Monday, August 31, 2009

Pete's Win-A-Wartburg Entry

Deep underground, built 6 miles within the Earth, an underground fortress was built with the sole purpose of acting as the last bastion of the United States government in times of emergency. The fortress is used by a small staff, whose purpose, nonetheless, is to monitor the events of the world, and to act as the guardians against any evil to befall humanity. Their leader, a solitary war-grizzled general, is sitting in one of the semi-darkened rooms, a single ceiling source providing a harsh fluorescent lights from which he can read the latest reports of the dangers that befall mankind. Behind him lie a dozen television displays, a military officer watching each of the displays, reading, attempting to determine the next world emergency. Damning the regulations, the General chain-smokes while reading the reports given to him by the officers, every one a new and expected danger that may befall the world.

His focus this hour is on a particularly thick report across his desk, complete with satellite photos, pictures of sketchy-looking individuals, engineering schematics, and diagrams of chemical reactions. For once, the General seems genuinely worried - his hand shakes as he holds his battered zippo light to light his hundredth cigarette today. This report, the General says to himself, may be a problem.

On the far wall of the darkened room, a door slides open with an audible hiss of pneumatic compressors working overtime to move the honeycombed steel-carbon composite door, designed to survive a direct hit against a mortar shell. The bright light on the other side of the door silhouettes a small team of individuals walking through the door, walking purposefully forward towards the General. A few feet in from of the desk, the all stop and salute in unison. "At-ease," the General growls, and again simultaneously, the team all clasp their hands behind their backs.

"Team," the General again growls, as he puts out his unfiltered cigarette out on a well-used ceramic ashtray, "... a situation as arisen. Dr. Wolfgang Kirchner, at the University of Zurich, has isolated an isotope of Palladium, 0.1 grams of Palladium-175 to be exact, which makes it one of the rarest synthetically-created isotopes in the history of man. His intent was to create a new form of catalytic converter, but it also has the unique property to instantly create a liquid-crystal lattice from pure water that will allow it to hold an electrical current. Long story short, the Good Doctor has potentially found a way to create a free-energy power source from nothing more than simple water. The world's energy problems have been solved. However, our old nemesis, Professor Zeno has attempted to make a grab for the isotope. He had sent some of his henchmen to try to make a grab for the isotope... Kirchner ended up dead, but not before he was able to save the isotope from Zeno's clutches. Kirchner and his scientists were able to inject the Palladium-175 into a copper-nickel-zinc alloy containment system, cut to shape to resemble a standard United States nickel."

"And now, here's where the story gets strange," The General says, lighting his one-hundredth-and-first cigarette of the day.

The General continues: "The intent was that one of his junior scientists was to smuggle the nickel through customs to be safely delivered to the United States. That didn't happen. Upon entry into the United States through La Guardia, the scientist put his coins into one of the change containers to go through the X-Ray machine. But, the TSA officer accidentally knocked over the container, spilling the coins all over security. We don't know what happened then, but we traced the coin to soda machine, and from there it was lost. We know that the contents of the soda machine were eventually delivered though the banking system, and eventually were sent to the Wells Fargo bank branch in Southwest Los Angeles."

"For security reasons, we cannot break into the bank. We had sent a team to pose as a group of armed criminals to attempt a robbery, but they were liquidated by Zeno's men. Apparently, Zeno knows the location of the nickel as well as we do. Until that nickel moves, we cannot make a move."

"And team, that's where you come in."

"Our Intel group reports that our special nickel containing the Palladium-175 will be one of several thousand nickels that will be distributed in an automobile race, called the "24 Hours of LeMons." Your mission, gentlemen, is to enter this race, and recover that nickel at any cost. That is, within the rules of the race, of course."

One of the team members steps forward, "General, can we expect that our automobile will be fully equipped with the latest gadgets from the R&D branch, assuring our win?"

The General hesitates and slaps his fist on the desk. "Hell no! Those gadgets will cause too much of a disruption to the race! What, we're going to explode this race in a fury of gunfire? No, no, and again no! You are going to do this the old-fashioned way... cleanly. To do otherwise would be to play into Zeno's hand.... no, we have to do this per the rules of the race. Using your own funds."

Another team member steps forward, "Sir, we're on government paychecks. We only make money on our sweet government pension, but get paid peanuts now."

With that, the General shakes his head, "Bunch of losers... back in my day, we had to commandeer equipment ourselves, dammit! There is a contest to win a vehicle, a 1958 Wartburg 311. It's just the car to take you to the winner's circle, if you've got the GUTS," the General says through gritted teeth.

"Of course, if any of your team get caught or killed, I'm disavowing your asses. Good hunting."

With that, the team left the room, knowing full well of the weight on their shoulders. To retrieve the Palladium-175, they had to use their cunning, their courage, and their greasy hands to win that race, and win it cleanly.

The fate of the world rests in their hands... in my hands. And this is why , as a member of that team sent on this very important mission, I need that Wartburg.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

So We Looked at the Car

Bob and I went out to Naperville to look at the '89 Cutlass Ciera. It had been sitting for about a year and was rusting in all the usual places. The battery was dead, we tried to jump it with a battery charger and with my car, but it was to far gone. We tried to remove the battery as well, but you need to get the air filter assembly out of the way or remove the stability bar that runs over the top of it. We were unsuccessful on both counts. The seller said he would try and figure out how to get the battery out, and if he is successful he will let us know and we will go out with a working battery and see if we can get it started.

One thing that Bob and I did notice is that the interior smelled like our old Celebrities, it must be a GM A-body thing.

We will need to remember to bring a camera to take pictures if we go looking at more cars

Friday, August 28, 2009

We may have found a car

So thanks to the 24 Hours of LeMons forums Bob has been in contact with someone in Naperville that has a '89 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera that he is selling on the cheap.

Bob and I are going to go take a look at it this weekend, and will report back on what happens. Of course if we buy the Ciera one of us will no doubt win the '58 Wartburg.

Stay tuned for updates.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Win A Wartburg Contest

So the People over at the 24 hours of LeMons are giving away a 1958 Wartberg 311.

Details here:

Bob and I have entered, Pete is working on his submission.

Here is what Bob submitted;

This fine example of East German automotive engineering is exactly what I need to bring my dream of making a sequel to the greatest automotive film of all time, Driving Me Crazy, into reality. As I’m sure you already know, Driving Me Crazy ( ) is a film of an East German inventor who builds a car to allow him to escape to freedom. Of course by the time he finished the car he no longer needed to jump over the wall since it was torn down. So he brings it to LA where the movie quickly turns into a commentary of the corruption of the auto and oil industries. The car is stolen and only with the help of Billy Dee Williams can they retrieve the car from the evil mob boss Mr. K, played by Dom DeLuise, and show the world the virtues of his potato based fuel. This message is so true and important that I believe the auto industry and oil companies have made sure that no mention of this fine film will be made in Wikipedia, and even IMDB if you search for it by title will come up with a different movie.With this car in my possession I will surely be able to finally convince Mr. Billy Dee Williams to sign on to the sequel and then my only problems will be the Car and Oil Industry conspiracy and bring Dom DeLuise back from the dead to play the Zombie Mob Boss Mr. K. I really feel that the Zombie Mob Boss will broaden the appeal of the sequel.Of course if the Car and Oil Industries are able to stop production, Billy Dee Williams refuses to act in the movie again, or I am unable to bring Dom DeLuise back from the dead, I’m sure I can use the Wartburg in a race or something.

Bob Chinn

This sounds like a great movie with an all-star cast to boot. Wonder why I haven't heard of it--Nick

Here is my submission,

So I see you have gotten a lot of Give me the Car! and one I'm going to remake a Movie that no one has heard of.
I didn't see any that offered you something in exchange for the privilege of taking this fine example of East German engineering off of your hands. But what can I offer you may ask? I offer 2 bottles of homemade lemon cello, I'll also let the one guy use the car to remake that movie and of course bring it to race in the Glory that is the 24 Hours of LeMons.

I'm sure others will start to offer you other varied alcohols or their first born sons, but hopefully I'm the first to have made an offer, but if not I wish you luck in reading all of the entries and making your decision.

Jonathan Lattyak

We will post Pete's entry when he gets it written up, stay tuned and wish us luck

Monday, August 3, 2009

Another car to look for

Yesterday while taking the old convertible for a drive I started thinking that it might not make a bad race car (well for Lemons).

As for reliablity, the v6 atleast hasn't given me any problems in all the years I had it, it is the same engine that Pete has in his 3000 gt, so he might share any he has had. The only thing I've had problems with was the master brake cylinder had to be replaced twice. Weird but not the hardest thing to replace or the most expensive(and since it is brakes exempt from the $500 rule)

the engine part is a bit of a mess since they have a 2.2 L, a 2.2 Turbo, 2.5 L, 2.5 Turbo four cylinders and a 3.0 V6. Plus I would be willing to pay for parts off a convertible if it works in mine.

Shedding weight would be fairly easy since just taking off the top windows and the electric motors for them should take off some decent weight. Add in the airbags, power seats, cent console, spare tires etc, we could probably drop 500lbs without to much effort. Also work on the cage and anything interior will be easier since we don't have to work around the roof.

Finally I have a couple themes in mind already and from what I've learned themes are probably the most important thing to getting a car into the races.