Sunday, October 19, 2008

cars: Goldidonks and the three rims

three cars on big, bigger, biggest rims
The wheels on the first car (Lexus GS430? Nissan something?) were merely large, so Goldilocks tried the 4th-gen 1995 Camaro on thirty-inch monstrosities but found it was like riding in an oversized bouncy baby carriage. But the mama bear's third-gen 1985 Camaro Z28 on 22s was just right.

There's something so willfully, childishly over-the-top about modifying a car to ride on oversized wheels shod with rubber less than three inches tall, completely ruining the ride, risking wheel damage at every pothole, and forcing you to drive and corner gingerly at less than 40 mph. Especially when the original car's tiny disc and drum brakes leave gaping holes to peer through. Hot Wheels toy cars brought to life. It makes me want to get “38” badges in iced diamonds for my Subaru — cm, baby, rollin' metric style!ice diamond 22″ badge!

In my area there aren't many classic 70s-80s Impalas and Caprices available, so people have turned all kinds of sedans into Hi-Risers on gigantic rims. I saw a 90s Jaguar XJ in purple on 28-inch wheels.

There's some low-rider culture too, I occasionally see deep red Monte Carlos with engraved windows tooling around on small gold-spoke wheels. South of San Jose I saw two Lincoln Navigators rolling on tiny wheels, which turns an aggressive behemoth into a friendly bus with running boards lower than the curb.

I'm not too sure on the economics of spending several thousand dollars per wheel on these, but it's hella entertaining.

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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

cars: 1984 Civic 1500S with the Teddy Bear wheels

I saw this in my neighborhoodHonda Civic 1500S with Ronal Teddy Bear wheels
The 1984 Honda Civic 1500S in the beautiful gray two-tone. Almost as cherry as the one I owned.

Check out the wheels! I remember seeing these "teddy bear" wheels in car magazines, I thought they were by Koei, but these are by Ronal.Ronal 'Teddy Bear' wheel - classic!Note the wheel lock in the belly button.

I've been meaning to update my Civic page with more information about that incomparable design. Car Styling magazine was kind enough to photocopy the pages about the entire third-generation "Civic Renaissance" design program from issue 44 for me. It was a global tour de force, a single program delivered this fantastic hatchback, the Civic sedan, the CRX pocket-sized sport coupe, the innovative Civic "Space" Shuttle all-wheel drive (much better than a fat tall SUV), and the Ballade variants for the Japanese domestic market. Wow.

Douglas Halbert of Honda R&D Americas contacted me and commented
Tony Ikeda, Ed Watts, Truman Pollard and myself were the designers working on the project. All my designs were of the long-roof concept and we were in competition with Hiroshi Zaima and the HGW staff in Japan.

Hmm, the design came out in 1984. High point of Western civilization indeed!

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