Saturday, January 18, 2014

Cat Scratch Fever!!

Good morning Michigan
As I was driving down the 94 listening to one of Detroit's 87 rock stations, I got to thinking about Michigan and what an interesting place it is, Detroit especially. It's full of those little pink houses (for you and me) that John Cougar Mellencamp likes to sing about, except that they are all empty now. Years of mismanagement and corruption have left much of Detroit about as appealing as Kazakhstan during a mud storm. Detroit Mayors often have their terms in office cut short because they are promoted to inmate status. Yet somehow Michigan has this odd love affair with Detroit. I guess I have it too. Ever since my second year of college, I've gone back to Michigan at least once a year. I even lived there while I did an internship, and now I go there about 3 or 4 times a year for work.
Ypsilanti has problems with crime, or so they tell me
 I'm not sure what the allure of Detroit is, I guess it's just exciting to go to slow's BBQ and wonder if you are going to come out to a car with broken windows, or if you'll be shot on your way to a Tigers game. Maybe it's the thought that at any given moment, Uncle Ted Nugent could pop up from behind a rock and pick off any nearby large game or commies. Perhaps its the eternal hope that the Lions will have a winning season... I'm rambling now, but the point is that I went to Detroit this past week. I went to the North American International Auto Show. Toyota sends me there every year to see what the competitors have cooked up and if we should be worried about it. Because my main function is fuel economy testing and development, the plethora of sports cars was nothing to worry about but it sure did keep me entertained.

Good morning Detroit!
Ferd Fteenthousand reveal
A word about the Lexus RC-F you see below. I've ridden in a prototype of this car. It is phenomenal. If you are ludicrously wealthy, do yourself a favor and buy this car.

Not your grandpa's Lexus (not yours either unless you've got $70K)

475 HP
The only car at the show that was sporting duct tape. It's also got a diesel and manual transmission.
Mazda always brings the good stuff.

This is a 2015 F-150 prototype with a 2014 body, but made of aluminum.
Ford ran the Baja 1000 with this truck to test their new 2.7L Turbo engine.

Great Scott!
Nissan IDx, or modern Datsun 510

This thing made my ears bleed with joy as they drove it into the convention hall.

Porsche 918 Spyder - $854000 Hybrid Supercar
Toyota FT-1, possible future Supra

I officially like the new Mustang

Some dude named henry has been creepin' round my Grace calling her "junk". Tell ya what Henry, come say that to my face and I'll locate your nose around on the side of yer head!

To be fair, I have been on the road 4 of the past 5 weeks, so Grace has been feeling neglected again. I finished up painting the underbody behind the axle and around the fuel tank.

You'd be surprised how quickly rust can form on bare metal. It wasn't more than a week or two after I had installed my front suspension that surface rust was on the crossmember. Today I disassembled the front suspension and painted the A-arms. The crossmember is up next, so maybe I'll celebrate my civil rights by prepping an painting a piece of steel. Or maybe I'll go to work, I guess you'll just have to wonder.

Prepping for paint with phosphoric acid.