Archive for the Model Cars Category

Green Acura Photoshoot & July 2016 Diecast Model Car Update

Posted in Integra, Model Cars, Vigor on July 2, 2016 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend Coupe):  543,567

543567

Odometer (Legend Sedan):  150,392

150392

Odometer (Vigor):  105,648

105648

Odometer (Integra):  236,457

236457

If you’re color blind, I apologize, but we have to make a miniscule distinction here:

  • Arcadia Green Pearl:  BG-30P
  • Aztec Green Pearl:  BG-29P

They’re only off by one number!  And, when you get those two side by side, it’s easy to see why!

fronts4

vtec_molding

Teal green was such a 90’s thing, wasn’t it?  I remember that even the home my parents built back in 1994 had teal green carpet in it.  This is a picture of my youngest brother Payton, sometime in the mid-90’s.  Not so sure about the look on his face, but who who ever thought it was a good idea to wash down scrambled eggs with Diet Coke?  Bleh.

payton

Anyway, I sort of miss seeing green on the roadways.  Maybe it’ll make a comeback?  I decided to pull my two green machines out for a few photographs in the afternoon heat just for the sake of comparing the two shades.  But first, a photo with Jack’s 2006 RSX which happened to be at my house at the time.  Separated by 14 years!

rsx_integra

Integra is scheduled for new window tint on Tuesday.  I’ll go with 20% like the Vigor has.

backs

I worked up a sweat running around to get these pics.

right_sides

Some wear & tear on on the front end here (consistent with 236k miles) and I’m trying to track down the “plugs” that cover up the holes where the license plate used to bolt in.

fronts3

The neighbors don’t care about me blocking the road.  I’ve done it dozens of times before.

fronts2

Blinded by the light.

greens_backs

I was asked a week or so ago by a loyal blog follower if I could provide an update on my “other” cars:  The ones that reside on my rooftop.  So, here are current pictures of the fleet of diecast 1:18 scale models that have been living on my chimney since around 2009.  The purpose of this exercise, at least initially, was to regularly monitor the wear & tear that each vehicle experienced due to being exposed to the weather.  I was good about taking photos every 6 months for a couple of years, but lately I forget the cars are even up there unless someone reminds me.

As it turns out, Mother Nature hasn’t been too friendly to them.  Take, for example, the current condition of my BMW 3-series convertible.

bmw2

2009:

bmw2009

2014:

bmw2014

2016:

bmw

The car that’s weathered the (literal) storms the best has definitely been my black 1957 Ford Thunderbird.  Aside from a little bit of chipping on the nose, the paint is all intact (though oxidized).  And since this car is parked on the west-facing side of the chimney, it receives more daily Arizona sunlight than most of the others.

thunderbird2

The plastics have discolored but I bet the paint would buff out with a wax job.  Should I try some on the trunk?

thunderbird

I think this is a 312-cubic-inch V8 motor.  It might take some TLC to get it running again.

tbird_engine_bay

The Maserati 3200GT was red at one time.  Then it faded to pink, and now there is very little paint at all clinging to dear life.

maserati2

Sorry, but Italian build quality is not impressing me right now!

maserati

The Mercedes-Benz 500SL is looking pretty rough as well.  The plastic grille slats have completely disintegrated.  Here in Arizona we receive about 300 days of sunshine per year.  So if this car’s been up there for 7 years, that’s 2,100 days of being beat on.

mercedes2

mercedes

The Nomad is looking like a real restoration candidate.  It was well kept in the beginning.

2009:

nomad_may_2011

2016:

nomad3

Someone needs to do a full restoration on this thing now.

nomad

Hope everyone is having a great holiday weekend!

My Toy Car Experiment

Posted in Arizona, Model Cars on February 5, 2014 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  528,602

528602

Odometer (ILX):  66,006

66006

thunderbird_front

Bear with me here as I show you perhaps the nerdiest science experiment you’ll ever see.  For the last few years, I’ve had some die cast 1:18 scale model cars on my rooftop.  Neighbors have commented on them.  Visitors spot them from the driveway frequently.  But there is a reason for all this.  It’s a durability test.

I introduce to you:  The Test Fleet

  • 2000 Aston Martin DB7 Vantage
  • 1993 BMW 325i Convertible
  • 1957 Chevrolet Nomad
  • 1957 Ford Thunderbird
  • 1998 Maserati 3200 GT
  • 1989 Mercedes-Benz 500SL Convertible

Scope of Experiment

Many years ago, a Saturday closet-cleaning activity left with me a box full of 1:18 scale die cast model cars that I needed to get rid of. I’d had some of them for many years.  Here are photos from 1994 with the cars neatly displayed (with flowers from mom’s planter!).

models1

models2

The thought crossed my mind that I could put these model cars to a test much like I’ve time-tested cars of the life-size variety.  Would the harsh Arizona climate take its toll on a model car in the same way it does to regular cars?  There was only one way to find out. I climbed up a ladder and put the cars on my rooftop, surrounding the chimney on a platform that would shield them from the wind.

The launch date for my durability evaluation program was just over 4 years ago, in December 2009, with just the BMW 3-series and the Ford Thunderbird.  About 6 months later, I added 4 more vehicles to the fleet and all 6 cars have been under periodic analysis ever since.  Every few months, I scale my ladder and take photos of the current status of each of the cars.

In August 2012, I sprayed all the cars with a heavily concentrated saltwater solution to hasten the corrosion process.  The results were readily evident when I checked on the cars a month later.  Otherwise, the process has been completely natural with weather conditions in Phoenix, ranging from freezing temperatures all the way up to temperatures in the low 120’s Fahrenheit.  I have made no effort to clean the vehicles after our desert rain and dust storms.  I did paint the driveway surface black to simulate blacktop.

spray

Indeed, the sun’s wrath hath no mercy even on a play toy. Here’s how they’ve fared over the years:

  • DB7:  Definitely the best paint here, the Blue Sapphire finish still looks presentable.  However, this car has also had the most access to shade.  Aside from some discoloration of the windows & plastic trim, it has weathered the storms very well.

May 2011

aston_martin_may_2011

February 2014

aston

  • 325i:  Sometime in 2011, the BMW lost a headlight in a late summer monsoon thunderstorm.  The interior has deteriorated so badly it’s difficult to tell what color the seats used to be; they’re currently a brownish hue and appear almost as if they’ve been burned.  Seat control mechanisms failed in 2012 so the front seats are fully reclined.  One windshield sun visor has been lost.  Taillights have faded considerably.  Dust/wind storms frequently blow the driver’s door open.

December 2009

12-24-09

February 2014

bmw

bmw_left_rear

  • Nomad:  Despite having the advantage of afternoon shade, the Nomad’s paint has perhaps fared the worst.  Horizontal surfaces developed cracks within the first year.  Plastic trim yellowed and the chrome lost its luster shortly thereafter.  However, the Nomad has been steadfast in its body rigidity.  High wind gusts have never opened its doors, unlike with the imports, BMW and Mercedes.

May 2011

nomad_may_2011

February 2014

57_nomad_2

Front End

57_nomad

  • Thunderbird:  The interior of the Thunderbird has collected a great deal of debris.  It’s full of needles and dust.  The engine bay has done a poor job of insulating its 4.8 liter V8 from the elements of nature.  It would take a great deal of restoration work to clean things up and make it road-worthy once more.

October 2010

tbird_oct_2010

February 2014

tbird_2

Engine Bay

tbird_engine

  • 3200GT:  This Italian is ready for the junkyard.  The paint transitioned from red to pink and then started chipping off in large sections.  Within a couple of months of project onset, the headlight seals had failed and allowed dirt inside.  By Fall 2013, a headlight lens had broken open entirely.

May 2011

maserati_may_2011

February 2014

maserati_2

Ghastly Results

maserati1

  • 500SL:  The Benz’s light colored interior was a wise choice by the design team, since it shows remarkably little wear.  Exterior trim has developed many issues, including broken grille slats, a warped wiper blade, and lower body cladding that is separating from the body itself.

May 2011

mercedes_may_2011

February 2014

mercedes

Since my friend Tyler asked for a model car update, this post is directed to him specifically.

So there you go.  Tyler, further updates will follow as requested :).

Just go make today’s post educational, everyone’s homework is to watch this 12-minute YouTube video describing how to shift a 13-speed manual transmission.  I find it fascinating.  Gotta drive one!

Later!

window_reflection_2