Tuesday, November 24, 2009

My other car is being restored

This was a tongue in cheek design, made because our little never ending restoration project was beginning to the be the stuff of legend. People we knew from out of state had never seen the car, and began to tease us that it really didn't exist. We tried several times to get it into drivable condition to make events, but as restorations go, this one has been fairly typical in taking WAY too long and being filled with endless surprises and part searching expeditions. We have later model cars that we can (and do) take to events, but that classic never seemed to make it. We decided that other people must have the same "problem" and decided we would make a shirt for all of us out there with one of those forever restorations. So, we came up with the simple saying, my other car is being restored.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Forget Diamonds!

This is another favorite of mine. I'm not a diamonds and dresses kind of girl, and I'd much rather get things for my car that jewelry for the holidays. Most people that know me aren't surprised by this at all, but Mike used to get some funny looks when he bought me microfiber towels as a birthday gift! So anyway, around the holiday season one year some commercial for a jeweler came on, talking about how every woman wants diamonds as a gift. I said, forget diamonds, I want CHROME! And then I promptly logged in to create that shirt, which I frequently wear to car shows. It gets a lot of comments! I have to say, it's the PERFECT shirt for anyone like me that couldn't care less about carats but insists on triple dipped chrome! You can find these shirts here on our website: http://www.gear4gearheads.biz/diamonds.html

Monday, September 14, 2009

How Gear 4 Gearheads Got Started

Did you ever wonder what exactly started a company? Well, let me tell you what one event started Gear 4 Gearheads! Surprisingly, although Eleanor is a regular "contributor" to our sayings, she wasn't the that vehicle that started the shop. We don't own the one that started it all anymore, it was our daily driver at the time.

A few years ago, we had a Subaru Baja (ok, I know, it's an import, but Ford won't bring the Falcon Ute over here and we wanted better gas mileage than our Bronco was getting us). Surprisingly, it was REALLY capable off road. It's small size and well refined AWD system made it nearly unstoppable as long as ground clearance wasn't an issue. It could slog through mud like no other truck we ever owned.

One day while we were driving around, we found this great "seasonal use highway" that was full of mud and water. I had just gotten a new DSLR camera and thought it would be fun to get a photo of the Baja flinging mud. So, we made a low speed pass to check for rocks, a second higher speed pass for the fun or it, then another higher speed pass for the photo opp. That photo can actually be found on our wallpaper page, right here http://www.gear4gearheads.biz/mud.html .

I made that photo my computer wallpaper I liked it so much. Then one day while I was thinking how fun it was to send the mud flying up into the air like that and I thought "if the mud ain't flyin, you ain't tryin". Hm. You know, I thought, that would make an AWESOME shirt. So our very first shirt was "born" and so was Gear 4 Gearheads. Look for that shirt soon, as we add "off roading and mudding" to the website (we are completly changing the site, so we only have a few of the 30 or so sections up at this time-pardon the bondo, but the final result will be a lot better than before, with the added bonus of Made in the USA shirts being added as we go).

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Eleanor, our 1973 Mustang Mach 1

This is the story of how we came to own our '73 Mustang and why her name is Eleanor. Back in 2002, we were looking for a classic Mustang. We had a Ford Falcon Futura station wagon, but although it was a cool classic car, it just wasn't us. We really wanted an early Mustang. We searched and scoured the ads and leads. We just weren't finding the "one". One day an ad appeared for a 1973 Mach 1, and it just so happened that we actually had to drive past the owner's house on the way home from work! The owner said the car ran, but it needed some work and she didn't have the time or money to do it. We decided we'd take a look, since it was within our budget.

The car was sitting behind the house when we went to look, so we couldn't see her from the road. We walked to the backyard and saw a faded yellow Mustang with a HUGE dent in the passenger rear quarter. Although we could tell the car was clearly beyond our ability, we still decided to have a look. In addition to the faded paint and dent (which we would later learn happened when the barn she was stored in fell down in a windstorm), there was rust everywhere and the bottom 3-4" of the passenger door skin was cut off. The yellow color looked more like Marhyde primer than actual paint, and she was covered in a patchwork of primer spots. We had discussed doing some body work, but it was clear this car was going to need a lot more than "some" work! We took the vin and door codes and told the owner we would let her know.

The vin and door codes confirmed she really was a Mach (the lack of the NASA hood and base interior had us wondering if she was really a Mach 1 or a Sportsroof), and her DSO explained her rough shape-she was an original New York car. While we were fascinated, we decided she was too much for us and called the owner to let her know we wouldn't be buying the car.

A few weeks later, she moved the car. Now everyday, twice a day, we drove past the car on our way to and from work. After a few weeks, we decided that maybe we over reacted and took a second look. Nope, we even missed some things, like the fact that the radiator support had been welded in the middle. We passed on the car again, and continued to look for the "one".

Then came the fateful night in November. We were on our way home from somewhere at about 10pm when we saw the car up on a trailer. Uh-oh, someone BOUGHT OUR MUSTANG! We had to know. Even though it was late, we stopped and knocked on the door. The owner's boyfriend answered and told us that no, the car wasn't sold, the city gave them a summons for an unlicensed vehicle and since the trailer was licensed, he put it up on the trailer so they couldn't bother them. That did it. We knew we were buying that faded yellow Mustang that night. We made the deal, which included the boyfriend trailering the car to our house. A few days later, right around Thanksgiving, we had a 1973 Mustang parked in our driveway.

When we bought her, we had never heard of the original Gone in 60 Seconds movie, the one that starred a 1973 Mustang named Eleanor. But as we researched the car, we found the movie. Our original plan of painting her Ivy Green Metallic or Grabber Green was replaced. We would repaint her in her original color of yellow, and build her into a clone of that infamous Eleanor. Because the more we learned about that car, the more respect we had for her and Toby Halicki, the writer, producer, director and other star of Gone In 60 Seconds. The fact that ONE car could do all that Eleanor did and still run and drive afterwords was impressive to say the least.

That's just the very beginning of our Eleanor's long and twisting saga. She was in much worse shape than we had anticipated, and at this point, the only major components that remain from the original body are: roof, a-pillers, frame rails, driver's side shock tower, driver's side inner wheelhouse, transmission hump, rear seat platforms, some interior bracing and firewall. Nearly every other piece of sheetmetal has been replaced, and many pieces came from donor cars. We lost count around 45 (some were minor, like headlight bezels, some were major, like the entire passenger side quarter panel). We have some photos here http://www.gear4gearheads.biz/about.html on our website and a slideshow of photos on our you tube channel here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFU-MaoaLkU so everyone can see what we got ourselves into!

Even now, she's not done (not that any classic car, muscle car or hot rod build is ever really done). But she's come a long way and is clearly recognizable as looking an awful lot like the "before" version of Eleanor in the 1974 version of Gone In 60 Seconds!

Monday, September 7, 2009

A Very Special Photo

Back in 1989, Toby Halicki Started to film Gone In 60 Seconds II, the sequal to the film he produced in 1974, Gone In 60 Seconds. Part of that movie was filmed around his home town of Dunkirk, New York. You can see parts of Jamestown as well as an industrial complex in Kemore New York. Sadly he was killed while filming the movie and never finished the film. However, his widow had the film digitally remastered and released it in 2000. We were lucky enough to find the warehouse complex where the film was made and took Eleanor there. This is actually where the filming took place, and where he drove the semi truck he had stolen in and where the Slicer was hidden. This is one of a few special places we want to take our Eleanor to. You can tell she isn't finished yet, but she's getting close! You can see a larger photo and also download it as free wallpaper on our website here http://www.gear4gearheads.biz/wallpaper.html We'll be blogging shortly about our Eleanor's story and how we came to buy a 1973 Mustang Mach 1 and build a clone from a movie that was produced over 25 years before the time we bought the car.

Happy Retirement Nancy J!

Well, we found out this Saturday at WNY's biggest car show (over 1000 cars this year) that a local legend and car show DJ was retiring. Nancy J is one of the best known DJ's here in western NY, carrying on the business for five years after the passing of her husband Stevie J (of Stevie J's Rock N Roll Revival). When we fisrt started going to shows, they were among the first to welcome us to the "family". We'll miss you spinnin' the tunes Nancy!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Anyone that's been through a restoration process really knows the meaning of these t-shirts! It can seem like a never ending process, where the light at the end of the tunnel might turn out to be a freight train instead of the actual end of the tunnel! From the hard work and late nights to scouring the internet and junkyards for the right parts to the surprises and of course, the cost (which is NEVER what you intended to spend-it's always more), restoring a car can be a real frustration. But in the end,it is all worth it when you get into the car, sit down in the seat (that's even attached to the floor pans), turn the key and that motor roars to life as you hit the open road. All the aggravation, exhaustion (I've taken to calling ours "project sleep deprivation"), time and of course, money, just fades away as the asphalt disappears under your wheels. Ah yes, in the end, it's worth every damn penny! This shirt is dedicated to our own experiance driving our project, which certainly was worth every damn penny! Want to see our project? check out our "about us" page for some photos: http://www.gear4gearheads.biz/about.html

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Photos From Ford Proving Grounds Mustang Alley Friday


What this is all about:About two weeks before woodward, we got an email because we were registered for Mustang Alley. The offer? A day at Ford's Dearborn proving grounds. We meet, caravan up with a police escort, then make a parade lap on the low speed track. Then we park and take a van over to the conference center. Then, a meet and greet with some Ford folks, a track tour, a chance to drive some of their cars (Fiesta, 2010 Mustangs and an AWD Fusion) on the steering track. Finally, the ultimate. HOT LAPS on the suspenion and steering track with pro drivers. Cars? Ford GT's, Mustangs and a Fiesta (the one guy broke the V8 Focus). The Fiesta was very surprising, it really handled. The GT was everything they are meant to be. SO much fun!

Monday, August 24, 2009

About us

We just added some photos to our about us page (http://www.gear4gearheads.biz/about.html ) on our website. We're waiting on a good one of us from the special Friday Mustang Alley event at the Ford Proving Grounds in Dearborn to be posted by the photographers that were allowed to have cameras at the event. In the mean time, we thought you might like to see that we really do have our own restoration project, and see just how much work she's been so far. That way, when we tell you that she inspired shirts like "I love the smell of bondo in the morning", you can see why! Check it out when you get a chance, and see how our Eleanor has progressed from start to now!

Friday, August 21, 2009

An adventure in storm running

What's storm running? Well, it's the opposite of storm chasing! We have been working on our 1973 Mustang since November of 02, and while she still isn't a thing of beauty and certainly won't win at a concours show, she's come a LONG way. Last night seemed like the perfect night to take her out to her first cruise night in years. The sun was shining, they were predicting some showers later and a friend that usually works late could meet us there with his Duster. PERFECT! We went home, grabbed a few chairs and put them in the "back seat" (we are waiting on a roll cage install, so there really isn't much in the way of an interior-just the two front seats, seat belts and dash), and headed up to the cruise night. This particular cruise night is about half an hour from our house. We had a good shake down cruise up to the park where it's held, noting we needed to get the alignment fixed and put some heat shield below the carpet when it's put in (the floors were HOT, HOT, HOT!).

Once we arrived, we got comfortable in our chairs behind the car, commenting on how strange it felt to see her out of the garage. The music was playing, we had some hot dogs for dinner and we were just enjoying the atmosphere of cars, cruisers and the oldies the DJ was spinning. Our friend arrived with his Duster and parked a few spaces down. We looked at each others cars (he just picked his up and hadn't seen ours in years). We were talking about Gear 4 Gearheads and his business (he owns a repair shop and just bought a new place). Just a good night in general. There's just nothing better than a summer night with tunes, cars, cruisers and good food. Nothing.

Then I heard a distant rumble. Was that thunder or a truck with an empty trailer hitting a bump? Can't tell over the music...we went back to our conversation and admiring how clean (as in straight and rust free) his car is. Ok, THAT was thunder. Hm. Back to talking. Looking around, we see others start to pack up and leave in a hurry. Took a look at the sky just as sheet lighting lit things up. OK, time to GO!

So, we pack the chairs into the Mustang and start heading home. Now, remember how we noted we needed to get the alignment fixed? We can't go over 40/45 because the tires start to scream. Now we're headed away from the storm, but it's gaining ground behind us. The sky looked like it was 10 pm not 8 pm and it was filled with sheet and bolts of lightening. We made it to a north/south street to head back towards our home town. Now we're running parallel to the storm, watching it close in on us as we pray for each light to stay green. We made it home, got her in the garage and no sooner did we lock the garage and gate than WHAMO. The wind blew in hard enough that leaves and branches were flying and the rain was coming down so hard you couldn't see across the street!

So, we were successful in our storm running. Lesson learned-never believe the weather people!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I love the smell of bondo

Hello, this is the "wife" half of Gear 4 Gearheads. I decided I would go ahead and start blogging about the different sayings on our shirts, and where they came from. Because we are deeply involved in the hobby and are restoring a car ourselves, many of the unique phrases you see came from personal experiences. We don’t just sit behind a computer and slap up saying on shirts, we live them! All of our designs can be found on our website, http://www.gear4gearheads.biz/ (ok, SOME of them-we are overhauling the site right now, so bear with us). As far as the origins of our designs, I’m going to start with one of the more obscure ones-I just happened to pick it up to wear today and it made me think about it.“I love the smell of bondo in the morning” ( http://www.gear4gearheads.biz/smellofbondo.html). Well, this one is pretty straight forward-I DO love the smell of body filler. Paint (especially a quality clear-smells just like candy to me) too, but that’s a different subject. This particular shirt though, came from an early morning body work session with the car we are restoring. See, we bought this car back in November of 02, knowing it needed some work. Well, as anyone that’s restored one in their garage knows-one little thing leads to about ten huge things! At the time this shirt saying came to mind, we were trying to get the car ready for Woodward (never happened, but home resto project rarely make a deadline). We needed to replace the driver’s side rear quarter skin. Once we got that skin off, we needed to replace the outer wheelhouse too-like I said, one thing ALWAYS leads to another. Well, we got the repopped wheelhouse in, after some modification (ever notice “bolt on”resto parts never are?) and used body glue to put the skin on. So far, the glue is holding fine. Anyway, we had to smooth the line between the new skin and the original body-so, early in the morning, we were mixing up some bondo and I said to my husband “I love the smell of bondo in the morning!”.Then I said “I’ll be right back, I gotta put that on a shirt!”. So there you have it-the story behind the shirt that says “I love the smell of bondo in the morning”. It’s a great gift idea for someone that does body work for a living, or, like us, is deep into a restoration project. Because usually by that point, a good laugh is a great thing!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Added new free wallpaper

We've added some new hot rods, cars in barns, classic cars, an Anglia, and even a hot 2010 Challenger convertible (Dodge really needs to build this car)! Check it out on the wallpaper page: http://www.gear4gearheads.biz/wallpaper.html

Home From The Dream Cruise

We're home from Woodward! The videos are uploaded to our youtube channel (www.youtube.com/gear4gearheads), the tweets are tweeted and the car is washed, dried and tucked away in the garage. As we work on creating and adding wallpaper to www.gear4gearheads.biz , we are reflecting on the Woodward Dream Cruise and about what it really is. The facts say a lot. Every third Saturday in August, over 40,000 vehicles fill 8 lanes of pavement from Ferndale to Pontiac and over 1 million people come to spectate. It's a pilgrimage of automotive enthusiasts to the center of the known motoring universe, all celebrating the one uniting factor-the vehicles. But there's more than the hard numbers. The dream cruise transcends awards and dash plaques from regular car shows. Really and truly, there is no award greater than having someone choose to take a picture of YOUR car in the sea of amazing works of automotive art, or hearing a little boy or girl yelling for mom or dad to "look, look, LOOK! Look at THAT one!" and seeing them point at your ride. It's more than the cars though, it's the people too. There are so many stories of cruisers reaching out to others in the community, we would need a whole blog just to share them. The friendships forged and shared in those hot days of August are priceless. Woodward is over for another year, but the memories will last a lifetime!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Woodward Dream Cruise traffic jam

If you've ever tried to cruise the famous Woodward ave between Ferndale and Pontiac on the Saturday of the Dream Cruise, you know exactly what we were thinking when we came up with this one. Any other time you are stuck in that kind of crazy traffic, with the heat of summer making it feel like a blast furnace, you would not be very happy. But on that one magical day in August, you can crawl at an idle and take over an hour to go a mile-and be happier than a clam! The exhaust fumes, full of octane and lead supplement, burns your eyes, the rumble of the motors can be felt in your floorboards and you are one of thousands of enthusiasts gathering to celebrate the hobby, it's history and the cars. There's just no way to describe this amazing event-pictures might be worth a thousand words, but there's not enough film in the world. So, we'll see you at Woodward, doin the Woodward Crawl, and having the most fun we'll ever have in a traffic jamb!