Tag Archives: z28

G20 vs. SS

G20 vs. SS 15-August-2012

G20 vs. SS
G20 vs. SS

Driving Impressions:  G20 Van vs. LT1/M6 Camaro  10-August-2012

As a man who believes in balance, it’s probably no surprise  that I have vehicles on opposite ends of the automotive extremes:  An LT1/M6 Camaro and a G20 Conversion Van.  Recently, the car was down for repairs, and in driving the van for a couple of weeks, I noticed some significant differences in driving the two vehicles.  I thought they were noteworthy.


Camaro:  I suppose it depends on how you define comfort.  If, by comfort, you mean it wraps around you, feels like an airplane cockpit, and you feel loved when you drive it, then it’s comfortable.  If, by comfort, you mean you could drive it for days without losing the ability to feel your legs, then, it’s not comfortable.

Van:  It’s like driving your house, sitting in your recliner, while looking out the living room bay window, ice cold drink in hand.


Camaro:  Swoopy shiny adolescent boy racer curves with exhaust note your neighbors will eventually kill you in your sleep over, yet will get grand cheers from every teenager parking lot hangout you pass.

Van:  It’s like driving your house, sitting in your recliner, while looking out the living room bay window, ice cold drink in hand.


Camaro:  Just in case you need to go 150mph lickity-split, you’re set.

Van:  Just in case you need to go the speed limit, you can get there.  Eventually.


Camaro:  Begs you to do smoky burnouts at random.  Just because you can.  However, given ‘style’ above, everyone within 100 yards will notice, and you’ll probably lose your license.  If your rear tires don’t wear out 4x faster than your fronts, you’re doing it wrong.

Van:  Can actually easily do a smoky burnout with one of its ‘tire swing’ rear tires, and given ‘style’ above, everyone will wonder where the smoke is coming from, because the van blends into the houses around it like a part of the scenery.


Camaro:  Has a distinct breaking point.  Sticks like glue (phase 1) right up until the rear breaks traction, at which point you have the option and ability to maintain a drift (phase 2) depending on the situation and your level of driving prowess.  Phase 3 may be one of 2 scenarios:  3.1) Skidding out of control, and possible complete loss of life and vehicle, or 3.2) Sharp ‘snap’ as the rear regains traction and you go on your merry way.  If you need to make a radical maneuver to avoid an accident, you want to be driving the Camaro.

Van:  It has only 1 phase.  While it is possible to drift this behemoth, it is not at all what you think of when you envision ‘drifting’.  There is no distinct point or line between body roll and actual vehicle drift.  Only a seasoned professional could tell you whether you’re simply taxing the shocks or actually ‘drifting’.  Sidewalls provide as much traction (or loss thereof) in this maneuver as the tire tread, and in fact, markings on said sidewalls are yet another telltale sign that drifting has (or hasn’t) occurred recently.  If you need to make a radical maneuver to avoid an accident, don’t.  Your best line is the one that goes straight through.

In summary, the Van says, “Where you wanna go?  Hop in, I’ll get you there all safe and comfy.”  The Camaro says, “Just drive me.  I don’t care where to or why.  Just drive me.”

*Professional Driver, closed operating course.  Drive responsibly.  Batteries not included.  Some settling may have occurred during shipment.  Your results may vary.

Cheers from The ThreeFiveZero Driver

Putting C6 Corvette Wheels on Your 4th Generation Camaro/Firebird

C6 Corvette Wheels on Your 4th Generation Camaro/Firebird
C6 Corvette Wheels on Your 4th Generation Camaro/Firebird

Putting C6 Corvette Wheels on Your 4th Generation Camaro/Firebird

C6 Corvette Wheels on Your 4th Generation Camaro/Firebird
C6 Wheels

I’ll put all the technical stuff up front for those of you looking for the details you need to know for this wheel and tire combination.

Summary:  This is a set of OEM C6 Corvette Wheels on a 4thGeneration Camaro.  The rears are 19×10” (+79mm offset) and require a 1.25” adapter to compensate for the deep offset on them.  The fronts are 18×8.5” (+56mm offset) and are a direct bolt-on.

C6 Corvette Wheels on Your 4th Generation Camaro/Firebird
C6 Wheels

Wheels:  C6 Corvette Wheels span from 2005-2012 and came in several designs and finishes.  Note that the Standard-C6 and Z51-C6 wheels are the  most common, as well as easiest and the most popular, for swapping onto older vehicles.  C6 Z06, ZR1, and Grand Sport wheels are larger, and more difficult to swap.  (See dimension chart below for all C4, C5, and C6 Corvette wheels.)  This article and pictures cover the Standard-C6 and Z51-C6 wheels.

Camaro:  The 4th Generation Camaro/Firebird spans from 1993-2002 and regardless of the model, whether V6 or Z28 or SS, Formula or Trans Am, the bolt pattern and track width of the car are the same, so the information here applies to all F-Bodies of these years.   *see note below regarding variations in hub diameter sizes.

C6 Corvette Wheels on Your 4th Generation Camaro/Firebird
C6 Wheels

Adapters:  Both the Camaro and the Corvette use a 4.75” bolt circle with 5 mounting bolts.  The rear Corvette wheels require a 1.25” adapter to fit the Camaro.  Be certain that you get adapters that have the center hole machined to fit the hub on your axle flange.  The adapters are very simple:  They bolt to your existing wheel studs, and have a 2nd set of studs which you then bolt your wheel to.  You can find these on ebay for as little as $50.  Buy American made parts, folks!

Note on Axle Hub and Wheel Bore Sizes:  Factory ’93-’96 Camaro/Firebird rear axles have a 70.75mm center hub diameter.  C6 Corvette wheels have a 70.5mm diameter hub bore.  It is important to get adapters which will fit over your rear 70.75mm hub if you have a ’93-’96 car, and also accommodate the 70.5mm hub bore of the C6 wheels.  This is also important if you choose to take the optional step (outlined below) of putting adapters on the front.

Tires:  These photos show 295/30-19’s on the rear wheels and 255/40-18’s on the fronts.  Both of these tire sizes calculate to a 26.00” diameter in spite of the staggered 18/19” wheel sizes.

Speedometer:  Base Camaros were programmed for 26.17” diameter tires, while Camaros with Z-rated tires were programmed for a 25.66” tire diameter.  With the 26.00” tire diameters above, you’ll need to reprogram your computer for speedometer accuracy.  This will only affect your speedometer, not engine performance, so if you can’t reprogram right away just remember that your speedometer is a little off.  With larger diameter tires, you’re going a little faster than your speedometer indicates.

WITH Front Adapters
WITH Front Adapters
WITHOUT Front Adapters
WITHOUT Front Adapters

Optional Front Adapters:  After driving the car for a couple of years with the C6 wheels, I decided that I wanted the front track width of the car to match the rear.  This is mostly a cosmetic preference…  although I believe it also handles a little better with the matching front/rear track widths.  It tended to understeer a little with the front wheels tucked in narrower than the rears.  I put a set of 1.25” adapters on the front to match the rear, and I prefer the looks of the car this way.  The front wheels fill out the fender wells better, and the wheels show more when looking down the side of the car.  As stated above, the front wheels will fit and function just fine without adapters.

Lowered SS on C6 Wheels
Lowered SS on C6 Wheels
Lowered SS on C6 Wheels
Lowered SS on C6 Wheels
Lowered SS on C6 Wheels
Lowered SS on C6 Wheels

Lowering:  When I initially put the C6 wheels on this car, and wrote this article, the car was stock height.  Since then, I have lowered the car 1.5” and added the 1.25” adapters to the front wheels as mentioned above.  The front wheels never rub at all.  The rear wheels rubbed badly after lowering the car, and I finally had to roll my rear fender wells.  My advice is that you should expect to roll your rear fender wells if you plan to run the 19×10” C6 rear wheels under a lowered Camaro/Firebird.  It is more than nuisance rubbing…  it was cutting through my sidewalls.  The 3 pictures here are with the car lowered 1.5″ and the front wheels using the optional 1.25″ adapters.

My Personal Take:  I really wanted GM wheels for various reasons, and the style of these wheels is very similar to the stock SS wheels.  I thought over various styles and colors, as even this wheel design is available in silver painted, polished aluminum, and chrome, stock on the Corvettes.  This set is the polished aluminum variety.  With the car now lowered and with matching front and rear track widths, it now looks very ‘low and wide’, especially when viewed directly from the front or rear!

More Pictures:  If you search google images for ‘c6 vette wheels camaro’ you’ll find at least eleventybillion pictures of different Camaros with the various Corvette wheel designs on them!

Corvette C4, C5, and C6 wheel dimensions:

Size                 Offset Application

17″ × 8.5″        +56      88-96 front/rear, 97-04 front

17″ × 9.5″        +54      88-96 front/rear, 97-04 front

17″ × 11″         +36      90-95 ZR1 rear

17″ × 11″         +50      96 Grand Sport rear

18″ × 8.5″        +56      88-96 front/rear, 97-12 front exc. C6 Z06, ZR1, GS

18″ × 9.5″        +40      84-87 front/rear, 06-12 Z06 & Grand Sport front

18″ × 9.5″        +57      97-04 rear, 05-12 front

18″ × 10.5″      +58      97-04 rear

19″ × 10″         +40      C6 Z06, ZR1 & Grand Sport front

19″ × 10″         +56      97-04 rear

19″ × 10″         +79      05-12 rear

19″ × 11″         +64      97-04 rear

19″ × 11″         +79      05-12 rear

19″ × 12″         +59      C6 Z06 & Grand Sport

20″ × 12″         +59      C6 Z06, ZR1 & Grand Sport rear

Cheers from The ThreeFiveZero Auto Shop

Parking Lot Repairs 23-October-2011

Slide Show
Slide Show

Parking Lot Repairs  23-October-2011

First and foremost, please know that the condition of your vehicle can affect the weather.  For example, if you’re driving across the country in an old Chevy van, and your fuel pump is about to fail, regardless of the season or state you’re in, you should expect a light drizzling/freezing rain, or at the very least a sudden downpour just as you coast off the side of the road.


Therefore, note that since today I’m just recreationally adjusting stuff in parking lots, the weather is gorgeous.  Parking lots all dry and clean.  Not a cloud in the sky, and a nice cool breeze on a 65 degree fall day here in North Carolina.


Some minor toe-in adjusting gave me the pleasure of sampling a number of the local parking lots today:


Maplewood Family Practice:  An only mildly aging parking lot, about 50% grayed and with a good ‘grippy’ surface.  This asphalt has a hint of glass recycling in it, and was spotlessly clean.  Plenty of spaces to park where there were no oil-drip scars to work around.  Highly recommend.


BB&T Headquarters:  This is an ‘old-school’ parking lot that you’d expect to find in SCCA events.  Larger grained chips that would grip hard and ‘chunk out’ tires in a competition.  Therefore, for repairs that might take several hours, you could expect several skinned knees and elbows.  Nice and flat though, as well as clean.  Nothing wrong with this lot per say, but it would be the last I’d recommend of those I sampled today.  Just too many good ones to choose from!


Robinhood Adolescent Medicine:  This baby is brand spankin new.  The building just opened a couple of months ago, so this parking lot is flawless with zero oil stains.  Super smooth, yet with just enough grip to keep you from sliding around.  For a cool fall day like this, I have to recommend this lot above all others I sampled today.  The only down side might be that on a hot day, the darker black asphalt here might get very very hot.


My Driveway:  Of course, there’s no place like home.  Smooth concrete that even a cheap roller-creeper would ride over like a Cadillac.  I only did my first adjustment and final snug-up here.  With so many exotic locations to sample, I was glad to be out of the driveway even though we all know your own floor is the best floor to crawl around on.


Any one of these lots could be considered ‘luxurious’ though, if you were 300 miles from home on a cold rainy night.  It’s all a matter of perspective.


I was making adjustments by counting hex flats, where 1/6th would be one hex, or 1/6th of a rotation of the rod adjustment.  If 15/6ths is the entire span between ‘too far out’ and ‘too far in’, then 7/6ths is the perfect amount of toe-in, right?  It certainly drives perfectly now.


Cheers from The ThreeFiveZero Redneck


Hot Nights Hot Cars 06-August-2011

People Slide Show
People Slide Show

Hot Nights Hot Cars  06-August-2011

The people come to the Cruises for the cars, right?  Or do the cars just bring the people?  Yesterday on my way to Pilot Mountain, I drove through a really heavy rain storm.  And I think it did result in a smaller turnout.  In any case, I took more pictures of the people last night than I normally do.  The folks drying and polishing the cars that sat through the rain storm, the old guys talking cars and the Dads telling their kids car stories.

Here are a few of my favorites…

In the pictures of the old muscle cars, there’s one of a red ’67 (I think, you’d think I’d be more certain!) RS with what I’ll respectfully call an older gentleman at the wheel, one kid in the passenger front seat and another kid in the passenger rear seat.  As I walked by on the sidewalk, they were sitting in it and the kids were trying to get the fella to take them for a cruise up and down the strip.  He played hard to get, like he wasn’t sure they should, but quickly gave in and fired it up to take the kids for a cruise.  While I hope Grandkids are a good many years off for me, I do also hope to take them cruising in my Camaro one day!

Rat Rods Slide Show
Rat Rods Slide Show

A kid on a bike, a teenager asleep in a lawn chair on the sidewalk, a lemonade slush at the newly opened “Mt. Pilot Filling Station”, polishing rags hung out to dry here and there, a couple I ran into several times who were holding hands and talking cars each time I passed them…  some tough guys in an old Firebird, a Mopar Dad who happened upon 2 Chargers at once and tried to tell his Son about both as they passed!  My friend Terrance trying to talk his Dad out of the 442 purchase to make room for a 1970 Camaro!  The group of guys talking about the barn-find Buick one of them just picked up.  People.  They make the Cruises.

If you look closely at the pictures, there’s one of a flat black rat rod, a woman in a pink shirt and white shorts, and her husband standing just to the right behind her.  I was taking pictures of the rod, and she yelled at the driver who then stopped to talk.  She quickly hopped in, waved goodbye to her husband, and drove off!  I walked over to tease him…

“Oh, ouch, that’s gotta sting a little…  the wife left you for a Rat Rod?”

The fella didn’t miss a beat and quickly replied,

Classics Slide Show
Classics Slide Show

“Yeah, and if I’m quick enough, I bet I can get outta here before he realizes his mistake and brings her back!”

The state of North Carolina made a really sad mistake in judgment by not yet allowing the two young ladies in the back of the old (flawless) green Chevy pickup drive with a license at their young ages…  so I tried to negotiation just one slow and careful cruise up and back for them, in spite of the licenseless dealio, but it turns out their Grandpa (the owner of the truck) had dealt with smooth talkers before.  But I tried!

Rat Rods!  I love them!  Ezra wants to build one, and Sophie wants a ’55-’57 Chevy.  (More on this below…)  My favorite last night was the one that didn’t even have a drive shaft tunnel.  It did appear to have the drive shaft painted red though, so…  it was good and safe that way?  Love it!!!

Everything Else Slide Show
Everything Else Slide Show

The old muscle cars really need no description.  They’re the heart of the Cruise-Ins as cars go.  I did want to note that I’ll bet the picture of the freshly rained-on Yenko Camaro are the first and only pictures you’ve ever seen of a wet Yenko Camaro!!!

And Everything Else!  The chopped VW bus, the late model rides, the low riders and the pulling garden tractor and the Trailblazer SS with an LS2 in it…  An Astro van chopped down like a Deora!  A small track hoe!  You name it…  someone will cruise in it…

My 55 Slide Show
My 55 Slide Show

And last but not least is my next project car…  the yellow ’55.  I was wandering through a local shop’s yard and am hoping it’s for sale, although I don’t have any idea how I could swing a project car right now.  Felt like an old friend as I walked by.  It seems to be a (relatively) complete and solid ’55 missing only the interior.  We could build a family Rat ’55!!!  A junkyard carbureted LS engine, 6-speed, and road signs for interior with racing seats.  I’ll be King of the Carpool when I pick the kids up at school!

Cheers from The ThreeFiveZero Home

The Family Garage 06-November-2010




The Family Garage  06-November-2010


So lots of stuff has happened since I last had a real garage.  When I was a kid, I practically lived in my workshop.  I’ll dig up a picture of that as well.  It was an old chicken coop that someone had cut swinging doors into, and Scotty’s Workshop was born.  I truly did live in it sometimes.  I had an old bench car seat, a tube-type radio, and a home made wood burning stove built from 2 55 gallon drums.  When I was heavily involved in a project, I’d work til I fell asleep, then the fire would begin to go out, the place would get cold, I’d wake, stoke the fire, and get back to work.  Lots of amazing things were created in that old chicken coop.


Nowadays thing are a lot different.  My life revolves around school bells and homework, packed lunches and grocery runs.  There just isn’t time for all night wrench fests anymore, nor is there cash for go-fast goodies.  There was a time when ‘breaking it’ meant hauling it back to the shop and making it faster/stronger/better.  These days, if I break it, it’s likely to get pushed into a corner and put on the ‘wish list’.  So be it.  The kids will be grown all too soon as it is, and I can always get back to the Camaro.


But back in September we built a ‘Family Size’ work bench for the garage.  My plan was to be able to wrench even an hour or so each evening, while the kids did homework or played at the bench nearby, able to hand me tools while still getting homework done.  I almost have enough pennies saved to get the heads back on the car, so this weekend we put the Family Workbench to the test!


Ezra built his new Lego set on one end, while Sophie put Barbie to the swimming test in her new Barbie pool…  thingie.  And I have to add that the garage is a much better place for a toy swimming pool than the kitchen table or living room floor!  In the olden days, a work bench’s structure was judged by how many small block engines you could put on top of it without it buckling.  My current life situation requires all that plus enough room for kids at play.  So be it.  Again.


So a couple more things happened yesterday to really ‘christen’ the Family Workbench…  for one thing, it hosted our first family meal in the garage!  Pizza and OJ.  Mmmmm…  Back in the chicken coop days, a meal in the shop meant a bucket of KFC or a frozen pizza tossed out for the poor schlubs that you roped into helping you pull your motor, and they ate like hogs at the slop trough!  I think it’s ok to have some amount of mix of table manners and shop meals now that kids are in the mix…


And finally we placed the new shop clock that Mike Mapes sent this week…  this has significant sentimental value, as it was one of the surviving pistons from his recently scattered Chevelle Mill!!!  Back in the day, we used to put up our most prized ‘scatter parts’ on the shop wall to show off to friends our ability to break stuff, as if they were trophies…  I’m truly honored that Mike let me have one of the ‘Surviving 7’ from his adult scatter!!!

Just like home is where you hang your hat, the garage is where you roll your projects in and out.  It might take a little longer to get my projects out now that kids are my primary focus, but it’s a lot more fun to have them in the pit crew, and it will be that much more fun to brag about (for them as well as myself) when we can tell people that ‘We’ finally got the Camaro back together…


I often wonder what Grandpa Ezra would think of this or that…  when I was writing this story, it occurred to me that we did not once ever eat a meal in the shop at the farm.  Meals were always at the kitchen table, and I suppose to some extent it would have been disrespectful to Nana if we’d taken dinner to the shop.  And really mealtime was breaktime as well.  Times have changed since then, and my life has undoubtedly changed in ways neither Grandpa Ezra or myself might have ever imagined…  so all things considered, I’m confident that he would approve of The Family Garage.  Absolutely confident…


Cheers from The ThreeFiveZero Garage

Hot Nights Hot Cars 02-October-2010




Hot Cars




I’m doing this a bit differently than usual, so this story will be posted with both the photo album and the video from last night…  so I’m going to put in timestamps that go with the video, and write about the pictures all in one place.  I guess you’ll have to see both the video and the photo album for it to all make sense!

The last big cruise of the season…  :sigh:

The car isn’t likely to make another appearance until 2011, so we decided to clean up the Bubba Truck and cruise in it instead!  Lotsa work there though…  Can’t remember the last time I washed it, and it’s been mostly sitting for nearly 2 years.  With the top off half the time so I can use it as a pickup truck.  But it cleaned up pretty good!

Video 0:10:  ‘Big Hill’ in front of the house…  not really a mountain, but the kids were impressed that the truck drove right up and down it…

Video 1:10:  Kids begin singing “I like Big Trucks and I cannot lie…”  I wish I could take some credit for coming up with that one, but I had nothing to do with it!!!

Stellar $3 shades/safety glasses for the kids for the trip.  Stellar.  We didn’t even make it to Harris Teeter before the kids were singing!

Even in the daylight it was a bit chilly for riding with the top off, which made Sophie really cuddly for quite some time after we got there. Win/Win.

Cars cars cars, and more cars!  The General Lee made another appearance…  several cool Rat Trucks that we saw while cruising, but unfortunately never got pictures of.  Love’em!

Video 2:20:  Sophie has her own sign language for ‘Pizza’…  I didn’t notice this until I was watching the video later!

We cruised several times, then went to Soppers to put our names in.  Then across the street to get a drink while we waited for a table…  where we found Uncle Benny!!!  That Uncle Benny, I tell ya, has really been a close second to myself with helping the kids enjoy the cruises as a family adventure…  last night he asked the kids to do the honors of drawing for prizes up on stage at the end of the night!

I didn’t get as many car pictures this time as usual.  Most I snapped as the cars passed Soppers where we were waiting for our table.  By the time we got done with dinner, it was time to make our way to the stage!  What an outstanding way to end out the end of the last cruise of the season, Ezra and Sophie on the big stage!

Video 6:10:  I was a little worried the kids would freeze on the stage, but not a hint of stage fright!  In fact, they had a great time!  I suppose it’s all fun and games when the world is your Playground?

Video 7:05:  Dad goes ‘Dancing with the Cars’ as usual…

From there, one walking trip up and back to get homemade ice cream…  nothing warms the bones on a cool fall evening like Oreo Ice Cream!  Under a blanket.  In the open air…

Video 7:55:  I’ve been going to this Cruise-In for so long that some of the people that recognize me have begun to refer to me affectionately as ‘Scott ThreeFifty’…  A while back, I got a bit bummed out about that whole situation where I had to nuke that place “Where everybody knows my name…”  I used to think ‘that place’ could only be that one physical location.  I think maybe ‘that place’ is less tied to a physical location than it is a product of who you are.  Maybe even though the physical location of ‘that place’ is forever gone for me, it would seem that I’m the kind of person whose name people remember.  And that’s a much greater compliment.  There are a handful of you who know me from when and where I was known as ‘Scotty’, and you remembering me from that far back is just as much a compliment as when I hear myself referred to as ‘Mr. Sophie’s Dad’ or ‘Mr. Ezra’s Dad’ or ‘Scott ThreeFifty’…  No matter where I’m located.  I suppose.  Most importantly, my kids seem to be growing up as people whose personalities lend them to be the type whose names people remember…  No matter where they’re located.  I suppose…

Got the kids all buckled up, jackets on, and blankets over them for our last cruise up and down the strip…

Video 8:30:  The Trolley ominously snuck up behind us!

Video 9:20:  For a 33 year old Chevy Truck, the Bubba Truck still sounds sweet when you wind it up!

They decided that it was still just a bit too nippy, and we managed to get them both under the passenger seat belt for the trip home, covered in blankets, (still eating ice cream, of course…) and with the heater blasting.  They were both very ‘chilly cuddly’ when we got home…  Win/Win/Win!

Cheers from The ThreeFiveZero Cruisers

Birthday Weekend 04-September-2010


Birthday Weekend  04-September-2010

Wow.  Has this been a busy week…

Ezra turned the big 1-0 on Thursday, and Sophie will be Lucky 7 on the 9th, so this weekend was earmarked to celebrate both!

Saturday morning we hit Tanglewood Park bright and early (10am) and even had time to play on the playground a bit before horseback riding.

Ezra rode ‘Scout’, Sophie rode ‘Vegas’ (how fitting!) and I rode good old ‘Hugh’…  all fine animals!  We brought apples and carrots as peace offerings…  not that these horses were untamed or likely to buck us off, but still…  Sophie kept our guide, Mike, tethered at all times!  And look at the lovey dovey horsies in the pasture!  Ezra was unsure about the whole horseback riding thing until we got going, and now he’s a believer!

McDonald’s.  I’m not a fan.  The food is both awful and overpriced.  But I suppose that giant playland is the major draw, and on this day we needed fast food to stay on schedule!

Toys R Us!  For Nerf Laser Tag!  I have to admit these are super cool beyond what you might guess…  lots of space age electronic sounds, plus very intelligent and accurate lasers…  Money well spent.

Home for a breather, then to Indoor Urban Paintball for paintball laser tag!  Where Ezra ran me nearly to death, kicked my butt, and decided that leaving the house isn’t so bad after all…  and Sophie, of course, found a puppy to play with.  Sheesh!

On to Pilot Mountain for the biggest turnout I’ve ever seen at a Cruise-In!  Wowza.  Tons of cool rides.  We didn’t get to eat at Soppers given the 2 hour wait for a table, but we still had a blast!  We rode the Trolley that had thus far eluded us…  it’s both a ride from the PART lot if you want to avoid the mob, yet also just a free fun ride if you want to cruise Main Street in the Trolley!  Which we did.  On the most perfect day we’ve had in months.  With the windows down.  Ahhhh.

So many cool cars!  The General Lee and Rosco P. Coltrane!  Even Flash was there!

I think I many need a Chevelle.  The roundy tail lights one.  With a big block in it.  Or an LS7.  I’m a lot more ‘Big Block Chevelle’ than I am ‘Chevy Van’…

Since Soppers was booked, we ate at Rigatoni’s farther away from Main Street.  Good stuff!  Mmmmmm, pizza…

I talked to the guy with the blown silver pickup.  1,000+hp.  :drool:

I-Spy:  A guy riding a motorized cooler.  Really.

I almost didn’t get the kids to their Birthday balloons before dark!  The ladies at the Pilot Mountain Country Store always recognize us and were kind enough to have the balloons ready for Ezra and Sophie so that we could (theoretically) walk across the street from Soppers after dinner for the surprise!  We had to whittle this grand plan down from 500 balloons to 24, since it turns out 500 balloons are expensive!!!  Still fun to free 24…

Even when we left at nearly 9pm, the Cruise was still going strong!  Tons and tons and tons of cool cars, families, and shoppers!

Baskin Robbins ice cream on the way home.  Long hot showers for all, and all were almost out cold when Willie couldn’t contain his…  ‘Excitement’? and yakked all over the place, for unknown reasons.  Shampoo the carpet, and *now* lights out!  Oh right after one more round of Nerf Laser Tag…

Cheers from The ThreeFiveZero Birthday Kids

Z28 Camaro 25-August-2010


Z28 Camaro  25-August-2010

Where to even begin?  Uncle Benny Huff set Ezra up with this sweet model early in the month…  and last weekend we got all OCD on it and as of today, all the paint and glue are finally dry, and it is sitting proudly on our kitchen table!

Ezra’s model paints had been in hiatus for some time, so we got warmed up by ‘freshening up’ a few Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars…  Which led to my realization that I’m going to have to start wearing those glasses I’ve had tucked away for many years.  :sigh:  Sophie made me feel a lot better about that  issue the other night though, when I was whining about it, and she said, “It’s OK Daddy, by the time most people get as old as you, they’ve had to wear glasses for a long time!”  Which I think was truly intended to be sympathetic, but did not make me feel young!!!

During cleanup and parts inventory, Pretty Lady Luck inspected each and every piece.  I think she was just hoping for one of them to be made of candy…  but in any case, all met her approval.

Ahhh, that “Oh yeah now I remember why you’re supposed to do this in a well ventilated area…” smell!!!  We painted in the basement right before bed, and the house was freshened with the smell of spray enamel by morning!

We went with only 2 different colors to try to keep it simple for our first detailed model.  The black was almost a metal flake or something?  Looked nice in any case.  The kids decided it should be green like the SS, so we got something as close as we could find.  We were able to paint the ‘flip side’ of the black parts in the sun outside!

I’d forgotten how much detail these small models have…  the dash and interior are highly accurate, right down to the ‘Camaro’ scripting on the body and interior emblems.  Ezra’s small fingers and clear vision were much better at assembly than mine!

‘Ezra’ signed for all eternity in Sharpie!  Of course…

At various times over the weekend, our entire kitchen looked like an assembly line…  car parts everywhere!  Looked like a true frame-off restoration taking place…  at one point Ezra called ‘time-out’ because his thumbs were so glue covered that he made up a new word…  ‘Thmumbling’…  “Dad, let’s quit for a while.  My thumbs have so much glue on them they can’t feel each other.  If they could talk to each other, they would only be able to mumble through the glue now.  They’d have to thmumble!”  That kid!!!

And the engine came at just the appropriate time to drive home how a small block chevy works…  we currently have the heads off the SS and I was able to show both kids which parts are exactly like this model, and which had changed with fuel injection…  unfortunately, the SS’s engine is much less shiny, and 2 turbos shy of being a twin turbo car!!!

It turned out really nice for our first detailed model…  we got a little crazy with the glue here and there, so the hood doesn’t quite shut right, and this and that part here and there isn’t exactly where the instructions said to put it, but we had a lot of fun and are already plotting/scheming our next build!  We eyeballed the General Lee model at Hobby Lobby last weekend too…  so…

And for unknown reasons I thought I’d toss in Ezra’s first Camaro pictures…   possibly just because I have them!  Life is about the drive, not the destination…

Cheers from The ThreeFiveZero Builders

Paint Shop 16-August-2010

Paint Shop  16-August-2010

Paint Shop 16-August-2010

In preparation for building the Camaro model Ezra got from Uncle Benny, we dug up all his model paints, and somehow that turned into… painting, of course! Our inventory indicated that spray paint cans are on the shopping list now, as we want to paint that Camaro up right!

I’ll just go ahead and answer your questions about the cookie sheets. These are from the ‘Highway 35 Zed 36’ painting fiasco of 2003. Hot Wheels couldn’t do Zed 36 justice, so Ezra and I set out to paint one of his ‘Slingshots’ as an exact replica. Which we managed to do. In the process, I learned that Angie’s best cookie sheets were 1) very expensive, 2) not paint repellent, and 3) perfect for painting Hot Wheels cars! Plus, you can set the oven on 150 degrees and ‘cook’ the paint to cure it, right on the same sheet you painted them on!!! Wow. Could that woman yell…

These cookie sheets did, however, also contain about 80% of today’s Metallic Gold paint spill, although even 20% of that spill still managed to get on the table, the chair, all of Ezra’s clothes, the floor, and his toes! I am deeply disappointed in myself for working so diligently to clean up the paint before it dried that I did not get any pictures of the spill!!! How often do you get an opportunity like that??? Maybe we’ll reenact it for photos?

Sophie decided to paint her favorite ‘Pink Cadillac’ up right nicely, which also led to the ‘Pink Cadillac Dance Party’ video I posted last night. I’m slipping in my old age though, and only one kid pee’d her pants during that party. If you aren’t pee’ing your pants, you aren’t laughing hard enough…

And popcorn. You just can’t have too many finger foods while you’re painting with model paints. Who needs fingers to eat finger food though, really?

Oddly enough, I took a couple of close up pictures of the Gold paint last night before today’s big spill. For unknown reasons.

Lady’s favorite spot is wherever the kids are. Good girl!

I tried to use the 2 pictures of Sophie’s Pink Cadillac in a babbling lecture about the importance of staying focused on what’s important, because all that blurry stuff in the background can become a major derailment if you spend too much energy on it, and ignore the things closest to you. I think they heard “Blah Blah Blah.” :sigh: They’re really cool pictures, in any case. They’re really cool kids, in any case. Too.

Ezra’s masterpiece was a roadster of sorts, although he took it with him to his Mom’s house so I’m not sure of the exact model. Very cool. He painted half a dozen or so before it was over…

I started with a Porsche Carrere GT, and quickly realized that I can no longer remain in denial about the fact that I should be wearing glasses. :sigh: So I dug them up. I’m not happy about it…

Cheers from The ThreeFiveZero Paint Shop

Shopping Pilot Mountain 03-July-2010

Shopping Pilot Mountain  03-July-2010
Clicky for Pictures!

Shopping Pilot Mountain  03-July-2010

The car is still down so we shined up the old van yesterday and did the ‘shopping portion’ of the Pilot Mountain Cruise-In this time.  And dinner at Soppers of course, goes without saying.  Sophie picked the dessert, strawberry cream cheese cake.  Thingie.  Mmmmm.

Cars cars cars.   Love the cars!  All of them.  I love all the classics of course like everyone does, but the really one-offs and unique stuff is what gets my attention.  And many of them are actually driven, I totally dig a hot rod with massive *bald* rear tires!

We only made it to the Antique Mall on Main Street, and of course we always visit the Pilot Mountain Country Store, where Sophie finally had enough chore money to buy that beautiful wedding dress doll that sits on an umbrella, so her dress ‘poofs out’ or folds up…  with all the dolls we looked at she had a difficult time choosing!

In year 2 now of going to this cruise, we’re still only tickling half of what there is to see and do.  I tend to get caught up in the cars, of course, but we have yet to spend an evening just sitting to listen to the band.  We still have about ¾ of the shops on Main Street to visit as well!

All in good time.

Cheers from The ThreeFiveZero Shoppers