Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Friday, July 10, 2009
During the course of any trip, you're bound to see something interesting, whatever it is. On my last trip down to San Diego, this was the most interesting vehicle I saw parked on the street, hands down. It's a Dodge Power Wagon, and I have no clue what year it is. All I know is it's crazy. Dually rear axle, big tough bumpers and a black flame treatment bordered in light green announce to the world that it's big and loud and you better get out of its way! The subtle silver-green suits this truck well, and the black original-style pressed-steel wheels it a badass military look. Which is fitting given that the Power Wagon has a military history.
Friday, July 3, 2009
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
The MG Midget began as a spinoff of the Austin Healey Sprite MkII (not the well-known MkI "Bugeye" model) in 1961. It eventually outlasted the Sprite, continuing production with various changes and improvements but maintaining the same basic body, until 1979.
This one is a later-model Midget from the Leyland era, "federalized" for sale in the US with horrible black plastic bumpers and squared-off wheel arches in the rear for body strength. Power came from a 1493 cc four-cylinder sourced from the Triumph Spitfire and routed through a four-speed manual transmission based on the unit from the rather un-sporting Morris Marina.
And in case you wondered why it's called the Midget, here's why.
The Midget is a tiny, tiny car. That's a Toyota Tacoma pickup behind it, which by pickup truck standards is a compact. Interestingly, this light blue Midget is an earlier model, built sometime between 1968 and 1971 judging by the side markers, Leyland badge on the front fender, and the squared-off rear wheel well (it would be rounded on 1972-74 models). This one also sports the useless but much better looking dainty chrome bumpers that would probably offer adequate protection if the colliding vehicle was a Hot Wheels car.
This cheese-orange Midget featured above is just not beautiful. Never mind the body damage, the real problem is the big ugly bumpers, pressed-steel wheels, and the sheer Leyland-ness of it all. It lacks the elegant simplicity of the quintessential classic British sports car, something the original MGB did so well before it, too, was ruined by the curse of black plastic federal bumpers. Older Midgets look better, though they are simply too tiny for my tastes. Don't get me wrong, I love a number of old British roadsters including the aforementioned MGB, the Triumph Spitfire and TR6, Austin-Healey 3000, Sunbeam Tiger, the [pre-V12] Jaguar E-Type, Jensen Interceptor, various Aston Martins and of course the AC [Shelby] Cobra (which I would consider to be as much American as British after what Carroll Shelby did with it). The Midget is a cute little car in its purest form, but I think it would require a ride in one to convince me that it's an actual, capable sports car and not a toy with license plates.