of my pictures from the 2011 Indianapolis MotoGP. RareSportBikesForSale.com was on hand of course as this is an event we try to always make! The gallery is late as usual but at least within 30 days!
These were taken on Friday during a practice session. Doug, Bruce, and I all found ourselves in the same spot on this day as you can get pretty close to the riders with no fence in the way to spoil the shots. Race day, this spot is 20-30 people deep and nearly impossible to get unless you camp out all day in the spot. We usually show up just before the race nowadays since we’ve been there two straight days already and two boozy bike filled nights downtown as well for the bikes on the circle event.
On to the pics! That’s Rossi above, and here is Hayden. His sister had just got married and he wore this helmet to celebrate!
And here’s last year’s champion, Jorge Lorenzo:
Here are the others without post-processing but made available at 1920×1280:
And if you want to see more streetable rides, check out all the bikes I spotted in the parking lots and downtown in this Facebook album for RSBFS.
Thanks again to Doug for being a great host in Indy!
Note: These are copyrighted images. You need permission to use these images and you can contact me at email@example.com for details.
It is time to part with our faithful ‘77 Rabbit that has served as a great entry into amateur motorsports over the last 7+ years. We’ve done numerous track days at Portland International Raceway (where the Indy cars used to race), autocrosses, and several runs at the Larison Rock Hillclimb. Unfortunately the car has been sitting for a couple seasons and just isn’t being used anymore with other projects in the stable. It’s time for a new owner.
This car was built by a professional Volkswagen mechanic who was working at Independent Auto Werks (Bug Werks) here in Corvallis at the time. Together we carefully pieced together all the proven parts for this MK1 platform:
– Engine is an MK2 2.0L bottom end with 1.8L 16 valve head. This combination is well documented to provide an immediate 15hp gain over the base 2.0L 16v configuration for 155hp total. At around 1850lbs it really scoots! We opted for the simpler CIS-E fuel injection as it’s easier to work with than the later Motronic setups. While the motor has seen action over the years, it still provides lots of power. It is still fitted with stock cams to maintain reliability and driveability to and from the track.
– Exhaust is optimized with a dual outlet manifold for reliability, then routed to a Techtonics race downpipe and on to a matching Techtonics exhaust with Magnaflow muffler. Yes it’s noisy but not in a ricey way. Very distinctive tuned 4 cylinder VW water-cooled sound.
– Engine is coupled to a lightweight VW Motorsports flywheel and Sachs clutch combo which allows the motor spin up with ease. Power is sent through an 84 GTi close ratio transmission. The transmission makes some noise on deceleration but has since we built the car some 7+ years ago. I expect it’ll be fine for limited track usage as there is no issue finding or using all the gears, but may require a rebuild at some point considering.
– Suspension is simple but well sorted. An H&R Cup Kit consists of matched springs and shocks (non-adjustable) for a mild drop and more sporting ride. Front upper and lower stress bars are fitted along with a rear strut tower brace. Also a heavy duty rear sway bar is fitted. All bushings were refreshed when fitted. The ride is very flat but not harsh. This combination helps to dial out a lot of the understeer and cornering is easily controlled with gentle throttle response.
– Brakes are upgraded discs up front from an MK2 GTi and we retained the drums in the back. We had originally fitted rear discs as well but had issues with lockup in the back due to the light weight. Willwood proportioning valves are installed for fine tuning.
– Two sets of wheels are included. The car is currently riding on “snowflake” GTi rims with mismatched tires to get you to and from the track. Also included are aftermarket alloys with used road racing slicks. Available for separate negotiation are some very rare, period correct Intra 14×6 German alloys that replicate the look of early Porsche 928 rims. The Intra rims would be perfect if you’re considering this car for a GTi restoration.
– Interior is stripped and focused on only what is needed for track work. An early Passat steering wheel is fitted for better feel and textured race pedals are in place. A Sparco Pro 2000 race fixed back bucket is fitted for the driver and a generic aftermarket seat is in place for the instructor. Both seats have 4 point Schroth harnesses. The stock dash is removed and a custom console is fitted with gauges to monitor oil, water, charging, and revs. The heater core is still intact but it blocked off at the moment. Can be reactivated to warm the interior on cold mornings. Rear defroster works as does instrument lighting. Most carpet and sound deadening is removed, so it’s very loud inside the car and you hear every creak, rattle, bang, and bump. But with a helmet on it’s just part of the experience.
– The exterior is a decent 5 footer. In honesty it’s a poor Maaco paint job that was applied before we acquired the car, but it can be made to look decent as seen in the photos. There are lots of chips, dings, dimples, and yes surface rust. I have tried to capture the worst of it in the photos. This car is not ready for the show circuit but plenty presentable as you make your entry into amateur motorsports. Features GTi fender flares and aftermarket replica European bumpers. All lights work. Headlights are European H4’s with city lights in the park position. Color matched GTi airdam is also fitted.
The good: This car is very well sorted and should clear inspection for autocross, trackday or hillclimb. A simple tuneup should be applied but runs fine with no stumbling and tracks straight. To be used for road racing or rally you’ll need additional safety equipment like a rollbar or cage, fuel cell, window netting, fire suppression, etc… But even after sitting for a few seasons it is running well with just a new battery and a full tank of gas. I also put new tags on the car today so it’s registered until 2013. I drove the car in a spirited manner this afternoon and it made me wish I had space to put it on jack stands and come back to it someday.
The bad: It does have some surface rust on a 5 foot paint job and a couple holes in the floor boards. But for what it was built for it’s ready for more action with just minor TLC. After a thorough once over, I wouldn’t hesitate to drive up to Portland, track it, and drive back like we have numerous times over the past several years.
This car is perfect for someone who is looking to get into local amateur racing or a GTi restoration project. Please email me for more information or to arrange for a look in person. Here are links to my personal blog with stories about how we used the car (note the time stamps):
Please email me if interested in more information or a closer look at the car. I am asking $2350 obo and the Intra wheels mentioned are available at additional cost. With a full price offer I’ll include a used but legal autocross helmet, magnetic numbers, and the fire extinguisher. I’d love to see this car find a home that will appreciate it and the time spent putting it together. Thanks for looking.
Stopped by American Dream Pizza for the monthly Corvallis Bike Night. This is a nice casual gathering and when the weather is nice there is a good showing and variety to be enjoyed. I haven’t made it out to one of these since I bought the Ducati — seems like there is always something going on the same night! I didn’t ride down because I wanted to have a couple beers on the rooftop seating area, but here are some quick pics of bikes that I saw. The red, white and blue F2 was my favorite, though I always love seeing Bob’s K100 too.
The last time Paul and I made this trip was over 15 years ago. Shame on me for letting this fantastic trip from being relived for so long. But we more than made up for it in the end. This trip will serve my memory for the rest of my life!
I’m keeping this post simple in the form of a photo journal of our trip to Sonoma via Highway 101, Highway 1, enjoying the West Coast MotoJam AMA Races of 2011, and returning on I-5.
According to Google, the back way takes only 6 more hours than just shooting up and down I-5. 6 hours well spent if you ask me!
And here’s a video of us on Highway 1 in the Redwoods. There are faster clips on YouTube, but it was our first time and the wide angle of the GoPro doesn’t do the pace justice. That said, it was a lot of fun and the scenery doesn’t get any better — until you hit the coast of course! I’ll come back to this segment in a few weeks and provide an edited version so we don’t have to wait for the good parts. The fun part starts at 1:45 in this one 😉
and here is part two. Skip to 11 minutes for the trek out of the forest and on to the coast. The next 6 hours would be all be about the same; as in awesome!
On to the pics, starting from the beginning:
I’ll likely add more to this post in the next few weeks as I gather all the pictures. Enjoy!
I was fooling around with Photoshop tonight with an MG TD that I took pictures of for Sports Car Shop. Here is the end result. A bit quick and dirty, but I really like the look and think it would be pretty neat on canvas and stretched over a frame. Please let me know what you think — I’d appreciate the feedback.
Our first digital camera was purchased nearly 8 years ago and was one of the popular Canon ‘Elph’ models. Just a simple, compact, and portable camera to easily take snapshots. It always performed well and we especially liked the macro function for close up detail pictures in the garden.
But we haven’t used this camera much since we got the Canon DSLR’s. Suddenly the more stuff we acquire for the big cameras, every outing becomes a project rather than a chance to just snap some simple pictures. When we remembered the Elph, we were excited to loosen up a bit. Unfortunately the battery wouldn’t hold a charge and we were disappointed that a Canon replacement batterywould cost almost $50! But I started reading reviews about the cheapo imitation batteries and reviewers reported that they were just as good (if not better) than the official Canon replacements — and were less than $10! I figured a pack of AA’s is going for more than that these days and decided to try one out. Sure enough, works like a charm and our old camera has been given a new life.
Now I take it with me on short hikes with the dogs and have been enjoying the first signs of spring in Oregon’s forests. These all got some minor changes in Photoshop to crop and adjust color, but that’s about it. Hope you enjoy!
Just a quick post with pictures from this years 2010 OVM vintage motorcycle show. Scott, Paul, Alex and I all came out to see our favorite local show of the year and the crazy weather we’ve been having didn’t disappoint. Feels more like March as Brad mentioned with all the cold rain and hail we’ve had this week!
Here’s a glimpse of all the enthusiasts that came out despite the wet conditions (click for full size pano):
And the complete and rather thin gallery (can’t shoot in pouring rain):
Always a great show and a nice chance to catch up with like minded friends in the area. See you all next year!
By the way — what do you guys think of the new look of the website? I plan to rotate out the backgrounds with new pictures periodically.
I’m a pretty lucky guy to have landed the webmaster gig for Sports Car Shop in Eugene. Not only do I get exposed to all kinds of great sports cars, I get to photograph most of them as well. My photos aren’t pro yet, but good enough to represent the inventory. We take the pictures at Skinner’s Butte Park, which is right downtown and only a few blocks from their showroom. And most times that means I get to take them for a short drive too. Last Friday, that was this amazing 2006 Ford GT:
Never in my entire life has the Ferris Bueller line been more applicable, “If you had access to a car like this, would you take it back right away?” Well I won’t add any more drama; I did take it back right away. My Powerball ticket hadn’t hit the previous Wednesday for $212mil, so I tip-toed downtown to the park and back… and loved every minute of it. But the drive back to the shop was a real challenge as there’s an on-ramp to the Beltline just a block further…
Even in my short and pedestrian paced time in the car, it’s very clear this car was built with a lot of care and thoughtful engineering. Not only is it capable of hanging with the best that Europe can offer, it’s also totally easy to drive around in. As low as it is, the front clearance is actually quite good. The clutch that has to manage 550hp is easy to engage and is very light in fact. And the gearing is perfect for that big lump. I think first gear actually goes all the way to 60mph, but with all the torque available so early, you can just lump her along in second and still have plenty of power to make her jump with a squeeze of the accelerator.
Almost more impressive than the engineering and ease of use, is the cars wonderful body. It’s low and very wide. And inside, it’s the business: you sit down deep in the car and the cockpit is all about driving quickly. Sitting in a slung back position, you turn to the right and see the glass back window is right behind you. And right behind that is the supercharger pulley spinning behind your head. Awesome!
Then there’s the sound. Crank it up and make sure to have big speakers attached for the best sound!
My previous benchmark for best performance had been to the Lotus Elise, which Clayton drove back from So Cal when he could’ve just used auto transport. This was a truly wonderful car to drive and a perfectly balanced platform. But this Ford GT takes it to a whole new level in terms of refinement, driveability, and raw performance. I mean with 550hp under foot, you can turn any situation into a tire smoking felony in mere seconds.
Thank you to Bob at Sports Car Shop for the opportunity to sample such a fantastic vehicle!