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Well, the title pretty much says it all, but I thought it would be worthwhile to post-up some of our favorite greasy spots on the web.  The internet is a big place and there's a site for just about every niche of the motoring world so this list isn't meant to be comprehensive. Not even close. It's just an attempt to share thoughts and opinions  on some of our regular haunts. YMMV and your opinions are always welcome.

With that in mind, I'd love to hear where you virtually hang-out with your brother and sister gearheads.  Where's the best Mopar or Ford forum? Where do you Jeepers go to swap your "stuck in the backwoods" stories? Racing? Exotics -cars that is? Post your favorite sites (or your favorite sites to avoid) to the comments section. If we dig your selection too, we'll add it to the list.

To be clear, there's no affiliation between CMB and any of the sites described in this post. I don't know any more about the owners or moderators than any other random forum member.  There are no axes to grind or agendas pro or con. Each of the sites listed here has its own set of issues and the owners and moderators deal with those issues as they see fit.  So that's that and here we go!

Chevy Talk -

You've probably guessed what this one covers. It's all about Chevrolet. ChevyTalk.org has a well staffed and very active forum which includes Chevys from 1912 to 2014 models. It has a good search function and is well supported by sponsors.  Bowtie gurus abound.

The rules here are strictly enforced. Chevy Talk is a family friendly site. Profanity is not allowed and the mods won't hesitate to ban abusive members.

Hemmings-

Hemmings Motor News is a staple of the classic automotive world.  Their publications are as old as the hobby and the site is a great place for general classic car information. Blogs, emails, print, classifieds and on and on.  If you're into cars, you already know Hemmings!

The Hokey Ass Message Board & Jalopy Journal (two-fer) -

The H.A.M.B. is the forum site for the Jalopy Journal, which is arguably the best site for traditional hot rods and customs on the web. The blog is insanely well written are definitely worth a look. The forum offers a wealth of information on anything you'd want to know about traditional hot rods.

I mention traditional hot rods a third time here because that is what this site is about.  It's not about Street Machines. It's not about Chip Foose. It's not about Tuner cars. The members there will let you know in the clearest language possible that there are posted rules about the subject matter to be discussed.  Go against those rules at your own peril. Most of the members have a healthy respect for the hobby in any form, but they'll let you know right away that the H.A.M.B. isn't the place for your Honda. In fact, if it's newer than 1963 and not built in a period-correct style, it probably doesn't belong there. 

But, if old school rod and customs are your thing and you don't mind a bit of salty garage language, this place is hard to beat.

The Samba -

TheSamba.com has been known for years to be the place to find anything you'd ever care to know about Volkswagens . Most of the content is geared towards the Air Cooled VW crowd, but there's a good deal of content for water pumper too.  The classifieds section is one of the best you'll find and they're policed very well by the staff.

The forum is an enormous library of Volksie knowledge. Some of the older members worked for VW when the old cars were new and have forgotten more than many will ever know about the People's Car. There are active members from all over the world.

 The members get cranky pretty fast if you fail to use the clunky-but-effective search function before you ask a question.  

 So before you ask if your Bug will really float on water or for instructions on how to get the heater working well, search and search again. Chances are very good that any basic VW question has been asked and answered many times over.

The rules are fairly basic on The Samba. Just be sure to post in the correct forum for your question, make sure it's VW related content and oh by the way,  use the search! Profanity to make a point is ok, but don't overdo it. 

The Stovebolt-

The best way to describe The Stovebolt is to call it the ChevyTalk of pre-1973 Chevrolet trucks. Go here for good humor and great details on classic bowtie hay-haulers.

 CMB Tip!

 Here a few things which are considered common courtesies on any community website or forum:

1. When you join, post an introduction. Most forums have a place for new members to tell the group a bit about themselves. You wouldn't just walk into someone's garage and just start talking, so think of an intro thread as your handshake and invitation to post.

2. Search before you ask.  Your situation isn't likely to be so unique that your question hasn't been asked before. Look around first.

3. Don't be a troll. Most sites have rules about what won't be tolerated in the forums. If you don't know the answer or don't care about the topic, just move on to something else. Also,  there are a million sites for arguing politics, religion, and other controversial topics. Please keep that junk out. Oh, and please-please-please give the Ford/Chevy/Dodge debate a rest. Please.


 
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The 2013 outdoor show season is coming to a close.  I'm always sad to see the end of the "elbow out the window" cruising weather.  But , I know that it also means the winter car and motorcycle project season is about to begin. I'm hopeful that once Spring springs, we'll see all of the hard work that the Cincy Motor heads have poured into their project vehicles.

Check out the slide show of the Florence, KY Quaker Steak & Lube show from last weekend.  This may be the final outdoor show I'll cover this year. Soon I'll be starting a series of posts on individual vehicles and their owners. 

Give me a shout if you're interested in being featured on the blog.

-CMB


 
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Unseasonably cool weather didn’t seem to chill the spirit of the annual Vevay's On the River car show this year. Over 300 cars of varying years, makes, and models were registered to compete, and dozen more unregistered cars pack the grounds of Paul Ogle Riverfront Park.

Vevay, Indiana is exactly what comes to mind when you think of a small river town. The old storefronts appear just as they would have many decades ago, but many of the original businesses have now been replaced by art galleries or now stand empty. The American Legion post still serves the veterans and AJ’s Diner is as small town quaint as it gets.

After parking the Marauder (feature story to come), CMB and our buddy Chopper stopped in to AJ’s for a bite. We were greeted by a sassy-sweet waitress who took every order without a scrap of paper and carried six or seven plates at once without a tray. She informed Chopper that he was too late for the biscuits and gravy he had ordered and in the future he needed to “get on outta bed” if that’s what he wanted to eat. She was awesome.  (There are a couple of pictures of AJ's in the slideshow.)

Our bellies full of the finest greasy spoon cuisine, we walked many laps around the park grounds. The place was jammed-packed with cars, trucks, modern and classic motorcycles, tractors, and even semis of every stripe. There was a good showing of cars from most eras. The oldest was a curved dash Olds from 1901, the newest from 2014, and cars and trucks from every decade in between.

It was refreshing to see some of the more unusual makes represented including MGs and even an original Mini which was set-up for road racing. Jeeps, VWs, and a nearly perfect and unrestored 1976 AMC Matador were a nice change of pace from the typical car show crowd.

A personal favorite was the beautifully huge and ever so classy, 1960 Lincoln. Its owner bought it used in 1964 and has driven the car twice to the west coast and multiple times from Indiana to Florida. It’s a massive car with loads of comfort and even more style.

It was a long day. Registration closed at 11:00am and awards didn’t begin until 5:30 in the evening. And there were many awards – quite literally a trailer load of trophies were awarded.

We didn't get to speak to many of the owners, so if you're lucky enough to own one of these awesome vehicles, or know someone who does, let us know. We'd love to do a feature and tell your ride's story!  Contact through comments, Twitter, or shoot an email to jake@cincymotorblog.com

We'll be back in 2014 for sure, and maybe we'll be up in time for those biscuits. For more information on this show and other events in Switzerland County, Indiana, check out  http://www.switzcotourism.com/

Checkout the many pictures from the event below and look for a full feature on Chopper’s Marauder Jeep on CMB very soon.


 
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    Online auto auctions like eBay Motors can be an excellent alternative to traditional methods of selling a used car or truck. Newspaper classifieds, flyers, window placards, and even internet "Lists" can't compete with the relatively low cost of national exposure and the secure selling environment that eBay can provide. Once you get the hang of it, it's not a complicated process.

  That's not to say that there are no risks or issues associated with the internet auction houses. As most of us know from our experiences with social media and other places around the web, the perceived anonymity of internet can leave you exposed to some less than desirable comments, remarks, and behaviors.  These auctions are great because they're open to public and they can be a bit painful for the same reason!  There are ways to limit the bad experiences while enhancing the good ones. We'll get into that in a bit.

  CMB has sold over a dozen vehicles on the internet. We've sold boats, racing cars, trucks both large and small, classic cars, beat-up old jalopies, and even a tractor! We've seen the best and worst of what these auctions can offer.

  We've also bought a few vehicles this way. Perhaps you've considered buying a car at an online auction site, but are unsure about the potential for fraud and unscrupulous sellers.  Buyers are often more apprehensive than sellers when it comes to major transactions over the internet. That's understandable. There are simple ways to protect yourself from the most common scams and other bad apples on the web. We'll explore a few of those here as well.

  This isn't intended to be a step-by-step guide to using the sites. eBay offers excellent tutorials and they'll teach you as you go. So be sure to check those out while keeping  our tips mind. We've outlined some of what we understand to be best practices for online auction sales here:

Tips for Sellers

  • Be painfully honest in your auction description. You may not want to talk about that little bit of oil that drips on the driveway from time to time, but you're just setting yourself and your buyer up for a bad experience. It's better to disclose EVERY issue with your vehicle's condition that you can recall. Remember that a little quirk in your car's behavior may not bother you a bit, but it might be a very big deal to your buyer.
  • Put yourself in the buyer's shoes. What would you like to know if you were looking to buy a car online? Chances are good that your buyer doesn't want any unpleasant surprises.  What would surprise you?
  • Take good quality pictures and lots of them. For a modest up-charge, eBay Motors allows for 24 "super-sized" pictures for your auction. The more detailed your photos, the more serious bidders you'll have.
  • Be accessible to potential bidders. Be sure you're available for in-person showings and test drives of your vehicle while the auction is running.
  • Set a reasonable reserve and "Buy it Now" prices. The reserve price is the lowest dollar amount you'll accept for the vehicle and should be a realistic "bottom dollar" price. Set this too high and bidders will assume you want too much money for your vehicle and move on. Set it too low and you risk losing-out on the price you deserve.
  •  A "Buy it Now" price gives a buyer the ability to end the auction early by agreeing to pay that amount.  We typically set this number at what we think represents a strong deal for us as sellers. This is optional and has a small fee attached, but it's worth it. The comfortable selling price for both buyer and seller should fall somewhere between reserve and BIN.
  • Allow potential buyers to have a third party such as a mechanic or local friend  come and inspect the vehicle if they're out of town or unavailable during the auction period. Put this offer in the description. It  shows good faith on your part and lends credibility to your auction description.
  • If you intend to post the vehicle for sale locally or on other sites, say so. You may have to end your auction early if it sells locally and before the reserve price has been reached in your auction. It's bad form and against eBay policy to end an auction after the reserve has been met.
  • Respond to inquiries quickly and thoroughly.  eBay has a great messaging system where potential buyers can ask questions. You can then post the questions and answers to your auction automatically so others can see them too.
  • Post an e-mail address in the auction description. We recommend creating one just for this purpose. This way a buyer can contact you offline if your auction is unsuccessful . Many deals have been brokered this way. It's not considered proper to conduct deals outside of the auction while the auction is still active.
  • If your sale is successful, be sure to leave prompt and honest feedback on the buyer's account so future buyers know more about from whom they're buying.
Tips for Buyers

  • Unless you're absolutely desperate, don't buy a vehicle that you haven't inspected in person. There is no riskier proposition. If you can't go and look for yourself, send someone you trust to check it out for you.
  •  If you're unsure of something in the ad, just ask. Sellers who are serious about making a deal will be happy to accommodate reasonable requests for information, pictures, etc.
  • Do your homework. Seek out opinions, reviews, forums and other forms of information on the make, model, and year of items of interest. Know what you're buying before you buy!
  • Make arrangements for pick-up or shipping  a vehicle with the seller as soon as possible after the auction ends. Keep shipping costs in mind when bidding as it's very rare for a seller to include shipping in the price.  
  • Never bid on any auction unless you're prepared to pay. A bid is a promise to pay that amount and should be taken seriously.
  • Be sure to check the payment requirements in the auction to understand any needed deposits and payment methods and restrictions. Be prompt with your payments.
  • Leave honest and appropriate feedback on the seller's account so that others are informed for future auctions of the seller's behavior and practices.
Costs and Fees

  eBay isn't free, but it's pretty reasonable given its reach and ease of use. The fees vary depending on the particular circumstances and selections made when the auction is created.  Check out them out here (there's a chart):

eBay Motors Fees

Watch Out!

 Here's the ugly truth; people can be less than honest when buying and selling vehicles, especially online. Shocking right? Here are some things to help protect you and to watch out for:

  • Never send cash via mail or wire transfer. This is a very common request from internet scam artists. Other than reasonable deposits, final payment for vehicles is typically handled at the time of delivery.
  • You can protect your hard earned cash by sending it through a service like PayPal. That way you'll have at least some level of recourse if your item doesn't arrive or if it's not as you expected.
  • If a seller won't answer questions, allow for inspection, or refuses to provide additional pictures of specific areas of the vehicle when requested,  move on. Good sellers go out of their way to accommodate reasonable requests from buyers.
  • Check the feedback scores for both buyers and sellers. This is your first line of defense and a great way to learn about past behavior. Consistent neutral or negative feedback is a real cause for alarm.
  • Sometimes buyer don't pay and sellers don't sell. Even if you're auction is successful you may be confronted with a deadbeat bidder or a non-selling seller. eBay allows for you to report this activity so please use it.
  • Beware of vehicles listed with other than clear titles. Salvage, lost, rebuilt, or otherwise branded titles can be difficult to transfer to your name. You may end-up with a vehicle that you can't register and drive in your state.
  • Cover yourself well. We typically use a portion of the description to clearly state our expectations in a sale. Here is the final description section of a recent auction of ours:
                This is a nice truck being posted at a fair reserve. It is a used vehicle and is being sold as is, where is. I'm happy                         to take as many pictures as you'd like, just ask.

                I strongly urge any serious bidders to come and look at and drive the truck in person. I'm  happy to allow                                     your mechanic or other local person come over and inspect it for you if you're out of town.  I won't be taking the
                            truck to them, sorry.

                I won't ship, but I'll work with your shipper to get the truck to you after the full purchase amount is paid and clears                         my bank. I won't release the truck or the title until paid in full.



That's it!


Buying and selling vehicles online is relatively safe and simple. We've had a lot of success and a lot of fun. 

Get Started Here!

Please feel free to post your own experiences in the comments.

Good luck and happy bidding!

-CMB



 
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Sunday, September 30th 2012 was a beautiful day for CMB's favorite car show. It's not a secret to many that we love our classic Volkswagens and the annual Cincinnati Volkswagen Club Reunion show never disappoints.

The Show

This year's reunion was once again located at G.E. Park in Sharonville, Ohio. A beautiful setting with ample parking and easy access to the entire show field. The price of admission was only $5.00 for adults and kids under 12 were free. The event staff was friendly and accommodating. There were plenty of concessions and vendors to keep the crowd happy.

An artist had set-up a booth with handmade VW themed paintings, clocks, wall decorations, and hand-drawn t-shirt designs. A very talented and friendly individual.

There was also absurdly good pumpkin pie ice cream. Yep. You read that correctly.

The Crowd

It's hard to say why exactly, but VWs just seem to bring out an interesting cast of characters. Half the fun of any V-dub gathering is talking with the eclectic group of folks from all walks of life. Artists, wealthy businesspeople, regular Joes, racers, campers, swappers, and everyone in between was well represented.

We were talking with a man for several minutes before Mrs. CMB pointed-out that he was wearing a skirt. It was actually an other-than-plaid kilt. Nice guy. Didn't even notice the wardrobe. He had a beautiful later model classic bug.

The Cars

Of course, the whole point of this little trip to Sharonville was the cars. And were there ever cars. The most beautifully restored, un-restored, clean, ratty, new, and old Volkswagens and Porsches  were on the grass at G.E. Park. From a 1951 bug in its "as found in the barn" condition to modern, high-tech water-cooled cars, there was something for everyone in the field.

CMB has never witnessed as many early busses in one place. VW buses,  campers, single and double cabs, even a gorgeously restored 23 window deluxe rolled onto the show field.  There were plenty of later busses too, but the split windows steal the show for CMB.

The Pics

We snapped a ton of pictures at the show. I won't even attempt to caption them all. Scroll -on through and enjoy!

The Club

Check out everything the Cincinnati VW Club has to offer by visiting their website http://www.cincyvwclub.com/Home.aspx

 And come on out to the reunion next year!

-CMB


 
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A couple of weeks ago the CMB family went for a walk around the Lunken Airport section of the  Ohio River Trail. We were surprised by a B-17 Flying Fortress on the tarmac behind the old terminal.  I snapped some "through the fence "pictures  of the Belle and other aircraft we encountered on the walk as well as some general interest pics of the airport itself.

Go and check it out for yourself. The bomber is gone now, but there are plenty of big motors to hear and lots of history to enjoy. Oh, and you'll get a bit of exercise to boot.


 
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NASCAR and its Quaker State 400 roared into Kentucky on Saturday, June 30th 2012. The sky was clear, the sun was hot, and the beer was expensive! Everything a racing fan comes to expect at a major event like a Sprint Cup race.

Getting There

The previous year's event brought traffic snarls that are now legend in the race management world.  It was great to see that all of those issues had been well resolved for 2012. The Kentucky State Police were tweeting the traffic conditions, and the interstates remained clear of back-ups and moved freely all the way through the race for fans both coming and going. Perhaps those bugs are worked-out for good.

The Crowd

All walks of life were roasting in the sun together in the bleachers, and lounging in the shade under the grandstands. Most had arrived early with expectations of waiting in the traffic that never materialized.  They were all a little sunburned, and perhaps a little inebriated, but they were all eager to cheer on their favorite driver.

And that includes the very excited lady in the picture at the top of the post. She jumped from her seat and cheered for her driver, Jimmie Johnson, each and every time his car passed turn four. She personified the fans at the Quaker State 400, and of NASCAR in general. They're a bit rough around the edges, but fans through and through.

The Race

With only a few minor cautions to speak of, all 267 laps were completed without incident. The pit strategies were the keys to the event as this track tends to keep the cars single-file. Very few rubs were made and leaders tended to lead for many laps at a time.

It was a technical race, so fans expecting bang-up, side-by-side action may have been a bit disappointed. The timing of the cautions, and pit road choices made the difference on Saturday night.

The Winner

Brad Keselowski, driving a back-up car after some issues during qualifying drove his #2 Miller Lite hot rod to victory lane in Sparta. Kasey Kahne was second and Denny Hamlin third.

Brad didn't disappoint with the now mandatory roasting of the tires. A celebration which proves difficult to photograph.

The Pics

Another gallery of the sights of the day is below. Many "through the fence" shots, helicopters, fans, cars and anything else NASCAR on the grounds! Take a look...

-CMB


 
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OK, so maybe it's cheating to plop -down a couple of links to other places on the web and call it a blog post, but here it is. Forgive me. After spending quite a bit of time trying to explain to Mrs. CMB the "point" of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, I'm exhausted.

I will restate for the record here that keeping a car going at speeds nearing 200mph on a twisty road course virtually non-stop for 24 hours straight is "kind of a big deal".

Now on to the new post. I was reading a friend's blog about his scooter when I was struck by some things I remember from my air-cooled Volkswagen days. From other drivers wanting to run you down due to perceived slowness, to all of the gas station "experts' who will tell you all of the facts you've got wrong about your own ride, the trials of VW owners and the scooter-borne  are much the same.

Read this post by my friend and scoot pilot Marty:

http://www.martybytes.com

After reading Marty's post, I remembered a thread on one of my old haunts, www.TheSamba.com. This site is the end-all of air-cooled VW sites. This particular string goes on for 46 pages of stoplight and gas pump silliness that comes with the joy of German economy and hippy history (and it's not the only thread on the subject!):

http://tinyurl.com/bwksghz

So, sorry for the copy/paste but I thought the similarity was interesting. I wonder what other modes are victims of such scorn and annoyances??

-CMB

ps. A perfect image, no?


 
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On May 5th, 2012, a charity antique car show of sorts was held to benefit Helping Hickory, an organization dedicated to assisting Bill "Hickory" Simpson. Bill has be diagnosed with ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease and the organization helps Bill with whatever he may need to keep-up his fight.

The show itself was small by most standards, but it was made-up of Bill's own friends and  family. There was a corn hole tournament, a prize raffle, and even a clown painting the faces of the many children in attendance.

On to the cars. Check out the slide show below. You may think you're looking at a bunch of ancient Fords.  And you're almost right about that. The rumble seat five window and the blue roadster are fine examples of restored Henry originals. The two model T's are as well.

The T's are obviously the oldest cars at the park and they have some unique features as antiques  go. One is a wooden cab pick-up with a mystery device attached to the bed. The rear fenders are also hinged. It looks like perhaps a dump bed configuration, but the hinges bend in the wrong direction for that. If anyone knows what this is, drop us a line!

The other T is full of vintage accessories. Check-out the water bag on the radiator, and the hot dog cooker under the hood! Heat from an 80-year-old engine cooks 'em right up! There is even a very nice wooden box in this car which was crafted by Hickory himself.

That leaves three "other" roadsters. These cars are well accessorized with  original Model A add-ons, but these aren't Henry Ford's cars. They are fiberglass reproduction cars from the early 1980's. They're Shays.

Shay Reproductions built these cars on Ford Pinto chassis and drive trains.  What sets the Shay cars apart from other reproductions is that Shays were actually sold through Ford dealerships as promotional items. If their fan site is to be believed, they were a huge success and drew thousands of new Ford buyers into their dealerships. They are well made cars with relatively modern reliability.

Read more about the Shay cars and their history here: http://shayhistory.com/

For more information on how to help end ALS, go to the ALS Association website at http://www.alsa.org/  

-CMB


 
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It was April 22, 2012 and it was freezing! The radio station at Northern Kentucky University, WNKU 89.7 FM and the Black-N-Blue Roller Girls roller derby team sponsored a road rally and car show on the NKU campus.

Delayed one day by heavy rains, the show went on. Blustery cold air kept the crowds away, but there was a fairly strong showing of participants. About 22 cars cruised  the road rally around Alexandria, Kentucky and many more attended the show.

A wide array of cars and bikes made up the show field. Everything from a stock 1930 Packard to a very heavily modified VW Beetle were parked together in the University's lot. Muscle cars were well represented, some British cars came alone and even a Lotus was found in the mix!

Two  vehicles at the show are worthy of special mention. One, a 1969 BSA Lightning motorcycle in nearly pristine original condition  was a sight to behold. The other a beautifully restored 1950 GM transit bus. This bus illustrates the real world of classic transportation.  After all, how many people rode a bus such as this as compared to those who had fire-breathing Hemi 'Cudas in their garages?  

The Campus Police and Campbell County Fire Department  were on hand to let the youngsters climb all over the equipment and the roller girls skated about, greeting the spectators.

Check out the slide show. There wasn't much time to talk to the car owners on this foul-weather day, so if you know the owner (or you are the owner) drop us a line via Jake@CincyMotorBlog.com. We'd love to hear more about the stories behind these fine cars and bikes.

To learn more about the show sponsors, you can find them here:

WNKU Radio and Black N Bluegrass Roller Girls

 

-CMB