Tag Archives: hot rod

Most Underappreciated Classics to Consider This Spring

Spring is in the air, and if you’re like us, this is the time when a young (or not so young) man’s thoughts turn to buying a classic car to work on this summer.

We know that not everyone has a Shelby GT budget (or even a kit car Shelby budget), so we wanted to talk about some cars that get you a lot of oomph without draining your wallet. We’ve got to thank the folks over at Hagerty’s classic car insurance for their classic car valuation tool, which handled the numbers part of this list.

Some of their most undervalued classics are:

•    First Generation Mazda Miata (1989-97- $5,000): If you aren’t fooled by its reputation for cuteness (and don’t mind always having the top down if you’re over 6’2”), it’s hard to beat this little convertible. With tens of thousands still on the road 20 years after the original line was ended, you can still fix one fairly easily.
•    C5 Chevy Corvette (1997-2004- $15,000): Thanks to depreciation, it’s possible to own a Corvette for less than you’d pay for the most stripped down new econo-box. They’ve got some years on them now, but Corvettes are some of the most pampered cars on the road, so you’re likely to find a C5 model in great shape.
•    Ford Thunderbird Turbo Coupe (1984-88- $6.000): Even though it’s from the 80s, the T-bird Turbo Coupe feels like the child of a 1960s American muscle car and a European performance sedan, and was Motor Trend’s car of the year in 1987. 30 years later, these are a bit hard to find, but still fun to drive.
•    Porsche 914 (1969-1976- $12,000): While not a powerhouse like a modern 911, the 914 is often considered the pinnacle of lightweight, low-power design where the fun comes from nimbleness, not raw power. With a choice of a flat-four or flat-six air cooled engine and a distinctive body, it should come as no surprise that the 914 was designed as the replacement for Volkswagen’s iconic Karmann Ghia.
•    Studebaker Avanti (1962-1963- $20,000): The rarest car on this list, the Avanti was the swan song for a venerable American car maker. While it never captured the public imagination, the Avanti featured an innovative fiberglass body with looks that were 20 years ahead of their time, and a 240hp V8 that gave it plenty of muscle. If you can find one of the roughly 6,000 made, buy it and be the only guy you know who has one.
•    Volkswagen Corrado VR6 (1992-1995- under $5,000): Originally designed as a replacement for the Porsche 944, the Corrado VR6 packed nearly 200 horsepower into a sporty 2,800 pound car with German handling. If you can find one that hasn’t been destroyed by a teenage boy, and don’t mind the mysteries of VW electrical systems, you can get a lot of speed for a tiny bit of cash.

These are just the tip of the iceberg. If you do your homework and can be happy with a more obscure car, there are still plenty of deals to be had, particularly in late-classic-era cars (full sized convertibles from the late 60s to the mid 70s are a steal, especially if you know how to fix a top), oddball pickups and work trucks, cousins of classics (a ‘67 Mercury Cougar GT is thousands less than a comparable Mustang, but has almost the exact same specs), and professional cars (what’s cooler than tooling around in a late 60s station wagon turned ambulance?).

And remember, a Backyard Buddy lift can help you double the space in your garage while giving you a great platform to easily work on your new find. Give us a call and then get out there and look for your next treasure

Top 10 Impressive Car Collectors

Most people enjoy looking at or driving sports cars or luxury vehicles while only dreaming of owning one.  These top ten collectors from around the world are the proud owners of several within their amazing collection.  Here are the world’s top 10 car collectors and some of what they own:

10. Hip-hop sensation Wyclef Jean & Pink Floyd’s Drummer Nick Mason have a great love for music and cars!  Together, they own more than 40 cars.  Wyclef’s collection includes a McLaren F1, Ferrari, Italian Pagani Zonda, Cadillac, Humvee and a customized Hummer which he keeps in Miami.

Mason enjoys the Italian super sports cars that have historical significance such as a Bugatti T35, Aston Martin LM18, Ferrari 213T3, McLaren F1, Porche 962, and a 23M-pound Ferrari 250GTO.

9. Fashion mogel and trend setter Ralph Lauren has an amazing collection of all red cars, over 60 in all that he displays in a black carpeted NYC garage on white platforms.  This impressive collection includes:  Ferrari’s, Alfa Romeo roadsters, Bugatti, Mercedes, Bentley, Jaguar and McLaren F1 to name a few.

8. Grammy award winning English singer, Jason Luiz Cheetham also known as Jay Kay owns at least 68 cars and is still collecting.  His collection includes:  Porche’s, Ferrari’s, Rolls Royce’s, Lambourghini’s, Mercedes, Bugatti’s, Maserati’s, Aston Martin and one of Coco Chanel’s Mercedes 600.  What an impressive collection he is working on!

7. Dmitry Lomakov is a Russian museum owner and the current President of Retromoto.  He has an unparalleled love for antique cars, anything of historical excellence.  He owns at least 120 motorcycles and antique cars some of which include:  a 1914 Peugeot motorcycle and a 1977 Chayka GAZ-13.  He made the news when purchasing Adolph Hitler’s Mercedes Benz at a private auction.  This was used during Hitler’s reign.

6. Self made entrepreneur Gerard Lopez was born in Luxembourg.  He is the managing director of CS Fola Esch Football Club and was the chairman of the Lotus F1 team & co-owner of Genii Capital and Mangrove Capital Planters.  He has a vast collection of cars ranging from hot rods to race cars.  Some of his collected favorites include:  Porche’s, Peugeot’s, Bugatti’s along with  other European beauties.

5. Mukesh Dhirubhai Ambani is the co-owner of the Indian Premier League Team and is one of the richest men in India.  He resides in a mansion in Mumbai and has a passion for fast, sporty and elegant cars.  His collection of 168 European cars includes a Bentley, Mayback, Bugatti, Mercedes and Porche.

4. The United States based owner of Lingenfelter Performance Engineering, Ken Lingen Felter owns 20 Lamborghini Reventons and over 150 American muscle cars along with a grand collection of Corvettes, Mustangs, Bugattis and Porches.  He uses a 40,000 square foot building in Michigan to store these fine beauties.

3. Comedian and former Tonight Show Host, Jay Leno has an amazing hobby of collecting cars.  He owns over 200 including many vintage cars that are perfectly maintained and still running today.  Some of these are a 1909 Baker Electric, 1931 8-liter Bentley, 1909 Stanley Steemer, 1934 Phantom II Rolls Royce, 1927 Duesenberg Model X, 1925 Hispano-Suiza, 22 Steam Powered vehicles and 25 classic cars.

2. Billionaire member of Abu Dhabi’s ruling elite, Sheikh Hamad Bin Haman Al Nahyan is known for his color collection of 7 Mercedes S-Classes each in a different color of the rainbow.  He also owns several other cars.  A unique fact about his collection is that he keeps them stashed in a pyramid.  Besides his Mercedes, he has customized Mercedes Monster Trucks, a group of  Jeeps, the largest Bedouin Caravan and a Dodge Power Wagon.

  • Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah is worth a whopping $20 billion with an impressive royal palace claimed as the largest in the world.  He is also the proud owner of some 7000 cars including:  209 BMW’s, 574 Benz, 452 Ferraris, 179 Jaguars, 382 Bentleys, 134 Koenigseggs, Lamborghinis, Aston Martins, SSC’s, Cicero BDB Maestro and more!

The Devil, or in this case, the quality, is in the details

If you stand 50 yards away from a collection of car lifts, they all pretty much look the same. Some may be red, some may be blue, but they all are basically posts and a deck.

It’s when you start to get closer that you notice the difference. You’ll quickly notice that Backyard Buddy lifts look a whole lot more solid. If you’ve got a keen eye, you’ll notice that our legs are a solid square, not an open “U” shape like some other lifts. You’ll probably notice that the quality of our finish and welds is a whole lot better too.

But when you get up close and personal with a Backyard Buddy lift, you’ll notice why ours are so much better than the competition. The Devil, or in this case, the quality, is in the details. Some of the things that set us apart are:

Fully Swaged Cables: If you look at the ends of our cables, you’ll see that they are swaged along their full length, and that you can see the end of the cable coming out of the end cap. This not only produces a stronger cable end, but it also allows users to inspect it to ensure that the cables have not slipped. Our competitors usually put a closed threaded cap on the end, a cheaper and less secure way to do it, and one that leaves you with no idea if the cable is correctly seated in the cap or if it is just barely secured and about to fail.

Lock Linkage: Keeping your lift deck locked when you want it locked and unlocked when you want to move it is one of the most basic functions of a lift. We use a high quality ⅜ inch linkage to make sure that your lift locks and unlocks when you want it to, and will be absolutely safe in the unlikely event that something goes wrong. Our competitors usually use a weak ¼ inch linkage that can easily bend, or even break, under stress.

Cable Guides: You’ve got to get really close to see this little detail, but all of our lifts have steel guides for the cables to make sure that they do not slip off the pulleys when they have slack in them. If you’ve ever tried to get a cable back onto a pulley while it’s under a load, you know how important this little feature is. It is, of course, either completely lacking on our competitors’ lifts, or at best is a little piece of plastic.

Hydraulic Pressure Relief Valve: A vehicle lift is at its most vulnerable while the deck is moving up and down with a vehicle on it. All of the weight is on the hydraulic system and cables. We’ve mentioned the quality of our hydraulic systems (American-made, fully warranted, and using all metal hydraulic pressure lines), but this little detail can mean all the difference if something goes wrong. If, somehow, your hydraulic system fails on a Backyard Buddy lift, this valve ensures that your platform slowly lowers without damage to the vehicle, and in time for anyone who accidentally finds themselves under it to move. A line failure on our competitors lifts can mean that your vehicle comes crashing to the ground, since they do not see the need for the extra expense of a relief valve.

Finish Quality: We’ll let you run your hand along our lift to gauge this one. Unlike our competitors, we media blast our steel to prepare it and apply a high quality finish by hand. This makes our lifts look a whole lot better than our competitors, but it also means that the finish will stand up to years of use. We’d never tell you to do it on purpose, but if you were to slip with a tool and hit our competitors’ lifts, there’s a pretty high likelihood that you’ll damage the finish down to the steel, leaving you a vector for rust, and one more thing to take care of in your garage. We put a durable finish on our lifts because you shouldn’t have to worry about repairing your lift’s finish to keep rust away. That’s what you’re supposed to be doing with the vehicle on it.

We know that if you take a close look at a Backyard Buddy lift, you’ll be blown away by all of the little details that we have put into our design. If you find yourself in Warren, Ohio, we’re here 8-4 on weekdays. Stop by our showroom and see if you can find all of the details that make Backyard Buddy the best lifts available.

A Backyard Buddy car lift will help get my projects going again

Classic Chevy pickup hot rod on a 4-post car liftWe were shooting the bull with one of the guys who does creative work for Backyard Buddy a little while back. He’s a real car guy that’s been involved with restoring his own cars for over 30 years now, and he shared some of his thoughts about our lifts with us.

Gary mentioned how as he’s gotten older (like all of us), and that it’s been getting harder to get up the ambition to work on his projects. He lives in the northeast and always plans to accomplish a lot during the winter months when the cars are off the road. But even with a heated garage, once the floor freezes it’s not much fun to lay on the floor and try do nice, detailed work. He blames age, but it might just be all those years of laying on his back and working in a cramped space catching up to him. All the old joints are starting to ache more and the cold doesn’t help. He thinks having a Backyard Buddy lift will help get his projects going again!

He built a new garage three years ago with nine-foot ceilings anticipating getting a lift to at least get his cars up high enough to work on comfortably, if not completely overhead. Like a lot of us, he’s always got one or two more project cars lined up and is running out of storage, so a Backyard Buddy Lift would help in that area too, as far as letting him store one car under another.

It would be great to be able to get the cars off the ground, even if it’s not at standing height. He’s thinking it would great to be able to fabricate an exhaust system like he’s doing now, or just to do simple maintenance like oil changes or cleaning up the chassis after a road trip.

What do you think? Do you have a Backyard Buddy lift and think having one would get Gary motivated again? Would making your projects easier get you motivated again?