By Barett Poley – March 30, 2017
Mike Hall, a British Columbia man, is selling a 5-acre property in Tappen, B.C for over 1.5 million dollars. Land in British Columbia has been expensive as of late, thanks to their booming housing market, but $1,500,000 for a five-acre property outside of the coastal urban-centres would normally seem like a stretch. Such is not the case with the property of Mike Hall. $1,500,000 is completely reasonable considering the wealth you’re getting with the property – in the form of hundreds of parked cars and loads of deadstock OEM parts.
The Cars, which range from turnkey to terrible, are valued between 500-30,000 dollars each. The most valuable vehicles having been taken great care of and restored – Amongst the rarer cars to grace the lot are a row of 55-57 Chevrolet two-door station-wagons, a 1926 Chevrolet Roadster pickup truck, a 1927 Ford Model T pickup, a collection of Dodge Super Bees, and one of only 45 Pontiac Beaumont Sports Deluxe models, which were made for the rich and famous and came equipped with a v8 and four-speed manual transmission.Mike himself restores cars, and his daily drivers are a Chevrolet Firefly Turbo Coupe and a 1968 Chevelle with a big-block 396 CI V8, which he has owned for 30 years after restoring. His property is described not just as land and buildings, but as a once in a lifetime opportunity.
More interesting perhaps to the body-techs and collision repairers amongst us are all of the thousands upon thousands of rare and unique OEM body-panels, lights, interior components and more that come with the lot. Old cars can be notoriously hard to restore to OEM specifications if they’ve been in a collision, and to insurers, they’re far easier to write-off due to the extremely expensive nature of OEM spec parts. Even rarer are the plethora of deadstock parts that come alongside the property as part of Hall’s collection for restoration and repair.
Per Driving.ca, the collection started when Hall began his job climbing cliffs and getting boulders off of plateaus so that they wouldn’t fall down and crash onto cars. He wouldn’t have found much to do in Ontario or any of the plains, but in B.C, thanks to their mountainous geography, he made a mint. According to Driving.ca, Hall Says, “I was away 10 months of the year working around the province. I made more money than I knew what to do with, so I would buy cars all across B.C.”
“I started accumulating cars when I was 20,” says Hall per Driving.ca, continuing to say “First it was 50 cars. Then the collection grew to 100. I bought more and more. It’s easy to buy them when you’re working. It’s like an addiction. With 100 cars, 200 seemed better, and now it’s well past 300.”
If you’re interested in purchasing the property, you can contact Listing agent Hudson Purba of Century 21 Desert Hills Realty in Kamloops.
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By Barett Poley - March 20, 2017
If you’re worried, as a collision repairer, about exploding batteries, fire-prone wiring, or the cold-war connotations of “Hydrogen” as a prefix to anything, don’t be. As Toyota amongst others reveal their hydrogen powered and more heavily developed electric vehicles, questions arise as to whether or not the same old tricks work with these new technologies?
Thankfully, for the most part, replacing, or welding, a new body panel or frame or what-have-you will pretty much always be the same. Since the earliest days of Collision Repair, body panels, frame straightening and the like have gone through some major changes, but the fundamental act of what you are doing – fixing or replacing a part – hasn’t much changed. The same is true looking into the future for hydrogen and electronic vehicles.
Where companies such as Tesla implement breakers which turn off the cars batteries and completely cut all currents once collision detectors are tripped, Hydrogen powered cars rely on new safety features, most of them unique to the new and not as oft-used fuel cell type. Safety features are important on both models like the Tesla Roadster and a hydrogen-cell car like the Toyota Mirai, as they both have unique dangers associated with them. Hydrogen is a well-known potentially explosive gas, and the Tesla Roadster has over 7000 lithium-ion batteries, each and every one of them capable of creating a massive amount of energy if things should go wrong.
Toyota isn’t too worried about the Mirai though. Nor are other companies who are putting significant R&D into hydrogen-cell-run-vehicles. According to Dr. Frano Barbir, Professor and Chair of Thermodynamics at Faculty of Electrical Engineering, University of Split, Croatia, the risks associated with hydrogen, despite their H-Bomb connotations, are far less than those that can be associated with Gasoline. “Due to higher sonic velocity, hydrogen would initially escape much faster than natural gas.” he says, adding “Since natural gas has more than three times the energy density than hydrogen, a natural gas leak will always contain more energy. If a leak should occur for whatever reason, hydrogen will disperse much faster than any other fuel, thus reducing the hazard levels.” This can be seen as sort of a natural safety feature of using hydrogen; despite its propensity to explode well when it’s atoms are split, in every day application it’s actually safer than what we’ve all been driving around with for the last century or so; doubly so when in a natural atmosphere. The chances of natural hydrogen explosions in the normal atmosphere are incredibly low. Barbir says “Like any other fuel or energy carrier hydrogen poses risks if not properly handled or controlled. The risk of hydrogen, therefore, must be considered relative to the common fuels such as gasoline, propane or natural gas. The specific physical characteristics of hydrogen are quite different from those common fuels. Some of those properties make hydrogen potentially less hazardous,” explaining, “the likelihood of any detonation depends in a complex manner on the exact fuel/air ratio, the temperature and particularly the geometry of the confined space. Hydrogen detonation in the open atmosphere is highly unlikely.” This is to say, if you’re driving around and you get hit, your Toyota isn’t going to explode. In fact, it’s likely just as safe if not safer than a traditional gasoline combustion-engine car, and the results say the same thing, in fact, a Microsoft tester for the Toyota Mirai was recently in a collision, where, drumroll please…. Nothing happened.
That’s right! As Xbox AOL director Randy Shaffer was test-driving the Mirai, he was crashed into, with no Hindenburg-esque explosion to show for it, just a dented fender and a need for a new-rim. Easy-peasy repairs for any seasoned collision repairer. Shaffer says, per Autoblog, “Out of the corner of my eye I saw a black, '90s-era BMW 5 Series smash into my right rear-tire panel. The Toyota driver also saw it out of his eyes and was hoping she would just miss us. She had a stop sign but either didn't see me or was trying to shot the gap between me and the other Mirai. End result, at about 15 mph (best guess) she hit my Mirai right in-between the two Hydrogen tanks and directly into the main battery.”
I’m certainly impressed and excited about the future of Hydrogen-cell cars, and especially excited to see what other safety features become commonplace in the future. What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below!
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By Barett Poley – March 9, 2017
This one will certainly be an interesting challenge for whatever tech gets their hands on it – the second of two 1968 Ford Mustangs used in Steve McQueen’s famous “Bullitt” has been found, rotting away in a Mexican junkyard by a man named Hugo Sanchez, who promptly purchased the car, thinking it to be a good candidate for modification and custom body work, without knowing the significance of the car thanks to a new paintjob. First generation Mustangs, while rare up here in the icy and salty north, are still quite common in other areas, but what sets this ‘Stang apart is it’s unique custom body, upgraded suspension, custom paint ... oh, and the seven-figure value.
Chavez didn’t originally recognize the car as a Bullitt Mustang, thanks to its many layers of paint overtop the original dark green that graced screens in ’68, an indication that more than just Chavez had gone through this car without knowing its true value and cultural significance. One of only two Mustangs made for the cult- and box-office hit, the newly-found Bullitt will be sure to fetch massive money should the new owner choose to sell it. Though the other car has changed hands many times, the current owner hasn’t had it shown to the public, and no records seemingly exist of any sales prices – adding even more exclusivity to the find for Chavez.
Other similarly famous sports-cars, such as the original Aston Martin driven by Sean Connery as James Bond, have fetched up to $7 million at auctions such as Barrett Jackson’s. The stark difference being that there were quite a few Aston Martin’s made and used in the James Bond films, and only two ever originally-used Bullitt Mustangs.
The car is absolutely authentic, too, according to Kevin Marti, a Ford-vehicle expert and the man behind the famous “Marti Reports”, which can tell you anything about any Ford vehicle produced from 1967-2012, provided you have its VIN. “I’m 100 percent sure it’s authentic,” said Marti to Fox News, regarding the car. Marti would know, too, as he fabricates reproduction and tribute VIN plates for vintage Fords, so if anyone would be able to catch a fake, it would be him.
The original plan for the Mustang was to turn it into a clone of ‘Eleanor’, from Gone in 60 Seconds, but when Chavez’s friend, a body work technician and custom car builder named Ralph Garcia Jr. sent the Mustang’s VIN number in for a Marti report, the results were shocking. It’s one of two consecutive-serial-number cars used in the film, and the other hasn’t appeared in public for decades. The two plan on restoring it to its original state as faithfully as possible, using only deadstock OEM parts.
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By Barett Poley - March 15, 2017
Here’s one to make all you painters and paint techs shake your head in confusion! Patina-finished hot-rods were all the rage in the showcar category at Motorama this year, defying conventions as well as conventional paint-jobs. Of the rust-clad rat-rods were a 1959 Chevrolet Apache, a 1954 GMC 9100 heavy-duty, a flat-head-v8 equipped 1940 Ford, and more, their owners all choosing to keep their cars’ naturally-aged finishes rather than repainting or refinish the vehicles.
If the painters amongst us are wondering just why in the world somebody would skip out on the painting process, the answer is likely two-fold, with a modifier to the second possible answer. The first answer is cost-effectiveness. Patina ‘paintjobs’ came to be with the advent of the rat-rod in the late 60s onward. Rather than restoring or ‘hot rodding’ cars, racers and grease-monkeys would make their cars driving purposed, rather than show-purposed. Where they could save money on paint they would, and chose instead to put those resources into superchargers, bored-out-engines and forged components. In short: they didn’t want to look pretty; they just wanted to go as fast as possible on as little money as possible.
This evolved into the second reason many cars kept their rust: the looks. Believe it or not, as more people saw these rusty speedsters driving around, the styling caught on, and at any show now you’ll see a collection of patina-clad and rusty hot-rods. The subculture has its roots in classic Americana, but it’s sort of evolved on its own now to something completely different, with imported cars donning the rust just as often as American cars – drift missile Nissan Silvias with rusted hoods or even rusted-in designs (such as the car’s logo or a rising sun) are common on the drift track and in D-series races.
Fear not, though, paint techs! All of that rust can be bad for a frame and body unless properly done and properly clear-coated afterwards! Now that the culture is more about the look than doing things as cheaply as possible, there’s plenty of room for the spray-booth when it comes to building a rat-rod! Clear coating and sealing is the way to go with these cars, so that their age can show, without harming the structural integrity of the car or truck!
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By Barett Poley - February 27, 2017
Drivers and shop-operators alike will have to deal with a slew of new legislations coming this April, thanks to new legislation regarding drive-clean certifications on vehicles. The legislature will make some things easier and some things more difficult for consumers, as it hopes to fix problems with the previous rules, which have been virtually unchanged in the last few years.
Chief among the changes, and perhaps of most importance to drivers and vehicle operators, is the fact that the occasionally required e-test will no longer cost anything for the first time. If the vehicle requires extra diagnostics or fails the first e-test, then the costs won’t be covered, but if it passes the first time, the owner of the vehicle won’t have to pay anything. This is part of the government’s push for an overall higher average aged vehicle fleet. Newer vehicles are usually better on gas and better on the environment, and with the exception of classics and vintage collector cars, the federal and provincial government’s would much rather newer cars on the road as opposed to older ones.
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