Maybe THIS

should be the new Bluesmobile.

1974 Plymouth Fury
It’s got a cop motor, a 440 cubic inch plant, it’s got cop tires, cop suspensions, cop shocks. It’s a model made before catalytic converters so it’ll run good on regular gas. What do you say, is it the new Bluesmobile or what?

I know, I know. Fix the cigarette lighter

Wacky Races

Wacky Racers was a Hanna-Barbera cartoon from the 1968-1970. According to IMDB

The Wacky Races are a series of car competitions in which 11 racers race in locations throughout North America. The rules are extremely lax and allow for almost any vehicle design, power system and a wide range of tactics like combat and shortcuts. Despite this loose rule structure, competitors Dick Dastardly and his dog sidekick, Muttley, are still determined to cheat in their own ineffectual way.Written by Kenneth Chisholm <>

Peugeot Brazil has brought them back to advertise the 208.  It’s everything I imagined it could be. especially Dick Dastardly.  Penelope Pitstop is even better,. but maybe that is because I am not 7 years old any more, and can appreciate the illustration.

Project InContinental

The Backstory
I live in metro Phoenix.  They call this the Sonoran desert, which is notHopi for “cactus-littered wasteland.” To people who hail from places with real seasons, and real weather (and water), Phoenix is like Mars.  Kalamazoo is a virtual rain forest compared to this place.  Here, everything you don’t water (except cacti) withers and dies in the sun.  The lush greens in the travel brochures stop at the city limits, or the extent of irrigation, whichever is shorter.  Hence, “Mars.”
But this is not a hate piece about the weather.  It’s about the upside for car guys: survivor cars. They are everywhere. The weather kills the paint, but rotting away takes decades, not seasons.  Lots of old soldiers are still on the road.  Some at least offer sturdy bones for some foolhardy motivated zombie car reanimator.
“Ran when parked”
The Adventure
My particular flavor of survivor car poison is the from Quinn Martin era of TV.  Big 1970s Ford/Mercury/Lincoln sedans are the Holy Grail; Plymouths, Chrysler sedans, big Pontiacs or Cadillacswork almost as well. They are all over out here. In April last year, a 1978 Continental dropped anchor in my driveway.  Blue velour seats, padded vinyl roof and, most importantly, a 460 4-bbl honest-to-God V8.  The power windows were finicky; the “twilight sentinel” automatic headlights worked, technically, if you’re fond of blepharospasms. Over the course of the Phoenix summer, something just didn’t seem right.  The car ran hot.  It fell out of the weekly commuting rotation.  Radiator leaks, intransigent thermostats and 115° F in the shade will do that.
1978 Lincoln Continental
Feeling a little bleary-eyed at the moment

At the moment, its chief duty is floating over to the Kwik-E-Mart for an energy drink on Sunday mornings, while I save and track down parts.  I am not driving it father than I am willing to walk in the summer.
Plans?  We got plans.

First on deck for this car are some obvious repairs.  We fixed the starting problem with a new cable and a courtesy charge at the parts store. It needs a cooling system overhaul before it goes rolling to the office again. The front power windows are finicky.  And then there are the leaks: Oil, diff, tranny, rain (hence, “Project InContinental”).

If money were no object, it would do more than let me blockade narrow lanes and parking lots in pillowy isolation
·         Ford Racing engine
·         Remove the bumper shocks and fit the bumpers flush to the body.
·         Paint like a Bill Blass Mark V.
·         Cragars and some Eagle GTs.
·         Otherwise the full presidential treatment – black paint, fender flags and a black Suburban or two for my entourage.

One winning Powerball ticket and the word is given. Stay tuned.
Editor’s Note: This is the first of an ephemeral series of posts that will follow this car from recovered tree fertilizer to semi-functional style box for me and/or my kid. Keep your eyes peeled for wholly irregular and whiny updates, and feel free to ask questions in the comments. Especially questions like “how can I help?” or “when did you go off your meds and think this was a good idea?” I absolutely love that second one.