Car Guy Bike Build: Episode 4 – Honda CB450 gas tank rust removal

The gas tank of my Honda CB450 was rusty and full of sludge from rotten gas. After an acetone wash and a soak in vinegar, the rust is almost completely gone! Next up, I’ll get rid of any remaining rust and seal up the tank with a KREEM tank liner kit from Old Bike Barn.

Car Guy Bike Build: Episode 3 – Rebuilding Honda CB450 Keihin carburetors

The previous owner of my ’72 Honda CB450 K5 said the carburetors were leaking and were in need of some work. So I yanked them off, gave them a good cleaning and rebuilt them with a kit from Dime City Cycles. Next up is cleaning the fuel tank!

Introducing Car Guy Bike Build: ’72 Honda CB450 project

72-honda-cb450-project

By Dave S. Clark

A wise man once told me there are two ways to learn things. You can be taught or you can learn through experience. I think there are merits in both, but there is a value in learning by experiencing things for yourself that you just can’t get from reading, researching or being taught.

Although I have lots of experience with cars, I’ve never touched motorcycles even though they intrigued me. With the urge to learn, I decided to jump right in. I found the cheapest bike I could find, bought it, found an even cheaper parts bike for it and bought it too. With two non-running old bikes taking up space in my garage, I have to learn about them. Continue reading “Introducing Car Guy Bike Build: ’72 Honda CB450 project”

Volkswagen Beetles in Mexico City – the last of the beloved vocho

If you’re looking for an excuse to go to Mexico City, there are plenty. Although there are no beaches around for hundreds of miles, North American’s largest metropolis claims to have more museums than any other city in the world. The region is renowned for amazing food and I proved that, eating more tacos than I should probably admit.

Distrito Federal is also a goldmine for architecture lovers, highlighted by art deco apartment buildings, and intriguing 20th century landmarks like Torre Latinoamericano, Museo Nacional de Antropologia and the art nouveau Palacio de Bellas Artes.

But the sprawling city is also home to a piece of automotive history that is slowly fading away – Mexico’s beloved vocho, the Volkswagen Beetle. Continue reading “Volkswagen Beetles in Mexico City – the last of the beloved vocho”

Mud, rain, hail and a torrent of fun: Northern Loon Rally recap

Ever since building my ’67 Volvo Amazon for the Canada 5000 rally-inspired road trip last year, I’ve been itching to get it into a proper TSD to see how it performs. When Tom Chichak asked if I wanted to compete in the Edmonton Rally Club’s Northern Loon Rally with him, I couldn’t pass up the chance.

As is always the case when I enter any type of motorsports event, the car preparations went on right up until the last minute. The biggest challenge was getting a working odometer in the car and I left that in Tom’s capable hands. After trying unsuccessfully once again to get my TerraTrip working, he moved on to installing an Alfa Pro. After some last-minute calibrations, he got it working beautifully on the Friday night before the Saturday event. Continue reading “Mud, rain, hail and a torrent of fun: Northern Loon Rally recap”

Book Review: The Road Across Canada by Edward McCourt

Many people have driven across Canada, including several who did it long before Edward McCourt set out for his journey from St. John’s, Newfoundland to Victoria, B.C. But nobody has ever chronicled their trip in such a beautiful fashion as McCourt did in The Road Across Canada.

Full disclosure: this book was published in 1965, so it’s more than 50 years old and has been out of print for decades. But there’s still plenty of copies floating around. I found an ex-library copy for about $5 on AbeBooks.com.

McCourt made the trek with his wife in 1962, the same year the Trans-Canada Highway was officially opened, although it was far from being completed at that point. The book is broken down into chapters on each Canadian province that McCourt drove through. Along the way, he masterfully intertwines relevant tales of Canadian history to the regions he is passing through. Canadian history can be a bit dull, but McCourt finds a way to make the tales interesting and engaging. Having driven many of the same routes over the years, I am quite familiar with the towns and cities he visits. He paints each stop wonderfully and with great accuracy, which isn’t always flattering. Continue reading “Book Review: The Road Across Canada by Edward McCourt”

Long lost Volvo: Tracking down my father-in-law’s old race car

By Dave S. Clark

My father-in-law, Carlo Marrazzo, proudly displays his crash helmet in his living room. It’s the helmet he wore in the late 1970s, when he raced a Volvo 142 at Speedway Park in Edmonton, Alberta. While he still has his helmet, the car he raced and the track he raced at are long gone. For more than three decades Speedway Park has just been a memory, long since bulldozed to become a cookie-cutter residential development.

I had seen several black and white photos of the car, since Carlo was an aspiring photographer during his racing years. But he sold the 142 decades ago and lost track of it after leaving the racing scene. Then one weekend a couple of years ago, while Carlo helping me swap a new engine into one of my cars, we got talking about memories of his Volvo racing adventures. It got me wondering if the car was still out there somewhere. Continue reading “Long lost Volvo: Tracking down my father-in-law’s old race car”