Happy 4th & 5th of May! (with apologies to Marty Robbins)
The Ballad of Han Cholo
Out in the Tatooine town of Mos Eisley
I fell in love with an Alderaan girl
Nighttime would find me in Chalmun's Cantina
Music would play and then Leia would whirl
Drinking cerveza in metal bikini
Flimsy and shining with gold lame thread
I had it bad for this Alderaan maiden
Cinnamon buns on the side of her head
One night an ugly green Greedo came in
Wild as the Tatooine wi-iiiiii-i-i-ind
From out the county he sought a big bounty
To take my girl Leia to Jabba the Hut
So in anger
I challenged his right to the hand of this maiden
Down went his hand to a blaster he wore
My challenge was answered in less than a parsec
The bug-eyed green stranger laid dead on the floor
Just for a moment I stood there and babbled
Explaining to all just how Greedo shot first
My trusty lowrider Millineum Falcon
was idling outside, so I made a burst
Out of the front doors of Chalmun's I ran
Out where my spaceship was par-arrr-ar-ar-arked
It was a good one, it made the Kessel run
In less than 12 parsecs, on unleaded quarks
So I told
my hairy amigo named Chuy Tabasco
Vamanos vato, let's hit the warp drive
Back on Tatooine my life would be worthess
Well maybe a payday for old Boba Fett
But my homey Lando says my Princess Leia
Is captured by Vader on his Star of Death
I hit the star-brakes and did a u-turn
Artoo he let out a squee-eee-ee-eal
I hit the switches, look out you bitches
I dropped the clutch and away I did peel
And at last here
I am overlooking the Empire Death Star
Fixin' to blow up a planet below
But my love for Leia, it pushes me onward
If only I could shut up C3PO
Off to my right I see ten TIE fighters
Off to my left are at least twenty-four
Skywalker blasts a few from his gun turret
Don't get so cocky, kid, here come some more
Something is dreadfully wrong for I feel
A tractor beam pulling us i-iiiii-i-i-in
There stands Darth Vader with red-hot light saber
Declaring us illegal space aliens
But my love for
the Princess is strong and I whack a Storm Trooper
and try to escape in a garbage chute door
I see a white zap of light from his blaster
I fall in a heap on the underlit floor
From out of nowhere, Leia has found me
Kissing my cheek as she kneels by my side
Cradled by two loving buns that I'd die for
One final kiss and it's Carbonite time
Thanks again to all who participated in this year's edition of the Earth Week Cruise-In and for renewing my faith in the transformative healing power of internal combustion. And now comes the hardest part: winnowing the entries to determine who among you most deserves the crown of Grand Champion Carbonator.
And the winner is (drumroll please)...
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA
Alas, once again I had to overlook the impressive carbonating feats of my readers to acknowledge someone who, despite not sending in an official entry, set an intergalactic standard for mindless, in-your-face fuel consumption. And once again that someone is President Obama, who becomes our first 2-time crown winner.
I realize this choice is not without controversy, and that some Earth Day Cruisers may be grumbling about the contest being rigged. But before you send those "I wuz robbed" complaint emails, ask yourself this: did you fly a private 747 round trip to Chicago to deliver a 600 word, 20 minute speech touting....
[wait for it]
So to all you also-rans: don't hate the player, hate the game.
Previous Iowahawk Grand Champion Carbonators
What, you think I forgot? Rejoice citizen, it's time for the 8th Annual Iowahawk Earth Week Cruise-In - 7 days of peace, love, and carbon-belching horsepower straight from the garages of Iowahawk readers. Together we can combat climate change and celebrate Mother Earth - the Ultimate MILF®!
Want your hoopty featured in the Cruise-In? Spiff it up for a glamour shot, and follow the entry rules below. Best bring your A-game though, because when it comes to carbon production, Iowahawk reader take a backseat to no one!
- Submit a photo or video of your hooptie (preferably as a link), along with a pithy description, to the email link on the left using the subject line "Cruise In".
- Eligibility is open to fossil fuel-powered human conveyances (cars, motorcycles, boats, aircraft, spacecraft, etc.) and other devices at my discretion. E.g., an electric blender is not interesting; a blown Hemi-powered blender is.
- Please submit only those vehicles you personally own, or have stolen. I know many of you have pics of other people's cars, but this exhibition is about taking personal responsibility for the environment.
- If your vehicle was featured in last year's Cruise-In, please wait 'til next year to re-enter. Let's keep it fresh, people!
- Submission deadline Sunday, April 28..
I'll be posting frequent updates all week, with newest entries on top. And, when the contest concludes, I will take each into consideration before crowning the 2013 Iowahawk Earth Week Grand Champion Carbonator.
Let The Carbonating Begin!
SUNDAY APRIL 28
Well, that'll have to do it for this year's installment of the Earth Week Cruise In. Many thanks to all who participated, and stay tuned for the naming of the 2013 Grand Champion Carbonator!
Where does he get all those wonderful toys? "Ferrari Bubba" has been a participant in every Earth Day Cruise In since #1, each time with a different Ferrari. This year, he brings two!
A few of my Ferraris that have yet to grace your website - a 612 Scaglietti F1 and a 550. The 550 is parked in front of Muscle Shoals Sound.
Thanks, Bubba! In appreciation for this fine entry, I give you the finest car song ever recorded in that old buiding:
Who says machines and nature can't live in harmony? Native Iowan "Sodbuster's Daughter" sends this beautiful bucolic Grant Wood-esque portrait of her Impala frolicking beneath the puffy clouds of Beldenville, Wisconsin:
This is a picture of our 1962 Impala SS. There is a long and fantastic story of how this car "came home" a couple of years ago, but for now (because time is short) I want to just show you an artistic view of this beauty. To me, the blue sky indicates that all is well with the earth, and perhaps the Creator even appreciates this human achievement. No smart car will ever become an iconic classic like this one, seriously.
Tom says his Packard is a work in progress. But I say why wait? Take it to the track and go racing:
Dear Mr. Burge, This is a photo of my 1930 Packard 733 running chassis. It is powered by a 320 ci, 90 hp straight eight. Once reunited with it's body, the entire car will weigh around 3 tons, and will get a carbon-comfortable 9 mpg. Everything on this chassis is restored original equipment, except the chair, which is from a different year. Oh, and the firewall, which is wood. Some interesting things to note: 1) The canister on the passenger's side of the firewall (partially hidden by the distributor) is a tank that uses vacuum to take gas from the fuel tank and then gravity feed it to the updraft carburetor. 2) The tank on the driver's side of the firewall is a Bijur lubrication system. It uses a dash pot and spring piston to distribute heavy oil to 27 different spots on the chassis that require lubrication. Thus there are only two grease fittings on the entire car.
School Earth Day? Joe Richardson say, hey, teacher! leave those kids alone!
American cultural imperialism continues apace! Dominik from Down Under offers his righthand drive Caddy (with boastful vanity plates) as evidence:
Some Australians have adopted more Americana than just big macs. And like the kilojoule counter on the box (now mandatory in Oz) we wear our statistics with pride!
Dominik's countryman Bruce from Brisbane ups the ante with his thirsty thundercat:
True fans of Global Warming use 12 cylinders to assist in the eradication of fossil fuels. This cat gets 3mpg if driven vigorously and even has two tanks in a factory installed admission of Carbon friendliness.
In honor of all the fine entries from Australia this year, I'd like to offer this swell video shot by my buddy Piero DeLuca during his recent trip to Oz. If you want it on DVD, you can order here:
Why deal with a cramped little Porsche? Zoltan Newberry's Panamera sez 4 Doors No Waiting:
Just got this 2010 8 cylinder beauty - less than 23,000 miles. HAPPY EARTH DAY
WA Citarella's Skylark tweets a beautiful song to Gaia:
1965 Buick Skylark - Fireball V-6 with un-balanced firing under. Everyone smoked in '65, including the cars. Happy Earth Day. Bite me, Bloomberg!
FRIDAY APRIL 26
Just because I love machinery doesn't mean I don't appreciate natural wonders - like Linda Vaughn, Hurst's immortal Miss Golden Shifter:
And now, back to the vehicles!
Previous entries have featured Aussies and featured Mustangs, but now we have our first Aussie Mustang via Damo from the Clock:
Here is my 71 Mustang with carbon friendly 351 4V Ram Air shot near Mascot, Sydney, Australia.
Not many environmentalists understand where food comes from. It comes from trucks, like this one belonging to real life Nebraska farmer Troy Uden:
Nobody gets under the skin of Mother Earth like a Nebraska farmer does so this year I submit my 1994 Dodge 4x4 with the legendary Cummins Turbo Diesel engine. It wasn't digging deep enough (or long enough) ruts in the dirt so I had the engine turned up to 1,000 lb ft of torque at the crank, beefed up the transmission, put some new tires on it, and even glued on some shiny rust covers on the side. This thing is such a "Greenie" that the engine doesn't even make black clouds of smoke. I hope that won't get it kicked out of your party. Here is my truck's theme song.
Exciteable lad Steve "Big Balls" Abbott gets exclamatory about his beloved 2-wheeled ocean liner:
Now THIS is a middle finger to Mother Gaia! 1,834 CC's! 6 Cyl. Pumping pure Gaia tears as the throttle is opened to rocket this baby to 130 MPH! Hard cornering and sudden planned stops and burnouts both use precious rubber from Gaia's Rubber factory and sends blue heavenly vapors into the air! Comfort! Hell yes! If you are going to go out and besmirch the planet, why not do so in style and a look that all the Dames say "Hey Big Boy, want to give me a ride"… Then I flip up the visor on my Arai and they know that they have messed with a manly man and they buckle a little in the legs! Sorry Babe! This is about IowaHawk you ignorant Sl_t! Yea, it's a rice burner, but it's my rice burner and 100% American Made! So suck it Harley!
Ohioan Brian Borger shares his ginchy Poncho ragtop:
Dusky glamour shot of my 1968 Firebird. Not perfect yet, but getting better all the time. A lot of refined, dead-dinosaur fluid has flowed through the 4-barrel, the combustion by-products of which exit through a healthy set of headers and catalyticless dual exhaust pipes.
Eric Haverhill offers this tribute to Britain's V12 carbon-spewin', beer-smugglin' RAF flyboys of WW2:
Today’s modern day Neville Chamberlains concern themselves with battling global warming, organizing senseless Earth day rallies, denouncing violence, and composting their girlfriend. Yet, the brave gentlemen of the Greatest Generation had a far more pressing fight to concern themselves with: Defending their home land from invading Nazi’s. In her wisdom, Gaia recognized this injustice and donated some of her precious resources to build and fly these magnificent fighting Spitfires. Thanks to excellence of design combined with a little luck, it was found that beer kegs would bolt right into the place of the auxiliary fuel tanks. After delivering a right proper pummeling to the enemy, the pilots of these craft would return to their home land transporting barrels of carbonated barley goodness graciously donated by Gaia (and a few ungrateful Nazi Krauts) as rewards for their bravery. If they flew high enough and for adequate duration, the brew would be chilled plenty cold for the warriors for freedom and democracy to enjoy upon their return.
Tally Ho, Gentlemen! Citizens of the free world thank you for your brave service!
Now THAT'S what I'm talking about. When America was at its peak power, mighty land barges roamed the Earth - and Jason T has the land-bargiest of them all:
The 1959 Lincoln Continental Mark IV is 19' and nearly three tons of American Steel. One of the largest and most expensive American cars of its era, it was the pinnacle of domestic luxury. Getting at most 10MPG out of the venerable 430MEL engine when in perfect shape, my old beater probably tops out at 4MPG. It's a long long way from its former glory and while it kind of smells like a gutter, it's still looking up at the stars...
Having grown up on an all-International Harvester farm, you can imagine my delight at this rustic entry from KC Sorenson in Old Blighty:
International Harvester B414 (The B stands for British) 43.5 horsepower diesel. Built around 1962. Runs great on red-dyed, high sulphur fuel. Room for 2, if one passenger is a grand daughter. Great for ripping up Mother Earth.
What do Iowahawk readers do when presented with a peppy compact? Stuff it with an all-aluminum V8, top it with a fleet of Webers, and go racin'. From my Chicagoland buddy Jim Fuerstenberg:
This is the MGB GT V8 race car owned by a friend and which I have been fortunate enough to race.
Californian "Juanito Cabrone" shares his hardluck pickemup truck "Smash-O" which has survived several eco-terrorist attacks:
Here's my 2005 F150 Supercrew with the 4.6 V8 delightfully handing out about 19MPG Highway and 14MPG city - This young lass attempted to park her Toyota in the back of my thirtsy half ton. Her Toyota left on the hook for the great scrapyard in the sky. My Ford's in the body shop being fitted with it's FIFTH bumper and set of fenders - since this was the fourth time I've been rear-ended in it in the past five years.
Wroarrr! Mark Eaton prefers the Mustang's FoMoCo stablemate:
My 1968 Mercury Cougar XR7-G. It was a special model advertised by Dan Gurney, and is one of 631 made. Ford J-code 302 under the hood. Manages about 18 miles a gallon on premium which is a miser compared to my first car – a 1968 Cougar with a 2 barrel 390 X-code. I was lucky to get 8 mpg back in the early 80s. But then again, gas was a buck a gallon.
My Iowa homeland homie Clarke Van Meter puts his carbon offerings in the service of Demon Alcohol:
My 1991 C1500 does its part at only 12mpg but I feel my inner Al Gore just a little bit when I fire up my brew kettle with enough output to heat a 8200 sq ft house. 220,000 BTU's and uses 'em all.
THURSDAY APRIL 25
A few have asked about progress on my '32 Ford 5-window, a/k/a the Coupe of Wrath. Here's a pic from this week showing the shiny altar wherein the sacrifice of fuel and fire will be made. All will be revealed soon.
Ahh, nothing like a wooded natural glen filled with wild horses. From Tarheel stater Larry Card:
This is my 2011 Mustang GT/CS convertible. I haven't done many mods yet, but with 412 stock HP it has all the power I need, capable of shredding Pirelli P-Zeros at the press of the loud pedal. She did 13.2 at the dragstrip with the top down and me at the wheel, I wonder what she's capable of with a halfway competent driver and the top up.
LANDSHARK! Henry from Virginia sez 454 cubes are not enough for his 'Vette:
Below is my testimonial to the objectives of Earth Day: A completed, four-year restoration of my 1972 454 (now 461) Corvette. Whereas the original got 13-15 mpg, my rebuild gets 15-18 mpg and produces not 350 hp at the crank, but 410 hp. In recognition of this throwback, power to the people production, my wife has agreed to take her bra off before entering the car and I've been asked to go commando.
My old Portland drinkin' buddy Steve Carlson offers up a couple of family keepsakes, with his mom performing modeling duties:
The '36 Ford was my Dad's first car, acquired in 1939. He pretty much did everything to it (there was a garage across the street from his house). The pic was taken in the summer of 1941 with my Mom---they had been married less than a year. In six months, everything would change on December 7, 1941. Dad had various rides during WWII, but his Lockheed P-38J Lighting with two 1,875HP Allison engines had the most raw horsepower.
During the war most of the chrome and other metal trim was removed from the '36 for scrap metal drives, and the it was kind of sad-looking when they traded it in for the "I8NY" 1948 Packard with the Straight Eight. The Packard photo was taken on a road trip to Washington State's Olympic Peninsula in 1949. I remember the Packard as we had it until the late 1950's, although it was replaced with a 1955 Chevy Bel Air with the 265 small-block V8 with the "Super Power Pack" option.
Ahoy there mateys! Seadog Greg Malarik say anchors aweigh and sets a course for eco adventure aboard his personal Gaia Love Boat:
My Global Warmer. '72 Hatteras Convertible. She has 2 giant diesels slurping down 30 gallons an hour and holds 12 gallons of oil between them, of which a lot makes it past the seals and into the fire. On cold mornings she makes enough smoke to kill every mosquito within 200 hundred yards. And a proven fish killer. EcoCarnage.
Cheesehead Vegas Nelson doesn't let a little snow keep him from climate activism:
Just because we are having the Winter-that-never-ends up in northern Wisconsin this year, that doesn't mean we are still hibernating. This little toy has been "spewing" global warming all Winter, and now that the plow's off we can really have some fun in the woods. More carbon, the lake still has 15" of ice on it 2 weeks from fishing opener! Spew, Spew SPEW!
Another impressive Aussie entry (big hat tip to my good mate Tim Blair) from Pat Heuvel of Lysterfield, Victoria. Pat explains how he's doing his part to keep the Southern Hemisphere warm:
While my ride doesn't suck through our fossil friends like that of Mr Wilcox, I do ride mine every working day 32km to and from work. And this baby just lurves the 98 octane juice... you're welcome, Gaia. Anything I can do to help.
WEDNESDAY APRIL 24
Yes, it’s a pretend wanna-be, but it’s my pretend wanna-be, and the motor was built, plasti-gaged, and torqued-to-spec by me with the help of a couple of good friends and a surprisingly little loss of knuckle skin, and it’ll burn extra hydrocarbons (in the form of melted rubber) all the way through 2nd gear.
Well-heeled California environmentalist "T. Boddington Howell the 1st" sings the praises of recycling:
Attached is a photo of Mathilde, a 1971 Mercedes Benz 280SE 3.5 V8 coupe. She was liberated from a dysfunctional Chinese grad student at a very reasonable cost, and is in the process of a painstaking refit & refurb. Funny how those little bitty parts I thought were $9.95 turned out to be 89 Reichsmarks (36 Euros). Over and over and over.
The Germans have a sadistic tendency, but having had Mathilde restored to me I am now a good Earth Citizen having saved the planet from all of the extra carbon, steel, plastics, leather and lubricants that would have been necessary to build a replacement Hyundai. Doing one’s part is simply good form, you know.
Lovey and I would welcome you to cruise the Coast one summer evening as we swill martinis at some roadside café’.
Fred Boness shows that nothing adds to the beauty of a windswept seascape like a 4WD diesel:
This is one of five thousand Diesel Jeep Liberty SUVs built in 2005. It uses a Detroit Diesel Motori four cylinder, 2.8 liter, turbocharged Diesel that Jeep uses mostly in Europe where Diesel is more popular.
Newspaper columnist/Internet sensation Don Surber likes the wind to toussle his silver locks behind the wheel of his ragtop Mustang:
Sure my 2010 Mustang GT is only 300+ ponies and it gets 22 MPG -- but what it lacks in low-MPG it makes up in mileage. I drive it aimlessly for countless miles when the weather is sunny and bright and thanks to Global Warming, the number of Top Down Days is increasing. Win,Win. Best of all, I'm from Cleveland originally so I have a lower threshold for warmth. For example, it was 35 degrees when that photo was taken in Lewisburg, West Virginia, last November. (Proof: I'm wearing two shirts)
Mark from Brisbane is proud of his four-wheeled tribute to the Australian spirit:
Behold my magnificent white V8 Leyland P76! The type turns 40 this year. It’s quintessentially Australian. It is the only passenger car ever fully designed and built in Australia. It was about 15 years ahead of its time, pioneering many features now common in cars. And it was completely buggered up by lazy, greedy, retarded Australian unionists and godawful management. You can’t get more Australian than that.
It replaces my previous Leyland, which went (aiyoh!) the way of the Viking.
Martin Penn says 3 wheels are better than 2:
My Triumph Rocket III is the world's most powerful production motorcycle to date. She has a 2.3l engine and outputs 140bhp. The two-wheeler version weighs almost a third of a ton and manages around 30mpg. My trike conversion makes her even heavier and thirstier. I have also added lots of weighty, chrome-encrusted bits of motorcycle bling. I ride whenever weather permits (thanks to global warming the riding season is longer than ever!) and I just love her Gaia-wasting performance.
Amanda Bland's old man's Mustang is anything but a bland old man's car:
Put this on your blog!!
TUESDAY APRIL 23
I always wait in eager anticipation for the entries of Scott Wilcox, who has participated in every edition of the Earth Week Cruise. Once again, he does not disappoint:
I would like to submit my current ride for your consideration for the 2013 Earth Day Cruise In. Anything worth doing is worth overdoing and there is never enough horsepower. Therefore I hit the tracks with my 2012 Aprilia RSV4 Factory. Sucking down VP110 by the gallon while shredding Michelins by the trailer load it leaves black strips down Gaia’s backside exiting corners. When delivering it’s 200hp to the rear wheel the MILF just screams for more. Mother Earth has never been more satisfied. I’m proudly doing my part to defile the old women!
Shaken not stirred: my NY buddy (and Earth Day Cruise-In veteran) Charles Glasser blows the winter cobwebs from the pipes of his swanky '70 Jag E-Type in this inspiring video:
" target="_self">Coupe of Justice. To let you know it's in good hands, he sends this update pic of the ol' heap sporting some cute fender candy:
Sensitive artist Casey Craig explains this handsome sculpture:
Everything is bigger in Texas....especially the carbon footprint of my beloved 1969 Mach 1 Mustang.
Aussie Peter Munro rules the Outback in his FJ:
Here's my 4 litre FJ Cruiser, fitted with huge steel crash barrier thing called a "Bullbar" in Australia. Not only is it a bush bashing behemoth, totally useless for anything except tearing up Gaia's carefully tended gardens, it runs on Premium (95 Octane) fuel at a rate that would put a B-52 bomber to shame.
MONDAY APRIL 22
Canuck correspondent David McEwen shares a pic from his carbon-burning glory days:
Eastbound and down! Texan Emily Warner shows off the family ThunderChicken:
We have a 1974 Pontiac Trans Am SD 455 sitting in the garage. It's loud and gets about 2 mpg and burns through oil. I think my husband and I will take turns taking it to some of the more liberal Austin neighborhoods and burn rubber. We'll have to add the "STOP GLOBAL WHINING" bumper sticker to the back.
Holy Carroll Shelby: Like me (see below) Arizona's Michael Perkins drives a Ford. Except his GT500 King Cobra has 2x the horsepower of mine - in each and every one of its 8 cylinders:
I'll be taking this out & vigorously massaging the gas pedal. For the kids, of course.
I will kickoff this year's parade with the newest addition to the Iowahawk green fleet: the 1929 Ford Model A Roadster of Love. Unrestored original paint, canvas top, mechanical brakes, and determined lil' 40 hp flathead 4-banger capable of propelling it to breakneck 55 mph top speeds (well, okay, with a tail wind). And at 25 mpg, by far the most efficient 4-wheeled vehicle in my garage. The perfect hoopty for traveling America's gravel backroads, stealing pie from the windowsills of unsuspecting farm wives. Plus a rumble seat for bathtub gin and comely coeds! 23 Skiddoo!
(with apologies to Billy Joel)
At the Boston Marathon, someone set us up the bomb
Backpack tax attacks, at least that's what they say
Talking heads smelling Tea, live on MSNBC
New York Times solving crimes, suspects the NRA
Journalist, media, Google Wikipedia
Experts, head hurts, CNN's a wreck
In their guts, they see nuts, homegrown Boston Patriots
APB for Tom Brady, hunt for Belichek
This was a one week cycle
It started Monday
And drug on to Sunday
This was a one week cycle
No I didn't need it
But I tried to tweet it
Gosnell trial, victim pile, coverage in a little while
News vans, spray-on tans, updates overnight
Michael Moore connects the dots, Alex Jones detects the plots
Blogger dope holds out hope the perpetrator's white
Hot mess PBS sanity under stress
Mississippi senator gets something in the post
Slicin', dicin', envelope of ricin
Perry White Daily Planet, Great Caesar's Ghost
This was a one week cycle
It started Monday
And drug on to Sunday
This was a one week cycle
No I didn't need it
But I tried to tweet it
What was that? Something loud, in Texas there's a mushroom cloud
Gun check vote wreck, Obama hissy fit
Minnesota snowstorm, kegger at the bomber's dorm
Labor force getting worse, economy is shit
Oh noes, photos, big nose frat bros,
Asia shakes, China quakes, nature on a bender
Ricin perpetrator is an Elvis imitator
He wrote, I quote, Return to Sender
This was a one week cycle
It started Monday
And drug on to Sunday
This was a one week cycle
No I didn't need it
But I tried to tweet it
Shootout with a highjacked cahh, pahked across from Hahvad Yahd
In a twist, with COEXIST upon its bumper sticker
One down, one to go, sleeper cell rodeo
Number two might be Hindu, the plot is getting thicker
Terrorist on the loose, the Chechens have come home to roost
Inconvenient time to be for immigration amnesty
Beantown lockdown, Euro's in a meltdown
Meanwhile in Watertown the whole thing is going down
This was a one week cycle
It started Monday
And drug on to Sunday
This was a one week cycle
No I didn't need it
But I tried to tweet it
North Korea rattles sabers, reporters interview the neighbors
Mommy says the boys were good, perhaps a bit misunderstood
Dzhokhar, Smoker, Midnight Toker
Apprehended by police, FBI chases geese
First reports turned out wrong, nothing more here, move along
It's very rude to conclude what has turned out to be true
What is this shit? Looks like I picked
A bad week to quit sniffing glue
This was a one week cycle
It started Monday
And drug on to Sunday
This was a one week cycle
No I didn't need it
But I tried to tweet it
... from Austin, TX with these ginchy photos of the 12th annual Lone Star Round Up hot rod and custom extravaganza.
I'm also semi-back from my self imposed blogging exile, and plan to resume assaulting your sensibilities here at Iowahawk again soon. In the meantime, you can catch me on Twitter, Facebook, and my new perch at Breitbart's Conversation.
Dead? Hell, I ain't even got started yet.
And now, enjoy some hot rod eye candy.
WASHINGTON DC - Engaged a relentless battle against time and fatigue, a select group of message scientists assembled by the White House's Center for Narrative Control say they will take "all steps necessary" to contain a recent outbreak of scrutonium, a deadly poll-eating supervirus that attacks the immuno-hope system, leaving victims vulnerable to material facts.
"Failure is simply not an option," said an exhausted Mission Chief David Axelrod. "If left unchecked, this virus may actually force us to move back to Chicago."
The recent re-infection of scrutonium into the body politic has been a harrowing turn of fortune for Axlerod and his scientific team. In November 2008, they had declared scrutonium "all but extinct," although they kept small amounts of the strain for use in laboratory experiments with Republican tax returns. It was thought to be in containment as recently as five weeks ago, with scientists citing poll results showing resistance to doses of unemployment previously considered fatal.
All that changed on September 12 after an unexpected outbreak in Benghazi, Libya. Although it caught Axlerod and his team by surprise, they were temporarily able to keep it under control with a regimen of YouTube blame therapy and gaffe-meme injections. But the new Benghazi strain proved stubbornly resistant, and has continued to slowly spread.
Amid their battle to contain the Benghazi strain, a second - and even more deadly - outbreak appeared in Denver on October 3. Nicknamed "the Doomsday Strain", the Denver scrutonium virus has thusfar been impervious to any attempt at containment.
"We're dealing with the ultimate buzzkiller here," said Senior Narrative Engineer Stephanie Cutter. "This one directly attacks voters' ability to hallucinate happy thoughts, or even ignore the obvious - no matter how many squirrels we innoculate them with."
Despite all-out efforts to contain the virus, by Friday daily internal gauge readings at CNC headquarters indicated a public opinion disaster was in the making. In order to buy time, Axlerod called on reserves from the 101st Media Narrative Squadron.
"With a virus this aggressive, you need boots on the ground to help fight any new outbreak and sterilize the area with distractions," said CNC jounalistic affairs liaison David Plouffe. "Luckily, the 101st is highly trained, unquestioningly loyal, and completely immune to all known post-2008 strains of scrutonium."
"That Mitt Romney sure seemed awful testy, didn't he?" said hazmat-suit clad Lt. Ben Smith of the 101st's Politico Company, sweeping the rubble of Denver for trace readings of scrutonium.
While Smith and others work around the clock to quarantine the virus, Axlerod and his team remain deep beneath the White House in a specially constructed containment laboratory, racing to find a cure before it has a chance to wipe out Washington as we know it. Although all their experiments have thusfar proven unsuccessful, Axlerod refuses to concede.
"If I've learned anything in this job, it's that hope is a strategy," he said, wiping flopsweat from his combover.
"For instance, maybe Joe Biden will find a cure Wednesday night," he added.
Special Iowahawk Guest Commentary
By Barack Obama, Stargazer-in-Chief
When I learned of the untimely passing of Neil Armstrong I was, like all Americans, deeply moved and saddened. I share your sense of loss for this American hero, even if his fame had been eclipsed by others over the years. But in our shared moment of grief, let us also celebrate his historic accomplishment in becoming the first astronaut eulogized by me, Barack Obama, our nation's historic first African-American president.
Neil's passing gives all of us all pause to consider deeper questions. What does it mean for the future of space exploration? How proud would Neil have been to have a famous historic president refer to him by first name? And, most importantly, how did his death inspire that historic president to make ever more gigantic leaps for mankind?
For one thing, it inspired me to venture off on a historic twilight photo mission in a Maryland cabbage field. There I stood, gazing into the night sky, providing a dramatic backlit silhouette of inspiration for generations of future space explorers. In the centuries to come, space fans around the world will look to this indelible dorm poster image of Barack Obama, representing humankind's enduring pioneering spirit of exploration, and be spurred to dream their impossible dreams of Obama-like accomplishment.
As I stood looking into the night sky, at the billions upon billions of stars twinkling across their celestial field, amid the clicking of the photographer's shutter, I couldn't help but wonder if there were other life forms - perhaps other civilizations - out there. If so, were they looking back at us? Could they have powerful enough telescopes to see our planet in detail, and to observe the many ways I have worked tirelessly to make Earth a better place? Has my example served as an inspiration to the faraway aliens to work for their own extraterrestrial hope and change?
It was a moment that drove home to me just how significant I am in the grand scheme of things. As a result, I returned to the Oval Office with a renewed spirit to push the envelope, to strike out into the unknown, whether it be the vast expanses of space or the 2013 federal debt ceiling.
Yes, it is true that only a select few of us can ever aspire to be a Neil Armstrong or a Barack Obama. But I hope Neil and I have encouraged you to enrich yourselves from that vast, rich, empty blinking array of stars.
Which reminds me, I have another fundraising trip to George Clooney's house next week.
Ahh... a leisurely weekend taking in Auto Historica XII in Highland Park IL, followed by the 64th annual AACA Antique Car Show in Lake Forest IL, followed a jaunt out to the nuclear cooling towers of Byron, IL for the 3rd Annual Meltdown Drags at Byron Dragway. America's best drag strip named for a 19th century poet!
Please to enjoy some shiny fast things.
Readings from the Book of Barack
1 In the beginning Govt created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the economy was formless and void, darkness was over the surface of the ATMs, and the Spirit of Govt was hovering over the land.
3 And Govt said, “Let there be spending,” and there was spending. 4 Govt saw that the spending was good, and that it separated the light from the darkness. 5 Govt called the spending Investments, and this he did in the first day.
6 Then Govt said, “Let there be roads and bridges across the waters, and let dams divide the waters from the waters.” 7 Thus Govt made the infrastructure and the patronage jobs for eternity under the firmament from the Potomac which was above the firmament; and it was so. 8 And Govt called the firmament Washington. This Govt did on the second day.
9 Then Govt said, “Let the regulations and the guidlines under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the Bureaus appear”; and it was so. 10 And Govt called the Bureaus demigovts, and the gathering together of them He called AFSCME. And Govt saw that it was good.
11 Then Govt said, “Let there be police, and firefighters, and teachers according to their kind, for they will create more jobs”; and it was so. 12 And then Govt bade the void bring forth crime, and arson, and stupidity, that each would yield seed to bring forth more police, and firefighters, and teachers, and jobs. And Govt saw that it was good. 13 So the evening and the morning were the third day.
14 On the fourth day Govt said, “Let Us make the economy in Our image, according to Our likeness; let it have dominion over the cars of the road, over the appliances of the supercenters, and over the pet groomers of the strip malls, over all the clickthroughs of Amazon and over every creepy thing of the Dollar Stores.” 15 So Govt created the economy in His own image; services and wholesale and retail He created them. 16 Then Govt blessed them, and Govt said to them, “Be fruitful and use the multiplier effect; fill the land with jobs; thou have dominion over thy realm, within limits, as long and thou remember to get thy permits and tithe thy taxes, for they are good. Hope to see you at the fundraiser.”
17 And on the fifth day Govt made an official Govt holiday, and headed off for a 3-day golf weekend at Camp David. But first Govt said to the economy, "you are free to eat from any tree in the garden, except the tree of Knowledge. There is a serpent in that thing, and thy health care does not cover it."
18 So when Govt was on vay-cay the economy set about the garden, plowing its fields and generating revenue for the glory of Govt. They obeyed the regulations and were not ashamed.
19 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the balanced, publicly-funded birds the Lord Govt had made to sing news to the economy. The serpent was on the AM band. He said to the retail sector, “Did Govt really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’? ”
20 "Only yours, serpent," said the retail sector.
21 “Don't be a wuss,” the serpent said to the retail sector. 22 “For Govt knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will wise to Govt's scam.”
23 When she saw that the fruit was pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, and also free to download, she took some and ate it. She emailed a copy to her wholesaler, and he ate it; and then the wholesaler to the manufacturer, and he to the servicer. 24 Then the eyes of all of them were opened, and they realized they were being taxed naked; so they outsourced fig leaves to make coverings for themselves.
25 Then the economy heard the sound of the Lord Govt returning from vay-cay with the demigovts Osha and Tarp and Irs. It was the cool of the day, and they were hiding their profits from the Lord Govt among the trees of the garden. 26 But the Lord Govt called to the manufacturer, “Where are you?”
26 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid, so I sought a tax shelter.”
27 And Govt said, “Who told you that your profits were yours? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from? ”
28 The man said, “The retailer made me —she has a thing for serpents.”
29 Then the Lord Govt said to the retailer, “What is this you have done?”
30 And she said to the Lord Govt, “Don't take that tone with me, fat boy. And why should I give you my profits?”
31 The Lord Govt was in wrath, and said, “For I am the Lord Govt, creator of Eden! 32 I gave unto you the roads and bridges, and schools and cops, brought unto you of gentle showers of Tarp and Stimulus and rivers of Subsidy, I am the purifier of the waters, cleanser of the air, without which you and your profits would not exist. Thus all that thou have created is created by Us. Thus ye shall render unto Govt what is Govt's, and this is the Word of your Lord.”
33 At these words, Solydra and Gm and Seiu and all the Cronyans and Laborites dropped to their knees in trembling fear and supplicated themselves before the Lord, presenting Him golden gifts of contributions.
34 Then the retailer said to Govt, “And who created you?”
35 In righteous anger did the Lord Govt again rise up and said, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Tri-Delts and the Dekes, I am and have always been! I am the great cosmic turtle on which you and the entire economy rest.”
36 "And on whom do you rest, turtle?" said the retailer in blasheme.
37 "Do not mock me with your knowledge trickery, harlot!" said the Lord Govt. "I am turtles all the way down."
38 So the Lord Govt said to the serpent, “Because you have done this,
“Cursed are you above all livestock
and all wild animals!
You will crawl on your belly
and you will eat dust
all the days of your life.
39 And I will keep you from tenure
and grants and the airwaves,
and condemn you to the bowels of internet."
40 Then the Lord Govt turned the retailer and the manufacturer and the wholesaler and all the servicers, and said,
“I will make your taxes and regulations very severe;
with painful labor you will give birth to profit.
You shall be afflicted with plagues of audits,
the coming of Osha, and the trials of Irs.
By the sweat of thy brow you will earn thy living
until you return it to Me.
You will suffer the droughts of subsidy and stimulus,
and will thirst forever. You're welcome."
41 And so the Lord Govt banished the economy from paradise, and bade them go outsource to the Far East of Eden. And as the chastened economy slouched out of of Babylon He said unto them,
40 "How do you like them apples?"
WASHINGTON DC - Jubilant scientists at the DNC's High Speed Word Collider (HSWC) announced today they have conclusively disproven the existence of Roberts' Taxon, the theoretical radioactive Facton particle that some had worried would lead to the implosion of the entire Universal Health Care System.
"I think it's time to pop the champagne corks," said HSWC Director David Plouffe. "Then blaze some choom."
The landmark experiment in Quantum Rhetoric began early this week after legal particle cosmologist John Roberts published a paper in the Quarterly Journal of Tortured Logic that solved the long-debated Pelosi's Paradox in Universal Health Care Theory.
"Pelosi's Paradox states that in order to find out what is in a health care bill, it would have to be passed," explained physicist Steven Hawking. "But in order to be a law it would have to be constitutional, which means someone would have to know what was in it, which would mean it couldn't have been a bill in the first place. Think of Schroedinger's Cat, except with a lobotomy."
To solve the paradox, Roberts proposed the existence of the Taxon - an ephemeral, mysterious facton particle that in theory would allow the Universal Health System to be constitutional, without directly observing what was in it. DNC scientists at first cheered Roberts' findings, but it soon came apparent that it opened an even deadlier dilemma.
"If Roberts' Taxon were really to exist, and was woven throughout the Health-Government-Time continuum, the merest realization of it would create a giant black hole in Gallup Space and cause free healthcare reality to collapse upon itself," said Plouffe.
In order to disprove the Taxon, scientists at the HSWC devised a test experiment in their enormous CarneyLab bullshit accelerator. This test involved speeding a small mass of Facton - theoretically containing Roberts' Taxon - and smashing it at near-light speed against a flaming super-dense ionized clod of purified bullshit.
"It was a complete success," said Plouffe. "The collision produced only inert crap particles like Feesons and Penaltyons, obliterating any traces of a single highly radioactive Taxon. What's more, we were thrilled that it also resulted in over 300 milliaxlerods of of positive Fernstroms."
While super high-density bullshit was critical to the experiment, Plouffe said other key variables were necessary to keep potential Taxons from escaping to Gallup Reality Space.
"We were careful to shroud the collision within the Beltosphere, which is protected with a thick sheath of inert, pliable media," he noted. "As additional protection, we surrounded it with a negatively-charged gaseous squirrel field."
Base on the success of the test, Plouffe said the HSWC would soon begin work on destroying traces of a new deadly Facton particle, the Unemployon.
"LOOK, SQUIRREL!" He added.
In my advancing decrepitude, I'm as guilty as the next geezer bemoaning the state of America's callow youth, what with their twist music and beatnik hair and what-not. Imagine my delight then when I stumbled upon this scene today: a team of five kids from Belvidere (IL) North High School stripping a small block Chevy V8 down to the bare block and reassembling it in the mind-boggling time of 24 minutes, 30 seconds.
Carb and intake off; valve train removed; timing chain out; heads off; pistons removed; then the whole shebang put back together, including correct torque specs on the heads, all with hand tools, in less time than it takes to get through level 1 of an XBox game.
The team performed their magic at Belvidere's annual Scrap Drive hot rod show, and I wasn't the only old gearhead there with mist in his eyes. The team was raising dough to travel to the national championship at SEMA in Las Vegas in October, where they will be competing against 11 other teams from across the country. I know I'll be rooting them on. Go Blue Thunder!
Good afternoon! Hello, residents of Whispering Hills subdivision! Thank you for that fine reception. How's everybody doin' out there?
Now that's what I call spirit - Reno spirit. American spirit! Yessir, what you folks might lack in numbers, you make up for in enthusiasm. Just like Reno is the 'Biggest Little City in the USA,' I've gotta say you folks are the Biggest Little Garage Sale Crowd in Reno this afternoon. So give yourself a Biggest Little Hand!
Yeah! Alrigh-yi-yi-YI YI YI YI YI YI YIIGH SQUEEEEECH
Oh, uh, sorry about that. Billy, can we bring down the EQ on the driveway monitor? I'm getting some nasty feedback here. Okay. Check. Check. Pop. Poppop. Check check, testingggg one two. Okay, I think we got that.
Okay! As I was about to say, it's no accident I'm here today at the Kellers. You all know Paul and Val here as great neighbors, the kind of hardworking friendly neighbors any neighborhood in America would want. And as President of the United States neighborhood, I've worked tirelessly to make sure that neighbors like Pal and Vaul have the financial support they need to stay right here in Whispering Hills.
Yeah! Sure, you can applaud! Come on, give it up for the Kohlers!
That's why, when the housing crisis occurred during the previous administration, we got to work on programs to provide support to families struggling with mortgage payments. As you all know there were a lot of...
How's that? Oh. I'm sorry but could it possibly wait? We'll be on our way in 10, 15 minutes tops, and... oh.
Um, could I have one of you fellas in the security detail move the motorcade? One of the Escalades is blocking a driveway. Yes. That one over there, with the white minivan. Let's step on it guys, I'm told they're late for a soccer tournament.
Okay, then. Where was I? Yes. The mortgage payments. As you know there were a lot of unscrupulous lenders during the previous administration who tricked unsuspecting Americans into buying houses they couldn't afford. And suddenly, when the housing market crashed, those folks found themselves no longer able to afford the houses they couldn't afford. That's when we lept into action - with innovative federal refinancing programs and loan guarantees to make sure the owners could keep up their payments to the unscrupulous lenders, and no longer worry about losing their unaffordable houses. This is just one of the ways that we are making...
Whoa, heads up! Son, you really need to work on that jump shot! What the... for God's sake, Marvin, you didn't need to tackle the boy, it was just an air ball. What's your name, son?
Josh? So Josh, what kind of game console do you have? XBox, okay. As your president, I'm asking you to go inside and play XBox until I'm finished with my speech. You can come back out and shoot hoops all you want later. Okay? Okay.
So, in any case... hey, I heard that! I heard that, Josh!
So, in any case, that is just one of the many ways we are helping everyday homeowner in neighborhoods all across America. Take for example the Keelers here, Pearl and Van. Yes, I mean Paul and Vel. Val. When they decided to reduce household clutter and free up extra cash to help create jobs in the community, we stood at the ready to invest through our innovative American Garage Sale Recovery Act. Through AGRA, the Kelmers were able to secure federal grants-in-aid to buy the yard signs, Craigslist ads, card tables and price tags they needed, along with expert advice from the Federal Bureau of Garage, Rummage & Yard Commerce.
When I heard about how this innovative $23,000 public-private partnership was helping Paul and Val, I couldn't wait to fly out here on Air Force One and see all these incredible bargains for myself. Bargains like this 4.5 horsepower Briggs & Stratton go-kart for only $6,000! So who wants to step up and buy this fun...
Bob, please, I'm just getting to the sale, and... oh. Are you sure? Well, okay. Ladies and gentlemen, I'm sorry, I'm going to have to go ahead and pull the sale on that go-kart. Apparently they were outlawed by the Comprehensive Go-Kart Emissions & Safety Act I signed 2009. And a good thing too, because nothing matters to me more than safety, the environment, and also the economy. But don't worry, there are plenty of other great bargains here. Like this commemorative Obama-Biden Inauguration collector's plate, made of real porcelain! And only $50! Who wants to be the first to buy this piece of history?
Don't be shy, $50 takes it home.
Fifty, fiftay, fifffffftaaaaay.
Okay, how about if I make it even more of a collector's piece. Marvin, could I have the Sharpie? Thanks. There - a commemorative Obama-Biden Inauguration plate, signed by me, the 44th president of the United States. Okay, do I hear fifty dollars?
Okay, you know what? Before the bidding gets too crazy, I think I'm gonna keep this one for myself. Sold! To the president of the United States, for $100! Marvin, could you pay Paul and Vil? I'm a little short this week.
And there you have it folks, a great start to a great public garage sale. It's great seeing our investments at work, with Pal and Vaul $100 closer to the money they'll need to pay their federal go-kart racketeering fine. Unfortunately, I have to fly back to Washington to create more innovative programs, but please stick around for more of these incredible bargains!
God bless you, and God bless the United States of America yuh-yuh-YUHYUHYEHYEEYEESCQREEEE
Dangit, can somebody do something about the feedback?
Spent yesterday afternoon at the Jackson County Fairgrounds in Maquoketa, Iowa, taking in the 3rd annual Vintage Torque Fest, where I also took in $5 pork-chops-on-a-stick and lungfuls of dust from the quarter mile bowl dirt track. Tastiest of all was the delicious iron on hand, as evinced by the following photo essay. Click here to embiggen, and punch "show info" for some of my commentary. God Bless Iowa!
After carefully considering all the wonderful entries in the 7th Annual Iowahawk Earth Week Cruise-In, it's time for me to recognize who went above and beyond the call of carbon duty and earned immortality in our Hall of Champions. Let me thank the over 100 entrants this year, from 4 continents, who once again made this my favorite blogging tradition. Everyone was special in its own way, but unfortunately only one can wear the crown as Grand Champion Carbonator.
And the winner is....A tie!
SOLYNDRA, INC. and THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY
Congratulations to this erstwhile "public-private partnership" for showing the rest of us how to isolate energy waste... then supersize it!
So what merited the award? Let's review. Our first co-titleist, Solyndra, slapped together a solar panel "green jobs" scam, blew through $535 million in cash, then headed for greener pastures as soon as the sun went down. The patsies in this clever stripmining operation: the American taxpayers, who were left holding a bag containing a few lint balls and photovoltaic magic beans. More prescient investors (the ones with the foresight to contribute to the President's election campaign) got dibs on the carcass.
And what a handsome carcass it is! 400,000+ square feet of high-tech ultramodern Ozymandian emptiness, featuring luxury conference areas and marbled executive restrooms. Best yet - 22 megawatts of electrical capacity powered by... diesel generators! Like Seinfeld, a hilarious show about nothing.
Well done, Solyndra, well done!
And let's not forget our other co-titleist: the United States Department of Energy. If not for the support and loan guarantees of Washington DC's craziest venture capitalists (led by Nobel-certified braniac Steven Chu) Solyndra might have died in the crib before revolutionizing Northern California's unsellable commercial real estate market.
But that supporting role not the only reason for their selection to our Olympus of Carbon. The DOE is ready for their star turn as well: this humble federal department, in charge of hectoring Americans for their energy use, maintains its own fleet of 15,108 vehicles - for a workforce of 15,000 employees. Now that's what I call a company car kinda company!
Take a bow - and get a room, you two!
Previous Iowahawk Grand Champion Carbonators
The trill of robins and the roar of 2-stroke lawn mowers herald the return of my favorite blogular tradition: yes, ladies and gentlemen, it's time for the 7th Annual Iowahawk Earth Week Cruise-In where together we celebrate Mother Earth - the Ultimate MILF®! Over the next 7 days I will once again be highlighting my readers' impeccable taste in vehicles and insatiable thirst for fossil fuels. Over the years I have proudly raised awareness that, when it comes to providing life-sustaining carbon to our planet's trees, nobody makes Iowahawk readers ride shotgun. Just take a gander at the amazeballs entries from last year's Cruise-In!
Despite the prevailing prices for premium unleaded, nitromethane and rocket fuel, I'm anticipating another record breaking installment. Want to get in on the fun? Here are the entry rules:
1. Submit a photo or video of your hooptie (preferably as a link), along with a pithy description, to the email link on the left using the subject line "Cruise In".
2. Eligibility is open to fuel-powered human conveyances (cars, motorcycles, boats, aircraft, spacecraft, etc.) and other devices at my discretion. E.g., an electric blender is not interesting; a blown Hemi-powered blender is.
3. Please submit only those vehicles you personally own, or have stolen: I know many of you have pics of other people's cars, but this exhibition is about taking personal responsibility for the environment.
4. If your vehicle was featured in last year's Cruise-In, please wait 'til next year to re-enter. Let's keep it fresh, people!
5. Deadline for submission is Sunday, April 22.
Once the entries arrive I will post daily updates, with newest entries on top. And, when the contest concludes, I will take each into consideration before crowning the 2012 Iowahawk Earth Week Grand Champion Carbonator.
Let The Carbonating Begin!
Monday April 23
Bzzzzt! Sorry folks, that's it for this year's edition of the Earth Cruise, which, if the Mayans are wrong, will be back again next year. Humble thanks to all the participants who made this one another record breaker. And how did Yours Truly celebrate Earth Day, the most important day on the eco-calendar? With a 180 mile multicultural celebration of our beloved planet and her vehicles, natch! First a stop at the Latino Ethnic Awarness Association's first annual Custom, Hot Rod & Low Rider Show at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn IL, then a cruise west through the cornfields to the paint booths of Sycamore to photograph the gleaming freshly bronzed body of the Coupe of Wrath. Finally a stop at a secret storage facility to kick the tires on a Model A roadster. A visual review of the fun:
Sunday April 22
HAPPY EARTH DAY! And the Grand Finale of the 7th edition of the Cruise-In. I'll be posting updates throughout the day, squeeze between a few automotive activities. I will be accepting submissions until 6 PM central time, so if you want to see your whip featured, get moving!
This entry from Ed Roe of San Diego illustrates man's defiant one-finger triumph over nature, thus making him a shoo-in for The 2012 Iowahawk Earth Week Cruise-In Spirit Award:
"Here is my 1969 Kaiser Jeep M725 5/4 Ton Military 4x4 Ambulance. The WarWagon has a Chevy 454 and 4 speed overdrive on 39" tires to move it's 8,000 pound tare weight up the mountains and down to the desert. A custom 40 gallon tank with two 5 gallon jerries on the back doors ensure that I make it to the next $4.29 per gallon fill up."
In the Heart-Swelling Patriotic Carbon Emissions category, I would like to recognize this entry from Andre Carter:
"My job for the last 10 years, working on the F-22 Raptor. If you are in the know, take a look at the exhaust—AFTERBURNER baby!!"
Despite her unsuccessful efforts to convert a feline into a CO2-emitting beast of burden, I will allow Anisa G's entry simply for trying:
"This fine cat-powered vehicle requires no carbon emissions to operate and in fact, no energy whatsoever as cat refuses to use it. Lenin would be proud."
Cory Ford feeds the rain forests of the exotic East with CO2 from his fearsome 'Busa:
"Here's my 2008 Suzuki Hayabusa, which I enjoy cruising around northern Thailand, where the roads are awesome and there's essentially no such thing as traffic enforcement. It has a set of custom-fitted Termignoni slip-on exhausts, which shed about 40 pounds from stock, enhance sound and performance, and (hopefully) maximize carbon output. I haven't had it dyno-ed since installing the new exhausts, but I'm guestimating the Busa probably cranks out around 185-190 rear-wheel horsepower now. Can spin the rear tire in third gear."
Former Iowa Bill Kniegge dishes up a tasty slice of Black Forest cake:
Here is a shot of my entry for the Cruise In… 1976 BMW R 75/6: Old N Fast.
Lee Dise of Virginia Beach hails a cab:
A 1982 Checker Marathon. I'm told there were only 88 Marathons made in that year, its last year of production. I bought it in 1999, and after driving it for eleven years, I decided to give it a face lift. I let the good folks at FantomWorks handle that part of it. http://www.fantomworks.com They did a fantastic job.
It's a tank. A triple-welded frame and heavy-duty suspension make curbs quake in fear of a collision. Designed in 1958, except for the heavy-duty aluminum bumper which replaced the original chrome bumper in the Seventies, this last of a line looks like the first one that rolled off the line. Not a refined car by any means, but unlike most cars being made these days, it's designed to carry people.
In the face lift, I considered turning into a taxi -- either a New York yellow Checker or a Chicago green-and-tan. It would have probably been worth more money had I done that. But I decided the car should be true to its roots: it was never a cab, so I kept it "civilian" and made it a "beachy" car, since I live in Virginia Beach.
I never thought anyone would ever consider it a beauty. I love it, but it surprises me when others do too. In any event, it runs as sweet as it looks, if its looks can be called sweet.
Despite the previous owner's chutzpah, Randy Baker sprung for this unsprung Rambler:
"The 1965 AMC Rambler Classic Wagon came from the factory with either a 327ci V-8 or the much loved 232ci 6cyl. Jeep lovers will attest to the popularity and dependability of the inline 232 that was standard in all AMC Jeeps of the 1960's and pretty much the same engine design that's in my 1998 Jeep Cherokee. As a matter of fact, soon after I bought the Whooptie Wagon an older gent was quick to tell me what a great car and engine combo I had, and I can still hear his voice like it was a minute ago: "Yep, That car will take you to California and Back no problem". Living on the East Coast, I'm planning to take that fellows advice and one day gas up and go, and at 18mpg fully loaded I'm already feeling a tingle in my pants. Per the photo, I've since replaced the ball joints, and have saved the old ball joints and mounted them on an 2 foot high fluted Roman pedestal."
What evil lurks within the engine bay of this 'Stang? Bill Cismar knows:
This is my 1965 Mustang. It is running a late model 5.0 engine using the more fuel d-efficient naturally aspirated setup in order to achieve the maximum gallons per mile possible. This is transmitted via a 4 speed AOD to a 9" traction lock rear end running 4:11 gears. In this configuration it is good for 400+ ponies at the rear wheel before I cried "Stop" to the dyno operator for fear of scattered parts @ 5000rpm. After all, it isn't as if this is built to race! No, this is built so that I can lope around town at just above idle sounding like I have 2 loose spark plug wires and spewing as much un-burnt fuel at the pedestrians around me as possible.
This vehicle has been proved perfect for living the Ace of Spades approved life style. The extendable trunk and fold down rear seats provide ample space for hauling cases of ValuRyte products and bacon. Lots of bacon.
A one-two punch to global cooling from Dan Shea:
"The '62 Buick Special convertible has the original 215 ci aluminum V8 warmed over from 190 hp to 243. It's tricked and slicked. The '63 Rambler "Ramad" wagon is still a work in progress. Installing a Ford 2.3 4-banger with twon Weber down draft carbs, 5-speed tranny and Mustang II indi front suspension."
Down in Pinehurst GA, Devlin Foster has gotten 35 years of faithful, earth-defiling service from this handsome LandCruiser:
"This is my fathers ’77 Toyota Landcruiser. He has driven it all over the U.S. and taken it on countless hunting trips. It rarely found a spot it could not get out of. It is powered by a 117 horsepower 4.2 liter in line-6 cylinder. Upgrades include H.E.I. a larger radiator and all emission controls removed. With mud tires, on a good day, it will get 8 MPG. I have a feeling my dad would like to be buried in it. I will make sure that all the fluids will be topped off. That way, I can best give back to Mother Earth what we have gratefully taken from her."
I'm not a religious guy, but I may have to look into Dave Hester's church:
When it comes to fuel consumption my pal "Pilot X" takes a backseat to no man. Here's his daily driver. For this year's cruise he offer a unique virtual hooptie:
"This isn’t a deluxe porta-potty on hydraulic stilts (although that’s a fantastic idea!) . It’s a pilot torture device - an industrial-strength flight simulator. The dino juice it burns is virtual, unless you count the coal-fired power plants required to fill up its wires with smoke. Divide that by how many miles it physically moves - zero - and you have a fuel efficiency that breaks calculators and threatens to collapse the entire space-time continuum. Plus, if you want to fly the real thing, this is the gateway. So in a way, this baby is an important key in keeping our winters mild and our beaches toasty."
"It's a 1962 Mercury Comet frame off tube chassy dragster, owned by me, my brother and a friend."
Having grown up on an International Harvester farm (the Iowahawk logo pays homage to Farmall) lord knows I have a fascination for IH machinery, and Kevin Clark from Evergreen CO indulges it:
"1975 International Harvester Scout II. The stock IH 345ci V-8 has been replaced with the larger IH 392ci V-8. She gets about 7mpg right now turning 33in GoodYear Dura-Tracs. When coupled with the 19 gal tank you don't get real far. Many of the aftermarket parts came from Anything Scout in Ames, Iowa."
Oh yeah. 365 reasons to dig Steve Flynn's '65 'Vette, not the least of which is the L76 mill, same as the Coupe of Wrath's:
"Here's a pic of my 1965 Corvette Sting Ray. It's the small block 327/365 hp with solid lifters, double hump heads, Holley 4-barrel and 3.70 rear-end. She's fast and she's loud with the original side-pipes! It's a matching numbers car with the only modification being the Hurst shifter package. Due to the high compression ratio of these older cars I can't use unleaded fuel - darn it! So when I'm not using the expensive racing fuel from a local track I add lead (from Podell's) to high-test unleaded for the same result."
"Grease Monkey" from Ace's Moron Nation lives up to his name by offering two handsome hoopties for you approval:
"First up we have my 1986 El Camino. The mullet of cars, all business in the front, party in the back. This ElCo is my daily driver and I drive it as often as I can. I slightly modified the much hated SBC 305ci with bolt on speed parts and dual exhaust for better belching power. I probably get around 10 mpg even less with the A/C blasting."
"Next up is my 1948 Dodge D-24. Car is a work in progress but it does run and smokes a lot. Car is way too heavy for a flathead 6 motor, we will fix that when I can get more cash. Plans are to replace the 6 banger with a big blog 383 semi hemi. Good times. Let's burn some rubber and be safe out there."
Phil Lorang offers this interview with his congenial Ford:
MC: Welcome to the 7th Annual Iowahawk Earth Week Cruise In!
MC: I'm your host, Wink. Let's meet our first contestant.....Company Pick Up!!
MC: originally from Salem, Oregon, lately she has been seen hovering over a grease pit in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Good evening Ms. Pick Up and welcome to the show! Tell us, what are some of your favorite hobbies?
CPU: Well Wink, I like to jump curbs and ditches, knock over fences and I'm especially fond of dinging parked cars!
MC: As a company pick up I'm sure you've been driven by lots of different guys, haven't you?
CPU: Well yes I have, Wink. But a pickup can be driven lots and still keep her virtue. And this is advice all you younger company vehicles should live by: never let the needle on your temperature thingy get too close to the red area. If it never gets to the red area, no man will ever bother to try and get under your hood.
MC: Now, what do you plan to do to honor Earth Day?
CPU: That's right everyone, I'm going to spread my sweet CO2 from Payson, Arizona to Washington State purt near to the Canadian border in less than 48 hours! Wink, that's over FOURTEEN HUNDRED MILES of travel in one weekend!!
[VERY ENTHUSIASTIC APPLAUSE]
CPU: And my driver is doing his part to contribute to the 'greenhouse effect' by spewing as much methane as 2 days of Taco Bell can produce.
[VERY, VERY ENTHUSIASTIC APPLAUSE]
Dave Weiman of Ursa, IL submits this interesting subcompact (though no info on its emissions):
"Model: 2008 Miniature Burro. Name: Ranger. Ranger is a little ass. His top speed is haulin' ass (see video). Ranger runs strictly on bio fuels in their rawest form. He enjoys kicking, being kissed, being hauled, and other activities that make good ass jokes. Dresses up as Rudolph the Red Nosed Reign-ass every December. Shown setting up barrels at our rodeo, we believe this is the only time as ass has been used for this purpose in the history of rodeo."
Chappaquid-tastic! Paul from Connecticut submits his handsome Olds, a reasonable facsimile of Ted Kennedy's ill-fated Delmont submarine:
"1970 Oldsmobile Delta 88. 350 Rocket V8. More power than suspension. Drives like a drunken Orca."
"Here for your consideration is our 1936 LaSalle. It has a straight 8 motor and sucked gas like I owned EXXON. It gets better gas mileage since I did a valve job, but on the plus side we will be driving the wheels off it this Summer so gas consumption should be up over all. Don't forget to start every internal combustion engine you own on Earth Day to thank Mama Earth for providing us with oil so that we can enjoy a life style that is the envy of the World."
Don't let the wizard hat and hippie whiskers fool you - Don Hudnall carries on in the finest tradition of Appalachian motoring, as witnessed by this tour of his personal automotive collection / museum / Pick 'N' Pull:
"Just an old 1984 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme Brougham (fire up the Bro-Ham, Patrick!) with the classic Buick V-6 Odd-fire (firing order 1-6-5-4-3-2). I paid $100 for it and have been driving it pretty much daily for six years come May. The dollar per ton of carbon dioxide emitted ratio is excellent. The outside is looking a bit rough but the interior is still very nice and it rides and handles great. Just the thing for zipping along curvy West Virginia mountain roads. My pickup is a 1981 Ford F-100. I'm generally a Chevy (or General Motors) man when it comes to vehicles, but I couldn't pass up the deal on this one. I bought it from the original owner. We always got along good and I remember when he bought it new just after I got out of the Army. It has a 302 V-8, and he had it completely and professionally overhauled at 100,000 miles. It now has 118,000 - just broken in. He passed away the month after I bought it. Sad, but the family knows I'm keeping his memory alive by driving it regularly. It has eight cylinders as opposed to my Cutlass, but I don't think it carbonates as efficiently as it gets better gas mileage. Still a great ride with three on the tree (just like the 1965 Ford F-150 I learned to drive in).
Saturday April 21
24 hours to go in this party, so last warning to get your entry in!
Jerry Stratton sets an all-time world land speed record, piloting his Lincoln from San Diego to Texas and back in 3 minutes:
"I hope the miles driven make up for the incredibly high mpg rating of the 2005 Lincoln Town Car, but if it doesn't, I understand. An event like this needs its standards!"
It's all about honesty for DRI:
"DRI from Ace of Spades here. The pic is of my brand new 2012 Dodge Challenger RT HEMI. This car, along with my 29 year old girlfriend allow me to fully embrace my midlife crisis."
Lots of fond Mopar memories for "Taxpayer1234":
"A 1975 Chrysler Newport Custom Coupe. My dad taught me how to drive in this car. In a cemetery, yet--hey, you couldn't kill anyone. Perfect dad logic. He made me drive it because of its strong resemblance to a Sherman tank: 4500 pounds, 8 mpg. V-8 360 with the carbuerator from hell; had to repair it every 6 months. I liked it because it was big enough to fit at least 8 friends, and it had an FM stereo (big deal back in 1978). It had a super-squishy suspension--could run over a herd of leatherback sea turtles and never know it. Nicknamed it Moon Unit."
Whoosha...Barracuda! Ann and Nancy Wilson started playing in my head when I received this submission from Kieran Mullaney:
"1968 Barracuda Convertible with a 360 C.I. V8 and an Edelbrock gasoline funnel up top.
The brakes suck so that helps keep the speed down!"
Tim Prescott doesn't fart around. After ordering his Mopar, he sent it over to have King Richard bring it up to snuff:
"I submit for your viewing pleasure my pretty much standard 2010 Dodge Challenger R/T, 5.7 Liter that gets a respectable 19 MPG thus avoiding that pesky guzzler tax that you hear the SRT8 guys crying about all the time...OOPS, forgot one small detail. After purchase some friends of mine from Richard Petty’s Garage over in Randleman, NC dropped by the house, dragged her up onto a flat bed, took her away for two weeks and pretty much had their way with her. Went to pick her up and this is what I ended up with...a Richard Petty Signature Series, 5.7 Liter, Supercharged Dodge Challenger that gets 610 at the crank courtesy of Arrington Performance and probably 9 MPG on a good day...on the highway...in sixth gear...sometimes the Motopsychos let me hang with them! Gulp, Gulp! STILL no guzzler tax...shhhhhhh."
Tom Ellis uses ellipses to underscore the length of his wife's Merc:
"World's longest 2door sedan... 1965 Mercury Montclair Marauder ... spiffed up for last years Cottage Grove Car Cruise ... Stylin'!! My wife's car ... i have to drive the truck.... but... it qualifies as a glorious gas-guzzler..."
With the gasser-style flip front clip, blown mill, and Mad Max livery, Ray Oliver's Chevy is the very embodiment of climate devilry:
"Here's a few pictures of my Hooptie I built. It's a 1963 Chevy truck. But it's been modified. It's got a 1972 front end with power steering and power disc brakes which it dearly needed when you see what resides under the hood. Hidden under there is a 350 Chevy. It's been bored and stroked to 385 C.I. It's got a B&M blower sitting on top and is putting out close to 600 HP and 600 TQ. It will Smoke the tires in the first two gears. And it will burn thru a gallon of gas while only traveling about 7 miles. If you keep your foot out of it, you can hit 14 MPG on the freeway, but that's no fun. Enjoy."
Up in Canuckistan, Kane Rogers loves his Z06 so much he treated it to a European vacation:
My baby: 2002 Corvette Z06, Electron Blue with a Black interior. 405 horses at 6,500 RPM and 400 lb.-ft. of torque. Bought it in 2008 with about 17,000 miles on it and now at 26,000 it remains completely original except for fresh Firestones. A real beast and a real head-turner, too. The little red emblem at the front fender vent opening is from the Nurburgring, where I took part in Earth Day celebrations in 2008. If this car was a trumpet, I'd blow it every day! Happy Earth Day, Al, you totalitarian freak!"
Bay area reader Scott is a regular freeway Albert Schweitzer in his ginchy Fairlane:
"This is my 1967 Ford Fairlane GTA. Stock 390cid. with a 625cfm Holley carburetor. Living in the San Francisco Bay Area I like to do my part saving mother earth by scaring hybrid owners off the road. Especially Chebby Volts. I figure every one of those I keep off the road potentially saves the driver and passengers from being enveloped in flames should the Volt battery decide to go kaboom. Makes me feel good to know I'm saving lives as well as keeping all those nasty and dangerous rolling nicad bombs off the streets. "
Meng M. of Studio City, CA submits two cars that are trucks that are also cars that are also trucks:
"What's better than one El Camino? Two (well no, the answer's at least three or four but there's only so much garage and driveway space—I guess there's always the lawn).
The 71 was restored back in 2005 and received another round of upgrades in 2010. It has a 470HP SBC 383 with a 700R4 w a 3:73 Posi rear. It's also my daily driver and the car I take to drop my four year old off to pre-school—Airbags!?! We don't need no stinkin' airbags!!! Nothing beats pulling up to his school amongst a sea of Priuseseseses, Honda Fits, Euro Mommy vans and "Crossovers", aside from maybe pulling into a Whole Foods parking lot and doing some burnouts.
"The 87 isn't as impressive but probably my favorite of the two. I built up the SBC everybody loves to hate, the mighty 305 and did it smog legal to boot. More for the challenge than a desire to comply with California C.A.R.B. It has 53k miles, mated to a 200R-4 modified to Grand National specs with a 3.73 posi rear. It's a more sedate 325HP but can still chirp the tires in second and occasionally third. Plus, the baby seat looks more white trash appropriate in this car."
Advice to crystal-gazing Earth-Firsters in the Arizona pines: when you see "Grock" and his Ram coming up through the woods, RUN:
"This is my 1989 Dodge 4WD Ram Charger work horse. The best mileage I ever got was about 12 MPG. I bought it brand new in 1989 in Tucson,AZ, it now has 145,000 original miles. The plow was a add-on when I bought a cabin in the White mountains in Alpine, AZ. 8050 elevation. It still has the original spare tire. The body shows a little wear and stress but don't we all."
Nathan and Holly from Seattle are inseparable from Charlie, their beloved F-150:
"Humbly submitted for cruise in consideration is our 1991 Ford F150 "Charlie the Nature Squisher" in all his glory. Powered by a 5.0 V8, shod with 33 12.50s, and with a 4.10 gear ratio, this truck guzzles gas at a Seattle hippy heart-attack inducing 8 MPG. This winter when Seattle was paralyzed by a couple of inches of snow that turned its many hills into slip and slides, our fearless and faithful 4x4 effortlessly carried my wife and I on a rescue mission up and down Queen Anne Hill. Its headers are rusted through (and next on my long list of things to replace) so it roars with the fury of a thousand dead dinosaurs who paid the ultimate sacrifice so our dinosaur may live today. We salute you Mr Triceratops. For without you, we'd all be Nissan Leafs driving Ninnies! We love Charlie and the only way you'll take him from us is to pry him from our cold dead fingers."
Whiskers on kittens and trailer park Caddies... M. Christian sends in a few of my favorite things:
"My 86 year old auntie's 1985 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham came with all the bells and whistles they had available in 1985. It still has them and they all still work. Everything is original except battery, tires and hoses and it has 64,000 miles because she only drove it to the Post Office. Please note the trailer park ambiance of the background."
Friday April 20
Welcome Ace of Spades HQ readers! "4/20" is here, with a fresh stash of carbon chronic for your bong.
Nothing swells one's patriotic American pride like balls-out big cube 60s muscle, like this fine example submitted by Kentuckian Greg Gossman:
"I bought the car right after high school in 1981. I have only put about 6K miles on her, but she has had more engine swaps than a NASCAR team! Right now I do believe I have the FINAL VERSION near completion. She’s a 1969 Camaro, no SS, no RS, no Z28, just a plain Jane Camaro. Well if an 850 HP normally aspirated 427 is plain Jane! I have a T-10 four speed with a Hurst Vertical Gate shifter, 12 Bolt rear with 4:10 gears and a 8-point cage. I tubbed and back halved the car. I did the interior myself. The engine has all the tricks I know of in it, a rather large solid roller cam, pistons that have domes the size of the Rockies, etc, etc. I don’t want to give away all my secrets, there are some cars around here who need to see what a “REAL MUSCLE CAR” is if you know what I mean and I am sure you do."
Anchors Aweigh! Reader Jeff Talbut is apparently assembling his own climate pirate navy:
"One of the pics is filling the 30gallon compressor tank with $5.04 Diesel, we used two V8 Jeep Grand Cherokees and a 3/4 Ton Diesel Van to perform this evolution. Sand blast and apply SIX coats of epoxy on FOUR 32' Aluminum hulled Marinnette Motor Yachts (twin 250 Mercruisers each....measure fuel consumption in Gallons per Minute..thank you) I submit extra points should be allocated for the dust created, vast quantity of Zylene and Acetone used(we left the caps off the cans too!) You will note that I also brought a young child along to indoctrinate into the 'Ways of Waste'."
Kirk Kelsen is back with another Coventry Cat, guarding the Golden Gate:
Virginia's Randolph Addison wields an angry Teutonic CO2 weapon:
"2009 Mercedes Benz C63. Comes with a manic, very loud, oft-backfiring, and always-incensed 6.2 litre V8 (it isn’t 6.3) that, driven spiritedly, returns about 8.5mpg."
It just don't get much better than this. Behold the beautiful decay of Bruce Wayne's '41 Ford clodhopper, and his Model A hot rod on a stealthy nighttime carbonation mission:
"My newest, a 1941 Ford 9N tractor! Aint it a beauty? Yes It does smoke abundantly, My neighbor asked if I was mowing grass or burning it. The night time picture of my traditional hotrod was taken for those magazine editors who moan about how hard it is to photograph a black car."
Holy smoke! Things really are bigger in Texas. Houston's David Goza explains:
"At a secret location in Houston, these stealth carbonation units await a signal from the carbon-master's hi-tech lair. When that signal arrives, 32 engines fire up and begin converting diesel fuel into electricity and CO2. Each gleaming white box contains a 6-cylinder, turbocharged, intercooled 16 litre diesel engine driving a 500 kW generator. That's something north of 21,400 hp starting with the click of a mouse. Full load fuel consumption is about 17,600 gallons per day. Even if the Greenies find and shut down this carbonation location, there are another 62,000 hp of hidden carbonators at other Houston locations that await the carbon-masters command to de-sequester some carbon."
It's Suburban bliss in Flyover Country for Oklahoma's Anthony Pate:
"2000 Suburban with added 32" Mickey T's for extra fuel IN-efficiency, this 11 mpg huntin' & fishin' chariot hauls field dressed deer and coolers full of iced fish with class & dignity. Don't let the purdy exterior fool you, while I do baby my baby, she's been spewing obscene amounts of CO2 for more than 190k miles. You're welcome, trees."
Power-to-weight ratio is no problem for Idaho spud baron Steve R :
"These are pics of our Dromader M-10..'Aerial Applicator'. Polish Airframe 1000 horse Garrett ..Earth atrocities is what we DO !...even other Cruise in allies run when we pull the 'money handle'."
"Dick Danger" has a Jeep that waters the trees while feeding them CO2!
"This here beauty is a 1994 Jeep Cherokee (that's right, like an Indian). An inline 6 cylinder engine with holes throughout the exhaust while pulling 13 mpg guarantee the plants have plenty to suck on while photosynthesizing. And what's more those thirsty lil bastards can get a drink from this state-of-the-art plant/honking a**hole hydration delivery unit."
Thar she blows! J.M. Heinrichs submits this ORCA-class patroller from the Royal Canadian Navy:
"My nephew often drives around in one of these, twin Caterpillar 3516Bs."
It's the Little Engine That Could... Carbonate! Mike Porter explains:
"OK, so I don’t own it and I was too little to steal it when I saw it, but this is one of transportation’s greatest carbon creators. Weighting in at 762,000 Lb. it carried 22,000 gallons of water and 27.2 tons of coal to turn the water into steam at up to 80 mph. There were only 25 of them, but they graced the western mountain ranges from 1941 to 1959."
Bob Sherrod needs creature comforts when he's on-the-go:
"Attached is a photo of my RV for your edification. Its not the biggest RV, nor is it the least fuel efficient, but it is by far the most fuel hungry vehicle in my fleet. She's a 2000 Chinook Concourse with a Ford 6.8 liter V10 and a 37 gallon gas tank. She only gets 10 MPG, but provides a very comfortable ride between fill ups. Since she drinks so much we don't usually take long trips, so we're almost always in the Florida heat, and that means running the AC wide open once we stop and plug in. The best part is that we brought her home last year on Earth Day. Take that Mother Earth!"
Thursday April 19
Welcome Tim Blair readers! For those of you unfamiliar with my good Aussie mate, take a quick click trip across the Pacific and keep up with latest in politics and carbonation Down Under. When it comes to guzzling petrol, our Australian brothers can teach us a trick or two!
Illinoisan One Percenter Kenneth Hartman occupies whatever body of water he pleases in his floating Rolls-Royce:
"2002 SeaRay 410 DA. Twin Caterpillar diesels, each at 340 hp. Cruises at 28 knots, getting one nautical mile to the gallon. Don’t she purr!"
To save fuel, the government recommends you stay home. To use fuel, Alex Beltchev takes his home with him:
"My submission for this year's Gaia slaughter fest is my American Dream equipped with a 315HP Cummins diesel. The documentation says it gets about 6 miles to the gallon but that's probably not taking into consideration the weight of the Tahoe I drag behind it! We've been through at least half the states with this rig so I consider us to be equal-opportunity plunderers of the atmosphere!"
Perennial Earth Week Cruise-In participant Scott Wilcox is back again with a fresh Sprinter-load of insanely fast Italian two-wheelers from the Pacific Northwest:
"I always look forward to participating in this worldwide event courtesy of the Iowahawk Blog. This year is no exception. I present my 2011 RSV4 Aprilia which is carried warm and snug in my 2007 Dodge Sprinter Van. Why burn fuel in one device when you can burn fuel in two. The Aprilia pumps out a sphincter tightening 185HP which turns your knuckles white just thinking about it. I pour in gallons of VP110 Leaded to make it happy. The Sprinter consumes boat loads of top grade diesel, and not that pussified BioCrap either. I make all of these sacrifices for the greatest MILF of all time, Mother Earth."
Machines that save trees... what will they think of next? Minnesotan Steve Stenger never outgrew his Tonkas, but his Tonkas outgrew him:
"Saving Gaia the right way - with a diesel belching Vermeer 495 cable plow. My company used this machine to isolate Oak Wilt infected trees from adjacent healthy trees, by cutting the roots with the five foot knife at the rear. I put several hundred miles on this machine, as well as several others, all at a leisurely one to three MPH. Over hill and dale, and through a few drain fields, sprinkler lines, and buried electric and phone lines, we saved hundreds of thousands of Oak trees over the years. Loud, noisy, and made in Pella, Iowa."
Canadian reader Diana Binks saves Fido the hassle of dog-paddling in her mighty seagoing vessel:
"This, I will submit in the neglected category of 'regal yellow submarine'."
Who need hybrids and their payments? Jayhawk stater Ben Jilka adheres to the recycle / reuse ethos of the true environmentalist with his humbly handsome (Mazda?) pickup:
This truck actual was quite efficient- it averaged 36.7 mpg for the first 100k miles on it. Currently it is stationary as the tranny is out, but in honor of Vladimir Lenin-Earth Day, I will start it and let it run for a couple of hours. Thanks for your consideration.
Oh yeah, come to Poppa. Doug Mooney knows my weak spot for flathead Ford bombers:
"This entry is my 1946 Ford Deluxe. This earth-friendly vehicle was built in a factory which had been recently converted from the production of heavy bombers to the greener activity of personal vehicle manufacture. The "business coupe" seating arrangement gives a sleek aerodynamic roofline, with just a front bench for two (or three, or four) passengers. The column shifter was ditched long ago for a Lincoln floor shift, providing economy for the careful driver. Original Moon front discs and rear skirts (not pictured) are evidence that a previous owner was indeed an early hyper-miler. This obsessive earth warrior went so far in his mileage efforts as to fill the very seams of the body and to give the car a side-pipe scraping ride height. Just a dainty two-barrel carburetor drips fuel into the engine, with two more to serve as back-up. A Sharp aluminum intake and early Edelbrock heads adorn the flathead V8, helping to lower weight and increase efficiency. The brightly colored front and non-original over-sized tail lights maximize pedestrian safety."
Greg from New Hampshire sez "Mopar or No Car":
"This is my 1976 Dodge Aspen R/T which has been carbonating the state of New Hampshire since the 1980s. This was the first year of serious emission control by Chrysler. The horsepower lost to emission control actually exceeded what you ended up with. During the restoration every emission control device down the smallest of hoses mysteriously disappeared. They were never seen again. Not to worry the State of New Hampshire requires no emission testing for cars 1995 and older. Live Free or Die. We savor or individual right to bear carbon emissions. The car, 366 cu in V8, 11 to 1, 2.02 ported heads, big lumpy cam, Holley strip dominator intake, Holley 750, MSD, Hayes strip clutch. The original crappy overdrive 4 speed transmission and the breakable 8.25 rear end were replaced with a 1969 A body 4 speed and a 1968 B body 8 3/4 rear with power lock posi, 4.30 gears, and Moser axles. Also included Caltrack racing suspension. The Polar White color is in honor of our friends the polar bears in the great white north who love the fact that’s it's warming up due to carbon emissions, its fuc*ing cold up there. (We know that warming is a crock but the bears believe it and they think they are getting warmer, don't tell them). A 12 gallon fill up in the fuel cell gives about 100 miles of joy but really standing on actually gives far more joy…far less miles. Happy carbonating."
Happily I have an update on the Coupe of Wrath: behold metalflake maniac Jerry Didio with his smiling grille in my grille, fresh from the paint booth. The tasty coppertone you see here is Ford Emberglow, a special paint code only available on '66 Mustangs and T-Birds. A tone soon to grace the Coupe's entirety. Also note the '49 Cadillac dash which we harvested a few years back.
Wednesday April 18
Don't that put a patriotic lump in your throat and exhaust tears in your eyes? Mike Stevens sings the praises of his miniature tribute to the flyboys of WWII:
"The single-engined blue beauty is a remote controlled 1/5 scale (8 ft wingspan) F8F Bearcat. She's being pulled through the sky on a twin cylinder 105 cc gas two stroke, and has been clocked at 107 mph by radar. my other 107 LL aviation fuel burner (recently lost) was a 1/8 scale (almost 12 ft wing) C-47. She majestically bored holes in the sky with a pair of 36 cc single cyl two-strokes, with an ever-so slight trail of beautiful exhaust smoke. Hopefullly for next year's event we will have a similar sized B 25 for entry into twin-engined fun. Nothing like the low-throated roar in the countryside skies of Virginia, pissing off various 'nattering nabobs of negativity'."
The badass mill in John Marcus's bare bones econo-cruiser more than makes up for the lack of creature comforts:
"8.2 liter 1000hp V10. Eats more gas than any man ever seen."
War whoop! Californian Steve Mitzner tracks the noble history of his Native American Indian:
My contribution to this years Earth Week Cruise-in began in the summer of love, 1969. When I became the proud "caregiver" of an all original, native American, “Indian” motorcycle. A vintage, 1938, 80 cubic inch, F head, four cylinder.
Sporting a 3 speed hand shift, Foot clutch. It is a masterpiece of native motorcycle ingenuity. I have recently spent many moons, much wampum, firewater & beer, to completely restore the engine clutch transmission & wiring. I will soon take it to the sandblasting / [purification lodge] for a complete war paint & restoration job, then hopefully, may all proud Indians rise up... and take back and [Occupy] what's rightfully theirs.
I was told [by a shaman] that, it being an American "Indian" motorcycle, its carbon footprint is in complete harmony with, and compliant with, Mother Gaia, and [all pagan, earth worshiping, religions!] He did warned me! "White Man sometimes lie & con", "Take land for worthless beads, now take wampum & freedom, for worthless carbon credits" ! (sic) [May the great carbon portend-or in Chief....Al Gore forgive this ignorant Nobel Savage!]
Although it’s carbon footprint is pure and relatively small, this proud, elder, 73 year old iron pony has traveled many trails, taken many scalps,.. and belched out much life-giving carbon! [not the global warming type] The great earth sprit gods are much pleased!
Pat Wilson of Austin, TX sends a gauzy glamor shot befitting his swanky lil' CO2 crime:
"The Red Baron basks in the Austin sun. You can see the particles from the exhaust a block away! No fuel gauges on the 1953 MG-TD--you dip the tank with a wooden dowel from Home Depot! Ten inches of fuel is good for a coupla hours!"
Yesterday we heard from Fritz from the Wrongtool Workshop (scroll down); today a rebuttal from his Beemer torturing partner Earl:
"I see the haole is at it again, this time it looks like he is in some poi induced stupor. Don't let the talk of carbonation through superior peat power fool you, he is probably hammered on kava on some damn beach -honestly, the only reason he has so many carbon transformers is he keeps breaking the things.
Anyway, some us work for a living, and having to expend valuable energy within my Office of Excellence to get the spondelux, I have poured paper resources into the Malaga Marauder in an attempt to more completely deplete Gaia’s easy to obtain liquid resources so we can get the fracking fracking going. The heart of the Marauder was pulled, new 9.5 pistons (necessary to ensure only premium hydrocarbon products would awaken the beast) fed thru dual sidedraft Mikuni 44PHH carbs. The sound of the carbs whilst at full chat dispensing finely distilled liquid petroleum is glorious. The added benefit is that they move so much air they are almost as much a menace to low flying birds as wind farms.
Of course the Malaga Marauder resides with its fully functional counterparts, the P1800 Estate (Thor's Golden Anvil) and the M Roadster, so whilst grease-boy is waiting for a Genuine BMW Part to come over on the Spam boat, I can repair to the veranda with a fine liquid product made by setting fire to parts of the bogs of Scotland.
PS - Please note my former Carbonating machine on the front of Thor's Golden Anvil"
Bear Mountain Bob from Bear Mountain, NY keeps America's toothpick industry humming:
"Nothing says "I love you Gaia" like loading up next winters firewood! And why risk splinters when I can let Massey-Ferguson do the grunt work."
Who says American cars can't corner? Reader "Jack" negotiates San Francisco's famous Lombard Street in his lil' yellow carbonator (more pics here):
"My 62 Nova daily driver. ZZ4 crate motor. Gets about the same mileage as a SUV of twice the weight."
Andrew Siff paints a family-friendly Norman Rockwell hippie nightmare with his faithful Suburban:
"My entry for your consideration. Gone for me are the days of high revving dual feed Holley sucking 12a rotary engines. The arrival at last thanksgiving of child number 4 necessitated a bigger car, and Mama gets. This baby is the same age as my college freshman son, but with a bigger, heavier block. Fully loaded with kids, dogs, and accoutrement, she gets a miserly 10.3 mpg on the 3 hour trip to visit the inlaws, all the while assuring the flora along the way of all the carbon it can photo synthesize."
A constant schedule of burning airline fuel gives my old pal Steve Carlson the pick of the litter at America's rent-a-car counters:
"As you know, I try to keep up the good work when travelling. Here's my ride from a recent trip to Silicon Valley---a 2012 Dodge Challenger R/T with a 5.7L HEMI V8. Future rental cars include a Mustang GT 5.0, and a Cadillac CTS."
Double trouble from Kenneth Featherstone:
"My 1967 Camaro RS has the original 327 V8 with enough modifications added to fail the state emissions test multiple times...and it still gets better gas mileage than my BMW M5 with a 510 HP V10. Top speed of the Camaro is probably 150mph...the M5 will do 202."
Tuesday April 17
Day 2 dawns on our cavalcade of carbonation with a fresh batch of amazing reader conveyances. Get yours in soon!
The Little Old Lady from Pasadena? Nope, Randi Gifford (the leadfoot granny who stomps the throttle on this Super Stock Dodge) hails from Iowa:
"I'm a 66-year-old grandmother. Here's what the kids refer to as 'Gramma's kick-ass ride.'"
"The Reverend Yukon Jack" argues that despite its stationarity, his beloved log splitter deserves a showcase in the Earth Week Cruise-In - and I heartily agree:
Crikey! Our first Aussie entry of the year comes via John McCormick of Scone NSW, who is rightfully proud of his Chevy Bomba from Down Unda:
4 wheels, 2 wheels, it don't matter. Fritz from Alabama's Wrongtool Workshop is back again with video evidence of their latest Beemer antics:
"Greetings once again from the Wrongtool Workshop, home of precision hammers and the World's Most Seldom Updated Website ! Alas, I believe we were remiss last year and missed the Virtual Cruise, but in our defense it did involve our friends in Scotland carbonating in the form of burned peat and halted the germination of barley.
This year finds the Wrongtool Workshop once again geographically dispersed due to the vagaries of the Federal Government, and whilst Earl slumbers in Alabama, I have been sent as a representative of the Free State of Alabama to The Peoples Soviet Republic of Hawaii, home of the worst drivers on the planet, if not the visible universe. The state sport is not, in fact, surfing, but Traffic Jamming. Entire generations have been born, raised, married, and spawned generations of their own trying to get anywhere on the H1. However, for carbonating while going nowhere, they are masters.
As loyal followers of your Fabulous Earth Week Virtual Cruise, we have no doubt that your millions of devotees and our fan are waiting breathfully about updates on the carbonating we do with The World Famous The Taxi - so successful were we at getting more power out of the "mill" that we were able to generate the attached "whats wrong with this picture" picture - 112 leaded power snapping mere steel, if that is not an extened middle finger to Gaia, we don't know what is, but then, we probably don't."
Utahan Nate McCord patrols the Intermountain West astride this ginchy 34-year old Kawasaki:
"My 1978 Kawasaki KZ650. It’s not the biggest, baddest hydrocarbon burning motorcycle out there on the streets but it is a beautiful example of what standard 70s vintage Japanese bikes were in their prime. There aren’t too many of these remaining stock and most of them have been cut up or left to rot behind the barn someplace. I was actually selling these bikes in 78 and though I never had one when new, I found this one 18 months ago, rode it all summer and will be breaking it out of the shop for more miles in a couple weeks. I’m overhauling the brakes right now but being held up by a broken bone in my foot and a sprained ankle as a result of an auto accident last month."
You all know how fond I am of '28-'34 Fords, but this winged one from Jacksonville FL's Steve Williams might be my fave yet:
"Allow me to present the 1929 Ford Tri-Motor. Not exactly mine-it belongs to the Experimental Aircraft Association- but I'm an EAA member and I paid for gas when I rode in it. And on this baby, that counts for a lot! Three Pratt and Whitney R985 radials provide 450 hp each. With a 90 mph cruise at 60 gph, almost none of that power turns into speed, but instead into glorious noise, CO2, CO and a bunch of other carbon by-products. As a bonus, the corrugated wings provide additional heating through vortex action. It tortures the very air that supports it. Truly an epic piece of machinery!"
How much melted rubber did those fenders collect in 25 years? From Illinoisan Dave McWilliams:
"My 1987 Formula Firebird, just after purchase in Oct. 1986, now residing in my garage awaiting complete restoration."
Elegante! Stylish midcentury big-cube fuel consumption, via Russ Hardin:
"This is my dad's '68 Olds Toronado. Had to give it a mild resto after he passed away. By mild I mean an Isky cam, a .030 overbore on the stock 455, a double pumper, and straight pipes. Now it won't budge out of park unless I'm playing Wagner. If this puppy sucks any more gas it'll force a singularity."
Wwwwinggg-ga-ding-ding-ding! Jim Hall enjoys perfuming Arizona with his vintage 2-stroke Spanish fragrance dispenser:
"1970- Bultaco Pursang Mk4. Loud and tears up the trails, with lots of oily 2-stroke goodness. The old tractor in the background smokes just as badly."
Cullen Sauer gives Manifest Destiny a hand in the seat of his JD loader:
"My entry for this years Cruise In is a slow moving, Diesel Fuel burning, John Deere Crawler loader. Diesel fuel is my dinosaur bone elixir of choice for most of my vehicles. This American made work horse was born in 1974. Pretty sure birthplace was in Dubuque, IA, but I am not convinced as I can't find a Birth certificate. Hmmmm sounds familiar. She's a John Deere 450B loader. Her turbocharged 4 cylinder diesel has more than enough power to push large boulders out of her way and push down trees in her way She's a lot like Rosie O but no where near as ugly. Close in weight though 8+ tons. I use this one crash through the woods, blazing new trails so we can blast down them later on our gasoline burning Dirt Bikes, ATV's and Snowmobiles. Tree Hugger warning; I use a 2 stroke gasoline powered Husqvarna 372XP chainsaw to cut the downed wood.Then we split it with a Diesel Powered, Skid Steer mounted log splitter. We then burn it in our non-catalytic converter wood fired stove. I love the smell of woodsmoke on a cold northwoods morn."
Erik in Colorado is back, with an update on his own personal Doc Hudson:
"I first submitted my ride in 2010 (a 1952 Hudson Hornet) right after dragging it home from Utah in a 18 hour turn-n-burn. With the engine just loose under the hood and the rest a little worse for wear, it only took about a year to get it running and drivable. Now it's pretty much my daily driver. Under the hood is the undisputed King of the Flatheads, 308 cubic inches of big-six, side-valved motivation. Fed by Hudson's venerable Twin-H dual carburetor set-up, two big Carter WA-1 1-1/2" bore single barrels, and spinning a battle-tested, cast-iron Hydramatic slush-box I enjoy surprising those who think this rough old car can't move. To date I've re-wired everything for 12V, installed a nice 4-core Walker radiator (free, thanks Larry!), modified a gear-reduction starter to fit, MADE my own HEI ignition, electric wipers, radial tires, and FULL-MOON disks. It'll do 80 down the Interstate without missing a beat while riding as smooth as can be. Next on the to-do list is fixing a leaking Hydro (I don't just park - I mark my territory. MINE!), new rubber all around, and getting the upholstery and interior done so my little wrench-monkeys can ride too."
Caution: readers with delicate sensibilities are advised that the following descriptions provided by Scott Ballard contain graphic imagery of an adult nature:
"Please find attached proof of my intent to stick it to the Ultimate MILF in 3 most delectable ways- Foreplay will begin with my 1967 Jaguar E type (made the same year my parents' filthy love-fest produced me). Gaia will curl her toes as the Jag's 4.2 litres of British charm prove what a stiff upper lip I have. This beautiful pussy cat got 14 mpg off the showroom floor, I'm fairly sure her penchant for petrol imbibing has only gotten better since then.
As Gaia warms up, I bring out the throbbing python of love- my 6000 square feet spread 'em that will last with 100 years of staying power. My carbon spewing mansion has huge 18 foot ceilings, 4-some 4 car garage, voyeuristic heat leaking windows far as the eye can see, pool with propane-sucking hot tub, and xxx movie room (don't worry- I leave my car running to offset the carbon I would produce driving to the google-plex local movie tavern.)
After her ravishing, Gaia gets a little post coital pillow talk from the other wench in my life, my trophy wife of 23 years. This lesbo-palooza will give Gaia what she really wants- lead poisoning with the EPA in mind. Please note the grouping- crotch-tastic, Sherry!"
Monday April 16
First day of entries, and what an assortment we have!
Pontiac is dead? NUTS, sez Fred McDermott re his tasty sleeper Poncho ragtop:
"This is my 1968 Pontiac LeMans, full frame-off restoration. It’s got an environmentally incorrect (no emissions controls whatsoever) original Pontiac 400ci engine bored out to 461ci with a Butler Performance package that results in about 550HP on pump gas (premium, of course). Virtually everything is new or restored. Upgrades include front disc brakes, a 5-speed overdrive transmission and completely upgraded suspension. It’s a dream to drive and when those second two barrels kick in, hang on!"
Scott Briscoe is right proud of his hellacious big block '70 Jimmy:
It's 10 wheels, no waiting for reader Rob Baas:
"So, yeah, my Jeep is a 4-cylinder, but I’m proud to say she only gets about 17 MPG on the highway. And the mileage is much worse when traveling at two miles per hour, as shown here on Lippencott Road in Death Valley. And since motorcycles get great gas mileage, I’ve made sure that each of mine has an exhaust system that is most definitely not street legal. Hopefully that counts for something. I’m just trying to do my part..."
It's always satisfying to know you've made a difference in the environment, so I swelled with pride when I read this entry from Chris Georgoff:
"As you may recall Rabbi Dave, I previously asked you about the ethical propriety of buying a Shelby 500 GT. Well, I took your advice, and I am also amazed at what a Gaia Blessed and Friendly car she is as well! Not only is she a equitably fair-traded car, she also packs an 100% organic aluminum block which gets her 15 mph in the city thus avoiding the "gas guzzler" tax, and which allows us to conserve more petroleum products for the production of the F-1 tires!
In addition, with a 6.2L plasma injected 610 HP V8, and 0 to 60 acceleration in 3.8 seconds, she maintains a ecologically balanced and harmonious stewardship over not only the roads but also over Ferrari 599's, Porsche's, Audi's, Lamborghini's and pretty much anythIng else. Even Polar Bears shit recycle-able gold bricks of joy at her passing and red listed Amazonian jaguars growl in approval as she idles at stop lights!"
"My current anti-earth contraption. '69 Chevy C-10 shortbed, 350 motor, 10:25 to 1, solids. Crane open chamber, shaved, Speed Pro pistons, Holly 850, 350 race trans, 456 rear end. When I hit it from a standing start, I think I smell napalm in the morning......:) I guess Street Radials would cure this, but what the hell."
No worries, mon! Samuel Moser relaxes in the Caribbean sun with this Super-Sized generator:
This is a 20,000 hp gas turbine oil fired electro-city plant. Only has to have over 2 million gallons of oil on hand to keep her running. Under that mess is a real big turbine that sucks that oil down at 200 gallons a minute. All on the b-a-utiful island of St. Croix."
Where does he get all those wonderful toys? "Ferrari Bubba" has been a perennial participant in the Earth Week Cruise-Ins, going all the way back to #1 - each time with a different Ferrari. He submits a photo of his latest, basking in the life-giving sun:
I don't know what those tanks are on Troy Uden's truck, but I hope they're DDT:
"Oh the joys of military surplus and technically this would be recycling and being green, but how green is a 400hp Cummins??? 1984 AM General 915A1 with a M872 triple axle flatbed."
Like me, Dan Hoover enjoys La Dolce Vita aboard a Lambretta -- specifically this '55 LD 150 MK II:
"I believe this showpiece of guappo engineering is especially apropos for this year's event in that it goes 120+ miles on a gallon of gas while simultaneously generating a large cloud of dark blue smoke, on purpose. If you look closely at the starboard side, you'll see I have it set up with a Hurst shifter, suicide/jockey-style. It is finished in flat black rattle can primer.
I like to ride around contemplating the juxtapositions unique to this particular vehicle:
- economical transportation vs. a wanton disregard for the atmosphere
- elegant mid-century Italian lines vs Pennsyltucky utilitarianism
- super cute vs rolling death trap
I need to break down and get anthoer seat cover so my old lady can ride along with me."
AMC Javelin police interceptor? The Florida Highway Patrol's loss is reader Greg's gain:
"bought it at the sanford florida police auction in 1976 for $1200.00. had a few modifications... edelbrock hi-riser, 3 into two dual carburators, hooker headers, 3/4 race cam. my claim to fame? 11.02 sec quarter mile posting at the local track. seems the florida highway patrol had used it as a pursuit vehicle. alabama used them too."
Floridian Tom Hansen is all about educational vehicles:
"This is my 1951 Chevy School Bus. It started life as an ambulance in Washington State before being modified to run the rural mountain roads in search of school kids. It has 8 (count 'em) roll-down windows and the passenger door was hand-cranked to allow the little beasties access to the 3 offset benches in the cargo area. The headliner was formed sheet metal with flush mounted screws. There was even a hand carved "Johnny loves Susie" etched into the headliner. The rear flashers were converted to huge and very bright brake lights. The original flat 6 was ditched for a Corvette 327 and a Powerglide. The chassis is a 1-ton heavy duty so all the parts are beefy. While it sucked up the go juice between its heft and 4 barrel it was surprisingly quick. I never knew what kind of gas mileage this thing got. Neither the odometer or fuel gauge worked. We "ran the powerlines" with it on many occasions and it was a very capable off-roader. I would cruise the beach in this and the chicks would flock to its original paint, skooling on their minds. Yes, that's me in the photo."
"Uncle Facts" emails with photos of his all-business rice grinder:
"My entry for this year's EWCI is my 01 Kawasaki ZRX1200R with some tasteful mods. The bike seems to have about equal parts of horizontal and vertical acceleration capabilities. Not that I've ever wheelied it, that would be illegal."
Sunday April 15
I'll get things rolling with a somewhat dated build photo of my latest project, the Coupe of Wrath. This 1932 Ford 5-window coupe will feature an L76 327 Chevy small block snatched from a 1965 Corvette, drinking go-juice from dual Carter AFB 4 barrels. Carbonating a vicinity near you this summer!
Who does ace motivator Tony Robbins turn to for motivation? Little ol' inflammatory me, that's who. Here's a new video where he revises and updates my post "How to Feed Your Family on $10 Billion Per Day" which my pal Bill Whittle brought to video last year.
Begins in earnest about the 6:50 mark. Many thanks, TR. By the way, if you ever need an inspiring motivational guest speaker, I'd avoid the hell out of me.
A few months ago I was in Los Angeles for a car show, and decided to text Andrew Breitbart about getting together for drinks. We occasionally shared a glass or two whenever he was in Chicago, or I in L.A.; I always enjoyed my brief visits inside his non-stop maelstrom, and for whatever reason he put up with my company. "Can't," he replied. "Am at the Venice Xmas boat parade with family. Want to join us?"
I drove there and met him at the home of Orson Bean (the Hollywood Blacklist actor who also happened to be his father in-law) and joined him and Eric Volz on the deck to watch the passing aquatic floats of what is arguably America's most leftist city. Like always, we wedged in a little stream-of-conscious conversation, punctuated by his ever-beckoning cell phone and the hugging entreaties of his four kids. "Cool, isn't it?" he grinned, pointing to a passing raft bearing a Rolling Stones cover band. "I love this."
It was the last time I ever saw Breitbart, who died early today at 43. He left an electronic media legacy that will be hard to top, having helped launch the Drudge Report, the HuffingtonPost, Breitbart.com, and his collection of "Big" sites. He was an unapologetic conservative, but one who defied the media's template; pro-civil rights, pro-drug legalization, pro-gay rights, to the point of boycotting CPAC when it barred the gay conservative group GOProud. Other than his mainstream pro-life views (he was, after all, adopted) you would be hard pressed to characterize him as a right winger on social issues.
So how did this socially liberal Jewish RINO from Brentwood become the Emmanuel Goldstein of the left's unhinged 2-Minutes Hate? A lot of it, I suspect, is a viral strain of mindless repetition. I have appalled a few nice progressive friends by revealing my friendship with Breitbart. They know good people, like me, are supposed to despise him, but pressed can't quite articulate why. Or cite his reported support for slavery and gay concentration camps or somesuch. Its most concentrated form takes place in the anonymity of comment threads and Twitter feeds. My personal favorite is the frequent taunting of Breitbart as gay, where the taunter either (a) assumes Breitbart considers it an insult, or (b) actually means it as an insult.
Breitbart, of course, reveled in it, and took great delight in retweeting and exposing that hate, the real source of which is clear: unlike meek approval-seeking chickenshits like me, he relished poking at hornets' nests, lifting up rocks, calling out the bullies on the playground. He made himself an enemy of corrupt political con artists who operate on latent threats of thuggery, called them out on it, and, best of all, knew exactly how they would react before they did. He deserved a Pulitzer, but got something better: their opprobrium.
Plenty will be written about Andrew Breitbart in the next few days, some flattering, some not. As for me, I will drink two beers in his honor tonight, and remember him the way he was last December in Venice - a big, lovable, random, generous, fearless, patriotic grinning goofball surrounded by his family, basking in the coolness of it all.
Besides hot rods and cheap beer, I am also a sucker for the clean, minimalist postwar industrial design revolution which has become known as Midcentury Modern. Enough of a sucker that me and my lovely missus make an annual February pilgrimage west to attend Palm Springs Modernism Week. Last weekend was our 6th, sandwiched between some fun in Los Angeles. Please to enjoy some photo highlights; if you're in SoCal this weekend, take a trip out to the desert and enjoy some stylish Rat Pack fun during Mod Week's concluding days.